Claim: UK Mutant Coronavirus Spreading More Easily, Displacing Other Strains

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The good news is the new mutant HS69/V70 Covid-19 strain does not appear to be more lethal, and the vaccine is expected to be effective against the new variant. But it does appear to be more easily passed on – the new virus is spreading despite UK efforts to impose a strict lockdown.

The new strain appears to be rapidly dominating other strains in the UK terms of prevalence.

The CDC is not currently recommending travel restrictions, though they recommend extreme caution when travelling to the UK. Fauci is advising everyone not to overreact.

The following is an interview with Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary;

The following is a graph provided by Tony Cox, CEO, NIHR National Biosample Centre and the Milton Keynes “Lighthouse” Coronavirus Testing Mega-Lab, showing the new variant Covid-19 (orange) rapidly displacing other strains in terms of prevalence in the UK population.

The following has just been published on the British government health website.

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant

The new variant transmits more easily than the previous one but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.

Published 20 December 2020
From:Public Health England

Main points

Data from Whole Genome Sequencing, epidemiology and modelling suggest the new variant ‘VUI – 202012/01’ (the first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020) transmits more easily than other variants.

We currently have no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality – but we are continuing investigations to understand this better.

The way to control this virus is the same, whatever the variant. It will not spread if we avoid close contact with others. Wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance from others, and reduce your social contacts.

Is there any evidence that the variant is more serious?

We currently have no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or higher mortality – but we continue to study cases to understand this better. We know that mortality is a lagging indicator and we will need to continually monitor this over the coming weeks.

Why is this more transmissible?

We know that mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that makes it infectious, can change how the virus interacts with human cells. However, we do not yet know the mechanism for this increase in transmission.

The evidence shows that infection rates in geographical areas where this particular variant has been circulating have increased faster than expected, and the modelling evidence has demonstrated that this variant has a higher transmission rate than other variants in current circulation.

How long has this variant been in circulation?

All viruses mutate over time and new variants emerge regularly.

Backwards tracing using the genetic evidence suggests this variant emerged in September 2020 and then circulated at very low levels in the population until mid-November.

The increase in cases linked to the new variant first came to light in late November when PHE was investigating why infection rates in Kent were not falling despite national restrictions. We then discovered a cluster linked to this variant spreading rapidly into London and Essex.

Evidence of increased transmissibility was provided to NERVTAG and ministers on December 18.

Is this variant resistant to the Pfizer vaccine?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer vaccine would not protect people against the new variant.

Further laboratory work is currently being undertaken as a priority to understand this.

How widespread is the variant geographically?

144 Lower Tier Local Authorities have identified at least 1 case genomically, although the vast majority of cases identified are in London, the South East and the East of England.

Can tests detect this new variant?

Labs have been issued with guidance to adapt processes to ensure that PCR tests can detect this variant.

PCR tests can be adapted rapidly to respond to the new variant.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-sars-cov-2-information-about-the-new-virus-variant

So far there are no US plans to impose UK travel restrictions.

… In a Monday interview with CNN, Fauci, who also serves as a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said that the United States should “without a doubt keep an eye” on the new strain, but “we don’t want to overreact.” …

Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/12/21/anthony-fauci-doesnt-want-to-restrict-u-k-flights-dont-overreact-to-mutated-coronavirus-strain/

The new strain does not appear to be more lethal – so we are still only talking about a low mortality risk for most people.

But the ease with which the new strain can apparently be transmitted, and its apparent ability to defeat very strict UK lockdowns in my opinion makes harsh lockdowns much more difficult to justify.

The new strain may significantly increase the risk of exposure for the elderly and infirm, and therefore would appear to increase the urgency of rolling out vaccines to vulnerable people.

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dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 2:07 am

Um.

I understand that the UK is considered to be the most capable country in the world for analysing virus genome structures, and has plotted all the slight variants of this disease as it mutated. Few other countries do this.

So what makes people think that this variation only exists in the UK? It could well be spread widely around the world, but not differentiated from ‘regular Covid’ in most countries….

Newminster
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 2:32 am

There was a suggestion yesterday that this variant had been identified in Brazil in June.
The big question that needs to be answered, and hasn’t even been seriously asked by the UK government’s pet experts, is whether this mutation is following the usual pattern (as I understand but I’m not an expert) of being more infectious but less virulent at the same time.
If that’s the case then this mutation could be good news rather than the bad news the “experts” (appear to) want it to be!

Derg
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 2:47 am

We may have to wear 2 masks for this mutation 😜

Scissor
Reply to  Derg
December 22, 2020 6:50 am

Fortunately, all this mask wearing and social distancing has virtually eliminated influenza. Unfortunately, people’s lack of mask wearing and social distancing has allowed this new CV variant to spread.

Latitude
Reply to  Scissor
December 22, 2020 7:47 am

LOL….the same people that are claiming flu is at a record low…..are screaming covid cases are surging…..you can try…but you can’t have it both ways…it’s all total bullcrap

Adam Gallon
Reply to  Latitude
December 22, 2020 7:54 am

Only if you’re a complete imbecile like you.

Latitude
Reply to  Adam Gallon
December 22, 2020 8:08 am

well thank you so much Adam…..got anything besides name calling? Explain how wearing masks has eliminated the flu virus….and at the same time made the covid virus surge to record numbers

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Latitude
December 22, 2020 9:39 am

Because washing your hands, swabbing counters and door handles with alcohol, containing sneezes within masks, staying home with your sore throat, and minimizing social interactions are effective against influenza, but not so apparent against something many times more contagious. In Alberta, it was recently stated that 10 times as many people died in the past 9 months from CoVid19, as normally die from Influenza, despite the various restrictions.

Max P
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 22, 2020 10:42 am

Or, every case of Influenza that goes to a hospital is assumed to be Covid when it arrives and is counted as such whether testing is done or not. Then, the patient is housed with actual Covid patients and, you guessed it, ends up with Covid.

JohnM
Reply to  Max P
December 23, 2020 1:21 am

Not in the UK. Every patient presenting with symptoms of a sars-cov-2 infection is separated from other patients. All those who are listed as “deaths from cv19” have had to be tested positive. Note that nobody has died from being infected by the virus, they die from other problems caused by the initial infection.

Latitude
Reply to  Scissor
December 22, 2020 1:05 pm

the ever moving goal posts…..now there’s no flu…because covid is many times more contagious

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
Reply to  Latitude
December 23, 2020 1:29 am

some people love covid19 and want it to continue forever. You can see them insisting on wearing their face masks everywhere including in their own solo drive cars, even though it is summer in Australia and all such restrictions have been lifted (exception: in the supermarket). Who could they be?

(Hint, public servants on full pay “working” from home).

Klem
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 3:49 am

This variant may not be the covid-21 that everyone predicted would arrive this flu season.

But have faith all you who enjoy living in fear, rumour has it that covid-22 is ready to go.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Klem
December 22, 2020 9:40 am

“rumour has it”, huh?

That’s what we need, more conspiracy theories.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 4:28 am

….whether this mutation is following the usual pattern (as I understand but I’m not an expert) of being more infectious but less virulent at the same time…

I don’t think you need to be an expert. This is simply Darwin 101. Any self-replicating object which changes will preferentially change to become better adapted to the environment in which it exists.

For a coronavirus in a human, that invariably means becoming a highly infectious case of the sniffles. Many other flu-like illnesses have gone down this route.

Note, of course, that even a mild cold could be the proximate cause of someone who is on their deathbed actually dying. When you are dying and your life-span is to be measured in days, any minor issue can bring you to your end. It is questionable as to whether this issue should therefore be designated ‘fatal’; it unquestionably was for you, but it would not normally be so considered. A lot of the ‘fatality’ measurements for Covid seem to me to fall into this category.

Bloke down the pub
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 6:15 am

As it mutates, it will also tend to select for non-lethality, as it’s harder to replicate itself once the patient dies.

mcswell
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
December 22, 2020 1:15 pm

Generally true, but this virus is a long ways from being able to feel the effects of such Darwinian selection, simply because not enough people have died from it yet. This variant could be much more lethal (I’m not saying it is!!!) and more infectious at the same time.

Bloke down the pub
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 6:13 am

It’s good news, as it means we’ll attain herd immunity quicker.

Newminster
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
December 22, 2020 12:00 pm

I decided not to go down that route because I think “herd immunity” is a bit of a red herring. Inoculation in childhood against the “usual suspects” effectively eliminates them because there is nothing for the infection to latch onto. The virus (or bacterium) is still out there which is why if enough people decide not to get their children vaccinated it reappears.

Nimble viruses like the respiratory ones mutate to keep ahead of the game but in the process they learn, as bloke down the pub points out, that a dead host is a dead loss. Which is why the common cold and the annual ‘flu fight is always with us. And every year it carries off the old and susceptible (and one year soon it will probably take me!).

There is no guaranteed “herd immunity” against these viruses as there is against mumps or whooping cough because “there’s always another one along in a minute” — like London buses! The best we can do is weather the initial storm and live with (almost certainly less virulent) mutation that comes along next time.

chemman
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 3:08 pm

Whooping cough is a bacteria: Bordetella pertussis
Mumps is a air born spread virus: Mumps orthorubulavirus

Steve Swales
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 8:54 am

The minutes of the 2 hour NERVTAG meeting (actually a phone conference call) on 18 December are available and are quite interesting. https://khub.net/documents/135939561/338928724/SARS-CoV-2+variant+under+investigation%2C+meeting+minutes.pdf/962e866b-161f-2fd5-1030-32b6ab467896?t=1608491166921
The language used was nothing like as definite as the press and politicians have subsequently claimed. They had “moderate confidence that VUI-202012/01 demonstrates a substantial increase in transmissibility compared to other variants” but repeatedly explained that there was insufficient data to draw firm conclusions. Indeed, they explained that most of the additional data should be available this week. Something very strange and yet very predictable seems to have occurred to “sex-up” NERVTAG’s contribution sometime between Friday lunchtime and the Prime Minister’s press conference at 4 pm on Saturday….

Last edited 4 months ago by Steve Swales
Newminster
Reply to  Steve Swales
December 22, 2020 12:07 pm

It’s a conspiracy theorist’s dream, Steve. The pattern that is emerging is that every time Boris makes a decision the “scientists” don’t approve of one of these increasingly oddly named groups of advisors pops up with scary numbers plucked from the depths of some computer model and bullies him back on track.

Is it surprising that the conspiracy theorists have a field day?

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Steve Swales
December 22, 2020 2:39 pm

There are already more than 60 variants of this virus in circulation – it evolves continuously. The “evolution” involved in SE England may be an ability to survive in air for longer – as simple as that. It does not have to evolve for less deadliness just because it evolves for durability.

Viruses are totally stupid. They may evolve for high survival and deadly effect, or not. They may evolve to cause hiccups. It The outcome is more akin to the behaviour of cellular automata than a vengeful disease. Sometimes it makes a pretty pattern and sometimes it kills grandma.

As the UK variety is displacing the usual version, we can assume there is something about it that gives it a competitive advantage “in the market”. All 60+ varieties may become 300 which, over time, decrease in deadliness because mortality is not a desirable attribute (unless it is actually a weapon).

mcswell
Reply to  Newminster
December 22, 2020 1:13 pm

A little too soon to know, I should think.

JohnM
Reply to  Newminster
December 23, 2020 1:17 am

More infectious similar virulence. The only change that matters is that it is much easier for the virus to enter a human cell. It also seems to infect children more rapidly. The new variant has also been identified in Denmark, France, Italy, Australia and South Africa.

LdB
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 2:40 am

Australia has been detected 4 instances of UK strain but it’s all been in mandatory hotel quarantine.

https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-new-variant-of-the-virus-that-causes-covid-19

Patrick MJD
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 2:43 am

The UK is GONE!

saveenergy
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 22, 2020 2:55 am

No, we are still here, waving ( & drowning ) !!

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 22, 2020 5:27 am

Yes. Ehrlich stated, during the 1970s, I think, that with overpopulation and finite resources, he expected the UK to be eradicated as a country by the year 2000.

Funny, that…

tonyb
Editor
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 6:25 am

This version of the virus has been around for months. As holidaymakers fly all over Europe and truck drivers travel all round the continent it is difficult to believe this strain is restricted to the UK but is likely endemic in Europe but they do not have the capability to test for it so don’t realise it is around .

Kent is the nearest county to Europe and is the focal point for the virus and for freight traffic so my guess would be that it entered the UK from the continent due to these travel routes.

Macron is blockading the UK in order to try to force s to concede in the Brexit talks so this is a good excuse.

tonyb.

Steve Swales
Reply to  tonyb
December 22, 2020 9:01 am

Matt Hancock gave him an open goal with his catastrophically cack-handed TV interview with Andrew Marr on Sunday morning. Whatever Macron’s motives, he’d have to be a complete idiot not to see the political opportunity Hancock had just delivered to him.

Mark E Shulgasser
Reply to  tonyb
December 22, 2020 5:03 pm

Right. It’s in Belgium, Netherlands and Italy — and probably in France as well — if it exists at all in a meaningful way, except as a last ditch effort to prevent Brexit. Rather obvious, don’t you think?

mcswell
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 1:12 pm

what makes people think that this variation only exists in the UK?” What makes you think people think that? Every article or audio report I’ve heard on this suggests that this variant (or variants quite similar to it) may be elsewhere.

John McCabe
December 22, 2020 2:09 am

It’s worth noting that the EU Centre for Disease Control document at https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/SARS-CoV-2-variant-multiple-spike-protein-mutations-United-Kingdom.pdf state:

Small numbers of isolates with the variant VUI 202012/01 have been reported from Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. However, most EU/EEA countries sequence much smaller proportions of virus isolates than the UK, so ongoing circulation of this variant outside of the UK cannot be excluded.

And also:

The UK reports that the deletion 69-70 in the spike protein of the variant causes a negative result from S-gene RT-PCR assays applied in some laboratories in the UK [26]. This specific mutation has occurred many times in different countries and is geographically widespread. 

In other words, the chances of this mutant being unique to the UK, or even to have developed here, are probably minimal; we just happen to have put the effort in to sequence it properly and understand what’s happening with it.

ThomasF
December 22, 2020 2:22 am

Genetic analysis of SARS-Vov19 clusters over the world:

https://nextstrain.org/groups/neherlab/ncov/S.N501?p=grid&r=country

Alexander Pukhov
Reply to  ThomasF
December 22, 2020 2:59 am

Isolate the UK anyway.
Brexit is Brexit.
The novel virus is merely an inducement.

saveenergy
Reply to  ThomasF
December 22, 2020 3:14 am

Brill link, thanks
(the bit I understand)

migueldelrio
December 22, 2020 2:39 am

Question the graph since it seems to indicate that either 1) the variant was tested prior to the existence of variant being known to science or 2) the UK has infinite resources and patient tracking at the country’s disposal to go back and re-test the specific variant of COVID patients.

Then again, there is no denominator specified, so the sample size is itself of questionable significance. Percentage out of how many patients sampled?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  migueldelrio
December 22, 2020 2:44 am

Conclusion; It’s rubbish!

John McCabe
Reply to  migueldelrio
December 22, 2020 3:05 am

Or 3) The testing has always identified a number of variants, but they’re normally not reported separately whereas, now that it seems there’s one variant dominating, the historical information that’s still available can be used to identify its increasing prevalence over time.

As for sample size, the graph states “All positive results”, so presumably it means “All positive results”. It’s showing ~16.5% positive on 18th December which, according to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/, was 28,507 cases.

Last edited 4 months ago by John McCabe
Ron Long
Reply to  John McCabe
December 22, 2020 4:28 am

Also, John, if you look at the worldometers.info daily new UK cases versus daily fatalities, it actually looks like this emerging variant/mutation is less lethal (remembering that fatality trails infection by 2 or 3 weeks).

Harold
Reply to  Ron Long
December 22, 2020 5:56 am

I am not ready to believe that this is the case, but I am certainly ready to believe that there is hope that this is true, since it is the normal course of many, but not all, viruses. It could just be that it is infectious longer that the normal three days in the pre-symptomatic phase.

Harold
Reply to  Harold
December 22, 2020 8:47 am

I guess a downvote proves that what I said isn’t true. LOL

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Harold
December 22, 2020 10:04 am

No, it’s just easier to downvote someone than post a short message saying they disagree with you.

DonM
Reply to  Harold
December 23, 2020 6:37 pm

There has been yabberings stating that children are more likely to be infected by the NEW strain. If true, the stats will show less lethal (unless someone wants it to show something else … if so the correction factor will be applied to specific age groups)

Mike O
Reply to  Ron Long
December 23, 2020 6:55 am

Isn’t it the normal course of a virus that they become more easily transmitted and less lethal as time goes by? Those strains that rapidly kill their hosts, cannot spread once the host dies.

saveenergy
Reply to  migueldelrio
December 22, 2020 3:20 am

Data is stored on computers, so can be re-analised.
Mind you, we know of 2 people who booked for a covid test, but didn’t have it (queue too long, and when got to front of queue they had run out of tests), but both received results saying they were positive!!

Drake
Reply to  saveenergy
December 23, 2020 8:54 am

I personally heard the same thing from a couple who were in Seattle US who got tired of waiting for the test after signing in and they BOTH were positive W/O doing the test and were told to provide their contacts for tracing. They were out of Washington state by that time and threw the documentation away. That is where the problem of lies lies. This is all anecdotal and I am sure there is no money to do a study of the possible corruption of the bureaucrats or contractors who benefit from higher numbers through expanded overtime income or contract reimbursements.

If these instances are provable, there is fraud involved and the fraud should be prosecuted, but when documentation is destroyed, it is much harder to prove. As you mentioned, the data is on computers and is easily disappeared. Hard copies not so much.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  migueldelrio
December 22, 2020 3:44 am

…or 2) the UK has infinite resources and patient tracking at the country’s disposal to go back and re-test the specific variant of COVID patients.

The UK does indeed have heavyweight genome analysis and tracking capability.

mcswell
Reply to  migueldelrio
December 22, 2020 1:18 pm

More like 2, but non-finite resources suffice. Samples are kept for just this kind of situation.

Patrick MJD
December 22, 2020 2:42 am

Oh yeah! This is the new CV19 BS spreading to Aus now. Reports that people have arrived from the UK with the “new strain”. Yeah…ok…

ThomasF
December 22, 2020 2:49 am

High rates of mutation accumulation over short time periods have been reported previously in studies of immunodeficient or immunosuppressed patients who are chronically infected with SARS-CoV-2

The patients are treated with convalescent plasma (sometimes more than once) and usually also with the drug remdesivir.

Under such circumstances, the evolutionary dynamics of and selective pressures upon the intra-patient virus population are expected to be very different to those experienced in typical infection

These considerations lead us to hypothesise that the unusual genetic divergence of lineage B.1.1.7 may have resulted, at least in part, from virus evolution with a chronically-infected individual

Source: https://virological.org/t/preliminary-genomic-characterisation-of-an-emergent-sars-cov-2-lineage-in-the-uk-defined-by-a-novel-set-of-spike-mutations/563

Derg
December 22, 2020 2:50 am

Until Mockton comes on here with his graphs I will be holding off on my hysteria.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Derg
December 22, 2020 3:08 am

I would rather electrodes attached to my genitals.

Disputin
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
December 22, 2020 11:43 am

OK, I’ll bring the generator. Where are you?

suffolkboy
Reply to  Derg
December 22, 2020 5:01 am

Lord Monckton, though normally spot on in his analysis of the politics, law and science, seemed to get assimilated by the hysterics. Early on he got hooked on “exponential rising” and, to my mind at least, became blinded to the broader picture, namely Farr’s Law (which is, roughly speaking, a symmetrical bell-shaped graph of infection rates), or the Gompertz Curve (a similar graph but with asymmetry between the rising and falling portions), or the “Lop-eared Rabbit” graph (which is two Gompertz graphs a year apart, with different shapes, and is a good approximation to seasonal respiratory epidemics). As the year passed by, the “Rabbit” graph emerged, familiar to epidemiologists, yet somehow this became territory fought over by the media, politicians and epidemiologists. Second wave? Mutant? Variant? Strain? Displacement? Covidiots? Plague-islandism? Call it what you will, numerically the pandemic is pretty routine if your have been on the planet for two or more generations, yet for the younger generation it is unprecedented, and it is the young to whom politicians pander.

Ian Magness
December 22, 2020 2:59 am

The incompetence of the British government’s response to this has been simply breathtaking. How could they not have predicted the sprouting travel and trade flow bans given their hysterical mantra that matters were now “out of control”? And let’s be clear, their medical “advisers” in SAGE were absolutely furious with Doris for calling a break in lockdowns at XMas and were seeking any excuse to reverse the decision. They have more than succeeded. Add to this the new doomster group – the insidious NERVTAG. This lot seem even more extreme in their lockdown views and who does this – apparently now extremely influential – group contain? Step forward one Prof Ferguson of Imperial College. You know, the man whose forecast predicted half a million UK Covid deaths. “It’s worse than we thought” applies here.
It’s an over-used phrase but you could not make this up. The stupidity must be “unprecedented”. Oh, wait, the same leadership group have equally crazy views on AGW and the economics of renewables to power national grids and vehicle fleets…

Barry Sheridan
Reply to  Ian Magness
December 23, 2020 12:12 am

Quite so Ian, I am sick of hearing myself ranting on about our government and its actions. As for Mr. Hancock, why would anyone talk of new strains at all, unless it is to assert that all viruses mutate over time.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 3:04 am

Before taking this injection, let us hear from Tiffany Dover!
Why has she not given any video interview since her injection, where she fainted and brought to emergency.
Why did the hospital first posted on their FB page, that she was okay, for later to retract this statement?
Why is there no postings from Tiffany in her FB since she her live injection promotion stunt.

This, and many other oddities surrounding this case, may just be coincidences. However, when you make a public live display and something goes wrong, you are expected to go live again and inform the public that all went well in the end and I am okay.

Tiffany sjould never have been vaccinated if she, as the hospital states, she had fainted six times in six weeks. This may be a vertical lie from the hospital, in order to suppress something else.

The public display a few days after where it is claimed that Tiffany Dover is surrounded by her colleague propagandists on the stairway, does really not look like the Steffany we saw during the live injection event.

Most of my sources, in the above, are drawn from “Der Waldgang” on his Telegram channel, which is open for all to see.

Peta of Newark
December 22, 2020 3:07 am

Quote:
“”The new variant is out of control“”
Is that a little glimmer of honesty there?!!!?
Then The Plebs might realise how few folks its killing despite being ‘Out of Control’
Heads may start appearing. On spikes along Westminster Bridge

Quote:
“”we don’t want to overreact.” …””
But you will anyway

Quote:
“”The new strain may significantly increase the risk of exposure….”
I think we know what you mean there – it increases the risk of them *contracting* the affliction. Exposing yourself is not necessarily a Death sentence.

Quote:
“”… for the elderly and infirm, and therefore would appear to increase the urgency of rolling out vaccines to vulnerable people.””

No. Lets correct that. (Apart from why: ‘Does it *appear*
It either does or it doesn’t)

Correction=
“”to increase the urgency of rolling out Liver & Bacon casseroles, Steak & Kidney pies, Cheese plus Egg & Bacon Butties to vulnerable people.””
Plus Vit D and for drinkers, some extra Vitamin B, and Zinc

Last edited 4 months ago by Peta of Newark
fretslider
December 22, 2020 3:32 am

The media appear to be blanking anti-lockdown protests, although the heavy handed Met police have not.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/12/21/the-year-journalists-stopped-doing-their-job/

Sites like this just became that much more important.

From the UK gulag …

JCalvertN(UK)
December 22, 2020 3:35 am

Viruses, like parasites, gain no benefit from killing their host. Their raison d’etre is reproduction. This suggests to me that Covid is going evolve to be more contagious but less deadly.

Last edited 4 months ago by JCalvertN(UK)
Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
December 22, 2020 8:24 am

You get the gold star today!

And, if they are correct when they say that the immune response to the virus is delayed so that individuals vaccinated may be asymptomatic but contagious, the vaccinated population will inadvertently select for vaccine-immune virus that is contagious, but less lethal.

Yesterday the vaccine “experts” were all out saying, if the vaccine doesn’t work for this strain the can tweak the vaccine, thus admitting that they know COVID will be here forever, a new strain of infection every year. It will be interesting to watch how they talk everyone off the ledge and into acceptance and treatment after a year of encouraging of hysteria and lockdowns.

JCalvertN(UK)
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
December 22, 2020 9:30 pm

Viruses, or bacteria, or cane toads even, will evolve to become more deadly if/when their every existence is threatened – e.g. by vaccines, antibiotics, or venomous reptiles.
The common cold could start being a problem if/when some fool devises a vaccine for it. This process has already started with ‘flu.

Latitude
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
December 22, 2020 8:54 am

true, but evolution is not perfect…..plenty of things evolve…make a bad choice…and don’t make it

JCalvertN(UK)
Reply to  Latitude
December 22, 2020 9:38 pm

As you well know, viruses don’t “make a choice”. The more successful variants simply out-populate the less successful ones.

mcswell
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
December 22, 2020 1:21 pm

Maybe some day, but that day is unfortunately a long ways off, if ever. This kind of Darwinian selection can’t happen until some variant of the virus starts killing off substantial–like 50%, maybe–of the population.

JCalvertN(UK)
Reply to  mcswell
December 22, 2020 9:19 pm

It’s the viruses that are evolving – not the humans. Human evolution is relatively slow. But viruses can evolve very fast – because there are vast numbers of them and they are reproducing every few days/hours.
A strain which can produce (say) 10X more successful offspring than rival strains is quickly going to predominate – while the rival strains will quickly become marginalised.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 3:39 am

From page 16 of “CBER Plans for Monitoring COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

Source:
https://www.fda.gov/media/143557/download

FDA Safety Surveillance of COVID-19 Vaccines :
DRAFT Working list of possible adverse event outcomes
***Subject to change***

Guillain-Barré syndrome

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

Transverse myelitis

Encephalitis/myelitis/encephalomyelitis/meningoencephalitis/meningitis/encepholapathy

Convulsions/seizures

Stroke

Narcolepsy and cataplexyAnaphylaxis

Acute myocardial infarction

Myocarditis/pericarditis

Autoimmune disease

Deaths

Pregnancy and birth outcomes

Other acute demyelinating diseases

Non-anaphylactic allergic reactions

Thrombocytopenia

Disseminated intravascular coagulation

Venous thromboembolism

Arthritis and arthralgia/joint pain

Kawasaki disease

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Vaccine enhanced disease

In the UK, less than 24 hours after mass injection have started, have two nurses suffered anaphylactic reaction.This is just one of the risks mentioned in the long list above.

The authorities in the UK advise everyone with a history of allergy of any kind not to get injected with the COVID-19 vaccine.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 5:34 am

DRAFT Working list of possible adverse event outcomes
***Subject to change***

Note the word ‘possible’.

Other possible outcomes, though unlikely:

Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies
Rivers and seas boiling
Forty years of darkness
Earthquakes
Volcanoes…
The dead rising from the grave
Human sacrifice
Dogs and cats living together
Mass hysteria
….

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 6:03 am

You have a point.
But what it should have told you, is that this vaccine is virtually not tested.
Testing a vaccine like this, takes an absolute minimum of five years.
The general testing period and approval phase takes between 8 and 12 years.
For more information about what I am talking about, please find an English website similar to this German website:
https://t.me/Corona_Fakten
or this English article:
https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/20/portuguese-court-rules-pcr-tests-unreliable-quarantines-unlawful/

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 10:18 am

Carl,
A large portion of that time is just waiting for government permission at various stages to proceed to the next stage. Various estimates I’ve seen show these delays can double or triple the number of months/years it takes to test a new drug/vaccine/device. The actual testing time, after volunteers have been recruited, is about a year, but can be shorter depending on the circumstances. If a new product is jumped to the front of the government approval queue, and some activities are allowed to proceed in parallel (like recruiting for stage 2 testing while stage 1 testing is still in progress), then that 5 year time frame can be drastically reduced without sacrificing safety.

mcswell
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 1:36 pm

Testing a vaccine like this, takes an absolute minimum of five years.” Stuff and nonsense. The English article you link to says nothing about vaccines (it’s about PCR tests); some of the comments talk about vaccination, but they’re far from reliable. I don’t know about the German website, since I don’t have a Telegram account (and would have to run the German through an MT engine).

The Salk polio vaccine was apparently developed and tested in less than three years (1953-1955, see https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-it-took-to-develop-other-vaccines-in-history-2020-7?op=1#polio-6). I’m not sure how long it took to test the mumps vaccine, but it was four years between initial development and approval, so clearly the testing took a lot less than four years.

And as Paul Penrose writes, the government process (which some might call “red tape”) was cut in the present instance, which made the whole process much faster.

So no, minimum five years is stuff and nonsense.

(BTW, after I pasted in the link, the rest of my document went gray. Apologies, not sure why–the tool bar for editing doesn’t appear to have a way to fix that.)

Mark E Shulgasser
Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 22, 2020 5:21 pm

Sorry dodgy but none of those events is remotely a ‘possible adverse outcome’, except for ‘mass hysteria’. No point in fooling around with pseudo-logic.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 3:56 am

Imagine a vaccine so safe
you have to be
threatened to take it
for a disease
so deadly you
have to be tested
to know you have it.

Some famous person said that many years ago, maybe someone here can tell us who?

commieBob
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 6:56 am

Oh boy! There’s so much b.s. from every side. So, there’s the denialist rant you quote along with which I pair the following alarmist rant.

“Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening, it’s not real.’ Even after the positive results come back, they don’t believe it. People want it to be influenza, they want it to be pneumonia, we’ve even had people say, ‘I think it could be lung cancer.’…[When she offers to set up FaceTime so patients can have a final conversation with family members, they say:] ‘No, because I’m doing fine.'”

— South Dakota nurse Jodi Doering, on COVID-19 patients

I read that on Boingboing. Hmmm, pretty convincing. Being a skeptic, I found a piece on Wired that doesn’t go as far as actually calling Jodi Doering a liar but it does point out:

Doering’s account is similarly a perfect fit for a narrative that has already been written, and one that has been passed along by respected people and prestigious outlets with scarcely any diligence at all.

link: https://www.wired.com/story/are-covid-patients-gasping-it-isnt-real-as-they-die/
Wired points out that with even a little bit of actual reporting, it’s hard to find cases like those Doering cites.

I think the denialists have a lot to answer for but so do the alarmists. Sadly, I don’t think even a gas mask will keep the stench of the ubiquitous male bovine excrement from my nostrils.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  commieBob
December 22, 2020 10:24 am

Actually, I can believe that nurse’s account. But only because so many of the “experts”, politicians, and MSM have hyped the fear of CV-19 that a lot of people are panicked over it. They think that getting CV-19 is a death sentence – they would rather get Ebola. And then they pass this irrational fear to others. That is the real epidemic.

Drake
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 23, 2020 9:24 am

1) Search shows the primary article was in the Washington Compost.
2) Realize it is based on emotional illogical made up hysteria of a leftist and put it into the compost pile with the other debris and excrement.

Done.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 4:08 am

A bit from the tragic-funny side:

“My Apology To Facebook”
(Not just for fun/Carl Friis-Hansen)

Ken Irwin
December 22, 2020 4:16 am

Just for the sake of hypothetical argument – I’m going to toss this idea in……

What if this disease is endemic and virtually everyone except those with natural immunity have the disease.

Then lo and behold we “discover” the disease and start testing for and reporting on it.

We start reporting an ever increasing death toll (it never goes gown does it ?)

The daily death toll to this “new” disease keeps rising – and the more we look for this disease, the more we keep finding it ! Until we discover that virtually everyone that dies is doing so with this disease.

But from no other causes – those have apparently stopped.

Now I don’t for a moment think this is the case – if it were so then the total death count would remain static – as nothing really changed ?

Now as far as I can tell the total death count has only risen at a fraction of the reported death to Covid-19.

So my hypothesis must hold some water.

What I am implying is that the data omelet being presented to us by alarmists, needs some serious unscrambling.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 22, 2020 5:50 am

The daily death toll to this “new” disease keeps rising – and the more we look for this disease, the more we keep finding it ! Until we discover that virtually everyone that dies is doing so with this disease.
But from no other causes – those have apparently stopped.
Now I don’t for a moment think this is the case – if it were so then the total death count would remain static – as nothing really changed ?
Now as far as I can tell the total death count has only risen at a fraction of the reported death to Covid-19….

The disease did seem to be associated with a considerable increase in death rates initially.
As it progressed, it seems to be associated with the deaths of the elderly or infirm in some way – people who were at death’s door anyway.

It does seem likely that the illness has a very similar impact to seasonal flu – a seasonal flu that no one initially had an immunity to. In that case many people would become as ill as having a bad case of flu, and elderly and vulnerable people would die in excess, until the vulnerable people were mostly dead.

I suspect that this blip, together with the hospital panics, consequent withdrawal of services and unsatisfactory treatment for those who were in hospital, is the reason for the considerable initial increase.

By now, I think that we are measuring the normal death rates for elderly people and attributing that to Covid. In this way the disease will ALWAYS be killing a fair number of people – who we otherwise assume to be immortal….

starzmom
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 22, 2020 6:28 am

I think you are on to something. We have no idea how many people carried this virus before, say, February, in the US, since we never tested for it. Sewage samples indicate a large reservoir, and lots of people were dying from the flu. But we are testing more and finding more and more, even as we have lock-downs, mask mandates and extreme social distancing. Something is going on, I just don’t know what.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  starzmom
December 22, 2020 6:44 am

“I don’t know what” – is probably true for all our leaders ! I just wish they’d be honest about it.
We are being fed a diet of scientific opinion being presented as scientific fact – there is a vast gulf of missing empirical proof between those two points.

starzmom
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 22, 2020 7:52 am

Yes. And add in the fact that those who speak out against the opinions the leaders and their chosen scientists are vilified and shunned. A recipe for societal chaos, which is what we have.

John Savage
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 22, 2020 6:39 am

I have been saying this to my wife – because no one else will listen – for months. Never in history has a program of universal testing for a virus been undertaken. We have no idea how many people are carrying asymptomatic influenza every year, who would otherwise test positive on a PCR test; or how many seniors who die of respiratory failure in December in the Northern hemisphere (including both of my parents) would test positive for one of the 200 common cold corona- or rhino- viruses.

By all accounts this virus, for those who get very sick, is a violent disease, but there is really no baseline to measure it’s relative severity to other respiratory diseases on a population wide basis.

AWM
December 22, 2020 4:18 am

“There is no evidence to suggest that sub-freezing temperatures could affect the integrity of SRB booster o-rings.”

dodgy geezer
Reply to  AWM
December 22, 2020 5:52 am

Quite right. The temperature did not affect the INTEGRITY of the O-rings.

It affected their PERFORMANCE. The resultant exhaust blow-through was the thing that affected their integrity…

Isn’t learning how to speak like a Civil Servant a wonderful thing…?

PaulH
Reply to  AWM
December 22, 2020 8:20 am
suffolkboy
December 22, 2020 4:24 am

“The new virus is spreading despite UK efforts to impose a strict lockdown.”
In the UK we are told that, historically, lockdowns, social distancing and masks have never had any discernible effect on the ultimate spread of illnesses spread by respiratory viruses. This observation, built up over decades of experience, formed the basis of UK policy prior to March 2020 when it was abruptly overturned overnight, ostensibly to “protect” the National Health Service. Over the summer the costly lockdown has been given different euphemisms (e.g. “circuit breaker”) and fragmentation (“local lockdown”, “tiers”). But, if the Oxford Centre For Evidence-based Medicine (Professor Carl Heneghan et al) are to be believed, it should come as no surprise that we are in the current position. Unfortunately, people who tell us this or share that such evidence with others are under-represented in the mainstream media and find themselves censored or cancelled. The infection pattern is essentially the same as previous epidemics, notably the double-peak seasonality and the difference between tropical and temperate countries, and the anti-correlation with routine anti-malarial medication. Numerically, the figures are above average for such epidemics but well short of posing an existential threat to the human race. The big difference is the economic mayhem and social upheaval caused by The Lockdown, social distancing and masks. In short, biologically this is a run-of-the mill respiratory epidemic, but one which, unprecedentedly, has been seized upon and weaponised by many governments and the pressure groups that control them to effect redistribution of wealth and power. Paradoxically, the majority of the populace is crying out for yet more lockdowns, masks for ever, furlough, work-from-home and for everybody else to be vaccinated under threat of job loss or other sanctions, notably travel restrictions. Epidemiology is heading for the same fate that climate science suffered thirty years ago: entryism by political activists.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  suffolkboy
December 22, 2020 4:49 am

Suffolkboy, to illustrate how right you are, I will encourage you and others to have a look at:

Curtis Bowers: A Socialist Agenda Is Underway | Crossroads with Joshua Philipp

More than a decade ago, filmmaker Curtis Bowers released his first documentary: “#Agenda: Grinding America Down,” which warned about subversive movements working towards a #socialist push in the United States.
Much of what he warned of is now taking place, and to learn more about this we’ve invited Curtis Bowers to speak with us.

PaulH
Reply to  suffolkboy
December 22, 2020 1:29 pm

An excellent summary. 👍

Wade
December 22, 2020 5:36 am

“Just lock down for two more weeks, and then we can get back to normal.”

“Just test everybody, and then we can get back to normal.”

“Just wear a mask, and then we can get back to normal.”

“Just take the vaccine, and then we can get back to normal.”

But I already know, the swamp will not let us get back to normal. Look! Oh noes! A MUTANT COVID-19 strain is on the loose! Everybody panic! Lockdown forever! If Donald Trump doesn’t pull a last-minute miracle and really does lose by fraud, the United States is finished. Chinese propaganda won. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/technology/china-twitter-disinformation.html) If the United States falls, so will the rest of the free world. What the Soviet Union stated, China finished. Consider:

If the swamp succeeded with fraud once, do you really think they won’t try it again? You better believe the fraud will only get worse and more discreet. And since the fraud is by democrats, the democrat-worshiping media will work quadruple overtime to cover it over. I am convinced that if the democrat party told the media to cut off both of their thumbs, they would do it and then blame Donald Trump for their inability to grab things.

The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that governor’s executive orders do not override the US Constitution. The 4 dissenting judges stated that since it was an “emergency”, then it was okay to suspend the 1st Amendment. This means that all the swamp has to do to get rid of those pesky rights they hate is to pack the court with two more judges, invent another “emergency”, such as a “climate emergency”, and then human rights are suspended. No more religion because you cannot have people worshiping a deity instead of Herr Cuomo, no more free speech because you cannot allow any speech that denies the “emergency”, no more right to bear arms because you cannot have people defending themselves, no more 14th Amendment so you no longer have the right to determine what you do on your own property, no more 5th Amendment so your silence means you are guilty.

That may be a little too imaginative, but it makes my point. COVID-19 has shown the swamp how easy it is to use fear to re-condition and control people. Fear, a corrupt court, and a media that would follow blindly the party can easily be used to control people. It doesn’t have to be a “climate emergency”, it could be super COVID-19, COVID-21 (just in time for the next mid-term elections), or something else.

I do know that the swamp politicians will never ever allow another Donald Trump.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Wade
December 22, 2020 6:16 am

The problem is:

The constitution dos not comply with COVID-19

Either the constitution has to be scrapped or the constitution has to be changed to comply with COVID-19 and Climate Change.

TonyG
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 9:15 am

Or the Constitution can simply be ignored, as they’ve already been doing for decades.

Russ R.
Reply to  Wade
December 24, 2020 12:08 pm

There is a solution to this problem. It is found in a story called: “The boy who cried Wolf”.
The only way this continues to be a problem is when we are uncertain whether we are people or sheep. And that is an affliction that is more common than it should be.

ozspeaksup
December 22, 2020 5:48 am

and then theres this
https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/scientists-mps-ask-where-evidence-70-more-contagious-mutant-covid
uk didnt stop os flights usa isnt screening even temps at airports..whaaat? they did for swineflu
and the ever present pubculture sure made sure of swapping spit etc
no wonder it didnt go away but just got worse

Last edited 4 months ago by ozspeaksup
Vuk
December 22, 2020 6:23 am

COVID-19 Strikes Antarctica, as Chilean Base is Hit With Virushttps://www.newsweek.com/covid-19-strikes-antarctica-its-7th-continent-chilean-base-hit-virus-1556556

Coach Springer
December 22, 2020 6:26 am

More stringent lockdowns and masking doesn’t seem any more effective than less stringent lockdowns and maskings. At least not at justifiable levels of relief (or net damage).

I rhetorically wonder if climate measures work like that too.

John Savage
December 22, 2020 6:28 am

This makes evolutionary sense. Population measures intended to reduce transmission will suppress the strains that are less transmissible, while the strains that are more transmissible will exploit the remaining pathways.

It seems to me to be a losing battle.

Vuk
Reply to  John Savage
December 22, 2020 7:00 am

Is this an ‘intelligent’ design virus? If it is too fatal as Ebola or similar, the infected people would be soon eliminated from population and virus may have not a high chance of proliferation. To the contrary mild illness or asymptomatic cases lead to multiple infections or even repeated infections, allowing the virus to eventually take over the planet. Natural selection among humans will insure that the covid-19 will be new flu of the mid 21st century.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 7:01 am

There is a live interview today at 20:15 GMT with Dr. Andrew Kaufman at
https://dlive.tv/samueleckert
or
https://www.twitch.tv/samueleckert_official

As I understand it, the interview will be in English.
Due to the host and intended audience is German speaking, it will be attempted to make instant subtitles in German during the Interview.

Dr. Andrew Kaufman has gained much popularity lately in connection with his reliance and trust in the natural immune system and his somewhat negavi thoughts regarding vaccination in general.

Dr. Andrew Kaufman has seen much objection from his colleagues the past months, as governments in most countries are advocating for vaccination against Corona.

The interviewer, Samuel Eckert, is seen by about a quarter of a million people and his audience is increasing fast.

In case you miss the live interview, it will be uploaded to:
https://odysee.com/@samueleckert:4

PaulH
December 22, 2020 7:04 am

Health Secretary Matt Hancock: “No. It’s not. The new variant is out of control”

Are we to assume that the prior variant(s) are under control? It’s funny how everything they do makes the situation worse.

2hotel9
December 22, 2020 7:41 am

Its the flu, morons, just like the climate it changes constantly, and just like climate humans can not stop it and are not causing it.

astonerii
December 22, 2020 7:59 am

Have they isolated this strain? Have they isolated the original strain? Have they isolated any strains???

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  astonerii
December 22, 2020 11:21 am

No, a full isolation has not been achieved.
Christian Drosten will receive about a quarter of a million dollar if he can do it.

TonyG
December 22, 2020 8:33 am

“its apparent ability to defeat very strict UK lockdowns in my opinion makes harsh lockdowns much more difficult to justify.”

More likely they’ll use it to justify even stricter measures.

December 22, 2020 8:55 am

appear appear appears, appear apparent apparently may appear…

“The new strain appears to be rapidly dominating other strains in the UK terms of prevalence.” Evidence?

Has the author evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated?

“the commonly used 3-gene PCR test” Is that the pcr test, known to be useless for diagnostic purposes? https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/

Why the continued focus on meaningless “cases” found by the meaningless test, rather than on hospitalisations and deaths?

sadbutmadlad
December 22, 2020 9:24 am

Lockdowns don’t work. Announce one is going to start in a few days and everyone will go out partying and shopping. Announce the end, and everyone will go out partying and shopping. Unless the lockdown is for long enough and severe enough then they don’t work. Is the loss of liberty and freedom for everyone which destroys livelihoods and families and harms mental health for many worth a few lives? It’s the old train trolley thought experiment – except that it’s politicians trying to save one life on the wrong train track, but not caring about the ones in the train who will crash, all because the media make a huge story about the one, but nothing about the others.

Stuart Lynne
December 22, 2020 9:46 am

Too early to call this variant a different strain of SARS-CoV-2, there has been no claim or data that this variant of SARS-CoV-2 has any different biologic property in humans.

Some good commentary from Vincent Racaniello, one of the authors of Principles of Virology, 5th Edition, 2020.

ResourceGuy
December 22, 2020 10:00 am

I think maybe we should wait for WHO to tell us what to think and do, after careful diplomatic talks.

Ben Vorlich
December 22, 2020 10:19 am

A sentence to make a nation a pariah and close the borders:-

It’s a new variant, and it’s out of control.

We have had idiots in charge from day one in the UK

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 22, 2020 11:06 am

Biomerieux has developed a test kit that can distinguish between:

  • Influenza A
  • Influenza B
  • COVID-19

plus two other corona triggered illnesses.
The product will very soon be CE marked and distributed to medical personnel in many countries.

This is very good news, as it makes it possible to fast diagnose if the patient suffers from influenza or COVID-19, which can be difficult at times.
The diagnose is important because the two illnesses demands different treatment.

Reference: https://orf.at/stories/3194093/

mwhite
December 22, 2020 11:35 am

Latest News – Lockdown Sceptics

Updated report on England COVID. Focused on clinical data and classical surveillance systems. It’s pretty conclusive that the epidemic was over in Spring, probably made worse by interventions, and most of Autumn COVID is wrongly attributed. Can the Government disprove any of this?”

The-major-vegetation-units-of-Namibia-modified-from-MENDELSOHN-et-al-2002-research.png
mwhite
December 22, 2020 11:38 am

Latest News – Lockdown Sceptics

“Isn’t mass vaccination supposed to protect the NHS?”



Sara
December 22, 2020 6:47 pm

Maybe this old Beatles’ song explains it?
She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Weird how some things that seem under control, despite their very small size, are easily able to pull back, regroup and strike again with rapidity they shouldn’t have.

So if lockdowns don’t keep this version of the CV19 bug under control, what can be done?

The real Plague went through Europe numerous times. People either survived it or didn’t. One wave after another….

Are these those interesting times we here about now and then?

JohnM
December 23, 2020 1:10 am

Announcing a tier-4 lockdown (very strict) just before the seasons holiday period, and giving people plenty of notice, led to a stampede as people got the heck out of dodge (London), and rapidly re-oriented their place of residence elsewhere. That time between notice of lockdown, and time of lockdown, guaranteed the virus variant would spread rapidly in the new year. Many have been saying that the govt started with herd-immunity, and carried-on with herd immunity, with minor variants to guarantee that blame would not attach to them. Still, the state pension payouts will be a lot lower going forward, although the death grants may increase slightly.

TonyG
Reply to  JohnM
December 23, 2020 6:49 am

That time between notice of lockdown, and time of lockdown, guaranteed the virus variant would spread rapidly in the new year.

Almost appears intentional, doesn’t it?

mwhite
December 23, 2020 1:12 am

Should We Be Worried About “Kent Covid”?
SARS-CoV-2 UK variant: Does it matter? – YouTube

Easy to follow

mwhite
Reply to  mwhite
December 23, 2020 6:25 am

The bottom line is that the alleged higher transmissibility of the new variant is an inference from Neil Ferguson’s epidemiological modelling and not based on any biological data.”



Paul in uk
December 23, 2020 11:45 am

Just watched mwhites youtube link above of Vincent Racaniello, Earths virology professor explaining why he is not concerned about the new variant. I can only presume everything he said about the nuts and bolts of this is correct, as I admit I know almost nothing about the subject. He says he thinks it is unlikely this new variant is more transmissible. But what about the graph at the top of this post? What about Swale, in Kent UK that I mention below, looks to me like it is very likely more transmissible.

I’m no expert on this but I can’t see this being brought under control without at least much more extreme lockdown type measures which I think are very unlikely to be implemented in time, seems to me like it will most likely be in effect left to run its course now. I can’t see any urgency from national or local government to adequately tackle this. There are calls to extend tier 4 to all of the country, but I wonder if at best that might just slow down how quick it spreads to the rest of the country but do little to bring down numbers in the south east and London.

If for example you take Swale in Kent, south east England; lockdown2 was imposed early November for the whole country, from what I can make out Swale has been rising steadily ever since early October despite the lockdown and subsequent tier3. For a long time it was the worst in the country, now it has been overtaken, but it is still rising. I can’t see any measures in the new tier4 that I can imagine will bring the numbers down. I think Swale is now around 900/100k and some areas in south East over 1k/100k.

I can’t see that Swale should be any different from the rest of the country where cases dropped shortly after the introduction of lockdown2, but Swale kept rising and now the rest of the south east and London are increasing rapidly so it seems highly likely to me it is the new variant and it is more transmissible.

I’m trying to think of an extremely approximate, simple model (C = zx/y) and wonder if anyone can tell me it is completely wrong or give me an approx value for my x, y, z numbers. I prefer to keep it extremely simple, just to give some indication of how and when the numbers might start dropping:

If I divide the population e.g. of Swale into a group A and B where A are taking lots of precautions and thus unlikely to catch the virus, and B is the people most likely to catch it because they are not taking adequate precautions, in contact with too many people e.g. socialising, at work, school etc, include in this group the other people in their home who will most likely catch it if they do. So I assume almost all the cases are in group B for this simple model. What might be a sensible value to give x, where x is the proportion of the population in group B with current tier4 measures? I’m currently thinking maybe 50% or 80% for this; x = 0.5 or 0.8. If we use cumulative positive test results, call this c and presume this is less than reality because we aren’t testing everyone then we multiply c by y to account for this. I’m currently thinking maybe we’re only finding a half or a third, so y = 2 or 3? If we say z is the % (so in this case % of group B, because group A is adequately isolated) that need to have caught it and developed immunity to bring their effective R to 1. I’m thinking maybe 40% or 80% so z = 0.4 or 0.8. How big does c need to be before infections start falling? If I call this cumulative value C;

C = zx/y? high case z = 0.8, x = 0.8, y = 2, so C = 32%, low case z = 0.4, x = 0.5, y = 3, so C = 6.7%, best guess z = 0.7, x = 0.6, y = 2.5, C = 14%??

I’m assuming c (cumulative cases) for Swale is currently 6%, so perhaps Swale could be almost at the point infections drop (and group B above won’t need the vaccine?), or almost half way there, or maybe only a fifth of the way there. Or have I got this all totally wrong? I think a big problem with my model is it effectively assumes immunity to the earlier variant gives immunity to the new variant.

TomO
January 1, 2021 11:55 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55507012

Imperial College double down on scary

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