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The Flu (Health)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Seeming not to be Islamophobic is a legitimate government policy. It is noticeable that Leicester's Muslims are still saying the government picked on Leicester for this reason. Somewhat bafflingly the Labour administration seems to agree with them, apparently sincerely. I only wished one or other of the many earnest journalistic enquirers had asked the simple question, "Can you think of any reason why the government have singled you out when they are equal-opportunity racists?"

Because the answer is that Pakistanis are the only racial group that can be singled out, all other racial groups spread themselves through the host population. The odd street party in Brixton aside. Now they are singling out another bunch of Muslims we ought to take a step back and acknowledge that high Covid rates among Muslims are rather to their credit since it shows the kind of intense family connectedness that the native English can only sigh about. Even if we know, deep down, we are glad to have escaped that cloying embrace once and for all.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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There Is No Novel Virus


Remember back when reports of a novel virus first emerged in Wuhan China, accompanied by the strangest videos of people collapsing in the streets? I sure do. This was the beginning of the wave of fear when China began locking up its own citizens in desperate measures to control the spread of this new virus. The most spectacular symptom of that new virus was the fainting. People suddenly just falling over unconscious as they went about their day.

And yet.

And yet, when this virus reached the West, nothing like this has been seen. Indeed, the rumours from China of mass death and mass graves also failed to materialise. Indeed, the death rate for 2020 is right in line with previous years---even in Italy, which started the virus craze.

What do these facts tell us?

There never was a novel virus.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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I think, since even western labs are saying so, it would be better to say there was no novel virus that is presenting the human race with any greater problems than all the other similar viruses, albeit at the upper range of what these viruses do year after year, whether novel or not. It seems to me, if we are to avoid regular pan-panics, we shall have to go back to our old policy of taking special measures for 'at risk' groups, if available, and telling everyone else to take their chances. If, for instance we take Britain and Covid, it looks like the turn out is going to be

Actual Covid deaths after special measures: 50,000
Possible Covid deaths without special measures: (say) 100,000
Other deaths caused by Covid special measures: 20,000

Since we are unfazed by ordinary flu carrying off 15,000 a year it is doubtful -- or at any rate arguable -- whether it was worth the candle of special measures. But maybe it was, in terms of a learning curve, or even in strict actuarial terms for this particular strain, but we must bend every sinew to make sure we avoid having total meltdowns every time a nastier than average flu strain makes its annual visitation just because we know we can.

Our watchword: "It was fun this year but don't push it."
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Ishmael wrote:
The most spectacular symptom of that new virus was the fainting. People suddenly just falling over unconscious as they went about their day.

And yet.

And yet, when this virus reached the West, nothing like this has been seen.

There are reported cases of people collapsing/falling unconscious in Britain, which usually counts as the West. It nearly always happens in their homes so not captured on camera unlike China and indeed South America.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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So this well-heeled right-wing outfit (Breitbart to the fore) makes a video about how there's a cure for Covid etc etc. It gets twenty million hits in a few hours before Facebook and Twitter close it down. How dare they? Are they now our gatekeepers? The freedom to be lied to, the freedom to be sold snake oil, the freedom to be a fruitcake is what made America and everyone else great. Also the AEL.
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Grant



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Is there a possibility that the problem in China was never as bad as the WHO and the Chinese government thought? They panicked because they knew the virus had escaped from the Wuhan lab and were desperate to keep it under control. This hysteria then spread round the world.
What’s interesting to me is that the UK death rate is matching the death rate on the cruise ships - about 0.1%. We can expect 60,000 deaths and the US can expect 300,000.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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I have a new hypothesis. Working on revealing it to you.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Let us know when you start working on it.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Track'n'Trace

1. The bloke says their staff are contacting two people each a day
2. The bloke says they don't have anything to do all day
3. The bloke says this is because the trackees aren't answering their phones
4. The bloke didn't say why they aren't getting their staff to jump in a minicab and go round and knock on their doors.

Luton is latest hotspot. Nobody says, "It's because of Luton's large Asian population." Everyone says, "Oo-er missus, that's dangerously near London. It will be a disaster if we have to put London into special measures." I'll put you in special measures if you don't stop pussy-footing around.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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They had a real scientist, as opposed to these mathematical modelers, on Radio 5 the other day, he was part of a British team tracking and tracing the virus through sewerage. This makes sense. The interviewer asked him how they came up with the idea, and he explained that they were already doing it in other countries for covid and the UK for norovirus.

Given that not a single track and trace app works anywhere (hey they are all shit), tracking shit is surely the way to go.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-53587722/coronavirus-tracking-new-outbreaks-in-the-sewers

But no, given the fad for phone apps we will waste billions on this, and curtail hard won freedoms in the process.
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