As we career headlong into the insanity of mandatory vaccination and compulsory covid certification, it is as well to ask, who is behind all this madness? The easy answer is that it is the politicians, but that is the wrong answer. The politicians certainly play a large part, in implementing the policies, but the driving forces behind these policies are medical. It is the getting together of the medical profession and the government in a marriage made in hell that brings forth into this world the extreme policies of forced vaccination and covid apartheid, underpinned by obligatory state registers, under the banner of covid security. It is as well to remember that there is nothing new under the sun, and humanity has been here before. The last time something similar happened on such a scale was not quite a century ago, in one of the most scientifically and culturally advanced countries in Europe. The time was the nineteen thirties, the place was Germany, and at that marriage made in hell, the banner over the altar read not covid security, but racial hygiene.
Bad News Item of the Week was an Economist/Ipsos Mori poll revealing that around two thirds of Britons want a number of covid restrictions to remain in place until covid is ‘under control worldwide’, an uncertain end game with an elastic definition. Over a third want the restrictions, including masks in shops and on public transport, travel controls, compulsory check-ins for pubs and restaurants, and social distancing in theatres, pubs and sports grounds to remain in place for ever. Assuming the polling is accurate and representative, that means two thirds of fun loving Britons want Freedom Day postponed indefinitely, and a shocking one third want it postponed for ever. What on earth persuaded a once proud people, who stood ready only seventy years ago to fight on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets and hills, against the odious menace of tyranny, to become a nation of curtain twitching traffic wardens who want the suffocating embrace of authoritarianism?
Sounding today more like an episode of Midsomer Murders than a title stemming from a classic of children’s literature, the Bears of Little Brains is a reminder that those of us who work in science can all to easily become bears of little brains, falling into our own heffalump traps, and setting ourselves on the trail of a woozle. We may publish something only to find, being a Bear of Very Little Brain, that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside us is quite different when it gets out into the open, and has other people looking at it. And so it was with the second Walach publication, the research letter about children wearing masks inhaling high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which Dr No mentioned in a comment to his last post. The demolition jobs done on twitter of Walachs et al’s research letter were swift and vitriolic, and the comments tab on the letter itself is turning into an ever lengthening dossier of the delusions held by the letter’s authors. Retraction is increasingly looking inevitable.
Another breakfast, another Today programme, more Diddledum and Diddledee. The latter, Martha “I’ve got a beehive in my bra, more on that story later” Kearney, has refined her primary distraction technique of singing rather than speaking her questions so well that at least one listener half expects the answers to come back from the chorus in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They never do though; instead yesterday morning we had the drone of Nick Gibbs, the schools minister, warbling on about keeping children safe, and ramping up the tedious testing charade, now rendered even more farcical by the discovery that a drop of Ribena can put the kybosh on a school. Earlier this week, the Telegraph compiled a dossier of the devastation triggered by over-reaction to the covid threat in schools, a litany of intellectual and social larceny that has seen schools and facilities closed, play time like prison camp, and, most bizarrely of all, escorts on trips to the loo, to make sure kids “don’t go off and meet other children and cross-contaminate bubbles”. Rosa Klebb, it turns out, is alive and well in British schools.
“The killer never came. The fact that it was feared is one of many things to show how little experts understand the flu, and thus how shaky are the health initiatives launched in its name. What influenza needs, above all, is research.” Neustadt and Fineberg, The Swine Flu Affair, 1978Reviewing the TV series Holocaust in 1978, Clive James said that “Santayana was probably wrong when he said that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it. Those who remember are condemned to relive it too.” We shall probably never know whether the scientists and politicians who led the global and national Charges of the Light Brigade into the Valley of Covid — theirs not to reason why, theirs but to tell the lie, ours not to question why, ours but to do and die — knew of the past, but chose to ignore it, or whether they were negligently unaware of it. But one thing is certain: the unprecedented — that poor overwrought and overworked word — arrival of a virus of pandemic potential eighteen months ago is anything but unprecedented. There have been a number of pandemics over the last century, and so there is much past to be remembered, including among the many others the 1976 swine flu nondemic.
A clip, heard on Radio Four’s The Film Programme yesterday, reminded Dr No of a vaguely remembered article by Milos Forman, director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which posed The Czech Question: Do You Want to Live in a Zoo or a Jungle? On the one hand, Forman suggests, “Life in the zoo is somehow comfortable. You don’t have to try hard and you still get your food. True, you don’t have any choices: you eat what they give you, but you do eat. And you are protected: No tiger will attack you, no snake will bite you. True, you are in a cage, but so are the tiger and the snake”; on the other, he suggests “the jungle is alluring, beautiful. You can see it in the eyes of East Germans when they cross the wall. They are fascinated by the variety of colo[u]rs that life in the jungle can offer. And you are free! You can go wherever, whenever and however you wish. But you can get lost, or attacked by the tiger, bitten by the snake, stung by parasites or leeches. It will not be easy for people who have lived for decades in the zoo to adapt”.
Further proof, were further proof needed, that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is Not Up To Scratch (NUTS) can be found on its website in documents that are completely at odds with each other. On the one hand, one corps of the health fascists wants governments to ban — without a shred of evidence — all alcohol for all women of childbearing age, a preposterous example of coercive healthism so extreme that could easily fill a post of its own. On the other hand, another corps of the health fascists breezily endorses — no need to worry about that side effect nonsense round here — covid mRNA vaccines for all but all women of childbearing age, despite animal studies showing that the vaccine is very likely (we can’t yet say certainly, as we shall see presently) preferentially concentrated in the ovaries. One blasted precautionary principle so large it can be seen from space, another blasted precautionary principle so small not even an electron microscope could detect it. Truly, the WHO is NUTS.
Florence Nightingale diagrams continue to do the rounds, both literally and figuratively. Variously also known as wedge diagrams (correct), coxcombs (misnomer, Nightingale’s coxcomb was the whole package), rose charts (by any other name, would still go round in circles), polar area charts (sometimes correct), and, in this parish, ring piece charts (for reasons that will become apparent), the general view seems to be that they are pretty and informative, and come with the added kudos of a shine from the Nightingale lamp. If they were good enough for dear Flo, then they are more than good enough for us. Dr No happens to think rather the opposite. They are always messy, often confusing, and, worst of all, frequently misleading.
Who pay checks the fact checkers? A intriguing post by a Bad Medicine reader led to information on facebot, of all places, suggesting that a vaccine manufacturer funds factcheck.org, facebot’s fact checker, so Dr No decided to follow the money, and dig deeper. What he found is interesting, in the faux-Chinese way. In the three months ending on 31st March 2021, factcheck.org received $53,501 from a health foundation that has over $2 billion invested in Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant and leading covid–19 vaccine manufacturer. Specifically, the $53k grant funds factcheck.org’s SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project, which aims to “to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while decreasing the impact of misinformation.” An independent fact checking organisation with a mission to debunk vaccine misinformation, funded indirectly by a vaccine manufacturer. What could possibly go wrong?