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.

This hysterical, and profoundly harmful, activity flies in the face of the evidence about risks to children. So far, there have been a total of 16 deaths in England and Wales from covid–19 in children up to and including the age of 14, and, Dr No suspects, many if not all of those will be in people with underlying conditions. The average schoolchild is effectively at zero risk of death from covid–19. Nor are they at significant risk of long covid: ONS data show that children are at significantly less risk of long covid, compared to adults. Children typically manifest less severe illness, and predominantly have a mild form of the disease. However you look at it, children are at low, and in the case of mortality negligible, risk from covid–19 the disease; yet they are one of the groups most damaged by the raft of untested and unproven non-pharmaceutical measures wantonly dispensed as covid–19 the response.

Ah but, some cry, kids are walking covid bombs! They may look healthy, and suffer few or no effects from infection, but they are a plague on the land, spreading covid to all they come into contact with! The dreaded hug of death! But what’s the evidence? Early reports strongly suggested that, while kids may walk, they aren’t covid bombs. One commentary published in August last year concluded that “almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARSCoV-2 transmission than adults.” Another paper published in May last year found that, in Ireland, in keeping with evidence from other countries, there was “no evidence of secondary transmission of COVID-19 from children attending school”.

But those are early studies. Another way of looking at the question is through occupational mortality. Mortality is an extreme end point, and, in people of working age, arguably the most important. It will also, other factors being equal, will reflect exposure.  If covid–19 transmission is rampant in schools, then we might expect higher covid–19 mortality in teachers, exposed as they are for hours on end to dozens of covid bombs. What do we find? As Figure1 below shows, teachers have one of the lowest overall mortalities of any occupational group. All other things being equal — and Dr No cannot immediately think of an obvious major confounder or bias — being a teacher protects against covid–19, compared to other occupational groups.

Figure 1: Covid Mortality by Occupation (source: ONS)

That rather puts the kybosh on treating schools as hotbeds of infection. ONS only adjusted for age, and stratified by sex, so other determinants of covid mortality may be at play, including socio-economic status and ethnicity. But the overall mortality in teachers is so strikingly low that it is extremely difficult to justify the draconian measures — the Telegraph article linked to above reports there were 33 million lost days of in-person teaching in the Autumn 2020 term alone — taken in schools to halt covid–19 transmission. The whole exercise is a classic example of fixing a non-existent problem, while at the same time doing excoriating harm to our children. The testing, the masking, the isolation, the closures are all the work of the devil. Schools need to get back to complete normality, not at some abstract date in the future, but today.


  1. Tish Farrell Reply

    Freudian slip, Dr. No (which at least made me smile), 4th and 3rd to last lines of 4th para ‘lowest overall moralities’. Don’t want you getting the stick!

  2. Tish Farrell Reply

    Having watched an on-line interview with Prof Sucharit Bhakdi in which he once more pleads for a stop to inoculating young people and children with mRNA experimental interventions, I wrote to my MP Philip Dunne, urging him to at least watch the interview. My argument to him that as all the interventions are still in trial no one can give recipients sufficient information to allow fully informed consent, least of all to young people in the grab the jab drive. In return I just get the usual political narrative plus a link to this PHE article that claims vaccines have prevented 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths.

    Given that the government appears to ignore both existent or recovered T-cell immunity which must be now considerable within the community, how can they possibly come up with this assertion, or indeed any actual verifiable evidence that proves an absence. Surely it’s just more emperor’s new clothesism.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      “In return I just get the usual political narrative plus a link to this PHE article that claims vaccines have prevented 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths”.

      Yeah. Just as the totem pole in my front garden has effectively prevented killer whales from rampaging through the district, creating havoc and devouring people, dogs and cats.

      How can they possibly know how many people would have died had the “vaccines” never even existed?

      My guess is: not very many more than usual.

  3. James Robinson Reply

    As furlough runs dry in September, home schooling / parenting will cease to be viable, which should, out of necessity, squash the moral panic around ‘The Graudian’ reading teachers, allowing normal classroom activities (rather than unnecessary testing) to return.

    As many are paid by the state, have teachers possibly become caught up in acting as agents of the state; propagating the unhealthy obsession of zero Covid? Plenty of virtue signalling involved too no doubt! A greater focus on critical thinking by them and those they’re trying to educate would be far more beneficial, given the circumstances.

  4. Tom Welsh Reply

    With every day that passes, I become less and less sure that intelligent life exists on Earth. With the possible exception of chimps, gorillas, orang utans and dolphins.

  5. dr-no Reply

    An interesting research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics has come to light on the likely increased carbon dioxide concentration in inhaled air by schoolchildren wearing masks:

    Experimental Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Content in Inhaled Air With or Without Face Masks in Healthy Children

    It isn’t perfect, but is about as good as we are likely to get without taking blood from the kids, which would be ethically difficult to justify.

    Another good reason to get schools back to normal now.

    Tish – it’s all based on whatiffery, what if there were no vaccines or any non-pharmaceutical measures. The key charts are:

    The daily infections scale uses e-notation, to show how big the numbers are. The red ‘No Vaccination’ scenario/whatiffery looks terrific(-ally inplausible, daily infections now would be around four times what they were in the December/January peak). Very scariant.

  6. Annie+Davenport+Turner Reply

    I’ve run out of words now; the whole darned Corononsense is such a tedious – as well as appalling for our young – cover for the TTTSSS (the truly, truly, truly, scary, scary story) they don’t want us to see (but do).

    I am very grateful to you, Tom, for a much needed chortle, and a reminder that a species transfer might be just the thing; whales are wise and wonderful creatures, especially ones which know to steer clear of totem poles and the countryside.

    Excellent blog, Dr No, with excellent graphs, figures, and facts, thank you. The teacher stats really stand out. Now to just get them in front of everyone, and get everyone to read them, and everyone to start seeing, thinking, and asking questions….. Ah, that’s where things will fall down….again…. But, just one person at a time switching on thought can do it, and we must do this thing,

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      And I love “corononsense”, Annie! Thanks, we have to keep one another’s spirits up – an endeavour in which the good Dr No shows us the way.

  7. dr-no Reply

    Thanks Tish, Annie, Tom and the rest of you.

    It has come to light that the lead author on the children masks and CO2 research letter may be a quack. Some certainly say he is. When Dr No reviewed the paper, he did as usual note (a) the journal (JAMA, usually sound), (b) the type of publication (research letter, fair enough, not a full blown paper, more a short communication) and (c) the authors (lead author is said to be a paediatrician doing work on kids, seems reasonable). But most of all he looked at the methods, results and discussion, and all these passed muster sufficiently to make the link to the research letter available in a comment, with, as you can see above, the caveat that “It isn’t perfect, but is about as good as we are likely to get without taking blood from the kids, which would be ethically difficult to justify.” He called it a research letter, not a paper.

    The main reason it isn’t perfect is that it uses a proxy, inhaled air CO2, to imply hypercapnia (raised CO2 in the blood). It was also done in a lab rather than a natural setting (cuts both ways, not natural, but probably better control over variables) and the stated measurement accuracy of the CO2 measuring device is +/-1%, which is close to the detected difference between the masked and unmasked readings. But, that said, the masked readings are consistently raised (see the scatter plot in the research letter). There is no reason to suppose the research letter is quackery, rather its findings are interesting, and worthy of consideration, but not so much so that it got its own post. The “[it] is about as good as we are likely to get without taking blood from the kids, which would be ethically difficult to justify” remark above is important too: sometimes we have to make do with proxies. Lastly, there is some linguistic muddle, for instance the letter calls the study a randomised clinical trial, which it isn’t in the ordinary meaning of the terms, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the findings are flawed.

    Then, this morning, with the links suggesting Walach might be a quack coming to light, Dr No realised Walach was also the lead author on a paper he rejected a few days ago as being hopelessly inadequate. As he sometimes does, he wrote a post, but didn’t publish it, on this occasion because he was publishing too much too fast — drowning his readers posts is something Dr No tries to avoid. But given the coincidence, same lead author for both the paper and the letter, Dr No will make the previously unpublished post available as a pdf (so no frills, just the text). The Walach paper was titled “The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccinations—We Should Rethink the Policy” which sounds intriguing, but it’s a dud only fit for the bin, and the pdf will tell you why.

    PS 09:55 PDF now has manual links added

  8. Tom Welsh Reply

    “Dr No realised Walach was also the lead author on a paper he rejected a few days ago as being hopelessly inadequate”.

    A striking example of the value of “gossip” – both externally with others, and internally, within one’s own mind.

    That, in turn, suggests one reason why wicked people and psychopaths flourish so much more in big, anonymous societies.

    In a small community such as a village everyone daily has the insight, “this guy did such and such the other day, that showed he is dishonest/incompetent/devious…”

    But in a huge city, a nation or worse wtill a “global village”, it is far easier for such people to evade detrction.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      If more people had shared Kary Mullis’ opinion of Fauci back in 1989, he would never have enjoyed the influence he has.

      Mullis was clear that Fauci was not a proper scientist, more a social climber with a nose for money.

  9. Tish Farrell Reply

    While we’re on the topic of data manipulation John Ioannides gave an overview of his pandemic data gathering at Salzburg last week. At minute 15 he states that Imperial did 2 lockdown models – one for the US which said it had no advantage, and the other for Europe (published in Nature) that claimed lockdown would save 3 million lives. Ioannides says that when they applied the US version model to the European context it also found no advantage to lockdown there either. How come we are now in thrall to this tyranny of statistical jiggery-pokery. Who benefits? (BIG question)

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      I was concerned that Dr Ioannidis cited the rigged Oxford trial of hydroxychloroquine, saying it showed the drug to be dangerous.

      He also approved of the “vaccines”.

      I admire and trust Dr Ioannidis; but I think there are signs that even he can be completely fooled when people he trusts tell him lies.

      • Tish Reply

        We could go mad, Tom, in the maelstrom of opinion and counter opinion. That may well be the intention – the reason why no broad debate across all disciplines (that we the public get to hear of) is apparently allowed. Keep us confused and compliance is sure to follow. All of Edward Bernays’ propaganda ploys are at work now. There’s a chilling excerpt from a longer film on his approach on YouTube: the art of conditioning people to want what they don’t want or need. The trouble is he proved it worked so well in so many domains – in war and peace.

  10. dr-no Reply

    A preprint published a few days ago (7th July) confirms that children are at negligible risk of dying from covid. In England, in the first year of the pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021), of the 61 children aged under 18 who died with covid, 25 died from covid, and of those 25, 19 had a chronic underlying health condition, and 15 had a life-limiting condition. 16 of the 25 had two or more comorbidities. Death from covid-19 is extremely rare in healthy under 18 year olds (6 deaths over the fisrt pandemic year) and is hardly common even in children with significant comorbidities.

    This study used deaths within 28 days of a positive PCR test, rather than death certificates, to identify the deaths, and so throws some light on the deaths with/from question, at least in children: 25/61 = 41%, so the majority of deaths within 28 days were not from covid, but rather deaths with covid. If (a big if) the same percentage applied to adults, it would cut the pandemic by more than half…

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