THE ground is shifting. This week, more than 12,000 scientists signed up to a courageous protest against current coronavirus policies.
It has been spearheaded by three distinguished international scientists, including Oxford University’s Prof Sunetra Gupta.
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While our Government plans fresh lockdowns, they have holed such projects below the waterline.
They argue that if the measures are temporary, they will fail. If they are maintained until there is a vaccine, they will cause irreparable damage to our physical and mental health.
By prolonging the health crisis, they may increase the death toll.
Instead of indiscriminate rules, we should be concentrating on protecting the vulnerable. The rest should be allowed to get on with normal life and acquire some natural immunity.
Scientists at Edinburgh University have just come to the same view.
Will the Government and its advisers listen? Of course not.
Coronavirus policy is being driven by Matt Hancock, a fanatic, and Boris Johnson, a muddled old bumbler.
The only person standing up to them in this Cabinet of yes-men and yes-women seems to be Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The scientific advisers have wobbled about all over the place.
The Government’s policy is founded upon a great lie — that we are all vulnerable to Covid so it is necessary to take over the lives of everyone.
Many people believe this. But it is not true.
For healthy people under 60 the symptoms are usually mild or non-existent. The victims are overwhelmingly very old people and those with other serious health problems — serious enough to appear as a cause of death on the death certificate.
About 90 per cent of deaths have been of people aged over 70. Most are in their 80s or 90s.
These people matter and they are the ones we should be protecting. They are more than a thousand times more likely to die of Covid-19.
So why are the young and healthy having to bear the brunt of the Government’s measures?
Young adults are driving the current rise in infections. And why not? Infections don’t matter a row of beans unless they lead to hospitalisations or deaths.
For healthy people under 60, they rarely do. Children and students, for example, face a ridiculously low risk. Out of nearly 43,000 dead with Covid-19, just 41 have been under 25.
Yet for months the Government has interfered with their social and family life, disrupted their education and destroyed their job chances for years to come.
Students are being locked up in university halls of residence patrolled by security guards, forbidden to meet friends, told they may not be allowed home for Christmas and denied the personal contact with lecturers for which they are paying £9,000 a year.
This is worse than unjust. It is insane.
The Government and its scientific advisers have not even begun to address these concerns. Their cheerleaders have tried, but their arguments look pretty thin.
They tell us that the young and healthy may spread the virus to the old and vulnerable.
This is only true if the Government continues to mismanage the care home situation, and if the old and vulnerable fail to take ordinary prudent steps to shelter themselves. They tell us that not all the vulnerable can be identified. This is true of only a small minority with serious but undiagnosed health conditions.
COVERING MP'S BACKS
They tell us that some of the young and healthy may have symptoms such as extreme exhaustion lasting as long as three to six months.
This so-called “long Covid” is reckoned to affect about one victim in 50. It is obviously distressing, but it cannot possibly justify inflicting misery and economic mayhem on 50million citizens aged under 60.
The lockdown and other aggressive measures of social distancing may have served a useful purpose last March, when it enabled the NHS to catch up.
Since then, they have achieved little or nothing. Current policies have obviously failed to stop the spread of the virus. All they have done is extend the crisis.
What we are seeing now is not a second spike. It is the first spike, which the Government’s measures never tamed and which has come back to hit us. Just as their advisers told them it would, back in February and March.
So why are Johnson and his crew doubling down on failure?
The reason is becoming obvious. They don’t want to admit that knocking more than 20 per cent off our gross national product, destroying millions of jobs and boosting deaths from other causes such as cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease may all have been for nothing.
This is about covering politicians’ backs.
Boris Johnson now tells us that with his measures we can expect to return to normal by September 2021 — after a year and a half in which his Government has pointlessly prolonged the damage.
At this rate it could be even longer — all his other predictions have been wrong. We are not fools. We can look after ourselves and those around us — probably better than ministers can.
It is about time we voted with our feet and took back control of our own lives.
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