Analysis comment

Video: S Korea shows what could have been here if Johnson hadn’t ignored WHO – no lockdown and just 47 new cases

Shops open. Schools about to re-open. No healthcare crisis. Just 47 new cases – many of those returning from overseas. All without lock-down
Shops open as usual in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea has provided a damning indictment of the determination of Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock to ignore World Health Organisations warnings and recommendations on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK has entered its third week of a lockdown that has gutted its economy and impoverished many of its people – and huge numbers of people continue to become infected, with hundreds dying daily.

And the NHS – already on its knees after a decade of Tory fragmentation and cuts – is in crisis, with front-line staff reduced to trying to hold their breath around infected patients and virus sufferers denied intensive care treatment and sent back home to infect others.

But in South Korea shops have stayed open, people are still working and economic meltdown has been avoided. There has been no ‘lock-down’ and no healthcare crisis – and the number of new infections in the country was just 47 in the last 24 hours, with a third of those involving people infected overseas and returning to the country. In the last fortnight, half of cases have been returners from abroad.

Because the South Korean government didn’t ignore the World Health Organisation on either the seriousness of the virus – or on the need to ‘test, test, test’ and trace the contacts of every infected person to isolate them and break the chain of transmission:

In the early days of the global outbreak, the UK government dismissed its threat and even when it arrived here, Boris Johnson quipped about ‘taking it the chin’ as his advisers told the nation the aim was ‘herd immunity‘ – a goal that has now been disguised, rather than abandoned.

Even as death numbers spiralled, the Tories only half-heartedly began to prepare – and the wasted weeks are costing huge numbers of lives: health workers in our crisis-hit NHS are both more likely to die and more likely to transmit the virus to their patients because of lack of testing and lack of protective equipment.

And the UK economy fell apart as workers lost jobs, businesses closed their doors or shut down completely.

While in South Korea, whose government actually listened and acted, life is returning to normal – and never ‘locked down’ in the first place.

The Tories are now reaching out to other parties in the hope of sharing blame when the UK tries to pick up the pieces shattered by their arrogance and incompetence.

The UK must understand how deep is the guilt of Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and their helpers – and must not be allowed to forget.

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  1. Once again I have to agree wholeheartedly with the Skwawky. Happening more often than I thought it would. Bojo the Clowns blustering waffle doesn’t cut it. Compare him with Cuomo in NY and his sub Trump fake bonhomie is unimpressive at best. S. Korea and Singapore have shown us the way.

  2. “Even as death numbers spiralled”

    Death numbers haven’t ‘spiralled’ to date. We have yet to see such a phenomenon.

    There is no virtue in imitating Johnson’s flirtatious relationship with the truth and exploiitation of the scare scenarioin order to make a political point.

  3. Sweden
    Did not realise how little they are doing,
    Strategy appears to be it’s not a problem until it threatens the capacity of public health and hospitals to deal with it
    Then they are ready to throw every resource at it, as it arises in different parts of the country
    Completely flexible and smart approach, economically light years ahead of every other country
    So far so good, but also a huge gamble, only time will tell

    1. You’re spot on, Doug.

      It’s dangerous to make predictions with lagging data – but Sweden, *without* a massive lockdown shows no significant excess mortality up to Week 13.

      There might be something here about infantilisation of the population in this country in comparison with the Scandinavian block – as well as the more civilised approach to public provision that gives more resilience.

      1. Remember the reason for this quarantine ( I will not use americanisms ) is because our wonderful NHS does not have the resources as per Swedens properly funded service.
        I need say no more as to where the responsibility lies for those cuts .
        Therefore the only options open to the Twat in number 10 ( soon to be deceased I hope ) was to” take it on the chin” and hurd immunity .. i.e let it rip , or shut everything down and quarantine us all .

  4. Our media can see this just as much as anyone else but are protecting the dangerous clown we have as our PM.

  5. Alternatively, the government’s failure to follow the good-practice established by the People’s Republic of China and others, including South Korea, is beyond incompetent.

    Neither Steve nor Labour need spiralling death numbers for this to be obvious and incontestable.

  6. If the worst should happen, healthcare professionals deserve to know their families will be looked after

    Our vital workers are putting their lives at risk on the frontline against coronavirus. A compensation scheme would ensure their loved ones have financial support if they die from the virus…….

    …….Mirroring the Armed Forces Scheme, we are calling for families to receive:
    •A lump sum
    •A guaranteed income for their family
    •Child payments to eligible children under 18

    And, given the extraordinary nature of the crisis, it should help with funeral costs too.

    This would be in addition to their pension benefits; the death-in-service benefit for NHS workers doesn’t cover them all, notably those returning from retirement or locums. And what about other professions not covered by these benefits? What about the social care workers who we’re asking to not abandon our elderly for fear of their lives, or the teachers in special schools who are struggling to maintain social distancing without protection? They all deserve to know they’d be covered if the worst happens.

    1. Really interesting research from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that has crunched the latest numbers from China and 70%+ of cv sufferers are completely asymptomatic. Suggesting that cv is far more more prevalent than thought. The Oxford Centre for Evidence based Medicine has conducted further analysis on its model with that new info and said ‘lockdown’ is now irrelevant. Effort should be all about treatment (respiratory, ventilators, PPE and testing for healthworkers) all areas where Bojo best describe as ‘asleep at the wheel’.

      1. If the indications from the relatively small sample is borne out, it confirms what some experts already suspected from available data – that a large number of cases are asymptomatic, and therefore pretty widely spread within populations, without it being diagnosed.

        Which is good news if true, because that will contribute to much wider immunity earlier than anticipated.

        Politically, the issue is that whatever the actual outcome of this incident, you can guarantee that the attempt will be made to turn it to advantage. If the virus extinguishes itelf in the normal way, without catastrophe – it will be claimed as a victory for lockdown. If it doesn’t, it will be claimed that lockdown was necessary, even tho’ it may well have contributed to extending the life of the virus in the population.

        You can go on to develop all sorts of self-serving scenario options that will have nothing to do with rigorous science.

    1. There is going to be a real problem with that, given the high probability that a large proportion of infections are not detected (possibly a majority) at all, and don’t produce illness.

  7. S Korea followed the science. Johnson, Cummings & Tory Co did not. The MSM failed as usual, to hold them to account. The MSM, Starmer & the PLP are equally culpable. They engineered this Johnson win. They helped to make it happen.

    1. Yes, along with the MSM, the State Broadcaster, the Security services along with the knight of the realm, Thornberry, the PLP and the misplaced notion amongst some senior Labour MPs, eg John McDonell, that “ unity “ was worth sacrificing their principles. Since the democratic socialist Labour Party members are witnessing that Starmer will only pay lip service to “ unity”.

  8. If the beige Tories selected by Keir Starmer upsets you I dont think you get the joke
    REMAIN seated while I explain
    Now if I give you all a free fiver to bet on how that’s going to go down with the electorate
    Definition of insanity?

      1. A pithy observation which contains a general truth
        ‘Beige Tories’
        Fag end of Blairite Centrist wet dream, remainiac snowflakes
        Is that enough pithyl observation

  9. Oh Christ! I’ve just seen Duncan Smith lecturing the nation about ‘good behaviour’ in ‘going out’.

    Now I really know what a pile ill-considered garbage this government is dealing out.

    1. The BBC non-information service is on at the moment with absolutely NO attempt at contextulisation of figures – a process that is simple ABC in order to turn data into information.

      … and now we’re into questions arising from the confused bollocks of the advice issued by the Spiv government.

      Of course – the problem is that such context provides no support for the panic scenario.

      You’ll be glad to know that Mr Toad is ‘in good spirits’.

      1. RH, are you trying to annoy me by any chance? Joking.

        Seriously though, I’d take a break from BBC if I was you, you wont miss anything, promise.

      2. You are, of course, right, Maria.

        But sometimes it’s worth a look to see what is being done in the name of broadcast ‘journalism’.

        The level of non-information in favour of served-up ready meals is horribly reminiscent of the reporting on Labour’s ‘antisemitism’ crisis – completely detatched from proper analysis and fact-checking.

        The government powers and laws emerging across the globe on the basis of existing questionable information raise profound questions.

      3. “The government powers and laws emerging across the globe on the basis of existing questionable information raise profound questions.”

        I completely agree.

        Have you come across this interview with Ernst Wolf? It has English subtitles. It primarily concerns the crashing/crashed financial system happening under/behind the virus panic. Thought you might find it food for thought if you haven’t seen it.

      4. It’s a very interesting interview.

        You don’t have to buy into the whole bag of detail to agree with the key points of the analysis when, clearly, something smells rancid in terms of this generated panic.

        Even if there are different ways of joining up the dots, the dots are undoubtedly there.

      5. RH,
        in for a penny in for a pound. Here’s Prof Knut Witkowski who has been studying epidemiology for 35 years interviewed about the SARS-CoV-2 virus aka Covid 19.

      6. “Even if there are different ways of joining up the dots, the dots are undoubtedly there.”

        Exactly my take.

      7. Oops, wrong link. Perhaps Skwakbox could remove the duplicate when he has time please?

      8. Yes, Maria – I think I’ve also, at some point, posted a link to Wittkowski’s interview. It’s certainly worth the time spent viewing it.

        I can’t judge the validity from the point of view of a detailed knowledge of epidemiology – but it certainly makes general statistical sense in terms of the data I can find.

        I’m aware that it is easy to get trapped into the very mindset that you’re criticising : i.e taking an alternatively selective blinkered view of the evidence (my kids are pretty good at putting up challenges on that front). But I can honestly say that most of the stuff I’m coming across raises a smell of stinking fish about the panic narrative – particularly in the lack of exposure of contextual data.

        If the narrative of the severity of Covid-19 was truly unquestionable, I’d expect to see a welter of stuff showing the fact by comparison with the normal run of seasonal virus outbreaks. If it’s that obvious, it would also be obvious to show it in order to support measures taken.

        But that contextual data has to be dug out like a precious metal, and we’re left with a mountain of individual cases and raw figures that tell us nothing – except the fact that dying is something most people want to avoid.

        One thing that interests me is that Sweden has been put under international pressure to adopt lockdown measures. Now why would that be, given that it is easier to just shrug shoulders and move, on muttering ‘Silly buggers …’.?

      9. I missed your link to Prof. Wittowski, to be honest I have had other things to deal with so am only looking around now for info on the pandemic.
        Have you seen this? I’m still reading through the main Covid-19 linked at the bottom of the page.

        Yes the mounting pressure on Sweden is interesting. I’m beginning to get the impression there are no genuine ‘blocs’ anymore.

        I also note that anyone even asking questions especially about the broader consequences of so called lockdown is being targetted for silencing though ridicule, misrepresentation, attack ‘journalism’ and the modern online ‘hatred’ that is directed towards anyone who doesn’t toe the ‘accepted’ line without question.
        This for me is a great big red flag. We’ve seen similar so many times before.

  10. I’ve had the Beeb’s soap opera approach to ‘news’ on in the background – just to assess the level of information as opposed to babble.

    In the last hour, a ‘journalist’ periodically reporting on the figures – who looks like someone out of a sixth-form job experience has been feeding various numbers.

    Not *once* has there been any attempt at the important journalistic task of contextualising raw figures and creating information and disposing of myths.

    Just like the antisemism stuff.

    … but at least they are now broadcasting an item on the situation in Gaza – the crisis engineered by Israel.

    1. why on earth are you still paying the licence fee for that pile of utter garbage RH !

      1. Simple. I’m not paying the licence fee for that – I’m paying it for what remains one of our few public assets that – other than the abysmal News output – provides much better stuff at less cost than any other source.

      2. and in doing so you are propping up the very Corporation whose news output you have been decrying.
        You can’t have it both ways RH

  11. He’s blagging.

    Give the scruffy Toff twunt a work capability assessment….

  12. Gormless useless bastard…putting NHS staff in DIRECT danger… “I’ve shaken everyone’s hand”

    Well played, dickhead.

    1. Takin it on the chin , has his mrs got it yet as well .
      The private hosp staff must be working OT for this one and Dyson has just delivered a gold plated Ventilator with his message ” to Blojob with love Trev ”
      PS get well soon I need another bail out and me tax haven is at risk without you .

      1. rob – Or alternatively you could have just said thanks for pointing out that you had made such a fundamental error and then reformed your argument to take account of this information.
        I wasn’t being judgemental, I simply corrected your ‘error’. It is not my fault that your comment was garbage because you couldn’t be bothered to verify ‘your facts’ first. It was your own laziness that destroyed your argument, not me.

      2. Let me make myself clear here steveH , I am done with you and if you try and engage with me in comments then you will get the fuck off each and every time .
        I don’t give a shit if my comment content is right or wrong , its deceitful lairs like you that pretend to be socialists and want a Corbyn Govt but have by your actions proved the very opposite , in ensuring a defeat for us on the “left ” with your support for a fucking remain option and now a Starmer supporter.
        Yeh so fuck off and don’t engage with me again !

      3. rob – “if you try and engage with me in comments then you will get the fuck off each and every time.”
        Is that really the best you can come up with😨? It’s not much of a substitute for a cogent argument.

        “I don’t give a shit if my comment content is right or wrong”
        That is quite apparent for all to see.

  13. Dr. Andrew Murrison MP (Con) is already pre-eulogising the dear leader.

  14. And the Oscar for best performance in an understudy/supporting role goes to…..
    ̶A̶l̶a̶n̶ ̶B̶’̶S̶t̶a̶r̶d̶ Dominic Raab!
    His “thoughtful, sensitive, Statesmanlike” act at a time when his excitement at the possibility of inheriting the top slot by default made his voice tremble, was a masterclass for all ambitious PP&E with Drama graduates.
    In BloJob’s place I’d make sure there was an armed guard for Raab’s visits.

  15. Well – we know we’re in a parallel universe of deep doo-doo when the man who doesn’t know a lot about trade across the Channel is put in chargeof the Country.

    But did anyone else pick up the implication of the Groan’s report stating that in *London* – at the leading edge of the virus curve :

    “He [Johnson] spent Sunday night on an empty wing that is normally used for elective procedures, a source said, before being moved to intensive care on Monday evening.” … ?

    There is information that the official US Covid19 projections so far have overestimated hospitalisations by a factor of 8, ICU beds needed by a factor of 6.4, and ventilators needed by a factor of 40.5. Additionally, Swiss hospitals are reported to have a notably low ‘capacity utilisation’.

    It makes sense to ‘be prepared’ for the worst when information is very uncertain – as it was a couple of months ago (or less). It also makes sense to retain an emphasis on protecting known vulnerable groups. But have you heard this sort of potential good news perspective being widely reported?

    1. Keir has passed first test
      No one who supports the party and just wants to get back to fighting Tories can complain about his cabinet
      Let Cockwombles do the dirty work to test him not us,
      Point is to keep our powder dry
      My advice would be to use JVL as honest broker and coordinator amongst the left
      We need to follow suit and draw up list of candidates for NEC elections no one can complain about and get behind them

  16. Sout Korea have done extremely well so far but they were badly hit by SARS a few years ago and so learnt a very painful lesson. Both SARS and MERS were not an issue here so our Government did not have to learn the lesson then more’s a pity.

  17. Note :

    “[A] UCL-led study concludes that the evidence to support the closure of schools to combat Covid-19 is “very weak”, and statistics from influenza outbreaks suggest school closures “could have relatively small effects on a virus with Covid-19’s high transmissibility and apparent low clinical effect on schoolchildren”.

    The crucial general issue is simply that things are currently being done in terms of both analysis and response – that have very little scientific foundation.

    1. Well that’s very strange RH as every nurse Dtr and NHS employee are all telling us to stay at home , don’t mix , and save lives in doing .
      I know whom I believe.

      1. definitely rob. don’t mix. avoid crowds especially the uncouth joggers č their virus laden breaths … laminar air flow and all that … avoid them as much as poss. Vit C+ Zinc and Vit + Calcium won’t go amiss. Quality sleep and nutrition. Diff i know, as street mkts more affordable but can be crowded. Stay well & cheerful despite the tory nasties. try to laugh every day. worrying won’t help one jot. though easier said than done. 🌹🌹🌹

      2. Tnks SPNWC, not sure re the joggers bit , but the vit c etc yes all good stuff and most of all as you say stay cheerful despite the tory nasties , and the tories masquerading on here a socialists , there’s evidently plenty o fthem infiltrated into Labour

      3. u r welcome rob. re the joggers – i’m extremely fortunate to b in the midst if lots of glorious green space, even in central london. but … big but the joggers jog straight dow the middle of the main avenues + walkways. decided to venture along the newly opened woodland footpaths which r v narrow. what do we get? fewer joggers but still they come straight at u, increasing air turbulence which will contain their exhalations. they could be asymptomatic vectors. plus, with heavier breathing, they could be inhaling the moisture č virus of walkers on the paths … like me.

        re infiltration of Labour – definitely re wmd blair. those who new the ghastly creature were amazed+++ when it slithered into politics. it is known that the iraq invading creature never showed any political interests. the appendages like straw & starmer, did have socialist early activity, but abandoned that. i heard with my own ears, starmer describing that phase of his life as youthful know all.

        in my clp? definitely +++ +++ +++ . but most frightening… maybe i’m paranoid but, from 2019 open selection period, i became extremely suspicious of of about 5 people. maybe two are just naive and unwary of saboteurs like jeremy. but three of them, i’m of the firm belief that they r vvv bad news. … odd u mention it, but re AH on here, the things posted r vvv much in spirit and letter of two of the suspects in my clp. so much so, i wonder if ah’s initials r really at or zk? the crazed stalking aggression seems exactly like “at” & “zk” in my clp. eg strange how ah appears to memorise people’s posts. as to my shame everyone can see, mines r rushed and embarrassingly sent littered with spelling, grammatical & syntax errors. tine is scarce. where does “ah” or “at” or “zk” find the time? and dedication to read anyone’s stupid poorly written posts like mine😂😂😂 when my errors r spotted after sending, i think … why was it not re read before sending??? shame shame shame.

        diff to understand as used to stay up all night in the past, to make sure every little thing was perfect… every margin… every everything. remember typing a cv for a housemate a million years ago applying for a HO or SHO post. they got it! yay!!! but will never forget, they gave the feedback that every interview panel were v impressed by the way the cv looked… layout and “perfect” presentation.

        today, i feel it is a triumph not to be crippled by a quest for perfection. that quest will never succeed. it comes in the same delivery as timidity, hesitance, “jellied weakness”, bring people together around, not a clear reasoned position, but pursuing a drifting fog… a fog of “constructive ambiguity”… a fog of silence and invisibility. a fog of making tea at meetings but keeping ones historical strong sensible views secret. a fog of waiting for the “argument” to settle then follow the wind. a fog of allowing one‘s once in a million inestimable potential contribution to effect direction… to bring sincere well reasoned belief to fruition…

        is that due to waiting for the perfect moment when all is safe? when there will be no “argument”? what is “argument”? i believe that argument in society, in politics, is akin to testing in medicine and surgery. quantitative and qualitative analyses. scientific testing is an “argument”. it is the striving for at best a temporary consensus, until we develop new techniques as part as a COLLECTIVE INVOLVED and ACTIVE EFFORT.

        it seems to me, that what politicians & people on the TRUE ”VIRTUOUS” LEFT see as confrontation, conflict, argument, and other such unrealistic interpretations of human interactions, are just that human interaction. disagreements well expressed are healthy. nutrition for the intellect.

        the essence of scientific development is “argument” ie rigorous testing. repeatable testing. peer reviewed ie submitting your hypotheses, theses to scrutiny. until we develop that attitude and emotional discipline on the “Left”, we will see EXACTLY what happened over the last several decades here happen again. the election of jeremy corbyn was a once in a million opportunity. it was not so nych frustrated by the tools of and in the msm, but by what is see as a culture unfit for purpose. think of it, does any think we could have endured hostilities in government, when we all observed constant timidity in opposition? don’t think so. there are many examples, but the chris williamson was vivid. chris was illegally recorded at a private meeting, expressing a perfectly reasonable view. when what was private was made public. he was instructed to apologise.

        questions: why say something that you feel “deserves” an apology? msm pressure -> suspension. investigation -> suspension suspended. msm etc pressure -> chris re suspended all within 24hrs. diagnosis msm frightitis. was there any sign of any treatmeant taken? any improvement? any symptoms reduced? no no no. it is logical that the disease the infection would have continued throughout any period of government. i believe that almost every thing i say or post can be defended by evidence and reasoning and can be defended by me anytime and anywhere. it comes with practise and “self argument”. for better or worse, from awaking to drifting off to sleep, i am interrogating … my views… pulling my ideas apart… testing them. we all have to fight against confirmation bias. so eg i never call for eg rh or ah to be banned, because they provide an excellent service. they bring alternative views … sometimes devoid of substance and logic but we must raise our tolerance of hearing, reading views with which we disagree.

        finally, put your views forward. only a fool would be defeated by obvious typos and the evils of uncalibrated touch screens. btw one could re calibrate psion screens. why not this device decades later??? paranoid me thinks it is a deliberate ploy to force us to use spellcheck etc. they demand that every keystroke is sent for “processing” to the USA thus coming under their jurisdiction. iv uninstalled the french, german, italian, russian etc dictionaries and thesauruses and keyboards. then only reinstalled the british dict & thesaurus. the machines interventions seem to be much reduced but the screen calibration is definite. eg trying to type of almost akways results in “if” not “id” … so will keave any other errors to illustrate my vattkes . very strange but we are also strange beings. and i refuse to read all of this v lingvshort pist to you rob…

        possibly it is an anxiety that checking & errors will be endless, resulting in what is always meant to be a short post, never being sent. thus the moment is lost. time is always of the essence. anything can happen at anytime. thus we best not make perfection suffocate the good.🌹🌹🌹

  18. Lock down was imposed because of 5g 60 Hertz mm waves it’s the phase of depopulation, there’s no way you can catch a virus, viruses are already in your body which produce solvents and soaps in your cells to cleanse out the toxins, The anti maleria drug reduce you oxygen uptake and the you have trouble breathing, then the force oxygen in your body and you can’t use it, results = death two hours maximum, then your death is primarily caused by convid 19, as with all death certificates now written, advisory of the who, part and parcel of the farcical psyop. More death more fear, more acquiesce, save me please, put that COVID- 19 in me through the shot, more control, no you will do what we say NWO.
    Make peace with God,

    1. Vic – Fuck Off with your ridiculous conspiracy propaganda. You are the problem not the solution.

    2. Wow, Vic, you really are an idiot, aren’t you? That’s the biggest load of shite I’ve read since the Tory manifesto.

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