Analysis News

Community saves lives – by ignoring Johnson and Hancock on C19

Save lives. Save the NHS. Ignore Boris Johnson

Derry in Northern Ireland

The community of Derry and Strabane council area is the fourth largest in Northern Ireland, with almost 151,000 people, yet it has the second-lowest incidence of coronavirus infection in Northern Ireland – and a fraction of the deaths a similar-sized town or community in England would be expected to have suffered.

And it has achieved this by ignoring Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock.

Derry and Strabane locked down two weeks earlier than the rest of the UK – a move driven by the community itself rather than ordered – and has seen only 155 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths, a rate of 129 deaths per million people. By contrast, even based on official government figures which are widely recognised as understating the real death numbers by half or more, the UK’s mortality rate is almost 500 per million population.

Scientists calculate that Johnson’s decision to lock down on 24 March instead of even one week earlier will increase the UK’s ultimate death toll in the current phase of the pandemic by around 60,000 – but the people of Derry and Strabane ignored Johnson and locked down two weeks before.

As the Belfast Telegraph has reported, NI British Medical Association chair Dr Tom Black noted:

We probably shut down two weeks earlier than England and that was a huge factor.

In Derry there was also an incredible community buy-in and it became very clear that nobody was actually paying attention to Boris Johnston

The community also took a radically different view of the protection of its residents most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Where Johnson and Hancock told the NHS to send elderly patients – even those known to be infected – back to care homes to die while infecting their fellow residents, so the government could boast about keeping ICU beds empty, the people of Derry and Strabane knew swift action was needed to protect their own elderly, as Dr Black explained:

There was a feeling in Derry that we have to shut down early to save the old folk in our community and there was a lot of pressure from the community in Derry towards businesses who were still open which resulted in everyone closing down and doing the social distancing, and that worked.

Johnson is expected to start easing the official lock-down as early as next week, ignoring his own scientific experts to do so without any proper plan or provision of masks to the public – or, still, even adequate PPE for the NHS. His ‘herd immunity’ plan has been disguised, but it is still alive and well – unlike tens of thousands of our people. This leaves the people of England facing a simple choice:

Save lives. Save the NHS. Ignore Boris Johnson.

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27 comments

  1. Further evidence that refusing to pay any attention to Johnson is the correct approach to take towards him (not that I needed it!).

  2. We’ll get through the pandemic DESPITE the posh divvys, NOT because of them.

  3. Just did a bit of reading on the 1918 Spanish Flu and it only got the name as there was censorship in a lot of countries after the 1WW apart from neutral Spain which openly reported its situation which was covered around the World and the name sadly stuck.
    It is suggested the first case was in the USA and what turned just another very bad flu into such a killer it is argued was post-war malnutrition, poverty and a lot of US solders in large barracks in close quarters having been billeted around the World.
    So perhaps with Tory Austerity history in the UK has repeated itself and add transatlantic air travel instead of soldiers?
    Another warning from history about DNR -Do Not Rush back to work & ease too much, too soon lock down.
    The US city of Philadelphia believing with the pandemic they had turned the corner held a Liberty Bond ticker tape celebration with large crowds, 200,000 were infected and 1,000 died.
    I once went to Free Derry to an international adult education conference in the 1990’s and witnessed the great community spirit and a great political awareness (they never dared introduce the poll tax in N. Ireland) and this is perhaps why Derry & Strabane is now generally doing better in this crisis.

    1. Pale Rider, by Laura Spinney, is an excellent history of the 1918 flu epidemic. I thoroughly recommend it. Also, if you’re interested in how diseases shape society, and vice versa, I’d suggest Disease & History, by Cartwright and Biddis. It’s a bit old (my edition is from 2000), but fascinating.

    2. Thanks Bazza, appreciate your post.

      History, being written by the winners, also explains why the 1918\19 pandemic wasn’t named after its original location, its originators, i.e. the American Flu

      Now that the ‘American Century is thankfully ending, they cannot succeed in passingCovid-19 off as the Venezuelan/Iranian/N Korean or Corbyn Flu – despite the Killer Clown’s best efforts.

  4. On a much smaller scale ‘communities’ in England have also thankfully ignored Johnson.

    My mother who is quite frail but relatively independent lives in a sheltered housing complex which locked down weeks before the Tories said they should. The management also had the presence of mind to secure adequate PPE supplies, just in case it turned out to be as bad as they thought it might be. To date they have not had any Covid-19 infection amongst the 50 or so tenants and they also haven’t had any infections amongst the residents in the secure dementia facility which forms part of the same complex.

    My mum has nothing but praise for the staff because of all the extra precautions that they have put in place and for for keeping her and her friends safe.

      1. Norma – You are more than welcome and I sincerely hope you are keeping well yourself.
        We as a family consider ourselves to be very fortunate that we can be confident that our mum is being cared for and kept safe.
        One thing that has impressed myself and my siblings is how stoical your generation are. My mum’s attitude to it all is very pragmatic – You’ve just got to be sensible, get on with it and do what you have to do to get through safely. It will all come right in the end, it always does and if it doesn’t then there is not much we can do about it so there’s no point in me worrying myself silly about it.

  5. Yes would be nice to hear Mr Trumps comments on the 1918 US Flu (?) as he scorns China now but perhaps it was capitalist profit seeking that cleared the forests around Wuhan of wildlife and drove it to the city with insanitary conditions and there some citizens had a ttadition of eatting wild meat, with perhaps poor market hygiene?
    Capital seeks profit and public protection is of no interest.
    China though as a top down bougeois socialist society probably put profits ahead of public protection?
    So it is perhaps capital was and is in the dock!
    Someone said things must change and when asked what replied EVERYTHING!
    We are conscious human beings but look at the streets, dropped gloves, used tissues and wipes, dog crap etc.
    The virus is not, it is us who must change politically and personally!

    1. I wasn’t aware that the virus had been pinned down to originating in Wuhan,perhaps you would like to post where we can access the research papers in authoritative publications that describe it,and no the corporate media are not such places.

      1. John – You are being a little unreasonable, the current generally accepted view is that it originated in Wuhan. I suspect that this will continue to be the case unless and until any subsequent enquiry unearths evidence to the contrary. I haven’t heard of any other credible sources for the virus, have you?

      2. Why is John unreasonable? You’re aware of the unusual deaths around Fort Detrick last summer? And that the bio lab (level four, nasty weapons only) was closed? Then there’s the conflicting reports of dates. Being the first to announce an outbreak doesn’t make you patient zero. (The US military games team trained just down the road from Fort Detrick)

        The Chinese aren’t going to take this on the chin (no pun intended). They’ve noticed that it’s America who has profited every time they have had an outbreak. There is no science behind the blame game (thankfully, it seems we aren’t following the yanks on this, yet).

        Global Times

        …The country has sent 15 batches of medical experts to 16 countries, and it is working overtime to produce anti-pandemic materials for the world. China is never the one to be blamed.

        On the contrary, it is the arrogance of some American politicians that has hindered global anti-pandemic response through cooperation and solidarity. Under the logic of some American politicians, the US is the one to be held accountable and it should compensate the international society, for the Spanish Flu, AIDS and other epidemics, the 2008 international financial crisis which led to the collapse of countless enterprises and individuals, and the wars launched against other countries the over the years which have caused millions of innocent civilian casualties and numerous property losses…

        Lastly, don’t forget Billy Gates. Have you noticed how everytime there’s a terrorist attack, or some disaster, someone just happened to either be holding an exercise concerning the same subject or had done very recently?

        I give you event 201.

        Notice also that he is taking currently about pandemic 1 and pandemic 2.

      3. Never voting labour again 10/05/2020 at 7:47 am

        Perhaps you should reread my comment above, I have not been in any way definitive about the virus’s origin I have simply reported what I perceive to be the general consensus at the moment. You are welcome to agonise endlessly over a myriad of conspiracy theories but I still contend that if you asked most members of the public where the virus originated they would reply China, there would be very few who would launch into some complex conspiracy theory. You may also notice on your reread that I have acknowledged that perceptions may change or be refined as the inevitable investigations progress. If it turns out that the evidence confirms a different origin then I’m quite sure that most, like myself, will also accept that.

        I of course accept that you may get a completely different response from your circle of antivax acquaintances.

      4. SteveH,theories on the origins of the virus are,if not ten a penny,are at least numerous enough to need several fingers to count ’em,including of course the one about US troops attending a sports event arriving with the virus.The only place where the “currently generally accepted view is that it originated in Wuhan” is in the corporate media and the ridiculous BBC.We don’t know with anything like the certainty that is required,which includes of course peer reviewed research published in reputable publications.I repeat again,since you are obviously a bit slow on the uptake,the BBC and the corporate media do not constitute authoritative sources.Perhaps you can check with “Keir” to get confirmation.

      5. john thatcher 10/05/2020 at 11:09 am

        Yes I of course acknowledge that conspiracy theories are 10 a penny and that the vast majority of them are nonsense.
        Is there such a thing as a worldwide network of conspiracy theorists that can be polled to establish an ‘alternative consensus’.😊

      6. Nothing conspiratorial. All facts out there in the world.

        Most people repeat what they are told, yet it’s that same person’s obligation to seek the truth instead of being told. Sheep.

        And just because I see more than you doesn’t make me antivax…

        Having two autistic kids in the house of similar ages makes a curious person want to know more. I know smallpox was beaten by Edward Jenner, and how he did.

        I’ll bet you a whole pound that Jenner didn’t seek protection from litigation, yet big pharma does. Doesn’t that strike you as a curiousity?

        Then when you watch a Doctor suggesting killing those who refuse?!?! Again, curious no?

        Good health doesn’t only come from a syringe. Was Rockefeller who started the drive towards it. You can learn much if you look hard enough

      7. NVLA, how did the Americans manage to avoid CV spreading to the rest of the US (or, alternatively, how did they hide all those cases from the world’s media)… at the same time as magicking infected victims to Wuhan so they could make it look like it started in China?

    2. @Bazza the old wet market cobblers. Noticed the Americans wet markets going under? All those processing plants ordered to run faster. I heard they were slaughtering three chickens a second.

      Get on Google and start looking at Chinese wet markets. Foodies love them. The worst I’ve seen so far, was a guy smoking whilst filleting fish. Not nice, but hardly world ending.

      Dates of outbreak aren’t lining up with Wuhan either. French say December. China went into lockdown 23/1. My money is on the military world games held in Wuhan in October as the initial public outbreak.

      My hunch is Maatje Benassi. A fifty something cyclist who went to a world level competition after having at best, a mediocre season at county level. For the record, she came 35th out of 35, and broke her arm in the process.

      Why was she there?

      Off topic.

      I see the unions are refusing to return to work until it’s safe. This is a taster of the power of a general strike. If we organised properly, we could win.

      Stay safe all.

    3. Gazza
      Gaia principle
      Mother Earths way of saying, change or I will kill you, there’s plenty more where you came from

  6. The majority of people in Derry do not feel they are “in the UK” so wouldnt listen to a British PM of any party.But the Conservative and unionist party are held in particular contempt and have a place in the hearts of any true irish person

    1. Joseph, the LAZY, irresponsible, COWARD, callous, NEGLIGENT, could not care less about anything boris johnson, lacks the courage to face the public and risk questions even from compliant, useless “journalist”. The joker johnson pre recorded the confused vague science free tosh the public will here this evening. For this, Starmer Mandelson WMD tony Bliar + other self-serving heartless Tories worked “night and day”.

      1. Jeremy was obviously relevant even before i knew of him. He was right on political ideology before i was born. When he was heard, we joined. 500,000. He won. He and his team gave away the win.

        ALMOST PERFECT socio-political direction. TOTALLY wrong on zen, too silent, to absent and attitude of CONSTANT appeasement to bastards.

        I am frank because i am heartbroken and EXTREMELY worried that in avoiding a thorough appraisal, the same unforced errors will be made … unforced again. None should spend a single day protesting, whining and pumping out defeatist attitudes. It diverts resources from winning, to shouting for crumbs.

        Until we face up to the tragedy, for that is what it is, the tragedy will occur again. Virtuous intentions are not enough. Symbolic statements are useless 6th form drivel eg ” give Chequers to the homeless “. Chequers in deepest darkest Berkshire isolation… far from social connections the homeless may have. Encircled by multimillionaire and billionaire Tories. Well meant words open to easy ridicule.

        Why make symbolic statements when there are practical plans to make? ie, not just how to win a GE but how to SUSTAIN the win to implement transformation without capitulation and appeasement.

        Methinks, change the culture. Support and protect supporters and friends. Keep saboteurs busy defending themselves in court. Have war criminals impeached rather than crawling around MSM studios. Expel those who bring the party into disrepute eg Twatson, Bliar, Hodge, Arseworthless, Streeting, Starmer, McNic and other Tories. Don’t recommend them for peerages. Don’t absent oneself from the Alex Salmond motion to prosecute WMD Blair. DON’T allow an already hostile MSM to curb you when THEY ARE ALREADY HOSTILE. And even more important. LEARN. Don’t make the same mistakes again and again. We can learn, We can face facts, We can change. We can win. And we must SUSTAIN that win followed by more wins.🌹🌹🌹

  7. Almost all Local GOVERNMENT did what Johnson suggested & washed its hands of the whole problem from the outset. Tracking & Tracing could have & should have been their responsibility, they have the staff & the authority & could & should have initiated ‘local’ lockdown & self quarentine/isolation @ the beginning,; knowing what a buffoon BoJo is & what a ‘pigs ear’ he was liable to make of it. Central GOVERNMENT (aka LONDON) is still referencing national ‘R’ values & a 4 ‘Nations’ problem to be addressed together. London is still allowing insignificant’ (sic) & untested flights into Heathrow. Time for decentralisation & real regional gov’t.

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