The following are the daily entries in my diary since 9 April, and follow on from the four articles I have published on the coronavirus crisis, COVID-19 and Capitalism, Sociology of a Disease, Language is a Virus, and Coronazombies! The conflicting information about the virus and the disease it can cause is spreading so rapidly that this seemed a better way to respond to daily developments. The entries are addressed not to myself but to what I have dubbed ‘coronazombies’. Both this appellation and the tone of the entries — for which, given the mass cretinisation we’re undergoing, I make no apology — have been informed by my contemporary viewing of the following films: Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Omega Man (1971), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), 28 Days Later (2002), Dawn of the Dead (remake 2004), and 28 Weeks Later (2007). The characters and events depicted in these movies turn out to have been realistic; so any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, is not surprising. I will continue to update this page with my latest diary entry responding to this bio-political crisis event.
Wednesday, 22 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
As the see-no, hear-no, speak-no sense coronazombies place their hands firmly over their eyes and ears (they already have a mask over their mouths), today we’re going to address that old standby, the term invented by the political right to allow liberals to sleep soundly at night. That’s right, it’s the ‘conspiracy theory’.
All it takes to be accused of inventing, spreading or subscribing to a conspiracy these days is — no, not question the fairy tales being published by our media, or even the civil-rights erasing regulations imposed on us by our Government without legislative oversight — but merely to read the data on deaths attributed by both to what a Sunday Times article described this weekend as ‘one of the worst infections of the most deadly virus in more than a century.’
I’d guess you’ve already accused someone of being a conspiracy theorist yourself, haven’t you? Or you have suggested, with a paternalistic concern, that anyone contradicting this ludicrous claim is themselves suffering from the mental effects of the lockdown — pathologisation of opposition being a primary technique of bio-politics.
Well, sheep need shepherds and slaves their masters, and you’re free to choose yours from a long queue of both. But if you’d rather your wool was black, or you’re looking for a way to break the mind-forged manacles, or just trying to find the courage to take the mask off your face, you could start by opening your eyes, taking your hands away from your ears, and listening to this interview, published today in the Financial Times, with Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world, whose Foundation has invested $100 million to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
I know that, as coronazombies who, as many of you have told me in a familiar tone of exasperation, ‘don’t have the time for this’, a 20 minute interview is too long for your 140-character concentrations, so I’ve transcribed some of the things Bill Gates says that you might wish, as part of your cure, to consider. Like all great liars he garbles most of his sentences; but stick with it, because his real intentions come out loud and clear by the end.
‘It’s very easy to say this disease has about a 1% fatality rate. And when you overload your hospitals you can get up to 2-3% rate. Now, then again, Africa has a younger population, so that brings your numbers down. But it’s not impossible that you’d see an overall death rate of 2%, which is a horrific situation, potentially, even worse, as you have panic and other healthcare is very disrupted.
‘Many of the developing countries are going to do their best on this. So India is doing it. Now, it’s early days. They have to figure out — do food delivery people, are they allowed to still do their jobs or not? So these things are tricky to put into place the exact, you know, what is essential?
‘Solutions are tricky to put into place. We will get a vaccine. And the role of our Foundation is to make sure that medicines like this are available to the whole world. So over the next couple of years, hopefully in 18 months, we’ll get that vaccine.
‘The idea of tens of billions, say, helping to put those vaccines and get that manufacturing — it used to be in the aid game, that was a very, very big number. Now, when you’re talking about making it easier to not having infection come back into your country, you can make both a humanitarian and a self-interested argument. Even a few percent [of GDP] for the rich countries would be a wise investment.
‘We’re talking about making billions of doses. The deep expertise of making vaccines, some is at the academic level, some government research level, but a lot — particularly safety and manufacturing — is in the private sector. Governments aren’t used to figuring out who’s good at what, what’s the right way to do that. Our Foundation plays a role there, because we’re funding the invention of vaccines and the scale-up of low-cost vaccines, what we’re doing all the time to reduce deaths in the poorer countries.
‘So, the private sector is very important, but the overall template has to come from government. Government here doesn’t know who can make ventilators, how testing can get overly backlogged. You know, that is a big challenge. We didn’t practice, at all, for what we’re going through here, and who’s responsible. Is it somebody who has the right domain knowledge? It’s not totally clear as we move through this.
‘Tech companies don’t make vaccines, but they can do a lot to connect together. They can do a lot to let us look at the data. Microsoft is letting you navigate that information in a very rich way. And so they’ll step up, believe me.
‘Anything I’m calling a private company — they’re all saying “yes” to these things. This is so top-of-mind. We’ve got the economy shut down, so everybody’s trying to pitch in. Co-ordinating that when a lot of people don’t understand which tests are the most important, or which information is, is a bit difficult. So key people at the Foundation are working night and day to pull these resources together. When we have asked for people, they are dying to help out.
‘Global GDP is going to take probably the biggest hit ever. In my lifetime this will be the greatest economic hit. People have a choice. People don’t feel like going to the stadium when they might get infected. It’s not the government who’s saying “just ignore this disease”. People are deeply affected by seeing these stats, by knowing that they could be part of the transmission chain, they their parents or grandparents could be affected by this. You don’t get to ignore what’s going on here.
‘There will be the ability, particularly in the rich countries, to open up if things are done well over the next few months. But for the world at large, normalcy only returns when we’ve largely vaccinated the entire global population.
So although there’s a lot of work on testing, there’s a lot of work on drugs that we’re involved with, trying to achieve that ambitious goal, which has never been done, that vaccine rises to the top of the list.
There’s no doubt, having paid many trillions dollars more than we might have had to if we’d been properly ready, people will, this time . . . because it affected the rich countries. You know, this is the biggest event people will experience in their entire lives. We will have stand-by diagnostics. We will have deep anti-viral libraries. We will have antibody scale-up. We will have vaccine platforms. We will have early-warning systems. We will do germ-games.
‘The cost of doing all those things well is very small compared to what we’re going through now. So people realise, okay, there really is a meaningful probability in 20- years or so that, with lots of world travel, one of these will come along. And so the citizens expect the government to make it a priority. It won’t cost as much as the Defence Budget, say, but it will be a meaningful investment. Some of those investments will help in other areas. A vaccine platform, cheap diagnostics, these are not things that are only valuable for an epidemic.
‘It shouldn’t have required a many trillions of dollars loss to get there. Why aren’t people saying “10, 20, 30 billion”, which in a government budget sense is almost nothing? This time we’ve been whacked on the head, here at home, people we know. The science is there. Countries will step forward.’
Okay, coronazombies, if that sounds to you like a five-year plan for total world domination spoken by someone who has already assumed the powers of a dictator, at least, if not a new colonial God for the so-called developing world, I’d agree with you. So let’s start by looking at ‘the science’ on which Bill Gates’ plans for us are supposedly based, and the data that his company, Microsoft, is letting us ‘navigate in a very rich way’, and which he says the people are ‘deeply affected’ by seeing to the extent that they apparently won’t go outside even if the government let’s them.
According to the latest estimates by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University — which unlike Cambridge University isn’t in receipt of a $210 million scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so is presumably allowed to contradict him — the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) that Bill Gates puts at between 1 per cent and 3 per cent is, in fact, between 0.1 per cent and 0.36 per cent. So in his eagerness to save the world he has increased the fatality rate ten-fold. This is understandable, since 0.1 per cent to 0.36 per cent is within the IFR range of influenza, and indeed the 45,343 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the US as of today is a little higher, but comparable to, the 34,157 deaths in the USA attributed to mild influenza over the 2018-19 season by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; though far lower than the 61,000 deaths from seasonal influenza in 2017-18.
However, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine argues that because co-morbidities — by which they mean pre-existing medical conditions — are present in such a high proportion of the deaths officially attributed to COVID-19, ‘these factors would act to lower the IFR’ still further than 0.1 per cent to 0.36 per cent. Indeed, because of this systemic inaccuracy in how we are recording overall deaths, the Centre insists that ‘it is now essential to understand whether individuals are dying with or from the disease.’
Unfortunately, in the USA, as in the UK and across most other countries where the government lockdown has been imposed, no such distinction is being made between someone testing positive for SARs-CoV-2 at the time of death, someone dying with symptoms similar to COVID-19, someone in whose death COVID-19 was a possible cause, or someone for which COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death. Instead, all the above are listed as COVID-19 deaths.
Because of this extraordinary level of inaccuracy in identifying the actual fatality rate from this supposedly civilisation-threatening disease that has justified the lockdown of 2.9 billion people, in an otherwise sober and restrained report the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine concludes with the admonition that ‘Accurate data on deaths and cause of death (which is not forthcoming) is vital to determine the effect of the COVID pandemic.’ But unfortunately, given his connections with the Tech industry and the huge funds at his disposal, it doesn’t look like that data will be coming from Bill Gates.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is the largest private foundation in the world, holding $46.8 billion in assets. It’s stated goals are to enhance healthcare globally and expand access to information technology across the planet. Among its investments, the Foundation Trust numbers the GEO Group, the second-largest private prison corporation in the United States, a large part of whose work entails incarcerating migrants that have been detained by successive US governments; as well as some of the largest oil companies and environmental polluters in the world; plus pharmaceutical companies that price their drugs far beyond the financial means of people in the so-called developing world.
In September 2019, the Foundation gave its Goalkeepers Global Goals award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the right-wing Hindu nationalist with a long record of human rights abuses. 6 months later, on 24 March 2020, in response to a grand total of 10 deaths attributed to COVID-19, Modi announced the lockdown of 1.35 billion Indian nationals. This order has been brutally enforced through police beatings and whippings, public humiliations and the barricading of slums. As a result of the lockdown, an estimated 30,000 workers across the country are now facing starvation. Since then, India has racked up 686 deaths officially attributed to COVID-19.
As for that other ‘developing world’ in which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already invested $5 billion, Africa has officially attributed 1,240 deaths to COVID-19 in a population of 1.33 billion. But as Bill Gates says with an eye to future markets, ‘it’s early days’.
Sleep tight, coronazombies. Bill Gates is in control. Tie that mask around your mouth again. Place your hands back over your ears. Close your eyes. And remember: it’s all a big conspiracy theory!
Someone once said that the sleep of reason produces monsters. So until tomorrow’s rude awakening, get out, get infected (you almost certainly already have been for some time now), get well.
Tuesday, 21 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
I was rummaging through my old copy of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish last night, purchased by me some time back in the late 1980s when young people still tried to comprehend the world in which they lived rather than no-platforming those who disagreed with their earnest yet immature views or reporting them to the police for thought crime, and I came across this passage. If your frontal lobes haven’t yet been eaten away by coronazombyism, and you are still capable of such cognitive functions as reading, comprehending and making rational judgements, I’d advise you to read this. For your benefit, I’ve highlighted the sentences that may remind you of our own time in bold.
The following, according to an order published at the end of the Seventeenth Century, were the measures to be taken when the plague appeared in a town.
First, a strict spatial partitioning: the closing of the town and its outlying districts, a prohibition to leave the town on pain of death, the killing of all stray animals; the division of the town into distinct quarters, each governed by an intendant. Each street is placed under the authority of a government official, who keeps it under surveillance; if he leaves the street, he will be condemned to death. On the appointed day, everyone is ordered to stay indoors: it is forbidden to leave on pain of death. The government official himself comes to lock the door of each house from the outside; he takes the key with him and hands it over to the intendant of the quarter; the intendant keeps it until the end of the quarantine. Each family will have made its own provisions; but, for bread and wine, small wooden canals are set up between the street and the interior of the houses, thus allowing each person to receive his ration without communicating with the suppliers and other residents; meat, ﬁsh and herbs will be hoisted up into the houses with pulleys and baskets. If it is absolutely necessary to leave the house, it will be done in turn, avoiding any meeting. Only the intendants, government officials and guards will move about the streets and also, between the infected houses, from one corpse to another, the ‘crows’, who can be left to die: these are ‘people of little substance who carry the sick, bury the dead, clean and do many vile and abject ofﬁces’. It is a segmented, immobile, frozen space. Each individual is fixed in his place. And, if he moves, he does so at the risk of his life, contagion or punishment.
Inspection functions ceaselessly. The gaze is alert everywhere: ‘A considerable body of militia, commanded by good ofﬁcers and men of substance’, guards at the gates, at the town hall and in every quarter to ensure the prompt obedience of the people and the most absolute authority of the magistrates, ‘as also to observe all disorder, theft and extortion’. At each of the town gates there will be an observation post; at the end of each street sentinels. Every day, the intendant visits the quarter in his charge, inquires whether the government officials have carried out their tasks, whether the inhabitants have anything to complain of; they ‘observe their actions’. Every day, too, the government official goes into the street for which he is responsible; stops before each house: gets all the inhabitants to appear at the windows (those who live overlooking the courtyard will be allocated a window looking onto the street at which no one but they may show themselves); he calls each of them by name; informs himself as to the state of each and every one of them ‘in which respect the inhabitants will be compelled to speak the truth under pain of death’; if someone does not appear at the window, the government official must ask why: ‘In this way he will ﬁnd out easily enough whether dead or sick are being concealed.’ Everyone locked up in his cage, everyone at his window, answering to his name and showing himself when asked — it is the great review of the living and the dead.
This surveillance is based on a system of permanent registration: reports from the government officials to the intendants, from the intendants to the magistrates or mayor At the beginning of the ‘lock up’, the role of each of the inhabitants present in the town is laid down, one by one; this document bears ‘the name, age, sex of everyone, notwithstanding his condition’: a copy is sent to the intendant of the quarter, another to the ofﬁce of the town hall, another to enable the government official to make his daily roll call. Everything that may be observed during the course of the visits — deaths, illnesses, complaints, irregularities is noted down and transmitted to the intendants and magistrates. The magistrates have complete control over medical treatment; they have appointed a physician in charge; no other practitioner may treat, no apothecary prepare medicine, no confessor visit a sick person without having received from him a written note ‘to prevent anyone from concealing and dealing with those sick of the contagion, unknown to the magistrates’. The registration of the pathological must be constantly centralised. The relation of each individual to his disease and to his death passes through the representatives of power, the registration they make of it, the decisions they take on it.
Five or six days after the beginning of the quarantine, the process of purifying the houses one by one is begun. All the inhabitants are made to leave; in each room ‘the furniture and goods’ are raised from the ground or suspended from the air; perfume is poured around the room; after carefully sealing the windows, doors and even the keyholes with wax, the perfume is set alight. Finally, the entire house is closed while the perfume is consumed; those who have carried out the work are searched, as they were on entry, ‘in the presence of the residents of the house, to see that they did not have something on their persons as they left that they did not have on entering’. Four hours later, the residents are allowed to re-enter their homes.
This enclosed, segmented space, observed at every point, in which the individuals are inserted in a ﬁxed place, in which the slightest movements are supervised, in which all events are recorded, in which an uninterrupted work of writing links the centre and periphery, in which power is exercised without division, according to a continuous hierarchical ﬁgure, in which each individual is constantly located, examined and distributed among the living beings, the sick and the dead — all this constitutes a compact model of the disciplinary mechanism. The plague is met by order; its function is to sort out every possible confusion: that of the disease, which is transmitted when bodies are mixed together; that of the evil, which is increased when fear and death overcome prohibitions. It lays down for each individual his place, his body, his disease and his death, his well-being, by means of an omnipresent and omniscient power that subdivides itself in a regular, uninterrupted way even to the ultimate determination of the individual, of what characterizes him, of what belongs to him, of what happens to him. Against the plague, which is a mixture, discipline brings into play its power, which is one of analysis.
A whole literary ﬁction of the festival grew up around the plague: suspended laws, lifted prohibitions, the frenzy of passing time, bodies mingling together without respect, individuals unmasked, abandoning their statutory identity and the ﬁgure under which they had been recognised, allowing a quite different truth to appear. But there was also a political dream of the plague, which was exactly its reverse: not the collective festival, but strict divisions; not laws transgressed, but the penetration of regulation into even the smallest details of everyday life through the mediation of the complete hierarchy that assured the capillary functioning of power; not masks that were put on and taken off, but the assignment to each individual of his ‘true’ name, his ‘true’ place, his ‘true’ body, his ‘true’ disease. The plague as a form, at once real and imaginary, of disorder had as its medical and political correlative discipline. Behind the disciplinary mechanisms can be read the haunting memory of ‘contagions’, of the plague, of rebellions, crimes, vagabondage, desertions, people who appear and disappear, live and die in disorder.
If it is true that the leper gave rise to rituals of exclusion, which to a certain extent provided the model for and general form of the great conﬁnement, then the plague gave rise to disciplinary projects. Rather than the massive, binary division between one set of people and another, it called for multiple separations, individualising distributions, an organisation in depth of surveillance and control, an intensiﬁcation and a ramiﬁcation of power. The leper was caught up in a practice of rejection, of exile-enclosure; he was left to his doom in a mass among which it was useless to differentiate; those sick of the plague were caught up in a meticulous tactical partitioning in which individual differentiations were the constricting effects of a power that multiplied, articulated and subdivided itself; the great conﬁnement on the one hand; the correct training on the other. The leper and his separation; the plague and its segmentations. The ﬁrst is marked; the second analysed and distributed. The exile of the leper and the arrest of the plague do not bring with them the same political dream. The ﬁrst is that of a pure community, the second that of a disciplined society. Two ways of exercising power over men, of controlling their relations, of separating out their dangerous mixtures. The plague-stricken town, traversed throughout with hierarchy, surveillance, observation, writing; the town immobilized by the functioning of an extensive power that bears in a distinct way over all individual bodies — this is the utopia of the perfectly governed city. The plague (envisaged as a possibility at least) is the trial in the course of which one may deﬁne ideally the exercise of disciplinary power. In order to make rights and laws function according to pure theory, the jurists place themselves in imagination in the state of nature; in order to see perfect disciplines functioning, rulers dreamt of the state of plague.Underlying disciplinary projects, the image of the plague stands for all forms of confusion and disorder; just as the image of the leper, cut off from all human contact, underlies projects of exclusion.
They are different projects, then, but not incompatible ones. We see them coming slowly together, and it is the peculiarity of the Nineteenth Century that it applied to the space of exclusion of which the leper was the symbolic inhabitant (beggars, vagabonds, madmen and the disorderly formed the real population) the technique of power proper to disciplinary partitioning. Treat ‘lepers’ as ‘plague victims’, project the subtle segmentations of discipline onto the confused space of internment, combine it with the methods of analytical distribution proper to power, individualise the excluded, but use procedures of individualisation to mark exclusion — this is what was operated regularly by disciplinary power from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century in the psychiatric asylum, the penitentiary, the reformatory, the approved school and, to some extent, the hospital. Generally speaking, all the authorities exercising individual control function according to a double mode; that of binary division and branding (mad/sane; dangerous/harmless; normal/abnormal); and that of coercive assignment, of differential distribution (who he is, where he must be; how he is to be characterised; how he is to be recognised; how a constant surveillance is to be exercised over him in an individual way, etc.). On the one hand, the lepers are treated as plague victims; the tactics of individualising disciplines are imposed on the excluded; and, on the other hand, the universality of disciplinary controls makes it possible to brand the ‘leper’ and to bring into play against him the dualistic mechanisms of exclusion.
The constant division between the normal and the abnormal, to which every individual is subjected, brings us back to our own time, by applying the binary branding and exile of the leper to quite different objects; the existence of a whole set of techniques and institutions for measuring, supervising and correcting the abnormal brings into play the disciplinary mechanisms to which the fear of the plague gave rise. All the mechanisms of power which, even today, are disposed around the abnormal individual, to brand him and to alter him, are composed of those two forms from which they distantly derive.
— Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975)
Well, that’s all for today, coronazombies. I hope this gives you some historical perspective on what is happening now, and even encourages you to start acting with some degree of political agency, rather than stumbling around like the mute and obedient subjects of a system of surveillance and control the like of which the prison wardens, asylum commissioners, school masters, police chiefs, military generals and heads of state of the Nineteenth Century couldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams of political power.
Until that happens, get out, get infected, get well.
Monday, 20 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Today I address a smaller audience than I did previously. It saddens me to relate that a few of you had crossed over too far to the other side. Like the character of Lisa in The Omega Man, your hair was greying, your eyes were pinpricked, your skin was deathly pale, and your voices were repeating the same dribble over and over again. Above all, you were showing no sign of rational thought or hope of ever returning to it. The unchecked spread of coronazombyism threatens us all, so although I had counted some of you among my friends, or at least my online friends, I had to do my duty.
As evidence of the level of this threat, last week Sadiq Khan, the only Mayor of London to make Boris Johnson look like a missed opportunity to bring honesty and probity to the office, announced that he was recommending to the government that the wearing of face masks be made compulsory:
- despite the fact that immunologists have repeatedly clarified that SARs-CoV-2 is spread through droplets, either through a cough or a sneeze that carries saliva or mucous through the air a relatively short distance and into the mouth or nose or eyes of another person, and that you cannot be infected merely through breathing in the same air as a person infected with SARs-CoV-2;
- despite the fact that, even if you were capable of being infected by someone’s breath, the fibres from which medical masks are made are not fine enough to stop such benign inhalation of air;
- despite the fact that medical masks are designed to be worn by medical professionals to stop them infecting patients by inadvertently coughing or sneezing on them when brought into close proximity during whatever treatement they are administering, and not to stop patients being infected while walking around outdoors;
- despite the fact that even the scaremongering World Health Organisation has formally stated that ‘there is no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19’;
- despite the fact that epidemiologists, virologists and microbiologists across the world not working for their government are saying that we should be actively trying to get infected in order to build up herd immunity to SARs-CoV-2 as we do every other new seasonal virus;
- despite all this, the Government of the UK is considering imposing the wearing of such face masks in public as compulsory. If they impose wearing one as part of a set of new regulations, expect this to be made a condition of lifting the lockdown, thereby identifying, for all to see, who is obedient to government dictates and who isn’t, and effectively confining those who aren’t to house arrest.
When have we seen such public branding before?
When, on 1 September 1941, by order of a decree signed by Reinhard Heydrich, all Jews within the Third Reich and its conquered territories were forced to wear the yellow Star of David with the word ‘Jew’ written across it, the Jews under its jurisdiction were already lost. This decree had several purposes.
First, it helped the police to identify Jews, who were so scared of recriminations that they voluntarily identified themselves for the treatment they subsequently received. What they thought would save them led them straight to the gas chambers.
Second, it identified the Jews as biologically separate from the rest of the population, thereby increasing the attacks on them by the non-Jewish populace. This is a classic example of the way in which facist regimes encourage its population to police themselves, becoming both informants and community support officers implementing what the police don’t have (or need) the numbers to impose.
Finally, it was a test to see whether there was any fight, any resistance left in the Jews. There wasn’t, and wearing the yellow star was the final sign, made by themselves, of their complete subjugation to the Aryan race, their total obedience to the Nazi regime. It was important, therefore, that the decree imposed the most insulting and degrading measures. Self-abnegation and humiliation was crucial to the function of the yellow star. From now on, the Nazis could do what they wanted with the Jews. And they did.
For all these reasons, whatever decision the government of the UK makes, in contravention of our human rights and through suspension of our civil liberties, I will not wear a medical mask. I will not cover my mouth and face on the order of another person. I will not walk around like a muzzled dog until my master takes it off me. Even if it means being informed on by my neighbours. Even if it means being shamed in public by coronazombies. Even if it means being assaulted by community support officers implementing regulations that have had neither scrutiny nor approval by Parliament. Even if it means being arrested by the police. Even if it means being sent to prison.
We’ve seen, too many times in history, what happens when a people signal, loudly and clearly, that they are willing to do anything and everything their government tells them to, and what governments do when that signal is given. I will not be a collaborator in this attempt to implement a surveillance regime based on the opinions of politicians quoting scientific factoids every bit as false as those invented by Nazi eugenicists. I will not collaborate in social policies that, like the Nuremberg Laws, separate peoples into the healthy and the infected, into the law-abiding and the illegal, that turn us against each other as policeman to criminal and informant to guilty. I will not obey regulations that justify my arrest and imprisonment with no basis in science or truth.
And, just so that it’s clear, if I see any one of you coronazombies participating in this programme of mass hysteria I will take it as the sign of your collaboration, unthinking or intentional, in this attempt to build a totalitarian surveillance state in which servile and unthinking obedience to government diktat is the ‘new norm’ you’ve so passively agreed to accept.
You may be some shmuck in a mask trying to keep his head down till you imagine this will all be over; you may be a middle-class conservative preaching law and obedience to the bunch of criminals you voted into power; or you may be some low-life creep hoping to get on the right side of the cops by turning informer; but it’s with tools like you that dictatorships are built.
That’s all for today, coronazombies. Before they muzzle you like obedient dogs, get out, get infected, get well.
Sunday, 19 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Let’s start today with a question for you. Since just about everyone who dies in the UK is now an official COVID-19 death, no matter how old, how sick, how many pre-existing illnesses they had, no matter if they had leukemia, or cancer, or were about to die when someone shoved a ventilator down their frail throats to keep them breathing long enough to test them positive for SARs-CoV-2, no matter if they weren’t even tested but they had symptoms similar to COVID-19, or the doctor thought it was a possible cause of death, or perhaps a contributing cause of death, even if more than half of them are over 80 and about to pop their clogs anyway, how many of these deaths per day do we have to drop beneath before you, in your independent wisdom, consider this so-called ‘epidemic’ over?
11,846 people died every week in the UK in 2018. Do you think that is an acceptable number to get down to before our government lifts the lockdown?
650 died every week from respiratory diseases alone last year. Is that an acceptable number to die before you stop sitting at home like frightened children?
Over the winter of 2017-18 there were 26,408 excess deaths associated with seasonal influenza. Is that an acceptable level of mortality beneath which you’ll take off your mask and start behaving like a thinking adult?
1,675 people died every day this year in England and Wales alone before a single person officially died ‘with’ COVID-19. What percentage of that do we have to fall below before you think the government should deign to return our civil liberties to us?
Or have we banned death in the UK now, because it upsets you to think about it? Will we continue to live from now on like naughty children sent to their bedrooms while you coronazombies froth and rave about a pandemic that doesn’t exist?
Sanctimoniousness, saccharine expressions of sensibility, one-upmanship in portentousness, hysterical expressions of panic and fear — everything, in other words, with which maintream and social media is awash in the UK — is the surest sign that a nation has stopped thinking. We have been cretinised by this crisis. Reason hasn’t taken a holiday, it’s under lock and key in Belmarsh prison. At the moment, there is no shit we won’t eat, and the government knows it. The conveyor belts of the media are heavy with ordure to order.
Don’t get me wrong. You have shown to our masters, loudly and clearly, that coronazombies neither want nor need things like ‘rights’ and ‘laws’ and ‘liberties’. You can’t even read mortality statistics with any accuracy, so what oversight should you have over police powers imposed without parliamentary scrutiny or approval? Just do what the cops tell you and be happy you don’t live in India where they cane apostates in the street. You are pigs being fattened in a cage for the bacon on capitalism’s table. Here’s the flesh the media serves up for your consumption every day. Eat, coronazombies, eat.
Or, get out, get infected, get well.
Saturday, 18 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Having watched Day of the Dead last night, I cycled down to East Street Market in Walworth this morning for some fish, prawns and chillies. There was the usual hustle and bustle, people rubbing shoulders as they bought and sold. A few masks, but no coronazombies to be seen. Which raises the question we’re going to ask today: is coronazombyism a largely middle-class affliction?
When a class that spends thousands of pounds a year toning their bodies in gym classes, refining their chi in yoga classes, smoothing their skin with a catalogue of powders and creams, concealing their flesh and breath with perfumes and mouth sprays, glossing their hair with exorbitantly-priced shampoos and conditioners, straightening and polishing their teeth with private dentistry, flushing out even their insides with colonic irrigations, spending thousands on holidays whose sole purpose is to get a tan, and generally treating their precious persons like their shit doesn’t smell the same as ours are suddenly told they’re food for worms, is this current crisis their appalled reaction?
Bespoke masks, social distancing, mass hysteria, mindless fear insisted upon in themselves and others, stupidity turned into a virtue, blind obedience to anyone they can find in authority, and an endless stream of saccharine displays of sanctimonious outpourings that completely fail to hide the fact that they are terrified of dying: this is the symptomatology of coronazombyism we’re all familiar with by now; but does the disease originate in the middle-class sense of its own exceptionalism?
While the ruling class have all buggered off to their second homes in the Cotswolds or Wales or the Bahamas, is the coronavirus crisis the middle-class realising that, for all the money they spend on smelling and looking nice, they’re a courtier’s heel from the toe of the working-class they despise?
Answers on the back of a designer mask with an NHS vagazzle.
Friday, 17 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Last night, as I settled down to watch the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead in the hope of getting some insight into what afflicts you, I was interrupted by the weekly mass clapping for the NHS, which has happened, I believe, every Thursday at 8pm for four weeks running now.
At the risk of dispelling the soporific effects of this populist ritual initiated by the Government Nudge Unit that invents ways to make coronazombies like you do what it wants in the belief you are acting independently, but the time to clap the NHS was on 2 December 2019, when Professor Jon Bennett, the Chair of the British Thoracic Society, was reported in an article published in the Guardian as saying:
‘We are already hearing of rising numbers of people being admitted to hospital with potentially fatal lung and breathing problems who require specialist support. While an under-resourced NHS lung workforce is working tirelessly to provide the best possible care in the circumstances . . . we just can’t carry on like this long term.’
Instead, 10 days later, the zombies of Britain voted a Conservative Government into office on a promise to continue the cuts and privatisations that had already ensured the NHS would head into the winter of 2019-20 — according to Siva Anandaciva, Chair of the National Payment Strategy Advisory Group for NHS England, in his blog for the King’s Fund think- tank — ‘with A&E performance at its worst level since current records began, 4.6 million people on hospital waiting lists and with 100,000 vacant staff posts.’
That’s the same Conservative Government that is now telling you to stay at home and clap the NHS whose current inability to handle a slight rise in mortality rates over the past fortnight is supposedly because of a deadly and unprecedented viral pandemic sweeping the nation, and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Government policy. Two months before the first death attributed to COVID-19 in the UK, Anandaciva, in the same Guardian article, warned:
‘In recent years the NHS has defied the odds and somehow managed to cope despite warnings about the impact of winter pressures. This time it is heading into what is likely to be the worst winter since modern records began in the eye of a perfect storm.’
Keep clapping, coronazombies. Keep clapping. Your Government (and its Nudge Unit) loves you.
Thursday, 16 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Okay, it’s time for the big chat. Not about the birds and the bees and where babies come from, but the one about the other end of the line. Yes, sit down, take off your medical mask, and pull up your safe space: it’s time to talk about life and death.
As of today, 16 April, 2020, there are 7,778,133,695 people living in the world. Actually, that’s not quite true, because in the time it took to write this that number has increased to 7,778,133,832, and by the time you read this it will be even higher.
There are two reasons for this. One is that so far this year there have been 40,840,351 births in the world (and that number too is increasing as I write this). The other is that the people living are living longer. So far this year, there have been only 17,145,968 deaths. That’s about 24 million more people who have come into the world than have left it this year alone.
So what’s this got to do with the so-called coronavirus crisis that has got you all so terrified of dying? Well, as some of you may be aware, COVID-19, the name of the disease symptomatology that develops in a small percentage of people infected with SARs-CoV-2, overwhelmingly affects the elderly. Leaving aside for the moment the hugely inaccurate attribution of deaths to COVID-19 by our authorities, in the UK there have officially been 12,868 deaths that have had COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate as a possible or contributing cause, in which the deceased showed symptoms similar to COVID-19, or who tested positive to SARs-CoV-2 at the time of death.
Now, neither the Department of Health and Social Care or Public Health England, in publishing these already questionable figures on their websites for your daily infection with coronazombyism, mention the age at which these so-called ‘corona deaths’ actually died. But the NHS, whose published figures are only for people who died in hospitals in England, of which they report 11,656 as of yesterday, also report that 10,664 of them were over 60, and 6009 were over 80. That means 92 per cent of all deaths attributed to COVID-19 were over 60, and 52 per cent were over 80.
For your benefit, dear coronazombies, I’ve been following these figures since you were infected, and these percentages have remained the same throughout.
Now, the average life expectancy in the UK in 2019 was, according to the Office for National Statistics that record every birth and death in these sick and spotted isles, 79.2 years for men and 82.9 years for women. And in case you think it’s dropped under the terrible pandemic that is ravaging these shores, it’s actually gone up by 0.15 per cent this year. But it wasn’t always this way. In 1935, when my parents were born, it was barely 60. When I was born it was about 67, and that seemed long enough for me when I saw my chair-bound grandparents struggle on into their 80s. The increase in our life expectancy is what is tipping the balance of births and deaths in the world into the 24 million net additional lives we’ve had so far this year, and which has increased the population of the world from 3.463 billion when I was born to the 7.778 billion we have today, a more than double increase in my lifetime.
So what does this mean for our current crisis? It means that over half the people whose deaths are officially attributed to COVID-19 are dying over the age of average life-expectancy in the UK, and under half are dying under the age of average life expectancy in the UK. It means that people in the UK are dying at roughly the same age and at roughly the same rate as they do every year. It’s true that this year’s virus is slightly more fatal for the over 65s than seasonal influenza, and this is skewing the average age of death upwards (52 per cent over the age of 80); and it’s also true that the deaths have been concentrated in the two weeks of April.
But 18 per cent of the population of the UK is over 65, which comes to 12.2 million people. Even allowing for the deaths of people between 60 and 64 attributed to COVID-19, that’s 1 in every 1,145 people in the UK over 65 who have died from COVID-19, or 0.087 per cent. And although there has been a slight rise in the overall number of deaths in the UK over the past fortnight as a result, the deaths attributed to COVID-19 has not pushed the overall deaths up beyond the influenza seasons of 2014-15 or 2017-18, which didn’t occasion the current epidemic of coronazombyism.
According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 731,213 live births in the UK in 2018. That was a decrease of 3.2 per cent from 755,042 in 2017, and the lowest number of live births since 2006, when our population was 60.62 million. Today it’s 67.88 million. Some of that 7 million increase in 14 years is down to immigration, probably around 3 million net; but the rest is down to us living longer.
When you’re crying tears of empathy and fear at the slight increase in the deaths of people at slightly over the average life expectancy for the UK for two weeks in April, have a thought for the three-quarters of a million children born, without asking, into this world popualted by coronazombies like you who are led by the nose by your lords and masters, who are too lazy to read some numbers and understand what they mean, and who, before these infants have become children, will subject them to the vast array of surveillance and control that you, with your fears and blind obedience to authority, are preparing for them.
I recently saw a Twitter post by someone in response to one of the official websites listing the numbers of ‘corona deaths’ for that day. I imagine the author thought she was being sympathetic or holy or some other form of virtue signalling, but she wrote: ‘I wish this could be zero!’ If she, and all you other coronazombies out there, had your wish, then we truly would all be facing an apocalypse.
Okay, coronazombies, I hope that wasn’t too much for your shrunken and infected brains. You may horrify me with your unthinking stupidity and your rabid attacks against anyone who disagrees with the government, but I haven’t given up on you. Not yet.
So, until tomorrow, get out, get infected, get well.
Wednesday, 15 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Above is a chart made by Rob Slane in his blog article (from which this diary entry is mostly taken) comparing the number of deaths per million of the population officially attributed to COVID-19 in the UK and Sweden.
Why Sweden, you ask? Well, Sweden is the only large European country that has not imposed a strict lockdown on its citizens in response to COVID-19. Other than a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people, stopping people from visiting nursing homes, and other reasonable advice such as encouraging those over 70 years of age to stay at home, Swedish schools, shops, restaurants and pubs all remain open.
To give a context to this timeline, Sweden reported its first COVID-cases eight days before the UK (15 on 3 March, compared with 77 on 11 March in the UK), whilst the UK recorded its first deaths two days before Sweden (10 on 14 March, compared with 4 for Sweden on 16 March).
As the data shows, there is no evidence that the UK lockdown approach has been any more successful than the more liberal Swedish approach. On the contrary, it shows that, per million people, Sweden has had far fewer deaths than the UK. Sweden’s comparatively measured approach of responding to COVID-19, without introducing the most draconian civil restrictions ever seen and without submitting its economy to a self-imposed depression, also shows the response of other countries to have been wildly disproportionate.
Despite this evidence, the Swedish Government is coming under intense pressure to change its policy from other countries, including the USA, with that champion of the truth, Donald Trump, claiming that ‘Sweden’s suffering very, very badly.’ Even the World Health Organisation recently called for the nation to impose more restrictions, saying that it is ‘imperative’ that Sweden ‘increase measures to control spread of the virus, prepare and increase capacity of the health system to cope, ensure physical distancing and communicate the why and how of all measures to the population.’
Why, when the lockdown in the USA, the UK and most of the rest of Europe will put millions of people out of work, destroy thousands of businesses, lead to a massive deterioration of mental health and an increase in suicides, with the elderly and already ill primarily at risk from COVID-19 left on their own without their carers? Is it because, not coincidentially, these measures have already led to an increase of state power on a scale never seen before? Is it because Sweden is the little boy who points at the Emperor in the clothes every other country is admiring and says what everybody knows: ‘HE’S NAKED!’
Have a think, coronazombies, while you’re still allowed to and still can, before the disease hits your pituitary gland.
In the meantime, get out, get infected, get well.
Tuesday, 14 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Since yesterday’s lesson went down like a fart in a spacesuit, let’s start number-crunching. Your frontal lobes may be too infected to follow my argument, but even coronazombies can read numbers. Can’t you? Let’s see.
The Office for National Statistics has today published its long-awaited figures on the rise in overall deaths caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, and the media is crowing with delight. ‘Worst week for deaths in England and Wales since records began in 2005!’ declared the Financial Times. ‘Coronavirus led to UK’s deadliest week’ said the Telegraph. The Daily Mail, always willing to up the ante on what we’ll swallow, announced: ‘UK’s coronavirus death toll could be 15% higher!’ While the Guardian, as always, obediently chipped in: ‘Coronavirus pushes England and Wales death rate to record high.’ So you coronazombies were right all along, and the meek and obedient shall inherit the earth.
Or will they? The Office for National Statistics takes a while to compile its figures, so the latest are for the week ending 3 April, the 14th week of this year, and they reveal that in England and Wales a total of 16,387 people died (underlined in red above). This is the figure that has got the press and Twitterati so excited. It comes at the end of four weeks since the first death attributed to COVID-19 was recorded in the UK; and in that time, over weeks 11-14 of the year, 49,192 people have died, and 4,122 of them have had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate (underlined in green) as a possible or contributing cause, or showed similar symptoms to COVID-19 without testing positive to SARs-CoV-2, or tested positive to SARs-CoV-2 at the time of death. But what has got everyone so excited is that the average total deaths for the same week of the year over the last five years is 10,305, over 6,000 less than the number this year.
However, if we go back a few months to the beginning of the year when, unreported by the media and unknown by an indifferent public, seasonal influenza was taking its usual, but comparatively mild, toll on the elderly and sick, we can see that in the first four weeks of 2020 there were overall 51,158 deaths in England and Wales (underlined in blue), 2000 more than the four weeks since the first official COVID-19 death. Not only that, but because of the mildness of this year’s flu, overall deaths have been down. Over the last five years the average overall deaths in the first four weeks of the year have been 51,973, (underlined in yellow) nearly 2,800 more than the first four weeks of the so-called COVID-19 epidemic.
Ah! you will say, but the worst of the deaths from COVID-19 have come precisely in the week since 3 April. What about those deaths?
That’s true, but until the Office for National Statistics publishes its figures it’s a little hard to calculate them with any accuracy. The NHS has reported that, in the 15th week of this year, between 4-10 April, 4,488 people have officially died with COVID-19 (above). However, that’s only in England. In the UK, Public Health England, going beyond its remit, has reported that a total of 5,353 people died (below), also with COVID-19 being mentioned somewhere as a possible or contributory cause, or with the deceased showing similar symptoms or testing positive for SARs-CoV-2.
There are quite a few anomalies between the two calculations. For instance, on 6 May the NHS reported 625 deaths for England, while PHE reported 439 for the whole of the UK. But, let’s be generous, or at least ghoulish, and add the figures for the whole of the UK onto those for just England and Wales, and make an estimate of the total deaths we might expect to see reported by the Office of National Statistics next week.
By subtracting the 3,475 deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the week ending 3 April from the 5,353 deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the week ending 10 April we get an additional 1,878 deaths. Add that to the 16,387 overall deaths for the former and we get a figure of 18,265 for the following week. In retrospect, the figure was 18,516 (underlined in grey below), so I wasn’t far off.
Okay, you say, that settles it. Over 18 thousand deaths in one week! Now that’s what I call an epidemic! Well, that depends on what you mean by an epidemic. And, far more importantly, what you, the media and the government mean by saying that.
As I said, seasonal influenza this year has been mild. If we go back to the winter of 2014-15, when 28,330 deaths were associated with the flu in England alone, there were 57,343 deaths (underlined in dark blue above) in the first four weeks of 2015. True, the highest number of overall deaths was in week 2 with 16,237, which is just short of the 16,387 in week 14 of this year that has thrown everyone into such panic, and 2,200 short the 18,516 (updated) in week 15. But over the four weeks up to 10 April this year, there were, by my calculation, 56,689 overall deaths in England and Wales; while in the first four weeks of 2015 there were 57,323 deaths. Even in the first four weeks of 2018, during the seasonal flu that killed 26,408 people in England, there were 55,964 deaths (underlined in purple below).
I won’t comment here on the number of, or rise in, deaths officially attributed to COVID-19 because it was ‘mentioned’, as the ONS statistics say, ‘on the death certificate’. The criteria for such attribution are so broad as to be almost meaningless, as pathologists have pointed out, identifying this apparently deliberate ambiguity as a barrier to an accurate assessment of the real impact of coronavirus disease 2019.
The SARs-CoV-2 virus has come late in the year, and comparing its contribution to overall deaths at the same time in previous years is equally inaccurate and deliberately misleading. Not only that, but if we extended the additional deaths from influenza back into the last four months of 2014 and 2017, we’d arrive at far higher figures than anything being attributed to COVID-19 now. Since 10 April, which saw the highest number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, the figures have continued to drop in both the NHS and PHE statistics even using their wildly inaccurate criteria. That doesn’t mean they won’t rise again; but based on what we know, rather than what the government and media are trying to terrify us with, there is nothing excessive about the mortality rate of COVID-19.
What is different is when these deaths are occurring, and that, one might reasonably deduce, has been partially influenced by the government’s decision to put us under house arrest during this unseasonally sunny spring, rather than allowing us to get out, get infected, and get immune to this virus as we have done every year since we recognised the idea that fresh air makes you sick as a superstition without basis in scientific fact. Unfortunately, these old wives’ tales appear to have returned.
But the biggest difference, of course, between the number of people dying from respiratory disease this year and in previous years is our reaction to it. With comparable and higher mortality rates, at no time over the past five years, or since the ONS records began in 2005, or at any time before that, has the government used such statistics to enforce the lockdown of the whole of the UK.
Okay, coronazombies, that’s a lot of information for your infected minds to process, so I’ll leave it there for today. In the meantime, keep questioning, keep thinking, keep getting well.
Monday, 13 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
I’m in a bad mood, largely because of my hangover from the coronazombie-free party I went to last night, not to mention the annual ascension of our eternal Lord and God, so today I’m going to tell it to you straight.
One of the things that most distinguishes this crisis is the violence with which the educated — by which I mean those with the means and ability to pursue their own research and frame their own questions — are not merely indifferent to or uninterested in what’s going on — as they are, for instance, in other man-made crises such as the housing crisis — but are actively and even violently refusing to ask questions, and are instead accusing, threatening and attacking, even virtually, anyone who dares to question coronavirus orthodoxy. A lot of these people have spent the last few years looking down their noses at anyone who, for instance, voted for Brexit or voted for a Conservative government; yet now they are acting — not even blindly, but with wide eyes, frothing mouths and gnashing teeth — to silence anyone who dares question the same Conservative government’s lies about the threat of COVID-19.
Historically, for fascism to take hold, it has had to achieve a number of things. First, it has to outlaw any working-class organisation, whether that’s an emancipatory political party or trades unions or other forms of working-class organisations. There’s little trouble from that quarter in the UK, where the working class has been abandoned by the Labour Party, controlled by Conservative Government legislation, and kept ignorant, afraid and fractured by our press and media. But second, it has to get the intelligentsia on its side, no matter how absurd its ideology. In Germany in the 1930s, the National Socialist Government had little trouble in convincing the most advanced intellectual, scientific and academic community in the world to at least affect to believe in, adopt and repeat the unscientific, unhistorical lies that justified its dictatorship. Even to speak of an intelligentsia in this deeply anti-intellectual country is ridiculous, but those with the means and ability to question the equally untrue, equally unscientific lies being spread about this crisis by the government and its media arm are behaving in a manner every bit as supine as the intelligentsia who accommodated the rise of fascism in the 1930s.
I don’t blame the mostly working-class individuals too busy trying to survive in the UK while bombarded by the full spectrum of media technology for not questioning the government they hate and fear but do not have the means to oppose. But that the middle-classes are making a virtue of their wilful ignorance and denouncing anyone who tries to educate either themselves or them marks a new stage in the consolidation of surveillance totalitarianism as the model for the twenty-first-century political state. If you’re one of them, your middle-class consciousness is the perfect host for coronazombyism, and the real cause of the spread of this crisis.
Okay, coronazombies, that’s enough for today. Am I getting through to you yet? No? Well, coronazombyism has been long in the incubation tubes of capitalism, and the cure will take a while to work. Meantime, get out, get infected, get well!
Sunday, 12 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Today we look at a new threat to humankind. Recent data has revealed that 78 per cent of people dying in UK hospitals have been found to have brown hair. BRoD-2020, as it has been named, has been identified by WHO (World Hairdressing Organisation) as a fatal disease carried via stray hairs on brushes, by hand or through the air onto jackets and jumpers. Independent experts in the pay of the Government have warned that the hairs can stay on clothes for up to three months without being noticed, and from there can pass from there into the mouth.
Having taken the best medical advice from the UK’s leading hairdressers, the Health Minister has today announced that all people with brown hair must stay at home, either until all their hair has fallen out due to ageing or premature balding, or because of secondary causes such as chemotherapy. Anyone found shaving their hair off will be arrested on sight, as hair folicules in the skin are suspected of carrying this deadly disease. New emergency regulations empower the police to remove hats, scarves and even hijabs, a move condemned by the Muslim Council of Hairdressers. In response, the completely-bald Barbers for Britain are planning a protest march this weekend.
When questioned as to what defines ‘brown hair’, the Health Minister said it includes both light brown hair, which comprises a full 41.1 per cent of the UK population, and dark brown hair, which comprises 37.2 per cent. However, analysts have complained that doctors are including blonde hair (11.5 per cent) and even red hair (4.6 per cent) as possible causes of death, a practice that has been condemned by the world’s foremost trichologists. The Health Minister has defended this practice, however, arguing that it is ‘better to be safe than sorry’. In a press conference held today outside the Westminster branch of Toni & Guy, the Minister said: ‘If it saves just one British life by staying at home, who are we to quibble over the definition of BRoD-2020?’
In response to this crisis, sales of clothes brushes have rocketed, and high-street outlets have reported people are now resorting to cellotape to remove the deadly hairs. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has appealed to shoppers to modify their consumption and to think of their fellow coronazombies. Leaks from the newly-constituted Ministry of Hairdressing suggest that, as sales of hair dye have increased exponentially online, the government is considering extending the cause of death to black hair, effectively locking down the entire non-bald population of the UK. Figures released today by the National Hair Service show that not since records began have so many people in the UK had ‘brown hair’.*
At 8pm this evening, the Government is calling on the British People to applaud our hairdressers, shampooists, stylists, barbers and other frontline workers fighting this deadly disease.
* Including blonde, red and black.
Saturday, 11 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
Sometimes it feels like I’m speaking into a vast auditorium in whose echoing darkness I suspect everyone is staring at the government messages on their mobile phone. Yes, I guess I’m having that Westminster Bridge moment from 28 Days Later. But I’m going to stick with you in the hope that even one of you will look up, listen to what I say, and start thinking again.
Today we’re going to talk about herd immunity. As soon as it was uttered in response to SARs-CoV-2, the herd of the politically correct, their antennae educated to identify any phrase that violated their unique individuality, universally denounced it as a government plot to kill us all. ‘If you’re with herd immunity’, was the universal cry both sides of the Atlantic, ‘you’re with Boris Johnson and Donald Trump!’ The voices of epidemiologists were drowned out in the vast roar of online outrage, and a handful of compliant advisors were rapidly produced for the press armed with ‘scientific statistics’ showing that, if the government didn’t lockdown society and the police didn’t impose social distancing no less than half a million of us would die from COVID-19!
The herd of unique individuals exhaled a sigh of relief. They were right! And now they could dedicate all their fears to berating the government on the social media to which they had confined themselves for not policing and punishing those who broke the regulations the government rapidly created to satisfy their demands.
That’s where we are now, and all you unique individuals who objected to the term ‘herd immunity’ are now all happy, it appears, all herded together in your unique little homes.
But if we forget, for the moment, our Goldsmiths College course in Language and Oppression 101 for the politically correct, we can stop the wailing and declarations and look at what herd immunity means and how it could have worked if we weren’t all under house arrest.
Herd immunity describes a level of immunity in the population at which it is difficult for an individual who is newly infected to find someone who is still susceptible to infection. This level is achieved when around 80 per cent of the population has already been exposed to the virus and developed immunity. It’s impossible at this stage to say because testing for SARs-CoV-2 in this country is some of the lowest in the world per capita, and is almost entirely confined to those admitted to hospital, where a lot of them contract the virus anyway; but the percentage of those developing immunity that will remain asymptomatic is around 50 per cent in Iceland, which has some of the highest level of testing in the world, with the other half developing mild, cold-like symptoms. The World Health Organisation stated that around 80 per cent of infections are asymptomatic, and the latest research to come out of China suggest that 78 per cent of infections do not develop symptoms. Being infected with SARs-CoV-2, in other words, does not mean you develop COVID-19, something completely ignored in the statistics that have thrown all the unique individuals into panic.
So how does this work? Or, rather, how would it have worked, if our government hadn’t belatedly realised the political and economic benefits of keeping the population under house arrest for the foreseeable future, and responded to the herd of unique individuals out there in the Twittersphere?
For a population to develop herd immunity — for 80 per cent of it to catch the virus and, whether developing symptoms or not, for their immune system to create the antibodies that makes them immune — takes no more than four weeks.
During that time, everyone who is susceptible to developing severe symptoms and potentially, therefore, of creating the conditions under which they can catch pneumonia or some other respiratory disease that could kills them, should be separated from the rest of the population and cared for. This includes those over the age of 60, which in the UK make up 92 per cent of those dying while testing positive for SARs-CoV-2, and especially those over 80, which make up over half of all the deceased. In addition — although this category largely overlaps with the elderly, and characterises almost all of those under 60 who have died from a respiratory disease while testing positive for SARs-CoV-2 — those with existing health conditions, and especially diabetes, cancer or a chronic disease affecting the lungs, heart, kidney or liver, should also be separated and protected.
Instead of the open-ended period of isolation to which we have confined our elderly and sick in the UK — and I say ‘we’ because the Government has implemented our demands in bowing to this dangerous and scientifically unjustified policy — those vulnerable to COVID-19 would have been separated for the four weeks it would have taken for the rest of us to develop herd immunity. After which, we would have emerged free to look after them with the knowledge — substantiated by mass testing for SARs-CoV-2 of everyone in the population, rather than those elderly and already ill people admitted to hospital — that we no longer carry the virus.
In this relatively brief process of acquiring herd immunity, the intermingling of children at school is crucial, since the young lungs of children are all but immune to COVID-19. Instead, as in every aspects of this lockdown, we are extending the prolongation of the respiratory diseases to which SARs-CoV-2 can lead by closing our schools and keeping our children locked up at home, rather than spreading the virus.
The result of this is that, with a majority of the UK population most likely to have already contracted the disease, probably in January and more certainly in February, children sent home from school and their parents sent home from work have infected the elderly and already vulnerable, leading to the increase in deaths among the over 65s in this country that has been splashed all over the press as evidence of a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ epidemic that threatens us all. In reality, as the statistics show, we’re still nowhere near the increased mortality rates from pneumonia and other respiratory diseases in 2017-18, when over 26,408 deaths in the UK were associated with seasonal influenza, or in 2014-15, when there were 28,330 excess deaths.
Only someone with private health insurance could deny that it’s a disgrace that in the fifth largest economy in the world even the small, short-term increase in overall deaths that we’re seeing now produces the conditions under which our medical services are struggling to cope with this year’s fairly mild influenza. These include the shortage of staff, lack of equipment and insufficiency of beds in intensive care units the NHS has been claiming will happen for years without us or the government listening. However, that’s a result of policy, progressive disinvestment, staff cuts and creeping privatisation by the successive governments we keep voting into power on a platform of neo-liberalisation. It’s not evidence of the infection threat, disease severity or mortality rates of COVID-19.
Add to this the political opportunism of the most right-wing and authoritarian UK Government in living memory, aided and abetted by a media and press fully assimilated into the propaganda arm of the state, and you have the perfect storm of panic and lies that we see now. All it needed was the obedient acquiescence and hysterical collaboration of that herd of unique individuals out there in the penumbral cloud of social media. And you didn’t disappoint!
I know you’ve been terrified shitless by the scaremongering of the government and the around-the-clock propaganda of mainstream and social media, but please try to understand what these figures prove — prove without any shadow of a doubt, incontrovertibly, in black and white — because your head-in-the-sand gullibility and childish fears are plunging us into a totalitarian surveillance state from which we’ll never emerge, and this may be our last chance to stop it.
Okay, coronazombies, that’s all for today. As we reflect this weekend on the miracle of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal salvation through obedience to the moral and economic dictates of the Church, you may also like to reflect on the possibility that those who govern us, those who tax us, those who police us, and those who frighten and threaten us in order to do all of the above, occasionally resort to lies in order to do so.
In the meantime, get out, get infected, get well.
Friday, 10 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
It being Good Friday, the day designated by the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 to commemorate the execution of the 1st-century heretic Galilean Rabbi, Joshua Ben Joseph of Nazareth, I thought today we’d look at what kills those designated by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England as ‘COVID-19 deaths’.
We don’t, in fact, die of SARs-CoV-2, but of the respiratory diseases it can cause, which is why it overwhelmingly kills the elderly or those with pre-existing health conditions, why the death rates are higher in areas with high pollution and high levels of smoking, and why it has had hardly any effect on the healthy lungs of young children. We don’t have a vaccine for SARs-CoV-2, just as we don’t have a vaccine for many of the viruses that mutate into new influenza viruses every year; but we do have antibiotics, which kills the bacteria in our lungs that causes the pneumonia. Dr. Knut Wittkowski, an epidemiologst who has been modelling epidemics for 35 years, has explained in an interview:
‘We don’t die of the virus. We die of pneumonia. So, if we have a virus respiratory disease — once the immune system has created antibodies — the antibodies, or the immune system, kills all infected cells, which destroys much of the mucosa. And bacteria can easily settle on that destroyed mucosa, and then cause pneumonia. And it is the pneumonia that is killing people, if it’s not treated.’
Attributing these deaths to COVID-19 is therefore diagnostically inaccurate. Coronavirus disease, when the symptoms become severe, can create the conditions in people whose immune systems are weakened or who already suffer from existing health conditions that can lead to pneumonia. Again, this is why deaths attributed to COVID-19 are overwhelmingly among the elderly and/or those with pre-existing illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer or a chronic diseases affecting the lungs, heart, kidney or liver.
In confirmation of which, as of yesterday, when the NHS reported that 7,248 people have ‘died in hospitals in England and had tested positive for COVID-19 at time of death’:
5 were under 19 years old;
53 were 20-39 years old;
519 were 40-59 years old;
2,866 were 60-79 years old; and
3,805 were 80 years old and over.
(Don’t worry, I’ll ‘do the math’ for you.)
This means 92 per cent of all deaths in the UK that tested positive for COVID-19 were over 60 years of age, and over half were over 80, the average life expectancy in the UK.
At the other end of the age range, 5 children that have died testing positive for COVID-19 in English hospitals since March this year. Two were aged 19, one was aged 13, and another, the youngest, was just 5. We know this because their ages were published on the Department of Health and Social Care website and are listed on the Worldometer webpage for UK deaths. In comparison, over the same 5-week period last year 94 children between the age of 1 and 14 died in England and Wales, though without anything like the attention the former received in the UK press and government websites as supposed evidence that COVID-19 can kill anyone.
In the UK, as in most countries whose populations are under government-imposed lockdowns, the qualification for a ‘coronavirus death’ on government websites is that COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate as a possible or contributing cause of death, or that the deceased tested positive for SARs-CoV-2 before or at the time of death. Unsurprisingly, in the middle of this media-manufactured crisis, no information has yet been released by the Department of Health and Social Care or National Health England about what caused any of these deaths.
Okay, coronazombies, if you think the resurrection of Jesus was a myth invented to keep us under the yoke of the rich and powerful by preying on our fear of death and assuring us that if we do exactly what they say salvation in the afterlife awaits us (while they continue to get richer in this one), you ain’t seen nothing yet!
In the meantime, get down off that cross, get out, get infected, get well.
Thursday, 9 April
Good morning, coronazombies!
The term ‘zombie’ comes from Haitian folklore, in which a zombi is a corpse reanimated by a form of necromancy often and mistakenly called ‘voodoo’. A zombie remains under the control of the sorcerer or witch that created it as a personal slave, and has no will of its own. This belief has its roots in traditions brought to Haiti by enslaved Africans and their subsequent bondage in the New World. Haitian slave drivers, themselves often slaves, used the myth to discourage slaves under their command from committing suicide. However, the characteristics we associate with zombies, and particularly their association with various post-acopocalyptic scenarios, were invented by the director George A. Romero in his 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. So when you coronazombies walk around like automatons controlled by the media telling everyone that the end of the world is nigh, you’re drawing on a relatively recent and popular adaptation of a legacy of the slave trade.
With that in mind, I recall that a good teacher never imposes facts and figures on his zombified students, particularly the slow ones at the back of the class who will reject such facts as ‘boring!’ because they can’t be bothered trying to understand them. A good teacher, therefore, will always lead his pupils to the water’s edge of knowledge, and then invite them to drink. So here’s today’s carrot. Follow me! Over here, to this lovely pool of facts. Today we’re going to look at the so-called ‘rescue packages’ for the coronavirus.
If you’re wondering — and I hope you are: ‘Why would the governments of the world impose lockdowns if the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 weren’t real?’ One of the answers to this excellent question is the sums in US dollars of public money handed over to private businesses and corporations under the guise of emergency measures for a viral pandemic that will be over in a month. Here are some of the largest:
European Central Bank: $1,000,000,000,000
Saudi Arabia: $21,000,000,000
And what has occasioned this vast, unprecedented, unequalled and above all undebated transferral of public money into private hands? Here are the official deaths attributed to — but by no means resulting from — COVID-19 in the above jurisdictions as of today.
Saudi Arabia: 41
By now, anyone in these jurisdictions who enters a hospital or dies in one is tested for SARs-CoV-2, and since by now most of us have already contracted the virus almost everyone who dies tests positive, so these figures are hugely exaggerated. But even given these overestimations, this comes to the following ‘rescue packages’ per person died:
Saudi Arabia: $51,219,512
Who would have thought that the governments that for a decade and more have imposed life- and health-threatening cuts to public services on the grounds they have to cut government expenditure cared so much for us all along? Are you beginning to understand yet, coronazombies, why our governments are so intent on locking their populations down?
Okay, coronazombies, that’s enough truth for today. As T. S. Eliot wrote: ‘Humankind cannot bear very much reality’. But — legislation allowing — I’ll be back tomorrow to spread some more. Until then, get out, get infected, get well.
Architects for Social Housing