The outlier has kneeled. Boris Johnson has recommended all Londoners stay at home if possible after intense pressure for the British government to stay in line and conform with the choice of politician after politician to save a few months of life for 80 year olds at the expense of circa 10% of the GDP or more.
This is “potentially a severe blow for the economy,” the newly elected prime minister said. There are risks to demand and supply, but if they have the right response, “we can ensure it’s a short term problem.”
Fundamentals are strong, he said, unlike in 2008. No systemic problem in the economy. If they can flatten the peak and this declines, there is “no reason why the economy shouldn’t come roaring back” as this is a different category of difficulty from 2008.
Chris Whitty, the pandemics expert in charge of the health response, said this isn’t something here for a couple of weeks and on the way. “Minimum weeks to months or longer, it’s a long haul,” he said.
How are you going to support businesses which might collapse, Johnson and Johnson was asked.
“We gone give them liquidity,” he said, and they will look at fiscal policy, the tax and spend balance, they will aim to give business space to come back from this, and will work closely with other countries to coordinate a response.
Where this liquidity comes from or what spending will be cut to cover potential tax cuts, was not stated, with the markets so far seemingly not finding much comfort in these liquidity proposals.
Fed has cut rates to zero in addition to proposing $700 billion in “liquidity.” Germans are putting out half a trillion. Trump is thinking of payroll tax cuts, but Dow is down another 10% today presumably because markets know all this money is not coming from Mars.
There was no scrutiny on this ‘liquidity’ point, or why such decision was made to let the economy sink, or how they judged on where to strike the balance, but there were plenty of questions on: WHY NOT CURFEW!!!!!????
“All measures are under review,” Boris Johnson said in regards to what are effectively curfews in continental Europe. Particularly school closures is one such measure but on balance they want to keep them open, however that is also under review.
London is a few weeks ahead, unsurprisingly. So everyone is asked to avoid non essential contact, avoid confined spaces such as pubs and restaurants, and there will be no emergency workers for mass gatherings.
These measures are “overwhelmingly worth it to slow spread, to reduce the peak, save lives, minimize suffering, and give NHS a chance to cope.”
“Unnecessary travel should be reduced and stoped,” the British scientists told the nation, stating it looks like this is the stage when this begins to spread quickly particularly in London.
Thus social distancing recommendations are being given, 12 weeks for vulnerable groups would have a dramatic effect to reduce the peak and death rate.
This is still at low levels but will accelerate quite rapidly, Whitty said. We need to ensure measures are sustainable as this will go on for some time. A couple of weeks is not sufficient. Instead it will be a prolonged period.
For individuals chances of dying are very low according to Whitty. Some people won’t get it at all. Some will have no symptoms. Those who do, will only have mild or moderate symptoms that don’t need the NHS.
However, a small significant minority will get a significant disease, and a small part of those will need intensive care, and from those some will die, with Whitty making the somewhat fantastic claim that the overall death rate is 1%.
There are three groups of deaths, he said. Direct ones of course, the very small number who depart solely due to Corona as far as we know. Then there are indirect deaths due to underlying issues or because intensive care is overwhelmed. A third category of deaths is due to the measures being taken by the government to address corona, which could negatively impact people’s health.
The prime minister gave strong advice that public venues like theaters should not be visited. It is not necessary to use enforcement powers he said, but such outlets are already taking measures to close. If enforcement powers are necessary however there is a 1984 act that allows the health secretary to ban even handshakes, Boris said.
Testing is being done in intensive care units, in hospitals, and through the GP network of local doctor premisses throughout the community.
They are working on a test that can hopefully show those who have had this in the past, rather than just those who have it now.
That would be transformational. They are working on making it reliable and it is being developed rapidly for asymptomatic people according to Whitty.
That’s a key piece of the puzzle, not just for UK but the entire world, as it would change the picture completely depending on how many had this and were fully fine.
In regards to this idea of immunity, the other scientist in charge of this, Patrick Vallance, said that in every diseases there are cases where they catch it again. There might be some immune suppression for them for example or some other thing, but there is nothing to suggest this re-catching is common.
From what they have seen, some people are neutralizing antibodies, so it looks like a normal response to infection, meaning they get immunized, but there are some very rare cases where someone gets it more than once.
In every disease there is short term immunity, according to these scientists, even if not a long term one and if there is no long term immunity for this then the idea of vaccines is less certain.
Interestingly pregnant women have been added to vulnerable groups due to what we might call an overabundance of caution with Whitty stating it “maybe overkill, but it’s a precaution.”
That’s for the third trimester of pregnancy, but not earlier, with no evidence this is dangerous but infection and pregnancy are generally not a good combination.
So it’s playing it safe, with the question now rising whether they are playing it far too safe as it’s not clear how many deaths there might be not due to corona, but due to these measures.
The scientists clearly are saying there will be some deaths due to the measures and not corona – directly or indirectly – but it’s not clear what the worst case estimate is there.
These are however semi-voluntary measures for now in that pubs and the like are not being ordered to close, but people instead are being asked to avoid them.
So it’s not quite a lockdown, it’s more a stay at home suggestion with it unclear who is meant to pay the rent on these now preferred dwellings.
Nor is it clear how they reached this astonishing estimate of 1% fatality when all of China’s 2 billion people have only seen 3,000 deaths and the average age of death in Italy is 81.
It is unclear too whether this new tone is more political than scientific, or how they reached a balance based on what estimates of how many might die due to corona directly or indirectly and how many might die due to measures related to prevent it from reaching very old people.
What is clear however is that this sudden new method of terrorizing the people comes after global protests swept the world just a few months ago.
We of course do not doubt the political class has our best interest at heart, but it seems far too convenient that what generally appears to be harmless is nonetheless locking down our public spaces and our streets across the globe with troops in Milan while somehow the surveillance state of China apparently doesn’t know where this thing came from.
And it’s the millennials of course that will have to pay for all of this, for this magic “liquidity” or “rebalancing” of tax and spend, or indeed for the restriction of our liberty based on patently nonsensical “reasonable worst case estimates” of eight million being hospitalized in UK.
We gave the ear. Now they give theirs, for they are crashing our economy and our future in an atmosphere of mass media propaganda while the entire world sees “just” 6,000 deaths.
There of course were also no questions whatever about the decision of countries across the globe to bring back people from the then quarantined Wuhan.
Did they think they were not safe in Wuhan? Now that maybe this specific decision spread it to all and with speed, do they think those people are safe here or are they now going to take them back to Wuhan?
Atrocious. It is atrocious just how quickly everyone is willing to throw down the drain all hard won liberties and accountabilities in a mass panic that happens to shaft the young – anyone under 70 – and shaft them very badly while terrorizing everyone else – especially those over 70 – in a reversal of keep calm and carry on as authoritarianism keeps marching across the globe.
Enough with trust. We given that benefit, now we need you to earn the trust. Give reasons why it isn’t just the weather that affects this with such draconian measures potentially being useless in general as such measures so conveniently correspond with the weather.
Give proper reasons for conclusions that 1% would depart, and under perjury if there comes an enquiry give explanation for this stupendous 8 million figure, in addition to an enquiry to find whoever leaked it.
Explain why we should kill the young through these measures in favor of those whose time has come in any event.
Explain why our governments are allowing social media platforms to let bots run amok knowingly, or why it is not enacting accountability for truly fake news in the same style free speech is respected while enforcing defamation laws.
Also explain why you think the young wouldn’t be provoked so fully, and how you strike the balance between three months off life expectancy with depression for those in their prime.