Passing Observations 23
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA
1. Just 51% of Americans now say that they would have a covid-19 vaccination.
2. In the UK, flu and pneumonia have caused more deaths than covid-19 since mid-June. Only 1% of death certificates in the UK now mention covid-19 compared to 13% mentioning flu and pneumonia.
3. Also in the UK, just one member of the leadership of the NHS’s test and trace system is a public health expert. The rest include assorted civil servants and business folk. The test and trace system has a £10 billion budget.
4. The police are now using robots. But will they be able to climb stairs? Or will they, like the Daleks, be stymied by a few steps?
5. Medicine should be all about balancing the risk and the benefit of a particular treatment. But doctors often forget this – and they always forget it when talking about vaccines.
6. I discovered today that in 1997, Chancellor Kohl told Germans that adopting the euro was the price Germany had to pay for dominating the continent of Europe. In my book entitled, The Shocking History of the EU I explained just how and why surviving Nazis had planned to take over Europe at the end of World War II by creating the European Union.
7. Predictive programming is a technique whereby TV films and movies are made in which viewers are introduced to new concepts. So, for example, the TV programme `Pandemic’, which was made in 2007, was about a virus which necessitated social distancing and the wearing of masks. The phrase `we’re all in this together’ was used.
8. Most of the revolutions in the world (e.g. the French Revolution) began in cafes. None of them, as far as I know, was started by people sitting at home with no more than five relatives.
9. The Human Rights Act defends our freedom of speech. Article 10 guarantees freedom of expression and protects our right to hold our own opinion in articles, books or leaflets, through broadcasting or in public protests and demonstrations. And Article 10 also covers the internet and social media. There are, of course, the obvious restrictions – about criminal activity and security breaches. But it appears to me that the Human Rights Act has now been abandoned.
10. In the UK the Stroke Association has reported that 30% of stroke victims delayed seeking medical treatment due to covid-19. Admissions to hospital fell by 19% during April. Stroke deaths in private homes were 52% higher than usual. The ramifications of this fake pandemic will be apparent for years, probably decades.
11. Tony Blair says it is common sense to move towards digital IDs. So know we know it’s a really bad idea.
12. Dr Anthony Fauci, an American covid-19 supremo, has warned against rushing out a vaccine before it has been proved safe and effective. Maybe there won’t be a vaccine until 2030 – if then.
13. I was told by senior staff at one video platform that several people (including, allegedly, a BBC reporter) had pretended to be me in order to access my account. We had to introduce special security measures.
14. I long ago reached the age when I decided not to do things I don’t like to do. My only real driving force is loyalty to my family – my wife. I have, however, always also regarded my readers as an extension of my family and I have harboured a real sense of responsibility to them. When I was a GP I always tried to do for my patients what I hoped other doctors would do for me and my loved ones. Today, I still hold that philosophy. I always do my best to provide honest, accurate, information and advice. And I do get rather upset by people who respond to that trust with unfounded criticism and abuse. Trolling and abuse simply makes me more determined to defeat the liars and the cheats.
15. Too many students are doing university courses which offer no value for money. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has published research showing that students graduating from many universities earn less after ten years than the average non graduate. A third of British graduates are in jobs which do not require a university degree. As a result, only 17% of students will pay back their student loans in front. The idea of sending so many students to university (to study useless subjects) was designed to keep unemployment figures low. It has been a disastrous policy. And now that students must pay huge fees for on-line courses (thereby missing out on the social side of university life) a university degree is, for many, an even more worthless option.
16. The testing programme for covid-19 is useless. But it is not unique. Many tests are similarly unreliable. If a doctor plans to do tests it is always wise to ask how the result of the tests will affect your treatment. Too often, tests are done because they can be done rather than because they need to be done.
17. Dr Priyamvada Gopal, a staff member of Churchill College at Cambridge University tweeted `White Lives Don’t Matter. She was promptly promoted to a professorship. I can’t help wondering what would have happened to an academic who had tweeted `Black Lives Don’t Matter’. A promotion? Seems unlikely.
18. Spanish flu, a century ago, was successfully treated in outdoor hospitals. Old-fashioned hospitals (now regarded as quite out of date) used to have high ceilings and large opening windows. The advantage for patients was clear. Modern hospitals have low ceilings and windows which do not open.
19. At the end of World War II, when General MacArthur arrived in Japan, he decided not to prosecute Dr Shiro Ishii (who was Japan’s equivalent of Josef Mengele). Instead, Ishii was spared in return for handing the Americans the data accumulated from live vivisection and other medical experiments on prisoners in a concentration camp in Manchuria. I just thought you should know.
20. On 15th September, Bill Gates told the world that the number of covid-19 deaths could soar without firm action being taken. He was optimistic that a vaccine would help and that `this thing’ would be over by sometime in 2022. The day after this the World Health Organisation was reported to have said much the same thing. Since Gates is the WHO’s largest contributor this was not particularly surprising.
Copyright Vernon Coleman September 27th 2020
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