please empty your brain below

The waiting room in my doctor's surgery still has signs (and a few slides on the digital displays) warning of what you should do if you've recently returned from Wuhan and are feeling a bit peaky. I expect they'll take them down by the time of the next pandemic.
I strongly dislike that these remaining covid signs have not been taken down. Full of rules that everyone is ignoring (except for a tiny minority who still believe the rules are necessary and are growing increasingly furious with the world for ignoring them). It feels like we are just training the population to ignore public health messages.
I now know masks are ineffective or harmful, lockdowns ineffective and harmful and the "safe and effective" claim for the vaccines unfounded.
So what was it all about?
Check out Laura Dodsworth's book "A State of Fear" for a detailed account of how psychological operations were mobilised during this pandemic.
I looked back in my diary to see what I was up to a year ago, and I note it was my first day back at work after seven days isolating at home after a positive Covid test. I had picked it up on a ski trip to France the week before. Hard to believe that at a time when I could travel to France to ski that there were still any restrictions in place, I definitely would have guessed it was earlier that all restrictions were dropped.

That was the first time I got Covid - back in March 2022. I got it again in July 2022. Never had it before, nor, I think, since, but not sure the LFT tests are 100% accurate, so my recent cold may have been more than just the sniffles and cough.
I don't know what blossom trees they planted, but there are autumn-flowering cherries which keep going through winter - there are two in our street. And the cherry plums and purple-leaved plums are flowering now. Blackthorn (which produces sloes, for gin) is next.
Maybe the restrictions did work. The first and so far only time I have had Covid was last July, more than four months after the restrictions were lifted.
For anniversary reasons, all the trees in the Blossom Garden are spring-flowering.
There still is and probably never will be a full return to the office, the three day commuter week is now a thing - a trend that started before C-19, but got accelerated.

If C-19 had happened in 2010 or 2000 then there would have been a reversion to normal because widespread broadband wasn't a thing.

Ironically it was C-19 that broke my link to the BBC and msm, as a result of moving over to independent media my view of the Ukraine conflict no longer meshes with the population in general.

dg writes: You have spouted a lot of dubious bolx ever since.

This also means that I'm not surprised that Russia never runs out of weapons in spite of being told otherwise, the Ruble was never turned into ruble, and the sanctions packages only succeed in harming European industries - but the IMF are predicting growth in Russia.

We still have excess deaths by the way, but its OK because msm don't mention it, I thought that high heating bills and cold weather might account for the January figures in the UK, except that Australia and New Zealand where its summer are also reporting excess deaths.
Was this post deliberate clickbait to bring out the loonies? Seems to be working ...
Hopefully these comments don’t just fill up with the masks don’t work conspiracy nuts.
There are plenty of people for whom the pandemic is definitely not over — those with serious illnesses of all kinds, compromised immunity or who are for various reasons unable to be vaccinated. Their lives haven’t returned to anything like normal and are still constrained and limited, because the risks of potentially fatal infection are still extremely high. Just because the government dismisses Covid (a bit like “getting Brexit done”), fails to enforce basic public health measures and no longer publishes any statistics doesn’t mean it’s gone away for good.
Thanks for the mention of those still affected. I am isolating right now for one of those reasons.
It's going to be close run, but Partygate might just manage to tip the UK into a brighter period. I hope i will be around to see it.
There is at least one train in the c2c fleet which still broadcasts the message “You must wear a face covering at all times when travelling on this train.”
The jobsworths at Stratford station have finally re-recorded their face coverings message so it no longer mentions keeping your distance.
Just spent a week in NHS hospital where there was no mention of covid, no notices, no obvious distancing, and no face coverings.
Catnip for the "we know better than science" mugs. Don't they just love the opportunity to spout their contrary views. Best left only reading stuff that reinforces their odd self-beliefs, and muttering to one another in dark corners of the internet.
Covid control measures are still very much a thing at the nursing home that my mother moved to 4 months ago. Health questionaire screening, mask wearing, hand sanitisation, visitor number management and sometimes testing are used to help protect vulnerable residents.
Didn't know about the Blossom Garden - thank you. I did know about the memorial wall on the south bank of the Thames which more people seem to be aware of despite being as far as I know entirely unofficial. It is of course in a much more prominent location near Parliament
What Labourer said. Some of us have to be very careful indeed, but never mind, we don't count.
We are still taking rapid flow tests once a week because a member of the household is immuno-compromised: and the fact the vaccines are less effective on such people is amply illustrated by the fact that only that person caught it at Christmas.
After the governmental "all clear" last year was precisely when my family caught covid!
Hard to think it was only a year ago, when so much has hit the fan since.
The end of Covid was politically motivated. The only reason all Covid measures was lifted was so that people could forget about Partygate
The end of restrictions for the population in general was because with the mass vaccination programme AND Omicron being a less serious variant, there was no justification for it.

After all we've never had it for flu, despite flu being a major killer of the elderly and vulnerable.
I'll never understand how the conservatives or Boris or the government or whoever you want to blame not only failed to harness that incredible community spirit but actively took a huge dump all over it.

Not even a week of bank holidays in the summer following restrictions lifting. No reward. No sense of reward. No sense of closure. Nothing. Just a shift into trying to shame or force people back into their offices, back to normal, back on your heads, lads.
It doesn't help the discussion to use expressions such as "dubious bolx", "bring out the loonies", "the masks don’t work conspiracy nuts".

Have a read of this recent meta study into the effectiveness of masks.
Cochrane review: "Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses"

dg writes: First line of conclusion: "The high risk of bias in the trials, variation in outcome measurement, and relatively low adherence with the interventions during the studies hampers drawing firm conclusions."
So there was and still is insufficient evidence to warrant mandating of mask wearing. Given that masking will harm some people, my conclusion then and now is that this should never have been adopted as mandatory and that we should have been advised to make our own choice based on our own health status and assessment of the risks and benefits.

The study ends with "In summary, more high‐quality RCTs are needed to evaluate the most effective strategies to implement successful physical interventions in practice, both on a small scale and at a population level. It is very unfortunate that more rigorous planning, effort and funding was not provided during the current COVID‐19 pandemic towards high‐quality RCTs of the basic public health measures. Finally, we emphasise that more attention should be paid to describing and quantifying the harms of the interventions assessed in this review, and their relationship with adherence"

This is saying that we still don't understand the extent of harms caused by masking and other interventions.
Frankly, I'd be up for a 3 month lockdown every year. I rather enjoyed myself, though I completely understand that it was untenable for a lot of other people. I'm also one of those people who isn't bothered in the slightest by masks, so why the heck not wear them? I still do when visiting the GP or a health centre.
Andy R: masking harms people. What utter utter bolx.

TridentScan | Privacy Policy