Health

The Strange Case Of The Disappearance Of ‘Flu

Apparently, according to WHO figures, influenza cases from Week 15 (April) of 2020 have declined by 98% compared to 2019, whilst Covid-19 cases have correspondingly soared. This is very strange, you have to admit. Here are the figures:

So what on earth is going on? Is it a conspiracy? Have health departments all across the world been wrongly assigning ‘flu cases as Covid-19 cases, in effect faking the entire Covid-19 pandemic? Has the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 somehow ‘driven out’ ‘flu since April, preventing people from being infected with the ‘flu virus if they are already infected with SARS-CoV-2? Has mass mask wearing and social distancing prevented the spread of the ‘flu but not, bizarrely, the spread of SARS-CoV-2? All these explanations seem a little far fetched.

But we need an explanation. The transition from ‘flu to Covid is stark indeed. Here are the case statistics for North America and Northern Europe:

It’s ridiculous isn’t it. How can ‘flu just suddenly disappear? My guess is it did not. Flu and pneumonia are still mentioned on plenty of death certificates. My guess is that the focus on testing for Covid-19 has meant that ‘flu cases are being sidelined, but that moreover, people presenting with severe respiratory disease and dying from severe respiratory disease are those same people who, in a normal year would have presented with the ‘flu and died from it. SARS-CoV-2 appears to have usurped the role of ‘flu in the vulnerable population this year and carried off the susceptible. Not only that, it did so in many countries in a much shorter period, around March and April. It also carried off those who would have died naturally from other diseases too, like cancer, heart disease, stroke etc.

In this respect, Covid-19 is not a pandemic, but a syndemic. It has killed people all over the world by acting in synchrony with – and in some cases by displacing, as with ‘flu – other known morbidities. Very few healthy people under 60 have died directly from Covid-19. Here is what Richard Horton in the Lancet has to say and I believe it is very significant:

As the world approaches 1 million deaths from COVID-19, we must confront the fact that we are taking a far too narrow approach to managing this outbreak of a new coronavirus. We have viewed the cause of this crisis as an infectious disease. All of our interventions have focused on cutting lines of viral transmission, thereby controlling the spread of the pathogen. The “science” that has guided governments has been driven mostly by epidemic modellers and infectious disease specialists, who understandably frame the present health emergency in centuries-old terms of plague. But what we have learned so far tells us that the story of COVID-19 is not so simple. Two categories of disease are interacting within specific populations—infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and an array of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These conditions are clustering within social groups according to patterns of inequality deeply embedded in our societies. The aggregation of these diseases on a background of social and economic disparity exacerbates the adverse effects of each separate disease. COVID-19 is not a pandemic. It is a syndemic. The syndemic nature of the threat we face means that a more nuanced approach is needed if we are to protect the health of our communities.

‘Our NHS’ Commits To Net Zero Carbon: Everybody Clap

NHS becomes the world’s first national health system to commit to become ‘carbon net zero’, backed by clear deliverables and milestones

You would think at a time of national crisis, with hospitals expecting to be overflowing with Covid-19 patients any time soon, following Bill and Ben, the Pol Pot Men’s (not) predicted ‘exponential’ rise in cases to 50k a day by mid October, the NHS would have other things on its mind at the moment – like the health of the nation for instance. But it seems they have ample time to pontificate about going green.

The NHS has today adopted a multiyear plan to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system.

The commitment comes amid growing evidence of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and aims to save thousands of lives and hospitalisations across the country.

It’s the twin carbon evils of air pollution and climate change, conveniently lumped together for maximum effect. Ban cars, ban nasty wood burning stoves, ban nasty, smelly fossil fuel power stations, in order to make the weather better and to reduce particulate emissions, thereby making us all much healthier (and poorer, less mobile, a lot more miserable, and colder in winter). You know it makes sense – just like ‘protecting the NHS to save lives’ makes sense by kicking old people out of hospital into care homes and creating a backlog of 15 million non-Covid patients waiting for urgent treatment.

The changing climate is leading to more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events such as flooding, including the potential spread of infectious diseases to the UK. Almost 900 people were killed by last summer’s heatwaves while nearly 18 million patients go to a GP practice in an area that exceeds the World Health Organisation’s air pollution limit.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “2020 has been dominated by Covid-19 and is the most pressing health emergency facing us. But undoubtedly climate change poses the most profound long-term threat to the health of the nation.

“It is not enough for the NHS to treat the problems caused by air pollution and climate change – from asthma to heart attacks and strokes – we need to play our part in tackling them at source.”

It’s not enough for us to try to treat the problems caused by NHS mismanagement – we need to tackle them at source, by sacking the NHS chief executive for a start, and sacking the army of mid-level NHS managers who it seems have conspired with the government to cover up the gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis and have (and still are) endangering the lives of many patients by keeping many hospitals half empty and not fully functioning.

Of course, the Marxist at the WHO welcomes the news:

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said: “Cutting carbon emissions is essential to protect health, everywhere in the world. I welcome the leadership of the largest single health system in the world, the National Health Service in England, in committing to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2040, and to drive emissions reductions in its suppliers and partners. Health is leading the way to a greener, safer planet.”

Dr Watts (I presume) is the big cheese responsible for this net zero 2040 target:

NHS England convened the NHS Net Zero Expert Panel in January following the launch of the Climate Assembly UK, to take and analyse evidence on how the health service can contribute to nationwide carbon reduction efforts.

Led by Dr Nick Watts, Executive Director of The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, the Panel comprised public health and climate experts as well as patient and staff representatives.

Dr Watts and his team will engage widely to support delivery, with interventions including:

new ways of delivering care at or closer to home, meaning fewer patient journeys to hospitals;

greening the NHS fleet, including working towards road-testing a zero-emissions emergency ambulance by 2022;

reducing waste of consumable products and switching to low-carbon alternatives where possible;

making sure new hospitals and buildings are built to be net-zero emissions, and;

building energy conservation into staff training and education programmes.

Ah, there you have it, you see. Dr Watts’s cunning plan to get to net zero carbon involves getting to net zero patients, by treating most ‘at home’ presumably via video link! It’s already happening, in terms of the ‘new normal’ being ushered in by Covid lockdown hysteria. Millions of patients are being denied face to face consultations and are being telephoned at home or offered consultations via zoom. A million women who would have otherwise been scanned for breast cancer have not, either because they have been scared to seek hospital treatment for fear of catching The Covid Plague or because their routine scans have been cancelled. Just think of all the emissions saved by those women not attending hospital.

Watts again:

“The NHS’s ambition is world-leading, and the first national commitment to deliver a net zero health service. It comes at a time when the UK is preparing to host the UN climate change summit next year, and demonstrates that every part of our societies need to play their part in reducing pollution and responding to climate change.”

There is a fanatical ambition in this country it seems, prevalent in our leaders, that the UK must lead the world into the immiseration of its populace by unilaterally adopting net zero carbon targets. I wonder why that is?

Is it because we are uniquely stupid? It might seem so. I leave you with this net zero grey matter comment from Kay Boycott, CEO of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation:

Climate change poses a huge threat to lung health; with dangerous levels of pollution and extremes in hot and cold weather which can be deadly for people with lung conditions causing symptoms to flare up and putting lives at risk.