By Tracy Johnstone.
Over the last few months, we have been bombarded with a constant flow of fearful information surrounding COVID-19. This information included reports that Australia could expect up to 150,000 deaths from Coronavirus, the USA up to 2.2 million deaths and the U.K. up to 500,000 deaths.
We have also been told that all non-essential activity must cease; so countless companies and businesses shut their doors, sporting activities stopped, and people have now become trapped in virtual prisons with-in their own homes.
When we do brave the outside world we are faced with signs and taped lines instructing us to adhere to social distancing rules, brightly lit billboards sending the firm reminder that non-essential travel is forbidden, and all the while the threat of massive fines or jail terms are etched burdensomely deep in the back of our minds.
Fear is rampant. Fear of catching the virus and fear of our governments “big stick”. But, how scared should we be, and what of?
If we can get a grip, and push all that fear aside, maybe we can look at this in a more enlightened and rational perspective.
INFORMATION VS REALITY
Just three weeks ago we were informed by news headlines that the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly predicted that Australia’s death rate would soar to between 50,000 – 150,000 deaths.
These figures were evaluated by calculating a 1 percent death rate per 5 million (minimum expected) infections. Apparently, a moderate scenario of 10 million infections (or 40 percent of the Australian population), would equate to 100,000 deaths, or worst case 15 million infections and 150,000 deaths .
Yet here we are mid to late-April, three weeks past the above forecast date, with a flattening of the “curve” and COVID-19 statistics at just 6,359 total cases and 61 dead (approx. 20% of cases can be attributed to cruise ships alone) .
This falls overwhelmingly short of even the most minimal prediction by our Chief Medical Officer of 5,000,000 cases and 50,000 dead.
Four days earlier we were also told that up to 20%, or 1.6 million of the NSW population, will be hit with the “first wave” of Coronavirus . Yet, five weeks later the entire world’s population has reached close to NSW’s prediction alone! Currently, 1.9 million have been infected worldwide, compared to NSW’s dire prediction of 1.6 million [Worldometer 13/4/20].
Surely, it’s fair to ask the question, how did one single state, in just one single country, have had a prediction that practically matches the entire worlds current cases one month later?
ICU BEDS TO RUN OUT BY APRIL 5
We were also besieged with forecasts of ICU hospital beds running out as 22,000 COVID-19 cases will exceed ICU capacity by 5th of April .
News reports told us that up to 80,000 people were likely to require intensive care simultaneously.
Instead, by mid-April we are seeing emergency departments eerily empty and over 100,000 medical staff stood down as Australian private and Catholic hospitals close . Hundreds of ICU beds remain empty and emergency departments have never been quieter .
Doctor Stephen Warrillow, Director of ICU in a ward Austin Hospital. Rows of empty beds set up for the expected increase in coronavirus patients.
SO, WE SIT AND WAIT….
These dire predictions have resulted in excessive fear of catching the virus and extreme preventative measures by way of mandatory quarantining, nationwide border closures, aged care lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, destruction of economies and mass business and sporting club closures.
At this point, you may be curious to know where these predictions originated and how our preventative measures were assessed.
IMPERIAL COLLEGE MODEL
The predicted Australian death rates, ominous ICU bed shortages and subsequent preventative measures were largely based upon the Imperial College model from the U.K. .
As it turns out, Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who was the lead author of this U.K. model (that Australia has mostly relied upon), had realised he’d disastrously skewed and massively over predicted death rates in the UK, originally estimated to be 500,000. This figure was later reduced to just 20,000 (more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case due to their old age and level of pre-existing ill health). That earlier flawed model is what Australia has used to make our own predictions and preventative decision-making strategies .
The reason for Ferguson’s miscalculation (which was formulated from data out of Italy and China), was due to the fact that many more people probably have, or have had coronavirus, which means the original results were off as transmissibility has increased and in turn implies it is far less dangerous.
Ferguson’s model, which has influenced Australia’s preventative measures, has been criticised by Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta. “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” Gupta said.
Professor Gupta’s own modelling study suggests that half of the people in the U.K. have already been infected, and that fewer than one in a thousand will even become sick enough to require hospitalisation. Also, Stanford biophysicist and Nobel laureate Michael Levitt said “The real situation is not nearly as terrible as they make it out to be” .
Right now, you may be wondering why then has Australia’s Lockdown Laws not been revised? If you are, then you’re not alone and this question remains to date unanswered.
STATUS OF COVID-19
**An important change in COVID-19’s “Infectious Status” should be noted.
As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) in the UK.
Based on early information, an interim recommendation was made to classify COVID-19 as a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID). However, as more has become known about COVID-19, especially with greater availability to laboratory testing, it has been determined that mortality rates are now considered LOW overall. Therefore, the British Government has lowered its estimate of severity of COVID-19, and it’s (HCID) status has been removed .
HOW DEADLY IS COVID-19
It truly is an impossible task at this present time to accurately assess the death toll from COVID-19 infections. The paramount reason for this is that the number of confirmed cases reported will represent only a small fraction of the true level of infections, and information on this is changing by the hour.
Understandably, deaths from the virus are recorded promptly, however the level of infection and rate of recovery is unknown.
When thinking about the U.K., on 17th March there was a confirmed case count of a little under 2,000. Yet, the Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK, Sir Patrick Vallance, estimated there were around 55,000 cases. Naturally the rate of death will be far greater when dividing by 2,000 rather than by the more realistic amount of 55,000.
If we look at the U.K., the revised average chance of dying from COVID-19 has dropped to an average of 0.5% – 1.0% .
Overall, COVID-19 does not appear as terrifyingly lethal as first reported.
Other major contributing factors include:
- the number of people in a society who are tested
- the age of the population
- reliability of the classification of case fatalities (CFR)
Numbers Tested – For example, when cases first appeared in Wuhan China, testing was available for only the sickest people and the overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was higher in the early stages (17.3% for cases with symptom onset from 1-10 January). As the virus spread the CFR varied by location (i.e. 5.8% in Wuhan vs. 0.7% in other areas in China) .
But, as testing numbers increased it became evident that the actual chance of dying from this novel coronavirus in China was just 1.4% .
Age of Population – It is also widely recognised that people who are elderly, especially over the age of 80, are most at risk. Italy has the second oldest population in the world and also appears to have close to the highest death rate.
Another factor contributing to the apparent high death rate in Italy is that the testing was “not representative of the entire infected population,” said Dr. Massimo Galli, head of the infectious disease unit at Sacco Hospital in Milan. Once again only the sickest people were tested. As a result, deaths rates appeared more inflated.
Classification of ‘Case Fatality Rates’ (CFR)
The media focus right now is on the USA, New York City primarily. The number of deaths coming out of the whole of the USA is excessive, but N.Y. City alone is extraordinarily high.
However, as it turns out the U.S. Federal Government is counting most all COVID-19 positive patients who die, regardless of their actual cause of death, as COVID-19 deaths, as stated by the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx .
For example, if a patient dies from cancer, a heart attack, or cerebral haemorrhage etc… as long as they test positive for Coronavirus (even if they are completely asymptomatic) that will be counted as a COVID-19 death.
More alarmingly, even patients who have NOT been confirmed as COVID-19 positive at all and are merely suspected of having the virus (due to symptoms or contact with other positive cases), are also being counted as COVID-19 positive deaths.
It has been reported by doctors in USA that hospital administrators have received a letter from the CDC to virtually “blur” International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Codes when classifying cause of deaths .
CASE FATALITY RATES (CFR) OF COVID-19 DEATHS
The ability to determine the rate of death or CFR of COVID-19, relies upon calculating the numerator (number of deaths) divided by the denominator (number of infections).
However, the number of actual deaths caused by COVID-19 are being largely and unethically overstated, while the number of infections is essentially unknown and therefore underrepresented.
If you’re wondering how this obvious overstatement of deaths is able to occur, you need look no further than the World Health Organisation.
UNETHICAL INFLATION OF COVID-19 RATES OF DEATH AND THE W.H.O.
Basically, the W.H.O. has assigned two ‘codes’ to COVID-19.
Two codes have been assigned to the disease diagnosis of COVID-19.
- An emergency ICD-10 code U07.1 COVID-19, which is the disease diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing
- An emergency ICD-10 code U07.2 COVID-19, when the disease diagnosis of COVID-19 is not identified, and laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available
** BOTH CODES U07.1 AND U07.2 MAY BE USED FOR MORTALITY CODING AS CAUSE OF DEATH
Source: World Health Organisation “Emergency use ICD codes for COVID-19 disease outbreak” .
MEDIA DISINFORMATION AND PROMOTION OF FEAR
We want to feel confident in the knowledge that the media will report honestly and factually. However, there have been a number of recent articles that have been misleading, to say the least.
For instance, on the 1st April 2020 it is reported that a 13-year-old boy was the youngest to die from COVID-19 in the U.K.
The only problem with this is, this same boy died three years earlier on the 16th May 2017 in Ireland, then again on the 13th July 2017 as reported in the Czech Republic. Each time this boy had apparently died, he also had a different name .
The tell-tail acknowledgement of this inconsistency having been exposed was seen when one particular article quickly removed the photo of the boy, replacing it with a non-identifying picture of a test kit.
Another piece of dishonest news came from CBS around two weeks ago when they aired footage of what they described was overflowing ER’s and hospitals in New York City, when in fact they showed footage from a packed Italian hospital that aired on Sky News one week earlier .
There have also been other scenes of busy hospital wards that were apparently struggling to cope, however instead of real patient’s, mannequins were used instead . Original Channel 4 News footage is still available to view (appears at 2.45) .
Many people have taken to the streets to video firsthand the apparent overflowing “war zones” that have been described and filmed by the media at numerous U.S. hospitals. But when visited by average citizens the very next day the hospitals were instead empty and like ghost towns  .
Disturbingly, there are countless videos like these being uploaded by people who are fast becoming known as “citizen reporters”. These are average people wanting to corroborate the news and information they receive from television reports and newspapers, and are instead finding the opposite.
Other examples of media disinformation include the posting of a fake “crying ICU nurse video” by CBS News. This portrayed a distressed nurse who was forced to decide whether to save lives or risk infection of herself and her family due to PPE shortages, when in fact this person had not worked in a hospital for over a year and is an Instagram Model who had also uploaded a film of herself disgustingly mocking the Coronavirus .
Also captured is a video of a reporter dressed in a full protective bio-suit, while his cameraman is wearing ordinary street clothes and not even a facemask or gloves .
INITIAL FIGURES, WORLD SHUT DOWN AND SWEDEN
Naturally when the early figures began to appear and the world closed down county by country, most everyone was sent into a state of extreme fear. The people of the world were witnessing something they’d never seen before and mandatory confinement caused the meltdown of insurmountable lives. All the while the controlled media promoted images of chaos and death.
The social, economic and public health consequences of these ultra-extreme government responses will no doubt have consequences that will be long-lasting and possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself.
These measures have been described by Microbiologist Dr Sucharit Bhakdi as “grotesque, absurd and very dangerous”. He goes on to say “The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on the world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound. Already services to patients in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling. All this will impact profoundly on our whole society” .
Every year the people of the world face new pandemics, and the most common one is Influenza. Each year this claims the lives of up to 650,000 worldwide, and although many say COVID-19 is “different” to the Flu, the fact remains that in every country, more people die from regular Flu compared with those who die from the Coronavirus, and we don’t shut down the world for that.
For the first time in history world governments have quarantined healthy people, rather than the sick and vulnerable.
The truth is, no one gets into trouble for taking too severe of a reaction, only for not reacting enough… and that brings us to Sweden!
Sweden has taken a very courageous stance by not forcing its residents into lockdown or imposing harsh quarantine restrictions on them. It certainly appears Sweden has taken a more logical approach as they have considered the lack of evidence to support such extreme and never before used measures.
The truth is no one knows if social-isolation controls for COVID-19 actually work, and Johan Giesecke, Sweden’s adviser to the Swedish Health Agency says that other nations “have taken political, unconsidered actions” that are not justified by the facts.
But social-isolation advocates are hostile towards Sweden’s approach, most likely because when this Coronavirus epidemic is over they’d like to conclude that their shut down measures had worked. Of course, if Sweden’s approach of allowing healthy young individuals to be exposed to the virus works, and a healthy natural herd immunity proves successful, there will surely be a lot of angry people demanding answers!
It has been said that It’s not Sweden that’s conducting a mass experiment, it’s the rest of the world.
WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE AUSTRALIA AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
If we remain in the vein of a more calm and enlightened perspective, we might consider the real, albeit not so nice fact each year approximately 438 Australians die each day. So far this year around 47,000 Australian’s have died, only 63 of which were due to COVID-19 .
As reasonable adults I think it’s fair to consider, has it really been worth shutting down our country for that?
As of now there is no foreseeable end to our lock-down measures, and we are continually hearing that normal life can only return once a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available. Of course, this is the advice from the W.H.O. being passed on to us via our PM and other leading politicians.
Somethings to keep in mind regarding this new Coronavirus vaccine is that it’s been extremely problematic to develop, most all live animal trials have resulted in the death of those lab animals, it is being rushed through, but most worrying is that it will be different from any other vaccine created. Different from any other vaccine ever used on humans.
This vaccine will be the first of its kind to use an alternate approach whereby this mRNA vaccine will carry instructions to your own DNA to in turn create specific proteins that are essentially supposed to combat COVID-19.
Yes, your DNA will be altered.
By all means keep an eye on media reports, just keep an open mind and don’t be too quick to believe everything that is reported. Take the time to investigate further, trust your instincts and be kind and open to one another. We are all biological organisms and nature ultimately has the last and final say.