They Call It Madness
February 2, 2021.
Captain Sir Tom Moore, a man who served his country in more ways than one, passed away today. Naturally there was a spate of posts on Twitter (including one from me) and elsewhere with most expressing understandably appropriate thoughts. There were also however, some less so. It is an inevitable consequence of anonymous user names – people can hide their true identities and write any number of unpleasant things. It is one of the darker aspects to freedom and one that, however we may wish not to, run the risk of encountering in a free society. Twitter has become well-known for the savagery of some of its users but unless we are to remove both it and social media entirely, it isn’t going to end anytime soon.
Neither is what has become to scourge of modern-day life, that of Covid-19 (or C19 for brevity). It is not a nice thing to have but the effects are, for most people, similar to those of a cold or of flu and most people are not going to die if they get it. As I have consistently written before, many times now, the common cold can also be the result of a coronavirus, as it can from a rhinovirus (confusing isn’t it). Flu and again as I have written previously, is not the result of a coronavirus but can be the result of a family of viruses known as Orthomyxoviridae. Yet again as I have said before, the symptoms of colds, flu and of Covid-19 are very similar. But how do we, as ordinary people, tell the difference? And how fatal are they?
Captain Moore had pneumonia; it’s why he was in hospital. The condition is a known killer and the British Lung Foundation says:
'Pneumonia is an inflammation of one or both lungs, usually caused by an infection. It causes the alveoli (air sacs) inside the lungs to fill with fluid, making it harder for them to work properly. The body sends white blood cells to fight the infection, and while this helps kill the germs it can also make it harder for the lungs to pass oxygen into the bloodstream. Some people with mild pneumonia can manage the condition at home. People who have been admitted to hospital with other medical problems and then develop pneumonia have a high risk of becoming very ill.'
Statistics available elsewhere point out that the age groups most at risk from pneumonia is the older age groups. In 2019 in England and Wales, pneumonia was the cause of death for approximately 9.3 thousand over 90 year olds, of which 5.8 thousand were women. Furthermore, around 9.5 thousand individuals aged between 80 and 89 years lost their lives due to pneumonia in 2019.
Captain Moore was 100 years old, so as sad as it is, his death was not really difficult to predict. What was also predictable is that, according to news reports, he contracted Covid-19 whilst in hospital (my italics). Or as some subsequently put it, he died of ‘The Coronavirus!’
No he did not. He died from pneumonia. But if he did catch Covid-19, why did he get it in a hospital? It is this question and in a much wider context, that should tax the mind. What is also a question is why, since March last year – 11 months – the NHS has been all but closed to anybody suffering from anything except Covid-19.
The signs are still up outside many GP practices and, significantly, outside some hospitals. All carry the same, stark message: ‘if you have any symptoms of coronavirus, do not enter this building!’ And for the past eleven months, we have been exhorted to ‘protect the NHS!’ But it is surely the job of the NHS to protect us, the ordinary citizen. When we have anything that ails us, be it physical or mental, it is to the NHS that we are supposed to turn. But for some years now, the organisation has not helped anybody with a runny nose, or a sore throat and a cough.
“We don’t prescribe medication for a cold” we are informed. “Just go home, wrap up warmly, take a paracetamol and stay at home for a few days”, is the message. Does this, I am bound to ask, have the ring of familiarity to it, when placed alongside the message over C19?
Some throw off a cold in those few days, some struggle for several weeks (long Covid? Just a thought…). Everybody is different but we all survive a cold. Or do we?
The NHS website carries this information:
'Cold symptoms come on gradually and can include:
· a blocked or runny nose
· a sore throat
· muscle aches
· a raised temperature
· pressure in your ears and face
· loss of taste and smell
The symptoms are the same in adults and children. Sometimes symptoms last longer in children.'
These are also the same symptoms listed on those signs demanding that we do not enter hospitals and GP practices.
The NHS goes on to say:
'Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe. The differences between cold and flu -
Affects more than just your nose and throat
Makes you feel unwell, but you're OK to carry on as normal (for example, go to work)
Appears quickly within a few hours
Affects mainly your nose and throat
Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal'
The NHS also says:
'How to avoid spreading a cold
Colds are caused by viruses and easily spread to other people. You're infectious until all your symptoms have gone. This usually takes a week or 2.
Colds are spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
To reduce the risk of spreading a cold:
· wash your hands often with warm water and soap
· use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
· bin used tissues as quickly as possible
How to prevent catching a cold
A person with a cold can start spreading it from a few days before their symptoms begin until the symptoms have finished.
The best ways to avoid catching a cold are:
· washing your hands with warm water and soap
· not sharing towels or household items (like cups) with someone who has a cold
· not touching your eyes or nose in case you have come into contact with the virus – it can infect the body this way
· staying fit and healthy
The flu vaccine helps prevent flu but not colds.'
Again I have to ask – does any of this sound familiar when put alongside the advice over Covid-19? One would suggest it does. What we can reasonably deduce however, is that the NHS isn’t interested in helping anybody with a cold and its advice is:
'How you can treat a cold yourself
To help you get better more quickly:
· rest and sleep
· keep warm
· drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is OK) to avoid dehydration
· gargle salt water to soothe a sore throat
A pharmacist can help with cold medicines
You can buy cough and cold medicines from pharmacies or supermarkets. A pharmacist can advise you on the best medicine.
· relieve a blocked nose with decongestant sprays or tablets
Be careful not to use cough and cold medicines if you're taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets, as it's easy to take more than the recommended dose.
Some are not suitable for children, babies and pregnant women.
There's little evidence that supplements (such as vitamin C, Echinacea or garlic) prevent colds or speed up recovery.'
The NHS concludes its advice by saying:
GPs do not recommend antibiotics for colds because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, and colds are caused by viruses.'
And since we are all instructed to stay away from hospitals and GP practices, we can conclude that the NHS is not really very interested in helping us with Covid-19 either. Which is something of an indictment against it, and those who run it. But again we have questions: if one can do nothing about a common cold except stay at home and leave it untreated, is there not some risk of it becoming something else, something more serious?
The USA’s Mayo Clinic says;
‘In adults or children, a common cold that doesn't resolve can lead to inflammation and infection of the sinuses (sinusitis). Other secondary infections: These include strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis), pneumonia, and croup or bronchiolitis in children. These infections need to be treated by a doctor.’
The most significant of these is pneumonia – which can kill. And it does, every year. So when anybody has some or even all of the symptoms mentioned, they duly follow UK advice and self-isolate – and could die. They could die because they are not being examined properly by a doctor and whatever it is that ails them is not being treated. And once dead, all deaths currently are put down to Covid-19 - whether it was or not.
This is why recorded deaths from pneumonia, flu and a number of other illnesses that ‘overwhelm’ the NHS every winter without fail, have dropped to almost none this time around. Nobody is, officially at least, suffering from anything other than C19. Nobody is dying from cancer either. With no fatalities this year - 2020-2021 - from any of these conditions except Covid-19, it really should be obvious to anybody who gives this some thought that something doesn’t add up.
However - nobody is dying from Covid-19 or from any other coronavirus. By itself, and of itself, Covid-19 is not fatal. What it can do is trigger or exacerbate something else; it can lead to something else, including a potentially fatal condition that you may not know you have. And it is these that will kill you. Not C19.
There are some saying that if you have lived with a condition (even an unknown one) but don’t die until C19 comes along, then C19 is the cause of death – without it, your condition hasn’t killed you. Thus, C19 is the cause of you dying. No it isn’t. This is a one-dimensional view that conveniently ignores the potential of your condition to be fatal. Your death could come at any time and without C19.
However we look at all this, two things are abundantly clear; there is a huge amount of confusion over coronaviruses generally and Covid-19 in particular. Secondly, although C19 is very contagious and spreads quickly (like all viruses can and like all viruses and diseases, can evolve into different strains - they always have, always will), governments worldwide have panicked over it and indulged themselves at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.
It is the politics of the madhouse, a looking-glass world in which the plot has not just been lost but tossed into a pit of doom and a crisis made out of a drama. And while the current UK government must take its share of the blame, opposition parties and devolved governments in Britain are just as guilty. Cities, towns and communities everywhere are dying in greater numbers than people are from Covid-19.
When I wrote my book Comments of a Common Man in 2017 (republished in 2018 and 2019), I predicted the possibility of a dystopian future society in which freedom had been removed – yet some described the prospect as madness. It truly is madness however, that sick people should be removed from any avenue of help, isolated and left to die on their own.
Was I right to predict what we now have? If I was and currently I seem to have been proved so, I would certainly call it madness.
© Kevan James 2021
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