Kevin Smith & Lesley Buckley
To those paying attention, the evidence about Covid-19 and the lockdown response is clear. We’ve been sold a pup.
The UK Government itself has confirmed several times that the virus is not serious to the majority of people who catch it. The lockdown was a panic-driven overreaction.
The facts and figures of what is known about Covid-19 are not really much disputed. More, it’s a question of how those facts translate into ways to deal with the threat. My contention is that anyone looking at the facts, figures, and basic science cannot possibly agree that the response to the crisis is appropriate to the risk and proportionate in terms of wider implications.
For example, in the UK the infection rate has receded, there’s been no evidence of a link between infection rates and social distancing, lockdown, and the wearing of masks It’s all been guesswork.
Yet the UK government has just declared it mandatory for the public to wear masks on public transport from 15 June 2020. That makes no sense whatsoever. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO), from which the government cherry-pick their guidance to reinforce ‘trust the experts’ narratives, for months advised that it was not necessary to wear masks. The WHO curiously U-turned on this in recent days.
So far, most of the public aren’t picking up on these anomalies, or at least when they do, it doesn’t particularly register with them, perhaps because of the continued media avalanche of misinformation, distraction, and scaremongering.
If people are told by the media that social distancing works, they seem to accept it, even if a brief reflection would make them realise there’s no evidence that lockdown translates into lower infection rates, particularly when there are so many other factors and unknowns in play.
So, it’s not really about going over the facts and figures or science anymore. It’s about merely getting the obvious conclusions, so far largely kept from the public, out there.
Therefore, how do we achieve this and get out of this lockdown mess to begin repairing the terrible damage caused to date?
Just the other day, Professor Ferguson, whose forecasts were central to the lockdown decision, basically admitted that lockdown made no difference when it came to containing Covid-19.
Great, so we can go back to normal?
Unfortunately, this huge admission only made it to the middle pages of a few newspaper publications. The rest of the media missed the story and continued with their usual brain-dead output.
But, perhaps we can get the government to admit they acted upon wrong advice and the lockdown was a mistake?
Well, hold on there. No one likes to admit they’re wrong, particularly when the errors are huge and so stupid beyond belief. That’s never going to happen voluntarily, at least without some encouragement or a sweetener.
Perhaps, however, there’s a chance. The proposal below is simple and quick. It gets us out of lockdown without too much recrimination. And the idea may have further appeal to the government because it will give them a sense of ultimate power (we know they love that). Hopefully it will mean that we can all move forward – back to the old normal.
SYNN (Say Yes, Not No)
First, for background, I used to work for a company which was customer-facing and focused on customer service with a unique passion and pragmatism. The motto was something like “the customer is right, even when they are wrong”. As a complaints manager, there were sometimes difficult cases to resolve.
The company, however, began a new initiative. It was called SYNN (Say Yes, Not No), where we were encouraged to be even more flexible to resolve difficulties and complaints.
The complaint managers were issued with SYNN cards to carry around to remind them. These cards gave us the authority and final say to resolve any difficulty or complaint in the way that we decided. Not even the managing director could overrule us (unless we were offering his chauffeur-driven car as compensation to a customer).
Before this initiative, I felt we were generally good at resolving complaints, but these cards were great because there often was an issue that we knew would take time to resolve. So, if we couldn’t initially resolve the matter, we could say, what the hell, and give the customer what they wanted.
I thought this was a great initiative even if it meant in some cases that we were encouraging the wrong behaviour or sometimes went against a principle.
SYNN was our licence to be powerful and pragmatic, and it was great for avoiding drawn-out confrontations and moving on quickly.
The idea is to arrange for members of the UK government to be issued smart-looking SYNN cards.
Then Boris Johnson and government ministers armed with these cards should do a live TV press conference where the following questions would be put to them:
- Were the initial projections of infection and mortality for Covid-19 hopelessly wrong?
- Therefore, was the blanket lockdown unnecessary given any limited adverse impact the virus would have had without it?
- Do you agree that the policy of moving the sick, elderly, and vulnerable to care homes, while locking up low risk groups and the healthy, was wrong?
- Is it true that the “trust the science” narrative throughout was not based on science but on faulty models and guesswork?
- Do you agree that rather than act on fear and panic, it would have been wise to implement specific but limited measures, based broadly on the Sweden model?
- Do you agree, as some scientists have said (and quite frankly is common sense), that any such measures should have been directed towards “close and prolonged contact” and “at risk groups” rather than for shoppers, walking in parks, and blanket social distancing — and this was an assessment which should have been carried out at the outset?
- Do you agree that the whole thing has been a complete fiasco from start to finish and you and the media have instilled unnecessary fear and panic to the public and utterly dumbed down any sensible discussion — and have not focused on the real question – i.e is lockdown necessary and proportionate?
- Finally, can we now lift lockdown, as well as apply and keep under review some limited and targeted precautions (vulnerable groups, close contact risks) in agreement with a panel of real experts?
Well, that’s sorted then. The government can pretend that it was just a small mistake like Swine Flu, BSE (Mad Cow Disease), Bird Flu, Iraq, and Libya.
The British people are awfully decent and understanding and will just be grateful to move on with their lives.
Everyone a happy bunny.