When does the treatment become worse than the disease?

The last couple of days I have been following some of the discussion around the economy and the impact of coronavirus all over the world as far as economies go, this got me thinking when does the treatment become worse than the disease?

Unemployment in the UK currently stands at 8% and expected to rise to 8.8% by end of June. Nearly 3 million people in the UK are currently unemployed, that figure will no doubt rise before we get to the end of lock down and the furlough scheme ending in October. In the USA unemployment has risen to 14.7% which means over 40 million Americans have applied for unemployment over the last 10 weeks meaning around 60 million people are unemployed in the USA, the worlds largest economy. The corona virus, like the UK, has seen a huge rise in food bank use with 1 in 5 Americans now reliant on food banks. In the UK the number of people using food banks, according to the Trussell Trust, has risen by 122%, an increase of 50,000 emergency food packages a week. That is also not taking into account charities, religious organisations of all faiths, local provision, the numbers are staggering.

The Bank of England are warning that the UK economy could shrink by as much as 14% which will result in the biggest recession in history and we can assume turbo austerity with cuts to vital services and possibly even more redundancies in the public sector over the next two years. With the world economy in the toilet, plummeting demand, new ways of shopping and less money in the system the risk of increasing unemployment will lead to increased homelessness, destitution, ill health, poverty and hunger, the list goes on.

So, when does the treatment become worse than the disease?

Coronavirus is one of the most horrible things I have even seen in my lifetime, it’s up there with the never ending wars that the UK seems to always want to be a part of. 38,161 people in the UK have died as a result of the disease, 324 just yesterday. Worldwide coronavirus has resulted in the deaths of 364,000 people and climbing. So the seriousness of this pandemic should never be underestimated by any of us. Lock down was required, we know that, even the slight easing of the measures won’t really make much of a difference to the economy but could see a rise in cases sadly.

There are some out there like Dr. John Lee in The Spectator saying that we just don’t know that the lock down is in fact actually working at all given that the vast majority of deaths are now in care homes, a tragedy for a different day as to why. He argues that the lock down is now costing lives with the decline in the numbers of illnesses which are being treated, the numbers of people not going to their GP with potentially life threatening symptoms, and the fact that the economic turmoil has a bigger effect on young people and the mental health stresses that brings.

We know that most people who get coronavirus won’t ever get symptoms and know they have even had the disease. He argues that the disease will change as time goes on as flu does and that by locking down under 65s is doing more harm than good. He argues that following the science to the detriment of everything else is not the way to go. You can read his article here Dr John Lee

I don’t have any answers and would love to know what you all think. I do however believe that the world economy is on the brink of something that it won’t recover from, that in the longer term might even kill more people worldwide then the actual disease does. Do we now need to consider our approach, is it time to trust people to social distance, to be responsible, to take care but to be allowed out (other than those most at risk). Is it time to seriously start to worry about the economy rather than the disease. Is it time to open up our industry, our businesses, is it time to take a risk?

So, when does the treatment become worse than the disease?

Locked Down Less Day 67

How are we all today? Well I hope. Was actually very busy yesterday and didn’t get the chance to log onto the blog other than reply to some posts and emails I had received so again thanks to everyone who reads the blog and comments/emails. Yesterday was amazing wasn’t it as far as the weather goes and I was stuck on a PC until 8.30pm last night. A lot of people in my street were out for the clap at 8, not really my thing and my wife who is at medical school currently helping out in the local hospital thinks it’s run it’s course now, I would tend to agree.

Anyway I had a wee look at the news this morning as has become my stable start to the day during lock down. The Express and I Papers go with the slight easing of the lock down announced by Nicola Sturgeon yesterday. I think it is an important step forward but you can bet that the roads will be busy, the shops will be packed as some people take the mickey and go for it big time this weekend if the weather stays good. For me it’s my Wife’s birthday so we can have a couple of friends around tomorrow in the garden and I will go see my Mum and brother in the morning outside as I haven’t seen them in 10 weeks as both are vulnerable and have been isolating so that will be really good.

The National I think has the best balance today overall going with the slight easing of the lock down but reminding us that the UK has the second worst death rate in the world and we are by no means out of the woods yet. My fear is the stupidity of people in the whole of the UK with the result being a second spike in coronavirus, but I also accept that we really can’t stay locked down much longer as the harm from the cure will be worse than the virus in some ways. The Dundee Courier keeps the SNP bad mantra going for the unionists, a change from the Herald. The Courier saying that the testing system is in turmoil, come on lets give it a chance. They move on from the Cummings fiasco in one day but happy to hammer the SNP Government every day, carrying on the same grievance over weeks and passing the baton to each other as the weeks go on. How desperate are the unionists really becoming. Yes there is a huge debate going on in the YES movement about what the strategy should be moving forward but we are not desperate, unionists are desperate right now and to be honest I think some of them are actually afraid now that they see their precious union dissolving before their very eyes, hopefully more to come.

The Mail has a photo of Cummings saying that he is set to quit in 6 months time from his job as a special advisor to Boris Johnson, I doubt this a great deal. Why would the real Prime Minister of England step down from his de facto dictatorship of England, which also sadly affects Scotland. This is just trying to deflect this story even more and trying to get it off the headlines, we cannot, and we must not allow the Tories off the hook with this issue if we can. The Guardian goes with Johnson sticking by Cummings, of course he will, he’s been told to by Cummings. Anyone reading this blog knows that I thought they would ride this out with help from their cronies, that is definitely what they are going to do. That’s fine, it really is. The Cummings affair is a real stain on this Tory Government and the longer he stays the longer we can keep at them about it. When the enquiries come along this can be hammered home again and again so long may Cummings stay the PM of England.

Well we have made it to another Friday. The weather looks like it will be pretty decent by Dundee standards, I’ll get to see a couple of friends and my Mum and brother so that’s all good. I might blog over the weekend but I am going to look at getting back on Something Different again for weekends, the weekend news tends to be rubbish anyway. So please continue to stay safe, enjoy the sun if you can and take care.

Garden of Eden

How are we all today? Well I hope. Actually sat in the garden yesterday which was nice, I like to sit and eat outside when I can as being locked in is really wearing thin now but I am sticking to the guidance as best I can and living in hope that we can invite 4 friends up this weekend to the garden for a chat, that would be really nice.

Anyway I had a wee look at the papers as I do, well the ones I don’t have to pay for. The Dundee Courier and Telegraph go with the City apparently getting a version of the Eden Project. Now this is good news and certainly appeals more to myself than the V and A as I used to be a gardener. This would also be another tourist attraction and while tourism won’t solve the cities problems it can’t hurt so it’s no bad thing if it actually happens.

The Express and the Times are going with the pressure being put on the Tories and the fact that the Scottish branch have had to come out and make a statement for Cummings to go. On the back of Douglas Ross MP resigning as a very very junior minister at the Scottish Colonial Office, tanking in the polls in Scotland, and add in the very funny piss taking of Jackson Carlaw on social media has forced them to come out of hiding. I still think Johnson will try to weather the storm over Cummings and will give it at least to the end of next week but the pressure is building. My money is still on Cummings though right now but it could change I suppose. We need to remember though the Tories have an 80 seat majority and have no shame. There is the part of me that hopes he stays as it will be a stain on this Government for years to come on top of all the other stains.

The Herald goes with SNP bad as usual, what is it with this paper. It surely has to be the worst in Scotland now, the Scottish Sun isn’t even as bad as the Herald. Test and trace is a good thing to help stop a second spike, it’s important but hey ho the Herald can always find ways to run down anything the Scottish Government does. The National goes with the Cummings story again today and I must admit I am interested in the Braveheart thing, rubbish film I thought but it really does wind up the unionists big time lol.

Anyway day 9045 in lock down and working from home. Stay safe everyone and as always please feel free to comment and express your own opinion.

Does anyone really care anymore?

So lock down day 64, seems unreal to be saying that, 64 days in lock down wow. How are we all doing today? Safe and well I hope. Anyway had my wee look at the papers as usual and again like yesterday not a huge amount of difference in the headlines as I am sure you can imagine.

The National goes with their view that Dominic Cummings needs to be sacked now. I did watch his press thing yesterday, against my better judgement, and while I was listening to his excuses I realised that I didn’t really care all that much about the whole story. Cummings is just part of the 1% where the rules just don’t apply to them because that is what they think. They can so they do, Cummings is just one more in a long list in this country who are entitled, that is the simple fact. I actually hope he stays on and I hope the SNP raise it as their question every week at PMQs, anything that can show Scots the arrogance of these people is fine with me. We have seen the long list of entitled wealthy ministers coming out to support him, support one of their own, even some of the right wing media also, fine keep it up.

The media will move on before the end of the week and the really big story from yesterday and not covered anywhere (see chart) was that the UK has now risen to the top of the table of coronavirus deaths per million, what that means is that the UK is the worst hit country in the whole world of coronavirus, that should be the story today, that should be the headline. The top five countries with the highest death rate are all the countries that at the beginning supported herd immunity, is that not the story today.

The Herald and The Scotsman go with Cummings, as well as, a little about Nicola Sturgeon saying that older people discharged from hospital probably did add to care home deaths of coronavirus. There will need to be a public enquiry at some point, and the whole thing needs to be public and not some behind closed doors, to see where lessons need to be learned in future. But there also needs to be a wider debate about care of the elderly. One thing that has been missing from the debate about care homes is that most are private, and therefore run for profit. Staff in most cases are paid the minimum wage and if really lucky the living wage, both not enough to live on and in a job that is both tough and vitally important. There needs to be a debate about how they are run, how they are regulated, how they are checked, how staff are paid and trained, how much reserves they have, and ultimately if they should all be brought into the public domain as many used to be. We have seen over the years that elderly care has been taken out of the public domain to save money, maybe it’s time we think about what we owe our older people and what they should expect in their later years by way of respect and care. The care home scandal is not a new thing and has been the fault of repeated Governments who for too long have looked to provide care on the cheap for people who deserve better.

The Sun and The Express in England go with the shops opening up on June 15th and Boris Johnson urging people to go out and spend, time will tell on that one. I did see a little of his update on the news as I just didn’t really follow any updates yesterday but what I did notice again is his update not being clear that it was for England. Neither the BBC/SKY or the papers bother to make that clear. For the media, most Westminster politicians, and most residents in England, England is Britain. This crisis has brought that all home very clearly again and something that people in Scotland need to think about if they do believe that Scotland is in fact a country and not just the greater England that people like Jackson Carlaw would like it to be. We are being taken for fools every day by the established order and their sycophantic media in this country, when will enough be enough, how much more do our noses have to be rubbed in their crap before enough people stand up and say enough.

So an interesting day for what is being reported, and more importantly what is not being reported. I always want to be informed but the more I learn and the more I see how people are conned, or are not interested in what goes on in this country, the more disillusioned I get, and the more resigned I get to the fact that many people in Scotland just don’t care, or have the skills to actually see what is around them, how sad is that. Sorry to be all doom and gloom today but please stay safe and if you want let me know what you think.

Lock Down Day 63

How are we all today? Well I hope. Weekend weather wise was pretty crap so I was pretty much in the house all weekend sadly but it is what it is I suppose. As you can imagine the papers pretty much cover the same things today.

The National ,as many do, go with the Dominic Cummings issue today. Most of the papers are calling for him to go, even some Tory politicians are saying he should go. All accept the Scottish Tories of course who are reported missing every time there is a bad Tory story about and when they do eventually make a comment they actually say nothing at all. The I Paper goes with the same story and say Number 10 is in chaos. Should Dominic Cummings be sacked or resign, given what has happened in Scotland and the hounding some have had then yes. Will he be sacked or resign, I can’t see it to be honest. I suppose if the pressure really builds but I think that Johnson will try to ride this out as Cummings is his main man, without him he probably doesn’t have an idea in his head. It will drag on but I think Cummings will just disappear from the public eye and Johnson will batten down the hatches for a couple of weeks and take the crap. Cummings, from what we hear, is an odious man so he will get no sympathy from me that’s for sure.

The Daily Telegraph goes with Boris Johnson’s defence of Cummings, just Johnson spouting crap as he always does, it was legal, any father would have done the same, it met the guidance, yeah it didn’t in any shape or form but hey nothing to see here plebs move along move along. The English Sun goes with schools opening on June 1st in England. Some might but I can’t see many to be honest. A lot of parents won’t send their kids, a lot of teachers won’t work with support from the unions and it will be a disaster. They should just stick with hubs for key workers children until after the summer and plan a proper return to school for teachers and kids which is safe and limits any second peak.

The Times talk about the impending bail out for companies on the brink that is the on the way. Of course the government will say this is about saving jobs but the devil will be in the detail, this will be more about saving their pals and getting the next few generations to pay the bills. Why large companies are not forced by law to build up reserves is beyond me it really is, if a company is seen as too big to fail then they should have to build liquidity in their books for things like this, be it a virus or a major down turn. However, like the banks we see that it’s socialism for the bosses and capitalism for the poor, that’s how the UK works and we know it and too many don’t care enough to kick up a stink about it. We really are a servitude union, can you imagine French workers putting up with this rubbish, no I wouldn’t either.

Anyway another week in lock down, hopefully we will get to Thursday and the route out of lock down can take place. 118 people died on Saturday, while the lowest count since the peak it was still 118 people and yet people are acting like this thing is over, crazy. Look at what is happening in Brazil when you don’t follow any guidance. Brazil is on track to be the second worst hit in the world, over taking the UK and second only to the USA. The top three countries for deaths due to corona virus are all led by nutters, who would have thunk it. Stay safe.

60 and counting

How are we all today? Well I hope. Bright and breezy today for most by the looks of things but brighter things to come on the horizon me thinks. Had my usual look at the papers today and they are pretty similar overall.

The Record and Scottish Mail go with ‘We’ll meet again’. What is it in this country with WW2 metaphors, my kids will be saying the same thing when they are in their 50’s and I’m long gone. I despise the constant use of aggressive language and when something shitty is happening the non stop garbage about the war, it was 75 years ago move on. Be respectful on remembrance day of course but come on it really is time to get a grip. Wrongly most young people today know very little about it, they don’t get it, most of today’s generation are not interested in war, they are more interested in social media.

The National goes with the four phase plan (which I posted last night) from the First Minister on how Scotland will be approaching the easing of lock down. I read it and it makes sense to me, cautious but optimistic. We are already planning to have 4 friends around next weekend in the garden for a bite to eat which will be nice, hopefully the weather will be good and I won’t have to put up our tent thing. Scottish Tory branch manager, and odious horrible man, Jackson Carlaw said it was just the same as England’s and should have been out weeks ago. Of course he didn’t mention that it’s a four phase easing and not three, he didn’t mention that the Scottish Government has provided far more detail, just look at the detail that England got and compare to my post last night.

The Herald are keeping up with their campaign to blame the Scottish Government for every coronavirus death. They are so determined to get their pound of flesh and give the unionists hope as they plummet in the polls, and many wake up to the fact that Scotland really does need to be an independent country. Soon they will move on to the broad shoulder of the UK, pooling and sharing blah blah blah. The UK will borrow 300 billion pounds, Scotland’s share of that debt will be around 27 billion pounds but will have received around 3 billion pounds of that. We will be paying for Westminster’s appalling handling of this crisis for years and we have got to make people understand that, we have got to get the information out there about how much we are just a colonized cash cow. The unionist media have even been rolling out Ruth Davidson to slag off the Scottish Government and First Minister, she is really becoming the new go to roll out for the unionist supporting BBC Scotland, the new Gordon Brown, I’m just surprised there wasn’t a breaking live speech from the failed wee Tory.

The Guardian goes with Westminster’s climb down on forcing foreign NHS workers to pay their levy for working in the NHS across the four nations. Interesting that the government would announce this on the same day that the Police in England decide not to prosecute Boris Johnson for giving Jennifer Acuri £12,000 of public money, on top of her company winning 100,000 pounds contract when he was mayor of London, he also took her on official trade missions, and that there is evidence that he was giving her one on official business while being in a relationship, ok that’s not a crime, disgusting but not a crime and it wasn’t him honest. But interesting that something the rest of us can see was totally corrupt is seen as fine by the Police, no one is telling me this union is not corrupt ever. This man is a joke, how he became PM just shows how thick Tory members are and what lengths the established order will go to to maintained their control at all costs.

Well the weekend beckons and I will have two days of not having to log on for work which to be honest is wearing thin now, don’t get me wrong I am appreciative that I still have a job and still being paid when many aren’t. I know there has been an upsurge in food bank use, unemployment, I am lucky to live in Scotland and work for a local authority but hopefully we can get back to a resemblance of normality in the coming months. Anyway, my rant for the day, stay safe.