• Putting one’s finger on it!

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    At a point during my working life I was a self employed photographer. Like all professional photographers, the famous phrase, “a picture paints a thousand words” that was reportedly first used by Frederick R. Barnard in the publication “Printer’s Ink” (December, 1921)

    The above image of a fit and healthy young lady exercising – one is expected to assume at home under quarantine sums up precisely the HUGE problem that COVID-19 presents to us all and the economy.

    You see, it is such as the young lady above that causes the authorities across the world the problem. That COVID-19 is a highly infectious and contagious disease that affects people of all ages from the youngest to the oldest and exhibits what data scientists and statisticians refer to as a positive correlation between age and severity of the disease, namely the older and frailer you are the more likely you are to suffer serious symptoms and the younger and fitter/more healthy you are the more likely you are to suffer minor symptoms or none at all.

    Thus we see above the young lady with her hypothetical COVID-19 infection at home and trying to survive her 14 day quarantine without getting cabin fever! Such a young lady may if her infection was real be experiencing NO symptoms whatsoever.

    The problem we – and this hypothetical young lady has – is that having COVID-19 and being completely symptomless, she could have visited her grandparents and have infected them, causing them to become severely ill and die. This is not only a tragedy for the two grandparents but the young lady herself for she could well experience tremendous feelings of guilt as well as loss of her loved ones.

    Now, there are many who have taken to newsprint, the airwaves and the to ether of cyberspace who have maintained that COVID-19 is much like other infectious/contagious diseases.

    We would suggest not.

    Let us compare COVID-19 with another highly infectious/contagious disease, measles.

    Measles – like COVID-19 – can be a very severe disease and can kill. However, unlike COVID-19, measles has a “standard” set of symptoms AND when one contracts the disease, one KNOWS one has contracted it – however fit and healthy you are! I am speaking from first hand experience here for I have had measles.

    What we do know, or to rephrase it, what the authorities have so far allowed us to know, was that the virus originated in an animal and was transmitted to a human.

    What is concerning is the apparent divergence of symptoms between age groups. For instance, it is reported that when they have contracted COVID-19 young children are likely to suffer from diarrhoea. It is of course well known that the elderly and the frail contract a form of pneumonia and it is this cohort that suffer the most severe consequences including death.

    We would suggest that this “behaviour” of the virus is most unusual. It would appear that the virus attacks in different ways.

    The internet of the 21st Century is of course a breeding ground of conspiracy theories and there is one doing the rounds that the virus was artificially created. Some of the cybersurfers peddling this rumour maintain or suggest that it was a deliberate act of persons unknown. Others suggest that the release was a classic case of a “cock-up” – if so, clearly one of monumental proportions!

    There are more extreme variants on the deliberate act theory. These rumour-mongers suggest that the divergence of symptoms (diarrhoea in the grandchild and pneumonia in the grandparent) is evidence that the virus has been created not just to kill off the frail and/or the elderly but to impart some form of long lasting effect upon the young – such they suggest as sterility. Such sterility they suggest need not be complete – in other words not every young person who has contracted COVID-19 will become sterile but a percentage will.

    Now, readers will know that the British Gazette has, does and will not pander to such conspiracy theories – there is no need as YouTube is full of such theorists broadcasting their alarmist, dystopian tales.

    However, what is most worrying is not the most extreme version of the COVID-19 conspiracy theory (that it is an evil plan to reduce the human population) but the backdrop of current events.

    All British Gazette readers have to do is to turn on their TVs to be treated to the nonsense of the Balderdash Broadcasting Commissariat most recently brought to your attention in yesterday’s post (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2020/09/09/learning-the-lessons-of-history/).
    I am most fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Cornwall. I have however the misfortune to be living (sadly within walking distance) of an “Extinction Rebellion hotspot”!
    Some of these – largely, highly educated, upper middle class folk – who originate mainly from the Home Counties – are very keen on telling their less wealthy neighbours the importance (for the Planet Earth you understand) that they should cease purchasing meat from such as Lidl (https://www.lidl.co.uk/en) in Penzance and to purchase meat – if they really really really really have to – from Vivian Olds in St. Just (http://www.vivianolds.co.uk/).
    Now I can report that Vivian Olds is a very fine butcher and the quality of his meat is second to none! However, it has to be said that Lidl are cheaper.

    When one is “on a budget” this is important.

    Many on the left criticise the Tories for imposing “austerity” upon the people of the United Kingdom.

    Be in NO DOUBT the worst of the Tory cuts would be as nothing to the savage reduction in living standards brought about by the members of Extinction Rebellion if heaven forfend they were ever to gain power.

    Remember, most governments state that their first priority (after maintaining the security and territorial integrity of the state) is the Welfare of the People.

    Extinction Rebellion are different. Their first priority is the Welfare of the Planet!

    Of course, they would point out that it is important to have a habitable planet in order to secure the welfare of the people!

    Now, of course, one could argue endlessly with Extinction Rebellion about the issue and get nowhere. That however is not the point. The point is that these people genuinely believe what that CO2 is a threat and they are determined to do something about it. In a way, it is not important and does not matter that they are wrong, for their belief will drive them to advocate policies that appear to achieve that which they deem important.

    However, I am not for one moment am suggesting that any Extinction Rebellion member of supporter would actually countenance such a diabolical plan as what some internet conspiracy theorists are postulating.

    Let us consider for a moment the extreme conspiracy theory that there is a diabolical plan to sterilise a large proportion of humanity in order to reduce the global population.

    There are a number of practical “issues”. For a start, when an “evil doer” is setting out on their “evil plan” – be it a bank robbery or a non suicide terrorist attack – they plan and carry it out in such a way as to reduce their chance of being caught and brought to justice.

    Consider then the case of a hypothetical Ms X and Mr Y who hatch this diabolical plot to sterilise many people via COVID-19. Were they to achieve their diabolical objective their misdeeds would soon become apparent with a dramatic fall in birth rate worldwide. The authorities across the world would soon discover that the sterility was deliberately engineered.

    This means that many governments and millions of their people will be very, very, angry! One of the aspects of population growth is that in 3rd World countries children and grandchildren are the retirement fund! Remove the children and you remove the retirement fund!

    Persons with the intelligence and the resources to carry out such a diabolical plan would realise that they would have to spend the rest of their lives in hiding!

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