Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act?

Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act? By Richard Horton. Britain is just one of the slower ones. All the West had the same problems.

The Chinese scientists pulled no punches. “The number of deaths is rising quickly,” they wrote. …They concluded that the mortality rate was high. And they urged careful surveillance of this new virus in view of its “pandemic potential”.

That was in January. Why did it take the UK government eight weeks to recognise the seriousness of what we now call Covid-19?

But medical and scientific advisers to the UK government ignored their warnings. For unknown reasons they waited. And watched.

Watch the three stages of enlightenment emerge. First: “Oh, it’s just like the flu”, we’re all going to get it eventually.

The scientists advising ministers seemed to believe that this new virus could be treated much like influenza. Graham Medley, one of the government’s expert scientific advisers, was disarmingly explicit. In an interview on Newsnight last week, he explained the UK’s approach: to allow a controlled epidemic of large numbers of people, which would generate “herd immunity”. … Medley suggested that, “ideally”, we might need “a nice big epidemic” among the less vulnerable.

No, look at the video coming out of China. You don’t weld people into their apartments because of flu. Even some young healthy people are having a very nasty time with the Wuhan virus, such as this 25 year old Brit.  Experts are saying now that if it spreads to your lungs it leaves damage that takes up to 15 years to heal. Lung capacity correlates well with all-cause mortality — so catching the Wuhan virus make take years off your life, even if you do recover. So no, not the flu.

Second: Flatten the curve:

After weeks of inaction, the government announced a sudden U-turn on Monday, declaring that new modelling by scientists at Imperial College had convinced them to change their initial plans. Many journalists, led by the BBC, reported that “the science had changed” and so the government had responded accordingly. But this interpretation of events is wrong. The science has been the same since January. What changed is that government advisers at last understood what had really taken place in China.

Indeed, it didn’t need this week’s predictions by Imperial College scientists to estimate the impact of the government’s complacent approach. Any numerate school student could make the calculation. [Yep, we did here on the Wentworth Report, several times.] With a mortality of 1% among 60% of a population of some 66 million people, the UK could expect almost 400,000 deaths. The huge wave of critically ill patients that would result from this strategy would quickly overwhelm the NHS.

The death rate with ICU care is about 1%, but without is about 5%. Ahhh, so the idea is to instead minimize the peak number of victims at any one time, so as to not overwhelm the hospitals. So now most of the Western elite has advanced to the stage of “flatten the curve.”

Hate to burst that bubble too, but the health system has evolved to be able to just handle winter flu and normal emergencies. Medical budgets are always under financial review, so there not much fat or spare capacity in the medical system. Any extra load on the medical system, and it cannot cope.

So now we arrive at the obvious truth, stage three. We need to crush the curve. Just minimize the number of victims, period. We must do what is needed, whatever it takes, We must not resign ourselves to everyone getting it. It’s not the black plague, certainly, but nor is it the flu.

Short, sharp, total isolation starves the virus of fresh bodies and can eliminate it from sub-populations. This minimizes economic and other disruption. The idea is create pockets — countries even — with no Wuhan virus, where life may go on normally. This is what the Chinese did, and the South Koreans, Singaporeans and Taiwanese too.

But our overpaid elites were always too slow to react. They just didn’t understand fast enough, despite the Chinese example showing them the obvious. This is why we invented thinking: so you can simulate the future in your own head, while deciding what course of action to take. The people in charge of Western countries are demonstrably incompetent for not closing the borders in time. Always looking for excuses to do nothing, and complacently enjoy their current lifestyles.

Presumably it is now becoming obvious to those dimwits that closing the borders back in February would have been massively cheaper than what we have now. So foreseeable. (And foreseen, in writing, on this blog and others.)

When will the MSM allow the obvious questions to appear in public: why weren’t the borders closed ages ago? Why did it take so long for the thinking of those in charge to come up to speed? Or are the fumblers of the MSM part of the problem, because they are too cosy with the policy makers and nor did they see it coming until too late?

Apologizes for being a little forceful about the inadequacies of our rulers, but they have put us in harm’s way and it’s no laughing matter.