Friday 22 January 2021

Weekend Post: in which the Terminator plainly explains the limits of self-rationality

After my posts which generated a big debate (I am not going to say quality) a couple of weeks back, I came across this excellent piece below which is a tweet reply by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I enjoy the way he spells out the limits to post-modern rationalism and how one can moderate one's own behaviour to avoid self- radicalising. I know occasionally it falls down, sometimes nearly all the experts are wrong, but this is almost always when politics are the driver and one side is pushing a angle, it does not invalidate the process. 

"I always say you should know your strengths and listen to the experts,. If you want to learn about building biceps, listen to me, because I've spent my life studying how to get the perfect peak and I have been called the greatest bodybuilder of all time. We all have different specialities.  

Dr. Fauci and all of the virologists and epidemiologists and doctors have studied diseases and vaccines for their entire lives, so I listen to them and I urge you to do the same. None of us are going to learn more than them by watching a few hours of videos. It’s simple: if your house is on fire, you don’t go on YouTube, you call the damn fire department. If you have a heart attack, you don’t check your Facebook group, you call an ambulance. If 9 doctors tell you you have cancer and need to treat it or you will die, and 1 doctor says the cancer will disappear, you should always side with the 9. In this case, virtually all of the real experts around the world are telling us the vaccine is safe and some people on Facebook are saying it isn’t.

In general, I think if the circle of people you trust gets smaller and smaller and you find yourself more and more isolated, it should be a warning sign that you’re going down a rabbit hole of misinformation. Some people say it is weak to listen to experts. That’s bogus. It takes strength to admit you don’t know everything. Weakness is thinking you don’t need expert advice and only listening to sources that confirm what you want to believe."


Nick Drew said...

Arnie is putting it about these days, isn't he?

I wonder what kind of a platform he has. Not nil, anyhow

BlokeInBrum said...

I quite like Arnie. I grew up watching his classic films like "Jingle All The Way","Batman & Robin" and wasn't "Red Sonja" really something else?

I'm not quite sure I would like to take the advice of an actor though.
Especially not one who started his career being a serial steroid abuser, then having the fine sense of judgement to cheat on his wife ( the fine Maria Shriver ) with the maid. (and raising kid thereof on the side )
Perhaps you think his judgement is fine. I beg to differ.
I find it no more than an appeal to authority.
We know Governments lie, regularly and habitually.
We know for a fact that Journalist wouldn't know a fact if it bit them on the arse.
We also know the media companies manipulate and censor depending on their particular political leanings.
And you're surprised that people are having difficulties accepting the "official story"?

Bill Quango MP said...

Not for the first time I think to the mishandling of the MMR.

Which wasn’t really that badly dealt with. But even by the early 2000s the credibility of the government of spin was near zero.
They simply were not believed.

Matt said...

Experts are people, people have agendas, so experts have agendas.

If they were always honest, then Arnie's advice holds true. But they aren't, so further judgement is required.

david morris said...

Personally, I always listen to an actor when he/she isn't reading a script.

Said no-one.


E-K said...

When you see your way of life crashing around you I can't say it's encouraging to be listening to Prof Whitty. Richard Littlejohn writes today that we could still be in this masked duck-and-cover fix in 2025 and who's to say not ?

The sounds coming for Government are that the vaccine is not the panacea to get us out of lockdown.

The experts would have us locked down for ever. Politics (unqualified opinion) has to take over again at some point.

I know a thing or two about building biceps too, including Arnie's progressive overload methods and the fact is that most of us can't do it. We are not genetically favoured to build muscle no matter how hard we try or whatever supplements we take. In this regard Arnie is admitting that expert advice often only benefits a very narrow elite and offers false promise to the rest.

His book Total Recall is an excellent read and he is a truly remarkable man. He would have made a great President.

Anonymous said...

A reminder; The Royal Society's motto 'Nullius in verba' is taken to mean 'take nobody's word for it'.

Anonymous said...

'Experts' aren't pure-hearted oracles, working for a disinterested love of the truth. They want career advancement, prestige, influence, money, and power. (In other words, they're just like very many other people.) They want to keep the people in power happy because they know without their support, they will lose all these things.

The government(s) lied, deliberately and systematically, about going to war in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result of those lies, and the world has been permanently de-stabilised. So their credibility is low.

(I'm not saying anything for or against the vaccine per se. I may well end up taking it myself. I just know the official narrative is merely a datum to be factored into a decision, not an infallible statement to be believed de fide.)


Sobers said...

Covid is proving to be a great boon - its showing us who has some balls (and some independent thinking processes) and who is a toddler running off to hold Nanny's hand............and also who would like to be a fascist boot boy giving orders to the masses given half a chance. Its proving very enlightening. Always good to know who is steady under fire, and who can't be trusted.

Don Cox said...

Experts aren't guaranteed to be right, but they are much more likely to be right than people who know nothing about a subject and are just drawing their opinions out of thin air.

Don Cox

dearieme said...

"Dr. Fauci and all of the virologists and epidemiologists and doctors have studied diseases and vaccines for their entire lives, so I listen to them and I urge you to do the same."

Ah but is that the Fauci who told Americans not to wear masks or the Fauci who told them they must?

Is that the Fauci who publicly sported a mask at a baseball game or the Fauci who removed it when he thought he was off-camera?

Is that the Astrologer-Royal from Imperial College who told us all to socially distance and lock ourselves down while himself having his mistress pop round for some hanky-panky?

"If you have a heart attack, you don’t check your Facebook group, you call an ambulance." Indeed, and for many decades the hospital cardiologists who then treated you insisted you take six weeks bed rest. This, it turned out, was catastrophically bad advice. It killed patients by the tens of millions.

Then there's Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, there's government propaganda on diet, there's the attempt to make most of the population take statins, ...

The world is well provided with experts who are incompetent, or liars, or incompetent liars. Hell, I know two men who ended up as FRSs, Heads of Oxbridge Colleges, and Knights of the Realm; crooks both.

dearieme said...

And another thing: "virtually all of the real experts around the world are telling us the vaccine is safe".

Hardly: our safety outfit has cleared the vaccines only for emergency use. They are not saying that they are convinced they are safe long term, or even short term, they are saying that on balance they seem to be safe enough that it is advantageous to risk using them given the scale of the pandemic.

People must make their own decisions. We've risked it: I hope to God we're right. It might well be wise of our offspring to give them a swerve. Not my shout.

Timbo614 said...

All Experts are people, people have agendas, so all experts have agendas.
Fixed it for ya.
Hmm :(

Anonymous said...


Haha. ‘ (I am not going to say quality)’

I think you’ve attracted far to many nutcase conspiracists


E-K said...


There are no conspiracists here. Just some people who ask for balance between the total destruction of a way of life and freedom and the Focused Protection method of dealing with a virus.

We were told 'One last push until the vaccine is given'. Already this is proving to have been a lie and I have been proven to have been right from the outset.

Here we are masked up and still in lock down one year later.

2022 Spring is our earliest release but I very much doubt this too.

Anonymous said...


The irony is you see yourself as an expert.

You should read up on Dunning-Kruger.

You are not an expert and have no qualification in epidemiology.
I must conclude you think this is a global conspiracy.

There is a reason you are not offering advice to the Worlds governments.

lilith said...

Locking up healthy people until their business fails to save the face of an over managed under medical staffed health service that is unable help people with a disease that has a 99%+ survival rate is TYRANNY. Plain and simple.

lilith said...

PS. I ADORE Arnie but he's chatting shit here.

Don Cox said...

"We were told 'One last push until the vaccine is given'. Already this is proving to have been a lie and I have been proven to have been right from the outset."

How is it proving to be a lie ? The vaccine hasn't been given yet. Only half a million people have had both doses.

If you want to attack the government, I think their main failure has been in not training nearly enough doctors and nurses over the past thirty years, and in allowing the NHS to become infested with bureaucracy. Now they are in panic mode because the NHS could easily be overwhelmed.

Don Cox

lilith said...

"If you want to attack the government, I think their main failure has been in not training nearly enough doctors and nurses over the past thirty years, and in allowing the NHS to become infested with bureaucracy. Now they are in panic mode because the NHS could easily be overwhelmed."

True, but locking up healthy people never stopped (even mildly) unhealthy people catching colds...apparently. We don't shut down schools when Glandular Fever is running rampant...arguably a life changing infection that can cause dependency on the NHS later in life.

A government/health service that tells us Sunflower seed oil is healthy, and that Diabetes II requires treatment with additional insulin doesn't get my trust on how to "protect the NHS".

lilith said...

I can't encourage my parents to have experimental gene therapy if
a) it is being administered incorrectly (12 week wait for second dose) or
b) the trials don't conclude till 2023
c) they have survived this long when the virus is endemic and the most likely place to contract it is in hospital when admitted for entirely different reasons.
d) nobody I have spoken to knows anyone who has died "of Covid 19". I know one person who died "with covid" after being admitted for life threatening heart issues. (84F, Glasgow)
e) I know several elderly who have coped with Covid home alone and come out fine (in their 80s and 90s)

Elby the Beserk said...

Experts ..... hmm....

Speaking to folks in the village the past few days, it is clear to me that most people no longer believe a bloody thing the government, media or "experts" tell us.

So some good is coming out of this farrago.

Pulling out civil liberties to restrain a virus with a minimal mortality rate for the healthy is indeed tyranny.

Really the only way out of this is for NOBODY to vote. Government has a taste for this now, it is clear.

E-K said...

Anonymous @ 11.00

I only see myself as an expert in the job I'm paid to do and am no conspiracy theorist, though I do think that various parties are taking full advantage of this situation against the democratic will.

We were told that these constraints on civil liberties were to be in place until a vaccine was delivered.

It is right to ask how long is reasonable before we try Focused Shielding in order to restore our hard won liberties.

Arnie is expert on bodily disfigurement and used illegal drugs as part of it - also the amount of protein that he had to take would amount to sheer gluttony in any other sense.

If I were looking to build muscle in a healthy and balanced way (a body that both women and gays crave) I would train with a calisthenics/gymnastics expert, not a pumping iron freak.

E-K said...

...Just to highlight that there different experts on the same subject and often those in the minority are right and those in the mainstream (using over complicated gym machines and overly heavy weights) are wrong.

And here's a guy of similar age to Arnie using a minority, inexpert method to prove my point. Guess which one has the best mobility and balance and who has not had to have emergency heart surgery.

jim said...

Sure, I take notice of proper experts, weigh opinions, look at credible sources. So I enjoy a chuckle when the BBC puts on some nutty American professor of something very obscure. Once we get the trigger words - hermeneutics, ontology, epistemology and post-modernism I get a bit twitchy, my suspicions rise. Perhaps a bit of test marketing, run it up someone else's flagpole, all smells like BS to me.

Maybe its my age or having a less wide social circle, but it seems to me we are now inundated with scribblers (all due respect to present company). There seem thousands of them, don't they have any work to do? Perhaps it is all those sociology and PPE students out in the wild scrabbling or scribbling for a living.

Being a sad oldie my eyes glaze over once I get reading Lacan or Derrida and hanker for something understandable. Back in the day when slide rules ruled the job ads called for chips, software and chemistry. Not now, we have kind of been there done that. The emphasis is on toning down all that damaging technology and focussing on the differently abled. We don't seem to want too much more hard science - its dangerous. Lets have something safer - astrology studies or spiritualism.

E-K said...

I touch type faster than I can think, beyond my wife's secretarial speed - which may account for a lot of things including the amount of time I seem to have.

Jan said...

I consider the current situation as a long-term worldwide experiment to test the efficacy and long-term effects of 3 vaccines on the human population against CV19. One of these vaccines is a completely new type of vaccine.

I don't consider any of the experts or anyone else is in any position to comment on either the efficacy or sdafety until the experiment has been run.

We are the human guinea pigs.

Don Cox said...

You could regard all of history as a series of experiments.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

It wasn't very long ago that hydroxychloroquine was being rubbished as a treatment/prophylactic, and lots of studies were cancelled after a Lancet study said it didn't work - a study which itself was withdrawn because most of the data seemed to have been 'created'.

But the study did the job OK, and expensive, proprietary remdesivir was the treatment of choice.

Now, Bad Orange Man has gone, what do we see?

"American Journal of Medicine issues reportin Jan 2021 issue, adding that hydroxychloroquine can be used in SARS-COV-2 outpatient treatment"

Lo, a miracle!

"1) when started late in the hospital course and for short durations of time, antimalarials appear to be ineffective, 2) when started earlier in the hospital course, for progressively longer durations and in outpatients, antimalarials may reduce the progression of disease, prevent hospitalization, and are associated with reduced mortality"

I'm not sure CU realises quite how big Big Pharma is. And when the politics of anti-Trumpism just happens to align with Big Pharma interests... too much cynicism is better than too little IMHO.

andrew said...

I just watched series 1 and 2 of the uk version of utopia.
It is very good but not reccomended if you believe in conspiracies.

Watched it on amazon. Perhaps they wanted me go see it.

DJK said...

It seems to me there is an awful lot of wishful thinking being displayed, not least in the comments here. When Sir Patrick Vallance says that the new C-19 variant is not only more transmissible, but seems to be about 30% more deadly, oh how we all wish it wasn't true. But wishing doesn't make it happen.

I think that having public health experts is just part of the division of labour. I don't have time to grow my own food or make my own clothes; I leave that to specialists. Likewise, I don't have 20,000 hours to devote to epidemiology, to gain some actual expertise. And I don't believe that watching a five minute unattributed video on Youtube will make me an expert. So when Whitty and Vallence, who have both spent a lifetime in frontline medicine (Whitty even working the Covid wards at Christmas) and who both can call up research from some of the world's leading experts, say something, I'm inclined to believe it.

As for experts lying, some examples of actual lies rather than mistakes based on incomplete information please. But if the experts knew at the start that lockdown measures would last over a year, I think they could be forgiven for soft-pedalling, given some of the childish reactions that the restrictions provoke.

BlokeInBrum said...

"Given some of the childish reactions that the restrictions provoke".

Try saying that to some of the people who have lost their life savings trying to prop up their businesses after being forcibly closed by the Government.

E-K said...

I now know lots of people who have had CV-19, many of them old and already ill.

I have known of one person who was bedridden with it and none who have died.

My experience is common.

I believe this vaccination to be the final shot ('scuse the pun.) Many people I know will resume socialising in each other's houses as they used to before and the destruction of our leisure and hospitality industry will have been futile.

It will be a broken promise too far.

The Government and police are about to lose all authority.

I am sick to death of the experts on TV. They have no balance. All deaths on the road, all suicides, all deaths through missed treatments should be attributed to lockdown but aren't. And that wouldn't be any less scientific than the 'death by covid' or 'death with covid' nor than the totally amateur track and trace that we've had thus far.

There simply has to be more to life than hiding away from a disease that leaves the vast majority unharmed - including the old and the ill.

lilith said...

According to the ONS there have only been 14,000 deaths FROM Covid. All the rest are With Covid. It is a notifiable disease. 14,000 is a normal flu season.

Not only have I not known anyone die of Covid, I have not met anyone who supports lockdown who is not taxpayer funded.

BlokeInBrum said...

I know of people in my wider social circle who have died of Covid.
What I don't know is whether these people would have died if it weren't for co-morbidities or not.

I certainly am sceptical of the official narrative.

Ever since they fucked up by turfing out Covid positive patients into old-folks homes, thereby killing a shit load of people needlessly, I see no reason to take anything they say at face value.

Covid is real, and can be lethal. But only for some.
The question has always been about how we deal with it.

Turning our economy inside out, destroying peoples businesses, ruining the lives (if not outright leaving them to die ) those who need non Covid related NHS services (but cant get them), is not the way to go.

I think most people are quite willing to accommodate certain restrictions on their activities, if they believe it's for the greater good.

But when we see many of those in authority are flaunting those same restrictions when they think nobody is looking then we think we are being taken for a ride.

Focussed protection of those at risk has to be the way to go in the future.

Covid and its varients aren't going anywhere, we are just going to have to learn to live with it, just as we have with the flu.

Sobers said...

"As for experts lying, some examples of actual lies rather than mistakes based on incomplete information please."

Whitty declaring that unless 'something was done' deaths would reach 4000 per day within weeks. That was an out and out lie, because it was based on out of date infection data, that had already been superseded at the time of his statement by new figures that showed the rate in increase was not exponential. Yet he made the statement anyway purely to force the government to act.

Anonymous said...

@ Focussed protection of those at risk has to be the way to go

OK but you have to go through the details. That's, what, home confinement for all the classic high-riskers, while the virus rips through the rest of the population. So then its solitary confinement for those homebound high-riskers fed through the letterbox? (or you've wated yor time home-confining them), Or their (many) services provided at home by armies in hazmat suits. Doable, I suppose.

Meantime, that virus turns out not just to lay oldies low, but very many others besides: sure, not so often fatal, but in very many cases requiring hospitalisation, sometimes very lengthy, sometimes intensive. AND you've DELIBERATELY LET IT RIP - so - more mutations and a lot more non-oldies laid low than we've seen before (look what Xmas mingling did, to whole families).

You 100% sure that's a better scenario? Even for the economy, long term? That the hospitals won't be just as choked and unable to do routine stuff (even if fewer % in the morgue)?

Anonymous said...

PS, not all those high-risk oldies live on their own to be easily solitary-confined. Might be the old-age model you're most familiar with but for lots of them, the service-providers in hazmats would be their families living in the next room.

PPS there's a strain of "give me liberty or give me death" in some of these comments. Thing is, that's meant to be your OWN death you're supposed to be willing to put on the line.

E-K said...

"OK but you have to go through the details. That's, what, home confinement for all the classic high-riskers, while the virus rips through the rest of the population. So then its solitary confinement for those homebound high-riskers fed through the letterbox? (or you've wated yor time home-confining them), Or their (many) services provided at home by armies in hazmat suits. Doable, I suppose."

Assisted self isolation. Evacuation if necessary (it was done in WW2)

Total lockdown of *everyone* is not viable either but we're doing it and it really is starting to look permanent and it kills too.

OK Arnie. Let's not bother voting for politicians ever again. Let's just put Professor Whitty et al in charge of everything.

Sobers said...

"OK but you have to go through the details."

This is what I'd do.

Step 1: Anyone under 50 can act as they please, ie must continue to work (from home if possible) but otherwise can take whatever risks they like - visiting friends, pubs, eating out, attending sports matches, holidays (abroad if they'll have you). If you are under 50 and have a medical condition that puts you in a high risk category for covid you may quarantine yourself, and get paid a basic income by the state (amount to be worked out, but reasonable generous) Only available with GP confirmation of medical issues.

Step 2: Anyone over pensionable age must quarantine themselves. Assistance made available for shopping etc, via volunteer scheme as now.

Step 3: Anyone in the 50-67 age group has a free choice - liberty with the under 50s or join the pensioners in quarantine. If the latter the Basic Income would be available if working from home is not an option.

Step 4: Multigenerational households would have the choice to quarantine as a group on Basic Income or to get assistance to split up and move the younger element into new accommodation.

Quarantine would be the same rules as lockdown now - stay at home at all times except for limited exercise or to buy food. If you get caught breaking the rules you lose your Basic Income and have to go back to work.

Care homes would be given extra cash to pay staff higher wages in return for working in one place only, and also to implement other biosecurity measures. Care home workers might have to observe some sort of quarantine as well, but would be compensated for this on top of their wages.

Nightingale hospitals would be used for those who are recovering from covid, but are unable to leave hospital because of vulnerable people back at home, or because the nursing home can't/won't take them. Aim being to keep hospitals as clear as possible for the most serious cases. As they would be more hostels than hospitals they could be staffed with volunteers and retired medical staff with just a backbone of medical full time professionals.

All schools/colleges and universities would be open and operating as normal, subject to any staff wishing to quarantine subject to the rules above.

The basic principle being to give each person the freedom to make choices that suit their lives best, while supporting those who feel they need to be shielded from society while the virus is spreading. Rather than Big Brother treating everyone the same regardless of their actual risk of harm from covid or their personal choice of what risks they are happy to take. The cost could not be more than now when millions have been furloughed many of whom had no need or desire to be, and the damage to society and the economy would be drastically reduced, to everyone's benefit. It could also prove to be a way of helping Millennials at the expense of Boomers - the young would be in high demand as workers, as they would allow businesses to continue operating, and they would find new chances for promotion if older employees quarantined themselves.

Tin hat on!

jim said...

Every week or so we get back to discussing 'Let it Rip' or some variant thereof. Indeed, that is in practice what we got in 1918 and in 1969. The question is why not now, why skirt around the issue like nervous virgins?

Reason 1, the Internet, nothing is now hidden for long. The whole world is looking and what you do will be replayed and replayed at election time. We cannot get away with secrecy or benign/malign neglect, governments would have to come clean and make such a policy explicit. Not a good look.

Reason 2, our neighbours. Our policy has to be acceptable to our closer trading neighbours - or they will close their ports. We are no longer an island, we don't get to do our own thing. Boris found this out last March.

If we did 'Let it Rip' just how big would the coffin count be? So far arount 80k, a fairly trivial number. But could we afford say 200k or 400k? Over what period? How many in the hospitals or charnel houses? This policy rides an exponential tiger, difficult or impossible to control. Looking to the poorer nations of the world their numbers seem to have flattened off - or they have given up counting. Which begs the question - would our numbers flatten off too? A bit of a gamble and reasons 1 & 2 mean we won't get to find out. This is where Sumption and the Qualy counters fall down.

Now we are into the vaccination stage. Even that is not ideal. It is going more slowly than some would like and the present 'juice' may not be the long term answer. Nobody knows, nobody has a better answer - yet. This is where 'Let it Rip' is likely to emerge as a world wide policy. Provided vaccination can pull down mass hospitalisations and most of the vulnerable have died off or caught and recovered we can probably live with some lowish level of Covid. Will be interesting to see how the politicians and experts manage the transition.

Sobers said...

Having woken up to a blanket of whiteness across the land, remind me again what expert once said over 20 years ago 'Children won't know what snow is'?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear the comments have now switched to snow fall predictions.
Critical thinking reduced to 4 steps to recovery.

lilith said...

The best thing anyone can do is ensure their immune system is tip top. Exercise, low visceral fat, lay off the candy bars, eat liver, hug people.

lilith said...

Terrifying people so that they avoid humanity all together won't get us back to any sort of normality.

Anonymous said...

What 9:48 said.
This may all be a complete waste of time (sorry CaW) but @ Sobers:

"under 50 / high risk category, you may quarantine yourself, and get paid a basic income by the state / over pensionable age must quarantine / Assistance available for shopping etc, via volunteer scheme as now / Anyone 50-67 has free choice - liberty with under 50s or join pensioners in quarantine. Basic Income if working from home is not option / Multigenerational households have the choice to quarantine as a group on Basic Income..."

Have you even the slightest, vagueist idea how many people that potentially is, who would be needing help from the brave, reliable, day-in, day out, non-working under-67's "volunteer scheme" willing to go into every cranny of every housing estate, dealing with shopping money, special needs etc etc??

"... or to get assistance to split up and move the younger element into new accommodation."

Are you able to nominate where "new accommodation" on that scale will be found? In communities who live multi-generational because they cannot afford anything else (either financially or culturally)?

Remainds me of the guy who said (for real) "if the sea level rises 5-10 feet, so that many coastal cities become uninhabitable, don't you think people living there will have sold their houses and moved to higher ground?" Er, sell??

Bill Quango MP said...

Just add this on.
From a regular weekly zoom meeting with friends last night.

Two in particular. One is a matron in an ICU. Specifically dealing with Covid since March.
The other a doctor. GP.

She said last week a formerly healthy, no medical history of anything, 37 year old died of Covid last week. He leaves his 8 month pregnant wife behind. The other people currently in the ICU, are all in their fifties sixties. Last year they would be 70s and 80s.

Both she, and the gp said Covid outbreaks are now affecting younger people. And the instances of Covid killing the healthy are higher.

For myself, extended family, in laws, had Christmas together. Nine out of ten of them caught the Covid. The youngest recovered. The BIL, 55, is still ill. Not in hospital. But not well enough to work. And he is a self employed person. With three permissible to trade outlets. One is closed as he can’t work.

The two eldest, his in laws, they died this week. Were on ventilators in icu.
Wife had dementia and was overweight. She was 72.
Husband, diabetes. Not the terrible one. He was 80.
died within an hour of each other.

I sent the boy back to school. Me and Mrs Q are key workers. He came home next day, had to quarantine as someone tested in his bubble. Third time. I’m not sending him back.

The risk seems to be higher of catching and of catching younger.
It looks like lockdown until vaccine completed. And hope the mutated Covid doesn’t defeat it.

A final muse. How DID the Chinese defeat it?
We know they locked everyone down. I know someone whose parents are in Wuhan. She described the lockdown to me. It did sound like our initial one. But with fewer exceptions.
But they have got rid of the ‘flu’.

What else did they do? Because we know it wasn’t vaccines. So what was it?

BlokeInBrum said...

Well perhaps if it were a manufactured virus in the first place as many suspect, then the people responsible for making it (the Chinese) would have the know how to combat it effectively.
I can't see the Biden administration prodding the Chinese dragon for answers though.

DJK said...

>How DID the Chinese defeat it?
I think by aggressively finding the infected and forcibly quarantining them and their contacts, and their contacts' contacts, as has been done in Taiwan, Vietnam, etc.

I've heard estimates of the percentage of people who test positive or who are contacted by the tracing service that actually self-isolate in Britain. It might be as low as 30%. In that way, the virus is allowed to continue spreading.

You get back to normal not by isolating the elderly, which a moment's thought shows is practically impossible, but by isolating the infected.

Sobers said...

"A final muse. How DID the Chinese defeat it?"

By vaccinating everyone as they knew exactly what it was?

Tin foil hat on!

lilith said...

"A final muse. How DID the Chinese defeat it?"

By isolating the symptomatic. The BMJ had an article about Wuhan study which showed (through isolating everyone associated) asymptomatic carriers passed the virus on at a rate of .....0%

Elby the Beserk said...

China defeat Covid?


"Authorities in China have imposed new Covid-19 restrictions in areas near Beijing, amid fear of the second wave of the disease in the country where it first originated.

After about 300 people tested positive for the virus last week, Shijiazhuang and Xingtai, two districts of Hebei province to the south of the capital, issued seven-day stay-at-home orders putting over 18 million people under a new lockdown. "

andrew said...

As mentioned by others:
The chinese had an effective and efficient track, trace, isolate system that was run by the local authorities.

This is what the germans did too.

The UK decided to outsource to the usual outsourcers and run it on a nationwide, outsourced, centralised basis.

One of these approaches sort of worked and was relatively inexpensive and the other cost billions and sort of did not.

dearieme said...

"I think that having public health experts is just part of the division of labour." Aye, but they might usefully have spent the last few years working on infectious diseases rather than devoting their efforts to telling us to eat fewer cream buns.

The Chinese: I suspect that North Eastern Asians have an advantage over us e.g. immune systems better primed to fight coronaviruses, or even some genetic advantage. Purely a guess.

Test and Trace: I saw someone state that they haven't worked in any country where the virus was already widespread when they were introduced.

More widely - essentially nobody has a clue why some countries have been worse affected than others. To attribute the differences to their governments' actions and inactions is probably just an unexamined assumption.

lilith said...

Here's a nice little study to cheer those with long covid! Get down the pet shop....

Graeme said...

20 million locked down Chinese might argue against the proposition that China is covid free

E-K said...

BQ - I noticed those figures too but every time the news reports a 'fit and healthy' 40 something dying of CV-19 there is a picture of someone obese.

Hands, face, space - lose weight.

Why aren't we being told that ?

We still have magazines determined to normalise obesity. In fact it IS normal nowadays and I believe that's one reason why we (and the USA) have such a terrible mortality rate. And lockdown isn't helping this situation.

E-K said...

Graeme - 20 million Chinese ain't going to argue with anyone, certainly not in China.

Charlie said...

If anyone knows of a study that looks at the relationship between a country's Covid outcome and just two variables - obesity and age - please post a link. I haven't seen such a study, but my gut tells me this is all that matters. I've been to the oft-cited example of Lockdown failure - Peru - and was struck by how many fatties there were.

I'm tired of being told by some publicly funded land whale that to question Lockdown is to selfishly abuse the NHS (peace be upon it).

I'm also tired of being told that I'm a child if I can simply put up and shut up while my business is ruined and I spend half my time telling the kids not to be scared that they're all going to die.

CityUnslicker said...

The bit I liked is when Arnie said, think about when your circle is decreasing.

I really enjoy the comments above, but some of it is so denying of relaity it is untrue. So many people seem to think that no personal expereince of covid means it is not real.

The hospitals are full - we can debate about funding and efficieny, but we can't deny bed capacity has gone from 70% to 105% in a basically a couple of weeks.

Lockdown's may have some serious drawbacks, but since we went for lockdown 3 cases have fallen by 50% week on week.

The worst part for covid for me is the reality of it, when you know people who are ill or dying (sadly, I know plenty) it is much mor real. When it affects other people far away, it is tempting to think of it as being over-blown.

BlokeInBrum said...

CU, it's not that we're denying reality, it's that we live in a parallel reality to yours!

Sobers said...

"The worst part for covid for me is the reality of it, when you know people who are ill or dying (sadly, I know plenty) it is much mor real. When it affects other people far away, it is tempting to think of it as being over-blown"

Why is it we have to turn the world upside down for people who catch covid and die, while the people who get cancer are left to their own devices? Why are some deaths more important than others? I know of plenty of people who have died of cancer, but none of covid. Are the concer deaths just 'acceptable' whereas covid ones aren't, for some reason?

I mean if we banned all smoking, all drinking, all freedom of what we can eat, and had to eat a diet set out for us by the State we could probably reduce cancer deaths drastically. So why don't we?

Apparently we have got to protect Granny, but only from Covid, not cancer, heart disease, dementia or the flu.

lilith said...

How to avoid ICU and Sars Cov2

Anonymous said...


Jeez..... skill share .... only ten bucks a month
I hope you are joking