Now midway through November, almost 5 months sine the July 19 “freedom day”, we can review whether or not it has been the disaster SAGE doom-mongers predicted it would be. According to the SAGE modelling published on 14 September, in a worst case scenario the UK could expect well over 6,000 hospitalisations per day throughout the month of October. In SAGE’s best case scenario Britain could expect around 1,700 hospitalisations per day by November 2. The central forecast was for some 4,300 hospitalisations a day by the start of November.
Real data has completely disproven the gloom and doom prophesies relayed to the public by SAGE and the government. On November 2 just over 1,000 people were admitted to hospital with Covid-19. That is below the most optimistic scenario outlined, and almost 80% below their central forecast scenario. On top of that new ONS data shows a clear downward trend in the number of cases and hospitalisations. With new therapeutic treatments coming to treat Covid optimists are even more confident. The doomsters have been proven comprehensively wrong, again.
For the last week there has been increasing concern from DHSC and SAGE about rising Covid numbers following a sluggish booster jab programme and a steady rise in the number of Covid deaths. Chronically poor predictor and gloomster Neil Ferguson is already warning that the UK may need to reimpose restrictions and just yesterday the Coronavirus Act was extended for another six months without a hitch. What is the data actually saying?
According to the Spectator’s Data Tracker on October 12, Covid patients occupied just 5% of all NHS hospital beds and whilst the optimum NHS bed occupancy was around 85%, 5.5% of NHS hospital beds are not currently occupied by patients. Daily Covid hospital admissions are 80% lower than they were during the pandemic peak and it’s clear that the link between cases and hospitalisations is still largely broken. Given all this, it seems too soon to panic.
So far the government is remaining firm in its decision not to reimpose restrictions. On this morning’s media round Kwasi reassured the public that “any talk of lockdowns is not helpful – it’s not going to happen”.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng "categorically rules out" another Covid lockdown telling LBC: “Any talk of lockdowns is not helpful - it’s not going to happen”@NickFerrariLBC pic.twitter.com/IUwO30SmPx— LBC (@LBC) October 20, 2021
The government should stick to its guns on avoiding another lockdown, getting booster jabs into the arms of the old should have the highest priority…
With both Whitehall and Holyrood pushing ahead with plans to implement vaccine passports at large venues by the end of the month, even the most dovish are beginning to express doubts. Speaking to the Institute for Government today, Professor Neil Ferguson responded to questions over the plans by saying:
“Restricting entry…to people who’ve only had two vaccine shots will reduce transmission in those venues…if the main goal of those measures is to encourage people to get vaccinated who otherwise wouldn’t, whether that’s an effective strategy. In some sense coercion often hardens people’s views. And if somebody is resistant to being vaccinated, these sort of measures may well not be very effective at increasing vaccine uptake…The evidence is very mixed.”
On this one, it looks like Ferguson might be right…
Expert activists and hyper-political scientists from Independent SAGE told us time and time again that the NHS would be over-run and cases would hit 100,000 per day if the UK opened up on July 19, Ferguson went as far as saying we could be at 200,000 cases by now. Professor “Pantsdown” himself, Neil Ferguson has now corrected himself and admitted he was wrong to be so certain, “hard-line-centrist” Christine Pagel has also admitted she was wrong – she had claimed she was backed by science and Boris was being ideological. No such mea culpa has been heard from politicians like Keir Starmer, or the political professors like the communist on the SAGE committee, Susan Michie. Broadcast media amplified their hysterical predictions which have now been shown to be false, will they take future predictions with a pinch of salt?
It appears the recent surprising sustained fall in Covid cases is giving even the dourest, most pessimistic epidemiologists pause for optimism. Neil ‘200,000 cases per day‘ Ferguson told the Today Programme this morning he is:
“… positive that by late September/October time we will be looking back at most of the pandemic. We will still have Covid with us, we will still have people dying from Covid but we’ll have put the bulk of the pandemic behind us”
He now observes the “equation has fundamentally changed [due to] the effect of vaccines”.