Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
After a few days of questioning, reading and, crucially, experiencing what seems to be actual people with actual cases of what is called COVID-19 (but how are we to know? – we’ll get to that), it occurred to me that the blissfully simple stats being dished up are their own carefully crafted form of psyop. As some people have been saying for a while, the numbers of cases (not deaths) are probably far far greater which, at first, I simply didn’t believe. Here are today’s figures (Thursday, March 28), which are valuable simply for their DECONTEXTUALIZED 3-line/3-number pictorial value. All you need do is glance:
If you think I’m off the wall, a study by a group at Oxford University has recently estimated that around 50% of the UK population are infected to some degree, with cases of it being present back in January. That’s FIFTY PERCENT of the population of ONE country. Let that sink in when you consider that the global figure of ‘Coronavirus Cases’ is a mere 478, 331, less than half a million overall. Here is the link (paywall). If you do a google search today for this story, you’ll see plenty of UK MSM backlash, with selected scientists saying ‘but how can we be sure?’ Well, when you have a public health approach such as I describe below, being unsure of anything becomes precisely the point, to confuse the public making panic far easier.
Update, March 27: A report from the Wall Street Journal (link), also with a paywall, is saying the same thing, that ‘the fatality rate may be too high by orders of magnitude’. Here are two screenshots courtesy of UK Column broadcast, March 27, 2020:
I confess that I was one of those who believed at first that, as far as our countries were concerned (not China, not Iran), they were simply reporting ‘flu stats, cherry-picking a few numbers from that to tell us there was a separate virus. I mean, how can we trust anything our governments tell us? Even Italy has terrible ‘flu problems NORMALLY, and massive EU austerity measures have led to poverty, a run-down healthcare system, a flight of its young leaving heaps of old people behind, and untold numbers of migrants that drain Italy’s already poor economy. It’s a country primed for this anyway.
First off, in many countries they can’t possibly know who is infected – either asymptomatically or otherwise – because there’s no testing going on unless you’re very sick and close to the end, no real knowledge of who is infected, who their contacts are, instead simply locking them down as a way to accomplish – what exactly? Compare this with information from CNN (I know, I don’t like them either) that Eric Zuesse cited in his article yesterday on Russia’s far different response to the prospective pandemic:
“The director-general of WHO said ‘test, test, test,’” Dr. Melita Vujnovic, the World Health Organization’s representative in Russia, told CNN Thursday. “Well, Russia started that literally at the end of January.”
Vujnovic said Russia also took a broader set of measures in addition to testing.
“Testing and identification of cases, tracing contacts, isolation, these are all measures that WHO proposes and recommends, and they were in place all the time,” she said. “And the social distancing is the second component that really also started relatively early.”
Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s state consumer watchdog, said Saturday that it had run more than 156,000 coronavirus tests in total. By comparison, according to CDC figures, the United States only picked up the pace in testing at the beginning of March.
South Korea has also adopted similar measures, successfully. And this method of going after, detective-style, the actual, tested cases of the virus and their contacts is the normal way to go, not by locking down an entire population, with massive psychological and economic consequences. Many doctors willing to put their heads above the parapet are saying this.
When millions of us are sent into lockdown, certainly here in France, only a personal health drama such as a significant breathing problem will get you medical attention.
I’m going to preserve identities here but let me specify.
A family member was visibly worried when his lungs started to feel they were ‘burning’ last week. Over 60 with one health condition, he was feeling off generally and skyped with his doctor to raise the alarm. His doctor said what many family practitioners are saying (and here I have in mind my own doc from the States, who messaged his patients last week with the same message): stay home, rest, see how it goes but you’ll probably be fine after a few days. This family member also had a fever and diarrhea. He’s beginning to pull through now, a little tired with drenching night sweats, but likely he never made it into the stats.
Ditto for a friend with a family of 3 other members. Over 50 with over a year of unknown health problems, his lungs were really painful. Shocked, we advised him to take large doses of vitamin C, get medical attention, etc., which he did about 3 days later by calling the ambulance, but declined to go to the hospital (I don’t recommend French hospitals) as he started to feel a bit better. He didn’t make it into the stats either most probably.
How can you reasonably make it into any stats when they’re not fully diagnosing you?
A colleague of my husband, a nurse of middle age (unknown health condition) has also been confirmed to have it (how I don’t know, but probably she has good contacts), has been feeling really poorly and is beginning to pull through. But she’s still very weak and estimates it will take a while to recover. Maybe she is in the stats.
Finally, an American friend here, over 60, a couple of health conditions including her lungs. She stayed in Hawaii for a while in early January (cases were confirmed there), flew back to the States and had a couple of weeks of painful lungs and incessant coughing (she never gets a fever for any reason). She pulled through, but in retrospect can see that her symptoms fit the profile. (Sidebar: Why wasn’t the US picking up on her? Cases of odd, pneumonia-like symptoms were being reported to the authorities there well before December.)
Here, our government’s response has been to simply lock us down since Tuesday, March 16, when it’s evident that cases were cropping up before, not just in China. Certainly, infected people were milling around in this area well before March 16th.
A place near Paris, a military base at Creil north of the city, is estimated to be the epicenter in France. So they’re telling us, the military were deployed from Creil to recover French nationals from Wuhan on January 31, put the citizens in quarantine upon return, but failed to quarantine their own people… At least, that is what we’re told. So you’d expect a fair number of cases in the Paris area. Now, a group of 600 French doctors have filed a lawsuit against former health minister Agnes Buzyn (pictured below, who was persuaded to quit her job and run for Macron’s party as mayor of Paris in recent municipal elections) and current PM Edouard Philippe (also pictured below). Buzyn let it be known in an interview that the French government’s response to the looming crisis (being a doctor, she should know) was a ‘mascarade’, that necessary precautions were not being taken in advance. There was an approximately 6-week period between the military arriving back with a lack of preventive measures in place, and the national lockdown of March 16.
Back to those numbers. Paris and its surrounding metropolitan area is a city of probably 14 million. As with all big European cities, many people live in apartment blocks, cheek by jowl. It’s not the larger North American landscape of space and expansiveness. That’s fourteen MILLION, somewhat akin to New York. Above, I just talked about 4 different people, all affected by this. Who are now on lockdown with family members in relatively airless, cramped conditions SIX WEEKS AFTER the virus became active here. Would it be SO unreasonable to suppose that at least half of the population – at least in Paris (7 million) – are carrying this virus? If so, it makes the global statistic of ‘cases’ utterly ridiculous. Sometimes you’ll see the hedge word of ‘confirmed’ as in ‘confirmed cases’. If nobody is getting tested in this lockdown, then only a very tiny fraction can be ‘confirmed’. But still, less than half a million today globally is plainly absurd.
So I began to think of the stats as its very own kind of psyop, helpfully decontextualized.
I recall reading the chart above for ‘deaths’ primarily, with all the emotional investment in that number. We do that, right? The fear of our own mortality kicking in, estimating our own probability, etc. So then you read for ‘cases’, a number that has nothing behind it in the way of helpful information. Any number of cases beyond a few thousand is going to seem ‘large’. So this nonsensically deflated number of cases is going to seem somewhat closer, impressionistically, to the number of deaths. We don’t get our calculators out, right? We just go on our impressions. The ‘recovered’ cases obviously give hope and relief, but it’s the death number that draws us in beside a low-balled case number.
No sensible, contextualized estimate of the problem can be made from such ridiculous counting. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s our emotions that are being played with. The one thing I’ve learned as an absolute rule of thumb in dealing with MSM is that the simpler the information is to understand, the more pared down it is, the more it’s being used to fool us. If you can pass your television set (for us oldies), and get who are the ‘good’ guys and the ‘bad’ guys in around 30 seconds, you’re being played and treated like an infant. And are being lied to.
If the 50% figure is more or less right (and it could be very conservative), then 1/2 of France’s population is 30 million. Half of the UK’s is at least another 30. And so on. Today, Statista is reporting the number of French ‘confirmed cases’ to be 25, 233 (!!!!!). A French death rate of 1,100 as of yesterday means a case-fatality ratio of 4.4%. But if you divide half the PARIS population of 14 million (7 million) by its number of deaths due to COVID, you get a case-fatality ratio of .016%. If you divide 1,100 by 30 million, you get a CFR of .0037%. (If my math is wrong, message me.)
It certainly is a brutal disease for those with a few significant health issues. But hardly a big deal for many other people. Family practitioners and other prominent health officials are certainly seeing it in this light (see LISTEN: CBC Radio Cuts Off Expert When He Questions Covid19 Narrative)
Another bright side is, imagine the huge number of people making protective antibodies. No need for a vaccine, eh Bill?
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