Skip to main content

Was COVID-19 a conspiracy?

Conspiracy theories tend to go viral on social media.  No surprise, then, that this would be so for COVID-19.  Support for the conspiracy theories comes, not from an evidence base, but mostly from people's instinct to think that the crisis created by the current pandemic is inexplicable. 

From the title, you might expect an exposure of a major conspiracy to either cover-up of manufacture the COVID-19 virus.  There is no need for such theories. 

The only conspiracy is that between our immune systems and the virus, and our trying to find a way to deal with the current crisis.   



A pandemic was expected at some time because it is like such viruses that they will mutate and find ways to bypass our defences.   It is a constant game between viral agents and our immune systems.  Each, as it were, biologically trying to outwit the other.  

So viral mutations are not rare.  A virus might also transfer across species through such variations, giving rise to new strains. 

There is no need for conspiracy theories to explain this.  Nor is it sensible to blame other countries or populations.  They can occur in any country.  It is globalisation that has enhanced the speed of their spread through the world's population.  That is no conspiracy, other than that we conspire to travel and to trade across the globe. 

A new pandemic was expected at some stage and anticipated that such epidemics might become more frequent.  

A pandemic is not unexpected, albeit the timing of one is unpredictable.  

Pandemic influenza had been classified by the Cabinet Office as the number one threat to the UK population, for the past decade or more.  So much so that Health Trusts were encouraged to put in place contingency planning. 

Such contingencies are well worth reading.    An example is the contingency plan for Somerset, which assumes rightly that, 

"Any new pandemic can be expected to have a significant effect on individual members of the population, the NHS and society at large."

Depending on the nature of the virus, the number of deaths could be considerable.   All this was expected from the modelling. 

The best conspiracy now is for us all to pull together and see off this particular attack. 

We need now to learn more lessons from this pandemic.  This is the first of this scale and severity.  We must learn and conspire to do better next time.  There will be a next time. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services.

It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared.

Utilitarian ethics considers the balan…

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods. 
Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects? 
A new report now provides some of the answers.

New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism.

Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases caused by …

Keir Starmer has a lot to offer

The Labour Party is in the process of making a decision that will decide whether it can recover from the defeat in 2019 General Election.  All the candidates have much to offer and are making their case well.

No doubt for some the decision will be difficult.  Others may well have made up their minds on the simple binary of Left-wing-Right-wing.

The choice should be whoever is best placed to pull the party together.  Someone who can form a front bench of all talents and across the spectrum in the party.

That is what Harold Wilson did in the 1960s.  His government included Roy Jenkins on the right and Barbar Castle on the left; it included Crossman and Crossland, and Tony Benn with Jim Callaghan.  It presented a formidable team.

Keir Starmer brings to the top table a formidable career outside politics, having been a human rights lawyer and then Director of Public Prosecutions.   He is a man of integrity and commitment who believes in a fairer society where opportunities are more widel…