On Wednesday, the Telegraph published this article: “How lockdowns left babies more vulnerable to respiratory disease.” It’s all about an extra risk this winter from “respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an infection that can in rare cases make it difficult for children to breathe”.
That really hit home. One of my oldest and dearest friends, a grandparent like myself, has had the shocking experience of seeing two of her granddaughters, both born in late 2021, being seriously afflicted. One nearly died from RSV, caught in the maternity ward after birth where it was rife and where she had not been born long enough to build up resistance. It was very touch-and-go for several weeks.
Her little cousin, born a a few weeks earlier, was hit by cytomegalovirus (CMV). Her mother seems to have caught it during pregnancy and since she is a nurse the most likely place was in hospital. The little girl has no hearing in one ear and is likely to lose it in the other, and has only one kidney.
Neither of these viruses is new. RSV is very common. Most children will catch it by the age of two with few ill effects. The same applies to CMV. But some children do become seriously ill, so there is nothing to prove these two little girls wouldn’t have been among them anyway. We’ll never know, but it’s starting to look as though they may well have been two more victims of the madness that has engulfed us.
What is new is the increase in cases and the disruption of the normal cycle which would aid the natural build-up of resistance. RSV, for example, largely disappeared in the winter of 2020-21 but then reappeared incongruously to cause a surge in the summer of 2021, which has not yet abated.
Not surprisingly, the dawning realisation is that lockdowns are probably to blame. “Because of all the Covid restrictions, we’ve been spreading viruses less, so we think that everybody’s natural immunity to viruses like RSV has gone down,” said Dr. Andrew Whittamore, a GP and clinical lead at the British Lung Foundation.
This raises the whole fascinating question of how we define and understand the meaning of the word ‘expert’. That doesn’t mean substituting for a professional the opinions of someone whose education has been conducted at the University of Google, magically conferring on them brilliant insight and revelations that have escaped everyone else. But it does mean using some commonsense.
To me, as a layman, I find it utterly astonishing that the conventional experts became so suffocated and obsessed by one risk that they managed to ignore all the empirical observations and experience of their lives that might have told them that ripping up the way human society functions, and how we build up resistance to disease, might possibly generate massive problems from mental breakdowns to economic decline and cancer to reduced immunity. Forgive me for saying so, but I’d have thought that was pretty obvious. If expertise prevents an expert from seeing that, or at least standing up and saying so, then what value is the expertise?
In the bigger picture, the possibility that RSV and CMV are going to cause more serious cases than hitherto is not an overwhelming one – albeit devastating to the parents in every instance – but it is an allegory for countless other contexts and scenarios where we have allowed the opinions of a small number of people to drive an agenda as if it was a tank into an aquarium. Taken together their cumulative impact is going to be, and already is, extremely serious.
The sheer recklessness of what has been done in the name of annihilating Covid (which didn’t happen anyway) is difficult to measure. One thing was clear from the outset: the ‘experts’ really didn’t have a clue and I’d suggest to a large extent they still don’t. The best thing about Boris Johnson’s Partygate is that not only has it terminally undermined the Government’s authority and basis for locking us all down, but also it has flagged up the sheer idiotic stupidity of some of the rules that – even if one believed an initial lockdown had some benefit – were manifestly not going to make a difference.
As the high tide of the Covid Hysteria turns and gradually recedes towards the horizon it is leaving scattered across the exposed beach of our world countless shattered seashells, every one of which represents broken lives and families, wrecked livelihoods, shattered education and prospects, and a whole raft of medical consequences including these two little girls among a cascade of undiagnosed and untreated cancers and other conditions.
Let’s not fool ourselves. Covid was, and is, an extremely serious and potentially fatal illness for some people, just as flu, pneumonia, and bronchitis have always been. But it’s a rum thing to see how the people we choose to define as experts have played such an enormous part in the consequential devastation. By blinding themselves to everything except one disease they have presided over a farce of unprecedented consequences, driven along by their self-belief whether predicated on their self-professed mathematical ability to foretell the future or the conceit that they could ‘keep everyone safe’ with measures that we now know have done as much damage, or more, than the devastation they were supposed to prevent. What then, is an expert? Perhaps someone who feels they have to come up with something, anything, that makes them look like they know what they’re doing.
As for my friend, the grandmother: just after the viral storm that hit her granddaughters, she had the misfortune to choke on a piece of meat at a dinner party in December. This was no trivial incident. It nearly killed her. She was attended by paramedics and had to be dashed to hospital unconscious. She only just made it through.
What was the reason for her admission? Why of course, she was recorded with “suspected Covid”, even though the reason she was on the point of death ought to be have been obvious even to a blind man with hearing difficulties. It was as fatuous as a priest in the Middle Ages blaming her accident on evil spirits or the ‘will of God’, the catch-all diagnoses of that era.
Nothing could illustrate to me better the extent of the collective insanity that has consumed our time and for which we will all be paying for the rest of our lives – though the two little girls I started out with may well be paying for a great deal longer than most of us, as the grass grows long on the graves of the modellers and other luminaries of this present age.