Sunday, November 12, 2023

How It Began

When it all started, I immediately started reading news from China and Italy, figuring that what was happening there could easily happen here, and we should be prepared. 

Esther Hopkins did the same thing. She wrote an excellent thread about it, which I'm saving here. She's in the UK, where there was just a remarkable inquiry into the handling of Covid, but it's all pretty much the same in Canada as well, except I think we vaccinated children earlier. 

We're still waiting for our inquiry!

We know that when governments are finally willing to act, legislation can be life changing:

Here's Hopkin's words: 

"This is a thread about going back to the beginning of the Pandemic to explain why I myself, like many others, started to campaign for safer schools and clinically vulnerable. I feel it's a good time to revisit how this government caused such division in our society with the current ongoing Covid Inquiry. 

February 2020, my Facebook messages started to fill up with stories from my friends in Italy, very concerned about the outbreaks. They were frightened, and the situation grew more concerning. I kep thinking to myself, it won't be long until it hits here. Stories kept coming that were very serious and alarming and yet, in complete contrast, nothing seemed to be happening here. Everything rolled on the same and, as my family were vulnerable, I became concerned as school trips and gatherings continued into March. 

Then finally lockdown came and with it an onslaught of confusing advince. A worrying time for anyone clinically vulnerable. Shielding started in a confusing and haphazard way with many vulnerable getting added at different times. I started to notice the stories and documents from China and Italy that suggested it could be airborne. One I read talked about the possibility of asymptomatic spread. I am so thankful that by this time I was on Twitter and following a range of scientists who were giving updates, as time was going on, much of the advice was starting to become confusing and make little sense. How was it possible to wear a mask outside and then take it off to eat and that keep you safe? I remember thinking this was ridiculous. I realised they weren't following the science, but cherry picking it. So many confusing messages and slogans. I couldn't understand why there was so much confusing advice over bubbles. Why didn't they keep it simple and clear? Did they not want people to follow the rules?

I started to read about the SARS outbreak in 2003, and it talked about airborne spread. I thought to myself, why would this be any different? A parents group emerged early on called UsforThem. Parents were campaigning against vaccines and masks in schools. This really concerned me after the studies I had been reading. It was a complete mismatch with the advice I had read on SARS. The government advice on schools was ridiculous: Wear a mask in the classroom but eat indoors with one off. At other points, students just wore masks when transitioning in the corridors but not during lessons. None of it made any sense whatsoever. 

Pupils began to die from Covid, and the numbers soon rose, and still the government claimed it was safe for children in schools and that these were 'rare' events. Some of the press ran horrible articles saying that 'only the vulnerable' were at risk, and things took a darker tone. We now know from the Covid Inquiry that Covid is airborne and that ministers 'didn't want to give an inch to unions'. We were right to have been cautious because it was never about our children's safety.

UsforThem were never an ordinary parents group. They had support from the Tories from the outset. They had groups as far away as Bermuda and Brazil within the first few months. Not achievable for an ordinary grassroots parents group. There were many parents campaigining at the time that were concerned about the risks in groups like SafeEdForAll_UK. Our concerns were never listened to on Covid being airborne. The Department for Education met with UsforThem but never engaged with all parents groups. Only Tory backed UsforThem. MPs like Halfon met with them but never once was willing to talk to parents who rased safety concerns. The group continued to be platformed, influencing educational policies on schools and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization.

Children who were being shielded waited 20 months for a vaccine, feeling isolated, the longest lockdown. Their voices were never heard; the most vulnerable had the least support, and schools had no adjustments for their return. Soon the deaths of children mounted up and still no mitigations were put in place. Parents campaigned for their children with Long Covid and tens of thousands were impacted. They had been infected prior to vaccines, and so these were never vaccine injuries. The child Covid deaths started to mount up, but these were minimised in the press and so was Long Covid. Many of us organized weekly Thursday Covid vigils as the deaths climbed and no action was taken to make schools safer or offer vaccines to those who wanted their children to be protected. Many parents organised trips overseas just to get a vaccine for their vulnerable child. 

Here we currently are with deaths standing at 199 and never on the news! When did this ever happen before Covid? Those of us who warned of the potential damage to children were silenced, and yet children continue to suffer so much from this virus. Please read the stories from the children who have been impacted. Vulnerable children were never considered, and parents continue to fight to keep their children safe from an airborne virus. So many vulnerable children have had to leave school or risk serious illness. Their concerns have never been considered. Not all children can be vaccinated, and many have had patchy access. Vaccines are not enough with breakthrough infections. Children who are higher risk are at the greatest risk of severe Long Covid outcomes. Why are they not protected?

The greatest harm to children has come from transmission from schools leading to orphanages. Ten million children were orphaned from Covid, but their stories were never heard! They never warned parents that Covid is a leading cause of death in children! Yet the voices of clinically vulnerable are still not being heard in this part of the Covid Inquiry. Include clinically vulnerable families. They knew from the beginning there was the potential for airborne transmission, and yet they advocated for washing hands for an airborne virus. The guidance needs to urgently change to reflect this.

They knew from the 'outset' there was a risk of long term health problems, and yet schools are still unmitigated, and children and staff left unprotected against airborne transmission! 

Here's Professor Graham Medley (Chair at the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling): "We knew from the outset there were likely to be post infection sequelae."

Stay safe." 

Here's a clip from Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet explaining that "this has got nothing to do with data . . . this is ideology from the libertarian right. Until we confront that fact . . . then we're not understanding what this government is about."

The Lancet's current cover features just one quotation from the commission:

"The level of criminal incompetence exposed by recent witnesses to the UK COVID-19 Inquiry . . . has proven that many, if not most, of over 230,000 deaths were preventable."

We can still act to prevent more child deaths, disability, and orphans. According to Barry Hunt, if everyone wears an N95 for 6-8 weeks, with the WHO coordinating the efforts and helping poorer areas access respirators, we'd do a number on all the viruses coming back into circulation. But people's hatred and rage for anything resembling a mask now is absolutely unprecedented. We just have to get used to children dying of a preventable disease - and offer them these macabre toys instead:

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