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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tonight on BBC news we have the main story being that hospitals are reporting that they are near breaking point dealing with this...... while on the front page of the Telegraph today they report that the nightingale hospitals (put up in record time during the spring in response to the first wave) are being dismantled.

The reason that the hospital capacity is nearing its limits - there are no beds left....but there are ten percent less beds available due to the need to socially distance them. The need to socially distance them, to stop transmission of the disease between the beds - the reason people are in the beds, because they already have the virus. The reason that the nightingale hospitals are being dismantled, there is no staff to man them - the reason there is no staff, because they are all at home watching Netflix - sorry quarantining following testing positive (at what point do you send your front line soldiers go home just when there's a battle to fight?) for the virus whether they actually have the disease or not.

This is all making my head spin and the truth of it is that the Government have gotten themselves into a real tangle with this and it is they (as much as us) that have no exit strategy. I don't know what the answer is, but I know a fuck-up when I see one.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worrying little snippets out there for any with eyes to see and ears to hear.

The lockdowns are not, it appears, being accepted with quite the equanimity that BBC reports of late would have us believe. A day or so ago, reporting on the introduction of a full lockdown across the whole of Northern Ireland, the roving reporter spoke to four different people, members of the public out on the street enjoying their last day of freedom before settling in for the duration, all of whom to a man referred to the necessity of what was being done as being "for the best".

Where, I wondered, were the people (of whom I come across daily in numbers at least equaling those in support) who were critical of the policy? Surely not everyone in the whole of the province was happy at having their freedom curtailed, their job put at risk, their life upended and thrown into disarray? Well it appears that they are indeed out there, it is simply that we are not being told about them. While odd snippets of news appears in the local media of protests here, and gatherings there, of people coming out onto the streets to demonstrate their opposition to what is being done, by and large it is not being reported in the national media and certainly not on the BBC.

More disturbing even is the by all accounts heavy handed approach that the police have been taking in putting these protests down - masked officers in numbers (and riot gear) quickly moving in to disperse and/or detain the offending gathered, using non too light a touch in doing so. It appears that our once respected (if not loved) police force has rapidly morphed from neutral law enforcers into a quasi Government militia, willing to follow the order of the day with little question as to the rightness or otherwise (in respect of our civil liberties) of what they are doing. That news of such overzealousness has to dribble out, circumventing the normal channels should of itself be a scource of concern to any person of a libertarian bent. (As an aside, one could comment upon the almost imposibility of finding an officer to come out in the event of a home burglary or shoplifting offence, but the sudden availability of scores in the case of putting down people choosing to exercise their hard won rights in respect of protest....but this is another thing altogether.)

And it does not end here. Postings on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook that do not follow the mainstream narrative have been removed or, if not so, arbitrarily tagged as "unreliable" or "unverified", while statistics put out by politicians and the like which run in the direction of flow that the Government of the day deem appropriate, are allowed to pass without question. Further than this, in a creepy form of behind the scenes censorship, evidence that runs contrary to the state sanctioned narrative (the Danish study that demonstrated the virtual nonexistent effect of mask wearing on protection from infection being a case in point), previously easily available, is suddenly becoming much harder to access, buried much deeper in the thousands of results that most searches elicit.

Whether you buy into the mainstream narrative on lockdowns or not, these things should concern you. Whether you or someone who takes a different position on all of this is correct, we are all liable to be living with these things for a long time to come.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And given the multiple strands that the debate can have I think it better to have some way of separating them rather than having multiple discussions going on simultaneously in one thread.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, New Years all. Very Happy Hope it's as happy as it can possibly be.

Strength to them as needs it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What fresh lunacy is this?

In an announcement that beggars belief, and in complete contradiction to the advice given out by the manufacturer (Pfizer BioNtech) who immediately issued a statement that they will not be held accountable for such action, the Government has said that it intends to change its policy of getting the vulnerable delivered of a full course of the vaccine, and instead will postpone the administration of the second dose (instructed to be given by said manufacturer within a period of 21 days) in order to give those doses instead to a wider stream of the population. The second dose of the vaccine (that Pfizer say is crucial in establishing proper immunity to the virus) they will now postpone to 12 weeks later - that's four times longer than the enclosed data sheet recommends! This is okay (say the Government) - the first jab gives you a bit of immunity so just be going on with that for the moment.

And this from a Government that has spent the last year telling us it was "following the science"! What the fuck do they not get! If you want a vaccine to work, you have to take both the initiating dose and the challenging dose. (I think this is what they are called, forgive me if I'm wrong.) This is how vaccines work - this is how the immune system works. It doesn't bother to build up an antibody armoury against bugs it only encounters once - it's only the second shot (or encounter if you like) that causes the antibody production system to go into large scale production.

How can you be confident in the decision making processes of a Government that exhibits such a fundamental lack of understanding of such a critical operation at such a critical time? It is ludicrous.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't seem to be an entirely settled question, peter. A doctors' union appears to have been the main opposition to the decision, on the basis that the cancellation of appointments for the 2nd dose is bad for the patients who were expecting to receive it, but a lot of experts are also supporting the idea that getting more first doses out will be of larger benefit overall. The Pfizer vaccine hasn't been tested with a longer gap between doses, so there's certainly some concern there, but apparently the Oxford vaccine, which will be the more widely available of the two, is expected to work quite well with the longer delay.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It flies in the face of everything that every doctor has learned and practiced since day one of his/her career Murrin. It's on the side of every prescription you get for every condition that falls under the treatment umbrella of the NHS. When taking/using pharmaceutical products you must follow the manufacturer instructions. End off. Pfizer BioNtech have themselves protested their unhappiness with the decision (an almost unprecedented step in itself) and it flies in the face of every rational reason for carrying out the vaccination program at all.

It was clear from the Government statement from the outset - the important thing was to get the vulnerable groups in our society protected - properly protected - first and then move downward in tiered stages group by group until the population at large had been covered. This makes complete sense - you know it and so do I (and so, incidentally, does the Government). There is only one way to achieve this and this is to "follow the science" - and what the science says in this case, as in the case of every single pharmaceutical preparation on the market is that you follow the manufacturers instructions. This is the science. Not to do so is to immediately undermine the entire credibility of the whole program. I work with about a dozen people give or take and the resistance to taking the shots is high already (well over fifty percent I'd guess). This U-turn on the advice - advice that was being hammered home but a week ago, that you must have both doses for the vaccine to be effective - is simply ruinous to a public confidence level that is already pretty weak.

Unless the whole thing is simply a means of the Government attempting to extract itself from the knots that it has tied itself into with the cycle of lockdown Vs infection rates and it simply doesn't give a flying **** about 'getting people protected', preferring instead the propaganda value of being able to quote big numbers..............

I'm afraid that this U-turn simply adds to the suspicion that this is what it is all about; find an exit strategy no matter what it is and **** the consequences. Chris Whitty should be ashamed of himself; he has become the Colin Powell of the pandemic.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From this morning's Financial Times.

Quote:
However Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the Conservative Party spoke of Eurosceptics' joy that the Brexit saga had reached its conclusion.

"What prospects lie ahead for the young people now: to be out there buccaneering, trading, dominating the world again, " he told the BBC.


Oh dear, oh dear. Some people never learn do they? Doesn't this just about sum up the whole sorry saga...........
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I'm afraid that this U-turn simply adds to the suspicion that this is what it is all about; find an exit strategy no matter what it is and **** the consequences. Chris Whitty should be ashamed of himself; he has become the Colin Powell of the pandemic.

Hell of a U-turn peter. Not that long ago you were bemoaning that this is all going too far and you couldn't see a way to roll back the restrictions, now you're up in arms at the idea the government might be trying its hardest to roll back the restrictions regardless of consequences?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Ahh, but there is a fundamental difference between us Murrin. The Government is in government - I'm not. Besides which, I have never denied the danger represented by Covid to those vulnerable individuals in our society who are most at risk - the very reason behind my argument that the vaccines should be given in the tiered way that the Government first suggested, to the most vulnerable first followed by further cohorts in order of decreasing risk. Quite frankly, once the vulnerable are properly vaccinated, I think it then becomes little more than academic about whether the rest of us are or are not. If it makes you feel good, do it - if not, take your (very good) chances.

My criticism is entirely about what damage the Government's change of tactic is doing to the absolutely most important thing of getting the vulnerable covered (at which point, if achieved, there would be no reason - no reason - why all of the restrictions should not be thrown out of the window for good). The sowing of confusion and doubt that their mixed messaging is throwing out in respect of what is their claimed intention is entirely another and incidental matter. If they are using the vaccine as a cack-handed means of extracting themselves from the vicious cycle they have gotten themselves into, then they are still screwing it up.

And on this score, they continued to dig themselves in ever yet deeper yesterday by surreptitiously attempting to change the information contained in their 'green book' (Sky New's phrase, not mine - I have no idea whether such a book exists in physicality or was just a 'turn of phrase') in respect of mixing different vaccine types. Where previously, the information had been that it was essential that the two shots given to make up the full course were of the same product, suddenly it became that, while this remained highly desirable, there were circumstances in which it would be better to receive a shot of a different type if this was absolutely necessary (due say to supply problems with the product used for the initial shot).

This again flys one hundred percent in the face of the manufacturers instructions in both the case of the Pfizer and Astra Zenica vaccinations, as both manufacturers were quick to make clear in statements. This puts the Government at odds with the vaccine producers on three different issues now: firstly over the timing of the second shot, secondly over the mixing of different vaccine types and thirdly over the supply capacity, which the Government had claimed was behind the slow rollout of the program and which both producers strenuously denied.

This shower of imbeciles are rapidly turning their own clarion call to cavalry into a total farce - and one which will tragically cost lives amongst the vulnerable groups we have mentioned above. The best thing they could do is to shut the **** up, revert to their original plan, and get the vaccination of the at risk individuals done as quickly and quietly as possible and then put this thing to bed.

(Incidentally, my comments about this all having gone to far and my question (which was singularly failed to be answered) about how, in the face of Government inertia in respect of rolling back the restrictions (for whatever reason) we achieve this ourselves, still stands. I don't want to be wearing a mask and not seeing my family next Christmas; how do we make it so if the Government deem otherwise?)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
(Incidentally, my comments about this all having gone to far and my question (which was singularly failed to be answered) about how, in the face of Government inertia in respect of rolling back the restrictions (for whatever reason) we achieve this ourselves, still stands. I don't want to be wearing a mask and not seeing my family next Christmas; how do we make it so if the Government deem otherwise?)

And I continue to assert that this concern of yours makes no sense in the face of a government that has repeatedly attempted to lift restrictions even before it was safe to do so.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....... only to reimpose them again and again when it was unnecessary to do so.

Look - I'm not suggesting that this is being done (rightly or wrongly) for any malign reasons Murrin - simply that the Government has gotten itself into a pickle. Boris Johnson, in his interview with Andrew Marr yesterday gave essentially the same argument that he would give to you now - that of course he could have stopped the pandemic in it's tracks by locking down the entire economy for the duration........ but in a more practical exercise of the means at his disposal he has attempted to steer the middle course - and it's a fair argument.

But where we (you and I) differ - and I agree with Professor Gupta and that lady pathologist and all the rest, while you do not, preferring instead the Whitty policy - is that the continuing use of lockdown, which in my view has patently failed to work in bringing down the R number as evidenced by the continuing rise in infections, is simply wrong and quite possibly actively counterproductive. I suspect we are not going to reach agreement on this and that's fair enough, so I think that there is little point beating it to death, but tell me this - what does your gut tell you in respect of the vaccine rollout situation: should the Government stick to it's original plan and follow the manufacturers instructions in as quickly as possible getting all of the vulnerable members of society covered (forget about the lifting of restrictions post this having been achieved for the minute), or do you agree with the switch to getting the maximum number covered by a first dose even in the face of absence of data on longevity of cover and against manufacturer instructions? I will make clear at the outset, I am in favour of the first of these, but will listen to argument in favour of the latter should they truly exist (and by that I mean as genuine scientifically based propositions, not just as Government spin).
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's kind of a false choice you're presenting me here, peter. When you say "as quickly as possible getting all of the vulnerable members of society covered", you're missing the fact that the new first dose patients that will be given the vaccine sooner because of the push back of the second doses will also be people in vulnerable groups. "Getting the maximum number of people covered" and "getting all of the vulnerable members of society covered" are not different things.

It's a question of what seems more effective: near-full immunity for one group of people, or partial (but still fairly high) immunity for twice as many people? It's not an easy answer, and you can't make it easy by pretending only the first group contains people at risk from the virus.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, but I'd argue that sticking to the regimen of vaccination that has been trialed ,albeit in a much more rapid manner than the normal protocols would have demanded (a consideration that lends yet more weight to the argument), should be the absolute red line that you do not cross even in your attempt to ramp up the pace of the rollout to it's maximum. I'm not saying that there is no 'wiggle room' within this - all data sheets for vaccinations give a minimum to maximum period (normally in days) for the second dose to be administered within. By all means push it to the maximum, but stick within the limits - and stick with the same manufacturers product for both doses. To do anything other than this is to risk the efficacy of the whole program and simply flys in the face of common sense (not to mention adding fuel to the fire of speculation that the program is simply to be used as a 'get out of jail card', a vicious circle breaker that the Government has no major interest in the efficacy off).

But as if the final evidence were needed that the partial lockdown and tier system we have been following to date have been as futile as pissing into the wind, today we find ourselves back in the most Draconian of lockdowns that, while certainly effecting to put the brakes on transmission, will simultaneously blast our economy back into the middle ages. Anybody who thinks that there will be no cost to this is frankly away with the fairies. I watched a Sky financial news broadcast the other day that said in real terms, due to quantitative easing and inflation, the value of our money is effectively twenty five percent less than it was one year ago (I guess because there is effectively twenty five percent more money against which the total world capital must be measured against). For this reason the huge financial industries and global corporations - even the banks - are rushing their money into cryptocurrency like bitcoin in an effort to protect it's value. This should tell you what the writing on the wall is if nothing else does.

Absolutely crucial then, to 1) get the vulnerable covered properly (not with this partial immunity that there is no evidence has any recognisable longevity) with all the haste that the wiggle room allows for, 2) to get the nightingale hospitals up, running and staffed using the huge bank of expertise sitting idle in the retired and agency labour-pools alongside regular staff. (There are a host of other measures that can be taken to increase capacity to deal with Covid patients without effecting other essential procedures, but in the interest of brevity cannot be gone into here.) 3) to get the economy functioning at full steam again in order to pay for the cost of all this. If we don't do this, in short order there will be no NHS to fall back on, each of us will have to face the risk of Covid in our own homes anyway and the situation will be worse by factors of ten.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two big questions that need to be put to Whitty or Johnson;

I) What are the criteria that you are going to use in order to judge the success or otherwise of the vaccination campaign (this needs to be established before the post vaccination data starts arriving and ii) what are you going to do if it doesn't work!

And just exactly who does Professor Chris Whitty think he is, warning us that we "might have to expect restrictions of some kind" to be imposed on us next winter, even in the event of a successful rollout of the vaccine this spring and summer. What is this? This is supposed to be an extraordinary situation: what - are we now being prepared for it to become the 'new normal'....... that we can arbitrarily be shut into our homes whenever this or that statistic, this or that circumstance is tossed down on the table?

This is exactly the kind of bollocks I've been bleating on about - we are in thin end of the wedge slippery slope territory here and the sooner we slap it down the better!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if Chief Medical Officer (or whatever he is) Chris Whitty likes the subtle shift in the manner of his presentation of late on the television and in the media generally?

Clearly deliberately orchestrated from somewhere above, he has morphed from having a slightly avuncular presentation on our screens into a faintly Orwellian presence, even dare I say slightly threatening, in which he is placed face on to the viewer, sitting against a blank background with the emphasis on his slightly cadaverous face and penetrating eyes. The transformation has been accomplished in parallel with an increase in the gravity of the message he is being used to promote, basically that if we don't follow the rules and do what we are told then we are all fucked (if not by the virus then by the Government for being such bad comrades).

Who'd ever have thought we would be facing a situation like this - having to live both in fear of our lives and our freedoms simultaneously. And there is no escaping it. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cresida Dick is probably correct when she describes it as "preposterous" that anyone could accidentally break the Covid regulations, saturated as we have been with wall to wall messaging and propoganda in respect of the pandemic and how we are instructed to deal with it. But it seems that even Downing Street are having difficulty getting their heads around what it all actually means; they refuse to say what constitutes 'local exercise' (the distance of five miles from your home has been mooted, but PM Johnson himself was spotted cycling seven miles from his yesterday). Similarly, 'when is a picnic not a picnic' is another point in which they decline to comment. Some police authorities say that a cup of tea in your hands while walking constitutes a breach of the rules earning you a two hundred pounds fine, while for others it is deemed acceptable. Suddenly the preposterous becomes a little less so.

I for my part am slowly loosing the will to live anyway. It beggars belief that the holiday companies are still advertising as if there is nothing going on, when you'd clearly have to be a cast iron certified nut-job to even consider booking a holiday at this precarious time. On the TV they present this as 'just another layer of preparation you must make', when in reality the lack of certainty of the safety of your investment, the likelihood of your being able to go, the uncertain nature of the rules or state of infection in the place you intend to go to, the problem of quarantine at both ends (the list goes on) means that unless you have money to burn and never actually leave your house when you are at home, the idea of a foreign holiday is for the birds and will remain so for the duration.

So it looks like it's a case of stay at home and watch TV for the time being at least. Let's see what's on .........Oh fuck me! It's that Chris Whitty horror movie again!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

Pretty sad actually...the tourism industry is well fucked at the moment, but they can't stop either. Very difficult time for those of, for example, our clients, who are in that business.

The thing with vaccinations of course is that as soon as you start vaccinating people, you are placing evolutionary pressure on the virus.

And the slower you vaccinate, the more likely that the virus will evolve "counter-measures" as it were.

Part of the problem here of course is that poor and middle-income countries are not going to get vaccinated until much later, leaving ample room for more and more mutations.

At the very least, the globally uneven roll-out is going to effectively ensure that everybody will need repeat jabs, as the "vaccines" will need updating regularly.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the fuck is going on at the BBC news department? Yesterday in one of the main broadcasts we had Clive Myrie spend an extended period in a hospital emergency theater (appropriate word in the light of what is going on) telling us in hushed tones how "The words 'He's not breathing' stimulate a fast reaction and we see a long tube brought out and pushed down his throat". Moments later we are transported to the hospital morgue where it appears that the poor unfortunate from the table is now drawing a curtain across his five minutes of fame - as well as the rest of his life........

Cut to the scenes of weeping mortuary attendant.

I mean, what the fuck is going on here. This is not news! This is fly on the wall documentary stuff at best, egregious voyeuristic and manipulative propoganda at worst. It's bullshit. Not only did the poor individual on the table deserve better - especially from the doctors and nurses who were in charge of the emergency room who allowed their desire to 'be on the telly' to override what was clearly their responsibility to the patient in question and throw this busybody news team out on their ear - but so does the UK viewing public. Let's get it straight; this type of scene is replicated up and down the country in every hospital every day of every year without exception. This has nothing to do with Covid, nothing to do with the pandemic - it's what doctors and nurses in emergency rooms in hospitals do. The reason behind this news segment was as a frightening tactic pure and simple. Keep hammering home the message; you're all screwed. The vaccines coming; you're all saved. The new variant is twice as deadly; you are so screwed. Stay at home and save lives; you're all doing fine. We are being battered from pillar to post here with deliberate intent, and the BBC are sitting right at the heart of it. And then they add insult to injury by broadcasting a 'Travel Show' about where we could be going if we weren't all locked in our homes and the travel industry fucked. Still, I suppose it's still good viewing for the Tamara Ecclestone brigade who can slide past the travel bans with impunity.

Take my advice. Get out there and start digging into the science behind all of this. It doesn't take long before the cracks start to appear I promise you.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHAT A RESULT! BRITISH VACCINES LINED UP UNTIL 2025

BRITAIN'S haul of Covid-19 vaccines grew to 407 million doses yesterday as the Government prepares supplies for future years.

So reads the headline and opening paragraph on the front page of the Express today, encapsulating in one line just about everything that is wrong about the paper and the ideology upon which it rests. This can also be summarised in one line: I'm alright Jack - fuck everyone else! That the pandemic that is supposedly ripping through the world, leaving a trail of death and destruction in it's wake should become a political football match in which the rich countries of the world use their might to secure ever greater stocks of the vaccines of limited supply - and that this shit-sheet should actually crow about our "haul" of the prize, is sickening, or at least should be, to any right thinking individual.

Cannot the stupid fucks at this rag understand that if this disease represents the threat we are led to believe it does, then there is no such thing as selfish isolation that will bring any escape from the situation, but that it is essential that all countries work together in order to ensure that all vulnerable people, first and third world alike, are vaccinated in short order before - before - extending the rollout to groups of people with lesser vulnerability. This means Governments not behaving like shoppers fighting to stockpile toilet roll supplies from the shelves of supermarkets, but being orderly and reasonable, working together in order that supplies are furnished to those most in need at any given time.

Perhaps this kind of working in concert is too much to ask from our Governments - our world is simply too selfish by nature, when the chips are down rotten to the core - but if it is so then we will all pay the price for it. If this danger is real, then there will be no beating it without the kind of cooperation that I describe, and the type of thinking expressed by the above quote will simply be the first steps we take - all of us - on the road to hell.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Governments are dependent on the good will of their own electorate, and no doubt, there are many who would be quick to criticise giving "their" vaccine to the poor. Very Happy

Of course, I can't agree more, and as I said above, the uneven roll-out is going to cause future problems.

Humans are selfish...it's a survival trait left over from our evolutionary past. And it manifests in both personal and political greed and ambition etc.

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