Tuesday, October 12, 2021

British Health secretary’s alarm at ‘huge’ and growing problem of long Covid

Long COVID now has an official WHO clinical definition
Health secretary Sajid Javid has expressed alarm at the rising numbers of people suffering long Covid symptoms, telling a private meeting of health officials that the problem was “huge” and “getting bigger”.

The meeting was given an update on long Covid treatment, with NHS England bosses revealing 10 per cent of all clinic appointments were being taken up by NHS staff in a sign of the potential longer term impact of coronavirus and the risk it could undermine already depleted staffing levels.

NHS staff are most likely to be affected by long Covid, followed by staff in social care and teachers. As many as 125,000 NHS staff may be affected by persistent symptoms.

Public Health England has faced criticism over its guidance for NHS staff which suggested most should wear only basic surgical masks instead of higher grade masks to guard against airborne spread. Some NHS trusts have ignored the rules amid concern staff were being put at increased risk.

The meeting also heard that patients getting appointments at long Covid clinics were disproportionately white, with just under a fifth coming from the most deprived communities. This is despite infection levels overall being highest in these areas.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week revealed more than 1.1 million people were now reporting lasting symptoms from a Covid-19 infection, with 405,000 suffering its effects for more than a year.

The ONS found 211,000 people had reported their ability to carry out daily activities was being significantly affected by the condition.

Concerns over the potential impact of long Covid is rising in Whitehall as some officials fear the impact on the NHS and the wider economy. Patient groups have reported long delays in being seen, with some criticising doctors for not believing their symptoms.

At a roundtable update at the end of September, Mr Javid heard details from statisticians at the ONS setting out the scale of the problem and the wider prevalence of cases.

There were also “hideous” stories from two long Covid patients who urged the health secretary to do more.

Sources who attended the meeting said the minister highlighted “the new challenge” posed by the condition and that experts were still having to learn about it and understand what exactly it is.

After being told the latest estimates of people suffering for more than a year, the secretary of state said: “That’s huge. The numbers are only getting bigger.”

He urged those on the call from the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to listen to patient experiences as “we’re the ones that can do something”.

He described long Covid as a “hugely important topic” facing the government and said new health minister Maria Caulfield, a former nurse, would be leading the response.

Mr Javid told the meeting there was still a lack of consensus on what exactly long Covid was and how to measure it.

He also said the vaccination rollout to school children was an important step in protecting some youngsters as many would be unable to avoid being infected at some stage.

Cathy Hassell, director of clinical policy, quality and operations at NHS England, told the meeting the health service had achieved five of its 10 long Covid targets and now had every part of the country served by at least one dedicated clinic.

She said the number of appointments at clinics taken up by NHS staff was “disproportionately high” and work was going on to make sure affected NHS staff had access to specialist mental health hubs, occupational health service and rapid referral to the long Covid clinics.

The meeting was told that around 6,000 referrals were being made in each four-week period, with 4,000 specialist assessments and 5,000 follow-up appointments a month.

The meeting heard more action was needed to increase referrals as the numbers coming forward for help were much smaller than the levels of people reporting problems to the ONS. A new enhanced GP service has gone live this month which may help direct more patients to clinics.

Another concern was the demographics of those using the clinics. The meeting was told 63 per cent accessing the service were women, and 81 per cent were white. Only 17 per cent were from the most deprived areas.

This could mean ethnic minorities and people in the poorest areas, which were worst hit by the Covid pandemic, are not accessing help from the long Covid clinics.

The NHS has invested £125m in setting up clinics and providing better GP care for patients with lasting symptoms.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “The NHS is taking practical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of coronavirus – bringing together experts and setting up 90 specialist clinics covering the whole country, as well as collecting and publishing data on the demographics of patients referred with long Covid to develop a greater understanding of this new condition.

“Anyone who is concerned about long-lasting symptoms following Covid-19 should continue to get in touch with their GP practice so they can get a referral or go online to the NHS ‘Your Covid Recovery’ website for further advice.”


The January 6 Insurrection Hoax

it is absolutely critical to the Democrat Party narrative that the incident be made to seem as violent and crazed as possible.

Notwithstanding all the hysterical rhetoric surrounding the events of January 6, 2021, two critical things stand out. The first is that what happened was much more hoax than insurrection. In fact, in my judgment, it wasn’t an insurrection at all.

An “insurrection,” as the dictionary will tell you, is a violent uprising against a government or other established authority. Unlike the violent riots that swept the country in the summer of 2020 — riots that caused some $2 billion in property damage and claimed more than 20 lives — the January 6 protest at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. lasted a few hours, caused minimal damage, and the only person directly killed was an unarmed female Trump supporter who was shot by a Capitol Police officer. It was, as Tucker Carlson said shortly after the event, a political protest that “got out of hand.”

At the rally preceding the events in question, Donald Trump had suggested that people march to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically” — these were his exact words — in order to make their voices heard. He did not incite a riot; he stirred up a crowd. Was that, given the circumstances, imprudent? Probably. Was it an effort to overthrow the government? Hardly.

I know this is not the narrative that we have all been instructed to parrot. Indeed, to listen to the establishment media and our political masters, the January 6 protest was a dire threat to the very fabric of our nation: the worst assault on “our democracy” since 9/11, since Pearl Harbor, and even — according to Joe Biden last April — since the Civil War!

Note that phrase “our democracy”: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and various talking heads have repeated it ad nauseam. But you do not need an advanced degree in hermeneutics to understand that what they mean by “our democracy” is their oligarchy. Similarly, when Pelosi talks about “the people’s house,” she doesn’t mean a house that welcomes riff-raff like you and me.

I just alluded to Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed supporter of Donald Trump who was shot and killed on January 6. Her fate brings me to the second critical thing to understand about the January 6 insurrection hoax. Namely, that it was not a stand-alone event.

On the contrary, what happened that afternoon, and what happened afterwards, is only intelligible when seen as a chapter in the long-running effort to discredit and, ultimately, to dispose of Donald Trump — as well as what Hillary Clinton might call the “deplorable” populist sentiment that brought Trump to power.

In other words, to understand the January 6 insurrection hoax, you also have to understand that other long-running hoax, the Russia collusion hoax. The story of that hoax begins back in 2015, when the resources of the federal government were first mobilized to spy on the Trump campaign, to frame various people close to Trump, and eventually to launch a full-throated criminal investigation of the Trump administration.

Which brings me back to Ashli Babbitt, the long-serving Air Force veteran who was shot and killed by a nervous Capitol Police officer. Babbitt was a useful prop when the media was in overdrive describing the January 6 events as an “armed insurrection” in which wild Trump supporters, supposedly at Trump’s instigation, attacked the Capitol with the intention of overturning the 2020 election.

According to that narrative, five people, including Babbitt, died in the skirmish. Moreover, it was said, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death by a raging Trump supporter wielding a fire extinguisher. That gem of a story about the fire extinguisher, reported in our former paper of record, The New York Times, was instantly picked up by other media outlets and spread like a Chinese virus.

Of course, it is absolutely critical to the Democratic Party narrative that the January 6 incident be made to seem as violent and crazed as possible. Hence the comparisons to 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and the Civil War. Only thus can pro-Trump Americans be excluded from “our democracy” by being branded as “domestic extremists” if not, indeed, “domestic terrorists.”

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution accords American citizens the right to a speedy trial. But most of the political prisoners of January 6 — many of whom have been kept in solitary confinement — are still waiting to be brought to trial. And although the media was full of predictions that they would be found guilty of criminal sedition, none has.

Indeed, the prosecution’s cases seem to be falling apart. Most of the hundreds who have been arrested are being charged with trespassing. Another charge being leveled against them is “disrupting an official proceeding.” This is a felony charge designed not for ceremonial procedures like the January 6 certification of the vote, but rather for disrupting Congressional inquiries — for example, by shredding documents relevant to a Congressional investigation. It originated during the George W. Bush administration to deal with the Enron case.

The indisputable fact about January 6 is that although five people died at or near the Capitol on that day or soon thereafter, none of these deaths was brought about by the protesters. The shot fired by Capitol Police Officer Michael Byrd that hit Ashli Babbitt in the neck and killed her was the only shot fired at the Capitol that day. No guns were recovered from the Capitol on January 6. Zero.

The liberal commentator Glenn Greenwald further diminished the “armed insurrection” narrative in an important column last February titled “The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot.” The title says it all. Kevin Greeson, Greenwald notes, was killed not by the protesters but died of a heart attack outside the Capitol. Benjamin Philips, the founder of a pro-Trump website called Trumparoo, died of a stroke that day. Rosanne Boyland, another Trump supporter, was reported by The New York Times to have been inadvertently “killed in a crush of fellow rioters during their attempt to fight through a police line.” But later video shows that, far from that, the police pushed protesters on top of Boyland and would not allow other protesters to pull her out.

Four of the five who died, then, were pro-Trump protesters. And the fifth? Well, that was Officer Sicknick — also a Trump supporter, as it turned out — who, contrary to the false report gone viral of The New York Times, went home, told his family he felt fine, but died a day later from, as The Washington Post eventually and grudgingly reported, “natural causes.” No fire extinguishers were involved in his demise.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


No comments: