Sunday, April 5, 2020

Nicola Sturgeon must make 100% sure that whoever is appointed as the next Chief Medical Officer is not a "herd immunity" zealot

Before the UK went into lockdown, I felt like certain journalists and celebrities were missing the point somewhat by lambasting irresponsible individuals for ignoring social distancing advice.  However much self-righteous satisfaction might be gained from ranting at members of the public, the reality was that a percentage of the population were always bound to ignore the guidelines until they ceased to be guidelines and became enforceable rules.  So any pressure that wasn't on Boris Johnson to impose a lockdown was misdirected pressure.

In a similar way, I felt the media were missing the bigger picture today by getting on their high horse about Catherine Calderwood's hypocrisy in thinking her own strictures shouldn't apply to herself.  Yes, she deserved to be criticised, and yes, the ever-reliable Jason Leitch made his umpteenth gaffe of this crisis by initially trying to pretend that what she did was absolutely fine.  But the media outrage over a small personal misjudgement seems wildly disproportionate when you consider the far more serious strategic errors that ministers and their advisers (including Calderwood herself) have made in their response to the outbreak - most obviously the catastrophic 'herd immunity' idea, which apart from being immoral and unworkable, also directly led to us being woefully unprepared for a mass-testing drive when the change of direction came.

I must be a glass half full sort of person, because whatever Calderwood's personal responsibility for the mistakes that have been made, I tend to worry more about how her replacement could be a lot worse if the appointment is made in a rush and the wrong person is chosen.  It ought to go without saying that Nicola Sturgeon should make 100% sure that the new CMO is not a herd immunity zealot.  The ideal person would be someone with a good grounding in the basics of public health - such as testing, contact tracing, and quarantining.  Those are the prosaic methods by which (as South Korea has demonstrated) it's perfectly possible to eventually get on top of the virus without the majority of the population being infected.

21 comments:

  1. Lardy Lad fae PerthApril 5, 2020 at 11:19 PM

    Uh oh. Looks like my influence is diminishing.

    https://twitter.com/BerthanPete/status/1246823151058763777

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    1. Big Eater From PerthApril 6, 2020 at 8:42 AM

      **** off, Mr Lardy Da Gunner Graham. They're not going to stop me taking a walking party up the jungle.

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  2. I am very concerned about who will get the new CMO Scotland role. The 'herd immunity' tactic pursued by Johnson, Whitty and Cummings - even if they publicly disavow it now - the lack of testing, failure to sign up to the EU ventillator scheme and lax lockdown they have decided on; well, it looks as if they are trying 'herd immunity' still.

    Herd immunity without a vaccine does not work. The British tried it in parts of India as 'an experiment' with smallpox - and as a result the disease went unchecked for years. Thousands of indians died; and those that survived were debilitated by smallpox.

    We need a new CMO that can try and follow the South Korean line. It will be difficult as the UK hold the pursestrings and even now the testing kits!

    We need a CMO that will follow WHO advice.

    The current deputy CMO for Scotland Gregor Smith seems to be following the UK line. If he gets the top job - will he do things differently?

    Yes, Calderwood was stupid to go to her 2nd home; and journalists have jumped on this. However - the key question is: can we get anyone better? I hope so; but journalists have now got what they wished for. They - like Calderwood - might learn that actions have consequences - and their baying for blood may actually cause thousands to die if the new person isn't as good as Calderwood. Everyone has a responsibility to act sensibly here not just civil servants and politicians.

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    1. What about the reporters that followed her, was their journey really necessary?

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    2. Yes. BritNat propaganda needs to get out to the public. Totally justifiable for 'journalists' to follow CMO. God bless Ye, Ma'am.

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    3. More importantly WHO TIPPED OFF the photographers..?

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  3. Death rate at 35% is horrific ((100×dead)/(dead+recovered)). She may have been hypocritical, but with this death rate it is no time for experiments with new personnel, a dressing down is sufficient at this juncture, she should be given an extension until Covid19 is well and truly beaten.

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  4. In the new world of the living dead where everyone must comdemn someone else, who condemns the condemners?
    Journalists TV Press Media taught the world how to be a biased vicious reporter of transgressions against ourselves and they say they do it for our benefit so the world retaliates by becoming the thing we despise, them, the very journalists who created the culture of bring on the hate

    Nicola Sturgeon once said "don't condemn the media become the media" my guess is she didn't mean take over their personality and become the same as them

    Who do we trust now? well the answer is of course nobody, because society has become the thing that we despised and instead of changing the way information is used to communicate we copied the method that got us into this mess and developed an even bigger culture of bias, so much so that the media who taught us how to do this hate us even more than we hate them

    We're eating each other with it and making no progress because of it, and any principles of truth or justice are abandoned for the pursuit of the more important revenge and condemnation of others to prove our principles are better ones than the people we condemn

    Scotland should be seeing through this, we're a clever brilliant Nation who invented the modern world and made half the scientific and medical discoveries in it, without Scotland think of what the world wouldn't have had then think about the contribution the British Empire has made

    Which people come out the best in that comparison

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  5. One would assume that the new CMO will be either the deputy CMO or another senior member of the Scvot Govs medial team.

    You are going to need someone who knows the workings of the Government and the key players. Obviously they will also need to be someone who is confident enough to be able to answer press questions at the breifings etc.

    Would imagine it will be someone in this list :
    https://twitter.com/GlennBBC/status/1245631862107561986

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  6. Whenever there is a choice to be made you can be sure that the Britnat media will go for the wrong one. Sickening seeing the wee stoat Mathews on Sky news struggling to keep the grin off his face as he reports that Calderwood has gone. Obviously feeling proud of himself. Pathetic Britnat.

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    1. Typical Jock Nat si. Do not do as we do jist dae whit ye are telt.

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    2. I don't want to brag but I just completed a jigsaw puzzle in one week and the box said two to four years.

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    3. Followers of Boris Johnston I presume.

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  7. I imagine Calderwood can still form part of the advisory team to the new CMO. What an erse she's made of herself.

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  8. Dr Small's InsertsApril 6, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    They say that Big Eater towers above the herd. This is how I think of him -

    “Knickers' massive 70lbs-a-day (30kg) diet is a mix of natural green pasture and rations of cereal grain, and though he has always been a big eater, Mr Pearson puts his size mostly down to genetics.
    'He was always a standout who stood above the rest. We kept him on because we thought he had potential to be a big steer but never imagined he'd grow to be this huge,' he said.
    'It's quite daunting being up close to him, he's far bigger than any other steer I've had. But he's very placid, not aggressive, just inquisitive.'

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6436599/Owner-giant-Perth-steer-named-Knickers-describes-beasts-huge-appetite.html

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  9. Deputy CMO now going to be interim CMO. Not really surprising keeps continuity and the whole point of a deputy is that they can step up if the CMO is not available.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-52181633

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  10. Big Eater From PerthApril 6, 2020 at 1:46 PM

    So I continue to be lampooned by sections of the media.
    Hmmm! It seems I'm not alone in having doubts about their 'essential' nature.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/03/why-media-exempt-coronavirus-business-shutdowns-daniel-greenfield/

    The media should be properly classified as entertainment and deemed non-essential. Aside from exploitative coronavirus coverage, much of what the media does is entertain, albeit badly, with celebrity gossip, scandals, shaming, cooking tips, viral videos, crossword puzzles, and anything that keeps it afloat.


    I think this describes Kelly's site. Although no-one has ever asked me for cooking tips.

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  11. I'm hoping for a staggered return to work.

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  12. Big Eater From PerthApril 6, 2020 at 2:30 PM

    Whatever else it is -and we all know what else it is well enough that we don’t need pompous, self-righteous reminders – the pandemic was just what Nicola Sturgeon needed. Politicians exploit situations. Whether you approve or not, it’s what happens. Deal with it!

    The political inadvisability of Nicola Sturgeon’s cease and desist letter to activists should be obvious to anyone who understands political communication. By issuing that instruction; by effectively declaring herself to be in charge of the entire independence movement, she has taken responsibility for the entire independence movement. She has made herself answerable for everything done by anyone in the movement. The very situation she had been so assiduously avoiding for years. That order to suspend all campaigning will come back to bite her in lots of different ways. It was a stupid thing to do. And I will be doing the biting!

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  13. I thing you are full of shit, not food.

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  14. Big Eater From PerthApril 6, 2020 at 5:07 PM

    You fail to understand that certain things are part of a process which I operate with a great deal of expertise.

    It is time for you to process my political thoughts and extract the relevant nutrition.

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