Christopher Snowdon

Is this the last gasp of the Covid state?

Those still calling for restrictions need to let it go

In the week ending 15 April, there were 644 deaths registered in England and Wales involving Covid-19 as the underlying cause. In total, there were 9,919 deaths registered. Or, to put it in terms that a Covid hysteric might understand, enough people to fill 24 jumbo jets.

You don’t hear much about the 9,275 deaths that didn’t involve Covid because other respiratory diseases haven’t attracted a vocal lobby group that puts platitudinous opposition to them at the very core of its being.

Despite the latest wave of Covid being on its way out in Britain, there still exists a surprisingly resilient and increasingly hysterical movement calling for lockdown restrictions to be reintroduced. And as the health service has struggled in recent weeks, there have been predictable calls for society to close down again.

Two weeks ago, the chief executive of NHS Providers called for the government to bring back facemasks and social distancing to protect the health service. Independent Sage, a knock-off version of the government advisory body, has lobbied for restrictions to return. Academics on Twitter are still calling for masks and ventilation to prevent long-Covid.

James O’Brien, LBC’s pied piper of mid-wits, told his listeners on 22 April that ‘646 people died yesterday’ of Covid-19. He acknowledged that official statistics showed that the infection rate was falling, but muttered conspiratorially that he was ‘a little bit confused about how we’re keeping a proper handle on the number of infections now given that most of us have stopped testing’.

If even Mr O’Brien, whose books include How To Be Right and How Not To Be Wrong, is still confused by Covid statistics after two years, what hope is there for those us who didn’t attend a top public school? Sure enough, Twitter was awash with people repeating the 646 deaths figure and rebutting claims about falling infection rates with the words ‘we’re not testing’.

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