‘The outcome is indeed so vital for us all that the progress of the vaccination programme is the one topic that cannot be kicked into the long grass of some future Inquiry – and this knowledge must be shared as fully and as often as possible.’
‘Putting it bluntly, this kind of statistical amnesia will seem a little tawdry to anyone who invested belief and political capital in the First Minister’s approach.’ Our statistical expert ends the year of the pandemic as he began: savaging the misuse of data.
‘But the more fundamental objection is that the study (by Public Health Scotland into hospital discharges to care homes) tells us nothing about the real question of concern: Did the discharge of untested patients to care homes result in an increase in deaths? The truth is that we are really none the wiser.’
‘It looks as though outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 will be a fact of life for some time to come, but “learning to live with the virus” should not mean letting it infect large numbers of people. The plan should be to make sure that very few people get infected so that new outbreaks are small and rare.’
In his latest piece on the pandemic, Hugh Pennington examines inter alia how cuts in labs and scientists have helped damage our response to the coronavirus
‘It’s right that we do not forget that the objective of protecting the NHS in Scotland resulted in people being denied essential care for non-COVID-19 conditions nor the mistakes made in respect of care homes…But the drawing of comparisons is not a political debating ploy. It is essential to our safety.’
‘The current COVID-19 events are not a “second wave”, or a “second peak”, or “second spikes”. They are continuations of the ongoing epidemic. There was no second wave with SARS, a closely related coronavirus, and we are still waiting for one in Wuhan.’
“I wanted to upset everybody, including myself. Half the problem with the world is that half the people take themselves too seriously. The other half don’t take themselves seriously enough.”
In his latest piece, senior statistician James Urquhart, investigates how the UK Government uses UK data to buttress policy decisions for England and asks: manipulation or malfeasance…
As much as a third (32%) of the Scottish workforce isn’t working in the lockdown but it’s the young who are the hardest hit and faces the bleakest future – unless we adopt New Deal-style measures to prevent a “lost generation” being scarred for life.