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Government Is Using the Mutant Virus as an Alibi for Its Failures
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The coastal town of Margate in east Kent is the place where the fast-spreading variant of Covid-19 first mutated before it swept through the rest of Britain. Scientists identified Kent last month as the county where the mutant virus developed, but a source with knowledge of research into its origins tells me that the earliest case of a person being infected with it was in Margate on the Isle of Thanet.

The new virus mutated during the second wave of the epidemic with the first case becoming known in September, though the danger it posed only became clear in December. The renewed epidemic in late summer was centred on Thanet and Swale, both on the north Kent coast, and was particularly severe in their most deprived districts.

Government scientists expressed alarm at the steep and unexpected increase in coronavirus cases in Kent, despite the November lockdown. “This variant became of interest because there was an investigation of the increasing case numbers in Kent in early December, despite the national lockdown,” said Professor Peter Horby, the chairman of the government’s New and Emerging and Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG).

Horby recalled that when Public Health England investigated the reason for the upsurge in Kent, its medical experts discovered a cluster of cases with a variant of the virus that they had not seen before. The first case of the new more transmissible strain was first detected on 21 September, but its enhanced ability to infect people only became evident six weeks later.

Every virus mutates, but most mutations lead nowhere. Creating a more efficient virus through trial and error requires many people to be infected and plenty of potential hosts were available as the second wave of the epidemic gathered pace in north Kent late last summer. Scientists say that the mutation probably occurred in a single person with a weak immune system, giving the virus the opportunity to improve its mode of attack.

That this person should be living in Margate, a run-down town with a population of 61,000 in Thanet on the southeast tip of England, was not inevitable but it fitted in with the pattern seen in the rest of the country. High levels of poverty and of Covid-19 infection go hand-in-hand as health inequality mirrors social and economic divisions.

The depth of these might not be obvious to a casual visitor to Margate who has come to see the Turner Gallery, swim from the sandy beaches, or eat in a restaurant in the gentrified town centre. Yet within a few hundred yards of central Margate live some of the poorest people in England.

A short walk from the Turner Gallery is the heavily populated Cliftonville West district which is in the top one per cent of the most deprived areas in England, ranking fourth out of 32,278 areas in the government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation. From a distance this part of Margate does not look decayed, and there are centres of bohemian life, but the impressive-looking Victorian buildings are often subdivided into single overcrowded one-room flats.

It does not necessarily follow that the variant of the virus began its existence in Margate in a deprived area, but, as the second wave of the epidemic grew in size and speed last year, a map showing the surging infection exactly matched a map of the most deprived districts. It was also clear that this time around, unlike during the first wave, east Kent was in the front line of the epidemic. More specifically, it was Thanet and Swale, a district a little further west along the coast from Margate, and later Medway, which bore the brunt of the attack.

Swale includes the towns of Faversham and Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey, separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water. As elsewhere in England, wealth and deprivation are closely juxtaposed, with the former often unaware of the latter. People living in beachfront houses that sell for a million pounds in Whitstable, a fashionable town in between Swale and Thanet, have a good view of the Isle of Sheppey, looking green and idyllic a few miles away across the water. But in reality, Sheppey is one of the poorest areas in Kent with life expectancy in places 10 years less than in towns nearby on the mainland. Similarly, out of view from Whitstable are three prisons in Sheppey, one of which suffered a coronavirus outbreak in which 90 inmates were infected.

I should confess a personal interest here since I live in Canterbury, which is 15 miles from Margate and 10 miles from Faversham. During the second lockdown last November and December, I noticed that infections did not seem to be falling in nearby Swale and Thanet as I had hoped. I was a bit disconcerted that the risk level was not declining as expected, though the idea that the second wave would provide the breeding ground for a deadlier strain of virus never occurred to me. But it should have occurred to the government, with immense scientific expertise at its fingertips, that the threat of a dangerous mutation would be enhanced by the premature and excessive relaxation of restrictions in July followed by the failure to reimpose them until November.

The second line of government defence is to blame the public and pretend that the problem is people fecklessly flouting lockdown restrictions, as claimed by the home secretary Priti Patel, who inevitably concludes that the way forward is tougher rules enforced by greater punishments.


Aside from Patel, many people abiding by the lockdown rules are outraged by the roar of traffic in their streets and the number of pedestrians on the pavement. I asked community workers and activists in different parts of Kent why so many people, particularly in deprived areas, appear to be living and working as normal. They all denied that it was “lockdown fatigue”, saying that people are actually more frightened now than during the first lockdown because, as one person in Swale put it to me, this time round everybody “knows somebody who has caught the virus or has died from it”.

People in deprived areas may want to stay at home but they have no choice but to go to work to earn a living and to keep their job. “Most women on the estate work in care homes, home care, as cleaners or in supermarkets,” says one local community leader. “I guess that makes them key workers, though they don’t get the applause.” Nor do they get compensation if they test positive and quarantine, putting in doubt what proportion of the working poor do get tested. During the pilot scheme run by the British army in Liverpool, a local doctor estimated that in areas of maximum deprivation, those coming forward to be tested numbered just four per cent.

The variant of the virus has become an alibi to explain away the government’s mistakes, but it was these same failings to better suppress the virus that helped produce the mutant in Margate in the first place.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology, Science • Tags: Britain, Coronavirus, Disease 
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  1. BuelahMan says:

    Cockburn is in full allegiance to the lie.

  2. Dumbo says:

    There is no mutation of the virus. How do they recognize it anyway. Does the PCR test identify the mutation? It’s all such a stupid lie.

  3. El Dato says:

    There is no mutation of the virus.

    Of course there is. These viruses like to mutate, it’s their way of staying relevant: What Other Coronaviruses Tell Us About SARS-CoV-2 A Russian Strain: Covid-19 found to have mutated 18 different times in one person, with some never seen before

    How do they recognize it anyway.

    You send the sample to the lab which then sequences the RNA.

    Does the PCR test identify the mutation?

    Not AFAIK.

    It’s all such a stupid lie.


    • Agree: unit472
  4. The much more honest Brit term for what is called in the U.S. unemployment, is “redundancy.” This means, effectively, unneeded and unwanted…a-k-a, “useless eaters.”

    So now, right on-cue, come the predicted Teenage Mutant Ninja Viruses to pick up where the original version has flagged in its capacity to aid-and-abet in carrying-out the great cull….of these now redundant multitudes. That none of these alleged pathogens is really what they’re said to be, that it is poverty and privation and pandemic chronic illnesses that are killing people, or at least rendering them too weak and frightened to resist, or even question, what’s being inflicted on them by ‘The System’ with no further use for them, is as obvious as it is terrifying for most among the muddled masses to acknowledge.

    Those who recognize both the nature and the scope of these dueling psyops, and who are urgently trying to inform what is increasingly called “the general population” (a term long applied specifically to people confined in custodial institutions), are (as hard and fast as technically and ‘politically’ possible), being “cancelled”….denied access to those “platforms” so many have been seduced into relying on to communicate information and concerns to others. These always-in-the-cards-anyway measures are generally decried and viewed with alarm by those subjected to them. Here in Indian Country, though, we see these “big tech” despots, probably unwittingly, doing people a huge favor.

    The Natural Fact is no real organic Human communication can or does take-place in ‘cyberspace.’ It is only when we can be up-close-and-personal, actually breathing (conspiring) together, that real communication among and between our Kind can happen. Those inflicting all this on us are fully aware of that Natural Fact. It is a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to prevent all actual organic Human communication, that has these wannabe “full spectrum” dominators trying to impose masks, “social distancing,” “lockdowns,” and (in the extreme) enforced “individual” isolation, on everybody “else.”

    Refusing to cooperate with this “program” is certainly going to have its “costs.” We can minimize and ameliorate those by getting over the induced and organically-crippling sickness that is the artificially “individual”-ized “self”….thereby recovering our Natural Human Freedom to come together in our Natural Human Form of Free Wild Bands of Free Wild Persons. That will mean, of-course, letting go of all these cold comforts and crippling conveniences that’ve lured so many of is into the captivity of first wage/debt slavery, and now (here at THE END of Days) into outright confinement and elimination. It will mean the maybe even more difficult letting-go of all the illusions that’ve kept so many of so susceptible to those material and psycho-emotional entrapments.

    “Live free or Die!” is not just a slogan. For HumanKind, and for all Kinds Native to Earth’s Whole Living Arrangement, it is an inescapable Organic Imperative.

  5. Dumbo says:
    @El Dato

    I think we know really very little about what viruses really are and how they work. Perhaps one day all the knowledge we think we have now will be seen as wrong or irrelevant.

    Anyway, virus may mutate, but what I find unusual is that we spent a whole year talking only about “Covid” (zero mutations), then come 2021 and just after the vaccine starts to be applied dozens of mutations start to appear all over the world…

    Now, were those other mutations or variants already present and we just didn’t identify them? Or they really started to appear on cue, to force a new lockdown?

    Yes, it’s a lie, there might or might not be a disease-causing virus around but nothing requiring this unprecedented and crazy hysteria, and the whole “lockdown” and “masks” are totally useless and based on lies.

    Covid is a unique disease in the sense that the global reaction to the disease has been much worse and much more socially disrupting than the disease itself.

    • Replies: @Anon
  6. Viruses indeed do mutate —the original virus in Milan Italy November 2019 was the nasty one.

  7. Biff says:

    I should confess a personal interest here since I live in Canterbury, which is 15 miles from Margate and 10 miles from Faversham.

    What’s with the ‘miles’? I thought you folks went metric generations ago?

  8. unit472 says:

    Unfortunately Cockburn is correct. Low income and high infection rates go hand in hand. Florida, among other states, publishes a ‘Covid Dashboard’ that breaks down covid cases by postal zipcode. As the disease spread zip codes with over 300 cases were colored red a those with under 100 a light blue. Miami became a sea or red with a few islands of light blue. One tiny blue square was Doral, the area around Trump’s resort. The other was Fisher Island, a zip code of incredible wealth. Up the coast, in Palm Beach County a narrow strip of of light blue designated the luxury estates and million dollar high rise condos along the beach. In my county of Manatee there are only two small patches of light blue left.One is called ‘University Park’ an area of single family homes for the affluent, the other Anna Maria Island, also an upscale community conveniently isolated at the end of Longboat Key.

    Areas with large numbers of immigrant farm workers had almost everyone get infected. No mystery there as they live in crowded trailers and spend all day working shoulder to shoulder picking and packing strawberries, tomatoes and oranges.

    This new B117 variant that is hitting England hard now is very worrisome. Worldometer reported the UK had over 1500 covid deaths a few days ago. Given that the UK has a population 1/5 that of the US that would, in US terms, mean 7500 deaths or almost twice our current daily death toll.

    If there is any good news the US states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota have seen dramatic drops in their infection rates. We need to find out what they did to achieve this. Lockdowns seem to be part of it but these are also majority white states with populations better able to follow common sense prophylactic measure like handwashing and social distancing than black and latino communities.

    • Replies: @Stealth
  9. Stealth says:

    It most likely happened naturally. Are you one of those people who think that Corona is some kind of magical illness that rages forever? It simply ran its course in those places

    • Replies: @unit472
  10. Anon[102] • Disclaimer says:

    You are right to distrust, but there is no need to descend into virus denial.

    I have been searching for a reliable home treatment since the beginning of this madness. I got Covid in December and treated it with Ivermectin, but now know I might need something more effective (nasty bug), specially if I don’t get the vaccine inmediately or get a less effective one like AstraZeneca. Anyway I went back and found Didier Raoult’s YouTube (IHU Mediterranee) channel, which I hadn’t found back in March. He heads Marseille’s research hospital and is highly regarded as an infectious disease specialist.

    IHU Mediterranée have been sequencing Covid19 genome since the beginning. Epidemics usually do a bell curve, with beginning and end, so he graphs in different colors the succeeding mutations. He says this virus mutates a lot, and they don’t know why. They have two hypothesis: one is that there is an animal reservoir where the virus goes, mutates, and comes back to humans. That would be the mini farms in Denmark, but also France and Italy. He recommends killing the three remaining mink farms in France, since they already eliminated one. The other hypothesis is that plasma therapies or remdesivir, a mutagene, given to sick patients, has caused the mutations.

    The second theory mad me laugh, Prof Raoult was literally crucified on media, made to answer to the Senate, etc for touting HCQ + azit. More so when Trump latched on it. They even have a video entitled “Remdesivir, a very ugly story”, where they posit that HCQ was blocked in order to sell a new, very expensive and totally worthless product. In the case of the EU, to the tune of a billion plus euros. A few days after the sale, the OMS came out and said remdesivir didn’t work for Covid19. It is also highly toxic for the kidneys, no doubt the reason it was administered to the president of the USA.😂

    Prof Raoult and other well known French doctors have denounced a serious conflict of interest of the regulatory agencies and medical journals (Lancetgate and others). Since Jan 9, the launched a “Medical Collective” for the freedom to prescribe what the doctors, who are in actual contact with and responsibility for patients, choose to prescribe.

    They argue, as you do, that the restrictions are excessive and counterproductive. They are not, per se, against vaccination. They do definitely caution prudence about mRNA. IHU Mediterranee, for example, is participating in the vaccination since the are, as they say, public servants and respect the law.

    But imagine, IF we had an approved, safe, cheap treatment.. if we did early testing and early treatment.. perhaps masking in bigger cities.. then no remdesivir, no public subsidies for pharma companies, no enforced covid passports, no overflowing hospitals, no generalized fear, no huge concentration of wealth. So many missed opportunities.

  11. Anon[102] • Disclaimer says:

    For those who are interested, here’s a site about the published studies (peer reviewed and not) of the main substances being used to treat Covid19:

    I’m addition IHU Mediterranee is looking into other old cheap molecules, like doxiciclyne and blue methylene (a new cheap product without the heavy metals called, if memory serves, devoblue.)

  12. unit472 says:

    We could hope the disease ‘ran its course’ in the Great Lakes region but that would seem unlikely. New York had a bad outbreak last March and then had few infections over the summer. Cuomo bragged about it every day during his daily TV show. He is much quieter these days as New York has had a bad resurgence despite his lockdowns. In fact his state now has more daily cases than Florida and Florida has two million+ more people than New York and a higher average age and isn’t under any lockdown orders

    North Dakota has cooled down ( they and South Dakota were given extra doses of vaccines because they had the highest infection rates in the country) with North Dakota having 12.5%% of its total population becoming infected so that might be helping them keep new infections down. The Navajo Reservation has had over 15% of its population infected and over one half of one percent of all Navajo Indians have died of covid so this disease isn’t going to ‘run its course’ in Wisconsin where just 9% of the population has been infected or Michigan with under 6% having been exposed.

  13. In the following article one finds more about what scientists are saying about the new variants:

    New coronavirus variants may have roots in immunocompromised patients, leading scientist says’

    They say the virus may acquire a number of mutations while inside a patient who develops a chronic form of the disease. Just a hypothesis, they say. This is the same hypothesis — combined with a lab leak — proposed by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson for the first appearance of this virus.

    ‘A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic’
    by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson

    Now read the following paragraph from the Independent piece:

    Stephen Goldstein, a virologist at the University of Utah, said the British variant displayed “too many mutations to have accumulated under normal evolutionary circumstances”.

    None of those authors above suggest the original virus was bioengineered. But some others say it may have been. And if the first one was bioengineered, what are the odds that the variants are as well?

    • Replies: @Anon
  14. Anon[102] • Disclaimer says:
    @Brás Cubas

    As to Stephen Goldstein’s quote, see the two hypotheses I mentioned in comment #10. I have no idea whether the first Covid virus was from a lab, but scientists who have been carefully following the mutations are looking for natural causes (mink farms or sick patients given mutagenes).

    The British variant recently in the press is held by IHU Mediterranee to be more contagious but NOT more deadly than the previous ones.

  15. @El Dato

    Disregarding your stance on VIRUS theory (Vague, Incredibly Renumerative Shitstories) you still do not answer Dumbo’s question; How do they identify this “new strain”?

    You send the sample to the lab which then sequences the RNA.

    Really? Really? And where do you get this sample, how do you sequence the DNA without an ISOLATED virus? ISOLATED, not a ball of DNA-filled snot containing a variety of microbes, spores and insect remnants.
    You clearly admit to not knowing if PCR can do the trick, which it cannot, because PCR is not a test, it is a method for multiplying neucleotide chains, so-called Amplification, which gives you enough material to work with when analysing such sequences. Unfortunaley, it also amplifies the insect, microbial and fungal neocleotides. Useless effort at best, fraud in the real sense.
    So, not only do you support something you cannot prove, you contradict yourself, sorry to say.
    Dumbo wins! Both you and Cockburn are afraid of bogeys in the closet.

  16. If there does exist a more virulent mutation (something I certainly won’t take on the word of the institutions, given how convenient it is for their propaganda and how this alleged advent is being rolled out in the media right on schedule), it’s the result of the whole lockdown paradigm itself.

    If instead civilization had acted sanely and rationally and let nature take its course (the bug, however severe or mild, was already long at large and there was never a way to put it back in the bottle, other than in the delusions of dominionist theology/ideology), it long ago would have attained herd immunity and this whole thing would be over and done with. As always, it’s the demented interventions themselves, always undertaken out of evil motives, which make any existing problem much worse and/or generate those problems in the first place.

    As for lockdowns, they’re already history’s most extreme example of something proven to fail yet which stupid, insane and evil people still want to keep doing over and over again expecting a different result. Therefore whatever sentient and sane people remain are indeed sick of all this and increasingly refusing to comply.

  17. this time round everybody “knows somebody who has caught the virus or has died from it”.

    Or. So that means everybody knows somebody who has caught the virus, and nobody knows somebody who has died from it.

  18. @El Dato

    They use an electron microscope and tiny tweezers to pluck out the virii and send them to a lab.

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