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Within a few weeks opening UK schools will become a political battleground.

Initially the RW ignored Covid19, the propaganda machine focused on telling us it was scaremongering

When the truth dawned, they were left rudderless for a while.
After the media tried to sell us #Herd_Immunity telling us Britain was more nuanced without scrutinizing the policy, I thought the govs u-turn would being common sense

But they ruined it within an hour by doing this.
The gov swung from Herd Immunity to announcing a lockdown, but the change from keyworkers to work from home makes me believe that they decided to risk the spreak of infection to keep more of the economy going.

I think Herd Immunity is still the strategy…
In the article above I predicted the emergence of 'alternative facts' to reopen the economy (at risk of a higher death rate)
This was after the Oxford uni report saying most ppl were already immune
It wasnt peer reviewed and was published by a PR company linked to the nudge unit
We then got the 6% fall in GDP will mean more people die from the recession

There are a lot of assumptions in the report,principly that the only choice after Covid 19 is another decade of austerity

But now I hear commentators mentioning that 6% as if it's a certain cliffedge
How accurate are the death toll estimates? How dependent are they on our actions? Any calculation is complete between the two is complete speculation.

But it has become a 'fact'. The media have started asking us the public to start weighing x GDP loss against y deaths
Toby Young was quick off the mark with a long rambling thread (bit like this I guess) his y was 250k as was Charles Moore. At the time they were outliers but a weeks a long time
Media now asking how big a fall in GDP can we take?they've stopped putting a number on the deaths
Last week certain commentators were trying to sell us that Sweden was persevering a form of #HerdImmunity and they questioned if we were too hasty with our lockdown

Sweden now having second thoughts, watch the data that comes out of there this week, it will be worrying
A few days ago for the weekend papers a government advisor was quoted in the papers that we may need to go back to #HerdImmunity

The papers then backed his statement with evidence.
Oxford uni says many more may already be immune, 6% fall in gdp means more dead, look at Sweden.
See how this goes? You only need a few flimsy building blocks and a lot of mouthpieces to build a narrative, once the chorus starts up enough of our journalists start following the herd and get lax on fact and source checks
These 'truths' are given equal weight, climate change?
This is the one that really annoys me and many educators,the BBC on Tuesday with a headline that makes it look like a fact that school closures have a marginal effect. This one article was repeated by nearly every media outlet
Its a total misinterpretation…
I contacted the BBC regarding this article. A senior editor told me 'We're just reporting what people say'
The Lancet have said the report was misinterpreted and misrepresented,the report said the evidence for school closures alone is varied, but they work well in conjunction
The Professor the BBC went to for interpretation works in paediatrics, and is the director of a government quango. This wasnt mentioned, seems like they didnt check their facts or their sources
They also produced several other experts at the end to back up the headline
The first backup expert who states the reports finding are significant and say the suggested measures for returning to school are sensible, is a psychologist

Students are low risk so it's fine?
Students without health conditions have died, what about staff? Educators are dead.
Arguement for reopening schools in the bbc article was that opening schools only reduces the death toll by 2-4%
The idea that social distancing can be done in a school is insane

Apparently educators are immune we dont even need PPE and still no testing…
The second backup expert says the report says it was a mistake to close schools because of the economic cost and schools should reopen as soon as possible.
He is a sociologist, he also claims this one report shows there is only flimsy evidence to support school closures.
There is considerable evidence that school closures do have an impact on infection rates during a pandemic, but now media are saying the scientists have conflicting opinions all based on a few non peer reviews or misrepresented reports and a lot of media amplification.
Switched on LBC this morning to hear the question posed
'Should schools reopen after Easter?'
How did the bbc article on school closures get so much more attention than the Gov telling educators they dont need PPE?
The economic arguement is drowning out the safety of educators.
So in summary where has the arguement for keeping schools open come from?
Initially it was #Herd_Immunity,Gov advisor said closing schools was undesirable and could even be counter productive as it would slow the spread of infection
But now school dont spread infection?
Where did this come from?
The advisors from the nudge unit, behavioral psychologists.

Where did the 'Oxford uni' report come from?
PR company linked to the nudge unit

6% GDP = more deaths? Economic report interpreted by psychologists and sociologists
'We may need to go back to #HerdImmunity'
From Gov advisor who is cognitive scientist

Schools closing have minimal impact
A Paediatrician Director of a gov quango
A psychologist in trauma
A sociologist

Where are the epidemiologists and virologists?
Take a look at the sociologist Consultancy firm

'Stimulating different ways of thinking about the challenges facing people who are trying to introduce new ideas'

Sounds a bit like the 'wierdos' job advert by Cummings
This is why I'm so worried about increasing pressure to reopen schools without any real concern for the safety of staff or students

Can you see why I can see a debate on schools reopening ending up like debating climate change?
The same people who continued to sell us #Herd_Immunity as a more nuanced strategy even after concerns started to be raised, who initially argued against lockdown will be the same ones pushing for schools to reopen

And they will hold up these few amplified reports as fact
And that's why I see a political battle emerging, a fog of confusion is developing, the views of the real experts are being diluted by those in different fields and being jumped on by the media

By confusing the science the best course of action becomes a matter of opinion
Opinion becomes based on individual views and ideologies,ppl start looking to the opinions of those with similar ideologies for confirmation bias

Before you know it battle lines are drawn
X GDP loss vs Y death toll
Once that happens mentalities become tribal,positions entrenched
We risk getting dragged down into unproductive slagging matches, all based on misrepresentations

Schools are the key to ending lockdown so everyone can go back to work,yet no one in media are talking about the safety of educators

We have not been served well by journalists
Schools still have staff and students in, and it isnt just the vulnerable who are at risk
Covid19 can kill anyone

The media focus on schools should be on testing, ppe, cleaning and issues around social distancing but the lives of educators doesnt seem to be a priority
Educators should not be sacrificed on the altar of economic growth

Schools should not open until its safe, and when they do great precaution must be combined with testing

Beware false prophets

The end (at last)
Sorry for length, I find good rants cathartic
And for another long but informative read.
Reuters have a special report on the initial response and the #Herd_Immunity strategy which is worth the read…
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