Sunday 17th of January 2021

christmas on instalments...


The French were stunned to learn that their government considers a public order measure, a curfew, to be effective in preventing an epidemic. Everyone, having understood that no virus breaks according to schedules set by decree, and given the many previous mistakes, asks the question: who is angry about a curfew for what?

Covid: a curfew for what?

by Thierry Meyssan


Several Western countries think they are facing a new wave of Covid-19 epidemic. Populations that have already suffered a lot, not from the disease, but from the measures taken to protect them from it, find it difficult to accept new public order measures on health grounds. This is an opportunity for us to analyze behaviors.

Governments know that they will have to account for what they have done and what they have not done. In the face of the disease and even more so in the face of this pressure, they have had to act. How did they think about their strategy?

In developing it, they relied on the advice of specialists (doctors, biologists and statisticians). Immediately these were divided in each discipline and opposed each other so that the government could only continue with some of them. But on what criteria did they choose them?

Many uncertainties

While public opinion is persuaded : 

- that the virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets; 

- that contaminations can be contained by wearing surgical masks and maintaining a distance of at least one meter with one’s interlocutors; 

- that it is possible to distinguish healthy people from sick people by the use of PCR tests;

Specialists are much less assertive. On the contrary, some say : 

- that the virus is mainly transmitted not through respiratory droplets, but through the air we breathe; 

- that, therefore, surgical masks and social distances are useless; 

- that the PCR tests that are performed do not measure the same thing in different laboratories and that, therefore, the cumulative statistics are like adding apples and pears together.

Thus, despite the reassuring messages from the authorities, there is still a great deal of confusion about the characteristics of this epidemic.

What can be done about it?

The problem facing the authorities was new. No professional training had prepared them to face it. So they turned to specialists. While the former gave them clear advice, everything became complicated when others came to contradict them. They were overwhelmed.

If the rulers were politicians, they could only react according to their political experience. As they grew older, they learned to propose even better, not 0.5 percent increase in the base salary like their competitors, but 0.6 percent, even if it meant finding an excuse not to have to keep their promises. Caught unawares, they went into a bidding war with their neighbors, making more drastic decisions one after the other to show that they were superior to them. Above all, they masked their incompetence by resorting to authoritarian measures.

If they were technocrats, they could only react according to the experience of their bureaucratic body when faced with large-scale disasters. But it is difficult to adapt to a health crisis the experience gained from fighting floods or earthquakes. As a reflex, they therefore turned to pre-existing public health administrations. However, the political leaders had already invented new structures that duplicated the previous ones, without specifying the distribution of competences. Instead of joining forces, each of them was trying to preserve its own square.

If the rulers had been chosen on the basis of their authority, i.e., both their firmness and their attention to others, they would have approached the problem according to their general culture.

In such a case, they knew that viruses need the people they infect to live. As deadly as Covid-19 was in the first weeks of its outbreak, it did not seek to kill humanity, but would adapt to humans. From then on, its lethality would drop rapidly and there would never be another epidemic peak. The idea of a "second wave" seemed highly unlikely to them. Never since viruses have been distinguished from bacteria has a viral disease been observed in several waves.

The rebounds we are seeing today, in the USA for example, are not small additional waves, but mark the arrival of the virus in new populations to which it has not yet adapted. The national accumulation of the number of sick people masks a geographical and social distribution.

Moreover, unaware of how the virus is transmitted, governments would have assumed that it is transmitted like all other respiratory viral diseases: not through respiratory droplets, but through the air we breathe. Similarly, they would have known that in all viral epidemics, the majority of deaths are not due to the virus itself, but to the opportunistic diseases that occur during them. As a result, they would have decided to recommend that everyone should air their living spaces thoroughly and would have made it mandatory in all jurisdictions. In addition, they would have recommended that everyone should not disinfect their hands, but wash them as often as possible. They would have ensured that points were installed for this purpose as widely as possible.

In fact, these were the two main measures that WHO had advised at the beginning of the epidemic, before hysteria replaced reflection. No wearing of surgical masks, no disinfection, no quarantine, and even less containment of healthy people.

Science does not provide a definitive answer, 

it just pushes away questions

The way in which the scientists were staged illustrates a clear misunderstanding of what science is. Science is not an accumulation of knowledge, but a process of knowledge. We have just verified the virtual incompatibility between the scientific spirit and current practice.

It is absurd to demand from scientists, who are just beginning the study of a virus, its propagation and the damage it causes, a remedy for what they do not yet know. It is pretentious for scientists to answer such questions.

A change in society

Some of the measures taken when this virus erupted can be explained by misjudgements. For example, President Macron initiated the practice of generalized containment when he was intoxicated by the catastrophic statistics of Neil Ferguson (Imperial College London) [1] He announced at least 500,000 deaths. There were 14 times fewer, according to official figures that are known to be overestimated. In retrospect, it appears that this serious attack on liberties was not justified.

However, the choice of the curfew, a few months later, when there was a slight rebound in deaths, is incomprehensible in democratic states: everyone could observe that this disease was much less lethal than feared and that its most dangerous period was over. There is no current data to justify such an attack on freedoms.

President Macron himself has justified it by referring to a second wave that does not exist. If he was able to take it on such an unconvincing argument, when will he be able to lift it?

It must be noted that this time it cannot be an assessment error, but rather an authoritarian policy under the guise of a health crisis [2].

Thierry Meyssan



Roger Lagassé




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Restaurants, gyms and theaters will be shut for a month from November 2 as part of new measures aimed at preventing spiking coronavirus cases from overwhelming German hospitals, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

The situation in Germany, which registered 14,964 new infections and 85 deaths from the disease over the last 24 hours, is “very serious,” Merkel said on Wednesday. “We need to take action now.”

“Our health system can still cope with this challenge today, but at this speed of infections it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks,” she added, explaining the need for the tough measures.

According to an agreement reached by Merkel and the leaders of Germany's 16 states on Wednesday, restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, gyms and swimming pools will be closed across the country starting from next week.

However, the chancellor promised that businesses will be compensated for a month of stoppage, with smaller companies expected to get 75 percent of their income from the state.



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Coronavirus: France announces second lockdown

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new lockdown measures for France. There were more than 36,000 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.


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playing politics with death in australia...

“As we look to the future, we cannot look to a future of lockdown as a way of managing this virus,” Mr Morrison said.

“What we must do is have the testing and tracing and the isolation and quarantine options.”

Richard Marles, the deputy Labor leader and the opposition’s most senior Victorian MP, used his speech in support of the motion to note how well the state had done in extinguishing its outbreak, compared to other areas around the world.

“On the 30th of July, just 12 weeks ago, Victoria recorded 723 new cases of coronavirus. On that same day in Great Britain there were 846 new cases,” the Member for Corio said.

“Today with zero cases in Victoria, we saw yesterday in Great Britain 20,890 new cases of coronavirus recorded.”

Mr Marles said such a comparison showed “the incredible achievement of bringing under control” the virus.

“Around the world, there is hardly a precedent for it. And the credit for that first and foremost goes to the people of Victoria,” he said.

But it was Mr Frydenberg’s unexpected spray that grabbed the most attention, as he turned the spotlight around to highlight the negative impacts of the lockdown.

The Treasurer didn’t mention Mr Andrews by name, but the target of the speech was unmistakable.


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The point here is that most of the death happened in age-care homes — which is a FEDERAL area of responsibility... Most of the cases happened in "ethnics" enclaves (we know who they are, but we're not allowed to mention their religion) which is also an area of concern for the FEDERAL government. Passing the buck to someone else is political mana for the Frydenbergs and Morrisons of the world. 


Australia and New Zealand have been lucky, they don't have the enormous population of the USA or of Europe to deal with... In that regard, the Chinese were more savvy in dealing with the virus.

And here we are with Bushfires and RORTS:


See also:

it's an old NSW traditional endearing word... in a leadership going to shreds...


on his watch...


remembering the lazarets...

The lazarets (from Italian: lazzaretto) were (are) quarantine station for maritime travellers. Lazarets can be ships permanently at anchor, isolated islands, or mainland buildings. In some lazarets, postal items were also disinfected, usually by fumigation.



The article below published online - 23 December 2011, from médecine/sciences (m/s) — an international multidisciplinary publication devoted to biology, medicine and health research. m/s is a Inserm prominent scientific publication in French that started more than 30 years ago. 



Pilgrims to Mecca, germs and the international community


Sylvia Chiffoleau

With steam navigation, men, but also seeds of diseases, move faster. In 1865, the pilgrimage to Mecca induced a terrible cholera pandemic. This caused deep trauma in Europe and prompted the international community, recently born, to focus on the pilgrims who were regarded as the main “risk group” in the spread of epidemics. 

Through a series of international sanitary conferences, European powers, in agreement with the Ottoman Empire, imposed a heavy control over the pilgrims, much harsher than that applied to ordinary commercial navigation exchanges. These decisions led to the establishment of a huge quarantine device in the Red Sea and the Levant, including two lazaretto, one at the entrance and the other at the exit of the Red Sea, where the pilgrims were trapped and disinfected during their sacred journey. 
This contrasted with the concommitant disappearance of quarantines everywhere else. The pilgrims did not show hostility towards medical and prophylactic treatments but protested against the dehumanizing conditions of their realization. The combined pressures of nationalism and sovereignty claims from Saudi Arabia ended this system in 1957.


In 1851, thanks to the relative easing of European political tensions after 1815, the powers of the Old Continent decided to mobilize to fight together against the threat of epidemics. They thus give rise to a process which will culminate, in the following century, in the construction of the international system that is the WHO (World Health Organization). The first two international health conferences, in 1851 and then 1859, in reality only brought together European countries and the Ottoman Empire, invited as a "buffer zone" between the Asian centers of epidemic diseases, plague and cholera, and Europe. 

They aimed on the one hand to harmonize the health legislation of the various European countries, in order to accord them to the liberal requirements of a rapidly expanding maritime trade, and on the other hand to mobilize the newly established Ottoman health system to put it at the service of the fight against the epidemic threat. 

In 1865, when cholera spread throughout the world from the pilgrimage to Mecca, the event gave new meaning to this second objective. The security obsession of the powers, which aimed to block epidemics on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean so that they cannot penetrate into Europe, closes on the sacred journey of Muslims and profoundly transforms the objectives of health meetings international. However, while the epidemic episode of 1865 clearly demonstrated the dangerous potential of this temporary mass migration, the success of the promotion of pilgrims as "a group at risk" also rests on a series of political factors.

A coercive exception regime

The Camaran and Tor lazarets: quarantine establishments

The establishment of the Hedjaz railway in the first years of the 20th century, followed by the appearance of overland roads in the 1930s, in turn led to the construction of lazarets and sanitary stations for pilgrims [6]. However, due to the importance of the pilgrimage flows by sea, it is the maritime device that remains the most massive. This is mainly made up of two huge lazarets. One was established in 1881 on the island of Camaran, in the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb, and formed a filter through which all pilgrims arriving from the regions of Southeast Asia (India, Insulinde, Malay and Chinese territories) where the foci of cholera and plague are found, which reappeared at the end of the 19th century.

The other, intended for returning pilgrims from the north (Maghreb, Central Asia and Russia, Turkey and Syria), was founded in the 1870s in Tor, a town located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula. These lazarets are gigantic ephemeral cities, reactivated each year during the two or three months of what is called "the quarantine campaign".

During the annual Muslim pilgrimage, two cases may arise: either the pilgrimage is clear, that is to say that no epidemic disease has manifested itself there, or it is gross when cases of cholera or plague were declared during religious ceremonies in Mecca. In the first case, the stopover at the Camaran and Tor lazarets is short-lived, around three days, in the second case, the quarantine can last for several weeks. It was not until the 1920s, and especially the 1930s, with the decline of the epidemic danger, that the observation times were significantly reduced.
But from 1891 to 1918, when cholera disappeared from the Hejaz, there were only six net years out of twenty-eight; most of the pilgrims who make the sacred journey during this period are therefore brought to know the lazaretto, ie several tens of thousands of people each year. In addition, at the turn of the century, the conjunction of plague and cholera, in India as well as in Hejaz, made the measures even more drastic.

The time of quarantine: an affront to the individual

Conceived before the bacteriological revolution, the lazarets of the Red Sea had no other purpose than confinement; it was about letting the epidemics die off in those desert regions. Very quickly, however, disinfection measures appeared, and then became more and more demanding and sophisticated as the theory of germs became established (Figure 1). If, at first, the pilgrims' effects seemed to have been only irregularly disinfected by sprinkling disinfectant products, the installation of a first oven at Tor (Figure 2) in 1889, established a very codified ritual of disinfection.
On arrival, the pilgrims are directed to the disinfection building, their clothes and baggage are removed, sorted and checked, then placed in huge steam rooms while they themselves are invited to take a bath. sea. At the turn of the century, seawater showers were introduced in the lazarets (Figure 3), as well as baths for first-class travelers. In the event of a gross pilgrimage, all the foodstuffs transported by the pilgrims are destroyed in a large incinerator.

Welcomed as “suspects” on their arrival, the pilgrims can, at the end of this disinfection sequence, go to the so-called “clean” part of the lazaretto where the accommodation and hospital structures are located. The sections where the pilgrims serve their quarantine are organized by boat and closely guarded by soldiers to prevent any communication with the outside or between the sections. In Tor, they are made up of Egyptian army tents, in Camaran of reed huts, and in both cases devoid of any furnishings; those who did not bring rugs have to be content with bare ground. But comfort matters little to the promoters of this system who only want to see it as a security system governed by cleanliness and which recklessly redraws the boundaries between the pure and the impure.

For pilgrims, the time of quarantine passes by discussions and pious readings, interrupted by the necessities of the medical observation to which they are subjected. The further we go into the twentieth century, the more lazarets also become laboratories for mass medicine, revealing its dead ends. In principle, the doctors of the lazaretto ensure a daily medical visit to each pilgrim. In reality, it often boils down to a glance at a face, accompanied by a fleeting pulse. Sick people are sent to hospitals in the Lazaretto where they are taken care of, but they come up against difficult communication with the medical profession, often linked to mutual linguistic incomprehension. From the beginning of the 20th century, cholera and anti-plague vaccinations were widely practiced, despite doubts about their effectiveness.

Later, bacteriological examinations of the stool are also used, although international law does not make them compulsory. At the end of their quarantine, the pilgrims return to their boat, which has also undergone total disinfection, leaving behind many dead, more often victims of ordinary diseases or exhaustion than epidemics whose fear has led to the establishment of such a system.

Despite their prominence and coercion, pilgrims do not show direct hostility to medical and prophylactic acts. It is the very principle of confinement, as well as the authoritarian and disrespectful manner in which health procedures are carried out in a mass context, that arouse outrage.

The contempt, the lack of consideration towards the pilgrims, the negligence with which one treats their affairs (the luggage, in particular, is often badly damaged by the operation of disinfection) provoke many protests. And these are even more vivid when it comes to the directly material aspects of life in the lazaretto; when it runs out of bread or the provisions are too expensive, it comes close to rioting. With the rise of nationalism and the concomitant awareness of the political risks attached to being too casual with regard to the “natives”, on the side of the European powers, the term “humanity” ends up entering the international vocabulary on the subject. the lazarets file. Moreover, their efforts to equip them are now explicitly aimed at the comfort of pilgrims.

But the existence and practices of the lazarets are not only an affront to individuals, they are also an attack on Saudi sovereignty. Since the birth of the kingdom, the Saudi authorities have continuously demonstrated their ability to ensure the health security of the pilgrimage in order to lift this exceptional system. However, it was not until 1957 that international mistrust finally gave way and that the control measures devolved on the Tor and Camaran stations were fully and definitively transferred to the quarantine services of Jeddah, putting an end to a century of shared health control of the pilgrimage to Mecca.

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(rough) translation by Jules Letambour.