1. cartomancer says

    I would have thought the “check if it works” step should come between 1 and 2 myself.

  2. chrislawson says

    Widely regarded as the first true clinical control trial, James Lind’s study showed that scurvy could be treated with citrus fruit in 1747. It’s why “limey” is slang for an English person. However, it took over 40 years before the Admiralty started applying that evidence…

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Not exclusively aimed at COVID, more a general attack atthe whole health care system in Britain.
    “ADD TO QUEUE Government Plan to Lengthen Medical Waiting Lists”
    “The government have appeased the tabloid media again by implementing league tables for GPs, recording face-to-face meetings.
    This will reduce the number of patients that doctors can see, leaving many without treatment.
    The government know this, it’s possible that even the newspaper hacks that pushed for it know it as well.
    Just another example of how the public cheer on populist moves that only cause them harm.”

  4. ardipithecus says

    Ideally, the red step would come between 1 and 2, but to get the funding for ir, it has to come after 2, at least to the extent of selling the idea to the funders.

  5. whheydt says

    Re: chrislawson @ #2…
    I’ve never heard “limey” applied to English people generally, only to Royal Navy personnel. (Then there are the other references to the RN… “Hearts of Oak…and heads to match” and–I think attributed to Churchill–The traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, buggery and the lash.)

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    whheydt @7: It’s been used to refer to the English (or Brits) in general for ages. American GIs used it in WWII to refer to British soldiers, etc etc.

    So it’s more or less the US equivalent of the Australian ‘pom’. Probably from ‘pomegranate’, describing the eventual skin colour of certain newcomers who went out in the midday sun without a hat, hats only being thought necessary by these fools when venturing onto Ilkley Moor.

  7. wzrd1 says

    Check if it works is a perpetual step and rightfully so.
    After all, humoural theory “worked” for centuries…
    As did miasma theory, which if correct, my farts would’ve killed millions, rather than annoy thousands over the decades.
    Rather than simply singe nosehairs. ;)

  8. birgerjohansson says

    At my county in north Sweden 87% have had the first shot and 91% are fully vaccinated.
    When the rules were relaxed, there was some fear we would see an increase of COVID transmission but this is not the case. It would seem vaccines do have some effect after all.
    As for leeches and blood-letting, we have so far not seen any positive results. Trepanning?

  9. mistershelden says


    While one wouldn’t expect it to have any effect on COVID-19

    Why not? It’s an antiseptic. It kills 99.9% bacteria and viruses, which would include C19.
    Evidence would be needed that gargling is an effective way to reduce transmission/severity of this particular disease, but it should certainly inactivate any viral particles which happened to be in the throat or mouth and came into contact with the solution.
    So, in theory it might work. What is needed is evidence.
    As an aside, in Japan it is an almost universal habit to wash ones hands and gargle immediately upon returning home. Of course other factors are in play, but have a look at their C19 rates (=low).

  10. Jazzlet says

    birgerjohansson @#12
    Leeches are still used in medicine for removing blood that isn’t draining away eg after a crush injury to a finger. The trapped blood causes further damage as it breaks down in the wounded flesh, using leeches to get rid of it is an effective treatment, and gives the finger a chance to heal.

  11. calicojack says

    Howdy y’all!

    It would seem that this is the list of steps involved when the profit-motive is used to drive an industry when science would be preferred.