I can categorically state after two years of watching Tim Newton at the Thaiger YouTube videos that at least 90% of anything on this channel related to Covid 19 is at best “misinformation”. Much of it is so inaccurate as almost defying belief.
Often misinformation on Covid 19 is due to financial or political interests. This does not seem to be the case with the Thaiger, apparently is just pure ignorance, laziness to do any research or fact-checking, and it is generally an unintellectual way of thinking.
Although all the hosts and commentators on this channel consistently state factually incorrect information about this virus is the founder Tim Newton who leads the way in the most ridiculous and ignorant statements.
I spend a lot of time in Asia for my business and was actually in southern China in late 2019 when the Covid virus first appeared in Wuhan. From China, I then moved on to Hong Kong and then to Vietnam, and finally to Thailand where I remained until April 2020.
So the first 4 to 5 months of the ”pandemic” I was in Southeast Asia and spent the most amount of time in Thailand. I then came back to the US for the months of May, June, and July. In August I departed for Ukraine where I spent two months before returning to the US for two months and then back to Thailand under the initial certificate of entry and 15-day quarantine program.
I remained in Thailand until April 2021. Back to the US and then back to Ukraine in August. I returned to the US in late September and then left again for Thailand on November 1 under the Certificate of Entry system as the Test and Go go system and type passed had not yet started.
Tim Newton at The Thaiger
Because Thailand has such a huge disparity in wealth distribution and inequality as well as the fact there is not a strong government social safety net many poor working-class Thais and small businesses have been devastated by the government’s response to this virus.
Instead of following “the science” and what governments, universities, hospitals, and health organizations were reporting in the rest of the world and especially Europe and North America Tim Newton and the Thaiger have continued for two years to produce an endless stream of total bullshit on about every aspect of Covid 19 and its variants as is possibly imaginable.
And none more harmful than the inability to understand the difference between serious illness and death and the number of infections which even a child should understand.
I see no financial or political reason for this so I chalk it up to ignorance and perhaps even just a low IQ. A quick Google search shows that Mr. Newton has high school education. That in itself is not a disqualifier as there are many very intelligent successful people that never went to university.
However in this case it seems to be that the education level matches the current level of knowledge and education. The garbage spewed by this channel is really so stupid and potentially has caused so much damage to the Thai people as to be incalculable.
Like all countries, Thailand and its culture have many wonderful qualities but also negative ones as well. Thailand is not exactly the world center of science, logic, efficient government.
I could barely refrain from clicking off the channel many times over the past two years while listening to the daily Covid 19 updates.
But the information was so out of step with reality bordering on idiocy many of the times that there was almost being a morbid curiosity to keep listening and see how ridiculous it would get. When I saw the blog post 10 Newton Rd. on thethaiger.com I had to respond.
Intentionally Writing an Article that’s Complete Bullshit is an even more Stupid Idea but totally predictable from Tim Newton at “The Thaiger”
Intentionally catching Omicron is a really stupid idea – by Tim Newton January 12, 2022, The Thaiger
Front stage and center in The Thaiger earlier this week was an opinion piece by owner and founder, Tim Newton, in which he laments the stupidity of people intentionally trying to catch SARS CoV2.
The article is one that should be bookmarked and highlighted for future reference by every statistics major because if ever there was a perfect answer to any final question asking how statistics can be manipulated to advance a flawed argument this is it.
In fact, there are more holes in this argument than there are in the Wallaby backs defensive line (and if you know Australian rugby, that’s saying something).
1. Plagiarism 101
Mate, for future reference, any college graduate will tell you, if you’re going to plagiarize you actually have to put a bit of effort in, change the headings and stuff, and try not to copy word for word. The article has been doing the rounds of every major newspaper around the globe in the last week.
The earliest version we located was a CNN version dated one day before this version was published, although it’s unclear if it is the original. The fact that Mr. Newton relies on fake news CNN with its minuscule and rapidly declining viewership speaks volumes about the quality of thethaiger.com content
2. Intentionally catching COVID
Why? Just why? If there’s one thing about Omicron that’s becoming increasingly apparent is that everyone in the world is going to catch the virus at some point, so why would any sensible person expend energy on the inevitable.
Apparently, Mr. Newton has not been watching the news for the past month and a half and missed the fact that every health expert in the world has clearly stated everyone on Earth is going to catch Omicron!
The seven-day average number of new cases in the US for mid-January was 807,563, the United Kingdom 124,738, Canada 39,456, and India 211,799. Compare this to previous 7-day peaks when the death rates were soaring around and the US had a peak of 237,683, the United Kingdom 59,344, Canada 8,261, and India 391,208.
What the data says is that it’s going to be hard for anyone to hide from the Omicron variant. You don’t need to try, you are going to catch it, it’s just a question of when and whether you’ll actually know.
3. It’s just a bad cold
For most people, this is holding true. Data out of South Africa suggests that where they believe Omicron has passed its peak suggests for most people the symptoms are relatively similar to that to a cold or mild flu, cough, fever, cold, nasal congestion, and throat irritation.
Population health is about the health of the population. It’s why they call it population health, and any number of the decisions made in the name of public health can be shown to have a negative effect on someone in the population, but notwithstanding this, we don’t make decisions on the basis of that one person. Decisions, in theory, are made on the basis of the whole population.
Look at the case fatality rates for the Omicron variant. South Africa, which, it must be noted, has only around 15% of their population fully vaccinated, is reporting the Omicron peak to have passed. Early reports suggest the case fatality rate for Omicron is around only 15% of previous variants.
A study from the public health authority of Ontario in Canada supports Omicron as being a lot milder. The number of deaths based on cases was 0.03% for Omicron compared to 0.12% for Delta. Similarly, hospitalizations were 0.5% compared to 1.4%, and ICU admissions 0.06% versus 0.42%.
4. Long haul COVID is (possibly) a thing
Let’s be fair, long haul COVID is possibly a thing, but a huge study out of France shows there is still plenty of debate relating to the symptoms and its causes. The French study found that a small group who had negative antibody tests nonetheless believed they had previously had the virus.
More long haul COVID symptoms were recorded among this group than groups that were confirmed to have had the virus, suggesting there is a psychological component to developing long haul COVID.
Admittedly, there is some compelling evidence for long haul COVID, but what there is not, is any evidence that long haul COVID is a thing in relation to Omicron. With the variant only coming to light in late 2021, insufficient time has passed for long haul COVID from Omicron being anything close to a thing.
5. You’ll stress the health care system and workers
There is some truth to this, it’s just Mr. Newton has taken a cursory glance at news reports and data when they warranted a more detailed look.
Omicron’s infectious nature is putting stress on hospitals. Omicron is putting stress on hospital systems because more healthcare workers are out sick having tested positive for COVID and being required to submit to protocols that were implemented early in the pandemic requiring staying away from work and isolating, regardless of symptoms, if a test comes back positive.
Rather than implying that an influx of patients with Omicron is responsible for the stress on the health system, we should be rapidly revising protocols for when a healthcare worker gets sick, so asymptomatic workers can continue on the job. This would alleviate much of the stress.
Current estimates of the risk of hospitalization due to Omicron when compared to other variants range from 15% fewer to 70%. If we actually take anything beyond a superficial glance at the hospitalization and case fatality rate for the Omicron variant, it’s clear to see that hospitalization rates have increased, but not directly because of Omicron.
Hospital rates include anyone in hospital with COVID whether that is the reason for admission or not. With hospitals testing all patients for COVID and Omicron being more transmissible, more people are catching the virus and as a result, a higher proportion of the patients in hospitals have the virus. It does not mean more people are in hospital as a result of the virus.
6. You’re spreading the disease to children
A recent study in Nature Immunology found children have long-lasting and powerful immunity to COVID after being infected. Both the innate and adaptive responses in children when infected with SARS CoV2 are more powerful in children than adults.
This immune response far outlived any vaccine-mediated response. There is a reason adults aren’t rushing to vaccinate their children, folks.
A recent German study has found that in the first 15 months of the pandemic, not a single healthy German child died of COVID. When children and teenagers with pre-existing conditions are considered there were six fatalities.
The conclusion of the researchers was “Overall, the SARS-CoV-2-associated burden of a severe disease course or death in children and adolescents is low. This seems particularly the case for 5-11-year-old children without co-morbidities.” More children die of influenza than COVID but we don’t vaccinate kids for the flu, why would you rush to vaccinate them against COVID.
There is also increasing evidence that children are becoming more prone to other infectious diseases because of COVID interventions like mask-wearing and lockdowns. Virologists are particularly worried about RSV, a virus known to be serious in early infancy and childhood.
With a cohort of children in the 0-2 year age group having never been exposed to the virus due to the interventions, there are increasing concerns that a severe outbreak of RSV is likely in the not too distant future. To develop their immune systems, kids need to be exposed to bugs.
7. Learning to live with COVID
We live with flu, with its new emerging strains each year, why not COVID. It is the reality of what is happening.
While we certainly don’t encourage deliberately infecting yourself with SARS CoV2, there does need to be a shift away from fear-based decisions that fueled the actions of governments over the initial course of the pandemic.
A proper evaluation of the data suggests there is cause for cautious optimism. The fat lady may not have yet sung, but it’s starting to look like she’s warming up in the wings.
So Tim Newton did not follow the science on a single topic. A high school student could have gotten better information using a simple Google search within 10 minutes.
If you want to get local news about Thailand for subjects like food, ladyboys, tourism, bargirls, local news stories, soapy massage parlors for sale, etc then maybe this channel could be of some use.
But if you want any information on Covid 19 or anything actually science-related or medical-related do not listen to anything on this channel or take anything written on their blog site seriously as it is total crap.