Quite a few cavers parked up on Leck over the weekend. Gavel, Notts 2, Shuttleworth seem popular for folks starting on easier trips. I expect these are mostly groups of friends rather than any sort of club meet. I've been caving with up to six friends generally keeping a bit apart but not being very strict about it. Tend to look at the much lower case rates and vaccination rates more which indicate much lower risks. Flipping a neck Buff up works well especially if cold. I think you have to consider the vulnerability of those involved including those they live with and make sure everyone is happy with the level of risk you are taking. Last year we were a bit concerned about caving with friends with kids who had gone back to school or students who had escaped from uni back home.Certainly for me the risk of caving with a few mates is far far lower than being at work in either of the jobs I do.Good caving
Also saw that the government are now going to be offering twice weekly home lateral flow testing to all households. We currently home test twice a week already as it was offered to parents when schools returned. Obviously the lateral flow tests are 100% foolproof, but wondered if clubs would take the view that they should be done in the advance of a trip?
The FDA in the US recently announced that lateral flow tests should literally be thrown in the bin, and they wouldn't approve or support their use:https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/stop-using-innova-sars-cov-2-antigen-rapid-qualitative-test-fda-safety-communicationPart of the problem is with the self-testing of LF - if folks don't do their swab properly, or follow the instructions to the letter, it won't be accurate. Given that many folks find that sort of thing uncomfortable or distasteful at the best of times, and not wanting a positive result is invariably in most people's minds, the chances of a half-hearted negative result are very high. A friend of mine is a schoolteacher and they all have LF tests every three days, but they've still had positive cases come in via pupils or parents and staff had to self-isolate. I recently spent a week in hospital, and had three Covid tests when I was in, two days apart. The first was a pre-op test, 12 hours before, but I have no idea whether it was PCR or LF - ideally I was meant to be negative for the op, but a PCR can't be done that quickly - but they operated. Anyway, I didn't see that first negative result on paper (or verbally) until four days later, the day before discharge. So if the other two tests were PCR, I wouldn't have got the results until last week. No-one's rung or texted me since, so I have to assume they were all negative. But I was very confident they'd done me properly as a nurse did all the swabbing, and she went all the way in.
I assumed that it must be PCR, just wasn't sure how fast they really can do them if they have to. I also assume that they will be doing dozens of tests a day on patients, and informing them all of a negative result is rather time-consuming. I also wasn't in my home town, which certainly complicated matters for all of us!
Though at £90 I feel somewhat guilty,
I shudder to think how much I've cost them (us) overall.
QuoteI shudder to think how much I've cost them (us) overall.Quite; I had open-heart surgery a few years ago, which must have set 'us' back several score thousand pounds (good job I wasn't in the States).
I'm also very aware how fortunate I was to be able to ring 999 in a strange city, and be in an emergency bed in two hours - and then stay for a week.
Sometimes it makes you wonder how the French and Germans work with a different system, oh and Spain.Not saying the NHS is bad, but other viable systems do seem to exist. If the NHS is so superior why haven't other European countries copied it?
Minor edit. Should read Care is probably more consistent between hospitals than in other countries
Could you give us a couple of examples of the "lots of things"?
I think you'd be slightly foolish to claim the NHS is better than the French or German systems. Most analyses suggest the French system is the best in the world. The German system can be outstanding (if you go to a Hochshule - ie university hospital) but some of the small Krankenhausen are less impressive. Both are far better resourced than the NHS (so have more beds and shorter/negligible waiting times) and both, particularly the Germans, offer really good rehabilitation which is something the NHS falls down on. In favour of the NHS, it's one of the most cost-effective systems in the developed world (though this depends on running close to 100% occupancy which makes pandemics difficult) and care is probably more consistent between hospitals than in other hospitals. Since we've started to centralise some specialist services that were previously offered everywhere (trauma, vascular surgery etc) standards have risen significantly. However, resources were constrained even before Covid, made worse by the shortage of nursing and residential home care and the lack of facilities to deal with elderly patients with complex needs (so they ended up stuck in hospitals, which are fundamentally unsuited to care for them). In reality, increasing the NHS and social care budgets to overcome their many shortfalls would probably be less expensive overall than moving to a mixed private/public, insurance based system. The big problem with any private system of medicine is that the more procedures you undertake, the greater the income. This influences both doctors and management, can lead to inappropriate or excessive treatment and is very hard to police.
I confess, I'd always thought hochschule and university clinics to be synonymous in medicine (eg the Hochschule in Hanover) and we always referred to them as such in the hospitals where I worked. I'm happy to be corrected. However, semantics aside, the underlying point remains. The best hospitals in Germany are very, very good. The worst are much less so. The difference in the UK is less marked.
I got the feeling, from watching my ward for a couple of days, that they were understaffed, though it's difficult to generalise from one experience - but later confirmed to me by a nurse when she asked me to help her out with another patient (by now I was on my feet and becoming useful, especially picking up litter). She said it was mostly illness, though what I don't know - most of these conversations are snatched fragments rather than proper chats. Also they need to maintain a certain amount of staff/patient separation and confidentiality, so I was trying not to sound too much like Colombo, but I suspect exhaustion might be a good start. Their stamina and cheerfulness was amazing to see, no matter what was happening.
Bad Behavior has blocked 741 access attempts in the last 7 days.