UK Caving

OTHER STUFF => Idle Chat => Topic started by: Cap'n Chris on December 28, 2020, 06:26:09 pm

Title: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 28, 2020, 06:26:09 pm

Global Moderator Comment Posts from https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=27342.0 split to this new Topic



Let's hope 2021 is a better year for all  :)
Better? Could it possibly be any worse?   :o

By a huge margin, yes. UN have already forewarned of ~200+m suffering starvation/famines from the economic knock-on effects, the latter still having to kick in with a vengeance in 1st world countries, as well as everywhere else. 15% of the world's economy/jobs is international tourism and that's not returning anytime soon, if at all. etc. etc. I anticipate 2021 being significantly worse than this year. Governments have no published exit plans; there doesn't appear to be much of a plan other than continuing to scare people to a level where suicide is shockingly commonplace. The lag effect means no-one noticed and continues to think everything's OK when it most certainly isn't. "Free money" isn't free - we've all been given something in the order of a £16K debt, and counting. The Global depression commences in 2021 and will continue probably to 2023. Wildly negative prognostications suggested 50-70 years of austerity but it probably won't be quite that bad. Shutting down economies kills people.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/ga12294.doc.htm (https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/ga12294.doc.htm)
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-true-cost-of-coronavirus-on-our-economy (https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-true-cost-of-coronavirus-on-our-economy)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on December 29, 2020, 06:53:09 pm
I fear that you may be right.

While the restrictions may ease over the course of the year, the impact of the lockdown will be felt for very much longer and the mental health problems will continue as long as the recession and does. Before lockdown, I could happily say that I didn't know anyone who had committed suicide...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 29, 2020, 07:15:08 pm
There are lots of public information requests floating around the internet where people have written to their local health authority and requested the number of deaths with the sole cause as Covid, the numbers across the UK are very very low. I'm yet to see one with more than 100 deaths with covid as the sole cause since March begging the question what the real cause of the pandemic is, so far we are all victims.

Whether you agree with the route the government has taken or not everyone wants the same thing really and that is an end to the situation, some believe that wearing masks, strict adherence to rules, mass testing is the way out, some believe otherwise
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ZombieCake on December 29, 2020, 09:24:15 pm
I think Cap'n Chris is probably correct.  Looks like a fair number of us in my department are now looking at 100% free time early next year.  The real knock on effects both economically and health wise are probably immense.
It would be nice to have some accuracy and detailed factual transparency instead of the continual project fear spread by the media to pep up their viewing figures.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on December 29, 2020, 09:53:09 pm
Quote
I'm yet to see one with more than 100 deaths with covid as the sole cause since March

This is a dangerous distortion of the statistics that downplay the seriousness of the pandemic.  No, it doesn't beg[raise] the question of what is causing the pandemic, in the UK almost 10% of known cases have had the virus sequenced (which allowed the new variant to be described and tracked). COVID is real and is killing people.

https://fullfact.org/online/deaths-only-from-coronavirus/ (https://fullfact.org/online/deaths-only-from-coronavirus/)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on December 29, 2020, 11:43:11 pm
This will certainly help if it gets the attention it should:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/dec/29/four-day-week-would-be-affordable-for-most-uk-firms-says-thinktank (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/dec/29/four-day-week-would-be-affordable-for-most-uk-firms-says-thinktank)

As for the mass redundancies, there was another stressed NHS executive on the news recently reminding folks that there are 80,000 vacancies in the service at present and they're desperate for staff. Obviously they must have money set aside as wages to pay those 80,000 people. Granted not all are 'start on Monday' jobs, but even so, there is work out there. The care sector is going to need tens of thousands of workers and they will have to be paid appropriately.

One reason so many people are dying 'not just with Covid' is because there are so many people who are extremely unhealthy going into old age - with one or more of many dangerous conditions, all of which are much, much worse with a bad infection. Covid is particularly nasty, but it's only highlighting the terrible condition many British people are in physically, and if they're old too they just don't have the resources to fight it off.

Also there were over 60 million prescriptions of anti-depressants last year in Britain. That's almost one per person. Obviously we don't all have a prescription, and many many millions are children, hopefully not all on them either, which means there must be about 2 prescriptions per person for the ones that are taking them. Again, Covid may be exacerbating the situation but it seems like the problem was already seriously entrenched long before this turned up. So why are so many people depressed? Life's never been so easy.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 30, 2020, 07:52:49 am
Quote
I'm yet to see one with more than 100 deaths with covid as the sole cause since March

This is a dangerous distortion of the statistics that downplay the seriousness of the pandemic.  No, it doesn't beg[raise] the question of what is causing the pandemic, in the UK almost 10% of known cases have had the virus sequenced (which allowed the new variant to be described and tracked). COVID is real and is killing people.

https://fullfact.org/online/deaths-only-from-coronavirus/ (https://fullfact.org/online/deaths-only-from-coronavirus/)
b

You could label it as dangerous distortion of statistics or call it sensible personal risk assessment, I prefer the latter.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on December 30, 2020, 08:37:15 am
One of the problems with interpreting death certificates is that if they're filled out correctly, they're quite comprehensive. The first part lists the immediate cause of death and those conditions that led to it. The second part lists all the other co-morbidities that might have been relevant. Most of the people dying of Covid are relatively elderly and will have co-morbidities that should be listed in part two. Therefore it would be most unusual to have a correctly completed death certificate where the only entry was Covid.

For example, an elderly man with diabetes and high blood pressure admitted to intensive care with Covid pneumonia might die after four weeks mechanical ventilation from a second, bacterial pneumonia. I would write his death certificate as 

1a Ventilator-associated pneumonia
1b Covid 19 pneumonia

2 Diabetes and hypertension

This is a relatively simple cause of death in covid. Many are much more complex.

Therefore, I'm not surprised there are few 'pure Covid' death certificates. If people have been filling them in correctly, there should be very, very few!
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on December 30, 2020, 09:10:25 am
You could label it as dangerous distortion of statistics or call it sensible personal risk assessment, I prefer the latter.

I'd call it wilful misrepresentation of statistics to suit an agenda. If there is a death certificate which says death due to confirmed Covid-19 leading to pneumonia, how is it reasonable to exclude that? I suspect if you tried the same 'analysis' on cancer or HIV you would find remarkably few people apparently died from them...

If it isn't Covid, what are all these excess deaths from?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55411323
There's no evidence there that a significant number of 'normal' deaths are being misrepresented as Covid deaths; probably there were Covid deaths that were not recorded as such since the excess mortality in the first peak exceeded the number of recorded Covid deaths. In the second wave, there appears to be a slight reduction in the 'normal' deaths, which could be that _a small fraction_ of 'Covid' deaths are from something else, but there are other better explanations such as reduction of seasonal flu deaths from a better flu vaccination program this year and social distancing. Or it could just be random variation, since the death rate varies a bit every year.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on December 30, 2020, 09:22:25 am
There are lots of public information requests floating around the internet where people have written to their local health authority and requested the number of deaths with the sole cause as Covid, the numbers across the UK are very very low. I'm yet to see one with more than 100 deaths with covid as the sole cause since March begging the question what the real cause of the pandemic is, so far we are all victims.

Also: what is a 'local health authority'? It's not a term that means anything any more, I think (at least in England). There are 135(?) clinical commissioning groups. If you meant 'local authority' as in local councils, then there are around 343 (including district and county councils). There should be, on average, around 500 deaths per CCG, but you would expect only a small fraction of those to be poorly recorded as just 'Covid' if, as Speleofish says, people are doing their job properly. So not finding 100 deaths with Covid as the sole cause for a CCQ means most death certificates are not being bodged, which is good.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 30, 2020, 09:30:35 am
There are lots of public information requests floating around the internet where people have written to their local health authority and requested the number of deaths with the sole cause as Covid, the numbers across the UK are very very low. I'm yet to see one with more than 100 deaths with covid as the sole cause since March begging the question what the real cause of the pandemic is, so far we are all victims.

Also: what is a 'local health authority'? It's not a term that means anything any more, I think (at least in England). There are 135(?) clinical commissioning groups. If you meant 'local authority' as in local councils, then there are around 343 (including district and county councils). There should be, on average, around 500 deaths per CCG, but you would expect only a small fraction of those to be poorly recorded as just 'Covid' if, as Speleofish says, people are doing their job properly. So not finding 100 deaths with Covid as the sole cause for a CCQ means most death certificates are not being bodged, which is good.

But it supports my position of personal risk assessment ? I dont believe I am at much risk if i was to catch it...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on December 30, 2020, 09:56:41 am
I think you're confusing two things. You may well be right that your personal risk is low (I assume you're young, slim, fit and don't have any interesting co-morbidities). If so, you're unlikely to die. You may be lucky and have minimal symptoms or you may be less fortunate and have something that feels like a cross between bad flu and dengue (ie you're pretty sure you're not going to die but you rather wish you could).
However, your argument seems to be based on denying Covid is a big thing in itself. Anyone who's cared for Covid patients would disagree.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on December 30, 2020, 10:06:10 am
If it isn't Covid, what are all these excess deaths from?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55411323

Mortality rates really aren't that unusual this year. Sure,  higher than last year, the worst in 10 years even (by 3%), but lower than 2008 and I don't remember that making headline news or forcing a national lockdown.
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/learn-and-develop/continuous-mortality-investigation/other-cmi-outputs/mortality-monitor (https://www.actuaries.org.uk/learn-and-develop/continuous-mortality-investigation/other-cmi-outputs/mortality-monitor)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on December 30, 2020, 10:44:31 am
The reality is that many (but by no means all) people who have died of Covid have been in their last year or two of life. Therefore, the impact on overall mortality statistics is relatively small. However, this is in the context of strict lockdowns and massive changes in population behaviour. Lockdown protects elderly, frail people from all sorts of infections so may have reduced non-Covid mortality in this age group.
 
530-540,000 people die in a 'normal' year in the UK. The prediction for Covid deaths if we hadn't locked down was approximately 500,000 in the first wave. Perhaps 50% would have fallen into the cohort with limited life expectancy, the other 50% would have been expected to live much longer. Therefore, without a lockdown, we might have expected 750,000+ deaths, a 50% increase in annual mortality.

The other problem is the complexity of this disease. People become extremely sick and spend a long time in hospital - much longer than they do with 'flu. Most years, the NHS is stretched over winter. Several times in my career I've seen it approach breaking point. This year, it's much worse. If you get bad Covid, you can only be treated in hospital as you will probably die without oxygen. If the NHS breaks and admissions become impossible (or if hospitals run out of oxygen, which happened to two or three in the first wave), many patients who could have survived with hospital care will die. The effect on mortality will then be enormous.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on December 30, 2020, 10:55:39 am
Quote
sensible personal risk assessment, I prefer the latter

Note the "personal", you aren't the only person at risk, your actions aren't risk free to for other people. If you think 'OK. then just shield  the vulnerable' .  How do you do that? It just isn't practical.  The vulnerable may have careers or live in multigenerational families, so now you have to shield the careers and families, and their contacts.  Some vulnerable people do not know they are vulnerable.  People aren't divided into nice isolated groups but messy networks.


Quote
Mortality rates really aren't that unusual this year. Sure,  higher than last year, the worst in 10 years even (by 3%), but lower than 2008 and I don't remember that making headline news or forcing a national lockdown.

You are ignoring the counterfactual.  if no measures had been taken, what would the death toll have been? Additionally, some deaths from no covid causes are lower than expected because of the lockdown measures (increased hygiene, reduced contacts etc).

https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/static-reports/mortality-surveillance/excess-mortality-in-england-latest.html (https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/static-reports/mortality-surveillance/excess-mortality-in-england-latest.html)


Death isn't the only outcome, some people who survive have long lasting problems which include lung, brain and heart damage.


 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 30, 2020, 12:34:05 pm
The answer isn't lock down and the answer isn't do nothing but so far it has been heavily biased towards lockdowns for which the negative results of non covid patients is seldom reported in the news along side the fear and scare graphs and stats...

Redundancies
Economic ruin
Dental crisis
Lack of access to what is deemed non essential health care
Mental health crisis
Education crisis
General negative well being of population
Masses of single use plastics etc

To name a few

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on December 30, 2020, 01:39:27 pm
I think, unfortunately, the answer right now is another lockdown (and, once again, we're making it too late). The alternative is that the NHS breaks with totally unacceptable consequences. I agree with you that lockdowns produce misery. If we didn't have vaccines, I'd argue we shouldn't lockdown as we would all have to encounter the virus and until enough of us have had it to create population immunity, the pandemic would continue. However, with vaccines the problem is finite. if we can get through the next few months, enough high-risk people will have been vaccinated that the problem will start to disappear.

I suggest we need another few months of fairly intense restrictions with significant government support to allow people who can't work to survive. We then need to focus on all those who have been affected psychologically etc. AND, before the memories fade, we need to reassess all those aspects of healthcare that have been historically underinvested. Critically, this includes ICU (OK, this is special pleading on my part); Public Health (a combination of a government imposed poor organisation and huge underinvestment meant that track-and-trace never had a chance); Mental Health services - again, historically very poorly resourced and unable to cope with the present workload. Probably several other areas too...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: al on December 30, 2020, 04:46:35 pm
From what went on here in the Peak District, I'm not at all sure that the 2nd lockdown actually happened. The place was mobbed, and it's still mobbed after the introduction of Tier-3 following the "lockdown". It will be interesting to see what difference the new Tier-4 makes.

Maxf is quiite correct - the answer isn't lockdown ... well not unless there are some measures of enforcement.

It's tempting to believe that the lack of enforcement is a built in excuse for when it doesn't work. You know ... covidiots etc, something to splash on the front pages of the tabloids. (Unless it's Verbier or Barnard Castle or similar of course.)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 30, 2020, 05:24:16 pm
Lockdown won't work, imo, because if it is pronounced as being reintroduced there will be massive civil disobedience. It worked the first two times. Not.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on December 30, 2020, 08:39:29 pm
Those that think lockdown doesn't work...

What will?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ZombieCake on December 30, 2020, 09:23:57 pm
I do wonder if masks are part of the problem.  Please set aside the debate as to whether they work or not, or are just a state command and control mechanism.  From what I've observed people seem to think they're rendered immortal by wearing one, or any old bit of rag or scarf.  No social distancing, etc. etc.  The government propaganda doesn't help as it implies you're OK if you wear one.  Given the spike in infections since they were made compulsory it appears you aren't.  So back to common sense and lots of space might be better.  (I'm not a big crowd fan so don't mind staying in a bit more.)
There again this whole thing seems like trying to push back the ocean.
Where I am the test rate is now about 0.2% which is enough to generate mass panic as that's a huge risk now (I'm guessing the bad outcome rate is much lower, but who really knows).
People are tired of repetitive change and u-turns and inconsistent policies.  I think people are becoming more resentful and have little trust in the powers that be.  The scene was set early by idiots such as Cummings and Fergusson sticking two fingers up to the population and getting away with it, and continued inconsistency thereafter.  That's stuck to this day (Radio 2 thing today).  Hundreds of thousands are now unemployed, cancer screening etc. reduced. Last report I saw said suicide related emergency calls in London had doubled.
What is really needed now is the truth. Not propaganda, not knee jerk reactions, not made up numbers to get headlines, not frenzied media project fear, not skewed statistics or forecasts to aid one argument or another, not big business lobbying to add a few more billion to their shareholders accounts, just the truth. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on December 30, 2020, 09:27:07 pm
Lockdown worked the first time.  Infection rates decreased, but against advice the government relaxed too much too quickly. They relaxed multiple measures at the same time which made it impossible to determine the measures' individual effectiveness. They introduced measures that were designed to increase consumer confidence 'Eat out to Help out' was primarily about confidence building, not assisting the hospitality trade. One study came to the conclusion that this probably added to new cases. The repeated mistake has been to see it as a trade off between infections and the economy. If you don't control infections the economy suffers anyway.

The public messaging has been atrocious with constantly changing and often contradictory rules. There was a constant desire to do what was popular rather than effective. The tier system wasn't backed by evidence eg the arbitrary and probably counterproductive curfew for pubs, and rules about substantial meals.

When, as predicted, infections increased again, we locked down too late.  Infection rates were increasing in the South East probably with the onset of the new variant at the time the last lock down ended.

Lockdowns do work _if_ followed/enforced but the messaging and dangerous disinformation, for example about the false positive rates of the PCR tests, spread by well known 'journalists' and celebrities has been very damaging. So it is true have been become progressively less useful, but the alternative is an overwhelmed health service. It's already at breaking point in London.

In two weeks time we sill see the results of the Christmas day mixing hit the figures. I don't expect them to be pretty.

Nobody wants lockdowns, but there aren't any other realistic solutions. Every time restrictions have been relaxed case numbers increase.

Fingers crossed the new Oxford/AtraZeneca vaccine can be rolled out quickly, by all accounts it is easier to manufacture and distribute than the other available vaccines.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on December 30, 2020, 09:31:02 pm
Those that think lockdown doesn't work...

What will?

Soldiers at the end of your street probably. Can't see any other way that the great British public take the situation seriously. Of course, it would be a brave Prime Minister that would go down that route.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 30, 2020, 09:38:48 pm
In an audit of hospitals in August in Scotland the cases weren't quite what we were led to be believed as reported...

It is likely that the general public in the outside world is not the main source of input and infection for the hospitals....

https://blogs.gov.scot/statistics/2020/09/15/counting-people-in-hospital-with-covid-19/
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on December 30, 2020, 09:41:27 pm
Quote
What is really needed now is the truth. Not propaganda, not knee jerk reactions, not made up numbers to get headlines, not frenzied media project fear, not skewed statistics or forecasts to aid one argument or another, not big business lobbying to add a few more billion to their shareholders accounts, just the truth.

Very much so. One thing we could do better is have separate press conferences for politicians and health professionals as they do in Germany.  Government stats production and explanations has been dire too.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on December 30, 2020, 09:46:40 pm
Those that think lockdown doesn't work...

What will?

Soldiers at the end of your street probably. Can't see any other way that the great British public take the situation seriously. Of course, it would be a brave Prime Minister that would go down that route.

There's a lot of streets in the UK and not that many soldiers. In many urban areas I suspect the soldiers would lose most battles that started. Unfamiliar territory etc.

Most of the doctors and scientists on the news seem to be telling the truth. Christina Pagel is doing a sterling job at keeping her rage just under control and putting out facts, however uncomfortable. Devi Sridhar too is doing a wonderful job, but the pain in her eyes is telling. I trust their opinions far more than any of the cabinet or any of their 'friends with benefits'. Not Housing Benefit, I should add.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on December 30, 2020, 10:39:07 pm
Indeed, but their opinions are only looking at one side of the problem. There is no right answer and even medical professionals are only best guessing the solutions.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on December 30, 2020, 10:40:54 pm
The truth appears to be:

1. People won’t stand for being locked up for very long. As predicted back in Feb.
2. Very few people under the age of 60, and certainly 50, are affected seriously by the virus. People have twigged this now. That’s a lot of people.
3. Dumb luck plays a huge part. Back in March Germany were geniuses, now it is out of control there and they probably haven’t even got the new variant. Just think how much hot air was wasted on that.
4. Everything else is just media-driven shite.

FFIW, I think the MHRA have balls of steel for what they did today in reinterpreting the vaccine trial data. That’s the sort of concrete data point I need.

Granny#2 got the jab today. Hurray.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: alastairgott on December 30, 2020, 10:44:28 pm
In my opinion (oh dear :coffee: ) tiers should have been implemented 10 months ago along with the quarantine of all people coming in from abroad. This would have avoided the need for a national lockdown.


Hindsight, I know, but then you would keep the caseload in hospitals slightly higher during the summer months than it was this summer. And then moving into September you move the country into a three day working week.


And (in my hypothetical country) if you really want to push the boat out, put "toll booths" on all entry points into large towns and cities. In the event of a local lockdown in that city/town people are only allowed to leave/enter if they hold an electronic tag that allows their vehicle to go to/from work crossing that boundary.


People kicking off at the "border" guards will have the tyres on their car popped electronically by government pop and (in)pound workers, who work from home on their laptops listenening into rowdy exchanges between border guards and mongs. Before pressing the button for the spikes.
 You will be allowed your car back if it has more than 3months left to go till its next MOT. :blink:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ZombieCake on December 30, 2020, 10:45:59 pm
Here we go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjG_VB-la7o



Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: JasonC on December 31, 2020, 12:07:03 am

Mortality rates really aren't that unusual this year. Sure,  higher than last year, the worst in 10 years even (by 3%), but lower than 2008 and I don't remember that making headline news or forcing a national lockdown.
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/learn-and-develop/continuous-mortality-investigation/other-cmi-outputs/mortality-monitor (https://www.actuaries.org.uk/learn-and-develop/continuous-mortality-investigation/other-cmi-outputs/mortality-monitor)

So what happened in 2008?  I admit to only having skimmed the above link, but 2008 does stick out as a bad year.  I know it was the financial crash, but I don't recall a rash of stockbrokers jumping off tall buildings like they do in the cartoons, so what was it?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on December 31, 2020, 01:17:52 am
The other thing to consider about Covid is that it's only been around for just over a year. We don't know what the long term prognosis is, whether Covid will come back year on year and give people another 'nip'. The vaccine might prevent illness, but won't necessarily prevent transmission. We've already seen that as we became sanguine about the Pfizzer vaccine a few months ago, that the virus still has some tricks up it's sleeve. Best play it safe I think.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on December 31, 2020, 08:14:21 am
2008 wasn't even that significant:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/highestnumberofexcesswinterdeathssince19992000/2015-11-25
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 31, 2020, 08:33:56 am
The other thing to consider about Covid is that it's only been around for just over a year. We don't know what the long term prognosis is, whether Covid will come back year on year and give people another 'nip'. The vaccine might prevent illness, but won't necessarily prevent transmission. We've already seen that as we became sanguine about the Pfizzer vaccine a few months ago, that the virus still has some tricks up it's sleeve. Best play it safe I think.

Fellow caver, Hazel Barton, produced this right at the outset (watched 3 times at the commencement of the 1st Lockdown) - if you are going to watch it, watch every bit of it without breaking away/pausing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQZuCHIFZkQ

It is extremely educational.

CVs have been around a long time, are quite well understood - e.g. they are seasonal so the incidence of infection/transmission reduces significantly during dry/warm months, this means it's probably a fair prediction to say that the current international roll out of vaccine(s) will be heralded as a major success by end March/early April when the CV19 naturally dissipates anyway and the latter will be celebrated by the media/government as being because of the vaccine(s); by mid-October onwards there will be a natural return of CV19 variants and so further lockdown(s) next winter are highly likely "as a precaution" (best play it safe); Christmas as you knew it probably won't exist again this decade.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on December 31, 2020, 09:50:54 am
Everyone's a bloody expert.

I used to think that somehow we managed to put the most incompetent people in the country in government. Now I realise being loudly incompetent and thinking they know better isn't just limited to top politicians, it's a national sport.

People seem to have lost all ability to understand a situation fully. We do teach kids in school to try and understand the 'whys' of a situation, so why can't the adults manage it?

If Covid isn't really as bad as the government are saying, then why would a government that has spent the last ten years trying to lower the deficit through ideological reduction in state spending suddenly cripple the economy to try and deal with it?
If it's all some glorious conspiracy, to what end? And why would they make such a hash of it? Do we really believe the government is competent?

OR (using Occam's razor) is the following situation a better explanation
a) yes the government is incompetent (as most are)
b) nonetheless they are being advised by competent scientists (who, like all scientists, don't have all the answers)
c) the virus is full of suckiness and you really don't want to get it, whether you are old, have pre-existing conditions or just get long Covid.

There is one more thing to think about: countries like New Zealand and the SE Asian countries that have largely controlled SARS-COV-2 will not be the source of any significant new variants. We will be, as we are providing the breeding grounds for new potentially more transmissible (as we've seen) and potentially more deadly (fortunately not yet seen?) variants. Controlling the virus means preventing it getting worse, or escaping the vaccines.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on December 31, 2020, 09:57:34 am
Who want's long-lasting multi-organ damage in the relatively young? Not me.
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4470

Estimates of one in twenty people getting symptoms for over 8 weeks.
https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/long-covid

Long Covid is going to stop you going for significant exercise or caving for a while. That's not going to help anyone's mental health.
https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health/long-covid

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: alastairgott on December 31, 2020, 09:59:30 am
Had a conversation yesterday about smoking and covid, hazel covers that at about 1.08.30
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on December 31, 2020, 10:23:34 am
& she even has some idea what she's talking about!
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: al on December 31, 2020, 11:05:24 am
& she even has some idea what she's talking about!

Praise indeed!
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on December 31, 2020, 11:07:14 am
Percentage changes in cases:
https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Ed W on December 31, 2020, 11:09:45 am
I am going to steer clear of the rights and wrongs of lockdown and infection rates etc, I am an engineer with does not understand such things. I am also going to buck the trend of doom and gloom - whether this is that we are all going to catch it and die or cause sufficient economic damage that the survivors will be forced to return to the stone age.

Yes COVID has been a catastrophe on both human and economic fronts, but I think there are many positives that will come out of this in the longer term.  Change creates opportunity, and just as many have lost jobs I can see that there will be many new avenues for employment and business.  It is already clear that the COVID crisis has forced both business and individuals to embrace new technologies years, if not decades, faster than they would have done without it.

I can see that for many work life balance will be revolutionised as companies realise that many people can work effectively from home and that many meetings can be held virtually and still be effective for instance.  A dramatic reduction in commuting is likely to be a result that is good for road / rail congestion and the environment.

So though things look pretty dark at the moment, I think that the post-COVID world from about the middle of 2021 could be a very exciting place to be..
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 31, 2020, 01:24:23 pm
Who want's long-lasting multi-organ damage in the relatively young? Not me.
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4470

Estimates of one in twenty people getting symptoms for over 8 weeks.
https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/long-covid

Long Covid is going to stop you going for significant exercise or caving for a while. That's not going to help anyone's mental health.
https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health/long-covid

To quote the BMJ link you supplied:

'The research has not yet been peer reviewed and could not establish a causal link between organ impairment and infection'

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: zzzzzzed on December 31, 2020, 04:07:26 pm

Mortality rates really aren't that unusual this year. Sure,  higher than last year, the worst in 10 years even (by 3%), but lower than 2008 and I don't remember that making headline news or forcing a national lockdown.
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/learn-and-develop/continuous-mortality-investigation/other-cmi-outputs/mortality-monitor (https://www.actuaries.org.uk/learn-and-develop/continuous-mortality-investigation/other-cmi-outputs/mortality-monitor)
If you look at the last 27 years data, winter and spring 2020 had the eight highest death rate.
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-strong-was-the-scientific-advice-behind-lockdown

A bad influenza years kills more people than Covid has.  If we didn’t have the technology to identify the new virus nobody would have noticed anything unusual about this year.

People keep saying that the death rate would have been higher without the lockdown but, if you look around the world, there has been a large difference in the severity of the lockdowns but not a similarly large effect on the outcomes.

Peru, for example, imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in the world yet it has had a higher death rate per capita than Brazil which has been widely critised for it’s relaxed policy.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 31, 2020, 04:44:25 pm
Which brings me to one of my original statements in my firstpost in this thread questioning what the real pandemic is..

It has to be over testing....

Imagine if every winter we tested everyone with a PCR test set to identify the common cold... We would have rocketing cases and deaths attributed as such as they are to covid now.

It cannot identify the difference between who is ill and who was ill who is infectious and not to mention the elephant in the room, false positives from over run labs
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on December 31, 2020, 04:48:59 pm
One of the problems is that hardly any of the statistics are comparable, as things have been done so differently this year (even within the past few months).
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on December 31, 2020, 05:51:10 pm
Quote
It cannot identify the difference between who is ill and who was ill who is infectious and not to mention the elephant in the room, false positives from over run labs

The majority of PCR tests are for people who are displaying symptoms of covid, thus it is more likely they have an active infection than a random sample of the public.  The false positive 'elephant' is a covid deniers conspiracy theorist myth that has been debunked multiple times but is still parroted by ignorant celebrities despite having the facts explained to them.

The ONS paper details the issues in this paper which is about their random population sampling (the pillar 4 tests in the second link below, which are a tiny fraction of the total tests). The bulk of samples in the national figures are of symptomatic people so the number of false positives is even lower than this paper suggests (pillars 1 and 2).

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/methodologies/covid19infectionsurveypilotmethodsandfurtherinformation/pdf (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/methodologies/covid19infectionsurveypilotmethodsandfurtherinformation/pdf)

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/testing (https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/testing)

The real pandemic is covid, there isn't any doubt about that. We wouldn't have rocketing deaths from the common cold, if we were testing for it, because it doesn't kill people.

You are implying that thousands of doctors are breaking the law every day when completing death certificates in a coordinated conspiracy.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 31, 2020, 06:20:29 pm
Quote
It cannot identify the difference between who is ill and who was ill who is infectious and not to mention the elephant in the room, false positives from over run labs

The majority of PCR tests are for people who are displaying symptoms of covid, thus it is more likely they have an active infection than a random sample of the public.  The false positive 'elephant' is a covid deniers conspiracy theorist myth that has been debunked multiple times but is still parroted by ignorant celebrities despite having the facts explained to them.

The ONS paper details the issues in this paper which is about their random population sampling (the pillar 4 tests in the second link below, which are a tiny fraction of the total tests). The bulk of samples in the national figures are of symptomatic people so the number of false positives is even lower than this paper suggests (pillars 1 and 2).

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/methodologies/covid19infectionsurveypilotmethodsandfurtherinformation/pdf (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/methodologies/covid19infectionsurveypilotmethodsandfurtherinformation/pdf)

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/testing (https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/testing)

The real pandemic is covid, there isn't any doubt about that. We wouldn't have rocketing deaths from the common cold, if we were testing for it, because it doesn't kill people.

You are implying that thousands of doctors are breaking the law every day when completing death certificates in a coordinated conspiracy.

Why the large difference between PCR and LFT results ?
And if claiming LFT is not fit for purpose then why is it being issued to NHS contractors ?

Why have a number of scientists said that anything over a cycle  threshold of 29 is unlikely to be an infectious case yet Wales one of the 'crisis centres' in the UK is using 45 cycles  and acheiving very large numbers of 'cases'.

How many genes are the UK testing for postive result to be reported ?

Lots of questions... No official answers just ever growing statistics...

How can labs scale up test capacity and maintain accuracy...?

I'm not denying that something isnt happening but im in the camp of its similar to what is to be expected in a bad flu year but with the added bonus of reduced staffing which links to the over testing.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 31, 2020, 06:27:13 pm
The main symptoms being a cough and a high temperature ?

Its no wonder so many people go for test, along with all the people in their offices once they report to work that they are going for a test...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on December 31, 2020, 06:33:45 pm
Please explain this with regard to pre and post death cause determination...

(https://i.ibb.co/k8pG04p/Screenshot-20201213-103358-2.jpg) (https://ibb.co/swhgQKh)
how to check monitor width and height (https://whatsmyscreenresolution.com/)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on December 31, 2020, 06:43:01 pm
Which brings me to one of my original statements in my firstpost in this thread questioning what the real pandemic is..

It has to be over testing....



That great virologist/epidemiologist Donald J Trump said that too.

Must be right then...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on December 31, 2020, 07:57:03 pm
That great virologist/epidemiologist Donald J Trump said that too.

Reductio ad Trumpum?  :shrug:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on December 31, 2020, 09:30:04 pm
Quote
How many genes are the UK testing for postive result to be reported ?

What do you mean?  The main PCR tests for three different targets of the covid genome. Is that what you mean?

As to Lateral Flow Tests [LFT], they are being used because they are quick and cheap. But they aren't very accurate and will only detect cases with high viral loads. PCR are very accurate and sensitive but are costly and slow requiring specialised labs. LFT tests generate a lot of false negatives, ie people are told they are OK when they are not. This is all documented and well known.

Quote
Lots of questions... No official answers just ever growing statistics...

There are lots of answers from official sources. You refuse to either read them or understand them, and them claim they haven't been answered and go on to quote well known deniers.

Quote
How can labs scale up test capacity and maintain accuracy...?

By building new labs and staffing very quickly, the so called 'lighthouse labs'.  They aren't relying on the existing pathology labs, although capacity in universities and research institutions is used for full sequencing - ie testing the full genome of the samples.

See here for the full sequencing effort:
https://www.cogconsortium.uk/ (https://www.cogconsortium.uk/)

Quote
I'm not denying that something isnt happening but im in the camp of its similar to what is to be expected in a bad flu year but with the added bonus of reduced staffing which links to the over testing.

No, you are denying there is something, you just did. You are grasping for excuses to ignore people dying, because you don't want to be inconvenienced. You are just repeating all the same myths that have been repeatedly discredited. You are behaving like every other conspiracy theorist. There isn't over testing, they are testing people reporting symptoms.

Covid has a much higher fatality rate than flu, and that is ignoring the long term organ damage in people that survive.

There is a massive community of scientists working in this virus, for example here. This doesn't happen with the common cold or 'flu.

https://virological.org/c/novel-2019-coronavirus/33 (https://virological.org/c/novel-2019-coronavirus/33)

1800 people recorded dying of covid in the last two days, London's hospitals are at maximum capacity. Cases are increasing rapidly. We haven't had the spike from Christmas gatherings yet. 

I'm sorry trying to save lives upsets you so much.



Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on December 31, 2020, 10:17:51 pm
This is what pisses me off. And I won't do the clickbait tw*ts the favour of providing a link. The Daily Mail has had headlines along these lines for months: 'Experts warn those areas that spent Christmas in Tier 4 are most at risk of even TIGHTER 'Tier 5' Covid restrictions in January - despite data showing cases may already be falling in some of them'

The italic bit being the trope they have been trotting out for months. Exactly the same headline when Lockdown 2 came, Blah, Blah, Lockdown 2 coming despite, blah, cases in blah going down.

When the dust settles, I hope the role of the media in all this is taken into accout when the enquiry begins.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Laurie on January 01, 2021, 09:27:13 am
If this disease was killing everyone who caught it would the attitude to lockdowns be the same as now?
Where do you draw the line?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: oldfart on January 01, 2021, 10:23:59 am
The NHS should now be getting the extra £350 million a week from Boris's brexit bonus. He tends to keep his promises like the one where he said "F*&k business".
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 01, 2021, 10:41:03 am
Well, strangely, it has come to pass.

The next budget is €1.8tn for 7 years. Most of it now based on GNI.

The UK’s share of EU+UK GNI is about 15%.

So 0.15 x 1800000 * 1.15 / 1.1 / 52 / 7 = £775mln per week. And I can assure you we would not get half back (Ireland will get about a third of theirs).

No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Best not to bring it up.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: martinb on January 01, 2021, 01:25:13 pm
This is what pisses me off. And I won't do the clickbait tw*ts the favour of providing a link. The Daily Mail has had headlines along these lines for months: 'Experts warn those areas that spent Christmas in Tier 4 are most at risk of even TIGHTER 'Tier 5' Covid restrictions in January - despite data showing cases may already be falling in some of them'

The italic bit being the trope they have been trotting out for months. Exactly the same headline when Lockdown 2 came, Blah, Blah, Lockdown 2 coming despite, blah, cases in blah going down.

When the dust settles, I hope the role of the media in all this is taken into accout when the enquiry begins.

Unfortunately, OFCOM is fairly toothless when bringing the role of newspapers and the likes of the BBC to account.

And, the Levison 2 enquiry was quashed by the government on the behest of some of its more implicated MP's and Newspaper Oligarchs.

So the chance of the government or the media being held to account is vanishingly small.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 01, 2021, 01:42:37 pm
No, you are denying there is something, you just did. You are grasping for excuses to ignore people dying, because you don't want to be inconvenienced.
Emphasis mine. Every single conversation with one of the anti-vax/denier lot boils down to this.
Much as I have an exceedingly healthy disregard for authority, there are times you need to buckle down and deal with it. This lot don't want to, they don't like it, it's not compatible with their lifestyle and mindset. All of the fluff, posture and misdirection is simply to hide the fact they haven't got the spine to admit they're cunts and simply don't want to deal with the inconvenience. I've seen people that can barely add up to 10 using their fingers tell PhD biologists they're wrong about this, and it's all a hoax. Worse still are the reasonably intelligent one that know they're wrong, but still put personal liberty ahead of a clear need for a short term societal responsibility. No-one has yet explained to me why the entire world puts everything on hold to deal with this, or why for the first time ever, governments have got their act together and are maintaining a global veil of secrecy and coordination with each other, when normally they struggle to organise a piss-up in a brewery. It's deffo a hoax or the numbers are wrong,or some other bullshit because that explains away their own responsibility nicely. It's not their fault, they're not the bad ones. There is absolutely no concept of personal responsibility.

Admin - I  know exactly what your stance on language is, and I usually respect that. However, I fully feel that any lesser words don't even begin to convey my contempt for the twats that keep this dragging out and subjecting all of us to endure this for far longer than we needed to.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 01, 2021, 02:07:26 pm
No, you are denying there is something, you just did. You are grasping for excuses to ignore people dying, because you don't want to be inconvenienced.
Emphasis mine. Every single conversation with one of the anti-vax/denier lot boils down to this.
Much as I have an exceedingly healthy disregard for authority, there are times you need to buckle down and deal with it. This lot don't want to, they don't like it, it's not compatible with their lifestyle and mindset. All of the fluff, posture and misdirection is simply to hide the fact they haven't got the spine to admit they're cunts and simply don't want to deal with the inconvenience. I've seen people that can barely add up to 10 using their fingers tell PhD biologists they're wrong about this, and it's all a hoax. Worse still are the reasonably intelligent one that know they're wrong, but still put personal liberty ahead of a clear need for a short term societal responsibility. No-one has yet explained to me why the entire world puts everything on hold to deal with this, or why for the first time ever, governments have got their act together and are maintaining a global veil of secrecy and coordination with each other, when normally they struggle to organise a piss-up in a brewery. It's deffo a hoax or the numbers are wrong,or some other bullshit because that explains away their own responsibility nicely. It's not their fault, they're not the bad ones. There is absolutely no concept of personal responsibility.

Admin - I  know exactly what your stance on language is, and I usually respect that. However, I fully feel that any lesser words don't even begin to convey my contempt for the twats that keep this dragging out and subjecting all of us to endure this for far longer than we needed to.

"people that can barely add up to 10 using their fingers" is now my go to insult. Brilliant, just brilliant.  ;D :clap2: :beer2:

Your choice of language? Think sometimes such brutal vernacular is needed. Cuts through the BS.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 01, 2021, 02:22:26 pm
Actually it puts a lot of people off.

Folk are more likely to warm to someone's point of view if it's articulated with reasoned argument.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 01, 2021, 02:32:01 pm
Actually it puts a lot of people off.

Folk are more likely to warm to someone's point of view if it's articulated with reasoned argument.

As much as I admire and respect your optimism and general good natured altruism, enough people have had enough time given to them with reasoned argument and it's still not filtering through their tinfoil hat/exceptionalism/selfish gene.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: kay on January 01, 2021, 02:39:13 pm
The reality is that many (but by no means all) people who have died of Covid have been in their last year or two of life.

Is there any evidence for this statement?

I've seen people compare life expectancy at birth with average age of death by Covid, but that is the wrong comparison. The comparison should be with remaining life expectancy having managed to reach a certain age. For example, an 85 year old woman has a remaining life expectancy of more than 7 years even though she is already older than the life expectancy from birth.

The idea that most people dying of Covid are in their last year or two of life has been seized upon by many on social media to argue we should just get on with life, because those who die "would have died anyway in a few months".
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 01, 2021, 02:39:37 pm
Actually it puts a lot of people off.

Folk are more likely to warm to someone's point of view if it's articulated with reasoned argument.
At this point anyone in that position is not going to change it with a reasoned argument. We're long past the point of being nice. Being nice drags this out and reinforces the position that they can do whatever they please if they make enough noise to make it awkward. Worse still is people who have been begrudgingly doing things to prevent the spread seeing them doing what they damn well please, and emulating that.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 01, 2021, 02:42:46 pm
You have a good point with that last sentence.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 01, 2021, 03:31:27 pm
The years life lost argument is certainly disputed.

https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/ (https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 01, 2021, 03:45:49 pm
The years life lost argument is certainly disputed.

https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/ (https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/)

I would hate to see the years lost to alcohol but that doesn't stop most people does it...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 01, 2021, 03:48:08 pm
The years life lost argument is certainly disputed.

https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/ (https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/)

I would hate to see the years lost to alcohol but that doesn't stop most people does it...

How do you catch alcoholism? (Asking for a friend).
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 01, 2021, 04:24:26 pm
Dependency by drinking too much...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 01, 2021, 04:32:32 pm
Dependency by drinking too much...

So how far away must I stand from a transmitter? Should I wear a mask or would a cagoule be better (spillage)? Is there a contact time limit to which I should adhere to avoid 'getting' alcoholism from another person?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 01, 2021, 04:57:44 pm
The years life lost argument is certainly disputed.

https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/ (https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/)

I would hate to see the years lost to alcohol but that doesn't stop most people does it...

How do you catch alcoholism? (Asking for a friend).

I made my comment because surrounding the situation is the idea that we can all help stop people dying early by limiting our own lives to save others and help the NHS as we have been doing in various lockdowns for the best part of last year and will likely be doing for some of this year too at least.

Life is not just lost to corona virus however, some causes are out of our hands but some we have direct control over like whether we choose to drink alcohol or not, a guick Google suggests that around 25,000 lives are lost every year due to alcohol. You might say that this is preventable. Maybe some of the corona deaths might have even been prevented as a knock on effect of improving the poor health of those who succumbed for such reasons.

Lots of people are completly against the idea of preventive loss of life because of recent events yet probably are not T total themselves so are part of another problem that isn't being so well highlighted right now (I'm not T total for reference).

There also lots of online shaming about anyone who has an alternative view point to current events, I saw one article stating 'blood on the hands' of people who don't comply with rules (again for reference I have been and will be complying).

I hope those doing the current shaming about those taking a different view (based on evidence from other doctors and scientists* in my case) are so careful with other aspects of their life which might cause un-necessary burden on the health services due to their choices. It would seem to be double standards if they weren't.

If we really must prevent all preventable loss of life then we would be in a very boring world.

"And there is a sizable portion of these across the World not just one or two making noise.




Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 01, 2021, 05:20:24 pm
Quote
(based on evidence from other doctors and scientists* in my case)

I can guess which ones you will be referring to.  A small group of outliers who have been shown to be wrong repeatedly, but are still given media exposure and not questioned on their previous statements.

I won't attribute the quotes, they have enough publicity, for example:

Quote
it is likely the British public has more immunity than previously thought and Covid-19 could end up "petering out by itself

Quote
If government rules are followed, we will be back to normal by June.

And from May 2020:
Quote
I think that the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country

Quote
The coronavirus pandemic is “effectively over” in the United Kingdom and “there is absolutely no need for vaccines.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 01, 2021, 05:22:23 pm
The years life lost argument is certainly disputed.

https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/ (https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/05/28/coronavirus-and-lost-life-three-million-years/)

I would hate to see the years lost to alcohol but that doesn't stop most people does it...

How do you catch alcoholism? (Asking for a friend).

I made my comment because surrounding the situation is the idea that we can all help stop people dying early by limiting our own lives to save others and help the NHS as we have been doing in various lockdowns for the best part of last year and will likely be doing for some of this year too at least.

Life is not just lost to corona virus however, some causes are out of our hands but some we have direct control over like whether we choose to drink alcohol or not, a guick Google suggests that around 25,000 lives are lost every year due to alcohol. You might say that this is preventable. Maybe some of the corona deaths might have even been prevented as a knock on effect of improving the poor health of those who succumbed for such reasons.

Lots of people are completly against the idea of preventive loss of life because of recent events yet probably are not T total themselves so are part of another problem that isn't being so well highlighted right now (I'm not T total for reference).

There also lots of online shaming about anyone who has an alternative view point to current events, I saw one article stating 'blood on the hands' of people who don't comply with rules (again for reference I have been and will be complying).

I hope those doing the current shaming about those taking a different view (based on evidence from other doctors and scientists* in my case) are so careful with other aspects of their life which might cause un-necessary burden on the health services due to their choices. It would seem to be double standards if they weren't.

If we really must prevent all preventable loss of life then we would be in a very boring world.

"And there is a sizable portion of these across the World not just one or two making noise.

Now we're getting somewhere, thanks to your much better expanded point.

That's one of the issues with social media and what appear to be flippant one liners such as your original post (which smacked of "whatabout-ism"). They only do service to people who for whatever reason, don't or won't face up to the part they play in this covid situation - usually in a negative self-centred way. This, obviously, isn't you because like myself, we've been following the guidance (I've got skin in the game - wife works clinical NHS and my livelihood has gone down the pan so I need this resolved as soon as possible).

You do seem to be conflating personal risk taking and putting others health at risk though. Not sure I've seen any NHS guidance on not going running, caving, rock climbing etc. The Dr. who made the claim of 'blood on the hands' is articulating what quite a few medical/clinical personnel are thinking. Whether he should have said it? Maybe it's the shot across the bow quite a few people need - quick yank on the chain - because there are still people taking the piss based on spurious whataboutism.


Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 01, 2021, 06:19:45 pm
... waffle about alcohol ...

So, tell me again what Alcohol has to do with a contagious virus that kills people?

"And there is a sizable portion of these across the World not just one or two making noise.

No, there isn't. There's a few odd nutters. If you want to drink bleach and shove a UV torch up your arse, feel free, but do it at home eh?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 01, 2021, 06:29:42 pm
Give me some time and I will spill all my sticking points for you to pick apart....

I'm genuinely open minded about it but have yet to have some of the 'tin foil bridges' points proven to me otherwise...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 01, 2021, 06:33:49 pm
In reply to Kay's question, many of those who died from Covid were residential or nursing home residents who have an average life expectancy of less than 2 years (the British Geriatrics Society quotes 1 year average survival for nursing home residents, 2 years for residential homes). Most of those in hospital with severe respiratory failure who were deemed unlikely to benefit from mechanical ventilation were so categorised because they had major, life-limiting co-morbidities.

There was also a cohort of patients with severely impaired physiological reserve - bad lung or heart disease, severe dementia, major neurological impairment for example. These people can live for considerably longer than two years if they avoid getting severe infections but lack the reserve to survive a prolonged period of intensive care and the slow rehabilitation that follows. Many of these people die every winter, whether from 'flu, bacterial pneumonia or, this year, Covid. One can't say any individual in this group is in the last year or so of life but, statistically, many of them are.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 01, 2021, 06:41:18 pm
... waffle about alcohol ...

So, tell me again what Alcohol has to do with a contagious virus that kills people?

"And there is a sizable portion of these across the World not just one or two making noise.

No, there isn't. There's a few odd nutters. If you want to drink bleach and shove a UV torch up your arse, feel free, but do it at home eh?

Personal attitude to one thing that causes death and load to the health systems vs another....
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 01, 2021, 06:52:42 pm
That's the most contrived attempt, that's seemingly serious, to downplay this that I've seen yet.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 01, 2021, 08:47:40 pm
they're cunts and simply don't want to deal with the inconvenience.

God you are eloquent NewStuff!

The reality is that lockdowns are not a long term solution. WHO says so, as do a great number of virologists and epidemiologists.

Unless militantly enforced, they are pretty ineffective, but either way, they are incredibly damaging to the economy and hence to people's livelihoods, health and wellbeing.

Social distancing might prevent the spread of Covid, but it also slows the spread of other viruses and infections that keep our immune system healthy. There is a real risk that by isolating ourselves in a bubble, we are storing up problems for the future.

Questioning the rationale of a government who seem to have no direction or exit plan, and in Theresa May's words have 'picked the science to suit their decisions' hardly makes someone a c*nt.

To my mind, trying the same failed tactic again and again is madness. People are quite reasonably getting worn down by the situation and want to see a coherent strategy to recovery, not a constantly changing set of rules, inconsistent from one area to the next, with no apparent direction, let alone an end goal in sight. :wall:

From a personal perspective, I've had it fairly easy I suppose. I've not lost my job. Nobody I know has died or even had a bad case of Covid. But I'm bloody sick of the same 4 walls, where I spend most of my waking hours sat in front of a computer screen, seeing nobody, before going to sleep in the same room. The only face to face social interaction (beyond my household) I see in a typical week is asking the delivery guy to 'move the boxes off the front step because the door opens outwards'. I'm going slowly mad!

Getting out caving after the kids are in bed is pretty much the only thing keeping me going these days. I've got no idea if I'm 'breaking the rules' and quite frankly I'm beyond caring. I leave home at 7pm, I'm home shortly after midnight. Either I cave alone and see nobody, or I occasionally meet one other person. Rules or not, there is no chance that I'm contributing to the spread of any virus through these activities and I don't think anyone has the right to stop me.

I'm not trying to avoid some personal 'inconvenience' I'm trying to survive with my mental health intact and I don't give the slightest sh*t if you think that makes me a c*nt, NewStuff.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pegasus on January 01, 2021, 09:04:01 pm
Administrator Comment Oi, cut out the language - if for no other reason than I want to read this thread and absolutely hate the use of the word, so please....thank you
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 01, 2021, 09:20:30 pm
Right so here goes, here are some of the things that have led me to believe the statistics issued each day and presented on the news are not wholly accurate and easily lead people to believe the situation is worse than it actually is.

First we have the number of people who tested positive stated as 'cases'. Mostly results from PCR testing. Now when questioned Mathew Hancock said the false positive rate was less than 1%, all tests are subject to 'false positives' nothing is perfect and no doubt the more you test the larger the chances of it going wrong will be, and of course there may be false negatives also.

Here is the information:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/accuracy_of_rt_pcr_test_in_the_c

Please follow the link contained to this document to see the response.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/695879/response/1667544/attach/2/1460%20FOI%20Community%20prevalence%20of%20SARS%20CoV%202%20false%20positve%20rate%20it%20rate%20given%20to%20SAGEMPs.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1


So if the false positive rate is under 1% then how can the following examples be explained ?

https://www.cam.ac.uk/sites/www.cam.ac.uk/files/documents/pooled_testing_report_30nov-6dec.pdf

By reading that document you will note that 10 positive tests were originally found, were then re-tested for completeness, none of the original positive tests were able to be repeated so 10 out of 10 were false positives. A bit higher than the less than 1% you have to admit.

I'm not saying that every case tested is wrong but even a small percentage of 55,000 cases we are being told  are 'new covid cases' today is quite a lot of cases that potentially are not, people isolating at home for nothing, triggering colleagues/ friends to get a test for nothing and potentially adding further chance for false case numbers to rise triggering more people to get tested.

Another example where a difference has been found between PCR testing and another form of test the LFT was in Liverpool during the mass testing that happened (Liverpool being one of the hard hit areas around the time).

PCR results found that the prevalence across 47,270 people to be 2.98% positive (1,407 cases)
LFT results found that the prevalence across 65,792 people to be 0.61% positive (402 cases)

(https://i.ibb.co/pXgcBXy/liverpool.png) (https://ibb.co/MNbrxN6)


Of course these two datasets are from separate groups of people using different tests but that is a very large difference, a 3% positive population might be in the right territory to help justify a lock down whilst I think you would have a hard time convincing Joe public that there was a pandemic happening if just 0.61% tested positive.

There is other evidence in Scotland where LFT tests have been carried out along with PCR testing and again they paint a vastly different picture, `I cannot find where I saw it a few weeks ago.

PCR testing has the ability it is clear to detect very small amounts of virus, current or old in a person it cannot tell you, only a second test after a certain amount of time might be used to detect how the viral load is changing based on the cycle threshold required to achieve the original result. Lower cycle threshold on the second test would be more virus present, higher cycle threshold would mean less viral load in the sample.

Information here for those unfamiliar:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/926410/Understanding_Cycle_Threshold__Ct__in_SARS-CoV-2_RT-PCR_.pdf

LFT detects active proteins present in someone who is likely to be ill and infectious so of course will report lower numbers as you could argue that PCR is overly sensitive.

For myself that few examples I have highlighted above where PCR testing has shown 10/10 false positives or a large amount more cases than a test which can detect live proteins is enough to make me doubt the very large number of cases reported each day especially when the government should know and be able to tackle any such questions accurately to put people like myself's mind to rest over such matters.

I mean couple of pdf's from the proper evaluation of laboratories they surely have could silence most of social media and gain a lot of people onside from a political point of view.

What I would like more transparency over is where the cut off is set, I don't doubt the methods ability to detect very small amounts of virus, but is this person actively ill and are they a threat to others ?

It also seems like the number of PCR determined cases is highly correlated with the number of PCR tests made, more tests is more cases.




Onto hospital figures, we are told there are xxxx people in hospital with covid, yet to me this conjures up xxxx people on deaths door having their breathing done for them.

An audit was done in Scotland in August and the results were quite striking, of the 384 patients labelled as covid cases in hospitals only 8% were actual current covid cases.

https://blogs.gov.scot/statistics/2020/09/15/counting-people-in-hospital-with-covid-19/

About halfway down under audit findings.

For the lazy the summary is here:

Statistics
Counting people in hospital with COVID-19
September 15, 2020 by Office of the Chief Statistician | Category Uncategorized

We are changing the way we count people in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 as of 15 September 2020. The new figures are lower than the previous published management information and we have a break in the time series. This blog explains why and how.

Current situation

Every day since mid-March, the Scottish Government has been collecting data on the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital from across NHS Scotland. This data collection was set up quickly to meet an immediate need to understand the impact this new illness was having on our NHS hospitals. It was important to take a pragmatic approach to this in order to avoid any additional work for hospital staff, so while an approach was defined, local areas adopted the best way to extract this from their information systems.

The measure showed a rapid increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital to over 1,500 in mid-April, reflecting the situation at the time. However, the measure stabilised at around 250 into July and August. Data published daily on coronavirus.data.gov.uk shows that on 26 August, for example, there were 442 COVID-19 patients reported in hospitals in England, 48 in Wales and 17 in Northern Ireland, compared to 249 in Scotland.



In addition, data from Public Health Scotland shows that the numbers of new hospital admissions where COVID-19 was confirmed were relatively low through July and August. In early July, additional information on hospital onset
cases became available, and it was apparent that there were different types of inpatients being included in the figures provided each day by NHS boards, including those who have tested positive for COVID-19 at some point but are no longer being treated for COVID-19.

Investigation

On 26 August, we carried out a snapshot clinical audit to find out more about the relative contribution to the numbers of these different categories of patients (see below). In addition to using the available administrative information, this work involved clinicians in order to fully understand the status of current inpatients. The audit confirmed that the majority of COVID-19 inpatients reported in the daily published statistics were in hospital for an ongoing condition following a resolved COVID-19 infection, or for a condition unrelated to COVID-19. The majority of these were in the two largest Health Boards (Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Lothian), while some other Boards had previously adapted their own definitions to only include current cases, for example Fife did this in June resulting in a decrease in their figures.

Audit findings

The audit of inpatients identified 384 patients in hospital at 1am on 26 August across Scotland who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

The majority of these patients (87%) were in hospital for a condition unrelated to COVID-19:

45% were hospital onset cases who were no longer being isolated or treated for COVID-19;
25% had recovered from COVID-19, been discharged and then readmitted for an unrelated condition;
9% had a previous positive COVID-19 test in the community, and were admitted for an unrelated reason
8% had been admitted for COVID-19, had recovered but were still in hospital for other reasons.
The audit showed that 8% of patients were either receiving treatment for COVID-19, were in rehabilitation after their treatment for COVID-19 was completed, or were in hospital for COVID-19 related complications. (5% of patients could not be classified into the above categories.)



Obviously we are at a different time of the year now compared to August and they have now decided to report differently based on this but again quite a lot different from the headline of '384' hospital cases when only 8% of them have and were actively being treated for Covid. Not sure where England stands on this reporting and breakdown of hospital cases.

I am not sure what the reporting requirement is for hospitals with covid patients but the numbers can be found here, page 14 out of 15:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948507/NOIDS-weekly-report-week52-2020-1.pdf

To me that says in last week of 2020 we had 85 new covid cases reported (actual clinical cases perhaps not just positive tests ?) , I'm sure someone can put me on the right track as to why many thousand were reported yet only 85 were in the document above.



As for one or two tin foil hat experts dictating all alternate theory, you have to question what they have to gain for doing so and what they have to loose by being so publicly wrong (possibly their whole career?)

I count over 13,000 medical and public health experts world wide and over 39,000 medical practitioners who have bravely signed the Great Barrington Convention.

https://gbdeclaration.org/view-signatures/

Whilst it doesn't offer a way out of the Winter it shows the worldwide support and willingness of qualified people to speak out.



And my final point, looking at the UK deaths graph so far it appears we are nearly reaching the level now we were at in March or April, if we keep this trend or level then somehow with umpteen lock downs the same amount of people will be apparently dying due to Covid as did in the spring, when we didn't have a lock down until it was quite late so either lockdowns are not effective, or deaths are being or were incorrectly diagnosed either then or now.

Flak jacket on...change my mind with numbers and reports not whining about apparently not caring about people dying. As I have said this has not changed my actions with regard to lockdown compliance just my already dim view of those apparently in charge and their 'science based' approach.










Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 01, 2021, 09:38:32 pm
The only face to face social interaction (beyond my household) I see in a typical week is asking the delivery guy to 'move the boxes off the front step because the door opens outwards'. I'm going slowly mad!
You think you're the only one? If I felt like being a selfish prick I could get around any and all of the restrictions, perfectly legally and no copper in the world would blink an eyelid. I'm absolutely not going to go into detail in a public forum, so don't bother asking. If I can deal with the 4 walls, not even going out on my bikes (which would be fine given your arguments about not seeing a soul), so can anyone else. It's not nice, easy, or character forming, but it is bloody necessary. At what point do you think that the Tories of all parties would chuck literally billions of pounds at people to stay the fuck home if it wasn't?

maxf - "Great Barrington Convention". As soon as you try to imply that is a serious, realistic source of concerned professionals, you're a joke. Stuffed full of homepaths and woo-peddlers.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 01, 2021, 09:46:03 pm
If successive governments hadn't proved themselves to be untrustworthy, & if the current one had managed to put out a coherent argument, then there might well be a lot fewer deniers.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 01, 2021, 09:49:16 pm
The only face to face social interaction (beyond my household) I see in a typical week is asking the delivery guy to 'move the boxes off the front step because the door opens outwards'. I'm going slowly mad!
You think you're the only one? If I felt like being a selfish prick I could get around any and all of the restrictions, perfectly legally and no copper in the world would blink an eyelid. I'm absolutely not going to go into detail in a public forum, so don't bother asking. If I can deal with the 4 walls, not even going out on my bikes (which would be fine given your arguments about not seeing a soul), so can anyone else. It's not nice, easy, or character forming, but it is bloody necessary. At what point do you think that the Tories of all parties would chuck literally billions of pounds at people to stay the fuck home if it wasn't?

maxf - "Great Barrington Convention". As soon as you try to imply that is a serious, realistic source of concerned professionals, you're a joke. Stuffed full of homepaths and woo-peddlers.

Have you personally vetted all of them....
?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 01, 2021, 10:01:33 pm
The counter argument:
https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-barrington-declaration-an-open-letter-arguing-against-lockdown-policies-and-for-focused-protection/
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 01, 2021, 10:04:16 pm
If I can deal with the 4 walls... ...so can anyone else.
Clearly the UK government doesn't agree with you, which is why there are specific allowances within all the restrictions (in England at least, I've not read the rules for Wales) for exercise and recreation.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: AR on January 01, 2021, 10:06:42 pm
Regarding the LTF test, it is regarded by many medical professionals as pretty useless - there was a recent Lancet editorial that was pretty scathing about it, and from more personal experience, my wife had a fortunately brief hospitalisation for pneumonia last month and she said that the medical staff on the respitory ward universally regarded the LTF test as a waste of money, given the high percentage of false negatives it gives.

Regarding the quoted case of inaccuracy on the PCR test, that's a single example - I've argued with creationists trying to "disprove" radiocarbon dating from a single anomalous date that an individual outlier case does not invalidate all the others. C-14 dates are usually quoted with a confidence interval attached, which is a statistical means of establishing how likely it is that a value lies within a given range. 95% is preferred for C-14, which means that there's a 5% chance the derived date could be outside that range. To go back to PCR tests, what is the confidence interval for positive tests, from which we can make a reasoned estimate of how many false positives and negatives it will produce? That is the critical factor, not one case which quite possibly could be a serious anomaly.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 01, 2021, 10:33:08 pm
I don't think that the quoted results for PCR inaccuracy are actually an anomaly.

I believe they were perfectly predictable results for a healthy population.

If you had a false positive rate of 1% and you tasted 1000 healthy people, you would expect to get 10 positive results. All of them false, as it is a healthy population. This is basically what happened in the quoted example.

When testing any population, the most important factor I think, is the false positive rate, relative to the prevalence within that population.

If you are only testing symptomatic people, the prevalence will potentially be quite high compared with the false positive rate, so it's not a big problem.

If you go for mass testing, the false positive rate is much more important, because the prevalence within that population is much lower and therefore the number of false positive cases vs actual positive cases will be much higher.

This is also true for screening people entering hospital (for other reasons), which I'm pretty sure is now routine. You basically end up with 1% of all hospital admissions recorded as Covid, over and above the actual number. A second confirmatory test would easily solve this, though I'm not sure if it is routine.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 01, 2021, 10:59:18 pm
The only face to face social interaction (beyond my household) I see in a typical week is asking the delivery guy to 'move the boxes off the front step because the door opens outwards'. I'm going slowly mad!
You think you're the only one? If I felt like being a selfish prick I could get around any and all of the restrictions, perfectly legally and no copper in the world would blink an eyelid. I'm absolutely not going to go into detail in a public forum, so don't bother asking. If I can deal with the 4 walls, not even going out on my bikes (which would be fine given your arguments about not seeing a soul), so can anyone else. It's not nice, easy, or character forming, but it is bloody necessary. At what point do you think that the Tories of all parties would chuck literally billions of pounds at people to stay the fuck home if it wasn't?

maxf - "Great Barrington Convention". As soon as you try to imply that is a serious, realistic source of concerned professionals, you're a joke. Stuffed full of homepaths and woo-peddlers.

Have you personally vetted all of them....
?

Don't play with the mad people, Max.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 02, 2021, 02:15:06 am
Surely the issue is that our part time Prime Minister, and full time blustering clown, Boris, and his lacklustre government are always 2 weeks behind the curve in making decisions. And the virus is always a week or two ahead.

Therefore any decisions they make are three weeks out of date, hence chaotic change of advice.

Public compliance has gone down partly due to Covid fatigue, The Cummings Effect, great British bloody mindedness, and some conspiracy nutjobs - I presume they are in the minority, otherwise we're knackered.

What's evident is that hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed. I'm not sure that now is the time to be querying stats in public. There will be plenty of time later if we get out of this. I've previously noted my concern about the Daily Mail glossing over case rises, and conferring the titles Doctor Doom and Professor Gloom on Whity and Valence. Personally I'm surprised they've hung on in there, so I applaud them for doing so.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 02, 2021, 06:23:15 am
Have you personally vetted all of them....?
You are making the hypothesis, not me. Anyway, for shits and giggles a quick google (note:- a search engine query is NOT "research") by someone not looking to reinforce a bias shows it's riddled with holes, fictions of people, and quacks claiming homeopathy and reiki as doctoral qualifications. As above, I will not be naming names, the idiots get too much exposure as it is, but they're well known fruitcakes, some of which have had medical licenses suspended or revoked, some of which have qualifications in fields totally unrelated to virology and immunology and biology in general (Radiology and Dentistry for example). I would ridicule a PhD physicist saying it doesn't exist as much as I would a knuckle dragging anti-masker dressed in pajamas at midday in the local FarmFoods, they both have the same expertise in the subject, namely sod all.

Don't play with the mad people, Max.
Mad? No.
Had my "filter" worn down by conspiraloons spreading this and 2 faced ex-moderators trying to get a sly dig in? Absolutely.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 02, 2021, 08:24:28 am
Although I agree that the pandemic has not been handled well, the decision making is not as straight-forward as many seem to think. The main reason lockdowns don't happen earlier is that it's affecting inner cities worse than anywhere else & those are the areas least likely to cope, unless they see personal evidence that it's really necessary...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: tony from suffolk on January 02, 2021, 09:09:05 am
Anyway, for shits and giggles a quick google (note:- a search engine query is NOT "research") by someone not looking to reinforce a bias shows it's riddled with holes, fictions of people, and quacks claiming homeopathy and reiki as doctoral qualifications. As above, I will not be naming names, the idiots get too much exposure as it is, but they're well known fruitcakes, some of which have had medical licenses suspended or revoked, some of which have qualifications in fields totally unrelated to virology and immunology and biology in general (Radiology and Dentistry for example). I would ridicule a PhD physicist saying it doesn't exist as much as I would a knuckle dragging anti-masker dressed in pajamas at midday in the local FarmFoods, they both have the same expertise in the subject, namely sod all.

It's incredibly disheartening to visit some of these anti-vax, anti-lockdown, anti-mask, climate change deniers, internet/Facebook forums. Any attempt at a logical discussion results in heaps of abuse and much poorly spelt and CAPITALISED "facts" from friends who are doctors/medics/scientists, and from secret sources that only they have access to. Then links to "scientific" opinions whose authors, after the briefest research, turn out to be nutters or malignant trolls. There's always massive government conspiracies behind it of course...

The people actually qualified to tell you the truth can’t tell you the truth because they’re part of the conspiracy not to tell you the truth. Therefore you must trust people utterly unqualified to tell you the truth to tell you the truth. Say all the utterly unqualified people.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: owd git on January 02, 2021, 09:35:16 am
The only face to face social interaction (beyond my household) I see in a typical week is asking the delivery guy to 'move the boxes off the front step because the door opens outwards'. I'm going slowly mad!

Probably, different and interestingly diverse delivery people, your other household 'besties', and as many personalities as you can manifest? a veritable crowd.!  :spank:
consider those on their own. with no-one. and no job left.  ( not my predicament i happily  inform.) join a help line phone peep's who need a chat .or whatevver.   :shrug:
 Just an idea.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Tripod on January 02, 2021, 10:35:31 am
It extremely worrying that in our society people are being put into "boxes" at the extreme ends of a scale. Facebook demonstrates and no doubt plays a part in causing this. The way traits are attributed is very worrying - to express any opinion left of centre invites one to be lumped together with tree-huggers, yoghurt knitters and now anti-vaxers, anti-lockdown, anti mask wearing. 

I find all this extremely annoying. I have my views on the shitstorm we are in. I am reasonably intelligent, have an enquiring mind and I had a long career in the NHS. I have avoided subscribing to conspiracy theories but I am sure that we have been "played" from the start. I am not an anti-vaxer but I have serious doubts about the vaccines and their administration.

Discussion with individuals at either extreme on facebook is often not possible and can bring on personal abuse. The worst of this I found so far on facebook was with a countryside group with a jolly name, the administrators, led my a man of very questionable scruples, were devoted to pushing extreme, mindless right-wing propaganda.

This is all very dangerous and I will comment no further in case I get called a vegetarian, along with load of other, meant to be derisory, names. I say this as this as on reading a load of nonsense on that 'countryside' page I asked (intending it to be relatively playful) "are you saying that vegetarians cannot shoot?" to which the answer came in the form of "no they are to busy --" back to attributed traits.

 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: paul on January 02, 2021, 11:03:45 am
Maybe the answer is just to bin Facebook? Surely that would not be a great loss? Or just not treat it as somewhere as a reliable source of news and information and just treat it at the level of friends having a banter in the pub?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 02, 2021, 11:43:10 am
So now maxf attempts the well worn technique of the "Gish Gallop".https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop) but brings no new arguments.

Others have dealt with the false positives (again, read up on Bayes Theorem), LPF sensitivity (again), changes in reporting criteria obviously alter figures, and as for the "Great Barrington Declaration!

The instigators of the GBD are the very people who declared the epidemic over in June, that herd immunity has been obtained, claimed that there would be no second wave etc. etc.  They have been repeatedly shown by events to be wrong.  Quoting the number of signatories isn't wise when they include multiple Drs Harold Shipman and other notable medics.

The GBD argues for shielding the vulnerable, which is unfeasible as has been explained many times. Society doesn't come in nice isolated groups you can divide.  It also ignores the large number of people incapacitated and people surviving with long term organ damage, including strokes.

Letting a virus spread unchecked has other dangers including increasing the likelihood of more dangerous mutations, as has occurred. There is now very strong evidence that it is increasingly infectious and in the younger age groups ( < 20 years old). Intensivists are reporting more younger patients and hospitals in London and the SE are now sending critically ill patients to distant hospitals because they have exceeded their ITU capacity.

You are repeating the same points that have already been dealt with but you have ignored the responses.

It is obvious you aren't discussing things in good faith so what is your agenda? Or are you just a Sea Lion? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: tony from suffolk on January 02, 2021, 12:15:26 pm
I find all this extremely annoying. I have my views on the shitstorm we are in. I am reasonably intelligent, have an enquiring mind and I had a long career in the NHS. I have avoided subscribing to conspiracy theories but I am sure that we have been "played" from the start. I am not an anti-vaxer but I have serious doubts about the vaccines and their administration.

You are perfectly entitled to your opinion. I'm a (now thankfully retired) state-registered clinician and worked for over 55 years for the NHS. But Immunology wasn't my field so my opinions are based solely on the trust I place with those who genuinely are experts. If you have doubts about the vaccination program for Covid 19, I would be genuinely interested in learning what information you used to form this view, and from where you obtained it.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 02, 2021, 12:32:07 pm
Like Tony, I've been a clinician for a long time and have very recently retired. I am also not an expert in immunology or virology but I have been privileged to work with many of the people who are leading the vaccine effort and who advise the government. To a man or woman, they are smart, honest and I trust all of them. I'm not aware any of them have hidden agendas (and would be surprised if they did, if you exclude a little academic competitiveness).

The depressing thing about threads like this is not the number of honest doubters and those with genuine questions, it is the small group of people who make a succession of poor arguments when it's clear they don't have a real grasp of the subject matter. I am not going to personalise.

On the plus side, I now know about Gish-gallops and Sea-lioning. Not sure how I'm going to bring them into normal conversation but I'll try...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 02, 2021, 01:07:11 pm
On the plus side, I now know about Gish-gallops and Sea-lioning. Not sure how I'm going to bring them into normal conversation but I'll try...

I've heard they are pretty useful terms if you want to resort to name-calling in a discussion.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 02, 2021, 01:34:54 pm
On the plus side, I now know about Gish-gallops and Sea-lioning. Not sure how I'm going to bring them into normal conversation but I'll try...
I've heard they are pretty useful terms if you want to resort to name-calling in a discussion.
It's not name calling. It's identifying bad-faith techniques used to distract and attempt to shift the burden of proof. Almost always used when one side realises they're argument has more holes in it than Mendip.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 02, 2021, 01:59:29 pm
So now maxf attempts the well worn technique of the "Gish Gallop".https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop) but brings no new arguments.

Others have dealt with the false positives (again, read up on Bayes Theorem), LPF sensitivity (again), changes in reporting criteria obviously alter figures, and as for the "Great Barrington Declaration!

The instigators of the GBD are the very people who declared the epidemic over in June, that herd immunity has been obtained, claimed that there would be no second wave etc. etc.  They have been repeatedly shown by events to be wrong.  Quoting the number of signatories isn't wise when they include multiple Drs Harold Shipman and other notable medics.

The GBD argues for shielding the vulnerable, which is unfeasible as has been explained many times. Society doesn't come in nice isolated groups you can divide.  It also ignores the large number of people incapacitated and people surviving with long term organ damage, including strokes.

Letting a virus spread unchecked has other dangers including increasing the likelihood of more dangerous mutations, as has occurred. There is now very strong evidence that it is increasingly infectious and in the younger age groups ( < 20 years old). Intensivists are reporting more younger patients and hospitals in London and the SE are now sending critically ill patients to distant hospitals because they have exceeded their ITU capacity.

You are repeating the same points that have already been dealt with but you have ignored the responses.

It is obvious you aren't discussing things in good faith so what is your agenda? Or are you just a Sea Lion? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning)

Please do something constructive like point me in the direction of some sort of approval tests for which PCR, LFT and lab cultures have all been tested and compared against then for the same patients.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 02, 2021, 02:05:00 pm
Here is some further evidence that incorrect use of PCR testing can give rise to false positives.

https://t.co/t4qQN4rH0u?amp=1

Source, Royal College of Physicians...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 02, 2021, 02:35:57 pm
Here is some further evidence that incorrect use of PCR testing can give rise to false positives.

https://t.co/t4qQN4rH0u?amp=1

Source, Royal College of Physicians...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

The most disappointing thing about arguing in favour of positions supported by the mainstream of science against those positions that are not supported by the science is that the proponents of unscientific viewpoints think that the 'facts' are the issue, as if single throw-away pieces of opinion or evidence could destroy the entire edifice of science. They seem to think that a well-placed hammer blow of 'ah, but' will bring the tower crumbling down. What they don't see is that as they swing their nutcracker against the vast construction of knowledge, a thousand scientists swing mighty sledgehammers against the tower, trying to knock it down as quickly as others build it. Yet it grows, nonetheless - not a lofty tower or elegant cathedral, but more like a nuclear bunker of robust concrete. Always there are errors, parts which do not fit which must be destroyed so that better-fitting (yet still incorrect) parts may take their place.

Sometimes people seem to think the default position of scientists is certainty, of knowledge in facts. This is wrong - the default state of scientists is doubt, and at the coal face of their field, ignorance. Science is built on trust, because no one person can know all that is needed. But that trust is earned, not given freely. So when a scientist says a thing is so, rarely they will say it because they (and sometimes they alone) are a person who has spent years studying it - and will still (usually) admit they could be wrong. More often they say it because they trust those who have studied it have done so in a robust manner that has been checked by others (it is much easier to verify another's work than to get there in the first place).

Find me a single serious scientist who doesn't believe that PCR tests, or any diagnostic tests, are completely without error. When the PCR tests for Covid were first developed, the error rates were stated alongside (even in the news). Do you think scientists simply trusted that? A part of science is to critique the work of others, to destroy what others has created - only the strongest theories, the best-supported evidence will survive. The stated error rates are, of course, in perfect use and cannot account for accidents, contamination etc.

Indeed, even in this very thread, people have explained the (very) basic statistics behind how, in a population where the incidence of a disease is low, most positive test cases will be false positives even if the false positive rate is very low. For example, a significant fraction (most?) people who test positive for HIV do not have HIV - despite the very low false positive rate of the tests. This is not complicated. This isn't even epidemiology 101; this is trivial.

So when you give a quote that tests have a false positive, it displays a total lack of appreciation of the problem at hand. How could you even think that matters? Every scientist working with Covid will know these tests have false positive and negative rates. Every scientist knows the LFTs are crap (although many will have a detailed understanding of exactly how crap, allowing them to still be useful in the right circumstances). What are you even trying do achieve here? Do you even know what a PCR test is, what the acronym stands for, how it is carried out? What value have you added to this debate, beyond regurgitating cherry-picked stuff from the web?

Finally, why do you think you know better? I don't; I have a PhD in Astrophysics and that gives me a lot of scientific skills. It tells me bugger all about immunology or epidemiology. I trust in the science, not blindly, not in faith, but knowing that trust has been earned.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 02, 2021, 03:23:15 pm
Beautifully put. Much better than I would have done.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 02, 2021, 04:30:10 pm
Quote
Please do something constructive like point me in the direction of some sort of approval tests for which PCR, LFT and lab cultures have all been tested and compared against then for the same patients.

If you were interested in facts you could have easily found out the following information.  That you continue to dispute well evidenced facts confirms that you are invested in disbelieving not learning.

But to humour you:

You can find some of the procedures for use and documented testing regime for one the main PCR tests used in the UK. You might be pleased to notice that the operational procedures also include known test samples to ensure accurate use. It also documents the testing of the kits for use.

I am afraid I can't point you to tests against the same patient, because that isn't how the approval process works.  They use standardised samples of known virus concentration produced in controlled conditions, a method that can be used internationally and reliably.

PCR isn't a new technique. It was invented in 1985.

https://assets.thermofisher.com/TFS-Assets/LSG/manuals/MAN0019215_TaqPathCOVID-19_CE-IVD_RT-PCR%20Kit_IFU.pdf (https://assets.thermofisher.com/TFS-Assets/LSG/manuals/MAN0019215_TaqPathCOVID-19_CE-IVD_RT-PCR%20Kit_IFU.pdf)

The following paper's abstract discusses the known limitations of Lateral Flow tests (aka LFA), but a standout sentence from it is:

Quote
However, the inability to detect the early onset of COVID-19 means serology LFAs are not considered useful for case detection or diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, for the purposes of treatment or isolation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7409939/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7409939/)

Also:

Quote
Covid-19: Lateral flow tests miss over half of cases, Liverpool pilot data show
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4848 (https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4848)

The characteristics of the two test types are well established.

In addition to this, the UK sequencing program where a significant proportion of positive samples from the testing labs are fully sequenced further demonstrates that the PCR test results are accurate.  A significant false positive rate would have been detected at that stage. Over 100,000 samples have been sequenced in this way.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: alastairgott on January 02, 2021, 06:14:40 pm
105 posts in 5 days... that's an average proliferation of 21 posts per day, i'd say this thread is infectious. ;)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 02, 2021, 06:25:17 pm
105 posts in 5 days... that's an average proliferation of 21 posts per day, i'd say this thread is infectious. ;)
It's still not as fun as, say, a good old CRoW thread.  ;) :lol:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ZombieCake on January 02, 2021, 07:59:42 pm
Quote
105 posts in 5 days... that's an average proliferation of 21 posts per day, i'd say this thread is infectious.

Is 'And-another-thing-rage-rant-itis' very contagious?  I guess most have had it at one time or another.   ;D
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Badlad on January 02, 2021, 08:37:57 pm
I'm happy to take the vaccine at any time - sooner the better.  I've taken all sorts of jabs in my time, all the childhood immunisations and loads of inoculations for travel.  I've no worries on that front.

I'm not too worried about covid19 from a personal point of view.  If I get it I reckon I have a very high chance of survival but i do recognise the danger the disease poses to many different people and the effect the illness has on the struggling NHS.

What does concern me is the way the whole pandemic has been handled by government.  Everything from running down of local community response services over the years, to centralisation and the dodgy contracts to mates, the Cummings effect and allowing the rich and powerful to bend the rules as they like and, mostly, the plain god dam awful leadership of Boris 'the U turn' Johnson. 

I'm not much of a Guardian reader normally, nor any other newspaper for that matter, but I did find this opinion interesting.  So in the spirit of everyone posting links to make a point

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/02/follow-covid-restrictions-break-rules-compliance

 ;) :ang: :lol:

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 02, 2021, 10:52:21 pm
Totally agree Badlad.

Likewise I'll take the vaccine when I'm offered it (assuming some previously unrecorded and catastrophic side effects don't come to light in the meantime, which there is little reason to expect).

Likewise, I'm not too worried about my personal risk of Covid, but I appreciate that precautions are sensible to protect those who are more vulnerable.

Likewise, my biggest concern is the way that the UK government (and devolved powers) have handled the situation.

To pick up on andrewmc's earlier point about scientists understanding false positive/ negative test results, I don't doubt that for a  minute, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for our politicians, who are making the decisions. Very often their choices seem to focus on political point scoring and to trying to defend their previous bad decisions, rather than being led by the science, as they claim. There is a complete lack of honesty and transparency from the government and that is reciprocated by a complete lack of trust from large portions of the public.

Our politicians seem to have a very poor grasp of basic statistics, (as in the mathematical science of interpreting the numbers, not necessarily the numbers themselves), in fact, I heard an interesting interview with a psychologist a while ago explaining that human beings in general are very bad at statistics. So when a politician quotes a load of statistics and predictions that they don't understand, to a public that doesn't understand and then implements a policy based on a politically motivated catchphrase off the back of this, it's no surprise that there is such a shitstorm.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 03, 2021, 12:38:27 am

I'm genuinely open minded about it but have yet to have some of the 'tin foil bridges' points proven to me otherwise...

No you aren't.

Or your knowledge of Biology is, to put it politely, shite....

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: crickleymal on January 03, 2021, 03:34:25 am
I had covid,  my family had it too, back in April and I was lucky not to end up in hospital.  Fortunately I was prescribed some steroids which kept me going. However my best friend died of covid in November.  His wife had a stroke and was diagnosed covid positive but asymptomatic.   He may well have caught it off her and was ok with a slight cold on a Tuesday,  in hospital on Thursday and dead on Saturday.

His wife has to cope with that.

We saw it coming and decided to stockpile food in January so it didn't hit us too hard.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 04, 2021, 07:35:19 am
Please study tables 6a and 6b, you will note up to 45% of positive tests are being accepted in some regional areas on single gene positivey only....

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/datasets/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveydata

If you dont believe this information in the above link coupled with this information below:

https://t.co/t4qQN4rH0u?amp=1

Is significant in showing that there could be a much higher positive test rate than actual person with corona infection rate then i would highly question any scientific skills you believe you might have


Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 04, 2021, 08:14:07 am
Doesn't really matter because decisions are being made on ICU beds available & comparative rates, not total numbers.

The 2nd link is a download.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 09:16:40 am
Is significant in showing that there could be a much higher positive test rate than actual person with corona infection rate then i would highly question any scientific skills you believe you might have

What scientific skills do you have, which would give you some basis to criticise the scientific skills of others? I've published in peer-reviewed journals - it's bloody hard work (in the proper ones). You just wouldn't get away with imprecise, vague and unsupported assertions such as yours. 'could be a much higher' - much higher than what? How much higher? What's your evidence? You've not given an argument, just a few links and an unargued claim. You shouldn't even get away with that at undergrad level (at a decent mark, anyway).

The first link says, at the bottom, '2. Swabs are tested for 3 genes present in the coronavirus: N protein, S protein and ORF1ab. Each swab can have any one, any two or all three genes detected. Positives are those where one or more of these genes is detected in the swab other than tests that are only positive on the S-gene which is not considered a reliable indicator of the virus if found on its own.'
That (implicitly) claims that a single N protein or ORF1ab result is considered a reliable indicator of the virus if found on its own. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate otherwise.

In response to "Please study tables 6a and 6b, you will note up to 45% of positive tests are being accepted in some regional areas on single gene positivey only....", so what?

You are trying to use your second link as evidence of 'bad things' but actually its proof of science working. Here is a real scientist, who actually knows what he is talking about (or at least can do a good pretence), pointing out the limitations of these things. Other scientists will read this (in fact are far more likely to read it than the social media crowd, since that is their job) and agree/disagree in an informed way. Then science will move forwards. In fact (having had a flick through) nothing in that paper will be even remotely surprising to anyone in the field - what do you think is significant?

If your argument doesn't have actual numbers in, then it's just waffle - this is not a yes/no thing, but a 'is this thing that we know about significant or not'. Given that the people doing this analysis are grown-ups who actually know what they are doing, why do you think they are doing it wrong, and why would you know better?

Just out of curiosity, what is your academic education?

Here's some questions for you, if you really have any idea what you are talking about:

What was the false positive rate in the Healy et al study? (2 marks)

Why are so many of the positive tests in the Healy et al study false positives? (5 marks)

Why will this currently be less of an issue (in some ways)? (2 marks)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 09:22:02 am
Extra fun fact: the reported positivity rate for England over the summer was around 0.05% to 0.1% (from the ONS COVID-19 Infection Study), much lower than that reporting in the Healy et al study, which suggests the false positive percentage is also much smaller. I don't know why; possibly their criteria are more stringent or the genes they are matching are more reliable.

Current positivity rates are more like 1.25% or so. There's no reason to think the false positive percentage will have changed.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 04, 2021, 09:54:44 am
The first link says, at the bottom, '2. Swabs are tested for 3 genes present in the coronavirus: N protein, S protein and ORF1ab. Each swab can have any one, any two or all three genes detected. Positives are those where one or more of these genes is detected in the swab other than tests that are only positive on the S-gene which is not considered a reliable indicator of the virus if found on its own.'
That (implicitly) claims that a single N protein or ORF1ab result is considered a reliable indicator of the virus if found on its own. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate otherwise.

The 2nd link (Royal College of Physicians, Healy et al study) states that "Our results show that 26/31 were positive at low level (Ct>35) in a single gene, which is considered as a likely false positive result."

Clearly there is some discrepancy in the interpretation of what is or is not considered a likely false positive result. Both make an assertion about what is 'considered' a reliable result, though neither specifically reference where that consideration has come from.

If you were to go with the Healy et al assertion that a single gene positive was a likely false positive, then a proportion of the data in the ONS Infection Survey is likely to be false positive.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 04, 2021, 10:12:00 am
Quote


In addition to this, the UK sequencing program where a significant proportion of positive samples from the testing labs are fully sequenced further demonstrates that the PCR test results are accurate.  A significant false positive rate would have been detected at that stage. Over 100,000 samples have been sequenced in this way.

https://www.cogconsortium.uk/news_item/update-on-new-sars-cov-2-variant-and-how-cog-uk-tracks-emerging-mutations/

By their own admission they have only sequenced 10% of positive tests so by no means enough to say any significant false positive rate could be detected as you imply.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 11:04:45 am
If you were to go with the Healy et al assertion that a single gene positive was a likely false positive, then a proportion of the data in the ONS Infection Survey is likely to be false positive.

I mean the fact that some fraction of the results in any such study are false positives is almost certainly true. The question is - what percentage, does it matter, and when does it matter.
The Healy study used different genes and may have used different methodologies, and so will have different false positive percentages.
Given that the positivity rates during times of low prevalence were as low as 0.05% to 0.1% in the ONS study, the false positive percentage (which remains effectively constant when the prevalence is lowish, and will decrease as prevalence approaches 100%) CANNOT be more than 0.05% to 0.1%.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 11:09:06 am
https://www.cogconsortium.uk/news_item/update-on-new-sars-cov-2-variant-and-how-cog-uk-tracks-emerging-mutations/

By their own admission they have only sequenced 10% of positive tests so by no means enough to say any significant false positive rate could be detected as you imply.

Why?

Suppose you have 100,000 positive test results. 200 are false positives (0.2% false positive rate)
If you randomly sample 10% of that, that's 10,000 tests, of which 20 will be false positives.
You detect the 20 false positives. You calculate a false positive percentage of 100 * 20 / 10000 = 0.2%.
Job done. What's the problem?

Also - I dare you to try and answer my questions. Some of them are literally just reading comprehension. If you think you have any idea at all what you are talking about, they should be easy.

I double dare you.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b9/75/cb/b975cbfd4803cae793e35894758bca34.jpg)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 11:09:44 am
Those questions again:

What was the false positive percentage of the test in the Healy et al study? (2 marks)

Why are so many of the positive tests in the Healy et al study false positives? (5 marks)

Why will this currently be less of an issue (in some ways)? (2 marks)

(I've changed 'false positive rate' to 'false positive percentage of the test' in Q1 for accuracy)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 04, 2021, 12:03:58 pm
Interesting use of loaded language
Quote
By their own admission they have only sequenced 10% of positive tests
.  10% is a massive number of fully sequenced samples were 10% = 100,000 samples. The likelihood of that 10% being unrepresentative is extremely small. Its not an "admission", with all the implications of guilt that word carries, it is just presenting facts, which actually, for once, represent a significant effort and maybe 'world beating'.

Another thing to take away from the single vs multiple gene results is that the S gene test dropouts (the gene for the spike protein) is a very strong signal of the increase in the new and very likely more infectious variety, where mutations in that gene cause this effect. Ie the number of tests where the S gene is not detected are increasing over time, which in turn will increase the number of single gene only responses as the new variant becomes predominant, where a two gene result would have previously been obtained.

Also confirmed by the full sequencing (as noted above, 10% is a good enough sample to verify this).

The false positive myth has been repeatedly demolished, the only people persisting with this are contrarian journalists with poor numeracy. Again as noted above, a false positive rate should be constant, but yet we are expected to believe it is doubling practically weekly, without any mechanism.

All i can see is motivated reasoning, and an unwillingness understand. You are determined not to believe overwhelming evidence while claiming to be open minded. Even without the testing data, you would have to believe that major hospitals across the country are producing false statistics, and that hundreds of doctors are committing a criminal offence in completing death certificates. Why don't you want to accept the overwhelming evidence? You are implying a massive conspiracy within the medical profession world wide.


Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 04, 2021, 01:09:00 pm
Those questions again:

What was the false positive percentage of the test in the Healy et al study? (2 marks)

The document states a total of 5110 tests were used in the study, going by the fact that only 19 of the original 31 were retested and could be proven to not test positive again (its best of three with rock paper scissors ...?) I would say that 19/5110 were false positives. 0.37%

Why are so many of the positive tests in the Healy et al study false positives? (5 marks)

I'm guessing because you want me to say that most of them in the false positive bracket were also in the asymptomatic box.

Why will this currently be less of an issue (in some ways)? (2 marks)

I guess you want me to say because we are testing more symptomatic people now than asymptomatic people,

(I've changed 'false positive rate' to 'false positive percentage of the test' in Q1 for accuracy)

A total of 26 people could/ would have been;

i) Told to isolate (increased work pressure on others, trigger more asymptomatic testing in their work environment)
ii) Refused necessary surgery
iii) Been unnecessarily put in a Covid ward where the chances of catching it if you don't already have it are much higher

Based on the results of their test....

There was no need to do this for 19 of them....


How many NHS staff, care workers, teachers, (don't worry we are all equally important I cant be bothered to list every profession) etc etc are not at work right now for the same reason ?










Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 01:25:25 pm
i) Correct; I would have accepted any reasonably justified answer around 0.5% (as there are several ways to interpret 'false positive'). 2 marks, good answer.
ii) Incorrect: 0 marks.
The reason a high number of the positive test results were false positives was because, as stated in the paper, the study was completed when the prevalence was very low (June-July). Consequently, the number of true positive tests will be very low, while the fraction of false positive tests remains high. Thus when the prevalence is very low, a significant fraction of positive tests will actually be false positives. This is well-known and understood.
iii) This question could be fairly disputed as it's arguably a _little_ bit unfair. As the prevalence of the virus has grown dramatically, the fraction of false positives will have remained the same but the fraction of true positives will have increased dramatically. Therefore the fraction of positive tests that are false positives will go down significantly - instead of most positive results being 'false', most positive results will be 'true'. However, the fraction of false positive tests will remain the same, so the same fraction (<0.5%) of tests will result in the wrong advice (to isolate, to miss work) or the wrong treatment (moving into a Covid ward, for example). So arguably while the tests become 'better' at higher prevalence (more likely to be correct), the problem hasn't really gone away.

So, in your infinite wisdom: what do you suggest doing about this very small fraction of tests that results in poor treatment? Doctors will (or should) know about the risk of false positives; I suspect most positive tests will, where possible, we followed up by a second test to verify.

The false positive rate for the ONS study was less than 0.1%, because the false positive rate cannot exceed the minimum positive rate (once accounting for a bit of statistical uncertainty).

Fair play for answering, though...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 01:41:48 pm
A total of 26 people could/ would have been;

i) Told to isolate (increased work pressure on others, trigger more asymptomatic testing in their work environment)
ii) Refused necessary surgery
iii) Been unnecessarily put in a Covid ward where the chances of catching it if you don't already have it are much higher

Based on the results of their test....

There was no need to do this for 19 of them....

So what would you have done? Why do you think you know better than the doctors who were treating these patients?

Quote
How many NHS staff, care workers, teachers, (don't worry we are all equally important I cant be bothered to list every profession) etc etc are not at work right now for the same reason ?

Well, we can estimate that if we assume a 0.1% false positive rate...
Let's use 1% for the current positivity rate (Fig 1 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/18december2020 )
About 420,000 tests were carried out on 30th December 2020.

So around 4,200 positive tests, of which 420 would be false positives and about 3780 would be true positives.

Yes, that's a lot of people getting a false positive result. If they get retested, probably none of them will get a second false positive. But do we not tell all 4,200 to isolate just because 10% are false positives? We can't afford to do that. Ideally, we get all those people a second test. But 90% of the time, the positive test will be correct (at 1% positivity and 0.1% false positive, which is actually a very conservative estimate for the ONS data - it's probably lower).
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 04, 2021, 02:07:50 pm
Basically health care professionals & government advisors are well aware of the discrepancies and will be mitigating against it. Just the government doesn't wish to introduce another fudge factor to their sales pitch.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 04, 2021, 07:43:27 pm
Test twice before being counted as positive or use two genes minimum, the second for verification. Publish all information about what gene was tested for and at what Ct with test result.

My experience of the testing has not involved contact from any doctors...

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 04, 2021, 08:28:14 pm
How do you think we will exit the situation ? We had a nice drop in cases last summer, vaccination by then isn't going to prevent the amount we had around last summer still testing positive given the current methods. Either testing or test methods will have to be relaxed or a certain amount of deaths made 'OK' for us to move on....
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 04, 2021, 08:33:19 pm
I'm trying to be polite but I can't quite manage it. Please will you stop talking bollocks?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 04, 2021, 10:34:55 pm
Test twice before being counted as positive

Great if you have the capacity. Probably a bit impractical at the moment. Taking a second test probably means taking a second sample at a different time, not just running the same analysis again on the same sample.

Quote
or use two genes minimum, the second for verification.

And dramatically increase the numbers of false negatives, thereby causing people with the virus to carry on spreading it. Making people isolate when they don't need to is mostly just inconvenient. False negatives can help spread the virus and thus kill.

Quote
Publish all information about what gene was tested for and at what Ct with test result.

And this is useful information for people because? People don't want to know 'your test returned gene X and Y at CT value of 33'. They want 'best guess yet' or 'best guess no', based on thresholds set by people to maximise the accuracy of the test. You can set your thresholds so that you either minimise the number of false negatives at the cost of false positives, or minimise false positives at the cost of false negatives, or go for some optimal accuracy. Surely false negatives are worse than false positives anyway?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 04, 2021, 10:52:36 pm
Making people isolate when they don't need to is mostly just inconvenient.

To be fair, that may not be the case - I was exposed to a 'positive' case recently (long story) and I knew for certain I hadn't caught anything but the people who inflicted this ghastly nightmare on me suggested I should self-isolate - three days before Christmas with no warning and no fault of mine. This would have been much more than just inconvenient to me as I live on my own and don't really have 'shoppers' I can call on. I'm sure I could have bribed someone, but then that's more than inconvenient for them too.

If I get offered work at any time in the next month I will have to take it as I need to work, and it probably won't be at home eitther. My life's monkish enough already and I'm fed up of swerving around idiots and assholes who can't even walk straight in a supermarket, never mind navigate a government edict and act appropriately. I've lived like a saint for nine months and hardly done any work and I'm still getting screwed over by people with way more money than me but with far less common sense. I don't qualify for any government help at all as I'm not registered self-employed so it's galling to still be stuck here doing nothing when I was on a wonderful well-paid job when lockdown started in March. I wouldn't have given a shit now if we'd worked that one out to the end and would be eating Toblerone for breakfast every day.

Anyway, the positive case showed no symptoms and the friends of mine who were forced to isolate with the person also showed no symptoms, despite being not that fit and mid-50s. I also showed no symptoms and am much fitter, though still mid-50s. The testee had taken a previous test a week before and was negative, enabling them to leave their university halls and come home for Christmas. A 'just to be sure' test before travelling further afield was then positive. None of us have any idea whether any of the tests were really accurate as no-one suffered any symptoms at all, and in my case I was probably 4m away upwind! I'm not daft. But given the three of them were then living together and two of them are middle-aged, recently ex-smokers and not that fit, how statistically likely is it that all three of them would be asymptomatic?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 05, 2021, 02:20:18 am
So, it's exercise once a day, but not out of your local area. Is Caving exercise or a recreation? Discuss...  I'm off...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 05, 2021, 07:03:47 am
Can anyone explain the logic of sending schools back for one day.  Let the kids mix and then shut them all down. 
Caving is exercise.  Natural aerobics. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 05, 2021, 07:38:15 am
Government on recess...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 05, 2021, 08:23:42 am
Anyway, the positive case showed no symptoms and the friends of mine who were forced to isolate with the person also showed no symptoms, despite being not that fit and mid-50s. I also showed no symptoms and am much fitter, though still mid-50s. The testee had taken a previous test a week before and was negative, enabling them to leave their university halls and come home for Christmas. A 'just to be sure' test before travelling further afield was then positive. None of us have any idea whether any of the tests were really accurate as no-one suffered any symptoms at all, and in my case I was probably 4m away upwind! I'm not daft. But given the three of them were then living together and two of them are middle-aged, recently ex-smokers and not that fit, how statistically likely is it that all three of them would be asymptomatic?

Those are, I suspect, hard questions. Firstly Covid's distribution is very clustered, so it's possible the person did actually have Covid but was asymptomatic and didn't pass it on to anyone else (I think a lot of people don't pass it on and a few people pass it on to lots?) - but whether anyone would actually want to estimate a probably I have no idea.

But a positive test is much more likely to be accurate (in the strict statement of 'reveals the presence of SARS-COV-2 genes in the body' not 'diagnoses Covid-19') than not.

It's all a bit of a bugger; it's going to suck for a lot of people in a lot of different ways. I suspect people would be a lot more willing to play by the rules if, as you allude, the government were to support them in doing so.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 05, 2021, 09:45:36 am
I suspect people would be a lot more willing to play by the rules if, as you allude, the government were to support them in doing so.

It might help if Dominic Cummings was to be punished finally for breaking the law last year.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: AR on January 05, 2021, 10:03:06 am
At least the SNP MP has been called to account over her behaviour - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-55537974
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 05, 2021, 10:17:14 am
Yes - but - going for a drive, with the family, to see if your eyes are working . . . . ?

Boris Johnson's answer was we should put it all behind us. Try pleading that when you perform a motoring offence.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 05, 2021, 10:40:50 am
It’s the difference between rules and common sense.

1. Going for a drive and walk.
2. Getting on a train when you know you have covid.

Not that I agree with blatant political prosecution. I think Scotland should think long and hard before leaving the Dear Leader in complete charge. Makes Hungary look liberal.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 05, 2021, 10:46:29 am
Why aren’t we locking down properly.  Leaving the airports open and passengers free to roam is like trying to empty a bath while leaving the taps running.
It’s a real shame Sweden’s plan didn’t work.  God I wished it had.  It would be the simplest solution. I’m sure we would have adopted that policy if that had worked.  However what has success is countries like South Korea and Vietnam who have locked down properly with success.  Why oh Why don’t we adopt there ideas?  I think we haven’t because they have slanty eyes.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 05, 2021, 11:25:26 am
Whatever the rights or wrongs of Cummings fleeing to the North with Covid (wrong, in my view), is he not also guilty of a driving offence? If you have doubts about your ability to see, surely the correct thing to do is seek medical advice, not drive blindly through the countryside...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ZombieCake on January 05, 2021, 11:35:38 am
Also there's gaps in the allowable activity.  For example 'Elite Sports' (I guess that means those with lots of cash) and 'religious gatherings' are allowed.  I'm not quite sure why those who partake in such activities are immune from catching or spreading, when other gatherings are not allowed.  I guess it means those who lobby the government enough get an exception, and so a more exasperated public as a side effect of the inconsistency.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 05, 2021, 11:44:24 am
Elite sports are those which occupy 14 pages every day in the sports section. Panem et circenses. It always made total sense.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 05, 2021, 11:47:53 am
An rather nice illustration of various statements from the libertarian press/Great Barrington declaration that undermined messaging last year is here https://time.graphics/line/455000 (https://time.graphics/line/455000)

(a time line of statements and what really happened)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 05, 2021, 12:19:15 pm
Whatever the rights or wrongs of Cummings fleeing to the North with Covid (wrong, in my view), is he not also guilty of a driving offence? If you have doubts about your ability to see, surely the correct thing to do is seek medical advice, not drive blindly through the countryside...

Precisely. But you forgot to include endangering the lives of his family in the process.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: aardgoose on January 05, 2021, 01:13:52 pm
They also visited a Durham hospital with the risks that created to others.  The excuse was that they couldn't get childcare in London, when they had close relatives living locally, and as a senior no 10 employee, the idea that childcare could not have been arranged otherwise is rather far fetched. I mean, who looks after the rest of the cabinet?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Rob on January 05, 2021, 01:16:03 pm
So, it's exercise once a day, but not out of your local area. Is Caving exercise or a recreation? Discuss...  I'm off...
I'm taking last night's guidance as caving is exercise, as it's the only exercise i currently get. "Local" is maybe harder to determine....
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: crickleymal on January 05, 2021, 01:36:22 pm
Also there's gaps in the allowable activity.  For example 'Elite Sports' (I guess that means those with lots of cash) and 'religious gatherings' are allowed.  I'm not quite sure why those who partake in such activities are immune from catching or spreading, when other gatherings are not allowed.  I guess it means those who lobby the government enough get an exception, and so a more exasperated public as a side effect of the inconsistency.
Jacob Rees Smug has been seen at a church service in Glastonbury  (Roman Catholic Latin mass) 15 miles away from his home and also in Tier 4 whereas his home is in Tier 3.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: AR on January 05, 2021, 01:51:41 pm
They also visited a Durham hospital with the risks that created to others.  The excuse was that they couldn't get childcare in London, when they had close relatives living locally, and as a senior no 10 employee, the idea that childcare could not have been arranged otherwise is rather far fetched. I mean, who looks after the rest of the cabinet?

I remember thinking at the time "Is he so despised in London that no-one will look after his kids when he's ill?"...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 05, 2021, 01:57:38 pm
So, it's exercise once a day, but not out of your local area. Is Caving exercise or a recreation? Discuss...  I'm off...
I'm taking last night's guidance as caving is exercise, as it's the only exercise i currently get. "Local" is maybe harder to determine....
Government guidance says (laws being decided tomorrow): "If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 05, 2021, 02:08:37 pm
Who would you use to look after a child in London? One who probably has covid as far as you know. Which family would you give that child to, and would you do it? Because I wouldn’t. How are you going to live with yourself if you get someone killed?

A 20 year old on the family farm who the kid knew seemed a pretty good idea to me. But that’s just the logical answer. I know beyond all doubt I would have considered doing the same, so I think I’ll keep that stone in my pocket.



Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 05, 2021, 02:13:23 pm
Government guidance says (laws being decided tomorrow): "If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

Care to share a link Mike? I'd like to see the context.

Taken in isolation, I can't see how that could possibly work. I've got to take my son for a vaccination tomorrow. Funny thing is, there is no vaccine clinic in my village, or even in the local town. Our appointment is in Gloucester, 20 miles away. Based on the above, we'd not be allowed to go.

Likewise, we have a corner shop and petrol station in the village, but for any other essentials, I need to go to town. The village where I grew up didn't even have a corner shop (our house was over a mile from the village anyway), so what are people around there supposed to do for their essentials?

Clearly the people writing this guidance live in London, where all the essentials are close by.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 05, 2021, 02:29:57 pm
Government guidance says (laws being decided tomorrow): "If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

Care to share a link Mike? I'd like to see the context.

Taken in isolation, I can't see how that could possibly work. I've got to take my son for a vaccination tomorrow. Funny thing is, there is no vaccine clinic in my village, or even in the local town. Our appointment is in Gloucester, 20 miles away. Based on the above, we'd not be allowed to go.

Likewise, we have a corner shop and petrol station in the village, but for any other essentials, I need to go to town. The village where I grew up didn't even have a corner shop (our house was over a mile from the village anyway), so what are people around there supposed to do for their essentials?

Clearly the people writing this guidance live in London, where all the essentials are close by.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

Work - you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
Volunteering - you can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
Essential activities - you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
Education and childcare - You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. See further information on education and childcare. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
Meeting others and care - You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble ( if you are legally permitted to form one), to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble (for example, to enable parents to work, and not to enable social contact between adults), to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
Exercise - You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.You should maintain social distancing. See exercising and meeting other people.
Medical reasons - You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: al on January 05, 2021, 04:13:29 pm
I can understand Cummings travelling to Durham - up to a point. What I don't understand is him not just admitting it when he was found out. The "testing my eye-sight" stuff was just taking the piss.

All that plus Johnson actually defending him was a huge mistake which has not only angered people, but ultimately it has increased the death toll.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 05, 2021, 04:29:33 pm
I can understand Cummings travelling to Durham - up to a point. What I don't understand is him not just admitting it when he was found out. The "testing my eye-sight" stuff was just taking the piss.

All that plus Johnson actually defending him was a huge mistake which has not only angered people, but ultimately it has increased the death toll.

So maybe certain people launching what was a blatantly politically-motivated attack was maybe not what the country needed at that exact moment? I did watch the increasingly tedious press conferences. I don’t vote for Blondie, but God it was tiresome and of no interest. I actually got to the point of wanting Cummings not to go and I blame him for Brexit.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 05, 2021, 04:38:09 pm
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Thanks for the link Stuart.

Took a while to find the exact text mikem quoted as I went into the PDF, that doesn't seem to include it. Anyway, from the web page, under the summary section:
Quote
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

The 2nd sentence omitted earlier clarifies the situation and as has been quoted from the guidance earlier, exercise is not a permitted reason to travel out of your local area.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 05, 2021, 05:20:39 pm
I didn't link it originally as it may be totally different in the coming legislation, it certainly won't be couched in the same terms.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 05, 2021, 05:45:27 pm
Oooooh a journalist has just asked my question.  Where was the logic in opening schools for one day?   Wait for it.          Wait for it.         Wait for it.        Waffle waffle waffle
No.   No. No.  .  He didn’t answer the question.  Surprise surprise
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 05, 2021, 06:01:02 pm
Which lamp post do you think would be most appropriate? One on the Mall, or would Oxford Street be more appropriate? Ooh, what about The Tower of London? They still have spikes - and adequate drainage into the river.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 05, 2021, 06:48:51 pm
Oooooh a journalist has just asked my question.  Where was the logic in opening schools for one day?   Wait for it.          Wait for it.         Wait for it.        Waffle waffle waffle
No.   No. No.  .  He didn’t answer the question.  Surprise surprise

He's a slippery, oily little toerag our PM. I hope he doesn't get the journalist duffed up.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 05, 2021, 06:52:05 pm
Ambulance drivers in LA have been issued with a directive not to take patients with low risk of recovery to hospital. Hope that's not where we're heading.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 05, 2021, 06:54:37 pm
He's a slippery, oily little toerag our PM. I hope he doesn't get the journalist duffed up.
Or up the duff!
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: crickleymal on January 05, 2021, 08:41:16 pm
Oh look. One rule for them and another for the rest of us
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/jacob-rees-mogg-slammed-crossing-23264631?fbclid=IwAR2tpLH_MbO7sj2-Rox9VkswDQyoQHFzwDSRZ20tFqeR0gr9vf9vPedZRis
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Oceanrower on January 05, 2021, 09:04:11 pm
Oh look. One rule for them and another for the rest of us
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/jacob-rees-mogg-slammed-crossing-23264631?fbclid=IwAR2tpLH_MbO7sj2-Rox9VkswDQyoQHFzwDSRZ20tFqeR0gr9vf9vPedZRis

Nope. It's the same rule for everybody. JRM didn't break any rules. There are no rules about travel between tiers.

You could argue that it IS one rule for him and not for everyone else. Everyone else doesn't get condemnation splashed all over the pages of a newspaper when they do something that is perfectly legal
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 05, 2021, 09:07:23 pm
May be legal, but against recommendations, so fair cop.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 05, 2021, 09:08:36 pm
It's the same rule for everybody.

Indeed. It doesn't apply to him 'cos it doesn't apply to anyone. Cummings knew this and blew the lid on the bullshit but the government walked away rather than losing face and being embarrassed by the revelation.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 05, 2021, 09:51:59 pm
So does anybody know why the schools went back for one day?  Are we saying Cummings says it was okay or the mogg?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 05, 2021, 10:08:52 pm
Glad to see everyone is reading the thread - both repeats of previous comments!
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 05, 2021, 11:04:22 pm
Glad to see everyone is reading the thread - both repeats of previous comments!

At 7 pages, I'm hardly surprised. Anyway, the whole country has been going around in circles for nearly a year, so it's in keeping with the situation  :lol:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 06, 2021, 01:22:18 am
How the hell has it come to pass that 1 in 50 people in England has the virus this week? What proportion are self isolating? Probably not that many. Could be a dead heat in the race between herd immunity and vaccination as a semi end game, but with more deaths in the former scenario. Personally, I'm pissed off that the gains from Spring were so poorly lost. That should have been money in the bank to ensure schools and Universities continued through to Summer, but it all got pissed against the wall. Sorry about the P word, but you do need to add some emphasis.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 06, 2021, 07:53:19 am
I take it that that is of people tested, as they are preferentially targeting those who are likely to be infected. Latest figures look more like 1 in every 100 has supposedly tested positive in last 2 weeks & 1 in 20 have had it since this time last year.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: alastairgott on January 06, 2021, 08:21:10 am
Glad to see everyone is reading the thread - both repeats of previous comments!

With 170 posts it's not surprising  :lol: :ras:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 06, 2021, 08:33:32 am
One quotes part of the previous post & then says exactly the same thing, other is repeat of a follow on to one of their own prior comments! If they'd just been random I wouldn't have mentioned it. (& even you have 😉)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 06, 2021, 08:57:09 am
Could be a dead heat in the race between herd immunity and vaccination as a semi end game, but with more deaths in the former scenario.

1 in 20 have had it since this time last year.

1 in 20 = 5% = some way off herd immunity by most estimates.

Based on 5% per year, we could be looking at 9 years to reach 95% immunity, if we follow with a similar level of restrictions as last year. Unless of course there are significant numbers with existing immunity from exposure to other coronaviruses (as seems to be the case in children).

Even by the most conservative estimates, the vaccine rollout is not expected to take 9 years.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 06, 2021, 09:14:15 am
If it's true that the virus is spreading most rapidly in secondary school kids who won't be targeted by the vaccination programme, and young adults who will receive a very low priority for vaccination, the effect should be additive. A degree of post-infection herd immunity in the young coupled with vaccine induced immunity in the elderly.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Alex on January 06, 2021, 09:33:44 am
But it's not been tested on the kids though, also if everyone else has been vaccinated and we knew kids don't get seriously ill, is that an issue if they just pass it around each other, though of course I guess it could mutate in the children population.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 06, 2021, 11:33:51 am
I believe (getting way outside my areas of expertise here) that mutations are most likely to occur in patients with prolonged infection (eg those with reduced immunity who can't clear the virus). Kids seem to have shorter, less intense infections so the opportunities for the virus to mutate in any one individual should be less. However, it's partly dependent on the number of people infected so if huge numbers of kids get the virus, some mutations will occur.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Alex on January 06, 2021, 01:36:13 pm
That's good to hear Speleo, I hope you are right.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 06, 2021, 02:44:32 pm
This is going to keep people going in PhD’s for decades.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/06/leak-of-november-covid-lockdown-plan-linked-to-surge-in-new-infections-say-researchers
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: hyweldavies on January 06, 2021, 06:29:28 pm
This seems apt (apologies if posted upthread already)

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 06, 2021, 11:14:28 pm
& the why:
https://www.hsj.co.uk/acute-care/exclusive-london-will-be-overwhelmed-by-covid-in-a-fortnight-says-leaked-nhs-england-briefing/7029264.article
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 07, 2021, 05:59:31 pm
The roll out of the vaccine, distribution and inoculation seem to be going rather well.  I’m glad the government have chosen the military for distribution and surgeries for inoculation.  It’s a shame Johnson talks about deadlines which are never achieved  (Moonshots ) for instance. Just do as many people as possible.  There still needs to be a proper test and trace system. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 07, 2021, 09:52:40 pm
There still needs to be a proper test and trace system.

Managed by the abysmall Baroness (how did she get that? Services to losing customer data?) Dido Harding.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 08, 2021, 07:04:25 am
I think Dido is probably part of the Cummings influence.  some still think Cummings was a genius but maybe we have moved forward and other people now influence Johnson.  Someone who is prepared to use our public services rather than see an opportunity to make money. We are where we are. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: tony from suffolk on January 10, 2021, 08:07:46 am
Be careful what you wish for -

(https://scontent.flhr3-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/136970820_10159073858749470_839916129851845077_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=2&_nc_sid=8bfeb9&_nc_ohc=qix1PcCZbwgAX98oKxs&_nc_ht=scontent.flhr3-2.fna&oh=2e10731a8de4452a297146ce603d959c&oe=601EBA65)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 10, 2021, 08:40:53 am
But at least it didn't kill many people...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 10, 2021, 10:22:21 am
Cleaned up after the plague too ;)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ChrisJC on January 10, 2021, 10:24:37 am
It seems that the UK (under the excellent leadership of Mr. Johnson and his team) isn't doing so badly after all:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55575756

Chris.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 10, 2021, 10:51:40 am
It’s gone a bit pear-shaped in a number of central and eastern European countries. Several of them have exceeded the UK’s total death rate per million people just since November starting from near zero. And that appears to have happened with the old variant. Summer arrived before the virus took hold last year. Several thousand articles on the supremacy of public health there appear to have been misguided.

And the EU vaccine delivery is not going balls of fire. The problem very likely because back in early summer half of Europe thought it was something they couldn’t catch. It’s now a race against time for everyone.

Who knew?

Personally I listened to Chris Whitty and his “Winter is Coming” lecture, and I remember him saying then that things will look different in a couple of years and the only thing that will help in the end is a vaccine, and maybe some treatments to reduce the death toll. And so it came to pass. The voice of actually knowing what you are talking about. The UK has purchased 300 million doses spread across all the vaccines that might work and that is what will cut it in the end - and is what Whitty et al have got done along with the treatments. That performance really is world class. Whether the UK population deserve it is another matter.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 10, 2021, 11:14:03 am
Covid vaccine distribution is going fairly well.  Keep it up.  The World needs to work together on this.  Boasting doesn’t help.   I’m wanting everybody to do as well as Israel are doing. 
We need a better testing programme

I suppose the difference with the 1000+ Losing there lives daily at the moment is that they can say on there last breath.  ‘At least I had a fun at the  Christmas party’ or ‘I’m glad I went shopping and bought those nice presents for my children and grandchildren’ or ‘hmmmm this covid hoax is pretty convincing’.  Rather than I wish I hadn’t joined the health service.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 10, 2021, 11:29:15 am
I’m wanting everybody to do as well as Israel are doing.

They are only doing well if you are on the right side of the wall... but that's another kettle of fish.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 10, 2021, 11:36:55 am
Pfizer are a commercial outfit and their pricing reflects priority. Israel paid double the UK to get it first. Most of the world cannot afford that, and actually the majority will never afford the Pfizer vaccine. Hence the vast importance of the Oxford vaccine in terms of pricing and deliverability.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 10, 2021, 11:47:40 am
It's not cheap to store & transport stuff at -70'C
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 10, 2021, 08:13:53 pm
It seems that the UK (under the excellent leadership of Mr. Johnson and his team) isn't doing so badly after all:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55575756

Chris.

Just because others have done worse doesn't make Johnsons dithering and incompetence acceptable
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ChrisJC on January 10, 2021, 08:16:41 pm
It seems that the UK (under the excellent leadership of Mr. Johnson and his team) isn't doing so badly after all:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55575756

Chris.

Just because others have done worse doesn't make Johnsons dithering and incompetence acceptable

Well you can't please everybody. I suspect whatever Johnson does will displease some people.

Chris.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 10, 2021, 09:55:35 pm
& do you think Corbin would have done any better?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 10, 2021, 09:57:39 pm
& do you think Corbin would have done any better?
  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 10, 2021, 10:06:06 pm
Lockdown kills, and apologists for government (mismanagement) are culpable.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 10, 2021, 10:18:42 pm
So - 1 in 5 in England may have have Covid - though whether all these infections can be attributed to Jeremy Corbyn is unknown, but I'm sure someone will have a go. They're all in London though, so he's probably guilty!:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2021/jan/10/one-in-five-have-had-coronavirus-in-england-new-modelling-says (https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2021/jan/10/one-in-five-have-had-coronavirus-in-england-new-modelling-says)

The model suggests that two in five people have been infected in six London and south-eastern local authorities: Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Thurrock, Redbridge, Havering and Tower Hamlets. The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Newham are each estimated to have had well over 100,000 coronavirus infections each, around 54.2% and 49% of their populations respectively.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ChrisJC on January 10, 2021, 10:24:13 pm

The model suggests that two in five people have been infected in six London and south-eastern local authorities: Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Thurrock, Redbridge, Havering and Tower Hamlets. The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Newham are each estimated to have had well over 100,000 coronavirus infections each, around 54.2% and 49% of their populations respectively.

With infection rates that high, it will be through the population before the vaccination programme!

Either way, by summer it'll all be over.

Chris.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 10, 2021, 10:32:37 pm
I'm starting to wonder, from a 'cosmic consciousness' perspective, whether there is an unconscious desire to get infected by many? Not necessarily to gain immunity, just to stay on-trend with the 'new thing'. More rational explanations don't seem to get us anywhere. In other words, DNA's making us do it... :blink:

My parents had their first jabs on Friday, I'm relieved to hear.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Stuart Anderson on January 10, 2021, 10:49:18 pm
& do you think Corbin would have done any better?

Johnson can't be absolved of the utter shambles he's presided over with 'yeah buts'.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 11, 2021, 07:46:50 am
I don’t think Corbin would have done better.  I think we might have got a better test and trace because we would have involved the NHS earlier.
There would have been more objections to a lockdown (trotsky revolution) and all that. So more people would be breaking the lockdown.
The people objecting to the lockdown are generally to the right and of course the anti maskers and covid deniers are right wing conspiracy theorists.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 11, 2021, 08:21:24 am

The people objecting to the lockdown are generally to the right and of course the anti maskers and covid deniers are right wing conspiracy theorists.

I disagree.

They are gullible


Aaaah...so they probably are right wing....
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 11, 2021, 08:23:35 am
Like most diseases the poor have suffered more than average, as they can't afford to isolate & live in closer proximity to each other, so many are just ignoring it.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 11, 2021, 09:29:48 am
I don’t think Corbin would have done better.  I think we might have got a better test and trace because we would have involved the NHS earlier.
There would have been more objections to a lockdown (trotsky revolution) and all that. So more people would be breaking the lockdown.
The people objecting to the lockdown are generally to the right and of course the anti maskers and covid deniers are right wing conspiracy theorists.

It was the NHS that was strangely disinterested in rapidly increasing test capacity back in March. They were focussed on the test requirements for patients in hospital. I remember Hancock sticking his neck out to set “impossible” targets.

The UK’s test and trace has one of the highest success ratios in Europe. It doesn’t take much maths to estimate it. For countries which report deaths reasonably accurately (ie not Russia), the death rate is about 0.5% per case. So you should have 200 cases per death. If you look at the last 3 months (so you would think everyone has the kit), you can give it a go. The UK is doing much better than Germany and about the same as France (about 70). Most of the countries which experienced few deaths last spring are doing worse. This is obviously not entirely a surprise. Bitter experience makes a good teacher.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 11, 2021, 09:59:59 am
The problem is not the testing per se, it's the speed of turnaround and the subsequent tracing. Unless you complete the whole cycle and persuade patients and their contacts to isolate in a timely fashion, test and trace has little value. The number of asymptomatic patients is also relevant: with about 1/3 of cases displaying no symptoms, it's difficult to target tests accurately and only mass screening has any value. In the early days of the pandemic there were too few tests available and the turn-around time was too long to make test and trace particularly helpful. The countries that did well had much greater supplies of test kits, better resourced public health services and, frequently, much more draconian approaches to enforcing isolation by contacts of patients.

Once the first wave had really started in London, there were so many cases that testing and tracing the public (with the technology available at the time) would have been impracticable. The reason the NHS concentrated on hospital patients was to try to reduce super-spreading events among staff and patients (these still occur - recently there were over 60 cases among staff and patients triggered by one asymptomatic admission in one of my local hospitals). At the time, we were anticipating an initial peak more than six times that we actually experienced and all of our strategic thinking was based on mitigating this. By comparison, the current peak is less than one quarter of the numbers we had been planning for.

I remain sceptical about the true value of test and trace in this situation. I concede that a good, rapid test may reduce the numbers of asymptomatic, infectious patients inadvertently spreading the virus but the lateral flow test is relatively insensitive. It is undoubtedly useful to give epidemiologists an indication of the prevalence of the disease and to show trends in disease numbers. Whether it will have any useful effect on the course of the epidemic is questionable.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 11, 2021, 10:39:59 am
Vague pointers from the Government that this is continuing into May now. 2021 winter lockdown is pretty much assured too; the only people who are mentally ill are the ones who think this is ok.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 11, 2021, 10:42:29 am
At best, with significant numbers of cases, something like 35% of cases are being found. It’s not enough to make a big difference. So, no, I don’t think test and trace is that helpful. The actual testing is useful obviously, but the tracing seems less so. I was doubtful from the get go on the tracing element given the pyschology.

The level of coercion and isolation required to suppress the virus is not feasible in Europe. The cure would clearly be way worse than the disease in the long term.

Just imagine if kids were dying. I have an enduring image of Chris Whitty falling to his knees every might and praying to all the gods that exist that it doesn’t start killing kids on his watch.

I’ve had malaria and typhoid, and lived in countries where you see kids dying every day in the town you are in. They tend to have a startling profusion of churches, because that’s about all you’ve got for most people.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 11, 2021, 11:01:54 am
Posted twice. Sorry  :wall:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 11, 2021, 11:05:12 am
Vague pointers from the Government that this is continuing into May now. 2021 winter lockdown is pretty much assured too; the only people who are mentally ill are the ones who think this is ok.

You made a lot of sense in the CRoW debate.

But in this one you are talking b******s  :lol:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 11, 2021, 11:09:46 am
Vague pointers from the Government that this is continuing into May now. 2021 winter lockdown is pretty much assured too; the only people who are mentally ill are the ones who think this is ok.

Try watching someone with it. My missus has it, I almost certainly have it as well, and we're fastidious about masks, cleanliness, and we don't go anywhere that isn't absolutely necessary. Idiots like you treating this like a joke are the reason this is carrying on. I sincerely hope we meet to discuss this one day.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 11, 2021, 11:42:01 am
We've already had it. Yours sincerely, The Idiot.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 11, 2021, 11:54:21 am
Testing is essential in order for people to carry out essential work and attempt a to keep the economy ticking over.  Maybe if we improve tests we could all meet up again. That’s why football is happening.  It doesn’t matter who who runs it as long as they do it properly.  Vaccination is essential to get This virus under control.  It doesn’t matter who makes it.  Labs are international.  More help for the labs as it deals with the mutations.

Meanwhile fingers crossed that it doesn’t mutate into something more deadly.
Of course capnchris and co will win the day and the virus will keep mutating and there is no end.  I was told early on that I’m too pessamistic yet we are where we are.

So

Come on everybody we (the human race) need to pull together.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: crickleymal on January 11, 2021, 12:05:28 pm
Vague pointers from the Government that this is continuing into May now. 2021 winter lockdown is pretty much assured too; the only people who are mentally ill are the ones who think this is ok.
Nobody thinks it's ok. We do think it's necessary  (assuming you're talking about lockdown). There's a subtle difference.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 11, 2021, 12:59:19 pm
If anyone found to have tested positive were to have an immediate payment of £100 per day paid into their bank account as they went into self-isolation - until they either tested negative or were taken into hospital and deemed critical, I'm sure that far more people would be prepared to comply. It's reverse psychology, but I suspect people would be far more willing to 'do their bit' and feel good about doing it, if they were paid to. After all, everyone else gets paid to give up their time when they're healthy. Many of us are sitting here not getting paid anything in order to protect others, and haven't been since the beginning - so if I were then asked to self-isolate as well 'for free', and had no symptoms, I can imagine that it might get a little fraught.

I have no idea whether I've ever had it, as I've never had any symptoms and so have never had a test. I suppose I could shuffle to the testing centre around the corner with a pretend cough, but it seems unfair if others really do have symptoms. I'd probably catch it at the testing centre anyway ;)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 11, 2021, 01:08:21 pm
Not wishing to use The Guardian as backup again, but they do operate without a paywall, so not much choice - but this is a good one. And our family at least all managed to not do Christmas and I'm so glad about that:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/11/england-covid-crisis-government-magic-bullet (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/11/england-covid-crisis-government-magic-bullet)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: al on January 11, 2021, 01:16:42 pm
My personal theory is that a large percentage of those who reckon that they've had it also reckon that that puts them "out of the game", i.e. they won't catch it again, and they cannot pass it on.

But, if their belief turns out to be wrong, that could account for part of the increase.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 11, 2021, 01:51:39 pm
At the vaccination rate of 2million per week (requiring 2 x vaccinations per person) it'll be April next year (2022) before the populace gets the jab, meanwhile there will doubtless continue to be social distancing in place (to protect the NHS) which means many private sector businesses are facing extinction (and all the other consequences thereof which are too obvious to need to point out).
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 11, 2021, 02:21:59 pm
Exactly.  April 2022.  That’s why we need to test test test.  Businesses could get going if they test.  We need quicker results to the tests.  Let the labs get on with it. 
The virus might bypass the vaccine my mutating.  But it’s got to find. A host by infection.

This ain’t no party.  This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no fooling around.  As David Byrne puts it.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 11, 2021, 02:28:17 pm
I think the key thing is to ensure that most of those vulnerable to very severe disease are vaccinated before easing restrictions. As far as mortality is concerned, that's the elderly and those with severe co-morbidities. As far as the NHS is concerned, it's the 50-70 year olds who are filling ICUs and bringing the system to breaking point. Provided they've all been vaccinated once, the numbers of deaths and in ICU should start falling. The NHS will still be under stress but should be able to cope which will allow a less narrow focus to the response - ie rather more consideration can be given to jobs and the economy. It should be possible to get one jab into everyone over 50 (and front-line staff) by end April 2021 (end March if they pull their fingers out). Thus, things could start to ease by end April and definitely by end May - unless they cock it up or vaccine deliveries fail.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 11, 2021, 02:57:56 pm
Without lockdown (& the consequent furloughing) just as many businesses would have gone under, which would cost the taxpayer even more in benefits.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: nearlywhite on January 11, 2021, 03:31:29 pm
It should be possible to get one jab into everyone over 50 (and front-line staff) by end April 2021 (end March if they pull their fingers out).

Just so people know, the 'they' in question is the vaccine production lines...
We are also the most vaccinated country so far if the statistics released last week were anything to go by
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Frog2 on January 11, 2021, 04:27:14 pm
According to OurWorldinData the UK is ranked 6th in the World for doses per 100 people,
But the UK data is at 3rd Jan compared to others being at 11th Jan or slightly earlier.

Current figs are
Israel       20.93 doses per 100 (11th Jan)
UAE              11.8 (11th Jan)
Bahrain      5.25 (10th Jan)
USA              2.02 (8th Jan)
Denmark           1.98 (9th Jan)
UK              1.94 (3rd Jan)

Using todays number of 2m people having been vaccinated, population say 67m means 2.99 per 100 and would put UK in 4th spot.
Or 3.58 per 100 if based on number of doses.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 11, 2021, 04:53:52 pm
I'm surprised by USA - I hadn't realised they were so organised! If Boris' figures are accurate (approx 2.4 million doses given) UK figures would now be around 3.6/100.
Is the israeli data inclusive of Palestinians living in Israel? Similarly, in the Gulf states, do the figures refer to the small percentage of nationals or to the whole population (including the migrant workforce)?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Cap'n Chris on January 11, 2021, 05:27:58 pm
We've already had it. Yours sincerely, The Idiot.

Interesting timing of a hoax police answerphone message on my mobile today which arrived shortly after posting this. I wonder if it was linked to my posting(s) here. If so, I do know people's full names, but I'm not into doxxing and consider it evil in the extreme. If the intention was/is to intimidate me then you can win that one - I'm not going to cry about avoiding this forum. In retrospect I think it's probably just best all round if I avoid the rabid lynch mob mentality which my input seems to jostle into a fevered state, so I shall bow out for a long time. Bye everyone. Stay safe, hide at home and keep sane ;-)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 11, 2021, 08:42:10 pm
We've already had it. Yours sincerely, The Idiot.

Interesting timing of a hoax police answerphone message on my mobile today which arrived shortly after posting this. I wonder if it was linked to my posting(s) here. If so, I do know people's full names, but I'm not into doxxing and consider it evil in the extreme. If the intention was/is to intimidate me then you can win that one - I'm not going to cry about avoiding this forum. In retrospect I think it's probably just best all round if I avoid the rabid lynch mob mentality which my input seems to jostle into a fevered state, so I shall bow out for a long time. Bye everyone. Stay safe, hide at home and keep sane ;-)

Understand this in crystal clear terms, given you replied to your answer to me...

I do not know your phone number. I am not interested in your phone number, nor would I call like that. If I want to discuss something of that nature, that badly, I do it face to face. You're simply not that important though kiddo.I suggest you reflect on that, as actions and words have consequences, as you're finding out.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 11, 2021, 09:12:58 pm
Well I thought Chris had a poor argument.  I don’t know what doxxing is? 

I’m praising a government that I didn’t vote for and dislike, rolling out of the vaccine is going well. Although I’m not keen on the ‘we are doing better than everyone else’ attitude.  Pride before a fall and all that.
I agree with Chris’s last sentence.  Just changing one word and the sarcasm.    Stay safe , stay at home, keep sane.
I hope he heeds his own words.
Shame he’s gone though.  Come back.


Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 11, 2021, 09:37:31 pm
I don’t know what doxxing is? 

Sounds like some unsavoury sexual practice described in the Viz Profanisaurus.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 11, 2021, 10:49:45 pm
Actually, it appears to be quite a bit more sinister than my flippant previous post.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 12, 2021, 07:23:19 am
I’ve just googled doxxing.
Anyway it ain’t me. The only thing I know about Chris is that he wears a cap. 

Fingers crossed that the government don’t do a bit more of the ‘jobs for my mates and family’  sketch.  On the role out of the vaccine.  I’m sure they could do 24/7 or near to it,if they got the staff.  Hancock says no demand?  Well I’d go any time.  It’s not that anyone cant go because they are a going to the cinema.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 12, 2021, 09:24:41 am
At least the haven't put Baroness Dido Harding in charge of vaccination. (yet)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: oldfart on January 12, 2021, 09:49:50 am
At least the haven't put Baroness Dido Harding in charge of vaccination. (yet)

or Gavin Alexander Williamson.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 12, 2021, 07:30:59 pm
It's Tuesday, so it's Marina Hyde, and a real classic. Funny and deadly serious at the same time - very good stuff:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/12/boris-johnson-cycling-7-miles-downing-street-pandemic (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/12/boris-johnson-cycling-7-miles-downing-street-pandemic)

So you have to ask in whose interests it is to suggest lawlessness is rife and everywhere. It’s definitely in the interests of newspapers, who have to fill their pages and webspace with something or other, and may even have run out of very boring writers to wet their pants about TV shows they approve or disapprove of. And so it is that photographers who might have previously snapped celebrities or exciting events have adapted and found that pictures taken on beaches or in parks with telephoto lenses can be very saleable, given the images make individuals look bunched up, when in fact they are much more reasonably spaced apart.

Spreads of these pictures have adorned the Daily Mail and others this week, and throughout the tougher months of the pandemic last year. Faced with these flagrant breaches of the rules/unhelpful visual tricks, you can see why people tell pollsters they want to see even more draconian restrictions. Their view seems to be shared by Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose incredible paranormal gift is being able to see three-quarters of a single news cycle into the future.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 13, 2021, 03:19:07 pm
Daily Mail rabblerousing.

Who'd have thought it..... ::)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 15, 2021, 02:22:00 am
The Daily M*il is a right old tw*t. They've been doing articles along the lines of 'new restrictions coming in' whilst infections, hospitalisations, deaths are decreasing for almost an year now. Every Lockdown, the Mail reckons we are on the verge of emerging from it when it begins.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ChrisJC on January 15, 2021, 06:39:56 am
I had to go out yesterday for a 140 mile drive (for work). I was gobsmacked at the amount of traffic. During Lockdown #1, the roads were deserted.
Yesterday they were pretty much normal (as much as I can remember normal!).

It struck me therefore that this lockdown is just not being respected, which is why cases are out of control.

Boris and his chums keep applying more and more restrictions, but people are just ignoring en-masse.

At this rate it will be over soon, vaccine or no vaccine.

Chris.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 15, 2021, 07:59:17 am
Whilst you say that, it's still only 5% of the population that have tested positive (nowhere near enough to provide herd immunity) & almost 5% have been vaccinated (there is probably a slight overlap in these numbers too). However, the number of new cases per day has started to come down - so seems Xmas wasn't a super spread event - & deaths look like they have also peaked:
https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 15, 2021, 10:17:06 am
I hope you're right! I agree the number of cases looks as if it may have peaked and may be starting to come down. However, I'd like to see a more prolonged downwards trend before getting too excited, especially as we haven't yet seen the full effect of the new variant outside the south-east. I'm not sure one can say that deaths have levelled off yet. Again, we need a longer observation period.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 15, 2021, 10:58:52 am
Indeed, but we are far enough after Christmas that we can discount it having had the effect that people were worried about.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 15, 2021, 04:32:23 pm
... especially as we haven't yet seen the full effect of the new variant outside the south-east.

North Wales (Wrexham, Flintshire) is getting hammered with it if reports are accurate.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 15, 2021, 08:07:44 pm
The peak seems to be caused by shopping for christmas.  There was a lot of pressure at Christmas in the end to not get together.  I think people took heed.  Let’s hope the infections start to drop. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: StealthYak on January 16, 2021, 09:21:50 am
Indeed, but we are far enough after Christmas that we can discount it having had the effect that people were worried about.

The JBC recon 6 to 8 weeks before impacts show up in national results- so I wouldn't count your turkeys yet
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 16, 2021, 10:00:37 am
The thing I find most concerning in the JBC (Joint Biosecurity Centre - Porton Down) data is the small percentage of new variant cases outside England up to 2nd Jan (most English cases seem to be new variant). Northern Ireland is nearly 50:50. Wales had very few new variant cases and they were in a minority in Scotland.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 16, 2021, 10:05:17 am
The JBC recon 6 to 8 weeks before impacts show up in national results- so I wouldn't count your turkeys yet
When did they make that statement, as it was certainly true before test results came online? - I'm not so sure it is now...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 16, 2021, 12:19:31 pm
Sky News ran a feature this morning on the vaccination programme in Indonesia. They're using SinoVac, the Chinese vaccine, and they're inoculating the other way around - as in the young first, as they're the drivers of the economy, and then the old and the more 'risky'. The total opposite to us. They do have a younger demographic and a relative economic disadvantage to us - and a giant mega-economy trying to buy them up and keep them 'Eastern', so it's going to be an interesting 'experiment' - watch this space.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: StealthYak on January 16, 2021, 01:22:02 pm
The JBC recon 6 to 8 weeks before impacts show up in national results- so I wouldn't count your turkeys yet
When did they make that statement, as it was certainly true before test results came online? - I'm not so sure it is now...
I got of from a friend who heads up one of the coordination roles there.  The test results might be quicker, but it still takes a long time for the effects of policy to  ripple through the population.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 16, 2021, 03:55:01 pm
Yes, again most policies do, but I think Xmas shutdown was probably better observed than most. I do agree that we won't know for sure for a while longer.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: al on January 16, 2021, 04:58:52 pm
Yes, again most policies do, but I think Xmas shutdown was probably better observed than most. I do agree that we won't know for sure for a while longer.
Might have been better observed where you live, but it was mobbed with tourists here in High Peak for the whole of the Xmas week. No pubs, no cafes, just enormous "family" groups blocking the roads with their cars and crowding the paths and lanes.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 16, 2021, 05:43:11 pm
Indeed, but did they mix with the locals or keep to themselves?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: al on January 16, 2021, 06:27:39 pm
Indeed, but did they mix with the locals or keep to themselves?
They certainly didn't keep themselves to themselves. But mixing with locals? Only if you count barging past people, almost as though the pandemic was over.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 16, 2021, 06:44:37 pm
I counted 8 skiers simultaneously on the hill above our house yesterday. In 1” of snow, skiing from tussock to tussock as I walked past them. One of them was trying to kite ski, and am pretty sure there were huskies too.

Desperate measures.

Meanwhile the kids were having a snowball fight on Woodhouse moor from what I could see.

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/weather/video-shows-huge-snowball-fight-happening-woodhouse-moor-leeds-3101243
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 16, 2021, 06:50:31 pm
There’s good money out there for young jabbers. One of mine is getting £200 a day for whacking in a 100 jabs. Nothing much to spend it on either.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 16, 2021, 08:03:04 pm
Jung Jabbas or Jawas?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 20, 2021, 09:20:48 am
Cases per day have dropped from 60,000 to 45,000 (so by 25%) in last 2 weeks
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Badlad on January 20, 2021, 10:35:21 am
Well, we have been in lockdown for two weeks and only a 25% drop.  Poor.  Hospital admissions and deaths will surely follow that which is still way too high.

I suspect a lot of transmission is taking place in health and care facilities and in the work place.  Also amongst the socially disadvantaged where people live together in larger groups and there are many reasons where it is difficult to keep apart from others.

I don't think a few people walking on Ingleborough or around some reservoir in the Peak District are the problem.  What do you think?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 20, 2021, 10:54:56 am
My impression is that most front-line care and health workers have now been vaccinated. All the ones we have anything to do with have been including the visiting carers. All the residents and staff of the two care homes we deal with have been done. Even one of my kids as had it.

There seems a gap of at least 1.5 million between the number of older people they say have been vaccinated and the number of first doses, so that must be the workforce (and they are easy to vaccinate).

If they carry on anything like this then by the end of the month they will be deep into those at high risk.

The biggest category between me and a jab is the 7 million under 50’s deemed at higher risk. It seems a startling number.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 20, 2021, 11:12:23 am
If we weren't doing anything it would likely be increasing exponentially, so any drop is better than that.

Small numbers of people out walking aren't the problem, but people traveling from the worst affected areas are...

The majority of fines are those who are gathering together, but it's the walkers who the papers consider more newsworthy (especially as many are still going to honeypot sites)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: SamT on January 20, 2021, 11:17:38 am
Well, we have been in lockdown for two weeks and only a 25% drop.  Poor.  Hospital admissions and deaths will surely follow that which is still way too high.

I suspect a lot of transmission is taking place in health and care facilities and in the work place.  Also amongst the socially disadvantaged where people live together in larger groups and there are many reasons where it is difficult to keep apart from others.

I don't think a few people walking on Ingleborough or around some reservoir in the Peak District are the problem.  What do you think?

We've quite clearly just seen the post Christmas spike that every man and his dog, barring the government saw coming.  Thankfully, its clear numbers are falling again.  Principally, I think due to the schools being closed.  My 13 year old son could look at the graph and hazard a guess as to why the numbers skyrocketed from the start of September.

This lockdown is nowhere near as effective as the last one, in terms of people being captured by the spirit of it.  No one in one out queues outside the supermarkets, like last time.  Roads still busy etc.

Thanks fully, we do now have vaccines and I hate to admit it, but it seems to be the one and only thing the government seem to have nailed.  Pride comes before a fall though, so I'm still healthily pessimistic that somehow the government are going to cock this up too.  I'm sceptical about why over countries seem to be holding back, yet we're going at it full steam ahead.  Its quite impressive really.  My wife had hers at weekend. NHS staff and whilst doesn't see front line 'people' does deal with 'live' samples. 


Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 20, 2021, 11:26:16 am
10 months ago Whitty and Vallance plainly stated that vaccines were the only answer and that everything else was just a holding pattern. And also that you cannot lock up the population for long periods without enormous collateral damage, not the least of which is to children. We are going to spend years trying to fix the damage done to young people.

The BBC has already concluded that it wasn’t Xmas that caused a surge, it was already happening due to the new variant. Basically we have two pandemics, and the first one is under control - but not the second. Shit happens.

The UK has put more effort into the vaccine planning than anywhere else in Europe, and that really is more than a little strange.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 20, 2021, 12:08:18 pm
UK has more drug development facilities than most other countries, so not that surprising: https://pharmafield.co.uk/in_depth/top-5-rd-hubs-in-the-uk/
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 20, 2021, 01:16:20 pm
I think Fjell is correct. There are two overlapping events. The first was a countrywide increase, probably caused by increased meeting before Christmas (eg shopping and socialising where that was allowed) rather than Christmas itself. If it had all been down to Christmas, the spike should have been even steeper and would have peaked a bit later. The second was the more localised increase caused by the new variant. What's worrying about this is that it's only really been a major issue in England and Wales - there hasn't been so much of it in Northern Ireland or Scotland, which may mean they are due for a further increase.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: SamT on January 20, 2021, 01:29:32 pm
Bear in mind that the first spike could actually have been a big as this, its just that there was a lot less testing going on thus less postive cases showing up, so the results now look much lower.

The death toll, is higher this time around, but not hugely so.

Are you suggesting schools should open again then fjell
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 20, 2021, 01:44:29 pm
They have to open soon, and they are already talking of doing so. It’s not the comfy middle class ones who are getting shafted (quite the opposite), it’s ones for whom nothing happens regardless of free laptops etc. The lockdown dramatically widens inequality for children.

The thing I find most disappointing is media-promoted chatter from some teachers about it’s unsafe for schools to open (pretty much ever). Kids would have been at home for a year already if they had had they way.

My youngest is pretty down about the thought of being stuck indoors with us until Easter. He can’t see anyone of his age, and this has been going on for months off and on already. No work experience since last Feb. And he certainly doesn’t have any other pressures on his life. In fact this morning he was saying how guilty he felt compared to others he knows under more pressure. Turned 18 today. Just us and granny here. Will be going to do nursing in September. Hopefully in better circumstances.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: SamT on January 20, 2021, 04:14:20 pm
My friend is a teacher at the main school in an ex-mining town in South Yorkshire, and the school is fundamentally what keeps a very fractious and run-down town together. Many of the parents are frankly not capable of home schooling as their own education was so poor, being born just after the strike, and as job prospects in these areas are appalling (if you get one it'll be a shit one) there's not a lot of incentive for anyone to work even harder. Much of my friend's time in lockdown has been talking to the police trying to locate her pupils who have gone AWOL on their bikes instead of revising. So they desperately need the school to re-open as it's the glue for the social fabric. There's not many arty singletons and trendy well-off wood-burning stove families in that district. They already had severe deprivation in their education before Covid, due to their social circumstances, and this is just making it worse and worse. However, at her school when it was open, in the last quarter they had two cases of Covid, whereas the school in the next town had 97 at the same time, so much of it is about procedures, control and, probably, respect.


(just re-instating phils post above following topic spit)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 20, 2021, 07:53:16 pm
It's worth noting that the Tory 'following the science' Government has taken it upon itself to ignore the vaccine producers' stipulation to give the second dose 2-3 weeks after the first,, and increase the gap to 12 weeks.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 20, 2021, 08:22:59 pm
Given that they want to slow hospital admissions and death urgently, the government approach is pretty sound on that particular point Droid.

If they can get more people up to 80% protected off the first dose, they can top everyone up later, at leisure. Better to plug all the holes in your sinking ship mostly than half of them totally...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 20, 2021, 08:39:25 pm
It's worth noting that the Tory 'following the science' Government has taken it upon itself to ignore the vaccine producers' stipulation to give the second dose 2-3 weeks after the first,, and increase the gap to 12 weeks.

You mean these people? You should get on the blower to explain to them in the sort of short words they understand where they went wrong. Personally I am going to go with the flow.

Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair (University of Oxford)
Professor Lim Wei Shen, Chair COVID-19 immunisation (Nottingham University Hospitals)
Professor Anthony Harnden, Deputy Chair (University of Oxford)
Dr Kevin Brown (Public Health England)
Dr Rebecca Cordery (Public Health England)
Dr Maggie Wearmouth (East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust)
Professor Matt Keeling (University of Warwick)
Alison Lawrence (lay member)
Professor Robert Read (Southampton General Hospital)
Professor Anthony Scott (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)
Professor Adam Finn (University of Bristol)
Dr Fiona van der Klis (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Netherlands)
Professor Maarten Postma (University of Groningen)
Professor Simon Kroll (Imperial College London)
Dr Martin Williams (University Hospitals Bristol)
Professor Jeremy Brown (University College London Hospitals)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 20, 2021, 11:33:51 pm
It's a bold but sensible step. The Oxford vaccine gives pretty good immunity after one dose (and, most importantly, noon who got Covid after dose one had severe disease). The Pfizer vaccine probably gives similar protection (their data shows that some people did get severe disease after the first vaccination BUT most/all of these got Covid very soon after the first dose - ie they caught Covid before the vaccination could have had time to work). Overall, this strategy offers protection to twice as many people as one could expect if one followed a conventional vaccination protocol. I can't see the problem.
More importantly, as Fjell says, a whole host of scarily knowledgeable people support this approach.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 21, 2021, 07:02:10 am
Many vaccines have been shown to give short term protection after only one dose, whilst the second is required for long term.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 21, 2021, 01:56:15 pm
One off dose is probably the best option at the moment.  It seems the consensus.   2 doses is essential.  I admire the coordination to pull this off.  The vaccine programme is still going well thank goodness.
Priti Patel agreed with me about shutting airports back in March.  She must have been out bullied by Cummings.  I feel the airports will have to close.  We never have a proper lockdown with people coming and going. 
To me it seems sensible to vaccinate teachers, police and other key workers.  As a priority.
We are in this for the long haul.  No country is throwing in the towel. If they did, what then. ‘I’ve already had it’ won’t cut it.
Improve the testing to open up facilities.
Keep vaccinating.
Personally I think caving is an outdoor sport and as such follow the rules around walking and climbing.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ditzy on January 21, 2021, 02:03:27 pm
cant wait to have my own vaccination.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 06:39:08 pm
Given that they want to slow hospital admissions and death urgently, the government approach is pretty sound on that particular point Droid.



If it still leads to adequate protection....
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 06:43:08 pm
Oops
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 06:55:02 pm
It's worth noting that the Tory 'following the science' Government has taken it upon itself to ignore the vaccine producers' stipulation to give the second dose 2-3 weeks after the first,, and increase the gap to 12 weeks.

You mean these people? You should get on the blower to explain to them in the sort of short words they understand where they went wrong. Personally I am going to go with the flow.

Fair play.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 21, 2021, 07:10:07 pm
Channel 4 News is running a story right now about serious concerns about this 12-week delay, and they've just mentioned a care home where nearly everyone has had their first injection and three weeks later there are three symptomatic cases. It'll be on Channel 4+1 (15 on Freeview) if anyone misses it now. And Devi Sridhar just laid it down again and recommended 80% of salary payments for self-isolation.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 21, 2021, 08:13:53 pm
Vaccination doesn't stop you catching covid, it (hopefully) reduces the effects.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 09:00:18 pm
Ooops again.... :-[
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 09:10:36 pm
Vaccination doesn't stop you catching covid, it (hopefully) reduces the effects.

Clearly the virus has to get inside you to spark the immune system, but since the vaccine 'prepares' the immune system for that virus it's cleared before the virus load causes symptoms or shedding.

Maybe that's what you meant...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 21, 2021, 09:12:44 pm
Quote
Will the vaccine protect you?
The COVID-19 vaccine that you have had has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. Each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and shown to be safe.

It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

Can you give COVID-19 to anyone if you have had the vaccine?
The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and a full course will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. So, it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

practice social distancing
wear a face mask
wash your hands carefully and frequently
follow the current guidance
Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-what-to-expect-after-vaccination/what-to-expect-after-your-covid-19-vaccination#:~:text=The%20vaccine%20cannot%20give%20you,to%20reduce%20this%20risk. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-what-to-expect-after-vaccination/what-to-expect-after-your-covid-19-vaccination#:~:text=The%20vaccine%20cannot%20give%20you,to%20reduce%20this%20risk.)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 21, 2021, 09:13:50 pm
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rabies/vaccination/
Quote
But even if you have been vaccinated, you should still get urgent medical help if you're bitten or scratched by an animal that may have had rabies
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 09:35:21 pm
Yes. No vaccine is 100% effective and what they're saying is that you shouldn't assume you are immune. That's my reading anyway.

The relevence of a disease with just about 100% fatality rate eludes me.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 21, 2021, 09:54:10 pm
Your first comment was that you didn't know any vaccine that wasn't effective (or something along those lines)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 21, 2021, 09:59:48 pm
Andrew Pollard and his team are going to get some big gongs. The guy at the top of that list.

Here is his cv. It’s sobering to consider it includes some Himalayan first ascents. Some people really do fill the day don’t they.

https://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/team/andrew-pollard
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 21, 2021, 10:04:21 pm
If you want a job done, give it to a busy person (although it was whilst at / shortly after uni)...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 21, 2021, 10:20:36 pm
Your first comment was that you didn't know any vaccine that wasn't effective (or something along those lines)

Effective, yes. 100% effective no, never claimed that.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 21, 2021, 10:36:27 pm
At least on this thread no one is advocating to ignore the lockdown anymore. I suppose the equivalent of 3 to 4 jumbo jets falling out of the sky daily just from this country is quite sobering. 

It’s a global problem that requires global success.  Conspiracy, fake news, lies and cover ups from a Wuhan to Washington are the worlds enemy, along with jingoism. 
Time to work together. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 21, 2021, 10:45:03 pm
What follows is speculative and hugely oversimplified (but there is reasonable evidence to support it).

If you encounter a respiratory virus (common cold, flu, covid), the first part of your body it invades is the surface of the respiratory tract (anywhere from the nose and throat to the lower airways). Your immune response to the virus is mediated by immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is located primarily in the mucous membranes which line the airways. If the IgA response is sufficient, you will experience no or few symptoms and the virus will be eliminated (though it may take a day or two).

Virus that penetrates beyond this will cause a more generalised infection. This produces a response by immunoglobulin G (IgG). Most people having such an infection will experience some symptoms (anywhere from mild to overwhelming).

Importantly, giving an injectable vaccine bypasses your initial IgA response and only causes an IgG response. This will protect you from severe, generalised infections but won't do much for your initial mucosal defence. Therefore, it is perfectly possible for you to get a local infection in your airways and for the virus to replicate there without causing you to become seriously ill. Your IgG response will prevent it from turning into a generalised infection but won't have much effect on the virus in your mucosal cells. While the virus is replicating in your airways you can shed it to the outside world (ie you are infectious) even if you don't become ill yourself. 

The other implication of this is that some people who have asymptomatic infections probably eliminate the virus because they have a powerful IgA response. Such people may not be picked up by antibody testing because these only test for IgG.



Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 21, 2021, 10:48:48 pm
At least on this thread no one is advocating to ignore the lockdown anymore. I suppose the equivalent of 3 to 4 jumbo jets falling out of the sky daily just from this country is quite sobering. 

It’s a global problem that requires global success.  Conspiracy, fake news, lies and cover ups from a Wuhan to Washington are the worlds enemy, along with jingoism. 
Time to work together.

A couple of jumbo jets worth a day is normal for this time of year, there may be around one extra jumbo jets worth than normal right now
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 21, 2021, 11:02:54 pm
At least on this thread no one is advocating to ignore the lockdown anymore.

I think very few people have advocated ignoring lockdown on any thread on this forum, however quite a number of people (myself included) have stressed the importance of protecting your mental health through low risk, high benefit activities such as caving. I strongly suspect that those who were caving before to protect their mental and physical health are still doing so now, but have given up talking about it on here, to protect their mental health; you could say they've been driven underground  ;)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ZombieCake on January 21, 2021, 11:36:31 pm
Don't forget that about a jumbo jet's worth of cancer patients fall out of the sky each day on the UK as well.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 21, 2021, 11:47:12 pm
What follows is speculative and hugely oversimplified (but there is reasonable evidence to support it).

That's the simplest and most useful explanation of the actual mechanism that I've read since last March, so thank-you for that  :clap2:

My last few caving trips have definitely been damaging to my mental health  :yucky:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 22, 2021, 12:05:37 am
A couple of jumbo jets worth a day is normal for this time of year, there may be around one extra jumbo jets worth than normal right now

This: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/static-reports/mortality-surveillance/excess-mortality-in-england-latest.html#comparisons-to-other-measures-of-excess-deaths-in-england

Specifically the first few graphs, is pretty good evidence that the number of people listed as a 'Covid death' is very similar to the number of excess deaths (currently the number of 'Covid deaths' is slightly higher than the number of excess deaths, but only slightly) which strongly implies that the presented death rates are broadly accurate.

Week ending 4th January: estimated excess deaths 4045, registered Covid deaths 5596 (earlier months don't show as much of an excess over the expected excess deaths, and that wasn't seen in the first lockdown either).

You do expect that some people who died of Covid would have died of something else, and lockdown can mean fewer car accidents etc. It's also perfectly plausible that the Covid death rates are just 40% out - but that's all.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 22, 2021, 12:07:26 am
I have to point out that one paper regarding IgA response did note an increased amount of IgA specific to Covid, peaking 28 days after injection of killed adenovirus vector.

I only found one. My brain started hurting. Sorry.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 22, 2021, 07:13:21 am
At least now on this thread only a few people are advocating that the coronavirus is something and nothing.  One or two jumbo jets falling out of the sky daily is not too bad.   :smartass:
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: AR on January 22, 2021, 09:03:22 am
There's a good BMJ article on the public perception of restriction breaking and its actual impact on spread, as opposed to failure to isolate by those possibly or actually infected, and flagging up that failure to provide good support to those people is a massive fail on the government's part...
https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/07/pandemic-fatigue-how-adherence-to-covid-19-regulations-has-been-misrepresented-and-why-it-matters/
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Alex on January 22, 2021, 09:09:21 am
I have heard that Borris says the lockdown might go on into the summer!

I am not putting my life on hold until summer though, once the vulnerable and over 65s are vaccinated, I see no reason for us to stay in lock-down anymore, so once the pressure is off and the vulnerable are vaccinated I am going caving again and resuming my life, lockdown or no lockdown. I know small minority of under 65s can get it quite badly but it should be at a level the NHS can handle, we will never succeed in wiping this thing out so we will have to live with it, the vaccines help us do this, but life has to get back to normal too for all our sanitises. Lock down is correct at the moment, but should be the very last resort due to the dreadful damage it is doing to people's mental, financial, children's education and even physical well being, so should be released once the 65s and vulnerable are vaccinated and vaccine has had a little time to take effect, so early march at the latest, presuming we keep vaccinating at the current rate.

If they don't feck it, they can fine me, they can't guilt trip me anymore if the vulnerable and old are vaccinated.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 22, 2021, 09:22:53 am
What follows is speculative and hugely oversimplified (but there is reasonable evidence to support it).

That's the simplest and most useful explanation of the actual mechanism that I've read since last March, so thank-you for that  :clap2:

I'll second that; thanks Speleofish.

You're clearly very well informed on this subject, so could I ask your opinion on something?

In between lockdowns 1 & 2 in 2020 (summer) I was in contact with literally thousands of people, from all over the country, because of my job. Statistically, I must have met very many people who had the virus. I was fully expecting to go down with it but (firmly touching wood) I haven't knowingly had the virus. (It's possible I may have been asymptomatic, of course.)

I did use a mask or face screen and regularly washed or sanitised hands, etc. But even so I was probably at high risk and almost expecting the virus to sneak through in these circumstances.

But . . . like any diver, I am paranoid about catching the common cold (which I gather is caused by a virus which acts in a similar way to the one causing Covid-19). So I take Echinacea and cod liver oil capsules daily.

I understand why the medical profession has never been convinced as to the effectiveness of Echinacea, due to poor evidence. Normally, I'm not at all a fan of herbal "remedies". But I was told about it maybe 20 years ago and, rather sceptically, I tried it. Beforehand I would typically catch 2 or even 3 colds a year. After starting to use Echinacea my cold frequency went down to one every 12 - 18 months.

This is of course meaningless, from an epidemiological perspective. But there's on old saying "What works, works."

Also, there has been talk since March last year about the possible role of Vitamin D in maybe giving at least some protection against coronavirus.

My question is, do you think cod liver oil (Vitamin D) use, or daily Echinacea, might have helped give some protection? I'm finding it hard to believe I've not gone down with Covid-19, so far.

(I understand that this may be an impossible question to answer, simply due to lack of data.)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 22, 2021, 10:18:35 am
Some difficult questions here...

Regarding the probability of getting Covid over the summer, there are many reasons for possibly being protected from clinical disease.

1. Last summer, there was very little covid about. The prevalence in the community at the end of April 2020 was approx 0.4% (4/1000). This fell to 0.06% by the end of June before rising again during August. At the end of August it reached approx 1% (data from the Lancet, but I've lost the reference). There was some variation between the south and north of England but even in the northeast the numbers were probably only about twice those in the south. Therefore, there was a period when the likelihood of encountering Covid was low and, even without taking extreme precautions, you would be unlucky to catch it unless you were in a particularly high risk situation (multiple people in confined spaces with poor ventilation).

2. Warm weather during the summer encouraged people to open windows and thus improve ventilation. During the original SARS outbreak, the number of air changes per hour were important in protecting health workers from infection. The sweet spot was more than 16 exchanges/hour. Low numbers of changes were strongly associated with transmission. There's not much evidence for Covid (yet) but it would seem sensible to assume the same is true.

3. High levels of UV light inactivate the virus on exposed surfaces relatively quickly.

4. Taking even simple precautions (and avoiding very high-risk situations) will significantly protect you.

5. Many people have had Covid without knowing it.

6. Maybe Echinacea does work!

As far as Vitamin D and Echinacea are concerned, there's reasonable evidence that genuine vitamin D deficiency has all sorts of effects, including a worse response to infection. There's no good evidence that supplementing vitamin D in people with normal levels has any real value. Measuring vitamin D levels should only be done in healthy people. Blood levels fall in very sick people, even if they have no pre-existing deficiency. There is no convincing evidence that supplementing these people has benefit.

Echinacea is more complex. It's derived from a number of different species of coneflower so it's not a standard preparation (though any one manufacturer probably makes a consistent product). There have been several meta-analyses showing no or minimal benefit in a variety of respiratory conditions though there is a suggestion that it may reduce the duration and frequency of symptoms (which is what you describe). None of the studies suggest it is harmful. Meta-analyses cannot exclude the possibility that a proportion of the population experience a moderate benefit (someone else on the forum will be able to explain the statistics better than I can). In general, my advice would be that if something 'harmless' works for you, keep going. It may be a real effect, it may be a placebo effect - the important thing is that it makes you feel better. Only one caveat - echinacea does interact with some prescription drugs, the most important of which is probably amiodarone.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 22, 2021, 10:24:02 am
A seventh reason for you not getting Covid may have been good luck...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Pitlamp on January 22, 2021, 10:31:18 am
That is massively helpful Speleofish - thank you for such a detailed and well considered opinion, explained in a way which is easy to understand.

So - the cod liver oil and Echinacea continue, as they're cheap , they have no known serious contraindications (particularly as I use no prescription medications) and they might even do a bit of good (even if it's due to placebo effect).



Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 22, 2021, 10:34:08 am
Sounds very reasonable!
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 22, 2021, 10:43:57 am
At least now on this thread only a few people are advocating that the coronavirus is something and nothing.  One or two jumbo jets falling out of the sky daily is not too bad.   :smartass:

So you will be happy again this summer (assuming the same happens as last year) when there is near none or negative excess deaths yet we still couldn't meet more than 6 people and had to flaunce around restaurants wearing masks ?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 22, 2021, 11:01:32 am
A couple of jumbo jets worth a day is normal for this time of year, there may be around one extra jumbo jets worth than normal right now



This: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/static-reports/mortality-surveillance/excess-mortality-in-england-latest.html#comparisons-to-other-measures-of-excess-deaths-in-england

Specifically the first few graphs, is pretty good evidence that the number of people listed as a 'Covid death' is very similar to the number of excess deaths (currently the number of 'Covid deaths' is slightly higher than the number of excess deaths, but only slightly) which strongly implies that the presented death rates are broadly accurate.

Week ending 4th January: estimated excess deaths 4045, registered Covid deaths 5596 (earlier months don't show as much of an excess over the expected excess deaths, and that wasn't seen in the first lockdown either).

You do expect that some people who died of Covid would have died of something else, and lockdown can mean fewer car accidents etc. It's also perfectly plausible that the Covid death rates are just 40% out - but that's all.

So yesterday 21/01/2021 the headline was around 1600 deaths registered within 28 days of a postive test... When they have had a chance to settle their numbers etc in a few weeks time we would expect an excess of 1600 deaths to have occurred for this day (actually occured on this day not registered) based on your post.

Bearing in mind last spring the the total deaths at the worst peak was 1800 per day, 21/01/20 was around 1500 and only whisperings of what to come was making news.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: crickleymal on January 22, 2021, 11:09:58 am

So you will be happy again this summer (assuming the same happens as last year) when there is near none or negative excess deaths yet we still couldn't meet more than 6 people and had to flaunce around restaurants wearing masks ?
If that's what is necessary then yes.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 22, 2021, 11:24:20 am
The strain doing the rounds last summer was also reportedly less easily transferred than the variant that's causing problems now.

Another factor is that you don't generally become infected from a few spores, your natural immune systems can fight them off. It's only when you receive an "overload" (which varies for everyone, & between different circumstances for same person) will the virus take hold.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Laurie on January 22, 2021, 12:38:34 pm
I'm getting my first jab on Saturday (tomorrow) and the second on my birthday (mid April).
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 22, 2021, 01:33:25 pm
That's brilliant news.

This paper just released looks a bit worrying though about post-Covid readmissions and accelerated mortality:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.15.21249885v1

Conclusions Individuals discharged from hospital following COVID-19 face elevated rates of multi-organ dysfunction compared with background levels, and the increase in risk is neither confined to the elderly nor uniform across ethnicities. The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of PCS require integrated rather than organ- or disease-specific approaches. Urgent research is required to establish risk factors for PCS.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 22, 2021, 02:16:11 pm
Worrying. There are other data suggesting that Covid has a negative effect on life expectancy in those who survive the original infection (I can't remember the original source but it was quoted in this week's BMJ). We saw a number of readmissions in patients who had apparently recovered from Covid. One problem was pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs). However, the disease can cause such widespread pathology that it's not surprising there are long term consequences. It would be interesting to get a breakdown of the causes of readmission and death.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 22, 2021, 02:55:04 pm
I read an article somewhere that the prevalence of Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome i s higher in Covid sufferers than other viral infections...

And I too would like to thank Speleofish for his well written explaination. I last studied this 35 years ago and the memories have faded...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 22, 2021, 03:17:19 pm
It feels like the ground is shifting finally on this supported self-isolation thing though. They might moan about the cost, but if they'd implemented this and other similar sensible measures last May, and the public had fully cooperated, we'd possibly all be enjoying well-earned holidays by now (albeit only in the UK or New Zealand):

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/22/funding-self-isolate-covid-rampant

However, this doesn't help much, in any direction - unbelievable. Religion always knows best eh?:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/22/organisers-of-london-wedding-attended-by-hundreds-face-covid-fine

The organiser of a lockdown-breaching wedding at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls’ school in north London attended by hundreds of people has been condemned by community leaders. Police discovered about 400 guests celebrating the wedding on Thursday evening. The windows of Yesodey Hatorah school in Stamford Hill had been covered to stop people seeing in when officers arrived.

Many guests fled when police arrived after receiving reports of a large gathering. Five people were handed £100 fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid regulations and the organiser could face a £10,000 fine, the Metropolitan police said.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: NewStuff on January 22, 2021, 04:34:18 pm
I am not putting my life on hold
I see no reason for us to stay in lock-down anymore,
Surprise me, tell me you're an Epidemiologist or Virologist.

No? There's many words for the likes of you that would no doubt get censored, but I'll let you imagine them. Your actions will no doubt be spreading it and making others suffer based on your arbitrary judgement. I sincerely hope that Karma comes and bites you in the arse.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fulk on January 22, 2021, 04:57:10 pm
Quote
Religion always knows best eh?:

I remember very early in the first lock-down watching something on the TV about how the pandemic was affecting other countries; I was somewhat surprised when they interviewed a Russian woman who said that as an Orthodox Christian, she wasn’t worried about the virus because she was protected by God; the damnest thing was, she said that she was a doctor.

More recently (sometime in the last week or two) I saw someone in the UK interviewed on the box who said that as a Christian, she was under God’s protection and couldn’t catch Covid; what, all those who have caught Covid are atheists?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 22, 2021, 05:04:20 pm
No, it's just you can't profess your faith when you can't breathe...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 22, 2021, 05:06:18 pm
There was a feature on BBC News yesterday on the frighteningly low levels of interest in the vaccine amongst many in the Afro-Caribbean and African communities who are following Pentecostalist religions - a guy who represents the community said that many believe the stories about microchips in the vaccine, and that they had the 'mark of the beast' on them - i.e. the microchips have been programmed to install the Devil, as software, into their bloodstreams and thus control them. How do they find out this stuff? On their smartphones. "Yeah, but it's called BIOS, innit? Busted!"

Similarly C4 News went to Leicester to find out why the Muslim community are equally reluctant - the answer? Pork products in the vaccine (there aren't any). The source? Smartphone. The guy Darshna Soni interviewed was so thick it was painful to watch, but he doesn't watch the news as it's all lies.

Religious organisations generally have some smart people in them, and they're usually running everything and getting paid the most. It's quite helpful if the rest...well, aren't so smart. Or they'd probably leave.

Anyone remember Jimmy Swaggart? "Oh Jesus!" ;)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ChrisJC on January 22, 2021, 05:15:23 pm
What is the disadvantage for society as a whole if certain groups choose not to take the vaccine?

Chris.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fulk on January 22, 2021, 06:28:02 pm
They continue to spread the virus – probably beyond the confines of their own little bunch of 'believers'.

Oh – fair dos, I understand that at least one mosque somewhere in the north-west has opened up as a vaccination centre.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: AR on January 22, 2021, 07:35:28 pm
There was a feature on BBC News yesterday on the frighteningly low levels of interest in the vaccine amongst many in the Afro-Caribbean and African communities who are following Pentecostalist religions - a guy who represents the community said that many believe the stories about microchips in the vaccine, and that they had the 'mark of the beast' on them - i.e. the microchips have been programmed to install the Devil, as software, into their bloodstreams and thus control them. How do they find out this stuff? On their smartphones. "Yeah, but it's called BIOS, innit? Busted!"

Someone was spreading a circuit diagram around the internet and claiming it was the secret microchip Bill Gates was going to control us all with. Someone with more than two brain cells to rub together looked at the circuit diagram and recognised it as being for the Boss MT-2 distortion guitar effect pedal - clearly, Mr. Gates wants to turn us all into raving metalheads...
https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/05/5g_vaccine_chip_boss_metal_zone_mt2/
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: ChrisJC on January 22, 2021, 07:49:48 pm
They continue to spread the virus – probably beyond the confines of their own little bunch of 'believers'.

Indeed, but once the rest of us have been vaccinated, surely we don't care any more, and Mr. Darwin can step in.

Chris.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 22, 2021, 08:24:45 pm
That logic is buggered if people can spread the virus when vaccinate, as has been suggested (but not by me).
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 22, 2021, 08:58:10 pm
Here's a clue! "Hyuk! Is you talkin about me? Don't you call me a lert"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/22/antigen-or-antibody-uk-adults-confused-by-covid-terminology

Almost half the population is unclear what “antigen” or “epidemiologist” mean, while two in five admit they would struggle to explain “circuit breaker” or “flatten the curve”. Significant numbers also could not explain, either confidently or at all, what a “support bubble” is, what “stay alert” means and what someone being “asymptomatic” involves.

This was Devi Sridhar on the 24th Sepember last year, speaking good sense. She was on this afternoon essentially speaking the same script, and still semi-baffled as to why we didn't do it in September last year. She really, really should be Prime Minister:

https://twitter.com/bbcquestiontime/status/1309253142136193029?lang=en
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Ed on January 22, 2021, 09:52:05 pm
They continue to spread the virus – probably beyond the confines of their own little bunch of 'believers'.

Indeed, but once the rest of us have been vaccinated, surely we don't care any more, and Mr. Darwin can step in.

Chris.

They also act as a reservoir when the virus can mutate to the point of the vaccine being ineffective
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 22, 2021, 10:14:36 pm
My mums had the vaccine, she’s become an absolute devil at completing jigsaw puzzles.  She must need the second dose as she is still listening to ruddy Andre Rieu, no Motörhead  I’m afraid.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 23, 2021, 01:43:01 am
What Ed said. This is going to run and run.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 23, 2021, 01:57:24 am
The other point, with reference to possible increased morbidity of our own home grown strain. Deaths don't occur until well after the victim has shed and infected others, so there is no evolutionary pressure to minimise morbidity, at least in the short term.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 23, 2021, 08:29:31 am
Indeed, but once the rest of us have been vaccinated, surely we don't care any more, and Mr. Darwin can step in.

Chris.

I'm not a fan of letting stupid people kill themselves, since I consider it a failure of society that they are stupid, but more importantly even if I've been vaccinated I would not have 100% protection, so could still catch it, and also there are some people who won't be able to have the vaccine for medical reasons even if they want to.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: andrewmc on January 23, 2021, 08:35:02 am
So you will be happy again this summer (assuming the same happens as last year) when there is near none or negative excess deaths yet we still couldn't meet more than 6 people and had to flaunce around restaurants wearing masks ?

You mean when we were succeeding at restricting transmission of the virus and when we could at least see some people, before we screwed it all up and are now in an even more restrictive lockdown and have tens of thousands of years of life lost every day?

Happy? No. Nothing about this virus is happy. But restrictions and almost no deaths, versus tighter lockdown and many deaths? I'll take the 'almost no deaths', please...

Trying to avoid restrictions has led to more and harsher lockdowns AND more deaths.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 23, 2021, 08:51:48 am
Unfortunately, up to now we haven't even had any truly comparable statistics to make decisions on - the number of tests per day has finally become fairly consistent since new year & positive results have decreased by 25%, hospitalisations have also started to reduce & we'll have to wait & see what happens with deaths, but they appear to have peaked.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: maxf on January 23, 2021, 10:07:06 am
Indeed, but once the rest of us have been vaccinated, surely we don't care any more, and Mr. Darwin can step in.

Chris.

I'm not a fan of letting stupid people kill themselves, since I consider it a failure of society that they are stupid, but more importantly even if I've been vaccinated I would not have 100% protection, so could still catch it, and also there are some people who won't be able to have the vaccine for medical reasons even if they want to.

So you will hiding away until we reach the magic covid zero ?
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 23, 2021, 11:00:00 am
Given we are being transported to the Days of Yore via IP packets, I am considering selling fully 256-bit encrypted digital indulgences as a side line. Only £59.95. Significantly reduces your chance of catching the virus, but will anyway safely neutralise the chips in the event you take the risk with the vaccine.

For an extra £29.95 you can be sent a foil-lined hard copy for intrinsic protection against 5G. This stops the 5G from activating the chip in the event the indulgence proves ineffective for some reason. Better safe than sorry.

The chemist in Boots told me all about the chips when I had my flu jab. And he has proper tattoos, so he know what he’s talking about for sure. The Force is strong in that one.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Roger W on January 23, 2021, 11:05:04 am
The best way to deal with chips is to fry them.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Laurie on January 23, 2021, 01:15:32 pm
That's brilliant news.

This paper just released looks a bit worrying though about post-Covid readmissions and accelerated mortality:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.15.21249885v1

Conclusions Individuals discharged from hospital following COVID-19 face elevated rates of multi-organ dysfunction compared with background levels, and the increase in risk is neither confined to the elderly nor uniform across ethnicities. The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of PCS require integrated rather than organ- or disease-specific approaches. Urgent research is required to establish risk factors for PCS.
I suffered from it in April and I'm still here!  ;D
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 23, 2021, 02:14:24 pm
I've noticed that one or two people on here seem to have a very cavalier approach to Covid deaths, either trying to minimise the absolute figure or hinting that the dying 'would have died anyway' because they were old/suffering co-morbidities/old AND suffering co-morbidities.

I really hope I'm not alone in thinking this is a shockingly callous attitude.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: paul on January 23, 2021, 02:35:16 pm
I have to agree with you there. It isn't just about deaths either. There are many people with serious disorders and diseases who need immediate hospital treatment but are not getting it because hospitals are being overwhelmed with Covid19 patients. There is also the impact of the huge number Covid19 patients on NHS staff.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 23, 2021, 03:05:11 pm
As soon as Covid comes under control, there will be two conflicting pressures on the NHS. The first will be the need to give their overworked staff a break and time to heal. The second will be pressure to restart normal service and reduce the backlog of very necessary surgery that's had to be postponed. Given that I expect a significant number of nurses in acute specialties to look for calmer things to do (or give up nursing entirely) and our traditional approach to overseas nursing recruitment will be limited as a result of Brexit, I don't see any easy solutions.

Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 23, 2021, 03:13:02 pm
This was a good one from the other day, which touches on that Brexit issue in the last para:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/20/intensive-care-nurse-eu-europeans-health-britain
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 23, 2021, 03:18:51 pm
Taking a large number of medical staff from other countries because demand here is higher than training capacity is more than a little immoral, it verges on wholly evil. Is it credible that the UK cannot find or train enough staff for decades to come?

In both nursing and medicine about half of applicants are unsuccessful in getting into a degree. The NHS has a multi-decade staffing plan which assumes a huge fraction of staff being recruited abroad.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: droid on January 23, 2021, 03:39:40 pm
More on the second jab gap:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55777084
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 23, 2021, 03:41:16 pm
I agree it's morally unjustifiable to recruit in huge numbers from overseas because we haven't trained enough staff in country, particularly from countries with limited resources. However, after 2008 there were large numbers of EU nurses who couldn't find work in their own countries. As a result, we recruited a fabulous group of Italian, Spanish and Portugese nurses who made a huge contribution to our unit, brought different perspectives and were generally a delight to work with.

In medicine, there is a training scheme that brings overseas graduates to the UK for defined periods (usually two-three years) after which they are expected to return home. When it works, this is mutually beneficial. Some do stay on but the majority don't. Most of them (especially from India and Sri Lanka) go back to a lower salary but a much higher standard of living than they (or I) enjoy in the UK.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 23, 2021, 03:47:23 pm
Following Droid's post, I can't understand the BMA's resistance to this. Their argument seems to be almost exclusively based on the UK being outliers which, in this case, is probably the right place to be. I understand Pfizer stressing they don't have data to support extending the interval between doses. They have a very specific license and encouraging people to use their vaccine in unapproved ways exposes them to possible litigation and billion dollar fines. Similarly, the WHO is an extremely risk-averse organisation and cannot be seen to be encouraging non-standard behaviour.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 23, 2021, 03:48:59 pm
More on the second jab gap:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55777084

If you look at the BMA site, they refer only to medical staff. They are a union. They also wanted doctors vaccinated before 90 year olds. They were rebuffed on that one too. The people knocking them back are the most senior doctors in the country, the GMC level ones who hold the line on ethics. And the ethics say the patient comes before the doctor, it’s hammered into them at medical school, even more so these days after things like the Staffs debacle. The medical school recruitment criteria have also changed to try and get rid of the ones with zero empathy you might be familiar with over the years - some of those seem to hang out at the BMA.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 23, 2021, 03:52:10 pm
Unfortunately everyone has different agendas in this crisis & there's no way that they can all be satisfied - some (mostly inner cities) are struggling to survive as they can't get work, or grants (or don't know about / won't apply for them)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Brains on January 23, 2021, 06:17:00 pm
More on the second jab gap:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55777084

If you look at the BMA site, they refer only to medical staff. They are a union. They also wanted doctors vaccinated before 90 year olds. They were rebuffed on that one too. The people knocking them back are the most senior doctors in the country, the GMC level ones who hold the line on ethics. And the ethics say the patient comes before the doctor, it’s hammered into them at medical school, even more so these days after things like the Staffs debacle. The medical school recruitment criteria have also changed to try and get rid of the ones with zero empathy you might be familiar with over the years - some of those seem to hang out at the BMA.
What good are dead and diseased medics?
Before the ABC of first aid you must decide if it is safe for you to do anything at all. To put it harshly the casualty dies before the team. To an extent this MUST apply across the spectrum of care
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 23, 2021, 06:21:48 pm
It is an amazing fact that the NHS has so many vacancies available, even under austerity budgets. and we can't fill them. I know they're not all straightforward 'just turn up with a spanner' jobs, but I would have thought that many, many graduates and non-graduates would really want to work in health, especially it being such a growth industry, hahah. But it's good money too, if the work's at 'normal', humanly-manageable levels.

But that's also my fear about the vaccine - it becomes the 'easy' solution so many are used to in this country, and then they don't have to do the hard work they should be doing. And also relaxing their guard too early - my parents have already asked me if I want to visit them, and they only had their first jabs two weeks ago, and it's my mum's birthday on Tuesday. But no, it's not happening.

The other issue that really bothers me is the 'underlying health conditions' problem - that fact that such a gigantic percentage of the population has so many underlying health conditions is really desperate for a country this wealthy. Granted, some conditions are simply from us dramatically extending average lifespans, and thereby increasing the chances for 'something' to go wrong in each of us, but that's just obvious wear and tear in most cases. Also many have genetic causes that can be reasonably classed as 'bad luck' illness, and just have to be fixed, or at least attempted upon. My grandad dropped dead of a heart-attack at 66 when I was six, but his wife died of breast cancer 15 years later, slowly and horribly, as did one her daughters 15 years ago, my mum's identical twin. My mum's still here, with no breast cancer, at 82 (on Tuesday!).

But much of the rest is just sheer unfitness developing into serious physical problems that make treatment so much more difficult, and long-term dependent. Like 16-stone men having to be turned by small female nurses - it's ridiculous. And you don't solve that problem by getting more large female nurses. So I think it's becoming more and more important that everyone does their level best to stay as healthy as possible, all the time, and actually put real effort into doing it. Incentivise if necessary, but also whip folks if necessary. We can only rely on vaccines if we're robust enough to cover the percentage it's not covering, and the healthier you are, the less chance you have of developing bad symptoms. You might still get them, but much of that is just too random to even think about until we all have our own genetic profile on a card. Imagine dating sites then! Just don't be unhealthy if you don't have to be.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Fjell on January 23, 2021, 06:26:58 pm
It is ludicrous to give a second dose to medical staff in their 20’s and 30’s before a first dose to someone in their 70’s. There is probably a thousand to one ratio between their chance of death.

The only reason younger staff were given it was on the chance of reducing transmission, not death. My son says all the people his age (early 20’s) had a very strong and prolonged reaction to the jab, and I think you can assume something is fizzing just fine. Our carer (25?) was sick for several days. None of our parents noticed a thing, so if anyone needs the second it’s the oldies I suspect.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 23, 2021, 10:15:57 pm
It's looking like a lack of Vitamin D again, especially with dark-skinned people. It's purely personal and anecdotal but I've been taking it for several years (with magnesium citrate) and haven't had so much as a cold since:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81419-w (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81419-w)

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jan/10/does-vitamin-d-combat-covid (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jan/10/does-vitamin-d-combat-covid)
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 23, 2021, 10:31:03 pm
Sounds like you need to get out for a walk.

Unfortunately ill health & exhaustion, from long hours at work, reduce your vitamin D uptake:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/9-things-that-can-undermine-your-vitamin-d-level
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: pwhole on January 23, 2021, 11:12:41 pm
Haha - if I'm not on my computer I'm out walking. But there's not much UV at this time of year - or indoors (or underground) any time of year - and it's a trivial expense at a fiver a bottle for no risk, and potential immunity from severe symptoms.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 23, 2021, 11:33:24 pm
Good call. Just ordered some online from Boots. It'll strengthen me old bones, if nothing else.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 24, 2021, 12:08:35 am
Provisional numbers of deaths are available from ONS for England & Wales in 2020 & they are about 76,000 more than last year (& the average for last 5 years - last year was lower than the average). This is about a 14% increase, compared to 3.5% increase in population over the same period.

The number of excess deaths at end of year (c.22,000) is much less than seen during first lockdown (c.54,000), as we would normally have more flu related at this time of year anyway.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Duck ditch on January 24, 2021, 07:55:13 am
Oh no.  just realised that the reason we are only vaccinating once is so that the figures look good.  It’s like the ppe.  A pair of gloves counted as two remember.  Ive been duped. 
Still doing reasonable on the vaccinations keep it up. 
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Tripod on January 24, 2021, 08:40:46 am
It is interesting to hear the government's line on delaying the second dose of vaccine - and the opposite view from the scientific and medical perspectives. Yes - the vaccination figures are good publicity but is it reasonable and is it effective?

I see that Professor Van-Tam is telling vaccinated people not to go out. Has been quite straightforward about the use and limitations of the vaccines from the start but this is too little to late yet again. One idiot in change of a vaccination centre said on television a few days ago "the old people are so grateful that they can go out again". That person ought to be struck off the professionals register or at least strongly disciplined.

At the most recent televised government Coronavirus briefing one spokesperson was defending the second dose delay, dismissing cautious reports from overseas and basically promoting the vaccine. Well - with a substantial shareholding in the company he would say that, wouldn't he? 

Statistically there should have been more reports of adverse reactions to vaccination but in the mass media there have been two (if I have that wrong it is still not a topic we hear about that way).

I have been told by a medic. that the mRNA given in the vaccine is 'all used up" in producing anti-bodies. Well, to my simple way of seeing things that represents an astounding level of precision. Fears regarding the possible, serious, long term effects of the vaccines include those involving the injected RNA staying in the body for life. 

I would like to subscribe to the idea that the development of the vaccines and the mass vaccination programme are a triumph for mankind and the answer to everything but, particularly feeling that we have been "played" by the government throughout the pandemic I find it very difficult.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 24, 2021, 09:22:18 am
Taking Tripod's points in turn:

I think the majority of genuine UK experts support the government's approach, albeit not uncritically. There is a small risk and there is some uncertainty (as there always is in medicine). However, the consensus is that that the risks outweigh the benefits *. Most of the reports of 'vaccine failure' after the first dose refer to people falling ill in the first few days after vaccination (ie before the vaccine has had time to work) or developing relatively mild disease rather than life-threatening disease. This seems to be the case in Israel who have produced the most data on this so far - overall, I think this supports the government position.

many old people have been isolating indoors since March (certainly around me) and haven't been out at all. After the vaccine, many are now sufficiently confident that they can now venture out for their daily exercise. I suspect this is what the person interviewed on television actually meant. This doesn't mean wild geriatric partying, more a small step towards normality.

I don't understand the point about spokespeople and shareholdings. It doesn't matter whether you give the vaccine doses three weeks or three months apart, everyone still gets two doses and the company makes just as much money (though a little more slowly).

There have been numerous reports of adverse reactions, especially to the Pfizer vaccine. Most have been mild UNLESS you are prone to anaphylaxis (still seems to be very rare but it explains the 15 minute post-vaccination observation period). The one caution comes from Norway where they have preliminary data suggesting that reactions that would be well-tolerated in healthy people may be too much for the very frail and elderly. I'd expect to see more on this in the next few weeks.

mRNA has a very short lifespan  in the body (ranging from minutes to, at most, a few days). It cannot interact with your DNA so cannot have longterm genetic effects. The idea that it can hang around for years causing harm is only slightly less ridiculous than the idea that the vaccine contains chips....


Global Moderator Comment Should read benefits outweigh the risks see Speleofish's correction in post below.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: PeteHall on January 24, 2021, 09:30:22 am
Quote
However, the consensus is that that the risks outweigh the benefits

From the context, I assume this is a typo and you suggest that the benefits outweigh the risks and from what I've read, with a dose of common sense, I agree. This seems to be one of few sensible decisions that the government has made recently...
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: mikem on January 24, 2021, 09:36:01 am
For comparison (not that we have any figures yet) - from Oxford uni report: "In the UK between 1997 and 2003 there were a total of 130 reports of anaphylaxis following ALL immunisations. Around 117 million doses of vaccines were given in the UK during this period. This means that the overall rate of anaphylaxis is around 1 in 900,000."

So with 5 million vaccinations done so far you'd expect 5 anaphylactic reactions, but they are vaccinating the most vulnerable first, so number will be higher.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Speleofish on January 24, 2021, 11:04:39 am
Ooops! Typo it is! Benefits outweigh risks. Should have had coffee before going onto internet.


Global Moderator Comment Added a note regarding the typo in the original post.
Title: Re: Covid 19
Post by: Laurie on January 24, 2021, 02:53:03 pm
I've noticed that one or two people on here seem to have a very cavalier approach to Covid deaths, either trying to minimise the absolute figure or hinting that the dying 'would have died anyway' because they were old/suffering co-morbidities/old AND suffering co-morbidities.

I really hope I'm not alone in thinking this is a shockingly callous attitude.
I had my first jab yesterday.
Too late for my lovely wife.
I probably didn't need it as I easily beat it back in April.
I just felt so guilty...

There is nothing to joke about over Covid.
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