Author Topic: Covid 19  (Read 5516 times)


Offline JasonC

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2020, 11:03:33 pm »
I confess I haven't read every word of this post, but relying on herd immunity strikes me as a big gamble.
First, it seems open to doubt that getting infected gives you immunity, and if so for how long.
Second, if you lifted lockdown now, you would have to turn all Covid-infected patients away from hospitals and tell them to get better or die at home.  Why?  So that hospitals wouldn't be utterly overwhelmed instead of almost so as they are now.
If you were running the country, how much would you like to sell that strategy?

It might result in a death toll not much worse than we're going to get now, equally it might be very much worse. 

Offline Fjell

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 11:33:57 pm »
I think he is advocating a partial lifting. Locking up the vulnerable and letting younger people get on with it - very few of whom will go to hospital.
I think it is highly unlikely 8 million kids are going to skip the next whole of the next academic year until the earliest date for a vaccine. So something is going to happen.
I have been locked up with a medical student for a month and get this in my ear all the time. Although I suspect it is more to do with wanting to go climbing.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 11:42:48 pm by Fjell »

Offline pwhole

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2020, 12:27:48 am »
This does seem to make sense from a purely rational perspective, as herd immunity to many viruses is obviously how we've got this far as a species - but there are plenty of viruses out there, like HIV, that we've never acquired immunity to, nor developed a vaccine for. Sure, there are drugs to manage the symptoms once you've got it, but you can't guarantee you won't get it. We may acquire immunity to HIV eventually, but then it's quite difficult to catch HIV, relatively, compared to this coronavirus, so maybe not. There's also the emotional/spiritual and practical impact of many, many people dying very rapidly, which most of us are not used to, and may overpower the efforts of many individuals to 'rationalise' the situation.

The big problem is our population spread - the older age groups, at least in the developed world, are huge, and so the likely outcome of his scenario is massive death tools in that age group, if they have the 'Group A' weaknesses. They are also a comparatively wealthy generation compared to the ones below them, though clearly not evenly spread in some areas, so large death tolls may have some economic re-distributive effects not mentioned here. Like big houses becoming available.

One other very important issue here that I haven't heard discussed anywhere yet is that of sex. As in, when will the general population get to do it again? At the moment, the only people who can practically, safely (and, by implication at present, quasi-legally) have sex are those who already live together and have clearly also committed to enduring the lockdown together (haha - that wasn't in the wedding vows!). No-one else is 'allowed' to meet, and if they do, certainly not close enough to have sex with each other. If those people already living together are heterosexual and contemplating reproducing together in the near future, they may be reconsidering their plans. Everyone else can forget about it.

Obviously a proportion of babies born under regular circumstances will have been unplanned, or possibly even as a result of a 'one-off' encounter with a non-permanent partner or total stranger - it does happen. Or it did. So if we have a situation with an increasing population of older people and a rapidly decreasing stock of younger people to replace them, which has been happening even before the virus, this will make matters a lot worse. There may well be a 'baby boom' after all this is over, as all the younger people start having sex again, but that will be years down the line - for one thing, folks may be far more afraid of a one-night stand that they used to be. Or they may be far better with contraception in future, to avoid catching the new virus now - though ironically (I'm guessing!) kissing would be far more likely to give you Covid-19 than penetration, with or without a condom.

It's an interesting, but rather difficult conundrum. The author seems to to be semi-advocating letting them at it, though preventing an imminent population shortage isn't explicitly stated as one of the objectives. Maybe reading between the lines it is.

Offline Speleofish

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2020, 07:06:28 am »
It's quite a well-reasoned document. I think the key questions are how many people have actually had the disease, and does that give you immunity (even if it's fairly short-lived). Most attempts to study this have used commercial, largely discredited antibody tests and have concluded very few people have actually had it. There are some new tests available which do work and should give a clearer idea of real numbers. Assuming surviving the disease gives some immunity but the percentage of the population exposed is low, ending lockdown for the more vulnerable would be very risky. If it's higher than suspected, ending lockdown is a less daunting proposition. Interestingly, in the latter case countries that were hardest hit the first time around may have a smaller second wave than countries which seemed to control the initial outbreak.
Another important consideration is vaccination. The Oxford vaccine group are starting their trial later this week and are reasonably optimistic. If vaccines are shown to work, there will be a temptation to continue lockdown for the vulnerable until they can be vaccinated. However, the economic costs are probably too great to continue lockdown for everyone. If vaccines don't work, the reality is that we will have to endure the full effects of the pandemic and develop herd immunity the old-fashioned way. This will, inevitably, lead to a significant increase in deaths.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2020, 09:39:07 am »
This does seem to make sense from a purely rational perspective, as herd immunity to many viruses is obviously how we've got this far as a species - but there are plenty of viruses out there, like HIV, that we've never acquired immunity to, nor developed a vaccine for. Sure, there are drugs to manage the symptoms once you've got it, but you can't guarantee you won't get it. We may acquire immunity to HIV eventually, but then it's quite difficult to catch HIV, relatively, compared to this coronavirus, so maybe not. There's also the emotional/spiritual and practical impact of many, many people dying very rapidly, which most of us are not used to, and may overpower the efforts of many individuals to 'rationalise' the situation.

The big problem is our population spread - the older age groups, at least in the developed world, are huge, and so the likely outcome of his scenario is massive death tools in that age group, if they have the 'Group A' weaknesses. They are also a comparatively wealthy generation compared to the ones below them, though clearly not evenly spread in some areas, so large death tolls may have some economic re-distributive effects not mentioned here. Like big houses becoming available.

One other very important issue here that I haven't heard discussed anywhere yet is that of sex. As in, when will the general population get to do it again? At the moment, the only people who can practically, safely (and, by implication at present, quasi-legally) have sex are those who already live together and have clearly also committed to enduring the lockdown together (haha - that wasn't in the wedding vows!). No-one else is 'allowed' to meet, and if they do, certainly not close enough to have sex with each other. If those people already living together are heterosexual and contemplating reproducing together in the near future, they may be reconsidering their plans. Everyone else can forget about it.

Obviously a proportion of babies born under regular circumstances will have been unplanned, or possibly even as a result of a 'one-off' encounter with a non-permanent partner or total stranger - it does happen. Or it did. So if we have a situation with an increasing population of older people and a rapidly decreasing stock of younger people to replace them, which has been happening even before the virus, this will make matters a lot worse. There may well be a 'baby boom' after all this is over, as all the younger people start having sex again, but that will be years down the line - for one thing, folks may be far more afraid of a one-night stand that they used to be. Or they may be far better with contraception in future, to avoid catching the new virus now - though ironically (I'm guessing!) kissing would be far more likely to give you Covid-19 than penetration, with or without a condom.

It's an interesting, but rather difficult conundrum. The author seems to to be semi-advocating letting them at it, though preventing an imminent population shortage isn't explicitly stated as one of the objectives. Maybe reading between the lines it is.

A population collapse is what the planet needs. It is one of the reasons the virus can spread so easily - most of us live in urban connurbations. 

Offline royfellows

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2020, 09:55:57 am »
PW makes interesting reference to the effect of all this on sexual relationships.

For a society to maintain its numbers each female needs to produce 2.1 children. I understand that in 2018 this number was 1.7. The pandemic is going to make this worse.

Now relating this to the way our economy, and indeed that of other countries runs, there is a dependency in a small annual growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in effect its a Ponzi scheme! So how would this sit with population depletion?
First to go would be construction with a corresponding fall in the housing market, next manufacturing.... best not to think about it.
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Offline AR

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2020, 10:08:13 am »
Yes, the human population of the planet is in dire need of reduction. I recall Sir David Attenborough raised this several years ago, and made the point that we could either manage this by controlling our own reproduction, or we would end up having conflict, famine and disease doing it to us in an uncontrolled manner. The current pandemic should be a wake-up call to make us realise that we can't carry on in the way we have been, and that mass rapid international travel has a hidden cost to it. Covid-19 has a relatively low morbidity rate but is highly infectious; what would happen globally if something half as infectious but ten times more lethal were to emerge?

As for HIV immunity, there is something out there that gives partial or full immunity but it's a genetic mutation rather than an antibody, more prevalent in European populations as it's also effective against bubonic plague. It may have originated in Northern Europe at some point and hence has become more widespread through centuries of natural selection in plague outbreaks - IIRC it's reckoned that about 1% of the population have the double copy of the gene that effectively makes them immune to HIV and plague.
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Offline andrewmc

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2020, 10:13:57 am »
People have been saying the Earth is overpopulated for 300 years or more and it has never (yet) been true.

People live in densely populated urban conurbations because life is better in cities than in the country (in general). Even in developing countries, working in sweatshops six days a week is better than subsistence farming. If you reduce the population, people will continue to live in the same densities (once a new equilibrium forms).

Offline Alex

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2020, 10:50:44 am »
People have been saying the Earth is overpopulated for 300 years or more and it has never (yet) been true.

People live in densely populated urban conurbations because life is better in cities than in the country (in general). Even in developing countries, working in sweatshops six days a week is better than subsistence farming. If you reduce the population, people will continue to live in the same densities (once a new equilibrium forms).

I did a very fag-packet calculation based on a place like New York. Being in America, I make the assumption there was bugger all controls, so everyone is infected as its a dense urban population. Currently the city of New York has 8.4 million and currently their death tole stands at 14,604, which is almost as many as the UK combined already!

Now if we were to assume they were miraculously not going to have any more deaths than the least amount we could expect, assuming 70% of us get it in the UK is worked out:

Pop of UK roughly 70 million so 70 / 8.4 = 8.333 which is the ratio. If we multiply the death rate of 14,604 (14,604 * 8.333) = 121,695 deaths.
Okay you can then factor in about 70% infection rate (as I am assuming everyone has gotten it in Newyork, but its widely assumed only 70% will get it in the UK) meaning 85189 deaths(121,695 * 0.7) deaths.

That is best case scenario as it's based on a lot of assumptions, we know more are going to die in New york, so I would say we are looking at at least 100k without controls, 200k worse case, which is in-line with gov projections and this is assuming everyone has gotten it.

It could be even worse because in New York we only know for certain 10% have it (they now do have a lockdown), so the death toll at 100% infected would be 10 times the amount. For the Uk taking the worse figure of 200k from earlier with 100% infection rate, could mean we could expect 2 million deaths (200k (for 10%) x 10).

So in-conclusion it could be anywhere between 85k to 2 million! I can see why the government does not want to release lock-down. We need to know that crucial infection ratio.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2020, 11:12:41 am by Alex »
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2020, 11:07:21 am »
People live in densely populated urban conurbations because life is better in cities than in the country

Eh?   :shrug:

Online Laurie

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2020, 11:10:01 am »
My wife and I lived a mile outside a small village.
It didn't save her.
I also caught it but survived.
MNRC

Offline droid

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2020, 12:06:24 pm »
Those stating there needs to be a cull of humans mean someone else, not themselves

Just saying.
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Offline gingerlycolors

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2020, 12:57:25 pm »
Population needs to be managed, the planet cannot sustain a growing population forever. The only country to have tried to manage it's population is China where until recently they had their "One Child" policy which was brutally enforced but now they allow couples to have two children nowadays.  However China is also the source of the current COVID-19 outbreak as it was with SARS in 2003.  This is due to their lack of animal welfare laws with live animals of all sorts being sold in "wet markets" for food.
In 1918 the H1N1 Flu Pandemic started when the virus jumped species from a pig farm in Kansas and infected some soldiers at a nearby barracks.  As America had entered the WW1 the previous year the soldiers were posted to Europe and took the influenza with them.  Reporting on the flu was restricted in both Britain and it's allies and Germany and their allies due to the wartime censorship to avoid eroding public morale but it was widely reported in Spain which was neutral hence the name "Spanish Flu" even though they weren't responsible for it.
I remember the 2001 Foot & Mouth epidemic which shut down our countryside and curtailed outdoor activities including caving.  I never wanted to see anything like that again and now we have something many times as worse.
It is believed that the current COVID-19 outbreak originated in horseshoe bats taken from a cave in China for research.  Bats are also sold for food in wet markets and the virus may have jumped from bats to other animals before infecting humans.  Bats do host a variety of viruses including coronaviruses but are immune due to their high metabolism which they require for flight.  This worries me as many people will see bats as a scapegoat for the current pandemic which is not only killing thousands of people but also trashing our economy and our freedoms and what we have taken for granted in our daily lives.  This is going to be no excuse to go round persecuting bats.  What is going to be needed is a better attitude to animal welfare and a move away from intensive farming of animals, especially pigs and poultry which are often factory farmed.

Offline Ed

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2020, 01:06:02 pm »
"viewpoint of a Christian Libertarian" from the USofA - say all you need to know about the blog

Save anyone else reading this tripe

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2020, 01:11:51 pm »
People live in densely populated urban conurbations because life is better in cities than in the country

Eh?   :shrug:

Grotesque oversimplification, I will agree, and many (particularly in richer countries) are much happier away from urban areas. But 55% of the world's population live in urban areas which take up a much smaller fraction of the Earth's surface. This fraction is increasing. Why do people flock to cities? Mostly, I think, because there are jobs - and jobs give you a 'better life' (or at least the hope of one).

Offline Alex

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2020, 01:30:27 pm »
My wife and I lived a mile outside a small village.
It didn't save her.
I also caught it but survived.

Really sorry to hear this, so sorry for your loss.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2020, 02:54:27 pm »
Those stating there needs to be a cull of humans mean someone else, not themselves

Just saying.
I don't disagree. We do need fewer humans to save the planet but by birth control.
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Offline crickleymal

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2020, 02:55:39 pm »
My wife and I lived a mile outside a small village.
It didn't save her.
I also caught it but survived.

Really sorry to hear this, so sorry for your loss.
So sorry to read this. My sincere condolences for what they're worth.
Malc
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Offline mikem

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2020, 04:56:08 pm »
I do wonder if the Asian populations have some immunity to covid19, as all are reporting far lower death rates than Europe. Wuhan, being a big industrial area, would have had lots of immigrant workers, so would need to know who actually succumbed & who survived the outbreak. It will also have had far more deaths than reported, as many will have never made it to hospital.

Offline SamT

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2020, 10:32:36 pm »
My wife and I lived a mile outside a small village.
It didn't save her.
I also caught it but survived.

Hi Laurie, I just now notice that you mentioned this on another thread with no response.  So sorry to hear that and my sincere condolences. 

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2020, 10:55:20 pm »
My wife and I lived a mile outside a small village.
It didn't save her.
I also caught it but survived.

Hello Laurie,  I have never met you but I like and appreciate your contributions to UKC.  I am very sorry to hear your loss and hope that you have good friends around you. I would hope that UKC & the wider caving community will be here for you if only to chat if you want it. Condolences.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life waiting for us.

Online Roger W

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2020, 11:05:53 pm »
 I'll echo that, Laurie.

We talk about this wretched virus and its effects, but don't really think about the people who actually suffer.

It's hard to know what to say, but you have my deepest sympathy.

As Judi says, we are here for you, if only to chat.

Roger
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Offline Speleofish

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2020, 04:49:09 am »
Dear Laurie,
Judi Durber and Roger W have expressed it better than I can.
I'm very sorry.
 

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2020, 08:55:35 am »
Hello Laurie, have also sent a PM, however will repeat here, I'm sure everyone on UKC sends their condolences and very best wishes. 

Indeed Roger & Judi said it well, the community is here to support you if you need us.

Take care, Jane xx

 

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