Coronavirus

jon b

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Perhaps we should get a newspaper columnist to run the country.

Oh, hang on....
 

Kingsmere

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Dec 7, 2019
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325
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Rampant Rangers
Herd immunity may work for 95% of the population, some would be ill, some very ill probably a few unfortunate deaths but it's the rest you have to worry about. How do you cater for the vulnerable in herd immunity as the R rate would rise dramatically, just lock them away for another three months, maybe six with no contact with the outside world.
 

Kidology

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Herd immunity may work for 95% of the population, some would be ill, some very ill probably a few unfortunate deaths but it's the rest you have to worry about. How do you cater for the vulnerable in herd immunity as the R rate would rise dramatically, just lock them away for another three months, maybe six with no contact with the outside world.
You make a very valid point. Herd immunity is unlikely to be achievable in 6 months. It's more likely to build up over a much longer period of time, but it's impossible to say what that period will be as most major scientific analysis disagrees on the percentage of immunity we have already achieved, whether in the UK alone or worldwide. Rather than focusing on herd immunity it would surely make more sense to allow the most vulnerable (typically the elderly with other health conditions) to make their own decisions - in my view most of them are more than capable of making them and most of them have seen worse crises than Covid. Most of them realise they do not have an indefinite amount of time left on this earth, and most of them do not wish to remain indoors waiting for this crisis to pass, particularly when there is no guaranteed timeframe for that.

I am not a particular advocate of herd immunity, but I do feel that the current measures in place may be causing more damage than the virus itself. It is perfectly possible to argue that, because of the steps that have been taken to suppress the virus, without herd immunity more people will die long term than will die of the virus itself.

To give some examples, over the last few months, in excess of 3 million cancer screening appointments have been missed, child vaccination rates have fallen, suicide rates have increased, instances of domestic abuse have risen, and issues around mental health have become more prevalent. All these issues, and others like them, will have a long-term effect on life expectancy, with the poor and impoverished most likely to be affected. As an example, someone who rents a bedsit with little support is far more likely to be affected by the restrictions than a professional person living in their expansive house with their family around them. It is up for debate not only whether the effects of a lockdown and restrictions on daily life will eventually lead to more fatalities than the virus itself, but also whether the lives of younger people who may contribute positively to the economy are more valuable than an elderly person with comorbidities who may die from the virus.

It seems to me that there an awful lot of people who believe lockdown and/or suppression of the virus is more important than anything else in the world, but often those people are among the more fortunate whose lives have not been overly affected by lockdown, who still hold their jobs, who are mentally strong, who have a supportive family and friends network, and who have been able to move about freely in their nice house and garden. Those that live, for example. in a small flat in a tower block, who have lost their job because of the virus, who have little or no family, and are literally staring at four walls all day, appear to have been largely forgotten. The after effects of the lockdown will be felt for years to come and, as with most things in the developed world, it is the poor and lonely who will suffer most.
 

Pawn Of Prophecy

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Mar 6, 2020
Messages
246
You make a very valid point. Herd immunity is unlikely to be achievable in 6 months. It's more likely to build up over a much longer period of time, but it's impossible to say what that period will be as most major scientific analysis disagrees on the percentage of immunity we have already achieved, whether in the UK alone or worldwide. Rather than focusing on herd immunity it would surely make more sense to allow the most vulnerable (typically the elderly with other health conditions) to make their own decisions - in my view most of them are more than capable of making them and most of them have seen worse crises than Covid. Most of them realise they do not have an indefinite amount of time left on this earth, and most of them do not wish to remain indoors waiting for this crisis to pass, particularly when there is no guaranteed timeframe for that.

I am not a particular advocate of herd immunity, but I do feel that the current measures in place may be causing more damage than the virus itself. It is perfectly possible to argue that, because of the steps that have been taken to suppress the virus, without herd immunity more people will die long term than will die of the virus itself.

To give some examples, over the last few months, in excess of 3 million cancer screening appointments have been missed, child vaccination rates have fallen, suicide rates have increased, instances of domestic abuse have risen, and issues around mental health have become more prevalent. All these issues, and others like them, will have a long-term effect on life expectancy, with the poor and impoverished most likely to be affected. As an example, someone who rents a bedsit with little support is far more likely to be affected by the restrictions than a professional person living in their expansive house with their family around them. It is up for debate not only whether the effects of a lockdown and restrictions on daily life will eventually lead to more fatalities than the virus itself, but also whether the lives of younger people who may contribute positively to the economy are more valuable than an elderly person with comorbidities who may die from the virus.

It seems to me that there an awful lot of people who believe lockdown and/or suppression of the virus is more important than anything else in the world, but often those people are among the more fortunate whose lives have not been overly affected by lockdown, who still hold their jobs, who are mentally strong, who have a supportive family and friends network, and who have been able to move about freely in their nice house and garden. Those that live, for example. in a small flat in a tower block, who have lost their job because of the virus, who have little or no family, and are literally staring at four walls all day, appear to have been largely forgotten. The after effects of the lockdown will be felt for years to come and, as with most things in the developed world, it is the poor and lonely who will suffer most.
I agree with most of this.

I believe that the Government cannot carry on shutting things down when cases get bad and opening them up when things improve. For a start it will completely tank what is left of the economy. Secondly, as I believe is being proved now, the more you lockdown, the less likely it is that people obey the instructions.

As i go about my business (I'm in Tier 1) , I see lack of masks in places where they should be worn and no enforcement of that lack. Only in a Wetherspoons have I seen people turned away for lack of a mask. We can argue whether masks are effective or not, but the fact is it's the rules, and already many people are just not complying. That will only increase.

I was reading some figures published by the Government this morning and the vast majority of cases are not only in University towns, but in the University districts. If students had stayed at home and studied online, it seems that a lot of our current problems wouldn't be as bad.

Rules about the numbers of people in shops are just ignored. Kids get onto a bus with a mask and then take it off. Official figures show very low numbers of people fined for non- compliance. If you have a rule and you don't enforce it, you may as well not have the rule.

There is a groundswell starting to build about letting people make their own decisions on Covid and I think that this will increase. As we wind down the closures in the spring I think that will be the end of the lockdowns. The economy and society cannot afford to carry on with them.

In 6-9 months time I think that the NHS will be overrun, not be Covid, but by all of the other illnesses that Covid has prevented treatment of. When the history of Covid is written, it may conclude that in the long term the cure was worse than the disease.
 

jon b

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479
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Until a vaccine is available all choices of government action or inaction come with a hefty downside.

As I understand it, one of the problems with switching emphasis to protection of the economy is that this would inevitably result in a major increase in Covid patients in hospitals so NHS resources would still be massively diverted away from other health treatments.

Incredibly difficult choices for leaders to make. Even if we trusted their judgement.
 

Kingsmere

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A couple of weeks ago two items on the local news, Coronavirus cases have increased to 96 for the week. Next item the local University have reported 57 new cases in the last week, so around 60% of the cases related to the University.

Yesterday I went for two walks, during the day the unmasked over six people groups were all 70+. In the evening the unmasked over six people groups were all under 21.

Unmasked people always mostly seem to fall into these two categories.

I went away for a few days and all the above was reflected in that area as well. I went on a train and as it was during the day most of the passengers were O.A.P's, many boarded the train mask less and sat on the train mask less.

I have also found a reluctance for both the young and old to embrace track & trace, I'm told by shop workers they have the same response when asking customers in those age groups to sanitise and track & trace.
 

Kidology

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Barnet (when in Barnet), Truro City
As I understand it, one of the problems with switching emphasis to protection of the economy is that this would inevitably result in a major increase in Covid patients in hospitals
The evidence for this simply does not stack up.

Firstly, it has been some time since restrictions were considerably relaxed and yet, only recently, has there been an increase in hospital admissions. The Government's own figures, as another contributor has pointed out, indicate that the major reason for this has been students moving around the country to attend university. It is also likely that the return of some children to schools has caused an increase in admissions but what the Government and/or mainstream media has not pointed out is that positive tests, hospital admissions and deaths are all already levelling out, before the new tiered restrictions have been put in place. The evidence for this, again, is shown by the Government's own website which provides the data in commendable detail - https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/. Effectively what has been seen is a second ripple, not a second wave.

You can then add in additional factors. To begin with, it is sadly likely that the most vulnerable people have already succumbed to the virus. Secondly, there is undoubtedly a level of herd immunity within the population as a whole, although to what extent is arguable, and there is little evidence that those who have already had the virus can suffer again, or be a danger to others. Therefore, even those who were vulnerable originally and survived are highly unlikely to require hospital admission a second time. Next, the knowledge of the general public of who are in high-risk groups is now much greater, and people in those high-risk groups are much more likely to self-isolate and protect themselves than they were back in March, thereby effectively saving themselves from potential infection. And finally, the knowledge of the unaffected proportion of the population is also greater, meaning that they have a much greater chance of shielding the vulnerable. All in all, the chances of the exponential rises in admissions and deaths predicted by the Government's own specially selected health advisors seems to me to be very low, which is only in keeping with some of their previous erroneous analysis.
 

buncranaboy

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538
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You make a very valid point. Herd immunity is unlikely to be achievable in 6 months. It's more likely to build up over a much longer period of time, but it's impossible to say what that period will be as most major scientific analysis disagrees on the percentage of immunity we have already achieved, whether in the UK alone or worldwide. Rather than focusing on herd immunity it would surely make more sense to allow the most vulnerable (typically the elderly with other health conditions) to make their own decisions - in my view most of them are more than capable of making them and most of them have seen worse crises than Covid. Most of them realise they do not have an indefinite amount of time left on this earth, and most of them do not wish to remain indoors waiting for this crisis to pass, particularly when there is no guaranteed timeframe for that.

I am not a particular advocate of herd immunity, but I do feel that the current measures in place may be causing more damage than the virus itself. It is perfectly possible to argue that, because of the steps that have been taken to suppress the virus, without herd immunity more people will die long term than will die of the virus itself.

To give some examples, over the last few months, in excess of 3 million cancer screening appointments have been missed, child vaccination rates have fallen, suicide rates have increased, instances of domestic abuse have risen, and issues around mental health have become more prevalent. All these issues, and others like them, will have a long-term effect on life expectancy, with the poor and impoverished most likely to be affected. As an example, someone who rents a bedsit with little support is far more likely to be affected by the restrictions than a professional person living in their expansive house with their family around them. It is up for debate not only whether the effects of a lockdown and restrictions on daily life will eventually lead to more fatalities than the virus itself, but also whether the lives of younger people who may contribute positively to the economy are more valuable than an elderly person with comorbidities who may die from the virus.

It seems to me that there an awful lot of people who believe lockdown and/or suppression of the virus is more important than anything else in the world, but often those people are among the more fortunate whose lives have not been overly affected by lockdown, who still hold their jobs, who are mentally strong, who have a supportive family and friends network, and who have been able to move about freely in their nice house and garden. Those that live, for example. in a small flat in a tower block, who have lost their job because of the virus, who have little or no family, and are literally staring at four walls all day, appear to have been largely forgotten. The after effects of the lockdown will be felt for years to come and, as with most things in the developed world, it is the poor and lonely who will suffer most.
I also agree with much of what you say and add a couple of personal observations.
My mother is now a frail 87 but in reasonable health back in Donegal which is also in lockdown. She will hopefully be with us for a few years yet and would like to enjoy the time she has left. Two of my eight siblings live in Donegal so are able to see her and make sure she's okay. Other than that, she has seen nobody for months - she still has a circle of (very) elderly friends, all widows (!), who would meet up for bridge nights and meals out on a regular basis, all involving gin, but she hasn't seen them for ages. At the current rate of non-progress, there's a chance she won't see some of them again and if any of them pass, she won't be able to attend the funeral. She does enjoy a good funeral, does my mum.
Then there's Hallowe'en and Christmas/New Year when traditionally the family and her grandkids would descend on Buncrana and make her year. That looks unlikely in 2020.
She is utterly fed up and our fear is that with no end to the gloom in sight, she may give up on wanting to live because it's not worth getting up every morning to sit in an empty house all day, every day. She and her friends would rather live - not exactly "taking a chance" because everyone can see some logic in wearing a mask in certain situations and an element of social distancing thus adhering to common sense in the circumstances - while there still is time to do so. I dread the thought that I may not see her again.
I can't see where we are going with this strategy - lockdown for a few weeks to "slow the curve", then open up again and watch it rebound to where we currently stand ? Then do it all over again, fingers crossed all the time that "something will happen" ? Meantime, as the quoted post mentions, folk with other medical conditions are unattended to, millions risk losing their livelihoods, their futures and their sanity while the sole focus is on defeating a hidden danger that leaves most of its hosts largely unaffected. The current strategy risks too much.
By all means, protect the most vulnerable (such as my mum) as best as possible but they also need be able to live, not just survive.
On the other hand, she now doesn't have to get up so early for Sunday mass as it's live streamed and she "attends" via her newly-acquired laptop set up on the kitchen table. She still dresses for it though, coat and hat and all cos she can't be sure the priest can't see her, though she does miss the gossip sessions that occur out front afterwards
 

Lord Lucan

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584
As i go about my business (I'm in Tier 1) , I see lack of masks in places where they should be worn and no enforcement of that lack. Only in a Wetherspoons have I seen people turned away for lack of a mask. We can argue whether masks are effective or not, but the fact is it's the rules, and already many people are just not complying.
Actually, it isn't.
 

Steveb

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Herd immunity may turn out to be a myth. There's been cases of people getting this wretched thing twice, and as it's so new no one yet knows how long any immunity that can be achieved, even from a vaccine, might last.

I'm increasingly coming round to the view that as we have to live with covid so we cannot keep up an endless cycle of lockdown - ease restrictions - lockdown again.

But to keep things open and carry as near normal as possible does require a fast and effective track and trace system, with proper support (financial and practical) for people who need to spend time self isolating. It also requires us all to accept that measures such as to maintaining a safe distance from others (where possible), 'checking in' at locations, and wearing a face covering when required to do so are not overly onerous.
 

Lord Lucan

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But to keep things open and carry as near normal as possible does require a fast and effective track and trace system, with proper support (financial and practical) for people who need to spend time self isolating. It also requires us all to accept that measures such as to maintaining a safe distance from others (where possible), 'checking in' at locations, and wearing a face covering when required to do so are not overly onerous.
Agree with most of that, but what is a 'safe' distance ? The UK picked a keep- your-distance figure of 2m (later changed to 1m plus in England), other countries have gone with 1.5m and 1m. WHO recommended the latter, although logic might suggest 2m is the safest of the three but then, on that basis, wouldn't 3, 10, 20 metres etc etc be even safer ?

I find it quite laughable (in a serious way) that various places have markings etc with an accompanying message along the lines of "keeping you safe" but there is no consistency. The two major bus companies here have policies to "keep you safe" - one asks passengers to use a window seat and then an aisle seat on alternate rows; the other asks them to always use the window seats. Can't both be the way to keep you safe.
 

Chris1963

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Today's headline story in the Metro paper is about the increase in the number of non-Covid deaths between March and September this year;

Diabetes deaths - up by 86%
Prostrate cancer deaths - up by 53%
Parkinson's disease deaths - up by 79%
Breast cancer deaths - up by 47%
Bowel cancer deaths - up by 46%

And people still think lockdown is a good idea!
 

Steveb

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Today's headline story in the Metro paper is about the increase in the number of non-Covid deaths between March and September this year;

Diabetes deaths - up by 86%
Prostrate cancer deaths - up by 53%
Parkinson's disease deaths - up by 79%
Breast cancer deaths - up by 47%
Bowel cancer deaths - up by 46%

And people still think lockdown is a good idea!
Not so ... these are ONS figures for the numbers of deaths at home, as opposed to deaths in hospitals or hospices. If there's a conclusion to be drawn it's that Covid may be a factor in more people dying at home rather than in hospital.

There's no evidence of how many, if any, might have survived any longer had they gone into hospital. Also, bear in mind that percentage rises might look high but can be misleading if the actual numbers are small, and also that the list includes conditions, such as Parkinson's, which sufferers often live with for many years in a managed way.

That's not to say that Covid-related disruption to healthcare hasn't affected many people with other conditions.
 

007Dale

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Whilst it’s unfortunate for those areas impacted by tier 3, I think this regional approach is much better than a national lockdown.

Thankfully we remain at tier 1, but then we’ve had a general level of good compliance with the social distancing rules and aren’t over-run by university students.

Sadly for those in the North, their appear to be far more ‘covidiots’ willing to ruin it for others than their are in the home counties and the south
 

Steveb

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Our area of South Yorkshire is going into Tier 3 lockdown. I can only assume this means a temporary suspension of local football activities.

Local football has continued in Merseyside and Lancashire, and as far as I’m aware it’ll continue in Greater Manchester. I wouldn’t expect South Yorkshire to be any different. There may be some disruption to games that involve clubs travelling into or out of the region though.
 

Chris1963

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Local football has continued in Merseyside and Lancashire, and as far as I’m aware it’ll continue in Greater Manchester. I wouldn’t expect South Yorkshire to be any different. There may be some disruption to games that involve clubs travelling into or out of the region though.
It's behind closed doors though isn't it?
 

Steveb

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Whilst it’s unfortunate for those areas impacted by tier 3, I think this regional approach is much better than a national lockdown.

Thankfully we remain at tier 1, but then we’ve had a general level of good compliance with the social distancing rules and aren’t over-run by university students.

Sadly for those in the North, their appear to be far more ‘covidiots’ willing to ruin it for others than their are in the home counties and the south
The rest of the country is only a few weeks behind, and before long we'll have a national lockdown in all but name (which will at least allow the UK Government to claim there isn't one).

As for the difference in behaviour between north and south. From what I saw on a Saturday night in Brighton recently I'd put some money on that area moving up the tiers sooner rather than later.
 

leohoenig

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I may have this wrong, but it appears that the second wave is sweeping across Europe and none of the actions in various countries is really bringing it to a halt. Even if the Welsh fire break policy of effectively quarantining everyone for two weeks was to be effective and halted the rise in the principality, then surely a third wave would soon creep across the border from England and they would have to do it all again?
 

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