BBC: Coronavirus: UK lockdown solidarity 'starting to fray'

jtuk

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Sigh and double sign.

I have already been told and I've explained why I think it's wrong.

I'll try again.

The evidence suggests that if infection rates spiral upwards so will death rates. But we see the rise in infections before we see it in death rates.
Death rates won't spiral upwards though. The fear from covid is that it gets to the extremely vulnerable, which is why we've seen so many deaths in care homes. I'd like to think we've learned the lesson from that already, but nothing's certain with this government now - but if we have a peek here:


If this is indicating that approaching half of care homes have had covid already (this was from last month, so that percentage will have gone up, and doesn't take into account that some may have had covid but just the one case), then what do you think will happen if infection rates go up? Is covid going to kill everyone for a second time?
 
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talldave

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I think the intermediate measure of hospital admissions is a good one to consider too, it's clearly related to both more serious cases, and NHS capacity.
Agreed.

@AdamWW's assumption (sigh?) is that an increase in infections will ultimately lead to more deaths. That's all it is, an assumption.

It might be that since the most vulnerable are already dead, the ratio of infections to hospital admissions and to deaths will decline. There's no evidence either way, so it would seem strange to assume that one outcome prediction is necessarily the correct one.

And if the level of hospital admissions remains within levels the NHS can cope with, we don't need further panic and bonkers regulations.
 

Camden

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For the good of all? Aside from the forced cessation of basic personal liberties, that we were assured, many months ago would be for the shortest possible time, We're seeing tonnes of redundancies every week, massive economic damage and the worst recession in 300 years
I apologise on behalf of the virus, which apparently you were informed would have been and gone by now. I removed the last half of your post, as it's too wrong to repeat.

On the one hand you're lamenting this has gone on far longer than you say you were "assured", and on the other you propose behaviour that sees it's mass destructive presence lengthened.

The measures in place for the "shortest possible time" is what you have been having. It would be shorter if people behaved.
 

DavidB

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I apologise on behalf of the virus, which apparently you were informed would have been and gone by now. I removed the last half of your post, as it's too wrong to repeat.

On the one hand you're lamenting this has gone on far longer than you say you were "assured", and on the other you propose behaviour that sees it's mass destructive presence lengthened.

The measures in place for the "shortest possible time" is what you have been having. It would be shorter if people behaved.
The original justification for the restrictions was to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. That risk is not current - they NHS nw has plenty of spare capacity. The reason for restrictions since then have remained unclear, other than the vague 'eliminate the virus' which is not going to happen unless there is a vaccine, and even with one could take years.

As regards it being 'shorter if people behaved' - how exactly? If the spread of the virus is reduced then it will just take longer to spread and prolong the situation - the opposite of what you are claiming.
 

Camden

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It's almost as though that is Cummings' intention, isn't it?

It's interesting how all the discord goes back to him. Even leaving aside Putin's Brexit.
Is this a competition to see how many whacky conspiracy theories can be put in one post?

If so, I have a photo I swear is of a shoreside meeting between the loch ness monster and his cia handlers, taken shortly before the Scottish referendum result.
 

DavidB

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Is this a competition to see how many whacky conspiracy theories can be put in one post?

If so, I have a photo I swear is of a shoreside meeting between the loch ness monster and his cia handlers, taken shortly before the Scottish referendum result.
If you don't think that there is an agenda here to deflect the blame from the government and their stooges, and start people fighting amongst themselves (see also senior police making comments which are going to encourage vigilantism over mask wearing) then you've not been paying enough attention.
 

Yew

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I apologise on behalf of the virus, which apparently you were informed would have been and gone by now. I removed the last half of your post, as it's too wrong to repeat.

On the one hand you're lamenting this has gone on far longer than you say you were "assured", and on the other you propose behaviour that sees it's mass destructive presence lengthened.

The measures in place for the "shortest possible time" is what you have been having. It would be shorter if people behaved.
When the restrictions were brought in, they were specifically to stop the NHS being overwhelmed, Boris said it explicitly. And yet somehow we have slipped into this strange "not quite elimination, not quite herd immunity, fingers crossed for a vaccine" no-mans-land, that isn't backed by historical precedent or by scientific consensus.

The second half of my post is clearly backed up by the medical literature. Perhaps there was speculation of a disease that was much worse in the early days, but more evidence shows that it was clearlywrong
 

AdamWW

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I think the intermediate measure of hospital admissions is a good one to consider too, it's clearly related to both more serious cases, and NHS capacity.
Yes - and it will come through faster than death figures.

Death rates won't spiral upwards though. The fear from covid is that it gets to the extremely vulnerable, which is why we've seen so many deaths in care homes. I'd like to think we've learned the lesson from that already, but nothing's certain with this government now - but if we have a peek here:

If this is indicating that approaching half of care homes have had covid already (this was from last month, so that percentage will have gone up, and doesn't take into account that some may have had covid but just the one case), then what do you think will happen if infection rates go up? Is covid going to kill everyone for a second time?
I don't think we can be confident that deaths won't follow infections. (Not the same as saying they definitely will).

As I recall although a lot of deaths (~ half?) were in care homes, an awful lot weren't. And I don't think we can assume that in each care home with cases, that means everyone has had it and either survived or not.
I do not think we are set up at the moment in the UK in a good enough way to protect the vulnurable, many of whom are not in care homes and some live with the non-vulnurable (to the extent you really can divide the population into two categories like that).

And as someone pointed out, we can't assume that protection lasts long enough that if we let the non-vulnurable catch it, we will end up with herd immunity and the non-vulnurable can all come out.

@AdamWW's assumption (sigh?) is that an increase in infections will ultimately lead to more deaths. That's all it is, an assumption.

It might be that since the most vulnerable are already dead, the ratio of infections to hospital admissions and to deaths will decline. There's no evidence either way, so it would seem strange to assume that one outcome prediction is necessarily the correct one.

And if the level of hospital admissions remains within levels the NHS can cope with, we don't need further panic and bonkers regulations.
OK thanks - this is the sort of response I was looking for - here's a potential flaw in my reasoning.

You're right, it is an assumption, and I think the radio of infections to death will drop to some extent due to 'harvesting' (i.e. a proportion of the most susceptible have already died). And we don't know how many people have had this - it my be a lot more than we think.

OK let's assume there is no evidence either way that increasing infections will lead to increasing deaths (I don't think that's true), then it still seems quite a gamble to assume that it won't happen.

I would hope that scientists are indeed looking for evidence that for whatever reason (better treatment, fewer people still alive who are at risk, the virus mutating) that the death rate is dropping.

I'm not arguing that there definitely will be a "second wave" or that such a thing would cause a large number of deaths. But I think the likelihood is high enough that on the current evidence we shouldn't be risking it. There is no right or wrong answer and clearly carrying on as we are now has huge penalties too and there's no obvious answer to this.

But going back to the original statement, I was arguing against the logic "All we should care about is deaths and they are going down so there is no problem" which I think is false.
If you say "Deaths are going down and there is a good enough chance that if we let infections rise deaths won't rise significantly that we should risk it" - then the logic is fine.
It comes down to how likely you think it is that it will be OK and how you choose to trade that off against the penalties for doing what we're doing now.

I think on balance we should still be trying to contain it, but I don't insist that this is the only correct view.
 

AdamWW

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When the restrictions were brought in, they were specifically to stop the NHS being overwhelmed, Boris said it explicitly. And yet somehow we have slipped into this strange "not quite elimination, not quite herd immunity, fingers crossed for a vaccine" no-mans-land, that isn't backed by historical precedent or by scientific consensus.
Except....how do you tune your restrictions to the point where infections rise, but slowly enough for the health service to cope? Quite a fine balancing act I think, with something that has such a fast doubling time unconstrained. And we don't really know what effect different restrictions have.

I think if you were trying to do that you'd relax restrictions gradually, watching what happened as you did.

Which we have been doing.

We'll find out which strategy the government is going for if we get to the point where there is clear evidence of infections rising nationally and they have to decide what to do about it.

The fact that they want to end shielding suggests they don't want to let infections rise though.

Where that leaves us other than waiting for a treatment or vaccine I don't know.

If you don't think that there is an agenda here to deflect the blame from the government and their stooges, and start people fighting amongst themselves (see also senior police making comments which are going to encourage vigilantism over mask wearing) then you've not been paying enough attention.
Or you could go for the principle of "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"
 

MikeWM

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Or you could go for the principle of "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"
Generally wise, but not always. If you always apply that then you miss the times when it is actual malice, until it is too late to do anything about it.

I'm sorry to say that I don't believe it is stupidity anymore. There is something really quite nasty going on now.
 

DavidB

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Except....how do you tune your restrictions to the point where infections rise, but slowly enough for the health service to cope? Quite a fine balancing act I think, with something that has such a fast doubling time unconstrained. And we don't really know what effect different restrictions have.

I think if you were trying to do that you'd relax restrictions gradually, watching what happened as you did.

Which we have been doing.
Not really - it's been more a case of relax one restriction but bring in some different ones. Or claim that a new one (masks) is to allow a restriction in an existing one (distancing), but in practice keep both.

Generally wise, but not always. If you always apply that then you miss the times when it is actual malice, until it is too late to do anything about it.

I'm sorry to say that I don't believe it is stupidity anymore. There is something really quite nasty going on now.
Likwise - while I could certainly believe in incompetence for any one or two of the things done, it's far harder to believe given the number of examples now - this looks like a deliberate policy to deflect attention from the government by setting people against one another.
 

AdamWW

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Not really - it's been more a case of relax one restriction but bring in some different ones. Or claim that a new one (masks) is to allow a restriction in an existing one (distancing), but in practice keep both.
Apart from masks, in what other ways have restrictions been made stricter since the initial lockdown?
 

DavidB

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Apart from masks, in what other ways have restrictions been made stricter since the initial lockdown?
Isn't masks a pretty significant one? Especially as their scope has been increasing by increments - trains, then shops, now other venues. Then there's localised lockdowns where nobody is clear what they entail.

"let's return to normal by introducing a legally-backed obligation which makes normal social functioning very difficult, and use it to encourage vigilante behaviour"
 

Tetchytyke

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Is this a competition to see how many whacky conspiracy theories can be put in one post?
There is a clear agenda here. The new lockdown rules are targeting Muslim communities and were issued at 2131- about 15 minutes after sunset in the north of England. Of course Eid started at sunset yesterday. Matt Hancock went to great lengths to dog-whistle that it was these communities' fault that the restrictions have come in.

Dominic Cummings is many things- a "professional psychopath" according to David Cameron- but he is not incompetent and he is not stupid.

Or you could go for the principle of "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"
Dominic Cummings is not stupid. Boris is, yes, and Matt Hancock has the IQ of a potato. But Cummings isn't.

I'm sorry to say that I don't believe it is stupidity anymore. There is something really quite nasty going on now.
I do too.

Whether it's a huge conspiracy led by a man who spent many years in Russia without adequately explaining what he was doing there, who knows.

It could be just the government trying to divert attention away from the £1bn in PPE contracts handed out to shell companies, none of which have actually supplied any PPE. Getting us to bicker among ourselves is a great way to deflect attention.
 

DavidB

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It could be just the government trying to divert attention away from the £1bn in PPE contracts handed out to shell companies, none of which have actually supplied any PPE. Getting us to bicker among ourselves is a great way to deflect attention.
It could also be intended to deflect attention from the ecomonic crash which would have happened anyway due to the probable lack of any meaningful trade deals by the end of the year.
 

AdamWW

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Isn't masks a pretty significant one? Especially as their scope has been increasing by increments - trains, then shops, now other venues. Then there's localised lockdowns where nobody is clear what they entail.
Apart from masks (and I'm not saying that's not a big thing), nationally so far as I can see they have been going only in the direction of relaxing restrictions and seeing how much they can get away with.

Yes there have of course been local lockdowns.

It now seems that in England they think they have gone as far as they can now in opening things up. At least that's included being able to use public transport.
 

Bantamzen

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It's almost as though that is Cummings' intention, isn't it?

It's interesting how all the discord goes back to him. Even leaving aside Putin's Brexit.

Abandoning test, trace and isolate, which was working, for "herd immunity", then abandoning herd immunity for an economically destructive lockdown. Then ignoring his own lockdown causing great anger, and lots of people taking his lead and breaking it too. Then the stupid masks. Now this.

I wonder why a man who spent many years in Russia, without ever really explaining what he was doing there, might be at the root of so much discord?
Ah yes, Mr Cummings. It is curious that an "advisor" to the government seems so able to drive policy. I cannot help but wonder, what does he know about out glorious, Eatonian leaders?

Divide and conquer. Oldest trick in the book and we're falling for it like a mass of gullible fools.

There's only one direction we should be directing our anger and frustration, and that's at the people 'in charge' performing this increasingly bizarre and sinister social experiment on us.
That highlighted part of your quote is all we need to know.
 

Tetchytyke

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It could also be intended to deflect attention from the ecomonic crash which would have happened anyway due to the probable lack of any meaningful trade deals by the end of the year.
That'll come at Christmas.

Bradford is subject to measures because the infection rate has "shot up". It has gone from 35 cases per 100,000 people a fortnight to go to 45 cases per 100,000 people today. Bradford has one of the biggest testing schemes in the country. Back on 21 June, when Boris decided he would re-open the pubs, the infection rate was 72 per 100,000 people.

Ever feel like you're being had?
 

Yew

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That'll come at Christmas.

Bradford is subject to measures because the infection rate has "shot up". It has gone from 35 cases per 100,000 people a fortnight to go to 45 cases per 100,000 people today.

Ever feel like you're being had?
I'm not certain on the numbers, but given the massive extrapolations being made, that could be one or two extra cases in the surveillance testing, easily within the standard deviation of the measurement sample.
 

Huntergreed

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Ever feel like you're being had?
For the last four and a bit months, this is about all I've felt in terms of these restrictions.

Back in March I thought things would be normal by now, now there's still no end in sight (looks like November might no longer be possible with England rising) and it's having a serious effect on the mental health of myself and many other I know.
 

Tetchytyke

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I'm not certain on the numbers, but given the massive extrapolations being made, that could be one or two extra cases in the surveillance testing, easily within the standard deviation of the measurement sample.
The source for my figures is here, from the Huddersfield Examiner:


Testing capacity has gone up in recent weeks too.

As you say, it's well within a standard deviation.
 

MikeWM

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We're starting to see glimpses of what they want to be the permanent 'new normal' creeping through now too, which increases the divisions between those of us horrified at the concept and those who for some reason or other seem to think they're a good plan.

Only in the last couple of days we've had our idiot of a 'Health Secretary' saying all GP appointments should 'by default' be over the phone. Forever.

And the exciting and not-at-all-flawed idea that we'll need an 'appointment' to attend A&E before the end of the year.

At some point people will start to question what we've 'saved' the NHS *for*. Maybe that's part of the plan?
 

Yew

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Only in the last couple of days we've had our idiot of a 'Health Secretary' saying all GP appointments should 'by default' be over the phone. Forever.
Whilst I'm unsure of the idea of it being a default, I do feel that making NHS appointments available over the internet is a change for the better. Not personally, but I have numerous friends who have to take time off work to go for repeat prescrptions, routine verbal check ups, and things that could have been easily done remotely.
 

MikeWM

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For the last four and a bit months, this is about all I've felt in terms of these restrictions.

Back in March I thought things would be normal by now, now there's still no end in sight (looks like November might no longer be possible with England rising) and it's having a serious effect on the mental health of myself and many other I know.
Yep. At least in March you could profoundly disagree at the path taken but you could at least think it was incredibly misguided rather than malicious. I don't think it is logical now to think it is anything other than malicious. I'm not entirely sure where we're being taken, but I'm certain it isn't somewhere anyone should want to go. On such a beautiful sunny day (way too hot for my liking, mind!), it is nevertheless getting very dark out there :(
 

MikeWM

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Whilst I'm unsure of the idea of it being a default, I do feel that making NHS appointments available over the internet is a change for the better. Not personally, but I have numerous friends who have to take time off work to go for repeat prescrptions, routine verbal check ups, and things that could have been easily done remotely.
I sorta agree - I had an annual repeat prescription review last month, and it was definitely *easier* not having to go to the surgery to see the doctor for two minutes just so they could tick some boxes on the computer.

But on the other hand shouldn't the doctor have been looking at me and deciding if I actually still need the eczema medications I take, or whether things should be changed up?

Routine things are fine if they really are routine, but a good doctor should have the skills to spot something going wrong, possibly even before the patient notices. They're far less likely to be able do that over the phone when they can't see the patients demeanour, attitude, etc.
 

Silverlinky

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The source for my figures is here, from the Huddersfield Examiner:


Testing capacity has gone up in recent weeks too.

As you say, it's well within a standard deviation.
The figures shown on the interactive map attached to the Gov.uk website show numbers are a lot higher than that in the Bradford "area"......I suppose it depends on what each element calls "Bradford".....

The number of new cases in the Bradford area are well over 100, and its one of a very few places in the UK which is the darker shade of blue....for example "Shearbridge and University" has 32 cases on its own.

Look at the map and see Leeds right next door......very low number of cases there. Explains why Bradford is in and Leeds is out. Similarly look at Manchester and compare to Liverpool. Its easy to see why the areas announced yesterday are now more restricted.

 

Senex

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Ah yes, Mr Cummings. It is curious that an "advisor" to the government seems so able to drive policy. I cannot help but wonder, what does he know about out glorious, Eatonian leaders?
Tsar Boris's very own Rasputin?
 

NorthOxonian

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The figures shown on the interactive map attached to the Gov.uk website show numbers are a lot higher than that in the Bradford "area"......I suppose it depends on what each element calls "Bradford".....

The number of new cases in the Bradford area are well over 100, and its one of a very few places in the UK which is the darker shade of blue....for example "Shearbridge and University" has 32 cases on its own.

Look at the map and see Leeds right next door......very low number of cases there. Explains why Bradford is in and Leeds is out. Similarly look at Manchester and compare to Liverpool. Its easy to see why the areas announced yesterday are now more restricted.

The definition used is presumably the metropolitan borough - so any figure will also include the fairly large cluster of cases in Keighley, and the smaller one to the east of the city (except for the few cases straying into Pudsey).

And it's worth noting that if figures are suppressed, there could still be 0, 1, or 2 cases. While in many areas these MSOAs will register 0 cases, in Bradford I suspect it's more 1 and 2. The total will therefore be slightly higher than if you add up all the stated figures individually.

Just as a reference point - I've heard 50 per 100k mentioned as a tipping point a few times. This is equivalent to ~3.5 cases per MSOA, so almost anywhere in even the lightest shade of blue is above this threshold.
 

al78

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Agreed.

@AdamWW's assumption (sigh?) is that an increase in infections will ultimately lead to more deaths. That's all it is, an assumption.

It might be that since the most vulnerable are already dead, the ratio of infections to hospital admissions and to deaths will decline.
Unlikely anywhere near the number of the most vulnerable are already dead. There have been about 45,000 deaths at least partially attributed to COVID. There are almost 8.8 million people over 70 (the most vulnerable age group) in the UK. Plenty more fragile people for the virus to propagate and kill. That is not including the remainder of people who are younger but have underlying health conditions that makes them vulnerable.

The UK has a lot of people who aren't in great health. That is why the NHS is expensive to fund, and not matter how much is spent on it, it never seems to be enough.
 

Silverlinky

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There are a great many old people "still left"......but the majority of those who have died were old and had underlying health conditions....maybe its only the healthy old who are left?!
 

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