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

LAX54

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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.
But being cruel .....how many old people are simply kept alive due to drugs / medication, and have no quality of life ? as late as the 80's to reach 90 would have been rare
 
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Huntergreed

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But being cruel .....how many old people are simply kept alive due to drugs / medication, and have no quality of life ? as late as the 80's to reach 90 would have been rare
I suppose that's one of the big questions with this whole thing, how much is a life worth? Regardless of the standard of living or quality of that life, is it worth closing down the economy and losing our livelihoods to extend the lives of those in the vulnerable category (mainly 80+ or those with underlying conditions).

The current public and government view seems to be that yes, it is worth it and we must continue by all means to do so.
 

talldave

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I suppose that's one of the big questions with this whole thing, how much is a life worth? Regardless of the standard of living or quality of that life, is it worth closing down the economy and losing our livelihoods to extend the lives of those in the vulnerable category (mainly 80+ or those with underlying conditions).

The current public and government view seems to be that yes, it is worth it and we must continue by all means to do so.
Although the driver for lockdown was to protect the NHS so that it could cope with everyone who needed admitting. We subsequently seem to have changed tack towards elimination, which is impossible. Why not stick to protecting the NHS as a tangible target?
 

Huntergreed

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Although the driver for lockdown was to protect the NHS so that it could cope with everyone who needed admitting. We subsequently seem to have changed tack towards elimination, which is impossible. Why not stick to protecting the NHS as a tangible target?
I agree.

The original goal of the lockdown was to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, and this was achieved well in April after the peak. After that, the government have been fumbling about, looking for excuses to prolong restrictions, continue distancing, and in some cases, impose more restrictions (masks).

I'm not advocating a complete return to normal, but at the same time it's extremely unlikely a group of 20-30 year olds having a night out in a pub/club with no distancing and then catching the virus is going to land one of them in hospital or, worse, in a morgue. All sensible risk perception has gone out the window and the government have, effectively, made it illegal to take any risks whatsoever just to get statistics down and 'look good'.
 

AdamWW

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I agree.

The original goal of the lockdown was to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, and this was achieved well in April after the peak. After that, the government have been fumbling about, looking for excuses to prolong restrictions, continue distancing, and in some cases, impose more restrictions (masks).

I'm not advocating a complete return to normal, but at the same time it's extremely unlikely a group of 20-30 year olds having a night out in a pub/club with no distancing and then catching the virus is going to land one of them in hospital or, worse, in a morgue. All sensible risk perception has gone out the window and the government have, effectively, made it illegal to take any risks whatsoever just to get statistics down and 'look good'.
So the idea is that rather than trying to keep infection rates down, we allow them to get to the point where the NHS can just cope, letting us go back closer to normality?

How do we do this?

Infection rates can go down, stay steady, or go up.

Let's say at the moment they are still staying steady nationally (they may be starting to go up). So we are at a steady state where the NHS is coping.
So the NHS has spare capacity, and we could open things up more. Infections will then rise. At some point we decide that's enough because any more and the NHS will struggle.
So what do we do then? Go back to the restrictions that kept levels constant? Assuming people will comply when they are brought in again. And assuming we put them in fast enough, because once infections start to rise they go up fast.
And what have we gained? A period of relaxed restrictions that then had to stop.

Now maybe of course my assumption that this will happen is wrong. We could be building up immunity fast. But if so, why aren't infection levels dropping?

Maybe we're getting better at treating it or for some reason it's becoming less serious. Well fine, but that effectively means the NHS has more capacity but following the logic above, it will still run out at some point as we relax things unless there has been a very big change.

So I think it's really not straightforward.

As for your group of youths...the government isn't trying to keep them apart because one of them might die, it's because you can't let an infection sweep through one particular age without it affecting other people.
 

PHILIPE

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The details I would like to see announced relating to the severity of confirmed cases, i.e.

(1) Numbers of people admitted to hospital
(2) Numbers of people self isolating at home
 
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trebor79

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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.
I can't be the only person who thought "Uh huh, and if you get your way in a couple of years that service can be offshored to somewhere cheaper". Maybe not even a qualified doctor, it's quite easy to see how they could design a triage a bit like 111, where you only get your virtual appointment with a doctor perhaps on the other side of the world if someone following a script decides that's what is needed.
 

Enthusiast

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In my book this is an absolute certainty unless there's a miracle with one of the vaccines, and so I think people need to start mentally preparing themselves for it. It might be a good idea if the Government do something themselves, such as a campaign that people should celebrate a family Christmas 2020 at Easter 2021 instead (I know the religious connotation is rather different, but it isn't actually a religious festival to most people), as I think there's rather more chance of a vaccine being ready by then.
I think the government needs to start preparing themselves for how they hope they will enforce it.
The only figures that really matter in all this are the number of hospital admissions and the number of patients on ventilators. Yesterday these figures were 139 and 87 respectively.
Quite frankly it's absolutely preposterous that the country should be in such a state of disarray to prevent the spread of a disease that has hospitalised so few people. England alone has >140,000 hospital beds. So a daily uptake of one in a thousand of those beds (bearing in mind that most elective "luxury" services such as knee and hip replacements have been temporarily abandoned).
It now seems that in England they think they have gone as far as they can now in opening things up.
Then God Save Us. Large numbers of industries are not functioning properly; the DVLA is all but defunct for anything other than online applications; people are having to cancel their travel arrangements because they cannot get a passport; nine million people are having their wages paid by the taxpayer (who are rapidly decreasing in number); no sporting events can have a live audience; buses are running around only able to accommodate about 30% of their normal capacity; GP surgeries are as good as closed; many pubs and restaurants (those that survived the lockdown, that is) are operating at hugely reduced capacity. If this is as far as we can go, we might as well all turn our toes up and just leave the government to govern themselves.
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.
Quite agree. But Mr Hancock was suggesting that face to face consultations would only be available "when there was a clear clinical need." Next thing the service will be farmed out to a "GP" service overseas (which could be staffed by people in a call centre reading from a script) and the GPs in the UK should be careful what they wish for as their £100k a year clearing house employment will be gone. Any health system which does not provide face to face appointments with primary carers is not worth the name.

Quite honestly I don't know what the government's aim now is with this fiasco. It would be nice to know. They are imposing quarantine for travellers from places where there are virtually no infections; they are reimposing restrictions in places where the infection rate is far lower than when those restrictions were lifted; they are enforcing face coverings which pose far more risk than they prevent; they imposing restrictions by diktat and with no notice. The list is endless. I see extreme problems arising in this country both economically and socially and I don't know whether they realise it. The virus will not stop spreading and the sooner that is accepted the better.
 

takno

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I can't be the only person who thought "Uh huh, and if you get your way in a couple of years that service can be offshored to somewhere cheaper". Maybe not even a qualified doctor, it's quite easy to see how they could design a triage a bit like 111, where you only get your virtual appointment with a doctor perhaps on the other side of the world if someone following a script decides that's what is needed.
It's quite possible that for half of appointments that would do the job. If it moves us away from a system where you have to wake up by 8 to get an appointment at all then it might be progress
 

trebor79

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Quite agree. But Mr Hancock was suggesting that face to face consultations would only be available "when there was a clear clinical need." Next thing the service will be farmed out to a "GP" service overseas (which could be staffed by people in a call centre reading from a script) and the GPs in the UK should be careful what they wish for as their £100k a year clearing house employment will be gone. Any health system which does not provide face to face appointments with primary carers is not worth the name.

Quite honestly I don't know what the government's aim now is with this fiasco. It would be nice to know. They are imposing quarantine for travellers from places where there are virtually no infections; they are reimposing restrictions in places where the infection rate is far lower than when those restrictions were lifted; they are enforcing face coverings which pose far more risk than they prevent; they imposing restrictions by diktat and with no notice. The list is endless. I see extreme problems arising in this country both economically and socially and I don't know whether they realise it. The virus will not stop spreading and the sooner that is accepted the better.
Agree with everything you've written here. My big fear now is no proper schooling come September. That will be a national disaster.
 

talldave

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So the idea is that rather than trying to keep infection rates down, we allow them to get to the point where the NHS can just cope, letting us go back closer to normality?

How do we do this?

Infection rates can go down, stay steady, or go up.

Let's say at the moment they are still staying steady nationally (they may be starting to go up). So we are at a steady state where the NHS is coping.
So the NHS has spare capacity, and we could open things up more. Infections will then rise. At some point we decide that's enough because any more and the NHS will struggle.
So what do we do then? Go back to the restrictions that kept levels constant? Assuming people will comply when they are brought in again. And assuming we put them in fast enough, because once infections start to rise they go up fast.
And what have we gained? A period of relaxed restrictions that then had to stop.

Now maybe of course my assumption that this will happen is wrong. We could be building up immunity fast. But if so, why aren't infection levels dropping?

Maybe we're getting better at treating it or for some reason it's becoming less serious. Well fine, but that effectively means the NHS has more capacity but following the logic above, it will still run out at some point as we relax things unless there has been a very big change.

So I think it's really not straightforward.

As for your group of youths...the government isn't trying to keep them apart because one of them might die, it's because you can't let an infection sweep through one particular age without it affecting other people.
You appear to assume that infection = hospital admission. Why?
 

Puffing Devil

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Dominic Cummings undermined lockdown enforcement, says ex-Durham police chief

Grauniad
Durham’s former chief constable has warned that Dominic Cummings’ lockdown behaviour has made it more difficult for officers to enforce the rules and has been used by some as an excuse for law-breaking.

Mike Barton said the decision by the prime minister’s chief aide to drive to Durham at the height of the coronavirus pandemic had “damaged trust in the government and in the rules”.
No real surprise there, then.
 

Bletchleyite

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All the partial liftings of restrictions to date have had no effect on the falling death rate. It logically follows that if we drop all restrictions this will have little effect on the falling death rate either.
It hasn't had long enough. Deaths typically lag cases by 3-4 weeks. I'd predict they will level out soon, they sort of already are.
 

Bantamzen

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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. 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?
As someone living in Bradford do I feel like I'm being had? Hell yeah!

To put those numbers into context, we have gone from 0.03% of the cities 535,000+ residents catching the virus to 0.04%. Its even more galling when you look at the official data to see a 7 day average currently at 34.3 cases per day. At this rate we'll all be dead in Bradford within around 100 years...
 

43066

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The virus will not stop spreading and the sooner that is accepted the better.
Indeed.

As I understood it the initial objective was “flatten the curve” etc. That was seemingly achieved, so are we now aiming for an “elimination” strategy? I see Boris Johnson has today threatened another national lockdown. Utter, utter madness.

I’m increasingly of the view that we should continue opening up, come what may, resign ourselves to the fact that there will be more infections (and sadly more deaths), and equip the NHS to cope as best we can. Unless a vaccine appears (and it might not) all we are doing is trashing the economy and delaying the inevitable.

It’s unfortunately going to be a case of taking the least worse option. What we *cannot* do is continue as we are, with the country in a state of paralysis, or even worse go back into a full national lockdown.
 

Ianno87

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It's quite possible that for half of appointments that would do the job. If it moves us away from a system where you have to wake up by 8 to get an appointment at all then it might be progress
I agree. Anything to get away from the historic system of obtaining doctor appointments is by definition an improvement.
 

Senex

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At least with the appointments system for face-to-face appointments you did eventually get an appointment for a given time and that time was more-or-less honoured. As far as my GPs' practice is concerned, the move to telephones has allowed them to go back to the very old-fashioned and customer-unfriendly system of saying that an "appointment" means that they will call during either the morning or the afternoon. As for hospital telephone appontments, well my one experience of that so far is that you hang around all afternoon and they just don't ring. Needless to say, no explanations or apologies afterwards.
 

MontyMinerWA

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I agree.



I'm not advocating a complete return to normal, but at the same time it's extremely unlikely a group of 20-30 year olds having a night out in a pub/club with no distancing and then catching the virus is going to land one of them in hospital or, worse, in a morgue. All sensible risk perception has gone out the window and the government have, effectively, made it illegal to take any risks whatsoever just to get statistics down and 'look good'.
The problem is those people in their 20s and 30s could catch the virus and then pass it on to their parents or grandparents. They may not be as lucky as their children / grandchildren in terms of their recovery from the virus.
 

LAX54

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Indeed.

As I understood it the initial objective was “flatten the curve” etc. That was seemingly achieved, so are we now aiming for an “elimination” strategy? I see Boris Johnson has today threatened another national lockdown. Utter, utter madness.

I’m increasingly of the view that we should continue opening up, come what may, resign ourselves to the fact that there will be more infections (and sadly more deaths), and equip the NHS to cope as best we can. Unless a vaccine appears (and it might not) all we are doing is trashing the economy and delaying the inevitable.

It’s unfortunately going to be a case of taking the least worse option. What we *cannot* do is continue as we are, with the country in a state of paralysis, or even worse go back into a full national lockdown.
And make nore use of Hospitals that were almost empty during the lockdown period, I have now lost count of the amount of Doctors & Nurses who are family of friends etc, that have said as all appointments were cancelled in the NHS, and their Hospital did not have anything to do with C19, they were like Ghost Towns ! Surely everyone knows now C19 is not going anywhere, you do a local lockdown, and it slows in that area, on paper anyway, as soon as you open up the Town, of course is starts up again, as many have now said, we need just get back to 'normal' normal, not this 'new' normal which will cripple the Country in the end, you only have to read behind the C19 headlines to see, job after job going, Businesses going bust on a daily basis now, unless we man up and just get on with life, there will be no life left to enjoy ! I see now PIZZA HUT are on the verge of going down the plughole !
Spend more money on the elderly / Care Homes, and let the general population carry on as normal, simple soap and water kills the virus so, standard general clean living, should see most of the population OK, although we all know that some do find it impossible to wash hands etc, remember although the numbers sound high, those that pass away from C19 are still very small in number, and most have another condition known about that increases the chance, wihich can be taken into account when deciding on care / protection etc
 

MontyMinerWA

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And make nore use of Hospitals that were almost empty during the lockdown period, I have now lost count of the amount of Doctors & Nurses who are family of friends etc, that have said as all appointments were cancelled in the NHS, and their Hospital did not have anything to do with C19, they were like Ghost Towns ! Surely everyone knows now C19 is not going anywhere, you do a local lockdown, and it slows in that area, on paper anyway, as soon as you open up the Town, of course is starts up again, as many have now said, we need just get back to 'normal' normal, not this 'new' normal which will cripple the Country in the end, you only have to read behind the C19 headlines to see, job after job going, Businesses going bust on a daily basis now, unless we man up and just get on with life, there will be no life left to enjoy ! I see now PIZZA HUT are on the verge of going down the plughole !
Spend more money on the elderly / Care Homes, and let the general population carry on as normal, simple soap and water kills the virus so, standard general clean living, should see most of the population OK, although we all know that some do find it impossible to wash hands etc, remember although the numbers sound high, those that pass away from C19 are still very small in number, and most have another condition known about that increases the chance, wihich can be taken into account when deciding on care / protection etc
In all fairness for a lot of the jobs that have been lost Covid 19 is essentially a smokescreen. As an example the casual dining sector was in big trouble long before Covid 19.
 

Bletchleyite

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At least with the appointments system for face-to-face appointments you did eventually get an appointment for a given time and that time was more-or-less honoured. As far as my GPs' practice is concerned, the move to telephones has allowed them to go back to the very old-fashioned and customer-unfriendly system of saying that an "appointment" means that they will call during either the morning or the afternoon. As for hospital telephone appontments, well my one experience of that so far is that you hang around all afternoon and they just don't ring. Needless to say, no explanations or apologies afterwards.
That certainly seems a poor way of doing it. I'm all for the idea of having telephone consultations for simple stuff and moving onto "in person" if needed, but waiting for a call can be very inconvenient (yes, practically everyone has a mobile, but you aren't going to want to discuss a personal medical problem in a public place, so in practice you have to "wait in"), so a fixed appointment slot with notification of any delay is very important.

I'd also like a "web portal" entry point, where you can "raise a case" for whatever is wrong with you and spend the time to type in the detail so you remember to cover everything, then that could be moved onto the appropriate next stage.
 

AdamWW

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The details I would like to see announced relating to the severity of confirmed cases, i.e.

(1) Numbers of people admitted to hospital
(2) Numbers of people self isolating at home
Me too.

And also some idea of the relative proportion of sympoms of varying severity, and length of time to feeling better again.
 

AdamWW

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That certainly seems a poor way of doing it. I'm all for the idea of having telephone consultations for simple stuff and moving onto "in person" if needed, but waiting for a call can be very inconvenient (yes, practically everyone has a mobile, but you aren't going to want to discuss a personal medical problem in a public place, so in practice you have to "wait in"), so a fixed appointment slot with notification of any delay is very important.
For some people it's fine - there's no problem with taking a call when it comes in during the day and better for them than sitting in a waiting room for a doctor who's running late.

But for others it just doesn't work - not just those with nowhere private, but also people who can't take personal calls while at work.

You can't expect them to commit to a day off every time they need to talk to a doctor.

I suppose we could get a bit more clever and companies have a private 'talking to the doctor' room...? Would you trust some not to listen in on such calls though?
 

Bletchleyite

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You can't expect them to commit to a day off every time they need to talk to a doctor.
To be fair you need to if you do it in person! But yes I see your point.

I suppose we could get a bit more clever and companies have a private 'talking to the doctor' room...? Would you trust some not to listen in on such calls though?
If you think your company has installed audio CCTV and does not inform you of this, then I'd be looking for a new job - that is highly dodgy.
 

bramling

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Indeed.

As I understood it the initial objective was “flatten the curve” etc. That was seemingly achieved, so are we now aiming for an “elimination” strategy? I see Boris Johnson has today threatened another national lockdown. Utter, utter madness.
Like most times BJ opens his mouth nowadays, that absolutely infuriated me - not even so much what is it, but the way he now seems to be resorting to threats. I am increasingly coming to the conclusion he has totally lost it.

I can well see some serious civil disobedience not far down the line if this carries on. His communications and strategy is utterly dire.
 

Bletchleyite

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Like most times BJ opens his mouth nowadays, that absolutely infuriated me - not even so much what is it, but the way he now seems to be resorting to threats. I am increasingly coming to the conclusion he has totally lost it.

I can well see some serious civil disobedience not far down the line if this carries on. His communications and strategy is utterly dire.
He's clearly hacked off the North's Muslim community more than a little...
 

AdamWW

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To be fair you need to if you do it in person! But yes I see your point.
The original point was regarding having to wait for a call without being told when during the day it would be.

I've never had a doctor or hospital appointment when I was told to turn up at 8 and I'd be seen some time time before 6....

If you think your company has installed audio CCTV and does not inform you of this, then I'd be looking for a new job - that is highly dodgy.
I think few if any companies would do this.

But I'm pretty sure there is a larger number where employees would be concerned that they might. And that's all it takes.
 

LAX54

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A lot of people are seriously hacked off now. Not sure if the hot weather contributed, however at work yesterday everyone seemed to have the hump - I’ve never known a railway run so badly with so little actually having gone wrong!
Our area seems OK (Anglia) genrally anyway, just the normal daily Stadler issues, but that is not COVID based.
 

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