"Covid rising in England" - let's stop the fear mongering

Pete_uk

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Two phrases to keep in mind:

1: I'm exempt
2: It's a work event

In other news a relative of mine through marriage has been getting pain all up through her abdomen for just over a year. The doctors wouldn't see her, just telling her to take pain killers. It got really bad a month or so ago and they managed to get some tests done in hospital.

Guess what?



She is riddled with cancer.
 
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yorkie

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Two phrases to keep in mind:

1: I'm exempt
2: It's a work event

In other news a relative of mine through marriage has been getting pain all up through her abdomen for just over a year. The doctors wouldn't see her, just telling her to take pain killers. It got really bad a month or so ago and they managed to get some tests done in hospital.

Guess what?



She is riddled with cancer.
Sorry to hear that. The true professionals warned of the dangers of refusing to see people in person, but powers that be in the NHS have other ideas. I believe people high up in the NHS are putting their political ideologies before consideration of patients needs. I am very glad I no longer work for the NHS and would never consider working for the NHS again while it's run in such an appalling manner.

In Australia, the median age of death "from COVID" is 83. (Unsure whether this is really individuals who die 'of COVID' rather than just 'with COVID but also comorbidities').

What is it in the UK?
Yep about that.

The vast majority under the average age were obese and unvaccinated I believe.

The risk now for a healthy average person is absolutely miniscule, and yet some deluded people seem to act as if the risk from Covid exceeds that of far bigger dangers.

Nearly everyone has either been vaccinated or exposed to Sars-CoV-2 by now with most people coming under both these categories. Every exposure brings up our level of population immunity as we head towards endemic equilibrium.

Anyone who thinks the aim has to be to avoid exposure at all costs is deluded (especially 'Winnie the Pooh' Jinping who is utterly bonkers).
 

Eyersey468

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Two phrases to keep in mind:

1: I'm exempt
2: It's a work event

In other news a relative of mine through marriage has been getting pain all up through her abdomen for just over a year. The doctors wouldn't see her, just telling her to take pain killers. It got really bad a month or so ago and they managed to get some tests done in hospital.

Guess what?



She is riddled with cancer.
Sorry to hear this, I wonder how many others are in the same boat, not necessarily with cancer. Very predictable consequence of suspending treatments for anything other than Covid and stopping face to face appointments.

@yorkie what did you used to do in the NHS?
 

yorkie

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@yorkie what did you used to do in the NHS?
I was a Support Analyst; I will be happy to tell you (or anyone else) more at a forum meet sometime!

I absolutely loved it and the people were brilliant. At the time I was very proud to work for the NHS and the vast majority of people employed by the NHS are absolutely brilliant. But sadly I do not trust the people at the very top one bit and there is no way I'd be part of that now.

Unfortunately there seem to be too many people in prominent positions who are making decisions that are absolutely not in the best interest of the general health of the majority of the population and I find that very difficult to accept.

Fears over Sars-CoV-2 transmission mean that physios are (or were as of about 3 weeks ago) currently undertaking phone call consultations all but one day a week here in York, which is absolutely insane. Some people in the NHS need to start living in the real world and accept endemic equilibrium is the endgame.
 

Eyersey468

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I was a Support Analyst; I will be happy to tell you (or anyone else) more at a forum meet sometime!

I absolutely loved it and the people were brilliant. At the time I was very proud to work for the NHS and the vast majority of people employed by the NHS are absolutely brilliant. But sadly I do not trust the people at the very top one bit and there is no way I'd be part of that now.

Unfortunately there seem to be too many people in prominent positions who are making decisions that are absolutely not in the best interest of the general health of the majority of the population and I find that very difficult to accept.

Fears over Sars-CoV-2 transmission mean that physios are (or were as of about 3 weeks ago) currently undertaking phone call consultations all but one day a week here in York, which is absolutely insane. Some people in the NHS need to start living in the real world and accept endemic equilibrium is the endgame.
What is the use of a phone call consultation by a physio? I don't see what good that will do.
 

brad465

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Up again, with Jubilee celebrations (that we were actively encouraged to join) being cited as a reason, along with the latest sub-variants:


Covid infections are up across the UK, according to latest figures that capture the Jubilee weekend of partying.
An estimated 1.4 million people or one in 45 has the virus - up from one in 65 the week before. That's a rise of 43%.
Experts say two new fast-spreading subvariants of Omicron -called BA.4 and BA.5 - are behind some of the new infections.
People can get catch them even if they have recently had other types of Covid.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which compiles the data, says it is too early to say if this is the start of another wave.

Millions gathered to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee up and down the UK between 2 and 5 June, which will have given Covid many opportunities to spread.
It takes a few days, usually, for people to start showing symptoms or testing positive after catching it, which means the latest data covers some of that Jubilee mixing.
The previous week's data had shown the beginnings of a possible rise.

The data is collated by testing thousands of people from UK households - whether they have symptoms or not - to estimate how much virus is around.
In the week ending 9 June, the Covid rates are:
  • One in 50 in England - up from one in 70 the week before
  • One in 45 in Wales - up from one in 75
  • One in 45 in Northern Ireland - up from one in 65
  • One in 30 in Scotland - up from one in 40
After a period of low case rates, the UK is now seeing increases in Covid outbreaks within care homes and in hospitals, among those aged 80 and over.
But BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron are not thought to be any more lethal than other types of Covid. Vaccines are still saving lives.
Dr Mary Ramsay, from the UK Health Security Agency, said: "It is encouraging that we are not seeing an increase in intensive care unit admissions, but we are monitoring data closely and assessing the possible impact of subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
"As we enter summer, it's still important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away, and to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus."
BA.4 and BA.5 were first identified in South Africa at the start of the year and may soon become the dominant strains in Europe and the US, health experts say.
Ever since it first emerged, Covid has been mutating or shape-shifting, creating new variants and subvariants.
Lots of people have built up some immunity from past infections and vaccination, which is helping to make Covid less risky overall.
But the new subvariants do appear to be spreading more easily. This is partly because immunity may be waning, but also because of the genetic mutations which the virus has undergone.
Many countries have also lifted their Covid restrictions, meaning people are mixing more, which gives the virus more chances to spread.
 

DelayRepay

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Anecdotally, I do know more people who've had Covid over the last couple of weeks, so it does feel like cases are rising. But none of them have anything worse than what we would have previously described as a summer cold.

In a few weeks, they'll start to fall again. Wonder how much media attention that will get?
 

gabrielhj07

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Up again, with Jubilee celebrations (that we were actively encouraged to join) being cited as a reason, along with the latest sub-variants:

Just something to fill the website with

Anecdotally, I do know more people who've had Covid over the last couple of weeks, so it does feel like cases are rising. But none of them have anything worse than what we would have previously described as a summer cold.
I think hayfever is much worse for many more people at this time of year.
 

ainsworth74

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I think hayfever is much worse for many more people at this time of year.
Funnily enough I was thinking the other day that my reaction to high pollen (sneezing and running nose) is remarkably similar to the symptoms I had with Covid in April! :lol:
 

duncanp

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What is the use of a phone call consultation by a physio? I don't see what good that will do.

....to tick a box and cover the backside, of course....

It will then go down in the figures that the patient was "seen" by a physiotherapist.

It is rather like the situation a few months ago where GPs were recording video calls with patients as "..face to face..." consultations, which makes the figures look better than they really are, and hide the true scale of the problem.
 

RichJF

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That's ridiculous, how can they diagnose a skin condition over the phone?
I have a yearly outpatient checkup following eye surgery in 2015/16. During 2020 I was denied an in-person meeting & only permitted to have a telephone consultation. A telephone consultation to test my eyes!

I joked with the surgeon my eyes are okay enough to press the numbers of my phone & he agreed telephone consultations were useless for proper checkups that needed photos & scanning.
 

102 fan

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'Covid makes a comeback: Cases jump 40% in a week in England with 1.1million infected'


At no point do they mention severity of symptoms. Scaremongering again.
 

Mag_seven

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'Covid makes a comeback: Cases jump 40% in a week in England with 1.1million infected'


At no point do they mention severity of symptoms. Scaremongering again.

indeed - when some see the headline they will think of people in ICUs on ventilation struggling for breath as if vaccines and a milder variant never happened.
 

Eyersey468

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....to tick a box and cover the backside, of course....

It will then go down in the figures that the patient was "seen" by a physiotherapist.

It is rather like the situation a few months ago where GPs were recording video calls with patients as "..face to face..." consultations, which makes the figures look better than they really are, and hide the true scale of the problem.
Yeah I know its a box ticking exercise just is of no benefit to anyone
 
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I can do one better. I had a telephone consultation to diagnose a skin condition.

I did too, and it was fine. Referred by GP and had an urgent phone consultation with the specialist, who had the photos. We agreed it would require a biopsy whether or not we met, so they arranged it and I had it. I had the results by phone (at 9.20 p.m!) with a follow up letter, with a face-to-face outpatients to follow up. Speedy and efficient.

Separately I've a chronic condition with periods of acute. We've mutually found that certain parts of the treatment can be routinely handled remotely. It saves us both lots of time with no clinical or patient disadvantage.

IMV a spin off benefit arising from the pandemic is some consultations and treatments can now be handled remotely for mutual benefit.

EDIT: I've also had face-to-face with GP and (a different) consultant. Face-to-face also is continuing
 

David Burrows

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I tested positive yesterday, but have no symtoms, feel fine and have therefore no idea how long I've had it - if i have it.
 

kez19

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indeed - when some see the headline they will think of people in ICUs on ventilation struggling for breath as if vaccines and a milder variant never happened.

Not trying to be funny either but as said before change the headlines... to say cold or flu (wait... I forgot the media seems to think once again that other things exist... covid is be all and end all).
 

duncanp

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Locktivist Sky News are at it again


The article mentions

"People will come back from their summer holidays and schools will become a driver for transmission as they have done before.

"But I think we should be a bit worried - even now."

and

"At the moment there's no public health safety net that says 'this will happen if we don't do this, so here's what we can do to stop that'.

"And it's that safety net, not lockdowns, but those sensible measures, that would allow all parts of society to live with this virus."

Their definition of "public health safety net" and "sensible measures" is of course, COVID restrictions, ie. masks, working from home and limits on socialising.

What part of NO and Eff Off don't you understand?

I suppose it was inevitable that the locktivists would crawl out of the woodwork sooner or later.

But surely if there is going to be a new COVID "wave", it would be better to have it in the summer, which was the justification for lifting restrictions on July 19th last year.

No doubt there will be a concerted effort to scare the government into introducing restrictions in the autumn.

Fortunately I don't thin there is the slightest chance that this will happen, if only because the economic consequences of the restrictions are now very clear, and the economy just can't take any more.

COVID-19: Is the UK on the brink of a new wave – and is 'immune imprinting' to blame?​

Scientists tell Sky News that it is getting harder to predict how the UK will fare with different COVID variants because of 'immune imprinting', which means everyone's immune system reacts to them differently depending on their specific infection and vaccine history.

New COVID data suggests that after months of declining case rates, the number of people testing positive across the UK is starting to go up again.

For the week ending 2 June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were "early signs of a possible increase in percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus".


It was most noticeable in England and Northern Ireland, where the positivity rate is one in every 70 people and one in every 65 people respectively.

And it is being driven by new sub-variants of Omicron - BA.4 and BA.5.

A separate Imperial College study released on Tuesday suggests that being infected with Omicron does not provide much immune protection from being reinfected.



So with infection rates on the rise and more chance of reinfection - should we be worried?



Why are cases going up again?

With COVID tests no longer free and widely available, experts now rely on people's responses to the ONS weekly infection survey to see whether cases are going up or down.

After months of steep decreases, the ONS data shows positivity rates flattening at the end of May in each of the four nations, although it says trends for Scotland and Wales are "uncertain".

But since then, there has been an uptick, largely driven by Omicron's two new sub-variants - designated variants of concern (VOC) by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) on 20 May.

Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, tells Sky News: "Although overall infection levels have been coming down, if you look at the variant split, BA.4 and BA.5 in particular are becoming more dominant.

"There are some interesting changes with those two because they have increased antibody-evasive properties."

The Imperial study published this week was carried out on 700 London health workers from March 2020 onwards.

Although they all had three vaccine doses, their Omicron reinfection rates differed.

That is because, they say, people's protection against new COVID variants depends on their specific vaccination and infection history - a concept called immune imprinting or 'original antigenic sin'.

Dr Peter English, former Public Health England consultant in communicable disease control, says: "There was a big concern in the beginning with vaccines and original antigenic sin.

"It's whereby if you are infected with an earlier variant and produce an immune response to it, when you're infected with a new variant, your body essentially produces the original immune response, which is the wrong one, because it doesn't realise it's a new variant, which needs a different immune response.

"We're beginning to see signs that this is the case with these new Omicron sub-variants.

"So we might have been unduly hopeful it wouldn't be."

Dr Griffin adds: "The reason these variants are spreading still is because the pool of people they can infect is growing - because people who have already been infected can be infected again."

Can we call it a 'new wave'?

The UK's first Omicron wave came in December, soon after South Africa's, followed by a second driven by sub-variant BA.2 in around March.

BA.2 still makes up most UK infections, and while BA.3 largely remained in South Africa, the emergence of BA.4 and BA.5 in May is effectively another wave, Dr Griffin says.

But he adds: "It's difficult to predict how big this wave might be."


South Africa has already had a BA.4/5 wave, with cases already flattening. But it has been completely different to the one experienced in Portugal - where death rates were much higher.

"This speaks to the idea that as time goes on it's going to get more and more difficult to predict how countries will fare with one variant or another," he says.

"That's because we have a different pattern of immunity - we're in a new era now where that is really important."

So comparing how BA.4 and BA.5 have affected other countries, does not appear to be useful.

Should we be worried?

While the majority of Britons have returned to normal life, cases going up again will have consequences, Dr English warns.

"Some people remain very anxious, but there are many others who have decided they can't cope with COVID being a thing anymore so they're going to pretend it doesn't exist. And that will mean more risk for all of us."

The virus being more prevalent again will force the clinically vulnerable back into their homes and could see more people with Long COVID or more serious symptoms of it, he adds.

Vaccination rates and immunity from vaccines have also waned and with masks and isolation no longer mandatory, it is likely to spread quicker than before.

Both scientists predict that as in previous years, cases will increase in the winter with more time spent indoors.

But Dr English adds: "We shouldn't be complacent, rates are going up quite quickly here - and in the US.

"People will come back from their summer holidays and schools will become a driver for transmission as they have done before.

"But I think we should be a bit worried - even now."

"Prevalence of this virus matters," Dr Griffin says. "We're about to see the number of Omicron deaths overtake Delta - even though it is less likely to cause severe disease.

"At the moment there's no public health safety net that says 'this will happen if we don't do this, so here's what we can do to stop that'.

"And it's that safety net, not lockdowns, but those sensible measures, that would allow all parts of society to live with this virus."
 

Richard Scott

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'Covid makes a comeback: Cases jump 40% in a week in England with 1.1million infected'


At no point do they mention severity of symptoms. Scaremongering again.
How do they know over 1 million have it? Guesswork as doubt those people have all tested for it? Obviously isn't an issue in cold light if day is it, just media again trying to make something of it. Yawn!
 

yorksrob

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Locktivist Sky News are at it again


The article mentions



and



Their definition of "public health safety net" and "sensible measures" is of course, COVID restrictions, ie. masks, working from home and limits on socialising.

What part of NO and Eff Off don't you understand?

I suppose it was inevitable that the locktivists would crawl out of the woodwork sooner or later.

But surely if there is going to be a new COVID "wave", it would be better to have it in the summer, which was the justification for lifting restrictions on July 19th last year.

No doubt there will be a concerted effort to scare the government into introducing restrictions in the autumn.

Fortunately I don't thin there is the slightest chance that this will happen, if only because the economic consequences of the restrictions are now very clear, and the economy just can't take any more.

The sensible response to this would seem to be a booster jab for the vulnerable, designed for the new variants, much has been the practice with flu for many years.
 

MikeWM

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Locktivist Sky News are at it again

They are indeed, but I find this part of the article *very* interesting:

Dr Peter English, former Public Health England consultant in communicable disease control, says: "There was a big concern in the beginning with vaccines and original antigenic sin.

"It's whereby if you are infected with an earlier variant and produce an immune response to it, when you're infected with a new variant, your body essentially produces the original immune response, which is the wrong one, because it doesn't realise it's a new variant, which needs a different immune response.

"We're beginning to see signs that this is the case with these new Omicron sub-variants.

"So we might have been unduly hopeful it wouldn't be."

I think that's the first mention of 'original antigenc sin' I've seen mentioned in a 'mainstream' news article - something I've been wittering on about for almost a year or so now since I first learnt about it from some rather learned people who were dismissed as 'anti-vaxxers'. (eg. see this post from December).

'There was a big concern in the beginning with vaccines and OAS' - really? Was that communicated to anyone who took the vaccine? Sounds like an 'informed consent' issue to me.

My gut feeling all along has been that your chances of fighting off a future mutation would be significantly better if your original exposure was to the entire virus via natural infection - assuming you weren't at high risk from doing so - than from the very narrow spike-focused vaccines that specifically targeted the Wuhan virus that hasn't existed for 18 months or more. One of the many reasons I didn't get vaccinated.

As far as I'm aware, if OAS does become an issue, there's little or nothing we can do about it. Another round of vaccines won't help, even if 'tweaked' for a new variant.
 

gabrielhj07

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How do they know over 1 million have it? Guesswork as doubt those people have all tested for it? Obviously isn't an issue in cold light if day is it, just media again trying to make something of it. Yawn!
I think the appropriate response to this article is to unplug your Wi-Fi router.
 

yorksrob

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They are indeed, but I find this part of the article *very* interesting:



I think that's the first mention of 'original antigenc sin' I've seen mentioned in a 'mainstream' news article - something I've been wittering on about for almost a year or so now since I first learnt about it from some rather learned people who were dismissed as 'anti-vaxxers'. (eg. see this post from December).

'There was a big concern in the beginning with vaccines and OAS' - really? Was that communicated to anyone who took the vaccine?

My gut feeling all along has been that your chances of fighting off a future mutation would be significantly better if your original exposure was to the entire virus via natural infection - assuming you weren't at high risk from doing so - than from the very narrow spike-focused vaccines that specifically targeted the Wuhan virus that hasn't existed for 18 months or more. One of the many reasons I didn't get vaccinated.

As far as I'm aware, if OAS does become an issue, there's little or nothing we can do about it. Another round of vaccines won't help, even if 'tweaked' for a new variant.

But at the time there was little rhyme nor reason to those unlucky people who would be severely affected by the virus.

I've not heard of many cases of otherwise healthy young people being affected by COVID recently, so maybe it's time to stop worrying about them and looking at a long term vaccination programme for those who are now vulnerable.
 

Ediswan

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Scientists tell Sky News that it is getting harder to predict how the UK will fare with different COVID variants because of 'immune imprinting', which means everyone's immune system reacts to them differently depending on their specific infection and vaccine history.
How is this news ? It would be more surprising if everyone's immune system reacted exactly the same, whatever their infection and vaccine history.
 

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