Left Wing vs Right Wing responses to COVID

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MikeWM

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moderator note: posts #1- #6 originally in this thread


It'll be the same as ever, the poor and the sick will pay for the rich to get richer.

And yet, for some reason I still don't really understand, the vast majority of the supposed 'left' support all of this, and indeed call for it to go further!

Baffling.
 
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And yet, for some reason I still don't really understand, the vast majority of the supposed 'left' support all of this, and indeed call for it to go further!

Baffling.

Yes even things like an education which traditionally the left champion don't seem to fit well with them calling for all schools to be closed for example.
 

VauxhallandI

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And yet, for some reason I still don't really understand, the vast majority of the supposed 'left' support all of this, and indeed call for it to go further!

Baffling.
Yep I'm confused too.

I'm now left without a party to vote for.
 

Yew

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And yet, for some reason I still don't really understand, the vast majority of the supposed 'left' support all of this, and indeed call for it to go further!

Baffling.
It's getting behind helping the NHS and 'saving lives'. Unfortunately the left is full of 'woke' bourgeois socialists, who care about every injustice apart from the exploitation of the proletariat.
 
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brad465

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Yes even things like an education which traditionally the left champion don't seem to fit well with them calling for all schools to be closed for example.

Indeed, I think there are around 30% of the population going around with some level of exposure immunity, add in another 15million vaccinations (i.e 30% of the UK's adults) and we're getting remarkably close to the 60-70% region where we see endemic equilibrium. Presuming these preliminary studies are correct, hopefully that means that it can be suppressed with very minor restrictions.

It's getting behind helping the NHS and 'saving lives'. Unfortunately the left is full of 'woke' bourgeois socialists, who care about every injustice apart from the exploitation of the proletariat.
There's also the argument that the problem is in fact the economic system (i.e. capitalism), and believe that if a "medically informed" response means that the economic effects are worse than the virus, the economic system is the problem. I agree that capitalism needs to go and be replaced with a system not reliant on the impossible concept of perpetual growth, but I do not agree with shutting it all down, which is worse than a bad system up and running.

They do though manage to get vindicated somewhat by the simple fact a lot of what they call for ends up being implemented by the Government, where as soon as they do so they ultimately have taken on almost all the responsibility, although the media will ultimately have helped in putting the pressure on the Government to do such things. It's this situation of a right-wing Government doing left-wing policies that's managed to get them fighting opposition on two fronts to an extent I don't even think happened in the build-up to the EU referendum.
 

MikeWM

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There's also the argument that the problem is in fact the economic system (i.e. capitalism), and believe that if a "medically informed" response means that the economic effects are worse than the virus, the economic system is the problem. I agree that capitalism needs to go and be replaced with a system not reliant on the impossible concept of perpetual growth, but I do not agree with shutting it all down, which is worse than a bad system up and running.

There does seem to be an element on the 'hard' left of trying to use the crisis to show the flaws in the system and try to put in place something different. I fear they are falling for the old approach that communists often used to do - cheering on the march of ever-more-extreme capitalism in the expectation that will be the quickest way to collapse it. History shows us that this just doesn't work, and in the meantime causes a great deal of unnecessary difficulty for those they are supposed to be sticking up for - the poor and disadvantaged.

I did find these people the other day, who all seem pretty 'hard' left but are opposed to lockdowns and the rest:

https://leftlockdownsceptics.com/

which made for an interesting read. They acknowledge themselves that they are currently an 'extreme minority' however.
 

brad465

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Another thing that will likely be driving the left-wing belief of "zero-Covid" is that New Zealand achieved it while run by a left wing Government, despite huge differences in reliance on foreign travel and trade. I do admire many things about their current Government, particularly around unifying words and actions, and a Government like ours would likely have messed elimination up, but they are very lucky when it comes to achieving zero-Covid.
 

Chester1

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Another thing that will likely be driving the left-wing belief of "zero-Covid" is that New Zealand achieved it while run by a left wing Government, despite huge differences in reliance on foreign travel and trade. I do admire many things about their current Government, particularly around unifying words and actions, and a Government like ours would likely have messed elimination up, but they are very lucky when it comes to achieving zero-Covid.

Don't forget there will a significant number of deaths whenever they unlock. Not everyone will agree to be vaccinated, they will have almost no immunity through infection and people who have had it or have been vaccinated can still transmit it. New Zealand have done very well but they won't come out this with anything like the current death toll. New Zealand locked down 4 days before the UK. Their elimination strategy was only possible because of the their relative isolation.

Being a popular country with middle class, left wing liberals is very fragile, just ask Sweden. It lost a generation or more of superstar reputation in a month.
 

Yew

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Another thing that will likely be driving the left-wing belief of "zero-Covid" is that New Zealand achieved it while run by a left wing Government, despite huge differences in reliance on foreign travel and trade. I do admire many things about their current Government, particularly around unifying words and actions, and a Government like ours would likely have messed elimination up, but they are very lucky when it comes to achieving zero-Covid.
Indeed, if you can get it, it's wonderful. But if you miss it, and the virus enters endemic circulation, it's almost impossible to get back.

Being a popular country with middle class, left wing liberals is very fragile, just ask Sweden. It lost a generation or more of superstar reputation in a month.
Indeed, it's not long since Sweden would be regarded as wonderful example of a democratic socialist society...
 

yorksrob

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They kept to standard pandemic plans, and didn't recklessly lockdown.

Oh that - I'd have thought that the jury was very much still out on that, with every chance of them being proved correct in the longer term.
 

Domh245

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Oh that - I'd have thought that the jury was very much still out on that, with every chance of them being proved correct in the longer term.

You would have thought(/hoped) so, but apparently New Zealand has already "won" at covid and everyone else, but especially the UK (because we've got a high death count) and Sweden (because they didn't do the same as everyone else), has lost bigly.
 

Larkhall

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Don't forget there will a significant number of deaths whenever they unlock. Not everyone will agree to be vaccinated, they will have almost no immunity through infection and people who have had it or have been vaccinated can still transmit it. New Zealand have done very well but they won't come out this with anything like the current death toll. New Zealand locked down 4 days before the UK. Their elimination strategy was only possible because of the their relative isolation.

Being a popular country with middle class, left wing liberals is very fragile, just ask Sweden. It lost a generation or more of superstar reputation in a month.

"Relative Isolation"

Geographically absolutely. Couple thousand miles of sea in every direction. But in 2019 and early 2020 NZ was certainly not as isolated from COVID as many seem to think it was. As someone who knows both NZ & the UK well, it's frustrating to see the comparison dismissed offhand.

Take a look here for example - https://www.routesonline.com/news/3...southern-s19-long-haul-changes-as-of-30jan19/

China Southern were flying 10x weekly Guangzhou - Auckland direct, 10x 787-9s is not a small amount of pax at an average load factor. On top of that they were also flying Guangzhou - Christchurch direct, again, 5x 787-9s every single week. And this is just one single airline, there were many other airlines including AirNZ itself plying the NZ - China direct routes on a daily basis. While Guangzhou is far from Wuhan itself, those flights did continue even after the virus was spreading within China. These daily direct China - NZ flights are almost certainly where NZ's initial cases came from.

Additionally, NZ's testing capability was absolutely shocking during the early stages of the pandemic. I am aware of people who were associated with one of the "clusters" and still couldn't get a test despite having symptoms, because it wasn't serious enough to have them in hospital. The country was definitely hit worse than the statistics will ever record, especially on a per-capita basis.

The UK had exactly the same opportunities available in the early days of the crisis. Both countries had time to see what was happening elsewhere before an overwhelming number of cases reached their shores, both could have had the same outcome. The fact that the UK borders were never shut, not even to non-essential travellers, is disgraceful.

Even with the high starting point, the UK's first lockdown brought cases down to less than 1,000/day in a country of 65+ million. Imagine what could have been possible if the lockdown had kicked in 2 weeks earlier and not ended with a big marketing drive to pack the restaurants to the gunwales.
 

Chester1

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"Relative Isolation"

Geographically absolutely. Couple thousand miles of sea in every direction. But in 2019 and early 2020 NZ was certainly not as isolated from COVID as many seem to think it was. As someone who knows both NZ & the UK well, it's frustrating to see the comparison dismissed offhand.

Take a look here for example - https://www.routesonline.com/news/3...southern-s19-long-haul-changes-as-of-30jan19/

China Southern were flying 10x weekly Guangzhou - Auckland direct, 10x 787-9s is not a small amount of pax at an average load factor. On top of that they were also flying Guangzhou - Christchurch direct, again, 5x 787-9s every single week. And this is just one single airline, there were many other airlines including AirNZ itself plying the NZ - China direct routes on a daily basis. While Guangzhou is far from Wuhan itself, those flights did continue even after the virus was spreading within China. These daily direct China - NZ flights are almost certainly where NZ's initial cases came from.

Additionally, NZ's testing capability was absolutely shocking during the early stages of the pandemic. I am aware of people who were associated with one of the "clusters" and still couldn't get a test despite having symptoms, because it wasn't serious enough to have them in hospital. The country was definitely hit worse than the statistics will ever record, especially on a per-capita basis.

The UK had exactly the same opportunities available in the early days of the crisis. Both countries had time to see what was happening elsewhere before an overwhelming number of cases reached their shores, both could have had the same outcome. The fact that the UK borders were never shut, not even to non-essential travellers, is disgraceful.

Even with the high starting point, the UK's first lockdown brought cases down to less than 1,000/day in a country of 65+ million. Imagine what could have been possible if the lockdown had kicked in 2 weeks earlier and not ended with a big marketing drive to pack the restaurants to the gunwales.

I got the dates wrong. UK lockdown was not 4 days after, it was 2 days before. New Zealand's first case was 28th February 2020 and it went into lockdown on 25th March 2020. The first UK case in the UK was 31st January 2020 and the UK locked down on 23rd March 2020. New Zealand closed its borders 6 days before locking down.

I think the UK could have had a better outcome but to have had the same outcome as New Zealand it would have needed to have locked down and closed its borders in February, being the second country after China. It would have also have had to either persuaded Ireland to do the same or ban travel completely between Northern Ireland and GB. Lockdown earlier in March would have saved lives but realistically would not have changed the picture. At best we could have matched Germany, never New Zealand. Its absolutely clear that Covid was running rampant across Europe before New Zealand's first reported case.
 

Bantamzen

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"Relative Isolation"

Geographically absolutely. Couple thousand miles of sea in every direction. But in 2019 and early 2020 NZ was certainly not as isolated from COVID as many seem to think it was. As someone who knows both NZ & the UK well, it's frustrating to see the comparison dismissed offhand.

Take a look here for example - https://www.routesonline.com/news/3...southern-s19-long-haul-changes-as-of-30jan19/

China Southern were flying 10x weekly Guangzhou - Auckland direct, 10x 787-9s is not a small amount of pax at an average load factor. On top of that they were also flying Guangzhou - Christchurch direct, again, 5x 787-9s every single week. And this is just one single airline, there were many other airlines including AirNZ itself plying the NZ - China direct routes on a daily basis. While Guangzhou is far from Wuhan itself, those flights did continue even after the virus was spreading within China. These daily direct China - NZ flights are almost certainly where NZ's initial cases came from.

Additionally, NZ's testing capability was absolutely shocking during the early stages of the pandemic. I am aware of people who were associated with one of the "clusters" and still couldn't get a test despite having symptoms, because it wasn't serious enough to have them in hospital. The country was definitely hit worse than the statistics will ever record, especially on a per-capita basis.

The UK had exactly the same opportunities available in the early days of the crisis. Both countries had time to see what was happening elsewhere before an overwhelming number of cases reached their shores, both could have had the same outcome. The fact that the UK borders were never shut, not even to non-essential travellers, is disgraceful.

Even with the high starting point, the UK's first lockdown brought cases down to less than 1,000/day in a country of 65+ million. Imagine what could have been possible if the lockdown had kicked in 2 weeks earlier and not ended with a big marketing drive to pack the restaurants to the gunwales.
Now compare Auckland to Heathrow. Just because New Zealand has lots of international flights doesn't mean their self-imposed isolation would have worked here. Notwithstanding the fact that it is generally accepted that the virus was here at the beginning of 2020 (in fact evidence suggests that it was here in late December 2019) and that a border close in late March 2020 would have been way too late, the UK is nothing like New Zealand. For example imports from the EU, many don't arrive via aircraft of container ship, we have boats & trains bringing in goods via lorries, and those lorries have drivers. Show me the same in New Zealand.

All this has been debunked time & again, so I'm not sure why you feel the need to reheat this?
 

NorthOxonian

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A thought on another possible reason for why the left are more pro-restriction than the right - I wonder whether attitudes towards the NHS have an impact.

The idea of "protecting the NHS" would be most appealing to those with the highest opinion of the NHS, and generally that's more left-leaning people.
 

yorksrob

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"Relative Isolation"

Geographically absolutely. Couple thousand miles of sea in every direction. But in 2019 and early 2020 NZ was certainly not as isolated from COVID as many seem to think it was. As someone who knows both NZ & the UK well, it's frustrating to see the comparison dismissed offhand.

Take a look here for example - https://www.routesonline.com/news/3...southern-s19-long-haul-changes-as-of-30jan19/

China Southern were flying 10x weekly Guangzhou - Auckland direct, 10x 787-9s is not a small amount of pax at an average load factor. On top of that they were also flying Guangzhou - Christchurch direct, again, 5x 787-9s every single week. And this is just one single airline, there were many other airlines including AirNZ itself plying the NZ - China direct routes on a daily basis. While Guangzhou is far from Wuhan itself, those flights did continue even after the virus was spreading within China. These daily direct China - NZ flights are almost certainly where NZ's initial cases came from.

Additionally, NZ's testing capability was absolutely shocking during the early stages of the pandemic. I am aware of people who were associated with one of the "clusters" and still couldn't get a test despite having symptoms, because it wasn't serious enough to have them in hospital. The country was definitely hit worse than the statistics will ever record, especially on a per-capita basis.

The UK had exactly the same opportunities available in the early days of the crisis. Both countries had time to see what was happening elsewhere before an overwhelming number of cases reached their shores, both could have had the same outcome. The fact that the UK borders were never shut, not even to non-essential travellers, is disgraceful.

Even with the high starting point, the UK's first lockdown brought cases down to less than 1,000/day in a country of 65+ million. Imagine what could have been possible if the lockdown had kicked in 2 weeks earlier and not ended with a big marketing drive to pack the restaurants to the gunwales.

I do think you have a point regarding NZ doing some things more effectively, particularly in closing borders more swiftly. That said, it was estimated that the virus was seeded simultaneously on around two hundred and sixty something occasions around the UK, which would have undoubtedly made things difficult for us.

What I disagree with is the scapegoating of hospitality and the Eat out to Help out scheme. I used this on a number of occasions and at no point did I see restaurants packed to the gunwhales. The ones I went to all seemed to be very good at following distancing guidelines, and it's noticable that hospitality in general didn't cause a spike in cases.
 

notlob.divad

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at no point did I see restaurants packed to the gunwhales

It doesn't matter. Take a look at the study from South Korea, here is are links to several repuitable news organisations that carried the story.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...-cafe-infection-spread-droplets-b1767059.html https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-restaurants-spread-south-korea-20201211.html

I am sure if you really are interesting in 'defending' hospitality then you will be able to find the original study paper and concisely refute the findings and conclussions. Hospitality are not being scapegoated as you put it. It is not their fault and nobody is blaming the business owners, the staff or the customers. However it is true that they are potentially a significant source of tranmission, and one that many governments have reluctantly closed in order to keep other, potentially larger sources of transmission, open in the fine balancing act they are taking between protecting jobs, protecting healthcare, protecting education, and in some cases I am sure protecting the bank balances of their mates and financiers.

Thankfully hospitality is one area of the economy that we can all help to protect. Ordering takeout from restaurants that you would otherwise go and eat at helps keep the businesses going and the staff employed.
 

yorksrob

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It doesn't matter. Take a look at the study from South Korea, here is are links to several repuitable news organisations that carried the story.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...-cafe-infection-spread-droplets-b1767059.html https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-restaurants-spread-south-korea-20201211.html

I am sure if you really are interesting in 'defending' hospitality then you will be able to find the original study paper and concisely refute the findings and conclussions. Hospitality are not being scapegoated as you put it. It is not their fault and nobody is blaming the business owners, the staff or the customers. However it is true that they are potentially a significant source of tranmission, and one that many governments have reluctantly closed in order to keep other, potentially larger sources of transmission, open in the fine balancing act they are taking between protecting jobs, protecting healthcare, protecting education, and in some cases I am sure protecting the bank balances of their mates and financiers.

Thankfully hospitality is one area of the economy that we can all help to protect. Ordering takeout from restaurants that you would otherwise go and eat at helps keep the businesses going and the staff employed.

Not good enough I'm afraid. Throughout the period when hospitality was open, our own Public Health England consistently found a miniscule number of outbreaks identified in hospitality settings. Whilst I admit that outbreaks don't automatically equal transmission, outbreaks are likely to represent the tip of the transmission iceburg.

We all know that transmission is a product of proximity, time and ventilation, so there is no reason why a well distanced hospitality setting need to be a major risk of transmission - as is borne out by experience here.

As you point out yourselves, hospitality has been scapegoated - at least it has been sacrificed to enable the Government to continue to fail to get a grip on transmission in care homes for example, which the ONS has consistently shown to be a source of infections.
 

notlob.divad

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Not good enough I'm afraid. Throughout the period when hospitality was open, our own Public Health England consistently found a miniscule number of outbreaks identified in hospitality settings. Whilst I admit that outbreaks don't automatically equal transmission, outbreaks are likely to represent the tip of the transmission iceburg.

We all know that transmission is a product of proximity, time and ventilation, so there is no reason why a well distanced hospitality setting need to be a major risk of transmission - as is borne out by experience here.

As you point out yourselves, hospitality has been scapegoated - at least it has been sacrificed to enable the Government to continue to fail to get a grip on transmission in care homes for example, which the ONS has consistently shown to be a source of infections.

Being 'sacrificed' (your words not mine) is not the same as being 'scapegoated'. I am sure you are right that transmission in health and social care settings is far higher. But you cannot just close them, nor can you expect the people who work in them to lock themselves away from not just their freinds and extended families, but away from their partners and childrem inside a protective bubble indefinetly.

You seem very good at proclaiming how bad everything is, how none of the things that are closed should be. But you don't actually provide any solutions that would work in the real world. Simply sighting 'Sweden' just doesn't cut it anymore. Irrespective of case and fatality figures as to which method results in better outcomes, few nations (and certainly not the UK) were in the same position as Sweden was before this all began. Perhaps if everywhere imposed a 57.1% taxation rate on anything greater than 1.5 times the average income, and didn't try to lead the world into every military conflict, they would have been able to afford to build a health and social care system with the head room to cope. And even then Sweden decided to shut education for older students stop mass participation events and encourage (if not so far as prohibit) its residents from meeting up with each other.

So in light of the lack of long-term prior buildup of resources and headroom to enable health and social care to continue functioning throughout such a crisis, what exactly are your realistic proposals.
 

cuccir

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I don't think it's really about right v left; it's about interventionist v non-interventionist (or libertarian) governance. Right wing parties do tend to be more libertarian (and this is very much the case in the UK) but it's not always quite like that. Most obviously Scandinavian social democracy has its libertarian element, relying on the agreed cooperation of a relatively homogenous wealthy population - hence Sweden having some of the most relaxed lockdown rules in Europe.

It's striking how quiet the Lib Dems have been on covid-19: I couldn't tell you what their stance has been on lockdowns, but I suspect that's because some of the restrictions play uncomfortably with their own libertarian element.

The British left is generally interventionist though: rightly or wrongly, it tends to believe that the state is generally better placed to deliver social goods than either private enterprise or charity/community. When you apply that to the pandemic, the result is a strong defense of lockdown.
 

notlob.divad

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I don't think it's really about right v left; it's about interventionist v non-interventionist (or libertarian) governance. Right wing parties do tend to be more libertarian (and this is very much the case in the UK) but it's not always quite like that. Most obviously Scandinavian social democracy has its libertarian element, relying on the agreed cooperation of a relatively homogenous wealthy population - hence Sweden having some of the most relaxed lockdown rules in Europe.

It's striking how quiet the Lib Dems have been on covid-19: I couldn't tell you what their stance has been on lockdowns, but I suspect that's because some of the restrictions play uncomfortably with their own libertarian element.

The British left is generally interventionist though: rightly or wrongly, it tends to believe that the state is generally better placed to deliver social goods than either private enterprise or charity/community. When you apply that to the pandemic, the result is a strong defense of lockdown.
Don't confuse libertarian with liberal. There is a rather important differentiation between the two. I very much consider myself a liberal, but am strongly against libertarian principles.
 

yorksrob

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Being 'sacrificed' (your words not mine) is not the same as being 'scapegoated'. I am sure you are right that transmission in health and social care settings is far higher. But you cannot just close them, nor can you expect the people who work in them to lock themselves away from not just their freinds and extended families, but away from their partners and childrem inside a protective bubble indefinetly.

You seem very good at proclaiming how bad everything is, how none of the things that are closed should be. But you don't actually provide any solutions that would work in the real world. Simply sighting 'Sweden' just doesn't cut it anymore. Irrespective of case and fatality figures as to which method results in better outcomes, few nations (and certainly not the UK) were in the same position as Sweden was before this all began. Perhaps if everywhere imposed a 57.1% taxation rate on anything greater than 1.5 times the average income, and didn't try to lead the world into every military conflict, they would have been able to afford to build a health and social care system with the head room to cope. And even then Sweden decided to shut education for older students stop mass participation events and encourage (if not so far as prohibit) its residents from meeting up with each other.

So in light of the lack of long-term prior buildup of resources and headroom to enable health and social care to continue functioning throughout such a crisis, what exactly are your realistic proposals.

Oh, so care workers aren't supposed to be isolated from their friends and family, but it's fine for me to be isolated from everyone that I know for months on end ? How about a policy of not having care workers moving between different homes ? This is something that could have been implemented over the last year, but they don't want to pay them enough.

The Government has been pulling "measures" out of it's backside and throwing them at the problem with no sort of consideration or evaluation as to how effective or how damaging they are. We've had the pointless hospitality curfew, the pointless closure of hospitality to start off with, the pointless ban on activities outdoors.

How about this for an approach. Don't ban anything unless there's a quantifiable, justifiable net benefit to the situation, instead of locking down everyone in their homes every few months and implementing draconian rules to foster compliance and community enforcement.

You seem to be very good at parrating SAGE's authoritarian ramblings, but you don't seem so good at thinking of a strategy to actually balance people's needs with slowing the spread of the virus.
 

NorthOxonian

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I don't think it's really about right v left; it's about interventionist v non-interventionist (or libertarian) governance. Right wing parties do tend to be more libertarian (and this is very much the case in the UK) but it's not always quite like that. Most obviously Scandinavian social democracy has its libertarian element, relying on the agreed cooperation of a relatively homogenous wealthy population - hence Sweden having some of the most relaxed lockdown rules in Europe.

It's striking how quiet the Lib Dems have been on covid-19: I couldn't tell you what their stance has been on lockdowns, but I suspect that's because some of the restrictions play uncomfortably with their own libertarian element.

The British left is generally interventionist though: rightly or wrongly, it tends to believe that the state is generally better placed to deliver social goods than either private enterprise or charity/community. When you apply that to the pandemic, the result is a strong defense of lockdown.
Yes, that's definitely been interesting. My local Lib Dem MP has been rather vocal (and in favour of a hardline "zero-Covid" approach, unfortunately), but I've heard relatively little from other figures within the party.
 

notlob.divad

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Oh, so care workers aren't supposed to be isolated from their friends and family, but it's fine for me to be isolated from everyone that I know for months on end ?
I have been isolated from every single one of my personal friends and relatives for 11 months now. The only people I have been able to see are my partner, her family and a handful of 'mutual' friends who I know through her. The shield the elderly policy would have required social workers to isolate even from those remaining few contacts. I don't know your personal situation, have no business knowing and am not asking to know. But you should not be isolated from everyone you know as there are either people you live with, or if you live alone your support bubble. Yes it is a vastly diminished social circle, but it means everyone has something, where as the shielding proposal gives many people something whilst removing everything from a few, who then may decide it is just not worth doing their crucial job.

How about a policy of not having care workers moving between different homes ? This is something that could have been implemented over the last year, but they don't want to pay them enough.
Well quite. I would be fully supportive of this, and it should have been amongst the first policies. Why it ever existed in the first place I have no idea. Would it reduce transmission, - well logic and common sense would determine, yes - would it be enough on it's own, probably not, - have SAGE suggested it, - almost undoubtably, yes - have the government ministers implemented it, no - have the media and 'opposition' hounded the ministers as to why - no. Why it has not been implemented, why the media and opposition are not persuing it, write to them and find out, because I have no idea.

The Government has been pulling "measures" out of it's backside and throwing them at the problem with no sort of consideration or evaluation as to how effective or how damaging they are. We've had the pointless hospitality curfew, the pointless closure of hospitality to start off with, the pointless ban on activities outdoors.

How about this for an approach. Don't ban anything unless there's a quantifiable, justifiable net benefit to the situation, instead of locking down everyone in their homes every few months and implementing draconian rules to foster compliance and community enforcement.

You cannot have quantifiable data until you try something. All you have is modelling, and we know how people on this board like to poo poo the 'modelling' without taking into account the context and parameters that the model was drawn up under. Yet the place where data has been gathered (using questionable practices) and quantified combined with a reconstruction showing how an indoor hospitality contributed to viral spread was dismissed as not good enough. What do you want? This to be done for all hospitality venues on an individual basis, for each unique air circulation pattern, for every possible combination of seating? Apply to the government get a grant and some volunteers if that is the level of data you want.

You seem to be very good at parrating SAGE's authoritarian ramblings, but you don't seem so good at thinking of a strategy to actually balance people's needs with slowing the spread of the virus.
I don't parrot SAGE, there are many many points I disagree with them on. Neither do I parrot anything coming from any public or private body from within the UK or overseas. I come to my own conclussions, based on the information available to me and my personal life experience. That may be different to yours and I don't judge you for your different experiences of your different needs. Clearly everyone has different definitions of what people 'need' at any particular moment and those needs change over time. Right now I personally 'Need' oxygen, water, food, shelter, warmth, the love and support of my partner, and a daily stretch of my legs. Everything else is a bonus. That doesn't mean I don't have a lot of desires. Nor does it mean I expect everyone to have the same 'needs' as myself. Nor do I want to deprive anyone of their needs, or indeed their wants anymore than nessesary. I do, however recognise that the more people around the world restrict themselvesand restrict their in person social interactions, in the short to medium term the faster rates will fall everywhere and the sooner everyone can get back to living their lives with more freedoms for the long term. Particularly with a vaccine induced herd-immunity on the horizon, if still a significant way off. Restrictions (either legal or self imposed) that are too lack, will only prolong the misery for all.
 

Bantamzen

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Being 'sacrificed' (your words not mine) is not the same as being 'scapegoated'. I am sure you are right that transmission in health and social care settings is far higher. But you cannot just close them, nor can you expect the people who work in them to lock themselves away from not just their freinds and extended families, but away from their partners and childrem inside a protective bubble indefinetly.
If only there was some sort of way of reducing the risk in health & care settings, say some sort of vaccine. That way we could protect the majority of people at risk, allowing everyone to return to some form of normality as well as easing pressure on the NHS.

But even if there was some sort of vaccine or three, I'm sure someone would be along to tell us that vaccines are not end games and that more restrictions are needed ad naseum....

</sarcasm off>
 

yorksrob

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I have been isolated from every single one of my personal friends and relatives for 11 months now. The only people I have been able to see are my partner, her family and a handful of 'mutual' friends who I know through her. The shield the elderly policy would have required social workers to isolate even from those remaining few contacts. I don't know your personal situation, have no business knowing and am not asking to know. But you should not be isolated from everyone you know as there are either people you live with, or if you live alone your support bubble. Yes it is a vastly diminished social circle, but it means everyone has something, where as the shielding proposal gives many people something whilst removing everything from a few, who then may decide it is just not worth doing their crucial job.

As with many people my support bubble isn't local. I have been able to visit them outdoors within the tier system, but I wouldn't fancy my chances in lockdown.

Well quite. I would be fully supportive of this, and it should have been amongst the first policies. Why it ever existed in the first place I have no idea. Would it reduce transmission, - well logic and common sense would determine, yes - would it be enough on it's own, probably not, - have SAGE suggested it, - almost undoubtably, yes - have the government ministers implemented it, no - have the media and 'opposition' hounded the ministers as to why - no. Why it has not been implemented, why the media and opposition are not persuing it, write to them and find out, because I have no idea.

You cannot have quantifiable data until you try something. All you have is modelling, and we know how people on this board like to poo poo the 'modelling' without taking into account the context and parameters that the model was drawn up under. Yet the place where data has been gathered (using questionable practices) and quantified combined with a reconstruction showing how an indoor hospitality contributed to viral spread was dismissed as not good enough. What do you want? This to be done for all hospitality venues on an individual basis, for each unique air circulation pattern, for every possible combination of seating? Apply to the government get a grant and some volunteers if that is the level of data you want.

Well, to be honest, we've had almost a year of this now, so there should have been some opportunity to go beyond the modelling, however all we seem to have are the odd second habd study from South and East Asia.

Actually, what we do have ourselves are transmission/outbreak data from ONS and Public Health England, and these consistently suggest that transmission in hospitality settings is low, however these findings are deliberately ignored/obscured by policy makers in favour of their hunches.

I don't parrot SAGE, there are many many points I disagree with them on. Neither do I parrot anything coming from any public or private body from within the UK or overseas. I come to my own conclussions, based on the information available to me and my personal life experience. That may be different to yours and I don't judge you for your different experiences of your different needs. Clearly everyone has different definitions of what people 'need' at any particular moment and those needs change over time. Right now I personally 'Need' oxygen, water, food, shelter, warmth, the love and support of my partner, and a daily stretch of my legs. Everything else is a bonus. That doesn't mean I don't have a lot of desires. Nor does it mean I expect everyone to have the same 'needs' as myself. Nor do I want to deprive anyone of their needs, or indeed their wants anymore than nessesary. I do, however recognise that the more people around the world restrict themselvesand restrict their in person social interactions, in the short to medium term the faster rates will fall everywhere and the sooner everyone can get back to living their lives with more freedoms for the long term. Particularly with a vaccine induced herd-immunity on the horizon, if still a significant way off. Restrictions (either legal or self imposed) that are too lack, will only prolong the misery for all.

I come to my own conclusions and I've yet to see any evidence that all of the measures imposed during lockdown are justified. I don't ask for a lot. The ability to walk around a nature reserve with my close friend once a week, or a walk along the prom on my own would get me through. However like many single people, my needs are entirely ignored in lockdown.
 
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notlob.divad

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1,610
If only there was some sort of way of reducing the risk in health & care settings, say some sort of vaccine. That way we could protect the majority of people at risk, allowing everyone to return to some form of normality as well as easing pressure on the NHS.

But even if there was some sort of vaccine or three, I'm sure someone would be along to tell us that vaccines are not end games and that more restrictions are needed ad naseum....

</sarcasm off>
Quite, and one of the very few positives about the UKs response is just how well the vaccination program seems to be going compared to comparable countries. However one-up man ship and nationalistic "we are doing better than them" is not going to solve the problems in the modern interconnected world.
 

Yew

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I come to my own conclusions and I've yet to see any evidence that all of the measures imposed during lockdown are justified.
Especially given that the Public Health Act requires that any restrictions are 'the least restrictive means possible', I don't see how the government could put forward that they are, given to prior pandemic plans included measures on the whole of the UK, and the experiences of Sweden.
 
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