Long term social distancing: Impact on public life & public transport?

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Greenboy

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We are talking about the risk of death for a healthy working age person with no underlying conditions.

Very few deaths in this group. Anyone in this group who claims to be scared of the virus needs to get a grip, and get back to work.
I think it's you that needs to get a grip, it's not about trying to be macho. Some people have very good reason to be unwilling to return to work including footballer Troy Deeney.
 
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43066

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It's fair to be scared of it. It can still make you feel very unwell, have lasting side effects and like an uncontrollable toss of a coin make actually just kill you anyway in a very nasty way regardless of risk factors. It is particularly unpleasant and doesn't behave in a manner we have learned to predict yet.

That being said a healthy respect for it and the sensible precautions against it can be reinforced by that so fear is not necessarily a bad thing.

Some people will just naturally be more nervy than others. I am not bothered myself, other colleagues are terrified. You can pin that on how information is presented.
Yes the symptoms can be unpleasant but, assuming your colleagues are healthy, youngish adults, they’ve no more reason to be scared of this than a dose of the flu. Thousands die of that every year but we don’t crash the economy to prevent those deaths.

Social distancing already doesn’t work on public transport. I wasn’t able to do it this morning on my way to work. Does that bother me? No.

We all just need to crack on, I’m afraid. Quite enough economic damage has been done already.
 

Huntergreed

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We all just need to crack on, I’m afraid. Quite enough economic damage has been done already.
I do agree, but the government and the majority of the public don’t seem to realise this. I’m convinced if we started announcing daily flu death rates in the winter people would start to stay at home and pull their kids out of school.
I can understand the public being afraid, given the aggressive fear-driven messaging, but there’s no excuse for the government to not consider the economic implications of this very cautious approach.
 

43066

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I think it's you that needs to get a grip, it's not about trying to be macho. Some people have very good reason to be unwilling to return to work including footballer Troy Deeney.
It so happens I do a job where I’ve been expected to go to work throughout the lockdown. I don’t have the option of refusing to go in, or working from home. If I refused to go in, I’d get the sack. Simple as that.

Let me guess, you’re furloughed and enjoying it a bit too much?!
 
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The week pre-lockdown (i.e. w/c 16 March), when the virus reproduction was at its highest, very few people were socially distancing themselves on public transport despite the Government advising people to do so and only use public transport when absolutely essential. I reckon the advice will be similar in 4-6 weeks, will people think much different? I don't think so.

Social distancing is not sustainable long-term. It's possible to an extent at the moment, but when non-essential retail opens and schools open to more kids it's going to become impossible.
 

LowLevel

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Yes the symptoms can be unpleasant but, assuming your colleagues are healthy, youngish adults, they’ve no more reason to be scared of this than a dose of the flu. Thousands die of that every year but we don’t crash the economy to prevent those deaths.

Social distancing already doesn’t work on public transport. I wasn’t able to do it this morning on my way to work. Does that bother me? No.

We all just need to crack on, I’m afraid. Quite enough economic damage has been done already.
I'm a conductor on 15x DMUs where social distancing is very tricky to achieve given the toilet is right next to the cab and you have to operate the doors from a public area. Plenty of my colleagues are also not youngish healthy adults or have people at home they're scared of potentially bringing it home to (the latter seems to be more of the problem). As I say, I personally am not too fussed but the way it has been presented I can understand people's concern. Given the proportion of the public that seem to struggle with showering and cleaning their teeth regularly it doesn't give much confidence in their hygiene regime :lol:
 

mmh

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I think a second wave of infection is inevitable if things carry on like they are today.
This will be interesting. Since March we've been told by many that we'll see a spike in deaths in the weeks following many events. The bank holidays, Easter, Mother's Day, good weather, any weekend where the press happen on pictures of "crowds" of people. It has never materialised. Deaths and hospitalizations (the only useful historical measures to use in comparisons) peaked in early April and have been reducing since.

By that theory, we should be seeing the catastrophic picture predicted so often in about a fortnight. London should have a cluster after the weekend's demonstrations.
 

Mugby

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I think it's you that needs to get a grip, it's not about trying to be macho. Some people have very good reason to be unwilling to return to work including footballer Troy Deeney.
Yes, those lovely sandy beaches and the beautiful weather is much more appealing that going back to work!
 

43066

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I'm a conductor on 15x DMUs where social distancing is very tricky to achieve given the toilet is right next to the cab and you have to operate the doors from a public area. Plenty of my colleagues are also not youngish healthy adults or have people at home they're scared of potentially bringing it home to (the latter seems to be more of the problem). As I say, I personally am not too fussed but the way it has been presented I can understand people's concern. Given the proportion of the public that seem to struggle with showering and cleaning their teeth regularly it doesn't give much confidence in their hygiene regime :lol:
It’s regrettable that you can’t operate the doors from a non public area. It’s the same where I am, but the TM basically barricades themselves into first class and does the doors from there, so ensures social distancing.

If people have underlying conditions and are “high risk” then it’s right they should be allowed to continue to remain off work until the risk reduces further and the government advises that it’s safe for them to return - but that isn’t the case for the majority of the working age population.

Agree re the general lack of public hygiene - the loos on the trains I work have been spotless for the last few weeks :)
 

nlogax

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By that theory, we should be seeing the catastrophic picture predicted so often in about a fortnight. London should have a cluster after the weekend's demonstrations.
Other countries have been able to directly attribute infection spikes with demonstrations or mass events. Pair the demonstrations with widespread easing of lockdown in England I would imagine that yes, there'll be some interesting numbers forthcoming in the next fortnight, and depending on the outcome these will determine whether the easing continues or we need to reapply restrictions on a more local basis.

If we -don't- see spikes I would be quite surprised..and very optimistic that we should get out of this sooner.
 

43066

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Yes, those lovely sandy beaches and the beautiful weather is much more appealing that going back to work!
Haha. No coincidence that it’s been the sunniest spring on record, and lots of perfectly healthy people are apparently in mortal fear or a virus that poses a negligible risk.

Sipping sangria in the back garden, while the government pays your wages, is better than going to work? TOUGH - stop swinging the lead ! :D
 

Bantamzen

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I think it's you that needs to get a grip, it's not about trying to be macho. Some people have very good reason to be unwilling to return to work including footballer Troy Deeney.
I don't think anyone is trying to be macho. But there is the stark reality that people need to earn money, and the government needs people to earn. Otherwise no NHS.
 

Greenboy

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It so happens I do a job where I’ve been expected to go to work throughout the lockdown. I don’t have the option of refusing to go in, or working from home. If I refused to go in, I’d get the sack. Simple as that.

Let me guess, you’re furloughed and enjoying it a bit too much?!
No I'm working mostly from home and I was before the virus............. different people have different circumstances and I think a lot of people are going to be uneasy about using public transport for sometime to come.
 

FelixtheCat

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If a virus poses a negligible risk (less than being killed in a car crash) then its irrational to tell your employer you’re scared to travel to work due to the virus, if you’d be prepared to drive to work. L

In any case, if you’ve signed a contract which requires to be at work during certain hours, you have a choice of either doing as you’re contracted to do, or being sacked. Your own feelings really don’t come into it. Whether you think that’s “pants” or not, that’s the way the world works, I’m afraid.

It’s clear that some posters on here have yet to enter the world of work!!!
Why are you still stating something that is either completely untrue or unproveable?

This is likely caused by the fact that many other treatments (cancer screening, operations etc) have been postponed or cancelled and as a result those with many other conditions have not received the treatment they ultimately needed to survive. The lockdown has, I imagine, also taken a severe toll on mental wellbeing and caused an increase in suicide rates and this could also account for a number of the deaths, combined with those caused from the virus. Of course during the peak some of these deaths have been from Covid, but many of the deaths have been accelerated when people have perhaps had 6 months to a year of life left. Whilst I hate to sound horrible, is it really worth causing the worst recession since the Baroque era and risking the careers and livelihoods of the younger generation over trying to add 6 months onto the lives of those who are already nearing the end of their natural life? If this is the case we may see mortality rates drop below the average sometime over the next year.
That is a reasonable assessment. But, we don't actually know, which is the argument I was making as a whole.


That's not entirely the case. The daily reported deaths are people who have died with Covid in their body at the time, not from it. In fact I recall when the death figures were well up in the hundreds, there were in fact only 15-20 per day dying from Covid with no underlying conditions, and some of these have been found to have undiagnosed conditions upon post-mortem examinations.
If someone has an underlying health problem, that doesn't mean that COVID-19 wasn't the cause of death. Again, we appear to be approaching the conclusion that we don't yet know.


I can't say I disagree with you there, I do perhaps think that it was a little hasty to reopen schools now when September would have been adequate. 3 more weeks before they decided to lift the lockdown in England (like what Scotland did) I think would have perhaps been the correct path to take, but now it's getting to stage where we need to consider more than just Covid. I'm not saying I think lockdown should be completely lifted yet, doing so would be incredibly reckless, but I do think we need to shift the emphasis and public view onto a more rational one and emphasise the importance of reopening the economy quickly which could negatively impact everyone instead of just focusing on the suppression of the virus. Perhaps the government are focusing on this, but there's little to no mention of it in the briefings, and when this is combined by the phrase 'guided by the science' you do have to wonder whether that's all science, or simply medical science, which doesn't take into account the social or economic impacts of the decisions made.
Honestly, I agree entirely. I think we're approaching the point now where the increase in deaths is stable and low. But, lifting the lockdown early probably mean we'll probably see a spike in a fortnight or so. The fact that we lifted about a month too early means that we'll be seeing far greater health and economic repercussions than we ought to.
 
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37424

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I do agree, but the government and the majority of the public don’t seem to realise this. I’m convinced if we started announcing daily flu death rates in the winter people would start to stay at home and pull their kids out of school.
I can understand the public being afraid, given the aggressive fear-driven messaging, but there’s no excuse for the government to not consider the economic implications of this very cautious approach.
I get fed up of people trying to compare it to flu:
Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19. However, the yearly deaths vary widely from a high of 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19. Public Health England does not publish a mortality rate for the flu.
Yes there have been some bad years where it has been much higher than that, but we can vaccinate those most at risk even if it isn't an exact science on the flu strains that are about, and I think those at risk are becoming more aware that they need to get a vaccine. Covid is about what 38,500 and still rising regarded as more virulent with no vaccination available.
 
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CaptainHaddock

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This will be interesting. Since March we've been told by many that we'll see a spike in deaths in the weeks following many events. The bank holidays, Easter, Mother's Day, good weather, any weekend where the press happen on pictures of "crowds" of people. It has never materialised. Deaths and hospitalizations (the only useful historical measures to use in comparisons) peaked in early April and have been reducing since.

By that theory, we should be seeing the catastrophic picture predicted so often in about a fortnight. London should have a cluster after the weekend's demonstrations.
The fact there haven't been any spikes following the public events you list suggests the virus is dying out naturally and that further easings of the lockdown will have a negligible effect.
 

43066

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No I'm working mostly from home and I was before the virus............. different people have different circumstances and I think a lot of people are going to be uneasy about using public transport for sometime to come.
In which case you’re in a privileged position. Many of us do not do jobs where we can work from home! Presumably you accept that someone who is a healthy adult has a negligible chance of dying of the virus?

As I said above, I’ve been going to work all through lockdown (albeit less often than usual). On the days I’m required to be at work, I have no choice but to go in.

I have a pretty good idea what my manager would say if I told him I was unwilling to come in due to a fear of this virus.


Why are you still stating something that is either completely untrue or unproveable?
I don’t follow.

There are two separate points here:

As discussed ad nauseam above, the chances of healthy adults dying of this virus are negligible. For people who aren’t in a high risk group, fearing this virus is irrational, just as fearing the flu virus would be.

Secondly, the government is currently paying 8m+ peoples’ wages (or at least a proportion of them). That is completely unsustainable and it will come to an end. Soon. At that point, those people *will* have to return to work, or face losing their jobs - and rightly so. That’s reality.

They can choose to resign of course. But that isn’t much of a choice if they have rent or a mortgage to service.
 

mmh

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think we're approaching the point now where the increase in deaths is stable and low. But, lifting the lockdown early probably mean we'll probably see a spike in a fortnight or so. The fact that we lifted about a month to early
What are you basing it being too early on, and what will be different in a month's time? We're not approaching a point of low deaths, we're at it. Deaths have been reducing on am exponential trajectory for two months. The decline being exponential suggests the number will take longer and longer to approach zero. It's quite possible that statistically there will appear to be no change in a months time when deaths are used as the headline figure. That's to be expected given what we've seen so far, but sadly will also be used by lockdown proponents as evidence that "we must keep going" - to do what exactly, though?

We're at the point where social distancing has played its role, if it had one at all. We'll never know for sure, we'll only be able to make retrospective comparisons and theories. We can't change what has been done, right or wrong, but we can acknowledge we have reached the time when we must change approach.
 

FelixtheCat

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I don’t follow.

There are two separate points here:

As discussed ad nauseam above, the chances of healthy adults dying of this virus are negligible. For people who aren’t in a high risk group, fearing this virus is irrational, just as fearing the flu virus would be.

Secondly, the government is currently paying 8m+ peoples’ wages (or at least a proportion of them). That is completely unsustainable and it will come to an end. Soon. At that point, those people *will* have to return to work, or face losing their jobs - and rightly so. That’s reality.

They can choose to resign of course. But that isn’t much of a choice if they have rent or a mortgage to service.
You started out by comparing car crashes to COVID-19 (post #1593).
I carried out a quick statistical comparison (after arguing that we don't actually know the true COVID-19 death rate) (post #1608).
You then said that you were specifically referring to "a healthy working age person with no underlying conditions" (post #1616). We know such people are less likely to die of COVID-19, but you have not provided any numbers. I've explained in post #1608 why, even if the numbers exist, they should be treated with caution. Also, in order to provide a proper statistical comparision (which you are doing), you will need to compare to road traffic accident data for "healthy working age [people] with no underlying conditions".

That is why I said that you are making comparisons that are untrue or unproveable.


What are you basing it being too early on...
The actions of other countries (specifically Denmark and New Zealand) who locked down quickly, suppressed the virus, and can now re-open with far fewer risks.

...and what will be different in a month's time?
Again, from our trajectory as compared to other country's. We have had ~1 week of an increase in death rates of under 1%. Other countries started to lift restrictions when this trend was seen over a fortnight. It has been 3 weeks since restrictions were first lifted for us. Therefore, assuming that our death rate stays the same or declines, we will be in the same position in ~1 week as other countries were when they lifted their restrictions.


We're not approaching a point of low deaths, we're at it.
Where do you get that from?

Deaths have been reducing on am exponential trajectory for two months. The decline being exponential suggests the number will take longer and longer to approach zero. It's quite possible that statistically there will appear to be no change in a months time when deaths are used as the headline figure. That's to be expected given what we've seen so far, but sadly will also be used by lockdown proponents as evidence that "we must keep going" - to do what exactly, though?
The answers given above should make this paragraph redundant. I'm happy to clarify why.

We're at the point where social distancing has played its role, if it had one at all. We'll never know for sure, we'll only be able to make retrospective comparisons and theories. We can't change what has been done, right or wrong, but we can acknowledge we have reached the time when we must change approach.
And this is meaningless.
 

MikeWM

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The decline being exponential suggests the number will take longer and longer to approach zero.
Unfortunately there will be a 'background' number of deaths for quite some time, even if the virus had entirely vanished into thin air by now. Firstly due to reporting delays, and secondly due to people sadly losing a long protracted battle against complications caused by a nasty case (eg. after spending a very long time on a ventilator).

We have to bear that in mind when attempting to draw any conclusions from the daily numbers.
 

Islineclear3_1

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Haha. No coincidence that it’s been the sunniest spring on record, and lots of perfectly healthy people are apparently in mortal fear or a virus that poses a negligible risk.

Sipping sangria in the back garden, while the government pays your wages, is better than going to work? TOUGH - stop swinging the lead ! :D
Makes me wonder how things would have turned out if we had usual seasonable weather or February's rainfall all over again. The beaches would certainly be deserted then :rolleyes:
 

mmh

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Unfortunately there will be a 'background' number of deaths for quite some time, even if the virus had entirely vanished into thin air by now. Firstly due to reporting delays, and secondly due to people sadly losing a long protracted battle against complications caused by a nasty case (eg. after spending a very long time on a ventilator).

We have to bear that in mind when attempting to draw any conclusions from the daily numbers.
Precisely. Which is why my question to those waiting for some figure at which they'll feel safe is a simple one - what is that figure? That they often cannot say, and cannot say how their measure is being impacted by social distancing is concerning. I often suspect some are waiting for zero, which as you say is unlikely to happen any time soon, or potentially ever.
 

43066

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You started out by comparing car crashes to COVID-19 (post #1593).
I carried out a quick statistical comparison (after arguing that we don't actually know the true COVID-19 death rate) (post #1608).
You then said that you were specifically referring to "a healthy working age person with no underlying conditions" (post #1616). We know such people are less likely to die of COVID-19, but you have not provided any numbers. I've explained in post #1608 why, even if the numbers exist, they should be treated with caution. Also, in order to provide a proper statistical comparision (which you are doing), you will need to compare to road traffic accident data for "healthy working age [people] with no underlying conditions".

That is why I said that you are making comparisons that are untrue or unproveable.
We are going round in circles. The figures have been provided upthread. This virus poses minimal risk to healthy, working ageD adults. Fact.

The government is currently paying the wages of millions. That is completely unsustainable. Fact.

If we don’t get the economy going again soon, we won’t have an NHS, and many of us won’t have any jobs to go back to. Fact.

Which of the above statements do you disagree with, and why?!
 

FelixtheCat

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We are going round in circles. The figures have been provided upthread. This virus poses minimal risk to healthy, working ageD adults. Fact.

The government is currently paying the wages of millions. That is completely unsustainable. Fact.

If we don’t get the economy going again soon, we won’t have an NHS, and many of us won’t have any jobs to go back to. Fact.

Which of the above statements do you disagree with, and why?!
  • You keep making comparisons between road traffic accidents and COVID-19
  • You objected to my statistical analysis of that comparison
  • You have not provided your own
  • This answer does not address that comparison
  • That's why I keep objecting

Oh, and I'll put 'fact' a few times too.

Fact, fact, fact, fact.
 

FelixtheCat

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We're now 6 weeks on from Easter. Any spikes in cases from then, or any other event listed by @CaptainHaddock, would surely have been seen by now?
  • The events listed were by @mmh
  • We were told that we could see such spikes if social distancing measures and lockdown guidelines were not adhered too (by and large they were)
  • The last bank holiday was 1 week ago
  • We have seen spikes after other large events (Cheltenham Races spring to mind), and some of the data was coming out more than a month after
 

Socanxdis

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I don't understand why you can't visit your parents inside the home whilst following social distancing but you can travel to the beach and on public transport and go to work and go to many shops and come in contact with so many people.
 

Islineclear3_1

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My veteran grandmother hasn't had family visits since lockdown and she is going out of her mind. She sent me a letter believing we had all deserted her despite my mother and I phoning her regularly. She does understand the coronavirus situation and lockdown etc, but this isolation business is now really getting to her and no doubt, with many others in the 70+ bracket is now something that is going to be increasing

She does not do social media, nor does she have the desire to start learning at nearly 100 years old

Both my wife and I have (obviously) refrained from making the 140 mile round trip to see her (we are both key workers in close contact with patients) but now, I am beginning to see a visit as absolute essential
 

mmh

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Everyone's circumstances are different and it's your decision and not necessarily an easy one I understand, but I would say go and visit her. My 87 year old aunt died during lockdown and I wish I'd visited more recently than I did. And she lived a ten minute walk away.
 
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