Media Coverage of COVID -19

NorthOxonian

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surely carrying on the way we are, running away from 'the virus', is doing far more damage than if we went back to a normal society ?
Yes, more than likely, but that calculation would change if the case figures rose to levels above those seen in the first surge (with knock on effects on hospitalisations and deaths). I personally don't expect the figures to rise that much, but I don't think it's impossible either. I wouldn't want us to be hamstrung by a commitment to avoid a national lockdown, in the unlikely event that having one would be the best course of action.
 
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AdamWW

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If only we'd followed Swden's lead and not had any lockdowns at all we'd be in a far better situation by now. They've had no deaths for a week and an average of just 108 new infections per day.

And yet last I saw, Anders Tegnell was still saying it's too early to say.

Do you think he's just being polite?

Or maybe it's not quite as simple as that.
 

DavidB

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And yet last I saw, Anders Tegnell was still saying it's too early to say.

Do you think he's just being polite?

Or maybe it's not quite as simple as that.
He's probably not wanting to make any claims yet - another few months and if things carry on as they are it will be very clear that he chose the right policy.
 

AdamWW

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He's probably not wanting to make any claims yet - another few months and if things carry on as they are it will be very clear that he chose the right policy.
I don't think that's true unless you assume there are no other factors that differentiate Sweden from other countries.

If we get compelling evidence that we should have followed Sweden, I don't see how that will come from just looking at how many people died in each country and saying "Oh look at that - they did better than us so we should have just done the same".

I really don't think it's that simple and I suspect it's going to take longer than that to build up a full enough picture of what was going on in both countries in order to have a credible view of what would have happened here if we'd started off with less severe restrictions than we did.
 

DavidB

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I don't think that's true unless you assume there are no other factors that differentiate Sweden from other countries.

If we get compelling evidence that we should have followed Sweden, I don't see how that will come from just looking at how many people died in each country and saying "Oh look at that - they did better than us so we should have just done the same".

I really don't think it's that simple and I suspect it's going to take longer than that to build up a full enough picture of what was going on in both countries in order to have a credible view of what would have happened here if we'd started off with less severe restrictions than we did.
So what major differences are there which could account for the fact that Sweden has seen no increase over the past month, whereas many maskophile countries have?
 

Jonny

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Good article from Ireland. We need people inside our NHS to speak up like this:
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/hea...19-condemned-by-hse-doctor-1.4352701?mode=amp
They won't though, given that the Irish HSE have just sacked him
Sacked for telling the truth about coronavirus. Shame on all the HSE
You would think that the media were trying to maintain a narrative, their brand of fear is addictive. Sometimes you have to settle for leaving the room, but if you believe those who are watching the TV you would think that we were all going to die. The statistics tell another story.
 

AdamWW

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So what major differences are there which could account for the fact that Sweden has seen no increase over the past month, whereas many maskophile countries have?
I don't know.

But - and I speak from ignorance so if anyone here has a background in public health or epidemiology please step in and correct me if I'm wrong - I don't think you can just assume that if we had adopted the same policy it would have had the same effect here.

Reasons that come to mind are: whatever rules are set, compliance is likely to vary between two countries. The R value without restictions (R0) is not a constant because it depends on how people come into contact and that will vary between countries for many reasons. You can't just assume that the initial level and distribution throughout the country of infections was the same. Two countries may set different criteria for being admitted to hospital rather than staying at home and hoping for the best. Etc.

Also, if we're going to put it all down to masks, I believe there are countries outside Europe that have mask wearing and low Covid death figures.
 

Richard Scott

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Yes, more than likely, but that calculation would change if the case figures rose to levels above those seen in the first surge (with knock on effects on hospitalisations and deaths). I personally don't expect the figures to rise that much, but I don't think it's impossible either. I wouldn't want us to be hamstrung by a commitment to avoid a national lockdown, in the unlikely event that having one would be the best course of action.
A lockdown would not be the best course of action under any circumstances, all it does is delay inevitable. This virus will circulate whatever we do, better to let younger healthy people get it now (and don't trot out what if they pass it on to older people, older people have a brain, they can work out if they should isolate or not and a lot of older people have had enough too). It isn't smallpox or even close, let's stop being so hysterical about the whole thing. No lockdown needed, not now, not ever.
 

DavidB

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Also, if we're going to put it all down to masks, I believe there are countries outside Europe that have mask wearing and low Covid death figures.
I don't think there's enough evidence to argue that masks have made things any worse, although it's possible. However, there doesn't seem to be any evidence at all that they actually have a beneficial impact.

Incidentally, is it just round here or have others noticed an increase in people wearing masks with outlet valves?
 

AdamWW

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A lockdown would not be the best course of action under any circumstances, all it does is delay inevitable. This virus will circulate whatever we do, better to let younger healthy people get it now (and don't trot out what if they pass it on to older people, older people have a brain, they can work out if they should isolate or not and a lot of older people have had enough too). It isn't smallpox or even close, let's stop being so hysterical about the whole thing. No lockdown needed, not now, not ever.
It's not just older people who are at risk. Some of them need to work for a living so it's not just as simple as working out if they should isolate or not.

Incidentally, is it just round here or have others noticed an increase in people wearing masks with outlet valves?
I've seen a few rail staff wearing them - which I suppose is OK given that they don't have to wear masks so if they want to wear one just to protect themselves that's up to them.
 

Richard Scott

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It's not just older people who are at risk. Some of them need to work for a living so it's not just as simple as working out if they should isolate or not.
But we cannot keep doing this just incase this person or that person. We have to do what's best overall and lockdown is definitely not what's best for the population as a whole.
 

AdamWW

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But we cannot keep doing this just incase this person or that person. We have to do what's best overall and lockdown is definitely not what's best for the population as a whole.
Well that's a different argument.

You were suggesting that everyone at risk can choose to hide themselves out of the way while the rest of the population gets it and I do not believe that's true.
 

Yew

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I don't think that's true unless you assume there are no other factors that differentiate Sweden from other countries.

If we get compelling evidence that we should have followed Sweden, I don't see how that will come from just looking at how many people died in each country and saying "Oh look at that - they did better than us so we should have just done the same".
Indeed, I think we need to look both at the death rate per million, and what percentage of their population has been infected. Perhaps we should be looking at deaths per million per herd-immunity percentage point?
 

Richard Scott

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Well that's a different argument.

You were suggesting that everyone at risk can choose to hide themselves out of the way while the rest of the population gets it and I do not believe that's true.
No that wasn't suggested at all, my point was older people have a brain and can choose if grandchildren come round or what time they go shopping to try and avoid crowds. I only mentioned older people not all at risk but those at risk who are of working age are small in number and afraid society can't sit around and wait for ever. May sound harsh but that's how it is. The longer we wait just in case the worse it gets for everyone, vulnerable included.
 

AdamWW

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No that wasn't suggested at all, my point was older people have a brain and can choose if grandchildren come round or what time they go shopping to try and avoid crowds. I only mentioned older people not all at risk but those at risk who are of working age are small in number and afraid society can't sit around and wait for ever. May sound harsh but that's how it is. The longer we wait just in case the worse it gets for everyone, vulnerable included.
OK apologies for misunderstanding.

However I think at some point we've come unstuck from talking about media coverage which this thread is supposed to be about.
 

Mag_seven

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However I think at some point we've come unstuck from talking about media coverage which this thread is supposed to be about.
Yes you are correct there so could everyone please return to posting about Media coverage of COVID-19 in this thread please.

There are plenty of other threads in the COVID-19 section to discuss other COVID-19 issues.

Thanks. :)
 

Freightmaster

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If we get compelling evidence that we should have followed Sweden, I don't see how that will come from just looking at how many people died in each country and saying "Oh look at that - they did better than us so we should have just done the same".

I really don't think it's that simple and I suspect it's going to take longer than that to build up a full enough picture of what was going on in both countries in order to have a credible view of what would have happened here if we'd started off with less severe restrictions than we did.
I actually agree with your appeal for caution, but the media are are starting to notice
that Sweden has the potential of becoming "an inconvenient truth":


The point is not that lockdowns achieved nothing at all. Obviously, if you confine an entire population, you will slow the spread of COVID-19 (and, indeed, of other diseases transmitted by human contact). The point, rather, is that lockdowns were disproportionate and were maintained for far too long.

A new study by economists from the University of Chicago, Princeton, and the London School of Economics finds that a lockdown of less than two months might be justifiable: The economic costs are limited, and the time can be used to build healthcare capacity. “After that,” says Professor Greg Kaplan, one of the authors, “all you're doing is delaying a second wave, so unless you can hold that lockdown in place all the way until a vaccine arrives, the marginal benefits get smaller and smaller.”

It is amazing how many commentators refuse to understand this point. If you flatten the curve, you don’t reduce the area underneath the curve. Some countries have chosen to string things out for longer than others. But in the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the eventual number of deaths won’t vary much.
Hopefully the UK media will start waking up to this soon??






MARK
 

Freightmaster

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Why?

The UK Government and Media is embracing the sunk cost fallacy
Because the current 'Emperor's New Clothes' circus of lies and denials cannot go on forever;
eventually one or more UK media outlets will see what is really happening and will break ranks
to score an 'exclusive' by the end of the year, I would have thought?





MARK
 

AdamWW

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I actually agree with your appeal for caution, but the media are are starting to notice
that Sweden has the potential of becoming "an inconvenient truth":
There have been articles like this for months though.

And regarding the following:

It is amazing how many commentators refuse to understand this point. If you flatten the curve, you don’t reduce the area underneath the curve. Some countries have chosen to string things out for longer than others. But in the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the eventual number of deaths won’t vary much.
One reason to refuse to understand the point might be because - as ever - it's not as simple as that.

In my view (from what I've read because I don't claim to be an expert):

A "cure" isn't a binary thing where one day we suddenly find something that saves 100% of lives. As we are seeing, as time goes on the medical profession are getting better at understanding how to treat this. So yes,l the flatter the curve, quite likely the fewer deaths.

The other thing they seem to be choosing to completely ignore is that possibility of getting infections to a low level and then keeeping them there via an effective track and trace programme. This seems to be quite hard with Covid-19 and I don't think we're anywhere near a position in the UK to achieve that.

But if someone is going to ignore this point rather than explain why it can be dismissed they don't have much credibility in my view.

They also seem to assume that you can use the time gained by flattening the curve to build up sufficient healthcare capacity to then release restrictions, which isn't necessarily true.

I'd like some articles in the media explaining why things aren't as simple as they may look.
 

Skimpot flyer

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How do you track and trace when there are no tests available to identify infected individuals, let alone their contacts??
Maybe this is deliberate, in order to justify a second lockdown on the basis ‘we don’t know who has got it’ ...
 
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LAX54

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They won't though, given that the Irish HSE have just sacked him
Think some NHS staff and reports alledged to have come from 'high up' have been reported in a similar vein, but no names, but based on this Irish report, I am not surprised !
 

HSTEd

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The other thing they seem to be choosing to completely ignore is that possibility of getting infections to a low level and then keeeping them there via an effective track and trace programme. This seems to be quite hard with Covid-19 and I don't think we're anywhere near a position in the UK to achieve that.

But if someone is going to ignore this point rather than explain why it can be dismissed they don't have much credibility in my view.
Because its a pretty obvious rhetorical trick to justify the eternal lockdown.
It happily demands lockdowns without end in the short term to get cases "to a low level", and manufactures a handy Dolchstoßlegende for when this strategy simply fails.
It must be because the incompetent government can't produce a suitable track and trace system, not that track and trace can't reliably contain this disease. Therefore you can trigger the sunk cost fallacy to justify neverending restrictions to keep infections at a level where track and trace could contain them even though it will never be able to.
 

AdamWW

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Because its a pretty obvious rhetorical trick to justify the eternal lockdown.
It happily demands lockdowns without end in the short term to get cases "to a low level", and manufactures a handy Dolchstoßlegende when this strategy simply fails.
It must be because the incompetent government can't produce a suitable track and trace system, not that track and trace can't reliably contain this disease. Therefore you can trigger the sunk cost fallacy to justify neverending restrictions to keep infections at a level where track and trace could contain them even though it will never be able to.
No, sorry don't follow.

If the above is true, wouldn't the responsible thing be for the media to explain that, rather than pretending that things are simpler than they are?

Especially when they are giving a misleading view and criticising other journalists for not going along with their simplistic one.
 

HSTEd

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No, sorry don't follow.

If the above is true, wouldn't the responsible thing be for the media to explain that, rather than pretending that things are simpler than they are?

Especially when they are giving a misleading view and criticising other journalists for not going along with their simplistic one.
Media doesn't exist to be responsible, it exists to sell copy.
Saying "sorry but we have to let a quarter to a half million pensioners die because its the least bad option" is not going to sell much copy.
 

AdamWW

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Media doesn't exist to be responsible, it exists to sell copy.
Saying "sorry but we have to let a quarter to a half million pensioners die because its the least bad option" is not going to sell much copy.
Really?

Sounds like the sort of headline that sells papers to me.

And actually I think that's an overly cynical view.

Whether media organsations are run for shareholder profit or not (lots are, but not all) that doesn't mean that journalists get out of bed in the morning and consider corporate profits to be the only aim of the day. Maybe I'm being unreasonably idealistic, and I'm sure it varies between organisations, but I suspect it's a bit unfair if you're suggesting that no journalist considers they have any responsibility towards accurate reporting.
 

HSTEd

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Sounds like the sort of headline that sells papers to me.
A very large fraction of paper's surviving circulation is to pensioners.
I doubt pensioners want to hear about how their selfishness is causing colossal damage to everyone else in society do they?
 

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