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New lockdown in England, including school closures, announced by Johnson, 4/1/21

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Bikeman78

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I keep asking - why on earth would the government want to maintain restrictions? What would be the benefit of paying out furlough costs and restricting income for the public purse ad infinitum? It's a daft concept.
So ease the restrictions. The NHS is stuffed anyway. Over 220,000 people now waiting over a year for surgery. How will it ever recover from that?
 
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DannyMich2018

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While I try to avoid whataboutery, I reckon it would initially have been stricter, but the media and hypothetical Tory opposition would have been extremely vocal against it and maybe even encouraged non-compliance, to the point that such a strategy would have fallen apart.



Don't forget that even if cases/infections level off for the time being, the effect of vaccines is still kicking in that would ultimately reduce hospitalisations and deaths further; the 8 March is of course when we expect the full effects of a first dose in 1-4 groups. Also if the weather is bearing an influence, it's possible the extreme cold and snow aided transmission recently, but it has since warmed up and expected to a bit more from this weekend coming, so may aid further declines.
Exactly. Yes it's ten weeks since the vaccination started but for the first few weeks was slow to build up. It took off in January when the AZ one started to be admisistered. With it taking several weeks for immunity to build up and 2nd vaccination not started in mass yet. As the days and weeks go by cases should fall steadily. The number of people in hospital in the UK with Covid is now just under the peak we have last April. Yes still high but progress is been made.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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CRG Chair Mark Harper is on Question Time tomorrow night, along with Peter Borg-Neal who's a hospitality CEO (Oakman Inns), so we might get some strong views criticising the current restriction sustainability out of them.
Interesting they also have Nadia Whittome young Labour MP I wonder what her view will be about impact on young vs Labour policy, Layla Moran (locktivist) and Professor Linda Bauld (public health expert and was certainly cautionary on C4 news earlier). Should be interesting and for one BBC seem to be reflecting the wider public opinion over this.
 

Richard Scott

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Interesting they also have Nadia Whittome young Labour MP I wonder what her view will be about impact on young vs Labour policy, Layla Moran (locktivist) and Professor Linda Bauld (public health expert and was certainly cautionary on C4 news earlier). Should be interesting and for one BBC seem to be reflecting the wider public opinion over this.
Probably not worth watching though as still get the "people are dying from this" or "don't you know over 100,000 have died" brigade, which may be more than my tolerance can bear!
 

RomeoCharlie71

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I know we should really be ignoring this... but here's Sky's take on the "blueprint":

COVID-19: Revealed - Whitehall plans for rapid reopening of shops, pubs and restaurants
A blueprint suggests further education students could be back in mid-April, with non-essential shops to reopen at the same time.

Internal plans in Whitehall suggest a rapid reopening of the economy in the weeks after pupils return to classrooms on 8 March, Sky News understands.

Whitehall officials have drawn up a timetable to help work out internal plans to roll out the government's planned mass COVID testing regime.

This suggests a desire to reopen rapidly in the weeks after schools readmit most children next month.

The blueprint suggests that students in higher education and further education could be back in mid-April, and non-essential shops will reopen at the same time.

Then, in late April, hospitality venues, hotels, leisure facilities and some sporting venues will open their doors.

Entertainment venues and sporting facilities would follow in early May.

The blueprint was included in Whitehall documents in recent days.

But one of those involved in the lockdown-lifting work going on in government said there would be a moment all the work went into a "black box" for Number 10 to consider - and then anything would be possible.

This is, however, what officials were expecting just a few days ago.

There has been little evidence in public data this week to suggest a more cautious approach than expected will be needed on Monday, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to set out his roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions.

Downing Street will say no decisions have yet been made.

The roadmap out of lockdown in England cannot be completed until the prime minister has considered the findings of a vast Public Health England study on the impact of COVID vaccines on infection rates.

Only once he knows that can he determine how safely he can reopen the economy.

During a visit to a mass vaccination centre in Wales on Wednesday, Mr Johnson noted how hospitality was one of the last sectors to reopen last year after the first lockdown.

"I know there's a lot of understandable speculation in the papers and people coming up with theories about what we're going to do, what we're going to say, and about the rates of infection, and so on," he said.
 

takno

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Interesting they also have Nadia Whittome young Labour MP I wonder what her view will be about impact on young vs Labour policy, Layla Moran (locktivist) and Professor Linda Bauld (public health expert and was certainly cautionary on C4 news earlier). Should be interesting and for one BBC seem to be reflecting the wider public opinion over this.
I wouldn't hold out for much from Nadia Wittome tbh - she's been moonlighting in a care home to fit in some extra caring
 

Bertie the bus

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I know we should really be ignoring this... but here's Sky's take on the "blueprint":

That isn't rapid reopening. We are currently in mid-Feb and even the so-called "rapid" reopening doesn't see non-essential shops opening for another 2 months.
 

brad465

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Nicholas Lewis

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That isn't rapid reopening. We are currently in mid-Feb and even the so-called "rapid" reopening doesn't see non-essential shops opening for another 2 months.
We only want the criteria to be fulfilled for each stage and a daily review then as the vaccine works its magic we relax restrictions not wait weeks on end. So really hope he doesn't give out dates.
 

philosopher

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That isn't rapid reopening. We are currently in mid-Feb and even the so-called "rapid" reopening doesn't see non-essential shops opening for another 2 months.
To me it looks like an odd reopening schedule, nothing seems to open up for about five weeks after the schools go back, but then all of sudden practically everything opens within what seems to be a three to four week period.

I can see why that sort of proposal might happen given it suggests almost everything will be open before the local elections.
The elections are probably the only way such a reopening proposal would make sense.
 

HSTEd

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To me it looks like an odd reopening schedule, nothing seems to open up for about five weeks after the schools go back, but then all of sudden practically everything opens within what seems to be a three to four week period.


The elections are probably the only way such a reopening proposal would make sense.
By May it is likely that a substantial majority of the adult population will have been at least partially vaccinated.

We will be looking at something like 90% reduction in hospitalisations.

Every week of delay the vaccination programme advances 3-5%.
 

brad465

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By May it is likely that a substantial majority of the adult population will have been at least partially vaccinated.

We will be looking at something like 90% reduction in hospitalisations.

Every week of delay the vaccination programme advances 3-5%.
Add any potential seasonal effects kicking in and that 90% reduction in hospitalisations will be a reduction from a lower potential max value.
 

HSTEd

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Add any potential seasonal effects kicking in and that 90% reduction in hospitalisations will be a reduction from a lower potential max value.
I think it will be very difficult to convince anyone to take credit for seasonal effects in planning.

It is likely we will have negligible deaths pretty soon, at which point the restriction-hawks will be able to avoid accepting the full scope of reduction in IFR due to huge error bars on the estimates.
 

yorksrob

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Well, the React study this morning is reporting a drop in infections by two thirds over January, which is encouraging to an extent.

Slightly uneasy that it seems to be being used to push a lockdown agenda.
 

6862

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Well, the React study this morning is reporting a drop in infections by two thirds over January, which is encouraging to an extent.

Slightly uneasy that it seems to be being used to push a lockdown agenda.

And the usual implications in various articles that the lack of evidence that the decline is due to the vaccines is the same as evidence that its not linked to the vaccines. Basically pushing the agenda that lockdowns work, vaccines (probably) aren't enough.
 

duncanp

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And the usual implications in various articles that the lack of evidence that the decline is due to the vaccines is the same as evidence that its not linked to the vaccines. Basically pushing the agenda that lockdowns work, vaccines (probably) aren't enough.

If you look at the age related heat map on the GOV.UK for a selection of towns and cities, the decline in the infection rates is fastest in the older age groups that have been prioritised for vaccination.

This suggests that the vaccines must be having some effect, although it is probably going to be difficult to prove conclusively how much of the decline is due to vaccination and how much is due to the lockdown. As more and more people are vaccinated the downward effect of the vaccines on infection rates will increase.

Lockdowns do undoubtedly work in helping to reduce infection rates, but they are in no way a long term solution, whereas vaccines are.
 
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bengley

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I keep asking - why on earth would the government want to maintain restrictions? What would be the benefit of paying out furlough costs and restricting income for the public purse ad infinitum? It's a daft concept.
The great reset.

Or as it's called in the UK - 'build back better'

It's an official scheme and they genuinely want to use the effects of the pandemic on the economy to their advantage. Perhaps they don't think they've destroyed the economy well enough just yet?
 

Philip

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If you look at the age related heat map on the GOV.UK for a selection of towns and cities, the decline in the infection rates is fastest in the older age groups that have been prioritised for vaccination.

This suggests that the vaccines must be having some effect, although it is probably going to be difficult to prove conclusively how much of the decline is due to vaccination and how much is due to the lockdown. As more and more people are vaccinated the downward effect of the vaccines on infection rates will increase.

Lockdowns do undoubtedly work in helping to reduce infection rates, but they are in no way a long term solution, whereas vaccines are.

Does this also explain why cases are falling more sharply in London, the South East and West Midlands, compared to the North? This came out of the REACT study this morning.
 

Bantamzen

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Does this also explain why cases are falling more sharply in London, the South East and West Midlands, compared to the North? This came out of the REACT study this morning.
You have to remember that testing varies from region to region, and even between local authorities. So don't read too much into variations in drops, all areas are recording substantial falls. What is, or at least should be the focus now is the effect on the NHS.
 

brad465

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Well, the React study this morning is reporting a drop in infections by two thirds over January, which is encouraging to an extent.

Slightly uneasy that it seems to be being used to push a lockdown agenda.
I do think there is an irony in this survey being called REACT when when it seems to be the least reactive survey of them all, in that there’s less surveying points and updates than the ONS and ZOE studies (yes I'm aware it's an acronym).
 

Domh245

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You have to remember that testing varies from region to region, and even between local authorities. So don't read too much into variations in drops, all areas are recording substantial falls. What is, or at least should be the focus now is the effect on the NHS.

The REACT study (and the ONS study that should be due tomorrow) is based on random members of the public being asked to provide swab samples rather than using public testing & case numbers
 

Bantamzen

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The REACT study (and the ONS study that should be due tomorrow) is based on random members of the public being asked to provide swab samples rather than using public testing & case numbers
Well I'm looking at the gov.uk data rather than randomised studies. If you filter the following charts to 'Regions' then switch between them you'll see that London, the South East & East of England have a similar single prominent peak, whereas the rest of the country have two peaks but follow very similar trends, and actually more reflect the national trends.

 

Nicholas Lewis

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Does this also explain why cases are falling more sharply in London, the South East and West Midlands, compared to the North? This came out of the REACT study this morning.
The Kent variant was spreading fastest in L&SE particularly and lockdown 3 would have moderated the speed of spread out of this area so it makes sense to me. It also shows that even though it has a higher level of transmissibility it was contained easily through NPI's until vaccination penetration is at a sufficient level to manage it.
Im surmising the govt will have had the input from this during this weeks review as they like to quote this one although when there being selective about what metric they want to use on a daily basis who knows whether its even relevant to there decision making anymore.
 

Domh245

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Well I'm looking at the gov.uk data rather than randomised studies. If you filter the following charts to 'Regions' then switch between them you'll see that London, the South East & East of England have a similar single prominent peak, whereas the rest of the country have two peaks but follow very similar trends, and actually more reflect the national trends.


When you say double peak, do you mean the two in rapid succession around the new year, or some other double? All regions seemed to have that do varying degrees, and they're all tracking down in roughly the same fashion
 

Bantamzen

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When you say double peak, do you mean the two in rapid succession around the new year, or some other double? All regions seemed to have that do varying degrees, and they're all tracking down in roughly the same fashion
On all but the three mentioned, there is an initial peak around October-November, then significant trough, followed by a second higher peak at the turn of the year. A pattern followed nationally, whereas the three have a lesser initial peak, then a trough followed by a much higher peak.
 

Domh245

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On all but the three mentioned, there is an initial peak around October-November, then significant trough, followed by a second higher peak at the turn of the year. A pattern followed nationally, whereas the three have a lesser initial peak, then a trough followed by a much higher peak.

Ah yes, I see what you mean now
 

Bikeman78

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It is interesting, and does beg the question was this as a result of increased testing around the 'Kent' variant, hence the very different curves through the second half of 2020?
I don't see the point in testing any more. I don't believe that track and trace will ever work properly so what's the point in testing millions of people who feel fine and could get on with their lives?
 

Solent&Wessex

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You have to remember that testing varies from region to region, and even between local authorities.

And even within each Local Authority area.

If you follow BradMet's twitter feed you will see daily posts along the lines of "Today we have teams out carrying out door to door testing in X and Y areas".
X & Y are generally always in what I would the "ultra urban Bradford city" area, and coincidentally always seem to be the areas coloured dark blue or purple on the zoomed in map of the country showing the case rates.
They rarely, if ever, seem to be in the outskirts of the district on the less dense or more rural areas which are generally light blue, green or white.

There are of course many reasons why those "ultra urban" areas always tend to have high case rates, even last summer, but perhaps the old adage of "the more you look the more you find" applies here.

Unhelpfully because the Bradford City area itself seems virtually incapable of having very low rates then the rest of the district, including those less dense and rural areas which during last summer had a long time with absolutely no cases at all, have been lumbered with "local restrictions" of one sort or another since last July. This is one reason why I am really hoping we don't go back in the regional / local tier system as I can quite easily foresee that the Bradford District as a whole is never lifted from them, ever. Certainly last summer when we all had restrictions from July the cases were almost exclusively concentrated on the City area itself and not spread across the whole district even though we all had to bear the restrictions.
 
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