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Coronavirus (merged threads)

Sep 2, 2008
1,737
6
Quinny":stiohiwg said:
Guiri Green":stiohiwg said:
Yet back in February.....

"Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the plan aimed to be "cautious but irreversible" and at every stage decisions would be led by "data not dates".

"It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-56158405

There may well have been a better way of controlling the spread of the new variant, but for anyone pinning your lives on June 21st......you shouldn't have. They've been clear all along that it might change.

Now, if more people had stuck to the guidelines, we may have have reduced the spread of the variant as the vaccine roll out reached a wider spread of people.

Personal responsibility.

The issue regarding the spread of the delta variant was that the indicators were there back in the first week of April when Pakistan and Bangladesh were both added to the red list due to the surge of cases which had spread from India ... but the Govt held off for some reason from imposing the same measure on India itself. That Boris was due to go to India at that same time to negotiate a trade deal was, I'm sure we can all agree, a complete coincidence.

I'm inclined to believe, as I'm sure you do Quinny, that this was a major factor in why he delayed putting India on the naughty list.

For me, it's an example of the fine balancing act that the Govt have to maintain between the economy and the health of the Country. Govts have to make difficult decisions and there will always be people that have a different idea on what decision(s) should be made.

People need to take more responsibility for their actions. I'm pretty sure that all those people that flew in from India knew there was an issue in the Country and knew the Country was on a number of red lists and yet it would appear that they just carried on regardless. The World has been consumed by this pandemic and there is a shed load of information out there on what we should and shouldn't do so there really is no excuse.

So when I talk about taking personal responsibility, I am talking about those people.

I suggest that the people blaming the Govt probably fall into the bracket of people that blame someone else when things go wrong.
 
Dec 27, 2004
668
8
Bidford on Avon
Pottypilgrim":2d0wyo5e said:
Quinny":2d0wyo5e said:
Guiri Green":2d0wyo5e said:
Yet back in February.....

"Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the plan aimed to be "cautious but irreversible" and at every stage decisions would be led by "data not dates".

"It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-56158405

There may well have been a better way of controlling the spread of the new variant, but for anyone pinning your lives on June 21st......you shouldn't have. They've been clear all along that it might change.

Now, if more people had stuck to the guidelines, we may have have reduced the spread of the variant as the vaccine roll out reached a wider spread of people.

Personal responsibility.

The issue regarding the spread of the delta variant was that the indicators were there back in the first week of April when Pakistan and Bangladesh were both added to the red list due to the surge of cases which had spread from India ... but the Govt held off for some reason from imposing the same measure on India itself. That Boris was due to go to India at that same time to negotiate a trade deal was, I'm sure we can all agree, a complete coincidence.

I'm inclined to believe, as I'm sure you do Quinny, that this was a major factor in why he delayed putting India on the naughty list.

For me, it's an example of the fine balancing act that the Govt have to maintain between the economy and the health of the Country. Govts have to make difficult decisions and there will always be people that have a different idea on what decision(s) should be made.

People need to take more responsibility for their actions. I'm pretty sure that all those people that flew in from India knew there was an issue in the Country and knew the Country was on a number of red lists and yet it would appear that they just carried on regardless. The World has been consumed by this pandemic and there is a shed load of information out there on what we should and shouldn't do so there really is no excuse.

So when I talk about taking personal responsibility, I am talking about those people.

I suggest that the people blaming the Govt probably fall into the bracket of people that blame someone else when things go wrong.


Sorry PP - completely wrong.

I don't give a stuff about rosettes - I do about competence.

Larry the cat could do a better job - or anyone else in the cabinet.

His balancing act, defies common sense and science and actually does MORE damage to the economy.

That's why our economy has been devastated compared to similar others.

Not fit to wear the shirt.

Never thought I'd say it .... bring back Theresa May.

At least she was competent and "got things done" :hitfan:
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,787
9
Kenton, Devon
Martyn":1m7rswkn said:
Why 6.00 pm, tonight, do it now.

Should been announced first thing this morning.

Well, a lot of reasons why at 6pm and not first thing this morning. Firstly, well it's hardly a secret for a start, so if any business, well anyone TBF, is caught "unawares" by the announcement this evening - more fool them. Secondly, such a delay rightly should come from the PM and he's currently in Brussels this morning for the NATO summit: that was in the diary ... as was the 6pm press conference. Thirdly, it's a disappointing development for many, but it isn't as if we're facing a tightening on restrictions (at least not yet). It's just more of the same for another 4 weeks and for the vast majority of people life is more or less "back to normal" to a certain extent (as least it seems like that, given the amount of traffic coming through here in Kenton on their way to Dawlish and Teignmouth), so I don't see any real need for the PM to "drop everything". And, finally, if he had announced it any sooner, say over the weekend, Boris would have faced a back-last from those on the benches who have gotten annoyed over announcements being made in public but Parliament not getting the chance to have their say until 24/48 hours later. A 6pm announcement, plus a 9pm Commons Statement (and debate) would placate those grumblers.

I'm as big a critic of Boris and the Govt as many here, but I don't see a problem with any of this. Like I said, we all know what's going to be said...
 
Sep 2, 2008
1,737
6
Quinny":205c0n7b said:
Martyn":205c0n7b said:
Why 6.00 pm, tonight, do it now.

Should been announced first thing this morning.

Well, a lot of reasons why at 6pm and not first thing this morning. Firstly, well it's hardly a secret for a start, so if any business, well anyone TBF, is caught "unawares" by the announcement this evening - more fool them. Secondly, such a delay rightly should come from the PM and he's currently in Brussels this morning for the NATO summit: that was in the diary ... as was the 6pm press conference. Thirdly, it's a disappointing development for many, but it isn't as if we're facing a tightening on restrictions (at least not yet). It's just more of the same for another 4 weeks and for the vast majority of people life is more or less "back to normal" to a certain extent (as least it seems like that, given the amount of traffic coming through here in Kenton on their way to Dawlish and Teignmouth), so I don't see any real need for the PM to "drop everything". And, finally, if he had announced it any sooner, say over the weekend, Boris would have faced a back-last from those on the benches who have gotten annoyed over announcements being made in public but Parliament not getting the chance to have their say until 24/48 hours later. A 6pm announcement, plus a 9pm Commons Statement (and debate) would placate those grumblers.

I'm as big a critic of Boris and the Govt as many here, but I don't see a problem with any of this. Like I said, we all know what's going to be said...

Agreed.

Like all those people that flew in from India knew they were coming from a very high risk area and yet....
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,787
9
Kenton, Devon
Pottypilgrim":3bmyl5bc said:
Quinny":3bmyl5bc said:
That Boris was due to go to India at that same time to negotiate a trade deal was, I'm sure we can all agree, a complete coincidence.

I'm inclined to believe, as I'm sure you do Quinny, that this was a major factor in why he delayed putting India on the naughty list.

For me, it's an example of the fine balancing act that the Govt have to maintain between the economy and the health of the Country. Govts have to make difficult decisions and there will always be people that have a different idea on what decision(s) should be made.

I do partially agree with you, PP - the Govt does have a difficult balancing act between the economy and the health of the nation. But the India trip wasn't to sign any agreement: just working out the details for some of the trickier areas. Shutting down flights from India at the same time as their neighbours and delaying that aspect of the talks would have made little or no difference to when that trade deal is finally signed, nor when we'd start to realise any of the benefits of the deal (which would be many years down the line). No, delaying adding India to the red list just so Boris wouldn't be subject to spending a fortnight in a quarantine hotel was a selfish and reckless act - even more so as Boris ended up postponing the visit anyway!

People need to take more responsibility for their actions. I'm pretty sure that all those people that flew in from India knew there was an issue in the Country and knew the Country was on a number of red lists and yet it would appear that they just carried on regardless. The World has been consumed by this pandemic and there is a shed load of information out there on what we should and shouldn't do so there really is no excuse.

So when I talk about taking personal responsibility, I am talking about those people.

I suggest that the people blaming the Govt probably fall into the bracket of people that blame someone else when things go wrong.

Yes, I agree partially agree with the personal responsibility bit, and I'm sure many had genuine reasons to be there - and travel back - but then if the Govt was so keen to protect our borders why give a week's notice with their intention to add India to the red list other than to give people time to get back? Personally I'd be quite happy for the Govt to give less than 12hours notice to shut down borders - basically anyone in air at the time of the announcement will be allowed in without a need to quarantine, everyone else can lump it.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,282
29
"I suggest that the people blaming the Govt probably fall into the bracket of people that blame someone else when things go wrong." says Potty whist blaming someone else (those arriving from India) when things have gone wrong. I mean when he's typing a post doesn't he ever think, hang on this is just ridiculous, I'm literally doing what I am pompously criticising other people of doing. It's truly double take stuff.

Of course trying to get a meeting with Modi to desperately try and obtain any Brexit bonus with a country the other side of the world that by the Government's own figures would add a tiny boost to the economy compared with importing a deadly variant that has put the economy and thousands of lives at risk is a nonsense. But still it's a glass of kool aid the believers will drink heartily.

And ignoring the fact that lecturing people to take personal responsibility whilst ignoring the fact that the person ultimately responsible has never taken personal responsibility for anything in his life, is well, nothing to see here, move on.
 
Some wildly speculative comment on this thread lately. I completely agree there is a balancing act and have stated this on many occasions. For everyone who wants to extend restrictions there is probably an equal number who don't and the Government has a responsibility to maintain the health and wealth of the nation - primarily because, and simply put, health will suffer without wealth.

In terms of personal responsibility. I couldn't agree more. A major problem is simply 'people' and the liberal attitudes we hold dear in this country. I've previously cited the laissez-faire conversation I heard between two young women in the street, one who was positive. Then just this week my neighbour recited a tale from a little while back where someone he knew and was chatting to in the street suddenly revealed he was positive. Shocked, he then asked about the chap's wife and daughter, he nonchalantly said that she was at work and the little one had gone to school. Put that together with stories of house parties and illegally organised gatherings and it is clear our moral compass is perhaps different to many other countries.

As for following scientific evidence, I firmly belive they pretty much did up until September last. The transcripts from the SAGE meeting before Cheltenham would tend to demonstrate that, as would the comments from Vallance about herd immunity back then. Something did change in September though and I suspect that was an unwillingness to further damage the economy with a second lockdown - a policy of course which was self-defeating in the end and costly for many poor souls. They seem to be back in line now though with today's revelation.

And finally, dear old tmkf keeps trotting out the 'most deaths in Europe' stat as it's the only one that helps him bash Britain (that said he might not be to even use that soon). It's like saying the USA is much worse than North Macedonia because they have more deaths in their country. For those more scientifically minded there are excellent resources on this topic. Figures for excess deaths with good analysis can be found here with links to EuroMOMO for provenance.

It is very interesting to see that the UK has in all likelihood overdone it's reporting of Covid related deaths, whereas many other countries are not reporting anywhere near enough. Check out Russia, South Africa, Egypt and Iran for example - massive discrepancies. We have seen this revising of data in Peru recently of course and I would expect more to come. In Europe we see France and Germany probably over reporting like the UK, Spain inline and Italy and Poland under-reporting (this assumes the excess is related to Covid and not consequential effects in areas such as cancer and heart disease but the principle is consistent).

None of this is to defend the Government per se - I think serious mistakes were made in the Autumn last year and again the lack of action over India recently was a mistale. But at the same time you have to present honest data or anecdotes if you're going to debate, something one or two on here seem incapable of doing.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,282
29
For the scientifically minded comparing USA with North Macedonia is not the same as comparing the UK with Germany or France both of which have bigger/similar populations but have tens of thousands less deaths. That's not being anti British that's just counting.

And it's the very fact that I'm pro British that I'm ashamed of the clown circus running the country. IMHO it's the people trying to excuse these liars and charlatans that are anti British.
 
themightykeithfear":32lmhiph said:
For the scientifically minded comparing USA with North Macedonia is not the same as comparing the UK with Germany or France both of which have bigger/similar populations but have tens of thousands less deaths. That's not being anti British that's just counting.

And it's the very fact that I'm pro British that I'm ashamed of the clown circus running the country. IMHO it's the people trying to excuse these liars and charlatans that are anti British.

:lol:
 
May 16, 2016
3,515
26
themightykeithfear":3bayzycr said:
For the scientifically minded comparing USA with North Macedonia is not the same as comparing the UK with Germany or France both of which have bigger/similar populations but have tens of thousands less deaths. That's not being anti British that's just counting.

And it's the very fact that I'm pro British that I'm ashamed of the clown circus running the country. IMHO it's the people trying to excuse these liars and charlatans that are anti British.

Says the person applying for an Irish Passport.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,282
29
Wanting to have the freedoms that brexit took away and enjoy my retirement isn’t being anti British. It was the people who voted brexit and took the freedoms away from British people who were anti British.
 
May 16, 2016
3,515
26
themightykeithfear":1zrcmqmm said:
Wanting to have the freedoms that brexit took away and enjoy my retirement isn’t being anti British. It was the people who voted brexit and took the freedoms away from British people who were anti British.


.....and racists.
 
Sep 2, 2008
1,737
6
Guiri Green":2hw7hjmo said:
themightykeithfear":2hw7hjmo said:
Wanting to have the freedoms that brexit took away and enjoy my retirement isn’t being anti British. It was the people who voted brexit and took the freedoms away from British people who were anti British.


.....and racists.

So there are almost 17.5 million anti British people in Britain :funny: :lol:

Good to see that you're still talking complete nonsense. :facepalm: Actually, it's not good really...please folks, try not to quote him if you can

You really still don't have a clue. I can only imagine the amount of bilge you've been spewing out lately.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,785
6
East Devon
Frank_Butcher":2mww4wof said:
As for following scientific evidence, I firmly belive they pretty much did up until September last. The transcripts from the SAGE meeting before Cheltenham would tend to demonstrate that, as would the comments from Vallance about herd immunity back then. Something did change in September though and I suspect that was an unwillingness to further damage the economy with a second lockdown - a policy of course which was self-defeating in the end and costly for many poor souls. They seem to be back in line now though with today's revelation.

And finally, dear old tmkf keeps trotting out the 'most deaths in Europe' stat as it's the only one that helps him bash Britain (that said he might not be to even use that soon). It's like saying the USA is much worse than North Macedonia because they have more deaths in their country. For those more scientifically minded there are excellent resources on this topic. Figures for excess deaths with good analysis can be found here with links to EuroMOMO for provenance.
Sorry Frank but I really think that accepting the line that the government simply followed scientific advice – even during the first wave – just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny (or at least only partially). You refer to the ‘herd immunity’ idea that was certainly in the media at the time and was mentioned by Vallance as you say – but that doesn’t excuse the government’s decision and indeed doesn’t even correspond to the stated policy at the time.

Here’s an an article written by Ed Yong in ‘the Atlantic’ on 16th March 2020 – that absolutely tears into the way the government was handling the pandemic and lambasts the way ‘herd immunity’ was being portrayed. By the way Ed Yong is a Pulitzer prize winning science writer best known for his brilliant book ‘I contain multitudes’ about the link between microbes and animals (which sits on my bookshelf and heartily recommend as a fascinating and very accessible read). So the suggestion that the one and only scientific recommendation of how the government should have been acting AT THE TIME is the one they actually followed is just wrong.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... on/608065/

Here’s a quote (remember this was written at the time):-
]” a growing number of countries struggle to control the virus, talk of “flattening the curve” is increasing. That is, a lot of people are going to get sick, and delaying infections as much as possible is imperative, so that cases occur over a long period of time and health systems aren’t suddenly inundated. Almost every country is trying to achieve this goal through the standard arsenal of public health—testing people and tracing contacts—and through more restrictive measures that include instituting quarantines, closing public spaces, banning mass gatherings, and issuing strong advice about social distancing.

But on Thursday, at a press conference, Boris Johnson seemingly revealed that the United Kingdom would adopt a different strategy. The government would no longer try to track and trace the contacts of every suspected case, and it would test only people who are admitted to hospitals. In lieu of any major social-distancing measures, Johnson instead offered a suite of soft advice—people with symptoms should stay home; no school trips abroad; people over 70 should avoid cruises.

Almost immediately, the supposed plan came under heavy criticism, coupled with confusion that public-health and science advisers would recommend this strategy. Herd immunity is typically generated through vaccination, and while it could arise through widespread infection, “you don’t rely on the very deadly infectious agent to create an immune population,” says Akiko Iwasaki, a virologist at the Yale School of Medicine. And that seemed like the goal. In interviews, Vallance and others certainly made it sound like the government was deliberately aiming for 60 percent of the populace to fall ill. Keep calm and carry on … and get COVID-19.

That is not the plan.

“People have misinterpreted the phrase herd immunity as meaning that we’re going to have an epidemic to get people infected,” says Graham Medley at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Medley chairs a group of scientists who model the spread of infectious diseases and advise the government on pandemic responses. He says that the actual goal is the same as that of other countries: flatten the curve by staggering the onset of infections. As a consequence, the nation may achieve herd immunity; it’s a side effect, not an aim. Indeed, yesterday, U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated, “Herd immunity is not our goal or policy.”

The point is that there wasn’t a simple scientific diktat that said it was OK to go softly-softly in February and March 2020 to achieve herd immunity, then a sudden later realisation by the boffins they’d got it horribly wrong - so let’s not blame the poor old politicians who were just following advice. The key point for me is the one about track and trace. It was a government, political decision to no longer bother with the track-and-trace in March – not something advised by scientists. Why? WTF were they thinking? We can only speculate they had doubts about whether our large centralised lab systems would be able to cope (unlike South Korea or Germany’s much more numerous but smaller localised labs) or maybe it was cost concerns or maybe some muddled-headed notion of individual liberties and privacy? Who knows – but you can’t blame the scientists for that fundamental deadly mistake or the near criminal decision to discharge covid patients into care homes.

The article also quite rightly points out the horribly mixed messages that the government was sending to the public at large back in March 2020 ...... something that has continued throughout the whole pandemic.

Another particularly valid criticism is the lack of transparency surrounding the data and models used and the meetings at which these decisions were taken (remember that a certain Doiminic Cummings was actually on the Sage committee FFS!). A great quote here is “If your models are not ready for public scrutiny, they should not be the basis for public policy”. Science works by process of peer review and critical appraisal to come to a consensus. The government seemed to want things kept under wraps and carefully controlled the release of information – the article references letters signed by literally hundreds of scientists asking for greater transparency. It was their decision to behave that way – their decision to limit the scope and peer review of the science …..which they then promptly blamed when it went horribly wrong.

As for the stats – it was reported just the other day the excess death rate of the UK in 2020 was second only to the U.S. ….. now it's quite true we’ve fared much better thanks to the vaccine roll-out in 2021 relative to other countries but it still leaves us one of the worst European countries and we had the distinct advantage of having the example of Italy as a warning at the start of the pandemic. Similar sized ‘western’ democratic countries like Germany, France & even Spain fared much better – even Italy’s figures are only marginally worse.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,282
29
Pottypilgrim":1ez2kusw said:
Guiri Green":1ez2kusw said:
themightykeithfear":1ez2kusw said:
Wanting to have the freedoms that brexit took away and enjoy my retirement isn’t being anti British. It was the people who voted brexit and took the freedoms away from British people who were anti British.


.....and racists.

So there are almost 17.5 million anti British people in Britain :funny: :lol:

Good to see that you're still talking complete nonsense. :facepalm: Actually, it's not good really...please folks, try not to quote him if you can

You really still don't have a clue. I can only imagine the amount of bilge you've been spewing out lately.

It's my opinion Potty, they may not have thought they were doing that, but in my view it was an unpatriotic vote.

Potty still pretending not to read things he actually is, what makes a person humiliate himself in that way. And still asking for me to be cancelled. He was furious because his hero Trump was having his freedom of speech taken away - he actually wasn't and he is now trying to close down free speech. Hypocrites here hypocrites there hypocrites everywhere.

Freedom of speech is an important part of democracy Potty, it's very British too.

Back to topic. Parliament including the Speaker and many Tory mps furious because Johnson has released the statement on the extension to lockdown to the Press before putting it to Parliament. Remember the promise that our Parliament was going to take back control of our laws from Brussels? Good luck with that.
 
@Ave_IT

Yes I agree Track and Trace was a fundamental mistake early on as well, but as you intimate capacity was the issue and I believe Hancock has acknowledged the fact in the past. However, on scientific advice, then in general I stick to what I said - If Vallance was advocating hetrd immunity as he was well into March 2020, then the government were clearly following that strategy. The recent denials from ministers are in my opinion preposterous and disingenuous. I have also posted earlier in this thread with the SAGE meeting minutes days before Cheltenham citing that outdoor events would not be a major cause of transmission, hence the decision to proceed. So on those two points I think the evidence is clear.

On excess deaths, the report you refer to is about the G7 only. This article is more braod in it's assessment:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56456312

But i would still advise looking at the Economist article I posted previously. there are massive discrepancies - even allowing for the variation in date range, and if you interpret the figures the UK, along with Germany and France of the big 5 European countries seem to be overstating Covid related deaths - this probably due to the 28 day figure. Conversely many countries are widely understating. It's pretty clear to be honest. Therefore perhaps our excess death rates are high because of other factors - cancer, mental health, heart disease etc. Getting in to the weeds now but it's the only correlation I can see.

You agreed with the rest of the post then? ;)
 
Apr 8, 2011
6,870
12
25
Plymouth
Wembley - 50% capacity.
Wimbledon - 100% capacity.

Class discrimination, in plain view. There is no way to scientifically justify that decision.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,785
6
East Devon
But Frank.....

The thing is you can't say they "followed the science" because the science wasn't cast in tablets of stone. There was a substantial body of scientists who fundamentally disagreed at the time with what they were doing. The 'herd immunity' is a phrase that means different things to different people and has taken on a retrospective meaning that is now somewhat sinister. At the time it could be argued Vallance was just suggesting the 'curve' must be flattened by slowing the inevitable spread. There's nothing reckless in that principle - it's all about how that is implemented. Did he advocate we could all relax and let the virus rip? No - and he certainly wasn't advocating scrapping track and trace as the government did which, as you agree, was a fundamental mistake that scuppered any chance we had of 'flattening the curve'.

Then there's the point about the way the government actually listened to the science that they then claimed to be following. As the article I referenced shows there were many critical voices and much frustration in the science community with the lack of transparency. Holding secretive counsels, locked away in ivory towers with everyone sworn on pain of death not to reveal details of what was discussed is NOT how science works. They wouldn't even reveal who was on Sage for months - so is it any wonder they may not have got the best advice?

Having said all that I do take the point they had to take many other factors into account. Yes, it is easy in hindsight to say concerns about the economy, people's livelihoods, education, mental health etc. had to come second to the virus. We'd never experienced anything like it. It's one thing for authoritarian regimes to order a 'lockdown' but for a liberal democracy? It's easy to forget now that at the time the very idea was quite shocking. But their weasel defence of effectively blaming all their own mistakes on the scientists and absolving themselves of all responsibility is cowardly and gutless.