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Coronavirus (merged threads)

Jul 15, 2006
3,847
39
Kenton, Devon
The lateral flow tests are a waste of time.
Three weeks ago I had Covid symptoms so over a two day period I took three lateral flow tests and all were negative. I wasn't convinced so I arranged a PCR test which came back as positive. I immediately took another lateral flow tests just to see and this still showed as negative.

I mentioned it some time ago, but there is this misunderstanding regarding lateral flow tests. It was never designed to tell someone if they are infected, but to determine if you are infectious, that's why people are supposed to do one on the day of an event (ideally) if they haven't been vaccinated. A PCR test is entirely different, and many times more sensitive and can work out if you are infected (although even this isn't 100% fool-proof). In your case, you could well have had covid symptoms, but your viral load may not have been enough - and therefore not infectious - to be picked up by the lateral flow test.
 
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Jul 15, 2006
3,847
39
Kenton, Devon
Nothing to do with politics GG, despite the implication.

I'm always purely following the science.

Lateral flow tests are a confidence trick with questionable accuracy if we are really looking to get on top of the virus.

No, lateral flow tests are a good idea, but badly marketed.
 
May 16, 2016
3,752
137
I mentioned it some time ago, but there is this misunderstanding regarding lateral flow tests. It was never designed to tell someone if they are infected, but to determine if you are infectious, that's why people are supposed to do one on the day of an event (ideally) if they haven't been vaccinated. A PCR test is entirely different, and many times more sensitive and can work out if you are infected (although even this isn't 100% fool-proof). In your case, you could well have had covid symptoms, but your viral load may not have been enough - and therefore not infectious - to be picked up by the lateral flow test.
That's what I tell people. The (Free by the way) Lateral flow tests that can even be delivered to your door should be considered the warning alarm. If you're positive, stop what you were doing and go get the more accurate PCR test.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,848
93
East Devon
..... the highest number of deaths in Europe is due to population size. You know as an accountant (or should do) that the UK has a lower rate per million than some European nations with most in the same ballpark. Indeed the UK has a lower rate than the biggest Western democracy itself.
But I don't think that's true though Frank- happy if you can show me it is. I found this link to a tremendous stat base via the 'New Scientist' that I subscribe to :-
You can select any countries to compare, choose your metric (confirmed deaths, excess mortality, hospital admissions etc. etc.), choose the time interval.... AND tick the relative to population button.

Now I haven't had time to fully 'play' with it but it appears whichever way you look at it compared to comparable countries like Germany, France, Italy, Spain - even India - we do look quite bad. I know you've said before many times (and I completely agree) that comparing countries is fraught with complications and difficulties, not least because how the different countries collect the figures. Also with any stats they have to be thought about, taken in context and interpreted. But even allowing for those caveats, Germany, France, Italy, Spain have similar demographics - in fact we should have had a distinct advantage over Italy & Spain who got hit first. Also using 'excess mortality' removes any ambiguity about how deaths may or may not be attributed to Covid - sure that stat does include deaths from other causes but then that does provide an overall measure of the impact of covid. Worryingly our rates are now showing clear signs of going up again.

By the way the BMA have released a pretty damning indictment of the governement's Covid response today. Quote - "More than 130,000 people in the UK have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, with non-Covid excess deaths up 12,000 last year, making the country one of the hardest hit among comparable nations."

 
Dec 27, 2004
737
26
Bidford on Avon
No, lateral flow tests are a good idea, but badly marketed.
We'll have to disagree on this one I'm afraid

The idea is good, but from personal experiences they don't appear very accurate.

People I know and others on this thread have had symptoms and repeatedly tested negative with lateral flow, only to immediately test positive with PCR.

Why wasn't the same effort put into PCR as was into lateral flow, which I stand by is just a confidence trick to get people out and about again.

If it's not accurate at detecting infections then it's useless in my opinion and exacerbates the problem.

If lateral was accurate you'd have to get a lateral flow after failing a PCR, not the inverse.
 

IJN

Site Owner
Nov 29, 2012
1,326
1,280
Highest deaths in Europe, highest new infections rate and daily deaths in Europe and therefore wouldn’t it be a good idea to set an example and follow your own guidance by wearing a face mask in an indoor space like parliament? Naaah do what I say not what I do.

Blimmin tories.
Is Russia not in Europe then Martin?
 

IJN

Site Owner
Nov 29, 2012
1,326
1,280
I look at the figure every day, and I'm always at a loss to think why we're constantly so badly hit.

Perhaps it's the fact that our land mass is so small compared to comparable Countries like Spain and France.

I must admit my knowledge of world populations is far better now than it was before the pandemic.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,552
31
Aberdeen
But I don't think that's true though Frank- happy if you can show me it is. I found this link to a tremendous stat base via the 'New Scientist' that I subscribe to :-
You can select any countries to compare, choose your metric (confirmed deaths, excess mortality, hospital admissions etc. etc.), choose the time interval.... AND tick the relative to population button.

Now I haven't had time to fully 'play' with it but it appears whichever way you look at it compared to comparable countries like Germany, France, Italy, Spain - even India - we do look quite bad. I know you've said before many times (and I completely agree) that comparing countries is fraught with complications and difficulties, not least because how the different countries collect the figures. Also with any stats they have to be thought about, taken in context and interpreted. But even allowing for those caveats, Germany, France, Italy, Spain have similar demographics - in fact we should have had a distinct advantage over Italy & Spain who got hit first. Also using 'excess mortality' removes any ambiguity about how deaths may or may not be attributed to Covid - sure that stat does include deaths from other causes but then that does provide an overall measure of the impact of covid. Worryingly our rates are now showing clear signs of going up again.

By the way the BMA have released a pretty damning indictment of the governement's Covid response today. Quote - "More than 130,000 people in the UK have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, with non-Covid excess deaths up 12,000 last year, making the country one of the hardest hit among comparable nations."


Hi Ave_IT. Your chart seems to show a rolling 7 day average (hence, somewhat incremental) - it's worrying of course and we should be asking ourselves why this is happening when we had such a first mover advantage with the vaccine. I'd argue that the new found freedoms were granted too quickly but of course half the population would disagree with me. What's clear is it will be very much harder to reign things back in should we choose to do so.

However, that aside, my arguments on this have always been based around cumulative numbers since the beginning of the pandemic and that has been the source of disagreement with tmkf.

Forgive the morbid league table type of presentation but it's the only way to demonstrate the point. Worldometer can be sorted on column and if you do so on the basis of Deaths/M the UK lies 24th in that list. The numbers for the USA and major economies in Europe are:

Italy - 2153
USA - 2034
Poland - 1996
UK - 1964
Spain - 1823
France - 1765
Germany 1107

Now despite tmkf inaccurately attributing quotes to me , some 6-9 months ago we were far worse off than Italy, France and Spain. My assertion was that those major European countries would be in the same ballpark as us by the time this was over (note that I specifically excluded Germany back then due to their success in the first wave, and didn't include Poland at the time). I think the figures above would suggest those 4 countries are indeed in a ballpark (Italy, UK, France and Spain). That may yet change but for now I think most would accept that is fair.

On excess deaths we were very much one of the worst after the first wave but improved markedly (if that can ever be said) as things progressed. There was a BBC article that said as much which I linked previously. I think I also did a mini thesis (lol) on here about why I think the UK has over-reported in comparison to other countries.

Again, despite tmkf's misrepresentation of me, I actually think the Government's handling since September 2020 leaves a lot to be desired (other than the successful vaccine programme) and have said as much on here - but as you know I also believe there are many mitigating factors pre-Sept 2020 regarding the scientific advice etc..

Again, apologies for the morbid league table presentation, but if we must make comparisons (which as you say are fraught with difficulty) I think it's important to use the best statistical information available, not cherry pick the only one that suits an agenda which happens to be a pretty poor choice.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,552
31
Aberdeen
Partially Ian it’s transcontinental, but it has a much lower death rate than the U.K.. yesterday the U.K. had 3 times more new cases than any other country in Europe, world beating !
Ah, so you will have missed that rather like the Peru situation, earlier this year Russia admitted their death rate is over 3x more than they currently report? Those numbers have still not been updated on site like Worldometer as they're not government approved.

BTW - Have a look at the graphs for Russia, the uniformity is something to behold. You really believe that?
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,735
143
So foreigners are lying and Boris is doing a great job and the fact that we had more new cases yesterday than france, Germany Spain Italy and Poland combined is our fault and nothing to do with an entire absence of clarity and leadership.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,552
31
Aberdeen
tmkf - if you don't read what I write there is no point is there? To repeat myself, just for you:

- The Russians themselves admitted their figures are wrong. So did Peru. I'm pretty confident others will follow when the political ramifications are less likely.
- I acknowledged in my response to Ave_IT that the current trend is worrying.
- And just in case you missed it I wrote 'I actually think the Government's handling since September 2020 leaves a lot to be desired (other than the successful vaccine programme) and have said as much on here...'

Hopefully you'll have carried on reading after the first line this time.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,735
143
You’re still saying you’re pretty confident other countries have got it wrong without offering any evidence whatsoever. As if political ramifications somehow are just something for other countries.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,552
31
Aberdeen
Lol - just clinging on by a thread now.

Yes, I do believe we'll see revisions upwards in some countries who are either ill-equipped by virtue of their wealth or expertise - and some states who are shall we say traditionally economical with the truth. There may be others as well - for example they might want to include their care homes in the same way that others do.

I have shown my theories on over and under-reporting on this thread. I'm not going to repeat them now but if you can retrieve it if you're really that interested and/or want to persist with this. What is clear to me is that there should be an internationally accepted algorithm for pandemics - every country creates their own rules so reporting is inevitably skewed. That's why excess deaths and deaths/m are the best statistics on offer.

I can't offer you any more than that. If you don't get it, fine. I think this might be getting boring for everyone else now.
 
May 16, 2016
3,752
137
Based only nothing more than my experience of being one of the few on here who have actual real world experience of living in 2 countries since the pandemic started and lived under different lockdown conditions, I'd argue that some of the biggest differences and reasons for our relatively worse performance are,

Attitude and compliance of the poulation.
Availability of general testing.
Accuracy / honesty of reporting.
Political intent.

I'm not sure why some like to revel in the idea of us being the worst at everything, we probably have been in some instances but we've all played a part at some point.