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Coronavirus (merged threads)

Nov 15, 2011
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Imperial College estimated just the first lockdown saved around half a million lives in the U.K. which I think is an unacceptable level of deaths even allowing for the economic harm.
 
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Daz

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Sep 30, 2003
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New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed the number of people dying in their homes has risen dramatically over the last 18 months.

At least 70,602 excess deaths in homes were registered between 7 March, 2020 and 17 September, 2021 across England and Wales.


However, only 8,423 (12%) of these deaths involved COVID-19, according to PA news agency analysis of data from the ONS.

Will it come to pass, when all the data is independently analysed including the massive hit to the economy, that the conclusion will be that lockdowns were a waste of time?
Those deaths were so low because of the lock down. If we didn’t lock down what do you think would have happened?
 
Jul 15, 2006
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Kenton, Devon
At least 70,602 excess deaths in homes were registered between 7 March, 2020 and 17 September, 2021 across England and Wales.


However, only 8,423 (12%) of these deaths involved COVID-19, according to PA news agency analysis of data from the ONS.

Will it come to pass, when all the data is independently analysed including the massive hit to the economy, that the conclusion will be that lockdowns were a waste of time?

Unfortunately, it is likely many of these people would still have died if they were out and about: if a person has a cardiac arrest at home, it is likely (s)he would have had suffered such a fate if they weren't at home.

But then there was a marked reduction on road deaths during the lockdown ... because people were less likely to be out and about (although there was a slight increase in cyclist deaths IIR). And there was a marked reduction in pollution, so potentially lives were saved there too during those months.

Lockdown was a necessary step. And it will skew a lot of ONS figures.
 
Jun 28, 2011
1,554
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Plymouth
Those deaths were so low because of the lock down. If we didn’t lock down what do you think would have happened?
Don’t be ridiculous- these were excess deaths over and above normal. People who could not get treatment for cancer, strokes etc etc or were afraid to ask for hospital treatment.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,892
57
Kenton, Devon
Don’t be ridiculous- these were excess deaths over and above normal. People who could not get treatment for cancer, strokes etc etc or were afraid to ask for hospital treatment.
I've just checked the ONS website on this. They say:

"Our analysis shows that many of these deaths at home were people who, in a non-pandemic year, may have typically died elsewhere such as in hospital".
 
Dec 27, 2004
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Bidford on Avon

The elderly were 'just an afterthought': Devastating report by MPs into Covid pandemic lays bare Government blunders, the £37bn test and trace fiasco... and the shocking decisions that left thousands to die in care homes​


I used the link from the DM rather than others as it's a Conservative paper so stops the obvious allegations of leftyism.

Truly shocking, but something everyone knows if they're objective.

No amount of airbrushing, obfuscation and downright lies can cover up the truth.

HMG didn't follow the science wrt to timing of lockdowns, and still aren't with simple measures like masks and distancing.

Shameful and mind-boggling incompetence
 

Frank Butcher

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Oct 9, 2003
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Joe - come on. I know you have your agenda which is fine, but the report absolutely does not say that government didn’t follow scientific advice In fact, quite the contrary, it criticises them for doing so.

In your very own link:

‘The MPs say ministers were blinded by ‘groupthink’ among scientific advisers, who wrongly wanted to manage the spread of the virus, rather than suppress it.’

’The delay in imposing the first lockdown stemmed from flawed advice from scientific advisers, the report finds. Ministers felt ‘unable to challenge’ members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies even as it became clear a catastrophe was unfolding.’


I’ve been consistent on this as my own opinion throughout. You see, all through the pandemic people have been doubting that they followed advice and blaming government for not doing so. Now that the report suggests they were actually following flawed advice, that seems to be the government’s fault as well. Well I’m sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

There is plenty to criticise, (care homes, test and trace, Xmas etc. though I believe there is some mitigation for each) - but it helps to be accurate when commentating as it otherwise diminishes what else is being said.
 
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Nov 15, 2011
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I can't believe anyone would try to say that an all party report headed by Conservative former Ministers, detailing the Government's catastrophic mistakes resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, actually had nothing to do with the Government. You can read at length "the five tragic mistakes ministers made", but if you are in the cult you still deny the evidence of your own eyes and ears. I mean this was the PM who disregarded the specific advice of his medical experts, boasting about shaking hands with Covid patients and was happy to "let the bodies pile high"

Johnson meanwhile is conveniently on holiday in the luxury villa of a millionaire friend who was rejected by the people in the last election but put in the House of Lords by Johnson to pass our laws and provide luxury holidays. Democracy anyone? Will Johnson or any Minister take accountability for the unnecessary deaths of British people, every other person in the country would be fired for and worse if they did it. "Lessons will be learned" they'll say , move on nothing more to see here.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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If anyone has any doubts about the Government's culpability for tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, watch this video , its's all fact based and quite shocking.

 
Apr 15, 2004
2,882
144
East Devon
Joe - come on. I know you have your agenda which is fine, but the report absolutely does not say that government didn’t follow scientific advice In fact, quite the contrary, it criticises them for doing so.

In your very own link:

‘The MPs say ministers were blinded by ‘groupthink’ among scientific advisers, who wrongly wanted to manage the spread of the virus, rather than suppress it.’

’The delay in imposing the first lockdown stemmed from flawed advice from scientific advisers, the report finds. Ministers felt ‘unable to challenge’ members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies even as it became clear a catastrophe was unfolding.’


I’ve been consistent on this as my own opinion throughout. You see, all through the pandemic people have been doubting that they followed advice and blaming government for not doing so. Now that the report suggests they were actually following flawed advice, that seems to be the government’s fault as well. Well I’m sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

There is plenty to criticise, (care homes, test and trace, Xmas etc. though I believe there is some mitigation for each) - but it helps to be accurate when commentating as it otherwise diminishes what else is being said.
The government’s culpability for delaying the first lockdown can in part be excused by them saying “we were just following scientific advice” ……although it is stretching credibility to claim these shrinking violets “felt unable to challenge the advice” - when they must have been well aware of eminent scientists in this country and abroad were offering different opinions. Is it being unduly cynical to think they were very happy to unquestioningly follow the advice they wanted to hear ? Even so – let’s give them the benefit of the doubt shall we, and just be somewhat surprised at their willingness to bow down so meekly to their resident scientific masters.

What they cannot be excused for though is their initial decision to not bother at all with track-and-trace and then their subsequent chaotic implementation of it …..way, way too late.

They cannot be excused for the arrogance of not looking at other countries, most notably Germany, who had much lower case rates and had administered a highly efficient scheme. How long and how many lives lost did it take for them to think “hang on, maybe that was a mistake”?

They cannot blame the science advice for their almost criminal neglect of Care homes and directing hospitals to release patients back into the care sector without even covid testing them.

Then what about the second wave? What about the ‘eat-out-to-help-out’ and the ‘lets-enjoy-Christmas’ message? By then we were all too painfully aware of what Covid was and how it spreads. How come they were not bowing down to the science advice then? I knew it, you knew it, and I think even my bloody dog knew that we were taking a huge risk of another outbreak – and sure enough another surge in hospitalisations and deaths came right on cue.

So some mitigation can be made for the late lockdown in March 2020 and the vaccine roll-out was superbly done..... although it was infuriating to hear them shamelessly boast about "the government's vaccine program" and in the next breath refer to "the NHS track-and-trace" (talk about standing reality on its head). But there can be little doubt that overall their arrogance and incompetence cost many, many lives and we had a right to expect better.
 
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Frank Butcher

Foodbank Donor
Oct 9, 2003
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Gairloch
The government’s culpability for delaying the first lockdown can in part be excused by them saying “we were just following scientific advice” ……although it is stretching credibility to claim these shrinking violets “felt unable to challenge the advice” - when they must have been well aware of eminent scientists in this country and abroad were offering different opinions. Is it being unduly cynical to think they were very happy to unquestioningly follow the advice they wanted to hear ? Even so – let’s give them the benefit of the doubt shall we, and just be somewhat surprised at their willingness to bow down so meekly to their resident scientific masters.

What they cannot be excused for though is their initial decision to not bother at all with track-and-trace and then their subsequent chaotic implementation of it …..way, way too late.

They cannot be excused for the arrogance of not looking at other countries, most notably Germany, who had much lower case rates and had administered a highly efficient scheme. How long and how many lives lost did it take for them to think “hang on, maybe that was a mistake”?

They cannot blame the science advice for their almost criminal neglect of Care homes and directing hospitals to release patients back into the care sector without even covid testing them.

Then what about the second wave? What about the ‘eat-out-to-help-out’ and the ‘lets-enjoy-Christmas’ message? By then we were all too painfully aware of what Covid was and how it spreads. How come they were not bowing down to the science advice then? I knew it, you knew it, and I think even my bloody dog knew that we were taking a huge risk of another outbreak – and sure enough another surge in hospitalisations and deaths came right on cue.

So some mitigation can be made for the late lockdown in March 2020 and the vaccine roll-out was superbly done..... although it was infuriating to hear them shamelessly boast about "the government's vaccine program" and in the next breath refer to "the NHS track-and-trace" (talk about standing reality on its head). But there can be little doubt that overall their arrogance and incompetence cost many, many lives and we had a right to expect better.

Well now, where to begin.

This is the second time in the last couple of weeks that you’ve quoted me and called out on things I’ve already mentioned. Not sure what’s going on there. But as you mention them, I’ll expand.

I did say, did I not, that there were many areas to criticise including giving Test and Trace as an example. However, a Test and Trace system cannot make people pick up a phone which was to an extent a part of the problem. Could that have been foreseen? Perhaps. It certainly was an eyewatering amount of money spent.

On lockdown 1, you will know I’ve been consistent on scientific advice being an issue since the very start and this report seems to make the same point. If you’re pragmatic, you’d say the government did what it said it would do, if you’re a cynic you’d say they were setting their defence up early. Fairly obvious who will believe what on here.

In subsequent lockdowns, you’ll also know I’ve always been more critical. It seemed to me they diverted from scientific advice in Autumn 2020. Re: Xmas (you’ll note yet again I did mention this in my post), I think they were wrong but wrong in the face of overwhelming public pressure. Remember ‘Boris cancels Christmas’? This even in the wake of the restrictions they did put in place.

On care homes (BTW I mentioned them in my post too). It was a fundamental and tragic error in my opinion. The only mitigation is that it was an ill fated strategy to reduce the burden on the NHS, i.e. clear the hospitals ready for the influx - which of course had the exact reverse and devastating effect.

On Germany (as you gave them as an example), there was a reference on here eons ago (by Quinny maybe? [apologies if wrong]) that a German advisor said they got lucky in the first wave - can’t recall exactly but something to do with quickly closing the door on cross-border infections from young people holidaying in Alpine resorts (their most rapid and very obvious ingress point). The chap said it was a big advantage for them. But what is interesting is you don’t mention the German response to subsequent waves. I can assure you (first hand) that public opinion was not great. So, if they’re a shining light please tell me how you explain that?

Finally, it was interesting to read the Vallance interview the other day. Again, you know I’ve referenced his talk of herd immunity as early as March 2020. To be fair to him he addressed that by saying that the change in policy could be seen as a u-turn - at least as a parallel in political terms. But he said it wasn’t a U-turn, it was a learning process. As SAGE learned more about the virus their advice to goverment changed, and subsequently so did government policy. I put it to you that in those early days in particular (less mitigation later on as I’ve said) it was all a learning process - something again you will be acutely aware of with the posts being made on this very thread at the time.

Now I think that’s a pretty balanced viewpoint. Unlike some of the polarised carp on here I can criticise and defend at the same time (as you yourself did).
 
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Apr 15, 2004
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😊 ..... I wasn't "calling you out" Frank (are you getting paranoid mate? ;)) - and I'm well aware that you've been equally critical of the Care home disaster etc. ..... the post was just leading on from your comments about following the science and I'm saying well maybe we can cut them a bit of slack there BUT ....etc. etc...

As for the Germany point you raise. They did a remarkable job compared to us and virtually completely avoided the first wave - which in hindsight was quite astonishing. (I don't think anyone else did). Did they get lucky for the first few cases? Maybe, but their success was really due to immediately jumping on cases as soon as they happened, having a really good track-and-trace scheme and having a de-centralised system with numerous small local labs and local administrators with powers to make decisions. We started off doing that - do you remember the pub that was shut down very early on and everyone in it was traced and checked out? But then after the cases become more than a couple of dozen or so we just abandoned any attempt at t-and-t.

Germany did have a second wave which hit them a month before ours but they had virtually no vaccine roll-out to help them but still did manage to suppress it. A month later we already had significant numbers vaccinated by then (well ahead of Germany at the time) which undoubtedly helped contain our second wave - but our excess deaths were still as bad if not worse than theirs. If their public opinion wasn't impressed - then maybe they have higher expectations than us of our leaders - plus their initial shock having escaped lightly up to that point.

You also say that Vallance says Sage changed their advice to the government as they learned more about the virus - but did government really follow the advice? Not about the relaxation in the autumn or about Christmas they didn't.
 
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Frank Butcher

Foodbank Donor
Oct 9, 2003
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Gairloch
😊 ..... I wasn't "calling you out" Frank (are you getting paranoid mate? ;)) - and I'm well aware that you've been equally critical of the Care home disaster etc. ..... the post was just leading on from your comments about following the science and I'm saying well maybe we can cut them a bit of slack there BUT ....etc. etc...

As for the Germany point you raise. They did a remarkable job compared to us and virtually completely avoided the first wave - which in hindsight was quite astonishing. (I don't think anyone else did). Did they get lucky for the first few cases? Maybe, but their success was really due to immediately jumping on cases as soon as they happened, having a really good track-and-trace scheme and having a de-centralised system with numerous small local labs and local administrators with powers to make decisions. We started off doing that - do you remember the pub that was shut down very early on and everyone in it was traced and checked out? But then after the cases become more than a couple of dozen or so we just abandoned any attempt at t-and-t.

Germany did have a second wave which hit them a month before ours but they had virtually no vaccine roll-out to help them but still did manage to suppress it. A month later we already had significant numbers vaccinated by then (well ahead of Germany at the time) which undoubtedly helped contain our second wave - but our excess deaths were still as bad if not worse than theirs. If their public opinion wasn't impressed - then maybe they have higher expectations than us of our leaders - plus their initial shock having escaped lightly up to that point.

You also say that Vallance says Sage changed their advice to the government as they learned more about the virus - but did government really follow the advice? Not about the relaxation in the autumn or about Christmas they didn't.
No problem - just that the last couple of times you’ve quoted me, you’ve then talked about things almost as though I hadn’t mentioned them. Maybe getting too sensitive given all the other misrepresentation and polarised nonsense on here in the last few months.

Re: Germany, yep that would be an advantage of a decentralised health system I suppose. Easier to ramp up as you have the structure and expertise out there. Having a National Health Service was perhaps a disadvantage in that respect. Without naming or going in to details, I was privy to many of the challenges and pressures being felt at a local level. But my German colleagues were very unimpressed at (and talked of public discontent of) subsequent management.

Edited to add, your defence of their handling of subsequent waves doesn’t address the point of why it got out of hand in the first place. No-one’s perfect eh?

I believe the government followed advice at the start of the pandemic, diverted from it in Autumn 2020, bowed to public pressure/perception at Xmas, and then got back on board with the science after that. That would be my summary.
 
Apr 15, 2004
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East Devon
The main benefit of the German system as I understand it was particularly about the number of local testing labs. Like south Korea they have a lot of small labs, often using local university facilities, whereas we had gone for 'efficiency' measures that meant having a few really big specialist labs. According to a science podcast I listened to at the beginning of the pandemic (completely non-political) they speculated this may have been a reason our government didn't pursue track and trace at the beginning - they didn't think these would be able to cope with the sudden surge in testing. In Germany the turn around of results was fast - even to the point where if the result was negative sometimes the doctor didn't believe it (in the early days the test were often not done correctly) so they could quickly order a second one.