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The Covid-19 serious chat thread

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 25 May 2020, 7:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

Self-isolating, social distancing, locked down thread split.

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Post by tigertattie Fri 19 Jun 2020, 11:35 am

The Google/Apple App doesnt work accurately enough.

All it does is log when devices are near to each other on bluetooth which has a range of 10m.

What this means is if I'm on a bus and I have Covid and they need to trace everyone I've been in contact with, every tom dick and harry walking along the pavements that the bus goes passed gets pinged as being close by.

What they need is an app that says how close each device got to each other and thats why they are now looking at bringing the custom made apps and the google/apple ones together
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Post by LondonTiger Fri 19 Jun 2020, 1:25 pm

How da fug can we justify moving to Level 3 Covid alert when there are now parts of the country where R is above 1?

I also see that we have already started post brexit exports to New Zealand - sadly only infected people but hey ho.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 19 Jun 2020, 5:27 pm

I've been around longer than many of you folks but am really struggling to recall a more boring and pathetic Government minister than Gavin Williamson. Fair comment?

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Post by Duty281 Fri 19 Jun 2020, 5:35 pm

LondonTiger wrote:How da fug can we justify moving to Level 3 Covid alert when there are now parts of the country where R is above 1?

I also see that we have already started post brexit exports to New Zealand - sadly only infected people but hey ho.

Possibly partly political in an effort to get business going again.

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 20 Jun 2020, 9:53 am

Duty281 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:How da fug can we justify moving to Level 3 Covid alert when there are now parts of the country where R is above 1?

I also see that we have already started post brexit exports to New Zealand - sadly only infected people but hey ho.

Possibly partly political in an effort to get business going again.

In line with Tiger's post, the move to Level 3 seems bl**dy strange. That too makes me think the decision was politically motivated although apparently the CMOs of the four home nations signed off on it. That said, I've also read that it wasn't a SAGE recommendation. All very odd. I would like Witty - who always comes across as the epitome of cautiousness - to appear and explain it.

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 20 Jun 2020, 10:00 am

guildfordbat wrote:I've been around longer than many of you folks but am really struggling to recall a more boring and pathetic Government minister than Gavin Williamson. Fair comment?

No takers here but shedloads of support for my view on twitter. Particularly liked these two:

''Gavin Williamson trying to get schools open with a live demonstration of a disastrous supply teacher''; and

''I'm fairly certain the Department of Education is being run by a bunch of squirrels who have been let loose in a room and randomly press buttons to choose policies that a clueless Gavin Williamson reads to the nation''.

The latter from a Year 2 teacher.

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Post by jimbopip Sat 20 Jun 2020, 11:20 am

Ah Callme, I think we are  from that Triassic Period when the big beasts wandered the Earth and it has slightly spoiled us.

I remember being at a reading in Glasgow when Shirley Williams was punting her book "Politics Is For People" I juxtaposed "reading" and "Glasgow just to annoy tigertattie: I used "juxtaposed" for the same reason.Her demolition of Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman and their fetishistic worshiping at the altar of the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement (remember that?) was a joy to behold.
My favourite was seeing Michael Foot speak at a rally to protest about the grotesquely high unemployment rate at that time. It was being held in a park on the outskirts of Glasgow with the protesters marching there from the city centre. When the first groups arrived the last groups had still to leave the city centre. This meant that the organisers were concerned about a large crowd getting bored and restless; idle hands, devil making work etc.
Cue Michael Foot. He appeared and said he would make a short speech to fill in the time until the other speakers were ready and then worked the crowd like a cross between an intellectual Max Miller and a Southern Baptist Revivalist preacher.
His improptu turn finished with him reminding us that the social isolation of unemployment leads to alienation and a feeling of powerlessness. Then, literary scholar that he was, he extemporised some Shelley,

Rise like lions from slumber
   Rise in unvanquishable number
   Shake off the chains they put on you
   Shake them off like morning dew

    FOR YE ARE MANY
    AND THEY ARE FEW.

The wind was whipping his hair around him like a silver halo and he was waving his walking stick lie the archangel Gabriel with a flaming sword; a perfect mix of oratory, politcs, poetry and that old time religion.

I watched Gavin Williamson yesterday being asked if foreign holidays were likely to happen this summer, specifically if Portugal was safe: he spent five minutes waffling about Scarborough, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland the beauty of the UK and never answered the question. I don't imagine any of us will be quoting him in 40 years time.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sat 20 Jun 2020, 12:18 pm

Is the statement that "All children will be back at school in September" another firm promise like "by June 1st we will have a world class track and test system"?

Even at 1m distancing, a class of 30 cannot fit in a standard classroom SAFELY.
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Post by LondonTiger Sun 21 Jun 2020, 11:49 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Is the statement that "All children will be back at school in September"  another firm promise like "by June 1st we will have a world class track and test system"?

Even at 1m distancing, a class of 30 cannot fit in a standard classroom SAFELY.

They will remove all distancing requirements for schools, and blame teachers and parents (plus maybe the media for stoking fears) when the levels of pupils in school is still fairly low.

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Post by navyblueshorts Sun 21 Jun 2020, 12:06 pm

guildfordbat wrote:I've been around longer than many of you folks but am really struggling to recall a more boring and pathetic Government minister than Gavin Williamson. Fair comment?
Even I won't disagree there. Case of someone promoted well above his abilities by the look of it.


Last edited by navyblueshorts on Sun 21 Jun 2020, 12:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by navyblueshorts Sun 21 Jun 2020, 12:12 pm

Some interesting titbits on genomics and Covid if anyone's interested:

https://www.technologynetworks.com/genomics/news/study-finds-two-genetic-variants-associated-with-covid-19-susceptibility-336361
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Post by Samo Sun 21 Jun 2020, 6:36 pm

https://nursingnotes.co.uk/news/student-nurses-not-deemed-providing-servicemp/

Helen Whately MP says student nurses “not providing a service”.

Shameful. Atleast they clapped for them on Thursdays.

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Post by 123456789. Mon 22 Jun 2020, 11:25 am

Samo wrote:https://nursingnotes.co.uk/news/student-nurses-not-deemed-providing-servicemp/

Helen Whately MP says student nurses “not providing a service”.

Shameful. Atleast they clapped for them on Thursdays.

I might be alone in thinking she is getting a pretty tough time on this. In effect what happens is that when you write to your MP a caseworker writes a generic reply and contacts the relevant Minister. Some Civil Servant then regurgitates the official government policy along with some filler. Even in the unlikely scenario that she wrote this herself, the wording is that "they are not deemed to be providing a service", rather than "I do not believe they are providing a service".

There are lots of things to be angry about with this government; Johnson's hair, Cummings' face, the hypocrisy, the incompetence, 60000 excess deaths, the treatment of medical professionals. The decision not to provide sufficient financial assistance to student nurses seems to be another one. Although I must admit that I know absolutely nothing about nursing, their training or the financial elements of it. I am not sure the wording of a letter probably written by the person who makes the tea for the person who makes the Junior Minister's coffee is of any real importance.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Tue 23 Jun 2020, 5:30 pm

Another great take on Cummings little holiday

https://www.facebook.com/officialpersonalisedpop/videos/dominic-cummings/1206017763077931/
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 24 Jun 2020, 8:36 am

Watching some of the non UKG people talking about what you can do and can't do yesterday, we are still supposed to avoid non-essential travel and stay in partial lockdown seeing only the limited numbers of people in the redefined "bubble".

However, we can go on holiday in the UK as of 4th July, we can go on holiday abroad if we quarantine when we get back, we can go and buy anything we want in the shops that are open, go and buy a car, basically behave as normal.

What in the above can be regarded as "essential travel"? Is it me, or are there a lot of mixed messages being given by the UKG and it's scientific advisors.

Oh, and what is 1m+ supposed to mean?

I have already noticed in supermarkets and also on my walks that people are starting to go back to their "normal" ways. No longer do they stand politely and wait for you to move on before they pick up packets, they lean in pick them up from right next to you, people are not moving off the path to keep a sensible, never mind 2m, distance, when walking.

2nd spike on it's way I think.
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Post by LondonTiger Wed 24 Jun 2020, 9:48 am

1m + mitigation measures (ie masks, shields etc).

As usual I do find the advice being given to be both confused and contradictory. Seems to me that the PM does not really want to loosen measures, but to appease people (and fear of the good ole British common sense causing a revolt) they are lifting the measures that will please the most people. Have to say I would feel a lot safer in a chlorinated swimming pool set for lane swimming than sat in a pub.

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 24 Jun 2020, 10:17 am

1m is, basically, personal space. The 'with mitigations' is bollox. No-one (or not enough) are going to either pay attention or know wtf that means.

The reason 2m was good is because it was probably excessive, but allowed for people to accidentally get a little too close and still be safe enough. Setting it at 1m means people will inevitably get closer at times.

UKG have been done over by business lobby and Tory boneheads like Duncan-Smith. It's either a dangerous virus (fyi, it's ranked as a Category 3 agent by the ACDP i.e. causes serious human disease and can spread in community; normally requires very serious containment for research) or it isn't.

Hopefully, the reality that UK epidemic is still decreasing, it's Summer and track/trace is online (even w/o an app etc) will mean this isn't too serious a mistake.
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Post by 123456789. Wed 24 Jun 2020, 1:31 pm

I'm in two minds on the latest development. On the one hand it seems we've jumped from Stage 1 to Stage 4 without the requisite improvement in the pandemic situation. On the other, the economic toll from Covid-19 is starting to hit and it's not pretty. There's the mental health implications pf being inside without contact too. They'll only be exacerbated when put together. It's not a binary decision, an economic crash will kill people too. I think the unfortunate reality was that, whilst our lockdown has mitigated the effects of the virus, the horse had already bolted to some extent.
I've not been shy is expressing my contempt for the Prime Minister and I've been disgusted by much of their attempt to fight this virus. However, I think effectively ending the lockdown is just a reflection of the state of play out in the country more widely. People have simply given up on it. I think part of that can be put down to the lack of effective leadership and the Cummings incident. Perhaps that Johnson is the Prime Minister of a faction not a country. Those outwith the faction don't recognise his authority. Still, in a well educated society of free people there should be more personal responsibility than has been exhibited as of yet.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 24 Jun 2020, 4:13 pm

123456789. wrote:I'm in two minds on the latest development. On the one hand it seems we've jumped from Stage 1 to Stage 4 without the requisite improvement in the pandemic situation. On the other, the economic toll from Covid-19 is starting to hit and it's not pretty. There's the mental health implications pf being inside without contact too. They'll only be exacerbated when put together. It's not a binary decision, an economic crash will kill people too.  I think the unfortunate reality was that, whilst our lockdown has mitigated the effects of the virus, the horse had already bolted to some extent.
I've not been shy is expressing my contempt for the Prime Minister and I've been disgusted by much of their attempt to fight this virus. However, I think effectively ending the lockdown is just a reflection of the state of play out in the country more widely. People have simply given up on it. I think part of that can be put down to the lack of effective leadership and the Cummings incident. Perhaps that Johnson is the Prime Minister of a faction not a country. Those outwith the faction don't recognise his authority. Still, in a well educated society of free people there should be more personal responsibility than has been exhibited as of yet.

An interesting post, and I agree with much of it.
The Government was somewhat railroaded into a lockdown (ignoring the debates about whether their timing and execution was correct) on the simplistic argument of trying to save every life possible from the COVID-19 outbreak. The cost has been the deepest recession on record, which will inevitably have consequences including to both mental and physical health with increased unemployment and financial stresses. There didn't and still doesn't seem to be any discussion looking at the situation holistically. It may sound harsh, but would allowing the outbreak to run its 'natural' course, leading to the deaths of maybe half a million mostly elderly and infirm people, actually have been a better outcome, especially given the likelihood of this then providing reasonable 'herd immunity'*?

* While we don't know exactly what would happen with COVID-19, the evidence from the SARS outbreak was that the second year of infection was much less severe, as immunity had developed to some extent.

To partly answer my own question, the success or otherwise of the lockdown policy will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, whether a reliable vaccine can be developed in the next few months (i.e. before this coming winter). Secondly, if the vaccine is not readily available, whether there will be a need to return to a 'full-on' lockdown during any second wave. Thirdly, how well and quickly the economy recovers - I don't think we have had a comparable situation with a Government providing so much short term support (e.g. financial support of furloughed staff) in the hope that the damage to the economy in the medium term is minimised, so this is a big unknown.

Re the bit I bolded - I don't think many don't recognise BoJo's authority. His competence maybe... I do think the Cummings stuff has been detrimental, as if he can get away with what he did, why shouldn't members of the public? Also, of course the Government messaging on the lockdown issue has rarely been coherent - started with a lot of prevarication, for a while went to a reasonably sold 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' message (although even then with some confusion as to who other than key workers should be working normally), and then has become increasingly confused.

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 24 Jun 2020, 5:08 pm

dummy_half wrote:
123456789. wrote:I'm in two minds on the latest development. On the one hand it seems we've jumped from Stage 1 to Stage 4 without the requisite improvement in the pandemic situation. On the other, the economic toll from Covid-19 is starting to hit and it's not pretty. There's the mental health implications pf being inside without contact too. They'll only be exacerbated when put together. It's not a binary decision, an economic crash will kill people too.  I think the unfortunate reality was that, whilst our lockdown has mitigated the effects of the virus, the horse had already bolted to some extent.
I've not been shy is expressing my contempt for the Prime Minister and I've been disgusted by much of their attempt to fight this virus. However, I think effectively ending the lockdown is just a reflection of the state of play out in the country more widely. People have simply given up on it. I think part of that can be put down to the lack of effective leadership and the Cummings incident. Perhaps that Johnson is the Prime Minister of a faction not a country. Those outwith the faction don't recognise his authority. Still, in a well educated society of free people there should be more personal responsibility than has been exhibited as of yet.

An interesting post, and I agree with much of it.
The Government was somewhat railroaded into a lockdown (ignoring the debates about whether their timing and execution was correct) on the simplistic argument of trying to save every life possible from the COVID-19 outbreak. The cost has been the deepest recession on record, which will inevitably have consequences including to both mental and physical health with increased unemployment and financial stresses. There didn't and still doesn't seem to be any discussion looking at the situation holistically. It may sound harsh, but would allowing the outbreak to run its 'natural' course, leading to the deaths of maybe half a million mostly elderly and infirm people, actually have been a better outcome, especially given the likelihood of this then providing reasonable 'herd immunity'*?

* While we don't know exactly what would happen with COVID-19, the evidence from the SARS outbreak was that the second year of infection was much less severe, as immunity had developed to some extent.

To partly answer my own question, the success or otherwise of the lockdown policy will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, whether a reliable vaccine can be developed in the next few months (i.e. before this coming winter). Secondly, if the vaccine is not readily available, whether there will be a need to return to a 'full-on' lockdown during any second wave. Thirdly, how well and quickly the economy recovers - I don't think we have had a comparable situation with a Government providing so much short term support (e.g. financial support of furloughed staff) in the hope that the damage to the economy in the medium term is minimised, so this is a big unknown.

Re the bit I bolded - I don't think many don't recognise BoJo's authority. His competence maybe... I do think the Cummings stuff has been detrimental, as if he can get away with what he did, why shouldn't members of the public? Also, of course the Government messaging on the lockdown issue has rarely been coherent - started with a lot of prevarication, for a while went to a reasonably sold 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' message (although even then with some confusion as to who other than key workers should be working normally), and then has become increasingly confused.
Re. PM authority, adherence to lockdown etc, I think this is a much wider issue re. respect for politicians, in general. It's been lost. It isn't this Government on its own, but a succession of utter scheisse and associated scandals. Think it started for real w/ Blair (Iraq) and just continued w/ MPs expenses scandal, financial crash and bailouts for bankers that caused it, resulting austerity, Brexit nonsense, tax avoidance by rich celebrities/large corporations with no consequences and now BoJo. In addition, people have lost respect for the role of big business and their influence on politicians. There's a load of things, that all add up to a complete loss of respect for what politicians try to ask the public to put up with. Social media doesn't help either. They're completely at fault for letting it happen and it'll take an age to put right.

On whether better to allow ~500k people to die due to Covid. Nope. Never a option in UK. Maybe in Brazil or, apparently, the US. Putin doesn't give too much of a damn about his people either. Here, it would never wash and no politician would wear, or be allowed to wear, it. If hospital ICU capacity had been overwhelmed, even those that otherwise might have survived had they got to an ICU bed would have died. UKG between rock and hard place re. whether to let it ravage the population unhindered or lockdown.

SARS was a much lesser epidemic. Relatively speaking, hardly anyone contracted it and it appears to be less infectious, for all it seems to be more lethal. Give thanks that SARS2 isn't as lethal.
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Post by lostinwales Wed 24 Jun 2020, 6:25 pm

LondonTiger wrote:1m + mitigation measures (ie masks, shields etc).

As usual I do find the advice being given to be both confused and contradictory. Seems to me that the PM does not really want to loosen measures, but to appease people (and fear of the good ole British common sense causing a revolt) they are lifting the measures that will please the most people. Have to say I would feel a lot safer in a chlorinated swimming pool set for lane swimming than sat in a pub.

Contradictory advice plus if we get another wave its down to our fault for not following the recommendations. Quite the mix - but seems to be an attempt to shift blame - again.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 25 Jun 2020, 8:37 am

Chris Whitty seems to be the only medical expert left that has the spherical objects to disagree with Johnson / Cummings, on yesterday announcement:

If people hear a distorted version of what’s being said, that says ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened, yes, we will get an uptick for sure.

It is absolutely critical people stick to the guidance that has been given; it’s a changed guidance for there are still very significant restrictions socially and there are very significant restrictions on business of different sorts.

I would be surprised and delighted if we weren’t in this current situation through the winter and into next spring.

I expect there to be a significant amount of coronavirus circulating at least into that time and I think it is going to be quite optimistic that for science to come fully to the rescue over that kind of timeframe.”


The UKG is deliberately distorting, over egging the the "more freedom" parts without adding any reminders to what we still have to do to "Stay Safe" and "Be Alert". As lost has said, it will all be the peoples fault if things go badly and we get a second spike. That the UKGs restrictions and what they have / are allowing businesses to do are at odds with each other is neither here or there.

On other things related to the pandemic:

Beating the virus

On 19 March, Boris Johnson said: “We can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I’m absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country.”

On 22 April, Whitty said:

We are going to have to do a lot of things for really quite a long period of time, the question is what is the best package and this is what we’re trying to work out.

On 10 June, Whitty said:

Be very clear, we are not at the end of this epidemic, not by a long way. We are in the middle of it.

Vaccine

A member of the government’s coronavirus taskforce said on 18 April that trials of a vaccine could be done by mid-August.

On 22 April, Whitty said:

Until we have those [vaccines], and the probability of having those any time in the next calendar year are incredibly small and I think we should be realistic about that, we’re going to have to rely on other social measures, which of course are very socially disruptive as everyone is finding at the moment.”

Change in messaging to ‘Stay Alert’
Government line: Johnson said it was “not right” that Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, had not signed off the change in messaging from “Stay at Home” to “Stay Alert”.

On 11 May, Whitty said:

Neither Sir Patrick nor I consider ourselves to be comms experts, so we’re not going to get involved in actual details of comms strategies, but we are involved in the overall strategic things and we have been at every stage.

Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham

Government line: Cummings did not break the lockdown rules when driving his family from London to Durham while his wife had suspected coronavirus and then making a 60-mile round-trip to a beauty spot.

On 28 May, refusing to answer, Whitty said:

The desire to not get pulled into politics is far stronger on the part of Sir Patrick and me than it is in the prime minister.

Reduction of virus threat level
Government line: it wanted to lower the alert level from four to three.

Whitty rejects lowering of threat level. Explaining the reason it was not lowered, Downing Street said on 2 June:

In terms of the setting of the alert level, it’s ultimately for the chief medical officers, who are informed by the data which has been collected, collated and analysed by the JBC (Joint Biosecurity Centre).

2-metre rule
Government line: the prime minister wants it to be relaxed to make it easier to travel on public transport and boost the hospitality industry.

On 3 June, Whitty said:

Those [measures – hand washing, use of face coverings and the 2-metre rule] are going to carry on really for as long as this epidemic continues.

Regrets
Government line: Johnson says judgments on what could have been done better are “premature”.

On 10 June, Whitty said:

I think there is a long list, actually, of things that we need to look at very seriously.

If I was to choose one, it would probably be looking at how we could … speed up testing very early on in the epidemic. Many of the problems that we have had came because we were unable to actually work out exactly where we were.



It doesn't appear that the Chief Medical Officer agrees with the UKG aka Johnson / Cummings on much at all.
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Post by lostinwales Thu 25 Jun 2020, 10:20 am

I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest). Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 25 Jun 2020, 12:17 pm

lostinwales wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:1m + mitigation measures (ie masks, shields etc).

As usual I do find the advice being given to be both confused and contradictory. Seems to me that the PM does not really want to loosen measures, but to appease people (and fear of the good ole British common sense causing a revolt) they are lifting the measures that will please the most people. Have to say I would feel a lot safer in a chlorinated swimming pool set for lane swimming than sat in a pub.

Contradictory advice plus if we get another wave its down to our fault for not following the recommendations. Quite the mix - but seems to be an attempt to shift blame - again.
Not sure I agree. Could be, but maybe not. Assumes a level of cynicism even I'd be proud of. More likely, I think, that it's a political decision, hoping risks are such that they get away w/ it.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 25 Jun 2020, 12:20 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Chris Whitty seems to be the only medical expert left that has the spherical objects to disagree with Johnson / Cummings, on yesterday announcement:

If people hear a distorted version of what’s being said, that says ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened, yes, we will get an uptick for sure.

It is absolutely critical people stick to the guidance that has been given; it’s a changed guidance for there are still very significant restrictions socially and there are very significant restrictions on business of different sorts.

I would be surprised and delighted if we weren’t in this current situation through the winter and into next spring.

I expect there to be a significant amount of coronavirus circulating at least into that time and I think it is going to be quite optimistic that for science to come fully to the rescue over that kind of timeframe.”


The UKG is deliberately distorting, over egging the the "more freedom" parts without adding any reminders to what we still have to do to "Stay Safe" and "Be Alert". As lost has said, it will all be the peoples fault if things go badly and we get a second spike. That the UKGs restrictions and what they have / are allowing businesses to do are at odds with each other is neither here or there....
You're misinterpreting what Whitty said, if you don't mind me saying so. He was talking to a member of the media who'd phrased his question in such a way as to overly simply it as I recall. I don't recall that journalist asking Whitty for his opinion on something Johnson said and he then responded as you say. It's a bit of a jump to assume that Whitty was using his answer as a chance to ping Johnson.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 25 Jun 2020, 12:25 pm

lostinwales wrote:I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest).  Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.
Recent history suggests we should whistle in the wind re. wishing for such a Government. I don't think this one has been that secretive; it's just that people assume they're hiding all sorts. See loss of respect, in general, for politicians of all stripes.

Take, for example, the SAGE membership storm in a teacup. "Tell us who's on it!" everyone shouted. "They must be hiding something!" they screamed. We didn't need to know, but they published it anyway and.....silence. I can hear all those journalists now - "Ah. So, they are relevant experts of huge experience and exactly whom you expect to be on that Panel; better keep quiet...".
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Post by 123456789. Thu 25 Jun 2020, 2:13 pm

I keep reading reports that Tory MPs are circling on Johnson and have grown tired of him, I did suggest earlier in this thread that I thought this might happen but I was told by Mr Requiem that it would not be the case. I do now think he was probably right. I am fairly convinced that I was right in saying that Johnson is not popular amongst Tory MPs, indeed one of the MPs I was talking about wasn't backward in coming forward in expressing his antipathy and was one of the more ardent in calling for Cummings' resignation.

However Labour have elected a competent leader and Johnson could have hardly handled Covid-19 worse. Yet in the last poll they were still 4 points ahead. That still translates to a small majority. I wouldn't be surprised if it is Boris Johnson stood between them and a pretty clear deficit in the polls. Cameron's coalition worked on winning over the middle-class liberals who were swayed to Blair. Johnson pursued the Brexit coalition, in effect his support is primarily amongst social-conservatives of all classes. It's hard to see how, speaking as a middle-class Liberal Ken Clarke fanboy, the Tories win back the vote of anti-Brexit, Cameron voters in the near future. It's also hard to see which other Tory, other than Johnson, can call on such an effective rapport with working class Brexiteers. Cummings' real genius is that he's turned the oldest and most successful political party in the world into a vehicle for a man who is petrified of letting him go. No matter Johnson is making a hash of Covid, or that Johnson's bluster on Brexit has proven to be exactly that or that Cummings doesn't really seem to be any good at governing.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 25 Jun 2020, 2:43 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest).  Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.
Recent history suggests we should whistle in the wind re. wishing for such a Government. I don't think this one has been that secretive; it's just that people assume they're hiding all sorts. See loss of respect, in general, for politicians of all stripes.

Take, for example, the SAGE membership storm in a teacup. "Tell us who's on it!" everyone shouted. "They must be hiding something!" they screamed. We didn't need to know, but they published it anyway and.....silence. I can hear all those journalists now - "Ah. So, they are relevant experts of huge experience and exactly whom you expect to be on that Panel; better keep quiet...".

A bit like the Intelligence Committee Report on Russian involvement with Trumps election and the rich Russians with links to the Kremlin's funding of the Tory party that Boris refuses to release despite all party support for it's release.
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Post by Pr4wn Thu 25 Jun 2020, 2:56 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:1m + mitigation measures (ie masks, shields etc).

As usual I do find the advice being given to be both confused and contradictory. Seems to me that the PM does not really want to loosen measures, but to appease people (and fear of the good ole British common sense causing a revolt) they are lifting the measures that will please the most people. Have to say I would feel a lot safer in a chlorinated swimming pool set for lane swimming than sat in a pub.

Contradictory advice plus if we get another wave its down to our fault for not following the recommendations. Quite the mix - but seems to be an attempt to shift blame - again.
Not sure I agree. Could be, but maybe not. Assumes a level of cynicism even I'd be proud of. More likely, I think, that it's a political decision, hoping risks are such that they get away w/ it.

You do yourself a disservice, mate Hug

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Post by Pr4wn Thu 25 Jun 2020, 2:58 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest).  Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.
Recent history suggests we should whistle in the wind re. wishing for such a Government. I don't think this one has been that secretive; it's just that people assume they're hiding all sorts. See loss of respect, in general, for politicians of all stripes.

Take, for example, the SAGE membership storm in a teacup. "Tell us who's on it!" everyone shouted. "They must be hiding something!" they screamed. We didn't need to know, but they published it anyway and.....silence. I can hear all those journalists now - "Ah. So, they are relevant experts of huge experience and exactly whom you expect to be on that Panel; better keep quiet...".

Have to agree with this. However, Cummings had no place on that panel. He wasn't elected and he's not a scientist. He was there purely to influence the Government's position from an unelected position.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 25 Jun 2020, 3:27 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest).  Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.
Recent history suggests we should whistle in the wind re. wishing for such a Government. I don't think this one has been that secretive; it's just that people assume they're hiding all sorts. See loss of respect, in general, for politicians of all stripes.

Take, for example, the SAGE membership storm in a teacup. "Tell us who's on it!" everyone shouted. "They must be hiding something!" they screamed. We didn't need to know, but they published it anyway and.....silence. I can hear all those journalists now - "Ah. So, they are relevant experts of huge experience and exactly whom you expect to be on that Panel; better keep quiet...".

Respected experts plus Cummings plus data scientist buddy of Cummings. - a couple of names that were originally redacted.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 25 Jun 2020, 3:31 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest).  Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.
Recent history suggests we should whistle in the wind re. wishing for such a Government. I don't think this one has been that secretive; it's just that people assume they're hiding all sorts. See loss of respect, in general, for politicians of all stripes.

Take, for example, the SAGE membership storm in a teacup. "Tell us who's on it!" everyone shouted. "They must be hiding something!" they screamed. We didn't need to know, but they published it anyway and.....silence. I can hear all those journalists now - "Ah. So, they are relevant experts of huge experience and exactly whom you expect to be on that Panel; better keep quiet...".

A bit like the Intelligence Committee Report on Russian involvement with Trumps election and the rich Russians with links to the Kremlin's funding of the Tory party that Boris refuses to release despite all party support for it's release.
Ah. So off topic we go. I thought you were talking about the covid situation. At least, that's what I think your last post implied.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 25 Jun 2020, 3:34 pm

lostinwales wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I saw a tweet that I thought was very interesting about all this. Ultimately Johnson is not the PM we need right now but going past that, he's burnt through any kind of political capital in the last few weeks, and isn't getting any better (See Jenrick and his mate Desmond for the latest).  Johnson is effectively gambling that opening everything up will kickstart the economy and we will dodge a 2nd wave. If it works he's the heroic leader he wants to be, but it starts to feel like a desperate roll of the dice.

Sadly if it does not it is our neighbours who will die.

Worth asking what the alternative would be. We could have ended up in a very similar position with a government that was open and honest about every stage. The fundamental difference would have been that such a government would have been able to make recommendations going forward that people would respect.
Recent history suggests we should whistle in the wind re. wishing for such a Government. I don't think this one has been that secretive; it's just that people assume they're hiding all sorts. See loss of respect, in general, for politicians of all stripes.

Take, for example, the SAGE membership storm in a teacup. "Tell us who's on it!" everyone shouted. "They must be hiding something!" they screamed. We didn't need to know, but they published it anyway and.....silence. I can hear all those journalists now - "Ah. So, they are relevant experts of huge experience and exactly whom you expect to be on that Panel; better keep quiet...".

Respected experts plus Cummings plus data scientist buddy of Cummings. - a couple of names that were originally redacted.
And? We've been over this. You (I guess?) and other thinks Cummings is Machiavelli and was influencing SAGE. I tend to think he was probably there so he knew the way the wind was blowing and could fulfil his brief i.e. advise Johnson.
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Post by 123456789. Thu 25 Jun 2020, 10:25 pm

It's a bit iffy as to whether or not Cummings should be sat in on SAGE meetings. It seems to me that in normal circumstances the Prime Minister would have some aide in on an independent meeting. It's also the case, or at least as I have understood, that as an independent body SAGE is minuted and recorded. It will come out if he has unduly impacted upon this meeting. Cummings is a modern history graduate who believes himself to be a scientific genius because he has read a GCSE Biology revision guide. It is, therefore, highly plausible that he may have voiced some opinions in this meeting. After all, the evidence suggest he is an arrogant turd. However SAGE is a body comprised of the top scientists in the country. If they were all prepared to sit acquiescently listening to a pound shop Rasputin risking their reputations and the lives of thousands then it doesn't say a lot for them either.

At this point it would be hard to argue that, generally speaking, we've made a success of Coronavirus in this country. It is far easier to posit this as though Cummings is secretly engineering all this to make it as bad as possible for everyone. He does look evil. I certainly believe he is a w*nker. However I think it's far more likely that the reason this has gone so badly is not any form of active malignancy on the part of the government. Rather that while Johnson is an excellent campaigner and everything he touches turns to gold and Cummings is the same. The truth is that Johnson as an actual administrator is utterly useless and everything he touches turns to shoite. Cummings seems to be the same. If you want to know what's gone wrong, don't waste your time looking at conspiracy theories. Just look at the squadron of mediocrities that run our country.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 26 Jun 2020, 10:05 am

Hanlon's Razor

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 26 Jun 2020, 10:48 am

I feel the dangers of yesterday's crowded beaches are being overrated. It's not as if people were playing beach cricket. Rolling Eyes

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Post by lostinwales Fri 26 Jun 2020, 10:53 am

navyblueshorts wrote:....
And? We've been over this. You (I guess?) and other thinks Cummings is Machiavelli and was influencing SAGE. I tend to think he was probably there so he knew the way the wind was blowing and could fulfil his brief i.e. advise Johnson.

I don't think he is Machiavelli. I am prepared to think he thinks he is Machiavelli.

I also believe that the scientists are not infallible and there is a case to say the ones in SAGE either messed up or more likely could not reach a consensus of opinion. In that case the government seemed to try to run with the opinions they liked the most without question.

It is a hard thing to manage well at the best of times, but these are not and nobody at the top table seems to have the kind of eye for detail required.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 26 Jun 2020, 11:51 am

guildfordbat wrote:I feel the dangers of yesterday's crowded beaches are being overrated. It's not as if people were playing beach cricket. Rolling Eyes

Chances of getting skin cancer would have been reduced if wearing pads Wink

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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 26 Jun 2020, 3:45 pm

lostinwales wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:....
And? We've been over this. You (I guess?) and other thinks Cummings is Machiavelli and was influencing SAGE. I tend to think he was probably there so he knew the way the wind was blowing and could fulfil his brief i.e. advise Johnson.

I don't think he is Machiavelli. I am prepared to think he thinks he is Machiavelli.

I also believe that the scientists are not infallible and there is a case to say the ones in SAGE either messed up or more likely could not reach a consensus of opinion. In that case the government seemed to try to run with the opinions they liked the most without question.

It is a hard thing to manage well at the best of times, but these are not and nobody at the top table seems to have the kind of eye for detail required.
laughing OK

Re. the top table and detail thereat, none of them are scientists. Q.E.D.
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Post by lostinwales Sun 28 Jun 2020, 10:06 am

Just saw this - Dr. Susan Michie is a member of SAGE (and also on independent SAGE)

“The overwhelming majority of our advice is ignored,” Dr. Michie said, “but the pieces are picked up and used for political purposes.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/world/europe/sage-britain-coronavirus-ferguson.html

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 28 Jun 2020, 10:38 am

lostinwales wrote:Just saw this  - Dr. Susan Michie is a member of SAGE (and also on independent SAGE)

“The overwhelming majority of our advice is ignored,” Dr. Michie said, “but the pieces are picked up and used for political purposes.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/world/europe/sage-britain-coronavirus-ferguson.html
How many SAGE meetings regarding Covid-19 had Susan Michie attended?

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Post by Pr4wn Sun 28 Jun 2020, 3:13 pm

Oh so she doesn't know what she's talking about then?

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Post by navyblueshorts Sun 28 Jun 2020, 4:22 pm

Pr4wn wrote:Oh so she doesn't know what she's talking about then?
On health psychology, she may well do. She's just one member of a panel of many and who will undoubtedly have disagreements. The briefing referred to when it went from 2m to 1m+ may well have had the PM not detail the increased risks, but Whitty and Vallance talked about the fact that it should only be 1m+ if 2m couldn't happen and that 1m+ should include 'mitigations'.
To simply suggest that the overwhelming majority of advice is ignored is, I'm sure, simplistic. What she means is, my advice isn't given due prominence and I'm p!ssed about it. Who says it wasn't considered? Maybe the consensus didn't agree and/or the political situation meant it wasn't considered as significant enough to warrant taking it onboard in any meaningful way?
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Post by navyblueshorts Sun 28 Jun 2020, 4:24 pm

lostinwales wrote:Just saw this  - Dr. Susan Michie is a member of SAGE (and also on independent SAGE)

“The overwhelming majority of our advice is ignored,” Dr. Michie said, “but the pieces are picked up and used for political purposes.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/world/europe/sage-britain-coronavirus-ferguson.html
Why is she on both? How can she possibly think that's in any way helpful?
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Post by lostinwales Sun 28 Jun 2020, 4:41 pm

Well I went and looked it up - and she is both on a sub commitee of SAGE and a member of the panel of the independent SAGE group.

I know her expertise in covid obviously does not match Soul's but I wouldn't want to dismiss her comments out of hand too easily, given that she has an insight into what is going on that we do not.

We have often discussed the quality of the government's response to the pandemic here. I think it is hard to find anyone who would say that they have done a good job overall. I do believe that they have been politicising their response and Dr. Michie's comments do ring true.



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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 28 Jun 2020, 5:57 pm

She's not attended any SAGE meetings relating to Covid-19 but let's place her opinion on a pedestal because it suits mine, great balance shown as ever.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 28 Jun 2020, 7:59 pm

She attended at least one
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888787/S0386_Eighteenth_SAGE_meeting_on_Covid-19_.pdf

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Post by Pr4wn Mon 29 Jun 2020, 1:11 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:She attended at least one
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888787/S0386_Eighteenth_SAGE_meeting_on_Covid-19_.pdf

Breitbart said she didn't, so she didn't.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 29 Jun 2020, 8:24 am

What a terrible mistake on my behalf, she attended one of 41 SAGE meetings, quite why her opinion hasn't been given more credence based on that is baffling.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 29 Jun 2020, 8:37 am

China instantly puts 400,000 people in lockdown as there was a local spike in the area, Leicester gets a reported 650 cases in 10 days, around 50% of it's entire reported cases in that since the start of the pandemic. UKG says it up to the council to implement a lockdown, since when has a council have the power to do such a thing. We now have a committee looking at what we should do, most of Leicester and the surrounding area could be infected by the time anything is done.

This government just does not learn lessons, when you get a spike like that, you have to act hard and fast to contain it.

On the question of whether the UKG ignored advice from the SAGE committee, it is lmost certain that they did as they would have had differing opinions, some has to be ignored or at least discarded after consideration. That the UKG picked what advice suited them rather than what was the best advice, I have little doubt on that one as well.

Can someone tell Johnson, that doing push ups on your office floor, or holding the pose anyway when dressed in a baggy shirt and tie does not look good, if he is in the shape he claims to be, like Trump across the water, wear a T shirt and shorts and let everyone see how fit you are.

What was he doing exercising anyway, he was supposed to be working!!!!!!
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