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The UK response to Covid-19 [MOD WARNING 1ST POST]

  • 16-03-2020 6:23am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 245 ✭✭ Syncpolice


    Mod: considering the numerous in-thread warnings about posting off-topic waffle and dragging the thread down the path of anti British rhetoric, any posts along these lines will earn a threadban.





    Virus is currently spreading like wildfire in the UK


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭ theological


    Syncpolice wrote: »
    Your kidding right

    To link to the same video again. No I'm not kidding.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 245 ✭✭ Syncpolice


    To link to the same video again. No I'm not kidding.

    Whatever , you're dead wrong anyhow


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,820 ✭✭✭✭ Ads by Google


    When it is the right time I will support more measures.

    "When Johnson takes further measures, it is at that time I will decide that I support those measures."

    If not, prove it by telling us exactly when you think measures should be taken, either before or after Johnson takes them. If there is any difference in the timing, you'll have some credibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    There's no evidence that pulling kids out of school will improve things at the moment. When it is the right time I will support more measures. For now the UK are handling it well and the rate of spread has been slower than in other large European countries. It will get worse but if the right steps are given at the right time the UK will pull through it.

    There's no evidence at the moment that the UK strategy is worse than any other. Hence why you have to use odd phrases like the UK will have a wake-up call.

    I trust the experts advising the government more than you.
    The reality is that there is going to be a diversity of scientific opinion here, and much of it will be attended with a degree of uncertainty, given that (a) there is much about this virus that is still unknown, and (b) epidemiological outcomes will depend partly on how people choose to behave when presents with certain incentives, information, encouragement, discouragement, etc, and predicting human behaviour is an inexact science.

    My guess would be that all of the governments in Europe are seeing a broadly similar range of opinon, and are being presented with a broadly similar range of options, and a broadly similar degree of certainty or uncertainty as to what the outcome of any option might be. If we imagine that scientific advisers anywhere are all saying "Do this. It is 100% the best option" then I think we delude ourselves.

    So, when different governments take different policy decisions, based on what I assume to be broadly similar scientific opinion across countries, there could be (at least) two things going on:

    1. Different countries are differently situated. They may be at different stages of encounter with the virus. They may have different legal powers or be subjec to different constitutional constraints. Cultural differences between countries may mean that measures which would be more effective in country A might be less effective in country B, or that country C faces a circumstance (say, a high proportion of people living in multigenerational households, or a highly urbanised population) that country D does not. Country E may have a well-resourced health system; country F's may already be at breaking point. And so forth.

    2. Different governments may prefer different strains of advice based on their own values, principles, ideology, objective, etc. Where scientific considerations don't unequivocally point to a single, only best course of action, political considerations may determine which course of action is to be preferred. The first question expert advisers will ask is "what outcome do you want to acheive?", and their advice will be tailored to that outcome, so political choices hugely influence the advice that governments receive right from the beginning.

    Thus "I trust the experts advising my government" is a bit . . . well, maybe a bit naive. If my government, faced with probably similar scientific opinion to most European governments, is making a markedly different decision, I should want to know why. Maybe the advice is in fact different in my country, because of different circumstances. Or maybe my government chooses to seek/prefer this advice over that advice, in which case that's a political matter about which I, as a citizen, should be able to form a judgment, and I want to know about it.

    HMG has a credibility problem because it's currently in the hands of a movement that has spent the last number of years rubbishing the advice of experts, openly not following it for admittedly political reasons; strenuously seeking out experts who will give them the advice which, for political reasons, they very much want to hear; and suppressing or simply refusing to obtain advice that they expect will be politically inconvenient. This record is unlikely to fill the British people with confidence in the present emergency.

    And they exacerbate the problem by not being open now; policy initiatives are disclosed by being leaked off-the-record by unattributable lobby sources; ministers write articles for the newspapers rather than attend open press conferences and answer questions; COBRA decisions are made known by devolved governments because they are willing to speak openly and on the record while the Westminster government is not. If HMG wants people to have confidence in it, it needs to behave like a government that people should have confidence in. In that regard it has done itself a huge amount of damage over the past few years, and so far it shows no sign of realising this, or of caring about it if it has realised it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭ theological


    Why has been explained pretty well however. That's my perspective. If it wasn't I would be a lot more worried.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Why has been explained pretty well however. That's my perspective. If it wasn't I would be a lot more worried.
    Oversimplifying a little, what we seem to have learned is that the British government prefers the approach favoured by behavioural scientists over the approach favoured by epidemiologists.

    What we haven't learned is why. And since I think this is a political choice*, I think it's a legimate matter of public interest.

    * To avoid doubt, if they made the opposite choice, that would also be a political choice. I don't criticise them for making a political choice; that's their job. But citizens are entitled to interrogate, scrutinise, challenge that choice. And I don't think HMG can hide behind "it's what the experts advised!" It's what some experts advised; why did HMG accept their advice rather than that of others? What advice did they seek? What questions did they put to those from whom they sought advice? What are HMG's objectives, that they asked the experts for advice on how to achieve? Etc, etc.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭ theological


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Oversimplifying a little, what we seem to have learned is that the British government prefers the approach favoured by behavioural scientists over the approach favoured by epidemiologists.

    What we haven't learned is why. And since I think this is a political choice*, I think it's a legimate matter of public interest.

    * To avoid doubt, if they made the opposite choice, that would also be a political choice. I don't criticise them for making a political choice; that's their job. But citizens are entitled to interrogate, scrutinise, challenge that choice. And I don't think HMG can hide behind "it's what the experts advised!" It's what some experts advised; why did HMG accept their advice rather than that of others? What advice did they seek? What questions did they put to those from whom they sought advice? What are HMG's objectives, that they asked the experts for advice on how to achieve? Etc, etc.

    I never said citizens weren't entitled to scrutinise. What I am questioning is the basis of the scrutiny which I'm entitled to do also!

    We disagree. I think the government have explained their strategy quite well on several occasions. I'm encouraged by the fact that the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer are behind it.

    I'm really happy to explore the arguments against provided they are arguments rather than I don't like Brexit, Boris or Dominic Cummings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    I trust the experts advising the government more than you.
    To link to the same video again. No I'm not kidding.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but that video proves that you can't trust the experts advising/defending the government: in the second half of the clip, Patrick Vallance states that risk of transmission of Covid-19 in mass gatherings is relatively low and the real risk is from individuals in small groups. I don't know where he's getting his epidemiological information from, but many of the initial clusters in different countries are directly related to mass gatherings - e.g. the religious conference in Mulhouse, responsible for the worst cluster in France, or the Biogen conference in Boston.

    Anyone with a basic training in epidemiology could tell you that these environments always pose a risk, mixing together a wide variety of people of indeterminate disease status, many in a state of physiological stress due to travel, long hours, late nights, too much coffee/alcohol, etc, and in close proximity to each other and where physical contact is actively encouraged as a sales tactic or a sign of brotherhood or team building.

    Any farmer, with no formal epidemiological training, would tell you that the biggest risk of sickness in a herd comes from mixing animals from different sources; any university lecturer will tell you that the peak of respiratory illness amongst students comes in the first trimester, when the freshers of diverse origin bring their naïve immune systems to the party.

    That is medical fact, of the kind you were talking about yesterday. For a supposed expert to go on national television and say "yeah, but it's no big deal really" is bordering on medical negligence. :mad:


    There's no evidence that pulling kids out of school will improve things at the moment.
    There's no evidence at the moment that the UK strategy is worse than any other.
    You're right: there's no evidence at the moment. Because that evidence can/will only become available after the fact. The most chilling part of Patrick Vallance's interview is the defeatism. Now it may be that he's told Johnson "tough luck, mate, it's here to stay and there's nothing we can do to stop it" - which would be a reasonable position, and one with which I agree; but to go on TV and state that "the big stuff doesn't matter and we'll do other things when the time is right" - that's downright irresponsible.

    When it is the right time I will support more measures. For now the UK are handling it well and the rate of spread has been slower than in other large European countries. It will get worse but if the right steps are given at the right time the UK will pull through it.
    Actually the most chilling thing is that people like you have swallowed the BS and are quite happy to believe any old nonsense that comes with the Downing Street stamp of approval.

    Brexit all over again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    We disagree. I think the government have explained their strategy quite well on several occasions. I'm encouraged by the fact that the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer are behind it.

    OK, let's take one aspect of that strategy and dissect it: two days ago I said that old people should be locked up for their own safety and the good of the country, with a (brief) explanation of my logic, based on my own (direct and relevant) professional opinion.

    Tell us why you believe that the UK government is right to delay this measure, now that they've come around to my way of thinking, until some time in the future - with links to the scientific basis for this decision.

    How can it possibly be helpful to leave older people at risk of infection when the virus is at its most contagious and when the government acknowledges that there are insufficient resources available to treat it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    John_Rambo wrote: »
    Is this going to be another case where Brexitiers will regret their actions? I'm no expert, but I'm seeing a good bit of regret from ignorant but educated voters and I'm wondering will this be the true realisation of the unity and unrealised advantages that the partnership offers?

    Do you all think the UK be exempt from any stimulus?

    If we change the definition of "stimulus" from a straightforward injection of funds to one that encompasses the wider availability of vaccines and medical treatments, then yes, the UK will be exempt - because they have chosen to disassociate themselves from the European Medicines Agency, so every drug, every vaccine, ever medical appliance (including all those Made-in-Britain ventilators that Johnson was calling for) will have to be approved by the UK's own under-funded, under-staffed Agency.

    The rest of Europe will benefit from instant recognition and approval of new treatment protocols under the highly efficient supervision of the EMA; the UK will have to choose between speed or efficiency ... and we've seen in the US what happens when you #takebackcontrol of medicine for purely nationalist reasons (doubly ironic that Trump followed up on that gaff by trying to buy German experience for his exclusive use. :p )


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,220 ✭✭✭ threeball


    There's no evidence that pulling kids out of school will improve things at the moment. When it is the right time I will support more measures. For now the UK are handling it well and the rate of spread has been slower than in other large European countries. It will get worse but if the right steps are given at the right time the UK will pull through it.

    There's no evidence at the moment that the UK strategy is worse than any other. Hence why you have to use odd phrases like the UK will have a wake-up call.

    I trust the experts advising the government more than you.

    An almost doubling of deaths in one day does not seem like its going great given the system isn't even under pressure yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,220 ✭✭✭ threeball


    Why has been explained pretty well however. That's my perspective. If it wasn't I would be a lot more worried.

    You seem to align with this Tory government on pretty much everything. So your perspective is set by the agenda of this government rather than you deciding for yourself.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭ theological


    threeball wrote: »
    You seem to align with this Tory government on pretty much everything. So your perspective is set by the agenda of this government rather than you deciding for yourself.

    Nonsense. I agree with the government because their advice seems sensible and proportionate. Forgive me for thinking for myself and not automatically accepting the hive mind on this thread.

    Perhaps I ought to repent of not agreeing with you? Let's not be silly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,144 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2


    coastwatch wrote: »
    Hundreds of UK doctors and scientists dont share your view. They want the UK government to publish
    the evidence that supports the appoach of stopping widespread community testing, contact tracing, and the reliance on herd immunity.

    "Public health experts and hundreds of doctors and scientists at home and abroad are urging the UK government to change its strategy against coronavirus, amid fears it will mean the epidemic “lets rip” through the population."

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/coronavirus-health-experts-fear-epidemic-will-let-rip-through-uk

    wrong kind of experts


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    I agree with the government because their advice seems sensible and proportionate. Forgive me for thinking for myself and not automatically accepting the hive mind on this thread.

    :confused: ... but despite numerous requests, you're unable to give us a single example of your independent thoughts. Everything you've stated on this thread has been bracketed by the caveat "I trust the government" - even though that same government refuses to publish the basis for their decisions. You haven't been able to provide a single source for any of your beliefs other than pronouncements by government spokesmen, and at least some of which can be refuted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭ newport2


    :confused: ... but despite numerous requests, you're unable to give us a single example of your independent thoughts. Everything you've stated on this thread has been bracketed by the caveat "I trust the government" - even though that same government refuses to publish the basis for their decisions. You haven't been able to provide a single source for any of your beliefs other than pronouncements by government spokesmen, and at least some of which can be refuted.

    There appears to be a "What would Boris do?" movement, wristbands with "WWBD?" out shortly


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,122 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump


    Why has been explained pretty well however. That's my perspective. If it wasn't I would be a lot more worried.


    Well once SIr Patrick Vallance told you it must be right.

    What do you recommend for people to do if they have symptoms. Stay at home and enjoy the chicken soup or to go around coughing on everyone to help the glorious effort to develop "herd immunity"


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    newport2 wrote: »
    There appears to be a "What would Boris do?" movement, wristbands with "WWBD?" out shortly

    Presumably in different versions for left and right wrists? :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,820 ✭✭✭✭ Ads by Google


    The approach the UK is taking means it will be closed off from Europe before Brexit even happens. If their policy is to increase numbers, and they can come to the EU, our efforts are pointless.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    The approach the UK is taking means it will be closed off from Europe before Brexit even happens. If their policy is to increase numbers, and they can come to the EU, our efforts are pointless.

    Borders are popping up left right and centre. No one is going anywhere.

    Sweden and Finland haven’t closed anything yet and Netherlands are closing their schools today, after saying Thursday they weren’t.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,831 ✭✭✭ RobMc59


    The approach the UK is taking means it will be closed off from Europe before Brexit even happens. If their policy is to increase numbers, and they can come to the EU, our efforts are pointless.

    Compare coronavirus statistics by country in Europe and the UK is doing ok.Can you provide any data that one particular strategy is better than another?I agree with theological that we have to have faith in the way the UK is handling this situation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,820 ✭✭✭✭ Ads by Google


    RobMc59 wrote: »
    Compare coronavirus statistics by country in Europe and the UK is doing ok.Can you provide any data that one particular strategy is better than another?I agree with theological that we have to have faith in the way the UK is handling this situation.

    How can I give data, and why would I even look at current statistics in relation to what I'm discussing? This is only time in history a government has decided to try give the disease to lots of low-risk people so it can't spread later on to high-risk people.

    This approach is incompatible with the rest of the world and must surely result in the UK being banned from most of the world? That's my point. I know where I live won't allow flights from the UK if its infections are in the hundreds of thousands and millions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    RobMc59 wrote: »
    Compare coronavirus statistics by country in Europe and the UK is doing ok.

    Statistics in this context are incredibly easy to manipulate. Just look at how Trump has gone out of his way to keep the numbers as low as possible. The UK is not testing anywhere near as many people as it needs to get reliable information on the level of infection, which paradoxically makes their statistics a lot worse than the government might have you believe, e.g. from today's ECDC stats:

    France cases 5423 deaths 127 (2.34%)
    Germany cases 4838 deaths 12 (0.3%)
    United Kingdom cases 1391 deaths 35 (2.52%)
    Netherlands cases 1135 deaths 20 (1.76%)
    Norway cases 1077 deaths 1 (0.1%)
    Sweden cases 1032 deaths 3 (0.3%)

    So despite the confidence shown by yourself and Theo in the UK government's handling, your country has the highest percentage of deaths per confirmed case. Does that reassure you?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    How can I give data, and why would I even look at current statistics in relation to what I'm discussing? This is only time in history a government has decided to try give the disease to lots of low-risk people so it can't spread later on to high-risk people.

    Can you provide something to back up your statement that this is what the government is trying to do?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,820 ✭✭✭✭ Ads by Google


    Aegir wrote: »
    Can you provide something to back up your statement that this is what the government is trying to do?

    If I've been bamboozled by fake news, shame on me, but I saw this twitter thread earlier and thought this was pretty much the plan.


    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/uk-covid-19-strategy-questions-unanswered-coronavirus-outbreak

    They appear to have concluded that it is inevitable most people would get the disease, so we should let the epidemic proceed to allow 60% of the population to become infected and build herd immunity through the wild virus.


    https://twitter.com/iandonald_psych/status/1238518371651649538


    If that is actually the approach, it may or may not be effective. My point isn't related to that; it's about international relations with countries whose vulnerable are out and about and at risk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,831 ✭✭✭ RobMc59


    Statistics in this context are incredibly easy to manipulate. Just look at how Trump has gone out of his way to keep the numbers as low as possible. The UK is not testing anywhere near as many people as it needs to get reliable information on the level of infection, which paradoxically makes their statistics a lot worse than the government might have you believe, e.g. from today's ECDC stats:

    France cases 5423 deaths 127 (2.34%)
    Germany cases 4838 deaths 12 (0.3%)
    United Kingdom cases 1391 deaths 35 (2.52%)
    Netherlands cases 1135 deaths 20 (1.76%)
    Norway cases 1077 deaths 1 (0.1%)
    Sweden cases 1032 deaths 3 (0.3%)

    So despite the confidence shown by yourself and Theo in the UK government's handling, your country has the highest percentage of deaths per confirmed case. Does that reassure you?

    You forgot to include Italy with nearly 24000 cases which is more than all the others you've listed combined!Europe is the centre of the virus which implies European strategy isn't working.So despite the 'EU knows best'prevailant here I'll retain my faith in what I'm being advised by my government.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    RobMc59 wrote: »
    You forgot to include Italy with nearly 24000 cases which is more than all the others you've listed combined!Europe is the centre of the virus which implies European strategy isn't working.So despite the 'EU knows best'prevailant here I'll retain my faith in what I'm being advised by my government.

    I didn't forget: I deliberately excluded Italy and Spain because they've passed into a different category where the disease is out of control and they simply can't test enough people fast enough.

    Besides, Italy is the perfect example of what happens when you apply a wait-and-see approach. They were, back in January, where the UK is now. The UK has decided to follow the same do-nothing-it'll-be-grand approach. When you're comparing figures, remember that you need to take account of the natural lag between the appearance of the disease in different localities.

    But I'll put to you the same question I put to Theo: what is it about the government's plans to do "stuff" in the future that inspires you with confidence? If these control measures are going to be justified in three weeks' time, why not bring them in right now?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭ theological


    I didn't forget: I deliberately excluded Italy and Spain because they've passed into a different category where the disease is out of control and they simply can't test enough people fast enough.

    Besides, Italy is the perfect example of what happens when you apply a wait-and-see approach. They were, back in January, where the UK is now. The UK has decided to follow the same do-nothing-it'll-be-grand approach. When you're comparing figures, remember that you need to take account of the natural lag between the appearance of the disease in different localities.

    But I'll put to you the same question I put to Theo: what is it about the government's plans to do "stuff" in the future that inspires you with confidence? If these control measures are going to be justified in three weeks' time, why not bring them in right now?
    The bolded section isn't true and is disinformative.

    I posted an opinion from an Italian doctor on the RTE website yesterday which basically attributed the spread to people not isolating.

    The UK is pretty clear that people should isolate when they have symptoms of the illness for at least 7 days. People seem to be heeding that.

    It is also incorrect that the UK has done nothing. I've provided numerous examples in the last few pages as to what the UK has done to prepare for this since late January including the isolation of people returning from China.

    The spread in the UK has been slower than other large countries in Europe, and that isn't just because of the UK being an island because the UK received about as many inbound flights from mainland China if not more than other parts of Europe.

    I've explained why the logic of doing the right things in stages makes sense instead of rushing to disproportionate action from day 1. You might disagree, but I've been clear as to why I think the UK approach is the right one. Not all action is effective action. Panicked action is also not helpful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,122 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump


    The bolded section isn't true and is disinformative.

    I posted an opinion from an Italian doctor on the RTE website yesterday which basically attributed the spread to people not isolating.

    The UK is pretty clear that people should isolate when they have symptoms of the illness for at least 7 days. People seem to be heeding that.

    It is also incorrect that the UK has done nothing. I've provided numerous examples in the last few pages as to what the UK has done to prepare for this since late January including the isolation of people returning from China.

    The spread in the UK has been slower than other large countries in Europe, and that isn't just because of the UK being an island because the UK received about as many inbound flights from mainland China if not more than other parts of Europe.

    I've explained why the logic of doing the right things in stages makes sense instead of rushing to disproportionate action from day 1. You might disagree, but I've been clear as to why I think the UK approach is the right one. Not all action is effective action. Panicked action is also not helpful.


    Jesus Christ.

    The UK aren't going to identify many cases because they are not testing FFS.

    The number of deaths is about 1% (depending on the source). If 20 people die today, then that would statistically give you a rough figure of 2000 people who were newly infected say 7 days ago.

    There is a lag between infection and symptoms. And during that lag, the infected person can spread it to others. They can implement a lockdown here today and case will still rise tomorrow. It does not mean that the lockdown is not working.

    Mods, can I propose that a temporary ban be placed on people who are posting dangerous lies? It might make others become complacent and not follow guidelines.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,831 ✭✭✭ theological


    It also isn't true that people aren't being tested either.


This discussion has been closed.
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