CoronaVirus

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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Too occasional fan » Fri May 15, 2020 6:09 pm

The R number is close to 1. This is data from several weeks ago, so I'm fearful of what it will be like in three weeks time.

Agree with dursleydog. This country had an extraordinary advantage, being able to watch other countries. But our government didn't use it.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Greeners » Fri May 15, 2020 6:45 pm

Hi
Any R number higher than 0.5 will still take months to have any reasonable effect.
!0 wks to reduce from 100,000 to just under 100, 15 wks to get down to under 10.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby dursleydog » Fri May 15, 2020 7:20 pm

On the R number, as per usual the reality is a lot more complicated than the headline figure.

Quite confused at the emergence today of this new R number of 0.75-1 for the UK as a whole. Mostly because it’s not new. Prof John Edmunds (SAGE member) stated it was as such on May 7th, and that the R number for community spread alone (excluding hospitals and care homes) was 0.5-0.9. The PM stated the R number was between 0.5-0.9 when announcing the lockdown easing, but neglected to mention that this figure excluded care homes and hospitals, perhaps stating the truth that the R number could be as high as 1 but we were easing restrictions anyway for the economy was deemed too unpalatable... But today the government is suddenly acting that this is new information. Unfortunately for us, this means that the R number hasn’t risen to 0.75-1, it was already 0.75-1 before the lockdown was eased and the government knew it. The important upshot of this is that it means this rise in the R number actually predates the lockdown easing, and logically can only be accelerated by the change in restrictions.

Another thing to bare in mind is the local variation in the R number. London now seems to have the lowest, and the steep decline in hospitalisation there reflects that. Other regions seem to have flatlined at around R=1 and haven’t seen a significant drop in hospitalisation yet, South West included (it stabilised at a much lower level than London reached of course). This suggests that if a 2nd wave hits, it may effect areas that weren’t as badly effected last time. Unclear if this is localised herd immunity (unlikely imo, the antibody studies done in Europe suggest even the worst effected metropolitan areas have only seen 11% of people infected) or something else. Personally, I think this is a reflection of age demographics. Hospital and care home transmission amongst predominantly older people is driving up the R number, not community transmission. London has a younger population than the rural areas of the country, so care home and hospital transmission will have a smaller weighting on the total R calculation compared with other areas. No idea if that’s backed up by anything, but it goes to show how complex the calculation of this R number can be.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby SimonC » Sat May 16, 2020 3:48 am

dursleydog wrote:
The Old TomCat wrote:
dursleydog wrote:
Far, far to early to make that statement.
Only when CV19 has abated can this governments actions be properly scrutinised.
They followed advice from the country's leading scientists. If anyone is to blame it is them.
But it may well be that this country has suffered short term pain but will suffer less long term pain than others that were quick fast to put up barriers.
Only time will answer these questions.


We are already seeing from the leaked info from SAGE and from the limited release of papers documenting the scientific advice given to the Government that the “following the science” line has been at best a gross oversimplification, at worst an outright lie. It’s incredibly presumptuous and clearly politically motivated to blame the scientists when they’ve had to react to an uncertain and rapidly changing situation with very little data when their advice has been interpreted in such a one-eyed fashion by the government.


Science is not limited by country borders. The advice from scientists will have been the same in the UK as it was for Germany, as it was for the USA, as it was for South Korea etc etc. It's how it was listened to and acted upon that has made the difference.

Obviously this may not have been the case in a few totalitarian regimes like N Korea where access to the outside world is strictly limited and scientists would be constrained, but otherwise scientists from the vast majority of countries will have had access to the same articles, the same published data, research, reports, studies etc as anywhere else.

However you can be sure the scientists will be the first to be thrown under the bus when the final reckoning takes place and politicians are scrabbling desperately to hang on to power and save their backs. You already see the positioning starting in this country with the constant refrain from politicians of 'we followed the best available scientific advice at the time".
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Greeners » Sat May 16, 2020 8:24 am

Hi
SimonC wrote:The advice from scientists will have been the same in the UK as it was for Germany, as it was for the USA, as it was for South Korea etc etc. It's how it was listened to and acted upon that has made the difference. ........
...........
scientists from the vast majority of countries will have had access to the same articles, the same published data, research, reports, studies etc as anywhere else.

What a strange concept, that scientists would come to the same conclusions when they have access to the same research/studies etc.

Put X number of scientists in a room to discuss anything and you will probably get X number of different ways to progress further, good science is always looking for more questions NOT final answers.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby dursleydog » Sat May 16, 2020 9:07 am

Greeners wrote:Hi
SimonC wrote:The advice from scientists will have been the same in the UK as it was for Germany, as it was for the USA, as it was for South Korea etc etc. It's how it was listened to and acted upon that has made the difference. ........
...........
scientists from the vast majority of countries will have had access to the same articles, the same published data, research, reports, studies etc as anywhere else.

What a strange concept, that scientists would come to the same conclusions when they have access to the same research/studies etc.

Put X number of scientists in a room to discuss anything and you will probably get X number of different ways to progress further, good science is always looking for more questions NOT final answers.


Of course the science is never 100% clear cut, especially with something like a novelvirus, but there have been a lot of incidents of there being a broad international consensus on particular issues that we’ve then ignored or needlessly delayed.

For example, non-medical face coverings. This is something that was rolling out in East Asia from January, they’d already proven their effectiveness in the 2002 SARS outbreak. Further studies in Europe led to the mass distribution of masks in some countries and the early recommendation of wearing some sort of face covering across the continent by March/early April. Sadiq Kahn was recommending the wearing of face coverings 8 weeks ago in London due to this international approach, but our government were still saying the science “wasn’t clear”. What was clear was we didn’t have the PPE supply to distribute decent masks (like Spain had done) and the government seemed to have made a decision based on capacity rather than scientific use. Of course, the advice eventually changed on May 10th, so the science was there and in consensus, yet we needlessly delayed the implementation of it for months because we seemed to ignore international advice. The US administration has been hostile to the idea of masks too, they seem to see them as a symbol of their failure to contain the virus. Wonder if there’s a parallel there.

Another example is contact tracing. In the early stages we ignored the WHO and international scientific advice to “test, test, test” and to utilise mass community testing and contact tracing to control the spread. Instead, we abandoned contact tracing (now admitted by the PM that this was due to lack of capacity rather than scientific advice), were incredibly slow to increase our testing capacity, and still have only hired 1,500 out of the 18,000 contact tracers we need according to N.Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis yesterday, the day we had set that 18,000 target for.

Also on contact tracing but with the app that’s currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight, internationally non-centralised databases are being used for the transmission and storage of the location and personal data required. Basically, your phone will have the data on it, and when you say you have symptoms it sends that data directly to the other phones you’ve come into contact with to let them know to self-isolate. This is preferable from a security standpoint as the data is never collected in a central database where it can be used for purposes we didn’t sign up for, or accidentally destroyed, lost, or accessed by cyberattacks. However, our app goes against what everybody else (including Apple and Google who are helping these countries develop this app) uses a centralised database system, breaks a lot of security legislation, and may even be deemed illegal. Why? Why are we continuously ignoring what’s already been found out by other countries and insisting on making our own mistakes at every single stage of this crisis?

You’re right that the advice coming out of SAGE is going to be more nuanced, they make recommendations with degrees of confidence attached to them, and warnings that some things might be subject to change. Ultimately it’s the government who make the decisions, and there have been some very weird ones where they’ve gone all in on things the scientists are not confident in (schools reopening) but ignored things the scientists are reasonably confident in (face masks) for an age, leading to unnecessary transmission of the virus. Add in how they’ve been hiding behind the “following the science” line from the start, and it looks increasingly like there’s been some serious problems with how this government has decided to interpret a lot of the advice, both domestic and international, that has come its way.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby The Old TomCat » Sun May 17, 2020 6:27 am

With the lock down I’ve taken to listening to the BBC World Service and found it very refreshing. They have a different audience to those at home in the UK and away keep away from domestic politics.
Three news items caught my attention:

# Without doubt the country’s worst hit with CV19 in the world are those in the West of Europe. But the poorer nations to the East of our continent have, so far, escaped its full force.
Some countries in that part of Europe were far quicker to legislate that their people must wear masks at all times while outside their own homes. Plus they have smaller populations, spread over a wider area.
It is not often that the East shows the West a better example.

# Some of the most inspirational world leaders during this pandemic have been women, who lead countries such as Germany or NZ. In some ways that is not surprising – this is the first World crisis when there are so many women leaders. Even in Maggie Thatcher’s era she was the only female present at World leader gatherings. Much has changed in the 20 years of this century.

# Political parties to the right of centre are looking over their shoulder with a bit of trepidation. Bye and large voters move to the right as they get older, but CV19 is killing off many of that generation.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Silver Surfer » Sun May 17, 2020 9:16 am

Russia is now reporting roughly the same number of cases as Spain and Britain, but has only 10% of the deaths. How can that be explained?

Perhaps a good dose of vodka every day helps to ward it off.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby The Old TomCat » Sun May 17, 2020 9:48 am

Silver Surfer wrote:Russia is now reporting roughly the same number of cases as Spain and Britain, but has only 10% of the deaths. How can that be explained?

Perhaps a good dose of vodka every day helps to ward it off.

If that is medicine that works, I'll gladly take some. :D
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Greeners » Sun May 17, 2020 10:24 am

Hi
Silver Surfer wrote:Russia is now reporting roughly the same number of cases as Spain and Britain, but has only 10% of the deaths. How can that be explained?


Most of them have been transferred to a secret underground research centre where they are trying out a revolutionary Covid therapy called Novichok, so when they succumb that is the CoD not Covid.

I got that from my neighbour's friend who has a 2nd cousin twice removed who has a penfriend in Ukraine who got it from .......... I forget where he said he got it.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby TreeinWillsbridge » Sun May 17, 2020 10:39 am

Silver Surfer wrote:Russia is now reporting roughly the same number of cases as Spain and Britain, but has only 10% of the deaths. How can that be explained?

Perhaps a good dose of vodka every day helps to ward it off.



I read that life expectancy is a lot lower in Russia if you reach 70 as ordinary Vladimir Public you're doing well; there was a great deal of unhappiness over raising the state pension age into the early 60's I think 63? Thus they don't have a health service that keeps people alive into their 80/90's while suffering with a host of diseases.

In Britain if your over 65 you are 39x more likely to develop serious Covid-19 symptoms, of those in hospital 75% are overweight & 25% have diabetes.

So one reason for our high number of fatalities [apart from Govn incompetence] is the success of our NHS at keeping us oldies going. I speak as someone who experienced their first deep vein thrombosis at the age of 51, but unfortunately didn't discover my sleep apnea until 6 years ago. Probably if I had been born in Russia I would already be dead! thus unable to catch it to state the obvious. ;)
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Foggy » Sun May 17, 2020 10:47 am

South Africa has gone as far as introducing prohibition, on cigarettes and alcohol, which hasn't been well received:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-afr ... e-lockdown
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby dursleydog » Sun May 17, 2020 11:20 am

Silver Surfer wrote:Russia is now reporting roughly the same number of cases as Spain and Britain, but has only 10% of the deaths. How can that be explained?

Perhaps a good dose of vodka every day helps to ward it off.


Combination of a few factors going on in the Russian situation.

1.) Lots of testing capturing the early growth of the virus. Russia got hit later than most european countries, and were therefore able to ramp up testing relatively earlier in their spike and detect far more cases, similar to Germany.
2.) Public Denial of the problem. While Putin prepared the testing capacity behind the scenes, publicly he took the same approach as Trump and Bolsonaro in Brazil (Brazil may well end up being one of the worst effected countries globally) of denying the severity of the virus and trying to cover up the inadequacies of their response, leading to mixed lockdown implementation and allowing the virus to gain a foothold.
3.) Undercounting. Excess mortality stats from Moscow at least suggest significant under reporting of the death toll. As of April 30th the excess mortality there was 1,800, and 18% increase from an average year. This is 70% higher than the Russian governments' official death toll at this point in time. Although for comparison, London has seen an excess mortality of 9,000 deaths, a 135% increase, although this is from far later in the relative peak. This isn't a conspiracy, every country has undercounted to some degree or another, Russia just seem to be quite bad at it so far.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby dursleydog » Sun May 17, 2020 6:28 pm

I’d urge everyone to give this a read, an excellent breakdown of the UK’s covid response in the British Medical Journal by some bone fide experts. Well written with accessible language throughout, it summarises a lot of what I’ve been trying to communicate on here in a far better way with at more academic weight behind it!

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1932
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby The Old TomCat » Mon May 18, 2020 8:38 am

At long last there seems to be some light at the end of this dark tunnel the world is passing through.
Infection rates and death rates are significant lower than from even a few days ago. And that in UK is despite the Northern Ireland figures missing. Okay on Tuesday those figures from Sunday will probably double, as it always does after a weekend, but it is a clear indication that mankind is getting to grips with this accused virus.

Government has said that a vaccine is nowhere near the horizon but medics are learning more about CV19 every hour of every day and that is helping those that have succumbed to it.
For instance today the BBC said some patients get short of oxygen but their breathing is not impaired. Medics now know they need blood thinning agents rather than a breathing mask.
With this greater knowledge, lives will be saved and peoples overwhelming feat of catching it will lessen.

And another bit of fantastic news [as of yet to be fully corroborated] is that should everybody in the community wear a mask while in company, the infection rates diminish by 98+%.
If that is so, it will allow some sort of normal human activity to resume.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby Greeners » Mon May 18, 2020 1:54 pm

Hi
The Old TomCat wrote:And another bit of fantastic news [as of yet to be fully corroborated] is that should everybody in the community wear a mask while in company, the infection rates diminish by 98+%.
If that is so, it will allow some sort of normal human activity to resume.

Repeated today by RyanAir's O'Leary.
Frankly if that Leprechaun says some thing you should always question it.
It is something that has been going round for at least 3 wks, and bear in mind he has a vested interest in promoting a go anywhere do anything approach.

https://tinyurl.com/yc3vqy7g
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby The Old TomCat » Mon May 18, 2020 2:13 pm

Greeners wrote:Hi
The Old TomCat wrote:And another bit of fantastic news [as of yet to be fully corroborated] is that should everybody in the community wear a mask while in company, the infection rates diminish by 98+%.
If that is so, it will allow some sort of normal human activity to resume.

Repeated today by RyanAir's O'Leary.
Frankly if that Leprechaun says some thing you should always question it.
It is something that has been going round for at least 3 wks, and bear in mind he has a vested interest in promoting a go anywhere do anything approach.

https://tinyurl.com/yc3vqy7g

That is where I heard it. [Wasn't sure if was the BA or Ryan Air chairman - they are both Irish born]
And he did offer to send the BBC his source of information.
I'm not so dismissive of one of the world's most senior boardroom executives.
To get to that position and stay there, he must be ultra cautious on safety, hence a better point of reference than probably Donald Trump.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby dursleydog » Mon May 18, 2020 4:01 pm

The Old TomCat wrote:
Greeners wrote:Hi
The Old TomCat wrote:And another bit of fantastic news [as of yet to be fully corroborated] is that should everybody in the community wear a mask while in company, the infection rates diminish by 98+%.
If that is so, it will allow some sort of normal human activity to resume.

Repeated today by RyanAir's O'Leary.
Frankly if that Leprechaun says some thing you should always question it.
It is something that has been going round for at least 3 wks, and bear in mind he has a vested interest in promoting a go anywhere do anything approach.

https://tinyurl.com/yc3vqy7g

That is where I heard it. [Wasn't sure if was the BA or Ryan Air chairman - they are both Irish born]
And he did offer to send the BBC his source of information.
I'm not so dismissive of one of the world's most senior boardroom executives.
To get to that position and stay there, he must be ultra cautious on safety, hence a better point of reference than probably Donald Trump.


O'Leary is talking utter rubbish. All he wants is bums on the seats of his aircraft and money in the coffers, everything else is secondary. No idea where he's pulled that number from, I've been reading plenty of scientific papers on this issue and those kind of effectiveness rates are non-existent.

Mask wearing mostly blocks the primary route of transmission (cough droplets), but most masks are only around 50% effective at this. Modelling studies (found here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 2720300117) found that even with 80% takeup rate (so far in the UK from just my own observations here and from journalists in London, our takeup rate has been around 10% at best), they would reduce the infection rate and projected deaths by a not-inconsiderable 17-45%. Masks are an important helping push towards getting this virus under control, they simply aren't a solution in and of itself. If masks were as effective as O'Leary states, then Hong Kong (96.6% mask usage compliance, source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 5320302358) would have eradicated this virus months ago without the need for lockdown. As it is, Hong Kong locked down very early and with very tight restrictions AND 96.6% of the population wore face masks and it still took until early April for the number of new cases to drop into single figures. Hong Kong is an obvious success story (only 4 deaths total with v.high population density and proximity to China) and wearing masks is an important lesson to learn from it, but it is not the solution alone.

Be careful for fake news and even worse, fake science being spread through this pandemic, people are desperate to hear good news from any source, there are people who will put business, political, or more nefarious interests first and exploit that desperation via misinformation. Always good to jump on google scholar and have a cursory flick through some primary scientific evidence on the topics being discussed, while I wouldn't take it as gospel (there's a lot of preliminary hypotheses being put out there and the data just isn't there with a novelvirus to be sure on a lot of this stuff) it provides a reliable general background to the behaviour of this virus, what works, what doesn't work, and so when you see claims like "masks reduce infection by 98%! Says man who has major financial interests in stuffing people into planes like cattle." Alarm bells start ringing.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby FGR-Ledge » Mon May 18, 2020 5:51 pm

A bit rich from you is that.

You search for every bit of bad news going.

There is actual solid good news at the moment regarding this virus with rates dropping rapidly, this should be seen as a massive positive as it could mean we could get done normality back, and more importantly much less deaths.
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Re: CoronaVirus

Postby dursleydog » Mon May 18, 2020 6:10 pm

FGR-Ledge wrote:A bit rich from you is that.

You search for every bit of bad news going.

There is actual solid good news at the moment regarding this virus with rates dropping rapidly, this should be seen as a massive positive as it could mean we could get done normality back, and more importantly much less deaths.


I think you'll agree a global pandemic that's killed over 36,000 in this country as a very conservative estimate is by any objective measure "bad news". No searching for it required.

The number of new cases is coming down, but it's decreasing very slowly compared with Italy, Spain, and France. The deaths are coming down at a slightly sharper rate, but again it's been a shallow ramp down compared with our European neighbours. Our R number is close to 1 before lockdown was eased last week. All evidence that clearly says the lockdown is working, but that we have little room for error. That isn't bad news or good news or any news, it's just the nuanced reality of a vastly complicated situation.
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