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-   -   Covid-19 and Politics (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342577)

Matthew Best 2nd May 2020 12:02 PM

Guess what? The UK has idiots too!

Anti-lockdown protesters stage mass hug near Parliament in defiance of distancing rules

"Save lives, hug someone," a man in a yellow vest shouted.

Another woman could be seen holding a sign which read: "What is the side effect of 5G? Covid-19!!"

AnonyMoose 2nd May 2020 02:26 PM


It's a real shame the Idiot Disease is so dangerously contagious. More so than any virus even the most dastardly of evil scientists could ever possibly dream up in a lab.... And what makes it even worse? There's no cure for it.

Captain_Swoop 3rd May 2020 02:35 AM

Grant Schapps on Marr pretending it was reasonable for the Government not to stockpile gowns because they were preparing for a different kind of pandemic.

Captain_Swoop 3rd May 2020 08:09 AM

Michael Gove warns face masks could make people behave in a 'cavalier' manner towards coronavirus

The Don 3rd May 2020 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13076971)
Michael Gove warns face masks could make people behave in a 'cavalier' manner towards coronavirus

The woman I saw today in Tesco, fully masked, visored and gloved bears this out. It was almost like she was deliberately trying to test their efficacy :mad:

Captain_Swoop 3rd May 2020 10:30 AM

Today’s figures show testing has fallen to 76,496 tests in the 24 hours a drop of more than a third on the 122,000 tests claimed on 30 April

Mader Levap 3rd May 2020 10:56 AM

There seems to be another victim of acute defenstratitis in Russian healthcare. No link, since so far sources are tabloids.

P.J. Denyer 3rd May 2020 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13077085)
Today’s figures show testing has fallen to 76,496 tests in the 24 hours a drop of more than a third on the 122,000 tests claimed on 30 April

The 122k included a large mailshot of home tests, yes, they counted them on sending not processing the results. Presumably they didn't have enough to keel sending them out at that rate. Of course they may count them again when they're returned for to be tested.

It may also be worth pointing out that when the target was set it was "100,000 people tested" now it's "tests". A small but significant difference since, as a poster in this thread has pointed out, tests can be unreliable and may have to be performed more than once per person to ensure accurate results.

Captain_Swoop 3rd May 2020 12:01 PM

They said he was cheerful, sat up in bed, working, chatting to his medical team, playing sudoku, all this while in ICU, now he tells us they were preparing for his death, someone is telling lies.

Maybe, just before you die you have a massive urge to chat and play sudoku. Perhaps that's what awaits Boris in Heaven, talking bollocks and doing puzzles.

Trebuchet 3rd May 2020 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13077148)
They said he was cheerful, sat up in bed, working, chatting to his medical team, playing sudoku, all this while in ICU, now he tells us they were preparing for his death, someone is telling lies.

Maybe, just before you die you have a massive urge to chat and play sudoku. Perhaps that's what awaits Boris in Heaven, talking bollocks and doing puzzles.

"He" being BoJo?

Captain_Swoop 3rd May 2020 12:27 PM

Yes

Squeegee Beckenheim 4th May 2020 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13077085)
Today’s figures show testing has fallen to 76,496 tests in the 24 hours a drop of more than a third on the 122,000 tests claimed on 30 April

Is that actual testing, or sending tests out in the post?

Captain_Swoop 4th May 2020 02:25 AM

UK deaths are 20% of the entire world.
The UK has more Coronavirus deaths than Norway, Germany, Japan, Greece, Denmark, South Korea, Ireland, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Taiwan and Austria combined.

Captain_Swoop 4th May 2020 02:26 AM

To be in ICU with doctors rehearsing the announcement of his death just 48 hours before speaking to the nation for 5 whole minutes without pause or breathlessness What a man!

Ulf Nereng 4th May 2020 03:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13077724)
To be in ICU with doctors rehearsing the announcement of his death just 48 hours before speaking to the nation for 5 whole minutes without pause or breathlessness What a man!

Well, it suited his narrative, so he said it.

Garrison 4th May 2020 04:34 AM

Newspapers irritating me today, talking about the measures to ease the lockdown and get people back to work as if they were happening tomorrow. A close look reveals they are little more than draft proposals with no real timescale on when the lockdown might be eased. This after going on about businesses reopening, only of course they are by and large businesses that weren't required to shut in the first place but chose to do so. I think its creating the false sense that the lockdown is going to be eased any day now, but when you look at places like Italy I'm afraid we could be looking at several more weeks of it at least.

Captain_Swoop 4th May 2020 10:30 AM

"where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain follows"

P.J. Denyer 4th May 2020 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13078211)
"where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain follows"

Strictly speaking, "where Lowestoft goes Britain follows".

Captain_Swoop 4th May 2020 02:05 PM

A government tracking app with private call centres, what could possibly go wrong?

This is where trust comes in. Not enough people will trust the Government with their data. It needs a large take up, do 80% of smartphone users trust HMG?

Captain_Swoop 4th May 2020 02:11 PM

Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows, raising questions amid coronavirus pandemic

Quote:

Three frontline health care workers have mysteriously fallen out of hospital windows in Russia over the past two weeks, heightening public attention to the working conditions for doctors and medical professionals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Two of those health care workers are dead, and one remains hospitalized.
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/04/e...ntl/index.html

Russian doctors should know not to stand near open windows and not to talk to the media about coronavirus.

Captain_Swoop 4th May 2020 03:32 PM

Nigel Farage tweeted

Lockdown lunacy.
Two police officers just knocked on my door to advise me on essential travel.
They had received a complaint that I had been to Dover to report on the illegal migrant scandal taking place.
What a total waste of time and money.

McHrozni 4th May 2020 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13078490)
Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows, raising questions amid coronavirus pandemic

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/04/e...ntl/index.html

Russian doctors should know not to stand near open windows and not to talk to the media about coronavirus.

One of them fell out of a window during a meeting with local health officials.
Meeting in Russia can get quite heated, apparently.

McHrozni

Squeegee Beckenheim 5th May 2020 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrison (Post 13077824)
Newspapers irritating me today, talking about the measures to ease the lockdown and get people back to work as if they were happening tomorrow.

The TV news did the same. If every news source spontaneously starts saying the same thing, then that starts to look like they've been asked to.

The Don 5th May 2020 01:26 AM

In the UK the government is trialling a tracking app.

Quote:

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says there is “high privacy” in the NHS contact-tracing app being trialled on the Isle of Wight.

Data protection concerns have been raised over the app, which aims to quickly trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for Covid-19.

Mr Hancock said the idea the government is attempting to infringe on privacy is “completely wrong”, and that a user’s phone will anonymously store information about phones it has been within two metres of for more than 15 minutes in the previous few days.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share

This could be a game changer but I have three major concerns:
  • Will the app actually work as planned ? For example, will the signal be good enough to allow them to accurately determine where you are and who you interacted with ?
  • Will the data be securely stored - I'm sceptical of Matt Hancock's assurances
  • Will the app continue to be used post-Coronavirus ? I could see how it could be tempting to use for anti-terrorism purposes.

I'd like to be supportive and use such an app if the opportunity presented itself but sadly I don't trust the government to deliver in the short term and not abuse it in the longer term. :(

lionking 5th May 2020 01:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13079010)
In the UK the government is trialling a tracking app.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share

This could be a game changer but I have three major concerns:
  • Will the app actually work as planned ? For example, will the signal be good enough to allow them to accurately determine where you are and who you interacted with ?
  • Will the data be securely stored - I'm sceptical of Matt Hancock's assurances
  • Will the app continue to be used post-Coronavirus ? I could see how it could be tempting to use for anti-terrorism purposes.

I'd like to be supportive and use such an app if the opportunity presented itself but sadly I don't trust the government to deliver in the short term and not abuse it in the longer term. :(

They have a similar app in Australia. I would not normally download it, but if enough people do, the lockdown will be eased sooner. So I did.

Matthew Best 5th May 2020 01:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13079010)
Will the app continue to be used post-Coronavirus ? I could see how it could be tempting to use for anti-terrorism purposes.

You could always delete it.

Squeegee Beckenheim 5th May 2020 02:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13079010)
This could be a game changer but I have three major concerns:
  • Will the app actually work as planned ? For example, will the signal be good enough to allow them to accurately determine where you are and who you interacted with ?
  • Will the data be securely stored - I'm sceptical of Matt Hancock's assurances
  • Will the app continue to be used post-Coronavirus ? I could see how it could be tempting to use for anti-terrorism purposes.

I'd like to be supportive and use such an app if the opportunity presented itself but sadly I don't trust the government to deliver in the short term and not abuse it in the longer term. :(

I don't have an issue with the first of those. Facebook's app, for example, can tell whether you were standing facing someone the previous evening in order to ask you the next morning whether you want to add them on Facebook. If the location and orientation data is good enough for that, then I'm sure it can be good enough to determine whether or not 2 people have stood within 6ft of each other for 5 minutes.

I think your scepticism about the safety of the data is correct. There was a leaked memo from the NHS saying that it could be possible for the government to piece the data back together to identify individuals. This has been pounced on in some quarters as being evidence of a plan to do that, but it seemed to me to me more like running through all possible implications.

Three more causes for scepticism:
  • Uptake will need to be large in order for it to be effective.
  • There is likely to still be a lack of testing and, absent that, it'll be reliant on people accurately diagnosing themselves.
  • A few trolls could make the entire system useless.

But at the moment I tend to think that it's probably better than nothing and will likely get it myself.

McHrozni 5th May 2020 02:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13079010)
In the UK the government is trialling a tracking app.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share

This could be a game changer but I have three major concerns:
  • Will the app actually work as planned ? For example, will the signal be good enough to allow them to accurately determine where you are and who you interacted with ?
  • Will the data be securely stored - I'm sceptical of Matt Hancock's assurances
  • Will the app continue to be used post-Coronavirus ? I could see how it could be tempting to use for anti-terrorism purposes.

I'd like to be supportive and use such an app if the opportunity presented itself but sadly I don't trust the government to deliver in the short term and not abuse it in the longer term. :(

It's BS. Phone-based contact tracing does work, but not like this and most certainly not by storing information about phones it has been in contact with. How would a phone know anyway? They don't communicate with one another, that's why we have base towers.

No, what this does is record your every move and then if you're diagnosed with Covid-19 the system sends out information to other users where "someone with Covid-19" has been during the past several days. Timestamps are made wide enough to provide you with some annonymity, but everyone with the app knows whether they're likely to have been in contact with you or not. The server may also keep a record of who has been near you and excplicitly warn those people based on your previous locations. But your phone can't and won't do that.

The concern about this being used for anything other than tracking something that is as obvious as an infectious disease is quite laughable. You can lock an app out of your location on any phone, you can stop the phone from tracking the location in the first place (I have that off on default, it saves battery), delete the app or you know ... not take your phone with you if you're doing something you'd rather keep private. That last point may be a bit radical for some people but trust me, it's doable.

Tracing phones works only if the public explicitly consents to being tracked. You can get that for medical emergencies but it's useless as a form of societal control. You need something you don't need to consent to to work for that, security cameras with face recognition are the way to go for that, just ask the Chinese and Russians.

McHrozni

Pixel42 5th May 2020 02:55 AM

You don't even need to not take it with you, surely, just switch it off if you don't want to be tracked?

Mine sits in my handbag switched off 99% of the time, so I don't think there's much point in me downloading the app.

McHrozni 5th May 2020 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13079040)

Three more causes for scepticism:
  • Uptake will need to be large in order for it to be effective.
  • There is likely to still be a lack of testing and, absent that, it'll be reliant on people accurately diagnosing themselves.
  • A few trolls could make the entire system useless.

The first point is relevant, the second is partially relevant, the third is not relevant. Unless the UK manages to screw it up - which is entirely doable of course - you don't get a say about whether or not you've been infected. The sysadmin does that, based on the result of your Covid-19 test.

That means any amount of uptake is already useful. You need sufficient testing to bring about any meaningful information but it doesn't rely on accurate self-diagnosis and it's basically immune to trolls :)

On a related matter, it would seem the disease is far more widespread than we had thought. Even with widespread testing and contact tracing it could infect up to 50 times as many people as diagnosed.

The good news is that makes is far less deadly, the bad news is it makes it far harder to control at all.

McHrozni

McHrozni 5th May 2020 03:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13079059)
You don't even need to not take it with you, surely, just switch it off if you don't want to be tracked?

Oh yeah, that too of course :)

Quote:

Mine sits in my handbag switched off 99% of the time, so I don't think there's much point in me downloading the app.
You can download the app and keep it on for the duration of the epidemic. It's not a bad idea, given the predicament.

McHrozni

ohms 5th May 2020 03:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McHrozni (Post 13079055)
It's BS. Phone-based contact tracing does work, but not like this and most certainly not by storing information about phones it has been in contact with. How would a phone know anyway? They don't communicate with one another, that's why we have base towers.

This is incorrect, they do communicate with each other. The app uses the phone's Bluetooth signals to keep a record of other users that it has had significant contact with:

https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/new...-app-will-work

Similar systems have been in use for some time for things such as tracking customer flows through large stores and for monitoring traffic flows via a cars inbuilt Bluetooth.

Edit:

It seems the app needs some work before going live as "‘Wobbly’ tracing app ‘failed’ clinical safety and cyber security tests":

https://www.hsj.co.uk/story.aspx?storyCode=7027564

David RP 5th May 2020 03:08 AM

Mr Hancock said the idea the government is attempting to infringe on privacy is “completely wrong”, and that a user’s phone will anonymously store information about phones it has been within two metres of for more than 15 minutes in the previous few days.

Why 15 minutes ? So I would need to stand within two meters and for more than 15 minutes to potentially pick up the virus from someone who is positive. This is wildly at odds with the general 2 meter social distancing we are all adhering to at present

P.J. Denyer 5th May 2020 03:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13079040)
I don't have an issue with the first of those. Facebook's app, for example, can tell whether you were standing facing someone the previous evening in order to ask you the next morning whether you want to add them on Facebook. If the location and orientation data is good enough for that, then I'm sure it can be good enough to determine whether or not 2 people have stood within 6ft of each other for 5 minutes.

I think your scepticism about the safety of the data is correct. There was a leaked memo from the NHS saying that it could be possible for the government to piece the data back together to identify individuals. This has been pounced on in some quarters as being evidence of a plan to do that, but it seemed to me to me more like running through all possible implications.

Three more causes for scepticism:
  • Uptake will need to be large in order for it to be effective.
  • There is likely to still be a lack of testing and, absent that, it'll be reliant on people accurately diagnosing themselves.
  • A few trolls could make the entire system useless.

But at the moment I tend to think that it's probably better than nothing and will likely get it myself.


Minor point, but my experience with orientation on phones is that it's generally fairly dodgy, but I'm pretty sure FB doesn't use it in this way anyway for the simple reason that phones spend most of their time in pockets/handbags so the direction the phone is facing doesn't necessarily match your orientation. Plus GPS is rarely great once you're indoors. IIRC the contact tracing proposed is via bluetooth.

Captain_Swoop 5th May 2020 03:21 AM

Covid-19 denialism has now reached the "deaths in my country aren't as high as all cause mortality for the entire planet" stage.

P.J. Denyer 5th May 2020 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13079059)
You don't even need to not take it with you, surely, just switch it off if you don't want to be tracked?

Mine sits in my handbag switched off 99% of the time, so I don't think there's much point in me downloading the app.

Only an option if you don't need to receive calls.

Captain_Swoop 5th May 2020 03:23 AM

Ian Duncan Smith says we should open everything back up and "trust the common sense of the British People"

P.J. Denyer 5th May 2020 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13079080)
Ian Duncan Smith says we should open everything back up and "trust the common sense of the British People"

And let's face it when you think "Iain Duncan Smith" you automatically think "there's a man with a proven record of success, wisdom and good ideas" and definitely not "there's a man who lied about his qualifications and pontificates about others getting by on £68/week while he lives in one of Daddy-in-Laws spare houses". Who could possibly doubt him?

The Don 5th May 2020 03:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13079080)
Ian Duncan Smith says we should open everything back up and "trust the common sense of the British People"

Why are right wingers so determined to maximise the death toll, overwhelm the NHS and cause tens or hundreds of thousands of premature deaths among the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions ? :confused:

McHrozni 5th May 2020 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohms (Post 13079066)
This is incorrect, they do communicate with each other. The app uses the phone's Bluetooth signals to keep a record of other users that it has had significant contact with:

https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/new...-app-will-work

Hm, okay. You need to turn Bluetooth on and the people around you need to have it turned on and explicitly connect it to the app for this to work. It will also burn the battery. It's basically pointless to track phones near you.
Contact tracing via phones has its merits, but that's not how you do it.

Quote:

It seems the app needs some work before going live as "‘Wobbly’ tracing app ‘failed’ clinical safety and cyber security tests":

https://www.hsj.co.uk/story.aspx?storyCode=7027564
Because buying an already functional South Korean app is just too mainstream, I guess.

McHrozni


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