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

catsmate 1st April 2020 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey (Post 13039722)
Not quite as adorable, but turkeys have been spotted wandering the empty streets throughout Boston and Cambridge. It's not unusual to see them in the area, but it's less common to see them in the more dense parts of the city.

Spotted my first two of the spring in the suburbs this morning. One used a crosswalk while another waited patiently for traffic to subside.

Already better mannered and more civic minded than the locals I see.

catsmate 1st April 2020 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mojo (Post 13040535)

Yes, but as it's Gove spouting off that's a given. The problem is organisation of use of the PCR machines.

Captain_Swoop 1st April 2020 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13040874)
There may be many factors in play.

The rules seem pretty similar to me, shutting non-essential businesses and restricting travel. There may however be a difference in compliance with the rules and/or they may have been imposed at different points in the national pandemic cycle.

Until very recently, the UK was carrying out very few tests (the number is still hardly high in comparison to other European nations) so the number of cases, and perhaps even deaths (if tests aren't carried out on all recently dead people) may be understated quite significantly.

I personally only know of four people who who have reported Coronavirus like symptoms. All have now recovered after 2-3 weeks but none were offered a test.

Official figures say only 47 confirmed cases in Redcar and Cleveland.
Someone died just a few streets away from us in New Marske. She was 45 and healthy.

P.J. Denyer 1st April 2020 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13040544)
The Home Office says NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics with UK work visas due to expire before 1 October will have them automatically extended for a year so they can "focus on fighting coronavirus"
Then they can all **** off next year.

Christ, I'm embarrassed to be part of this country these days. The rest of Europe have every reason to be glad to be rid of us.

The Don 1st April 2020 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13041195)
Official figures say only 47 confirmed cases in Redcar and Cleveland.
Someone died just a few streets away from us in New Marske. She was 45 and healthy.

Grew up in Thornaby, was chronically ill until we moved up the dale to Barnard Castle. Tough growing up around there, wonder if that was a factor. :o

Very worrying either way.

Captain_Swoop 1st April 2020 01:29 PM

New Marske is far from a tough place to grow up. Person who died was up on the 'posh' estates.

dudalb 1st April 2020 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timhau (Post 13040996)
... and this isn't even a one-week old tweet.

Just saw and Interview with your Prime Minister;
God, i envy you finns your national leader.
She even speaks Engllsh much better then the POTUS.

Susheel 1st April 2020 06:37 PM

Major media houses beholden to the ruling party have now found scape goats in a Muslim organization that had conducted a major event in mid February. Despite the fact that large gatherings both religious (Hindu and Christian) and secular (Namaste Trump) took place around and after the same time and even as late as early March. However, the collective rhetoric has been modified to villify the Muslims. The BJP government has consistently been vilifying the Chinese ( resulting in the harassment of Indians from North Eastern states who the "real" Indians love to call "chinki") and now Muslims to hide their own incompetence and lack of foresight in handling the crisis.

The Atheist 1st April 2020 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susheel (Post 13041657)
The BJP government has consistently been vilifying the Chinese ( resulting in the harassment of Indians from North Eastern states who the "real" Indians love to call "chinki") and now Muslims to hide their own incompetence and lack of foresight in handling the crisis.

Well, as long as they've got someone to blame other than their own incompetence.

Ulf Nereng 1st April 2020 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13041232)
Christ, I'm embarrassed to be part of this country these days. The rest of Europe have every reason to be glad to be rid of us.

I wonder what will happen when there's a spike in their home countries and their government asks the nurses to come home...

catsmate 2nd April 2020 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13041322)
Just saw and Interview with your Prime Minister;
God, i envy you finns your national leader.
She even speaks Engllsh much better then the POTUS.

Even Leo is impressing people, for once.

Planigale 2nd April 2020 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13041175)
Yes, but as it's Gove spouting off that's a given. The problem is organisation of use of the PCR machines.

There is a genuine shortage of reagents. They are ramping up manufacturing in their factories but the whole world is competing. A lot of these machines for PCR testing use proprietary kits, so it is not easy to go and buy off the shelf bulk orders of reagents. Although people seem to think it is easy to do more tests, the tests must be accurate, and there must be appropriate records QC, and data handling. Since they are dealing with a potentially fatal infection there has to be appropriate infection control systems in place, and disposal of the tested material.

The standards can be reviewed here.
https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavir...atories-v1.pdf

Matthew Best 2nd April 2020 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13037970)
Dominic Cummings self-isolates after showing coronavirus symptoms

For a brief, gloriously happy, moment, I misread that as "self-immolates".

Captain_Swoop 2nd April 2020 02:07 AM

Boris says
Quote:

It is with that great British spirit that we will beat the Coronavirus and we will beat it together
So, that's OK then.

The Don 2nd April 2020 02:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13041968)
Boris says

Quote:

It is with that great British spirit that we will beat the Coronavirus and we will beat it together
So, that's OK then.

Well, great British spirit, and great foreign medical personnel (who will then be packed off home once their one year visa extension has expired) :rolleyes:

Captain_Swoop 2nd April 2020 02:22 AM

Nadine Dorries a government minister tweeted


Nadine Dorries
@NadineDorries
1. Journalists and media need to be more balanced. Testing, is not a cure, it won’t cut the number of deaths, it won’t make people feel better or stop them catching #coronavirus it will only tell you if you have or have had it There is no cure. Tests will allow

2. us to know who has antibodies and is immune/non contagious, but we don’t yet know how long those anti bodies will last for. The best we can hope for is that it will allow #NHS workers to get back to work if they know they have had it and have antibodies to protect them.

3. I’m already hearing from constituents who are alarmed at the situation re tests, believing media hype and that testing with a positive diagnosis = a miracle cure. There is as yet, no treatment, no cure, no vaccine and no amount of tests will alter that fact..#InThisTogether

The Don 2nd April 2020 02:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13041988)
Nadine Dorries a government minister tweeted

Just let that sink in for a moment.

Nadine Dorries........

......Government minister......

We are all completely ****** :mad:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13041988)
Nadine Dorries
@NadineDorries
1. Journalists and media need to be more balanced. Testing, is not a cure, it won’t cut the number of deaths, it won’t make people feel better or stop them catching #coronavirus it will only tell you if you have or have had it There is no cure. Tests will allow

2. us to know who has antibodies and is immune/non contagious, but we don’t yet know how long those anti bodies will last for. The best we can hope for is that it will allow #NHS workers to get back to work if they know they have had it and have antibodies to protect them.

3. I’m already hearing from constituents who are alarmed at the situation re tests, believing media hype and that testing with a positive diagnosis = a miracle cure. There is as yet, no treatment, no cure, no vaccine and no amount of tests will alter that fact..#InThisTogether

Sounds like she's trying to distract from the government's complete bungling of testing by blaming the media and claiming things from unnamed people.

Quote:

believing media hype and that testing with a positive diagnosis = a miracle cure
Who believes that a positive diagnosis is a miracle cure ? :confused:

How very Trumpian.

Yes Nadine, testing is not a panacea but without testing we have no idea about the spread of the disease or how (in)effective the lockdown and social distancing measures are. Quit whining about the press and get your collective fingers out w.r.t. testing.

Planigale 2nd April 2020 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13042009)
Just let that sink in for a moment.

Nadine Dorries........

......Government minister......

We are all completely ****** :mad:



Sounds like she's trying to distract from the government's complete bungling of testing by blaming the media and claiming things from unnamed people.



Who believes that a positive diagnosis is a miracle cure ? :confused:

How very Trumpian.

Yes Nadine, testing is not a panacea but without testing we have no idea about the spread of the disease or how (in)effective the lockdown and social distancing measures are. Quit whining about the press and get your collective fingers out w.r.t. testing.

There is testing. So your comment that 'without testing' just illustrates how people misunderstand the situation. To repeat there IS testing at present. All people with clinical symptoms are being tested. That is how we know about the spread of the disease, how else do you think we know we have the disease in the UK? The key issue about the effectiveness of the lockdown will not be determined by some laboratory test, but the outcome looked for is a fall in hospital attendances and death.

More PCR tests will allow well but symptomatic healthcare staff to return to work once their illness has resolved rather than being in prolonged isolation. Having more tests is not going to mean social distancing can stop.

There does seem to be an almost mythical aura around testing. Yes it will be better to have more tests, tests with a faster result, but it is not going to make any great immediate difference to what happens or what we do.

The Don 2nd April 2020 03:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13042029)
There is testing. So your comment that 'without testing' just illustrates how people misunderstand the situation. To repeat there IS testing at present. All people with clinical symptoms are being tested. That is how we know about the spread of the disease, how else do you think we know we have the disease in the UK? The key issue about the effectiveness of the lockdown will not be determined by some laboratory test, but the outcome looked for is a fall in hospital attendances and death.

More PCR tests will allow well but symptomatic healthcare staff to return to work once their illness has resolved rather than being in prolonged isolation. Having more tests is not going to mean social distancing can stop.

There does seem to be an almost mythical aura around testing. Yes it will be better to have more tests, tests with a faster result, but it is not going to make any great immediate difference to what happens or what we do.

I never claimed that there wasn't testing :confused:

I merely stated that without testing we'd have no idea about how far the disease has spread and how effective, or otherwise, the steps taken by the government are.

Anecdotally I know of only four people who have had Coronavirus like symptoms which have been severe enough for them be quite unwell, but not to require hospitalisation. These people weren't offered a test and so they have no idea whether they have had Coronavirus which in turn means that their friends and acquaintances have no idea whether they have been exposed.

Planigale 2nd April 2020 04:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13042035)
I never claimed that there wasn't testing :confused:

I merely stated that without testing we'd have no idea about how far the disease has spread and how effective, or otherwise, the steps taken by the government are.

Anecdotally I know of only four people who have had Coronavirus like symptoms which have been severe enough for them be quite unwell, but not to require hospitalisation. These people weren't offered a test and so they have no idea whether they have had Coronavirus which in turn means that their friends and acquaintances have no idea whether they have been exposed.

Whatever the result of the test on the symptomatic individual the friends and acquaintances would be in the same position. If household members they should be in isolation for 14 days. If not then their behaviour should not change. A negative test in the symptomatic individual does not mean they have not been exposed to someone else with the illness. A positive result does not mean they will have been infected by that individual. A negative test in the symptomatic individual does not exclude they have covid-19 if symptomatic they should still isolate. The only useful result (arguably not that much use) is a positive in a symptomatic individual. The positive result means taking the same action as a negative.

You are attributing some mythical value to the result of a test which it does not really have.

Squeegee Beckenheim 2nd April 2020 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13041963)
There is a genuine shortage of reagents. They are ramping up manufacturing in their factories but the whole world is competing. A lot of these machines for PCR testing use proprietary kits, so it is not easy to go and buy off the shelf bulk orders of reagents. Although people seem to think it is easy to do more tests, the tests must be accurate, and there must be appropriate records QC, and data handling. Since they are dealing with a potentially fatal infection there has to be appropriate infection control systems in place, and disposal of the tested material.

The standards can be reviewed here.
https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavir...atories-v1.pdf

If only there had been some kind of warning, so that governments could have started early in having tests made.

Darat 2nd April 2020 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13042116)
If only there had been some kind of warning, so that governments could have started early in having tests made.

True, if they could have had some warning back in January that there was a pandemic approaching they could have taken early steps. Mind you let's not forget that we've left the EU, so still some good news.....

lomiller 2nd April 2020 05:38 AM

Our local testing lab was apparently having to synthesize some of the reagents themselves. Until they got this internal production of these reagents up and running the number of tests they were performing only a couple dozen tests per day. Now they are doing ~500 per day, which is respectable given they are servicing ~1.2 million people.

Assuming it's the same reagents, there could be some truth to the shortage but the real problem is the insistence on buying the reagents instead of making them themselves.

Planigale 2nd April 2020 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13042116)
If only there had been some kind of warning, so that governments could have started early in having tests made.

Actually PHE had started developing the test early; they are co-authors (Maria Zambon) on the WHO / European test that is being widely used. The time course is that China first alerted WHO of an outbreak of a new respiratory illness on 31 December 2019. They downloaded the gene sequence on 10 january confirming that the cause was a novel corona virus. PHE and collaborators had already started on a test. What they had done was use SARS to develop a range of primers (choosing highly conserved regions by comparing with bat coronavirus), some of which primers they hoped would be able to detect SARS CoV 2. What they managed to do was in the absence of any clinical isolates, no actual samples of the virus they were able to go through the sequence of SARS CoV 2 and select out 3 candidate primers they had taken from SARS that they hoped would be usable. They then validated that using SARS, they then had to industrialise the process. The methodology was announced on 23 January. Initially the only site able to test was PHE VRL Colindale which could do 100 tests a day, by 10 February it had been rolled out to regional laboratories. The first UK case was on 12 February*.

So you may be snarky, but you are wrong to assume that they had not been prepared and developing a test from the first alert out of China. They had developed a test despite having no sample of the virus. The test was available and had been set up around the UK before the first case of covid-19 presented in the UK. This was extraordinary. Commercial companies are only now beginning to be able to offer tests nearly two months after PHE.

ETA
* First case of in UK transmission, imported cases had been diagnosed at the end of January.

Planigale 2nd April 2020 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lomiller (Post 13042123)
Our local testing lab was apparently having to synthesize some of the reagents themselves. Until they got this internal production of these reagents up and running the number of tests they were performing only a couple dozen tests per day. Now they are doing ~500 per day, which is respectable given they are servicing ~1.2 million people.

Assuming it's the same reagents, there could be some truth to the shortage but the real problem is the insistence on buying the reagents instead of making them themselves.

Unfortunately with commercialisation many laboratories have lost the ability to manufacture reagents. You do of course need the raw products which may also be in demand, and the equipment to synthesise then QC your in-house reagents. This is not kitchen chemistry.

Mader Levap 2nd April 2020 07:27 AM

Excusing government incompetence and blaming it on everything and everyone else? Never!

I see UK equivalent of Trumpistas are here too.

The Don 2nd April 2020 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13042068)
Whatever the result of the test on the symptomatic individual the friends and acquaintances would be in the same position. If household members they should be in isolation for 14 days. If not then their behaviour should not change. A negative test in the symptomatic individual does not mean they have not been exposed to someone else with the illness. A positive result does not mean they will have been infected by that individual. A negative test in the symptomatic individual does not exclude they have covid-19 if symptomatic they should still isolate. The only useful result (arguably not that much use) is a positive in a symptomatic individual. The positive result means taking the same action as a negative.

You are attributing some mythical value to the result of a test which it does not really have.

You really think that there's no difference between knowing whether you, or someone you have had recent contact with has had Coronavirus or not ? Talk about mythology.

South Korea's (so far) comparatively successful programme to contain Coronavirus has been based on testing, tracking and isolation. The UK simply isn't doing enough testing.

But hey, I'm just an armchair quarterback on the internet.

OTOH, the real experts are also unhappy about the lack of testing:

Quote:

Health officials say they are "frustrated" by a lack of progress in expanding UK coronavirus testing.

Prof Paul Cosford of Public Health England (PHE) said "everybody involved" was unhappy testing had not "got to the position yet that we need to get to".
I appreciate that when testing actually gets somewhere near the planned level then numbers of cases are likely to jump which will be uncomfortable for all involved but better that than being largely ignorant of the extent of the pandemic in the UK.

Captain_Swoop 2nd April 2020 11:44 AM

Good to see the government taking testing seriously by moving from their target of not achieving 25,000 tests to a new target of not achieving 100,000 tests.

Captain_Swoop 2nd April 2020 11:53 AM

Boris doesn’t seem to have the ‘British’ Coronavirus which the govt says requires 7 days isolation. He seems to have the ‘global’ version that needs 14 days as recommended by WHO and all other countries.

Captain_Swoop 2nd April 2020 11:56 AM

NHS England, 11th March: We'll test 10,000 a day
Boris Johnson 18th March: “We’re moving up to 25,000 a day.”
Matt Hancock, today: We'll hit 100,000 tests a day

The government still hasn't hit the 10,000 tests

Planigale 2nd April 2020 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13042228)
You really think that there's no difference between knowing whether you, or someone you have had recent contact with has had Coronavirus or not ? Talk about mythology.

South Korea's (so far) comparatively successful programme to contain Coronavirus has been based on testing, tracking and isolation. The UK simply isn't doing enough testing.

But hey, I'm just an armchair quarterback on the internet.

OTOH, the real experts are also unhappy about the lack of testing:



I appreciate that when testing actually gets somewhere near the planned level then numbers of cases are likely to jump which will be uncomfortable for all involved but better that than being largely ignorant of the extent of the pandemic in the UK.

The problem is you think having a test has only a beneficial outcome. However suppose you had symptoms and you got a test that was negative so you decided that you didn't need to self isolate at home and that the flu symptoms were just flu and you ignored them. You might spread the infection to others and not call for medical help when needed. But if you had not had the test, but just self isolated because you were symptomatic and called for help because you were not falsely reassured by a negative test the outcome would be better. 30% of covid19 patients are negative on nose / throat swab.

Trebuchet 2nd April 2020 12:25 PM

The governor of Georgia is being slammed for his ignorance, claiming he didn't declare social distancing rules because he didn't know asymptomatic people could be contagious. Ken "Popehat" White has a slightly different take:
Quote:

Problem is not "we have a governor this willfully ignorant during a deadly crisis." He's not, it's a lie. Problem is "governor thought, and may be right, that this lie that painted him as criminally ignorant was plausible/palatable/popular to his base."

The Atheist 2nd April 2020 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthew Best (Post 13041967)
For a brief, gloriously happy, moment, I misread that as "self-immolates".

Haha! Brilliant.

Have you thought of sending him a quick email advising him that it's a guaranteed cure for Covid-19?

crescent 2nd April 2020 02:20 PM

This may or may not be political:

Aircraft carrier captain removed from duty after pleading for help with coronavirus outbreak

Quote:

At a briefing Wednesday, Modly would not rule out punishment for Crozier over the letter, but said it would be a matter of who gave it to the media over the letter itself.

“I don't know who leaked the letter to the media. That would be something that would violate the principles of good order and discipline, if he were responsible for that. But I don't know that,” he said.

They seem to have determined that the ship's captain did indeed write the letter. That does not truly spell out political interference, depending upon why the outbreak in the ship was not handled the way it was prior to the letter being published in the newspaper.

William Parcher 2nd April 2020 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13042592)
The governor of Georgia is being slammed for his ignorance, claiming he didn't declare social distancing rules because he didn't know asymptomatic people could be contagious. Ken "Popehat" White has a slightly different take:

You are in the wrong forum. This is Non-USA Politics.

ETA: You too crescent.

Captain_Swoop 2nd April 2020 03:06 PM

Peter Hitchins (Daily Mail Journalist) tweets

Shock news ! 1,600 people die every day in the United Kingdom. This is normal.

catsmate 2nd April 2020 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13042122)
True, if they could have had some warning back in January that there was a pandemic approaching they could have taken early steps. Mind you let's not forget that we've left the EU, so still some good news.....

And the EMA, the EWRS and the emergency bulk buying mechanism. Though the last has been hurriedly backtracked on.
Ah Brexit.
:rolleyes:

catsmate 2nd April 2020 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13042549)
NHS England, 11th March: We'll test 10,000 a day
Boris Johnson 18th March: “We’re moving up to 25,000 a day.”
Matt Hancock, today: We'll hit 100,000 tests a day

The government still hasn't hit the 10,000 tests

I believe The Other Blair put it well.
Quote:

It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be REDUCED to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.

KDLarsen 2nd April 2020 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13042543)
Boris doesn’t seem to have the ‘British’ Coronavirus which the govt says requires 7 days isolation. He seems to have the ‘global’ version that needs 14 days as recommended by WHO and all other countries.

So he's upped his isolation to 14 days from the original 7? :confused: I was wondering why he felt he only needed 7 days, when the general agreement is that it takes at least 12 days for the virus to run its course.

Oh, and I don't think this was linked previously: The UK government lied about why they were not involved in a EU-wide procurement scheme for PPE and ventilators. They claimed to have missed a deadline due to an email about it going missing, but the UK had a representative sit in on a number of meetings when the scheme was first discussed.

The initial claims, first saying it was due to Brexit and then - after being roundly criticised for putting Brexit ahead of breathing - claiming it was due to missing a deadline.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ventilator-row

And the follow-up revealing that at least the latter claim was a lie:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-say-officials

ThatGuy11200 2nd April 2020 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13042543)
Boris doesn’t seem to have the ‘British’ Coronavirus which the govt says requires 7 days isolation. He seems to have the ‘global’ version that needs 14 days as recommended by WHO and all other countries.

He's such a liar, I wouldn't be surprised if he's only pretending to have the virus because he's too lazy to do the daily briefings. Or maybe for the same reason he avoids interviews, because we can all see he is actually a dimwit, rather than just pretending to be one.


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