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

Tolls 3rd April 2020 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13042563)
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.

For the first sentence no he's not.

For the rest, those countries that have a wide test coverage appear to be having far better outcomes than those that don't. I can think of several reasons why, chief among which is (as The Don keeps saying) they have a far better idea of how the virus is spreading in their country. We, on the other hand, are stuck with viewing the spread through frosted glass.

Squeegee Beckenheim 3rd April 2020 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13042810)
Peter Hitchins (Daily Mail Journalist) tweets

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

Yes, he's been downplaying this since before it started. Wholly irresponsible. I doubt he believes it, either.

Planigale 3rd April 2020 02:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tolls (Post 13043244)
For the first sentence no he's not.

For the rest, those countries that have a wide test coverage appear to be having far better outcomes than those that don't. I can think of several reasons why, chief among which is (as The Don keeps saying) they have a far better idea of how the virus is spreading in their country. We, on the other hand, are stuck with viewing the spread through frosted glass.

I know on principle you wish to disagree with me but it is unhelpful to a rational discussion if you change the topic.

The specific case was of the value of testing friends and acquaintances of someone with Covid-19 illness. The argument was that testing is good because tests are good. This is a familiar argument in medical tests, not just in this case. But tests have harms as well as benefits. In general a test is done because some action will depend upon it. In this case no change in action will currently happen. Harm will accrue because tests are currently resource limited and testing several asymptomatic contacts will mean those who are ill in hospital may have their tests delayed. In addition a false negative test may result in harm because of the mistaken assumption that means that the individual tested does not have a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

South Korea does have a different policy, but it is more than just testing. Whilst South Korea was slower than the UK in developing a test for SARS-CoV-2 starting only on the 19 January (by which time the UK already had a test) the larger biotech industrial base meant that they were able to expand testing more rapidly than the UK. A key issue is the very detailed contact tracing with the detailed movements of cases cases broadcast on apps.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00740-y
South Korea has also introduced social distancing measures and quarantining of cases as the UK has although the details differ.

The issue about knowing the extent of covid is a different issue, which I'll address separately.

The Don 3rd April 2020 02:21 AM

Meanwhile in Wales, farmers are worried that they might catch Coronavirus from walkers.

Quote:

Some farmers say they fear their families could be put at risk of coronavirus due to an increase in walkers using footpaths on their land.

Under official guidance people can go for a walk or run close to home once a day.

But some farmers say paths should be closed or diverted because of fears it could be spread unwittingly via stiles and gates.

The Welsh Government said it had already shut some of the busiest paths.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52136726

My experience of farmers locally is that they resent public access to their land and regularly "accidentally" destroy stiles and footpath signs and/or make paths impassible. I think those that are complaining see this as an opportunity to restrict public access permanently.

Planigale 3rd April 2020 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tolls (Post 13043244)
For the first sentence no he's not.

For the rest, those countries that have a wide test coverage appear to be having far better outcomes than those that don't. I can think of several reasons why, chief among which is (as The Don keeps saying) they have a far better idea of how the virus is spreading in their country. We, on the other hand, are stuck with viewing the spread through frosted glass.

The concept that wider testing improves individual outcomes is untrue. If you identify more mild cases then the case fatality rate is lower and approaches the infection fatality rate, this does not mean the outcome for any individual with Covid-19 is better.


I am not sure what you mean by 'having a better idea of how the virus is spreading'. This would seem to mean you wanted to do random testing of asymptomatic members of the population, and you would need to do that repeatedly to see how many pre-symptomatic cases there were. Although not all people with SARS-CoV-2 are symptomatic, most are and testing all symptomatic at risk cases was initial policy. As the number of cases has expanded beyond testing resource pragmatically testing is limited to those who require admission to hospital. Diverting testing to a random population survey is not perhaps a good use of resources. In addition it must be remembered that the persons going around swabbing hundreds of random people are putting themselves at risk of acquiring the infection, and will be using PPE that is in short supply. Finally a PCR based test that is only transiently positive is not the best way to map the spread of a disease. This is why the national seroprevalence study will use an antibody assay that will detect previously infected persons, this blood based test is less risky for the tester than having to get directly in the line of fire if someone coughs which is what you have to do if you are doing a throat swab.

EHocking 3rd April 2020 04:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13043301)
Meanwhile in Wales, farmers are worried that they might catch Coronavirus from walkers.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52136726

My experience of farmers locally is that they resent public access to their land and regularly "accidentally" destroy stiles and footpath signs and/or make paths impassible. I think those that are complaining see this as an opportunity to restrict public access permanently.

Ramblers are quite militant. Foot and Mouth didnít shut any paths down permanently that Iím aware of?

Pixel42 3rd April 2020 06:32 AM

This is very unusual:

Coronavirus: Queen to address country on Sunday over outbreak

The Great Zaganza 3rd April 2020 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13043445)

Surely the situation isn't that serious?

The Don 3rd April 2020 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EHocking (Post 13043348)
Ramblers are quite militant.

True. I remember a facebook post from a few months ago from the Ramblers' Association asking people to go out and assert ancient rights of way which may have fallen into disuse

Quote:

Originally Posted by EHocking (Post 13043348)
Foot and Mouth didnít shut any paths down permanently that Iím aware of?

Won't stop the local Farmer "Get orf moi laaand" Gileses around here giving it a go though.

AnonyMoose 3rd April 2020 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13043445)


Yup, these are unprecedented times, no doubt about it.

She probably feels the need to reassure people and to reinforce the importance of following the experts' advice (stay home, social distancing, etc). Maybe a message from her will help to drive home the importance of how every individual's actions will determine the outcome of this situation? It can't hurt to try.

I've always had a soft spot for the old gal, so I'll be listening to what she has to say on Sunday.

Mader Levap 3rd April 2020 07:26 AM

I see COVID-19 denial starts to get various new interesting facets and side nonsense, exactly like AGW denial.

In this case: politically motivated claims like "tests are useless so it is fine politicians that I like **** it up".

lomiller 3rd April 2020 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tolls (Post 13043244)
For the first sentence no he's not.

For the rest, those countries that have a wide test coverage appear to be having far better outcomes than those that don't. I can think of several reasons why, chief among which is (as The Don keeps saying) they have a far better idea of how the virus is spreading in their country. We, on the other hand, are stuck with viewing the spread through frosted glass.

At present, there is little evidence that any treatment other than putting the most serious cases on ventilators and hoping they pull though has any impact on mortality rate once someone already has the virus.

The point of testing is to reduce the spread of the virus, but this will only be effective if you can catch most of the cases. In some countries, there are probably upwards of a million people walking around with the virus, and once it reaches that point testing probably isnít going to help much. If you can ramp up testing before you reach this point, youíll be much better off but itís already too late in Italy and Spain. Itís probably too late in the US and UK as well.

The Don 3rd April 2020 07:58 AM

The official UK death toll is 3,605.

Quote:

As of 5pm on 2 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 3,605 have sadly died.
The actual death toll could IMO be significantly higher because if you die without being hospitalised (for example at home or in a care home) then regardless of your Coronavirus status, you will not be included in the death toll. I presume that all people who die in hospital of anything that could be remotely like Coronavirus would be tested as a matter of course but if not, there could even be hospital Coronavirus fatalities which are not included in the official death toll.

I suppose that's how you keep the death toll below 20,000. Try to count as few deaths as possible - and when you get over 19,000 perhaps you stop counting altogether. :rolleyes:

lomiller 3rd April 2020 08:34 AM

US Whitehouse asked 3M to stop exporting masks and respirators to Canada and Latin America, while stepping up the US's own imports of these same products.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/3m-says-...nada-1.1416965

Trebuchet 3rd April 2020 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13043445)

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 13043468)
Surely the situation isn't that serious?

And anyway, Brian May isn't a medical doctor, he's a PhD in Physics!

Squeegee Beckenheim 3rd April 2020 09:10 AM

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1246030887348850694

Quote:

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT THREAD: US intelligence agencies have told the White House that Chinese government itself does not know the extent of the coronavirus and has no better idea than the rest of the world.

Midlevel bureaucrats in the city of Wuhan, where virus originated, and elsewhere in China have been lying about infection rates, testing and death counts, frightened that if they report numbers that are too high they will be punished, lose their position or be jailed.

CIA in particular has been warning White House since at least early February that China has vastly understated its coronavirus infections and that its count could not be relied upon as countries compiles predictive models to fight the virus.

US intelligence warns that getting a more accurate count of the Chinese rate of infection and deaths from the virus has worldwide public health implications when there is such uncertainty over the virus, its speed of transmission and other fundamentals.

Chinese totals critical for better understanding of how Covid-19 will hit other countries in the months ahead and effectiveness of countermeasures like social distancing. No idea where this now leaves the Imperial model, which used Chinese figures and has guided UK policy

AnonyMoose 3rd April 2020 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lomiller (Post 13043558)
US Whitehouse asked 3M to stop exporting masks and respirators to Canada and Latin America, while stepping up the US's own imports of these same products.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/3m-says-...nada-1.1416965


Wow. Just wow.

I won't say out loud what I'd like to say, so instead, I'll just say this: Not cool, USA.... really really not fricken cool. :mad:

lomiller 3rd April 2020 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13043593)

Iíve no doubt that China isnít reporting accurate numbers, but I doubt this matters much in the big picture. The effectiveness of promoting social distancing wonít be the same everywhere, so I donít see it helping countries understand their own situation. There are also numerous other countries to get this data from. We know China will use much more extreme methods to contain the virus, so I donít see them as a transmission hub either.

Iím more worried about Russia. They are guilty of all the same things, but I have far more doubt that they will respond as decisively when the **** really hits the fan.

Darat 3rd April 2020 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13043445)


My hopes of a triple seems to have passed but we still could get a 2 for 1 if both her and her husband were to die now, we would be spared the expense and all the disturbance of her and his state funerals. Granted we wouldnít get a day off but itís still a win.

Darat 3rd April 2020 10:32 AM

What the **** is Prince Charles doing opening anything at the moment! What utter stupidity. Yes I know he was on video but they had a standard style opening ceremony, how the hell is that ďessentialĒ.

dudalb 3rd April 2020 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13043489)
I see COVID-19 denial starts to get various new interesting facets and side nonsense, exactly like AGW denial.

In this case: politically motivated claims like "tests are useless so it is fine politicians that I like **** it up".

The Deniers have pretty much taknn over the COvid 19 thread in the Science section here.

dudalb 3rd April 2020 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13043637)
My hopes of a triple seems to have passed but we still could get a 2 for 1 if both her and her husband were to die now, we would be spared the expense and all the disturbance of her and his state funerals. Granted we wouldnít get a day off but itís still a win.

I presume you hate the monarchy?

Garrison 3rd April 2020 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13043489)
I see COVID-19 denial starts to get various new interesting facets and side nonsense, exactly like AGW denial.

In this case: politically motivated claims like "tests are useless so it is fine politicians that I like **** it up".

Just few weeks ago it was all about how it was being exaggerated, that the flu kills X thousands every year so why get worked up about a virus that's barely killed anyone by comparison. Of course any attempt to point out Covid-19 was still spreading and it seemed to have a much higher mortality rate than flu, was dismissed as scaremongering. I suspect many of the people insisting it was no big deal are the same ones who stripped the shelves of UK supermarkets and decided to head for some nice holiday spot when the weather was nice.

catsmate 3rd April 2020 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 13043468)
Surely the situation isn't that serious?

It's a great deal more serious and important than three of her four previous such addresses.

Planigale 3rd April 2020 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13043517)
The official UK death toll is 3,605.



The actual death toll could IMO be significantly higher because if you die without being hospitalised (for example at home or in a care home) then regardless of your Coronavirus status, you will not be included in the death toll. I presume that all people who die in hospital of anything that could be remotely like Coronavirus would be tested as a matter of course but if not, there could even be hospital Coronavirus fatalities which are not included in the official death toll.

I suppose that's how you keep the death toll below 20,000. Try to count as few deaths as possible - and when you get over 19,000 perhaps you stop counting altogether. :rolleyes:

So you can put covid-19 on death certificate without a positive test. Indeed we have done so with a negative test which we thought was false negative. ONS stats will show deaths out of hospital from covid but they run a couple of weeks behind.

a_unique_person 3rd April 2020 02:11 PM

Proto fascist european governments taking advantage of pandemic to implement power grabs.

Journalists flee psychiatric orders as strongmen grab power: Inside Europe's coronavirus chaos
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-0...virus/12109720

Captain_Swoop 3rd April 2020 02:17 PM

ďBritain faces a simple and inescapable choice - stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed MilibandĒ

David Cameron, 3 May 2015

Captain_Swoop 3rd April 2020 02:27 PM

"Boris Johnson was elected on a platform of Getting Brexit Done and not being Jeremy Corbyn. He didn't become prime minister to lead us through a global crisis."

Bang on the nail from Nish Kumar on
www.hedailymash.co.uk

Planigale 3rd April 2020 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13043916)
"Boris Johnson was elected on a platform of Getting Brexit Done and not being Jeremy Corbyn. He didn't become prime minister to lead us through a global crisis."

Bang on the nail from Nish Kumar on
www.hedailymash.co.uk

I'm not sure any government has ever been elected to get us through a global crisis? Jeremy Corbyn had he been prime minister would not have been there in anticipation of a pandemic. This seems a meaningless and inane comment. What did you think it contributed to the discussion?

Governments have to deal with the crisis as it happens, we have to contribute by maintaining social distancing. I see little evidence that governments of the left and right can do little different. Perhaps had more manufacturing remained in the UK we would have been better placed with PPE and testing, but this is a consequence of government policy and economics over decades and not something that could have been fixed in the last few months.

a_unique_person 3rd April 2020 03:13 PM

Modern piracy of medical equipment.

Quote:

Interior Minister for Berlin state Andreas Geisel said 200-thousand face masks purchased by the German capital were suddenly diverted to the US en route from China, describing the diversion as "an act of modern piracy".

"Even in times of global crisis there should be no wild west methods," Mr Geisel said in a statement.

German officials confirmed that their delivery was seized at Bangkok airport and diverted elsewhere, without naming the perpetrator.

The US has not responded to the accusation, but a DHS official told Reuters that US companies and the Government have been paying above market price for much of the gear purchased overseas.

The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, said the US would not stop buying "until we have way too much" and could still be searching out protective gear abroad through August.

Coronavirus update: Germany accuses US of 'wild west' tactics to obtain protective gear
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-0...t-day/12120784

Captain_Swoop 3rd April 2020 03:19 PM

As there will certainly be no BBC Proms this year and with the Govt having their knives out for the BBC there may never be a Proms season as we know it again, here is a masterful performance from a few years ago.

A youth orchestra and a youth choir, demonstrate why the BBC is unique.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

The Atheist 3rd April 2020 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13043296)
South Korea does have a different policy, but it is more than just testing.

SK also has the luxury of a compliant population happy to allow their personal data to be used for the greater good.

i.e. something that coupld not possibly happen in the west.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13043301)
Meanwhile in Wales, farmers are worried that they might catch Coronavirus from walkers.

Pity the planes are cancelled, or we could send a few Kiwi farmers to help out. They tend to use shotguns when people walk over their properties, and while I'm pretty anti-gun, that's something I'd be ok with.

Wankers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13043301)
My experience of farmers locally is that they resent public access to their land and regularly "accidentally" destroy stiles and footpath signs and/or make paths impassible. I think those that are complaining see this as an opportunity to restrict public access permanently.

I imagine UK must be the only place those rules apply. I can't think of any other country, but maybe there are.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13043593)

I can only presume my boy Vlad has opened the doors on Russian troll farms to spread this crap. Creating anti-China sentiment in USA would play nicely for him, and wouldn't give a toss how it plays in China, given he has them over a pipeline and is holding the price of energy low.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13043689)
The Deniers have pretty much taknn over the COvid 19 thread in the Science section here.

Nonsense.

Dissent is good - these people are posting words they'll be eating later on in the pandemic.

Darat 3rd April 2020 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13043689)
The Deniers have pretty much taknn over the COvid 19 thread in the Science section here.


Thatís simply not true.

Darat 3rd April 2020 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13043692)
I presume you hate the monarchy?


No not at all.

EHocking 3rd April 2020 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13043469)
True. I remember a facebook post from a few months ago from the Ramblers' Association asking people to go out and assert ancient rights of way which may have fallen into disuse

Won't stop the local Farmer "Get orf moi laaand" Gileses around here giving it a go though.

Even after living nearly 15 years in the UK, we always felt a little weird, cutting a path across a field of crops only for the path to finish up using the yard and driveway of a farmhouse to get back to a road. It always felt like trespassing. Especially walking up a farmhouse driveway, past the kitchen window, while the owner watched you while washing the dishes.

Mader Levap 3rd April 2020 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 13043899)
Proto fascist european governments taking advantage of pandemic to implement power grabs.

Journalists flee psychiatric orders as strongmen grab power: Inside Europe's coronavirus chaos
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-0...virus/12109720

In my country president want 2-year prolonging on his presidency. It is not clear how they arrived to this figure, most likely "after two years people will forgot about coronavirus and how my party is downcounting cases and deaths and general incompetency".
Before that they REALLY wanted to have elections on time (10 May) despite epidemic threat (since their pet was winning according to polls and if it slipped, he was less and less likely to win as people get more and more pissed off by COVID-19 related things).
Ruling party (incidentally it is considered rightwing) of my country for years was busy eroding institutions of my country (including our equivalent of Supreme Court). I think they want to emulate Hungary.

Sounds familiar? This kind of degeneracy is everywhere, not just in USA. I think democracy is globally under threat, mostly from various far-rightwing parties.

angrysoba 3rd April 2020 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13042810)
Peter Hitchins (Daily Mail Journalist) tweets

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

Not usually from the same thing, though. When it gets that high, they will have to think of a new reason why this is nothing to worry about.

angrysoba 3rd April 2020 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13043264)
Yes, he's been downplaying this since before it started. Wholly irresponsible. I doubt he believes it, either.

Peter Hitchens - Bobbing the media since the 1970s.

ďBut why should my ancient liberty be suspended to save lives?Ē

For most the question answers itself. Not for Peter.

Squeegee Beckenheim 4th April 2020 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13043998)
Pity the planes are cancelled, or we could send a few Kiwi farmers to help out. They tend to use shotguns when people walk over their properties, and while I'm pretty anti-gun, that's something I'd be ok with.

Wankers.

Public footpaths are exactly that - public. Landowners are legally obliged to allow people to walk on public footpaths. Most public rights of way are hundreds of years old. Farmers don't have the right to shoot people for using them, much as I'm sure they'd like to.

Quote:

I can only presume my boy Vlad has opened the doors on Russian troll farms to spread this crap. Creating anti-China sentiment in USA would play nicely for him, and wouldn't give a toss how it plays in China, given he has them over a pipeline and is holding the price of energy low.
Given that China has a proven track record of lying about this disease, why are you more prepared to trust the Chinese government's word on this than the multiple credible independent sources which say that their official figures shouldn't be trusted?

The Atheist 4th April 2020 01:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13044414)
Public footpaths are exactly that - public. Landowners are legally obliged to allow people to walk on public footpaths. Most public rights of way are hundreds of years old. Farmers don't have the right to shoot people for using them, much as I'm sure they'd like to.

Yeah, I know all that, but as noted above, even foot & mouth didn't stop ramblers and it seems to me to be an unnecessary freedom. Lots of things are hundreds or thousands of years old, but it doesn't mean those things need to exist forever.

Seems to be treated a bit like USA's sacred Constitution.

Anyway, back to the subject:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13044414)
Given that China has a proven track record of lying about this disease, why are you more prepared to trust the Chinese government's word on this than the multiple credible independent sources which say that their official figures shouldn't be trusted?

I think you can be sceptical of China's data without needing to prove they had 15 million deaths, and the type of criticism in the Twatter thread - with no evidence whatsoever - plays directly into conspiracists' hands without offering anything we didn't already know.

And since the alleged source was the CIA, I wouldn't trust them further than the Chinese government. They don't exactly have the greatest record at being open & honest, either.


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