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

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 08:37 AM

The government has admitted sending about 50,000 coronavirus tests to the US last week for processing after "operational issues" in UK labs.
The Department of Health said sending swabs abroad is among the contingencies to deal with "teething problems".
The samples were airlifted to the US in chartered flights from Stansted Airport
Results will be validated in the UK and sent to patients as soon as possible.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52603566

GlennB 10th May 2020 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13085155)
The government has admitted sending about 50,000 coronavirus tests to the US last week for processing after "operational issues" in UK labs.
The Department of Health said sending swabs abroad is among the contingencies to deal with "teething problems".
The samples were airlifted to the US in chartered flights from Stansted Airport
Results will be validated in the UK and sent to patients as soon as possible.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52603566

Meanwhile Greece, which locked down pdq and has about the best record for infections and deaths in Europe, is astonished at just how badly the UK has ****-ed it up:

“Johnson’s management of the pandemic has been almost Mediterranean in style, flippant and carefree,” said the economic analyst Antonis Papagiannidis. “You can’t help but think that people have been left to rot, that the interests of the economy were put before health.” link

Mojo 10th May 2020 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13085031)
“Stay alert by working at home if you can”
Because working at work makes you lazy and not likely to be as alert?
What does this garbage mean??!


“Your country needs lerts.”

The Don 10th May 2020 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mojo (Post 13085228)
“Your country needs lerts.”

Loofs are more appropriate in these times of social distancing IMO.

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 11:05 AM

Are we testing "literally" hundreds of thousands of people every day?

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 11:13 AM

Nothing has changed except the things which have changed except they haven’t yet but they might, or might not, as long as we don’t change anything.

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 11:26 AM

Stay at home, go to work, stay at home, exercise, stay at home, open the schools, stay at home, open the shops, stay at home, get in your car and drive until you get to the Scottish or Welsh border.

Mojo 10th May 2020 11:38 AM

I assume it’s all being kept as vague as possible to give them plausible deniability if it all goes wrong.

The Don 10th May 2020 11:42 AM

A load of piffle and waffle. As Keir Starmer pointed out, if I'm a construction worker am I supposed to turn up to work tomorrow morning even if it means having to take public transport ?

If I don't turn up, will the government cover 80% of my pay or has my income suddenly dried up ?

What if my place of employment doesn't have adequate social distancing measures in place ?

If I'm an employer what are my obligations ? Do I get to fire anyone who doesn't turn up tomorrow ?

If I'm a hotel, restaurant pub or bar, does the announcement that there may be unspecified loosening of lockdown by 1 July or later actually clarify things at all ?

Mojo 10th May 2020 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085361)
A load of piffle and waffle. As Keir Starmer pointed out, if I'm a construction worker am I supposed to turn up to work tomorrow morning even if it means having to take public transport ?

If I don't turn up, will the government cover 80% of my pay or has my income suddenly dried up ?

What if my place of employment doesn't have adequate social distancing measures in place ?

If I'm an employer what are my obligations ? Do I get to fire anyone who doesn't turn up tomorrow ?

If I'm a hotel, restaurant pub or bar, does the announcement that there may be unspecified loosening of lockdown by 1 July or later actually clarify things at all ?


Look, it isn’t Boris’s fault if you can’t follow simple instructions!

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 12:25 PM

I can drive 100s of miles to sunbathe alongside complete strangers on a beach, maintaining 2m distance - but not see my relatives? This is ridiculous.

Garrison 10th May 2020 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085361)
A load of piffle and waffle. As Keir Starmer pointed out, if I'm a construction worker am I supposed to turn up to work tomorrow morning even if it means having to take public transport ?

If I don't turn up, will the government cover 80% of my pay or has my income suddenly dried up ?

What if my place of employment doesn't have adequate social distancing measures in place ?

If I'm an employer what are my obligations ? Do I get to fire anyone who doesn't turn up tomorrow ?

If I'm a hotel, restaurant pub or bar, does the announcement that there may be unspecified loosening of lockdown by 1 July or later actually clarify things at all ?

It's all utter nonsense, if they actually meant any of it they would have announced an end date for the furlough scheme, which is supposed to be in place until the end of May at least. I suspect this is more about limiting claims for assistance from businesses that had been forced to shut by suggesting that they could have reopened.

p0lka 10th May 2020 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by p0lka (Post 13085047)
I think it all means
"lets be vague enough so that people think the lockdown is over, then when the 2nd wave hits we can deny responsibility by pointing to the fact that we never said the lockdown is over"

latest from the bbc
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52609952
"Boris Johnson says people in England can spend more time outdoors from Wednesday but lockdown remains."

seems to be like i thought.
Maybe they're aiming for herd immunity and **** everyone else.

I suspect they will have changed it by the time i post this.

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 01:09 PM

BE ALERT, then if you get it and die it must have been your fault.

The Don 10th May 2020 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13085324)
Are we testing "literally" hundreds of thousands of people every day?

That depends. If your definition of a day is like biblical apologists talking about creation, and/or if by "we" you mean the entire human race then yes..;)

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085502)
That depends. If your definition of a day is like biblical apologists talking about creation, and/or if by "we" you mean the entire human race then yes..;)

To be accurate the USA is testing some of them too.

Captain_Swoop 10th May 2020 03:33 PM

With schools and nurseries still closed, how the heck are people supposed to go to work?

Garrison 10th May 2020 04:19 PM

I keep checking articles and I cannot see that anything has changed practice, companies that are shut because of Covid-19 aren't going to suddenly reopen this week Maybe a few people in construction or manufacturing will return to work, but frankly given how long the lockdown has dragged on I suspect anyone who could return to work probably already has. It's all waffle from Johnson meant to sound like things are happening when the reality is bugger all has changed.

Garrison 10th May 2020 04:22 PM

In other depressing, and alarming, news:

Coronavirus: Germany infection rate rises as lockdown eases

This in a country that was way ahead of the UK in managing the spread the virus.

The Don 11th May 2020 12:34 AM

The advice for England is confusing and IMO likely to increase infection rates and make it almost impossible for the Police to be able to enforce social distancing rules.

Quote:

People in England can meet up with others outside their household in the outdoors as long as they stay 2m apart, the government has confirmed.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged people to "use some common sense" and added: "We can't mix within homes".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52612449

I expect to see pictures of large groups in parks and private gardens, obeying the letter of social distancing while being watched but breaking it all the time when not under observation.

It's also likely to overspill into the other UK countries - I expect to see carloads of tourists coming across the Severn Bride on their way for a jolly walk in the Brecon Beacons. :mad:

Darat 11th May 2020 12:45 AM

All English residents with a second home in another country, can they now travel to that home for their daily exercises?

The Don 11th May 2020 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13085857)
All English residents with a second home in another country, can they now travel to that home for their daily exercises?

That's a tricky one.

At least in the case of Wales, the police have already been trying to discourage people from visiting second homes:

Quote:

The Welsh Government has also asked the 4 police forces in Wales to provide further advice about whether existing provisions intended to prevent people from travelling to second homes in Wales need to be further strengthened.
https://gov.wales/revised-coronaviru...wales-unveiled

The Welsh government has also been clear that people should not come from England to exercise in Wales:

Quote:

The counsel general said the prime minister's statement was "aimed at people in England" and that people in Wales were still being asked to stay home.

He told BBC Wales the position was "rather different in Wales".

He said it was not the case that people could drive to other destinations in Wales.

"Our regulations do not permit people to get in their cars and drive to destinations in Wales, and that includes people getting in their cars in England," he said.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-52605939

Furthermore, even though people in Wales are allowed to travel to exercise, the expectation is that any such travel should be minimised.

Squeegee Beckenheim 11th May 2020 02:20 AM

Christ. Now I'm not only living in the worst country in Europe (or out of Europe, but that's a rant for a different thread), I'm living in the worst country in the UK. There's only bloody 4 to choose from.

On the plus side, it's increasingly difficult by the day to imagine a scenario in which the Tories win the next election.

Captain_Swoop 11th May 2020 02:43 AM

Covid-19 alert level = R + number of new infections.
apparently

shuttlt 11th May 2020 03:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085848)
The advice for England is confusing and IMO likely to increase infection rates and make it almost impossible for the Police to be able to enforce social distancing rules.

The great majority of social distancing I've seen in North London hasn't seemed to have relied on the police. X number of people in a shop at a time. Queue behind this line on the floor. Crossing the road to avoid walking too close to people. Staying away from other people in the parks. If social distancing relies on police enforcement to the level of monitoring the behaviour of individual citizens, then it can't work anyway. There are far too many people and far too few police. For now, it is working through good will.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085848)
I expect to see pictures of large groups in parks and private gardens, obeying the letter of social distancing while being watched but breaking it all the time when not under observation.

There will be pictures regardless of whether it is going on to any significant degree because some people certainly will go out in a big group (if this isn't happening anyway somewhere in the UK, I am surprised) and this is exactly the sort of story that a good number of journalists will be wanting to write. Whether this represent any great trend will have to wait for us each to go down to our local parks and take a look, and then a few weeks to pass and see if there is a huge uptick in the deaths.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085848)
It's also likely to overspill into the other UK countries - I expect to see carloads of tourists coming across the Severn Bride on their way for a jolly walk in the Brecon Beacons. :mad:

Is hiking in the Brecon Beacons more likely to spread this than spending time in the local park? Currently a lot of the demand to spend time outdoor is confined to city parks. Might it not help with social distancing to expand the number of places people can go? I don't know, but it doesn't seem necessarily to be a bad idea.

Nessie 11th May 2020 03:48 AM

The only way to come out of lockdown is gradually, by slowly relaxing certain advice about travel, exercise, meeting relatives etc. Use common sense about gathering and contact and keep to the golden rule of 2 m and 15 minutes. Be particularly aware of gathering in enclosed spaces as that is where transmission risk is at its highest. So, do not go to work unless your employer has made work safe.

Those who cannot understand that should just follow the original advice and stay at home.

shuttlt 11th May 2020 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 13085947)
The only way to come out of lockdown is gradually, by slowly relaxing certain advice about travel, exercise, meeting relatives etc. Use common sense about gathering and contact and keep to the golden rule of 2 m and 15 minutes. Be particularly aware of gathering in enclosed spaces as that is where transmission risk is at its highest. So, do not go to work unless your employer has made work safe.

Those who cannot understand that should just follow the original advice and stay at home.

Fair enough. With protests even in Germany about the lockdown, I think there needs to be visible movement in the direction of normality otherwise the lockdown will end chaotically on its own.

Darat 11th May 2020 05:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085863)
That's a tricky one.

...snip...

Given the makeup of the government, and what we know some members of the government have done (and the Conservative party as a whole) one would have thought it would have been one area they'd have thought about....

Squeegee Beckenheim 11th May 2020 05:13 AM

Raab has confused matters further

Darat 11th May 2020 05:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13085361)
A load of piffle and waffle. As Keir Starmer pointed out, if I'm a construction worker am I supposed to turn up to work tomorrow morning even if it means having to take public transport ?

If I don't turn up, will the government cover 80% of my pay or has my income suddenly dried up ?

What if my place of employment doesn't have adequate social distancing measures in place ?

If I'm an employer what are my obligations ? Do I get to fire anyone who doesn't turn up tomorrow ?

If I'm a hotel, restaurant pub or bar, does the announcement that there may be unspecified loosening of lockdown by 1 July or later actually clarify things at all ?

No the changes to going to work in England will only apply from Wednesday, as was made totally clear by Johnson in his Sunday speech....

Oh and lets ignore the data that already makes it clear that "unskilled" workers are more likely to catch the disease and die from the virus, and those low skilled care-workers are dying more than health workers and...

Yep lets get everyone back to work especially those jobs where social distancing is going to be impossible to enforce and if it was would end up being impossible such as construction, lets get them on the buses and ram them into trains and tubes again. We know that's not going to cause any issues.

And as we all know employers will have the safety of their employees at the heart of everything they do. In other words pay as much lip service as they have to to to keep up an appearance and ignore all the actual breakdown of social distancing and so on whilst of course still keeping targets in place and so on.

This "next step" just exposes the lack of basic competence of the entire government.

They are idiots.

Darat 11th May 2020 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13085992)

You are being very unfair, it is unusual that I'll defend him but lets be fair no one could confuse matters further!

The Don 11th May 2020 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13085930)
The great majority of social distancing I've seen in North London hasn't seemed to have relied on the police. X number of people in a shop at a time. Queue behind this line on the floor. Crossing the road to avoid walking too close to people. Staying away from other people in the parks. If social distancing relies on police enforcement to the level of monitoring the behaviour of individual citizens, then it can't work anyway. There are far too many people and far too few police. For now, it is working through good will.

In his announcement yesterday, and with Dominic Raab's subsequent "clarification", it now seems that in England any number of people can travel any distance to meet so long as they maintain social distancing. IMO this is a significant change from the previous advice where you weren't allowed to meet with people from outside your own place of residence.

Previously the message was that you should only leave your own property to do the essentials. Now it seems that you can go outside as much as you like, do whatever you want so long as you keep 2m from people from other households.

Whilst the message appears to still be "keep out of other people's houses", it's not clear whether people can congregate in their own gardens. My back garden is roughly 50m x 20m. I reckon I could get everyone I know in there and still maintain social distancing - hardly the right message IMO.

I'm glad that Wales still has a "stay at home" message.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13085930)
There will be pictures regardless of whether it is going on to any significant degree because some people certainly will go out in a big group (if this isn't happening anyway somewhere in the UK, I am surprised) and this is exactly the sort of story that a good number of journalists will be wanting to write. Whether this represent any great trend will have to wait for us each to go down to our local parks and take a look, and then a few weeks to pass and see if there is a huge uptick in the deaths.

Despite "lockdown", the UK's infection and death rates seem stubbornly high. There could be many reasons for this but anecdotally there seems to be a significant minority of people who have been flouting the restrictions. The government's announcement has now made any kind of reasonable policing of lockdown in England impossible.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13085930)
Is hiking in the Brecon Beacons more likely to spread this than spending time in the local park? Currently a lot of the demand to spend time outdoor is confined to city parks. Might it not help with social distancing to expand the number of places people can go? I don't know, but it doesn't seem necessarily to be a bad idea.

The thing is that, because the Brecon Beacons are in Wales, it is illegal to drive there to go walking whether your journey started in Wales or elsewhere in the UK. The instructions are clear in Wales, but in England they are ambiguous and run directly counter to those in Wales. As a Welsh resident, happy to comply with the "stay at home" instructions, I don't want all of our good work, undone by confused English residents.

The Don 11th May 2020 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13085994)
No the changes to going to work in England will only apply from Wednesday, as was made totally clear by Johnson in his Sunday speech....

My Conservative friends are cock a whoop at Boris Johnson's performance last night. They see it as a sign that the government are urging people to take responsibility for their actions.

I on the other hand see it as the government washing its hands of any responsibility for anything.

shuttlt 11th May 2020 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13086056)
In his announcement yesterday, and with Dominic Raab's subsequent "clarification", it now seems that in England any number of people can travel any distance to meet so long as they maintain social distancing. IMO this is a significant change from the previous advice where you weren't allowed to meet with people from outside your own place of residence.

It is going to be hard to maintain the current rules for the next 6 months. Some opening up is inevitable. So long as social distancing is generally maintained, is this so bad?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13086056)
Previously the message was that you should only leave your own property to do the essentials. Now it seems that you can go outside as much as you like, do whatever you want so long as you keep 2m from people from other households.

Sure, but lots of countries are now opening up. Unless we are going to keep the economy shut down and be prisoners in our homes for 6 months the rules need to be modified. The current rules are going to get harder and harder to enforce as time goes on, even in Wales.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13086056)
Whilst the message appears to still be "keep out of other people's houses", it's not clear whether people can congregate in their own gardens. My back garden is roughly 50m x 20m. I reckon I could get everyone I know in there and still maintain social distancing - hardly the right message IMO.

If you can do that while social distancing, is it so bad?

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13086056)
Despite "lockdown", the UK's infection and death rates seem stubbornly high. There could be many reasons for this but anecdotally there seems to be a significant minority of people who have been flouting the restrictions. The government's announcement has now made any kind of reasonable policing of lockdown in England impossible.

I do not see the majority of the compliance with the lockdown has been due to authoritarian monitoring and control. The lockdown can only be maintained while there is public support for it. While there is public support for it compliance is going to be pretty good regardless of the police.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13086056)
The thing is that, because the Brecon Beacons are in Wales, it is illegal to drive there to go walking whether your journey started in Wales or elsewhere in the UK. The instructions are clear in Wales, but in England they are ambiguous and run directly counter to those in Wales. As a Welsh resident, happy to comply with the "stay at home" instructions, I don't want all of our good work, undone by confused English residents.

I don't see how your good work is going to be undone even if large numbers of English ignorantly decide to go for a walk in the Brecon Beacons. Suppose on day one the Brecon is rammed with infected English people. What percentage of the Welsh population is hiking in that location on any given day? The police in Wales can tell the English where to go, It will be on the news, and the impact will be negligible if there is any impact at all.

shuttlt 11th May 2020 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13085994)
No the changes to going to work in England will only apply from Wednesday, as was made totally clear by Johnson in his Sunday speech....

Oh and lets ignore the data that already makes it clear that "unskilled" workers are more likely to catch the disease and die from the virus, and those low skilled care-workers are dying more than health workers and...

Yep lets get everyone back to work especially those jobs where social distancing is going to be impossible to enforce and if it was would end up being impossible such as construction, lets get them on the buses and ram them into trains and tubes again. We know that's not going to cause any issues.

And as we all know employers will have the safety of their employees at the heart of everything they do. In other words pay as much lip service as they have to to to keep up an appearance and ignore all the actual breakdown of social distancing and so on whilst of course still keeping targets in place and so on.

This "next step" just exposes the lack of basic competence of the entire government.

They are idiots.

From a purely pragmatic point of view, there will be a point where the average voter in 4 years time will feel the pain of a broken economy more the the remembered pain from the direct impact of the virus. It's hard to judge where that line is, but if Boris reopens the economy in the teeth of opposition from Labour and the main issue turns out to be how everybody's savings have disappeared, nobody has had a pay-rise, some people are still unemployed, public sector budgets have been cut... then I wonder how it is going to play out?

Clearly in the short term it is in the interests of the opposition to demand things stay locked down if Boris is trying to reopen, but there are risks of over playing the hand. We shall see.

The Don 11th May 2020 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13086096)
It is going to be hard to maintain the current rules for the next 6 months. Some opening up is inevitable. So long as social distancing is generally maintained, is this so bad?

Where did you get 6 months from. Has anyone advocated 6 months of "Stay at Home" ?

IMO there are better ways of managing the spread of Coronavirus than allowing people to travel all over the country to socalise in whatever sized groups they wish. Social distancing has been compromised and will inevitably continue to be so and so those large groups of people congregating in popular tourist locations will act as vectors for disease both there, and in the places they stop along the way to refuel and buy food and drink.


Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13086096)
Sure, but lots of countries are now opening up. Unless we are going to keep the economy shut down and be prisoners in our homes for 6 months the rules need to be modified. The current rules are going to get harder and harder to enforce as time goes on, even in Wales.

Again with the 6 months, why ?

Lots of other countries have Coronavirus under far better control than the UK and/or have leaders who couldn't give a toss about the health and welfare of their population and are worried about the economy. I hope the UK doesn't fall into the latter category.

If steps are to be taken soon to start to ease lockdown restrictions then there may be more prudent ones than "Go back to work on Monday Wednesday and go wherever you like".

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13086096)
If you can do that while social distancing, is it so bad?

That's a rather large if and presupposes that social distancing as defined by the UK government is a panacea. IMO it's probably still better not to have people moving around the country spreading or contracting the virus as they go and congregating in large numbers in public spaces.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13086096)
I do not see the majority of the compliance with the lockdown has been due to authoritarian monitoring and control. The lockdown can only be maintained while there is public support for it. While there is public support for it compliance is going to be pretty good regardless of the police.

"Pretty good" man not be good enough in the face of a pandemic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuttlt (Post 13086096)
I don't see how your good work is going to be undone even if large numbers of English ignorantly decide to go for a walk in the Brecon Beacons. Suppose on day one the Brecon is rammed with infected English people. What percentage of the Welsh population is hiking in that location on any given day? The police in Wales can tell the English where to go, It will be on the news, and the impact will be negligible if there is any impact at all.

There won't be many Welsh people hiking there, there will however be people who live there who may come into contact with those infected English people, or with things they have touched.

It only took a couple of people coming back from Italy to start one of the worst early infection hotspots in the UK here in South Wales.

Garrison 11th May 2020 08:38 AM

It's great to talk about getting people back to work but what about all those people like myself on furlough? Is it a case of we all toddle off back to work on Wednesday and tough luck if your employer decides to just start firing people because they haven't got any revenue coming in?

Darat 11th May 2020 08:40 AM

It's all been cleared up.

We can all go wherever we want, whenever we want to do our exercising. We can meet whoever we want, but only outside (which does not include your or their garden) and only one person at a time. We can now do sports outside with members of our household or a sport in which you keep 2m away from one other person outside.

You can do your exercising at your second home but you can't stay there overnight.

Darat 11th May 2020 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrison (Post 13086219)
It's great to talk about getting people back to work but what about all those people like myself on furlough? Is it a case of we all toddle off back to work on Wednesday and tough luck if your employer decides to just start firing people because they haven't got any revenue coming in?

Quite seriously - do you use public transport? Because the estimate for public transport is that it will have to run at 10 to 15% of pre-virus capacity to maintain social distancing.

How is that going to work for you?

ceptimus 11th May 2020 09:04 AM

English golf courses to reopen on Wednesday. https://www.nationalclubgolfer.com/n...ate-confirmed/

Apparently, golfers aren't supposed to touch anything other than their own equipment and ball. So they can't touch the flagpoles or the sides of the hole when retrieving their ball, nor any rakes in bunkers or similar.
I don't think many golfers will properly adhere to the guidelines, but I suppose there must be a lot of Tory supporters that play golf.

Anyway, providing we all stay fully alert I'm sure we don't really need to worry about anything else. :rolleyes:


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