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

Puppycow 11th July 2020 06:58 PM

What's happening in Japan:
Tokyo’s rush back to business generating alarm at local levels (Asahi Shimbun)

Overall, Japan seems to be doing quite well compared to other countries, but as the government starts to reopen the economy, new infections continue to trend up. They were down to the low 2-digit levels in early June but 420 new cases were recorded yesterday. So about a 10-fold increase within a month.

angrysoba 12th July 2020 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puppycow (Post 13154290)
What's happening in Japan:
Tokyo’s rush back to business generating alarm at local levels (Asahi Shimbun)

Overall, Japan seems to be doing quite well compared to other countries, but as the government starts to reopen the economy, new infections continue to trend up. They were down to the low 2-digit levels in early June but 420 new cases were recorded yesterday. So about a 10-fold increase within a month.

Yep. Most of it seems to be in the Tokyo/Kanto region, but Osaka has also seen the numbers rising (I think it was 30 new cases yesterday or the day before).

Generally people wear masks without being ordered to and have mostly seemed to abide by requests to stay home except where necessary.

That said, people are beginning to get bored and going out more than before to theme parks, karaoke, bars and restaurants etc...

There will no doubt have to be some kind of interventions to bring the numbers down again...

...the government's offer to pay for people to travel round the country seems to be the complete opposite of what they need to do.

Rolfe 12th July 2020 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zooterkin (Post 13153799)
I'd have no problem if wearing a mask was required, though.


Why aren't you wearing one anyway? It's attitudes like that that force legislation to happen,

Samson 12th July 2020 01:42 AM

Compulsion is critical.
Masks must be a huge statistical good.
I have never had one since the sanding machine in woodworking. It seemed obvious to me that issuing gloves and basic disposable masks as a prerequisite to entering supermarkets was common sense.

Better be lucky than smart as NZ was.

angrysoba 12th July 2020 01:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 13153809)
I think people are having a hard time socially distancing even outdoors. Previously when we tried to stay home and avoided crowds, that was easy. Now that people started doing some things normally and some sort of "activity" appears, they throw themselves into it fully, disregarding any virus. This aspect is not really much to do with our political views so much, more to do with your life situation. Old couples, such as me and the Mrs, have a slightly easier time keeping strangers off, and only acting with a small number of people.

Lonely old people seem to have it tough. Old lady at post office talked for minutes with clerk, haw hawing and making enormous clouds of virus, if she happened to be a carrier.

Have you changed your view on face masks? I seem to remember you saying they were ineffective.

Squeegee Beckenheim 12th July 2020 02:13 AM

Michael Gove has just said to Andrew Marr that the government will not make it mandatory to wear masks in shops, although he does encourage people to do so.

Yet more abdication of responsibility by this government.

Darat 12th July 2020 02:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13154479)
Michael Gove has just said to Andrew Marr that the government will not make it mandatory to wear masks in shops, although he does encourage people to do so.

Yet more abdication of responsibility by this government.

How does he know what the polls will say tomorrow when Johnson gets into the office?

At the moment I bet the polls are showing pretty much 50/50 on Johnson's popularity increasing or decreasing if he makes it compulsory or not. Can't expect him to make a call when the polling and focus groups are so evenly tied!

Captain_Swoop 12th July 2020 03:08 AM

If Michael Gove says face masks should not be mandatory in shops then face masks should be mandatory in shops
That's what's known as the "lying ****" rule.

jimbob 12th July 2020 03:17 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 13154467)
Compulsion is critical.
Masks must be a huge statistical good.
I have never had one since the sanding machine in woodworking. It seemed obvious to me that issuing gloves and basic disposable masks as a prerequisite to entering supermarkets was common sense.

Better be lucky than smart as NZ was.

I agree about masks, but am not convinced about gloves, as they might be worse than sanitised hands.


Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13154452)
Yep. Most of it seems to be in the Tokyo/Kanto region, but Osaka has also seen the numbers rising (I think it was 30 new cases yesterday or the day before).

Generally people wear masks without being ordered to and have mostly seemed to abide by requests to stay home except where necessary.

That said, people are beginning to get bored and going out more than before to theme parks, karaoke, bars and restaurants etc...

There will no doubt have to be some kind of interventions to bring the numbers down again...

...the government's offer to pay for people to travel round the country seems to be the complete opposite of what they need to do.

Yes - a bad idea.

Here's my chart of the cases and deaths (7-day average, centred on the actual day, not lagging as in Excel's trendline) along with various dates of increasing and relaxing restrictions:
Attachment 42583

zooterkin 12th July 2020 03:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rolfe (Post 13154465)
Why aren't you wearing one anyway? It's attitudes like that that force legislation to happen,

Because the scientific consensus appeared to be, and I'm not sure that it has changed, that it did not make a significant difference to the risk for the situations I'm in, nor does the government advice recommend it currently. The only shops I go to are large supermarkets, and I keep at least 2m from everybody else. I use the hand scanners, so I don't queue for the checkouts or deal with till operators.

Quote:

8. Face coverings
You must wear a face covering at all times on public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient. Hospitals will be able to provide a face covering in emergencies. If you can, you should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet

Tero 12th July 2020 03:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13154470)
Have you changed your view on face masks? I seem to remember you saying they were ineffective.

I found a use for the masks (the wimpy kind, the n95 would have some use). When I find I am walking or bicycling to a smaller gathering I can't avoid, I put the mask on and avoid eye contact. This prevents strangers coming up to me and starting to talk. I also have a bandana around the neck at times, it's easier to pull up when I already have a bike helmet on.

angrysoba 12th July 2020 04:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 13154497)
I found a use for the masks (the wimpy kind, the n95 would have some use). When I find I am walking or bicycling to a smaller gathering I can't avoid, I put the mask on and avoid eye contact. This prevents strangers coming up to me and starting to talk.

Just out of interest, why does it prevent strangers talking to you?

Is this because they might come up to you and tell you to put on a mask?

OR

Because it is believed that people with masks on are sick?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 13154497)
I also have a bandana around the neck at times, it's easier to pull up when I already have a bike helmet on.

I get the impression you don't think masks are of any use at all.

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

Tero 12th July 2020 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13154500)
Just out of interest, why does it prevent strangers talking to you?

Is this because they might come up to you and tell you to put on a mask?

OR

Because it is believed that people with masks on are sick?




I get the impression you don't think masks are of any use at all.

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

Only the n95 masks are of much use. I have 2. The rubber band came off the staple on the first one, so I sewed the two rubber bands on. i have worn it inside stores for 2 months.

My masked look outdoors is to make me look anonymous and to discourage contact. I am uninteresting.

angrysoba 12th July 2020 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 13154530)
Only the n95 masks are of much use.

What is your argument for this?

zooterkin 12th July 2020 07:37 AM

If this article detailing what happened when a pub customer tested positive is to be believed, the (non-NHS) Test and Trace service is a joke.

Quote:

News of his positive result reached the co-owner of Vape Escape, Leanne Underhill, first. Underhill, 40, closed the bar straightaway. She made a series of desperate calls to Somerset County Council and the police before finally getting through to NHS Test and Trace. “They asked me what I had done and took my postcode – that was it. They didn’t take any other details,” she says, sitting at a table in her recently deep-cleaned bar. “We were essentially left to deal with it ourselves.”

That was her only interaction with the service, which is headed by the former TalkTalk chief executive and Tory peer Dido Harding. “My perception was that businesses keep all the contact details and then pass them on if there’s an outbreak,” says Underhill. “But that’s not what happened.”

Instead, Underhill and another member of staff spent Sunday contacting the 42 people who had been in the bar on Saturday. She even took it upon herself to examine CCTV to identify the people that had close contact with Wilson. “People were massively worried. We are a little town – we don’t expect these kinds of things to happen,” she says. No one advised her what to say to her anxious regulars.

Later that evening, Underhill drove three members of staff 23 miles to a testing facility in Taunton. She then carried out a deep clean of the premises, working through the night.

“NHS Test and Trace couldn’t even tell me if I needed to test the staff,” she says. All the tests, including hers, came back negative early on Monday.

Trebuchet 12th July 2020 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tero (Post 13154530)
Only the n95 masks are of much use. I have 2. The rubber band came off the staple on the first one, so I sewed the two rubber bands on. i have worn it inside stores for 2 months.

My masked look outdoors is to make me look anonymous and to discourage contact. I am uninteresting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13154565)
What is your argument for this?

Only the N95 masks are of much use to protect you from others. Regular masks help protect others from you.

Rolfe 12th July 2020 07:55 AM

The local abuse of the man who tested positive is very depressing. That's going to make people hide away if they think they've got it, when we need everybody with any symptoms to come forward for a test.

angrysoba 12th July 2020 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13154592)
Only the N95 masks are of much use to protect you from others. Regular masks help protect others from you.

Well that’s the bloody point isn’t it!

If everyone were wearing a mask, then everyone would be protected.

That’s the point of condoms as well. It’s not just so that the wearer can be protected but also to protect the person they are having sex with.

Rolfe 12th July 2020 08:09 AM

I've got a couple of old respirator masks that I've been wearing in shops. They're meant to be disposable but I've been reusing them. I think now I'll also wear a snood round my neck and pull it up over the mask when I go into a shop.

Delphic Oracle 12th July 2020 08:57 AM

If the mask uses an exhalation valve that is not filtered, you're being doubly selfish.

ETA: I have a full face shield respirator I pondered digging out a while back. It used an unfiltered valve, so I decided against it. Also I only have organic vapor cartridges (for tear gas) and not biologicals/HEPA.

I use one of the sport masks since it has a neck velcro strap to spare my ears. I find I have to head outside about once an hour to clear the moisture buildup off of the exhale filters and air it out.

Rolfe 12th July 2020 09:15 AM

I intend to pull a cloth face covering over the respirator mask in shops. If I go at all, which I probably won't unles something unforeseen comes up. I haven't been in a position where I could possibly have been infected since 12th March.

Blue Mountain 12th July 2020 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13154490)
If Michael Gove says face masks should not be mandatory in shops then face masks should be mandatory in shops.

A slightly off-topic question from the colonies :) Is Gove's name pronounced as in "Guv'nor?" or as in "Grove"?

P.J. Denyer 12th July 2020 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13154756)
A slightly off-topic question from the colonies :) Is Gove's name pronounced as in "Guv'nor?" or as in "Grove"?

As in 'grove'. Or to rhyme with 'complete and utter self serving bastard'

Rolfe 12th July 2020 01:37 PM

Now the London government is apparently sending out advertisements encouraging (inciting?) people to travel to Scotland despite the risk of re-introducing coronavirus into a country that has almost eliminated it, and despite the fragile nature of the communities and healthcare in the areas tourists are likely to visit.

https://twitter.com/DrTomWalker/stat...12561179320320

In addition to "racist" and "despicable", refusing to rule out some sort of border restrictions between Scotland and England (similar to the current border restrictions between Victoria and New South Wales) is now "shameful".

We're not talking about actual border restrictions, because there aren't any, just about the refusal to declare that this would never be considered under any possible circumstances, no matter how great the difference in viral prevalence between the two countries.

We need out of this union.

Captain_Swoop 12th July 2020 01:52 PM

Last 4 days Covid19 UK deaths:

England 147 48 82 121
Wales 1 0 2 4
N Ireland 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 1

Spot the difference
Spot the problem

Captain_Swoop 12th July 2020 02:05 PM

"What borders on stupidity?"
"Scotland and Wales!"

Samson 12th July 2020 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rolfe (Post 13154829)
Now the London government is apparently sending out advertisements encouraging (inciting?) people to travel to Scotland despite the risk of re-introducing coronavirus into a country that has almost eliminated it, and despite the fragile nature of the communities and healthcare in the areas tourists are likely to visit.

https://twitter.com/DrTomWalker/stat...12561179320320

In addition to "racist" and "despicable", refusing to rule out some sort of border restrictions between Scotland and England (similar to the current border restrictions between Victoria and New South Wales) is now "shameful".

We're not talking about actual border restrictions, because there aren't any, just about the refusal to declare that this would never be considered under any possible circumstances, no matter how great the difference in viral prevalence between the two countries.

We need out of this union.

Or try this:

On the instructions of Dr George McCall Smith, the Surgeon Superintendent of Rawene Hospital, mounted and armed guards stood at all crossroads to turn back would-be visitors and thus restrict the spread of the disease between settlements. Travellers wishing to enter Hokianga were simply stopped at the boundary. The rule was simple: anyone could leave, but no one could enter.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokianga

Rolfe 12th July 2020 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13154844)
Last 4 days Covid19 UK deaths:

England 147 48 82 121
Wales 1 0 2 4
N Ireland 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 1

Spot the difference
Spot the problem


I don't understand these numbers. Scotland hasn't had a single death for four days in a row. Soon to be five.

Ulf Nereng 12th July 2020 04:10 PM

I seem to recall that some Brexiteers back in march were gleefully saying that the EU couldn't close their national borders because of Freedom of Movement to stop the spread of virus. But the EU countries did it anyway. Now it looks more like it's the UK that has that problem.

Rolfe 12th July 2020 04:30 PM

Germany (at least) has closed internal borders. Nobody called the Länder involved racist, or shameful, or despicable.

Puppycow 12th July 2020 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13154592)
Only the N95 masks are of much use to protect you from others. Regular masks help protect others from you.

Because who cares about protecting others.

https://news.vcu.edu/health/Early_fa...d_according_to

Puppycow 12th July 2020 04:55 PM

On politics, this is hilarious:

The Big Boy President Wore a Big Boy Mask And Now the Election is Over, Aides Say

Although that headline may seem to be over the top, look at the series of tweets that Trump's advisors made after Trump wore a mask in public for the first time.

The Atheist 12th July 2020 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puppycow (Post 13154963)
On politics, this is hilarious:

Good pick - you're dead right; it's one of the funniest things I've read in some time.

Amazing how much he looks like the Lone Ranger. A real tough guy.

Ulf Nereng 12th July 2020 09:39 PM

All it'll take is one Putinbot telling him that he looks stupid with a mask, and he'll never wear one again.

Puppycow 13th July 2020 12:14 AM

Fauci getting thrown under the bus by the Trump Administration.
He'll be one of their scapegoats (besides Democratic governors, et al).

White House Moves to Discredit Fauci as Disagreements With Trump Become Evident

Quote:

For months, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the face of the White House response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the government’s top infectious disease specialist is being sidelined, and the administration appears to be actively trying to discredit the career civil servant with more than 50 years in government service under his belt. Both the Washington Post and NBC News received a list from an unnamed administration official that pointed out comments that Fauci had made earlier about the coronavirus outbreak that were later proven to be wrong. “Several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” an official told both of the outlets.

What was included in the list? Fauci’s comments in January that the coronavirus was “not a major threat.” It also included assurances by Fauci that asymptomatic carriers did not play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 and his comment in March that “people should not be walking around with masks,” among others. Even Fauci’s supporters acknowledge that the 79-year-old head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made lots of mistakes early on in the coronavirus crisis. But he was hardly alone. Case in point, Surgeon General Jerome Adams acknowledged Sunday that the administration was “trying to correct” earlier messaging that advised against wearing face masks. “We follow the science and when we learn more, our recommendations change,” he said. Adams went back in history to explain how these types of mistakes can happen: “Well, it’s important for people to understand that once upon a time, we prescribed cigarettes for asthmatics and leeches and cocaine and heroin for people as medical treatments. When we learned better, we do better.”

jimbob 13th July 2020 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13155005)
Good pick - you're dead right; it's one of the funniest things I've read in some time.

Amazing how much he looks like the Lone Ranger. A real tough guy.

Cross posting but:

This is an illuminating (and somewhat deranged) Twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/KwCongressional

https://twitter.com/KwCongressional/...74636168167424

Quote:

KW Miller For Congress (FL-18)
@KwCongressional
I don’t wear face masks, but POTUS is the only man who can pull it off and still look intensely masculine. :usa:

Obviously he meant to use this flag :RUSSIA:

Squeegee Beckenheim 13th July 2020 12:29 AM

Can we keep the US politics in the US politics subforum/thread, and reserve the non-US politics thread/subforum for non-US politics?

The Don 13th July 2020 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13154844)
Last 4 days Covid19 UK deaths:

England 147 48 82 121
Wales 1 0 2 4
N Ireland 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 1

Spot the difference
Spot the problem

That last number for Wales, per capita, isn't that clever :(

There were ugly drunken crowd scenes in Cardiff yesterday as well so maybe a new spike is in the offing.

gypsyjackson 13th July 2020 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13154783)
As in 'grove'. Or to rhyme with 'complete and utter self serving bastard'

A while ago, a British comedian (possibly Paul Merton) was trying to get people to pronounce it Goove, to rhyme with move. I think I heard it on the News Quiz and HIGNFY. It didn’t really get anywhere, but it amused me. I am quite childish.

ETA: it was Marcus Brigstocke.

angrysoba 13th July 2020 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbob (Post 13154493)
Yes - a bad idea.

Here's my chart of the cases and deaths (7-day average, centred on the actual day, not lagging as in Excel's trendline) along with various dates of increasing and relaxing restrictions:
Attachment 42583

Sorry, I should have thanked you earlier for the graphs on Japan. Where did you take the stats from?

Anyway, Japan's numbers are really on the rise now.

Today, 84 new cases in Osaka, whereas it had been in the twenties and thirties before that.

Cases in Tokyo also soaring.

So what better time...

Quote:

Japan will begin a subsidy campaign on July 22 to boost domestic tourism hit by the coronavirus, the tourism minister said, although concerns remain over a resurgence of infections.

The Go To Travel Campaign will eventually subsidize up to half of expenses, including accommodation and transport fees, with the government initially providing discounts worth 35 percent of total costs.

The remaining 15 percent will be covered by coupons to be issued after September, to be used at travel destinations for food, shopping and other travel activities, according to the tourism ministry.
Link

Mojo 13th July 2020 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng (Post 13155121)
All it'll take is one Putinbot telling him that he looks stupid with a mask, and he'll never wear one again.


He looks stupid without one.

jimbob 13th July 2020 01:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13155182)
Sorry, I should have thanked you earlier for the graphs on Japan. Where did you take the stats from?

Anyway, Japan's numbers are really on the rise now.

Today, 84 new cases in Osaka, whereas it had been in the twenties and thirties before that.

Cases in Tokyo also soaring.

So what better time...



Link

Oh, sorry, I thought I had put the link in....

The ECDC website - it's updated daily. I just use some sumifs statements in excel to uinquely identify each day for each country (so the sum is of one cell) and turn that into a 7-day average

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/public...ases-worldwide

ETA: then I take the average of day x +/- 3 days (so my graph has a lag of 4 days from the last date) to get the turning points on the correct days.

angrysoba 13th July 2020 02:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbob (Post 13155194)
Oh, sorry, I thought I had put the link in....

The ECDC website - it's updated daily. I just use some sumifs statements in excel to uinquely identify each day for each country (so the sum is of one cell) and turn that into a 7-day average

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/public...ases-worldwide

ETA: then I take the average of day x +/- 3 days (so my graph has a lag of 4 days from the last date) to get the turning points on the correct days.

Thanks again! :thumbsup::)

Carrot Flower King 13th July 2020 03:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rolfe (Post 13154829)
Now the London government is apparently sending out advertisements encouraging (inciting?) people to travel to Scotland despite the risk of re-introducing coronavirus into a country that has almost eliminated it, and despite the fragile nature of the communities and healthcare in the areas tourists are likely to visit.

https://twitter.com/DrTomWalker/stat...12561179320320

In addition to "racist" and "despicable", refusing to rule out some sort of border restrictions between Scotland and England (similar to the current border restrictions between Victoria and New South Wales) is now "shameful".

We're not talking about actual border restrictions, because there aren't any, just about the refusal to declare that this would never be considered under any possible circumstances, no matter how great the difference in viral prevalence between the two countries.

We need out of this union.

Thing is, you can rely on many politicians, Scots and English, not to know where the border actually is...

How often do you hear/read them talking about north or south of Hadrian's Wall as the border? FFS, even using the Tweed doesn't work.

'S like none of them know Northumberland is even here...

Can we come with you, Scotland?

Rolfe 13th July 2020 04:04 AM

I took an English friend to Neidpath Castle, on the bank of the Tweed just above Peebles. You know how far Peebles is from the border. I realised as we were talking that she thought (just for a moment) that we were actually looking across the river to England!

The Scotland-England border is one of the oldest stable international borders in Europe, give or take the odd attempt by either side to carve out a bit more for itself. It was established, I think, in the early 13th century by King David I, and whatever the border raids everything always settled back to that line across the Cheviots. Sorry lads but Northumberland is in England and international law doesn't allow a country to grab a chunk of territory when it exits a union.

Not that we'll be exiting any time soon. Our esteemed leader has explicitly declined to make any capital out of the current chaos and indicated that we're going nowhere for a good few years. (The sooner she's out and replaced by someone with a backbone the better.)

Garrison 13th July 2020 05:47 AM

And now Johnson has come out and contradicted Gove:

PM says face masks ‘should be worn’ in shops


Quote:

Boris Johnson has said people in England "should be wearing" face masks or other coverings inside shops to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The prime minister said the government would decide in the next few days if "tools of enforcement" were needed.
This should have been an incredibly simple thing to come up with a policy on, yet again reduced to a confused mess by Johnson's lack of leadership.

Darat 13th July 2020 05:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrison (Post 13155303)
And now Johnson has come out and contradicted Gove:

PM says face masks ‘should be worn’ in shops




This should have been an incredibly simple thing to come up with a policy on, yet again reduced to a confused mess by Johnson's lack of leadership.

eh?

Don't you mean our PM Mr D Cummings?

The Don 13th July 2020 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrison (Post 13155303)
And now Johnson has come out and contradicted Gove:

PM says face masks ‘should be worn’ in shops




This should have been an incredibly simple thing to come up with a policy on, yet again reduced to a confused mess by Johnson's lack of leadership.

The government seem to be fighting two contradictory impulses.

On one hand they're desperate to continue their positive headlines and keep lifting the lockdown restrictions. On the other hand, they're aware that the Leicester outbreak has caused negative headlines so they want to try to keep infections low.

In short, they don't want to be meanies and compel people to wear masks but they recognise that wearing masks may help reduce infection. It's like a parent asking their child not to eat cake for lunch but not being prepared to tell them not to do so or have any punishment in the event that they do eat that cake.

As you say, a lack of leadership.

Rolfe 13th July 2020 06:51 AM

I've just come back from the post office. I'm pretty relaxed about this now because it's now more than three weeks since there has been a case in my region (Borders) at all, and if that case (21st June) was the one later reversed by a -1 report then our last case was 10th June. We're near two county boundaries, but Midlothian is also pretty clear (a single case over a week ago, and two weeks clear before that), and while South Lanarkshire is one of the regions with higher numbers, those in the know say the towns involved are Rutherglen/Cambuslang which are 40 miles away and really suburbs of Glasgow. Even if it's Motherwell/Wishaw, that's still 30 miles away.

Nevertheless everyone was wearing a mask except the clerks who were behind their normal screens anyway and also wearing face shields. None of that would protect the customers from a clerk who was aerosolising virus, but few customers and going to be in the shop long enough to breathe in an infective dose of aerosol anyway. (Except the elderly lady in front of me who was having her day's social interaction I think, she was a bit shocked when she saw how many people were waiting outside, but nobody minded.)

Anyway my point is that for all the bellyaching you see on the internet, in real life people just do it. Reports are that compliance in Scotland has been very high. England should just do it.

I remember being against compulsory seat belts in cars. (I was very young.) Then once it happened I analysed my feelings. I didn't like fastening a seat belt if I was driving because it was somehow acknowledging the possibility that I might have an accident. I didn't like fastening it as a passenger because it seemed like a tacit criticism of the driver, as if I was signalling that I didn't feel safe with their driving. But once it was the law all these subconscious reservations disappeared, I was doing it because it was the law, simple, no other conscious or subconscious motives. I think this is kind of similar.

Rolfe 13th July 2020 07:33 AM

We now have figures for last week for the whole of the UK.

Deaths:
England 587
Scotland 2
Wales 10
NI 1

New cases:
England 4,000 (rounded)
Scotland 63
Wales 142
NI 30

England actually had 1,117 more new cases last week than the week before, which if I'm reading this right is something like a 30% increase. This is not good. And yet England still wants to be in charge and unionists constantly criticise the Scottish government for not doing what England is doing. They're perfectly capable of forcing us to comply. We need out of this union.


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