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Old 16th February 2021, 02:55 AM   #281
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
.....or that he really genuinely believes that the "costs" of achieving and maintaining zero Covid (whether financial, societal, reputational or whatever) exceed the "costs" of having Covid "thinning the herd" every year.

For example the government has apparently spent tens of billions of pounds implementing an ineffective test, track and trace programme. Imagine how expensive an effective one would be.

Just because he's a scientist, doesn't mean that he doesn't hold some pretty alarming views

You could be right.

By the way, what's the difference between track and trace? What's so taboo about saying "test, trace, isolate"? Why does this redundant word "track" always have to be introduced, usually at the expense of mentioning "isolate", which is pretty damn important?
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Old 16th February 2021, 02:59 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You could be right.

By the way, what's the difference between track and trace? What's so taboo about saying "test, trace, isolate"? Why does this redundant word "track" always have to be introduced, usually at the expense of mentioning "isolate", which is pretty damn important?
Track - find out who you (as the person who has tested positive) have interacted with
Trace - find out where they are

Maybe ?
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Old 16th February 2021, 03:08 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You could be right.

By the way, what's the difference between track and trace? What's so taboo about saying "test, trace, isolate"? Why does this redundant word "track" always have to be introduced, usually at the expense of mentioning "isolate", which is pretty damn important?
Track is the automatic monitoring of who you have been in contact with.
Trace then selects those who have been tracked as being in contact with you during the period you were infectious.

Track used to be a phone call asking who you remember meeting, afaik I think it still is to some extent.

A proper phone tracking system should make the phone call to you redundant.
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Old 16th February 2021, 03:30 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You could be right.

By the way, what's the difference between track and trace? What's so taboo about saying "test, trace, isolate"? Why does this redundant word "track" always have to be introduced, usually at the expense of mentioning "isolate", which is pretty damn important?
“Track and Trace” is trademarkable….
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Old 16th February 2021, 03:44 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Track - find out who you (as the person who has tested positive) have interacted with
Trace - find out where they are

Maybe ?

No. All of that is covered by the normal term "contact tracing".

The legitimate use of "track" in the context of the virus seems to have nothing to do with contact tracing, but refers to tracking the various mutations so that the spread within and between countries can be assessed. It's to do with sequencing and seeing how the different strains transmit.

Introducing the word into the test-trace-isolate lexicon seems to be partly laziness, but partly a deliberate ploy to take the emphasis on the need for isolation for the process to make any actual difference.

ETA: And anyone who thinks that mobile phone technology can make human contact tracers redundant is living in la-la land.
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Old 16th February 2021, 06:27 AM   #286
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Why the **** am I holed up in my house and have been for the best part of the last year when others are just getting on planes and flying all over the place?

It's doing my head in.


Rant over.
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Old 16th February 2021, 06:33 AM   #287
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Scotland seems to have gotten its knickers in a twist over compulsory quarantine. https://www.independent.co.uk/travel...-b1802711.html

Once again shows that if there is a way to screw something up the UK government will find it!
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Old 16th February 2021, 07:07 AM   #288
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What these last two posts said. Yes. Apparently Ireland counts as England for immigration purposes and Scotland can't compel anyone coming in from England or Ireland even by air to quarantine in a hotel. So you don't even need to land in Manchester and drive or take the train north, you can just change to a domestic flight there. Or in Dublin of couse. No difference.

3.14, I imagine, like me, you've stayed in your house with little outside socialising for the best part of a year because you don't want to catch covid and maybe die or deveop long-term complications. Seems that not everybody feels that way and the government is happy to turn a blind eye.
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Old 16th February 2021, 07:55 AM   #289
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This is my latest Nightingale plot of weekly deaths in England and Wales from the ONS

Starting in Wk 31 1999, but running from wk10-wk09



And this as my preferred four-plot showing weekly and cumulative, raw and excesses

The second wave is already worse than the first.


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Old 16th February 2021, 10:57 AM   #290
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Looks like I might be the last over-50 in my family to get the jab! My daughter has yet to be notified, but she should be ahead of me, in group 6. My younger sister has her first jab this coming Thursday (she qualifies as being at risk due to a combination of auto-immune related issues), and my son had his on Sunday (he's in the Fire Service, and they're apparently on stand-by in case there is any vaccine left over at the local centre).


ETA: Spoke too soon; my daughter's just had a text message to invite her to book her vaccination.
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Old 16th February 2021, 12:29 PM   #291
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Book? Text? I just got a phone call from a very nice young lady telling me when and where to show up! (Though I imagine that, had I had some other pressing engagement, she might have been open to negotiation.)
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Old 16th February 2021, 03:39 PM   #292
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Covid: Dutch crisis as court orders end to Covid curfew

A court in The Hague has told the Dutch government that an overnight curfew to reduce the spread of coronavirus should be lifted, ruling that it breaches the right to free movement.

The court said the 21:00 to 04:30 curfew was imposed by an emergency law when there was no "acute emergency".

Later, a higher court ruled that the curfew could stay in place pending an appeal on Friday.

The curfew, imposed in January, led to rioting in several Dutch cities.

Police were patrolling streets near the Dutch parliament on Tuesday evening but no unrest has been reported so far.

The earlier court ruling - which said the curfew should be lifted immediately - was a victory for campaign group Viruswaarheid (Virus Truth) and a major upset for the government.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56084466
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Old 16th February 2021, 03:58 PM   #293
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@GoodLawProject are going to court to challenge a contract awarded by Dominic Cummings to his friends at 'Public First'

The Govt says it will claim £500k-£600k in costs if they win.

A clear case of inflating costs to scare off challenges.

Straight out of the Trump playbook.
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Old 16th February 2021, 05:06 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
The court said the 21:00 to 04:30 curfew was imposed by an emergency law when there was no "acute emergency".
I was just coming in to post that.

If 100 people dying a day, likely to more than double, isn't an acute emergency, I'd love to know what is.
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Old 18th February 2021, 05:01 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's insane, and once again reinforces to me that Whitty, for all his qualifications, doesn't have a clue what he's talking about most of the time. Either that, or he does have a clue but is nevertheless prepared to say absolutely anything the current political thinking requires him to say.
I know you are one who advocates for eradication in the UK, so I thought I'd mention that 5Live this morning scoffed at the idea, when it was dicussing ways of living with covid long term in the UK.

They were discussing what would be an acceptable level, and were also highlighting how some were living with long covid, and how being in ICU leaves people with often life long issues.
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Old 18th February 2021, 07:01 AM   #296
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I've just seem again a retweet of the thread where a professor who is advocating for zero covid was disinvited from a BBC discussion programme, which then went ahead with nobody putting the case for zero covid. There seems to be a media agreement to sideline this important topic.

As I see the epidemiology of this thing it's actually not a difficult candidate for elimination but for one thing, and that is its tendency to go off on epidemic spikes that overwhelm contact tracing capacity. When it takes off you can either lock down immediately to allow the contact tracing to catch up, as we've seen Australia and NZ do several times, or you can sit and wait until the health service is struggling and people are dying in significant numbers and then lock down. The early lockdowns are generally a lot shorter, waiting until you absolutely have to means a long lockdown to get the numbers coming back in the right direction, but either way you have to lock down.

So if epidemic spikes are happening, lockdowns are inevitable and the only argument is about timing. The imagined future where we're "living with covid" seems not to involve epidemic spikes happening at all, somehow we all get along as one big happy family and covid only kills its relatively small quota and we agree to let it do that. This is unrealistic.

If we are in a situation where we're not locked down and yet epidemic spikes are not happening, this is indeed endemic disease. But why would we let that state of affairs continue? If new case numbers are relatively modest, the contact tracing capacity will be able to cope. With appropriate public health measures we're now in an excellent position to finish the job, perhaps with some local restrictions, but without national lockdowns being needed.

Why would you simply sit back and let covid stalk the countryside unchecked at that point? We've (twice) got this down from extremely high levels. Getting it to zero community transmission from a low level which is not taking off like a rocket is comparatively easy. Somehow they seem to want to run the marathon then stop 100 yards from the finish line and say OK that's all been a bit strenuous, let's just stop.
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Old 18th February 2021, 07:44 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why would you simply sit back and let covid stalk the countryside unchecked at that point? We've (twice) got this down from extremely high levels. Getting it to zero community transmission from a low level which is not taking off like a rocket is comparatively easy. Somehow they seem to want to run the marathon then stop 100 yards from the finish line and say OK that's all been a bit strenuous, let's just stop.
I'd say it's because the steps necessary to eradicate Covid in the first place and to come down hard on it in the event that there are local outbreaks are more unpopular than having a few thousand mostly old and/or unwell people die every year.

I think people will be prepared to have an annual Covid shot, especially if it's not everyone who needs it but IMO "The Public" are already very anxious to have Covid restrictions lifted and would be very resistant to having them re-imposed in the event of a local outbreak.
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Old 18th February 2021, 08:46 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I'd say it's because the steps necessary to eradicate Covid in the first place and to come down hard on it in the event that there are local outbreaks are more unpopular than having a few thousand mostly old and/or unwell people die every year.

..snip…
And of course it will be the Tory’s “not us” that are the most negatively affected by it being endemic, (As it is that “not us” that have been disproportionally effected by the pandemic.)
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Old 18th February 2021, 08:58 AM   #299
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That may not be an accurate assessment. A "citizens' panel" was set up in Scotland to give government input into what the general public thought about all this. They have made a firm recommendation that they want to see the virus eliminated. The FM seems to agree, but then she says anything she thinks will play well with the voters. She said the same thing last summer then didn't lift a finger to achieve it. But it does seem as if the public, when asked to think about it, favour elimination.

It will be interesting to see how this goes. Jason Leitch, who was pushing herd immunity a year ago and has never seemed to me to have a real understanding of the epidemiology of this despite his job, countered the citizens' panel by saying that elimination would require more travel restrictions and maybe a continuation of face coverings. The public seem to feel that the prize is worth it and at the moment the FM is making noises that she is on their side, but Leitch, who I think was responsible for encouraging people to go to Spain last summer and bring the virus back, and is on record as saying that the second wave was inevitable because people wanted to travel, is I think still a proponent of endemic disease at heart. Which is pretty shocking considering his job. So we'll have to see how the politics of this plays out.
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Old 18th February 2021, 09:03 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I'd say it's because the steps necessary to eradicate Covid in the first place and to come down hard on it in the event that there are local outbreaks are more unpopular than having a few thousand mostly old and/or unwell people die every year.

I think people will be prepared to have an annual Covid shot, especially if it's not everyone who needs it but IMO "The Public" are already very anxious to have Covid restrictions lifted and would be very resistant to having them re-imposed in the event of a local outbreak.

Everyone is going to have to have an annual booster for so long as there is a danger of the virus being re-introduced from abroad, otherwise we risk seeing last spring happen all over again. So that's a done deal.

I don't think "the public" is gagging to have restrictions lifted. People I talk to are far more anxious to get rid of the virus and talk about patience and giving the measures time to work. And that is mainly in a council ward that has already eliminated the virus, in a local authority that's very close to it. There are a lot of loudmouths shouting online about their so-called freedoms, and a lot of media voices amplifying these, but in terms of actual public opinion, I don't think so.

If there is an actual local outbreak, sorry but local restrictions will have to be imposed whether you're going for zero covid or not. Not doing that would be insane. The main work to get to zero covid is simply contact tracing and isolation of fairly small numbers of people. There should be more support for isolation of course, but it's not going to affect 99% of Joe Public at all.
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Old 18th February 2021, 10:00 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't think "the public" is gagging to have restrictions lifted. People I talk to are far more anxious to get rid of the virus and talk about patience and giving the measures time to work. And that is mainly in a council ward that has already eliminated the virus, in a local authority that's very close to it. There are a lot of loudmouths shouting online about their so-called freedoms, and a lot of media voices amplifying these, but in terms of actual public opinion, I don't think so.
Maybe you talk to a better class of people than I do

There are a few exceptions, but the consensus in this corner of Wales is that people want to get back to the shops, the pub and mixing with their friends and families and it's Mark Drakeford personally who's a big spoilsport that's stopping them.
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Old 18th February 2021, 10:10 AM   #302
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Oh dear. No, I'm really not hearing that. I'm hearing a lot of patience and a lot of hope that it will be worth it to get rid of the virus. Jason Leitch is trying to tell them it's not worth it and he wants people to get back to the shops rather than hang on a bit longer to stop more people dying down the line.
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Old 18th February 2021, 10:11 AM   #303
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'6.2cm-tall man' offered priority Covid vaccine after NHS blunder

Quote:
A 32-year-old man with no underlying health conditions was offered a Covid vaccine early because of a blunder at his GP surgery which recorded him as being 6.2cm tall, giving him an astonishing body mass index (BMI) of 28,000.
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Old 18th February 2021, 11:38 AM   #304
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TodaysMail headline

"Now take the brakes off, Boris"
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Old 19th February 2021, 07:25 AM   #305
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Lord Rothermere's investments must be tanking, all those offices standing empty
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Old 19th February 2021, 07:55 AM   #306
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Oh dear how sad never mind
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Old 19th February 2021, 08:26 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Maybe you talk to a better class of people than I do

There are a few exceptions, but the consensus in this corner of Wales is that people want to get back to the shops, the pub and mixing with their friends and families and it's Mark Drakeford personally who's a big spoilsport that's stopping them.

Still not hearing that here. I went to the pub this afternoon. To pick up my groceries order from their online community shop, which was ready for me to collect. I chatted with the landlady for a few minutes. She was emphatically keen to keep the restrictions in place until the virus was essentially gone, because "I really don't want to go through this again next winter!" And I'm hearing a lot of that. You might think a pub landlady would be particularly keen to reopen, but she's not.

The virus is actually gone from Tweeddale, we're pretty sure about that despite the rather coy figures that "suppress" very low numbers, but we're still keen to be patient till other areas get down too, so that we don't need to fear reintroduction from over the county boundary (yes, Midlothian, I'm looking at you).
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Old 19th February 2021, 10:56 AM   #308
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Matt Hancock acted unlawfully when his department did not reveal details of contracts it had signed during the Covid pandemic, a court has ruled.

A judge said the health secretary had "breached his legal obligation" by not publishing details within 30 days of contracts being signed.

The public had a right to know where the "vast" amounts spent had gone and how contracts were awarded, he added.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56125462
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Old 19th February 2021, 11:19 AM   #309
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There are music concerts in Madrid again, despite high "7-days incidence" of 321. They are leaving it to the regions in Spain now to set the policy. Here is a list of the regions that again shows no correlation between severity of "lockdowns" and number of "cases" (It's in German but I guess obvious enough):

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Old 19th February 2021, 11:55 AM   #310
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Since there are all sorts of reasons why the "severity" of the lockdown might not correlate at all with the viral incidence at the present time, I'm not surprised.
  • A lockdown that's started late will be much less effective than one that's started early in the epidemic surge
  • A lockdown that looks tight on paper will not be as effective if the paper regulations aren't enforced
  • A lockdown that started last week will appear less effective than one that began a couple of months ago, all else being equal
  • Population density and demographics have an enormous effect, with rural areas coming to heel very quickly and crowded urban areas with high levels of multiple occupancy and multi-generational families will go on breeding virus at a relatively high rate.
So presenting simplistic figures like that really isn't going to prove anything.
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Old 19th February 2021, 12:14 PM   #311
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There are nice studies about the very different "lockdowns" in the US states and their respective numbers of "cases" and "deaths" as well. You can find them if you want. Again no correlation at all.
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Old 19th February 2021, 12:22 PM   #312
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Judges comments on his ruling against Hancock.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Chamberlain said: "There is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the secretary of state breached his legal obligation to publish contract award notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.

"There is also no dispute that the secretary of state failed to publish redacted contracts in accordance with the transparency policy."

The judge said the health secretary had spent "vast quantities" of public money on Covid-related goods and services during 2020.

"The public were entitled see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded," he added.

He said this was important so that competitors of those awarded contracts could understand whether the obligations had been breached.
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Old 19th February 2021, 12:28 PM   #313
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Just in case you haven't noticed from my recent posts, Rolfe - I live in the very center of a city that is "big" by German definition (over 100,000 inhabitants is the definition, it is much larger), in the middle of one of the most densely populated regions on earth - our state NRW has the population of The Netherlands on three quarters of the territory. I have not stopped my usual habits - public transport daily, shopping several times a week, contact to friends - one bit. I am in close encounter to strangers daily and only wear a mask if I really have to. So my assessment that there might be a "new" virus, but there sure isn't a "pandemic", is based on first hand experience on the field. While you are hiding in your crib and watching telly. Just saying. There is nothing wrong with you being very cautious, but there is something wrong with you making recommendations from the perspective of a veterinarian to a society of people who actually want to live a life.
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Old 19th February 2021, 01:20 PM   #314
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I'm a person too, one who wants to go on living thank you. You're not in the same jurisdiction as me so if you want to put yourself and other people at risk it's no skin off my nose.
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Old 19th February 2021, 03:10 PM   #315
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Hancock broke the law and lost in court today, his party awarded £100s of millions in contracts to their pals, more than 120,000 dead, no PPE when it was needed, £12Billion on failing track & trace and he is still a minister and there will be no accountability.
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Old 19th February 2021, 03:38 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Covid: Dutch crisis as court orders end to Covid curfew

A court in The Hague has told the Dutch government that an overnight curfew to reduce the spread of coronavirus should be lifted, ruling that it breaches the right to free movement.

The court said the 21:00 to 04:30 curfew was imposed by an emergency law when there was no "acute emergency".

Later, a higher court ruled that the curfew could stay in place pending an appeal on Friday.

The curfew, imposed in January, led to rioting in several Dutch cities.

Police were patrolling streets near the Dutch parliament on Tuesday evening but no unrest has been reported so far.

The earlier court ruling - which said the curfew should be lifted immediately - was a victory for campaign group Viruswaarheid (Virus Truth) and a major upset for the government.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56084466
This ruling will cause the deaths of some low paid essential workers but not the judges.

Last edited by Samson; 19th February 2021 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 19th February 2021, 05:59 PM   #317
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I'm old enough to remember when government ministers resigned if found to have acted unlawfully especially when it comes to hiding government spending from the public.

I'm also old enough to remember a media that would hold them accountable for it.
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Old 19th February 2021, 06:09 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I'm old enough to remember when government ministers resigned if found to have acted unlawfully especially when it comes to hiding government spending from the public.

I'm also old enough to remember a media that would hold them accountable for it.
Oddly enough ministers stopped resigning to "spend more time with their families" around the time that Jo Johnson resigned in order to spend less time with his.
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Old 20th February 2021, 01:51 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
So my assessment that there might be a "new" virus, but there sure isn't a "pandemic", is based on first hand experience on the field.
How do yo judge if there is an epidemic of an asymptomatic disease? You don’t see the people who have symptoms because they are in hospitals or at home.

Life also went on as before during the big outbreaks in the old days of poliomyelitis (another asymptomatic disease), while the children died at home or in the hospitals.
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Old 20th February 2021, 03:33 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
I have not stopped my usual habits - public transport daily, shopping several times a week, contact to friends - one bit. I am in close encounter to strangers daily and only wear a mask if I really have to. So my assessment that there might be a "new" virus, but there sure isn't a "pandemic", is based on first hand experience on the field.

'I didn't get sick, so there's no pandemic!'
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