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

Andy_Ross 12th April 2020 03:00 AM

They are being clever with Boris. He is getting all good press while his Cabinet **** things up.
He will come out smelling of roses at the end of this.

Squeegee Beckenheim 12th April 2020 04:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13053139)
The virus has exposed the utter shallowness of a government elected on a single issue which itself was based on a lie. They are so out of their depth that it actually isn't funny any more. They're reacting to mass deaths with a PR exercise.

It is interesting how it's being framed by the media and seemingly the public. Yesterday the UK saw the highest death toll in a single day of any country in the entire world, other than the US. But the reporting was about Johnson walking.

And just compare how the UK of today is being talked about compared with Italy of two weeks ago. They were then almost exactly where we are now.

Squeegee Beckenheim 12th April 2020 04:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13053228)
To be fair, Corbyn's promise for free universal broadband looks like something that would be useful right now.

I've heard of Conservative MPs talking about bringing in free broadband for all.

Planigale 12th April 2020 04:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13053221)
Well that is one highly partisan view.

The other is that a party with a commitment to the NHS and which isn't driven by a single dogmatic issue - to implement a hard Brexit - might have been less distracted, better prepared and more likely to value the "key workers" the Conservatives have suddenly discovered. :rolleyes:

I think there are a number of partisan comments. Whatever your view on Brexit (and I was opposed to it), this is irrelevant to the ability of the government to deal with the current crisis. It would be best to deal with the question about failures or successes of the government in dealing with the pandemic on an objective basis, not on a basis that because someone has floppy hair, a beard, is left wing or right wing pro or anti Brexit they must have made a mistake or would have discovered a cure for Covid-19.

Do you really believe that given the UK general election was on 12 December, the outbreak of novel coronavirus infection was first reported on 31 December, and the first cases in the UK were identified on 12 February, that a Corbyn government would really have been more prepared? I think any realistic discussion has to leave aside party political issues and deal with the fact that this is not a political issue. Many of the issues are long term structural issues such as the loss of manufacturing capability for e.g. PPE and diagnostics. This is not something any government could have dealt with between the election and the pandemic. There may be an argument that a UK out of the EU is in a stronger position to ensure there is a UK based manufacturing capacity than it is in the EU when free trade rules mean the UK government cannot protect a UK manufacturing base as opposed to elsewhere in the EU. Even though Germany was able to ban export of medical goods despite being within the EU.

Samson 12th April 2020 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053356)
I think there are a number of partisan comments. Whatever your view on Brexit (and I was opposed to it), this is irrelevant to the ability of the government to deal with the current crisis. It would be best to deal with the question about failures or successes of the government in dealing with the pandemic on an objective basis, not on a basis that because someone has floppy hair, a beard, is left wing or right wing pro or anti Brexit they must have made a mistake or would have discovered a cure for Covid-19.

Do you really believe that given the UK general election was on 12 December, the outbreak of novel coronavirus infection was first reported on 31 December, and the first cases in the UK were identified on 12 February, that a Corbyn government would really have been more prepared? I think any realistic discussion has to leave aside party political issues and deal with the fact that this is not a political issue. Many of the issues are long term structural issues such as the loss of manufacturing capability for e.g. PPE and diagnostics. This is not something any government could have dealt with between the election and the pandemic. There may be an argument that a UK out of the EU is in a stronger position to ensure there is a UK based manufacturing capacity than it is in the EU when free trade rules mean the UK government cannot protect a UK manufacturing base as opposed to elsewhere in the EU. Even though Germany was able to ban export of medical goods despite being within the EU.

Gods eye view right there Planigale.
Thank you for extreme objectivity.

Mader Levap 12th April 2020 05:39 AM

I see in UK there are also fans of incompetent government - even if they are on job that is hit hardest by their moronic response to COVID-19. Now that's some trumpistas-like blind dedication!

Darat 12th April 2020 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053356)
I think there are a number of partisan comments. Whatever your view on Brexit (and I was opposed to it), this is irrelevant to the ability of the government to deal with the current crisis. It would be best to deal with the question about failures or successes of the government in dealing with the pandemic on an objective basis, not on a basis that because someone has floppy hair, a beard, is left wing or right wing pro or anti Brexit they must have made a mistake or would have discovered a cure for Covid-19.

Do you really believe that given the UK general election was on 12 December, the outbreak of novel coronavirus infection was first reported on 31 December, and the first cases in the UK were identified on 12 February, that a Corbyn government would really have been more prepared? I think any realistic discussion has to leave aside party political issues and deal with the fact that this is not a political issue. Many of the issues are long term structural issues such as the loss of manufacturing capability for e.g. PPE and diagnostics. This is not something any government could have dealt with between the election and the pandemic. There may be an argument that a UK out of the EU is in a stronger position to ensure there is a UK based manufacturing capacity than it is in the EU when free trade rules mean the UK government cannot protect a UK manufacturing base as opposed to elsewhere in the EU. Even though Germany was able to ban export of medical goods despite being within the EU.


A Corbin lead government wouldn’t have been wasting time talking to Dyson.

Andy_Ross 12th April 2020 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13053394)
A Corbin lead government wouldn’t have been wasting time talking to Dyson.

He had to be rewarded for his Brexit support.

Garrison 12th April 2020 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 13053061)
Boris thanks NHS staff for saving his life.

And I'm sure that gratitude will last right up until the moment someone suggests raising NHS staff pay...

Andy_Ross 12th April 2020 07:03 AM

UK rejects an offer by 21 Sudanese Hospital doctors to help country with Coronavirus.

The doctors, stranded in UK due to travel restrictions, offered to help NHS but Home Office hostile environment policies means their offer has been rejected.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...-nhs-50bpxw20j

Andy_Ross 12th April 2020 07:09 AM

Still going on

Police officer who arrested and threatened to pepper spray man ‘delivering food to vulnerable relatives’ under investigation

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a9460831.html

Planigale 12th April 2020 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13053386)
I see in UK there are also fans of incompetent government - even if they are on job that is hit hardest by their moronic response to COVID-19. Now that's some trumpistas-like blind dedication!

That is your opinion, you may be correct, but would you care to give an example to justify your opinion or is this to be a fact free discussion?

Planigale 12th April 2020 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 13053380)
Gods eye view right there Planigale.
Thank you for extreme objectivity.

Trying to at least put in an issue to discuss rather than the partisan sniping.

Planigale 12th April 2020 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13053394)
A Corbin lead government wouldn’t have been wasting time talking to Dyson.

Why is this a waste of time?

Planigale 12th April 2020 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13053459)
UK rejects an offer by 21 Sudanese Hospital doctors to help country with Coronavirus.

The doctors, stranded in UK due to travel restrictions, offered to help NHS but Home Office hostile environment policies means their offer has been rejected.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...-nhs-50bpxw20j

The article is behind a paywall, but it may be more to do with the fact that they are not licensed to practice in the UK? This would not be anything to do with a Home Office immigration policy.

timhau 12th April 2020 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 13053061)
Boris thanks NHS staff for saving his life.

... on Twitter, so it can be seen by the largest possible number of people who didn't work at the ICU.

Darat 12th April 2020 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053488)
Why is this a waste of time?


Because they were not using that time to talk to manufacturers of ventilators , indeed some of those manufacturers couldn’t even get to speak to people in government about how they could increase production. Every minute speaking to Dyson could have been spent speaking to people who could and now are providing actual machines.

Darat 12th April 2020 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timhau (Post 13053513)
... on Twitter, so it can be seen by the largest possible number of people who didn't work at the ICU.


It is one of the best speeches he has given and I on this occasion do not doubt his sincerity.

Planigale 12th April 2020 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13053352)
It is interesting how it's being framed by the media and seemingly the public. Yesterday the UK saw the highest death toll in a single day of any country in the entire world, other than the US. But the reporting was about Johnson walking.

And just compare how the UK of today is being talked about compared with Italy of two weeks ago. They were then almost exactly where we are now.

It is worth remembering that the deaths announced are the deaths reported on that day, not the number who died that day. So I assume you are referring to 11/4, when 823 deaths were announced, 330 of which occurred on 9/4, 120 on 10/4, the rest on other dates. Currently the day with the highest number of deaths is 8/4 with about 710 deaths. Deaths have levelled out consistent with hitting the peak due to social distancing impacting (fits with prediction following onset 16/03 that their would be a lag of about 3 weeks before we saw an impact on the death rate).
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-...te-12th-april/

ETA highest daily death in Italy 919, Spain 961,

Planigale 12th April 2020 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13053519)
Because they were not using that time to talk to manufacturers of ventilators , indeed some of those manufacturers couldn’t even get to speak to people in government about how they could increase production. Every minute speaking to Dyson could have been spent speaking to people who could and now are providing actual machines.

Penlon the only UK manufacturer of ventilators has been talked to and has increased manufacturing, but without bringing in new manufacturers they have a very limited ability to respond, car companies e.g. RR are cooperating by contributing to Penlon vents, but I know some posters here were very negative about motor manufacturers being able to contribute. There is a nice web site that I linked to earlier where any manufacturer can see the requirements the government has for a ventilator, and can submit their business plan, just as Dyson did.

What would your opinion be if the government had refused to speak to Dyson and he went off and produced 10,000 ventilators for other countries elsewhere in the world? What will be your opinion about whether this was a waste of time if Dyson does start churning out ventilators? If someone is offering to help, the only waste is in not talking to them and rejecting them out of hand.

Arcade22 12th April 2020 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053535)
Penlon the only UK manufacturer of ventilators has been talked to and has increased manufacturing, but without bringing in new manufacturers they have a very limited ability to respond, car companies e.g. RR are cooperating by contributing to Penlon vents, but I know some posters here were very negative about motor manufacturers being able to contribute. There is a nice web site that I linked to earlier where any manufacturer can see the requirements the government has for a ventilator, and can submit their business plan, just as Dyson did.

What would your opinion be if the government had refused to speak to Dyson and he went off and produced 10,000 ventilators for other countries elsewhere in the world? What will be your opinion about whether this was a waste of time if Dyson does start churning out ventilators? If someone is offering to help, the only waste is in not talking to them and rejecting them out of hand.

It's about quality control and assurance. If the situation was more desperate, and this disease was much more deadly, maybe people wouldn't worry too much about those ventilators killing the people they are supposed to help. More generally speaking, the same thing applies to all kinds of equipment and supplies.

I think blaming BJ in his role as prime minister for the shortages is stupid simply because there's no way he could have done anything about the situation before it occurred. He's not psychic. At most he shares a collective responsibility with most of the conservative party for refusing to increase funding for the NHS, which is bad enough.

Planigale 12th April 2020 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053568)
It's about quality control and assurance. If the situation was more desperate, and this disease was much more deadly, maybe people wouldn't worry too much about those ventilators killing the people they are supposed to help. More generally speaking, the same thing applies to all kinds of equipment and supplies.

I think blaming BJ in his role as prime minister for the shortages is stupid simply because there's no way he could have done anything about the situation before it occurred. He's not psychic. At most he shares a collective responsibility with most of the conservative party for refusing to increase funding for the NHS, which is bad enough.

If I can I'd like to limit this to covid-19 issues rather than the broader politics of health service funding. My take on this is that even if the NHS funding had been better, most likely the funding would have gone to improved mental health and community care (cinderella areas at present), perhaps funding expensive therapies for cancer and orphan disease. More midwives. Improved funding of nursing homes and social care. All very good in their own right, but of no value here and now. I would argue that even a better funded NHS managed by a socialist inspired government (as there is in Scotland) would not have the resources in place to deal with the current issues. Italy has roughly double the hospital beds as compared with the UK and ran into problems.

Planigale 12th April 2020 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053568)
It's about quality control and assurance. If the situation was more desperate, and this disease was much more deadly, maybe people wouldn't worry too much about those ventilators killing the people they are supposed to help. More generally speaking, the same thing applies to all kinds of equipment and supplies.

I think blaming BJ in his role as prime minister for the shortages is stupid simply because there's no way he could have done anything about the situation before it occurred. He's not psychic. At most he shares a collective responsibility with most of the conservative party for refusing to increase funding for the NHS, which is bad enough.

The thing is we are currently repurposing equipment that is not designed for the purpose intended, so Dyson Covents are likely to be better than what we are currently doing which is burning anaesthetic equipment or home vents into the ground and replacing them when they overheat after running solidly for longer than they are intended for (so we have a protocol for twice daily ventilator rotation). Personally I am really keen to see the first Dyson Covent turn up. We are monitoring these patients so if the vent fails we'll know; if it lasts a few weeks it is better than a few days.

Darat 12th April 2020 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053535)
Penlon the only UK manufacturer of ventilators has been talked to and has increased manufacturing, but without bringing in new manufacturers they have a very limited ability to respond, car companies e.g. RR are cooperating by contributing to Penlon vents, but I know some posters here were very negative about motor manufacturers being able to contribute. There is a nice web site that I linked to earlier where any manufacturer can see the requirements the government has for a ventilator, and can submit their business plan, just as Dyson did.

What would your opinion be if the government had refused to speak to Dyson and he went off and produced 10,000 ventilators for other countries elsewhere in the world? What will be your opinion about whether this was a waste of time if Dyson does start churning out ventilators? If someone is offering to help, the only waste is in not talking to them and rejecting them out of hand.


And if we had developed a vaccine 2 months ago? We can all play what if after the fact. And that is simple not the case. The reports at the time had quotes from the companies. They were not contacted. Dyson was listened to because of his paid access to those in power.

One thinks your claimed objectivity is slipping!

Darat 12th April 2020 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053568)
It's about quality control and assurance. If the situation was more desperate, and this disease was much more deadly, maybe people wouldn't worry too much about those ventilators killing the people they are supposed to help. More generally speaking, the same thing applies to all kinds of equipment and supplies.

I think blaming BJ in his role as prime minister for the shortages is stupid simply because there's no way he could have done anything about the situation before it occurred. He's not psychic. At most he shares a collective responsibility with most of the conservative party for refusing to increase funding for the NHS, which is bad enough.


Who has blamed Johnson for the shortages of ventilators? What his government is being held responsible for are his actions once it was known we would need more.

Planigale 12th April 2020 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13053634)
And if we had developed a vaccine 2 months ago? We can all play what if after the fact. And that is simple not the case. The reports at the time had quotes from the companies. They were not contacted. Dyson was listened to because of his paid access to those in power.

One thinks your claimed objectivity is slipping!

This is a skeptic site so which UK manufacturer of ventilators were quoted as not having had discussions with HMG. I am calling you out on this!

ETA The only ones I remember were manufacturers of circuits not really an issue.

dann 12th April 2020 12:15 PM

I have praised Cuba's response to the international coronavirus crisis a couple of times in this thread: here, here and here.

But unfortunately woo has now entered into the picture: Aplican fármaco homeopático como profilaxis ante la COVID-19 (Granma.cu, April 6, 2020)

Google Translate gives a good impression of what this is all about, and I hope that it is true that it will be used only as one of many prophylactics, "a personas que no necesariamente presenten síntomas de la covid-19," instead of replacing actual prophylactics or in the treatment of actual Covid-19 patients.
However, it worries me that Cuba now seems to have a "Department of Natural and Traditional Medicine of the Ministry of Public Health."

It is interesting to read the comments section, and I appreciate this comment from "frank", who laments that giving credit to the pseudoscience of homeopathy will only serve to discredit Cuban medicine:

Quote:

frank Respondió:
6 de abril de 2020
14:27:29
Lamentablemente no hay ningún estudio que demuestre que un medicamento homeopático tiene ningún tipo de utilidad. La intensión es buena pero en estos momentos desgastarnos en eso poniendo en peligro a miles de trabajadores de la salud que deben visitar cada vivienda y tener un contacto cercano con las personas no es buena idea. ¿Que pasa si uno de estos trabajadores encargados de aplicar las goticas de agua con alcohol se enferma de coronavirus? ¿Cuantas familias se pueden contaminar con la visita de estas personas? No, no creo que sea buena idea y menos para aplicar un producto homeopático, que solo por el hecho de darle crédito a esta seudociencia, pone en peligro la credibilidad de otros medicamentos cubanos de probada efectividad. ¿Me puedo negar a que esas nobles manos que durante el día estuvieron tan cerca de la boca de miles de personas se acerquen a la mía y a la de mi familia?

dann 12th April 2020 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053568)
He's not psychic.


This is your favourite strawman argument, isn't it?!

Arcade22 12th April 2020 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13053636)
Who has blamed Johnson for the shortages of ventilators? What his government is being held responsible for are his actions once it was known we would need more.

Maybe you should keep a track of the news because the UK is certainly not the only place that has a shortage of medicinal equipment and supplies nor is it the only one having significant problems rectifying that.

During a crisis you are supposed to restrain your urge to play the blame game until it's well since over. At this stage i find it really hard to believe that you have solid evidence that the British government, let alone BJ personally, can squarely be held accountable for the lack of ventilators.

Mader Levap 12th April 2020 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053475)
That is your opinion, you may be correct, but would you care to give an example to justify your opinion or is this to be a fact free discussion?

Isn't that whole "herd immunity" failtastic "plan" enough to assess competency of that government?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053596)
If I can I'd like to limit this to covid-19 issues rather than the broader politics of health service funding. My take on this is that even if the NHS funding had been better (... it wouldn't help anyway).

BS. Even if there wouldn't be funding specifically for epidemic/care for patients with infectious diseases/whatever, healthcare would be in better shape in general. And if someone were competently managing it before, he would competently manage it right now.

But as things are now, enjoy your "burning anaesthetic equipment or home vents into the ground and replacing them when they overheat". You can thank your government for that wonderful opportunity.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053488)
Why is this a waste of time?

Because companies that produce actual medical equipment actually exist and someone would thought they would be contacted first and producer of crappy vacuum cleaners last?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053715)
During a crisis you are supposed to restrain your urge to play the blame game until it's well since over.

Said every apologist for people that screwed up ever. :rolleyes:

Planigale 12th April 2020 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13053732)
Isn't that whole "herd immunity" failtastic "plan" enough to assess competency of that government?

Well do you have a better exit plan? Bill Gates says 18/12 till a vaccine, I'm a bit more optimistic, early 2021, but herd immunity is the option in the mean time. Trump says hydroxycloroquine is available now perhaps he is right; that'd be great. But sometimes you have to go with the reality however regrettable. Been there, done that, sometimes you have to tell people they are going to die.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13053732)
BS. Even if there wouldn't be funding specifically for epidemic/care for patients with infectious diseases/whatever, healthcare would be in better shape in general. And if someone were competently managing it before, he would competently manage it right now.

I can pretty sure not many people who do health care anywhere in the world think management is competent; the best thing management did in this crisis was stop managing, let clinicians make the decisions and just sign off the invoices (to give many companies their due when we emailed about equipment they sent it first and invoiced us later, some even sent stuff before we asked for it assuming we'd need it; the support from the private sector in the UK has been excellent).
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13053732)
But as things are now, enjoy your "burning anaesthetic equipment or home vents into the ground and replacing them when they overheat". You can thank your government for that wonderful opportunity.

Surprisingly, no I don't enjoy it; and I think your comment is petty. I think you should reflect on whether personal comments like this are helpful. What would be helpful to me and cathartic is ruminating on whether this was a predictable event which we should have had resources to address, or whether this is something we have to cope with (which so far we are). Could the government have done better? Not the current government; perhaps previous governments , but this would need to be all previous governments not just in the last 5 years or the last 10 years, because this could have happened at any time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13053732)
Because companies that produce actual medical equipment actually exist and someone would thought they would be contacted first and producer of crappy vacuum cleaners last?

Said every apologist for people that screwed up ever. :rolleyes:

Surprisingly, ventilators aren't much more complicated than vacuum cleaners they just operate in reverse. Dyson does not produce crappy vacuum cleaners, he is a good engineer with a lot of experience in mass production of things that blow air. I said before this came up that Dyson could produce a good ventilator, the engineering is simple; he may have done so, I hope so, because no one else has offered to do so. So you can sneer. But I'd be interested if things turn bad would you refuse to go on a Dyson ventilator because he designed a vacuum cleaner?

Andy_Ross 12th April 2020 01:07 PM

Official Secrets Act?

Darat 12th April 2020 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053715)
Maybe you should keep a track of the news because the UK is certainly not the only place that has a shortage of medicinal equipment and supplies nor is it the only one having significant problems rectifying that.

During a crisis you are supposed to restrain your urge to play the blame game until it's well since over. At this stage i find it really hard to believe that you have solid evidence that the British government, let alone BJ personally, can squarely be held accountable for the lack of ventilators.


What on Earth are you babbling about?

Blue Mountain 12th April 2020 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13053568)
(respectful snip)
I think blaming BJ in his role as prime minister for the shortages is stupid simply because there's no way he could have done anything about the situation before it occurred. He's not psychic. At most he shares a collective responsibility with most of the conservative party for refusing to increase funding for the NHS, which is bad enough.

I disagree. Take a look at the situation in Canada. The Canadian government fumbled its initial response, rating the risk to Canadians as "low" for longer than it should have and taking too long to do things like cancelling events and closing schools. But once it got serious about the pandemic, the federal government in co-operation with the provinces has swiftly brought in measures, messaging, and financial assistance to combat it.

The first confirmed case in Canada appeared on January 25, a full six days before the first case in the UK. Yet since the first case, Canada has seen only 713 deaths and a death rate of 19 per million population. The UK has seen 10,612 deaths—despite the first case appearing six days later—and a death rate of 156 per million.

These numbers are independent of country's total population. Population density aside, the growth curves seen by each country are, in my opinion, a direct result of measures taken to slow the spread. IMHO, if Canada and the UK had exactly the same population, Canada would still be seeing a death rate of 19/million and the UK 156/million (and Canada's been fighting the epidemic for six more days than the UK.)

Marcus 12th April 2020 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053535)
Penlon the only UK manufacturer of ventilators has been talked to and has increased manufacturing, but without bringing in new manufacturers they have a very limited ability to respond, car companies e.g. RR are cooperating by contributing to Penlon vents, but I know some posters here were very negative about motor manufacturers being able to contribute. There is a nice web site that I linked to earlier where any manufacturer can see the requirements the government has for a ventilator, and can submit their business plan, just as Dyson did.

What would your opinion be if the government had refused to speak to Dyson and he went off and produced 10,000 ventilators for other countries elsewhere in the world? What will be your opinion about whether this was a waste of time if Dyson does start churning out ventilators? If someone is offering to help, the only waste is in not talking to them and rejecting them out of hand.

I've been hearing a lot lately about doctors saying ventilators are being overused to the point of being counterproductive, do you have an opinion on this? Here is one story: https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/08/...-for-covid-19/

Planigale 12th April 2020 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13053794)
I disagree. Take a look at the situation in Canada. The Canadian government fumbled its initial response, rating the risk to Canadians as "low" for longer than it should have and taking too long to do things like cancelling events and closing schools. But once it got serious about the pandemic, the federal government in co-operation with the provinces has swiftly brought in measures, messaging, and financial assistance to combat it.

The first confirmed case in Canada appeared on January 25, a full six days before the first case in the UK. Yet since the first case, Canada has seen only 713 deaths and a death rate of 19 per million population. The UK has seen 10,612 deaths—despite the first case appearing six days later—and a death rate of 156 per million.

These numbers are independent of country's total population. Population density aside, the growth curves seen by each country are, in my opinion, a direct result of measures taken to slow the spread. IMHO, if Canada and the UK had exactly the same population, Canada would still be seeing a death rate of 19/million and the UK 156/million (and Canada's been fighting the epidemic for six more days than the UK.)

This is a good argument. To oppose it the population density of the UK is much larger, this is probably a significant difference. Canada locked down on March 17, 52 days after Canada's first case of covid-19; the UK locked down on March 24, 53 days after the UK's first case on 31 January in York in a Chinese student. The first in country transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK was 28 February, with lock down 25 days later. Are you arguing that one day difference between first cases explains the difference between the UK and Canada? Predominantly the UK's statistics are determined by London. Forty percent of London's population is non UK born. London has population of about 9 million and a third of the UK's (population 60,000,000) cases.

FWIW until the epidemic has stabilised making comments about different localities fatality rates is problematic since we know of nothing that effects mortality, this will just represent differences in starting infection rates and may converge to the mean as infection rates move towards normal.

The Atheist 12th April 2020 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13053794)
I disagree. Take a look at the situation in Canada. The Canadian government fumbled its initial response, rating the risk to Canadians as "low" for longer than it should have and taking too long to do things like cancelling events and closing schools. But once it got serious about the pandemic, the federal government in co-operation with the provinces has swiftly brought in measures, messaging, and financial assistance to combat it.

I think the evidence is fairly complete that taking measures early vastly reduces the amount of spread of the disease - Canada, NZ, Australia, South Africa, South Korea & Iceland all acted very early in the epidemic and they all have far superior stats to countries that didn't.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 13053812)
I've been hearing a lot lately about doctors saying ventilators are being overused to the point of being counterproductive, do you have an opinion on this? Here is one story: https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/08/...-for-covid-19/

There's an entire thread on that subject here: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...n&folderid=all

Blue Mountain 12th April 2020 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053813)
This is a good argument. To oppose it the population density of the UK is much larger, this is probably a significant difference. Canada locked down on March 17, 52 days after Canada's first case of covid-19; the UK locked down on March 24, 53 days after the UK's first case on 31 January in York in a Chinese student. The first in country transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK was 28 February, with lock down 25 days later. Are you arguing that one day difference between first cases explains the difference between the UK and Canada? Predominantly the UK's statistics are determined by London. Forty percent of London's population is non UK born. London has population of about 9 million and a third of the UK's (population 60,000,000) cases.

I'm arguing different government responses play a large role in the growth curve, case load, and deaths.

To better understand the government responses, we need to look at when various steps occurred. Both Canada and the U.K failed to contain their outbreaks and had to switch to a flatten-the-curve strategy. "Lockdown" is pretty much the last phase of this strategy. Other steps are encouraging social distancing and hand-washing, cancelling events to prevent asymptomatic people from infecting others, imposing travel restrictions, and encouraging (but not mandating) people to stay home. When the messaging started and the urgency applied to it are factors that need to be considered.

My understanding (from this side of the Atlantic) is the UK was very lax in applying the initial measures, trying for a "herd immunity" approach by letting the epidemic run its course practically unopposed. It then switched to flatten-the-curve once the death counts started rising. Canada was slower than I would have liked in its initial response and didn't really ramp up on flatten-the-curve actions until mid-March.

Population density has a role to play, but I don't really know how to quantify its role in spreading disease. It would make for an interesting study: all other things being equal, is there a correlation in deaths/million population vs every extra 100 people/km^2?

For now, let's look at the two most populous places in each country.

Metro London: 14,257,962 people in 8,382 km^2, density 1,700 people/km^2 (Wikipedia.) First COVID-19 case: (can't find a date.) Deaths to date: 2,700. Source

Metro Toronto: 5,928,040 people in 5,905.71 km^2, density, density 1,000 people/km^2 (Wikipedia.) First COVID-19case: January 21. Cases to date: 2,225; deaths: number unavailable, but it must be 279 or less because that's the total umber of deaths in Ontario. Source Canada as a whole has reported only 717 deaths.

London has seen more deaths from COVID-19 than Toronto has seen cases. Is Toronto's lower population density solely responsible for this?

Quote:

FWIW until the epidemic has stabilised making comments about different localities fatality rates is problematic since we know of nothing that effects mortality, this will just represent differences in starting infection rates and may converge to the mean as infection rates move towards normal.
That's en excellent point. Different countries, and areas within those countries, are still on different parts of the curve. My assumption that Canada's low case and death counts are the result of a decent (but not great) government response could be upended by a sudden surge in counts and/or the discovery that other factors such as climate, low population density, or ethnic mix played a role.

Planigale 13th April 2020 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13053929)
I'm arguing different government responses play a large role in the growth curve, case load, and deaths.

To better understand the government responses, we need to look at when various steps occurred. Both Canada and the U.K failed to contain their outbreaks and had to switch to a flatten-the-curve strategy. "Lockdown" is pretty much the last phase of this strategy. Other steps are encouraging social distancing and hand-washing, cancelling events to prevent asymptomatic people from infecting others, imposing travel restrictions, and encouraging (but not mandating) people to stay home. When the messaging started and the urgency applied to it are factors that need to be considered.

My understanding (from this side of the Atlantic) is the UK was very lax in applying the initial measures, trying for a "herd immunity" approach by letting the epidemic run its course practically unopposed. It then switched to flatten-the-curve once the death counts started rising. Canada was slower than I would have liked in its initial response and didn't really ramp up on flatten-the-curve actions until mid-March.

Population density has a role to play, but I don't really know how to quantify its role in spreading disease. It would make for an interesting study: all other things being equal, is there a correlation in deaths/million population vs every extra 100 people/km^2?

For now, let's look at the two most populous places in each country.

Metro London: 14,257,962 people in 8,382 km^2, density 1,700 people/km^2 (Wikipedia.) First COVID-19 case: (can't find a date.) Deaths to date: 2,700. Source

Metro Toronto: 5,928,040 people in 5,905.71 km^2, density, density 1,000 people/km^2 (Wikipedia.) First COVID-19case: January 21. Cases to date: 2,225; deaths: number unavailable, but it must be 279 or less because that's the total umber of deaths in Ontario. Source Canada as a whole has reported only 717 deaths.

London has seen more deaths from COVID-19 than Toronto has seen cases. Is Toronto's lower population density solely responsible for this?


That's en excellent point. Different countries, and areas within those countries, are still on different parts of the curve. My assumption that Canada's low case and death counts are the result of a decent (but not great) government response could be upended by a sudden surge in counts and/or the discovery that other factors such as climate, low population density, or ethnic mix played a role.


The UK introduced self isolation (quarantining) with contact tracing 20/02. All people with respiratory symptoms were asked to self isolate. There was not the resource in terms of testing available at that time to allow a South Korea type response. (South Korea did not introduce travel bans which shows that it is hard to know what part of response is useful and what not; but the evidence does not show travel bans are particularly important.)

The first case of UK in country transmission was 28/02. Social distancing was introduced on 03/03 but was voluntary. compulsory lockdown with closure of schools. pubs, etc. was brought in on 23/03.

A useful resource for reviewing a governments response are the ECDC contemporaneous documents e.g. for 03/03.
https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/def...y-COVID-19.pdf
This gives the appropriate public health responses recommended at different stages of the epidemic. At this point the UK was in scenario 1, at which point the recommendation was case finding, isolation and contact tracing.

By 12 March the UK had 10 deaths and 590 cases, at which point it had entered ECDC scenario 2 which promotes social distancing, but not yet closing / banning mass gathering.

If you look at how UK government policy matched European recommendations published by ECDC, the Uk government actions followed recommendations.

In retrospect perhaps introducing a lock down a week earlier when Italy was clearly running into problems would have been correct. But the failure to see the future is not the same as incompetence. Everyone agrees that the UK government took the expert advice offered by its scientists, epidemiologists and public health teams. The one criticism that seems significant was that the social science unit suggested too strongly that introducing a lockdown too early would be counter productive.

ETA
Canada locked down on 17/03 and the UK on 23/03 although non-compulsory social distancing had been introduced earlier. So less than a week difference.

Arcade22 13th April 2020 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13053880)
I think the evidence is fairly complete that taking measures early vastly reduces the amount of spread of the disease - Canada, NZ, Australia, South Africa, South Korea & Iceland all acted very early in the epidemic and they all have far superior stats to countries that didn't.

So we should be expecting your scientific paper to be published showing these results any moment now then?

Arcade22 13th April 2020 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053759)
Well do you have a better exit plan? Bill Gates says 18/12 till a vaccine, I'm a bit more optimistic, early 2021, but herd immunity is the option in the mean time. Trump says hydroxycloroquine is available now perhaps he is right; that'd be great. But sometimes you have to go with the reality however regrettable. Been there, done that, sometimes you have to tell people they are going to die.

Herd immunity is the only reasonable fallback solution available if there is no vaccine. Society can't go on like this forever, and at best it's the elderly that have to be isolated while the rest of us try to continue on with a resemblance of normality. It's telling that when a WHO official was asked about what would happen if there was no vaccine: he simply responded with something like "science will find a solution".

Edit: Here's the BBC article, it was not a WHO official but rather the UK's chief medical adviser:

Quote:

I asked the UK's chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, what his exit strategy was.

He told me: "Long term, clearly a vaccine is one way out of this and we all hope that will happen as quickly as possible."

And that "globally, science will come up with solutions".

P.J. Denyer 13th April 2020 01:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13053421)
He had to be rewarded for his Brexit support.

Well he certainly has been. Google 'Dyson Ventilators" and you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd saved the human race rather than just... Hang on what has he actually done?

Arcade22 13th April 2020 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13054161)
Well he certainly has been. Google 'Dyson Ventilators" and you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd saved the human race rather than just... Hang on what has he actually done?

If you ever find yourself gasping for every single breath of air that you can possibly get into your wheezing frame, then you will be thankful for The Dyson CoVent blowing your lungs up till they look like balloons and causing enough barotrauma to finally put you out of your misery.

Andy_Ross 13th April 2020 03:53 AM

Prince William says Britain is 'at its best when we're in a crisis'

Cheetah 13th April 2020 04:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13054152)
So we should be expecting your scientific paper to be published showing these results any moment now then?

Would love to hear you explain how a lockdown cannot slow or even stop the spread of a contagious disease. It’s so utterly obvious for so many reasons and so much science has been published about it.

Arcade22 13th April 2020 04:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 13054232)
Would love to hear you explain how a lockdown cannot slow or even stop the spread of a contagious disease. It’s so utterly obvious for so many reasons and so much science has been published about it.

I've never said that "a lock-down cannot slow or even stop the spread of a contagious disease".

Besides, how's the situation in South Africa? How many homeless people have they shot to death in South Africa to get the homeless to stay in their homes? Have Covid deaths exceeded the amount of people who drown in pit latrines?

Squeegee Beckenheim 13th April 2020 04:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 13053525)
It is worth remembering that the deaths announced are the deaths reported on that day, not the number who died that day. So I assume you are referring to 11/4, when 823 deaths were announced, 330 of which occurred on 9/4, 120 on 10/4, the rest on other dates. Currently the day with the highest number of deaths is 8/4 with about 710 deaths. Deaths have levelled out consistent with hitting the peak due to social distancing impacting (fits with prediction following onset 16/03 that their would be a lag of about 3 weeks before we saw an impact on the death rate).
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-...te-12th-april/

ETA highest daily death in Italy 919, Spain 961,

On the 10th of April, the UK recorded 980 deaths.

Andy_Ross 13th April 2020 04:36 AM

Eamonn Holmes is spreading 5G Coronavirus conspiracy theory on daytime TV.

If you’re wondering where your auntie is getting this nonsense from it’s not obscure internet conspiracy sites it’s mainstream ITV and Eamonn Holmes

Nessie 13th April 2020 04:55 AM

The UK public and media are increasingly falling out with the police over each others handling of the virus and the cause is the badly worded Health Protection Regulations and general ignorance of what is allowed.

So far, BTP, Cambridgeshire (twice), Greater Manchester and Northants have all issued apologies (of sorts) about how their officers have dealt with situations and made mistakes about what the regs allow. Police Scotland keep posting a claim on social media, that only key workers are allowed to travel, which is not true.

If the police still have not got to grips with what is allowed and enforceable under the regulations, what hope have we got?

Then there is the issue of the police thinking that all they are doing is policing the lockdown. That is not the only issue. They need to recognise mental and other health issues caused by the lockdown and that for the countries long term health, we need as much economic activity to continue as possible. We are in a lockdown, not a curfew.

Arcade22 13th April 2020 05:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13054251)
Eamonn Holmes is spreading 5G Coronavirus conspiracy theory on daytime TV.

If you’re wondering where your auntie is getting this nonsense from it’s not obscure internet conspiracy sites it’s mainstream ITV and Eamonn Holmes

I don't think it's aunties you have to worry about sabotaging telecommunications antennae though.


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