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3 minutes ago, Ian said:

Yes, but we generally over-rely on simplified modelling of chaotic systems, which can often lead to the wrong answer. My point is that Johnson was following the UK's expert advice.

Do you really think the problem will be solved by people staying at home for a few weeks? Or are you suggesting that people should basically stay at home for however long it takes a vaccine to be developed? What impact do you think that is going to have on people economically, and therefore their own ability to provide themselves and their families the bare essentials?  Do you really think people like Vallance, Whitty, and Imperial College London really don't have any common sense and weren't aware of these simple facts?

It will be interesting to keep an eye on what happens to other countries who are ahead of the curve and have strictly quarantined when people start to return to normality.

I'm not a virologist and don't have the answers - I can however see what every other country in the world is doing and Boris openly said we wouldn't follow the policy others were with restrictions on movement etc. He was wrong, and we have now adopted that policy. We wasted weeks with him being wrong. Weeks that have cost people their lives and will continue to do so.

If Whitty/Vallance etc are so smart, then maybe they should have wondered why every countries modelling said something different to theirs and questioned whether they were right in their proposals. 

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6 minutes ago, kick it off said:

But not frontline NHS workers or other key workers who may currently be spreading it en masse?

As I understood it, once we got to 10,000 plus in testing we would be able to test front line staff as you suggest as we'll have the capacity to do so. I'm not sure what the hold up in testing is. This is the key question for me. 

OTBC

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18 minutes ago, Ian said:

Whilst we will doubtless look back and see where improvements should and could have been made in the Government's strategy, please let's not try and make this into a foaming at the mouth party political situation.

Unfortunately, many could see the problems with the governments approach at the time and were quite vocal but ignored. It is not a question of looking back. A whole series of experts criticised the govt's approach. It is not a party political matter - it is about government style and competence. 

I find it highly unlikely that Corbyn would have done a better job, but I think that Theresa May and Gordon Brown would have. Even a after all these months of warnings from other countries, medical staff do not have the correct equipment, but some seem to think that the govt's failings are not their fault. A different leader would have done a better job - stop trying to make it about party politics!

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1 hour ago, kick it off said:

image.png.eca014c19cd636c615d623cb3a1ab7b6.png

 

Yet some on here think Boris is doing a good job.

This headline may have a possibility of being correct perhaps in the coming weeks, but right now its a false statement completely. Its true that on a certain day after  the 1st recorded both nations had equal deaths at 233, but 2 days later the Italy death toll was 463. That 2 days later for the UK was yesterday, where the total deaths stood at 335. Thats the factual state of things right now. Save that headline for if and when its actually true.

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3 minutes ago, kick it off said:

I'm not a virologist and don't have the answers - I can however see what every other country in the world is doing and Boris openly said we wouldn't follow the policy others were with restrictions on movement etc. He was wrong, and we have now adopted that policy. We wasted weeks with him being wrong. Weeks that have cost people their lives and will continue to do so.

 

Every strategy in Europe has cost lives and will continue to do so.  

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2 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

As I understood it, once we got to 10,000 plus in testing we would be able to test front line staff as you suggest as we'll have the capacity to do so. I'm not sure what the hold up in testing is. This is the key question for me. 

OTBC

Or the hold up with protective equipment...

Or the fact that they only seemed to realise last week that we did not have enough ventilators...

Or the fact that they keep making pronouncements that have no detail or clarity...and then have to come back to them again.

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Anyone can make an argument on the timing and some of us have but the government are following the advice of the experts.

The seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don't.

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Just now, ricardo said:

Anyone can make an argument on the timing and some of us have but the government are following the advice of the experts.

The seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Correctimondo Ricardo.....

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It's a no-win situation for those in charge. I don't care for politics and I don't envy the people having to make the calls- there isn't a right answer.

However, when the rest of the world is saying apples and only our science is saying bananas, the decision to proceed how we have over the past month is either dangerously arrogant or dangerously stupid.

This was not the time to role the dice on a Scooby-Doo kooky scheme to save the country. 

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5 minutes ago, Badger said:

Or the fact that they keep making pronouncements that have no detail or clarity...and then have to come back to them again.

Nothing is ever going to be 100% clear to everyone in a situation like this. If that's your expectation, prepare to be disappointed.

OTBC

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12 minutes ago, kick it off said:

I'm not a virologist and don't have the answers - I can however see what every other country in the world is doing and Boris openly said we wouldn't follow the policy others were with restrictions on movement etc. He was wrong, and we have now adopted that policy. We wasted weeks with him being wrong. Weeks that have cost people their lives and will continue to do so.

If Whitty/Vallance etc are so smart, then maybe they should have wondered why every countries modelling said something different to theirs and questioned whether they were right in their proposals. 

So you accept that probably somewhere along the line, rather a lot of expert virologists have probably been involved with defining the Government strategy?

As per "not following the policy", my belief is that it was fairly clear in the original press conference 2 weeks ago (or whenever it was) that the plan was always to contain, then delay. This was obviously Government strategy, and it was also mentioned that all measures (including quarantine) would be considered when appropriate but the situation was fluid.

Yes, the Imperial London modelling may have been wrong initially, and anyone is free to criticise whether these transitions were timed correctly, but ultimately I just don't think it's true that "herd immunity" was the strategy that was put in place.

My main criticism is the treatment of front-line NHS staff and the lack of testing in general, but there could be logistical issues as to why this would be; I don't think it's for lack of trying. I am also concerned that there did not seem to be a plan in place for dealing with a pandemic, when it's pretty obvious humankind is susceptible to them - and why it took so long to start ramping up when we have known about the issues in China for some months. That said, I think the Chinese government have a lot to answer for given that they tried to suppress everything as much as possible, including leading to that terrible misleading WHO advice about no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

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2 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Anyone can make an argument on the timing and some of us have but the government are following the advice of the experts.

What evidence do you have for this? Loads of experts advised a different approach much earlier. These experts include

  • Long-term health secretary and party loyalist Jeremy Hunt
  • Leading medical journal, the Lancet 
  • World Health Organisation spokespeople
  • Leaders in other governments

Why does the govt seem surprised that medical staff need protective equipment or that there is a shortage of ventilators. It is very difficult to avoid the Lancet's conclusion that the UK had eight wasted weeks. They advised the need for action in January but it wasn't on the govt's agenda. 

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11 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

Because the Guardian have an agenda, as most papers do, and they have been banging on about herd immunity more than most. I still read it, and enjoy a lot of the content, but am aware of their 'leanings'.

Like I said, it wasn't government strategy. If it was, I'm sure it will be easy to find something about it on the government website along with the rest of the documents outlining the actions/strategies they have undertaken. I have to admit to not looking myself, but let me know if you find it and I'll happily admit to getting it wrong.

OTBC

How is an approach not a strategy? If you mean did the official government advice/plan never use the phrase 'herd immunity' then you might be right but the government's advisers said out loud that was what it was. Vallance on March 13:

'Our aim is to try to reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely; also because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to the disease and we reduce the transmission.'

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5 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

Nothing is ever going to be 100% clear to everyone in a situation like this. If that's your expectation, prepare to be disappointed.

I am already very disappointed, especially for those careworkers and NHS staff that are going into work without proper protective equipment!

You might think that saying that everybody should avoid pubs and clubs but then refusing to close them is effective communication and understandable, I beg to differ. Each to their own, I guess.

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1 minute ago, PurpleCanary said:

How is an approach not a strategy? If you mean did the official government advice/plan never use the phrase 'herd immunity' then you might be right but the government's advisers said out loud that was what it was. Vallance on March 13:

'Our aim is to try to reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely; also because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to the disease and we reduce the transmission.'

Like I said in a earlier post, that was the press conference that the science bod mentioned herd immunity and then it was latched on to by the press. It's a side affect of any virus going through the population (as I understand it).

OTBC

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I think now with an unprecedented NHS critical crisis emerging in front of our own eyes (and let us be guided by the hundreds of doctors and nurses telling us not any politician) it is a question of praying for the best. Critical care beds are needed at 200 per 100,000 of the population and UK capacity at present is 6. 

It's not difficult to witness the daily numbers and the likely demand but none of us are experts. Yet, in the final analysis the figures won't lie. And I agree that any health service is likely to be at breaking point.

It's a sad fact that people will go into ICU and loved ones won't be able to say goodbye to them. Shocking but already we are reading about this. Reports today tell us that a potential collapse in the health service will occur in the next 2 weeks (hospitals where I live have stated this. They know). The human cost to all this far outweighs political recriminations at this moment ... there will be years of that to follow.

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43 minutes ago, Molly Windley said:

Goverments are acting on the best advise and modelling they can. The situation is evolving and changing as new information and data comes in all the time. Whatever they do, someone will say it is wrong, even the experts in this field disagree on strategies

This is from the WHO website from the 12/01/2020 and I post this not to have a pop at the WHO but to show that best advice at any moment is just that.

Full statement is here https://www.who.int/csr/don/12-january-2020-novel-coronavirus-china/en/

WHO advice

Based on information provided by national authorities, WHO’s recommendations on public health measures and surveillance for novel coronaviruses apply.

WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers. In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share travel history with their healthcare provider. Travel guidance has been updated.

WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information currently available on this event.

A take your point Molly but you could look at the WHO advice of 30th January:

"The Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures ...The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern"

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)

 

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9 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

How is an approach not a strategy? If you mean did the official government advice/plan never use the phrase 'herd immunity' then you might be right but the government's advisers said out loud that was what it was. Vallance on March 13:

'Our aim is to try to reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely; also because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to the disease and we reduce the transmission.'

That statement (and strategy / approach) will be meaningful once this virus has played itself out and people look back to analyse and gain perspective. It was quite a statement for a first ever public address (I recall feeling furious at the time. Amazing that it's only 11 days ago). 

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Posted (edited)

Quoted wrong person 😳

Edited by Badger
Quoted wrong person (sorry)
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38 minutes ago, Barbe bleu said:

Every strategy in Europe has cost lives and will continue to do so.  

It's a matter of how many. Some will cost more than others.

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17 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

Like I said in a earlier post, that was the press conference that the science bod mentioned herd immunity and then it was latched on to by the press. It's a side affect of any virus going through the population (as I understand it).

OTBC

This is what he actually said.

" The UK's Chief Scientific Adviser has said a degree of herd immunity will help the UK population as Covid-19 spreads. Sir Patrick Vallance acknowledged there are fears that clamping down too hard on the spread of the virus through tight social distancing measures could see it return in the future. 

He said the aim is to "reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely; also, because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to this disease and we reduce the transmission".In Sir Patrick's opinion, almost two thirds of Britain's population would need to contract coronavirus in order for herd immunity to stave off the disease in future. Otherwise, he says, this outbreak could become an annual plague on our communities."

This was the scientific advice given by the expert that the govt was listening to - he was at the briefing with Johnson. Were they following this advice?

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Who knows Badger. You'd believe the government was following that advice given all 3 were there addressing the nation and press.

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Posted (edited)

I do like this sudden reverence for experts. If voters had listened to the experts the UK would still be in the EU...😎

This mantra of  'Johnson has been following expert advice' is potentially misleading, as if there was only ever one expert view, which is this case plainly isn't true. He has followed the expert advice he chose to follow.

Unless his advisers fell down completely on the job they will at the outset have given him a range of options, which should have included that taken up by most if not all other European countries, even if they then argued against it. And if that option wasn't included then Johnson should have asked why not.

The fear with Johnson, based on his life and career up to this point, is that factored into his decisions so far, including the initial only-sort-of lockdown, is an unwillingness to take tough action that might be unpopular. Even now the policing of the latest lockdown seems as if it won't be as draconian as that in France, for example.

PS. This may be damning with faint praise but give me Johnson over Trump any day...

Edited by PurpleCanary

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18 minutes ago, kick it off said:

It's a matter of how many. Some will cost more than others.

Yes,   we can all have an opinion on the rights and wrong of a strategy but no conclusions can be drawn until we count the number of bodies in bags and the size of the debt in a few year's time.

And even then we must be careful with comparisons as circumstances are different in every country.

I'm still hoping that we have a hot spring that naturally suppresses infection and that a vaccine is ready before the flu season starts again.

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13 hours ago, Aggy said:

If they’ve handed out a lot of fines, there must be a lot of people still outside. 

In Italy, they had passed 80,000 three days ago so they've probably done 100,000 by now. They're taking it very seriously.

 

53 minutes ago, ricardo said:

The seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don't.

I agree with that statement, and I don't think the government are doing a bad job, but there are two points to make.

Firstly, the government wasted two or three days by saying they wanted 'herd immunity'. No other country had made such a statement and they were all flabbergasted by it, particularly the Italians who were seeing the damage being done in their country.

Secondly, considering that Italy is two weeks ahead in terms of cases, deaths and measures, surely it is patently obvious, considering the UK and Italy have a similar population, that by imposing the same measures at the same time you were going to get very similar results? The UK should've seen what happened in Italy and enforced the same rules at the same time to prevent the spread getting out of control, which is now happening. 

Lockdown now doesn't really help. For the next week or two, thousands will test positive who have already been infected, such as those who went to the pub on Friday or the beach over the weekend, so the numbers will continue to rise. 

The UK should've have been more proactive a little bit sooner having had the benefit of seeing what was happening in other countries where the virus was already more advanced.

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50 minutes ago, Badger said:

What evidence do you have for this? Loads of experts advised a different approach much earlier. These experts include

  • Long-term health secretary and party loyalist Jeremy Hunt
  • Leading medical journal, the Lancet 
  • World Health Organisation spokespeople
  • Leaders in other governments

Why does the govt seem surprised that medical staff need protective equipment or that there is a shortage of ventilators. It is very difficult to avoid the Lancet's conclusion that the UK had eight wasted weeks. They advised the need for action in January but it wasn't on the govt's agenda. 

If you look back at the non football coronavirus thread ( 55 pages of it) you will find that it was hardly on anyones agenda 8 weeks ago. You will also find the WHO very tardy with their initial advice. Their reluctance to call it a pandemic when it plainly was and their main concern being not to give a name to the infection that might in any way upset the Chinese.

Nobody has covered themselves with glory from what I can see.

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2 minutes ago, ricardo said:

If you look back at the non football coronavirus thread ( 55 pages of it) you will find that it was hardly on anyones agenda 8 weeks ago. You will also find the WHO very tardy with their initial advice. Their reluctance to call it a pandemic when it plainly was and their main concern being not to give a name to the infection that might in any way upset the Chinese.

Nobody has covered themselves with glory from what I can see.

I have quoted advice from a press release by WHO from 30th January (above).

On another thread, I published the editorial from the Lancet on 24th January. 

I don't see it as a party political issue, but imo it reflects the style of govt that Johnson was reported to have adopted - as illustrated with the replacement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The aim was to keep everything tight and under control; not allow for divergence of views etc and to a large extent by-passing the civil service. The problems of this management style are well known and not empowering the civil service in these circumstances will have restricted planning.

I believe that they have adopted a "War Cabinet" approach now, with perhaps less interference from advisers and more say to the departments?

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3 minutes ago, Badger said:

 

I don't see it as a party political issue, but imo it reflects the style of govt that Johnson was reported to have adopted - as illustrated with the replacement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

When someone says "I'm not being rude but..." you can usually be sure that what comes next is rude.  

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22 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

In Italy, they had passed 80,000 three days ago so they've probably done 100,000 by now. They're taking it very seriously.

 

I agree with that statement, and I don't think the government are doing a bad job, but there are two points to make.

Firstly, the government wasted two or three days by saying they wanted 'herd immunity'. No other country had made such a statement and they were all flabbergasted by it, particularly the Italians who were seeing the damage being done in their country.

Secondly, considering that Italy is two weeks ahead in terms of cases, deaths and measures, surely it is patently obvious, considering the UK and Italy have a similar population, that by imposing the same measures at the same time you were going to get very similar results? The UK should've seen what happened in Italy and enforced the same rules at the same time to prevent the spread getting out of control, which is now happening. 

Lockdown now doesn't really help. For the next week or two, thousands will test positive who have already been infected, such as those who went to the pub on Friday or the beach over the weekend, so the numbers will continue to rise. 

The UK should've have been more proactive a little bit sooner having had the benefit of seeing what was happening in other countries where the virus was already more advanced.

This seems a bit inconsistent if you don't mind me saying so - WWAAFTM. You don't think that they are doing a bit job and then point out three serious mistakes!

The biggest failing of all, though is that critical staff do not have proper protective equipment. How is this excusable? Did they not think that they might need it?

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7 minutes ago, Barbe bleu said:

When someone says "I'm not being rude but..." you can usually be sure that what comes next is rude.  

? I don't think that I was being rude? Sorry if I have offended you, but I'm not sure how?

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