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70000 excess deaths

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 Stuart William 17 Nov 2020

Just seen a BBC report that there have been 70000 excess deaths over the course of the pandemic so far.

I seem to remember the “let it rip” proponents arguing that the early excess deaths would just even out over the year, as the deaths were all people who would have apparently died in a few months anyway. Is anyone still seriously defending that hypothesis? Anyone feeling inclined to retract their assertions from earlier in the year?

18
 wintertree 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

I doubt we’ll see this poster back to accept their much liked and evidence free suggestion was totally wrong. 

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/france_covid_cases_vs_deaths-724291

Even if I believed the argument that you summarise (I don’t), what about the number of people going in to the winter respiratory illnesses season with their health much damaged by covid?  That’s perhaps 10x the number killed by it.   

You can’t argue logic with people who know they’re wrong but have other goals.
 

5
 Lord_ash2000 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

I'd be wary of the excess deaths figure. It's generally deaths above the 5 year average, however deaths have risen generally over the last 5 years anyways so even if covid never existed and deaths this year we're the same as 2019 you'd still say there have been significant excess deaths.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/281488/number-of-deaths-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

Mean as an example deaths in 2011 were about 550k, deaths in 2018 were 616k that's a 66k difference with no pandemics. 

We'll see what the final outcome is when the year ends but given deaths have been going up by 10k a year for the last several years anyway you'd expect only deaths over about 636k to really matter. 

10
 Billhook 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

Its hardly in the same league as the great plague.  A third of the population died.

Our  population still rises.  Its a minuscule drop in the ocean - less than 1% and almost all the victims are people of my age and over (70).  No surprise there - we all die as we get older - even the OP will.

There we are  

16
 Stuart William 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

No pandemics in that time, no. But you’re comparing a rise of 66k overall over 7 years with a 70k rise in expected deaths over 7 months. On the face of it that doesn’t seem like we are just looking at normal year on year increases. 

2
 Stuart William 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Billhook:

> Its hardly in the same league as the great plague.  A third of the population died.

And a meteorite wiped out all the dinosaurs. What’s your point? Are you suggesting that a third of the population dead should be the threshold for intervention?

6
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

The 5 year average from those figures is 598k and the final year shown is 616k so growth over the average can only account for 18k of the excess deaths.

The further you look backwards the less meaningful is the comparison because long term changes in society account for different amounts of death over a longer timescale, not least population growth and the effect of 10 years of tory austerity. 

Post edited at 08:10
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In reply to cumbria mammoth:

I read that over half a million immigrants workers have left the UK since the pandemic - in addition to all those who have left since brexit.

Although working aged people don't tend to die, this could be enough to throw the death number statistics. 

I think a proper study by people that know what they are doing is required - not back of envelope calculations by us punters. 

1
In reply to Stuart William:

A more telling statistic will be excess deaths in key areas - those worst hit. Saw on the news last night that excess deaths around London/ south east are about average, which emphasises how bad other areas have been. 
I genuinely thought (hoped) that any second wave would not be as bad as the first, but in Wigan we have had about the same deaths second time round already and doesn’t look like easing up much. 
Edit: see screen shot from .gov covid data for deaths in Wigan -plenty areas will be similar or at least catching up. 

Post edited at 08:48

1
In reply to Dan Arkle:

I hope and believe that people who know what they are doing, e.g. the ONS, are on the case. In the meantime all us punters can do is those back of envelope calculations which are worthwhile as they allow us to test some of the conflicting claims that are being made.

If it's true that the population is down by at least 500,000 but excess deaths have not fallen with the falling population but actually risen by 70,000, then, in the absence of another explanation, that might imply that Covid19 deaths are much more than 70,000.

2
 wintertree 18 Nov 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> [...] which are worthwhile as they allow us to test some of the conflicting claims that are being made.

I agree.  

I think it's going to be a long time before well controlled, best practice based estimates of IFR vs age vs month (important to break down by the later as care is changoing so much during the pandemic with lessons learnt).  

In the mean time, I find it somewhat maddening that the NHS have all the data to produce a breakdown of CFR vs age vs month in a longitudinal way - that is per individual, and so this wouldn't have to make assumptions about the lag from detection to death.  Yet there's no sign of such analysis - at least not publicly that I am aware of,

This data can then be contextualised into a range of estimated IFRs based on the random sampling surveys (ONS, REACT, ZOE) and model-based analysis (MRC nowcast).  I don't understand why this isn't happening in an automated way as it would be an incredibly useful analysis to see, and it should be possible to perform it quite quickly every day with access to the anonymised deaths information, the test and trace per-day summary level information and numerical outputs from the various surveys and analyses.

 Lord_ash2000 18 Nov 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> The 5 year average from those figures is 598k and the final year shown is 616k so growth over the average can only account for 18k of the excess deaths.

Indeed but the trend is clear so it would be no surprise if 2020 deaths were higher still even if covid never existed. Besides 18k is still a pretty hefty slice of 70k, it's about a quarter. 

Give or take natural variation i'd expect deaths to continue to rise in general as the percentage of older people increases and it will continue to do so until the peak of the "boomer" glut in the population numbers has moved off the end of the average life span predictions. 

7
 DancingOnRock 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Except that would only show in excess deaths in the age ranges over 65. We have excess deaths in all age ranges except 0-9. 

1
 RobAJones 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> I'd be wary of the excess deaths figure. It's generally deaths above the 5 year average, however deaths have risen generally over the last 5 years anyways so even if covid never existed and deaths this year we're the same as 2019 you'd still say there have been significant excess deaths.

but they fell in 2019 compared to 2018?

Deaths had also fallen steadily since 1997 to 2011. Perhaps cumbria mammoth has a point about austerity?

Post edited at 09:41
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 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

That's almost certainly a serious under-estimate as the average being used includes average flu deaths. So far this year we have had unusually low flu levels during the excess death periods.

 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

General trends make little difference. The excess deaths correlate closely with the hospital covid death peaks, are clearly due to covid (and short term knock-on effects during covid peaks) within at the very most 10% error levels.  The scale of your change compared to the peak is shown in the baseline ranges and yet we had much less flu death this year so unsurprisingly the 2020 indications outside the 2020 peaks look like a lower baseline than average: any error in peak excess deaths is more likely an underestimate.

 jkarran 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> I'd be wary of the excess deaths figure. It's generally deaths above the 5 year average, however deaths have risen generally over the last 5 years anyways so even if covid never existed and deaths this year we're the same as 2019 you'd still say there have been significant excess deaths.

Yes. Rising at about 8k/year (eg. 616k 2018, up from 576k 2013).

Almost all 2020's excess deaths so far, an order of magnitude more than might be expected by your reckoning, they occur in spring-summer. Can you explain why I might expect to see that pattern if this weren't for Covid and related issues?

> We'll see what the final outcome is when the year ends but given deaths have been going up by 10k a year for the last several years anyway you'd expect only deaths over about 636k to really matter. 

So only 62,000+ of the Covid related deaths so far really matter? You really don't have a filter do you, or much humanity apparently.

Apart from the fact there is long record of you supporting a 'let the elderly fend for themselves and we'll all be fine' approach I really don't know why you're trying to muddy the waters here. I mean your position on Covid is crass and wrong but that's been clear for quite some time yet you've never let that stop you expressing it. Do you really still feel like this is a figleaf you can hide behind, that excess deaths would be expected to be rising anyway*?

*itself a political decision

jk

Post edited at 15:45
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 jkarran 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Billhook:

> Its hardly in the same league as the great plague.  A third of the population died.

Nor would a big Ebola outbreak in London be comparable. Would it be acceptable?

> Our  population still rises.  Its a minuscule drop in the ocean - less than 1% and almost all the victims are people of my age and over (70).  No surprise there - we all die as we get older - even the OP will.

Do you still not understand the wider consequences of healthcare overload?

jk

1
 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to jkarran:

The different measures can be a bit confusing and too few sites deal with the different measures well. The Kings fund is an exception:

 https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/deaths-covid-19

I'd add that thousands of recorded covid deaths were between the back of the first wave excess death peak and this second wave of excess deaths: recorded covid deaths when there were no excess deaths. So you can certaintly add those covid deaths on top of the reported excess deaths. Also unknown numbers of deaths due to disrupted treatment (mainly cancer) as things were so bad first time they had to stop all sorts of normally important treatment and tests.

Post edited at 15:52
 J Whittaker 18 Nov 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

Excess deaths in Wigan most likely due to shock at not being able to get a greenhalghs pie in lockdown 1 and due to over consumption of them in lockdown 2.

P.s. Being a Wiganer i am allowed to make this remark and should not be misconstrued as cultural appropriation :P

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Indeed but the trend is clear so it would be no surprise if 2020 deaths were higher still even if covid never existed. Besides 18k is still a pretty hefty slice of 70k, it's about a quarter. 

The 70k excess covid deaths have occurred over a 7.5 month period and the 18k figure is over a 12 month period. My guess is that half of the 18k would normally occur over a winter period, which we have not yet had. Guesswork I know, but i doubt its anywhere near as high as a quarter.

In reply to J Whittaker:

Your are correct. Just checked: the area of my work is the second highest infection rate in Grter Manc - glad I’m home working today!!

 Billhook 18 Nov 2020
In reply to jkarran:

Do you still not understand the wider consequences of healthcare overload?"

Of course I do.  I've always maintained it isn't like the great plague.  People die of every imaginable disease - and some unimaginable illnesses and accidents every year.  We mostly don't bat an eyelid unless it hits the headlines - which this one did.

As regards Ebola - thats a different league and unacceptable.

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 Lord_ash2000 18 Nov 2020
In reply to jkarran:

I don't really know what you're getting at? 

The OP was mentioning the excess death numbers, I mearly pointed out that a good chunk of those would have happened regardless simply due to the fact the "excess" is calculated based on being above the 5 year average and the trend in the last 5 years has been upwards, meaning every year since at least 2011 we'd have been seeing "excess" deaths and this year is no different. 

If the issue is after factoring out the issue with averages total deaths are still above covid deaths then those deaths (for example people dying due to not wanting to overburden the NHS so not getting checked out) are a side effect of the current method of tackling covid and have nothing to do with letting it rip because that isn't the course the government chose to take. Instead, we've taken the lurch from one lockdown to another at repeated massive expense after massive expense, the consequences of which have yet to sink in, let along hit us yet. 

Let us be generous for a moment and take the 70K figure at face value but also consider that before this is all over we might be looking at closer to 100k excess deaths before the vaccine is widely administered enough to make a difference.

A controlled rip approach would have killed maybe 500k (some say a lot less). So we've maybe saved 400k people. I don't have a figure for total extra government debt or the no doubt far larger figure of the cost to the private sector for taking the path we took but as a guide, it works out at £250,000 per life saved per £100billion spent based on 400k deaths prevented. Given the average age of someone dying from covid is 82 I'm not sure those sums add up really and I can't see a hospital spending half, maybe three-quarters of a million per patient in normal times. 
 

It's too late to do anything about it now, it's no longer an argument over which approach to take, we've taken it and with some luck, the vaccines will be with us by spring/summer. But I think we might look back on it in a few years when the impact of this great cost starts to hit us all and we wonder was it worth it? 

Post edited at 17:27
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Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

I've been listening this afternoon to several Doctors and Professors suggesting that currently excess deaths are running at a rate that would be normal for this time of year. Another podcast is saying that the tests carried out by the Army in Liverpool, apparently a different test to the one used to date, is detecting very few positive COVID cases. I don't know who to believe any more and my respect for and confidence in politics AND science is at an all time low.

9
 wintertree 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

What does your doctor friend say?  They seem pretty plugged in.

Its not excess deaths that are currently the problem, it’s high hospital occupancy in the regions that have had high covid prevalence for some weeks and that other regions were all headed for the same high occupancy.  There are many news reports on the consequences of this such as routine operations being cancelled.

Are you aware that the new Liverpool testing was conducted on people *without symptoms* who would not normally be tested?  The expectation was for a small number of cases to be found.  

What specifically is your problem with “science”?

Post edited at 17:47
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 cb294 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

The anti covid measures certainly also suppress the spread of influenza viruses. So, how many fewer flu deaths should one expect for the baseline, or if not corrcting like that, does it even make sense comparing current deaths to normal years? There is plenty of other feed back, making these data sets really difficult to interpret.

CB

1
 wintertree 18 Nov 2020
In reply to cb294:

Yes, for now flu is largely absent in the UK which will be starting to cause a negative contribution to excess deaths.  An important contextualising factor lordash_2000 is overlooking.

2
Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I should have said Scientists not science but I left it too late to edit. When one Professor says A and another Professor says B  it's difficult to know who to believe especially when they are apparently looking at the same set of figures.

I do have confidence in the scientific method however but it would appear that vested interests and politics are coming into play with regard to individuals.

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 RobAJones 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> A controlled rip approach would have killed maybe 500k (some say a lot less). So we've maybe saved 400k people. I don't have a figure for total extra government debt or the no doubt far larger figure of the cost to the private sector for taking the path we took but as a guide, it works out at £250,000 per life saved per £100billion spent based on 400k deaths prevented. Given the average age of someone dying from covid is 82 I'm not sure those sums add up really and I can't see a hospital spending half, maybe three-quarters of a million per patient in normal times. 

Even if that is correct, can you explain how letting it rip would have cost less?

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> A controlled rip approach

What's that? It's November now and you still haven't grasped the concept of exponential growth? Christ alive.

The whole problem with dealing with a pandemic is that there's basically 3 scenarios:

1. Elimination. That ship sailed earlier.

2. Control/flatten the curve. That's what we're doing, the economic costs are terrible, everyone's lives have been affected, blah blah. Bit of a shame we missed out on 1.

3. Out of control. This is the overwhelming of the healthcare system, no one to bury the bodies, and the economy is completely shut down because people are either ill themselves or they're having to take care of the sick (from all diseases) and elderly because there are no hospitals, and the care homes have no staff, and the schools aren't open...

They're your options. "Controlled rip" is something you made up which doesn't exist. Exponential growth means that once control is lost, that's it, the country and every business in it may as well be on fire. I don't get how that's hard to grasp.

What you want to happen is for the virus to kill everyone who it's going to kill, but without any impact. All those people wouldn't just sit at home on their own until they were dead and then just bury themselves while everyone else carries on going to work and Christmas shopping. You've invented this scenario in your head which couldn't happen in reality. It's stupid.

Post edited at 19:50
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 RobAJones 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Forget that, I've just realised you are advocating killing 400k people, so the survivors can save £2500 each.  I appreciate that is a lot money to some people, but for many, it will be a few weeks work or the saving they have made by not going on a foreign holiday this year.

Post edited at 19:50
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In reply to RobAJones:

> Even if that is correct, can you explain how letting it rip would have cost less?

There are no costs to letting it rip. People who get severe covid just sit at home on their own until they're dead, then they bury themselves while everyone else carries on going to work and Christmas shopping. It's easy!

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 NathanP 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

From your profile: "I'm not sure that I will continue to subscribe as I have found it to be a quite hostile environment. When did climbers become so arrogant and rude?"

Probably since a load of anti-science, conspiracy theory peddling and frankly suspicious posters like you started appearing and spreading dangerous rubbish. 

2
 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

How do you control a 'rip'?? As it is, with what we did, many hospitals were on their knees with the sustained effort, significant staff deaths, large scale absence, long covid incidents and mentally drained staff (dealing with many deaths and overwork in such situations is highly traumatic). This was with action that was very firm (albeit  a bit late... twice). As firm controlling led us close to breakdown in the worst hit hospitals, both times, I wonder where you see us being. if hospital systems did breakdown. They almost certainly would if they tried your suggested approach (and did in china initially and in Lombardy and in NY) and the systems will face chaos, lots of health staff will die, and a very large proportion will be off work. Past experience tells us covid IFR shoots up where hospitals lose control: mortality moves from below 1% to nearer 3%. Those with any health emergency for any other  condition are put at extreme risk (from their condition due to lack of resource and from catching covid and  facing the extra risks for those with underlying health conditions). The societal costs of this would be absolutely huge in financial terms, health terms and political terms.

 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Maybe Professor B is not really an expert in the sub-field, has data that contradicts reality, has political anti-lockdown links, and contradicts the vast majority of actual sub-field experts. Prof Gupta fits that profile. If you are thinking about some Swedish Profs views they just do social distancing more by consent but mainly decide measures based on avoiding hospital overload;  they knew they were a good distance from herd immunity and are facing a huge national outbreak just to rub that knowledge in.

1
 cb294 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

The bullshit Gupta in particular is peddling has repeatedly been refuted on here using arguments even non-scientists can follow using data that are publicly available and easily checked.

If you feel too non-experty to follow even these simple arguments you could still trust the consensus of the majority of scientists more than individual outliers with clearly demonstrated financial conflicts of interest.

On the other hand, option two may not make sense for posters paid by the same funding sources!

CB

edited for typos

Post edited at 20:15
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Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to NathanP:

> Probably since a load of anti-science, conspiracy theory peddling and frankly suspicious posters like you started appearing and spreading dangerous rubbish. 

Evidence please otherwise do not make unfounded accusations. To be clear everything I have posted has been done in a questioning manner and not as an accusation and most certainly NOT with the intention of spreading dangerous rubbish and I resent that implication.

Post edited at 20:45
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Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

You make a good point but how is the average person in the street supposed to distinguish between one and the other because of course the opposite is true with regards to agendas and links. In some respects you and others are agreeing with me.  Just having Professor or Doctor in front of your name may be meaningless.

You mention Professor Gupta.  I have no idea but  "infectious disease epidemiologist and a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford." sounds to us none scientific posters that she may have something valid to contribute.

 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

The evidence is there with Gupta. Her modelling proposed a mortality (IFR) maximum that has been exceeded by a large margin in badly hit cities where infection was measured below 30% (this means her claims of near herd immunity are way off the measured science); she is not a modelling expert in the sub-field. Nearly every actual expert disagrees with her. She has major conflicts of interest.

On your next post I sympathise with your concerns. In an ideal world a Prof making such dangerous claims from Oxford would face major ethical investigation. In practice little is done and Uni funding is accepted for her group from very dubious sources.  The politics of UK science is much dirtier than you expect.. she can say what she does as peer review hasn't fully caught up with her yet.

https://bylinetimes.com/2020/09/23/scamademics-right-wing-lobbying-groups-reviving-herd-immunity-in-the-uk/

In contrast  Profs who upset senior management 'retire' quietly, gagged with a big payoff (much of which is taxpayer or student fee money).

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/apr/17/uk-universities-pay-out-90m-on-staff-gagging-orders-in-past-two-years

Post edited at 20:43
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Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to cb294:

Quite possibly.  Please provide links to support your assertions and convince me.

Please don't play the "there is plenty of evidence out there if you can be bothered to look" card.  If I did that you would quite rightly condemn me.

Post edited at 20:38
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Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

I don't disagree but doesn't Patrick Vallance have similar conflicts of interest.  I believe he has shares in one of the vaccine companies.

4
 Stone Idle 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

Take the trouble to check for the BBC cannot be trusted to report impartially. The last report I saw showed excess deaths up by just 1%. The kicker is that deaths due to respiratory problems are in fact down.

3
 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

He declares that,; he hasn't published anything that directly contradicts the current known research. What some viewers don't understand is Patrick is a government employee who's job is to support the government position (or resign if he can't do that).  Some on SAGE also have conflicts of interest that are now publicly declared (but were not initially when they were not transparently named). 

 Offwidth 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Stone Idle:

Link?

An average of over 400 a day are dying of covid in hospitals and care homes within 28 days of a test result. When ONS data comes out that will almost certainly be well over 500 deaths a day with covid on death certificates.

It was over 14% of baseline average weekly excess deaths in early November from the latest ONS data (week ending Nov 6th) which is only England and Wales. More than 16% of deaths had covid on the death certificate in this latest data.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending6november2020

In reply to Stone Idle:

You really need to do some better research because you are way off. Check what offwidth links to, or similar with BMJ.  
Where do you get this 1% bollox from?

Post edited at 21:22
In reply to Stone Idle:

> #The last report I saw showed excess deaths up by just 1%. The kicker is that deaths due to respiratory problems are in fact down.

Show us.

Bilbo Baggins 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> An average of over 400 a day are dying of covid in hospitals and care homes within 28 days of a test result.

Is that, strictly speaking, true? Is a distinction made between "of covid" and "with covid"?  It's my understanding that at one point if you tested positive and got knocked down by a bus within 28 days of that test you would be recorded as having died "of covid" for example. That seems like an odd basis to frame policy on.

Post edited at 21:30
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In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> Is that, strictly speaking, true?

Yes. 

> Is a distinction made between "of covid" and "with covid"?  It's my understanding that at one point if you tested positive and got knocked down by a bus within 28 days of that test you would be recorded.

I believe that is also true and is one of the ways of recording deaths. It does seem odd to me as well, which is a reason why ‘excess deaths’ is a key thing to look at.

In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> Is that, strictly speaking, true? Is a distinction made between "of covid" and "with covid"?  It's my understanding that at one point if you tested positive and got knocked down by a bus within 28 days of that test you would be recorded as having died "of covid" for example. That seems like an odd basis to frame policy on.

I just googled "how are covid deaths measured" and immediately got a q&a from a research organisation that I've heard of (and not for being dodgy):

https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/news-item/measuring-mortality-during-covid-19-a-q-a

When you think about it, how likely do you think it would be that the UK govt would not have understood the absolute basics of the deaths data and made a load of decisions on a mistaken understanding? Granted, they might not have got the ideal data set, but don't you think they'd be aware of the limitations, given that there's a huge hierarchical structure of scientists providing the advice?

When you've read that Q&A, and it's not very heavy (I've just skimmed it) decide what problems you think, on the basis of real information, remain with the deaths data. Are they serious problems, or are they insignificant?

1
 RobAJones 18 Nov 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

I think (more or less covered it in July), it is also true that if someone is involved in a bus accident,  then admitted to hospital, contracts covid and dies 5 weeks later, they would be class as being killed by a bus not covid.

1
 wintertree 18 Nov 2020
In reply to RobAJones:

Yes, despite what JoeBlo45 suggests we don’t have an epidemic of people being run over by busses.  The number of people dying “with covid” is far more than we would expect if covid was unrelated to their deaths, given the current prevalence of the virus and expected death rate.  Further, the deaths where covid is listed on a death certificate outnumber those on the “28-days from test” measure.

1
 wintertree 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> To be clear everything I have posted has been done in a questioning manner 

Asking a question is a very disarming tactic as it frames the subject of the question as factual.  That’s probably why a questioning approach is so common from the growing line of “pop up” anti-science conspiracy pushing accounts that have been seen over the last 8 months or so.  It’s unfortunate that your genuine concerns is are so easily misinterpreted.

1
 Lord_ash2000 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

How do you control a rip?

Two fold, firstly let those most at risk shelter.

People can largely control it themselves depending on the risk covid presents to them and their likely good of getting infected on given activities. For example my wife's grandparents both in their 80's and one is diabetic. As you'd expect they are being very cautious with minimal face to face contact, masks, gloves etc since March. 

For some of thier younger grand children in thier 20's covid is of little to no consequence and so little caution is needed for them. All that needs to be maintained is that firewall between the two groups which is why none of them have been to visit recently. 

Now inevitably some older people can not keep away from youger people, those with carers or those in homes. Those with carers or other outside assistance will need to decide if the care is vital enough to take the risk or if they can manage without or make other arrangements. 

Those in care homes unfortunately I think we as a population simply have to accept in this crisis they are expendable, care should and I'm sure is being taken to reduce the risk of it getting into care homes but if covid is rife in the population it's inviabile. It's worth baring in mind the average lifespan of someone in a care home is about 6 months, they go there to die. And yes we have a relative in a care home at the moment, she's 93 isn't far from the end and last week we were told some staff and one resident have tested positive so it's not like we aren't affected. Would I pay half a million pounds so she could live to 94 though? unfortunately not.

The second element is switching the NHS from a "try and treat everyone for everything all the time" mode to a prioritised service where normal day to day things are largely maintained but covid cases will only be treated up to capacity (which can be extended with nightingale hospitals etc) once that is nearing capacity then covid cases are only taken on a priority bases, of you're over say 75 or 80  then take one for the team, stay in bed maybe take some meds if they can be posted out and just let the fever pass over / die at home with family and friends around you, probably with a lot more dignity having had a good innings. I rather that than being full of tubes having been forced alive to the very end in a ward where you're just another notch of the covid totaliser. 

And yes there isn't going to be no disruption, some staff will get ill but in a herd immunity scenario having covid with symptoms mild enough to continue working is a good thing, faster it's spread to your colleagues the sooners they are immune and your staff are largely safe. Yes some will be off sick who get it worse and yes it'll cause some mild disruption but within the bulk of the working age population major symptoms are thankful rare so I doubt for most firms it'll be a big problem.

As for cost, no option is free of course but some disruption to industry has to be better than complete shutdowns. Mean yes it would have been messy for 6 months or so but by now it would have all been over and we'd be living normally again.

Instead we are looking at 20% of the people who would have died anyway dead and facing a second lockdown then almost inevitably a third or at least significant restrictions early next year. Then the real pain begins, massive debt, tax rises, inflation. We'll all be a lot poorer for a long time after this year it's just the giant credit card bill hasn't landed yet so everything feels fine and dandy. That'll soon change and then we'll see how wise our choices were.

Post edited at 23:40
19
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Apart from anything else I think your "let it rip" ideas and their consequences are rather optimistic - but ignoring that, the UK culture and national "psyche" (whatever that is) just wouldn't be able to cope with that kind of scenario which appears to be rather callous.

To achieve that amount of change in society's outlook would (I think) require a much more immediate threat to a larger proportion of society. The last time that happened in the UK was WW2.

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I read that there is no disease to which humans have reached herd immunity without the help of a vaccine. And anyway, with a vaccine now just around the corner, I would have thought any argument for letting it rip would be gone - condemn all those people to die just months before they could have been vaccinated?

 NorthernGrit 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I think when you advocate for 400000 deaths so that you can carry on with your life and then state "Then the real pain begins, massive debt, tax rises, inflation."

If you consider financial woes to be real pain and illness and death not, I'm concerned your perspective on life has gone seriously awry!

1
 cb294 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

It is not even out there, it is even on here. The Gupta and associates shit has been debunked to death, I cannot be arsed to regurgitate it all again.

Maybe this is of help, though, from 1 min to 3 min, roughly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKZN-hBTBUE&

CB

In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Don’t know how many Liverpool army tests came back positive, but I do know that out of 100,000 people tested they found 700 who had no symptoms.   As you say, using a different method. Which shows science is working - finding different methods that work. 
And the vaccine developments shows science is working. 
Oh, and whilst our current government has serious faults, our overall ‘politics’ is very good - or at least a that’s what the people I work with tell me who are from Syria, Sudan, Eritrea etc etc etc. 

 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> I've been listening this afternoon to several Doctors and Professors suggesting that currently excess deaths are running at a rate that would be normal for this time of year. Another podcast is saying that the tests carried out by the Army in Liverpool, apparently a different test to the one used to date, is detecting very few positive COVID cases. I don't know who to believe any more and my respect for and confidence in politics AND science is at an all time low.

"currently excess deaths are running at a rate that would be normal for this time of year"

The use of this sentence blows your whole argument. You don't have normal excess deaths; they are by definition not normal.

deaths this autumn are below average; the weather has been pretty benign so far this year (especially springtime, we had no cold snaps), and the social restrictions will inevitably have reduced the incidence of colds / flu amongst the elderly. and some of those taken by covid in the spring will certainly have had their death accelerated from the autumn. However, the excess deaths this year caused by covid is at the very least 70k. The weather this year has been very warm; death rates during the height of the effects of the pandemic would otherwise have been lower than the 5 year average.

My advice on regaining trust in science / politics is to firstly stop watching podcasts that result in conclusions including the word "apparently". There is plenty of real scientific stuff out there......for death rates etc use that provided by the ons and used by the funeral industry.

Post edited at 09:10
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Under the old government official counting method people could have had covid, got better and died of something else. If you did the calculations it was much less than current numbers at that time who died with covid but it was a statistical over-count distortion of up to a few percent which was growing with time. The government then chose the 28 day limit. I felt this was too low as it led to an undercount of covid deaths that was bigger than the previous over-count that it resolved. This undercount was the percentage of clear covid deaths which occur after 28 days due to being kept alive beyond that limit on a ventilator. You can be sure now from the data that the proportion who die of something else is tiny, a fraction of a percent (also from common sense....most official deaths will be very ill with covid in hospital or a care home for their entire short post infection life). Currently about 53,000.

The ONS count includes all those with covid on their death certificate. It will not include someone who recovers from covid who dies after getting hit by a bus. It will include co-morbidity. The numbers are much larger than the official government figures as it registers those who die at home and die in hospital or care homes after 28 days. Currently above 60,000.

Excess deaths count the extra people who die in an unusual peak due to a pandemic after subtracting  normal levels of death. This includes all pandemic related causes, including non covid deaths that would normally have been avoided if the hospital systems had not been disrupted. Currently above 70,000 but with an error range of about 10% (as we cant tell exactly what the background level would have been). This year it looks like the background would have been lower than average as flu deaths have been much lower than normal so the actual number might be closer to 75,000.

Post edited at 09:39
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I understand you now .... we need a dictatorship for the good of the economy to implement your sociopathic eugenics. There isn't a chance you could persuade a democracy to throw away all those medical ethics and individual rights.

Post edited at 09:40
 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Isn't it funny how the various detailed explanations never get any traction from the person who had the questioning approach.  It's almost as if they're more interested in repeating certain questions that could propagate misleading interpretations undermining the data.  

Being susceptible to this sort of thing, I'm almost convinced that we had an epidemic of people being run over by busses after catching covid, and I'm now investigating to see if this is part of the virus' mechanic -step 1 - infect someone, step 2 - secrete hormones making them blind to busses, step 3 - ???

1
 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> A controlled rip approach would have killed maybe 500k (some say a lot less). So we've maybe saved 400k people. I don't have a figure for total extra government debt or the no doubt far larger figure of the cost to the private sector for taking the path we took but as a guide, it works out at £250,000 per life saved per £100billion spent based on 400k deaths prevented. Given the average age of someone dying from covid is 82 I'm not sure those sums add up really and I can't see a hospital spending half, maybe three-quarters of a million per patient in normal times. 

This presupposes two things, that 'controlled rip' is even possible. The 'controlled' part requires living in a very tightly controlled and economically damaging feedback loop. This is little different to where we are at now just deadlier, it's still really disruptive. Or that you ditch the 'controlled' part of that plan and somehow assume the economic damage wouldn't occur anyway as we choked our health service (driving up the Covid infection fatality rate and causing significant collateral damage to those needing life saving 'routine' care, e.g. A&E or maternity) and engaged in killing citizens as fast as possible. That to me seems very unlikely. We saw, pre spring lockdown citizens and businesses leading government in imposing restrictions which have costs, we're simply not willing to kill people needlessly in their thousands. Belief that this was a real option requires either wilful ignorance of how our society works or downright stupidity, the health and economic aspects of this pandemic cannot be separated.

> It's too late to do anything about it now, it's no longer an argument over which approach to take, we've taken it and with some luck, the vaccines will be with us by spring/summer. But I think we might look back on it in a few years when the impact of this great cost starts to hit us all and we wonder was it worth it? 

I'm sure but with no counterfactual it's always going to be possible to imagine we'd have merrily carried on life as normal while those around us sweat and cough a deadly virus all over the workplace/pub/cinema against a backdrop of swamped hospitals depleted of staff rationing services while the bodies piled up in ice-rinks and arguments raged over religious segregation of mass graves. Easy to imagine Macron wasn't serious about closing the border which would have triggered rationing, market instability and economic collapse, that the banks are tough enough to withstand that onslaught.

The reality after we squandered our headstart and island advantage is the options were very bad or very bad plus hundreds of thousands dead.

jk

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

I wasn't aware I was making an argument.  Would you care to elaborate?  What argument was I making exactly?

Granted "normal" may not have been the best choice of words, perhaps you would prefer average.  I'll concede that but that's simply semantics.

2
 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> You mention Professor Gupta.  I have no idea but  "infectious disease epidemiologist and a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford." sounds to us none scientific posters that she may have something valid to contribute.

Yes, her group's reputation in exchange for something. I hope it was worth it because I'd be haunted to my dying day.

jk

1
 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> Yes, her group's reputation in exchange for something. I hope it was worth it because I'd be haunted to my dying day.

Between that and CEBMs blog outputs its astoundingly clear to me that academic standards and basic integrity are second fiddle to other concerns at Oxford University.

Post edited at 10:29
 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

If someone shoots you, yo bleed out and die, did you die of 'shooting' or 'blood loss'? I'd argue both though each piece of information is of different use to different people/agencies in reducing the chance the same happens to someone else.

jk

1
 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> I wasn't aware I was making an argument.  Would you care to elaborate?  What argument was I making exactly?

> Granted "normal" may not have been the best choice of words, perhaps you would prefer average.  I'll concede that but that's simply semantics.

Ok, your proposition, based on propositions from unnamed doctors and professors. Look, i've just re-read your post that i replied to, and it doesnt justify a reply, as it says nothing and provides no evidence for your assertions. i would have been better to ignore it.

 veteye 19 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Up front I want to profess my ignorance: But hence the reason for posting.

Am I correct in thinking that the figure of 70,000 deaths is not broken down further into categories? So we do not know what those deaths are made up of?

Is the 70,000 just simply based on a notional number of deaths in any given year? Or is that adjusted for variations?

Are some people responding on here, saying that the notional expected number of deaths for this year, may have otherwise been higher anyway, if the trend of rising death numbers in the immediately preceding years are looked at?

What is the significance of the number of 70,000? Is it that it is implied that most of the deaths are due directly to the Corona viral infection? Or this figure including people dying early because they did not get the usual protocols of treatment for other problems and diseases due to inability of hospitals to provide the normal services?

What is the overall point of this figure of 70,000 being flagged up? Is it the implication that some Corona viral deaths are hidden from official view?

The sequitur to the latter is presumably that possibly the government are not letting us have access to the proper figures. 

Overall, is the point of the thread saying that the government has performed even worse than has previously been implied by some? If that is the case, then obviously we cannot go back and rerun the management of the pandemic situation in this country, but what is implied in how we should manage things differently from now on?

I can see that somewhere in all the management possibilities, there has to be a balance between health maintenance and keeping deaths lower, and that of trying to allow commerce and business run in order to avoid even more drastic matters of economy in the near future, and probably for another twenty years. Yet I cannot see what are the best objective methods of evaluating where that balance between the two may be. Those in power might argue that they are dammed if they do, and dammed if they don't do certain things.

Lastly, these are genuine questions, without an agenda. I want to try to see more clearly what the situation of these figures relates to, and how it changes my view of the circumstances that obtain, and what may or may not work for the future. I neither support nor am unduly aggrieved by the government. 

Thank you for your patience everyone for (hopefully ) looking at my queries.

(Sorry it's a long post).

 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to veteye:

I think excess deaths is a very nebulous measure.  It certainly made it very clear things were going exceptionally wrong in April compared to any other recent year.  Now it's open to all sorts of interpretations - flu is looking well down so far this year but would only just be starting to drive seasonal deaths - if flu continues to be repressed by covid control measures and increased flu vaccination we may see below average seasonal excess deaths.

I can't speak to the point of the thread; I chimed in to agree with the OP that the claims (preposterous at the time) made by some that Covid had just "brought forward" winter deaths are turning out to be wrong - the covid hospitalisations and deaths are evidence enough for that without going in to excess deaths.

>  I neither support nor am unduly aggrieved by the government. 

Give it time...

> What is the overall point of this figure of 70,000 being flagged up? Is it the implication that some Corona viral deaths are hidden from official view?

I can't answer for the OP but it's a good point to hang a ranting thread off...  The excess deaths have to date been more than the deaths listing covid by death certificate, which have themselves been more than deaths under the "28 day" measure; this suggests the possibility - but does not imply or prove - that more are dying from covid.  More could also be dying as a result of non-covid reasons exacerbated  by the covid risk control measures - suicide and heart attacks early on for example and the results of missed cancer treatments further down the line.

In terms of how I interpret the figures - to date, excess deaths being higher than the deaths with covid on a death certificate and the 28-day measure was a sanity check on the situation and the appropriateness of the death accounting methods - if excess deaths had been lower (they were not) that would have raised some questions.  Now - I carry the trust in the reporting methods I formed earlier on forwards without needing the excess deaths to confirm that, and with the uncertainty over flu season it's about to become too muddled to be of much use for me for the next few months - assuming that we get a lid on covid deaths soon and keep it on, that is.

>  I neither support nor am unduly aggrieved by the government. 

Rise up and be aggrieved!  Edit:  Or not.  

Post edited at 11:26
 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to veteye:

> Up front I want to profess my ignorance: But hence the reason for posting.

> Am I correct in thinking that the figure of 70,000 deaths is not broken down further into categories? So we do not know what those deaths are made up of?

If you look on the ONS website, there is a lot of highly detailed info on there - 

> Is the 70,000 just simply based on a notional number of deaths in any given year? Or is that adjusted for variations?

Its based on the average of the last 5 years.

> Are some people responding on here, saying that the notional expected number of deaths for this year, may have otherwise been higher anyway, if the trend of rising death numbers in the immediately preceding years are looked at?

They are but they (well, one anyway) are ignoring the fact that the rising number of deaths is automatically included in the 5 year average.

> What is the significance of the number of 70,000? Is it that it is implied that most of the deaths are due directly to the Corona viral infection? Or this figure including people dying early because they did not get the usual protocols of treatment for other problems and diseases due to inability of hospitals to provide the normal services?

70k is merely the number of actual deaths so far this year less the expected number based on nothing but the 5 year average "expected deaths"

> What is the overall point of this figure of 70,000 being flagged up? Is it the implication that some Corona viral deaths are hidden from official view?

Possibly. 70k may be understated as 2020 has had very mild / benign weather, so the real expected deaths would be towards the lower end of the expected range (those in the funeral industry look at likely deaths based on many factors, but weather is a major one. I used to be the FC of Britains largest coffin manufacturer.

> The sequitur to the latter is presumably that possibly the government are not letting us have access to the proper figures.

No, the proper figures are out there. the thing about whether 70k is the real toll attributable to covid is that there is nothing else that has made this year different to any other. Deaths would be at the low end of the expected scale without covid. So the sequitur is that covid has ben the cause of the excess death toll. To me it looks a pretty solid assumption.

> Overall, is the point of the thread saying that the government has performed even worse than has previously been implied by some? If that is the case, then obviously we cannot go back and rerun the management of the pandemic situation in this country, but what is implied in how we should manage things differently from now on?

not really. The performance of the government has been abominable in certain areas (delaying lockdown in march certainly cost many many thousands of lives; they are directly attributable to political decisions. The PM missed 5 cobra meetings because he was negotiating a divorce settlement. It ha ssquandered many billions of pounds in what should at best be described as cosy relationships, but is probably better described as corruption. It has been good in certain areas. The economic response of the treasury has been first class. 

> I can see that somewhere in all the management possibilities, there has to be a balance between health maintenance and keeping deaths lower, and that of trying to allow commerce and business run in order to avoid even more drastic matters of economy in the near future, and probably for another twenty years. Yet I cannot see what are the best objective methods of evaluating where that balance between the two may be. Those in power might argue that they are dammed if they do, and dammed if they don't do certain things.

They are to an extent; you cant please all the people all of the time, but the economic consequences of not closing down the economy would have been unimaginable. Check out the graph in section 2 of the summary here, and ask whether you would be prepared to see the april / may lump continue on for any length of time.

> Lastly, these are genuine questions, without an agenda. I want to try to see more clearly what the situation of these figures relates to, and how it changes my view of the circumstances that obtain, and what may or may not work for the future. I neither support nor am unduly aggrieved by the government. 

> Thank you for your patience everyone for (hopefully ) looking at my queries.

> (Sorry it's a long post).

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

Many thanks to those of you who respond in a positive and helpful manner.  It's becoming apparent to me that there is, on UKC, a small group of highly intelligent, well informed academics and scientists who all seem to hold similar views.  I'm resisting the temptation to call it a "cabal" but for the moment I can't think of another word.

I'm 73, I did not have the privileges of a University education that is afforded to many of you and I'm of a generation that, generally speaking,  is not particularly familiar with computers and social media. Researching these matters is not easy for me but I am learning.

Unfortunately some of you come across as rude, arrogant and dismissive of others less privileged than you. It's as though you sit there like a pack of attack dogs just waiting for the first sign of a weakness to pounce. You then tend to misquote, misrepresent and generally take out of context anything that I write. What I can assure you of is that I am not in denial, I am not a purveyor of dangerous, incorrect information and if I do say something wrong it is not intentional nor malicious. One of you, I don't recall who, took my comment on one topic then a comment from an entirely different one and presented them together to infer something about me that was totally wrong.  You my friend are either very malicious or stupidly ignorant.

Following my recovery from serious illness this forum is, potentially one of the few things I can enjoy but if the intolerant bullying tone continues you will be denying me this small pleasure as I really don't need this crap and will withdraw from the forum.

I have religiously avoided social media but In my naivety and innocence thought that a forum of climbers would be different. I relish debate and discourse so this is my only outlet under the current circumstances.

Sorry for the length of this text but it is a plea for some of you to take stock of your attitude and cut an old man a bit of slack.

4
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to veteye:

There are various links here and elsewhere on other threads that explain a good bit of what you ask (the Kingsfund link in particular on this thread). If you are serious about having no agenda read them and ask again where things are not clear. Wintertree is right that most people asking such questions on UKC are not so innocent as their questions appear, given covid has dominated world news for most of the year, and in practice actually believe those pushing back against the science. On the better side confused by misinformation about Sweden or worse by the likes of Gupta (where the scientific and journalistic establishment has failed to block counterfactual pseudoscience) to the libertarian let it rip eugenicists who don't give a shit about medical ethics and would rather risk millions die than mess with their blinkered view of the economy. I know you haven't just returned to civilization for the first time since the end of 2019 as you have been posting here.

 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

OK, slack cut; the problem is that your posts seem to repeat very closely those of people with very odd agenda's. Much time has been spent debunking their "theories", which are all based on social media posts. One of the main things to take from this is hat you are probably right in ignoring social media - its great for the social stuff, keeping in touch with friends etc, but rubbish at the media bit - anyone can go on and make up a story and put it out there.

The internet is also great for filtering out the rubbish. Stick to "official" websites, use a variety of outlets (but not the Daily mail, its less informative than a blank page), and come to some conclusions. you could do far worse than a combination of bbc, itv and c4 news, and for stuff like this thread, the ONS (office for national statistics).

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> Ok, your proposition, based on propositions from unnamed doctors and professors. Look, i've just re-read your post that i replied to, and it doesnt justify a reply, as it says nothing and provides no evidence for your assertions. i would have been better to ignore it.

That's just cop out because I have challenged you. Again I have not made any assertions.  I have put forward information in order to glean a counter argument. That is neither an assertion nor an argument. If I attempted to research sources at every stage of the debate I wouldn't get anything written down.

7
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> The internet is also great for filtering out the rubbish. Stick to "official" websites, use a variety of outlets (but not the Daily mail, its less informative than a blank page), and come to some conclusions. you could do far worse than a combination of bbc, itv and c4 news, and for stuff like this thread, the ONS (office for national statistics).

I only joined during and because of lock down i.e. boredom.  Your explanation goes someway to explaining the attitudes of some on the forum but it seems a little short sighted and unfair if I might say so.

Now, apart from the ONS, you are simply displaying your left wing bias. You will be encouraging me to read the Guardian next.  Just kidding

Post edited at 11:52
8
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Scientists are human and get tetchy as the science is very clear on many factors that are being regularly undermined or denied in the mainstream press and on social media; by Boris early in the pandemic and still even now by the President of the United States. The internet and media is full of those willing to spread misinformation that has led to the pandemic response being much less successful than it could have been. They don't believe what the science clearly shows: that they need to socially distance, wash hands regularly and wear masks in public indoors. In the UK this has cost us tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and massive unnecessary economic damage as lockdowns and tier measures were longer and harsher than they needed to be.

Sweden lost many more lives than other Scandinavian countries with its unusual approach to pandemic control but it does illustrate some important points: their public compliance on social distancing was good on average because trust in their government was good on average (this meant forced closures were not needed as much as people behaved well enough on protective measures to avoid a much worse situation); they always said controlling protection of the hospital system from overload was key and would take stricter steps to ensure that if necessary (the same as all western nations) and are doing that now; they admit they were way too optimistic about protecting care homes; the economic hit was almost as bad for them anyway.

 elsewhere 19 Nov 2020
In reply to veteye:

> Up front I want to profess my ignorance: But hence the reason for posting.

> Am I correct in thinking that the figure of 70,000 deaths is not broken down further into categories? So we do not know what those deaths are made up of?

Excess deaths is all causes which is it's greatest strength as a measure. It can't really be wrong unless doctors confuse the living and the dead this year but not in the last five years. The visible lump (maybe lumps plural now) on graph makes it clear something unusual is happening.

> Is the 70,000 just simply based on a notional number of deaths in any given year? Or is that adjusted for variations?

I think it's comparison with the average for the previous 5 years, basically the area in the graph between the red line and the darker grey line in image below. You can estimate the variations from pale grey region.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/1532F/production/_112813868_graph2-option1-uk_mortality_v_average09jun-nc.png

That's on old graph from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52976580.

> Are some people responding on here, saying that the notional expected number of deaths for this year, may have otherwise been higher anyway, if the trend of rising death numbers in the immediately preceding years are looked at?

See graph for visible lump compared to previous years which did not show such a lump.

> What is the significance of the number of 70,000? Is it that it is implied that most of the deaths are due directly to the Corona viral infection? Or this figure including people dying early because they did not get the usual protocols of treatment for other problems and diseases due to inability of hospitals to provide the normal services?

From memory 50,000 ish within 28 days of positive Covid test. 60,000 ish if you include Covid on death certificate. The 70,000 is overwhelmingly Covid unless it is a spike in other causes that doctors have decided to diagnose as Covid. Possible but not very plausible.

> What is the overall point of this figure of 70,000 being flagged up? Is it the implication that some Corona viral deaths are hidden from official view?

> The sequitur to the latter is presumably that possibly the government are not letting us have access to the proper figures. 

> Overall, is the point of the thread saying that the government has performed even worse than has previously been implied by some? If that is the case, then obviously we cannot go back and rerun the management of the pandemic situation in this country, but what is implied in how we should manage things differently from now on?

The policies for 50,000 deaths are the same for 70,000 deaths. The shape of the graphs for different measures are similar so it doesn't really matter which you use. The fact that the shapes are the same suggests to me that it is predominately* a single cause (Covid) rather than multiple causes with different timescales which would not grow like an infectious disease and would not respond to lockdown in the same way and same timescale as an infectious disease.

*emphasise predominately

> I can see that somewhere in all the management possibilities, there has to be a balance between health maintenance and keeping deaths lower, and that of trying to allow commerce and business run in order to avoid even more drastic matters of economy in the near future, and probably for another twenty years. Yet I cannot see what are the best objective methods of evaluating where that balance between the two may be. Those in power might argue that they are dammed if they do, and dammed if they don't do certain things.

I'm not sure if there is a balance between deaths and economy as excess deaths are disruptive.

"No sign of a health-economy trade-off, quite the opposite", see https://ourworldindata.org/covid-health-economy

Post edited at 12:02
 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> That's just cop out because I have challenged you. Again I have not made any assertions.  I have put forward information in order to glean a counter argument. That is neither an assertion nor an argument. If I attempted to research sources at every stage of the debate I wouldn't get anything written down.

But you'd be able to tell fact from fiction before writing, and save yourself from getting all snowflakey when people call you out on it......And you havent put any info out at all, just conjecture based on hearsay / rumour from unnamed sources.

Post edited at 12:07
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Cheers, I'd missed that link showing the mass data on the countries with the strongest protective response had the least economic damage. 

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

>  They don't believe what the science clearly shows: that they need to socially distance, wash hands regularly and wear masks in public indoors.

I don't disagree with most of what you say but surely those who thought that were in a small minority. At the time all I saw were empty streets both where I live and on TV. I had never seen anything like it in my 73 years. Things are busier now but as far as I can see, anecdotal I know, most people are adhering to those guidelines.

My concern is that the focus of attention was on the virus, understandable back in March, but now that evidence is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus is it not right to reassess? There appears to be a reluctance in some quarters to do so.

6
 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> >  They don't believe what the science clearly shows: that they need to socially distance, wash hands regularly and wear masks in public indoors.

> I don't disagree with most of what you say but surely those who thought that were in a small minority. At the time all I saw were empty streets both where I live and on TV. I had never seen anything like it in my 73 years. Things are busier now but as far as I can see, anecdotal I know, most people are adhering to those guidelines.

> My concern is that the focus of attention was on the virus, understandable back in March, but now that evidence is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus is it not right to reassess? There appears to be a reluctance in some quarters to do so.

What evidence? There is no suggestion that lockdown could lead to more deaths than covid that i have seen or heard (except for the usual covid deniers / anti mask types). Note lockdown / restrictions also reduce deaths due to flu......).

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

The one thing I do know is that trying to put across your thoughts on social media is very difficult.  If I WAS making an assertion I would think it appropriate to provide evidence and I would do so.  If I was presenting something as fact I would back it up. Perhaps my understanding of this climbing forum is wrong. I thought it was an informal, down the pub type of arguing with your mates sort of thing, not the Oxford debating society.  That would explain a lot, I may be out of my depth

3
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

There I go being careless with language yet again. Perhaps I should not have used the word evidence but rather information presented in the media.  The very media outlets you yourself recommended.

Post edited at 12:25
5
 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

I guess the question for me is why you come on here to discuss Covid when you find it such a negative experience?  I assume you joined to discuss aspects of the outdoors, such as rock climbing or hill walking?   

> It's becoming apparent to me that there is, on UKC, a small group of highly intelligent, well informed academics and scientists who all seem to hold similar views.  I'm resisting the temptation to call it a "cabal" but for the moment I can't think of another word.

I don't think that as a whole the scientists and academics on here are any smarter than the non-scientist and non-academics.  I've certainly never seen the "privilege" angle you are considering - and some of the opinions I have the most time for on UKC come from people who haven't done a degree or worked in science.  On the other hand, you might consider that if a bunch smart types used to evaluating data and evidence arrive at a similar view, "consensus" is a more appropriate word than "cabal".

 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

just copy and paste the page name to a post on here......You are saying that evidence is suggesting that lockdown could lead to more deaths than covid. Thats a pretty bold claim; and unless you want the conversation / debate to end with me just countering with "that bollocks, no it isnt", you are going to have to provide something to back up your statement.

 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> There I go being careless with language yet again. Perhaps I should not have used the word evidence but rather information presented in the media.  The very media outlets you yourself recommended.

Ok, whats the link to the information presented in the media? There is nothing i can see on a quick search, so please point me in the right direction.

And yes, you are being (extraordinarily) careless with language. Using words like evidence rather than the vaguer information until asked to back it up.......

Post edited at 12:32
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

No I totally respect the knowledge and the concensus.  It's the immediacy and tone of the response that suggests a cabal.  It's almost as if it's one person or a small group are sat around a screen just waiting to pounce on the slightest slip of the tongue or incorrect statement.

I enjoy the debate NOT the sarcasm and dismissal.

5
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

There is no scientific evidence or scientific likelihood of more deaths due to the current lockdown than covid deaths saved; that's political propaganda with no basis in science. At the start point of this lockdown hospitals in the worst hit areas were really struggling and had no damage free capacity for any increase in those seriously ill with covid and were cancelling operations vital for the health of those with other conditions.

The science and SAGE said this lockdown happened too slowly (the first lockdown was consistent with some on SAGE as early SAGE models proved to be inaccurately optimistic, based on old flu modelling). That's why SAGE proposed a circuit breaker lockdown in mid September. The government are politicians and faced strong political push back in their party. This has led to more unnecessary deaths and almost certainly more economic damage as the lockdown is longer and stricter than the SAGE proposed circuit breaker.

Science is a cabal of sorts... collective understanding based on well tested models and facts, defending this position against political and theological oppositions with dishonest agendas.

Post edited at 12:41
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

Come off it we are all guilty of being a little careless with language at times.  You were just a few posts up.

I haven't a clue how to link to a program that I watched on TV at some point in the distant past.

4
 elsewhere 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

There is a reluctance to reassess much on the basis of a TV you watched at some point in the distant past.

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

Turns out it's a bit easier than I thought.  A quick search found this:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200528-why-most-covid-19-deaths-wont-be-from-the-virus

I haven't had time to read it all but now I know how to do it.

2
 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> Come off it we are all guilty of being a little careless with language at times.  You were just a few posts up.

> I haven't a clue how to link to a program that I watched on TV at some point in the distant past.

It'll be on their websites. If its just something you saw a while ago on the tellybox, then as above, "bollocks, no there isn't".

Careless? Twice i've called you out, twice you've changed the meaning of your post significantly. I think you are possibly way out of your depth on here if you are trying to present "information" as evidence, and using cabal instead of consensus.

If you dont like peoples attitudes on here, its just as well you live down south and don't get involved in some of the genuine down the pub banter / robust debates we get involved in..........

you could, of course, just be a troll.

Post edited at 12:53
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

You will have to explain how I have changed the meaning of my posts. As far as I am aware all I have done is explain my position. Can you distinguish between the following sentences?

The sky is blue.  That's an assertion made in such manner that requires evidence to back it up.

I read a report that says the sky may be yellow. That's a comment intended to illicit a counter response.

To the best of my knowledge my posts have been in the form of the latter and not the former and because I was under the impression this was an informal chat environment not a scientific journal.

If I were a Troll I'm not sure I would have continued for so long or am I simply displaying my ignorance again. What I can't get my head around is why the whole discussion needs to be so confrontational.  If I've been confrontational I would have to say it was simply a defense mechanism coming into play and I apologise.

2
 Offwidth 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

I'd agree that in the third world covid protections could well kill more than lives saved. The middle classes protecting themselves at the expense of the poorest people in the world, who's lives are very precarious.

Some UK oncologists guestimated numbers of 60,000 extra deaths from delays to cancer services. These numbers are unproven and unlikely, and the delays are BECAUSE we let the pandemic get out of control in the UK. Such a level would be equivalent to 40% of annual cancer deaths (see the link below). Most cancer services have had nothing like the disruption required for such an increase. We have to be really careful with causes. Late diagnosis is often because people were afraid to get tested in hospitals dealing with an out of control pandemic. In countries who had tighter lockdowns, and no huge peak in infections, the cancer services didn't see such negative effects. We saw service delays because hospitals were under such pressure from covid hospitalisation they needed to adjust services and because  people were afraid to access services. Again, because our lockdown was too late, more than because of the lockdown.

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics-for-the-uk

 elsewhere 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> Turns out it's a bit easier than I thought.  A quick search found this:

"The current pandemic is likely to tip an extra 130 million people into near-starvation"

Looks like it's mostly about people in the third world being the most vulnerable to a global economic downturn.

Looks like saving lives (URL below) in the UK as a way of reducing UK economic disruption saves even more lives overseas. I'd never have thought of that as a Covid aspect of the global economy.

"No sign of a health-economy trade-off, quite the opposite", https://ourworldindata.org/covid-health-economy 

Post edited at 13:17
In reply to Offwidth:

Probably also worth noting that (as the article states) people not going for screening is not due to lockdown but due to fear of the virus (perhaps due to high community prevalence due to a lack of control measures)

In reply to wintertree:

> Between that and CEBMs blog outputs its astoundingly clear to me that academic standards and basic integrity are second fiddle to other concerns at Oxford University.

To be fair, there are also lot of extremely credible people working on the more practical aspects of C-19 at Oxford; John Bell, Sarah Gilbert and Andrew Pollard for a start.

 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> You will have to explain how I have changed the meaning of my posts. As far as I am aware all I have done is explain my position.

"but now that evidence is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus"

"information presented in the media is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus"".

that good enough for you?

Can you distinguish between the following sentences?

> The sky is blue.  That's an assertion made in such manner that requires evidence to back it up.

Nope, thats a statement of apparent fact that needs no evidence as anyone can look up and see a blue sky.

> I read a report that says the sky may be yellow. That's a comment intended to illicit a counter response.

Nope, that's a comment going against normally accepted wisdom that would need some back up to carry any weight. 

> To the best of my knowledge my posts have been in the form of the latter and not the former and because I was under the impression this was an informal chat environment not a scientific journal.

it is an informal chat environment, but we do like the occasional fact.

As previous post, if this was an informal chat around pubs frequented by climbers etc (think ODG, Wasdale Head Inn, New Inn), you'd have been absolutely ridiculed. You've got away lightly so far. See some of the threads over the last couple of years on brexit.......

> If I were a Troll I'm not sure I would have continued for so long or am I simply displaying my ignorance again. What I can't get my head around is why the whole discussion needs to be so confrontational.  If I've been confrontational I would have to say it was simply a defense mechanism coming into play and I apologise.

you haven't been confrontational per se, just massively defensive / snowflakey. more than one poster has explained why you have got a response more pithy than you perhaps expected. And up until the bbc future link, nothing you posted had any real merit - that changed it as that article raises some good discussion points. Progress!!

Post edited at 13:36
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to ebdon:

I agree but is that not because of the way it has been presented by the media?  Question mark for those of you who insist that I am making assertions and stating facts rather than simply making conversation in a questioning manner.

Here in Somerset, I think I'm correct in saying that the prevalence of the virus was extremely low, I know of several elderly couples who have not left their houses since March. Surely that's more to do with the media coverage influencing their perceptions than the actual figures.

Post edited at 13:37
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Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> "but now that evidence is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus"

> "information presented in the media is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus"".

> that good enough for you?

FFS I was conceding your point that my use of the word evidence was a mistake. I was attempting to clarify at your behest. You are misrepresenting what I said by quoting it out of context.

I will extend you the courtesy of putting this down to your misunderstanding but if it was done with malice in mind I'm afraid you are beyond the pale and should take a long hard look at your moral compass.

1
 JohnBson 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

I'm not a let rip person, however I don't believe the current measures are sustainable or healthy in the long run. Yes more will die from the virus, however many of these will only have a few unpleasant years shaved off the end of their long lives. Instead we are choosing to preserve their, newly found, expectation to live and consume longer than nature intended and this comes at a cost. The economic cost will be reduced living standards for the rest of our lives, this will in turn shorten our life expectancies to a far greater extent.

The debate has always been lives versus lives, not livelihoods and personally I'd spare the younger generation the cost of paying back yet another debt caused by piss poor management by the older ones whose charge sheet includes; crashing the economy recklessly in 2008, burning all the fossil fuels and ignoring the damage, pushing house prices sky high with buy to rent and refusing to build in their back yard, creating a work environment with greater time pressures than they ever faced while complaining if you need to take time off to go to a doctors appointment during their friday afternoon golf "meeting", occupying highly paid positions when they can't open a pdf, ruining our international institutions by negligence and corruption (UN/EU), voting for successive governments who have squandered our readiness to deal with pandemics or other disasters, turning a blind eye to human rights abuses by our own and thus removing our ability to challenge genocidal maniacs like china with moral authority.

6
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

I cant comment on the local news in Somerset but I think the commucation of the risk in national news that I have seen has been pretty good, in many areas with high prevalence your elderly neighbours would be pretty sensible to avoid leaving the house as if the catch it they will probably die!

1
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

OK. Bad analogy but you are missing the point.  You cannot take a comment at face value it has to be interpreted and presented in context.  There are subtle nuances of the English language which I think you are failing to appreciate.

With regard to being defensive, what would you prefer?  That I be as offensive as others? I am fighting the urge to give as good as I get by trying to remain civil. In balance being a snowflake is preferable to coming across as an arrogant F*ckwit with no empathy for others and their views.

Post edited at 14:05
2
 Blunderbuss 19 Nov 2020
In reply to JohnBson:

> I'm not a let rip person, however I don't believe the current measures are sustainable or healthy in the long run. Yes more will die from the virus, however many of these will only have a few unpleasant years shaved off the end of their long lives. Instead we are choosing to preserve their, newly found, expectation to live and consume longer than nature intended and this comes at a cost. The economic cost will be reduced living standards for the rest of our lives, this will in turn shorten our life expectancies to a far greater extent.

It's not about saving a few thousand old people who are at deaths door.....you have been told this before.

It's about stopping our health service being completely overwhelmed and if that happens watch YOUR life suffer as the economic and social consequences of this kick in...

If you don't believe current policy is the right course of action rather than just say 'its shit' come up with something else.........and please not the Great Barrington Declaration

1
 Ian W 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> FFS I was conceding your point that my use of the word evidence was a mistake. I was attempting to clarify at your behest. You are misrepresenting what I said by quoting it out of context.

> I will extend you the courtesy of putting this down to your misunderstanding but if it was done with malice in mind I'm afraid you are beyond the pale and should take a long hard look at your moral compass.

Dear god......

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> Dear god......

Agreed it's all getting a little tedious. I'm out.

Post edited at 14:47
2
 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> My concern is that the focus of attention was on the virus, understandable back in March, but now that evidence is suggesting that lock down could lead to more deaths than the virus is it not right to reassess? There appears to be a reluctance in some quarters to do so.

Jesus wept, how many times now. I've seen this explained and illustrated for you at least a dozen different ways. You wonder why people are rude, dismissive and suspicious of your motivation?

It's a false dichotomy: public health (protected by restrictions up to and including 'lockdown') and economic capacity (protected by* restrictions up to and including 'lockdown') are inextricably linked. An economy in which hundreds of thousands are dying of an infectious disease, where health services are swamped, staff decimated, it doesn't function properly, we don't behave anything like normally under those conditions. Most of the lockdown causes death arguments are actually poverty and inequality causes death, yes they do but they are in large part a choice we make. Also back to my earlier point, not locking down to protect services tears the arse out of our economy anyway.

*among other interventions like small business grants and furlough

Maybe you just don't believe that would happen, that it'd all somehow be fine. I don't really care. Unless you can explain very very clearly why you hold that contrarian view you're going to struggle to convince people.

What happens when covid gets out of control?

What happens to the infection fatality rate when hospitals are overwhelmed?

What happens to non-covid urgent care?

What happens at our border?

What does that do to our industry and food security?

How do people behave when a very significant fraction of the population is sick and infectious?

What happens to the price of borrowing if we step massively out of line with our peers who are broadly all in the same boat taking the same journey.

What happens to our politics if the ruling party sacrifices maybe a million of us, mostly from their core demographic?

How do you provide care for the vulnerable when medics and carers are sick and testing services overwhelmed?

How do you staff schools?

How does not controlling covid actually work?

I know, I know, you're just asking, repeating something you heard etc etc

jk

 Stichtplate 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

>  It's becoming apparent to me that there is, on UKC, a small group of highly intelligent, well informed academics and scientists who all seem to hold similar views.  I'm resisting the temptation to call it a "cabal" but for the moment I can't think of another word.

You've got completely the wrong end of the stick Joe.

Globally, there's a small group of highly opinionated, badly informed non-academic and non-scientists who all hold similar views. I'm resisting the temptation to characterise as "Covid, bollocks innit" but for the moment I can't think of a better characterisation.

The megaphone of social media has given such people the power to spread misinformation and endanger peoples lives. Sorry if you feel hard done by but them's the facts.

 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to JohnBson:

> I'm not a let rip person, however I don't believe the current measures are sustainable or healthy in the long run.

Of course they're not. There is however much cause for hope (more today too from AZ/Oxford) they won't be needed long run. They *are* needed right now.

> The debate has always been lives versus lives, not livelihoods and personally I'd spare the younger generation the cost of paying back yet another debt caused by piss poor management...

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-health-economy

Your opinion doesn't seem well supported by the evidence. Taking covid seriously protects people and the economy. This should come as no surprise, people, their skills knowledge and industry are our most valuable asset.

jk

Post edited at 15:16
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

No it's simply that I appear to have got the wrong end of the stick with regard to what the forum is about.  I've learnt my lesson.  I'm too old and far too sensitive to participate in such robust discussions about subjects that I have very little knowledge of in an environment that I am not familiar with so I will not be participating any more. 

In order that I can go out with a roar rather than a whimper I leave you with this:  A lot of you have a lot to learn about empathy and friendliness.  Your understanding of the nuances of the English language also leaves a lot to be desired. You really are the epitome of privileged, middle class, arrogance and poor general education. You may be masters of your subject but in all other matters you are sadly lacking.

Perhaps you could advise me how to de-register? I want nothing more to do with this dreadful site nor the unpleasant characters on it and I do not want it holding any of my details. I make no bones about the fact that I feel I have been bullied into this decision and I would like the administrators to know this.

5
 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

I reported your post for you so the mods are aware you'd like your account deleted, I guess they'll be in touch.

Farewell, I hope you find somewhere you feel a better fit, jk

 Stichtplate 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> No it's simply that I appear to have got the wrong end of the stick with regard to what the forum is about.  I've learnt my lesson.  I'm too old and far too sensitive to participate in such robust discussions about subjects that I have very little knowledge of in an environment that I am not familiar with so I will not be participating any more. 

Perhaps repeatedly challenging the views of people who are well informed isn't the best strategy when you state you have very little knowledge of the matter at hand. Bit surprised you've reached 73 without grasping this.

> In order that I can go out with a roar rather than a whimper I leave you with this:  A lot of you have a lot to learn about empathy and friendliness.  Your understanding of the nuances of the English language also leaves a lot to be desired. You really are the epitome of privileged, middle class, arrogance and poor general education. You may be masters of your subject but in all other matters you are sadly lacking.

Why thank you very much. As an unprivileged, working class, ex-council house dwelling pleb, I'm rather surprised at this characterisation, especially the "poor general education" bit when just up thread you were playing the "poor me, I didn't go to Uni and you're all university educated academics" card.

> Perhaps you could advise me how to de-register? I want nothing more to do with this dreadful site nor the unpleasant characters on it and I do not want it holding any of my details. I make no bones about the fact that I feel I have been bullied into this decision and I would like the administrators to know this.

No need to deregister, if you don't like what you find on the forums, don't bother with them. I take a similar line with the Daily Mail, RT and Mrs Brown's Boys. Works a treat.

 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> I want nothing more to do with this dreadful site nor the unpleasant characters on it and I do not want it holding any of my details. I make no bones about the fact that I feel I have been bullied into this decision and I would like the administrators to know this.

You made no bones about using the phrase "vile and contemptible" to judge another poster the other day, who had said nothing to or about you.  Happy to give out abuse but not happy to be challenged when bandying about threadbare misrepresentations and absent claims of "evidence"?

1
 Blunderbuss 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

You haven't been bullied into anything....looks to me more like you chucking your toys out of the pram when the discussion didn't go the way you wanted. 

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Are you seriously suggesting that wishing physical or mental harm on another human being is acceptable?

In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

I’ve just re-read all your posts and replies on this thread. You have been robustly challenged, I would not say bullied. You actually chose not to engage in discussion with some replies - like mine. And you did come out with some stuff that I would say is unfounded and not only goes against what I believe are trusted sources but goes against what I have been seeing with my own eyes. 
I suggest you take a breather and stay on this site. I sense you are not familiar with social media etc?  This site is by far the most informative I’ve used. And, on average, is very friendly (some folk do have strong opinions which they present in a very assertive/forceful manner, which I believe is understandable given the serious nature of covid etc).

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

I don't mind being challenged that's the whole point but I don't always like the manner of the challenging. I thoroughly dislike being misrepresented by either being taken out of context or misquoted.  And I dislike it even more when it becomes personal. I'm not just talking about this specific post by the way. I'm willing accept that I am perhaps being overly sensitive but I'm simply not used to being treated with so little respect.

I apologise for not responding to your post but when you feel as though everyone is against you it's hard to keep track and I have to say many points that I make are followed by silence so it's not just me.

Post edited at 16:04
 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> Are you seriously suggesting that wishing physical or mental harm on another human being is acceptable?

I'm saying that you are pretty liberal with your judgement as applied to others and with the language you use for someone who is so unable to take a much more constructive and less personal set of responses on this thread.

I have given no view of any sort on the subject of that other thread.  

1
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Interesting that you suggest prevalence in Somerset is low, it is around the national average and rising quickly. North Somerset is 304/100,000, compared to 223 as a national average. Whilst other areas a lower, none are below 100/100,000.

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Yes I regret posting that in that manner although I still believe the sentiment to be true.

2
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

I was commenting on the situation at a certain point in time not the current situation.

Post edited at 16:16
4
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> I was commenting on the situation at a certain point in time not the current situation.

Taking North Somerset as an example and looking at the Covid deaths that they have experienced since March, they look to be slightly above the national average. Up to the end of October it stood at 735/1,000,000 compared to 705/1,000,000 nationally for the same period.

Post edited at 16:28
 Stichtplate 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> I'm willing accept that I am perhaps being overly sensitive but I'm simply not used to being treated with so little respect.

You've misunderstood the nature of social media. Unless people you know personally have been insulting you on here, you've received no disrespect. 

A few lines of text, summarising your opinions and ejected across the internet isn't 'you'. It's just a few lines of text and any respect or disrespect is aimed entirely at that text and judged on the content of that text. 

it's as simple as that.

Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

I agree which is why I've decided it's not the environment for me, I've taken things far too personally. There is no denying I leave feeling bruised and battered though.  Perhaps I will rejoin at some point and stick to stuff I know about i.e. climbing   It is after all the main focus of the forum.

 Stichtplate 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

> I agree which is why I've decided it's not the environment for me, I've taken things far too personally. There is no denying I leave feeling bruised and battered though.  Perhaps I will rejoin at some point and stick to stuff I know about i.e. climbing   It is after all the main focus of the forum.

Please think about sticking around, just recalibrate slightly to take into account that the medium is impersonal and really, really bad at conveying nuance. Essential misunderstandings are common currency on here.

More importantly, dissent and challenge are always welcome as without it the forums would just be a tedious round of mutual back slapping. Crack on, it's pretty good fun once you start rolling with the punches.

Edit: Just to add, without the often protracted argument and counter argument we often see on here, it wouldn't be half as detailed and informative as people marshal their facts and figures to champion their position. The breadth and depth of knowledge and experience of UKCs posters is pretty special and level of discussion far higher when compared with the couple of Facebook debating forums I've dipped my toe in (and then fled!). 

Post edited at 16:54
Bilbo Baggins 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

I can't.  I'm getting used to the fact that at 73 my opinions are no longer of much importance.  Comments on Brexit made that clear when some subscribers specifically hinted that we were too old to count as we would not be around to suffer the consequences.  Not of course without an element of truth but nasty none the less. Well that is also true of this pandemic. It's the ones not considering the economy and being unpleasant that will be picking up the future bill so why should I care. If anything I should be on the side that's ALL covid and to hell with the future economy at my age.  Oh the irony

Post edited at 17:06
4
 Blunderbuss 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Who is not considering the economy?

The fact you think some people on this thread think this suggests you haven't understood the point put to you that controlling the epidemic actually protects the economy... 

In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

Why DO Brexit and Let it Rip seem to go together?

1
 Blunderbuss 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Why DO Brexit and Let it Rip seem to go together?

Both are based on delusions and not facts...

1
 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> To be fair, there are also lot of extremely credible people working on the more practical aspects of C-19 at Oxford; John Bell, Sarah Gilbert and Andrew Pollard for a start.

Yes - I agree entirely.  But their presence doesn’t detract from the free reign others are given by the institution to make an altogether different kind of contribution; it’s not the amazing departments and researchers I take umbrage with (I have worked with some on cutting edge imaging elsewhere within Oxford) but the institutional attitude to others.  

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Your post is exactly the kind of thing I imagine Jacob Rees-Mogg would have said. When he was about 11 years old.

> How do you control a rip?

> Two fold, firstly let those most at risk shelter

So, what we're already doing - that's not a suggestion, it's the status quo, and we can see from the rising death toll that it doesn't work, even when the virus is being controlled. You've only written this to make it sound like you've made some consideration of the fact that people dying is bad, but you then fail to come up with any idea of how to address it. Bad start.

> People can largely control it themselves...All that needs to be maintained is that firewall between the two groups which is why none of them have been to visit recently. 

"All" that needs to maintained? What firewall? Have you got any idea how a virus is transmitted? If granny doesn't see grandson, that reduces the risk of granny catching covid from grandson. It's not a firewall - she needs to also no see any other person of any age who's in contact with the outside world where the virus is rife. You're talking absolute nonsense - the vulnerable either total isolate (in what kind of facility?), or they're at high risk because anyone they see might have covid. Not seeing your grandchildren isn't a "firewall".

> Now inevitably some older people can not keep away from youger people, those with carers or those in homes. Those with carers or other outside assistance will need to decide if the care is vital enough to take the risk or if they can manage without or make other arrangements. 

So that's everyone who can't completely isolate. "Make other arrangements" - what? You're just talking out of your arse. People don't have care they don't really need, they have care to feed and clothe themselves. You haven't made any sensible suggestions.

> Those in care homes unfortunately I think we as a population simply have to accept in this crisis they are expendable

So imagine you work in the care sector. You're the one that brings covid in, and almost all the residents die. What are you going to do then? Who's going to work in care homes after the pandemic when the whole sector has been dealing with dead bodies for months on end? The people doing it now aren't going to carry on after what they go through. The care sector is just one of many activities we need to keep society running, and covid has potential to destroy it.

> The second element is switching the NHS from a "try and treat everyone for everything all the time" mode to a prioritised service where normal day to day things are largely maintained but covid cases will only be treated up to capacity (which can be extended with nightingale hospitals etc) once that is nearing capacity then covid cases are only taken on a priority bases, of you're over say 75 or 80  then take one for the team

So, are you going to announce that policy, or just try to get away with it without anyone finding out? Do you think the public will support it? As soon as it becomes known that elderly people are being denied care, people are going to start complaining. And when I say complaining, I mean they're going to demand that the pandemic is brought under control and the democratic process will kick in. We can all see that every other civilised country is controlling the pandemic with restrictions.

The good thing is that other people don't share your disgusting values. You're basically on your own as the biggest arsehole around. Once they see society starting to fall apart, normal people won't think "I'm alright, Jack" like you; they'll say "we've paid our taxes for an NHS that's there for everyone, and every other government is protecting its population". A lot of noise will be made when people lose loved ones denied care because the government as lost control of the pandemic and MPs will force a change of policy. 

In a democracy, there has to be some agreement to the policies we live under, and your ideas won't be supported, because people care more about their parents being alive than a  differential in the future prosperity of their children.

> I rather that than being full of tubes having been forced alive to the very end in a ward where you're just another notch of the covid totaliser. 

That's an insult to the medical profession. Do you honestly think that doctors don't have to make their best possible judgement about when treatment is not worth it every day of their lives?

> And yes there isn't going to be no disruption, some staff will get ill but in a herd immunity scenario having covid with symptoms mild enough to continue working is a good thing, faster it's spread to your colleagues the sooners they are immune and your staff are largely safe. Yes some will be off sick who get it worse and yes it'll cause some mild disruption

But you need to try thinking about the way society actually works. Your work might not make any worthwhile social contribution, but an awful lot of people's work forms a complex network of interdependencies. Teachers look after kids so parents can work. Funeral directors bury people so they don't have a dead body in their house. People make food and bring it to market. If your parents are dying at home because they've been denied NHS care, do you still go to work? No. Count up all the disruption as people get sick, and have to care for sick loved ones, and go to funerals, and grieve. They won't just carry on shopping FFS.

Let the pandemic get out of control and you'll that dense network of interdependencies which are completely unaware even exists start to unravel. What happens then? How does the food get to the shops, who drives the bus, where do the kids go when the school is shut? 

You are absolutely stupid in thinking that a pandemic out of control would cause "mild disruption". Do you honestly believe that Boris Johnson's government is wrecking the economy with restrictions when the alternative is "mild disruption"? It's a ridiculous thing to believe, you'd have to be a complete moron to think that. If Johnson was on the back benches, he'd be one of the anti-lockdown bell-ends. But he isn't, he's actually seen the briefing papers and knows what would happen without lockdowns - he'd be toast as he presided over a country descending into chaos. That's why we've got the restrictions, you fool.

> As for cost, no option is free of course but some disruption to industry has to be better than complete shutdowns. Mean yes it would have been messy for 6 months or so but by now it would have all been over and we'd be living normally again.

What utter nonsense. We'd never get to that point because as soon as society started to unravel as the NHS failed, we'd just be forced into a massive hard lockdown (would probably require troops on the streets at that point). People don't just let each other die because they believe that we all just put up with losing parents and friends for a few months then our kids won't have to go without a new iphone. That's your shitty values, and the rest of us don't share them. 

> Instead we are looking at 20% of the people who would have died anyway dead and facing a second lockdown then almost inevitably a third or at least significant restrictions early next year. Then the real pain begins, massive debt, tax rises, inflation.

You're right that the pandemic has been economically devastating, but you're completely wrong in believing in an alternative. Your alternative is make-believe on a foundation of materialist, selfish values that are wholly rejected by the rest of society, except the Telegraph reading bell-ends. If you want to find people who share your views, maybe head over the pond and try a Trump rally? We'll miss you.

In reply to wintertree:

> Yes - I agree entirely.  But their presence doesn’t detract from the free reign others are given by the institution to make an altogether different kind of contribution; it’s not the amazing departments and researchers I take umbrage with (I have worked with some on cutting edge imaging elsewhere within Oxford) but the institutional attitude to others.  

Which institution though?  Department?  College?  I'm not sure who at 'the University' could do anything, at least officially.  Anyway, we don't know that something isn't being done.

 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Which institution though?  Department?  College? 

My understanding is that the academic departments do not have separate legal identities unlike the colleges, so central senior management has oversight of the departments.  I would certainly hope that two different departments would have taken some degree of action by now.

> I'm not sure who at 'the University' could do anything, at least officially. 

Various lawsuits suggest dismissals at the department level are challenged against the university.  

Colleges are a different matter; but I’m more concerned about the damage done to the reputation of academia and the public trust in academics.

> Anyway, we don't know that something isn't being done.

Bit slow off the bat if it is.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next 6 months.  An organisation can’t let this sort of thing continue carte blanch without raising serious questions.  

One of the reasons I’m skeptical at the lack of obvious action in 6 months is how fast universities move against an academic who publicly criticises senior management; I don’t know if that happens at Oxford as readily as elsewhere; perhaps it doesn’t.

Post edited at 19:55
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> People don't just let each other die because they believe that we all just put up with losing parents and friends for a few months then our kids won't have to go without a new iphone. That's your shitty values, and the rest of us don't share them.

<Applause>

 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Ridge:

Jon has really found his calling in responding to the “let it rip” brigade.  Some excellent writing and always totally on point.

[Justin Hayward singing voice] Yet still they come.

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In reply to wintertree: 

> One of the reasons I’m skeptical at the lack of obvious action in 6 months is how fast universities move against an academic who publicly criticises senior management; I don’t know if that happens at Oxford as readily as elsewhere; perhaps it doesn’t.

I'd have thought the most obvious sanction against someone who had conspicuously gone off the rails would be that their research funding would dry up and their chances of getting another step up the academic ladder would evaporate. 

I was only ever a lowly postdoc at Oxford (ironically just down the corridor from the then newly-established Evidence-Based Medicine group)  but I expect if I'd gone to the media with something that brought the department into disrepute, then first my direct boss, and then the head of department would have had a word.  More seriously, I suspect the Wellcome Trust, who were funding me, would have been unimpressed.

What you do with a tenured Professor and/or head of department, I'm not sure.  Losing your college fellowship would probably be the biggest blow to the ego, but there is this thing about academic freedom, which is still taken pretty seriously, where it's a matter of opinion or interpretation.   

 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Both are based on delusions and not facts...

And the officer class trained in the same school.

Jk

 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Do say what you're thinking Jon, I feel you're holding back

Every time I think I start to understand people there's another sociopath puts me right back to WTF.

Jk

Post edited at 20:27
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 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I'd have thought the most obvious sanction against someone who had conspicuously gone off the rails would be that their research funding would dry up and their chances of getting another step up the academic ladder would evaporate. 

I think that's likely to be the case for one party in this, although the other continues to provide a useful service.  

You're right about academic freedom and I think the importance of that can't be understated in the current climate.  It's why I'm so annoyed to see some groups/people pushing their academic freedom well past the limits of academia and in to clear politics, as the fallout from this may not be contained to just them.  Or, as noted elsewhere over the lack of air time given to the NAO comments on the PPE purchasing it may not get mentioned at all because a couple of celebrities are arguing on twitter.

> What you do with a tenured Professor

Sometimes you can sit back and wait for the inevitable office search by the plainclothesman followed by a swift exit never to be seen again.  Otherwise, my limited experience suggests that central authorities will only act when the net consequences threaten their reputation and/or ability to raise funding.  I would encourage a moment of reading about the £150 m from Stephen Schwarzman and his background.  

In once case, I would happily sit down with the professor and remind them of standard practices over disclosure statements and potential conflicts of interest, and suggest they publish one retrospectively over Barrington - this would put a stop to the "smears" over which they are playing the victim card as then there would be no supposition, only facts.

I have been contemplating putting together a crowd sourced peer review of various CEBM blog posts and outputs from Gupta under my own identity (not Wintertree) - I hope a good selection of experts would contribute.   Would it invoke fire from the sky?  It would be an interesting project.

In reply to wintertree:

> I have been contemplating putting together a crowd sourced peer review of various CEBM blog posts and outputs from Gupta under my own identity (not Wintertree) - I hope a good selection of experts would contribute.   Would it invoke fire from the sky?  It would be an interesting project.

I would love to see this happen.

 wintertree 19 Nov 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> I would love to see this happen.

The project or the bit where fire from the sky leaves me as a pair of smoking boots?

I’ll consult with a couple of colleagues and see.  I’ve effectively peer reviewed 2 CEBM covid blog pieces on here now with input from others and the were both atrocious using either no science or very bad science to interpret the data they showed and to link it to their narrative.  My maths isn’t up to the task of peer reviewing theoretical epedimilgoy though, I just can’t divide two numbers to bias my case.

 Lord_ash2000 20 Nov 2020
In reply to NorthernGrit:

> If you consider financial woes to be real pain and illness and death not, I'm concerned your perspective on life has gone seriously awry!

Has it? Would you rather your gran live to 82 or for your gran to live until 83 but you and your family go bankrupt? It's all very well talking about lives but what we're really doing is stunting a generations life prospects so that a percentage of people in their 80's can get in an extra year or two in before the next illness in line takes them.  

If you consider that value for money then great but I don't. Unfortunately we'll find out too because that is what we're doing by the looks of it. I read something today saying it's cost us 11% of GDP so about 200 billion plus another 200billion+ borrowed by the government with borrowing set to stay higher than usual until at least 2024 as a result of covid. That's something in the region of at least £1.25 million pounds per life saved.  

And it's us who'll be left with the bill, even Sunak is saying it's going to get "scary". 

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 Stuart William 20 Nov 2020
In reply to veteye:

Wintertree covered it really, but yup, the point of the thread was just that the claims from some that this would be a normal year overall in terms of death rate have (predictably) not come true. Seeing that news article reminded me of those assertions from earlier in the year. I didn’t have a wider point about government handling of the pandemic, and there is no significance to the specific number of 70k.

Post edited at 00:36
 Stuart William 20 Nov 2020
In reply to JohnBson:

> I'm not a let rip person, however I don't believe the current measures are sustainable or healthy in the long run. Yes more will die from the virus, however many of these will only have a few unpleasant years shaved off the end of their long lives. Instead we are choosing to preserve their, newly found, expectation to live and consume longer than nature intended and this comes at a cost. The economic cost will be reduced living standards for the rest of our lives, this will in turn shorten our life expectancies to a far greater extent.

Given your concern about people living longer than nature intended I assume you never have, nor ever intend to, seek any form of medical assistance whatsoever?

> The debate has always been lives versus lives, not livelihoods and personally I'd spare the younger generation the cost of paying back yet another debt caused by piss poor management by the older ones whose charge sheet includes; crashing the economy recklessly in 2008, burning all the fossil fuels and ignoring ...

Right. So your point is that you think they deserve an early death? Wonderful.  Thankfully medical staff don’t decide that entire generations of people deserve death based on a stereotype. They treat whoever turns up in need, and will continue to do so as best they can. In return this does convey upon the rest of society some responsibility to not sacrifice those staff and knowingly allow the healthcare sector to crash and burn. 

Post edited at 01:06
1
In reply to wintertree:

I'm all for a bit of fire reining down, but ideally on those who deserve it. Which probably isn't you.

 Stichtplate 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Has it? Would you rather your gran live to 82 or for your gran to live until 83 but you and your family go bankrupt?

So every family with a Gran is about to go bankrupt unless we let rip? Ignoring the hysterics and hyperbole, the real question is are you prepared to risk financial hardship to treat our elderly with respect and dignity? What's more valuable to you, a few extra grand in the bank or a few more years with your parents? 

>It's all very well talking about lives but what we're really doing is stunting a generations life prospects so that a percentage of people in their 80's can get in an extra year or two in before the next illness in line takes them.  

If you're raising your kids to believe money is more important than the lives of your loved ones, you're stunting far more important things than their finances.

And yet again, despite multiple posters pointing it out to you in multiple different ways, once the NHS is swamped there's no beds and no treatment for anyone, not just the Granny you couldn't give a shit about.

1
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Yes, it’s going to be very expensive. The economic impact of this will be felt for a generation, and it will probably hasten the decline of the west and bring forward the time China becomes the dominant global superpower. 
 

all of which adds to the culpability of the recent Tory administrations for their grossly inadequate pandemic planning. 
 

but, despite the likely reality of what comes to pass in your preferred scenario being clearly spelled out to you, you’re doubling down on the ‘won’t someone think of our wallets...!” fallacy. as if people trundle off to Primark to get a couple of t shirts, and swing by Starbucks for a pumpkin spiced latte when hospitals are overrun, and public services, transport, schools, delivery drivers have stopped because of staff sickness and fear.
 

which bit of The Great Bog Roll Panic of spring 2020 gave you the impression that we would in any way cope with the actual collapse of our Healthcare and food distribution systems? 

 RobAJones 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

You still haven't costed your controlled rip plan?

> Has it? Would you rather your gran live to 82 or for your gran to live until 83 but you and your family go bankrupt? It's all very well talking about lives but what we're really doing is stunting a generations life prospects so that a percentage of people in their 80's can get in an extra year or two in before the next illness in line takes them.  

Perhaps, rather than making the family bankrupt, on a national level those people most affected by covid are able to pay for it

"median inheritance for those born in the 1980s is estimated to be £136,000, compared to £107,000 for those born in the 1970s and £66,000 for those born in the 1960s. This represents a more than doubling in the size of inheritances, at a time when incomes have barely risen for young adults compared to previous generations."

Post edited at 09:29
 wintertree 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I disagree.  I was going to write more about it but I haven't changed my view in 9 months...

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/corona_virus_-_the_exit_plan-717967?v=1#x9171828

As far as I am concerned the approach proposed by you and other poster basically amounts to turning a blind eye to eugenics.  Only, it won't be a blind eye as the consequences will be worse for society than what we are doing now.

if you want smaller economic consequences I suggest you look at things we've known would help for 9 months now - like a functioning test and trace system.  That should not be beyond the wit of man, yet it's essentially pissing in to the wind right now.  Fix that and we can open up way more socially and economically without problems.

I also haven't changed what I've been saying there for 9 months.  All the yammer, noise and distraction from what amounts to the eugenics brigade does is distract attention from measures within our control that could make things better, and the total shitshow that's going on as the chumocracy tries to implement them.

 Offwidth 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

You're misrepresenting him. He said he won't let those dying of covid into hospital when things rip. Its a selective cull of the old and those with underlying health conditions forced on us by circumstances for the benefit of the healthy. The unsaid part is the same economic arguments would apply to expensive treatments for very ill people in normal times. Its  Eugenics 101.

Post edited at 09:40
 neilh 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Yep its going to be expensive.

Expensive for every country ,not just the UK.Just look at the billions being spent in the USA and Western Europe. Its not really a particularly unique issue to the UK in that respect.

Fortunately interest rates are low and there is a global system that seems to function reasonably well in financing all this.

Maybe count your lucky stars that you are not in South Africa or Brazil or India or Russia.Count your lucky stars that the science has come up with vaccines pretty quickly.

 wintertree 20 Nov 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Count your lucky stars that the science has come up with vaccines pretty quickly.

Hard to over-state that one.  It’s not so much luck that science delivered but luck that the virus came along at a time science had so many ways to tackle the problem.  If this had happened 25 years ago I think things would be looking very different a year in to how they look for us today.

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Has it? Would you rather your gran live to 82 or for your gran to live until 83 but you and your family go bankrupt? It's all very well talking about lives but what we're really doing is stunting a generations life prospects so that a percentage of people in their 80's can get in an extra year or two in before the next illness in line takes them.  

You think covid only affects people in their 80s and everyone else is safe? That's what your basing your bullshit position on. It's incorrect. You don't understand what the pandemic is. You're pretending that the pandemic isn't a problem that would cause total mayhem which would be far more damaging to everyone's lives than the atrocious recession we're going to have to deal with. You don't get it. Learn. 

 RobAJones 20 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I remember listening to someone on the Oxford team back in July/August. They said, at the time,  everything was going as well as it could be expected. Their prediction was, it would be the end of October before the phase 3 trials were complete, in their experience there was a 20-25% chance of it being effective, there were 6 other programs at a similar stage, so a good chance at least one would work.

Even the delay in results, presumably due to lower infection rates than predicted, could be argued to be positive. But 2 from 2 ( possibly 3 from 3) is impressive stuff.

 jkarran 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Has it? Would you rather your gran live to 82 or for your gran to live until 83 but you and your family go bankrupt? It's all very well talking about lives but what we're really doing is stunting a generations life prospects so that a percentage of people in their 80's can get in an extra year or two in before the next illness in line takes them.  

Are you actively avoiding the rebuttals of what passes for your plan or don't you understand them?

> And it's us who'll be left with the bill, even Sunak is saying it's going to get "scary". 

Yet he keeps on borrowing. Maybe ask him to describe the alternative for you in an equally pithy single word. Fu*ked, maybe?

jk

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Has it? Would you rather your gran live to 82 or for your gran to live until 83 but you and your family go bankrupt? It's all very well talking about lives but what we're really doing is stunting a generations life prospects so that a percentage of people in their 80's can get in an extra year or two in before the next illness in line takes them. 

Average life expectancy at 82 is about 8.5 years (8 for men, 9 for women). An 82 year old that contracts COVID has around an 85% chance of survival, if they have access to medical services. On average, this 82 year old that contracts COVID and is saved by medical intervention, won't die within 12 months of something else, on average they will have another eight or so years with their families.

The current restrictions are not about saving every life, they are about keeping hospital cases to a manageable level until we have a decent level of protection via vaccination.

Why would saving granny bankrupt the family? The simple fact is "letting it rip" will do far more economic damage than lockdowns and other restrictions. There is lots of data out there showing that the economies that have had the strictest COVID restrictions have seen the greatest economic recovery. Also, we are a sovereign, fiat economy, certainly in the short term, we can create money to meet the cost of restrictions. It has been done before, without inflationary implications and doing it whilst other large economies are doing similar things, is exactly the right time to do it. This is exactly what the US CARES Act is.

In short, you want the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, based upon the ignorant belief that it might save you a few quid. 

 Blunderbuss 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I have read a lot from those who think letting it rip is the best option but invariably they seem to think the NHS would cope (which of course is nonsense).....you must be the first person who actually admits it would collapse but doesn't care as it'd be worth 'taking the hit'.

Your views are quite simply abhorrent...

 RobAJones 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> I have read a lot from those who think letting it rip is the best option but invariably they seem to think the NHS would cope

I don't think they all believe this. Some of them are confident that they can insulate themselves from this, isolating with paid live in staff, private health care and worst case flying to another country for treatment.

In reply to Jon Stewart:

Keep going Jon, I know it's difficult to keep on replying to these people who just don't (or won't) get it, but you're doing a good job (and conveying sense much more eloquently than a lot of us could).

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