UKH

Friday Night Night Covid Plotting & Orchid Appreciation #37

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 wintertree 31 Jul 2021

There’s something very ground hog day about these threads lately; I’ve said before that the spread of the virus can seem fractal in nature, the same thing is happening with the appearance of deja vu over aspects of the pandemic.

After a promising start on orchids last week, I’ve not found any more so I’ve attached a photo from ,my week away instead - who can identify the general and specific location?  Fantastic to get away and get swimming in the sea again.

The next post is a long rambling take on what’s been happening in England, as with last week you might prefer to skip over it to the usual plots.

Link to previous thread and continuation:
https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/friday_night_covid_plotting_36-737358
https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/fncp_36_cont-737539


1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

So, what’s going on with the growth / decay rate on English cases?

At the start off last week’s thread we had two stand-out high days on the cases rate constant plot 4-5 days downstream of the euros finale match.

  • I reckoned these were directly related to transmission from people watching the football (gathered around TVs in pubs and at home, lots of enthusiastic talking and shouting?)
    • Cases then started to go in to freefall
    • I noted that we’d expect particularly strong falls by the week-on-week method 7 days downstream of the two stand-out day,s as an artefact of their high values (“the unusual concentration of the football spike […] will probably cause a high-then-low pattern over 7 days… ) and indeed we see the two standout days of fastest decay are 7 days downstream of those, now annotated on the plot A (below) in the same way as bank holiday anomalies.  These are like the lashback from a one-off event rather than a sign that infections want to be falling that fast, for want of a better way of putting it.
  • Still, daily case numbers and their exponential rates fell of a cliff after the finale in a way I really wasn't expecting.  I think the way a I had been viewing the situation in the last month was inverted.  
    • Scotland appears to have reached the level of immunity needed to set cases in to decay for their then level of restrictions about a 3 weeks ago in the data, and cases have been in decay since - their "herd immunity threshold".
    • On the thread the approach was  "Why is Scotland falling when their immunity levels (by survey or inferred from deaths) are lower than England" in a sort of "what are we missing about Scotland" sense.
    • Perhaps the better question would have been "Why is England not falling when it's closer to immunity than Scotland"  in a "what are we missing about England" sense.
    • Same questions in a logical sense but very different framing devices.  To me this shows how strongly mindset affects how people think about data - something like the Einstein / vase inversion - and how there’s much more to this than just the data.  Also how much easier it is to seem wise in retrospect...
  • So, what was I missing about cases in England?
    • Retrospectively: looking at the gender bias in demographic cases as well as the demographic cases (plots below) it looks to me like the football was slowly building as a contributor to the exponential rate constant (or R if you like) over a month or so, and that this was adding to the exponential rate constant at the same time the approach and passing of what would otherwise have been the herd immunity threshold was subtracting from it. 
    • Then, which the football literally switched off overnight, rate constants plummeted from there.  I think the timing of the heatwave perhaps contributed as well
  • Now we're seeing the effects of freedom day kick in ...
    • The rate constant is rising away from decay towards growth (even discounting the deceptive lows 7 days after the football spikes)
    • As Si dH noted on the continuation of the previous thread what was provisional data and is now on the leading edge of my plot 6's is showing a return to rising in some English regions; since he said that the data has firmed up and looks like definite rising. 
    • Still - no earth shattering ka-boom from Freedom Day which would have surprised me immensely a couple of weeks ago but in retrospect of thoughts about the football is a bit more believable - we’ve traded one source of transmission for another, against a background of very high and rising immunity.

The one consolation to not figuring out the extent of the football effect in advance is I don't think SAGE did either given the press interviews with Neil Ferugson sofenting us up for 200,000 cases/day .... Eg [1].   Going for Freedom Day as-was still feels to me incredibly incautious in the context of what the data was doing and the relative confusion and lack of understanding at the time.  But hey, it’s working out a lot better than reasonably expected by everyone, and ultimately all’s well that ends well…. We’re nowhere near the end, but I’ll take all the unexpectedly positive developments I can get.

200,000 cases/day cases could still happen but it feels very unlikely given where immunity levels must now be and how gentle the rebound from "Freedom day" is. Looking to Scotland, their rate constant is starting to look like it's heading for growth 9-10 days after their less drastic "Level 0 day”.  “Herd immunity” is a fluid concept and I expect things are going to rattle around for some time.  I’ll waffle a bit more on that in a later post.

What makes me so sure about the football?  The gradual rise in the ratio of male:total cases then sudden collapse after the finale.  Plots C & D below.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/18/uk-covid-cases-could-hit-200000-a-day-says-neil-ferguson-scientist-behind-lockdown-strategy-england

Post edited at 21:03

1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The English plots…

  • Cases look to have bottomed out in the last few days and turned ti rising again, as Si dH predicted from the provisional windows a couple of days ago.
    • This isn’t showing in the rate constant plots because they use a larger time window and these recently rising values still represent a fall week-on-week etc.  
    • The effects of “freedom day” seem to have landed later than I expected; perhaps different sub-populations had falling cases (football) and rising cases (night club visitors etc) and there was some masking, or perhaps it was something else.  It increasingly feels like digital tea leaves trying to ascribe reasons to stuff as the government dashboard data doesn’t capture any of the increasing complexity around vaccination etc.
  • Admissions to hospital are slowing towards a turning point as we’d expect following the decay in cases
    • If cases are now turning to rise as seems likely we probably won’t see a correspondingly deep valley in admissions between rising phases,, as the variable time from case to admission blurs out sharp structure from the cases data.
  • The exponential rate of increase in hospital occupancy has been slowing down - on the log-y plot it’s getting less steep. 
    • It’s currently at about 1/5th of the peak level of the last wave; that might sound like a lot of headroom but by the last peak things were properly bonkers and the NHS was basically a single disease service at that point...
  • Deaths - the levelling off of deaths is starting to look very real, not a noise artefact.  In a simple cases > admissions > deaths model this makes no sense as it’s happening before the levelling of of admissions.
    • To me, this suggests changes behind the scenes in the age, other demographic factors and/or vaccination status of the people becoming cases a few weeks ago. 
    • Much of that isn’t available from the dashboard or from elsewhere in a sufficiently longitudinal form to tease it out. 
    • It could also be related to the increasing amount of antibodies across the population from ongoing vaccination (especially second doses?) and infection?

1
 elsewhere 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Seaburn

 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The Scottish plots...

  • Cases continue to fall rapidly; the last couple of days of data are usually variable, reporting lag / noise?
  • Admissions to hospital continue to drop, following cases.
  • Hospital occupancy started decreasing at the usual sort of lag after admissions but this seems to haves stalled despite admissions continuing to fall; again perhaps some opaque change to the mix of people being admitted, perhaps more bias towards the unvaccinated?    If someone is digesting all the plots on Travelling Tabby there might be a clearer reason there.
  • Deaths look to be decreasing but they’re so low in number it’s very noisy.

The rather jarring slowdown in the week-on-week measurement of the exponential rate constant for cases from plot B isn't so visible in these plots, but perhaps that's a sign that "level 0 day" changes are starting to limit the fall of cases.

 I feel increasingly like it's a cheap cop out each time I say this, but it needs another week of data to really understand...   I think as the uncertainty in the situation is increasing, the point in time at which we can be reasonably certain as to what really happened recedes further in to the past; more longitudinal data categorising each measure by age and vaccination status in 5-years bins might go a long way to resolving that, but there seems to be no interesting in making that level of granularity in the data pubic.


1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The four nations plots...

  • Wales continues to see cases decreases timed more like England than Scotland. 

  • NI looked to be turning to decay but now looks to be rebounding

    • If they only just hit the herd immunity thresholds before the heatwave broke it could be the change has pushed the threshold about their immunity levels; I haven’t been following the policy there so can’t comment more.


1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The Lissajous figures...

England - much as discussed up thread

  • Cases are in decay
  • Admissions and deaths are slowing making the top plots look like they’re going to turn a corner to decay,
  • Hoospital and ITU occupancy are increasing still making an uncharacteristic vertical line in the plots. 
    • One assumes that can’t continue indefinitely for falling cases and staled admissions, although Si dH has noted information showing that people are either discharged quickly or are spending a long time in hospital these days.

London

  • Cases in decay
  • Admissions have stalled and deaths are decaying; this really does shout demographic or other changes (vaccination status?) behind the scenes. 
  • Hospital occupancy still rising.

North West

  • The decay in cases is slowing (‘x’ marks bunching up) just as growth in the other measures stalls.

Scotland

  • Decay in all measures except ITU occupancy
    • Again perhaps consistent with long stay visitors to hospital with gradually worsening health.

1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I'm having problems posting and lost all I wrote for this one, and I struggle to re-write stuff well.

All these plots are slightly less current than the plot 6 versions as they measure rate constants over a ±7 day window then smooth the data a bit more, as otherwise jagged noise dominates.  So the turn to rise in not flowing through to the leading edge much yet. 

Demographic Plots 

Plot D1.c - demographic cases - the university spike in June in young adults is most clear in the rate constants plot as a short sharp shock whilst absolute numbers were low, then the football rise happened with a much lower rate constant but over a much longer time, it's more visible as a rising crescendo of gold in the cases/day plot.  These two events are followed by a massive crash in numbers, the dark purple in the bottom right of the rate constants plot, ages 20-30.  To my eye there's never a clear signal of "bleed through" from some ages to others - rising phases tend to be happening at the same time everywhere, rather than flowing out in a diagonal way indicting a temporal lag between ages.

Plot P1.c - the relative distribution of cases over age for England - the sharply concentrated spike of relative cases in young adults is shifting back to older ages.  

  • I see this as not so much “more cases in the old” as “lower proportion of cases in the young” and it’s a steer on how to interpret case numbers - currently, all other things been equal we’d expect a slightly higher case hospitalisation rate than a few weeks ago.  It absolutely is not a sign that cases in the young are driving them in the old, although it also doesn't rule that out.  Context is king to interpreting it.
  •  So, as with comments in recent threads, I think the “demographic shift’ from vaccination has given all that it can give to improve our situation; it’s natural that case numbers in the young will become proportionately less as that’s where most vaccination and infection is now happening.  Slightly counter-intuitive for some that the case hospitalisation rate might up because of the vaccine but the key thing is the total number of people being hospitalised is going down, it’s just that the average age of infection is going up because now it’s young adults who are getting immunity by hook or by crook and not contributing to the data - as we immunise more people, we run out of non-immune people so only those not offered sufficient protection by immunity are going to hospital.  Almost all of them are living now, were-as before I think many of those would be the ones dying.  A massive improvement from vaccination and one others have mentioned has already been misrepresented in some circles to cast false aspersions on the vaccine roll out. 

Regional Plots

Plot 18 - all English regions have cases in decay, the north east leaden the way.  This data is more lagged than raw cases as it’s measured over a ±7 day window (truncated at the right hand side) and then filtered to smooth it plots that don’t look like noise, so it lives a bit in the past compared to raw data.  All regions are turning towards growth in cases (exponential rates becoming less -ve) with the North East being the slowest to turn, and some of those with the least decay being the fastest to turn.  This all feels consistent with a proxy readout for local levels of immunity.  Out with the football, in with the nightclubs and vertical drinking?

Post edited at 21:32

1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

So, what happens next?

We’re seeing signs that we can hold cases in decay with low levels of restrictions in both Scotland and England.  It’s not all the way sorted yet and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a return to rising cases in both nations for a while as the process adapts to the July 21st relaxations in both nations.  They might even pogo around growth and decay for a while as changes in the weather shift the rate constants about (or shift the herd immunity threshold about so changing the rate constants to look at it a different way).

Then, if nothing else changed cases would decay until this was all a particularly nasty memory.  But life is never that simple, so...

Looking ahead, what next?  What’re the big threats on the radar?  Please chime in with yours

  • We've heard a lot of fear mongering and not much credible evidence for the Giant Fire Breathing Lizards from one poster, I expect they're busy creating some sock puppets now to bolster opinion for that scenario.
  • End of the school holidays - in my noddy mental model, schools form a very strong cross-cutting bridge between different networks of people, and those bridges are turned off now. 
    • Adding a set of cross cutting links to the transmission network is going to raise herd immunity thresholds significantly, and the immunity fraction is presumably lower in children with little vaccine granted immunity
    •  So, a return to school will raise the society wide herd immunity thresholds - I have no idea if this will be enough to cause a return to growth or not.  But the rate constants probably up in children, then working out from there
  • Autumn through to Winter - the worsening weather is likely to change herd immunity thresholds through behavioural effects.  Again, I have no idea if this will be enough to cause a return to growth or not.
  • Flu season - lots of uncertainties I think, but let's not borrow trouble for now.
  • Fading immunity with time.   That gets its own section below...

Fading Immunity over time

Massive proviso:  This is a way complex area, and whilst I can read and follow papers in immunology, I’m in classic Dunning Kruger territory in that I don’t have the training or expertise to realise where the important gaps in my knowledge are, and those unknown gaps could mean that mean I draw the wrong conclusions.  But I've not seen much detailed discussion about what this is all going to look like or how it might work, and I've been thinking about it a lot, discussing it with other interested people on here and in offline life.

So, with my DK cap on, I present this in the style of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  I expect it to be savaged if key details are wrong and the UKC immunology club are reading.

  • My take on various policy decisions in the UK and ministerial comments is that they’re aiming for a situation where the virus circulates in the population as a new member of the “virome” that plagues us at a low level and slightly hastens our demise. 
    • I’m going to assume that full elimination is totally of the table now; I really wanted an elimination strategy early on when little was known and still wish we’d at least tried to pursue it and seen how far we’d gotten rather than rushing in to ramming healthcare and 0.15 megadeaths, but as a political sell now I can’t imaging it being possible with rapid testing, much improved clinical care and vaccination now at our disposal and more therapeutics in the trials pipeline.
  • My DK take is that fading immunity is not an outright problem, but an important to successfully getting the virus in to this kind of relatively harmless circulation, and that’s the Goldilocks analogy.  How fast does it fade?
    • Too Fast - we all become susceptible again and it’s an endless cycle of attrition, with each cycle making elimination more desirable but no more achievable now the virus is out of control all over the world.  Experience to date suggests this isn't looking likely.
    • Too Slow - we remain immune from re-catching the virus which keeps R<1  for a long time, and the virus disappears - except it’s not gone, it’s thriving in countries failing to achieve such levels of immunity and it’s in animal reservoirs.  It's a big world; elimination would take a massive coordinated effort.  Meanwhile, where it hides it evolves until a variant that evades our immunity not just from transmission but from illness emerges and clobbers us all with a brand new pandemic.  It seems to me like the main reason the novel coronaviruses have been such clobbering monsters is their total novelty to our immune systems.
    • About Right - my understanding is that immunity against transmission fades faster than immunity from severe illness, and so as immunity stars to weaken, the virus will hopefully spread more like other “nuisance level” viruses and less like the  catastrophic event driven mess we’ve had to date.  As the virus spreads at nuisance level, immunity is updated as it goes, meaning that immunity from severe disease is updated periodically for individuals through circulation of the virus, and that this tracks the gradual variation of the virus, meaning we’re less likely to end up with immunity at such a large disconnect from evolving variants, closing most of the doors to the possibility of a major escape variant. 

I have no idea if this "about right" scenario is possible or if it’s an unrealisable fantasy.

  • Big warning lights flashing - this virus as it now is doesn’t seem much like other commonly circulating viruses - in particular it’s R0 is estimated to be way higher, and it’s nearest cousins are way, way more lethal (original SARS and MERS). 
    • Like those, my take is that it mostly kills by dysregualting the host’s immune system rather than by any intrinsic lethality.   
    • Given the scope for cross-immunity between the novel coronaviruses, it’s not impossible that having this in circulation confers some global protection against a resurgence  and loss of control of one of the more lethal nCovs.  Wild speculation on my behalf.
    • Perhaps its high R0 compared to circulating respiratory viruses is because none of those are ever really novel to the immune system of anyone except young children, and we don't really have a genuine measure of a "fully susceptible" R0 for those?
  • "About Right" seems to me what the UK policies in various areas appear to be aiming for.  Given where we and the world are, I’m not sure there’s much to loose in trying it for this; so long as the process is data and science driven with responsive policy that is.
    • As usual, I’d like to see milestones, metrics and pre-planned response thresholds and action plans laid out, as is usual I am not getting what I want.
  • This is probably what the politicos mean by "learning to live with the virus" - and beyond some age and other measures of vulnerability, letting it circulate freely for now doesn't seem like a smart idea.  So, there are roles for booster doses of vaccines and also new vaccines adapted to the new variants.
    • I have been keen on the idea of trialling new vaccines that target other viral proteins - particularly those that evoke a strong T-cell response but do not give neutralising immunity, to soften the blow for younger adults without fully preventing transmission, and to give older adults broader immunity to help them survive infections better where the primary vaccine doesn't stop infection.  A recent study on antibody levels in long covid sufferers with chronic fatigue like symptoms suggests there could be an auto-immune response going on where some of the immune responses to one or more of these proteins (presumably not the viral spike as current vaccines don't cause it) is attacking the hosts body.  So, perhaps the development of such vaccines is going to be a bit more fraught, although the studies going on in to long Covid can feed in to that.
    • The clinical trials are ongoing for immune modulating therapies to stimulate (Interferon beta) and suppress (JAK inhibitors) immune responses when they're going wonky during a Covid infection.  I'm still hopeful these will yield more clinical tools that further blunt the health consequences for those who are going to get the shitty end of the stick as we "learn to live with the virus" -otherwise for some it will literally mean dying earlier because of it.      

It's a brave new world ahead, and I don't like it.  I'm starting to think that creating a time machine might be the best way of solving all this.  Now, where did I leave that relativity condenser?

1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> Seaburn

Right side of the country....  (Edit: The Orchid was clearly too easy, I fear this may be too hard).

Post edited at 22:01
 minimike 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Warkworth

 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to minimike:

> Warkworth

(In my best Jeremy Clarkson voice): I'm impressed.

In unrelated news, I'm just off to sweep the car for tracking devices...

 minimike 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Man has vaccine... People gain the ability to establish man’s whereabouts... Discussion regarding correlation and causation ensues...

 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to minimike:

> Man has vaccine... People gain the ability to establish man’s whereabouts... Discussion regarding correlation and causation ensues...

We’ll put that to the test with next week’s “name this waterfall” test…. 

 minimike 31 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Linhope Spout

(sorry, I’ll return your time machine last week)

 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to thread:

[achievement unlocked - universal disliker re-engaged]

1
 wintertree 31 Jul 2021
In reply to minimike:

> Linhope Spout

That’s one I’ve yet to visit, looks like an absolute classic though. 

In a somewhat on topic note, I’ve been avoiding the lower swimming holes as local groups have been awash with tales of norovirus outbreaks in children who were playing in the rivers.  It could be a false correlation with spread happening elsewhere between children but I don’t feel like chancing it.  There seems to be a lot of norovirus around suddenly amongst other things surging in children, it seems a whole set of human/virus interactions have been shaken up in terms of timing and intensity by the disruptions of the last 18 months.

> (sorry, I’ll return your time machine last week)

Perhaps I will have visited Linhope Spout by next Friday…

In reply to wintertree:

> But hey, it’s working out a lot better than reasonably expected by everyone, and ultimately all’s well that ends well…. 

No matter how it turns out it is obvious that further opening up was the wrong strategy given the data available at the time.  You can't predict whether you are going to get shot if you play Russian Roulette but it is obvious that playing is not a good idea.  It you play and don't die it doesn't make you clever because it turned out OK, you are still an idiot.

Johnson is an inveterate gambler, the fact that he may have got away with it this time doesn't mean anything because he doesn't know when to walk away.   There is no 'all's well that ends well' when someone who always takes a large unquantified risk rather than being cautious is in charge during a pandemic.  They are going to keep taking risks until it ends badly.

Post edited at 23:49
7
In reply to wintertree:

> The Scottish plots...

> The rather jarring slowdown in the week-on-week measurement of the exponential rate constant for cases from plot B isn't so visible in these plots, but perhaps that's a sign that "level 0 day" changes are starting to limit the fall of cases.

I don't think many people actually noticed the 'level 0 day', not much changed.

What is changing is tourist season.  There are are a lot of tourists in central Edinburgh where I live, not as much as in a usual summer but still a lot.  My guess is the mixing from tourism and the encouragement that English 'Freedom Day' gives to ignore stricter Scottish rules on masks is going to have an affect on R.

LNER have said they aren't going to impose Scottish rules on mask wearing and empty seats on the trains running from England.  Even though it is the law in Scotland, they are owned by the UK government and the Transport Police are UK government so they will no doubt get away with it.  That is a long journey with people close together, no testing before you get on board, and with current levels of virus in England its bound to spread.

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I pretty much agree and perhaps my sarcasm wasn’t clear enough on the “but hey” although it was bracketed in clearer terms…

> There is no 'all's well that ends well' when someone who always takes a large unquantified risk rather than being cautious is in charge during a pandemic.  They are going to keep taking risks until it ends badly.

You never know, like I’ve said before, of all the reckless gambles this is the first one to have a double digit percentage chance of paying off IMO.  If it does work out well (and I’m feeling quite positive), I’ve no doubt the incaution will be presented in some quarters as a strategic masterstroke.

To my view the UK is in an almost unique position right now, and one that seems preferable to many of our closest neighbours and comparators.  Things can change on a knife edge with this pandemic, but taking things as they come, it could be a lot worse.

Hopefully the stakes are going to gradually reduce as we continue to fold this virus in to a more normal place in our ecology, and vested political interest should decline with the stakes, so management of the whole thing can move away from political football to public health leaders.

Post edited at 00:21
In reply to wintertree, or anyone:

How is flu vaccination going to work this coming winter? I had understood that each year's potion is brewed to target the current flu mutation, by looking at what's happening in the southern hemisphere during our summer. We had little or no flu here last winter, but I don't know if that's the case Down Under at the moment.

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to BusyLizzie:

> How is flu vaccination going to work this coming winter?

Good question…

> I had understood that each year's potion is brewed to target the current flu mutation, by looking at what's happening in the southern hemisphere during our summer.

That’s my understanding, although perhaps it’s more variants than mutations as flu does this promiscuous gene swapping thing.

> We had little or no flu here last winter, but I don't know if that's the case Down Under at the moment.

They have had more than us but not a lot.  The bullet points in the blue box here summarise it, and there’s a PDF of the full report linked

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-surveil-ozflu-flucurr.htm

To my reading there’s not much there to clue us in for what’s coming.

Jon Read posted a link some months ago to where the UK’s predictions for winter strains would be posted (IIRC) but I didn’t save a copy and can’t find the post.  I’m hoping Jon comes along to answer your question…

I think it could be a lottery though, with almost no strains apparently present in the UK, which one(s) appear and then get amplified by transmission could be quite random.  Which would be bad news for vaccination.  

 Offwidth 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I'm mildly optimistic about flu overall this coming winter. Lots of people, especially older people, will still be being a lot more careful with hands, face, space, than normal. I expect any outbreak to mainly impact a younger demographic. Also without being too hard hearted a lot of the more vulnerable older population will have been sadly victims of covid deaths.

Covid isn't going away time soon, even if it turns out this peak really is ending. I just can't see our border control measures being sensible under Boris and co and we still have a significant minority unvaccinated and even the vaccinated and previously infected can spread some variants.

Using Tom's analogy on Boris's gambles he may have been lucky this time but subsequent shakes of the dice will lead to more big losses in the end.

In reply to wintertree:

> I’ve no doubt the incaution will be presented in some quarters as a strategic masterstroke.

Without a doubt. All part of a data-driven master plan. What was that? Those estimates of 200k cases a day? That was just a nudge... What what!

TradDad 01 Aug 2021

> It's a brave new world ahead, and I don't like it.  I'm starting to think that creating a time machine might be the best way of solving all this.  Now, where did I leave that relativity condenser?

That’s easy, April 2020, do nothing, job done. 

8
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to BusyLizzie:

That’s because the pcr didn’t distinguish between flu and covid, so everyone had covid at the expense of flu 

18
In reply to wintertree:

Novovirus would help you regain your previous to Covid waistline but I wouldn't recommend it as an optimal solution.

 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> That’s because the pcr didn’t distinguish between flu and covid, so everyone had covid at the expense of flu 

Yeah, more bullshit.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210730/Claims-that-CDCe28099S-PCR-test-cane28099t-tell-covid-from-flu-are-wrong.aspx

TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Thank god for fact checking 🤣 the efficacy of the pcr has been in question for a long time. The cdc now acknowledge that does mean it’s fake news? 
The lab leak theory was fake news / conspiracy theory a year ago, now it’s ‘a real possibility’. 

21
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Thank god for fact checking 🤣 the efficacy of the pcr has been in question for a long time. The cdc now acknowledge that does mean it’s fake news? 

> The lab leak theory was fake news / conspiracy theory a year ago, now it’s ‘a real possibility’. 

Efficacy has indeed been questioned, and rightly so. But not in the way you're hinting.

Still doesn't mean PCR can't differentiate between flu and covid and that all the flu last year was simply chalked up as covid thus vastly inflating the figures, which is what you said.

The "all flu is being recorded as covid" has long been a central tenet of hardcore covid deniers and now you've trotted it out you've effectively removed the few remaining doubts as to your membership of that particular camp, despite your protestations.

Post edited at 15:07
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Can I believe flu and covid co-exist?

12
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Can I believe flu and covid co-exist?

Pretty obvious by now that you're capable of believing absolutely anything

Post edited at 15:52
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Crikey. I’ll do some reading on how the pcr test works and whether it distinguishes well then come back to you 👍🏻. Maybe my prior understanding was wrong 

8
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Crikey. I’ll do some reading on how the pcr test works and whether it distinguishes well then come back to you 👍🏻. Maybe my prior understanding was wrong 

Oo! poor little me, a covid denier?

Yeah mate, you're a busted flush. Busted.

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Another day of data for the week-on-week meaner of the exponential rate constant for England.

It's still nudging towards growth; but the data in the provisional window at the level of English regions is not - to my eye -looking like it's sustaining the growth at the leading edge discussed on the last thread.  Some regions may have a few days of week-on-week growth but it doesn't look like it's hearts in sustained growth.


 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> The lab leak theory was fake news / conspiracy theory a year ago, now it’s ‘a real possibility’. 

I don't believe I've ever called that a conspiracy theory or fake news.

I've ranted a few times about the use of BMJ letters by people I see as pushing misinformation over this pandemic, and it's notable that a BMJ letter was pretty much the sole source for the early and hard rubbishing of this theory in the media.

As I've said elsewhere, we're subject to the mushroom principle on this and I doubt I'll ever know the truth.  Tell you what though, the US seems to be really tightening up on sending NIH funding abroad over the last year...

But none of this has anything to do with your outlandishly nonsense claims over PCR testing, Covid and Flu.  Another poster asked you a while ago what source(s) you're getting your information from.  I think it would be useful to share where you got this bollox opinion on PCR, flu and Covid from.  

TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Chill out I’m just looking at it now. What on earth is a covid denier anyway? I’ve met loads of people who’ve had covid. 
 

ps I wish you guys would relax the abuse a bit. It’s grim 

Post edited at 16:36
12
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Chill out I’m just looking at it now. What on earth is a covid denier anyway? I’ve met loads of people who’ve had covid. 

You’ve produced scores of posts solely on covid, exploring the batshit, questioning the mainstream, examining all kinds of pandemic related ephemera and now you’re asking us to believe you don’t know what “covid denier” means?

> ps I wish you guys would relax the abuse a bit. It’s grim 

Ps. I wish you would relax with the bullshit a bit. I’m sure it’s fine if you’re used to hanging out with credulous tin foil hat types, but the rest of us find it a bit grim.

Edit: just to add, how do you know they had covid? Weren’t you just telling us PCR can’t distinguish between covid and flu😂

Post edited at 17:14
1
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

I’m on here exploring covid rather than with credulous tin foil hatters as I’d rather be somewhere which challenges my understanding and where I can learn something rather than just reinforce the alternative narratives. To my mind covid denier is another method of shaming someone for asking questions and draws an unpleasant link with Holocaust denier. 
My understanding of the PCR is that even when done under perfect conditions it is still best used as part of a diagnostic process rather than all of it and the higher the level of magnification of the virus is also important. I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest someone could have recovered from covid and come down with another flu like illness six months later and still test positive for covid. Hence the flu - covid crossover particularly with seasonality. Maybe this is why the CDC seem to have developed a new test which looks for both at the same time? 
I’m not that keen on exchanging insults 👍🏻

13
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

My source today has been the CDC website as well as an article on how PCR tests work. I have previously listened to Fauci talking about the PCR magnification being a problem and came to understand that last year in the U.K. as in Australia currents the PCR is being used at a magnification rate which is to high to be useful. 

6
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Also after 30 odd years of climbing and talking climbing the mainstream activity has shifted so far from my experience that the idea of chatting shit about dead hangs or whose got their project is beyond f*cking tedious 

Post edited at 18:00
3
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> I’m on here exploring covid rather than with credulous tin foil hatters as I’d rather be somewhere which challenges my understanding and where I can learn something rather than just reinforce the alternative narratives.

Sorry, doesn't look at all like that's what you're on here for.

>To my mind covid denier is another method of shaming someone for asking questions and draws an unpleasant link with Holocaust denier. 

To my mind covid denial is pretty shameful when we're currently 4.2 million deaths into a Global pandemic and spreading blatant misinformation can only add to that toll.

> My understanding of the PCR is that even when done under perfect conditions it is still best used as part of a diagnostic process rather than all of it and the higher the level of magnification of the virus is also important. I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest someone could have recovered from covid and come down with another flu like illness six months later and still test positive for covid. Hence the flu - covid crossover particularly with seasonality. Maybe this is why the CDC seem to have developed a new test which looks for both at the same time? 

Three hours ago that wasn't your position at all. Three hours ago your position was;

"That’s because the pcr didn’t distinguish between flu and covid, so everyone had covid at the expense of flu"

which looks like blatant, dangerous and shameful misinformation to my eyes.

> I’m not that keen on exchanging insults 👍🏻

Me neither. What insult did I chuck at you exactly???

In reply to TradDad:

Some google homework:
"PCR specificity"
"PCR sensitivity"

Slight deviation, the dashboard now has a handy mapified visualisation of vaccinations. Nice.
Try to act surprised when you see the colour of the places that start with B.
 

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Three hours ago that wasn't your position at all. Three hours ago your position was;

Quite, they started with an outright false claim, then fell back to complaining that they were just questioning things.  It doesn’t take much to spot the flaw there.

As for their comments on PCR, it’s straight out of the bullshit time warp from last August.  It’s also in no way an interpretation compatible with either the data in the UK or measurements of the half life of exposed RNA in humans (something like > 100,000 half lives…?)

> To my mind covid denial is pretty shameful when we're currently 4.2 million deaths into a Global pandemic and spreading blatant misinformation can only add to that toll.

Seconded.

 RobAJones 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> As for their comments on PCR, it’s straight out of the bullshit time warp from last August.  

My money is on the next one being, that thousands of people caught covid but only died because they were run over by a bus. 

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> LNER have said they aren't going to impose Scottish rules on mask wearing and empty seats on the trains running from England.  Even though it is the law in Scotland, they are owned by the UK government and the Transport Police are UK government so they will no doubt get away with it.  That is a long journey with people close together, no testing before you get on board, and with current levels of virus in England its bound to spread.

I think I’ll let you blame the English for that; disappointing of LNER, presumably they had legal power to require masks in Scotland still as part of their conditions of carriage?  A double cop out then.

I imagine quite a few Scots are travelling south to enjoy the nightclubs open in England, and will be taking cases back across the border…

I always got a very non scientific impression that the restrictions were more powerful when synchronised across the four nations.

TradDad 01 Aug 2021

Ugh I must me a masochist coming on here. 

Help me understand why it's bullshit to say if a PCR test in run at a high magnification then it will lead to false positives. 

Help me understand why if someone is recovered from covid then they won't test positive on a PCR 6 months later when getting tested due to illness ( being diagnosed with covid at the expense of the flu ) 

I assumed this is why they are doing a joint test to spot both and decide on a course of action, if this isn't true or misinformation then help me understand why. 

Stitchplate - maybe I'm misinterpreting your replies as sounding a bit like a frothing jobsworth c@nt 

14
 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Help me understand why it's bullshit to say if a PCR test in run at a high magnification then it will lead to false positives. 

Help us to understand how to help you - what're your relevant qualifications and experience?  Give us actual links to the sources that have put these concerns in your head and not just random names.

But, in short, if you amplify nothing, you still get nothing, regardless of how much you amplify it.

If you amplify no input signal and noise, you get amplified noise; but:

  1. The only conceivable noise appears to be cross-contamination, at which point mass PCR testing might multiply case numbers by some fixed factor (give or take sampling details), but still can't create cases when none exist. That factor is bounded to be pretty small for various reasons, not least the correspondence between cases and excess deaths and deaths by cause as determined by a medical professional on death certificates.
  2. If some other DNA sequence was being identified by 2 or 3 of the primers used, the massive amount of sequencing we've done would be catching that.

Further:

https://www.covidfaq.co/Claim-PCR-tests-are-not-finding-real-cases-15a55602b203473a9001927903805815

> Help me understand why if someone is recovered from covid then they won't test positive on a PCR 6 months later when getting tested due to illness

Because the RT-PCR test starts with viral RNA.

If a person is no longer infected with Covid they no longer have intact virus particles, so any viral RNA they cary will no longer be encapsulated in intact virus particles, and will decay halving every 2 minutes out so in the body.  After half a year that's ~130,000 halvings.   That means 0.000.....1 % of the RNA will still be there, where there are about 40,000 zeros before the 1. If you started with every atom in the universe and halved it that many times, you'd run out of atoms less than a hundredth of the way through the process.

Edit: Well the halving time could be 30 minutes, estimates and measurements vary - but even for half an our, you could convert the entire observable universe in to viral RNA, put it all in your blood and there'd be none left after half a year.  Well, there'd be a black hole and no universe, but minor details.

> Stitchplate - maybe I'm misinterpreting your replies as sounding a bit like a frothing jobsworth c@nt 

You've been whining about abuse when people have been very patient with you, then you come out with this.

You're not doing yourself any favours.

Post edited at 19:40
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I don't have any relevant qualifications in this area. My source was from an interview with Fauci saying that any test over 35 cycles was 'just picking up dead nucleotides'. If you're saying that the 'dead nucleotides' will have been destroyed and therefore undetectable after 6 months then thanks for helping me understand why it would not be possible to test positive for covid after this time (even if unwell with another respiratory virus etc). 

By the 'false positives' I was referring to recovered people. Even so there is some scope for false positives and false negatives according to the fact checkers / BMJ etc 

Re - my comment about misinterpreting the posts. I'll own that comment and stand by it. 

7
In reply to wintertree:

>

> I think I’ll let you blame the English for that; disappointing of LNER, presumably they had legal power to require masks in Scotland still as part of their conditions of carriage?  

Except its not what they are saying

https://www.lner.co.uk/faq/coronavirus-travel-information-faqs/what-are-the-rules-forscotland/

They did briefly just quote the English  rules, Im guessing as an oversight. LNER updated things in about 24 hrs. This was reported by the nationlist press as  English, imperialist, tory, bastards infecting the  purity of Scotland. TiE clearly hasn't caught up

 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Stitchplate - maybe I'm misinterpreting your replies as sounding a bit like a frothing jobsworth c@nt 

Aah, I see what your doing here. Trying to provoke a response to justify your ridiculous whining.

Half four you sign off your reply to me with "ps I wish you guys would relax the abuse a bit. It’s grim".

Then at six you end your reply to me with "I’m not that keen on exchanging insults"

I bite and ask where exactly I've insulted you and since you can't provide any actual quotes you're reduced to calling me a c@nt. 

Well done. You're a class act.

Post edited at 20:03
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

In this paper they found the dead virus in a corpse exhumed one month after death 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971221002708

4
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Let's just agree not to engage with each other. Saves me repeating the insult. 

11
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Let's just agree not to engage with each other. Saves me repeating the insult. 

Couldn't really give a stuff. As this thread has progressed you've allowed your mask to slip and revealed yourself for what you are. Congratulations.

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> I don't have any relevant qualifications in this area.

The problem you face then - and it's a real dilemma - is that I can make convincing sounding arguments in one direction, someone else can make them in another, and unless you spend a lot of time becoming familiar with a fair bit of undergraduate level maths and biology and a little bit of physics, it's almost impossible for you to tell who is making the more correct argument.

Neither the eloquence nor the force of conviction of a person putting a particular argument across are related to their correctness.  The only real tool you have at your disposal is if you believe the majority scientific and medical consensus or a minor, fringe one.  Generally belief in the minor fringe ones also believes in an all-encompasing conspiracy to suppress "the truth" to the point it would require far more competent governments, international agencies and so on than we are blessed with.

> If you're saying that the 'dead nucleotides' will have been destroyed and therefore undetectable after 6 months then thanks for helping me understand why it would not be possible to test positive for covid after this time 

Exactly; RNA is incredible fragile - unless it's protected by a specially designed object (such as the virus particle), it disintegrates in the human body very rapidly.  Evolution designed it as a temporary molecule, and it's very temporary.  

Edit to your second post

> In this paper they found the dead virus in a corpse exhumed one month after death 

A dead body is not like a live body.  

Post edited at 20:08
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Ah yes I see your point about the dead body, it wouldn't be operating it's immune system to destroy the viral fragments! Re the overall crisis, and what I believe, I would have to gain an impossible amount of knowledge to make an informed decision. So you're absolutely right, it is more of a case of deciding who to trust. I'm on the fence with that part, not because I believe there has been any kind of 'hoax', but because I worry about the direction the 'science' is taking us in. 

5
 Jon Stewart 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> Ugh I must me a masochist coming on here. 

Uh huh.

> Help me understand why it's bullshit to say if a PCR test in run at a high magnification then it will lead to false positives. 

> Help me understand why if someone is recovered from covid then they won't test positive on a PCR 6 months later when getting tested due to illness ( being diagnosed with covid at the expense of the flu ) 

Sure. It isn't the detail of what you're saying that makes well-informed people's bullshit alarms immediately go berserk, it's the context. If you've spent 18 months following the science of the pandemic at the level of an educated layperson, then you know that some dude on a forum isn't going to have cracked the secret of why the mainstream scientific understanding of, for example, the accuracy of PCR test, is wrong but they are right. That's not how things turn out.

I'm not an epidemiologist, a virologist or a data scientist, or anything like that. But I've got two degrees in the broad field of science and medicine. I get what a PCR test is, I know how sensitivity and specificity are calculated and why, I know how the infrastructure of scientific research works, roughly how it interacts with government (I've worked in government), and the media/public. So, I have a reasonably well-informed feel for how much I should trust data based on PCR test results, because I know roughly the sort of processes that go on to provide the people who use the data the assurance that it's telling them what it's supposed to. Of course, it's not perfect, but it doesn't have to be to tell me what I'm interested in about the pandemic, and to tell policy makers what they need to know.

You seem to be proposing that you've got a better grip on the limitations of PCR data than people who's life's work is understanding the limitations of PCR data. Those people who really understand it are advising the people publishing the PCR data - that's their job. If you showed us a load of really credible sources showing how there was a big upswell of opinion within the field that the data was horribly misleading, then people would listen. 

Think about it this way. If you heard Alex Jones and David Attenborough tell different stories about climate change, who would you believe? Is it arbitrary that "the UKC orthodoxy" chooses to believe David Attenborough rather than Alex Jones? Or have David Attenborough and Alex Jones earned completely opposing levels of credibility by years and years of proving themselves to be consistently right, or consistently full of shit?

Views become credible to the well-informed when they appear in a credible context. Provide the context: who said it, what's their background, who else supports them, how does it fit within the landscape of knowledge about the subject? It's hard work to be convincing, unless you've spent a long time building an evidence-base that you're worth listening to.

Post edited at 20:22
TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Jon Stewart:

This is all true, a while ago I watched an interview with the inventor of the PCR test, he died in 2019. It really stuck with me and maybe unconsciously plays a role in my feelings towards it. 

9
 Stichtplate 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> This is all true, 

If you recognise this as true it rather begs the question as to why you’ve spent the last two weeks spreading misinformation at a rate and volume that’d choke David Icke?

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

> My money is on the next one being, that thousands of people caught covid but only died because they were run over by a bus. 

I made a plot for that a few weeks ago.  I really wish I'd thought to make it last summer when this argument was still being pushed in earnest by more than just one dedicated poster.

This estimates how many people who have been tested for Covid would die in the 28 days after their test, if Covid had no lethality at all.  It does this by taking the dashboard demographic case data and estimating deaths using the ONS 2015 demographic all cause mortality rates.  I don't have any seasonality so it probably under-estimates the projected deaths in winter and over estimates them in summer (now).  

This shows that when some people were pushing strongly against the "within 28 days" measure, around 100x as many people were dying after a positive test as could be explained by "dying with Covid".

Now, that ratio is down to ~10x (probably more because of the biasing effect of the lack of seasonality in my estimates)..  So, the "died with Covid" is starting to become a notable biassing factor, but it's nowhere near relevant yet; with very high vaccine uptake in the most vulnerable I don't expect this to change until booster doses or variant-targeted doses start being given, or until there are more changes in treatment - likely new therapeutic compounds.

Edit: An argument commonly made was that Covid was taking people who were about to die anyway; that's always been clear nonsense but this plot gives it a more sound basis.  It's not the most robust maths - rather a somewhat valid abuse of probabilities as the probability of dying was << 1 for most individuals contributing to the curve.  A full analysis would take quite a lot of careful thought...  It also wouldn't be possible without the demographic data also been split by vaccination status.  I'm kind of on the fence about how valid it is for me to interpret the plot in this way - AJM if you're reading, I'd value your take!

  •  At the start of the plot, people were about 100x more likely to die in the month following a positive test than otherwise; so for them to die without Covid would take ~100 months or 8 years.
  • Now, people are about 10x more likely to die in the month following a positive test than otherwise, so for them to die without Covid would take ~10 months more or less than a year.

So, I think this shows that before vaccination, Covid was on average robbing individuals of about 8 years of life, and now it's robbing them of less than a year.  This gives an indication of how much closer to death one has to be for Covid to take them.

Post edited at 21:53

TradDad 01 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

It's my understanding that the more elderly and vulnerable a person is the more likely they are to die if they contract Covid? So for example someone with dementia and mobility issues (who maybe has 2-3 months average left to live) is more likely to contract Covid, develop a severe disease and have increased likelihood of mortality. This would mean they might die sooner than they would of any other cause if Covid wasn't around. Is this assumption incorrect? 

7
 oureed 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> the dashboard now has a handy mapified visualisation of vaccinations. Nice.

> Try to act surprised when you see the colour of the places that start with B.

Can someone please explain the point being made here. 

4
In reply to wintertree:

> I always got a very non scientific impression that the restrictions were more powerful when synchronised across the four nations.

They would be if all four nations were sensible.  But what synchronisation actually means is the English/UK government decides and everyone else follows.   Scotland and Wales are consistently more cautious than England and Northern Ireland usually is too but the 'synchronisation' argument is always that the other 3 should get in step with England.

When the English/UK government is clearly out of step with best practice in other parts of the world then following its lead is a mistake.  However, the fact that England is 10x larger than Scotland and there is no border means more cautious policies in Scotland are never as effective as they should be and the fact that England controls the money means Scotland cannot diverge as much as it should.

6
 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> Can someone please explain the point being made here. 

A few hours ago you declared “UKC's Covid experts are starting to realise that their past certitudes were based on false assumptions and now admit they have no idea what is going on or what will happen in the future. It's been a long time coming...”

That suggests something to me:

Even though your account is new, you must have been following these threads for a “long time” if that post is to be taken at face value.

So, either:

  • You’ve either followed the discussions covering all this long before your current UKC account came in to being, and know exactly what the poster is referring to.

Or

  • You haven't actually been following these threads and your quote above is not informed by the discussions that have been taking place.

If it turns out you’re passing sweeping judgements without having followed these threads, I can recommend you do some research to answer your question.  Each thread back-links the previous thread, so they’re all laid out for you to read and they will answer your questions.

  •  I wouldn't want to see another poster waste there time when its all their in the archives, especially as you'd need to have read them for your sweeping judgement above to even be considered as legitimate.  So, I suggest other posters leave you to do your research by reading through the archives to form your own opinion. 

By the way, as my final comment on the locked thread said, I think you’re talking bollocks in that quote.  It’s telling that you fall back to rhetoric and no actual deconstruction of anyone’s analysis.  Over the last 6 months there've been many new posters attacking me directly or via snide comments over the effort I've put in to this.  Not one of them has presented a counter-analysis,  instead they fall back to snide comments, mud slinging, calls to anti-intellectualism and other Gish-gallops.  

I am not and have never claimed to be a "Covid expert", and to the best of my knowledge, nor has anyone else posting on UkC.  I go out of my way to quality the limitations to what I present, and I mainly stick with interpretation, not prediction.   

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/rogues_gallery-737543?v=1#x9498878 1

Post edited at 23:37
 Boomer Doomer 01 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

TradDad turned me into a newt...

I got better!

3
 Boomer Doomer 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But I've got two degrees ...

One more and you might have some soul.

9
 Stichtplate 02 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> It's my understanding that the more elderly and vulnerable a person is the more likely they are to die if they contract Covid?

No. The more elderly and vulnerable someone is, the more likely they are to die. Full Stop.

>So for example someone with dementia and mobility issues (who maybe has 2-3 months average left to live)

No. Ridiculously inaccurate figure pulled entirely from your own arse, I suspect with the intent of highlighting the fallacy that infection control measures are ridiculously over the top "cos we're only saving a couple of months existence for those with poor quality of life in any case".

>is more likely to contract Covid,

No. Not more likely to contract covid.

>develop a severe disease and have increased likelihood of mortality.

No. When the patient is extremely clinically frail any infection or injury can kill them and it doesn't have to be a particularly severe presentation. You know, cos they're extremely clinically frail.

>This would mean they might die sooner than they would of any other cause if Covid wasn't around. Is this assumption incorrect? 

No. See above: if you're extremely clinically fragile anything could finish you off hence incredibly important for the vulnerable that we take extraordinary measures to prevent a Global pandemic from ripping unchecked through our communities. It's not bloody rocket science and its been gone over a thousand times, as you're no doubt aware.

I see you're attempting the faux naivety angle again now, coupled once more with the "I'm just asking" gambit. Yawn...

Post edited at 00:35
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> It's my understanding that the more elderly and vulnerable a person is the more likely they are to die if they contract Covid? So for example someone with dementia and mobility issues (who maybe has 2-3 months average left to live) is more likely to contract Covid, develop a severe disease and have increased likelihood of mortality. This would mean they might die sooner than they would of any other cause if Covid wasn't around. Is this assumption incorrect? 

I’ve consistently engaged with you in good faith.  I can’t but help notice you ignored Sitchlate’s last post to you, but replied to me.   That doesn’t seem like good faith engagement to me. Would you mind taking the time to reply to them first?  Having taken the time to call them a c*nt, and then taken the time to standby by that c*nt comment, you’re certainly not lacking for the time to respond to this from them, and I was rather interested too in how you’d answer them:

 If you recognise this as true it rather begs the question as to why you’ve spent the last two weeks spreading misinformation at a rate and volume that’d choke David Icke?

 Si dH 02 Aug 2021
In reply to thread:

If, as one of Offwidth's posts implied last week, TradDad is Dan from ukb, then I would recommend not replying to any of his posts. He pretty much ruined the entire forum for a couple of weeks a few months ago by posting numerous pointless replies to many threads and was banned because a number of people were put off using it any more (he had previously been a long time regular poster.)  His posts were just an inane series of waffle designed to wind people up, some on covid and some on other stuff. The Orwell quote was classic, although the flowery language seems to have been toned down since then on here. He has obviously realised there is a better way to wind up the people on this thread. The only way out is to stop replying, no ifs no buts. If you keep replying you'll never get your thread back.

Of course it's possible that he isn't who I think he is.

I do worry a bit about his mental health and hope he is ok.

 Si dH 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> Another day of data for the week-on-week meaner of the exponential rate constant for England.

> It's still nudging towards growth; but the data in the provisional window at the level of English regions is not - to my eye -looking like it's sustaining the growth at the leading edge discussed on the last thread.  Some regions may have a few days of week-on-week growth but it doesn't look like it's hearts in sustained growth.

This is really good news. If we just get a brief shoulder and then things start falling again, is population immunity the only answer, or something else...?

 Fat Bumbly2 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The only trouble with syncing  is that we would all have to follow the stupid big boy.  I was in England when the restrictions went and found it hard to deal with, shopping in particular. Such a relief to get home.   

 AJM 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I haven't been following this strand of the numbers that closely so would need to think, but the observation I had first was how low your life expectancy figures are and how old a person they indicate - 8 years remaining is about the average life expectancy from 83 (about right for earlier waves?), but for 1 year you've got to be over 100!

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/articles/lifeexpectancycalculator/2019-06-07

That feels like it is likely to be inconsistent with the current deaths data, probably by quite a long way?

If I had to guess, the interaction between age and seasonality (or how much seasonality there is in the older ages driving deaths) might be a factor. Alternatively - I think inverting the ratio may be assuming constant mortality, when it's obviously rising with time/age (c10% increase a year relatively is in the right ballpark). Or it's something in the maths - life expectancy drives a lot off the cumulative multiplication of the (1-death) bit of the formula which maybe doesn't scale in the way the method implicitly assumes.

Link may be interesting:

https://www.covid-arg.com/post/are-covid-19-victims-already-on-death-row

I've not read much of the rest of their output but perusing the article titles suggests you may find some of the others of interest...

https://www.actuaries.org.uk/news-and-insights/public-affairs-and-policy/pandemics-hub/covid-19-actuaries-response-group

 RobAJones 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> Of course it's possible that he isn't who I think he is.

I don't think you are, in some of their older contributions others posters think they are replying to  Dan. Although it might be that my judgement isn't reliable as they came up with "they would all have died soon anyway" trope rather than the "buses" one. 

 AJM 02 Aug 2021
In reply to AJM:

Just as a further thought on this, one way of answering the life expectancy question you were exploring in that bit might be to translate the x10 or x100 to a "equivalent of being y years older" - y should be something you can approximate from the mortality tables you have - from which you could then use a difference in life expectancy per the calculator above. The only problem is that for your x100 it will be off the charts (you would have to translate the mortality to a force and scale that in order to cap it at 1, since scaling the probability directly would go >100). Translating additional risk into adjustments to age has some precedent - it was how some underwriting loadings used to be expressed when I did pricing of term assurances.

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to AJM:

Thanks for the detailed comments.  Assuming p<<1 and constant mortality are indeed assumptions made in my noddy take.

> but for 1 year you've got to be over 100!

That’s where my interpretation fails against reality, thanks.

I don’t think the set of refinements you gave would be enough to pull it back to reality; I think the answer might lie more longitudinally in terms of the medical history of the individuals who are dying - although it’s muddled by the mixed and unknown vaccination status.  Anecdotal reports suggest hospital occupancy is quite tilted towards the unvaccinated minority, that could salt any analysis.

I’ll add a deep dive in to the mortality charts and proper probability maths to my todo list…

 Richard Popp 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree: There was an actuary on R4 last week, I was running around so didn't hear clearly but- by the time you get to 80 all the others born on the same day who were going to die have done so and in some ways it is a new group of people. I 'think' he said that 'on average' 80 year old women have another 11 years and men 8. Their point was the years lost was higher than we imagine.

Around the same time a medic was talking about co-morbidities, by the time anyone is 80 they have medical issues. The idea that elderly people with other health issues are somehow teetering on the edge is also misplaced,, many are quite well and active.

 AJM 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Yes, I tend to think you're right - using all cause mortality as the comparator probably doesn't work (I can't remember now, did the link I put in do the work based on impaired life mortality?) - I think it's reasonable to assume covid was picking off the weaker or more susceptible in a given cohort but I think that's a long way away from implying those same people were at deaths door already.

 Andy Hardy 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Novovirus would help you regain your previous to Covid waistline but I wouldn't recommend it as an optimal solution.

Look on the bright side: it does give the abdominals a really effective workout, and as a bonus, any lingering issues you may have had with water retention are history.

 AJM 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Richard Popp:

Yes - life expectancy is a forward looking calculation - the start point is all the people who have already avoided the hazards and pitfalls that stop them getting to 80. We often talk about “life expectancy” as a thing, but in reality it can only ever be “life expectancy from age x” as a matter of definition. X is important.

Looking at ages of death (of Covid, early 80s at one point) and comparing them against life expectancy from birth (a similar number), for example, is a meaningless apples and pears comparison because the people who had reached 80 in order to be exposed to the risk of Covid had by definition not died shortly after birth, not been killed in a car accident in their early 20s, not died through complications of childbirth, not succumbed to an early death from cancer or respiratory illness in middle age, and so on. All those things depress the life expectancy from birth.

To use another example, infant mortality 250 years ago was horrendous - 1:5 didn’t make it to five, or whatever the number was. When medical care started to dramatically improve that figure, life expectancy from birth would have shot up, because having 20% of the pool dying in the first couple of years pushes the average down dramatically. But the change in life expectancy from birth tells you absolutely nothing about how long people lived in retirement, or (in the short term, until more surviving children became more surviving adults and so on) about the prevalence of people in their 70s or 80s in society at that time.

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Richard Popp:

> Around the same time a medic was talking about co-morbidities, by the time anyone is 80 they have medical issues. The idea that elderly people with other health issues are somehow teetering on the edge is also misplaced, many are quite well and active.

Indeed, a few people have pushed that covid only takes people with co-morbidities as if that somehow lessens the loss; but ageing is tied up with - and in some part driven by - the collection of morbidities with time.  Remove all diseases and people would still age, but would they age as fast?

In reply to AJM:

> Yes, I tend to think you're right - using all cause mortality as the comparator probably doesn't work (I can't remember now, did the link I put in do the work based on impaired life mortality?) - I think it's reasonable to assume covid was picking off the weaker or more susceptible in a given cohort but I think that's a long way away from implying those same people were at deaths door already.

I agree with all that. I don't recall you sharing such a link.  I don't think all the susceptibilities to Covid are that correlated to the approach of death - there's some fraction of young/healthy people who are particularly susceptible to the immune dysregulation it induces for example, it's like a toned down version of SARS-nCov-1 perhaps, which really clobbered the healthy young through that channel.

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> then I would recommend not replying to any of his posts

Noted

> I do worry a bit about his mental health and hope he is ok.

I sent them a message that I think they've been subject to some distorted information presented in a way to draw some people in; since then a couple of the "new" posters have pushed on those distortions much to my disappointment.  I hope the poster follows the advice I offered them to look after their welfare.

 AJM 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I dont think I've provided a link in terms of mortality data you can use instead of what you already have - but the paper in my 0740 did some work based on impaired life data to try to answer much the same question I think. Based on wave 1 stats, so a little while ago now, but still relevant I think.

 jkarran 02 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> That’s because the pcr didn’t distinguish between flu and covid, so everyone had covid at the expense of flu 

What new horseshit is this!? I despair.

jk

 Richard Popp 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree: The programme I remembered from 'the other week' was actually an episode of More or Less from June 2020! Maybe there was something the other week.

There is actually an actuary covid response group with links to many papers-https://www.actuaries.org.uk/news-and-insights/public-affairs-and-policy/pandemics-hub/covid-19-actuaries-response-gro

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Have to agree with you on this one; Scotland's more cautious approach has IMO been much more appropriate than the Tory bluster/bulls**t/bo****ks.

For proper synchronisation they should have followed the convoy approach; a convoy sails at the speed of its slowest ship.

 bridgstarr 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> ....then I would recommend not replying to any of his posts.

I agree. I've been getting sucked in and it ends up filling otherwise useful topics with crap.

 Jon Read 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

If I recall correctly it was just the PHE surveillance reports showing the lack of flu in England.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Latest report: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1000373/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w27.pdf 

Still little to no influenza about. Page 77 has the current round up of global influenza activity.

Figure 16: RSV and parainfluenza (note, this is not the same virus as influenza) ticking up following relaxation of social distancing, uncharacteristically in the middle of summer, suggesting whatever seasonal forcing there is for these viruses is weak compared to the loss of immunity accumulated in the past 16 months. 

Rhinovirus never ceases to amaze me how persistent it is in the face of social distancing. Well named, I guess. I expect the R0 of that is *way* higher than we imagined (must be getting on for R0>8 but complete guess).

Figure 50 is a stark reminder of geographical health inequality.

 jonny taylor 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Jon Read:

> Rhinovirus never ceases to amaze me how persistent it is in the face of social distancing. Well named, I guess.

Charges at you and knocks you to the ground, even when you're some distance away, just because it didn't like your face today?

 Jon Read 02 Aug 2021
In reply to jonny taylor:

Pretty much!

 kirsten 02 Aug 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

yup, would be good to stick with the data here and keep the fact checking on a separate thread

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Novovirus would help you regain your previous to Covid waistline but I wouldn't recommend it as an optimal solution.

Long time since I've had it, but I recall a convalescence involving a lot of condensed milk.  Think Popeye and his spinach...

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to TradDad:

> I’m on here exploring covid 

This is a terrible place to come to learn. The most prolific posters are here simply to defend their ideology and score points, and are waiting to pounce on any inconsistencies, gaps or weaknesses in your knowledge base. You have to get up to date with the facts before you engage with them and take great care with the wording of your arguments. Any flaw will be exploited as a means of insulting your intelligence and undermining your character. Some people will even deliberately misinterpret what you say to achieve this. It's only for the mentally robust but you seem to be holding your own on that front!

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 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Jon Read:

Thanks; I have a nagging suspicion I've seen a location where an annual report on the strain predictions for the flu season would be published but perhaps that's just senility setting in.

> figure 50 is a stark reminder of geographical health inequality.

Indeed.  I think this pandemic has really exploited inequality, and addressing that inequality must be a major lesson from the last 18 months.

> Rhinovirus never ceases to amaze me how persistent it is in the face of social distancing.  Well named, I guess. I expect the R0 of that is *way* higher than we imagined (must be getting on for R0>8 but complete guess).

The amount of opportunistic researched on other diseases opened up over the pandemic to date must be phenomenal.  I wonder if we'll see some universities converting some degree strands in to the subject in an attempt to cash in on a recruitment bonus...

I suppose I should take solace that we live with all the variants of the Rhinovirus and they now look to have the same kind of R0 as the latest Covid variant.  Otherwise really different, but the R0 alone doesn't make it an unmanageable disaster.

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Here is an article from the Israeli press which explains their government's decision to provide booster jabs for over-60s. It's worth a read:

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-was-first-to-launch-a-covid-booster-shot-campaign-but-what-are-the-risks-1.10066936?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=content&utm_campaign=haaretz-news&utm_content=ff9550f2f5

If it's behind a paywall and you can't be arsed subscribing, here are some key points:

"The third dose is expected to increase patients’ immune systems’ awareness of the coronavirus (not necessarily regarding the delta variant)."

The expected benefit of giving the third dose is based on research conducted by the vaccine manufacturers and others around the world that administering a third shot ... creates a booster effect in the level of antibodies, in their quality (improving their ability to neutralize the virus) and the time that they remain in the body,” the Health Ministry said in a statement. “As a result, there is an increase in the ability to protect against the virus."

UK advisors are apparently now recommending a booster shot for over-50s. This will be done using the Pfizer vaccine as AZ is proving significantly less effective against the Delta variant. Maybe Johnson's much-lauded vaccine campaign isn't the world-beating achievement he made it out to be!

4
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> You have to get up to date with the facts before spouting off dangerous nonsense in the middle of a pandemic

FTFY - given that the person you are replying to was stating absolute tosh about the main diagnostic test used to understand and manage this pandemic, I wish you would not try and convince them that everyone else is jumping on them for a simple "gap in their knowledge" to paraphrase.

>  Any flaw will be exploited as a means of insulting your intelligence and undermining your character

I guess people just aren't cutting new posters any slack after an onslaught of 18 months of new, pop-up posters coming here to spread lies and misinformation and to fall back to wishing people death by untreated cancer of gleefully anticipating their demise to a heart attack when people won't listen to their crap.

Perhaps you're the one genuine one and you've been cursed to appear in the style of all the others (new account, jumping straight in to politics and covid topics, off the bat with the same old misrepresentation of qualified discussion of the data as "absolute certainties" yada yada yada).

> It's only for the mentally robust but you seem to be holding your own on that front!

I think TradDad needs to step away from all these discussions.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You can twist the best practise argument in a variety of ways. Best practise would suggest that the Uk is ahead of vaccine rollout compared with Europe...so how dos that fit in to this comment.?Best practise procurement in UK?

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to kirsten:

> yup, would be good to stick with the data here and keep the fact checking on a separate thread

Sadly, these threads seem to be falling to absolute tosh week after week, rather disincentives the effort they require - but I rather suspect that's what some other people are trying to achieve.

Sad, really.

 Andy Hardy 02 Aug 2021
In reply to neilh:

> You can twist the best practise argument in a variety of ways. Best practise would suggest that the Uk is ahead of vaccine rollout compared with Europe...so how dos that fit in to this comment.?Best practise procurement in UK?


We're currently 3rd, and lots of eu countries are catching up fast.

https://www.politico.eu/article/coronavirus-vaccination-europe-by-the-numbers/

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Richard Popp:

> I 'think' he said that 'on average' 80 year old women have another 11 years and men 8. Their point was the years lost was higher than we imagine.

To understand 'years lost' you must also take into account the fact that pre-vaccine over 80% of all over-80s who contracted Covid survived. Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them. Vaccine technology will have significantly improved the survival rate of these vulnerable people.

6
 oureed 02 Aug 2021

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> the dashboard now has a handy mapified visualisation of vaccinations. Nice.

> Try to act surprised when you see the colour of the places that start with B.

Can someone else please explain the point being made here by Longsufferingropeholder. Wintertree's reply wasn't very helpful.

Or has it been deliberately coded so that not everyone understands?

6
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

I see you've back peddled significantly from your false equation of falling antibody levels and falling immunity that several posters called out.

> UK advisors are apparently now recommending a booster shot for over-50s.

This has been on the cards for some time....  

> This will be done using the Pfizer vaccine as AZ is proving significantly less effective against the Delta variant.

I'm not sure that's the case; both Pfizer and AZ have had decreases in efficacy against Delta, and there are differences between the two.  What matters is what the trial results are on boosters and in particular on mixing different vaccines - something being trialled because immunology suggested it would be powerful is deliberately mixing different vaccines to achieve a stronger effect.

> Maybe Johnson's much-lauded vaccine campaign isn't the world-beating achievement he made it out to be!

Nothing in your quotes and suppositions ("... apparently...") supports this final statement.

You appear to be here mainly to spread FUD against the vaccination program. 

The data suggests England and Scotland are reaching herd immunity levels of resistance to the virus and are able to sustain R~1 or R<1 with very low levels of restriction in the summer time.  The majority of the immunity out there was granted by vaccines, and there is clear and direct support for them in crashing down our deaths and significantly reducing hospitalisation (especially amongst the unionised).

Frankly I couldn't give a shit if it's world-beating or not, and I couldn't give a shit if Johnson has lauded it or not.  I care deeply at how much it has improved our situation both for individuals, healthcare and society.  I am immensely grateful to all those who have worked towards this common goal, and I struggle to understand why you are so keen to throw mud at it - it seems very bitter and resentful frankly.

I am struggling to understand why you think that more doses > more immune response in implies slight on our vaccination program?  Boosters have long been on the cards and aren't exactly an unusual concept when it comes to vaccination...

Then again, you've previously stated re: vaccines "As a long-term solution for dealing with the disease on a societal level, I have grave doubts.".  You haven't actually stated those doubts, just conflated some stuff over antibody levels and tried to make a big thing out of the bit where older people's immune systems need more help, and boosters give more immunity.

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I see you've back peddled significantly from your false equation of falling antibody levels and falling immunity that several posters called out.

Did you read the quote I provided:

“The expected benefit of giving the third dose is based on research conducted by the vaccine manufacturers and others around the world that administering a third shot ... creates a booster effect in the level of antibodies, in their quality (improving their ability to neutralize the virus) and the time that they remain in the body,” the Health Ministry said in a statement. “As a result, there is an increase in the ability to protect against the virus."

5
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> Can someone else please explain the point being made here by Longsufferingropeholder.

> Or has it been deliberately coded so that not everyone understands?

It's all there to read in the past threads, one of these two options applies to you given this previous quote from you - my emphasis in bold "UKC's Covid experts are starting to realise that their past certitudes were based on false assumptions and now admit they have no idea what is going on or what will happen in the future. It's been a long time coming...”

  1. You have been reading these threads for a long time and that has given you an informed position from which to make the above comment
  2. You haven't been reading these threads for a long time and so had no basis for this position.

> Or has it been deliberately coded so that not everyone understands?

If you had been paying enough attention (not even for that long a time), you would know the answer.  It's not coded.  This does rather make me think you've not been paying enough attention to make the judgement in that quote...

> Wintertree's reply wasn't very helpful.

I'll repeat it for you.  It seems helpful to me.

  •  I can recommend you do some research to answer your question.  Each thread back-links the previous thread, so they’re all laid out for you to read and they will answer your questions.
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> Did you read the quote I provided:

Yes, and it in no way supports your previous conflations.

In reply to Andy Hardy:

Thats excellent news either way.

I had read that other countries were start to follow UK's "best practise"of widening the gap between each vaccine dose as well......

Most countries learn from each other anyway.

Should have added that BJ has " best practise" for chopping and changing and communicating poorly.

Post edited at 13:14
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

>  Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them.

Can you provide any evidence for this?

In reply to Jon Read:

> Still little to no influenza about. Page 77 has the current round up of global influenza activity.

We've been routinely testing for flu when we've tested for covid here for months and months and months (if not the whole pandemic) and there hasn't been any.  The anti-covid measures simply seem to be better at killing off flu than they are covid (and we killed off covid multiple times before it came back in on travellers).

In reply to TradDad:

I think you can consider yourself 'pwned' during the course of this thread

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Some updated plots.

The growth in the exponential rate constant for cases  in both Scotland and England has stalled, and they've converged to similar values - a bit less negative (slower decay) in England where restrictions less strong, although calling that causal is probably straining the digital tea leaves too far...

The growth in cases Si dH anticipated from the provisional data for the East Midlands and the South West is showing through in plot 18; I'm not convinced it looks like it wants to be sustained growth however again from the current provisional window.  It'll take another week to know... (I feel this cop-out is quite overused by myself lately)

Also a fresh vaccine plot; it's not been updated in a while.  The step-like weekly decay in first doses seems to have stopped.

Post edited at 17:14

In reply to oureed:

> Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them. 

What’s your point is saying this?

 elsewhere 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

R4 news today was some Moderna may need to be thrown away soon as expired. Little demand for first jabs and don't want to bring forward 2nd jabs which are better done at 8 weeks for best immunity.

Hence second jab delay currently unlikely to decrease much further.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/aug/01/nhs-urged-to-redistribute-near-expiry-coronavirus-vaccines-as-take-up-slows-in-young

Post edited at 19:31
 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> What’s your point is saying this?

Seems to me this thread is abour analysing data. People were extrapolating from data without taking into consideration an important parameter. 

9
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> Seems to me this thread is abour analysing data. People were extrapolating from data without taking into consideration an important parameter. 

I don't know who you think was doing that extrapolation without taking in to account the parameter.  

My opening position was to state that  I wasn't sure how valid this was, and to seek the input of a poster who - if you had been reading these treads as your criticism claims - you would have spotted might be able to contribute meaningfully 

 I'm kind of on the fence about how valid it is for me to interpret the plot in this way - AJM if you're reading, I'd value your take! [wintertree - Sunday 20:16]

After their comments, I said the following

That’s where my interpretation fails against reality, thanks.  I don’t think the set of refinements you gave would be enough to pull it back to reality.  I think the answer might lie more longitudinally in terms of the medical history of the individuals who are dying - although it’s muddled by the mixed and unknown vaccination status.  Anecdotal reports suggest hospital occupancy is quite tilted towards the unvaccinated minority, that could salt any analysis. [wintertree - Monday 08:15]

Which recognises the point you made, before you made it.

But - and it's a big but....

I recognise that it's likely an important factor, but I do not make any unfounded assumptions about it - just add it to the list of why I think my interpretation of that plot is over-simplified.

Where-as you move towards making a "probable" assertion on the longitudinal link between medical history and outcome - one that you have not supported with evidence:

To understand 'years lost' you must also take into account the fact that pre-vaccine over 80% of all over-80s who contracted Covid survived. Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them.  [oureed  - Monday - 12:43]

Now, this worries me a little because it's a probable assertion that "others" the victims of Covid and specifically ties it to your un-evidenced but "probable" claim of them being much closer to death anyway.  The aspects of their medical history that make them more vulnerable to Covid could just as well not otherwise shorten their lifespans, and there is almost certainly random factors at play.

It reads to me like you're trying to pull up the discussion on the data but instead you're noting a specific subset of a point already recognised and twisting it to push an unevidenced "probable" assertion.  But hey, that's just my take.

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> R4 news today was some Moderna may need to be thrown away soon as expired. Little demand for first jabs and don't want to bring forward 2nd jabs which are better done at 8 weeks for best immunity.

There had been some talk about exchanging doses with another country to shuffle lots around to avoid wastage, I don't know if anything became of that?

> Hence second jab delay currently unlikely to decrease much further.

Agreed.

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Slight deviation, the dashboard now has a handy mapified visualisation of vaccinations. Nice.

> Try to act surprised when you see the colour of the places that start with B.

Having had no reply other than being told to work it out myself, I'll make a guess at what you're saying here:

"Try to act surprised when you see..." = I shouldn't be pointing this out but it's obvious that...

"...the colour of places..." = ...the lowest vaccination rates are in places...

"...that start with B" = ...with a high Asian population.

I apolgise if I have misinterpreted you, but I did ask twice and wait almost 24 hours! I guess other people share my discomfort with this.

Now while I wouldn't object to a thread discussing the reasons why ethnic minorities are hesitant to get vaccinated, I think your cryptic message only serves to exclude these people from the conversation,  sow racial division and scaremonger. Not really what we need in the middle of a health crisis.

9
 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> Where-as you move towards making a "probable" assertion on the longitudinal link between medical history and outcome - one that you have not supported with evidence:

Do you agree that the younger and/or healthier over-80s are more likely survive Covid than the older and/or less-healthy? I would have thought this was pretty self-evident but I put 'probably' in just for you!

7
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> Do you agree that the younger and/or healthier over-80s are more likely survive Covid than the older and/or less-healthy? I would have thought this was pretty self-evident but I put 'probably' in just for you!

“Self evidently” is a bullshit call to “common sense” and not data, evidence or even a reasonable theory.

The closest viruses to this are original SARS and MERS, and like covid they often killed by dysregulation of the host’s immune system.  They killed much younger, healthy adults.  Likewise the 1918 flu epidemic killed young healthy people through what is now believed to be immune dysregulation.  Looking at this as the mildest of the nCov family and considering their lethality means I strongly disagree with you on what is “self-evident”.

We’re going to move right past the point where you claimed others were ignoring an important factor when actually it was right there in black and white but you missed it?  

You remind me of another pop up poster, don’t suppose you feel like dropping any hints?  

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

So with Covid-19 you don't recognise any relationship between age/existing health conditions and mortality?!

8
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> So with Covid-19 you don't recognise any relationship between age/existing health conditions and mortality?!

You’ve got me bang to rights there, I’m that slow.  I assume you do actually understand the point I’m making.

My point - for a given age, “Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them. ” is a bold claim for you to make without evidence; I’m sure it’s a factor but how important compared to co morbidities that don’t otherwise significantly influence life expectancy and to elements of random chance I have no idea - no certainty.  Yet here you are pushing certainty without evidence, making bullshit calls to what is “self evident”.

Telling that you’ve resorted immediately to stupid games rather than evidence to back your position.

Do you understand my point about one lethality mechanism of this virus being the way it turns a healthy immune system on to the host’s body, and why that makes it anything but self evident that frailty is the leading predictor of mortality?

We’re going to move right past the point where you claimed others were ignoring an important factor when actually it was right there in black and white but you missed it?

In reply to wintertree:

> Do you understand my point about one lethality mechanism of this virus being the way it turns a healthy immune system on to the host’s body, and why that makes it anything but self evident that frailty is the leading predictor of mortality?

Hasn’t the linkage been co-morbidity and death had been clearly proved (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-85813-2)

I don’t really see where the argument is going, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say.

- On average, people with more co-morbidities are more likely to die from Covid if they catch it, compared to healthy people.

And

- On average, people with more co-morbidities are more likely to die from any cause compared to healthy people.

Apologies if completely off topic. Was just skim reading.

P.s. good work on the plots.

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> My point - for a given age

Not "for a given age" Wintertree, read my post, I was talking about the over-80 age cohort. That means everyone aged 80 to 120 or whatever. I even added "probably" to remove any notion of certainty, although that was just me being extra-cautious because it's UKC. Age and pre-existing health conditions are the 2 most important factors in Covid mortality. They are also the 2 most important factors in life expectancy. Don't let this get any more weird.

10
In reply to oureed:

Just got to this. If waiting 24 hours is a problem I recommend you upgrade to my premium package with a service level agreement. PM me your credit card details and I'll sort it out. As it is, you may not be aware, but nobody here owes you a damn thing.

"Try to act surprised when you see..." = it shows

"...the colour of places..." = ...the lowest vaccination rates are in places...

"...that start with B" = that we've discussed at length have a low vaccination uptake, and where surge vaccination was deployed

> I apolgise if I have misinterpreted you,

No you don't. You very clearly did so very deliberately.

> but I did ask twice and wait almost 24 hours! I guess other people share my discomfort with this.

I'll be sure to keep you waiting longer in future if it makes you less comfortable.

Now, remember that hypothetical pub we talked about? (Were you Rawn then?) If you had been a nob, as we discussed, and been thrown out, then came back with a fake moustache, and waited until one of your interlocutors had gone for a slash, then turned to someone nearby and recounted something you'd 'misinterpreted' to try to paint them as a racist, that would not get you thrown out...

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> Not "for a given age" Wintertree, read my post, I was talking about the over-80 age cohort.

I read your post.  It was downstream of a critique of an analysis that you claimed was missing an "important factor"- individual medical history and vulnerability (one that had actually been recognised and discussed...) 

 On that important factor you said:

(1) "To understand 'years lost' you must also take into account the fact that pre-vaccine over 80% of all over-80s who contracted Covid survived"
(2) "Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them"

If you had read the description of the analysis you were critiquing, you would have seen that it was done using demographic case numbers and mortality data, so it automatically accounts for the part where more people dying are older.  So your point (1) is of no relevance to the analysis you were critiquing.  Further, in terms of "years lost" - this applies to anyone who dies at any age, so focusing on over-80s is confusing at best, irrelevant at worst.

I assumed for point(2) when you said "average life-expectancy in front of them"  that is was for any given age, as saying someone at 80 has less life expectancy in front of them than someone at age 20 is both astounding obvious and utterly irrelevant to the discussion of years lost for a 20 year old.  

If "Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them" just means "older people" then it's a very long winded and confusing way of stating the obvious, and it's addressed in my noddy, heavily qualified plot and interpretation by dint of that being done demographically.

If "Most of those that succombed to the illness probably had less than average life-expectancy in front of them" means that people at any given age who are closer to death than others at that age are more likely to be killed by Covid, I have given my reasons why I think "self-evident" is a risible justification for your position.  

>  Age and pre-existing health conditions are the 2 most important factors in Covid mortality. They are also the 2 most important factors in life expectancy. Don't let this get any more weird.

Yes, age is a critical factor and that's why the plot I did that started this discussion off is demographic.  That means both the case numbers and the all cause mortality rates are specifically based on age.  

Co-morbidity is a broad church, and one that is partially conflated because not all co-morbidities relate to covid outcomes and remaining life expectancy in the same way.

In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Yes, there's a lot of evidence out there on this.  Which has rather been my point to oureed that they should evidence their position and not state it as "self-evident".   I have more problems with their position, particularly focusing on outcomes for the over-80s in terms of "years lost" when the results from that clearly in no way port to "years lost" for younger people and when this has no relevance to the demographic analysis this ties back to - because it accounts for age...

I have already recognised the role of co-morbidity as a factor in outcomes several times in my posts, 

  • I recognise that it's likely an important factor, but I do not make any unfounded assumptions about it - just add it to the list of why I think my interpretation of that plot is over-simplified (which I did long before oureed raised it as a factor apparently nobody had considered)
  • "I’m sure it’s a factor" - I'm sure because I have read quite a few papers on this - and I also said "but how important compared to co morbidities that don’t otherwise significantly influence life expectancy and to elements of random chance I have no idea - no certainty."

I'm not objecting to oureed stating it's a factor - I'm objecting to...

  • Them stating "People were extrapolating from data without taking into consideration an important parameter" when the extrapolation was already qualified to note that this wasn't taken in to account and likely one of the major issues with it
  • Them providing no support for their position other than what is "self evident" and some comment on over 80s that does't port to younger deaths.
  • Edit: Noting that age as a factor is already fully accounted for in the demographic approach, and that the immune dysregulation raises red flags about applying co-morbidities in a uniform way; I rather think it's not that simple.
Post edited at 21:47
 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> If you had read the description of the analysis you were critiquing...

I wasn't replying to you Wintertree. The person and the comment I replied to are clearly referenced in my post. 

8
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> I wasn't replying to you Wintertree. The person and the comment I replied to are clearly referenced in my post. 

I've just clicked reply a lot from the post I am replying to, and reconstructed the thread of replies.  Here are the posters:

WT - wintertree
OU - oureed
WG - willgriggsonfire

Here is the reply chain (most recent first)

I've gone back to the point where WG asked you why you were saying this.

Your response?

"Seems to me this thread is abour analysing data. People were extrapolating from data without taking into consideration an important parameter"

That is the framing context for what I have been saying, as I had rather hoped was clear and obvious to you given that I replied to it.  

Speaking of the post of yours that I put in bold above: We’re going to move right past the point where you claimed others were ignoring an important factor when actually it was right there in black and white in the chain of messages you were replying to, but you missed it?    

You keep saying people here are keen to insult the intelligence of others, I'm starting to wonder if you are deliberately trying to goad me in to making just such a slight, or if you're just a bit confused?

If we go back to your post WG asked for clarification of your motives on, the comments I have made about your use of "over 80" not porting in any meaningful way to years of life lost from much younger people apply just as well.

Post edited at 21:58
In reply to oureed:

> Maybe Johnson's much-lauded vaccine campaign isn't the world-beating achievement he made it out to be!

Interestingly, Ireland has now overtaken the UK on vaccines given and is using more Pfizer and less AZ.   The Tories are managing the UK press to pretend they are still world leading when in fact they got a head start but many advanced countries have caught up on numbers and have used more Pfizer so should get to the herd immunity point with a lower percentage of the population jagged due to the significantly higher effectiveness. 

https://twitter.com/FineGael/status/1421515864323592193

Ireland also had much fewer deaths per head of population.  The UK has ahad an excessive number of lockdown days due to not reacting fast enough and spent an excessive amount of money due to corruption and incompetence.    Ireland is a useful benchmark for what a reasonably competent government in the UK could have achieved as a member of the EU.

4
 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The UK has ahad an excessive number of lockdown days due to not reacting fast enough

I feel like that was a topic of conversation back in early 2020 on here...  This pandemic has taken every last ounce of enjoyment out of being proved right on things.

 oureed 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Keep your hair on Longsufferingropeholder. I asked 'anyone' for an explanation, not specifically you. Four people liked your comment but, unusually for UKC, nobody wanted to go near my question. Wintertree told me to look through the threads. I did, it was disturbing. Happy to hear your people who live "in places that start with B" are just those that have benefited from surge testing. Not sure why anyone should "try to hide their surprise" about this or why you need to be cryptic but then it's not the first time these threads leave me bewildered.

10
 Misha 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

As you say, any positive news is a good thing but I think it’s too early to call it just as yet. The picture is complex - the football related spike, the unlock on the 19th, nice weather, school holidays with universities having broken up a few weeks earlier, office workers not yet back in force, lots of people still being cautious. Let’s see how things look in the second half of September. Until then, we’re in a holding pattern. If we avoid an August wave, great, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get a September wave instead.

2
In reply to oureed:

> but then it's not the first time these threads leave me bewildered.

But you've only been here since July 22. How many of these threads have you been reading? Or maybe you've been lurking for years?

Or maybe you're just a (Rom the) Bear of very little brain...?

 Misha 03 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

There may be a grain of truth in what you are saying but only a grain.

For, say, 80 year olds, average life expectancy is X years. That’s an average, which is going to be higher for those who are relatively fit and healthy for their age (at a guess, that would be a minority of all 80 year olds) and lower for those who have health issues (probably most 80 year olds, depending on what you count as health issues). The latter would be more likely to die should they get Covid, but some of the relatively healthy 80 year olds would also succumb unfortunately.

What this means is that the average years lost are probably less than X - 80. How much less, I don’t know. At a guess, not much less. I imagine the average lifespan lost is still going to be a few years rather than a few months. Even the less healthy 80 year olds who died from Covid weren't all going to die from other causes imminently.

1
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Misha:

> If we avoid an August wave, great, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get a September wave instead.

Quite; the uncertainty has been rising over the last month as we started to approach this key turning point, and from here on I think the system is going to remain pretty unstable as it sits near a key tipping point.  

> If we avoid an August wave, great, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get a September wave instead.

As long as it doesn't happen, I think the prospect of a return to exponential growth is going to loom over us all through autumn and winter.  We're moving in to really unknown territory for the first time since Feb 2019.

Take each week as it comes, and make hay whilst the sun shines. The sun is shining today, and for my sins I'm writing JavaScript.  Well, once I run out of broken glass to chew.

Post edited at 09:35
 JHiley 03 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Interestingly, Ireland has now overtaken the UK on vaccines given and is using more Pfizer and less AZ.   

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations  suggests this isn't yet the case although their trajectory suggests it will happen soon enough.

>The Tories are managing the UK press to pretend they are still world leading when in fact they got a head start but many advanced countries have caught up on numbers

The head start is the important part though, given the well documented vulnerabilities of older people who were vaccinated in the initial phase.

>and have used more Pfizer so should get to the herd immunity point with a lower percentage of the population jagged due to the significantly higher effectiveness. 

There isn't any evidence to say one is more effective than the other (re Pfizer and AZ) There have been various studies producing different numbers but they mostly seem broadly similar in effectiveness.

> Ireland also had much fewer deaths per head of population.  The UK has had an excessive number of lockdown days due to not reacting fast enough and spent an excessive amount of money due to corruption and incompetence.    Ireland is a useful benchmark for what a reasonably competent government in the UK could have achieved as a member of the EU.

No argument on this point. I reckon Germany, the Netherlands and Nordic countries are also good benchmarks: Far fewer infections/ hospitalisations/ deaths. No basic human rights restricted. Good vaccination programmes. Even Sweden has done far better than the UK, despite some odd choices early on.

1
 Offwidth 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Misha:

I see the whole argument as pretty irrelevant. It's a classic dumb Prof Heneghan line. Every death is a tragedy but restrictions were mainly there to protect hospitals from being overwhelmed. The only other choice was to leave people to die at home, with a severe risk of social breakdown, as ordinary families and friends raged against the way their loved ones were just being left to die. Also with that choice, death rates would likely be approaching an order of magnitude higher. IFRs were up at around 3% at peak, in western countries still trying to do their best despite overwhelmed hospitals (and still saving many despite the carnage)... compared to 0.5% at lower hospitalisation rates and the best possible care. I can only remember one person on UKC suggesting that eugenics style route.

Post edited at 14:23
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> The only other choice was to leave people to die at home, with a severe risk of social breakdown, as ordinary families and friends raged against the way their loved ones were just being left to die.  […] I can only remember one person on UKC suggesting that eugenics style route.

One poster I recall openly suggested that route - as much as I dislike it, I have respect for them in that they owned their position and it’s consequences in an honest way, and did not misrepresent the science or try and pretend that the impossible was achievable in the face of all the evidence.  It’s reassuring to me personally that they had very little support, and it was refreshing to see an honest argument evoking reactions rather than a dishonest one trying to offer people the moon on a stick without a plan to get it beyond a few carefully crafted words.

One poster thought we could magically isolate all covid patients in to warehouses and keep the rest of the NHS running in parallel to avoid lockdown.  To be clear they weren’t advocating for it in advance but presenting it as an alternative possible reality after the event.

A politically toxic but nonetheless possible alternative would have been a choice to move covid cases to the nightingale hospitals and allow eg people in high risk groups to die in greater numbers, whilst not locking down, and keeping the rest of the NHS running in parallel. 

It would mean a lot more overall deaths. But it might mean less of a body blow to the economic prospects of the next 10-15 years.

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/the_long_run_cost_of_lockdown_-_worth_it-731877?v=1#x9416674

I don’t for one moment think their scenario was realisable - technologically we couldn’t screen covid patients well enough to get that level of separation, and socially I don’t think we could just shove half a million dead and dying in to warehouses and expect people to continue going out rather than self imposing lockdown and getting rather strong anti-government sentiment to the point of destabilising society.

IMO this was a full on eugenics argument as the same case could be made for a whole host of other high medical dependency individuals for whom it would be cheaper if we just left them to die out of site.

> Also with that choice, death rates would likely be approaching an order of magnitude higher. 

Agreed; “let it rip” could well have killed over half a million in a few months; we wouldn’t have learnt many of the lessons on managing cases or improved therapeutics, and it seems likely a more transmissive variant would have arisen much sooner.  Reality now looks towards the worst end of the predictions from early days.  Although I suspect the population (many of whom love their older relatives) would have a more chaotic self imposed lockdown before it came to that.

In reply to thread:

Lincoln. Again. What is it with Lincoln? Why is it always Lincoln?

 Richard Popp 03 Aug 2021
In reply to JHiley: My understanding about Sweden is although they did not have the same level of official lockdown Swedes, largely locked themselves down with similar (ie high, in my opinion) levels of compliance. This is what a friend has told me, so anecdotal. Life certainly did not carry on as usual in Sweden.

 Offwidth 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Richard Popp:

They had clear restrictions, just less than most other European countries; with clear advice applied very early from a government trusted by its population. The herd immunity plan was the same initial plan as the UK and NL (who worked together on the idea but soon dropped it as cases soared). Sweden were proved wrong on herd immunity as a plan that would work on it's own (ie without vaccination) and in that they thought they could protect care homes. They were arguably right about policy around much lower risks for social interaction outdoors.

Post edited at 15:46
 JHiley 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Richard Popp

> My understanding about Sweden is although they did not have the same level of official lockdown Swedes, largely locked themselves down with similar (ie high, in my opinion) levels of compliance. This is what a friend has told me, so anecdotal. Life certainly did not carry on as usual in Sweden.

Just to clarify I wasn't suggesting it did and I don't consider them one of the "good benchmarks" I was referring to. I was more using them to illustrate how badly the UK has done overall.

Also, "no basic human rights restricted" doesn't mean no restrictions. I'm continually perplexed by the people popping up who think, not wearing a mask, not having a vaccine, being able to cram into a rave/ pub/ gym with dozens of strangers or fly through the air in a giant metal bird are basic human rights. Germany's restrictions were fairly cautious yet humane throughout the pandemic, same for plenty of other places.

 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to thread:

Back to daily plot watching with all the uncertainty in the air.

Updates to the 7-day rate constant plots.

Both England and Scotland have decay picking up speed again (shorted halving times) after their feint at growth.  To my eye, regional provisional data is no longer trending to growth in the East Midlands.  

Storm Evert has departed and warmer (and dryer) weather is back; that I think is going to help, although I doubt the weather signal can be meaningfully correlated with the case rate over the last couple of weeks, so many other things have been happening in rapid succession.  

The uncertainty continues!  


 Misha 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

There is also a behavioural aspect here which could reinforce existing trends. When people see cases going up, they become more cautious and vice versa.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Ireland is a useful benchmark for what a reasonably competent government in the UK could have achieved as a member of the EU.

I think the "reasonably competent government" part is orders of magnitude more relevant than being "a member of the EU".

I suspect that our results throughout this pandemic would be little different if we were still in the EU but also had the current government. Similarly, with a competent government I think we would have fared much better whether in or out of the EU.

Having said that, with a competent government we might have stayed in the EU or at least left with a reasonable relationship put in place.

 jimtitt 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

And down here in Germany we plod along, the incidence is creeping up (17,9 today), we all still wear masks and keep away from other people, compulsory testing (or vaccinated) at the borders, immediate lockdown over the alarm levels, flying vaccinations squads for hot-spots. Biontec coming out of our ears (the government are building a cold store for 100m excess doses), AZ is a dead issue and the 130m doses being given away to the third world and we are starting third vaccinations in September, mine should be on the 28th.

Just registered on the EU tracing platform to whizz down to Italy tomorrow. 

 Misha 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Agree, I was just engaging on the narrow point re life years saved.

 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to thread:

The plots 6-8 for England look a lot clearer with a couple of days more data; the short rise in cases seems to have reverse changing the trendline fit in the provisional right edge, and hospital admissions are showing a much more compelling decay at the right sort of lag from cases.  Deaths continue to have nearly levelled off, as has hospital occupancy.  

Eyeballing it, there's about 9 days between the turning point on cases and admissions, and there might be a similar lag emerging from admissions to the turning point hopefully about to emerge on deaths.  

Seeing the right sort of latencies and the admissions data look like it's going to hit the same kind of halving times as the decay in cases presents I think a compelling case that the fall in cases genuinely reflects a fall in infections.

We've had various credible suggestions for other reasons cases might be falling, I think they can all be parked now.  Like I said last week - "I’ve generally come to trust the cases data as a barometer of infections; confounding factors like engagement with the system seem to change more slowly than real changes to the rate constant of infections as embodied in cases." - or in more general words, sudden changes to cases are pretty good indicators of sudden changes to infections.


 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Misha:

> There is also a behavioural aspect here which could reinforce existing trends. When people see cases going up, they become more cautious and vice versa.

That normally kicks in at much lower prevalences however; I've never been clear on what triggers this "auto-moderation" of the rate constant at UTLA level; if it's people reacting to others they know becoming seriously ill and hospitalised, that would kick in at much higher prevalences than previous waves, which would fit with what we see now.  If however it's a response to simple case numbers, it doesn't really fit with what we've seen recently.

 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

> And down here in Germany we plod along

Estimates of the CFR on a 21-day lag from the German data are way high, it could be the tail end of lingering deaths from the last wave salting the measurement, or it could indicate a lot of transmission in the unvaccinated.  If I was living there I'd be watching how that develops over the next few weeks.

So far, Germany seems to have done a much better job of protecting its citizens than the UK - despite lacking the advantage of ocean borders.  I hope that can continue but the new variant puts so much uncertainty in to everything, especially with Germany having a lot less infection granted immunity as you go in to autumn (particularly from the latest variant - which was perhaps a big motivator here behind the scenes in the UK, not that there was anything like a proper presentation to parliament or any sort of informed debate...)

Do you know how the vaccine uptake in those aged 12-16 is going in Germany?  So far it's not clear you're going to reach the same vaccination rates as here in adults so that seems pertinent.

>  Biontec coming out of our ears (the government are building a cold store for 100m excess doses)

I'm surprise there hasn't been more movement on variant adapted vaccines.  Perhaps the Indian variant blindsided people as it's something of a reset vs Kent.

In reply to wintertree:

> I'm surprise there hasn't been more movement on variant adapted vaccines.  

There was a well-qualified voice in a not-so-recent science unscripted that touched on this. Might be one of those things that counterintuitively you don't necessarily want to do. I'll try find a link, but it really was only a short comment suggesting another vaccine aimed at a different variant could be less effective than more of the same. Makes me want to read more.

Edit: can't find which episode it was in now. Sorry. Haven't made it up, but I don't have a reference so it can be stricken from the record if necessary.

Post edited at 17:28
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> There was a well-qualified voice in a not-so-recent science unscripted that touched on this. Might be one of those things that counterintuitively you don't necessarily want to do. I'll try find a link, but it really was only a short comment suggesting another vaccine aimed at a different variant could be less effective than more of the same. Makes me want to read more.

Very interesting, thanks.

My thinking was that it depends on what type of immunity you want to elicit.  For the older and more vulnerable, neutralising immunity seems beneficial and needs vaccines to track RBD changes.  But, long term and for the least vulnerable…?

In reply to wintertree:

It was comment by an immunologist they'd dragged in to interview. He'd clearly dumbed it down to an acceptable level for podcast, but framed it as the immune system somehow remembers its first time the best. And any subsequent vaccine that targeted a different variant would somehow illicit a weaker response to a new strain than boosting the existing. Somehow.
Seems non-obvious and clearly not fully explained in the 30 seconds of soundbite, but gives me cause to question the presumption that a tailored booster would be better.

Edit: really can't find which episode it was in. Sorry.
In other news, B4 rolling!

Post edited at 17:52
In reply to Misha:

Been in supermarkets recently and stunned at the lack of masks : 20% max. Also interesting that cases in Wigan have been plummeting recently. Kinda prooves your point. 

Randomish thought based on observations and chatting: freedom day hasn’t been as bad as it could have been because many folk have been doing freedom day for ages. For many, Pubs and Clubs just took over from Proseco O Clock boozing round your mates house. And loads folk still home working. 

Post edited at 17:59
 jimtitt 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

20% at the moment but the campaign is in it's early phases, because the summer holidays are staggered through Germany some kids went back yesterday and some started holidays on Friday. We shall see how the mask requirement being dropped for the vaccinated concentrates peoples minds! The relaxations for the vaccinated seem to be having an effect.

 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Or maybe you're just a (Rom the) Bear of very little brain...?

I don’t know, for almost a decade Rom has played the fool to draw someone in and then gradually dialled it back whilst swinging their position round half circle only to claim that was their view all along.  I’m not sure that applies here.

In light of your post, I suggest we henceforth refer to the plethora of new accounts looking to attrition these threads down as “Paddingtons”.  Then when whoever this latest poster is comes back under another account name and pretends to be new (again?), they can make a big song and dance out of pretending to ask the forum what it means, then apply faux-outrage and bizarre illlogic to interpret the lack of answers as moral support for their position (quietly sidestepping the piling up of dislikes).

 elsewhere 03 Aug 2021

There are many countries with high delta prevalence (85-100%) like UK and  vaccination rates comparable to or higher than the UK. I'm not sure we can understand the UK unless we can explain where the UK fits into the bigger international picture as the UK does not appear to be an outlier.

Has anybody got a clue on the bigger, international picture?

TradDad 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Thanks for your concern Si, I look forward to you checking in on my ‘mental health’ if we bump into each other at the crag 💗

I also think it’s important to say I have learnt things from this discussion mainly based on Wintertree’s posts and replies which has led me to read more thoroughly about the workings of the pcr test as well as consider the statistics in a different way. So I’m grateful for that and am more aligned with the views here than previously.

Also I can see posting pokey replies about covid and flu is a baaaaad idea. Still one lives and learns again 😂

 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> There are many countries with high delta prevalence (85-100%) like UK and  vaccination rates comparable to or higher than the UK. I'm not sure we can understand the UK unless we can explain where the UK fits into the bigger international picture as the UK does not appear to be an outlier.

Two places big differences can hide with the similarities you’ve given are the demographics of vaccination and the population immunity levels including immunity from live infection.

In terms of “outlier”, the UK is almost at the top of rankings for vaccination.  When you then take the counties at the top of that list, the UK also ranks right up top on per capita deaths, suggesting more infection in the pre-vaccination waves.  We then got hit by a mass wave of infection from delta that is ahead of the other nations and that was allowed to run (very) hot with vaccination holding deaths down.  jimtitt’s comment on 20% vaccination in 12-16 year olds in Germany for example means that vaccine uptake in adults is a bit lower lower than you’d otherwise think eg by comparing the UK & Germany through “ourworldindata”.  (Edit: With adult based transmission probability dominating until schools are returned - after that point having vaccination in children could swing things the other way maybe)

Take the cumulative effect of all those outliers and I suspect we just got to a tipping point in the mechanic before other places.  

The less infection other nations have had - particularly recently I suspect - the more vaccination they’re going to need to drop more control measures.

Post edited at 20:36
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

>  I'm not sure we can understand the UK unless we can explain where the UK fits into the bigger international picture as the UK does not appear to be an outlier.

Here is a quick attempt to put some numbers on what my previous post says.

The proper way to do this is with immune surveys for each country.  I have made a very crude estimate at antibody levels in some comparable European nations.

I did this with numbers from ourworldindata.  There are significant (er, massive) assumptions made in every stage of this that mean the results are garbage as a numerical comparison, but may have some hint of validity in terms of ranking where the countries stand - even that is riddled with assumptions.  I'm not going to list them all or I'd be here all day.

 x-axis: I estimated immunity from infection as the sum of the following:

  • 100 x the number of deaths to date (deaths almost entirely pre-dating both vaccination and delta) using a stab at the IFR as 1%
  • 2 x the number of detected since 1st June - using a stab at the case detection rate as 50%.

y-axis: This is the fraction of people with either 1- or 2-doses of vaccine

Colormap - this uses the x- and y- axis measures of immunity to estimate total immunity, using the assumption that both sorts of immunity are randomly distributed across the population.   We know this isn't fully valid as there're strong demographic constraints and relationships with vaccination.

So, on this very crude ranking, the UK is the outlier.  If I double or halve either the IFR or case detection rate, the UK remains the outlier.

The data points may look very far apart on this plot, but if we look at the estimated immunity levels normalised to those of the UK and take that as a crude approximation for a herd immunity threshold (which again will be different in different cultures, societies and climates), the differences aren't that big.

    ⦿     0.87× : Germany
    ⦿     0.91× : France
    ⦿     0.93× : Italy
    ⦿     0.99× : Spain
    ⦿     1.00× : UK

So, Germany falls the farthest from us, and Spain the closest.

We're partly ahead in this noddy ranking because of the early scale of infection and death in the UK, partly from having had a lot more delta-driven infections in recent times (see the attached plot from ourworldindata) and partly from vaccination.

Given that Germany, for example, can now close the gap with a combination of vaccines and vaccine moderated infection, and given the relative economic harm in each country, the question arrises - were the 0.15 megadeaths in the UK from repeatedly ramming healthcare to the limit worth it?  

Looking at these two plots, in some ways Germany faces the most challenging time over the next couple of months, but it sounds like they're facing it with belief in the power of control measures.

Finally - a repeat - there are a lot of egregious assumptions in this plot.  A quick sensitivity analysis to some of them shows the UK remains the outlier, but I would take nothing much more quantitative from it than that. 

Edit: As well as changing the IFR an case detection rates, I did another sensitivity test - instead of assuming the two sources of immunity were uncorrelated, I did another plot where they are anti-correlated (those who were infected did not get immunised).  The outlier status of the UK and the ranked order (by total immunity colour band) remains unchanged.

Post edited at 21:54

In reply to elsewhere:

I wouldn't say there are many places with higher vaccination rates. There are one or two. And as pointed out they don't have the number of recovered. It's reasonable to suggest that we got here first, wherever here is.

Edit: ignore this post and just keep looking at the one above. That's a great way to illustrate it.

Post edited at 21:42
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Seems non-obvious 

That's immunology.  In idle moments I keep pondering how I can join an immunology business in a few years and usefully contribute; would be such an interesting area to do something.  It's a very computational set of systems and following that metaphors  I particularly like the idea of finding a way to de-program specific antigens to help cure auto-immune disorders.  

>  It's reasonable to suggest that we got here first, wherever here is.

That's a very good way of putting it.  I suspect the science teams in several other countries are getting regular phone calls from their governments asking "are we nearly there yet?".

Of course, none of us know if we'll stay there once we get there.  Wherever there is. 

> In other news, B4 rolling!

Enough with the "B" codes - our guardian poster has called you out on excluding others from the conversation with secret codes around the letter "B"...  Now I'm glued to Needle, it's absolutely bonkers.  29 fitted in one day.  What's with the insane colour scheme on Cranezilla?  Did they buy a bunch of broken bits off eBay and bolt them together?  It looks tiny next to the OLM - I haven't Neerdle'd in since that was finished.  Hopefully Astropath will be along soon to start the SN20 thread.  

 Si dH 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Interesting immunity analysis, thanks. The numbers for the UK certainly seem plausible when looking at the adult antibody surveys, albeit noting your major caveats.

Very pleased to see I was apparently wrong about infection rates turning into more of a rise this week, it just seems to have been a brief shoulder... I live in hope.

 Misha 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

Depends on the supermarket / area perhaps. Just been to a supermarket and it was great as hardly anyone there at 10.30pm. Some staff and customers wearing masks, others not but impossible to say whether that’s because it was virtually empty or because they didn’t want to. They’ve taken down the plastic screens around the checkouts and self serves, which I thought was a bit odd. Interesting that one of the local canalside bars which has loads of outdoor seating still had a ‘please wait to be seated’ sign today. Everyone is just making up their own rules now. I guess that’s what they meant by being responsible…

 Misha 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Israel was and probably still is ahead of us in the vaccination drive. I don’t know what their case rates have been like over time. It would be a good comparator given the vaccination rates. 

1
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> The numbers for the UK certainly seem plausible when looking at the adult antibody surveys, albeit noting your major caveats.

Perhaps it's a good "Fermi problem" - it's got enough assumptions and estimates that the over- and under- estimates do a reasonable job of cancelling each other out...

On this general subject: I wonder if Prof Hendrik Streeck is going to revisit his early work from April 2020 in light of the last year...

 elsewhere 03 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

That's an impressive illustration, thanks.

In terms of double jabs we are in the middle of Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland and Hungary so not very outlieing. Maybe I need to look at first jabs.

1
 wintertree 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Israel was and probably still is ahead of us in the vaccination drive. I don’t know what their case rates have been like over time. It would be a good comparator given the vaccination rates. 

Good suggestion.  Very briefly with the effect it would have on my token analysis:

Deaths less than all nations on my plot - lower total immunity than UK
“Delta-era” cases closer to Italy than the UK - lower total immunity than UK
People with at least vaccine 1 dose Is lower than UK - lower total immunity than the UK (including from a large number of second doses already competed with the bigger gap - and as many more second doses are competed than are awaiting completion the difference may more than overcome our lower absolute number of second doses… something not captured in the data on number of 2nd doses alone…)

But - people with both does is higher than the UK - I think this would be a minor effect compared to all the others, so it's likely behind us for now.  (presumably the difference is down to a 4 vs 8+ week gap between doses)

I'll add it next time I update the plot.

In reply to Elsewhere:

> In terms of double jabs we are in the middle of Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland and Hungary so not very outlieing. Maybe I need to look at first jabs.

With the difference in time from first to second dose, the UK is going to place different across the two measures.  This also likely makes the total immunity from the second dose stronger in the UK.

At this point when vaccination is demand limited (as in the UK at least), first doses is also a better predictor of the final vaccine granted immunity as it tells us how many people have committed to vaccination.

So, if thinking about more than a month out, I think first doses are a more useful measure, and they start cutting transmission before the second; in either case the majority of vaccination is now behind many of these countries so the difference is not so large.  I could perhaps weight my noddy analysis based on the difference between 1st and 2nd doses, but if I start removing some assumptions I might break the Fermi magic... 

Post edited at 00:09
In reply to wintertree:

> The less infection other nations have had - particularly recently I suspect - the more vaccination they’re going to need to drop more control measures.

Yes, but it is not the only factor.   The UK used a lot more AZ vaccine than the EU and US and AZ is far less effective than Pfizer against delta variant.   What matters is effectiveness against preventing symptomatic infection, because herd immunity is about whether vaccinated people will catch it and spread it, not whether they will need hospital treatment.

Public Health England study shows Pfizer as 20% more effective than AZ at preventing symptomatic disease  https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2021/07/21/study-finds-pfizer-and-astrazeneca-vaccines-effective-against-the-delta-variant---as-long-as-you-get-both-doses

With more effective vaccines you will get to herd immunity with a smaller % of the population vaccinated.

The other factor is many countries are vaccinating children which will allow them to keep the vaccination rate up and get to the required % for herd immunity before countries where it tails off as soon as all the willing adults are vaccinated.

3
 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Yes, but it is not the only factor

I tried to make the riders that this was a very crude analysis massively clear.

> Public Health England study shows Pfizer as 20% more effective than AZ at preventing symptomatic disease

Do you have a source *with CIs* rather than that Forbes article?  I meant to call that out last time you posted the Forbes article. CIs often aren’t symmetric and comparing just the headline number without them isn’t science…  or very meaningful…  Given comparator nations are only just reaching full-delta now, I’m not sure how well controlled and initial study can be as it would have to be UK data and the Pfizer/AZ split is along age lines, which is a massive conflating factor.  It’s *very* early days.

Further, effectiveness against symptomatic infection is not the same as effectiveness against transmission, with both (a) symptom free transmission being a hallmark of this pandemic and (b) viral load being a thing, and both vaccines moderating the strength of symptomatic infection when it happens.  There are specific studies on effectiveness against transmission pre-delta and I don’t think it’s wise to conflate one (an early one at that given where we are with delta) that looks at a different endpoint with efficacy against transmission for delta.  Depending on the CIs it might portend a difference in efficacy against transmission but that’s all.

For sure it’ll be a factor but I think you’re jumping to a conclusion in advance of support for it, and in an all to familiar direction.

Further, 

> The other factor is many countries are vaccinating children which will allow them to keep the vaccination rate up and get to the required % for herd immunity before countries where it tails off as soon as all the willing adults are vaccinated.

I specifically noted that there are differing demographic bounds on vaccination.

All things being equal, this is incorporated in to my noddy plot because it uses fraction of all people vaccinated, not fraction of adults.  However, all things are not equal.

So far, vaccinating children is *not* leading to higher uptake rates (by 1st dose) in comparator nations, it’s partially compensating for lower adult uptake.

I noted some thoughts over this; I said perhaps if makes it worse (for HITs) during the school holidays but may make it better once term resumes.  

To add - at least in Germany this is going ahead on political grounds explicitly against their scientific vaccines advisory panel from what jimtit has said a week or two ago.  I’m pretty sure I could predict your response if England was vaccinating children against JCVI advice on the decision of the current Tory government…. Far from clear to me that vaccinating children instead of adults is going to be a net benefit in the long run.

Post edited at 06:39
 Offwidth 04 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Not sure what you mean by that as there is no vaccination of children 'instead of' adults: it's always as well as!? On the subject, it looks like we are vaccinating 16 and 17 year olds now across the UK.

1
In reply to elsewhere:

> In terms of double jabs we are in the middle of Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland and Hungary so not very outlieing. Maybe I need to look at first jabs.

That, or if you want to count 'fully vaccinated', then second jabs a couple of weeks ago. None of the countries you list is significantly ahead in those terms.

In reply to wintertree:

> > Public Health England study shows Pfizer as 20% more effective than AZ at preventing symptomatic disease

> Do you have a source *with CIs* rather than that Forbes article?  

They linked the study in their article.  The academic paper has the CI numbers and there's still a 20% gap.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2108891

I chose this reference because it was from Public Health England so it can't be put down as anti-UK propaganda.   The US CDC and pretty much every other country also think Pfizer is more effective.

> Further, effectiveness against symptomatic infection is not the same as effectiveness against transmission, with both (a) symptom free transmission being a hallmark of this pandemic and (b) viral load being a thing, and both vaccines moderating the strength of symptomatic infection when it happens.  

No, it is not exactly the same but it is far more closely correlated than the usual AZ apologists approach of talking about protection from severe disease. 

> For sure it’ll be a factor but I think you’re jumping to a conclusion in advance of support for it, and in an all to familiar direction.

> So far, vaccinating children is *not* leading to higher uptake rates (by 1st dose) in comparator nations, it’s partially compensating for lower adult uptake.

If you need to get X% of your population jagged for herd immunity and there are a whole bunch of adults who refuse and you have jags left over because of this then using the jags for teenage children seems like the best way of getting closer to X%.

In an ideal world it would be better to get the adults first but we don't live in an ideal world and it isn't that long until school term starts again.  Without the social distancing and masks and large scale isolation it's going to spread like wildfire through schools.  Maybe it is already too late to get two jags into the older kids before they catch it.

>  Far from clear to me that vaccinating children instead of adults is going to be a net benefit in the long run.

It isn't 'instead of' because the adults who will take one are getting one.

Post edited at 07:20
4
 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Not sure what you mean by that as there is no vaccination of children 'instead of' adults: it's always as well as!?

Sorry; I could have been clearer.  I mean that the places offering the vaccine to all older children have lower adult engagement; I get the impression the push down to 12 in Germany is with the hope it will compensate for lower adult uptake.   So it’s a de facto “instead”.

Whilst TiE has criticised England for not vaccinating children before it is on the advice of the JCVI which the English government are legally obliged to follow.  Interestingly, Stormont choose to rubber stamp JCVI guidance and so are not legally obliged to follow it, but they do…

> On the subject, it looks like we are vaccinating 16 and 17 year olds now across the UK.

Sort of: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/07/C1355-next-steps-following-updated-JCVI-guidance-in-relation-to-COVID-19-vaccinations-for-children-and-young-p.pdf

“A small number of children and young people with underlying chronic conditions are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 disease.
JCVI advises that children and young people aged 12 years and over with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious COVID- 19, should be offered COVID-19 vaccination.

Government advisers are currently reviewing evidence on the risk of COVID-19 in children and young people considered clinically extremely vulnerable. Once this review has reported, the finding will be considered by JCVI and will inform further guidance.

At the current time, children 12 to 15 years of age with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome, underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register are considered at increased risk for serious COVID-19 disease and should be offered COVID-19 vaccination.
    
Young people aged 16 to 17 years of age who are at higher risk of serious COVID- 19, as currently set out in the Green Book, should continue to be offered COVID-19 vaccination.

 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> They linked the study in their article.  The academic paper has the CI numbers and there's still a 20% gap.

AZ 2 doses delta:  67.0% (95% CI, 61.3 to 71.8) 

PF 2 doses delta: 88.0% (95% CI, 85.3 to 90.1)

Thanks for the paper link.  There’s still clear water there with the CIs.  Some heavy riders in their text however.  I don’t see from the text how they control for the age conflation with AZ being in older people in the UK - that seems like a biassing factor towards symptomatic illness for the AZ cohort…

> No, it is not exactly the same

It’s not the same. “Exactly” doesn’t come in to it.

> but it is far more closely correlated than the usual AZ apologists approach of talking about protection from severe disease. 

I’m not sure there is such a thing as an “AZ apologist” you know.  Just people trying to keep an eye on the factual side of things.  

You seem to be painting a conflation of different efficacies (severe disease and symptomatic infection) as apologism whilst simultaneously conflating different efficacies (symptomatic infection and onwards transmission) in favour of a a rather entrenched position…?

If AZ has a correspondingly lower efficacy against onwards transmission, the situation in the UK becomes very hard to understand…

> If you need to get X% of your population jagged for herd immunity and there are a whole bunch of adults who refuse and you have jags left over because of this then using the jags for teenage children seems like the best way of getting closer to X%.

Of course, the X in your percentage depends on the demographic uptake.  Seems to me like low adult uptake is a fundamental problem and going against the advisory panel advice and vaccinating children is not a strategy to be proud of, but one forced by necessity.  With parent and child vaccine refusal presumably well correlated, it’s probably not as effective as a 1:1 substitution…

> >  Far from clear to me that vaccinating children instead of adults is going to be a net benefit in the long run.

> It isn't 'instead of' because the adults who will take one are getting one.

See my comment to Offwidth.  A better way of saying it would have been “vaccinating some children to attempt to compensate for adults who won’t be vaccinated” but in practical terms it seems very much to be “instead of those adults who refuse vaccination” - if adult uptake was high, do you think the German politicians would have overridden their advisory panel?

Post edited at 07:46
 kirsten 04 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I’m guessing somewhere like AUS will be way down bottom left in the blue corner of your new chart. I wouldn’t like to be facing Delta with little natural immunity and a slow vaccine rollout. 

 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to kirsten:

Yup.  Not good.

 aksys 04 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Pretty damming report published by the Institute of Government today on the government’s handling of coronavirus in schools.

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/schools-and-coronavirus.pdf

A complete shambles on most issues, more interested in macho government than caring for children!

 elsewhere 04 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> That, or if you want to count 'fully vaccinated', then second jabs a couple of weeks ago. None of the countries you list is significantly ahead in those terms.

That's because those are the ones I selected as being European countries and as close as possible to the UK in terms of double jabs. UK didn't look like an outlier in terms of graphs of cases. Hungary does look an outlier amongst those (low cases).

I am wary we may be prone to "British exceptionalism" when middling or no clear pattern may be more appropriate looking at graphs of cases.

Post edited at 09:13
In reply to elsewhere:

It'll be interesting to see what happens in those places, for sure. But it is really important to note that a country whose line on ourworldindata crossed the UK's two days ago is not equally immunised.
And also UK's immunity from infection is really high.
And a (possibly contentious) point that I'm not sure has been made yet, and I am ready to be told I'm wrong on this, is that our unvaccinated population might have more overlap with the previously infected than many countries. Ignoring the tin-foil hatters that you get everywhere, it looks like we're only really struggling to get uptake high in the same regions and demographics that the bigger share of the outbreaks happened in, whereas the anectodal feel from other countries seems to be that the "unvaccinated and unwilling to be vaccinated" column has a significant contingent of grumpy/stubborn/sceptical older folks in it.

Post edited at 09:52
 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> I am wary we may be prone to "British exceptionalism" when middling or no clear pattern may be more appropriate looking at graphs of cases.

Rather than exceptionalism, perhaps it's more like rushing down to the poolside early in the morning to get the beach towel down before the Germans, and breaking an ankle in the process but hobbling on regardless.  

Only, there's no shortage of sun loungers to put the towel on and so no rush, and the broken ankle represents a lot of dead people.

 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Regarded of speculation on the intersection of historic infection and those now unvaccinated, the UK has had a big wave of infection since mass vaccination, and this will mostly have fallen in the unvaccinated; the rise of the “delta” wave started much later in a lot of comparator nations.

Post edited at 10:00

New ONS numbers out.

"In England, it is estimated that over 9 in 10 adults, or 93.6% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 92.5% to 94.5%) would have tested positive for antibodies ..."

Edit: currently searching for any equivalent to this survey in comparable countries. Surprised by none being immediately easy to find.

Post edited at 11:12
In reply to wintertree:

> Regarded of speculation on the intersection of historic infection and those now unvaccinated, the UK has had a big wave of infection since mass vaccination, and this will mostly have fallen in the unvaccinated; the rise of the “delta” wave started much later in a lot of comparator nations.

This is very obvious in the graphs on covariants.org

> the 0.15 megadeaths

Such a cool unit of measurement!

In reply to elsewhere:

> In terms of double jabs we are in the middle of Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland and Hungary so not very outlieing. Maybe I need to look at first jabs.

When it comes to beating the Delta variant I think the science says that anything less than double-jabbed is bad news and almost certainly means you can't fully remove societal restrictions.  I think the real world examples are Israel who, despite the best vax rate in the world at the time, had to re-impose restrictions. Similar for Jersey whose jab rate is better than the UK, although they will have had lower levels of infection-induced immunity.  Their 14 day case rate hit 2889/100k even without nightclubs and large gatherings allowed, now they have WFH and mask use again.

In reply to Toerag:

Oh, we're up to 84% of >18s double-jabbed and 8% single jabbed here, so a probably 94% vax coverage amongst the adult population.

 elsewhere 04 Aug 2021

Ages 16 and 17 to be offered vaccination?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58080232

TBC

Post edited at 12:50
 kirsten 04 Aug 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

. Hungary does look an outlier amongst those (low cases).

But leading Europe and 2nd in world for per capita deaths... (according to Statista) 

 wintertree 04 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> "In England, it is estimated that over 9 in 10 adults, or 93.6% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 92.5% to 94.5%) would have tested positive for antibodies ..."

Well, it's not going to get much better than that...  FWIW, that leans strongly towards my anti-correlated plot where vaccination and live infection don't overlap, compared to the one where they are both distributed at random.  

> Edit: currently searching for any equivalent to this survey in comparable countries. Surprised by none being immediately easy to find.

There's a reason I did an order of magnitude estimate based on heavily disclaimed methodology vs pulling together international antibody surveys...  Let me know if you find any good comparators.

In reply to thread:

Another daily update of the rate constant plots; still in to decay week-on-week, still very lacklustre.  (About an 11% decay per week for England, for example).

Looking back, a couple of posters commented that the sudden fall in rate constants in Scotland a few weeks back looked far to steep to be the effect of reaching the threshold; end of the football there seems more plausible with the same pattern in England, but I'm not aware of a source for the gender data I'd need to convince myself this was the case (I'll trawl through the plots on Travelling Tabby later...).

Both nations are at about -0.015 / day on the rate constant plot, and the typical weather cycles can add about 0.050 / day to that , with scope to put things back in to clear growth.

Next port of call is probably to dive through the SAGE submissions to look for the tables on reinfection to see if that's changing and to look at case hospitalisation rates to understand how that's changing.


In reply to anyone

Manchester Evening News produces this daily chart.  Wigan’s rate has plummeted from a top of the league 836 to a second from bottom 283,in 10 days!  Be interesting to see how many Grter Manc  local authorities drop below the England average in the next week or so, as infection acquired immunity should be much higher than average, and the current % decreases are high.


In reply to Bottom Clinger:

Lincoln is the problem child, again.

In reply to aksys:

> A complete shambles on most issues, more interested in macho government than caring for children!

It gets worse.  Apparently the UK government had a plan for coronavirus drawn up in 2005 after the first SARS outbreak which had lots of good advice but they ignored it and used the flu plan instead.

When there is a public enquiry into this, and the Scottish Government is going to hold one, nicely timed for the run up to Indyref 2, these guys are toast.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/covid-plan-uk-government-sars-coronavirus-b1893726.html

In reply to wintertree:

> You seem to be painting a conflation of different efficacies (severe disease and symptomatic infection) as apologism whilst simultaneously conflating different efficacies (symptomatic infection and onwards transmission) in favour of a a rather entrenched position…?

No, I'm just assuming that if someone is symptomatic - i.e. sneezing and coughing - there's going to be more virus flying about than if they aren't.

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> No, I'm just assuming that if someone is symptomatic - i.e. sneezing and coughing - there's going to be more virus flying about than if they aren't.

You might want to check “sneezing and coughing” against the symptoms used to send people for testing in the UK; I’m not clear how a high temperature or a loss of sense of smell lead to spreading more virus for example, and sneezing isn’t on the list…

It’s absolutely not valid to draw that equality based on binary measurement thresholds applied to continuous multidimensional scales.

Efficacy against onwards transmission is absolutely a different efficacy to that of protection from symptomatic infection, and it’s facile to pretend otherwise.  I wouldn’t have minded so much but for you directly politicising the conflation of efficacies agaisnt severe illness and symptomatic infection; I agree with you that it’s wrong to conflate those two, which given your verdict on that as “AZ apologists” is why I’m all the more surprised to see you conflate efficiencies against symptomatic infection and onwards transmission when doing so specifically to paint AZ in a more negative light; not conveying a very neutral motivation, and also potentially at odds with the observation of the UK’s current situation.

Post edited at 00:19
 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It gets worse.  Apparently the UK government had a plan for coronavirus drawn up in 2005 after the first SARS outbreak which had lots of good advice but they ignored it and used the flu plan instead.

Someone tell Blunderbuss, er sorry Tonker…

Its difficult when we don’t know what we don’t know about the preparedness excercise conducted after SARS.

 FactorXXX 05 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> When there is a public enquiry into this, and the Scottish Government is going to hold one, nicely timed for the run up to Indyref 2, these guys are toast.

Will that enquiry be based on trying to blame everything on Westminster/England as opposed to the Scottish Government?

In reply to wintertree:

> You might want to check “sneezing and coughing” against the symptoms used to send people for testing in the UK; I’m not clear how a high temperature or a loss of sense of smell lead to spreading more virus for example, and sneezing isn’t on the list…

Fever and upper respiratory tract symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, coughing are obviously creating sweat and/or mucus which is going to be virus ridden and be a vector for transmission. 

https://www.boston25news.com/news/trending/how-do-you-know-if-you-have-delta-variant-what-are-symptoms

> Efficacy against onwards transmission is absolutely a different efficacy to that of protection from symptomatic infection, and it’s facile to pretend otherwise. 

It is different but my assumption is closely related because stuff like sweat and mucus is where the droplets laden with virus come from.

In reply to FactorXXX:

> Will that enquiry be based on trying to blame everything on Westminster/England as opposed to the Scottish Government?

When it comes to finding things to blame the Tories for it will be shooting fish in a barrel.  If you were a QC grilling any of this shower under oath would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I wouldn't be surprised if Westminster refuse point blank to co-operate because they know how much sh*t they would be in if they were forced to answer questions from a hostile QC under oath and on camera.  They will only look more guilty if they 'take the fifth'.

Post edited at 04:19
 Tonker 05 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> > It gets worse.  Apparently the UK government had a plan for coronavirus drawn up in 2005 after the first SARS outbreak which had lots of good advice but they ignored it and used the flu plan instead.

> Someone tell Blunderbuss, er sorry Tonker…

> Its difficult when we don’t know what we don’t know about the preparedness excercise conducted after SARS.

LOL! I think the term is 'living rent free'....

Would you like to tell me where in that draft document lockdowns were planned as a response to that type of pandemic? They weren't...

You got your knickers in a twist with me challenging your claim that we should have locked down by the 9th March...nothing else.

TBH on the rest of COVID I'm pretty much in line with you but you stubborn view on this, backed up by sod all evidence is very strange.

I disagreed because:

  • SAGE were not advising the government to do this. Have you read Sir Jeremy Farrars book? It does not back up your view that the government 'failed' in not locking down by the 9th based on what SAGE was advising them.
  • No other academics were publicly advocating this. You claimed they were but provided zero evidence for this during our little tussle. I scoured the internet and the first academic paper that I could find was from Stephen Riley and published on the 9th March and passed to SAGE on the 10th.

BTW  - I won't be replying as I have better things to do with my time....

1
 CurlyStevo 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

India have admitted their real covid deaths alone are more like 4 million. You have to realise India only properly records a relatively small percentage of its deaths in good times. I’m sure many countries are in a similar position and others like Russia recorded much less than half of the covid deaths they should have done. Real world wide covid deaths must be well over 10 million now.

Post edited at 06:27
In reply to Tonker:

> No other academics were publicly advocating this. You claimed they were but provided zero evidence for this during our little tussle. I scoured the internet and the first academic paper that I could find was from Stephen Riley and published on the 9th March and passed to SAGE on the 10th.

By 3rd March the Chinese had already proved lockdowns work with their response to Wuhan.

The academic publication and review cycle is not designed for crisis situations: when China does a city scale experiment with a lockdown in the real world and it works you don't need to dick about waiting for the academics to write it up, peer review, edit and resubmit.  

2
 Offwidth 05 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

You need to be careful. The symptoms of covid have shifted and are much more easily mistaken for a summer cold or hay fever now but the government descriptions of them haven't changed.

https://theconversation.com/the-symptoms-of-the-delta-variant-appear-to-differ-from-traditional-covid-symptoms-heres-what-to-look-out-for-163487

Compare and contrast:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/main-symptoms/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

In reply to Offwidth:

Yes, this has been a bit of a wtf for a while now. The symptoms list really needs updating and nobody can explain why it hasn't been.

 Offwidth 05 Aug 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Its pointless arguing with someone who thinks lockdowns are not part of pandemic control.

The government ignored warnings, buried the Cygnus report and the equivalent readiness simulation reports for other types of virus, and so ended up preparing for a flu-like outbreak where lockdowns are further down the list on control measures. If they hadn't renaged on their responsibilities and done their job properly: seriously prepared for covid, flu and other simulated outbreaks, paying attention to the problems identified in the readiness reports, the warning signs that indicated lockdowns were needed would have been further up the agenda. It should also have affected what was terrible mixed messaging from the government prior to the first lockdown.

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Tonker:

I realise that no many how documents, exercises. reports and recommendation it later turns out were suppressed, you’re going to try to reduce this back to the same insanely specific and daft claim.  TiE has already covered the academic publication cycle…

TBH since your blunderbuss persona went off the rails on the Sarah Everard threads, got all its offensive messages deleted and went on a thread starting rampage on the subject until it got itself banned, and you came back as Tonker, I’ve realised something. 

My position - as stated before - we locked down two weeks too late last March, as a result of mistakes made years, months and weeks before.

Previous argument with your previous persona is on record so no need to repeat it here - https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/failures_of_state_-_the_govts_covid_disaster-732193?v=1#x9422725

Post edited at 08:25
 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Yes, this has been a bit of a wtf for a while now. The symptoms list really needs updating and nobody can explain why it hasn't been.

What I’m not clear on is how much the change in symptoms is down to vaccination; if that is the case I get the logic in using symptoms to screen for unvaccinated cases given where we are now.

The main symptoms lost and the “control measures catchphrase” do seem to be almost hewn in rock, getting ventilation in there seemed to take a long time.

 Offwidth 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

It's the latest evidence of a failure of checks and balances in government:  the mistakes stretch beyond those of Boris and the cabinet. The pandemic has highlighted real fault lines in our democracy.

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> You need to be careful. The symptoms of covid have shifted and are much more easily mistaken for a summer cold or hay fever now but the government descriptions of them haven't changed.

Indeed; the point I had for Tom thought was about what is being used to define "symptomatic" in terms of our testing and so the data source for efficacy studies.

I'd very much like to know what the expert advice is behind or very small symptoms list.  I assume there's a method to it...

 Offwidth 05 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I really can't see any method for mismatched symptoms for delta., nor the lack of emphasis on good ventilation. These are clear cock-ups for unknown reasons. The lockdown delays in September and December 2019 increasingly look like Boris steam-rollering over government checks and balances with impunity.. The list goes on...PPE... T&T,....a weak PHE,....care homes. Id forgive mistakes early in the first wave but my argument is in a fully functioning government the checks and balances should have kicked in, in all those cases. I don't see it as totally malicious from cabinet, and in the civil service more expediency, in an austerity weakened system of checks and balances under inappropriate political pressure. Plus the 4th estate is too weak and under big pressure in some key public funded areas (BBC and Ch4).

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to thread:

In the absence of longitudinal data to plot, a news report with quotes from the chief executive of the NHS

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58095503

  • One in five people being admitted to hospital in England with Covid is aged between 18 and 34 
  • The level of young adults being admitted to hospital was four times higher than the peak last winter.

Also a striking graph from San Diego county of who is getting Covid there...

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/health/story/2021-07-25/with-coronavirus-increasing-rapidly-will-it-soon-be-masks-up-in-san-diego

Edit: Cases quadrupling in a week there, similar to what we saw with some of the early Delta outbreaks here when absolute cases numbers were low and the outbreaks were in areas of below average vaccine uptake.  Our hotspot areas responded to surge interventions.

Post edited at 09:42
In reply to wintertree:

Game changer:

This just released. https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/downloads/supplements/ONS-population_2021-08-05.csv
Try not to let this turn Friday night covid plotting into Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, most of Saturday and forgetting to feed your children for most of a week covid plotting.

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> This just released

Well, if the relevant codes are set up right,  I just have to change one filename in the parameter's file and it'll flow through with no problems.  Be interesting to see what this does to vaccine uptake rates at the UTLA level...

Another day of data for the 7-day rate constant plots.  Perilously close to growth again.  Moving in the opposite direction to the temperature, which fits the pattern.   The next 10 days look pretty neutral in temperature and a bit wet, so I'd not look for any improvement from that source.

 I've wondered if the first generation of "freedom day infections" are less likely to go for testing considering all the factors involved, and so another possibility is that we're starting to see the more distributed second generation of infections having had the first "hidden" from us - big assumptions/stretches of logic however.

Going off the ONS antibody survey result you gave of 92.5% of adults with antibodies on 12 July in England...

  • That's about ~4m adults without antibodies 
  • There's been ~0.7m cases since then, perhaps 1.4m infections by historic ratios; call it 1m more with antibodies (or developing antibodies) by today.  Assume most of these are not re-infections (been a while since I checked this in the SAGE documents),
  • So, there's about 3m adults left to get a "virgin" infection - one faced without any antibodies.
    • Estimate ~60k people/day infected from cases and historical rates between the two
    • (3m people) / (60k person-infections/day) = ~50 days 
    • So, at the current rate we'd run out of susceptible people in under two months - the herd immunity mechanic should see cases drop faster than this as the virus is unable to sustain circulation with a reducing pool of susceptible people.

So, very tentatively; we're about at the turning point from growth/decay for current restriction levels; the previous rapid decay was more an artefact of the football turning off than reaching immunity thresholds, and the growth/decay rate is going to shuffle around with with all the random factors including the weather, but should shift to numerically faster decay for a few weeks as the herd immunity effect really kicks in.  Then schools go back and we see how that goes...

What's really needed now to understand cases data is a version that splits daily numbers by vaccination status, and ideally also by past infection+detection status (say with a 3 months ago cutoff) - so that we can understand when we transition from having primarily antibody-free people being infected to the follow-on situation of re-infections.  The same breakdown is needed for hospitalisation data to understand how that next stage is going and to separate it out from the tail end of the un-vaccinated getting infected.  The same breakdown for deaths would seem to be a useful piece of information for individuals still on the fence over vaccination...

As we run out of people without antibodies cases are presumably going to shift to people with them, and one would hope with much less hospitalisation and death - but the figures we get access to just can't be used to understand this.  

Post edited at 16:35

 oureed 05 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> then apply faux-outrage and bizarre illlogic to interpret the lack of answers 

Genuine concern rather than faux outrage. If a crisis such as Covid has people looking for scapegoats and division, what will happen when a more serious crisis comes along. 

As for bizarre illogic for the lack of answers, over 2 posts you spend considerably more time telling me to hunt through 36 different threads than you would have spent telling me what 'places starting with B' was supposed to represent. You are certainly not shy of explaining almost anything else Covid-related. How is someone supposed to interpret that?!

10
 elsewhere 05 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Would the 3M adults without antibodies be very significant compared to 14M under 18s who are largely unvaccinated?

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Aye, Lincoln is an odd one. Anyway, must be a good while ago since half of GM LAs were below the average. 


 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

> As for bizarre illogic for the lack of answers

I explained my reasoning to you several times.  You certainly don't seem to have ever acknowledged it.  Perhaps it causes you something of a crisis in your position.  Here's a reminder - https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/friday_night_night_covid_plotting+orchid_appreciation_37-737623?v=1#x9499190 

Here's another reminder - https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/friday_night_night_covid_plotting+orchid_appreciation_37-737623?v=1#x9499421 

Further, I am not here to answer your question to other posters, I'm not your lackey.

>  How is someone supposed to interpret that?!

That:

  1. See first link above
  2. I am not your lackey
  3. See second link above
  4. I formed an opinion from your post that had you banned from the "Pembroke" thread.  Quite aside from your appearance on the Covid threads you seem to be prepared to use faux-outrage to attack other posters and the site moderation.

As for the comment you have such an issue with, it's from another poster and I suggest you take it up with them if it troubles you so.

To my reading, the discussion on here was about trying to understand what was happening, and why.  People weren't looking for a scapegoat, but for an understanding. Like it or not, that is tied up with a whole bunch of specific factors, and understanding those helped to understand that the 4-day doubling times were not likely to continue far beyond the initial importation regions.  Despite the claims from some of the pop-up posters (who you obviously aren't...) that all I do is doom monger, this helped me explain to others why I thought that cases wouldn't continue to spread like wildfire.

I don't see that as scapegoating or victimisation, if anything more people than average in those regions have been victims of misinformation campaigns over the virus and the vaccine, something you may have noticed I have done what little I can to counter.

> You are certainly not shy of explaining almost anything else Covid-related.

Would that you could explain your position, or (with reference up thread) just follow your own threads of conversation.   

Post edited at 18:15
 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> Would the 3M adults without antibodies be very significant compared to 14M under 18s who are largely unvaccinated?

The demographics of cases have been largely in adults lately (give or take a bit for the lack of clarity over the 15-20 age range on the data...)  I think the school holidays balkanise children (as transmissive links)  compared to the school term time, hence my comment "Then schools go back and we see how that goes..."

 Misha 05 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Don’t want to read much into a few days of data but looks like average cases could be stabilising around the high-20s of thousands a day mark. Bobbing up and down as you say. Your 50 days assumes no reinfections, which unfortunately isn’t the case. Plus schools and unis going back and people heading indoors as the weather closes in (currently having a pint while it’s cool and drizzling - no one else outside despite a large canopy area but fairly busy inside). Far from over yet but hopefully it will largely burn out before the winter. Unless we get a vaccine / immunity evading variant… Edit - not disagreeing with what you’re saying, just generally musing. At any rate, I think it’s fair to say that the worst in case of deaths and hospitalisations is behind us (subject to new variants). However given how bad ‘the worst’ was, that isn’t saying much…

Post edited at 19:24
 Misha 05 Aug 2021
In reply to oureed:

I’m tempted to start a new anti-troll account to combat your trolling

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Misha:

Yup, a list of unknowns as long as my arm… Including past case and vaccination status in a breakdown of each core measure seems critical to making much sense of them all once schools return…

> However given how bad ‘the worst’ was, that isn’t saying much…

Like boiling a lobster alive from cold…

Post edited at 19:35
In reply to wintertree:

Suggest you ignore our resident facile clown for a bit and take a look at nerdle/NSF. Big milestone happening soon.

 wintertree 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Poor Nerdle seems to be suffering under the weight.  Hard to grock how fast things have happened in the last week.

 Misha 05 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Now you've lost me.

In reply to Misha:

Don't worry. Niche change of subject. Really big rocket goings-on. Good break from arguing with trolls for wintertree.

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Misha:

https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1423041198764265473

Edit: having a morning catch up on works, it’s mad that they’re fixing the thermal tiles to it in the field, still adding insulation to the ground support tanks and so on - it’s more like watching pit crews from the days of old than a leading space firm. Some suggestions the main reason they’re in such a hurry to role out is to make space in the hangars for the next builds…

Post edited at 09:18
 Offwidth 06 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Back on covid from the Guardian live feed talking on the China delta outbreaks:

"Most of Thursday’s cases were in Jiangsu province, where the airport in Nanjing is believed to be at the centre of many of the clusters, after cleaning staff fell ill after working on an international plane."

In reply to wintertree:

I was pretty surprised to see the order they're doing things. Stacking must only be a fit check and photo op; surely they can't finish the heat shield all the way up there...

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> I was pretty surprised to see the order they're doing things. Stacking must only be a fit check and photo op; surely they can't finish the heat shield all the way up there...

I’d be amazed if it went up and didn’t come down again.  What a site it’s going to be.

Someone’s been through this morning and added a dislike to all my data posts at the start of the thread; a bit late in the thread for that, the regular ones are normally quite prompt.  Next troll account activated?

In reply to Offwidth:

> "Most of Thursday’s cases were in Jiangsu province, where the airport in Nanjing is believed to be at the centre of many of the clusters, after cleaning staff fell ill after working on an international plane."

That’s worrying if the link turns out to be causal.  I assume planes have to turn the air handling down when parked up between flights?  So a less safe environment for cleaners than passengers?  Could be a red herring and a super spreader event from one cleaner, or could be a passenger…. Massive up tick in flights over our house recently…

 rif 06 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Regarding Covid seasonality and links to weather, this paper alert just popped up in my work email:

https://eos.org/research-spotlights/scientists-uncover-the-seasonality-of-covid-19?mkt_tok=OTg3LUlHVC01NzIAAAF-ueRDYv-0xna_CDIg1O77r9FlCgXBZCBrJso-UZJ3VrFlmZVdZ3dTaAFxna1SEW_fuzYtkxMB9HYPxj-A6AejkvfGiweq3VkpHVQXIJw

The paper itself is here:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021GH000413

The authors suggest that air drying capacity and UV radiation are key variables.

How does that fit with your data?

Rob F

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to rif:

Interesting, thanks.

> The authors suggest that air drying capacity and UV radiation are key variables.

  • Air drying:  fits with some discussions very early on; I'd imagine the biophysics of this can be tested with some lab experiments...  Can't think of the name of the kit used to test airborne transmission, a something drum?  
  • UV strikes me as a red herring that is likely correlating because it is downstream of the causal factor; I say this because there's compelling evidence that the majority of transmission happens indoors, and window glass blocks all UV light.  But when it's summer, there's more UV.

> How does that fit with your data?

I'm going to need to read the paper properly, but I think there's some overlap and some differences.  They seem to be looking at seasonality (changes over > 1 month, say) where-as I'm finding a short term correlation in deviations from the mean of temperature and growth rates, with the mean defined/measured over timescales of ~ 2 weeks.  So we're looking in different parts of the frequency spectrum.

The air drying capacity could be a common factor between what they note and what I can show from the data, or what I see could be largely behavioural with things like ventilation and choice of indoor/outdoor venue being affected by standout nice and grotty days for the time of year rather than absolute values.  I finally started writing up my noddy analysis last night, I want to put it out there as a pre-print to draw attention to the short term effects.  I think they could be a useful piece of the puzzle to find the causal factors behind all this.

Speaking of which, it's pissing it down outside here today.  As Wicamoi has pointed out, it's much harder to account for the rain.

In reply to wintertree:

> The air drying capacity could be a common factor between what they note and what I can show from the data, or what I see could be largely behavioural with things like ventilation and choice of indoor/outdoor venue being affected by standout nice and grotty days for the time of year rather than absolute values.

Additional info for this train of thought - domestic houses tend to have lower relative humidity in winter due to central heating than they do in summer.

In reply to wintertree:

> I’d be amazed if it went up and didn’t come down again.  What a site it’s going to be.

It did and it did, but it was. It really was

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E8HaippUYAUqcHA?format=jpg&name=large

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I like the new black look for the upper stage.  No idea why the inter-stage is now ribbed...?

Speaking of things going up...  Rate constants are up for both Scotland and England, now hovering around 0, suggesting a stagnation of case rates.  In very rocket themed language, I still think it's going to pogo about for a while.  The provisional data for England looks like there might be growth in the week-on-week measures in a day or two.


In reply to wintertree:

> I like the new black look for the upper stage.  No idea why the inter-stage is now ribbed...?

Still shiny on the other side. That's the heat shield your looking at; that one's going to fly on the first orbital test. 

I think it's just the first time they've built the interstage properly. The others were just mockups, now it's the real deal. Remember this is the first booster to have grid fins, be lifted by the load points at the top, and to have 1000t of fully fuelled ship sit on it. All that stuff needs attachment points and the strength to cope with some spectacular forces.

Edit: have you watched the Tim Dodd video? Part 1 of 3. Could take or leave the main characters but loads of interesting nuggets in there.

Post edited at 16:56
 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I know what a heat shield looks like :-o. Days were people used to use cork on some of the film canisters...

Re: the interstage - I get the need for re-enforcement as it's not pressurised unlike the tank sections, and the need for attachment points.  Just surprised the ribbing is external not internal.  Did you see the Tim Dodd walkaround video that's landed?  Lost a good hour to that yesterday...

Edit: You edited in what I was saying, gazumped.  The discussion about the manufacturing behind harder than the design itself struck home... What a mindset change to the way they do stuff.

Post edited at 16:55
In reply to wintertree:

Crossed edits. Yeah.

> I know what a heat shield looks like :-o

Fully expected you would, thought you'd maybe had an uncharacteristic brain fart for a minute there. Although a slick paint job would be a nice touch. Some flames or a lightning bolt or something.

Looks like the ribs run further down than the top of the tank section, so they'd interfere with the dome if they were inside. That's my guess. The tanks already have those weird holey stringers down the inside. Not sure whether it's designed to cope unpressurised. Might be. They're talking about a 1.5 TWR, so maybe it's inside and out.

Post edited at 17:09
 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Makes sense that the ribs need to run down to the pressurised tank section to transfer the forces out away from the transition in the cylindrical wall from pressurised to unpressurised.  Big step up in TWR over the Falcon but one of their few figures not to be stand out.  From the number discussed in the Tim Dodd video I got the impression the mass fraction was around 1-1/18 so about twice as good as needed for SSTO...

In reply to wintertree:

There was a tweet a while ago about the SSTO question. Sounds like enough people asked that it got annoying and elicited a response

https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1129629072097775616?lang=en

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I saw that,  but I meant that the booster also looks SSTO capable (could have been clearer).    They really should do it for the history books if nothing else...  

Obviously not coming back, but I think that's going to feature in to the mars plans as well - leaving some ships at destinations and detaching and returning the engines is an interesting point in cost optimisation space, perhaps strip the bells and just return the powerheads...  Mars is going to need a lot of steel, and when you look at the manufacturing cost invested in it, there's almost nothing embodied in the rockets, some in the engine bells and a phenomenal amount in the powerheads.

Post edited at 17:52
In reply to wintertree:

Oh right, yeah, the booster surely would be.

Very unlikely to be cheaper to return engines from space than it is to make new ones if it's not viable now to fish them out of the ocean and clean them up. Especially if they get to the $1000/ton figure, which would mean 200k unit cost. And if you were going to return them isn't it overwhelmingly favourable to be using them to do it?

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> And if you were going to return them isn't it overwhelmingly favourable to be using them to do it?

The way I see it...

What's the steel from the body and bulkheads of the upper stage worth on Mars?  A fortune, that's what.  You need little more than a tin-opener to cut it up, and it's ready for building straight off, or you lie the craft down in trenches and burry them and you've got ready made pressurised volumes with radiation protection.  The gap between arrival and locally producing resources is way more than past waves of terrestrial colonisation.   Likewise the battery packs and motors on the upper stages will be immediately useful.  

What're then engines worth on Mars?  Bugger all use to man nor martian.  Each upper stage converted to local use has minimum $1m worth of engines; question is can they be returned for less than that or not?

With the stages being so cheap to crank out, it's not clear to me that it's worth filling them with more of the same and then returning all of them, especially if the engines or at least their powerheads can be recovered.  It's going to be a wave of second stages going every launch window, plenty of time to build more before the next wave and building them is not looking like a limiting factor...

Mad time to be alive.

In reply to wintertree:

Yeah, absolutely. Any first colony would just be a bunch of ships joined together, for sure. They're habitable and they're there.

> Each upper stage converted to local use has minimum $1m worth of engines; question is can they be returned for less than that or not?

I'd say not a chance. The only reason to bring anything on the journey back is if it's absolutely required for bringing you back. It'll always be cheaper to make stuff you want here here.

> Mad time to be alive.

Yep. This decade could be more exciting than the Apollo years.

 owlart 06 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I like the new black look for the upper stage.  No idea why the inter-stage is now ribbed...?

For greater pleasure?

Haven't said this before, but thanks for your inciteful and well-written threads (unlike my cheap gag here!).

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to owlart:

> For greater pleasure?

Glad someone spotted it, I left it hanging there on purpose. LSRH was straight in to the rocket science…

In reply to wintertree:

Saw it, thought about it, left it up there. They'd be on the inside if it was for that anyway....

 wintertree 06 Aug 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> They'd be on the inside if it was for that anyway....

Depends if you’re thinking in metaphor for what this is going to do to the rest of the launch industry.  There’s a quote from Mallrats comes to mind.  Unless someone catches up, their monopolies people are going to be getting involved some years down the line and Musk’s head is literally going to explode.  

Post edited at 19:43
In reply to wintertree:

The rest of the industry needs it. This change is long overdue. So much money, time and progress has been lost to risk aversion. And then there's this https://mobile.twitter.com/SpaceXMR/status/1423330121113538565

 deepsoup 07 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> .. and Musk’s head is figuratively going to explode.  

FTFY.  (Unless you know something really quite surprising that you're not telling us?)

 Si dH 07 Aug 2021
In reply to thread:

A few things issued yesterday that might be of interest.

1) new variant technical briefing number 20. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-novel-sars-cov-2-variant-variant-of-concern-20201201

Interesting things for me - (1) some new lab data on immune escape from b1.621 or vui-21/07 (which has some beta-like mutations.) Basically, if you have either had Delta itself or if you've been vaccinated your Sera is less effective against it, but if you have been vaccinated and had Delta itself, you are sorted. (2) study of CT values for covid cases with Delta (indicating viral load) shows no significant difference between people who are double vaccinated and unvaccinated

2) SAGE 94 minutes. This was the sage meeting on 22/07 so shows the advice given to Govt at the point of relaxing restrictions but before things dropped post football. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-94-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-22-july-2020

Interesting things to me - (1) Says that ONS data shows no difference in symptoms between alpha and Delta. Does however say that symptoms vary between adults and children. (Maybe differences in symptoms reported elsewhere have more to do ages in which infections are concentrated?) (2) has some data on long covid. Very roughly, just over 1% of young adults with covid have symptoms beyond 12 weeks, vs around 5% of older adults. Also, as I understand the terminology, rates of long term multi-organ effects for people hospitalised with covid are above general population, but similar to those for people hospitalised with pneumonia. (3) Also suggests (consistent with above) that vaccinated people with Delta have generally have high viral loads.

3) VEEP updated summary table on vaccine effectiveness. Tom in Edinburgh can now use this to support his anti-England vaccine propaganda instead of his newspaper links.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/veep-vaccine-effectiveness-table-16-july-2021

4) This Health Data Research UK paper contains links to a number of potentially interesting recent papers on various topics , worth a look.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hdr-uk-covid-19-health-data-research-weekly-update-6-july-2021

5) SAGE recommended that several Govt departments should consider this recent Royal Academy of Engineering report on infection-resilient environments. I know some people have been discussing the apparent lack of a push for ventilation in the UK so thought this might be interesting.

https://www.raeng.org.uk/news/news-releases/2021/july/improved-ventilation-essential-to-safe-use-of-buil

I think that's the full link... the link to the full report is near the bottom.

Edit, somewhere in one of the reports I read (either one of the above or another on the sage website) it said that they think vaccine effectiveness with either AZ or Pfizer against transmission (as opposed to infection) is significantly less with Delta than it was with Alpha, and may be close to zero. I can't find it now.

Post edited at 14:00
 wintertree 07 Aug 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Thanks for digesting all of that, means I get to spend more time in the orchard.  

>  but if you have been vaccinated and had Delta itself, you are sorted

Portents of the medium term direction we're headed in?  Variants loosing their fangs in the face of broad spectrum immunity, with the vaccine taking the pain out of the first steps for an individual?

> Edit, somewhere in one of the reports I read (either one of the above or another on the sage website) it said that they think vaccine effectiveness with either AZ or Pfizer against transmission (as opposed to infection) is significantly less with Delta than it was with Alpha

To comment on that - presumably this means that it reduces transmission from an infected person less, but it still reduces transmission at a societal level by reducing the number of infected people, as it still has good efficacy against symptomatic infection.

Further, what's the reduction in transmission after vaccination and a recovered infection with Delta?  Hard to quantify.  It's easy to see this point being used to further anti-vaccine propaganda, but increasingly it's going to be accumulated immunity that counts...

> VEEP updated summary table on vaccine effectiveness. Tom in Edinburgh can now use this to support his anti-England vaccine propaganda instead of his newspaper links.

Hopefully TiE is going to take on board the feedback from others, and start clarifying which efficacy it is he's comparing when claiming one is "better" than another - good to see the summary table still not finding a difference in efficacy against severe disease.  Which I think is the critical efficacy for where we're aiming to go.

In reply to wintertree:

But TiE's stance that:

  • AZ or Pf, choose Pf,
  • AZ or nothing (or any non trivial wait for Pf), choose AZ

does appear to be correct.

Personally, from that VEEP summary, I'm glad we "chose" Pf (found out which local centres were injecting what on which days) but we would have taken AZ immediately at that time if there had been no way to find out 


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