UKH

India and Brazil

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 girlymonkey 22 Apr 2021

It's just tragic watching what is unfolding in India and Brazil. 

If you still have any contacts who are convinced it's a hoax/ the flu/ only a problem for old people/ they won't take the vaccine, please show them footage from these places. 

7
In reply to girlymonkey:

It won't do any good.  I had a conversation like that on Twitter with an anti-lockdown Covid denier and I said something about people dying and got 'LOL, you're a moron, think for yourself'.  So I gave them a link to an article which had about  20 different pictures from all over the world of cemeteries with mass graves, temporary morgues, stacked up coffins etc caused by Covid.  They just denied it.

Covid deniers are like 9/11 fantasists.  9/11 was one of the most photographed events ever with hundreds of thousands of eye witnesses and there's still people don't believe planes crashed into the twin towers and brought them down.  

These people believe things because the theory makes them happy or gives them a reason or excuse for doing something they want to do rather than because there's any reason to think the theory is true.   Finding more evidence isn't going to change their mind.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

We agree Tom! I've a relative in his 70s, intelligent guy, couple of degrees, professional memberships of all sorts, mentored for the institute of directors for years..  he thinks it is all a hoax or scam, by industry bosses. He's into this whole evil Rothchilds family and secret bankers controlling the world. Ask him who is benefitting from covid, or for evidence, he says there isn't any because they cover their tracks. Any debate is pointless.

1
 mondite 23 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

Last night noticed someone has been spraying "covid lies" graffiti around the place. I was tempted to add "about what?".

Work with several teams based in India. All of them currently have at least one person off.

 Lrunner 23 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

India and Brazil is basically what we would have if I had been in charge. At the start I thought we would all get immunity and covid wasn't that bad. I could not have been any more wrong.

So glad the scientists were listened to (at least in the end) and that we have done what we did. I never thought covid was a hoax or anything I just wasn't that worried about it at the start. I imagine the death rates in India are alot more then being reported given the poverty there. I do hope it gets better. 

1
 ripper 23 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

>  Ask him who is benefitting from covid, or for evidence, he says there isn't any because they cover their tracks. Any debate is pointless.

Classic - the complete evidence of any shred of evidence to support the conspiracist viewpoint is proof that it must be true! Pretty hard (and pointless) to argue with that level of f*ckwittery

 jkarran 23 Apr 2021
In reply to Lrunner:

I shouldn't be impressed by someone admitting a mistake or misunderstanding, it should be something we're all willing to do when we make them but in the current climate where doubling down on bad positions is the ruinous norm I am impressed.

jk

In reply to jkarran:

Slightly digression, in some cultures changing your mind is often seen as positive, a sign of learning, willing to listen etc.. the uk and much of the west it's almost become negative, the press love to hammer any U Turn policy decision, even if it's for the better, it's perceived or presented as a negative.

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 freeflyer 23 Apr 2021
In reply to thread:

It's not about Covid.

If your friend / relative comes up with this stuff regularly, it's because they have some underlying anxiety which they can't quite pin down or admit to, and so they look for reasons out there in the world why they should feel like that; conspiracy is a great way to go because it's undeniable and gives them the boost they need to stop worrying about it, somewhat like a placebo.

If you have trypanophobia, which is better for your self-esteem - saying you're scared of a pin-prick or that big pharma is tricking everyone? The chances are, if someone is actually anxious about the pandemic, they will tell you and look for some feedback.

It's a nightmare for others to deal with, however the best way forward is a lot of encouragement and reassurance rather than trying to confront the behaviour which in any case is just a poorly chosen distraction technique.

Also, sometimes the deniers are having a laugh obviously, and then you are the one potentially on the spot for being over-anxious!

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 wintertree 23 Apr 2021
In reply to jkarran:

Seconded.  

> In reply to Lrunner:

> I imagine the death rates in India are alot more then being reported given the poverty there. I do hope it gets better. 

Not just the poverty, but the growing chaos and the shortage of diagnostic testing.  

The poverty angle works both ways.  The life expectancy in India is about 11 years lower than the UK, and hospitalisations and deaths from Covid seem to increase exponentially with age; many countries have got hit hard by infections but have't had the level of healthcare overload the UK had due to signifiant differences in demographics.  There are factors in the other direction - India has about 1/5th of the hospital beds per person that the UK has.  None of this is to say India doesn't have a serious problem - they clearly do - but that if we had the same relative level of true infection (as opposed to detected cases) in the UK, it could be worse.

The situation in India looks really bad; there's at least one doubling of hospitalisations and deaths locked in, and so far cases are remaining exponential.

In reply to summo:

> Slightly digression, in some cultures changing your mind is often seen as positive, a sign of learning, willing to listen etc..

I read that somewhere near 100 million Americans have been vaccinated, so far. Around 1.5 million people per day getting the jab. One hopes that the anti vaxers, of all stripes, will now be outnumbered.

It's very easy to say that modern vaccines cause you to grow an extra head, if you had one decades ago, or you wanted to protect your offspring. If the majority in your street, workplace, town, state etc. have had a jab, and nothing bad happened, it kinda undermines their argument.

 Tringa 23 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Don't you just love the "think for yourself reply"? I mean every conspiracy theorist has spend ages thinking for themselves on social media of course.

As you say their belief - based on either no evidence or denying any counter evidence - rules all.

Dave

 Tringa 23 Apr 2021
In reply to mondite:

> Last night noticed someone has been spraying "covid lies" graffiti around the place. I was tempted to add "about what?".

> Work with several teams based in India. All of them currently have at least one person off.


Reminds me of some graffiti I saw last year. It said "Stop 5G", to which someone had added, "paranoia".

Dave

 wintertree 23 Apr 2021
In reply to mondite:

> Last night noticed someone has been spraying "covid lies" graffiti around the place. I was tempted to add "about what?".

”covid lies dormant” might have some value to it...

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210125/covid-19-may-hide-in-brains-and-cause-relapses

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 mondite 23 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

>  the press love to hammer any U Turn policy decision, even if it's for the better, it's perceived or presented as a negative.

I dont think that is true.

Most of the government u-turns over the last year have been praised. Where they have been rightly slated was how slow they were to make those decisions.

1
 neilh 23 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

How on earth they can impose lockdowns in India is beyond me. Anybody who has travelled round India will understand this.

Some relatively modern citys like Bangalore may just be ok.But Mumbai must be impossible.If you have travlled through the slums, which is not difficult to do there, you will understand.

Its a huge country with regional govts, its going to be a real test.

I am all for vaccines going from the Uk to India we have such strong ties there we should be doing everything to support them.

And as for those UK citizens who fly to India in the last 10 days and are saying they did not undertand what is going on, please get real, its been on the cards for ages that it was going to move to the red list.Really winds me up.

In reply to dread-i:

> I read that somewhere near 100 million Americans have been vaccinated, so far. Around 1.5 million people per day getting the jab. One hopes that the anti vaxers, of all stripes, will now be outnumbered.

Hopefully there will be enough so some level of herd immunity is attained in communities. 

I don't think the anti vaxxers will change their mind, they'll just see it as evidence of how well the population has been brain washed, and how lucky they are to have seen through it, it's like a cult. Folk of low confidence or esteem get to feel part of a club.

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 galpinos 23 Apr 2021
In reply to jkarran:

Seconded!

 neilh 23 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

I know plenty who are not of low confidence or esteem who buy into the anto vax/Cobid issues..One guy in particular who actually owns and runs a care  business for the elderly.Basically his brain has left him.

In reply to girlymonkey:

If India gets to a similar highest case rate to the UK they could have 1.5 million cases per day. I recall some folk saying one reason why parts of Africa didn’t have high death rates is because people die younger and age is the key determinant.  Don’t know if this will be the case in India. Either way, the health care system isnt coping and will most likely collapse.  Worrying is an understatement. 

 Offwidth 23 Apr 2021
 Offwidth 23 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

India is sort of a three tier country. The middle classes, the rural poor and the slums. News coverage has middle class people who cant get hospital beds. Life is especially hard in the slums and life expectancy is pretty low.... not a large proportion of old people there nor vulnerable 

 neilh 23 Apr 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

They reckon about 150 million plus are classed as middle class in India.The news reporting is concentrating on New Delhi,  I wonder how other citys are doing.

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

It's grim in all respects, the more cases elsewhere, the more cases of new variants and the risk it could start all over again everywhere in the world. Border security and global efforts to fight the hot spot would seem the only way. The west should be flooding India with anti virals, oxygen equipment and oxygen, as it's in all our interests long term. 

 jkarran 23 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

> It's grim in all respects, the more cases elsewhere, the more cases of new variants and the risk it could start all over again everywhere in the world. Border security and global efforts to fight the hot spot would seem the only way. The west should be flooding India with anti virals, oxygen equipment and oxygen, as it's in all our interests long term. 

I'm not arguing there isn't a humanitarian case, there is, but it is better infection control not treatment that is in our interest abroad. Since we won't guarantee sick pay so our own citizens can isolate I don't see us doing much overseas in that regard, especially after years in retreat.

Dangerous variants are now not an if, just which and when. Obviously lots we can do longer term but realistically for now we're pretty much watching and hoping something which spreads like covid but kills like MERS doesn't emerge.

jk

In reply to jkarran:

I'd agree, most of Asia and Africa can't afford a furlough scheme! It's a choice of risk covid or starve to death. 

 PaulJepson 23 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

It's really bad news for everyone, given how new variants and mutations crop up in areas with high infection rates. 

I'm really hoping it doesn't happen but it'll only take one mutation that the vaccine doesn't work on for us to be back to square one again. 

In reply to Tringa:

> Don't you just love the "think for yourself reply"? I mean every conspiracy theorist has spend ages thinking for themselves on social media of course.

> As you say their belief - based on either no evidence or denying any counter evidence - rules all.

> Dave

Regrettably, I have spent far too much time over this last year arguing with deniers, anti-vaxxers, anti-mask and conspiracy theorists of all shades from complete loons on the Gates population control vibe to the more nuanced who might be concerned about a vaccine which they perceive might be unsafe due to its quick release.

Regardless of the nonsense spouted there seems to be two threads they have in common. 1. They all say that they have done lots of research and that when I have done the same I will surely wake up. Despite many, many requests so see this mind-opening research, not one person has yet to produce any of this truly spectacular evidence. I started off being quite argumentative, and I admit quite dismissive and patronising of these folks, and have since taken a much softer approach of requesting to see what they are basing their judgements on. Nothing, not a single thing is produced. They claim enlightenment yet show nothing. 

2 The word 'sheeple' has become my most hated word of 2020. We, the masses, have been blindly following the govt, science, Gates, MSM like sheep for the last 12 months, not realising the lies we are being fed and therefore we are nothing short of mindless sheeple. The massive irony being that they seem to be following complete bull fed to them by crackpots, Julia Hartley-F*ckwit et al, discredited scientists and attention seekers like Laurence Fox. We may be sheeple but they appear to lemmings.

2020 has really shown what a strange lot humans can be.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

>  The massive irony being that they seem to be following complete bull fed to them by crackpots, Julia Hartley-F*ckwit et al, discredited scientists and attention seekers like Laurence Fox.

Most of the on air "talent" of talk radio are cut from the same cloth but she really goes all out. Listening to her climate change denying and talking over the experts when what they said didn't fit her narrative had me shouting at the radio in my van once again.

If you wonder why I keep listening, it's a combination of morbid curiosity and to listen to the actual experts that sometimes come on. As a rule of thumb if the presenter shoots them down, talks over them and refuses to acknowledge what they are saying its probably true and factual. 

 bruxist 23 Apr 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The word 'research' has become my most hated word this last year. It seems to have become the most abused and (I suspect deliberately) devalued term around; the weird compacts of conspiracy theorists and the U.S. far right seem particularly fond of its debasement. Quite galling for actual researchers.

The formers' "Do your own research" trope isn't quite so effective when broken down into its component actions, though. They're not doing their own lab tests/meta-analyses/RCTs - and even if they did they wouldn't understand the conditionality of their results.  

Good for you being patient with them and asking for their sources. I must admit I have no patience left with the chatroom researchers, and no faith that a diplomatic approach can lead them to be more enquiring. Their aim isn't to enquire, but to justify, and they've weaponized the word 'research' to that end.

 Roadrunner6 23 Apr 2021
In reply to Lrunner:

It's amazing how India wasn't getting hit and now after a year its gone crazy there.

 Roadrunner6 23 Apr 2021
In reply to dread-i:

no, we're still under 50% and demand is slowing. Its certainly helping but I'd be amazed if we get above 70% vaccinated. Pleasantly surprised if we get above 60%. We're vaccinating more and more high schoolers so that will help.

 profitofdoom 23 Apr 2021
In reply to bruxist:

> The word 'research' has become my most hated word this last year....

From my viewpoint the problem is that people think reading the internet is 'research'. It isn't. It's reading

For important questions, I only want to trust research already published (not merely submitted, or under review) in reputable academic journals 

1
 Roadrunner6 24 Apr 2021
In reply to profitofdoom:

Thing is it's perfectly possible, and hugely important, that studies get published that fly the face of existing established views. Especially in biology it's more about a consensus of opinion than facts. So it's perfectly possible to find papers which oppose the mainstream view so taking the odd paper is also dangerous. 

My main gripe is attacking science and scientists for changing their views with changing evidence. That's good science. That's not evidence of science failing.

The internet in general has a lot to answer for. It's great but covid has really highlighted the challenges we face in today's society in getting public buy in.

 Baron Weasel 24 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> I recall some folk saying one reason why parts of Africa didn’t have high death rates is because people die younger and age is the key determinant.  

My mate who lives in Nairobi said exactly this. He said that he and much of the population had covid but that it presented more like a cold/flu because high general mortality rates keep the average age of the population low. He said that in his mid 40's that he's regarded as an old man. 

 climbercool 24 Apr 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> It's amazing how India wasn't getting hit and now after a year its gone crazy there.


I'm fairly convinced that India must have had herd immunity to the previous covid strain.  How else can you explain 5 months of continuous rapidly declining cases despite an almost complete relaxing of social distancing measures? 

Which makes this new wave all the more worrying, none of the other mutations have caused such a drastic change in its spread.

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 Baron Weasel 24 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

Whilst I broadly agree with most of this thread, I think a point has been missed which is that lying by our politicians has become completely normal.

When I see Johnson or Hancock talking i ask myself why are they telling that lie? 

On top of that its very clear that they are not acting in the interests of the majority of the population and have used the crisis to overtly undertake the biggest heist of taxpayers money we've ever seen and then laundered it through dodgy contracts. 

I'm not a covid denier, but I can understand why some people have formed their views. I also think it's worth talking about the mental health issues that have impacted to some degree on most of the world's population and as such I think it's to be expected that some people are forming some crazy ideas. 

I don't know the answers to sorting out the mess in the world atm, but I think a step in the right direction is to try to not be too judgemental of others, look after yourself, your family and your friends and try to spread positive energy wherever you go.

Post edited at 09:57
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 neilh 24 Apr 2021
In reply to climbercool:

Fairly convinced is weak and does not stand upto scrutiny. The Indian govt imposed a serious lockdown during their first wave. That is why their cases were low. But so far they have not reimposed another .

 girlymonkey 24 Apr 2021
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Yes, I think the lack of integrity of our politicians is a large part of the problem. I know someone who objects to all the lockdown and control measures purely because he can't admit that Bozo could possibly be making the right decision. 

Now I object to the utter fool that Bozo is as much as the next person and do come with the assumption that he is lying whenever he opens his mouth, but if what he is saying about the need for lockdown ties up with majority scientific opinion, and if we can see the disasters unfolding elsewhere to show us that we need to control this, then I will accept that occasionally the buffoon might have listened to the right people.

There have been many disasters with the handling of it all and giving contracts to his cronies etc. That doesn't mean that lockdown and control measures weren't needed. 

This nuance seems to be beyond some people

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 Lrunner 24 Apr 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I read something in the times about 3 months ago that India had achieved immunity when everyone migrated home in the first lock down. sadly not it seems.

2
 Baron Weasel 24 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

I couldn't agree more. Infact it was Johnson's reluctance to lockdown, close schools and make face coverings compulsory in shops that convinced me of their necessity.

The thing that worries me is the hugh divisions in our population and that in the age of big data/cambridge analytica etc that there may be an element of nurturing this. It was actively pursued in Germany during the 1930's, a playbook that's well known to the conservative party of today... indeed the Strong and Stable slogan comes directly from mein kampf.

Post edited at 11:56
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 climbercool 24 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

yes sure, I'm not claiming to be able to prove anything and I get that most people would disagree with me here.  That is why I'm genuinely interested to hear other peoples suggestions to explain the remission of the virus in India.   Your explanation doesn't make any sense, the strict lockdown you mention was months before their viral peak and the cases only started to fall after the lockdown began to be eased and continued to fall after nearly all lockdown measures were lifted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_lockdown_in_India

Post edited at 11:58
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 Roadrunner6 24 Apr 2021
In reply to Baron Weasel:

"Whilst I broadly agree with most of this thread, I think a point has been missed which is that lying by our politicians has become completely normal."

We live in a post truth world for sure now. It's far from just the UK. People share stats that are easily verifiable yet don't because it supports their narrative. The politicians are awful but I dont think the media do enough, but they are in a tricky situation, but it's the public at large too.

1
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

> It's just tragic watching what is unfolding in India and Brazil. 

> If you still have any contacts who are convinced it's a hoax/ the flu/ only a problem for old people/ they won't take the vaccine, please show them footage from these places. 

India's population is 20 times the UK's but its Covid deaths aren't yet 3 times what the UK was experiencing at its peak. So I'm not sure what good showing people footage will do. With regards to deaths, the UK has experienced far, far worse than India.

6
 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> India's population is 20 times the UK's but its Covid deaths aren't yet 3 times what the UK was experiencing at its peak. 

Even a cursory look at the situation in India rings alarm bells about detection of infections as cases and about what fraction of Covid deaths in India are actually being attributed to Covid.  

> With regards to deaths, the UK has experienced far, far worse than India.

There are many different meanings to "Worse".

Compare to India: People in the UK were not being turned away from hospital due to bed shortages - it was close, with London busses converted to ambulances moving patients to more distant ITUs, with some patients being moved from London as far north as Newcastle - but it didn't happen that many patients were turned away to die in their loved ones cars or at home.

Compare to Brazil: People weren't being restrained and put on incubators whilst un-sedated due to a shortage of drugs. 

As with our previous discussion over Egypt, the demographics of India are much younger than the UK, meaning that we have far more people susceptible to hospitalisations that those nations.  Even accounting for the different levels of hospital bed provision between the UK and India, the data suggests to me that the true scale of per-capita infection in some regions of India is worse than it was in the UK, and the consequences of this are clearly far, far worse in many ways.

 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The OP's point wasn't that India's health system is less effective than the UK's, it was that people should look to India for evidence that Covid is a major problem. This is an emotional response to disturbing images. If you look at the data, then the UK actually provides better evidence that Covid is a major problem than India does.

Unfortunately, many UKC users seem unable or unwilling to interpret data these days and prefer to rant about conspiracy theorists. 

9
 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> The OP's point wasn't that India's health system is less effective than the UK's,

Nor was my point...

> it was that people should look to India for evidence that Covid is a major problem.

It shows what happens when a national healthcare capacity is overwhelmed.  The UK was within a week of that happening.  India is evidencing that, and evidencing that the disease is clearly more serious than even a bad flu season.

> This is an emotional response to disturbing images. If you look at the data, then the UK actually provides better evidence that Covid is a major problem than India does.

As I said and as you have ignored, “the data” from India is likely increasingly decoupled from reality.  I’ve seen various suggestions on under counting of deaths accountable to covid.  When people are dying in large numbers at home and given the mixed environment within India, it’s clear many are not being recorded and that it’ll be a long time before accurate numbers can be compiled.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see them 5x recently reported values.

> Unfortunately, many UKC users seem unable or unwilling to interpret data these days and prefer to rant about conspiracy theorists. 

Nonsense.  Absolute nonsense in the case of the OP going off other posts.  There is organised misinformation over covid that is contributory to why the UK came so close to healthcare overload, by increasingly the negative political consequences of enacting control measures.  It continues to this day.  What happens when healthcare is overwhelmed is emotional and disturbing.  I see no ranting in the OP.


 

5
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> It shows what happens when a national healthcare capacity is overwhelmed.  The UK was within a week of that happening.  

The NHS has a long history of being overwhelmed. Type 'nhs overwhelm' into Google and you'll see what I mean

> It wouldn’t surprise me to see them 5x recently reported values.  

What exactly is this figure based on? Using random assessments of Covid death rates to justify your arguments is as irrational as using 'footage' to gauge the seriousness of a situation. 

> I see no ranting in the OP.

I see plenty in the rest of the thread!

16
 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> The NHS has a long history of being overwhelmed. Type 'nhs overwhelm' into Google and you'll see what I mean

Not like this it doesn’t.  I challenge you to find one example where London busses had been converted in to make shift ambulances, or where ITU occupancy was at the level seen in January 2021 for such a sustained period.

The NHS has never seen anything like it. Given your next comment, it’s ironic that you’ve suggested I google for some past, sensationalist reporting.

> What exactly is this figure based on?

Looking at the data for cases and deaths, the relationship between those in the context of news reports on healthcare overload and more patients behind sent home without a diagnosis or care, news reports on uncounted deaths in India, and an attempt to fuse it all together in to an estimate of the real position.  I’d be amazed if real deaths aren’t at least 2x current and I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits 5x.

> Using random assessments of Covid death rates to justify your arguments is as irrational as using 'footage' to gauge the seriousness of a situation. 

 

I didn’t use a “random assessment”.  I said what I expect might be the case.  That is my assessment.  I couched it in very cautious terms; in a situation as desperately bad as India is now only a fool would trust the headline daily numbers coming out.  The real numbers are wide open to speculation and as I said I expect it will take a long time for a reasonable m set to be collated and validated.

An example of irrational assessment not based in readily available data would be claiming the UK could learn a lot about living more normally with covid from, say, Egypt, whilst ignoring the massive demographic differences in population and the near exponential dependence of hospitalisation rate on age, meaning that all we could actually learn is “covid is much more disruptive when you have an older population.”  For example.

Edit: a recent news article discussing some of the factors involved in under reporting., I expect it’ll get worse yet - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/24/indias-covid-death-toll-hides-stark-truth-for-the-poor-its-even-worse

I’m not even sure there will ever be a good assessment of actual deaths  given the level of medical care in the villages and slums even before the systems became so overloaded. 

4
 Roadrunner6 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

My wife works with lots of Indian medics, they are sending money back basically transferring parents to private healthcare clinics for ventilators and oxygen. Money is keeping a few alive but there's massive shortages already. 

 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> My wife works with lots of Indian medics, they are sending money back basically transferring parents to private healthcare clinics for ventilators and oxygen. Money is keeping a few alive but there's massive shortages already. 

I know the Indian healthcare system is not as comprehensive as the UK's. If you read my posts carefully you'll better understand the point I was making.

10
 girlymonkey 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

As others have pointed out, it's a snapshot of what happens when healthcare can no longer cope.

Also, alongside wintertree pointing out that we may never know the Covid death rate, they also have a significantly younger population than us. 

It is an illustration of the seriousness of the virus which some still seem not to understand 

3
 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Money is keeping a few alive but there's massive shortages already. 

Quite.  What we’ve seen so far is happening whilst there was a large oxygen supply to divert to healthcare and whilst other supplies were being run down.  Now, supplies are down and most oxygen production is going to healthcare, and there’s at least two more weeks of exponential growth in people who will need healthcare locked in.  I can’t say there’s two weeks of hospitalisations locked in as many of these poor people who would otherwise live will not have access to healthcare.  Harrowing times ahead for them

 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I challenge you to find one example where London busses had been converted in to make shift ambulances, or where ITU occupancy was at the level seen in January 2021 for such a sustained period.

In a previous post you said that the NHS was never overwhelmed with Covid cases. Which one is it?

> I’d be amazed if real deaths aren’t at least 2x current and I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits 5x.

Why not just throw x9, x4 and x13 into the mix. Might as well!

> I didn’t use a “random assessment”.  I said what I expect might be the case.  That is my assessment.  

Based on what? Your in-depth knowledge of the Indian healthcare system and testing facilities?

> An example of irrational assessment not based in readily available data would be claiming the UK could learn a lot about living more normally with covid from, say, Egypt

Did I claim the UK could 'learn a lot' from Egypt, or is that something else you've just made up?

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 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> In a previous post you said that the NHS was never overwhelmed with Covid cases. Which one is it?

There’s different levels of overwhelmed.  The NHS was cancelling almost all other operations, it was a single disease service, it was on the verge of triage instead of treatment.  It wasn’t sending half the people home to die alone.  I was using the term you picked suggesting I “google” for it.  I should have been clearer in a deeply pedantic way if we’re going to start playing silly buggers over terminology.  You claimed it’s been overwhelmed like that in the past - I see rather than justify your fallacious claim it’s silly buggers over word choice...

> Why not just throw x9, x4 and x13 into the mix. Might as well!

No, no I don’t think it would.  I think at least 2x up to 5x.   I wouldn’t just pull a number out of my ass for the hell of it.

> Based on what? Your in-depth knowledge of the Indian healthcare system and testing facilities?

Based on what I’ve read in reports, my understanding of the demographics of India and 

> Did I claim the UK could 'learn a lot' from Egypt, or is that something else you've just made up?

No, I believe you did claim we could learn much from them on how to live with covid with fewer restrictions.  You were most clear on that.  Just not so clear on the critical difference in demographics

Edit: I looked up the thread.  It’s the one where you were claiming a 2% fatality rate isn’t serious.  Here is how you put it - I took it as read you were implying we could learn from them.  That seemed very clear from the post and the wider context:

>For sure, and when you spend time in a country which probably has a similar Covid problem to other countries but which is operating normally, you do start to wonder about the draconian measures implemented in the UK.

I start to wonder about your basic grasp of the situation.

Post edited at 19:03
2
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

> It is an illustration of the seriousness of the virus which some still seem not to understand 

A friend of mine recently tested positive for Covid and yet continued hiking across the Jordanian highlands with a 15kg rucksack. This is an illustration of how benign the virus is. It is also totally unrepresentative of how it affects many other people.

Sensationlist media reports and anecdotes are not a good way to convince anyone about the seriousness of Covid, let alone people who are convinced it's a hoax. 

21
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> There’s different levels of overwhelmed.  

> I start to wonder about your basic grasp of the situation.

3
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> Edit: I looked up the thread.  It’s the one where you were claiming a 2% fatality rate isn’t serious.

Wasn't that in response to you saying people should think about delaying conception until after Covid. I continue to think things should have to get a lot worse than Covid before people start delaying conception!

11
 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Wasn't that in response to you saying people should think about delaying conception until after Covid. I continue to think things should have to get a lot worse than Covid before people start delaying conception!

My context - which you missed here - was that for someone worried about the risks of the vaccines and pregnancy, I’d be a lot more worried about the risks of covid and pregnancy, and the lack of access to normal healthcare over the coming months.   I was contrasting attitudes to the vaccines and the virus - my point was *if* someone was so concerned over the vaccine and attempts to conceive, surely *they* would be more concerned over the virus and the imminent overload of healthcare.

A slightly subtle point.

Plenty of us know people who would have died during childbirth or lost their child without access to healthcare, and if we’d allowed cases to double one more time in either major wave, that could have been a reality.

3
 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to thread:

Some people respond best to data. If you need to persuade someone like that how serious covid is, show them the death rates in much of Western Europe, which are fairly reliable and sufficiently stark.

Some people respond best to stories that feel more real and immediate. If you need to persuade someone like that how serious covid is, show them some clips and news reports from Brazil or India (or a few other places in South America.)

None of us actually know which of Brazil, India or the UK has the highest true death rate. My bet is on Brazil.  India's measured cumulative death rate is currently more than 10x lower than the UK's and much of Western Europe's, so it's probably really quite a lot lower even accounting for mass under reporting - although they are obviously going the wrong way. I would expect to see stories like we have done at much lower true infection and death rates in Brazil and India than I would in the UK, because they are much bigger countries so the infection spread which will be much more heterogeneous, and because their health systems are presumably less well integrated and less universally available (I'm no expert there, so maybe I'm assuming too much western superiority.) Whether someone being intubated without anaesthetic and then dying is better or worse than someone who dies because the oxygen ran out, or than someone who dies because they were infected in a care home and deemed too frail to be taken to hospital anyway, is a moot point. I don't see any point in arguing about it. To my mind the numbers are ultimately what matter but if your own relative dies because the health system fu*ked up, I know it feels bad.

 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> Whether someone being intubated without anaesthetic and then dying is better or worse than someone who dies because the oxygen ran out, or than someone who dies because they were infected in a care home and deemed too frail to be taken to hospital anyway, is a moot point.

Moot to the dead, anything but to the medical staff involved.  We’ve heard from a few people on here about how partners working in healthcare have been affected by the situation in the UK.  I can’t really imagine it for them, but the situation described in Brazil is incomparable to ours; effectively turning medical professionals in to torturers in a desperate attempt to save lives.  At that point there’s only atrocious choices.  The effects of this will stay with a lot of people for a long time,  and those effects are going to echo back to others through the damaged healthcare systems.

1
 elsewhere 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I continue to think things should have to get a lot worse than Covid before people start delaying conception!

The health ministry in Brazil disagrees.

https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/brazil-scrambles-secure-sedatives-hospitals-overwhelmed-by-covid-19-2021-04-16/

 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> The health ministry in Brazil disagrees.

I can live with that.

Do you think women in the UK should have been delaying pregnancy last autumn?

3
 elsewhere 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I can live with that.

> Do you think women in the UK should have been delaying pregnancy last autumn?

You said "I continue to think things should have to get a lot worse than Covid before people start delaying conception".

In Brazil they found ten days ago it does not "have to get a lot worse than Covid" to make delaying pregnancy something to consider.

Post edited at 20:14
1
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> In Brazil they have found it does not "have to get a lot worse than Covid" to make delaying pregnancy something to consider.

Yes, I acknowledged that and then asked if you thought the same about the situation in the UK last autumn. No need to repeat the Brazilian health service advice again, I'm interested in your opinion about the UK last autumn....

2
 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I'm interested in your opinion about the UK last autumn....

I'm interested if my clarification of the then-point I was making has passed you by quite so clearly as it did when I made it the first time around.

I'll repeat it: I was contrasting attitudes to the vaccines and the virus - my point was *if* someone was so concerned over the vaccine and attempts to conceive, surely *they* would be more concerned over the virus and the imminent overload of healthcare.  This was part of a wider point that the poster was professing disagreement with the idea of a vaccine passport because of people trying to conceive, and that surely if they were so risk averse they would not be in need of a vaccine passport, as they would be continuing to isolate due to the likely much larger risks posed by both the virus and overloaded healthcare to the child making process.

Post edited at 20:32
4
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Don't forget the "societal view". That's what freaked me out. The "societal view" has been used for milennia to justify the worst of human behaviour.

2
 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Pregnant women are now recommended by JCVI to have the vaccine (either of the mRNA ones, due to the size of the experience base built up in the US) anyway. I realise the two of you aren't really arguing over that particular point!

 Eric9Points 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> My mate who lives in Nairobi said exactly this. He said that he and much of the population had covid but that it presented more like a cold/flu because high general mortality rates keep the average age of the population low. He said that in his mid 40's that he's regarded as an old man. 

I hope you're right. When I was over there in 2018 we were directed to a particular chemist to buy our anti malarial drugs "they're a good shop they don't sell fakes". I also discovered that many Kenyans with cancer travel to India for treatment because it is a) available and b) better. That option is of course not open to the half of the population in Nairobi who live on less than $2 a day. 

If there's a bad outbreak in Kenya or many of the other sub Saharan countries it could be very grim.

 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Don't forget the "societal view". That's what freaked me out. The "societal view" has been used for milennia to justify the worst of human behaviour.

You do understand that I was arguing not from my perspective but from the perspective of a person concerned about the vaccine, to hi-light how the wider point they were making was not consistent, as given their risk averse attitude to the vaccine and conceiving, they would surely have stronger concerns about the effects of the virus, and the effects of overwhelmed healthcare?  This seems to have sailed you by.  I framed it quite clearly at the time.  

The societal perspective also justifies the best of human behaviour, such as tens of million of us curtailing our lives for a year so that our hospitals don’t end up like those you so object to the “sensationalist” reporting of in India and Brazil.   There’s been a heroic, societally motivated effort from millions of younger adults in the UK to make changes unimaginable for decades to save others they will never know, and to preserve healthcare.  It’s quite something to be so proud of the whole nation - as desperately sad as it is to see the alternative now coming to pass in countries far less demographically susceptible to the virus than us.

3
 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> The societal perspective also justifies the best of human behaviour, such as tens of million of us curtailing our lives for a year so that our hospitals 

Nice sentiment, but truth is law enforcement and the threat of huge fines made people curtail their lives, not altruism. Thankfully the state never quite got to the point of enforcing contraception, but no doubt a number of UKCers would have applauded that move!

19
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Nice sentiment, but truth is law enforcement and the threat of huge fines made people curtail their lives, not altruism.

<citation needed>
 

 Big Bruva 26 Apr 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> <citation needed>

Only if you're an idiot!

22
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Only if you're an idiot!

<citation needed>

 waitout 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> It's amazing how India wasn't getting hit and now after a year its gone crazy there.

Note the Kumbh Mela religious festival that attracted millions was held over the month before...

A reasonable write up here from a local outlet I know nothing about so can't vouch for it, but seems OK https://thewire.in/government/kumbh-2021-astrology-mortality-and-the-indifference-to-life-of-leaders-and-stars

Apparently it was already well known as a contagion hub.

In reply to girlymonkey:

What’s taking place in Brazil is simply the consequence of pretty irresponsible politics which goal was never to contain the virus.

1
 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

> And as for those UK citizens who fly to India in the last 10 days and are saying they did not undertand what is going on, please get real, its been on the cards for ages that it was going to move to the red list.Really winds me up.

Well BoJo almost went... would have saved him all those pesky questions about the flat refurb!

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> A friend of mine recently tested positive for Covid and yet continued hiking across the Jordanian highlands with a 15kg rucksack. This is an illustration of how benign the virus is. It is also totally unrepresentative of how it affects many other people.

About 150,000 people have died from it in the UK alone. I’m not sure their relatives would agree that this is a benign virus. There’s no denying that some people have very mild or no symptoms but that’s kind of missing the point.

Whether the UK or India is a better illustration of how bad Covid can get is a bit academic. It’s clear that it gets very bad very quickly if restrictions are relaxed too much, with the exception perhaps of some countries where life expectancy is pretty low anyway for other reasons.

As for official death rates, based on news reports it seems that Covid deaths in India are being significantly undercounted, it’s just not clear by how much. Bear in mind also that their nightmare is only just beginning and will get a lot worse.

It brings to mind a different disaster. In the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl meltdown, the workers there didn’t realise that radiation levels were off the scale because that’s precisely what they were - their dosimeters maxed out at relatively low levels. When the numbers get huge it’s hard to keep up with the counting.

 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

> I’m not sure their relatives would agree that this is a benign virus. There’s no denying that some people have very mild or no symptoms but that’s kind of missing the point.

I think you've missed my point! It isn't that Covid is a benign virus, it's that anecdotal evidence, like sensationalist media footage, is a very poor basis on which to try to convince anyone about anything.

I recently spent 3 months in Jordan during their 2nd Covid wave, which has so far been much more devastating per capita than anything happening in India. At least 18 people I worked closely with (shared cars/hotel rooms/dinner tables/conference rooms) caught Covid. Only one of them got very ill, but even he had recovered after a couple of weeks. However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously and that my own experience is limited. But I will challenge some of the more outlandish comments I read on here.

The tabloid press loves using anecdotal evidence and sensationalist reporting to convince people of all sorts of things, and the subsequent comments that readers leave are often predictably puerile. It's despairing to see UKC forums going the same way. Whatever happened to critical thinking within the climbing community! That's a large part of the reason I got pulled into it in the first place.

> It brings to mind a different disaster. 

To me, Covid brings to mind the summer 2003 heatwave in Europe during which the excess death toll was 70,000. In France alone 15,000 excess deaths were recorded in August. Like Covid it was predominantly elderly or infirm people who were most at risk. Does anyone else remember this?

Post edited at 09:43
15
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> To me, Covid brings to mind the summer 2003 heatwave in Europe during which the excess death toll was 70,000. In France alone 15,000 excess deaths were recorded in August. Like Covid it was predominantly elderly or infirm people who were most at risk. Does anyone else remember this?

I'm sorry, but I'm struggling to see the parallel between an event that you say caused 70,000 excess deaths in Europe in the absence of many control measures, and one that has so far killed around 1,000,0000 people in Europe by direct attribution (the expectation being that excess deaths will be larger), and where that later number is only so low because wide reaching control measures not previously imaginable just about prevented catastrophic healthcare overload and bought time for crash priority medical research and vaccine production.

Utterly incomparable IMO.  The heat wave didn't disrupt healthcare to anything like the level we've seen over the last year.  It also didn't have the potential to grow exponentially in effect.

>  It's despairing to see UKC forums going the same way

I really don't think these forums have gone the same way as the tabloid press, at all.

1
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I'm sorry, but I'm struggling to see the parallel

You have a habit of misrepresenting what people say. I was answering Misha who said that for him Covid brought to mind Chernobyl. To me it brings to mind a devastating health crisis which disproportionately affected old/infirm people in August 2003. My point was that not all health crises get covered by the media in the same way.

Tbh, since your idea yesterday about using exploding gases to inflate base-jumping parachutes, I've realised you don't consider it necessary to have any knowledge about a subject before offering expert commentary. I've adjusted my credo-meter accordingly...

13
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> You have a habit of misrepresenting what people say. I was answering Misha who said that for him Covid brought to mind Chernobyl.

I said "I am sorry, I am struggling to see the parallel".

 How the hell is that misrepresenting you?  I am not re-presenting your point in a different light, I am telling you why I do not see the parallel.  You said why you see a parallel, I said why I don't see a parallel.  I haven't claimed you said anything you didn't.  This isn't mis-representation.  

If I was going to play the "misrepresentation" point, to my reading Misha was not saying that Covid brought to mind Chernobyl in the way that you are claiming as a similar health crisis - Misha was making the specific point that it was another crisis where many people didn't realise how bad it was until it was too late.  Quite different to the point you were making, which to my reading is that covid is only really a problem for the old and infirm.  Which, by the way, I think is utter bollocks as its effects on healthcare become a direct problem for anyone who needs healthcare for any reason.

> To me it brings to mind a devastating health crisis which disproportionately affected old/infirm people in August 2003. My point was that not all health crises get covered by the media in the same way.

Could that be - and I'm just spitballing here - because as health crises go they're orders of magnitude apart in severity?

> Tbh, since your idea yesterday about using exploding gases to inflate base-jumping parachutes, I've realised you don't consider it necessary to have any knowledge about a subject before offering expert commentary. I've adjusted my credo-meter accordingly...

Okay, prepare yourself for a shock - I was making an intentionally and (or so I thought) obviously daft comment.   Do you seriously think my suggestion of taking my drain unblocking  conception of baking soda and boiling vinegar experiment over to canopy inflation was in any way serious?  I'm not sure it's your credo-meter that you need to adjust...  Hint - I've watched plenty of canopies being packed, I've a reasonable idea of their weight, the care that goes in to packing them, their weak points and what would happen if you put a heavy, explosive gas generator in there.  I've flown enough as a passenger and as a pilot to appreciate why we don't just chuck random ideas on to an airframe to see what happens.  No, if I was going to do pre-inflation, I'd do it with an externally mounted system and a big hose. (Hint - I'm still not being serious).

Edit: If you look through the archives you may also find a suggestion from me that we build big dams above and below Malham cove, flood the village, install some giant pumps, and convert it in to a tourist attraction by spending 23 hours/day pumping the water from the bottom lake to the top one, and opening some big valves to run a Niagra sized waterfall for the tourists for 1 hour / day.  There's also a plan to convert the old railway network (now cycle paths) in the North East in to a canal network as a boost to tourism.  These too, whilst presented seriously, may actually be slightly daft suggestions.

Post edited at 11:17
2
 neilh 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

I am not sure all the people young and old who have had their non Covid medical treatments pushed back would agree with your view that it only affects the old/infirm.

Your view is so out of date and behind the times and reminds me of what people were saying during the first wave. Alot of people have now woken upto the harsh reality.

I no longer see posts on these views, apart from the odd exception - yours being one of them.

2
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

> I am not sure all the people young and old who have had their non Covid medical treatments pushed back would agree with your view that it only affects the old/infirm.

Where did I say Covid only affects the old/infirm? 

13
In reply to Big Bruva:

Weasel words:

"To me, Covid brings to mind the summer 2003 heatwave in Europe during which the excess death toll was 70,000. In France alone 15,000 excess deaths were recorded in August. Like Covid it was predominantly elderly or infirm people who were most at risk. Does anyone else remember this?"

1
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Weasel words:

Please explain

16
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Where did I say Covid only affects the old/infirm?

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/india_and_brazil-733901?v=1#x9453331

"However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm"

1
In reply to wintertree:

>  we build big dams above and below Malham cove, flood the village, install some giant pumps, and convert it in to a tourist attraction by spending 23 hours/day pumping the water from the bottom lake to the top one, and opening some big valves to run a Niagra sized waterfall for the tourists for 1 hour / day.

Even better - stick a waterwheel in the chain somewhere and make it into a pumped storage scheme

 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> "However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm"

Well done for responding to my question rather than just down-ticking. However, disturbingly, you left out a key part of my sentence. Did you think I wouldn't notice?! I actually said: "it affects some people - generally the old and the infirm - very seriously". (The dictionary definition of generally = 'in most cases' btw)

Here's the latest data on Covid deaths in the UK: 

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths?areaType=nation%26areaName=England#card-deaths_within_28_days_of_positive_test_by_date_of_death_age_demographics

Note the colour code is not linear, and the graphic only deals with age, not infirmity.

7
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

You seem to be implicitly suggesting that death is the only notable consequence of the covid pandemic.

You were talking about who it “affects”, not who it kills.  You’ve just changed the goal posts significantly mid argument.

You ignore a lot of evidenced health damage to younger adults - many of whom go to hospital often to intensive care but survive, often with worse health than before.

You also ignore that the effects of overloaded healthcare affect far more people than those directly infected with covid.  Plenty of younger people depend on healthcare for a variety of reasons not limited to age or general infirmity, your criteria BTW.

 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Toerag:

> >  we build big dams above and below Malham cove, flood the village, install some giant pumps, and convert it in to a tourist attraction by spending 23 hours/day pumping the water from the bottom lake to the top one, and opening some big valves to run a Niagra sized waterfall for the tourists for 1 hour / day.

> Even better - stick a waterwheel in the chain somewhere and make it into a pumped storage scheme

I was going to run a generator off all the hot air generated be people taking the obviously daft idea seriously...  Still, imagine the sight...

 climbercool 29 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

So my comments earlier in this thread attracted lots of dislikes, but nobody has bothered to offer any response as to why India  for 6 months was able to do so unbelievably  well at eliminating this virus with essentially no social distancing restrictions, clearly the lockdowns they had last spring dont remotely coincide with the reduction of the virus..  I would really like to hear some possible explanations for this. anyone?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_lockdown_in_India

1
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> You seem to be implicitly suggesting that death is the only notable consequence of the covid pandemic.

People seem determined to interpret my words in a way that protects their delusion. Can you point out where I have said something false. No implicits or suggestions please, just objective analysis.

> You were talking about who it “affects”, not who it kills.  You’ve just changed the goal posts significantly mid argument.

My main argument is about who it affects seriously. However, the most reliable, objective data is on deaths. That's why I chose that graphic.

> You ignore a lot of evidenced health damage to younger adults - many of whom go to hospital often to intensive care but survive, often with worse health than before.

No I didn't, I said some people are affected very seriously and that most of these cases involve people who are old and infirm. That very clearly means that some younger people get serious Covid. It was neilh who misread my post and decided I was talking about all cases!

> You also ignore that the effects of overloaded healthcare affect far more people than those directly infected with covid.  

I was one of those people. Delayed operation. I can hardly ignore that!

You've spent a lot of effort in the past reminding me that Covid is particularly serious in the UK because of its aging demographics. Now you're arguing against my assertion that most of the serious cases in the UK are amongst the old and the infirm. What gives?

Post edited at 17:40
3
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to climbercool:

I was just reading this…. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/28/crime-against-humanity-arundhati-roy-india-covid-catastrophe 

Hubris  and politics over public-health.

More generally, if they had previously been benefiting from herd immunity, it seems unlikely that reinfection driven by variants would result in this level of hospitalisation and death.  Quite aside from my view that there is no compelling case that herd immunity had been reached before this.

 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> People seem determined to interpret my words in a way that protects their delusion. Can you point out where I have said something false. No implicits or suggestions please, just objective analysis.

I never claimed you said something false.  I noted "You’ve just changed the goal posts significantly mid argument".  Which you did - from severity of effect to death.  These are not the same things.

You were talking about who is affected by covid, then you shifted the goalposts to who is killed to support your previous assertion that it mainly affects the old and inform.  This clearly isn't the case.  Covid has affected basically everyone in the UK through its presence, and in terms of direct effects it's far wider reaching that the deaths, with different demographics for cases, hospitalisations and ITU admissions.

> My main argument is about who it affects seriously. However, the most reliable, objective data is on deaths. That's why I chose that graphic.

There is reliable, objective demographic data on hospitalisations and I believe on ITU admissions.  There is reliable, objective data on non-covid hospital procedures delayed as a result of the presence of Covid.  Both of these paint different demogrpahic pictures to deaths.  I will leave the readers to decide why you chose not to include these.    I don't think you can discount all the evidence over Long Covid because it is not so objective (although I wonder if by objective you mean trivially accessible).

> You've spent a lot of effort in the past trying to convince me that Covid is particularly serious in the UK because of its aging demographics.

No, I was pointing out - to counter an argument from you - that certain other countries have a less serious problem specifically with healthcare overload because of their different demographics, and that the reason they could operate with less restrictions than us was not because of some more enlightened policy than us, but because the didn't;t have so many old people.  You were holding them up as an example of why our restrictions were "draconian" and your basis for this was deeply flawed IMO.

> Now you're arguing against my claim that most of the serious cases in the UK are amongst the old and the infirm.

You said "However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm "

Covid is plenty serious in those other countries that you have mentioned - and affects plenty of younger people.  I was specifically clarifying my view on why those other countries could tolerate the serious effects including on younger people, without our "draconian" level of restrictions as I think you referred to them.

> What gives?

Nothing on my end IMO.  I think I have been quite clear.  .I am happy to amplify any points if you are not following them.

1
 climbercool 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

thanks for reply, would love to see that speech read back to Modi!  I agree there is no compelling evidence of immunity, but than the only other option I see, is that somehow by sheer good luck the virus just didn't spread for 6 months, when comparing the two, this seems much less likely than herd immunity.

 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> There is reliable, objective demographic data on hospitalisations and I believe on ITU admissions. 

>  I am happy to amplify any points if you are not following them.

Can you provide a link for this data please, in particular the ITU admissions as they can most certainly be classed as 'serious'. I would be surprised if it countered my claim that, in most cases,  serious Covid affects the elderly or the infirm, but would be happy to change my mind if I see eveidence to the contrary

3
 neilh 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

You still miss the point. The knock  on consequences for non COVID patients in the healthcare system.  Infirm also embraces alot of young people as I assume you mean those with other preexisting medical conditions. 
 

 jkarran 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Do you think women in the UK should have been delaying pregnancy last autumn?

Having had my child delivered at the height of the first wave it's not something I'd wish to repeat, things came very close to very bad for us.

jk

 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> >  I am happy to amplify any points if you are not following them.

> Can you provide a link for this data please, in particular the ITU admissions as they can most certainly be classed as 'serious'. I would be surprised if it countered my claim that, in most cases,  serious Covid affects the elderly or the infirm, but would be happy to change my mind if I see eveidence to the contrary

Demographic hospital admissions data for England is available on the dashboard by going to hospitalisations then nation > England.  It's also available here [1].  About 1/3rd of hospital admissions to date have been for adults under 65.  Make sure you look at actuals and not per 100-k rates.  Another 1/3rd are younger retirees, not the most elderly.  That's over the whole pandemic - I believe the barycentre decreased in age in the more recent wave.

I should say anyone who has to go to hospital - especially in the recent environment - is seriously affected.

Primary data on ITU occpupancy is out there but I can't find it now.  Here's a BBC article with it summarised [2].  It's per 100k.  Given the demographics I expect that means the age range 45-64 out numbered those aged 65 and above in ITU admissions or fell close to it.  I don't have time right now to find the primary source or back numbers out of the plot and apply demographics, but either way it's clear working aged adults are a significant fraction of ITU admissions.  There is a cut off in that few aged 85 and over go to ITU as it's to helpful for other reasons.  But given the broad demographics of hospital admissions...

So, I believe there is a strong evidenced stance against your view that it's largely confined to the elderly and the infirm.  

To be honest, I'm always unhappy at the use of "elderly and the infirm" to the point I didn't like writing it but I wouldn't want t one accused of misrepresentation.  Does being ill make it okay that a parent, partner, productive worker or carer has died?  We accept that death is never far away in our 80s, but the same does not apply to illness; especially given the broad range of what has been counted as co-morbidities for Covid and their otherwise often non-limiting, manageable status.

[1] https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55586994

 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to jkarran:

> Having had my child delivered at the height of the first wave it's not something I'd wish to repeat, things came very close to very bad for us.

> Having had my child delivered at the height of the first wave it's not something I'd wish to repeat, things came very close to very bad for us.

I was wondering if you were going to post; having read your earlier posts on the approaching sprog event, your family were in my mind as the shitshow unfolded.   Pregnancy and delivery is a remarkably fraught affair medically speaking, and the mortality rates in the UK if healthcare was withdrawn would surprise a lot of people I think.  What really drove it home to me was seeing the neonatal resuscitation station in the delivery room, as well as all the hookups waiting for the mother, just in case.  It's odd what sights stick in the mind to haunt one going through life; that tiny resuscitation station is one of them.

 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

> You still miss the point. The knock  on consequences for non COVID patients in the healthcare system.  Infirm also embraces alot of young people as I assume you mean those with other preexisting medical conditions. 

This is getting weird. What have I written that suggests I'm unconcerned with non-Covid patients in the healthcare system. I was one of them!

My initial point was that we shouldn't use sensationalist media footage to try and convince Covid deniers to change their view. More recently I went on to say that the disease was very serious for some people - in most cases the old and infirm. 

The knock on effect for non-Covid patients was brought up by Wintertree and I haven't contested it

What exactly are you objecting to?

6
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> Demographic hospital admissions data for England is available on the dashboard by going to hospitalisations then nation > England.

I'm very good friends with a paramedic and based on what she tells me I don't think hospital admissions can be used as a reliable measure! I'll try to find data on ITU referrals as these are a much better indication of a serious condition.

> So, I believe there is a strong evidenced stance against your view that it's largely confined to the elderly and the infirm. I'm always unhappy at the use of "elderly and the infirm" to the point I didn't like writing it but I wouldn't want t one accused of misrepresentation.  

You can't help yourself, can you?! I said Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously" and you've transformed it into "largely confined to the elderly and the infirm".

And that was you trying your best not to misrepresent me!

8
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I'm very good friends with a paramedic and based on what she tells me I don't think hospital admissions can be used as a reliable measure!

That is *quite* a bold claim verging on misinformation IMO.  Feel free to share your insight into this.  Although for someone so concerned with the integrity of data, writing off national level NHS and PHE data on the word of one person is frankly bizarre and apparently indefensible.  Further if you genuinely believed the PHE data to be so compromised, why would you trust it and cite it on another closely related measure?  Bizarre.

> I'll try to find data on ITU referrals as these are a much better indication of a serious condition.

Data like the graph I shared?  

> You can't help yourself, can you?! I said Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously" and you've transformed it into "largely confined to the elderly and the infirm".

Feel free to use less wolly language if you don’t want others to get the wrong end of the stick.  “Generally” and “largely” mean pretty much the same thing to me.  Some definitions... Generally: “in most cases”.  Largely: “to a great extent; on the whole; mostly.” - mostly vs in most cases; I couldn’t even tell you which one implies more by those definitions.  Hardly looks like misrepresentation to me...

Regardless, both are solidly refuted by the data I have now shared.  Data that despite being objective and quantitative you now write off based on conversations with one friend.

Post edited at 19:40
1
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Are you actually arguing in good faith now or simply trying to win points? 

Referrals to ITU are made by a doctor based on medical needs, hospital admissions can be on the demand of a patient. Do you understand the implications of that for obtaining reliable data about the seriousness of a medical condition?

As for your semantic arguments, why not just quote me when you want to refute a point I make. That would be the best way of not misreprenting me. Please don't edit out words to change the meaning.

And yes I did miss the data you shared, thank you. It seems to confirm that Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously". 

The article says:

"the overall pattern of those at risk of becoming seriously ill or dying has not changed significantly.

The older someone is, the greater their risk from Covid-19 - particularly over the age of 65.

For people under 40 who are infected, their risk of death is 0.1%. This rises to more than 5% for people over 80, according to Imperial College London research on the first wave."

So I'll ask you the same question I did to neilh: What exactly are you objecting to? (Please use quotes in your answer)

Post edited at 20:03
8
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Are you actually arguing in good faith now or simply trying to win points? 

Good faith.  Asking for quantitative data and then writing it off based on talking to one friend does not seem like good faith to me.

> Referrals to ITU are made by a doctor based on medical needs, hospital admissions can be on the demand of a patient. Do you understand the implications of that for obtaining reliable data about the seriousness of a medical condition?

Do you really stand by that during the height of the pandemic?  Were healthy people queuing up demanding to be admitted to hospital?  Really?   You seem to be going out of your way to write off data that's counter to the point you are trying to make.  I've not seen anyone else make this point it's so frankly preposterous.  People were staying away from hospitals when sick from what I can tell.  Do you really think people were turning up at hospital in large enough numbers to distort the statistics in January?  I suspect someone who did and was clearly not in need of medical help would have got short shrift given the situation back then.  I'm just staggered that you'd write it off like that.

Further, a detailed examination of the exponential characteristics of cases, hospitalisations, ITU admissions and deaths doesn't raise any red flags suggesting significant irregular behaviour over hospitalisations.

It's just a bizarre claim frankly. 

> As for your semantic arguments

That was your argument, not mine.  I used a word I took to mean the same as another word you used.  You whined about misrepresentation.  I gave the definitions given by google to make the point that when I paraphrased I did so in good faith and was not seeking to misrepresent you; a point the definitions would seem to agree with.

> why not just quote me when you want to refute a point I make. That would be the best way of not misreprenting me. Please don't edit out words to change the meaning.

If you catch me editing a quote of yours you can be rightly outraged.  Sometimes I condense quotes where feel that is fair with a [...] and I don't recall anyone ever complaining about that.

> And yes I did miss the data you shared, thank you. It seems to confirm that Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously". 

If by "generally" you mean "not really" you're right.  By any reasonable definition of “generally” it does not support you.  About 1/3rd are working age and younger, and 1/3rd are by no means "the old".   "Generally" means most.  It is not most.   Sorry, but I'm not moving on that.  

> The older someone is, the greater their risk from Covid-19 - particularly over the age of 65.  For people under 40 who are infected, their risk of death is 0.1%. This rises to more than 5% for people over 80, according to Imperial College London research on the first wave."

You were not talking about the per-person risk, you were talking about who was affected by Covid.  This does again appear to be a moving of the goal posts.  You made the point that it affects " generally the old and infirm - very seriously".  You were wrong to claim this IMO as one third of the people going in to ITU are working age and younger.  The demographic data on hospitalisations at the peak of the pandemic refutes your claim, as does the demographic ITU data which shows 1/3rd of ITU admissions were working age, and another thirds were by no means the oldest.

I feel I have been very clear on this.

Post edited at 20:38
4
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

>  Were healthy people queuing up demanding to be admitted to hospital?  

Fair point, let's go with hospital admissions. The graph per 100,000 is spectacularly clear. Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously". 

3
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Fair point, let's go with hospital admissions. The graph per 100,000 is spectacularly clear. Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously". 

The graph does not support your statement at all.

The demographic admission rates per 100,000 make it clear that the individual risk of going to hospital increases dramatically with age.

But, as population per year of age is not constant with respect to age (far from it, it tails off to zero), it tells us nothing about the fraction of people at different ages who go in to hospital.  

As it happens, 1/3rd of the people going in to hospital are under 65, so no it does not offer "generally the old", because whilst old people are much more likely to go to hospital, there aren't very many of them compared to younger people.

I agree that individual risk gets way worse with age, but at a societal level, the make up of people affected by Covid is nothing like so strongly biassed towards the individual risk, because we have a lot more younger people than older ones.  

About one third of hospitalisations and ITU admissions are not "old" people by any reasonable definition of old.  Therefore I continue to be unable to agree, at all, with your assertion that Covid "affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously"

When 1/3rd of the people in ITU are under 65 there's no way I can say it's generally affecting the old.  Perhaps you are coming at all this from a perspective of individual risk and myself a societal one.  Given that the under 65s were one third of the admissions that took us to the brink of healthcare overload, I don't think that can be written off.

3
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I agree that individual risk gets way worse with age

Glad we've sorted that out, we can get on with out lives now!

3
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to climbercool:

>  I agree there is no compelling evidence of immunity, but than the only other option I see, is that somehow by sheer good luck the virus just didn't spread for 6 months, when comparing the two, this seems much less likely than herd immunity.

It's a really interesting question; poster minimike asked it on another thread recently, and a work colleague and I were having this discussion.  I think it would be a good thread in its own right.

My best guess - and it really is weakly evidenced spitballing - is that India was maintaining an R value of just less than 1 with the old variants, and that the Kent variant and other emerging ones tipped the scales on that over to growth.  I wondered with Kent here if naturally acquired immunity was concentrated in the populations most at risk of catching and transmitting the virus, and so if the variant could have reset those; but it seems I was wide of the mark given studies on cross-immunity.  But perhaps that applies to India?  As bad as the situation is in India, the doubling time of cases has been relatively low - 10 to 12 days perhaps compared to the ~4 days inferred for the UK before we had control measures or widespread testing - it's just that growth has been unopposed politically for quite a few doubling times, starting from a high baseline.

1
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Glad we've sorted that out, we can get on with out lives now!

I've been quite clear on individual risk increasing with age for quite some time, including in a past discussion with you, but I do not in any way think that translates to talking about the demographics of who is affected by Covid and it certainly does not support your claim that its generally the old being seriously affected by Covid.   A large fraction of the people being seriously and directly affected by Covid are working aged adults.

4
 Big Bruva 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> it certainly does not support your claim that its generally the old being seriously affected by Covid.   A large fraction of the people being seriously and directly affected by Covid are working aged adults.

> Perhaps you are coming at all this from a perspective of individual risk and myself a societal one.

Yes

3
 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> The tabloid press loves using anecdotal evidence and sensationalist reporting to convince people of all sorts of things, and the subsequent comments that readers leave are often predictably puerile. 

I don't disagree with your sentiment here but it depends on what you mean by sensationalist. For example, it's not sensationalist to point out the facts regarding the number of people who have died or the fact that people in India can't get into hospital / can't get enough bottled oxygen. You are of course right that a lot of people don't have severe symptoms from Covid. However it's not just the elderly and the medically vulnerable who end up in hospital and/or die. There is also Long Covid to consider. I know someone at work who is no more than 30 who ended up off work for several weeks and then with brain fog for several more weeks and thus unable to work properly. Fortunately he recovered after that. I also know a very good climber who is late 30s who ended up being barely able to walk a mile and took months to recover. This is all anecdotal but I mention it to balance out your own anecdotal evidence.

> To me, Covid brings to mind the summer 2003 heatwave in Europe during which the excess death toll was 70,000. In France alone 15,000 excess deaths were recorded in August. Like Covid it was predominantly elderly or infirm people who were most at risk. Does anyone else remember this?

Yes but I'm not sure a summer heatwave is comparable in nature. It's a time limited event and it's not contagious. 

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I was answering Misha who said that for him Covid brought to mind Chernobyl.

I didn't explain myself very well. It's not Covid in itself which reminds me of Chernobyl - they are very different disasters. The parallel I was drawing is that once the counters max out, you have no idea what the actual rate is. I suspect there is an element of that going on in India at the moment - there are so many cases and deaths that they're struggling to keep up with counting them and hence the official numbers are significantly understated.

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> If I was going to play the "misrepresentation" point, to my reading Misha was not saying that Covid brought to mind Chernobyl in the way that you are claiming as a similar health crisis - Misha was making the specific point that it was another crisis where many people didn't realise how bad it was until it was too late. 

This is another parallel. There were a couple of aspects - most people didn't realise how serious it was, plus people in positions of power who did realise that it was serious pretended that it was not for political reasons. Just like the Bolsonaros of this world. But we digress. 

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to climbercool:

I suspect the jury is out whether the 'Indian' variant is responsible for the current wave there. I suspect there isn't enough sequencing going on to confirm the position. 

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Referrals to ITU are made by a doctor based on medical needs, hospital admissions can be on the demand of a patient.

I'd be surprised if that's how hospital admissions work for Covid or indeed for anything else.

I agree that 'sensationalist' media coverage might not be the best way to change the mind of a Covid denier. Depends on the person - different people respond to different things.

However I don't think there has been much 'sensationalist' media coverage over the past year. If it seems sensationalist, it's because the facts are pretty stark.

Amongst all this 'he said, she said', I've sort of lost the thread of what you are actually trying to say about the whole Covid situation. 

 Andy Gamisou 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Why not just throw x9, x4 and x13 into the mix. Might as well!

Coincidentally I read this s few hours before browsing through this thread,:

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/27/india/india-covid-underreporting-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

 Big Bruva 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

> I'd be surprised if that's how hospital admissions work for Covid or indeed for anything else.

I agree with you, especially, as Wintertree pointed out, when the service is overwhelmed. Hospital admission data for Covid may be a reasonable indicator of the immediate seriousness of the disease. They clearly demonstrate that seriousness is correlated with age. Old people are very much more at risk than younger people.

> Amongst all this 'he said, she said', I've sort of lost the thread of what you are actually trying to say about the whole Covid situation. 

I can understand why! Read my posts (the ones with Big Bruva at the top) and not what others have said I said. Captain Paranoia strategically edited me, Wintertree simply changes most of my words and neilh attributed things to me that I never said. It all feels quite Big Bruverish to be honest! 

Edit: and please feel free to contest me, I'm quite happy to admit I may have been wrong (eg hospital admissions), but please also contest what I've actually said, not something made up

Post edited at 07:23
6
 Si dH 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

Deaths go up with age.

Hospital admissions go up with age.

ITU admissions peak around 65-70yo I think (+/- 5). Older people than that often (increasing with age) don't get out on ITU, especially mechanical ventilation because they are too frail and the risks of the treatment itself are too great. There have been very large numbers of people on ventilators in their 60s and even 50s at times.

There an indie sage presentation a few months bac - probably January - that was linked on one of these threads and gave a very useful overview of the data.

Fwiw I broadly agree with you that for most people covid is a very mild illness and that over emphasising the harm it will cause to those of younger and middle age groups is not often helpful, nor implying that half the population will get serious long covid without proper data. I find some of the style of reporting and discussion of that type has been very stress-inducing. However, the risk to older groups is significant enough that the measures we have all taken (and sometimes more) have been absolutely required.

Post edited at 07:49
 wintertree 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Quote from the article:

However, Mukherjee estimates Covid fatalities could be underreported by a factor of between two and five

Now what were the values I was estimating before this article came out, that attracted such criticism?  Let me see...

 wintertree 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> but please also contest what I've actually said, not something made up

I contest you saying “However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously”

I contest you saying me using the word “mostly” instead of “generally” is making something up.  You’ve latched on to that one thing despite the semantic equivalence.  This seems to derail any attempt to discuss your claim that I contest.

As shown up thread, 1/3rd or so of hospitalisations and ITU admissions are working age or younger.  Therefore the serious effects are not “generally” confined to older people.

The risk increases with age.  Population per year of age decrease with age.  Therefore individual risk of serious effects and the number of people seriously affected both with respect to year of age do not correlate.

You are right in your claims about individual risk IMO.

I maintain you are totally wrong to the thing you won’t let me write other than as a precise quote. Unless you define “generally” to mean “not really”.

Edited to sort out affects vs effects.  Stupid words.

Post edited at 08:46
2
 MargieB 30 Apr 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

I was watching an interview with Irish Prime minister and another in which they debated the problem of vaccine supply. The problems seem to lie in ,do you waive intellectual property rights and pass on processing technology to developing countries forthwith? Versus 200 or more components to produce the vaccine from many locations , log jams in the world when others all start at once in production and quality control that could produce a very dangerous vaccine?

I could see why we immediately  stick to ramping up current system and donating vaccines which seems the best approach at the moment rather than trying to suddenly export the whole process at the moment- with the West donating its supplies rather than handing over its property rights and supplies production systems just yet. But it was a tough one. 

But the future could be the reverse.

Post edited at 09:52
In reply to Big Bruva:

> The OP's point wasn't that India's health system is less effective than the UK's, it was that people should look to India for evidence that Covid is a major problem. This is an emotional response to disturbing images. If you look at the data, then the UK actually provides better evidence that Covid is a major problem than India does.

> Unfortunately, many UKC users seem unable or unwilling to interpret data these days and prefer to rant about conspiracy theorists. 

I would try to improve your own data interpretation skills before lecturing others. A critical first step is to asses the quality of your data, and to keep doing that throughout your analysis. Any interpretation of 'bad' data in meaningless.

Let's start with an easy one. Looking at the historic official data, the UK had a relatively low number of covid cases in March 2020, but 3 weeks later ICU wards were full of very sick people, and we were in lockdown. What do you think was going on there?

Now consider a country with a very high rate of poverty and a fragmented and very varying health care system, a country reported to be in crisis. Are journalists and many others familiar with the situation overblowing the situation, or is there a problem with the data? 

Post edited at 10:57
In reply to Misha:

> I suspect the jury is out whether the 'Indian' variant is responsible for the current wave there. I suspect there isn't enough sequencing going on to confirm the position. 

https://covariants.org/per-country would suggest it's the Kent variant that's doing the damage, unless it just so happens that the people dying have the Indian variant and the people not dying don't.

In reply to climbercool:

> the only other option I see, is that somehow by sheer good luck the virus just didn't spread for 6 months

My theory is that the Kent variant's ability to infect virtually everyone in a household and India's large households is the reason. Our second wave here was pure Kent variant and this 'whole household infection' behaviour was a marked change from the first wave in Spring 2020. Control measures that worked for previous variants simply cannot contain the Kent variant, so even without a change in population behaviour the Kent variant was able to gain a foothold and subsequently take advantage of slackening of behaviour.  That and the joys of exponential growth.

Post edited at 12:53
 kathrync 30 Apr 2021
In reply to mondite:

> Last night noticed someone has been spraying "covid lies" graffiti around the place. I was tempted to add "about what?".

Loads of this around Glasgow at the moment

We have a large number of Brazilian PhD students and postdocs in our institute because of a collaborative funding thing. Tragic hearing some of the stories they are telling from their families.

 Si dH 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Toerag:

> https://covariants.org/per-country would suggest it's the Kent variant that's doing the damage, unless it just so happens that the people dying have the Indian variant and the people not dying don't.

The latest Indian data is from March before the current wave really took off so it's not possible to tell which variant if either is dominant. Would be good to see an update but I guess it's not top of their list right now.

Post edited at 17:24
In reply to bruxist:

"Do your research" simply means "watch the same loony videos I've been watching". It's really galling to be labelled gullible by a bunch of flat-headed flat earthers. People with intelligence who exploit their stupidity are evil.

 wintertree 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> "Do your research" simply means "watch the same loony videos I've been watching".

Sometimes "do you research" means to read and gush about a deceitful and flawed document hosted on a "pre-print" server.  I can't call many of the the documents I've seen pre-prints as there was never any intent to submit them for peer review.  

Not to put down the insanity of talking-heads videos on YouTube some take as research, but I have more sympathy for people taken in by misleading "not-pre-prints" as they have a much more academic ring to them. 

> It's really galling to be labelled gullible by a bunch of flat-headed flat earthers.

I was told by someone pushing some trash grade analysis of some very selectively chosen data in a pre-print that I needed to educate myself on the publication process...

The abuse of pre-print servers has become a real issue during Covid IMO but I've not seen any sort of coordinated attempt from the hosts to do anything about it.  It's been going on for a longer time and I'm aware of some specific examples of the pre-print "Nature Precedings" being used to attach a nature.com URL and DOI to some absolute guff for reasons I think of deceit.  

This abuse of pre-print servers is why I was so pleased to see someone take the time to give a serious, detailed and very polite review of one recent questionable submission...  https://f1000research.com/articles/10-232/v1#referee-response-82591

1
 bruxist 30 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Fully agree there are two types of corruptions of 'research' happening at the moment.

One is the popular debasement of 'research' as a technical practice, a pursuit requiring specific expertise. I think UK journalism should carry the can for this debasement, having long since hyperbolically described its journalism as 'research', so that the public now think research means nothing more than finding something out.  

But the other corruption - which you highlight - has more to do with deliberate expert abuse of our hodge-podge of publishing systems.

I've never felt entirely happy with the open publishing system, even though I want to see the end of Elsevier et al's exploitation as much as everyone else; use Researchgate etc as often as everyone else; and like, in a rather woolly and idealistic way, the idea of all of humanity having access to all knowledge.

In practice open publishing seems to cause an untold number of serious problems. Unserious ones include being written to by schoolchildren who've found your journal article on X online, and would like you to help with their school project (quite nice to get these, actually, even if they do take up time I don't have). The serious problems, on the other hand, do seem to me genuinely serious: all research is there for anyone to use for any purpose, be that purpose the development of knowledge, or the politically-motivated deceit of the polis. I'm starting to feel the Victorian idea of journals as closed conversations between select subscribers wasn't such a bad idea after all.

 Jon Read 01 May 2021
In reply to wintertree:

My somewhat dubious claim to fame is I think I have the first covid paper on medRxiv (or nCov-19 as it was called then!) --- clearly set a trend  

 wintertree 01 May 2021
In reply to Jon Read:

Rumour has it you know what you're talking about though!

Physics got this sorted ages ago, with someone creaing creating viXra for all the nonsensical  stuff and arXiv taking a dim view of such things.  Although I think most of the people submitting balmier theories to the archives and by post to faculty members are not bad actors, whilst some of the Covid pre-prints I've seen suggest far more malign intent.  Still, perhaps it's time for vixRdem.

I should add that most of the stuff on the pre-prints is valid, and that they seem to have been a very important means of circulating findings rapidly in this crisis - but to a person outside science it must be very hard to tell some of the deliberate guff from real science.

1
 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I contest you saying “However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously”

I thought we'd agreed to agree on this! When considering individual risk (which I am), age and infirmity are very significant factors.

> I contest you saying me using the word “mostly” instead of “generally” is making something up.  

I wasn't referring to that sentence but to the examples below. My original statements are in bold, your interpretations are in italics. 

"when you spend time in a country which [...] is operating normally, you do start to wonder about the draconian measures implemented in the UK. That said, I have never questioned these measures [...]"

"the UK could learn a lot about living more normally with covid from, say, Egypt"

"[Covid] affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously."

"[Covid's] largely confined to the elderly and the infirm"

I'm very happy for you to contest my views but I'd rather you didn't change my words!

4
 wintertree 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

I like the way you're presenting my interpretation of your views as if I was presenting false quotes.  They were not - the first for example was my statement of what I took your view to be, and even now I consider there to be no misrepresentation in the wording.  I consider the two to be semantically equivalent.  You've not actually explained how you consider it to be misrepresentation - although I thing it would be fairer to assume I'd got the wrong end of the stick rather than seeking to deliberately misrepresent you....  

> I thought we'd agreed to agree on this!

No.  I think we got to the bottom of your viewpoint vs mine, but I never agreed that it made your statement correct IMO

> When considering individual risk (which I am), age and infirmity are very significant factors.

I agree with this.  Clearly and obviously.

> "[Covid] affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously."

I disagree with this.  It is not factually correct.  1/3rd of the people affected by Covid seriously (going to hospital or ITU) are not "old", therefore by any reasonable version of generally (largely, mostly, significantly, whatever - and none of these are meant to misrepresent you)  the effects are not generally in the old, let alone the old and infirm.

The disagreement is exactly the same as I have been stating from the start, and please don't start crying misrepresentation again.  I have been abundantly clear.

It's a categorically wrong statement.

The maths does not work to translate individual risk (where I agree with you) to claims about who is "generally" affected (define: generally - "in most cases; usually.").  Covid admissions are not mostly or usually the old and the infirm, fully 1/3rd of them are working age or younger, and another third are by no means the oldest.

You can't translate individual risk to societal prevalence because there are many more young people than old people. 

> I'm very happy for you to contest my views but I'd rather you didn't change my words!

You keep banging on about this but I'm not changing your words.  I'm telling you what I take your point to be, and almost everyone always does, talking in my words and not exclusively in quotes.  You yourself have changed your words when referring to an earlier point of yours and used different words on this thread in exactly the same way I have, although I'm not going to go to the petty lengths of digging them up.  It's how conversation and discussion works.  I find your approach to this bizarre.   

Mind you, not as bizarre as your instance "the data" on India and the UK is compatible given the gaping issues others have pointed out as well as myself, or your insistence that you can write off one of the major pieces of quantitative UK data based on a conversation with a friend, let alone your opposing views on these two different pieces of data.  

> "when you spend time in a country which [...] is operating normally, you do start to wonder about the draconian measures implemented in the UK."

Well, feel free to tell me exactly what you wonder about the draconian measures.  Given the context is seemed staggeringly obvious to me that this implied you thought we could get buy with less draconian measures and still have more normal life - taking this to mean we cold learn from them does not seem like misrepresentation to me, but like the entire point of what you were saying.    Not that I claimed that you said this at any point on this thread - I never mentioned you or claimed they were your words in respect to it...

> I'm very happy for you to contest my views but I'd rather you didn't change my words!

I'm not changing your words.  I've quite clearly been telling you what I think you've said - as in what you mean by your words - and why I disagree with them.  This is as far as I can tell how almost all discussion happens.  The conversation moves forwards with people using their own words in reference to the conversation up thread, which remains available for all to read, and we don't spend our time exclusively copying and pasting quotes of exact language.  

Crying misrepresentation has been a good distraction mind you.  

Say, did you see the epidemiologist suggesting deaths in India might be between 2x and 5x higher than the reported numbers?  Seems like I'm not the only one who thinks your rebuttal of the OP based on "the data" is on exceptionally shaky ground.  

Edit: the irony being the way I consider you’ve continued to (unintentionally I hope) misrepresent my point about pregnancy and covid given how I clarified the obvious (or so I thought) point that I was contrasting inconsistent views re: the virus and the vaccine.  I’ve not repeatedly banged on about you misrepresenting me, because I took it as read that you misunderstood my point because I wasn’t clear enough, so I spelt it out.  I’ll note that you have generally been using your own words to refer to what I said - again I did not take this as deliberate misrepresentation but as an indication of what you took away from it and what you thought I said.  

Post edited at 17:13
1
 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> A critical first step is to asses the quality of your data, and to keep doing that throughout your analysis. Any interpretation of 'bad' data in meaningless.

I completely agree and that was kind of my point. The OP was suggesting people use the shocking footage coming out of India to convince doubters about the seriousness of Covid. I think this is a bad strategy and people should use facts rather than emotions. I then illustrated this by using the most recent data available, but I accept that it may be very inaccurate. However, at the time of my post the UK peak was still x7 the reported peak in India so I did have quite a large margin of error.

There has been some debate on this thread about how India got off so lightly during its first wave and is now being hit much more heavily in its second wave. One possible explanation is that the country has a more effective Covid testing regime in place this time.

I think many people on here would be surprised at how widespread testing facilities are in some other countries. For example, since Jordan opened its borders in September, every air passenger who comes into the country gets a pcr test before they leave the airport. Results are available a few hours later on a government website and by text. Free testing is available in local clinics across the country and you can also get tested in private hospitals and laboratories, many of which run drive-thru testing centres in Amman. I was tested there 6 times over the past 3 months and it was always very professional.

3
 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I like the way you're presenting my interpretation of your views as if I was presenting false quotes. 

I was quoting you Wintertree, that's why I used quotation marks, not for any other reason! I even said these were your interpretations of what I wrote. I'm going to stop responding now as I don't think it's possible to have a good faith discussion with you. You seem too keen on trying to prove points and defend your argument and uninterested in trying to understand what the other person is saying. All the best 😘

3
 wintertree 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I was quoting you Wintertree, that's why I used quotation marks,

I understand that, nor do I claim otherwise.  I missed your part about "your interpretations" - sorry.   If you recognise they are my "interpretations" why do you think they are misrepresentations and not misinterpretations?  There is a critical difference and I have gone out of my way to accommodate you on claims of misrepresentation, and you've not made any effort to actually demonstrate why you think my interpretation is wrong.....

Frankly it comes across as an attempt to deflect away from the actual subject.  

> You seem too keen on trying to prove points and defend your argument and uninterested in trying to understand what the other person is saying. 

I understand what you are saying.  I understand that what you are saying is totally wrong IMO.    I agree with you on individual risk.  I totally disagree with you on who is "generally" affected seriously.

>  I'm going to stop responding now as I don't think it's possible to have a good faith discussion with you.

I take this to mean that you recognise your statement "[Covid] affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously." is actually wrong and that you are unwilling to admit it.

Speaking of "good faith"

You also said:

Can you provide a link for this data please, in particular the ITU admissions as they can most certainly be classed as 'serious'. I would be surprised if it countered my claim that, in most cases,  serious Covid affects the elderly or the infirm, but would be happy to change my mind if I see eveidence to the contrary

I provided that data exactly as you asked, and you have not changed your mind, instead you told me you would discount this data because what your friend, a paramedic, told you.  

And you raise the spectre of good faith discussions.  

Ironic, really.  

>  One possible explanation is that the country has a more effective Covid testing regime in place this time.

How does that possibility explain the radically different level of healthcare overload and lack of crematorium space this time around?  Think it through...

2
 Stichtplate 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Are you actually arguing in good faith now or simply trying to win points? 

> Referrals to ITU are made by a doctor based on medical needs, hospital admissions can be on the demand of a patient. Do you understand the implications of that for obtaining reliable data about the seriousness of a medical condition?

No, you can't rock up to A&E and demand to be admitted. You'll get assessed but admission is entirely a clinical decision.

Probably worth pointing out as you seem to be basing a lot of your misapprehensions on this fallacy.

 Misha 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

We came within a couple of weeks of zero ICU capacity, which says all you need to know about whether the measures were required. There’s certainly a debate to be had about how things could have been better managed last summer and autumn (better contact tracing and support for self isolation, heavier restrictions on holiday travel, milder measures brought in earlier and so on). However given where things got to by October, it was a one way road to lockdown.

I don’t know about Egypt but India is a perfect example of it ain’t over till it’s over. Until February you could have claimed that it was an example of a country which had got away lightly despite relatively light measures (though they did have an initial lockdown last year). We know now how things have panned out...

The Indian deaths are going up as the situation gets worse. Any numbers coming out at the moment are only interim numbers, even without underreporting. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hit 10k a day in a week or two.

As you say, their testing capacity must be decent to record 400k a day. I don’t know how many tests they can actually do. I suspect that in rural areas in particular capacity is fairly low. With a population almost 20x that of the UK, 400k is below the peak case rate we had. However (1) it’s not clear that their testing capacity is as good as ours was by December (happy to be proven wrong), (2) their epidemic is still getting worse so the 400k will increase, (3) the 60k daily average we hit almost overwhelmed the NHS and (4) the Indian healthcare system is clearly already overwhelmed (that is not a dramatic statement - people are dying outside hospitals while others are dying in hospitals when the oxygen runs out, so I think it’s fair to say the system is overwhelmed). So it’s pretty bad unfortunately and I can’t see things improving soon as more cases and deaths are already locked in, while Modi doesn’t seem to be doing much about it. 

Post edited at 21:08
 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No, you can't rock up to A&E and demand to be admitted. You'll get assessed but admission is entirely a clinical decision.

Actually my assumption was that people arriving in ambulances were included in hospital admissions. I've rocked up in A&E often enough to know they assess you before deciding what to do. If you read through the thread you'll see that I've already accepted I was probably wrong on this point and that Covid related hospital admissions during a crisis could be used as an indicator of the seriousness of the disease.

> you seem to be basing a lot of your misapprehensions on this fallacy.

This statement doesn't make sense at all. The whole hospital admissions thing is a bit of a side show that people have jumped on because I made a mistake. What I originally said is that I would trust ITU data more than hospital admission data. But tbh it's all a bit academic, because whatever indicator you choose - hospital admissions, ITU admissions or deaths - they all clearly demonstrate that Covid is very much more serious for old people. 

4
 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Until February you could have claimed that it was an example of a country which had got away lightly 

Actually India's health system was overwhelmed last September as well, but the media's focus was elsewhere...

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-india-cases-idUKKBN2670FD

2
 Stichtplate 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Actually my assumption was that people arriving in ambulances were included in hospital admissions. I've rocked up in A&E often enough to know they assess you before deciding what to do. If you read through the thread you'll see that I've already accepted I was probably wrong on this point and that Covid related hospital admissions during a crisis could be used as an indicator of the seriousness of the disease.

Sorry, I missed the retraction. 

> This statement doesn't make sense at all. The whole hospital admissions thing is a bit of a side show that people have jumped on because I made a mistake. What I originally said is that I would trust ITU data more than hospital admission data. But tbh it's all a bit academic, because whatever indicator you choose - hospital admissions, ITU admissions or deaths - they all clearly demonstrate that Covid is very much more serious for old people. 

Your whole "more serious in the elderly" line is a sideshow. Practically every clinical presentation is "more serious in the elderly". I'm sure smallpox was more serious for the elderly too. So what? does that mean we shouldn't have worried so much about it?

Perhaps I'm just being thick but what is the point of your dogged pursuit of the "more serious in the elderly" line?

Edit:

"Referrals to ITU are made by a doctor based on medical needs, hospital admissions can be on the demand of a patient."

 Just trawled back through your posts and I can now see why I missed your retraction: You didn't make one.

Post edited at 22:17
 wintertree 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

>  What I originally said is that I would trust ITU data more than hospital admission data.

That looks like you're misrepresenting yourself, if I apply to your posts the same rules you're applying to mine.  That is not what you said, why don't you quote yourself instead of changing your words?  What you actually said was:

> I'm very good friends with a paramedic and based on what she tells me I don't think hospital admissions can be used as a reliable measure! 

Now, when I repeated something you said in slightly different words, it was misrepresentation even though I maintain they were semantically equivalent.  Where as here you are revising your claim significantly in your re-wording; you said you did not think hospital admissions could be used as a reliable measure.  

I said there was data on hospitalisations and ITU admissions, you asked for them and said - quote:

> Can you provide a link for this data please, in particular the ITU admissions as they can most certainly be classed as 'serious'.

Here you do not stat that ITU admissions is more trustworthy, but more "serious" - with which I agree with the proviso over the futility if putting very old people on an incubator.

It may seem like I'm being a tedious pratt here, but your "misrepresentation" card swings both ways...

Then you said:

>  I would be surprised if it countered my claim that, in most cases,  serious Covid affects the elderly or the infirm, but would be happy to change my mind if I see eveidence to the contrary

The data I showed made it clear that in one third of cases, "serious Covid" affects working aged people and younger, and another third infects people who are not the most elderly.  Rather than accept that you seem to have gone off on one over misrepresentation and semantics.

>  But tbh it's all a bit academic, because whatever indicator you choose - hospital admissions, ITU admissions or deaths - they all clearly demonstrate that Covid is very much more serious for old people. 

Nobody at any point has contested that Covid is more serious with age.  This is astoundingly clear.  It has been from the very start.

However, that astoundingly clear and evidenced fact that the consequences of Covid tend to increase dramatically with age  in no way justifies or supports your claim that:

> "[Covid] affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously."

About 1/3rd of those hospitalised and going in to intensive care from Covid are working aged adults or younger, so it does not generally (or mostly, a word we have both used equivalently I believe) apply to the old and infirm.  

 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Sorry, I missed the retraction. 

No worries

> what is the point of your dogged pursuit of the "more serious in the elderly" line?

I've just been responding to people who have objected to me making that point. I find it a bit weird too!

5
 Big Bruva 01 May 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

>  Just trawled back through your posts and I can now see why I missed your retraction: You didn't make one.

In reply to this fom Misha:

"I'd be surprised if that's how hospital admissions work for Covid or indeed for anything else."

I said this:

"I agree with you, especially, as Wintertree pointed out, when the service is overwhelmed. Hospital admission data for Covid may be a reasonable indicator of the immediate seriousness of the disease."

And then this:

"I'm quite happy to admit I may have been wrong (eg hospital admissions)"

I guess at least now you realise why I end up having to doggedly defend myself!

6
 wintertree 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

>> what is the point of your dogged pursuit of the "more serious in the elderly" line?

> I've just been responding to people who have objected to me making that point. I find it a bit weird too!

What is weird is that nobody has factually objected to you making that point.  It’s a statement of astoundingly obvious fact that’s been clear for over a year.  

You said:

> However, I'm not going to start a thread about how benign the virus is because I know it affects some people - generally the old and infirm - very seriously

I object to this on the evidenced, factual grounds that about a third of seriously affected people are by no definition “old” as they’re going in to intensive care of working age or younger.  Another third are by no means the most elderly.  Both you and I have used the word “most” or “mostly” with equivalence to “generally” and it is clear none of those words are applicable.

You were just wrong. You asked for quantitative evidence. When presented with it you dismissed it  on guff grounds based on alleged hearsay and started claiming misrepresentation followed by bad faith.  Claiming that the recent hospital admissions are unreliable because people could rock up and demand admission implies you think a lot of admission were “fake” or otherwise untrustworthy and is such a preposterous claim in light of recent months I’m still struggling to get my head around it.

I would further suggest that a virus that puts hundreds of thousands of working aged people through hospitals and 10% or so of those through intensive care is by no means “benign”.

Post edited at 22:50
1
 Misha 01 May 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I think the whole mostly / generally debate is just semantics. You could argue that 51% is mostly - it’s a vague term.

The real point is what Stichtplate said - and so what? What is BigBruva trying to say by pointing out that it mostly / generally seriously affects the ‘old and infirm’?

Anyway, as you say, a significant proportion of hospitalisations and ICU cases relates to working age people. 

1
 Misha 01 May 2021
In reply to Big Bruva:

So perhaps they didn’t really have it under control. They certainly didn’t use the time to prepare...

My point still stands though. I don’t think it’s wise to compare country X with country Y until the dust settles, which will take another year or two (the exception is a small number of countries in SE Asia plus Oz and NZ, who actually seem to be on top of Covid). The pandemic is taking different courses in different places at different times. Add to that deliberate or accidental underreporting in some places - it will be a few years before overall death rates could be compared.

Unfortunately this will run on for a while yet all round the world. 

1
 wintertree 02 May 2021
In reply to Misha:

> The real point is what Stichtplate said - and so what? What is BigBruva trying to say by pointing out that it mostly / generally seriously affects the ‘old and infirm’?

I wouldn't like to speculate lest they start crying misrepresentation again and still not explaining why they consider me to have the wrong end of the stick.

Another poster suggested  a couple of months ago an alternative scenario where we would leave older people to die, to preserve our liberty whilst not collapsing healthcare.  If we skip over the glaring floors in implementing their idea (obviously things like societal morals and ethics didn't feature strongly in their plan, so we'll skip right over those) , the next problem is that after just one more week of exponential growth (under a no-restrictions scenario), we'd just have healthcare overloaded by younger people instead.  

Until the vaccine roll out, there were enough working aged people to fill all ITUs several times over if we'd not controlled the spread of cases, and if all people over 65 - let alone those in their twilight years - were denied access to healthcare.   Which is another reason I think they're totally wrong about the virus generally affecting the old and infirm.   It's far worse for older people, but it would also have been the worst health crisis in a century for younger people if not controlled; and it may well be a smaller but still standout health event for working aged adults.  It's just much worse for the fewer, older people out there.

1
 Misha 03 May 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Small % of the working age population is a large number...

Not to mention being unlucky enough to break a leg or get appendicitis in those circumstances.

In reply to wintertree:

> Another poster suggested  a couple of months ago an alternative scenario where we would leave older people to die, to preserve our liberty whilst not collapsing healthcare.  If we skip over the glaring floors in implementing their idea (obviously things like societal morals and ethics didn't feature strongly in their plan, so we'll skip right over those) , the next problem is that after just one more week of exponential growth (under a no-restrictions scenario), we'd just have healthcare overloaded by younger people instead.  

The experiment the Tories wanted to try about just letting it run to keep the economy open has now been done in India.   What happens is that it gets so bad that business leaders ask for a lockdown.

https://www.independent.co.uk/asia/india/india-coronavirus-lockdown-advisers-modi-b1841103.html

1
 Misha 03 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Anecdotal but I can’t fail to observe that three out of the four patients whose faces you can see in that photo are not old.

 wintertree 03 May 2021
In reply to girlymonkey:

An article from the FT here, hardly an outlet known for their sensationalist approach.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/39ad9165-fc31-42ff-86d5-317d32ecfe6d

Another poster claimed India has been overloaded like this last year, but that the media weren’t paying attention.  They’ve also professed and interest in “the data”.  The FT have sourced data on medical oxygen demand; it’s in the article and I’ve attached it below.  Demand now is 4 times what it was in their last peak and is still growing.  I never read the FT before this but I’ve been consistently impressed with their journalism, mixing hard data, derived analysis and the human side in to compelling reports.


 Punter_Pro 04 May 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Non paywall version for those who aren't subscribed to the FT.

https://archive.is/Bi6eC

I fully agree, the FT and Jon-Burn Murdoch on Twitter (@jburnmurdoch) have been consistently brilliant IMO throughout this pandemic. 

Post edited at 06:02

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