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Lockdown has killed 21,000 people', say experts

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 LeeWood 30 Jul 2020

The Telegraph - latest study on our lethal lockdown - which focuses on stats from the 1st 8 weeks:

Q: The estimates suggest 21,544 extra deaths in the first eight weeks of lockdown – an average of 2,693 a week.

Focus on recent PHE figures reveals truth:

Q: A significant proportion of the official daily death toll are people who have recovered from Covid-19 but then gone on to die of other causes, Oxford University experts revealed.

For the younger age-group lockdown is esp risky: 

Q: He said the paper raised particular concerns about the rationale for blanket lockdowns, fuelling high numbers of deaths in relatively young age groups.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/29/lockdown-has-killed-21000-people-say-experts/

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 Offwidth 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Evidence (please link the source reference not the paywalled Telegraph who always battle to reopen the economy)?  C19 can do serious damage to organs so if you have a damaged heart due to covid and have a heart related death soon afterwards is C19 not the cause?? The UK excess deaths difference between those known to have had covid and the total is around 10,000 and other experts have good evidence most of those are likely covid deaths untested for. 20,000 would be a massive deal and mainstream headline news and it sounds like another Prof Gupta headline grabber (that study didn't match simple facts).

Post edited at 08:14
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 LeeWood 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Here is the whole article:

Almost 2,700 people a week have died because of the effects of lockdown, analysis of official data suggests. 

The study by economists and academics from Sheffield and Loughborough universities suggests more than 21,000 people died as a result of the measures introduced in March. 

The analysis examines Office for National Statistics (ONS) data in the eight weeks that followed the national lockdown. 

Researchers said the findings show that “lockdown has killed 21,000 people” because the policy has had “significant unintended consequences” such as lack of access to critical healthcare and a collapse in A&E attendances.

The study examines deaths data in recent months, and tracks it against long-term trends, taking account of other variables such as demographic and economic factors. 

It suggests that the lockdown – and the subsequent reduction in access to healthcare – increased total mortality by roughly 2,700 deaths a week.

It follows warnings that the number of people attending Accident and Emergency departments fell by 50 per cent at some points during the pandemic, while urgent referrals for suspected cancer dropped by 70 per cent. 

Separate research warns such delays could mean up to 35,000 extra deaths from cancer a year.

The new analysis by the University of Sheffield, Loughborough University and economists at Economic Insight, suggests that the number of deaths which were not caused by coronavirus dwarfed the numbers which were.  

It suggests that on average, there were roughly 4,000 more deaths from other causes than those which were caused by Covid-19, in the lockdown period. 

The estimates suggest 21,544 extra deaths in the first eight weeks of lockdown – an average of 2,693 a week.

Researchers said the continuation of social distancing measures may mean the total death toll caused by lockdown, and its knock-on effects, may be yet larger. 

Earlier this month Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordered an urgent review into thereporting of coronavirus deaths amid concerns that Public Health England (PHE) had "exaggerated" the true figures.

A significant proportion of the official daily death toll are people who have recovered from Covid-19 but then gone on to die of other causes, Oxford University experts revealed.

Unlike in Scotland and Wales, where there is a 28-day cut-off, anyone who has ever tested positive for coronavirus in England counts as a Covid death when they die, even if it is months later and from a clearly unrelated cause.

Researchers said the findings had “profound implications for both future policymaking and behavioural science”.

Sam Williams, director of Economic Insight, said the new study attempted to “more robustly quantify the number of Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales”.

“In total, lockdown has killed more than 21,000 people in net terms, that would have lived without a lockdown,” he said. 

Mr Williams said current existing measures – tracking deaths “associated” with Covid, without proof of cause, and excess deaths, suffered from “material deficiencies”.

He said: “The existing reported measures (Covid-19 associated deaths and excess deaths respectively) suffer from well known, and material, deficiencies. The former because it requires only weak evidence that Covid-19 ‘may’ have contributed to a death. The latter because it assumes all variation in weekly mortality relative to a five-year average represents ‘excess’ deaths due to Covid-19 (rather than those deaths being brought forward, or being due to other reasons). 

He said the paper raised particular concerns about the rationale for blanket lockdowns, fuelling high numbers of deaths in relatively young age groups.

A study published in The Lancet Oncology has found that cancers missed amid the pandemic will cut lives short by an average of 20 years each, research suggests. 

Experts said the findings were a "sobering" reflection of the fact that many delays in diagnosis will affect relatively young people who should have had decades ahead of them. 

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 Offwidth 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Similar dire warnings and estimates were made before and yet excess deaths are currently below average. We will see the trends in cancer deaths over time (almost certainly a big increase) but some of these claims seem hyperbolic to me. The Telegraph is not a reference and have unfairly spun stories in the past. I simply can't believe 21,000 excess deaths already as it contradicts other clear evidence (as did the Gupta study where their maximum mortality rate had been clearly exceeded in areas where a significant proportion of the population had not even been infected). I strongly suspect the experts are predicting future deaths.

Post edited at 08:36
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 Ridge 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> 21,544 extra deaths in the first eight weeks

How does that work, given the overall mortality rate has fallen over that period?

> Sam Williams, director of Economic Insight

Who?

https://www.economic-insight.com/category/public-policy/

"We also work closely with public policy teams within private sector firms, including multi-nationals, to help influence future policy design". 

Hmmm.

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In reply to LeeWood:

I'd argue it's way to early to say. Delayed cancer treatments for example would likely cause a death in future years, not the last 3 months. 

I bet the research is full of estimates, leading to lots of possible, perhaps and maybe conclusions. 

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 wbo2 30 Jul 2020
In reply to summo: That.  The question you, Lee , have to answer is that if nothing was done, what would the consequences have been w.r.t. overwhelming the health system,and are you prepared to live with that.  It is obvious that the current policy of 'lockdown' has negative consequences for some, but the alternatives are far worse - this is not a simple binary question.

Maths question for you - near the end they have baseline male and female motality rates... the male one is far higher - why do we have a relatively balanced population when the mortality rates , without COVID, are so different?

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 neilh 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

How about a different title.

" No lockdown kills 150,000 people".

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 trouserburp 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Attributing people being scared of going to hospital to lockdown is absurd and dangerous. Yes the government should have made it clearer that you should continue to access treatment if you need it but that is completely compatible with lockdown and saving hundreds of thousands of lives by lockdown

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 AJM 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Where mortality rates are high, we don't - if you look at the ONS estimates for population over 90 there are twice as many females as males - I couldn't find the numbers this time but my recollection is that looking at centenarians it's more like 4-5:1.

At lower ages, mortality rates are low so whilst the mortality rate is quite different proportionally the probability of survival is proportionately basically the same (i.e. if your mortality rate is a tenth of a percent Vs 0.15%, your probability of surviving is 99.9% Vs 99.85%, and your population is based on the survivors)

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 wintertree 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wbo2 and neilh:

Exactly.  The numbers in LeeWood's linked article don't pass basic tests, and even if they did should be compared with the "no lockdown" alternative.  

Were people avoiding hospital and treatment because of lockdown, or because of fear of catching covid?  It's very asymmetric to attribute it all to lockdown.

I agree with summo that it will take some years for the full impact on cancer survival rates to be determined.   Cancer sufferers are one of the groups badly failed by the failure to plan.

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 Cobra_Head 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

How many would have died if we hadn't locked down?

You only have to look a Brazil, to see how that works.

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 Cobra_Head 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Were people avoiding hospital and treatment because of lockdown, or because of fear of catching covid?  It's very asymmetric to attribute it all to lockdown.

Don't know the specific reason, obviously. But, yes they were avoiding hospital for A&E at least. A&E were really quite, I suppose for a number of reasons, less people on the roads; so less RTAs, less people out getting pissed and injuring themselves, people less inclined to go for trivial issues.

Post edited at 11:54
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 climbercool 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> You only have to look a Brazil, to see how that works.

Brazils death rate is currently about 50% lower than ours.  I think morally we had no other choice than to try a lock-down and obviously should have done it much earlier. but I wouldn't be surprised if in the long run it turns out to have been pretty ineffective. If a good vaccine does not arrive Brazil may be looking much much better than us 18 months from now.

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 LeeWood 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wbo2:

> That.  The question you, Lee , have to answer is that if nothing was done, what would the consequences have been w.r.t. overwhelming the health system,and are you prepared to live with that.  It is obvious that the current policy of 'lockdown' has negative consequences for some, but the alternatives are far worse - this is not a simple binary question.

Maybe Lord Sumption has the answers - in this interview. He states that the 1st 3wks of lockdown were valuable to common good. After which it became unreasonable. He confesses to breaking the law ie. civil disobedience BUT distinguishes this from moral disobedience.

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/events/democracy-and-the-rule-of-law-in-the-age-of-covid-19

Lord Sumption otherwise defends his stance on lockdown and infringement of liberty. The UK government made no cost benefit analysis of the whole exercise - but looked 'copycat' to the examples of Italy & Spain. The public value of known mortality rates was not judged against value of economics, education, culture and sociability.

After 5mins intro the Sumption's part lasts about half an hour. The american judge presents v different perspective during approx 15mins. Sumption finally justifies his position - under searching and penetrating scrutiny from the interviewer. Well worth a hearing.    

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In reply to LeeWood:

It is counterfactural bollocks.

Let's suppose that it is true that 2,700 extra people die every week because they can't access normal hospital services during the coronavirus epidemic.  

If there wasn't a lockdown there would be far more corona infection and the hospitals would be even more overwhelmed by corona patients, we would have filled up the Nightingale sheds with dying people as well as the hospitals.  

It isn't lockdown which made treatment unavailable it is increased demand on hospitals caused by coronavirus and the potential for infection within hospitals.

These 2,700 extra deaths are deaths indirectly caused by coronavirus, not deaths caused by lockdown.

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 Blunderbuss 30 Jul 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It is counterfactural bollocks.

> Let's suppose that it is true that 2,700 extra people die every week because they can't access normal hospital services during the coronavirus epidemic.  

> If there wasn't a lockdown there would be far more corona infection and the hospitals would be even more overwhelmed by corona patients, we would have filled up the Nightingale sheds with dying people as well as the hospitals.  

> It isn't lockdown which made treatment unavailable it is increased demand on hospitals caused by coronavirus and the potential for infection within hospitals.

> These 2,700 extra deaths are deaths indirectly caused by coronavirus, not deaths caused by lockdown.

100% correct, the amount of people I have had to say similar to when they parrot what the op said is astonishing......there seems to be some perception that the NHS would have carried on as normal with no lockdown.....the lockdown was introduced precisely to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the population and also the NHS.

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 wercat 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

What Do you Want/Prefer in relation to this headline?

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

I’d find it quite disconcerting that respected newspapers are allowed to publish this type of content when social media like Facebook and Twitter are being called on to quash misinformation. 
 

This is a prime example of why people don’t trust experts any more. 

Post edited at 13:31
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 LeeWood 30 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> I’d find it quite disconcerting that respected newspapers are allowed to publish this type of content when social media like Facebook and Twitter are being called on to quash misinformation. 

Which media sources do you trust - are you a Sun / Mirror reader ? The Telegraph article is just the latest of many which attempts to put a figure on collateral deaths - previously named at 2000 / week by Edge Health. Do you accept any of these categories as valid for consideration ?

I can almost begin to believe from your reactions - that lockdown has only benefits - perhaps we should lockdown and stay down ?! I am averagely surprised by UKC reactions - as climbers, lockdown is wholly unfavorable for our activities - so we should be glad of any evidence which pushes liberty !

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 Blunderbuss 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Which media sources do you trust - are you a Sun / Mirror reader ? The Telegraph article is just the latest of many which attempts to put a figure on collateral deaths - previously named at 2000 / week by Edge Health. Do you accept any of these categories as valid for consideration ?

> I can almost begin to believe from your reactions - that lockdown has only benefits - perhaps we should lockdown and stay down ?! I am averagely surprised by UKC reactions - as climbers, lockdown is wholly unfavorable for our activities - so we should be glad of any evidence which pushes liberty !

The argument you are pushing does not stand up to any logical thought process....the lockdown was introduced to REDUCE pressure on the NHS from COVID-19.

You've read the headline, thought 'yeah this appeals to my thought process' and not questioned it at all.....

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 Christy 30 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

The issue isn't trusting experts.  It is what they are an expert in.  Generic experts probably means something entirely different.  The article says economists and academics (again academics could be any field) and not sure what  the economists are doing here either.  The fact that they decline to say what any of the authors are expert in except the unrelated field of economists implies nothing relevant.  They would have said if it helped their story.

Definitely seems like there are issues with this research!

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

I’m not looking for anything to support anything. 
 

I’m looking for clear research and unambiguous data so that we can understand the effects of lockdown and maybe in future tailor the response. 
 

I think it’s pretty clear, that had we been able to test 200,000 people a day in February, that localised lockdowns would have been the ideal solution. 

But we didn’t have the technology. 
 

I don’t see a countywide lockdown happening again. 

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 wintertree 30 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> But we didn’t have the technology

Oh, but I think we did.

We didn't have the organisational infrastructure to deploy it rapidly however.

Teams borrowed from the armed forces were collecting qPCR machines from research labs around the country and centralising them in Milton Keynes months before any results came out of them.

I suspect the post-mortem is going to show that taking the key machines and staff from a bunch of perfectly functional research labs and centralising them into a new institute with new management and new processes was a great way of delaying testing for 8 weeks, compared to the alternative of distributing samples and protocols and some extra management staff to existing laboratories.  

I hope in the future we have either a battle hardened national testing infrastructure or a plan to make use of the "up and running" infrastructure in labs across the country...

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In reply to LeeWood:

> I am averagely surprised by UKC reactions - as climbers, lockdown is wholly unfavorable for our activities - so we should be glad of any evidence which pushes liberty !

Trump playbook?

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In reply to DancingOnRock:

> I’d find it quite disconcerting that respected newspapers are allowed to publish this type of content when social media like Facebook and Twitter are being called on to quash misinformation. 

Telegraph hasn't been a respected newspaper for quite a few years. That not my bias because of my opposing political views to the Torygraph, it is a combination of a distinct editorial shift and the jettisoning of the vast majority of their experienced journalists either through cost cutting or in some cases people reading the paper and deciding they no longer want to be part of it.

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

The broadsheets are generally better that the redtops, the point is they’re all at it, and while the focus is online spreading of rumours the hard copy seems to be getting free reign. Look at the sheer volume of opinion pieces that the Guardian spews forth and is shared as ‘This is true!’

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In reply to LeeWood:

In simple terms there were two options:

1. Impose a lockdown and limit corona deaths, whilst acknowledging that there would be some impacts on other causes of death.

2. Not impose a lockdown and see a massive growth in corona, resulting in many, many more deaths, overwealming our medical capacity and having a knock on impact on other causes of death, resulting in even higher numbers.

Of course, an earlier lockdown, better provision of PPE, proper testing especially on hospital discharge and general government competence would have resulted in far fewer deaths all around and a shorter lockdown, but we are where we are.

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

The accuracy of the tests was not understood. That took time before it was known what use the data was. There was no point in spending millions of pounds and energy on tests that didn’t work. 
 

They’re still only 80% reliable, but at least we understand that and can work with it. 

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

There’s no guarantee the lockdown would have been shorter. No one had a plan on how to emerge. And without reliable testing you’d end up stuck in lockdown forever. As it is, lockdown has been eased without testing fully in place but knowing it was on its way. 

Post edited at 15:26
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In reply to DancingOnRock:

> There’s no guarantee the lockdown would have been shorter. No one had a plan on how to emerge. And without reliable testing you’d end up stuck in lockdown forever. As it is, lockdown has been eased without testing fully in place but knowing it was on its way. 

Nothing is guaranteed, but with 7-14 days less expedential increases in the virus, the peak would have been much lower and we would have passed it sooner.

Post edited at 15:31
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 wintertree 30 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> The accuracy of the tests was not understood. That took time before it was known what use the data was.

Yes, and if the functional labs hadn't all been torn down and the delicate machines moved and recalibrated, staff re-located and re-trained, logistics and supply networks reestablished and so on, that time would have passed sooner.

> There was no point in spending millions of pounds and energy on tests that didn’t work. 

It is a miss conception that the tests "didn't work".

They work.  The main issue with them is that there's a time-dependant false negative rate.  It took time to understand this rate.

The reasons I think there was a point to doing testing earlier:

0. Testing, testing, testing.  The WHO recommended it clearly from early on, domain experts recognise it's importance, and it was key to the early containment by some other countries.

1. The data on false negative and false positive rates comes from one place and only one place - putting lots of people through the tests and keeping track off them by other means too.  The only way to do that is by spending money running tests.   You can't "wait until the tests work" as you intimate - we have the tests, we had to use them to understand the bounds of their behaviour.

2. The main problem with the tests is a false negative.  This is not a barrier to the tests being useful in some roles.  As has been widely known since February this virus is highly transmissible by people who are not displaying symptoms.  Widespread use of repeat testing of health and care workers in higher risk situations from early on would have pulled 80% of infectious staff out of patient contact before they knew they were infected.  This would have made a large difference to how things unfolded I think, and the fact the test isn't perfect doesn't matter to this application.  

The false negative rate of the test has different impacts depending on where it's being used - clearing people to return to a care home or to exit quarantine early, decidedly not good.  Identifying a/pre-symptomatic people to quarantine them, you're 5 times better off with the imperfect test than without out.

> They’re still only 80% reliable, but at least we understand that and can work with it. 

It's a lot more complicated than that, as a post I put together the other day showed...  See the attachment; another poster suggested data that remains closer to 20% in the mid-times on my plot, so it's almost certainly beyond justification for me to have linearly interpolated the confidence interval region.

Post edited at 15:40

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In reply to climbercool:

Brazil are only doing about a quarter as much testing as us per head of population and are recording a 20% positive rate, compared to around 4% here. I hope I am wrong, but I suspect massive under reporting for Brazil and a given that they are reporting 10 times as many cases a day as we were at our peak, real problems to come. They are also more than a month behind us.

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

>It took time to understand this rate.

 

Doesn't matter what the specifics are. That’s the important part. 

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

Then we would have been in lockdown with no one dying but no one willing to lift lockdown. 

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 wintertree 30 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Doesn't matter what the specifics are. That’s the important part. 

1. The sooner we had wide spread testing and running, the sooner we understood this important part.  Therefore your argument of "it took time to understand this" does not apply to justifying decisions that apparently delayed widespread testing by 4-8 weeks.  It took time to understand this because we tore down, centralised and rebuilt much of our testing capability.  So you can't raise "it took time" as a justification for that...  Circular nonsense.

2. As I said quite clearly, even with a poorly bounded false negative rate, early testing would have been very powerful are removing some fraction of symptom-free infectious people from healthcare and care home settings.  

So, the specifics do matter.  Finding the appropriate course of action in a timely way in situation where there are many unknowns is all about the specifics.  In the early days, with qPCR we knew the risk of a false positive is very low in an appropriately run lab, and we knew the false negative was poorly bounded.  These specifics let us determine where the testing can help (e.g. screening symptom free people interacting with the vulnerable).

Post edited at 15:54
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In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Then we would have been in lockdown with no one dying but no one willing to lift lockdown. 

I doubt this very much, also you assume testing would take the same length of time to be effective or at least as effective as it is now, as wintertree points out, we were very slow in terms of testing, this need not have been the case.

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 EdS 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

badly handled and organised by Gov may have resulted in death -not the lockdown.

A&E and Assessment units have been operating almost as per normal - people, for whatever their reason, not going is their choice, not a direct result of lock down.

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 DancingOnRock 30 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> So you can't raise "it took time" as a justification for that...  Circular nonsense.

I can, it did, it’s not. 

Post edited at 17:19
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 scott culyer 30 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

lord sumption: this is the guy who also believed gender equality in the supreme court would lead to grave consequences for justice.

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In reply to The New NickB:

> Telegraph hasn't been a respected newspaper for quite a few years. That not my bias because of my opposing political views to the Torygraph, it is a combination of a distinct editorial shift and the jettisoning of the vast majority of their experienced journalists either through cost cutting or in some cases people reading the paper and deciding they no longer want to be part of it.

Yes, it's really sad how the Telegraph has declined from being a respectable right-wing newspaper to a crappy propaganda rag.

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 wintertree 30 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> I can, it did, it’s not. 

Can you explain to me your grounds for this?  You are saying that it’s fine we took ages to get testing running at scale, because it wasn’t useful until the false negative rate was quantified, when that rate is only determined by running testing at scale (amongst other things).

Can you explain to me why you are discounting the incredible usefulness of testing with a low false positive and an unknown false negative rate in screening symptom free heath and care workers to reduce the scale of symptom free transmission to vulnerable people?

Post edited at 17:56
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 LeeWood 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> You've read the headline, thought 'yeah this appeals to my thought process' and not questioned it at all.....

It did appeal but I didn't presume absolute truth when posting. I post in order to get reactions in order to better understand the content. 

If Edge Health was previously correct with it's estimates of 2000 collateral deaths / week, then the new estimate of 2,700 appears to repose upon the new exposé of PHE stats handling. However, this would make more sense 2 months later. It's concievable that 700 deaths could have been false covid-19 deaths - but NOT in the 1st 2 months. There was initially little testing, and no time lapse for this category to emerge.

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 Cobra_Head 31 Jul 2020
In reply to climbercool:

> Brazils death rate is currently about 50% lower than ours.  I think morally we had no other choice than to try a lock-down and obviously should have done it much earlier. but I wouldn't be surprised if in the long run it turns out to have been pretty ineffective. If a good vaccine does not arrive Brazil may be looking much much better than us 18 months from now.

According to this they're on about 80K deaths we're around 60k IIRC, but they're quite a long way behind us, possibly a month or so, from 1st case infection.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/21/893416808/brazil-tops-80-000-covid-19-deaths-as-2-government-ministers-test-positive-for-v?t=1596161513257

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 Cobra_Head 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Which media sources do you trust - are you a Sun / Mirror reader ? T

One's that use logical arguments, that you can't pull apart with a little thinking time.

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 LeeWood 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> One's that use logical arguments, that you can't pull apart with a little thinking time.

Agreed. But we should get to the bottom of this. Significant categories of deaths. We need a cost benefit analysis, not just to weigh up the deaths but the other elements of lockdown, both short and long term impacts

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 john arran 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

We needed that right from the start in March. Instead we got dismissal and prevarication, which has led not only to a far higher covid death toll than comparable countries that responded more responsibly, but to also more severe economic impact. Hard to imagine it having been managed any worse at the time.

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 Blunderbuss 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Agreed. But we should get to the bottom of this. Significant categories of deaths. We need a cost benefit analysis, not just to weigh up the deaths but the other elements of lockdown, both short and long term impacts

The cost/benefit analysis of not locking down needs to be honest....virtually every anti-lockdown commentator I have seen has a complete ignorance of the interaction between a public health crisis and how the economy functions......there seems to be some delusional thinking that the economy would have chugged along as normal when our hospitals were being overrun with COVID19 patients.

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 Offwidth 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

..... so that the most important non covid and emergency medical issues could still be dealt with in hospital during covid and the time for any severe impact is minimised... along with people avoiding hospitals and GP surgeries way more out of fear than prevention, this amounts to irony on steroids. The shits pedalling this consistent anti-lockdown crap in the Telegraph don't care though, scientific approaches to covid have become another liberal left conspiracy to remove our freedoms.

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 Trevers 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Researchers said the findings show that “lockdown has killed 21,000 people” because the policy has had “significant unintended consequences” such as lack of access to critical healthcare and a collapse in A&E attendances.

This is not necessarily a direct impact of lockdown, much as The Telegraph would love to have you believe.

Post edited at 09:53
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 seankenny 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Agreed. But we should get to the bottom of this. Significant categories of deaths. We need a cost benefit analysis, not just to weigh up the deaths but the other elements of lockdown, both short and long term impacts

It’s clear you didn’t like being stuck inside for several months. How many extra people - in your view - should have died (from covid or because the hospitals weee overrun) or suffered long term health problems in order to relive you of that suffering? 

Post edited at 09:54
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 wintertree 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> The shits pedalling this consistent anti-lockdown crap in the Telegraph don't care though, scientific approaches to covid have become another liberal left conspiracy to remove our freedom

What I perceived as an organised effort (*) to push against lockdown on social media has faded away with it’s false equivalence between uncontrolled pandemic and economic cost, and it’s bullshit science over “we’ve all had it do lockdown is pointless”.

(*) I charitably assume some posters didn’t know they were being manipulated into it by their alt-right networks but others were blatant new accounts with messages carefully crafted with a lot of emotional content leading up to the sucker punch.

It makes me wonder what the orchestrators are now up to in the UK.

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 wintertree 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Don't know the specific reason, obviously. But, yes they were avoiding hospital for A&E at least. A&E were really quite, I suppose for a number of reasons,

Indeed.  Just around lockdown I did myself a really nasty / messy / dirty cut (whilst being particularly careful not to injure myself on chores etc this was maddening).  Any other time I’d have gone to the local walk in urgent care centre to get a medical opinion and to have a good job done of cleaning closing it.  As I didn’t fancy risking exposure to covid I did a DIY job of irrigating it and closing it with steristrips.  But thankfully it didn’t get infected and healed, but I’ll leave a much worse scar.

Whilst cancer treatment also suffered from the late lockdown; had we not had a lockdown it would have suffered far more as the NHS would have become far more infectious to those immunocompromised patients.

The irony being that the arguments used to delay lockdown because of its effects were actually arguments for an earlier lockdown.

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 mondite 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Yes, it's really sad how the Telegraph has declined from being a respectable right-wing newspaper to a crappy propaganda rag.

The paper is up for sale now that the Barclays twins are getting on and its proper family feud time for their kids. Hopefully it will be brought by someone who turns it back into a proper paper.

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In reply to LeeWood:

> I am averagely surprised by UKC reactions - as climbers, lockdown is wholly unfavorable for our activities - so we should be glad of any evidence which pushes liberty !

That's a pretty clear statement of your agenda, anyway.  Ever thought about balancing 'liberty' with a bit of social responsibility?

I think being in ITU is pretty unfavorable to our activities too, as is the months of debilitation that follow a bad bout of c19.

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 DancingOnRock 31 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

You’re suggesting we test 200,000 people a day with a test that we don’t know whether it works or not, before testing on a handful of people? A test that will take at least 3 weeks per person.

And if it had been a useless test you would be the first person here banging on about how the government should have used one of the other tests instead of wasting millions of pounds and millions of man hours on something that they had no idea whether it worked or not. 

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 Cobra_Head 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> I can almost begin to believe from your reactions - that lockdown has only benefits - perhaps we should lockdown and stay down ?! I am averagely surprised by UKC reactions - as climbers, lockdown is wholly unfavorable for our activities - so we should be glad of any evidence which pushes liberty !

You seem to be asking for "liberty" to do what you want, not for the benefit of everyone, you sound like the anti-Maskers!

What about everyone else's liberty not to be exposed to a possibly deadly virus?

I'd gladly give up climbing for another 6 months if I thought I might save someone's life, it is ONLY climbing, after-all.

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 wintertree 31 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> You’re suggesting we test 200,000 people a day with a test that we don’t know whether it works or not, before testing on a handful of people?

Where did I say that?  I didn't. 

> A test that will take at least 3 weeks per person.

The test is turned around in hours to days.

> And if it had been a useless test you would be the first person here banging on about how the government should have used one of the other tests instead of wasting millions of pounds and millions of man hours on something that they had no idea whether it worked or not. 

  1. No I wouldn't.  I understand what a qPCR test is.  I know that it "works".  I knew that before Covid came along.  I estimated with good certainty that it would - in a high quality lab- have a low false positive rate.  I knew that the false negative rate would need to be determined.  This is borderline textbook stuff.
  2. Your paragraph above shows that you apparently don't understand what's happened at all.  I have been talking about all the man hours spent tearing down, centralising and re-creating qPCR machines, staffing, laboratories, logistics/supply chains, staff management etc and the significant delay to testing that this apparently incurred.  My suggestion is that perhaps if all that effort had been initially spent running tests in-situ in already up-and-running labs instead of following a centralising doctrine, that we would have run the same number of tests required to get a handle on the false negative rate in less time and would have been able to ramp testing sooner.  The working assumption in my building for some time was that testing would be run out of established labs co-opted into covid service in the early days.

I understand your view that we should de-risk the tests before spending large, but your use of it to counter my view is not.  Surely the sensible thing to do would have been to run the tests in-situ in the functional laboratories before committing to the large spending of a central doctrine, where-as the government spent a fortune (of money, time and potentially lives) re-locating and centralising everything first, which carried the risk of spending a lot of money for nothing if the tests didn't "work".  Do you understand this point?  It's critical to the case I've been trying to make.

As it is, the important of testing is so clear, and was long before this pandemic, and the technology for live-infection testing is so standardised, and was long before this pandemic, that whilst I see your point on de-risking the spending, given how critical testing is to controlling a pandemic whilst preserving the economy I think there was/is a case to spend large up-front on something as un-risky as qPCR testing.

You apparently persist in holding a view that I am "anti-government" and will criticise any decision.  This is disingenuous - my comments are on record in advance of certain government decisions.  You have accused me of "personal dogma" but my views are driven by my best understanding of the science and the evidence from around the world.  I would be just as critical of a labour government if they made the same mistakes.  

We are one of the most developed countries on the planet, one of the wealthiest per capita, and a massive centre for global biotech with a thriving academia.  To have ended up with the worst excess deaths so early on and so hard despite being forewarned by Wuhan and then Northern Italy is a tragedy almost beyond belief.  I'm not sorry if criticising or questioning decisions behind this is a cause of distress to some.  

I could be wrong about the centralisation being a mistake.  I value the informed comment from some posters with relevant backgrounds/experience/connections on UKC and hope they’ll chime in on that.  That’s the kind of high quality comment I’m hoping for with these posts...

Post edited at 12:01
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In reply to DancingOnRock:

> A test that will take at least 3 weeks per person.

Which test are you talking about, we have had a number of tests carried out on memebers of our household, both for antibodies and current virus and the results have been back in a time period ranging from a few hours to two days.

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 DancingOnRock 31 Jul 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

I am talking about monitoring people back in March to determine which of the tests being trialled worked and which would be the most reliable. How you would monitor hundreds of thousands of people a day to see if their false or positive test was followed by any symptoms, is anyone’s guess but simply rolling out a test that we don’t know whether it works or not seems to me to be pretty stupid idea. 
 

I’m not talking about now. The research has been done and we have a test we understand the results of. 

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 DancingOnRock 31 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

>that whilst I see your point on de-risking the spending, given how critical testing is to controlling a pandemic whilst preserving the economy I think there was/is a case to spend large up-front on something as un-risky as qPCR testing.

 

This is the main point. And it’s opinion based and a decision made by whoever was party to all the financial considerations. Basing in the fact we already had committed to a lockdown that needed to be in place until we saw that the R figure was diminished by behaviour and we understood that the infections in the community were reducing. 
 

You don’t need any mass testing to determine that. We could see by admissions that infections in the community required a sustained lockdown. 

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 wintertree 31 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> I am talking about monitoring people back in March to determine which of the tests being trialled worked and which would be the most reliable. How you would monitor hundreds of thousands of people a day to see if their false or positive test was followed by any symptoms, is anyone’s guess but simply rolling out a test that we don’t know whether it works or not seems to me to be pretty stupid idea. 

> I’m not talking about now. The research has been done and we have a test we understand the results of. 

 There were 10-12 weeks from when it became apparent mass testing would be needed to when we had it.  Not 2-3 weeks.  Your claim that extensive validation that “it works” was needed does not excuse away the other 9 weeks or so of delay.  This is where I have been criticising the decision to centralise from operational laboratory as an apparent cause of the delay.  If anything the need to run many samples and then observe for 2-3 weeks is an argument against the centralisation doctrine and the inherent delays it adds, as doing so presumably delayed our ability to get that data.

Post edited at 13:05
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 wintertree 31 Jul 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> This is the main point. And it’s opinion based and a decision made by whoever was party to all the financial considerations

That is your opinion - financial. Mine is that it was following a centralisation dogma.  Here is why I don’t think it’s financial - it cost more up front and delayed the onset of test and trace, which the value of which through allowing faster release from lockdown far eclipses the cost of testing.  We could both be wrong; I haven’t seen a compelling justification given for the particular approach taken.  

> You don’t need any mass testing to determine that. We could see by admissions that infections in the community required a sustained lockdown. 

Why were admissions would high?  Partly because there was no testing, including of healthcare workers and people forcibly discharged back into the care system.  No testing + symptom free transmission (solidly proven back in February) -> many cases.

We didn’t need testing because it had got so bad we knew people were infected.  Super.  I love it.  It’s not quite up there with your bollocks about Corbyn being unable to let his wife drive him for reasons that are apparently obvious to all men with a wife and small child, but it’s getting close.

Post edited at 13:12
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 Ian W 31 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> We didn’t need testing because it had got so bad we knew people were infected.  Super.  I love it.  It’s not quite up there with your bollocks about Corbyn being unable to let his wife drive him for reasons that are apparently obvious to all men with a wife and small child, but it’s getting close.

Er, Corbyn? Shurely Shome mishtake?

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 wintertree 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> Er, Corbyn? Shurely Shome mishtake?

Crikey, yes, sorry, Cummings.  One of the problems about being me is that I can write totally the wrong word, and always proof read what I meant to write, not what I wrote.  

I should get my eyes tested...

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> What about everyone else's liberty not to be exposed to a possibly deadly virus?

This question sums it up: 'possibly'

You are living in a media bubble - fragile as blown liquid-soap . It depends on belief, and so long as you have enough group support the bubble floats prettily - to mesmerise all who observe.

Barely a day passes on UKC without a new thread emerging to critique Boris Johnson or the government. Two of the more notable such threads from pandemic discussion received popular support:

Are any of these facts disputable ? 98 Likes

The government is playing us like fools 59 Likes

The media bubble which supports your reactions is created by the government which you so criticise. Is it consistent to believe the lies and trickery of such rulers ? 

The statistics, the bungling mistakes and the fear - are all there for one insiduous purpose - to mould society into 'new-normal' disciples - fit for the hi-tech deep-surveillance epoch. Are you blind to this or can you see it but anticipate the benefits ? 

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> That's a pretty clear statement of your agenda, anyway.  Ever thought about balancing 'liberty' with a bit of social responsibility?

I can scarcely believe which side you are on ! UKC must generate income from advertising - but who is paying attention to the publicity if they haven't got the freedom to get out - and travel - to do the things they like doing ?

Even UKC appears to work against itself with warnings at the head of each logbook page ! What is the motivation behind this ? Shouldn't UKC be encouraging us to be active - by at least remaining neutral ?

I have recently been discouraged from adding ticks to the logbook pages - as they undoubtedly add to data which someone can pilfer - and the covid-19 warnings remind me of this.

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> It’s clear you didn’t like being stuck inside for several months. How many extra people - in your view - should have died (from covid or because the hospitals weee overrun) or suffered long term health problems in order to relive you of that suffering? 

Oh yes - the Nightingale hospitals - I remember well !

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 Blunderbuss 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Oh yes - the Nightingale hospitals - I remember well !

Have you thought about why they were not needed?

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 Stichtplate 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> > What about everyone else's liberty not to be exposed to a possibly deadly virus?

> This question sums it up: 'possibly'

So you actually think it may all be a hoax?

> You are living in a media bubble - fragile as blown liquid-soap . It depends on belief, and so long as you have enough group support the bubble floats prettily - to mesmerise all who observe.

You keep pushing this line despite plenty on here repeatedly disabusing you of your fantasies by pointing out their direct lived experience of the pandemic, with no media bubble required. Do you think we're all part of the conspiracy?

> Barely a day passes on UKC without a new thread emerging to critique Boris Johnson or the government. Two of the more notable such threads from pandemic discussion received popular support:

> Are any of these facts disputable ? 98 Likes

> The government is playing us like fools 59 Likes

Much of the data is disputable, testing is imperfect and many of the numbers are educated guesses and informed extrapolations. As to the government playing us for fools; we seem to be lumbered with a profoundly foolish government, it's entirely in keeping that they'd assume the public to be even more foolish. None of this makes the reality of the pandemic in any way questionable.

> The media bubble which supports your reactions is created by the government which you so criticise. Is it consistent to believe the lies and trickery of such rulers ? 

The entire Global medical and research community aren't under the thumb of Boris. Surely that's obvious?

> The statistics, the bungling mistakes and the fear - are all there for one insiduous purpose - to mould society into 'new-normal' disciples - fit for the hi-tech deep-surveillance epoch. Are you blind to this or can you see it but anticipate the benefits ? 

When you start pushing conspiracy theories that require every country, regime, political party and regional power block to operate in lock step, well frankly, you've slipped (once again) into the realms of the batshit crazy. It's just not how the World works, it's not how the World has ever worked.

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 off-duty 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood

> I can almost begin to believe from your reactions - that lockdown has only benefits - perhaps we should lockdown and stay down ?! I am averagely surprised by UKC reactions - as climbers, lockdown is wholly unfavorable for our activities - so we should be glad of any evidence which pushes liberty !

Framing the response to a lethal global virus as some sort of battle where you must defend your "liberty" is the same kind of self centred mindset as those at the beginning of this in the UK who sought to portray this as something that could be "solved" by legislation and policing.

That initial mindset feeds in to a lovely familiar comforting "us Vs them" narrative that everyone can then revert to, whether you want "them" to be the Government, the police or your favourite conspiracy theory.

The reality - that we are stumbling through this entirely new normality, as the science of the infection becomes better understood, and the horrific balancing act of death by COVID19 Vs death by economic crash is a snaky tightrope that is entirely dependant on people trying to do the "right" thing, when the "right" thing changes quickly.

What doesn't help are quack conspiracy theories, suggestions that masks are muzzles, and other nonsense about defending "liberty".

I'm not entirely sure how much liberty you have when you are hooked up to a ventilator, but I'm fairly sure it's less than now.

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 wbo2 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

If you're going to out argue him with logic, forget it.  Every study of conspiracy theorists shows that doesn't work.

Lee thinks

It's a hoax

If it isn't, it's a plot to steal our liberties

And even if it's real , it's a plot, and they could fix it with hydroxychloriquine.

But that's not happening because Bill Gates doesn't want it to happen. 

He's making a vaccine with microchips for mind control embedded (which gets us bck to 5G tho' Lee hasn't mentioned that for a while)

If you produce any arguments he'll tell you to do your own research, think for yourself.  It's kind of a transfer of responsibilty to he doesn't have to do anything, or take responsibility for anything he may or may not choose to do.  Like thinking of others, or , god forbid , taking a vaccine

Did you know there is a very strong correltation between baldness and death rate? Is it both being a function of age, or they're linked, and hair stops the microwaves getting in?

Sorry Lee, not impressed

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 DaveHK 02 Aug 2020
In reply to wbo2:

> If you produce any arguments he'll tell you to do your own research, think for yourself.  

​​​​​​My experience with conspiracy theorists is that they are forever telling others to keep an open mind but that their own minds are entirely closed to the most likely explanation of all: that things are broadly speaking as they appear to be.

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> So you actually think it may all be a hoax?

The virus is no hoax. 

> You keep pushing this line despite plenty on here repeatedly disabusing you of your fantasies by pointing out their direct lived experience of the pandemic, with no media bubble required. Do you think we're all part of the conspiracy?

You can't rely on the majority to be right.

> Much of the data is disputable, testing is imperfect and many of the numbers are educated guesses and informed extrapolations. As to the government playing us for fools; we seem to be lumbered with a profoundly foolish government, it's entirely in keeping that they'd assume the public to be even more foolish.

Good summary !

> None of this makes the reality of the pandemic in any way questionable.

Severe break in your line of logic !

> The entire Global medical and research community aren't under the thumb of Boris. Surely that's obvious?

Not Boris no, he's just a clown, as is Trump

> When you start pushing conspiracy theories that require every country, regime, political party and regional power block to operate in lock step, well frankly, you've slipped (once again) into the realms of the batshit crazy.

Good punchline  but there's too much evidence to call all of this conspiracy.

> It's just not how the World works, it's not how the World has ever worked.

True, until now.

I am not alone ! 17,000 protesters in Berlin yesterday - no masks - unafraid of the virus !

From a facebook friend:

'Protesters held up signs with slogans like “Corona, false alarm,” “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” “Natural defense instead of vaccination” and “We are the second wave.” @COVID19Up. Remember the people have the power' 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/aug/01/masks-make-us-slaves-thousands-march-in-berlin-anti-lockdown-protest-video

Post edited at 12:34
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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to wbo2:

> And even if it's real , it's a plot, and they could fix it with hydroxychloriquine.

But that IS true isn't it ?

https://www.newsweek.com/key-defeating-covid-19-already-exists-we-need-start-using-it-opinion-1519535

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 elsewhere 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> > And even if it's real , it's a plot, and they could fix it with hydroxychloriquine.

> But that IS true isn't it ?

Apparently not if you just look around a little. But then I guess Google are in on it too.

https://www.google.com/search?q=hydroxychloriquine

And the Telegraph, NHS, University of Oxford etc...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/researchers-halt-trial-hydroxychloroquine-found-useless-against/

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 off-duty 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> I am not alone ! 17,000 protesters in Berlin yesterday - no masks - unafraid of the virus !

> From a facebook friend:

> 'Protesters held up signs with slogans like “Corona, false alarm,” “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” “Natural defense instead of vaccination” and “We are the second wave.” @COVID19Up. Remember the people have the power' 

Literally - so what?

A group of people gathering together to shout their opinion adds no actual evidence to support their case.

17,000 x stupid = stupid

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In reply to LeeWood:

> From a facebook friend:

I am not surprised that your Facebook friends include fellow conspiracists.

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> ​​​​​​My experience with conspiracy theorists is that they are forever telling others to keep an open mind but that their own minds are entirely closed to the most likely explanation of all: that things are broadly speaking as they appear to be.

Sweden has always tried to be different. In the 1980's they were sitting on the fence - pacifist, with no allegiance to either NATO or Russia, under the rule of PM Olof Palme.

Q: In 1980, 8% of the Swedes viewed the Soviet Union as a direct threat and 33% considered the Soviets as hostile. After a stranded Soviet submarine in 1981 and primarily after a dramatic anti-submarine operation in 1982 with midget submarines inside Swedish naval bases, these figures changed to 42% and 83% respectively, which forced Sweden to deep-freeze its Soviet ties.

> things are broadly speaking as they appear to be

Q: However, in the 1990s, Tunander was told by U.S. and British officials that these operations were run by the U.S. and the U.K. In 2000, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and former U.K. Navy minister Keith Speed stated on Swedish TV that their subs had operated "regularly" and "frequently" in Swedish waters to test Swedish defenses after navy-to-navy consultations. This information was confirmed by British Chief of Defence Intelligence Air Marshal Sir John Walker.

https://peoplepill.com/people/ola-tunander/

It took more than a decade for the swedish people - living under 'conspiracy' before Tunander's research was finally published: 'The Secret War against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s' (2004),

Post edited at 13:23
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In reply to LeeWood:

There is some debate about the "Russian mini subs" even suggestions that it was simply misinterpreted data, however I don't think any senior figures in either the U.K. or US have confirmed any involvement from those nations, as suggested in your source. Interestingly, Keith Speed is given as one of the sources, he was indeed a Navy Minister, but he was sacked by Mrs Thatcher in May 1981, more than a year before the incidents in question.

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 off-duty 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

This is the type of misrepresenting and half reporting that give conspiracy theories such a bad name.

A Soviet submarine was stranded in 1981. That's a fact.

Soviet subs also operated in Swedish waters in the 80s - that is also undisputed by Tunander.

What he was involved in exposing is that US-UK subs were also operating covertly in Swedish waters in that time.

Doubtless if they had been caught and exposed in that same way as the Russians there would have been a, probably greater, scandal. But they effectively "got away with it".

The suggestion that this was all some kind of friendly flag, PSYOPS operation to frame the Soviets and ramp up anti Russian.  feeling in Sweden is entirely opinion based, not factual and not what is being "confirmed" by the US and UK. Framing it as if this was what the admissions were is misleading and very much a tactic of the conspiracy theorist.

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> Apparently not if you just look around a little. But then I guess Google are in on it too.

Of course ! Twitter, Facebook & Youtube - all marching to the tune of W H O regs. The collusion is firmly under USA direction

'Hydroxychloroquine: Why a video promoted by Trump was pulled on social media'

https://www.bbc.com/news/53559938

Let each country, region, PM or doctor take responsibility for their actions ! But you tell me - why anyway would the WHO care whether a few thousand people choose to kill themselves ? I mean, millions die every day from starvation and hunger - unattended, undocumented, no daily counts on national news - 5,300,000 so far this year

https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/people-and-poverty/hunger-and-obesity/how-many-people-die-from-hunger-each-year

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 seankenny 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

If millions died of hunger every day we’d be at over 150m dead already this year. And if they’re undocumented, how come we know the numbers? Is WHO responsible for malnutrition or is that a combination of WFP and OCHA? 
 

Arses are for sitting on, not talking out of. 

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 DancingOnRock 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Ok. You need to do some maths here. Just some basic stuff. 7billion people infected will result in somewhere between 70-200m deaths inside of about 6months as the disease spreads pretty rapidly and would infect the world population inside that time if left unchecked. Taking into account that 70m die a year of natural causes, that’s a 20fold increase in the death rate for a few weeks. No system can cope with that. You wouldn’t be able to bury people quick enough and what about the 70-210m people permanently disabled from the effects or on life support.  

Add in, the more people who are infected the greater the chance of mutations.

We have a serious issue.  

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 Stichtplate 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

One day I’d like to instigate a study into social media and mental health. I reckon there’s a direct inverse correlation between frequency of exclamation mark deployment and how sane you are.

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 elsewhere 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

So now the conspiracy includes Google, Telegraph, NHS, Oxford University, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and WHO.

Did my colleague's husband fake his illness? Or was the hospital in on it?

It's getting bigger than I thought. 

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 ring ouzel 02 Aug 2020
In reply to wbo2:

If I was Bill Gates and I wanted to put microchips in everyone (just.....why??) I wouldn't put them in a vaccine given all the anti-vaxx eejits around. No, I'd put them in tattoo ink, there would be a near universal uptake (apart from fearties like me). Jobs a good 'un!

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 off-duty 02 Aug 2020
In reply to ring ouzel:

> If I was Bill Gates and I wanted to put microchips in everyone (just.....why??) I wouldn't put them in a vaccine given all the anti-vaxx eejits around. No, I'd put them in tattoo ink, there would be a near universal uptake (apart from fearties like me). Jobs a good 'un!

The irony of people scared of invasive microchips in their homes, complaining about it by broadcasting videos and social media messages from their mobile phones...

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> If millions died of hunger every day we’d be at over 150m dead already this year.

U R right - thanks for pointing this out - it's 10s of 1000s each day. No question of calcs - I reformulated my sentence in mid flow

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to off-duty:

> The irony of people scared of invasive microchips in their homes, complaining about it by broadcasting videos and social media messages from their mobile phones...

But a micro-chip in the flesh would be invasive - unless you are a dog :D

But no, BG never said this. It is however on record he said vaccine with digital certificate. Vaccine with sub-cutaneous tattoo has been researched. Because of course - we wouldn't want any trickery, would we ? And vaccine with passport of course.

This all points to vaccines being mandatory - I mean we will quickly see how sensible this is won't we ?

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> We have a serious issue.  

So u r agreed - time to give HCQ a try ? With so many people keen to try (and if your calcs are right) and so many potential deaths - there is apparently nothing to lose ? 

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 seankenny 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> U R right - thanks for pointing this out - it's 10s of 1000s each day. No question of calcs - I reformulated my sentence in mid flow

You’ve managed to completely miss the point Lee. The existence of hunger and malnutrition doesn’t mean WHO staff don’t care about those deaths. It simply means that they work on something else which is different. An expert on, say, infections diseases isn’t going to be much use trucking food around in a civil war. The world is complicated. Jobs are specialist. 
 

The most interesting thing about your posts is the iron-clad self-confidence with which you make pronouncements on stuff you clearly  know literally nothing about. 

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 DaveHK 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> So u r agreed - time to give HCQ a try ? 

The (double?) blindingly obvious response to that is that it has been tried and found not to work very well. 

> there is apparently nothing to lose ? 

Putting resources into a treatment that doesn't work is a loss for sure.

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 DancingOnRock 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

What’s HCQ?

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 DaveHK 02 Aug 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> What’s HCQ?

Healthcare Conspiracists and Quacks.

(Hydroxychloroquine actually.)

Post edited at 18:19
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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> You’ve managed to completely miss the point Lee. The existence of hunger and malnutrition doesn’t mean WHO staff don’t care about those deaths. It simply means that they work on something else which is different. An expert on, say, infections diseases isn’t going to be much use trucking food around in a civil war. The world is complicated. Jobs are specialist. 

> The most interesting thing about your posts is the iron-clad self-confidence with which you make pronouncements on stuff you clearly  know literally nothing about. 

So you clearly DO know all about everything ?! Malnutrition and starvation is easy to fix - no hi-tech knowledge or research needed. Tell us all why coronavirus has been given such a hi priority over this - by the WHO ? Just a question of dosh - cancel a year's worth of Mars exploration and we liberate 100 Million staight away  ?!

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 off-duty 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> But a micro-chip in the flesh would be invasive - unless you are a dog :D

> But no, BG never said this. It is however on record he said vaccine with digital certificate. Vaccine with sub-cutaneous tattoo has been researched. Because of course - we wouldn't want any trickery, would we ? And vaccine with passport of course.

> This all points to vaccines being mandatory - I mean we will quickly see how sensible this is won't we ?

Two issues here - just to be quite clear, you aren't suggesting that Bill Gates has indicated he wants some sort of microchip injected are you? Because, to be equally clear he hasn't.

The second issue is a method of recording vaccinations. Seems pretty reasonable to me, similar (but nowhere near as robust) systems are in place for travel to countries requiring yellow fever vaccinations, to use one example.

Mandatory vaccinations? I don't think we'll go that far. I suspect there will always be some wriggle room to accommodate the anti-vaxxers, conspiracy loons, and morons, who would rather just rely on the goodwill and herd immunity generated by the civic minded.

I wouldn't be surprised if some countries ask to see vaccination certificate as a condition of entry -  Australia for example.  Still doesn't make vaccination mandatory though.  

We are, unfortunately, some way off that position yet, as a vaccination has not yet been developed, and even when it is it's iong term efficacy is unknown.

You will be having one won't you?

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 Offwidth 02 Aug 2020
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 off-duty 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> So u r agreed - time to give HCQ a try ? With so many people keen to try (and if your calcs are right) and so many potential deaths - there is apparently nothing to lose ? 

HCQ is possibly of use, when used early in the disease in combination with a cocktail of other drugs, and it may give a better outcome. 

It is not a prophylactic as it was originally pushed as.

It has harmful side effects.

The jury is still very much out as to whether, even in that cocktail, it is beneficial or harmful.

The principle of "giving it a try" isn't really a sound medical basis, when the benefits, if any, are unclear and the harmful effects are known.

What is there to lose? Well, unnecessarily killing people by giving them a potentially harmful treatment with no clear medical benefit.

What does work, and really isn't harmful is social distancing, good hand hygiene, sanitisation and wearing a mask.

Given your suggestion that we might as well "Give HCQ a try" - I take it that you are already following all those steps?

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 seankenny 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> So you clearly DO know all about everything ?! Malnutrition and starvation is easy to fix - no hi-tech knowledge or research needed. Tell us all why coronavirus has been given such a hi priority over this - by the WHO ? Just a question of dosh - cancel a year's worth of Mars exploration and we liberate 100 Million staight away  ?!

Well, I don’t know everything, but I’ve worked in international development and humanitarian aid for many years and have studied development economics at graduate level, so I do know a little about this.

Malnutrition is certainly not an easy problem to solve, despite what you may think. No government really wants its population to starve or go hungry, but it does seem to happen, because good governance is hard, and some countries are extremely poor. 
 

Your idea of how government finances work may need some updating. You’re going to start a multi-year, extremely expensive science project and then stop it because something else has come up. And then restart it a year later. What happens in the meantime? Oh yeah, all your scientists go to work somewhere else and your £2bn probe crashes. 
 

I think you need to stop watching YouTube and maybe read a reputable newspaper for a while. 

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 DancingOnRock 02 Aug 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Healthcare Conspiracists and Quacks.

> (Hydroxychloroquine actually.)

Ah. Well my conspiracy theory as far as that goes is that Trump and his mates jumped on that far too early, bought a load of shares and now they’re trying to make it look like it works so that they don’t lose all their money. 

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Ah. Well my conspiracy theory as far as that goes is that Trump and his mates jumped on that far too early, bought a load of shares and now they’re trying to make it look like it works so that they don’t lose all their money. 

The prob with HCQ is that it costs quasi zilch. In France it's made by Sanofi - who would also like to make the - more costly - vaccine, if that should be proved possible. 

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 LeeWood 02 Aug 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> Your idea of how government finances work may need some updating. You’re going to start a multi-year, extremely expensive science project and then stop it because something else has come up. And then restart it a year later. What happens in the meantime? Oh yeah, all your scientists go to work somewhere else and your £2bn probe crashes. 

'let the probe crash' - sounds reasonable given we have hit a state of emergency down on earth. You are right I have no idea how government finance works - they've said 'no money' for so many projects over the years, incl environment, but no sooner the pandemic hits, they talk of $TRillion rescue packages.

Evidently if someone really wanted to stamp out world hunger - the money would be found.

>  and maybe read a reputable newspaper for a while. 

which is your best reliable proposal ?

Post edited at 20:32
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 Blunderbuss 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Keep it up mate, it's entertaining... 

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 seankenny 02 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> 'let the probe crash' - sounds reasonable given we have hit a state of emergency down on earth. You are right I have no idea how government finance works - they've said 'no money' for so many projects over the years, incl environment, but no sooner the pandemic hits, they talk of $TRillion rescue packages.

> Evidently if someone really wanted to stamp out world hunger - the money would be found.

Yes, that’s because the pandemic risks immediate death on a large scale. It’s an emergency. Crashing a very expensive space probe would just add short sighted vandalism and waste to the list of stupidities already committed. As well as making a few thousand people unemployed at a time when the government is desperate to keep people in work. And the amount of money you’d save is a tiny fraction of what’s needed, rendering the whole process pointless. 
 

I know you think hunger is just a matter of money, but it is considerably more complex than that because it’s often a political problem. More money spent on it would be great, of course it would, but given that you hate the WHO I’m sure you could be easily manipulated into thinking the World Food Programme are agents of the deep state hiding 5G transmitters in corn shipments or some such utter dippypops.
 

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 DancingOnRock 02 Aug 2020
In reply to seankenny:

We tried to end world hunger in 1985. Had a massive concert. Raised millions. I think lots of the money is still sitting in bank accounts because it’s a logistical impossibility to end world hunger. It takes decades and many countries need support of their own governments, not just cash. 

Post edited at 20:45
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 seankenny 02 Aug 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> We tried to end world hunger in 1985. Had a massive concert. Raised millions. I think lots of the money is still sitting in bank accounts because it’s a logistical impossibility to end world hunger. It takes decades and many countries need support of their own governments, not just cash. 

No, they will have spent the money and there has been a huge improvement in terms of malnutrition since 1985. It definitely does require more than cash. But the money is important too. 

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 LeeWood 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Some more trustworthy numbers on excess deaths.

Thanks - seems fair - but the stats are complicated by individual representation of PHE, ONS & NHS data. Of which PHE are way off - well noted.

Q: It is worth noting that the problems of counting Covid-19 deaths are vividly illustrated every day, when the Public Health England dashboard releases a count for the UK; for example, 119 and 83 additional coronavirus deaths were reported last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Still ongoing ?

Q: NHS England is currently experiencing fewer than 15 Covid-19 deaths a day in hospitals,

Thats better

Q: but the implausibly high PHE figures for England apparently also include any of the 250,000-plus people who have ever tested positive and have gone on to die of any cause, even if completely unrelated to coronavirus.

Impossibly bad stats still lurking around

Q: The Department of Health and Social Care has suspended these daily figures, but they are still going on all the international sites, and presumably are being used by others to judge how things are developing in the UK.

PHE still out of order - WHY ?

Q: They may be giving an inappropriately negative picture, as the ONS recently reported that the total number of deaths in the UK has shown no overall excess for the past five weeks.

ONS better

Q: But when we look at where the deaths are happening it is clear that we are not back to normal: people are still staying away from hospitals and dying at home. In England and Wales there were 766 excess deaths that occurred at home in the week ending 17 July, only 29 of which were with coronavirus, whereas in hospitals 862 fewer deaths than normal were registered.

A bit weasel. You have to read carefully. But finally YES - excess deaths happening due to lockdown - confirmed.

Seems to be a contradiction in these later paragraphs 'no overall excess for the past five weeks' (ONS) quickly followed by '766 excess deaths that occurred at home in the week ending 17 July' (whose stats ?)

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 Stuart William 03 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Lockdown never prevented people from accessing urgent healthcare. Your excess deaths at home figure seems more likely to be related to fear of infection rather than lockdown, surely?

”people staying away from hospitals” is not the same as lockdown and may well have happened regardless of lockdown. Plenty of people were already changing their behaviour before lockdown was announced.

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 mondite 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> One day I’d like to instigate a study into social media and mental health. I reckon there’s a direct inverse correlation between frequency of exclamation mark deployment and how sane you are.

“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” Terry Pratchett.

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 DaveHK 03 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

I don't think many people are taking issue with your observations that there are anomalies and inconsistencies in the data. It's your preferred explanations of those anomalies people are taking issue with.

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 Offwidth 03 Aug 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

In my case I'm mostly concerned anyone can believe tens of thousands have died already due to lockdown let alone a major newspaper having this as a headline.

Post edited at 09:12
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 AJM 03 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> there were 766 excess deaths that occurred at home in the week ending 17 July, only 29 of which were with coronavirus, whereas in hospitals 862 fewer deaths than normal were registered.

> Seems to be a contradiction in these later paragraphs 'no overall excess for the past five weeks' (ONS) quickly followed by '766 excess deaths that occurred at home in the week ending 17 July' (whose stats ?)

No overall excess because you have 766 more dying at home and 862 fewer dying in hospital. I don't think that's contradictory unless you don't notice that those numbers roughly cancel out....

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 AJM 03 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> but the implausibly high PHE figures for England apparently also include any of the 250,000-plus people who have ever tested positive and have gone on to die of any cause, even if completely unrelated to coronavirus.

> impossibly bad stats still lurking around

Stupid, sure, but significant? To keep figures simple, let's say that's a quarter million people at risk of being inappropriately classed as a covid death death for say 3 months so far, given that bulk testing only really arrived in April or May.

A quarter years exposure to average mortality circa 1% - 0.25 * 250000 * 1% = 625. Hardly game changing, is it.

Even if you assume the people who've been tested have dramatically heavier mortality than average for reasons unrelated to covid (since if it's due to covid it's not unreasonable to count them as related) you still don't get to very much - I could be a factor of ten out and the conclusion would be much the same.

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 DancingOnRock 03 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

>PHE still out of order - WHY ?

 

Because PHE statistics are a very rough figure and are ‘instant’. ONS take two weeks to collate. 
 

The rest of the world are (or should be) using the WHO guidelines to collate figures so that there is a standard. That’s the standard the PHE are working to. 
 

These are all statistical measures to give an indication of trends. Like all statistics they are an indication of what’s going on, they are not an open book and tell you nothing of what else is going on.

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 LeeWood 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> In my case I'm mostly concerned anyone can believe tens of thousands have died already due to lockdown let alone a major newspaper having this as a headline.

Whether you want to call it 'lockdown' or 'unjustifiable fear from government management' becomes academic. Lockdown is not just an order to stay in your home - it is a mental condition spread by a campaign of fear.

The figure here is given as 8,000 - 8 May. Now easily double - the figures keep coming back to around 2000 / week

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/08/more-people-dying-at-home-during-covid-19-pandemic-uk-analysis

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 Offwidth 03 Aug 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

Those deaths are mostly not due to lockdown or fear of accessing services. The upper possible limit on undefined excess deaths to date is about 10,000 and most experts say those are mostly covid related deaths. The Telegraph headline number is plain bullshit.

Post edited at 09:56
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In reply to LeeWood:

> I can scarcely believe which side you are on ! UKC must generate income from advertising - but who is paying attention to the publicity if they haven't got the freedom to get out - and travel - to do the things they like doing ?

Do you really find it so difficult to believe that there are people who prioritise human lives over generating advertising income?  Do you have any concept at all of collective responsibility?

Liberty has its limits, both morally and legally.  There are lots of things you are legally prevented from doing because you would be harming others or exposing them to unnecessary risk.  There are more areas where a well-socialised human being might feel they should modify their behaviour out of consideration to others, whether that's taking a few simple precautions and exercising a bit of restraint in a pandemic or not soloing on beach-side cliffs when there are young children watching.

I can be as stubborn as anyone if I feel that I'm being pointlessly restricted by some pettifogging bye-law where no-one could possibly be inconvenienced by what I'm doing.  I value rather highly my right to go out and do something that many people would doubtless regard as irresponsible and dangerous -  but there are times when it's worth trying to behave like a grown-up rather than a petulant teenager, and this is one of those times.

Post edited at 10:19
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 LeeWood 08:24 Tue
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I wish it could all be so transparent, but whichever path is chosen, risk to others is incurred. It's just a case of which / who.

You must be anti Brexit - Remainers are Remain Insiders - apparently.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/08/02/lockdown-debate-has-morphed-rerun-brexit-wars/

I wouldn't take this too seriously but it's interesting to look at the comparisons. A cursory examination suggests climbers - as risk takers - should all be Brexiters - and thus also anti-lockdown. Bizarre how it can all be so hilarious but with such deadly outcome ??!

Q:

These outliers aside, it is a good rule of thumb that if someone thinks we should hide in a cupboard until a vaccine is available, they voted Remain, and if they think that bat-eating is a human right and nature should be allowed to take its course, they voted Leave

Why should this be? On the face of it, the two issues have nothing in common. It may be that Brexiteers are less risk averse. No Deal Brexiteers, in particular, embrace risk almost by definition. Remainers, by contrast, feel safer with the status quo, and once lockdown became the status quo, any loosening of it felt like a risk.

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 Offwidth 08:48 Tue
In reply to LeeWood:

More mumbo jumbo. Brexiteers, if we are to apply stereotypes, are most likely older risk averse small c conservative types.

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 jkarran 09:38 Tue
In reply to LeeWood:

> Why should this be? On the face of it, the two issues have nothing in common. It may be that Brexiteers are less risk averse. No Deal Brexiteers, in particular, embrace risk almost by definition. Remainers, by contrast, feel safer with the status quo, and once lockdown became the status quo, any loosening of it felt like a risk.

The obvious link between the no-deal and the no-lockdown position is a failure to properly understand the scale and nature of the threat.

jk

Post edited at 09:38
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 mondite 09:38 Tue
In reply to LeeWood:

> Why should this be? On the face of it, the two issues have nothing in common. It may be that Brexiteers are less risk averse. No Deal Brexiteers, in particular, embrace risk almost by definition.

Plenty of the prominent no dealers are quite protected against any ill effect of a hard brexit. Its not really risk taking if you are insulated from the ill effects.

Others are, to put it politely, not overly well informed. There was a reason prior to the referendum that those prominent no dealers were saying no deal would never happen.

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In reply to LeeWood:

>I wouldn't take this too seriously but it's interesting to look at the comparisons. A cursory examination suggests climbers - as risk takers - should all be Brexiters - and thus also anti-lockdown. Bizarre how it can all be so hilarious but with such deadly outcome ??!

 

This is UKC though. It would seem it’s mainly full of risk averse climbers who rather argue online than climb anything dangerous. Most discussions revolve around staying safely within limits. 

Post edited at 09:43
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 jkarran 09:47 Tue
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> This is UKC though. It would seem it’s mainly full of risk averse climbers who rather argue online than climb anything dangerous. Most discussions revolve around staying safely within limits. 

Climbers habitually operating outside 'safety limits' don't climb for long.

jk

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In reply to jkarran:

Brexiteers want to throw the economy over the cliff edge, climbers want to climb the cliff usually after calculating the risks and mitigating them.

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In reply to jkarran:

> The obvious link between the no-deal and the no-lockdown position is a failure to properly understand the scale and nature of the threat.

> jk

And that most of the cheerleaders for it are almost totally insulated from any real risk from either event.

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In reply to DancingOnRock:

> This is UKC though. It would seem it’s mainly full of risk averse climbers who rather argue online than climb anything dangerous. 

You forgot the smiley, Mr Number 4 Poster.

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In reply to jkarran:

Exactly. The idea that climbers are risk takers is nonsense. 

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In reply to LeeWood:

> These outliers aside, it is a good rule of thumb that if someone thinks we should hide in a cupboard until a vaccine is available, they voted Remain, and if they think that bat-eating is a human right and nature should be allowed to take its course, they voted Leave

That's hilarious.  It's the Brexiteers who want to hide in the cupboard of a fantasy 1950s Britain where the big bad outside world knew its place in the Empire. 

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In reply to Dave Garnett:

Number 4? 

When does it start counting there’s no way I have posted that many times unless I’m involved in an exchange somewhere that’s not obvious to me. 
 

Edit: ah. Last week. Not this week. 

Post edited at 11:00
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In reply to DancingOnRock:

"Currently at number 4 in the Top 40 Posters."

Check your profile.  Probably number 3 by now.

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In reply to Dave Garnett:

That’s for last week. 

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In reply to DancingOnRock:

That's OK.  You'll have been out doing dangerous routes all week since then. 

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 Cobra_Head 11:47 Tue
In reply to LeeWood:

> I wouldn't take this too seriously but it's interesting to look at the comparisons. A cursory examination suggests climbers - as risk takers - should all be Brexiters - and thus also anti-lockdown. Bizarre how it can all be so hilarious but with such deadly outcome ??!

Or maybe, on the whole, a little more intelligent
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In reply to Dave Garnett:

Why is that? You think I’m a Brexiter? 

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 GrahamD 20:51 Tue
In reply to LeeWood:

> These outliers aside, it is a good rule of thumb that if someone thinks we should hide in a cupboard until a vaccine is available, they voted Remain, and if they think that bat-eating is a human right and nature should be allowed to take its course, they voted Leave

> Why should this be? On the face of it, the two issues have nothing in common. 

Basically, once a Lemming, always a Lemming ?

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 LeeWood 22:39 Tue
In reply to GrahamD:

> Basically, once a Lemming, always a Lemming ?

Whatever logic you apply - it certainly doesn't fit my vote; I was pro-brexit until the pandemic hit ... since when I've seen the light - am staunchly anti-brexit

And I don't believe my level of risk-engagement has changed when climbing  

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 Offwidth 06:26 Wed
In reply to LeeWood:

There lies the key issue with stereotypes... meaningless on an individual basis.

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In reply to LeeWood:

> I was pro-brexit until the pandemic hit ... since when I've seen the light - am staunchly anti-brexit

Bit late now, though...

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 jkarran 10:14 Wed
In reply to LeeWood:

> Whatever logic you apply - it certainly doesn't fit my vote; I was pro-brexit until the pandemic hit ... since when I've seen the light - am staunchly anti-brexit

Genuine question: What changed?

jk

Post edited at 10:14
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In reply to jkarran:

I'm going to guess that it was a YouTube video...

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In reply to jkarran:

> Genuine question: What changed?

> jk

I think Lee lives in France.

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 LeeWood 12:50 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> Genuine question: What changed?

I saw where the greater danger lies. Too often the danger in politics - the choice we want doesn't exist - and we're obliged to minimise risks rather than choose optimally.

Before Brexit was even a topic my philosophy was based upon national autonomy - not being in someone else's pocket. With the pandemic comes a big political awakening - in the global village it's impossible to have such autonomy - and I see clearly that it would be better to have european allegiance - rather than be swallowed by the american predateur.

And yes NickB - in France now since 2002. As I have a sister and friends in UK what goes on there is still a source of interest and concern. In respect of pandemic politics - France and UK are both currently enduring the same treatment under influence of the same powers - so my concern for all is unilateral.

As for youtube - C P - yes, youtube must be in there somewhere because it has made itself indespensable - like facebook, google etc

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