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 ericinbristol 06 Jan 2021

This blog post by a doctor is shocking. Everyone should be doing their utmost to avoid putting any further burden on the health service, and not working out how they can bend/skirt/selfishly interpret the rules. 

https://unherd.com/2021/01/inside-the-covid-ward/

'The patients don’t ask many questions, mostly because they need to spend all of their energy breathing.'

'he will likely need an intensive care bed at some stage, but at the moment they simply don’t have one.' 

'We try to have our patients prone (lying on their fronts) since this opens up their lungs at the back and improves their oxygen levels. The patients hate proning, since the masks dig into their faces, their backs hurt and their arms go numb, and we do not have massage table-style beds with holes for their faces.'

'One of my patients has not managed to be prone at all. I speak to his wife, who tells me that he is very claustrophobic, and that might be why he has been resistant.'

'The most distressing part of their struggle is the air hunger. You can spot these patients easily, as they grasp the masks to their faces with both hands and gasp visibly for air.'

Post edited at 11:35
In reply to ericinbristol:

That is a heartbreaking read.

In reply to Ghastly Rubberfeet:

> That is a heartbreaking read.

Even more so when you hear what the staff have to put up with:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/04/doctors-covid-deniers-nhs

”But by November, Italian doctors using their social media accounts to warn of a serious second wave were being swamped with abuse from Covid deniers. Their car windows were smashed, murals celebrating their heroism defaced; a family doctor in Vicenza who asked a patient to put a mask on was beaten up. Somehow, doctors had become the enemy. They were bearing the brunt of the backlash for bringing news nobody wanted to hear, which was that the nightmare was back“

”Dr Matthew Lee, a senior house officer at St Thomas’ hospital in central London and a YouTuber posting regularly about life as a doctor, emerged last week from a late shift on A&E to what he described as “hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups shouting, ‘Covid is a hoax’, literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying”.

 nikoid 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

Pretty stark. I think people need a bit more of this sort of thing, that was a real jolt of reality. My view of the media, mainly the BBC admittedly, is they are still presenting a very sanitised view of what you can expect if you are admitted to hospital with Covid. The article made me sit up anyway.

In reply to nikoid:

> My view of the media, mainly the BBC admittedly, is they are still presenting a very sanitised view of what you can expect if you are admitted to hospital with Covid.

Agreed, there's the odd nugget of info buried at the bottom of the articles (like patients being sent from the SE to Plymouth because there isn't a hospital closer which can take them) but the lack of 'scary' reporting is surprising.

Post edited at 12:08
 Tringa 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

Not sure if 'thanks for posting' is the right thing to say about that link as it is not a pleasant read, but agree it should be read by all, especially those try to find a way around the rules or pushing them to the limit.

Dave

 marky 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

That is a harrowing read of the current reality of the COVID situation. This should be read by all the COVID doubters, and especially those that try to find a way around the rules or pushing them to the limit.

Post edited at 12:46
 nniff 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

A friend is a hospital doctor who has been battling this since the start.  He has had Covid himself.  His most alarming observation a few days ago is that the hospital has reached its installed capacity for delivering oxygen to patients

In reply to nniff:

>His most alarming observation a few days ago is that the hospital has reached its installed capacity for delivering oxygen to patients

Same in the US https://abc7.com/la-county-covid-update-cases-covid-19-covid19/9305302/

I remember in the spring that oxygen supplies were a massive concern in all sorts of countries.

 davidalcock 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

I personally know the Stroud people - the 'empty Gloucestershire hospitals' woman included. They have a variety of problems. I live above where they protest - blocking and getting in the way of people. I've seriously considered getting street-angry. I got my test result back overnight, and though negative, there's a 30%ish chance it's wrong and I'm still dry hacking to the point of puking, so I'm going to keep isolating for a while. The police do nowt. So pissed off. 

 Andy Johnson 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

Terrifying. I kind of wish I hadn't read that.

 ericinbristol 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Johnson:

I know what you mean. Reading it really reinforced my resolve to be very careful and to spread the word.

In reply to ericinbristol:

Johnson et al need to be forced to read and re-read that, and understand that they are responsible for it.

 TheTwig 06 Jan 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

And people must get onto their MP (especially if they are in a Tory constituency) and make the point that so many of the populace are so pissed-off with the whole lack of leadership, competence and honesty.  Alex Chalke, Tory MP for Cheltenham, certainly doesn’t get it.

 Monastic_life 06 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

I don’t think this blog is shocking, it describes the impact of respiratory infection on susceptible individuals. For example a sufferer of chronic pulmonary disease who  contracts a respiratory virus will develop the symptoms described in that article very quickly. This is a fact of life for COPD sufferers, with rates and severity of exacerbation increasing dramatically in Winter. Such a terrible illness to suffer from. 

I’d be really interested to hear about the experiences of any doctors, nurses or physios etc working on the respiratory wards with this population at the moment. Unfortunately the pseudonym / hidden identity of the blog doctor and the style of the piece, while presenting an awful and sad picture of the impact of respiratory virus, does not seem to paint a broader picture of the problem and unfortunately lacks some well deserved credibility due to that. 

In reply to captain paranoia:

> Johnson et al need to be forced to read and re-read that, and understand that they are responsible for it.

So should lots of users on UKC who seem hell bound to interpret the Guidance/Legislation to justify them going climbing, etc.
The Government might well be incompetent, but there's little doubt that large numbers of the public have been complicit in spreading the virus and often knowingly ignoring the relevant guidance whilst doing so.
 

 Stichtplate 07 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

Good article that pretty much mirrors my own  thoughts on the current state of play.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/06/covid-crisis-paramedics-nhs-overstretched

and anyone thinking they’re covid proof, I’ve just been told another work mate has been hospitalised with covid pneumonia. He’s early thirties, fit and healthy and was chatting to me last week about his wedding plans.

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021

As an alternative to ‘unherd’ and their questionable journalism / propaganda here is a nice piece by the BMJ on an outspoken public health doctor during the covid crisis. 
 

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.m4930.full?ijkey=zzBp6MXOBayZ8ZJ&keytype=ref

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021

Meanwhile at the BBC proximity alarms will help reduce chance of infection. These could be the future in climbing walls if they are to reopen safely. 
 

https://mobile.twitter.com/MarkDiStef/status/1347190962473345026

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
 mik82 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

Gosh that's a bit unhinged. Maybe go and show it round the hospitals in the SE that are having to ration care and see what the response of staff there is?

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to mik82:

Rationing care in the context of sending 30% of staff home based on ‘testing / symptoms’ and years of nhs corruption, crippling policies, cover ups and bizarre spending choices. No wonder that coronavirus is driving staff to the edge, they’ve been there for a long time.

 Stichtplate 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

> Rationing care in the context of sending 30% of staff home based on ‘testing / symptoms’ and years of nhs corruption, crippling policies, cover ups and bizarre spending choices. No wonder that coronavirus is driving staff to the edge, they’ve been there for a long time.

This particular NHS employee is currently being driven to the edge by yet another pop up poster promoting bat shit Twitter nonsense 

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

The BMJ? The BBC? I’m not sure they’re bat shit. 

 wintertree 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

The author of that piece is either a f******g idiot or an outright liar.

Furthermore, anyone who dies within 28 days of a positive RT-PCR test of whatever cause is designated as "deceased WITH Corona", ostensibly for "international comparability". In my universe, these are not medical malpractices, but criminal acts. 

Not being a f*****g idiot, I downloaded the "Deaths within 28 days of a positive test" and "Deaths within 60 days of a positive test" from the UK government dashboard API detailed in [1] using the keys "newDeaths28DaysByDeathDate" and "newDeaths60DaysByDeathDate"

Here is a plot of both.  I haven't put my normal level of effort in to formatting it, because it is not worth it.

If people were dying "as usual" but being attributed to Covid because of a test result despite the lack of a causal link, the dearths within 60 days would be (60/28) = 2.14x higher than those within 28 days.

Over the period shown, they are, on average 1.21x higher.

The null hypothesis is disproven.  A positive test for Covid from the UK RT-qPCR labs is a very good indicator that you are going to die within the next 4 weeks.  It means you are more than 5 and a half times more likely to die within 28 days than within 60 days.

You are posting dangerously wrong misinformation during a global pandemic.

Sort yourself the **** out our go away.  

[1] https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/developers-guide

Edit:  I see the Swiss doctor you cited is even further down their mental disintegration that your usual sources such as Kendrick.

https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/1249608522926567424

Post edited at 20:45

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
 wintertree 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

> more batshit 

How long do you reckon before you get banned again?

Guess you're not making your bonus with this account either.

Will one of your established accounts be back to treat us to some more whining like a little child about the oppressive and bullying atmosphere on this forum?

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I did say trigger warning, it’s good to get a feel for all the different opinions. Right or wrong. Surely then we can form balanced views. I’m not sure telling someone to shut up or go away is good form. 

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Genuinely no idea. Please pm me for a chat about this if you’d like. 

In reply to nikoid:

> Pretty stark. I think people need a bit more of this sort of thing, that was a real jolt of reality. My view of the media, mainly the BBC admittedly, is they are still presenting a very sanitised view of what you can expect if you are admitted to hospital with Covid. The article made me sit up anyway.

It wont work. I had yet another argument with a vaccine denier and another loon tonight on Facebook (I promise I wont ever again). If the Beeb presented this, they would still claim it was lies propagated by MSM, tools of the govt and Bill Gates' puppet. I was even accused of being part of 77th Brigade. I had to look it up but they are a legitimate regiment. I'd be proud if it were true.

Post edited at 20:59
 bruxist 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

There is no 'balance' between right and wrong, and to ask for such a 'balance' is fundamentally corrupt. You know this already, though, as you're stipulating 'good form'.

In reply to bruxist:

> There is no 'balance' between right and wrong, and to ask for such a 'balance' is fundamentally corrupt. You know this already, though, as you're stipulating 'good form'.

It's raining outside. Yes, but what of the balanced view...? 

Post edited at 21:06
 wintertree 07 Jan 2021

In reply to Stichtplate:

I was thinking of you today along with several colleagues of mine who have relatives in medical service.

I wish I could have achieved more to avoid us being where we are now.  I really do.

I'm currently listening to the original recording of Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire.  I'm also sitting here contemplating. 

Post edited at 21:05
In reply to Monastic_life:

> And interesting piece by a Swiss Cardiologist. Trigger warning 

I read it but he discusses in the piece itself that he was detained under some sort of mental health legislation, and as soon as you google his name https://twitter.com/eliothiggins/status/1249608522926567424?lang=en this comes up. So before he was telling everyone covid is a hoax, he was involved in saying that the Syrian government's attacks on their own civilians were hoaxes too. His twitter seems to be solely that covid is a hoax. Do you know if he still is a practicing cardiologist? Or indeed if he ever was?

edit: I hadn't read below Monastic_Life's post when I posted the above, but clicking on his posting "history" (there is none) came to the same conclusion as everyone above that he's a paid troll or a bit of a loon. Being a climber doesn't necessarily protect anyone from going down the latter path though, I recently read via a mutual friend's facebook feed (he has recently had covid) a very well known climber who's point seemed mainly to be that he hadn't seen any piles of bodies therefore covid was a hoax.

Post edited at 21:22
 mik82 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

Yesterday I saw someone in their mid 30s with covid - unwell, but maintaining their oxygen  saturations (levels). They were a similar age to me. Within 8hrs of me seeing them they were on their way to A&E with oxygen levels dropping rapidly. Hopefully they just need a few days of oxygen but they may end up on ITU. They had absolutely no underlying conditions and were very fit. These kind of posts really grate with me as they're clearly written by people who have no idea what is going on.

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I don’t know, he seems to be from what I can see online. I’m not a covid denier or anti vax, I read the BMJ articles and follow some Twitter rabbit holes. I agree that we are in a grim situation re covid for lots of reasons. It’s obviously an emotional time for everyone, I just showed my partner the response on here and they said ‘don’t talk to me about covid, my friends parents have just been diagnosed’. So anyway apologies to whoever has been offended by the links. 

 wintertree 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

> So anyway apologies to whoever has been offended by the links. 

I’m not offended by the links.  I know there’s clinically delusional people out there with medical backgrounds and access to Twitter.

I am offended by you and your posting.

I have shown you conclusive evidence that your Swiss post is totally and utterly wrong.  You’re to chicken to apologise for posting dangerously misleading nonsense from a clearly troubled individual, or you’re suffering the same clinical delusion as your source, or you’re paid to post total bullshit and argue that it’s the other side of a balanced discussion.

Tell me, how do you feel about doing that for a job?

Post edited at 21:28
In reply to Monastic_life:

> I’m not a covid denier or anti vax, I read the BMJ articles and follow some Twitter rabbit holes. I agree that we are in a grim situation re covid for lots of reasons.

So if this is true, how have you ended up posting on a climbing website where the only thing you have posted is to share covid is a hoax shite? 

 Stichtplate 07 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I was thinking of you today along with several colleagues of mine who have relatives in medical service.

Genuinely, thanks for the thought. I'd like to brush it off and say it's not so bad but in reality, for the first time I'm starting to really feel it.

It's nothing dramatic, just creeping fatigue and a gradual erosion of morale. The last couple of blocks saw me attending a run of bad jobs (6 months worth in 10 shifts) interspersed with time wasters, probably the worst possible combination for attending crew. Even more alarming, I could feel my reserves of humour and empathy draining away hour by hour. It might not sound that bad but for most jobs these are commodities as vital as oxygen or morphine.

Then a minor disaster, I messed up on a job, nothing life threatening but a fairly serious lapse that probably could have been avoided. I informed the patient and hospital staff straight away and spent the rest of the shift mortified, muttering "F*ck" under my breath every few minutes. Spoke to my immediate boss and then sector manager who both reassured me that it was nothing and didn't breech the level requiring me to make an official report. Still...

Thankfully Ive now got 2 weeks off, allocated to use up differed annual leave. Couldn't have come at a better time. 

 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I posted a range of links to the BMJ and one with a trigger warning which was clearly controversial. I have posted on here before but not for some time. It was on an article on bulimia with positive feedback. There’s nothing I can say which will turn it around at this point. The original article posted was grim reading but unfortunately poor journalism / propaganda. That was my point. I am aware through first hand contact with front line medical staff, patients and collateral victims that the covid situation is dire and that there also appears to be more than one agenda in the context of a health system that has been gradually and dramatically changed in a way that creates increased problems in vulnerable populations. Health care is politicised on every level and sadly covid has become part of that. 

 wintertree 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

> controversial

It's not controversial.  It's bullshit.  I have demonstrated that up thread.  You are not providing "balance".   You are posting lies.  Dangerous lies.  

>  I am aware through first hand contact with front line medical staff, patients and collateral victims that the covid situation is dire

 I am not sure in what professional capacity you can possibly meet all of these people without crossing a professional line by posting totally demonstrable falsehoods such as the "Swiss" link above.  Hospital porter?  Ward maintenance electrician?  I'm struggling to think of anything else.

You have apparently just activated a spare account that's been binding time - presumably to remove the "new user" flair that is visible on most of the new "pop up" accounts, and you are posting anti-covid bullshit nonsense claiming it is "balance" whilst claiming some level of professional exposure that would allow you to spot that it is not a valid counter-opinion but utter, demonstrable bullshit.  You would be aware that in posting it, you instantly and irrevocably compromise any possible standing your account has of providing valid counter-views.

>  The original article posted was grim reading but unfortunately poor journalism / propaganda. That was my point

Why did you use demonstrable bullshit to try and prove your point, rather than explaining it in words - something you have still not done?

> I have posted on here before but not for some time. It was on an article on bulimia with positive feedback. 

There is no evidence of you having done so.  Perhaps it was in "The Pub" or otherwise deleted.  You seem to have a specific interest in posting on medical issues.   

Post edited at 22:19
 Monastic_life 07 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

This is a bit beyond what I was expecting so I’ll leave it there. 

 RobAJones 07 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> >  I am aware through first hand contact with front line medical staff, patients and collateral victims 

I seem to remember someone previously saying "A doctor friend of mine says.........."  it appears they have been on a development course.

In reply to Monastic_life:

> The original article posted was grim reading but unfortunately poor journalism / propaganda. 

Call it propaganda if you like. You might call the coverage on BBC of the dire state of covid wards propaganda, too?

Sadly, given the widespread denials, these information pieces are necessary to try to encourage people that it is real, and we really are in a shit state.

Record case numbers reported. Record fatality numbers reported. Is this propaganda, too? Or information?

In reply to Monastic_life:

Gangnam Style. 


 ericinbristol 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Monastic_life:

I'll bite, once, as the kind of thing that people like you do needs to be opposed. It was not poor journalism or propaganda: it was vital health messaging that needs to be loud and clear to prevent health care being overwhelmed. I know plenty about this subject (published academic research on socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, published research on COVID-19 public health, two dead relatives due to COVID, my Mum dead from COPD, my wife a highly experienced respiratory care expert). Your whataboutery, disingenuous pseudo scepticism and muddying of the waters is dangerous at a time when the health care system is in crisis. You are either dangerously misguided or an active troll or both. Your kind of mentality is what has brought us to the huge problems we face over climate crisis denial, anti-vax,  pro-Trump neofascist craziness, even if you don't buy into it all. It's not just that you are endangering yourself - people like you are taking others down with you, which is something I detest when others are working desperately hard and at considerable personal and family risk/cost to prevent the harms that you are encouraging. UPDATE: Good to see that UKC has suspended the account I have just replied to.

Post edited at 09:27
 Offwidth 08 Jan 2021
In reply to FactorXXX:

Seems our cloistered friend has had his account suspended....good news. So now lets move onto how such loons arise and what helps them get traction amongst the wider public (and why the capital building got invaded and people died). Some are deliberate paid disrupters others actually believe the shit they spout. So how do people end up believing such?  Everyone builds internal narratives and unfortunately some, without help when things are obviously going wrong with that narrative, can go down dark paths to where 'their truth' means that obvious facts become fake news. Modern social media feeds such declines like a drug, probably taking over from religious cults as the main driver in the west.

When opponents, out of genuine concern, get carried away and make statements that are hyperbolic, it helps drives the nuts further and helps them convince others (hyperbole is pretty obvious from most viewpoints).  'Think of the children' is never an effective plea at the best of times, let alone in the face of people self programmed to reject it.

"So should lots of users on UKC who seem hell bound to interpret the Guidance/Legislation to justify them going climbing, etc. The Government might well be incompetent, but there's little doubt that large numbers of the public have been complicit in spreading the virus and often knowingly ignoring the relevant guidance whilst doing so."

In logical terms what distinguishes your statement from those of the nuts? It flies in the face of the obvious fact that very few people here meet your rhetorical criteria ( be it hell bent or secular nihilistic) and that even if they did, the actual risks of spreading covid in going climbing outdoors would be trivial. You then connect them with the very real breaches of regulation when it almost always has no connection. I can see your intentions are good but you are aiding and abetting the suspended poster (paid or self made). There are way too may nuts popping up here recently and lots of lethal breaches of actual rules out there. Please lets stop labelling minor infringements of guidance with hyperbole and deal with the real bad actors. It's fine to make a plea to climbers to set a good example, its dangerous to label those who disagree but are being careful as willfully aiding the pandemic.

Post edited at 09:23
 wintertree 08 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

> I am unimpressed with UKC for not banning you already.

Their account was shuttered last night.

I have a reasonable theory as to who is behind this.  

Meanwhile, Renton Cooke who I suspect is a previously banned user is back on several other threads arguing so eloquently for the right to balance and free speech in total ignorance that one side is malicious.  This is what I had to say to them on the other thread:

You and your disgusting like hijacking - for your libertarian ends - a clear public health crisis that could be tackled with a hundred year old manual on epidemics are the problem.  You create a hostile environment for evidence driven thinking, and then you blame those people you’ve encircled with your toxic filth.

Many of those who were desperate for a solution and were drawn in do not see through this.  I do.  I see right through you.

 joem 08 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Eloquently put as usual. 

Its worth hitting the report button on these people as you can't always be sure the mods will see there posts or spot the patterns as quickly as those actively engaged in the threads.

 joem 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Well put, a nice sense of balance in an increasingly polarised debate. 

I doubt many people on here advocating for continuing to climb, cautiously and locally, would dream of popping round their mates or hosting a party. 

 timjones 08 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> The author of that piece is either a f******g idiot or an outright liar.

> Furthermore, anyone who dies within 28 days of a positive RT-PCR test of whatever cause is designated as "deceased WITH Corona", ostensibly for "international comparability". In my universe, these are not medical malpractices, but criminal acts. 

> Not being a f*****g idiot, I downloaded the "Deaths within 28 days of a positive test" and "Deaths within 60 days of a positive test" from the UK government dashboard API detailed in [1] using the keys "newDeaths28DaysByDeathDate" and "newDeaths60DaysByDeathDate"

> Here is a plot of both.  I haven't put my normal level of effort in to formatting it, because it is not worth it.

> If people were dying "as usual" but being attributed to Covid because of a test result despite the lack of a causal link, the dearths within 60 days would be (60/28) = 2.14x higher than those within 28 days.

How do those figures compare to the long term averages for deaths within 28 and 60 days of diagnosis or hospitalisation in non-covid years?

 wintertree 08 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

> How do those figures compare to the long term averages for deaths within 28 and 60 days of diagnosis or hospitalisation in non-covid years?

  • Nobody dies within 28 days of a +ve covid test in a non-covid year.
  • Nobody dies within 60 days of a +ve covid test in a non-covid year.

As people are diagnosed with everything on the spectrum of "gunshot wound to the head" to "ingrowing toenail" it's totally meaningless to ask a wider question on diagnosis to death, isn't it...

This data shows unambiguously that there is not a "false epidemic" of people who were dying anyway being tracked through the system due to a false positive test.  It demolishes that beyond doubt.  Although to be fair talking to anyone in healthcare or reading the news about hospitals in the south east and London unambiguously does this as well.

 timjones 08 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

There isn't a false epidemic but deaths within 28 days of a positive test is a clumsy metric that leaves itself open to criticism.

Surely we can come up with something more precise having had 9 months to work it out?

Deaths within 28 days and deaths within 60 days seems similarly crude and could be refined by comparison with a normal year I'm sure that we have all been told that if a friend or relative survives the first X days or hours then their chances of xurvival are much higher.

Surely as a statistician you aren't shy of making such a comparison to verify your numbers ;)

 Offwidth 08 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

It's the opposite of 'normal' now. If you are still alive in ITU after 28 days your outlook is not good (much higher chance of death and almost certain of some permanent disability).

ONS record actual deaths with covid on the death certificate and calculate actual infection prevalence. Excess deaths are higher still in the big peaks, with experts saying a good number die of covid at home but are not formally recorded as such..... plus knock-on deaths as urgent health issues cant be serviced as well in a hospital near breaking point. 

 Hardonicus 08 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

Indeed.

The (not insignificant) false positive rate is likely to overestimate deaths in this context. Excess deaths aren't so helpful as it seems like the flu rate is plummeting. There may be tendency to overestimate Covid on death certificates by Doctors especially amongst old folk so that metric is also a bit wobbly

You can see why Covid deniers have a bit to get their teeth into.

Post edited at 12:20
 wintertree 08 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

> but deaths within 28 days of a positive test is a clumsy metric that leaves itself open to criticism.

Is it?  There is a need for timely information for policy and frankly at this pointer disaster preparedness.  That is provided by this metric.

A more finessed metric is also gathered.  It's deaths where Covid is listed as a cause on the death certificate.  It produces a larger number than the "within 28-days" metric, but the reporting is more complicated and it arrives later.

> Deaths within 28 days and deaths within 60 days seems similarly crude and could be refined by comparison with a normal year I'm sure that we have all been told that if a friend or relative survives the first X days or hours then their chances of xurvival are much higher.

Except that we have no prior experience of Covid to frame this in terms of, some we must frame it in terms of something else - which introduces other lines of attack in to the metric, means it does not communicate clearly what is happening, and further muddies the water for those seeking to cause dissent and disagreement to harm the response to the pandemic.

> Surely as a statistician you aren't shy of making such a comparison to verify your numbers ;)

I'm not a statistician but I know enough to know that whilst you are spinning fine words, they do not translate in to anything mathematically useful.

Honestly, looking at where I think we are now, this is not a very relevant discussion to be having. 

 wintertree 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

> The (not insignificant) false positive rate is likely to overestimate deaths in this context

Can you translate that into a mathematical hypothesis to test against the 28-day and 60-day data?  

Otherwise despite your claims to a science background, you are pouring dangerous words on to a fire whilst appearing to be just "questioning".  There is data.  Frame your hypothesis as a test against that data.  Report back.

Of course you handily dismiss death certificate numbers with a prejudice aligned with your prejudice on the 28- day deaths data.  

> You can see why Covid deniers have a bit to get their teeth into.

Partly because a minority of scientists talk about it whilst claiming science credentials and not doing any tests against the evidence.  This all started with Henhegan's CEBM blog post back in the summer.  I applied scientific tests to the data he presented and waffled about in support of false positives in the PCR.  The data he presented in no way supported the claims he made in the text.  He was presenting his agenda in words and Gish gallop framed around a graph with no science in it.  The standard of debate from that side has gone downhill since largely driven by the mental disintegration of Y. on twitter.

Post edited at 12:31
 Offwidth 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

What on earth are you talking about? Absence of flu makes the current calculation of excess deaths against a normal average a bigger under-estimate and likely a large number of that gap will be covid linked deaths.

 mik82 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

>The (not insignificant) false positive rate

Using a specificity of 99.5% for the PCR test would give a false positive rate of 0.48% if we were just swabbing people at random in London where the estimated prevalence is currently 3.4%

We aren't swabbing people at random though - so the prevalence in people being swabbed will be much higher and hence the false positive rate will be lower than that.

 timjones 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> It's the opposite of 'normal' now. If you are still alive in ITU after 28 days your outlook is not good (much higher chance of death and almost certain of some permanent disability).

> ONS record actual deaths with covid on the death certificate and calculate actual infection prevalence. Excess deaths are higher still in the big peaks, with experts saying a good number die of covid at home but are not formally recorded as such..... plus knock-on deaths as urgent health issues cant be serviced as well in a hospital near breaking point. 

I would agree with most of that apart from the focus on ITU in the initial paragraph, surely we need to analyse a far wider set of figures?

 timjones 08 Jan 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Are you qualified in any relevant way other than an ability to draw nice graphs?

Are you sure that your choice off figures to analyse isn't flawed due to a false hypothesis at your end?

I worry when someone is so quick to condemn honest and fair questions as "spinning fine words".

 Hardonicus 08 Jan 2021
In reply to mik82:

The operational specificity of the test (as deployed) is much lower though with estimates between 99-95% which couples with a national prevalence of 1-2% is not insignificant if you take the extrema of those range estimates. You are correct about symptomatic testing meaning the sampled prevalence is likely much higher, but this sort of nuance is lost on many and is not easily estimated.

Unfortunately my Dad is a covid denier so I am getting well into the thought process of these types of people (well I've stopped talking to him at minute in fact because of this sadly).

Post edited at 12:58
 wintertree 08 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

> Are you qualified in any relevant way other than an ability to draw nice graphs?

I hope it would be clear to those reading my threads that I am doing  significantly more than drawing graphs.  For example, I presented a strong suggestion the new variant was spreading outwards geographically from Kent beyond all control measures on December 14th - almost immediately after it was announced, and I have provided a hard, quantitative test with a certainty value on it to others away from this forum.  I have received feedback on that.  

I am perfectly capable of applying statistics.  I am not a statistician.  I occasionally talk with one to review my approach where I feel it would be beneficial.  

> Are you sure that your choice off figures to analyse isn't flawed due to a false hypothesis at your end?

I have literally no idea what you are talking about or potentially trying to allege.  Absolutely none.  Again - fine words but I can't discern any actual testable question behind them.

> I worry when someone is so quick to condemn honest and fair questions as "spinning fine words".

I have no idea what your questions meant, what your point is or what you are trying to convey.  You seem to be trying to pick rather specific and arbitrary holes in one reporting metric out of many.  What do you actually propose?  By "spinning fine words" I mean that what you have said sounds very nice, but how does it actually translate in to "maths".  I do not imply that your question is dishonest or unfair, but that there is a big gulf between fine words and statistics.

Post edited at 13:10
 Hardonicus 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Yes but for covid deniers the opposite argument is easily made.

 mik82 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

With the test positivity rate currently around 13% you'd expect that the prevalence in the sampled population to be pretty high and fairly low false positive rates even with your quotes for real-world specificity. The real issue with the PCR test is the low real world sensitivity.

Post edited at 13:13
 Stichtplate 08 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

> Surely we can come up with something more precise having had 9 months to work it out?

Not really. Covid doesn't fit into a nice little box, it has a multitude of symptoms that have significant impacts on the entire system. One of it's effects is to throw off huge amounts of blood clots increasing the likelihood of strokes, pulmonary embolisms or MIs. Another typical presentation is covid provoked lung consolidation developing into pneumonia. Then there's a whole mass of elderly patients whose clinical frailty is such that they just can't survive even a minor infection.

So you see there are thousands dying of strokes, heart attacks, pneumonia, just plain old age and frailty, etc, etc, but really it was the covid that killed them. This is reflected, entirely accurately, in death certificates stating "died with covid". There just isn't the forensic capability available to get a greater level of detail, neither is there any necessity to do so.

...you then get covid deniers all over Facebook making outraged posts about "Grandad had a stroke but covid was on the death certificate. It's a Scam!" 

Post edited at 13:18
 Hardonicus 08 Jan 2021
In reply to mik82:

You're inferring backwards which isn't sensible. Covid deniers would just say your 13% are majority false positives. If we take the pre-test probability as the current prevalence estimation of 1in 50 people (2%) and the specificity of 95% then you generate 5:1 false to real positives.

The confidence of the results from PCR testing at scale relies on the fact that the pre-test probability is high because we are testing symptomatic people. However this is an unknown (unknowable?) factor.

 mik82 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

Obviously the Covid deniers wouldn't listen but even for half of those 13% positives to be false, you'd still need a pre-test probability of about 8% with a real world sensitivity of 80%. This would need a specificity of 92.9% which is way below even the lowest case scenario.

Post edited at 16:10
In reply to mik82:

> >The (not insignificant) false positive rate

> Using a specificity of 99.5% for the PCR test would give a false positive rate of 0.48% if we were just swabbing people at random in London where the estimated prevalence is currently 3.4%

It's possible to back-calculate the false positive rate based upon the number of tests performed and cases identified if you know the selectivity and specificity. I had the calculations on excel but can't find them , but the level of prevalence in the UK never got low enough for false positives to be a problem. At the current level of prevalence there will be more false negatives than false positives i.e. cases are being under-counted.

Post edited at 16:34
 Jmacquarrie 08 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

Just popped into the shop over the road from me, nobody who came in was wearing a mask except me. Unbelievable, won't be going back in there for a while!

 ericinbristol 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Jmacquarrie:

This is just insane at the moment, and shows a total disregard for the lives of other people 

 wintertree 09 Jan 2021
In reply to timjones:

> Surely we can come up with something more precise having had 9 months to work it out?

Another poster shared this link to a brief animated graph.

https://twitter.com/jburnmurdoch/status/1347200811303055364

If that doesn’t show you the scale of the current problem and why the pressing need is for timely information over absolute precision then I am at a loss.

Stitchplate’s answer gives way better insight than I did when noting that the cause of death is multi faceted. 

 Wainers44 09 Jan 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

> This is just insane at the moment, and shows a total disregard for the lives of other people 

And we are all arguing over local and what that means but it seems the whole covid thing now doesn't apply in supermarkets at all?

Families shopping in big groups,  no social distancing, many missing masks. This is a far bigger issue yet gets little coverage. People are stupid and we are flipping doomed.

 Offwidth 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Wainers44:

Yes that's exactly the problem. Although I've defended Derbyshire police from unfair attacks from libertarian commentators, it's a fact they would be far better off patrolling supermarkets than local beauty spots. The real spread is pretty much all due to people mixing indoors ignoring precautions.

 Wainers44 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Yes that's exactly the problem. Although I've defended Derbyshire police from unfair attacks from libertarian commentators, it's a fact they would be far better off patrolling supermarkets than local beauty spots. The real spread is pretty much all due to people mixing indoors ignoring precautions.

Many of the shops were really good in organising themselves and ensuring their customers understood how to behave in the first lockdown.  Total contrast with this time where most just don't seem to be bothering and the shops are seriously unsafe.  Madness.

In reply to Offwidth:

> Yes that's exactly the problem. Although I've defended Derbyshire police from unfair attacks from libertarian commentators, it's a fact they would be far better off patrolling supermarkets than local beauty spots. The real spread is pretty much all due to people mixing indoors ignoring precautions.

Because it's easy to challenge a few people in a massive park, it could easily kill an hour of their shift. Think how busy the same hour could be stood outside tescos. They are probably understaffed, over worked and fed up with being covid police; you can't blame them. 

 Offwidth 09 Jan 2021
In reply to summo:

Please don't be so naive. They were told to police those park parking areas by senior officers. My best guess is because locals complained (as happened with Curbar gap).

 Offwidth 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Wainers44:b

The big Sainsbury's I use is fine: only a rare shopper without masks (fewer than I'd expect) wide aisles and still counting maximum people in store and only letting in extra people in a family in where needed and good distancing on checkouts  (distancing on self check isn't watched quite as well). On our small local shopping area where we buy meat and veg, things are fine and they still count on the smaller Coop and Sainsbury's. In Aldi, our nearest big supermarket it's a bit mad (not counting, narrower aisles, checkout queues way too close and just too few staff).

In reply to Offwidth:

> Please don't be so naive. They were told to police those park parking areas by senior officers. My best guess is because locals complained (as happened with Curbar gap).

One open air park and car park, compared to multiple indoor shops. If you have limited resources maybe they should be used wisely. 

In reply to wintertree:

> If that doesn’t show you the scale of the current problem and why the pressing need is for timely information over absolute precision then I am at a loss.

Oh man, why did I read the responses to that thread? We're f*cked. People are so deep in Dunning Kruger that we're actually doomed. You get random tw*ts talking about how the PCR is calibrated to give positives no matter what... !? You get other random tw*ts not understanding what the graphs show at all and arguing against masks and social distancing.

We're screwed. They will act as reservoirs for the virus until it can mutate to its next form.


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