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Things we don't know about covid 19 ...

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 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020

So could people please stop pretending that we/they do?

-Where,when and how, the first global case occurred

-when it came to the UK and the early rate of spread of infection

-How many people have been exposed to it
-How many people have been infected
-How many people have died from it
-how it is transmitted
-Whether we can find a cure
-Whether we can find a vaccine
-whether the climate affects its transmission
-whether masks work
-the optimal social distance to reduce transmission
-whether lockdown is necessary or optimal to reduce transmission.
-whether the infection can be fought off without producing specific antibodies
-whether children can transmit it.

-whether infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown

-if so, why infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown
-whether lockdown was too late, too early, or irrelevant
-Why some countries have lower infection rates and death rates than other
-why Japan, a crowded country with an aged population millions of Chinese visitors, little testing and a feeble lock down has a relatively low infection rate
-why Germany stands out in Western Europe for its low infection rate
-why Brabant has a significantly higher infection rate than Holland
-why Sweden, outside care homes, has an unexceptional infection rate despite having minimal lockdown
-whether there will be a second wave
-whether different strains of the virus result in different outcomes
-whether the virus is “weakening"

-whether they'll be a second wave

-whether it would be worse than the first wave.


-how and by whom government policy was formulated
-what information by the civil service, NHS, PHE and other bureacracies was given to the cabinet
-who/what institution was responsible for execution of policy
-what decisions those responsible took e.g. use or not to use the private sector for testing, to build an independent tracing app etc.

-why those decisions were taken

  I'm sure there's more.

37
 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

However, it is the case that Dominic Cummings was absolutely right to insist that he'd done nothing wrong, that Johnson was absolutely right in supporting Cummings and that this Government has played an absolute blinder at every step. People really should stop complaining. 

6
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> this Government has played an absolute blinder at every step.

>

  See the the last five on the list. Are you one of the people who, despite not knowing the answers to anything on the list knows exactly what should have, and should now, be done?

Post edited at 08:55
25
 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   See the the last five on the list. Are you one of the people who, despite not knowing the answers to anything on the list knows exactly what should have, and should now, be done?

No. Have I ever said as much? Honestly, some people will complain about anything. Some people even have the temerity to complain about the lies and the repeated lies and the repeated lies. It's shocking. We should all be very grateful that we have such political titans as Johnson and Hancock running the show.

9
 GrahamD 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

It's why experts try to work on balance of probabilities.   Most people aren't good with probabilities, though, and see things as black or white.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   See the the last five on the list. Are you one of the people who, despite not knowing the answers to anything on the list knows exactly what should have, and should now, be done?

Nobody claims to have exact answers or to have known exactly what should have been done.  On the other hand there is an awful lot of data in the literature giving a lot of insight into many of those questions.  For example your second one - at least 1356 different importation events of covid into the U.K. early on have been robustly identified including country of origin.

Quite a few posters, myself included, called for more to be done back in early March.  We did so with extensive references and widespread examples of supporting expert opinion from beyond government/SAGE.  We were right then, sadly now it is clear just how right we were.

The pertinent question is not “how could a diverse bunch of forum punters have got it right” because we were far from alone.  The question is “how did the UK government get it so wrong” as they were practically alone in their route.

7
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

  Next up: solving global poverty? Curing cancer? Reversing climate change? Perpetual motion? Nuclear fusion?

The question is not “how could a diverse bunch of forum punters have got it right”.

It's "how could a diverse bunch of forum punters be so certain that they got it right when we don't even know the answers to all the above"?

25
In reply to Postmanpat:

> It's "how could a diverse bunch of forum punters be so certain that they got it right when we don't even know the answers to all the above"?

That’s no mystery.  We’d seen the virus tear the arse out of Wuhan province and then northern Italy and we recognised that the government and SAGE were trying to finess our response despite - as you yourself has pointed out - not knowing the answers to any of the above questions.  The level of finesse they were deploying was totally inappropriate for the data they had.  Given examples from Wuhan and northern Italy it was bloody obvious it wasn’t the time for finesse but for implementing a response based on a “reasonable worse case” scenario to buy us time to fill in the most critical gaps in our knowledge.  We didn’t do that and as a result we likely have more excess deaths than anywhere else in the whole world and are predicted to suffer worse economic consequences than anywhere in the EU.

With a largely unknown virus we know what to do.  We’ve known what to do for a century. 

Post edited at 09:30
7
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > It's "how could a diverse bunch of forum punters be so certain that they got it right when we don't even know the answers to all the above"?

> That’s no mystery. 

>

  Truly breathtaking.

28
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

There is plenty of evidence to support action around many of the things you mention and it's naive to think we'd have certainty on them at this stage. 

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Truly breathtaking.

Here's 501 UK scientists and medics and 40 eminent international ones saying this from March 14th 2020.

http://maths.qmul.ac.uk/~vnicosia/UK_scientists_statement_on_coronavirus_measures.pdf

It's not breathtaking that I was saying the same things over 3 months ago; it's not breathtaking that other UKC posters were saying these things 3 months ago.  

I've worked in science for over 20 years and have worked with life scientists for the last 12.  I'm now a founder of a life sciences business.  Other posters, posters who have never worked in science, were saying the same thing, for the same reasons, just as clearly.  The situation was that clear to people who looked objectively.

What astounds me is the lengths some people will go to to defend the government

2
 galpinos 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   See the the last five on the list. Are you one of the people who, despite not knowing the answers to anything on the list knows exactly what should have, and should now, be done?

I don't know the answers to the questions in the list but I do know that the government communication strategy has been piss poor.

1
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I get the impression that your worldview has been quite severely challenged by the pandemic and the UK government's handling of it.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> What astounds me is the lengths some people will go to to defend the government

>

  And lots of other scientists including, it would appear, SAGE, were saying other things. Quite weird that a scientist could demonstrate such certainty in the face of a global lack of hard knowledge.

I'm not "defending the government". I have no doubt that they made some bad decisions. I would, though, amongst question why the blame has nearly all been heaped on a few individuals when we don't know what they were told or why policy was not carried out effectively. It shows a real lack of curiosity on the part of those supposed to be asking the questions.

  I heard a very senior external leader iof the anti covid response say the other day "what frightens me is the lack of understanding and knowledge in government"-and she wasn't only or even primarily referring to the politicians.

I am attacking the claims you make to knowing you got it right when it actually far too early to tell. As Carole Stoltenberg (Director Public health, Norway) said only 2-3 weeks ago "We really don't know. It may just be down to luck"

Be humble: it's quite an attractive trait.

Post edited at 09:55
21
 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> What astounds me is the lengths some people will go to to defend the government

You are being most unfair. I should have thought was apparent from the OP that we don't know anything, so wandering about blindly, utterly clueless, is a perfectly correct way to proceed. That is, after all, the natural function of government. 

1
 Jack 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

The problem with those last five questions on your list is that they seek to shift the responsibility away from the government, cabinet and Johnson. 

The buck stops with Johnson. A fantasist who dressed up as a milk man, a builder, forklift truck driver and tries to dress himself in the credibility of Churchill and now Roosevelt to indulge his infantile notion of being 'king of the world'

Pathetic.

3
 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Things we don't know about covid-19 Part 2:

When will the apologists for a patently incompetent government stop?

4
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jack:

> The problem with those last five questions on your list is that they seek to shift the responsibility away from the government, cabinet and Johnson. 

>

> Pathetic.


See my comment above. What the last five questions do is ask to discover what happened not just assume that we know. It's really quite a good approach which you might want to try out.

Your approach is simple minded and incurious. Suppose you designed a faulty ship and employed crap crew to man it. When it sank, it is true that the captain would be where the buck stops, even if he were admiral bloody Nelson. But simply saying that would fail to address both the design faults and the crew recruitment policy and mean that the problem would recur.

Post edited at 10:00
15
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   And lots of other scientists including, it would appear, SAGE, were saying other things. Quite weird that a scientist could demonstrate such certainty in the face of a global lack of hard knowledge.

You misrepresent "certainty"  There's a big difference between saying "I know the best thing to do with certain" and "I recognise the number of unknowns and the severity evidenced in Wuhan Province and Northern Italy and therefore I am certain that erring on the side of caution is the appropriate response until we know more"

Here's an analogy - if a building is on fire, do you run out immediately, or do you stay in whilst 60,000 people burn to death and then say 3 months later "but we didn't know where the fire started, how many fires there were, what caused the fire, what the best fire extinguishers were for the fire, how quickly the fire would spread from room to room" etc.  

> I'm not "defending the government". I have no doubt that they made some bad decisions. I am, though, questioning why the blame has nearly all been heaped on a few individuals when we don't know what they were told or why policy was not carried out effectively. It shows a real lack of curiosity on the part of those supposed to be asking the questions.

When I've questioned SAGE before I've had another poster who follows a similar line to you insult me over various angles.  When Johnson is criticised others come out to jump on it.  I think there's plenty of blame to go around and if you read through my posting history you will find some quite specific and detailed critiques of how SAGE have operated and in particular one the totally inappropriate role of modelling in the early stages when - as you rightly point out - many specifics weren't know.  I have also been critical of the government in their sloth in the face of overwhelming evidence from beyond SAGE, over their piss-poor communications (when clarity of communications is and has long been recognised as a critical lever in pandemics) and over their pathetic debasing over Cummings.  I have noted that government need to understand the bounds of applicability of modelling, that SAGE failed by not recognising it themselves, and that I would expect leadership to have an advisor skilled enough in the scientific arts to understand the bounds of applicability of such modelling - that doesn't appear to be Cummings who may have read some books but apparently doesn't "get it".

> I am attacking the claims you make to knowing you got it right when it actually far too early to tell. As Carole Stoltenberg (Director Public health, Norway) said only 2-3 weeks ago "We really don't know. It may just be down to luck"

An outlier opinion.  We clearly got it massively wrong.  Perhaps I'm wrong in my initial assessments of why.  Undoubtedly we'll know more one day.  In the mean time for every Stoltenberg there are a hundred counterpoints of data as well as solid, evidenced first order thinking.

> Be humble: it's quite an attractive trait

I am giving you context for why you should perhaps listen to my opinion here and learn.  You seem very keen to make your point, forgive me if I forstall the usual claims of "armchair export" in response.  That being said I saw the same points made for the same reasons from people whose specialities have no overlap with  any of the subject matter.

1
 malk 01 Jul 2020
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> I get the impression that your worldview has been quite severely challenged by the pandemic and the UK government's handling of it.


 I've not idea why you think that. I've always thought Boris was a bit of a plonker, that the civil service is largely unfit for purpose, and that the NHS is a deeply flawed. All of which seem to have been confirmed.

14
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> You are being most unfair. I should have thought was apparent from the OP that we don't know anything, so wandering about blindly, utterly clueless, is a perfectly correct way to proceed. That is, after all, the natural function of government. 

You are right.  It's clearly time to move on.  

Has anyone seen Jenrick lately?

 john arran 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

It's part of a democratic government's responsibility to explain and account for its policies to the electorate. Refusing to do so by declining to publish crucial information about key decision-making personnel and key grounds upon which policy is based, shouldn't then be allowed to become a reason not to attempt critical analysis of such decisions due to those trying to do such analysis not being in possession of a complete set of facts. Did Blair's 'dodgy dossier' episode not teach us anything?

 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> See my comment above. What the last five questions do is ask to discover what happened not just assume that we know.

> Your approach is simple minded and incurious. Suppose you designed a faulty ship and employed crap crew to man it. When it sank, it is true that the captain would be where the buck stops, even if he were admiral bloody Nelson. But simply saying that would fail to address both the design faults and the crew recruitment policy and mean that the problem would recur.

Ooh, ooh, I love analogies. Perhaps in this case Johnson is the captain of your ship, and various people have told him the ship is leaking. The captain's response perhaps shouldn't have been "waff, waff, nothing to worry about chaps, I'm going for a dip in that new swimming pool we have on C deck".

2
 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Your approach is simple minded and incurious. Suppose you designed a faulty ship and employed crap crew to man it. When it sank, it is true that the captain would be where the buck stops, even if he were admiral bloody Nelson. But simply saying that would fail to address both the design faults and the crew recruitment policy and mean that the problem would recur.

Poor analogy if you think it bolsters your case but quite useful for those of us who don't. The equivalent of design faults in this case are things like refusing to implement the 2016 Operation Cygus pandemic drill, undermining the NHS and failure to implement a long-term social care plan (I'm sure we can think of plenty more). These are largely down to government failures. As for the crew... the senior officers -Johnson, Raab, Hancock should all be fired.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to john arran:

> It's part of a democratic government's responsibility to explain and account for its policies to the electorate. Refusing to do so by declining to publish crucial information about key decision-making personnel and key grounds upon which policy is based, shouldn't then be allowed to become a reason not to attempt critical analysis of such decisions due to those trying to do such analysis not being in possession of a complete set of facts. Did Blair's 'dodgy dossier' episode not teach us anything?


  I absolutely agree that there should be a full public inquiry to answer all the questions that I have posed. It doesn't seem unreasonable that we should let the dust settle, so to speak, before initiating that. Nor does it seem unreasonable to suggest that , in the absence of most of the facts, it is the height of arrogance to suggest that we already know all the answers.

5
 Jack 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

And if this captain were aware of these faults and even helped put them place, and was even an architect of some of the design then he would have a lot more to answer to.

Your analogy doesn't hold water and is a transparently fallacious  attempt to, again, shift responsibility away from those ultimately responsible.

The buck stops with johnson, and of course 'lessons need to be learned' but i expect another prolonged review, inquiry and consultation with, ultimately, no one really being held responsible.

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Who exactly are the people who are suggesting we already know all the answers?

Post edited at 10:06
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> As for the crew... the senior officers -Johnson, Raab, Hancock should all be fired.

Walking the plank would be more appropriate.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Poor analogy if you think it bolsters your case but quite useful for those of us who don't. The equivalent of design faults in this case are things like refusing to implement the 2016 Operation Cygus pandemic drill, undermining the NHS and failure to implement a long-term social care plan (I'm sure we can think of plenty more). These are largely down to government failures. As for the crew... the senior officers -Johnson, Raab, Hancock should all be fired.

  They were officers, not crew. But that detail aside, perhaps we should find out what happened to cygus, who made the decisions on it and why ? You know, just a thought...

4
 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

Ah yes, of course! 

 gallam1 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Here's 501 UK scientists and medics and 40 eminent international ones saying this from March 14th 2020.

Actually, one of UKC's eminent scientists raised the alarm at the end of January.  I re-opened the thread here 

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/novel_coronavirus_--_wuhan_china-715547

on 6th Feb.  (sorry Jon, I cannot find the original) It was pretty obvious then we were looking at a disaster.  We had another go a short time later here:

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/novel_coronavirus_--_wuhan_china-716223

which attracted a bit more attention.  The first thread contained a lot of references to flu from what I remember.

Post edited at 10:11
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>  I've not idea why you think that. I've always thought Boris was a bit of a plonker, that the civil service is largely unfit for purpose, and that the NHS is a deeply flawed. All of which seem to have been confirmed.

Confirmed? Despite the fact that your first post is all about how nothing around this is confirmed? 

Not a very consistent approach!

 Andy Hardy 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Are you just here to present (or find) excuses for Johnson's multiple failings?

What we do know, includes the PM swerving 5 cobra meetings at a time when *if* he wasn't a weapons grade prick, he could have (with the information available at the time) made a simple decision to lock down a week earlier, which if memory serves, our chief medical officer said would have *halved* the excess deaths. That would be saving ~32000 lives.

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Who exactly are the people who are suggesting we already know all the answers?


Wintertree and jkarran spring to mind but you seem to think you know a lot of them.

Here's a thing. The widely accepted narrative put around in the media for a long time was the cabinet had ignored scientific advice (ie.SAGE) advice to lock down some time before they eventually order a lockdown. We now that this is not true.

 How many other parts of the narrative may turn out to be bollocks?

3
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Confirmed? Despite the fact that your first post is all about how nothing around this is confirmed? 

> Not a very consistent approach!

The key word is "seem"

1
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> The key word is "seem"

Have you considered a career in politics?

1
 john arran 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I absolutely agree that there should be a full public inquiry to answer all the questions that I have posed. It doesn't seem unreasonable that we should let the dust settle, so to speak, before initiating that. 

People are still dying, in significant numbers. Many are of the opinion that those numbers are about to start growing again due to further seemingly unfathomable government decisions. Are these current and future avoidable deaths simply dust that you think needs to settle before the people of the UK should be granted any insight into why they are being allowed to happen?

1
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Wintertree and jkarran spring to mind but you seem to think you know a lot of them.

I have not said I know a lot of the answers.  I have said that in the absence of many answers in the emerging stages of a pandemic it is prudent to err on the side of caution, and not to make decisions informed by models that - in order to be usefully predictive - need all those missing answers.

Please don't misrepresent my position.  I have stated it clearly.

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Ooh, ooh, I love analogies. Perhaps in this case Johnson is the captain of your ship, and various people have told him the ship is leaking. The captain's response perhaps shouldn't have been "waff, waff, nothing to worry about chaps, I'm going for a dip in that new swimming pool we have on C deck".


Then he would also be genuinely repsonsible. But, you see, there'd have to be an inquiry to find out whether that happened, not just a lot of his enemies saying it's his fault.

3
 LeeWood 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Good post ! To answer these questions it's no good returning to the mainstream news sources - because it's they which promote the confusion. Alternative media - aka Fake News - has all the answers. If you have a problem with fake news listen out Sharyl Attkisson:

Q: She is a five-time Emmy Award winner, and an Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA)Edward R. Murrow Award recipient. She was formerly an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News and a substitute anchor for the CBS Evening News. (wikipedia)

How Real Is Fake News? | Sharyl Attkisson | TEDxUniversityofNevada

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQcCIzjz9_s&

8
 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Then he would also be genuinely repsonsible. But, you see, there'd have to be an inquiry to find out whether that happened, not just a lot of his enemies saying it's his fault.

https://news.sky.com/video/coronavirus-i-shook-hands-with-everybody-11948548

1
In reply to gallam1:

Did you ever build the home electrolysis oxygen source?  I decided in late January that a better approach was to prepare to isolate our household as much as possible when needed, to make sure we didn't catch it.   

Post edited at 10:18
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > Wintertree and jkarran spring to mind but you seem to think you know a lot of them.

> I have not said I know a lot of the answers. 

>

   Forgive us, if your weeks of telling us that you knew the right policy by early March at the very latest gave us the mistaken impression that you thought you knew a lot of the answers.

14
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Ooh, ooh, I love analogies. Perhaps in this case Johnson is the captain of your ship, and various people have told him the ship is leaking. The captain's response perhaps shouldn't have been "waff, waff, nothing to worry about chaps, I'm going for a dip in that new swimming pool we have on C deck".

Or, if the captain is warned of an iceberg ahead, does not change course but says grandly 'I'm going to take it on the hull.'

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I don't claim to know many of the answers in your list at all. I would imagine that the NZ government didn't either, but that didn't seem to stop them acting in a substantially more efficient way than our current government. 

In reply to Postmanpat:

>    Forgive us, if your weeks of telling us that you knew the right policy by early March at the very latest gave us the mistaken impression that you thought you knew a lot of the answers.

Well I was saying it on here in March.  With references and data.  As were others.  I don’t recall any of us claiming to have the “answers” in terms of your list of questions.  Have you read and considered the arguments made as to why those answers weren’t necessary for us to spot bad choices from SAGE/government - and indeed that it was the lack of answers that made it clear SAGE’s modelling was inappropriate?

Post edited at 10:24
 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    Forgive us, if your weeks of telling us that you knew the right policy by early March at the very latest gave us the mistaken impression that you thought you knew a lot of the answers.

As the NZ case indicates, you don't need to know all the answers to come up with sensible policy decisions. That's the real issue. Leaders often have to make judgements and set policy without knowing the full facts - some just seem to be better at this than others.

In reply to malk:

Yes, I really think that the More or Less team has performed an outstanding public service during this pandemic.  They have consistently called out Matt Hancock and his persistent misreporting of the testing figures and are very clear that Johnson's statement about the drop in cases was 'wrong and misleading'.

They also make the point that the Imperial College team were slow to amend their model at the start of the infection, when it became clear that the doubling time was much shorter than they had originally assumed. 

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Good post ! To answer these questions it's no good returning to the mainstream news sources - because it's they which promote the confusion. Alternative media - aka Fake News - has all the answers. If you have a problem with fake news listen out Sharyl Attkisson:

> Q: She is a five-time Emmy Award winner, and an Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA)Edward R. Murrow Award recipient. She was formerly an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News and a substitute anchor for the CBS Evening News. (wikipedia)

> How Real Is Fake News? | Sharyl Attkisson | TEDxUniversityofNevada

Is that the Sharyl Attkinson who spreads fake news on the connections between vaccines and autism?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

  Anyway folks, thanks for your somewhat predictable responses. And genuine thanks to wintertree and jkarran et al, who, although creating a false impression of certainty where none exists, have done and shared much interesting and informative research on the topic. Excellent stuff.

Otherwise, what is interesting, is how so many of you will stick resolutely to your view that you know what happened and why despite not having reliable answers to probably any of the questions on which any reasonable conclusion would have to be based.

15
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> As the NZ case indicates, you don't need to know all the answers to come up with sensible policy decisions. That's the real issue. Leaders often have to make judgements and set policy without knowing the full facts - some just seem to be better at this than others.

>

   How do we know if NZ made the right policy decisions?

8
 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to john arran:

Members of Sage were perfectly entitled if they want to disclose publically that they are  members of SAGE.

Even when the list was published a few members declined to have their details publically dislosed for privacy reasons.

To suggest  there was a "ban" on disclosure.is just not technically  correct.Farrer was public he was in SAGE and had no issues  disclosing it.

And remember these are volunteers, they do not have to do it. It is not a "paid" position as such. Although of course some are PHE /NHS employees.

In reply to neilh:

> And remember these are volunteers, they do not have to do it. It is not a "paid" position as such. Although of course some are PHE /NHS employees.

It is however the sort of thing that counts as an indicator of esteem and helps a professor process up through their pay bands.  So whilst it’s voluntary and doesn’t (normally) carry fame or glory it does have its material benefits.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to john arran:

> People are still dying, in significant numbers. Many are of the opinion that those numbers are about to start growing again due to further seemingly unfathomable government decisions. Are these current and future avoidable deaths simply dust that you think needs to settle before the people of the UK should be granted any insight into why they are being allowed to happen?

No. Are the mass unemployment, poverty, mental health issues and deaths that many are of the opinion would result from continued lockdown simply dust that you think should be ignored?

8
 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

That's a disingenuous answer to John's question. The point is that the government should be transparent about why decisions are being taken, and they aren't. 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Or, if the captain is warned of an iceberg ahead, does not change course but says grandly 'I'm going to take it on the hull.'

  Or if all his "experts" are telling him that he may not hit the iceberg and that all is prepared on board should the situation deteriorate?

Sorry to labour the point , but we we just don't know who said what to whom,when and why.

6
 Jack 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Or, if the captain is warned of an iceberg ahead, does not change course but says grandly 'I'm going to take it on the hull.'

And then he hands the wheel to his navigator, who's feeling a bit sea sick, so he can test his eyesight.

In reply to Postmanpat: Really poor post Pat, imploring people not to speculate while making a number of unsubstantiated and speculative points.

As for this

> -whether infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown

> -if so, why infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown

There would be an immediate effect of stricter social distancing on infection rate. 

Post edited at 10:40
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> That's a disingenuous answer to John's question. The point is that the government should be transparent about why decisions are being taken, and they aren't. 


  I partly agree with that and certainly agree that the messaging has often been crap. Having said that, the more information that is given out, the more the (usually ill informed) media will disport and confuse it, and the more room for public uncertainty is created.

7
 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I am with you on the first two( Johnson is an appalling communicator) Although I do consider the NHS has performed well and shown resilience, which is what Whitty said from ages ago.

Public Health seems to be a dogs bollock. Procurement a mess.Civil Service too slow( look at the farce of disclosing national info to local phe teams in leicester)

Cabinet secretary had to be replaced.One of their roles is to protect the structure of govt. And considering quite a few member of the cabinet caught Covid and other key individuals., I have always thought his days were numbered.He should have been laying the law down about protecting them.

Tony Blair produced a detailed report ages ago about the civil service being restructrued to deal with these types of crises. The restructuring will fall somewhere along those lines.But it will be protrayed as a Cummings solution ( thus incurring the wrath of alot of people )without recognising that it needed to be done.

And we should look at Germany for ideas, not fkg NZ which can isolate dead easily.

The worse thing is that it is not over, still a long long way to go.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Really poor post Pat, imploring people not to speculate while making a number of unsubstantiated and speculative points.

> As for this

> There would be an immediate effect of stricter social distancing on infection rate. 

   LOL, that is crazy. How can it be "poor"  to ask the questions which are being widely asked and key to understanding the progree of the virus..

  These two questions have been in the public domain and are perfectly reasonable ones to ask. Yours is the most likely answer but leads to the obvious question of whether lockdown was actually necessary. The answer being: we don't fXcking know.

10
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> That's a disingenuous answer to John's question. The point is that the government should be transparent about why decisions are being taken, and they aren't. 


  I partly agree with that and certainly agree that the messaging has often been crap. Having said that, the more information that is given out, the more the (usually ill informed) media will distort and confuse it, and the more room for public uncertainty is created.

2
 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I undertand that.Gliobally it is probably pretty prestigious, certainly counts alot in the USA and alsewhere  if you read the NYT. Which to me indicates the members are wll know in their communities......and respected...and it is therefore hardly secret.

In reply to Jack:

> And then he hands the wheel to his navigator, who's feeling a bit sea sick, so he can test his eyesight

It's what any father would do.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>    LOL, that is crazy. How can it be "poor"  to ask the questions which are being widely asked and key to understanding the progree of the virus..

I'll say it again, imploring people not to speculate while making a number of unsubstantiated and speculative points.

>   These two questions have been in the public domain and are perfectly reasonable ones to ask. Yours is the most likely answer but leads to the obvious question of whether lockdown was actually necessary. The answer being: we don't fXcking know.

Nonsense..... " The cars speed peaked before the brakes were applied, leading to the question of whether the cars brakes were actually necessary" 😂😂😂

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> I'll say it again, imploring people not to speculate while making a number of unsubstantiated and speculative points.

>

  I didn't "make a point". I asked the question which has been widely asked all over the world. Absolutely extraordinary that you think these basic questions have either been answered (cf.the Japan example), or don't need to be.

> Nonsense..... " The cars speed peaked before the brakes were applied, leading to the question of whether the cars brakes were actually necessary" 😂😂😂

Or, the bike slowed down by applying the back brake. Did we need to apply the front brake as well thus tumbling over the handlebars?

6
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

>  imploring people not to speculate while making a number of unsubstantiated and speculative points.

I think that is a pretty good summary of the OP's contributions here.

1
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I didn't "make a point". I asked the question which has been widely asked all over the world. Absolutely extraordinary that you think these basic questions have either been answered (cf.the Japan example), or don't need to be.

You need to reread your OP.

In reply to Postmanpat:

You've found a soul mate in LeeWood there (he's a crackpot too). 

2
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> >  imploring people not to speculate while making a number of unsubstantiated and speculative points.

> I think that is a pretty good summary of the OP's contributions here.

"What is interesting, is how so many of you will stick resolutely to your view that you know what happened and why despite not having reliable answers to probably any of the questions on which any reasonable conclusion would have to be based."

I made a single point and implied a second one: that there are a vast amount of things that we don't know either about the disease or it's handling and that therefore we are not in a position to draw firm conclusions about either.  I don't regard these points as in the least bit speculative. I regard all the questions as totally valid and requiring informed answers in the fullness of time.

5
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Anyway folks, thanks for your somewhat predictable responses. And genuine thanks to wintertree and jkarran et al, who, although creating a false impression of certainty where none exists, have done and shared much interesting and informative research on the topic. Excellent stuff.  Otherwise, what is interesting, is how so many of you will stick resolutely to your view that you know what happened and why despite not having reliable answers to probably any of the questions on which any reasonable conclusion would have to be based. <

Personally I'm glad there have been all those threads about the pandemic. Even if some posts appear overconfident about their facts there will usually be other posts pointing that out.....its what forums do. It gives everyone a chance to make suggestions, ask questions and alter their viewpoint in a way that is impossible if we restrict ourselves to TV, papers etc. 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> You need to reread your OP.

Tell me why

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You've found a soul mate in LeeWood there (he's a crackpot too). 


Well since you seem to think it is "crackpot" to ask for evidence based answers to basic questions and to not support campaigns promoted by hard left revolutionaries I'll sign up for that.

What's it like down there in the sand?

Post edited at 11:16
7
In reply to Postmanpat:

Do you think that the fact that the PM caught the virus and nearly died himself tells us anything about whether or not he understood the seriousness of the situation?

Do you think boasting about shaking hands with patients was acceptable, given the information we already had about the disease?

There are plenty of questions we do know the answers to, and we can conclude without a shadow of doubt that the PM and the government failed to deal with the crisis, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

1
 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Well since you seem to think it is "crackpot" to ask for evidence based answers to basic questions and to not support campaigns promoted by hard left revolutionaries I'll sign up for that.

What are you talking about? Which campaigns? Where on earth did that come from? 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>

> There are plenty of questions we do know the answers to, and we can conclude without a shadow of doubt that the PM and the government failed to deal with the crisis, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

>

  We know, as I've said, that cabinet members made mistakes and I think that the messaging was crap. Beyond that there is huge amount we don't know about about without which we cannot draw conclusions.

We don't even know what people mean when they use the term "government"

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> What are you talking about? Which campaigns? Where on earth did that come from? 


Other thread. BLM

4
 elsewhere 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Early rate of spread of infection in UK using the figures published at the time.

Log10(published total cases to date) vs publication date

https://a.uguu.se/zDOMG7qFCYI0.png (should be available for 24 hours at that URL).

I'd say there was very good information by 6th March at latest. 

You'd think the PM or a cabinet minister could have the numeracy and curiosity to think "exponential growth, draw a log graph or play with excel" and do it for themselves. Maybe they did.

It was discussed here at the time, I remember noticing daily cases going from 5ish to 50ish within that week and extrapolating to something beyond our experience weeks later.

Extrapolating an exponential is logical when the data looks exponential. Being a factor of 10 wrong only brings it forward/back by a week

 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It was not just Johnson who caught it, it went through the whole top team. Which in turn raises the question of the Cabinent Secretary being upto his job, as it is Secretarys role to protect that team.Ferguson, Whitty, Hancock,Sedwill himslelf , Vallance, I think even Sunak had  mild symptoms, for example.

It was a failure of the highest order to protect key people.And the worse thing is that there was no real plan for if Johnson had gone onto an incubator.No planning.

Abject failure of contingency planning. Shocking.That is what Cabionet Secreatries are there for.

And nobody really questions it.

Post edited at 11:33
1
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Tell me why

Just one, example, and I'll stick the the one I've already mentioned.

> -How many people have been infected (1)

Correct, we'll probably never know.


> -whether infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown (2)

From you first point, no obviously we won't. We can backtrack from the peak death rate but there'll always be big uncertainty in that, and also the route to the 23rd onward lockdown was incremental, so we couldn't pin a fixed date on that for cause and effect studies.

> -if so, why infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown (3)

Your trying making a point now on the basis that (2) can be answered, which it can't. Why? You were right first time.

I remember Hitchen's coming out with this kind of guff early on. He was claiming there were no excess deaths, well before the relevant stats would be out. That didn't date well.

In reply to Postmanpat:

So you think that we don't have sufficient information to conclude that the government response has been poor?

Short of actually going back in time and living through the counterfactual with a competent government in power, what information do you think is needed to draw such a conclusion? Do we need to answer all the questions in your OP? 

Are you trying to set a bar to be met for criticising the government that can't be met, as a way to discredited the criticism? 

What's the point? The whole world can see that the UK f*cked it right up. 

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> You'd think the PM or a cabinet minister could have the numeracy and curiosity to think "exponential growth, draw a log graph or play with excel" and do it for themselves. Maybe they did.

>

  That just sums up the stupidity of some of the reactions to the crisis.

  Do you honestly think that cabinet minsters are paid to play around with excel spreadsheets? FFS. The State employs teams of civil servants and scientists to do this for them and present them with conclusions accordingly. As per the OP, we don't know what these teams told them (or whether they were asked the right questions)

It's like this stupid idea that the cabinet should have taken the advice of lots of external scientists. Can you imagine the media reaction if Johnson had ignored SAGE and told us "I had a couple of old college mates who are boffins so I took their advice".

  There was a structure established to deal with such a crisis. So the question to ask is 1)Was the structure fit for purpose  2) Did the cabinet use the structure as it was designed to be used 3) If it didn't work, why not and what should we change.

And you come up with, Boris should have played with some spreadsheets. Jesus wept.

Post edited at 11:44
6
 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> You'd think the PM or a cabinet minister could have the numeracy and curiosity to think "exponential growth, draw a log graph or play with excel" and do it for themselves. Maybe they did.

I think you overestimate the abilities of Johnson and his cabinet by several orders of magnitude.

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> So you think that we don't have sufficient information to conclude that the government response has been poor?

>

  Define "government"

  Oh, and incidentally we can't know the excess death rate for some time, nor how it compares to other countries

Post edited at 11:47
4
In reply to Postmanpat:

> It's like this stupid idea that the cabinet should have taken the advice of lots of external scientists. 

Like WHO? Bah, foreigners, what do they know! Just need to listen to the committee Dom's on.

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Just one, example, and I'll stick the the one I've already mentioned.

> Your trying making a point now on the basis that (2) can be answered, which it can't. Why? You were right first time.

>

  I didn't "make a point" . I ask the logical follow on question.  IF we find an answer to the previous question. In due course we may get a better handle on a and b and therefore it may be appropriate to ask c.

  It's weird. Do you really think that we shouldn't try and ask and answer such basic  questions? I just don't don't get it.

Post edited at 12:04
5
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Like WHO? Bah, foreigners, what do they know! Just need to listen to the committee Dom's on.

  SAGE is  the committee designed specifically to do this and drafts in external advisors as and when and presumably listens to WHO. Mad eh? Cabinet ministers are all leading scientists so let's leave it to them to pick any old advice they fancy.

Should the cabinet have ignored SAGE and simply followed WHO advice?

Additional things we don't know:

What notice either by SAGE or other governments experts was given to WHO's advice and why?

Post edited at 12:06
2
 elsewhere 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   That just sums up the stupidity of some of the reactions to the crisis.

>   Do you honestly think that cabinet minsters are paid to play around with excel spreadsheets?

They are paid to think about a sanity check on what looks like the biggest health emergency and biggest spending event in our lifetimes.

They don't need a spreadsheet, the just need to to think 5 per day last week, 50 this week, 500 next week, 5000 in a fortnight, 50000 per day in three weeks (health service collapses) as a sanity check on timescales (few weeks, not six weeks, not one week). A thought process lasting less than 60 seconds.

> And you come up with, Boris should have played with some spreadsheets. Jesus wept.

Well it does show we had very good information about the early growth available at the time.

Post edited at 12:12
In reply to Postmanpat: 

>   Define "government"

The government. Government ministers, particularly the cabinet. They are responsible - that's our constitution. They carry the can for everything the civil service does and advisers do.

Are you trying to deflect responsibility from the government (that is, to be clear, the government) to "the machinery of government". Dominic Cummings obviously has a massive influence over policy, but Johnson carries the can for his dim-witted, dishonest incompetence. 

>   Oh, and incidentally we can't know the excess death rate for some time, nor how it compares to other countries

What are you saying? Do you think the data we do have doesn't tell us anything useful? Do you think when we look back, we might find out that contrary to how it seemed at the time, actually we did rather well?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> They are paid to think about a sanity check on what looks like the biggest health emergency and biggest spending event in our lifetimes.

>

  So let's go back to basics:

-how and by whom government policy was formulated?

and a new one

-what questions did the cabinet ask of their advisors?

-what were the answers?

And you know the answers to these questions how exactly?

Answer: you don't, but they need answering and then we can learn lessons instead of setting off on some tribal witch hunt.

6
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   That just sums up the stupidity of some of the reactions to the crisis.

>   Do you honestly think that cabinet minsters are paid to play around with excel spreadsheets? FFS.

No.  But someone as erudite as Boris thinks he is might have wondered what the word 'exponential' meant.

 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

You seem to be suggesting that the government isn't responsible for decisions. Rather makes you wonder why we bother with elections if it's all down to the Civil Service.

In reply to Postmanpat:

What's wrong with the government being responsible for policy? People who have a particular interest might want to learn about the detailed interactions between different committees, but the government is responsible for policy. They are supposedly in control of the advice they get. Then they are responsible for acting on that advice. They are responsible.

In reply to Postmanpat:

> Should the cabinet have ignored SAGE and simply followed WHO advice?

They might have asked why WHO and SAGE were diverging.... especially with WHO being the international organisation with scientists actually working in places weeks ahead of the UK.

Here's a question for you.... how did the phrase 'herd immunity' make it into UK press conferences when it wasn't supported by WHO and there was no evidence it was an appropriate strategy for this new novel virus?

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Tribal witch hunt? The tribe in this case is the British people!

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The government. Government ministers, particularly the cabinet. They are responsible - that's our constitution. They carry the can for everything the civil service does and advisers do.

>

  Yes, but we need to actually understand what went wrong not just apportion blame on the basis of hierachy. If the basic structures and systems are wrong you could have a completely different set of politicians and end up with no improvement.

  The haters will get their pound of flesh but we'll have learnt nothin.

> What are you saying? Do you think the data we do have doesn't tell us anything useful? >

 1) We don't know how many deaths were due to covid, either here or elsewhere

2)Excess mortality figures need to be looked at at over a longer period to get a better picture because deaths may have been accelerated by a few months so that over a year the picture looks different.

3) Personally I doubt that the picture would change radically but we don't know and we should know and know how other countries look before we make conclusions.

4) The current data obviously tells us "something useful" but is not conclusive at this stage.

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Buck-passing, deflection, spinning... a SPAD career awaits! 😃

(That was meant to be in response to Harry btw...)

Post edited at 12:25
In reply to Postmanpat:

Do you get paid to write this crap?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> They might have asked why WHO and SAGE were diverging.... especially with WHO being the international organisation with scientists actually working in places weeks ahead of the UK.

>

  Yes, so we'll add that to my list of things we don't know

> Here's a question for you.... how did the phrase 'herd immunity' make it into UK press conferences when it wasn't supported by WHO and there was no evidence it was an appropriate strategy for this new novel virus?

  Good point. We'll add that to my list of things we don't know. (actually I think we might but I can't remember)

  Anyway, I'm glad to see you're getting on board with the OP. Well done!

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I didn't "make a point" . I ask the logical follow on question.  IF we find an answer to the previous question. In due course we may get a better handle on a and b and therefore it may be appropriate to ask c.

Rubbish. We will never answer the question precisely, so it's a moot point. The best estimate based on death rate puts the highest infection rate at a time stricter social distancing measure were coming in, as you'd expect. You are trying to make a point based on a fallacy, at least be sincere.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Anyway, I'm glad to see you're getting on board with the OP. Well done!

I just wish the original poster would!

 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Like WHO? Bah, foreigners, what do they know! Just need to listen to the committee Dom's on.

Everyone keeps saying how we should have been more like NZ, but they ignored WHO advice, so were they wrong to do that?

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Do you get paid to write this crap?

Hmm, sounds like you've run out of answers?

Post edited at 12:26
12
 wercat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Or, if the captain is warned of an iceberg ahead, does not change course but says grandly 'I'm going to take it on the hull.'


It is of course a "World Class" hull.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> We will never answer the question precisely, so it's a moot point. The best estimate based on death rate puts the highest infection rate at a time stricter social distancing measure were coming in, as you'd expect.

>

  Yes, and?

 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Hmm, sounds like you've run out of answers?

I thought you said we didn't have answers?

 elsewhere 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Hmm, sounds like you've run out of answers?

What's the point? You haven't run out of questions. 

Do you know how it is transmitted?

a) 5G

b) mostly breathing in droplets from an infected person 

c) other - please specify

d) don't know

Where does the buck stop?

a) Lizards

b) BJ

c) other - please specify

d) don't know

In reply to wercat:

> It is of course a "World Class" hull.

A world class hull was supposed built by a Serco or G4S on a £108m contract, however a month later the government ship yards are being asked if they've got any spare steel plate left and if there's still anyone around who knows how to weld...

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Yes, and?

And that's it, given the uncertainty.

One last question for your new list.... why was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom bragging about shaking as many hands as possible during a epidemic, shortly to be announced pandemic?

Post edited at 12:39
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> I thought you said we didn't have answers?


Depends on the question.

For example: does DaveHK actually read or understand the posts he responds to ?

We have an answer.

How many people have been exposed to covid 19 in the UK

We don't have an answer.

Got it?

6
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Hmm, sounds like you've run out of answers?

What was the question?

 john arran 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> No. Are the mass unemployment, poverty, mental health issues and deaths that many are of the opinion would result from continued lockdown simply dust that you think should be ignored?

If that's the reason why government has taken decisions and implemented its covid policies then I think it should be prepared to stand by its reasons. I'm sure the population would welcome the fact that comparative assessments have been made and informed decisions have been taken that have balanced the likely impact of competing negatives.

As it is, we have casualty rates well in excess of comparable countries, we have no (as far as I'm aware) quantified assessment of lockdown-related mental health issues or deaths to balance this against, and even regarding unemployment and poverty it appears that the UK will now be hit harder than other similar economies due to the longer duration of widespread infection.

And then we have a government which, by withholding justification for its policies, is implicitly requiring its population to 'trust us, we know what we're doing'. On the face of it, that's asking a lot of even its die-hard followers.

In reply to Glug:

> Everyone keeps saying how we should have been more like NZ, but they ignored WHO advice, so were they wrong to do that?

I'm not sure to what extent they didn't follow WHO advice, a link or explanation would be good...

But a short answer is more questions will be asked of the country with > 60,000 excess deaths, obviously.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> What's the point? You haven't run out of questions. 

>

   This is a childish and misguided attempt to suggest that arguing that there is a vast amount that we don't now about covid 19 or the handling of the crisis and that on that basis we have much to learn and that  the dominant narrative may not be entirely true, is equivalent to saying that it was caused by lizards (or something).

   It obviously isn't. It's what a public inquiry would be for. It harms the ability fof people to have informed discussion.  It just demeans you really or, if you actually believe it, it makes you an idiot.

Post edited at 12:48
3
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What was the question?


  There wasn't one but resorting to abuse usually means you have you've run anything sensible to say.

  My 4 points were relevant factually correct (unless a statistician can tell me otherwise) so if describe them as "rubbish" you are presumably struggling.

3
In reply to Postmanpat:

Your OP was trivial, stupid. and pathetic ALL human enterprises are conducted with less than perfect knowledge - the success or otherwise of an enterprise is determined how well the protagonists deal with the limited knowledge they have, what they do to increase their knowledge, and how they flex when new knowledge becomes available.

If you can demonstrate that Cummings, Johnson and his criminally inept cronies  scored on any one of these counts then feel free to show us where. 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> If you can demonstrate that Cummings, Johnson and his criminally inept cronies  scored on any one of these counts then feel free to show us where. 

>

  I wondered when you'd roll up.

  That's the point. We can't make a judgement until we know more facts. Unless, of course, you really hate them already in which case it's easy.

  "Trivial" to ask all the questions that need answering. Well, maybe in your world. It think what you mean is that it's outrageous that somebody should want to understand more about what happened before making their mind up.

  What is interesting, is how so many of you will stick resolutely to your view that you know what happened and why despite not having reliable answers to probably any of the questions on which any reasonable conclusion would have to be based.

Post edited at 12:58
8
 john arran 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> > Do you get paid to write this crap?

> Hmm, sounds like you've run out of answers?

A politician's lack of denial.

In reply to Postmanpat:

> -why Sweden, outside care homes, has an unexceptional infection rate despite having minimal lockdown

How do you know the Swedish infection rate? There hasn't been much testing there. Again your 4th point was correct, why go on to contradict that?

Even if you did know it with some confidence, why would you exclude care homes?

Why use the phrase 'minimal lockdown'? (clearly a contradiction!), when 'significant social distancing' would  describe the situation well enough?

Post edited at 13:02
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What's wrong with the government being responsible for policy?

>

  You've avoided  the issue. The issue is what happened, why what happened happened and how it could be done better.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   What is interesting, is how so many of you will

Does it ever make you wonder why you're in such a minority?

> stick resolutely to your view that you know what happened and why despite not having reliable answers to probably any of the questions on which any reasonable conclusion would have to be based.

The point I have made and that you haven't engaged with is that we can examine the action that was taken in light of the lack of "answers to probably any of the questions".  

Lacking that information and knowing quite clearly that we lacked that information back in March makes some courses of action - such as trying to constantly fine-tune infection rates using models that lack any of the knowledge we were missing - clearly inappropriate.

 elsewhere 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    This is a childish and misguided attempt to suggest that arguing that there is a vast amount that we don't now about covid 19 or the handling of the crisis and that on that basis we have much to learn and that  the dominant narrative may not be entirely true, is equivalent to saying that it was caused by lizards (or something).

Well 5G and lizards are there as a joke as I don't think you are an idiot. I do wonder what's changed as you've gone all "dominant narrative" and "liberal media" which I had't noticed before.

>    It obviously isn't. It's what a public inquiry would be for. It harms the ability fof people to have informed discussion.  It just demeans you really or, if you actually believe it, it makes you an idiot.

Do you know how it is transmitted? 

a) 5G

b) mostly breathing in droplets from an infected person 

c) other - please specify

d) don't know

Hint: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#Greece_and_Rome

In Antiquity, the Greek historian Thucydides (c. 460 – c. 400 BC) was the first person to write, in his account of the plague of Athens, that diseases could spread from an infected person to others.[8][9]

One theory of the spread of contagious diseases that were not spread by direct contact was that they were spread by spore-like "seeds" (Latin: semina) that were present in and dispersible through the air. In his poem, De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things, c. 56 BC), the Roman poet Lucretius (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC) stated that the world contained various "seeds", some of which could sicken a person if they were inhaled or ingested.[10][11]

Where does the buck stop?

a) Lizards

b) BJ

c) other - please specify

d) don't know

Post edited at 13:04
In reply to Glug:

> Everyone keeps saying how we should have been more like NZ, but they ignored WHO advice, so were they wrong to do that?

There is a new disease.  Which of the following two countries is going to have more disease spread?

  • Country A - they "ignore" the WHO advice by taking less stringent measures
  • Country B - they "ignore" the WHO advice by taking more stringent measures

This isn't  difficult to grock, but it is easy to boil down to a misleading quip.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   You've avoided  the issue. The issue is what happened, why what happened happened and how it could be done better.

No, you're trying to deflect blame from the government, and I'm stating the obvious that they carry the can. And further, we can see clearly that PM did not grasp what was happening until it was too late, while other leaders did. He failed. He is not fit to lead. The evidence for this is overwhelming.

I'm all for learning whatever we can from the failure to deal with the crisis, and have not suggested otherwise. That's absolutely consistent with the government being responsible for their failure to deal with crisis.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> How do you know the Swedish infection rate? There hasn't been much testing there. Again your 4th point was correct, why go on to contradict that?

> Even if you did know it with some confidence, why would you exclude care homes?

>

  Because if Sweden has an unexceptional rate outside care home it tells something about what is required in terms of policy for the general public (and care homes) to keep infection and mortality rate down. Is that hard to understand?

  I listed the questions expecting that people might have answers to some of them and surprised that they haven't. Can you tell me the situation in Sweden or should we add that to the list of unknowns?

 LeeWood 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Is that the Sharyl Attkinson who spreads fake news on the connections between vaccines and autism?

Thats right ! Society has been taught never to question vaccination - it's been made sacred - untouchable. All vaccines are good for you, old and new, those developped over 10 yrs and those developed over 12 months. 

In stark contrast to our current awareness of foodstuffs with their diverse origins and additives, all vaccines are safe - no need to know their ingredients - bypass the mouth and alimentary canal - go straight into your bloodstream. Trust BigPharma - never proved wrong - genuine altruistic motivation. Roll up your sleeves then ! 

PS. Richard Horton left that research on autism exposed in the Lancet for 12 yrs

9
 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

How about reading PMPs post early on where he said he was no fan  or supporter of Johnson...........

Or are you just assuming something.

7
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No, you're trying to deflect blame from the government, and I'm stating the obvious that they carry the can.

>

  I'm suggesting that we don't know enough yet to be sure what has  happened and why.

  I willingly acknowledge that my suspicion is that the simple narrative that the handling was disasterous and that this is because the personnel in the cabinet were useless and inept is probably exaggerated and certainly inadequate. I also willingly acknowledge that elements of their response, notably the messaging but no doubt other things, were pretty  rubbish.

  If you want ignore any need for evidence based analysis because   "It was all because of Boris" then so be it.

  What this thread has reminded me is that  the hard core of UKC posters have been sent so mad by Boris and brexit that they are no longer really able to apply the cerbral skills of which they are generally rather proud.

Post edited at 13:16
6
In reply to neilh:

> How about reading PMPs post early on where he said he was no fan  or supporter of Johnson...........

He might not have wanted Johnson for leader, but what he is trying to do in this thread is deflect blame from the government.

 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I listed the questions expecting that people might have answers to some of them and surprised that they haven't.

> So could people please stop pretending that we/they do?

Not really the way to ask for answers, is it?

 LeeWood 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Do you think that the fact that the PM caught the virus and nearly died himself tells us anything about whether or not he understood the seriousness of the situation?

He knew the answers when he quit hospital and declared war on the food industry ! And despite unambiguous research evidence - coronavirus admissions cut by half with better health - has the government ever acted on this ? If not why not ?

1
 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> How about reading PMPs post early on where he said he was no fan  or supporter of Johnson...........

> Or are you just assuming something.


It's not like he has any form on this matter is it?

 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Not sure you can draw any real conclusions by comparing NZ to UK. Chalk and cheese.

I am more interested in the likes of France and Germany which are more realistic in terms of wealth, size, population.

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Not really the way to ask for answers, is it?


What, by listing questions?

 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to malk:


Bravo, answers many of PP list, or at least gives explanations for them.

In reply to neilh:

> Not sure you can draw any real conclusions by comparing NZ to UK. Chalk and cheese.

Nor was I.  I was pointing out that it’s highly misleading to draw a parallel between the UK and NZ “ignoring WHO advice”.

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> It's not like he has any form on this matter is it?


On covid, no, I don't think so. On Boris? Yes, I've always been rather negative.

Post edited at 13:24
2
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   If you want ignore any need for evidence based analysis because   "It was all because of Boris" then so be it.

My take on it is that Boris is completely incompetent, as we can see from his reliance on Cummings. Through Brexit, he has hollowed out the Tory party and installed a cabinet of the weakest, most useless lackies left standing. Then he was hit with a crisis he didn't understand and wasn't capable of dealing with, and he didn't have anyone around him with any greater ability, because he made an enemy of anyone with a brain.

Perhaps new information will come out to show me I'm wrong. I'll bet both bollocks it won't. 

Post edited at 13:19
 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> What, by listing questions?


Stop playing dumb, you've really turned into some sort of vacuous troll lately.

"So could people please stop pretending that we/they do?"

You've already dismissed, what anyone is likely to say, it's like sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la I can't hear you"

You'll be moaning about dislikes next.

 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I think you miss PMP's point that it looks like even with a different set of politicians the machinery of the UK  " state" or government has not performed and it is unlikely would have done any better.

2
 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Thanks for clarifying

 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I get the impression that your worldview has been quite severely challenged by the pandemic and the UK government's handling of it.

>  I've not idea why you think that.

Going back to this point, it's your convoluted, inconsistent and sometimes aggressive attempts to defend your views which give me that impression.

Post edited at 13:28
In reply to neilh:

> I think you miss PMP's point that it looks like even with a different set of politicians the machinery of the UK  " state" or government has not performed and it is unlikely would have done any better.

I don't think it looks like that at all. The PM ignored the problem he was advised of, to the point where he caught the f*cking virus himself. He didn't take it seriously. A person capable of leading would have listened, made plans, and acted on them. Johnson failed, and surrounded himself by people who could not help him, because none of them are capable of, or motivated by, acting in the best interests of this country.

1
 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I think you miss PMP's point that it looks like even with a different set of politicians the machinery of the UK  " state" or government has not performed and it is unlikely would have done any better.


Based on what?

Based on, we don't have a PM like New Zealand's?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

>

> You've already dismissed, what anyone is likely to say, it's like sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la I can't hear you"

>

  I haven't "dismissed" it. I've wasted a morning arguing with them.

  Their position seems to be that the cabinet is so awful that ,regardless of knowing so little, we know that they were the cause of whatever went wrong, although we don't really know what that was.

 If you consider it "trolling" to think that this is an invalid view at this stage then you need to look up the word in a dictionary.

  

2
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Because if Sweden has an unexceptional rate outside care home it tells something about what is required in terms of policy for the general public (and care homes) to keep infection and mortality rate down. Is that hard to understand?

We don't know it has and again, why exclude care homes?

> Is that hard to understand?

The most significant word in there is the 2nd,'if'......the rest is consequently waffle.

>   I listed the questions expecting that people might have answers to some of them and surprised that they haven't. 

You started off with this request not to pretend to know answers to the questions that are still uncertain, fair enough. You then reel of this  list of current unanswerable questions, questions that have been answered, and points based on your assumed answers to the unanswerables. Ridiculous. I'm not going through each one, I'd expect to get paid for that in the same way I'd want paying to mark undergraduate assignments.

The questions I just asked you should be answerable by you, as they are based on your text. You've just avoided answering them, so I'll try again.

How do you know the Swedish infection rate? There hasn't been much testing there. Again your 4th point was correct, why go on to contradict that?

Even if you did know it with some confidence, why would you exclude care homes?

Why use the phrase 'minimal lockdown'? (clearly a contradiction!), when 'significant social distancing' would  describe the situation well enough?

Post edited at 13:38
In reply to Postmanpat: And you never answered this one! Go on, you can even speculate on this one.

> why was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom bragging about shaking as many hands as possible during a epidemic, shortly to be announced pandemic?

In reply to Postmanpat:

'What this thread has reminded me is that  the hard core of UKC posters have been sent so mad by Boris and brexit that they are no longer really able to apply the cerbral skills of which they are generally rather proud.'

If you look back to November (I won't blame you for not bothering) I was even prepared to give Johnson the benefit of the doubt - given that Brexit was a done deal maybe a one nation Tory was the best we could hope for, and rather better that May's inept dogmatism. By January the juvenile and adversarial approach to EU negotiations was beginning to wear me down; and the response  to the pandemic, despite all we knew from China, Italy and all the rest, was pure  bullsh*t that cost real people real lives that they didn't have to lose.

Since then, every time I've though that things can't get worse, they do. Can you name something that they have actually done that has worked well? (With the possible exception of Nightingale hospitals.)

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Their position seems to be that the cabinet is so awful that ,regardless of knowing so little, we know that they were the cause of whatever went wrong, although we don't really know what that was.

We've got an incompetent government. We've seen an incompetent response to the crisis (not 100% bad, the NHS was protected and emergency capacity built swiftly, the economic support was quick). The government is responsible for the response.

And yet you're trying to carve out some space for the incompetent government response not to be the fault of the incompetent government who are responsible for it. And then you wonder why we're laughing at you?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> > I get the impression that your worldview has been quite severely challenged by the pandemic and the UK government's handling of it.

> Going back to this point, it's your convoluted, inconsistent and sometimes aggressive attempts to defend your views which give me that impression.

  I really do think you've all lost your marbles.

My main point was -that we don't know enough yet to be sure what has  happened and why.

 That people can't accept that simple point is extraordinary and I will defend it .

 Obviously it  offended peoples' conviction that it was all Boris's fault so they pile in.

  I willingly acknowledge that my suspicion is that the simple narrative that the handling was disasterous and that this is because the personnel in the cabinet were useless and inept is probably exaggerated and certainly inadequate.

  There is nothing convoluted or inconsistent in consistently repeating the point in the face of people determined to argue, not that we know the answers to the questions, but that we don't need to know the answers.

5
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   There is nothing convoluted or inconsistent in consistently repeating the point in the face of people determined to argue, not that we know the answers to the questions, but that we don't need to know the answers.

You are right, we do need an answer!!!!!

Why was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom bragging about shaking as many hands as possible during a epidemic, shortly to be announced pandemic?

In reply to wercat:

> It is of course a "World Class" hull.

This is the first time in this dismal thread that I've laughed. Thanks.

In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Why was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom bragging about shaking as many hands as possible during a epidemic, shortly to be announced pandemic?

It's only "messaging" - what are you complaining about?

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> Thats right ! Society has been taught never to question vaccination - it's been made sacred - untouchable. All vaccines are good for you, old and new, those developped over 10 yrs and those developed over 12 months. 

This is just not true. Vaccines are often withdrawn or discontinued, because of safety concerns or because new and better vaccines are available (as well as for business reasons). And the medical and pharmaceutical professions are well aware of the the possibility of error as a legacy of the Cutter incident, which also led to a tightening up of safety standards. 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> And yet you're trying to carve out some space for the incompetent government response not to be the fault of the incompetent government who are responsible for it. And then you wonder why we're laughing at you?

>

   I don't think they are laughing. I think they are very angry.

  Actually I'm suggesting that an incompetent governments may not be the sole reason. I am not arguing that they got everything right. It may turn out that they were disasterously incompetent.

  My main point is that we don't know and I find it laughable that people can keep saying we do know without the facts. I'm sure you laugh at yourself , Jon "evidence based" Stewart, for now arguing that evidence is not required.

7
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    How do we know if NZ made the right policy decisions?

In very simple terms, we count the bodies!

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> And you never answered this one! Go on, you can even speculate on this one.

Shall we add that to the list of questions? Good man! Any more?

 john arran 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

According to your logic, Johnson ignored repeated calls from world experts to act in February and March, despite not knowing the answers to your questions. He then put in place a lockdown of sorts, despite not knowing the answers to your questions. He's subsequently relaxed the lockdown, despite not knowing the answers to your questions.
If he's been acting contrary to the best internationally available evidence at the time, surely the people most affected by his actions (the ones still alive at least) are entitled to know just what it is that's repeatedly convinced him to go against the grain. And surely the time to know that is now, while there's still chance to plot a less damaging course, rather than at some unspecified time later by means of a public inquiry.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   My main point is that we don't know and I find it laughable that people can keep saying we do know without the facts. I'm sure you laugh at yourself , Jon "evidence based" Stewart, for now arguing that evidence is not required.

There's ample evidence to conclude that the government response was poor. You're trying to set the bar too high because you don't like the evidence.

 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    I don't think they are laughing. I think they are very angry.

Nevertheless, you shouldn't discount the possibility that they are laughing at you. Many things are possible. 

>   Actually I'm suggesting that an incompetent governments may not be the sole reason. I am not arguing that they got everything right. It may turn out that they were disasterously incompetent.

Indeed it may. I for one would not be in the least bit surprised if that were the verdict. After all, they are doing quite a good impression of incompetence at the moment. 

 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I think you miss PMP's point that it looks like even with a different set of politicians the machinery of the UK  " state" or government has not performed and it is unlikely would have done any better.

Which bit of the machinery (as distinct from an elected government) do you think hasn't performed? HMRC managing to sort out millions of furlough payments? The NHS? Dwp dealing with a million extra claims to benefit? 

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> There's ample evidence to conclude that the government response was poor. You're trying to set the bar too high because you don't like the evidence.>

   There is, of course, a difference between "poor" and "disasterously incompetent".  I agree that the "poor"case is easy to make.

In reply to Postmanpat:

> Shall we add that to the list of questions? Good man! Any more?

Yeah

How does Postmanpat know the Swedish infection rate (excluding care homes) when Sweden has not carried out extensive testing?

Even the limited data that is available does does not show higher infection number amongst the care home demographic

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107905/number-of-coronavirus-cases-in-sweden-by-age-groups/

How does Postmanpat reconcile his claim with that?

Post edited at 14:08
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Which bit of the machinery (as distinct from an elected government) do you think hasn't performed? HMRC managing to sort out millions of furlough payments? The NHS? Dwp dealing with a million extra claims to benefit? 


  Well here's a thing. I was being told by people dealing with PHE in probably early April that it was a shit show. "Like a website with an empty room behind it was one description". (they were alos quite rude about Hancock but later warmed to him)Just recently the "right wing" media has begun to latch on to this but it still doesn't seem to be recognised as a major problem.

  Similarly, the PPE crisis. We understand that the NHS said in late January that they had enough PPE. They were instructed to order more anyway (Sunday Times). It turns out that they didn't have enough and they couldn't get whatever they ordered.

  So, it seems that the PHE and the NHS procurement and stock auditing processes were crap.

  The media eg.Panorama did sweet FA to pursue this story. The narrative was that the "government" had done nothing.We still don't know. We need to know.

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

  Actually from articles like this

https://www.euronews.com/2020/05/21/are-care-homes-the-dark-side-of-sweden-s-coronavirus-strategy

and some charts I think I saw. I'll see if I can find them later.

But I'm quite happy to be corrected. That was one of the reasons to post the thread.

In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Actually from articles like this

That's looking at death rates. Covid-19 death rates are much higher in the old, so it's not indicative of infection rate by age.

> But I'm quite happy to be corrected. 

you're welcome.

Post edited at 14:37
 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Well here's a thing. I was being told by people dealing with PHE in probably early April that it was a shit show. "Like a website with an empty room behind it was one description". (they were alos quite rude about Hancock but later warmed to him)Just recently the "right wing" media has begun to latch on to this but it still doesn't seem to be recognised as a major problem.

Which bit of it was a shit show? What major problem are you referring to? 

>   Similarly, the PPE crisis. We understand that the NHS said in late January that they had enough PPE. They were instructed to order more anyway (Sunday Times). It turns out that they didn't have enough and they couldn't get whatever they ordered.

What question was the NHS asked in January? Had enough PPE for what? "Have you got enough PPE?" is a facile question without some context. 

>   So, it seems that the PHE and the NHS procurement and stock auditing processes were crap.

Oh no, who's in charge again? 

>   The media eg.Panorama did sweet FA to pursue this story. The narrative was that the "government" had done nothing.We still don't know. We need to know.

You haven't really explained what your "story" is. 

 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Well it seems OK to ignore WHO advice not to lock down if you are NZ, but you should blindly follow their advice if you are the UK, obviously it's easy to say we should have done something different after the fact. 

5
In reply to Glug:

> Well it seems OK to ignore WHO advice not to lock down if you are NZ, but you should blindly follow their advice if you are the UK, obviously it's easy to say we should have done something different after the fact. 

One went below the advice, one beyond.  We ignored the advice by doing things likely to make the spread worse, NZ ignored the advice by doing more and making the spread likely to be less worse - so yes that is okay for NZ to do that.  I’m not sure why you find this such a challenging concept.

If a building was on fire and I told you and someone else not to go in, and you then went in and the other person ran away, who is the idiot and who did something sensible even if it is “ignoring my advice”?

I and many others were saying we should not have gone below the WHO advice, before the fact. So yes, it is very easy for me to say we should have done so after the fact, standing in the country with likely the worst per capita excess deaths on the planet and forecast to have worse economic damage than any EU country.

In reply to Postmanpat:

> The media eg.Panorama did sweet FA to pursue this story

The BBC not investigating government incompetence? Why do you think that might be...?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

  They were ask something along the lines of whether they had sufficient ppe supplies to a pandemics.Source is Sunday Times. But you can add it to the “don't knows“

The “story” is that the institutions supposed to ensure PPE supplies were a shambles but this was neVer explored. Easier to personalise it .

but we don’t know.....

 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   The media eg.Panorama did sweet FA to pursue this story. The narrative was that the "government" had done nothing.We still don't know. We need to know.

Excellent! You've found someone to blame - it's all Panorama's fault. You should tell Johnson and Hancock - they'll be delighted to know they bear no responsibility. 

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

So PHE were rubbish? Who set them up? Who has oversight of them? 

 abr1966 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I didn't realise you were back on UKC....posting your usual style I see PP!

Subtle, obscure defence of your blue team masters whilst throwing a few curve balls in to try and it make it you like you aren't really!!

What's up....worried about the value of your portfolio?! ;-)

In reply to Postmanpat: Now from what we've both posted, we can conclude that for those infected with Covid-19, Sweden has a significantly lower fatality rate amongst the middle aged (roughly 40-70).

So we could ask the question... why does a modern social democracy with better general health than the UK, and lower income inequality than the UK, have better Covid-19 outcomes than the UK?

 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>  ...... then you need to look up the word in a dictionary.

Dictionary!! I don't know the meaning of the word!

 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

> ..... Trust BigPharma - never proved wrong - genuine altruistic motivation. Roll up your sleeves then ! 

> PS. Richard Horton left that research on autism exposed in the Lancet for 12 yrs

ha ha!

 Ian W 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   They were ask something along the lines of whether they had sufficient ppe supplies to a pandemics.Source is Sunday Times. But you can add it to the “don't knows“

> The “story” is that the institutions supposed to ensure PPE supplies were a shambles but this was neVer explored. Easier to personalise it .

> but we don’t know.....

Except that we do, and it was explored.

According to Matt Hancock, the problem was not in the acquisition of PPE, but in the distribution. Now, I agree with him on this one; my company has had no problem acquiring PPE through normal channels, so thats fine. The only difference is that ours was all from known, existing reliable sources, unlike his, which were from companies not previously involved in this industry. I am happy also with his assertion that distribution was the problem; he should know, as he is in charge of the company responsible for distribution. (many threads passim; just do a search, or look at articles in various newspapers0.

 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Correct, but against WHO Advice.

In reply to Glug:

> Correct, but against WHO Advice.

So which country do you think will be under scrutiny?

The country with negligible excess deaths?

or

The country with >60000 excess deaths?

whadya reckon Glug?

In reply to Glug:

> Correct, but against WHO Advice.

Not exactly against it.  The WHO were saying it wasn’t necessary, not that it shouldn’t be done.  

NZ did more than the advice.  UK did less.  Pretending the two things are in any way comparable is silly in the extreme.  Some people choosing to be more cautions than advice doesn’t justify of excuse others choosing to be less cautious than advice.  That’s a bloody stupid damned fool argument.

Post edited at 15:53
 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

You were advising a lockdown early, well done but you only had to say it on a forum with no real life economic consequences, pretty easy to look back and say I got it right, if however there hadn't been a widespread infection, you would have destroyed the economy for nothing. 

5
In reply to Glug:

> You were advising a lockdown early, well done but you only had to say it on a forum with no real life economic consequences,

You should try not to jump to assumptions.  

  1. I said it to my employer, as did many other scientists in the organisation.  Ultimately they shut down face-to-face teaching about 10 days before lockdown cancelling perhaps 150,000 contact hours, many in small, poorly ventilated spaces.  This directly impacted 15,000 students and created a lot of extra work for myself and many others.  Work that my colleagues and I have tirelessly pursued over the last 3 months often without any childcare or access to our normal facilities, to make sure that student learning continues as strongly as possible despite the exceptional (on a world stage) level of disruption present from a massive ball dropping in the UK.  No furlough vacations for any of us. 
  2. I said it to my MP for what use that is worth.
  3. In another role I am a founder of a new company.  I and my colleagues have spent quite a lot of the last 3 months dealing with the real life economic consequences.   Despite - or because of - this, I think myself and all my colleagues would have locked down sooner if we could have.

> pretty easy to look back and say I got it right, if however there hadn't been a widespread infection, you would have destroyed the economy for nothing. 

Three scenarios:

  1. We lock down early, we get it wrong and we didn't need to lockdown.  We release lockdown and 2-3 weeks of damage is done to the economy.  That is way less damage than has now been done to the economy.
  2. We lock down early, we get it right, and we are able to come out of lockdown after 4-6 weeks of damage to the economy. That is much less damage than has now been done to the economy.
  3. We lock down late, and after about 14 weeks of lockdown there is no final exit from lockdown in sight because the virus spread so much that a longer lockdown was required, but the ability of the economy to tolerate a hard lockdown is failing and it's being softened faster than is recommended from a purely epidemiological perspective because of wider economic and social necessity.

This much was also obvious at the time - this idea of "waiting for the right time to lock down" is scientific nonsense as a later lockdown means a longer lockdown.  

Post edited at 16:15
1
 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Refer to my earlier point on the role of the Cabinet Secretary to protect the cabinet and the consequences of the failures of contingency planning which included what would have happened if  Johnson had go onto an incubator.

Never mind Covid, this tpe of situation should be covered in some form of emergencey planning.This should have included stopping Johnson from shaking hands, effectively overriding his natural desire ( and any other politicians) so to do.

I consider that whole period a shocking failure of the state to protect its key decision makers as a number of people were hit by Covid and effectively sidelined whilst they recovered.

If this is not a blatant example of a state failure then I do not know what is.

At least if Trump is taken out, the USA state machine knows exactly what happens.

UK Gov was left floundering as it was apparent that nobody knew if Raab was in charge or not for example.

 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

There are some parts which have performed remarkably well ( I would suggest the digital parts becuase their systems allowed them to do that)) . Also some parts of the private sector- food distribution , power, utilities, financial services, Amazon and other distribution services being examples.Planning and implementation top notch.

NHS did well. I have expresseed my views elsehwere that because they were allowed to wind down and restrucure for Covid without a lockdown, the NHS proved very resiliant.

 Ian W 01 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Refer to my earlier point on the role of the Cabinet Secretary to protect the cabinet and the consequences of the failures of contingency planning which included what would have happened if  Johnson had go onto an incubator.

The cabinet however have to be part of this contingency planning, and appeared to not want to be. The contingency plan (as happened) would be for the first minister (Raab) would step into the PM's shoes (he did) and government would continue (it did). 

> Never mind Covid, this tpe of situation should be covered in some form of emergencey planning.This should have included stopping Johnson from shaking hands, effectively overriding his natural desire ( and any other politicians) so to do.

Unfortunately, he couldn't stop BJ shaking hands because BJ appeared to not want to follow any advice. The only way to stop him (and others who share the same mindset) is to physically separate him from any possibility of it happening by removing him from office for the duration of the danger (spare fridge, anyone?). The civil service can only advise in these cases, thay cant 00% physically prevent. We know he had been advised not to shake hands, as we ALL had been.

> I consider that whole period a shocking failure of the state to protect its key decision makers as a number of people were hit by Covid and effectively sidelined whilst they recovered.

From above, the only way to protect the PM given his mindset (post event pride and bragging about having shaken hands with all and sundry) would be to remove him from office for the period, which would be a bit drastic given he is the leader of the party voted into government by the population of a parliamentary democracy. The responsibility does also lie at the PM;'s door also for protecting himself.

> If this is not a blatant example of a state failure then I do not know what is.

> At least if Trump is taken out, the USA state machine knows exactly what happens.

> UK Gov was left floundering as it was apparent that nobody knew if Raab was in charge or not for example.

He replaced the PM for the duration, that was very clear. Its part of the govermnents well defined cabinet structure. But we all know that Cummings was really in charge throughout. Hence the floundering when he was self isolating in London / Durham (delete as applicable depending on whether you believe the article he helped his wife write in the spectator or the article he read out in the rose garden).

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> Except that we do, and it was explored.

> According to Matt Hancock, the problem was not in the acquisition of PPE, but in the distribution.

  I know it reported to him so he's responsible blah blah.

But which institution or people in practice, on the ground, failed to ensure that supplies got to the right place and why? In a few sentences.

4
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Excellent! You've found someone to blame - it's all Panorama's fault.

>

   You seem to be very confused.They are responsible, for failing to investigate the issues (which is their job), not for causing the issues. Can you tell the difference?

Post edited at 16:38
6
 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I'm not confused at all. You've spent the day trying to explain why responsibility for any of the mis-steps do not lie with the government, but you didn't manage to find anyone else to whom responsibility could be attributed. But now that you've identified that fault lies with the Panorama, you seem to have resolved that particular issue. I'm sure you're very pleased with that outcome. 

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> But now that you've identified that fault lies with the Panorama, you seem to have resolved that particular issue.

>

  What fault lies with Panorama?

 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   What fault lies with Panorama?

What would you like? Blame them for everything, it's the BBC after all. They're bound to be to blame for something, so you may as well pile everything onto them. Saves looking for anyone else to take an ounce of responsibility. 

1
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Now from what we've both posted, we can conclude that for those infected with Covid-19, Sweden has a significantly lower fatality rate amongst the middle aged (roughly 40-70).

>  

   I'm not with you: I wrote" -why Sweden, outside care homes, has an unexceptional infection rate despite having minimal lockdown"

I probably should have put "death rate" but I am going to assume that the mortality rate per infection in Sweden is not freakishly different.

What are you saying? Excluding the over 80s, who make up 66% of deaths to covid in Sweden, does, Sweden have a death rate markedly different to the rest of most other European countries?

My understanding is that it doesn't but have you a direct comparison for, let's say the 40-70 age group with Spain, Italy, France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium?

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> What would you like?

>

  An answer. I'm suspecting you don't know.

But if you don't have a point and just want a rant just say so.

6
 Harry Jarvis 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> But if you don't have a point and just want a rant just say so.

A rant? I rather suspect that if we counted the numbers of words you've written and that I've written on this thread, you would come out quite some way ahead. 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> A rant? I rather suspect that if we counted the numbers of words you've written and that I've written on this thread, you would come out quite some way ahead. 

I'm absolutely sure it would but I had a point. You can't tell me what yours is. What fault do you think lies with Panorama or I think lies with Panorama? Are you struggling?

1
In reply to Postmanpat:

> >  

>    I'm not with you: I wrote" -why Sweden, outside care homes, has an unexceptional infection rate despite having minimal lockdown"

> I probably should have put "death rate" but I am going to assume that the mortality rate per infection in Sweden is not freakishly different.

If mortality rate per infection is in Sweden is the same as everywhere else then they have a high infection rate. Trying to exclude care homes is an absolute nonsense. Care homes don't exist in a vacuum, the virus can't 'fly' between then, it's indicative of a high general infection rate.

I originally went off this

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107905/number-of-coronavirus-cases-in-sweden-by-age-groups/

> What are you saying? Excluding the over 80s, who make up 66% of deaths to covid in Sweden, does, Sweden have a death rate markedly different to the rest of most other European countries?

Still much higher than comparable countries (Nordic). But you're still on this nonsense about excluding elderly deaths. Again, they are indicative of general infection rates. There's no reason to exclude them unless you are desperate to make some kind of political point.

> My understanding is that it doesn't but have you a direct comparison for, let's say the 40-70 age group with Spain, Italy, France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium?

It looks like it might be the case, taking the link above and these

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107913/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-sweden-by-age-groups/

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/discover/2020/04/understanding-the-statistics-coronavirus/

but no I don't have time to look for direct comparison stats. Maybe you do? It would be interesting.

Post edited at 17:39
 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

What you said was  "I think you miss PMP's point that it looks like even with a different set of politicians the machinery of the UK  " state" or government has not performed and it is unlikely would have done any better."

In response to which I asked

" Which bit of the machinery (as distinct from an elected government) do you think hasn't performed? HMRC managing to sort out millions of furlough payments? The NHS? Dwp dealing with a million extra claims to benefit?"

So I don't know wtf amazon have got to do with it. 

 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

If an early lock down was the obvious choice to make according to WHO, and we were led by incompetent fools who decided that was the incorrect thing to do ,(according to most of the people on this forum) why didn't every other country in the world lock down at the same time in early March? and then there would be no deaths according to you, also no long term economic disruption because it would have only been for a couple of weeks. I think it's much harder to make those sort of decisions in real life when there are more consequences from getting it wrong, than you deciding on a personal level that it's the best course of action. 

3
 LeeWood 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> This is just not true. Vaccines are often withdrawn or discontinued, because of safety concerns 

So it shouldn't be a problem that Sharyl Attkisson critiques them too !

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

I think you are confusing anti-vax conspiracy theories with the application of empirical evidence and overall quality standards. 

 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

>  The WHO were saying it wasn’t necessary,

That was only very early on, not when we had time to do it, and could see what was happening in Italy and Spain.

In reply to Glug:

> why didn't every other country in the world lock down at the same time in early March? 

Partly because not every country was where we were in mid March.  

You still seem to be struggling with the difference between ignoring advice and acting beyond advice, and the clear lack of equivalence between the two.

> and then there would be no deaths according to you,  

Show me where I said that?  I don’t believe I did.  If you are going to keep taking what I say and twisting it to a ridiculous extreme, this is going to become very pointless very quickly.

> also no long term economic disruption because it would have only been for a couple of weeks

Again, I did not say this. You seem to have serious reading comprehension problems and take any disagreement with what you say to an extreme view beyond what was actually said. What I said is that perhaps we could have had a shorter lockdown, with fewer economic consequences, if we had started sooner. 

>  I think it's much harder to make those sort of decisions in real life when there are more consequences from getting it wrong, than you deciding on a personal level that it's the best course of action. 

I am not saying that the optimum decision was easy to find or make, but it really wasn’t hard not to make a catastrophically bad decision. Well perhaps it is hard when you aren’t up to the job and you are surrounded by a cabinet who were largely picked by surviving the most recent purge, which like most ideological purges removed people with integrity and competence.  Rotten luck to have an opposition that had been gutted by similar purges.  You will I hope note from my previous post, even if you actively ignored it in what you wrote, that when I was adbocating or lockdown there were more than just personal consequences for me.

Post edited at 17:59
 LeeWood 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I think you are confusing anti-vax conspiracy theories with the application of empirical evidence and overall quality standards. 

For anyone paying attention - the pandemic has proved more than ever that 'empirical evidence' is soft as putty in face of political and financial pressure

2
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> If mortality rate per infection is in Sweden is the same as everywhere else then they have a high infection rate. Trying to exclude care homes is an absolute nonsense. Care homes don't exist in a vacuum, the virus can't 'fly' between then, it's indicative of a high general infection rate.

     I get all that. But what the Swedes seem to have found is that having no actual lockdown didn't cause any higher mortality or infection rate amongst the general populace than elsewhere.

   They are saying that their mistake was to fail to adequately isolate care homes. The conclusion from this would surely be that as far as the general populace is concerned having a full lockdown does not make much difference compared to the Swedish measures?

  So, with hindsight the mistake might not be so much the date of lockdown but the security of the elderly, especially care homes.

This is interesting:https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/28/the-progress-of-the-covid-19-epidemic-in-sweden-an-analysis/

"The absence of a lockdown order, with the government largely trusting people to make their own individual decisions regarding their behaviour, informed by their particular circumstances, has enabled life to continue with less disruption and reduction of people’s autonomy in Sweden than in most other western European countries. While this has also meant that COVID-19 deaths to date have been higher than in some (but not all) other countries in which a lockdown was imposed, the wider spread of the epidemic in Sweden means that the future COVID-19 outlook there is better."

  My point, as ever, is that we still don't know enough to draw firm conclusions on the right policy mix and therefore it is difficult to identify exactly where different countries went wrong (or right).

Post edited at 18:13
2
In reply to Postmanpat:

> > 

>      I get all that. But what the Swedes seem to have found is that having no actual lockdown didn't cause any higher mortality or infection rate amongst the general populace than elsewhere.

No, they have a much higher mortality rate than comparable countries (Nordic), and probably infection rate but that's harder to know as it's estimated.

>    They are saying that their mistake was to fail to adequately isolate care homes. The conclusion from this would surely be that as far as the general populace is concerned having a full lockdown does not make much difference compared to the Swedish measures?

Some of them are. Your conclusion depends on comparing Sweden with larger, more densely populated countries, with more interconnected cities.

Looking at this, https://luminocity3d.org/WorldPopDen/#5/55.986/13.557 it would not be sensible IMO  to draw conclusions by comparing to Sewden to the UK and Low counties, for example. But meaningful comparisons could be made between Nordic countries.

>   So, with hindsight the mistake might not be so much the date of lockdown but the security of the elderly, especially care homes.

Or assuming you can isolate care homes. I doubt it could actually be done, certainly not for the timescale required.

 Bob Kemp 01 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

You seem to be pursuing an anti-science agenda for some reason. And your point isn't relevant to the discussion about fake news and vaccines. 

 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > why didn't every other country in the world lock down at the same time in early March? 

> Partly because not every country was where we were in mid March.  

> You still seem to be struggling with the difference between ignoring advice and acting beyond advice, and the clear lack of equivalence between the two.

You seem to be struggling with the idea that if it was the best course of action to lock down early, why didn't every country in the world just lock down, it doesn't matter where they were at the time, if it was the best course of action. 

> > and then there would be no deaths according to you,  

> Show me where I said that?  I don’t believe I did.  If you are going to keep taking what I say and twisting it to a ridiculous extreme, this is going to become very pointless very quickly.

OK fair enough you didn't say no deaths (and I wasn't trying to point score) but if the logical conclusion from you is lock down early, then the reason for that must be to reduce the number of deaths by as much as possible, so if that's true why didn't every country just lock down early? I think it's because there is more to think about than just the number of deaths.

> Again, I did not say this. You seem to have serious reading comprehension problems and take any disagreement with what you say to an extreme view beyond what was actually said. What I said is that perhaps we could have had a shorter lockdown, with fewer economic consequences, if we had started sooner. 

No need to get personal, I don't have an extreme view one way or the other, I just think there is more to it than just saying we should lock down earlier. 

> >  I think it's much harder to make those sort of decisions in real life when there are more consequences from getting it wrong, than you deciding on a personal level that it's the best course of action. 

> I am not saying that the optimum decision was easy to find or make, but it really wasn’t hard not to make a catastrophically bad decision. Well perhaps it is hard when you aren’t up to the job and you are surrounded by a cabinet who were largely picked by surviving the most recent purge, which like most ideological purges removed people with integrity and competence.  Rotten luck to have an opposition that had been gutted by similar purges.  You will I hope note from my previous post, even if you actively ignored it in what you wrote, that when I was adbocating or lockdown there were more than just personal consequences for me.

This just comes across as you showing your hatred of a Tory government, what ever they had done I think you would be criticising them, but then everyone is entitled to their own opinions, doesn't mean it's wrong. 

5
In reply to Glug:

> You seem to be struggling with the idea that if it was the best course of action to lock down early, why didn't every country in the world just lock down, it doesn't matter where they were at the time, if it was the best course of action. 

That's not an "idea", that's a statement.  I'm not struggling with it.  Some countries have made worse choices, others have made better.  We it seems have made some of the worst choices - we likely have the worst excess deaths and one of the longest lockdowns.    

> OK fair enough you didn't say no deaths (and I wasn't trying to point score) but if the logical conclusion from you is lock down early, then the reason for that must be to reduce the number of deaths by as much as possible, so if that's true why didn't every country just lock down early?

Well quite, I often ask myself that.  The ones that could lock down earlier *in their timeline* were the ones who had had consistent messaging from government about what was coming to their people (in some cases from before Covid was on the scene because unlike the UK they had not hurried the results of their pandemic planning exercises out of shame), and who were prepared.  Compare to us where we had a PM sending a totally wrong message (e.g. shaking hands) which made it incredibly hard for our government to get public support for a lockdown before there were crazy death counts to scare people in to accepting it.  

> I think it's because there is more to think about than just the number of deaths.

If you mean "the economy" it's a flawed argument because a later lockdown is a longer lockdown.  This has been known for a long time.

> No need to get personal, I don't have an extreme view one way or the other, I just think there is more to it than just saying we should lock down earlier. 

I am not saying you have extreme views, I am saying that you are taking my views and pretending they are an extreme when you reply to them.  You keep doing it.  You just did it again (read on to find out...).  It comes across as either a very biased style of debate or not taking the time to read what I have written before jumping to wildly inaccurate conclusions about my views.

> This just comes across as you showing your hatred of a Tory government

Again you seem to be jumping to conclusions.  If you re-read my post you will see that I also have the same comment about the Labour party.  So why do you think I have hatred of "a Tory government".  I have not said that.  I am deeply unhappy with the age of political pygmies we entered as both main parties became driving by ideology and underwent strong purges of those opposed to their leaderships.  I think it is toxic for society and I can hardly call our current government Torys.   

> what ever they had done I think you would be criticising them,

Nonsense.  Let us be clear - their actions have resulted in more per-capita deaths than any other on the planet.  They have resulted us being stuck in lockdown for > 100 days without an end currently in sight.  If that isn't worth criticism I don't know what is.   You seem focused on the issue of lockdown.  To expand my complaints - if we had banned all inbound travel from affected nations immediately with the exception of proper quarantining of returning residents, we would probably never have had to lock down.  I'm more than a bit concerned at how our utter failure to respond appropriately to this suggests that our state/military readiness for a concerted biological attack is perhaps little more than a pipe dream.  Not a great thing to show the world.

Post edited at 19:38
 DaveHK 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> If you are going to keep taking what I say and twisting it to a ridiculous extreme, this is going to become very pointless very quickly.

Sadly, that has been the defining characteristic of a great deal of the 'discussion' around this pandemic.

 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

We are never going to agree, so I'll leave it there.

In reply to Glug:

> We are never going to agree, so I'll leave it there.

I think that’s better than you repeatedly arguing against points I haven’t made or views I haven’t held.  

 Blunderbuss 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Glug:

Probably for the best mate...don't want to continue making a fool of yourself. 

2
 Pefa 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

So if Corbyn won the election and duly received the same levels of outrage from the public for his handling of the pandemic as Johnson has, then you would be on here saying ' wait everyone let's wait for an enquiry before deciding who is to blame'?

You must admit you wouldn't and you must also admit this thread looks very much like you covering up for your Tory chums. Though it is also a precursor to what will happen when the establishment gets to work covering up all their crimes from this pandemic so they come out like saints smelling of Roses. 

 neilh 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Widening it to show that plenty of other organisations in the U.K. coped very well.

Their planning was better. 
 

just ask next time instead of throwing a wobbly. 

Post edited at 20:30
2
 LeeWood 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You seem to be pursuing an anti-science agenda for some reason. And your point isn't relevant to the discussion about fake news and vaccines. 

The role of science has been marginalised in this pandemic. It's all about politics and money. The whole thing is an exercise in manipulation.

Checkout these vids - Sharyl Attkisson interviews on pandemic topics:

The Wuhan Connection | Full Measure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gfS7UVgKeo&

Hydroxychloroquine | Full Measure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB-_SV-y11Y&

1
 Glug 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Twat

8
 Ian W 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I know it reported to him so he's responsible blah blah.

> But which institution or people in practice, on the ground, failed to ensure that supplies got to the right place and why? In a few sentences.


https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10881715/persons-with-significant-control

and

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/01/revealed-nhs-procurement-official-privately-selling-ppe

and

https://www.ft.com/content/9680c20f-7b71-4f65-9bec-0e9554a8e0a7

That'll do, its all been debated ad infinitum on other threads in the past. Stop messing about on here and do somw swlf ducation. You'll be much better palced to actually answer a question yourself. If you can't / won't, then i'm not going to invest time in doing it for you.

 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Widening it to show that plenty of other organisations in the U.K. coped very well.

And not answering the question. 

> Their planning was better. 

Than who? What problems do you have with the machinery of government as opposed to the elected government? 

> just ask next time instead of throwing a wobbly. 

That's in your head, silly man. 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Ian W:

  Well, exactly !!! Have you actually read the FT article? It's exactly what I'm surmising. PHE, NHS, civil servants all failing to get their act together probably largely for reasons "inherent in the system" (Monty Python) A systemic problem of failing institutions and processes.

"The joint intervention can serve as a coda to a period that has tested NHS staff to the limit and exposed deficiencies — of planning, supply chain management and the UK’s manufacturing base — that might have remained permanently hidden had the pandemic not struck."

  The same issues hindered testing, vaccines etc etc.

Why weren't the idiots Peston, Kuensberg, Morgan, Panorama etc pursuing this?

Why hasn't that become the dominant narrative instead of the fools on UKC thinking it's all down to a few politicians?

Post edited at 21:17
10
 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> So if Corbyn won the election and duly received the same levels of outrage from the public for his handling of the pandemic as Johnson has, then you would be on here saying ' wait everyone let's wait for an enquiry before deciding who is to blame'?

>

  That's a fair question. I think that Corbyn would have done a worse job in pulling the levers of a basically flawed system. So I think and hope I would have argued that he was useless but that his job was impossible and the system needed fixing.

  It would be nice if the haters on UKC would even go as far to admit that it was a little more complex than "It's Boris".

5
 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   That's a fair question. I think that Corbyn would have done a worse job in pulling the levers of a basically flawed system. So I think and hope I would have argued that he was useless but that his job was impossible and the system needed fixing.

>   It would be nice if the haters on UKC would even go as far to admit that it was a little more complex than "It's Boris".

It would be nice if you could point to one person who has said "it's Boris". 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> It would be nice if you could point to one person who has said "it's Boris". 

Unbelievable. You know perfectly well that the basic hysteria of the UKC coven is that "It's the Tories, don't pretend it isn''t". If you want to think you are being clever by distinguishing between "Tories" and Boris, feel free.

Otherwise, why do you think that suggesting that we don't understand what happened is apparently so controversial?

8
 Sir Chasm 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Unbelievable. You know perfectly well that the basic hysteria of the UKC coven is that "It's the Tories, don't pretend it isn''t". If you want to think you are being clever by distinguishing between "Tories" and Boris, feel free.

The basic hysteria seems to largely be coming from you. The UKC coven? Calm down, dear. 

> Otherwise, why do you think that suggesting that we don't understand what happened is apparently so controversial?

Your premise in the op was bollocks, you gave a long list and imagined that people (unidentified people) claimed they knew the answers. After a nice long break can't you do any better? 

 Postmanpat 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> The basic hysteria seems to largely be coming from you. The UKC coven? Calm down, dear. 

>

  At least try and make an interesting point for Gods sake.

7
 SenzuBean 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I bet you haven't tasted food for years with all the boot polish on your tongue.

 SenzuBean 01 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Meet one idiot in the morning - they're the idiot. Meet idiots all day - you're the idiot.

Your tortuous logic to defend the government is ridiculous stuff.
To heap more onto the analogies you probably won't listen to - you're doing the equivalent of saying "we don't know what every wasp in the swarm is doing, therefore we're powerless to decide on a course of action!". Pandemics are like wasp swarms - we have no damn idea what every individual infection is up to, just as we have no idea how an individual wasp moving at seemingly random affects the swarm. But the swarm has momentum, it has a general behaviour that if you arrived at the same wasp swarm scenario a thousand times more you'd see the same behaviour 999 times. This is actually pretty basic science, and your writing shows a profound and total lack of understanding of these concepts - if you want to actually write something of substance then go and learn these concepts.

 Ian W 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Well, exactly !!! Have you actually read the FT article? It's exactly what I'm surmising. PHE, NHS, civil servants all failing to get their act together probably largely for reasons "inherent in the system" (Monty Python) A systemic problem of failing institutions and processes.

Yes i have, otherwise I wouldn't have posted the link.

It isn't what you are surmising (well, it might be, but you haven't expressed yourself very clearly on that one).

> "The joint intervention can serve as a coda to a period that has tested NHS staff to the limit and exposed deficiencies — of planning, supply chain management and the UK’s manufacturing base — that might have remained permanently hidden had the pandemic not struck."

It is the job of government to head up the planning, like they did in 2016 (pandemic scenarios), which they then ignored / didnt follow up. The Department of health is named as the "person of significant control" of the company responsible for ppe distribution (did you even look at the direct link to the page i linked and actually think about what that means?). Further, it takes mere seconds to discover that the company where the ppe is stored had been sold during th early stages of the pandemic, and the military had to go in to organise the logistics for them as they couldn't do it themselves.

>   The same issues hindered testing, vaccines etc etc.

> Why weren't the idiots Peston, Kuensberg, Morgan, Panorama etc pursuing this?

They were; there are many column inches and tv minutes devoted to exactly this - I invited you to do a quick bit of research; you have clearly failed to do that, otherwise you would have seen how your idiots (and others) aren't possibly quite as idiotic as you make out.

> Why hasn't that become the dominant narrative instead of the fools on UKC thinking it's all down to a few politicians?

A couple of reasons; it was fairly thoroughly discussed, and both the UKC hive , alongside the press etc came to the conclusion that virtually all roads led back to the dept of health.

It appears that with your return, the fool pool on UKC has welcomed back one of its most prominent members. Please go and educate yourself a little more and with more of an open mind; just because everyone disagrees with you doesn't necessarily mean they are either wrong, or fools.........

 Glug 02 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> I think that’s better than you repeatedly arguing against points I haven’t made or views I haven’t held.  

OK, sorry I can see where I've become confused about your position.

I thought you had been calling for an earlier lock down, and had stated that you knew what was coming as early as February, and because our Government hadn't locked down weeks earlier, they were responsible for many more deaths and a much bigger economic hit, which I can see the logic of.

From that position it seems like the logical answer to defeating the virus and saving many thousands of lives, and reducing global economic problems, is for all countries (that aren't led by the incompetents we have) to have locked down at the same time in February, and that WHO would be recommending that to happen, but that isn't what happened, so my argument is that there must be more considerations to be weighed up, than to just locking down at the first sign of problems. 

Maybe things aren't quite so black and white for me,  sure it's easy to say we should have done this or that, but I think it's much harder when you are the person making those life and death decisions, pretty sure there are many things the Government have done wrong, but there must be many things they have got right. No I'm not going to try and list any😉

As I said before I'm not trying to score points or win an argument, we are all entitled to have an opinion, and as much as I enjoy reading this forum it can be a bit of an echo chamber at times with the constant Government bashing, so foolishly I thought I might try and give them some benefit of the doubt.

5
 LeeWood 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> A couple of reasons; it was fairly thoroughly discussed, and both the UKC hive , alongside the press etc came to the conclusion that virtually all roads led back to the dept of health.

But that is only a start. The Uk and USA stand out as the the most colourful performers on the pandemic stage, but all the western nations have broadly followed suit. Our nearest neighbours - France & Spain - both lamenting pandemic woes.

Which is why it is reasonable to look for steering influence moving behind all these countries.

There is another UKC - UK Column. 

In reply to Postmanpat:

Life isn't black and white. We know partial or probable or approximate answers to those questions

 neilh 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I will give you a specific example of  failure in the machinery of govt.. Yesterday we had an announcements that a data sharing agreement had been signed between national and local govt.Why was there not one in place already?Does that mean information to Leicester local teams was held back because of some legal technical issue over data protection which had not been thought through. Why had that not been identified in the plannng done previously.

 Sir Chasm 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I will give you a specific example of  failure in the machinery of govt.. Yesterday we had an announcements that a data sharing agreement had been signed between national and local govt.Why was there not one in place already?Does that mean information to Leicester local teams was held back because of some legal technical issue over data protection which had not been thought through. Why had that not been identified in the plannng done previously.

So we don't know why there weren't agreements in place, but you know that it's a failure of the machinery rather than government. Pardon me if I don't take that at face value.

And anyway, according to the BBC Johnson says that the figures have been shared with all local authorities. Who to believe?

 Postmanpat 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> Yes i have, otherwise I wouldn't have posted the link.

> It isn't what you are surmising (well, it might be, but you haven't expressed yourself very clearly on that one).

>

  Hahaha. You might want to check the thread I started on 4th May PPE What went wrong...? and the article I Iinked to (which I'd forgotten about)

  I think it was clear enough.

"-how and by whom government policy was formulated
-what information by the civil service, NHS, PHE and other bureacracies was given to the cabinet
-who/what institution was responsible for execution of policy
-what decisions those responsible took e.g. use or not to use the private sector for testing, to build an independent tracing app etc.

-why those decisions were taken"

  And the analogy about The ship and it's crew etc.

  See my post of 14.08 yesterday and neilh's earlier, who had clearly understood my point.

  I deliberately didn't say these  institutions (PHE, OLS, NHS Supply, DoE civil servants) were responsible for the failures because we don't know. That's what we need to investigate.

> The Department of health is named as the "person of significant control" of the company responsible for ppe distribution...military had to go in to organise the logistics for them as they couldn't do it themselves.

>

  Who or what organised did the logistics? Matt Hancock? Or the officers of NHS Supply Chain, or another?

  To go back to the ship. If the captain asks the chief engineer whether he's got the appropriate supplies for a particular contingency and the chief engineer assures him he has and that there is a back up plan, then whose fault is it if the chief engineer is wrong? The buck  stops with the captain but nobody seriously thinks he should be rummaging around the storerooms checking the engine oil stocks so it behoves those "holding the government to account" to find out. Did the captain fail to ask? Did the chief engineer fail to check? was the auditing stock check system wrong? etc

> They were; there are many column inches and tv minutes devoted to exactly this - I invited you to do a quick bit of research; you have clearly failed to do that, otherwise you would have seen how your idiots (and others) aren't possibly quite as idiotic as you make out.

>

   No, you demonstrate it. At the time the media was incredibly incurious about how the supply chain worked (or rather didn't work). NHS Providers produced an interesting report on the subject. The BBC gave it  little coverage ahead of publication and when it came out, at the height of the PPE crisis, it was  virtually ignored.

  That FT article was like a diamond in coal seam which was why I posted it.

   This part of the crisis was basically a logistics crisis so what were the logistics experts in or out of the government, doing? What were they telling Hancock. What was he telling them?

   > A couple of reasons; it was fairly thoroughly discussed, and both the UKC hive , alongside the press etc came to the conclusion that virtually all roads led back to the dept of health.

>

   Mainly yes. Once again, why did all the media lead their questioning with political correspondents when it was primarily a healthcare (and logistics) crisis? They thus turned it into primarily a political crisis because that's what they know about.

  It was quite likely a systemic failure of the machinery of the State, and quite probably of some of the private sector contractors. Or maybe it wasn't much of a failure at all?

  Don't you think we should find out?

   > It appears that with your return, the fool pool on UKC has welcomed back one of its most prominent members. Please go and educate yourself a little more and with more of an open mind; just because everyone disagrees with you doesn't necessarily mean they are either wrong, or fools.........

>

  That's actually quite funny. The person asking the questions and suggesting we don't know what happened is the one with the closed mind!

  Everyone doesn't disagree. I've discussed this a lot with people off line and usually have a sensible discussion about what may or may not have happened. I think I know where the open minds are.....

Post edited at 10:03
6
 neilh 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Ian W:

You may find this article on French planning to be of interest.Reads as a similar debacle to UK planning.There was also the  infamous burning of the masks when the pandemic hit, which is remarkably like the selling of the company storing the masks in the UK( well at least we did not burn our masks).

https://www.france24.com/en/20200508-pandemic-disarmament-why-france-was-ready-for-covid-19-a-decade-too-soon

 Cobra_Head 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I will give you a specific example of  failure in the machinery of govt.. Yesterday we had an announcements that a data sharing agreement had been signed between national and local govt.Why was there not one in place already?Does that mean information to Leicester local teams was held back because of some legal technical issue over data protection which had not been thought through. Why had that not been identified in the plannng done previously.


But that's a failure of the government, to get this done, like track and trace is a failure of the government, choosing the wrong people to do the job, is THEIR failure, not a failure of the mechanics.

In reply to neilh:

I don't understand PPs position here at all. He describes us Remainers/anti Johnson types as having been driven mad: I don't see any evidence for that. I for one shrugged my shoulders and followed the maxim about not stressing over what you can't change. What does seem to have happened is that the Brexiters/Johnson supporters have adopted what can only be described as a bunker mentality: they were told what would happen, and now that it is - mostly a government of inept, amoral, rudderless, inexperienced and impotent wasters in thrall to a would-be Napoleon - they have hunkered down with their fingers in their ears and ignoring the reality of what we can see on the news every day of the week.

Forget about lockdown, back in March the government failed to do 3 things: 1) arrange for accurate information (which they still don't have), the first essential of any war; 2) arrange for adequate PPE, even if that meant invoking the famed, exceptionalist British ingenuity and commandeering/redirecting what appropriate manufacturing facilities and resources that we had to do the best possible. Instead we threw front line workers to the pandemic wolf. 3) Protect the vulnerable - the over 70s, the morbidly obese, those with compromised immune systems and respiratory problems. In fact we did the opposite - we exposed exactly that group to the highest possible risk by shovelling them back into their communities without any support or precautions.  Joined up thinking at it's best.

Instead, every day we had the government, which PP is trying to exonerate, come up in public with different initiatives - every single day. One day 'testing' was all important, nothing could be a higher priority - the next day there was NO mention of testing (just as well, it's not working well even now), but respirators were going to be the thing, and plucky James Dyson was going to make them; the next day ventilators were dropped and social distancing was the thing. And so on. And despite the mixed messages and fumbled introduction to lockdown - I wasn't even aware that it supposedly had the force of law - they managed to further completely wreck that by the Cummings fiasco, one of the most egregious examples of a government undermining its own policy that I can ever remember.  

 neilh 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Is the new track and trace a failure? Barely even started.

granted it was not there when they neeed, that was a failure.

I am not talking about the poeple as mechanics, I am talking about how it is all structured. Mechanics is the wrong phrase I realise.

Post edited at 10:27
 elsewhere 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I will give you a specific example of  failure in the machinery of govt.. Yesterday we had an announcements that a data sharing agreement had been signed between national and local govt.Why was there not one in place already?Does that mean information to Leicester local teams was held back because of some legal technical issue over data protection which had not been thought through. Why had that not been identified in the plannng done previously.

That's the sort of blood boiling LACK OF URGENCY that drives me NUTS ENOUGH TO USE UPPERCASE.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I don't understand PPs position here at all. He describes us Remainers/anti Johnson types as having been driven mad: I don't see any evidence for that. I for one shrugged my shoulders and followed the maxim about not stressing over what you can't change. What does seem to have happened is that the Brexiters/Johnson supporters have adopted what can only be described as a bunker mentality: they were told what would happen, and now that it is - mostly a government of inept, amoral, rudderless, inexperienced and impotent wasters in thrall to a would-be Napoleon - they have hunkered down with their fingers in their ears and ignoring the reality of what we can see on the news every day of the week.

Agreed. I think the denial phase will go on for a long time because it wasn't so long ago they were elated at the election result.... and they really believed that would to translate to decisive, competent government.

 Bob Kemp 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

It would seem that the use of private contractors had not been thought through -  the contract with Deloitte never specified sharing with local government:

"The contract with Deloitte [who run testing centres] does not require the company to report positive cases to Public Health England and local authorities."

https://twitter.com/justinmadders/status/1278257062561153024

In reply to Postmanpat:

>  The person asking the questions and suggesting we don't know what happened is the one with the closed mind!

You certainly seem closed minded to the point I have made repeatedly that our lack of certainty to many of those questions back in March was a very clear reason to err on the side of caution until we did know more, rather than to plunge headlong into one of the worst excess death rates in the world, as we did.

As it happens, now we have robust data addressing many of the questions that you raise, and often what is now known shows just how foolish it was not to be proactively cautious in the early days.

As an example with regards your second question of "when it came to the UK" we now know this in great detail - it came in over one thousand five hundred times [1] early on when we had no travel restrictions on non-residents and no quarantine or testing on most inbound travellers.  We didn't err on the side of caution despite massive red flags from the high transmission and hospitalisation rates seen in Wuhan and Northern Italy  the early studies on transmission by individuals without symptoms.  Rather than caution we hoped to somehow be different to Wuhan and Italy without any actual reason.  

I've attached a figure from the paper.  Absolute bloody madness.  This should be stapled to the wall by Boris and Hancock's beds for them to look at every day.

[1] https://virological.org/t/preliminary-analysis-of-sars-cov-2-importation-establishment-of-uk-transmission-lineages/507


 elsewhere 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Is the new track and trace a failure? Barely even started.

Barely even started is an abject failure. Yet again a lack of urgency. Contact tracing reduces R and speed decline of the disease so it has a massive economic impact if it shortens the lockdown by a week. The local knowledge would mean the mayor of Leicester & PM might have been able to say to the public of Leicester in mid-June we have a problem with X and we need to do Y to prevent a further lockdown of the city.

In Scotland contact tracing is being done by people who have been doing it for years within NHS & local authority environmental health. Yesterday the big news story was that the SW Scotland NW England cluster was approaching ten cases. 

> granted it was not there when they neeed, that was a failure.

Overwhelmed but partially effective contact tracing during the peak would have reduced R a little to save a lot of lives. A small fraction (eg 1%) of a big number (eg 60,000 excess deaths) is a lot of lives (eg 600).  

After the peak effective contact tracing speeds release of lockdown and promotes economic recovery.

After the lockdown effective contact tracing avoid or minimises lockdowns and promotes economic recovery.

But no, there's no expletive need for urgency.  

1
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> And anyway, according to the BBC Johnson says that the figures have been shared with all local authorities. Who to believe?

On R4 this morning, the local government minister, Simon Clarke (yes, I had to look him up too; History at Univ, Oxford, solicitor at Slaughter & May, worked for Raab, Leave Means Leave, 2nd tallest MP, so now you know) gave the sort of smug and slippery interview that's becoming characteristic of this government.  In response to the assertion of the Barnsley council leader that they were only given postcode-level infection data yesterday, he said 'all local authorities have had the right to access' this information since 24 June.

I suspect that 'having the right to access' is a bit like 'having the capacity to test' - carefully chosen words to convey the theoretical situation as the government would like to see it, rather than the practical reality of what's actually happening.  

Actually the bit of the interview that annoyed me even more was his description of their 'data dashboard' as being part of his department's 'improved offering'. I cringe when I hear product managers say this, let alone politicians.

In reply to neilh:

What's completely bizarre about the track and trace programme is that even if it were working perfectly it wouldn't even achieve anything that a letter from the testing organisation wouldn't:

"Dear x

You have tested positive for Corona Virus. Will you please

a) Isolate yourself for 14 days; if the symptoms become worse please call the NHS on xxx and ask for further advice.

b) IMPORTANT Will you please contact everyone you have been in contact with in the last x days and advise them they MUST isolate themselves for 14 days as well. Otherwise there is a significant risk that they will be exposing their friends and relatives to further infection which could lead in some cases to their deaths. If they require further advice please refer them to the NHS, on XXX

By following these two instructions you will be playing an important role in controlling this pandemic."

There. Instead of paying people £.5 million an hour to convey the same message, it could all be spelt out in a letter. 

In reply to Dave Garnett:

> he said 'all local authorities have had the right to access' this information since 24 June.

However, it was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard.”?

(not my original work...)

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> There. Instead of paying people £.5 million an hour to convey the same message, it could all be spelt out in a letter. 

The alternative might have been paying their old employers £.4 m an hour in furlough support or writing a lot of benefit checks; so it's hard to begrudge some stimulus creating jobs.  I think breaking the personal link hopefully makes it more likely information will be passed along; not many people will want others resenting them for a period of enforced quarantine, and many people might be more honest with a phone person they don't know, on the understanding their privacy will be respected.

In reply to wintertree:

> However, it was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard.”?

> (not my original work...)

That was exactly the quote that came into my head as he was speaking!

Post edited at 11:12
In reply to wintertree:

Maybe. In my experience there's not a lot of calls being made at the moment, let alone successful ones - I feel sorry for the callers, they have been trained to the eyeballs, they are conscientious and ready, and they have nothing to do. It's heartbreaking, really.

 Postmanpat 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> You may find this article on French planning to be of interest.

>

Name this country! (redacted, from world socialist site, so treat with care!)

"As a result, health care workers were insufficiently protected during the first wave of the pandemic due to PPE shortages. Nearly 17,000 health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past months, or almost one-third of the total of confirmed cases; 11 have died. More than 10 percent of those who tested positive, and over half of those hospitalised, have died. The  death toll is shockingly high even compared to Turkey which has a  larger population.

This is a direct result of privatisation and austerity policies that have been pursued across Europe for decades. To maximise profits, PPE stockpiles built up to confront pandemics such as this one were used up and only purchased, and produced, on demand. Layoffs and wage cuts resulted in severe under-staffing and insufficient capacity. Only 1,050 intensive care (IC) beds are available, with IC nurses and doctors caring for two, sometimes three patients each.

Despite warnings of a coming second wave of COVID-19 infections, the government shows no signs of even considering making necessary preparations."

 Sir Chasm 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Whatabout the Dutch? Look, over there, a squirrel.

1
 climbingpixie 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> PHE, NHS, civil servants all failing to get their act together probably largely for reasons "inherent in the system" (Monty Python) A systemic problem of failing institutions and processes.

That's a fair point. The poor response to the crisis can't all be blamed on being preoccupied by Brexit throughout Jan/early Feb and the appointment of a cabinet largely based on ideological zealotry and unquestioning obedience rather than competence. The Tories should really take it up with whoever was responsible for the setting up and oversight of PHE, including how it communicates with regional authorities and Trusts. Maybe it should also figure out who was responsible for the declining performance of the NHS that meant hospitals were working with next to zero excess capacity and high numbers of unfilled vacancies and already failing to meet many of its key performance metrics. Or who farmed out social care to local authority control whilst cutting LA budgets by 40% or so and then utterly failed to make any further policy on social care for the last 4 years despite the manifest problems it causes for its users and for NHS bed capacity.

On a more serious note, I'm prepared to cut the government some slack for making mistakes during the pandemic. It doesn't matter whether you've planned for it or wargamed it, dealing with a crisis like this is unprecedented and people will screw things up. Your challenge to those who want to unquestioningly blame the government is a fair one but is undermined by the government's own reluctance to instigate something like a rapid review into the Covid response. They seem so afraid of admitting mistakes and having any blame attributed to them that they're acting in a way that might compromise our ability to learn the lessons from the first wave and apply them to a second, or to future pandemics.

 neilh 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Belgium?

1
 neilh 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I can understand Deliotte covering their backsides by not sharing the data. But I also fail to undertsand why Deloitte did not highlight this as an issue, they are not slouches or idiots, far from it.

Its a lack of joined up thinking that really irks me.

At the start of this somebody who headed up a big NHS Trusts and was Simon Stevens predecessor said the Gov need a serious trouble shooter to stop Depts thinking in silos, he wanted Hunt to take on that role. Somebody who knew there way round Gov and could  kick backsides. This is an example of why they need a trouble shooter.

Johnson will of course never agree to this.

Post edited at 11:40
In reply to climbingpixie:

'people will screw things up. ' I honestly don't think anyone in the real world would doubt that at all, I've said many times that the only two lots of people who have never made a mistake in their lives are journalists and lawyers.

However back in March and April I could see no evidence of the most basic competence. The daily briefings were as I've described, with new 'initiatives' and half baked ideas being introduced each evening, and the previous initiatives just dropped. That went on for three months. When Johnson was incapacitated there was no formal transfer of power - at the height of the pandemic the one person officially sanctioned to make key decisions was within minutes of needing a ventilator. That's total irresponsibility. And the willingness of the entire government to tell Trumpian lies - lies that everyone knows are lies, even as they say them  - has been unforgivable. I've watched Starmer at PMQs call out Johnson on facts, time and again - when did this happen, how much PPE was delivered, how many tests were actually done etc etc - and when Johnson just lies bare faced Starmer is baffled about what to do next. As most adults would be.

 Ian W 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> You may find this article on French planning to be of interest.Reads as a similar debacle to UK planning.There was also the  infamous burning of the masks when the pandemic hit, which is remarkably like the selling of the company storing the masks in the UK( well at least we did not burn our masks).

We tried - at least we stored stuff in a fire damaged facility for a while.......

but yes, it was interesting. 

 Jack 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Your Johnson as captain of the ship analogy (in your post this morning), really is very weak. You now seem to be suggesting that Johnson can’t be blamed for the incompetence of his officers.

One of the problems with this it that Johnson chose to set off in heap of junk, with an incompetent bunch of self-serving sycophants for his ‘officers’. He’d already run aground several times before the December election, then once he’d taken over, he got rid of the experienced, competent crew (debatable I know) and replaced them with far-right libertarian ‘Yes’ men & women (Britannia Unchained?).

He then offered free tickets for a cruise of the life time with an upgrade to second class (first class is reserved) before heading off into the sunset, only to plough head on into a storm they saw coming, but ignored. Cummings was in charge of the itinerary and plotting the course. With his questionable views on topics ranging eugenics to pandemics, is it any wonder why people are blaming the government?

Your claim that Johnson may not be to blame – lets have an inquiry before we jump to conclusions – is not very credible. He put this cabinet together, he has placed too much trust in Cummings – he had to as Brexit & the December landslide are mostly his doing (take back control, get Brexit done, herd immunity). Cummings then undermined it all and made them all look like fools as they were forced to defend him.

Cummings power over Johnson is another thing to you can add to list of things that need to be questioned. The Russia report, Johnson's connections to Evgeny Lebedev and his trips to his parties all need looking into. Lots of things are not right with this government and the CV crisis had shown them to be not up to the job – that’s most of them. Johnson put them there, set the course and set off in an already leaking ‘HMS Shitbag’.

Post edited at 12:55
 jkarran 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> So could people please stop pretending that we/they do?

> -Where,when and how, the first global case occurred

Does it really matter.

> -when it came to the UK and the early rate of spread of infection

Increased otherwise unexplained excess deaths and back-calculation give a pretty good indication of when it became established. Early case in the fit and well likely lurked for weeks before it reached more vulnerable clusters.

> -How many people have been exposed to it

True.

> -How many people have been infected

True.

> -How many people have died from it

Not exactly but we have a lower and an upper bound (died with positive test and excess deaths). In either case it is utterly damning.

> -how it is transmitted

Virus expelled in bodily fluids, we nailed germ theory quite a while back.

> -Whether we can find a cure

True but we're making progress, if it sticks around long enough we will almost certainly keep making more.

> -Whether we can find a vaccine

True.

> -whether the climate affects its transmission

True but we will get to observe and study a southern hemisphere winter before we get ours.

> -whether masks work

They clearly do. Which masks, used where, by whom, with what training, all changes the size of the nett effect but not the fact masks reduce the spread of infected droplets.

> -the optimal social distance to reduce transmission

If I've not bungled the maths then optimally packed across the UK we'd be ~90m apart from our 6 nearest neighbours. The distance maximising economic opportunity while keeping the virus in retreat is a function of other control measures in place beside physical distancing (the + in '1m+').

> -whether lockdown is necessary or optimal to reduce transmission.

A strong intervention was clearly necessary, we had a wildly out of control problem perhaps days away from crippling our health services killing hundreds of thousands. How much restriction is required on an ongoing basis to keep the virus in retreat is still undetermined but it's likely to be regionally and temporally variable. What we call those restrictions is a choice but their imposition isn't (see Republican states in the US) if we prioritise covid control.

> -whether the infection can be fought off without producing specific antibodies

It seems well documented plenty of people have tested positive for live virus then subsequently negative for antibodies, granted it could be a testing issue but as I understand it both test types are well understood and proven technology.

> -whether children can transmit it.

Is this really not known? The degree to which it matters certainly seems to be debatable.

> -whether infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown

It's quite possible but given the packed shops as people stockpiled it might seem surprising. Perhaps shops just aren't that risky.

> -if so, why infection rates in the UK (and many other places) peaked before lockdown

Individual and business behaviour changed significantly well before lockdown.

> -whether lockdown was too late, too early, or irrelevant

Depends what the objective was, if it was minimising covid deaths it was quite clearly too late. I'm not sure the government were really sure what the objective was.

> -Why some countries have lower infection rates and death rates than other

Social and domestic differences, strength and timeliness of control/exclusion measures and prioritisation of protection for the most vulnerable adequately explain most differences.

> -why Japan, a crowded country with an aged population millions of Chinese visitors, little testing and a feeble lock down has a relatively low infection rate

Public mask wearing and social distance were already social norms. Possibly also a low incidence of lifestyle related dangerous comorbidities has kept the fatality rate down despite the aged population.

> -why Germany stands out in Western Europe for its low infection rate

Well used local public health networks seem to have been important alongside good early data.

> -why Brabant has a significantly higher infection rate than Holland

Belgium? Different policies, different outcomes.

> -why Sweden, outside care homes, has an unexceptional infection rate despite having minimal lockdown

Behaviour changed without compulsion as it did to a lesser degree here. Outside the major urban areas which are as badly affected as plenty of other Euro cities Sweden is low density with low density housing.

> -whether different strains of the virus result in different outcomes

Seems likely but I haven't heard news of dramatic differences.

> -whether the virus is “weakening"

While possible it seems suspiciously like wishful thinking after mere months given it clearly spreads freely long before it kills there seems to be little evolutionary pressure.

> -whether they'll be a second wave

That's a choice. We know how to control the spread and we'll know when it starts accelerating.

> -whether it would be worse than the first wave.

See previous. I suspect it'll be more damaging economically second time around for countries that demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to maintain public safety and with it economic security, investment will shift to countries more clearly on recovery trajectories. Domestic economies in afflicted countries will remain depressed by control measures and or fear.

> -how and by whom government policy was formulated

It's unsurprising the blame game has started already considering the disaster needlessly unfolding on their watch.

> -what information by the civil service, NHS, PHE and other bureacracies was given to the cabinet

> -who/what institution was responsible for execution of policy

> -what decisions those responsible took e.g. use or not to use the private sector for testing, to build an independent tracing app etc.

> -why those decisions were taken

>   I'm sure there's more.

Yes.

 Postmanpat 02 Jul 2020
In reply to jkarran:

  So, for most of the questions we don't have conclusive answers. We have suggested answers with varying degrees of confidence in them. So, we don't know.

In terms of transmission mechanisms. Obviously we know the virus is expelled in bodily fluids-but in detail eg.the risk presented by viruses on surfaces we are less clear.

By Brabant I was referring to North Brabant (which is generally known by the Dutch as Brabant) which is in the Netherlands, as is Holland.(which, incidentally, is the country being referrred to in the bit I cut an pasted above)

Post edited at 14:15
5
 Postmanpat 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

  This is a piece that is interesting in its analysis of the decision making process.. Basically it puts responsibility for the  poor response on   "the scientific clique entrenched within a managerialist Whitehall culture which the politicians chose not to confront or question. They show how the advisory groups to the government appear to have been granted ‘a representational monopoly’ with the advice coming from scientific committees being rarely challenged either by government or by those outside the inner circle of advisers."

  You'll be relieved that it doesn't absolve politicians from responsibility, but it does look at the structural issues which hindered their decision making.

It may be wrong in its conclusions but it is much more useful going forward than simply tilting at individuals, and it addresses some of the questions of the OP . And yes, I know it's from civitas (boo,hiss)

  https://www.civitas.org.uk/publications/a-hat-trick-of-failures/

3
 jkarran 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   So, for most of the questions we don't have conclusive answers. We have suggested answers with varying degrees of confidence in them. So, we don't know.

We have (and had in March) good enough preliminary answers to many of them to choose safe courses of action. If you're surprised at my response you haven't been listening to what I've been saying.

> In terms of transmission mechanisms. Obviously we know the virus is expelled in bodily fluids-but in detail eg.the risk presented by viruses on surfaces we are less clear.

Correct. It's new, we're learning, in the meantime a precautionary approach where reasonably possible makes sense.

> By Brabant I was referring to North Brabant (which is generally known by the Dutch as Brabant) which is in the Netherlands, as is Holland.

Ok, thanks, I wondered if it was a typo or a region/town I don't know so I googled it but still clearly missed that. I don't know how devolved the PH response was in the Netherlands nor how homogeneous the country is socially and culturally. We're clearly seeing very different impacts across the regions and nations of Britain so it seems relatively small economic, cultural and policy differences add up to significantly different impacts. Interesting but not that surprising given what's known about the social determinants of health.

jk

Post edited at 14:18
In reply to Postmanpat:

You're very well-aligned with the current anti-civil service mood in government.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiL1O39Qsic&

 neilh 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

How was the Dutch emergency planning? On a par with ours and the French?

 Postmanpat 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

 I'm no expert on it but looking at this timeline it seems remarkable similar, even down to the PM handshaking scandal , the health minister getting sick, arguments about herd immunity , trying and abandoning track and trace, gradual ramping up of measures, and eventually "intelligent lockdown" on.....March 23rd!! Followed by arguments about testing levels and OMT (a bit like SAGE) transparency and the speed of unlocking. It wasn't really taken seriously until Feb 28th ("unlikely to get here and a bit like flu" etc). The PM is still denying that herd immunity was ever a policy (funny that!)

  https://www.containmentnu.nl/en/articles/timeline

It was (according to my daughter who lives in Amsterdam) a "very Dutch" lockdown and life continued almost as normal. They even issued guidelines on how to find a sex partner in lockdown

Post edited at 15:39
 Postmanpat 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You're very well-aligned with the current anti-civil service mood in government.

>

  I was way ahead of the curve. It's been a hobby horse for years

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 Bob Kemp 02 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I can understand Deliotte covering their backsides by not sharing the data. But I also fail to undertsand why Deloitte did not highlight this as an issue, they are not slouches or idiots, far from it.

Are you sure about this?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/13/accountancy-big-four-nationalisation-pwc-ey-deloitte-kpmg

> Its a lack of joined up thinking that really irks me.

Agreed!

> At the start of this somebody who headed up a big NHS Trusts and was Simon Stevens predecessor said the Gov need a serious trouble shooter to stop Depts thinking in silos, he wanted Hunt to take on that role. Somebody who knew there way round Gov and could  kick backsides. This is an example of why they need a trouble shooter.

I don't think that would be enough. Anyway, the government probably think that's what Dom's for...

> Johnson will of course never agree to this.

As above...

 Blunderbuss 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Anti-lockdown nonsense...

Are civitas by any chance based on Tufton street?

Its about time we got some seriously strict laws on transparency and limits when it comes to political lobbying.  I was not impressed recently to find out how systematically parts of the charity sector organised tens of thousands of volunteers to give the impression of “grass roots” concern over issues, and I can’t imagine the tufton wonks are any better...

 Ian W 02 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Are civitas by any chance based on Tufton street?

Not only are they on Tufton St, they share a building with "Business for Britain" and where "vote Leave" was registered (when that was a thing.....).

 Bob Kemp 02 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

It's incredible how the Tufton Street organisations have proliferated. This piece maps them all:

https://www.desmog.co.uk/55-tufton-street

In reply to Postmanpat:

You have it in for teachers, the NHS, PHE, the civil service, the EU, the UK and "the left". Can you identify any administrative organisations you think do work?

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 climbingpixie 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I largely agree, I'm just conscious that a narrative that focusses on blame and derides admissions of mistakes or changing tack (e.g. the 'humiliating u-turn' portrayal) is not conducive to learning and doing better. And as bad as this early response has been, it'll be all the worse if we can't take lessons from it and improve how we deal with Covid in the winter, which is what I think the government should be doing. Unfortunately because we have a government that seems to manage everything as a PR exercise, in which it doesn't really matter how badly things go as long as you don't get the blame for it (e.g. hard/no deal Brexit in January) I fear that they might not be brave or confident enough to properly and transparently assess what went wrong between January and July this year.

 climbingpixie 02 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Basically it puts responsibility for the  poor response on   "the scientific clique entrenched within a managerialist Whitehall culture which the politicians chose not to confront or question.

I think at least part of the problem is the fact we have a government largely made up of journalists, lawyers and accountants. These are people with no expertise in their briefs and jobs are distributed as a means of rewarding loyalty and punishing deviation from the party line. There seems to be one scientist in the cabinet and as far as I can tell she's had sod all to do with the pandemic response. Perhaps if we tried wacky things like, oh you know, having a health minister who knew one end of a stethoscope from the other then they might have been in a better position to interrogate the scientists, to understand the uncertainties and to recognise the blindingly obvious which is that there's no such thing as 'the science'

Post edited at 19:33
In reply to climbingpixie:

>recognise the blindingly obvious which is that there's no such thing as 'the science'

That phrase caught my eye too.  It's ironic that that article is probably right in the sense the government put too much emphasis on this thing called "the science" that ministers clearly think exists, presumably imagining it is some sort of objective certainty (a belief the authors clearly share or they wouldn't use the phrase).  This failure on the behalf of ministers is now being used to blame scientists, civil servants etc. as evidenced by the article, which is clearly a mouthpiece for government apologists.

Post edited at 19:42
 neilh 03 Jul 2020
In reply to climbingpixie:

That is all well and good, but they are also MPs who reperesent their constitueinces and being a scientist does not necessarily mean you are a good politician and more importantly capable of being elected in the first place( which is the starting point)

The key is advice has to be good.

For example on statistics, MPs are given training on how to use statistics by the ONS after being elected I think from memory its a couple of days training course ( although I can be corrected on this).

3
In reply to neilh:

Here PP, here's another rabid left winger who's only remaining pleasure is to keep kicking Johnson for no good reason:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102665899193&ca=922dc70b-20a7-45b5-b46f-728859bc6f6c

 climbingpixie 03 Jul 2020
In reply to neilh:

Perhaps we need to think about what makes a good politician. Is it being able to make stirring speeches or is it being able to propose and scrutinise legislation from a background of expertise? Is it being able to pull strings and get action for your constituents or is it having the scientific literacy to ask the right questions and carefully weigh up competing advice before making decisions? I think all of those skills are important and it would be good if we had a parliament that was more reflective of the multiple attributes that make effective policymakers, rather than one that is highly focussed on people who are mostly good at talking and have built a relationship with the local party, as it seems to be here. I don't know whether that's because of a lack of interest from people from more diverse career backgrounds or because those who are interested aren't successful at being selected as candidates or elected but I think it has a negative impact on our politics.

I don't think having a parliament full of scientists is the right thing - they don't have a monopoly on good scrutiny and decision-making skills and there are other skills that are important. But when I look at other countries, and the way that their politicians are more focussed on detail and facts, I feel quite sad that we put so much stock on bombast and point-scoring at the dispatch box in the UK.

FWIW The Tories appear to have 5 qualified (medical) doctors in the party but none of them seem to have been involved in the Covid response...

> The key is advice has to be good.

Yes but advice is shaped by the questions that are asked and the envelope of what is considered acceptable. And it's often contested and qualified, full of uncertainties and caveats. Advisers can only advise, ultimately ministers need to be capable of weighing up those competing narratives and trade-offs and make decisions. But it's an uncomfortable situation for ministers to find themselves in because, though we like to pretend that we practice evidence-based policy in the UK, the reality is that it's often more like policy-based evidence - a politician decides what they want to do based on an ideological perspective and commissions some research to support it.

 Postmanpat 03 Jul 2020
In reply to climbingpixie:

> Perhaps we need to think about what makes a good politician.

>

   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/02/why-we-get-the-wrong-politicians-isabel-hardman-review

  This book "Why we get the wrong politicians", is worth a read. I guess the key takeaway is that the system deters many of the "right people" from becoming politicians, that the job is very hard,  and that the system makes even the "right people" very ineffective as politicians.

Post edited at 11:32
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   This book "Why we get the wrong politicians", is worth a read. I guess the key takeaway is that the system deters many of the "right people" from becoming politicians, that the job is very hard,  and that the system makes even the "right people" very ineffective as politicians.

I think that sounds very reasonable.  However, it doesn't alter the fact that, at the moment, we have a large tranche of the wrong politicians in important positions, at a time of double national emergency, because they were selected on the single criterion of their unquestioning allegiance to a single extreme political idea and to the most unsuitable prime minister in my lifetime.

Boris hates giving people bad news.  Like all populists, he enjoys the bread and circuses, but he has a mortal dread of contamination with a genuinely difficult problem with no jolly outcome.  He's not serious.  As Amber Rudd (I think) said, he's the life and soul of the party but you wouldn't rely on him to drive you home.  With one or two rare exceptions the rest of the cabinet are just out of their depth even if their intentions are good (which I'm not convinced is true in some cases).    

 Postmanpat 03 Jul 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I think that sounds very reasonable.  However, it doesn't alter the fact that, at the moment, we have a large tranche of the wrong politicians in important positions, at a time of double national emergency, because they were selected on the single criterion of their unquestioning allegiance to a single extreme political idea and to the most unsuitable prime minister in my lifetime.

>

  I simply don't "get" Boris. He seems to have been a creation of the media, on the basis of God knows what,  and is now being destroyed by the media. One hoped he would effectively delegate and communicate if he couldn't manage....

  I've been saying since the Blair years that most PM's have about one decent cabinet amongst their MPs after which they are struggling-hence Blair resorted to shuffling the same names-Clarke, Blunkett, Reid endlessly. There may be more around but if they are independent minded the system always militates against promotion.

  All we are seeing is a (severe) example of that maxim being exposed by an extreme situation. I used to mock the idea that a man (Alan Milburn) who's previous biggest management experience was running a left wing badge shop, was overseeing the second biggest employer in the world (the NHS). Instead we get Matt Hancock (probably no worse than Milburn )

In reply to Postmanpat:

'I simply don't "get" Boris. He seems to have been a creation of the media, on the basis of God knows what,  '

That Ian Hislop has a lot to answer for... 

 Offwidth 03 Jul 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

When we spoke to Ian in a pub about HIGNFY he quite rightly said: don't blame me I try to give Boris as hard a time as I possibly can.

 neilh 03 Jul 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

At the moment it is Johnson, Hancock and Sunak in effect running the country, so you probably have something there.

By the way I never knew that Raab was a Human Rights lawyer in a former life, until it was in the press afer he made his announcement about Hong Kong this week. He worked with  the PLO, good grief!

Made me sit up and think he might be more effective than the public personna and when you look at his bio you can see why.

This was part of his bio

Raab worked in London at Linklaters and the human rights organisation Liberty, and in Brussels advising on law in the European Union and the World Trade Organization.[1] In 1998, Raab worked for one of the Palestine Liberation Organization negotiators of the Oslo peace accords, assessing World Bank projects on the West Bank. Raab joined Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service in 2000 where he was a lawyer in The Hague, bringing war criminals to justice. After returning to London, he advised on the Arab–Israeli conflict, the EU and Gibraltar.

 ClimberEd 03 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> .

> Quite a few posters, myself included, called for more to be done back in early March.  We did so with extensive references and widespread examples of supporting expert opinion from beyond government/SAGE.  We were right then, sadly now it is clear just how right we were.

Hahahah, are you STILL banging this drum.

I totally disagree. I think lockdown was too rigorous,  predominantly due to public pressure, and on the whole unnecessary. A knee jerk reaction to alarming news. 

The most vulnerable should have been in total lock down, everyone else should have got on with life. 

5
 ClimberEd 03 Jul 2020
In reply to climbingpixie:

> Perhaps we need to think about what makes a good politician. Is it being able to make stirring speeches or is it being able to propose and scrutinise legislation from a background of expertise? 

Unfortunately, at least for the past 20years, politics seems to be PR and not a lot more.

I have a geopolitic/economic newsquawk for my work and daily there is a continuous treadmill of speeches and press conferences from politicians (and central bankers) about their good plans, their plans to plan, and how great everything is. None of them actually seem to do any work beyond communication how everything is going to be good.

1
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Hahahah, are you STILL banging this drum.

Hahahah?  I have no problem standing by my perspective.  I have arrived at it by going through as much evidence, medical literature and data as I can.  

Compared to your post stating that we would almost certainly not follow Italy for reasons such as "genetics",  I'd rather bang my drum any day.  I'm not pulling crap out of my arse in support of an obviously ludicrous position, for starters.   We did follow Italy closely in per-capita numbers for quite some time by the way, before we passed them.  Whatever exceptionalism you thought meant we wouldn't have the same consequences turned out to be imaginary crap.  

> I totally disagree. I think lockdown was too rigorous,  predominantly due to public pressure, and on the whole unnecessary. A knee jerk reaction to alarming news. 

That's nice for you.  

> The most vulnerable should have been in total lock down, everyone else should have got on with life. 

This just shows ignorance in my opinion.  Ignorance of many things:

  • Ignorance of how little we knew about who was vulnerable.  Look at the number of young people who died; many more have serious consequences.  Some of this came from viral load it seems
  • Ignorance that nobody lives in a bubble - let alone the most vulnerable who tend to need the most support.  From other people.  Who need to interact with more people again.  Ignorance of what makes people "vulnerable" and how much support they need, combined with ignorance of the state of the care industry and the way it is staffed, partly as a result of conservative policy over the last 12 years.
  • Ignorance of how totally and utterly unprepared we were to isolate the vulnerable, in part due to government incompetence - failure to prepare despite being well informed as a result of the Cygnus operation, failure to control the corporate apparatus they put together on PPE stockpiling, failure to scale testing and tracing on anything like a suitable timescale. 
  • Ignorance of the significant effects on some non-vulnerable people who got bad infections beyond the initial infection for reasons we didn't understand at all in March and that we still don't understand well now.

In a sense I agree with you - if we had had sufficient PPE to protect medics, sufficient PPE to protect people in care homes, sufficient testing and tracing to identify and pounce on infections in hospitals and care homes and a better understanding of what was killing a small fraction of people with no co-morbidites than we should have isolated the most vulnerable rather than lock down.  But the government patently weren't capable of that, and so were facing down the barrel of total disaster that would have crippled the healthcare system in another week or two if we hadn't locked down.

Just to remind you, before lockdown you were not saying - as you suddenly are - that we should isolate and lock down the vulnerable so everyone else could carry on as normal.  You were giving a list of reasons why you thought we wouldn't be hit as badly as Italy.

There will be other factors involved, some social, some connected with healthcare, and potentially some with genetics. Identification (asymptomatic, ill, or death) will also change the data.

So yes, I am still banging my drum and will continue to.  My tune hasn't really changed in about 5 months.  You on the other hand were previously pushing the view we'd probably be fine because of genetics and social factors and so on.  You were totally wrong.  Turns out we all bleed red.  Now you've got a purely hindsight based view of what we should have done instead of lockdown.   One that's easy to say, but I don't see you putting forwards a coherent proposal of how it could have been implemented in March, and one that the government has been trying to do just as fast as it can.  

Post edited at 13:52
 neilh 03 Jul 2020
In reply to ClimberEd:

That is great as long as you have a system in place to manage the pandemic. Clearly we did not. We did not have the ability to test in large numbers, and it is self evident we need that capability.

And lest we forgot it was not a total lockdown, just a partial one. it was surpising how many businesses etc stayed open or reopened after a couple of weeks.

Are you in all honesty with what we now know suggesting that pubs and other indoor hospitality business be allowed to open and operate with no measures to reduce the infection?Are you really serious that we should have just got on in life?Or is it just some wishful thinking( which most of us would agree with)

 ClimberEd 03 Jul 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I still don't believe that countries are comparable. 

I still think that looking at Italy and saying this is going to happen here, was not correct. We didn't have the localised devastation that they did.

I still think that no analysis can be made for a long time, most probably the end of next summer, as to how we have been impacted. We may get no second wave, when other countries do, for example. 

We will never agree. But you are not sitting on the moral high horse that you think you are and your opinion is no more valid than mine. 

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