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Well done Sturgeon

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020

I spoke to an ex-associate today who lives in Paxton in the Borders. His Friday night at the local has just been curtailed by the Scottish government so he's booked a meal in Berwick, 5 mins away (in England). His local had strict measures in place, 2m between tables, screens, one way system etc. Not good enough apparently. 

Goodbye tax revenue Scotland, goodbye jobs for the people who really need the money that restaurant jobs pay. It may be low paid but these people really need that money. Goodbye some pubs who just won't survive this. But oh, hello thousands of school kids and students mingling in confined classrooms. Hello MSP's who make these decisions but continue to pick up their own pay cheques while others go without.

The Scottish government has for a few years been less than friendly to the hospitality industry and this move, over a very busy October holiday period, will finish off quite a few businesses who need this potentially lucrative 2 weeks of income to survive the winter. 

And before anyone says it, yes the UK government isn't much better. However, at least the UK government doesn't have Margaret Ferrier.

75
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Blow the T.I.E horn!!!!

It does seem bizzare, but looking at the infection data, it has jumped alarmingly and perhaps something needs to be done. 

I don't profess to know what though. 

Stay safe folks,

BB

3
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

You will need to spell out the TIE thing.

Schools go back, infections rise, close pubs. I think I know what needs to be done.

22
 Eric9Points 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

If we need to support these businesses that are being put in jeopardy by this partial lockdown Scotland could temporarily raise income tax. I'm sure Sturgeon could persuade us that a small sacrifice was worth it to help some of our fellow Scots.

3
 Ciro 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> You will need to spell out the TIE thing.

> Schools go back, infections rise, close pubs. I think I know what needs to be done.

When you reach a critical mass of measures to loosen restrictions, the virus starts to take off again. It's the accumulation of those measures, not necessarily the last one, that causes the problem. We need to prioritise which activities are most important to keep running. 

Bringing students back into universities instead of distance learning was a massive mistake, but yonder kids need much more interaction and if we'd kept the pubs shut and sent the kids back to school we'd be in a better position than we are now.

Closing the hospitality sector is a massive blow to those who work in it, but closing schools is a massive blow to an entire generation (a generation, if you need a less altruistic reason, that the rest of us will be relying on to keep our pensions flowing)

Schools absolutely should be coming first. I can't believe it would be questioned.

5
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

 Our income tax level is higher than England and lots of people are struggling having dropped from two wages per family to one. How can they afford a rise in income tax? Its's a laudable idea but surely just closing down non-compliant businesses would be better and cheaper for everyone.

19
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Ciro:

> Schools absolutely should be coming first. I can't believe it would be questioned.

One week ago 25% of all new infections were transmitted via school children, 2-3% from hospitality. What can't you believe?

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 DaveHK 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> You will need to spell out the TIE thing.

> Schools go back, infections rise, close pubs. I think I know what needs to be done.

Are you suggesting the schools should close?

1
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

No. I'm questioning why a sector that has a 2-3% share of infections is closed before a sector which has 25% of infections. Seems like odd logic to me.

13
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> No. I'm questioning why a sector that has a 2-3% share of infections is closed before a sector which has 25% of infections. Seems like odd logic to me.

Because education is considered far, far more important than hospitality.

Post edited at 20:06
3
 DaveHK 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> No. I'm questioning why a sector that has a 2-3% share of infections is closed before a sector which has 25% of infections. Seems like odd logic to me.

So you think pubs and schools should both stay open? 

 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Do you know how many students are working in pubs to pay for their education? No pubs, no pay.

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> So you think pubs and schools should both stay open? 

You have changed the words 'hospitality industry' to 'pubs'. Why?

5
 Graeme G 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

You really are on a hiding to nothing here.

What would you have suggested she did?

3
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> You have changed the words 'hospitality industry' to 'pubs'. Why?

Apologies. My error. Now corrected.

 Yanis Nayu 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Not only that, but I’m really not sure where the figures come from. It’s easy to assess the number of infections in schools, but for most infections we have have no idea where they were contracted. 

In reply to Le Sapeur:

My fear is that she has not gone far enough*. The restrictions seem pretty half hearted to me. I wouldn't be surprised if we are not much further forward or worse off at the end of the 16 days.

*Though personally relieved that they won't ruin my half term.

5
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> One week ago 25% of all new infections were transmitted via school children, 2-3% from hospitality. What can't you believe?

Do you have an evidenced link for this statement?  It is a very bold statement to make and one I've not seen elsewhere.  I worry that you are basing your argument on some false inference.

All I can conceive of for a source for this is the PHE data (or Scottish equivalent?) on outbreaks by setting combined with some misunderstanding of the data.  An "outbreak" is two or more cases linked by a common factor, it is not proof of transmission within the setting and nor does it require transmission within the setting.

Given that schools have far more people in them than pubs (half a million teachers alone), it's hardly surprising that there are more cases in schools is it?  This doesn't imply transmission within schools however and I've seen more instances of super-spreading events involving pubs than schools.  The evidence is stacking up (e.g. ONS random sampling surveys) that prevalence is very low in junior school aged children, and the staff work in small numbers per separate classroom so staff-to-staff transmission should be very low given risk control measures, compared to many adults in one room at a pub.

Even if there was solid evidence of more transmission in schools than pubs, we should start by closing the least important sectors, not the ones with most transmission, until we get to R<1.  If that requires closing the schools they should be one of the last sectors to close.

Figure 23 in the latest PHE report [1] presents contact tracing data on where people were in their potentially infectious period before the onset of symptoms.  "Teaching and Education" is about 22% the size of "Eating Out".  What I assume to be daycare is quite high up ("Attending childcare educational setting") 

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/923668/Weekly_COVID19_Surveillance_Report_week_40.pdf 

Post edited at 20:17
1
 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Yes, well done Nicola indeed. She took a tough decision which she knew would get a lot of criticism in order to protect health. Strong action at an earlier stage is going to be for less time than leaving it until later. She has coincided it with school holidays so that she doesn't have to shut schools, so hopefully giving time to reduce infection rates while both schools and hospitality are closed.

If people could suck it up and not try to find work arounds, like your mate going to English pubs, then we would be in a better position! 

11
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> You really are on a hiding to nothing here.

> What would you have suggested she did?

Not closing restaurants and pubs would have been a start!

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Do you have an evidenced link for this statement?  

Data supplied by The Economist.

11
In reply to Le Sapeur:

As far as I am aware no government, or party now for that matter has Margaret Ferrier

 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

First he's not a mate. You must have misread my post. 

Yes, let's suck up mass unemployment. Actually it's more and more mass unemployment. 

A tough decision? That's laughable. A tough decision would have been to close schools. An easy decision is to close pubs where 2-3%  of infections occur.

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In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Not closing restaurants and pubs would have been a start!

You have already made that clear. So what should she have done? 

Post edited at 20:19
2
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Data supplied by The Economist.

I repeat: do you have an evidenced link for this statement?  What is the link to the data?  What does the data show?  Does it actually show 25% transmission by school children or are you inferring that?

2
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

No I haven't a link. Difficult to link to a paper magazine, although if you are so concerned a quick google will provide the evidence.

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Jesus! Not closing pubs and restaurants is what she should have done.

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 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> No I haven't a link. Difficult to link to a paper magazine, although if you are so concerned a quick google will provide the evidence.

Then you’ll have no difficulty providing me with it.  I tried and failed.  As you read it, you know what you’re looking for.

As I understand it, evidence of 25% of cases being transmitted in schools would be close to earth shattering in its impact.

I worry you or the author have misinterpreted something critical to your point.

1
 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Why? None of us need to go to pubs or restaurants. Kids need to go to school! Yep, job losses suck, but we all have to adapt. My diary got wiped in March, I have adapted and gone to work in another sector. I didn't want to work in the care sector, but there is a global pandemic on so we have to get on with it!

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> As I understand it, evidence of 25% of cases being transmitted in schools would be close to earth shattering in its impact.

Really? Thousands of students and school kids return to school and have 25% of overall infections and you think this is earth shattering? We are still wearing masks, washing hands etc. Where else is this jump in infections coming from? Oh, I know, a few old geezers in the boozer.

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 Yanis Nayu 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I think we need a relatively short complete lockdown with minimal activity to act like a fire break. 3 weeks, with a definite endpoint for going back to the restrictions we have now. What we’re doing now is not effective enough and it’s a bit like pulling a sticking plaster off slowly hair by hair. 

1
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Jesus! Not closing pubs and restaurants is what she should have done.

Yes, but what should she have actually done?

2
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Well good for you. Try living in Skye where you don't have the advantage of jumping from one job to another. Over the past few years people have treated Skye like a cash cow. Bus loads of tourist bussed around from one sight to the next but for people living here life is not so easy. We can't all change profession on a small island. 

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Ok. She should have decided that closing pubs and restaurants was not a good idea, therefore not closing pubs and restaurants. That is what she should have done. 

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I think we need a relatively short complete lockdown with minimal activity to act like a fire break. 3 weeks, with a definite endpoint for going back to the restrictions we have now. What we’re doing now is not effective enough and it’s a bit like pulling a sticking plaster off slowly hair by hair. 

I'm not disagreeing with that. I do however question why the 'fire break' has to happen during the October holidays leading to massive disruption. 

5
 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

A quick google search just brought up plenty of care worker and cleaner jobs on Skye! You might not want to do it, but it is there!

1
In reply to Le Sapeur:

And what should she have done instead?

 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

It has to happen in the school holidays so that the kids don't miss out on more school!!! This is not rocket science!

1
 Graeme G 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Not closing restaurants and pubs would have been a start!

So, do nothing then? You haven’t answered my question.

Classic case of come to internet to vent anger.

1
 Dave the Rave 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> You have changed the words 'hospitality industry' to 'pubs'. Why?

Perhaps because hospitality might cause hospitalisation?

Although there are pubs that visiting may result in hospitalisation and little hospitality?

 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Why? None of us need to go to pubs or restaurants. Kids need to go to school! 

Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

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 Eric9Points 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, but what should she have actually done?

Probably locked down Glasgow about a month ago. C19 has been raging there for weeks.

Like you I wonder if this is enough, certainly partial lockdowns in England have had limited success.

I hope we don't end up putting lots of pubs out of business and getting little back for it.

Post edited at 20:44
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Ok. She should have decided that closing pubs and restaurants was not a good idea, therefore not closing pubs and restaurants. That is what she should have done. 

So you are criticising Sturgeon's measures but cannot or refuse to come up with a better alternative. This makes you look a bit silly.

2
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

>>  As I understand it, evidence of 25% of cases being transmitted in schools would be close to earth shattering in its impact.

> Really? Thousands of students and school kids return to school and have 25% of overall infections and you think this is earth shattering?

It's bloody obvious that there will be lots of coronavirus in schools, about 18% of the whole population is involved in schools, so without accounting for demographics we'd expect 18% of cases in schools.  

What would be earth shattering is evidence that 25% of cases are being transmitted in schools.  This was your claim at 19:41 today and is what I am disputing.  You have so far been unable to provide any evidence for this claim.

Given the ONS demographic breakdowns - figure 5 in [1] for example - I would be astounded if much transmission is happening in pre-teen school years.  The data neither proves nor rules out transmission in older years, but for these to generate 25% of all transmission they'd have to be punching well about their numbers.

Why don't you pony up some evidence for your 19:41 post or drop it?  It seems to me that you've grabbed the wrong end of the stick by a long way.  

> We are still wearing masks, washing hands etc. Where else is this jump in infections coming from? Oh, I know, a few old geezers in the boozer.

There is no "jump" in infections. The daily numbers are increasing because there's an exponential mechanic, or in other words because the rate of infections, and the rate of increase in that rate, continually rise in an otherwise unchanging world when a pandemic spreads.

Here's an example [2] implicating one individuals pub crawl as a significant factor in the growth around Bolton.  Similar issues with a post-charity football match party and various working mens clubs in my part of the world.

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/englandwalesandnorthernireland2october2020

[2] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/19/pub-crawl-superspreader-ignored-quarantine-rules-partly-blame/

Post edited at 20:52
2
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

In that you are plain wrong in two ways. Remote teaching is absolutely shit compared with being in a classroom. Kids badly need the social side of being at school for their well-being.

 Eric9Points 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So you are criticising Sturgeon's measures but cannot or refuse to come up with a better alternative. This makes you look a bit silly.

Well I don't imagine he's an epidemiologist so a fully fledged alternative is a bit much to ask but he has made some valid criticisms.

5
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

I hear that it's possible to drink booze at home whilst video calling your mates as well with internet technology.

Having done both teaching of young adults and social boozing through the internet during lockdown, the boozing was far less negativity impacted.

3
 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

The kids who suffer most are those without the technology to enable this. There are more than you would think. I'm a fan of home education when it's done well, my husband was home educated up to age 11 and some of his friends were right through to uni level. BUT, that was with families who had the time and resources to do that. If a parent has poor literacy or numeracy levels (watch the current channel 4 programme - The Write offs, quite an eye opener!), they may well not earn enough to have the necessary technology for the kids to connect to schools and won't have the skills to teach the kids themselves. 

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

we did that before the summer. Home schooling may suit some, it does not suit all. It’s unhelpful to frame this crisis as a competition between different parts of society, but if you go down that road, inviting people to choose between the mental wellbeing of children and basically anything else is an argument you’re going to struggle to win 

 Devonr28 07 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Kids also need to eat and mass job losses means alot more hungry families and kids. Should they just suck it up also?

Food bank use has been rising since March and forecast to continue rising once the furlough scheme ends and on through winter. Donations increased during lockdown but have since slowed. I hope those who are more than happy to call for these job destroying restrictions, while they sit comfortably,  do their part and donate to their local food banks at the very least. 

2
AndrewSmith45 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

We're getting close to herd immunity now. It won't be long.

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

What are you struggling with? My alternative is not to close restaurants and pubs! If you really need an another alternative to massage your ego then how about these....

Close international borders and airports to all but essential travel. Like Taiwan.

Quarantine all arrivals in government accommodation for 14 days. Like Taiwan.

Invest heavily in on-line education.

Stronger penalties for people flouting exiting laws. Like Isle of Man.

Reward businesses who pro actively enforce distance regulations.

Tax breaks for home workers.

Etc.

22
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

One of the greatest benefits of attending school is learning social skills. Sadly, this cannot be taught online and must be learned through plenty of practice. 

Further, many children do not have the support or equipment needed to access online learning at home. 

In addition, with school gone, who's taking over the childcare for working parents? The implications of this for the economy are considerable. 

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

Kids need to go to school so parents can get to work. Wish it wasn't so but that's pretty much the reality for most parents at my kids' school. 

 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Do you really struggle with the idea that a quarter of all infections come from the 12 million people in the UK who are either in school or Uni? Are you having difficulty accepting that one quarter of infections are stemming from students who are spending all day in close proximity?

Where  else are they coming from?

14
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> Kids need to go to school so parents can get to work. Wish it wasn't so but that's pretty much the reality for most parents at my kids' school. 

I just hope their work isn't in hospitality. If so they may just as well turn around and trudge home.

5
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> What are you struggling with? My alternative is not to close restaurants and pubs!

FFS

> If you really need an another alternative to massage your ego then how about these....

WTF has it got to do with my ego?

> Close international borders and airports to all but essential travel. Like Taiwan.

> Quarantine all arrivals in government accommodation for 14 days. Like Taiwan.

> Invest heavily in on-line education.

> Stronger penalties for people flouting exiting laws. Like Isle of Man.

> Reward businesses who pro actively enforce distance regulations.

> Tax breaks for home workers.

> Etc.

At last....... I'm not sure they would do the job, but at least you have now answered the question.

Post edited at 21:10
2
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

> One of the greatest benefits of attending school is learning social skills.

Ok, based on a bolshy contributor to one of my earlier posts, where is your evidence for this?

14
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> We're getting close to herd immunity now. It won't be long.

Where is the evidence for that?

 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Devonr28:

And an earlier shut down is shorter!! The scottish gov have announced £40m to support hospitality. I don't know what that entails and who gets it, but they have thought about the impact! 

Killing lots of people and leaving even more on long term sick due to long covid is no way to feed kids either!

1
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I answered your question a long time ago. The Scottish government's decision to close pubs and restaurants is, in my opinion, wrong, as it only tackles 2-3% of the current problem. They are ignoring the rest.

16
 Blunderbuss 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Data supplied by The Economist.

Which edition is this in and what is the title of the article? 

2
 Blunderbuss 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Where is the evidence for that?

There is none... 

1
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> I answered your question a long time ago. 

No you didn't, but never mind; you have now.

1
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I do actually agree with you on the earlier shutdown, just not the mechanics. Closing pubs and restaurants in rural areas is not a good idea.  £40m is such poultry amount it doesn't need discussion.

7
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> I just hope their work isn't in hospitality. If so they may just as well turn around and trudge home.

But on the flip side, plenty more people are working again.

So we don't end up in some mindless cycle of Top Trumps 'who are the biggest losers', my industry (outdoor ed.) is pretty much non-existent at the minute. I'm down about 65% of my income (and that's with figures including SEISS) this year and that's without factoring in the winter period 2019 and the winter to come.

1
 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Yep, that was my industry too. I have a few wee things still on the go with it, but largely I am in care work until at least spring, and we will see from there. Frustratingly, the outdoor bit of it isn't the problem, it's the shared transport, accommodation and meals which go along with it.

But, it is what it is, we have to just suck it up and get on with what is viable just now, which is looking after others in my case! 

 girlymonkey 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Close international borders and airports to all but essential travel. Like Taiwan.

> Quarantine all arrivals in government accommodation for 14 days. Like Taiwan.

> Invest heavily in on-line education.

> Stronger penalties for people flouting exiting laws. Like Isle of Man.

> Reward businesses who pro actively enforce distance regulations.

> Tax breaks for home workers.

And these are all things I would agree with, but the online education is only really a large scale option for university and colleges. School age kids are missing out with it. I don't see this as an either/ or. Yes, travel should have stopped a LONG time ago (like in Feb!), people socialising in homes need to understand why that isn't possible and WFH needs to be highly encouraged. All good stuff.

Why do you think it's ok to ruin the airline industry but not hospitality though? You seem to have double standards here. 

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> £40m is such poultry amount it doesn't need discussion.

 

it’s chicken feed, really....

1
 Eric9Points 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> I answered your question a long time ago. The Scottish government's decision to close pubs and restaurants is, in my opinion, wrong, as it only tackles 2-3% of the current problem. They are ignoring the rest.

Yes, I do wonder.

I can't help getting the feeling that people just aren't taking enough care any more, we've become a little complacent.  I was in a shopping centre in Edinburgh at the weekend and couldn't wait to get out of the place. Many people were no longer social distancing I the shops were no longer monitoring numbers in/numbers out. It was a rainy day and they were packed.

Thinking longer term though I'm beginning to wonder whether we really do need to re think our approach to all this. The measures we are putting in place now are not going to eliminate the virus. Infections will drop and then rise again and we will see this oscillation carry on endlessly until we have an effective vaccine or herd immunity. The WHO don't think we'll see any vaccines deployed until the middle of next year so a best case scenario seems to be that it'll be the best part of a year that we go on wrecking the economy and disrupting people's lives. Do we need to try a different approach? Concentrate on protect the vulnerable  while relaxing restrictions on the young and healthy who are beginning to ignore the rules anyway?

4
 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I don't think it's ok to ruin the airline industry. We can still fly from London to Edinbugh without a problem.

16
 mattmurphy 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I’m not really sure why you’re getting so much stick.

The new measures will have next to no impact (even in full lockdown in March the R rate barely dropped below 1). Once they’re lifted infections will keep going through the roof.

In the mean time 2 weeks of semi-closure will put such a dent in the affected businesses cash flows that job losses and business closures will be inevitable.

Cases will continue to rise, such is the nature of cold/flu season. Draconian, economy destroying measures should only be implemented where hospital capacity is forecast to be exceeded.

I’ve said before, Scotland’s success in dealing with the pandemic compared to England will, in the long run, be measured by how high unemployment spikes not by deaths and at the moment it’s looking grim for Scotland. 

12
In reply to mattmurphy:

Indeed! I think closing pubs early will have little impact - other than everyone crashing into Tescoetro, stocking up on a crate or 2 and all going down Andy's instead. Which is worse. 

However, I can't agree with the idea that online learning is a sufficient replacement for children physically attending school. 

 Blunderbuss 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Yes, I do wonder.

> I can't help getting the feeling that people just aren't taking enough care any more, we've become a little complacent.  I was in a shopping centre in Edinburgh at the weekend and couldn't wait to get out of the place. Many people were no longer social distancing I the shops were no longer monitoring numbers in/numbers out. It was a rainy day and they were packed.

> Thinking longer term though I'm beginning to wonder whether we really do need to re think our approach to all this. The measures we are putting in place now are not going to eliminate the virus. Infections will drop and then rise again and we will see this oscillation carry on endlessly until we have an effective vaccine or herd immunity. The WHO don't think we'll see any vaccines deployed until the middle of next year so a best case scenario seems to be that it'll be the best part of a year that we go on wrecking the economy and disrupting people's lives. Do we need to try a different approach? Concentrate on protect the vulnerable  while relaxing restrictions on the young and healthy who are beginning to ignore the rules anyway?

If you can explain just how this would be done in practical terms, it'll be a first... 

 Blunderbuss 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Can you tell me which edition of The Econmist your claim is from? 

 Lrunner 07 Oct 2020
In reply to mattmurphy:

I agree, its not unreasonable to be pissed off that the government is telling you to shut your business that will cost you your job, your house and the livelihood of your employees. The lack of debate is so worrying, governments ruling by decree. 

Experts will always once tougher measures because scientifically that's the best way to save lives, unfortunately the human cost is savage.

I'm glad I'm not in charge but people are entitled to be angry at there jobs being destroyed without parliamentary scrutiny or debate. It's almost as if anyone who doesn't agree with the Scottish Government's policy doesn't care about people dying. Its possible to be both. 

As Billy Bragg says not everything that counts can be counted

1
 mattmurphy 07 Oct 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

Oh I completely agree that schools shouldn’t close.

They’re the number one priority to keep open. Slightly controversially I don’t think they should have closed in the first place.

I think what’s missing in the debate is the acceptance that Covid, a virus that’s so infectious because we have no population immunity at the moment, will continue to spread in winter unless we have another hard lockdown with the compliance levels seen back in March/April. Even if a hard lockdown was put in place I think a significant proportion of the population is so fed up of the restrictions that compliance would be low enough that it wouldn’t have an impact on the R rate.

The only thing more lockdown measure does at this point is destroy jobs, not save lives.

2
 Bilberry 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

How's the thread going?

2
 DaveHK 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to 100,000 kids are home schooled in the UK. With internet technology an entire class can be taught remotely. Kids do not need to 'go' to school, they need schooling.

This is utter bollocks. Those of us working in education are still dealing with the fall out from the last lock down. Not the drops in academic progress everyone was worried about but serious mental health issues, anxiety and some real socialisation issues. Most of the kids who are home schooled have proactive parents who make sure they don't miss out on all the social development but for a great many kids school is where they get a large part of that.

Closing schools again for any length of time would be an absolute disaster for some of the most vulnerable young people in society.

1
AndrewSmith45 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Type covid deaths uk into google. You'll see some graphs, you'll see that in the first wave peak cases and the peak deaths coincided roughly. Now we have the highest number of cases detected and a very slight increase in deaths. This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed. This will all come to light over the next month.

23
 DaveHK 07 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Type covid deaths uk into google. You'll see some graphs, you'll see that in the first wave peak cases and the peak deaths coincided roughly. Now we have the highest number of cases detected and a very slight increase in deaths. This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed. This will all come to light over the next month.

Back of a fag packet stuff there!

Post edited at 22:18
2
 mattmurphy 07 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

Well obviously it was much more widespread than the verified cases showed back in March... 

The only people tested were those being admitted to hospital, even NHS workers couldn’t get a test.

The positive cases to death rate in March imply a death rate of about 15%, and I’ve got a feeling that the initial estimates of about 0.5-0.3% were about right. 

 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Type covid deaths uk into google. You'll see some graphs, you'll see that in the first wave peak cases and the peak deaths coincided roughly. Now we have the highest number of cases detected and a very slight increase in deaths. This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed. This will all come to light over the next month.

You are wrong.  The facts of the situation have already come to light and are there for all to see.

Most cases weren't detected first time around - this was known then and is known now.  We were testing nobody but those admitted to hospital and at high risk of death.  Going off seroprevalence data and deaths the IFR was about 1% - 1% of those infected died - in the first peak.

Using a 2-3 week lag and detected cases (now a large fraction of actual infections thanks to test and trace and widespread testing, rather than ~5% of actual cases as first time round) and deaths, we get a CFR of about 1% (1% of those detected +ve die), with perhaps half of cases not detected giving an IFR or perhaps 0.5%.    Attached is my plot of CFR calculated for various lags from the government data portal, using today's data release.

The 2x difference being easily explained by the highly evidenced demographic shift to younger people so far in this round.

> This will all come to light over the next month.

There is no mystery, there is no unexplained phenomenon.  There is a fatality rate now entirely compatible with what we know about the first peak.


AndrewSmith45 07 Oct 2020
In reply to mattmurphy:

> Well obviously it was much more widespread than the verified cases showed back in March... 

> The only people tested were those being admitted to hospital, even NHS workers couldn’t get a test.

> The positive cases to death rate in March imply a death rate of about 15%, and I’ve got a feeling that the initial estimates of about 0.5-0.3% were about right. 


The death rate includes the many unfortunately souls who were defenseless against the first attack, over time the death rate will fall much to much lower rate. It's over, but people aren't quite willing to believe that yet.

20
AndrewSmith45 07 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I don't understand your graphs. We'll never agree, let's just give it a month and see who is right.

24
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

>Do you really struggle with the idea that a quarter of all infections come from the 12 million people in the UK who are either in school or Uni?

I really struggle with your repeated inference without presenting any evidence.  We were talking about schools, not school or Uni.

I noted that infection is only prevalent in the older half of school children.  For them to be driving 25% of infections they'd have to be responsible per-person for perhaps 2x as much infection as anyone else.

> Are you having difficulty accepting that one quarter of infections are stemming from students who are spending all day in close proximity?

Put up or shut up time - where is your evidence?  I was very skeptical about what would happen with schools - although I think them opening is almost as critical as possible - but the demographic breakdowns are speaking for themselves when it comes to younger children especially.  It's looking decidedly thin-ice by 6th form though. 

What I have - repeatedly - said is that if there is evidence of this, it would be earth shattering.  There's scant little evidence of where most transmission events actually happened.  It could be that a reasonable amount of transmission is happening in schools, but it's not evidenced to the best of my knowledge.  

> Where  else are they coming from?

Home?  

1
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I don't understand your graphs.

Let me explain.  If you still can't understand I don't think you're qualified to have an opinion.

Left plot:

  • An 'x' mark shows the deaths on the day given by the x-axis position divided by the detected infections on the day 21 days previously.  This is calculating the case fatality rate (fraction of detections to deaths) assuming it takes an average of 21 days from detection to death.  
  • The black line is a filtered or smoothed version of the individual daily data points.  As deaths are small numbers,  they have a lot of noisy variation.  The smoothing is a convolution - it doesn't change the area under the curve - that is it preserves the total number of deaths from the unsmoothed data.

Right plot:

  • Fatality rates calculated for 14-, 21- and 28-days of lag between detection and death.  I'm leaning towards the 14-day curve as the most appropriate from some separate analysis deconvolving deaths from hospitalisations.
  • The red curve (14-days) shows that deaths are running at 1% of detected cases or perhaps 0.5% of actual infections.  (This 2x assumption on test and trace is reasonable given the random sampling surveys such as the ONS one) 

> We'll never agree,

Why will we never agree?  Are you unwilling too consider the evidence put in front of you and re-evaluate your views?  

> let's just give it a month and see who is right.

There is no question in my mind that you are wrong.

> The death rate includes the many unfortunately souls who were defenseless against the first attack, over time the death rate will fall much to much lower rate. It's over, but people aren't quite willing to believe that yet.

I would say "did you just pull this out of your behind" but as you're, what, the third brand new account to post this line within days of registering I'm not convinced.  Are you another lurker who simply had to register as you couldn't sit idly by whilst everyone else got it so wrong?  

Here's an idea for you - say somehow the 8% infected first time round magically targeted 100% of those "unfortunate souls" - what about the hundreds of thousands of other people going forwards in life with badly damaged respiratory health?

Why do people keep coming on here to peddle toxic, unevidenced crap that appeals to those - justifiably - desperate for an easy way out"

Post edited at 22:38
3
 mattmurphy 07 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

Eh?

Antibody studies suggest that about 10% of people in the UK have had Covid. The other 90% are just as defenceless as they were back in March.

I’m putting across an argument for more light touch restrictions because I think we need a more balanced debate about the impact on people’s livelihoods and mental well-being.

You’re putting across the argument for more light touch restrictions based on fruit-loop science.

AndrewSmith45 07 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Let me explain.  If you still can't understand I don't think you're qualified to have an opinion.

> Left plot:

> An 'x' mark shows the deaths on the day given by the x-axis position divided by the detected infections on the day 21 days previously.  This is calculating the case fatality rate (fraction of detections to deaths) assuming it takes an average of 21 days from detection to death.  

> The black line is a filtered or smoothed version of the individual daily data points.  As deaths are small numbers,  they have a lot of noisy variation.  The smoothing is a convolution - it doesn't change the area under the curve - that is it preserves the total number of deaths from the unsmoothed data.

> Right plot:

> Fatality rates calculated for 14-, 21- and 28-days of lag between detection and death.  I'm leaning towards the 14-day curve as the most appropriate from some separate analysis deconvolving deaths from hospitalisations.

> The red curve (14-days) shows that deaths are running at 1% of detected cases or perhaps 0.5% of actual infections.  (This 2x assumption on test and trace is reasonable given the random sampling surveys such as the ONS one) 

> > We'll never agree,

> Why will we never agree?  Are you unwilling too consider the evidence put in front of you and re-evaluate your views?  

> > let's just give it a month and see who is right.

> There is no question in my mind that you are wrong.


I don't understand anything you say. I don't understand if your graphs are based on data or your own predictions....I do know that you've invested a lot of time in making out that covid-19 is far worse than it really is, and I know that you speak to me in a language you know I can't understand because you are more intelligent than I am. But you are wrong, and arrogant.

43
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I don't understand anything you say.

Then I am amazed that you feel in any way qualified to have an opinion.  I have from the start tried to explain things in more than one way.  If you want to go through my post and tell me which bits you don’t understand I will be only to happy to help.  It’s very difficult writing for an unknown audience with a very diverse set of backgrounds.  I’m trying to explain and not just say “here’s data, trust me”.

Do it yourself - read today’s death toll from a Worldometer plot 7-day rolling average.  Divide it by cases from 14 and 21 days ago (again worldometer 7-day rolling average).  Tell me what fatality rates this gives you.  My plot is the result of a more finessed approach to the same thing (data from the government dashboard by actual date not by reporting date, and with some appropriate smoothing added.)

> I don't understand if your graphs are based on data or your own predictions....

As I said “  Attached is my plot of CFR calculated for various lags from the government data portal, using today's data release.”

This is not modelling, this is an analysis of the data as reported by our government.

> I  do know that you've invested a lot of time in making out that covid-19 is far worse than it really is,

That is your opinion.

> and I know that you speak to me in a language you know I can't understand because you are more intelligent than I am.

I do not know you.  I do not know what you can or cannot understand.  I do not judge intelligence from a few forum posts, nor from technical aptitude.

Let me explain if differently.  I have analysed the detected case data and the deaths data for the last month in the UK.  I have contextualised the detected case data with the independent random population survey from the office of national statistics to estimate what fraction of actual Infections vs detected cases are resulting in death.  This tells me about 0.5% of infections are dying which is entirely compatible with the first wave and which tells me that you are utterly wrong.

> But you are wrong, and arrogant.

Says the person who isn’t taking their time to present any evidence for their case but just repeatedly stating that I am wrong.

I’ve been called arrogant a lot around here lately.  Normally when they can’t go after the points I’m making.  No skin off my nose.

Post edited at 23:02
2
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Which edition is this in and what is the title of the article? 

Reckon they’ll ever manage to tell us?  I’m genuinely interested to read the article.

 Cobra_Head 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I'll point you to NZ where harsh lockdowns and people who take notice, now means they're living a normal life, work, pubs, sport all as it was before the covid outbreak. Their economy is going to be in a much better state than ours, precisely because they locked down, but they did it correctly.

3
In reply to wintertree:

> Why do people keep coming on here to peddle toxic, unevidenced crap that appeals to those - justifiably - desperate for an easy way out"

yes. though I don’t think this one is a paid troll.

the idea is gaining ground though. People’s memories appear to be even shorter than immunity to the virus. I had my dad on the phone this evening asking is it not time to let it spread and see what happens. He is definitely in a category where I don’t want him getting exposed to it. Not sure if he’s picked the idea up from the Daily Mail, or forwarded social media messages he gets. 
 

Sadly, I think Andrew is going to be proved wrong in less than a month. ITU capacity in parts of West Yorkshire already coming under pressure, and that based on infections acquired a couple of weeks ago, the rising transmission rates since then won’t have come though to hospitals yet, never mind new infections in the coming days. I think a bumpy ride is coming.

Post edited at 23:20
 wintertree 07 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> yes. though I don’t think this one is a paid troll.

Indeed; the paid agents have far more emotionally loaded posts trying to plaster over their false dichotomy.

> the idea is gaining ground though

Indeed.  The idea has been sown wide and the reaper is coming. I worry how much it’s undermining the mass individual commitment we need to get through this.

> I think a bumpy ride is coming.

Agreed.  The slackening of hospital admissions and death rates seems to have gone away and everything is back on exponential growth.  

 Jake1 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I think this is a fairly obvious SNP move to take advantage of the furlough scheme while it lasts: shut hospitality businesses and allow the furlough scheme to just about let things tick over, and so look like you’re acting tough and independently whilst allowing the bill for this action to be picked up by the entire UK population. Pretty shitty. The rest of the UK not doing it because we all know we’re f*cking the economy with such actions. 

15
 Alyson30 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> You will need to spell out the TIE thing.

> Schools go back, infections rise, close pubs. I think I know what needs to be done.

The reason we close pubs is indeed so that we can keep schools open, which is far more important and essential.

1
 Alyson30 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Type covid deaths uk into google. You'll see some graphs, you'll see that in the first wave peak cases and the peak deaths coincided roughly. Now we have the highest number of cases detected and a very slight increase in deaths. This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed. This will all come to light over the next month.

Or, far more plausibly and far more consistent with all the other datasets, we are simply testing far, far more, so we are catching a much bigger proportion of the positive cases. By a factor of about 10.

It is therefore estimated that the real  the number of positive cases is currently only a tenth of what it actually was back in April/May. But of course it’s doubling every week or so now, so we’ll be back at it in no time without intervention.

In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I don't understand anything you say

Then you're probably not in any position to make a worthwhile assessment of the situation. All you can do is give uninformed gut feel opinion. That's really no way to make decisions on how to deal with a global pandemic.

In reply to Lrunner:

> I agree, its not unreasonable to be pissed off that the government is telling you to shut your business that will cost you your job, your house and the livelihood of your employees. The lack of debate is so worrying, governments ruling by decree. 

> Experts will always once tougher measures because scientifically that's the best way to save lives, unfortunately the human cost is savage.

I'm pretty sure that the experts are factoring in everything they can, and this is the best they can come up with. But it's mostly guesswork anyway, just the best guesswork available. As far as I can see, it's just wishful thinking believe that there's a better way which isn't monumentally shit for a whole load of people who are losing their jobs and livelihoods. No one's managed to present a convincing case for anything other than the current strategy. Except not fucking it up in the first place back in the winter, but that's hardly a very helpful suggestion.

The wishful thinking is understandable, but I'm pretty convinced it's not correct.

Post edited at 01:30
1
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> No. I'm questioning why a sector that has a 2-3% share of infections is closed before a sector which has 25% of infections. Seems like odd logic to me.

It isn't constant though.  The graph I saw showed the infection rate in schools was falling and the infection from hospitality and leisure was rising.  The public health people have access to more detailed information and will be thinking about the direction of movement as well as today's numbers to predict where we are going to be.

England seem to be clamping down on entertainment as well which suggests to me that the UK scientific advisers are saying roughly the same thing as the Scottish ones.

 Blunderbuss 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Reckon they’ll ever manage to tell us?  I’m genuinely interested to read the article.

Well I've asked them twice and been ignored so I assume not.....in the absence of a reply I can only assume they made it up. 

 Graeme G 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Jake1:

> I think this is a fairly obvious SNP move to take advantage of the furlough scheme while it lasts: shut hospitality businesses and allow the furlough scheme to just about let things tick over, and so look like you’re acting tough and independently whilst allowing the bill for this action to be picked up by the entire UK population. Pretty shitty. The rest of the UK not doing it because we all know we’re f*cking the economy with such actions. 

SNP would make exactly the same argument about Trident, HS2, Crossrail and Brexit.

1
 tjdodd 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

With respect to your arguments over the effect of hospitality on covid infections I think this is a good read

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-54432006

They cannot directly attribute rises in infections to hospitality but there is strong evidence of a significant link.

The Scottish government paper is here

https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/advice-and-guidance/2020/10/coronavirus-covid-19-evidence-paper---october-2020/documents/coronavirus-covid-19-evidence-paper-october-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-evidence-paper-october-2020/govscot%3Adocument/Coronavirus%2BCOVID-19%2529%2B-%2Bevidence%2Bpaper%2B-%2B7October%2B2020.pdf

In reply to tjdodd:

Jason Leitch on TV just then discussing this. Reckon 20% cases link to hospitality etc. 

 rogerwebb 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Jake1:

> I think this is a fairly obvious SNP move to take advantage of the furlough scheme while it lasts: shut hospitality businesses and allow the furlough scheme to just about let things tick over, and so look like you’re acting tough and independently whilst allowing the bill for this action to be picked up by the entire UK population. Pretty shitty. The rest of the UK not doing it because we all know we’re f*cking the economy with such actions. 

I think you are over cynical. There are many things to criticise the SNP and Scottish Government about. I don't think this is one. It may be the right action, it may not be but it is hard to see any advantage for them in taking unpopular measures in their heartlands just for show. 

In reply to AndrewSmith45:

I see you live in Liverpool. If you don’t understand Wintertrees graphs etc just open your eyes and see what’s happening in your community. Your hospitals are starting to strain, infections rapidly increasing and deaths above the average formal normal flu.

These increases started before uni students went back, although is huge increase occurred once they did.

Whilst I am genuinly lost as to why you thinks it’s over, I am more worried that there appears to be an increasing number of people who share similar views to you. And this will be a key for obstacle. 

 Sam Beaton 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I don't understand anything you say. I don't understand if your graphs are based on data or your own predictions....I do know that you've invested a lot of time in making out that covid-19 is far worse than it really is, and I know that you speak to me in a language you know I can't understand because you are more intelligent than I am. But you are wrong, and arrogant.

Did you put in the same amount of effort and thought into deciding that Brexit was a good idea?

2
 RedFive 08 Oct 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

stats stats and more stats  

articles not hard to find 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8758863/Premier-Inn-owner-Whitbread-warns-axe-6-000-staff.html

admittedly we all hate the daily Mail but source is PHE  

5% from bars and restaurants 

45% care homes + 21% schools and colleges  

Top 20 surge areas are all university towns. Break it down to postcode level and it’s where the students live. For example Heaton and Newcastle town centre (520 cases) make up vast majority of reported cases but all lumped into ‘Newcastle’ which includes places like Kingston park with 28.

http://ukcovid19.nw.r.appspot.com/results?postalCode=NE11TT

My son left home to start second year at Oxford 2 weeks ago under instruction from Uni that if he didn’t attend he would be removed. 5 of them sharing a house - already 2 positive so all isolating  

didn’t take a rocket scientist to predict what would happen when 1.5million young adults all moved home and area in the space of a month  

In reply to mattmurphy:

> I’ve said before, Scotland’s success in dealing with the pandemic compared to England will, in the long run, be measured by how high unemployment spikes not by deaths and at the moment it’s looking grim for Scotland. 

There are far more cases of long term Covid than there are deaths.

People who are sh*t scared of going into buildings do not buy stuff.  When there are a ton of deaths on the news and they have friends or relatives dying or in hospital people are sh*t scared of going into buildings.

The whole narrative that we can just ignore this is total bollocks from people with extremely short and selective memories.  60,000 people have already died in the UK.  If we ignore it we will get tens of thousands of deaths, we will get as scared as we were last time and we will lock down again.  The lockdown will be longer than it would be if we reacted before the sh*t hit the fan.   The definition of intelligence is learning from experience and not doing the same stupid thing twice.

1
 jack92 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> "Type covid deaths uk into google. You'll see some graphs, you'll see that in the first wave peak cases and the peak deaths coincided roughly. "

If you do this you will find these graphs:

 https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fichef.bbci.co.uk%2Fnews%2F410%2Fcpsprodpb%2F16B2%2Fproduction%2F_114801850_uk_daily_cases_with_ra_7oct-nc.png&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk-51768274&tbnid=nmCx4tXm4GAbBM&vet=12ahUKEwini5v4yqTsAhUR5hoKHS2nBhkQMygEegUIARCQAQ..i&docid=JlGCpJ1923rj8M&w=2666&h=1875&q=bbc%20coronavirus%20cases&safe=off&ved=2ahUKEwini5v4yqTsAhUR5hoKHS2nBhkQMygEegUIARCQAQ

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fc.files.bbci.co.uk%2FECCB%2Fproduction%2F_114591606_uk_daily_cases_with_ra_24sep-nc.png&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk-54283980&tbnid=aXkjx-fYRJHo9M&vet=12ahUKEwini5v4yqTsAhUR5hoKHS2nBhkQMygDegUIARCOAQ..i&docid=3HPS0LYdfGzF0M&w=2666&h=1875&q=bbc%20coronavirus%20cases&safe=off&ved=2ahUKEwini5v4yqTsAhUR5hoKHS2nBhkQMygDegUIARCOAQ

These are just copies of the government source data: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

These graphs are annotated to show you that around May the coronavirus testing changed from Targeted Testing to Mass Testing. 

Targeted Testing is known as "Pillar 1: NHS and PHE Testing". PCR swab testing in Public Health England (PHE) labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers.

Mass Testing is "Pillar 2: UK Government testing programme". PCR swab testing for the wider population, as set out in government guidance.

This link https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/testing (Scroll down to "Tests processed by Pillar") shows the change in testing strategies and the increases in testing. The more testings done, the more cases you can identify. Hence, due to insufficient testing, the total number of cases identified in the first wave is a significant underestimate

"Now we have the highest number of cases detected and a very slight increase in deaths."

So now while we currently have the highest number of cases detected, we do not have the highest number of people in the UK infected as in the first wave. There currently has been an increase of deaths.

"This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed. This will all come to light over the next month."

So far the graphs have only been about testing and prevalence of coronavirus, not about how deadly it is. To calculated deadliness you need to divide the number of deaths by the total number of infections in the uk. The total number of infections is unknown and changes in time (It started at 0, grew to its maximum at the peak of the first wave, reduced with the lockdown and now is increasing again). This is known as the infection fatality ratio (IFR), which estimates this proportion of deaths among all infected individuals. Another metric is the is case fatality ratio (CFR), which estimates this proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases. Wintertree's plots show how the CFR is changing (or rather not changing too much) over the last three months.

This article talks about factors which may affect the fatality rate:

https://www.ft.com/content/c011e214-fb95-4a64-b23c-2bd87ebb29d7

 girlymonkey 08 Oct 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> People who are sh*t scared of going into buildings do not buy stuff.  

That's not true. I spend a fortune online shopping. The high streets were dying long before this and our consumption as a society was going up. 

I agree with many of your other points, but people are definitely still buying plenty even if staying out of shops!

1
 neilh 08 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

The infection rates are rising across most of the North in non University areas as well( where the rates are still very high irrespective of which type of town/city you live in).

On the student issue, we managed to get the under 18's back into education ok ish.There is no reason why we cannot do the same with Uni student, but the 1st years in halls have to grow up/mature  fast . This from a parent of a 3rd year at Warwick where her flat are taking it seriously as they do not want to have their studies blown out of the water.

1
In reply to girlymonkey:

> That's not true. I spend a fortune online shopping. The high streets were dying long before this and our consumption as a society was going up. 

So do I

> I agree with many of your other points, but people are definitely still buying plenty even if staying out of shops!

I should have been clearer.  The hospitality and entertainment sectors that are complaining about lockdown/restrictions would be just as messed up if we didn't lockdown because danger would keep customers away just as effectively as laws.

It seems clear there's less than a year of this left.  There will be a vaccine or the virus will mutate like happened in the 1918/19 flu pandemic or we will get better technology to control and treat it.  The sensible thing is to support businesses through it so people are not forced by economic necessity to do things which will help the virus spread.

 jack92 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

>"I don't understand if your graphs are based on data or your own predictions"

To calculated deadliness, you need to divide the number of deaths by the total number of infections in the UK. The total number of infections is unknown and changes in time (It started at 0, grew to its maximum at the peak of the first wave, reduced with the lockdown, and now is increasing again). This is known as the infection fatality ratio (IFR), which estimates this proportion of deaths among all infected individuals. Another metric is the is case fatality ratio (CFR), which estimates this proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases. Wintertree's plots show how the CFR is changing over the last three months.

To accurately calculate the infection fatality rate for a point in time we need to know everyone who is infectious and of those who have died from coronavirus. Short of embedding some kind of continuously testing chip in everyone we will never know when someone catches it.

Instead, we have testing data that confirms if you do or do not have COVID-19 at the time of the test and COVID-19 death data. These two datasets are not sufficient on their own to calculate the fatality rate they do not contain unique identifiers to map a death to an infection. This is where Wintertree's analysis comes in, where: Wintertree makes assumptions on the "Lag" (time from detection of a case to death) to align the two datasets; Wintertree smooths the data so its less sensitive to variation.

Examples of variation are: some people will die earlier or later than the estimated lag; when the number of deaths is low a small change in the number of deaths per day (1 to 2) is a huge (100%) relative increase.  If Wintertree did less smoothing the graphs would be more jagged and harder to read, if Wintertree did do much smoothing they would hide any underlying trend.

Wintertree has had to make assumptions on the infection to death lag, whose value will have a large effect on the calculation of the case fatality ratio. Wintertree has calculated the CFR for different values of Lag to plot on the graph. While this makes the graphs more cluttered it is good practice as it allows us to see how sensitive the calculation is to this assumption.

Post edited at 11:15
In reply to neilh:

Just saw a map (can’t find it now) which shows every area in England showing rises apart from four areas, 2 of which where Oldham and Bolton. Taken over two months of extra measures its now levelling (still high numbers but not going up). Most measures being discussed will have negligible impact. 
I said the other week that lockdown light measures in Grter Manc have not had the desired impact.  Unis going back has blown this out of the water  

Exeter has had a mega increase - clearly linked to students

 mattmurphy 08 Oct 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Tom, I completely agree that we don’t want a repeat of March, but your argument that it’s Covid rather than Lockdown that harms the economy is misguided. 


Yes Covid impacts people’s confidence which impacts willingness to spend so the economy is negatively affected. This will have a short term impact on employment levels as businesses look to rightsize staff levels.

However a lockdown prevents people spending. A business generating some cash flow (ie a situation where people are spending less due to lack of confidence) might be viable and in the future be able to rehire staff. A business with no cash flow (ie people are prevented from spending because of a lockdown) becomes unviable very quickly as they can’t reduce outgoings.

The economy is going to be damaged in the short term either way (people will be too scared to spend or will be prevented from spending), but in the medium/long term the economic damage of lockdowns will be much greater as more businesses will go under.

Yes you can make an argument for more government support, but it’s incredibly hard to target effectively. The FT recently ran an article suggesting astronomic rates of fraud in the bounce back loan scheme.

1
 Cobra_Head 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Jake1:

>  The rest of the UK not doing it because we all know we’re f*cking the economy with such actions. 

we're f*cking it be not taking such actions, lockdown after lockdown isn't going to help, letting it rip through isn't going to help either.

 Cobra_Head 08 Oct 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

> I said the other week that lockdown light measures in Grter Manc have not had the desired impact.  Unis going back has blown this out of the water  

> Exeter has had a mega increase - clearly linked to students

I wonder if this is part of a government herd immunity "experiment"; get all the young people infected, and see if immunity is a real and lasting effect.

 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> No. I'm questioning why a sector that has a 2-3% share of infections is closed before a sector which has 25% of infections. Seems like odd logic to me.

Presumably the objective is to reduce inter-household mixing. Schools remain a clear problem here unavoidably linking many households but are they are also a clear public good so however comparatively marginal the gains are elsewhere it is worth trying for them first in order to keep children in education also reducing childcare problems and staffing issues elsewhere associated with unscheduled school closure.

It seems to me they have their priorities broadly right, next job is getting the economic support package right to mitigate the social and economic cost of the public health measures.

jk

 Graeme G 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Jake1:

I assume you are similarly outraged by this suggestion?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54457377

I mean imagine asking the rest of the UKs population to pick up the additional costs of protecting the north of England.

Post edited at 12:04
In reply to mick taylor:

Wigan, news just in: 3 months with no covid deaths, 7 in the last week. Colleagues work there, my office is 5 mins away. Given the three week lag between infection and death, this figure likely to be 30 a week soon.  Anyone who thinks this is easing is dillusional. 

Post edited at 12:10
 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Given the ONS demographic breakdowns - figure 5 in [1] for example - I would be astounded if much transmission is happening in pre-teen school years.  The data neither proves nor rules out transmission in older years, but for these to generate 25% of all transmission they'd have to be punching well about their numbers.

Do you know is the 'age pyramid' of detected cases observed in pillar 1 & 2 data also observed in random sample testing? I appreciate there are difficulties with random invasive tests on children so it may be unknown or the data poor but it does seem important to know whether the apparently low prevalence in primary age children is real or an artefact of them not developing symptoms sufficiently acute or distinctive to trigger a pillar 2 test.

I can't see in the weekly bulletin any breakdown by age of negative or total tests to even hint at whether the apparently low prevalence in the very young might be in part at least due to little testing in that age group.

Worryingly the pillar 1 positives look surprisingly skewed toward the 20-40s, that's either a lot of relatively young people getting hospitalised or it's into hospital and care staff again in a significant way.

jk

 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> Do you know is the 'age pyramid' of detected cases observed in pillar 1 & 2 data also observed in random sample testing? I

The best I've seen is the ONS data - look at Figure 5 in this  at attached below - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/englandwalesandnorthernireland2october2020

Maddeningly, every study seemingly uses different coarse age bins.  

> Worryingly the pillar 1 positives look surprisingly skewed toward the 20-40s, that's either a lot of relatively young people getting hospitalised or it's into hospital and care staff again in a significant way.

I'm basically guessing at this point, but given the step rise in covid outbreaks evidenced in recent PHE weekly reports, I'm going with the later.  Which is exactly what I've been saying was likely to happen if we have rising population prevalence, as weekly testing of staff is only going to identify ~50% of those infected, and there's a large asymptomatic component.

Wish fulfilment aside, we are nowhere near ready technologically or financially to successfully shield care home residents, let alone vulnerable people living in the community.

There is hospitalisation data by age updated monthly; the last time I looked it wasn't updated for the last month where hospitalisations kicked off.  Links in this post of mine - https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/covid_stats_watch-725682?v=1#x9302928

> I appreciate there are difficulties with random invasive tests on children so it may be unknown or the data poor but it does seem important to know whether the apparently low prevalence in primary age children is real or an artefact of them not developing symptoms sufficiently acute or distinctive to trigger a pillar 2 test.

I haven't seen controlled studies on the false negative rate of testing specifically in children.  Given the different manifestation of the disease there, it suggests testing may also behave differently.  Unknown unknowns.


 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Type covid deaths uk into google. You'll see some graphs, you'll see that in the first wave peak cases and the peak deaths coincided roughly. Now we have the highest number of cases detected and a very slight increase in deaths. This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed. This will all come to light over the next month.

You're apparently overlooking both the dramatically increased test capacity and the lag between infection and death. Why? The case/death ratio is a function of your ability and willingness to detect cases, first wave covid looks really deadly because only the sickest people got definitive diagnoses. The infection/fatality ratio, what actually matters, is a function of the pathogen, your ability to control who or which groups are exposed and your evolving ability to treat them.

jk

 Jon Read 08 Oct 2020
 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Thanks. The random tests do seem to show the prevalence in primary kids to be comparable with that in the 20-25 bracket yet that age group falls solidly into the peak of the pillar 1&2 data. Even if we consider many in the pilar 1&2 20-30 bin might be at the younger end of it (unknown) it looks to me like the picture may well be significantly skewed by people not getting young kids tested!

> Maddeningly, every study seemingly uses different coarse age bins. 

I appreciate there's a bit of that going on but the bins for the youngest groups are reasonably comparable. The ONS older-secondary + undergrad age bin is pretty unhelpful!

> > Worryingly the pillar 1 positives look surprisingly skewed toward the 20-40s, that's either a lot of relatively young people getting hospitalised or it's into hospital and care staff again in a significant way.

> I'm basically guessing at this point, but given the step rise in covid outbreaks evidenced in recent PHE weekly reports, I'm going with the later.  Which is exactly what I've been saying was likely to happen if we have rising population prevalence, as weekly testing of staff is only going to identify ~50% of those infected, and there's a large asymptomatic component.

I agree that seems more likely than a wave of very sick young adults but it bodes very poorly for the coming weeks!

> Wish fulfilment aside, we are nowhere near ready technologically or financially to successfully shield care home residents, let alone vulnerable people living in the community.

I agree.

> I haven't seen controlled studies on the false negative rate of testing specifically in children.  Given the different manifestation of the disease there, it suggests testing may also behave differently.  Unknown unknowns.

I presume the ONS and T&T are using the same technology/product so directly comparing (or as directly as possible given the lack of standardisation in reporting) their results seems reasonably low risk and they do paint different pictures. That said it's worth bearing mind the ONS study may be under representing people in tightly clustered outbreaks (by age and geography, eg. uni halls).

jk

 drunken monkey 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Your income tax level is only higher if you are lucky enough to earn wages in excess of the national average.

Don't let that stop your pathetic rant about yourr mate not getting his Friday pint though.

2
AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to jack92:

Hi Jack, thanks for explaining that to me. I can just about understand what you're saying. People keep coming back to me about infections rising but given that we are clueless in this regard I don't see much value in it. If the NHS does become overwhelmed then I'll admit I was wrong and that I listened to the wrong people.

5
 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

ONS data: below - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/englandwalesandnorthernireland2october2020

Another worrying observation I make in that document (figure 4) combined with the recent news from Scotland is that the further North you go the worse the covid situation gets (certainly within England). Obviously there are various socio-economic differences, the old north-south divide*, and we know this isn't an equal opportunities killer but it occurs to me this could well represent the annual southward march of winter.

*so too E-W in the South of course

jk

 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

The test that you propose here:

> If the NHS does become overwhelmed then I'll admit I was wrong and that I listened to the wrong people.

In no way addresses the view that you raised here:

> This virus is either far more widespread than before or it is no where near as deadly as presumed

We have way better risk control measures in place than in early March, and they are much better informed by 6 months of learning about the virus, and clinical care is much improved by that 6 months of learning.  Yet we still have deaths running at about 1% of detected cases; which is entirely consistent with the vast quantity of evidence out there on fatality rates the first time around. 

> People keep coming back to me about infections rising but given that we are clueless in this regard I don't see much value in it

Why do you think you are "clueless" - if you can explain that, people can help you to understand the data that is out there that means nobody else posting feels clueless.

Post edited at 13:26
 wbo2 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:  The big problem with experimenting this way and the NHS does become overwhelmed it will take a few hard and messy months before you can turn it back round.  

If that happens there will be absolutely no hospitality industry either, lockdown or no lockdown - so  you need to be pretty darn sure

 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> I presume the ONS and T&T are using the same technology/product so directly comparing (or as directly as possible given the lack of standardisation in reporting) their results seems reasonably low risk and they do paint different pictures.

That is my understanding.

> That said it's worth bearing mind the ONS study may be under representing people in tightly clustered outbreaks (by age and geography, eg. uni halls).

Yes; I have wondered about this.  It's also generally a bit out of data compared to current "headline" numbers - as one would expect for such a survey.

> but it occurs to me this could well represent the annual southward march of winter.

 It's an interesting take - and the critical shift in outside temperatures - which drives so much behavioural change - really does lag by a few weeks between the north and south - one of the few things I miss 20 years later after moving North.

 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> People keep coming back to me about infections rising but given that we are clueless in this regard I don't see much value in it.

What exactly do you mean we're clueless about infections rising?

I don't wish to be rude though it'll probably come across that way and I can understand why it might be appealing but it seems to me you really don't want to understand. That's a privilege we can't all afford and critically a trait in someone trying to convince others of their opinion we should not ignore out of politeness.

> If the NHS does become overwhelmed then I'll admit I was wrong and that I listened to the wrong people.

And if it's not, if control measures mean we once again only take it right to the brink?

jk

1
 DancingOnRock 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I suggest that trying to prevent children and young adults from catching the disease is an expensive and unnecessary task. If you stop them going to school, then parents have to stay home. 
 

They’re also mainly going to pass it between themselves and ‘young’ (25-50yo) adults (with a number of exceptions). 
 

The places where it’s going to transfer to the older adults are going to be at home, hospitality and care. 
 

You can’t stop the infections getting into the older community, but you an delay it and reduce the rate. 
 

Vaccinations will begin for that age group in January. Although I firmly believe there will be a lot of jostling in October for certain people to be given it ‘as part of 3rd phase testing’. 
 

The government, despite what most people here believe, are not stupid. 

Post edited at 13:33
1
 Harry Jarvis 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Hi Jack, thanks for explaining that to me. I can just about understand what you're saying. People keep coming back to me about infections rising but given that we are clueless in this regard I don't see much value in it. If the NHS does become overwhelmed then I'll admit I was wrong and that I listened to the wrong people.

According to the Health Minister Nadine Dorries, hospitals are 10 days away from reaching a critical stage with regard to hospital admissions. Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals and other NHS trusts, said yesterday that some hospitals in the north if England were now seeing admission levels equivalent to those in the spring, when the epidemic was at its peak.

So although the NHS may not be overwhelmed at the moment, there are those in authority who think we are close to that point. 

AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> According to the Health Minister Nadine Dorries, hospitals are 10 days away from reaching a critical stage with regard to hospital admissions. Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals and other NHS trusts, said yesterday that some hospitals in the north if England were now seeing admission levels equivalent to those in the spring, when the epidemic was at its peak.

> So although the NHS may not be overwhelmed at the moment, there are those in authority who think we are close to that point. 


Hi Harry, on 23rd March deaths were nearly double what they were yesterday. The total deaths peaked on 8th April and again on 20th April before steadily reducing. So for a month, at a guess we had around 800 people a day dying. Why is the NHS close to being overrun now?

4
AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

I'm trying to find a graph that shows the total number of people in hospital over the course of this year, do you know where I might find that? I found this

https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-uk-hospital-admissions/

But it only runs until September.

In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Hi Harry, on 23rd March deaths were nearly double what they were yesterday. The total deaths peaked on 8th April and again on 20th April before steadily reducing. So for a month, at a guess we had around 800 people a day dying. Why is the NHS close to being overrun now?

Going on what you say, I make that just a few weeks away from being back at the Carnage of 8th April unless we do something about it.

 Martin Hore 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> £40m is such poultry amount....

Yep, just chicken-feed really.

Martin.

AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Going on what you say, I make that just a few weeks away from being back at the Carnage of 8th April unless we do something about it.


Only if it gets into care homes again.

 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Only if it gets into care homes again.

The fraction of cases now that are dying is about 1%.  A higher fraction is being hospitalised.  Rates are growing exponentially on all measures.  It's only a matter of time before healthcare is overloaded in our current situation if we don't take more measures to slow those rates and ultimately turn them from rising rates to decaying rates.

Covid is getting back in to care homes already - see the latest PHE surveillance report (image below of the critical figure).   The more prevalence rises in the wider population, the more it will get in to care homes because weekly testing of staff lets through perhaps half of symptom free cases due to false negative results.


 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> According to the Health Minister Nadine Dorries, hospitals are 10 days away from reaching a critical stage...

Christ if there was ever a sentence perfectly designed to bring me out in hives and to remind us of the deadly tie between brexit, Johnson's ambition and out dismal pandemic response, that's it!

jk

2
 RedFive 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Were you not chastising Sapeur for not providing a link to backup the 'hospitality is not to blame', but you have then posted a graph which does just that?

All we are seeing in the North is Wave 1. The South had Wave 1 in March, the North locked down 3 weeks too early on 23rd March. Covid was nowhere near prevalent up here as down there back then.

The cream* has already been taken from the top of the Southern covid milk churn but is still ripe and ready up North.

*I appreciate and apologise for my crass way of describing those poor souls who have died.

9
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> Were you not chastising Sapeur for not providing a link to backup the 'hospitality is not to blame', but you have then posted a graph which does just that?

No.  

Sapeur was claiming that 25% of transmission happens in schools.  I referred to this very data in my first response to Sapeur.  I explained that this is outbreaks - two more more people with symptoms in a setting, which is not proof of transmission within that setting.  I have repeatedly asked Sapeur for their evidence for proof of transmission within schools, which is neither implied nor ruled out by outbreaks/incidents, but which they claimed.  As I said in my first reply "All I can conceive of for a source for this is the PHE data (or Scottish equivalent?) on outbreaks by setting combined with some misunderstanding of the data."   I have presented data which suggests transmission in junior schools is very unlikely, and estimated that for Sapeur's statement to be true, transmission in secondary schools would therefore have to be well above national average levels - something I haven't seen published anywhere.  The contact tracing data I mentioned in the PHE report is more relevant against Sapeur's claim than this data - where were people before they got symptoms, not when they got symptoms.  An awful lot of people spend an awful lot of time in schools (something like 12% of the whole population are involved in schools) so a lot of people are going to have symptoms come on in school regardless of where the transmission happened.  

I could be wrong, and I hope to be shown the source for this claim.

> *I appreciate and apologise for my crass way of describing those poor souls who have died.

I am more bothered by your use of a crass analogy to push something for which you have presented absolutely no evidence, but there you go.

Post edited at 14:30
 Eric9Points 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

It's in two care homes in Edinburgh.

A week on and residents haven't had their test results back.

> Only if it gets into care homes again.

 Eric9Points 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Covid is getting back in to care homes already - see the latest PHE surveillance report (image below of the critical figure).   The more prevalence rises in the wider population, the more it will get in to care homes because weekly testing of staff lets through perhaps half of symptom free cases due to false negative results.

...and I wonder how shutting the pubs is going to help shield the most vulnerable except in the most indirect way.

1
 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> ...on 23rd March deaths were nearly double what they were yesterday. The total deaths peaked on 8th April and again on 20th April before steadily reducing. So for a month, at a guess we had around 800 people a day dying. Why is the NHS close to being overrun now?

Because the situation is still worsening exponentially, the number of people needing care in two weeks time is already baked in today and the number dying the week after that. It's likely to be at least twice the rate today, maybe more than that in some hot-spot hospitals and that's assuming the people infected today are from the same demographic as those infected three weeks ago, that segregation of the vulnerable hasn't broken down. Pillar 1 test data (showing cases predominantly in the young, likely mainly workers rather than admissions) hints at that no longer being a safe assumption. If that's the case then it hints at a looming staffing crunch and a CFR set to soar as health/care worker bourne infection finds the vulnerable again en masse. With it the load on the most intensive parts of the healthcare system. If this leads to the cancellation of more routine work in order that operating theatres and recovery rooms be pressed back into service as covid intensive care wards, as they were in spring, then outcomes for non-covid patients deteriorate too.

Coupled to that the crisis in March while undeniably nationwide was still largely London focused. It isn't today, it's in the northern towns and cities, London having a high population density has the ability to efficiently share load across a large number of hospitals. Most northern towns have at most one, most bigger cities two, if they develop a significant hot spot their services quickly become locally overwhelmed while geography makes load sharing inefficient.

What did you mean when you said we're clueless about cases rising?

jk

Post edited at 14:50
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> ...and I wonder how shutting the pubs is going to help shield the most vulnerable except in the most indirect way.

Almost every measure protects them indirectly in exactly the same way - by lowering R and going on to lower prevalence in the general population from which their support and are is drawn filtered through imperfect testing. 

1
 jack92 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

"People keep coming back to me about infections rising but given that we are clueless in this regard I don't see much value in it."

We don't know the exact (true) number of infections in the UK at any point in time as we obviously don't have the resources to test everyone every day. Instead, we can randomly test a portion (called a sample) of the UK population and test them and then assume the results are representative of the UK population. This is what the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is currently doing.

The ONS is performing weekly infection surveys to estimate the number of cases in the community. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/previousReleases

The data can be used for: estimating the number of current positive cases in the community, including cases where people do not report having any symptoms; identifying differences in numbers of positive cases between different regions; estimating the number of new cases and change over time in positive cases.

In the latest six-week period, the ONS did 291,732 swab tests, and found a total of 419 positive tests, in 336 people from 277 households.  This data can then be used to calculating an estimate of the infection rate. See "Figure 2: Estimated percentage of the population in England testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) by non-overlapping 14-day periods between 8 May and 24 September 2020" of the above link. 

As this is an estimate it will not exactly match the true value but, by using some statistical tools, the ONS can calculate the uncertainty of their result. These are the error bars ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_bar ) in Figure 2 plot.  It clearly shows the rate of infection has been increasing recently despite the uncertainty of the analysis.

 Harry Jarvis 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Why is the NHS close to being overrun now?

I don't know, but if a health minister and the CE of NHS Providers say it is, I am sure they have their reasons.  Given Dorries' brand of politics, I'm sure she is not an instinctive of severe lockdown measures. 

One point to consider in this regard is that in the early days, pretty much all other hospital activity was cancelled or postponed, and ordinary wards were being pressed into use as Covid wards. Most hospitals run at quite high levels of occupancy anyway, so it may be that with the resumption of more routine hospital work, the additional burden of Covid patients is causing significant strain. To my mind, it would be foolish to ignore the possibilities that hospitals do face some pressing problems in the short term 

 Eric9Points 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > ...and I wonder how shutting the pubs is going to help shield the most vulnerable except in the most indirect way.

> Almost every measure protects them indirectly in exactly the same way - by lowering R and going on to lower prevalence in the general population from which their support and are is drawn filtered through imperfect testing. 

Yes, in a second order sort of way.

Be nice to see the most vulnerable get some first order protection.

In reply to Eric9Points:

Eric, in your view, what would that protection look like?

AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to jack92:

What kind of tests are they doing? Tests that show if people are infected now or all the people that have it now and have had it previously?

 RedFive 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Apologies I hadn't realised one had to present peer reviewed opinions before posting. I'll have a re-read of the forum rules.

And if you think that's me pushing something then you clearly don't know me.

I came hear for a grown up debate as my understanding is that no one has ***The Answer*** to this shit show yet. Not even you with your fancy tables and charts.

Climbing in the Lakes for me this weekend, clear the head before the inevitable hysteria kicks in next week and it gets taken away from us again.

Take care.

11
AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Eric, in your view, what would that protection look like?


Surely if you paid people enough they'd stay in the carehome for long periods of time, like 2 weeks or a month. 

8
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> Apologies I hadn't realised one had to present peer reviewed opinions before posting. I'll have a re-read of the forum rules.

You don't, but if you want other people to pay any attention to a very minority/fringe view that flies in the face of most of the data, it might help you to give some basis for the suggestion.  

> I came hear for a grown up debate as my understanding is that no one has ***The Answer*** to this shit show yet.

Suggesting without presenting any reason that some sort of cull of the marked has already happened in the South is grown up, is it?  Likewise calling them the "cream".  I'm not claiming to have "the answer".

> And if you think that's me pushing something then you clearly don't know me

Clearly.  When you said "The cream has already been taken from the top of the Southern covid milk churn but is still ripe and ready up North." I took what you wrote at face value.  

Post edited at 16:05
4
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

Which people?

AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Which people?


Carers, nurses and doctors.

 Eric9Points 08 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs

I don't know exactly. I'm an engineer not a doctor.

We pay for lots of epidemiologists and public health experts. I expect them to recommend a course of action. I wouldn't be surprised if they have.

 Blunderbuss 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Carers, nurses and doctors.

Can you expand on what you are suggesting here and also have you considered the downstream implications of this?

 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Have you noticed all policy and implementation regarding COVID has been undertaken by public sector workers and academics, many of whom disagree with each other. They are on full pay during all this with no employment and pension worries, whilst the private sector employees face unemployment and mental health issues. They should realise that their gravy train is financed by tax receipts and what happens if that dries up

14
 Graeme G 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

>  They should realise that their gravy train is financed by tax receipts and what happens if that dries up

Which, if the virus gets out of control, will definitely happen. 

 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Surely if you paid people enough they'd stay in the carehome for long periods of time, like 2 weeks or a month. 

Have you really thought about the logistics of this? Of course if you have and think you could make it work, fine, I would love to see your working.

Next, what to do with all those who are at high risk but don't live in residential care? Where for example would my dad go for months this would take to rip through Britain, how would he safely access the basics like food and routine healthcare? Assuming the lights stayed on and the shops stocked of course which isn't a given for the let 'er rip scenario.

All this fantastical nonsense to what end?

jk

 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I don't know exactly. I'm an engineer not a doctor.

> We pay for lots of epidemiologists and public health experts. I expect them to recommend a course of action. I wouldn't be surprised if they have.

Do you not think it's possible the vast majority of them looked at what you're suggesting and have recommended against it as completely impractical, excessively and unnecessarily risky?

jk

 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

No it won’t. Vulnerable and older people may suffer greater if not fatal consequences, but they seem to be keeping a relatively low profile. Most of younger people contracting it experience symptoms that they describe as less debilitating than flu, whereas in nearly all fatalities have been underlying health problems and they may have died in the near future. I accept that their are exceptions to this, but the obvious candidates could be shielded. Meanwhile in all probability more people will die from collateral damage than COVID and millions become unemployed. Already cancer referrals have been decimated and over 100k operations, all of which have a personal story behind the statistic cancelled. If a vaccine is not immediately forthcoming then the virus will return again and again. Remember when Sweden was vilified for its irresponsible behaviour, well they are currently overall better placed than U.K. and may now have herd immunity.

8
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Carers, nurses and doctors.

What about the ones with children?

or elderly relatives?

this was done to an extent- not everyone has dependants- but there is a limit as many people do. It didn’t work last time as it wasn’t sufficient to create the necessary “fire break”. Why would it be different this time?

 Eric9Points 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> No. I'm questioning why a sector that has a 2-3% share of infections is closed before a sector which has 25% of infections. Seems like odd logic to me.

You seem to have a point according to P21 of this PHE report linked to from this tweet. Not sure about the absolute numbers for hospitality though.

https://twitter.com/DowneyJD/status/1312659959516205057?s=19

1
AndrewSmith45 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Can you expand on what you are suggesting here and also have you considered the downstream implications of this?


Put it this way, I make 25 quid an hour as a bricky. If the government offered me 25 quid an hour 24/7 for a month to live in a care home and look after old people, on the condition that I cannot interact with anyone outside the care home I'd say yes. Then two weeks later I'd say yes again.

5
In reply to Philb1950:

How many operations will be cancelled when ITU capacity is overwhelmed?

how many people will not get their treatment because the doctors and nurses that would have provided it died of or were disabled by COVID?

who are the obvious candidates for shielding? Do they include BAME communities, who have double the risk of death? How will that play out?

how many younger people get long term debilitating symptoms leaving them unable to work? 
 

what happens when the shielding fails due to high rates of transmission and the requirement of many  vulnerable people to have contact with people who are likely to be infected?

 Graeme G 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> No it won’t.

Enjoy your night, mate.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MN9kaloihyg

2
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

Can you safely administer insulin and controlled drugs? De escalate distressed and agitated behaviour in people with dementia? Recognise deteriorating health conditions and respond appropriately?
 

Your enthusiasm is noted but not convinced you have the skill set.

Post edited at 17:40
1
In reply to jkarran:

> Do you not think it's possible the vast majority of them looked at what you're suggesting and have recommended against it as completely impractical, excessively and unnecessarily risky?

> jk

This. 
 

In reply to Eric9Points:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/08/whitty-covid-icu-cases-in-northern-england-could-pass-peak-in-22-days?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
 

English data, but see no reason to think Scotland would be markedly different. Hospitality sector in the frame as major cause of transmission. Expect we will have similar restrictions here (Yorkshire ) announced by tomorrow night 

 jkarran 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> Remember when Sweden was vilified for its irresponsible behaviour, well they are currently overall better placed than U.K. and may now have herd immunity.

That 'may' is doing some heavy lifting. 

I may have a unicorn.

Jk

 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> Remember when Sweden was vilified for its irresponsible behaviour, well they are currently overall better placed than U.K.

As is almost every country on the planet.  Including NZ, who are the polar opposite of Sweden in approach.

> and may now have herd immunity.

I know I’m saying this a lot lately, but link to credible evidence?

2
 Eric9Points 08 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> English data, but see no reason to think Scotland would be markedly different. Hospitality sector in the frame as major cause of transmission. Expect we will have similar restrictions here (Yorkshire ) announced by tomorrow night 

Yes I know what's your point? 

2
 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Speaking to a New Zealander recently he said their economy is now totally wrecked and they still have COVID in a vast country with a population about 10% of Greater London. The credible evidence is Sweden itself. Economy not wrecked, infection rates per capita way below U.K.

10
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

Your anecdotal kiwi has a very different view to my anecdotal kiwi.  I thought they currently had no known covid transmission?

> The credible evidence is Sweden itself. Economy not wrecked, infection rates per capita way below U.K.

How do either of those prove herd immunity?  

You are inferring it.  One might also reasonably infer that swedes are better at voluntarily regulating their social behaviour than Brits whilst noting how many more adults live in single occupancy households...

I haven’t seen actual compelling evidence of herd immunity.  It’s wishful thinking that the UK could be like Sweden - we had more strict control measures and more deaths per capita - how do you explain that?  It’s a conundrum to the idea that less strict measures would result in less deaths. 

Here is a paper in a reputable journal digging in to the details....  TLDR: Not looking promising for Sweden in terms of herd immunity.

I like the closing paragraph as a thoughtful balance.

>  Right now, despite ‘strict (but tardy) lock-down’ in the UK, and the more measured Swedish response, both countries have high seven-day averaged SARS-CoV-2 death rates when compared to other Scandinavian and European countries (see Table 1 and Figure 1). Only once we can fully understand both the pandemic and the impact of the measures that were taken – after 1–2 years at least – can we then begin fairly to judge what was done correctly.

 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0141076820945282

Post edited at 18:39
2
 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

To be honest we are diametrically opposed with our interpretation or understanding of the potential outcome of this current pandemic, so on my part that’s the end of my part. Just as an aside you’re not a teacher or lecturer are you?

1
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> To be honest we are diametrically opposed with our interpretation or understanding of the potential outcome of this current pandemic

I seem to be at odds with a lot of people.  They’re generally showing me nothing to justify their interpretations. Did you read the paper I linked?  I thought it was very balanced and insightful.

> Just as an aside you’re not a teacher or lecturer are you?

Not any longer.  I wanted to do something more challenging for myself so I’m now in commercial biotech.    Lockdown is the last thing I want from an employment perspective.

Post edited at 19:24
1
In reply to wintertree:

Yes. The Swedish miracle doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. It appears they had worse death rates than their neighbours but similar reductions in economic activity 

and they put themselves into a de facto lockdown without having to have this mandated or enforced 

they most certainly did not just carry on regardless. And even their modest and qualified success is of limited relevance to the UK where even much more restrictive compulsory measures failed to have a similar effect 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2251615-is-swedens-coronavirus-strategy-a-cautionary-tale-or-a-success-story/


 

oh, and Sweden is different in its response in a whole lot of other ways that seem mysteriously not to get a mention by people pushing for a “Swedish approach”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/26/welcome-to-libertarian-covid-fantasy-land-thats-sweden-to-you-and-me?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Post edited at 19:28
In reply to Eric9Points:

Sorry Eric, thought you might be interested, wasn’t aware you had already read it

 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> And even their modest and qualified success is of limited relevance to the UK where even much more restrictive compulsory measures failed to have a similar effect 

This is the critical bit; what does any reasonable person think would have happened if we had done less?

The Swedish approach appears to be based on a trust between people and government that if a rule/guidance is set to level 10, people obey it at level 10.  Here it’s set a law to level 12 and people on average obey it at level 9; over-legislation rather than willing compliance.

Our loss.

Post edited at 19:35
 Blunderbuss 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> Speaking to a New Zealander recently he said their economy is now totally wrecked and they still have COVID in a vast country with a population about 10% of Greater London. The credible evidence is Sweden itself. Economy not wrecked, infection rates per capita way below U.K.

And doing worse than Norway who locked down on the 12th March.....so you were saying what?

Also if the IFR is the same in Sweden and the UK we have similar levels of immunity.... 

 Blunderbuss 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > And even their modest and qualified success is of limited relevance to the UK where even much more restrictive compulsory measures failed to have a similar effect 

> This is the critical bit; what does any reasonable person think would have happened if we had done less?

> The Swedish approach appears to be based on a trust between people and government that if a rule/guidance is set to level 10, people obey it at level 10.  Here it’s set a law to level 12 and people on average obey it at level 9; over-legislation rather than willing compliance.

> Our loss.

It is mind bending the lack of logic in some people when they parrot the line that we should have done a 'Sweden' ... 

 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I’m not a medic, being a retired geotechnical engineer, but my outlook is greatly influenced by my daughter who is a third year  micro biology  PhD student at Imperial, actively involved in COVID research. My opining that you might be a teacher is very flippant insomuch as I’m married to a lawyer who reckons her most difficult clients when it comes to legal advice are teachers, as they believe they already know everything.

12
 Graeme G 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> My opining that you might be a teacher is very flippant insomuch as I’m married to a lawyer who reckons her most difficult clients when it comes to legal advice are teachers, as they believe they already know everything.

There’s nothing like a good generalisation to endear yourself to your audience. 
 

 DaveHK 08 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I don't understand anything you say. I don't understand if your graphs are based on data or your own predictions....I do know that you've invested a lot of time in making out that covid-19 is far worse than it really is, and I know that you speak to me in a language you know I can't understand because you are more intelligent than I am. But you are wrong, and arrogant.

And there in a nutshell is (perhaps) the defining conflict of these times; between an educated liberal elite* and all the rest who feel excluded by them.

* I don't mean that as a pejorative term. Partly because I'm one of them. I think.  

Post edited at 20:36
 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Teacher?

3
In reply to Philb1950:

Some of us on here are also involved in COVID research,  perhaps at a more senior level than your daughter, and seem to have a different viewpoint than the one you claim to have formed based on her influence. I won’t ask what her research is about as that could identify her and that wouldn’t be fair, but is it clinical or lab based research?

Post edited at 20:26
 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I’m sorry to infringe on your own perceived importance on this subject, but I’ve not been able to access your superior knowledge and had to depend on a poor second. Sorry about that.

10
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

So on the one hand you dismiss teachers and lecturers because "they believe they already know everything" and on the other hand you form your opinion on the basis of a university student, who is being taught by.... wait for it... lecturers?

I have supervised dozens of undergraduates involved in research projects; they can learn a phenomenal amount and do technically very impressive work; in most cases they are only just beginning to learn about the research field that they are working in.

On the subject of solicitors, I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last 2.5 years meeting with several small team of solicitors, and I do this precisely because I know that I do not know everything.

On the subject of knowing everything.  I do not.  I could be completely wrong and Sweden could be on the cusp of herd immunity etc.   That's the point - I don't know, you don't know basically nobody knows with certainty.  So, we have to evaluate the different options against the best incomplete evidence and logical induction we have, and the risks they carry.  Acting on an assumption that herd immunity can be achieved without massive societal disruption - let alone when we know that existing risk control measures far short of lockdown could limit R to be < 1 - is the epitome of unjustified recklessness to me.  We could do it, there's perhaps a 3% chance that it's a gamble that pays off.  It's the other 97% of possible futures I worry about.

Cases are growing in Sweden, and they are still retaining many voluntary risk control measures, and their CFR is ~0.4%.  Doesn't look like herd immunity to me.

1
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> I’m sorry to infringe on your own perceived importance on this subject, but I’ve not been able to access your superior knowledge and had to depend on a poor second. Sorry about that.

I linked to what I thought was a good and fair paper on the subject, did you read it?  There is a more generally written press release to go with it here. 

https://www.rsm.ac.uk/media-releases/2020/covid-19-herd-immunity-in-sweden-fails-to-materialise/

1
 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

No this is all too much. UKC forum table tennis is not really for me. I think I’ll stick to climbing, where over the years I’ve had far more success then my knowledge of medical matters

14
In reply to Philb1950:

No worries, apology accepted. though I’ve made plenty of posts on the subject, so observation doesn’t seem to be your strong suit either Phil...

2
 Graeme G 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

Me? No? Why you asking? I’m not the one saying I have all the answers. Apparently you believe you do, or at least based on the advice of a small handful of family and friends.

Recall that you came on criticising the FM for having no consideration for the economic impact of her decisions. I countered that I believe she does give due consideration to the private tax paying ‘gravy train’ (sic). I haven’t pretended to be a know it all, you have.

As I said earlier, enjoy your night mate.

 Le Sapeur 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Bilberry:

> How's the thread going?

Exactly as I hoped. Moths to a flame.

10
 pavelk 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur

Destroy lives to save lives!

Welcome to the new world

2
 Philb1950 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

First I haven’t claimed I have all the answers. I merely  posted an opinion. FM. Is that frequency modulation or the wee crankie first minister? If the latter, she has locked down the country safe in the knowledge that the Westminster government will continue to pay, albeit temporarily the furlough. I also feel that soon her Teflon persona might be tested once the courts find out what she and hubby knew about Alex Salmond before they threw him under the bus.

17
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Exactly as I hoped. Moths to a flame.

Found that article yet?  I genuinely want to read it and my google-fu wasn’t up to the task. 

1
In reply to Philb1950:

The rest of the UK is about to follow suit. 

1
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Exactly as I hoped. Moths to a flame.

I am Mothra!

 Le Sapeur 08 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Despite the trolling aspect of my earlier posts the Economist reference was genuine. I normally bin the magazines after reading but will see if I have kept this one. Possibly not though.

5
 wintertree 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Thanks.  To be clear, I'm not disputing the existence of the article nor the general gist of it, but I suspect that it doesn't actually prove the transmission that you claimed, just that the covid is there - a significantly different thing.  I'm also not saying that was a deliberate misrepresentation, just that I think you probably got the wrong end of the stick.

If I'm wrong and they have put together evidence of that level of transmission within schools, I'm even more interested to read it.  That would pose a very significant dilemma for everyone given the near absolute importance - rightly in my view - attached to schooling, but given how close to the brink we are getting.

1
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Despite the trolling aspect of my earlier posts..........

Do you expect people to believe that?

 Le Sapeur 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Do you expect people to believe that?

Up to them really.

5
 DaveHK 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to them really.

Try to make us believe. By posting your source perhaps.

 Le Sapeur 08 Oct 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

I'm off to the Borders to enjoy a meal out in England on Fri evening (before Boris catches up) so don't have time to look for the source.

10
 mondite 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

>  I normally bin the magazines after reading but will see if I have kept this one. Possibly not though.

Dont you have the digital edition as well? Which issue was it?

 jkarran 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Up to them really.

Are you saying your apparent upset at the (non)working conditions on Skye was an act to wind people up? Likewise your later assertion travel industry workers should be subject to those privations instead?

Pretty poor way of getting your kicks if so. I had a lot more sympathy and respect for you when I thought you were someone genuinely struggling, grasping for a less bad solution to our current predicament rather than yanking people's chains.

jk

Post edited at 09:00
1
 HansStuttgart 09 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> If I'm wrong and they have put together evidence of that level of transmission within schools, I'm even more interested to read it.  That would pose a very significant dilemma for everyone given the near absolute importance - rightly in my view - attached to schooling, but given how close to the brink we are getting.

Unlikely though. In NL (which has the schools open for much longer and with probably more direct contact between pupils) the transmission at schools and child day care centers is about 5%.

It is approximately:

household transmission: 55%

family other than households: 12%

work: 10%

schools: 5%

hospitals: 5%

care homes: 5%

bars/restaurants: 4%

sports and leisure: 4%

holiday: 4%

 Graeme G 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> First I haven’t claimed I have all the answers. I merely  posted an opinion. FM. Is that frequency modulation or the wee crankie first minister? If the latter, she has locked down the country safe in the knowledge that the Westminster government will continue to pay, albeit temporarily the furlough. I also feel that soon her Teflon persona might be tested once the courts find out what she and hubby knew about Alex Salmond before they threw him under the bus.

Watch you don’t let that bitterness get in the way of having an informed opinion.

2
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> household transmission: 55%

Yes, all those people selfish enough to be married or whatever and have children and stuff are the real problem. In my opinion they should be savagely locked down so that the rest of us who depend on going places for our (socially distanced) human contact can get on with our lives.

Post edited at 09:43
1
 HansStuttgart 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, all those people selfish enough to be married or whatever and have children and stuff are the real problem. In my opinion they should be savagely locked down so that the rest of us who depend on going places for our (socially distanced) human contact can get on with our lives.


You can't lock people in their houses! We should install plexiglas walls to separate them once they are inside the houses, though...

1
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> You can't lock people in their houses! 

Why not? I'd happily do my bit for the local community by going around stuffing the odd crust through smug couples' letter boxes.

1
 RedFive 09 Oct 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

Careful now, wintertree won’t accept those stats without a plethora of links and peer reviewed papers. 

see, that’s not in my nature. The internet does funny things to people. 

I think this thread got derailed and has become a Brexit lite them and us ping pong game. I can see now why WT is massively defensive of the teaching sector given his past occupation. 
 

My full disclosure is that I run a small Accountancy firm in Northumberland. I employ 4 people. 4 families who have been able to put food on the table as I’ve kept them fully employed during the whole pandemic. We claimed furlough grants for over 90 businesses a month and made no charge at all. We helped them claim the local authority grants and the self employed scheme. These people were struggling and despite my right leaning political beliefs I fully endorsed them. 
 

Now they are coming to an end at just the time the second wave is upon us. I don’t understand why we helped save millions of businesses and jobs but won’t now. Why didn’t we just pull the plug on them six months ago? That’s taxpayers money wasted if they end up going anyway. 
 

So closing hospitality and possibly other sectors is extremely worrying for me. I am directly engaged with many of them. I have been close to a nervous breakdown from the hundreds of calls I’ve taken from desperate business owners at the end of their their tethers this last six months. And it’s starting up again. 
 

These businesses will not survive a second closure. The domino effect means I will also have to cut costs of which my employees are the largest. I’ve never had to let an employee go in 10 years of being in business. I can’t even contemplate it. 
 

The point Sapuer made therefore IMHO is a good one. The Gov is pushing a stat last night that 30% of ‘exposures’ to cv happened in hospitality. I thinks that’s rubbish. It’s like saying 100% cv patients had been to the toilet in the last 24 hours so let’s ban toilets. Causation and correlation again which has been vastly misunderstood by the majority of pundits pushing their own agendas. 
 

http://digitaleditions.telegraph.co.uk/data/376/reader/reader.html?social#!preferred/0/package/376/pub/376/page/3/article/89997
 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/08/pubs-restaurants-really-driving-rise-covid-cases-none-data-says/
 

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-contact-tracing-app-has-only-sent-one-alert-about-an-outbreak-in-a-venue-12099651

Some of the lowest paid people in society are hospitality workers. Not because of minimum wage but because of short hours meaning they have multiple jobs. Pubs provide a sense of reason and solace to people’s lives. It’s all very well closing the country down when you live on a 10 acre small holding in Oxford. It’s quite another when you live in a tenement in Walker. 
 

Despite a sense of gallows humour loss by some on here I believe and have believed all along my earlier point is right. It’s a point though. A theory. Call it a hunch. I don’t have stats to prove it. 
 

Im not saying let it rip. But a managed exposure to the vast majority of people who will be fine (don’t mention long Covid that’s a tiny fraction of the actual people exposed) and target our resources to the vulnerable ones.
 

The South has already done it to a certain extent. Let’s find a way of working through it. 
 

Closing the pubs just because it’s a lever the Gov can pull to make it look like they are doing something is not the way forward. 

5
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> household transmission: 55%

> family other than households: 12%

> work: 10%

> schools: 5%

> hospitals: 5%

> care homes: 5%

> bars/restaurants: 4%

> sports and leisure: 4%

> holiday: 4%

So 1 person catches it somewhere on your lower part of the list, passes it to their partner at home. That's your transmission data explained. 

Folk can't moved out of home, schools and work places are a priority. So it seems only logical you restrict the leisure industry. Paying people to socialise and eat out during the school holidays was always going to be a disaster, when they should have used August to push the numbers down before an inevitable rise with schools and universities starting back. 

In reply to RedFive:

There is a flaw in your cunning plan baldrick, how do you protect the vulnerable if their carers are young and won't show symptoms whilst potentially being infectious? 

 Blunderbuss 09 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> Im not saying let it rip. But a managed exposure to the vast majority of people who will be fine (don’t mention long Covid that’s a tiny fraction of the actual people exposed) and target our resources to the vulnerable ones.

Managed exposure.....what does this mean? and how are you going to target resources to the vulnerable..... in what way?

These vague, seductive, easy solutions sound good until you need to put some meat on the bones....

> The South has already done it to a certain extent. Let’s find a way of working through it. 

How have they done this?

Post edited at 11:00
In reply to HansStuttgart:

Out of interest, is the household transmission due to gatherings (mainly avoidable) or simply siblings/parents catching it off each other (unavoidable).  We hear a lot about homes are worst places, but I know very few people who actually go into other people homes and wonder if this statistic is such an unavoidable red herring that it should be removed from the data. 

Post edited at 11:04
1
In reply to mick taylor:

> Out of interest, is the household transmission due to gatherings (mainly avoidable) or simply siblings/parents catching it off each other (unavoidable).  

My last two posts were (slightly) tongue in cheek, but it seems to me that if one person in a household gets it then there is a very high probablility that the others will get it.  A person living on their own is significantly less likely to catch and therefore to spread the virus all other things being equal. Maybe, in the longer term, everyone should be allocated a "potential transmission budget" with those in multi-person households having it largely used up at home and people living alone allowed more contact outside in leisure activities. 

In reply to mick taylor:

> Out of interest, is the household transmission due to gatherings (mainly avoidable) or simply siblings/parents catching it off each other (unavoidable).  We hear a lot about homes are worst places, but I know very few people who actually go into other people homes and wonder if this statistic is such an unavoidable red herring that it should be removed from the data. 

Yeah, that's the thing.

Given that when one person in a household gets it it tends to result in everyone else there getting it too, I think it would actually be more useful to look at the stats at a household level than an individual one - which households have caught it, and where they may have passed it to other households.

This would still show transmission between households at house parties, but would eliminate the noise from parents, kids and siblings infecting each other at home.

Post edited at 11:19
 jkarran 09 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> Now they are coming to an end at just the time the second wave is upon us. I don’t understand why we helped save millions of businesses and jobs but won’t now. Why didn’t we just pull the plug on them six months ago? That’s taxpayers money wasted if they end up going anyway. 

At least three obvious possibilities exist:

*They will yet act to preserve most of those companies and jobs as the second wave bites.

*They didn't in April know what was going to be possible so a punt on furlough and economic preservation was worthwhile. The government has since then, in light of new information and consideration, decided it's better to let market forces act.

*Covid was a largely Southern problem in Marc-April striking hard at the economic heart of the nation and the Conservatives' voter base who therefore had to be shielded from their wantonly cruel and inadequate welfare 'reforms', not least because it would have made lockdown impossible without triggering a near instant stockmarket and banking crash. Less so now it's in the North and Scotland.

All those are simplistic and in reality they're probably all at play to some degree.

> So closing hospitality and possibly other sectors is extremely worrying for me. I am directly engaged with many of them. I have been close to a nervous breakdown from the hundreds of calls I’ve taken from desperate business owners at the end of their their tethers this last six months. And it’s starting up again. 

Look at the covid numbers, they are going to be closed again. The issue is when and for how long. The assumption is the smaller the problem, the quicker and easier it is to deal with. The risk: you have to repeat smaller shut downs more frequently as the virus will recur between them.

> These businesses will not survive a second closure. The domino effect means I will also have to cut costs of which my employees are the largest. I’ve never had to let an employee go in 10 years of being in business. I can’t even contemplate it. 

That is to a degree a choice for government. Let's hope the Conservatives really are interested in preserving the economy of the North, not mired in brexit and distracted by London.

> The point Sapuer made therefore IMHO is a good one. The Gov is pushing a stat last night that 30% of ‘exposures’ to cv happened in hospitality. I thinks that’s rubbish. It’s like saying 100% cv patients had been to the toilet in the last 24 hours so let’s ban toilets. Causation and correlation again which has been vastly misunderstood by the majority of pundits pushing their own agendas. 

Possibly, it's hard to unpick without experiment. The problem is we do need to unpick it and the experiments are very very expensive.

That proves nothing. I know I'm not using the QR check-in function on the app and I haven't seen anyone else do so either, it's pointless, the message it generates if an outbreak occurs is of no use to anyone.

Full disclosure, I love pubs, I really really hope they don't get squeezed too hard because I know many will fail without significant support. On the other hand they will also fail if they lose customers to fear as the epidemic accelerates or are closed for longer to deal with a more serious problem in a months time. That also makes Christmas impossible with enormous social and economic implications. There are no good options here.

> Despite a sense of gallows humour loss by some on here I believe and have believed all along my earlier point is right. It’s a point though. A theory. Call it a hunch. I don’t have stats to prove it. 

What point?

> Im not saying let it rip. But a managed exposure to the vast majority of people who will be fine (don’t mention long Covid that’s a tiny fraction of the actual people exposed) and target our resources to the vulnerable ones.

Oh that point. Well you're entitled to believe what you like but since you're pushing for a policy epidemiologists tell us could kill hundreds of thousands and in so doing wreak untold economic , social and political damage, it would be better based on some hard science than a gut feeling.

> The South has already done it to a certain extent. Let’s find a way of working through it.

c60k dead in wave one. In summer. With a hard lockdown. 

> Closing the pubs just because it’s a lever the Gov can pull to make it look like they are doing something is not the way forward.

What if in three weeks time it's abundantly clear it was actually the way forward*, will you be eating humble pie or claiming it's evidence of herd immunity and that the pandemic is over because that's what the Telegraph will be telling you loud and clear?

*I have my doubts but doing nothing simply isn't an option here. My wife gave birth at the height of the first wave, our hospital was perhaps a week from being swamped, if that had happened she and my little girl would have died . We're approaching that tipping point again, it didn't feel like it in the weeks before it happened last time, it doesn't feel like it again now but look at the numbers, listen to the people managing resources, it's where we are.

All courses of action from here including pretending there isn't a problem until it's too big to ignore have associated costs, big ones. The option being kited this weekend, further hospitality restrictions and closures can be mitigated with borrowed cash much more effectively than the alternatives. Stop pressing for more carnage, start lobbying a government I presume you voted for for more support. Tell your MP what happens if they let you and the businesses you support down.

jk

Post edited at 11:41
 mondite 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Maybe, in the longer term, everyone should be allocated a "potential transmission budget" with those in multi-person households having it largely used up at home and people living alone allowed more contact outside in leisure activities. 

So those who are having to lived in cramped house shares will get told to stay in when they arent working their arses off to deliver parcels etc to those who can afford to live in a nice house with mostly a garden. Yeah can see that going down well.

1
In reply to mondite:

> So those who are having to lived in cramped house shares will get told to stay in when they arent working their arses off to deliver parcels etc to those who can afford to live in a nice house with mostly a garden. Yeah can see that going down well.

There could be a system of exemptions. I'm thinking of this as a long term thing if it turns out we have to live with this virus for a fair number of years.

 RedFive 09 Oct 2020
In reply to jkarran:

Thanks for your measured and thoughtful response jk. 

I’ll say again I’m not advocating ‘let it rip’. How about we divert the billions that *may* be spent on supporting everyone that don’t necessarily need it to target the vulnerable.

So proper PPE for care homes for starters. Unlimited medical grade protection for every carer or tradesperson whether going into a home or an individuals household.

Food packages - and I don’t mean the stuff they are giving students I mean Waitrose deliveries for anyone that needs to shield.

Then a combination of mitigation’s to the rest of us like we had in July and August to allow a functioning society.

I say this with elderly parents one of whom was a smoker for 60 years until giving up 10 years ago and the other who had a heart attack due to a faulty gene when she was 55. They have pretty much self isolated during the whole 6 months despite not being on the official shielding letter list.

We have taken care of them and instead of meeting in the local spoons every Wednesday we have been FaceTiming a Wednesday night pint since 15th March.

They still jump in the car and head to the coast for a flask of coffee and watch the waves crashing against the shore. They just don’t take risks that they deem to be unnecessary. Doesn’t matter that I think they would be fine as 99.7% of people are that’s their choice.

It can be done with the right support  

2
 Blunderbuss 09 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

Do you consider having to be admitted to hospital as 'being fine'?

The current infection > hospitalisation rate is around 3% and this is despite the surge in cases being amongst those aged 18-30 years old.......if this spills further into the older age groups this is likely to increase.

Who is in your shielding group aside from the extremely vunerable? Everyone over a certain age, if so what age? Are they literally told to stay at home?

Post edited at 12:59
 MargieB 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Solution- a vaccine.

In the meantime I'd like my self-employed hospitality business to receive the same support as before (80%} to survive to Easter. Thanks. I wrote to my MP and he said he was advocating for hospitality as a particularly hit sector.

Post edited at 13:08
 climbingpixie 09 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> Put it this way, I make 25 quid an hour as a bricky. If the government offered me 25 quid an hour 24/7 for a month to live in a care home and look after old people, on the condition that I cannot interact with anyone outside the care home I'd say yes. Then two weeks later I'd say yes again.

But what if you were on £8.72 an hour? And you had young kids or other caring responsibilities? Carers have lives too! It's just not practical for a huge number of carers and it's also not palatable, especially for the sort of timescales required for herd immunity to develop.

 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> It can be done with the right support  

It's a probability game.

What is the probability that a shielding person must meet with a non-shielding person, e.g. for healthcare?

  • What is the probability in a meeting with a non-shielding person they are exposed to infection?
  • The probability that the non-shielding person depends on prevalence; 5% would be quite low if we went down this route.
  • What is the probability of a false negative in their most recent screening test meaning that the non-shielding person is infectious but doesn't know it? 40% is a reasonable assumption for weekly testing.
  • So each necessary meeting carries a 5% x 40% = 2% chance of meeting with an infected person.
  • How many meetings single person contacts can they have - 'x' -  and have a 50/50 chance of being exposed to Covid?
    •  (1 - 0.02)^x = 0.5 => x = x = 34.  
  • This is going to go on for 3 months (at least) - so to keep even odds of not being exposed, a shielded person can meet 1 person every 3 days.
    • That's clearly not going to work for anyone who is in a care home.
    • I'm not convinced PPE is enough for constant, ongoing exposure.  It reduces probabilities but not by the multiple orders of magnitude needed.  Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing a spike in care home cases now.
Post edited at 13:12
 jkarran 09 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> Thanks for your measured and thoughtful response jk. 

> I’ll say again I’m not advocating ‘let it rip’. How about we divert the billions that *may* be spent on supporting everyone that don’t necessarily need it to target the vulnerable.

How, what exactly does that look like, how is it organised, managed, by whom, how are the risks controlled?

> So proper PPE for care homes for starters. Unlimited medical grade protection for every carer or tradesperson whether going into a home or an individuals household.

It's back in care homes despite currently being in ~1% of the general population. That's despite a summer to learn and prepare, billions spent on stockpiling PPE. Now we're in the teeth of it again you want to upgrade everyone's protection and training? Ok, great. How?

What about the majority of those who are significantly vulnerable who don't live in sheltered accommodation but have needs outside their door? Convince me it's worth it, what do we gain by taking this huge risk that we couldn't achieve more safely by other means?

Yesterday you glossed over the 'long covid' but of the handful of folk I know who've had it one of them has been totally debilitated, basically unable to work for nearly 6 months. He's ~30 and was very fit.

> Food packages - and I don’t mean the stuff they are giving students I mean Waitrose deliveries for anyone that needs to shield.

That was done last time surprisingly effectively, they still lived in fear (I was making welfare calls to people on the shielding list) and died in their droves.

> Then a combination of mitigation’s to the rest of us like we had in July and August to allow a functioning society.

What we were doing in August was just about holding, it could with tweaks and care have seen us through to the early experiments with mass vaccination, it meant the elderly could engage in a society underpinned by a working, if somewhat constrained, economy. They could again if we nipped this off and went back to that but I fear government has lost control of the messaging, too many people (like yourself) have been convinced to let it go. In part I believe the propaganda and lobbying underlying this trend is more to do with stoking the 'culture war', dividing society along numerous small faults than anything directly to do with eugenics, the economy or public health.

> I say this with elderly parents one of whom was a smoker for 60 years until giving up 10 years ago and the other who had a heart attack due to a faulty gene when she was 55. They have pretty much self isolated during the whole 6 months despite not being on the official shielding letter list. We have taken care of them and instead of meeting in the local spoons every Wednesday we have been FaceTiming a Wednesday night pint since 15th March.

That's good. Mine are in no better shape but are at least safe and able to dine out in a functioning local economy because where they live eradicated it but lots of the more vulnerable can't do that. they have to engage with services or hold down high risk jobs, they have caring and business responsibilities, their lives don't fit in a bubble.

> It can be done with the right support

Hundreds of thousands of people don't have anything like that support. We as a society are nowhere near able to provide for their needs, especially while we ourselves will be sick in huge numbers, doubly so since we'd have to be ready to do this in just a matter of days yet as soon as we were asked to prepare we'd instead be off to hit Asda for 72 bogrolls and 10kilos of pasta shells because we know full well everyone else will be doing the same.

Pillar one (health service) cases are currently dominated by people in the 20-40 age band. If that's predominantly staff the system has already broken down at this low level of community transmission. If that's the young acutely unwell and hospitals are issuing bed warnings with ~1% of the population infected what will happen as that approaches 10% of us infected? Even assuming segregation of the most vulnerable can be reestablished and holds? Will the entertainment and hospitality economy you argue to protect function without safe available healthcare in a pandemic, remember your chances dramatically deteriorate as hospitals saturate, CFR shoots up (Italy and New York's experience) or with large numbers of frequently quarantined staff and customers?

Will the the border stay open to the Ro-Ro trucks we depend upon? We probably peaked at % infected last time yet France literally threatened to cut off our food supply and we're never more than days from empty shelves. Will the wider economy work with real shortages manifesting? Will people turn up at their counters, cabs and desks to work or queue to feed their families?

jk

Post edited at 13:54
AndrewSmith45 09 Oct 2020
In reply to climbingpixie:

I'm suggesting we pay people more.
Post edited at 13:59
 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> We probably peaked at % infected

Doing some backwards emjoji writing I suppose that was "less than 3%".  Today's ONS update landed, North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber are all well on their way to 1.5% and doubling times are on the order of a week right now.

Post edited at 14:03

 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to RedFive:

> Careful now, wintertree won’t accept those stats without a plethora of links and peer reviewed papers.

Are you deliberately misrepresenting what I have said on this thread?  My issue was that another poster made a wild claim without presenting any evidence for it.  I have been asking people to evidence wild claims, I have not been asking them for peer reviewed evidence.  It's an article in the economist.  I think they mis-interpreted it.  I'd like to see it so I can get to the bottom of it - and I have been clear that if the evidence they claimed to have seen is real, that I am open to seeing it.  I have asked for a link to it.  The last time I checked, The Economist wasn't peer reviewed. 

I asked for one link to one article, not a "plethora of links" and not "peer reviewed data".  

>  I can see now why WT is massively defensive of the teaching sector given his past occupation. 

You are making several utterly wrong assumptions there.  Feel free to keep going after me on a personal basis  rather than my points, if that is all that you have to give.

  • I have never been a school teacher.
  • I was openly skeptical on UKC about the return of schools in terms of "R" although I was also clear I agree that it's close to top priority.
  • I have openly torn in to the return of universities on multiple occasions on UKC for reasons that were bloody obvious to all and sundry and that are coming to pass.

I have not been on the defensive.  I have been on the offensive against a poster claiming to have evidence that 25% of all transmission of Covid is occurring within schools.  "Pony up or shut up."

> These businesses will not survive a second closure. 

So lobby for support for businesses and/or their employees, rather than endorse the misrepresentation of evidence to push for a dangerous route for "managing" the pandemic to which no end of evidenced opinions disagree.

> A theory. Call it a hunch. I don’t have stats to prove it. 

But plenty of people have copious evidence as to why your call for "managed exposure" is dangerous.  If you are going to ignore all of that in favour of your gut hunch then you are acting like a dangerous fool.

Post edited at 14:45
2
 jkarran 09 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I'm suggesting we pay people more.

More pay doesn't get a nurse's or chef's kids up and ready for school every day if he's suddenly effectively become a submariner in a locked down care home. Nor does it suddenly train tens of thousands of new GPs to replace those we're embedding in each sealed facility. We'll need those too if we're all going to get quite sick! What do we do with people who develop residential care needs in that year or those in care needing urgent hospital services?

This lasts months, maybe a year, not weeks. It kills and maims the whole time it's happening, it comes with international pariah status, border and market disruption. Also when we're done suffering outside the bubbles we still haven't eradicated covid, there's probably about this much circulating for years in the wider community so it'll still kill randomly eroding confidence, reducing social engagement of the over 50s, still rip through closed communities with no developed immunity when it finds them. It isn't a practical, humane or economically sensible proposition.

If the vaccines all fail to deliver in 2021 we re-evaluate but even then I think we'd be better to keep working at safer options into 2022.

jk

Post edited at 14:25
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

> I'm suggesting we pay people more.

Even the ones who have no relevant skills for the job ie working with a population with complex multimorbidity? 

it’s an approach, for sure. 
 

do you have any frail highly dependent elderly relatives who you’d be happy to have looked after by a cohort of assorted workers from unrelated industries who seem to have their eye on making a fast buck? 

Post edited at 14:26
1
 climbingpixie 09 Oct 2020
In reply to AndrewSmith45:

Do you have kids to look after? Maybe an elderly family member you help out? What do you do about them while you're cocooned off in a home? There's a reason why the demographic that works in care homes is quite different to the demographic that works on, say, oil rigs doing month on month off.

 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Even the ones who have no relevant skills for the job ie working with a population with complex multimorbidity? 

There's a place for them in this plan.  

With so many stuff suddenly living in trailer parks outside care homes, someone is going to have to tend to their needs inside the new compounds.  Cooks, physio therapists (I imagine some of care home roles are physically demanding), building maintenance, you name it, they need to be in there too for the next 3-6 months. 

What is really needed to improve shielding is I think is better and more frequent diagnostic testing for the asymptomatically infectious.  By better I mean lower reporting latency and lower false -ve rates.

I wonder if different qPCR thresholds could be used for prophylactically pulling people out of care roles vs screening symptomatic members of the general population?  More false positives but that's an okay trade off for significantly reducing the 30% to 50% false negative rates for prophylactic screening?

Post edited at 14:45
1
AndrewSmith45 09 Oct 2020
In reply to climbingpixie:

Well no, I don't know much about the demographics of care workers. I have worked away though and left my wife and kid at home. Six months was the longest stretch. What do you think we should do?
Post edited at 14:48
6
In reply to wintertree:

> All I can conceive of for a source for this is the PHE data (or Scottish equivalent?) on outbreaks by setting combined with some misunderstanding of the data.  An "outbreak" is two or more cases linked by a common factor, it is not proof of transmission within the setting and nor does it require transmission within the setting.

> Given that schools have far more people in them than pubs (half a million teachers alone), it's hardly surprising that there are more cases in schools is it?  This doesn't imply transmission within schools however and I've seen more instances of super-spreading events involving pubs than schools.  The evidence is stacking up (e.g. ONS random sampling surveys) that prevalence is very low in junior school aged children, and the staff work in small numbers per separate classroom so staff-to-staff transmission should be very low given risk control measures, compared to many adults in one room at a pub.

Surely it's a reasonable inference that there is likely to be some sort of correlation between where the outbreaks are and where transmission occurs, isn't it? It's not easy to find out where transmission is occurring and I've always been looking at this PHE outbreak data as the best available proxy.

As far as I've seen there are question marks regarding transmission from young children, for one it's very difficult to perform the test on them and be sure you've done it properly which I know from experience. The lack of evidence of transmission between and from young children may just be down to bad data. Thinking about the biology though, why would the infected cells of small children not be spewing out virus particles like everyone elses?

Post edited at 15:14
 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Surely it's a reasonable inference that there is likely to be some sort of correlation between where the outbreaks are and where transmission occurs, isn't it?

I'm not sure that it is.   Outbreaks are only defined, traced and reported outside of households, and we know that a lot of transmission happens within households.  It's where people were before they developed symptoms that matters, outbreaks are where they are when they present symptoms, as I understand it.

> It's not easy to find out where transmission is occurring

I agree.  It's damned difficult especially with case numbers as high as they are.  Which is why I specifically queried the OP claiming to have read evidence that *transmission* was happening in schools.

> and I've always been looking at this PHE outbreak data as the best available proxy.

As I said, outbreaks exclude the household.  There is new contact tracing data presented in the latest reports on where people were before onset of symptoms.  

Here's my take own the "25% of transmission in schools claim". 

  • If you look at the ONS data for prevalence by age in their random sampling pilot surveys (figure 5 in 1), prevalence is low for primary school age, higher for secondary and much higher for the damned useless age bin of "School Year 12 to age 24 ".  
  • Let's look at the hypothesis that transmission is driven by secondary and 6th form.  Population-wise this is perhaps 8% of people in England.
  • So, if 8% of the population in schools is causing 25% of the spread (the claim upthread), we have a real - major - problem and that evidence would be earth shattering in terms of its consequences for the debate around school opening. 

The ONS really, really need to separate the critical age bin to 6th form and > 18.  In practice it's clear a lot of the spread in that bin is being driven by the universities.  So I think schools would have to be responsible for > 5 times the average transmission rate to drive 25% of transmission - which isn't compatible with the ONS data (unless it's 6th forms predominantly driving growth in that useless age bin, which would need something like 10x pro-rata transmission). 

The pieces of information are from different jigsaws and they don't fit together to a coherent picture.

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/englandwalesandnorthernireland9october2020

Post edited at 15:41
 HansStuttgart 09 Oct 2020
In reply to summo:

> So 1 person catches it somewhere on your lower part of the list, passes it to their partner at home. That's your transmission data explained. 

> Folk can't moved out of home, schools and work places are a priority. So it seems only logical you restrict the leisure industry. Paying people to socialise and eat out during the school holidays was always going to be a disaster, when they should have used August to push the numbers down before an inevitable rise with schools and universities starting back. 

The alternative to more restrictions is trying to be smarter about it. Restricting restaurants and bars will probably reduce the amount of transmission in restaurants and bars. But people will probably just meet elsewhere because the government is not very good at convincing people to reduce their social interactions at the moment. So the reduction in transmission in the hospitality sector becomes a gain in transmission in the sector contact with friends.

I think governments shoulds focus on better guidelines/rules to minimize transmission at work places so risk at work decreases while work continues. Same for hospitals/care homes, speaking as a Dutch person here, it is a shame that transmission in hospitals/care homes is still so large....

In reply to HansStuttgart:

Why not do all of that. A bit less pub time isn't going to do the UK population any harm. 

3
 HansStuttgart 09 Oct 2020
In reply to summo:

> Why not do all of that.

limited state capacity.

1
 HansStuttgart 09 Oct 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

> Out of interest, is the household transmission due to gatherings (mainly avoidable) or simply siblings/parents catching it off each other (unavoidable).  We hear a lot about homes are worst places, but I know very few people who actually go into other people homes and wonder if this statistic is such an unavoidable red herring that it should be removed from the data. 

It is transmission between people living in the same household. So mostly families, but also student homes, young people sharing homes, refugee accommodation, low-paid migrant worker accommodation, etc.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Why not? I'd happily do my bit for the local community by going around stuffing the odd crust through smug couples' letter boxes.

There's an image.

 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> It is transmission between people living in the same household. So mostly families, but also student homes, young people sharing homes, refugee accommodation, low-paid migrant worker accommodation, etc.

Household transmission is an interesting one because (students and barrack style accommodation aside), it will burn through a household quite quickly once it gets in. If it doesn't get in, it won't.   Household groupings are far more stable and contained than most others such as workplaces or leisure/service/retail venues.  As has been said upthread, households can't be shut down in the way other things can.

So knocking out the transmission bridges between the households its critical - reduce the bridges and household transmission reduces accordingly (after infected households burn out).  Looked at one way, household transmission is like a less lethal version of care home transmission - an indicative, unavoidable symptom of transmission that is occurring in other settings.

 Some bridges are more important than others.   We have to get R to be under 1.  The way to do this isn't to take out the biggest bridges first, it's to rank them in terms of overall importance and to start taking them out from least important first until R is under 1.

I think the Mike Curb Congregation are going to feature heavily in policy decisions over the next week or so.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG7p3KHwS_E&

Post edited at 22:03
1
In reply to wintertree:

> > Surely it's a reasonable inference that there is likely to be some sort of correlation between where the outbreaks are and where transmission occurs, isn't it?

> I'm not sure that it is.   Outbreaks are only defined, traced and reported outside of households, and we know that a lot of transmission happens within households.  It's where people were before they developed symptoms that matters, outbreaks are where they are when they present symptoms, as I understand it.

> I agree.  It's damned difficult especially with case numbers as high as they are.  Which is why I specifically queried the OP claiming to have read evidence that *transmission* was happening in schools.

> As I said, outbreaks exclude the household.  There is new contact tracing data presented in the latest reports on where people were before onset of symptoms.  

> Here's my take own the "25% of transmission in schools claim". 

> If you look at the ONS data for prevalence by age in their random sampling pilot surveys (figure 5 in 1), prevalence is low for primary school age, higher for secondary and much higher for the damned useless age bin of "School Year 12 to age 24 ".  

> Let's look at the hypothesis that transmission is driven by secondary and 6th form.  Population-wise this is perhaps 8% of people in England.

> So, if 8% of the population in schools is causing 25% of the spread (the claim upthread), we have a real - major - problem and that evidence would be earth shattering in terms of its consequences for the debate around school opening. 

> The ONS really, really need to separate the critical age bin to 6th form and > 18.  In practice it's clear a lot of the spread in that bin is being driven by the universities.  So I think schools would have to be responsible for > 5 times the average transmission rate to drive 25% of transmission - which isn't compatible with the ONS data (unless it's 6th forms predominantly driving growth in that useless age bin, which would need something like 10x pro-rata transmission). 

> The pieces of information are from different jigsaws and they don't fit together to a coherent picture.

Thanks for the steer. By those figures I make it 9,000 cases in primary schools and 15,000 cases in secondary schools which together amount to 11% of the 224,000 covid cases in the community in England. Whether that equates to 11% of the transmissions I don't know? 

For my part I don't think schools or pubs should be open while Covid 19 is so prevalent in the community.

 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> By those figures I make it 9,000 cases in primary schools and 15,000 cases in secondary schools which together amount to 11% of the 224,000 covid cases in the community in England. 

I've only eyeballed the plots rather than doing the maths; that got me to around 8%; I was taking in to account the age bin being from Age 2 so including pre-school.  But that's navel gazing on my behalf really.  It would be a funny old world where 11% of cases were both the source and outcome of 25% of transmission.

> Whether that equates to 11% of the transmissions I don't know? 

To my understanding it neither proves nor disproves it.  If you look at how many hours the child spends awake interacting with family members at home vs with other children in school and divvy transmission up pro-rata to infections you'd get more like 5% or so of transmission in school and the other 5% or so at home.  Much of school past the early years is spent with physical separation, little close contact, regular hand washing, teachers reminding people to cough to the jumper on their elbows, with good ventilation and so on.  I have very little idea what goes in in the households of other people with small children to be honest!  But going for a naive pro-rata split that gives us 5% transmission in schools, or 5x less than the other poster's claim.

The great thing about the ONS data (vs the PHE reports) is that they provide a numeric version.  I've been measuring the comparative size of bars in the PHE reports with a paint package recently...

> For my part I don't think schools or pubs should be open while Covid 19 is so prevalent in the community.

There are other things we could cut before the schools, that I think would get us back to R<1.  I see schools as close to a last resort after the whole hospitality sector and universities.  

I'm nervous at how similar the doubling times seem to be to early March, despite workplaces having put a massive amount of effort into risk control measures; I'd love to know how much of this is driven by private house/house visits and interactions.  These are one of the things that absolutely should go before schools (excepting support/caring bubbles etc.) but it's to exactly easy to see or enforce.

Post edited at 22:43
 Dave the Rave 09 Oct 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Every picture that I see of mainly young folk enjoying a very close selfie with a mate and a pint, makes me realise that we are pissing into the wind. 
The photos could be pre Covid , but I doubt it. 
Most of the youth have voted along with some older folk. 
Unless we have enforced measures, which may cause some unrest, then we may as well accept the wheel of fortune?

1
 wintertree 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

You could be right

> Unless we have enforced measures, which may cause some unrest, then we may as well accept the wheel of fortune?

Call it the wheel of misfortune and you’re getting there.  I worry that some of its wedges are labelled “death and disorder”. 

Uncharted waters ahead.

Post edited at 23:27
 elsewhere 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Those are the pictures you see because they make a good story, but they are not the real picture.

"Young people as diligent about Covid measures as older people, survey finds"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/30/young-people-as-diligent-about-covid-measures-as-older-peers-survey-finds

1
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Every picture that I see of mainly young folk enjoying a very close selfie with a mate and a pint, makes me realise that we are pissing into the wind. 

the vast majority of folk entering my 'bubble' in the supermarket etc are older than me. It's very odd. Some folk just aren't bothered. 

> Unless we have enforced measures, which may cause some unrest, then we may as well accept the wheel of fortune?

Sadly, I think you're right. It's lose lose.

 Blunderbuss 10 Oct 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

Old people are allowed to go shopping for food! 

 HansStuttgart 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Old people are allowed to go shopping for food! 


but it would be nice if they would shop in a socially distanced way...

3
 Blunderbuss 10 Oct 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> but it would be nice if they would shop in a socially distanced way...

I don't see any difference in age groups when I'm in the supermarket....and comparing someone walking past you within 2m to some of the youthful antics up and down the country is a bit daft. 

1
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Old people are allowed to go shopping for food! 

And so am I. If I'm looking at the cheese, don't come and stand right next to me. Wait for me to be finished with the cheese. 

Why are you so desperate for cheese??? Is your edam time limited? Do you fear a camembert rush?? Has all this bought back memories of the 70's when no one collected the bins and you couldn't get a decent cave aged Roquefort for love nor money? 

Just wait 20 seconds. Jeez.

1
In reply to wintertree:

I've done some googling and found this definition of outbreak from PHE.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control/epidemiological-definitions-of-outbreaks-and-clusters-in-particular-settings

In a school there has to be an identified direct exposure within the setting or an absence of an alternative source of infection outside the setting to be classed as an outbreak. So, not proof of transmission but, unless I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading, the statistic is meant to be identifying where PHE think the transmissions are most likely occurring.

I think that if 8% of the population are suddenly spending 6hrs a day together in poorly ventilated rooms while other sizeable segments of the population are not mixing then it is quite likely that they will be a key driver of community transmission. When you look at that ONS data the background level of prevalence in the community is approx. 0.25% (including primary school aged children to be fair) but it is only the secondary school to age 24 age bins that have a prevalence above this level.

If we had stayed locked down so that prevalence of Covid 19 in the community was close to zero then maybe schools could have reopened and we could have all gone back to normal with any outbreaks contained by test and trace, but reopening schools with community transmission so high a few weeks ago was never going to allow for containment. Now I believe there needs to be more effort into supporting parents to home educate.

Post edited at 00:18
 wintertree 12 Oct 2020
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Thanks for diffing that out - very useful.  I've pasted the relevant bit in below in italics.

I don't think it is definitive proof of school based transmission by any means.  It absolutely does not rule it out, but it's not good proof either.

The criteria requires "one of", which is compatible with the "OR" you described it with in a boolean sense.  My problem in applying this to schools is that they all meet the first bullet point pretty much by default, and so under the boolean OR this always applies.  If the criteria and been  "and both of", a boolean AND, or even just required the second bullet point, then it would lean towards strong proof of school based transmission.

The key question that can be asked of the data to resolve this is: did outbreaks in schools lead or lag those in other parts of the community?  PHE must have this data...

>  Now I believe there needs to be more effort into supporting parents to home educate.

The situation up north is getting so serious that erring on the side of caution and not demanding proof of transmission, but acting on a reasonable worst case assumption - which I think you have arrived it - is prudent.  Looking at the age-based statistics were I in charge, I think Tier 2 would include all sixth forms doing distance learning / home study and Tier 3 would do the same for children over 12 years of age.  I think the difficulty is soon going to be convincing teachers to go in to classrooms in the worse areas - it's not something I would be prepared to ask anyone to do.

No sign of last Thursday's PHE Surveillance Report; it's release has long slipped to the Friday but this week is taking this piss - another sign of behind the scenes IT meltdowns?

Outbreak criteria

Two or more test-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among individuals associated with a specific non-residential setting with illness onset dates within 14 days, and one of:

  • identified direct exposure between at least 2 of the test-confirmed cases in that setting (for example under one metre face to face, or spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres) during the infectious period of one of the cases
  • when there is no sustained local community transmission - absence of an alternative source of infection outside the setting for the initially identified cases
Post edited at 10:15

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