Covid-19 (vaguely non-political thread!)

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Lake, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Antoine

    Wouldn't higher covid related deaths also show in higher excess deaths - in other words when compared to previous years when Covid didn't exist?

    I don't see how it's possible to have higher Covid deaths yet lower excess deaths
  2. The theoretical explanation would be if many of the Covid deaths (deaths where Covid is present) are deaths that would have occurred anyway (so aren’t “excess”.) Perhaps due to Covid spreading rapidly in hospitals. I have no idea if that’s what’s happening.
    Antoine Singer likes this.
  3. Any views on the new track and trace scheme? There was a spectacularly useless woman from the government on Question Time last night who made nothing clear (and effectively said - mostly as a defence from criticism of lack of app - that if you followed social distancing then T&T was irrelevant). The presenter clearly didn't understand the self-isolation rules either.

    I was thinking that right now, if I got a call telling me to self-isolate, I'd be rather shocked, as I am 100% sure that I've not been "in close contact" with anyone outside my family for the last 2 months.

    The most realistic case for someone who's been careful (and is working from home or in a compliant office) these last few weeks would be sharing space on public transport - and that is where the app would be needed.

    Therefore, the only people for whom T&T is effective is those who are not careful and who have been breaking the rules.... And surely they'll do a Cummings?

    I must be missing something.
  4. If I receive automated instructions to self-isolate for 14 days whenever I come near someone with covid, I shall promptly be working a 1 in 15 rota.
  5. Track and Trace gets interesting when it catches out so many supermarket staff that the shops are forced to close. I wonder what the plan is then?
    Jonathan Hesford likes this.
  6. It would seem difficult to discuss this without being political, something that means quite different things to different people.
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  7. Our governments are sort of working on the hope that the virus will die out if people follow the social distancing rules, self-isolate themselves if they are suspected of being infected and don't travel without good reason. Maybe it will work and the number of infected people in a population are so low and people are so careful that the virus never kicks off again. Maybe they are wrong and the second wave will be worse than the first because there are currently a lot more infect people than there were at the start. But I'm still of the opinion that waiting for a vaccine is a strategy that can't work because the world is quickly running out of money. At the moment governments are borrowing from each other and from investors but given that every country has severely reduced its ability to generate any money means it's like the sub-prime debt crisis but 100 times worse. Pension funds are already warning that they don't have enough money coming in to pay out. What happens when a country without a good credit rating gets refused lending to pay its people to remain out of work?

    The other problem with the vaccine solution is that millions of people will refuse to take it. 26% of French polled say they wouldn't.

    My point about using Brazil wasn't so much that it's a poor country but more that the government there is allowing the virus to spread among a certain sector of its population because that suits its political aims. Using that population to trial a vaccine seems wrong to me.

    So I'm pinning my hopes that the virus will die out when it can't spread easily, just like all the ones in the past have done.
  8. We should avoid the politics, but trying to get some understanding of T&T is not political in itself. I was hoping that there might be some sense in the scheme that I'd missed, but the more I look into it, the more I despair. I'm hoping that Ian will be a strong advocate and open my eyes.

    One of the biggest issues for me is that I might get a call out of the blue telling me (but not my family) to self-isolate, while denying me the opportunity to get tested.

    I suspect many will simply lie and say they do have the symptoms in order to get the test - what is there to lose?
    Thom Blach and Jonathan Hesford like this.
  9. Alex,

    Not everyone is staying at home, there are still plenty of people working and that will only increase as the lockdown eases. The advice from government regarding work places is that social distancing should be maintained wherever possible but if this is not possible (two man operations, people sharing vehicle cabs etc) then the same people should work together and not change the working gang’s makeup.

    This will only increase as things such as hairdressers etc start to reopen.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  10. Will we then see businesses and individuals make a judgment call if they have been working behind protective screens and wearing protective clothes and masks etc., so while they may have been in close proximity to an infected person, they could assume that they are safe?
  11. Should anyone feel like they are lacking random Covid data to argue/obsess about, this appears to be the UK motherlode...


    On a very superficial reading some extremely recent trends may not be encouraging (hospitalizations in London, although I gather with a limited data set, % of random swabs in GP setting that are positive both show an uptick in the last few days).

    It is very interesting to see the raw numbers and the various ways data is being gathered in far more detail than the media sources or daily briefings.
  12. Yes, I'm very much getting the impression that this is most useful in work situations, but this has the potential to be a bolt from the blue for any business - essentially if one person gets it, the whole business could be forced to close.
    I do understand that for staff in an office, the 2m rule is the tip of the iceberg. One should consider infected surfaces and objects as well as recirculated air. It could be that one open office of 20 people could be considered to all be in close proximity to eachother.
    Those working from home, not using public transport should be out of the loop.
  13. On a slight tangent I have the unenviable decision of whether to cancel this summer’s accommodation in France. 100% refund if done before Monday, 50% after. Slightly complicated by work enforcing a 14 day quarantine for the rest of 2020 (unpaid) whether or not the foreign office change their mind.
  14. If you cancel it now, but later regret it, might it still be available?
  15. I'm finding it hard to imagine wanting to take a trip anywhere for the rest of the year. It all feels much too precarious at the moment, with little visibility.
  16. Similar position here, though we’ve got a couple more weeks before decision point. Issue is, we can cancel accommodation, but if things open up, we may not get refunds on the other items such as ferry.

    Does anyone know what the current french position is now restaurants etc are opening. Are UK tourists allowed in for holidays, or is that still forbidden?
  17. My understanding is that France have applied a tit-for-tat quarantine.
    Worth checking, though not up to date this morning.
  18. France will not bother to impose quarantine in retaliation to UK. Philippe said current limitations (forms to fill) will last until 15th June by which time he hopes the whole of EU will open. He will not apply any "quatorzaine" as he spelt it (quarantine for 14 days, quarantaine usually means 40 days...) but people should test and isolate if they feel like (symptoms)
    Restrictions are spelled out on French consulate website form for until June 15th. You may only travel to France for the listed reasons (including if you have a main residence there, so you may qualify, just phone them)

    Déconfinement : restaurants, éducation, carte, déplacements... Ce qui change le 2 juin
    You can google translate this. A very long list with all details. Basically, France reopens everything with some safety measures and exceptions
    News from France: Restaurants Hotels B&B, camping all reopen on June 2nd. Patks, beaches, etc... reopen
    Mask wearing is compulsory in public spaces (read the rules... always rules in France...).
    Exceptions: limitations in Paris, Mayotte (Indian Ocean) and Guyane next to Brazil. Paris restaurants can only open terrace on June 2nd, full restaurant hotels and camping opening delayed to 22 June in Paris
    Theaters reopen on June 2, cinemas on June 22nd, masks compulsory
    Gathering together limited to 10 people until 21 June, limit of 5000 maximum spectators for all sport and art open air events
    No more 100 km limit freedom to travel everywhere from Tuesday
    Current restriction to travel through customs remains until June 15 (fill the form). Hopes to open everything on or before June 15th (nego with other EU countries. There will be no quarantine imposed to foreigners
    La Roque Piano festival will probably take place in August and will be shorter (will be announced next week, so only a rumour in the village...)

    Also, France starts tracing and testing via mobile but there are many more measures to identify hotspots. For instance, they carry analyses of waste waters locally to try and detect spot contamination,etc...
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
    Simon Grant likes this.
  19. The restrictions on foreign visitors will not be lifted until 15 June, according to one reliable report.
    Antoine Singer likes this.
  20. ooooh, might make it after all. that would be good.
  21. They need our money Chris... This was never in doubt...
  22. Hi Alex

    I rather hoped and intended that I would be too, and in time let's talk again, because I still believe it could be important.

    Where we stand today, I'm very doubtful of the benefits for the following reasons (though each could change for the better during June)

    1) The subject we've been given a clear remit not to talk about. It's driven a level of disengagement (personally) and I suspect the wider takeup will be similarly affected. 'Doing our civic duty' doesn't feel like a request I'm feeling good about at the moment.

    2) Depending on which estimate you believe (the latest two I saw were ~100k and ~ 200k) the numbers of people actively carrying the virus remains significantly high. Hence comments about supermarket staff etc. above. We'd not be tracking individual pockets of outbreaks, but a vaste swathe. Throw in some people abusing the app and I fear currently the best we could hope for would be ineffectual, but potentially it might become such a pain that people drop it before we're at the point it could be useful.

    3) The app is not ready and hence being rapidly downplayed (I wish they wouldn't use political spin like 'world-beating' as that also puts people off, that the government are trying to make political capital out of it - and my criticisms then are also fairly criticised as political... it's made into a political subject by such claims/spin)

    When people judge the risk of being regularly sent into personal lockdown, and the impact on their earnings, those most at risk of this (and arguably most at risk of spreading the virus). may well decide to ignore the app and agree to not 'dob' work associates in as having been in contact. i.e. some people may have a vested interest

    Can/will this change? Yes I do expect all 3 to change. Anger will subside and perhaps some trust might return. The app will be ready (probably) later this month and perhaps most importantly, if the number of virus carriers drops enough, then those fearing being swamped by regular quarantine instructions may feel their livelihood less threatened. It will be a heck of a lot easier for track and trace to be effective when the order of magnitude of carriers is not 100k, nor 10k, but down in the thousands or even hundreds.

    So sorry, I would like to be more enthusiastic.

    Nick Amis, Thom Blach and Alex Lake like this.
  23. Ditto, and whilst the world is still in such a delicate state, I don't wish to be a carrier of the virus elsewhere (or subject myself to someone else doing the same to me). I may be missing Italy, but I can and will wait.

    It was noticeable that some here were already trying to make the effort (on climate change grounds) to avoid flying. I wonder whether the two combined might break our obsession with cheap and plentiful aviation. That includes work, and I am thinking of a project I worked on in Dublin, one I enjoyed and was successful, but did it really need me and the project manager flying there and back every week? It could have been done someone based there, or indeed they could have asked me to base there and travel back home less frequently. Indeed we're showing that remote working can be quite effective, though in that situation, I doubt it would have been as successful without the face to face contact. We got to know each other and trust each other, which was important given the work we were doing.

    My thinking is that normality may not return to the aviation sector, or at least the normality of the last decade. I think we probably do need to lose some capacity and throughput, that there are industries that will be more important to support in the next 2-3 years.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  24. Most obvious problem we have is that the majority of people do not wear masks. Plenty carrying the virus without symptoms or two days before the symptoms show, and especially in the latter case my understanding is that they are infectious. Collectively we will fail as still too many think wearing the mask is to protect them, and an individual mindset means collectively we fail. Commonsense and fairly obvious.

    Also I was listening with incredulity how a taxi company was saying that they were taking Covid19 suspected patients and it was okay because they had a larger mini-bus so social distancing could be maintained. I was wondering if those taxis were being sanitised and fumugated afterwards (of course not) and whether the driver was even wearing a mask. Here the context was taxi drivers in the N.E. who could have driven Dominic Cummings.

    And yes Dominic Cummings has been fantastic for Labour. Johnson must wish he had fired him from the outset and then a month or two later invited him back (whilst in the interim taking his instructions over no.10 whatsapp).
    Antti Jokinen and Ian Sutton like this.
  25. I am still a bit puzzled why it worries you.
    As long as there is social distancing, there will be economic damages, right? So isn't vaccine the best way to break this deadlock? With vaccine or without vaccine, as long as the virus is not under control, you will have that economic problem. We are not really doing anything different when we 'waiting for a vaccine'; of course we still should do our best to bring infection number down at the same time waiting for vaccine, simply for the reason of keeping death/ill number down. Hoping for a vaccine shouldn't have impact on our current policy on fighting Covid19.
    Or did I miss something that you wanted to say??

    I got tons of things to say about people and ideas confusing beliefs with real science, especially those anti-vaxxers, and what I would say will be not kind, so I better not to.
    Just to say that you don't need 100% coverage for vaccine to stop virus transmission. If we have a vaccine that can stop transmission (unlike the Oxford one I am afraid), then 70% population vaccinated should bring R0 from 1 to 0.3, from 2 to 0.6, and from 3 to 0.9 (roughly). 26% is not bad at all, and those 26% of French people will be protected by those who will take vaccine.
    Of course, some might say, in that case why we should take vaccine? Let other protect us, we don't need to take the risk (whereever they heard from). Then when the vaccinated population lower than certain level... It would not work.
    In my humble opinion, that attitude is against common decency. Or simply that is not ethical. But they have the right to do so, until the law enforce vaccination. In many cases, vaccination was enforced, and I don't think that was ethically wrong.

    Maybe this video explained better:

    As expalined in my previous post, I don't understand why Bolsonaro's fault will led to moral issue on testing vaccine in Brazil. Bolsonaro is making things worse and vaccine will make things better, how they can be compared? If US or UK still have a high infection rate like in March because ... well, no politics, would it be ethically wrong to do vaccine trial there or here?

    As expalined in my previous post, good if that's the case, but we can't bet on just that.
    Last edited: May 29, 2020

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