SARS CoV-2 coronavirus / Covid-19 (No tin foil hat silliness or memes please)

RedRover

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The lockdown didn’t prevent anything. Hospitals reallocating resources to prepare for a surge caused those knock on effects you’re referring to. Without the lockdown those resources (and more) would have all been needed to treat covid patients. As it stands, the interruption to non-covid care has been fairly brief. It could easily have been a lot worse.

I actually don’t know what sort of reallocation of hospital resources went on in Sweden but would be surprised if it was any less than anywhere else. Especially with them experiencing a higher mortality than many other countries.
I know someone who has had a routine test postponed because of lock down. I personally have had a non-urgent appointment for serious eye condition in October postponed weeks ago with no clarity on when it'll be re-scheduled. I'm not worrying about it since there's not much I can do about it.

I am clearly not suggesting that all emergency surgeries, or chemotherapy or treatment for cancer has been postponed or delayed. My point, basically as that some cancers (bowel and cervical being two specifically) are picked up by routine testing and treated quickly giving people more of a chance of survival. If some of those routine services have been postponed (which I understand is the case) then it is reasonable to assume that it will have a negative impact for some.

I don't know about Sweden. That wasn't my point.
 

F-Red

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I am clearly not suggesting that all emergency surgeries, or chemotherapy or treatment for cancer has been postponed or delayed. My point, basically as that some cancers (bowel and cervical being two specifically) are picked up by routine testing and treated quickly giving people more of a chance of survival. If some of those routine services have been postponed (which I understand is the case) then it is reasonable to assume that it will have a negative impact for some.
Bowel cancer screening/treatment hasn't been postponed, it's what my friend has been diagnosed with & is on her fifth cycle of chemotherapy.
 

RedRover

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Privately owned and operated Care Homes with 100% patients who are paying privately, will turn a profit and still be 'fit for purpose'. Privately owned and operated Care Homes with patients primarily funded via the state, cannot make a realistic profit and be at all times and in all conditions fit for purpose, even when the staff operating in these homes are working their socks off and being paid peanuts.
Covid-19 has proved this beyond doubt and if Boris is going to do some 'levelling up' this is the place to start Prime Minister!
I've said this before on here but I have experience of the care home industry. It is very hard to make a profit in them over the long term and companies frequently go under. The biggest in the UK went into liquidation a few years back after floating on the stock market a few years before. It's such an issue that big insolvency practitioners have specialists who work solely in the care home sector providing advice on turnaround or sale/acquisition.

One problem is often the rent charged by Landlords. At the start of a Lease when going into an empty building a favourable deal can be negotiated. Once trading however, when the rent is reviewed under the lease terms, or the lease needs to be renewed the rent goes up. The problem is a lack of suitable buildings and in some parts (the South-East especially) the cost of land and construction to build your own.

It's obviously more complex than the above in terms of factors, but it's something we see time and time again. Its certainly something that needs to be addressed.
 

RedRover

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Bowel cancer screening/treatment hasn't been postponed, it's what my friend has been diagnosed with & is on her fifth cycle of chemotherapy.
That's good to hear. I hope she recovers. As I say, I was told by someone I know that her routine appointment was cancelled. Maybe I am wrong.
 

RedRover

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Routine cancer screening has been controversial due to its lack of evidence base in reducing cancer mortality
https://www.cochrane.org/CD004720/PROSTATE_screening-for-prostate-cancer
https://www.who.int/cancer/detection/en/

But I agree with Pogue that cancer outcomes would have been substantially worse with a worse covid outbreak

Treatment is happening still, blood transfusion is happening still, cancer MDTs are still happening, surgical intervention is still happening for obstructed patients. There is a triage process to identify who to prioritise, there is still inpatient stays for the ones who need close monitoring on intensive chemo regimens. On the whole we have aimed to prevent the whole system from crashing which would have been the outcome if covid was allowed to be unchecked and that would have been far worse for cancer-related mortality both short and long term.

Addendum: I agree though that there will be an effect in terms of underdiagnosing and probably worse prognostic outcomes for some of those ones and its not at all ideal and there has to be more done to get people coming to docs with symptoms, get the screenings underway for the more evidence-based things, and reduce stigma of going to hospital
Interesting. I am not an expert but took the view that if we do routine screening for certain cancers, we must be doing so for a reason and that if resources are (perhaps rightly in some instances) re-allocated elsewhere then that's going to have an impact.
 

Pogue Mahone

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I know someone who has had a routine test postponed because of lock down. I personally have had a non-urgent appointment for serious eye condition in October postponed weeks ago with no clarity on when it'll be re-scheduled. I'm not worrying about it since there's not much I can do about it.

I am clearly not suggesting that all emergency surgeries, or chemotherapy or treatment for cancer has been postponed or delayed. My point, basically as that some cancers (bowel and cervical being two specifically) are picked up by routine testing and treated quickly giving people more of a chance of survival. If some of those routine services have been postponed (which I understand is the case) then it is reasonable to assume that it will have a negative impact for some.

I don't know about Sweden. That wasn't my point.
What is your point? That it’s not possible to keep all healthcare services running as usual during a pandemic? Isn’t that obvious?

I mention Sweden because @Dancfc seemed to be getting in one of his usual anti-lockdown moans, only for @Regulus Arcturus Black to confirm that even with a light touch lockdown like Sweden, they’re suffering the exact same consequences of a healthcare system that’s strained by dealing with coronavirus. The problem here is the pandemic, not the response to it.
 
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Dancfc

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What is your point? That it’s not possible to keep all healthcare services running as usual during a pandemic? Isn’t that obvious?

I mention Sweden because @Dancfc seemed to be getting in one of his usual anti-lockdown moans, only for @Regulus Arcturus Black to confirm that even with a light touch lockdown like Sweden, they’re suffering the exact same consequences of a healthcare system that’s strained by dealing with coronavirus.
Who said I was anti lockdown? I take it you have an actual accurate quote to back that up?
 

RedRover

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You said the lockdown would cause millions of people to go unemployed when furlough ends in the UK. It was a direct causal explanation: the lockdown caused this unemployment. The reality is that millions were going to go unemployed irrespective of the lockdown, as evidenced by Sweden already having a significant increase in unemployment (up 2%) by May. The spending patterns during March and April provide some indication for why:


The reality is the virus was the dominant factor in the economic outcomes. The role lockdown played in it depends largely on how successfully it contained the virus. For example, Norway are expecting to have a quicker recovery than Sweden in part because their lockdown worked so well.



Every government considered the second order effects. The reason the UK held off on lockdown was because they were completely aware of the effect it would have on the economy, wellbeing and a whole host of other features of daily life. They didn't follow a public health strategy while overlooking the economic outcomes, they forecasted that if the virus hit as badly as predicted - and given how badly it hit with the lockdown, we have every reason to expect it would have caused mayhem in hospitals all over - then the economic outomes would be even worse too. Regardless of the strategies imposed, there is very little evidence that limiting the economic collapse that came with the pandemic was remotely possible.
I don't agree. It is nowhere near as simple as you are suggesting.

Impact on trading of a company and reduced revenue over a period is not the same as closing down for three months where the income stream is turned off overnight. What will kill businesses in the short term in the UK is not a slow down in the economy but the immediate hit of having to find cash flow to trade through to the point where things start to pick up.

Many businesses which were viable before lock down will remain so in theory with a market available as things ramp up - if they have enough cash reserves to pay staff returning from furlough, rent on buildings and supply chains whilst that happens. Companies that can do that, may still fail if others in their supply chain fall and can;t supply them (if below) or pay debts (if above).

It is evidently undeniable that companies would have failed without lock down in certain sectors. The reality is that a lot of otherwise viable businesses will go under because they haven't got the cash flow to get through the next three months.
 
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The reality is that millions were going to go unemployed irrespective of the lockdown, as evidenced by Sweden already having a significant increase in unemployment (up 2%) by May.
It’s not quite that simple, softer coordinated lockdowns all over Europe would have seen much less unemployment.
However, once half a dozen EU nations closed borders and their societies, it was inevitable for all.

And studying spending for as little as 2-3 weeks right at the start of lockdowns/social distancing is a pretty shit study. Do they not have a study from mid-March until Denmark opened up again, as I very much doubt Swedish spending is a reason behind such unemployment.
 
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Brwned

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I don't agree. It is nowhere near as simple as you are suggesting.

Impact on trading of a company and reduced revenue over a period is not the same as closing down for three months where the income stream is turned off overnight. What will kill businesses in the short term in the UK is not a slow down in the economy but the immediate hit of having to find cash flow to trade through to the point where things start to pick up.

Many businesses which were viable before lock down will remain so in theory with a market available as things ramp up - if they have enough cash reserves to pay staff returning from furlough, rent on buildings and supply chains whilst that happens. Companies that can do that, may still fail if others in their supply chain fall and can;t supply them (if below) or pay debts (if above).

It is evidently undeniable that companies would have failed without lock down in certain sectors. The reality is that a lot of otherwise viable businesses will go under because they haven't got the cash flow to get through the next three months.
You're more interested in talking about economic theory and beliefs than the reality of the situation, with real numbers, which is why you're happily ignoring the economic realities in Sweden. Pandemics cause historic jumps in the unemployment rate, lockdown or no lockdown, as Sweden have already demonstrated. Sweden's strategy is more about controlling the spread of the virus in a manageable way than it is about considering the second order economic effects in a way other governments hadn't. Countries imposed lockdowns both to suppress the virus and to be in a better position to kick start the economy after it recedes to a low level. Neither decision was purely one or the other. You want to blame the lockdown because you disagree with it on principle, but the data doesn't support your arguments.
 
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RedRover

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You're more interested in talking about economic theory and beliefs than the reality of the situation, with real numbers, which is why you're happily ignoring the economic realities in Sweden. Pandemics cause historic jumps in the unemployment rate, lockdown or no lockdown, as Sweden have already demonstrated. Sweden's strategy is more about controlling the spread of the virus in a manageable way than it is about considering the second order economic effects in a way other governments hadn't. Countries imposed lockdowns both to suppress the virus and to be in a better position to kick start the economy after it recedes to a low level. Neither decision was purely one or the other. You want to blame the lockdown because you disagree with it on principle, but the data doesn't support your arguments.
For clarity, nowhere have I said that a disagree with lockdown, on principle or otherwise. I believe it was necessary in the circumstances, but also firmly believe and accept that it has (and will have) a significant economic impact. I believe that the effect of that should be factored into policy decisions going forward. I also did not say that I believe the way Sweden had dealt with this correctly, simply that at the moment, in my opinion we're not able to say.

As for the point in bold, I'm not. I'm doing the exact opposite and looking at the actual reality of running a business day to day.

I'm not going to get into a debate with you about the historic ramifications of pandemics, save to say that the last one on this scale was 100 years ago. The "reality of the situation" is that the "real numbers" that matter for an enormous number of businesses (with SME's accounting for a very significant percentage of employers in the UK) are not estimates of general economic contraction but the amount of cash flow they have on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

I am involved in running a business and our first worry during the pandemic has been the ability to meet our own liabilities, despite being confident of our long term future in our market. I also (in a professional capacity) advise numerous businesses across various sectors. The people who run these businesses are not yet worrying about the general economic downturn which may follow, but keeping the business trading long enough to try and have a shot at trading through it.

A business which supplies services on 60 day payment terms (often common place and an industry norm), cannot supply anyone without product. It cannot produce product without labour. After furlough will have to pay its staff for at least two months before any money comes in. if it hasn't traded for months and it has no cash to do so, it's in trouble. It may also not be able to pay rent, following which the Landlord has the right to simply change the locks on the office. Liquidation is then an inevitability for that business. This is a problem being faced by many companies at this stage. Directors of companies have to act prudently to avoid personal liability and a lot are not prepared to borrow, or put their house on the line in times of uncertainty.

You are absolutely right to suggest that in the long term a general economic dip may well cause businesses to close their doors regardless of a lock down but businesses can, and often do trade through difficult times. However, the immediate problem of cash flow is what will kill a lot of the business that go under, even though they were profitable before and for a lot of business that is a direct impact of not being able to trade for three months.

You know what, I'm not going to argue with you. You have your views and that's fair enough.
 

Giggzinho

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Apologies if this has already been covered in the thread so far but I haven’t been able to find anything on it.

I was reading an article the other day (can’t find source but will post a different source at the end), and it said that for all the Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales, around two thirds had been suffering from a disability of some kind?

I have managed to find a separate source on the ONS site that from my inital viewing, backs up this claim and puts it at around 55% of all Covid related deaths in England and Wales. Is there a reason more hasn’t been made of this? Similar to the whole situation putting BAME in higher risk groups. I may have missed it but it doesn’t seem to be getting much press at all. I may have read the data wrong but the source is below.


https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopula...s-breakdown-of-covid-19-deaths-by-age-and-sex
 

Carolina Red

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Basically, the Trump Admin is pushing for schools to fully reopen behind the tactic of calling schools the “means for poor children to receive food and mental health services” - which is about the biggest testament to the United States being a fake 1st world country as I can think of.

“We’re gonna sacrifice the health of everyone associated with that school building because we don’t actually provide a goddamn thing for our citizens. God Bless America!”
 

hobbers

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Apologies if this has already been covered in the thread so far but I haven’t been able to find anything on it.

I was reading an article the other day (can’t find source but will post a different source at the end), and it said that for all the Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales, around two thirds had been suffering from a disability of some kind?

I have managed to find a separate source on the ONS site that from my inital viewing, backs up this claim and puts it at around 55% of all Covid related deaths in England and Wales. Is there a reason more hasn’t been made of this? Similar to the whole situation putting BAME in higher risk groups. I may have missed it but it doesn’t seem to be getting much press at all. I may have read the data wrong but the source is below.


https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopula...s-breakdown-of-covid-19-deaths-by-age-and-sex
The question that ONS study uses to define disability is from the 2011 census: "are your day to day activities limited by a health problem or disability, including problems related to old age"

So safe to say a huge number of correspondents who indicate they are disabled to some degree will have many conditions that we already know lead to a poorer prognosis with Covid. So it would include people with diabetes, obesity, COPD, immunocompromised etc.

And when they adjust for socio-economic factors they get a 1.6-2.4x increase in rate of death for people who indicated some degree of disability, which is probably in line with expectation.
 

redshaw

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UK 126 deaths 630 cases
 

Giggzinho

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The question that ONS study uses to define disability is from the 2011 census: "are your day to day activities limited by a health problem or disability, including problems related to old age"

So safe to say a huge number of correspondents who indicate they are disabled to some degree will have many conditions that we already know lead to a poorer prognosis with Covid. So it would include people with diabetes, obesity, COPD, immunocompromised etc.

And when they adjust for socio-economic factors they get a 1.6-2.4x increase in rate of death for people who indicated some degree of disability, which is probably in line with expectation.
Ah ok! Thanks for clarifying. I missed the part about health problem in the question, so it makes alot more sense now.
 

Dancfc

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Many other 'milestones' that apparently had the second wave on the way aswell, including retail opening, initial easing of lockdown, tubes packing etc
 
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arnie_ni

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Exactly this, the reality is to know how good a country has done will be to look at deaths caused by this pandemic, not just from Covid but from suicide, domestic violence caused by the struggles of lockdown, delayed cancer treatments etc (excess cancer deaths in the UK is rumoured to be 35k).

Imagine being one of those cancer patients, you've stayed at home to "save lives" but when it comes to saving yours "sorry mate, we're not running those vital services at the minute".
Think that cancer stat isnt true i dont think. I personally know people that have been disagnosed with cancer throughout this.

I work with a girl whos soon was diagnosed with some rare illness that he has to take tablets for the rest of life for throughout this.

If your sick and you ring the doctor the see you.

Ive not seen any hard evidence of anyone with any serious ailment not being seen
 
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Dancfc

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I asked you to provide me a quote for something you accused me of saying the other day and you didnt do it.

Pot meet kettle again.
I'm trying to ignore you, you've created this ridiclous fixation on me because I had the utter gall to want football back.

Ignore me and I'll do the same back.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Just listened to a really interesting podcast interviewing a guy who spent his whole life studying coronaviruses.

One thing he said that really stuck with me was about seasonality. Which we’ve discussed a lot in this thread. I always thought it was mainly down to our own behaviour but he said there’s some innate quality to viruses that makes them much more likely to effect you during specific months of the year. He said some coronaviruses tend to surge in late autumn/early winter every year, while others prefer late winter/early spring. And nobody knows why! Fascinating stuff. Although a little concerning.

It’s certainly hard to find any other explanation for why our own behaviour (in UK/Ireland) seems to be having so little effect on the declining case rates of the last month. Maybe the virus just doesn’t fancy getting out and about in June/July?!

EDIT. The podcast is two doctors talking, so gets a bit technical at time. Generally pretty accessible though. Would recommend it to anyone who wants to do a deep dive into all things coronavirus. I learned a lot about SARS/MERS that I didn’t know before.
 
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It’s certainly hard to find any other explanation for why our own behaviour (in UK/Ireland) seems to be having so little effect on the declining case rates of the last month. Maybe the virus just doesn’t fancy getting out and about in June/July?!
Tegnell has been so certain about it since the start, so matter of fact that coronaviruses just don’t have the same effect in Summer and that this will be the same.
He was quite confident in saying that hospital staff will get a break in the Summer.
Makes autumn seem a little :nervous:.
I also assumed the reason was our own behaviour in the Summer, how bizarre.
 

11101

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Many other 'milestones' that apparently had the second wave on the way aswell, including retail opening, initial easing of lockdown, tubes packing etc
I know you prefer to err against the side of caution but whether the UK has reached it or not, there is clearly a tipping point where opening activities allows the virus to grow again. The renewed explosion of cases in the US is proof of that.
 

Maagge

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Just listened to a really interesting podcast interviewing a guy who spent his whole life studying coronaviruses.

One thing he said that really stuck with me was about seasonality. Which we’ve discussed a lot in this thread. I always thought it was mainly down to our own behaviour but he said there’s some innate quality to viruses that makes them much more likely to effect you during specific months of the year. He said some coronaviruses tend to surge in late autumn/early winter every year, while others prefer late winter/early spring. And nobody knows why! Fascinating stuff. Although a little concerning.

It’s certainly hard to find any other explanation for why our own behaviour (in UK/Ireland) seems to be having so little effect on the declining case rates of the last month. Maybe the virus just doesn’t fancy getting out and about in June/July?!

EDIT. The podcast is two doctors talking, so gets a bit technical at time. Generally pretty accessible though. Would recommend it to anyone who wants to do a deep dive into all things coronavirus. I learned a lot about SARS/MERS that I didn’t know before.
Maybe everyone's more outside and it's just that? We've only seen a small jump in cases, but are back on our old trajectory again after a few weeks.
We're still trying to keep school kids apart to some extend, but otherwise most stuff is open. Bars and restaurants closes at midnight and concerts are still off. Football is played in front of up to 3000 people.

EDIT: We actually had a game with an attendance of just above 7000.
 
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Pogue Mahone

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Tegnell has been so certain about it since the start, so matter of fact that coronaviruses just don’t have the same effect in Summer and that this will be the same.
He was quite confident in saying that hospital staff will get a break in the Summer.
Makes autumn seem a little :nervous:.
I also assumed the reason was our own behaviour in the Summer, how bizarre.
We could do some better counter-examples from the Southern hemisphere. The outbreak in Melbourne is a worry but it’s hard to compare as they take drastic action over much smaller case loads than European countries. This is where my shite Geography knowledge lets me down. Any other southern countries we could/should be looking at to get an idea about coming out of lockdown when it isn’t summer?
 

Penna

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Privately owned and operated Care Homes with 100% patients who are paying privately, will turn a profit and still be 'fit for purpose'. Privately owned and operated Care Homes with patients primarily funded via the state, cannot make a realistic profit and be at all times and in all conditions fit for purpose, even when the staff operating in these homes are working their socks off and being paid peanuts.
Covid-19 has proved this beyond doubt and if Boris is going to do some 'levelling up' this is the place to start Prime Minister!
There aren't many private care homes which are all-private, of course. Most care homes are privately-owned, either by an individual proprietor or a big company and most of the residents are funded completely or partly by social services. Even the ones who are contributing won't do so at the same level when their savings fall below the magic threshold.

I absolutely agree that care home staff are in general underpaid and over-worked. It's terrible, really.
 
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We could do some better counter-examples from the Southern hemisphere. The outbreak in Melbourne is a worry but it’s hard to compare as they take drastic action over much smaller case loads than European countries. This is where my shite Geography knowledge lets me down. Any other southern countries we could/should be looking at to get an idea about coming out of lockdown when it isn’t summer?
Peru and Chile are taking a big hit currently, but I guess until the Northern Hemisphere flu season is upon us again we won't really know the full effect.
 

George Owen

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How is Uruguay getting on?
https://edition.cnn.com/videos/worl...ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/

Pretty good. Aggressive massive testing and contact tracing methods since the beginning (no lockdowns) have worked for them. Closing schools and universities before the pandemic arrived, was also a game changer.

Also since this Monday, anyone that wants to enter the country, has to show proof to be a covid negative.

Also, medical insurance is obligatory for non nationals.
 

Stack

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With respect to the whole Sweden angle on things I know from my position I was affected by my own personal bias. Nationalism being a part of the problem. Down here in NZ we took a different approach and then the next step for many of us was to compare ourselves with other countries and especially other countries doing things differently. That amounted to nothing more than simply wanting confirmation that our approach was the right one and the best way to do that is to find go looking for faults in others approaches. Confirmation bias in action.
My opinions have kept changing/adjusting all the way through this and I think the main thing I am learning is just how difficult it is to have any complete plan or approach that works for everyone. Each country has its own unique factors to deal with and I did find fault with Swedens approach early on because of the above mentioned things but now I am trying to look at what Sweden and others are doing to give clues to what may help us down here. The conversations/arguments Sweden were talking about when first explaining their approach are ones we are now starting to talk about here. As lovely is it is having no in community infections at this point the reality is that we will end up have in community infection and at some point we will have to open up to the rest of the world.
Right now I and lots of Kiwis are quite happy to be "isolated", quite happy to have the borders closed because on most levels our lives have returned to normal.
Reality is thats simply not sustainable in the long term. NZ will get really lucky if a vaccine appears within the next 12 months but if it doesnt we have some really big problems to solve. If a Vaccine appears we will have successfully protected a large part of the at risk population and have been able to get most sectors of the economy working at mostly normal speed quicker than most. But thats a really big finger crossing effort. If a vaccine doesnt appear we will have to play a massive amount of catchup with respect to learning how to live with the virus and how to cope if things go badly. I no longer think its a simple case we did the right thing here. I think we got really lucky in the short term but long term is a big problem to solve.
Sweden for me is now a place that is likely to be a source of a lot of useful processes and info, I have a ton of respect for them now.
 

Tibs

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Just listened to a really interesting podcast interviewing a guy who spent his whole life studying coronaviruses.

One thing he said that really stuck with me was about seasonality. Which we’ve discussed a lot in this thread. I always thought it was mainly down to our own behaviour but he said there’s some innate quality to viruses that makes them much more likely to effect you during specific months of the year. He said some coronaviruses tend to surge in late autumn/early winter every year, while others prefer late winter/early spring. And nobody knows why! Fascinating stuff. Although a little concerning.

It’s certainly hard to find any other explanation for why our own behaviour (in UK/Ireland) seems to be having so little effect on the declining case rates of the last month. Maybe the virus just doesn’t fancy getting out and about in June/July?!

EDIT. The podcast is two doctors talking, so gets a bit technical at time. Generally pretty accessible though. Would recommend it to anyone who wants to do a deep dive into all things coronavirus. I learned a lot about SARS/MERS that I didn’t know before.
Some Quantum physics shit....things that happen that we can't explain really interest me
 

Tibs

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On note about seasonality, if, If, IIFFFFF a vaccine is confirmed to work, and is put into mass production for use say Jan/Feb...would that be amongst the top 5 human achievements ever?
 

Wibble

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On note about seasonality, if, If, IIFFFFF a vaccine is confirmed to work, and is put into mass production for use say Jan/Feb...would that be amongst the top 5 human achievements ever?
No but it would produce the greatest collective sigh of relief in history.
 

Pogue Mahone

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With respect to the whole Sweden angle on things I know from my position I was affected by my own personal bias. Nationalism being a part of the problem. Down here in NZ we took a different approach and then the next step for many of us was to compare ourselves with other countries and especially other countries doing things differently. That amounted to nothing more than simply wanting confirmation that our approach was the right one and the best way to do that is to find go looking for faults in others approaches. Confirmation bias in action.
My opinions have kept changing/adjusting all the way through this and I think the main thing I am learning is just how difficult it is to have any complete plan or approach that works for everyone. Each country has its own unique factors to deal with and I did find fault with Swedens approach early on because of the above mentioned things but now I am trying to look at what Sweden and others are doing to give clues to what may help us down here. The conversations/arguments Sweden were talking about when first explaining their approach are ones we are now starting to talk about here. As lovely is it is having no in community infections at this point the reality is that we will end up have in community infection and at some point we will have to open up to the rest of the world.
Right now I and lots of Kiwis are quite happy to be "isolated", quite happy to have the borders closed because on most levels our lives have returned to normal.
Reality is thats simply not sustainable in the long term. NZ will get really lucky if a vaccine appears within the next 12 months but if it doesnt we have some really big problems to solve. If a Vaccine appears we will have successfully protected a large part of the at risk population and have been able to get most sectors of the economy working at mostly normal speed quicker than most. But thats a really big finger crossing effort. If a vaccine doesnt appear we will have to play a massive amount of catchup with respect to learning how to live with the virus and how to cope if things go badly. I no longer think its a simple case we did the right thing here. I think we got really lucky in the short term but long term is a big problem to solve.
Sweden for me is now a place that is likely to be a source of a lot of useful processes and info, I have a ton of respect for them now.
First paragraph is very relatable. We all scrabble for evidence that our country is doing the right thing (unless there’s been any really obvious feck ups anyway) because it’s so depressing to think we might be doing the wrong thing. It’s kind of like people with smartphones or gaming consoles won’t hear a bad word about their brand of choice. Once you’re emotionally (and financially) invested you don’t even want to contemplate that you made a bad decision.

I’m massively torn at the moment about where Ireland goes from here. We’re down to close to single digits daily cases. So eradication is tantalisingly close. And whatever about the long term outcomes, the feeling of achievement at stopping social distancing in NZ must have been amazing.

The flipside of this is similar anxiety to you. Surrounded by countries that are riddled with the virus, aren’t we just creating a blank canvas for future outbreaks? Now that Sweden seems to be on top of their care home crisis, it must be quite reassuring to think that they’ve built up a fairly substantial buffer of previously infected young people.

If we do get a vaccine in the next year or two, chances are the roll out will be tricky as hell and the higher the % of population with previous exposure the quicker/easier it will be to really stamp out the virus. If we don’t get a virus in the next year or two, well, that doesn’t bear thinking about...