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

Brwned

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I have no idea, but it's causing misunderstanding and resentment because it doesn't always make sense. You might live in the massive area of Greater Manchester, but you could be in a rural location with very few Covid cases or you could be right in central Manchester with many cases. Applying the same rules to all those different local communities is senseless.

The government in Italy has been very much acting in accordance with the scientific and medical advice, which is what every government should be doing. We also have regional Presidents here who have the authority to make changes according to what's happening in their patches, and that then filters down to the provinces and to the local Mayors of the comunes. With the latest decree, the government has allowed the regions to continue to make changes to government policy, but only in respect of imposing tighter restrictions, not relaxing them.

As an example of how drilled-down it is, in our comune of 1100 people you can sign up to a WhatsApp group run by the Mayor's office. We receive an official communication from the Mayor at least once a day, sometimes more frequently. Today it was in relation to sport and it told us exactly what was allowed/not allowed in respect of every single sport you could think of, including coastal rowing and beach football! We get massive amounts of detail and there's no "advisory" or "suggested". It's "you must/must not".

People need clarity and detail, not broad-brush statements (in my opinion).
As a general criticism I think being too general and vague is entirely applicable to the UK government, but the two things you've suggested in favour of the Italian government here, I'm pretty sure apply to the UK government right now.

So in your example where Italian regions can only impose tighter restrictions, not relax them, that's what the UK government are proposing too. They - and more to the point, the scientific advisors - are saying it's necessary for local governments to impose tighter restrictions in places that are worst-hit, but they won't make that decision for local governments. They'll apply a base level set of of restrictions on the regions, like the Italian government has, and then mayors will be advised to apply the most severe measures on top, so that they don't apply those rules to the different local communities senselessly.

And in this case the restrictions are not advisory but requirements. People must not socialise with other households, these businesses must close, etc. The UK government put advisory suggestions in back in May about how and why people could spend their time outdoors, because they didn't think the severe restrictions put in Italy on that specific subject were appropriate, but on business closures, household intermingling, non-essential travel stuff, which is all they're talking about now, they are declarative rather than advisory.

To me it seems like local politicians are stoking that resentment because they don't want to take the firm decisions that local Italian governments have, despite working with largely the same constraints imposed by their own national government.
 

redshaw

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How has Liverpool just accepted being tier 3?

I understand Andy saying he wants more compensation but if he has a look around Europe many others are doing worse or similarly as bad. No-one can guarantee cases won't rise again but we know heavy restrictions do bring cases down. Andy should consult the hospitals in Greater Manchester becasue extra restrictions have always been about stopping the hospitals becoming overwhelmed and delayed action could make the situation much worse.
 

groovyalbert

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These localised, tiered restrictions and coping mechanisms work in theory but stop in reality. All they are likely to do is create further and deeper inequalities which just bring up, rightfully, questions regarding the true implications of how we are now dealing with COVID. As has been said before, there needs to be proper consideration of mental health, economic destruction and social inequalities.

It is a horrible time, with no ideal solution, but if we're just going to keep shutting down society every time there is a rise in cases until a vaccine is widely available, we're just heading towards a crash that'll destroy millions of lives across the country.

I'm all for a circuit-breaker to contend with the rise heading into the winter months, but if we went into a national lockdown in March because cases were high in specific regions of the UK, I think it's virtually impossible to insist people face localised restrictions now. It's all or nothing. Most parts of the UK cannot afford a full lockdown again, and I doubt the majority of residents in these areas are supportive of further lockdowns.

Like I said, this is such a horrible situation for us to be in, with answers that only pinpoint new victims. But perseverance in the face of adversity is a fine coping mechanism, if rolled out sensibly. Protect and quarantine the most vulnerable/oldest members of society, by all means, but should existing generations - and generations to come - be consigned to the drastic fallout of what is looking extremely likely? Personally, I think the younger generations have been vilified enough as it is. Let's not further negatively impact their prospects unnecessarily.

Rant over. I hope everyone is well and safe, and that loved ones are being cared for. Compassion is the key to any recovery right now, but it is a compassion that must take into consideration more than simply the here and now.
 

Pogue Mahone

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The Croatian test was a full clinical test. Admittedly it was taken in Zagreb at a hospital adjacent to their Infectious Disease centre.

The German test is below, you’ll have a better idea of what it is/isn’t.

https://www.centogene.com/corona.html

My point remains though, that cretin Hancock is being allowed to declare his Testing Capacity. It’s horseshit. If you can’t return tests at speed, having the ability to test means feck all.

They also continue to cook the numbers by counting mailed out tests in a way that nobody else does. And double the tests vs people metrics when it suits. It’s still all shit but people have moved on.

I’m just over it to be honest. They’re so full of shit.
German test looks like legit PCR. Not a huge surprise that their systems are super efficient. And yeah, the postal tests thing in the UK seems like a complete disaster.
 

noodlehair

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They've done it off the evidence PHE gave them that they're 2 or 3 week away from significant numbers.

Tier 2 doesn't actually close any businesses as long as they can be done in a covid secure manner. You might argue people not being able to socialise with other households might reduce income for some businesses, hard to say.
What counts as significant numbers? I don't see how the tier 2 restrictions do much to help since they're near impossible to enforce and don't target any of the main methods of transmission. It's not really worth doing to try and stop something that hasn't happened yet because based on the scientific evidence and what has happened elsewhere, it wont.

They'll succeed in making some people's lives more miserable, though, and the businesses/jobs side of things is a double edged sword. Any restriction that does help contain transmission will also have a huge impact on many people's jobs.
 

Bosws87

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Glad to see Manchester holding firm and backing up Liverpool, its about time the North all worked together.

You have londoners throwing their toys out the pram being tier 2 we have been their since July and its only got worse.

Hope we stay firm.

Shambles of a government atm.
 

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What counts as significant numbers? I don't see how the tier 2 restrictions do much to help since they're near impossible to enforce and don't target any of the main methods of transmission. It's not really worth doing to try and stop something that hasn't happened yet because based on the scientific evidence and what has happened elsewhere, it wont.

They'll succeed in making some people's lives more miserable, though, and the businesses/jobs side of things is a double edged sword. Any restriction that does help contain transmission will also have a huge impact on many people's jobs.
I'm afraid i can't recall the specifics, the council leader was on Sky News a few days ago but the ambiguity there is mine not his.

I don't think there's much evidence to say that reducing household mixing won't help slow the spread. It might not completely stop the exponential increase but only harsh restrictions will.

If going into Tier 2 a bit earlier even allows an extra week out of harsher restrictions it's worth it.
 

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Tier 3 won't be enough by itself, so Andy Burnham can choose what he wants to layer on top to make it effective, rather than being dictated to by the government in the way he hates. So on the 1st point, surely he's being given exactly what he wants - control to choose the right mix of suppression tactics, in line with public health advice?
What's the better alternative? If Burnham considers it "unfair" for one of the most severely hit regions to have the most severe restrictions, would it make it fairer to have a national lockdown, and make many more places with many times fewer cases deal with the same blanket restrictions?
Any additional Tier 3 measures would still be done in discussion with central government, because they would have to agree to unlock sufficient resources. If they are struggling to get that for the basic Tier 3 measures, I'd imagine there is little to no confidence that additional measures would be supported with the right financial package(s).

I don't believe Burnham is suggesting that it is unfair for GM to face tighter restrictions - but rather the conditions under which they are being asked to support them, are unfair. Presumably, he'll agree if money is put on the table.

Ultimately, Burnham is fighting for the people he represents. But there is no perfect solution.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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Glad to see Manchester holding firm and backing up Liverpool, its about time the North all worked together.

You have londoners throwing their toys out the pram being tier 2 we have been their since July and its only got worse.

Hope we stay firm.

Shambles of a government atm.
Nope. Vast majority not complaining at all.

London is heavily pro-City place, liberal and anti government in many areas.

There are more Labour voters here than in Manchester and Liverpool combined. We hate the Tories just as well as you guys do. (I assume I’m correct based on numbers purely)
 
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F-Red

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What's the better alternative? If Burnham considers it "unfair" for one of the most severely hit regions to have the most severe restrictions, would it make it fairer to have a national lockdown, and make many more places with many times fewer cases deal with the same blanket restrictions?
The argument, which the council lead for Oldham has just stated on radio about 30 mins ago, is that a national lockdown will trigger more of a lobby from all parties for the furlough scheme similar to March/April, whereas currently they feel that there is a political motive behind it.

When you consider Nottingham having the highest case rate per 100k of population, which is a third higher than Liverpool and nearly double that of Manchester, and only being in Tier 2, i can see Burnham’s argument.
 

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@Brwned, I've always thought that the inconsistent/lax enforcement will be the undoing of any measures brought in within England. When we were back in England I saw loads of people in shops without masks, even though there were signs saying you had to have a face-covering - there were also plenty of cashiers not wearing a mask or face shield. I saw big groups of young men wandering around in the town, even though there was a limit of 6 at that time.

The most unfair thing isn't the disparity between regions, it's the disparity between people who've given up a lot of life's simple pleasures because they're trying to do the right thing, and the significant proportion of people who'll continue to do as they want.
 

fergieisold

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The argument, which the council lead for Oldham has just stated on radio about 30 mins ago, is that a national lockdown will trigger more of a lobby from all parties for the furlough scheme similar to March/April, whereas currently they feel that there is a political motive behind it.

When you consider Nottingham having the highest case rate per 100k of population, which is a third higher than Liverpool and nearly double that of Manchester, and only being in Tier 2, i can see Burnham’s argument.
can’t believe the inconsistency! 800+ / 100k? Manchester should tell the government to come back when they have a clear plan.

funnily enough one of my friends in Nottingham has just caught it.
 

711

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I think we will hear more about 'long covid' as time goes on. I know a couple of people that were exceptionally fit and yet now can barely manage a few stairs, months after contracting the disease.
 

redshaw

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The argument, which the council lead for Oldham has just stated on radio about 30 mins ago, is that a national lockdown will trigger more of a lobby from all parties for the furlough scheme similar to March/April, whereas currently they feel that there is a political motive behind it.

When you consider Nottingham having the highest case rate per 100k of population, which is a third higher than Liverpool and nearly double that of Manchester, and only being in Tier 2, i can see Burnham’s argument.
What rate is the Nottinghamshire region?

I remember some pushback for singling out small areas for restrictions so they look to a wider surrounding area but now people look for small areas with high rates to argue the other way?

Looking broadly at the UK map for the past months, North West and the city/town areas have stood out the whole time and I live here in Gtr Manchester.
 

F-Red

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can’t believe the inconsistency! 800+ / 100k? Manchester should tell the government to come back when they have a clear plan.

funnily enough one of my friends in Nottingham has just caught it.
The latest England local authority data makes interesting reading:

 

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I think we will hear more about 'long covid' as time goes on. I know a couple of people that were exceptionally fit and yet now can barely manage a few stairs, months after contracting the disease.
honestly that’s what worries me most, I fancy my odds at living through it but that sounds hellish
 

F-Red

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What rate is the Nottinghamshire region?

I remember some pushback for singling out small areas for restrictions so they look to a wider surrounding area but now they look for small areas with high rates to argue the other way?

Looking broadly at the UK map for the past months, North West and the city/town areas have stood out the whole time and I live here in Gtr Manchester.
See the previous post, Nottinghamshire is all driven from Nottingham specifically. It wouldn’t surprise me that a majority is university driven as well.

North West has stood out for a while, but ironically was the best performing region in England today with a drop in yesterday’s case numbers per 100k.
 

redshaw

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See the previous post, Nottinghamshire is all driven from Nottingham specifically. It wouldn’t surprise me that a majority is university driven as well.

North West has stood out for a while, but ironically was the best performing region in England today with a drop in yesterday’s case numbers per 100k.
Well we have to factor in Gtr Manchester is almost 3 million and each area is high for a long time so I think scouring for a small area that is higher is a bit disingenuous.
 

Brwned

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The argument, which the council lead for Oldham has just stated on radio about 30 mins ago, is that a national lockdown will trigger more of a lobby from all parties for the furlough scheme similar to March/April, whereas currently they feel that there is a political motive behind it.

When you consider Nottingham having the highest case rate per 100k of population, which is a third higher than Liverpool and nearly double that of Manchester, and only being in Tier 2, i can see Burnham’s argument.
I can see the logic of thinking a national lockdown will bring about the furlough scheme, but the flipside of that is the national lockdown will do much more unnecessary damage to the economy, and the debt, and as they already have a problem with a distribution of the funds up north, the end result will be that huge extra hit to the national economy will make the long-term economic recovery in Manchester and its neighbours far, far worse. Seems a bit short-sighted.

In general, as far as I see, the tiers correspond very strongly to the case rate. Where there are exceptions, I'd imagine a few do involve additional factors, but most of them would be political. In the way that the contrasting situations in Manchester and Liverpool are political, i.e. stronger opposition bumps things down. So if Burnham is being praised for opposing the national measures, I'd imagine a good few of those other exceptions should be praised for being strong too. Undoubtedly there will be cases where it's just Tory cronyism and in all likelihood legitimate corruption, but pointing to that minority while ignoring the broader pattern that most cities are in those tiers for a legitimate reason seems a bit opportunistic.

If there was no wider cost to that then I wouldn't really care but deliberately amping up the north-south divide in a health and economic crisis could have potentially huge ramifications that just make things worse for everyone involved. And I have no selfish stake in that as someone from NI who accepts the necessity of the economic costs of this "circuit breaker", because the failings of our own cities and towns have recreated a huge risk for our hospitals. Seems like people in Manchester are more keen to blame London and claim conspiracies without wanting to acknowledge the issues in their own area.

@Brwned, I've always thought that the inconsistent/lax enforcement will be the undoing of any measures brought in within England. When we were back in England I saw loads of people in shops without masks, even though there were signs saying you had to have a face-covering - there were also plenty of cashiers not wearing a mask or face shield. I saw big groups of young men wandering around in the town, even though there was a limit of 6 at that time.

The most unfair thing isn't the disparity between regions, it's the disparity between people who've given up a lot of life's simple pleasures because they're trying to do the right thing, and the significant proportion of people who'll continue to do as they want.
Yeah, I agree to a large extent. Although enforcement is quite a strong term.

I certainly notice far more adherence over here to a lot of the basic preventative measures, but that's not because police are out on the street issuing fines all the time, or making their presence known in a way they wouldn't usually. Rather than them being compelled to do so by threat of punishment, it seems to me it has more to do with people believing it's in their own and their society's best interests. I think the UK has failed at that more than they've failed at doling out punishments. If there was a greater police presence just gently reminding people to put their masks on and that sort of thing, as part of a kind of community engagement exercise, I'm sure that would make a difference. I don't see the fines as a particularly important element of things. But there's just not enough police on the streets because these elections have consequences after all.
 
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F-Red

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If there was no wider cost to that then I wouldn't really care but deliberately amping up the north-south divide in a health and economic crisis could have potentially huge ramifications that just make things worse for everyone involved. And I have no selfish stake in that as someone from NI who accepts the necessity of the economic costs of this "circuit breaker", because the failings of our own cities and towns have recreated a huge risk for our hospitals. Seems like people in Manchester are more keen to blame Londoners and claim conspiracies without wanting to acknowledge the issues in their own area.
How so? Or is it rhetoric for the north vs the government? No one i see/speak/know from there has that as an opinion.

I agree with your national lockdown point on finances, but a tier three lockdown with support gives the North West a fighting chance, as a mayor for a specific region, his interest will naturally only look at the local issue. It’s impossible to compare to NI as well as the devolved power has much more control over its finances than the local authorities, which were pretty much standing on a toothpick before the pandemic.

It’s also been well covered that Burnham is only after the financial support of tier three lockdown, i don’t think he’s actually opposed to what the measures can do once, i don’t think he has confidence that there will be anything but unemployment once they come out of that tier three status. We need to bear in mind he was the person that has put Greater Manchester into effective tier two measures since August, and equally knows that the government aren’t offering further support for local council to support the management of the pandemic either, aside from what they’re currently getting. Ie. Tier Two financial support, with Tier Three restrictions on business.

I can’t argue with his approach though and he’s right to point out that these tier three approaches need more support than whats on the table. Early into the hotspot phase of the pandemic Blackburn council ended up having to roll out their own track and trace service (at their own expense) because the nationalised system from Serco/Government isn’t adequate enough to attack local outbreaks properly. The circuit breakers are just the end result of the failure of the test/trace system, and government being stubborn with the funding of furlough extensions (despite paying some healthy contractor rates to fix the tracing system).
 

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This is a random opinion but I think England will legalise cannabis after covid and Brexit is done.

It will be one of the main ways the country aims to boost its economy.
 

Brwned

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How so? Or is it rhetoric for the north vs the government? No one i see/speak/know from there has that as an opinion.

I agree with your national lockdown point on finances, but a tier three lockdown with support gives the North West a fighting chance, as a mayor for a specific region, his interest will naturally only look at the local issue. It’s impossible to compare to NI as well as the devolved power has much more control over its finances than the local authorities, which were pretty much standing on a toothpick before the pandemic.

It’s also been well covered that Burnham is only after the financial support of tier three lockdown, i don’t think he’s actually opposed to what the measures can do once, i don’t think he has confidence that there will be anything but unemployment once they come out of that tier three status. We need to bear in mind he was the person that has put Greater Manchester into effective tier two measures since August, and equally knows that the government aren’t offering further support for local council to support the management of the pandemic either, aside from what they’re currently getting. Ie. Tier Two financial support, with Tier Three restrictions on business.

I can’t argue with his approach though and he’s right to point out that these tier three approaches need more support than whats on the table. Early into the hotspot phase of the pandemic Blackburn council ended up having to roll out their own track and trace service (at their own expense) because the nationalised system from Serco/Government isn’t adequate enough to attack local outbreaks properly. The circuit breakers are just the end result of the failure of the test/trace system, and government being stubborn with the funding of furlough extensions (despite paying some healthy contractor rates to fix the tracing system).
Yeah, typo there! I meant blame Westminster, or point the finger of suspicion at the South / London with various folks putting out the idea that "as if Londoners have this thing under control while we're struggling up here", leading to the conspiracies.

I don't disagree with the objective but I think it's a very dangerous strategy. It doesn't need to rely on emphasising the north-south divide and claiming discrimination to achieve that goal, when people in his own party are already pushing for a better financial package for all areas under tier 3 conditions. It doesn't look like either method is particularly effective because the Tories are doing their thing but the potential blowback that comes from his strategy is massive. Yes his first priority is to his area but that doesn't mean he can ignore the potential negative impact he can have on the rest of the country with this strategy. It's far too important to take that line.

And just in his own area, while he's fighting for more financial aid, they've been happy to throw out the line that "even the government says tier 3 won't supress the virus". Stick to that line long enough and you're only going to erode adherence further by the time the political fiasco is over. It's nonsense to say opposition parties should just defer to the government line because "nationality unity", but there's ways to go about things. He's gradually chipping away at people's respect for national needs and encouraging people to put the city front and centre. feck that, IMO. There's more important shit going on.
 
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F-Red

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This is a random opinion but I think England will legalise cannabis after covid and Brexit is done.

It will be one of the main ways the country aims to boost its economy.
:lol: given how this year has gone, anything is possible.

One thing this last few months have highlighted, is just how chained and obsessed with alcohol this country is. Both in economic and social terms.
 

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:lol: given how this year has gone, anything is possible.

One thing this last few months have highlighted, is just how chained and obsessed with alcohol this country is. Both in economic and social terms.
Yeah and I feel the government know this and its influencing the decisions it makes on Covid - pubs & restaurants open until 10 or completely closed in certain areas etc

I just would be surprised if it didnt recognise the money that cannabis has never mind all the health stuff americans talk about, to the point that they bring it when things start to settle but still finding themselves in a economic rut.
 

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I think we will hear more about 'long covid' as time goes on. I know a couple of people that were exceptionally fit and yet now can barely manage a few stairs, months after contracting the disease.
Totally agreed. Deaths are far from the whole story.
 

golden_blunder

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But 88 deaths. Which is high, granted, but clearly with increased testing we're seeing that the virus is less of a death sentence than first feared.
But we’re not seeing the same level of deaths yet as in March.

though that could be because we are smarter about it now and try not to dump our sodium oldies from hospital back into care homes etc
 

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But 88 deaths. Which is high, granted, but clearly with increased testing we're seeing that the virus is less of a death sentence than first feared.
We have got better at treating it and the younger demographic being the front of infections at the moment are perhaps making it look better than it is. Overwhelm medical facilities and the death rate will climb significantly.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Also, I still dont fancy catching it. Even if I survived, the after affects sound horrendous
Don’t want to play it down but even vulnerable people can get off very lightly.

Chatting to someone this evening whose elderly father got it in hospital in April, after several months of bad health following a heart attack last year. He was over it in a few days and is right as rain now. Just last week his equally elderly mother had an antibody test and had a very high titre, showing she had got infected too. She never had any symptoms at all.

I tend to be captain doom and gloom in this thread but we do need to remember that the vast majority of people, of all ages, suffer a short-term mild illness followed by a complete recovery.

Not saying I’m in any rush to roll the dice personally but it’s important to have some perspective when you’re feeling anxious.
 

Fluctuation0161

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When you look at the stats back in April, which were around 7,000 cases a day, with a peak of 1,100 deaths a day and compare them to the stats today, 19,000 cases a day to 100-130ish deaths a day in my eyes it's a completely different situation than what we were in. The healthier population are contracting it and not dying. Surely that's a good thing in terms of herd immunity?

Obviously there is the factor of an overworked NHS...:(
Much less people were being tested back then. For all we know the number of cases back then could have been much higher.

However, I guess we are finding better ways to treat the virus and understanding a bit more. But maybe you are right. Truth is, there are so many variables, it is hard to know what weighting to add to each one
 

MoskvaRed

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Don’t want to play it down but even vulnerable people can get off very lightly.

Chatting to someone this evening whose elderly father got it in hospital in April, after several months of bad health following a heart attack last year. He was over it in a few days and is right as rain now. Just last week his equally elderly mother had an antibody test and had a very high titre, showing she had got infected too. She never had any symptoms at all.

I tend to be captain doom and gloom in this thread but we do need to remember that the vast majority of people, of all ages, suffer a short-term mild illness followed by a complete recovery.

Not saying I’m in any rush to roll the dice personally but it’s important to have some perspective when you’re feeling anxious.
I have quite a few relatives who have had it (all in their 40s or 50s) with no effect other than a few days feeling rough. It’s a weird virus - there are those horrible stories about fit young people being hit with lung fibrosis but, at the same time, it seems fairly harmless for the vast majority under pensionable age.

it’s a public health policy nightmare - do you go with a Bentham type utilitarian statistics-based approach (on the basis of incomplete information) or do you shut down the country and in the process create a potentially worse problem?
 

Wibble

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Don’t want to play it down but even vulnerable people can get off very lightly.

Chatting to someone this evening whose elderly father got it in hospital in April, after several months of bad health following a heart attack last year. He was over it in a few days and is right as rain now. Just last week his equally elderly mother had an antibody test and had a very high titre, showing she had got infected too. She never had any symptoms at all.

I tend to be captain doom and gloom in this thread but we do need to remember that the vast majority of people, of all ages, suffer a short-term mild illness followed by a complete recovery.

Not saying I’m in any rush to roll the dice personally but it’s important to have some perspective when you’re feeling anxious.
I agree. It is more likley to be serious when you are older but even in the 80+ range the fatality rate is "only" 13-20% - likely lower as many care home patients won't have been tested, especially in the early days of the pandemic.

On the other hand younger people need to take the risk of long term health damage more seriously.