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  • The Coronavirus Discussion Thread.
  • Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    In case folk are not sufficiently depressed, seems that the new variant may be spreading too fast to cope with via lockdowns

    Don’t get too pessimistic, here I think the evidence is less strong. And will analyse their data later. The ZOE app data showed clear evidence that symptom-reported cases turned over earlier in London and South East. ONS shows the same. REACT has some different methodologies for reporting delays. But the effect is not huge and the number of data points is actually modest.

    It is “too early” to say whether England’s Covid restrictions will be able to end in the spring, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

    No it isn’t and they won’t. Schools most likely off all term, some contact restrictions – maybe Tier 3 level. Probably my most optimistic call.

    Bars and restaurants should not open before May, a scientist who sits on a sub-group of Sage (the government’s scientific advisory committee) suggests.

    Not me, but I would concur on this. Will be some time before I have a trip to the cinema.

    Go back and read the thread from middle of last year… we are now exactly where people said would be a reasonable winter outcome

    Thanks. My predictions for winter were 30k excess deaths or thereabouts, but I did say that influenza deaths would be replaced by COVID deaths. That appears to have come to pass. Tier 4 before Christmas will have helped, and I think the earlier decline in London/SE was driven by this. In the North things are turning over. Lockdowns do have the intended outcome of reduced spread. The other aspects are out of my expertise, but the system look (sadly) pretty deterministic now.

    Premier Icon oakleymuppet
    Free Member

    TiRed how much work has been done on mutation rates and viral fitness/ability to thrive? Covid has a low to moderate mutation rate and you have used this as evidence to back up your optimism.

    However

    https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1007324

    It’s on e-coli so not directly related but this caught my eye

    v In contrast, some populations at the highest mutation rates showed reduced adaptation during evolution, and failed to thrive in all of the 90 alternative environments. In addition, they experienced a dramatic decrease in mutation rate. Our work demonstrates that the mutation rate changes the global balance between deleterious and beneficial mutational effects on fitness. In contrast to most theoretical models, our experiments suggest that this tipping point already occurs at the modest mutation rates that are found in the wild.

    So whilst Covids mutation rate is according to some, lower than influenzas – is it possible that the mutation rate is in a golden zone in terms of the tipping point between beneficial and deleterious mutations?

    Premier Icon Chew
    Free Member

    Some more data for everyone:
    For England only, but doubt its significantly different elsewhere
    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths?areaType=nation&areaName=England

    Age – % Cases Probability of Death
    0-4 – 2.2% – 0.8%
    5-9 – 7.7% – 0.0%
    10-14 – 2.1% – 0.0%
    15-19 – 2.8% – 0.0%
    20-24 – 4.9% – 0.0%
    25-29 – 8.9% – 0.0%
    30-34 – 9.8% – 0.0%
    35-39 – 9.6% – 0.1%
    40-44 – 8.7% – 0.2%
    45-49 – 7.9% – 0.4%
    50-54 – 7.9% – 0.6%
    55-59 – 8.5% – 1.0%
    60-64 – 5.5% – 2.3%
    65-69 – 3.1% – 7.7%
    70-74 – 2.5% – 13.5%
    75-79 – 2.1% – 27.1%
    80-84 – 1.9% – 37.5%
    85-89 – 1.9% – 50.8%
    90+ – 2.0% – 62.2%

    So as some examples, a typical STWer of 45 years of age is making up 7.9% of cases, but if they so catch it, its only a 0.4% chance of death. (normal chance of death would be ~0.3% in a typical year)

    For your typical 80 year old parents, its currently a 1.9% chance you’ll contract Covid, but a 37.5% chance they will die (compared to the usual ~15%)

    (sure TiRed may have something better, but it gives you the general idea)
    Also apologies for the poor formatting…

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    TiRed how much work has been done on mutation rates and viral fitness/ability to thrive?

    A lot. By anyone with psudovirus and access to serum from infected or vaccinated humans.

    My expectation is that a small increase in binding affinity to ACE2 leads to more transmissible, easier to generate symptoms and perhaps increased morbidity and mortality. But the overall effect will be small. For reference, the R for measles is 12-18. the increase in R for new variants looks like from 3 to 4. Escape from antibody neutralisation is being monitored and I would say, is expected for most of the clinical antibodies.

    Papers of interest
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.13.21249721v1 more infectious
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.04.355842v1 resistance and evasion
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.04.355842v1 Pfizer vaccine sera potency

    It’s a coronavirus. There will be cross-reactivity for new strains, how much is moot. Protection from morbidity not infection is what will matter. Vaccinations will build that protection. It won’t be eradicated. It’s not smallpox.

    Premier Icon verses
    Full Member

    I’d like a 3rd column added to Chew’s data indicating chances of ‘long covid’ too. At my age I might not die, but what are the odds of having impaired health longer term?

    Premier Icon oakleymuppet
    Free Member

    Do we have studies that can show evidence of immunity mediated reduction in morbidity despite complete evasion of monoclonal and significant evasion of polyclonal antibodies?

    Because I suspect that we’re dealing with a new question here that hasn’t been adequately answered by science yet, happy to be proven wrong though.

    Premier Icon dawson
    Full Member

    There is a lot in the media about how hospitals are struggling – but no mention of the Nightingale hospitals.

    Are they still a thing?

    (sorry if this has been covered elsewhere)

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    For your typical 80 year old parents, its currently a 1.9% chance you’ll contract Covid

    I don’t think you mean that, you mean 1.9% of cases are in the 80s age bracket.

    Premier Icon Chew
    Free Member

    I don’t think you mean that, you mean 1.9% of cases are in the 80s age bracket

    Same kinda thing, but you’ve worded it better.

    So those in the 5-9 year group won’t be social distancing at all hence the high numbers, and those in the 30-35-40 age groups being high too (parents)
    With it being lower in the higher age groups as they have generally retreated from society

    Premier Icon Tom-B
    Free Member

    @dawson I think that it’s fairly widely accepted that there are zero staff available for the nightingale. I’ve seen several people now dismiss them as basically publicity stunts from lockdown 1 to make it seem like the government was doing something useful.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    There is a lot in the media about how hospitals are struggling – but no mention of the Nightingale hospitals.

    The Scottish equivalent has been busy with other procedures, freeing up the normal hospitals for Covid cases.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    There is a lot in the media about how hospitals are struggling – but no mention of the Nightingale hospitals.

    You can have as many hospitals and beds as you like, but if you haven’t got enough doctors and nurses to staff the regular hospitals, it’s pretty academic.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Tom-B
    Free Member

    @dawson I think that it’s fairly widely accepted that there are zero staff available for the nightingale. I’ve seen several people now dismiss them as basically publicity stunts from lockdown 1 to make it seem like the government was doing something useful.

    They weren’t. It’s just that people don’t quite understand the one job they were for. They were for when hospitals collapse, so that there would be an alternative to having people die in the car park. Think “life boat”- if your ship sinks, you’ll be very glad for the lifeboats but that doesn’t mean they’re a good alternative to a ship or you ever want to be in one.

    As it worked out, we never quite needed them but that doesn’t mean it was a bad idea. TBF it was one of the few times that this government ever seemed to understand that things could go very, very badly. We should be very glad they weren’t needed but the lifeboats aren’t a waste of money just because the ship made it to port.

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Dawson
    Poole and Bournemouth hospital are moving patients to Exeter nightingale
    What the local tv didnt say was who, why or how many. Well the why is obvious, both hospitals over capacity and no rooms left, 600 staff off sick or isolated
    Put another way, the report did not say if it was vovid, cancer, accident or mums to be that were having to be relocated, about 80 miles ish fyi.

    Premier Icon mudmuncher
    Free Member

    I don’t think you mean that, you mean 1.9% of cases are in the 80s age bracket.

    I suspect the 1.9% in the second column relates to the percentage of people in that age group. Nothing to do with infection rates

    Premier Icon mudmuncher
    Free Member

    Also on the subject of risk, a few weeks back I was getting a bit stressed about covid so to get things in perspective I checked the stats for my 45-49 male demographic. From memory there were 400 odd covid deaths last year and around 3-4X that for cancer in that age group. It certainly made me feel a bit better, I’m sure most people in my age group don’t spend their waking hours stressing about the cancer risk even though it is significantly more likely to get you than covid.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Has this been done?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55733527

    Oh, of you want one, they are around £20 on Prime etc.

    Silent Hypoxia

    With Covid, we were admitting patients with oxygen levels in the 70s or low-or-middle 80s,” said Dr Matt Inada-Kim, a consultant in acute medicine at Hampshire Hospitals.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health: “It was a really curious and scary presentation and really made us rethink what we were doing.”
    If oxygen levels drop to 93% or 94%, then people speak to their GP or call 111. If they go below 92%, people should go to A&E or call 999 for an ambulance.

    Government to give out little blood oxygen machines to help diagnose “silent hypoxia” before the person gets low oxy levels and has a likely worse outcome in hospital.

    Basically allows the person to get help earlier on.

    I bought one last February and it was a God send when my mother seemed ill the day after having her Pfizer jab.👍

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    In other news… This is how one person could break the chain of infection but chose to break rule 1 in a big way instead…

    2 people in the local coop I went to today have only just returned to work after Covid.
    One caught it from her daughter…. who caught it from her manager (not at the coop) that was ill but went to work anyway *before* he got the result of the test back. He was positive.
    What a total c***.

    Premier Icon dirtyrider
    Free Member

    hat was ill but went to work anyway *before* he got the result of the test back. He was positive.
    What a total c***.

    work on a NHS MH unit, one of the staff on. a linked ward got a positive text confirmation at 5am during a night shift

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    ^^Similar happened with someone working in a lab with my other half a few weeks back.

    Premier Icon Tom-B
    Free Member

    To play devils advocate…..during a period of unprecedented demand, do you think that it might be possible that supermarket managers are under just a slight bit of pressure at the minute?! ….and do you think that there’s somebody readily available to step in at a moments notice to keep a supermarket open so that everyone can do their ‘essential shopping’.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    ^^Wasn’t a supermarket manager mate, totally unrelated to the co-op other than it infected at least one person there through the chain of infection.

    Apologies, my wording probably wasn’t that clear.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    The Scottish equivalent has been busy with other procedures, freeing up the normal hospitals for Covid cases.

    The SECC one?

    Premier Icon fatmountain
    Free Member

    Sorry, just how big a spike did you expect? Around 1200 deaths a day currently.

    Millions die every year. These statistics are meaningless without any context.

    So as some examples, a typical STWer of 45 years of age is making up 7.9% of cases, but if they so catch it, its only a 0.4% chance of death. (normal chance of death would be ~0.3% in a typical year)

    For your typical 80 year old parents, its currently a 1.9% chance you’ll contract Covid, but a 37.5% chance they will die (compared to the usual ~15%)

    So basically, the risks of dying from Covid are actually minimal unless you’re old or have some sort of underlying health condition. The response to this pandemic is increasingly looking hysterical and totally disproporate.

    At what point will we have to decide that living a life where you get fined to see family and friends and can’t do anything accept what’s considered ‘essential’ by what has essentially become an elective dictatorship is justfied for a virus, which if you’re fit and healthy, has virtually no chance of killing you?

    I read that Johnson et al. are gaslighting us again by saying lockdowns might go on into the summer. Matt Hancock said today “this virus is a deadly threat to us all” – total BS. Alarm bells should be ringing here loud and clear, yet the narrative in media is only more of it.

    Having reviewed information about the vaccine programs it’s becoming clear that they are no silver bullet and will likely mitigate the situation rather than ‘solve’ it. So what’s left? Lockdowns every winter? A constant lockdown? Social distancing forever?

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    A few points.

    We will be at 100,000 deaths (official) within a few days, and this figure has been considerably reduced by the restrictions we’ve all been living under. There has been plenty of informed comment on the number of ‘excess deaths’, if you need some context. And, just to labour the point, that is WITH lockdowns. As you may or may not have noticed, even with restrictions, our hospital capacity has been pretty much overwhelmed. When your hospital capacity is overwhelmed, death rates in all age groups rise significantly because access to care is compromised. Now imagine what our hospitals would look like right if we weren’t so ‘hysterical’ and let people just get on with it.

    This also applies to non-covid medical emergencies. Suffer a serious injury or illness, and you need the NHS staff to provide adequate care. That won’t be there in an optimal way if we ease restrictions.

    So that is a couple of ways in which removing lockdowns would potentially increase the risk to all age groups. Basically, if you allow the NHS to fall over through sheer pressure, outcomes for everyone fall off a cliff.

    As for seeing your friends and families, and accepting the uncontrolled spread of this virus, sooner or later the contacts you have will increase the chance of it reaching a vulnerable person, either through age or medical condition. Your elderly relatives and neighbours have to use the same shops and surgeries as you do.

    This won’t last forever, vaccines will offer enough protection to resume normal activities eventually, although yes, we may see some milder restrictions when demand on the NHS is at its winter peak. It’s not a hysterical response by the government, if anything it has been an underwhelming one. Our government has been too terrified of the small number of people who whine about lockdowns and ‘muh freedom’ to lock down early enough and hard enough, and the result has been a failure to suppress the virus enough in between peaks. This, among other things, is why we have the worst fatality rate in the world, and why we are so deeply in the shit right now, economically and in terms of lives lost.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Fat mountain. How many old peoples deaths are acceptable to you?

    The whole point of the restictions is not to protect the individual. Its for the individual to protect the population of vulnerable

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    LOL at the latest gossip about giving £500 to anyone who tests positive. It’ll just encourage get togethers!

    £200 fine for meeting – £500 if you test positive – £300 profit! Nice one! 🙂

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    @fatmountain; did write something very rude, won’t bother suffice to say, come down to my GP surgery and come and talk to the pts who’ve lost parents sisters brothers, or who are struggling to just sit upright in bed because of the effects of this. And that’s WITH all the restrictions we’ve put in place.

    We’re all tired of it, we all don’t want to wear masks and hug our friends and families, but indulge your stupid conspiracy horse shit  somewhere else you muppet

    Premier Icon fatmountain
    Free Member

    nickc, so for trying to understand the statistics I’m a conspiracy theorist now? I want to understand facts I’m not interested in your anecdotal emotive ‘horse shit’.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    ndulge your stupid conspiracy horse shit  somewhere else you muppet

    and here we go again. I disagree, quite vehemently with Fatmountain’s post / suggestions. There was a time when even if I didn’t actually agree, I was a long way back towards worrying about the balance and I still am, on mental health, long term poverty, etc. But the evidence that despite lockdowns, etc. the death toll is now 100K and rising has convinced me this is the path.

    Apart from a couple of comments about hysteria and gaslighting, etc., FM’s questions are still reasonable (although have been answered countless times now, do you own research, etc.) and martinhutch has responded beautifully.

    Shouting muppet at anyone with a different opinion doesn’t win arguments. Debunk with facts, not abuse.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    I’m not interested in your anecdotal emotive ‘horse shit’

    100,000 deaths means little to many people. Listening to a few people who have lost loved ones may be anecdotal, but it is also more human. You can then imagine those stories being told over and over, by half a million people, to understand some of the scale of the problem that is being dealt with. Or…

    These statistics are meaningless without any context.

    We had the early warning that some others did not. We have few land borders, unlike others. We have the scientific and medical resources and people, that some do not. We should be leading the world as regards handling this pandemic, but we are not. Why not?

    Our government has been too terrified of the small number of people who whine about lockdowns and ‘muh freedom’ to lock down early enough and hard enough, and the result has been a failure to suppress the virus enough in between peaks. This, among other things, is why we have the worst fatality rate in the world, and why we are so deeply in the shit right now, economically and in terms of lives lost.

    It is understandable if some people get impatient and angry when there are still people saying…

    The response to this pandemic is increasingly looking hysterical and totally disproporate.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    ‘essential’ by what has essentially become an elective dictatorship

    if you are of the opinion that what we have is an elective dictatorship, then yes, you’re indulging in fantasy conspiracy horse shit.

    Premier Icon LD
    Free Member

    I like to think logically. So what benefit to the Governments of the world does enforcing lockdowns give? Other than cause they can? Aimed at FM and those who believe that the Governments have a real choice in this situation.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Full Member

    Shouting muppet at anyone with a different opinion doesn’t win arguments.

    IIRC nickc is a GP/works in a GP surgery so is far closer to the effects of this than many of us, and is one of the many people in the NHS who are under a huge amount of pressure right now. I can understand why he might be a bit quicker to react to that sort of comment from someone.

    Premier Icon kentishman
    Free Member

    Is anyone still watching the coronavirus briefings. They just seem to be here is s gimic for you all to talk about tommorow and we will now just avoid and not answer any questions and just repeat the buzz work we all learn this morning.
    Haven’t bothered for some time now.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    The reports on the BBC I’ve seen from the front line are terrifying. And while I have sympathy for people whose mental health has suffered because of lockdowns, the people I am really concerned about are the clinicians who are being traumatised day after day in our hospitals. One day doing what they have had to do for months would break most of us.

    So I currently have zero **** to give about people whinging, looking for loopholes or trying to manoeuvre the statistics to make this look like anything other than the utter shitshow it is.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    I don’t agree all of what fatmountain says, but it’s not all wrong.

    The virus does pose a tiny risk to large amounts of the population, that is fact. Yes, the risk is that you pass it on to someone of higher risk, but from a purely personal point of view, the risk for many is low.

    And at some point, the populous does need to move to some sort of normality. We need things to look forward to, we need to see others, we can’t keep like this forever. Look at the state of the road at the moment, people are already flexing it. Parts of the populous have been hung out to dry, that can’t continue.

    The vaccine rollout is clearly positive, but what’s the solution if it doesn’t work as we hope? Lockdown forever? Increased NHS capacity? Indefinite shielding for the elderly.

    I’ve said before, the government could really help a lot of people if they gave us goals or end dates. “When we reach an r-rate of x/have given x number of vaccines/there are x number of deaths/cases per day then these restrictions lift. We expect this to take x weeks/months”. Without this it feels relentless, it’s super tough on peoples mental health and with no end in sight, many will say “sod it, I’m going to break the rules”.

    LOL at the latest gossip about giving £500 to anyone who tests positive. It’ll just encourage get togethers!

    Yes I can imagine- “I’m 22 years old, relatively fit, just lost my job and absolutely skint – how soon can I get a positive test?”

    The government did say it wasn’t going to happen though.

    Premier Icon StuE
    Full Member

    A lot of people are not isolating or getting tested when they have symptoms because they can’t afford not to work, many workers are not paid sick pay or are self employed/zero hours contracts,£500 is not a lot if it’s all you have to live on for 2 weeks
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/26/matt-hancock-people-work-when-ill-sick-pay

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 in England could be paid £500 to self-isolate under proposals to be discussed by ministers

    Where the **** has my horse gone, shut that door!!

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