back to article You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

Data modelling from UK universities shows that the nation could be heading for a massive second wave of COVID-19 cases unless the government ramps up its controversial test-and-trace system. The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that a second wave could be avoided in the UK as schools reopen for a new year …

  1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    But... but...

    ... it's world beating I tell you!

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: But... but...

      I've been using the German app since it was released over a month ago. It reminds you every couple of weeks that the tracking is still active.

      So far everything is green...

      Although the Apple API was having problems and wasn't recording accurately for several weeks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But... but...

        Why can't we simply use the German (or some other) app here?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But... but...

          N.I.H. (not invented here) and BREXIT

          Our BREXIT loving Governent can't be seen to be liking anything that an EU member state makes. Well... not if the minister concerned has 1) any hope of someday getting the top job OR 2) won't want to risk getting the sck by PM in Hiding, Mr D (I need my eyes tested) Cummings.

          Boris is a mere sock puppet PM. You can almost see Cummings's hand up you know where.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But... but...

            Our BREXIT loving Governent can't be seen to be liking anything that an EU member state makes.

            Well, that's easily fixed. Tell them to consider SwissCovid instead. It works - just grabbed it as I need to go there in a week or so (no, by car - still less risky than by plane).

            Anything else I can help with? :)

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              Re: But... but...

              Or the Northern Irish one ...

        2. Poncey McPonceface
          1. flokie

            Re: But... but...

            It's been rolled in Northern Ireland too hasn't it?

            And earlier this week the Scottish Government have announced they will implement it too - and the app will work across the Common Travel Area, so up to Wales and England now.

            1. Poncey McPonceface

              Re: But... but...

              > It's been rolled in Northern Ireland too hasn't it?

              The article reached by the first link I posted up yonder talks about ROI and NI interop, yes!

              Did not know about Scots Gov, good to hear if true, thx.

        3. fwthinks

          Re: But... but...

          Both the Irish and German tracing apps are open source - why the UK can't just reuse this code is unclear. I will bet it is either politics or complete incompetence which is preventing us having a working app.

          1. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: But... but...

            Both, considering Hancock is the cock who has his own MP app that was massively flawed and full of security holes and privacy issues.

            1. flokie

              Re: But... but...

              The privacy issues were by design surely. That central db can be monetised, and why do you think Cummings' pals were picked for the app.

              I wouldn't use the upcoming 90 min from DnaNudge* either unless I know first what will happen to my data.

              *"a company that analyses people’s DNA from saliva in order to sell them a wristband and smartphone app that will “nudge” them towards healthy food choices"

          2. Simon Ward

            Re: But... but...

            why the UK can't just reuse this code is unclear

            As others have pointed out, a bad case of NIH syndrome and Brexit.

            After all, as a Proud Independent Seafaring State[tm] whose governing class appear to prefer ideology over reality, we can't go using the same stuff as those filthy forriners, can we? On top of that, it means that we can't give the job to our mates without going through all that tedious competitive tender stuff.

            Taking back control, innit?

          3. EnviableOne Silver badge

            Re: But... but...

            because that would mean they cant give millions to their cronnies to creat one from scratch that doesnt work....

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But... but...

          Why can't we simply use the German (or some other) app here?

          None of them is much use, really. The French one has been downloaded by 2m people, that's about 3% of the population. Fat lot of good that will do.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: But... but...

            I don't see how these phone apps can work reliably with all the variable conditions they have to deal with.

            The Hong Kong wristband seems to be the better approach, would get better user adoption than an app, though 7 million devices is a lot, 65 million would be a bit too many.

            I don't think the apps are much use though.

        5. big_D Silver badge

          Re: But... but...

          You can, Robert Koch Institut (the German equivalent of John's Hopkins in this crisis) has open sourced the code.

      2. Richard Jones 1

        Re: But... but...

        Not a ringing endorsement for limited and functionality on an Apple (and only sometimes). Long ago I lost interest in such unreliable silo projects. The project became a point scoring contest, unable to do anything useful. Is the Apple app still not knowing the difference between someone who is within a metre and someone who is 10 metres away? Since it only works on Apple products, should I care? I know there is another limited product for Android. It also has limitations on the age of supported devices.

        I'll pass and avoid all crowd situations.

      3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: But... but...

        How do you know if German app any good?

        Do you have numbers of true and false positives in its alerting?

        Or it is just that warm feeling inside you have when you see it is “active” (I.e. it uses your battery charge)?

  2. codejunky Silver badge

    Really?

    Second wave? Its the first wave we all got locked down to avoid. Want society to be resistant to it? People need to catch it. We could of course lock down and everyone slowly get it while our amazing (snigger) healthcare service sends the aging sick back to care homes to spread it and fail even basic covid isolation of patients.

    But assuming we isolate until there is nobody viral in the UK, are we going to isolate the country from the world? If not then the virus will be back anyway. We are waiting for a vaccine that takes time to be made and even then we dont know if it will offer any immunity once made.

    Meanwhile people are losing their jobs. The very things that pay for our health service to exist. People ignoring lockdown because they are sick of it and want to live their lives. The US just had a wonderful moment of Dr Fauci who speaks into various aspects of peoples lives to reduce transmission refusing to say the protesters trying to ruin and destroy increase transmission-

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1289215154899435522

    The UK instructions seeming to make as little sense around gatherings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      Dead people don't make a good economy either.

      If you hate the EU so much, and hate any form of social structures, and see saving lifes as an attack on your liberties, why don't you move to some hick hard-right town in the USA? You can wear your MAGA hat, and spout your nonsense in public without being laughed at.

      It's great to have debates with people with different views, but some people are beyond reason.

      [ Seriously, when is El Reg going to get a killfile feature? ]

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        @AC

        "Dead people don't make a good economy either."

        And the proportion of dead to infected? And how many are alive because of a health service and welfare support for the masses? And where does the money come from for that?

        "If you hate the EU so much"

        Thats a great jump from the topic. Wait a minute! Are you my troll? Although my troll doesnt usually bother posting AC and accepts he is known for trolling.

        "why don't you move to some hick hard-right town in the USA?"

        I dont live in the US.

        "It's great to have debates with people with different views, but some people are beyond reason."

        Self awareness is the first step. Keep going and your road to recovery will hopefully be successful.

        1. cyberdemon
          Devil

          COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

          Given that transmission rates are supposed to be extremely low for those without symptoms, and symptoms are extremely rare in the young, we should NEVER HAVE CLOSED THE SCHOOLS.

          Instead, we should have told everyone over 65 or with a vulnerable health condition to isolate. The vast majority of these people are retired, so it would have posed no problem for them or for the economy. The young people should have been told to stay well away from old people, carry on working, and to isolate only if they developed symptoms. Compensation should have been capped at £1k/month instead of 2.5k to disincentivise older people from catching the thing recklessly. Don't close the pubs, don't incentivise healthy people to skive off work, don't close down travel.

          The more young people who catch the virus and gain immunity, the less chance it then has to cause death once the old and/or borked folks emerge from isolation.

          Yes, due to unavoidable transmission in edge cases this would have resulted in greater death rates amongst old and otherwise already-dying people. But it would not have screwed the economy and burnt all of the UK's cash reserves just ahead of Brexit, which could pose a much greater threat than Covid. But our hand-wringing, Elf'n'Safety, 'retrospective accountability' culture has meant that we focused everything on minimising deaths, when we should have been maximising stability and minimising long-term socio-economic harm.

          You say it's inhumane to have a wagon with someone shouting Bring out yer Dead! But just wait until the economy has crashed to the point where we find ourselves in civil war, or on the wrong side of WWIII, or both.

          You have no idea how far inhumanity can go when the majority of people are starving.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

            "Given that transmission rates are supposed to be extremely low for those without symptoms, and symptoms are extremely rare in the young, we should NEVER HAVE CLOSED THE SCHOOLS."

            Does that plan involve teachers spending all day in HazMat suits? Likewise, have you cracked the problem of identifying just how immune a recovered patient is and for how long? No one else seems to have that cracked yet and people all over the world are working on that problem. Write it up and we'll see about getting your Nobel Prize to you ASAP.

            1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              Some people just need to grow a pair and stop panicking.

              It is not an illness that decimated the population. The long term effect on life expectancy due to economic issues caused by the lockdown will eventually more severe than whatever effect of the virus.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

                You are failing to take into account the fact that even with lockdowns and/or other quite severe restrictions, many places saw their medical systems almost at the breaking point. Without temporary restrictions, the death rates would have been much higher due to lack of ICU beds, lack of ventilators etc, Just look at the USA today. They talk of a "second wave", but from what I'm seeing, they are still not managing to escape the first wave. It's still ongoing and some states are again almost at breaking point.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

                  "You are failing to take into account the fact that even with lockdowns and/or other quite severe restrictions, many places saw their medical systems almost at the breaking point. "

                  Beyond even that, a higher virus load means a greater chance of a really bad mutation. Right now it's not on par with something like Ebola, but when you look at that virus, there have been strains that infect and kill in 48 hours with a 95% mortality rate. The really hot strains often burn themselves out fast since they don't get the chance to infect as many people, but just one case sitting in a hospital emergency room could be really devastating. Ever had to sit for hours in an emergency room waiting area. The last time I was there with a smashed hand (all better now), I tried to sit as far away as I could from people that looked very ill, but it was hard to do.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              "Given that transmission rates are supposed to be extremely low for those without symptoms, and symptoms are extremely rare in the young, we should NEVER HAVE CLOSED THE SCHOOLS."

              Schools aren't just comprised of children and families aren't either. Kids are really good at exchanging plagues and bringing them home to share with everybody else in the household.

              Won't it be fun for kids to have to wear PPE that irritates and has them sent to the Head's office for not keeping in place? Won't it be fun to be back in school with all your mates and have to remain 2m from them or wind up in detention? Schools have historically been packed in many places because "there isn't the money to expand facilities". Did the teachers suddenly wave their magic wands and triple the size of classrooms? I've seen arguments that the nutritional needs of children will suffer if they aren't back in school. Ummmm, that's not the State's problem, that's down to parents prioritizing tattoos and piercings over having food on the table. Well, that's what it looks like when the news has interviews. Close encounters of the fourth kind, I swear. Maybe we have been invaded.

          2. First Light Bronze badge

            Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

            That approach didn't work in Sweden, they isolated their elderly and the elderly died in vast numbers.

            1. Piro

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              Correct. Sweden's economy is going to suffer anyway, AND they experienced a very significant death rate compared to their neighbours.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              That approach didn't work in Sweden, they isolated their elderly and the elderly died in vast numbers.

              The elderly died in larger numbers everywhere (but not 'vast' numbers), the difference in Sweden is that due to their approach the death rate in the rest of the population was much lower. Overall deaths per capita were similar to UK/Spain/Italy but without the catastrophic damage caused by lockdown.

            3. EnviableOne Silver badge

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              Sweden's chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell would disagree with you, he said:

              "We knew that group was very fragile and that we would get a lot of deaths if they got infected. But we didn't know that the disease would enter so easily and for the spread to be so big,"

              he admits they could have done better

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

            ‘Old and otherwise already-dying people..’ is, er, quite a large category, surely? Sort of 100%, if you take the long view. And 65 is a weird cut-off point for your final solution - you should be thinking fitness, not anno domini, surely? But that would spoil the specious simplicity of the proposal.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              65 is the official retirement age in the UK; only people who are of working age are worth saving. After that they are just a drain on the system.

              Or at least, that's how I am interpreting some of these comments. Perhaps we should institute a sort of Logan's Run type of arrangement. Who doesn't like merry-go-rounds, after all?

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

                "65 is the official retirement age in the UK; only people who are of working age are worth saving. After that they are just a drain on the system."

                It's not a good argument. There are plenty of people in my town that are well under 65 and completely useless and a drain on society. I see them tatted up at the corner market buying energy drinks and crisps with their benefits card. They seem to strive to be unemployable so they can show they've applied for jobs and been turned down everywhere.

            2. cyberdemon
              Devil

              Re: COVID is nothing compared to being hacked to death with a machete over the last tin of beans.

              @AC You are right, of course. Have an upvote for your downvote.

              But I am quite deadly serious when I say that I fear the breakdown of our economy and society MUCH more than some crappy plague. If we descend into civil and/or world war after economic collapse, then 50k, 100k, 1M deaths will pale into insignificance.

              The effects that our societal/political/economic reactions to Covid are having, are somewhat analogous to the immune response of a patient with Sepsis.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        [i]Dead people don't make a good economy either.[/i]

        The UK has seen 6 straight weeks in a row where excess mortality is less than the 5 year average, yet there are discussions about shielding everyone over 50! Something else is at play here.

        We know that COVID is overwhelmingly more risky for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, so it makes a lot more sense to protect vulnerable groups and allow everyone else to take their chances.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          Heard immunity may work BUT only if the whole of England was healthy. We are not, so its a fucking bad idea and will kill off most of the poor, who tend to eat poorly due to money and/or time issues. Time issues due to having to work multiple, fucking, low paid jobs.

          Some here are starting to sound like the knob that was on the Isle Of Wight ferry the other day "I don't believe in this Covid nonsense", with no mask on. The knob in Wickes on Saturday morning with his mask round his neck and another one with his mask on his chin so he could talk on his fucking mobile. And not to mention the various people that don't bother to cover their nose with the mask.

          As mentioned in Private Eye

          "Masks do not reduce your oxygen saturation but they can only work if used correctly, and yet many spectacle-wearers steam up and lower the mask below the nose, which is akin to wearing underpants with your penis on the outside."

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Really?

            @steviebuk

            "Heard immunity may work BUT only if the whole of England was healthy."

            Wrong. But thats good news- https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/work/protection

            Community immunity protects everyone. But it’s especially important because some people can’t get vaccinated for certain diseases — such as people with some serious allergies and those with weakened or failing immune systems (like people who have cancer, HIV/AIDS, type 1 diabetes, or other health conditions).

            Community immunity is also important for the very small group of people who don’t have a strong immune response from vaccines.

            "We are not, so its a fucking bad idea and will kill off most of the poor, who tend to eat poorly due to money and/or time issues"

            Thats one way to call the NHS shit. But you are lucky to be wrong again. Mortality from covid tends to be based on vulnerability. Just like most illnesses.

            "Some here are starting to sound like the knob that was on the Isle Of Wight ferry the other day "I don't believe in this Covid nonsense", with no mask on."

            So not me but you would compare me to someone saying something different. Not great logic to be honest.

            "The knob in Wickes on Saturday morning with his mask round his neck and another one with his mask on his chin so he could talk on his fucking mobile."

            From what I have heard of public transport you might have met some of the smarter mask wearers. It isnt something normally done in the UK and people dont seem very good at it. Then again people have the lockdown fatigue which was expected and why we should have reduced the lockdown in summer so it can be reintroduced if necessary in the winter but we didnt.

            As to the final quote in your comment spot on. Or people pulling them out of the way so they can cough! But these are the people we have to deal with. And whatever approach we use must take such people into account.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Really?

              If you think herd immunity is achieved by lots of people catching a virus instead of being vaccinated, you're understanding it wrong. Sweden follows a herd immunity policy and has been stuck at 6% for months.

              In fact, lasting immunity from Covid-19 may not even exist.

              1. jmch Silver badge

                Re: Really?

                Sweden is taking a gamble that so far it seems to be losing, since its got high mortality while economy still took a big hit. However that won't be fully known until some time next year. It could be that all susceptible people will succumb sooner or later, it could be that delaying the 'waves' can save many lives. Final outcome still unknown.

                In any case its not only about mortality vs economy, its also about solidarity vs individuality: how much are people willing to do voluntarily to protect themselves and others vs how much should people be obligated to do things they don't want because the (many times highly fallible) state decreed this is what's for the common good.

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Really?

                @Dan 55

                "If you think herd immunity is achieved by lots of people catching a virus instead of being vaccinated"

                Actually no. Vaccination is an option when you have a vaccine. However your link kicks your point in the nuts damned hard-

                A vaccine could still prevent the illness or reduce its severity, but it's likely even that won't wipe COVID-19 from the globe.

                This is dependent on the characteristics of covid and could end up as another cold/flu but we dont close the economy for those. Simply right now the only real option is to let those healthy people get on with their lives and build up immunity to reduce the spread. Otherwise those who are vulnerable are more at risk.

                "Sweden follows a herd immunity policy and has been stuck at 6% for months."

                And still doing better than some of its heavy lock down neighbours.

                "In fact, lasting immunity from Covid-19 may not even exist."

                Very true. And so making my point that lock down would have been a terrible waste if thats the case.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                  WTF?

                  Re: Really?

                  Actually no. Vaccination is an option when you have a vaccine. However your link kicks your point in the nuts damned hard-

                  A vaccine could still prevent the illness or reduce its severity, but it's likely even that won't wipe COVID-19 from the globe.

                  Er, yes, you must be vaccinated before you have the virus, not after, that's exactly how vaccinations work.

                  Simply right now the only real option is to let those healthy people get on with their lives and build up immunity to reduce the spread. Otherwise those who are vulnerable are more at risk. Otherwise those who are vulnerable are more at risk.

                  How do you determine the healthy from the vulnerable until people get it?

                  And [Sweden is] still doing better than some of its heavy lock down neighbours.

                  This is not true.

                  No, Australia should not follow Sweden’s approach to coronavirus

                  By the end of July, Sweden had the 7th highest per-capita death rate in the world, and about ten times larger than its Nordic neighbours. Outbreaks spread to aged care facilities and the vulnerable.

                  [...]

                  Even with its lighter lockdowns, Sweden has suffered economic losses almost as severe as its Nordic counterparts.

                  The Swedish labour market has been hit hard. Unemployment is expected to peak at between 9-11%, cushioned by a fall in labour-force participation as Swedes leave the labour market entirely.

                  So Sweden is not doing better either in number of deaths or the economy.

                  Back to my point about lasting immunity:

                  Very true. And so making my point that lock down would have been a terrible waste if thats the case.

                  You have an interesting definition of waste, as if deaths somehow don't figure in this measure.

                  I imagine the goal will to be get an area as free from Covid-19 as possible then vaccinate everyone within that area, and open up travel with other vaccinated areas. Meanwhile there would be testing and quarantine for people from outside a vaccinate area, such as Taiwan does.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Really?

                    @Dan 55

                    "Er, yes, you must be vaccinated before you have the virus, not after, that's exactly how vaccinations work."

                    How does that change not having a vaccine? Otherwise immunity must come from catching the virus and fighting it off (fighting off the virus being what provides immunity even in vaccination form).

                    "How do you determine the healthy from the vulnerable until people get it?"

                    Great news! We have an entire health sector who through looking at the effects of the virus have managed to work out underlying health conditions which make people susceptible! Including by age ranges!

                    "This is not true." and "So Sweden is not doing better either in number of deaths or the economy."

                    You might not like the fact but it is true. First for people wishing to view your link it has a quote at the end of the URL breaking it (probably beyond editing time). Second the article is biased bollocks. Sweden is in 8th place for deaths per million! I recommend you look at the facts- https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

                    "You have an interesting definition of waste, as if deaths somehow don't figure in this measure."

                    But at no point do you suggest a way to reduce deaths, instead promote lockdown which is causing its own death rate. And still we wait for a vaccine and without it we still await the second wave. Aka you are not stopping deaths you are postponing it for some and causing more deaths for others.

                    "I imagine the goal will to be get an area as free from Covid-19 as possible then vaccinate everyone within that area"

                    Sounds great. But no working vaccine. Maybe wont even be able to vaccinate against it! Yet to build up immunity people will have to have the virus in some form. The healthy being able to tolerate it better (for those who have any symptoms).

                    "and open up travel with other vaccinated areas"

                    But since trade is global as is travel its going to be painfully slow and extremely damaging and death causing to reduce restrictions that slowly.

                    "Meanwhile there would be testing and quarantine for people from outside a vaccinate area, such as Taiwan does."

                    If we can get a decent testing capacity going maybe its a possible idea. But it must be timely or it will be too expensive to run for too long.

                    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                      Re: Really?

                      I just can't...

                      So I post something which shows that Sweden is doing worse than its Scandinavian neighbours both in deaths and in the economy, you follow up with something that shows Sweden is 8th worst in the world for deaths per million and Finland, Denmark, and Norway are waaay down the table at 65, 45, and 73. Thanks, you saved me some work there.

                      Aka you are not stopping deaths you are postponing it for some and causing more deaths for others

                      Would you like to hasten people's deaths? That's rather psychopathic of you.

                      How are deaths being caused by locking down? The only deaths are caused by failing to test and have the correct PPE in e.g. care homes. If the NHS decided to jettison e.g. cancer care during the first wave, then that's an indication that they were indeed overrun, but it would have been worse if there was no lockdown.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Really?

                        @Dan 55

                        "Thanks, you saved me some work there."

                        Damn you didnt read the table did you. Looking at only the select ones that confirm your opinion while disregarding fact is not going to help you understand this. Countries with severe lockdown are doing worse than a place with no lockdown. That suggests lockdown isnt what is saving everyone. or are you telling me the 8 worse countries are not doing lockdown either?

                        "Would you like to hasten people's deaths? That's rather psychopathic of you."

                        I notice you skip by the entire comment where I point out you offer no suggestions what-so-ever about avoiding the deaths. Instead you seem to be defending a strategy of causing deaths by lockdown then we have the covid deaths. You sound psychopathic.

                        "How are deaths being caused by locking down?"

                        Are you serious? People are not seeking medical treatment because they dont want to go to hospital and get infected with covid. I hate to post DM links but it was the top one from a simple google search-

                        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8574317/Lockdown-caused-21-000-extra-deaths-reduced-access-healthcare.html

                        "but it would have been worse if there was no lockdown."

                        That is not certain at all as Sweden demonstrates. It could easily be as bad but without the lockdown damage

                        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                          Facepalm

                          Re: Really?

                          Countries with severe lockdown are doing worse than a place with no lockdown.

                          What? I just highlighted the difference between Sweden and its neighbours which demonstrates exactly the opposite.

                          Instead you seem to be defending a strategy of causing deaths by lockdown then we have the covid deaths.

                          No, I'm defending a strategy of saving people's lives by reducing contagion, you know, the strategy used by most countries around the world and recommended by the WTO.

                          People are not seeking medical treatment because they dont want to go to hospital and get infected with covid.

                          Would no lockdown mean more people would be going to hospital because there would be less chance of getting infected with Covid-19? No. Quite the opposite, lockdown was to stop the NHS getting overrun.

                          That is not certain at all as Sweden demonstrates. It could easily be as bad but without the lockdown damage

                          Once again, I compared Sweden with its neighbours. The economic hit was about the same, the deaths were reduced. Having the option to go for more deaths or fewer deaths, you go for more.

                          Why am I reminded of this speech? We've just degenerated yet again into another dead-end thread and exercise in futility sponsored by our resident contrarian in chief. I think we'll call it a day here.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: Really?

                            @Dan 55

                            "What? I just highlighted the difference between Sweden and its neighbours which demonstrates exactly the opposite."

                            Yes. You ignored the evidence put right in front of you and you cherry picked what suited your argument. The simple fact is that lockdown doesnt appear to be the solution as Sweden with no lockdown is doing better than countries with strict lockdown.

                            If you still think that proves you right then we cant discuss further as you dont seem able to understand the facts. You can try to refute the facts but the numbers are right there on the link in front of you.

                            "No, I'm defending a strategy of saving people's lives by reducing contagion, you know, the strategy used by most countries around the world and recommended by the WTO."

                            I think you mean WHO (not condemning this mistake if so)? The strategy to reduce contagion works in limited places with little interaction with the outside. Every time they reopen they get more cases because its not going away. Try that with most of the world and we are still getting infections and as soon as we reopen will get another wave. Nothing has been solved. Are we to be locked down until a vaccine might be developed that might work? So far the best seems to be a very limited time with uncertain immunity properties.

                            "Would no lockdown mean more people would be going to hospital because there would be less chance of getting infected with Covid-19? No. Quite the opposite, lockdown was to stop the NHS getting overrun."

                            Ok so to stop the NHS from being overrun impose lockdown. They have had plenty time to get organised (even the army came to help with this) and have made new facilities etc. So do we open up in summer with fewer other issues or in winter when seasonal flu etc hit? The NHS needs an economy for it to be funded and get what it needs, so when do we open back up?

                            "Once again, I compared Sweden with its neighbours. The economic hit was about the same, the deaths were reduced. Having the option to go for more deaths or fewer deaths, you go for more."

                            The economic hit was a bit less and considering everyone else locking down it makes sense their economy would take a hit. And compared to its neighbours Sweden seems to show the lockdown isnt the deciding factor (again back to you needing to acknowledge the facts). Because of your misunderstanding you seem to think it would cause more death.

                            "I think we'll call it a day here."

                            Not a bad idea but look at the factual data again and maybe try to get someone else to explain it to you.

                            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                              Re: Really?

                              An addendum as I read this today:

                              UK to plunge into deepest slump on record with worst GDP drop of G7

                              What happens when a country takes too long to lock down.

                              So there we have it, the economic indicators for Sweden are in the same area as their neighbours only they didn't lock down and they had more deaths.

                              The economic indicators for the UK which was late into locking down and never really had any strict lockdown rules when compared to European neighbours had the worst economic indicators in the G7 and the most deaths in Europe.

                              So the data proves locking down means a lower economic hit and fewer deaths. Your waffle and pontificating does not change this.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: Really?

                                @Dan 55

                                "What happens when a country takes too long to lock down."

                                That article seems to be going on about countries in lockdown (heavily restricting economic activity) doing economically badly. The UK being particularly locked down and over cautious and you are pointing out the UK economy is doing poorly. An earlier lockdown would have hit that point sooner. I am not sure you are trying to demonstrate how economically damaging lockdown is but you have.

                                "So there we have it, the economic indicators for Sweden are in the same area as their neighbours only they didn't lock down and they had more deaths."

                                No they didnt. I put the link under your nose and it is very clear and unambiguous. Sweden doesnt have more deaths, its in 8th place for deaths per million performing better than countries with strict lockdown. The facts are clear and unambiguous, you are now just lying.

                                "The economic indicators for the UK which was late into locking down and never really had any strict lockdown rules when compared to European neighbours"

                                Wrong. It is extremely strict. We have to wear face masks to go to the supermarket!! On a whim travel from countries are being blocked. Yes the UK was late to lockdown because it was acting sensibly and rationally until Boris panicked. If you have the patience this is a very interesting explanation of where it went wrong- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S8Js-tEmlg

                                "So the data proves locking down means a lower economic hit and fewer deaths. Your waffle and pontificating does not change this."

                                As I said, at this point you are just lying. You are wrong about deaths as demonstrated in the link I provided. And economically it performed less bad as its neighbours.

                                https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53664354

                                If you think you can challenge the facts then please do, that could add to the discussion. But if you are only going to repeat your very wrong opinion in the face of fact that is delusion or lying.

                  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Really?

                    Sweden in interesting as a test case. To make any statements about how well it's has or hasn't worked to not close down, there has be be very detailed figures. Things such as population density, how people congregate, health/wellness indices. If people stay home from work/school/church when they aren't feeling well. Even if Sweden's approach works, it may not be transferable to another country or city. London and New York are very different from Stockholm or Malmo.

              3. Cuddles Silver badge

                Re: Really?

                "If you think herd immunity is achieved by lots of people catching a virus instead of being vaccinated"

                We know perfectly well that herd immunity works by just letting a disease run through the population until enough people have caught it. That's how we managed to eliminate smallpox without ever needing to develop a vaccine or a global immunisation program. It's why flu stopped spreading across the world centuries ago. It's why tuberculosis doesn't still kill over a million people every year.

                With all these examples of diseases being completely controlled with no intervention, it's truly baffling why people still insist on nonsense like trying to reduce the spread or develop a cure. All diseases always just burn themselves out after a few months, and there's no reason to expect covid to be any different.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Really?

                  That's how we managed to eliminate smallpox without ever needing to develop a vaccine or a global immunisation program.

                  That's a whopper of an "alternative fact" you've got there:

                  WHO: Smallpox

                  It was declared eradicated in 1980 following a global immunization campaign led by the World Health Organization.

                  1. Freddie

                    Re: Really?

                    I think perhaps some sarcasm was missed there pal! Even conspiracy theorists rarely claim that flu is eradicated!

                    1. batfink Silver badge

                      Re: Really?

                      I think that poor Cuddles really needed to put the <sarc> tags in there, as it's pretty obvious there are quite a few people out there not getting it...

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Really?

                        @batfink

                        Hell even I thought it was funny enough for an upvote. Seems to tear at both sides with amusement.

            2. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: Really?

              Consistent messaging from the government helps. That messaging in the early days of lockdown was *fine*. It worked. People complied. It all went south when a certain SpAd decided he'd travel 250 miles out of his way to 'find childcare' and then 'to test his eyesight'. That SpAd should have been fired on the spot and everyone would have continued to comply. But because high-ranking members of government couldn't be arsed, it set a bad precedent.

              What was sorely missing was the government advice explaining *why* wearing a mask would help loosening the lockdown, *how* to wear a mask effectively (with or without glasses), and to maintain social distancing. All that advice never showed up. The rubbish three-word tag lines didn't help people, the decisions spaffed out over TV, then countermanded by some other minister, then 'clarified' and 'clarified' again by other ministers without the specific guidance having been finalised *DID*. *NOT*. *HELP*.

              Instead look at Scotland's advice. It was clear. It was concise. It didn't use jingoistic three-word sloganeering. It explained what was what.

              Yes, Britain will always be full of 'laws don't apply to me' asshats. But the sooner and the more people actually comply the way they did early in lockdown with the understanding that this was for the greater good and to minimise transmission rates, the better. It's very upsetting and saddening to see how the 'screw everyone else' mantra that pervades US society has also made its home here.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: Really?

                I don't think some twat in the government breaking the lockdown is a reason for breaking the lockdown.

                Not for grown ups anyway.

                And the advice in England was plain enough. The problem is all the passive aggression against the government because people just don't want to play along.

                1. anothercynic Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Really?

                  No, it's not, you're right, it shouldn't be an excuse for grown-ups. But unfortunately, it appears that many are being rather petty and not-grown-up about some things. Also, the advice in England wasn't quite plain enough. When you have the PM say one thing, Gove say another (and it's not his brief to start with), and then Hancock saying yet another thing (it *is* his brief but he neither backs up the PM nor provides clarity), then the public can be forgiven for thinking "what the hell, and who do I listen to?"

                  Mask advice *should* have been simple right from the start, not vacillating between "you should wear a mask, really, it protects everyone" (from the PM, who's actually *had* the disease and has finally realised that it's actually *serious*), to "yeah, but you don't really have to" (from Gove, who with his wife has fanned the fire of anti-mask-wearing sentiment), and everything inbetween. It should have provided in simple yet effective advice like the graphic shown below why wearing masks is important:

                  Illustration of why wearing masks help decrease the spread of the COVID-19

                  But that didn't happen. So people thumb their noses at it and get all passive aggressive with you when you wear one and look at them funny for not social distancing. There is a distinct trend that within government some factions in the same party are actively attempting to sabotage each other's efforts to be alternatively coherent (and evidence-based health-focused) or ideological (herd immunity for the win, only our besties get a look-in, or 'here, have a peerage my good man'). it leaves the members of the public confused, annoyed, and fed-up. Scotland has had consistency that England hasn't. That's the difference.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Really?

                  But when you see some of the stories that people have done - the staff at an old peoples' home self isolating with the patients(?) for two weeks, healthcare workers isolated from their families to protect them, people loosing jobs etc.

                  Then to hear that some government twat's wife started showing *COVID* symptoms, so he decided to take the kid to the grandparents - then what is the bloody point?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really?

            We are not, so its a fucking bad idea and will kill off most of the poor, who tend to eat poorly due to money and/or time issues.

            How will a virus with a mortality rate of less than 1%, even for 70 year olds, manage to kill "most of the poor" in the UK?

            You do realise that half the world's population survives on less than $5 per day, right? So I guess that means, according to you, we can expect nearly everyone in the Indian subcontinent to expire through COVID?

            Totally ludicrous assertions from someone that clearly has an ulterior motive.

            1. Peter in Seattle

              Re: Really?

              Death is not the only concern; there's disability, as well. A couple of studies published in JAMA showed that around three quarters of COVID-19 survivors show signs of heart damage similar to that caused by a heart attack. This might explain the "chronic" fatigue and shortness of breath reported by some survivors. Involvement of other organs (kidneys, brain) is suspected as well. And of course, there can be residual lung damage. The big questions are how many survivors are seriously affected and how long their disability will last.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really?

                The big questions are how many survivors are seriously affected and how long their disability will last.

                Seeing as there have been over 18 million confirmed cases of COVID worldwide and probably 10 to 20 times as many unconfirmed, I think it would be pretty bleeding obvious by now if a significant proportion were left with horrendous after effects.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Reality.. ish

                  ...I think it would be pretty bleeding obvious by now if a significant proportion were left with horrendous after effects.

                  I think that is becoming obvious. So horrendous effects like job losses, evictions, business failures. Meanwhile, back in the slightly real world-

                  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

                  R0 given as 2-4 across their scenarios, which means it's pretty contagious.

                  Infection Fatality Ratio, Overall ranges from 0.005% in it's best case scenario to 0.008% to it's worst case.

                  Note that the CDC has been revising this since the 2019 date based on incoming evidence. So basically it's not that lethal. But due to models, and panic, it's lethality has become enhanced. Homeless then dead is just as lethal as infected and dead... Although the mortality rate for homeless people is probably higher than 0.008%.

                  And then there are potential issues with data quality. In Florida recently, a young person died in a motorbike accident. Cause of death included Covid. After some.. pressure, during which their health chief tried to argue that Covid may have caused the acccident, Covid was removed.. But depending on when data users slurped the data & processed it, it may still appear as a Covid fatality.

                  And for me, the current big concern is around vaccines. Apparently the drug dealers are being given immunity from litigation, even if the vaccine kills the patient. This seems... wrong. Especially given some vaccines like Moderna's had a trial limited to only 45 healthy patients, and nearly 50% of those developed side-effects. Or there's the balm of Gilead, which seems more tolerable, but also more expensive, and doesn't appear to be very effective.

                  But happy days for drug company execs and their shareholders. Governments have pre-ordered billions of dollars worth of vaccines, which are likely to be trialled on the public. And if those trials go bad, there's no real downside.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Reality.. ish

                    Go re-read what is at that link and come back when you actually understand whats in those tables.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Reality.. ish

                      Go re-read what is at that link and come back when you actually understand whats in those tables.

                      Oh. Ok! Just well the CDC defines it, huh?

                      The number of individuals who die of the disease among all infected individuals (symptomatic and asymptomatic). This parameter is not necessarily equivalent to the number of reported deaths per reported case because many cases and deaths are never confirmed to be COVID-19, and there is a lag in time between when people are infected and when they die.

                      Seems pretty clear to me, and correlates with other medical data. Not the media, but they're still in full panicdemic. I'm guessing you're challenging the interpretation of the second sentence? Which is of course one of the challenges, ie the Florida motorcylist who died of Covid, then didn't. Or are you questioning the lag? If so, what would be acceptable? 100 years?

                      Either way global figures still reflect a low morbidity given they're still running at well under original model predictions.. Like Prof Fergusons.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Reality.. ish

                        I will give you an easy one from what you think is correct in what you presented, but is in fact 2 orders of magnitude incorrect, ratio does not equal percent (hint, if it was it would have a % at the end in the table you are referencing).

              2. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

                Re: Really?

                But we're told 80% of people with COVID show no symptoms, so are you claiming that 75% of these people have symptoms of heart disease? Or do you man that up to 75% of those that were seriously ill show signs of heart disease?

                Because that makes a big difference to the numbers.

                And while in a situation like this, we all want the best decision for ourselves and our loved ones, Government (not 'the Government' - just the politicians, but Government: the politicians, civil servants, scientists, etc) should be picking the best (or least-worst) option.

                And we have the report from 2 weeks ago that estimated 200,000 excess deaths due to lock-down (not COVID, but the effects of lock-down): about 25,000 in the short term plus a further 185,00 in the medium / long term, due to failure to get prompt medical attention for heart attacks, missed cancers, etc

                Those lives matter just as much as someone with COVID.

                We should not be viewing this as a 'COVID' emergency, but a 'health-care' emergency.

            2. Natalie Gritpants Jr

              Re: Really?

              It only has a mortality rate of 1% when the NHS isn't overwhelmed and that 10% of cases that end up in a hospital stay actually get a hospital stay. Given a broken NHS the mortality rate could be up to 5%. Still fancy your chances?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really?

                It only has a mortality rate of 1% when the NHS isn't overwhelmed...

                Even at the height of the pandemic, with no track and trace system in place at all, and no useful treatments, the NHS was never overwhelmed. Remember those Nightingale hospitals? Only two out of the seven constructed saw any patients.

                So yes, bearing in mind how much more we know about managing the virus and armed with several promising treatments (remdesivir, interferon beta etc. etc.) that can stave off the most dangerous symptoms, I do fancy my chances.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Really?

                  Remember those Nightingale hospitals? Only two out of the seven constructed saw any patients.

                  The referring hospital has to provide staff too and they can't spare it, so these large empty buildings didn't get many patients:

                  Inside NHS Nightingale: Staff speak out about the reality of care in London’s coronavirus field hospital

                  “It’s pretty well acknowledged that staffing is the issue. Not many people have been able to get released from their trusts. There is no shortage of people who want to send patients to the Nightingale. Everyone here knows some hospitals around London are on their knees, but unless you have staff you can’t expand the capacity. That is the limiting factor.”

                  Another says: “The Nightingale just doesn’t have the staff. Many of those who volunteered are stuck with their main employers.”

                  They say that to expand the number of patients, staff would need to be pulled from across the country, adding: “We are all fishing from the same pond and we started this crisis with significant ICU nurse shortages.”

          3. Long John Silver
            Pirate

            Re: Really? - masks are not what they seem

            Outside context of hospitals and nursing homes masks are magical wards. It really does not matter where on one's person one keeps a mask, the magic works just as well from a pocket as from the face.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Really? - masks are not what they seem

              Clearly you don't understand the point. The mask isn't to protect YOU from others. It's protect others from YOU. ie it reduces the spread of virus through breathing, talking or coughing by someone who may be infected. If you're not infected, wearing a mask won't do you any harm but if you ARE infected and don't know it yet, it could be saving others.

          4. Mike 137 Silver badge

            Re: Really?

            "...many spectacle-wearers steam up ..." just shows how ineffectual arbitrarily designed and fitted cloth masks are. The air (and therefore potentially the virus) is not being filtered through the mask, it's rushing in and out round the edges without being filtered.

            There are numerous objective studies that show the type and the fit of a mask are crucial to whether it works or is just a complete waste of time. However the public are told not to use the types that do work, but instead to use the types that don't. This is not based on science - it's based on a desire to demonstrate to the public that the powers that be "take COVID seriously" in the face of a problem that nobody can in reality be entirely in control off. It might be better to admit that openly.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              Boris hopes that masks will "give people confidence to go back to the shops again." I guess if they do that, then they work as far as he's concerned.

              1. Mike 137 Silver badge

                Re: Really?

                Yes AC, that's the message. But centuries of experience have shown that giving people false confidence in the face of a real threat doesn't mitigate that threat. It may even exacerbate it.

                At least as late as the 1960s, high court judges carried a posy of flowers into Court. This originated in the 18th century from the mistaken idea that the scent protected against "gaol fever". It didn't. Neither did the amulets people wore protect against the great plague in the 14th century. Both gave them confidence but they died just the same.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really?

                I guess if they do that, then they work as far as he's concerned.

                That's actually the strongest argument in favour of masks. Whether they actually work or not, seeing other people wearing them is a confidence-builder, it says "other people are taking care".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              > However the public are told not to use the types that do work, but instead to use the types that don't.

              This. The loose fitting DIY masks my family made--which are extremely comfortable to wear--are only intended to comply with the rules and sidestep conflict with cops and others.

              Those masks offer no protection to anyone but do falsely reassure people we are helping to keep them safe which is the government goal.

        2. flokie

          The focus on mortality isn't helpful

          Neither are comparisons with the flu.

          "Mild" seems to mean anything not serious enough to go to hospital - but that still includes much worse symptoms than the flu, read some accounts from people who actually went through it if you don't know anyone first-hand.

          Want one I know? 7-10 days of temperature going up and down. Nausea, couldn't keep down food - lost one stone in a week (10st woman). Confusion - fell off bed, no short term memory. Tiredness. Fainted once. Some coughing but hardly any respiratory symptom. No hospitalisation. This is an example of mild.

          Then there's the long haulers - read this eg. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/28/coronavirus-long-haulers-infectious-disease-testing or

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-53084368

          It looks like 10+% of symptomatic sufferers take 6 weeks or more to recover. Some still have symptoms after 4 months. Many young people with no underlying health conditions fall within that category.

          Some people still experiencing symptoms and getting post-Covid checkups are finding out they had strokes or heart attacks leaving lasting damage.

          Folks who want to take their chances because mortality isn't that bad? Idiots.

        3. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Really?

          The UK has seen 6 straight weeks in a row where excess mortality is less than the 5 year average, yet there are discussions about shielding everyone over 50! Something else is at play here.

          It's simply because our Government's incompetence allowed Covid to slaughter so many extremely vulnerable people in care homes that there are now fewer of these people left to die a few months later of the other things.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really?

          "The UK has seen 6 straight weeks in a row where excess mortality is less than the 5 year average"

          Because all the low hanging fruit has already been plucked

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        Seriously, when is El Reg going to get a killfile feature?

        So you won't listen to anyone who challenges your prejudices? No wonder the world's in such a shit state, too many people like Donald Trump who only like the sound of their own voice. :(

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          I'm not fully sure which side you are arguing for. Too many people in the world like Donald Trump sounds like a good argument for a killfile :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thailand had 1 case yesterday

      It was a returning resident in quarantine. Thailand has no home grown cases for 72 days. Stuff is open, and we're enjoying local holidays knowing we're not risking catching the virus.

      Countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China are virus free. Malaysia is pretty close to success, Singapore is a laggard.

      You keep talking likes it hard to do, but all I ever see in Europe is people walking in the street without a mask. WHY? What the fk is it with you lot that you won't simply wear a mask, everywhere all the time when you're out of your home.

      Endless whiney losers justifying why a simple thing that others have done is an impossible thing that can never be done.

      You don't need a vaccine, you just need to get rid of it. Then come join the rest of us.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

        @AC

        Well said about the countries having some success removing the virus. Unfortunately the home grown bit is important part. The UK exists with a lot of trade and travel, and those succeeding countries are still reporting new cases.

        "You keep talking likes it hard to do, but all I ever see in Europe is people walking in the street without a mask. WHY?"

        To give a poor excuse for the UK, we were advised not to because the NHS might run out. Then the army stepped in and it turned out PPE was being sent to the wrong places and not where it was needed.

        "You don't need a vaccine, you just need to get rid of it. Then come join the rest of us."

        As with the flu its easier said than done. More likely we will either get herd immunity (catch it or a vaccine) or it will be like the flu to which will be the new norm.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

          "The UK exists with a lot of trade and travel, and those succeeding countries are still reporting new cases."

          You're last big outbreak was in Blackburn, Lancashire. Who do you think you're kidding?

          @"To give a poor excuse for the UK, we were advised not to because the NHS might run out."

          Yes I know, I told you how to make masks from wet wipes, something a nurse here showed me, and the amount of pushback I got was ridiculous. But that was then and this is now, so what's the excuse now?? Why do I see video of everyone out on the streets without their masks, NOW? What's the excuse NOW?

          You know in Thailand we have no cases, but we still wear the masks as a precaution. It's just a mask, so why not take the extra precaution just in case?

          "As with the flu its easier said than done. More likely we will either get herd immunity (catch it or a vaccine) or it will be like the flu to which will be the new norm."

          It's a very deadly disease, lots will die, lots will get sick, hospitals will get overloaded, you will be quarantined. Your exports will be quarantined, your factories will lose key staff, key workers won't be allowed to visit the UK. UK will be shuttered. It's just a mask. Wear the damn mask.

          Wear the mask, not just in major cosmopolitan international centers of trade like Blackburn. But also in smaller mega cities, like Carlisle, Stoke on Trent, Kidderminster. Why if we can do it in rural villages like Bangkok, and Shanghai, you can surely scale it up to Ely and Middle Wallop.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

            @AC

            "You're last big outbreak was in Blackburn, Lancashire. Who do you think you're kidding?"

            Nobody. The virus free countries keep getting infected. Even hermit kingdom (N.Korea) gets infections. Even if we wipe it out in the UK we will get it again as travel opens up. And it has to open back up as thats how the global supply chains work never mind tourism and business travel.

            "Yes I know, I told you how to make masks from wet wipes, something a nurse here showed me, and the amount of pushback I got was ridiculous"

            Thats fine, I dont disagree. I remember the west mocking China for the virus before it hit western countries. I remember us all laughing at Italy for counting any death with covid as a covid death, and now we find the NHS did the same!

            "You know in Thailand we have no cases"

            For now. Until the next traveller brings it. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/thailand/

            "It's a very deadly disease"

            Eh? Really? Most people recover with those dying generally being those with underlying health conditions. Deadly yes. Very deadly? Requires perspective.

            "It's a very deadly disease, lots will die, lots will get sick, hospitals will get overloaded, you will be quarantined. Your exports will be quarantined, your factories will lose key staff, key workers won't be allowed to visit the UK"

            Sounds like lockdown. Except the hospitals are so disorganised that some places get overwhelmed while others have thumbs twiddled.

            "It's just a mask. Wear the damn mask."

            I have no issues with mask wearing. My issue is a lockdown that doesnt seem to work in a positive way.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

              > I have no issues with mask wearing. My issue is a lockdown that doesnt seem to work in a positive way.

              Which seems to put you into a minority of those who oppose lockdown.

              A very good chunk of those who were against lockdown also now seem to be against wearing masks (oh, sorry, muzzles apparently).

              The reality is actually fairly simple - either people need to take proper precautions, or we're going to have to lockdown again to try and protect NHS capacity.

              Whether through stubbornnes, stupidity or something else, those precautions seem not to be being taken, so we'll ultimately reach a tipping point where the choice is to lockdown, or to have a massive increase in deaths because the NHS can't cope.

              The government screwed a lot up in their response, not least through screwing adherence to lockdown by not observing it themselves, but the number of people bleating about the possibility of a lockdown, whilst not wearing masks is unbelievable.

              You can see why some might be opposed to your position in the comments given that position is normally explained without benefit of a mask, and usually with some dubious figures about how it's "not that bad"

              1. Zolko

                Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                "The reality is actually fairly simple - either people need to take proper precautions, or we're going to have to lockdown again."

                ... or we can let people catch the damn virus and get over it. 99.7% of the population will not even notice beyond a bad cold may-be. And summer-time is best for that because there are less other illnesses.

                Therefore, new official advice: don't use masks and gloves, and hug everybody you can so we can all get infected by the Covid-19 virus during august.

                1. jmch Silver badge

                  Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                  Here in rural-ish Switzerland, no one wears masks outdoors, and very few inside. Wherever there is enough space to maintain distance (and people actually respect that) masks make insignificant difference.

                  Anywhere more crowded where maintaining distance is impossible, wearing mask is a no-brainer, however uncomfortable and annoying

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                @Ben Tasker

                "Which seems to put you into a minority of those who oppose lockdown."

                Thats fine. I weigh the evidence and form an opinion. I dont follow the herd just to fit in with the majority.

                "A very good chunk of those who were against lockdown also now seem to be against wearing masks (oh, sorry, muzzles apparently)."

                Really? I dont get the argument against the masks particularly but I havnt heard any arguments against wearing them.

                "The reality is actually fairly simple - either people need to take proper precautions, or we're going to have to lockdown again to try and protect NHS capacity."

                I agree. When this started and people were being told to wash their hands because it actually kills the virus I was onboard (wish they didnt need a virus to incentivise washing). and using your common sense about distancing etc. NHS capacity has demonstrated failures in PHE and the NHS system and in correcting this improves the situation vastly. In a covid hospital ward they couldnt even manage to shut the bloody doors with a clear sign stated they are closed and people need buzzing in. Nurses providing or not PPE on a whim to visitors of the covid ward. All to visit someone who doesnt have covid.

                "The reality is actually fairly simple - either people need to take proper precautions, or we're going to have to lockdown again to try and protect NHS capacity."

                Lockdown works as long as people comply. People get bored of lockdown and will eventually ignore it. This was publicly stated before UK lockdown was a thing and we are seeing people break lockdown regularly. Imposing it at the right times for a short length of time to flatten the curve makes some sense. That is not what is happening.

                "You can see why some might be opposed to your position"

                Of course. As it is with these emotional subjects people cant see the wood for the trees and panic. It is that kind of panic which causes the government to 'do something' even if its stupid just to appear like they are in control. But for locking down to stop the virus people are now afraid to come out because the virus is still there. They fear the 'second wave' which is nothing more than a continuation of the first wave people put off.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

        You don't need a vaccine, you just need to get rid of it. Then come join the rest of us.

        You're completely delusional to think this virus will simply disappear. It is endemic in the human population now.

        Australia and New Zealand were feeling pretty smug about having so few cases early on but of course that was only because they sealed their borders. Inevitably as you open them again you reimport a whole load more infected people which is why Victoria has been locked down.

        The health systems of developing nations are not able to enforce these kinds of policies so there will always be a large reservoir of cases in the wild.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

          They will open their borders to virus free countries.

          "It is endemic in the human population now."

          SARS and MERS have no vaccine. It was not developed because they were controlled BY NOT SPREADING THEM. There just aren't enough cases.

          So stop spreading a deadly disease and pretending you're doing some sort of good deed. It's trivial to fix.

          "The health systems of developing nations are not able to enforce these kinds of policies so there will always be a large reservoir of cases in the wild."

          It's a mask, nothing to do with the 'health system', if you don't spread it people stay healthy.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

            @AC

            "SARS and MERS have no vaccine. It was not developed because they were controlled BY NOT SPREADING THEM. There just aren't enough cases."

            SARS-CoV-2 is the actual name of covid. It is SARS

            1. RM Myers Silver badge
              FAIL

              SARS-CoV-2 is the actual name of covid. It is SARS

              Ah, no. SARS-COV-2 is the name of the virus which causes the disease called covid-19. And SARS is a different disease from covid-19 caused by a different, but related coronavirus, called SAR-COV.. Even though the names are similar, genetically SAR-COV-2 is actually more similar to some other bat coronaviruses than it is to SAR-COV.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

            SARS and MERS have no vaccine. It was not developed because they were controlled BY NOT SPREADING THEM. There just aren't enough cases.

            The big difference between those diseases and COVID is asymptomatic transmission. It was abundantly clear who was suffering from SARS and MERS so isolating them was much easier.

            It's a mask, nothing to do with the 'health system', if you don't spread it people stay healthy.

            Masks may help to reduce transmission, but they do not prevent it. Also, people from developing countries struggle to get clean drinking water let alone clean masks. Hence you will always have a reservoir of cases ready to reinfect disease-free countries.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

              > Masks may help to reduce transmission, but they do not prevent it. Also, people from developing countries struggle to get clean drinking water let alone clean masks. Hence you will always have a reservoir of cases ready to reinfect disease-free countries.

              Some might suggest then, that given that ever-present reservoir of cases, it'd be wise to take steps that reduce transmission, like wearing a fucking mask.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                Some might suggest then, that given that ever-present reservoir of cases, it'd be wise to take steps that reduce transmission, like wearing a fucking mask.

                It depends for how long for and under what circumstances. Any idea how much plastic waste would be generated if a significant proportion of the world's population disposed of 1+ masks each day?

                As I said previously, the efficacy of mask wearing is still an open question. For a start they get damp from the condensation in your breath, even more so as we head towards winter and the temperature drops. It's very possible that damp masks could act to trap, concentrate and ultimately transmit virus particles from the environment to the wearer's nose and mouth.

                1. Zolko

                  Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                  "the efficacy of mask wearing is still an open question"

                  in my case, it's quite an easy answer: I have been using the same disposable "paper" mask for a month, so the efficacy of that particular mask stopping any virus is probably exactly 0. And many people I know do the same.

                  Disposable masks are for surgery, used in combination of gloves and 1-use cloths, and must be accompanied by draconian sterilisation measures. Their use for general public by billions of humans is a catastrophe in waiting. Only criminals could propose such things in times of our fight against pollution and climate change.

                2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                  Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                  > Any idea how much plastic waste would be generated if a significant proportion of the world's population disposed of 1+ masks each day?

                  So don't use disposable masks?

                  The point in the masks/face-coverings is to reduce the spread of droplets if *you've* got it. Wrapping a scarf around your face isn't quite as effective, but is still more effective than nothing.

                  > It's very possible that damp masks could act to trap, concentrate and ultimately transmit virus particles from the environment to the wearer's nose and mouth.

                  It is _possible_. But, it's also extremely evident that the countries who least oppose wearing masks are the ones who've done best out of this. Rather than hedging on smart-sounding "buts" and follow the evidence that's available like an intelligent individual.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                    So don't use disposable masks?

                    The problem with the reusable ones is that they quickly get hot and damp, and on a hot, humid summer day it's like being waterboarded. My wife has asthma, so is especially wary of COVID-19, but even she finds a mask intolerable after 15 minutes or so, she feels like she's suffocating.

              2. Chris G Silver badge

                Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

                It doesn't seem that many people understand why wearing a mask is helpful; a mask will not protect you completely from becoming infected with covid if exposed to it but what it does help with enormously is to reduce your ability to spread it if you are in any way a carrier.

                If you are wearing a mask correctly even if it is only a hanky tied around your face, if you sneeze or cough it contains the droplets and prevents spread, add to that the other aspects of basic hygiene like hand cleansers and avoiding proximity and/or contact and you have a significantly reduced spread.

                Where I live in Spain (Valencia region) the lockdown has finished but we all take public hygiene and mask wearing seriously, I am not too sure what led to the resurgence in Barcelona and Madrid but it seems likely that everyone relaxed too much too soon.

                On a side note: Vitamin D is important regarding resistance to covid as vitamin D binds to the A2 receptors on cells, the same receptors that are targeted by the corona virus so although it wont prevent infection entirely, sufficient D will help to reduce viral load and replication.

                That's according to research articles I have read on US and other research; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5aCePGyOgg

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

            SARS and MERS have no vaccine. It was not developed because they were controlled BY NOT SPREADING THEM.

            No, it was not developed because the viruses dropped to undetectable levels before the vaccine development could be completed. One of the reasons that the folks in Oxford are so far ahead in development is that they were able to restart their paused SARS and MERS work.

      3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

        All I ever see in Europe is people walking in the street without a mask. WHY? What the fk is it with you lot that you won't simply wear a mask, everywhere all the time when you're out of your home.

        In the UK we are mostly not wearing "home-made face coverings" which only offer the illusion of protection.

        I will happily wear a medical grade mask but our government says we should not. I can't see the point of wearing a mask which provides no useful benefit so normally go without except when there is a legal requirement to wear one.

        Wearing masks, medical grade or not, is not the reason other countries have kept their infections and deaths low.

    3. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      Want society to be resistant to it? People need to catch it.

      You promote the Swedish approach. It doesn't work good either to keep people alive or keeping jobs safe.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        @Potemkine!

        Unfortunately that article is either biased or bollox. I lean toward it being biased as the information is out there. Sweden in not locking down has fared better than countries imposing strict lockdowns- https://www.politico.eu/article/sweden-coronavirus-lockdown-paradox/

        And yes there will be an impact on jobs when the rest of the world packs up and stops working.

        1. RM Myers Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Sweden in not locking down has fared better than countries imposing strict lockdowns

          Well, yes and no. You might want to take a look at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ and sort by deaths per million population. If you ignore the two small countries with under 100K in population, Sweden has the 6th highest death rate in the world. Certainly better than Belgium and the UK, but definitely not good. Further more, Sweden put a large effort into protecting their elderly in care homes, while not closing schools and businesses, but the elderly in care homes have been extremely hard hit.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Sweden in not locking down has fared better than countries imposing strict lockdowns

            @RM Myers

            "You might want to take a look at"

            Good website. I check that too but for anyone who hasnt looked it is interesting.

            "If you ignore the two small countries with under 100K in population, Sweden has the 6th highest death rate in the world."

            I wouldnt go ignoring places but even at 6th it is obviously not an outlier. It is performing as bad as locked down countries. The lockdown doesnt appear to be the difference in performance.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sweden in not locking down has fared better than countries imposing strict lockdowns

            Further more, Sweden put a large effort into protecting their elderly in care homes, while not closing schools and businesses, but the elderly in care homes have been extremely hard hit.

            Incorrect. Sweden has been criticised for their handling of care homes during the pandemic. That's where the majority of deaths occurred.

            If they did better there, then their strategy would be perfect as we've just learnt that their economy has outperformed the rest of Europe.

            Sweden, which avoided a lockdown during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, saw its economy shrink 8.6% in the April-to-June period from the previous three months.

            The flash estimate from the Swedish statistics office indicated that the country had fared better than other EU nations which took stricter measures.

            The European Union saw a contraction of 11.9% for the same period.

            Individual nations did even worse, with Spain seeing an 18.5% contraction, while the French and Italian economies shrank by 13.8% and 12.4% respectively.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53664354

            1. RM Myers Silver badge

              Re: Sweden in not locking down has fared better than countries imposing strict lockdowns

              Yes, probably a bad choice of words to say "effort" - I should have said that protecting the elderly in care home was a basic intent of their covid-19 policy, along with an attempt to build herd immunity in the younger population. I read an article very early in the year in Science magazine where their planned approach was discussed by some of their science advisors, and that was their description. This was a case of "intent" not translating into effective action.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You lot have been duped by the doom-mongers!

        Even the Beeb has started to admit that things aren't that bad.

        If you look at the percentage of tests that are positive, the rise is marginal once you iron out the daily fluctuations.

        This is a point made by Prof Carl Heneghan, who heads the centre for evidence-based medicine at Oxford University.

        He says it is essential to adjust for tests being done and is concerned about what he calls "poor interpretation" of data.

        Covid cases, he says, simply aren't rising in any meaningful sense.

        And even if you just look at the raw number of positive tests, it is worth remembering that the figures seen are way way below what was happening during the peak when an estimated 100,000 infections a day were being seen.

        In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, the World Health Organization's special envoy on Covid, David Nabarro, gave a very different perspective from the one we are used to.

        He said there will of course be a "post-mortem" (it goes without saying mistakes have been made).

        But he was also full of hope, saying he thinks the UK is "going to do really well".

        Why? He said it was showing the country was able to identify where the virus was, and he could see signs that different parts of society were "pulling together and saying 'we are going to get on top of this'."

        Maybe things are not quite as bad as they sometimes seem.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53656852

        Such a depressing lack of critical thinking exhibited by the Regtards on this issue who, by and large, are drawn from technical backgrounds.

        I'm disappointed in you guys - seriously!

    4. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      No offence, but your comment makes you sound like a c*nt.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        @Hubert Cumberdale

        "No offence, but your comment makes you sound like a c*nt."

        Maybe. I guess it depends where you stand on the opinion which is understandable. However it doesnt invalidate the comment at all does it? Even if you dont like how it sounds.

    5. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Really?

      People need to catch it.

      You first, then.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        Don't catch anything that you can't throw back.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Really?

          Don't catch anything that can throw you back!

          There's a bigger boat in here somewhere!

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Really?

      a big thumbs up, and thanks for saying it.

    7. tfb Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Really?

      Look, I realise you're some kind of right-wing troll, and also not very smart but the maths is really not very hard. Herd immunity requires somewhere around 80% of people to have developed immunity, which means, absent a vaccine, to have had the disease. The UK's population is about 70 million. If we assume the real mortality rate is 1% then (can you multiply?), about 560,000 people in the UK will die to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine. This is a best case as it assumes the health service doesn't fall over: in real life it would for an unmitigated epidemic, and the mortality rate would rise, probably dramatically. But let's assume 560,000 people. That's comfortably more people in the UK dying than the number who died in the second war, and given that this will happen in under a year rather than six, the rate of deaths will be getting on for ten times higher.

      OK, OK, I realise you are too stupid to do the maths and too selfish to care if you could. But some of us aren't.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        @tfb

        "Look, I realise you're some kind of right-wing troll, and also not very smart but the maths is really not very hard."

        Starting with a personal attack, lets see if there is any quality to the quantity of content then.

        "Herd immunity requires somewhere around 80% of people to have developed immunity, which means, absent a vaccine, to have had the disease"

        Ok. And we are in the horrible position of not having a vaccine. Currently people are hiding away in lockdown trying not to catch it while others are sick of lockdown and attacking police for trying to send them home. For all our effort of hiding the virus still exists and is waiting (the 2nd wave). Meanwhile we are not working which means not producing which puts limits on what we have. Production being necessary to have things including drugs and healthcare among everything else.

        "about 560,000 people in the UK will die to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine"

        Ok. And the alternative is? Do we have a vaccine? We cant hide forever and when we get back out there the population catches it and the same scenario you say happens but also with massive economic damage limiting our resources to do anything about it.

        "This is a best case as it assumes the health service doesn't fall over"

        Which it is far from. What this crisis demonstrated is not a health crisis due to a virus but due to PHE and the NHS being large beasts unable to cope with a problem. In contrast Germany was praised for its response where it allowed private industry to help while PHE wanted everything internal and bottlenecked by incompetence.

        "That's comfortably more people in the UK dying than the number who died in the second war, and given that this will happen in under a year rather than six, the rate of deaths will be getting on for ten times higher."

        You still offer no alternatives. Nothing. The virus is still there, people still getting it, according to you thats how many die and yet you offer nothing. No alternative. Just a knackered economy as well which of course has its own death toll.

        "OK, OK, I realise you are too stupid to do the maths and too selfish to care if you could. But some of us aren't."

        And as smart as you think you are you offer no solution only more deaths.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        I realise you are too stupid to do the maths and too selfish to care if you could

        Personal attacks are usually the last resort of people who don't actually understand the issue enough to have an intelligent debate.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Really?

        If we assume the real mortality rate is 1%

        You have a reliable source for that? One that includes RECENT data?

        the only way to truly know what the death rate is would be to know just how many ASYMPTOMATIC cases there are. The Stanford study was a step in the right direction. Use a representative sample of the population from various areas, do thorough antibody testing (including antibodies NOT specific to COVID-19 that still react with it - up to 60% of antibody reactions may be this type, as I recall, from a recent study - like the way 'cow pox' protects you from smallpox). Once you have an idea of what the antibody reactions look like in a representative sample, you'll have an idea of the percentage of people already having had the disease and RECOVERED from it, with OR without symptoms. Then you calculate the total number of deaths so far, to get a much better idea of what the death rate REALLY is.

        And I doubt very seriously it's 1%. A recent article (June) said the CDC claimed 0.26%, but even that may still be way too high. You can't use "case rates" for people who got tested to accurately determine this. You need to know what percent of the population has antibodies. There are just WAY too many asymptomatic cases for anything else to be valid.

    8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Really?

      "even then we dont know if it will offer any immunity once made."

      If it doesn't offer any immunity, it's not a vaccine!!

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        If it doesn't offer any immunity, it's not a vaccine!!

        Sure it is.. The problem is how long any immunity might last. Reports on some candidate vaccines seem to suggest not long.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          Sure it isn't! The statement I responded to quite clearly stated that a vaccine may offer NO immunity. That's NOT a vaccine. It's a placebo.

  3. macjules Silver badge
    Meh

    If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this ..

    If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this, let NHSX know and Capita Sopra Serco will fix it for you.

    There, FTFY.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this ..

      If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this, let NHSX know and Serco will charge you 1000s to fix it for you.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this ..

        If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this, let NHSX know and Serco will charge you 1000s to write a propsal for a specification for a pie in the sky system that might in a year of sundays fix it for you.

        That's more like the reality. No fixes will come at a cost under eight figures.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this ..

          If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this, let NHSX know and Serco and its previous failings will be found to be the root cause of that too...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this ..

      ... one assumes that somewhere, there is a community of NHS-based fax-using pager-enthusiasts annoyed that recent rules and or bureaucracy are making it hard to work in the efficient and minimal way they are used to, and resent being pushed towards unwanted email and smartphone "solutions" instead. So, if a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way ... :-)

  4. Fading Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

    Did the model assume 100% compliance by those tested and traced? Fiddling with inputs and publishing scary papers based on outputs from non-validated models makes good copy but doesn't add anything to the sum of human knowledge - ultimately it is just computational game. Second waves are already occurring in some countries (even where mask wearing is the norm) - this shouldn't be about stopping the second wave but keeping it at levels the NHS can cope with (unless the plan is to wait for a vaccine - but that is going to be an expensive and open ended wait) .

    T&T is the only one tool - we could provide postcode alerts with infection rates, public transport infection alerts - inform us all where and when so we can decide for ourselves the likelihood of exposure and isolate accordingly. At the moment the figures we get to see are out of date and the granularity sucks (local authority level).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

      > inform us all where and when so we can decide for ourselves the likelihood of exposure and isolate accordingly.

      Haven't you see the pictures from the pubs and the southern english beaches?

      You may be able to make a good judgement call, but the UK in general are morons (and thanks to brexit, the non-morons are quickly leaving the sinking ship)

      1. Fading Silver badge

        Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

        There will always be morons. Legislating for morons is a downward spiral and will create the dystopian nightmare described in many recent teen novels.

      2. Peter in Seattle

        Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

        [T]he UK in general are morons ....

        Yanks and Brits really are cousins, aren't they? Except that we take it one step further with Florida. And Texas. And come to think of it, pretty much the entire South. Where's your Florida? Is it Spain? ;-)

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

          I get the impression your Deep South has a slightly better* inbreeding system than our more isolationist areas.

          * for some undefined value of 'better'

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

          Yes.

        3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

          Where's your Florida?

          I'd suggest Essex. Has beaches... sort of, and 'Essex Man' entered the lexicon a few years back. So.. want it?

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

            Walton on the Naze and Miami don't really compare.

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Because the modelling has been so accurate thus far.......

        Those beaches were terrible examples of camera tricks to make the places appear more crowded than they are. One paper was caught out using a 2019 photo with a building site that isn't there now.

        And anyway, beaches are likely safer places to be.

        Same with the pubs, people going to lengths to find the outlier situations and then cropping the photo to make it look more crowded.

        Predicted increases in rates of infection connected to beaches and London protest marches didn't happen either.

  5. herman Silver badge
    Facepalm

    6th week of deaths below 5 year average!

    If you would bother to look at the official government death statistics, then you would see that it is over. Most people had the infection already.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending24july2020

    In Week 30, the number of deaths registered was 1.8% below the five-year average (161 deaths fewer); this is the sixth consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.

    There will only be a second wave, if there is a second virus.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: 6th week of deaths below 5 year average!

      "Most people had the infection already.

      Total confirmed cases is about 300K. Even if you assume the actual real life figure is ten time greater, that's still a hell of a long way from "Most people had the infection already." Maybe we guess a 100x greater? That's still only half the population.

      I'd be interested in where you get that from.

  6. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

    Just been tested

    I have a sore throat / cough, so I went to my local drive in Covid-19 test centre this morning and swabbed my tonsils and nose. Should get the result by mid-day tomorrow. I am hoping that the test and trace system is better than reported, although I will certainly be informing my friends who I've seen recently of the result personally.

    The problem with 'herd immunity' is that it can only be achieved two ways:

    1) An effective vaccine is created and a large proportion of the population is vaccinated.

    Or

    2) A large proportion of the population gets the disease and those susceptible to it DIE. Those remaining alive have some immunity.

    The first is preferable, and personally I hope to survive whatever is causing my current illness, but I have to say that the tone of some of the posts so far in this thread are treating the Covid-19 pandemic like an academic exercise and ignoring the fact that people are dying of it, and people who do survive may never recover fully from the damage to lungs, brain or other organs. It is all very well going for the 'let everyone get it and generate herd immunity that way' approach, as long as you personally do not have to care for, or just do not care about, those who succumb.

    I'll let you know the result when I've been told.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Just been tested

      @Eclectic Man

      Best of luck

      1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

        Re: Just been tested

        Checking the NHS web site, it seems that most people get their result in 24 hours, but for some it can take 72.* Still waiting, still coughing, not actually going out or panicking (yet).

        *( https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/what-your-test-result-means/ )

        1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

          Re: Just been tested

          Still no result, so I called the NHS number (119 from England). The recorded message says you should wait 4 hours for a drive-in test centre result (I've waited 3 days due to the statements on the NHS web site).

          Anyway, they took the same details as when booking the test, plus the barcode number from the test receipt card, and promised me a text message 'within 48 hours'.

          If this is a 'world-beating' test and trace system, my experience must be at one extreme end of the 'normal' probability distribution OR, it's crap. And I'm running out of food.

          On the plus side, the cough seems to be getting better, and it's a sunny day.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Just been tested

            @Eclectic Man

            The Germans were praised for their testing approach apparently. They allowed private labs to help. In the UK and US the health bodies dictated everything must be internally handled by them. Unfortunately I doubt this will lead to any improvements to the NHS and PHE, and god help the Americans.

  7. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

    For highly lethal transmissible diseases contact-tracing and screening (if feasible) for asymptomatic infection make good sense as do quarantine of groups who may be incubating illness and isolation of people believed particularly prone to severe infection or whose absence would impair governance (this last being why senior politicians have bunkers).

    Covid-19 does not fall anywhere near for lethality the diseases mentioned in the title.

    As of July 10, the USA CDC regarded 0.65% to be the current best estimate of 'Infection Fatality Ratio' (IFR, aka case-fatality). That is an aggregate estimate not accounting for differential risk of mortality. Even taken as generally applicable that figure ought not spark deep concern and panic response. In reality the estimate should be interpreted as almost negligible risk of death for most in the working age population, and below, whereas elderly with multiple pathology and younger people with similar, bear risk of death potentially very high indeed.

    Viewed dispassionately, Covid-19 permitted to run full-rip through a population will result in far few years-of-life lost, and even fewer quality-years-of-life lost, than a truly worrisome epidemic disease.

    A more sentimental reckoning makes clear that disparity of risk, given that one knows where it mostly lies, is advantageous because treasured individuals with dementia and whatever can be protected from exposure. Therein lies a dilemma. Should spread in the general population be slowed (e.g. by lock-down) in anticipation of vaccine or treatment arising, else should it be permitted to run its natural course and thereby reduce the period of isolation for the vulnerable, isolation having deleterious effects? This choice need not be predicated upon rampant spread inducing long lasting herd immunity.

    'Second-wave' hysteria is in the offing. Shall the predominantly healthy, i.e. low risk, proportion of the population be gulled again into belief that they must sacrifice freedoms and income for a nebulous greater good? Computer prediction models (of dubious trustworthiness), infection screening technology (with poor sensitivity and specificity), and wholly risible contact-tracing phone applications wear thinly as magic bullets for Covid-19.

    Follow the link below to discover something not discussed by MSM.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/496857-coronavirus-lockdowns-riots-uk/

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

      "As of July 10, the USA CDC regarded 0.65% to be the current best estimate of 'Infection Fatality Ratio' (IFR, aka case-fatality). "

      Total population of the USA: 328,000,000

      You want about 80% to get infected to get herd immunity: 262,400,000

      Death rate quoted by you, 0.65% : Resulting deaths: 1,705,600

      You happy with that? 10x more than the current number of deaths?

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

        I am both amazed and appalled at how many people just brush off a million dead people.

        In ONE country!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

          I am both amazed and appalled at how many people just brush off a million dead people.

          In ONE country!

          The highest COVID-19 related death rate in absolute terms is in the USA, at 160,000. A long way from a million.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

            He was referring to my 1.7 million figure based on Long John Silvers "death rate" and his suggestion covid-19 should be allowed to "run rampant".

            I too am shocked at the downvoters who clearly think 1.7 million deaths is acceptable. It may even be significantly higher since allowing it to "run rampant" would mean people who might be saved in hospital won't be due to the sheer number of cases and ICU availability. This isn't even "science". It's not even maths. It's basic arithmetic FFS.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

              No, my concern is with the deaths and disabilities that will result from the ruining of society. Like it or not, humans are social animals, and this atomisation of society will lead to as much (and likely more) heartache than letting the virus run free. This is *in addition* to the deaths from the virus - for me the calculus is very straight forward.

              1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

                Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

                You are only considering the deaths directly due to infection with Covid-19. The number of medical staff killed by allowing the disease to 'run rampant' would reduce the availability of expert clinicians who would successfully treat people for other diseases, such as cancers, traumatic injuries caused by road traffic accidents or in the home, and of course reduce the detection rates of cancers and other diseases in time to be cured before they are too far advanced to be treated.

                Then there are deaths among the people who maintain the services used by the general population which help to prevent accidents and diseases, and of course the fear of contracting Covid-19 which means people will delay visiting clinicians for serious injuries or diseases (stroke, heart attacks etc.) who may die.

                I am opposed to trying the 'run rampant' approach, although we can all watch Brazil and see what happens (God help them) ...

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: We are not discussing pneumonic plague, Ebola, or smallpox

      If you link to RT (or Ruptly or Sputnik) then that's an auto fail.

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge

    With schools set to reopen in four weeks, the UK is about to find out

    Scottish schools open two weeks earlier. Test and tracing is crap here too, so not a great scenario and even more urgent. We just suffered the fiasco of the SQA under-qualifying poor pupils.

    1. hoola Bronze badge

      Re: With schools set to reopen in four weeks, the UK is about to find out

      The way I see it any App is not a substitute for test and trace. What appears to be much of the issue is that test and trace is failing, not because of the system but because far too many people are giving false details or ignoring the calls. An App is still not going to help as the very people that are causing test & trace to fail will also do the same with an App.

      We then have the issue of people getting a test if they have symptoms, again the responsible will get the test and then isolate if required. Those that are in denial will again cause the system to fail.

      Add to that the issue with quarantine and it gets worse. Just like self isolation quarantine is based on trust and once again, with no form of checking just how do you know that it is being adhered to. We have already see just how stupid and selfish large groups of the population are and I strongly suspect that the UK is going to be in for a very rough ride, mostly self-inflicted.

      I would not be surprised to see the out come being some form of national ID card if the general population continues to behave the way they do.

      The final issue, and this is the cause of huge concern, is the belief that being infected somehow give people immunity and that if enough are infected, we will reach herd immunity. At the moment the is no strong evidence that there is any long lasting immunity after contracting Covid19. There is an immune response and it appears to very depending on how sever the infection was. The real whammy is there is no evidence that the natural immune response is sustained enough to prevent reinfection.

      Coronaviruses are the human species weakness as we have not evolved a natural, long lasting response to the. A vaccine is likely to be the only long term solution and even then, it will be an ongoing process. I foresee something that works in the short term that needs re-vaccination in under a year then in the longer term, a more persistent vaccine will be produced.

      This then brings us full circle, you have ot have enough people vaccinated for it to work. The only hope is that the impact has been so great on life that it happens. If not then I think we will start seeing mandatory vaccination. I also can see that ID cards will be back on the agenda as at the moment so many are irresponsible that is going to be no option.

      A long-winded post but that is my view.......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: With schools set to reopen in four weeks, the UK is about to find out

        I would not be surprised to see the out come being some form of national ID card if the general population continues to behave the way they do.

        If people object to wearing a mask, what hope do you have of them tolerating ID cards? If they have to pay for them, they'll just ignore the requirement, and if they're handed out "free" (i.e. paid by taxes) they'll throw them in a drawer & ignore them.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: With schools set to reopen in four weeks, the UK is about to find out

      @Danny 2: there is no evidence that children are a vector in transmission, and quite a lot that they aren't. Look at it this way - there was no spike in cases amongst children, teachers, or parents prior to schools closing, anywhere in the world.

      Of course, all the children are now well behind with immunities to the usual illnesses, so they'll all be ill within six weeks, and schools will be closing "just in case"...

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: With schools set to reopen in four weeks, the UK is about to find out

        Asymptomatic infection was common and may have played a role in the spread, the study authors said. Among 136 cases with available information on symptoms, 36 patients -- 26% -- reported no symptoms. Of the 100 who reported symptoms, those most commonly reported were subjective or documented fever, headache and sore throat.

        Interestingly, a higher percentage of the youngest children tested positive: 51% among those age 6-10 years, 44% among those age 11-17 years, and 33% among those aged 18-21 years tested positive.

        "This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports, might play an important role in transmission," the study authors wrote.

        https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/31/health/georgia-camp-coronavirus-outbreak-cdc-trnd/index.html

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Seen in France - Mask Etiquette

    Just returned from visiting the French half of the family. We went to an out of doors cafe, plenty of space. However, in France, once you queue for the restaurant, you need a mask, until you sit at your table, mask off, until you need to use the toilet, mask on, visit the toilet, return to your table, mask off. As like I've read above, many people had the mask hanging from one ear, or below their nose, or even around their arm. But the funniest thing I saw was an attractive young woman on a date, holding her mask 5cm in front of her face like she was at a masquerade party. She should have mounted it on a stick!

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Seen in France - Mask Etiquette

      "She should have mounted it on a stick!

      It would be safer since she wouldn't be touching the front of the mask.

  10. staringatclouds
    Flame

    Youre the herd, this is a cull

    This is bound to get me enough downvotes to be kicked off Reg

    Lets see, which groups tend to catch Covid 19 & subsequently die

    Mainly it's the old, the sick, the homeless, the unemployed/unproductive & the NHS professionals who treat them

    There's a small number of children & a few productive members of society

    I'd say it's fair to assume that most of these people are not natural Tory voters, so the Tory's don't care if they die

    And the few that are Tory voters are regarded as a necessary sacrifice, they're collateral damage

    On average more non Tory voters than Tory voters die from Covid 19

    So don't expect the Tory Government to help you, you're a resource, nothing more, if they can't use you to make money or increase their power you're useless to them

    They are not going to lift a finger to stop Covid unless they can profit from it & they do not see a profit in saving your life

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

      No downvote, but I disagree with one of your claims. You claim that "the old" are not natural Tory voters. My experience is that the Conservatives are the most popular party with the over-70s. They are also far more likely to vote than the homeless, the unemployed or the young (where Conservative voting is far lower).

      1. Andytug

        Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

        Yep - just look at the pics of the audience at the last Conservative party conference.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

        My experience is that the Conservatives are the most popular party with the over-70s.

        Unsurprising, they're the ones with the most experience of different governments. Socialism has always appealed more to the naive and the young. They learn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

          Unsurprising, they're the ones with the most experience of different governments. Socialism has always appealed more to the naive and the young. They learn.

          Quite. The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.

    2. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

      Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

      "Mainly it's the old, the sick, the homeless, the unemployed/unproductive & the NHS professionals who treat them"

      Mainly it is the people who have other health issues, like having grown up in deprived areas with higher rates of pollution, obesity, diabetes, etc. who die. You omit (whether by accident or design) that Black, and People of Colour are more likely to die from Covid-19 by a factor of 2 than white people.

      Contrary to Mr Johnson's assertion, Covid-19 is not a leveller. Deprived areas have twice the case fatality rates of affluent areas in the UK.

      What I genuinely find bewildering is the Tories and right wing failure to grasp the idea of reality that cannot simply be bent to their will by sheer bloody-mindedness, and that the only way to cope with this pandemic is to actually understand the science instead of trying to interpret it to support their personal beliefs of how society ought to work, instead of how it does work.

      Phew!

      And B-R-E-A-T-H-E

      Relax the shoulders, close the eyes, inhale with the diaphragm through the nose.

      Hold that breath.

      Count to 10.

      Exhale through the nose slowly

      And repeat until bored.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

        "You omit (whether by accident or design) that Black, and People of Colour are more likely to die from Covid-19 by a factor of 2 than white people.

        That statement needs some serious references. Real studies, not articles in the DM.

        1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

          Re: Youre the herd, this is a cull

          "That statement needs some serious references. Real studies, not articles in the DM."

          See, for example:

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/08/the-virus-piggybacked-on-racism-why-did-covid-19-hit-bame-families-so-hard

          " all the evidence suggests that certain groups are more at risk than others – men, the elderly, frontline workers, and ethnic minorities. A week before Isi Ivowi’s death, the Guardian reported that the first 10 doctors to die from the virus in the UK were all from ethnic minorities. Data collected by the Health Service Journal in March and April revealed that, while 21% of all NHS healthcare staff are black, Asian and minority ethnic, 63% of those who died with Covid-19 were BAME.

          Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics found that black men in England and Wales are three times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white men, and that black women were twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as white women. In June, a study of 30,693 people by the University of Edinburgh showed that south Asian people are the group most likely to die from Covid-19 after being admitted to hospital in the UK.

          Around the same time, researchers at King’s College London found that BAME Covid-19 patients were on average 11 years younger than their white counterparts (63, compared with 74). New data on the disparity is being collated every week. While some findings appear to contradict others, what doesn’t change is that minorities are more vulnerable to Covid-19 than the white British community."

  11. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

    Any qualified statisticians on this thread?

    Just wondering, with all these statistics running around whether there is a (Sir) David Spiegelhalter or (Prof) Neil Ferguson who understands statistics and pandemic / epidemic disease propagation / transmission posting here because I'm getting confused with the posts claiming things like 'only' 1% fatality rate is not that worrying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Any qualified statisticians on this thread?

      Neil Ferguson? Are you serious? LOL!

      Let's have a look at his record shall we?

      2001 Foot and mouth outbreak. Predicted deaths = 150,000; Actual deaths = 200

      2002 BSE. Predicted deaths = 50,000; Actual deaths = 177

      2005 Bird flu. Predicted deaths = 150,000,000 (!); Actual deaths = 282

      2009 Swine flu. Predicted deaths = 65,000; Actual deaths = 457

      The guy shouldn't be allowed near a calculator unsupervised let alone be shaping government policy!

      1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

        Re: Any qualified statisticians on this thread?

        How about Tim Harford, him of the FT and BBC Radio 4's 'More or Less', which returns to our radio waves next week?

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Any qualified statisticians on this thread?

      Epidemiogists would rather over-estimate by a factor of 100 than under-estimate by a factor of 10 (or 5). There are some good reasons for this, but it should be taken into account when basing policy on their estimates.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Any qualified statisticians on this thread?

        Epidemiogists would rather over-estimate by a factor of 100 than under-estimate by a factor of 10 (or 5). There are some good reasons for this,

        It's the "Michael Fish" effect, people remember poor predictions about disasters that then do happen for much longer than they remember the "sky is falling" ones that don't.

  12. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

    based on the global figures (colated by the WHO) the current global situation is:

    19,294,150 cases

    718,339 deceased

    thats a mortality rate of 3.7%

    in the UK its 308,134 cases 46,413 deaths @ rate of 15.06%

    now either the virus is more deadly for Brits (probably not) or we are just not catching all the cases

    with the fact brits are only geting tested when symptomatic and according to various studies, upto 50% of transmision happens from those pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, seems we should be testing everyone.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

      @EnviableOne

      "now either the virus is more deadly for Brits (probably not) or we are just not catching all the cases"

      I would expect its the problem of bullshit numbers. We laughed at Italy for counting death with Covid as a Covid death. Then the NHS started doing it! When we look at how rigorous the rest of the world health systems are we have more hope guessing the national lottery numbers.

  13. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Arguments in two flavors

    The two memes in competition are public health and economics. Do you lockdown/slowdown to preserve public health and lives or open up/never close to keep the economy going? If both options curtail the GDP by the same amount, the difference is in the ability to recover. Dead and permanently injured people can't contribute to a recovery. People left with permanent health issues will take away from GDP in the long term.

    Slowing the spread in important for health care facilities that are already taxed. Not everybody can pay and where payment is managed by the government, the drain on funds means other needs have to be put on hold. We are going to need plague hospitals again. People needing medical services at a hospital aren't going to be helped much if their knee is repaired, but now they are in a different ward with the virus through being somewhere with lots of people being treated for virus.

  14. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

    My UK Covid-19 test experience

    OK, so on Monday 3rd August Idid the vacuuming and in the evening found I had a slightly tight throat and minor cough. This has happened before and often goes away overnight.

    Tuesday morning I still had the slightly tight throat and minor cough, so I booked a test at the local drive-through centre for 11:30. Iw net there swabbed my tonsils and stuck the swab further pop my nose than anything has ever been before. Sealed the swab in the tube with the liquid. and handed it all in.

    Didn't hear anything at al for 3 days, so called the NHS Covid-19 help line on Friday. The person said she'd send an e-mail to jog them along and advise me to wait another 48 hours. Come Sunday, still not heard, so called the help line again and was told that if they had not replied to the first escalation there was no point escalating again, so I booked another test for 12:00, went there and did the swab thing again.

    This morning at 6:15 I got the all clear, but without a reference for the test, so I assume it was the Sunday test.

    I do find it extraordinary that a test which is not reported and then escalated does not require any contact at all with the 'patient', even if use to say, "sorry we've lost it, try again", or something. It really should not be on the person to keep on contacting the NHS. I've stayed in for a week now for no good purpose.

    Still got a very slightly tight throat and very minor cough, but what the heck, I'm going out to have some lunch!

    All the best to everyone.

  15. Eclectic Man Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Not 'world beating' in my experience

    I submitted a sample at the Reading drive though test centre at around midday onTuesday 4th August.

    I didn't hear anything for 72 hours so called 119 and was told they'd send an e-mail to chase up the result and I should wait another 48 hours.

    Still nothing on Sunday 9th, so I called 119 again and was told there was no point escalating it again, so arranged another test for 12:30 that day. I went and submitted a second sample.

    At 06:15 on Monday 10th August I got the 'all clear' text message and e-mail from NHS Covid-19. Neither the text message nor the E-mail contains the reference number from the test receipt, so I assumed that the results referred to the second test and I was ok to go out.

    This evening at 18:05 I received another text and e-mail from NHS Covid-19, again, fortunately giving me the 'all clear'. Again, no reference number to refer to the test receipt.

    Frankly I am quite angry about this, not only has it taken over 4 days to get the results (assuming they are in order), but I have no way of associating the result with the date of the test.

    This is not a 'World Beating' test system, and had I been infected after my first test, I could easily have infected others believing I was clear.

    I have even written to my MP about this I'm so angry.

    OK, I will now go into the car park and S-C-R-E-A-M!!!!!!!

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Not 'world beating' in my experience

      @Eclectic Man

      Glad to hear you have the all clear. Hopefully after this covid mess people might wake up to how the NHS is not so world beating nor great. Unfortunately they will probably blame it on cuts or something just as stupid instead of the failure of the system

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