My family and I recently returned to Singapore after an overseas trip that, for the first time in over a year, did not require the ordeal of two weeks of quarantine in a hotel room. Instead, returning travelers are required to stay at home, wear a government-issued tracking device, and stay within range of a government-issued …
A) Cost effective equipment that can mostly identify when you came close to someone who shortly afterward tested positive for COVID.
B) Massively over-priced equipment that struggles to communicate with an out of date COVID testing results database.
True. But it's also true that for nearly all of those millennia we were thinly-spread and not very mobile, lacking affordable mass transit with global reach.
I'm not sure that justifies the surveillance state in any case - at least, not beyond a very strictly scoped scheme with a minimal lifetime. It's all fuzzy round the edges, of course...
The difference is that death through disease is no longer common in the more developed parts of the world. Typhoid was part of normal life, punctuated with outbreaks of cholera and smallpox.
The British 1849 cholera epidemic killed 53,000 people in a population of about 25 million and the number of deaths was undoubtedly under-reported - i.e. it was about twice as lethal as Covid, and that was just one epidemic amongst many in the 19th century.
The problem with endemic surveillance is that there is a convenient trojan horse with "Covid" written on it. Whilst it might be useful for infection control, it is even more useful to those in power to keep it there forever afterwards for political control. See, e.g. the British retention of identity cards for many years after their original justification had disappeared. Of course, it is the opposite situation in Singapore - they already have an extensive state surveillance system, which in part helps those in power to stay in power, and it has been extended slightly for infection control.
>> The difference is that death through disease is no longer common in the more developed parts of the world. Typhoid was part of normal life, punctuated with outbreaks of cholera and smallpox.
While true, there has been plenty of noise, over the past 40 years or so, about some sort of upcoming pathogen scenario that would eradicate the Golden Age ushered in by vaccines and antibiotics.
I recall the '76 Swine Flu (over hyped), '76 Legionnaire's Disease, '81 AIDS, '03 SARS, '14 Ebola (exciting). Not to mention the oft repeated warning that we are running out of effective antibiotics as strains of resistant bacteria proliferate.
It is nice to imagine that people will become more self-conscious of personal and interpersonal hygiene - but I am not holding my breath.
So, the question is: will humans continue the Golden Age against Mother Nature or will Mother Nature smack us down?
COVID-19 isn't the big one, though, it's just a wake-up call.
Eventually there'll be one that kicks off with higher transmissibility, a nice mix of no symptoms or lethality, in a nation state that doesn't happened to have (conveniently) sequenced it, and maybe with a harder to manufacture vaccine when it comes.
COVID-19 isn't the big one, though, it's just a wake-up call.
When you look at something like SARS, with an estimated fatality rate of around 14%, and in over 64s at 50%, that's really scary numbers. SARs was prevented by fast action in the large part and some luck by a sharp eyed doctor. But it pretty much ended up in Hanoi with a sealed hospital and it was a grim story
I also think nowadays with modern tech being a surveillance state is easy really, we all carry phones and it's easy enough for authorities to leverage that, facial recognition, card spending, habits and so on, to build a pretty good surveillance picture if they wanted to (and the laws allowed). Going off grid is hard.
With current technology I think it's definitely becoming, how much do you trust your government? Not do they have the capability.
"So, the question is: will humans continue the Golden Age against Mother Nature or will Mother Nature smack us down?"
Mother nature will do what she always does when there is an overpopulation and that's trying numerous things to reduce the population to a more sustainable level. Humans have been pretty good at gaming the system and Ms. Nature works rather slowly. There will be a point where humans lose once again.
A big issue I see now is politicians using the pandemic as an excuse to do bad things to line their pockets or gain more of an advantage in other ways. Pretty typical behavior. This has been coupled with an information system that gives a powerful voice to every nut job with an internet connection and a keyboard. We also lack a respected science communicator in the health field than can explain things in terms that the majority of people can understand. Even people I know in that are trained doctors and nurses know very little about viruses, strange as that sounds. If they're long out of med school and have a different practice, they may not take the time to refresh their knowledge. I'm saddened that our main leaders aren't pointing to authoritative sources as the repositories of fact and will often spout their own uninformed opinions in direct contradiction of what a national health board recommends.
More on track, I'm not a fan of surveillance tech. I'm not putting on a collar and acting out a role in The Running Man. I don't exchange convenience for privacy. If I hand you back a form on a clipboard you asked me to fill out, just understand that most of what I wrote down is not entirely accurate.
Shame you had to poison a sensible first statement with a bollocks second one.
Mankind has survived millenia of disasters true - billions of people didn't, the world lost trillions of hours of development, and more billions had to suffer unbearable emotional, mental and physical anguish. Frankly if we dont take steps to minimise that we dont deserve to exist as a species.
True. The usual rule was to cordon off the city with the army and kill anybody trying to get in or out until the plague ran its course.
Plain, simple, effective. No surveillance, no government imposed restrictions on movement/meetings. Darwinism at its best!
"The usual rule was to cordon off the city with the army and kill anybody trying to get in or out until the plague ran its course.
Plain, simple, effective. No surveillance, no government imposed restrictions on movement/meetings. Darwinism at its best!"
Which part of the first statement is not covered by the terms "surveillance, restrictions". No little fines either. Terminal enforcement.
But isn't that a depressing not upon which to end?
While I am quite happy to have constraints placed upon me in the cause of national health, I'm not so pleased about the easy way we are globally falling into a surveillance society. It's probably too late already.
Indeed. Talk about sheeple.
The first quarantine was accompanied daily by the death total. The second quarantine was accompanied by maps in red symbolyzing hospital saturation. After that, the government stopped bothering trying to find excuses, it just says : keep wearing the masks and respect social distancing, and we all follow meekly.
The numbers are good. The French population is almost 75% vaccinated.
And yet, we still have to wear those effing masks and QR-coded COVID status is required to go out for dinner.
What's the point of the vaccination, again ?
The point of vaccination is to create herd immunity. The proportion of the population which needs to be immune to give herd immunity - either through vaccination or by surviving the disease - differs with the disease. For example, with measles it's about 95%. We don't know what the proportion is for Covid so the precautionary principle would seem to be appropriate, wouldn't it?
To the thumb-downers - see the current situation as reported by the ONS:
Page 17, top graph. Take into account that under 40 the vaccination rates are lower. In all of the older categories, which have the highest vaccination rates, more infections were seen in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated.
"In all of the older categories, which have the highest vaccination rates, more infections were seen in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated."
Speigelhalter deals with this by pointing out that it depends on the proportion of vaccinated to unvaccinated in the population under consideration. As he says, most people who die in car crashes in the UK are wearing a seat belt but that doesn't mean that seat belts don't work, it just means that very few people don't wear seat belts.
The Spiegelhalter article is here.
TLDR: "ONS figures will not be perfect, but suggest about 2,000 confirmed cases per 100,000 unvaccinated people aged 40 to 49, twice the rate as in the vaccinated group, and roughly what we might expect. Similarly, ONS estimates give lower case rates in fully vaccinated people than unvaccinated in all ages below 80. There may also be other differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, including the propensity to get tested."
The case numbers are irrelevant except for calculating the death rate. The typical number of deaths in the UK is around 1500 per day from all causes. We’re looking at around 150 per day that have had a positive test in the last 28 days. Had it, not necessarily died because of it.
Previous PHE releases indicate the death rate in the unvaccinated population under 50 is 0.2% or 1 in 500. Don’t forget that’s died with COVID not necessarily from COVID.
We need to get away from case numbers and concentrate on the deaths. Nobody gives a toss how many people get the flu each year but we do focus on the deaths and the death rate. This should be no different - it’s the only way society can move on, although it seems plenty would rather not.
"The case numbers are irrelevant except for calculating the death rate"
The case numbers are an indication of the load on the NHS and the economy. No one gives a toss about how many people get flu each year because those people don't have the same impact as Covid patients. Flu never caused a cohort of cancer patients to miss diagnosis and treatment or locked people out of GP care for months or shut down a business for a few weeks while staff isolated.
People don’t seem to want to accept it, but the research out of Israel that prompted booster jabs due to the protection waning also indicates that immunity from previously having the virus is far far superior as you would tend to think - the immune system has allowed humans to survive for this long after all.
With the alpha variant, catching it was less advisable due to a much higher case fatality rate. However that’s not the case with delta. Obviously it’s not an option available to all but plenty of virologists are not for kids being vaccinated but rather allow them to catch it and then reap the benefits of natural immunity for the rest of their lives.
The point you make likely reflects this research and hopefully sanity rather than emotive hysteria will prevail for the young.
The virologist I'm acquainted with would have some interesting words with you about that...
You're also assuming that children will catch it in isolation, not spread it their immediate or extended family. If you're fine with kids infecting and potentially killing their parents then by all means carry on.
If the parents are vaccinated then the kids wouldn't need to be. Simple. Kids could get it, parents are immunised. Though if you think that any amount of immunisation is going to stop this shit circulating the planet infecting and reinfecting people then I present to you...the flu. Never managed to stop that bad boy over hundreds of years and it's widely accepted in the scientific community that you're dreaming if you think COVID is going anywhere.
@DavidYorkshire yes- you will see more infections in vaccinated people because - wait for it - there are more vaccinated people than unvaccinated by a long chalk. Perhaps learn how to do a decent statistical anaylsis before exhibiting your "ideas" in public again?
Maybe read the research paper before going off? He's referring to the findings of those scientists, who have ofcourse actually corrected for cohort size.
Here's the Science magazine article on it: https://www.science.org/content/article/having-sars-cov-2-once-confers-much-greater-immunity-vaccine-vaccination-remains-vital
Welcome to survivor bias.
If 80% of all cars have seat belts, would you then state that seat belts don't work because there's now a number of fatalities of people wearing seat belts? If the numbers were directly comparable (say 4 seat belted deaths to every 1 non-seat belt wearing) then you'd have a point but it was say 1 to 1 or 1.5 to 1 then would you say that's a failure?
It's similar to the WWII plane survival issue where they looked to up armour the spots on planes that returned that were full of holes... All the way until it was pointed out that that these were the planes that returned. The armour would be better placed on the spots not full of holes since those planes did not return....
The most interesting example of important people misunderstanding statistics was in WWI. When they started to issue pongos with steel helmets, the number of injured ones increased a lot. The generals and politicians were all set to withdraw the helmets until an adult somewhere pointed out that those additional injured soldiers would previously just be dead ones.
"The point of vaccination is to create herd immunity"
I get the theory, but in practice I believe this is a pipe dream. Covid isn't like measles where you get a jab as a kid and you're done for the rest of your life. The vaccine is effective for, it seems, about a year at most. Previously being infected, ditto.
There is approximately zero chance of covid ever being 'beaten', certainly not in the way that measles, polio etc have been almost eradicated. So instead of a public policy that is focused on eradicating covid, we need a public policy that is allowing us to live with the reality of covid in the same way as we deal with seasonal influenza, including the acceptance that many thousands of people are going to die every year.
We need to find a balance between what are acceptable measures for governments to take in the name of public health, and what constitutes an unacceptable invasion of privacy. Tracking everyone's location and interactions certainly falls into the latter camp. Forcing people to get vaccinated either directly or indirectly, almost certainly also does.
> Forcing people to get vaccinated either directly or indirectly, almost certainly also does.
To follow this statement to its reasonably logical conclusion: may I ask if it is your belief that vaccination against MMR, whooping cough, polio, smallpox, etc. is also an unacceptable invasion of privacy? If not, what difference do you draw between Covid-19 vaccination and those that are mentioned above?
Have you ever had any of the above mentioned diseases? I have; mumps, measles and whooping cough. Whooping cough nearly killed my sister. For some reason - possibly because I was slightly older - I was better able to control the 'whoop' but it came close to doing me in too. I had schoolmates who suffered the effects of polio and were in leg irons for the rest of their lives. If I had ever had children they would have been vaccinated as soon as they were eligible (hindsight says I probably have mumps to thank for that). Unless you have been there you cannot have any idea how nasty they are, so it is advisable to rely on the information provided by medical experts in the relevant field. This includes mass vaccination, if that is what they recommend.
"may I ask if it is your belief that vaccination against MMR, whooping cough, polio, smallpox, etc. is also an unacceptable invasion of privacy?"
First of all, vaccination, for any disease, isn't itself against anything. People willing to get vaccinated are able to do so, and parents of underage kids get to choose for their kids. I was referring to coerced vaccination (as an invasion of privacy inasmuch as every Tom, Dick and Harry can demand your vaccination status, and also as an invasion of personal choice). By 'coerced' I mean that participation in the job market, school, access to healthcare, social life etc is dependent on being vaccinated.
"what difference do you draw between Covid-19 vaccination and those that are mentioned above?"
Personally I've thankfully never had any of those nasties you mention, and of course everyone's personal view is shaped by their personal experiences. I'm vaccinated against all of those, and so are my kids (one only partially as they had an allergic reaction to one of the vaccines). And while I'm in favour of vaccines generally, there must always be an educated examination of the risk-reward. All the illnesses you mention can be fatal to children or have lifelong consequences. Covid has a much less severe effect on children.
Recommending that children get vaccinated against mumps, measles, polio etc is a no-brainer. Recommending that over 60s get a covid vaccine is a no-brainer. But insisting, as some in the US are starting to, that kids under 12 get a covid vaccine is bollocks. Repeating 'vaccines are safe and effective' like a parrot without acknowledging that there can be adverse effects from vaccines is brainwashing.
There must be an honest sharing of information. People who are reluctant about vaccinations need to have their concerns listened to, not shamed and patronised. People should choose whether or not to vaccinate themselves or their children based on their own personal age, health etc. And if in the end there are some people who choose not to get vaccinated, that is not a reason to cast them out from society.
"And if in the end there are some people who choose not to get vaccinated, that is not a reason to cast them out from society."
Unless they have a medical exemption from a doctor then it absolutely is a reason to cast them out from society. They are no different from people who drive while drunk and no one should be permitted a choice to put other people's health at risk based on nothing more than selfish individualism justified by shouting "you're not the boss of me".
In a US Supreme Court decision (regarding mandatory smallpox vaccinations) the Court wrote:
"In every well ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand"
“There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy.”
under the pressure of great dangers
and there's your problem.
Small pox (variola major variant) had a fatality rate of 30% -> great danger.
Delta variant sits around 0.2% for the under 50s (PHE data) -> not even close, and that's measured by "deaths with" not "deaths from". That my friend is a very long bow to draw.
They are no different from people who drive while drunk and no one should be permitted a choice to put other people's health at risk based on nothing more than selfish individualism justified by shouting
You utter prick. So, in order to protect vaccinated people you'd like the unvaccinated to be vaccinated with the vaccine used on the vaccinated which somehow requires everyone else to be vaccinated. Wonderful logic. Look out, your straw man is on fire.
I'm not surprised that a selfish person would automatically assume that everyone bases their decisions on selfisheness. The issue isn't about protecting vaccinated people - it's about protecting society. I don't really care if someone who has willfully refused a medical treatment just dies. The problem is that that's not what happens. They get sick. They use hospital beds or intensive care beds. The NHS backlog for non-elective surgery alone is massive and, realistically, will never be cleared. I've got friends who can't see their GP and are desperately worried about their health. People are still going to be dying from non-COVID related illness in the next ten years or more because a bunch of self-entitled idiots won't do the bare minimum to help and get vaccinated.
If the non-vaccinated just sat in their homes and died when they caught COVID then I'd be fine with that - but they don't. They are selfish, independent, indiviudlistic, libertarian, whatever, right up until the point that they need society to step in an help them.
They are selfish, independent, indiviudlistic, libertarian, whatever, right up until the point that they need society to step in an help them
They are also morons and they are being deliberately targeted by an information campaign designed exactly for their kind of Moron.
They seem to follow a pattern of aggressively spouting similar memes on SoMe, then go to the hospital, then calling for "Prayer Warriors", and then there is the GoFundme for the funeral and medical expenses.
The Algorithms have placed a solid bullseye right on their goateed faces, and I feel sorry for them in that sense, however, this is balanced out by their bellicosity in following their assigned programming.
" They are no different from people who drive while drunk"
Utter bullshit. people who drive drunk (a) have no justification and (b) are quantifiably posing an extremely high risk to others
"...and no one should be permitted a choice to put other people's health at risk based on nothing more than selfish individualism"
There always has to be a balance found between individual liberty and common good. As the supreme court quote, it requires grave danger to society at large, not just vague statistics. And at an individual level, it's impossible to know the specific harm potential of a single individual who chooses not to get vaccinated.
I think a more apt comparison than drunk driving is abortion. Women are in their rights to control whether they want a pregnancy / baby, just as individuals are within their rights to choose to vaccinate or not.
However their are limits - abortion is not allowed after a certain date (varies by country) beyond which it is considered that the baby is a viable human individual, in which case the abortion is causing specific harm to others, which trumps the woman's right to self-determine. This, however, is trumped by there being a risk to the woman's life.
In vaccination, the specific harm to others is never concrete and clear, nevertheless it can be estimated. For example a primary healthcare worker who is in contact with both covid patients and vulnerable people has a very high specific harm potential, and it's not unreasonable to expect them to be vaccinated. However, you can't force someone to be vaccinated if there is a high risk to them, and again if someone can't get vaccinated, society shoudn't discriminate against them in any way either.
When the pregnancy is in the first trimester, abortion is allowed almost universally, as no specific harm is considered. Similairly, for people who are not in contact with vulnerable people and with a much lower likelihood of causing specific harm, vaccination should not be coerced.
Of course, in pregnancy there is a grey area in the second trimester where different countries draw the legal line, and individual people draw the line of 'specific harm' in different places. Just as with pregnancy there are people who insist that no-one be allowed any choice because the specific harm to a child is always present from conception, there are people who with vaccines argue that even the tiniest most miniscule possibility of spreading covid means that society can coerce everyone to vaccinate. Personally I highly disagree with that.
It's certainly not an easy subject, but it's good to see an open discussion on the topic (at the time of writing my previous post had 8 up 7 down, and lots of interesting and thoughtful follow-ups)
"Utter bullshit. people who drive drunk (a) have no justification and (b) are quantifiably posing an extremely high risk to others"
Growing up in the 70s and 80s I knew a lot of drink-drivers. They used the same basic arguments that anti-vaxxers do to justify their behaviour. You would never have convinced the ones I knew that they were wrong. Here are the ones I used to hear a lot.
1. It only affects me and no one has the right to tell me what to do if it only affects me. There’s no one else about after the pubs shut so if I have an accident I’m only going to hurt myself or knacker my car and if I choose to take that risk it's nobody else's business.
2. It only affects a certain set of people and they’re bought into it. If I do hit anyone when I’m driving pissed it’ll most likely be another drink driver at that time of night and they accept the risks just like I do.
3. Data denial 1: I’m actually safer when I’m pissed cos I drive a lot more carefully and follow the speed limits so if I see a cop I don’t get pulled (this was my brother’s main justification)
4. Data denial 2: even when I’m pissed I’m still a safer driver than most women, pensioners, etc. They all kill many more people than drunk drivers so if you're going to stop drink drivers then you should stop them driving.
5. Selfishness: that pub's in the middle of nowhere and there's no way I'm going to miss a night out with my mates and I'm not paying for a taxi.
Sorry, but the similarities you see between drunk driving and choosing not to vaccinate are superficial and don't hold water. Drunk drivers are truly selfish because they're getting drunk for their own pleasure and driving for their own convenience, with no excuse or redeeming factor whatsoever.
The reality is that (most*) people concerned about vaccinations have genuine worries about their own health. Whether these worries are justified or not can be investigated and questioned, but dismissing them out of hand as 'data denial' isn't helpful. This isn't a case of black/white where someone with HIV can't get vaccinated and someone healthy can. There are many millions of people living with thousands of complicating conditions that may or may not be triggered by a vaccination, and telling these people to buck up and get the jab won't cut it.
I prefer to use a little bit of empathy and understanding of their concerns, combined with an acceptance of their decision whatever it ends up being.
*I'm not counting the crackpots thinking that Bill Gates is injecting them with 5G mind-control trackers here.
It might be your opinion that the similarity between drunk drivers and anti-vaxxers is superficial, but that doesn't make it true. Both groups are incredibly selfish and apparently don't care that their actions have fatal impacts on the rest of society. They justify this with excuses, they cherry pick and misinterpret data or tell downright lies to justify their behaviour. That's more than superficial and if I were king for a day I'd treat anti-vaxxers the same as drunk drivers - punish them and ostracize them for the damage they have done.
It's interesting that in France there was a very low take up. The French are notoriously opposed to vaccines and their views probably mirror the range of views of anti-vaxxers over here (UK). However, when Macron said you'd need a vaccine to go to your local bar, vaccine take up rocketed. They obviously value a coffee and a croissant more than their health concerns or ideological objections or, and more likely, they were just twats acting like teenagers refusing to do what they were told for no good reason other than "you're not the boss of me".
Yes, France was a godo data point and I agree with your assessment on that.
Drunk divers is a poor analogy, but smokers might be a better one. Smokers put themselves at risk, but also those around them. We knew this for years before we did something about it as a society, and I suspect that was only because we could all smell it on our clothes after a night out. It makes me think it's a shame we can't smell COVID.
"And if in the end there are some people who choose not to get vaccinated, that is not a reason to cast them out from society." - it certainly is.
If you choose not to get vaccinated - thats your choice. But your choice stops at the very point that you risk the health of others. IF you are going to make yourself a modern day Typhoid Mary then expect to get treated by one.
Risk the health of others? You mean the vaccinated?
You do realise that vaccinated people get delta, spread delta, and die from delta don't you?
This vaccine does not confer immunity it merely lessens the effects, but not always and only for a limited time and it varies by individual.
What argument is that then?
If you want to take part in society then you have certain responsibilities. With those responsibilities you get rights and privileges. Want to use public roads? Pay your taxes. Want to drive a car? Then prove by being licenced you are safe to do so. We will require you to be insured - in case you fuck up anyway.
If you choose to risk others, then you should and will be shunned. Vaccination is nothing more than the insurance policy you should carry to stop you harming others.
Don't like it? Fine. Either sit inside your house and dont leave, or fuck off somewhere else. I've spent nearly two years having to shield because of selfish people like you and my well of sympathy is gone and I've no more fucks, or politeness to give to you and the rest of the antivax crowd.
"I've spent nearly two years having to shield because of selfish people like you"
If you've had to shield to protect your health, sorry to hear that and hope you stay well. If part of why you are shielding is that you can't get vaccinated, that sort of corroborates my point, though! As to your accusations, you don't know me so no need to get personal!
" I've no more fucks, or politeness to give to you and the rest of the antivax crowd."
There is no "antivax crowd". There is a minority of idiots made up of those who are (a) ideologically opposed to vaccines (b) complete nutters and (c) scammers trying to make a quick buck. Then there are (d) a large number of people who are scared and uninformed, and are taking their cues from a, b and c because nobody else is listening to their concerns. You want empathy for your condition, you have it, in spades, from me. I truly wish you the best of health and to live a normal, full and happy life.
Empathy goes both ways, though. And we as a society have to empathise with group (d), listen to their concerns and propose solutions that can work for them, otherwise they're just going to continue to listen to a, b and c. And sure, a, b and c can fuck right off!
Empathy goes both ways, though. - and my empathy for the antivaxxors, the apologists for them, and all the others prolonging this shit is long gone. You talk nice, sure but it's been far too long and I'm sick of the abelist shit that drips non stop from the apologists mouths.
I've spent nearly two years having to shield because of selfish people like you
and there we have it folks. The accusation of selfishness of others coupled with rampant self-interest.
You need to understand that the delta variant is not the black death that is made out to be. The numbers simply do not stack up.
Instead of trying to force a vaccine onto people who don't want it because they (in the case of the UK) have likely had the virus already or are adult enough to understand it poses them very little threat (most cases are still thought to be asymptomatic and the CFR is oh so low), why don't you do the fucking off and take your vaccine authoritarianism with you. You seem to want everyone else to submit to your vaccination whimsy because you're too scared to face life and the problems it throws up.
I see your abelism again, hiding behind the AC label.
"The accusation of selfishness of others coupled with rampant self-interest." Self interest yes - I don't want to die thank you. Go and have a little prick, rather than being one - you will feel so much better for it.
Your response is no different from denying rights to someone in a wheelchair because it's too inconvenient for you to deal with it. I'm not forcing a vaccine on anyone - but I'm saying that your choice not to have one has consequences which mean your right to society is curtailed, because you dont have the personal responsibility to protect others.
Like your right to drink and drive is curtailed when it will come into contact with others. You can get a pissed as you like when you are driving on your own land but don't try it on the highway.
Nice, reasoned response even if I don't agree with your closing statement. Have a thumbs up for the clarity of your response. It was only after I posted that I realised that it was possible that my questions could have been interpreted as dripping with sarcasm. They weren't.
Going back, yes I have had mumps, measles and whooping cough... as a child. None were pleasant but none were too terrible either. My other half also had two of them and they passed round both our schools. We were both in largish schools meaning well over 2000 pupils each and in all that time no deaths that I remember. A death would have been noticed as kids talk and I certainly remember a couple of cancer deaths, motorbike accidents, glue sniffing etc.
Given this I'm always a bit suspicious about some of the stats going round about these diseases.
I'm sure some of you will say I'm an "anti-vaxxer", always easier to call someone a name than think... but as it happens Ive been vaccinated against COVID, as have the rest of my family including the kids... and the kids have also had their MMR injections.
My point is that I feel that sometimes the risks of the various diseases are exaggerated to try to convince people to get vaccinated.... or just to make it seem more important somehow. Again, I see "adverts" in the UK for heart disease foundations, cancer charities and other diseases and I feel that if I add up the risk of dying from all of these "advertised diseases" I'd be dead three times over :-)
"....I feel that sometimes the risks of the various diseases are exaggerated to try to convince people to get vaccinated...or just to make it seem more important somehow."
And exactly why do you think someone would do that?
Oh - and by they way, risks don't add up, they multiply.
I suspect some charities, for example, exaggerate the risks in order to convince you to part with your money. It seems to me that often charities start with good intentions and then at some part they become "professional" at which point almost any means is fair game if it brings in more money.
As for risks, it depends on how they are stated:
I've seen things like doing X makes you twice likely to get Y; What they don't tell you is the degree of error.Then you discover that your risk was only 1 in a 100 million anyway....
Secondly, if 1 in 3 people die of X and 1 in 3 people die of Y and 2 out of three people die of Z then something is wrong or people die of multiple causes. Either way that rather waters down the message.
Sorry if I'm not being as clear as I'd like it's been a long day..... I'm not a statistician but I've seen some interesting presentations by several statisticians and it's made me realise how easy it is to distort the truth.
I'd agree with you that certain 'charitable' institutions (hell, probably ALL charitable institutions) have lost the focus of why they exist and became charitable 'business', so their point is not to serve 'charity' goal, but to make business (profit) of serving charity. Although, arguably, they would say that, to scale up, they need to employ (there goes charity, it's 'employment' now), to become more charitable. Which I half-buy, and half-deny, because it sounds like a perfect excuse to become even more-businesslike, more aggressive in their 'charitable' approach. And yes, arguably, there's some 'big pharma' factor, like every business, they want more business and yes, a pandemic for them was God-sent, all 'healt-related' industry has had a field day (or 2 years). But then, this valid point is being extended little by little, until it ends up in the territory of Bill Gates plotting with big pharma to chip people. In the field of data, I think the more mundane is happening: there's so much data in the open, and so many people interpreting data (even though most of them lack basic skills) in order to feed this data in a comprehensible way to the great masses, that real data is simply undistinguishable from misinterpretation of it. Or from other real data, but served against different context, etc.
"I see "adverts" in the UK for heart disease foundations, cancer charities and other diseases and I feel that if I add up the risk of dying from all of these "advertised diseases" I'd be dead three times over :-)"
The reason for this is that at some point you will be dead (spoiler alert), and the chances that one of those things will be the largest cause is quite high. Various numbers are used, and they can sound high, but things that cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year are kind of dangerous. How much your particular risk is depends on a lot of other factors. They certainly do advertise using statistics that look extreme, but the brevity of information may lead you to think the statistic is stating something it's not (E.G. your risk of dying by cancer in one year given your age is a lot lower than your risk of dying from cancer some time in the rest of your life, which in turn is lower than your risk of dying from something which you could have dealt with had your system not been weakened by cancer and cancer treatment). Other diseases work in similar ways.
"Going back, yes I have had mumps, measles and whooping cough... as a child. None were pleasant but none were too terrible either. My other half also had two of them and they passed round both our schools. We were both in largish schools meaning well over 2000 pupils each and in all that time no deaths that I remember. A death would have been noticed as kids talk and I certainly remember a couple of cancer deaths, motorbike accidents, glue sniffing etc."
You do know that Death is not the only outcome right?
I had mumps as a child. I don't have Children as mumps caused infertility in me. So maybe Mumps killed my Children? What about the damage infertility has done to me? To my wife?
Don't you dare reduce stuff to Died/no harm
> so it is advisable to rely on the information provided by medical experts in the relevant field.
Trouble is, in the UK the medical experts were being swayed by the politicians, they failed to see the contradiction in their argument about not vaccinating U16's against CoViD and the established rational for vaccinating children (over the age of 1) against Mumps and Rubella.
what difference do you draw between Covid-19 vaccination and those that are mentioned above
Let me help you out with that one. With a 0.2% case fatality rate (PHE numbers) in the under 50 unvaccinated population, the delta variant is as weak as piss. That isn't even controlling for pre-existing conditions or fat fuckers. That is the difference.
With a 0.2% case fatality rate (PHE numbers) in the under 50 unvaccinated population, the delta variant is as weak as piss
Two problems with that argument.
1. 0.2% of 50 million people is still 100,000 people
2. The 0.2% death rate depends on patients getting high-quality medical care. However if everyone gets Covid at around the same time, hospitals will be swamped, and the Covid death rate will be far higher. It also has a knock-on effect on the ability to treat people with other conditions like car accidents and cancer, since spare capacity in the NHS is tiny at the best of times.
So at the very least, you need to spread those cases over time.
Doubling capacity in the NHS would be a good thing too, but we can't even fill the vacancies we have right now.
1. 0.2% of 50 million people is still 100,000 people
Where did you get the 50 million people figure? That sounds like the (underestimated) population of England.
The PHE figure is based on 'Cases' - it's a Case Fatality Ratio. These are mostly people who have tested positive for the Coronavirus infection. Remember we keep getting told that many show no symptoms? We do not have the information to derive an Infection Fatality Ratio but if many people have 'caught' the Coronavirus and have not felt unwell and have therefore not presented themselves for tests then the IFR will be lower than the CFR.
Has nearly everyone in the UK been exposed to the bug? I think probably, yes. But so what? We're also told we can 'catch' it multiple times.
As you're fond of statistics, try these:
In 2020 COVID19 was the leading cause of death in England
In August 2021 COVID19 was still the third leading cause of death in England
Your argument is "your chance of dying is low", which is true of COVID as it is of most things. Equally true is "if you die, your chance of dying from COVID is high". The government is focused on that second argument, which is reflected in their spending and public health messaging. It's why we have seatbelts, why smoking is banned indoors, why they are always telling us to exercise and get our breasts checked and yes, why we have masks and vaccine requirements.
Whether you like it or not, these measures against COVID are effective at reducing mortality. That's statistically undeniable at this point in the game. There is massive data worldwide to support this. Denial is a fringe position associated more with political opinion than any sort of credible argument.
Are they warranted? That's a harder question to answer and it's going to change over time. For now I'm personally satisfied that they are. If you want to argue, this is the point to argue on. The others are irrefutable.
From the ONS 2020 leading causes of death report (linked above):
Looking at the leading causes of death in 2020 by sex and age group, COVID-19 was the most common cause of death for males aged 80 years and over and for females aged 65 to 79 years (Table 2). The leading causes for most other age groups remained the same as in 2019. The following changes to leading causes by age happened in 2020:
for males aged 35 to 49 years, accidental poisoning returned to being the leading cause of death (as seen in 2018), replacing intentional self-harm and event of undetermined intent, which became the third leading cause of death for this group in 2020
COVID-19 replaced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as the leading cause of death in males aged 80 years and over.
the only variation for females was in those aged 65 to 79 years, where COVID-19 replaced malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung as the leading cause of death
Covid was the leading cause of death overall because it was the leading cause of death among the very elderly who provide the vast majority of deaths each year. The very old/frail are always at greatest risk of dying.
Nobody (except perhaps a bunch of sickos) wants people to die early but it should not surprise anyone that when a nasty bug comes around the most frail succumb. It happened to a lesser extent in 2014/15 with a worse than usual 'flu season.
Your statement to the effect that Covid was the leading cause of death in 2020 is factually correct but misleading.
> ... females was in those aged 65 to 79 years, where COVID-19 replaced malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung as the leading cause of death
Any 65-79 year old women here, or anyone that cares about one? Well don't be surprised if a nasty bug comes around and they shuffle off a bit early. I'm sure we both know people in this category and for my part I'd rather that didn't happen.
COVID is indisputably a leading cause of death, and we have a vaccine that is astonishingly effective at preventling this type of death (and I mean astonishingly - roughly 90% reduction in hospitalization and death, compared to 50% or so for the Influenza vaccination). You accuse me of being misleading, but consider that any attempt to qualify this statistic, to say "oh that only applies here" or "what about X" or "well only old or sick people are dying" involves doing just that.
It was The leading cause of death in 2020 - but also did not feature among the top 5 leading causes of death for the vast majority of the population. These are not mutually exclusive statements. ONS published both (and more) in their report. Picking one soundbite out of a multi-page report? Do you work for the BBC?
For example, the report you offered tells us that younger men are more likely to suffer death due to accidental poisoning than death from Covid - why not focus on that?
My significant other falls into the 65-79 year category - she feels that as the average risk of death for her age group is about 1% (increased for her due to medical stuff) she's more interested in living than worrying about dying.
One of the inconvenient things (for Conservatives and tabloids anyway) is that herd immunity will be based on some % of the number of humans. This is not just people "legally" here and over some random age like 16 or 12. It is all human beings of all ages and nationalities.
When they told us it was >80%, they were only talking about of those "eligible". If I randomly pick a number of 90% needed to promote herd immunity, that 90 has to include every single human being in our society. I was getting jabs before I went to school and and still getting them at 61. As far as I know, I am no more autistic than anyone else in IT so that lie isn't relevant. Protect our kids and protect us from them!
>> As far as I know, I am no more autistic than anyone else in IT
Would you say:
As far as I know, I am no more obsessive-compulsive than anyone else in IT?
As far as I know, I am no more bipolar than anyone else in IT?
As far as I know, I am no more depressive than anyone else in IT?
As far as I know, I am no more psychotic than anyone else in IT?
As far as I know, I am no more narcissistic than anyone else in IT?
Ignorance is not offensive, but profound willful ignorance is.
One of the (few) things I know about autism is that it is a spectrum. Although "popular media" refers to it as a yes/no item, but it isn't.
IT people are referred to, again in the media" as all autistic and some of us may be more so than others. The amount of dealing with people in my daily job and other activities that I can't be too bad though.
In answer to your questions, I have been told that I am too untidy to be OCD, I have no idea how to detect bipolar so I don't know, I am very not-depressive and annoyingly not so to some people. How does one tell if one is psychotic? Surely, if I was, I would have got further up the management ladder? If I was narcissistic wouldn't I have a higher opinion of what I see in the mirror?
I agree strongly with your last line. I see it applying to, not only the Prime minister and his fellow incompetents but also to the "newspapers" that control him.
France, with compulsory masks and vaccination passports, ~5k infections/day. UK with neither, ~50k infections/day.
Just got back from France. Oh No! I had to briefly wear my mask and wave my phone on entering a premises... hardly a major inconvenience and made me feel MORE confident to go out and enjoy the cafes, bars and restaurants.
Back in the UK now with its rampant infections, empty shelves, fuel queues grumble grumble.....
Now look at Florida and Sweden.
The reality is that there is no correlation between dystopian measures and number of cases, and there never has been. In order to demonstrate that restrictions work, there would need to be a consistent worldwide pattern of countries with more restricitons having fewer cases - and there is no such pattern.
A few minutes of search suggests that your "no correlation" "and there never has been" might be difficult to support:
... and don't forget time lags, population density, cultural differences have an effect too.
Correlation is not causation:
AIER has 36 linked studies on how lockdowns do not control coronavirus, all empirical and peer-reviewed. It's easy to find articles that support your point of view in the covinazi vs covid-denier debate so don't feel so sure of yourself:
The above is correct, sadly downvoted by covinazis...
We'll be unpicking the mess we created for the rest of the decade...
People forget even if 100% of the population were vaccinated, 100% of the deaths from covid would be vaccinated people... because the vaccines aren't 100% effective.
The question is, what's a tolerable death rate for Covid? The answer is: equal to or less than other endemic diseases, like Influenza and respiratory diseases.
So lets grab some data!
ONS deaths registered: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales
Week 40 - Oct 8th
Deaths by influenza/pneumonia - 1617
Deaths by Covid - 666
So endemic respiratory diseases are killing people 3x more than Covid right now. Digging through the stats for brevity, influenza/pneumonia has been killing people at a multiple of covid deaths fsince the beginning of the year - in fact the last time there were MORE deaths from covid than influenza was FEBRUARY 2021.... Ouch. Again, hold on that reply button and go download the spreadsheet and see for yourself... oh dear... but but but vaccinations and lockdonws and masks ...
So lets forget the 'cause of death' thing for a while since there is no international standard for reporting deaths which makes comparisons pointless between countries - does anyone really believe China had 3000 covid deaths?
Half the problem with all these stats is comparing apples and oranges - UK reports within 28 days of an infection, which no other country does. France does it at the doctors discretion, Austria, Italy and Germany also do it differently and you can see how they report deaths here: interesting paper here: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Assets/Documents/PDF/working-paper-series/10-20-Anne-West.pdf
So lets just focus on excess deaths: EUROMOMO to the rescue! It has all of the EU and some non-EU countries signed up (UK included) and just reports on 'total' deaths' which is what we're interested in. If deaths are above the average then there's a problem, plus it includes standard deviation and a Z-score to flatten differences in population sizes, etc. Plus you can break ti down by age range to see if deaths were in a particular age group.
The UK has two peaks which go above the 5 year average and match the two waves of covid. These are focused in the 65+ age group, which is again understandable as 99% of deaths from covid are in the ages 70+ range. Again, all ONS data.
The mythical third wave doesn't peak anywhere close to that, in fact the flu season of 2018 has a higher peak of excess deaths than what we're seeing now. I feel sorry for Wales since their excess deaths never even touched the 'significant' increase, even during Covid peaks....
Sadly, the media will keep bleating about infection rates and all sorts of nonsense and people will be terrified back into their homes for absolutely no reason at all. Indeed, what did happen to 'the science'...
We are just about to back to UK to see family/friends. We've been in France sunce December and here in rural France almost everyone seems to be following mask wearing in shoos and markets; using the TousCovid app (as are we).
86,% of pop over 12 years fully vaccinated and 2/3 of 12-17s fully vaccinated.
Having spoken to family/friends we are a bit apprehensive about the free-for-all it seems to be.
On the other hand, we may not be allowed in! Wife's (French) vaccination pass is in her maiden name (usual in official forms here) and we have heard that Border Force has refused entry to women in this situation...
The point of vaccination is to minimise your chances of becoming very sick and dying by having your immune system ready to fight the virus before you get it.
It won't protect everyone 100% and it won't completely stop you from being infectious. However it will reduce the numbers who end up in hospital and the morgue. It will also make you less infectious for a shorter period of time as you will carry less of a viral load.
So basically, if can mean the difference between a sniffle for a few days or being in a body bag. That is the point.
It still baffles me that some people don't get it.
>> It still baffles me that some people don't get it.
It's a question of risk tolerance.
Some people won't get into a plane because - you know - it's the difference between missing out on visiting a new place or ending up in a body bag.
Even if COVID's mortality rate was 90%, there would be those who would be willing to take their chances.
Life is full of risks and everyone is going to deal with them differently.
The biggest benefit of vaccination is to ensure the health system can cope. Yes people will continue to die from COVID - but without high vax numbers there will be no ICU available when you have a stroke, car accident, heart-attack or any of the 500 other ailments that can strike at anytime.
The aim is to keep the hopitalisation/ISU rate low enough that it all still functions.
QR-coded COVID status is required to go out for dinner.
This is still active only to strongly convince vaccine
delusional refractory people to stop being idiotic paranoid.
The article 4 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen which is the preamble of our constitution clearly states that "Freedom consists in being able to do anything which does not harm anyone else; thus, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which ensure that all other members of society enjoy the same rights. These boundaries may be determined only by the law.". Therefore refusing to get vaccinated is not a freedom, at least if there's no imperative, demonstrated reason.
Because of the ambient obscurantism, our government cannot make vaccination mandatory without having a bunch of extremists and conspiracy theories adepts in the streets burning everything. Thanks to media, so-called social media and the decay of what was public education, the number of the decerebrate ones is growing every year.
What I found most disturbing is the acceptance described, not only of being tracked (which, under the particular circumstances, I understand is preferable than being confined in a hotel room), but the mutual citizen surveillance encouraged and accepted as natural (the part about citizens snapping pics of others not following rules... wow, just wow)
For when you accept that you are under constant surveillance and you listen and obey all government commands, you are 'free' to live your life without fear..
"Ignorance is Strength": Thanks to the WHO's early dismissal of very relevant lines of enquiry, and the sea of bogus conspiracy theories which propagandists have put out to drown any real ones that might exist, we will never know if this pandemic really was a natural occurrence or a deliberate power play by the Chinese government..
But either way, it has given all governments (and some corporations) immense power over individuals, and given every country in the world a great shove towards a perfect Orwellian model of a totalitarian regime.
"War is Peace": The only stable system of government, he argued, is to be in a constant state of war. Not a real war, but an imposturous war that is fought chiefly at home, providing effective means of controlling dissent through fear.
"The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous, war has ceased to exist."
The book is so apposite that it seems incredible to say that it hasn't been used as a template for power.
For anyone who hasn't read it, it's so old that despite Mickey Mouse Act etc, it is out-of-copyright: https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf
I believe it was a lab leak, not necessarily the main one being focused on, and I also believe it was a clusterfuck rather than deliberate. Never attribute to malice that which can easily be explained by incompetence. You play with for long enough and you will get burned.
I genuinely hope that you are right, but if you read the 'i' article I linked, they talk about "Gain of Function" research that seems to have involved deliberately modifying a virus to make it as infectious to humans as possible.
> Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at Scripps Research institute in California, said its binding mechanism “looked too good to be true – like a perfect key for entering human cells” – while another unexpected feature appeared like something expected “if someone had set out to adapt an animal coronavirus to humans by taking a specific suit of genetic material from elsewhere and inserting it”.
Even if it wasn't deliberately released in 2019 in Wuhan, I think it is likely (or at least highly plausible) that this was a bioweapon in-development, and deliberate or not, it has been hugely beneficial for the Chinese regime.
Yes and no. Gain of function can have duel purposes. In the altruistic version you are playing with viruses you believe could in time infect humans and artificially boosting their capability to do so to "see what happens" thereby enabling you to grade the potential threat etc etc.
Performing bio-weapons research would involve pretty similar actions albeit I would generally expect that to be performed in a far more secure facility. That said, doing so kind of highlights what you're up to so moving it to a more conventional research facility could mask that.
Either way this has incompetence/complacency written all over it. Infecting you're own population and stifling your economic output isn't a great goal. Beneficial is a double-edged sword. Yes, they have certainly gained in some regards however now everyone views them as outright arseholes who screwed the planet deluxe and that will likely not help them going forward. Especially when you consider it helped to hit home how poor supply chains were with outsourced manufacturing to one country that stopped producing.
China is recognized to have long range plans. I can't fathom what Chinese long range plan would involve creating a pandemic, which by definition is going to do the worst damage in the most heavily populated areas. That theory doesn't pass the sniff test for me.
It seems COVID has provided a great opportunity to slowly boil the frog and remove basic freedoms that will now never fully be returned. It has demonstrated exactly how a population can be brought to the bidding of their masters.
No, that doesn’t mean I believe it was planned but all good politicians and civil service mandarins are effective at spotting an opportunity, and this was a golden once in a lifetime one.
The government of Singapore wants its citizens to stay in Singapore, which is fair enough.
The author is right, what she & her family had to put up with (except the instant coffee, that was inhumane) is better than 2 weeks' quarantine in a hotel. It's also a sort of bureaucratic punishment which is mildly satisfying in a perverse way.
Still, I'd rather than the government of Singapore has my data than Google, Facebook et al. I'm fairly sure that the GoS will only use it to keep the spread of teh disease at bay, rather than sell it to advertisers to make a profit.
Singapore is not the same situation. It is well advertised that Singapore is not the place to be involved in any dodgy stuff, and what's considered dodgy is also well known in advance, well advertised and reinforced by examples.
The Problem here in "Liberal Democracy (LaLa)Land" is that the digital record is permanent, what goes into our permanent record is evolving and what's dodgy changes over time.
This is also well advertised, we have different groups disagree over what's dodgy all over the place. Without stability in dodgy-ness or memory loss in the digital records, everybody here amongst "the free" are going to get caught out and nailed eventually.
Stability and Predictability is why Singapore surveillance is benign and our version is not!
The later stage response to the emergence of Covid has been a lesson in manipulation, coercion and power. Covid is NOT exceptionally deadly. Nor is it exceptionally contagious. It sits firmly in the bottom left quarter of the lethality vs contagiousness chart as seen here : https://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-microbescope-infectious-diseases-in-context/
It's new, and that (rightly) caused a rapid & extreme reaction. While so little was known about it extreme control measures (lockdowns, enforced quarantines, suspension of travel etc.) were justified. What is NOT justified is the continuation of such extreme measures for extended periods - well after we developed sufficient understanding of the disease to properly assess the risk it posed.
We now know how Covid spreads. We know who is most at risk from it. We know how to better treat those unfortunate enough to suffer serious illness as a result of it. We know how to limit it's impact through vaccination. We know that for the vast majority of healthy individuals it's an inconvenience. In short, we know it actually behaves very much like dozens of other diseases we've been living with an managing for hundreds if not thousands of years.
So, why are we suddenly so willing to throw away hard won liberties, to discard the limits that society rightly places on government power and hand over unprecedented insight and control of our daily lives to the same authorities that only a few short years ago we were condemning for invasion of privacy on a global scale?
We need to take off the blinkers and look long and hard at where we're going. I strongly suspect it's a place many of us do not want to visit.
As I'm sure you well know in every statistical group there are outliers. That's obviously little comfort to those impacted but it doesn't alter the fact that we do, statistically, know who is most at risk.
It also doesn't mean those not 'most at risk' are at no risk. The same holds true for almost any other illness you could mention.
Clearly, we are still learning about COVID and how it works. However, I am encouraged by the efficacy of the vaccine, as shown by the difference in outcomes between unvaccinated and vaccinated people who catch COVID. We are playing the odds here, because that's all we can do.
Vaccines are not 100% effective, nor will they prevent you from getting COVID, They do however, seem to reduce the odds of dying or long term damage. "Seem to" being the key here. We're trying to beat COVID without completely understanding it, but I think the researchers, public health professionals and vaccine developers are doing a pretty damn good job. They deserve both our thanks and our support. And the best way to support them is to go out and get the jab.
As Pogo said: "we have met the enemy, and he is us."
Vaccines are not 100% effective, nor will they prevent you from getting COVID, They do however, seem to reduce the odds of dying or long term damage
Indeed. I have multiple risk factors (t2 diabetes, I've had a heart attack and I'm permanently on immunosuppressors because of psoriatic arthritis). When I had Covid a few weeks ago it was deeply unpleasant (having a temperature of 3C above my usual basal temperature for 8 days really, really wasn't nice. I've never had waking hallucinations before) but, because of the risk factors above, if I hadn't been double-jabbed, I would have, at best, been in a hospital on a ventilator.
Fortunately, side effects have so far been minimal. No loss of smell or taste - just lingering tiredness and low energy levels.
 And no - at 70kg in weight and 1:83m tall I'm not overweight. Most people assume (if they have never met me) that I must have diabetes from being grossly overweight. My mum was T2. Her brother was t2. Her sister died of complications from t2 diabetes and her mother was t2 as well..
We broadly know which groups are most at risk. Problem is that we can't always point out exactly which individuals belong in said group. People with heart conditions night not notice until things go bad, people might have some previously undetected genetic predisposition to certain conditions, etc. So while it's sad, it's exactly as stated above, statistics like "at risk" deal with large groups, not individuals.
So, why are we suddenly so willing to throw away hard won liberties, to discard the limits that society rightly places on government power and hand over unprecedented insight and control of our daily lives to the same authorities that only a few short years ago we were condemning for invasion of privacy on a global scale?
Modern society is full of weak lazy people that just want to crap on on their socials.
I assume those handing out the downvotes are also the same people who had no objection to the conduct revealed by Snowdon, to facial recognition by police, to ID cards or to Apple's proposed scanning of the personal content on your phone.
There is no half way with totalitarianism. If we will not see the risks that are so clearly staring us in the face now then why were we all so outraged before?
Same authorities. Same problem. Different reaction.
Amazing what a few months of endless propaganda will do.
"There is no half way with totalitarianism"
Journalists being threatened for reporting facts. Anti-vaxxers outside schools intimidating teachers and pupils. Scientists and doctors being threatened in their homes for doing their jobs. Hospitals being invaded by people trying to take unconscious intensive-care patients home because "there's nothing wrong with them". MPs and ministers of state being threatened by howling mobs. By my reckoning they all come straight out the first half of the totalitarianism play book. When they start burning the medical books and smashing the windows of the hospitals we'll know that we're past the half-way mark.
Is that the sort of totalitarianism you mean?
Most certainly not. Those who behave like that deserve the full weight of the law to descend on them from a very high height indeed.
Mobs, yobs and clowns do not make a totalitarian state. Pervasive, unending state surveillance and intrusion into people's private lives does.
>> I assume...
And therein lies the problem. You make all these assumptions with no actual basis for such a belief. Perhaps you're just getting downvotes because people disagree with your stance on Covid? The association with the Snowden revelations is tenuous at best.
Your statement that "there is no half way with totalitarianism" could equally be worded "there is no absolute liberty". If you accept that we are simply not free to do certain things (wear seatbelts, pay taxes, etc.) then making such claims that ANY mandated controls to limit Covid put us in a totalitarian state is simply ridiculous.
So perhaps that's why you're getting downvotes.
I am not against controls and never said that. In fact, I clearly stated my support for controls while we were in the early stages of the pandemic and the disease was largely an unknown quantity.
What I am, very firmly, is against are ongoing controls that have little to no value against what is now clearly an endemic disease. What purpose does surveillance serve in the control of this illness? Given the vaccinated can still spread the disease, what is the value in vaccine certificates? Where is the proportionality test to justify these measures?
If Covid were significantly more lethal the picture could be very different. If we had no vaccine the picture could be very different. It's not, and we do.
The question remains unanswered - what is it about covid that means levels of state intrusion into our daily lives that were unthinkable 18 months ago are now suddenly not just acceptable but apparently desirable?
Actually it's not. Factually there are many diseases roughly as transmissible as Covid and many which are significantly more transmissible.
Covid is not exceptional.
That's not conjecture, it's scientific fact. Please feel free to check for yourself, I provided one easy to use source already but there are many others.
Can you tell me why you think my life is worth less than someone elses?
Because that is the case at the moment for people who are extremely clinically vulnerable, and the thread running through all your posts is that we are the inconvenient ones causes you problems.
I'd really like to know your thinking on this, as well as the utter untruths about Covid that you are peddling.
Pre-COVID we did not change the World to protect the clinically vulnerable. We recognised they're playing a shit hand but did little else. It was deemed to not be a valid reason to inflict things on others.
Anyone immuno-suppressed is pretty f*cked to start with and have a whole host of issues to contend with - COVID is merely one.
Why do you think that suddenly the World should change to protect the few? It's kind of the match to your question to Chips.
If you follow the logic of coercing everyone to be jabbed as being a valid course of action then I'd like to know your threshold for which you say "that's going too far", because it doesn't seem like you overly have one. In fact it seems like you have a view of "everyone should do X to protect me" which is just as self-centred and selfish as saying "f*ck it, never".
Though the rate of death by vaccine is low (it can be high for those who fit the profile but don't know it), coercing someone to be vaccinated for the benefit of the few who then dies from side-effects is a pretty shitty course of action for something with such a low mortality rate.
I'm against mandatory vaccination for something this weak because I don't think everyone should be forced or coerced to be vaccinated to save me.
Your argument falls apart because
1 I've never said everyone should be forced to be vaccinated
2 Covid is not as "weak" as you disingenously say.
3 We did used to change the world to protect people - we do it all the damn time
So my question to you is do you always shit on the disabled or is your abelism only present when you can hide behind the AC label?
I don't, and I've 'peddled' no untruths at all. If you'd like to show me one I'll be happy to stand corrected.
I never claimed your life is worth less than anyone else's, nor did I ever say the vulnerable population 'cause me problems'. I'll thank you not to put words into my mouth.
To address the point I think you are trying to make, society cannot operate solely for your protection. It never has. People catch and die from all sorts of diseases all the time and nobody blinks. We don't shut down businesses, close borders, introduce surveillance or curtail liberties because of it. We manage the risk, individually and collectively.
Covid seems to have turned that on it's head, or more specifically the government response to it has. Over the last 18 months we've somehow gone from a nation who were solidly opposed to ID cards or pervasive surveillance to a nation who seem willing to welcome any level of state control and monitoring in the name of 'safety'.
I question why.
Why are we surrendering our freedoms for so little tangible benefit? Why are we tolerating this laser focus on Covid to the exclusion of all else? Why have we allowed ourselves to become so blinkered that we willingly ignore the collateral damage caused in the futile attempt to suppress Covid? Why do we now willingly provide far more information into our daily lives to the same governments we so rightly criticized for stealing far LESS information from us?
I DON'T value your life any less than anyone else's. I supported the initial measures to control the disease while we studied it. Those days are past. We have enough knowledge to effectively manage the risk without becoming a fear-riddled surveillance state.
Thanks for the update. Always good to hear what happening elsewhere in the globe. After two months in Canberra lockdown we are eagerly awating being allowed to go non-essential shopping (with density limits) on Friday! Woo hoo. No international flights yet...but supposedly from November we'll be part of the world again....stay safe everyone (from Oz)
.......if you carry a mobile phone, you are already being tracked. If you use your credit card, you are already being tracked. In many public places, CCTV is already tracking you. If you log in to FB, you are already being tracked.
Oh.....and there's the distinct possibility that someone out there is correlating all of the above.
So why would the Singapore authorities even need to give you a "government tracking device"?
Well....there's a clue buried in this report: quote: "Singapore also wanted access to photos, media, and files".
So...........the "government tracking device" is just an (expensive) piece of misdirection. They already know where you are (see above), but they need to know MORE.
Welcome to the future!!!!
democratic and regime-like govs round the world watch with GREAT interest... Watch, study, compare with their own, local parameters. Wouldn't it be WONDERFUL if we could keep tabs on them plebs 100% of the time? In some way it's a relief that I'm sooner rather than later due to shuflfe off this stage (part of the way, feet first, probably with a bluetooth band around the ankle, so I don't get mis-delivered to the maternity ward upstairs...)