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More pandemic deaths than blitz deaths

Discussion in 'News' started by Corvuscorax, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. pmh1882

    pmh1882 New commenter

    Jonnymarr, I'm glad your cynicism has been counter-balanced. I've seen little to restore my faith in people doing the right thing just yet. Whilst I agreed with the lockdown as a necessary evil in the very short term, I think that any initial benefits have swiftly worn off and we now have laws and guidelines that the authorities will not or cannot enforce. What credibility the guidance had is swiftly ebbing.

    The initial message was stay home and protect the NHS, which we managed (with about a week to spare according to friend in the know). Stay home, stay safe was a terrible message in the longer term though, particularly when amplified by all sorts of media and advertising as we're now risk averse, even though if you're under 45 your chance of dying this year has actually gone down so far. There are a number of steps we can take to reduce the risk of both catching Covid 19 and also improve our body's immune system, which were possible for most during lockdown.

    I'm less proud of international attempts as a whole. I was in Germany a few days before the pubs shut here and barely saw a mask until I got to the airport. Plans for getting back to the UK were complicated by a raft of different messages and policies between bordering countries. Italians were particularly critical of the the EU's response. Looking at the foreign press and talking with friends in the EU there is a good amount of frustration with their own governments before, during and after the crisis (Wilmès and Macron have taken a pounding). I think the successive warnings which didn't deliver a pandemic in Europe bred complacency. All have made mistakes but what works for one may not work elsewhere.

    And our own government has failed to take decisive action, communicating poorly and floated ideas through briefings rather than really looking at the science. I'm not convinced much would have been different if we didn't have the current party in charge but it's the government's job to consider the wider picture.

    Had we just just left the EU I suspect Johnson would have had an easier time from the press but the fact is we didn't really want a 'proper' lockdown even if Covid was as dangerous as advertised and the initial thinking was a few weeks. We let staff and key worker children go into schools without much data on the risk of transmission. We carried on ordering non-essentials through Amazon and others, advertised our friends' local business which had suddenly started doing deliveries and decided that it was okay for others to cook and Deliveroo. Who was checking their PPE?

    During lockdown we've apparently decided the green economy is where it's at, grown a conscience regarding all the old folk packed off to care homes (shout out to dementia and Alzheimers which are far more likely to kill us) , clapped for the under-appreciated frontline workers we haven't bothered enough about before to vote for change.

    All whilst justifying why the rules (which were often wlfully misunderstood) don't really apply to us. Whether it's having a VE Day barbecue, going to a protest, visiting the beach, doorstepping someone or driving to Durham. Fortunately community transmission is dropping and although the postive tests are a bit slow coming down the hospital admissions figure dropped rapidly during May, so I think we'll be okay going forward.

    i think there are a number of factors to consider for the UK when it comes to future pandemics as we cannot afford another lockdown and need to consider quality of life, but the popular narrative that a couple of poor government decisions were why we've been hit harder than some others ignores a number of systemic failings which I believe will take more than a bit of extra tax to resolve and may involve having to face some realities - London is akin to New York and an outlier in Europe as regards domestic and international traffic, plus overcrowding. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
    tenpast7 likes this.
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    coronavirus death rate is 1%. Flu death rate is 0.01% Both are estimates, but one is certainly 100x higher than the other.

    Also, the number of people left disabled by flu is tiny, whereas, as far as can be guessed at this stage, the number left disabled by coronvirus is far higher. Of course, its early days, and people who have been left inpacitated for months may still recover over time, however, people who have lost limbs or lungs clearly won't.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    excess winter deaths includes rod accidents in the dark on icy roads, hypothermia, all sorts of things, It would be a very bad year to have 20 000 flu deaths
  4. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I am a regular viewer of the BBC News in Australia. I have not seen Australia mentioned even once in regard to covid-19 in any program I have watched. It may have been mentioned in ones that don’t reach here. In comparison with the UK, the US and EU countries, Australia’s performance has been magnificent. Its death rate is one hundredth of the UK’s, for example. Its reported infection rate is less than one tenth, and it is doing lots of testing too. Taiwan’s performance is even better than Australia’s. The UK is doing even now less than what Australia did months ago. Australia closed its borders to foreign entrants, with returning Australians escorted by police to quarantine. The UK is just now deciding that visitors from abroad should be asked to self-isolate. Australia has had a trace, test and isolate regime in place for months. The UK is just now deciding to revive a tracing regime that, if reports here are correct, does not include testing of contacts. Four of Australia’s eight sub-national jurisdictions have had zero cases in nursing homes. One other has had four cases and no deaths. Two have had one case and one death each. The last has had 61 cases and 25 deaths, which is a scandal. The UK has had thousands of deaths in care homes. I am providing this information because there needs to be a really careful investigation into what the UK did and did not do in comparison with other countries so that it is better prepared for the next pandemic.

    Note, a pandemic is by definition global and should not be called a global pandemic. Nor does this pandemic have an epicentre, which is the point on the ground above an earthquake
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I don't think the success of Australia and New zealand has been ignored in the UK media at all.
  6. pmh1882

    pmh1882 New commenter

    I'm not sure how you have certainty with estimates, particularly as we don't publish the flu mortality rate here. The CDC do and have it between 0.1 and 0.2 depending on the strain. https://fullfact.org/health/coronavirus-compare-influenza/

    In China the death rate started dropping as they tried alternative treatments. I expect that to happen in the UK now older people won't automatically get rammed on ventilators, as well as the shielding of the vulnerable and mitigating measures mean it drops further due to an increase in younger cases. Certainly hospital admissions have dropped more rapidly than new cases.

    And we don't know what proportion of excess deaths are actually Covid19 just yet (on the upside RTA are down). According to the same full fact link (and the PHE report) flu varies widely but the average over the last five years is 17,000. Having looking at the current flu reports it looks like 19/20 will also be a bad year. Were some of those a consequence of Covid 19? We don't know. Did the flu weaken people before Covid 19 killed them? Again, unlikely we'll ever know.

    Ultimately the Covid 19 death figures are only one factor to consider in the decisions around how to deal with the crisis. It has to be. This is not a simple case of health versus wealth and I suspect the toll as a consequence of some decisions will take years to come out. We know that people are not going in for routine screenings and symptoms of heart attacks. When my cancer nurse neighbour tells me that the only people coming in for treatment are those with nothing to lose and an operation with a good chance of success was recently cancelled it puts other aspects into perspective. That's before the impact on vulnerable children, in particular.
  7. pmh1882

    pmh1882 New commenter

  8. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    That’s good to know.

    As I said, I see only the BBC News that is shown here.
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    There has also been regular discussion on Radio and in the press as to why some European countries (including, but not only, Greece, Austria, Denmark & Norway) have done much better than others (such as Spain, Italy and, especially, the UK).
  10. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Thanks, Morninglover.
  11. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I posted more than a month ago on Australia’s magnificent performance in dealing with coronavirus, so I think it only fair to update all on the more recent not so magnificent performance in my state of Victoria. Victoria has close to 6.5 million people, about one tenth of the UK’s population, so if you want to make comparison you can multiply the state figures I give by 10. On the bright side, I have not yet seen anyone refer to Victoria as the “epicentre”, so the English language remains safe!

    Victoria has had rising numbers of cases for some days, such that at the weekend the state government put 10 postcode areas into lockdown and soon after enforced an instant quarantine on 10 public housing towers in inner Melbourne containing 3,000 people. The police arrived as the announcement was made, which would have been frightening to many of the residents who are refugees. The residents of those towers are being tested door-to-door and so far have 75 confirmed cases. In Victoria, a lockdown means you may not leave your home except for exercise, necessary shopping, care or care-giving, or education or work if you cannot do either from home. Cafes, pubs, restaurants may offer takeaway only. Lots of other businesses must be closed.

    Victoria had a record 191 cases two days ago (Australian eastern standard time), so the state government has now put the lockdown on the entire metropolitan area of Melbourne plus the Shire of Mitchell for six weeks. That includes the shire I live in, which has one active case, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. The NSW government has closed the border with Victoria, which has not happened since the Spanish flu a century ago. The other states and the Northern Territory had closed their borders some time ago. The school holidays have been extended by a week, except for years 11 and 12 and specialist schools. The other levels may return to remote learning.

    Victoria has had 2,942 cases, 22 deaths, none in nursing homes, and 1,0008,6777 tests (with a positive rate of 0.29 per cent), and there are now 860 active cases (https://covidlive.com.au). There are some big clusters; e.g., one school in Truganina had 90 cases at last report.

    There are three explanations offered for this disaster. First of all, the supervision of hotel quarantine, imposed on all returning Australians, was particularly lax in Victoria, with the private security guards taking the quarantinees shopping or engaging in intimate activities with them, catching the virus and then spreading it to their families and communities. Corrections Victoria has taken over the supervision now. Secondly, the BLM protestors were allowed to go unfined despite ignoring the rules, thus telling everybody else not to worry about the rules. Thirdly, too many people just decided not to the right thing.

    Now, in comparison with most of the world, Australis and Victoria have still done really well, but there is no case for bragging. This virus is not going away. No one can be slack about it. People have to keep their distance, wash their hands and follow the advice of the health authorities. Schools, while low transmitters, are not exempt.
    DonutBoy99 and Catgirl1964 like this.
  12. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Thank you for the update @Christopher Curtis . So have you gone back into lockdown yourself then? How are you feeling? Are you a teacher? Are you teaching online again?
  13. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I retired years ago, so I don’t need to teach online, but there are some other activities that used to be face to face that are now on line.

    I’m back in lockdown. I don’t mind because I don’t have a job to lose, I live in an almost virus-free area, I’m not sick and I can still get my favourite coffee and cake from the local café, just by takeaway now not by sitting down. I had my last sit-down today. The place is so good that the coffee and cake had arrived at my table before I had even ordered it.

    Some people find it a lot harder than I do. Our circumstances are different.

    Crises bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Our political leaders, state and federal, Liberal and Labor, have been excellent, taking advice from the health professionals and putting aside the petty point scoring that is so much a part of politics for the greater good of the nation.

    I hope all is well with you.
    DonutBoy99 and Corvuscorax like this.
  14. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Things are now really bad in Victoria, with triple-digit numbers of cases day after day and two more deaths – all because a few people did the wrong thing!

    The government has now announced that most students in metropolitan Melbourne and the Shire of Mitchell will not return to school but will have remote and flexible learning. Years 11 and 12 students, those with disabilities and those whose parents have to work will be able to return to school. Specialist schools and kindergartens will be open as normal. The details are at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/return-to-flexible-and-remote-learning/. There is more information at https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx.
    Corvuscorax likes this.
  15. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Thinking of you
  16. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Thanks, Corusvorax.

    When I went to my local café for my takeaway coffee on Saturday, I counted 80 people without face masks and one person with one. They are now recommended if you cannot maintain social distance, 1.5 metres here. Today I have to enter the edge of the metropolis, so I expect to see a few more, and I will be wearing mine. I bought some earlier this year because the bushfire smoke was so bad everywhere. You take care too.
    frangipani123 likes this.
  17. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    That's a big cafe.
  18. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Good one, ridleyrunpus. It is a big café, but I counted the people outside too!
  19. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    The pandemic continues to rage in Victoria, with new cases in triple digits each day. The government has now mandated face masks in metro Melbourne and the Shire of Mitchell whenever you are outside your home – with some exceptions. It is also providing face masks for all schools, compulsory for students but not teachers:

  20. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    That is interesting. How is that working? disposable ones? how many per student per day? how are they being disposed of? Are they being treated as biohazard?

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