Coronavirus

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Sid
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1 month ago

FuB wrote:
1 month ago
Sid wrote:
1 month ago
FuB wrote:
1 month ago
Sid wrote:
1 month ago
But the eat out to help out was botched. The study said it should have been 7 days a week, not 5, to stop places being packed out.

Some people are always gonna be selfish and dumb so the gov has to account for that. It's basic stuff like ordering enough tests, making test & trace mandatory or else every study / expert says it's pointless, stopping shops allowing people to buy 30 bog rolls etc. But they were disinterested at worst and hapless at best.

The Tories have treat the coronavirus crisis like a PR crisis. Shit like the 50m masks they ordered were unusable (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... e-used-nhs) they just ordered em to quieten the flak, so they can go in front of the cameras and say "we've spent 225m on PPE" to look like they're in control

Anyway coronavirus looks to be out of control again according to experts https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... tudy-shows
hmmm...

There is no "if you want a test, you can have one" setup here. If you want a test you have to be showing symptoms or pay for a private test (80 euros). Tracing here has always relied on people's memory... the app they came up with (without fucking it up completely like the UK) still didn't really happen because people decided privacy concerns were more important than giving a shit about other people (as i've said, it's FAR from perfect here too). However, tracing and testing here has relied upon a truly competent epidemiology and testing system. I don't know how "mandatory" it has been here, really... i suspect it's just relied upon the fact that people give a shit about their own health and there's still a catholic hangover of giving a shit about other people to a certain degree.

I do think you need to stop giving quite so much responsibility to the tories. That's a great fucking cop out that all the selfish cunts driving this epidemic will happily go with, mate. Can't ever be "MY" fault: it's the others, it's the government, it's the EU, it's immigrants... blah fucking blah... I'll still go down the shops without a mask because it's "my right".
No right, selfish cunts are selfish cunts. But a basic function of a government is to counter people's selfishness and act. Like people get selfish all the time. But there's rules in place to stop selfish acts.

Like during the panic buying, the gov just looked on and said well that's terrible as shops ran out of essentials. And yeah the selfish cunts are to blame. But the gov should have brought in a rule that said shops can only sell so many bog rolls per person. To not expect this is letting the gov off the hook.

Seems to me like you're falling a bit for the government spin of blaming various groups. Like now they're blaming young people for the recent outbreak even though it's been heavily linked to gov policy, before that it was immigrants, before that it was selfish poor BAME people being packed in to cramped houses etc. These narratives, often created round a table by a group of ministers like Cummings, are designed to deflect and distract.

This article while absolving individuals of blame (which I don't agree with) talks about behavioural science. It's interesting. Covid-idiots aren't so much to blame for the spread, rather poor people being forced back to work aka gov policy

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ment-greek
On another day, Sid, you'd be railing against a government introducing draconian measures.

As for me falling for the government spin... I'm not aware of the government spin if there is any. Don't forget that i don't live in the UK. With regards to the clear indication that younger people are currently driving the increasing numbers, i know for a fact that the data support this in Italy. Since July, the median age for a positive covid test has gone down from 61 to 32 currently. There are suggestions, though, that this might just be down to more widespread testing and testing of people coming back into the country at airports, etc. One of the main issues with this pandemic is that it has always been being driven more by asymptomatic carriers than the knowingly unwell. That's why mask wearing is crucial.

I completely agree that all governments have a fundamental duty to protect their public and also to make it as easy as possible for the public to help themselves. Going on anecdotal evidence I've heard from friends and colleagues in the UK (from various different places there), it seems that ignoring of the mask-wearing rules in shops is rife and the concept of distancing has gone out of the window. These are limited observations and they are not first hand so i do appreciate that I could be way off the mark.

Out of interest, Sid. Do you wear a mask at all?
I do, but I heard one of the health expert in a press conference say the evidence that they reduce covid transmission in a meaningful way is sketchy, cos people fuck with their masks, their hair etc which cancels out the effectiveness. But I do cos it feels right.

I wouldn't rail against these draconian measures cos while I don't agree with the authority of the gov issuing these demands, I do bow to the authority of the experts and the general consensus that says these measures are necessary - as well as other measures that the gov ignore, like how they've kept cafes and pubs open in Brum despite not allowing households to mix.

As for personal testimony I've not seen any evidence of the media or government claims people don't wear masks. Everywhere I've been everyone has had a mask on. I don't doubt it's not happening, but not on the scale the gov and media are making out.

The scale of increase in covid is such that it can't be explained by idiots not socially distancing on the odd weekend on a beach, or not wearing masks, it's something a lot bigger. It's policy, like the masses of people who've been forced back to work. As well as cramped living conditions (like were I lived in handsworth), overloaded services (like my doctors, can't get an appointment for shit) etc
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Sid
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1 month ago

FuB wrote:
1 month ago
Sid wrote:
1 month ago
FuB wrote:
1 month ago
bman2 wrote:
1 month ago


That’s an excellent t video, FuB, thanks for linking it. The guy really made a great effort to look into the facts. It’s a shame actual journalists rarely make the same effort.

The attacks on WHO are very similar to the techniques the new right used against the EU. They realized that you can get away with saying anything at all about these international organizations, because people don’t understand them, the movies give you the impression that they’re really powerful when they’re anything but. The organizations are usually just civil servants, they don’t have the same PR teams and newspapers and news channels ready to obey orders, so it’s a very lopsided fight.
I should make clear that he's an ex-BBC/New Scientist/Lancet/Guardian/Telegraph/Independant journalist of quite some standing : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Had ... ournalist)

...people don't understand them: well, yes, but the bigger issue is that people don't care to fact check things. They don't really have the interest or intellect to bother or know how to do so. This is the real crime against humanity because a better education system that cared about teaching rational thought and attention to detail might have had a chance of preventing this.
People don't have time to fact check, Fub. I've got a 10 month old and some days I don't even have time to eat an actual meal. It's the gov's job to get the message across. They have the finances, outreach, power etc to reach virtually every person in the UK.

The ignorant people that don't fact check... Are in government. They have access to the greatest medical minds, top scientists, the latest data - I don't, but they do - and the gov ignored em and their pleas. They thought it was like the flu. So then we had a rushed lockdown and the rest is history.

And yeah no gov can handle it perfectly but there's a vast difference between 60k + dead in the UK and 24 in New Zealand
I don't have a problem with people not having time to fact check because they are too busy to. I do have a problem with people instead having time to read, search out and pass on disinformation, conspiracy theories and total bullshit to other bellends who don't have time to fact check anything but plenty time to go on youtube, facebook and twitter for their worldview.

I'm guessing you didn't bother to watch that video and i'd again urge you to, notwithstanding you being busy with a child. I agree that governments should fact check... that video shows that they often wantonly do not. It also indicates how, whilst the WHO definitely gave out some confused messages, the information was available.
Yeah well people getting their info from memes is a big problem. It's how tyrants like Johnson and Trump are winning power.

I will watch the video when I have time.

You're just coming across a bit like someone who has the knowledge - cos it's your field of interest / work - and are blaming people for not being as educated on this stuff as you are. It's a bit ableist n all. Like you can slag my 84 year old deaf arsey computer illiterate grandma for not researching covid measures in her care home but I prefer to blame the people she has ceded power to through old age and I'll health. You pretty much need the internet n all which not everyone has.
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1 month ago

I'm going to try and merge these two conversations into one here and refer to both your replies.

Ableist... not sure whether i should be offended by that, really. it's a bit below the belt. I clearly blamed the education system in the part of the thread you quoted and i stand by that. Critical thinking doesn't appear to be being taught or nurtured any more in the education system and kids seem more interested in what's on their phone than anything else. This is increasingly little soundbites which, as you say, are the memes that let tyrants win and retain power. I don't blame people themselves for not being educated but i do lament the fact that people often seem disinclined to care about education nowadays. That's surely got to be a sad thing in anyone's eyes and i do worry for the future that will follow a present where utter shite like flat earth gains widespread traction.
Sid wrote:I do, but I heard one of the health expert in a press conference say the evidence that they reduce covid transmission in a meaningful way is sketchy, cos people fuck with their masks, their hair etc which cancels out the effectiveness. But I do cos it feels right.
...
As for personal testimony I've not seen any evidence of the media or government claims people don't wear masks. Everywhere I've been everyone has had a mask on. I don't doubt it's not happening, but not on the scale the gov and media are making out.
I'm glad you do wear a mask but i'm not sure of the context your health expert example was in. It seems to be such a common misconception that masks are for protecting the wearer and, in that context, I completely agree that mask-wearing behaviour has an awful lot to do with how effective they will be in protecting the wearer. The real benefit to masks, though, is to protect everyone else. As i said, asymptomatic carriers are the biggest problem and, in this case, masks can prove extremely effective in preventing them spewing out aerosols when breathing and talking. Even so, there needs to be some education about what really constitutes an effective mask (but, in the worst case, any face covering is better than none at all) and how to behave when wearing one (good handwashing behaviour since, yes, people do poke about their face and hair, etc., not keeping the same mask for weeks, how to store them when not in use - not on your fucking elbow, for instance, and not handling the mask except by the straps, etc.). It's not really hard to understand and i've seen little vids on the bbc website which are pretty well made and concise so i'd be surprised if this hasn't been aired on TV as well.

You own testimony is good to hear. As i say, i've had colleagues and friends from different parts of the UK tell me the absolute opposite. Maybe this is just a geographic thing. I don't know and I did make clear i (obviously) have no first hand experience of how things are in the UK.

The biggest mistake the government made at the beginning of this was not making masks mandatory as soon as was possible given the relative lack of worldwide stock in early spring. As soon as that started sorting itself out, they immediately made masks mandatory here and it's just never been an issue since. It's become second nature and, given we were still in full-on scary pandemic mode at the time, there just wasn't any opportunity for knobend objectionists to get any traction like they appear to have in the US.
Sid wrote:The scale of increase in covid is such that it can't be explained by idiots not socially distancing on the odd weekend on a beach, or not wearing masks, it's something a lot bigger. It's policy, like the masses of people who've been forced back to work. As well as cramped living conditions (like were I lived in handsworth), overloaded services (like my doctors, can't get an appointment for shit) etc
I'm pretty sure it was reported that there was literally no obvious spike in cases following those crazy pictures of Bournemouth beach, etc. I do, however, have to disagree with you that not wearing masks isn't a significant contributory factor in the UK. It's the one very clear difference between here and there.

I do, of course, agree with you that the UK govt policy is the worst offender in all of this. It's been a joke all the way through and continues to be so. The worst aspect is the mixed-messages and contradictory rules like the ones you state... go and mix with a hundred people in a pub but make sure you don't hang out with more than 6 in your house... fucking bonkers.
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Sid
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1 month ago

Fub, sorry if you were offended by the ableist comment. I don't know your circumstances so it wasn't a personal attack. My point was it's not always possible to consume information easily for various reasons.

The thing about masks not necessarily stopping the spread of covid was said by one expert during the government'a briefings. But this was a time when the gov were refusing to make it mandatory cos idiots thought it was a Stalinist act. So yeah the context is key cos she was clearly under pressure by ministers to play down the effectiveness.

That's another fuck up. Thailand and other countries made mask wearing mandatory, and gave everyone multiple 3 ply masks. Our gov should have done the same. But they left it in private hands. A chance for Tesco, Boots etc to sell masks at 35 quid for a small pack and make a ton of money.

I've started watching the vid btw
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FuB
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1 month ago

Sid wrote:
1 month ago
Fub, sorry if you were offended by the ableist comment. I don't know your circumstances so it wasn't a personal attack. My point was it's not always possible to consume information easily for various reasons.

The thing about masks not necessarily stopping the spread of covid was said by one expert during the government'a briefings. But this was a time when the gov were refusing to make it mandatory cos idiots thought it was a Stalinist act. So yeah the context is key cos she was clearly under pressure by ministers to play down the effectiveness.

That's another fuck up. Thailand and other countries made mask wearing mandatory, and gave everyone multiple 3 ply masks. Our gov should have done the same. But they left it in private hands. A chance for Tesco, Boots etc to sell masks at 35 quid for a small pack and make a ton of money.

I've started watching the vid btw
Hopefully you got all the way through it and appreciated his attention to detail and his dry, non-sensationalist delivery. It's just the facts and he makes clear that his opinions are irrelevant. Part of it, as i hope you will now know, deals with the effectiveness of masks and in which instances they are effective. It also explains that the WHO never stated they don't work but did caution against their use at the outset and mainly due to shortages. I suspect that's the context that the health expert you mentioned was speaking in as well. The message was never really made clear, though.

The anti-masker rhetoric is upsetting at the most benign: "oh you're taking away my civil liberties" (but perhaps saving the lives of countless people, you self-centred cunt), through ridiculous: "muzzling me" (oh, just fuck off), to downright dangerous nonsense: "it reduces oxygen intake/blood oxygen" (this is demonstrably false and, with a modicum of science education, obviously false - how fucking big do you think oxygen molecules are, for fuck's sake?).

One of the big positives for the region of Italy I live in is that the initial guidance was taken from Prof. Andrea Crisanti who is a pretty eminent virologist and head of the microbiology department at the university hospital of Padua. He shut down Vo' Euganeo when the first guy died and then embarked on a systematic testing protocol for the entire (small) town. It was this that led them to discover (very, very early on) that at least 40% of cases were asymptomatic and that asymptomatic cases were EQUALLY infectious as those with symptoms. This knowledge led immediately to a regional regulation for mandatory mask and glove wearing both outside and within any shops that were, at that time, still allowed to open (i.e. supermarkets, etc.). Another of my heroes, actually... he's almost certainly responsible for saving countless lives in this region: we never had anywhere near the crisis that Lombardy went through. The great crime, however, is they stopped listening to him... he advocated mass testing because they demonstrated clearly that this protocol literally eradicated the virus from Vo' in a short time. If anyone is interested, they finally published their findings in Nature at the end of June: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2488-1 . If that's too drearily scientific, they also wrote an article for the Guardian (Crisanti is also affiliated with Imperial College, London): https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... 9-italy-vo . They published this specifically to say "Look UK! You're still in time to follow this process"... again, they were not listened to.

Not having been present in the UK, I'm not sure if you're saying that the cost of masks is still as high as that or if it was profiteering at the outset.

Re your apology: it really wasn't required but thanks all the same. I'm conscious of perhaps appearing arrogant just because this, as you said, is something i'm interested in and therefore have more than your average person's knowledge on it. I should point out, though, that my formal education didn't ever include virology and it's something I've gone out and researched for myself. I do find it a shame that so few people give a shit about the world around them nowadays that going out and learning about stuff isn't interesting but i'm not at all surprised this is the case. As I said, it's long been the case that STEM subjects are being cut in state education... and yes, i suppose we can really lay that at the tories door as well. Not the current crop but they're all the same.
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Sid
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1 month ago

That article about stamping out covid in Vo was good. I've read similar ones from all over, particularly the far east. But all are ignored, like you say, by ignorant governments. The blueprint of how to tackle it is there, they're just not following it. And it's typically these right wing macho states like UK, US. Have you seen Trump campaigning without wearing a mask?

Fub, providing you can be arsed to talk about this more, what do you make of the second wave? How bad do you reckon it will be in Europe / UK?
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Sid
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1 month ago

Just seen Faisal Islam on BBC say there's a correlation between the furlough scheme vastly reducing in sept - aka lots more more workers going back to work - and the second wave. So this supports the research that suggests it's heavily policy that's the culprit, not so much the odd non-mask wearer, beach goers etc
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1 month ago

Sid wrote:
1 month ago
Fub, providing you can be arsed to talk about this more, what do you make of the second wave? How bad do you reckon it will be in Europe / UK?
I'm more than happy to keep talking about this. Would be good if we could encourage the others to join in! I'll address the "second wave" further on in this post.
Sid wrote:
1 month ago
That article about stamping out covid in Vo was good. I've read similar ones from all over, particularly the far east. But all are ignored, like you say, by ignorant governments. The blueprint of how to tackle it is there, they're just not following it.
It's not hard to see a parallel between the approach taken by S. Korea and Crisanti's approach. Mass testing was the obvious mechanism to keep things in check and move towards eradicating the virus. Yet places like the UK felt it easier to bang on about not having enough test kits... which was a bullshit way of saying "we're just not geared up for testing or, more likely, the cost of it". They had just as many kits sent out as any other country... so how did Crisanti et al manage so much testing immediately? Answer is they cobbled together testing kits out of readily available reagents (PCR is a standard technique) and increased the amount of primer they had. It's not that difficult when you're geared up to it.
Sid wrote:
1 month ago
And it's typically these right wing macho states like UK, US. Have you seen Trump campaigning without wearing a mask?
I haven't but it doesn't surprise me. The man is a purposefully contrary wanker at the best of times. I see that today he's going all out with climate change denial and telling people it'll cool down, just you wait and see.

On that note, what did you think of the video I posted? Did you manage to watch all of it? It's worth viewing his other stuff for excellent debunking of climate denier bullshit amongst other things.
Sid wrote:
1 month ago
Just seen Faisal Islam on BBC say there's a correlation between the furlough scheme vastly reducing in sept - aka lots more more workers going back to work - and the second wave. So this supports the research that suggests it's heavily policy that's the culprit, not so much the odd non-mask wearer, beach goers etc
There's a massive danger there in confusing correlation and causation. There's also a correlation between the daylight hours getting shorter and the furlough scheme being cut down but, as much as i'm sure Boris would love to think he was in control of the seasons, it's just not the case. I'd be inclined to suggest there's just as much correlation between increasing cases and schools re-opening in the UK. That's something we're yet to see the effect of here in Italy since schools only re-opened yesterday and we need to wait a good week or so before anything concrete will show up. I'd also suggest there's a clear correlation between people jetting off to places and mixing with other people before re-importing the virus upon return and the rise in cases. That's certainly what seems to be the major contributor here.

When you say "not so much the odd non-mask wearer" i'm inclined to disagree. The odd non-mask wearer who is asymptomatic, feels fine and doesn't give a shit is a fine driver for a second wave of a virus that appears to be extremely transmissible if not kept in check. It only ever takes ONE person to infect another and, with something this transmissible, it only takes ONE person to infect a busload or planeload or office-load of people. It only then takes the demonstrable (see Crisanti's paper) ~40% of asymptomatic people in that busload, planeload or office-load to infect another set of busloads, planeloads, office-loads, households, etc.

...and so here we are in the "second wave" already. It was always going to happen despite the waffle in the press about us all being worried about the fact there might be one. Until such point as we have either eradicated completely the virus (pretty much not going to happen) or you've achieved widespread (herd) immunity we're going to see wave upon wave. However, it's a misnomer in my opinion. There is no "second wave", it's just a continuation of the initial wave. There's just been a pause because we've all been outside enjoying the nice weather and so not being in enclosed spaces spewing aerosols over each other and any surfaces for people to pick up and stick over their faces.

so.. how bad will it be? To be honest, that's anyone's guess but i do think it has a great potential to be horrific as the winter arrives (particularly because we're all going to back inside in close proximity again). Much of this is going to depend upon human behaviour and, as much as policy IS important and DOES have an effect, you can't get away from the fact that this is a micro-organism that (anthropomorphising) just wants to replicate itself by making people cough it up over as many new targets as possible. It's a micro-organism that doesn't give a flying fuck about politics or situations. It's just happy doing its thing. Policy can have obviously have a huge effect but, in the end, it's people that spread it and it's going to be the behaviour of people that determines its spread.
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Sid
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1 month ago

But if people are forced into situations beyond their control, like work, or told that going to a restaurant is helping out, then it's going to spread it. But let's not get into that again partly cos the situation has changed since. Britain is basically in lockdown again. Over 10 million people as of yesterday with more regions following suit today.

I listened to the entirity of the video btw and my general response is it just shows how fucking awful states are especially in this post truth era were politicians like Trump attack WHO to deflect from their own deadly failings

What's surprising is how uncooperative China was (and other states) in relaying information back to the WHO. Why be a cunt like that. In fact it took an independent group to release crucial data cos the state wasn't arsed. Sounds like the WHO are trapped in a rock and hard place. It's hard to give feedback and advice to the world when you're not privy to relevant info.

The fact checking on masks is illuminating too cos I'd heard misinformation from the gov as I mentioned earlier. The message is masks DO work but only if you practice proper hygeine as well. But that got boiled down to "masks don't work" cos the gov didn't want to introduce em, one of the reasons being pressure from right wing libertarians who say it's a Stalinist act

Btw I listened to this short podcast the other day that talks about coronavirus and the flu. Probably should get a flu jab if you can.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/aud ... -1-podcast
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swampash
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3 weeks ago

So Mr and Mrs Trump have covid? How ironic.
Does quarantine take him beyond the date for the next debate with Biden?
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits...
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