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Thread: covid-19

  1. #2071
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Aimless still hearing mixed reports from Sweden. Some people here still claiming that we should be more like Sweden and that Sweden is coping with the second wave better than the rest of [non-Scandinavian] western Europe like the UK, France, Italy, Spain etc - others saying that Sweden is struggling and turning away from their old scientific advice. The problem here is that the name Sweden has almost become code for what people want to be right that its hard to see truly neutral reports, most people mentioning Sweden here have an agenda.

    From your position at the coalface are you noticing major changes?
    I think it's misguided to look to Sweden as a role model, irrespective of what one might feel/think about how Sweden's handling compares to the UK's (which many Britons understandably view as utterly shambolic). Sweden's handling of the pandemic has been a dismal failure in many respects—whether you look at public health, healthcare, ethics, economics, social aspects or politics. We have very high case numbers, a large and growing group of people burdened by protracted convalescence and/or post-covid complications, high and rapidly rising pressure on healthcare resources, a number of ethically dubious decisions, no comparative economic benefit, deepening socioeconomic inequality and what looks to be a political nightmare up ahead. The one respect in which Sweden can be admired, from the UK's perspective, is that our govt. & authorities have been fairly consistent and steady; people haven't had to constantly adjust to new and complicated guidelines or restrictions of extremely varying severity (as parts of England have had to, for example). If a country is unable or unwilling to tackle a pandemic head-on, I guess it's better to acknowledge that outright and opt for the next best approach. However, even from that perspective, we could and should've done better—ie. even the failures have been more egregious than they had to be.

    Much of the agenda-driven reporting on Sweden overlooks our circumstances. Sweden is a highly organized, comparatively wealthy, high-trust nation with a healthy population, strong labour protections and a substantial welfare system—including very generous and uncomplicated paid sick leave rules. Although most Swedes live in built-up areas such as towns and cities, much of the population is spread out over a large area, with long distances to crowded urban areas. Although Swedes travel a lot, and Stockholm is a very active city, int'l connections aren't on the same level as eg. London, Paris, Brussels, etc. All of that to say we had every advantage a country might want in the event of a deadly viral pandemic—and we squandered them all. So, comparing Sweden's performance with that of UK, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium etc. is damning in itself.

    It's possible that the second wave in Sweden is looking better than it is in those other countries, but it's on track to get as bad as or worse than things were in spring—which was hell, in large parts of the country, including the most distant and most sparsely populated regions. I suspect some of the advantage comes from each wave kicking off somewhat later here than in other countries—which, again, is a squandered advantage. Another "advantage" is that testing capacity is saturated in several regions, and people aren't really all that keen on getting tested, so it's difficult to trust our case numbers. Number of pts in intensive care is rising rapidly, as is the number of patients in need of fairly extensive intermediate care. At the same time, primary & specialist care providers are trying to deal with a growing number of people experiencing possible/likely post-covid complications or just in need of extensive rehab at a scale that most developed countries simply cannot provide.

    As for major changes, practically nothing has changed wrt the guidance from our public health agency. The messaging from the govt. has changed somewhat, as has the covid-related discourse among healthcare professionals, both in response to increasing awareness of just how much our approach has deviated from int'l expert consensus—and how much it's costing us, as a society and as a corps (unlike spring, several of my colleagues have now gotten covid). Some regional & municipal authorities have begun to disregard the public health ministry's guidance, aligning their local guidelines more with int'l recs adapted to local circumstances (for example, recently, hospitals in several regions implemented a general mask order for personnel); at the same time you have stupid things like med-students having to travel by tube or bus to sit in a room with 70 others for a written exam that could've been conducted digitally. Politically, the matter is increasingly polarized. One huge thing that happened recently is that our health inspectorate released an absolutely devastating report describing how thousands of frail institutionalized elderly had died without adequate medical assessment, care and information. So, if anyone is saying the UK should be more like Sweden, they should be invited to consider this shocking disregard for the basic human dignity of old people—as well as for medical ethics and the law.

    tl; dr: if you love your fellow island-dwellers, do not, under any circumstances, seek to emulate Sweden's pandemic response—but, in anticipation of future pandemics, consider emulating those policies that gave us the structural advantages we've squandered.

    Also much of the Swedish logic seemed to be that this was a virus that needed to be lived with for years and potentially no vaccine could arrive for years. Does the arrival of a vaccine change the arithmetic?
    The messaging hasn't changed much in response to the vaccine news. Although this looks like a much better scenario than feared/expected, ensuring sufficient vaccine coverage will be difficult and take time; even with high vaccine coverage at home, we're probably going to have to live with the specter of covid outbreaks for a long time. Consequently, authorities have been consistently communicating a need for society to adjust to a new reality in which life won't be quite like what it was prior to the pandemic. To that end, our govt. is working on pandemic-related bills and plans that might not be ready until spring/summer at the earliest. I suspect they're being extra cautious due to Sweden's tragic experiences with the Pandemrix vaccine.

    For me people catching the virus and dying from it now, with a vaccine imminently available, is like those who went over the top in November 1918. If there is a vaccine imminently available that's all the more reason to be ultra cautious until the vulnerable at least are vaccinated.
    I think many among the general public—and in the media—share this view, but nothing has changed wrt the official messaging.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The MHRA has a lot of expertise and has been undergoing rolling reviews throughout the process.

    Without wanting to spark a political debate, a small but noticeable bonus from having left the EU.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    For once on Brexit, I may be inclined to agree with you.
    Hancock and others are not giving the public an accurate picture of what happened. More info here: https://twitter.com/GeorgePeretzQC/s...06285890019330

    Pfizer and Moderna have only just now applied for formal marketing authorization with the EMA, which has been conducting its own rolling review alongside the MHRA—on the basis of more data. The UK is authorizing the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine under a provision of EU law that grants national authorities leave to authorize the use of unlicensed products under some circumstances. This option is available to EU member states as well (domestic laws in each resp. state permitting).
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  2. #2072
    My understanding is that we (the UK) are still operating under EU law when it comes to medicine until the end of the year. Everything that has happened, has been enabled by EU law and provisions, albeit a change we made to UK law to take advantage of the provision (which we had never done before).

    I'm largely ignorant on the matter though, but there's certainly a group of experts challenging the claims of some Tory MPs this afternoon.

    Either way, great news. Can't wait for the rollout. Hope it's not mandatory as our our minister in charge of vaccine rollout implied it could be in some instances.

  3. #2073
    Quote Originally Posted by gogobongopop View Post
    My understanding is that we (the UK) are still operating under EU law when it comes to medicine until the end of the year. Everything that has happened, has been enabled by EU law and provisions, albeit a change we made to UK law to take advantage of the provision (which we had never done before).
    Yes—Human Medicine Regs of 2012, implementing EU directives. See: https://twitter.com/GeorgePeretzQC/s...06285890019330
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #2074
    Johnson given two opportunities in the latest conference to confirm that the speed of the vaccine is down to Brexit.

    He seemed to tell the truth. Good for him.

  5. #2075
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    To be clear I'm not suggesting a return to normal by Valentine's. I said an end to restaurant closures. Currently in the UK we have a Tier system and my city is in Tier 3 (the worst tier) which means all hospitality is closed except for takeaways. Tier 3 is for if the NHS might collapse in that area without the Tier.

    Tier 2 is restaurants etc can be open but only one household per table. No household mixing indoors.

    Tier 1 is relatively normal with social distancing and the "rule of 6".

    Currently nearly a quarter of England is Tier 3, 1% Tier 1 and three quarters Tier 2. I am hopeful the vaccine rollout in the next two months hitting priority areas first could take the edge off the virus enough to end the need for Tier 3.

    You're right that for the young the virus will continue to spread but R will go down with partial herd immunity and for the young this is comparable to the flu, it is the risk of spreading it to the old that is the worry. Once the old are vaccinated then case numbers become less relevant.
    Is it possible that governments will shift out of lockdowns early without adequate data to support such a decision? Certainly, I have seen the reverse also happen, where authorities have been slow to reimpose restrictions even if the data clearly indicate it would be a good idea (and match the criteria for earlier periods of lockdown that were developed for lifting restrictions in the spring/summer). That doesn't mean that it will actually be a good idea.

    There are so many unknowns right now about wide distribution of these vaccines - will population scale numbers match promising results from the trial? Will the very old/comorbid population in care settings tolerate the vaccine? For that matter, how will you distribute such vaccines in care homes given the handling requirements? I find it highly unlikely that any government will have a substantial handle on this until the spring, and even then it will be precarious. A week or two earlier or later on regulatory approval is largely irrelevant. The government may decide to ease lockdowns because of political considerations, but the data isn't likely to start looking better until March at the earliest.

    I also want to challenge your assertion that this is 'like the flu'. About half of the deaths in the US have not been from the long term care population; Covid has higher disease severity and mortality than influenza for pretty much everyone but young kids. If you get more widespread transmission among ostensibly healthy but unvaccinated populations, you're still going to be stressing the healthcare system to the breaking point... and probably killing a lot of people unnecessarily. The much smarter option is to be driven by the data - on hospitalizations, deaths, and positivity rates - in order to determine when it is safe to start easing restrictions.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  6. #2076
    Sweden's chief epidemiologist at 1:05:55:

    https://www.dagensmedisin.no/artikle...eve-det-igjen/

    It will take me a while to regain my composure. What he's doing would've seen him sacked and pilloried in the media in most western states. It's not only a lie; it's not only nonsensical, from a scientific perspective; it's also just unbelievably pathetic and disgusting.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  7. #2077
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Is it possible that governments will shift out of lockdowns early without adequate data to support such a decision? Certainly, I have seen the reverse also happen, where authorities have been slow to reimpose restrictions even if the data clearly indicate it would be a good idea (and match the criteria for earlier periods of lockdown that were developed for lifting restrictions in the spring/summer). That doesn't mean that it will actually be a good idea.

    There are so many unknowns right now about wide distribution of these vaccines - will population scale numbers match promising results from the trial? Will the very old/comorbid population in care settings tolerate the vaccine? For that matter, how will you distribute such vaccines in care homes given the handling requirements? I find it highly unlikely that any government will have a substantial handle on this until the spring, and even then it will be precarious. A week or two earlier or later on regulatory approval is largely irrelevant. The government may decide to ease lockdowns because of political considerations, but the data isn't likely to start looking better until March at the earliest.

    I also want to challenge your assertion that this is 'like the flu'. About half of the deaths in the US have not been from the long term care population; Covid has higher disease severity and mortality than influenza for pretty much everyone but young kids. If you get more widespread transmission among ostensibly healthy but unvaccinated populations, you're still going to be stressing the healthcare system to the breaking point... and probably killing a lot of people unnecessarily. The much smarter option is to be driven by the data - on hospitalizations, deaths, and positivity rates - in order to determine when it is safe to start easing restrictions.
    To be clear with the "like the flu" remark that was strictly for young healthy adults.

    This virus is pernicious in part because it is bloody brutal on a large segment of society while being relatively inconsequential (long COVID aside) in the main part for others who can thus act as carriers and spread it on.

    The first phase of the UKs vaccination programme is to vaccinate in stages at risk groups down to the over 50s (as well as the clinically vulnerable under 50s). So far in the UK over 99% of deaths during the pandemic have come from these groups. Less than 1% of deaths come from healthy under 50s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  8. #2078
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    To be clear with the "like the flu" remark that was strictly for young healthy adults.

    This virus is pernicious in part because it is bloody brutal on a large segment of society while being relatively inconsequential (long COVID aside) in the main part for others who can thus act as carriers and spread it on.
    This is not true. Disease severity and mortality (and long term effects) are substantially more severe at all age groups. Sure, it's really bad for the very old, but it is worse than typical influenza infections. We do not want to have it running unchecked among the 'healthy' population.

    The first phase of the UKs vaccination programme is to vaccinate in stages at risk groups down to the over 50s (as well as the clinically vulnerable under 50s). So far in the UK over 99% of deaths during the pandemic have come from these groups. Less than 1% of deaths come from healthy under 50s.
    Certainly this is wise; I don't expect to be able to receive a vaccination until spring or summer. But that doesn't mean we should be okay with widespread infection among the under 50s.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  9. #2079
    I actually don't know and I wonder if there is even data for it but how often does the flu present as asymptomatic?

  10. #2080

  11. #2081
    Thanks - that's interesting.

  12. #2082
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Sweden's chief epidemiologist at 1:05:55:

    https://www.dagensmedisin.no/artikle...eve-det-igjen/

    It will take me a while to regain my composure. What he's doing would've seen him sacked and pilloried in the media in most western states. It's not only a lie; it's not only nonsensical, from a scientific perspective; it's also just unbelievably pathetic and disgusting.
    They've replaced the original video with a new, edited version. The comments in question can be heard at 00:35:40.

    What he's saying is:

    1. An outright lie—recently arrived migrants do not comprise 20-25% of Sweden's population; foreign-born residents who have arrived since 2010 constitute roughly 10% of the population, whereas the vast majority of foreign-born residents have lived here for several decades.

    2. Nonsensical; though foreign-born residents have suffered disproportionately from Sweden's laxity, recently arrived migrants are unlikely to account for more than a tiny proportion of deaths; it is a young demographic—whereas 90% of deaths are among people over 70 (and 70% among people over 80).

    3. Stupid; it is the job of the public health agency to adapt policy recommendations to our circumstances, ensuring outcomes are as good and as equitable as possible. What he's saying is that they haven't done their job. As such, his argument is a confession of guilt rather than a defense.

    4. Repugnant; instead of taking responsibility for the lethal outcomes of his and his team's woefully inadequate performance, he chooses to divert blame towards a politically and socioeconomically vulnerable group, whose situation in an increasingly xenophobic Sweden is already fraught with risk of denigrating treatment and casual political stigmatization.

    This eagerness to exploit xenophobic tropes is—not to put too fine a point on it—as disgusting as it is pathetic. A former chief epidemiologist blamed subliterate refugees & asylum seekers for care home deaths. A minister blamed high immigration. It's embarrassing. Shameful. A disgrace to our country.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  13. #2083
    Is he angling for a job with the Trump administration?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  14. #2084
    US hit a new record in deaths yesterday. We've reached the point that covid kills someone every 30 seconds.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  15. #2085
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Is he angling for a job with the Trump administration?
    That would be a downgrade; here, he's a national hero. He's doubled down on the "it's the immigrants' fault" strategy, and a shocking number of clueless leftists and social democrats—both politicians and regular people—have fallen in line behind him. There has been some pushback, which forced him to walk back one of his statements with a non-apology apology, but it's clear where this is heading. I don't have high hopes for the official postmortem of this circus, but some hope for the media coverage.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  16. #2086
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    That would be a downgrade; here, he's a national hero. He's doubled down on the "it's the immigrants' fault" strategy, and a shocking number of clueless leftists and social democrats—both politicians and regular people—have fallen in line behind him. There has been some pushback, which forced him to walk back one of his statements with a non-apology apology, but it's clear where this is heading. I don't have high hopes for the official postmortem of this circus, but some hope for the media coverage.
    Looks like too little skepticism is as much a problem as too much.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  17. #2087
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  18. #2088
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    That would be a downgrade; here, he's a national hero. He's doubled down on the "it's the immigrants' fault" strategy, and a shocking number of clueless leftists and social democrats—both politicians and regular people—have fallen in line behind him. There has been some pushback, which forced him to walk back one of his statements with a non-apology apology, but it's clear where this is heading. I don't have high hopes for the official postmortem of this circus, but some hope for the media coverage.
    If certain cultural groups are not following restrictions, isn't it important to get the message out so behavior can change?

  19. #2089
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    If certain cultural groups are not following restrictions, isn't it important to get the message out so behavior can change?
    The official recommendations and so-called restrictions guarantee widespread and uncontrolled transmission both in the community and in particularly sensitive settings such as long-term care for the elderly. Moreover, it's not immigrants who are crowding together in nightclubs and bars. Finally, the remarks in question refer to "immigrants" in general. As I have told you on several occasions—in this very thread—you are literally one of the most stupid people I have ever encountered; you don't actually need to keep saying stupid things to remind us of what a moron you are—I can quite easily just go back and look at the extremely stupid things you said earlier in this thread if I ever need a reminder.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  20. #2090
    The difference between Owens and Lewk is that Owens exploits the stupidity of American conservatives, whereas Lewk is just genuinely stupid:

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  21. #2091
    What does that quote even mean? Directors of a public agency don't get extra money from its IP...
    Hope is the denial of reality

  22. #2092
    WTF Florida?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  23. #2093
    Yeah, thats completely thanks to our Governor. The same guy who ran on racist slogans, wore a single glove to a covid briefing, and couldn't figure out how to put a mask on. The same guy who is suppressing covid stats and has outlawed local areas from enforcing mask mandates. Turns out he is an asshole.

    This is the unauthorized access she is accused of:

    "Once they are no longer associated with ESF8 they are no longer authorized to access the multi-user group," the FDLE affidavit said. All authorized users use the same user name and password."

    This is her site
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  24. #2094
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    WTF Florida?
    Aside from the obvious 'why would they raid her?'.. wtf is up with American police and guns, this is not exactly a violent raid, why are they pointing their guns at people (or why to they have them out at all)?
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  25. #2095
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Aside from the obvious 'why would they raid her?'.. wtf is up with American police and guns, this is not exactly a violent raid, why are they pointing their guns at people (or why to they have them out at all)?
    Precisely. In this country regular Police don't carry guns full stop. Since she's not accused it seems of a violent crime (or much of any crime) why guns are needed is madness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  26. #2096
    Because it IS America and since it could be the case, they assume any raid is a violent raid and that anyone they don't have eyes on could be carrying a weapon and preparing to kill police officers with it. Anyone confronting or being confronted by a police officer is presumably a lethal threat until proven otherwise. And apparently the primary solution in their training is to escalate and overawe anyone to deter them from carrying out the plan.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  27. #2097
    Covid vaccination programme underway and the first man to receive the vaccine (as a patient not part of a trial) is William Shakespeare from Warwickshire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  28. #2098
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Covid vaccination programme underway and the first man to receive the vaccine (as a patient not part of a trial) is William Shakespeare from Warwickshire.

    Tweet is incorrect.

    William Shakespeare was the 2nd man in the world to receive the vaccination.

    90 year old Margaret Keenan was the first.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  29. #2099
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Aside from the obvious 'why would they raid her?'.. wtf is up with American police and guns, this is not exactly a violent raid, why are they pointing their guns at people (or why to they have them out at all)?
    What blows my mind is that this is the type of shit you see in corrupt unstable countries that the right keeps claiming that the Dems are going to turn America into, but when it happens here its either directly connected to the right or supported by them.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 12-09-2020 at 02:25 PM.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  30. #2100
    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Tweet is incorrect.

    William Shakespeare was the 2nd man in the world to receive the vaccination.

    90 year old Margaret Keenan was the first.
    Margaret Keenan is a woman not a man. She was the first person, he was the first man.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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