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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 10th Jul 2020, 14:59
  #8241 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Just as the US discusses opening schools, the Chinese release a “secret” memo re: schools, Corona virus.

The CIA does speak and compose in Chinese. Just sayin’
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 20:18
  #8242 (permalink)  
 
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The wearing of face masks when visiting a bar or a restaurant is completely pointless and jut a sop to “reassure” the public. Medical and research staff wear them for a specific purpose whilst doing their job - they don’t wear them in the canteen or during their coffee breaks. If you need to take off face protection to eat and drink, it instantly negates the whole point of wearing it in the first place and having been told not to touch our faces to avoid transmission, it’s an absolute farce to be putting possibly contaminated and exposed food or drink straight into our mouths anyway. It’s either safe to eat and drink out, or it isn’t.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 20:50
  #8243 (permalink)  
 
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One has to wonder quite why it's taken Westminster so long to understand that this measure will, without any shadow of doubt, help to reduce the spread of this disease, along with every other disease that's spread via similar mechanisms: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53365062

I don't have a lot of time for Nicola Sturgeon, but I have to say that her level of understanding of risk, and the importance of mandating such a very simple measure to reduce it, is massively greater than Johnson and co, who seem to be floundering with no sense of direction.

Mask wearing is most certainly not a magic bullet, but the growing mountain of evidence that shows, with very little doubt, that overall the infection risk is reduced by wearing them in enclosed spaces, whenever this is practical, is pretty overwhelming. More importantly, if mask wearing enables businesses to get back to something close to normal, with little or no increase in infection risk, then, on balance, that will make a massive difference to our economy.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 21:54
  #8244 (permalink)  
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https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/13...ination-latest

Huge row erupts between UK and EU as Boris shuns bloc's vaccines scheme

BRUSSELS has accused the Government of lying about the bloc's coronavirus vaccine scheme in a fresh row over future cooperation....

The spat comes as Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to Brussels, confirmed Boris Johnson’s Government had decided against joining the EU’s efforts to negotiate with pharmaceutical firms in a bid to find a vaccine.

The Government is said to have shunned joining the EU scheme amid fears over being left at the back of the queue behind member states when a vaccine is eventually found and distributed. Ministers also expressed fears membership of the scheme would “complicate” the UK’s efforts to secure a vaccine.

But a Commission spokesman hit back, insisting claims were “not true and misleading”. “We always promote all means that would result in the quick finding and production that would result in the quick finding and production of a successful vaccine. “

In a letter to the Commission confirming the snub, Sir Tim wrote: “I welcome the constructive approach to discussions between our respective teams over the last weeks to understand what UK participation in this scheme would look like, in line with both the terms of the agreement reached by participating Member States to shape this initiative, and the relevant provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Commission has responded positively to our requests for clarifications but has confirmed that it is not possible for the UK to pursue parallel negotiations with potential vaccine suppliers, meaning the UK would be required to stop its negotiations with manufacturers with which the EU launched negotiations. The Commission has also confirmed that it is not possible for the UK to have a role in the governance shaping decisions on which manufacturers to negotiate with, or the price, volume and delivery schedule negotiated.

“The UK Government has decided on this occasion not to join this internal EU initiative, but given our shared interest in ensuring that vaccines are available to all, we are committed to strengthening our collaboration with the EU outside the framework.".....
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 07:20
  #8245 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Mask wearing is most certainly not a magic bullet, but the growing mountain of evidence that shows, with very little doubt, that overall the infection risk is reduced by wearing them in enclosed spaces, whenever this is practical, is pretty overwhelming. More importantly, if mask wearing enables businesses to get back to something close to normal, with little or no increase in infection risk, then, on balance, that will make a massive difference to our economy.
So the last few weeks I've been staying at a hotel near LHR doing some building contract work.
Now, before pubs and restaurants were allowed to open the only place to get something to eat in the evening was the hotel bar, which was serving a reduced menu choice.
A few weeks back social distancing was easy, as the place was deserted apart from us. The only person wearing face protection (A clear visor - no mask) in the entire place was the young Asian girl serving the food.
Great. Except she'd often sit down to chat to us or others and promptly remove her visor, pretty girl, worked hard and totally unfazed about the virus.
Last week, more flights were operating and the hotel was heaving. Social distancing, forget it. Apart from a few Asian passengers/families there were no masks evident.
No one seemed concerned, every evening a group of twenty or more would gather around the TV to watch the football and as the weather was poor only the few dedicated smokers ventured outside.
Personally, I carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser and use it regularly, seeing both staff and passengers wearing masks in the manner Orac has highlighted earlier, begs whether they are worth the effort.
A passenger came up to us in the car park to ask for directions wearing a white dusk mask. As she approached she reached up and put it on her head to speak.

Stopping off at my local Tescos yesterday, in a single week its gone from a one way system, sanitising etc. to just a free for all like the good old days. (Feb 2020).
Second wave here we come.

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Old 11th Jul 2020, 10:33
  #8246 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
Two questions ...

1/ does anyone know how many people in this country actually have the virus INCLUDING all the asymptomatic ones?

2/ Does anyone know how many of the people on the extremely vulnerable list have had the virus and of those, how many have died and how many have survived?

I wrote to my MP regarding the change of advice to those that are shielding and in her reply, she said that . That would equate to something over 39,000 people and I wondered if this figure had factored in the asymptomatics and on what basis.
I also made a FOI request regarding the extremely vulnerable question and I have had a response, which is, not surprisingly
I can confirm that Public Health England (PHE) does not hold the information you have specified.
So presumably neither the government, including Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson nor their advisers, have this information either! Without this information they have no idea just how much of a risk there is to the clinically extremely vulnerable, or how many are likely to die as a consequence of the change of advice to these people. Nor do I think they actually care.

Mrs WB627 and I are lucky, we are retired, we get a weeklyish delivery of supplies from Sainsburys, our boys get most of what we can't get from Sainsburys and we can stay in splendid isolation (apart from certain medical check ups) until either the virus goes, they find a cure or a vaccine that works. Some, quite a lot I suspect, will be forced back to work and will die as a consequence.

I hope those responsible for this decision will eventually held to account for the deaths they cause.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 12:34
  #8247 (permalink)  
 
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( WB627 what is the decision to which you refer..?..in the last sentence )
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 14:03
  #8248 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rifruffian View Post
( WB627 what is the decision to which you refer..?..in the last sentence )
The change of advice to those shielding referred to in my original post, ie that they should stop shielding and go back to work
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 17:50
  #8249 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Weight loss programme planned

UK government expects a second wave this Autumn. Urgent drive to get nation fitter!
The government is poised to launch an emergency drive to slim down the nation and reduce the incidence of conditions such as type 2 diabetes before an expected second wave of coronavirus, the Guardian has learned.

Downing Street is planning what has been billed as a “war against obesity” after Boris Johnson needed intensive care treatment for Covid-19, which the prime minister reportedly blamed on his weight.

As well as longer-term proposals to reduce the incidence of obesity, government officials are having urgent discussions about how to persuade people to lose weight in the next few months, before an anticipated resurgence in coronavirus cases in the autumn.
Guardian

A laudable aim at any time. I find it 'grimly reassuring' to have some clarity re. the near future of the pandemic, even if it's given in a slightly oblique manner.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 18:41
  #8250 (permalink)  
 
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Boris looks better with that muzzle on.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 18:42
  #8251 (permalink)  
jvr
 
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
I also made a FOI request regarding the extremely vulnerable question and I have had a response, which is, not surprisingly

So presumably neither the government, including Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson nor their advisers, have this information either! Without this information they have no idea just how much of a risk there is to the clinically extremely vulnerable, or how many are likely to die as a consequence of the change of advice to these people. Nor do I think they actually care.

Mrs WB627 and I are lucky, we are retired, we get a weeklyish delivery of supplies from Sainsburys, our boys get most of what we can't get from Sainsburys and we can stay in splendid isolation (apart from certain medical check ups) until either the virus goes, they find a cure or a vaccine that works. Some, quite a lot I suspect, will be forced back to work and will die as a consequence.

I hope those responsible for this decision will eventually held to account for the deaths they cause.
would be interesting to know what the median age is for the covid19 deaths.
in sweden it is 86 years.
i presume not a lot of those dinosaurs will be forced to go back to work.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 01:17
  #8252 (permalink)  
 
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Spraying silver inside train carriages? Better than copper? (See also comments below article.)
https://japantoday.com/category/nati...ff-coronavirus

Quote: As global public transport operators look for ways to keep the coronavirus at bay on planes, trains and buses, one of Japan's biggest rail firms is betting on the anti-microbial properties of silver to keep passengers safe on the world's busiest subway. Tokyo's labyrinthine rail network of about 900 stations and roughly 85 lines has seen passenger numbers approach pre-virus levels since the city's de facto lockdown was lifted in late May. This raises the risk of transmission via high-contact points such as hand straps, hand rails and seats, just as the city's number of new cases of COVID-19 infection is rising again.

Tokyo Metro, the city's main subway operator, has begun spraying its nearly 3,000 cars with a super-fine atomisation of a silver-based compound, taking advantage of silver's anti-antimicrobial properties to repel the virus from surfaces. "Merely disinfecting the carriages only has a short-term effect, so we were looking for an anti-microbial application to reassure passengers that our trains are safe," Masaru Sugiyama, Tokyo Metro's section chief in charge of rolling stock, said at a demonstration.

After the end of daily operations, masked cleaners hauling motorised atomisers stride through carriages, spraying straps, poles, seats and windows with a mist of 10 micron droplets, roughly the size of a grain of pollen. Tokyo Metro said the anti-microbial compound has been shown to be effective against viruses including influenza and E-coli, though has not yet been proven to repel the novel coronavirus.

Other operators are also looking at ways to help Tokyo's passengers select less crowded trains to increase chances of social distancing on a network serving 40 million daily trips. East Japan Railway Co, the country's biggest rail network operator, last month updated its mobile app to offer real-time updates on capacity by carriage, along with crowd levels at stations.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 06:47
  #8253 (permalink)  
 
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I have not visited this thread for a long time - but I recently saw some preliminary results from some very interesting studies that tell us a lot about the dynamics of this thing.

There was discussion in the early days on why/how the low observed rates in parts of Africa could be explained. It could be due to lower rates of people movement or weaker surveillance. Recent studies strongly support the former. Molecular epidemiology can be used to follow distinct lineages following random mutations and show the history. In Kenya the evidence is that there were only around 10-15 separate introductions of SARS-CoV2, and all the cases we now see (still a very small number) derive from those. While in UK there were something like 1,500 distinguishable introductions. That is a HIUGE difference and it means that the disease was 'seeded' in a much more dispersed way in the UK and therefore took off much faster. Interestingly, it also vindicates the Kenyan strategy very very early on of simply temperature screening everyone entering the country. We were skeptical of its value, but a system was put in place during ebola and brought out again quickly for COVID. A few cases were detected and isolated, and it now seems that screening played a very significant role in slowing the introduction into the country - it perhaps halved the total number of 'seed' cases that contributed to the expansion.

I have not seen the numbers for the USA - a number of partial studies have been published which again show many introductions and mostly from Europe, But the nationwide picture will be very interesting - I would expect the number of seed lineages to be in the high thousands which begins to tell us how this could have been better handled early on.

Last edited by double_barrel; 12th Jul 2020 at 09:36.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 08:56
  #8254 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by N707ZS View Post
Boris looks better with that muzzle on.
So does Trump, if only it was plastic.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53378439

No spike in cases following the protests around the country a few weeks back, does this mean it's not as easily spread as thought?
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 09:13
  #8255 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Filler Dent View Post
So does Trump, if only it was plastic.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53378439

No spike in cases following the protests around the country a few weeks back, does this mean it's not as easily spread as thought?
I very strongly suspect that our susceptibility to this disease may be rather like our susceptibility to influenza and several other respiratory infections, in that we tend to be far more susceptible, in terms of getting noticeable or severe disease, in winter that we do in summer. We've known for decades that influenza, for example, is very strongly seasonal, far more so than can be explained just from the variation in viral persistence with temperature. It seems that at least a part of this seasonal variation comes from something that makes people more likely to become noticeably infected in winter. I say "noticeably infected", because there has to be infection all year around, in order to maintain the residual pool of infected people that can spread the disease come the winter months. Given that the records show very few, if any, cases of influenza during the summer months, it seems possible that it may be largely asymptomatic, or perhaps just appears as a mild "summer cold", during warmer weather.

If this, primarily respiratory, virus behaves in a similar way to other respirator viruses, then it may be that we're only really detecting it right now because we're hyper-alert to any symptoms that may be caused by this virus and so are testing many more people with mild illness, or no noticeable illness, than we would for influenza. If this is the case, then it seem likely that we'll start to see an increase in serious infections as the colder weather arrives. Peak influenza season here in the UK is about February each year, with numbers starting to grow from around October/November time. We may well find that this disease only really presents a serious pandemic threat, in terms of causing very serious disease in large numbers of people, during the "flu season".
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 10:10
  #8256 (permalink)  
 
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And yet, after 4th July celebrations on the beach in Okinawa... two clusters totalling over 60 marines.
https://japantoday.com/category/nati...th-coronavirus
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 10:13
  #8257 (permalink)  
 
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Stopping off at my local Tescos yesterday, in a single week its gone from a one way system, sanitising etc. to just a free for all like the good old days. (Feb 2020).
Second wave here we come.
Having just returned from a short trip to Benelux France and Germany I have been struck by, first, how laws / rules are in place, and the levels of compliance. A brief overview:-

Netherlands: Restaurants and hotels do require hand sanitising on entry, but don't demand face coverings going into said establishments

Germany (Rheinland Pfalz): Require hand sanitising, and facemasks to be worn on entry. Once sat down they can be removed, but to go to the toilet, or move around reapplied. In shops facemasks are mandatory. The rules are observed pretty well 100%

France: Gawd knows! Shops appear to make up their own rules, but them don't appear to enforce them. That said, more than 50% of people in E Leclerc yesterday were wearing masks

What felt really odd was stopping at Newport Pagnell services yesterday evening, and going in without masks, and despite a proliferation of that yellow / black tape, very little compliance with the one way system. Nowhere did we have to queue to get into a shop; I fully expect Tesco and Sainsbury's to continue to make shopping a chore if I try to use either when I venture out tomorrow morning.

The UK "Covid-19" immigration form is a farce, took 30 minutes to complete and download it on the smartphone on Friday morning, then low and behold got an email from the government asking me to sign it. OK I thought, on to the website again and use my finger to sign; bit no, it's not an interactive document in that regard. Arrived at UK border, and surprisingly simple to get through, the UKBA officials seem to be using their common sense and profiling to make sure they intercept people who may not have completed. Will this form now continue beyond Covid? i reckon yes, in some form or the other.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 10:55
  #8258 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst wandering around an area of central London a few days ago, it was obvious that many shops/stores are still shuttered and footfall very low. Now obviously much of this is due to the lack of foreign tourists etc, but also the UK not having to come in to the office for now (or forever more). Due to the eye-watering costs of rent and rates most of these businesses are large concerns, perhaps based overseas and perhaps tax-based in an offshore arrangement. Little to no benefit to either the UK, nor it's citizens. If these types of companies are suffering, it is a shame, but the upside is that all the smaller local businesses based in the areas that the commuters live, should be benefitting from the new trade of people staying close to home and this will benefit the communities greatly over the long run. The PM has been trying to get the commuters back in to the office, so as to 'save' the central city businesses at the risk of infecting many thousands of people, who it would seem are happier and healthier staying close to their local area instead of traipsing in and out of a city for several hours each day.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 11:14
  #8259 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
....

If this, primarily respiratory, virus behaves in a similar way to other respirator viruses, then it may be that we're only really detecting it right now because we're hyper-alert to any symptoms that may be caused by this virus and so are testing many more people with mild illness, or no noticeable illness, than we would for influenza. If this is the case, then it seem likely that we'll start to see an increase in serious infections as the colder weather arrives. Peak influenza season here in the UK is about February each year, with numbers starting to grow from around October/November time. We may well find that this disease only really presents a serious pandemic threat, in terms of causing very serious disease in large numbers of people, during the "flu season".
My emphasis.

I'm certain that there are many reasons why flu is seasonal. But just out of interest I looked at the seasonal variation in vitamin D (UK 45yo Caucasians), which coincidentally reaches a minimum in feb. With the probable importance of covid this winter I hope somebody is checking if widespread supplementation is appropriate.



PS Just found this 2008 paper on the behaviour of flu, which might be of interest.
On the epidemiology of influenza
https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/...1743-422X-5-29



https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/...1743-422X-5-29

Last edited by Peter H; 12th Jul 2020 at 11:42. Reason: added PS
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 11:38
  #8260 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Peter H View Post
My emphasis.

I'm certain that there are many reasons why flu is seasonal. But just out of interest I looked at the seasonal variation in vitamin D (UK 45yo Caucasians), which coincidentally reaches a minimum in feb. With the probable importance of covid this winter I hope somebody is checking if widespread supplementation is appropriate.

Interesting correlation, especially as there is a fair bit of evidence to suggest that vitamin D plays a part of the way our immune system behaves. FWIW, I opted to start taking a modest vitamin D3 supplement every day a couple of months or so ago, based on nothing more than the thought that it was very unlikely to cause harm, and may just help a bit if I was exposed to this disease. It's relatively cheap, and a couple of ml squirted on to breakfast cereal is very little hassle, and doesn't seem to have any noticeable taste.
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