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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 23rd Jul 2021, 22:37
  #16601 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...an-sparks-fury

No vax, no vote? Macron’s vaccine passport plan sparks fury
ORAC you usually C&P large tracts of text from articles such as this when it suits you… and yet for some reason this time you didn’t …..could the reason for that possibly be because quite early on the article correctly points out that:

the government’s vaccination passport law currently being rushed through the National Assembly does not specifically mandate proof of vaccination to vote.”

Funnily enough neither does is make any suggestion that it will be mandatory that you have to be right handed to vote, have green hair to vote, have three heads to vote, AFAIK it’s also equally true that none of the coronavirus related legislation in the UK actual or proposed specifically mandates proof of vaccination to vote either…

Maybe it’s time the Spectator upped it’s game, and actually went back to producing some properly researched articles rather than thinly disguised opinion pieces such as this one which seems to be designed to do nothing more than appeal to the Francophobes amongst it’s readership.

Last edited by wiggy; 23rd Jul 2021 at 22:50.
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 22:49
  #16602 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...an-sparks-fury

No vax, no vote? Macron’s vaccine passport plan sparks fury
If you want a less hysterical version try
https://www.connexionfrance.com/Fren...-passed-by-MPs
-yes they are about the same events
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 22:58
  #16603 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for spotting that Ninthace, as you point out the reality is somewhat different from the way it is being spun in some quarters..as for the demos…it’s summer…the Gilly Joans need dusting off and given an outing…….

Anyhow I’ve just read something interesting and in addition to my other skills I can also do C&P….

The most powerful clique in the UK at the moment are a group that are linked to the Spectator magazine. They congregate around the Spectator, and the Telegraph, and live in a dense web of networks, friendships, affairs and marriages. Boris Johnson is their most prominent member but most of the Tory leadership of the last decade - Cameron, Osborne, Gove - were part of this group (Theresa May was an exception). So too was Dominic Cummings, whose wife worked for the magazine.


the Spectator is good at spectating, offering witty, ironic and often well-written commentary on the world, traditionally with the tone of a rather embittered ageing man, a bit drunk in an upmarket London bar, lamenting the ways of the world.

https://www.geoffmulgan.com/post/spe...-ruling-clique

Warning: do not scroll to the foot of the page if you are averse to images of the UK’s glorious leader when he was in his prime.
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 23:27
  #16604 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post

https://www.geoffmulgan.com/post/spe...-ruling-clique

Warning: do not scroll to the foot of the page if you are averse to images of the UK’s glorious leader when he was in his prime.
Aaaargh. my eyes, my eyes.!

C&P posts have their place, e.g. dragging relevant stuff out from behind paywalls but IMHO, just because you can, does not mean you always should. I am not sure if those of us who C&P or hyperlink (guilty m’lud) always review the content critically for credibility in our haste to get it out there. My personal opinion is selective C&P of an article to include the bits that support the poster’s agenda while omitting the “awkward” bits is a no-no, but each to their own.
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 23:28
  #16605 (permalink)  
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Wiggy, they are equally unhappy with Boris, it’s just the full article is behind the paywall and too long to post here. The main difference being they think Boris bluffing because he wouldn’t be able to get the legislation through the HoC. Since, paradoxically, it is Labour who are standing out against it.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...ice-of-freedom

The right to party depends on following the party line

…The Prime Minister is loath to use the iron fist of the state, we’re constantly told. Yet his commitment to ‘freedom’ lasted for about 17 hours. As well as not being able to go to nightclubs from September, non-compliant citizens may also be banned from other ‘mass events’, Johnson said. Nor will he rule out needing jabs for the pub.

The old notion of ‘Covid status certification’ is gone and, in its place, a new system: no vaccine, no entry. This is a dangerous strategy. It risks flipping the narrative about vaccination on its head: from being a liberalising, empowering force for good to a mission of soft coercion. Coercion is rarely a winning strategy for swaying hearts and minds. How many people, genuinely nervous about the vaccine, would be reassured by this turn of events?….

It seems absurd to believe that a British government, without even having a proper debate in parliament, would consider ushering in a system that feels as though it was designed in China, a country known for its sophisticated and omniscient ‘social credit’ system. But the government’s track record doesn’t inspire much hope.

It was illegal to leave the country for months this winter, or even to show up at an airport, unless you met the strict government criteria allowing you to do so. Ministers promised for months that vaccine passports would never see the light of day. The vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said they were ‘discriminatory’. Now they’re being ushered in, with the full force of the law.

Given that the NHS app also logs flu vaccines (and the coming booster shots) it’s not unreasonable to ask where all this ends. If the biosecurity state evolves in dramatic lurches like these, what might be next?…


After a year and a half of lockdowns and restrictions, the young (and old) who headed out to the bars and clubs in the early hours of Monday took the promise of freedom day at face value. But the government had something entirely different in mind. Ministers can’t bring themselves to say it outright, but there is little intention to return to life as it once was. There hasn’t been for months now.

There may still be another U-turn in this Covid saga. Parliament may intervene. But for all the talk of a ‘roadmap to freedom’, no one can pretend we have arrived at the end. Our old understanding of liberty has disappeared and, in this limbo, it is our leaders who appear most lost.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...warned-against

Boris is in danger of becoming the Prime Minister he once warned against
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 00:01
  #16606 (permalink)  
 
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None of the issues raised in that article really bother me. Like many of us on this forum, all of my working life I had to carry documentation to gain entry to my place of work or prove my identity if challenged or to allow me access to restricted areas. If I drive a car, I have to have to have the right paperwork. If I borrow money or rent a property I will be credit checked. Same if I want a credit card. If I want to travel, I have to produce papers to get another piece of paper so I can leave the country. If I want to travel to certain countries I may need other bits of paper and have to have certain vaccinations. As children, most of us are vaccinated for our own protection and to protect society as a whole. In some countries it is the prerequisite for entry to the educational system. As a member of the military, I was required to have certain vaccinations against diseases that were unknown in the UK.

The fuss over vaccination passes is just a lot of hooey to serve a political agenda. I am vaccinated and would be quite happy to prove it if asked. I understand the need to protect people and reduce their exposure to Covid. Vaccination is like a raincoat, if you go out in a light shower you will stay dry but if you go out in the pouring rain, you will eventually get wet. Covid is not like rain though. You can’t see it or readily detect it in real time so any measure that keeps me out of the pouring rain serves a purpose.

In any organised society, we have to surrender part of our liberty to do what we want when we want snd conform to certain norms so that society can function properly. In my book, it is that simple.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 06:54
  #16607 (permalink)  
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 09:09
  #16608 (permalink)  
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I would have though any protests would have been about the lack of vaccines and speed of the programme. If the delta variant breaks loose across the country Australia will replicate what happened in Europe just a year late and learn what a real lockdown does to the economy.

https://www.theguardian.com/australi...vels-in-sydney


Anti-lockdown protests across Australia as Covid cases surge to record levels in Sydney
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 11:31
  #16609 (permalink)  
 
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I see some concerning news from Israel. The protection against infection from the Delta variant given by the Pfizer vaccine seems to be decining quicker than everyone hoped. The better news is that immunity against severe illness remains strong.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle...ng-2021-07-05/
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 12:13
  #16610 (permalink)  
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NHS App and the “ping” advice to self-isolate

I am writing/asking this in response to a comment by Ninthace on another thread that the NHS App is doing what it was intended to do. I disagree. Hopefully he will appear to make his case.

Firstly, recalling a bit of the past, the NHS App was never intended to rely entirely on Bluetooth to generate its warnings, it was supposed to feed data back to the NHS where it could be evaluated and alerts generated. This was frustrated by the stand Google and Apple who insisted it be self contained with no shared data to which most nations, including the UK acquiesced.

As a result I am not sure any nations app has been a great success. If you again search back, research from Trinity University, Dublin showed Bluetooth detection to be wildly inaccurate with phones next to each other being blocked by metal shelves whilst those with walls in between producing alerts.

Nevertheless, data to date is claimed to show that 34% of those who receive alerts go on to produce symptoms. But there are problems with this data.

Firstly it was, intrinsically, generated by those who became infected and volunteered that they’d been pinged - it can be assumed that the majority of people who did not get infected weren’t caught by the data - particularly those who ignored it in the first place.

Secondly the data was gathered before vaccination became widespread, and vaccination reduces susceptibility to infect between 68-92% depending on the vaccine, and a persons vaccine status is not taken into account by the app algorithm.

Thirdly, data now being gathered on hospital admissions is showing that over 40% of those being admitted and testing positive are asymptomatic and admitted for other reasons (A&E etc) and discharged within a day or two. Previous studies have shown asymptomatic carriers are 42% less likely to pass it on to others*. Again something which cannot be taken into account by the app.

In summary the app warnings are wildly in accurate and, in the current state of national vaccination, it is probable that over 90% of those alerted, let alone 66% have not been infected. It is therefore unjustified that millions are being asked to self-isolate as a result.

A far more reasonable solution would be for those pinged to take a LFT test (available free from most chemists) daily for 5-10:days and only self-isolate if shows positive and/or to request a PCR test after 5 days.

* https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03141-3

Last edited by ORAC; 24th Jul 2021 at 14:59.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 13:11
  #16611 (permalink)  
 
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OK I will bite. A fair few red herrings and whatabouts in there that have nothing to do with the performance of the NHS Covid app. I will ignore those and restrict myself to ORAC's motion: "This house believes the NHS Covid app is past its sell by date"

Yes the app has limitations and the government signed up to these when it accepted it. The government's original attempt at an app crashed and burned for reasons the industry was warning them about at the time. The limitations imposed by Google and Apple were privacy constraints to protect the user and are a condition of using their systems, no way round that. If the data were not anonymised, take up would have been far less - remember the fuss when it was suggested personal data might be used.

The part of the app you attack is its ability to detect if an individual has spent more than 15 mins within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive. That it does and quite well. Yes you can create lab tests to show the limitations of the technology but many of the press stories are anecdotal, the app is not allowed to show where the alert came from as this is a privacy issue. Knowing which phone caused the ping would breech medical confidentiality. Given the number of instances there are of the app, there are bound to times it does not work exactly as advertised but this does not mean the app has passed its sell by date.

No, the issue is not so much the app itself, it is the failure by people to anticipate the volume of pings that would result from a large numbers of cases in a freely mixing population. This was compounded by absence of a triage policy following a ping and the supporting infrastructure, so all the government could do was tell people to isolate when pinged. That is not the a fault of the app. As the number of pings has increased, this policy has become increasingly untenable if society is to function.

Typically the press and the government have gone for the easy target, shoot the messenger rather than listen to the message.
This in turn undermines public confidence in the app and will cause people will switch it off or ignore it which is bound to have a direct impact on public health.

ORAC starts by attacking the existing app, and related apps in general without offering an alternative, She concludes by suggesting what ought to happen if you are pinged. The irony is not lost on me. Either you want an app ORAC or you don't but you can't set out to prove they are utterly unreliable and then suggest a strategy for using one.

Are you going to address the other points I made in my post on the other thread?
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 13:37
  #16612 (permalink)  
 
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One thing for sure; the amount of hypocrisy and double standards I’ve seen throughout the Covid crisis has amazed me.

A good friend has told me he is adamant there is no way he’s giving up his mask for the foreseeable future - yet he was pinged by T&T on Thursday. Because isolation will inconvenience him, he is choosing to ignore it and has ‘blocked’ the government number should he get a phone call. When it actually effects some people directly, their principles fly out of the window.

Many associates on social media have continually posted emotive images of struggling NHS staff and how we should be doing the right thing - yet openly discuss how they’ve been meeting up for months.

Many of those screaming for continued lockdowns/school closures are in the privileged group that working from home will have no impact on their lifestyle. They have unlimited WiFi, access to good comms/resources and no doubt a well equipped home office. Either that or they are retired with a guaranteed pension and no impact on their lifestyle. Being pro lockdown has become a form of elitism.” I’m ok, don’t know what you are all moaning about?”
Compare that to a single mother with three kids in a tower block having little access to learning materials, possibly poorly educated herself and now being expected to home educate her children.
The amount of pietism and posturing going on is unbelievable.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 13:57
  #16613 (permalink)  
 
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What about the millions who don't have the app ? I'm one - I simply don't have the technology to get it. Means whatever figures are derived they are quite misleading.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 14:00
  #16614 (permalink)  
 
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Great post BWSBoy6! Covid hypocrisy starts in the HoC and spreads out and down.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 15:32
  #16615 (permalink)  
 
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It's one thing to try track and trace if you have a few hundred cases to chase down. A bit different if you have 50000. Switch it off, it doesn't do the job.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 15:34
  #16616 (permalink)  
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The thing which is causing people to lose confidence in the app and to delete it is the volume of false alerts it is generating - the NHS have been telling their staff to ignore it for weeks. The suggestion that people should take a LFT if they receive a ping is an attempt to make the best of a bad job.

You can suggest the government should have had a strategy in place to handlful the number of alerts in a wave wihen vaccination is widespread and infectivity reduced - I agree.

They should tell people exactly what Minister Paul Scully got slapped down for telling them - they should continue to use the app but treat its messages as exactly what they are, just advice upon which they should make their own informed decisions.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 16:18
  #16617 (permalink)  
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Well fancy that....

The part which is stupid is the letter - any guesses which will arrive first, the reply from the civil service or the 19th of August?

Thankfully, as Ive already pointed out, the app alerts are only advisory anyway. So the employers and employees can proceed as they wish using their own judgement whilst awaiting a reply.....

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...emic-d7h7bsjjv

Thousands more workers don’t have to isolate in Covid ‘pingdemic’

Train drivers, lorry drivers, police officers and border officials will be exempt from quarantine as criticism grows over the chaos caused by the “pingdemic”.

Thousands of workers in critical sectors will be able to take daily lateral flow tests at their workplace instead of isolating if they are identified as a contact of someone with coronavirus.

The government announced on Thursday that from next week supermarket depot staff and suppliers at 500 sites will be exempt from quarantine to try to avoid food shortages, with people being allowed to go into work if they test negative.

The scheme is being extended to cover two new sectors. Another 100 testing sites will be set up for the transport and freight industry, with lorry drivers and train drivers qualifying for the scheme along with airport workers and port operators.

There will also be 100 testing sites for the emergency services and border officials, including frontline police officers and the fire service.....

A more limited relaxation of isolation rules for critical workers was announced for 16 other sectors of the economy, including transport, emergency services, the waste and water industry.....


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Old 24th Jul 2021, 16:52
  #16618 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
The thing which is causing people to lose confidence in the app and to delete it is the volume of false alerts it is generating - the NHS have been telling their staff to ignore it for weeks. The suggestion that people should take a LFT if they receive a ping is an attempt to make the best of a bad job.

You can suggest the government should have had a strategy in place to handlful the number of alerts in a wave wihen vaccination is widespread and infectivity reduced - I agree.

They should tell people exactly what Minister Paul Scully got slapped down for telling them - they should continue to use the app but treat its messages as exactly what they are, just advice upon which they should make their own informed decisions.
The use of the term false alert is interesting as it implies a failure of the system. However, if the app works as advertised and pings you because you were within 2m of someone who is positive for the required 15 min but you go on to test negative then, while this will be described as a false alert, everything has in fact worked as it should. What people seem to want is software that only pings you when you are positive, I think that is beyond the bounds of current technology .
This is distinct from the software pinging you when it shouldn't ,which would have the same outcome so would also be called a false alert.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 17:18
  #16619 (permalink)  
 
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I have to say that Trick&Treat are pretty much on the ball. Since I arrived from France on Thursday I've had three calls to ensure that I am at home. Trouble is the second one came this a.m. While I was out getting my Day2 test done. The lady called back and seemed to know nothing of the previous two calls. She asked if I had booked my Day5 ( sic) test. I informed her that it was Day 2 and 8. She seemed not to know this, although I'm not totally sure because her English was very poor to the point of being incomprehensible.
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 17:19
  #16620 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
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Originally Posted by papajuliet View Post
What about the millions who don't have the app ? I'm one - I simply don't have the technology to get it. Means whatever figures are derived they are quite misleading.
So why not get the technology?
I was late to smartphones but would not want to be without one now. Quick access to travel information, nearby open pubs, checking if it is about to pour down, getting unlossed.
I am even posting this from it.
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