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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 25th Jul 2021, 18:42
  #16641 (permalink)  
 
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Point of order, Chair. Covid cases are not falliing as the numbers are cumulative. They are just not rising as rapidly. My crude algorithm to estimate the number of active cases in my area shows that dy/dx is still positive but decreasing. The number of active cases in my area is currently very nearly 2000 and still rising. In the last wave it peaked at 450.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 04:49
  #16642 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Looks like Biris has won his bet - and the rest of the world is watching….

…..
ORAC...oh has he ?

If Boris wants to gamble, then maybe a visit to Las Vegas would be more applicable, rather than using the population of the UK with the odds more in favour of the virus than the reverse.

‘Pingdemic’ is the result of a criminal Covid policy | Letters | The Guardian


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Old 26th Jul 2021, 05:01
  #16643 (permalink)  
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KnC,

The majority of SAGE recommendations has been based on statistically generated odds. Every government decision has been a gamble on whether they were right, how the population would react and how the economy would cope. In a pandemic where so much is based on unknowns and imponderables every thing is a gamble.

In this case, as the press has reporting, many other countries have been watching to see if the government got it right to see if they should follow, it would seem it has.

Much as I know you hate Boris, not everything is about politics.

You are now at the point of having to link to the Guardian letters page?

Last edited by ORAC; 26th Jul 2021 at 05:22.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 05:28
  #16644 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
KnC,

Every SAGE recommendation has been based on statically generated odds. Every government decision has been a gamble on whether they were right, how the population would react and how the economy would cope. In a pandemic where so much is based on unknowns and imponderables every thing is a gamble.

In this case, as the press has reporting, many other countries have been watching to see if the government got it right to see if they should follow, it would seem it has.

Much as I know you hate Boris, not everything is about politics.

You are niw at the point of having to link to the Guardian letters page?
ORAC.

Don't you think it's more than a little premature to declare Boris has won his gamble ?..gambling, to me, is a high risk venture and thus far, the virus appears to be odds on despite the vaccination rollout. I appreciate statistics do have a role in projections, however, as with any statistical model, there's always something known as variables to be considered and the letters link I included was intended to reflect these.

Meanwhile, here's something determined to make a name for itself, helped by social media. The only salvation is that she's no longer a nurse !..

Covid vaccine: Speech comparing NHS medics to Nazis condemned - BBC News
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 06:16
  #16645 (permalink)  
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https://www.politico.eu/article/how-...away-its-shot/

How AstraZeneca threw away its shot
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 06:33
  #16646 (permalink)  
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KnC, I said it looks like.

As I said previously the data reflects the situation before the 19th when phase 4 restrictions were lifted which may result in a further rise and a “double hump” in the figures. On the other hand the schools have broken up and they and colleges were presumed to be a major cause of transmission. The next few weeks will tell.

The following from today’s Politico London Playbook

Who’d be a modeler?

This apparently sustained fall in cases has surprised not just politicians but scientists as well. Three weeks ago, Health Secretary Sajid Javid was talking about cases hitting 100,000 a day.

Remarkably, only eight days ago, modeler prof. Neil Ferguson issued his doomsday warning that they might actually go as high as 200,000 a day. He said 100,000 a day was “almost inevitable.” Instead, since those Ferguson comments, cases have fallen by around 40 percent.

What’s going on?

Playbook has been asking people across the government what could explain this unexpected good news since the trend started to become stronger last week. One insider summed it up: “No one has the foggiest.”

Prof. Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia was quoted in Andy Gregory and Caroline Wheeler’s Sunday Times story calling the development “remarkable.”

Slightly frustratingly, at the moment we only really seem to have a range of speculative theories as to why cases seem to be coming down, with the government’s scientific advisers privately admitting to ministers that they hadn’t seen it coming and couldn’t definitively explain the drop.

Vaccine

Today’s Times splash from Tom Whipple and Henry Zeffman puts forward the leading theory — and certainly the one that ministers out on broadcast this week will be pushing — that the reduction in transmission caused by more people having two jabs has curtailed the rise.

They note that if the trend does continue it could offer some vindication for Downing Street’s strategy of relying solely on vaccines rather than restrictions to fight the third wave….

In the U.S., White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci yesterday warned a surge in infections among the unvaccinated was causing America to head in the “wrong direction.” The BBC is going big on his comments.

Schools

The virus ripped through schools in the days and weeks approaching the peak, and with kids now home for summer, could that have helped slow the spread?

Possibly a bit, reckoned prof. Hunter in the Sunday Times, but not enough to “explain the degree of the drop.” Indeed, the scientific consensus appears to be that we actually won’t yet have seen the main impact of schools closing on the numbers.

Football

Whipple presents another potential factor: The end of the Euros has seen fewer people meeting up in pubs or at home. He says the data suggests there may be something in this as there was a gender split in case numbers at the peak.

Or as he puts it, “There was a divergence between men, who watch a lot of football, and women, who not only watch it less but are less likely to do so while congregating in crowds with flares up their bottoms.”

The BBC’s Jim Reed has more, noting that Scotland saw cases fall sooner than England, in line with the timing of their exit from the Euros.

Prof. Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University says: “There has been a lot of conversation about a football-related bounce in infections and whether we were seeing a wave-within-a-wave. In Scotland though it’s now starting to look like it’s a longer-term trend. We haven’t seen any sign of cases picking up.”

Weather

Reed also suggests the mini heatwave over the past couple of weeks could have helped, as people were more likely to meet outside where it’s harder to transmit the virus. (Let’s hope that hasn’t all been undone by yesterday’s biblical washout.)

Another theory put to Playbook by a government official is that the hot temperatures make it harder for the virus to transmit. There is some data to back this up, although the impact of warmer temperatures on transmission is thought to be minimal, and not enough to explain the size of the drop.

Testing

Government officials last week had two concerns that the figures were giving people false hope: There were fears that testing capacity was under strain and as a result fewer people infected with the coronavirus were managing to register in the statistics … and there were worries that the so-called pingdemic has led to a reduction in the number of people admitting a positive test result to the government.

Last night, for the first time, officials rejected the idea that these two issues could have impacted case numbers that dramatically.

Caveat

Downing Street last night stressed to Playbook the need not to get carried away. An official said it was expected that last week’s “freedom day” unlocking would see a small uptick in cases — likely at the end of the week — although with the effect of schools closing not yet fully seen, it may be mitigated.

A second official said we would know with a much greater degree of confidence whether the peak has been passed in a few days, and warned that until then it was still possible cases could fluctuate back up. Both said the trend so far was good news — in a clear steer that the government is now much more optimistic than it was a couple of weeks ago. All eyes on today’s numbers later on.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 07:20
  #16647 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
Point of order, Chair. Covid cases are not falliing as the numbers are cumulative. They are just not rising as rapidly. My crude algorithm to estimate the number of active cases in my area shows that dy/dx is still positive but decreasing. The number of active cases in my area is currently very nearly 2000 and still rising. In the last wave it peaked at 450.
Indeed, and much improved as 30k new infections per day is, compared with just short of 50k a week ago, it is still a fairly high figure. Given the behaviour by "Neanderthal Man" during the latter stages of the football, whether that be entering Wembley, in the streets and bars, or indeed in peoples homes and gardens it was inevitable that incidence would skyrocket. Whether we see the same kind of spike among the un, or single vaccinated as they (allegedly) flooded to the newly opened night economy is anyone's guess, but this week will probably give a very good indication.

Anecdotally, I have noticed a marked increase in ambulances blue-lighting down the A52 heading to and from Nottingham's Queens Medical Centre in the last 2 or 3 weeks, similar to how it was during the last "spike", suggesting that more people are being taken to hospital for whatever reasons - could of course be regular stuff like DIY accidents, excess alcohol, street violence and the like, but I would surmise increase in Coronavirus infections may well be driving an increase in 999 calls for people feeling ill with it. Of course many may never make it on to a ward, let alone an ITU.

For sections of the press to belittle the forecasts of experts, and suggest that it's "all over bar the shouting" may be a tad premature.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 07:34
  #16648 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Who’d be a modeler?

This apparently sustained fall in cases has surprised not just politicians but scientists as well. Three weeks ago, Health Secretary Sajid Javid was talking about cases hitting 100,000 a day.

Remarkably, only eight days ago, modeler prof. Neil Ferguson issued his doomsday warning that they might actually go as high as 200,000 a day. He said 100,000 a day was “almost inevitable.” Instead, since those Ferguson comments, cases have fallen by around 40 percent.
.
Only a few days back I was "flamed" because I compared modelling to computer games...!!
Have never noted NF as an optimist....
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 08:04
  #16649 (permalink)  
 
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One for the antii-vaxers and conspiracy theorists
https://apple.news/AGgNCezWXSXq8i9fd3PG8pA
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 08:12
  #16650 (permalink)  
 
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Students make Boris cross. Times headline today:

Unjabbed students face ban as ‘raging’ Boris Johnson targets vaccine refuseniks

Paywalled link here for Times readers.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/u...niks-jmwwkcwfh
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 08:23
  #16651 (permalink)  
 
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Could Covid vaccine be taken as a pill?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57553602
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 08:59
  #16652 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
One for the antii-vaxers and conspiracy theorists
https://apple.news/AGgNCezWXSXq8i9fd3PG8pA
Not that I am particularly shocked or dismayed by anti-vaxxer claims and all the nonsense from conspiracy theorists; the VAERS data is well-known to be dishonestly cherry-picked by anti-vaxxers as well, but was a little surprised to learn there is actually a thing called the "The Cremation Society". I guess it's a job that has to be done by somebody though.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 09:05
  #16653 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Looks like Biris has won his bet - and the rest of the world is watching….
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...aked-hc9b06l9t

Big fall in Covid cases suggests third wave has peaked
The number of new reported cases of coronavirus continued to fall amid evidence that the UK had passed the top of its third wave.
...
Took a look at the data:



... and its tail.

Two things stand out:
- figures for the last five days are shown in grey, to indicate that they are incomplete (presumably due to delays in reporting).
- the 7-day average is not shown for (I guess) the last 8 days. So the incomplete data is not used, and the average is given for the mid-point of the 7-day window.
(It also seems a little odd that the 7-day average is reported against the end day of the 7 day window, rather than the mid-point)

The Times article is behind a firewall, so I cannot comment directly. However here is a graph from the BBC


Which seems to show a 7-day average up to the end of the data, with sharp fall at the tail. But the final few points are partially based on incomplete data (e.g. the last figure is presumably based on 2 days with with complete data and 5 days with incomplete data). This seems sub-optimal.

Perhaps somebody more familiar with this data source could comment on how much the data for these 5 incomplete days is likely to change when complete figures are available?
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 09:08
  #16654 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Planemike View Post
No, APP remains a mystery....!!!
Yes, understand your gardening analogy.....!!! Think my problem is that "modelling" is claimed by some to be scenically accurate when it clearly cannot be by its nature. . It will very much depend up what you are trying to model....!!
I don't think you know what "modelling" means. I assume you mean "scientifically accurate" rather than "scenically accurate" BTW, but that is not what a model is. Models can be precise, some more than others, but I know of no scientist who will claim a model is an actual representation of the physical world. That's why they are called models. Some are very good at predicting what will happen, some aren't so good. The ones that are good get accepted until another, more useful model is made available.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 09:19
  #16655 (permalink)  
 
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Could anyone confirm if the UK numbers include positive lateral flow tests people have reported, or just those cases confirmed with a PCR test? If the former the fact the schools are now all off on their summer hols will mean that all the LFT shenanigans will not now be adding to the tally.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 09:43
  #16656 (permalink)  
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ONS statistics include both PCR and LFT test results.

Any child who has tested positive in a LFT is required to take a PCR with the entire household self-isolating until the result is received. The school is required to be informed immediately of the result.

In the case of positive LFT tests, where the subsequent PCR test is negative, the LFT result is not counted.

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/deta...mbers-of-tests

https://www.trafford.gov.uk/coronavi...ools/home.aspx
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 09:44
  #16657 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dead_pan View Post
Could anyone confirm if the UK numbers include positive lateral flow tests people have reported, or just those cases confirmed with a PCR test? If the former the fact the schools are now all off on their summer hols will mean that all the LFT shenanigans will not now be adding to the tally.
My understanding is that the stats are just for lab tested PCRs.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 10:02
  #16658 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
I don't think you know what "modelling" means. I assume you mean "scientifically accurate" rather than "scenically accurate" BTW, but that is not what a model is. Models can be precise, some more than others, but I know of no scientist who will claim a model is an actual representation of the physical world. That's why they are called models. Some are very good at predicting what will happen, some aren't so good. The ones that are good get accepted until another, more useful model is made available.
Thank you..!! Yes indeed should be "scientifically"....silly me, did not check!! I guess I call into question reliance on models in general when it is evident they are not necessarily that accurate..
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 10:25
  #16659 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
ONS statistics include both PCR and LFT test results.

Any child who has tested positive in a LFT is required to take a PCR with the entire household self-isolating until the result is received. The school is required to be informed immediately of the result.

In the case of positive LFT tests, where the subsequent PCR test is negative, the LFT result is not counted.

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/deta...mbers-of-tests

https://www.trafford.gov.uk/coronavi...ools/home.aspx
So essentially it's correct that the stats are based only on PCR tests. Of course with fewer lateral flow tests being taken by the "superspreaders" - teens and college students - as they're not being required to take lateral flow tests as part of their in school / college routine the number of positive tests being confirmed with PCR tests is likely to have fallen. However it should be pointed out that not all schools are finished for summer yet; hereabouts secondary kids are still at school today, which surprises me somewhat.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 11:59
  #16660 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
So essentially it's correct that the stats are based only on PCR tests. Of course with fewer lateral flow tests being taken by the "superspreaders" - teens and college students - as they're not being required to take lateral flow tests as part of their in school / college routine the number of positive tests being confirmed with PCR tests is likely to have fallen. However it should be pointed out that not all schools are finished for summer yet; hereabouts secondary kids are still at school today, which surprises me somewhat.
Plus those naughty little scamps no longer needing to get a positive test from OJ.
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