This could be a right pisser

Lockdown may be needlessly prolonged by the Government’s reliance on an “irrelevant” infection rate measure, senior MPs and scientists have warned.

Ministers have been told the national reproductive ‘R’ value of coronavirus should not be regarded as the key to unlocking the UK because the figure has been skewed upwards by cases in hospitals and care homes.

It’s not going to be true over all time, for if it were then we’d never have had an epidemic.

But wouldn’t it be annoying if R has been below 1 near all along? So that, say, after that first intrusion, then people start washing their hands, sneezing into their elbows, that’s all it took to get it below 1?

32 thoughts on “This could be a right pisser”

  1. I, the great epidemiologist, have just developed a theory about immunity to Winnie the Flu, in the course of coming down for breakfast. It does seem that the severity of illness is strongly influenced by the intensity and volume of your exposure to the virus. So, if you are a doctor working with lots of patients, you may very well get it badly; equally if you are stuck in a care home and unable to move around other than slowly, within the miasma of other people’s exhalations. If, however, you only have a brief brush with the virus, you may get it so slightly that you don’t even notice.

    So, my theory is that, if people are allowed to move around freely and occasionally get a whiff of the Wuhan, then their immune systems are able to cope and see off the invader as well as develop some appropriate antibodies. Each time this happens, your immune system gets better at handling it. Eventually, everybody has built up resistance to the virus, not through actually getting the illness, but through repeated exposure to small doses of the virus. Is this, in fact, why most pandemics tend to die out after a while?

  2. Yes. It’s all been a complete waste of time and a monumental waste of money.

    Fucking idiots.

  3. A question should now be as to the punishment of the 650 morons.

    “Lessons have been learned or “we wuz only playing leapfrog” won’t cut it this time.

  4. AGN
    You seem to agree with the Swedish state epidemiologist. Yes, it’s a numbers game.
    ‘In the autumn there will be a second wave. Sweden will have a high level of immunity and the number of cases will probably be quite low. But Finland will have a very low level of immunity. Will Finland have to go into a complete lockdown again?’
    – Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, speaking to the FT.

    “Our” government (yes I voted Tory in as safe a Labour seat as you can find) has stepped on a gin trap and doesn’t have a clue how to reopen the jaws.

  5. AGN
    It had crossed my mind that if we had an instrument like a giger counter we could wave around and measure virus load our understanding of the infectious mechanism would be much improved.

  6. The worst thing would be if we get a second wave in December, coinciding with this year’s flu season. We either have to stay in permanent lockdown or stop being so damn scared of this virus

  7. It’s all been a complete waste of time and a monumental waste of money.

    Not just money. Don’t forget the people sacrificed to protect the NHS, the people whose livelihoods have been ruined and who will suffer for years to come, the people who will struggle under the future tax burden from this and the people whose mental health was not strong enough to get through house arrest.

    Thing is, no one responsible will be punished. The line that lockdown saved lives will be pursued until it becomes clear that it is bollocks, ie when all the excess death numbers from across Europe are considered. Any criticism of the NHS will be either shouted down or turned on the government. But the Tories won’t have to take responsibility for their fuck-ups because all Labour has done is argue for more of the same idiocy. And because people will look at Keith and his numpties and think ‘could have been worse…’

  8. Thing is, no one responsible will be punished.

    I wondered about that. Taking a cue from the remoaners’ lawfare, what would be the chances of a crowdfunded private prosecution of Imperial collectively and Ferguson individually for manslaughter, corporate or otherwise?

    Even if it failed, would it concentrate minds for next time?

  9. I’m convinced that the reason for the relatively high death rate in the UK is entirely down to the sainted NHS shoving all the old people it had on its books back into care homes, without testing them for cv-19 first, thus directly injecting the virus right into the carehome system. They couldn’t have done anything worse IMO, that decision alone has probably killed thousands, maybe as much as half the total so far, both of CV-19 because they caught from a hospital returnee, or because their existing medical conditions which is why they were in hospital in the first place were not correctly dealt with in a carehome.

  10. Never trust an ‘expert’ with no skin in the game and public funding.
    The Romans were wise to make their engineers sleep under newly constructed bridges.

  11. Someone posted a chart on Twitter that pretty much showed that. “R” was falling before, but it collapsed within days of the handwashing advice from just over 3 to just over 1. People were more precautionary, like avoiding cinemas.

    By the time of lockdown, R was already below 1 and has barely moved since. Maybe 0.8 to 0.7.

    I’ve become far more relaxed about it all. Cyclists going past me? Don’t care. A neighbour sitting about a metre away at an outdoor street party? “Oh, sorry, I forgot”. “I’m not bothered if you’re not”. She’s also a MILF, which may have influenced my feelings on this.

  12. There is no R. Not that you can use while the epidemic is going on. It can only be seen retrospectively. Maybe, just maybe, you could use prior experience with this particular infection to predict what might happen in a repeat instance. R does not predict what people will do in changing circumstances. It doesn’t tell you how many will die because of dirty public transport, for instance. Or when the NHS sends symptomatic patients home with no treatment at all.

    Anyhow, it’s being cocked-up, right now, in the UK. Because of the actions or inactions of PHE and the NHS. Models are useless, sensible actions are absent.

  13. Envy of the world our NHS mate – stay home, save the NHS and save lives.

    Hospitals may have broken the law by sending patients with Covid-19 back to care homes without telling their managers they had the virus.

    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been told that several hospitals returned people despite suspecting – or even knowing – they were infected.

  14. We also have the confounding factor that officialdom attributes death to the latest craze, coronavirus. Actual death rate could be half of official rate.

    BWTM: 20,000 U.S. deaths in NYC. I attribute it to Yankee care. 0.108 deaths per confirmed case. In Columbia, SC, good-ole-boy care yields 0.05 deaths per confirmed case. You are twice as likely to die from it if you get it in NYC. UK rate is 0.147. Envy-of-the-world care?

    Hmmm. Death rate may be a third of official rate.

  15. Diogenes
    The worst thing would be if we get a second wave in December, coinciding with this year’s flu season

    Don’t know enough about it, but if all this effort is going in to looking for a CV vaccine, will this affect production of the usual ‘flu vaccine? Cure CV and and let the elderly die of the ‘flu.

  16. Internet rumour, so it must be true…the flu jab is a factor in the death rate. If you had the jab you will more easily get serious covid and more likely die from it. Or not.

  17. It will be interesting to see mortality stats in the second half of this year, will all these excess deaths now mean fewer deaths later?

  18. This first wave coincided with the worst spring pollen in memory. I publicly gagged and choked several times, scaring people, I’m sure.

    Worse, scared me. Is it the pollen, or am I going to die next week?

  19. My guess is with the high numbers this year then
    Covid in top of seasonal flu will not be too much different from a normal flu season. Death rates for elderly see-saw as a bad flu year kills the weakest in higher numbers normally, so no reason why we won’t see the same next flu season

  20. Umm that flu vaccine thing is ass-backwards reasoning..

    You are advised to get a flu shot when you are already vulnerable to viral infection. The flu shot in and of itself doesn’t even protect against the latest New Thing in Flu-land anyway, just the most likely suspects.. And a flu shot most definitely doesn’t protect against viruses that aren’t Influenza, like the Wu-Flu.

    So the people who are most susceptible to attract a major case of Wu-Flu would quite likely also have had/been invited (depending on health care system) to get a flu shot.
    It’s not the flu shot. It’s the fact that those people are likely to keel over from pretty much anything nasty that’s the connection.

  21. Damn, Grikath, are you saying correlation isn’t causation ?!?!

    You some kinda SCIENTIST?

    I’m tempted to send Ljh’s link to the guy who emails fake videos to everyone. He doesn’t have the intellect to filter it out. Every time I get one of his videos I think, “Oh, boy, a new “what’s wrong with this picture” puzzle.

    I haven’t had a flu shot it 40 years. Last time I got one, I got the flu. Don’t know why, don’t care.

  22. In theory optimal mitigation involves reducing R such that the current number of people infected approaches zero as we approach the herd immunity threshold.

  23. Brilliant by AGN in post #1 .
    It makes me wonder if there should be laws against:
    1) careless spreading of a notifiable disease
    2) dangerous spreading of a notifiable disease
    and the penalties should be similar to those for careless and dangerous driving.
    And repeal all the other newly created laws and powers created to stop this thing, which have the result of restricting the economic freedom of those who do not harm others.

  24. Whereas, most people who get CV-19 don’t know they have it, and

    Whereas, people who don’t know they have it move about as if they don’t have, and

    Whereas, they can thereby unknowingly infect others, and

    Whereas, no other explanation has been offered as to why infection rates and death rates are going down, and

    Whereas, I have been reading the governor’s executive orders and they are written like this, pages of whereasses, and then one page of actual information.

    Now, therefore, I declare that this disease is approaching herd immunity.

    If true, there will be no significant second wave.

  25. I hope you’re right, Gamecock, but (though it’s still early days) European countries that have relaxed their lockdowns are seeing an increase in disease rates.

  26. “European countries that have relaxed their lockdowns are seeing an increase in disease rates.”

    It’s too soon to tell. Sources can’t be trusted; this is propaganda, for all we know.

  27. If R had been below 1 all along then the number of cases would have been declining (unless there was a mystical force field over the UK making its R value lower than elsewhere) so there would have been no problem.

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