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Quite right too

Less than 20% of people in England self-isolate fully, Sage says

Deeply unconvinced that even 20% need to self isolate fully.

Less than 20% of people in England fully self-isolate when asked to do so,

Ah, that’s a rather different statement, isn’t it?

25 thoughts on “Quite right too”

  1. I felt a bit odd a few weeks ago, so used the NHS online questionnaire to try and work out if I’d caught the lurgy.

    I answered ‘no’ to all but one question, and it still told me to self-isolate.

    Naturally, I ignored it.

  2. It appears from this and other statements that the problem SAGE has with us is that we don’t do what we’re told, and that is why they are telling us to do more and more as revenge. Because the problem they are supposed to be dealing with is gone, because of nothing they did, useless twats.

  3. On a recent trip around Scotland I was repeatedly asked for track-and-trace information in the form of numerous apps we had to undertake or forms we had to fill in.

    At no point was any accurate information given about name, address, e-mail or telephone.


  4. @jgh

    Only for stricter prescriptivist types who want to follow a made-up rule from the 18th century rather than how English, even high register, formal English, has been written and spoken since it first emerged as a language. If “læs worda” was good enough for Alfred the Great then “less words” would be good enough for me.

  5. jgh – I take your point but I’d generally go with “fewer” being for what is susceptible to being counted and “less” for that which isn’t. The distinction can be moot, of course, so I’d go for “fewer than 20% of those questioned” but “less than 20% of the local wildlife” because “wildlife” is somewhat vague.

    I grant you that nowadays one has to be v strong on pendantry to find such things so interesting.

  6. Re self-isolation rules not being followed.

    Frankly no chance of Rule of Six being followed is there?

    Family gathering of seven in the back garden or picnic in the park, banned? But if four of you go to a restaurant – indoors! – as one group and three go as another group and you happen to be allocated adjacent tables, that’s okay provided you somehow don’t constitute a larger group? Presumably you’re just not supposed to acknowledge each other’s presence… Which come to think of it does resemble certain family gatherings.

    Seven kids can be in the same classroom, can be sat at the same big table in the school canteen, can play together in the school playground, would be allowed to sit together if they went home by school bus, but if they were walking home outside in the fresh air then it’s not legal to do it together?

    In earlier discussions on this I was a minority in saying I expected the government would bring in additional contact restrictions after September. But I thought they would do something like shut the bars and nightclubs down again (to be fair they have postponed spectator sports restarting) which would have been bad news economically for those involved but at least would have been enforceable and not full of logical holes.

    Banning family gathering outside is just an extraordinarily totalitarian thing to do. Absolutely extraordinary and I cannot get my head around it.

  7. Since the test used identifies RNA fragments not multiplying viruses and the testers are amplifying it to the point of meaninglessness and its inventor has disowned its use in this setting, the best advice is stay home if you feel ill and stay away from sick people and a big Foxtrot Oscar to the interfering classes.

  8. Banning family gathering outside is just an extraordinarily totalitarian thing to do. Absolutely extraordinary and I cannot get my head around it.

    It’s not just that. By implementing restrictions which are stupid AND unenforceable they will be widely ignored. It brings the law itself into disrepute.

    Personally, I think that in itself is a good thing. The government should be made quite aware that the more they push this bullshit then the more widely they will be ignored. Quite rightly too.

    If they’d concentrated support on those most at risk, keeping the country and economy open for the vast majority who would suffer little more than the sniffles, but ensuring protected isolation, contact and support for those who ARE at risk the economic impact would have been severely reduced and the death rate among the elderly and infirm minimised.

    It was pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain that the vibrantly diverse would ignore the regulations to go to the mosque, celebrate Eid, etc. and if they want to do that then fine, but they accept the consequences of doing so among the elderly and infirm.

    One thing which should have been done is widespread testing of arrivals at airports, but this random opening and closing of countries because of COVID-19 paranoia is both stupid and economically damaging, for the UK and the other countries concerned.

    I bet the Swedes are laughing their assess off at us Anglos and quite rightly.

  9. I suspect that the first-world death toll of the pandemic will, looking back after two to five years, be roughly independent of government action, save maybe for those governments that failed to defend the care homes (e.g. UK, Sweden) and those that committed murder in the care homes (e.g. NY state).

    The economic/social/health damage done presumably will depend partially on government action but not all of it will be blameable on governments because we won’t know how bad the damage would have been from people choosing themselves to self-isolate or “shield”. So far the Swedish record suggests that other governments have indeed done needless damage.

    I’d like to know more about events in Belgium, Ontario, and Quebec before I even tried to guess at how important governments have been. My own suspicion is that people overestimate the importance of government but lessons from Canada and Belgium might in future suggest I’m wrong. Dunno.

    Be that as it may, it seems to me plain daft to argue that, for instance, because Germany so far appears to have escaped lightly compared to France then some magic aspect of German government or Health Service must be responsible. There’s still huge amounts unknown about this bloody virus and the disease it causes.

  10. John Galt said:
    “If they’d concentrated support on those most at risk, keeping the country and economy open for the vast majority who would suffer little more than the sniffles, but ensuring protected isolation, contact and support for those who ARE at risk the economic impact would have been severely reduced and the death rate among the elderly and infirm minimised.”


  11. @JG

    Yes it’s the combination of totalitarian and unenforceable and illogical and likely to be widely ignored that seems especially mad. I mean you could enforce it if you brought the Stasi to Britain but doing so would be absurd when you’re allowing people to be in close proximity in so many other settings, so why would you?

    Still, unenforceable, illogical and widely ignored laws are something we should all be used to by now, governments being governments and all. Banning family picnics is a level of totalitarianism I am NOT used to, and don’t want to ever get used to!

    Re airport testing. To be fair the scientific advice has fairly consistently been that this wouldn’t work as well it sounds. Though this on again, off again border policy is probably a contributing factor to people ignoring instructions to isolate/quarantine (people who catch a flight a few hours the wrong side of an arbitrary deadline naturally are going to feel hard done by, and “if they don’t obey why should I when I’m only two days over” and so on…).

    90% of what governments seem to have been doing is faffing about, tweaking rules that don’t matter very much and thereby confusing the public and making it less likely future rules will be obeyed, when really 90% of the effort needed to be put into protecting the 10% of the population where 90% of the harm was concentrated. Percentages approximate of course. But still, there must have been a myriad of planning and policy meetings which would have benefited from someone sticking their hand up and saying “wait – does this proposal actually matter? Is it going to confuse people? Will they obey it? How does this help the vulnerable? Will it make any real difference? Are there other things we should be focusing on that make a bigger difference?” even aside from considering the costs and risks of the intervention.

    It might have been excessively cautious but paying off the hospitality industry – and the staff and the landlords – to tide them over for a shut-down that lasts as long as it takes, a year or more if needed, would have been a relatively targeted measure, removing one pleasurable element of day-to-day life but not disrupting it wholesale. It would have had a rationale clearly justifiable to the public: “large groups of people socialising indoors have been major risks for superspreading episodes, so with regret we need to pause them until the situation is under control.” It would have been easily enforceable via licensing regulations without requiring a nation of neighbourhood snitches. Risk may have transferred to groups meeting at each other’s houses for a meal or drink, but those groups would generally be far smaller than a busy “COVID-secure” pub. It wouldn’t be full of illogical contradictions. I’m not necessarily saying it would have been a good policy, or proportionate, but it wouldn’t have been a totally crazy, unenforceable, ignorable, totalitarian one.

  12. Before we lodge corporate manslaughter charges it’s important to clarify who knew what when. If you know nothing about a disease it is natural to protect the young; they have the most life left to lose. As experience shows the elderly to be most at risk, focus should switch. Later it became clear that co morbidities are important, but not all equally important. Diabetes is a greater risk than obesity which is a greater risk than jaundice, and so on.

    It would also be handy to know how infection occurs. This should not be impossible but the vague “in a social setting” tells us nothing useful.

    By now we should have enough knowledge to be precise in our prophylactic policy. But we are still fighting with clubs and blunderbusses.

  13. @philip: I saw somewhere that obesity puts you at more risk under age 65, but not over age 65. Is it true? Dunno. But it’s a subtler point than you’ll see almost anywhere in the mass media.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    This focus on tested cases and comparing to peak Covid tested cases is becoming deranged. This Tweet and follow up from Chris Snowdon puts it in to perspective:

    Whilst I wear a mask to protect Mrs BiND, who is high risk, I’ve been arguing that making them compulsory would bring the law and government in to disrepute and if they do need to act a later date they will be ignored. There was no evidence of infections occurring in shops and supermarkets yet they went ahead and made them compulsory, and there’s no evidence they made a shred of difference (OK, things might have been worse, but we can’t prove a negative). Those who advocate compulsion need to explain this:

    As for the latest nonsense, there appears to be two target audiences, one openly being targeted the other they seem to be scared to mention.

    The open target are young people and they are coming close to being made scapegoats.

    The other target are ethnic minorities, but nobody seems to want to be open about it. The “DON’T KILL GRANNY” message is clearly aimed at multi generational households and anyone looking at the geographic data doesn’t need to give it much thought to realise which communities are experiencing the growth in hospitalisations and death.

    Tameside alone has raised the national hospital death numbers and they appear to be catching it in hospital.

  15. Before we lodge corporate manslaughter charges it’s important to clarify who knew what when.

    Hector Drummond and his blog contributors knew early on, simply looking coolly at the same information available to HM Gov, that the disease wasn’t massively contagious or especially deadly. And now with hindsight, loads of people can see that the disease isn’t massively contagious or especially deadly. Even the main stream media can see this.

    But it seems we must be destroyed by the small bubble of evil and incompetent fools holding sway in government who won’t see.

    This is a briefcase in the bunker moment.

  16. Revealed preference theory tells you all you need to know. The experts who recommended lockdown, such as Niall Ferguson, were randomly shagging around. The guys who tell us to isolate hold meetings for over 30 people. It’s all bullshit!!!!!

  17. Excess deaths last year were well down because of a mild ‘flu season. Current excess deaths in England are below the 5 year average. Of the 40 000 ‘with Covid’ deaths, many died in March-May instead of few months earlier, most of the rest died then rather than a few months later.

    When 2020 is compared to other years and average excess mortality, it will likely show no difference. So won’t that be a thing!

    Of course it may well be 2021 will have much higher than average excess deaths thanks to lack of natural group immunity that we have failed to acquire this year because of restrictions on associations, and when all those missed cancer, cardio-vascular diseases, etc diagnoses and treatments come home to roost.

    Will anyone be held to account? Rhetorical question.

  18. It is a damp squib flu which we should never have even bothered about. A substantial number of political hacks deserve some solid jail time.

    Johnson was always going to be long term bad news even though the EU have left him–or more likely Cummings– little choice but WTO. But the virus has shown him up massively far earlier than people would have reached the point of being sick of his BlueLabour shite by “normal” processes over due time.

  19. @rhoda klapp
    Spot on. News today: Boris to increase fines on quarantine breachers and considering enforcement wardens

    If Gov’t want quarantine, put peeps in a 5 Star hotel with room service included – 4 star hotels all full of illegals

    Bel Moony today – I’ve had enough of this, Gov’t can Sod Off
    I’m having Christmas for 14 – and no puffed-up Covid marshal will stop me

  20. @John Galt
    Same as you “At no point was any accurate information given about name, address, e-mail or telephone” – it’s very common, iirc England tracers found ~60% was false

    For Scotland give: 0131 348 6745 (Jeane Freeman, Secretary for Health) or random 0131 536 or 537 – NHS Lothian

    “I bet the Swedes are laughing their assess off at us Anglos and quite rightly”
    Mrs Pcar is Swedish, yes they are

    ‘I challenge the Government to back up their belief there will be a second wave.’
    Dr Mike Yeadon, former chief scientific advisor of Pfizer

    “C-19 was ‘novel’ only in it being a new Coranavirus (common cold) strain. Exposure to previous Coranavirus strains gave many immunity to C-19”
    100% agree and what I concluded in March

    Dr Mike is spot on with everything he said. If this government carry on following pants down Ferguson We are in deep, deep, trouble. I hope Dr Mike get his way and challenges the government on this . He could save the country a lot of money and people’s lives

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