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UK Govt Coronavirus Response: Sceptics Thread


sancho panza
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sancho panza

Interesting piece on why so many Italian medics  have died and are dying.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-outbreak-italy-doctors-medical-workers-died-a9431511.html

At least 50 doctors have died from coronavirus infection in Italy, the country’s national doctor’s association has revealed.

A list of doctors who have died on the frontlines of Italy’s coronavirus epidemic has grown to 50. The list was updated daily by the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists (FNOMCeO).

The harrowing new figures come as the country’s medical system and its staff struggle to remain standing under pressure of the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
On Friday, Italy registered the most deaths since the epidemic hit the country about five weeks ago, with 969 victims adding to the world’s highest coronavirus death toll, raising the number to 9,134.
 
At least 17 of the doctors in the list had been working in Bergamo, the city in Lombardy with the highest number of Covid-19 cases.

Medical workers have largely been left to deal with the colossal outbreak without adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), reportedly only equipped with masks, scrubs, gloves and hairnets.
 

Filippo Anelli, president of the association, said in a statement: “It is reasonable to assume that these events would have been largely avoidable if health workers had been correctly informed and equipped with sufficient adequate PPE: masks, gloves, disposable gowns, protective visors – which instead continue to be in short supply or to be supplied in an unacceptable way in the midst of an epidemic to which even Italy had declared itself ready only up to two months ago.”

On Thursday, Mr Anelli reiterated the need for supplies of PPE to be increased to the Financial Times.

He said Italian doctors are being sent to the “war” against coronavirus “unarmed”, and added: “The dead do not make a noise. Yet, the names of our dead friends, our colleagues, put here in black and white, make a deafening noise.”

More than 7,100 healthcare workers around the country have been infected with the virus, sent home to recover and told to return to work once they recover and test negative.

Yesterday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusthe, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), told reporters at a media briefing: “The chronic, global shortage of personal protective equipment is one of the most urgent threats to our collective ability to save lives.”

He said almost 2 million PPE items have been shipped to 74 countries by the WHO, and a “similar amount” will be sent to 60 more countries, but warned even more supplies are needed.

“This problem can only be solved with international cooperation and international solidarity,” he added. “When health workers are at risk, we’re all at risk.”

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sancho panza

Sweden taking a different approach

30/3/20

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/30/sweden-coronavirus-approach-is-very-different-from-the-rest-of-europe.html

While the rest of Europe imposes severe restrictions on public life and closes borders and businesses, Sweden is taking a more relaxed approach to the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike its immediate neighbors Denmark, Finland and Norway Sweden has not closed its borders or its schools. Neither has it closed non-essential businesses or banned gatherings of more than two people, like the U.K. and Germany.

 

Sweden’s response to the outbreak is being overseen largely by the country’s Public Health Agency. It has taken a conspicuously different approach to the coronavirus from its international peers, trusting the public to adopt voluntary, softer measures to delay the spread of the virus.

This apparently laissez-faire approach has attracted criticism both from within Sweden, from a group of epidemiologists, as well from other countries which are locking down public life to curb the outbreak.

The Public Health Agency’s lead epidemiologist, and a key figure in Sweden’s national response to the coronavirus, is Anders Tegnell. He told CNBC that although his country’s strategy to tackle the virus was different, the aim was the same.

“My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much as possible to keep healthcare and society working ... and we have shown some different methods to slow down the spread,” he told CNBC Monday.

People visit the cherry blossoms trees at Kungstradgarden in Stockholm on March 28, 2020, during the the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Jonathan Nackstrand | AFP | Getty Images

“Sweden has gone mostly for voluntary measures because that’s how we’re used to working,” Tegnell added. “And we have a long tradition that it works rather well.”

 

He said the agency had explained to the population why social distancing was needed, “and so far, it’s been working reasonably well.”

Sweden has 3,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has recorded 110 deaths, the latest data from the Public Health Agency shows.

In contrast, Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak, has almost 100,000 cases and over 10,000 deaths, the latest data showed Sunday. Meanwhile Spain, the second worst-hit country in Europe, has close to 80,000 confirmed cases and 6,500 deaths. The U.K., considered to be around two weeks behind Italy in terms of the outbreak, has recorded almost 20,000 cases and 1,228 deaths from the virus. 

“The incline (in infection and death rates) in Sweden is less steep than in many countries and that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve,” Tegnell said, adding that opinion polls showed the Swedish public were overall in favor of the agency’s approach.

Tegnell didn’t rule out more stringent measures in Sweden, however, telling CNBC that if there was a sharp increase in cases, the government and Public Health Agency would have a “big discussion on what other measures we can take.” 

This weekend, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said that isolating Stockholm could happen if the outbreak worsens, but that such measures are not currently being discussed. He had previously insisted that successfully combating the spread of the virus was largely dependent on individual behavior.

Life carries on

Sweden has not completely diverged from the rest of Europe. In a similar way to its neighbors, Sweden’s government has advocated working from home if at all possible, avoiding non-essential travel and the elderly are advised to avoid social contact. Of course, advice to wash hands regularly has also been promoted.

Restaurants, bars, cafés and nightclubs have been told to offer seated table service only. And as of Sunday, gatherings of more than 50 people are banned (the country had initially suspended gatherings of more than 500 people). It has also closed universities and colleges, but schools with students under 16 years old remain open.

As such, compared to elsewhere in Europe, life in Sweden feels eerily normal, Stockholm residents say.

“Being both an expat and an educator at a secondary school in Stockholm, I feel conflicted,” Erik, a teacher at school in Stockholm, told CNBC Sunday.

“I still need to go into work, on a crowded bus, to teach my students who are advised to keep coming into school. We are all set up for distant learning, but secondary schools are not closing any time soon,” he said.

He added that some colleagues were brushing off concerns about coronavirus saying, “It’s just the flu, I’m more worried about the start of the pollen season,” and he also referred to the “great trust” Swedes have in their public institutions.

People walk at Strandvagen in Stockholm on March 28, 2020, during the the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Sweden, which has stayed open for business with a softer approach to curbing the COVID-19 spread than most of Europe, on March 27, 2020 limited gatherings to 50 people, down from 500.
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

Tom, an Englishman who works in construction in Stockholm, said he was impressed that the country remained so calm.

“Besides the obvious social media influences, I think if they would have enforced harsher initiatives like other countries there would have been more panic,” he said.

“People have been good in accommodating small changes in their lives to help stop the spread, and have been very helpful to each other ... To be honest, Sweden has behaved exactly as I would have expected the Swedes to behave.” 

Stockholm residents acknowledged that there has been a decline in activity in the city, and yet social life continues.

“On Friday evening, when I went on my way home, I saw loads of groups of both young and middle-aged people hanging out on one of the central squares in Stockholm. It amazed me,” Erik said.

“Whether the Swedish strategy is based on science, reluctance to limit people’s freedom, or on trust that citizens will do what is needed, is not clear to me, at all.”

Tide turning?

Restrictions or not, Sweden’s economy won’t escape unscathed from the crisis. Last week, Swedbank forecast that the economy would contract 4% in 2020.

“The downturn in the Swedish economy is broader and faster than during the financial crisis. Unemployment will reach 10% already by summer, despite unprecedented fiscal stimulus,” Swedbank said in its report released last Wednesday.

“Most sectors in the Swedish economy are bleeding. In the services sector, several companies are completely without demand, abandoned as cautious households have gone home. Manufacturing is struggling with broken supply chains and falling demand.” 

The Swedish government has said that its aim is to limit the spread of infection in the country and the impact on critical services, and it has introduced some measures to limit the economic impact of the virus.

Last week, it announced an aid package for small- and medium-sized enterprises, saying it will guarantee 70% of new loans banks provide to companies that are experiencing financial difficulty due to the virus. It also temporarily reduced social security contributions and introduced company rent support

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There's a lot of fake news and hysteria around. I'm not convinced there are road blocks - I've not seen any, only second hand accounts. I don't think the police are abusing their powers on a wide scale, its just a few fringe cases. And that lake is dyed every spring by the council anyway, DM even report it themselves - Google it. 

The overarching thing to take away from the coronavirus pandemic for me is that the gutter press have driven this hysteria, from the panic buying to forcing ministers to make irrational and idiotic decisions , and must be reigned in immediately after it's all done. 

That, and less globalism with China. 

Edited by spunko
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One percent
4 minutes ago, spunko said:

There's a lot of fake news and hysteria around. I'm not convinced there are road blocks - I've not seen any, only second hand accounts. I don't think the police are abusing their powers on a wide scale, its just a few fringe cases. And that lake is dyed every spring by the council anyway, DM even report it themselves - Google it. 

The overarching thing to take away from the coronavirus pandemic for me is that the gutter press have driven this hysteria, from the panic buying to forcing ministers to make irrational and idiotic decisions , and must be reigned in immediately after it's all done. 

That, and less globalism with China. 

Not sure either way but i do know the mobile police cameras have been out in their usual places today. O.o

wtf. Have they nothing better to do?  I guess not. 

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9 hours ago, One percent said:

Not sure either way but i do know the mobile police cameras have been out in their usual places today. O.o

wtf. Have they nothing better to do?  I guess not. 

really ? I was wondering whether I'd see he scamera vans out around here.  I actually concluded that I wouldn't, because I didn't think they'd dare because of the 'unnecessary' journey shit that would be levelled at them.  Unless they also double up as a nice ANPR data collecting vehicle also.....

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Long time lurking
14 hours ago, sancho panza said:

It's also worth reflecting on the way the govt has implemented the lock down in terms of both under testing (ie quarantining perfectly healthy people) and overpolicing it whereby Police are dyeing pools at beauty spots,droning dog walkers and conducting car checkpoints to ascertain people's intended movements

Yet they let 100`s of flights a day into the UK with no one tested from those flight `s ,,,fecking madness 

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M S E Refugee

I feel that the government has had a difficult time of it mainly due to Dr Ted Ross at the WHO who is in league those lying Chinese Communists.

How can you prepare for a Pandemic when you have a stream of Bullshit information from the WHO and the CCP.

I am optimistic that things can return back to normality soon apart from the economy being fucked obviously.

 

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Long time lurking
1 hour ago, Iamcynical said:

really ? I was wondering whether I'd see he scamera vans out around here.  I actually concluded that I wouldn't, because I didn't think they'd dare because of the 'unnecessary' journey shit that would be levelled at them.  Unless they also double up as a nice ANPR data collecting vehicle also.....

Just about every traffic camera is anpr now 

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One percent
2 hours ago, Iamcynical said:

really ? I was wondering whether I'd see he scamera vans out around here.  I actually concluded that I wouldn't, because I didn't think they'd dare because of the 'unnecessary' journey shit that would be levelled at them.  Unless they also double up as a nice ANPR data collecting vehicle also.....

Yep, it was all over farcebook yesterday including pictures of the scamera vans (like that term btw. :))

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sancho panza

Laymen's explanation of acquired/innate immune response and viral load.

For those interested,the explanation of viral load will likely explain the high mortality rate amongst Italian Medics who possibly weren't using the correct PPE or sufficiently trained in dealing with Covid.This also refers back to the earlier video where Prof John Nicholls discusses his reccomendations on adeqaute training of staff in respect of Covid.

Highlights are mine.

https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-questions-about-covid-19-and-viral-load/

March 24, 2020

expert reaction to questions about COVID-19 and viral load

 

There have been questions from journalists about viral load ad the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Comments sent out on Thursday 26 March 2020

 

Dr Michael Skinner, Reader in Virology, Imperial College London, said:

“Some comments on virus dose, load and shedding.

“Viruses are not poisons, within the cell they are self-replicating. That means an infection can start with just a small number of articles (the ‘dose’). The actual minimum number varies between different viruses and we don’t yet know what that ‘minimum infectious dose’ is for COVID-19, but we might presume it’s around a hundred virus particles.

“When that dose reaches our respiratory tract, one or two cells will be infected and will be re-programmed to produce many new viruses within 12-24 hours (for COVID-19, we don’t yet know how many or over how long). The new viruses will infect many more nearby cells (which can include cells of our immune defence system too, possibly compromising it) and the whole process goes around again, and again, and again.

“At some time quite early in infection, our ‘innate immune system’ detects there’s a virus infection and mounts an innate immune response. This is not the virus-specific, ‘acquired immune response’ with which people are generally familiar (i.e. antibodies) but rather a broad, non-specific, anti-viral response (characterised by interferon and cytokines, small proteins that have the side effect of causing many of the symptoms: fever, headaches, muscle pain). This response serves two purposes: to slow down the replication and spread of the virus, keeping us alive until the ‘acquired immune response’ kicks in (which, for a virus we haven’t seen, is about 2 to 3 weeks) and to call-up and commission the ‘acquired immune response’ which will stop and finally clear the infection, as well as laying-down immune memory to allow a faster response if we are infected again in the future (this is the basis of the expected immunity in survivors and of vaccination).

“With COVID-19, these two arms of the immune system (innate and acquired) obviously work well for 80% of the population who recover from more or less mild influenza-like illness.

“In older people, or people with immunodeficiencies, the activation of the acquired immune system may be delayed. This means that the virus can carry on replicating and spreading in the body, causing chaos and damage as it does, but there’s another consequence. Another job of the acquired immune system is to stand-down the innate immune system; until that’s done the innate immune response will keep increasing as the virus replicates and spreads. Part of the innate immune response is to cause ‘inflammation’. That is useful in containing the virus early in an infection but can result in widespread damage of uninfected tissue (we call this a ‘bystander effect’) if it becomes too large and uncontrolled, a situation named ‘cytokine storm’ when it was first seen with SARS and avian influenza H5N1. It is difficult to manage clinically, requiring intensive care and treatment and carries with it high risk of death.

“The scenarios described above describe what happens following infection with ‘normal’ doses of virus, both in those who make a recovery, those who require intensive care and those (mainly elderly and/or immunosuppressed) who might succumb. Those with other comorbidities probably succumb due to additional stress of their already compromised essential systems by virus and/or cytokine storm.

“It is unlikely that higher doses that would be acquired by being exposed to multiple infected sources would make much difference to the course of disease or the outcome. It’s hard to see how the dose would vary by more than 10 fold. (Although differences have been seen in lab animal infections with some viruses, those animals are inbred (genetically similar to respond in the same way). It’s unlikely that we’d see the differences as statistically significant in out-bred humans.)

“We must be more concerned about situations where somebody receives a massive dose of the virus (we have no data on how large that might be but bodily fluids from those infected with other viruses can contain a million, and up to a hundred million viruses per ml), particularly through inhalation.

“Unfortunately, we don’t yet know enough about the distribution of the COVID-19 virus throughout the body of the infected patients in normal, and unusual situations.

“Under such circumstances the virus receives a massive jump start, leading to a massive innate immune response, which will struggle to control the virus to allow time for acquired immunity to kick-in while at the same time leading to considerable inflammation and a cytokine storm.

“For most of us, it’s hard to see how we could receive such a high dose; it’s going to be a rare event. In the COVID-19 clinic, the purpose of PPE is to prevent such large exposures leading to high dose infection. Situations we should be concerned about are potential high dose exposure of clinical staff conducting procedures on patients who are not known to be infected. I read about a Chinese description of an early stage COVID-19 infection of the lung, which only came about because lung cancer patients (not known to be infected) had lobectemies. There have been suggestions that such situations contributed to the deaths of medics in Wuhan, who were conducting normal procedures (including some that could generate aerosols of infected fluids) before the spread and risk had been appreciated.

“Obviously, testing of patients for infection should now be a priority for any such procedures. Some of the relevant elective procedures have been postponed or scaled back (for patient and staff safety) but we can’t do the same for non-elective procedures (especially in emergency and maternity departments).”

 

Prof Wendy Barclay, Action Medical Research Chair Virology, and Head of Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London, said:

“In general with respiratory viruses, the outcome of infection – whether you get severely ill or only get a mild cold – can sometimes be determined by how much virus actually got into your body and started the infection off.  It’s all about the size of the armies on each side of the battle, a very large virus army is difficult for our immune systems army to fight off.

“So standing further away from someone when they breathe or cough out virus likely means fewer virus particles reach you and then you get infected with a lower dose and get less ill.  Doctors who have to get very close to patients to take samples from them or to intubate them are at higher risk so need to wear masks.

“The fewer people in the room, the less likely it is than one person is coughing or breathing out infectious virus at any one time, so mixing with as few people as possible is the safest way.

“But there is no evidence for any suggestion that if everyone in a family is already sick they can they reinfect each other with more and more virus.  In fact for other viruses once you are infected it’s quite hard to get infected with the same virus on top.”

 

Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said:

“We know that the likelihood of virus transmission increases with duration and frequency of exposure of an uninfected individual with someone infected with the virus.  We also suspect that the amount of virus that an infected individual is producing – sometimes referred to as the viral load – and potentially shedding, will also impact on transmission; the higher the viral load the more infectious someone is likely to be.

“It is also possible that individuals with pneumonia who have a higher viral load might develop more serious disease, but disease development is complex and no doubt many factors will have an impact.”

 

Comments sent out on Tuesday 24 March 2020

Professor Willem van Schaik, Professor in Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, said:

“The minimal infective dose is defined as the lowest number of viral particles that cause an infection in 50% of individuals (or ‘the average person’). For many bacterial and viral pathogens we have a general idea of the minimal infective dose but because SARS-CoV-2 is a new pathogen we lack data. For SARS, the infective dose in mouse models was only a few hundred viral particles. It thus seems likely that we need to breathe in something like a few hundred or thousands of SARS-CoV-2 particles to develop symptoms. This would be a relatively low infective dose and could explain why the virus is spreading relatively efficiently.

“On the basis of previous work on SARS and MERS coronaviruses, we know that exposure to higher doses are associated with a worse outcome and this may be likely in the case of Covid-19 as well.  This means that health care workers that care for Covid-19 patients are at a particularly high risk as they are more likely to be exposed to a higher number of viral particles, particularly when there is a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) as is reported in some UK hospitals (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/22/nhs-staff-cannon-fodder-lack-of-coronavirus-protection).

“It seems unlikely that people can pick up small numbers of viruses from others (e.g. in a crowd) and that will tip the infection over the edge to become symptomatic as that must happen around the same time. In the current lockdown situation this seems even less likely as gatherings of more than two individuals are banned. Because the infectious dose is probably quite low, it is more likely that you will be infected by a single source rather than from multiple sources. Transmission can take place through small droplets in the air (like the ones that are produced after sneezing and which stay in the air for a few seconds). You can breathe in these droplets or they can land on surfaces. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 survives reasonably well on most surfaces, so if somebody touches these and then touches their mouth or nose, there is a very real risk that they will be infected with the viruses. This is the main reason why hand washing is promoted as a precautionary measure.”

 

Dr Edward Parker, Research Fellow in Systems Biology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said:

“After we are infected with a virus, it replicates in our body’s cells. The total amount of virus a person has inside them is referred to as their ‘viral load’. For COVID-19, early reports from China suggest that the viral load is higher in patients with more severe disease, which is also the case for Sars and influenza. 

“The amount of virus we are exposed to at the start of an infection is referred to as the ‘infectious dose’. For influenza, we know that that initial exposure to more virus – or a higher infectious dose – appears to increase the chance of infection and illness. Studies in mice have also shown that repeated exposure to low doses may be just as infectious as a single high dose.

“So all in all, it is crucial for us to limit all possible exposures to COVID-19, whether these are to highly symptomatic individuals coughing up large quantities of virus or to asymptomatic individuals shedding small quantities. And if we are feeling unwell, we need to observe strict self-isolation measures to limit our chance of infecting others.”

 

From Prof Richard Tedder, Visiting Professor in Medical Virology, Imperial College London:

What is “viral load”?

“This is a specific term used in medical virology which usually refers to the amount of measurable virus in a standard volume of material, usually blood or plasma. It is very commonly used to define how HIV responds in a patient to antiviral drugs; a patient taking such drugs would be pleased to know that their ‘viral load’ is reduced.”

What does viral load mean for Sars CoV 2 (aka Covid19 virus)?

“It is probably better to use the term ‘viral shedding’ which is actually in effect influenced by the amount of virus in the material being shed by an infected patient. In practice one could say that the virus load generated by the patient in whatever excreta they shed defines ‘shedding’ and its risk.

“From looking broadly at the overall data on the material which comes from a nose swab the amount of virus varies over a 1 million fold range. This is probably influenced by the stage of the disease, the efficiency with which the infection has colonised the patient at the time of sampling, and the amount of nasal sample on the swab. The amount of virus which comes from an infected person is influenced by two factors: the ‘load’ in the excreta and the volume of the excreta.

Why does the amount of virus shed matter?

1. “The inoculum, i.e. the infecting dose of virus is more likely to lead to infection in the “recipient” the higher the amount of the virus there is in the excreta.

2. The virus will survive and remain infectious outside the body, as viruses do; BUT infectivity will fall away with time. How quickly this fall occurs is measured as the time taken for virus infectivity to reduce by half. This is termed ‘half life’ or T1/2 and for this virus is measured in hours. In fact this is best thought of as ‘rate of decay’.

3. The rate of decay is fastest on copper with a T1/2 around 1 hour, in air as an aerosol T1/2 is also around 1 hour, cardboard is 3 and 1/2 hours, plastic and steel T1/2 is around 6 hours.

“For example, if one million viruses were placed on various surfaces it would require 20 half lives to become undetectable and non-infectious, so 20 hours if in an aerosol, 20 hours on copper, 60-70 hours on cardboard and finally 120-130 hours on plastic and steel.

“Of course, when one deals with infectivity rather than detectability, extinguishing infectivity is far quicker.  Studies with cultured virus starting at relatively high levels have shown loss of infectivity within around 12-15 hours on copper, under 10 hours on cardboard, around 50 hours on steel and 70 hours on plastic. The data for infectivity in aerosols were not comparable and were of a different time course.”

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I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories but it does make you wonder if we've been whipped up into a state of hysteria for some other purpose eg

 

            i) a reset of the global financial system

             ii) a global reponse to climate change (Greta accused President Trump of not  doing anything and slowing the world economy significantly could have a significant impact on global warming)

           iii) to clamp down on riots such as "gilets jaune" and students in HongKong etc

 

You've been busy with your research @sancho panza so many thanks and it confirms a lot of what I've been thinking plus a lot of people (including me) think we may have already had it so I'm waiting for the antibody test to become available.

Since you work "on the front line" have you any anecdotal evidence to contribute?  Have you come across any potential cases as yet?  Are the hospitals in Leicester over-run yet? etc etc

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Does anyone in a position of power actually believe the climate change crap enough to pull a stunt like this? Same goes for the riots, as if anybody would bother for a few protesters, if they get too out of hand they can be gunned down. 
Economic reset, hopefully intended to force companies to move operations out of China. This pantomime has nothing to do with protecting people from a virus most of us won't even notice.

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Italy and American hospitals, identical footage

Could be an honest mistake of course

A bit like shutting down the economy after no quarantine actions

Whoopsy daisy

IMG-20200331-WA0008.jpg

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sancho panza
19 hours ago, spunko said:

There's a lot of fake news and hysteria around. I'm not convinced there are road blocks - I've not seen any, only second hand accounts. I don't think the police are abusing their powers on a wide scale, its just a few fringe cases. And that lake is dyed every spring by the council anyway, DM even report it themselves - Google it. 

The overarching thing to take away from the coronavirus pandemic for me is that the gutter press have driven this hysteria, from the panic buying to forcing ministers to make irrational and idiotic decisions , and must be reigned in immediately after it's all done. 

That, and less globalism with China. 

I take your points Spunko and it is important to separate truth and fiction.However,it's worth noting that Cressida Dick felt the need to issue a statement clarifying her instructions to her own officers and Asst Met Commissioner Neil Basu quoted by Sky News

My experience of the Police is very much one of there being too few of them doing a complex,stressful and physically dangerous job.I think it was unfair to load beat officers with the responsibilities that these new laws have.As per Neil Basu,quite simply they haven't been given any guidance on how to apply them which means uneven application in an environment which requires diplomacy rather than force.The 'quarantine then test', policy of the UK govt is bringing it's police officers into direct conflict with some it's most law abiding citizens. In the UK,our Police generally Police by consent and I think Basu again firmly nails it when he says the way they Police this crisis will be remembered for generations to come.

I'm genuinely relieved to see people like DIck/Basu at the top of the Police.

https://www.itv.com/news/london/2020-03-30/cressida-dick-enforcing-coronavirus-rules-is-last-resort/

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-11966028

'Mr Basu urged officers to heed calls by two of Britain's most senior officers, Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), that "persuasion and education to do the right thing is our primary goal", rather than being too quick to impose punishments.

Senior police commanders are understood to have been concerned over how the unprecedented powers were being implemented by some forces, with Lancashire Police issuing 123 enforcement notices since Thursday and Bedfordshire Police issuing none, the newspaper reported.

Last week Derbyshire Police defended using drones to deter people from flouting the measures after the force filmed people rambling in the Peak District.'

 

 

10 hours ago, gibbon said:

1212985559_EUXDRyyWsAEHdPu(1).thumb.jpeg.61f769c2140207917ffc8d6cf615e950.jpeg

This very much echoes the point made by Dr Lee in the OP

'On a global basis, we’d expect 14 million to die over the first three months of the year. The world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of that total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu). Not figures that would, in and of themselves, cause drastic global reactions. '

6 hours ago, janch said:

I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories but it does make you wonder if we've been whipped up into a state of hysteria for some other purpose eg

 

            i) a reset of the global financial system

             ii) a global reponse to climate change (Greta accused President Trump of not  doing anything and slowing the world economy significantly could have a significant impact on global warming)

           iii) to clamp down on riots such as "gilets jaune" and students in HongKong etc

 

You've been busy with your research @sancho panza so many thanks and it confirms a lot of what I've been thinking plus a lot of people (including me) think we may have already had it so I'm waiting for the antibody test to become available.

Since you work "on the front line" have you any anecdotal evidence to contribute?  Have you come across any potential cases as yet?  Are the hospitals in Leicester over-run yet? etc etc

I'm not on again until Friday.I will report back.I must say that thus far,I've had no extra training in terms of the PPE we're using which I think is at odds with the death rate of Italian Medics.

Also,there have been anecdotal reports of sub standard or non existent PPE in hospitals.But as with @spunko earlier point about the Police,we need to ascertain if it's a wide problem or just localised.

Thus far I've not dealt with any actual cases that I'm aware of.A few suspected but that was it.Having read up on the Italian situation,I'll be sure to double check PPE before we set off.

The most depressing aspect of this is that we still,as ambulance staff,don't have access to testing.It seems utterly insane that unknowing asymptomatic super spreaders may be working with vulnerable patients.I spoke to an officer today and she confirmed nothing was in pace for us.The same I presume for hospital staff.

3 hours ago, Loki said:

Italy and American hospitals, identical footage

Could be an honest mistake of course

A bit like shutting down the economy after no quarantine actions

Whoopsy daisy

IMG-20200331-WA0008.jpg

Oh dear......

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sancho panza
2 hours ago, azzuri82 said:

If you're reading this thread, then you'll be interested in the following video:

 

 

 

Interesting to see the following

1) 3000 deaths a week to seasonal flu in the USA from Nov 1st 2019

2) Mexico and Brazil preferring to leave the economy running rather than lock down.

3) I really enjoyed the Larry Ellison bit at the start about challenging established thoughts/morality.So,so true.

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sancho panza

Although wirtten for India,the author raises soem excellent points

https://theprint.in/opinion/lockdown-or-not-covid-19-raises-key-questions-on-decision-making-in-a-democracy-like-india/391725/

Is the coronavirus lockdown justified? One school of thought holds that any societal cost is worth paying to save a life. This seems sensible at first, but we do not honor this dictum in normal times, either in India or globally. We tolerate people dying for lack of resources, often on a mass scale, in developing countries.

A pandemic raises questions about the processes of decision-making and prioritising in a democracy, such as India.

Rough estimates suggest that India has at best a similar number of ventilators as does the United States, but it has four times the population. A high proportion of these ventilators were very likely being used already before the pandemic struck. Even if there is a massive increase in hospital capacity, the case for slowing the spread of Covid-19 in India must be centered on preventing serious illnesses rather than on ensuring the availability of ventilators by spreading their use over time.

But suppressing the virus temporarily may not prevent it from becoming widespread later. The absence of a vaccine coupled with the limitations of poor health infrastructure in India will make doing so challenging. Hence, a lockdown may be less successful than anticipated. Twenty one days is insufficient to ensure the exhaustion of the virus within households. Even with perfect compliance with the lockdown, it may well resume its spread, unless arrested by climatic or other factors (such as a vigorous mass testing and quarantine program, for which India presently has little capacity).

Lockdowns alone won’t do the job

Against this background, it is not easy to make full sense of the coronavirus lockdown. It’s not that we should not try to avoid premature deaths due to the current pandemic. But if we care so much about avoiding deaths, we should have done, and should do, a great deal more to avoid those that arise from other sources too.

The cost of installing a single ventilator to save a life in India is likely to be much higher than the cost of saving lives in other ways. This is not a reason for not installing ventilators, but for doing things that can save and extend lives in more ways, even in normal times. Planned increases in public expenditure on health can take India in the right direction. An improved health infrastructure would also help in the monitoring of, and response to, public health emergencies such as the coronavirus.

The lockdown-induced economic and social disruption will have consequences for health and well-being because restrictions on freedom of movement make it hard to maintain health programmes, to run schools, to ensure that people are nourished, or that they avoid domestic violence. A state that claims to value equally all lives, or years lived by different people, must express that commitment in its actions. It should do so at the least by designing measures to safeguard the public health which do not worsen it.


Also read: Modi tells Indian envoys to ‘mobilise’ funds for PM-CARES fund to tackle Covid-19


Lockdown implementation lacks foresight

The discrepancy between the stated aim of promoting the public health and its pursuit is stark. It is underlined by the implementation of measures, announced with apparent haste and decisiveness, which reveal a lack of foresight about the most basic issues.

The decision-makers appear to have paid little or no attention to the difficulty that people would face in maintaining livelihoods and gaining access to food. These sudden restrictions have triggered mass movements and brought about crowding in neighbourhoods, increasing the potential for disease transmission. They also appear to have overlooked the prospect that the police forces charged with enforcement of the ban would implement it with untargeted brutality, thereby themselves becoming a danger to the public health.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration that no one needs to worry about the supply of food and adequacy of income, was belied by the reality that turning a market economy into a centrally planned one would take more than 21 days, even if it were a good idea. Many other countries that implemented a lockdown announced clear exceptions for essential services and allowed them to function much as before.

The avoidance of natural calamity, however desirable, cannot be a warrant for the creation of an avoidable societal calamity. Although countries are dealing with similar disruptions of supply and demand, caused by state responses to the pandemic, India’s action is perhaps the most draconian in the world, and its consequences perhaps the most perverse. Today, the Modi government must deal with a challenging situation created in part by its own conceit of power. Its actions have caused the entire society to live in a purgatory, between anarchy and totalitarianism, combining the worst of both worlds, even if for seemingly sound reasons.

Are we asking the right questions?

The pandemic does not merely demand an answer, but it also raises a question: What exactly is public health? Taking sensible decisions in the presence of deep uncertainty requires more than decisiveness. It requires rational evaluation of the difficult choices to be made. And in a democracy, it also demands efforts at justification, before and after the actions are taken, informed by different societal perspectives.

Whatever the trajectory of the disease, one should ask that choices made in the name of the public are justifiable to them, including the most vulnerable.

A pandemic is a rare instance that seems to call for a strong executive, even in a democracy, but it also brings to the fore its potential weaknesses. An informed, reasoned and robust public discussion of what is right to do, at each phase of the crisis, must take place.

The author is an Economist at the New School for Social Research, New York. Follow him on twitter @sanjaygreddy. Views are personal.

 

 
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sancho panza

Watch Italy.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/01/singing-stops-italy-fear-social-unrest-mount-coronavirus-lockdown

A few days into Italy’s lockdown, people across the country sang and played music from their balconies as they came together to say “Everything will be alright” (Andrà tutto bene). Three weeks on, the singing has stopped and social unrest is mounting as a significant part of the population, especially in the poorer south, realise that everything is not all right.

“They are no longer singing or dancing on the balconies,” said Salvatore Melluso, a priest at Caritas Diocesana di Napoli, a church-run charity in Naples. “Now people are more afraid – not so much of the virus, but of poverty. Many are out of work and hungry. There are now long queues at food banks.”

There have been far fewer coronavirus deaths in Italy’s south compared with the worst-affected northern regions, but the pandemic is having a serious impact on livelihoods.

Tensions are building across the poorest southern regions of Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Puglia as people run out of food and money. There have been reports of small shop owners being pressured to give food for free, while police are patrolling supermarkets in some areas to stop thefts. The self-employed or those working on contracts that do not guarantee social benefits have lost salaries, and many small businesses may never reopen.

Paride Ezzine, a waiter in Palermo, Sicily, no longer gets his salary. “Obviously, due to the lockdown, the restaurant closed,” he said. “I have a wife and two children and we’re living off our savings. But I don’t know how long they will last. I asked my bank to postpone payment instalments – they said no. This situation is bringing us to our knees.”

The ramifications of the lockdown, which is poised to be extended until at least Easter, are also affecting the estimated 3.3 million people in Italy who were working off the books, of whom more than 1 million live across Campania, Sicily, Puglia and Calabria, according to the most recent figures from CGIA Mestre, a Venice-based small business association.

“In reality, we don’t know how many are working in the black as these numbers are only estimates,” said Giovanni Orsina, a politics professor at Luiss University in Rome. “However, a significant number of people live day to day, doing occasional jobs. There are also many shopkeepers, or professionals working for themselves, who may have moderate reserves that will run out the longer they’re in lockdown.”

Amid the brewing social unrest, the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said €4.3bn (£3.8bn) from a solidarity fund would immediately be advanced to all municipalities and an additional €400m would go to mayors for conversion into food stamps. But mayors have protested that the funds, especially the €400m for food vouchers, are insufficient.

“It is absolutely not enough,” said Salvo Pogliese, the mayor of Catania. “We were expecting more and I hope the government will find a way. The situation is extremely delicate as a significant part of the population has zero income. Those who before lived with dignity, now find themselves in difficulty.”

A woman waves an Italian flag from a balcony in Naples in the days after the lockdown announcement. Photograph: Ciro de Luca/Reuters

One of the issues is that the €4.3bn was due to be given to mayors in May, and much of the funding had already been designated to be spent in other areas.

“If the government expects this money to be used to feed people, then municipalities won’t have money for other things,” said Orsina. “And the new tranche of €400m, if you divide it up between all municipalities, is peanuts. The problem has been offloaded to mayors – Italians will now go asking them for money that they can’t give. Expectations have been created that can’t be satisfied.”

There are also signs that criminal organisations are exploiting the situation. Investigations are under way into the activities of a Facebook group called “National Revolution” that has been inciting people to loot supermarkets.

The people [behind this group] are those who, before the lockdown, made a living from house robberies and shop thefts,” said a source from the Sicily unit of Digos, Italy’s anti-terrorism police squad. “But with some of these criminal activities being on standby due to the lockdown, the only shops open to rob are supermarkets and chemists. These are people who, due to rampant poverty in the south, usually survive from criminal activities, but who are now not doing so well.”

Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, has asked the government to establish a “survival income” for the poorest citizens owing to fears that “criminal groups could promote violence acts”.

Officials also worry that the mafia will take advantage of the rising poverty, swooping in to recruit people to its organisation. “Criminal organisations have plenty of money and people could end up working for them, and once that starts, they won’t go back,” said Orsina.Meanwhile, taxes for small businesses have merely been suspended, not abolished, meaning owners will still have to find money for contributions at a later stage, despite losing income during the lockdown. And those who can tap into financial support are coming up against stifling bureaucracy

“Bureaucracy is the real enemy of this country and in a crisis situation it’s impossible to solve this problem,” said Massimiliano Panarari, a professor at Luiss University. “People may have tried to keep their spirits up at the beginning of the lockdown, but now their thoughts are returning towards the bitter reality of a terribly fragile country.”

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Yellow_Reduced_Sticker
On 31/03/2020 at 09:46, gibbon said:

1212985559_EUXDRyyWsAEHdPu(1).thumb.jpeg.61f769c2140207917ffc8d6cf615e950.jpeg

^^That's ALL anybody needs to SEE!

I do NOT believe anything from the GOV & MSM ...that's WHY i trow my TV in the skip 20 years ago!
 
Also for those that are WORRIED/SKEPTICAL ... Watch Dr. John Bergman YT channel, he recently had a BRILLIANT Informative video about CV AND guess what ? it was removed!
WHY cos the crooks in power don't want ya's to know the TRUTH!
 
I can hear ya shout: "Conspiracy theory!?"
 
YOU decide...Follow the MONEY...ask ya self who owns the GOV / FED / BOE & MSM~? Then go down the rabbit hole and do ya research...
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Edited by Yellow_Reduced_Sticker
.
  • Agree 3
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sancho panza
4 hours ago, Yellow_Reduced_Sticker said:

^^That's ALL anybody needs to SEE!

I do NOT believe anything from the GOV & MSM ...that's WHY i trow my TV in the skip 20 years ago!
 
Also for those that are WORRIED/SKEPTICAL ... Watch Dr. John Bergman YT channel, he recently had a BRILLIANT Informative video about CV AND guess what ? it was removed!
WHY cos the crooks in power don't want ya's to know the TRUTH!
 
I can hear ya shout: "Conspiracy theory!?"
 
YOU decide...Follow the MONEY...ask ya self who owns the GOV / FED / BOE & MSM~? Then go down the rabbit hole and do ya research...
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

It's amazing that thus far SOuth Korea,SIngapore,Sweden,Mexico and Brazil ahvent locked down and the MSM will not talk about it.Instead all we hear is Italy/SPain/Lock down/lock down

ONa  lighter note,after my rantsof the last few weeks Mrs P is finally starting to get why I'm so unhappy with Boris.She said this evening that all he's doing is repeating the promises he didn't fulfil from last week.

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sancho panza

Boris still in his bunker issuing orders for testing kits>May I present one of his failings as of 25 mintues agoo BBC reporting.

Remember Germany testing 500,000 per week.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52122761

More than 3,500 NHS frontline staff in England and Wales have been tested for the virus since the outbreak began.

 

 

 

 

The lack of testing means that Boris may well have been transporting vulnerable patients in Ambulances potentially manned by Covid +ve asymptomatic carriers and thence to hospitals potentially manned by Covid +ve aymptomatic carriers.

Beth Rigby on SKy news was pointing out that he promised to be testing 250,000 a day two weeks ago and that currently we're at 8,000

  • Agree 1
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