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UK Govt Coronavirus Response: Sceptics Thread


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My partners last shift tonight SP (nurse in the community).The bosses are all at home,providing zero PPE and sending her on calls to get someones shopping when they have family in the same street and

As someone who has been sceptical about the UK Govts response to Covid 19,I have found I am in good company...... Whilst no one is in any doubt that an excess number of people are currently dying

Church finally turns up at the frontline.About time.They're getting it. https://lockdownsceptics.org/2021/04/14/christian-leaders-warn-against-the-introduction-of-medical-apartheid-under-a-vaccin

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spygirl
8 hours ago, DurhamBorn said:

My partners last shift tonight SP (nurse in the community).The bosses are all at home,providing zero PPE and sending her on calls to get someones shopping when they have family in the same street and other such crazy calls.My partner isnt like this,so i have had to tell her she phones in sick tomorrow and doesnt go back for at least a month.I had to pretty much threaten her we would split up if she didnt.She agrees and is doing it.Most of the others will be doing the same from next week.

The big thing im seeing is how the managers,all on big salaries,all with big pensions have failed to manage at all.They are at home,while making excuse after excuse.

This is now a case of protect yourself and your family from the virus,but also more so from the affects of the virus.The government handling has been a disaster in every area.Lock down and destroy retail and small business yet allow thousands to continue landing from China,Italy,Spain,New York etc.Destroy your economy yet let people to land every day from hot spots.Its insane.Even a simpleton would know the answer is to test test test.

 

 

 

Ive made this point earlier, but Ill make it again.

Over 50% of NHS staff are non clinical. They are paid vast sums to do the logistics, part ofthis is keeping up stock and supplies of consumables inc. PPE.

And making sure they have contacts and capacity in the likes of testing facility.

Its not the PMs jobs to have to micromanage PPE stocks or testing - thats what the NHS management have been paid billions for.

 

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sancho panza
10 hours ago, DurhamBorn said:

My partners last shift tonight SP (nurse in the community).The bosses are all at home,providing zero PPE and sending her on calls to get someones shopping when they have family in the same street and other such crazy calls.My partner isnt like this,so i have had to tell her she phones in sick tomorrow and doesnt go back for at least a month.I had to pretty much threaten her we would split up if she didnt.She agrees and is doing it.Most of the others will be doing the same from next week.

The big thing im seeing is how the managers,all on big salaries,all with big pensions have failed to manage at all.They are at home,while making excuse after excuse.

This is now a case of protect yourself and your family from the virus,but also more so from the affects of the virus.The government handling has been a disaster in every area.Lock down and destroy retail and small business yet allow thousands to continue landing from China,Italy,Spain,New York etc.Destroy your economy yet let people to land every day from hot spots.Its insane.Even a simpleton would know the answer is to test test test.

 

 

 

The bodies are starting to stack up.Boris looks utterly out of his depth doing selfie videos from his bunker promising more testing and PPE (like last week ,the week before that and the week before that).

Your partner is an autonomous practitioner and her managers would be totally unused to dealing with her needing PPE.In the ambulance service,we have PPE on board,it's not great but adequate probably for what we need.But if there's no PPE on there then I don't go in.Same as when I go to a shooting or stabbing,I won't go in unless the police are there.I've seen some newer crews steaming into the middle of a nasty situation without making sure it's safe to approach first.If it goes wrong,you're on your own both physically and for the aftermath that may follow in terms of legal wrangling/mental health etc.

RIP Thomas.Thomas follows four Doctors who have recently died of hospital acquired Covid.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-nhs-nurse-who-died-would-still-be-alive-if-given-proper-protective-equipment-11967199

NHS nurse Thomas Harvey died after contracting COVID-19

'Mr Harvey's daughter Tamira and son Thomas Jr believe their father was let down after claiming he was not given proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

"He was never even tested and we haven't been either," Tamira said.

"[The government] knew the severity [of the virus] before anyone else did. They could have prevented this in so many ways."

 

Mr Harvey, 57, died on Sunday after collapsing in the bathroom of his east London home.'

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sancho panza
1 hour ago, spygirl said:

Ive made this point earlier, but Ill make it again.

Over 50% of NHS staff are non clinical. They are paid vast sums to do the logistics, part ofthis is keeping up stock and supplies of consumables inc. PPE.

And making sure they have contacts and capacity in the likes of testing facility.

Its not the PMs jobs to have to micromanage PPE stocks or testing - thats what the NHS management have been paid billions for.

 

Unfortuantely,there's a chain of command and he's at the top of it.

Yes,those managers aren't very good.Boris would have been able,at a very early stage, to issue an order expanding the UK's testing capacity beyond the Colindale lab which was only capable of processing 500 a day.When a crisis hits,the leader needs to quickly work out where the bottlenecks are and clear them logistically.

The issue might be more forgiveable if it weren't for the fact that there were clear precedents and blueprints to work from eg Sars, and that there were other govts willing to share their experiences.

On reflection,I was rather cavalier about the severity of Covid,it is more aggressive than normal flu but as the South Koreans/Japanese and Singaporeans have proved,it's manageable with the correct testing procedures in place.

You can't honestly tell me that you think the British govt didn't have representatives in Korea looking at what they were doing in February?

 

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Thombleached
1 hour ago, spygirl said:

Ive made this point earlier, but Ill make it again.

Over 50% of NHS staff are non clinical. They are paid vast sums to do the logistics, part ofthis is keeping up stock and supplies of consumables inc. PPE.

And making sure they have contacts and capacity in the likes of testing facility.

Its not the PMs jobs to have to micromanage PPE stocks or testing - thats what the NHS management have been paid billions for.

 

and yet at every single briefing, no-one every asks why NHS staff don't have access to XYZ.

Management is never ever mentioned and government is always held accountable, because it could never ever ever be the fault of someone who works in the saintly NHS, even if they're paid a 6 figure salary and wouldn't last 5 minutes in the private sector.

These people are immune from ridicule. It sickens me to the core.

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spygirl
4 minutes ago, sancho panza said:

Unfortuantely,there's a chain of command and he's at the top of it.

Yes,those managers aren't very good.Boris would have been able,at a very early stage, to issue an order expanding the UK's testing capacity beyond the Colindale lab which was only capable of processing 500 a day.When a crisis hits,the leader needs to quickly work out where the bottlenecks are and clear them logistically.

The issue might be more forgiveable if it weren't for the fact that there were clear precedents and blueprints to work from eg Sars, and that there were other govts willing to share their experiences.

On reflection,I was rather cavalier about the severity of Covid,it is more aggressive than normal flu but as the South Koreans/Japanese and Singaporeans have proved,it's manageable with the correct testing procedures in place.

You can't honestly tell me that you think the British govt didn't have representatives in Korea looking at what they were doing in February?

 

Nope.

COC stops at the health board.

UKGOV - of whatever colour - just directs and resources.

The issue with stuff like C19  and clap for the NNHS, is that thhey attract peoples attention, wholl then look.

Testing alone is raising issues

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8177785/Staggering-incompetence-public-health-fatcats.html

Testing facilities are health bread n butter. Should be routine, everything should be cooridnated.

It should not be the clsuter fuuck it is.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8178213/Is-Milton-Keynes-warehouse-key-fixing-Britains-testing-fiasco.html

 

 

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sancho panza
Just now, Thombleached said:

and yet at every single briefing, no-one every asks why NHS staff don't have access to XYZ.

Management is never ever mentioned and government is always held accountable, because it could never ever ever be the fault of someone who works in the saintly NHS, even if they're paid a 6 figure salary and wouldn't last 5 minutes in the private sector.

These people are immune from ridicule. It sickens me to the core.

Absolutely,it's one of the reasons there are so many poor managers in it.There's no real responsibility or consequence.

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sancho panza
1 minute ago, spygirl said:

Nope.

COC stops at the health board.

UKGOV - of whatever colour - just directs and resources.

The issue with stuff like C19  and clap for the NNHS, is that thhey attract peoples attention, wholl then look.

Testing alone is raising issues

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8177785/Staggering-incompetence-public-health-fatcats.html

Testing facilities are health bread n butter. Should be routine, everything should be cooridnated.

It should not be the clsuter fuuck it is.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8178213/Is-Milton-Keynes-warehouse-key-fixing-Britains-testing-fiasco.html

 

 

But when the management is clearly messing it up,they have the power to step in.And they didn't.Still haven't.

Lock down is Govt policy.Boris innocent again?

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Thombleached
1 minute ago, sancho panza said:

Absolutely,it's one of the reasons there are so many poor managers in it.There's no real responsibility or consequence.

Then at some point, someone is going to look at the spread of spend in the NHS:

x% doctors, y% nurses, z% equipment and £% on management

and conclude that the whole thing is arse about tit.

1 minute ago, sancho panza said:

But when the management is clearly messing it up,they have the power to step in.And they didn't.Still haven't.

Lock down is Govt policy.Boris innocent again?

Good point. I imagine those fuckers are difficult to get rid of.

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sancho panza
13 minutes ago, Thombleached said:

Then at some point, someone is going to look at the spread of spend in the NHS:

x% doctors, y% nurses, z% equipment and £% on management

and conclude that the whole thing is arse about tit.

Good point. I imagine those fuckers are difficult to get rid of.

One of the disconcerting things about this crisis is that it's led to a lot of eulogising about the NHS and how wonderful it is.I see the subtle messaging occuring via the news channels,the clapping etc.It's as if it can't be improved.

Dare I sound like a conspiracy theorist but three things have loomed large for me through this crisis.First we've the govt's suppressive response towards the population which is unwarranted if we measure ourselves by the countries successfully combatting Covid ie South Korea/Japan/Singapore.For some reason,we haev taken our lead from China instead of those three.

Secondly,we have the NHS which has been elevated to a point where critiscism of it is deemed akin to not wanting to save lives.

Thirdly,it's the sheer scale of the govt debt that is being foisted on my kids and the govt's interference in the economy.Historically,this level of state interference ends in catastrophe for someone,normally the public.

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Noallegiance
1 hour ago, sancho panza said:

The bodies are starting to stack up.Boris looks utterly out of his depth doing selfie videos from his bunker promising more testing and PPE (like last week ,the week before that and the week before that).

Your partner is an autonomous practitioner and her managers would be totally unused to dealing with her needing PPE.In the ambulance service,we have PPE on board,it's not great but adequate probably for what we need.But if there's no PPE on there then I don't go in.Same as when I go to a shooting or stabbing,I won't go in unless the police are there.I've seen some newer crews steaming into the middle of a nasty situation without making sure it's safe to approach first.If it goes wrong,you're on your own both physically and for the aftermath that may follow in terms of legal wrangling/mental health etc.

RIP Thomas.Thomas follows four Doctors who have recently died of hospital acquired Covid.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-nhs-nurse-who-died-would-still-be-alive-if-given-proper-protective-equipment-11967199

NHS nurse Thomas Harvey died after contracting COVID-19

'Mr Harvey's daughter Tamira and son Thomas Jr believe their father was let down after claiming he was not given proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

"He was never even tested and we haven't been either," Tamira said.

"[The government] knew the severity [of the virus] before anyone else did. They could have prevented this in so many ways."

 

Mr Harvey, 57, died on Sunday after collapsing in the bathroom of his east London home.'

Sad, of course, when someone dies.

But he's fat. And that's just the problem that can be seen. Combine that with the overwhelming fact that this disease targets the least-fit and well, and this whole debacle still looks to me like an overblown reaction from which will come worse disasters than 'survival the fittest'.

In today's woke world, that may appear cold. Strip away self-indulgent virtue, and it's just life.

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sleepwello'nights

Have you read the article recently posted on the Corona Virus part 3 thread about prolonged exposure?

It would seem to indicate that close exposure to infected patients vastly increases the risk of being seriously infected by the virus.

That may be a major contributory factor, not his weight.

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Thombleached
24 minutes ago, sancho panza said:

One of the disconcerting things about this crisis is that it's led to a lot of eulogising about the NHS and how wonderful it is.

Stay Home, protect the NHS, save lives

If we don't protect the NHS, we won't save lives. Urgo it cannot face any level of criticism. If you do criticise it, you don't want to save lives and you're a monster.

The story will pan out.....the pandemic that started in china, the global depression that started with a virus.....is why we're indebting future generations. The NHS will come out of this smelling like roses. More investment, more taxes, more happy clapping from a subservient, docile population unable to join any dots. 

Look over here at the great saintly NHS, don't look over here where we've right royally fucked the economy. Public sector will become fucking enormous after all of this.

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sancho panza
32 minutes ago, Noallegiance said:

Sad, of course, when someone dies.

But he's fat. And that's just the problem that can be seen. Combine that with the overwhelming fact that this disease targets the least-fit and well, and this whole debacle still looks to me like an overblown reaction from which will come worse disasters than 'survival the fittest'.

In today's woke world, that may appear cold. Strip away self-indulgent virtue, and it's just life.

Your reply indicates that you don't understand what viral load is.Ergo if you did,you'd know that hospital staff dying isn't survival of the fittest but rather people dying because they're bosses didn't provide the proper kit or the appropriate training or gudiance.

 

20 minutes ago, sleepwello'nights said:

Have you read the article recently posted on the Corona Virus part 3 thread about prolonged exposure?

It would seem to indicate that close exposure to infected patients vastly increases the risk of being seriously infected by the virus.

That may be a major contributory factor, not his weight.

Exactly.

 

Where's the corona virus thread part 3 SWN?

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sancho panza
20 minutes ago, Thombleached said:

 Public sector will become fucking enormous after all of this.

It already is.

 

Very much like the NHS debate that always proffers a choice between our system and the US private healthcare system as the two alternatives.Wilfully ignoring a huge raft of alternatives eg Singapore that are excellent in the middle.

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Thombleached
1 minute ago, sancho panza said:

It already is.

Double it. Nationalisation of everything beckons at this rate. Then we can clap each other every Thursday so no-one feels left out.

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sleepwello'nights
17 minutes ago, sancho panza said:

 

 

Where's the corona virus thread part 3 SWN?

I usually click on the unread content link just above the latest threads column and its usually one of the top threads. 

 

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Noallegiance
1 hour ago, sancho panza said:

Your reply indicates that you don't understand what viral load is.Ergo if you did,you'd know that hospital staff dying isn't survival of the fittest but rather people dying because they're bosses didn't provide the proper kit or the appropriate training or gudiance.

No I understand viral load.

I also understand that he was fat.

Doctors generally agree that the more obese a person is, the more likely they are to have health problems.

So, the general CV19 (and, indeed, life) rule is 'fitter and slimmer is less likely to succumb to illness than fatter and unfit'. This is true regardless of load. Fitter = better survival chances.

Hence, fewer fat hospital staff = lower risk of developing serious corona-related issues.

Agreed, that there is an additional level of protection to be provided via PPE. But, at usual, it makes safety someone elses responsibility. I'm fat. Give me two masks.

You're a logical fellow. There must be a reason why logic is failing you now.

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sancho panza

Some more sad news.RIP Areema.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-healthy-nhs-nurse-36-dies-after-contracting-covid-19-119678

36-year-old NHS nurse, who was believed to have no underlying health issues, has died after contracting coronavirus.

Areema Nasreen died shortly after midnight in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands, where she had worked for 16 years.

 

The mother-of-three developed symptoms of coronavirus on March 13, including body aches, a high temperature and then a cough.

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sancho panza

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/07/how-can-coronavirus-models-get-it-so-wrong

How can coronavirus models get it so wrong?

Analysis depends on data – so predictions for Italy and Spain, where peak has passed, are more reliable than for UK

Sarah Boseley Health editor

Tue 7 Apr 2020 20.43 BST Last modified on Tue 7 Apr 2020 23.17 BST

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, based at the University of Washington, is the best organisation in the world at collecting data on diseases and mapping out why we fall ill.

Its Global Burden of Disease study is a massive collaborative effort that is valued and used in every country. But even for such an organisation, predicting what will happen to us all as a result of Covid-19 is a tricky business.

Crucially, modelling or any other analysis depends on the data that can be gathered. Inevitably, the IHME has better data for the likely outcomes of Covid-19 in Italy and Spain, where the epidemics have peaked, than for the UK, its director, Dr Christopher Murray, says.

The margins for the organisation’s predictions of daily deaths in the UK are big – a tenfold variation from 800 to 8,000 near the peak which, it predicts, will happen around 17 April.

The IHME will be inputting new data on deaths, which it says are a better indicator of what is going on every day than are cases. That means the margins will shrink and the predictions become firmer as time goes on.

This is a different type of model from that of the Imperial College London group advising the government, because it will constantly evolve. But even the Imperial modellers had to change their predictions some weeks ago. Famously, their changed advice persuaded the government to bring in physical distancing guidance, with towns closed for business and people staying home to reduce what, it had suddenly become apparent, would be an unacceptably high death toll.

One moment the prime minister, Boris Johnson, was asking people with symptoms to stay home for seven days; a few days later, he had ordered a lockdown. What changed was data from Italy’s experience of the pandemic, in which more people were critically ill than anticipated, and from the NHS about its inability to cope if the same should happen in the UK.

Models are only as good as the data that goes into them. As time goes on, we will learn a lot more about the outcomes of this pandemic in countries around the world and the effectiveness of policies in mitigating the worst outcomes.

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sancho panza

The hawks are circling over Imperial College..............govt doubles down.....................

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/06/school-closures-have-little-impact-on-spread-of-coronavirus-study

School closures likely to have little impact on spread of coronavirus, study finds

UCL say small benefits should be weighed against profound economic and social costs

Sally Weale Education correspondent

Tue 7 Apr 2020 07.31 BST First published on Mon 6 Apr 2020 23.30 BST

 
 
School closures are likely to have a relatively small impact on the spread of Covid-19 and should be weighed against their profound economic and social consequences, particularly for the most vulnerable children, according to a UK study.The research, led by University College London (UCL), is the first to look at evidence behind many governments’ decision to shut schools and keep pupils at home.According to the UN’s education body, Unesco, more than 90% of the world’s pupils have been affected by closures.The UCL-led study concludes that the evidence to support the closure of schools to combat Covid-19 is “very weak”, and statistics from influenza outbreaks suggest school closures “could have relatively small effects on a virus with Covid-19’s high transmissibility and apparent low clinical effect on schoolchildren”.The research team reviewed 16 studies of recent outbreaks of other coronaviruses, including the 2003 Sars epidemic in mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore, and found that school closures did not help control the epidemic.“We know from previous studies that school closures are likely to have the greatest effect if the virus has low transmissibility and attack rates are higher in children. This is the opposite of Covid-19,” said the study’s lead author, Prof Russell Viner, of UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.“Data on the benefit of school closures in the Covid-19 outbreak is limited but what we know shows that their impact is likely to be only small compared with other infection-control measures such as case isolation and is only effective when other social isolating measures are adhered to.”
 

Viner, who is president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the benefit gained from closing schools had to be weighed against the costs. “Children’s education is damaged and their mental health may suffer, family finances are affected, key workers may need to stay home to look after children and vulnerable children may suffer most.”

He also highlighted the need to start working out how to return students to education and keep them in school safely.

“Countries that have closed schools, such as the UK, have to now ask hard questions about when and how to open schools. Interventions in schools, such as closing playgrounds, keeping students in constant class groups/classrooms, increasing spacing between students in classes, reducing the school week and staggering school start and break times across years or classes should be considered if restrictive social distancing policies are to be implemented for long periods of time.”

Prof Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, who is one of the key epidemiologists advising the government, said: “While school closure as a measure on its own is predicted to have a limited effectiveness in controlling Covid-19 transmission, when combined with intense social distancing it plays an important role in severing remaining contacts between households and thus ensuring transmission declines.”

Robert Dingwall, a professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, said the UCL study suggested the public health benefits of school closures were not proportionate to the social and economic costs imposed on children and their families.

“It also underlines how the assumptions used in modelling the Covid-19 pandemic may rest on very flimsy foundations in terms of scientific evidence. This work suggests that UK schools could and should begin to reopen as soon as practicable after the initial wave of cases has passed through.”

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The study team included researchers from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Cambridge and University of Sydney. The study is published in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal.

A government spokesperson said: “The decision to close schools was taken in line with scientific advice on how to limit the spread of the coronavirus. We asked most children to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

“Schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and the children who are most vulnerable. We will reopen schools when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so.”

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, welcomed the study but said it did not warrant any change of policy. “The review indicates that school closures are effective as part of a combination of tactics of social distancing and testing. This is the evidence from China, from Hong Kong, and from a modelling study carried out in the UK,” he said.

“Everyone wants schools to be reopened as soon as is safely possible. This can only happen on the basis of sound scientific reasoning that school closure is no longer necessary for the suppression of Covid-19. We are a long way from this point. The combination of measures that the government has introduced must remain in place.”

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sancho panza

article courtesy of @dnb24.

 

Well wortha  read.Lays out a lot of issues talked about no here and the sceptics thread.I'm double posting because it's written by  a GP,so someone who has a better grasp on the repercussions of msot Western govts covid policy on the wider population.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/485110-covid-19-lockdown-deaths/

As a GP, I fear our Covid-19 lockdown will result in significantly more deaths than we are trying to prevent

6 Apr, 2020 16:24 / Updated 1 day ago
As a GP, I fear our Covid-19 lockdown will result in significantly more deaths than we are trying to prevent
Medical staff at St Thomas’ Hospital relax during a break in London, Britain, April 6, 2020. © REUTERS/Hannah McKa
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By Malcolm Kendrick, doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England. His book, 'Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense,' is available here.

We are paying too high a price to try to combat Covid-19. Not just in terms of the £350 billion ($430 billion) bill, but also in the health costs our actions are causing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a very thorny issue to the forefront. How much money can we, as a society, spend on keeping people healthy or alive? No one has ever fully got to grips with this question, but it has never been more important than now.

America has set aside $2 trillion to deal with the crisis, and Britain £350 billion – which is almost three times the current yearly budget for the entire NHS. Is this a price worth paying?

Many people will instantly dismiss such a question as being coldhearted or stupid: "You cannot put a value on a human life" is an argument I have heard many times, whenever health economics is discussed.

The counter-argument is that, if funds are not limitless (which they aren’t and can’t be), then we must focus on funding things that do the greatest good. This is why the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) was established.

NICE reviews interventions and decides if they provide value for money. The economic term for this is cost-effectiveness. It is complex and often relies on assumptions that can be difficult to verify.

However, to keep things (relatively) simple, NICE attempts to compare healthcare interventions against each other by using a form of “currency” called the cost per QALY. A QALY is a Quality Adjusted Life Year. One added year of completely healthy life is one QALY.

People with conditions such as cancer, or severe heart disease, or who are suffering from chronic pain, can be considered to have a quality of life less than one. We can say that their quality of life is, say, 50 percent. Thus, one year of additional life gained for them has a value of 0.5 of a QALY.

Not everything that is measured using a QALY relates to saving, or extending, lifespan. For example, someone could have chronic hip pain, and a quality of life of 0.5. A hip replacement may remove the pain, and their quality of life will improve from 0.5 to 1. If they live another 20 years, they will have gained 20 x 0.5 QALYs = 10 QALYs.

Whichever way you look at QALYs, the fundamental question always comes down to 'How much can we afford to pay for one QALY?' In the UK, the current answer is that NICE recommends interventions which cost less than £30,000 ($36,933) per QALY.

This figure can vary. Interventions for young children tend to receive more per QALY, and powerful lobbying groups can bring pressure to bear on that figure. However, £30,000 is generally accepted – if not widely publicized.

Therefore, if we are willing to spend £350 billion ($430 billion) on managing coronavirus, how many QALYs do we hope to get back? The simple answer is to divide £350 billion by 30,000 = 11,666,666 QALYs.

(For those who think this an impossible or inhuman calculation, you need to consider how many other lives could be saved, how much other suffering or death could be prevented, by spending £350 billion in other ways.)

Are we likely to achieve this level of benefit? Of course, any attempt to model this requires several assumptions to be made. However, the model here only has four variables, two of which are (pretty much) known. They are:

  • How many people will die?
  • What is the average age of death?
  • What is the average reduction in life expectancy in those who die?
  • What is the average quality of life of those who die?

So, for example:

  • 500,000 die (based on the upper level of the Imperial College study)
  • Average age at death 78.5 (based on figures taken from Covid deaths in Italy)
  • Average reduction in life expectancy three years (based on modeling of life expectancy) 
  • Average quality of life of those who die 0.7 (based on studies done to work out the “reported” quality of life in those with multi-morbidity)

We get 500,000 x 3 x 0.7 = 1,050,000 QALYs lost.

Using these figures, spending £350 billion to reduce the “QALYs lost” figure to zero means that each QALY will have cost £333,000 ($410,000), more than 10 times the NICE level. And, if the death toll does not reach the 500,000 upper estimate, then the cost per QALY will be even higher.

People will immediately object to this calculation. How do we know how many will die? How can we be certain about the average quality of life of those who die or the average reduction in life expectancy?

All I can say is that these calculations, while complex, are based on robust statistical data. However, it is usually best to input different figures to outline best and worst cases, to look at more than one scenario. So, were we to stick using the upper limit of 500,000, but adjust the average life expectancy gained to 4.5 years and the average quality of life to 0.8, you get: 500,000 x 4.5 x 0.8 = 1,800.000 QALYS. The cost per QALY then becomes: £194,444 ($239,397) [£350 billion ÷ 1.8 million]

I fully recognize that looking at human life from an economic perspective can seem harsh, almost inhumane. Can we really stand back and watch an elderly person “drown” as their lungs fill up with fluid, and say “Sorry, we are not spending money on more ventilators, because it is not cost-effective”?

However, it is not straightforward. There are currently deaths, and disability, directly caused by shifting virtually the entire focus of the health service towards Covid-19.

Hip replacements are also being postponed and other, hugely beneficial interventions are not being done. Those with heart disease and diabetes are not being treated. People are not having operations that they would have. Many are not immediately lifesaving, but cancer patients are not receiving chemotherapy. Those awaiting implantable defibrillators are not having them – and some will die as a result.

Elderly people, with no support, may simply die of starvation in their own homes. Jobs will be lost, companies are going bust, suicides will go up. Psychosocial stress will be immense.

I care for patients in intermediate care, two of whom we sent to hospital last week, with non-Covid related illness. They were both sent straight back, they both died. They were elderly, they were ill, but in normal circumstances they would have been admitted and, hopefully, successfully treated.

Ambulance crews have been instructed to keep people at home, or in care homes, if at all possible. Some of them will die as a result. These are what I call the ‘because of Covid-19’ related deaths.

Then there are those abused women, and children, trapped at home with their abusers.

In short, this is very much not a zero-sum game of life saved v money. There is significant harm being done. Longer-term harms will inevitably occur from job losses, loss of income, and suchlike. Economy and health do not exist in isolation.

This was highlighted in a study of two areas of Glasgow in 2008. One Lenzie, which was rich; the other Calton, was poor and socially deprived. The findings were stark: a life expectancy of 54 for men in Calton, compared with 82 in Lenzie.

A 28-year difference in life expectancy between people living approximately five miles apart. The difference? Wealth, money, economics. If we severely damage the economy, this will have enormous effects on health and wellbeing, possibly for decades.

Are we paying too much to lock-down Covid? The answer from most people may well be that "I don’t care, we need to spend as much as it takes." My fear is that, if we are not very careful, the actions we are taking will result in significantly more deaths than we are trying to prevent.

Even if we restrict the analysis purely to the cost per QALY and narrow the ‘health’ analysis purely to Covid, and deaths from Covid, it remains difficult to justify spending £350 billion to control a single disease.

I know that many people will violently disagree with this analysis and will think I am some coldhearted fiend. "People are dying, we must do absolutely everything we can. No matter how much it costs." "What would you say if it was your mother…" and suchlike.

Well, I have spoken to my mother, who is 92. Her view is that she has lived long enough. She thinks the government actions are a ridiculous over-reaction. She is going out shopping and chatting to friends… she will take no advice on the matter.

So, what would I do if it was my mother that was dying? I would say that she made her choice, and who am I to argue with it.

 

This article is an abridged version of a blog by Dr Malcolm Kendrick, which was written to help inform a debate on the wider implications of the current UK strategy on dealing with Covid.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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sancho panza

Incredible piece by German Professor of Epidemiology.Rferences Prfo Ioanedis who was mentioned tin the OP.

Questioning why people are being classed as Covid deaths when there's no clinical basis for doing so/how lethal the virus really is/lack of testing means they're jsut guessing/only really decent study has come from france.

 

 

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Noallegiance

Extremely reliable source close to me says that teams have been set up across London just to pick up dead bodies from homes.

Two or three dead per 12 hours in each London borough can be normal. It's been 20+ day after day.

Recorded hospital deaths may be nowhere near the full story, it would appear.

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