Corona virus on its own thread.

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Jack

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Case numbers in absolute terms are irrelevant, Jack. They're meaningless -- nothing but a headline.

What matters is relative severity; i.e. hospitalisations and deaths per million.
Deaths obviously matter.

The number of cases is far from meaningless though. Higher numbers of cases even with the omicron severely affecting a smaller percentage of people will still filter through to the NHS in big numbers.

What if we ignore the case numbers and allow society to grind to a halt due to staff absences?

Among others making the news, the NHS creaking at the seams (in England 15 trusts have declared a critical incident while 17 hospitals in other areas are providing a restricted service) because of staff shortages, rail and ferry travel in Scotland on a restricted timetables, Lothian Busses on a Saturday service until near the end of January.

Of course that's only the public services that are making the news, it would be naive to think all businesses aren't under the same pressures with staff off sick or isolating.

And worsest of all my local was shut the other day 😒
 

aggie

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Deaths obviously matter.

The number of cases is far from meaningless though. Higher numbers of cases even with the omicron severely affecting a smaller percentage of people will still filter through to the NHS in big numbers.
Smaller percentage? As I've previously quoted from government figures, ONE person has required intensive care due to Omicron in the last five weeks. Am I missing something?
What if we ignore the case numbers and allow society to grind to a halt due to staff absences?

Among others making the news, the NHS creaking at the seams (in England 15 trusts have declared a critical incident while 17 hospitals in other areas are providing a restricted service) because of staff shortages, rail and ferry travel in Scotland on a restricted timetables, Lothian Busses on a Saturday service until near the end of January.

Of course that's only the public services that are making the news, it would be naive to think all businesses aren't under the same pressures with staff off sick or isolating.

And worsest of all my local was shut the other day 😒
Well quite -- but isn't that because the answer to my above question is contained in the fact that that's mainly due to the now idiotic isolation regime, no? This is literally becoming ... insane.
 

Jack

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Well quite -- but that's mainly due to the now idiotic isolation regime, no?
No! It's primarily caused by huge numbers of folk being ill/not fit to work!

I see isolation is now down to 7 days (terms and conditions apply). Not having isolation would only make matters worse as the number of ill people would explode!
 

Rocky

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Official figures reveal that a single patient has required intensive care from the Omicron variant in Scotland.
That's a misrepresentation of the official data. Only one person whose sample went through full genomic sequencing and was confirmed as the omicron variant has required ICU. That's not the same as only one person has needed ICU treatment from the omicron variant as only a small proportion of tests are fully sequenced.

What I'm thinking is that if a few weeks out of the pub or away from football or working from home helps to smooth this peak and let more people get the treatment they need and gives NHS staff a fighting chance of doing their job and preserving their sanity then it's really not much to ask.
 

C4MMY

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Had a positive pcr on 28th December from
My test on 27th and to be honest I’ve had worse colds, bit of a cough and dry throat but apart from that felt fine
 

Davy

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I reckon the hospitals are being worse hit by staff having to self isolate..whether they or someone else has the virus..as opposed to masses of very sick people
 

Gunnerhibby

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LFT +ve today, PCR in an hour.

not had any symptoms that I've not had for a good long while, pre pandemic.
I tend to have a itchy throaty cough(asthma), have had for many years, and I dry up/dehydrate on a very regular basis so always keep a bottle of water/juice handy.
only done test because laddie tested +ve earlier.

hopefully worst case scenario, off work paid for 7-10 days
 

joethehibby

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LFT +ve today, PCR in an hour.

not had any symptoms that I've not had for a good long while, pre pandemic.
I tend to have a itchy throaty cough(asthma), have had for many years, and I dry up/dehydrate on a very regular basis so always keep a bottle of water/juice handy.
only done test because laddie tested +ve earlier.

hopefully worst case scenario, off work paid for 7-10 days
Been reading up on the rules/facts. After a +ve pcr test you can test positive for up to 6 weeks after , hence they advise you not to test again unless you get new symptoms after isolation . So people who do lft’s to reduce their isolation to 7 days may well keep testing +ve , but they can stop isolating after 10 days anyway 🤷‍♂️
Minefield to keep track of it 😩
 

bigmanandy

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Do we? Or, indeed, can we? If so, why? (Given the latest variant's seemingly benign nature?)

Or, alternatively, is this not the "herd immunity moment", as it were, which has been the inevitable endgame since day one? It's been two years ---- at what point do we begin to develop forward-looking strategies which accept it's perennial presence? Or do we continue to live week--to-week, plan lives, businesses, families, travel, literally everything under a week--to--week paradigm?
Agreed, as Chris Whitty and Vallance where saying this is a illness where every winter we are going to go through the same...We are going to have to learn to live with the virus, lockdowns and restrictions are not sustainable economically every year until the end of time. Do we move football to Summer football, Christmas and New Year to spring? It's time to get in with life.
 

hibadelic

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Do we? Or, indeed, can we? If so, why? (Given the latest variant's seemingly benign nature?)

Or, alternatively, is this not the "herd immunity moment", as it were, which has been the inevitable endgame since day one? It's been two years ---- at what point do we begin to develop forward-looking strategies which accept it's perennial presence? Or do we continue to live week--to-week, plan lives, businesses, families, travel, literally everything under a week--to--week paradigm?

Yeah, we do. Nothing has really changed, we still need to stop services from becoming overwhelmed / understaffed. Letting the virus run rampant (even encouraging it?) as you propose would be a monumental risk. Even the Tories know it doesn't make sense.

There are some positive signs now regarding Omicron but we still don't have certainty on the outcomes in different age-groups or longer term. Hospitals are starting to fill up faster and the holidays are ending meaning greater spread in schools and work places.

There are reports of increased hospitalisation of small children which the herd-immunity crowd have conveniently ignored in their clamour to promote any evidence of the virus being less severe. In short, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, despite what you can find in the media if you "research" it ;-)

I do agree that we should be planning to live with the virus but I suspect we disagree on what that means. You want herd immunity i.e. getting the virus in order to protect us from getting the virus. I'm sure you can see the insanity in that statement. Rather than living with the virus, herd immunity is giving in. It'd more likely end up in a worse situation regarding lockdowns, as we've learned over the last two years.

I'd rather see a more sophisticated strategy to changing how we handle viruses such as but not limited to covid. It'd cover how we make and implement public health decisions (more effectively and quicker), how we build and adapt buildings, transport etc to reduce risk of transmission, how we create a more adaptable system of healthcare, care homes etc. essentially look at every area of life to ensure we minimise death and suffering whilst maintaining a healthy society and avoiding lockdowns. It'd require vision and funding but if we do nothing there's a strong possibility that the next variant could be as transmissible Omicron, more dangerous than Delta and that vaccines don't work on. Good luck living with that.
 

joethehibby

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Yeah, we do. Nothing has really changed, we still need to stop services from becoming overwhelmed / understaffed. Letting the virus run rampant (even encouraging it?) as you propose would be a monumental risk. Even the Tories know it doesn't make sense.

There are some positive signs now regarding Omicron but we still don't have certainty on the outcomes in different age-groups or longer term. Hospitals are starting to fill up faster and the holidays are ending meaning greater spread in schools and work places.

There are reports of increased hospitalisation of small children which the herd-immunity crowd have conveniently ignored in their clamour to promote any evidence of the virus being less severe. In short, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, despite what you can find in the media if you "research" it ;-)

I do agree that we should be planning to live with the virus but I suspect we disagree on what that means. You want herd immunity i.e. getting the virus in order to protect us from getting the virus. I'm sure you can see the insanity in that statement. Rather than living with the virus, herd immunity is giving in. It'd more likely end up in a worse situation regarding lockdowns, as we've learned over the last two years.

I'd rather see a more sophisticated strategy to changing how we handle viruses such as but not limited to covid. It'd cover how we make and implement public health decisions (more effectively and quicker), how we build and adapt buildings, transport etc to reduce risk of transmission, how we create a more adaptable system of healthcare, care homes etc. essentially look at every area of life to ensure we minimise death and suffering whilst maintaining a healthy society and avoiding lockdowns. It'd require vision and funding but if we do nothing there's a strong possibility that the next variant could be as transmissible Omicron, more dangerous than Delta and that vaccines don't work on. Good luck living with that.
👏👏
 

emerald green

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Real tragedy being that feck all is getting done to increase our nhs to cope with this and future pandemics.
(bar supply chains)
 

aggie

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No! It's primarily caused by huge numbers of folk being ill/not fit to work!
What's your basis for this claim?
That's a misrepresentation of the official data. Only one person whose sample went through full genomic sequencing and was confirmed as the omicron variant has required ICU. That's not the same as only one person has needed ICU treatment from the omicron variant as only a small proportion of tests are fully sequenced.

What I'm thinking is that if a few weeks out of the pub or away from football or working from home helps to smooth this peak and let more people get the treatment they need and gives NHS staff a fighting chance of doing their job and preserving their sanity then it's really not much to ask.
Riiight okay, I'll take your word on that, R -- but, presumably you nevertheless accept that we are talking about a very, very small number of people? What now constitutes a "peak" that needs "smoothed" by "just a few more weeks"? With the concomitant implication that you are some sort of heartless bastard if you think that we are long past the point where the so-called remedies that ongoing restrictions represent -- and even more especially, the ongoing fact that absolutely extraordinary measures can be imposed and lifted at the whim of a handful of people and at a moment's notice -- are now illogical, arbitrary, pointless, and long past the point of being proportionate to the threat.

I guess I'm crackpot #2 on here after Ryan69, though, eh.
 

Jack

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What's your basis for this claim?
Last I read, admittedly some time ago there was an average of 1.7 people per household. If 1 in 15 people are infected and that household is in isolation then a fag packet calculation is 10% of the population is unable to work.

At that/this level we're already seeing the problems I mentioned in the later paragraphs of the OP. Let the virus rip and I dread to think of what would happen to the whole workforce. As Rocky mentioned we need to smooth the peaks of people becoming infected so that the infrastructure can still run albeit at a reduced level.
 

aggie

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Here's us debating fully a YEAR ago now:
Entailed in [Sridhar's] belief is very much the necessity for the 'new normal' that I and many others fear most: i.e. an endless 'management' of Covid, oscillating perpetually between varying levels of draconic – witness Perth, in the supposed Covid utopia of Australia, where one case justifies another lockdown. With the end always "in sight" or "within our grasp", but in fact never arriving – because the "end" that is zero Covid is an impossibility – where and when is the line drawn for the justification of continued restrictions? Does no one else fear "mission creep"?

PS will be absolutely ecstatic if I am made to eat my words, truly I will.
I'd say my fears have been borne out, wouldn't you? Given even you claimed that:
And remember it's not forever, it's only until the vaccine is rolled out. And the more we let it spread before the vaccine is rolled out the more chance there is that mutations will make the virus vaccine resistant and the rollout will need to start from scratch. Viruses mutate all the time anyway, but if you think about the odds of "bad" mutations happening, we've had one particularly bad variant in the UK from 4,000,000 recorded cases. Cut those cases right down and the chances are pretty small of another happening. However if you let it run through the population more and more will appear.

So I'm fine with taking a Zero Covid approach, drive the cases right down, open things up, do a bit of "whack a mole" to clamp right down on any outbreaks (including short/sharp lockdowns if necessary) and get the vaccine rolled out (globally, no point in just looking after ourselves while other parts of the world are suffering and potentially creating new mutations). I'm not a tennis fan particularly but looking at the pictures of the Australian Open with full stadiums does make me spectacularly jealous. If the price to pay for that in the short term is the risk of pubs shutting down for a fortnight I'm OK with it.
That last sentence sounds almost exactly the same as what you are saying today, a year later, and now two years into restrictions in their various forms. How much do you want to bet, here and now, that we won't be here again next year?
 

aggie

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Last I read, admittedly some time ago there was an average of 1.7 people per household. If 1 in 15 people are infected and that household is in isolation then a fag packet calculation is 10% of the population is unable to work.

At that/this level we're already seeing the problems I mentioned in the later paragraphs of the OP. Let the virus rip and I dread to think of what would happen to the whole workforce. As Rocky mentioned we need to smooth the peaks of people becoming infected so that the infrastructure can still run albeit at a reduced level.
Infected is NOT THE SAME as "ill/not fit to work", Jack. That's literally the point I'm making.
 

1875

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Infected is NOT THE SAME as "ill/not fit to work", Jack. That's literally the point I'm making.

Add to that many people now work from home, isolating doesn't affect their ability to do their job.
 

Davy

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Interesting seeing South Africa have ridden the storm and their president saying that lockdowns are no longer a tool against Covid. The media also seem to have gone a bit cold on reports from Brazil and Belarus, two countries who opposed lockdowns albeit Brazil had quite a high death rate. African nations by and large also do not appear to have been hit hard by this virus. I wonder if it has far more to do with obesity rates and general ill health from our way of life as so many other countries appear to cope much better.

On the flip side, this will not be the last variant, here is one that is rife in France but doesn't seem to be strong enough to uproot Omicron. https://www.www.contrast.org/hillsborough//health/17222451/what-new-covid-variant-ihu/


I was always led to believe the the virus needs to become less fatal towards humans in order to survive itself in the long term and somehow expect it to become more like a flu or a cold in the long run.
 
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