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1 hour ago, lost said:

I'd argue its less essential than a kids education personally.. there are one or two other channels.

I think mental and physical health and safety takes priority. I'm glad it's not me responsible for deciding the best way to achieve that.

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3 minutes ago, LJS said:

I don't have a number.

Well this as far as I can see is the issue. At least there are so called "experts" like the prof at the Buckingham Medical School arguing that the children are not the transmitters of this virus. It just looks like people inventing reasons so they can play politics with kids futures.

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2 minutes ago, feral chile said:

I think mental and physical health and safety takes priority. I'm glad it's not me responsible for deciding the best way to achieve that.

That's why I wondered if that opinion piece in the Independent might be right, whoever happened to be in charge now, and no matter the decisions made, and their outcomes.

This is a lose-lose situation. Hopefully we'll learn and adapt, that's about the most positive thing I can think of about this whole mess.

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I think one factor here is that the damage done by putting society on hold increases dramatically with time passed. What that means is the risk on the other side (of people in permanent unemployment, deaths from despair, business collapse, etc) isn’t flat. As time passes, the amount of risk society is willing to tolerate should increase to compensate for this. 
 

I’ve seen a few people asking the question - what’s changed since 12 weeks ago to make it safe now. I think this is a (the?) key reason.

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10 minutes ago, JoshD said:

I think one factor here is that the damage done by putting society on hold increases dramatically with time passed. What that means is the risk on the other side (of people in permanent unemployment, deaths from despair, business collapse, etc) isn’t flat. As time passes, the amount of risk society is willing to tolerate should increase to compensate for this. 
 

I’ve seen a few people asking the question - what’s changed since 12 weeks ago to make it safe now. I think this is a (the?) key reason.

Yes, I agree. I'm so ambivalent about it all.

Trying to get your head around the way this particular pandemic works, and how to respond to it.

Now we're in a situation where we have a high number of deaths, a high number of unemployed, an ongoing risk, and no action that's undoubtedly the best option, even under normal left leaning  arguments that usually put social welfare above economics.

Welsh people are generally supportive of the Welsh Government policy of maintaining lockdown at the moment.

Maybe not so much long term if areas relying on tourism completely collapse.

It's a tightrope that we're teetering on.

Edited by feral chile

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On 5/17/2020 at 11:35 PM, pink_triangle said:

I am not sure I would consider this a right/left issue. At the same time the Sweden strategy always looked risky.

This.

I have been amazed (or perhaps not...) at the speed with which the far-left and far-right - both very keen on oversimplification - have adopted polar opposite positions in relation to shutting down society (or more accurately, keeping society shut down).

I honestly thought this would turn out to be another 'Brexit' (for which there is even less of a left-wing case!), and for some time near the start it actually seemed fairly split.

A far-left case can easily be constructed to support reopening and a far-right case can easily be constructed to support shutting down through the cherry-picking of data. Many components of shutting down (such as anti-immigration or "police state" enforcement) have more in common with the far-right than the far-left.

I don't remember hearing my left-wing friends loudly arguing for greater curbs on society back in February - when with hindsight it would have been the right move, but we were taking a calculated risk - but I do remember my right-wing friends asking why we haven't closed the borders already.

When the likes of Momentum mysteriously find themselves on the same side as Piers Morgan, a person generally renowned for spouting populist drivel, you'd think it would be cause for reflection on the above point.

I thought Simon Jenkins' article in the Guardian was fascinating - not because it said anything groundbreaking, but because it is a rare example of a left-of-centre publication questioning what has arguably become the rallying cry for the left.

(For what it's worth, I have respect for LJS' and Neil's position - even though I am not sure I come to the same conclusion - because at least there is an articulation of what would be necessary to restore society; it's amazing how many people ranting on this topic (on either side!) refuse to do so).

Edited by JoshD

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31 minutes ago, JoshD said:

I thought Simon Jenkins' article in the Guardian was fascinating - not because it said anything groundbreaking, but because it is a rare example of a left-of-centre publication questioning what has arguably become the rallying cry for the left.

I quoted that article further back where he states Sweden hasn't seen the surge in all causes deaths the lockdown countries have.

Looking at our figures when the French have gone back and tested old blood samples and found Covid in the population in Europe as far back as at least December it does seem strange that more of our excess deaths are not falling outside the lockdown period. Its something that definitely needs looking into more when this is all over.

 

Edited by lost

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On 5/18/2020 at 8:23 AM, Neil said:

that 12 weeks is at an end in early June. :P 

But anyway, they're now the forgotten group. When did you last here them spoken about in the govt briefings? ;) 

Quite. A shambles of mixed messages were given to people with pre-existing conditions prior to the lockdown. Was fully expecting to get a NHS letter as they were saying anyone who's offered a flu jab every year was at risk.

From what I can gather, only those deemed to be "Extremely High Risk" got letters in the end (though I have yet to hear from anyone who actually got one). Those deemed "Particularly High Risk" or "High Risk" were left confused imo. And I'm sure they've changed the names of the categories at least once, just to add to the confusion. 

I didn't know what the fuck to do. My G.P. and employer didn't know what to do and were both looking for guidance from above. Those above didn't have any answer at the time. Eventually work made the call for me (kind of). Still not really sure what is going on.

Personally I'd take the BHFs guidelines over the governments.

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health

1 hour ago, feral chile said:

Anyone fancy a game of "what if"?

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-tory-government-christmas-cabinet-brexit-coronavirus-trade-a9520076.html

What if the election hadn't been called?

What if Boris hadn't won the leadership contest?

What if Labour had won the GE?

What if Corbyn was PM?

Or Starmer?

What might we be looking at now? The same article just a different name?

Or not?

I reckon they'd have been calling for heads to roll a couple of months ago if the election had gone another way.

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4 hours ago, lost said:

Well I guess thats a different argument if you think people like Van Tam and Chris Whitty are chancers.

I simply stated what happened with Van Tam yesterday.

You can make up your own mind about whether you think quarantining <300 out of 18.1M travellers can be regarded as a success, and whether someone talking about what he did on the 30th February is sticking to purely science. ;) 

And as you have so much faith in Van Tam's words, I guess you're able to point me to the research he talked about?

What's that? You can't? Is that because it doesn't exist....?

:P 

Generally I've been impressed with the UK scientists - they're definitely better tha  the politicians - but that still doesn't mean you should swallow everything they say. Sometimes - like with Van Tam yesterday - only guff leaves their mouth.

 

4 hours ago, lost said:

I'm simply pointing out that if our scientists are correct there are many professions that have been taking greater risks for alot less money and in Tony Blair's words of Education Education Education, it wouldn't of done a tenth of the potential damage to society if they were not working.

There's a difference between roles essential for the functioning of society, and those which aren't.

There's a difference between having momentary contact with many individual adults and being couped up all day with 15 coughing/sneezing/snotty/ raspberry-blowing can't-self-isolaste kids.

There's a difference between being allowed to use PPE and being instructed it is not permitted.

And there's very clearly a difference between what politicians say about state schools and other people's kids and what is happening with their own kids at fee-paying schools. ;) 

Etc, etc, etc.

The teachers are not saying they won't go back; most have been teaching all the time anyway, either at school with key worker kids or with online lessons.

They are refusing to be thrown under the bus.

And I don't blame them.

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56 minutes ago, MrZigster said:

From what I can gather, only those deemed to be "Extremely High Risk" got letters in the end (though I have yet to hear from anyone who actually got one).

my mother got one - tho she's 84 and had pneumonia a few years ago.

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2 minutes ago, Neil said:

my mother got one - tho she's 84 and had pneumonia a few years ago.

Genuinely the first I've heard of. My mother is the same age, has had cancer, and didn't get one.

As I said, confusion. I genuinely thought everyone over 70 was going to be contacted from the information given out at the start of all this.

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14 minutes ago, Neil said:

There's a difference between having momentary contact with many individual adults and being couped up all day with 15 coughing/sneezing/snotty/ raspberry-blowing can't-self-isolaste kids.

Yes but they have this anyway?

If the scientists are not talking bollocks then they are at greater risk during influenza season when healthy people also die than now, as those outbreaks like say aussie flu in 2018 would be driven by children so teachers 'SHOULD' be hit harder than the general population.

Its impossible to mitigate all risk which is why I thought the lockdown was a temporary thing about protecting the NHS from the initial peak. Nobody mentioned at the start it would then continue until we've eliminated any pathogens from the classroom.

Edited by lost

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25 minutes ago, Neil said:

And as you have so much faith in Van Tam's words, I guess you're able to point me to the research he talked about?

What's that? You can't? Is that because it doesn't exist....?

:P 

Here you go. One of the biggest studies done proportionally due to icelands population:

https://www.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/blog/hunting-down-covid-19/

13% of the population tested and not a single example of them tracking it where its jumped from child to adult.

Edited by lost

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21 minutes ago, lost said:

Here you go. One of the biggest studies done proportionally due to icelands population:

https://www.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/blog/hunting-down-covid-19/

13% of the population tested and not a single example of them tracking it where its jumped from child to adult.

I dont think we can take too much from such a small population which dealt with it better than us.

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34 minutes ago, zahidf said:

I dont think we can take too much from such a small population which dealt with it better than us.

That doesn't make any sense? If they dealt with it well we should listen to them. Its only like an exit poll from an election you don't need that much data to form an accurate picture.

But I'm happy to play devils advocate with you and say the next kid they test passes it onto an adult that still makes their R rate less than 0.00008 for transmission between kids and adults. 

They have been shit hot on how the virus has passed through the population:

 

Edited by lost

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41 minutes ago, lost said:

Yes but they have this anyway?

If the scientists are not talking bollocks then they are at greater risk during influenza season when healthy people also die than now, as those outbreaks like say aussie flu in 2018 would be driven by children so teachers 'SHOULD' be hit harder than the general population.

Its impossible to mitigate all risk which is why I thought the lockdown was a temporary thing about protecting the NHS from the initial peak. Nobody mentioned at the start it would then continue until we've eliminated any pathogens from the classroom.

And no one is suggesting that now.

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56 minutes ago, Neil said:

The teachers are not saying they won't go back; most have been teaching all the time anyway, either at school with key worker kids or with online lessons.

.

I wouldn't say they are teaching all the time. In our schools there are no online lessons and the teachers/teaching assistants are teaching 1-2 days every 10 days. I know a few teachers (teaching classes of varying ages) and none have a full time schedule at present

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5 minutes ago, LJS said:

And no one is suggesting that now.

When certain vaccine companies are saying there isn't enough of the virus out there left to conduct real world tests into how successful the vaccines are then they effectively are yes.

Edited by lost

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33 minutes ago, pink_triangle said:

I wouldn't say they are teaching all the time. In our schools there are no online lessons and the teachers/teaching assistants are teaching 1-2 days every 10 days. I know a few teachers (teaching classes of varying ages) and none have a full time schedule at present

I'd agree with this.  My son gets 2-3 pages of activities, that must have taken 2 hours max to pull together.  Plus a 2 min call from the class teacher each week.  She must spend half a day on the kids at home if I was being generous.  She also does 1 week in 5 in school looking after the key worker kids.  It's hardly full time.

I appreciate some of the teachers of older kids are doing some sterling work with online lessons, etc but there are a lot getting a much easier time of it.

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5 hours ago, lost said:

 

Its impossible to mitigate all risk which is why I thought the lockdown was a temporary thing about protecting the NHS from the initial peak. Nobody mentioned at the start it would then continue until we've eliminated any pathogens from the classroom.

 

4 hours ago, LJS said:

And no one is suggesting that now.

 

4 hours ago, lost said:

When certain vaccine companies are saying there isn't enough of the virus out there left to conduct real world tests into how successful the vaccines are then they effectively are yes.

If 500 people a day are still dying then we have not eliminated the pathogen from anywhere and the fact that vaccine companies would find it easier to test a vaccine if loads more folk were dying is a total red herring.

I totally accept that schools will require to re-open whilst there is still a level of infection present in the general population. I just happen to believe that the risks in doing that now are not worth taking. Apart from anything else, you folk in England have all started flooding back to work and increasing the use of public transport. At the very least it makes sense to see what impact that has on infection rates before loosening things any further.

The damage to vulnerable children & the economy from leaving lockdown too soon is potentially far worse than from coming out of lockdown more gradually.

What the Icelandic stuff showed more than anything else was the value of accurate information when deciding policy - we do not have that sort of information at present.

 

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18 minutes ago, LJS said:

 

 

If 500 people a day are still dying then we have not eliminated the pathogen from anywhere and the fact that vaccine companies would find it easier to test a vaccine if loads more folk were dying is a total red herring.

 

The government last quoted an infection rate of 0.27%. To test a vaccine you need to vaccinate someone, have them go about their business coming into contact with lots of infected people over a few months and see if the develop symptoms of the virus.

Quote

I totally accept that schools will require to re-open whilst there is still a level of infection present in the general population. I just happen to believe that the risks in doing that now are not worth taking

But you say its not zero risk but won't say what level of risk you accept?

Is it the same or less risk a teacher faces not killing themselves driving to school? The same risk a teacher faces not killing themselves eating their lunch choking? The same risk a teacher faces not breaking their neck falling over whilst putting their trousers on on a morning? What is an acceptable level of risk?

Edited by lost

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1 hour ago, lost said:

The government last quoted an infection rate of 0.27%. To test a vaccine you need to vaccinate someone, have them go about their business coming into contact with lots of infected people over a few months and see if the develop symptoms of the virus.

So what? I presume you're not suggesting that we let the virus run riot so we can test a vaccine? I totally fail to see what point you are making.

1 hour ago, lost said:

But you say its not zero risk but won't say what level of risk you accept?

Look, I'm not a virologist (I'm a libra) nor an epidemiologist. I have made clear the 3 conditions which seem to me sensible for lifting lockdown. The exact infection level or R number we are prepared to live with is ultimately a political decision. If you want me to put numbers on it. I would suggest we aim for deaths below 100 per day and an R number about 0.5 or lower. 

1 hour ago, lost said:

Is it the same or less risk a teacher faces not killing themselves driving to school? The same risk a teacher faces not killing themselves eating their lunch choking? The same risk a teacher faces not breaking their neck falling over whilst putting their trousers on on a morning? What is an acceptable level of risk?

It's not just risk to teachers. It's risk to teachers' families and pupils' grannies and dinner ladies and their families and folk they all meet in the community.

You tell me what level of risk you find acceptable & why you think now or June 1st is the time when that risk is about right.

 

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13 minutes ago, LJS said:

So what? I presume you're not suggesting that we let the virus run riot so we can test a vaccine? I totally fail to see what point you are making.

That the lock-down has achieved what it set out to achieve. low level of virus in the community where by the NHS won't be overloaded.

Quote

It's not just risk to teachers. It's risk to teachers' families and pupils' grannies and dinner ladies and their families and folk they all meet in the community.

No because joiners, carpet fitters, order pickers suffer those risks as well. We were talking about if teachers face extra risk which makes them "special" when everyone else who can't work from home has gone back already. Are you at extra risk being around kids? the data from Iceland suggests not.

Quote

You tell me what level of risk you find acceptable & why you think now or June 1st is the time when that risk is about right.

As I said originally I didn't think it was about risk. The public were sold the idea of a lock down based on it being around getting over the first peak (which I believe happened on April 8th) We were told the virus would be around a long time (possibly forever) shutting down the economy for years wasn't an option and so we all had to get used to the idea we may contract the thing.  

Edited by lost

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2 hours ago, LJS said:

 

I totally accept that schools will require to re-open whilst there is still a level of infection present in the general population. I just happen to believe that the risks in doing that now are not worth taking. Apart from anything else, you folk in England have all started flooding back to work and increasing the use of public transport. At the very least it makes sense to see what impact that has on infection rates before loosening things any further.

 

For all the talk about reopening, the reality is that schools have stayed open throughout the peak and remain open. Teachers have been going in to school and not keeping to the 2m rule. I don't know if there has been shown that these teachers have had greater risk than the average population.

Also the term reopening kind of gives the impression to going back to normal, in a voluntary system we all know that's not happening. Rather than a reopening, I see it as a relaxing of restrictions, to increase numbers and then monitor, that in itself is not a terrible idea.

To me the big unknown (which makes it difficult for informed debate) is knowing how much the numbers will increase from this relaxation. If we have 5 percent in school now (my rough estimate) and a compulsory opening would increase this to 40 percent (me guessing here) we know volunteer opening will be a number between 5 and 40, but where?  Will it be different in different geographical areas, socioeconomic groups etc. That's why I find myself sitting on the fence, I feel I'm missing the key bit of information!

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27 minutes ago, lost said:

That the lock-down has achieved what it set out to achieve. low level of virus in the community where by the NHS won't be overloaded.

No because joiners, carpet fitters, order pickers suffer those risks as well. We were talking about if teachers face extra risk which makes them "special" when everyone else who can't work from home has gone back already. Are you at extra risk being around kids? the data from Iceland suggests not.

As I said originally I didn't think it was about risk. The public were sold the idea of a lock down based on it being around getting over the first peak (which I believe happened on April 8th) We were told the virus would be around a long time (possibly forever) shutting down the economy for years wasn't an option and so we all had to get used to the idea we may contract the thing.  

so you're cool with 4-500 deaths a day because clearly the NHS can cope with that? And with the UK currently at no. 4 in the world for per capita death rate and rising. you think that's  chance worth taking?

One of the problems those making the decisions face is that it takes about 2-3 weeks before the results of any actions become apparent. A lot of folk have returned to work this week - it would seem prudent to me to wait and see what impact that has had before moving further. If in 3 weeks time infection rates and deaths ares still heading downwards and the R number is well below 1 - then is the time to think about the next step. it is perfectly possible that reopening schools on the 1st june will be fine   - its equally possible that it won't. The last report i saw had the R number possibly not far from 1 - imagine the return to work has pushed it over 1 & then - before we know this - we reopen schools, what then? The only option the UK has would be to tighten the lockdown again possibly for many weeks with all the attendant harms that you have so clearly highlighted. Trust me I have no more desire than you for vulnerable and underprivileged to suffer any more than necessary. i actually don't think you and I differ much at all in the outcome we seek. We simply hold different views on the best way to get there.  

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