Coronavirus - Strange times

james2001
Posts: 672
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

Scotland's likely to be the last due to the SNP having the most reason to keep them as part of their political game playing with Westminster, though the way Mark Drakeford's been acting recently makes it seem just as likely to be Wales. Both are clearly going to keep restrictions much longer than needed regardless anyway.

Though both Sturgeon and Drakeford would be just as happy to have lesser restrictions than England if they thought it would help their political narrative, though that isn't the case at the moment. If Boris had kept masks and some other restictions in July I could have seen them taking that direction though, citing the lower case rates they had at the time.
all new Phil
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

Who had James turning out to be the Tories’ biggest fan on their 2022 bingo card? 😉

Seriously though they do seem to have been somewhat vindicated in their refusal to introduce stronger restrictions over Christmas and New Year. I was very sceptical and feared we were heading for a huge spike in hospitalisations and deaths but I think overall, the approach not just over the last few weeks but since last spring has been correct.

I’m also amazed (without wanting to jinx it!) that I haven’t caught it yet (or at least I’ve had it with no symptoms), despite working amongst the public in an area where it isn’t taken particularly seriously, and being in close contact with my mum and my brother who both tested positive at various points. I read recently some research into rate of infection depending on diet (I’m vegetarian) - it seemed to find that those who followed my sort of diet were less susceptible to it whereas followers of high-protein-low-carb diets were more likely to be infected. There is perhaps an argument that people following a vegetarian / plant-based diet are healthier overall anyway so it could be a correlation not equaling causation type thing but it was interesting nevertheless.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
cwathen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

james2001 wrote: Sun 09 Jan, 2022 11.17 Scotland's likely to be the last due to the SNP having the most reason to keep them as part of their political game playing with Westminster, though the way Mark Drakeford's been acting recently makes it seem just as likely to be Wales. Both are clearly going to keep restrictions much longer than needed regardless anyway.
I would say Wales will be the last to drop restrictions. Yes of course Sturgeon & Drakeford would inevitably align themselves with what is going on in Europe than what is going on in England, so both were very keen to introduce restrictions. However it will get harder and harder to ignore the fact that the lack of restrictions in England is increasingly being vindicated, making it harder to claim that tougher restrictions are either justified or working. Sturgeon I believe already knows that, but to save face she has to keep them for a while and will shortly just allow them to time-out, being that her previous baseline was pretty much the same as England's plan B measures anyway she will still have some measures in place after her new restrictions end so can still claim to be taking interventions when England goes back to plan A.

Drakeford on the other hand will be an entirely different kettle of fish. I honestly believe the man is becoming unhinged, he will never stop wanting more and more restrictions and will ignore any and all advice that doesn't support his belief in that approach.

His actions have been very worrying ever since his insane directive that supermarkets had to seal off some sections during previous lockdowns lest non essential products be obtained, leading to a 68000-signature Senedd petition on the subject (the largest ever, by some margin). Drakeford appeared totally unmoved and did not even seem to understand (nor particularly care) about the argument being made. He had ordered non essential retail closed and over his dead body would he be defied by people simply going to the supermarket instead. He did not want to talk about it. King Drakeford had spoken, you will not buy clothes or kettles during a lockdown and that is that. No other UK nation ever went that far.

Most recently he has started referring to restrictions as 'protections' just as Sturgeon has been doing, but also somewhat seems to be doubling down on his position that restrictions are the right thing to be doing with his scathing attack on the UK government for not having more, and he is clearly frustrated that Wales isn't as restricted as he would like it to be (I think if funding for a lockdown was available he'd have done it). Again, any suggestion that he is getting too out of step given that England not restricting hasn't been the unmitigated disaster it was claimed is falling on deaf ears.

Most worringly, I do honestly believe that Drakeford might actually turn the screw further and introduce further restrictions to Wales in the full knowledge that not only is there no central government assistance in place to support going further, but nor will any be forthcoming either as the clear path being beaten is moving away from restrictions, not bringing more in. He won't care, he'll do it anyway and claim he is keeping people 'safe'.

Even if not, I don't think Drakeford has got any intention at all of dropping restrictions in Wales before the spring, and no amount of pressure is going to move him on the issue.

EDIT - Breaking today, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced it may play it's 6 nations home games in England to get around Drakeford's stadium crowd ban. Each home game played at Cardiff brings in £20M of revenue to the Welsh economy. It's money Wales can't afford to lose. Does Drakeford care? No. Instead he's defending this potential catastrophic loss to the Welsh economy - and giveaway to the English economy, ignoring the warnings about how the Welsh economy is being damaged out of all proportion to the risk and trying to justify it by prattling on about 'the storm of Omicron'.
all new Phil wrote:Seriously though they do seem to have been somewhat vindicated in their refusal to introduce stronger restrictions over Christmas and New Year. I was very sceptical and feared we were heading for a huge spike in hospitalisations and deaths but I think overall, the approach not just over the last few weeks but since last spring has been correct.
Let's be honest though, it's only the backbenchers pressuring Johnson against restrictions (and particularly the plan B vote) which have sent England down that path. Johnson almost certainly would have wanted more restrictions initially. But since it's all gone rather better than expected, it looks like Johnson may recover from this challenge to his authority by taking the credit for keeping restrictions out of England (and possibly leading the world away from them) when I suspect it was the last thing he actually wanted to do at the time.
Alan de Robson
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon 15 Sep, 2014 12.24

If I were a gambling man, I would say that England and Sweden may be the countries to lead the world out of this mess and downgrade COVID to an endemic.

Boris makes my skin crawl so it pains me to think that.
Jonwo
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat 26 Apr, 2008 02.05

I'm no supporter of the UK Government but you wonder if they will refuse further support beyond the winter and just tell the Devolved administrations that can keep restrictions if they want but it'll have to come from their own budgets which isn't really viable for either countries,
Charlie Wells
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue 02 Nov, 2004 16.23
Location: Cambridgeshire

Neil wrote: Fri 07 Jan, 2022 17.47
Jonwo wrote: Thu 06 Jan, 2022 20.27 I wonder which will be the first country to stop publishing daily numbers of cases, hospitalisation and deaths? I reckon no one will drop it entirely but I can see it being phased out.
I wouldn't be in the slightest bit surprised it was the UK. Or at least England.
I wouldn't be surprised if they started phasing it out in a couple months once winter is out. At a guess they'll start by not publishing stats over the weekends, which I think some countries may already do. The next stage could be to drop back to a twice weekly publishing of data, before just once a week.
"If ass holes could fly then this place would be an airport."
cwathen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Jonwo wrote: Sun 09 Jan, 2022 18.01 I'm no supporter of the UK Government but you wonder if they will refuse further support beyond the winter and just tell the Devolved administrations that can keep restrictions if they want but it'll have to come from their own budgets which isn't really viable for either countries,
TBH that's absolutely the right thing to do. The only reason the devolved administrations are allowed to set their own restrictions is on the basis that they come under health protection and health is a devolved matter. If restrictions are not wanted by the UK government but are wanted by the devolved administrations then they can be paid for by the devolved administrations.

In reality of course this will cause the NI Exec and Scottish Government to fold on restrictions that exceed those in England as it clearly isn't viable to fund restrictions from a devolved health budget meant to be used for healthcare, nor is it viable to impose restrictions without providing support. But as for the Welsh Government, well as per my previous post I wouldn't at all rule out Drakeford just doing it anyway and either funding them through cuts left right and centre, or just not providing support and leaving the people to deal with it.
Jonwo
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat 26 Apr, 2008 02.05

Surely keeping restrictions longer than needed will hurt the Welsh economy in the long run and I doubt Mark Drakeford intentionally wants to hurt businesses and people in Wales just to get one up on the UK Government.
cwathen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Jonwo wrote: Sun 09 Jan, 2022 19.12 Surely keeping restrictions longer than needed will hurt the Welsh economy in the long run and I doubt Mark Drakeford intentionally wants to hurt businesses and people in Wales just to get one up on the UK Government.
Intentionally, no. But look at his actions, past and present. Look at what he's said in the past week. Look at how he responds to 6 nations games potentially being played in England and taking all that money away from Wales. It's not about getting one up on the UK government, he's of the view that restrictions are necessary and justified beyond question as if it is still March 2020 and he isn't going to be told otherwise. And he will hurt businesses and people in Wales before he challenges himself on his thinking.
thegeek
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

all new Phil wrote: Sun 09 Jan, 2022 15.22 I’m also amazed (without wanting to jinx it!) that I haven’t caught it yet (or at least I’ve had it with no symptoms), despite working amongst the public in an area where it isn’t taken particularly seriously, and being in close contact with my mum and my brother who both tested positive at various points. I read recently some research into rate of infection depending on diet (I’m vegetarian) - it seemed to find that those who followed my sort of diet were less susceptible to it whereas followers of high-protein-low-carb diets were more likely to be infected. There is perhaps an argument that people following a vegetarian / plant-based diet are healthier overall anyway so it could be a correlation not equaling causation type thing but it was interesting nevertheless.
Ditto. My children have been going to school/nursery (including through some of last year's lockdown), my wife's been travelling by tube into work - and so far it appears none of us have caught it. I wouldn't necessarily call myself the healthiest of eaters, but we are all veggies, so I wonder if that's helped us out?

(I've been saying for weeks now that I've been expecting one of us to catch it any day now, and it's still not happened...)
Charlie Wells
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue 02 Nov, 2004 16.23
Location: Cambridgeshire

thegeek wrote: Mon 10 Jan, 2022 08.29
all new Phil wrote: Sun 09 Jan, 2022 15.22 I’m also amazed (without wanting to jinx it!) that I haven’t caught it yet (or at least I’ve had it with no symptoms), despite working amongst the public in an area where it isn’t taken particularly seriously, and being in close contact with my mum and my brother who both tested positive at various points. I read recently some research into rate of infection depending on diet (I’m vegetarian) - it seemed to find that those who followed my sort of diet were less susceptible to it whereas followers of high-protein-low-carb diets were more likely to be infected. There is perhaps an argument that people following a vegetarian / plant-based diet are healthier overall anyway so it could be a correlation not equaling causation type thing but it was interesting nevertheless.
Ditto. My children have been going to school/nursery (including through some of last year's lockdown), my wife's been travelling by tube into work - and so far it appears none of us have caught it. I wouldn't necessarily call myself the healthiest of eaters, but we are all veggies, so I wonder if that's helped us out?

(I've been saying for weeks now that I've been expecting one of us to catch it any day now, and it's still not happened...)
I'd be doubtful of whether being a vegetarian/vegan is a direct factor in avoiding catching it. However I'd assume with those sort of diets you'd be less likely to be eating junk food, so your immune system may well be stronger as a result. It does appear that those who are overweight or obese have been at greater risk, in addition to those with underlying health factors.

In other news the papers are announcing talk of plans for 'living with Covid by March'. I'm guess part of the plans will see a phasing out of the daily stats reporting. I think a few countries already don't publish figures over the weekend, so I imagine this would be the first step. Then dropping back to twice weekly stats reporting, before eventually reporting only once a week. I expect the reports of plans to start charging for lateral flow tests will have seen a surge in people trying to get hold of kits now whist they're free.
"If ass holes could fly then this place would be an airport."
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