Coronavirus - Strange times

User avatar
cdd
Posts: 2542
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 14.05
Location: de Voitures
Contact:

I agree - not all lockdown measures are equally effective, and in time each will be subjected to their own cost-benefit analysis, with hopefully a consensus being arrived at on what a reasonable level of lockdown and distancing is.

I think travel may selectively restart sooner than others predict though (whether the demand is there is another matter!). For all the differences in approach, most Western countries are in broadly similar boats (just at different points on the curve).
tightrope78
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 15.35

cwathen wrote:
Tue 07 Apr, 2020 14.00
gottago wrote:
Tue 07 Apr, 2020 13.32
cwathen wrote:
Tue 07 Apr, 2020 13.23
I think a further extension of the lockdown to the end of April is inevitable, but from May we'll go back to where we were before it - that is restaurants, bars and pubs still shut, social distancing still being required whilst outside but most people able to go back to work and to travel around.
I really can't see it being as early as May. We're still some weeks behind Italy and they're unlikely to be easing any sizeable restrictions until May.
.... and of course if Sweden continue to have no lockdown and it doesn't cause a runaway disaster then the evidence might be increasingly that lockdowns aren't an effective means of controlling it.
The government tried the Swedish approach (herd immunity) and the self same press that is now calling for the restrictions to be loosened were outraged and forced the government’s hand into a lockdown when that was never their original intention.

Equally, the Swedish ‘experiment’ is only possible because people instinctively trust the government and the media in Sweden and believe that they act in the greater good. Mistrust of politicians, of all parties, in the UK makes this approach unworkable here. This ultimately is the outworkings of two decades of accumulating mistrust in politicians and experts. Kind of like the Brexit vote really.
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7214
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

tightrope78 wrote:
Tue 07 Apr, 2020 16.35
The government tried the Swedish approach (herd immunity) and the self same press that is now calling for the restrictions to be loosened were outraged and forced the government’s hand into a lockdown when that was never their original intention.
I don't think that's necessarily true. Herd immunity was always a stalling tactic / talking point despite what some claim. The logic was if you started the lock down too early you'd lose support and it would go crap.

I think what Phil mentions is also true, the govt - despite their flaws - were wary of having to do this and possibly left it a tad too long.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
thegeek
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

So it turns out we were allowed to do our own risk assessments all along? Thanks, Dom.
wells
Posts: 741
Joined: Sun 31 Jul, 2005 14.52

First off I’m not a fan of Dominic Cummings how he comes across or his politics. However I think he has a strong argument here. I specifically remember Jenny Harries talking about there being exceptional circumstances where you may have to drive for childcare in some circumstances even if you were meant to be self-isolating. I think it’s reasonable to believe he and his wife may have thought they’d be hospitalised as a result of contracting this virus, by which point it would have been much too late to find childcare. I think the idea they could find someone better placed to leave their son with in London is a bit far fetched, it’s the sort of circumstance where you’d only be comfortable asking close family.

Some of the reporters were clutching at straws today when they started bringing up ‘single parents’ not being able to do the same. But I think if they had Cummings luxuries and particular set of circumstances they would. It started to become a bit too much about having a go at him because he was privileged to be able to do it once they realised he had a strong argument against the idea he broke the rules by going up to Durham.

Of course the stuff about the 30 minute trip in the car to the castle is a bit more questionable, but I’d say that was the only thing that possibly went against the spirit of the law.

I do think this is a bigger story due him being such a despised figure. It’s also very difficult to explain the nuances of a situation like this to masses who will condemn on social media. Especially when the likes Piers Morgan won’t back down regardless of whether it’s deserved as he doesn’t do reasoned discussion.

I should add I watched that press conference today fully expecting and wanting him to screw up or do badly as I’m not a fan of the guy. But the majority of his reasoning added up for me.
User avatar
cdd
Posts: 2542
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 14.05
Location: de Voitures
Contact:

My take is that his trip to Durham was defensible (due to a very particular set of circumstances), but the separate trip to Barnard Castle was BS (the dodgy explanation and hypocrisy, rather than the actual risks posed).
thegeek wrote:
Mon 25 May, 2020 22.52
So it turns out we were allowed to do our own risk assessments all along? Thanks, Dom.
I know your statement was sarcastic, but I actually think this is spot on. Behind the “stay home” slogan lies legislation which hinges on the interpretation of “reasonable excuse”, accompanied by a non-exhaustive list of things that definitely are reasonable.
bilky asko
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

Of course, Twitter had a collective orgasm over Beth Rigby screwing her face up at Dominic Cummings.

As it was, it felt like she'd not actually listened to what was said properly, and missed out on asking some pertinent questions just to get in the question of resignation in first.

Ultimately, it seems like it's been completely overblown. And the way he comes across does rather dent the bogeyman image that's been painted of him.
Image
User avatar
dosxuk
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu 07 Feb, 2008 21.37
Location: Sheffield

There is the slight problem that when Jennie Harris was referring to exceptions for moving, she continually refers to "safeguarding" - that is a word with specific meanings, and potentially needing childcare isn't one of them.

First he rushed home to help his ill wife, who was showing symptoms of coronavirus, before returning to work later that day. He stated pretty clearly that he didn't bother looking into local solutions to his home before deciding to go to Durham. His family then had to use Durham's healthcare services, with multiple people showing coronavirus symptoms. He then decided to take his wife and 4 year old son on a 60 mile drive to a well known beauty spot on his wife's birthday to test his eyesight.

There has been no convincing explanations as to why a family member could not have traveled to London to assist him at his home. Nor why him and his wife specifically referred to staying in London while in isolation. And somehow we're supposed to believe that his son couldn't go 30 miles without needing the loo on the eye test trip, yet he didn't need to go once on the 250 mile journey to and from London.

If he'd been up front and honest from the start, or he'd only broken lockdown to collect his niece to help at their home in London. Or he lived in the middle of nowhere with no support nearby, then I might have some sympathy for his situation. He and his team have set the penalty for senior figure breaking the spirit of the lockdown rules as resignation, and even if he didn't break the written rule of law, he's completely run amok over the spirit of them and that's why he should go.
User avatar
tillyoshea
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun 23 Nov, 2003 14.34
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact:

I'm confounded by the claim that Cummings sought "senior medical advice" which cleared him to drive back from Durham to London to return to work. We're therefore asked to accept the idea that he reported having problems with his eyesight, and a "senior medical advisor" confirmed—without any test or examination—that he was safe to drive.

That seems like extraordinary advice.

The alternative scenario may be that he sought medical advice on returning to work without declaring all of his symptoms. This hypothetical would raise some serious questions about integrity, especially in the context of clear guidance to remain in isolation until all symptoms (with the exception of a cough) have resolved.
bilky asko
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

dosxuk wrote:
Tue 26 May, 2020 07.58
There is the slight problem that when Jennie Harris was referring to exceptions for moving, she continually refers to "safeguarding" - that is a word with specific meanings, and potentially needing childcare isn't one of them.

First he rushed home to help his ill wife, who was showing symptoms of coronavirus, before returning to work later that day. He stated pretty clearly that he didn't bother looking into local solutions to his home before deciding to go to Durham. His family then had to use Durham's healthcare services, with multiple people showing coronavirus symptoms. He then decided to take his wife and 4 year old son on a 60 mile drive to a well known beauty spot on his wife's birthday to test his eyesight.

There has been no convincing explanations as to why a family member could not have traveled to London to assist him at his home. Nor why him and his wife specifically referred to staying in London while in isolation. And somehow we're supposed to believe that his son couldn't go 30 miles without needing the loo on the eye test trip, yet he didn't need to go once on the 250 mile journey to and from London.

If he'd been up front and honest from the start, or he'd only broken lockdown to collect his niece to help at their home in London. Or he lived in the middle of nowhere with no support nearby, then I might have some sympathy for his situation. He and his team have set the penalty for senior figure breaking the spirit of the lockdown rules as resignation, and even if he didn't break the written rule of law, he's completely run amok over the spirit of them and that's why he should go.
It's been reported in some quarters (Al Jazeera being the first one I could find) that his son is autistic, and may have been a factor in not finding someone local that his son would be unfamiliar with.

EDIT: It appears Al Jazeera have just read Twitter and not done any actual confirmation.

If both him and his wife were incapacitated in bed with a four-year-old child, would that be a safeguarding issue? Would it not be appropriate to prepare for that possibility if it were imminent?

The eyesight thing is obviously silly. Sincere or not in his reasoning, it would have been better to be precautionary and wait a day.

In terms of travelling up instead of going to collect his niece, that involves double the travelling and leaves fewer contingencies. And I don't think the media would have forgiven either.
Image
User avatar
dosxuk
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu 07 Feb, 2008 21.37
Location: Sheffield

Many families have been in the same situation but have followed the rules as they were told to. Autistic child or not, he specifically stated he didn't consider options for childcare in London before deciding to drive to Durham. That's not him weighing up the options, that's him ignoring the options.

He wants us to think this is a very specific exception which couldn't possibly be covered by the rules, but when you write it down, it seems like that isn't the case. The rules are if you or anyone in your household are showing symptoms "You must stay at home" not "You must stay at home unless you think traveling to a property elsewhere that you have access to will be safer for you and your household". The rules even specifically say you must not travel to a second home, which he tried to bluff around by saying it wasn't that nice as it's only made from concrete blocks.

How anyone can consider this a lessor offense than healthy non-symptomatic people travelling a short distance to a second home, or being visited by a close "friend" is beyond me.
Please Respond