Coronavirus - Strange times

tightrope78
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 15.35

cdd wrote: Sun 18 Oct, 2020 22.27 That said I do have one thought about lockdowns. Which is that if there was as much wide support for them as people claim, they wouldn't need to be implemented in the first place. People - as they did in mid March - would already be backing off all forms of social activity. March's lockdown was just formalising into law what the vast majority of people were already doing. That isn't happening in my observation so I suspect there will be massive compliance issues with any future lockdown.
I agree with this. Here in Northern Ireland our circuit breaker has started and you can immediately see the towns and high streets empty. In saying that there has meant to have been no household visits for over a month now and people have simply ignored it.

From what I see of Manchester and London on social media I can't imagine how any lockdown would be enforced. People don't seem to be regulating their social contacts like they did in early March. The pictures I see of people out drinking and having meals with groups of people is staggering. I also know people who seem to get a covid test every few weeks to prove they don't have it and it then allows them to go out drinking for a few weeks until their next test.
gottago
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 19.50

Bit of a dull observation but it is remarkable how effective social distancing can be. We found out our colleague tested positive a few days after our team of six had been in the office together 2 metres apart for over six hours. Work payed for us all to have two private tests - one after 7 days, another just under 2 weeks and all of us came back negative. I assumed it at least the person sat nearest to them would have been at risk but apparently not. We're not going back to the office any time soon because of it (same applies for the rest of the company!) but they were very strictly enforcing social distance rules, one way systems, only sitting at the desks you're assigned etc. and that enforcement was very effective, in this case at least.
thegeek
Posts: 622
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

I'm curious to know whether one-way systems in buildings actually makes a difference. Even in a poorly ventilated corridor, is there any evidence of transmission from people walking past each other?

Our bulding had an elaborate one-way system (they'd gone as far as getting carpet tiles with arrows printed on them for when the boss came in), but it was becoming so much of a faff that they've hazard-taped out new arrows and put up signs advising people to face away from each other when passing.
all new Phil
Posts: 1649
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

I just find it hilarious that people seem to think if you have it then you walk around surrounded by a haze of COVID. Not sure that’s quite how it’s transmitted.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
cwathen
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Anyone else find the narrative from the Welsh government a little bit alarming? Whether you agree with the lockdown or not is a matter for debate with arguments on both sides, but the government seem to have taken a very firm 'not interested in talking about it, just get on with it' approach in interviews with absolutely no apology being made for the damage it may do nor any consideration that they might be wrong on any point.

That along with questions about whether there is actually any law to restrict of the sale of goods being sold in shops remaining open in the way they have done being swept away as if it is some sort of 'de minimis non curat lex' triviality about kettles when it is actually a very serious point about the concept of being free to do anything not specifically against the law under civil liberty and whether or not this is still in place. As it is the Welsh government don't seem entirely sure about the legal basis for some of their actions, but seem to feel they are entitled to do whatever they want as the government, and that's simply not how the system works.
all new Phil wrote:I just find it hilarious that people seem to think if you have it then you walk around surrounded by a haze of COVID. Not sure that’s quite how it’s transmitted.
It was stated in this thread that you need at least 15 minutes of exposure from an infected person to be at any real risk of catching it. For a little while over the summer I heard a few official interviews referencing it too. Seems to have been retconned away again now.

I still loved it when my Sainsbury's started enforcing the one way systems with metal barriers even though people were passing within 2 metres of each other either side - is the virus supposed to respect the one way system and not cross the barrier or something?
tightrope78
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 15.35

cwathen wrote: Sat 24 Oct, 2020 14.18 Anyone else find the narrative from the Welsh government a little bit alarming? Whether you agree with the lockdown or not is a matter for debate with arguments on both sides, but the government seem to have taken a very firm 'not interested in talking about it, just get on with it' approach in interviews with absolutely no apology being made for the damage it may do nor any consideration that they might be wrong on any point.

That along with questions about whether there is actually any law to restrict of the sale of goods being sold in shops remaining open in the way they have done being swept away as if it is some sort of 'de minimis non curat lex' triviality about kettles when it is actually a very serious point about the concept of being free to do anything not specifically against the law under civil liberty and whether or not this is still in place. As it is the Welsh government don't seem entirely sure about the legal basis for some of their actions, but seem to feel they are entitled to do whatever they want as the government, and that's simply not how the system works.
Without veering off into politics too much I can see this heading only one way. When voters in Wales get to cast theirs votes in the Senedd elections next year they will take a very dim view of this and head in droves to Plaid Cymru. It's crazy, non sensical policies such as these that will see support ebb away from the UK parties and see it go to the Nationalists. Similar to what happened in Scotland.
Alexia
Posts: 2974
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

cwathen wrote: Sat 24 Oct, 2020 14.18 Anyone else find the narrative from the Welsh government a little bit alarming? Whether you agree with the lockdown or not is a matter for debate with arguments on both sides, but the government seem to have taken a very firm 'not interested in talking about it, just get on with it' approach in interviews with absolutely no apology being made for the damage it may do nor any consideration that they might be wrong on any point.
No, it's appropriate. Wish Westminster would do the same. The population have proven they can't behave and not spread the virus. Time they were treated like the children they are, and not the adults they claim to be.
cwathen
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Alexia wrote: Sat 24 Oct, 2020 22.09
cwathen wrote: Sat 24 Oct, 2020 14.18 Anyone else find the narrative from the Welsh government a little bit alarming? Whether you agree with the lockdown or not is a matter for debate with arguments on both sides, but the government seem to have taken a very firm 'not interested in talking about it, just get on with it' approach in interviews with absolutely no apology being made for the damage it may do nor any consideration that they might be wrong on any point.
No, it's appropriate. Wish Westminster would do the same. The population have proven they can't behave and not spread the virus. Time they were treated like the children they are, and not the adults they claim to be.
I've resisted the temptation to say this on this forum because I believe this transcends normal politics, but do you honestly believe 'the virus' is the single biggest existential threat we face? Will you really justify anything as long as the core aim of conquering 'the virus' is met, regardless of what that costs? What will we do when 4 million people are unemployed? I know what *you* will be doing, you'll still be working on the railways for decent money. But what will someone working in retail, hospitality or leisure do with a chronic over supply of labour and undersupply of jobs? Many of them face a very bleak future over a virus that never threatened them in the first place. Some of them will not survive it.

How will we ever pay off the bill for Covid with fewer people working? Or pay the benefits claimed by millions of extra claimants trying to pull money out of a system that has suffered a huge drop in income?

Mark my words, the penny will start to drop over the next month as the original furlough scheme ends. Covid fatigue is already a reality, people are not willing to carry on with restrictions forever, and I think the reality of that is now going to set in at a faster pace than either politicians or Covid obsessives can cope with. Drakeford is already clearly going to have to do a u-turn on the supermarket farce, he's all but admitted it. This is just the start.
Alexia
Posts: 2974
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

I've resisted the temptation to say this on this forum because I believe this transcends normal politics, but do you honestly believe 'the virus' is the single biggest existential threat we face? Will you really justify anything as long as the core aim of conquering 'the virus' is met, regardless of what that costs?
At the moment, the virus is preventing us from living a normal life. Leisure, transport, public services, healthcare - are all having capacity restricted by social distancing regulations. We cannot have full churches for weddings and funerals, we cannot have full stadiums for sports occasions. We cannot fly away on holidays. Income is being restricted, the economy is being strangled. So yes, it is the biggest threat in the country and the world at the moment.
What will we do when 4 million people are unemployed? I know what *you* will be doing, you'll still be working on the railways for decent money.
So so sorry for being a key worker. But think of this - if, post-COVID, WFH becomes the norm, less people will travel to offices, which means less commuter peak fares generating income for the railways. Less demand will mean less services, which means redundancies in the transport sector. Right now we are fortunate enough that the government is keeping us going. Fare revenue is in the toilet, the railways wouldn't be running right now without public support. Not to mention that of course the unions are milking this for all they can get away with. But we are all wondering - and worrying - about March 2021, when the support is due to end. What then? What if the train service is unsustainable in its current form? All the private companies will up sticks and bugger off, leaving this Tory government to dispose of the wreckage, Beeching style.
But what will someone working in retail, hospitality or leisure do with a chronic over supply of labour and undersupply of jobs? Many of them face a very bleak future over a virus that never threatened them in the first place. Some of them will not survive it.
Business can be reborn. Human lives can't. Once this is over, the public will come back and make up for lost time. All the things they've been deprived of doing, all the things they took for granted pre-March, will suddenly be desirable. I suspect we will see fuller football stadiums, we will see pubs frequented more than just Friday nights, we will see folks going off on holiday.
Mark my words, the penny will start to drop over the next month as the original furlough scheme ends.
It doesn't have to end. The decision to end it is an ideological, political one by a Tory government that hates handouts and will tax us to death to get it back afterwards. In March they said they would do "whatever it takes" - this was obviously a lie. They mortgaged the farm on killing the outbreak in one wave, but didn't do that and are now panicking.
Covid fatigue is already a reality, people are not willing to carry on with restrictions forever,
The more folk get antsy about restrictions, the longer this goes on. The impatient are only hurting themselves.
Drakeford is already clearly going to have to do a u-turn on the supermarket farce, he's all but admitted it. This is just the start.
It's not Drakeford's fault the supermakets have willingly misinterpreted the instructions. Also, the policy of restricting non-essentials was a Tory request to protect the smaller shops which have now had to close. Bit rich of them to suddenly cry wolf.
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cdd
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 14.05
Location: de Voitures

Alexia wrote:The more folk get antsy about restrictions, the longer this goes on. The impatient are only hurting themselves.
Except there's a bit of dishonesty about how long these restrictions are going to be around for. We've put everything on hold for a vaccine, without any guarantee as to when that will be ready for widespread distribution (which will be as much of a challenge as development) such that restrictions can be eased. The realistic estimates range from 6 months to 18.

Does society want to live a life this restricted for that long, to prevent a potentially large number of elderly deaths, but at significant cost to the young, both now and going forwards? That's not an easy decision, despite what people on both sides claim, and the value judgment involved makes me believe it should be put to a referendum as to which side of this balance policy should skew.

Meanwhile people will make their own decisions as to rules which have been imposed on them without explicit consent. Polling suggests support for restrictions, but people's behavior suggests otherwise. You talk of people needing to be treated like children but that's not realistic, rules on social mixing are effectively optional.
Alexia wrote:It's not Drakeford's fault the supermakets have willingly misinterpreted the instructions. Also, the policy of restricting non-essentials was a Tory request to protect the smaller shops which have now had to close. Bit rich of them to suddenly cry wolf.
I am amused at watching people try to defend the indefensible here. So is it to protect smaller shops, or is it for public health reasons?

If it's the former then you have the task of justifying why it's OK to further increase Amazon's competitive advantage by allowing them to continue operating, with some of that shift of custom being permanent. You also have to explain why protecting the interests of certain businesses justifies a seriously draconian intervention of the sort that should be reserved for the overwhelming national interest.

If it's the latter then you have the task of justifying why alcohol, tobacco and junk food are essential in a way that the banned items are not. You also have to explain what significant public health risks are incurred by people picking up non-essentials as part of a shop that includes essentials that justifies this intervention.
Alexia wrote:What if the train service is unsustainable in its current form?
Alexia wrote:Business can be reborn. Human lives can't.
...
cwathen
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Alexia wrote:At the moment, the virus is preventing us from living a normal life. Leisure, transport, public services, healthcare - are all having capacity restricted by social distancing regulations. We cannot have full churches for weddings and funerals, we cannot have full stadiums for sports occasions. We cannot fly away on holidays. Income is being restricted, the economy is being strangled. So yes, it is the biggest threat in the country and the world at the moment.
Call it a moot point if you will, but the virus is preventing nothing. The decision to elevate it above everything else to the extent of causing massive economic, societal (and ironically, health) damage is a choice. Other choices are available.
Alexia wrote:So so sorry for being a key worker. But think of this - if, post-COVID, WFH becomes the norm, less people will travel to offices, which means less commuter peak fares generating income for the railways. Less demand will mean less services, which means redundancies in the transport sector. Right now we are fortunate enough that the government is keeping us going. Fare revenue is in the toilet, the railways wouldn't be running right now without public support. Not to mention that of course the unions are milking this for all they can get away with. But we are all wondering - and worrying - about March 2021, when the support is due to end. What then? What if the train service is unsustainable in its current form? All the private companies will up sticks and bugger off, leaving this Tory government to dispose of the wreckage, Beeching style.
Whilst I respect key workers for keeping things going, the undeniable fact is being a key worker is keeping you in a job, which is why you're still going to work. It's not a badge to pin to your lapel in a way that being a frontline NHS worker is (who often seem to be the least likely to mention being a key worker despite being the most entitled to do so). Others have not been so lucky. All of the possible future which you have outlined is again a result of a decision to respond in this way, and through an unyielding 'we rule nothing out' principle we have no idea where this will end up. I really hope either things are suitability back to normal by March, or if not the funding for public transport is extended (my best friend works on the buses, he also might be screwed if government funding ends without a restoration to normal passenger numbers). But that fear you have is already a reality for hundreds of thousands of people, it's difficult to have much sympathy for your plight when you are supporting as necessary the very action which is putting you in this position. The only way out (short of a breakthrough that delivers a vaccine or effective cure in much shorter timeframes than are currently looking likely) is to acknowledge that we can't keep on doing this forever.
Alexia wrote:Business can be reborn. Human lives can't. Once this is over, the public will come back and make up for lost time. All the things they've been deprived of doing, all the things they took for granted pre-March, will suddenly be desirable. I suspect we will see fuller football stadiums, we will see pubs frequented more than just Friday nights, we will see folks going off on holiday.
I'm sorry but that's just ideological rubbish. This is a capitalist society. If people don't have any money then they die. You cannot destroy the system which is keeping over 99% of the population alive because something is threatening less than 1% of it. We are currently pursuing a course of action which is claiming jobs at a rate of (at least) thousands per week with nothing to replace them with. This approach will kill people just as surely as the virus will, in fact I believe it will go on to kill people in such numbers that the death toll from the attempts to control the virus will exceed those from the virus itself. And it will kill people who were not at an increased risk of death anyway as the vast majority of virus deaths are. And that's before you get into the mental health damage which is being largely ignored, the non-Covid health risks, or the unwelcome societal change which could sweep the world as democratic governments get a taste of ruling by decree which they may not want to give up once this is all over. And as for people being more likely to make use of the leisure and hospitality industry - how is that going to happen when unemployment goes through the roof and even those who are employed lack the confidence to spend their money on non-essentials? Also no one is going to be able to go back to a venue which has already gone bust. Many of these closed businesses will never reopen.
Alexia wrote:It doesn't have to end. The decision to end it is an ideological, political one by a Tory government that hates handouts and will tax us to death to get it back afterwards. In March they said they would do "whatever it takes" - this was obviously a lie. They mortgaged the farm on killing the outbreak in one wave, but didn't do that and are now panicking.
Yes, they will tax us to death to get it back. You can argue the rights and wrongs about it till the cows come home, but that's what they will do. And with fewer people working, those lucky enough to still have a job will have to pay even more. So why support the bill getting any bigger?
Alexia wrote:The more folk get antsy about restrictions, the longer this goes on. The impatient are only hurting themselves.
So 'If you keep crying I'll give you something to cry about' essentially? Sounds awfully totalitarian - are we really at the stage of 'if you do what you're told and don't make a fuss then we might let you do what you want at some indeterminate point in the future'?
Alexia wrote:It's not Drakeford's fault the supermakets have willingly misinterpreted the instructions. Also, the policy of restricting non-essentials was a Tory request to protect the smaller shops which have now had to close. Bit rich of them to suddenly cry wolf.
I will give you that the over-reported tampon story was not Drakeford's fault, that was the supermarkets being daft. But that aside, how can the restrictions be a 'willing misinterpretation of the instructions'? The Welsh Govt seemed to pull this out of a hat the day before the lockdown, and didn't publish any clear rules on what could and couldn't be sold beyond examples of kettles and scented candles. And it wasn't a 'Tory request'. It was a Tory question as to why it was right that smaller shops were forced to close through being classed as non essential whilst supermarkets could sell the same thing as an essential retailer. It was Drakeford who decided that rather than allow the smaller shops to stay open (and maybe survive) he instead would double down and prevent the supermarkets from selling those goods. It was Drakeford who decided he wouldn't reverse the decision or engage in anything more than 'clarification' in spite of it collecting the largest number of signatures on a Senedd petition ever.
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