Coronavirus - Strange times

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I genuinely think when we look back on covid, we're going to realise the methods of controlling it have been excessively heavy handed, did more harm than good, and if anything extended the pandemic.

It feels like the virus is being held to standards which will make it virtually impossible to get back to normal life, even if there's very few infections and people getting ill. When I'm reading stories that some "experts" are saying even with a vaccine we're likely still going to end up with masks and social distancing and bans on large events for the forseeable future because the vaccine may only be 50%-odd effective, so may still spread at a low level, or only stop illness, not infection and therefore people MAY still pass it on (even though the people you'd pass it on to would, in theory, also be vaccinated), it really does seem like a never ending nightmare. I'd consider such a vaccine to be a godsend, but it seems the boffins don't agree.

It seems as if the original idea of "flattening the curve", letting it spread at a managable rate and stretching the cases out over a longer period and stopping the NHS getting overwhelmed went out the window very quickly, and it's increasingly becoming about stopping covid at at costs, regardless of the impraticality, even though it's leaving us in a constant yo-yo of going in and out of restrictions that's causing serious harm. Areas are being thrown into local lockdowns with numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths which would barely raise an eyebrow in an average flu season.

It's the same when reading artices or trying to talk to people about the body's immunity- even after the antibodies fade (which seems to be all the news media focuses on), we'll likely still have T and B cells that remember the virus for years (and in fact there's evidence many people fight off covid purely with T-cells without ever developing antibodies) and are ready and waiting to fight if we encounter it again, but I keep arguing with people who insist that they're "not good enough" either because people may still get infected again even though they're very unlikely to get seriously ill from it a second time. Some people are holding this virus and the methods of fighting it and getting back to normal to standards which means we can never win, even though we've been living with and fighting diseases more contagious and deadly than covid with partially effective vaccines and T-cells all along.
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cwathen wrote: Sun 27 Sep, 2020 20.38 On a different matter - anyone else a little bit unsettled by how every business has decided that Zoom is an acceptable long term solution for meetings? If Zoom ever failed (even if only for a day) the consequences for business not getting done is rapidly becoming dire.
My meetings seem to flit between Zoom, GoToMeeting, Teams, Slack, and very occasionally the insipidly-named BlueJeans.
My main beef with Zoom is the lack of a broadcaster-friendly option, which there has been for Skype for donkey's years.
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all new Phil wrote: Sat 26 Sep, 2020 15.09 Most of the people I know, probably, yes. The local council wants to encourage people to visit (extending the illuminations through until Christmas etc) but that doesn’t mean locals agree.
Given the town's economy massive reliance upon tourism, I'd say this is probably one of those cases where the elected officials know rather better than the citizens they serve what's best for them.

COVID is a huge opportunity to boost Blackpool longer term - and get more people out of the poverty which is exacerbating the problem. Extending the season right the way to New Years would be a huge boost, if the council can make it stick.
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I think once vaccines and treatments filter through next year, we'll see not only restrictions lifted but governments and Public Health bodies will also likely stop releasing the the daily numbers of cases, hospitalisation and deaths to the public.
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Jonwo wrote: Mon 28 Sep, 2020 12.57 I think once vaccines and treatments filter through next year, we'll see not only restrictions lifted but governments and Public Health bodies will also likely stop releasing the the daily numbers of cases, hospitalisation and deaths to the public.

We can but hope. I have to say that this has been one of the most depressing aspects of this whole situation.

If anyone is interested into theory as to why "flattening the curve" was quickly dropped then this interview may provide a theory:

(NB I know David Starkey is a controversial figure and I'm not saying that his analysis was the reason why the initial plan was dropped but I offer the link as a means of reference)
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scottishtv wrote: Wed 23 Sep, 2020 20.26 I guess that's just it. Wondered if I was missing something more. Just realised there's five Prets in my city now (and another at the airport) but still easily dwarfed by numbers of Subway/Greggs.
At the new BBC Wales HQ there's a Pret and Greggs next door to each other!
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Whataday wrote: Mon 28 Sep, 2020 21.46At the new BBC Wales HQ there's a Pret and Greggs next door to each other!
In fairness, Subway also got a partial look in during Faisal's report on the Winter Economy Plan:


I should never have doubted Auntie's fairness.
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Looks like Trump knows how Boris felt in April now.
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gottago wrote: Mon 20 Jul, 2020 10.26 This has popped up in the former Mothercare in Westfield Stratford. It looks a little more permanent than you'd think for something that will probably be temporary but I expect this one will be the one they wheel out in front of the press and will perhaps look a bit fancier than other centres across the country.


They've also been using it as a standard blood donor centre - I had an appointment last week but was turned away because I've had symptoms of a cold in the past 28 days (which is a stricter restriction than usual). I tried making a new one and it seems they're not taking bookings beyond the end of the month, so perhaps that's their lease up already.
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Whilst not wanting to be a conspiracy theorist, I do wonder at this point whether some level of social engineering is being deployed in partnership with the major supermarkets to try and add more of a 'lockdown feel' in England.

Tesco have recently been running a radio advert urging people not to panic buy because their stock levels are 'good' when there is no documented evidence of panic buying beyond questionable mass shared Facebook posts, meanwhile my local Sainsbury's have over the past couple of weeks reinstalled their queuing system for queues that aren't there, and as of today have been enforcing it with a rather overly officious camera-wearing employee making people walk all the way around the system to enter the store and once again deploying the bizarre 'queue to leave' which made no sense in April and still doesn't now. I asked why this had been reintroduced and was told 'we've got a new system coming in because we're at capacity' - the place is no busier than it's been for months, they should be operating on 1 metre plus since the face mask requirement whereas it was 2 metres during the lockdown which should greatly increase capacity, and they've recently installed a whole new bank of self scans as well as installing screens to open almost all manned checkouts to get people in and out more quickly than they could achieve at the height of the lockdown.

Of course it's prudent to have plans in place and equipment available should they need to redeploy a queuing system, but I don't see any reason to be doing it now other than it makes things feel a bit more scary and lockdown-ish. And you have to question where the pressure to do that has come from.
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Maybe it’s to do with the upcoming seasonal move-everything-around-a-thon. There’s usually a burst in confusion (if not demand) with that.

I don't know about others, but I have mostly stopped following the news about Covid. I'm just sick of it. It's always the same stuff on a loop, I'm honestly not sure how following it helps me.

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.
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