Coronavirus - Strange times

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m-in-m
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Location: West Suffolk/Cambs

Jonwo wrote: Tue 22 Feb, 2022 17.15 Honestly phasing out daily data updates was long overdue and I think as I've said before perhaps it'll help wean people off looking for any Covid related data.
I think the BBC switched, a few weeks ago, to announcing the figures once a week only - on Friday in the BBC News at Six.
Alan de Robson
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon 15 Sep, 2014 12.24

Jonwo wrote: Tue 22 Feb, 2022 17.15 Honestly phasing out daily data updates was long overdue and I think as I've said before perhaps it'll help wean people off looking for any Covid related data.
Agreed - thank Christ for that.

Of course, we all must hope that no Delta virus with Omicron's transmissibility occurs but am I alone in feeling like this is now all over, at least in England anyway?
Charlie Wells
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Joined: Tue 02 Nov, 2004 16.23
Location: Cambridgeshire

Just spotted this on the Gov.uk Covid data page...
Scotland and UK headline data now updated on Mondays and Thursdays
From 9 May 2022, Public Health Scotland moved to reporting data on Mondays and Thursdays.
Ref: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details ... 5f9ee38468

Looks like they're further winding down the reporting of stats, having previously just not reported over weekends. Presumably the next stage will be once a week reporting, before only once or twice a month.
"If ass holes could fly then this place would be an airport."
cwathen
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Charlie Wells wrote: Wed 11 May, 2022 16.53 Looks like they're further winding down the reporting of stats, having previously just not reported over weekends. Presumably the next stage will be once a week reporting, before only once or twice a month.
I'm actually not sure that's necessary now. A few months ago it was something which needed to happen to knock Covid off it's perch of limitless importance and an essential part of the push for a resumption of normality had to include not giving mainstream media easy access to lazy headlines comprised of Covid stats every day which meant that stats had to stop being there. Then Putin starts a war and overnight Covid pretty much disappeared from the central role in the news it had played for 2 years whilst the general obsession with it came to a very sudden and abrupt end.

Yes Covid hasn't gone away, but I don't see any democratic country ever again sanctioning the things they did in 2020 and 2021, yes there are still some Covid stories, but none of them headline, it is leaving/has left the national psyche and only totalitarian states are still pursuing any hardline measures.

With that in mind, is there any reason that the interested person shouldn't have access to daily stats from a government website if they are available? I can't think of any.

On other matters, pleased to hear the terms of reference for the UK enquiry are being widened and are now starting to look at some of the damage caused. So far focusing on the damage to mental health and on children/young people, but it's a start. I feared it would be some Grenfell-style 'justice for the bereaved' event focused solely on how the death toll could have been reduced. That's a huge factor in the enquiry, but it shouldn't be all of it. For me we still need the enquiry to answer the question as to whether it was right to do the things we've done. Some consideration of impact in the enquiry is still not going far enough as that question still isn't being directly considered, but impact at least now being on the table in some form an important development.
cwathen
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

It is interesting how much the silence is deafening in this thread (and society generally) from the pro-restriction brigade now they aren't entirely sure that what they have done was right. Nor can they hide behind the shield of hindsight when it was called out 2 years ago. I will never again have any faith in a government which so chronically over reacted to a situation, nor an opposition so entirely failing to be one.

It is this, and not partygate or beergate which needs to see Johnson, Starmer, Drakeford, Sturgeon and the rest of them booted out (along with any Western politicians that ever either did or supported a lockdown). They all bet the farm on Covid and it is becoming increasingly obvious that Covid wasn't actually the world changing event of the century they thought it was.

And now we have an actual crisis, Western countries are struggling to respond after having spent so much money on Covid.

Could this have been forseen? Umm well yeah. I had concerns about Covid obsession as early as April 2020 and I started openly calling it out at every opportunity from September 2020. Yet we prattled on and on and on and on about Covid until February 2022, rather ironically only escaping Lockdown IV because of partygate and into 2022 we only ended it because Putin started a war.

Well done guys!
bilky asko
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cwathen wrote: Sat 21 May, 2022 23.25 It is interesting how much the silence is deafening in this thread (and society generally) from the pro-restriction brigade now they aren't entirely sure that what they have done was right. Nor can they hide behind the shield of hindsight when it was called out 2 years ago. I will never again have any faith in a government which so chronically over reacted to a situation, nor an opposition so entirely failing to be one.

It is this, and not partygate or beergate which needs to see Johnson, Starmer, Drakeford, Sturgeon and the rest of them booted out (along with any Western politicians that ever either did or supported a lockdown). They all bet the farm on Covid and it is becoming increasingly obvious that Covid wasn't actually the world changing event of the century they thought it was.

And now we have an actual crisis, Western countries are struggling to respond after having spent so much money on Covid.

Could this have been forseen? Umm well yeah. I had concerns about Covid obsession as early as April 2020 and I started openly calling it out at every opportunity from September 2020. Yet we prattled on and on and on and on about Covid until February 2022, rather ironically only escaping Lockdown IV because of partygate and into 2022 we only ended it because Putin started a war.

Well done guys!
The things is, epidemics and pandemics are the classic example of the self-defeating prophecy. Because it wasn't as bad as you thought it might be, then the restrictions put in place were clearly pointless. I'm not sure it's worth the self-congratulation.

It's clear most people aren't reflecting on the issues caused by Covid because the more pressing issue at the moment are the soaring energy costs and inflation that have nothing at all to do with pandemic spending.
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cwathen
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Billy Asko wrote:The things is, epidemics and pandemics are the classic example of the self-defeating prophecy. Because it wasn't as bad as you thought it might be,
Sorry but you can't have that. If the worst case modelling predicted the death of tens of percent of the population then the action taken would be justified. It didn't. With Covid the worst case modelling said that 99.4% of the UK population in March 2020 wouldn't die as a result of Covid. And even if the potential death of 0.6% of the the population was accepted as justifying the actions taken in March 2020, it did not justify the actions in the autumn of 2020 when Covid moved from a public health emergency to an obsession which was going round in circles with every wave. And as soon as it became clear how exaggerated the modelling was (particularly when the Lockdown II launch event included data known at the time to be wrong) the approach had to change rather than continuing to act based on doomsday scenarios that kept failing to happen. But it didn't. In the end, it was more luck than judgement that we ever got out of that circle. That is terrifying. It's not like I'm going on a hunch which happened to have gone my way, any balanced analysis of the bigger picture and even the most superficial critique of the response to the unfolding situation as 2020 moved along clearly showed that what we were doing was wrong. That's what I called out. At the time. Yet every time anyone who questioned it could simply be dismissed because clearly they were genocidal maniacs not sufficiently interested in 'Saving Lives™'. No. No way. The insanity of what we were doing was there to be seen and could have been avoided.
Billy Asko wrote:then the restrictions put in place were clearly pointless.
The higher level restrictions had an impact on spread of the virus but had no cost-benefit analysis or true consideration of their negative impact done (unless of course you want to claim that because we didn't go quite as far as China then that counts for an impact assessment). Again, possibly justifiable for a 3 week intervention in March 2020, but not for something that went on for months and months with no fixed end date nor justifiable for something rolled out on second and third occasions (and let's not forget how close to a fourth round we came last winter before the partygate scandal and the backbench revolt forced a change of course). The lower level restrictions (which seemed to be principally based on crippling the hospitality industry as a symbol of being seen to be doing something) were based on abstract bits of social theory without any clear evidence or even modelling as to what these measures were actually supposed to achieve (something essentially admitted by the government at one point)...but again as long as we kept saying 'Stop the Spread™', 'Protect the NHS™' and 'Saving Lives™' then nothing could be said against them. In any other situation this would be laughable. But this is serious and real. This is actual stuff we actually did with ashen-faced seriousness.
Billy Asko wrote:I'm not sure it's worth the self-congratulation.
You know what, self congratulation on this subject shouldn't even be a thing. It was blindingly obvious from a very early stage that we were over-reacting and listening too much to people too close to the subject rather than taking the bigger picture view which was desperately needed. And in the absence of the government doing that, it was down to the opposition to push for this. Instead all the opposition did was argue the government wasn't being extreme enough and we entered into a bizarre situation when the government's own back benchers became the opposition because the actual opposition refused to be one.

There are many, many angles to look at this from but one thing that really irks me - and also comes from a healthcare perspective rather than an economic one - is that the first lockdown essentially ignored the impact this would have on mental health entirely but was justified anyway because 'Saving Lives™'. That action single-handedly set the quest to take mental health seriously back years. And right now, I'd gladly trade any self congratulation I may feel on this subject if we could have gone back to early 2020 and got Covid into perspective before we did quite so much damage to so many people.

The fact that I can see that and others can't certainly doesn't make me better, it just means that some people are too close to the subject to have been treated as an unquestionable authority on what should have been done. That's not their failure for arguing from their perspective, that is a total failure of government. Not just our government, but governments around the world.

And actually people working in healthcare have been set up to be the ultimate scapegoat as governments the world over will now deflect any blame for the damage they allowed to happen on their watch by saying 'we were only following the science'. Every MP from the current cohort will be prepped for interviews in the years to come with a story of an NHS Doctor calling for a lockdown or restrictions as deflection for what has happened. It won't be the fault of the politicians for failing to do their jobs, it'll be the the healthcare sector's fault *for* doing their jobs.

NHS workers will go from being celebrated heroes to spending the rest of their lives justifying policies they didn't make - the politicians will make sure of it.
Billy Asko wrote: It's clear most people aren't reflecting on the issues caused by Covid because the more pressing issue at the moment are the soaring energy costs and inflation that have nothing at all to do with pandemic spending.
And there we have the ultimate response of the Covid obsessed...the claim that the cost of living crisis wasn't directly caused by the response to Covid. That and trying to make the spending literally the fault of the virus itself, rather than the choice to respond to it in such an extreme way. Even in 2020, it was obvious that the amount of money being spent alongside shutting down large parts of the economy was unviable and we would be taxed to death over it. Now that's started to happen. It was obvious that responding to Covid with what the government itself described as a 'war-level footing' in terms of spending meant if something else came around the corner requiring a big spending response that they would struggle to respond. Now we have it and they are struggling (which means the population is struggling). The Ukraine war (itself possibly caused by Putin finally losing the plot altogether due to his own isolation caused by Covid obsession which may not have happened had the international narrative not pushed Covid so hard) has made a bad situation worse, but we were already in a cost of living crisis 6 months before that where energy costs had already soared and inflation along with it. Are you seriously saying you think these things would have happened anyway even in the absence of the response to the pandemic?
all new Phil
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Quite a lot to unpack here. There are bits I broadly agree with you on, but the crucial part is that we can’t dismiss the worst case scenarios because they didn’t happen, when we threw the kitchen sink at stopping them from happening. This point alone undermines a lot of what you are saying.

I do agree that we went further than we probably needed to (protect the vulnerable and let the rest get on with it would have been my preference) but I think you underestimate how politically difficult that would have been to do, especially as the death toll got higher and higher.

It does now seem that those who were most in favour of closing everything down are now those saying that the government is to blame for the current cost of living crisis, but I can’t imagine anything being any different had literally anyone else been in charge.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
cwathen
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all new Phil wrote: Sun 22 May, 2022 11.31 we can’t dismiss the worst case scenarios because they didn’t happen, when we threw the kitchen sink at stopping them from happening. This point alone undermines a lot of what you are saying.
I think for me though the key thing to consider is whether the worst case scenarios would have happened without the interventions. Firstly, based on the experience of last winter and the general over-modelling throughout, I think there's every reason to doubt the projections. Then secondly, even if the projections were right, how much did the interventions go towards pulling us back from the worst case? I would accept the lockdowns prevented some spread, but when it comes to the lower level restrictions, I don't think it's clear they did anything. Even by the length of my posts, it would be a very long post indeed if I were to list all of the bizarre lack of logic on the lower level restrictions.
all new Phil wrote:but I think you underestimate how politically difficult that would have been to do, especially as the death toll got higher and higher.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Covid was an emergency for the healthcare system and a grave threat to a small minority, almost all of which were in identifiable demographic groups. Then politics clumsily stumbled into the attempt to deal with this threat and blew it up into an existential crisis which had to be stopped and where the means of stopping it not only sanctioned hardline population control measures in democratic countries, but actually made them desirable. Everyone then ran around judging themselves by how extreme they had been and where they sat on their Covid stats. Had it been played differently and treated as the threat that it was and not the one the political situation drove it to be, I do actually suspect that the vast majority of the population would have accepted the death toll, and indeed an even higher one, without batting an eyelid if they were not directly involved (if indeed they could even tell you what the death toll was). And ultimately, politics having got us into this situation also got us out of it again when political capital to keep Covid in the position of ultimate importance ran out.
all new Phil wrote: It does now seem that those who were most in favour of closing everything down are now those saying that the government is to blame for the current cost of living crisis, but I can’t imagine anything being any different had literally anyone else been in charge.
You're right in that it wouldn't have mattered who was in charge given the across the board pro-restriction approach. Any other party still would have done these batshit crazy things and we'd still have the fallout from it now. But ultimately, I don't believe the government should be insulated from the consequences of what they have done just because the opposition would have done the same thing or other governments in other countries did the same thing. We elected the government we have and they did this, they are accountable.
scottishtv
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More importantly, is Billy Asko related to bilky asko?
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