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9 hours ago, KentVillan said:

But returning to our debate about whether lockdown was the key factor in slowing the disease, I don't know how anyone is confidently asserting this based on time series data. I think there are a couple of really important points:

  • It isn't the peak that is the inflection point of the distribution. You can see the growth rate calming much earlier than the peak (hence the bell shape). So given the delay between cases and deaths, that means the slow down can't be entirely attributed to lockdown. I suppose Ferguson would argue this was due to the staggered introduction of different measures.
  • But none of that explains Sweden having much the same bell-shaped epidemic curve as us, which implies this is a natural shape to a Covid-19 epidemic.

I'm not arguing, as the original article I shared said, that lockdown has no effect at all on transmission. I think it's more a question of us crediting lockdown with a more significant effect than it really had, because we happened to time it just as the epidemic was reaching its peak - and when that is weighed against the increasingly obvious negative effects of lockdown, I think it's pretty hard to justify prolonging it.

Also, looking at the deaths in the south west and south east - rural, sparsely populated areas clearly have an easier time of things. They had the same policy failings as London and the Midlands (in terms of lockdown timing) but their deaths per million are much lower....

 

Thanks for the research. On your first bullet point, and to an extent the second, it is important to recall that prior to lockdown some measures were introduced. Social distancing , hand washing, enhanced cleaning regimes and so on. These explain why the left hand sides of the graphs are the shape they are. Sweden took measures, too to reduce the spread. My sense is people arguing against the effect of lockdown on turning the tide are overlooking some key points, and if I may say so you could be too. Your theory that somehow it was pure coincidence and “we happened to time it just as the epidemic was reaching its peak” is an example, and as you say peak death rates support the argument on the effect of lockdown. The effect was the same everywhere (in that it reversed the trend), not just the uk. Further the other key point about the graphs in interpreting the data is the height and rate of climb to a peak, because that’s what shows the impact of the measures taken for a population . With absolutely no measures taken you’d get a steep rise, a high peak of deaths and a sharp fall . As measures are taken to stop or slow the spread the rate of increase slows, the peak deaths is slower and the decline is slower  The “squash the sombrero” effect that Johnson and the scientists said they needed to achieve via lockdown, and that was indeed the result.  It’s also important to understand that lockdown buys time, it doesn’t save lives, statistically, on its own. It protects people for a period, it doesn’t cure the virus. It buys time . What is done in that time is crucial. Find effective drugs, develop a vaccine, understand more about the nature of the virus etc. That’s the part that long term saves lives.

if that’s a bit TL:DR then the short version is lockdown absolutely caused the reversal of the spread in the uk and had the same result elsewhere, too . Without a cure there will be repeat outbreaks.

 

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23 minutes ago, LondonLax said:

It’s not such a bad thing if a lot of young people get the virus. The tricky part is making sure they don’t pass it on to vulnerable groups. 

That's the thing. 

I have little faith in that the people who cant follow rules or instructions about social distancing and such will be any better when it comes to their interactions with the vulnerable people in their interactions with others

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It’s difficult to make a case that a lockdown doesn’t have an impact. The differences in the Scandinavian countries are a pretty good example of what difference a lockdown can make.

It’s also clear that a lockdown is not essential if your government is on top of its game, as counties in East Asia demonstrate. 

The remaining question (and really the original question) is the cost benefit analysis of adding more and more restrictions.

There is always going to be a point at which the treatment does become worse than the virus (to quote a famous orange world leader) and getting that balance right is difficult. It’s also going to be different from country to country depending on each countries unique circumstances. 

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10 hours ago, KentVillan said:

The real crime is 10 years of austerity. And now it's the victims of austerity who are being hardest hit by lockdown, and perversely, it's Labour and the unions who are hammering home the case for extending lockdown!? I just don't get it.

Just on this, I completely agree that ten years of austerity and weakening state capacity should take the majority of the blame. But I don't think you have the position of Labour or the unions right. The unions are looking to protect the health interests of their members, not create a national strategy, which is the correct role they should play. And Labour have been criticising the government for not opening schools fast enough, not the opposite (obviously RLB was arguing the opposite, but she was ignored and not put up for interviews even before she was fired).

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image.thumb.png.5f33a63a341df3309ffacf8ece157156.png

The excuse "but Sweden had other measures in place" doesn't really fly, because we know from activity data that Sweden's measures were far less restrictive than any other European country.

I think a lot of people were wrongly led to believe that not locking down would lead to out of control exponential growth. That just flies in the face of everything we know about epidemics. Exponential growth is only a feature of the early upward part of the epidemic curve, which naturally bends down as the disease starts to run out of susceptible victims (as per Sweden).

Because the UK introduced so many measures consecutively, we have no idea which ones helped to slow the spread of the disease, and which ones were a pointless restriction of activity.

The restrictions on outdoor exercise and gatherings seem to have been the most ill conceived, since as @HanoiVillan has said, almost all "super spreader" events (which account for the bulk of transmission) are in indoor settings, and being outdoors is good for our health.

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The problem with comparing UK and Sweden are density in population. As @LondonLax says above it would probably made a huge difference for Sweden if we had done as our neighbors. We are in a huge mess still and they are not. 

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Population density is definitely a factor, my point is there is a natural shape to these epidemic curves, and people are attributing too much of the “bend” to the lockdown - and even worse, to some of the most restrictive and pointless measures.

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2 hours ago, KentVillan said:

I think a lot of people were wrongly led to believe that not locking down would lead to out of control exponential growth. That just flies in the face of everything we know about epidemics

Citation needed.

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3 hours ago, HanoiVillan said:

Labour have been criticising the government for not opening schools fast enough

Not really my interpretation. They've been criticising not the fact that they are closed (to most pupils) per se, but that they are not ready to be open because of safety (i.e. the Gov't has not taken safety into account in planning to reopen them, they have ignored the advice of councils and unions and teachers etc. and basically done sod all).

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It seems like my children’s school are going above and beyond.

My lad is in year 5 and they have invited him back for a few days before the end of term.

My daughter is in year 3 and she’s been invited in for 1 day of fun to say goodbye to her current teacher and meet her new one.

 

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5 hours ago, KentVillan said:

image.thumb.png.5f33a63a341df3309ffacf8ece157156.png

The excuse "but Sweden had other measures in place" doesn't really fly, because we know from activity data that Sweden's measures were far less restrictive than any other European country.

I think a lot of people were wrongly led to believe that not locking down would lead to out of control exponential growth. That just flies in the face of everything we know about epidemics. Exponential growth is only a feature of the early upward part of the epidemic curve, which naturally bends down as the disease starts to run out of susceptible victims (as per Sweden).

Because the UK introduced so many measures consecutively, we have no idea which ones helped to slow the spread of the disease, and which ones were a pointless restriction of activity.

The restrictions on outdoor exercise and gatherings seem to have been the most ill conceived, since as @HanoiVillan has said, almost all "super spreader" events (which account for the bulk of transmission) are in indoor settings, and being outdoors is good for our health.

I disagree with absolutely all of that. Cheltenham Racehorsing and the Rugby led to local and non-local hotspots and spreading as people visited and then travelled back from it. Liverpool suffered from the football against Madrid.

Not locking down - or before the lockdown the infection rate had been (not just here) doubling every few days and the number of cases was rocketing - the graph shows that for both the UK and Sweden. Sweden's death rate was the highest in the world per capita for a period and many times worse than neighbouring similar scandi nations that did lockdown.  As I said earlier, the aim of the lockdown is to reduce the height of the curve - how high up the scale the line is, how many people catch it each day. And it worked. It was introduced too late and many live were lost as a consequence, but to say we have no idea what slowed the spread is simply wrong. We know the lockdown reversed it. We know distancing and other measures taken before the lockdown had some impact, but not as much as lockdown.

Edit (again) In arguing, as I am, that lockdown was definitely the main factor for the UK in reducing the peak and keeping the numbers lower than they would have otherwise been, I am not arguing that "the UK did it right" or Sweden "did it wrong" - just that I don't see any evidence for the earlier assertion that the lockdown was ineffective (and similar statements). We would have seen the same or similar shape graph for the UK, but the numbers would have been much higher.

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55 minutes ago, Mandy Lifeboats said:

Its clear to me that 25% of the UK population is either educationally subnormal or just doesn't give a damn. 

The message the government has sent has been terrible and is a large part of the reason for people behaving like utter tubes. I agree a second lockdown, or at least large scale regional lockdowns, are likely to be necessary as a result of what's been done. The trend will shoot back up again.

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3 hours ago, blandy said:

Not really my interpretation. They've been criticising not the fact that they are closed (to most pupils) per se, but that they are not ready to be open because of safety (i.e. the Gov't has not taken safety into account in planning to reopen them, they have ignored the advice of councils and unions and teachers etc. and basically done sod all).

This has not often been my disagreement with you over the last few years (!) but I think you're taking the 'right' and 'sensible' point and projecting it to be what Labour have argued in public, whereas it isn't really. If the best formulation - as I think we might agree? - is 'open them as soon as possible but no sooner', all of their emphasis has been on the words left of 'but', not the words right of it.

And all the pressure from 'Starmer allies' is to intensify that focus:

 

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58 minutes ago, blandy said:

The message the government has sent has been terrible and is a large part of the reason for people behaving like utter tubes. 

The government handling of this has been terrible. But I don't think you can blame them for the large % of the population who just can't be bothered to do something that might save a life because it means them walking an extra 20m. 

I have concluded that a LARGE percentage of the UK population is selfish and has an unrealistic sense of entitlement.  My grandfathers had mo choice but to risk their life fight the Nazis in WW2. Walking the same way as the arrows is not a big ask. 

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4 hours ago, limpid said:

Citation needed.

For what? There are two points being made in the quote. Both of them explained at length in other posts throughout this thread.

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3 hours ago, blandy said:

I disagree with absolutely all of that. Cheltenham Racehorsing and the Rugby led to local and non-local hotspots and spreading as people visited and then travelled back from it. Liverpool suffered from the football against Madrid.

Not locking down - or before the lockdown the infection rate had been (not just here) doubling every few days and the number of cases was rocketing - the graph shows that for both the UK and Sweden. Sweden's death rate was the highest in the world per capita for a period and many times worse than neighbouring similar scandi nations that did lockdown.  As I said earlier, the aim of the lockdown is to reduce the height of the curve - how high up the scale the line is, how many people catch it each day. And it worked. It was introduced too late and many live were lost as a consequence, but to say we have no idea what slowed the spread is simply wrong. We know the lockdown reversed it. We know distancing and other measures taken before the lockdown had some impact, but not as much as lockdown.

Edit (again) In arguing, as I am, that lockdown was definitely the main factor for the UK in reducing the peak and keeping the numbers lower than they would have otherwise been, I am not arguing that "the UK did it right" or Sweden "did it wrong" - just that I don't see any evidence for the earlier assertion that the lockdown was ineffective (and similar statements). We would have seen the same or similar shape graph for the UK, but the numbers would have been much higher.

The issue with the big outdoor events like Cheltenham, Champions League, etc was that they involve lots of people congregating INDOORS during and around the event. I’m talking about the ban on exercise for longer than 1 hour, or on groups bigger than 1 household in a local park. There was never any evidence to support those measures being proportionate to the problem, and they have probably exacerbated mental and physical health problems.

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41 minutes ago, Mandy Lifeboats said:

I have concluded that a LARGE percentage of the UK population is selfish and has an unrealistic sense of entitlement.

There is certainly a significant proportion of people who have always thought that any 'rules' (laws, regulations, &c. before anyone gets any ideas) don't apply to them at least until or unless they get caught or face any actual penalty for not complying.

But also, there has always been a level of bolshieness in the UK that is to be admired. The history of the abolition of ID cards post WWII stems from individual standing up to regulations.

There does, though. need to be a distinction drawn between conscious objection to a law/regulation and mere non-observance.

The issue is when people disregard rules, regulations & laws that make sense (or can make sense - arguably) simply because they want to, they can't be arsed to comply or they think that these things don't apply to them.

More worrying than the ignorers of arrows are the many, many households who never followed an iota of the regulations that have been variously in place since March and, because they haven't and nothing of consequence has happened (directly - as in nothing they have directly observed), will continue to ignore anything subsequently - if any further or more localised outbreaks were to occur.

This latter lot are words removed. Nothing less than that - utter words removed.

Edited by snowychap
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