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January 28, 2021 at 20:43 #66398Clark
– “you support mass medication of millions of people with the drug cartels indemnified against harm.”
No, I support stamping it out with five weeks of strict social restraint:
I’m not opposed to vaccination; other vaccination programmes have been cheap, safe and effective, but I do have some doubts – what if the immunity it confers fades, or new strains escape that immunity? Mass vaccination could fail, whereas China has already demonstrated that short, sharp social restrictions are supremely effective.
But if there are mass vaccination programmes, it would be right for the pharmaceutical companies to be indemnified. Governments have asked for and paid for these programmes, and governments are pressuring the population into participating, so governments should pay compensation in the unlikely event it is warranted. The pharmaceutical companies haven’t had time for the usual testing programmes; governments have asked them for an emergency response. Governments have the other option of brief, strong social restrictions and supporting the people and economy through them, but they have opted for rapid vaccine deployment instead.
Gross negligence such as contaminated batches is a different matter; in such cases, the governments should compensate those people affected, and the governments should also sue the pharmaceutical companies. Remember, governments are supposed to serve the people.
– “If it spreads fast then probably by now the whole population has had it and reached herd immunity…”
Two points here.
(1) The UK population can’t be approaching herd immunity or infections couldn’t have risen as fast as they did, from mid December 2020 to the first week of January 2021. This rise in the infection rate was confirmed by the matching rise in the death rate, with the characteristic two week lag.
Widespread immunity would slow the infection rate down because the virus particles are more likely to encounter an immune person than a suitable host*. But look at the December/January curve; it actually gets steeper until the lockdown restrictions suddenly arrest it, giving a sharply pointed peak; no sign of it plateauing before lockdown kicks in.
(* This is exactly the same as in secondary school chemistry; dilute solutions react much slower than concentrated ones, because the reactive molecules are more likely to encounter inert solvent molecules, and less likely to encounter the molecule they’d react with.)
(2) It’s looking less and less likely that widespread infection leads to herd immunity – this was just an assumption by the government back in February and early March, 2020 – probably wishful thinking. Look at Manaus. In tests after their first wave 66% of the population had antibodies, and it was estimated 76% of the population must have been infected at some time by the end of summer, and that’s about the herd immunity threshold.
But the second wave in Manaus is even bigger than the first, and many people are now known to have had covid at least twice.
This also has implications for mass vaccination programmes. If infection doesn’t confer lasting immunity, vaccines, which mimic parts of the virus, might not either. It troubles me that mass vaccination just before spring and summer might be mistimed, especially if everyone is being only one shot. It might be better to build up a big stock of vaccines, and administer two shots next autumn, or we might be in just as bad a situation next winter.January 28, 2021 at 21:47 #66402SA
Delay would mean
1. Even partial effectiveness may help slow down the spread
2. Mass build up of vaccine May end up being a waste if the virus mutates and becomes resistant to vaccine.January 28, 2021 at 22:34 #66403Clark
SA, yes, a partially effective vaccine would slow down the spread.
But regarding mutation, already being vaccinated doesn’t help against a new strain; it makes no difference which order it happens in.
What can make a difference is that by slowing down the spread, opportunity for mutation may be reduced. But many virologists have complained about the UK policy of giving only one shot, because it’s less effective but applies selection pressure to the virus, favouring strains that escape the vaccine.
Too many variables for my liking. We know that social restrictions with quarantine works; it has been the tried and trusted method for centuries. And it stops the target from moving for vaccines, too.
Dave’s somewhat right, but for entirely the wrong reasons. Western governments are desperately pushing vaccines because they’re unwilling to use social restrictions, and it’s a massive gamble. They won’t pause the economy for just five weeks, not even to save the economy; steam is coming out of the radiator but they won’t stop the car! It’s been “government interference is bad” and “leave it to the markets” for so many decades that governments have forgotten how to govern; they’ve forgotten that it’s their job to govern, and to lead. Can you imagine what Churchill, the War Cabinet and the National Government would have made of this year of débâcle?January 28, 2021 at 23:25 #66405SA
The delay in the second dose was pragmatic.It is better to get 30 million with partial immunity than 15 with more immunity as it will also dilute out virus targets. Not ideal but the better of two choices. I have started discussing the matter of lockdown in another forum. Partial lockdown ala U.K. is probably worse than no lockdown in the long term.January 28, 2021 at 23:52 #66408Clark
SA, it may be better; it’s another gamble. If it brings about a vaccine resistant strain it’s definitely worse, because no matter how high the proportion vaccinated, it’s useless.
There’s only one course that isn’t a gamble and it’s what you’ve been advocating all along. Quarantine.
– Leviticus 13:4-5
– If the shiny spot on the skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to isolate the affected person for seven days. On the seventh day the priest is to examine them, and if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin, he is to isolate them for another seven days.January 29, 2021 at 00:05 #66409ET
I am inclined to agree that the dosing strategy, whilst good intentioned, may turn out to have been the wrong call. Especially now with the manufacturing delays. In my opinion it would have been better to have 15 million properly vaccinated than 30 million we are unsure about. The Israeli experience is telling. They gambled on two variables being right and it seems both have not paid off in full. However, we shall wait and see.
My mother died yesterday evening, relatively peacefully. It was 14 days after testing positive. None of us who live in Great Britain were able to be there nor are able to travel home for the funeral which itself is limited to 10 people. Strange times.January 29, 2021 at 05:58 #66414SA
My condolences to you. It is very sad to lose one’s mother and it is also very sad not to be able to pay the last tributes. I hope the remainder of your family are safe.
A close friend heard that her brother, wife and two children in their late teen or early twenties, in NI all had covid-19. They are all recovering now. Also two of their cousins and one of the husbands had covid-19 and the husband had to be admitted for oxygen but did not need ventilation. It is all very difficult when whole families are struck at the same time. Strange times indeed.January 29, 2021 at 11:48 #66441Clark
ET, my condolences too.
My friend who works at a care home; he’s recovering well so far. However, one of his colleagues needed intensive care, and has died.January 29, 2021 at 12:10 #66443Nino
Condolences to ET. [ … ]
[ Mod: The rest of the comment has been snipped, as this is yet another anonymous proxy visitor. ]January 29, 2021 at 16:16 #66498Pigeon English
Condolences ETJanuary 29, 2021 at 17:42 #66499Dawg
Sorry to hear of your bereavement, ET. I haven’t experienced a loss as close as that, but I’ve witnessed it happen to others. A childhood neighbour – a very pretty girl, I recall, who was a close friend of my sister – passed away 2 weeks ago with Covid-19. I hadn’t seen her since my university days, but I remembered her fondly. She was a community nurse in SE England and last year she helped elderly people struggling with isolation … which is how she caught the virus and finally succumbed to it in ICU. She had no underlying complications. Within a few years she could have been a wonderful grandmother – if she’d had the chance. Her immediate family were unable to attend her funeral due to travel restrictions.
If she’d been vaccinated, she might have had the chance to be that wonderful grandmother. But she was in a low priority group. About 3 weeks earlier, before she was hospitalised, her mother died in a care home in Scotland with the same condition. As you can imagine, the family is utterly devastated.
The sooner we get people vaccinated the better, so we can avoid tragedies like this.January 29, 2021 at 17:51 #66503Clark
These are indeed strange times. More and more accounts of people’s personal losses and illnesses, yet clawing madly at the door are those who would insist that it is all just a hoax; a minor matter blown out of proportion. They even don disguises in the hope of repeating their same few endlessly recycled quotes from barely a handful of cherry-picked experts, they concoct statistics that wouldn’t fool a numerate teenager, and encourage us to take vitamin pills. Yet they insist that only they can face the terrible truth, and everyone else is clinging desperately to faith in government and “the MSM”, and whine about being censored! It is surreal.January 29, 2021 at 18:35 #66511Pigeon English
Very good post. In principle I am against censorship but when people ignore facts and keep going with same disproved arguments drives me crazy. Opinions are debatable but facts are not!
Misrepresentation is another thing that drives me crazy
I can go onJanuary 29, 2021 at 19:17 #66517glenn_uk
Condolences to you, ET – very sorry for your loss. Sorry too that you could not attend, I lost an aunt earlier this month and also could not go because of restrictions. Very trying times indeed.January 29, 2021 at 19:26 #66518glenn_uk
Pigeon English: “In principle I am against censorship but when people ignore facts and keep going with same disproved arguments drives me crazy.”
You should love our resident repeat-bot denialist Dave, in that case! One of his favourites is to pretend the death rate from Covid equals fatalities divided by the entire population. It has been repeatedly pointed out that this number is totally false – it should be fatalities divided by those infected. But Dave likes his version, because it makes the fatality rate appear much smaller. That allows him to be dismissive of the danger this virus causes.
Another thing denialist Dave likes to do is talk about vitamins and “therapeutics” – as an alternative to lock-downs and hospitalisation! No, seriously. He thinks “therapeutics” have never occurred to medics, and that all governments world-wide are damaging their economies with restrictions for a laugh.
There are plenty more examples, if you stick around you’ll see them again and again, because denialists apparently have zero shame. They have their weak, unsupported assertions comprehensively dealt with, then they just bring them back as if we would have no recollection of that fact.January 29, 2021 at 21:18 #66523Pigeon English
I have been around and your description, few days ago,of modus operandi was best description I have encountered.
My late ,old dad (bless him) was like that lately. My wife could not understand that he can drive me so crazy.February 1, 2021 at 20:58 #66700ET
There is no community transmission of COVID-19 here. Social distancing measures have been lifted and face coverings are no longer required/recommended. Pubs are open again.February 1, 2021 at 22:28 #66701ET
I should say, all businesses not just the pubs. Clearly giving away where my priorities lie. 😀
I haven’t seen Bill Gates either. He must be terribly disapponted.February 2, 2021 at 00:10 #66706Clark
ET, congrats on re-establishing your Green Zone status.
This reaffirms that it can be done by social measures, and done humanely.
Vaccines should be considered the second line in covid management, because we don’t yet know how well they’ll work.February 2, 2021 at 05:36 #66715ET
It can be done. Relatively easily and without much inconvenience.
Dave, and others, what is it that you want? A festering problem or a solution?
Or perhaps a reason to sow discord where it has no function?February 2, 2021 at 13:53 #66724glenn_uk
C: “Vaccines should be considered the second line in covid management, because we don’t yet know how well they’ll work.”
Signs so far are very promising. I was reading yesterday that of the 75000 -odd patients involved in vaccine trials so far, not one has died of Covid. The effectiveness rate of vaccines is determined by how many people it prevents contracting the illness it targets at all, but it’s slightly misleading. Because if you get the virus and it does you almost no harm at all, that is a pretty good result too.
If nobody is dying of covid, and almost nobody is ending up in hospitals after being vaccinated, that’s a pretty good result. If it inoculates the vast majority, and renders Covid-19 no worse than a regular mild flu, it’s little short of miraculous.February 2, 2021 at 14:07 #66725glenn_uk
… I meant “and renders Covid-19 no worse than a regular mild flu in the remainder” .
In the NYT story it illustrated the point by saying that of a typical 75000 people in the US, 150 would be dead and hundreds of others sent to hospital from C-19. Of the 75000 vaccinated, there have been zero dead and almost zero hospitalised.
The reCAPTCHA thing is getting more tedious.February 2, 2021 at 16:46 #66731ET
An article in today’s irish Times Let’s end the stand-up tragedy of Ireland’s pandemic policy.
“But there has been far too little capacity to learn the big lesson – that the pattern of lockdown and release, lockdown and release, does not work. Hundreds of people have died unnecessarily to teach us that lesson.”
Hundreds in Ireland, tens of thousands elsewhere.
“To do this, we have to stop pretending that Ireland is different, that strategies that have worked in Australia or Taiwan or Finland couldn’t possibly work here because we’re more open and connected than those societies. We’re not.
Our stand-up tragedy show has been on stage for far too long. There’s now a working script for how to crush the virus while we wait for mass vaccination to take effect. The job of the Irish authorities is not to keep inventing one on the hoof. It’s to adapt it for a local audience.”
We do know what to do, we just refuse to do it.February 2, 2021 at 17:24 #66734SA
“Vaccines should be considered the second line in covid management, because we don’t yet know how well they’ll work.”
The half hearted lockdown has reduced the number of cases slowly but they are still very high. My personal feeling is that if already about 10% of the population are infected it would be very difficult to contain the virus specially with the very poor test and trace system or non-system that is operating. All the relatives of my friend in NI do not know the possible source of their infections because of the poor surveillance. Sadly I think now vaccines are our only hope,February 2, 2021 at 23:26 #66747Clark
Already the Brazilian and Kent strains are showing high ability to escape the vaccines.
Why should we expect vaccines to work? Despite many attempts, no effective vaccines have ever been developed for any other coronaviruses, apart from some veterinary vaccines of very limited use.
We really should knock this thing on the head, because it’s knocking us on the head in large numbers and disrupting all our lives. We can’t carry on like this, and why should we? China hasn’t. Why faff around for another six months finding out whether a vaccine works or not when we could kill the damn thing in two?February 3, 2021 at 01:06 #66749Clark
glenn_uk, yes the vaccine might turn out to be fine, but it might not, and it still takes time to get it to everyone. We should get the social measures method right once, so that we have this weapon in our armoury, rather than relying on vaccinations which are slow to deploy and could fail in multiple ways.February 3, 2021 at 01:09 #66750Clark
While we’re waiting for the vaccine to be deployed we may as well do social restrictions right, rather than doing it wrong yet again.February 3, 2021 at 05:19 #66755SA
In reality you will never get control of the virus now in any rampant capitalist society and with such a grossly incompetent government as we , the US and Brazil, some of the largest countries affected, have. Incompetence is marked by arrogance and ideological blanketing means that it cannot be done. Do you not see that it is impossible to keep people at home when they are hungry, they have to go to work to eat, yet Dido gets millions. There is no contact between Boris and reality, he or his Tories do not know how people live. To get compliance you have to provide proper supervised isolation facilities and money for food for everybody centrally. I know we have focussed on the harsher aspects of Chinese lockdown but they provided support for those quarantined. When will it dawn on everyone that we need to get rid of this government.February 3, 2021 at 07:02 #66756SA
These reports by the Guardian Get to the heart of the problem I outlined in my previous post. There is also another article about the failure rate of obtaining £500 payment if you need to self isolate .February 3, 2021 at 10:12 #66759Clark
SA, I agree.
Maybe what’s needed is a story of two regions. In one, people relied upon the existing government, while in the other people self-organised to do what was needed.
Not quite the same topic, though related; have you read The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle? It’s the book I quoted from elsewhere. I think you’d enjoy it.February 3, 2021 at 11:56 #66762SA
Thanks for the tip Clark, I will look out for it, sadly at present I have a long ‘waiting list’ for books to read.
Re: the above couple of posts, no wonder there is a proliferation of CTs as some try to escape reality by pretending there is nothing to worry about, the said thing is that the government by its bumbling incompetence, including muddled messaging, has brought this on us.
Talking of off topic, this forum here seems to be completely off topic now and I am trying to continue my old one.
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