Omicron variant and the measures implemented in response to it

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duncanp

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The figures are all over the place at the moment because of the Christmas holidays, which will cause a delay in people taking tests, and also a delay in reporting them.

This situation will only stabilise after the new year, which is why the government were absolutely right to wait and see how the figures turn out before surrendering to SAGE emotional blackmail and ordering increased protections deciding what action to take next.

The other issue affecting the figures is a shortage of lateral flow tests.

This will cause the number of cases to fall because people are not going to use up their remaining test kits by getting tested unless they are ill with symptoms which is, er, what we should have been doing all along.

I can't help wondering if the government is deliberately reducing the supply of lateral flow test kits, slowly but surely, in order to gently nudge the figures in the downward direction.
 
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Nicholas Lewis

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The figures are all over the place at the moment because of the Christmas holidays, which will cause a delay in people taking tests, and also a delay in reporting them.

This situation will only stabilise after the new year, which is why the government were absolutely right to wait and see how the figures turn out before surrendering to SAGE emotional blackmail and ordering increased protections deciding what action to take next.

The other issue affecting the figures is a shortage of lateral flow tests.

This will cause the number of cases to fall because people are not going to use up their remaining test kits by getting tested unless they are ill with symptoms which is, er, what we should have been doing all along.
Not today they haven't 129,471 cases reported and that excludes Scotland & NI so will be higher. Total hospitalised in NHS England is +1072 since yesterday to stand at 9546. Daily rate has been increasing everyday OK its not doubling every two days as the modellers suggested but with increasing NHS staff absences capacity will be exhausted in a few weeks if there is no fall off. I'd say no further action is still in the balance because hospitalisation are the key measure but increases for next few weeks are now baked in whatever they do.
 

21C101

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No further restrictions announced for England before New Year, thank goodness. Johnson beginning to see sense by the looks of it(for the time being anyway). The last thing we need is yet more blasted "restrictions" and us going further backwards. Today's papers were largely positive about this news. Apart that is The Mirror with their front page, blasting Johnson for hosting no Downing Street News Conference or "Address to the nation" announcing further restrictions, and accusing him of going into hiding!!! I think this paper is SERIOUSLY out of touch with what the large majority of the nation are feeling in that we really do NOT need any further restrictions ruining our lives!

daily-mirror-front-page-2021-12-28
The mirror is nakedly partisan towards the labour party. That is why they are doing it.

If he had imposed restrictions they would have either condemned them, or, more likely, said they don't go far enough and demand doing what Drakeford is doing.
 

43066

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This situation will only stabilise after the new year, which is why the government were absolutely right to wait and see how the figures turn out before surrendering to SAGE emotional blackmail and ordering increased protections deciding what action to take next.

Please let’s just call restrictions what they are. There’s something incredibly sinister about dressing them up as “protections” as the mealy mouthed Scottish government does.
 

Pete_uk

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There is two months where things could go south in terms of all the numbers but let's hope that the numbers in ICU stay manageable and I *really* hope we get out of this before other nations.
 

yorksrob

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Going about their business as in an up to 50% drop in footfall in some areas of commerce?

Of course people are prioritising what they want to do. They are just doing so without the government telling them what to prioritise.
 

brad465

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There are some reports/suggestions that despite hospital occupation levels being much lower than this time last year, these time periods cannot be compared due to less staff and beds now than back then. I think the question that needs asking there is why more wasn't done to retain them, and in any case is a failure of effectively recruiting the NHS staff shortfall that is currently around 40,000 staff nationally. If there were more staff then better conditions could be offered through less intense shifts and more leave, and better pay is necessary to encourage uptake and retention, as well as helping the staff of course.
 

Shrop

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A question - does anyone understand why more isn't done to advertise the fact that all Covid variants are spread by people's breath? Everyone seems pre-occupied by whether or not we'll get more restrictions or another lockdown, and worrying about mental health etc, but why are most people seemingly unaware that this is all spread by breathing, and how this works? Covid doesn't respond to laws etc, and the 2 metre rule is pretty arbitrary, it's simply a question of breath (and to a lesser extent, what people have touched).

Imagine you're in a room where someone is smoking tobacco ... if so then there will be every chance that you'll be able to smell the smoke. What you're smelling is what has just been in their lungs, and yes, the same applies to Covid. So if you don't want to breathe that person's breath, then all you need to do is whatever you can to keep out of its way, including being extra careful if you're down wind from them due to an open window etc.

To put it another way, how many times in recent weeks have you been close to someone else, in a pub, restaurant, concert, football match, darts game (there are appalling scenes at televised matches), at work or in someone else's house (and the list goes on)? Now imagine, if they had been smoking a cigarette, then would you have been able to smell it in that situation? If the answer is yes, then you've been vulnerable to catching Covid. You may have got away with it, but you've been at risk.

So why can't the Government advertise that this is the level of vulnerability? It might just help with understanding, rather than instilling a false belief that if you're two metres away then you're safe.
 

duncanp

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Not today they haven't 129,471 cases reported and that excludes Scotland & NI so will be higher. Total hospitalised in NHS England is +1072 since yesterday to stand at 9546. Daily rate has been increasing everyday OK its not doubling every two days as the modellers suggested but with increasing NHS staff absences capacity will be exhausted in a few weeks if there is no fall off. I'd say no further action is still in the balance because hospitalisation are the key measure but increases for next few weeks are now baked in whatever they do.

Delays in people taking tests (which affects the no. of cases by specimen date) and reporting the result (which affects the no. of cases by reporting date) will cause spikes and troughs in the figures.

This happened last year, when (by specimen date) there were 45,569 cases on 28th December, 81,474 cases on 29th December, 31,825 cases on 1st January and 60,386 cases on 2nd January.

This is why I said that cases would only stabilise after the new year.

Or perhaps a better way of putting it would be to say that the long term trend in cases will only become clear in the new year.

The total numbers in hospital will be increasing, and at a faster rate, at the moment because hospitalisations are a lagging indicator, in that the reflect the number of infections approximately two weeks previously.

Two weeks ago was the peak of the current wave, when cases (by specimen date) were rising at a rate of over 90% per week (for England). Since then, cases (by specimen date) in England have plateaued, and on Christmas Eve were rising at a rate of under 30% per week. Eventually, cases will start to fall, and this will be reflected in the hospitalisation figures by the end of January.

If there were to be new restrictions in England early in January, the effect would not feed through into infections until the middle of January, and to hospitalisations until the end of January. So it is questionable whether any new restrictions would make any difference to hospitalisations, which as you say are already "baked in".
 

LowLevel

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A question - does anyone understand why more isn't done to advertise the fact that all Covid variants are spread by people's breath? Everyone seems pre-occupied by whether or not we'll get more restrictions or another lockdown, and worrying about mental health etc, but why are most people seemingly unaware that this is all spread by breathing, and how this works? Covid doesn't respond to laws etc, and the 2 metre rule is pretty arbitrary, it's simply a question of breath (and to a lesser extent, what people have touched).

Imagine you're in a room where someone is smoking tobacco ... if so then there will be every chance that you'll be able to smell the smoke. What you're smelling is what has just been in their lungs, and yes, the same applies to Covid. So if you don't want to breathe that person's breath, then all you need to do is whatever you can to keep out of its way, including being extra careful if you're down wind from them due to an open window etc.

To put it another way, how many times in recent weeks have you been close to someone else, in a pub, restaurant, concert, football match, darts game (there are appalling scenes at televised matches), at work or in someone else's house (and the list goes on)? Now imagine, if they had been smoking a cigarette, then would you have been able to smell it in that situation? If the answer is yes, then you've been vulnerable to catching Covid. You may have got away with it, but you've been at risk.

So why can't the Government advertise that this is the level of vulnerability? It might just help with understanding, rather than instilling a false belief that if you're two metres away then you're safe.
I would imagine plenty of people are conversant with the concept and quite comfortable with the fact that they may catch COVID. Notwithstanding the fact it's killed people I care about and left others in a mess, I can't do anything about it's existence and if I die tomorrow for any reason I resent the idea that I wouldn't have lived my life in fear of it. I've seen enough people in the last nearly 2 years who died of things other than COVID who never had their last chance to do anything really.

That's why I get on board with vaccines or whatever else, to reduce the risk when I'm inevitably exposed to it. I reckon I've been in close contact with several thousand people over the last week or so.
 

yorkie

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....If the answer is yes, then you've been vulnerable to catching Covid....
Everyone is going to be exposed to Sars-CoV-2.

You may have got away with it, but you've been at risk.
Everyone who is unvaccinated is at some risk, but the risk is very small, especially for younger/healthier people. There is no way to eliminate any risk; the only practicable thing anyone can do is to get vaccinated.

Anything else is absolutely futile and pointless; wearing a tight-fitting FFP3 mask would protect against virus transmission while the mask is worn (providing it is worn and stored correctly) but all it would do is delay the inevitable.

....That's why I get on board with vaccines or whatever else, to reduce the risk when I'm inevitably exposed to it. I reckon I've been in close contact with several thousand people over the last week or so.
Absolutely, 100% spot on.
 

Huntergreed

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I would imagine plenty of people are conversant with the concept and quite comfortable with the fact that they may catch COVID. Notwithstanding the fact it's killed people I care about and left others in a mess, I can't do anything about it's existence and if I die tomorrow for any reason I resent the idea that I wouldn't have lived my life in fear of it. I've seen enough people in the last nearly 2 years who died of things other than COVID who never had their last chance to do anything really.

That's why I get on board with vaccines or whatever else, to reduce the risk when I'm inevitably exposed to it. I reckon I've been in close contact with several thousand people over the last week or so.
Couldn't agree more. If anything, these past two years have taught me one thing more than anything else. Life and freedom is such a precious thing. My biggest fear/regret is not that I catch COVID and end up seriously ill, but rather that I don't make the absolute most of the time I have here at the moment to enjoy life, have as many fulfilling experiences as possible, spend time with family and friends and travel the world, taking in as much culture and variety as I
can. The thing that angers me so much about our response to COVID is that the argument seems to be:

We must take away almost all quality of life from the entire population to increase the quantity of (the poor quality) life currently here by a much lesser amount.

This stems from our societal view that death is the worst possible outcome/factor in any decision-making, and everything, including ruining the experience of life itself, must be viewed as a lesser priority than the prevention of death, regardless of how marginal the difference/perceived gain in any situation would be (how many times have you heard 'even one is too many'?)

In theory, we could force everyone to eat 5 a day, do their 2 hours of vigorous activity a week, stick below 14 units of alcohol, give up smoking, isolate at the first sign of any illness no matter how mild, stay at home and not take part in any 'risky' activities, but do we? Of course not! As a species, the things we treasure most in life (making memories, being with family, enjoying new experiences, feeling the rush of adrenaline in a perceived 'risky' situation) are all associated with a certain level of risk. We have, through our very long history, managed to find a mostly effective balance which prioritises both our ability to enjoy a fulfilling, varied life (with a sensible level of risk associated with this) and our ability to live a long, healthy life due to advances in our understanding of health and science/technology.

This whole COVID response has been, in my opinion, one of the greatest overreactions in human history, fuelled by sensationalist media-reporting, the political climate we have created across the world, and the theoretical field of epidemiology being out of touch with the real world. At the beginning of the pandemic, I admittedly was generally supportive of the response, as I felt that it was my civil responsibility to do my bit to prevent what (at the time) was going to be a catastrophic level of mortality across the country. As time went on, and we learned more about the virus, it should have become clear that the initial lockdown was unnecessarily stringent. In an ideal world, politicians across the world would have sensibly addressed the public, using the latest evidence and data, to provide an insight into the true level of risk associated with this virus. Whilst the vaccine rollout was taking place, I can see the merit in imposing some (mild/moderate) population restrictions to ensure that spread is reasonably well contained whilst immunity is built up on a national level. At the stage we are now at, however, it is clear that the risks of removing all (and I mean all) restrictions (at least domestically) would be miniscule.

What we are now seeing is the impact of:

Politicians who care more about their own career and reputation than honesty and integrity. They are so afraid to admit that the initial response was too heavy-handed that they instead continue the narrative as it was before (this keeps their careers, reputations, and wages, secure)

A sensationalist media combined with a public who have been taught since birth that death is the worst possible outcome in any situation. As soon as death is mentioned in the media and there is an alternative provided to avoid this, it seems only natural that a significant number of people will demand this action is taken. This is just basic evolution.

Experts and Scientists who are finally, after waiting for years, able to apply their knowledge in the public eye, and are aiming to outdo each other and ensure their professional reputation isn't tarnished (hence the scary models (can you imagine being labelled as the 'scientist who stopped the lockdown and killed thousands') and heavy restrictions (Scientists by nature are biased towards their own field. Someone who specialises in preventing the spread of disease will always think up of the most effective way to do this (ie, preventing human contact). It is the job of politicians to balance this advice against the advice of experts across a wide range of fields to make proportionate and balance decisions, which I don't think many (if any) countries have managed to do in this pandemic).

I remain confident that the wider public is now realising that the level of government intervention is disproportionate to the threat posed by this particular situation. I can see we are nearing the end of this pandemic. I remain hopeful that brighter days lie ahead. I sincerely hope that we are able to take what we have learned in the past few years forward, and that any national response to a particular threat (of any kind) will now take into account the wider risks from all angles.

I am less confident that our society will start to view death as an aspect of life and something which. I believe that death should not be feared, but accepted to allow us to make the most of the time we have here.

I am not confident at all that our politicians will ever prioritise integrity above their own interests, but that’s just how it goes these days.

Rant over!
 

backontrack

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If this Christmas has proved anything, it's that the only thing Sage is good for is stuffing up a turkey's bottom.
 

Jimini

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Couldn't agree more. If anything, these past two years have taught me one thing more than anything else. Life and freedom is such a precious thing. My biggest fear/regret is not that I catch COVID and end up seriously ill, but rather that I don't make the absolute most of the time I have here at the moment to enjoy life, have as many fulfilling experiences as possible, spend time with family and friends and travel the world, taking in as much culture and variety as I
can. The thing that angers me so much about our response to COVID is that the argument seems to be:

We must take away almost all quality of life from the entire population to increase the quantity of (the poor quality) life currently here by a much lesser amount.

This stems from our societal view that death is the worst possible outcome/factor in any decision-making, and everything, including ruining the experience of life itself, must be viewed as a lesser priority than the prevention of death, regardless of how marginal the difference/perceived gain in any situation would be (how many times have you heard 'even one is too many'?)

In theory, we could force everyone to eat 5 a day, do their 2 hours of vigorous activity a week, stick below 14 units of alcohol, give up smoking, isolate at the first sign of any illness no matter how mild, stay at home and not take part in any 'risky' activities, but do we? Of course not! As a species, the things we treasure most in life (making memories, being with family, enjoying new experiences, feeling the rush of adrenaline in a perceived 'risky' situation) are all associated with a certain level of risk. We have, through our very long history, managed to find a mostly effective balance which prioritises both our ability to enjoy a fulfilling, varied life (with a sensible level of risk associated with this) and our ability to live a long, healthy life due to advances in our understanding of health and science/technology.

This whole COVID response has been, in my opinion, one of the greatest overreactions in human history, fuelled by sensationalist media-reporting, the political climate we have created across the world, and the theoretical field of epidemiology being out of touch with the real world. At the beginning of the pandemic, I admittedly was generally supportive of the response, as I felt that it was my civil responsibility to do my bit to prevent what (at the time) was going to be a catastrophic level of mortality across the country. As time went on, and we learned more about the virus, it should have become clear that the initial lockdown was unnecessarily stringent. In an ideal world, politicians across the world would have sensibly addressed the public, using the latest evidence and data, to provide an insight into the true level of risk associated with this virus. Whilst the vaccine rollout was taking place, I can see the merit in imposing some (mild/moderate) population restrictions to ensure that spread is reasonably well contained whilst immunity is built up on a national level. At the stage we are now at, however, it is clear that the risks of removing all (and I mean all) restrictions (at least domestically) would be miniscule.

What we are now seeing is the impact of:

Politicians who care more about their own career and reputation than honesty and integrity. They are so afraid to admit that the initial response was too heavy-handed that they instead continue the narrative as it was before (this keeps their careers, reputations, and wages, secure)

A sensationalist media combined with a public who have been taught since birth that death is the worst possible outcome in any situation. As soon as death is mentioned in the media and there is an alternative provided to avoid this, it seems only natural that a significant number of people will demand this action is taken. This is just basic evolution.

Experts and Scientists who are finally, after waiting for years, able to apply their knowledge in the public eye, and are aiming to outdo each other and ensure their professional reputation isn't tarnished (hence the scary models (can you imagine being labelled as the 'scientist who stopped the lockdown and killed thousands') and heavy restrictions (Scientists by nature are biased towards their own field. Someone who specialises in preventing the spread of disease will always think up of the most effective way to do this (ie, preventing human contact). It is the job of politicians to balance this advice against the advice of experts across a wide range of fields to make proportionate and balance decisions, which I don't think many (if any) countries have managed to do in this pandemic).

I remain confident that the wider public is now realising that the level of government intervention is disproportionate to the threat posed by this particular situation. I can see we are nearing the end of this pandemic. I remain hopeful that brighter days lie ahead. I sincerely hope that we are able to take what we have learned in the past few years forward, and that any national response to a particular threat (of any kind) will now take into account the wider risks from all angles.

I am less confident that our society will start to view death as an aspect of life and something which. I believe that death should not be feared, but accepted to allow us to make the most of the time we have here.

I am not confident at all that our politicians will ever prioritise integrity above their own interests, but that’s just how it goes these days.

Rant over!
Ten.jpg
 

Andyh82

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Needless to say, Locktivist Sky News running a story about "Doctors warn Covid measures in England are insufficient".

What, those doctors that anyone with any illness other than Covid already cannot get an appointment with (but that's ok, if those people die at least it's not a Covid-death, eh...)? In a topsy-turvy country where it seems more important to protect a health service rather than expect a health service to protect us?

If someone had predicted this a few years ago, they'd have been locked up for their own safety. Yet here we are.
The BBC News was similar, you can tell they’ve been thrown of course with the lack of restrictions so now have a hole in the schedule. It was all about ‘England now being out of step with the devolved nations despite rising cases’
 

43066

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I would imagine plenty of people are conversant with the concept and quite comfortable with the fact that they may catch COVID. Notwithstanding the fact it's killed people I care about and left others in a mess, I can't do anything about it's existence and if I die tomorrow for any reason I resent the idea that I wouldn't have lived my life in fear of it. I've seen enough people in the last nearly 2 years who died of things other than COVID who never had their last chance to do anything really.

That's why I get on board with vaccines or whatever else, to reduce the risk when I'm inevitably exposed to it. I reckon I've been in close contact with several thousand people over the last week or so.

A very sensible post.
 

21C101

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The BBC News was similar, you can tell they’ve been thrown of course with the lack of restrictions so now have a hole in the schedule. It was all about ‘England now being out of step with the devolved nations despite rising cases’
It will get worse before it gets better. After it passes the point of no return and the experts are discredited, the BBC etc. will probably drop the subject and go back to banging on about Brexit.
 

Shrop

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I would imagine plenty of people are conversant with the concept and quite comfortable with the fact that they may catch COVID.
I would have hoped so, but I've met several people who have started off by making a point of standing over 2 metres away whilst talking, and 5 minutes later have been standing no more than one metre away, with their mask well and truly slipped. So no, you might get it, but a lot of people don't, and I say this because at least two of the people who I've seen behaving like this, are elderly with vulnerable health conditions.

Fwiw, I agree with all those who advocate having the vaccines and booster(s), and I also agree with those who say they want to get some pleasure out of life while they can. But I do think everyone owes it to everyone else to be careful as far as they can. I know too many people suffering in pain waiting for operations, who keep getting them cancelled because of Covid patients jumping the queue for hospital beds, and all too often they have Covid through carelessness.
 

21C101

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Everyone is going to be exposed to Sars-CoV-2.
Done my best the last few weeks. Commuted on Thameslink. Ridden on a packed Victoria Line train. Kids in two schools another one spent the week before Christmas partying in London before returning home. Another one been working at a Nursery. Shopping, Cafes, Church services, meet ups with neighbours. Mask worn when compulsory but under my nose so still breathing in unfiltered air. Even went for a weekend break in Leicester in the summer (by rail of course).

Nothing lol.
 

brad465

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It will get worse before it gets better. After it passes the point of no return and the experts are discredited, the BBC etc. will probably drop the subject and go back to banging on about Brexit.
There are new checks coming in during the new year, so it's possible that they will bang on about Brexit because it does actually warrant attention. At the same time though, those new checks might actually make new restrictions beneficial to the Government, as this gives them something to cover the news schedules instead of any trade disruption. The only things stopping them right now are 99+ revolting backbenchers and a flurry of lockdown-breaching party revelations undermining their authority.
 

Freightmaster

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The BBC News was similar, you can tell they’ve been thrown of course with the lack of restrictions so now have a hole in the schedule. It was all about ‘England now being out of step with the devolved nations despite rising cases’
...whereas in the reality, the opposite is true: "the devolved nations are out of step with England despite Omicron being an order of magnitude
less dangerous/deadly than Delta"



Unfortunately, the Scottish press have not got the memo, and are describing the spread of Omicron as a Tsunami:

_122523258_scotsman-dec28-page-001.jpg






MARK
 

DustyBin

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Couldn't agree more. If anything, these past two years have taught me one thing more than anything else. Life and freedom is such a precious thing. My biggest fear/regret is not that I catch COVID and end up seriously ill, but rather that I don't make the absolute most of the time I have here at the moment to enjoy life, have as many fulfilling experiences as possible, spend time with family and friends and travel the world, taking in as much culture and variety as I
can. The thing that angers me so much about our response to COVID is that the argument seems to be:

We must take away almost all quality of life from the entire population to increase the quantity of (the poor quality) life currently here by a much lesser amount.

This stems from our societal view that death is the worst possible outcome/factor in any decision-making, and everything, including ruining the experience of life itself, must be viewed as a lesser priority than the prevention of death, regardless of how marginal the difference/perceived gain in any situation would be (how many times have you heard 'even one is too many'?)

In theory, we could force everyone to eat 5 a day, do their 2 hours of vigorous activity a week, stick below 14 units of alcohol, give up smoking, isolate at the first sign of any illness no matter how mild, stay at home and not take part in any 'risky' activities, but do we? Of course not! As a species, the things we treasure most in life (making memories, being with family, enjoying new experiences, feeling the rush of adrenaline in a perceived 'risky' situation) are all associated with a certain level of risk. We have, through our very long history, managed to find a mostly effective balance which prioritises both our ability to enjoy a fulfilling, varied life (with a sensible level of risk associated with this) and our ability to live a long, healthy life due to advances in our understanding of health and science/technology.

This whole COVID response has been, in my opinion, one of the greatest overreactions in human history, fuelled by sensationalist media-reporting, the political climate we have created across the world, and the theoretical field of epidemiology being out of touch with the real world. At the beginning of the pandemic, I admittedly was generally supportive of the response, as I felt that it was my civil responsibility to do my bit to prevent what (at the time) was going to be a catastrophic level of mortality across the country. As time went on, and we learned more about the virus, it should have become clear that the initial lockdown was unnecessarily stringent. In an ideal world, politicians across the world would have sensibly addressed the public, using the latest evidence and data, to provide an insight into the true level of risk associated with this virus. Whilst the vaccine rollout was taking place, I can see the merit in imposing some (mild/moderate) population restrictions to ensure that spread is reasonably well contained whilst immunity is built up on a national level. At the stage we are now at, however, it is clear that the risks of removing all (and I mean all) restrictions (at least domestically) would be miniscule.

What we are now seeing is the impact of:

Politicians who care more about their own career and reputation than honesty and integrity. They are so afraid to admit that the initial response was too heavy-handed that they instead continue the narrative as it was before (this keeps their careers, reputations, and wages, secure)

A sensationalist media combined with a public who have been taught since birth that death is the worst possible outcome in any situation. As soon as death is mentioned in the media and there is an alternative provided to avoid this, it seems only natural that a significant number of people will demand this action is taken. This is just basic evolution.

Experts and Scientists who are finally, after waiting for years, able to apply their knowledge in the public eye, and are aiming to outdo each other and ensure their professional reputation isn't tarnished (hence the scary models (can you imagine being labelled as the 'scientist who stopped the lockdown and killed thousands') and heavy restrictions (Scientists by nature are biased towards their own field. Someone who specialises in preventing the spread of disease will always think up of the most effective way to do this (ie, preventing human contact). It is the job of politicians to balance this advice against the advice of experts across a wide range of fields to make proportionate and balance decisions, which I don't think many (if any) countries have managed to do in this pandemic).

I remain confident that the wider public is now realising that the level of government intervention is disproportionate to the threat posed by this particular situation. I can see we are nearing the end of this pandemic. I remain hopeful that brighter days lie ahead. I sincerely hope that we are able to take what we have learned in the past few years forward, and that any national response to a particular threat (of any kind) will now take into account the wider risks from all angles.

I am less confident that our society will start to view death as an aspect of life and something which. I believe that death should not be feared, but accepted to allow us to make the most of the time we have here.

I am not confident at all that our politicians will ever prioritise integrity above their own interests, but that’s just how it goes these days.

Rant over!

Absolutely spot on!
 

21C101

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Unfortunately, the Scottish press have not got the memo, and are describing the spread of Omicron as a Tsunami:
That is because they are worried that Nicola's cancelling Hogmanay while England Parties is going to set back the cause of Scottish independence for a generation.

Given that Hogmanay is arguably more important than Christmas in Scotland, with January 2nd also a bank holiday there, I think she has squarely aimed the gun at both feet.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Unfortunately, the Scottish press have not got the memo, and are describing the spread of Omicron as a Tsunami:
I am guessing they have also carefully deliberately placed that prominent picture of the Egyptian Mummy's skull right next to the virus article...?
 

Aaron1

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It is certain that at some point every single person in this country has had Covid, whether we have known about it or not, and the overwhelming majority of us are still here and wasn't hospitalised, wasn't seriously ill, obviously never died, many of us wouldn't have even knew about it!

It is also certain that any restrictions imposed would be too late to have any effect as we will very soon be hitting the peak, and by end of Jan we will highly likely be well over the worst of this Omicron variant. I do think no restrictions need bringing in and it would all be fruitless as nobody will follow them.

I posted a little story a few weeks back in the lockdown Christmas party thread, just to briefly re-cap.

In January one of my best mates was killed in a car accident, he was only 21 and it was actually his birthday on the very day he lost his life, we was only allowed 30 at his funeral so the vast majority of us had to watch online and drink to him alone as we was allowed no wake, I have no doubt under no restrictions the crematorium would have been packed out with people standing outside, so he was denied a send off he deserved, whilst they all partied so therefore no more restrictions will be followed by me, also because I am triple jabbed now so I consider myself "safe"

There are thousands of stories similar to mine above, restrictions will be pretty much unenforceable.
 

43066

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I would have hoped so, but I've met several people who have started off by making a point of standing over 2 metres away whilst talking, and 5 minutes later have been standing no more than one metre away, with their mask well and truly slipped. So no, you might get it, but a lot of people don't, and I say this because at least two of the people who I've seen behaving like this, are elderly with vulnerable health conditions.

Fwiw, I agree with all those who advocate having the vaccines and booster(s), and I also agree with those who say they want to get some pleasure out of life while they can. But I do think everyone owes it to everyone else to be careful as far as they can. I know too many people suffering in pain waiting for operations, who keep getting them cancelled because of Covid patients jumping the queue for hospital beds, and all too often they have Covid through carelessness.

When are people going to realise that everyone is going to be exposed to Covid at some point. The idea that you can catch Covid “through carelessness” is a very strange one; it will be caught as part and parcel of going about normal life, just as with any highly transmissible airborne virus. It poses a very low risk to most people who are infected, and lower still for those who are vaccinated.
 

kristiang85

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Couldn't agree more. If anything, these past two years have taught me one thing more than anything else. Life and freedom is such a precious thing. My biggest fear/regret is not that I catch COVID and end up seriously ill, but rather that I don't make the absolute most of the time I have here at the moment to enjoy life, have as many fulfilling experiences as possible, spend time with family and friends and travel the world, taking in as much culture and variety as I
can. The thing that angers me so much about our response to COVID is that the argument seems to be:

We must take away almost all quality of life from the entire population to increase the quantity of (the poor quality) life currently here by a much lesser amount.

This stems from our societal view that death is the worst possible outcome/factor in any decision-making, and everything, including ruining the experience of life itself, must be viewed as a lesser priority than the prevention of death, regardless of how marginal the difference/perceived gain in any situation would be (how many times have you heard 'even one is too many'?)

In theory, we could force everyone to eat 5 a day, do their 2 hours of vigorous activity a week, stick below 14 units of alcohol, give up smoking, isolate at the first sign of any illness no matter how mild, stay at home and not take part in any 'risky' activities, but do we? Of course not! As a species, the things we treasure most in life (making memories, being with family, enjoying new experiences, feeling the rush of adrenaline in a perceived 'risky' situation) are all associated with a certain level of risk. We have, through our very long history, managed to find a mostly effective balance which prioritises both our ability to enjoy a fulfilling, varied life (with a sensible level of risk associated with this) and our ability to live a long, healthy life due to advances in our understanding of health and science/technology.

This whole COVID response has been, in my opinion, one of the greatest overreactions in human history, fuelled by sensationalist media-reporting, the political climate we have created across the world, and the theoretical field of epidemiology being out of touch with the real world. At the beginning of the pandemic, I admittedly was generally supportive of the response, as I felt that it was my civil responsibility to do my bit to prevent what (at the time) was going to be a catastrophic level of mortality across the country. As time went on, and we learned more about the virus, it should have become clear that the initial lockdown was unnecessarily stringent. In an ideal world, politicians across the world would have sensibly addressed the public, using the latest evidence and data, to provide an insight into the true level of risk associated with this virus. Whilst the vaccine rollout was taking place, I can see the merit in imposing some (mild/moderate) population restrictions to ensure that spread is reasonably well contained whilst immunity is built up on a national level. At the stage we are now at, however, it is clear that the risks of removing all (and I mean all) restrictions (at least domestically) would be miniscule.

What we are now seeing is the impact of:

Politicians who care more about their own career and reputation than honesty and integrity. They are so afraid to admit that the initial response was too heavy-handed that they instead continue the narrative as it was before (this keeps their careers, reputations, and wages, secure)

A sensationalist media combined with a public who have been taught since birth that death is the worst possible outcome in any situation. As soon as death is mentioned in the media and there is an alternative provided to avoid this, it seems only natural that a significant number of people will demand this action is taken. This is just basic evolution.

Experts and Scientists who are finally, after waiting for years, able to apply their knowledge in the public eye, and are aiming to outdo each other and ensure their professional reputation isn't tarnished (hence the scary models (can you imagine being labelled as the 'scientist who stopped the lockdown and killed thousands') and heavy restrictions (Scientists by nature are biased towards their own field. Someone who specialises in preventing the spread of disease will always think up of the most effective way to do this (ie, preventing human contact). It is the job of politicians to balance this advice against the advice of experts across a wide range of fields to make proportionate and balance decisions, which I don't think many (if any) countries have managed to do in this pandemic).

I remain confident that the wider public is now realising that the level of government intervention is disproportionate to the threat posed by this particular situation. I can see we are nearing the end of this pandemic. I remain hopeful that brighter days lie ahead. I sincerely hope that we are able to take what we have learned in the past few years forward, and that any national response to a particular threat (of any kind) will now take into account the wider risks from all angles.

I am less confident that our society will start to view death as an aspect of life and something which. I believe that death should not be feared, but accepted to allow us to make the most of the time we have here.

I am not confident at all that our politicians will ever prioritise integrity above their own interests, but that’s just how it goes these days.

Rant over!
Post of the year.
 

brad465

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Maidstone
The mirror is nakedly partisan towards the labour party. That is why they are doing it.

If he had imposed restrictions they would have either condemned them, or, more likely, said they don't go far enough and demand doing what Drakeford is doing.
While their political orientation is true, their front page tomorrow seems to be almost the opposite of the previous one:


1640736459090.png

There are also other papers fronting demands that we follow the US in cutting isolation to 5 days, and others alongside the Mirror being more optimistic about the situation, which is all good.
 

Huntergreed

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Glasgow… Probably
I see UK government ministers are now even calling out the devolved nations for having a response that is far too heavy-handed:

Parkrun has helped so many people improve their health across the UK. I can’t see how restricting outdoor exercise in this way is justified or proportionate.

(https://twitter.com/sajidjavid/status/1475887245227962375?s=21)

If it turns out that Sturgeon and Drakeford have unnecessarily closed businesses, harmed the economy, and curtailed the liberties of the people in their respective countries, I would like to think they would be forced to resign with immediate effect.
 

bengley

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I see UK government ministers are now even calling out the devolved nations for having a response that is far too heavy-handed:



(https://twitter.com/sajidjavid/status/1475887245227962375?s=21)

If it turns out that Sturgeon and Drakeford have unnecessarily closed businesses, harmed the economy, and curtailed the liberties of the people in their respective countries, I would like to think they would be forced to resign with immediate effect.
Or have their devolution taken away
 
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