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Should restrictions be eased fully if Indian Variant case rates do not decline before June 21st?

If case rates do not decline before June 21st, what do you think should happen with the roadmap?

  • Go ahead with easing of all Covid restrictions on June 21st, assuming vaccinations are ramped up

    Votes: 171 53.9%
  • Go ahead with stage 4 of easing restrictions on June 21st, but keep masks and WFH guidance

    Votes: 29 9.1%
  • Ease some stage 4 restrictions on June 21st, but keep others for longer

    Votes: 35 11.0%
  • Postpone stage 4 easing to a later date in the worst affected hotspots

    Votes: 16 5.0%
  • Postpone stage 4 easing to a later date everywhere

    Votes: 43 13.6%
  • Impose new localised restrictions in the worst affected hotspots

    Votes: 5 1.6%
  • Impose new national restrictions

    Votes: 10 3.2%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 8 2.5%

  • Total voters
    317

initiation

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2014
Messages
335
It is stretched by the massive backlog of patients that couldn't be seen during Covid.

So lockdown -> increased waiting lists -> we must have more lockdown...right.

Now clearly it is not a simple thing of saying no lockdown = no increased in waiting lists but there are 3 factors at play here:
  1. Genuine delays for example caused by NHS staff having to be reassigned temporarily.
  2. People being scared/put off going to seek medical help
  3. Ongoing delays in reopening.
Now 2 and 3 can be controlled. The Government have employed lots of scare tactics to enforce compliance which have the side effect of 2. 3 is also poorly managed as evidenced last summer when despite very few covid hospitalisations referrals and treatments were still massively down.

How are waiting lists in say Sweden or states in the US without lockdowns? I would prsume that if they were worse than us we might have heard about it...


I found watching "Hospital" on Tuesday night instructive about the costs to the NHS, and the stretch it is under to catch up.
While I am sure it was, was there a similar programme called perhaps 'Public House' which described the stretch many businesses are under to tread water financially let alone catch up on 16 months of heavy restrictions. Or from a teacher working with special needs kids trying to catch up on months of being absent from school. This is not a single factor equation.
 
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kristiang85

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2018
Messages
1,395
  1. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
This feels touch and go but on balance think it is OK to pass - We do know that hospitalisations are increasing at the moment, albeit from very low levels and with less serious cases but it is trending in the wrong direction and the NHS is already stretched.
  1. The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
To me we fail this test - There is clearly a VOC that is leading to large increases in some parts of the Country and it seems that we don't yet have enough people double-jabbed to provide enough protection against it.

I don't think it needs to be a long delay - Open up vaccine eligibility to all adults on June 21st and then look to release everything 4/5 weeks from then. But I would much rather than than have some things relaxed (e.g. weddings) but still have to deal with masks etc.

I've made a rough graph (some would say model) using the data from the government website. I've taken yesterday's positive test figure, and the previous 30 days - and in comparison the data from September 23rd 2020 (the last time we hit yesterday's positive test numbers) and the previous 20 days to that. Thus data is in blue (dark = 2020 / light = 2021)

I've also taken the hospitalisations (orange) and the deaths (green) from both periods on the right hand scale, and again the difference is marked by darker = 2020 / lighter = 2021.

On top of this I have overlaid an exponential trendline and projected forward about 3 weeks.

We can test if the trendline is working by looking at the 7-day average data from October 14th 2020:
  • My projection of positive tests: c. 18,800 / Reality: 17,291
  • My projection of hospitalisations: c. 850 / Reality: 956
  • My projection of deaths: c. 120 / Reality: 134

So we are *roughly* on track.

The two trendlines for positive tests in both 2020 and 2021 are pretty much matched in terms of their current path, but do diverge somewhat on the exponential projection.

If you look at the trendlines for the hospitalisations in 2020, it very much follows the same curve as the positive tests, as you would expect.

But in 2021, the hospitalisations are a lot flatter, and the same can be said of deaths.

So it's looking like, by the end of June, we could be seeing figures such as:
  • positive tests: 12,500/day (range 11,250-13,750)
  • Hospitalisations: 170/day (range up to 190)
  • Deaths: Less than 10/day (c. 5ish, but data will still be noisy).

That is pretty much in line with a population where the most at risk are vaccinated, along with many others, plus natural immunity.

There is no way this variant poses a risk to the health system or an inordinate risk to the lives of Britons in a way that would justify continued restrictions on our existance (beyond the usual sensible advice, such as still encouraging sanitising stations and people to stay in if they have any kind of symptoms).
 

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philosopher

Member
Joined
23 Sep 2015
Messages
586
As we stand today I think there has to be a short delay and we spend the next few weeks getting the numbers of "Double-Jabbed" up as much as possible (and give time for that protection to take effect). That sounds better than relaxing a few things on the 21st but leaving other things in place for a few extra weeks.

If we look at the Government's tests for releasing measures it seems fairly clear that we do not pass at least one of those:
  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
No Problems - Pass
  1. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
No Issue - Pass
  1. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
This feels touch and go but on balance think it is OK to pass - We do know that hospitalisations are increasing at the moment, albeit from very low levels and with less serious cases but it is trending in the wrong direction and the NHS is already stretched.
  1. The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
To me we fail this test - There is clearly a VOC that is leading to large increases in some parts of the Country and it seems that we don't yet have enough people double-jabbed to provide enough protection against it.

I don't think it needs to be a long delay - Open up vaccine eligibility to all adults on June 21st and then look to release everything 4/5 weeks from then. But I would much rather than than have some things relaxed (e.g. weddings) but still have to deal with masks etc.
Of those four tests, the only one that really matters is the third one (unsustainable pressure on the NHS). That is what all this social distancing was justified on.

The other three tests only matter in so much that they make failing test three more likely. So for example a new variant of concern spreading could result in infection rates overwhelming the NHS, however that does not mean that will be the case. It could be that a new variant results in a lot of infections, but few additional hospitalisations. At the moment with the Delta variant we still do not know what degree of pressure it will put on the NHS.
 

Simon11

Member
Joined
7 Nov 2010
Messages
1,093
At the moment with the Delta variant we still do not know what degree of pressure it will put on the NHS.

I can answer that- hardly any.....

We cannot just wait for data to come in forever! You can bet that when we reach 0 deaths on a weekday, you will have the professionals asking for us to 'wait' to see more data to see if deaths remain at 0....
 

YorkshireBear

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
7,982
I've made a rough graph (some would say model) using the data from the government website. I've taken yesterday's positive test figure, and the previous 30 days - and in comparison the data from September 23rd 2020 (the last time we hit yesterday's positive test numbers) and the previous 20 days to that. Thus data is in blue (dark = 2020 / light = 2021)

I've also taken the hospitalisations (orange) and the deaths (green) from both periods on the right hand scale, and again the difference is marked by darker = 2020 / lighter = 2021.

On top of this I have overlaid an exponential trendline and projected forward about 3 weeks.

We can test if the trendline is working by looking at the 7-day average data from October 14th 2020:
  • My projection of positive tests: c. 18,800 / Reality: 17,291
  • My projection of hospitalisations: c. 850 / Reality: 956
  • My projection of deaths: c. 120 / Reality: 134

So we are *roughly* on track.

The two trendlines for positive tests in both 2020 and 2021 are pretty much matched in terms of their current path, but do diverge somewhat on the exponential projection.

If you look at the trendlines for the hospitalisations in 2020, it very much follows the same curve as the positive tests, as you would expect.

But in 2021, the hospitalisations are a lot flatter, and the same can be said of deaths.

So it's looking like, by the end of June, we could be seeing figures such as:
  • positive tests: 12,500/day (range 11,250-13,750)
  • Hospitalisations: 170/day (range up to 190)
  • Deaths: Less than 10/day (c. 5ish, but data will still be noisy).

That is pretty much in line with a population where the most at risk are vaccinated, along with many others, plus natural immunity.

There is no way this variant poses a risk to the health system or an inordinate risk to the lives of Britons in a way that would justify continued restrictions on our existance (beyond the usual sensible advice, such as still encouraging sanitising stations and people to stay in if they have any kind of symptoms).
Just to be clear what that shows is that our trend in cases rising is broadly similar from September 2020 and now. But you can clearly see hospitalisations and deaths are not following.

Great analysis.
 

kristiang85

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2018
Messages
1,395
Just to be clear what that shows is that our trend in cases rising is broadly similar from September 2020 and now. But you can clearly see hospitalisations and deaths are not following.

Yes, that's what I'm trying to visualise. Sorry it's a bit of a messy graph...
 

35B

Established Member
Joined
19 Dec 2011
Messages
1,410
So lockdown -> increased waiting lists -> we must have more lockdown...right.

Now clearly it is not a simple thing of saying no lockdown = no increased in waiting lists but there are 3 factors at play here:
  1. Genuine delays for example caused by NHS staff having to be reassigned temporarily.
  2. People being scared/put off going to seek medical help
  3. Ongoing delays in reopening.
Now 2 and 3 can be controlled. The Government have employed lots of scare tactics to enforce compliance which have the side effect of 2. 3 is also poorly managed as evidenced last summer when despite very few covid hospitalisations referrals and treatments were still massively down.

How are waiting lists in say Sweden or states in the US without lockdowns? I would prsume that if they were worse than us we might have heard about it...
My experience living in an area with a "needs improvement" NHS trust in charge is that the NHS has flexed pretty well as it's been able to regain capacity.

While I am sure it was, was there a similar programme called perhaps 'Public House' which described the stretch many businesses are under to tread water financially let alone catch up on 16 months of heavy restrictions. Or from a teacher working with special needs kids trying to catch up on months of being absent from school. This is not a single factor equation.
I'm a primary school governor with secondary school age children and involvement in youth and community activities through my church; I am well aware from many angles just how difficult lockdown measures are.

No its The Government's reaction to Covid.
Indeed - slow, belated, and leading to more people being exposed to disease and presenting in hospitals in both the major surges.
 

kristiang85

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2018
Messages
1,395
Some quite significant news here, and potentially a sign that the government does want to make the visuals look good to continue unlocking: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-hospitals-nhs-england-data-b1862804.html
(The rest of us have been saying how flawed this system was for over a year now...)

Hospitals have been told to change the way they collect data on patients infected with coronavirus to differentiate between those actually sick with symptoms and those who test positive while seeking treatment for something else.

The move would reduce the overall number of patients in hospital for coronavirus as until now data from hospitals has included all patients who tested positive for Covid-19 regardless of whether they had symptoms or not.


NHS England has instructed hospitals to make the change to the daily flow of data sent by NHS trusts and told The Independent the move was being done to help analyse the effect of the vaccine programme and whether it was successfully reducing Covid-19 sickness.


It has not yet committed to publishing the data but the change could prove crucial to the government’s decision to end lockdown on 21 June.

In a letter to hospital bosses on 7 June, shared with The Independent, NHS England’s Covid incident director Professor Keith Willett said from now on NHS England wanted a “a breakdown of the current stock of Covid patients into those who are in hospital with acute Covid-19 symptoms (and for whom Covid-19 is the primary reason for being in hospital); and those who are primarily in hospital for a reason other than Covid-19 (but for whom the hospital is having to manage and treat the Covid-19 symptoms alongside their primary condition).”

He added: “In lay terms this could be considered as a binary split between those in hospital ‘for Covid-19’ and those in hospital ‘with Covid-19’. We are asking for this binary split for those patients newly admitted to hospital and those newly diagnosed with Covid while in hospital.”


During the coronavirus crisis many patients in hospital were sick from the virus with intensive care units forced to double or triple their capacity and the vast majority of patients needing oxygen.

It has always been the case that as the virus spreads in the community some patients would likely test positive.

One NHS source said the new data would be “more realistic” as not all patients were sick with the virus, adding: “But it will make figures look better as there have always been some, for example stroke [patients], who also had Covid as an incidental finding”.

One clinician said: “As the community prevalence goes up, the in-hospital rate will go up in line with that. But if a proportion of that younger cohort are in hospital for other reasons, then the story is completely different. This change will give a much better view of this.”

NHS England data on hospital admissions is published daily at a regional level and several days later on the government’s dashboard. An internal daily dashboard of Covid data tracks infections across hospitals but is not made public.

A spokesperson for NHS England said: “Throughout the pandemic, the NHS has published daily, weekly, monthly and up-to-date information on Covid hospital activity, and this is a further update for operational reasons as it is obviously important for the NHS to continue to monitor cases of covid in hospitals, alongside the success and impact of the vaccine programme.”

They added that the data was used for planning and operational reasons and would need to be checked and verified before it was published.
 

Bertie the bus

Established Member
Joined
15 Aug 2014
Messages
1,715
About time too. When numbers of hospitalisations and deaths are low, as they are now, it is especially important to know the actual damage Covid is doing. When the number of deaths are below 10 per day even a small number dying with Covid as opposed to of Covid makes a massive difference.
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
2,359
Location
Maidstone
Some quite significant news here, and potentially a sign that the government does want to make the visuals look good to continue unlocking: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-hospitals-nhs-england-data-b1862804.html
(The rest of us have been saying how flawed this system was for over a year now...)

About time too. When numbers of hospitalisations and deaths are low, as they are now, it is especially important to know the actual damage Covid is doing. When the number of deaths are below 10 per day even a small number dying with Covid as opposed to of Covid makes a massive difference.
Given so much is resting on June 21st happening, it being delayed could cost Johnson dearly down the line, primarily to his own party, but the public could also notice the failure of border policy as a reason for the Delta variant spreading so much here and put it down to Johnson's delay of the red list (even if no border policy could have stopped that variant, the perception remains).
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,028
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
Some quite significant news here, and potentially a sign that the government does want to make the visuals look good to continue unlocking: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-hospitals-nhs-england-data-b1862804.html
(The rest of us have been saying how flawed this system was for over a year now...)

This should have been done right from the beginning of the pandemic, as it would have made the figures look a little bit scary, and may have caused the government to make different decisions about the lockdown.

Similarly with the death figures. The definition "died within 28 days of a positive test" should be scrapped, and replaced with "..where COVID-19 was the principal cause of death, or was a significant contributory factor in causing the death"

I also hope that, once everyone has been vaccinated with two doses, we stop routine mass testing.

If there is a high level of immunity due to vaccination, then it doesn't matter so much if someone who is asymptomatic infects someone else.

It would be interesting to know what proportion of cases are asymptomatic, and how this has changed over time.
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
12,732
Similarly with the death figures. The definition "died within 28 days of a positive test" should be scrapped, and replaced with "..where COVID-19 was the principal cause of death, or was a significant contributory factor in causing the death"

I suspect the issue is that your alternative definition may be harder to conclusively prove in some cases.
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,028
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
I suspect the issue is that your alternative definition may be harder to conclusively prove in some cases.

I think it would be easy enough to prove that COVID-19 was the principal cause of death, as the symptoms are well known, and you know if someone has tested positive.

The "..significant contributory factor in causing the death.." part of the definition would require a doctor's opinion that "...the patient is more likely than not to have survived were it not for COVID-19."

This is subjective, and different doctors could have different opinions on the same patient.

So perhaps there should be two sets of figures calculated:-

  • Where COVID-19 is the principal cause of death
  • Where someone dies within 28 days of a positive test
It would be interesting to see how the two sets of figures compare.
 

Domh245

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2013
Messages
7,692
Location
nowhere
As we stand today I think there has to be a short delay and we spend the next few weeks getting the numbers of "Double-Jabbed" up as much as possible (and give time for that protection to take effect). That sounds better than relaxing a few things on the 21st but leaving other things in place for a few extra weeks.

If we look at the Government's tests for releasing measures it seems fairly clear that we do not pass at least one of those:
  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
No Problems - Pass
  1. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
No Issue - Pass
  1. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
This feels touch and go but on balance think it is OK to pass - We do know that hospitalisations are increasing at the moment, albeit from very low levels and with less serious cases but it is trending in the wrong direction and the NHS is already stretched.
  1. The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
To me we fail this test - There is clearly a VOC that is leading to large increases in some parts of the Country and it seems that we don't yet have enough people double-jabbed to provide enough protection against it.

I don't think it needs to be a long delay - Open up vaccine eligibility to all adults on June 21st and then look to release everything 4/5 weeks from then. But I would much rather than than have some things relaxed (e.g. weddings) but still have to deal with masks etc.

I disagree that the assessment of risks has been fundamentally changed by delta - it's clearly faster spreading, but it does not appear to have any significant immune escape. A strain that evades vaccines and existing immunity would fundamentally change the 'game', a higher R0 just changes the numbers.

If anything, the closest we come to failing a point on the list is the vaccine rollout, which is coming to a jarring slowdown with the decision to not administer AZ for the bulk of the remaining population, though even there we're still on track to have vaccination levels that most of the world would envy by the 21st, and we'll no doubt keep chugging along after that too. Really neither is close to being 'failed' but the half-passing of both does make things a little bit more uncertain

So perhaps there should be two sets of figures calculated:-

  • Where COVID-19 is the principal cause of death
  • Where someone dies within 28 days of a positive test
It would be interesting to see how the two sets of figures compare.

Those are already done, and included in the ONS weekly release (from this year) but not the dashboard. Plotting: '28 days' shifted by a week (to account for registration delays in the other data), death certificate any mention, a calculated estimate of covid underlying causes, and ONS's covid underlying* from 2021 below:

1623347441811.png
(as a log graph so it's easier to track)

They broadly track - during the worst of the spike "any mention" & "28 days" do over report, but now towards the end of the wave 28 days slightly under-reports if anything. It would seem that the extent to which 28 days over/under reports tracks pretty closely to community infections, which you'd expect

1623348802753.png

*slightly fudged - the ONS data is England & Wales only, my previous calculations were all England only, so I've removed every single Welsh covid registered death from the published numbers to get the green line, so it underreports by a small amount
 

Yew

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2011
Messages
5,255
Location
Nottingham
Yes we need to move from short-term remedies to long term solutions: not only in the form of boosting NHS capacity, but also perhaps promoting and facilitating healthier lifestyles in areas where ailments are a preventable NHS burden (obesity in particular comes to mind). With regards to training more staff, what we also need to do is offer better pay and conditions to help encourage training and retention, I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of doing so is more affordable than the consequences of constantly having staff shortages and its wider economic effects.
Specifically conditions, doctors shouldn't be doing 12 hour shifts and regular 50hr weeks. No wonder we can't ramp up capacity in times of emergency.
 

102 fan

Member
Joined
14 May 2007
Messages
390
I have no idea what his views are and therefore can’t feel outraged by them. All that link shows is some woman talking over and screeching at an old man.

Did you actually watch it? It's just his views are simple enough to understand. JHB was trying her best to keep her temper in check. I would of been fired if it was me.
 

Jonny

Established Member
Joined
10 Feb 2011
Messages
2,304
I have no idea what his views are and therefore can’t feel outraged by them. All that link shows is some woman talking over and screeching at an old man.

Did you actually watch it? It's just his views are simple enough to understand. JHB was trying her best to keep her temper in check. I would of been fired if it was me.

From the description of the conversation, that I have read (the Express transcribed it, or at least part), I get the impression that he is vehemently and stridently aiming for zero covid, with all the collateral damage that it would require.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
12,198
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
As I mentioned, from my experiences of walking around the past few weeks, I'd say about 99.5% of people have given up social distancing when passing people in the street, in shopping centres, etc. It seems near enough the whole country has had enough of social distancing now and think it's absolutely pointless it continuing any longer. But of course there's more to social distancing than that, and all these businesses still need to adhere to social distancing/Covid-secure restrictions in their premises, otherwise if caught they risk getting fined and possibly losing their licenses. That's the problem whilst this nonsense still drags on and on.

So much for Johnson saying a few weeks ago "There is a good chance, a good chance, that we can completely scrap social distancing on 21st June.". It doesn't look like that will happen now.

Regarding face mask wearing. From my observations, I have seen a marginal reduction in people wearing them on public transport. Some people just wearing them on their chins - ready to quickly put them on properly again if needed. And some not wearing them atall. Also a marginal number of people not wearing them in indoor shopping centres(not including any actual shops). But the vast majority of people still wearing them in supermarkets and shops. If indeed face mask wearing requirements still continue beyond 21st June(which sadly it looks like it will) and with either no possible end date given or a ridiculous long term date such as April 2022, December 2021 or whatever, then I really hope compliance with this nonsense really starts falling, so the people of this country can really show this government that we've absolutely had enough of this nonsense and that it's absolutely pointless. We've put up with this for 15 months as it is now. And now it must end ASAP.

There’s definitely less taking notice of distancing. We’re in mid Wales this week, and distancing is virtually non existent. Only a small handful wearing masks outside, and plenty not wearing masks in the corridors of our hotel - and staff not batting an eyelid. Quite refreshing.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Joined
9 Aug 2019
Messages
1,344
  1. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
This feels touch and go but on balance think it is OK to pass - We do know that hospitalisations are increasing at the moment, albeit from very low levels and with less serious cases but it is trending in the wrong direction and the NHS is already stretched.
  1. The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
To me we fail this test - There is clearly a VOC that is leading to large increases in some parts of the Country and it seems that we don't yet have enough people double-jabbed to provide enough protection against it.

I don't think it needs to be a long delay - Open up vaccine eligibility to all adults on June 21st and then look to release everything 4/5 weeks from then. But I would much rather than than have some things relaxed (e.g. weddings) but still have to deal with masks etc.
Yes hospitalisation is up a few 100 over last two weeks to c900 but set that in the context of the 120,000 beds the NHS has and to suggest its unsustainable pressure is a bit of a stretch. Whats more impressive is we have had Step 3 and the curved ball of the Delta variant yet we aren't being overwhelmed. Vaccines are working we need to move on mask are symbolic our freedom comes from just being able to get up every day and do want we want so if they want to keep masks for a while so be it.
 

johnnychips

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Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
2,782
Location
Sheffield
I have just seen somebody, a mate, on FB, posting ‘what’s the odds we win the Euros and then we all go back into lockdown?’ I really despair.
 

Bertie the bus

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Joined
15 Aug 2014
Messages
1,715
Did you actually watch it? It's just his views are simple enough to understand. JHB was trying her best to keep her temper in check. I would of been fired if it was me.
Yes I did watch it and it is a classic example of why so many people think anybody who doesn't agree with any of the restrictions is just an angry crank. It was a truly appalling "interview" and did her, and presumably your, cause no favours whatsoever. I disagree with several aspects of what has happened but I wouldn't just embark on a 10 minute angry tirade at someone who thought differently.

It was certainly no surprise because talk radio is just audible Twitter.
 

VauxhallandI

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Joined
26 Dec 2012
Messages
1,846
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Cheshunt
Yes I did watch it and it is a classic example of why so many people think anybody who doesn't agree with any of the restrictions is just an angry crank. It was a truly appalling "interview" and did her, and presumably your, cause no favours whatsoever. I disagree with several aspects of what has happened but I wouldn't just embark on a 10 minute angry tirade at someone who thought differently.

It was certainly no surprise because talk radio is just audible Twitter.
Isn’t that what the pro locktivists have been doing for nearly a year and a half?
 

Jonny

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Joined
10 Feb 2011
Messages
2,304
As we stand today I think there has to be a short delay and we spend the next few weeks getting the numbers of "Double-Jabbed" up as much as possible (and give time for that protection to take effect). That sounds better than relaxing a few things on the 21st but leaving other things in place for a few extra weeks.

If we look at the Government's tests for releasing measures it seems fairly clear that we do not pass at least one of those:
  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
No Problems - Pass
  1. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
No Issue - Pass
  1. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
This feels touch and go but on balance think it is OK to pass - We do know that hospitalisations are increasing at the moment, albeit from very low levels and with less serious cases but it is trending in the wrong direction and the NHS is already stretched.
  1. The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
To me we fail this test - There is clearly a VOC that is leading to large increases in some parts of the Country and it seems that we don't yet have enough people double-jabbed to provide enough protection against it.

I don't think it needs to be a long delay - Open up vaccine eligibility to all adults on June 21st and then look to release everything 4/5 weeks from then. But I would much rather than than have some things relaxed (e.g. weddings) but still have to deal with masks etc.

I would disagree on the "variant of concern" - the Indian variant might be one of concern, but it is pretty much not affecting those who have been fully vaccinated. So we scrape a pass, and if it goes on too much longer it risks being in breach of the enabling act (an explicit prohibition on requirements to receive vaccination).
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
2,359
Location
Maidstone
The Times thinks a four week delay might be on the cards for fears a two week delay will merely be extended:

1623366228377.png
Of course that doesn't stop a further delay beyond 4 weeks happening, and if they went for a full 4 weeks I do wonder what rumblings in the Tory party will be going on and the wider public perception. If a delay is announced on Monday in a way that some would argue civil unrest/rioting would result, the weather forecast for the start of next week is conducive for such behaviour and will help us find out if an appetite for unrest really exists:

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kristiang85

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The Times thinks a four week delay might be on the cards for fears a two week delay will merely be extended:

View attachment 98022
Of course that doesn't stop a further delay beyond 4 weeks happening, and if they went for a full 4 weeks I do wonder what rumblings in the Tory party will be going on and the wider public perception. If a delay is announced on Monday in a way that some would argue civil unrest/rioting would result, the weather forecast for the start of next week is conducive for such behaviour and will help us find out if an appetite for unrest really exists:

View attachment 98023

I've cleared my work diary on Monday in case the delay looks to be reality (we will know by Sunday). I will be peacefully joining the march on Downing St if that is the case, which will be the first protest I'll have joined in my 36 years of life.

I genuinely think if the planned relaxations don't happen on Monday, and no firm commitment on the rest of them being relaxed, we will be stuck in this limbo for a long long time, at least well into 2022. And if so I really fear for the economy, the NHS's long term viability, and the nation's mental health.
 

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