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1  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: Beginners Running - Advice Needed on: July 12, 2020, 02:29:56 PM
This reminded me I saw the people behind the Great North Run have developed this challenge

https://www.greatrun.org/virtual-running

Basically a donation to charity and you get a medal from them after logging a screenshot of your times.

7k or 7 miles in a week and a range of options from 50k to 280k in a month are the distances available.

It's not much but I get a lot of motivation from being promised that I'll get a shiny medal at the end of it so maybe other people would appreciate that as well Cheesy
2  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: July 03, 2020, 04:19:44 PM
a 6am re-open for pubs tomorrow is stupefyingly daft isn't it?

starting on a Saturday was odd enough, but people are going to be in a state with no chance of acting responsibly?

They're doing as much as they can to set up the public to take the blame when it all goes to shit. I can't see what else the strategy can be.

My guess is that they figured if they said they could re-open from some point in the afternoon or evening (or even lunch) then a large crowd would congregate just before opening time.

Opening from 6am means people entering and leaving at different times.

A similar logic to getting rid of last orders but to try and distance people rather than because of drunken behaviour.

If that is the case then I don't understand why they wouldn't choose a random mid week day to do so.

And I also think it severely over estimates the general public.

- - - -

What will be interesting will be the extent of any second wave.

Historically and analytically the fewer people who get infected in the first wave the more will get infected in the second.

But we've never had this level of communication and technology before, we haven't had a pandemic on this scale for a long time either.

- if the second wave is negatively correlated to the first wave then the government's action could take on another perspective.

The analysis suggested that the second wave would be 'due' pretty close to flu season - if you could kick start it early, then we could be in a downward trend when flu season kicks in and spread out the burden on the NHS.


For what it's worth I don't think the government are any where near smart enough to strategise this.

I think, at some level, they decided that the general public were going to increasingly start breaking lockdown restrictions after 3 months anyway so they might as well try and control how it's eased rather than leave it to the whim of the mob.
3  Poker Forums / Diaries and Blogs / Re: Vagueness and the Aftermath - A sporadic diary on: June 27, 2020, 09:19:45 PM
...

A huge breakthrough came when they intercepted a regular message from a quiet dessert outpost. Once every 24 hours he would send, "Nothing to report today".

I meant to reply to this before but forgot until Rod's post bumped you back to the unread posts board.

Time was always key to cracking the codes, as in if it takes too long to crack it's no longer useful.

It wasn't the most decisive realisation but one of the early boosts to cracking German codes was they realised that so many of the German messages ended with the phrase 'Heil Hitler', a pretty big leak for the Nazi's not to have thought about themselves Cheesy
4  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 19, 2020, 04:22:17 PM

Would this lead us to a point where we have to just crack on with masks/distancing then?

Can't stay locked down forever, and unless you do it properly like NZ etc. it's never going to be fully effective anyway.

Unless the plan was for us to just slowly go for herd immunity, which may not be possible, if that case you posted is universal.

Think we should hold back on making conclusions based on something some random off facebook has posted. 

I think the plan here is to try and keep it lowish and under control rather than do a New Zealand.  Though it is still guesswork and I am not even convinced that many of the people in power know the long term plan.

On this point a more accurate statement would be, "Has [tested positive for] it for the second time in three months."

This has some good commentary on it despite the lightness of the source: https://people.com/health/dallas-woman-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-again/

The most relevant parts being:
"It's possible that people could shed remnants of the virus for some period of time. That doesn't mean anything is wrong with them or that they are contagious," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, told NBC 5.

Similarly, Dr. Ania Wajnberg, associate director of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told the outlet that they are finding that second positives are not strands of live virus.

"What we're finding more and more is that the fragments of virus that are being picked up on these swabs weeks later are not able to replicate," she said. "They're not live virus."

The part about it not being live virus is most important.

The virus is SARS-CoV-2 - when it makes you ill you get the disease COVID19 - if you have the virus in your system you might test positive for it but you won't have the disease if the virus it's detecting isn't live.

This was what I thought of from the facebook post because she said she didn't have symptoms. Although that article also suggests her doctors think that  her case might be caused by the virus going dormant and then re-activating. That's a theoretical possiblity - it's why you can get shingles in later life if you have measles when you're younger (the measles virus hides until it re-activates later) - I don't see anywhere they've given any reason why they think this is the particular case here though.  But that also emphasises Doobs' point about you can only ascertain so much information from a facebook post.
5  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 10, 2020, 08:07:29 PM
I'm very critical of the governments response but I smell a big whiff of Aftertime Ansell in his comments

I don't think it is.   The doubling every 3 days was known very early.  You can definitely make a case that lockdown was effectively happening before the announcements, some pubs/restaurants, many offices had effectively shut and many parents had withdrawn their kids from school before they were told to. 

So it is debatable how much extra lockdown would have happened.   So I'd say half the deaths by now is probably about right, rather than at least half.   But given we don't know the endgame, it is hard to say if they would have been saved or if we would have just delayed then until wave 2/3. 


I did some maths on the numbers.

From when the lockdown was introduced (roughly speaking) the number of infections doubled 6 times followed by roughly a 50% increase.

If you did 6 doubles plus a 50% from the 16th instead you end up with very close to 50% of the current infection number.

To be honest that's so close to what Professor Ferguson said that I think he has just calculated it mathematically on the assumption exactly the same thing would happen if you implemented it on the 16th as happened on the 23rd.

I think the big, big problem with that is the government support.

We had about 85% of people abiding by lockdown rules - if a full lockdown was introduced a week earlier, would all the same support have been in place? I could definitely see a much lower number than 85% if the furlough scheme hadn't been in place (to take one example).
6  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 10, 2020, 03:38:00 PM
I think it points towards the likelihood that closing borders is one of the key steps to restricting Covid 19.

was one of the key steps.



The article is interested in the period around March, so yes 'was'.

I think you are right that there are assumptions that may be inaccurate.
I don't believe it fundamentally changes the general point that the virus entered the country from a number of different places over a period of a few weeks, which could be good info to inform future strategy.

This also would reinforce the point that having a travel hub (London, New York, Paris etc...) would give greater challenges in a pandemic such as this one.



The general epidemiological lessons from previous outbreaks has been that restricting people 'out' of epidemic areas is how you control it rather than restricting people coming 'in' to non-epidemic countries.

It might be that this needs more nuance, that the travel hubs might be structural 'super spreaders' along the same lines that individuals could be, for example.

The genetic analysis that's available now that wasn't available in the past should definitely help with learning new lessons in how to approach it.
7  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 10, 2020, 02:20:13 PM
I don't think lockdown measures were politically at all likely at that point though. The question around the February half term were  more about whether there should be travel restrictions to Italy.

This suggests that may have been an opportunity missed, but I don't recall any suggestion of anything similar for Spain and France though.
8  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 10, 2020, 01:42:30 PM
This is interesting.
'Coronavirus was brought into the UK on at least 1,300 separate occasions, a major analysis of the genetics of the virus shows.
The study estimates 80% of those initial cases arrived in the country between 28 Feb and 29 March - the time the UK was debating whether to lockdown.'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52993734


Although it was really the 11th of March to the 23rd March when the debate was really happening (IIRC).

I haven't looked back at the news reports from then but I don't think there was any real option of a complete lockdown until after the 11th March.

It would be handy if they could narrow those dates down a bit more. If 600 of them came in before the 11th and a few hundred came in after the 23rd that would suggest the exact date of the lockdown made very little difference.
9  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: How many Fu**ing times is it going to happen? on: June 08, 2020, 08:41:57 AM
There is a great deal of inequality in the UK but have to agree that it isn't down to racism.

South asians, in general terms, show that being from a different part of the world or being brown isn't as big an issue as culture.

If you look at the relative success /progress in economic terms of British Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis it's pretty obvious that race / colour isn't the issue

Good morning

There’s so much wrong with this. The stand out is probably the assertion that people can’t be more racist toward some minority groups than others.


People seem to tolerate racism against Gypsies pretty well.

When did you last see a protest, or even a piece in a newspaper about that?

Perhaps I'm imagining it.

There is racism in the UK.

There is less racism in the UK than the US, and probably less than most of the EU countries.

That is something to mark as some kind of achievement - but it doesn't make the racism that still exists here any better.

Just because we've done well at tackling racism, particularly in the latter part of the 20th century, doesn't mean that there isn't still more left to do.
10  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: Book Suggestions on: June 06, 2020, 03:19:01 PM
Continuing in Science Wife's part of the library, another book about epidemics is:

Spillover by David Quammen

This book much more focuses on epidemics rather than pandemics; but a pandemic is only an epidemic that gets spread to another country so basically the same thing.

I think this is a much better book than 'The End of Epidemics'; it's written much more in the style of telling you a series of stories (a story for each epidemic it covers) but while doing so it probably covers more factual information than the other book.

If you were usually interested in reading general non-fiction I'd imagine there's a good chance you'd enjoy this book - it definitely doesn't need the addition of current relevance to make it a worthwhile read.

A solid 8/10 - packed full of information but still managing to be really very readable

EDIT: also after reading about the first SARS pandemic in 2002-2003 I can really understand a lot more why the asian countries are so big on masks and have all systems ready to go for combatting 'the next one' Shocked

 Click to see full-size image.

11  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 04, 2020, 07:36:53 PM
...
On the wtfside, another "oh look, that stable door is open where is my horse?" moment with the compulsory order to wear masks on public transport from 15th June, the prospect of which was something dismissed by the government/SAGE in April as an irrelevance

When public transport use was down by 80 to 90% how much difference do you think the 10-20% still using it wearing a mask would make?

The answer would still be a net positive effect, albeit a tiny one.

However, if they had introduced compulsory wearing a mask on public transport earlier, it could have lead to only a 50 or 60% reduction on public transport use because of people feeling safer going out.

Those 40-50% then using public transport might not bothered so much with social distancing, because everyone was wearing a mask so why would they need to.

The net effect could be a higher rate of transmission as a result of making mask use compulsory.

- is the "kind" of logic they had in mind.

As with other details in the epidemic response, just because something isn't appropriate at one point in time - it doesn't mean that it will never be appropriate at another point in time.

----

All that with the proviso though that the government response does seem to be getting more and more political and less and less 'science-y'
12  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 02, 2020, 10:57:32 AM
Some people have been negative about everybody connected to the government but to me it seems like the current 'communication problems' they have all seem to have coincided with Boris Johnson coming back.

Even though he hasn't publically done that much himself it seemed like the government were doing so much better when he was off sick.
13  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 02, 2020, 10:22:47 AM

How did they think they’d get this one through? A big number on the day we moved from Alert level 4 to Alert Level 3, with a bit of 1.

https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/1267498210609844224?s=21


If you were going to change the convention for how daily deaths are announced (grossly understated as they are). What would be the motivation for not mentioning that you were doing it?

556 for the U.K, on a day that Spain has had zero.

I’m not happy with the way the revised number was slipped out like a dodgy celeb in dark glasses and a baseball cap. But there weren’t 556 deaths in the day. You can’t run with the post-truth accusations if you are anything other than 100% accurate and truthful yourself.

FWIW I am getting tired of the manipulation of figures and reporting.


Good morning

The daily reported deaths have never been deaths from the previous 24 hours. They established the convention for how they report, they broke that convention and they need to explain why.

I'm a bit confused - he reported the deaths from the previous 24 hours, as they know them on the day.

The 'extra' deaths were the ones that were retrospectively added to a previous weeks total.

Wouldn't they have to change the convention to report those? Because this isn't the first time that they've revised past figures, I don't read all the footnotes all the time but I this is at least the third time previous weeks figures have been revised.

And it's an extra 400ish deaths covering a whole week - so about 60 a day. Why do you think it matters so much?

From a national point of view it doesn't matter if we had 110 or 70 or 200 deaths; what matters is if the trend is up or down or flat.

As I've suggested before, there are dozens of tables, dozens of charts and each one of them could be explained in the daily press conference and every footnote for every chart could be explained - but is that really a constructive use of time? Particularly as this data is all publically available for the journalists to analyse at their leisure anyway.

They have always added historic revisions in to the daily deaths, we have known this for weeks, (I’m a bit surprised if you didn’t know this) this time they didn’t. They could argue that 445 additional deaths yesterday would have been of no interest to anyone and so weren’t worth mentioning, it would be a bold argument to put forward.

The deaths weren't yesterday.

Weren't they a week's worth of deaths?

Do you mean add it to the bar chart/7 day rolling average? Or the actual figure he said? Because adding it to the figure he said would be wrong - as it was a week's worth not the days figures; I don't think they've added a weeks worth of extra deaths onto a daily figure before (have they?)

They have always added the total number of deaths that they have become newly aware of in the previous 24 hrs to their daily deaths announcement. They then additionally publish the actual dates those deaths took place. Yesterday, for the first time, they didn’t say a word about them in the briefing. I wasn’t expecting you to be behind Rick & PP (no offence intended to them, in fact credit to them for calling it how they see it), in tiring of the dishonesty.

There is a (very) different way still available to them. Be completely honest around the key figures, so honest that there’s no room for a suggestion that you’re lying (even if it’s lying by omission). Start with an explanation for yesterday’s deaths announcement and then the number of people tested daily, a figure they claim they haven’t known for 9 days.

Okay, I think I get what you mean now, it relates a lot to CF's point about the presentation. It was a bit confusing the way you said it, because it seemed a lot like you were saying they should say that over 500 people died in one day, when even allowing for future upward revisions it's going to be in the 100-200 range.

If you mean they didn't overtly point out the total figure had been revised then fair enough. But they have done before, and the figure is right there. You'd hope at some point the journalists wouldn't need every detail explained to them and could just understand it without  - but it's possible they were relying on the media just not bothering to look at one day's figure to the next (?)
14  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 02, 2020, 10:08:14 AM
It's the fact that they're trying to sell us "look! all the figures are going down! so easing the lockdown is ok!" whilst footnoting these 400 extra deaths.

I thought it telling the government went through the slides and the figures rather than getting the scientist to do it. Suggests to me there's a conflict there in the scientists would not have span it the way the government want.

Note also the R level was not presented. Nor was the threat level.

I agree, there could be an issue with presentation - it just wasn't that issue

If they added the extra historical deaths to when they happend on the daily bar charts and 7 day rolling average it would increase the previous figures while keeping the current figure the same.

The current figure might be 'upgraded' in a future revision - so adding those revised figures to anything other than just the total might be more misrepresentative than leaving them out it would look like the rate is going down faster than it is.

imo - that is; the way they did it seems liked perfectly good statistics to show an accurate trend. At some point if they are doing it all wrong they won't be able to hide the figures that show it's going wrong
15  Community Forums / The Lounge / Re: COVID19 on: June 02, 2020, 09:55:20 AM

How did they think they’d get this one through? A big number on the day we moved from Alert level 4 to Alert Level 3, with a bit of 1.

https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/1267498210609844224?s=21


If you were going to change the convention for how daily deaths are announced (grossly understated as they are). What would be the motivation for not mentioning that you were doing it?

556 for the U.K, on a day that Spain has had zero.

I’m not happy with the way the revised number was slipped out like a dodgy celeb in dark glasses and a baseball cap. But there weren’t 556 deaths in the day. You can’t run with the post-truth accusations if you are anything other than 100% accurate and truthful yourself.

FWIW I am getting tired of the manipulation of figures and reporting.


Good morning

The daily reported deaths have never been deaths from the previous 24 hours. They established the convention for how they report, they broke that convention and they need to explain why.

I'm a bit confused - he reported the deaths from the previous 24 hours, as they know them on the day.

The 'extra' deaths were the ones that were retrospectively added to a previous weeks total.

Wouldn't they have to change the convention to report those? Because this isn't the first time that they've revised past figures, I don't read all the footnotes all the time but I this is at least the third time previous weeks figures have been revised.

And it's an extra 400ish deaths covering a whole week - so about 60 a day. Why do you think it matters so much?

From a national point of view it doesn't matter if we had 110 or 70 or 200 deaths; what matters is if the trend is up or down or flat.

As I've suggested before, there are dozens of tables, dozens of charts and each one of them could be explained in the daily press conference and every footnote for every chart could be explained - but is that really a constructive use of time? Particularly as this data is all publically available for the journalists to analyse at their leisure anyway.

They have always added historic revisions in to the daily deaths, we have known this for weeks, (I’m a bit surprised if you didn’t know this) this time they didn’t. They could argue that 445 additional deaths yesterday would have been of no interest to anyone and so weren’t worth mentioning, it would be a bold argument to put forward.

The deaths weren't yesterday.

Weren't they a week's worth of deaths?

Do you mean add it to the bar chart/7 day rolling average? Or the actual figure he said? Because adding it to the figure he said would be wrong - as it was a week's worth not the days figures; I don't think they've added a weeks worth of extra deaths onto a daily figure before (have they?)
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