Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The German plan to put the pandemic into retreat: we MUST have a similar plan in place before we even think about ending the Scottish lockdown

Like everyone, I was profoundly shocked to hear that the Prime Minister has been moved into intensive care, and I truly, desperately hope he pulls through this.  But I also hope this turn of events acts as a jolt to politicians, and makes them realise the virus must be treated with respect and can't be left to "move through the population" under any circumstances whatsoever.

Among the dwindling band of enthusiasts for the idea of deliberately allowing 60%+ of the population to be infected in the hope of producing 'herd immunity', there's a debating trick of framing the choice as being a straight one between letting the virus rip, and a lockdown of a year or eighteen months' duration that would wreck the economy.  Curiously, they seem to believe that presenting the choice in this way will guarantee that any 'reasonable' person would always choose a biblical death toll over economic damage.  They're completely wrong about that, but luckily it's a false choice anyway.  South Korea demonstrate on a daily basis that the epidemic can be tightly controlled, and new cases can be kept persistently low, through a blend of mass testing, fast contact tracing, and social distancing measures that fall short of full lockdown.

Germany have just drawn up a plan to do something similar, and crucially, the respected Robert Koch Institute believe that it will ensure that the average number of people infected by 1 person will be lower than 1.  For as long as that figure remains below 1, the epidemic will always be in retreat rather than growing, although obviously how significant and/or rapid the retreat is depends on how far below 1 the number is.

The measures being suggested are:

1) Most importantly, mass testing and fast contact tracing, with the aim of tracing 80% of a person's close contacts within 24 hours of them testing positive.

2) Continued stringent social distancing measures, with the bans on large public gatherings and private parties remaining in place.

3) Compulsory use of face-masks in public buildings and in buses and trains.

4) Some schools might re-open but only in low-intensity areas.

The implication is that all of this would carry on until a vaccine is ready, possibly next year.

Clearly none of this describes a full return to normal life, but neither is it a blueprint for economic Armageddon.  Despite what the herd immunity zealots would have us believe, there is a way of both protecting the economy AND controlling the spread of the virus, but we must have a credible, fully-fledged plan such as the German one in place before we even think about lifting the lockdown in this country.  It would be totally irresponsible to relax the current rules until there is an alternative suppression strategy in place.  It would also be irresponsible to do it before lockdown has succeeded in bringing the numbers down to a low enough level to actually make an alternative suppression strategy viable, and according to Professor Neil Ferguson that won't happen until late May or June.

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Given his track record of extreme views, a lot of people will be deeply concerned about Dominic Raab's status as Johnson's designated deputy.  If it gets to the point where he's trying to make big strategic decisions that will determine whether hundreds of thousands of people live or die, there's going to be a huge question mark over his democratic authority given that neither the public nor the Conservative party have elected him.  The obvious way of conferring legitimacy on a stand-in PM would be to form a temporary government of national unity.

79 comments:

  1. Why a temporary government? Why not go full steam ahead and consign the terms Conservative, Labour, SNP to the dustbin. Start a new permanent model with new Parties based on the Finnish Model of Government By Consensus

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    1. I'm not really sure what you mean about Finland? They have political parties like we do, and a pretty standard continental model of coalition-formation. The current government is a coalition of the left and the centre (ie. it excludes the right-wing parties).

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    2. You cant have a consensus with psychopathic Brit Tories. Get a grip!!!

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  2. There's another good reason why test and trace and keeping the numbers low is the only viable option. Unless the UK keeps pace with control levels in other advanced nations, we can kiss goodbye to any levels of foreign travel and tourism. The UK would earn a pariah status which would make hard Brexit look like super-soft Brexit.

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  3. It seems to be a historical habit in the Nat si movement where they congratulate other countries and condemn the UK. People are dying all over the planet and they continue with their William Joyce claptrap.

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    1. Oh yes of course. A coherent plan to save hundreds of thousands of lives is "William Joyce claptrap", just because it was devised in Germany.

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    2. "there's a debating trick of framing the choice as being a straight one between letting the virus rip, and a lockdown of a year or eighteen months' duration that would wreck the economy.

      A lockdown of far shorter length than that will wreck the economy.

      Whether that's the price you pay to contain the virus, I make no comment on that.

      But I'm reasonably comfortable opining that we'll all be heading back to the economic equivalent of the stone age if this level of lockdown was still in place in early autumn, and that is not a year.

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    3. If you try to lift the lockdown too early, the numbers will just grow exponentially again and inevitably you end up in a longer and harder lockdown later on. Trying to protect the economy in that way is fool's good. The only way through this is to suppress the virus properly.

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    4. The economy does not need protection, people will still have to buy goods, people will still have to produce them. It is the financial lot will have to stop all its bonus payments and stop gambling on futures. It should stick to paying interest rates to depositors and loaning money without security. Charging interest on loans at a few % higher than its depositors. Building societies for housing should be separate from banks. Do away with the chancers in the financial industry.

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    5. It's not just about clicking on a screen and swiping in a cafe. There are such things as planting and harvest and global food supplies. Do we have a projection for what several months of lockdowns (not just being parochially UK) would do?
      And I believe that things would kick off well before that, possibly based on what pre-existing grievances there were in Belfast, Burnley, Dundee, Bordeaux, Baltimore or Barcelona. Or maybe just as Uppie Neds v. Doonie Vigilantes.

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    6. "The economy does not need protection, people will still have to buy goods, people will still have to produce them."

      I read an article the other day about the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis doing a back of the envelope calculation that the unemployment rate in the USA could reach 32%, 7 points higher than the Great Depression era. It was a rough estimate and it didn't take into account the passing of the US stimulus bill.

      But still, it's a shit-your-pants-scary kind of number, frankly, and pretending that the economy "doesn't need protection" is just laughably stupid given that most major economies have already pumped eye-wateringly stupid sums of money into their economies already. Sunak has already effectively nationalised whole swathes of the UK economy.

      Nobody's buying goods just like normal if they don't have a job. Nobody's buying goods just like normal if all the businesses went bust because they had no income for months on end.

      Thinking it'll all be all right because a handful of bankers will not get a bonus is easily the biggest nonsense I've read on anything for a while.

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    7. Be careful with the US unemployment data. What the US government has done is not pay wages like in Europe, but tell employers instead to make staff unemployed and then the federal government will send everyone cheques to keep them ticking over.

      So that's what businesses have done.

      So the numbers are 'effectively furloughed + actually unemployed' whereas in Europe the are more just those who are unemployed.

      Likewise, this isn't a normal recession. It isn't due to some speculative bubble bursting. It isn't due to a collapse in the financial system etc. People didn't lose their jobs because the economy crashed in a big bust driven by panic and pessimism. The government stopped the economy temporarily and is forking out billions to pay for it. It's a pretty unusual situation.

      It's a very difficult predicament and is not going to be a lot of fun, but the potential for a very rapid rebound is there; much more so than for a regular recession/depression. Some have compared it to a war; these are often followed by booms driven by the hope that comes from peace.

      I think capitalism is taking a very big hit here. It's been found very wanting in the face of what's happening. Capitalism would have killed hundreds of thousands and trashed the economy anyway. Socialism is stepping in to save countless lives and minimise the longer term economic damage. This will likely have profound effects as it did in/after WW2.

      This will cost a lot, which means an end to a low tax rampant capitalist world. Also, you can forget privatizing the NHS after it just saved the nation etc...

      A few glimmers of hope maybe.

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    8. I understand the need to be careful with the data - although if you haven't seen the spike in US unemployment already and how it compares with historic data then seek that out to see how bad it is already. And we also have the unprecedented increase in claims in Universal Credit here to know things are definitely not good.

      "Likewise, this isn't a normal recession. It isn't due to some speculative bubble bursting. It isn't due to a collapse in the financial system etc."

      You're right that it isn't a normal recession. You're right that it isn't directly DUE to a collapse in the financial system. But you're wrong if you think this doesn't have the *potential* to collapse the financial system.

      It's hugely unclear if those billions the government is forking out are actually going to keep things afloat.

      If this was just a short pause we'd maybe go back to everything relatively quickly. There might be a rapid rebound in that case. But no one thinks now that this is a short pause and everything's going back to normal quickly, so how do you get a rapid rebound in that circumstance? Economists are already throwing out the notion of a "V" style dip and recovery.

      The longer it goes on and the slower it takes to get back to normal, the more businesses that have gone bust and the more folk that have lost their jobs before it gets back to normal, the harder it will be to get back to normal.

      It won't be "normal", it'll just be a new normal where we live to understand the unemployment rate far exceeds what it was before corona, the standard of living is far below what it was before, etc.

      The whole structure of our society is based on a massive tower of cards and the further that leans away from normal the more likely it becomes for it all to fall down.

      Maybe that wouldn't be the worst of things if what replaced it was better, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it will result in an immense amount of pain for everyone to go through that.

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    9. I am aware of all this, but was trying to seek some positives.

      I see the spike in US unemployment data but understand not to compare it to past events because of the federal government is sending out cheques en masse, including large boosts to unemployment payments, instead of the wage support approach here / in Europe. This means the US is going to seem more registered unemployment by comparison, although hopefully much of this will be temporary.

      You said yourself this isn't a normal situation, which means it's wrong to compare the current spike with past spikes where the government didn't act like it is now. The government has never sent most workers home and told them it will send out cheques to everyone. Instead, people lost their jobs because the jobs disappeared due to a collapsing economy, and zero cheque followed.

      There is no doubt this is going to cause pain, but we need to be careful about drawing comparisons with very different situations.

      Yes, the longer it goes on, the worse the crisis. Of course.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. It is in the character of Nat sis that they are disturbed.

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    2. Eat your cereal.

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    3. There's not enough Big Eater on this thread.

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  6. It’s the lack of tracing that’s making a mockery of this current lockdown.
    Scot gov funding may be an issue but I’m sure that there would be ready volunteers to man phones and at this point in the economic helter skelter of doom, there could be a successful crowd funder if we were shown a clear path to addressing things here. Then we could create a health border and grow it into a political border.

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    1. Are you the looney that took over the asylum?

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    2. Stench of this.

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  7. Just love reading how you Nat sis would have dealt with a virus other than your great leader Knickerless.

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    1. Govan young team.April 7, 2020 at 7:37 PM

      Geez peace GWC.You back oan the callys again?

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    2. Cordelia loves to swish and entertain but because she's cocooning this month, she can't prance around and do her routines for her audience of younger men. She is fizzing. Hence the bitter words.
      Calm yourself, my darling Cordelia. You're young men shall return and name you their Covidia.

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  8. Scottish testing rates continuing to run at there new high of ~50% greater than the rUK.

    The death and case rate data quite positive today. Maybe indications both of these are starting to level off.

    UK death rate still looking markedly worse than Scotland, and quite a big jump today. Although the case rate data is more positive.

    I think we are hopefully seeing the effects of a quicker move to lockdown in Scotland, and much wider testing. rUK deaths 80% higher per capita and trends don't suggest Scotland is catching up. Maybe, just maybe, we are starting to peak out.

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  9. Hey GWC. Ah Thought a saw your name oan a loaf a breid the day.

    When i lukked closer , it said "Thick Cut!"

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    1. Ye'r sufferin fae pareidolia, ya wee Hoover Bag.

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    2. Oopsy whoopsy. That's a funny one.

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    3. The Nat sis are hivin in a dark crust panloafdemic at Holyrood.

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    4. State of Covidia and its impotent rage.

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  10. My god it's like listening to primary school weans.
    Grow fucking up

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    1. GYT are muggin pensioners in the Q at Asda and buying up the broken biscuits.

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    2. Govan young teamApril 8, 2020 at 2:23 PM

      We're only buggin.

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  11. On a serious note. I think US is trying to stop people losing their jobs by trying to get companies to adopt a form of job sharing with Government topping up.
    With regard to my original comment, apologies.
    I heard a Finnish journalist being interviewed by Alex Salmond on his show stating that his country was now adopting Government by Concensus and didnt investigate further.

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  12. Just to say thanksto James for covering the Coronavirus stuff. I guess for us nerdy types, psephology and epidemeology have a lot of similaries.

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    1. You are right I do keep a distance from Nat sis.

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    2. Off you pop, then. No one's making you stay here screaming with rage.

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  13. Boris Johnson calls Scots *vermin* that's me, I'm a Scot so he calls me *vermin*
    I don't feel in the slightest way possible sorry for him or any of his kind, he put a £300million bet on Brexit, that means he placed bets on peoples lives, he and his kind enforced a vote on my country we didn't want and when we said no to his proposition he said F**k you England rules, when we said we'd like to have a vote on dissolving this Union he said F**K you England rules

    And people want me to feel sorry for this Nazi because he has a humorous style and bumbles like a clown so you gotta forgive him

    Absolutely not no way ever and I hope whatever he gets it hurts like F**k and kills the Nazi bastard

    He's a Tory of the worst kind and the trouble is there'll be others to replace him, so watch what happens as soon as this is over, you think things will get better? you think he'll have learned a lesson in humility?

    That'll be the day

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    1. You do not qualify to be vermin just an erse.

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    2. Self-isolation seems to have done wonders for Covidia's temper.

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    3. Poor Covidia. She has no-one to talk to. That's why she's always on here pretending to be a rapid Britnat. Poor lonely, isolated Covidia.

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    4. Yes, poor Covidia. So angry. So bitter. So very, very funny.

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  14. James Kelly: "The obvious way of conferring legitimacy on a stand-in PM would be to form a temporary government of national unity."

    I'm no fan of Bojo, still less of Mr Raab. They are both card-carrying anti-Scot bigots, to put none too fine a point on it.

    But as James well knows, the English state/UK is nominally a parliamentary democracy where the party or coalition of parties that can command a majority in the Commons forms a government.

    The People did not elect a President, they voted in the Tories. Should Johnson die, the tory party will appoint or elect another among their number to lead them and what they laughingly refer to as 'the Country'.

    If it comes to that point, James and those like-minded can call on Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to table a motion of no confidence in the Government, which will fail. That is the legitimate, democratic, way to proceed. What is neither legitimate nor democratic is to use this crisis to engineer a coup d'etat just because you do not approve of the (English) People's choice, which when we strip away all the rhetoric, is what James is advocating with his government of national unity. James is not alone by any means in do this and we saw the same calls being made prior to the GE by 'democrats' and 'constitutionalists' who feared the verdict of the English people and blocked at every turn, their right to choose.

    We in Scotland have an inalienable right to choose how we shall be governed and by whom. We do not advance our cause morally or strategically by calling for the usurpation of that same right in the case of the people of England.

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    1. Don't be absurd, Christian, nobody is talking about a "coup d'etat". Was the formation of a government of national unity in 1940 - when the Tories had a clear majority in the Commons - a coup? Self-evidently not. All parties just voluntarily decided it was the only way forward.

      If you dislike the idea, you'll have to come up with a more convincing objection than the "coup" nonsense.

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  15. We had a break from GWC. Level of debate rose. Now the idiot, vomit spewer has returned. We need a 'lock down' on him!

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    1. Poor Covidia. So angry. So bitter. So very, very funny.

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    2. Well said, Alt Clut. I was hoping we had heard the last from the troll.

      It's not as bad as the btl on wings here. Not yet anyway.

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  16. This from the BBC shows how the situation in Scotland is notably better than the rUK.

    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/CA03/production/_111651715_scotland_deaths_2020-04-07_13_03_53.png

    Yesterday was day 16 (since first 10 deaths) and Scotland had hit 296 dead. By contrast, the rUK had reached 1187 dead by the same point on the timeline.

    The earlier banning of large gatherings and move to lockdown in Scotland has already saved nearly a thousand lives. It will save many more.

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    1. Of course you have to scale figures to the size of the population to get any statistical usage out of the data. Otherwise its just nonsense. For deaths this is given as deaths per 100000

      For the data you gave Scotland is sitting at 5.42 deaths per 100000 and the rUK was at 1.93 deaths per 100000.

      Currently the rUK is sitting at 9.58 deaths per 100000. Only time will tell if this is just because Scotland is behind the curve compared to the rUK or because its actions helped flatten the curve and as you say save lives.

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    2. No, that's not correct.

      It would be statistically incorrect to look at the data plotted in the linked graph in terms of deaths per capita. At least in terms of trying to appreciate infection rates.

      Virus spread isn't related to population size. The virus doesn't expand itself once it sees a country has a higher population. One case simply infects e.g. 2.2 new cases irrespective of total population size. It's why we can compare cases for different sized countries, as the news is doing.

      One infected case in Scotland should create identical new infections to those in any other country with one infected case. Population size is irrelevant.

      Or in the graph, the reference is the first 10 deaths (to lessen noise), representing an identical number of infections (a little over 3 weeks earlier).

      The graph I linked to puts both Scotland and England at exactly the same point in the timeline. Scotland has 296 deaths, and the UK nearly 1000 more for exactly the same point in the pandemic.

      Of course we can look per capita out of interest. Here, Scotland will always look worse because it has a smaller population. 1 case for us is much greater per capita than it is for the UK, obviously. However, it's not a valid statistical comparison for the same point on a virus infection timeline.

      Of course as it stands, Scotland does have a much lower death rate per capita today, but then we can note Scotland is behind on the curve as you say. Just not in the graph I showed.

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    3. Yes but we would expect a larger country like England to have had proportionately more infectious people arriving from infection areas than we did? So they would have more points of infection to move outward in the same manner and thus reaching more people? It seems logical to me that in the previous open border world populations would be expected to become infected at about the same rate per head of population?

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  17. The way Mr. Kelly is blogging on this coronavirus thing you would think we are facing the Black Death. We're not, and a moment's thought about that would tell you that is the case. There are competing narratives on the internet from well qualified people that try to put this situation into proper perspective. Here are some of the best I've come across:

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-to-understand-and-report-figures-for-covid-19-deaths-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6MZy-2fcBw&feature=youtu.be

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGC5sGdz4kg

    I think that people should read and watch their way through that to get some proper perspective on this and forget about the emotionally driven blind panic that is being generated by the fear-mongering MSM and, unfortunately, some bloggers.

    Things aren't as bad as we're a being fooled into seeing them.

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    1. As your links describe, it's a really serious situation. At least 10x worse than seasonal flu. Hence the current UK covid death rate (4.5k/wk) being 10x that of flu (0.3k/wk) already and the global incidence of lockdown to try and stop that growing any larger.

      Buy yes, we are missing a lot of data. Better to act first and save lives though, then ramp down the precautions if the data coming in tells us that's safe to do.

      I've not seen the black death mentioned anywhere TBH, other than in your post.

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    2. "As your links describe, it's a really serious situation. At least 10x worse than seasonal flu."

      The content of the links I gave come to no such conclusion at all. In fact they refute that, so far, anything worse than the situation with seasonal flu is happening at all.

      In mentioning the Black Death I was being metaphorical in respect to the way some people are trying to paint the picture of covid.

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    3. So I'm to believe that government-advising pandemic experts the world over are wrong, WHO included? Also I'm to ignore the death data reported by governments and not compare it to seasonal flu death rates to note it's 10x higher.

      I'm also to ignore the links you posted, such as the first video, where the expert said the situation is very grave and a serious global threat?

      You will need to explain to me how 4500 dead / week is less than seasonal flu 330 in the UK.

      What are all the extra hospital beds and ventilators for? Are they being used on healthy people just for fun? If you are correct, there's no need for any of this.

      As noted, I've only seen you make black death comparisons.

      It seems to me that there are a lot of people scaremongering right now that covid isn't very harmless - more like seasonal flu - and huge economic damage is being inflicted for no reason. And all the while bodies pile up an hospitals overflow.

      A 1% death rate is consistent with e.g. examples of cruise liners where the whole population was tested. It also agrees well with current rates on a national scale.

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    4. My father-in-law's best friend died of Covid-19 on Saturday. He lived in London. My grandfather's brother died of Covid-19 yesterday. He lived in Clackmannanshire.

      Many of us have been looking at what was happening in Italy and shouting for the UK government (and indeed the Scottish government) to lockdown weeks before they did.

      But they didn't. After about turning on their crazy "herd immunity" plan, they finally asked people to stay home at around about the same stage in the pandemic that Italy did. At this point we knew - with mathematical certainty that we would suffer at least as badly as Italy has done.

      The UK governmment told us that the WHO guidance was only for poor countries (that wasn't true). The UK governmment told us that NHS England was better able to cope than the healthcare system in Italy (despite no evidence for this).

      And now we see, yesterday, a daily death toll that exceeds any that happened in Italy. And if there has been any delay in NHS reporting of deaths compared to the reporting in other European countries, then the UK data will have underestimated the scale of this tragedy. We could end up *much worse* than Italy.

      It didn't have to be this way. The Italian doctors were screaming at us to lockdown for a week before we did.

      But because the government didn't react - whether through incompetence or by prioritised the economy and their stupid f*cking "herd immunity" nonsense (and Scotland's own "yes I'd go to the Lewis Capaldi concert" box-ticker takes a share of the blame in that too) - thousands of people will die who *didn't have to die*. Maybe tens of thousands.

      Honestly, I can barely control my rage at this. People should be sent to prison over this. Clap the PM? I've never been so angry in my life.

      And for those Trumpian "it just like flu" idiots - how will you feel when it's *your* grandmother, or *your* father who dies alone?

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    5. Note the lockdown in Scotland was implemented at around 9 days earlier (14 dead) than the UK (1020 dead). Even more so if you consider the earlier banning of large scale events. The data suggests this has notably reduced infection rates in Scotland, and hopefully death rates. As the days pass, the impact becomes clearer.

      I know some people who have had coronavirus too. Although I don't know anyone who has died, friends/family of colleagues are not so lucky.

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  19. As someone who suffers from COPD, this virus is bad news. I also have one family member getting Chemotherapy and again this virus is bad news. I also have another family member on immuno suppressant drugs and the coronavirus would finish them off as well. So fuck the Brit Tories and their Herd Immunity Policies. They are unfit to Govern.

    Thank you James for giving some coverage to this virus crises and the Brit States mismanagement of it.

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    1. Away back to self-isolation, snivelling troll.

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    2. Covidia's started withdrawing its more bitter screams of rage, then.

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  20. GWC.. Go back to primary school where you belong.

    James.. Have you seen the latest Reuters briefing on this matter?

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    1. Govan young team.April 8, 2020 at 6:15 PM

      wis the matta GWC. Yeev been aw angry fur the last two days.

      Hiv you ran out of alcohol?

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    2. Naw goat a delivery fae Tesco.

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    3. Queue jumper.

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  21. Coronavirus and oil:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/coronavirus-oil-gas-industry-climate-change-renewable-energy-a9453756.html

    Price spike and boost to renewables predicted.

    "The wells most vulnerable to being shut down and never opening up again are those in North America and Russia, says Currie: “It’s going to require a lot of money to be spent to fix the industry.” "

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    1. The US fracking industry is a gigantic ponzi scheme that was barely making money at $100 a barrel, was hemorrhaging cash at $60 a barrel, with many of the shale players heading for bankruptcy. All that covid has done is speed things up.

      The geology of shale and exponential well decline rates mean it needs $100 a barrel type prices to make it work on any large scale. Which is what got the bubble inflating in the first place.

      While demand for transport is likely to decline over the next couple of decades, oil is too valuable to burn anyway, so production will continue apace. The world is full of people who want stuff and we need a versatile raw material like oil to make it for them. We can't cut down forests or replace food crops etc for this.

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  22. Mike Smithson PopsApril 8, 2020 at 7:33 PM

    "New YouGov polling finds
    56% saying they would support extending the Brexit transition. 27% say they would oppose."

    Once again I have scooped Kelly.

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  23. If people wish to play with pretty meaningless statistics, Switzerland has one of the densest testing schemes in Europe, UK has the sparsest testing in Europe and they both have the same death rate for the infected, but Switzerland has a far higher rate of infection. Presumably they both report death of people 'with' covid-19, rather than 'from' the virus.

    However, with a virus where most people don't show symptoms, and aren't tested, statistics become pretty meaningless. Probably the most pertinent comparison is overall death rates before, and after. And before / after, it's pretty much the same.

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    1. Except the infection rate is much lower in Switzerland than it is in the UK. Switzerland is more like Scotland which, incidentally, is testing at a 50% higher rate than the rUK.

      https://www.newstatesman.com/2020/03/live-data-coronavirus-crisis-all-you-need-know

      You can see in the first graph that at day 25, Switzerland's first 10 deaths (representing say 1000 injections ~3-4 weeks earlier) had expanded to 821. Buy contrast, for the UK, 10 had become 6159, showing a much higher infection rate. In the UK the infectious 1000 had infected a lot more people, resulting in many more deaths a few weeks later.

      I agreed death rates are key; they show how the problem is a lot worse in the UK than it is in Switzerland.

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  24. New Zealand has been praised. But Australia also seems to have low rates of deaths and cases. Any thoughts on a Southern Hemisphere seasonal effect (which might begin to work in our favour)?

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    1. It'll be interesting to see if that's a factor (and let's hope it is, for our sake). In both cases though, they are island nations with very low overall population density and, even in the big cities, much lower population densities than Asian and European countries. They were also able to close their borders at very short notice to non-residents.

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  25. New Welsh poll out earlier .. fkn Tories are well up!

    Any news of a Scottish one, James?

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  26. The police don't enforce advice, they enforce the law, when they tell you to move or not to do something even if they do it nicely they don't do it to amuse themselves and they don't get up in the morning thinking of ways to annoy idiots like Stuart Campbell

    Campbell will go right on telling other folk to do what he wouldn't do himself then he can be faux outraged on their behalf on his wee blog

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    1. Wings Listerine Party HickApril 9, 2020 at 9:02 PM

      Stuart Campbell fights for the basic things that we believe in.

      I was healed after sending him money and touching the screen.

      Delete
  27. Seems Johnson is oot o intensive care.

    I think he's complete fucking wanker, but I'm glad he's no died.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose if he met you he would return your compliment.

      Delete