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Unashamed good news

The home for all non-political Coronavirus (Covid-19) discussions on The Lemon Fool
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This is the home for all non-political Coronavirus (Covid-19) discussions on The Lemon Fool
Lootman
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Re: Unashamed good news

#418047

Postby Lootman » June 8th, 2021, 8:49 am

Nimrod103 wrote:
servodude wrote:Which gives you the same problem as India has, basically isolate or eat; that doesn't make it a question of honesty

I know from my circle of friends, acquaintances and relatives that there has been widespread flouting of Covid regulations. It is just British human nature to push the boundaries and assume that everything will be OK. And then blame everyone else for disobeying the regulations. Look at Kate Burley.

Yes, which is why suggestions that we "Just do what country X did" where X is some country with an autocratic government and a repressed population doesn't really carry the water. Likewise the "We should be some small island in the middle of nowhere which sealed its borders. They only have 17 cases" brigade.

I think I saw somewhere that only about 10% of Brits fully follow the isolation rules. On the other hand probably only 10% completely ignore the rules as well. That leaves the 80% like me who do not take undue risks but do not follow the rules over-literally either. Following the spirit of restrictions rather than the letter of them probably passes the 80/20 rule.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418048

Postby Arborbridge » June 8th, 2021, 8:50 am

Nimrod103 wrote:The UK Govt opted not to keep this level of data on people, so in Britain everything depends on people's honesty, and it has been shown that British people are just not very honest.


That last comment (whether true or not, I've no real idea) reminded me of an experience in Germany. I was with some German friends in a bar - it was very crowded with standing room only. A waiter with the mind of a computer was buzzing around taking orders and collecting money. When he brought me my drink, I tried to pay for it, but no, I was told to pay on leaving - as far as I could tell, you just told him what you had drunk and paid up when you had finished.

My German friends saw me trying to pay up front and guffawed: "Do you Brits have to pay up front because you can't be trusted not to run off without paying?". Sadly, that is true.

Clearly, a different ethos.

Arb.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418051

Postby Arborbridge » June 8th, 2021, 8:57 am

Lootman wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:
servodude wrote:Which gives you the same problem as India has, basically isolate or eat; that doesn't make it a question of honesty

I know from my circle of friends, acquaintances and relatives that there has been widespread flouting of Covid regulations. It is just British human nature to push the boundaries and assume that everything will be OK. And then blame everyone else for disobeying the regulations. Look at Kate Burley.

Yes, which is why suggestions that we "Just do what country X did" where X is some country with an autocratic government and a repressed population doesn't really carry the water. Likewise the "We should be some small island in the middle of nowhere which sealed its borders. They only have 17 cases" brigade.

I think I saw somewhere that only about 10% of Brits fully follow the isolation rules. On the other hand probably only 10% completely ignore the rules as well. That leaves the 80% like me who do not take undue risks but do not follow the rules over-literally either. Following the spirit of restrictions rather than the letter of them probably passes the 80/20 rule.


A country does not have to be repressed or autocratic to have a government which brings in tighter regulation and inforces them. Many Brits would have preferred this government to be less laissez-faire - that would be government by consent and not repressive at all.

Without rules and the enforcement of them, we cannot have a secure. peaceful and well regulated society. In general, our laws are benign and for the good of society: for the protection of those within society from those who would distupt it. In most cases, we could do with more protection, not less, in my view - particularly from large corporations with muscle to impose upon us.

Those who would weaken the law are asking to go back to a land of highwaymen and children up chimneys.

Arb.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418053

Postby Lootman » June 8th, 2021, 9:13 am

Arborbridge wrote:
Lootman wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:I know from my circle of friends, acquaintances and relatives that there has been widespread flouting of Covid regulations. It is just British human nature to push the boundaries and assume that everything will be OK. And then blame everyone else for disobeying the regulations. Look at Kate Burley.

Yes, which is why suggestions that we "Just do what country X did" where X is some country with an autocratic government and a repressed population doesn't really carry the water. Likewise the "We should be some small island in the middle of nowhere which sealed its borders. They only have 17 cases" brigade.

I think I saw somewhere that only about 10% of Brits fully follow the isolation rules. On the other hand probably only 10% completely ignore the rules as well. That leaves the 80% like me who do not take undue risks but do not follow the rules over-literally either. Following the spirit of restrictions rather than the letter of them probably passes the 80/20 rule.

A country does not have to be repressed or autocratic to have a government which brings in tighter regulation and inforces them. Many Brits would have preferred this government to be less laissez-faire - that would be government by consent and not repressive at all.

Without rules and the enforcement of them, we cannot have a secure. peaceful and well regulated society.

Those who would weaken the law are asking to go back to a land of highwaymen and children up chimneys.

I wasn't making a point about all or any laws. But specifically the ones being discussed here i.e. the isolation and quarantine restrictions. And they go much further in suppressing liberty than maybe any other law I know of, banning things like leaving your home in some cases.

I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. It was not that onerous in and of itself, although perhaps only because it was only lightly enforced. Basically one 0300 phonecall a day asking if I was still quarantining. And a couple of self-administered covid tests.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418059

Postby Dod101 » June 8th, 2021, 9:45 am

Reverting to the original point of this thread, the problem the newly knighted lady was given was given was a discreet and self contained one and with her background and experience she was well qualified to deliver. I wonder who appointed her? Someone from the useless civil service or cabinet I assume?

As far as cabinet ministers are concerned, they of course have many competing demands, have no experience with any of them nor of dealing with a civil service which is very well established and hide bound. They are all parachuted into their job with virtually no notice and no apprenticeship, nor much if any training. When they are elected as an MP it is not because of any particular skill in say education or health matters but because they are loyal to the party, appeal to the voters and so on. They also I think have far less freedom for manoeuvre in their appointed posts than might seem to be the case from their standing as a cabinet minister. It is a bit like recruiting executives to run Unilever by taking people at random off the street.

And they (particularly Hancock but also a number of others) have been in the limelight as never before. There are few 'old hands' around either.

In running the coronavirus campaign, Boris was just acting as most of us do, trying to maintain his instincts for a free society whilst at the same time following the scientific advice. We Brits are like that. After all we have no written constitution, and like to make things up as we go along. (We call that being pragmatic) If we did not like doing that we would probably still be in the EU, where their laws and so on are all codified.

Dod

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418064

Postby JamesMuenchen » June 8th, 2021, 10:03 am

Arborbridge wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:The UK Govt opted not to keep this level of data on people, so in Britain everything depends on people's honesty, and it has been shown that British people are just not very honest.


That last comment (whether true or not, I've no real idea) reminded me of an experience in Germany. I was with some German friends in a bar - it was very crowded with standing room only. A waiter with the mind of a computer was buzzing around taking orders and collecting money. When he brought me my drink, I tried to pay for it, but no, I was told to pay on leaving - as far as I could tell, you just told him what you had drunk and paid up when you had finished.

My German friends saw me trying to pay up front and guffawed: "Do you Brits have to pay up front because you can't be trusted not to run off without paying?". Sadly, that is true.

Clearly, a different ethos.

Arb.

The barman will keep a tab of what you've had. Normally this is done by marking your beermat, but if you're standing he'll have had something behind the bar.

The traditional counter to the German POV slagging you received is to point out that we do rounds and they're just too stingy to buy anyone else a drink. And they have the cheek to call themselves social democrats.

Back on topic, Germany also had a much-lauded T&T system until we got a big second wave spike in winter just like every other European country. Now it's not so lauded any more. In fact, you'll rarely hear about it when comparisons are being made with successful T&T.

I still think the biggest factor is happenstance.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418066

Postby Arborbridge » June 8th, 2021, 10:05 am

Lootman wrote:I wasn't making a point about all or any laws. But specifically the ones being discussed here i.e. the isolation and quarantine restrictions. And they go much further in suppressing liberty than maybe any other law I know of, banning things like leaving your home in some cases.

I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. It was not that onerous in and of itself, although perhaps only because it was only lightly enforced. Basically one 0300 phonecall a day asking if I was still quarantining. And a couple of self-administered covid tests.


A phone call at 0300 in the morning?

I believe there were regulations in previous plagues which made people stay indoors, but I'm no historian.

As regards being lightly enforced, this amazes me and I still cannot understand it. Just trust people to stay at home? - it's absurd and is asking for people to drive a coach and horses through the quantine regulations. There's no point in regulation unless someone is really going to enforce it with a pretty heavy hand. The way they do it, leaves too much to people to "rationalise" their abuse. As I believe you wrote yourself, people will push the line or go over it, and that's no way to control a pandemic.
Even in the day to day dealings, you see people all the time ignoring the regulations on the streets, on public transport, on beaches. I've seen policement walk past people without masks on a bus and just ignoring them. I've seen people flouting the regulations when most people in a carriage are obeying them, and everyone is too polite to say anything. Without masks, talking loudly, guffawing, coughing, sneezing spreading infection without a care for anyone else. I have moved to a different train carriage because I could stand it no more. These are the results of "light regulation" when even the police give the message that they aren't going to intervene, so some members of the public (generally 20 to 45 year olds are the worst) think it's OK to behave badly. Interestingly, those still at school are often the ones who are most careful - and that's because they get used to that proper behaviour in school.

It may well be that there were not enough resources to police this properly, but the way they did it virtually gives mischiefmakers carte blanche to do what they like - it's a mistake from freedom loving Boris, and tantamount to a public health disaster from the beginning.

Arb.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418067

Postby Lootman » June 8th, 2021, 10:10 am

Arborbridge wrote:
Lootman wrote:I wasn't making a point about all or any laws. But specifically the ones being discussed here i.e. the isolation and quarantine restrictions. And they go much further in suppressing liberty than maybe any other law I know of, banning things like leaving your home in some cases.

I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. It was not that onerous in and of itself, although perhaps only because it was only lightly enforced. Basically one 0300 phonecall a day asking if I was still quarantining. And a couple of self-administered covid tests.

A phone call at 0300 in the morning?

I believe there were regulations in previous plagues which made people stay indoors, but I'm no historian.

Ha, no, a phone call from a 0300 number, usually in the morning or the afternoon. A series of questions read from a script designed to confirm your quarantine status e.g. location, disposition of covid tests etc. If you do not answer they try again - they do not leave messages.

I think it is fine for low risk cases like me (fully vaccinated, covid test before flying, no symptoms etc.) The rules for people who are infected or arrived from a red country should be and are stricter.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418282

Postby servodude » June 9th, 2021, 4:18 am

Arborbridge wrote: I was with some German friends in a bar - it was very crowded with standing room only. A waiter with the mind of a computer was buzzing around taking orders and collecting money. When he brought me my drink, I tried to pay for it, but no, I was told to pay on leaving - as far as I could tell, you just told him what you had drunk and paid up when you had finished.


Computer? They've gone high tech
Used to be a pen mark on your beer mat that you showed on the way out to the frau at the door with a tin; did make it difficult to get a round in (they'd chit the mark as they put the beer down)

That was solved a bit with the scratch cards you'd be given at the door of a night club
- bar person scratched off a square for each drink you took from the bar
- again paying on the way out (or handing over whatever you had in your pockets and hoping the change was correct)
- lost cards were assumed to be completely used up
....and as for honesty I can recall some natives only proffering their second card as they left ;)

-sd

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418368

Postby servodude » June 9th, 2021, 12:41 pm

Arborbridge wrote:
Lootman wrote:
I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. .




Credit where it's due Loots

That's an improvement on your suggestion that the government bugger themselves for imposing that inconvenience on you.
Chappeau!

-sd

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418410

Postby stevensfo » June 9th, 2021, 3:51 pm

Lootman wrote:I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. It was not that onerous in and of itself, although perhaps only because it was only lightly enforced. Basically one 0300 phonecall a day asking if I was still quarantining. And a couple of self-administered covid tests.



Me too, and the self-administered covid tests are a bit of a joke, since no way are they as thorough as a burly nurse shoving a swab so far up my nose that it pops out of my ear! ;) Besides which, how do they know that you've really done it correctly?

Re. the ten days, I took the 5-day test which allowed me to break the quarantine, but still had to do the obligatory 8-day test. They phoned me every day, but on my mobile, so I could have been anywhere. Once I mentioned the negative 5-day test, they stopped. One day, I got to my phone too late and discovered that it's impossible to call them back.

Steve

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418429

Postby Lootman » June 9th, 2021, 5:05 pm

stevensfo wrote:
Lootman wrote:I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. It was not that onerous in and of itself, although perhaps only because it was only lightly enforced. Basically one 0300 phonecall a day asking if I was still quarantining. And a couple of self-administered covid tests.

Me too, and the self-administered covid tests are a bit of a joke, since no way are they as thorough as a burly nurse shoving a swab so far up my nose that it pops out of my ear! ;) Besides which, how do they know that you've really done it correctly?

Re. the ten days, I took the 5-day test which allowed me to break the quarantine, but still had to do the obligatory 8-day test. They phoned me every day, but on my mobile, so I could have been anywhere. Once I mentioned the negative 5-day test, they stopped. One day, I got to my phone too late and discovered that it's impossible to call them back.

Presumably the lab knows whether there was enough "stuff" on the swab to be able to test it?

It is true that the 0300 callers cannot tell where you are when you answer a mobile phone. Even so, I switched off both the Location mode and the Bluetooth feature just to be safe. And I only answered the call if I was at home, which was on 8 out of the 10 days. There might also be background noise on your call which would indicate to the caller that you were not home.

It follows also that you should not use the NHS Covid-19 app to check in at locations outside your home during those 10 days!

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418590

Postby Julian » June 10th, 2021, 12:34 pm

Lootman wrote:
stevensfo wrote:
Lootman wrote:I recently spent 10 days in self-quarantine having entered the UK last month from overseas. It was not that onerous in and of itself, although perhaps only because it was only lightly enforced. Basically one 0300 phonecall a day asking if I was still quarantining. And a couple of self-administered covid tests.

Me too, and the self-administered covid tests are a bit of a joke, since no way are they as thorough as a burly nurse shoving a swab so far up my nose that it pops out of my ear! ;) Besides which, how do they know that you've really done it correctly?

Re. the ten days, I took the 5-day test which allowed me to break the quarantine, but still had to do the obligatory 8-day test. They phoned me every day, but on my mobile, so I could have been anywhere. Once I mentioned the negative 5-day test, they stopped. One day, I got to my phone too late and discovered that it's impossible to call them back.

Presumably the lab knows whether there was enough "stuff" on the swab to be able to test it?
...

I am by no means certain of that, or at least not without potential extra cost, time and equipment for the testing, some or all of which might be unacceptable and/or impractical with the current volume of testing.

I assume that you would, in addition to the SARS-Cov-2 viral RNA, also need to test for a satisfactory level of some additional "control substance". That control substance would need to be be specific to the correct swab site, there's no point if someone simply wiping the inside of their cheek could collect sufficient of the control substance that way without ever going near their nose or back of throat. You would also need that control substance to have certain properties - present in as-near-as-possible everyone to avoid falsely rejecting samples as badly swabbed simply because someone didn't have the control substance but also with a reasonably even level across the population so that for instance someone with an unusually high level of the control substance doesn't pass the test even though they barely touched the back of their throat or conversely someone with a really low level of the control substance doesn't fail even though their swab was done correctly. If all that can be done then I assume a separate test step would need to be added to the overall testing process, either dividing the RNA sample if the control substance is RNA-based or doing the test for the control substance on the non-RNA residue that is already separated out (as I understand it) in the first step of the PCR test. In either case it's extra complexity and probably additional specialist reagents needed.

Notwithstanding all of the above maybe it is possible, or the labs even do a check already, but I really do think it's very dangerous for people who don't understand all of the science behind the testing (I include myself in that group and assume you too do not have a detailed understanding of the testing process as it is currently) to simply assume the answer is one way or the other. So that I don't get accused of being a hypocrite I do emphasise that I simply don't know whether it is possible or not for the lab to know whether an individual swab had "enough stuff on it to test it", or if indeed such a test is already being done. My musings above are not intended as a "you're wrong" retort, simply reasons why I would not be at all sure that your "presumably" assumption is necessarily correct.

I suspect that tests are seen as less "glamorous" than vaccines by the general public but there are an awful lot of smart people doing an awful lot of in-depth science in the area of testing and there is still much very worthwhile innovation that could come out of that. Fast, accurate and cheap saliva tests would seem to be one area that could really help, assuming that would get rid of any bad-swab issues. It is an active area of research, there are lots of research papers on it, but I assume the fact that at least in the UK we still use swabs to collect samples means that no candidate saliva-based test has managed to achieve all of acceptable accuracy, speed, cost and availability (adequate availability of required reagents).

- Julian

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418614

Postby redsturgeon » June 10th, 2021, 1:39 pm

The main problem I can see with unsupervised tests is that short of DNA testing there is no way of knowing that the sample is even from the person you think it is from!

We do Covid testing in our clinic and we see photographic proof of identity before testing. At the moment we are going through a government assessment of our testing practices to be awarded UKAS accreditation to take samples. This is costing us at more than £10,000. The joke is that if we merely posted out kits to people to do their own swabs then this accreditation would not be required!

John

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418636

Postby Julian » June 10th, 2021, 2:56 pm

redsturgeon wrote:The main problem I can see with unsupervised tests is that short of DNA testing there is no way of knowing that the sample is even from the person you think it is from!


This is very true and a saliva or some other test would not avoid the possibility of maliciously substituting someone else's sample(*) but the swab test has an additional issue in that even the best intentioned self-tester might simply not understand, or be a little too timid to subject themselves to the level of discomfort that goes with a correctly taken swab. I'm not claiming it's agony but I can imagine a fair percentage of people stopping short of full-on gagging or "is it really safe to stick the swab this far up my nose?" levels of intrusion.

We do Covid testing in our clinic and we see photographic proof of identity before testing. At the moment we are going through a government assessment of our testing practices to be awarded UKAS accreditation to take samples. This is costing us at more than £10,000. The joke is that if we merely posted out kits to people to do their own swabs then this accreditation would not be required!


Hmm. That "joke" sounds like a particularly bad one. How annoying.

- Julian

(*) Whenever I see discussions about malicious sample substitution I can't help thinking back to the scene(s) in "Withnail and I" when Withnail (Richard E Grant) tries to give a fake urine sample after being pulled over by the police.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418708

Postby Nimrod103 » June 10th, 2021, 7:53 pm

Julian wrote: or be a little too timid to subject themselves to the level of discomfort that goes with a correctly taken swab. I'm not claiming it's agony but I can imagine a fair percentage of people stopping short of full-on gagging or "is it really safe to stick the swab this far up my nose?" levels of intrusion.



I had to have PCR tests carried out about half a dozen times in my local hospital prior to procedures. These were done at the height of the epidemic, and carried out by their nurses presumably according to approved guidelines. At no time did I feel discomfort. In particular the nose swabs did not seem to be particularly invasive, but it was tickly. Does that mean the hospital nurses were not carrying out the tests correctly, or are some others just over enthusiastic?

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418714

Postby csearle » June 10th, 2021, 8:32 pm

mc2fool wrote:
gryffron wrote:The daughter of Baron Bingham of Cornhill
Privately educated.
Oxford graduate.
Married to a Tory MP.

Plenty there for Labour to criticize if she'd got it all wrong. I wonder if they'll mention it for such a success story?

Nope, the pattern is clear and was repeated in this morning's political chat shows.

Credit for success of the vaccine rollout goes to the NHS, not the govt who "should stop giving themselves a pat on the back for it".
Failure of test & trace is the govt's fault for handing it to their chums in private companies.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000wx2l/politics-london-06062021 start around 10:30
The NHS structure is well suited to top-down events like a vaccine rollout but is wombling useless at the day to day bread and butter job it normally has. Proof of this is how well so many other health systems outperform around the world. C.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418765

Postby Lootman » June 11th, 2021, 8:32 am

Julian wrote: even the best intentioned self-tester might simply not understand, or be a little too timid to subject themselves to the level of discomfort that goes with a correctly taken swab. I'm not claiming it's agony but I can imagine a fair percentage of people stopping short of full-on gagging or "is it really safe to stick the swab this far up my nose?" levels of intrusion.

The instructions that came with my test (Prenetics) specifically says to NOT stick the swab way up your nostrils, saying it is not necessary. It tells you to touch the tonsils and sides of the mouth, and then gently rotate the swab just inside the nostrils for 10 seconds in each one. Of the administered tests I have had, only one nurse stuck the swab way up there, causing mild discomfort.

As for sending in a sample for someone else, that is obviously possible, but I do not see what motivation anyone would have to do that. Apparently some testers require you to submit a video of you actually performing the test, but the one I used did not.

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418768

Postby redsturgeon » June 11th, 2021, 8:59 am

Different tests have different requirements for swabbing. You have to follow the specific instructions for the test you are using.

Some require deep nasal swabbing others do not, some require only throat swabbing.

John

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Re: Unashamed good news

#418816

Postby Julian » June 11th, 2021, 12:21 pm

redsturgeon wrote:Different tests have different requirements for swabbing. You have to follow the specific instructions for the test you are using.

Some require deep nasal swabbing others do not, some require only throat swabbing.

John

Thanks. Do you know if they deliberately avoid sending out any of the deep nasal swabbing variety for home testing? That would seem sensible for the reasons I mentioned and would explain the subsequent comments regarding instructions for far less invasive swabbing.

I still think a saliva-based test that ticked all the boxes for speed, accuracy, cost and availability would be a big step forward when it comes to testing though.

- Julian


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