onthemove wrote:But imagine if the vaccines hadn't worked - imagine the results of the trials had come in, and none of them showed any signs of offering protection.
Vaccines were not and are not the only way forward. We still don't have a vaccine for HIV, yet AIDS is manageable, though not vanquished. Treatments, prophylaxis, testing and learning exactly how the virus spreads to apply only targeted and effective
non-pharmalogical interventions also help.
For COVid we have proneing, high flow nasal cannula, dexamethasone, remdesivir, casirivimab, imdevimab, other improvements that don't make headlines and a pretty full pipeline. Failure of all vaccine would probably have slightly increased the urgency of drugs and other research. Heck we might even have got data about Ivermectin that could convince somebody.
Everybody wants a magic bullet, but the bullets that work 10% of the time are not to be despised. In most cases incremental gains are the vast majority of progress.
Well done. I'm sure you feel pretty pleased with such a barrage of things to challenge my OP.
Just one slight problem... none of them really challenge the point I was raising.
Firstly, most of the things you mention, even though there was much fanfare about their discovery, when you look in detail at the numbers they are still what most people would call marginal. I don't think anyone expects a 'magic bullet' that is 100% perfect - no medical drug or intervention ever is - but the things you mention are still fairly marginal. Welcome improvements. But still what most lay people would consider marginal.
Secondly, and more importantly in terms of it not affecting the point I was making, the majority of the things you list are hospital interventions... they are things that doctors give or do to patients while they are in hospital. The pressure on the NHS would still be there. The people would still be in hospital, taking up beds. Sure their odds that they may come out the other end may have improved a little. But they'd still be in hospital, taking up beds, with all the need for nurses and doctors dressed up in full PPE, etc.
Even now, in reality even with us having the vaccines, there is *still* supposedly a concern that the NHS could be overwhelmed by covid cases - to b honest I think there is a deliberate element of scaremongering in those concerns - but those concerns do evidence my point that all those things you mention - even with the vaccines - aren't enough to be assured the NHS can cope, and we know that the vaccines are highly effective... so if you take away those highly effective vaccines from a situation where even with them there was doubt the NHS would cope... well, you don't need to do the precise maths to get the idea... without the vaccines the situation would still be very very bad.
Anyway, in essence, reading between the lines, what you seem to be saying is that scientists and doctors are still making progress with non-vaccine related things, so you would still be fully supportive of continuing lockdowns even now, over 20 months on, and still continuing them for the foreseeable future ... (?) (that was the discussion that I was trying to establish with the OP - a difficult discussion which the arrival of the vaccine has conveniently allowed us to side step... for now... but I believe needs to be had in preparation for the next time... but anyway...)
... in other words still mandating strict controls on what people can or can't do in order to manage the pressure on the NHS while herd immunity / herd tolerance builds up. In other words, you seem to be implying that a controlled slow burn of covid through the population would still be *the* overriding priority for government, and the overriding priority as far as the government being able to legislate to control the people.
Seeing how few people getting ill with covid is enough to overwhelm the NHS at any one time, you seem to be implying that legally mandated controls on people's behaviour, their ability to choose which friends they see and when they see them, etc, would be acceptable for quite a while yet ... likely talking another few years at least.
And given, as I mention, that there are even now still fears that the NHS could be overwhelmed even with around 90% of the population now having been vaccinated with 'highly effective' vaccines, I really do feel you're overestimating the benefits of all those non-vaccine related interventions that you mention.
Realistically, if you advocate mandatory legal controls on people's behaviour, you'd be looking at years of controlling the population before covid immunity / tolerance became widespread enough to relax such controls.
And this is effectively the point I'm trying to make / generate discussion on...
Basically how far is it reasonable for the government to legally mandate the behaviour of citizens on an ongoing basis in order to combat a pandemic? Indefinitely? 15 years of not being able to see friends and family? 5 years? 2 yrs?
I know one or two posters have been derogative towards the Swedish model, and seem to be taking it as a read that it's a 'failed' approach. I would strongly disagree, but the poster who said that blocked off reasonable debate by already ridiculing any attempts to justify it.
But right at the beginning, I believe that the Swedes had a point... at the time Boris was telling us that our lockdowns were 'just' going to be for 12 weeks. Whereas the Swedes recognised right up front that there could very well be a need for a longer term strategy, and their approach was based upon the fact that if you let the people see the evidence (not deny covid like Trump!), and let people arrive at their own behavioural changes, then they are more likely to be willing to maintain those changes for the long term. The very essence of a free society.
As it happens, vaccines were developed, so with perfect 20:20 hindsight you could argue that the swedish plan for the longer term was unnecessary. But as the article I reference in my OP shows, that was never a given. The lockdown fanatics just struck lucky.
I would however suggest that even now, today, with the world as it is, Sweden on the whole hasn't done excessively worse. Sure, Sweden admit they made a big mistake with their care homes, and that has significantly worsened their overall numbers. But if you look at the rest of Sweden, away from the car homes, where the population were largely still free to go to shops, meet friends, etc ... almost anything apart from mass crowds /gatherings was technically legally permitted
, but Sweden demonstrates that people are intelligent enough to recognise that just because something is legally permitted doesn't mean you should do it as though covid never existed ... I don't believe the outcome in Sweden has been so significantly different enough to justify the enforcement of lockdowns that we have seen in the UK and other countries.
I've also pointed out the inconvenient evidence a few times now... https://www.theguardian.com/uk
scroll down to the coronavirus charts... you can see two spikes in the number of cases... both those times the point at which the spike changed to a downwards direction, were both times where we were told the expectation should have been for increased rate in infection. The spike in July reversed around the time compulsory mask wearing was abolished - we were told that was going to lead to a catastrophe in August... in reality the opposite happened. The spike at the end of august reversed when children went back to school - again, we were told that was going to lead to catastrophe... in reality that never happened.
Heck, even the sainted New Zealand has now admitted defeat on their elimination strategy - that didn't work in the end either.