Discussion Forum

The Covid gamble

 

werdermouth
Site Creator Webmaster
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 933
Topic starter  

So the UK is further relaxing Covid restrictions despite rising cases in what appears to be an experiment in seeing if the vaccine will allow something of a return to normality that won't abruptly end in another lockdown.

It's an experiment that is not being attempted any other developed country unless you count Bolsanaro's Brazil where people have ended up in mass graves. Anyway, it seems to be a calculated attempt to shortcut herd immunity but many scientists believe it could also risk creating the perfect conditions to produce a new variant that will evade the current vaccines. It also underplays the risks of people developing long covid, which a study today in Germany claims it accounts for 1 in 5 cases.

I was hoping to visit my family back home in August after nearly two years away but currently as a fully vaccinated non-UK resident in a country deemed a risk and on the Orange list (despite having only 2.5% of the Covid cases as the UK) it means three PCR tests each at a cost of nearly £1000 and enforced quarantine for the whole six-day visit - plus a risk of a positive test and extended quarantine and paying for a new ferry ticket to return home.

So it's a non-starter and furthermore I saw on the news this morning that Cleveland is now the UK hotspot for Covid with over 1,400 cases per 100,000 and rising. To put that in some kind of context for someone living in an 'Orange List' country - my district with a population of 114,000 currently has just 10 active cases and my town has had zero cases for nearly two months. I'm the kind of high-risk individual the UK dare not allow in to infect its population!

Still it was good to read in the Gazette about the opening up of a nightclub in Middlesbrough at midnight on Monday so that the unmasked young party-goers could drink and celebrate being the top UK hotspot for Covid - possibly it's this kind of bravado that made Britain great but we probably need to see some of that so-called common sense the government is apparently now relying on. Aptly demonstrated by that sensible step of deleting the Covid app by nearly two million people so they don't have to quarantine after being warned that they may be infectious.

Of course it was kind of ironic to see the double-jabbed Health Secretary catch Covid just before lockdown ended and PM Johnson and Chancellor Sunak try to escape the so-called Pingdemic by trying to play their get-out-of-jail-free card of being part of a previously unheard of pilot scheme for VIPs - though I think the letter 'I' doesn't stand for what you may think and the 'P' could well be a much stronger word.

Since we now know that double-jabbed people can seemingly easily catch Covid and pass it on to others, then any strategy that exempts vaccinated people from testing or taking precautions is presumably only going to increase cases. OK, the severity of the illness is on average less and far fewer people are ending up in hospital - but as the overall numbers rise then clearly so do the numbers self-isolating and likewise those being admitted to hospital, which further increases the backlog of missed operations and procedures. Plus how many people will end up being unnecessarily incapacitated by long Covid.

Thankfully in Germany the health system is better funded so there hasn't been much in the way of cancelled appointments, which is the actual reason why waiting lists are increasing in the UK as health has been considerably more underfunded for decades.

So we shall see if the gamble pays off for Johnson who continues to show the kind of impatience and lack of concentration that long-covid suffers experience. I was interested to read one journalist comment that unfortunately the Corona virus is immune to all Johnson's misplaced optimism and jokey bluster and he just can't will the virus away - it will take a long steady approach to eventually get back to normal, which is not something evident in the Boris brand  - just like getting Brexit done didn't actually get Brexit remotely done. Let's hope the UK and the whole world doesn't pay the price with the gift of a new variant that sets everyone back to square one!

 


Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 287
 

I’m sure someone will be along shortly to ask if we think Starmer would have done better.*

 

*the answer is yes, of course. 


ReplyQuote
Original Fat Bob
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1086
 

@martin-bellamy

why bring politics into a football blog ?

And that someone had to be you ?

OFB


ReplyQuote
Redcar Red
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 843
 

I can think of a few descriptive terms for our Politicians, none of which would be either suitable or printable on here. Leadership skills are sadly lacking from both sides of the Commons and have been for some time, indeed decades. Self serving bull shiners the lot of them unfit for purpose. It's the Political equivalent of Pulis or Woodgate!


ReplyQuote
werdermouth
Site Creator Webmaster
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 933
Topic starter  

I'm not particularly interested in UK party politics and there's little evidence that the Labour party has got its act together under Keir Starmer to the point where they're holding the government to account on their Covid strategy.

It makes no sense to me how fully-vaccinated UK nationals are allowed into Germany without even a test - meanwhile as a fully-vaccinated German resident I must be subjected to PCR test within two days of travel to the UK plus booking a Day 2 PCR test on arrival in the UK and then another PCR test on Day 8 or before my return journey. In addition, I must also quarantine in a single location for 10 days.

Now these rules seem to indicate the government is taking Covid seriously but only it seems for people not living in the UK - Germany has been deemed to be on the amber list with most of Europe but cases here are a mere fraction of those in the UK. As I mention, my district has only 10 active cases in a population of 114,000 - which if you compare it to Cleveland, where the people currently have no legal restrictions, they have 1,400 active cases per 100,000 - that would mean my district would need 1,600 cases instead of just the 10 it has to be at the same infection rate.

On top of that night clubs have opened but plans for them to require proof of vaccination and testing won't be required until September at the earliest - does that make sense in any logical world?

It's some kind of charade of pretending to be taking steps to prevent infection of highly unlikely to be infected people outside the UK while ignoring the risk of the far more likely to infect people within the UK.

Anyway, it's become something of a joke viewing it from the outside - I bumped into an old neighbour of mine walking his dog this morning who said "I see Covid is over in the UK" before giving a mischievous smile - incidentally, he told me his daughter lives in London and is married to a Nigerian man. People just shake their heads - especially seeing the crowds at the European Cup - which it has now emerged weren't even checked to see if they were either fully-vaccinated or had a negative test for the final stages of the tournament. Apparently many have subsequently tested positive and it's been since deemed the 'Wembley variant'.

Anyway, I wonder if crowds will risk returning to the Riverside in a few weeks given the high number of cases on Teesside - I certainly wouldn't take the risk, especially in the concourses where you mill around drinking a pint!

Stay safe everyone and I'm sure everyone on here falls into that common sense category and have yet to hit the night clubs!


Andy R
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 610
 

@werdermouth

I could barely think of anything worse than a nightclub before COVID, nevermind now!


ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 287
 

@original-fat-bob I think I was replying to a political post. I’ll ask your permission first next time, shall I? 


ReplyQuote
Andy R
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 610
 

We all tread a little bit carefully when discussing politics on this blog and rightly so.

For my pennies worth, Keir Starmer  seems a credible leader and a vast improvement on his predecessor but the Labour Party remains a bit of a mess overall. Possibly the right man at the wrong time.

I disagree with RR that all Politicians are the same. In fact I think a lot of them, maybe even most, are there for the right reasons. I have quite a lot of time for Jess Phillips for example, who I would say is about as far from a bull shiner as you can get.


ReplyQuote
Redcar Red
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 843
 
Posted by: @andy-r

We all tread a little bit carefully when discussing politics on this blog and rightly so.

For my pennies worth, Keir Starmer  seems a credible leader and a vast improvement on his predecessor but the Labour Party remains a bit of a mess overall. Possibly the right man at the wrong time.

I disagree with RR that all Politicians are the same. In fact I think a lot of them, maybe even most, are there for the right reasons. I have quite a lot of time for Jess Phillips for example, who I would say is about as far from a bull shiner as you can get.

There are indeed a few decent and genuine politicians, Mo Mowlem is a shining recent example. Unfortunately they are inevitably kept smothered by their respective parties therefore ensuring that the control remains with those who are unfit for purpose but play the game by making up the rules and modifying or reinventing them as they go, some may even call it bare faced lying.

From WMD lies to Brexit/Remain lies to the Matt Lucas parody of the tousled bumbling idiot currently making a pigs ear of things the state of British Politics is shambolic at best. Deflect and keep blaming the other side however is what keeps them in power, binary division and conquering at its finest. If you are not for it then you have to be against it and incredibly educated adults keep supping it up.


ReplyQuote
Allan in Bahrain
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 78
 

The problem with politics and politicians is democracy [UK version] itself. They want to keep their jobs and hold on power but need approval from the voting community. To get this approval a competitive vote is needed and that is at the heart of the problem. 

From the moment they climb on the political ladder they pander to the masses to secure ratings, and the well being of the collective population comes a sorry second.

I can safely report that living in a different society for the past 40 years where democracy has an unusual meaning, and looking east where other forms of democracy are emerging, it is only a matter of time before the UK, no longer the shining light, will slide into decay and become the feeding ground for professional politicians, advertising campaign style messaging and an underclass of breadline dwellers. 

The freedoms enshrined in our 1960s education no longer exist, and manners have all but disappeared - in their place the get-rich-quick and in-it-for-me attitudes have prevailed.

We have all been disappointed and Covid has been a baring of the truth, whether we blame Thatcher or Blair, the Loony Left or UKIP the truth is we are all to blame because we all voted for them somewhere down the line.

So what ever your political views, you will be right when you despair at your other sides opinion, and you will be right to take offence when they despair at yours -  because all sides are as bad as each other. 

It is a sign of the times when we feel offended by other points of view and certainly it is now normal to lash out. But that is how it is.

Somewhere down the line the UK population starting voting, not for the most suitable person for the job of their MP, but for slogans, images and colours, and lies, lies and more lies.

I was in Teesside during April for quarantine and read the crap pushed through my door and couldn't believe it. If the ballot had asked to give a yes or note against each candidate I wonder how many yes votes would have been cast, certainly none from me.

I shall close now, many thanks to Werder for giving us a rare opportunity to discuss Politics and Cricket and remember if you want the trains to run on time, Boro to win the Cup and be promoted, and for council tax to be abolished then VOTE for ME. I promise I will try my best not to be an idiot, not to be a "harami", and not to get caught in the lift and can assure you my best is almost good enough. 

AJ in Fantasy Island.

 

 

 

 

 


ReplyQuote
MW in Darwin
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 36
 

The way Covid has been handled in the UK is very different to how it has been done here in Oz. We currently have 3 states in Lockdown. That is a total of over 16 million people, and the number of cases today was 130. In fact the other week the UK had more cases in a week than Australia has since the pandemic started. The goal here was to eliminate the virus. So all international borders have been closed since last March and you need to have to permission to enter any state or territory and if you come from a lockdown state it is 14 days mandatory quarantine at a cost of $2500 per person. All of the rugby league teams have been shipped out to Queensland and all games will probably played there to the end of the season.

Has there been any protocols set in place in England about how many players can get Covid before a team is allowed to postpone a game without penalty/

Everyone stay safe.


ReplyQuote
werdermouth
Site Creator Webmaster
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 933
Topic starter  

@allan-in-bahrain

Having watched the Cummins interview yesterday it seems UK democracy is dependent on what 20 unelected elite of special advisors decide is in the best interest of the country. Sounds like game to them where they get to decide who the PM should be and get rid of him if he's not delivering what they want. Perhaps it reflects on the paucity of talent who have climbed that greasy pole that the ambition in politics is more about gaining a position of power than actually being capable of doing something useful with it.

I agree with your point that we live in a soundbite culture where people get hooked on the best (or worst) three-word slogans - 'Take Back Control', 'Get Brexit Done', 'Build Back Better', 'Wash Your Hands', 'Hands Face Space' and not forgetting 'It's Coming Home'!

Over here Angela Merkel is retiring in a few months and as yet no sign of someone ready to fill the void left by a serious politician. As you say the people get the politicians or even parties they deserve - if you vote for them you put them in positions of power. Though there's one thing I'd agree with Cummins about - the party system is not designed to allow the most able to rise to the top.

I'd certainly prefer to see a political system where the votes by parliamentary representatives didn't determine if they were promoted to government and thus advanced their political career - it's seems a flawed system designed to prop up whoever was at the top of that greasy pole at any particular moment. Separation of the legislature and the people's representatives would end that conflict of interest but as to how that would work and happen is perhaps an article for another time.


ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 287
 

I think we need Proportional Representation although I’m not sure the two main parties would want it. Turkeys don’t often vote for Xmas. 

On a separate note, I’d like to think some recent posts on here are the result of people being too hot and bothered. I really don’t see why anyone should be criticised and attacked for expressing their opinions - this isn’t Twitter after all. 

I can handle the criticism btw, and I’d normally reply in stronger terms but this isn’t that type of Forum. 


Liked by lenmasterman
ReplyQuote
David in Cumbria
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 69
 

Seeing the rise in Covid cases and expecting an even greater increase following the government's decision to basically let it rip I had already decided not to travel over for Boro matches. Having been vaccinated I might only end up with a milder illness but I would hate to be responsible for carrying the virus back to Eden District which is currently "only" at 314 cases per 100,000. (It was normal for me to catch a cold once or twice a year on my travels. 4 trains each way plus waiting at stations.) I wouldn't risk visiting my brother and sister as they are older than me and they have unvaccinated children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I am really still living under lockdown rules and only going out for necessary shopping. I will be surprised if a new variant doesn't spring up in the UK as infections spread.    

Boro beating the mighty Tavistock 5 - 0 at half time!

 


ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 287
 
Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@martin-bellamy

why bring politics into a football blog ?

And that someone had to be you ?

OFB

A genuine question for you, OFB. If we met face to face, do you think you’d have acknowledged your mistake and said, “sorry, I realise that this is a political debate about COVID and you had every right to make your comment”? 
Face to face, I’d also have asked you why you felt that the “someone” had to be me?

You seem to have disappeared from the debate now - maybe you’re in isolation like our PM. 

This post was modified 5 months ago by Martin Bellamy

ReplyQuote
Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1093
 

@werdermouth and David in Cumbria 

It can’t be a coincidence that following the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley that both Saints and  Cas have 7 players each tested positive with coronavirus systems and can’t raise teams for this weekend’s fixtures. Also on the Cas forum website several fans have also tested positive. As for me being insistent that I attend JC Hospital to collect my enzalutamide tablets which I refused to do, suddenly they were sent by courier this morning. I’d rather self-isolate at home knowing that I will eventually die from cancer who knows when in the future, than catch coronavirus by travelling in the certain knowledge that if I catch the disease I’d be too weak to recover from it. 

This post was modified 5 months ago 2 times by Ken Smith

ReplyQuote
werdermouth
Site Creator Webmaster
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 933
Topic starter  

@ken

I completely agree with your stance - Covid infection levels in parts of the UK like Cleveland are way above what has been remotely seen in Germany and people at risk should not be subjected to being placed in an unnecessary position of catching it.

People over here are still being cautious and wearing masks even though our district has now dropped to 5 cases per 100,000 and not the huge 1,400 per 100,000 in Cleveland. In fact people are getting a bit worried over here because Hamburg, a city with a population of 4 million has risen to 20 case per 100,000. Note when cases reach 100 per 100,000 in Germany is when extra measures kick in like schools and non-essential shops closing.

So the UK government according to many scientists and statisticians are taking gamble on their approach. From what I've read and listened to the gamble is that the peak infection in this 4th wave will only lead to 1000-2000 hospitalisations per day and so not leave the NHS unable to cope - though clearly it will have an effect on both clearing the backlog and cause new cancellations.

The other part of the gamble is that this peak will occur in early August to allow numbers to be falling by the time the schools reopen in September - plus the unspoken gamble of another new variant not emerging from the high infection rate, which could evade the vaccine. In addition, problems for the UK will arise if the number of people forced to quarantine gets to levels where services and the economy are getting severely affected.

The difficult to quantify factor in this gamble is how people who are vaccinated will be affected and what role they will play in spreading the virus. Studies suggest a single vaccine only offers protection to around a third of those who have had a single jab - of fully vaccinated people, Astra offers on average 60% protection and Pfizer 79% against the Delta variant. Which means between one fifth and a third of fully vaccinated people could catch Covid - though they only have around a 4-8% risk of needing hospitisation depending on the vaccine used.

However, infected fully-vaccinated people can spread the virus with current estimates calculating that 50% of those with two jabs are contagious.

So at this moment nobody really knows if the UK's gamble will pay off - even those who have made the gamble. My concern is that Johnson is a gambler by nature and is prone to rolling the dice because he tends to believe things will always turn out right. Unfortunately, if he's wrong the price to pay is probably not worth that gamble in the first place - though if he's right then I suspect he'll become unstoppable and even more popular than I can understand in the first place.


werdermouth
Site Creator Webmaster
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 933
Topic starter  

@martin-bellamy

I know OFB is not a fan of discussing politics on Diasboro so I suspect that's why he made the comment - although I do believe he has strong political views that he may or may not want to discus on a different platform. Probably time to let this one lie as you've made your position clear in a reasonably restrained manner that I appreciate. Party politics is something of a backing your own team discussion that maybe doesn't ever change anyone's choice of team.


Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 287
 

@werdermouth Fair enough. I’m a chap who’s always disappointed if I upset someone - if I have done I’ll always apologise. 

Obviously, I have no problem with anyone having opposing views, but I don’t like being attacked over my own views. 

Anyway, let’s all move one. If you feel I’ve overstepped the mark OFB, I apologise. Let’s all keep smiling. 🙂 UTB. 


ReplyQuote
Original Fat Bob
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1086
 

@martin-bellamy

Thanks Martin we’ll move on and

look forward to the Boro getting promotion this season

OFB


ReplyQuote
Share: