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Are any of these "facts" disputable?

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 Ciro 10 May 2020

Copied and pasted from the FB posts doing the rounds. Obviously, as a pinko liberal left wing Communist snowflake I tend to think not, and that it's a pretty concise timeline of the absolute clusteref*ck we've made of the whole response, from start to finish.

** A Factual Breakdown **

December 31st: China alerts WHO to new virus.

January 23rd: Study reveals a third of China’s patients require intensive care. 

January 24th: Boris Johnson misses first Cobra meeting.

January 29th: Boris Johnson misses *second* Cobra meeting.

January 31st: The NHS declares first ever ‘Level 4 critical incident’. Meanwhile, the UK government declines to join European scheme to source PPE.

February 5th: Boris Johnson misses *third* Cobra meeting.

February 12th: Boris Johnson misses *fourth* Cobra meeting. Exeter University publishes study warning Coronavirus could infect 45million people in the UK if left unchallenged.

February 13th: Boris Johnson misses conference call with European leaders.

February 14th: Boris Johnson goes on holiday. Aides are told keeps Johnson’s briefing notes short or he will not read them.

February 18th: Johnson misses FIFTH cobra meeting.

February 26th: Boris Johnson announces ‘Herd Immunity’ strategy, announcing some people will lose loved ones. Government document is leaked, predicting half a million Brits could die in ‘worse case scenario’. 

February 29th: Boris Johnson retreats to his country manor. NHS warns of ‘PPE shortage nightmare’. Stockpiles have dwindled/expired after years of Tory austerity cuts. 

March 2nd: Boris Johnson attends his *first* Cobra meeting, declining yet another opportunity to join European PPE scheme. Government’s own scientists say over half a million Brit’s could die if virus left unrestrained. Johnson tells country “We are very, very well prepared”.

March 3rd: Scientists urge UK Gov to advise public not to shake hands. Boris Johnson brags about ‘shaking hands’ of Coronavirus patients. 

March 4th: UK Gov stops providing daily updates on virus following a 70% spike in UK cases. They later U-turned on this amid accusations they are withholding vital information. 

March 5th: Boris Johnson tells public to ‘wash their hands and business as usual’ 

March 7th: Boris Johnson joins 82,000 people at Six Nations match. 

March 9th: After Ireland cancels St Patrick’s Day parades, the UK Gov says there’s “No Rationale” for cancelling sporting events.

March 10th - 13th: Cheltenham takes place, more than a quarter of a million people attend.

March 11th: 3,000 Atletico Madrid fans fly to Liverpool for football match.

March 12th: Boris Johnson states banning events such as Cheltenham will have “little effect”. The Imperial College study finds the UK government’s plan is projected to kill half a million people.

March 13th: The FA suspends the Premier League, citing an absence of UK Gov guidance. Britain is invited to join European scheme for joint purchase of ventilators, but refuses. Boris Johnson lifts restrictions of those arriving from Coronavirus hot spots. 

March 14th: Government is still allowing mass gatherings, as Stereophonics play to 5,000 people in Cardiff. 

March 16th: Boris Johnson asks Britons not to go to pubs, but allows them to stay open. During a conference call, Johnson jokes that push to build new ventilators should be called “Operation Last Gasp”.

March 19th: Hospital patients with Coronavirus are returned to care homes in a bid to free up hospital space. What follows is a massive spike in virus cases in care homes.

March 20th: The Government states that PPE shortage crisis is “Completely resolved”. Less than two weeks later, the British Medical Association reports an acute shortage in PPE.

March 23rd: UK finally goes into lockdown.

March 26th: Boris Johnson is accused of putting “Brexit over Breathing” by not joining EU ventilator scheme. The government then state they had not joined the scheme because they had “missed the email”.

April 1st: The Evening Standard publishes that just 0.17% of NHS staff have been tested for the virus.

April 3rd: The UK death toll overtakes China.

April 5th: 17.5 million Antibody tests, ordered by the UK government and described by Boris Johnson as a ‘game changer’, are found to be a failure.

April 7th: Boris Johnson is moved to intensive care with Coronavirus.

April 16th: Flights bring 15,000 people a day into the UK - without virus testing. 

April 17th: Health Secretary Matt Hancock says, “I would love to be able to wave a magic wand and have PPE fall from the sky.” The UK has now missed four opportunities to join the EU’s PPE scheme.

April 21st: The Government fails to reach its target of face masks for the NHS, as it is revealed manufactures offers of help were met with silence. Instead millions of pieces of PPE are being shipped *from* the UK to Europe.

April 23rd -24th: UK Gov announces testing kits for 10 million key workers. Orders run out within minutes as only 5,000 are made available.

April 25th: UK death toll from Coronavirus overtakes that of The Blitz.

April 30th: Boris Johnson announces the UK has succeeded in avoiding a tragedy that had engulfed other parts of the world. At this point, the UK has the 3rd highest death toll in the world.

May 1st: The UK Gov announces it has reached its target of 100,000 tests - They haven’t conducted the tests, but instead posted the testing kits.

May 5th: The UK death toll becomes the highest in Europe. UK Press gaslight the public into believing the UK Gov is doing well. 

May 6th: Boris Johnson announces the UK could start to lift lockdown restrictions by next week.

11
 Mr Lopez 10 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

There's no way Sterephonics can get 5000 punters into a concert, so i call BS on that one point

4
 Ian W 10 May 2020
In reply to Mr Lopez:

You cheeky sod! they sold out the 12k capacity newcastle arena 18 months ago, and were bloody good. I was very pleasantly surprised, as i'd expected them to be a bit average. Mrs W very much likes them.

 deepsoup 10 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

> March 14th: Government is still allowing mass gatherings, as Stereophonics play to 5,000 people in Cardiff. 

James Arthur played at Leeds Arena on March 16th.  The gig was originally scheduled the previous week but had been postponed at the last minute on account of a sore throat.  The scuttlebutt among the crew was that the promoter was really not happy about going ahead with the rescheduled gig but having had no insurance payout from the previous postponement couldn't afford to cancel it voluntarily.  (Which would have meant paying all the costs associated with putting the gig on, twice, as well as having to give everyone who'd bought a ticket a refund.)

I don't know exactly how many people were there, but the Leeds arena is *much* bigger than the Cardiff one and I'm sure it was in excess of 10,000 people.  (If it sold out a capacity crowd would have been almost 14,000.)

 ena sharples 10 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

Death toll in some places (i.e. Italy) only itemises deaths in hospital, whereas uk includes all settings (i.e. care homes) which gives a distorted picture.

As to papers"gaslighting" there is plenty of pointed comment in papers such as those lefty favourites the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Telegraph.

22
 Mr Lopez 10 May 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> You cheeky sod! they sold out the 12k capacity newcastle arena 18 months ago,

I'm glad they finally found some success even if that meant a change of career to become estate agents ;-)

In reply to ena sharples:

For the first time in 30 years I've started buying the Sunday Times because of its informed criticism of the govt. Murdoch must be turning in his grave … oh hang on a moment...

 JLS 10 May 2020
In reply to ena sharples:

>”Death toll in some places (i.e. Italy) only itemises deaths in hospital, whereas uk includes all settings (i.e. care homes) which gives a distorted picture.”

Distorted perhaps, but as a ballpark guess, would you say we are nearer the top of the table or nearer the bottom of the table?

 ena sharples 10 May 2020
In reply to JLS:

Clearly near the top-the lockdown was introduced far to late.

 Ciro 10 May 2020
In reply to ena sharples:

> Death toll in some places (i.e. Italy) only itemises deaths in hospital, whereas uk includes all settings (i.e. care homes) which gives a distorted picture.

Appreciate there are going to be differences in recording methodology, however us that true? BBC seems to think Italy and UK are broadly similar in recording approach:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52549860

"But experts say it could be months before full global comparisons can be made.

Both Italy and the UK record the deaths of people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

BBC head of statistics Robert Cuffe said Britain reached this figure faster in its epidemic than Italy.

But he said there are caveats in making such a comparison, including the UK population being about 10% larger than Italy's."

Each country also has different testing regimes, with Italy conducting more tests than the UK to date."

In addition, we're behind Italy in the curve, meaning that if we were both to employ similarly effective strategies from here forwards, the gap between the two figures would continue to grow.

 r0x0r.wolfo 10 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

Undoubtedly. Speaking of global comparisons, a lot more countries than I expected have come out on the other side of the peak. Take a look at this:

https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries 

In reply to Ciro:

Here is a cartoon I did.

2
 Ciro 10 May 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

🤣

😭

 krikoman 10 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Murdoch must be turning in his grave … oh hang on a moment...

If only

 wercat 10 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

Our Fate is in Their Tiny Plastic Hands ..

Post edited at 16:18
 john arran 10 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

Not a lot of disputing evident thus far.

In reply to john arran:

No, just silent downvotes. In this particular case I am truly intrigued by the points of view that result in a dislike on this, they must have some counterpoints beyond this silence.

 john arran 10 May 2020
In reply to Alkis:

Must be hard not to feel 'dislike' when opinions you have been hoodwinked into thinking are right and justified are so clearly shown to be a result of bluster, incompetence or malice.

2
 JLS 10 May 2020
In reply to ena sharples:

> Clearly near the top-the lockdown was introduced far to late.

That’s what I believe but strangely (to me) there are still a lot of people that believe an earlier lockdown could have been potentially counter productive. I really can’t see the logic.

 ena sharples 10 May 2020
In reply to JLS:

My guess would be that the lockdown would only be sustainable for so long until people went stir crazy, in which case introduce it at the time believed to have maximum effect?

8
 SDM 10 May 2020
In reply to ena sharples:

Yet Spain managed to maintain a far stricter lockdown than us and for longer than us (so far).

In reply to ena sharples:

> My guess would be that the lockdown would only be sustainable for so long until people went stir crazy, in which case introduce it at the time believed to have maximum effect?

This explanation is one of the most mathematically inept pieces of UK government bullshit in history.

It's not that the curve has a fixed shape and you can choose where to put the lockdown in to match perfectly to the shape of the curve it is that the shape of the curve is determined by the lockdown.

When something is growing exponentially the time to stop it growing exponentially is RIGHT F*CKING NOW.   Our lockdown is longer:

a. because we waited and watched it growing because they were distracted by Brexit, relied too much on early data which suggested it was 'mild' and so infectious it couldn't be stopped and were going for herd immunity and then didn't change course fast enough when better data emerged.

b. because we haven't locked down hard enough to get R low enough to reduce cases as quickly as China, France and Spain have done.

c. Because of all the f*ck ups like lack of PPE and discharging infected patients into care homes which have increased infections and extended the epidemic.

3
 wintertree 10 May 2020
In reply to ena sharples:

> My guess would be that the lockdown would only be sustainable for so long until people went stir crazy, in which case introduce it at the time believed to have maximum effect?

Whilst this was often stated at the time, its a piece of absolute crap.  The later we lock down, the more cases there are and the longer and harder we have to lock down to get cases back down to a manageable level.  So, if people will only sustain lockdown for so long, the time to lock down is as soon as there are cases.  Ideally we'd have quarantined traveler from even earlier and given ourselves a chance at avoiding lockdown.

 ena sharples 10 May 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I didn't say I thought that was a good idea, just repeating what was commonly said at the time

6
In reply to Alkis:

The OP got a like from me, and had had only 6 dislikes.

I can imagine that if you were a Tory supporter you might think they deserve some recognition for doing some good things. The 80% furlough for 3 months came as a pleasant surprise, I'm working but I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are furloughed and are fine financially.

Be interested to see what happens to this scheme going into July.

 baron 10 May 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Did we not quarantine travellers from earlier on?

Seem to remember Wirral?

 wintertree 10 May 2020
In reply to baron:

Only a very small subset of travellers.  

 Nicola 10 May 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

How do the number of total deaths decrease!? Have some countries managed to resurrect the dead?

> Here is a cartoon I did.

2
 girlymonkey 10 May 2020
In reply to baron:

We have never closed borders or quarantined any regular travellers. They quarantined a small group of arrivals (from a cruise ship I think?). Even now they are not quarantining. They are advising people to and asking for the address where they will stay. Those people can still then go and get on a bus or train to go there and no one will check they are maintaining a quarantine!

 baron 10 May 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Only a very small subset of travellers.  

So would it have been possible to quarantine all those arriving in the country at that time?

 baron 10 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

The reasons for not either testing or quarantining arrivals have been well publicised.

8
 wintertree 10 May 2020
In reply to baron:

> So would it have been possible to quarantine all those arriving in the country at that time?

If we had limited inbound travel to only the repatriation of residents, then yes.  Here were are four months later with a protracted period of almost no inbound travel so there’s no grounds to claim it wasn’t possible to cut inbound travel down drastically.

 baron 10 May 2020
 Toerag 11 May 2020
In reply to baron:

> So would it have been possible to quarantine all those arriving in the country at that time?


Depends what you call quarantine. We had mandatory 14 day 'self-isolation' here for anyone entering the island from high risk places (Italy, China, a particular Tenerife hotel) to start with, then more countries were added to the list until it was from everywhere.  The timeline will be on www.gov.gg if anyone's bothered to look for it.  I think a decent chunk of travellers could have been quarantined in relatively empty hotels or military bases until tested clear of the virus rather than the 14 days.

In reply to Toerag:

> Depends what you call quarantine. We had mandatory 14 day 'self-isolation' here for anyone entering the island from high risk places (Italy, China, a particular Tenerife hotel) to start with, 

Eventually we did but not soon enough and it wasn't enforced. 

A pal was in China for the new year, like millions of others he traveled across the country with his Chinese wife to visit her family then spent 3 weeks on lockdown in China, 18 hours on various planes and told by the NHS to crack on back to his customer facing job on the day he got back to the UK. 

My brother and his wife flew back from Tenerife on March the 20th, they were told to self isolate but no one checked to see if they did or not. 

China has the right idea, the entire plane is isolated in Hong Kong, the passengers bussed to a hotel for a mandatory lockdown of 14 days. Once that's up you fly to your mainland destination and are taken for a second lockdown, taken not told to do at home. 

 MonkeyPuzzle 11 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

You missed off the announcement, on Friday 20th March, that the pubs would be shut permanently on the Saturday. Cue rammed pubs up and down the country. Idiocy.

 MeMeMe 11 May 2020
In reply to Nicola:

> How do the number of total deaths decrease!? Have some countries managed to resurrect the dead?

It's death _rate_ on the graph not total deaths right? I mean it doesn't give the units (deaths/day?) but it's only a cartoon, it still makes more sense than some of the info graphics the government released yesterday!

 jkarran 11 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

Such rotten timing (not luck, in allowing fools to rule this is a risk we chose) to have this arrive on the watch of such a deeply inadequate government of chancers, dimwits and zealots.

jk

 Baron Weasel 12 May 2020
In reply to SDM:

> Yet Spain managed to maintain a far stricter lockdown than us and for longer than us (so far).

What's lockdown?? 

In reply to Ciro:

so what would jeremy have done?

1
In reply to andrew breckill:

> so what would jeremy have done?

Who cares? If it were him, we'd be bitching about him. It isn't, so we aren't.

 Jamie Wakeham 16 May 2020
In reply to andrew breckill:

What Rishi Sunak has done is simply the absolute bare minimum that anyone in his position should have done - I cannot stand the plaudits that he and the Tories are receiving for this - they have literally worked out the cheapest way forward given the circumstances and the known costs of allowing millions to become unemployed.

So, at a guess, what Jeremy would have done is basically the same thing, but possibly a bit quicker off the mark, probably missing out the bit where the self-employed had to hang on for ages waiting to see if they would be supported in the same way as the employed, and more than likely not utterly shafting those self employed with less than 12 months accounts.  Oh, and rather than praising his brave and bold financial nous, the Mail would be decrying it as communist madness...

7
In reply to andrew breckill:

It really doesn't bear thinking about.

4
 DenzelLN 16 May 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> and more than likely not utterly shafting those self employed with less than 12 months accounts.  

Unless i have misunderstood what you have said here, there are ample schemes in place for such people. Bounce Back Loan Scheme - self certification loans that serve such people, plus the self employment income support scheme.

My Brother has got both and my sister who set up her little business in March has got the bounce back loan. No repayments for the first 12 months and 2.5% interest per annum thereafter over five years.

 Ciro 16 May 2020
In reply to andrew breckill:

> so what would jeremy have done?

Who knows?

Jacinda Ardern locked down her country when they only had 102 cases, communicated plainly and openly with the people she was locking down - thus achieving almost total buy-in from the people (instead of assuming that lockdown fatigue would prevent lockdown working before lots of people were already dying), and squashed the virus. 

That's the sort of leadership I think we should be comparing ours to - not a fictional one.

3
 Jamie Wakeham 16 May 2020
In reply to DenzelLN:

It's the self employment support scheme I'm referring to.  I've just had my approval through for a grant of 80% of my typical profits to cover three months of not being able to work.  If I'd started my business after April 2019, though, I'd not have got this, which seems manifestly unfair in comparison - I'd be applying for universal credit instead. 

In those circumstances, I could apply for a bounce back loan, but I'd obviously have to repay it.

I get that it's harder to help those who've not yet made a tax return becaue there's so much opportunity for fraud, but there has to be a better and fairer way than completely ignoring those people - around 5% of the SE workforce.

 DenzelLN 16 May 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Ah i see, fair point agreed.

 LeeWood 16 May 2020
In reply to Ciro:

So it's not hard to see where conspiracy theories come from ... 'join the dots' ...

Here's more material from the state of Kerala in India:

// Shailaja says a test in Kerala produces a result within 48 hours. “In the Gulf, as in the US and UK – all technologically fit countries – they are having to wait seven days,” she says. “What is happening there?” She doesn’t want to judge, she says, but she has been mystified by the large death tolls in those countries: “I think testing is very important – also quarantining and hospital surveillance – and people in those countries are not getting that.” //

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/14/the-coronavirus-slayer-how-keralas-rock-star-health-minister-helped-save-it-from-covid-19

NB. I do not support conspiracy theories but I do find it interesting to see where they come from

1
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> It really doesn't bear thinking about.

I know you don't want to think about it, but I've got to press you to do so.
What do you think that what he and Labour would have done would have been so appallingly bad?
Bearing in mind that the Tories haven't exactly covered themselves in glory.

In reply to Ultradecrepidarian:

I’d guess similar chaos to now due to lack of leadership and communication ability but with different mistakes. Probably screwing up the economic part (a success so far with Sunak). Probably obsessing about the situation in e.g. Palestine or Venezuela while ignoring key problems in the UK. The hideous clapping probably mandatory.

5
In reply to Alkis:

that was my point.

In reply to andrew breckill:

Maybe that was your intention but for anyone else reading it, it sounds very much like whataboutism, it's the british version of "but her emails".

In reply to Alkis:

oh, i was being a bit facetious to boot, but i guess plain text doesn't convey that too well. 

In reply to andrew breckill:

Yeah, sorry, it says a lot about the current political discourse in the world, three years ago your message would have been very obviously sarcastic but these days we have heard these things as actual arguments so it's hard to tell anymore!


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