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New Covid guidelines for 'Delta variant areas'

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Help me get my head around this.  New guidelines announced for 'Delta Areas' like Wigan.  Direct cut and past:

'You should also:

Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive'

I know of one household where someone has tested positive but they are adamant that the others do not need to self isolate unless they test positive themselves - because the guidance says so.  Are they right or wrong?

 mondite 08 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The advice for positive tests seems to be the same regardless of area.

Those they live with should be isolating.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/test-results/positive-test-result/

In reply to mondite:

That's how I read things, but I know a few people who have said 'the new guidelines don't say anything about if you live with someone with who has tested positive so we are not isolating.'

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

No wonder it's going all round the place.  Yes, all must isolate (including any support/childcare bubbles).  Almost certain that at least one will have it.

In reply to Neil Williams:

> No wonder it's going all round the place.  

Agree.  My patience is wearing thinner by the day with all of this.  Apart from the odd area, its the same places time and time again and I'm now bored hearing: 'the reasons are x,y and z' when I reckon of the biggest factors is people being selfish, mis-interpreting the guidelines to suit themselves and not seeing themselves as being part of a bigger picture (society).

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> Agree.  My patience is wearing thinner by the day with all of this.  Apart from the odd area, its the same places time and time again and I'm now bored hearing: 'the reasons are x,y and z' when I reckon of the biggest factors is people being selfish, mis-interpreting the guidelines to suit themselves and not seeing themselves as being part of a bigger picture (society).

Exactly that.  It's mostly selfishness, that's all, pure and simple.  Not people thinking "how can I make sure this doesn't harm anyone else", but rather "I want to go to the pub*".

The one thing that does need solving is to pay people their full wage (or income equivalent if self employed) for the isolation period if they have to isolate either because of a positive test or contact.  That would get the "I can't afford it" issue out.

*Mosques, churches and other community buildings are also available.

Post edited at 15:21
In reply to Neil Williams:

One of the examples I know, the person was contacted via Track and Trace because they worked in a bar and a customer had Covid.  The customers went to the bar  to watch a football match.  The bar staff member felt iffy so got tested - and was positive.  The Euros start soon and cases will sky rocket (although I wouldn't put it past the govt closing pubs in Delta Areas if cases keep going up - I would).

Post edited at 15:45
In reply to Neil Williams:

> The one thing that does need solving is to pay people their full wage (or income equivalent if self employed) for the isolation period if they have to isolate either because of a positive test or contact.  That would get the "I can't afford it" issue out.

The perfect excuse for the selfish. Of course it’s the de facto excuse for the sc*mbags who go around infecting people.

No one is going to admit they don’t self isolate because they don’t want to.

There’s plenty of other parts of the UK where a large proportion of the populace are in precarious employment, but they don’t seem to have the same issues.

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The problem with closing pubs now is twofold:

1. People will go elsewhere, spreading it around more.

2. People will meet at home, which is difficult to enforce, and won't distance there unlike where pubs are enforcing it e.g. seated only.

To be honest looking at the age stats you'd get further closing, or partially closing (e.g. going to 50% attendance) schools in the affected areas than pubs!

In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> The perfect excuse for the selfish. Of course it’s the de facto excuse for the sc*mbags who go around infecting people.

Whether it's an excuse or not, it's worth solving it.  This isn't a time for moralising, it's a time for practical solutions.

In reply to Neil Williams:

> Whether it's an excuse or not, it's worth solving it.  This isn't a time for moralising, it's a time for practical solutions.

Mandatory testing and a Covid Marshal spray painting a white cross on the door of the infected would be more helpful.

If you pay them they’ll just invent another excuse - “I had a sick relative” ect.

In reply to Neil Williams:

Fair point re pubs.  But a similar point could be made for schools to stay open (I think many young people/adults have had enough and will just meet up anyway, so possibly less spread in schools?)

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> Fair point re pubs.  But a similar point could be made for schools to stay open (I think many young people/adults have had enough and will just meet up anyway, so possibly less spread in schools?)

There have generally been dips for school holidays, so I'm not convinced.  Will be interesting to see if there's another one for half term (which ended this week, so not soon enough to see it yet).

 Yanis Nayu 08 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I presume that’s for home LFD testing - the case and *household* contacts should self-isolate and the case should get a PCR. A positive PCR triggers proper contact tracing 

 Yanis Nayu 08 Jun 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

Schools are unquestionably sources of outbreaks and of seeding the virus into the community. They do have a bit more social utility than the pubs though. 

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Schools are unquestionably sources of outbreaks and of seeding the virus into the community. They do have a bit more social utility than the pubs though. 

Even more so, it seems, with this latest variant.

I retain my view that back last March we should have started designing a part-attendance, distanced school and university system with the intention of running it for maybe 2-3 years (but less if feasible), as well as procuring use of other buildings, temporary buildings etc to allow school classes to be more spread out.

But in the short term, for goodness' sake get the masks back on and do it yesterday.

Post edited at 19:56
 mountainbagger 08 Jun 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> The one thing that does need solving is to pay people their full wage (or income equivalent if self employed) for the isolation period if they have to isolate either because of a positive test or contact.  That would get the "I can't afford it" issue out.

This is a few months old, but I'd only just found it. I was wondering about why some areas struggled more than others:

https://www-bbc-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-56428760.amp?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQHKAFQArABIA%3D%3D#aoh=16231754714151&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s

In reply to mountainbagger:

Those arguments are familiar and I agree with. But I’ve yet to find a reason why, for example, Tower Hamlets which I believe is more deprived than say Wigan, has a bigger south Asian community, and yet has about half the death rate of Wigan. Fully get the poverty/poor health/low wage/can’t self isolate factors, but I reckon ‘experts’ dodge some key issues -  human behaviours, culture and choices  - partly coz it’s very hard to quantify and partly because they are too worried about offending people. 

 wintertree 08 Jun 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

>>  Schools are unquestionably sources of outbreaks and of seeding the virus into the community. They do have a bit more social utility than the pubs though. 

> Even more so, it seems, with this latest variant.

I'm not convinced it's directly related to the variant

Count-point: If we hadn't had the vaccination program, I think cases would be peaking in older people, as with pre-variant waves; now more older people are removed from the data by their protection granted by vaccination, so cases spread where they can.

It's all very conflated.

 Misha 08 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

On a slight tangent, people could be forgiven for being confused by the new guidance. It’s a bit like the travel amber list. That ‘go to work, don’t go to work’ sketch comes to mind. I think guidance just muddies the waters - either bring in new legal restrictions or don’t.

In reply to wintertree:

> I'm not convinced it's directly related to the variant

I think it is, personally.  Looking at the heatmaps, we have not had such a high incidence of cases in younger age groups as we have now at any other point in the pandemic.  With each variant it seems to be more effective at infecting children.  Fortunately it still doesn't seem to really harm them.

> Count-point: If we hadn't had the vaccination program, I think cases would be peaking in older people, as with pre-variant waves; now more older people are removed from the data by their protection granted by vaccination, so cases spread where they can.

That I think is also true.

In reply to Misha:

> On a slight tangent, people could be forgiven for being confused by the new guidance. It’s a bit like the travel amber list. That ‘go to work, don’t go to work’ sketch comes to mind. I think guidance just muddies the waters - either bring in new legal restrictions or don’t.

And decide to pull 21st June now (well, ideally 2 weeks ago when the new wave started to obviously appear) so people can plan.  Last minute helps nobody.

Post edited at 23:04
 wintertree 08 Jun 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I think it is, personally.  Looking at the heatmaps, we have not had such a high incidence of cases in younger age groups as we have now at any other point in the pandemic.  With each variant it seems to be more effective at infecting children.  Fortunately it still doesn't seem to really harm them.

Sure, but I don’t think that proves it’s more transmissive in school aged children.

If we didn’t have vaccination, we’d likely have had much more rise in cases by now and would have to have thrown the breaks on to protect healthcare, because so many older people would be getting hospitalised.  That is growth in cases would have to have been stopped weeks ago by stricter control measures if we were without vaccination - probably before when cases even turned to growth in our timeline with vaccination.

We can only get to the point that there’s this much prevalence in the very young because the vaccine has prevented there being even more prevalence and hospitalisations in older people.

This new variant is likely more effective at infecting everyone, but people with two doses are 80% protected from symptomatic infection and those with one dose 30% protected - this massively shifts the centre of cases down in age, then they can grow to basically 5 times the rates per 100k before hospitalisations of the 20% unprotected from catching it by their vaccination kick in as a limiting factor - even then most of that 20% have better health outcomes due to their vaccination, still reducing hospitalisations and duration of time in hospital.

Post edited at 23:12
In reply to wintertree:

Thanks - I'd never quite thought of it that way!

In reply to Neil Williams:

Regarding pulling the 21st. Something the politicians will start to struggle with is that this new variant arrived in the country from people travelling back from India (early in many cases) and choosing to not self isolate. In Grter Manc it’s felt like perpetual lockdown (from this week we have been advised to not travel out of our area).  People have had enough (I have) and will hold resentments to those communities that they see responsible for bringing the variant into their area. There may be a risk of racial tensions if people feel they are not getting their freedoms back. 

 mrphilipoldham 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Does anyone remember that Yorkshire triple mutation variant? Whatever happened to that? 

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Does anyone remember that Yorkshire triple mutation variant? Whatever happened to that? 

Rumour has it that no one ever travels in or out of Yorkshire so it’s burnt itself out. 

 mondite 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> Regarding pulling the 21st. Something the politicians will start to struggle with is that this new variant arrived in the country from people travelling back from India (early in many cases) and choosing to not self isolate.

The lets wait as India gets worse and worse and then, when we do act, give everyone a week to get back without quarantine was absolute genius on our governments part.

In reply to mondite:

They should have just stopped travel back last March.  Almost no foreign travel is even vaguely essential, and hotel quarantine could apply to the odd remaining case.

Post edited at 09:31
In reply to mondite:

Agreed.  But they still should have self isolated, which many of them didn't.

 TomD89 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Definitely noticing more people in my circles who were willing to put up with the lockdowns and other restrictions are starting to get cheesed off with continuation/delays despite having followed all the rules and done as they were told. In their mind it was get the full vaccination and that's that. I think patience is running very thin. Tensions, racial, political or otherwise will begin to flare, especially if they start to backpedal and revert to lockdowns again after repeatedly saying they wouldn't.

To a degree political correctness is preventing politicians from making hard and fast decisions regarding international travel so we only have ourselves to blame to pushing the ideology as far as we have. At least it's a good opportunity to add nuance to the usual polarizing and dumb discussion about borders/international access/multiculturalism. I suppose few can reasonably hold the position that it is always a benefit to have open borders anymore. Can you reasonably say respect all cultures and promote diversity on the one hand, while condemning people of differing cultural norms/faiths/opinions about covid spread, behaviours and vaccine hesitancy on the other? A lot of cognitive dissonance floating around at the moment it seems, which creates more tension/anger.

In reply to Neil Williams:

> They should have just stopped travel back last March.  Almost no foreign travel is even vaguely essential, and hotel quarantine could apply to the odd remaining case.

March 20....? Too much hope was given to folk and people were booking flights. It's incredibly tough, but the only possible reason to fly could arguably be for a funeral of a parent or child, where the missing of the funeral could cause greater mental health problems. Holidays, visiting family, business... in my eyes aren't valid excuses to travel overseas at present. 

In reply to summo:

Yes, March 20.  I don't support Australia's keeping their citizens in exile who had travelled in good faith, but we could at least have said "don't leave now or you won't be let back in".

Nationalise airports and airlines and provide proper support for the rest and it could have waited as long as necessary.  Some of the industry could have repurposed onto domestic stuff.

Most problems in this whole thing have been caused by an unwillingness to recognise how bad things were and so a failure to make proper plans in good time.

Post edited at 11:28
 Toccata 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

There is real confusion as to what’s required but I think the ‘isolate only if you test positive’ belief is widespread. One colleague brought her children to work because they weren’t allowed to go to school as a contact had tested positive (and I’m still unsure as to the legality of this). My wife’s employer has changed the (non-statutory) sick pay entitlement to only for those who test positive, not those self isolating (and this was after they were forced to back down on refusing self isolation if you tested negative). Quite a bit of abuse of the system too. There are more than a handful of colleagues claiming exemption from travel rules to allow them to skip self isolation on return from holiday. It also seems straightforward to use the track and trace app (to avoid giving the venue your details) but refuse notifications. And I know plenty of parents whose children’s lateral flow tests go straight in the bin…

 neilh 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Tower Hamlets and most of London is far more socially integrated and diverse  than alot of those areas in the north west  etc. 

so I would argue they are totally different in in respect of being deprived. 
 

In reply to neilh:

Don't know what you mean.

 neilh 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The comparison with Towers Hamlet does not reaaly stand upto a bit of observation about the respective differences between two deprived areas.

 fred99 09 Jun 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Exactly that.  It's mostly selfishness, that's all, pure and simple.  Not people thinking "how can I make sure this doesn't harm anyone else", but rather "I want to go to the pub*".

> The one thing that does need solving is to pay people their full wage (or income equivalent if self employed) for the isolation period if they have to isolate either because of a positive test or contact.  That would get the "I can't afford it" issue out.

> *Mosques, churches and other community buildings are also available.

I'm beginning to think that compulsory isolation - or if you like, JAILING (in solitary of course) - is the only way that some infected plonkers can be kept from continuing this mess.

 fred99 09 Jun 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Mandatory testing and a Covid Marshal spray painting a white cross on the door of the infected would be more helpful.

> If you pay them they’ll just invent another excuse - “I had a sick relative” ect.

Or maybe some sort of dye painted on their faces - one which takes a fortnight to wear off.

If found out - straight to jail without the nicety of a court appearance (by Police Officers wearing hazmat suits of course.

 Misha 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I don’t know about racial tension but there would be resentment against the government for breaking what many see as a promise of freedom on the 21st (it was never a promise but BoJo communicated it in a way which made it look like a promise).
 

The real issue is government incompetence. And the main thing the government are concerned about is their popularity with an eye to an early election in 2 years. Now If they were wise they’d be thinking ahead to what their incompetence might mean for this autumn and winter, but they’re too incompetent and short sighted for that. 

In reply to Neil Williams:

Maybe some airlines and airports just need to fail. A slimmer more refined air transport network. In a carbon neutral, more environmentally friendly future do we as a species really need to fly to another country just to get smashed on a stag do, or party all night sleep all day in ibiza, or fly to benidorm to watch Dave TV drinking beer eating all day English breakfasts.... perhaps price the more needless travel out of existence. 

 Misha 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> Agreed.  But they still should have self isolated, which many of them didn't.

We don’t have data on that but we do know that household members of travellers don’t need to self isolate. That’s a gaping hole in the rules. 

 Misha 09 Jun 2021
In reply to summo:

Certainly a silver lining…

 Misha 09 Jun 2021
In reply to TomD89:

The spread of the Indian variant has little to do with open borders. Borders with India aren’t open. The vast majority of people travelling would have been British citizens or otherwise with a right to live here, given there are few tourists / business visitors / economic migration and I assume the home office isn’t giving visas for family visits. The issue was no MIQ and the government saying they saw no need to restrict travel - so understandably people travelled out and then had to travel back. Just seen the same thing with Portugal. Total incompetence. 

In reply to Misha:

Just been chatting at work, and the unanimous view is: we’ve been told all along that this about protecting the nhs. The small increase in hospital admissions, especially when a good % appear to have chosen not to have the vaccine, is ‘ok’ and we need to crack on getting our lives back. Bolton has reduced case numbers, we can do the same. So let’s crack on with the 21st. 

 Misha 09 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The problem with that is it’s looking at today’s hospitalisation numbers. These lag infections by a couple of weeks and are based on current restrictions. As cases increase, so will hospitalisations and any significant further unlock would pour accelerant on the fire. The big unknown is vaccine effectiveness against Delta in terms of hospitalisations. We need more time for better data and we certainly need  more people to have had at least first and ideally second doses, plus 3 weeks. This all requires more time.

I think the problem with the 21st is it could lead to a situation where restrictions have to be reimposed (we are possibly already in that situation but no need to make it worse).

The other point is that most people are already able to do most things. Admittedly I don’t go to cinemas, don’t socialise much and don’t mind climbing in the UK this summer, but as far as I’m concerned my life is pretty much back to normal already. I appreciate this isn’t the case for everyone and 3m people are still on furlough. However the things which are still restricted are very much ‘nice to haves’ for most people - foreign travel, theatres, sport events, festivals, large weddings and so on. Plus working from the office and not wearing masks.

Easy for me to say but I just don’t think it’s worth the risk of opening up on the 21st for the sake of what are going to be marginal gains for most people and indeed for the economy. That’s not to say that some restrictions can’t be eased. 

In reply to mondite:

> The lets wait as India gets worse and worse and then, when we do act, give everyone a week to get back without quarantine was absolute genius on our governments part.

The media should be asking how come the UK got the Indian variant before other European countries and the US and why it has got worse faster here.    The Tories made exactly the same mistakes they made before with wave 1.

It is ridiculous how easy a ride they are getting at the moment.  Even Gove getting told by a court he acted illegally by awarding a contract to his mates (he'd worked with this lot before, same as Cummings) is getting glossed over and turned into a Cummings only thing.   You'd think a minister who acted unlawfully might face some pressure to resign.

 TomD89 10 Jun 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The media should be asking how come the UK got the Indian variant before other European countries and the US and why it has got worse faster here.    The Tories made exactly the same mistakes they made before with wave 1.

We have a larger Indian population and didn't control travel between India and the UK sufficiently or put proper procedures in place to prevent the risk of viral spread, the same way we didn't screen people coming back from Italy early on?

> It is ridiculous how easy a ride they are getting at the moment.

Very true, we need more scrutiny on all aspects of how this is being handled. I think where all sides are willing to meet is on the matter of the international border control to stop new variants being allowed in. It's amazing that the one thing we can all agree on, we aren't doing.

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> Just been chatting at work, and the unanimous view is: we’ve been told all along that this about protecting the nhs. The small increase in hospital admissions, especially when a good % appear to have chosen not to have the vaccine, is ‘ok’ and we need to crack on getting our lives back. Bolton has reduced case numbers, we can do the same. So let’s crack on with the 21st. 

I think that after more than a year people should realise the path to getting your lives back is not 'cracking on' but being cautious.  All that 'cracking on' gets you when you are dealing with something that can grow exponentially is f*cked up.   India just tried the 'crack on' approach.  Didn't end well.

The idea that this is just about protecting the NHS is complete bullshit.  It is about not getting seriously ill or dying.  The second they discovered people can get Covid twice and long Covid they should have totally canned that whole line of thought where they just let everybody catch it.

The thing that determines when this is over is the science of the virus and the engineering we use to defeat it, whether we want it to be over, or think it should be over is irrelevant.  Viruses will do their stuff whatever people think.

Post edited at 09:29
 Misha 10 Jun 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Agree except that protecting the NHS is the key piece I think, because if the healthcare system ‘collapses’ then so will our way of life and lockdown would seem like a breeze. Deaths follow from hospitalisations, so protecting the NHS avoids deaths as well. The link with deaths is hopefully largely broken now but hospitalisations are still an issue. L

I don’t disagree that ultimately we need to minimise infections, not least due to the increased risk of variants if cases rise with a semi vaccinated population. But we can tolerate a certain level of infections as long as hospitalisations remain low. I don’t know how many infections we can run with (if hospitalisations remain low) - perhaps 10-20k a day. Gut feel is much more above that and we’re properly into epidemic territory with its spectre of long Covid and variants. My concern is we’ll easily hit 20k as it is, even without the 21st (but hopefully once most people have had the second jab, cases would stabilise).

To be clear, I don’t want to get it at all, even with mild or no symptoms. So I’m sort of with you except I would see protecting the NHS as the key priority.

In reply to Misha:

I think we just need to decide.

We could close the borders, lock down again for a couple more months and eliminate a la NZ - but start now else it'll take ages.  School summer hols may pose an option for this.

Or we accept it will circulate, accept the variant risk and reopen fully once enough people are jabbed to ensure the NHS isn't overwhelmed, and let people judge their own risk profile to themselves.  Which probably means that it would be prudent to reimpose restrictions on meeting indoors (and enforce them!) and potentially finish schools a couple of weeks early for summer, then only consider more unlocking once every adult has been offered a jab.

What I don't like is the middle ground of potentially perpetual on-and-off minor but highly annoying (and damaging to business) restrictions.

Post edited at 10:34
In reply to Misha:

The folk I chat with understand all that but I sense a growing number of people are really sick of it all.  We've been 'advised' to not travel outside of our area.  Most folk I know are not heeding that advice.  

Regarding Delta and hospitalisations:  might be worth checking the dashboard for Bolton, postcode BL1 1RU.  About 40 on the Covid ward and 10 on ventilation.  2 deaths in last week and cases are in decline.  

In reply to Neil Williams:

> I think we just need to decide.

I think it just takes a change of thinking.   We need to stop always imposing restrictions at the last possible moment and always removing them at the first possible moment.  We have seen what that does - it gives you huge overshoots which then take far longer to get under control and result in many people dying and getting ill.

The control system needs re-tuned to act faster on the path to restrictions and act slower on the path out of them, in other words it needs to be more cautious.   If we do that we will actually spend less time in lockdown - the current policies haven't just resulted in worse death rates than other countries we also have had longer lockdowns.

Right now we are doing kind of OK but there are a lot of not completely quantified variables in play. The cautious approach is to back off on further opening up, collect data and allow the vaccinations to get another few weeks in.  If it proves over cautious we don't lose much, things are fairly OK now.  If we open up and it goes to sh*t then we could get a third wave and lose a lot.

Post edited at 11:05
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I completely agree with this and the behavioural aspect of how people comply with restrictions is often overlooked.

Rightly or wrongly people perceive that the vulnerable have been jabbed and their actions a) pose a much lower risk to themselves and b) pose less of a risk to others.

At the moment people are meeting freely indoors and this is going to be the primary driver of the spread of infections. If the rules were tightened again to prevent indoor mixing would people comply? I suspect not (not with current death rates).

People’s perception of risk changes over time. At the start of the pandemic people were terrified (irrationally so in my opinion) and now they extremely relaxed (possibly too relaxed when considered at a population wide level). Without high levels of deaths people will do what they please.

 Ramblin dave 10 Jun 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The thing that determines when this is over is the science of the virus and the engineering we use to defeat it, whether we want it to be over, or think it should be over is irrelevant.  Viruses will do their stuff whatever people think.

I kind of want to paraphrase the old quote about training - "dealing with a pandemic is like fighting with a bear - you don't stop when you get tired, you stop when the bear gets tired."

 neilh 10 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Chatting at work. Great. No disrespect but where is the science in a "chat at work".We can all wish , but we need a bit more hard science than " gossip" or " waffle".

In reply to neilh:

Don't quite get your point.

One of my points is:  we can have all the data we want but we need to understand and factor in human behaviours and I think this type of analysis has been missing from the governments view of Covid.  My chat at work is not aimed to be science, but it is a useful barometer of how some folk feel (UKC is not such a good barometer).

In reply to neilh:

Chatting at work is probably one of the best measures of how people feel.

Of you’re prepared to tell your colleagues/ boss that you’re breaking Covid guidance it’s a pretty good indication that people don’t give a flying fig about the restrictions anymore.

I’m sure there are very clever people trying to gauge the populations willingness to comply with restrictions on behalf of the government, but anecdotally people are sick to death of “lockdown”.

 neilh 10 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Having a feel about things is not really a good indicator of which way this thing will run and nor our reaction..I do not think that anybody in any country is jumping with joy over the changes it has made.

Most of us will take sensible steps to protect ourselves , our family and our friends irrespective of wishful thinking about cracking on etc.

In reply to neilh:

> Having a feel about things is not really a good indicator of which way this thing will run and nor our reaction.

Yes, but this is a forum to discuss stuff.

> Most of us will take sensible steps to protect ourselves , our family and our friends irrespective of wishful thinking about cracking on etc.

I think 'most people being sensible' is a shrinking number.  Whether or not this results in significant Covid issues no-one knows.  Where I sense the people I know in Wigan are coming from is:  if Bolton's rates are coming down, and hardly anyone has died (and the peak was 2/3 weeks ago so we should be past 'peak death') and the NHS is coping, then we could push the boat out a bit further. And by the 21st a lot more people will have immunity.  And goes without saying that as someone upthread pointed out, many folk feel the gov't has 'promised' the 21st so they owe it to us.  The gov't can't/won't enforce any restrictions in a meaningful way, so my money is on they will go with the 21st as planned and hope to f*ck things don't go belly up in the hospitals.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Yes, agreed (for once! )

 neilh 10 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Your view is to narrow a bubble and suggests" group think" in your bubble.My team at work all have a different perspective to your colleagues.

So just do not take it as a common view.

The 21st is clearly a moveable feast at the moment, just like International travel.After all the changes from the 21st June are pretty insignificant compared to previous ones.

Post edited at 13:14
In reply to neilh:

> Your view is to narrow a bubble and suggests" group think" in your bubble.

Couldn't be farther from the truth (although on one or two issues we do share similar values).

 neilh 10 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I would suggest that you may want to rethink on the 21st deadline, but the reality is that the Gov will not want to go back on reimposing previous restrictions at the moment. The ones being lifted on the 21st are pretty insignificant in the overall scheme of things.

If there is one lesson from the pandemic so far it is take nothing for granted or for wishful thinking  and just be flexible and not fixed on what you think is "right" ( whatever that is).

 TomD89 10 Jun 2021
In reply to neilh:

> Your view is to narrow a bubble and suggests" group think" in your bubble.My team at work all have a different perspective to your colleagues.

My colleagues and wider social circle's sentiments broadly line up with those of willgriggsonfire's 'bubble', could your view be too narrow possibly, or no?

Opinions notably shifted here after the 40-50 range were jabbed, this week people are actively discussing why they think we should get back to normal, which really I only and a minority of others I know were doing prior.

Post edited at 15:07
In reply to neilh:

> I would suggest that you may want to rethink on the 21st deadline, but the reality is that the Gov will not want to go back on reimposing previous restrictions at the moment. The ones being lifted on the 21st are pretty insignificant in the overall scheme of things.

Boris pretty much painted himself into a corner with all that 'irreversible' nonsense, which showed how little he had learned from the rise of alpha (Kent) variant.  He may find (as did Trump) that you can't intimidate viruses with political posturing.

I think it all depends on how much the hospital admission rates rise in the next week or so.  If vaccination in the most vulnerable age groups really has broken the link between infection and hospitalisation, then I guess there's no defensible argument for not relaxing the restrictions further.  At this stage it's still a big if though.  We really need to vaccinate as much of the remaining adult population as humanly possible in the next month.  Here in Leek there's a surge vaccination programme open to all over 18s, which is the right approach to local outbreaks I think.

 Misha 10 Jun 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

I doubt elimination is an option now but a full unlock would be madness. I don’t see the issue with keeping existing restrictions for a few more weeks / months while we wait for vaccinations and more data. 

 Misha 10 Jun 2021
In reply to TomD89:

The issue is that people don’t follow the numbers closely so can’t see where they’re heading and don’t appreciate that hospitalisations and deaths lag infections by about 2/3 weeks respectively. So a lot of people now seem to have decided that it’s fine, just as they did this time last year. The difference is the vaccine drive but it’s clearly incomplete and the data aren’t clear on the extent to which the link with hospitalisations has been broken with the Delta variant. A bit more patience would be the prudent and sensible approach. The risk of an early unlock outweighs the benefit I think. 

 Misha 10 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The way I see it, Bolton seems to have got away with it in terms of hospitalisations but that was with current restrictions and surge testing etc. Remove the restrictions and it would be a different picture. People don’t seem to appreciate that ‘it’s kind of ok now’ doesn’t mean it will be ok once restrictions are removed. 

 TomD89 11 Jun 2021
In reply to Misha:

Case rises began 23rd of May. 2 weeks was the lag historically between case/death rate rise and we are on the cusp of 3 weeks. The gov are making decision at 3 weeks and 1 day on the 14th so that should give sufficient time to see if cases will translate to a notable increase in deaths (unlikely with the scale of vaccination and what we are hearing about mostly younger people admitted with milder symptoms).

> The risk of an early unlock outweighs the benefit I think. 

I think to call the 21st an 'early' unlock is ridiculous, we've had continuous restrictions for over 6 months (if you count masks and social distance a lot lot longer).

I don't think a 2 week delay with current restrictions would be skin off many peoples noses at this point, however as usual the 2 will become 4, then multiple months and we're back to being strung along with promises indefinitely. People are already chirping up about implementing more restrictions!

My opinion; the goodwill period is over. Now people who want continuing restrictions need to be perfectly clear why, and to what end the delay is for precisely. You don't get to say, 'oh a bit more time for vaccination' or 'to prevent more variants' there must be specific goals, time frames and a case should be made, openly discussed and scrutinised and accepted by a majority of either MPs or the public before implementing.

There's nothing to say we delay for another 2-3months, a new variant pops up, we repeat again. At a certain point we must just accept the situation and get on. 

Post edited at 07:21
 neilh 11 Jun 2021
In reply to TomD89:

If there is one lesson so far it is take nothing for granted . The mutations have this weird habit of ignoring peoples views.

Let us see what happens.

 TomD89 11 Jun 2021
In reply to neilh:

I totally agree, so the view that this will be a disaster requiring continuing/more restrictions shouldn't be taken for granted either.

In reply to TomD89 and Misha:

I see both sides to this argument and don’t feel hugely in favour of one argument over the other.  I’ve slagged the govt off for its overall handling and delay in bringing in restrictions. But I do agree with TomD in the points raised above.  
Just been watching the news and the vaccine minister * raised an interesting point: the vaccines are 85% effective and a significant % have not (and I guess some will never) had the vaccine.  So a large number of people will not have immunity. So how long do we wait?  Many an expert has told us ‘Covid will be with us for a very long time’. So theoretically it’s just a matter of time before another variant arrives and the lockdown cycle continues. 
 

*Vaccine minister: ‘if the vaccine is 85% effective and we vaccinate 85% of adults = only 72% with protection.’

Post edited at 08:16
 neilh 11 Jun 2021
In reply to TomD89:

Of course.

In reply to Misha:

> I doubt elimination is an option now but a full unlock would be madness. I don’t see the issue with keeping existing restrictions for a few more weeks / months while we wait for vaccinations and more data. 

I take it you don’t own a restaurant Misha?

Joking (sort of) aside, the issue that I’m struggling with right now is that even with the vaccination programme (a massive success) there’s a potential for hospitals to be overwhelmed if we fully unlock. So how do we get back to normality?

Would vaccinating everyone over 18 prevent a third wave? Who dies in a third wave? Who gets hospitalised? All questions that I don’t know the answer to, but I think need to be explained to the public ASAP.

 mondite 11 Jun 2021
In reply to TomD89:

> I totally agree, so the view that this will be a disaster requiring continuing/more restrictions shouldn't be taken for granted either.


But on the other hand caution can be useful. We have seen several opportunities squandered including the delta variant mess.

So whilst I would agree goodwill is being wasted the problem is if we go for another get back to the office and eat out to spread it about again we end up in another long lockdown as opposed to getting back to normality.

 wintertree 11 Jun 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> the issue that I’m struggling with right now is that even with the vaccination programme (a massive success) there’s a potential for hospitals to be overwhelmed if we fully unlock. So how do we get back to normality?

Progressively and patiently.

Right now, quite a few people are getting infected per day, and it's starting to look like most of them aren't going to be going to hospital - another week is needed to really be sure I think - but they are getting some level of immunity from their infection.  This is particularly the case for people who haven't gone for vaccination or who haven't been offered it yet.  

The faster we do that process, the more likely hospitals are to fill up, and the harder it is to put the breaks on to avoid disaster if it's spotted down the tracks.

Under current restrictions, cases are doubling every 10 days.  The consequences of this if left unabated is that almost everyone who is unvaccinated and a lot of single dose recipients are going to get the virus in the next two months.  For that to be allowed to happen without breaking healthcare, we need to know that much less than 1% of those people are going to be going to hospital.  If that's not the case, we need to slow down, not speed up - and yet June 21st is approaching.  Tense stuff.

The useful thing about cases doubling quickly is that the experts will get their data on hospitalisations soon enough; the worrying thing is what that fast doubling means if the data brings bad news.  

The other big change I hope is coming are the therapeutics going through the trials pipeline, they should deal with the immune disregulation effects of the virus at early and (if not caught in time) later stages of infection, which will significantly improve the situation around healthcare.  I think that variants will not evade the therapeutics in the same way they are starting to evade immunity.

In reply to TomD89:

> I totally agree, so the view that this will be a disaster requiring continuing/more restrictions shouldn't be taken for granted either.

To date, every time the risks have been under-estimated and we've been too slow to restrict or too fast to de-restrict, hospitals have been more stressed, more people have died, and worse restrictions have been needed.

At some point, that is going to change, but recent history should teach a powerful lesson about what the appropriate approach to take is IMO. And basically that lesson is that disaster continues to be the default view and that we must look for evidence to credibly put disaster to one side and move cautiously forwards. 

Eventually one time when we  move too fast, too soon it will be okay - and that will be a matter of luck as well as judgement - and it will be touted as a great triumph, a sign that the cautious approach was wrong.  

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

>  So theoretically it’s just a matter of time before another variant arrives and the lockdown cycle continues. 

Not if we get it right and can move to having the virus circulate naturally starting from a mix of vaccine and infection granted partial cross-immunity to the new variant de-clawing its health effects but not eliminating spread.  It might be a bumpy year this winter with some control measures short of lockdown needed - especially with a secondary ticking time-bomb around influenza after we missed a year, and with difficulty predicting the next seasonal strain for vaccination - but things are moving in the right direction IMO.

Post edited at 10:02
 neilh 11 Jun 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Joking aside. Restaurant's for the most part are not long term financially stable businesses anyway. Ownership changes and also consumer tastes are fickle. Most last for about 3 years. 

Whilst it looks glamorous if that is the right word, it was a brutally competitive  sector pre Covid and will still be one after Covid. 
 

Loads of people want to give it a go, and that will not change. 
 

Post edited at 09:59
 wintertree 11 Jun 2021
In reply to neilh:

> Loads of people want to give it a go, and that will not change. 

I often think that rural pubs run on hopes, dreams and life savings.

In reply to Misha:

> I don’t disagree that ultimately we need to minimise infections, not least due to the increased risk of variants if cases rise with a semi vaccinated population. But we can tolerate a certain level of infections as long as hospitalisations remain low. I don’t know how many infections we can run with (if hospitalisations remain low) - perhaps 10-20k a day. Gut feel is much more above that and we’re properly into epidemic territory with its spectre of long Covid and variants. My concern is we’ll easily hit 20k as it is, even without the 21st (but hopefully once most people have had the second jab, cases would stabilise).

The problem with 'running hot' as it were. is finding the right balance that results in a steady rate of new infections, and nowhere seems to have managed this. Currently that balance has not been found - live case numbers are increasing at a rate which rises every day - currently 4.3% per day, it was 2.7% a week before. This is faster than the country experienced during the xmas wave apart from the 3 peak days. September peaked at 5.2%, about 5 days after it passed 4.3%. The problem now is that vaccination will have increased the 'infection rate at which we have to lockdown', and that higher infection rate is much harder to control as R increases with infection rate.  Doubling from a high rate is a n NHS crasher.  Apparently 80% of the UK population have antibodies now, but that still leaves 13 million infectables and we're at about 65,000 live cases.....

In reply to Toerag:

> The problem with 'running hot' as it were. is finding the right balance that results in a steady rate of new infections, and nowhere seems to have managed this.

The problems with 'running hot' are:

a. it should be unnecessary when we are so close to being safe

b. there are more harms than just death and hospitalisation e.g. long Covid.   There's more experience now than there used to be, but there are also new variants.  We still do not know what long term effects there could be.

All we need is a little patience and let the vaccination get to the point where R < 1 even fully open because so many people are vaccinated.

The Germans are thinking that maybe people who have already had Covid only need one dose of vaccine.   That kind of tweak to the program priorities could get to the 'safe' point faster.

 wintertree 11 Jun 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> All we need is a little patience and let the vaccination get to the point where R < 1 even fully open because so many people are vaccinated.

With the R0 values being mooted for the India variant, I think R<1 is probably unachievable through further vaccination alone with restrictions as of May 21st.

Letting the 2nd vaccinations in particular race ahead whilst control measures hold infections behind will reduce the load on healthcare but I don’t think it can deliver R<1 alone.  It reduces the burden that must be carried by infections through live virus that will hopefully take us to D<1, but it can no longer hope to do it alone if we want R<1 and post May 21st rules.

In reply to wintertree:

> With the R0 values being mooted for the India variant, I think R<1 is probably unachievable through further vaccination alone with restrictions as of May 21st.

unachievable forever?

As long as we keep sticking 600k or more doses per day in arms and we switch from AZ to more effective jags like Pfizer and Moderna (and in a few months start giving AZ vaccinated people a dose of something better) at some point it gets shut down.  Vaccine supply is only going to increase over time as production scales up.  We can have a strategy which aims to keep R<1 and reduce or vary lockdown measures over time consistent with that.   

The thinking at the moment is incredibly selfish.    There's no reason to allow a third wave run through young people before they get their jags just because they probably won't die or end up in hospital if they catch it.   Even economically it makes no sense - the cost of hundreds of thousands of cases of long covid or potential future health problems far exceed a few more weeks without pubs/restaurants/theatres etc.

Post edited at 15:07
 wintertree 11 Jun 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> unachievable forever?

Unless we authorise one or more vaccines for use in younger children and get parental buy in, and unless we can get the last 10% of people vaccinated who are least forthcoming, then yes I think the vaccine alone is unlikely to be able to close the gap on the new variant to get R<1 without any control measures.  I don't think I'd be in favour of the measures needed to achieve either of those requirements, coming from a societal/medical ethics standpoint.

It's likely to take live infection granted immunity to get to that point - if natural immunity to the new variant last long enough.  I'm not sure if we ever really get there or if we end up at "endemic nuisance" status with vaccines and naturally acquired immunity tracking variations in the endemic virus. 

Perhaps I'm too pessimistic and vaccination alone can get us there; if it doesn't it won't be long before live infections do given the rate things are going - even if the June 21st reopening is delayed.

Our available options got worse with this strain and it's increased R0.   

>  (and in a few months start giving AZ vaccinated people a dose of something better)

Did you miss the link to the German pre-print showing a hybrid AZ followed by Pfizer approach gives better protection than either alone?  I would be careful about jumping on a bandwagon re AZ vs Pfizer effectiveness.  It's not simple, never has been and never will be.  Headline efficacies don't tell all the story either.  It's not actually clear to me that total efficacy against onwards transmissions is actually the road to the best solution in a world where the virus and its derivatives aren't going away beyond our borders.

> The thinking at the moment is incredibly selfish. 

I'm all for holding off all further relaxations until 2 weeks after all adults have been offered their first dose, and for slowing things down right now.  I'm getting used to being constantly out of my comfort zone, and compared to earlier periods this is nowhere near as uncomfortable.

Then again I was all for more robust action last March, and I have no comprehension as to why there was such a long wait to lock down after the "Kent" variant was confirmed as more transmissive, nor why there has been absolutely no fall out for the decision makers given what the consequences of waiting did to January/February 2021 in terms of deaths, healthcare, employment, home schooling and so on. 

Post edited at 15:46
 Misha 11 Jun 2021
In reply to TomD89:

I think it’s fair to say that the link with deaths is largely broken but it’s not about deaths. What isn’t yet clear is the impact on hospitalisations and what that looks like once extrapolated across the entire population based on current vaccine status ans current restrictions  - then layering in the impact of reduced restrictions.

To your question, I think the main aim is the same as before - to avoid a significant surge in hospitalisations. It’s part of the government’s official framework or whatever it’s called. I would add to keep cases in single 1,000s a day but I suspect the government isn’t focused on that. 

The remaining restrictions aren’t a big deal for most people. Personally I’d be perfectly happy with another year with the current restrictions but then I’m happy to staycation and I don’t care about nightclubs, theatres, gigs and sport events. Appreciate that other people but but these are all nice to haves rather than essentials. It would be silly to remove the remaining restrictions only to find they we have to reimpose them and more. Even BoJo gets that it needs to be irreversible. Though personally I suspect we’ll need more restrictions over the winter anyway.

The 21st is early in the context of a pandemic which is still raging full steam in some countries. Don’t forget the global context and the government’s relatively porous border policy with amber list etc. 

 Misha 11 Jun 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

It’s a good point but the reality is at present we haven’t yet administered first doses to all who want them, never mind second doses (which is what you need against Delta). I don’t know how much longer we need to get decent data on Delta’s impact (another month?) but I do know that we won’t have given second jabs to everyone who wants them + 3 weeks until about September. Which incidentally is why I’m not proposing to return to the office until then at the earliest (and WFH for another year is a possibility depending on how bad Delta / other variants get).  
 

This is anecdotal but messaged a friend yesterday about climbing this weekend and he said he was down with Covid, days before his second test was due. 

In reply to wintertree:

> > unachievable forever?

> Unless we authorise one or more vaccines for use in younger children and get parental buy in, and unless we can get the last 10% of people vaccinated who are least forthcoming,

The last 10% to be vaccinated will mainly be people with medical reasons for not getting vaccinated  and dickheads.  But the first group is probably being careful beyond the government's restrictions and many in the second group have probably already caught it.  So maybe it's not as bad as it would look at first sight.

> >  (and in a few months start giving AZ vaccinated people a dose of something better)

> Did you miss the link to the German pre-print showing a hybrid AZ followed by Pfizer approach gives better protection than either alone? 

This is why I mentioned giving AZ vaccinated people a dose of something better (I admit the choice of words was a bit of a troll).   Once they are boosted with Pfizer the double dose AZ people will be back up there with good protection.  Pfizer followed by AZ being better than Pfizer alone is also good news but if you've had two Pfizers you're already doing pretty OK. 

> I'm all for holding off all further relaxations until 2 weeks after all adults have been offered their first dose, and for slowing things down right now.  I'm getting used to being constantly out of my comfort zone, and compared to earlier periods this is nowhere near as uncomfortable.

I'm following this far less intensively than you and know very little about biology.   It seems like a no-brainer to me that when the vaccinations are going in so fast we should let it run and stack the cards as far as possible in our favour before trying a full opening.   I'd be really angry if my daughter ended up catching Covid a couple of weeks before getting her jag just because the Tories were in a hurry.

 Misha 11 Jun 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Your questions are exactly what we need to know but don’t know yet. 

Most pubs and restaurants are open. I know they keep moaning about SD but I’m not convinced it’s that big a deal for a lot of them over the summer given they’ve been allowed to spill out onto the streets. If a lot of them go bust, Sunak will just have to roll out a sectoral support package. It’s harsh but my point is that it’s stupid to risk another wide lockdown for the benefit of ‘rescuing’ a relatively small part of the economy. Same for aviation, theatres, gigs and so on. 

 wintertree 11 Jun 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The last 10% to be vaccinated will mainly be people with medical reasons for not getting vaccinated  and dickheads.  [...] and many in the second group have probably already caught it.  So maybe it's not as bad as it would look at first sight.

Yes, a bit of wishful thinking suggests the cards are stacked in favour of antibodies here by hook or by crook.

I strongly disagree with your narrow characterisation of the second group thought - there are a lot of people for whom employment and living situations make it much harder to engage with the vaccine program.  This was explicitly recognised with the response in outbreak areas presenting new and different ways of getting vaccinated including going in to work places; I think as the vaccination moves from an "as fast as possible" phase to a "mopping up the stragglers" phase it could become easier for some of the marginalise to get vaccinated.

>  I'd be really angry if my daughter ended up catching Covid a couple of weeks before getting her jag just because the Tories were in a hurry.

Yes, a few weeks could make so much difference.

However, I think the government are being significantly more cautious that at previous points, and the level of public support for restrictions is weakening by the day.  The two are closer to meeting than at any previous point in the pandemic I think - one thing March 2020 showed was the gaping chasm between what government thought people would accept and what the majority of people actually accepted.   Perhaps I'll be back to reverse my opinion after next Monday which is when details for the 21st should be announced...

 Misha 11 Jun 2021
In reply to neilh:

Was going to make that point as well. Of course Covid has been hard on the sector as well. The big fixed costs for a lot of these businesses are rent and rates (staff are still covered by furlough but most are now back to work I suspect). The government can fix both of these issues. Currently there’s a legal pause on evictions which expires in July I think. That could be extended. As could rates holidays and sectoral support loans. Only some of the sector would need this support as anyone with significant outdoor space should be able to make ends meet over the summer, particularly given the level of pent up demand.

 Misha 11 Jun 2021
In reply to wintertree:

One reading for public opinion changing is the nature of government messaging. People think they’ve been promised freedom blah blah blah. 

In reply to Misha:

> People think they’ve been promised freedom blah blah blah. 

Absolutely.


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