upgrading from level 2 to 3- covid lesson learnt?

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 MargieB 11 Nov 2020

I think we are in a lesson- learning experiment with the levels of restriction and its effect when R rating is above 1.

Several Scottish areas have moved up from level 2 to level 3. I'd like to know the R rating when they were level 2 designation but can't quite research it,-  and what the R is now at level 3.

Central belt at level 3 is not really diminishing  at its R level?

In Scottish Parliament the question was asked what have we learnt about that move up- what happened.

This learning experience I think proves level 2 and level 3 restrictions are basically weak when R is above 1.

Is that the lesson we are learning?

 Rob Exile Ward 11 Nov 2020
In reply to MargieB:

I'm not sure how much learning is possible with the constantly changing statistics that are thrown at us, and the constantly changing rules that no-one seems to really understand.

 Harry Jarvis 11 Nov 2020
In reply to MargieB:

I'm in Perth and Kinross, which is one of the LAs moved into Tier 3. For us, it's annoying. Local neighbourhood rates haven't changed much over recent weeks, and are very low - Crieff North has had 0 cases over the past 7 days, for example. However, it's the more populous places - essentially the city of Perth and the town of Kinross which are driving the increased rates. Even in those places, the absolute numbers are low - few neighbourhoods with double-digit numbers. 

I think one of the things we're learning is that it doesn't take much for a localised outbreak to have a significant effect on the numbers across a wider area. I have no idea how this relates to the R number. 

 MargieB 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I got a list of the Scottish level restrictions  and their definitions. They are  complex but  there must be a level of experimentalism to find the restrictions  re different  R levels. How can we find out otherwise? The scientists are as much in the dark about this new disease. It must be a giant complex experiment to see what functions,  what allows and how much movement/economic activity in the face of this disease.

 Rob Exile Ward 11 Nov 2020
In reply to MargieB:

I get that, but there's no point in creating complex scenarios if the public don't understand them - or don't buy into them.

Personally I would like to see much more emphasis on how we think the virus is mostly spread - hi viral loads by aerosol is my understanding - and then much more emphasis on the basics - hand washing - which could be enforced in shops - masks - ditto, (preferably of a government approved type) - and social distancing - which could be enforced in social spaces like pubs and restaurants. 

In reply to MargieB:

It does look a bit as if, currently, at Tier 2 it's easy for R to remain above 1 (worsening), and Tier 3 seems to bring R to about 1 in most areas (it's stabilising at the current levels, not improving but maybe manageable).

But it won't be as simple as that, different areas have their own quirks and the coming winter months may naturally raise the spreading rate anyway, such that Tier 3 isn't enough to keep it stable any more. (And conversely, when spring comes on, Tier 2 might be enough to keep it stable in a lot of places.)

Fingers crossed, we hopefully just need to keep it stable until we start seeing the benefits of part of the population being vaccinated, now. That just might get a bit harder during the cold, dark months.

In reply to MargieB:

I think it is really complex with several large and variable factors in play, a relatively long latency between making a rule change and the effect showing through and random outbreak events which cause numbers large enough numbers of cases to affect the overall statistics and make it take longer to see the underlying trend.

One would expect the increased restrictions from level 2 to 3 to push down on R if everything else stayed the same but the other factors are not staying the same.  We have the onset of winter pushing in the opposite direction and a significant number of people who are no longer paying attention to the rules.

 Eric9Points 11 Nov 2020
In reply to MargieB:

There's more to this than the Scottish government admits.

Firstly track and trace in Scotland is not working very well, despite earlier assurances to the contrary. It's probably under resourced and unable to cope so T&T is not having the effect it was expected to have in areas with lower infection rates.

As you note, the restrictions are only reducing infections very slowly. While Glasgow and Lanarkshire should be in hard lockdown I suspect Scotgov regard this as politically unpalatable and have decided instead to impose more restrictions on areas where they had previously been light in the hope that infections for Scotland as a whole will reduce. I imagine that's why Edinburgh hasn't been moved from tier 3 to tier 2 as it should have been some time ago. Certainly the data for Edinburgh does not justify tier 3 lockdown based on the Scottish Government's own criteria.

In reply to Eric9Points:

I suspect you're right on all those points, but there is at least one other to consider - intensive care is getting full, with some areas already having had to send patients to other health authorities, and it might not take much more of a rise in cases to use up the rest of the capacity.

So even though, say, Edinburgh, isn't as bad, we maybe can't afford for it to get much worse anyway.

I don't really understand why they aren't locking down Glasgow and Lanarkshire harder beyond what you've suggested, and I wonder whether they'll end up regretting not doing so.

 Blunderbuss 11 Nov 2020
In reply to MargieB:

The experience of England suggests that the only things that reduces R is a full lockdown (lite) or our Tier 3...

In reply to Eric9Points:

I don't see how you can be so confident they have the lockdown level wrong for particular areas based on the headline data.  You need to trust the public health people to get into the details and make judgements about how things are going to evolve in the future and whether the infection numbers they are seeing are caused by random factors, systemic and persistent factors, old outbreaks which are burning out, or outbreaks which are kicking off.

It is unfortunate people are treating this as political when what is going on is they are following the advice they are getting from the public health people.

 MargieB 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

This article today has raised exactly the question as to the tier system effectiveness post lockdown and how tiers as defined now need redefining relative to R rating. We've had failure.

We've had failure and need to learn.

Post edited at 09:25
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

R (the measure of how many others, on average, each person infects) should theoretically change as soon as the measures change.  The reason it doesn't is more down to how it's calculated based on caseload.

Post edited at 14:27
In reply to MargieB:

Looks as though Stirling has joined Glasgow and Lanarkshire in the 'might go to tier 4 shortly' group - there has been a sudden increase in cases here in the last week or two, much of it in and around a care home in Bannockburn.

If the schools close, I may yet be getting another spell of furlough...

 MargieB 14 Nov 2020
In reply to skog:

sudden increase at level 3 to prompt level 4 is not good.

Looks like extra measures like absolute careful legal restriction of movement between different  regions after a solid lockdown occurs and R1 achieved -   plus post lockdown,  a general tough tier level anyway to keep this disease down under R1 until mass vaccination programme.

I think they realise this hence no time to lose for vaccination roll out.

Post edited at 22:32
 MargieB 15 Nov 2020
In reply to MargieB:

>  This learning experience I think proves level 2 and level 3 restrictions are basically weak when R is above 1.

The 'infection rate' (essentially R) increases with prevalence, so what would have worked in the summer when prevalence was low isn't good enough now the prevalence is higher. Then you have the increase in R due to people being inside more, and that due to colder, duller weather not killing the virus off.  It's become very obvious that 'living with the virus' is simply too crippling for the economy and community and elimination is the better strategy.

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