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Get ready for Flu Season..

Flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Wow. And everybody wants to go on holiday but not to Florida this year. We don't really learn do we?

The evidence is growing that a major source of the build-up in the UK was due to those returning from Italian ski resort holidays.

Until action is driven by the known current infection rate, there is no hope of being quick enough off the mark. Responding to the known death rate is three weeks later since hospital admission is on average 7 days after infection and the average UK death is after 13 days in hospital.
 

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That is the sort of alarmist language that has got us into this tragic madness.
It's not alarmist, its fact. We are in this 'tragic madness' because we failed to recognise the potential impact and react.

When this virus surfaced all we knew was:
It was a new strain and likely originated in Wuhan.
It had the potential to spread very quickly and easily
There was no vaccine or effective treatment
It causes serious illness in a significant number of cases, and can be fatal to the vulnerable.

We discovered:
You can have it and be asymptomatic.
You can pass it on before becoming symptomatic
It can live for up to 3 days outside a human host
It can sometimes last for, and/or cause significant other health issues in some people
It seems to prefer cooler weather
There may be limited treatments to prevent the most serious illness

We still don't know:
Does it jump between species
How it will mutate, at what rate, and when
If you have had it are you immune from reoccurances or can you still carry it or pass it on
If there will ever be a vaccine, and how effective that will be against an evolving virus
If there will ever be an effective treatment
 

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It can live remain active for up to 3 days outside a human host
It is important to be clear that viruses are not living things. They are too tiny to have a mechanism to move or reproduce by themselves. This distinction is important because confusing viruses with larger bacteria or other living organisms can result in misinformed decision making.
It seems to prefer cooler weather
It is genetic material, and certain environmental conditions are more hostile to genetic material than others.

 

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Comming soon, very cheap deals (even knock down prices) on large commercial UK shopping centres. :(
Bad time to buy a house? 😳
 

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It's not alarmist, its fact. We are in this 'tragic madness' because we failed to recognise the potential impact and react.

When this virus surfaced all we knew was:
It was a new strain and likely originated in Wuhan.
It had the potential to spread very quickly and easily
There was no vaccine or effective treatment
It causes serious illness in a significant number of cases, and can be fatal to the vulnerable.

We discovered:
You can have it and be asymptomatic.
You can pass it on before becoming symptomatic
It can live for up to 3 days outside a human host
It can sometimes last for, and/or cause significant other health issues in some people
It seems to prefer cooler weather
There may be limited treatments to prevent the most serious illness

We still don't know:
Does it jump between species
How it will mutate, at what rate, and when
If you have had it are you immune from reoccurances or can you still carry it or pass it on
If there will ever be a vaccine, and how effective that will be against an evolving virus
If there will ever be an effective treatment
So it behaves much like you would expect a virus to do. But what about it in particular made us believe a lockdown was a better way to act than taking specific action to protect the most vulnerable?
It was sold to us a measure to control the spread of the virus whilst we took urgent action to not overload the NHS. And had we had a short sharp lockdown (3 weeks) those who needed to shield themselves would have done so and continued to do so whilst the deaths climbed. We stuck with the restrictions for no planned reason other than to justify putting them in place and ramped up the fear to an unprecedented extent.
Were we banking on the scientists coming up with a vaccine? That the lockdown would simply make it go away?
Only thing to do now is admit the lockdown was just a panic measure and get the country back to work.
 

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So it behaves much like you would expect a virus to do. But what about it in particular made us believe a lockdown was a better way to act than taking specific action to protect the most vulnerable?
It was sold to us a measure to control the spread of the virus whilst we took urgent action to not overload the NHS. And had we had a short sharp lockdown (3 weeks) those who needed to shield themselves would have done so and continued to do so whilst the deaths climbed. We stuck with the restrictions for no planned reason other than to justify putting them in place and ramped up the fear to an unprecedented extent.
Were we banking on the scientists coming up with a vaccine? That the lockdown would simply make it go away?
Only thing to do now is admit the lockdown was just a panic measure and get the country back to work.
With or without lockdown the vulnerable were not protected as they should be, particularly those who relied on others to ensure their safety and well-being.
Lockdown had to happen for the reason we all accept, but a 3 week lockdown would have been insufficient to achieve it.
"while the deaths climbed" would seem to indicate that you are happy to accept any number in return for the end of lockdown, putting the economy first before life?
Don't agree with "ramped up the fear to an unprecedented extent." either - I think people understood the lockdown and the 2 metre guidance, and why it was introduced. Indeed a lot of the media reports said many would have preferred it to go on for longer. Meanwhile schools would remain largely closed, the economy declining, and the pubs shut, so that was the compromise.
The other point of lockdown was the 'all in it together' unity, as opposed to the disunity already obvious in Leicester. How many 'Leicesters' are there going to be? I suspect a lot when the holiday flights start getting back in mid July. Ultimately we may end up in a worse full lockdown quite soon, with NHS chaos, and a shattered economy, all because the Covidiots want to go to Spain and/or the pub.
Still ,as long as Ryanair and Amazon keep making money, who cares??
 

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Very very worrying news coming from the government. Big cuts to housing development and in other areas.

Austerity is back.

Johnson’s been remarkably cheeky (even for him) with his descriptions of the deal. He spent a long time talking about the need to build affordable housing, but the amount promised is LESS than the amount put aside in the May 2020 budget

As a whole, the proposed budget is 0.25% of our GDP, with a shockingly bad environmental focus and embarrassingly low compared to other counties packages, like Germany’s 4% proposal (Plus EU funding)
 

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But is that 0.25% on only affordable housing? Sale or Rent? Leave the developers to build their more profitable housing from their vast land stocks while the Tories pick up the bill for "Council Houses"?
As usual, short on detail. But as BJ said, when we're <i'm??> that far in a hole, keep digging!
 

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But is that 0.25% on only affordable housing? Sale or Rent? Leave the developers to build their more profitable housing from their vast land stocks while the Tories pick up the bill for "Council Houses"?
As usual, short on detail. But as BJ said, when we're <i'm??> that far in a hole, keep digging!
Sorry if unclear, the entire bail out package of £5billion is only 0.25% of our GDP
 

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Johnson’s been remarkably cheeky (even for him) with his descriptions of the deal. He spent a long time talking about the need to build affordable housing, but the amount promised is LESS than the amount put aside in the May 2020 budget

As a whole, the proposed budget is 0.25% of our GDP, with a shockingly bad environmental focus and embarrassingly low compared to other counties packages, like Germany’s 4% proposal (Plus EU funding)
He compared to Roosevelt's New Deal which was about 7% of GDP. This is going to be extremely painful as we hit double recession with a completely incompetent and unwilling government.
 

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But is that 0.25% on only affordable housing? Sale or Rent? Leave the developers to build their more profitable housing from their vast land stocks while the Tories pick up the bill for "Council Houses"?
As usual, short on detail. But as BJ said, when we're <i'm??> that far in a hole, keep digging!
The whole thing is 0.25%. The affordable housing has actually been CUT. It was £12 billion over 5 years, now it's over 8 years.
 

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More worrying lack of transparency from the government?

FT reports that the UK government’s published numbers of new cases at local authority level only include pillar 1 and not pillar 2 cases, meaning as many as 90% of new cases are missing from the data, that means local councils, mayors, MPs, see the blue data but have had to ask for it & wait weeks see the red data - and the graph below
131834
 

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Hi, I'm new to this thread but I can add that the 2-metre rule was decided on because this is roughly the distance that water vapour can travel from the mouth of a talking human of average height before it hits the floor. The virus consists of a shell (like an egg) with spikes / needles on the outside (think conker fruit) when the spikes come into contact with a living material they inject RNA code into the living thing. If this is a human cell it then reads the RNA code and runs the program. The program says make more code and shell. When the cell is full to bursting of virus shells with code in them the cell bursts. And repeat.

Virus shell is made up of a protein and for some viruses this can be very hard and can last a long time (polio has been known to sit around in soil for over 30 years), but in the case of COVID-19 it is thankfully very weak. We now know that it can collapse if attacked by soap or alcohol and that just drying out is enough, either way when the protective shell and needle collapses all viruses become harmless. Right now when an infected person talks outside in the sunshine, the hot sun drying out the water vapour in their breath seems to be enough to collapse the shell of COVID-19 and thus the governments rules stating that being outside is OK.

From this we can understand that in cold weather, or inside where there is less wind, water vapour will not dry out so quickly giving the shell a larger survival time and this more chance to infect others. It looks like we are seeing this is the meat packing industry where the workers are working inside fridges.

The purpose of lockdown was that the evidence in February/March was that around 20% of infected people would not survive without ventilation and the science was telling us that as between 40-70% of the population was expected to get the virus, for the UK that meant that between 5 & 9 million people would need a ventilator. The NHS in February had 8,175 ventilators and with the UK private health care & military having a further 1,400
this was frighteningly short of the required amount, so the government tried to massively increase numbers and introduced lockdown, the government's mantra about protecting the NHS was about trying not to have say 50,000 in hospital at the same time and Doctors having to decide who got a ventilator and who didn't. With hindsight, we now know that using forced air pressure machines (CPAP) was enough for over half those who we thought would need ventilation and although the NHS had around 7,000 of these they were cheap and easy to make. We also know that lockdown did work, as it reduced and spread the load on the NHS, giving the World time to find some existing drugs that could help. It is worth noting that the latest, hindsight, science suggests that the total number of deaths from the virus in the UK will be close to 600,000. The current total is around 65,000 but right now, due to a successful lockdown, less than 10% of the population has had the virus. So despite lots of people believing that this virus thing is over it really isn't.

One way that many countries have been doing is to make the wearing of face masks/coverings mandatory, I fail to understand why our government did not bring in this rule in April, presumably they thought that the NHS & care homes would run short of face masks. Face masks work by protecting others from the wearers water vapour trapping most of the virus with the wearer. I'm guessing that the current plan of only needing to wear a face mask on public transport now is aimed at giving the government the option to make wearing masks mandatory in the Autumn without people complaining that they have been wearing them for too many months, and looking at the way things are going with not too many infections (or deaths), this may be a good approach.

By the Autumn the health care industry will have many more tools at their disposal to help survival rates, and we also have 12 candidate vaccines (2 in the UK) any one of which might be game changing. Incidentally, one of the UK ones is interesting in that it uses genetic engineering to get muscle cells to produce something that looks like the protein shell needles of COVID-19 on the outside of muscle cells. The hope is that the body's defence system will attack and destroy these and that the result will provide antibodies that will do the same to COVID-19. The plan was that a trial of 300 people in London received this treatment this week, if successful, the results will be headline news in a few weeks, and if it works this treatment is cheap and very easy to mass-manufacturer.

The bad news is that we have no idea whether this virus will mutate and that any protection from vaccination will be short lived, viruses based on RNA code mutate (fail to copy correctly) all the time - our own cells use DNA which is two stands of RNA working together - if one strand mutates the other is there to still work.

We have known for 30+ years that one day we will get a virus that jumps to humans that is the perfect storm:

  • Easy to infect others;
  • Long time between infection and symptoms; &
  • Fatal to many.
COVID-19 is only successful in the last two, and luckily when it mutates, it is actually more likely to become less potent, but there are hundreds if not thousands of other viruses out there in animals such as bats and monkeys mutating all the time. I can't help feeling that the planet is fighting back when we over-populate into small spaces such as cities. 12 million people live in Wuhan.
 

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Interesting post @IanMurray

Common theory seems to be that we are in for a long and painful winter. I can't see many of the bigger unanswered questions about Covid being answered before next year, if ever.
 

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The whole thing is 0.25%. The affordable housing has actually been CUT. It was £12 billion over 5 years, now it's over 8 years.
Every day you think 'surely BJ and/or the government aren't going to have a foot-in-mouth moment today', and every day they prove you wrong. There must be Tory mandarins plotting the line of succession by now......
 

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As the government calls track and trace a success it’s interesting to compare the success of the governments flagship serco call handlers and the PHE officials they were Eventually persuaded to let be involved

25,000 Serco contractors found 15,812 people. 870 PHE found 98,000

131840
 
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