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Observer II
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Grant Schapps says Britain can't close it's borders like Australia, because we're an Island, while Australia is a Continent - EH????   :rolleyes: With a global threat of new variants of the Covid virus threatening the success of a vaccine roll out,  we're still not banning foreign entrants to the UK, nor compulsory testing or quarantining any that do arrive.   😷    

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we're still not banning foreign entrants to the UK, nor compulsory testing or quarantining any that do arrive.

Your telly must be a really old one Obs my new one is telling a completely different story.

Or do you get your news from the wrapping paper your fish and chips come in.  :)

 

Bill 😊

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11 hours ago, Observer II said:

Politics live - BBC 2 today:   they're still coming in;  Bo left an open goal for Starmer at PMQs   -   come on Bill, keep up.     :rolleyes:    😷

And, as usual, "Sir" Kier scuffed his shot wide of the post 😉🤣

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During last summer when we’d come out almost all of the restrictions and people were again taking foreign holidays, there was an average of 40,000 people arriving each day in July according to official figures. So now back in almost lockdown, in the winter months and with an international flight ban, I find it hard to believe that figure has only been reduced by 50%.  I’m not certain, but the overall total figure I heard was about 10,000 but this wasn’t just airports but included international freight drivers and this number seems a little more realistic to me.

As for the government being too slow, I feel just as frustrated as you but us mere mortals can’t do much about it.

 

Bill 😊

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There will be an accounting at some point, even if it's only at the ballot box.   The problem is that imo the rest of the political class were out of their depth too, and this applies globally.   With folk now getting the jab and thinking they're immune, no doubt the pressure will increase to open up and no doubt BoJo will cave in to it.   Next comes the debate on how much of OUR vaccines we divert to poorer Countries, cos as the WHO say, we're not safe until all 7 billion on the planet get it; and even then they'll be continued problems with new variants.   But as the vaccine doesn't stop you catching it, just not dying of it;  there's a good argument for getting the 60 odd million Brits done first.   😷

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Your right about no one really knowing what’s the best approach and how could they, it’s not like any of then are experts in dealing with pandemics of this magnitude. People are going to moan and call for a witch hunt, someone will no doubt stand up and say that lessons must be learnt, but that’s life and it’s what we do.

As for Boris backing down under public pressure, I think by now he knows that that was a mistake and I’d expect this time round he’ll take a much firmer line. At least the public can reflect on the results of him taking foot off too early last time and recognise it’s a painful but necessary decision so hopefully not a big vote looser for him.

I think we’re a long way off giving excess vaccines away. We’re doing really good at the moment but with the availability of the vaccine being limited and the fact we’ll all soon start needing our second jabs then that’s going to slow things down dramatically. And if we’re going to need another jab 12 months after the first, then the excess may not be quite as large as we think.

 

Bill 😊

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Not a good example perhaps, but there have been dozens of Hollywood Movies, that at least gave a flavour of what to expect; the politicians had scientific advice, but chose to dilute it with political wishful thinking.  They are still in denial, with plans to re-open schools en block,  increasing hopes of Summer holidays on the Med; raising hopes of a return to sporting events attended by fans.  If worldwide distribution of vaccine takes the next 12 months, then lock down should last that long too.   The R-rate needs to be brought right down to allow for the use and application of test, track and trace; to nip any resurgence of the virus in the bud.     😷

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I don’t think that’s ever going to happen Obs, you just can’t keep the country in this state for much longer before the masses start to kick off with riots and public unrest. I also don’t believe that it’s necessary or even possible to completely eliminate the virus and the best we can expect in the short to medium time scale is to get it to a level where some form of normality returns. The best we can hope for is that the vaccinations are successful and that next year as we approach what I believe will turn out to be a seasonal peak, we’d have at least learnt to recognise the early warning signs and be ready to take the appropriate measures.

Confused is good with the R numbers so maybe he can give us some idea as to where we are at the moment, but my understanding is the R rate only indicates the rate of spread and given the numbers are decreasing rapidly I’d have thought it’s already quite low. This low R rate could lead to some thinking we’ve cracked it but the numbers are still sky high and I think with the number of people still in work and the prospect of the schools returning the rate of reduction might soon start to level off.

 

Bill 😊

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Bill,

A estimate of R in Warrington at the moment would be approximately 0.8. Opening secondary schools would increase R by 0.35 to 1.15. If the vaccine reduces transmission by 70% that would reduce R by the same amount that the Kent variant increased it, which was 0.4. That could make R fall to 0.75 and opening primary schools would take us to R=0.85. Pubs would take R back to 1. Of course the principal spreading age ranges must be vaccinated before that 0.4 gain can be realised, the grumpies are mostly the end recipients not the spreaders.

So pubs should not open until the schools holidays or the infection rate should be very low. Any early giving up will delay pubs opening. Does that help?

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Ebola is probably the least of our worries Obs. It’s a bit like worrying about someone lighting a fag outside while your house is on fire. As long as we don’t allow anyone in from countries where there’s a high level of infection, we should be ok. And don’t forget that the virus mutates just as much here as it does in other counties and the only way of reducing the chance of that happening is to reduce the number of cases down to a level where it’s less likely to happen.

 

Bill 😊

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But we don't "don't allow", Bill; that's the problem.   😠   😷     According to the Telegraph, over 200, 000 people will enter the UK  from Countries with variants, between the announcement and the implimentation of mandatory Hotel isolation.   There's also a glaring misconception that if you have the vaccination, you can't spread the virus.  The vax only saves you from severe illness and death, it doesn't stop you being infected or spreading the virus.  😷

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42 minutes ago, Observer II said:

But we don't "don't allow", Bill; that's the problem.   😠   😷     According to the Telegraph, over 200, 000 people will enter the UK  from Countries with variants, between the announcement and the implimentation of mandatory Hotel isolation.   There's also a glaring misconception that if you have the vaccination, you can't spread the virus.  The vax only saves you from severe illness and death, it doesn't stop you being infected or spreading the virus.  😷

The statistics are meaningless. The number of arrivals need to being multiplied by the prevalence of escape variants in each country. The countries with the highest prevalence are already on the red list so there are no arrivals from there. The vaccine does stop transmission to an extent as I have pointed out before. However it has to be one that works against the variant concerned. The COGS sequencing is now tied to a fast vaccine production facility in Essex to produce mRNA vaccines to address variants. The UK science and pharmaceutical base is really being pointed at this moving target in a spectacular fashion. I expect that the crusties will get a booster using a different type of vaccine aimed at the escape variants at the back end of this year and new mRNA vaccines in autumn 2021 . I think that you are not assessing the actual risk in a rational way, as Jonathon Van Tam said tonight it is the B.1.17 Kent Lineage that we need to be concerned about for for the next few months; so until cases rise in the Autumn when the new vaccine is due.

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It really is impressive the way that the work on vaccines has been going on quietly in the background. It restores some faith in the "Science".

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The airports are a mess for sure and from what I’ve just seen on the telly the checks are nowhere near as good as I would have expected especially for UK residents returning from high risk areas. But I think we still need to keep things in perspective rather than worrying about headline grabbing numbers.

I don’t know, but I’d guess that given the UKs status as a virus hot spot and the amount of hassle involved, anyone coming here would have an absolute need to come rather than simply to visit. And if they do come from countries with lower infection rates then they’d probably represent no more risk that someone from say Kent. The measures could always be tighter but overall mutations occur in proportion to the infection rate so a hundred random people from Kent would represent a greater risk of developing a mutation than a hundred highly tested airport arrivals.

On a positive note, as Asp says the vaccinations are speeding along and the infection rate seems to be dropping like a stone which is all good news. if it could continue that way for a couple more weeks, we should be in a far better position to identify and trace any mutations.

 

Bill 😊

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On 2/4/2021 at 6:02 PM, Observer II said:

...... but chose to dilute it with political wishful thinking.  They are still in denial, with plans to re-open schools en block,  increasing hopes of Summer holidays on the Med; raising hopes of a return to sporting events attended by fans.

I love going to Austria and also have my season ticket for the Wire.

But this year it's sky sports and The Lake District. 

Plain common sense.

 

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Unfortunately, there is a large minority chomping at the bit to "get back to normal";  they will imo, lead us into another elongation of the problem.   We have the Summer to possibly begin to gradually take the foot off the break;  so with schools for example; instead of releasing all students into the classroom in one go;  it would seem sensible to release them by age groupings, starting with the Infants.  If they're  are concerned about them catching up on lost time; then cancel all holidays and increase the school day.  As for Holidays, leave it until 2022 - sorted;   the next Winter will give us a better insight into where we're at.   😷 

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Bill,

Your last point was spot on they now need the infection rate to fall low enough to do a full RNA sequencing test on every positive sample and do the testing and tracing. At the moment they sample between 5 and 10% so the cases need to fall at least 90% to get full information on variants. They will probable need to develop some new testing reagents because the are currently not getting positives from  some of the S gene tests and using that to estimate prevalence of the Kent variant. 

I find it interesting that when they stopped wasting t heir time calling every person in the household individually and just said tell the people in the house they need to isolate Test and Trace statistics went up dramatically. If they had done that at the beginning the furore over test and trace would possibly never have happened.  

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I’m going to quote myself 😊

Quote

from what I’ve just seen on the telly the checks are nowhere near as good as I would have expected especially for UK residents returning from high risk areas.

This morning there was a report about a UK citizen who’d been trying to return home to the UK from Johannesburg since November and she was making a huge deal about the fact that other than the normal passport checks, she was allowed to pass right through. Mrs Green was bouncing off the walls on hearing this but having had time to reflect on this, it seems to me that maybe this sort of revelation does much more than just wind people up, it could severely affect some people’s mental health.

When you look at it though, the traveller had to show they’d had a clear test within 72 hours, had their temperature checked and completed all the necessary documentation before even being allowed to board the plane so what more could be done by arbitrarily stopping her on the way out? I believe it’s isolated instances like this, picked up by the media that cause people so much anxiety.

As for the test and trace thing, that makes sense so maybe this is another thing that the authorities could take away from this virus. The I’m only authorised to speak to your wife thing is stupid, especially when dealing with something trivial like a dental reminder.

 

Bill 😊

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