Are The Govt Now Being Too Cautious ?

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
How can schools all go back 8/3 and yet the rest of us have to stay locked up until Easter ?

Surely with most of the vulnerable categories scheduled to be vaccinated in time for the schools return they’ve got to slacken off a bit ?

I’ve been an advocate of tougher measures but it now seems they have gone too far the other way after delaying firm action when it was required.

With the lions share of transmission in school age children they can’t possibility justify schools all back in two weeks but no meet ups and shops staying closed for another six weeks



Families will be allowed to meet outdoors over Easter under plans being considered for Boris Johnson’s road map for easing lockdown restrictions.
The prime minister is expected to introduce new rules allowing two households to meet outdoors, regardless of their size.
The move goes further than the “rule of six”, which left some families unable to meet. Under the new plans two households would be able to meet outdoors from April while gatherings of six people from six different households would also be allowed.
The introduction of the rule of six caused cabinet divisions last year after several senior ministers, including Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, spoke out against it. They argued that the limit should be at least eight, amid concerns that it penalised families from different households by barring them from meeting.
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, backed the measure at the time amid concerns that mixing by households was spreading the virus.


The plans will be included in the prime minister’s road map, which is being launched on Monday. The document will include “tentative” early dates for easing the lockdown and reopening the economy, starting with the return of schools on March 8.

However, social distancing will remain in place for months to come along with the wearing of facemasks and advice that people should work from home where possible. The document is expected to include dates for those policies to be formally reviewed, in an attempt to appease Tory MPs who are pushing for all lockdown restrictions to be eased at the end of May.


The Times reported earlier this week that ministers were considering whether to allow people to go on self-catering holidays for the Easter break. Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, confirmed yesterday that he hopes to enable limited tourism over the Easter period.

“What we will work on . . . is the possibility — and it is only that — of some limited reopening around Easter of self-contained accommodation only,” Drakeford said. “Places where people don’t mix with other people, where there aren’t shared facilities. That is how we began the reopening of tourism in Wales. If we can bring that forward to Easter, I know that would be a huge relief to many hundreds of thousands of families in Wales.”

He did not say whether people from other parts of Britain would be able to visit — in particular residents of England who own caravans or second homes in Wales.

Professor Neil Ferguson, an architect of the first lockdown, told Today on BBC Radio 4 that people would be isolating “forevermore” if the desire was to eliminate Covid-19.

“We’re not going to eliminate globally so we won’t eliminate here,” he said. “I would like to see this virus become like influenza and managed in similar ways.

“I think the one thing this pandemic has generated is a whole new generation of vaccines which frankly are much more effective than the influenza vaccines we typically use year to year. And so I think long-term we do have very promising prospects for pulling down the burden of disease, the mortality caused by this virus.”

Britain yesterday recorded 533 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test, with the seven-day total down 27.7 per cent on the previous week. A further 12,027 cases were recorded, with the seven-day total down 20.3 per cent. The latest government R estimate for the whole of the UK is between 0.6 and 0.9 compared with 0.7 and 0.9 last week.

Sarah Crofts, senior statistician for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “While we are seeing a welcome further decrease in infection rates across the UK in the week ending 12 February, the numbers do still remain high and are similar to infection levels seen at the end of November.”

Mike Tildesley, a member of the government’s SPI-M modelling group, has warned about reopening too quickly and seeing the R number rising again.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We do know any form of reopening will cause the R number to go up so that needs very, very careful monitoring. “The vaccination campaign is going very, very well . . . but where we need to be careful is if we open too quickly and don’t allow the vaccination programme to help us, we run the [risk] of things resurging a little bit. I totally appreciate and understand the need to get children back in the classroom . . . the key thing for me is we need to do it in a way that schools don’t have to close again.”
 

GrahamwantshisOates

Well-known member
It depends on the situation in the next 2 weeks.
If rates continue to fall rapidly and positive results of vaccine then there could be more positive announcemounts on March 8th.
 

Lala

Well-known member
I thought I read that non essential businesses will be able to reopen end of March early April also, apart from hospitality. So that’s some more relinquishing of restrictions.
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
With the lions share of transmission in school age children...................

You have evidence for this? It certainly doesn't conform with my understanding of the situation.

The short answer for the rest is "we don't know", we don't know what the effect of the schools returning will be, we don't know what the effect of relaxing other measures will be, so a phased and monitored exit from lockdown seems a reasonable approach.

What we do know is that some people will complain regardless of what the government does, regardless of the evidence or expert scientific advice, so it is guaranteed that the government will leave lockdown too slow/late and too fast/early at the same time.
 

pooljimbo

Well-known member
I think it will be all primary school children and high school years which have pending exams this year or next. Can’t see it being a full school reopening on the 8th March.
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
Until they make EVERYONE who comes into the UK isolate in hotels, it does not really matter that much as it will probably spike again, and most likely with new variants.

The big risk is the Dover-Calais freight route, unless you're asking us to cut off access to the vast majority of our food, medicine and other imports what you propose is just posturing for the sake of it.
 

seasideone

Well-known member
The big risk is the Dover-Calais freight route, unless you're asking us to cut off access to the vast majority of our food, medicine and other imports what you propose is just posturing for the sake of it.

The big risk is people coming through Airports and mixing, and then not sticking to what they are meant to do.

A lot of freight is not driven over anyway, it arrives by container ship - increase that and reduce lorries to the absolute min.

To some degree you can control lorry drivers as they do not meet that many people, in comparison to a super spreader wandering around a busy passport control.
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
The big risk is people coming through Airports and mixing, and then not sticking to what they are meant to do.

You have evidence for this?


A lot of freight is not driven over anyway, it arrives by container ship - increase that and reduce lorries to the absolute min.

Do you understand what you are saying here?

Re-jig the entire UK supply chain as if it were books on a shelf, it's doubtful that's even technically possible and if it were it would likely take years at unimaginable cost.


To some degree you can control lorry drivers as they do not meet that many people, in comparison to a super spreader wandering around a busy passport control.

There is likely a reason why the "Kent" variant was first discovered in Kent, and it likely didn't evolve there.
 

southshore

Well-known member
You have evidence for this? It certainly doesn't conform with my understanding of the situation.

The short answer for the rest is "we don't know", we don't know what the effect of the schools returning will be, we don't know what the effect of relaxing other measures will be, so a phased and monitored exit from lockdown seems a reasonable approach.

What we do know is that some people will complain regardless of what the government does, regardless of the evidence or expert scientific advice, so it is guaranteed that the government will leave lockdown too slow/late and too fast/early at the same time.
My neighbour works in track and trace and the biggest source of the spread according to her, can be traced to school kids.

Keep the schools closed and open the pubs, I say. 😉
 

Going Up the Pool

Well-known member
The problem we have now is that the government's mixed messaging and frankly shambolic approach has lead everyone to be confused about the aims and reasonable expectations.

They consistently refused to close the borders and go early on lockdowns and the message was to get the numbers down to 'protect the NHS'. Well as far as the latter goes this has been achieved so there shouldn't be any obstacles to a measured, comprehensive and reasonably speedy unlocking.

However the voices of the epidemiologists seem louder than others and the goalposts have been moved to 'driving the numbers right down to limit the spread and reduce the possibility of variants arising'. Well if this had been the aim we should have gained control of our borders and developed a 'world class' track and trace system ... which we haven't. It's too late on that score.

Numbers are plummeting we do not have the system in place to maintain very low transmission therefore we should open up now. Continue vaccinating and hope for some level of community immunity. Schools March, shops 3 weeks later and hospitality 3 weeks after that.

We all need to get more realistic about the prevalence and risks associated with the continued circulation of the virus. It is isn't going anywhere. What will we do when numbers begin to rise again next October??? Lockdown again???

Oh, and all that without even mentioning the economy. I started a thread the other week to see if anyone on here could explain to me the consequences of the levels of borrowing. Not one reply. No one knows.
 

Eternaloptimist

Well-known member
TAM, in a nutshell my personal opinion is that the Government can’t be over cautious
There is far too much at risk by taking a blasé attitude and I think lessons have been learnt, particularly when he eased restrictions over Christmas.
It’s no coincidence that infection rates and Covid related deaths soared after that period.
As some have allured to in this thread, damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.
 

Adams Kebab

Well-known member
TAM, in a nutshell my personal opinion is that the Government can’t be over cautious
There is far too much at risk by taking a blasé attitude and I think lessons have been learnt, particularly when he eased restrictions over Christmas.
It’s no coincidence that infection rates and Covid related deaths soared after that period.
As some have allured to in this thread, damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.
Some good points, but can we also factor in that deaths and infection rates always soar at that time of year, seasonality is a massive factor, oh and the fact that over 16 million people have been vaccinated?
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
My neighbour works in track and trace and the biggest source of the spread according to her, can be traced to school kids.

The reason for that was that the schools were open and everthing else wasn't, especially in November.

The comment I was replying to stated that to be the case now, with the schools closed, when the evidence appears to demonstrate otherwise.
 

Going Up the Pool

Well-known member
Some good points, but can we also factor in that deaths and infection rates always soar at that time of year, seasonality is a massive factor, oh and the fact that over 16 million people have been vaccinated?

Correct, the seasonal graph of respiratory virus transmission and prevalence is well known and understood. Although I am looking forward to a pint down the pub, I'm less concerned about how cautious Boris unlocks over the next couple of months (the summer will be fine of course) than how he chops and changes his approach before the virus picks up again next Autumn / Winter ....
 

seasideone

Well-known member
You have evidence for this?

Just look at the pictures at LHR and read the reports - also compare how borders being locked properly in some countries have worked.


Do you understand what you are saying here?

Re-jig the entire UK supply chain as if it were books on a shelf, it's doubtful that's even technically possible and if it were it would likely take years at unimaginable cost.

You could do something in the short term - an extra container boat a day crossing the channel could solve this, it’s not to hard to organise - just get the army or navy to do it.


There is likely a reason why the "Kent" variant was first discovered in Kent, and it likely didn't evolve there - any proof of this?
See above....
 

rockontommy

Well-known member
Just saw something where one of them is saying we need to see results that show numbers are reducing before thinking of lifting restrictions?

It’s quite easy to see they are.

Common sense has died
*within 28 days of a positive test
Professor Janet Lord and Susan Michie on Newsnight last night, wasn't it? Prof (masks forever) Edmunds due on Andrew Marr on Sunday. They all need to be put back in their box.
 

rockontommy

Well-known member
Some good points, but can we also factor in that deaths and infection rates always soar at that time of year, seasonality is a massive factor, oh and the fact that over 16 million people have been vaccinated?
I think we are all just expected to overlook the fact that the exact same downward trend has been seen in countries that haven't locked down and aren't vaccinating yet.
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
Just look at the pictures at LHR and read the reports

Ahhhhh, photographs, hang around in one place long enough and you'll be able to make it look like the place is rammed 24/7.

Don't believe everything you read in the press.


also compare how borders being locked properly in some countries have worked.

Countries that tend to be in the middle of nowhere, with limited communications with the outside world or otherwise away from the main areas of infection.


You could do something in the short term - an extra container boat a day crossing the channel could solve this, it’s not to hard to organise - just get the army or navy to do it.

I'm not an expert on logistics, and I suspect neither are you, but I doubt the facilities exist at either Dover or Calais to handle such an operation, and that's before you even start to think about organising the haulage to and from the port.
 

southshorepool

Well-known member
He's cracking under pressure from some of his backbenchers imo. They don't want a phased return of school kids because they know that puts back the dates of future easing. Sage have always said that, in their view the R rate could increase 0.5 with full opening of schools and that pushes us above 1....again. Potentially pushing us back into yet another raft of restrictions.
The vaccination programme is going well. Let's not fuck it up because some hard-line backbenchers are worried about their incomes.
For the first couple of weeks.
Reception to Year 2.
Year 10 or 11.

Last week of Term add another Year..6 in Primary and Year 8 in Secondary. The Year 8's appear to be the kids with least engagement online. The 7's, in my experience, are working really well.
 

Wizaard

Well-known member
How can schools all go back 8/3 and yet the rest of us have to stay locked up until Easter ?

Surely with most of the vulnerable categories scheduled to be vaccinated in time for the schools return they’ve got to slacken off a bit ?

I’ve been an advocate of tougher measures but it now seems they have gone too far the other way after delaying firm action when it was required.

With the lions share of transmission in school age children they can’t possibility justify schools all back in two weeks but no meet ups and shops staying closed for another six weeks



Families will be allowed to meet outdoors over Easter under plans being considered for Boris Johnson’s road map for easing lockdown restrictions.
The prime minister is expected to introduce new rules allowing two households to meet outdoors, regardless of their size.
The move goes further than the “rule of six”, which left some families unable to meet. Under the new plans two households would be able to meet outdoors from April while gatherings of six people from six different households would also be allowed.
The introduction of the rule of six caused cabinet divisions last year after several senior ministers, including Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, spoke out against it. They argued that the limit should be at least eight, amid concerns that it penalised families from different households by barring them from meeting.
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, backed the measure at the time amid concerns that mixing by households was spreading the virus.


The plans will be included in the prime minister’s road map, which is being launched on Monday. The document will include “tentative” early dates for easing the lockdown and reopening the economy, starting with the return of schools on March 8.

However, social distancing will remain in place for months to come along with the wearing of facemasks and advice that people should work from home where possible. The document is expected to include dates for those policies to be formally reviewed, in an attempt to appease Tory MPs who are pushing for all lockdown restrictions to be eased at the end of May.


The Times reported earlier this week that ministers were considering whether to allow people to go on self-catering holidays for the Easter break. Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, confirmed yesterday that he hopes to enable limited tourism over the Easter period.

“What we will work on . . . is the possibility — and it is only that — of some limited reopening around Easter of self-contained accommodation only,” Drakeford said. “Places where people don’t mix with other people, where there aren’t shared facilities. That is how we began the reopening of tourism in Wales. If we can bring that forward to Easter, I know that would be a huge relief to many hundreds of thousands of families in Wales.”

He did not say whether people from other parts of Britain would be able to visit — in particular residents of England who own caravans or second homes in Wales.

Professor Neil Ferguson, an architect of the first lockdown, told Today on BBC Radio 4 that people would be isolating “forevermore” if the desire was to eliminate Covid-19.

“We’re not going to eliminate globally so we won’t eliminate here,” he said. “I would like to see this virus become like influenza and managed in similar ways.

“I think the one thing this pandemic has generated is a whole new generation of vaccines which frankly are much more effective than the influenza vaccines we typically use year to year. And so I think long-term we do have very promising prospects for pulling down the burden of disease, the mortality caused by this virus.”

Britain yesterday recorded 533 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test, with the seven-day total down 27.7 per cent on the previous week. A further 12,027 cases were recorded, with the seven-day total down 20.3 per cent. The latest government R estimate for the whole of the UK is between 0.6 and 0.9 compared with 0.7 and 0.9 last week.

Sarah Crofts, senior statistician for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “While we are seeing a welcome further decrease in infection rates across the UK in the week ending 12 February, the numbers do still remain high and are similar to infection levels seen at the end of November.”

Mike Tildesley, a member of the government’s SPI-M modelling group, has warned about reopening too quickly and seeing the R number rising again.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We do know any form of reopening will cause the R number to go up so that needs very, very careful monitoring. “The vaccination campaign is going very, very well . . . but where we need to be careful is if we open too quickly and don’t allow the vaccination programme to help us, we run the [risk] of things resurging a little bit. I totally appreciate and understand the need to get children back in the classroom . . . the key thing for me is we need to do it in a way that schools don’t have to close again.”
Once bitten twice shy. They've disastrously relaxed lockdown twice and can't afford another, so there's an element of cautiousness. Pity it's taken two completely avoidable surges to get us to this position.
 

seasideone

Well-known member
Ahhhhh, photographs, hang around in one place long enough and you'll be able to make it look like the place is rammed 24/7.

Don't believe everything you read in the press.

‘photos, actual video and first hand accounts reported on many major news channels’ - which I think is good enough for most.


Countries that tend to be in the middle of nowhere, with limited communications with the outside world or otherwise away from the main areas of infection.

‘Many countries in Asia acted much faster and harder than the west and controlled it’


I'm not an expert on logistics, and I suspect neither are you, but I doubt the facilities exist at either Dover or Calais to handle such an operation, and that's before you even start to think about organising the haulage to and from the port - we can do most things if we really wanted to - you could even dump the trailers on current ferries and have them picked up at the other end and visa versa - it just takes imagination to work it out.
 

BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
I wonder if you had it and had no symptoms, but managed to pass it on to someone who died??

We will never know 👍
It’s possible I suppose, but considering I’ve come into contact with less than a dozen people in the past 12 months, and most of them were outside, I would very much doubt it.

👍
 

SEASIDE2020

Well-known member
How can schools all go back 8/3 and yet the rest of us have to stay locked up until Easter ?

Surely with most of the vulnerable categories scheduled to be vaccinated in time for the schools return they’ve got to slacken off a bit ?

I’ve been an advocate of tougher measures but it now seems they have gone too far the other way after delaying firm action when it was required.

With the lions share of transmission in school age children they can’t possibility justify schools all back in two weeks but no meet ups and shops staying closed for another six weeks


I think they have been too cautious.

The virus kills the elderly and vulnerable.

I hate the "media controls everything line" but surely we wouldn't be reacting like we have without 24 news ?

A great question to raise with unlimited discussion points.
 

SEASIDE2020

Well-known member
Totally agree, they’ll be banning motorways next because there was a crash on the M6 last week. A-roads only! It’s just not safe.

That's my line when folk tell me we have to do this and that because so many people have died:

If there was a fatal road accident in Blackpool would everybody walk to work the next day ?
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
‘Many countries in Asia acted much faster and harder than the west and controlled it’

I found this recently: https://www.umaryland.edu/news/arch...tial-spread-and-seasonality-for-covid-19-.php, it's dates to March 2020 and essentially they observe that significant outbreaks are related to climatic conditions, which placed Europe and the US firmly in the firing line and much of Asia outside of it.

Their predictions appear to correlate strongly with the final outcomes.

Also, since Singapore locked down "much harder and faster", could you explain why the cases there were 3 - 7 times as high as in the UK across the summer?
 

SEASIDE2020

Well-known member
TAM, in a nutshell my personal opinion is that the Government can’t be over cautious
There is far too much at risk by taking a blasé attitude and I think lessons have been learnt, particularly when he eased restrictions over Christmas.
It’s no coincidence that infection rates and Covid related deaths soared after that period.
As some have allured to in this thread, damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

Eternal

I say over cautious but fair points and certainly damned if does and damned if he doesn't.
 

BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
They could have passed it on after getting from you without knowing it and so on....

We can go on all day, but you will never know whatever you say 👍
They could, but they haven’t..

You’ve just made an assumption about the statement I made, to the effect that by ignoring government advice I have chosen to increase my risk profile.

Now you are doubling down on your assumption, because you’ve already started digging so you might as well carry on.
 

seasideone

Well-known member
I found this recently: https://www.umaryland.edu/news/arch...tial-spread-and-seasonality-for-covid-19-.php, it's dates to March 2020 and essentially they observe that significant outbreaks are related to climatic conditions, which placed Europe and the US firmly in the firing line and much of Asia outside of it.

Their predictions appear to correlate strongly with the final outcomes.

Also, since Singapore locked down "much harder and faster", could you explain why the cases there were 3 - 7 times as high as in the UK across the summer?
When it is peer reviewed with evidence I will take it seriously👍 pulling up any old report doesn’t cut it to be fair.

It was also published about a year ago and we have learnt a lot more since then, like it’s not the weather itself, it’s whether you are in or outside.

Regarding cases in Singapore, the vast majority were in the workers dorms which spread like wild fire - the government locked the dorms down and stopped it spreading outside that part of the population.

They built quarantine centres to put the workers in while testing and isolating the infected.

It’s that word ‘quarantine’ again - when you know where it is or could be - you lock down quickly and enforce.

The death toll stayed very low (currently 29 - that’s not thousand by the way) mainly because the workers tended to be younger and fitter than most.
 

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten the vulnerable have been vaccinated?
That's my point and let's get it right lockdowns are meant to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed not offer a long term solution
The deaths are dropping rapidly and those stats are 2-3 weeks behind infection
If people aren't dying from the virus you must surely accept it's time to start lifting restrictions
 

seasideone

Well-known member
They could, but they haven’t..

You’ve just made an assumption about the statement I made, to the effect that by ignoring government advice I have chosen to increase my risk profile.

Now you are doubling down on your assumption, because you’ve already started digging so you might as well carry on.
I’ve just said you will never know - which you will not - however many times you say otherwise 👍
 

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
My neighbour works in track and trace and the biggest source of the spread according to her, can be traced to school kids.

Keep the schools closed and open the pubs, I say. 😉
There was clear evidence that the primary source in the build up to xmas was schools
I'm not spending time digging it out - Lost can look for it himself
it's fairly obvious anyway with pubs and restaurants shut that it wasn't them acting as super spreaders despite the attempt to portray them as such
 

Wizaard

Well-known member
When it is peer reviewed with evidence I will take it seriously👍 pulling up any old report doesn’t cut it to be fair.

It was also published about a year ago and we have learnt a lot more since then, like it’s not the weather itself, it’s whether you are in or outside.

Regarding cases in Singapore, the vast majority were in the workers dorms which spread like wild fire - the government locked the dorms down and stopped it spreading outside that part of the population.

They built quarantine centres to put the workers in while testing and isolating the infected.

It’s that word ‘quarantine’ again - when you know where it is or could be - you lock down quickly and enforce.

The death toll stayed very low (currently 29 - that’s not thousand by the way) mainly because the workers tended to be younger and fitter than most.
29 compared to 120,000. Yet they're wrong?
 

BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
I’ve just said you will never know - which you will not - however many times you say otherwise 👍
You assumed by ignoring government advice that I meant I was engaging in activity that increased my risk of transmission.

In actual fact I have done the opposite...

It may be possible by some magical, highly improbable twist of fate and probability that I may have unwittingly caught the virus from one of the tiny number of people I have stood within 2 meters of..then without showing any symptoms myself passed it on to another of those small number, who also showed no symptoms etc...

Though, in my case, there would be significantly LESS chance of that happening than for many people who have followed guidelines...

So on that basis.... Precisely what point are you trying to make?
 

seasideone

Well-known member
You assumed by ignoring government advice that I meant I was engaging in activity that increased my risk of transmission.

In actual fact I have done the opposite...

It may be possible by some magical, highly improbable twist of fate and probability that I may have unwittingly caught the virus from one of the tiny number of people I have stood within 2 meters of..then without showing any symptoms myself passed it on to another of those small number, who also showed no symptoms etc...

Though, in my case, there would be significantly LESS chance of that happening than for many people who have followed guidelines...

So on that basis.... Precisely what point are you trying to make?
That you will never know for sure whatever you say 👍
 
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