Interesting phase in the pandemic

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Octavious
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Interesting phase in the pandemic

#1 Post by Octavious » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:12 am

As many of you know, the UK has been largely back to normal as far as Covid-19 is concerned for several months now. It is common once again to see trains jammed full of people, and the road network feels as busy as it ever was. In the background coronavirus cases have oscillated around the 35,000 a day mark, with deaths at a little over a hundred (roughly equivalent to the numbers seen in flu season).

In the last week however, during an upwards oscillation, there was a big push by various campaign groups (including the opposition parties) to implement "plan b". This would have essentially involved reintroducing various measures such as enforced mask wearing. The idea being to head off any winter rise that might be on the cards.

The government has resisted this attempt to restrict the freedoms of the British people, and have pointed to various models, such as that produced by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and others by Imperial College and Warwick University, that suggest case numbers will fall soon regardless.

So we have an interesting situation. Had the government given in to pressure and implemented plan b then any subsequent fall would have been trumpeted as proof positive that mask wearing is an effective tool, as happened in other places that introduced masks and saw eventual falls. We now get to observe one of the closest things to a control group you will get in the pandemic.

Let's see what happens.
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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#2 Post by taylor4 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:58 pm

STATISTIC Sadistic ( SCHISMATIC ? ) - Does Johnson have 6 children? And are they of age to get whatever - Stay Safe, as they always say; what do you always say?

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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#3 Post by Octavious » Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:59 pm

No, didn't catch any of that :-)
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orathaic
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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#4 Post by orathaic » Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:24 pm

~93% of the UK population have evidence of antibodies.

So yeah, you should he seeing a reduction in cases shortly. Still, Ireland seems to he doing pretty badly, until we look over and see your case numbers!

And according to this research: https://youtu.be/FVBzaTnDZKo (see links in video description). 97 thousand excess deaths over the course of the pandemic.

That is less than the 138 thousand deaths (within 28 days of a positive covid test), as many of those would have been expected to die anyway in the past 18 months.

So when you are done, you can tell me howuch freedom to not wear a mask means to the 97,000 corpses who never have to worry about freedoms again.

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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#5 Post by Octavious » Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:14 am

orathaic wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:24 pm
So when you are done, you can tell me howuch freedom to not wear a mask means to the 97,000 corpses who never have to worry about freedoms again.
Ora, you're supposedly an intelligent person. That is an utterly ludicrous comment and you know it. The vast majority of those people died during the period where mask usage was a legal requirement, and even the strongest proponents of mask wearing don't pretend that they have more than a modest impact. In terms of the impact of Covid-19, the UK just about slips in to the top ten most impacted nations, at a similar level to Italy and Poland, and considerably better off than the likes of the Czech Republic and Hungary.
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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#6 Post by Octavious » Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:20 pm

*that should read top ten most impacted European nations. Factor in the rest of the world and we're outside the top 20
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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#7 Post by orathaic » Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:08 pm

Octavious wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:14 am
orathaic wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:24 pm
So when you are done, you can tell me howuch freedom to not wear a mask means to the 97,000 corpses who never have to worry about freedoms again.
Ora, you're supposedly an intelligent person. That is an utterly ludicrous comment and you know it. The vast majority of those people died during the period where mask usage was a legal requirement, and even the strongest proponents of mask wearing don't pretend that they have more than a modest impact. In terms of the impact of Covid-19, the UK just about slips in to the top ten most impacted nations, at a similar level to Italy and Poland, and considerably better off than the likes of the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Why thank you; i do appreciate the compliment.

The point remains, a minor restriction (wearing masks when you are sick or in shared public spaces) seems like a small cost to trade for saving some (of the 97,000) lives.

Saying 'they died while masks were required', isn't really an effective argument, like perhaps the number would have been much higher if we didn't have masks (not because it isn't a moderate effect, but because the virus spreads exponentially, and lockdowns hurt everyone - so the sooner you have to have one the more people lose work, or get delayed medical treatment... etc.)

Yes, things are much safer now that a majority are vaccinated (though i would hate to look at the figures in some US states); still how many excess deaths are an acceptable number of excess deaths?

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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#8 Post by Octavious » Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:55 am

orathaic wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:08 pm
The point remains, a minor restriction (wearing masks when you are sick or in shared public spaces) seems like a small cost to trade for saving some (of the 97,000) lives.
Wearing masks when you are sick is utterly pointless as you should be self isolating, thus negating any potential positive impact of the mask.

And here we also see the major flaw in the pro-mask argument. "some (of the 97,000)". Even at this stage there's no idea how many lives wearing masks would potentially save. Is it a couple of thousand? A couple of hundred? A couple? Or even, as the scientific concensus was saying at the start of the pandemic, a negative figure?

Wales have maintained a mask mandate whilst England has not, and has higher rates of infection. Now I'm not going to pretend that this amounts to proof positive or negative regarding facemasks, but it is a compelling argument to suggest that as a factor in the Covid-19 equation, whatever facemasks are they are a relatively minor one.

orathaic wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:08 pm
Yes, things are much safer now that a majority are vaccinated (though i would hate to look at the figures in some US states); still how many excess deaths are an acceptable number of excess deaths?
My answer is that I find myself comfortable with the status quo. I put the same question back to you. Covid-19 will likely never go away, and will linger in the background being the cause of death in much the same way as flu always has. So, what level of deaths will you be comfortable with before you believe that mandatory mitigation can be lifted?
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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#9 Post by orathaic » Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:35 pm

What level? 41,000 deaths in the UK would have been 0 excess deaths. (that is the lower 137k figure less the 97k excess). That would be perfectly acceptable.

Though working out when you are at that level is rather difficult as it is based on a statistical measurement of all death, not of the current daily figured of only covid deaths.
And here we also see the major flaw in the pro-mask argument. "some (of the 97,000)". Even at this stage there's no idea how many lives wearing masks would potentially save. Is it a couple of thousand? A couple of hundred? A couple? Or even, as the scientific concensus was saying at the start of the pandemic, a negative figure?
So your responce is, "it is hard to measure so let's just ignore"

Not the smartest approach if you ask me.

And as for the initial decision to prioritise masks for medical staff while there was a global supply shortage (failure of national stockpiling and pandemic preparedness as it was). It makes some sense to prevent the at risk medical staff so they could treat the largest number of people instead of having large numbers of staff unavailable while the first waved airgead... And they could even claim there was no evidence masks prevented covid (because it was early enough that nobody had enough evidence) even while they prioritised medical staff.

There is much you could criticise in that (I'm not claiming the states in question made all the right decisions), but i don't see how you would infer there was evidence that masks don't work. And of course medical staff dealing with infections are going to want to protect themselves. Even in the hope that their ppe would work, before any evidence was collected.

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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#10 Post by Octavious » Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:22 pm

orathaic wrote:
Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:35 pm
So your responce is, "it is hard to measure so let's just ignore"
Not at all. My response is that it is desirable to determine whether or not imposing harmful restrictions on the populace will have any positive impact prior to doing so. And let's not kid ourselves, masks are indeed harmful, with the degree of harm varying from mild irritation to highly traumatic depending on the individual. Now, earlier on in the height of the pandemic there was an argument for trying a great deal of things in the desperate hope that they might have an impact, and as we were coming out of lockdown there was a solid enough argument for keeping masks as a security blanket to help encourage people to emerge from their homes and contribute to the economy.

Now, however, we find ourselves nearly two years in and with the certainty that if masks had provided a large degree of assistance it would be blatantly obvious. That it isn't at all obvious is clear evidence that the benefits of mask wearing are at best rather modest. The economic argument for mask wearing has evaporated as people have returned to normal activity without them, so government imposed restrictions are no longer appropriate.
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Re: Interesting phase in the pandemic

#11 Post by orathaic » Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:26 pm

imposing harmful restrictions on the populace
Where did i suggest harmful restrictions? Like surgeons regularly wear masks for hours at a time while performing delicate surgery. There is pretty good evidence this is not harmful.

Are we talking about something else now? Like keeping kids home from school might be harmful.. definitely is harmful for some children.

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