Lockdowns

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Ben

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Jul 28, 2013
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Following on from this being mentioned in other threads, I thought it would be worth discussing the following question.

Do we accept that lockdowns and restrictions are inevitable or acknowledge that Covid-19 is here to stay and try to get on with our lives?

Would be interested to read people’s views on this.
 

Ben

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Without a functioning test & trace system I think lockdowns are pretty much inevitable

And that is a failure of government who boasted of producing a ‘world-beating’ one.

We may or may not get a vaccine and even if we do, the virus may still very much be about in the same way as flu. I don’t think in the long term, we as a country and globally, can afford to bear the huge economic and social costs of lockdowns and there will have to come a time when we live our lives and indeed learn to live with the virus.
 

richard webb

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Aug 7, 2013
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Ben, I think lockdowns and restrictions are inevitable. The problem is that there are many people who have COPD, asthma or problems like MND where they need to use NIV (non-intrusive ventialtion) at least part of the day and are thus very vulnerable to Covid. They and their families need to shield to prevent the potential for infection. I don't want to catch it (for me) but am much more concerned for my wife who has 2 NIV machines, the second in case the first fails. I don't know what percentage of the country are vulnerable but the lockdowns and restrictions are more to protect them I believe than anything else
Having said all of that I acknowledge we are going down the pan fast because of Covid, and of course it is not helped by a lack of clear guidance from the government.
 

Knutsfordian

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Dec 18, 2014
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Before everyone rips into the current test, track and trace systems, lets first have an understanding of what a massive piece of business and IT engineering this system is. On the face of it its easy - develop a test, send it out, get it back, get the results and job done. Anyone who has been in large industry scale development will tell you what a massive undertaking this really is - and I suspect all those stood on the side lines throwing brick bats have never been close to developing anything like this ever. Developing tests that work, procuring materials, creating and scaling production, creating customer systems, delivery mechanisms, help lines, medical support systems, exception reports, management information, cost controls, IT design, build, test, licences, contracts, create infrastructure, recruit lots of people across the organisation with all sorts of skills, train them, roll out, ongoing operations and service design and delivery and then bring it all together and make it work in weeks not months. It really is vast. And those who think this was going to happen without any issues are in cuckoo land. The simple failure of a system administrator to manage a file size is national news. For gods sake !! New businesses of this size usually come to market in years not weeks ! So there's lots of commentators who really do need to get a grip, never managed anything in their lives and have no understanding of what's involved whatsoever. Right so there will be cockups and they best that can happen is they get fixed quickly and we all move on.

Will there be more lock downs? Well the government got slaughtered for not doing enough in the early part of the year. Were told they should have done more sooner and looked what was happening abroad. Should have stopped travel, introduced quarantine and so on. So now they act, copy some of the moves from abroad - and guess what. People still don't like it. We can't have it both ways. Nor can we afford to keep everyone on furlough. So bottom line is that mistakes will be made, shit happens, not everyone escapes, life will be a mess, people need to look after themselves and not take risks with themselves or others - and if you do accept the consequences.

If/When a vaccine does become available there will be another outrage about who gets one of the 30million vaccines. The media will rage about we didn't buy enough - but if we bought more they would rage about how we are disadvantaging other countries with our selfish colonialism and so on.

Conclusion - switch off the media, keep your head down, do what you have to do, look after the oldies, accept that people are trying their best but at times get it wrong and save the rage until its all over.
 
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Andy

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Knutsfordian raises a good point.

What is the alternative to Excel? The program already exists, so it’s far quicker than developing a new program. But also it’s software package that has a large pool of experienced and qualified users for the government to tap in to to use.

Its not perfect, but perfection takes a lot of time.

This is the product of civil servants working as fast as they could in less than ideal conditions at home.
 

Ben

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You make some good points, Knutsfordian. Think my point is that the government has had six months to get test, track and trace right and has failed. Nobody can call it ‘world-beating.’

The British public will rightly feel like they’ve done their bit in trying to follow quite confusing and contradictory rules and giving up many freedoms and liberties, yet the government hasn’t done its own side of the bargain. And then you have the likes of Cummings, Ferguson and the SNP MP who can’t follow the rules which they set us.

No wonder many are getting frustrated and wondering why they bother.
 
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Andy

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The government and the public have lost their way. For many it’s gone away from “flattening the curve” to trying to completely eradicate something that endemic.

The government has gone down a rabbit hole of slapping out restrictions willy nilly. The lack of opposition from Labour is shockingly awful. Neither of them would get my vote anytime soon.

Bar a few Tory backbenchers, no one in the commons seem to give two hoots about peoples liberties
 
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Edge

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Knutsfordian raises a good point.

What is the alternative to Excel? The program already exists, so it’s far quicker than developing a new program. But also it’s software package that has a large pool of experienced and qualified users for the government to tap in to to use.

Its not perfect, but perfection takes a lot of time.

This is the product of civil servants working as fast as they could in less than ideal conditions at home.

Mysql databases like we use here.
IMS or DB2
Oracle
Even MS access
 

Andy

Too much time on my hands
Jul 28, 2013
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Totally missed my point Edge.

My point was the track and trace system was the result of civil servants working round the clock. It’s easy to snipe their efforts
 

Ben

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The government and the public have lost their way. For many it’s gone away from “flattening the curve” to trying to completely eradicate something that endemic.

The government has gone down a rabbit hole of slapping out restrictions willy nilly. The lack of opposition from Labour is shockingly awful. Neither of them would get my vote anytime soon.

Bar a few Tory backbenchers, no one in the commons seem to give two hoots about peoples liberties
Indeed. Flattening the curve has gone to eradicating the virus at all costs, however unrealistic that may be.
That’s not what we signed up for. No wonder people are fed up.
 

Knutsfordian

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Dec 18, 2014
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I suspect that the front end systems would be built on Mainframes or something equivalent with industrial strength data base software supporting large parts of the systems. Its likely the Excel bit comes in at the end for building MIS information and the graphs that we see on the telly. However, my point would be that the whole end to end process is massive and to build this in weeks is a massive task and there are bound to be integration issues.

I have seen in the news that local councils want local track and trace - again this betrays a real understanding of how these systems could work. Lots of local dysfunctional systems that don't talk to each other, can't track people moving across boundaries (students for example), duplication, cost controls, everyone going their own way. It would be like having the hundreds of rate collection systems we have now, but whilst properties are on set foundations - people move about !!!

The same goes for councils who want to set their own lockdown measures. Can you imagine if Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham et al each devise their own lockdown measures - it will make the current issues look like a walk in the park. Then there's the added issue of who pays. No doubt local (labour run) councils will want the UK govt to fund their programmes whilst Rishi wants to control costs and keep business working.

Against that background we have 4000 scientists saying we should go for herd immunity. The loss of life at the start of the year resulted in the government getting a pasting and now the same commentators are saying this is the way forward ! A lot of people need to get a grip. WE can't hammer the govt for not going into l;ock down and then hammer them again for putting restrictions in place

It would be far better to have a cross party workgroup to set the rules and to stop all the nonsense.
 

Andy

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You can hammer the government if you think there should have never been a full lockdown in the first place, So I will. They were set on a course similar to Sweden, and a Neil Ferguson published an absolutely bogus model, and a few people shouted “that’s problematic” and the government lost its bottle and changed direction, U turn number one.

Fast forward 7 months, life in Stockholm is looking sweet. Cases aren’t rising sharply, life is relatively normal, and the mental health of the nation is very well, not in tatters in like in this country where people have frightened themselves stiff.

Essential to protect the vulnerable, and it’s hard to protect the vulnerable in a collapsed economy. The virus endemic, it’s here to stay - protect the vulnerable, and rather than place perfectly healthy people under house arrest, allow them to keep the country going so it is in a strong enough position to properly care for the Vulnerable.

What I find interesting, is when you look on Social Media and the news, those people that were so concerned about how Brexit might damage the futures of young people, now don’t give two hoots about how these lockdowns will effect the futures of young people. Funny that, maybe caring about the young is only an argument they pretend to care about when it suits them?
 
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Knutsfordian

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I think the difference was that the infection rate was way out of control and that the real danger was the NHS would be swamped as they were in Spain and Italy, so the govt were forced to change tack. I don't think any government could have survived if say the death rate had doubled.

So there are two schools - suppress the virus, or let it go unfettered. Would be a very brave man to let it go unfettered
 

Andy

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Jul 28, 2013
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I think the difference was that the infection rate was way out of control and that the real danger was the NHS would be swamped as they were in Spain and Italy, so the govt were forced to change tack. I don't think any government could have survived if say the death rate had doubled.

So there are two schools - suppress the virus, or let it go unfettered. Would be a very brave man to let it go unfettered

Not unfettered, but also don’t try and eliminate it. It’s endemic now in Europe.

There’s a reasonable middle ground, but these days people seem to have to be 100% pro or 100% against something which is ridiculous.

Keep some social distancing procedures in place, such as in workplaces, schools and supermarkets.

But the government has no right to control what you do in your own home, it shouldn’t be illegal to have your mother round for a brew. That’s insane.

A recent study, showed that for people 48 and below, seasonal flu is more deadly than Covid to them.

Allow them out to work, to learn and spend money in businesses. A functioning economy allow the country to properly protect the vulnerable and elderly in the long run, and you need to think of the long run now with a virus here to stay.
 

Knutsfordian

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Dec 18, 2014
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I agree with a lot of what you are saying - it really is down to common sense.

Trouble is when the rules are relaxed and people asked to use common sense 1) they can't and 2) they complain the guidelines are too loose and want more clearly defined rules !!

Then we get loads of crap about mixed messaging and the media saying the govt doesn't know its ar$e from it elbow, Labour complaining the Govt needs to decide what it wants, give more local controls, Metro mayors to be consulted and so on. Piers Morgan is exhorting Angela Rayner that Labour should vote against the Govt measures and oppose further lockdown, whilst in the next breath praising NIchola Sturgeon for strong leadership and more lock downs in Scotland and then berating Matt Hancock for trying to lay out the rationale for restrictions. You couldn't make it up !

So overall there's no consensus on what should be in place and not likely to be unless there's a sudden calming down across the political spectrum. If Kier oStarmer/Boris JOhnson are serious about being statesman like they should take a core team to Whitehall. Sit down with Matt Hancock and agree measures that cut across party lines and stop all the rehetoric from politicians and media
 
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Edge

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Totally missed my point Edge.

My point was the track and trace system was the result of civil servants working round the clock. It’s easy to snipe their efforts
it is easy to snipe - but any half-decent IT team wouldn't have made that mistake.
Maybe you rush it in but then over the next 6 months you get it fixed
 
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Ben

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The tide is slowly changing. The Daily Mail have a front page today with a story about 4,000 medical experts and doctors calling for life to return to normal for everyone with the exception of some elderly and vulnerable people. They have called for these groups to be protected while everyone else builds up herd immunity. Good to see some critical media coverage of lockdowns, there has been far too little of that.
 

Knutsfordian

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There are now (at least ) 2 groups of scientists trying to influence the Govt to go one way or the other. If death rates rise the media will pummel the Govt, so they are always going to go with safety first now. We need a cross bench working group to try and make calm, reasoned decisions