Coronavirus

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Only masks in public transport here.
Numbers of infected people are rising (mostly the non vaccinated). Not looking forward to a 3rd wave... if/whenever that happens.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Just got my second AstraZeneca dose today.

Funnily enough, it seems that today is also going to be the day when Boris Johnson is going to confirm that life would go back to normal in the UK on 19th July, ditching the need to wear face masks in spite of the significant rise in the number of cases in the last few days and against the advice of scientists and doctors. I am not sure if having appointed a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (without any background in Public Health), who thinks we need to learn to live with this virus like we do with the flu before all adults are vaccinated, does completely explain the amount of stupidity of the donkeys leading this country.
In England.

Scotland, Wales and NI are making their own decisions independently, even if Westminster is putting pressure on them to conform. I think they're definitely going to do it in England this time, though, including getting rid of all workplace precautions. All the old 'it's nothing but a head cold', and 'the little people need to stop being lazy and get back behind their work stations', type stereotypes are coming out again, despite advice from medical professionals. Industry lobby groups say they want city centres to be 'buzzing' and want the Government to promote that public transport is 100% safe. Chickenpox party time again.

Ministers are on one hand saying that Covid precautions are going to be personal responsibility or up to business owners, and on the other all saying they personally won't be wearing masks after July 19. Ignoring the fact that Israel, the poster boy of vaccination rollout, is bringing masks back in. I can see the public sector, including the NHS, being a battleground very shortly. The DVLA offices in Wales are already involved in long running industrial action since a serious office outbreak in which a member of staff died, and a terrible lack of precautions in the workplace.

I'm increasingly convinced that Matt Hancock was exposed by his own party. Not sure if it's because he opposed Boris on something, or because they don't like Javid and will make him a fall guy if Covid policy goes wrong.
Just got my second - Moderna, this time. We're mixing the mRNA vaccines here based on availability. By the time all is said and done, most Canadians will have at least one shot of mRNA vaccines - less than a million will have two AstraZeneca. We're still being very cautious about re-opening, which I think, given case resurgence in the UK and the US South, is very prudent.
I know another Canadian who got AZ for his first and Pfizer for his second. Apparently research is showing this is highly successful. I'd like to think we'll be offered an mRNA for a booster, but seeing as that's ringfenced for younger people, I reckon it'll be the Janssen one. Possibly Novavax, which is different technology again.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
In England.

Scotland, Wales and NI are making their own decisions independently, even if Westminster is putting pressure on them to conform. I think they're definitely going to do it in England this time, though, including getting rid of all workplace precautions. All the old 'it's nothing but a head cold', and 'the little people need to stop being lazy and get back behind their work stations', type stereotypes are coming out again, despite advice from medical professionals. Industry lobby groups say they want city centres to be 'buzzing' and want the Government to promote that public transport is 100% safe. Chickenpox party time again.

Ministers are on one hand saying that Covid precautions are going to be personal responsibility or up to business owners, and on the other all saying they personally won't be wearing masks after July 19. Ignoring the fact that Israel, the poster boy of vaccination rollout, is bringing masks back in. I can see the public sector, including the NHS, being a battleground very shortly. The DVLA offices in Wales are already involved in long running industrial action since a serious office outbreak in which a member of staff died, and a terrible lack of precautions in the workplace.

I'm increasingly convinced that Matt Hancock was exposed by his own party. Not sure if it's because he opposed Boris on something, or because they don't like Javid and will make him a fall guy if Covid policy goes wrong.

Thanks. I have now corrected the original message to reflect that the changes will apply to England (the other countries, especially Wales and Scotland, are far more sensible).

Ditching masks indoors at this stage of the pandemic is bonkers. Let's hope the rushed decisions do not end up facilitating the appearance of new variants that are resistant to the vaccines.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Let's hope the rushed decisions do not end up facilitating the appearance of new variants that are resistant to the vaccines.
This is actually the biggest risk, internationally. I'm tempted to see if there's a bookie accepting bets on the UK being the country that produces the variant that hamstrings all the current vaccines.

The current 30 deaths per day and 300 hospitalisations a day also aren't exactly a success story comparable to winter flu season, IMO.
 

Black Abyss Babe

Quantum weather butterfly
I think they're definitely going to do it in England this time, though, including getting rid of all workplace precautions. All the old 'it's nothing but a head cold', and 'the little people need to stop being lazy and get back behind their work stations', type stereotypes are coming out again, despite advice from medical professionals.
I hope the learned-the-hard-way lessons about basic hygeine won't be forgotten though ...
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Going by my mum seeing a maskless guy sneeze into his hand and then grasp the handrail of a flight of stairs in a shop, probably not
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
My view of buses, or rather my view of the way people behave on buses, was deteriorating before this started too. It's like there's a view that buses are filthy anyway so you can be as dirty and antisocial as you like. I really don't want to go back to them.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Yesterday evening I realised that I had my second jab on the day the NHS turned 73 years old!

I raise my glass to Nye Bevan and all the people who have made and continue to make the NHS something to be proud of.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I once did an interview with a woman who campaigned for him (actually on the streets with banners and so forth) in her younger days. Sadly, as a disabled pensioner, local care services let her down badly. She was a fascinating person, though., really gutsy.

I'm noticing a shift in Covid media coverage. Previously the BBC appeared to be asking searching questions whenever Boris and Co were making noises about Freedom Day and Eat out To Help Out, etc. Now that the PM has actually announced they're going to ditch practically all Covid regulations on July 19, that cases are going to rises and people will die but it's the only way forward, the BBC have shown a shift to a similar stance, or at least in their online content has definitely gone that way. And even more bizarrely, a couple of the previously populist-leaning media outlets have started doing the questioning and scepticism about ditching restrictions.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
The prospect of a fourth wave in August/September is deeply troubling. Most recommendations/restrictions are set to expire soon here as well, and some have been mitigated already.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I think it's possible to restart events, reopen nightclubs, boost business and stop mass school absences without ditching absolutely everything.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I think it's possible to restart events, reopen nightclubs, boost business and stop mass school absences without ditching absolutely everything.

But you are not a Tory! ;)

I was having a similar conversation with people my age (mid 40s) earlier today. What is wrong with wearing a mask indoors at, for example, gigs? I'd rather do that for as long as it is necessary to make sure that positive cases do not go through the roof (making the appearance of new variants resistant to vaccines much more likely) than endure another lockdown!
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I once did an interview with a woman who campaigned for him (actually on the streets with banners and so forth) in her younger days. Sadly, as a disabled pensioner, local care services let her down badly. She was a fascinating person, though., really gutsy.

That is interesting. I bet she had many good stories to tell!

The welfare state is not perfect and some aspects, particularly local care, need to be improved significantly, but I would say - you can call me a socialist - it is one of the best things that came out of the 20th century.

I'm noticing a shift in Covid media coverage. Previously the BBC appeared to be asking searching questions whenever Boris and Co were making noises about Freedom Day and Eat out To Help Out, etc. Now that the PM has actually announced they're going to ditch practically all Covid regulations on July 19, that cases are going to rises and people will die but it's the only way forward, the BBC have shown a shift to a similar stance, or at least in their online content has definitely gone that way. And even more bizarrely, a couple of the previously populist-leaning media outlets have started doing the questioning and scepticism about ditching restrictions.

It seemed as if Laura Kuenssberg, that famous Boris sycophant, had taken control of the BBC online today!
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
The prospect of a fourth wave in August/September is deeply troubling. Most recommendations/restrictions are set to expire soon here as well, and some have been mitigated already.

Even more so considering how many people/politicians are still considering this virus to be something seasonal!
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I suppose there is the possibility of it being even worse in winter when more people are crammed together indoors and windows are shut. I do wonder if the chickenpox party line of thinking is still involved here. Get it all over and done with this year, forget about it next year, or get it all over and done with before the winter and flu kicks in too.

To be fair, even healthcare experts who have been quite critical of the way the pandemic has been handled seem reasonably confident at the moment. I wonder how pragmatic they're being rather than humanitarian, though.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I suppose there is the possibility of it being even worse in winter when more people are crammed together indoors and windows are shut. I do wonder if the chickenpox party line of thinking is still involved here. Get it all over and done with this year, forget about it next year, or get it all over and done with before the winter and flu kicks in too.

To be fair, even healthcare experts who have been quite critical of the way the pandemic has been handled seem reasonably confident at the moment. I wonder how pragmatic they're being rather than humanitarian, though.

There seems to be differing opinions in the scientific community, that’s true. Vaccines appear to be working (i.e. hospital admissions are not rising by any means as fast as positive cases this time), but the chickenpox party approach favoured by the UK government risks having more dangerous variants in the near future. This could be potentially lethal in winter, when health services are under a lot of pressure.

The Spanish flu pandemic lasted more than 2 years in a world much less interconnected than the one we are living in and killed more than 50 million people (my great-grandfather among them). Although I think the death toll will, thankfully, end up being lower in the current pandemic, I am not sure it is going to be over any time soon…
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Also this isn't flu, it's a lot more difficult to model and understanding is still limited. There's a big risk that new variants could keep undoing the vaccine and treatment protections and keep this running a lot further into the future. Then the best hope really would be to focus more efforts on mRNA vaccine technology - they have to potential to be developed a lot more quickly than conventional vaccines, which could be essential to keep up with new variants.

From what I've read, the only reason the AZ vaccine was produced so quickly is because the same research organisation previously worked on developing a MERS vaccine (also a coronavirus), and had already developed the ChAdOx viral vector. All that was required was the spike protein encoding from the new virus.
 
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