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The Covid-19 Pandemic 
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Isn't Nature Wonderful

Things have a way of balancing out in a sort of Darwinian way. The reason why this world is here is because if things didn't balance, it wouldn't be. Only the worlds that achieve this balance survive; and it's the same with the things on the Earth. We are only here because we are in balance with the things around us, otherwise we would have died out; and it's the same with viruses, or there wouldn't be any. Herd immunity, or population immunity as I prefer to call it as I don't like being called part of a herd, is our way of surviving things like viruses. Virus survive by becoming more infectious and not killing their hosts through mutation. The more infectious a mutated virus becomes, the greater the percentage needed to achieve population immunity. Mutations also help counter any host resistance built up from exposure to the previous version of the virus.

Instead of working with nature and gently nudging it in the direction you'd like it to go by encouraging the virus to do its thing as quickly as possible, amongst the people it has least affect on, and reaching that population immunity percentage figure before it has chance to mutate, you can choose to fight it and show it who’s boss. The result of this for the UK has been 75,431 dead (as of 4 Jan 21), an overwhelmed National Health Service, and at least 3 mutated viruses which will find further mutilation easier than the original if they are comprised of multiple shorter RNA strands.

Key to this strategy of proving man is greater than nature has been the lockdown, proven time and time again not to work. Look at a graph of daily deaths and try to guess when the lockdowns occurred. The daily deaths smoothly rise and fall like nature taking a breath, contemptuously ignoring man’s interventions. Key to our lockdown approach has been shielding the vulnerable by locking them in their homes with the infected, and ensuring new infections can be brought into the house by members of the household going to work, going to supermarkets and going to raves.

In response to lockdowns not working, the government has imposed another one, this time closing schools, even though the Office of National Statistics (ONS) say the infection rate amongst teachers is the same as for other key workers, which is slightly less than in the general population.

In response to 'flattening the curve to protect the health service’ not working; a strategy that has been as successful as lockdowns, the government continues to attempt to flatten the curve. Wards full of non-ICU sick that could have been treated at home with the proper support and resources continue to be crowded into hospitals. ‘Nightingale’ emergency hospitals have been set up without staff to run them. The strategy of isolating the elderly by telling them to stay in their room for a year has probably been the government’s greatest success.

We are nearly one year on from the 1st lockdown in March 2020 and there is still no strategy; no practical way to isolate the elderly from the virus, no plan or resources in place to make effective isolation happen, and seemingly no clue as to how to stop the death toll in the elderly from rising.

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Last edited by Beerman on Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:44 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Vaccination in the UK

The UK has a problem. The Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 30 Dec 20 and roll-out started on 4 Jan 21. Population (herd) immunity is central to the vaccination programme as it determines the end date of the pandemic, and indicates the rate at which vaccinations has to proceed if a target end date is set.

Agreeing the population immunity percentage needed to end the pandemic has been a matter of some debate amongst experts. Some have said 60% is needed, some 80%; the lockdown adviser to the government, Professor Neil Fergusson reckons it’s 95%, which is damn near everyone. The difference between the 60% min and 95% max figures is significant, over 23 million people.

It’s no clearer when it comes to knowing how far along the path to population immunity the UK has come. The UK government position is that current population immunity is only around 5%, others I’ve heard say believe we are over 50%, and some believe it varies from city to city; maybe only 10% in some areas in Wales and the North of England, but over 50% in London or the South West.

Some believe we may have achieved herd immunity for the original variant, but now the percentage required has increased due to the increased infectiousness of the new variant. To summarise, the experts haven’t got a clue. My view from gained from personal experience of the city where I live, is the city has achieved immunity. I say this because of the number of crowded events I’ve attended from November 2019 through to the 1st lockdown in March 2020, where so many had coughs and colds, including me. It’s hard to see how 60% of the people couldn’t have caught it, including me. I’ve self-isolated 3 times with Covid-like symptoms, surely one of them must have been the real thing.

The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, enough to immunise 50 million people. Taking the government’s 5% figure for population immunity, these doses would achieve an 80% population immunity.

With ‘approval for use’ a formality, involving little more than a cursorily glance over trial data that they say had already been scrutinised during the trial, AstraZeneca has had time to productionise the vaccine to hit the ground running on the 4 Jan. Unfortunately this doesn’t appear to have happened, as initial vaccination rates have been, let’s say disappointing. With only 1.5 million vaccinated so far, of which maybe half were from the Pfizer vaccine, a revised target of 15 million has been set for mid February, requiring a 10 fold increase in production and roll-out.

An immediate target of 13 million vaccinations in the next 5 weeks has been set to get the programme back on course, which looks like the government is going for a steady-state rate of 10 million vaccinations per month. But remember, each person requires 2 jabs, so we need to be clear about terminology. If 2 jabs equal 1 vaccination, the 10 million vaccinations/month requires 20 million dose/month to be manufactured and injected into people’s arms. But the government seems to be equating 1 jab to 1 vaccination as the 1.5 million vaccinated so far have only had 1 jab. So the 10 million vaccinations per month target will only immunise 5 million people per month, that’s 10 months to immunise 50 million people to achieve 80% population immunity; and that’ assuming AstraZenica can increase production by 10-fold, the NHS can increase roll-out by 10-fold, there are no delays or hiccups, and the vaccine works on all mutations that comes its way over the next 10 months. Already concerns are being expressed over the South African Variant being resistant to the current vaccine.

Initially experts were saying the vaccine would end the pandemic by Spring. This seems to have been revised to Summer, and now some are saying Autumn. In my opinion, unless production and roll-out can be ramped up to 20 million doses/month, which at the moment only looks possible by securing doses of alternative vaccines like Sputnik V, and potentially the Johnson and Johnson and Novavax if they are approved, this epidemic is not only going to continue throughout 2021, but is likely to run into 2022, unless that is, the experts advising the government are wrong and we are close to population immunity. If that is the case, then it will die out naturally. I guess time will tell, but he problem we will have is, unless we can get the Covid mortality figures to reflect reality, i.e. deaths from Covid not deaths with Covid, and the same for hospitalisations, we will not know when it’s over.

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Last edited by Beerman on Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:51 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

I see the UK government have come clean at last and admitted the UK won't be fully vaccinated until the autumn. They haven't said October as such, but October is autumn. 'It'll all be over by Christmas' seems a reasonable assumption at this point, that is if new variants don't keep coming resulting in multiple vaccination programs running concurrently. The world is a big place to grow multiple coronavirus variants in.

One possible outcome which is looking increasing more likely based on case and death rates, is it will die out naturally, probably in the summer for the UK, before the UK vaccination program completes.

Another possibility is the variants increase and symptoms become less deadly and eventually it mutates into another common cold like coronavirus.

I'm not going to talk about the 3rd possibility.

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Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:34 pm
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Here's a brief interview by Sky News with a politician who actually is speaking some sense for a change. I was so taken aback by this event that I felt I should post it.



The interviewer, just like the scientists and the political opposition try to force him into a corner to win the argument that lockdowns should continue until the coronavirus is no longer a threat, that every life should be saved, that not to do so would make you a genocidal murderer. I have noticed that people spouting this line of argument tend not to be financially affected by the lockdowns, like the scientists, politicians and newsreaders who conduct such interviews and the media executives who employ them. Perhaps when the furlough eventually ends, as one day it must, more will join the cry to reopen to avoid evictions and widespread poverty. Maybe this is time for a socialist intervention and a compulsory redistribution of income from those not affected by the lockdowns to those that are, so that the pain is felt evenly across society.

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Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:01 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

The Big Picture

Or to put it another way; measuring the Deaths from Covid-19 in terms of ‘Years Of Life Lost’ rather than mortality rates. Years Of Life Lost is not widely banded around because it seems somewhat heartless, that is because it is aimed at the needs of the many rather than the needs of the few or the one. It is a socialist metric needed to fund socialist institutions like the National Health Service where there is insufficient money to treat everyone in high demand years. It’s used by the doctors that determine who gets the operation, or who gets the drug treatment; and it’s used to achieve the balance with the funding of hospital beds or ICUs. It’s as Stalin said “a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic", and society-level institutions like the NHS deal in cold statistics and national level funding. This quote was taken as an example of the heartlessness of socialism, and of Uncle Joe in particular, and perhaps there is some truth in that, but when you are faced with saving millions at the cost of losing thousands, it has to be like that. Then you have to decide who gets to be in the millions saved and who gets to be in the thousands lost, and Years Of Life Lost is one way of doing that. Adopting a system based on medical insurance is no less brutal, those that can afford it, regardless of age, get the potentially life-saving medical treatment they need, and those that cannot afford it don’t. The only way to avoid the choice would be to fund the NHS for maximum demand and have hospitals half empty most of the time.

The life expectancy in the UK is 81.52 years. It's calculated using formulas that calculate the life expectancy at birth, takes into account all the nasty things that might happen to you over your lifetime like disease, accidents, and being shot/stabbed/blown-up, and takes account of factors like environment, diet, poverty etc. I'm not sure if the figure it comes up with also takes genetics and ethnicity into account, but that's not important for now. As you get older, these things either happen to you or they don't, and if they don't, your life expectancy prediction gets longer. The retirement age in the UK is currently 66; life expectancy at birth would have been 70, but because those that have made it to 66 have survived all the stuff that life has thrown at them, their life expectancy is now 82. The people born today will have a life expectancy of 82, but by the time they get to 66 their life expectancy will probably be around 90, assuming the world survives that long. When we talk about a life expectancy of 82, we mean is there is a 50:50 chance of making it to 82, not that you will make it to 82. Someone who makes it to 82 then has a 50% chance to make it to 88, a 25% chance to make it to 92, and a 10% chance of making it to 100.

Doctors aren’t allowed to put ‘old age’ or ‘natural causes’ as the cause of death for people who die of old age anymore, so we now know the main things that get us in the end. The Leading Cause of Death in the UK for over 80s is Dementia and Alzheimer disease. This is because these diseases tend to take hold and accelerate in those over 80 leading to years of mental and physical decline; be careful what you wish for, if you wish to live to 100. For the under 80s, the leading cause of death is Congenital Heart Disease for men, and Cancer for women.

If we look at deaths from Covid-19 through the lens of Years Of Life Lost rather than the number of deaths, there is a different perspective to be had. There are about 66,800,000 people in the UK, of which 1,650,000 are over the UK life expectancy. These people, as loved as they are by the family and friends, are coming to the end of their lives, and each year around 530,000 in England and Wales will die, some of Covid-19, some with Covid-19, but most without Covid-19. As sad as that is, around 600,000 babies will come into the UK, so there is some sort of balance there. Deaths from Covid-19 are now in decline, but we have see bumps on the way down turn into new bumps on the way up before, probably due to new variants. Maybe this is the end of Covid-19, maybe we’ll get a new bump from a new variant, maybe the declining current bump will drop to almost zero like it did in the summer of 2020 and come back in the autumn, and maybe this is the cycle forevermore like the Flu, and it never goes away. If this is the case, Covid-19 might become the new leading Cause of Death that determines life expectancy, reducing the odds of living past 82 for the 1,650,000 over 82s in the UK.

The question is; if the Years of Life Lost due to Covid-19 is close to zero, how many Years of Life Lost are acceptable through unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and declining mental and physical health caused by the lockdowns that are destroying our society?

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Gloom and Doom is dead. Long live Gloom and Doom


Last edited by Beerman on Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:49 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Quick Review

The UK vaccination programme officially started mid-Jan 21 and here we are in mid-Feb, so it's time for a quick review.

Initial government talk of a 10 million 1st jab target was not good, and would have written off much of 2021. The actual figure that has been achieved is 15 million jabs, which is well done, but short of the 20 million needed to vaccinate everyone in 2 tranches, by mid -July.

If it stays at 15 million until mid-April which is when those jabbed in Jan/Feb will need their 2nd jab, then only 45 million people will be fully vaccinated by mid-July, leaving 20 million still unvaccinated and free to incubate coronavirus variants, some of which may not be controlled by current vaccines. However if only 80% immunity is required to achieve herd immunity, the UK will only be 5 million short.

If only 80% immunity is needed, a rate of 15 million jabs a month almost cuts the mustard. However, if herd immunity is 95%, which is what some Imperial College London professors maintain, then the remaining 20 million unvaccinated will have had their 1st jab mid-July and their 2nd jab 6 weeks later, and everyone should be fully vaccinated by end-August, hopefully ending Covid-19 deaths 2 months earlier than first predicted under the 10 million jabs per month target. Whatever happens, 15 million jabs per month should be regarded as the minimum needed to end this thing by the autumn and the next flu season.

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Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:06 am
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Post Re: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Quote:
Evidence looks good on COVID vaccines cutting transmission: UK minister - Reuters 22 Feb 21

LONDON (Reuters) - The evidence indicates that vaccines are proving effective at cutting the transmission of COVID-19, Britain’s vaccines minister said on Monday ahead of a government announcement on a path out of lockdown.

“Suffice to say the evidence looks good,” Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News when asked if vaccines were effective at cutting infections and hospitalisations.

“We wouldn’t be in this place this morning to be able to say that we’re going to reopen schools on March 8, and ... as school holidays begin on March 29, we will look at the rule of six and two families being (able) to see each other outdoors ... if we’re not confident that actually the vaccine programme is beginning to really bear fruit.”


Politicians must think we are fools. They must think us to be little children they can manipulate. Daily cases in the UK hit their peak and started to fall on 9 Jan 21, well before the official start of the vaccination program in mid-Jan 21; a date they set in order to hide embarrassing real start date of beginning of Jan 21 where next to no one was vaccinated. Now we hear the sound of goalposts moving as they claim the vaccine is responsible for the decline in cases. Bearing in mind it takes 1 month for any immunity to kick-in, the affect of the vaccine on cases will only start to be registered mid-Feb, which is now. Daily cases have dropped from 68,000 to 10,000 without the vaccine. Apart from preventing more elderly deaths, the main role of the vaccine is to stop further UK mutations, and the start of another wave of elderly deaths.

Daily deaths peaked on 23 Jan 21 when they reached 1,820; they are now at 445 with the curve suggesting they will reach zero around June 2021; without the vaccine.

Politicians not only make themselves look stupid with statements like this, but also arrogant in that it shows they think they are more intelligent than us, when of course they consistently demonstrate they are less so.

Latest UK Covid figures; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/

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Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:02 pm
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