This morning BBC news say that there's two new cases of Corona virus in China.
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This morning BBC news say that there's two new cases of Corona virus in China.
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The deputy chief medical officer in the UK - Jonathan Van Tam said there's no need to wear face masks and there's no evidence they help stop people getting the virus, and it is something that is 'wired' into Asian thinking.
Now experts, including the BMJ and the US health authorities are advising people to wear masks as a precaution.
Conflicting information as usual, and looks like people were ill advised at an early stage.
The clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight
There are several interesting very recent papers being published in the scientific world discussing the value of face masks and COVID 19.
There seems to be some evidence that they may act as a means of source control by reducing the spread of virus particles exhaled by asymptomatic infected individuals, e.g. Nature Medicine: Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks (3rd April 2020).
There's an interesting technical report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (published 8th April 2020) which outlines the pros and cons of wearing face masks in the community by asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals.
A timely discussion paper in the BMJ (9th April 2020) Face masks for the public during the covid-19 crisis by Greenhalgh et al is worth reading and gives the following key messages:
+ The precautionary principle states we should sometimes act without definitive evidence, just in case
+ Whether masks will reduce transmission of covid-19 in the general public is contested
+ Even limited protection could prevent some transmission of covid-19 and save lives
+ Because covid-19 is such a serious threat, wearing masks in public should be advised
Last edited by Tom & Nok; 13th Apr 2020 at 11:04. Reason: Tidying formatting
If I go into a public place where I am likely to pass people in close proximity I wear a mask. If I order food or such and the vendors are wearing masks I do so also. When I exercise I do not wear one as it makes me sweat like crazy and I end up touching my face more. I don't know if it works but it 'feels' safer than walking around without one. I certainly don't wear it whilst driving like everyone here is doing. That bit I just don't get but I'm no scientist.
You would not catch me in a busy street or supermarket without a mask based upon UK scientists who wanted to try the herd immunity gamble. Jonathan Van Tam already knows that masks should be worn but is waiting for the right time to change the policy in a way that sounds reasonable. I guarantee you very soon they will advise the mask as a precaution, they are already admitting that if you wear one and are infected you will save other people but apparently this is not a reason for wearing one
Yes the UK do have their own idiots, the top one's being the government scientists who advised the government that the virus was a moderate threat while it ravaged china and italy. They waited for it to arrive with the sure knowledge that the herd immunity game would work based upon previous histories of pandemics and assuming that a new virus would behave the same way. What an ego to think that you know so much more than china and italy to the point that you really believe that you can control it. It took a computer to tell them that the herd policy would kill 250000 people. The scientists were asked the question twice on the press conference yesterday if they should have taken action in february like Korea etc and the conference ended abruptly with no closures and they got off the stage. Apparently the answer is that you cannot compare countries as everywhere is different. I suspect the virus has a different view. Thank God despite all of this we have front line people putting it all out there despite their fears to save lives. We are so lucky to have people like this and so are the government
You do not need a source Caller they openly admitted the plan was for the herd immunity approach and openly stated that they had to change the plan at the last minute because their computer predictions changed to show 250K would die. It was on the news. I know the Government Scientific Advisors listed the virus as a moderate threat because it was on the Andrew Marr show. It make more sense of why nothing was done i it was considered moderate and allow it to go through the population. But the ethos was fundamentally flawed. Hence the UK government keeps saying we are following the science. At least now everything is being done to catch up. Maybe this link will work which gives a bigger picture
Tobias - โทเบียส
Stay home. Stay alert. Save lives.
For Caller. The clip highlighted the error of classifying the virus as 'moderate' towards the end of the clip from about 9 minutes. He is saying from the end of January that it was obvious that this was going to be 'an unprecedented event'
transcript of that part of the clip referred to since the BBC tries to block its UK content being accessed outside the UK:
"Andrew Marr: A final question, Sir Jeremy, as recently as the middle of March the expert group looking at this remained – kept the threat level at moderate and told ministers it was a moderate threat level. With hindsight, a wonderful thing, I know – with hindsight that was surely a mistake?
Sir Jeremy Farrar: Yeah, I think from the end of January, certainly into February,I think there was very clear indication from China of human to human transmission, that yes, although this was focused on Wuhan there were other cases beyond Wuhan and indeed were other cases in the rest of the region becoming obvious. And I think from the early days of February, certainly, if not late January it was obvious that this infection was going to be very serious and that it was going to infect more than just the nation where it started. So yes, in hindsight – actually at the time I think it was clear that this was going to be a global phenomena. I don’t think anybody could have predicted the pace of it or the speed of it. None of us could have predicted that, but for many of us that lived through Sars and bird flu and many other epidemics of the last 20 years, I think it was very clear this was going to be an unprecedented event."
Sir Jeremy is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which advises the government. As he himself agrees, hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing.
Last edited by Tom & Nok; 14th Apr 2020 at 08:03. Reason: correcting formatting
For Tom and Nok
Jeremy Farrar state: And I think from the early days of February, certainly, if not late January it was obvious that this infection was going to be very serious and that it was going to infect more than just the nation where it started. This he states clearly recognises the true danger at this time, I did not need to be a scientist to see what was going to happen to know this. In his next sentence he states So yes, in hindsight – actually at the time I think it was clear that this was going to be a global phenomena. The hindsight wording is to say that should have done something about it not to say in hindsight they should have realized. This is why the finished the press conference so abruptly, not a question they want raised. It is not relevant at the moment we just need to get past it as quick as we can. But the facts cannot be fudged
And I think from the early days of February, certainly, if not late January it was obvious that this infection was going to be very serious and that it was going to infect more than just the nation where it started. So yes, in hindsight – actually at the time I think it was clear that this was going to be a global phenomena.
Friend of mine just posted this on Facebook today.
There are certainly interesting debates as to the different responses taken by different nations. For example, there's a discussion into possible reasons for apparent differences between the Irish and UK COVID-19 death rates in another piece from the Guardian published yesterday.
As Dr Elaine Doyle puts it, "The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now. The best time to stop this pandemic was last January. The second-best time is now".
Incidentally, to get a sense of what progress is being made, I would recommend signing up for the daily updates sent out by Nature. Although these are primarily aimed at a scientific readership, they give an up to date flavour of the collaborative efforts by many researchers across the globe to understand and tackle COVID-19.
Fair enough, oak tree is a good analogy. I would rather we get on top of this and look at everything later. I do not specifically point the finger at Boris and his gang, it is all of parliament that took their eyes off the ball and i do wonder how much Brexit may have knocked the fight out of them and indeed some of our european colleagues. It is no excuse but I was pretty tiered by the end of it. The government are working hard now that's for sure and it seems that most people are keeping to the rules. I hope that Boris does not come back too quick or he will relapse. It is true to say that the UK does stand up well in times of crisis and those working at risk are proving it again. I believe in my bones that we will turn it around quicker than expected, I hope so anyway.
That Andrew Marr interview of 2 days ago doesn't say anything that isn't already known, from newspaper articles about his interviewee and others. Although for the part I looked at, it never mentioned other facts about Germany, such as the number of ICU beds they already had, which has put the rest of Europe to shame I have also read German physicians say that they might still suffer an explosion in deaths, although that now seems unlikely, even though it has now gone above 3000.
Finally did my annual ext. based on retirement on Tuesday at Jomtien, no more putting it off. Firstly there is no amnesty for residents so you have to go in person regardless of the virus. Most people were trying to keep their distance from each other but nothing was enforced. Masks were compulsory and temperatures were taken on entry along with hand gel given. Not very busy, but a bit slow, people not very pleasant so no change there. I was out quite quickly 2 people in front of me. Had to come back next day to collect passport after 3pm. Pattaya was in lock down at 2pm so I went early, fortunately my passport was ready and I managed to get out of Pattaya before the chaos started. I have to go back in 90 days to prove I still have the 800,000bht untouched in my account no amnesty for that either, only 90 day reporting not required. I always considered the 800,000bht. to be like a safety net where you could withdraw a bit to help if you need medical care, but really it's nothing like that, it must be just to help keep Thai banks afloat. No wonder really why so many people get agencies to do this for them, legal or not.
I'm wondering what chaos will ensue when they make all those with automatic visa extensions go to update them all. I can't see the Govt taking a hit on this financially somehow. I'm waiting for the banana skin in all this, cynical as it sounds.