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WHY do people keep saying we all need to get it...

(170 Posts)
nellodee Fri 24-Apr-20 13:27:43

When Matt Hancock is clearly saying that we need to get cases right down, so we can move into the next stage, which is contact tracing?

From Guardian updates:

Easing lockdown depends on fall in number of new infections, says Hancock
Easing the lockdown depends on the speed at which the number of new cases of Covid-19 falls and that is as yet “unknown”, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has said.

The number of new cases is being tracked through hospital admissions, through a new testing study in the community announced on Wednesday, and data that will be gathered from people coming forward for tests under an expansion of the programme.

However, he added that there was no prospect of easing the lockdown yet, and that cases needed to drop substantially before the next phase of isolating infected people and their contacts could be truly effective.

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Bluewavescrashing Fri 24-Apr-20 13:32:25

I think people are fed up and some would rather 'get it over with'. However if we all get it at the same time the NHS will buckle.

The strategy is to slow the spread and stage infection slowly. It is inevitable that we will all be exposed to it.

Some people don't understand this, or want to, they are frustrated and want to get back to normal. Which isn't going to happen for a long time

Bluewavescrashing Fri 24-Apr-20 13:33:56

Contact tracing should have been done as an initial response. It's far too late in the day now. The virus is everywhere so people could pick it up from a door handle, supermarket trolley or anything else they touch.

PowerslidePanda Fri 24-Apr-20 13:33:58

Yes, it's bizarre! When I've challenged other people about it on this board, the common theme seems to be a lack of understanding of the numbers involved. What percentage of people are infected already, the amount of time it would take to infect everyone at a rate the NHS could cope with, the number of deaths that would happen even if everyone received the very best medical care.

Floatyboat Fri 24-Apr-20 13:34:29

We don't all need to. But it is not realistic to think you won't.

dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 13:35:57

Contact tracing is still a way to spread the curve, just without a heavy lockdown. So again, trying to slow the spread, not completely avoid it. A lot of us will get it, but at a slow rate.

nellodee Fri 24-Apr-20 13:36:20

@Bluewavescrashing and @Floatyboat are you saying that you think Hancock's plan of getting cases down to a small number per day and then tracing new cases won't work?

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PowerslidePanda Fri 24-Apr-20 13:36:29

@Bluewavescrashing - But it only survives for a finite amount of time on surfaces and with the number of cases decreasing, how "out there" it is will decrease too. We can get back to the point that contract tracing is feasible again - which is the strategy the majority of countries seem to be going for.

Mustbetimeforachange Fri 24-Apr-20 13:37:32

Eventually we will almost all have had it, just like the other 4 common coronaviruses, which come around every year as immunity doesn't last long. In some it will cause severe disease, as the others do, in most it won't. The horror of it is how easily it spreads & how everyone is "seeing" it for the first time, do it's all coming at once.

MarginalGain Fri 24-Apr-20 13:37:57

I don't see how this can work in London. Isn't the current thinking that you'd have to trace 2 weeks of contacts over 15 minutes?

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 24-Apr-20 13:37:59

But they couldn't do the contact tracing earlier, as Hancock explained yesterday.

a) lack of speedy, reliable be tests

b) contact tracing can only be analysed and used if numbers are relatively low, it is not a wholly automated procedure.

And there are probably many more equally obvious reasons

nellodee Fri 24-Apr-20 13:38:24

@dotty202 but that's not what he is saying. He is saying that we need cases to be very low, lower than they are now, so that contact tracing becomes effective. That means that most of us WON'T get it. Because if rates of infection were high, we wouldn't be geting out of lockdown in the first place. And then once they are low, the plan is to keep them low.

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nellodee Fri 24-Apr-20 13:39:16

@Mustbetimeforachange Do you not think Hancock's plan will work then? Because everyone getting it is the very opposite of what he is saying needs to happen.

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dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 13:42:19

I understand they have to be low for contact tracing to work, I just mean that once this is in place surely the contact tracing will mean it spreads slowly enough to manage?

PowerslidePanda Fri 24-Apr-20 13:42:46

Without knowing both the rate of spread post lockdown and when a vaccine will be available, how can anyone possibly know that most of us will get it?

Bluewavescrashing Fri 24-Apr-20 13:49:18

It lives on metal surfaces for up to 72 hours I think. Happy to be corrected.

If flights into the UK had been cancelled much earlier and people with symptoms had been put into isolation (do isolation rooms in airports exist?) or at home, assuming they would be compliant. It would have been easier to contain. These people could list the people they've been in contact with for the last 2 weeks and those people could be isolated. But now even with the lockdown measures the virus could be anywhere.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 24-Apr-20 13:50:28

Sorry Dotty, I replied to a couple of posts in one go.

Yes, once the tracing is in place it should help slow the spread. But it is one of a number of things, like the R number being below 1 in most/all settings.

It's one of those interwoven things Chris Whitty was trying to exactly.

Bluewavescrashing Fri 24-Apr-20 13:51:29

Also with the testing, don't the results take a while to come through so even if you get a positive test it's not valid on that particular day?

I think we will all get it. Just gradually. It's incredibly contagious. Some people may be naturally immune though.

Bitofeverything Fri 24-Apr-20 13:53:05

I don’t see how contact tracing works with a virus that some people have asymptomatically. This was all essentially started by one guy trotting around Surrey as far as I can work out. There’s no way we can get from where we are now to less than one guy in Surrey, is there? (Yes, I know it wasn’t just one guy in Surrey, but there were v few people who had it in February...) Also surely massive potential for bioterrorism at any point.

Mustbetimeforachange Fri 24-Apr-20 13:54:08

@nellodee I think you can definitely slow the spread. That is good because it buys time to develop drugs & vaccines. Nevertheless, I don't think it's going away any time soon. We should have behaved like S Korea from the beginning.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 24-Apr-20 13:54:17

Flights were always going to be tricky though.

We don't have a state airline, like France etc, so all our repatriation flights took longer.

By that time we were entering into, or in lockdown. So every person on those planes should have self isolated anyway. Especially given they had just spent a few hours on a bloody plane with other people.

I'm not so sure it was an error. Just another of those unpopular pragmatic decisions...

dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 13:54:57

Curious- contact tracing seems to be a good solution, but at the same time I wonder how it would realistically be implemented.

I just worry that people will flout guidelines too much and make things worse. Whilst I think this amount of lockdown cannot go on much longer, I am still amazed at the amount of people who view this lockdown as the end of all restrictions.

cat0281 Fri 24-Apr-20 13:57:17

@nellodee I agree with your reading of the government's intention, they do not want us all to get it, they want to get numbers low and keep them low through contact tracing until a vaccine is found. This seems to have been done fairly effectively in South Korea. Maybe some of the confusion comes from the fact the government has given up on eradicating the virus and says we will have to live with it. Perhaps people think that means everyone will need to get it, but I don't think that is what the government is planning for/wants.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 24-Apr-20 13:59:34

I'm not sure either Dotty. It seems to be an alert people that they have been on contact with someone who has tested positive. There may be more to it...

And yes, people can hear those experts say "this phase" over and over again and still think, hope, that it will be over soon.

Bluewavescrashing Fri 24-Apr-20 14:02:47

I don’t see how contact tracing works with a virus that some people have asymptomatically

Yes, exactly. This virus has a long lag time (incubation period) compared to other viruses too. So in the 2-3 weeks that a person is infected but asymptomatic, they will be passing the infection to many many people by touching surfaces. In the work place, supermarkets, b&q if they go and buy paint or whatever, gates, doorbells, etc.

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