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So it's nothing to do with the science then

(82 Posts)
bonsaidragon Sat 30-May-20 04:53:40

The government lied when they said it's all about the science.

From the bbc :

Relaxing lockdown is a risk because levels of the coronavirus are still "very high", one of the government's top science advisers says.
Prof John Edmunds said it was a "political decision" to lift lockdown and that "many" scientists would wait.
The warning comes as Sage, the group of scientists advising government, publish details of their confidential meetings.
One meeting on 23 April estimated there would be only 1,000 cases per day by mid-May.
Instead, estimates by the Office for National Statistics suggest there are currently 8,000 cases per day in England alone. Those figures don't include cases in care homes or hospitals.
'Little time for stringent measures'
"Many of us would prefer to see the incidence down to lower levels before we relax measures," Prof Edmunds, from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, said.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of Sage, agreed that measures were being lifted too early, writing on Twitter that the newly-introduced NHS test and trace system needed to be "fully working" before measures were eased.
Newly-published Sage documents also warned of the dangers of having high numbers of cases.

OP’s posts: |
TiredMummyXYZ Sat 30-May-20 05:29:23

No. It’s about getting kids back to school and people back to work. Boris says that would only happen when we got to level 3 but because we’re rather inconveniently not there yet - he’s pressing ahead anyway. Wealth before health...

effingterrified Sat 30-May-20 06:37:48

It is clear the Government are not following the science in reducing lockdown

That's why Whitty and Vallance were muzzled at the latest press conference and not allowed to speak or answer questions.

Vallance has made it clear on Twitter he thinks it is too early to lift the lockdown now.

Fucket Sat 30-May-20 06:47:48

The government may not be following the science, but the general public are hardly following the strict lockdown rules are they? (government advisers included)

If the public are so intent on meet-ups that have been increasing anyway, flocking to beaches etc then what’s the point of crippling the economy and keeping folk off work?

Yes it’s as certain as Christmas a second spike is looming, but that’s the nature of viruses and people are social animals and need human interactions for their well-being.

We are in for a rough year I fear.

BeltaneBride Sat 30-May-20 07:10:56

A scientist on the radio yesterday said that he could only speak as a scientist but people should understand that the government cannot think only as a scientist/they have to consider multiple factors /like the collapse of society and decide on the best balance.
As @Fucket said, people will not now stop going to the beach, so better that they get back to work.
The Gvt backed themselves in to corner several times by committing themselves to things/they should have been wilier to allow themselves flexibility. The daily press conferences were a bad idea because they are now locked in to them and people pounce on every word. Would have been more statesmanlike to only have them when there was something significant to say.
People who think they can control the news agenda always end up as a victim of it.

mondaynoon Sat 30-May-20 07:20:06

Aren't people only flocking to the beaches in England? In Scotland and Wales travel is limited and the beaches are more empty. In England people are being allowed to go to beaches so why wouldn't they go? It's the same with barbecues - England is allowing them so that gives a green light for people to start drinking and eating in other people's house and once people have a few drinks it will be difficult to remember social distancing, hand washing etc.

Ylvamoon Sat 30-May-20 07:21:41

The current economic situation is unsustainable.
The overall risks to the working population and children is low.
There is deadly stuff out there like cancer and luck of proper care for other conditions that is totally overlooked.
Corona Virus is here to stay, better get on with life.

MarieG10 Sat 30-May-20 07:29:47

If you follow the science, then in reality that is about extinguishing the virus so would be the end of the year. However, the politicians know we can't cope with the huge economic impact and the death rate that will keep soaring as a result of the Corona virus, but not dying of it, ie heart attacks, strokes, and longer term impact of people dying from delayed treatment....yes stage four cancer patients that will now probably get at best a years life instead of several if they had been treated earlier (yes I know someone in that position)

These are a judgment for politicians to make and not scientists.

scaevola Sat 30-May-20 07:35:28

"Many of us would prefer to see the incidence down to lower levels before we relax measures"

I draw an inference from this that others were OK with relaxation at this point.

He does not what the majority view was, or what potential courses of action and likely impacts were endorsed by the committee and how they were presented to policy makers.

What I would live to know is the process.

- was the committee and it's key subcommittees told to goaway, keep considering all evidence emerging globally and evaluate as wide a range of options as possible (possibly creating new ones or new combinations)
- or was it more a case of 'we want to do this or this, are they safe enough?'

Fucket Sat 30-May-20 07:38:42

I’m sure I read that the death rate in welsh mining towns was double that of England’s because the locals were flouting lockdown rules. Ok so they may not be going to the beach but it’s not just those pesky English who don’t follow the rules!

attackedbycritters Sat 30-May-20 07:42:27

The factor they considered in addition to science is Cummings

attackedbycritters Sat 30-May-20 07:47:22

The science is basically about ensuring that the NHS is never overrun, now or in 6 months time

They don't expect to eradicate the virus as they expect local flare ups will continue unless we get a vaccine

They wanted levels around 1000 new cases a day and a R kept just below 1 by effective test trace and isolate. which would basically see around 1000 new cases a day continue

That is a level at which they felt that we could trap any flare up that escaped test and trace, ie detected once people started turning up in hospital, before it became a national lockdown situation again

The great thing about that is that it protects the economy much better than having large part of the population too scared to do anything whilst waiting for the second peak and another 40,0000 deaths

NaturalBornWoman Sat 30-May-20 07:53:00


It is clear the Government are not following the science in reducing lockdown

That's why Whitty and Vallance were muzzled at the latest press conference and not allowed to speak or answer questions.

Vallance has made it clear on Twitter he thinks it is too early to lift the lockdown now.

Why are you spreading fear and misinformation across numerous threads?

Whitty and Valance weren’t muzzled at the briefing, they answered the usual questions about the science. When asked they both clearly stated they were very comfortable not being drawn into political wrangling.

Exactly what did Valance say on Twitter for the benefit of those who don’t bother with that echo chamber?

It might be a bit soon to relax; I personally would feel more comfortable if daily cases were somewhat lower, but I recognise it’s a balancing act between virus transmission, behaviour and the economy.

Do you want everyone to ignore the instructions? Do you want the government brought down in the middle of the biggest public health and economic crisis for a century? You very clearly have an agenda, so what’s your ideal outcome?

nether Sat 30-May-20 07:56:06

I can see the attractions if that.

But remember that it attracts a human cost in covarios ways:

a) directly on those who succumb, some of whom will be very ill for weeks and some of whom will die
b) on intensivists and ICU nurses, of whom we do not have an unlimited supply and who have been working behind flat out for months now
c) on the two million plus shielded (the exceptionally vulnerable, not defined by age) - a population larger than that of NI, which wouid of course break NHS capacity if they came out in any numbers, and so are being asked to continue in conditions stricter than lockdown
d) and to some extent on the many millions of vulnerable (the pregnant, the flu jab group, and arguable the BAME community) who know they are not necessarily in the comfortable group for which risk is very low, and become anxious

user1495884620 Sat 30-May-20 08:03:16

It's got nothing to do with science, nothing to do with the economy. It's a political bone BJ is throwing to hold on to power. If the little people are allowed to go to barbecues, they will forget about the fact that I have been exposed as a lying, duplicitous cunt. It will all backfire when the rest of the world has this virus under control and the England is still in the thick of it.

Littlebelina Sat 30-May-20 09:07:40

@NaturalBornWoman, I've looked at Valance's Twitter and can't see much (unless it's been deleted or he has an additional personal account) so curious about this as well. As far as I can tell his official account is mainly run by his office but not a user of Twitter myself so could be missing stuff.

RedToothBrush Sat 30-May-20 09:10:51

The problem here is people are under the misguided notion that this is over. And by god its not if what I've just read is accurate.

It says Public Health England could cope with “five new cases a week (requiring isolation of 800 contacts)”, with potential capacity to increase to 50 new cases and 8,000 contact isolations.


How many new cases a week are we having? It's currently running at about 2000. That have been confirmed

I'm not going mad am I? The above figures suggest about 160 contact isolations per new case. That works out at 320,000 contact isolations per day at current rates. That's right isn't it?

How is that even going to be feasible?

This meeting concludes that “transmission is under way in the community” and that modelling suggests “the UK is 10-14 weeks from the epidemic peak if no mitigations are introduced”. It hears that the UK could have up to 10,000 cases already, and is about four to five weeks behind Italy.

This was way off the mark. An admission made just three days later by SAGE that the situation was far worse than we realised. (We ended up tracking at more like 10 days behind Italy.)

The 10th March meeting is key in that it says
There is also an acknowledgment of the looming crisis to come in care homes. “Sage advised that special policy consideration be given to care homes and various types of retirement communities.”

There was no specific policy given to care homes for weeks and weeks after this date.

On the 1st May Sage discusses the test-and-trace system and agrees “that at least 80% of contacts of an index case would need to be contacted for a system to be effective”.

^“For the test-and-trace system to be effective, isolation of contacts of individuals with Covid-19 within 48 hours was desirable.

“The aim should be to develop the capability to test index cases in less than 24 hours … It is considered essential that this testing capability is reached before the autumn/winter flu season when a large number of those reporting symptoms may not have Covid-19.”^

We know we are no where near that point and questions on this have been dodged by Johnson this week. Media need to focus on this...

On 5th May Sage says relaxing lockdown measures should not happen until new cases have dropped to a low level – not on a fixed date.

So the Government ultimately go for a fixed date...

There are lots of unanswered and somewhat disturbing questions here...

I also note the following
Preliminary results of a study indicate that “the virus decays rapidly when exposed to artificial sunlight”.

It notes some rare symptoms or complications that are emerging, including “cerebrovascular events, renal disease and systemic endothelial and organ dysfunction. Also notes longer term health problems, including “extreme tiredness and shortness of breath for months.”

So if we hadn't had the sunniest spring on record this would be loads worse.

And there's a lot more concern about long term effects than we realise.

joystir59 Sat 30-May-20 09:56:16

You are allowed to make sure own mind up about how much or little risk you want to expose yourself to.

MockersxxxxxxxSocialDistancing Sat 30-May-20 09:57:50

Rishi made it very clear yesterday. It's all about the calendar, and getting the ecoomy back up for a Christmas spending spree in time for a jolly Brexit.

imsooverthisdrama Sat 30-May-20 10:08:57

Oh come on does anyone seriously think we can lockdown in our homes for months on end ?.
The virus isn't going away we need to manage it .
If your worried don't see your family or friends stay home .

RedToothBrush Sat 30-May-20 10:09:07

You are allowed to make sure own mind up about how much or little risk you want to expose yourself to.

Except that's really not true.

People in certain occupations will be put at more risk by the direct AND indirect actions of others.

It's like when you go to the supermarket, - some people are observing social distancing whilst others are no longer doing so in increasing numbers because of a false belief that since lockdown is 'over', the risk is gone.

That puts those who do observe measures at risk through no fault of their own, it puts supermarket workers at risk through no fault of their own, it puts the health service workers at risk through no fault of their own and that in turn puts hospital patients at greater risk through no fault of their own.

This is the point. It is not about individual risk its about the ripple effect and how that causes a chain reaction which increases the risk of even those who are taking measures and want to take measures but are limited by their financial position or social standing and responsibility as a key worker.

You can try and reduce your risk to a point but ultimately if restrictions are relaxed too early it makes it much harder to avoid coming into contact with someone who has the virus at some point.

I know two people who have tested positive in the past few weeks who have kept their behaviour at very risk adverse levels following the government guidance.

Yes there is a level of personal accountability here but there are also limitations to that which require enough other people not to behave as selfish dickheads too.

Sunshinegirl82 Sat 30-May-20 10:15:02


Presumably those initial figures were pre social distancing? As things currently stand with everyone advised to be 2m away from each other I would imagine that most people actually have very few contacts outside of their immediate household. As I understand it people only count as a contact if they have spent more than 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive at a distance of less than 2m.

merrymouse Sat 30-May-20 10:24:19

The virus isn't going away we need to manage it .

That is the problem.

The government don't seem to be managing it.

Whether its testing or alert levels or apps, the government are setting targets that they aren't meeting, and then carrying on regardless.

merrymouse Sat 30-May-20 10:27:07

People are only advised to stand 2m away from each other 'where possible'.

Sunshinegirl82 Sat 30-May-20 10:30:23


In all social situations the 2m distancing has been emphasised as a necessity.

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