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If we don't get a massive spike in new cases after all the protests and people at beaches over past month, would this not tell us that the virus isn't in fact as contagious as we thought?

(57 Posts)
Louise000000 Thu 11-Jun-20 15:46:22

Just that's really, surely there would be a huge increase with tens of thousands of people not social distancing over past 3/4 weeks? Any thoughts?

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forkfun Thu 11-Jun-20 15:49:32

Not necessarily. We know now that the virus spreads far quicker indoors than outdoors. Also, localised the picture varies a lot. If 100 people got together somewhere but no one had the virus (which is more likely now, given we had lockdown for a prolonged period of time) they can't spread the virus. However, in another area there might be spikes. It all depends really.

ScarfLadysBag Thu 11-Jun-20 15:50:43

I think it'll probably confirm that the risk of transmission outside is fairly low and that the issue is more large, inside gatherings, healthcare settings and inter-family transmission.

There was a screenshot I saw the other day that I'll go and find where scientists in the US had ranked the risk of various activities.

It's also the case that people now are a lot more cautious than they were previously, so while before people might have felt a bit unwell but gone along somewhere anyway, now they are more inclined to stay home.

Off to see if I can find the screenshot.

twinnywinny14 Thu 11-Jun-20 15:51:28

No it’s tells us that the infection rate is low at the moment but not that is less contagious

HermioneWeasley Thu 11-Jun-20 15:52:00

No spike after VE Day

SeasonFinale Thu 11-Jun-20 15:54:44

Other than London the protests around the country all seemed to be done at a social distance though. London already had the lowest rate.

ScarfLadysBag Thu 11-Jun-20 15:55:55

Here it is.

'From hair salons to gyms, experts rank 36 activities by coronavirus risk level

Four Michigan public health experts assess the risk various activities pose to spreading coronavirus. Dr. Matthew Sims, Beaumont Health director of infectious disease research, Dr. Dennis Cunningham, McLaren Health Care medical director for infection prevention, Dr. Mimi Emig, retired infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health, Dr. Nasir Husain, Henry Ford Macomb medical director for infection prevention.

The list, below, assigns a score for activities from 1 to 10, with a 10 being the riskiest and a 1 being the least risky. The score is an average of scores given by the health experts, rounded to the nearest whole number.'

Obviously this is the US and just a small group of scientists but it's interesting nevertheless

frozendaisy Thu 11-Jun-20 15:57:28

Results possibly skewed because a larger percentage of folk at beaches, protesting, would likely not be part of the vulnerable groups, asymptomatic possibly, but I"m sure everyone will take it as proof and demand everything open up whether that's the best idea or not.

dadandtwokids Thu 11-Jun-20 15:59:50

Where did you get the number from that tens of thousands of people were not social distancing?

I have been both at a beach (as allowed) and at one of the protests (since it is important). In both cases me and everybody that I have seen there were well socially distanced. There may have been a few that didn't, but from my experience they were very much the exception.

But I think that maybe we are actually seeing a seasonal effect on R. Numbers at the moment do seem to suggest that it does to some extend go away on its own over the summer. Danger is of course that people will get careless and there will be a second wave come October/November.

Since there are actually very few infectious people at the moment, you will not see the effect as a "spike in new cases". What you may see is R temporarily increasing a bit (but with numbers as low as they are it will be difficult to tell the difference from statistical noise).

Lindy2 Thu 11-Jun-20 16:04:26

If only a very small % have it at the moment then even large crowds won't cause a sudden spike. 1 person in a crowd would probably only infect 4 or 5 new people. It's when a large number of people in the crowd have it that the spread spirals ie100 people in a crowd who could infect 400 or 500 who then also spread it.

If we do get a spike it will be a gradual build up of cases over a period of months until potentially we are back at the 100,000 new cases a day and the spread is rife. Just like it was in March. It had taken around 3 months or so to build up to that stage though so that's what could happen again.

I'm hoping that doesn't happen though. Hopefully better testing, better understanding of the need to isolate and possibly regional lockdowns will help keep the number of cases in the community down.

Louise000000 Thu 11-Jun-20 16:08:33

Obviously I have no idea who was social distancing and who wasn't, but tens of thousands of people have definitely been out protesting (rightly so) and also the photos of the packed beaches and parks over the nice weather.

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Louise000000 Thu 11-Jun-20 16:09:37

That's an interesting activity rank @ScarfLadysBag thanks for sharing.

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Dadnotamum72 Thu 11-Jun-20 16:10:06

A lot is media hype, the beach pictures are worse than the actual reality, and only show the highly popular beaches like brighton bournmouth and southend most people at beaches have been social distancing.
Similar with the protests we remember the london pictures but the other protests were not as bad and more importantly like the chart shows above its all low risk anyway.
In percentage terms to normal life the added risk is probably tiny to the big picture, the real telling times will come when indoor activities start to resume.

SouthsideOwl Thu 11-Jun-20 16:14:05

Well, it's a sort of confirmation bias conundrum now isn't it - because if there is even a small spike it will bring the 'i told you so' s and if there isn't they'll rake out the 'just you wait...' patter.

We're just going to have to learn to live with it.

Newgirls Thu 11-Jun-20 16:15:40

With 66 million in the uk the protests and beaches are still a tiny percentage. In our city everyone seems to be giving each other loads of space.

cologne4711 Thu 11-Jun-20 16:25:15

No, as others have said, it will tell us that prolonged contact outdoors is much less risky than indoors.

Nearlyalmost50 Thu 11-Jun-20 17:01:44

The numbers of people at protests and beaches is tiny, compared with the population. Really tiny. It just seems dramatic because of the photos. And, most people would be trying to social distance when at these type of events.

Hidden populations, like hospitals and care homes, are where most transmission is occurring now. You have to get physically close to care for someone, contact is prolonged over time and the people are in the risk group.

It's not a comparable risk. I'd be surprised if going to the beach was very risky.

Also, as someone else has said, if community numbers are low at any one time, community transmission will be quite low, even if there is close contact- the reverse is true once community numbers go higher, so it also depends WHEN you go to the beach, at what stage of the peak, it isn't a stable risk.

itsgettingweird Thu 11-Jun-20 17:03:05

Not really.

We know outdoor and indoor transition rates have a huge differential.

People were socially distancing on the whole.

A huge proportion of the protesters wore masks.

itsgettingweird Thu 11-Jun-20 17:07:23

And the graph (sorry about quality I just photo the tv!) does show admissions have spiked slowly and returned back down again. They do coincide with hot bank holidays and VE Day.
But these things won't have as much effect on infection as the weeks pass because case numbers are lower and therefore transmission is lower.

BashStreetKid Thu 11-Jun-20 17:14:54

We do know that the virus doesn't survive as long in heat, so I suspect that will keep numbers down.

PatriciaHolm Thu 11-Jun-20 17:22:22


And the graph (sorry about quality I just photo the tv!) does show admissions have spiked slowly and returned back down again. They do coincide with hot bank holidays and VE Day.
But these things won't have as much effect on infection as the weeks pass because case numbers are lower and therefore transmission is lower.

In reality, at least in England, what it shows is that there is definitely a weekend downturn in hospital admissions - look at the drop on the past 5 weekends. I think that's what's driving the waves, not any (very small) push up from bank holidays etc.

0v9c99f9g9d939d9f9g9h8h Thu 11-Jun-20 17:23:54

It would depend on the type of transmission, where the gatherings were, in what circumstances and how many people have it currently. So no, you couldn't draw such conclusions.

Xenia Thu 11-Jun-20 17:28:41

There was that racing thing before lock down (Cheltenham)? Which was outside - did that lead to a spike despite being outside?

They recntly found that most people in the Uk with covid have Spanish/italian versions of it not Chinese which is interesting so we mostly caught it from mainland europe which makes sense as we have a lot more doctors on skiing holidays in Italy and the like that being to and for from Wuhan.

Xenia Thu 11-Jun-20 17:28:54

to and fro...

Aroundtheworldin80moves Thu 11-Jun-20 17:35:52

Activities with a lot of shouting (likes sports competitions with spectators, and protests) spread more than passive activities, like sitting on a beach.

Although a lot of people at the protests appear to be wearing masks, which will spread less.

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