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UK not in lockdown - wonder why?

Interesting explanation about the govt's strategy for COVID19 https://twitter.com/iandonald_psych

The govt strategy on #Coronavirus is more refined than those used in
other countries and potentially very effective. But it is also riskier
and based on a number of assumptions. They need to be correct, and the
measures they introduce need to work when they are supposed to.

A UK starting assumption is that a high number of the population will
inevitably get infected whatever is done – up to 80%. As you can’t
stop it, so it is best to manage it. There are limited health
resources so the aim is to manage the flow of the seriously ill to
these.

The Italian model the aims to stop infection. The UKs wants infection
BUT of particular categories of people. The aim of the UK is to have
as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot
infect others; the more there are the lower the risk of infection.
That's herd immunity.

Based on this idea, at the moment the govt wants people to get
infected, up until hospitals begin to reach capacity. At that they
want to reduce, but not stop infection rate. Ideally they balance it
so the numbers entering hospital = the number leaving. That balance is
the big risk.

All the time people are being treated, other mildly ill people are
recovering and the population grows a higher percent of immune people
who can’t infect. They can also return to work and keep things going
normally - and go to the pubs. The risk is being able to accurately
manage infection flow relative to health case resources. Data on
infection rates needs to be accurate, the measures they introduce need
to work and at the time they want them to and to the degree they want,
or the system is overwhelmed.

Schools: Kids generally won’t get very ill, so the govt can use them
as a tool to infect others when you want to increase infection. When
you need to slow infection, that tap can be turned off – at that point
they close the schools. Politically risky for them to say this.

The same for large scale events - stop them when you want to slow
infection rates; turn another tap off. This means schools etc are
closed for a shorter period and disruption generally is therefore for
a shorter period, AND with a growing immune population. This is
sustainable

After a while most of the population is immune, the seriously ill have
all received treatment and the country is resistant. The more
vulnerable are then less at risk. This is the end state the govt is
aiming for and could achieve. BUT a key issue during this process is
protection of those for whom the virus is fatal. It's not clear the
full measures there are to protect those people. It assumes they can
measure infection, that their behavioural expectations are met -
people do what they think they will

The Italian (and others) strategy is to stop as much infection as
possible - or all infection. This is appealing, but then what? The
restrictions are not sustainable for months. So they will need to be
relaxed. But that will lead to re-emergence of infections

Then rates will then start to climb again. So they will have to
reintroduce the restrictions each time infection rates rise. That is
not a sustainable model and takes much longer to achieve the goal of a
largely immune population with low risk of infection of the vulnerable

As the government tries to achieve equilibrium between
hospitalisations and infections, more interventions will appear. It's
perhaps why there are at the moment few public information films on
staying at home. They are treading a tight path, but possibly a
sensible one.

Let's hope it works or we're doomed. But no travelling yet please.

Posted by
1097 posts

Being entirely "unexpert" in this, the UK approach does make sense once you accept the reality that this is grim and not just a minor nuisance; I understand a big element is also to push out the peak towards Summer and flatten the curve out (or "squash the sombrero").

That means, if it works of course, those on here talking about waiting until May or June or July to travel are probably heading into the worst time and biggest restrictions!

Also, the "cunning plan" wobbles in the face of the reality of political & media pressure when armchair epidemiologists start demanding action - any action - just so we can be seen to be doing something dramatic. It looks like that is already happening with mass gatherings like football matches cancelled before the right time.

Whilst until recently many seem to have turned a deaf ear to the message, it does now seem to be getting through that this will be bad and quite a few people will die. BoJo deserves some credit for saying that bluntly last week. I'm guessing its not a message any politician wants to be linked to.

I prefer to believe LCpl Jones rather than Pte Frazer. But, I might be kidding myself.

Posted by
11676 posts

I wonder if that is so different from the " flatten the curve" approach that the US is ( finally) trying to take. The spread of infection cannot be stopped, but hopefully it can be slowed enough that hospital facilities do not become overwhelmed. And maybe buy enough time to produce a vaccine that will create the needed "herd immunity".

Posted by
447 posts

Interesting strategy. I have family in the UK - one works in health care, another in a school. I hope this strategy works. I was planning on traveling in late July to visit. I may have to just wait it out another year.
Margaret

Posted by
4857 posts

Is there something actually published by the government that can confirm this, or is it just speculation?

Posted by
112 posts

The UK will likely have to change its currently less restrictive scheme very soon.

Posted by
1756 posts

The govt has developed a four stage phased response: Contain, Delay, Research and Mitigation. We’re now in the Delay phase.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan/coronavirus-action-plan-a-guide-to-what-you-can-expect-across-the-uk

At some point we can expect to see school closures and the banning of mass events but the govt hasn’t introduced these yet. The sporting authorities themselves have stopped events.

The posted thread attempts to explain why the UK is not reacting in the same way, at the current time as other countries in its attempt to manage this crisis, not just in the immediate weeks but in the months and (as it expected to be an annual virus) years to come. To me, it seems credible.

The Chief Scientific Officer has stated the aim is to develop herd immunity in the population. https://www.ft.com/content/38a81588-6508-11ea-b3f3-fe4680ea68b5

I guess the choice is between lockdown and wait for a vaccine or manage exposure and develop immunity.

But to end on a travel-related slant, those of you wishing to come in the summer may have to re-think your plans.

Posted by
4857 posts

This seems to make the US exception for travel from the UK even more puzzling.

Posted by
112 posts

This seems to make the US exception for travel from the UK even more puzzling.

Trump said yesterday that UK and other country travel restrictions are on the table, so I expect that to change soon.

Countries are closing their borders left and right. New Zealand just announced all visitors will be quarantined for 2 weeks regardless health indications. Foreign travel is rapidly shutting down all over the world.

Posted by
1097 posts

"This seems to make the US exception for travel from the UK even more puzzling"

Much of what America does is puzzling to the rest of us. I doubt you'll find the magic key from reading UK medical advice.

Posted by
4669 posts

A different point of view, about careless use of the nomally vaccine-related term "herd immunity" is in today's New York Times.

https://nyti.ms/2w1vRKE

An excerpt,

The most lethal pandemic to hit the United States was the 1918 Spanish flu, which was responsible for about 675,000 American deaths, according to estimates cited by the C.D.C.
...
Dr. Mecher and other researchers studied deaths during that pandemic a century ago, comparing the experiences of various cities, including what were then America’s third- and fourth-largest, Philadelphia and St Louis. In October of that year Dr. Rupert Blue, America’s surgeon general, urged local authorities to “close all public gathering places if their community is threatened with the epidemic,”
...
The mayor of St. Louis quickly took that advice, closing for several weeks “theaters, moving picture shows, schools, pool and billiard halls, Sunday schools, cabarets, lodges, societies, public funerals, open air meetings, dance halls and conventions until further notice.” The death rate rose, but stayed relatively flat over that autumn.

By contrast, Philadelphia took none of those measures; the epidemic there had started before Dr. Blue’s warning. Its death rate skyrocketed. [Comparison chart in original article link.]

Posted by
112 posts

Pence on CNN announcing travel restrictions to/from UK and Ireland...

Posted by
103 posts

Posted by Nick
"This seems to make the US exception for travel from the UK even more puzzling
Much of what America does is puzzling to the rest of us.."

You think it's puzzling to you, it ain't much better to those of us who live here :)

Posted by
4653 posts

Difference between this and the 1918 flu is that the 1918 flu was killing younger people in large numbers, whereas with this the majority of deaths and severe illness is in the over-70s.

Posted by
4669 posts

It was obvious to me that the posts about "pension liability" and about "Romania" were IRONIC. It is true that irony (like "affect") is not visible in text posts. I often add "(Ironica Typeface)" to such a post.

Posted by
5817 posts

But he hasn’t ORDERED businesses to close so they can’t claim on their insurance for the loss of earnings. I wonder why? Oh yes he has previously received significant payments from the insurance industry for speeches etc. Just when I think I couldn’t be more disgusted by him and his cronies.

Posted by
10675 posts

The UK has business loss insurance? Wow! I'm in the wrong market!!!

Tim, what typeface do I use?

Posted by
1756 posts

It looks like we're doomed.

Maybe it's nature's way of cutting carbon emissions due to all those humans who travel too much?

Stay safe.

Posted by
107 posts

Naah, we're not doomed. Personally, I've been kind of glad the way this has went (and I'm in two of the high risk groups).

I was worried that this mess of a response would happen with a really bad bug. Ebola/Marburg etc.

This "softer" bug has hopefully motivated a much better infrastructure/response for that. (At least if it happens soon enough and we don't decide "we don't need all that expensive prep" AGAIN).

It would be nice if I'm around to see it. Just saying.

Posted by
10675 posts

This "softer" bug has hopefully motivated a much better
infrastructure/response for that. (At least if it happens soon enough
and we don't decide "we don't need all that expensive prep" AGAIN).

Apparently we didnt learn our lesson with the Swine Flu, now maybe this one will help institute protocols for when we really need it.

Posted by
7109 posts

A friend of mine is a world expert and has a PhD in Epidemiology. She’s written books and is a consultant for the CDC. She told me today that there is zero evidence that contracting Covid-19 will give that person immunity.

Posted by
107 posts

James E: I've heard too many people tell me this "isn't any big deal, just like that Swine flu thing". As it got bigger and bigger...

Don't hear that much any more. Do still hear "just like the flu, no big deal".


https://boingboing.net/2020/03/17/dense-crowds-of-beachgoers-soa.html

Clearwater beach was packed to the waterline Tuesday, crowded by visitors hoping to make the most of the coronavirus pandemic by contracting it and spreading it to as many other people as possible.

Posted by
3904 posts

The UK has business loss insurance? Wow! I'm in the wrong market!!!

Yes, it's called Business Interruption Insurance.

Posted by
6036 posts

The UK has business loss insurance? Wow! I'm in the wrong market!!!

Yes, it's called Business Interruption Insurance.

Yes, but it applies only if the business is interrupted by a covered peril.

One has to read the policy to determine what is covered ( page 1) and what is excluded ( pages 2 -99)

Posted by
4465 posts

She told me today that there is zero evidence that contracting Covid-19 will give that person immunity.

There is no evidence yet of long term immunity as there hasn't been enough time to find out. No future immunity at all would be unusual but it only being a short term one wouldn't be.

Posted by
3904 posts

Yes, but it applies only if the business is interrupted by a covered peril.

Of course, I was going to add that but the pertinent point of the post was to counter James E's scoff regarding business loss insurance not a full breakdown of what is or isn't covered.

Posted by
10675 posts

Scoff? No, I learned something new. I run a small business in the US and I work closely with something just shy of a dozen businesses that provide related and supporting services. I did some asking around after the post went up. Not one of us is insured in that fashion. The businesses are small, but not that small, with cash flows between $5M and $15M. And they aren't inexperienced as one is 100 years old, one nearly 60 years old and the rest being 25 our more years old. So to assume that in the US businesses have something to fall back on is probably incorrect on average. Or at least incorrect in my profession. The US term seems to be Business interruption insurance and it ain't cheap. Would have set my company back something in the neighborhood of $1,000,000 over the course of the company's lifespan. But worth looking at to be prepared for the possibility of a bad bug in the future.

Which leads me to; I am working in the wrong country. Should be in the UK where everyone has this sort of insurance.

Posted by
10675 posts

To be fair, in this whole event, there isn't much confirmed evidence of anything. The Britts seem to think it will work and I would imagine most of them went to school to understand such things. I read today about a Zero patient (international traveler I think) in I think Kansas who came into contact with 316 people and none ... except her husband ... caught the disease. Then it went on to explain that while that sounds good, it isnt necessarily meaningful in any way for a host of reasons I could not comprehend. Since I can not begin to comprehend any of this without the education required, I ignore it all, including all the experts on both sides of the issue here in this forum, and just keep plodding along with what ever the CDC and our leadership tells me to do. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

Posted by
3904 posts

Scoff? No, I learned something new.

Ah, I apologise, I misinterpreted your comment.

Business Interruption Insurance certainly isn't mandatory in the UK but most businesses, if they're managed well, take some form of insurance however many are not fully advised and do not choose the additional extras such as pandemic cover or decide to take a gamble and consider it not necessary. Friends of ours who own a restaurant and bar and whose operating costs run to £40,000 a month face a grim prospect. As it is their insurance doesn't cover a pandemic so it wouldn't matter either way if the government mandated forced closures or not but for those who did take out the additional cover then it's distressing to have a Prime Minister who is in cahoots with his chums in the financial industry and refuses to impose forced closures but rather uses the ambiguous "I advise people not to visit pubs, clubs, restaurants etc".

Posted by
10675 posts

Ah, I apologise, I misinterpreted your comment.

There is a certain mindset among a few on the forum that has become a bit contagious and assuming the most disgusting and going on the attack has become the norm on the forum. I suspect the PM function has never been used so much as a substantial number of people have become so intimidated that they have gone underground.

Posted by
7109 posts

And then, you can be gracious and appreciate someone who apologizes (very rare here), rather than posting a negative, snide response.

Posted by
10675 posts

Wasn't snide, it was factual

We all get caught up in the "attitude". And I wrote it off as that. So, more directly, I appreciate the apology. And I understand that there is a certain mindset among a few, excluding you, on the forum that has become a bit contagious and assuming the most disgusting and going on the attack has become the norm on the forum. I suspect the PM function has never been used so much as a substantial number of people have become so intimidated that they have gone underground.

Posted by
7109 posts

Very snide actually.

I think one should look in the mirror re: attitude.

Posted by
4653 posts

Foreign Office has now warned against all but essential travel for the entire world, so we can now claim on our travel insurance for anything non-refundable.

Posted by
2762 posts

James E, are you saying you are unaware of loss/interruption of business coverage? Or that it too expensive for your business? What kind of business would go without it, especially with the kind of cash flow you mention. It is not as expensive as you claim, unless your business is doing something really really risky. My loss of business coverage, an essential part of my business liability policy, was very inexpensive in relation to my gross income. And deductible as an expense.

But I don't know if it would have covered pandemics. It did cover fire, flood, earthquake, and other natural disasters that might cause my business to temporarily cease operation.

And just curious, didn't you say elsewhere that you are an American Airlines employee? You were worried about losing your job there, with all the flight cancellations, and the loss of income would have a terrible effect on your aging father, from eviction from the care facility where he is living, to your inability to pay for the medication he needs to survive. This explanation was after you stated your fear that the deaths from economic fallout of this mess ( my word not yours) could exceed deaths from the virus itself. I was curious why you would say that, so I took note of the subsequent explanation.

I tend to notice contradictions when people post a lot. Like when you called the CDC scientists some kind of silly name ( something-heads, I don't recall the first part, but it implied ignorance ) and then later (apparently after looking up their CV's) started saying how impressive their credentials are. I agree with the latter, by the way. These scientists and doctors are widely respected and keep at their task although their agency has been nearly crippled by budget cuts.

Posted by
893 posts

My sister flies back to the US on Monday after a month visiting her daughter. She is a stubborn person who should never have gone in the first place. She has severe COPD, diabetes and heart disease. She requires wheelchair assistance moving around airports. I’ve begged my niece not to put her on the plane. There is an entire downstairs she could stay in for awhile longer.

I’m torn. I don’t want her to be a burden on Britain’s health system ifshe became ill, but I don’t want her to contract the virus by traveling unnecessarily. I hate to say it but I wish flights between our two countries were prohibited.