We're all doomed! Doomed I say- the Corona virus thread for panicking in!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:54 pm

'150,610 UK personnel have served in Afghanistan.
More than 450 British personnel have died in the country.
At the height of the Afghan war, NATO had more than 130,000 troops from 50 nations in Afghanistan.'
The cost to the UK taxpayer is officially around £22.2 billion, but this is considered by most analysists to be a huge underestimate and the real figure to be at least double this.

{{ So yeah Id say first Trump now Biden needed to consult with the rest of us before making unilateral decisions like this that effects all negatively.
NATO allied forces for example didnt want to leave, they wanted a presence there at lower levels but present to bolster the Afghan government, deter attack againt the people and prevent exactly what we are seeing unfodling now. Bit like how US troops are still in Germany 70 years after WW2.
To just arbitarily withdraw for purely reasons of political expediency, and to do so without so much as picking up the phone to all the allied nations committing their own resources, is way, way out of order and potentially dangerous going ahead.
America these days, sadly, is a completely unrelieable partner. It rips up and abandons international treaties it signed up to on a whim, and even when there is a supposed internationalist President he doesnt consult allies before making major decisons that effect them. }}

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Post by halfwise Fri Aug 20, 2021 5:01 pm

The fact that Biden did the pullout without fully consulting with allies is shocking - he was supposed to be the opposite of Trump in this respect, but he's been falling short on multiple counts.

The first sign of trouble was when he blithely announced that we would undo all the Trump policies at the Mexican border and make everything nice. Well, that's great, but DON'T SAY IT UNTIL YOU"RE READY TO DO IT. Of course everyone started flocking to the border, and nothing was in place to handle it. Total clusterfuck. I'd have thought he'd be a better planner, but he isn't.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Aug 20, 2021 5:25 pm

'Across Europe, officials have reacted with a mix of disbelief and a sense of betrayal. Even those who cheered Biden’s election and believed he could ease the recent tensions in the transatlantic relationship said they regarded the withdrawal from Afghanistan as nothing short of a mistake of historic magnitude.
“I say this with a heavy heart and with horror over what is happening, but the early withdrawal was a serious and far-reaching miscalculation by the current administration,” said Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German parliament’s foreign relations committee. “This does fundamental damage to the political and moral credibility of the West.”
Röttgen, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, is no flamethrower. He has known Biden for decades and was optimistic about his prospects.
While Merkel has avoided direct criticism of Biden, behind the scenes she has made it clear that she considered the hasty withdrawal a mistake.
“For those who believed in democracy and freedom, especially for women, these are bitter events,” she told a meeting with officials from her party late Monday, according to German media reports.

In the U.K., which like Germany supported the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan from the beginning, the sentiment was similar. “Afghanistan is the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez. We need to think again about how we handle friends, who matters and how we defend our interests,” tweeted Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chair of the U.K. parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

At a time when some European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have been pushing for the bloc to pursue a security policy less dependent on America, Afghanistan is bound to be used as evidence for why “strategic autonomy” is necessary.
“Naturally this has damaged American credibility, along with that of the intelligence services and of the military,” said Rüdiger Lentz, the former head of the Aspen Institute in Berlin. “One can only hope that the damage to America’s foreign policy leadership can be quickly contained.” - Politico

{{This will have consequences going forward in how members view NATO, US leadership and if anyone goes to US aid again if something else like 9/11 happens once more, god forbid. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Aug 20, 2021 6:15 pm

{{ In addition to considering the above post Biden in his speech earlier said in reposnse to this dmaaging US releationships with allies- "there has been no question of our credibility from our allies around the world".
Seriously? }}

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Post by Lancebloke Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:16 am

Seen some very serious thought being given to letting infection spread where the majority have been vaccinated and those left being unwilling or unable. 

Thought process is that the virus requires 28 different proteins or which the vaccines cover 1 (the spike protein) whereas natural immunity would likely cover a much larger number and therefore be more effective against virus mutations and giving the immune system more weapons to use.

Sounds like a sensible approach given trends in the most highly vaccinated countries (see Israel) don't look great right now. Better to take the hit when you can more easily deal with it than all at once later on?

Would be interesting to see how this all plays out. Looks like some of those places that locked down hard initially (like Australia and New Zealand) are struggling delta now. I can see that turning in to a bit of a disaster,  by their standards, in the coming months.
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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:20 am

The deaths in Israel are lower than the peak (though climbing) though the infection rate is higher than the peak. The vaccines are providing protection, though natural immunity is not being as well reported (I think because people often know if they have it so don't bother getting tested). I think "letting it spread" isn't so much policy as inevitibility, since the delta variant seems to keep spreading despite vaccinations, though at a reduced rate. Though I suppose not going back to lockdowns IS a policy of letting it spread.

https://covid19.healthdata.org/israel?view=daily-deaths&tab=trend

We have a bunch of people saying we are being lied to about the vaccines. I don't see that: I see a cautious delay in reporting things like the virus still spreads even among the vaccinated. But it does get reported.

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Post by Lancebloke Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:26 am

I may be misremembering (and can't be arsed for a quick google) but didn't Israel wait until they had a large proportion of their population vaccinated before opening up? 

We (US and Europe) seem to have opened up after most of the high risk population were vaccinated and therefore our numbers actually increased for a while in those areas with higher take up. So we have lots of community transmission while vaccine protection is at its highest and therefore hopefully adding further and more comprehensive protection.
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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:34 am

yeah, I don't know about the timings - I think we jumped the gun slightly here, but that was when vaccinations were on the upswing and nobody expected the sudden brick wall of vaccine holdouts.

I think you provide a good argument to counter the claims of a semi-anti-vaccer friend of mine who pointed to similar curves for an argument that vaccines weren't working. I think he's being driven largely by the official blindness to those with immunity acquired via infection: there are mandates coming down against those who aren't vaxxed, but natural immunity doesn't count. This causes incandescent rage among those who have suffered through the infection but don't get the reap the benefits and don't see a need to take a vaccine they don't fully trust.

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:41 am

I think NZ and Australia are being hit at the moment because they didn't prioritise vaccination and delta was too quick for them. If NZ had had 80/90% vaccinated this wouldn't be happening. I still think the UK opening up without sensible mitigations like masking is evil madness. Just think of vulnerable people and how afraid they must feel. Europe is not totally letting it all hang out and is in a better state than the UK. We have 80% vaccinated, we are vaccinating kids over 12, we also have compulsory masking indoors and the compulsory Green Pass, which means everything is open as usual, bars, restaurants, schools, universities, offices, the lot, but for restaurants and bars  and places of assemblies of people you need to be vaccinated to access them unless sitting outside. Obviously the anti-vaxx loons just hate the Green Pass, but that's hard cheese. The Green Pass is no big deal, you just have it scanned on entry to places, and it makes you feel much safer going anywhere near other people as you know they are all vaccinated.
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Post by Lancebloke Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:15 am

I am not sure I am in the camp of mandatory masking and I definitely do not agree with covid passports when not crossing borders. 

There is also far too much fear mongering going on for my liking. Covid isn't great but, assuming you are vaccinated, is not really that much of a problem (I know... 1 death is devastating to that person's friends and family, but that is how life works and has always worked with many, many other diseases).

What is a looming problem is the decreasing effectiveness of vaccines over time and the increased chances of breakout viruses. Natural immunity through infection is likely to be FAR more protective than the vaccines are. 

I am yet to see any evidence to the contrary that once a high percentage of vulnerable people are covered that the virus should be allowed to follow its course and I am seeing good reasoning as to why it should.
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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:38 pm

It does seem that the best option is to have vaccinated people catch delta.

Masks worth well with ballistic droplets (expelled but drop, hence the social distance) but the ones most people are wearing only have a slight effect on fully aerosolized drops, which seem to be the main mode of transmission. Only well fitted N95 seems to stop that. Most masks would do a better job but they don't really seal to the face.

I think masks help, but not enough that kids should wear them in school. Not enough that people should be forced to wear them except when forced together in confined spaces like public transport. But it's helpful if people do wear them when shopping, etc.

There's too much fear mongering going on with covid, but it's even worse among the vaccine holdouts. Everyone needs to get vaxxed and relax. Those with natural immunity should probably get a booster shot about a year in just to be sure.

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:39 pm

I am totally against the 'let everyone get it' stance, even for vaccinated people you don't know what the outcome for long covid could be. I think herd immunity is a highly laissez faire attitude and too many vulnerable and old people would be the victims. I think Jacinda Ardern has the right idea, she is stamping the fucker out totally, she wont allow ONE person to become infected if she can help it, and that is the morally right thing to do. No government has the right to say 'oh well they were bound to die anyway c'est la vie' I say fuck that! those are peoples relatives who are dying and nobody should fall through the cracks, especially those who need most protecting like sick kids with no immunity and old folk stuck in homes with no chance of escape.
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Post by Lancebloke Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:55 pm

This isn't going away. It won't be stamped out!

If you want the best for the most people then decisions need to follow the science. If the science says the best outcome for mist people is to let the virus do its thing after vaccination, then that is what we should do.

I dont know what facts you have that suggest otherwise.

Edit - living with something very similar to if not actually long-covid myself, the best thing to do here is for people to actually invest in research to understand why thus occurs. I am pretty much free of it now (not quite) after following a programme used for Fibromyalgia and Chronic pain sufferers... so there is actually a way out if that if there was the will to do so.
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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:24 pm

yes it can, and has been, stamped out in New Zealand. If they had vaccinated earlier it would have been 100% success. NZ has not had months of lockdowns like the rest of the world, they haven't had 150,000 dead, they haven't had economic disaster, they have led normal lives while the rest of us have been hiding away in lockdown, and their secret is the total and ruthless stamping out of the virus. Not herd immunity, which has caused disaster in places like Sweden, and not half-arsed measures which were too late, like in the UK. If the UK, being an island, had stopped all international flights at the beginning like NZ did, 150,000 people might be alive now.

I am really glad you are feeling better Lance.  Smile


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Post by Lancebloke Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:56 pm

Have you not seen the news? New Zealand is now struggling with delta....  the same variant that is still killing people here and in places with higher vaccination rates.

Do you expect them to close their borders forever? Because I can tell you that the people in Yemen or in Palestine don't give a fuck about covid when they have bombs and bullets dropping on them. It isn't going anywhere in Tanzania where they deny its existence, or Brazil where the president doesn't care.

So unless they are going to permanently shut borders (which will destroy parts of the economy and push lots of people in to poverty (which kills), destroy families and mental health (which kills) and basically put people in to the eternal fear of lockdown then how exactly are you doing to stamp it out completely?

You won't. The chance to do so was in the first few days in Wuhan, or wherever it was first detected. After that it was a done deal.

And for the record, I know quite a few people over that side of the world and particularly in Australia they are starting to really have enough. What is the point in being alive if you can't live. I would rather get the virus and die from it than spend another 6 months locked down.
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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:02 pm

But lockdown isn't needed if everyone gets vaccinated and then wears masks indoors. People who say masks are a threat to freedom are just as bad as anti-vaxx loons protesting on the streets and invading TV stations. Its the anti-vaxxers who are a threat to my freedom.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:27 pm

{{ Thought some charts from Scotland might help inform in general terms at this juncture as Scotland is a pretty well vaccinated country at this point.

Our population is 5.5 million. Heres the numbers who have received 1st and 2nd doses so far-

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So we are only 1 and a half million short of the entire population, and of that 1.5 remaining about a third are minors. So the bulk of the adult population is vaccinated.

Now heres the case numbers by region, my own region of Argyll and Bute is a good example of how fast the Delta variant has spread, just prior to Delta my region was at an all time low of 4 cases per 100,000 people and the previous highest we had ever reached before Delta during the lockdowns was in mid-100's, as you can see things are very different now.

We're all doomed! Doomed I say- the Corona virus thread for panicking in! - Page 42 Autho

This is also reflected in overall cases as youd expect-

We're all doomed! Doomed I say- the Corona virus thread for panicking in! - Page 42 Cases

and in the infection rates-

We're all doomed! Doomed I say- the Corona virus thread for panicking in! - Page 42 Rates

as a result hospital and intensive care numbers are all back up,

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however whilst they are rising they are not anywhere near as high as during pre-delta variant peaks when we had no vaccines even though case numbers are several times higher now than ever before.

And probably the most important figure, how many are still dying from covid-

We're all doomed! Doomed I say- the Corona virus thread for panicking in! - Page 42 Deaths

Now folk are still dying, but considering the vastly increased case numbers versus earlier waves, and previous deaths during those waves there is an obvious and stark improvement, thanks solely to vaccination.              
It seems to me therefore that pushing the vaccine program for those still not convinced, sensible border checks on folk coming and going with covid testing, continuing track and trace systems, maintaining mask wearing and social distancing in public or crowded places will be sufficient for now in mananging the crisis. With lockdowns only required if hospital and intensive care numbers rise sufficiently high to endanger the NHS ability to respond or cope.

I'd say the bigget risk right now is a further mutation that breaks through the vaccines given how freely the virus is circulating now in the population. But Delta seems so infectious and easily transmitable that I dont see, sadly, how at the current case levels it can be eradicated at this stage,  vaccination and hoping it dies out for lack of new vulnerable hosts or at least falls to levels where it kills no more per year than flu does in a standard year is best we can now hope for.
The UK response from the very start has been woeful at a national level from Boris, and I dont think containment let alone eradication is even possible from where we are now as a result.}}

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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:30 pm

You need the vaccines and the masks to blunt the inevitable spread of the virus. Lance is fully advocating vaccines, Figgy wants to add masks on top of that. The question is whether to add in lock downs too. At this point I'd say that anyone who doesn't want to get vaxxed should either take what's coming to them or self-quarantine. If you've tried to help someone, and tried again after they refused your help, you've done all that can be expected. Some governments are behind on vaccinations and they can still do lock downs. Those who are caught up should go ahead and open.

If you are afraid of breakthrough infections doing serious damage to you, then you probably shouldn't be crossing the street either. At some point you have to accept reasonable risks.

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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:40 pm

I'm still wondering why there is this blind spot regarding people who have immunity from previous infection. Are mandates in the UK mandating vaccines only, or is there an exemption for those who have had it? If not, is there any reasoning offered? Over here we pretty much have deafening silence, with some meek excuses that vaccines are more broad spectrum, which isn't really supported anywhere.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:52 pm

{{ There was a very recent report from Uk scientists (trying to find it) which indicated that if you have anti-bodies from catching covid AND get vaccinated you have increased levels of antibodies compared to either just catching it and recovering, or just getting the vaccine.
So even if youve had it the vaccine is still a good idea and advice therefore in the UK is still to get vaccinated even if you have had the virus. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:57 pm

{{ Should also add that studies suggest havng recovered from one variant of covid does not mean you will be protected from new strains, whereas the vaccines so far do protect against all strains to some degree.

edit add- havent found the study but a BBC article from other day does refernce its findings- "There is clear evidence that adults who have not had any vaccine dose will have stronger immune defences if they do get vaccinated, even if they have caught Covid before."- BBC news }}


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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:58 pm

Need to find these studies.

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 6:35 pm

Delta is as infectious as Chicken pox and that is one of the most infectious diseases ever. So it makes sense to mandate vaccination for everyone whether they like it or not. Many scientists here have noted that in the past there has never been such a virulent anti-vaxx scene. When other vaccines have been made compulsory in the past, such as for TB, there has never been an uprising and aggressive campaign against vaccination. You had the vaccine, end of story. So it begs the question, why now? I mean, you wear a helmet on a bike and a seatbelt, you cant smoke near kids, does that infringe your 'freedoms', no it bloody well doesnt. This has all come about with QAnon, fake news, charlatans on Youtube, and it has created a generation of dumbasses who will risk their lives and risk yours too.
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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:16 pm

One of the dumbasses I happen to know is highly educated and intelligent, but he's a Trump supporter and when the mandates didn't accept natural immunity (he got infected despite being more careful than anyone I know) he started to rage about the system trying to control him, etc etc. He says since he already has immunity it's a bigger risk for him to get a rushed vaccine than not, though I did get him to admit the calculus is probably different for those who haven't been infected. I don't know where he'd be if he didn't already have some immunity, but since he's not in immediate danger he doesn't seem able to control his knee jerk reactions enough to see things clearly.

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:14 am

halfwise wrote:Lance is fully advocating vaccines, Figgy wants to add masks on top of that.  The question is whether to add in lock downs too.

Thanks Halfy. Looks like someone was reading what I am actually writing!

My point entirely here is that there seems sufficient logic, but maybe not sufficient data yet, that natural immunity will provide an extra layer of protection when catching the virus AFTER being vaccinated.

Again, the hypothesis is that the vaccine trains the body to recognise only 1 of the 28 proteins that make up the virus whereas the immune system would naturally be trying to find a way to deal with the some of the remaining 27.

This means that when the virus dies mutate, we aren't hoping that it isn't the spike protein that changes enough for vaccines to be useless as even if it does, the body has learned enough to still have some protection.

Surely that is the safest way (assuming there is data that can prove this to be the case, which there must be) to deal with the pandemic in its current form which really is not going to go away.

And again, it may look much better now but just go and have a look at Israel where it seems vaccine protection is just starting to wane and the history of how their lockdown and vaccine programmes worked together.
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