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BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19

Nigel Parsons 07 Apr 21 - 05:25 AM
Rain Dog 07 Apr 21 - 05:21 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 21 - 08:52 PM
Rain Dog 06 Apr 21 - 07:50 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 21 - 04:03 PM
Bonzo3legs 06 Apr 21 - 03:54 PM
Rain Dog 06 Apr 21 - 03:01 PM
Rain Dog 06 Apr 21 - 02:12 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 21 - 01:02 PM
Mrrzy 06 Apr 21 - 11:29 AM
Bonzo3legs 06 Apr 21 - 11:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Apr 21 - 11:02 AM
Rain Dog 06 Apr 21 - 09:23 AM
Donuel 06 Apr 21 - 08:21 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 21 - 08:13 AM
Bonzo3legs 06 Apr 21 - 08:04 AM
Rain Dog 06 Apr 21 - 07:10 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 21 - 06:05 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 21 - 05:03 AM
Rain Dog 05 Apr 21 - 02:19 PM
Jos 05 Apr 21 - 01:15 PM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 21 - 12:43 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Apr 21 - 12:34 PM
Jos 05 Apr 21 - 12:17 PM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 21 - 11:57 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Apr 21 - 11:23 AM
Rain Dog 05 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Apr 21 - 10:32 AM
Rain Dog 05 Apr 21 - 10:03 AM
Rain Dog 05 Apr 21 - 09:24 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Apr 21 - 07:39 AM
Donuel 05 Apr 21 - 07:34 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 21 - 07:32 AM
Nigel Parsons 05 Apr 21 - 06:22 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Apr 21 - 05:47 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 21 - 03:57 AM
Bonzo3legs 04 Apr 21 - 05:32 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Apr 21 - 11:14 AM
Bonzo3legs 04 Apr 21 - 09:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 21 - 11:55 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Mar 21 - 06:25 AM
Donuel 12 Mar 21 - 04:52 AM
Mr Red 12 Mar 21 - 03:55 AM
Donuel 11 Mar 21 - 07:14 PM
Mrrzy 11 Mar 21 - 06:27 PM
Donuel 11 Mar 21 - 12:33 PM
Donuel 09 Mar 21 - 01:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Mar 21 - 10:30 AM
Nigel Parsons 09 Mar 21 - 09:05 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 05:25 AM

Unfortunately, Steve, your idea of "Tell us the science and let us decide how to react to it" would not work.
Some would isolate themselves indefinitely, others would go out and party with the masses.

Without the first lockdown there would have been no second peak. The first one would have just rolled on, overwhelming the NHS and (possibly) increasing the death toll.

Unlike you I believe that Boris is listening to the scientists. But he also has to look at the need for the country to come out of this at the end without being a total wreck. We need to keep businesses open, or capable of being re-opened. Boris has the job of balancing the health and financial needs of the country.

You seem to think that, given the necessary scientific information, your part of the country could manage itself, without the influx of tourists (who keep the economy of the West Country going) then you go on to say There's little or no social distancing going on here in Bude, and round here we generally behave ourselves. It seems that you don't believe that your countrymen are capable of following the science.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 05:21 AM

I am still unsure if you agree with the use of lockdowns or not? They could hardly operate on a voluntary basis could they? You are no longer working but for those that are, a voluntary lockdown would have been confusing.

With regards to my previous comment about a curfew, I forgot that they introduced a 10 PM closing time last summer. That did not make a lot of sense to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:52 PM

No I did not do the eat-out thing. Now what did I just say? I said that I don't want edicts. I want the government to give us all full and abundant information and advice. Tell us what the science really says. Better still, put a sock in Boris's stupid mouth and get the scientists to tell us. The government encouraged us to go and dine out. Was that the sort of advice you think I meant? People came to the Westcountry in droves last year. The whole place was overcrowded between June and the end of October, all the accommodation full and the place crawling, literally, with extra day trippers who couldn't go on their foreign hols or cruises. No-one was advising them not to come. The risks were played down. We got away with it until half way through September, and then the numbers started going up. It was another SIX WEEKS before there was any clampdown. The science was there and the science was ignored. The upshot of that delay was the dreadful winter that we've just had, far worse than it should have been. Thank God that the vaccine rollout has staunched it. So where was the information, the advice, the urging, last mid-September? You go to a place heaving with people and you think, well, it must be OK because we haven't been advised not to come here. Then when we do finally get the edicts, it all suddenly seems so arbitrary. In the last few weeks the Westcountry has been just about the safest place in the country. But the blunt instrument of lockdown has hit us just as badly as in the worst-affected areas. The only reason we need to wear masks round here is because no-one is telling people that coming here from all over the place from next week onward isn't sensible. "Try to stay local." What does that mean? I read somewhere it means stay in your local authority area. For me, that means I'm OK driving two hours to Penzance or Land's End! As for those masks, I disagree with you. They are the single most visible manifestation of government control. Have you ever seen anyone checking that the masks people are wearing are clean? Not a paper one worn every day for a week before chucking it? The front not touched? Never been hitched under the nose or chin? Never been stuffed in your pants pocket next to your ten-pound notes, bank cards and tissues? No big gaps? Nobody cares about any of that. All they care about is that half your face has something shoved over it. Never mind the quality, feel the control.

Tell us what we need to know, about the disease, the transmission, the risks, how to be safe, the vaccines. Give us good advice predicated on real scientific information. We'll do the rest, at least as well as we are doing now. There's little or no social distancing going on here in Bude, and round here we generally behave ourselves. No-one told Morrisons to limit numbers, to make the aisles wider, to institute a one-way system. No-one takes any notice of the one-way arrows painted on our crowded, narrow pavements. You can't enforce arbitrary edicts in a country used to being a democracy. So let's make sure they are ditched. With no rules but good advice we certainly won't do any worse than we do now, and a more positive ethos founded on personal responsibility may even mean we do it better. And I'll always have a mask with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 07:50 PM

They have got things wrong but when a lockdown was needed were they wrong to insist on it?

When people wanted to travel to the west country, were the government right to say you should not make unnecessary journeys?

If you met one of those visitors to the west country would you have agreed with their personal choice?

I don't know if you took advantage of the eat out offer in the summer. Was it wrong for others to do so?

In the scheme of things having to wear a mask comes low down on the list of rights to be given up. Closing businesses, curbing both domestic and foreign travel, curbing people's right to meet up are rather more important rights to give up. Are you saying the government were wrong to insist that we follow those rules?

At least they haven't brought in a curfew. I guess we have that to look forward to.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 04:03 PM

He doesn't listen to scientists. He is far more a fan of British bulldog Quasi-Churchillian Boris exceptionalism. The lockdowns so far have happened because he has been serially behind the curve at every juncture, making each wave much worse than it need have been. Didn't learn from what happened in Italy, preferring to cheerily tell us that we'd beat the virus in twelve weeks. Sent untested old people from hospital straight into care homes, killing thousands. Encouraged all sorts of shenanigans in the summer, eat out to bloody help out, didn't see the autumn wave coming until it was too late, and still didn't listen. You think he finished with making mistakes? I should bloody coco... Passports...Traffic lights...Here we go again...

Those scientists who he won't listen to have done all the good work for him. They're all in pharmaceutical companies. He just wears a white coat and a silly hat.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 03:54 PM

Clearly the decisions should have been left entirely to the keyboard warriors of Mudcat who think they know it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 03:01 PM

Steve, I am not a fan of new laws being introduced. Ordinarily I think that we have adequate laws available which just need to be applied.

However. Do you think that the government was wrong to bring in the lockdown? To close schools etc? If it was left to personal choice I think it is safe to say that the NHS would certainly have been overwhelmed due to the second wave. The Kent variant spread like wildfire as it was.

Then again Boris is not making these decisions on his own. There will be scientists telling him to do it as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 02:12 PM

That is good news Stilly. The more vaccines that get approved the better. The UK have ordered 60 million doses of the Novavax,which is awaiting approval in the UK. It will be manufactured in the UK.

The biggest problem with all the vaccines is the lack of manufacturing capacity. I am not aware of any country hoarding vaccines. The majority are using them as soon as they can. I seem to recall that the US was storing AstraZeneca vaccine,pending approval. I don't know if that is still the case.

Here in the UK the government have funded a vaccine manufacturing centre. The hope is that it will be ready to start making vaccines later this year. Once that is up and running they will be able to start shipping vaccines abroad.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 01:02 PM

To be clear, I want government instruments of control to be removed. If a shop, a bus driver, a publican or a cinema asks me to wear a mask, I will not refuse to comply but I may or may not decide to go elsewhere. If a hospital or care home asks me to wear a mask, I'll comply cheerfully for now. But it's them asking me, not an entitled Etonian buffoon telling me. It should be up to me or the shop, not Boris Johnson. The government, instead of making edicts, should be bombarding us with all the information we need in order to make informed choices as to our behaviour. It has always been the case that a shop, etc., may lawfully refuse to let me in without giving a reason. That's how it should be. We should protest constantly and loudly against edicts that say we can't visit our friends and relatives. We can decide among ourselves, in the light of good information, what we should be doing. We need to develop an ethos of personal responsibility. The last person on this planet who should be imposing "responsibility" on us is a scruffy clown who doesn't even know how many children he's sired. But we need to close our borders to all casual travel. The danger is that he's going to piffle around with his petty controlling yet allow leaky borders. Fatal. Literally.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 11:29 AM

Thanks for that long article, Stilly, but put a link to it in the vax thread too, wouldja?


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 11:04 AM

From 9 April anyone will be able to access free, rapid lateral flow tests (LFDs) for themselves and their families to use twice a week, in line with clinical guidance. The significant step, alongside the vaccine rollout, will pave the way for businesses and society to reopen after lockdown.

The regular testing will be delivered through multiple streams including: an online home ordering service, workplace testing programmes, community testing programmes provided by local authorities, collection at local PCR test sites, testing on-site at schools and colleges, and a new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ Service which will provide an additional route regular testing.

Rapid testing is currently only available for those most at risk and for those needing to leave home for work. As one in three people with covid-19 do not experience any symptoms, the new regular rapid tests will help prevent and contain outbreaks so a more normal way of life can resume. Since LFDS rapid testing was introduced, over 120,000 positive cases of covid-19, that would not have been found, have been identified.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Covid-19 strategic response director at PHE and chief medical adviser to NHS Test and Trace, said: ‘I encourage everyone to take up the offer of these free rapid tests, they are quick and easy to carry out in your own home.

‘Rapid testing helps us find Covid-19 cases that we wouldn’t otherwise know about, helping to break chains of transmission. These tests are effective in detecting people that are infectious and therefore most likely to transmit infection to others. They are another tool we now have to help maintain lower infection rates.’

The government has already introduced a scheme for regular rapid Covid-19 tests in the workplaces of 50 or more staff, to provide safer working environments for sectors where employees cannot work from home. Already 100,000 UK businesses have registered their interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 11:02 AM

This is HUGE news!

Researchers Are Hatching a Low-Cost Coronavirus Vaccine

A new formulation entering clinical trials in Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam could change how the world fights the pandemic.

From the article (a big middle chunk of it, in case it can't be read outside the US):

But simply injecting coronavirus spike proteins into people is not the best way to vaccinate them. That’s because spike proteins sometimes assume the wrong shape, and prompt the immune system to make the wrong antibodies.

This insight emerged long before the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2015, another coronavirus appeared, causing a deadly form of pneumonia called MERS. Jason McLellan, a structural biologist then at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and his colleagues set out to make a vaccine against it.

They wanted to use the spike protein as a target. But they had to reckon with the fact that the spike protein is a shape-shifter. As the protein prepares to fuse to a cell, it contorts from a tulip-like shape into something more akin to a javelin.

Scientists call these two shapes the prefusion and postfusion forms of the spike. Antibodies against the prefusion shape work powerfully against the coronavirus, but postfusion antibodies don’t stop it.

Dr. McLellan and his colleagues used standard techniques to make a MERS vaccine but ended up with a lot of postfusion spikes, useless for their purposes. Then they discovered a way to keep the protein locked in a tulip-like prefusion shape. All they had to do was change two of more than 1,000 building blocks in the protein into a compound called proline.

The resulting spike — called 2P, for the two new proline molecules it contained — was far more likely to assume the desired tulip shape. The researchers injected the 2P spikes into mice and found that the animals could easily fight off infections of the MERS coronavirus.

The team filed a patent for its modified spike, but the world took little notice of the invention. MERS, although deadly, is not very contagious and proved to be a relatively minor threat; fewer than 1,000 people have died of MERS since it first emerged in humans.

But in late 2019 a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, emerged and began ravaging the world. Dr. McLellan and his colleagues swung into action, designing a 2P spike unique to SARS-CoV-2. In a matter of days, Moderna used that information to design a vaccine for Covid-19; it contained a genetic molecule called RNA with the instructions for making the 2P spike.

Other companies soon followed suit, adopting 2P spikes for their own vaccine designs and starting clinical trials. All three of the vaccines that have been authorized so far in the United States — from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech — use the 2P spike.

Other vaccine makers are using it as well. Novavax has had strong results with the 2P spike in clinical trials and is expected to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization in the next few weeks. Sanofi is also testing a 2P spike vaccine and expects to finish clinical trials later this year.

Two prolines are good; six are better

Dr. McLellan’s ability to find lifesaving clues in the structure of proteins has earned him deep admiration in the vaccine world. “This guy is a genius,” said Harry Kleanthous, a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “He should be proud of this huge thing he’s done for humanity.”

But once Dr. McLellan and his colleagues handed off the 2P spike to vaccine makers, he turned back to the protein for a closer look. If swapping just two prolines improved a vaccine, surely additional tweaks could improve it even more.

“It made sense to try to have a better vaccine,” said Dr. McLellan, who is now an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

In March, he joined forces with two fellow University of Texas biologists, Ilya Finkelstein and Jennifer Maynard. Their three labs created 100 new spikes, each with an altered building block. With funding from the Gates Foundation, they tested each one and then combined the promising changes in new spikes. Eventually, they created a single protein that met their aspirations.

The winner contained the two prolines in the 2P spike, plus four additional prolines found elsewhere in the protein. Dr. McLellan called the new spike HexaPro, in honor of its total of six prolines.

The structure of HexaPro was even more stable than 2P, the team found. It was also resilient, better able to withstand heat and damaging chemicals. Dr. McLellan hoped that its rugged design would make it potent in a vaccine.

Dr. McLellan also hoped that HexaPro-based vaccines would reach more of the world — especially low- and middle-income countries, which so far have received only a fraction of the total distribution of first-wave vaccines.

“The share of the vaccines they’ve received so far is terrible,” Dr. McLellan said.

To that end, the University of Texas set up a licensing arrangement for HexaPro that allows companies and labs in 80 low- and middle-income countries to use the protein in their vaccines without paying royalties.

Meanwhile, Dr. Innis and his colleagues at PATH were looking for a way to increase the production of Covid-19 vaccines. They wanted a vaccine that less wealthy nations could make on their own.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 09:23 AM

Like you, I believe that all of us should take personal responsibility for our behaviour and safety. Like you I did not wear a mask until it was made compulsory to do so. The reason that I am happy enough to keep wearing a mask now is for the safety of others,primarily the staff, not myself. I only spend a short time on the premises, unlike the staff who are there for the length of their shift.

Do masks lessen the chances of catching or passing on the virus? I think that they do. Do you think NHS staff working on covid wards don't need to wear their masks? During your recent visits to hospital, did you think the staff treating you should be wearing masks?

It is easy for me to make my own decisions but it is a lot harder to make those decisions for others.

Yesterday after the briefing, someone asked a question about going on holiday. It seems to happen after all the briefings. Some seem to think that the future can be predicted rather than waiting to see what the evidence tells us. Of course you can understand all those working in the travel industry worrying about the future. The government has already spent an unprecedented amount of money helping out various businesses. How much longer can they do that for?

I do think they should be wary of relaxing travel restrictions. Of course variants can, and most probably will, arise here in the UK. The link to the Guardian article that I posted was very informative about that.

As to the passport/certificate they are talking about, we cannot be sure what is going to happen. Yesterday Boris said they would not be required from either the 12th April or the 17th May, but we all know how quickly he changes his mind. It would not surprise me if some businesses insist on customers having them in order to get in,especially if they want to get more in at one time. I would not like to see that but can understand why they might do it.

Damned if you do and dammed if you don't. I don't envy those who have to make those decisions, either advisers or politicians.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:21 AM

LOTS of leaders suffered from premature isolation
and late libertine quarantine.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:13 AM

If we want to stop new variants getting into the country, and if we want to prevent another wave, we have to close our borders. Overwhelmingly, that means stopping foreign holidays. I don't think anyone has the right to go on holiday to anywhere on earth at the moment and risk bringing the virus into the country. A foreign holiday is absolutely a non-essential. I know that some people have relatives overseas. That's just too bad. The risks of foreign travel are not just a risk to those families but are a risk to the whole country. My mum died in a care home in October and for the last nine months of her life I could see her for one hour every two weeks through a plastic screen, having visited her five times a week before that. There was no vaccine then and we had to accept that situation in order to keep everyone safe. What do you think, Rain Dog? There are things that are crucial we do, and there are things being used to control us that are no more than pissing round the edges. As for your question, I want government controls over masks, "non-essential shops" (that's a laugh, that is, when I can buy papers, paint, Easter eggs nail polish, pots and pans and God knows what else in Morrisons), bloody "rules of six" and going to people's houses to be removed. They are becoming blunt instruments of government control and have little to do with our safety any more. I want us all to take personal responsibility for our post-lockdown behaviour and I want to see lots of government advice and information. Advice, not edicts. No divisive and discriminatory vaccine passports, no piddling around with traffic lights. If a shop or cinema insists that I wear a mask, or prove my jabs, that's the shop or cinema, not the government, and I'll probably vote with my feet. But the threat from overseas is critical. We can and should close our borders to casual travel. I know the lorries have to come and go. But that can be checked and that should be it. We have to do the crucial things but we should want our freedom back, pronto.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:04 AM

Gold medal know alls!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 07:10 AM

"Everything he's doing, he's doing in order to control us ever more."

"And do we think that Boris Johnson will look closely at what's happening in Chile and be informed by it? Of course he won't."

So do you want him to relax the restrictions or not? They are going to have to be relaxed sometime and that will always involve an element of risk.

My local have said they are thinking of reopening next week. It remains to be seen if that makes financial sense or not. Then again many small businesses are facing financial ruin due to the current situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 06:05 AM

And do we think that Boris Johnson will look closely at what's happening in Chile and be informed by it? Of course he won't. Not listening and learning has been his consistent modus operandi since all this started. In Chile they were too quick to let people travel around the country. Too quick to allow foreign holidays. Too quick to reopen gyms and cinemas. Watch this space...


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 05:03 AM

Fitzgeralds sourdough baguettes (a few minutes in the oven to finish 'em off) are very nice. The two-packs of Morrisons ciabattas (75p or two for a quid) are excellent. I warm them in the oven too.

It's all very well the UK bucking the trend of third waves in a lot of other countries, but we are nowhere near strict enough about our borders at the moment. A "traffic-light system" is the next bloody stupid Johnson idea...


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 02:19 PM

I heard about the worrying situation in Chile,in the questions following the UK Covid briefing this afternoon. Despite having a very good vaccination program they are seeing a rise in covid cases.

A cause of concern and a reminder that we do need to progress cautiously.

Chile lockdown


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Jos
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 01:15 PM

In that case, I recommend Marks and Spencer's French loaves.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 12:43 PM

We don't do home made any bread, we leave it to the bakers who know what they are doing!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 12:34 PM

Bonne Maman for me every time. On toast. And use the Lurpak to grease your bike hubs. We only buy a local Cornish unsalted butter.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Jos
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 12:17 PM

Home made crusty bread and home made strawberry jam would be a lot better.

Does someone in this thread have shares in Sainsbury's and Lurpak?


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 11:57 AM

No, time for Sainsbury's Harvest Grain bread cut 2cm thick, Lurpak butter and Sainsbury's Strawberry Conserve!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 11:23 AM

At least Corbyn would've taken Johnson on over the gross mishandling of the pandemic instead of Starmer's hopeless "Yeah, well, hmm, OK, we sort of support you but you should really have done everything a bit sooner blah blah..." There's been no opposition to a man who's caused tens of thousands of deaths and created a human scrap heap, the upshot being that he's now nine points ahead in the polls. Electing Starmer was the worst bloody move Labour have ever made. I tried to tell you...

Anyway, it's a pandemic thread. We could always take this outside.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM

What bothers me is the lack of information and lazy and inaccurate reporting in the media. I agree that it could well cost a lot more, especially if they are hoping to increase the amount of testing.

Latest reported figures on the cost are that £5.7 billion was spent up to November 2020

Public Accounts Committee


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM

I dread to think what corbyn would have wasted billions on!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 10:32 AM

Er, the allocation is £22 billion in the first year and another £15 billion in the second. Unless the government does a U-turn, all that money will be spent. And knowing how costs for any government project usually balloon, I suspect it will come to a lot more than the £37 billion. I'm quite happy for you to reread my post as saying "is wasting" rather than "has wasted" if it bothers you.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 10:03 AM

Interesting article by Sarah Boseley in The Guardian about the discovery of the Kent variant.

The Covid detectives


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 09:24 AM

"which has wasted £37 billion on a useless "world-beating" no-track-and-no-trace "system"?

Not correct. Allocated 37 billion over 2 years. Might have spent about a third by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 07:39 AM

It'll be a while before I venture back into the pub. I'm all for a cautious reopening. I'm also all for everyone starting to take personal responsibility. If numbers can stay low for the next couple of weeks, and if the vaccination programme stays good, I want to see all government restrictions lifted. So I don't agree with you about masks. If shops, buses and trains want to carry on making us wear them, that's fine, but I want to see all government-decreed control measures disappear. This government is enjoying the current controls over us a little too much for my liking, and vaccine passports are another symptom of that. Let's have a closer look at that:

That bloke sitting next to Bonzo at the flicks. He has a vaccine passport. Either he's (a) had the virus and has antibodies, or (b) he's had the vaccine and has antibodies, or (c) he once had a test and tested positive or (d) he's had a negative result very recently. I suppose there could be an (e): he obtained his passport fraudulently. But let's have a bit more faith in human nature...huh?

(a) We don't know whether previously-infected people can get the virus again. We don't know how long antibodies last in the bloodstream. We don't know about how easy it is to catch a different strain of the virus. Etcetera.

(b) No vaccine is 100% effective. We don't know how long vaccines protect us for. Ditto re antibodies from (a).

(c) No test is anything like 100% reliable. The lateral flow test, the one I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) we're all going to get as a freebie, is notoriously unreliable. With both tests, false negatives are entirely possible. A false positive is, arguably, even more dangerous, as it could have you thinking that you've had the virus when you haven't, lulling you into a false sense of safety. And just because you tested negative today doesn't mean you won't get the virus tomorrow.

(d) See above. Even two tests a week, bearing in mind that the test is unreliable and that we'd be relying on competent self-administration (a dubious assumption), wouldn't be enough to ensure safety. And then we will be relying on people who test positive, possibly inaccurately and possibly who feel perfectly well, fessing up and condemning themselves to even more solitary confinement. I'm not even clear if or how the ongoing testing can be incorporated into a certificate. Maybe I've got that bit wrong.

We will be safe when infection numbers are very low. Vaccine certificates, predicated on stacks of information laced with all these doubts, will not make us safer. Then there's the potential for fraudulent practice. My view is that vaccine certificates are less about our safety and more about continuing government control over our lives. A government that has shown serial gross incompetence. Call me Mr Suspicious. I care not a jot.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 07:34 AM

The Pfizer vaccine is supposedly effective for the varients including the aggressive UK varient.
I hope that research is not exaggerated.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 07:32 AM

We don't do pubs so irrelevant to us. Yes we watch our films on TV, no need to enter a cinema.

What is a "mosh pit"???


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 06:22 AM

My view?
Let the pubs re-open in full. There will be different groups of customers:

The vaccinated: Not really a risk to themselves or others (but take precautions if going home to someone not vaccinated)
The yet-to be vaccinated: Assume everyone else is contagious and take reasonable precautions.
Those unable to be vaccinated (for health reasons); continue to take extreme care
Those who choose not to be vaccinated; Your fate is in your own hands, don't expect others to avoid you for your protection.

Of course the pubs should continue with current good hygiene systems and spacing (where possible) at least until the 'yet-to-be' group have had a chance to get a vaccine.
In the future we can expect a 'new norm' where masks may be a fact of life, and everyone will take a bit more care for themselves and for others. But I haven't seen signs of that in the mass evening gatherings in the last week or so. Reopening the pubs might reduce these mass gatherings.

From the above you may gather that I'm missing the pubs (and the pinball machines)


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 05:47 AM

So you'd be happy to sit next to someone in the cinema who has "tested negative" using an extremely unreliable test? You'd be happy to stand next to someone in the mosh pit with a "vaccine certificate" granted by a government that has killed tens of thousands of people via sheer ineptitude and which has wasted £37 billion on a useless "world-beating" no-track-and-no-trace "system"?

I've got a better idea: stay at home, spend your flicks dough on a nice bottle, and watch a film on the telly. Butterkist make nice popcorn. One day, you can go to the flicks feeling unconditionally safe. It will come.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 03:57 AM

I'm pleased to see that the UK government will offer to deliver 2 free covid tests to everyone once lockdown starts to ease more substantially!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 05:32 PM

But it has has taken an incredibly short period of time to vaccinate 30 million adults. I would not want to sit next to an unvaccinated lady or man at a gig, in the cinema or theatre.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 11:14 AM

I don't agree with you. If and when we get case numbers very low (we live in hope, keeping a wary eye on Europe's third wave) we won't need them. By then, the only role of vaccine passports would be to nobble vaccine deniers. I don't like vaccine deniers but I don't want the government to enact laws that are matters of somebody's principle rather than matters of pragmatism. It is not against the law to refuse a vaccine, and passports would discriminate against people who are not lawbreakers. They would also discriminate against people who, for one reason or another, are fearful of the vaccines. We already know that there is a large disparity in proportions between the vaccine-worried in white and black communities, for all sorts of reasons. Vaccine passports would readily be seen as carrying racist connotations. On top of all this, it would be unconscionable to introduce them before everyone has been offered a vaccine. We are a long way from that aspiration at the moment and it's looking like it'll take a lot longer than the government's promised deadlines.


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Subject: BS: Covid passport
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 09:45 AM

Covid passports are an excellent idea, of course they are bound to be disliked by people who have something to hide!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 11:55 AM

This was discussed by Anthony Fauci on The Rachel Maddow Show last night. He said they're only effective if they are administered very early. The problem is that they require an IV setup and the research now is to render these drugs into more easily administered forms. The best and easiest would be a pill to take by mouth as soon as possible, but he said it looks like the companies are aiming at intramuscular or sub-cutaneous administration as a shot. But he kept going back to the early testing being needed to administer these treatments. They only have snippets of the program on the Maddow Blog, but you may find the bit I'm talking about. (Her regular program is available over cable or online services.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 06:25 AM

Do tell us more.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 04:52 AM

There are as many as THREE direct anti viral therapeutic medicines (anti body) that will save a patient from death ONLY IF THEY ARE ADMINISTERED IN TIME.

however they do not not have them for the varints yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 03:55 AM

I bumped into a local ceilidhnaut last week and we chatted about the dance possibilities (mostly lack of) and as we parted she handed me a broadsheet called "the Light" (a truthpaper) - politely taking it and secreting it in my knapsack. There was a hint of evangelical religion about it, but the evengel was anti-vax & paranoia about mendacious Gov statistics (OK, but I prefer healthy sceptisism on Gov offerings). Re: people dying after vaccination, ignoring that statistically/law of averages there are going to be some no matter what.

Britain has its fair share of AltFactsers but it is hard to see people you know being so misguided in the logic department. And unable to even offer more than "Well I have been shot and I didn't fall over" with a smile on my face.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Mar 21 - 07:14 PM

Almost all initial new introduction of knowledge is greeted with denial.
We are hard wired with some protection to the lie but repitition breaks down that denial surpringly quickly.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Mar 21 - 06:27 PM

Here is a fascinating look at covid denial, from 6 months' of MIT listening in on them online.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Mar 21 - 12:33 PM

8.4 million Americans are long haulers.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Mar 21 - 01:55 PM

Good news on the financial Covid relief bill is promising as well as Biden's full speed ahead with the vaccination delivery.

Nigel is your brain collection large?? Tin foil and metal trays do not help preserve or control excess heat from degrading brains. What you do in the field is use a small kit with syringes and some basic solution reagents You can then go in and anesthetize the animal and set up a little field station to embalm the brain in formaldehyde right there. Gycerine and sodium benzoate in a zip lock baggie with no air also works in a pinch. ;^)


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Mar 21 - 10:30 AM

Yesterday the CDC said that fully vaccinated adults may, beginning two weeks after the second shot, gather indoors without masks or social distancing. And may gather with low-probability to infection people like small children. When out in public still wear masks and still stay socially distant.

CDC Says It's Safe For Vaccinated People To Do These Activities

In Texas, after tomorrow (March 10), all of that is a big crap shoot. The Governor lifted all of the restrictions on people, so those who are still being cautious need to do so while avoiding people who aren't being cautious. And look: it's time for Colleges and Universities to have Spring Break. Southern beaches are a classic destination so Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, look out.


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Subject: RE: BS: So much Good News!
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Mar 21 - 09:05 AM

Hedgehoppers Anonymous:

It's good news week
Someone's dropped a bomb somewhere
Contaminating atmosphere
And blackening the sky

It's good news week
Someone's found a way to give
The rotting dead a will to live
Go on and never die

Have you heard the news
What did it say?
Who's won that race?
What's the weather like today?

It's good news week
Families shake the need for gold
By stimulating birth control
We're wanting less to eat

It's good news week
Doctors finding many ways
Of wrapping brains on metal trays
To keep us from the heat

It's good news week
Families shake the need for gold
By stimulating birth control
We're wanting less to eat
It's good news week

Doctors finding many ways
Of wrapping brains on metal trays
To keep us from the heat
To keep us from the heat
To keep us from the heat


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