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The Covid race: vaccination vs lockdown easing. It’s not over yet – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited March 13 in General
imageThe Covid race: vaccination vs lockdown easing. It’s not over yet – politicalbetting.com

You might think that things are finally going well in the UK in the fight against Covid-19. And, after a pretty awful 2020, so they are. Close to 25m vaccine doses have already been administered – more, proportionally than almost any other country on Earth; weekly case numbers are down by more than 90% from the peak, the weekly death toll is down by more than 85%, hospital admissions by almost as much and the number of patients in hospital by almost 80%.

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • state_go_awaystate_go_away Posts: 3,046
    there is a numberphile video on youtube that works out that all covid-19 in the world could be put in a coke can. Put me off coke
  • isamisam Posts: 35,511
    edited March 13
    @FrancisUrquhart

    Bernard Manning’s best line in that interview with Mark Lamar was “Poor old Jim Bowen - he’ll never live to be as old as he looks”
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 38,017

    there is a numberphile video on youtube that works out that all covid-19 in the world could be put in a coke can. Put me off coke

    Will you be going with weed instead?
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,261
    The metrics to keep a watch on, I suggest, are case rates and hospitalisations, in particular ICU.

    Only ease off restrictions as long as case rates don't rise. I think case rates are low enough now to ease off the restrictions, but you want to do it slowly.

    Hospitalisations are still too high. They need to fall further. In particular the ICU requirement needs to fall.

    France is an interesting case study. They didn't fully lockdown in the new year - schools were kept open throughout. Case rates are medium overall but with a number of hotspots. But it is putting pressure on hospitals, in particular ICU. France has a policy of distributing patients across the country rather than stressing hospitals in hotspots, on the basis that properly resourced ICU saves lives. Thread on this, in French:

    https://twitter.com/eorphelin/status/1368886505062735874
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    Mr. Above, I'm inclined to tentatively agree.

    However, political decision makers know that they'll be instantly and loudly blamed for deaths, so they prefer to be risk averse. It's understandable.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 23,143
    FF43 said:

    The metrics to keep a watch on, I suggest, are case rates and hospitalisations, in particular ICU.

    Only ease off restrictions as long as case rates don't rise. I think case rates are low enough now to ease off the restrictions, but you want to do it slowly.

    Hospitalisations are still too high. They need to fall further. In particular the ICU requirement needs to fall.

    France is an interesting case study. They didn't fully lockdown in the new year - schools were kept open throughout. Case rates are medium overall but with a number of hotspots. But it is putting pressure on hospitals, in particular ICU. France has a policy of distributing patients across the country rather than stressing hospitals in hotspots, on the basis that properly resourced ICU saves lives. Thread on this, in French:

    https://twitter.com/eorphelin/status/1368886505062735874

    England has been doing this too. The patients in ICU that I was involved with were only about 50% from Leics. The other 50% were a mixture of clinical transfers for ECMO and non clinical for capacity.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 3,100

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    That is shocking. Were they ill soon after the jab do you know?
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 9,525

    Mr. Above, I'm inclined to tentatively agree.

    However, political decision makers know that they'll be instantly and loudly blamed for deaths, so they prefer to be risk averse. It's understandable.

    They werent risk averse in March 2020, or in the lead up to Christmas......yet those experiences have led them to become over cautious when sunny optimism would for the first time in this battle be a good thing!
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,261
    Foxy said:

    FF43 said:

    The metrics to keep a watch on, I suggest, are case rates and hospitalisations, in particular ICU.

    Only ease off restrictions as long as case rates don't rise. I think case rates are low enough now to ease off the restrictions, but you want to do it slowly.

    Hospitalisations are still too high. They need to fall further. In particular the ICU requirement needs to fall.

    France is an interesting case study. They didn't fully lockdown in the new year - schools were kept open throughout. Case rates are medium overall but with a number of hotspots. But it is putting pressure on hospitals, in particular ICU. France has a policy of distributing patients across the country rather than stressing hospitals in hotspots, on the basis that properly resourced ICU saves lives. Thread on this, in French:

    https://twitter.com/eorphelin/status/1368886505062735874

    England has been doing this too. The patients in ICU that I was involved with were only about 50% from Leics. The other 50% were a mixture of clinical transfers for ECMO and non clinical for capacity.
    Thanks. What's the ICU situation like now in your hospital?
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 41,703

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    Is the implication here that they'd had the vaccine but it was yet to take full effect, or they'd had the vaccine several weeks earlier but it still didn't work?

    I accept that most would only have had round one, which would give 65-70% coverage and not 95%+ so you'd expect some very unlucky ones, unfortunately.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 3,100

    Completely disagree with the thrust of this article.

    The difference between first and second dose protection is very marginal - the key benefit of the second dose is extending protection not enhancing it. 3 weeks after the first dose gives excellent protection against hospitalisation and death.

    The impact of the disease on under 40s (probably under 50s), sad as it is, does not justify lockdown.

    We should be easing restrictions, especially those outside, faster than the timetable. Maybe only a few weeks faster but those weeks do matter economically and psychologically.

    I'm conflicted. I tend to agree with your post, but I worry about Mark's post and we can't do another lockdown, but I would like to see a staged release asap and ahead of schedule if possible.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 41,703
    On topic, April and May will be the crucial months as that's when the data from schools and lockdown officially ending will start to feed through, but the whole population won't yet have been vaccinated - for which we're really talking June for full effect.

    So I expect a new hump, but one that's hopefully shorter and flatter and that dissipates by July due to the effects of vaccines not lockdown.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 23,143
    FF43 said:

    Foxy said:

    FF43 said:

    The metrics to keep a watch on, I suggest, are case rates and hospitalisations, in particular ICU.

    Only ease off restrictions as long as case rates don't rise. I think case rates are low enough now to ease off the restrictions, but you want to do it slowly.

    Hospitalisations are still too high. They need to fall further. In particular the ICU requirement needs to fall.

    France is an interesting case study. They didn't fully lockdown in the new year - schools were kept open throughout. Case rates are medium overall but with a number of hotspots. But it is putting pressure on hospitals, in particular ICU. France has a policy of distributing patients across the country rather than stressing hospitals in hotspots, on the basis that properly resourced ICU saves lives. Thread on this, in French:

    https://twitter.com/eorphelin/status/1368886505062735874

    England has been doing this too. The patients in ICU that I was involved with were only about 50% from Leics. The other 50% were a mixture of clinical transfers for ECMO and non clinical for capacity.
    Thanks. What's the ICU situation like now in your hospital?
    I think we have about 25 in covid ICU, 4 on ECMO. That is much less than the January peak, when there were 60 something.

    Rates are dropping here, but still above much of the country.

    https://twitter.com/CovidLeics/status/1370425267412418560?s=19

    NWLeics, Charnwood, Blaby are all fairly typical Middle England. Only Charnwood has a significant ethnic mix.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 3,331
    By Easter we will have ~1/3rd of the population with ~2/3rds vaccine protection, at the very least. I think there's fairly good evidence that this protection will apply to transmission as well as sickness.

    That gives us a 22% reduction in R that we didn't have at the start of the year. I'm fairly optimistic that this will be enough to keep case numbers from returning to five figures, and to ensure that hospital admissions don't rise again, even with some modest reopening.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,362
    Meanwhile, the yield on 10-year US government bonds climbed to its highest level in more than a year yesterday...
  • StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 2,712

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 40,122
    kjh said:

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    That is shocking. Were they ill soon after the jab do you know?
    There's not much information on this yet. It's no doubt being looked at very, very carefully. If it is infection outside the post-jab window, then that will cause great ructions.

    Let's hope it is not.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,362
    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 9,525
    kjh said:

    Completely disagree with the thrust of this article.

    The difference between first and second dose protection is very marginal - the key benefit of the second dose is extending protection not enhancing it. 3 weeks after the first dose gives excellent protection against hospitalisation and death.

    The impact of the disease on under 40s (probably under 50s), sad as it is, does not justify lockdown.

    We should be easing restrictions, especially those outside, faster than the timetable. Maybe only a few weeks faster but those weeks do matter economically and psychologically.

    I'm conflicted. I tend to agree with your post, but I worry about Mark's post and we can't do another lockdown, but I would like to see a staged release asap and ahead of schedule if possible.
    Sure, if the data supports Mark's post as a typical occurrence post vaccination we have to think again but so far that has not been the case.

    https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-preprint-assessing-the-effectiveness-of-the-first-dose-of-pfizer-biontech-and-oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccines-in-prevention-of-hospitalisations-in-elderly-and-frail-adults/

    My big gripe is that with each week we will likely get closer to the answer, but we are only allowed to actually use that data to inform decisions once every five weeks, and then only on a particular subset of restrictions.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 9,525

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Well done Pfizer on that timing!!
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 38,017
    edited March 13

    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.

    Anecdotally, one thing the lockdown does seem to have done is get the infection rate in schoolchildren back under tight control. Which is plausible, when you think about it (I confess I didn’t very clearly) as they were probably not mixing indoors with anyone except family for all that time.

    So whereas before the infection rate was 4.2% (I know at one stage before Christmas the ONS said it was 0.2% but that appears to have been a typing error) I’m not hearing of many positives among children at all despite these millions of tests.

    This may of course be because they are as useless as a chocolate kettle, but let’s be optimistic here and assume it’s because there isn’t much to find.

    In which case, it seems unlikely there will be a major school driven spike for at least 2-3 weeks, by which time we have the Easter holidays (April 1st or earlier) and another two weeks’ respite.

    So if my experience is typical there is reason to hope schools will not cause problems this side of May, by which time vaccines should be sufficiently advanced to do the heavy lifting on protection.
  • theProletheProle Posts: 282
    edited March 13

    Completely disagree with the thrust of this article.

    The difference between first and second dose protection is very marginal - the key benefit of the second dose is extending protection not enhancing it. 3 weeks after the first dose gives excellent protection against hospitalisation and death.

    The impact of the disease on under 40s (probably under 50s), sad as it is, does not justify lockdown.

    We should be easing restrictions, especially those outside, faster than the timetable. Maybe only a few weeks faster but those weeks do matter economically and psychologically.

    Assuming for a moment that defacto lockdowns are the right answer*, I think that the problem with politicians all along has been a total inability to read the data and react fast enough. Those with half a brain who read the various graphs posted here can work out what will happen next about a month before the politicians do.

    Each time round they have been too slow to impose restrictions, and too slow to relax them.

    The thing which really enrages me at the moment is that I'm locked down now, incase by unlocking too quickly, cases run away and they have to lockdown again. This is quite probably the most stupid policy of all time - imposing something which is probably unnecessary, so as to avoid possibly having to do it in the future.

    *they aren't. The various approaches of different US states are proving pretty conclusively that you might as well not bother and just let a de-facto lockdown occur instead. Same results in terms of case numbers, vastly increased freedom for those not really at risk.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 23,143

    kjh said:

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    That is shocking. Were they ill soon after the jab do you know?
    There's not much information on this yet. It's no doubt being looked at very, very carefully. If it is infection outside the post-jab window, then that will cause great ructions.

    Let's hope it is not.
    If it was nursing homes then pretty certain to have been jabbed by late Jan.
  • eekeek Posts: 12,249

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.

    And it didn't even require that - all Trump needed to do to win was to get his voters to actually vote by say not discouraging early and mail in voting.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 38,017

    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.

    However, even if the government agrees with you (which they do) there is every reason to set long goals, that change be brought forward, than short ones that then have to be lengthened.

    That’s the error they made over schools, where a barrage of leaks from the DfE meant it had to be announced they were all reopening on the 8th March even though this was (a) not true and (b) a significant gamble given the enormous problems involved and the major risks of confining millions of people in poorly ventilated rooms for long stretches.

    As it turns out it’s one I’m now hopeful we’ll get away with, but it could easily have gone very wrong if large numbers of cases had been found.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    F1: minor shift, but surprised Verstappen's down from 5 to 4.75 from about 7am this morning to now.

    Not a tip. Still strongly suspect Mercedes will rack up more titles this season.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 5,064

    On topic, April and May will be the crucial months as that's when the data from schools and lockdown officially ending will start to feed through, but the whole population won't yet have been vaccinated - for which we're really talking June for full effect.

    So I expect a new hump, but one that's hopefully shorter and flatter and that dissipates by July due to the effects of vaccines not lockdown.

    The concern is that the decline has stalled in Scotland - which of course opened schools two weeks earlier. The problem also is that there is still a focus on case numbers. But surely it HAS to factor in vaccinations. Cases will cause deaths. But probably at flu like levels not Covid levels. Not a justification for ongoing lockdowns.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 38,017
    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 5,064

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    What if Trump had taken the virus seriously, and worked towards beating it, not actively undermining it? There are lots of things that Trump could have done to win the election. Saying "what if the vaccine rollout had happened earlier" doesn't factor in how incompetently the vaccine rollout was being carried out. The vaccine rollout is happening in the EU. Not too many politicans being able to take credit for it though.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    F1: ha, Perez has shorter odds than Bottas on Betfair (11 to 17). And there, Verstappen is just 4.2, though the lay is 6.8 so there's no golden window, alas.
  • alednamalednam Posts: 124
    It's much in the Conservative Party's interests that the government has us stick to the timetable. But then one would think they should be doing a lot more to remind people of current regulations, and saying how one should proceed post vaccination. When I walk in the park, it's evident that many of the people who've got together are on the wrong side of the rules. When I hear what's said by newly vaccinated people, I find they think they've immediately been set free.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 1,452
    It should not be the role of government to eliminate risk. And as others have pointed out, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost benefit analysis of their measures a whole, yet alone a targeted analysis of each individual measure.

    I don’t mean to sound blunt but who cares if our excess death goes up by a few hundred a day in the winter months. Its debatable whether taken over the period 2020-2025 you’ll even notice it. It’s time to announce job done and let the rest of get on with staving off personal bankruptcy and mental breakdowns in our families.

  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 9,431
    ydoethur said:

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
    It is one of the great political puzzles of my time. Why on earth did Trump choose to deny the virus?

    It was impossible for a start, but if he had led his people in the campaign to restrict its damage he would have been lauded as the saviour of the country. He would have won a landslide last November.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 9,525
    alednam said:

    It's much in the Conservative Party's interests that the government has us stick to the timetable. But then one would think they should be doing a lot more to remind people of current regulations, and saying how one should proceed post vaccination. When I walk in the park, it's evident that many of the people who've got together are on the wrong side of the rules. When I hear what's said by newly vaccinated people, I find they think they've immediately been set free.

    They could send a daily text countdown to each vaccine recipient:

    Day after vaccine - 21 days for your vaccine to give good but not full protection
    Then the next morning - 20 days for your vaccine to give good but not full protection

    Would cost virtually nothing to do but have an impact on behaviour, if a little annoying.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,945
    One controversial thing that David doesn’t take into account is immunity through past infection. Lockdown was instituted by a team led by Neil Ferguson. Last month the Indie reported him saying -

    “As much as one-third of the UK population may already have gained some level of immunity by contracting and recovering from Covid-19, said Prof Ferguson. And this pool of protection is being quickly expanded by vaccination to take the population towards herd immunity status.”


    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-vaccine-uk-neil-ferguson-lockdown-b1801354.html

    Of that 30% (let’s call it 25% conservatively) it is not unreasonable to suppose a great proportion are those of working age, who have had to be out and about, and thus exposed to the virus. There will be an overlap of course but the sheer transmissibility of the Kent variant will have meant more and more people will have got the virus. So it’s quite possible 50% of the population have some degree of immunity already.

    Now, variants do offer some escape from immune reaction, but Rupert Beale, who is the Group Leader of the Cambridge Cell Biology of Infection Lab says -

    Vaccinated or previously infected people may get infected again, but because they have some measure of immunity their infections will be mild, much as with the four seasonal coronaviruses we have lived with for decades.”


    Quite rightly, herd immunity through prior infection is something no government should aim for, and that our government was clinging to it last March for as long as it was gives it no credit, but we are where we are. In that context the pace of unlocking does seem to be about right.

    Finally below is an Tweet from Shane Crotty, an immunologist at La Jolla Institute of Immunology, who estimates the level of protection given by prior infection to a few of the current variants -

    https://twitter.com/profshanecrotty/status/1367559032282607618
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 6,916
    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.

    And it didn't even require that - all Trump needed to do to win was to get his voters to actually vote by say not discouraging early and mail in voting.
    538 has a new podcast asking if Joe Biden just got lucky.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyWtVZE8GB4

    In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke reflects on key moments in the 2020 race with the authors of the new book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won The Presidency.” Written by Jonathan Allen, senior political analyst with NBC News, and Amie Parnes, senior correspondent for The Hill, the book is the first big reported account of the 2020 campaign in its entirety.


  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 6,916
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 9,525

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.

    And it didn't even require that - all Trump needed to do to win was to get his voters to actually vote by say not discouraging early and mail in voting.
    538 has a new podcast asking if Joe Biden just got lucky.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyWtVZE8GB4

    In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke reflects on key moments in the 2020 race with the authors of the new book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won The Presidency.” Written by Jonathan Allen, senior political analyst with NBC News, and Amie Parnes, senior correspondent for The Hill, the book is the first big reported account of the 2020 campaign in its entirety.


    All elected leaders get lucky. Thousands want their jobs, there is often not much difference between them. Being in the right place at the right time is far more important than skill, decisions or character in becoming US president.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 41,703
    alex_ said:

    On topic, April and May will be the crucial months as that's when the data from schools and lockdown officially ending will start to feed through, but the whole population won't yet have been vaccinated - for which we're really talking June for full effect.

    So I expect a new hump, but one that's hopefully shorter and flatter and that dissipates by July due to the effects of vaccines not lockdown.

    The concern is that the decline has stalled in Scotland - which of course opened schools two weeks earlier. The problem also is that there is still a focus on case numbers. But surely it HAS to factor in vaccinations. Cases will cause deaths. But probably at flu like levels not Covid levels. Not a justification for ongoing lockdowns.
    Lockdowns can't continue.

    I almost totally lost it in the latest one; I couldn't work or sleep at times, and my relationships really suffered. All I wanted to do was drink to escape it. Or play totally absorbing games and drink. And even that didn't work at times.

    Did other people have it far worse than me? Of course - much much worse, with personal tragedy and real trauma on top. But this has never happened to me before and it was terrifying.

    And if it's happening to me it must be happening to millions of others too, and the long-term effects of that we still don't know and possible won't for years (if not decades) so it's time to take a few calculated risks if we now know we've got the measure of this virus, because we don't know we've got the measure of the aftermath.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 33,627
    edited March 13

    Completely disagree with the thrust of this article.

    The difference between first and second dose protection is very marginal - the key benefit of the second dose is extending protection not enhancing it. 3 weeks after the first dose gives excellent protection against hospitalisation and death.

    The impact of the disease on under 40s (probably under 50s), sad as it is, does not justify lockdown.

    We should be easing restrictions, especially those outside, faster than the timetable. Maybe only a few weeks faster but those weeks do matter economically and psychologically.

    I agree, provided that people don't go mad the day after vaccination.

    That vaccination is having an effect is evident from comparing the case and hospital rate trends for the UK and US with those of Europe.

    Yet spikes are still possible (from a very low base case rates on the island rose last week) and it's too early to judge what effect sending pupils back to school may have had.

    Vaccination is proceeding efficiently and steadily, but with the wave of second doses about to hit, capacity needs to ramp up asap. The March ramping up has been forecast almost as often as a LibDem late surge, but it is now mid month and so far there is no sign of it; indeed first dose vaccination numbers are trending downward and have been for some weeks.
  • alednamalednam Posts: 124

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.

    And it didn't even require that - all Trump needed to do to win was to get his voters to actually vote by say not discouraging early and mail in voting.
    538 has a new podcast asking if Joe Biden just got lucky.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyWtVZE8GB4

    In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke reflects on key moments in the 2020 race with the authors of the new book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won The Presidency.” Written by Jonathan Allen, senior political analyst with NBC News, and Amie Parnes, senior correspondent for The Hill, the book is the first big reported account of the 2020 campaign in its entirety.


    For sure, strokes of luck helped Biden get through the primaries so as to be the Dem candidate. But it's misleading, I think, to say that he "barely won the Presidency" (as the book's title says): that suggests the result of THE (general) election was closer than we know.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 36,987
    Other conclusions and inferences are available.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 31,476

    Completely disagree with the thrust of this article.

    The difference between first and second dose protection is very marginal - the key benefit of the second dose is extending protection not enhancing it. 3 weeks after the first dose gives excellent protection against hospitalisation and death.

    The impact of the disease on under 40s (probably under 50s), sad as it is, does not justify lockdown.

    We should be easing restrictions, especially those outside, faster than the timetable. Maybe only a few weeks faster but those weeks do matter economically and psychologically.

    With opening of non essential retail and the other measures on Good Friday a lot will have been done to lift lockdown in practice.

    That is 3 weeks after the 15m most vulnerable have had their first jab. About right for the next step

  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,069
    ydoethur said:

    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.

    Anecdotally, one thing the lockdown does seem to have done is get the infection rate in schoolchildren back under tight control. Which is plausible, when you think about it (I confess I didn’t very clearly) as they were probably not mixing indoors with anyone except family for all that time.

    So whereas before the infection rate was 4.2% (I know at one stage before Christmas the ONS said it was 0.2% but that appears to have been a typing error) I’m not hearing of many positives among children at all despite these millions of tests.

    This may of course be because they are as useless as a chocolate kettle, but let’s be optimistic here and assume it’s because there isn’t much to find.

    In which case, it seems unlikely there will be a major school driven spike for at least 2-3 weeks, by which time we have the Easter holidays (April 1st or earlier) and another two weeks’ respite.

    So if my experience is typical there is reason to hope schools will not cause problems this side of May, by which time vaccines should be sufficiently advanced to do the heavy lifting on protection.
    A friend is doing some temporary work running LFT on kids for a school in Cornwall. Out of 1500 kids they have had no cases.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,945
    The current lockdown regulations are not made under the Coronavirus Act but instead the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. I am not sure how much the 2020 Act has been used.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 65,452
    One psychological advantage of being vaccinated (And it's minor) slightly later in the program is that we aren't going to wait around long feeling that you are vaccinated but still restricted.
    Is this a feeling anyone has had ?
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,069
    Charles said:

    Completely disagree with the thrust of this article.

    The difference between first and second dose protection is very marginal - the key benefit of the second dose is extending protection not enhancing it. 3 weeks after the first dose gives excellent protection against hospitalisation and death.

    The impact of the disease on under 40s (probably under 50s), sad as it is, does not justify lockdown.

    We should be easing restrictions, especially those outside, faster than the timetable. Maybe only a few weeks faster but those weeks do matter economically and psychologically.

    With opening of non essential retail and the other measures on Good Friday a lot will have been done to lift lockdown in practice.

    That is 3 weeks after the 15m most vulnerable have had their first jab. About right for the next step

    I suspect lifting restrictions for Easter was considered (hospitality would have loved it) but rejected for fear of turning it into a party weekend. None of the stages fall at Bank Holidays. Midsummer weekend might be fun, though.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 36,987
    One thing that has been disappointing in this month so far is the rate of vaccination. This has been supply driven and is apparently about to improve. My belief is that the timetable for ending lockdown was built around this. If we had been going gangbusters for the last 2-3 week with 5m+ a week then the opportunity to accelerate the timetable would have existed but that was never on due to supply.

    Where we are right now suggests to me that those advising the government have called this pretty spot on. We will see the acceleration now but given the lag between vaccination and actual protection the window for changing the timetable looks pretty much shut.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 31,476
    ydoethur said:

    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.

    However, even if the government agrees with you (which they do) there is every reason to set long goals, that change be brought forward, than short ones that then have to be lengthened.

    That’s the error they made over schools, where a barrage of leaks from the DfE meant it had to be announced they were all reopening on the 8th March even though this was (a) not true and (b) a significant gamble given the enormous problems involved and the major risks of confining millions of people in poorly ventilated rooms for long stretches.

    As it turns out it’s one I’m now hopeful we’ll get away with, but it could easily have gone very wrong if large numbers of cases had been found.
    So if they were wrong you would have blamed them, but because they were right they were merely lucky?

    That doesn’t seem very balanced
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    Mr. Pulpstar, no. But then, I haven't had the vaccine. And I'm a massive introvert.
  • alednamalednam Posts: 124
    ydoethur said:

    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.

    However, even if the government agrees with you (which they do) there is every reason to set long goals, that change be brought forward, than short ones that then have to be lengthened.

    That’s the error they made over schools, where a barrage of leaks from the DfE meant it had to be announced they were all reopening on the 8th March even though this was (a) not true and (b) a significant gamble given the enormous problems involved and the major risks of confining millions of people in poorly ventilated rooms for long stretches.

    As it turns out it’s one I’m now hopeful we’ll get away with, but it could easily have gone very wrong if large numbers of cases had been found.
    "Their use should be dire emergency only", i.e. take no precautions against long term harm.

  • AnneJGPAnneJGP Posts: 2,811

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    The outbreak in the residential home near Sidmouth is being investigated by the police, along with CQC and other agencies. They are waiting for the results of post mortem on the three people who died.

    So it doesn't look exactly like just another outbreak. Yesterday's Western Morning News said second jabs were due this weekend.

    God morning, everyone.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    edited March 13
    Disagreed David sorry.

    Lockdown is a tremendous strain on civil liberties that should only be a last resort. If by the end of March the most vulnerable have had two doses and the over 50s one then three weeks later it's inexcusable to still be saying that mainstream indoor businesses like bars and restaurants need to be closed.

    Steady as she goes to Easter maybe but a real rethink is needed at or by Easter. On current timelines indoor hospitality is going to remain shut until nearly the end of May. That simply can not be justified. We are not at the last resort anymore.

    Nightclubs in June I'd keep until three weeks after 18 year olds have had the first dose, but summer 2020 style regulations with restaurants and pubs open indoors should be brought forward after Easter.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677

    ydoethur said:

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
    It is one of the great political puzzles of my time. Why on earth did Trump choose to deny the virus?

    It was impossible for a start, but if he had led his people in the campaign to restrict its damage he would have been lauded as the saviour of the country. He would have won a landslide last November.
    Trump knew that he was on course to win the election due to the economy. He saw the virus as threatening the stock market and the economy before it became clear to him (if it ever did) of the seriousness to health that Covid posed. I don`t think it was any more than that.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677
    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?
  • Black_RookBlack_Rook Posts: 7,931
    DavidL said:

    One thing that has been disappointing in this month so far is the rate of vaccination. This has been supply driven and is apparently about to improve. My belief is that the timetable for ending lockdown was built around this. If we had been going gangbusters for the last 2-3 week with 5m+ a week then the opportunity to accelerate the timetable would have existed but that was never on due to supply.

    Where we are right now suggests to me that those advising the government have called this pretty spot on. We will see the acceleration now but given the lag between vaccination and actual protection the window for changing the timetable looks pretty much shut.

    Once the steps in the timetable - and, more crucially, the rationale behind the gaps between them - were announced, I never seriously expected things to be hurried along. If the advisers have said that we need four weeks to judge how the interventions have affected things and then another week to give businesses time to prepare to re-open, then there isn't any room for acceleration. And yes, given that the Government's original assertion that cohorts 1-4 would be done by mid-February turned out to be pretty much spot on, I do think that they've got a handle on the likely level of supply and have set the unlocking phases accordingly.

    Going forward, I think it likely that the "no sooner than dates" will be stuck to, but they can get away with pushing the steps back if they really feel they need to, provided that sufficient notice is given and that it's not by more than a couple of weeks each time. The success of the vaccine project has bought the Government some extra political capital, but only a finite amount of it.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 9,525
    Stocky said:

    ydoethur said:

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
    It is one of the great political puzzles of my time. Why on earth did Trump choose to deny the virus?

    It was impossible for a start, but if he had led his people in the campaign to restrict its damage he would have been lauded as the saviour of the country. He would have won a landslide last November.
    Trump knew that he was on course to win the election due to the economy. He saw the virus as threatening the stock market and the economy before it became clear to him (if it ever did) of the seriousness to health that Covid posed. I don`t think it was any more than that.
    Trump is now on the record as privately telling people it was deadly in February before the first US covid death. It was very clear to him all along, but he didnt want to be the bearer of bad news.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 3,100
    edited March 13
    Stocky said:

    ydoethur said:

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
    It is one of the great political puzzles of my time. Why on earth did Trump choose to deny the virus?

    It was impossible for a start, but if he had led his people in the campaign to restrict its damage he would have been lauded as the saviour of the country. He would have won a landslide last November.
    Trump knew that he was on course to win the election due to the economy. He saw the virus as threatening the stock market and the economy before it became clear to him (if it ever did) of the seriousness to health that Covid posed. I don`t think it was any more than that.
    He is also an idiot. Remember he wanted to nuke hurricanes, use bleach to get rid of covid and thought F35s(?) were invisible.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 36,987
    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    I don't think so. Everyone I speak to has found the lockdown since Christmas the hardest to date. I feel the same. Its been tough. The one thing we hold on to is that this is it. No more lockdowns. Normality or something close. Risking that for a haircut or a trip to the pub a couple of weeks earlier seems a poor exchange.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.

    And it didn't even require that - all Trump needed to do to win was to get his voters to actually vote by say not discouraging early and mail in voting.
    Given how high turnout was and how high his personal vote was I'm not convinced that differential turnout actually lost it for him.

    Don't forget he got more votes than any previous POTUS candidate in history excluding Biden 2020. That doesn't show a lack of turnout, simply he was behind Biden as the polls showed.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677
    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    That is shocking. Were they ill soon after the jab do you know?
    There's not much information on this yet. It's no doubt being looked at very, very carefully. If it is infection outside the post-jab window, then that will cause great ructions.

    Let's hope it is not.
    If it was nursing homes then pretty certain to have been jabbed by late Jan.
    I think much more detail is needed around Mark's report before we get carried away.

    A couple of things from my mum's care home: before the vaccines they had an outbreak with five residents testing positive (and some care staff). Not one had any symptoms. This is seems odd when compared to Mark's example.

    Secondly, mum's home, and I assume others in the area (Mark's example from Sidmouth is just down the road), had Pfiser. I've often wondered how reliable the chilling of the vaccine is, especially as they are visiting the care homes in mobile units. Is it possible that the Sidmouth vaccine was compromised leading to a faulty batch?
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 65,452
    edited March 13
    The UK's straategy will work best on severe disease and hospitalisations first, but the actual effect of transmission of the virus via vaccination is backloaded as we're doing working age people later.
    The one exception is hospital and care staff, but that was moreso to prevent deaths and hospitalisation amongst those they work with than for themselves.
    It's subtley different to the strategy in place in the country which is broadly moving at the same speed as us, the USA.
    Our longer vaccination gap is definitely better in the round though I think.
  • Black_RookBlack_Rook Posts: 7,931
    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    Pretty much, yes. Now that the olds have been vaccinated the motivation for perma-lockdown through fear has gone. We all just want this to be over.

    The remaining advocates for sitting on our arses for the rest of the year are now the Zero Covid screwballs, with a little assistance from the devolved administrations which don't have the responsibility for paying for all of this.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 17,384
    it’s worth remembering that although one dose provides substantial protection, around a quarter of those who would have become ill and died without the vaccines would still do so. In an open society, that’d mean several hundred, at least, dying every day. And it takes up to three weeks for the vaccines to be fully effective. Three weeks ago, fewer than 600,000 – 1% of the population – had received both doses.

    Is there a source for this claim. I thought the whole issue with the 12 week issue (for Pfizer) was we just don’t know.

    So whilst I’m happy for the government to be cautious and wish they had been more cautious in the autumn, I think David is worrying too much.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677

    Stocky said:

    ydoethur said:

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
    It is one of the great political puzzles of my time. Why on earth did Trump choose to deny the virus?

    It was impossible for a start, but if he had led his people in the campaign to restrict its damage he would have been lauded as the saviour of the country. He would have won a landslide last November.
    Trump knew that he was on course to win the election due to the economy. He saw the virus as threatening the stock market and the economy before it became clear to him (if it ever did) of the seriousness to health that Covid posed. I don`t think it was any more than that.
    Trump is now on the record as privately telling people it was deadly in February before the first US covid death. It was very clear to him all along, but he didnt want to be the bearer of bad news.
    Yes but he may have underestimated the extent of the spread. But in any case he saw this as no reason to derail his narrative around the economy.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 23,143
    Pulpstar said:

    One psychological advantage of being vaccinated (And it's minor) slightly later in the program is that we aren't going to wait around long feeling that you are vaccinated but still restricted.
    Is this a feeling anyone has had ?

    Very much so. Vaccination is an immediate tonic for corona-anxiety. People have noticeably become more cheerful afterwards.

    The government could have stressed that people are only fully protected 2 weeks after the second Pfizer (strong evidence from Israel), and that there was significant, albeit diminished risk until then. The problem is that such a campaign is complex and to an extent discordant with a single dose strategy.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,945
    Spot the odd one out (you might miss the cameo still at the end) -

    https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1370011662275723267
  • kjhkjh Posts: 3,100
    Stocky said:

    Stocky said:

    ydoethur said:

    eek said:

    Mr. Above, true, but we must remember the PM is an idiotic, vacillating coward who trembles at the thought of not being liked.

    Thinking back to early January, the PM wasn't liked and his party was starting to fall behind in the polls.
    The vaccine rollout, and vaccine wars, came just in time for him.

    Thought experiment: What if the US vaccine rollout had happened just before their election, rather than just after? Don't have nightmares, everyone.
    Because Trump was negative on Covid as a whole it wouldn't have helped him.
    He was positive for it at least once :wink:

    See you later.
    It is one of the great political puzzles of my time. Why on earth did Trump choose to deny the virus?

    It was impossible for a start, but if he had led his people in the campaign to restrict its damage he would have been lauded as the saviour of the country. He would have won a landslide last November.
    Trump knew that he was on course to win the election due to the economy. He saw the virus as threatening the stock market and the economy before it became clear to him (if it ever did) of the seriousness to health that Covid posed. I don`t think it was any more than that.
    Trump is now on the record as privately telling people it was deadly in February before the first US covid death. It was very clear to him all along, but he didnt want to be the bearer of bad news.
    Yes but he may have underestimated the extent of the spread. But in any case he saw this as no reason to derail his narrative around the economy.
    I couldn't resist the Trump is an idiot quote, but actually I thought your analysis of his probable thought process was spot on.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    Pretty much, yes. Now that the olds have been vaccinated the motivation for perma-lockdown through fear has gone. We all just want this to be over.

    The remaining advocates for sitting on our arses for the rest of the year are now the Zero Covid screwballs, with a little assistance from the devolved administrations which don't have the responsibility for paying for all of this.
    Hmm. I tend to side with DavidL (below) on this I think. This populist government will take the line of least resistance - and I think that is still to keep us locked down with Sunak's finance support still in place.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,945
    Foxy said:

    Pulpstar said:

    One psychological advantage of being vaccinated (And it's minor) slightly later in the program is that we aren't going to wait around long feeling that you are vaccinated but still restricted.
    Is this a feeling anyone has had ?

    Very much so. Vaccination is an immediate tonic for corona-anxiety. People have noticeably become more cheerful afterwards.

    The government could have stressed that people are only fully protected 2 weeks after the second Pfizer (strong evidence from Israel), and that there was significant, albeit diminished risk until then. The problem is that such a campaign is complex and to an extent discordant with a single dose strategy.
    Yeah, my wife is being vaccinated two days before her 46th (mild asthma bumped her up we think) and she is noticeably more chipper even before she gets done tomorrow.
  • Black_RookBlack_Rook Posts: 7,931
    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    That is shocking. Were they ill soon after the jab do you know?
    There's not much information on this yet. It's no doubt being looked at very, very carefully. If it is infection outside the post-jab window, then that will cause great ructions.

    Let's hope it is not.
    If it was nursing homes then pretty certain to have been jabbed by late Jan.
    I think much more detail is needed around Mark's report before we get carried away.

    A couple of things from my mum's care home: before the vaccines they had an outbreak with five residents testing positive (and some care staff). Not one had any symptoms. This is seems odd when compared to Mark's example.

    Secondly, mum's home, and I assume others in the area (Mark's example from Sidmouth is just down the road), had Pfiser. I've often wondered how reliable the chilling of the vaccine is, especially as they are visiting the care homes in mobile units. Is it possible that the Sidmouth vaccine was compromised leading to a faulty batch?
    Speculation is pretty much pointless. It's just as likely that a load of people got sick through sheer bad luck. As we all keep being reminded, vaccines aren't 100% effective to begin with, and with elderly care home residents you're dealing, to be blunt, with folk with knackered bodies that are less likely to mount a successful defence against infection than pretty much any other group in the population.

    At this point it's worth reminding ourselves of two other things. Firstly, that the vaccine does provide significant protection for all the vulnerable cohorts - if it didn't then, given how very easy it is for Covid to get into care homes, we'd be getting horror reports of this kind very frequently from all over the country, and the Covid mortality rate in the very elderly would not be dropping like a stone as it is. And secondly, that even a very thorough vaccine drive is still not going to eliminate Covid, and a certain number of people are still going to die from it. The entire aim of this process is to get Covid deaths down to a level that society as a whole can accept, not to wipe them out.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 65,452
    We should be getting some real world antibody production data on the 12 week Pfizer strategy soon I think ?
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,945
    Stocky said:

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    Pretty much, yes. Now that the olds have been vaccinated the motivation for perma-lockdown through fear has gone. We all just want this to be over.

    The remaining advocates for sitting on our arses for the rest of the year are now the Zero Covid screwballs, with a little assistance from the devolved administrations which don't have the responsibility for paying for all of this.
    Hmm. I tend to side with DavidL (below) on this I think. This populist government will take the line of least resistance - and I think that is still to keep us locked down with Sunak's finance support still in place.
    I think the current plan is a sensible Corona Centrist course. I take no pleasure in praising a Tory government but I think they’ve pitched this right. By the time July happens everyone who wants to will have been vaccinated. Every vaccinated person I have spoken to is vastly more enthused about reopening than those who haven’t and the ranks of the former are swelling all the time.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,676
    tlg86 said:

    it’s worth remembering that although one dose provides substantial protection, around a quarter of those who would have become ill and died without the vaccines would still do so. In an open society, that’d mean several hundred, at least, dying every day. And it takes up to three weeks for the vaccines to be fully effective. Three weeks ago, fewer than 600,000 – 1% of the population – had received both doses.

    Is there a source for this claim. I thought the whole issue with the 12 week issue (for Pfizer) was we just don’t know.

    So whilst I’m happy for the government to be cautious and wish they had been more cautious in the autumn, I think David is worrying too much.

    You can see the effect of the vaccines on cases -

    image

    - An uptick in 0-14, from the school testing
    - 65 upwards falling faster
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677
    edited March 13
    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    We are going to have to learn to live with occasional flare-ups. In Devon, Covid has been largely obliterated apart from a very few hot-spots - and even they are lukewarm-spots in all honesty. Large swathes by area have the disease suppressed. But we've still had a very nasty outbreak this week at a care home in Sidmouth where all the patients and all bar one of the staff had been vaccinated. 3 dead. This follows on from a home for dementia sufferers in Exmouth where 9 patients have died with two more very ill, again after the residents were all given the jab.

    People will wrongly think they have immunity before they do. People will get very confused and angry when the jab doesn't work for them. But unless the schools lead to a major spike, the plan looks sensible and has generally got our buy-in.

    No-one has offered a better one that survives contact with the enemy.

    That is shocking. Were they ill soon after the jab do you know?
    There's not much information on this yet. It's no doubt being looked at very, very carefully. If it is infection outside the post-jab window, then that will cause great ructions.

    Let's hope it is not.
    If it was nursing homes then pretty certain to have been jabbed by late Jan.
    I think much more detail is needed around Mark's report before we get carried away.

    A couple of things from my mum's care home: before the vaccines they had an outbreak with five residents testing positive (and some care staff). Not one had any symptoms. This is seems odd when compared to Mark's example.

    Secondly, mum's home, and I assume others in the area (Mark's example from Sidmouth is just down the road), had Pfiser. I've often wondered how reliable the chilling of the vaccine is, especially as they are visiting the care homes in mobile units. Is it possible that the Sidmouth vaccine was compromised leading to a faulty batch?
    Following on from the above, as I say there is more detail to come out on this. The Sidmouth example is under police investigation. See:

    www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-56372847
  • Black_RookBlack_Rook Posts: 7,931
    Stocky said:

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    Pretty much, yes. Now that the olds have been vaccinated the motivation for perma-lockdown through fear has gone. We all just want this to be over.

    The remaining advocates for sitting on our arses for the rest of the year are now the Zero Covid screwballs, with a little assistance from the devolved administrations which don't have the responsibility for paying for all of this.
    Hmm. I tend to side with DavidL (below) on this I think. This populist government will take the line of least resistance - and I think that is still to keep us locked down with Sunak's finance support still in place.
    David has suggested that there's no room for speeding the unlocking process up, and I concur with this - but OTOH I don't think there's very much political room for slowing it down either. People have had enough. Barring a dreaded super-mutation that screws up the vaccine program, which (based on my limited understanding of these things) I view as possible but rather unlikely, I expect that the removal of restrictions in England will happen on, or not very long after, the provisional dates advised by the Government.

    That being the case we're almost at the finishing line. It's now mid-March, the first big loosening is due in mid-April and the second in mid-May, after which things should start to feel a lot more normal.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 17,384

    tlg86 said:

    it’s worth remembering that although one dose provides substantial protection, around a quarter of those who would have become ill and died without the vaccines would still do so. In an open society, that’d mean several hundred, at least, dying every day. And it takes up to three weeks for the vaccines to be fully effective. Three weeks ago, fewer than 600,000 – 1% of the population – had received both doses.

    Is there a source for this claim. I thought the whole issue with the 12 week issue (for Pfizer) was we just don’t know.

    So whilst I’m happy for the government to be cautious and wish they had been more cautious in the autumn, I think David is worrying too much.

    You can see the effect of the vaccines on cases -

    image

    - An uptick in 0-14, from the school testing
    - 65 upwards falling faster
    For sure the vaccines are helping (at the moment), but David’s claim is very precise and I was just wondering what the source of that was?
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,069
    DavidL said:

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    I don't think so. Everyone I speak to has found the lockdown since Christmas the hardest to date. I feel the same. Its been tough. The one thing we hold on to is that this is it. No more lockdowns. Normality or something close. Risking that for a haircut or a trip to the pub a couple of weeks earlier seems a poor exchange.
    Most people seem to be getting their hair cut, though.

    You are right in that this lockdown feels the worst. Online socialising has lost its lustre and I just want to be out and about doing normal things. That pub table has been booked for a month's time...
  • AlwaysSingingAlwaysSinging Posts: 176
    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS
  • YokesYokes Posts: 608
    edited March 13
    I'm curious, how come China has one of the most sluggish Covid vaccination efforts in the World yet quite happily charges through the roof for exports of the Sinopharm product?

    That they have, officially, a fairly low case count still doesn't take away the disruption that it causes and it did cause disruption to China's economy, an economy that requires an obscene level of growth each year..
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,677

    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS

    Your call but, good grief, I`d get a taxi! I wouldn't`t think twice.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 7,277

    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS

    Go on the site and see what is offered.

    They may well offer you 10 options.

    Then balance distance and promptness.
  • AlwaysSingingAlwaysSinging Posts: 176
    MattW said:

    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS

    Go on the site and see what is offered.

    They may well offer you 10 options.

    Then balance distance and promptness.
    Yes I had a look - it's only the mass centre quite a ways from me, which has lots of availability. Nothing closer.

    --AS
  • BannedinnParisBannedinnParis Posts: 1,300

    DavidL said:

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    I don't think so. Everyone I speak to has found the lockdown since Christmas the hardest to date. I feel the same. Its been tough. The one thing we hold on to is that this is it. No more lockdowns. Normality or something close. Risking that for a haircut or a trip to the pub a couple of weeks earlier seems a poor exchange.
    Most people seem to be getting their hair cut, though.

    You are right in that this lockdown feels the worst. Online socialising has lost its lustre and I just want to be out and about doing normal things. That pub table has been booked for a month's time...
    There was still some exemption for exercise, so rain, snow or worse, I was getting 10 km + of walking in. Some lovely days, even when absolutely frozen. Very different feek to my summer walks as well even though the same routes.

    Legally allowed to socialise, so OK for a few cans in the local green space for an end of week decompress with a mate.

    And from the 8th, we've been allowed to run labs, so we've had 20 kids in a day this last week. And, like the report of primary schools, you can see how happy they are to be back in the laboratory.

    Little things, but they add up.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 36,987

    DavidL said:

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    I don't think so. Everyone I speak to has found the lockdown since Christmas the hardest to date. I feel the same. Its been tough. The one thing we hold on to is that this is it. No more lockdowns. Normality or something close. Risking that for a haircut or a trip to the pub a couple of weeks earlier seems a poor exchange.
    Most people seem to be getting their hair cut, though.

    You are right in that this lockdown feels the worst. Online socialising has lost its lustre and I just want to be out and about doing normal things. That pub table has been booked for a month's time...
    I am in danger of starting rumours of Bigfoot as I wander about the woods. But I think we are allowed to meet up to 2 others outside today so a bracing coffee and cake beckons.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 6,916

    alednam said:

    It's much in the Conservative Party's interests that the government has us stick to the timetable. But then one would think they should be doing a lot more to remind people of current regulations, and saying how one should proceed post vaccination. When I walk in the park, it's evident that many of the people who've got together are on the wrong side of the rules. When I hear what's said by newly vaccinated people, I find they think they've immediately been set free.

    They could send a daily text countdown to each vaccine recipient:

    Day after vaccine - 21 days for your vaccine to give good but not full protection
    Then the next morning - 20 days for your vaccine to give good but not full protection

    Would cost virtually nothing to do but have an impact on behaviour, if a little annoying.
    The alternative is to ease restrictions for those who have been vaccinated. Why not let vaccinated people visit (also vaccinated) care homes, or meet inside?

    It would incentivise uptake among sceptic groups by offering a quid pro quo, and it is happening anyway. HMG should get ahead of the game and have a controlled reopening rather than an uncontrolled one. Not to mention electoral credit with the locals imminent!
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 38,017
    Charles said:

    ydoethur said:

    On topic. I think David is being too cautious. Lockdowns have a terrible, terrible cost (one that governments refuse to quantify or do cost-benefit on funnily). Their use should be dire emergency only. The emergency is ending.

    Sources have told Telegraph that supplies could be double the rate in coming weeks. Could hit 1m a day vaccinations.

    However, even if the government agrees with you (which they do) there is every reason to set long goals, that change be brought forward, than short ones that then have to be lengthened.

    That’s the error they made over schools, where a barrage of leaks from the DfE meant it had to be announced they were all reopening on the 8th March even though this was (a) not true and (b) a significant gamble given the enormous problems involved and the major risks of confining millions of people in poorly ventilated rooms for long stretches.

    As it turns out it’s one I’m now hopeful we’ll get away with, but it could easily have gone very wrong if large numbers of cases had been found.
    So if they were wrong you would have blamed them, but because they were right they were merely lucky?

    That doesn’t seem very balanced
    No Charles. I am saying they made the wrong decision, announced in the wrong way, and without being honest about what they were announcing.

    What I am also saying is I am now hopeful that their dishonesty, incompetence and panic isn’t going to lead to multiple deaths and possible further lockdowns.

    But that isn’t the same as saying they were right to do what they did. It was a gamble that has a higher chance than it did a week ago of coming off.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,676
    Pulpstar said:

    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS

    Go for the taxi, the risk of covid (Masked, windows open if you want to reduce risk further) is lower than taking your scooter to the very limits of it's range.
    Check what the site offers as options.

    Also - ask your GP, Your circumstances sound like those where a home vaccination would be a good idea.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,362

    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS

    Tough call. If it was me then I would wait until Monday, phone GP and explain the situation and see if you can get in there. If not, then book at the mass vaccine centre. What will you have lost? Another two days in lockdown (and don't forget even after the jabbing you have two - three weeks before it kicks in anyway). Can't say for sure, but it would be a surprise if you can't get into one of either GP or mass centre by end of next week.

  • Black_RookBlack_Rook Posts: 7,931

    DavidL said:

    Stocky said:

    Header. Not sure. David says "Yet the political pressure, and direction, is unsurprisingly all in favour of loosening things up." Is this true?

    I don't think so. Everyone I speak to has found the lockdown since Christmas the hardest to date. I feel the same. Its been tough. The one thing we hold on to is that this is it. No more lockdowns. Normality or something close. Risking that for a haircut or a trip to the pub a couple of weeks earlier seems a poor exchange.
    Most people seem to be getting their hair cut, though.

    You are right in that this lockdown feels the worst. Online socialising has lost its lustre and I just want to be out and about doing normal things. That pub table has been booked for a month's time...
    The moment outdoor dining comes back then, weather permitting, we're going for it. An enormous new awning has appeared out the back of our favourite place (it has a large back garden that's partially visible from the road, so we can see that they've already prepared for this.) I'm not even bothered that I haven't been jabbed yet: I judge that, relative to going to work and especially to the supermarket, both of which I've been obliged to do throughout the entire pandemic, going to dinner is low risk.

    I doubt I'll be getting on the train to go wandering around Cambridge, still less to visit relatives, until I've had shot one plus the obligatory three weeks, but then again I'm nearly 45 so I'm hoping I'll get my appointment the right side of Easter and will therefore be good to go by the end of next month anyway.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,945

    Just had a text from the NHS telling me that I am, after all, in group 6 and eligible for the vaccine.

    Dilemma: I could book a vaccination for tomorrow through the website, but it would be in the mass centre which is quite a long way from me. No car. Would either need to risk a taxi both ways, or risk taking my mobility scooter and it running out of juice on the way home (it would be at the extreme limit of its range). Alternative is to try to book through my GP (who should have already offered me a slot but didn't) at their local centre which is just up the road from me. But they are closed so I have to wait until Monday even to find out if they have slots.

    Any suggestions? Part of me just wants to get this done but I'll kick myself if I either pick up COVID in a taxi or get stranded halfway home.

    --AS

    Take a taxi. Put a mask on, sit in the back on the left hand side, open the windows.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 65,452
    edited March 13

    alednam said:

    It's much in the Conservative Party's interests that the government has us stick to the timetable. But then one would think they should be doing a lot more to remind people of current regulations, and saying how one should proceed post vaccination. When I walk in the park, it's evident that many of the people who've got together are on the wrong side of the rules. When I hear what's said by newly vaccinated people, I find they think they've immediately been set free.

    They could send a daily text countdown to each vaccine recipient:

    Day after vaccine - 21 days for your vaccine to give good but not full protection
    Then the next morning - 20 days for your vaccine to give good but not full protection

    Would cost virtually nothing to do but have an impact on behaviour, if a little annoying.
    The alternative is to ease restrictions for those who have been vaccinated. Why not let vaccinated people visit (also vaccinated) care homes, or meet inside?

    It would incentivise uptake among sceptic groups by offering a quid pro quo, and it is happening anyway. HMG should get ahead of the game and have a controlled reopening rather than an uncontrolled one. Not to mention electoral credit with the locals imminent!
    The problem with this, as opposed to vaccine passports which I see as a slightly longer term proposal is that a de facto age apartheid is created. So I think global unlocking between now and June - if you haven't yet been vaccinated you're at a lower risk, so it's sort of self correcting on that front anyway.
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