The lockdown experiment

I am convinced this will go, never to return. No one on the planet can afford another period of it. Ditto social distancing although that will come back with future waves.

One reason Boris delayed was because it went against his principles. Loads of you were worried we went into it without an exit strategy and that there would be no return, I wasnt, because if worst came to the worst then we would just have to let it breeze through in the end, the alternatives being unaffordable. Still believe that.

i am much more worried about 2 metre social distancing remaining. It is a cheap idea but too costly, I am thinking of education principally. Foreign travel, meh.

There is no way we are going to can schools, HE and FE establishments for good, that must go without saying, so we are eventually going to man up and accept the risk. Along with that is public transport, we cant can that either.

So, education and public transport are going to break our anti vuvu strategies. At or before the end of the year I reckon.

Some scientists are pushing a rolling thirty days on fifty days off model

It would definitely be better just to die

Loads of you were worried we went into it without an exit strategy and that there would be no return, I wasnt, because if worst came to the worst then we would just have to let it breeze through in the end, the alternatives being unaffordable. Still believe that.
 

This is why I never took arguments like “OMG this will never end!!!” very seriously at all. Obviously it will end, and it is ending.

Some scientists are pushing a rolling thirty days on fifty days off model

Ugh.  Some scientists should shut up. 

he does. stiff upper lip. continue as though nothing is happened, typical English approach. it may well have been the right approach tbh

Boris was correct in his stance on the Bribery Act in my opinion when it was introduced. He was clear that it wasn’t supposed to be about stoping people going to the tennis or rugby but about deep seated real corruption. 
 

of course it ended up stopping junior people having treats etc and didn’t stop any serious bribery / corruption. 

He was v uneasy about it, being libertarian tory (absent all the brexit stuff), totally believe that.

at the outtset when everyone was talking about the olympics bevos japan having a bad time i realised then that by august japan’s situation would prob be writ large across the world and the whole world is just not going to do. Lockdown for ever. China only did it in hope of nipping in the bud.

well heh it cant be nipped in bud. And now, longer lockdown goes on, worse the subsequent waves will be cos now too few people have had it, it will go on for ages and ages.

lockdown is self limiting.

I don't actually think it is. If it were, there would have been a vague end date.

I would not be surprised if restrict remain into next year.

We have all,put too much hope in medicine and science. Brilliant progress made, but no way can it keep pace with a highly infectious virus. Years vs days.

Clergs, no chance. It has had its opportunity. All it has done is achieve the aim of not swamping the nhs.

you would have to have a fully international concerted effort to squeeze it into extinction and that hasnt happened.

Quick, someone tell the Chinese that nobody will ever use a lockdown again because they are so useless and damaging.

This is a bit of a strawman argument and libertarians are as dogmatic as those who never want to come out of lockdown.

It is possible to ease lockdown restrictions and for them still to have been effective. I don't take medicine when I'm not sick.

When the virus is prevalent you socially distance, when it's not you dont. It is perfectly reasonable to argue that you should not do something now but you should in 2 weeks. If R<1 then the no. of people to infect you is decreasing over time to a point where something will be safe that is not now.

Yes, that involves an assumption of risk. No, it doesn't involve an assumption of that much risk.

 

I was walking down the King’s Road today and noticed loads of businesses getting ready to re-open as soon as go ahead is given. 

England has more sanes than up here

they'll be fashioning mud statues of Wur Nicola and eating grass and going on about how glad they are the evil tories aren't in charge up here while you lot are back to elbowing each other at the bar

They can seal off an individual city or even province but not the whole country.

Nicola with just see this all as YET MORE proof of the need FIR AN INDEPENDANT SCOTLAND.

wot rubbo said there will be a menu of restrictions that come and go - I agree there will never be a full lockdown again unless a far more deadly virus or mutation arises.    If you were talking about 10% IFR rather than less than 1% if you didn't have an organised lockdown everything would fall apart anyway but in a far more chaotic fashion.

Yes - menu of restrictions maybe. But I really think we have to ditch the notion of universal social distancing soon, not on trains, not in schools, not on planes. It doesnt (cant) happpen in hospitals or social care as it is.

maybe masks

When will people learn that microbes and viruses don't care about political liberty ? 

If we had stopped dithering and locked down hard about ten days earlier than we did this would have been over a month ago and we would have had a few hundred deaths instead of tens of thousands.  

That's right - dithering for a few days made it literally 100X worse in terms of deaths and made lockdown much longer. 

As for Johnson - he wasn't deterred from locking down by principles because he wouldn't know a principle if it bit him.  He was deterred because he longs to be popular and has never before had to take a difficult decision and isn't any good at it.  

 

It's weird that you've dedicated your life to law but don't understand that there are more important things than avoiding a virus. 

Anyway, it's clear you're up for a bunker for the next three years so just try not to freak too many people out in the village coop when they're bored of the 2m thing.

I mean, what Orwell said about proles. They want a nice fucking time before they cark it and rightly so. The liberty issue is a fucking outrage but we will be saved by the human need to fuck and laze in the sun and drink beers with friends.

Ps Orwell the dude not the rofette.

Lockdown IS ended isn’t it? pubs were open in central Manchester fgs. albeit for take away.

If we had stopped dithering and locked down hard about ten days earlier than we did this would have been over a month ago and we would have had a few hundred deaths instead of tens of thousands.  

That's right - dithering for a few days made it literally 100X worse in terms of deaths and made lockdown much longer



total, unverifiable, horseshit

if u want to be taken srsly at least attempt to make a point which is justifiable 

Minkie - I disagree that it cannot be nipped in the bud.

The Chinese appear to have succesfully done that, and many other countries that shut down more effectively and earlier appear to have surpressed it much more effectively than us. It remains too soon to tell whether this just leads to later worse waves, but tbh at the moment some of them are looking better placed than we are. But at the moment ‘nippong it in the bud does look possible.

I suspect however that the lockdown may now be doing me harm than good.

I think you are right that the issue now will become the long term viability of social distancing.

But people need to realise its not always either/or. People tend to see things too much in absolutes. Even if kids go back to school and public transport is opened up, if you have everyone using masks (obviously the lie about their inneffectiveness has been totally revealed now, although wierdly nobody is attacking this governemrnt over their deceit) and say 60-70% WFH/reduction in public transport use, you will have a massive impact upon R and speed of transmission - so whilst we may find ourselves running hot/lukewarm - the very worst outcomes will be avoided/delayed.

DS - 100X may be a bit hyperbolic -  but I dont think its total horsehit. I agree that earlier and harder lock down would probably have reduced transmission significiantly. Intuitively that has to be correct. I suppose the issue is then what happens across a longer term to economy and society.

That said, the govt was almost certainly at least a week or two late to lockdown in my view - and the effect of that delay has likely been pretty significant.

It’s obviously correct that locking down earlier would have been significantly better. This was argued extensively here at the time - plenty of people believing in earnest that the government knew what it was doing and had a cunning plan. There is no evidence that was ever the case.

I never thought Orwell really liked the “proles” very much 

There was a professor on the SAGE committee (forgot his name) in a Channel 4 interview squirming about why lockdown did not come earlier - he simply could not justify it - it was embarrassing to watch.

I never thought Orwell really liked the “proles” very much 
 

Winston envied them I think, but defo from a POV of 'you're lucky you're too thick to understand how awful this is'

Yeah exactly which I think is the attitude of many left intellectuals to the working class or peasantry or whatever.

Hierarchy of needs innit. It's not being thick it's being too busy worrying about food to worry about self actualisation 

The problem with the delay in lockdown is not simply that it costs 1000s of lives, it is that it has had to last a lot longer as a result.  It seems the reason for the delay was (a) the government was still toying with  herd immunity (b) they didn't think the country would accept lockdown until the number of deaths had gone up (look at what many people were posting on rof a the time there may be some truth in the latter).

Of course they had a plan. It was to flatten the curve to just below NHS capacity, rather than suppression. The idea was to get to eventual herd immunity.

I really don't know why it is necessary to repeat this stuff. Whether you think it was a good plan is one thing. But it's blindingly obvious what the plan was.

They then abandoned the plan in favour of just riding public opinion in an aimless way.

For people like Dal Segno arguing for suppression - you never seem to actually explain what the long term plan is. You do realise that if you go for suppression, you have to continue with suppression until there is no more coronavirus around? Which may well be forever?

Hierarchy of needs innit. It's not being thick it's being too busy worrying about food to worry about self actualisation
 

I guess this point is also made in 1984 - “If there is hope, it lies in the proles” - but there isn’t hope because they are too worried about getting the stuff of everyday life. I think there is also a tendency on the part of revolutionary leftists to overstate the actual appetite for revolutionary leftism among the exploited classes who would allegedly benefit if only they could be correctly educated.

It's hard for libertarians because they're used to thinking they operate in a divine bubble of self-reliance.

Resistance to lockdown has moved away from a scientific argument to dogma. You could call it selfishness but they'd probably take it as a compliment.

 

 

Of course they had a plan. It was to flatten the curve to just below NHS capacity, rather than suppression. The idea was to get to eventual herd immunity.
 

OK - they had a plan, but it wasn’t very cunning and did not survive first contact with reality.

Yes but you see it's more important that they can continue their lives without interruption than preventing mass death.

Their right to freedom trumps all other rights you see. When you're very important it makes sense

Dude you're late to the party, the vuvu zealots like you already did the you're a cunt/granny murderer/selfish/blah blah blah name calling six weeks ago. 

Well good luck liberating Michigan.

Sorry that society isn't dead and Thatcher was wrong. 

tbf I think all sides had their fun with calling people cunts 

The Linda - fair point - tho tbh every time I check in the vuvuappeasers seem to be doing a pretty good job of calling the zealots murderers, nazis khunts etc as well.
 

I think everyone is arguing in good faith tbh. With the poss exception of some politicians.

Rof not really the place to look for displays of rhetorical kindness to opponents

I agree, it has been fun to call people names especially after Brexit disappeared from our conscience.

The position of the "vuvu zealots" is dogmatic but so is that of the "vuvu deniers". For the zealots it's a refusal to assume any risk, for the deniers it's often (but not always) a false equivalence. It's seems reasonable argument that the price of the lockdown will result in more deaths than it saves. That a large no. of deaths should be accepted so that others should enjoy ill-defined freedoms seems less reasonable. 

 

 

 

The bottom line is modern society is a very compex system and nobody has any real clue how much death destruction lockdown v non lockdown would cause.

My guess is that surpression could have worked and trying would have been far less harmful than the two broadish options we now face. Even if it hadnt worked, all it would have done is brought forward the cost a month or so.  But it seems to me, even in poorer outcomes, where it ultimately failed, it would have been likely to have reduced those costs significantly.

 

 

 

The only actually consistent argument against locking down earlier than we did (given that we eventually did it anyway and evidence demonstrates that doing it earlier is better in every way) is Clergham’s novel approach that it’s a prima facie unacceptable constraint of liberty to lock down at all under any circumstances.

which honestly I’m kind of fascinated by since it’s just so unlikely for anyone to hold that view in earnest

Why is it difficult to understand? The point of this was ostensibly to flatten the curve. Isolate the vulnerable would’ve likely done it more or less as well (in fact with proper attention to care homes it’s hard to see how it couldn’t have worked better).

Risk to others is not very high and other excess deaths, mental health damage economic damage and other impacts all quite severe. Removal of liberty from the entire nation requires significant justification. 

You may disagree with the above or argue a quicker limited suppression would’ve been better. But surely the position isn’t that difficult to understand?
 

It’s not clear if you’re talking to me Thuggy but I’m talking about statements Clergham has made like “nothing justifies this” which implies to me that no theoretical situation could be constructed in which she would accept any lockdown measures. It’s a respectable and consistent position, but it’s highly unusual.

but locking down later rather than earlier is clearly suboptimal by any measure 

Yes I’m talking to you Chimp. I think I’ve more or less understood her position but ofc she’s very well capable of speaking for herself 

but locking down later rather than earlier is clearly suboptimal by any measure 
 

Sorry actually this is incorrect - it may confer benefits in the second wave. But it carries much worse immediate costs

Yes and the reality is we simply don’t know. If there is a vaccine (at all) and if it’s a go by October then one has to concede that the 2nd wave benefit argument was wrong in hindsight. 

I think that’s right Thuggy, and similarly (but to a lesser extent) with  mortality-reducing improvements in care.

Taking it on the chin to obtain herd immunity argument falls down on many counts:

  • The no. of deaths would be too high to be acceptable. If you assume 10% of the population have COVID, then by extrapolation you would be looking at about 360k deaths if we assume it has killed 60k thus far.
  • Those deaths and the the no. of seriously ill people would massively overwhlem the NHS. 50% of ICU beds were taken up by COVID patients at the peak. The capacity would have been breached many times if drastic steps weren't taken to reduce infection peak. ICU beds would not be available to non-COVID patients.
  • It assumes that better treatment will never be available before a vaccine. We may be able to reduce the death rate associated with the virus drastically. There is no vaccine for AIDs.
  • It is not yet proven that catching the disease provides enduring immunity to it. 

It's a bad idea. The best response would have been a South Korea style response. Failing that a Germany or Greek response.