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Topic: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation (Read 1097 times)

  • rjhowie
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British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ8sQQvqvrE&fbclid=IwAR3irlk7FE-q8eqr8jYjlkGHS2xj4DIn_kvMJQbNEi8wwjjnxq0O5FjTnWI

Of course we are all concerned about this matter but we are going banaas her ein Gt Britain repeating the same things over and over again. News is taken over time after time and when I was sent that film by a relation it made me sit up.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Frenzie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #1
Heh, he sure starts funny. "Don't worry, this isn't going to be one of those conspiracy theories. I'm going to explain what the hidden agenda is."

Can offing some 2-4% of "over-70s" save even a tenth as much money as has already gone up in smoke over the past few weeks? The basic premises seem a bit math-challenged.

In Belgium, the budget for healthcare is some 30 billion, pensions some 40 billion.[1] Let's say all of that is for over-70s, so 70 billion a year spent on performing our social duty.

Imagine 10% is killed off by corona, which gives us 7 billion in savings per annum.[2]
Four days ago, the economic damage from corona was estimated at 16 billion euro, so more than two years of worth of grossly overestimated savings. By the end of the crisis, even in terms of these grossly inflated numbers it'll probably have cost us two decades. Or in other words, basically breaking even.

Now if we put back in the reality that the costs for "over-70s" are maybe a fifth of that napkin calculation, the argument doesn't seem to have a leg to stand on.
This is comparatively more than most places.
The actual number is obviously less than 1.4 billion, because it's "only" about 2% and healthcare isn't just for the elderly anyway. Just grossly overestimating to give the argument its best fighting chance.

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #2
Well he is a bit more informative and sensible than what you are doing in just swallowing the propaganda we are getting hit with and indeed his comments on the past emphasise the things we are being brained into. Tonight on BBCTV a medical expert actually said that wearing a mouth ask is not needed by everyone! As an illness the virus is a fact of life but the way we are being propagated on it is a groan and the comparison on Influenza is another danced away thing by the authorities.

So the virus does need to be dealt with but we are getting hysteria bashed on us and the media and officials along with the government is going over the same things over and over like an old record stuck on a player. News has been taken over , ordinary shops and not just pubs and restaurants closing and a stay in the house stance for ages. So is valid to tackle the health matter whilst being associated with common sense like that doctor in the film. Not much chance as going bananas whilst we are all prisoners is something else.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Frenzie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #3
His comments about the past come down to him being a doofus. They were wrong about AIDS, therefore they're wrong about COVID-19.

In a banal sense this is true of course. We're in the middle of this thing and there are still many unknowns. But AIDS was 40 years ago! We quite literally have our modern epidemiological models because of AIDS (tested/improved on SARS etc.), as it turned out to be absurdly wrong to assume everyone's effectively the same with regard to how likely they are to get it, how contagious they are, etc. From my understanding, modern models take every age and gender independently, and various other variables too. Still an abstraction of course, but one that's a heck of a lot less inaccurate and has proved fairly dependable on all kinds of infectious diseases -- albeit on more information than we have now. At the RIVM they apparently have a Japanese intern who can translate Chinese, which has been instrumental for their ability to model COVID-19.

Unless you want to call The Lancet propaganda, see for example https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30567-5/fulltext to get it straight from the horse's mouth instead of filtered through mass media.

Going straight to the science, you'll find a distinction between what they found and government policy (because presumably they feel they can't explain not closing schools to the population):
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School  closure,  a  major  pillar  of  the  response  to  pandemic  influenza  A,14  is  unlikely  to  be  effective  given  the  apparent  low  rate  of  infection  among  children,  although  data  are  scarce.

That's also where you'll find the age thing:
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Data  from  China,  South  Korea,  Italy,  and  Iran  suggest  that  the  CFR  increases  sharply  with  age  and  is  higher  in  people  with  COVID­19  and  underlying  comorbidities.18Targeted  social  distancing  for  these  groups  could  be  the  most effective way to reduce morbidity and concomitant mortality.  During  the  outbreak  of  Ebola  virus  disease  in  west  Africa  in  2014-16,  deaths  from  other  causes  increased because of a saturated health­care system and deaths  of  health­care  workers.19  These  events  underline  the   importance   of   enhanced   support   for   health­care   infrastructure   and   effective   procedures for   protecting   staff from infection.

Of course I'm no expert on medical science, let alone virology. Perhaps all the studies are super flawed, or trying to confuse readers with the difference between statistically significant and actually meaningful. Significant only means that something isn't plain noise, but if you find that 5 in 100 elderly people die and 4 in 100 young people, that may not meaningful even if it is statistically significant. But this doctor isn't engaging with the science, basically just saying the UK government or media is stupid or evil. Perhaps he's mostly or even entirely right about all of that. But regardless if he is, he's using fallacious scientifically irrelevant reasoning, practically scientifically literate although surely he can't be (?), to prove his argument.

I decided to ignore all that because his conclusion doesn't exactly follow from his own premises. We've pretty much already lost more money than we could save, unless he assumes the UK government is both incredibly incapable and simultaneously evil. There could be something to that[1] but it sounds more like he considers them callous and clever.
At least for some governments; not quite sure the UK is one of them.

  • Belfrager
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #4
A vida é um hospital
Life is a hospital
Onde quase tudo falta.
Where almost everything is missing.
Por isso ninguém se cura
That's why no one heals
E morrer é que é ter alta.
And to die is just to be discharged.

(by Fernando Pessoa, very badly translated by myself)

The modernist/hedonist society, when facing something that afraid them, is just pathetic. Cockroaches.

A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #5
From my understanding, modern models take every age and gender independently, and various other variables too. Still an abstraction of course, but one that's a heck of a lot less inaccurate and has proved fairly dependable on all kinds of infectious diseases -- albeit on more information than we have now. At the RIVM they apparently have a Japanese intern who can translate Chinese, which has been instrumental for their ability to model COVID-19.

I think it could be interesting to compare national models afterwards. They may vary quite significantly. The Norwegian seems fairly simple as described.
Quote from: FHI
Vi benytter en matematisk modell som simulerer spredningen av covid-19 i Norge over tid og sted. Modellen tar hensyn til befolkningsstrukturen i hver kommune, informasjon om bevegelser mellom kommunene (med basis i opplysninger fire ganger i døgnet om mobiltelefoners bevegelser mellom kommunene). Modellen er en såkalt SEIR-modell uten aldersfordeling, uten hensyn til demografiske endringer og med tilfeldig miksing mellom mennesker.

Modellen starter med at kjente tilfeller plasseres i tid og sted og dobles. I modellen beveger mennesker seg så gjennom stadiene mottakelig (S), eksponert og smittet, men ikke smittsom (E), smittsom (I) og immun (eller død) (R). 

The "population structure" is not defined, but otherwise it seems to have a fairly simple demographic model without age distribution, though with dynamic (possibly realtime) information of travel between municipalities four times a day, based on mobile phone movements. People in this model have one of four states (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, and Recovered (or dead, same thing)), and mix at random.

I couldn't tell if this model would be as accurate as a more realistic model, but it should be possible to run the data and find out.

  • Frenzie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #6
Really, huh. Here's a Dutch article about it from last week. The headline says you can't just do these modern calculations on a (beer) coaster anymore.
https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2020/03/22/berekeningen-die-je-niet-meer-op-een-bierviltje-doet-a3994580

(Translations from DeepL with potentially some minor corrections by me in case I noticed a glaring inaccuracy.)
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Ze zeggen het stuk voor stuk, de vijf wetenschappers die NRC voor dit artikel sprak, allemaal gespecialiseerd in modellering van uitbraken van infectieziekten. Zonder wiskundige modellen is de verspreiding van een infectieziekte niet te voorspellen, en is het effect van een maatregel niet door te rekenen. Bierviltjesberekeningen op Twitter werken niet in een hypercomplexe werkelijkheid waarin ziektes anders uitpakken per leeftijd, geslacht of bevolking. In een wereld waarin virussen hun eigen verspreidingssnelheid veranderen, omdat ze dwingen tot ander gedrag, of hun eigen dragers uitroeien, lopen lijnen niet recht. Het barst van de onverwachte drempelwaardes, zelfversnellende effecten en elkaar versterkende parameters.

Het was de uitbraak van hiv in de jaren 80 die het inzicht bracht dat we niet zonder complexe modellen konden, zegt Mart de Jong, hoogleraar kwantitatieve veterinaire epidemiologie aan de universiteit van Wageningen aan de telefoon. In het Westen was in de decennia daarvoor het idee gegroeid dat infectieziekten iets van het verleden waren, te danken aan hygiënemaatregelen, vaccins, antibiotica, de uitroeiing van pokken.
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They say it all, the five scientists NRC spoke to for this article, all specialized in modelling outbreaks of infectious diseases. Without mathematical models, the spread of an infectious disease cannot be predicted, and the effect of a measure cannot be calculated. Beer mat calculations on Twitter do not work in a hyper-complex reality in which diseases turn out differently by age, gender or population. In a world where viruses change their own rate of spread because they force different behaviour, or eradicate their own carriers, lines do not run straight. It is bursting at the seams with unexpected threshold values, self accelerating effects and mutually reinforcing parameters.

It was the outbreak of HIV in the 1980s that brought the insight that we could not do without complex models, says Mart de Jong, Professor of Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology at the University of Wageningen on the phone. In the preceding decades, the idea had grown in the West that infectious diseases were something of the past, thanks to hygiene measures, vaccines, antibiotics, and the eradication of smallpox.

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De modellen die nu op de servers van het RIVM draaien, zijn uitgebreider en hebben veel meer datahonger. Jacco Wallinga van het RIVM voert ze in ieder geval drie soorten gegevens. Hij gaat er even voor zitten. ,,Ik zie dit maar als mijn pauze."

Eerst de bevolking. Alle mensen die in hetzelfde jaar geboren zijn, vormen in de RIVM-modellen één groep. Van elk geboortecohort voert het RIVM het percentage dat extra risico loopt in. ,,Dat komt van het CBS, dat zijn de mensen die een oproep van de huisarts krijgen voor een griepprik."

Per leeftijdsgroep probeert het RIVM vervolgens te schatten hoe besmettelijk die is. Wallinga: ,,Uit een goed geanalyseerde dataset uit Shenzhen blijkt dat kinderen minder besmettelijk zijn. Precies het omgekeerde als bij griep, waar kinderen de motor van de epidemie zijn. Maar dit is een inschatting hoor, het is nog niet zo hard."
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The models now running on the RIVM servers are more elaborate and have much more data hunger. Jacco Wallinga of the RIVM feeds them at least three types of data. He sits down for a moment. "I see this as my break."

First the population. All people born in the same year form one group in the RIVM models. For each birth cohort, the RIVM enters the percentage at extra risk. "That comes from the CBS, that's the people who get a call from the doctor for a flu shot."

The RIVM then tries to estimate how contagious it is for each age group. Wallinga: "A well-analysed data set from Shenzhen shows that children are less contagious. Exactly the opposite as with flu, where children are the engine of the epidemic. But this is an estimate, it's not so hard."


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De wetenschappers die NRC spreekt zijn niet bang om toe te geven dat het bij modelleren om schatten, uitzoeken en bijstellen gaat. Zelfs het simpelste modelletje zit vol onzekerheden.
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The scientists who spoke to the NRC are not afraid to admit that modelling is about estimating, selecting and adjusting. Even the simplest model is full of uncertainties.

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Wallinga vertelt over zo'n ,,totaal tegenintuïtief" effect dat hij in zijn eerdere modellen zag. Griepvaccinaties bij kinderen blijken juist voor hevigere griepuitbraken te zorgen. ,,Dat komt, denken we nu, omdat er door die vaccinaties minder natuurlijke immuniteit wordt opgebouwd in de bevolking, die beter beschermt. Als je dan een keer een mismatch hebt tussen het vaccin en de griep van dat jaar, dan heb je écht een grote uitbraak."

Je bedenkt het vooraf niet, zegt Wallinga. ,,Maar als je het ziet in je model, en je gaat redeneren, dan is het ineens logisch."

Heesterbeek kan meer van dat soort verrassingen opnoemen. Hij zag dat populaties woestijnratten nul pestuitbraken hebben, tótdat hun holen meer dan 35 procent bewoond zijn. En dat suboptimaal vaccineren tegen rode hond slechter werkt dan helemaal niet. ,,Het zijn waarnemingen die je niet zonder modellen kunt begrijpen."

Daarom zijn die modellen zo zinnig, zeggen de wetenschappers. Die kunnen snel uitrekenen dat het sluiten van landsgrenzen geen zin heeft als je zelf een besmettingshaard bent, of dat groepsimmuniteit óók een dempend effect heeft voordat het hoog genoeg is om het virus in te dammen.
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Wallinga talks about such a "totally counterintuitive" effect that he saw in his earlier models. Influenza vaccinations in children appear to cause more severe flu outbreaks. "We now think that this is because these vaccinations reduce the natural immunity built up in the population, which is better protected. If you have a mismatch between the vaccine and the flu that year, then you really have a major outbreak".

You don't think about it beforehand, Wallinga says. "But if you see it in your model, and you start reasoning, then suddenly it makes sense."

Heesterbeek can list more surprises like that. He saw that populations of desert rats have zero plague outbreaks, until their burrows are more than 35 percent inhabited. And that suboptimal vaccination against rubella is worse than none at all. "They're observations you can't understand without models."

That's why those models make so much sense, the scientists say. They can quickly calculate that closing national borders makes no sense if you are a source of infection yourself, or that group immunity also has a dampening effect before it is high enough to contain the virus.

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #7
One of the side issues of this matter is the media going on and on. Both half hour or hour news gets taken over and we get very little on any other routine stuff. What they do intimate could be done in ten minutes then the rest of the news. All that practically happens is that they go on and on virtually repeating or extending things well beyond what is required.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • jax
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #8
Really, huh. Here's a Dutch article about it from last week. The headline says you can't just do these modern calculations on a (beer) coaster anymore.

That's what they claimed, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case (it is well possible they have multiple models). AFAIK this agency has no foreign missions, and Norway hasn't had any serious epidemics for a while.

When this pandemic is over we will have tons of data at our disposal, in principle we could go down to every single infection event (who infected whom when and possibly where) if we put the resources into it. Even if we didn't, it would be more than plenty to test all the models in all the countries. How well would the Norwegian model work in the Netherlands, the Dutch model in Norway, and either one in Sweden? Have different models affected the decision-making?

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #9
On a lower dashed note my barber is normally shut on a Monday but when the government came out with the mass shutung stuff to come out on the Tuesday that was me stuck. Iam really groaning now! :headbang:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ensbb3
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #10
I'm probably gonna have to let the missus trim mine... Incidentally I need to pull out my summer hats soon.

To be fair she was a little sauced and it was for fun last time. :worried:

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #11
Well lucky you!  :up:  but I am single so will just have to roughly do some rough  cutting. Here I have routinely went onto the BBC teletext sections on the Net at the UK level and for here in Scotland and N. Ireland but am doing well ignoring the news and that section of things because all they damn well do is repeat things pad them out and so on. It is all just the same basiuc stuff but drag things out and ridiculous.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #12
On a lower dashed note my barber is normally shut on a Monday but when the government came out with the mass shutung stuff to come out on the Tuesday that was me stuck. Iam really groaning now! :headbang:
Just finished watching the movie Tinker, Tailor, Spy, and heard this song. The "what shall I do??" part seems appropriate for you Mr. Howie.

https://youtu.be/TPSdpW3FN4w

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #13
Well I will have to buy a big pair of dashed scissors out a supermarket and roughly cut back. Our government is of course vague as to when we will get access to places apart from a supermarket. Sweden is still relatively free and if there I could go to a cinema, cafe, restaurant but furniture, etc, etc. Today in one of two supermarkets I pop int an assistant stopped to have a briefly friendly chat and when I raised my feelings on the controls going on he (a young man) he totally and with no hesitation agreed with me. There have been other occasions having a private chat have had the same reaction. Okay most will keep passingly zipped but this present way of things is not pleasant and people gradually will widely get strained by it. Having had public office in my city I have in some subjects operated reasonably but in strong points I will not be zipped. At least buses still running even if on a reduced basis and often empty of just with one or two on board (including me of course!). Trains are virtually empty ande improved timetabled!

If course any national health matter is of concern and so on however people will not be able to keep coping with being stuck in apart from an odd walk or supermarket trip, etc.  So that doctor in the film I still feel has a point to make and lucky Swedes.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ensbb3
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #14
Can literally save lives by sitting home doing nothing and people are still messing this up. smh. 

  • Belfrager
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #15
It is dangerous when the State takes liberty from the people. Always allegedly for our own good and always for never give it back.
This is going to be like the eleven of September pretext, less and less freedom.

Like most of the dictatorial situations, it is supported by a large part of the population that even asks for more.

The actual situation is not about health concerns anymore, it clearly turned into sanitary proto-fascism spreading all over the world.
Nobody ever thought that the future would be this shit.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #16
https://twitter.com/jaxroam/status/1240522381673877505


Drastic, authoritarian measures will inevitably come, even by non-authoritarian governments, when epidemic is not under control.

Difference between non-authoritarian and authoritarian governments is what else they will use those measures for.

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #17
Sympathise there on what you have directly stated Belfrager. Some individuals I have known or others whom I have been quietly direct with sympathised with me but of course ensured they were not heard. Fortunate Swedes.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Belfrager
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #18
Covid-19 world data well presented.
By Johns Hopkins Univerity.
A matter of attitude.

  • ensbb3
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #19
Mongolia for the win, again.

If the article I read is accurate they've had 4 cases confirmed. Apparently brought in by a Frenchman and they are treating him. Retroactive testing shows people possibly exposed are negative.

Quote
https://www.forbes.com/sites/breannawilson/2020/03/16/mongolia-announces-3-new-covid-19-cases-totaling-4-how-they-got-coronavirus-precautions-right/#1d8b40c84fc9

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #20
I will be glad when we get some normality apart from only getting to supermarkets or food shops. I am missing being out and popping into a cafe or restaurant. Swedish folk are fortunate!
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #21
And I have now discovered there are countries in Europe slowly starting to open up again.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • ensbb3
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #22
A second wave is a very real concern. I hope the best for all.

  • jax
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #23
Some breakouts in Harbin (NE China, not far from Russia) in north and Guangzhou (aka Canton) in south.  Not really second wave yet, though.

  • rjhowie
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Re: British doctor dismisses the virus panic situation
Reply #24
The latest country to start opening routine shops is Belgium so fortunate Belgians. Now we have a senior Fire Brigade Union wallah wanting fire brigade staff, NHS staff and others all to have an automatic pay rise.! The one thing he did say that I was okay with was that hand clapping was not the answer an in hard fact that thing did not happens everywhere and although I am generally concerned about the virus there is an overdrive emotionally going on and bordering on that mawkish corner again.  Now by the way the B&Q stores are all re-opening now. (Argos branches too!). When a tea room or cafe gets back and I go in for a coffe/tea  and cake will give them a box of chocolates for cancelling my fed upness.
"Quit you like men:be strong"