MERS Coronavirus warning

Back in March I prophesied (to much derision) that sub-saharan Africa and South America would be devastated. Specifically people genetically from those areas, simply because they avoided the Eurasian pandemics of the last several thousand years or so, and that Indigenous South Americans have an immune system that is aimed at parasites rather than viruses.

Incidentally, I see that the "it will never happen to me and sod my Grandparents and anybody ill" types have been out enjoying themselves as if there is absolutely no threat to anybody. No thought for the tens of thousands of "other people" who could die because of their selfishness. Twats the lot of them. The only sad part is they will probably get it and survive but all the vulnerable people they infect will, as if by some sort of unfortunate no guilt magic, cease to complain.

I see a number of people who are either shielding or in lock down. It is a pleasure to chat (from a safe distance), give a bit of morale, an anecdote etc. Anything to make their day a little bit better. Luckily (for my sanity) the people that I see tend to be sensible as do their families. Unfortunately the number of others that I fear will die in the near future due to the selfishness of their progeny is rather large. Second spike? The idiots make it a certainty. Unfortunately, whilst i fully understand the need to get the economy going again, the idiots don't have any perseverance. With luck they will have received a sufficient viral load this last week. Everybody sensible I know is of the same opinion, "I'll wait a few more weeks to be sure". I will be most put out if I pop my clogs because some immature twat decided that none of it is relevant as it probably wouldn't affect him/her too badly. Note: I am not old/ill. I will however haunt the selfish tyke(s). They have no staying power, but they will find that I have!

GH

This ought to do it...

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The UK Government seem to having problems with their information channels. It all sounds like a bit of a shambles to me.



The ability of local leaders to manage new coronavirus outbreaks in the UK is being hampered by gaps in the reporting of infection data for cities and regions, according to analysis by the Financial Times.
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According to published data for Leicester, the city recorded just 80 new positive tests between June 13-26. But health secretary Matt Hancock revealed that there were in fact 944 as he announced the decision to tighten the lockdown in Leicester, closing non-essential shops and ordering schools to shut to all non-key worker pupils by Thursday.

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Leicester city council’s public health department only received the elevated infection numbers cited by Mr Hancock last Thursday. They could not compare with places elsewhere because the so-called pillar 2 figures are only made available to officials in their own local authority area if they have signed the Data Protection Act.

“I would wish that they had shared that [data] with us right from the start,” said Sir Peter, Leicester’s mayor. “And I wish they had taken a more speedy decision rather than leaving it 11 days. That's a long gap and a long time for the virus to spread.”
To refer you back to my earlier point. It's because the data shows the growth is disproportionately massive in the Indian and Pakistani communities and they can't think of a way of articulating it safely. To do so would firstly make them racist just for saying it and secondly re-inforce the hand of those that would like to say that these demographics are discriminated against in healthcare provision.
 
To refer you back to my earlier point. It's because the data shows the growth is disproportionately massive in the Indian and Pakistani communities and they can't think of a way of articulating it safely. To do so would firstly make them racist just for saying it and secondly re-inforce the hand of those that would like to say that these demographics are discriminated against in healthcare provision.
I don't think so. The Pillar 2 data that wasn't disclosed didn't by necessity disclose ethnicity. That sounds like hammering a round excuse into a square information gap hole.
 
I don't think so. The Pillar 2 data that wasn't disclosed didn't by necessity disclose ethnicity. That sounds like hammering a round excuse into a square information gap hole.
You are correct, it didn't show ethnicity. However, it did give addresses of those who tested positive and once plotted that showed clusters in particular communities.

I understand why no-one will say it, I really do.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
You are correct, it didn't show ethnicity. However, it did give addresses of those who tested positive and once plotted that showed clusters in particular communities.

I understand why no-one will say it, I really do.
Except it's in the press.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
You are correct, it didn't show ethnicity. However, it did give addresses of those who tested positive and once plotted that showed clusters in particular communities.

I understand why no-one will say it, I really do.
The impact on different communities and ethnicities has been openly discussed and reported pretty much from the beginning. Especially since the majority of NHS health professionals to die in the early phases were BAME, but not from a low social economic group.

From 6 weeks ago

From 3 weeks ago
 

AfricaExpat

Old-Salt
The key metrics that US officials are using include the positive case growth trend, which is increasing, and the hospitalization rate, which is also increasing in key states.
While the rate of cases (and testing) continues to rise in the US I put below again for information the latest death statistics which today show the lowest daily increase in deaths (242) since March 25th. Maybe it is just the young getting infected, which sounds unlikely to me, but I think it's important that people see that the catastrophe event being written about in the press is not necessarily the case.
 

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ABNredleg

War Hero
While the rate of cases (and testing) continues to rise in the US I put below again for information the latest death statistics which today show the lowest daily increase in deaths (242) since March 25th. Maybe it is just the young getting infected, which sounds unlikely to me, but I think it's important that people see that the catastrophe event being written about in the press is not necessarily the case.
You can't look at national numbers when judging the severity of the problem since the federal government has basically abdicated leadership on the matter and the states are going in very different directions. I live in North Carolina, and the governor here has been aggressive in closing things down and slow to reopen. We have increasing numbers of COVID but there is capacity in the local hospitals and there is no major sense of panic. States such as Texas, Florida,and Arizona, however, aggressively reopened and are now dealing with a major problem that threatens to overwhelm their hospitals.

I think Europeans sometimes fail to appreciate how decentralized policy making is in our federal system. Add in the size of the country, which means different regions will be hit by the virus at different times, and it becomes clear that national numbers don't give much insight into the problem.
 

AfricaExpat

Old-Salt
I think Europeans sometimes fail to appreciate how decentralized policy making is in our federal system. Add in the size of the country, which means different regions will be hit by the virus at different times, and it becomes clear that national numbers don't give much insight into the problem.
That's a fair point and it is so true that a shut everything everywhere at the same time is not a good policy for such a large country.

The death rates are still extremely low and it would be a sad case for the US if their health infrastructure failed to support it. If all the death cases today were only in Texas that would still be less than half the peak rate of death that occurred in the UK/Italy/Spain.
 
Back in March I prophesied (to much derision) that sub-saharan Africa and South America would be devastated. Specifically people genetically from those areas, simply because they avoided the Eurasian pandemics of the last several thousand years or so, and that Indigenous South Americans have an immune system that is aimed at parasites rather than viruses.
No derision from me; when this is all over,10 per cent of the global human population will have died.
 

ABNredleg

War Hero
That's a fair point and it is so true that a shut everything everywhere at the same time is not a good policy for such a large country.

The death rates are still extremely low and it would be a sad case for the US if their health infrastructure failed to support it. If all the death cases today were only in Texas that would still be less than half the peak rate of death that occurred in the UK/Italy/Spain.
One of the problems with a for profit health system is that all “excess” capacity gets wrung out since it is non-revenue generating.
 
One of the problems with a for profit health system is that all “excess” capacity gets wrung out since it is non-revenue generating.
The same is true in a not-for-profit system though; since the 1980s, the Treasury has refused to pay for excess capacity in the NHS, hence the system has been running 'hot' now for years.
 

ABNredleg

War Hero
The same is true in a not-for-profit system though; since the 1980s, the Treasury has refused to pay for excess capacity in the NHS, hence the system has been running 'hot' now for years.
Does private insurance alleviate the problem in any way? Are there any private hospitals in Britain?
 
Canada are doing a large scale study of the extent of past COVID-19 infection by looking for anti-bodies in stored blood samples which were collected for other purposes. Results of teh analysis are expected within a couple of weeks and should give an idea of how many people were infected but not diagnosed. As of now, 105,000 Canadians were diagnosed with COVID-19.
1st glimpse of Canada's true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July from immunity testing

The national immunity task force has started testing thousands of blood samples for COVID-19 antibodies and should be able to produce a more detailed picture of how many Canadians have been infected with the novel coronavirus within a couple of weeks.

It will be much longer, however, before we know more about what kind of protection against future infection having the antibodies provides, said Dr. Timothy Evans, executive director of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

(...) More than 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus infection was identified in Canada in late January, while many others were sick but couldn't get tested because provinces were limiting who could access the procedure until just a few weeks ago.
 
Canadian troops bound for Latvia were turned around in mid-air after someone back in Canada they came in contact with tested positive for COVID-19 while they were in flight. The risk of infection is considered low, but they will all go into quarantine for two weeks anyway.
Latvia-bound military plane turned back after Canadian troops possibly exposed to COVID-19
A military plane carrying Canadian troops to Latvia as part of a NATO mission in that country turned around mid-flight Thursday, after someone who might have come in contact with the aircraft tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of National Defence told CBC News Saturday that the individual, who was not on board the flight, may have interacted with passengers before the plane took off from CFB Trenton.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) learned the news while the flight was in the air.

"As such, the decision was made to return the aircraft en route, rather than land in Latvia, to avoid the possible risk of spreading the disease," a spokesperson for the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) wrote in an email.

The department said approximately 70 passengers and aircrew members were on board the aircraft but said it believes the risk of exposure is low.

"These members will now undergo a second isolation period of 14 days in Trenton, prior to continuing on with their deployment," the spokesperson said.
They were part of a schedule troop rotation. All incoming (to Latvia) troops are required to isolate for two weeks prior to deployment.
 
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Canada are doing a large scale study of the extent of past COVID-19 infection by looking for anti-bodies in stored blood samples which were collected for other purposes. Results of teh analysis are expected within a couple of weeks and should give an idea of how many people were infected but not diagnosed. As of now, 105,000 Canadians were diagnosed with COVID-19.
1st glimpse of Canada's true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July from immunity testing
I do curbside pickup of groceries where they actually put them in the boot and on occasion it takes a bit of a wait which isn’t a big deal. What l do as l wait is watch who is going in and out of the stores including Walmart and Canadian Tire. On Friday evening not a single person was wearing a mask or washing their hands at the provided stations at the entrances. The bigger eye opener was the cars with number plates from Michigan, Ohio, and Penn, I am shocked we have got so far relatively unscathed.......
 
Two areas in Spain back in lockdown because of a resurgence of CV-19 cases.
When the borders opened and the tourists let in, it was widely predicted that the tourist hotspots would see the number of cases rises. As it is, the first place in Catalonia is a very rural and agricultural area which is no a tourist place at. The second near La Coruna in Galicia which is, again, not a tourist destination. (good old Daily Mail has a map of the place and points to a little urb called La Marina near Alicante which just happens to be some 640 miles (1030km) away from the La Marina in Galicia where the outbreak is. Must be Sunday interns getting their Google search wrong again). Both those outbreaks combined affect a smaller population than Leicester.

They class a resurgence as being 3 or more new cases from a single source and there have been 41 of those in Spain over the last couple of weeks. One in Murcia which was brought in by a bloke arriving from Bolivia.
The one in Catalonia has the finger being pointed at immigrant workers in the fields from N Africa and E Europe.
One Algerian was found to have it and jumped out the hospital window and they're still looking for him.

There have been no deaths for over a week in our province and the number of new cases is in single digits. Our main hospital only has one hospitalised case at the moment and he comes from Madrid.

Worryingly, the death rates running at between 0 and 5 per day have crept up to double figures again with 15 deaths recorded on Friday, mainly in the high density population areas of Barcelona and Madrid.

With all the bars and restaurants open (75% capacity inside but 100% outside|) for the last 2 weeks, people seem to be on the mindset that it's all over. One Brit bar/cafe we went past on Friday had full tables outside with one table of a dozen people all sitting next to each other, no attempt at the 1.5m distancing. Another Spanish restaurant up the road had a pretty full terrace and, again, nowhere near the 1.5m distance. Hope people aren't getting blase about it all. Still face masks in all public transport, shops and even outside if you can't keep the distancing but a walk down the beach promenade yesterday had loads of people just carrying their masks even though distancing was impossible. Beach was fine as they've roped off 4 sq m patches to go to and a rope on the sand 6m from the sea edge which you can't sit on. They've also employed 800 "helpers" to patrol the beaches from Alicante downwards to ensure the distance rules are being kept.
 
You can't look at national numbers when judging the severity of the problem since the federal government has basically abdicated leadership on the matter and the states are going in very different directions. I live in North Carolina, and the governor here has been aggressive in closing things down and slow to reopen. We have increasing numbers of COVID but there is capacity in the local hospitals and there is no major sense of panic. States such as Texas, Florida,and Arizona, however, aggressively reopened and are now dealing with a major problem that threatens to overwhelm their hospitals.
You have highlighted something very important which a lot of people overlook. A pandemic such as COVID-19 isn't something that is spread evenly over the population of a country. It's a series of local epidemics. Focusing on just national averages can obscure that.

National averages can be useful in judging general trends on a global level, but to really understand what is going on in a country you need to have more regionalised figures. For example, of the roughly 130,000 deaths in the US, more than a third came from just New York and New Jersey, which is more than 4 times what their proportion of the US population would lead us to expect if we only looked at national averages. And in the case of those two states, infection was heavily concentrated in and around New York city.

In the case of New York and New Jersey, infection got out of hand before the US had a reliable test for the virus (the US developed their own test initially, but it turned out to not work properly). As a result of this by the time they realised they had a problem the health care system was rapidly overwhelmed with infections which were increasing at an exponential level. The health care system then collapsed at a local level even though infection levels in the US as a whole at the time were on average lower than in Europe.

The big problems in the US as you said are now in Texas, Florida, and Arizona, who had seen comparatively low rates of infection while New York was in crisis. The danger in those states is of them repeating the New York experience. Those states could go into crisis even if infection and death rates in places like New York are falling to very low levels.

New infections are a leading indicator of health problems, while deaths are a lagging indicator. We won't see many of the deaths which follow from the recent infections until some weeks in the future. By the time the death rates start spiking it's far too late to do anything about it.

I think Europeans sometimes fail to appreciate how decentralized policy making is in our federal system. Add in the size of the country, which means different regions will be hit by the virus at different times, and it becomes clear that national numbers don't give much insight into the problem.
In Canada the situation also greatly differs from province to province. The majority of infections and deaths have occurred in the province of Quebec, particularly centred around the city of Montreal and its suburbs. This is despite Quebec being only a quarter of the population of the country as a whole. Some provinces and territories have seen no deaths at all, and one territory has had no infections at all. The high rate of infection in Quebec is believed to be a result of Quebecers having gone on vacation in Florida in the spring and then returning home through New York state (see a map for this) combined with the worst possible timing for doing so.

When all this started British Columbia was the first province to see significant numbers of infections. I can recall reading the news and thinking about how they were really taking it on the chin, and how glad I was to be nearly a continent away from it. Then it spread across the country and at this point BC's rates of cumulative infections and deaths are well below the national average and very low on a global scale. That's quite a salutary example of not declaring the "winner" of a race before the race is over. As many have said, this is a marathon, not a sprint and we've got a long ways to go yet.

Governments in different provinces and federally put aside their political differences and worked together, regardless of party. Whatever other differences they have, they've recognised that COVID-19 is the one that really matters and are working together on it. This doesn't mean that there is no opposition criticism of policies or how they are carried out, but partisanship is not being allowed to affect how governments themselves work together and the provinces and federal government are able to operate by consensus.

In the US that doesn't seem to he happening. It's down to what each state wants to do without much national coordination. The pandemic and responses to it seem to have become a partisan political issue and the national leadership have been undermining state level governments for purely political reasons. The most effective cooperation between states seems to be coming from regional groups of states forming their own councils and effectively bypassing the federal government entirely.

The result of this is that to talk about a "national US policy" in how the pandemic is handled doesn't tell us much because the decisions that matter most are largely being taken by individual states, with coordination between neighbouring states being done on a state to state basis rather than going through the federal government.

Some states, as you have said, have recently made some bad decisions and now are likely to pay a price for it.

So to sum up, national averages may give a general idea of global trends, but for anyone who wants to understand what is actually happening in the US they need to, as you have said, look at the state by state numbers, where the infection rates in some cases are zooming upwards.
 

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