Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

MERS Coronavirus warning


War Hero
So face masks for the average punter are worthless at best, more harmful at worst :smile:

(I've gone for the 'putting words in your mouth' angle :grin:)

I don't know - but I would have more faith in keeping my distance than a damp patch of snot.

If I am in a confined space then, in the current mood, and people are genuinely scared, I tend to wear a keffiyeh 'coz it looks cool, probably better for other people in that there's not jets of instant death flying out the sides if I exhale, can be laundered, and handy if I decide to go on jihad.

Mostly though 'coz it looks cool.


The ones that science says work; handwashing, social distancing, limiting group sizes.

The evidence on masks is sketchy and there's negatives such as people feel safer, so are less likely to social distance. I've also lost count of people I see pulling on a facemask as they enter a shop/super market, yet completely ignore the hand sanitising/trolley sanitising stations.

If we didn't have the mask emphasis, I reckon more would do the hygiene and social distancing; the things that science says works.
Oh , you get the " I have a mask on so I'll crowd in on you and ignore the distance " routine as well? Its unbelievably annoying.
I love the masks just below the nose routine too, I just stare at people v briefly but give them a look.
If aisles in supermarkets look busy then I skip them and move on not bulldoze my way through .
I don't know - but I would have more faith in keeping my distance than a damp patch of snot.
In all seriousness agreed. However for 'reasons', sensible precautions such as social distancing, regularly washing your hands, staying home when ill, covering your mouth when coughing etc have given way to hysteria and heavy handedness.


War Hero
9 Intervention Closure of bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants

Impact on COVID transmission Moderate impact (medium confidence).
Potential reduction in Rt of 0.1-0.2, though precise estimation very difficult.

10 Intervention Closure of indoor gyms, leisure centres, fitness etc.

Impact on COVID transmission Low to moderate impact (moderate confidence)
Potential reduction in Rt of up to 0.1, though precise estimation very difficult. Some evidence from outbreak data e.g. in Korea associated with fitness class.

Source: Covid-19 evidence bank is published


  • exec-paper-240920.pdf
    533.8 KB · Views: 2
Well that's frigging Christmas, and the economy, sorted then.

I don't think that is what the TAG paper is proposing though. Haven't read it properly yet though. To be fair in one sense we are only reaching the "ICU Full" trigger now.

I have to say I wonder whether a max effort 10 day lock down might buy us more time in between time. Enough time to allow nascent cases to incubate, exhibit and self isolate without much onward infection and to triangulate some


War Hero
I don't think that is what the TAG paper is proposing though. Haven't read it properly yet though. To be fair in one sense we are only reaching the "ICU Full" trigger now.

I have to say I wonder whether a max effort 10 day lock down might buy us more time in between time. Enough time to allow nascent cases to incubate, exhibit and self isolate without much onward infection and to triangulate some

A full lockdown must logically reduce the spread of an infection for a period and I can fully understand it if the NHS is truly in danger of being overwhealmed. But it is, barring a magic bullet, only postponing things, and at a terrible price.

It was reported that the government failed to use the time over the summer to ready the NHS because they felt T&T would ride to the rescue.

Whether C19 is different to all previous seasonal coronoviruses in that it self-limits as many virologists are claiming we're not certain but we do seem to be seeing downturns naturally occuring before lockdowns cut in; some claim that is due to people self-isolating before formal lockdowns. Isn't that what we see in Manchester already?

But it's a gamble.
@terminal won't like this, not one little bit. No lockdown, big dense population, and the Dr says the study is good and shows that Japan (Tokyo specifically) has had high rates of infection.

It will make him narky.

View attachment 513604

Edited to add:

He concludes that Tokyo has some level of herd immunity.

He's got to be an alt-right Nazi.
He appears to be citing the same report that you did, and it still has the same problems of not being a representative sample of the population.

You can't project a non-random sample over the population as a whole. The math is the same whether we are talking about viruses or elections. For example, if we were to poll BBC or Guardian employees across the UK and asked them about Brexit, the results would probably say that Brexit was a bad idea and it wasn't going to happen. It doesn't matter how geographically widely distributed the BBC and Guardian employees were, they wouldn't form a representative sample of the population as a whole and so their opinions could not be projected across the population as a whole.

The same applies to blood tests of a small number of non-randomly selected people in Japan. The issue isn't whether those individual people had been infected at one time, the problem has to do with projecting those results to the population as a whole.
The French aren't notable for obeying laws when they find them inconvenient, could they be giving the mask mandate a stiff ignoring?
The French "state of health emergency" pandemic laws expired on the 10th of July. new laws were brought in which relaxed a lot of the lockdown measures.
France will end special government powers brought in to deal with the coronavirus pandemic on July 10 though it will retain the ability to curb gatherings and freedom of movement for four months, the prime minister’s office said.

A lot of countries brought in mask laws to coincide with reducing lockdown measures. It was hoped that masks would to some degree mitigate spread of the virus and so help with efforts to boost the economy.
Going back the side effects that survivors have which can range from anything from loss of memory, mental health affects, to iffy bowels. To delusions (not of grandeur !!!) , strokes Anyhow there’s this ’Long Covid‚ Syndrome Remember this guy who recovered from COVID, wheeled through Blackpool hospital clapping and cheering has sadly passed away recently.

However delving into the article (partially not trusting the titles of said tabloid) appears ‚was cardiac arrest with the secondary cause given as post-Covid pulmonary fibrosis‘

Article also states there is no autopsy lest HM Coroner investigsting...

poorr chap.
All this seems to have nothing to do with people but rather a political squabble concerning money. If all restrictions were removed the population would be reduced and only those capable of resisting the virus would survive. That would stop all the nonsense about devolved decisions and furlough/cashback.

What is bothering me at present is the rate of response/confirmation where tests are concerned. We are told that Italy can have results back within thirty minutes while I understand from the news that a private system at major airports could have a rest result within the hour. Meanwhile the NHS is talking about real speedy results back in ninety minutes.
Which of those is the real answer for getting results back? Why such a time variation?
There are different types of tests. The PCR tests are very accurate, but are more time consuming to do and take special equipment.

There are other types of tests which produce rapid results, but the results are less accurate. The rapid tests are seen as supplements for PCR tests, not as replacements for them.
Of course there are different factors in different countries. Obesity, age, probably diet. Some countries like Japan with minimal restrictions (although they do wear face masks and their social distancing has always been in place) but, despite crowding in huge cities, don't appear to have been affected very much.
Then New Zealand, another semi isolated country, with total lockdown and coming through it very well.
Closer to home, Morocco saw what was happening in the north in Spain, Italy etc and imposed full lockdown restrictions with hardly any cases or deaths throughout the really bad period. Then they removed the lockdown restrictions towards the end of July and cases and deaths have risen seven fold since then.

Other countries, like UK, have huge masses of people transiting through airports and train hubs. Just like Belgium with the trains and the Netherlands with the planes. USA large transit areas, like NY, LA, Chicago and so on with high numbers and low density areas like Kentucky or Wyoming not so bad.

Spain has many millions of tourists throughout the year with Madrid, Barcelona and dozens of regional airports taking people through.

It's far to soon to guess what is happening. Some large conurbations being hit hard whilst other large ones (and they don't get larger than Tokyo) not so much. Why? All guesswork. Those "experts" being quoted are shot down by other "experts" and at least half a dozen views on it. Bit like the face masks, you can read loads of expert studies saying they are effective, the same amount saying they aren't and just as many saying it's not proven either way.

No wonder people are getting confused. Dead easy to pick one place and say "well they didn't do such and such and it's good" but another place that did such and such and look how well they were doing before easing off. Spain a great example, failed to take action soon enough (like loads of countries that didn't heed the warnings) and up went the cases and deaths. They imposed strict restrictions and got sh1t from the heads of sheds in other areas so reduced the restrictions when deaths got down to zero and cases in the dozens instead of the thousands. And then the deaths and cases started going up again. Threaten to impose restrictions, get stick from other areas (like Burnham in Manchester) and now hum and hah about it whilst cases either go up one day or reduce the next. Now talking of imposing a nationwide curfew to placate those in the hardest hit areas by showing them they are not getting picked on.

One day, maybe, we'll know enough about it to make educated sense out of it all. Until then we'll get the amateur experts all second guessing each other. Sometimes they are guessing right, other times they are guessing wrong. One day maybe.
I've mentioned this before, but in Canada the majority of cases and deaths were in Quebec, particularly centred around Montreal. The second highest number and rate was in Ontario, which is the largest province. If Quebec had done as well, or as poorly, as Ontario, the overall death rate for Canada would have been cut by more than 40%.

So why the difference? It's the same country and it's two adjacent and very similar provinces. We don't know, but there is unlikely to be any very simple answer. There are probably many complex reasons that won't be fully understood for some years yet.

As for the less populated areas of the US getting off lightly, it's starting to go around there. In terms of total cases per capita, the top states right now are North Dakota and South Dakota. Infection rates are taking off exponentially, and North Dakota's death rate is higher than that of France.

As to people being "confused", from what I can read there are people in the UK who are working hard at being "confused" because they want to have something to criticise the government over, so they nit-pick at perceived inconsistencies in the rules instead of applying some common sense. Some people will try to turn every issue into a political one, instead of working with others for a solution.
Here's the COVID-19 global summary.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday

Russia hit a new record high of 15,982 cases on Monday.
Meanwhile, Russia hit a record daily high of 15,982 coronavirus infections on Monday as the authorities in the capital Moscow said they would not introduce stronger restrictions to contain the virus.

The president of Indonesia has said the country should delay using new COVID-19 vaccines out of concern that they may not be halal.
n Asia, the president of the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, Joko Widodo, called on Monday for Indonesia not to rush the rollout of vaccines, citing concerns over public awareness about whether they were halal or permissible under Islam.

In India the daily death total fell to 579, its lowest point in 3 months.
In India, 579 fatalities from COVID-19 were reported in the past 24 hours, the lowest increase in three months, bringing its death toll to 114,610. The Health Ministry on Monday also reported 55,722 more people infected, raising India's total to more than 7.5 million.

Argentina registered their 1 millionth confirmed case. They have had 26,716 deaths so far.
In the Americas, Argentina reached one million confirmed coronavirus cases. The Ministry of Health said 1,002,662 people have been diagnosed with the virus, and 26,716 have died.
Only 5% of new cases of COVID-19 were alerted to their infection by the phone app since it was rolled out at the end of July.
Just 5% of Ontario coronavirus cases used COVID Alert app to report infection
Only a fraction of Ontario's COVID-19 cases have used the national COVID Alert app to report their infections, hampering the app's effectiveness in slowing the second wave of the pandemic in the province.

Figures provided by the provincial government show COVID Alert users have reported 1,354 cases through the app since its launch on July 31.

Given that Ontario has had more than 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since then, this means roughly five per cent of those infected with the novel coronavirus have used the app to report their case, which would then warn other users of potential exposure if they had been within two metres of that person for at least 15 minutes in the preceding two weeks.

The app has had 4.7 million downloads so far across Canada, and is in use in all provinces except British Columbia and Alberta.
The COVID Alert app has been downloaded to nearly 4.7 million phones across Canada. Statistics breaking down the number of downloads by province are not available. The app is in use in eight of the provinces, with British Columbia and Alberta the sole holdouts.
The following is an interesting interview with a Swedish virologist on Sweden's public health response to COVID-19. Included in the web page is a 7 minute audio interview with her. The text of the story is based on the interview, but there are some details in the audio which are not in the text.
Swedish virologist says her country's COVID-19 strategy has failed, but nobody will admit it

I'll attempt to summarise the key points, but I recommend reading or listening to the actual interview if you wish to have a full understanding.

She says that when COVID-19 started, the initial assumption was that it would be like SARS. It would spread mainly by symptomatic cases, and the symptomatic people could be isolated and the spread stopped that way.

However, when it became apparent that there was significant asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic spread, the health authorities refused to admit they had made a mistake and so continued on with strategy based on false assumptions.

There has never been an official policy in Sweden to go for herd immunity. It was seen as a bonus should it happen, but there was no plan to make it an actual goal.

Broad testing has shown the presence of antibodies in only single digit ranges, so herd immunity is nowhere in sight at this point.

Sweden is one of a handful of countries which still does not have an official mask policy. The others are Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Syria, Greenland and some Pacific islands. While in the spring there may not have been the evidence to support the wearing of masks, the studies at present overwhelmingly support the benefits of masks. Despite this even doctors and nurses in hospitals don't wear them. Rather they defer to the public health agency, who in turn refuse to change their recommendations.

Despite the deaths, Sweden's economy has not benefited from the lower restrictions. Indeed they are doing worse economically than most of their neighbours.

Sweden did not completely ignore the pandemic. People were told to work from home. They were told not to pack public transport. There were maximum limits (50) on public gatherings.

Starting Monday regional public health authorities in Sweden will have the power to tell people to stay away from crowded places such as malls, museums, gyms, concerts, to avoid public transit, and to not visit the elderly.

However, this change in approach is not being accompanied by any admission that mistakes were made in the approach used up until now. The interviewee seems to be of the opinion that the authorities in Sweden will never admit to having made any errors in their handling of the pandemic.
Ok its Sky but remember when the Evil Prefect told us we we're now following the Belgium model because we know it works:


Major Sunray had the highly informative press conference on last night and while not listening to it I did enjoy the built in excuses.

Bojo. If everyone does what they're told we will defeat the lurgi.
Or. The plan is flawed and wont work but we can blame you, yes you, for it not working.

JVT. The non-lockdown restriction thingy will bring down the cases but not as dramatically as it did before.
Or. I'm far, far smarter than the blonde buffoon next to me so I can hide behind the fact that rates are/have been decreasing in Manchester (coz that's all they care about today) for weeks and say I was right. But overall its not going to work.

Edited to add JVT is very clever isn't he. I've just seen on Lockdown sceptics while he was showing the spread of the purple death he also had the rates falling slide next to it. So come the Public Enquiry into Government failings during this farce he can simply say the data was there for all to see but forgot/had to move on and couldn't reference it.
Last edited:

Latest Threads