Covid phone tracking

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shpalman
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:08 pm

My Kronaby complains it has lost touch with my phone if I'm a few metres away without a clear line of sight and my Mum's phone runs an old version of Android with a bug which means you can't even switch the bluetooth on.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:23 pm

There seem to be a lot of reasons why an app should be considered the cherry on the cake rather than the centerpiece of an infection control strategy.

Meanwhile in Portugal the only app we have is for the beach - you check in and out, and if there's too high a density the beach is closed. They've said they're checking up, and if the system is abused they'll close the beaches again (they were shut till 1st June).

I've not yet felt confident enough to pop to the beach, but I can see the temptation. Hope the system works.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by lpm » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:35 pm

The UK app has been delayed to "the winter". Year not specified.

I doubt we will ever get this cherry on the cake. Or the cake itself. Or the ingredients for the cake. We'll just get promised a cake, a world-beating oven-ready cake that captures the spirit of Dunkirk.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by headshot » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:38 pm

There is no cake. The cake is a lie.

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by lpm » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:45 pm

350 million cakes a week. And a proper red, white and blue plane for Boris to shag in.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:36 pm

Well, now that they've realised it'll take longer than hoped, I'm sure they'll be shifting attention and resources to the other measures they have in place.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:39 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:35 pm
The UK app has been delayed to "the winter". Year not specified.

I doubt we will ever get this cherry on the cake. Or the cake itself. Or the ingredients for the cake. We'll just get promised a cake, a world-beating oven-ready cake that captures the spirit of Dunkirk.
Apparently, "Lord Bethell, the minister responsible for the NHSX app, claimed the delay was caused in part by a fear of “freaking out” the public by using technological means to tell them they might be ill."

Just like you couldn't have a lockdown too early because people would get bored with it. How did that one work out?
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by Squeak » Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:52 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:39 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:35 pm
The UK app has been delayed to "the winter". Year not specified.

I doubt we will ever get this cherry on the cake. Or the cake itself. Or the ingredients for the cake. We'll just get promised a cake, a world-beating oven-ready cake that captures the spirit of Dunkirk.
Apparently, "Lord Bethell, the minister responsible for the NHSX app, claimed the delay was caused in part by a fear of “freaking out” the public by using technological means to tell them they might be ill."

Just like you couldn't have a lockdown too early because people would get bored with it. How did that one work out?
This one actually makes sense to me. On a typical London commute, how many people will you share bluetooth space with on a 15 minute commute section (e.g. a single train or bus ride) and how many of those sections will you travel each week. If I assume that I share a bus with only 20 people and I take two bus sections of >15 minutes each in each direction each day, that's 80 people a day, or 400 people a week, just for the bus section of my commute, let alone time at work or the pub or anything else I might do regularly that gets me sharing airspace. (And yes, some of those people will be the same people from one day to the next but they'll also have had new opportunities to become infectious too, so I'm going to treat them as independent risks for my fag packet exercise.) The killer bit for avoiding public panic/ridicule that might be politically painful for the government is knowing how many of those people might result in me getting an alert and thus demanding a test. Rough numbers from wiki suggest that ~3% of English people (the closest I could find to London) have had confirmed covid at some point. Apply whatever fudge factor you like to convert that into "people who are currently infectious and haven't yet been tested and isolated" and I could be getting an alert a week. You might as well be providing weekly testing of all major city commuters and sell it as a kind of blanket testing, rather than scaring all commuters into organising their own test each week or fortnight.

An app might be more helpful in areas of lower infection and lower density but I don't know how you sell that. It's been of no use at all in a country (Australia) with good app uptake and almost no infections but maybe there's a goldilocks zone where it could provide useful information. :/

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:55 am

Presumably the number of contacts received a normal person following the government guidance would tend to be pretty high, and would therefore be a constant push-notification proof that they've unlocked far too early.

They're hoping the number of cases will go down enough by winter that they can roll it out when it's less useful, but won't show them up as much.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:31 am

How do they expect the number of cases to go down by winter?
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by lpm » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:53 am

The virus is crushed by three key measures: blitz spirit, singing Happy Birthday while washing hands and remembering who won the World Cup in 1966.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:35 am

At this stage I'd be relatively happy with scaring all Londoners into staying the f.ck at home for two weeks, because if they'd done that properly in the first place then maybe unlocking now would actually be feasible

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that Lincolnshire apparently has a very low number of cases and goes days without any deaths at all, but schools keep having to close because of the virus.

It's almost as if the app won't solve anything if the actual capacity to test possible contacts just isn't there. But it feels like an easy clever hi-tech solution which will stop people catching the virus when it's actually a way of optimising who gets tested while allowing relatively virus-free areas of the country to start to get back to normal.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by Tessa K » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:35 am
At this stage I'd be relatively happy with scaring all Londoners into staying the f.ck at home for two weeks, because if they'd done that properly in the first place then maybe unlocking now would actually be feasible

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that Lincolnshire apparently has a very low number of cases and goes days without any deaths at all, but schools keep having to close because of the virus.

It's almost as if the app won't solve anything if the actual capacity to test possible contacts just isn't there. But it feels like an easy clever hi-tech solution which will stop people catching the virus when it's actually a way of optimising who gets tested while allowing relatively virus-free areas of the country to start to get back to normal.
How would the app work now that people can 'bubble'? Would people turn the phones off when they're at someone's house? A lot of people round my way have been visiting other homes all through lockdown anyway.

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:55 am
Presumably the number of contacts received a normal person following the government guidance would tend to be pretty high, and would therefore be a constant push-notification proof that they've unlocked far too early.
But if the government doesn't actually test anyone then they won't have to tell the app they're positive and their contacts won't get notifications.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:45 am

Tessa K wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 am
How would the app work now that people can 'bubble'? Would people turn the phones off when they're at someone's house?
It would work in exactly the way it's supposed to.

The app would register lots of close contact with other people in your bubble so that if one of them gets tested positive for covid and they notify the app, everyone else in the bubble will get notified, assuming they don't know already because their friend told them.
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 am
A lot of people round my way have been visiting other homes all through lockdown anyway.
The app would register a lot of close contact with the people who were visiting each other so that if one of them gets tested positive for covid and they notify the app, everyone else they visited will get notified, assuming they don't know already because their friend told them.

The app is not triggered just by having lots of contact with other people running the app.

This is one of the situations for which the app is useful, although manual contact tracing would also work in these situations since you know they people you are bubbling with or visiting.

(The app of course is much more useful than manual contact tracing for out-in-public situations.)
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by Tessa K » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:58 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:45 am
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 am
How would the app work now that people can 'bubble'? Would people turn the phones off when they're at someone's house?
It would work in exactly the way it's supposed to.

The app would register lots of close contact with other people in your bubble so that if one of them gets tested positive for covid and they notify the app, everyone else in the bubble will get notified, assuming they don't know already because their friend told them.
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 am
A lot of people round my way have been visiting other homes all through lockdown anyway.
The app would register a lot of close contact with the people who were visiting each other so that if one of them gets tested positive for covid and they notify the app, everyone else they visited will get notified, assuming they don't know already because their friend told them.

The app is not triggered just by having lots of contact with other people running the app.

This is one of the situations for which the app is useful, although manual contact tracing would also work in these situations since you know they people you are bubbling with or visiting.

(The app of course is much more useful than manual contact tracing for out-in-public situations.)
Yes, for contact with people we know, just telling them would work - as long as people are honest, especially ones with very mild symptoms they choose to ignore for the sake of socialising. It's a bit like the transmission of STIs relying on honesty and contact tracing.

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:11 am

Just telling them would work but that's no reason to have to turn off your phones.

If a friend wouldn't tell me that they'd potentially passed on the virus, leaving me in danger of unknowingly passing it on to others, some of whom might die or at least suffer serious symptoms, then I'm not sure if I would want to continue to consider them a friend.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by JQH » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:48 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:31 am
How do they expect the number of cases to go down by winter?
The more susceptible members of the population will be dead already. Or they'll blame the deaths on flu. Wouldn't be the first time.
Last edited by JQH on Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by JQH » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:50 am

lpm wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:53 am
... remembering who won the World Cup in 1966.
An alliance of England and the Soviet Union. See, it was just like WW2!
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by headshot » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:17 pm

Aaaaand, it looks like they'll abandon their sh.t app developed by Dom's mates and got with the Apple/Google decentralised versions: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... gle-models

f.cking time and money wasting w.nkers.

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:14 pm

The decision to switch to the Google-Apple model will have wide-ranging ramifications for the government’s contact-tracing programme. The Californian tech companies’ unbending rules greatly limit the amount of data the NHS has access to, preventing the health service from using the app to increase its understanding of the spread of coronavirus around the UK.
In Lombardy there's been an app in which you can self-report your state of health and symptoms (or lack of them) for a couple of months now.

The idea that the National Health Service needs to piggy back off an app because it DOESN'T HAVE A f.cking CLUE about the health of people since the government f.cked this up so badly on several levels is just I can't even.
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by FlammableFlower » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:37 pm

World-beating shambles...

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by headshot » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:17 pm

shpalman wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:14 pm
The decision to switch to the Google-Apple model will have wide-ranging ramifications for the government’s contact-tracing programme. The Californian tech companies’ unbending rules greatly limit the amount of data the NHS has access to, preventing the health service from using the app to increase its understanding of the spread of coronavirus around the UK.
In Lombardy there's been an app in which you can self-report your state of health and symptoms (or lack of them) for a couple of months now.
I’ve been using the Covid-19 app which is part of the King’s College Covid tracking research. It’s been available for a few months.

https://covid.joinzoe.com/

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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:33 pm

The bluetooth-signal-strength-doesn't-reliably-correlate-to-distance thing would probably be a common issue between all these tracking apps anyway. It's a physics issue. But does the distance actually matter, compared to the length of the period of time over which the phones are in bluetooth contact with each other?
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Re: Covid phone tracking

Post by AMS » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:23 pm

JQH wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:48 am
shpalman wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:31 am
How do they expect the number of cases to go down by winter?
The more susceptible members of the population will be dead already. Or they'll blame the deaths on flu. Wouldn't be the first time.
It might be a good idea to start building test capacity for flu too. If someone has a fever but tests negative for Covid, a simultaneous positive flu test off the same sample would add confidence it wasn't a false negative, and also means their contacts don't need to isolate.

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