Back to school

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
Post Reply
User avatar
bob sterman
Fuzzable
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by bob sterman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:58 am

Here's the guidance that shows what is planned...

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... ndbook.pdf

Close contacts of confirmed cases are going to be allowed to travel to school each day instead of isolating - and will only be sent home if they test positive on a lateral flow test (with rubbish sensitivity).

So if you've got kids in school - they are going to be sat in classrooms with infectious contacts missed by the lateral flow tests - who should be home isolating.
lateral_flow.jpg
lateral_flow.jpg (392.75 KiB) Viewed 463 times

User avatar
shpalman
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3016
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:11 pm

Have they completely lost their f.cking minds?
molto tricky

User avatar
bob sterman
Fuzzable
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by bob sterman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:32 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:11 pm
Have they completely lost their f.cking minds?
It would seem so.

And these aren't just any old lateral flow tests - they are lateral flow tests administered by minimally trained school staff, on samples taken from uncooperative children, after they have perhaps had breakfast with their families and traveled to school on the bus messing around with their friends.

And for kids being tested for 7 days they are going to be told - the tests only get them out of isolation for school days, not the weekends when they can't be tested. They need to isolate on Saturdays and Sundays. And of course the kids will stick to that.

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Light of Blast
Posts: 4801
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: nadir of brie

Re: Back to school

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:44 pm

This is utterly, utterly stupid.

I expect lots of countries are doing the same, mind you.
THINK BIG AND UPEND THE SYSTEM

#ShowYourStripes

User avatar
jimbob
After Pie
Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:13 pm

Meanwhile the latest SAGE minutes are worth a read:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... vid-19.pdf
11. It is highly unlikely that measures with stringency and adherence in line with the
measures in England in November (i.e. with schools open) would be sufficient to
maintain R below 1 in the presence of the new variant. R would be lower with schools
closed, with closure of secondary schools likely to have a greater effect than closure of
primary schools. It remains difficult to distinguish where transmission between children
takes place, and it is important to consider contacts made outside of schools.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

Trinucleus
Fuzzable
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:45 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by Trinucleus » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:15 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:11 pm
Have they completely lost their f.cking minds?
Any thoughts on how much of this is down to incapable politicians setting stupid targets or policy rather than professionals who should know what they're doing?

User avatar
shpalman
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3016
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:26 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:15 pm
shpalman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:11 pm
Have they completely lost their f.cking minds?
Any thoughts on how much of this is down to incapable politicians setting stupid targets or policy rather than professionals who should know what they're doing?
Feels like politicians deciding what they want and then expecting the "boffins" to sort it out for them.
molto tricky

User avatar
bolo
Snowbonk
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:17 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Back to school

Post by bolo » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:01 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:11 pm
Have they completely lost their f.cking minds?
You appear to be assuming that they previously knew where to find their f.cking minds.

User avatar
bob sterman
Fuzzable
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by bob sterman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:37 pm

Thinking more about the practicalities of this.

After a child has been swabbed - the specimen will need to be applied to the lateral flow device and then you need to wait 30 minutes for the results.

If a school needs to swab and test a few dozen kids every morning - it's going to take a few hours to process and report all of the results. What do the kids do while they are waiting? Go to class - only for some of them to be told they're positive an hour or so later???

User avatar
shpalman
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3016
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:16 pm

molto tricky

OffTheRock
Sindis Poop
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:55 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:26 pm
Trinucleus wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:15 pm
shpalman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:11 pm
Have they completely lost their f.cking minds?
Any thoughts on how much of this is down to incapable politicians setting stupid targets or policy rather than professionals who should know what they're doing?
Feels like politicians deciding what they want and then expecting the "boffins" to sort it out for them.
My guess is the ‘boffins’ are advised no them schools need to shut and incapable politicians are setting stupid policy to keep them open. With the addition of removing needs for contacts to self-isolate to bump up the attendance stats.

Stupid thing is when they initially announced the LF testing for close contacts it was optional. So schools could ignore it and insist close contacts isolated. Now they seem to have made the testing system compulsory.

Hopefully the inevitable u-turn will happen before the system starts.

Millennie Al
Snowbonk
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: Back to school

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:49 am

jimbob wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:13 pm
Meanwhile the latest SAGE minutes are worth a read:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... vid-19.pdf
11. It is highly unlikely that measures with stringency and adherence in line with the
measures in England in November (i.e. with schools open) would be sufficient to
maintain R below 1 in the presence of the new variant. R would be lower with schools
closed, with closure of secondary schools likely to have a greater effect than closure of
primary schools. It remains difficult to distinguish where transmission between children
takes place, and it is important to consider contacts made outside of schools.
Unfortunately, the minutes suggest an alarming lack of understanding of something: either of the problem or of communication. They discuss R being below 1 as if that is of importance. Merely keeping R below 1 does not prevent an arbitrarily large number of cases and only helps avoid deaths to the extent that it preserves hospital capacity to treat people so that those who can be saved are saved. The real target needs to be to get the number of cases as low as possible so that we don't need to save sick people and those who would not be saved simply don't catch the disease in the first place.

The other worrying wording is in "It is not yet known", "There is not yet any evidence which suggests", "It is not yet clear", etc. These are missing the vital qualification that by the time that it is clear it is too late, so action must be based on what we know now and expert guesswork. If we wait until we know that, for example, a new strain is impossible to contain by Tier X measures, then we'll have the new strain widely spread before we do anything about it.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

User avatar
mediocrity511
Fuzzable
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:16 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by mediocrity511 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:50 pm

It's getting interesting with the teaching unions. NAHT bringing legal action against the government, NEU advising section 44 walkouts. Funnily I think this may make the government close the schools, as they can do it under cover of the nasty unions, rather than owning their own decisions.

OffTheRock
Sindis Poop
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:13 pm

I think you are spot on there. The one thing they seem to be completely unable to u-turn on is this idea that schools are safe and covid isn't a problem in them. If they can get away with saying schools are safe because of all the mitigations they've put in but they're going to have to close them because of the teachers/unions it's the easiest way for them to save face.

They are probably going to have to dig out all that tech they promised for disadvantaged pupils who will need it for online learning though. People are going to start wondering where that is.

User avatar
jimbob
After Pie
Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:10 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:49 am
jimbob wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:13 pm
Meanwhile the latest SAGE minutes are worth a read:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... vid-19.pdf
11. It is highly unlikely that measures with stringency and adherence in line with the
measures in England in November (i.e. with schools open) would be sufficient to
maintain R below 1 in the presence of the new variant. R would be lower with schools
closed, with closure of secondary schools likely to have a greater effect than closure of
primary schools. It remains difficult to distinguish where transmission between children
takes place, and it is important to consider contacts made outside of schools.
Unfortunately, the minutes suggest an alarming lack of understanding of something: either of the problem or of communication. They discuss R being below 1 as if that is of importance. Merely keeping R below 1 does not prevent an arbitrarily large number of cases and only helps avoid deaths to the extent that it preserves hospital capacity to treat people so that those who can be saved are saved. The real target needs to be to get the number of cases as low as possible so that we don't need to save sick people and those who would not be saved simply don't catch the disease in the first place.

The other worrying wording is in "It is not yet known", "There is not yet any evidence which suggests", "It is not yet clear", etc. These are missing the vital qualification that by the time that it is clear it is too late, so action must be based on what we know now and expert guesswork. If we wait until we know that, for example, a new strain is impossible to contain by Tier X measures, then we'll have the new strain widely spread before we do anything about it.
I sort of agree and disagree with you.

Yes it's absolutely vital to reduce cases, and if people want to about R, which is a potentially* useful modelling parameter, instead of trends in cases, I can accept that.

But I entirely agree that you cannot afford to wait until you have certainty, because that will mean that you are certain to have a severe problem.

*Although variation in individuals reproduction rate is pretty important for actually working out what will happen.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
shpalman
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3016
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:28 pm

So we still don't know but thanks anyway.

Ha, I'm saying that for balance. Of course coronavirus has been spreading in schools.

Balance: it might not have been.

But of course it has.
molto tricky

OffTheRock
Sindis Poop
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:11 pm

Fair play to the guardian for that photo though. Most school photos you see these days have a handful of children sitting miles apart and/or wearing masks.

Millennie Al
Snowbonk
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: Back to school

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:30 am

jimbob wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:10 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:49 am
They discuss R being below 1 as if that is of importance. Merely keeping R below 1 does not prevent an arbitrarily large number of casesnything about it.
Yes it's absolutely vital to reduce cases, and if people want to about R, which is a potentially* useful modelling parameter, instead of trends in cases, I can accept that.
To clarify what I mean about R (apart from the fact that the value observed lags the actual transmission, due to having to wait until cases can be detected), the maths behind it as an exponential decay so the exact value matters a lot.

I'll just use a trivial model to demonstrate. Assume we have a disease with 50,000 cases where transmission takes exactly one day.

For R=0.5, the second day sees 25000 cases, the third 12500, etc. It falls below 100 after 8 days and leads to a total of 100,000 cases.
R=0.7 takes 17 days to get below 100 and gives a total of 166,666 cases
R=0.8 takes 27 days and gives 250,000 cases
R=0.9 takes 58 days and gives 500,000 cases
R=0.95 takes 618 days and gives 5,000,000 cases

So merely being below 1 covers a huge range of possibilities. Covid-19 takes longer than a day to incubate, and real world transmission is more complicated, but you can see how a lockdown which gives R=0.9 is pretty useless as we need to wait 58 generations to get from 50,000 new cases to 100 new cases (where I assume track and trace and isolate will avoid the need for general lockdown) while also accumulating 10 times the number of initial cases.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

User avatar
jimbob
After Pie
Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:47 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:30 am
jimbob wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:10 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:49 am
They discuss R being below 1 as if that is of importance. Merely keeping R below 1 does not prevent an arbitrarily large number of casesnything about it.
Yes it's absolutely vital to reduce cases, and if people want to about R, which is a potentially* useful modelling parameter, instead of trends in cases, I can accept that.
To clarify what I mean about R (apart from the fact that the value observed lags the actual transmission, due to having to wait until cases can be detected), the maths behind it as an exponential decay so the exact value matters a lot.

I'll just use a trivial model to demonstrate. Assume we have a disease with 50,000 cases where transmission takes exactly one day.

For R=0.5, the second day sees 25000 cases, the third 12500, etc. It falls below 100 after 8 days and leads to a total of 100,000 cases.
R=0.7 takes 17 days to get below 100 and gives a total of 166,666 cases
R=0.8 takes 27 days and gives 250,000 cases
R=0.9 takes 58 days and gives 500,000 cases
R=0.95 takes 618 days and gives 5,000,000 cases

So merely being below 1 covers a huge range of possibilities. Covid-19 takes longer than a day to incubate, and real world transmission is more complicated, but you can see how a lockdown which gives R=0.9 is pretty useless as we need to wait 58 generations to get from 50,000 new cases to 100 new cases (where I assume track and trace and isolate will avoid the need for general lockdown) while also accumulating 10 times the number of initial cases.

Ah got you. Then yes I agree. When cases are low, you must not let R get above 1. And the exponential decay time constant is a lot longer than the time constant for the rise
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
shpalman
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3016
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:06 am

Well, there's also a difference between an R of 1.01, of 1.1, and of 2 (for example). Especially as once we manage to get a substantial number of people vaccinated (and/or infected, and the infection currently looks like winning in some parts of the UK) an R_0 slightly above 1 will still lead to a decrease since R_t will eventually be <1.

(Here it depends a bit on your definitions but I'll take R_0 as being the rate at which the virus would reproduce if the entire rest of the population were still susceptible, taking into account whatever social behaviour and containment measures are going on; i.e. not the rate at which the virus would reproduce in a population/country completely oblivious to its presence. R_t is then the rate which takes into account that not all the population are susceptible due to previous infection or vaccination, a factor which generally isn't relevant yet but will become relevant over the next few months.)

But I would just say to look at whether the numbers are going up or down, and then by what doubling or halving rate.
molto tricky

User avatar
jimbob
After Pie
Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:23 am

Image
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
lpm
After Pie
Posts: 2489
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: COUNT THE VOTE. STOP THE COUNT.

Re: Back to school

Post by lpm » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:46 am

I shouldn't have watched that f.cking awful Marr show.

Johnson is so incompetent it enraged me. Marr didn't pin anything on him which enraged me. It's so hard to deal with a fantasist who will just lie when things are heading against him, and I'm sure I couldn't do it, but Marr is a professional.

Nobody in the real world watches these political shows anyway, it's just politics commentators commenting to other political commmentators.
I'll miss him after he's fled to Riyadh

OffTheRock
Sindis Poop
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:41 pm

I see we're still going with the 'schools are safe, the issue is all the people inside them' line.

In other news, hospitals in the SE are fine, the issue is all the people needing treatment.

User avatar
shpalman
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3016
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:47 pm

Well this time last year there wasn't a covid problem in schools.
molto tricky

OffTheRock
Sindis Poop
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:39 pm

Unison are backing the section 44 walk out for non-teaching staff. The NEU are pointing out that you don't have to be a member and can use their letter with a few adjustments. NASUWT have advised their members not to walk out because they might get sacked if they do. The onus is on heads to prove the schools are safe and the NAHT seems to be telling members not to because they aren't going to be able to prove it. Birmingham have told schools that they will have their backing if they do shut and Brighton and Hove have told their schools not to open. Add that to parents deciding to keep their children at home and the whole thing is a complete mess.

Difficult to see how they are going to get out of this without a u-turn. Either a really last minute one or one after all the schools are shut anyway.

Post Reply