Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
Post Reply

Will the UK achieve unlockdown by the Summer Solstice?

Yes, easy peasy
1
2%
Yes, but only because the govt won't want to u-turn
18
41%
There or thereabouts, might be pushed back a couple of weeks
5
11%
No, the numbers won't allow it, and each stage will be delayed adding up to a couple more months of measures
9
20%
No, not a chance, the virus will have another serious wave and relockdown will be required
11
25%
 
Total votes: 44

User avatar
bob sterman
Snowbonk
Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by bob sterman » Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:31 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:35 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:26 pm
And we're creating the perfect circumstances for a vaccine-resistant variant to evolve.
Why?
Any vaccination programme will create selection pressures that favour vaccine-resistant variants - that's to be expected. But the chance of such a variant emerging is typically small if case numbers are low (and the unvaccinated population is small).

However, living alongside and mixing with the vaccinated population we have a large unvaccinated population - increasing the probability of such a variant emerging.

The unvaccinated population is essentially a variant engine - a bit like a locksmith generating hundreds (or thousands) of slightly different keys - and living alongside a bunch of locks to test them on!

99.9% of the time these keys won't open the door to the vaccinated population - but eventually the locksmith (variant engine) will stumble across a key that opens that lock. That key (variant) will then be very successful.

User avatar
Fishnut
Dorkwood
Posts: 1351
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Fishnut » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:02 pm

Further to bobs' reply,

Adam Finn from the JCVI said on Newsnight:
The slightly dangerous situation that we're entering now is that the variants we've seen emerging so far in the last year have really been, their advantage, their selective advantage is that they're more transmissible and they've simply been able to outcompete the other viruses because they can infect more people. What we've got in the UK at the moment is a population that's much more immune than any of the populations where variants have emerged before, so the selection pressure on the virus now will be to evade that immunity. And so the risk of having a large epidemic in the context of a relatively highly immune population is that we see variants emerge that can escape that immunity.
We've got a large population of people who have had two doses, another large who've just had one and a large population (mostly younger people who often in closer contact with others for long periods because of school) who haven't had any. With rising cases we get the opportunity for more variants emerging. With a large portion of partly vaccinated people, which we know gives lower immunity even to the existing variants, there's more chance those variants will find a way through that partial immunity, which means there's then more opportunity for variants to emerge that can get through "full" immunity. We are really risking a lot because Johnson can't keep his bank benchers placated any more.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

User avatar
lpm
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by lpm » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:17 pm

But why now? Why here?

All year we've had a vaccinated population living alongside and mixing with the unvaccinated population. Globally this will repeat in every country, particularly those that will need a few years to scrape together enough vaccine supplies. There's no country that's vaccinating under 12s and plenty won't vaccinate under 18s and a long list of countries that won't hit the UK world-leading 90% of adults. The pandemic will continue as endemic with a permanent backdrop of cases and whole world will be the engine.

Is it the case that if it's possible, it's guaranteed?
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

User avatar
Fishnut
Dorkwood
Posts: 1351
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Fishnut » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:23 pm

Because until now (well, until the 19th or whenever it is) we've had social distancing, mask wearing, working at home and all the other sorts of things that are supposed to keep case numbers low. The fact that they aren't working particularly effectively against the delta variant is worrying enough, but when we "go back to normal" then all bets are off.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

User avatar
bob sterman
Snowbonk
Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by bob sterman » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:33 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:17 pm
But why now? Why here?

All year we've had a vaccinated population living alongside and mixing with the unvaccinated population. Globally this will repeat in every country, particularly those that will need a few years to scrape together enough vaccine supplies.
Why here and now? Because right now we have a large vaccinated population and we are currently "letting it rip" through the unvaccinated population creating huge numbers of case alongside them. Removing restrictions as case numbers are building.

Earlier in the year we were not allowing case numbers to build like this. And many other countries are trying to complete their vaccination programmes without "letting it rip" and building such a large engine for the creation of new variants.
Last edited by bob sterman on Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Woodchopper
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3670
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:17 pm
But why now? Why here?

All year we've had a vaccinated population living alongside and mixing with the unvaccinated population. Globally this will repeat in every country, particularly those that will need a few years to scrape together enough vaccine supplies. There's no country that's vaccinating under 12s and plenty won't vaccinate under 18s and a long list of countries that won't hit the UK world-leading 90% of adults. The pandemic will continue as endemic with a permanent backdrop of cases and whole world will be the engine.

Is it the case that if it's possible, it's guaranteed?
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.

User avatar
bob sterman
Snowbonk
Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by bob sterman » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:53 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
If a variant that can evade the Pfizer vaccine response appears in a country with few or no people vaccinated with it - then so long as it has no other advantages over other variants in circulation there (aside from Pfizer evasion) then this will be of little consequence. It won't spread.

However, if that variant emerges here - it would have a selective advantage. So what happens here can make a big difference.

Herainestold
Dorkwood
Posts: 1159
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Herainestold » Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:00 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:53 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
If a variant that can evade the Pfizer vaccine response appears in a country with few or no people vaccinated with it - then so long as it has no other advantages over other variants in circulation there (aside from Pfizer evasion) then this will be of little consequence. It won't spread.

However, if that variant emerges here - it would have a selective advantage. So what happens here can make a big difference.
That is why we should be locking down.
Delta changes everything.

User avatar
Woodchopper
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3670
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jul 07, 2021 9:45 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:53 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
If a variant that can evade the Pfizer vaccine response appears in a country with few or no people vaccinated with it - then so long as it has no other advantages over other variants in circulation there (aside from Pfizer evasion) then this will be of little consequence. It won't spread.

However, if that variant emerges here - it would have a selective advantage. So what happens here can make a big difference.
I agree.

However the US has opened up already. I can’t see the majority of other countries maintaining society wide restrictions after the vaccination programmes are completed. What’s happening in Britain will happen in the rest of Europe in a month or two. Israel, Australia and New Zealand may well be exceptions though.

Millennie Al
Catbabel
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:56 pm

As long as people self-isolate upon noticing symptoms, there will be a selection pressure towards more asymptomatic cases.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

Herainestold
Dorkwood
Posts: 1159
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Herainestold » Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:25 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 9:45 pm
bob sterman wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:53 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
If a variant that can evade the Pfizer vaccine response appears in a country with few or no people vaccinated with it - then so long as it has no other advantages over other variants in circulation there (aside from Pfizer evasion) then this will be of little consequence. It won't spread.

However, if that variant emerges here - it would have a selective advantage. So what happens here can make a big difference.
I agree.

However the US has opened up already. I can’t see the majority of other countries maintaining society wide restrictions after the vaccination programmes are completed. What’s happening in Britain will happen in the rest of Europe in a month or two. Israel, Australia and New Zealand may well be exceptions though.
One would think Europe, seeing what is happening now in the UK, would lock down now. People think it won't happen to them.
Australia, NZ, China will be okay. Not sure about the rest.
Delta changes everything.

User avatar
snoozeofreason
Fuzzable
Posts: 303
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:22 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by snoozeofreason » Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:12 pm

Letter in the Lancet, with 122 signatories
...In light of these grave risks, and given that vaccination offers the prospect of quickly reaching the same goal of population immunity without incurring them, we consider any strategy that tolerates high levels of infection to be both unethical and illogical. The UK Government must reconsider its current strategy and take urgent steps to protect the public, including children. We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021.

Instead, the government should delay complete re-opening until everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high, and until mitigation measures, especially adequate ventilation (through investment in CO2 monitors and air filtration devices) and spacing (eg, by reducing class sizes), are in place in schools. Until then, public health measures must include those called for by WHO (universal mask wearing in indoor spaces, even for those vaccinated), the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ventilation and air filtration), and Independent SAGE (effective border quarantine; test, trace isolate, and support). This will ensure that everyone is protected and make it much less likely that we will need further restrictions or lockdowns in the autumn....
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

Herainestold
Dorkwood
Posts: 1159
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Herainestold » Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:35 pm

snoozeofreason wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:12 pm
Letter in the Lancet, with 122 signatories
...In light of these grave risks, and given that vaccination offers the prospect of quickly reaching the same goal of population immunity without incurring them, we consider any strategy that tolerates high levels of infection to be both unethical and illogical. The UK Government must reconsider its current strategy and take urgent steps to protect the public, including children. We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021.

Instead, the government should delay complete re-opening until everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high, and until mitigation measures, especially adequate ventilation (through investment in CO2 monitors and air filtration devices) and spacing (eg, by reducing class sizes), are in place in schools. Until then, public health measures must include those called for by WHO (universal mask wearing in indoor spaces, even for those vaccinated), the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ventilation and air filtration), and Independent SAGE (effective border quarantine; test, trace isolate, and support). This will ensure that everyone is protected and make it much less likely that we will need further restrictions or lockdowns in the autumn....
Good recommendations but that would be a complete reversal of current policies.
Delta changes everything.

raven
Snowbonk
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:58 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by raven » Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:22 pm

lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:25 pm
raven wrote:
Tue Jul 06, 2021 2:34 pm
the adult population of the UK is about 53m (nobody's too sure how many EU workers and entrepreneurs have left this f.cked up little island).
The ONS estimates UK population is about 67m. England is about 56m though. Of which 27m have had two, so I make that aprox 30m unvaccinated, of which maybe something half are under 18. So maybe 15m or so unvaccinated adults.
Let's not muddle up UK and England. Stick to one or the other. Your figures are going awry as a result.

The UK population is about 67m, 53m adults and 14 million children. Of the 67m, around 22m are completely unvaccinated (about 8m adults and 14m children). A further 11m adults are only first-dosed (most of who are adults 18-40).

It's important to note that about 6m of the 8m unvaccinated adults are unvaccinated by choice - they have been offered multiple times, some over months, and have declined. The remaining 2m will be 18-30s who want the vaccine and have an appointment this week/next week or who just haven't got round to making their appointment or stopping by at the local drop-in vaccination centre, plus a handful of people who can't have the vaccine for health reasons.
Ah, sorry. I was looking at the PHE reports, which obviously only deal with England. Their figures were 27m double jabbed out of 61.7 m total population. Adjusting to a more reasonable total population estimate of 56m, that gave me 29m not fully vaccinated, including under 18s.

Then I generously took off 14m for that, when it's probably a bit less for just England. (PHE lump all the under 40s together, very unhelpfully.) So that made 15m on one jab/not vaccinated at all.

An aside slightly relevant to people not taking up the offer:

Son #2 (who's in Scotland) finally got the call up email last week saying appointment made, go to this site to get the details. So he followed the link, couldn't sign in to the website. Called them up instead, they couldn't sort it out unless he could get on the website to set a password. Which he couldn't do. Only thing they could suggest was to rock up to the drop-in clinic this Friday, get it there. Fingers crossed they don't run out.

raven
Snowbonk
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:58 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by raven » Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:37 pm

hakwright wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:48 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Jul 06, 2021 7:11 pm
The quote seems to make sense if he assumes that the act of ending restrictions will lead to extra social contact - eg lots of people holding ‘end of lockdown’ parties. If so it would be better to get that over during the summer. No idea whether it’s a real effect or not.
I'm still trying to figure out the reasoning behind the quotes from Boris, Whitty etc about "better to unlock now, rather than in x months". Based on some reporting, there seems to be a reasonable scientific consensus on this (at least, based on some of the modelling that has been done).

If you assume that when restrictions are lifted, many people celebrate, go to the pub, and over-compensate in various ways, then there is additional risk of the virus spreading at that point. Doing this in summer (fewer indoor interactions) helps reduce this risk compared to the autumn. But surely the higher proportion of vaccinations that will be in place by autumn helps to balance this?

And if we assume that with no change in restrictions on July 19th, the current rapid rise of infections is likely to peak in the next couple of months, if unlockdown happened in the autumn, it would probably start at a point where cases were somewhat lower (compared to now). So you would be throwing the same amount of fuel but onto a smaller fire. Wouldn't that also help make the case for lifting restrictions somewhat later?

The only other reason I can think of that might push the balance back towards doing it sooner is the extra natural immunity that might arise from all the cases, but compared to the stronger immunity from more vaccinations, is that really a decent scientific argument?

Would be really interested to see a summary of the modelling and scientific arguments that were used to justify the "summer unlockdown" vs "autumn unlockdown". Have these been published?
They might be considering completely different factors. Like, says, the fact people are getting fed up of it all and want to go on holiday now, in the summer. If he has to lock us down again in the autumn/winter, we'll have had a couple of months freedom as an escape valve so less risk of that triggering real unrest.

(Social cohesion is a valid thing for a government to think about, but it may be giving this one too much credit.)

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Light of Blast
Posts: 6380
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Iceland

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 08, 2021 11:39 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:35 pm
snoozeofreason wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:12 pm
Letter in the Lancet, with 122 signatories
...In light of these grave risks, and given that vaccination offers the prospect of quickly reaching the same goal of population immunity without incurring them, we consider any strategy that tolerates high levels of infection to be both unethical and illogical. The UK Government must reconsider its current strategy and take urgent steps to protect the public, including children. We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021.

Instead, the government should delay complete re-opening until everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high, and until mitigation measures, especially adequate ventilation (through investment in CO2 monitors and air filtration devices) and spacing (eg, by reducing class sizes), are in place in schools. Until then, public health measures must include those called for by WHO (universal mask wearing in indoor spaces, even for those vaccinated), the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ventilation and air filtration), and Independent SAGE (effective border quarantine; test, trace isolate, and support). This will ensure that everyone is protected and make it much less likely that we will need further restrictions or lockdowns in the autumn....
Good recommendations but that would be a complete reversal of current policies.
This post pretty much sums up all UK policy throughout this pandemic, to be fair.

Good post, though. Nice to have it laid out so succinctly.
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

Millennie Al
Catbabel
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:38 am

snoozeofreason wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:12 pm
Letter in the Lancet, with 122 signatories
...In light of these grave risks, and given that vaccination offers the prospect of quickly reaching the same goal of population immunity without incurring them,
Except there is another factor: you can refuse a vaccine but you cannot refuse to be infected by the disease itself.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

temptar
Sindis Poop
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 6:19 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by temptar » Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:09 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
It depends on your point of view and scope. Frankly, what happens in Britain makes a lot of difference to the countries around you, the ones your government have repeatedly treated like absolute sh1t for the last 5 years as well.

Ireland was due to unlock further on 19 July. That date was set while your government was still discussing the possibility of opening on 4 July. This is now under intense discussion because of the Delta variant. The Delta variant got its foothold in Europe via one primary route, and that was the UK. Ireland has applied extensive lockdowns. It is, to some extent, dependent on what happens in the UK because of the common travel area and also, the fact that the DUP have valued idiocy above protecting the people of Northern Ireland. The sensible thing to do at various points would have been to block arrivals from Great Britain to anywhere on the island of Ireland. NI's infection numbers are, in absolute numbers, not far off Ireland's. In relative terms, that makes for a rate almost three times higher per capita. It's not surprising that the hotspots in the Republic are mostly in the border counties, with towns in Donegal particularly affected. The other big outbreak related to a single event. The debate in Ireland is hot but I would not be surprised for indoor dining to open with things like requiring vaccination certs/rapid tests if it opens at all. In short, the debate is existing on the plane that it may not.

Ireland's rates were per capita almost twice as high as most of the rest of western Europe not including the UK. Most of Europe is currently green on the ECDC map with notable exceptions like Spain (relatively recent change). The view regarding the sharp increase of rates in Portugal is that it correlates with arrivals from the UK. The Delta variant is currently responsible for 50% of cases in Belgium where I live. Suffice to say that we are extremely worried now about the rate of increase. I don't exclude some of the openings announced earlier in the summer relating to large events to be reversed and I assume that at some point we will see rolling lockdowns happening again. Delta mostly arrived here from the UK. Alpha shut both Ireland and Belgium down after Christmas. I'm not very grateful to be honest with you.

In short, what does happen in the UK very much matters unless you North Korea-ify your country and keep everyone from leaving the place. Your raison d'etre of Brexit, another monumentally stupid event in your country, means that you're not going to do this. Britain, open to the world, etc etc. As far as I know, we already have a lot of restrictions on people arriving from mainland UK but it might well be too late for the simple reason that by the time you guys tell us you've a problem (cf alpha) you've already spread it to nearly every other country in Europe. Sure Delta came from the Indian subcontinent but there weren't many places through which it was arriving. Why was that? Because Johnson wanted to go to India to announce another trade deal, if it's anything like the Australian one, then probably balanced in favour of your partners than yourselves.

I am off to Ireland to see aging parents in 2 weeks' time. If I get there, because of Delta, I expect that it will be a while before I can get there again afterwards. I now am not sure I will be at home for Christmas. Their government is buying vaccines from every partner they can reach to try and outvaccinate the delta variant. They are not sure they will succeed.

This is not abstract. What happens in the UK, does matter. Two variants have spread uncontrolled out of your country already. Currently most of the EU is relatively okay but that is changing and they know it is. The UK alone was accounting for almost 45% of cases in European countries this week. Russia accounted for another good chunk. Iberia is now starting to see big numbers, linked with tourism from the UK more than likely so the UK's cut is falling to 35% or so cases across a total of 41 countries. But in Belgium, our repro rate went back up above 1 for the first time in months. THe Delta variant accounts for at least 50% of new cases per figures during the week. Given the speed in turn around in case occurrences, I imagine it is already a good chunk higher.

That being said, this is actually not just a Johnson problem. I have very clear memories of the Blair government making a mess of managing a foot and mouth outbreak. Ireland cancelled everything that year too.

A sane country would insist Sunday's football final would be played without an audience. I doubt you're going to do this because to be honest, I think your government is too scared to do it.

And that's what has driven a lot of your policy for years. Your politicians are too cowardly to make hard decisions that might not resonate with some parts of your population.

User avatar
Woodchopper
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3670
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:35 am

temptar wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:09 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
It depends on your point of view and scope. Frankly, what happens in Britain makes a lot of difference to the countries around you, the ones your government have repeatedly treated like absolute sh1t for the last 5 years as well.

Ireland was due to unlock further on 19 July. That date was set while your government was still discussing the possibility of opening on 4 July. This is now under intense discussion because of the Delta variant. The Delta variant got its foothold in Europe via one primary route, and that was the UK. Ireland has applied extensive lockdowns. It is, to some extent, dependent on what happens in the UK because of the common travel area and also, the fact that the DUP have valued idiocy above protecting the people of Northern Ireland. The sensible thing to do at various points would have been to block arrivals from Great Britain to anywhere on the island of Ireland. NI's infection numbers are, in absolute numbers, not far off Ireland's. In relative terms, that makes for a rate almost three times higher per capita. It's not surprising that the hotspots in the Republic are mostly in the border counties, with towns in Donegal particularly affected. The other big outbreak related to a single event. The debate in Ireland is hot but I would not be surprised for indoor dining to open with things like requiring vaccination certs/rapid tests if it opens at all. In short, the debate is existing on the plane that it may not.

Ireland's rates were per capita almost twice as high as most of the rest of western Europe not including the UK. Most of Europe is currently green on the ECDC map with notable exceptions like Spain (relatively recent change). The view regarding the sharp increase of rates in Portugal is that it correlates with arrivals from the UK. The Delta variant is currently responsible for 50% of cases in Belgium where I live. Suffice to say that we are extremely worried now about the rate of increase. I don't exclude some of the openings announced earlier in the summer relating to large events to be reversed and I assume that at some point we will see rolling lockdowns happening again. Delta mostly arrived here from the UK. Alpha shut both Ireland and Belgium down after Christmas. I'm not very grateful to be honest with you.

In short, what does happen in the UK very much matters unless you North Korea-ify your country and keep everyone from leaving the place. Your raison d'etre of Brexit, another monumentally stupid event in your country, means that you're not going to do this. Britain, open to the world, etc etc. As far as I know, we already have a lot of restrictions on people arriving from mainland UK but it might well be too late for the simple reason that by the time you guys tell us you've a problem (cf alpha) you've already spread it to nearly every other country in Europe. Sure Delta came from the Indian subcontinent but there weren't many places through which it was arriving. Why was that? Because Johnson wanted to go to India to announce another trade deal, if it's anything like the Australian one, then probably balanced in favour of your partners than yourselves.

I am off to Ireland to see aging parents in 2 weeks' time. If I get there, because of Delta, I expect that it will be a while before I can get there again afterwards. I now am not sure I will be at home for Christmas. Their government is buying vaccines from every partner they can reach to try and outvaccinate the delta variant. They are not sure they will succeed.

This is not abstract. What happens in the UK, does matter. Two variants have spread uncontrolled out of your country already. Currently most of the EU is relatively okay but that is changing and they know it is. The UK alone was accounting for almost 45% of cases in European countries this week. Russia accounted for another good chunk. Iberia is now starting to see big numbers, linked with tourism from the UK more than likely so the UK's cut is falling to 35% or so cases across a total of 41 countries. But in Belgium, our repro rate went back up above 1 for the first time in months. THe Delta variant accounts for at least 50% of new cases per figures during the week. Given the speed in turn around in case occurrences, I imagine it is already a good chunk higher.

That being said, this is actually not just a Johnson problem. I have very clear memories of the Blair government making a mess of managing a foot and mouth outbreak. Ireland cancelled everything that year too.

A sane country would insist Sunday's football final would be played without an audience. I doubt you're going to do this because to be honest, I think your government is too scared to do it.

And that's what has driven a lot of your policy for years. Your politicians are too cowardly to make hard decisions that might not resonate with some parts of your population.
I agree completely.

My comment was just in the context of the relative chances of a new variant of concern evolving in the UK.

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Light of Blast
Posts: 6380
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Iceland

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:43 am

Cracking post from temptar.

But yes, I agree that after UK vaccination is complete the UK is unlikely to be the origin of another variant under the alpha paradigm.

There's still the possibility of "global Britain" importing a strain as they go hunting for deals and cheap labour around the globe, the delta paradigm, until global vaccination is complete. And of course if people are going to need regular boosters we can give up on the idea of complete global coverage.
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

User avatar
shpalman
Light of Blast
Posts: 4912
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by shpalman » Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:10 am

Boris Johnson is expected on Monday to urge the public to behave responsibly as he confirms plans for the 19 July reopening in England
The prime minister still believes it is “now or never”, with a later reopening potentially posing even higher risks as cases could peak as children return to school and winter looms.
Makes no sense unless you're hoping that children are all going to get infected with covid over the summer.
The government has already sought to assuage concerns about what Labour has called a “summer of chaos” with millions of people potentially isolating, by promising to tweak the NHS Covid-19 app to make it less sensitive.

But Keir Starmer said on Friday that that approach was like “taking the batteries out of the smoke alarm”.
molto tricky

User avatar
lpm
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by lpm » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:45 am

lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 06, 2021 9:45 am
The Scotland data will be a good indicator of how the summer plays out. Their 3rd wave is seeing colossal case numbers. Scotland schools shut around 23 June - two weeks ago - so now is the moment when the curve should start to bend. If there isn't a drop off in the acceleration of Scotland cases in the coming few days then the UK is probably f.cking up.
This was from one week ago.

It's pretty clear that Scotland cases have indeed peaked and are actually falling.

Image

Closing schools / reopening schools has always been the biggest lockdown lever. The England school reopening in Sept 2020 led directly to disaster because there were no compensating lockdown measures to offset. Having Scotland's summer holidays at different times provides a nice little experiment that appears to demonstrate schools+2weeks is a turning point.

England shuts schools on about 21 July, so implies a turning point about 4 August.

Obviously the school reopenings are going to have the opposite effect. Again Scotland will go first and will indicate how bad it will get for England's reopening in the first week of September.

I can't really think of any reason why the autumn won't be a grim 4th wave - start from a very high case load position, return indoors and shut the windows, reopen schools, only natural immunity for <18s, keep nightclubs etc open. Obviously vaccines damp everything down in the adult population, but we always see the fires at the <18 end spread upwards to the older age groups. In 2020 we started September at 1,500 case a day and saw two doublings to 6,000 by the end of the month. In 2021 we'll start September at, say, 20,000 cases a day.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

User avatar
jimbob
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2719
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by jimbob » Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:38 am

lpm wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 9:46 am
You seem to forget that every adult in the UK has been vaccinated, or has an appointment for a vaccine this week, or has not yet responded to offers of a vaccine, or has refused a vaccination.

There's no point in regurgitating sentences that would have been all valid points in April 2020 and thinking they are valid points in July 2021.
Or have been living in a different nation to their usual one (say for university or work) and the system doesn't like it.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
lpm
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by lpm » Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:53 am

Bureaucratic systems are imperfect. It's the duty of the citizen to fulfil their responsibilities nonetheless.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

User avatar
jimbob
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2719
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Summer Solstice Unlockdown

Post by jimbob » Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:44 pm

lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:53 am
Bureaucratic systems are imperfect. It's the duty of the citizen to fulfil their responsibilities nonetheless.
It's OK if you live where your GP is registered. This is not the case for many university students. That is now a significant proportion of the unvaccinated population.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

Post Reply