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Old 11-01-2022, 09:05   #1306
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by jfman View Post
The pandemic doesnít exist because people test. It exists because people get ill.

Itís no more credible to have a ďbury head in sandĒ approach now than it was in February 2020.

---------- Post added at 20:53 ---------- Previous post was at 20:51 ----------



200,000 people a day didnít test positive because they felt fine and randomly took a test for entertainment value. Similarly the rise in cases around Europe, America and the rest of the world isnít some collective mass hysteria.
You know as well as I do that it is not the case that only those who are feeling ill who get a PCR test.

In any case, thatís not the point. What I am saying is that the number of PCR tests has increased substantially of late, so itís not surprising that the number of reported cases has gone up as well.

Lateral flow tests are not getting reported, and so now that fewer PCR tests will be carried out in favour of the former, the number of reported cases go down. Do you get my drift?

As for the actual number of people who have the virus, with or without symptoms, well yes, that number is very high. However, given that the lockdown was designed only to enable the NHS to cope, itís the number of hospitalisations that is what matters. Of course, being such a low number, this is not what you prefer to focus on.
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Old 11-01-2022, 10:11   #1307
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Re: Coronavirus

This is all very "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" suggesting that reducing testing will reduce infections...

The data you need is what proportion of tests are positive. If, as suggested that more testing means more cases, then the positivity rate should remain constant. Unfortunately, the recent data does suggest that the proportion of PCR tests that are positive has gone way up since early November where it was around 9% to nearly 3% with the latest data shown in the first chart here

Going forward however, we need to treat this with care as you only need a PCR test when symptomatic where before, you got one when you got a positive lateral flow result
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Old 11-01-2022, 14:52   #1308
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by jonbxx View Post
This is all very "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" suggesting that reducing testing will reduce infections...

The data you need is what proportion of tests are positive. If, as suggested that more testing means more cases, then the positivity rate should remain constant. Unfortunately, the recent data does suggest that the proportion of PCR tests that are positive has gone way up since early November where it was around 9% to nearly 3% with the latest data shown in the first chart here

Going forward however, we need to treat this with care as you only need a PCR test when symptomatic where before, you got one when you got a positive lateral flow result
No, I was commenting on the number of reported cases - that figure that appears on our TV sets each night. I am not arguing that the number of actual cases will fall.

The thing is, nobody knows the actual number of cases there are in the country because we cannot know what isn’t reported. One thing for certain is that there are far more positive cases than are reported.

The data indicating the proportion of tests that are positive proves very little. After all, there are specific reasons why people get PCR tests. What about the rest of positive cases where no PCR tests are performed?
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Old 11-01-2022, 16:44   #1309
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by jonbxx View Post
This is all very "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" suggesting that reducing testing will reduce infections...
No one is saying that.

What they are saying is the number of reported cases will go down, which is an obvious fact.

Quote:
we need to treat this with care as you only need a PCR test when symptomatic where before, you got one when you got a positive lateral flow result
You only need a test, if you want a test.
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Old 11-01-2022, 17:52   #1310
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
No, I was commenting on the number of reported cases - that figure that appears on our TV sets each night. I am not arguing that the number of actual cases will fall.

The thing is, nobody knows the actual number of cases there are in the country because we cannot know what isnít reported. One thing for certain is that there are far more positive cases than are reported.

The data indicating the proportion of tests that are positive proves very little. After all, there are specific reasons why people get PCR tests. What about the rest of positive cases where no PCR tests are performed?
Yes, the absolute number of cases is a crude estimate of the severity of any outbreak and certainly shouldn't be used to establish a health policy. However, it is a measure easily digested by the public which is critical in a public health emergency.

As always, the absolute number numbers reported should never be taken as gospel for the reasons you state - many people might get missed due to not testing. More important is the trending - are cases going up or down and therefore are things likely to get better or worse? Of course, trending is only possible if the drivers for testing stay the same, i.e. people do a test for the same reasons every time.

The other option is to randomly sample a subset of the population and extrapolate from there. That is what the ONS reports do where around 180,000 people are randomly selected per fortnight for PCR testing. This probably gives a better guide of what is out there in the wild than people who self select (or not) through booking and taking tests. Here is the current report. This is where you see the 1 in 15 in England testing positive. I know some on here don't like statisticians but these surverys are pretty up front about the limitations in the data (article here and here)

Unfortunately, the ONS surveys only come out weekly and probably aren't timely enough considering the doubling time of COVID when it runs riot
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Old 11-01-2022, 18:22   #1311
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
No, I was commenting on the number of reported cases - that figure that appears on our TV sets each night. I am not arguing that the number of actual cases will fall.

The thing is, nobody knows the actual number of cases there are in the country because we cannot know what isn’t reported. One thing for certain is that there are far more positive cases than are reported.

The data indicating the proportion of tests that are positive proves very little. After all, there are specific reasons why people get PCR tests. What about the rest of positive cases where no PCR tests are performed?
There have been many ludicrous claims and assertions made on the forum but baselessly claiming the data isn’t very good so we shouldn’t collect any at all is right up there as a starter for 2022.

Nobody claims the testing data is a complete picture. The ONS data, with sufficient proficiency in understanding (and not applying unrelated figures from a sub-population) proves that.

However claiming that more people are testing positive - than ever before over the last few weeks - is a result of more people neither unwell or identified as close contacts having a speculative test is a wilfully fanciful interpretation. The ONS data is consistent with the rise is testing. The trend is also seen around the world - even in countries reliant upon PCR testing that don’t have easy or free universal access to LFTs.

What strikes me as most bizarre about the “just don’t test” argument is those who test positive, and are double/triple vaccinated are the most likely to resume somewhat normal economic behaviour. Removing this uncertainty is surely rational, and condemning millions to uncertainty and risk-averse behaviour for months going forward the most economically irrational?

The absence of quality data only means people will make spurious claims that can neither be easily proven nor disproven. Statements like there is no risk to kids, or there are only two in hospital across the land, end up given equal weight to more meaningful insights or analysis from people in the NHS, paediatric units and so forth.

Last edited by jfman; 11-01-2022 at 18:28.
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Old 11-01-2022, 20:44   #1312
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by jonbxx View Post
Yes, the absolute number of cases is a crude estimate of the severity of any outbreak and certainly shouldn't be used to establish a health policy. However, it is a measure easily digested by the public which is critical in a public health emergency.

As always, the absolute number numbers reported should never be taken as gospel for the reasons you state - many people might get missed due to not testing. More important is the trending - are cases going up or down and therefore are things likely to get better or worse? Of course, trending is only possible if the drivers for testing stay the same, i.e. people do a test for the same reasons every time.

The other option is to randomly sample a subset of the population and extrapolate from there. That is what the ONS reports do where around 180,000 people are randomly selected per fortnight for PCR testing. This probably gives a better guide of what is out there in the wild than people who self select (or not) through booking and taking tests. Here is the current report. This is where you see the 1 in 15 in England testing positive. I know some on here don't like statisticians but these surverys are pretty up front about the limitations in the data (article here and here)

Unfortunately, the ONS surveys only come out weekly and probably aren't timely enough considering the doubling time of COVID when it runs riot
But none of this alters the fact that the daily statistics are based on the number of cases reported, which will go up and down on the basis of how many tests are carried out, not the actual number of cases, which is far higher. People are glued to these reported figures rather than the hospitalisation figures.

---------- Post added at 19:44 ---------- Previous post was at 19:30 ----------

How will the Scots react to Nicola Sturgeon’s latest pronouncement?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...s-plan-living/

Scots will be have to wear face coverings in public places for years to come under Nicola Sturgeon's long-term strategy for living with Covid, she has indicated.

The First Minister said Scotland had to ask itself "what adaptations to pre-pandemic life" might be needed and said face coverings "might be required in the longer-term to enable us to live with it with far fewer protective measures".

She insisted the tough measures she had imposed on hospitality and large events from Boxing Day had worked, despite government figures showing that Scotland has a higher Covid rate than England.


It would not be a popular measure in my part of the world.
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Old 11-01-2022, 20:53   #1313
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Re: Coronavirus

Pray, tell OB how does a member of the Great British public exercise “common sense” in evaluating their own risk if you take away the most important factor of all - the statistical chance of meeting someone with Covid?

Let’s be honest you’d not support an implementation of legal restrictions based upon approaching the threshold of hospital capacity. We’d be straight onto OF Covid or WITH Covid to minimise the importance (or otherwise) of hospitalisations. The important thing would be the deaths. Then it would be they are all old, or underlying health issues. And those would be minimised.

You’ve no genuine interest of having an informed public making decisions based upon their own personal risk.
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Old 11-01-2022, 20:59   #1314
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Re: Coronavirus

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Pray, tell OB how does a member of the Great British public exercise ďcommon senseĒ in evaluating their own risk if you take away the most important factor of all - the statistical chance of meeting someone with Covid?

Letís be honest youíd not support an implementation of legal restrictions based upon approaching the threshold of hospital capacity. Weíd be straight onto OF Covid or WITH Covid to minimise the importance (or otherwise) of hospitalisations. The important thing would be the deaths. Then it would be they are all old, or underlying health issues. And those would be minimised.

Youíve no genuine interest of having an informed public making decisions based upon their own personal risk.
What about the statistical chance of getting flu?

I do not understand why you are deliberately ignoring the fact that hospitalisations due to Covid are pretty low, and we have probably just about reached the peak number of infections.

This is no longer the desperate situation it was, due to Boris Johnsonís master stroke of investing in vaccination development at an early stage. He was the first leader to recognise that vaccinations, not lockdowns, were the way out of this.
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Old 11-01-2022, 21:09   #1315
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Re: Coronavirus

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What about the statistical chance of getting flu?
Irrelevant.

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I do not understand why you are deliberately ignoring the fact that hospitalisations due to Covid are pretty low, and we have probably just about reached the peak number of infections.
Hospitals declaring emergencies, cancelling elective surgeries and my local NHS board putting on social media to stay away as there are 12 hour queues. Forgive me if I don’t agree with your subjective interpretation of “pretty low”. Lower than last January isn’t a particularly significant measurement in my book.

Quote:
This is no longer the desperate situation it was, due to Boris Johnson’s master stroke of investing in vaccination development at an early stage. He was the first leader to recognise that vaccinations, not lockdowns, were the way out of this.
So you don’t think the public should be reliably informed to exercise their own “common sense”? All pandemic you have cried out that people should be trusted. Why not now?

I am however glad you’ve now accepted the decision to lock down and delay infections to after vaccination was a good one. As you say, Covid is no longer the desperate situation it once was.

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Old 12-01-2022, 00:07   #1316
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Re: Coronavirus

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Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
What about the statistical chance of getting flu?

I do not understand why you are deliberately ignoring the fact that hospitalisations due to Covid are pretty low, and we have probably just about reached the peak number of infections.

This is no longer the desperate situation it was, due to Boris Johnsonís master stroke of investing in vaccination development at an early stage. He was the first leader to recognise that vaccinations, not lockdowns, were the way out of this.

If I were PM, I'd have done the same. But the rest of the buffoon's nonsense would not be my style nor behaviour.
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Old 12-01-2022, 00:39   #1317
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Re: Coronavirus

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Hospitals declaring emergencies.....
Hospitals have been doing that for years, its not new, and certainly not unique to covid.
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Old 12-01-2022, 00:52   #1318
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Re: Coronavirus

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Hospitals have been doing that for years, its not new, and certainly not unique to covid.
Like every year for the last 20 yrs. The NHS has been at breaking point for the last 40 years , but itís still here ( despite all those Tory governments) it does more than it should and get a phenomenal amount of Money.

The NHS is fine, unfortunately itís also just a dog whistle for the predictable left knob jockeys
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Old 12-01-2022, 01:08   #1319
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Re: Coronavirus

You'd think that anyone with half a brain could work out that with an ever increasing population you'd also need an ever increasing NHS.

It's been a monetary black hole for years . . . but the alternative of handing it over to 'private' enterprise is unthinkable

Still, we've got that nice cheap HS2 to look forward to . .
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:11   #1320
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Re: Coronavirus

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left knob jockeys
Yes, itís all a left wing, homosexual conspiracy.

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