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Sifta

Member since Aug 2014 • Last active Mar 2020
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  • 250 comments

Most recent activity

  • in Social
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    When I was at uni in Liverpool in the '80s, the local bitter (Higsons/Tetleys) was so bad that it was the norm to make it palatable by adding brown ale, I used to drink either "brown bitter" (1/2pt bitter, 1/2pt brown ale), or "brown mix" (1/2pt mild, 1/2pt brown ale). Fortunately, there were a few pubs like The Crack that sold imported fancy foreign exported beers such as Boddingtons from Manchester.

    Those were the days!

  • in COVID-19
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    Whether or not a virus is living largely depends on how you define the word 'living', as Wittgenstein would probably point out if he was on LFGSS.

    That was my point, but the article seems to think its important, since it mentions that it isn't living more than once. I just find it slightly bizarre, but pretty benign

  • in COVID-19
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    Seems to be quite hung up on whether COVID is 'living' or not, which although an interesting subject to debate, doesn't seem to be that relevant?

  • in COVID-19
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    people just take a shotgun approach and put out as much as they can as quickly as possible with the aim of getting a head start on interpretation of future results.

    I get this, my issue is that this should all be feeding into other universities, and the DOH, or whoever is co-ordinating this and doing the government modelling. This looks to me very much like briefing to the press to support their own agenda.

  • in COVID-19
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    Its how maths works, if you can show me using maths how those 2 statements can both be true, go for it. but my issue isn't that. My issue is that there is very little data yet on this virus in the grand scheme of things, so little that the models emerging are indicative at best, and certainly not definitive.

    All of this research/analysis is being fed into government, and they are having to make the hardest decisions of their lives, while knowing that the foundations they are working on make quicksand look like granite. At the same time they have to stand in front of cameras every day and show no weakness whatsoever because bad as things are now, this plus major public panic is a hell of a lot worse.

    To have major academics then throwing early contradictory versions of their sketchy at best analysis into the public domain, and using it to push their own agendas stinks, whatever the motivation.

    And what is the motivation? Get our university on the map world wide? Get my name in the paper, and face on TV starting a successful media career when the smoke clears? It could even be the highly laudable “Get the government to follow my course of action because I’m 100% sure I’m right, and the scientific advice they are following is dangerously wrong”. The reality of the last reason is of course that whatever the government do there will always be top academics who think that way.

    You say that’s not how modelling works, I’d say this doesn’t strike me as the way publication of serious scientific research works either.

  • in COVID-19
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    I think that's a real stretch to assume a wicked skew for no apparent reason. Anyway, I tried plugging your numbers in including assuming that from the current 50% infected, there were still anothe 9k who unfortunately will die.

    If you then need the remaining 240k deaths from the remaining 50% population, this means that the death rate will have to be 120x the current one if the herd immunity level is the government stated one of 60% (Only 40x if you choose 80% as the required herd immunity level, and 24x with no herd immunity)

  • in COVID-19
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    Its bugging me that these "respectable" institutions are falling over themselves to publish research in its infancy, and the news media is then running with it. Seems to me that a load of academics are seeing the chance to make a name for themselves, and grasping at it.

    Imperial say "If left unfettered then 250,000 people could die"

    Oxford say "It has been left unfettered and 50%+ have already had it"

    If they were both anywhere near correct then, by now, we would have over 125,000 people either dead, or about to die. (Actually more, since the 250K equates to how many will have died once herd immunity kicks in, not 100% of the population getting it). That hasn't happened, so either one or both of these bits of research are spectacularly wrong.

    But I bring it up because it means even the experts are not willing to make a claim with regard to how long it has been here.

    No, but I bet they are praying that Oxford are correct, that's one of the main reasons that they are touting the antibody test as a game changer. and one where they are 100% right to not start shipping the test until they are 100% sure its accurate.

    It should also be noted that they seem to be behaving as if Imperial is correct, which is erring on the side of caution. It also seems that they might have managed to ramp up capacity to somewhere near giving the NHS a chance to cope.

  • in COVID-19
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    Yes, will take this offline. 2 issues however.

    1. No wetwipes, Mrs Sifta's idea of hoarding means we can now bathe daily in prossecco, but no wet wipes :)

    2. Last time you helped me you refused payment, except in beer, I don't know if your repayment terms stretch that far in the future.

  • in COVID-19
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    The latter, I don't think she'll ever need new brakepads :(

  • in COVID-19
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    And if being overweight/obese is a factor influencing severity of C19.
    Then for the sake of the NHS, ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike (once daily for an hour).

    This exactly, I'm in my late fifties and with a high BMI, which I really need to get down, both for my own sake, but also because if I sit around for the next 3 months watching box sets, and fighting off the urge to snack/drink through boredom, I may very marginally lessen the chance of using ICU spot from COVID, but I am increasing it of using one for heart attack/stroke. It seems to me that cycling if done sensibly/responsibly is the easiest form of exercise to indulge in while social distancing.

    Just to stress, I don't know what the relative probabilities of one against the other, I like all other keyboard warriors don't sit every day running computer models of the effects social behaviour have on health, but the government do exactly that, so I think its best to take their advice, I find this pious social vigilantism obnoxious.

    I think the sensible thing is to follow advice, not demand measures you in your unimformed way think are "Common sense", but when this is all over there must be a full and open public enquiry into actions taken, for lessons learnt for when this happens again. (It will unfortunately also be used to apply 20/20 hindsight to decisions taken in highly difficult circumstances).

    A few other things I'm guessing the government are taking into consideration: (I stress guessing, because I like everyone else on this board don't know)

    1. Mental health, I can't see how we are going to come out of this without a spike in suicide rates, and a lockdown will add to this.
    2. Domestic violence, most violent crime is in the home, I can't see increased family time spent in forced incarceration not makng this worse.
    3. Smoking, you can't tell me that ex smokers under stress with time on their hands stuck in the home haven't fallen off the wagon, again this can lead to increased use of ICU resource.
    4. Drinking, ditto above.
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