NWR new zero tolerance covid thread

I don't doubt it, Jeremy. I do wonder though how many other recommendations for other possible disasters were also not followed, that we don't now hear about because the situation never arose. Apologies, I'm not trying to be too fatalistic or dismissive, but it's very easy to look back with hindsight.
As long as people don't use such things as an excuse not to prepare for climate change.
 
It would seem very surprising that we've reached the peak already, but the numbers do make it look at least possible. I'd wait and see what happens for another week before being sure, though.

Forgive the slightly self-indulgent attachment but I knocked together this chart, which shows rolling seven day averages of positive tests (blue), hospitalisations (orange) and deaths (grey). This is based on the gov.uk coronavirus data. I've put in a four day lag for hospitalisations and a 12 day lag for deaths as this makes the peaks line up quite nicely time-wise, and I've scaled the yellow and grey lines so they peak at the same point as the blue line. It really does demonstrate that the link between cases and deaths appears to be well and truly broken. Obviously deaths aren't the only possible "bad outcome", but even so - amidst all the doom and gloom, let's not ignore what does look like some genuinely good news.

Jul22chart.png
 
It would seem very surprising that we've reached the peak already, but the numbers do make it look at least possible. I'd wait and see what happens for another week before being sure, though.

Forgive the slightly self-indulgent attachment but I knocked together this chart, which shows rolling seven day averages of positive tests (blue), hospitalisations (orange) and deaths (grey). This is based on the gov.uk coronavirus data. I've put in a four day lag for hospitalisations and a 12 day lag for deaths as this makes the peaks line up quite nicely time-wise, and I've scaled the yellow and grey lines so they peak at the same point as the blue line. It really does demonstrate that the link between cases and deaths appears to be well and truly broken. Obviously deaths aren't the only possible "bad outcome", but even so - amidst all the doom and gloom, let's not ignore what does look like some genuinely good news.

View attachment 20247
Incredible that the grey and orange peaks line up even in the y-axis - does that suggest that the ratio of hospitalisations to deaths hasn't changed from first to second wave?
 
Alex - they're scaled so that the maximums align in magnitude for the January peak. The scaling factors are about 14 for hospitalisations and 48 for deaths. The graph does show that (a) hospitalisations vs deaths were in almost identical ratios during both the first and second peak, and indeed throughout the whole period, and (b) there's a significant divergence over recent weeks.

Obviously we don't know case rates for the first peak but it's very striking how all three lines have moved almost in lockstep for so long and are now definitely diverging, and not by a small amount.
 
While I agree that it is very hard to know what will happen over the next few years and the Aus/NZ approach definitely has its own problems, I think at the moment my own personal not-public enquiry at the moment goes something like (staying away from economic issues as those really are political):

Unrealistic zero-covid scenarios that it is pointless to criticize the govt for:
Not introducing border controls early enough to have made a difference stopping it - the only countries that have done this successfully are far more self-sufficient and aren't transit hubs.
Taiwan/SK style contact tracing etc from the beginning - not only did we not have the infrastructure, by the time we knew we needed it we almost certainly had too many seed cases for it to work. There's obviously a tipping point where there are just too many cases for these approaches to work (c.f the difference between 1st and 2nd waves in Germany). I'm not sure we've ever really got below that point....

Obvious errors:
A week late into lockdown in March 2020 and the failure to have a 2 week fire-break in Oct 2020.
Not trying harder to restrict overseas tourist travel Summer 2020 - too many mixed messages there and it definitely seeded cases for Sept.
Care home/hospital interaction in the first few weeks.

Obvious successes:
Managing the vaccine programme by risk category so rigorously, buying good vaccines in quantity, and avoiding the free-for-all and politicization that has happened elsewhere.
More controversially, the relaxation of restrictions over the last few months. Delta is bad, but it would have been bad anyway (and is about to be bad elsewhere), and I hope and reckon we did, as Bryan's graph shows, get enough people vaccinated in time.

Structural things that couldn't have been fixed at the last minute but have made it worse and need to be addressed:
Long-term inaction over obesity and diet inequality in particular and health inequality more broadlly.
Investment in prophylactic (not sure that's really the right word here) public health infrastructure.
The insanity of turning public health issues into personal freedom ones.
 
Hard to disagree with much there, Alex. If there's anything I'd change it'd be that the care home issues were really horribly handled - possibly the worst thing that's happened - but I'm not sure the March lockdown, as viewed through the lens of March, was definitively wrong. Clearly in retrospect it was.

All governments will screw stuff up. Fixing those structural issues is the best mitigation for that, but also extraordinarily difficult to address successfully. Particularly the first one. Speaking as a fat bastard myself not only can I not see any easy solutions, I don't think I can really see any obvious difficult ones either.
 
Location
UK
I just don't see any strong arguments against the ANZ COVID strategy.

If you close your borders it doesn't matter where you are. How does population, density or absolute make such a difference? Australia and New Zealand is a very different in any case. If the argument is that the UK is more densely populated then look to Hong Kong and the like who have also been very successful in dealing with COVID.

Neither of these countries are self sufficient. They have little manufacturing and import huge amounts of products. Even Australia with its diverse climates still imports a large amount of packaged and frozen food. Most other goods are imported. Again, places like Hong Kong import almost everything and haven't seen the chaos we're dealing with, either.

What happens after borders are opened up is a completely different argument. Let's stick to the last 9 months or so. Although I can't see why having a minority of people who have had covid making a huge difference. And having a disciplined population (mask wearing, rule following) will only benefit them when they do open up. Piss ups and 2 fingers to anyone who disagree are what await us.

The ANZ approach may not have been as successful here if implemented properly, but it may have been just as or almost as successful.

It surely couldn't have been worse than the disastrous mess that we find ourselves in. This is much worse than Brexit. Certain people, like the Beijing government, must be jubilant at how totally useless this once proud nation was.

I dread to fear what depths we will sink to next. The mind boggles.
 
I just don't see any strong arguments against the ANZ COVID strategy.

If you close your borders it doesn't matter where you are. How does population, density or absolute make such a difference? Australia and New Zealand is a very different in any case. If the argument is that the UK is more densely populated then look to Hong Kong and the like who have also been very successful in dealing with COVID.

Respectfully - this is I think the point that @Julian Seers-Martin made (and which I hadn't understood). I don't think the argument is against the ANZ strategy per se, just whether it could have been replicated by the UK.

Even setting aside the level to which Australia and New Zealand may rely less on imports of food and other necessities, everything that arrives in those countries arrives by ship or by plane, and can be removed from the vessel without any interaction with the people who brought it over.

On mud island, however, freight mostly comes from the continent, and mostly comes by truck - 10,000 trucks per day - and the driver stays with the truck. Therefore, in order to deliver the same level of isolation as those countries, we would have had to create some kind of new logistical system which avoided having the drivers coming into the country, and avoided any close contact between those drivers and people in the country already.

I have no idea whether anyone even went down the path of trying to plan such an endeavour, but instinctively (to me at least) it sounds orders of magnitude more complex than, say, the Berlin airlift.

That's not to argue, at all, that the borders shouldn't have been shut down earlier, or that lots of other things shouldn't have been done differently - but certainly the simple question "Australia and New Zealand did it - why can't we" seems to have a simpler answer than I realised...
 
On mud island, however, freight mostly comes from the continent, and mostly comes by truck - 10,000 trucks per day - and the driver stays with the truck. Therefore, in order to deliver the same level of isolation as those countries, we would have had to create some kind of new logistical system which avoided having the drivers coming into the country, and avoided any close contact between those drivers and people in the country already.
My partner works in logistics and what you described is pretty much what happened during the lockdowns. Foreign drivers stayed in their cabs when visiting sites and had as little contact as possible (preferably none) with locals.
 
Location
UK
Respectfully - this is I think the point that @Julian Seers-Martin made (and which I hadn't understood). I don't think the argument is against the ANZ strategy per se, just whether it could have been replicated by the UK.

Even setting aside the level to which Australia and New Zealand may rely less on imports of food and other necessities, everything that arrives in those countries arrives by ship or by plane, and can be removed from the vessel without any interaction with the people who brought it over.

On mud island, however, freight mostly comes from the continent, and mostly comes by truck - 10,000 trucks per day - and the driver stays with the truck. Therefore, in order to deliver the same level of isolation as those countries, we would have had to create some kind of new logistical system which avoided having the drivers coming into the country, and avoided any close contact between those drivers and people in the country already.

I have no idea whether anyone even went down the path of trying to plan such an endeavour, but instinctively (to me at least) it sounds orders of magnitude more complex than, say, the Berlin airlift.

That's not to argue, at all, that the borders shouldn't have been shut down earlier, or that lots of other things shouldn't have been done differently - but certainly the simple question "Australia and New Zealand did it - why can't we" seems to have a simpler answer than I realised...
I guess you read my first paragraph.
 
I just don't see any strong arguments against the ANZ COVID strategy.

If you close your borders it doesn't matter where you are. How does population, density or absolute make such a difference? Australia and New Zealand is a very different in any case. If the argument is that the UK is more densely populated then look to Hong Kong and the like who have also been very successful in dealing with COVID.

Neither of these countries are self sufficient. They have little manufacturing and import huge amounts of products. Even Australia with its diverse climates still imports a large amount of packaged and frozen food. Most other goods are imported. Again, places like Hong Kong import almost everything and haven't seen the chaos we're dealing with, either.

What happens after borders are opened up is a completely different argument. Let's stick to the last 9 months or so. Although I can't see why having a minority of people who have had covid making a huge difference. And having a disciplined population (mask wearing, rule following) will only benefit them when they do open up. Piss ups and 2 fingers to anyone who disagree are what await us.

The ANZ approach may not have been as successful here if implemented properly, but it may have been just as or almost as successful.

It surely couldn't have been worse than the disastrous mess that we find ourselves in. This is much worse than Brexit. Certain people, like the Beijing government, must be jubilant at how totally useless this once proud nation was.

I dread to fear what depths we will sink to next. The mind boggles.

I have said for a long time that I don’t think it’s possible to say which countries have handled the pandemic well & which have handled it badly until they are back functioning as a proper open country with all their original freedoms. Wait until the pandemic is over and we may be able to look back and learn things from every experience.

The vaccines seem to be good at preventing hospitalisations & deaths but less so at preventing infections. There are lots of double jabbed people getting pretty sick from Delta at the moment, and there will of course be more variants to come. Who knows what position Australia & New Zealand will be in when they do open up again? It’s far too early to say.
 
It would seem very surprising that we've reached the peak already, but the numbers do make it look at least possible. I'd wait and see what happens for another week before being sure, though.

Forgive the slightly self-indulgent attachment but I knocked together this chart, which shows rolling seven day averages of positive tests (blue), hospitalisations (orange) and deaths (grey). This is based on the gov.uk coronavirus data. I've put in a four day lag for hospitalisations and a 12 day lag for deaths as this makes the peaks line up quite nicely time-wise, and I've scaled the yellow and grey lines so they peak at the same point as the blue line. It really does demonstrate that the link between cases and deaths appears to be well and truly broken. Obviously deaths aren't the only possible "bad outcome", but even so - amidst all the doom and gloom, let's not ignore what does look like some genuinely good news.

View attachment 20247
Further decline in todays figures. It does look like the peak has now been passed. So those who were all doom and gloom hopefully the next week or so might encourage us all to smile more and be a bit more hopeful that things are getting better. It seems the government might have made the right call after all re unlocking. It will be interesting to see if other countries now follow suit.
 
The figures are certainly encouraging, but I'll be cautious until this time next week before getting too excited. But yes, if numbers keep moving the way they have been over the last week, it'll be wonderful news. And if - IF - that does happen, it'll be very interesting to see how many of the hordes of people claiming the current policy is catastrophically disastrous hold their hands up and accept they were wrong.
 
Further decline in todays figures. It does look like the peak has now been passed. So those who were all doom and gloom hopefully the next week or so might encourage us all to smile more and be a bit more hopeful that things are getting better. It seems the government might have made the right call after all re unlocking. It will be interesting to see if other countries now follow suit.
You really are a very optimistic fellow, Gareth. They might indeed get lucky, but it doesn't seem very likely to me. People who are wrong about everything tend to remain wrong about everything; no-one will be more pleased than I should the narrative change.
 
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