NWR new zero tolerance covid thread

I know a couple of highly intelligent people who are not getting the vaccination.
Being highly intelligent demonstrably does not prevent you from coming to unsound conclusions. My favourite example is Linus Pauling, who was a distinguished chemist that won Nobel Prizes for both Chemistry and Peace. But later in life, in the absence of clinical evidence, he convinced himself that high dose vitamin C helps against several diseases including cancer, and aggressively advocated its use. He was simply wrong about vitamin C.

I am pretty sure that any rational comparison of the short- and long-term risks of delaying vaccination would demonstrate that your friends came to the wrong conclusion too. But irrespective of risk, who knows what will happen to them in particular? They have presumably survived so far without too much harm, and might well get lucky. I just hope they don't pass Covid on to someone else who might not be so fortunate.
 
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I personally believe Linus Pauling was right, but I’m not sure this is the forum to discuss that!

The vaccines don’t seem to be vaccines in the traditional sense of providing immunity - in fact they are not particularly effective at preventing infection. They seem to be good at preventing hospitalisation & death which is obviously the most important thing but if those choosing not to take them are not in a vulnerable category, their chances of hospitalisation & death are very low anyway so they may not see the point in taking a risk.
 
Being highly intelligent demonstrably does not prevent you from coming to unsound conclusions.

Einstein went to his grave denouncing quantum mechanics as a load of nonsense - "God does not play dice with the universe" - but we now have plenty of evidence that it is a real thing, even if we're still a long way from properly understanding it.
 
Einstein went to his grave denouncing quantum mechanics as a load of nonsense - "God does not play dice with the universe" - but we now have plenty of evidence that it is a real thing, even if we're still a long way from properly understanding it.
I’d have thought the god part proves the point better then the quantum mechanics. ;)

(I am aware of Einstein’s views on ‘God’)
 
What does being a "real thing" in this context really mean, though? Any more than just being an extremely sound predictive model?
It means that it's a theory that accurately describes the way that the universe works - that what we call quantum phenomena are actual phenomena. Newton's law of universal gravitation is also just an extremely sound predictive model, but that doesn't mean that gravity isn't a 'real thing'. 'Extremely sound predictive models' are the basis of all science - they are ways of explaining the phenomena that we see around us by describing fundamental underlying laws.
 
...The vaccines don’t seem to be vaccines in the traditional sense of providing immunity - in fact they are not particularly effective at preventing infection. They seem to be good at preventing hospitalisation & death which is obviously the most important thing but if those choosing not to take them are not in a vulnerable category, their chances of hospitalisation & death are very low anyway so they may not see the point in taking a risk.
This is exactly the argument put forward by the (several) French anti-vaxxers I have spoken to in the past week or so. You can like this argument or you can hate it (I don't like it), but as a point of view it's as logical as anything else, really. Anti-vax seems to be the latest "manif" summer pastime in France taking over from "gilets jaunes" which is ostensibly all about civil liberties and nothing about healthcare, which makes no sense at all to me. BTW for the British vaccinated the NHS app QR code can now be scanned on the French "tous anti-covid" app giving you Macron's covid pass and letting you into cafes and restaurants, for anyone who's interested..

Meanwhile here in Spain they seem to be taking mask enforcement; supermarket trolley-cleaning; limited table numbers; and social distancing very seriously from what I can see.
 
The vaccines don’t seem to be vaccines in the traditional sense of providing immunity - in fact they are not particularly effective at preventing infection.
As I understand it, that's actually the case with a lot of vaccines. Two doses of the mumps vaccine gives about 88% immunity while also reducing symproms if you do end up getting it. My friend's son, who was doubly vaccinated, still caught the mumps.

Edit: "Vaccination with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine reduces infections by 90%, while a single dose confers 80% protection, shows a study led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that followed essential workers through the worst months of the pandemic."
 
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This is why the whole of society needs to get the jab so infections aren’t passed on. It’s called herd immunity. You can get there naturally but that involves 500-1m deaths(complete guess).
It frustrates me that some will not play the game.
 
When tackling a glass of wine, I'm not sure that it being solely a sound predictive model reaches my minimum requirements for its reality.
Your predictive model probably includes rules of thumb like: if you drop it on a hard surface it breaks, and if you tip it wine flows out, etc etc. What other requirement do you have for reality?

Conversely, if your glass suddenly disappeared into thin air as you were about to take a sip, I would say that it is pretty strong evidence that it isn't real, and that you are dreaming or hallucinating.

Glasses of wine is simple. The argument is more sophisticated for quantum effects.
 
At the risk of going even further down a rabbit hole…I like David Deutsch’s formulation that in order to be useful a scientific theory needs to be both predictive and explanatory. Quantum mechanics fulfills both roles admirably I think.

The biggest problem with QM is, I think, just how bloody difficult it is. Certainly speaking personally - every other aspect of my physics degree could, with some work, be considered at some level intuitive. Quantum seems to be orders of magnitude more incomprehensible. Friends and family who work in the field, however, do tell me that after a certain point it becomes easier to understand…
 
As I understand it, that's actually the case with a lot of vaccines. Two doses of the mumps vaccine gives about 88% immunity while also reducing symproms if you do end up getting it. My friend's son, who was doubly vaccinated, still caught the mumps.

Edit: "Vaccination with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine reduces infections by 90%, while a single dose confers 80% protection, shows a study led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that followed essential workers through the worst months of the pandemic."
I think those figures from the CDC may be immediately following vaccination, but the Israelis are suggesting they wane quite significantly. Their health ministry has quoted 75% effectiveness against infection if you were vaccinated in April but only 16% if you were vaccinated in January, so a significant drop in months 4-6. That’s why they are going to push for booster jabs.

I believe they are all Pfizer in Israel but there are plenty of examples of those double vaccinated with AZ at the moment who’ve subsequently got infected. Andrew Marr, Sajid Javid & Piers Morgan are some of the more high profile examples and Piers Morgan said he was contacted by large numbers of other people in the same situation - also double-jabbed.

That doesn’t mean they’re not worth taking of course, but I don’t think they are the answer to herd immunity as Russ suggests. And the countries that are relying on them entirely like NZ & Australia ‘could’ be in for a bit of a shock.
 
At the risk of going even further down a rabbit hole…I like David Deutsch’s formulation that in order to be useful a scientific theory needs to be both predictive and explanatory. Quantum mechanics fulfills both roles admirably I think.

The biggest problem with QM is, I think, just how bloody difficult it is. Certainly speaking personally - every other aspect of my physics degree could, with some work, be considered at some level intuitive. Quantum seems to be orders of magnitude more incomprehensible. Friends and family who work in the field, however, do tell me that after a certain point it becomes easier to understand…
I might not yet know how something works but observation may already provide a high degree of predictive utility. Theory may follow rather than precede prediction. Or was that the rabbit hole you had in mind?
 
The BBC splits the rates and hospitalisation a by nation in their latest story on the decline in figures and notes that Scotland has seen a 75% reduction in cases and hospitalisations followings a similar curve though they haven’t yet reached 75% reduction but could do in a week or so on the current trajectory from peak. All very encouraging.

Also good to see London falling by nearly 40% infection wise despite such low vaccination rates. Though how much football, school holidays et al have to do with this is still unknown.

All in all very encouraging.
 
So annoying the way they report the news as though their audience were idiots....

"Cases have fallen for the 7th day in a row, but deaths are up!!!! WTF is going on????!!"
Yup. Very irritating. Though when they report it the other way at the start of the 3rd wave they always mentioned that deaths lag. Weird inconsitency.
 
According to government statistics daily PCR tests (booked by the public, not NHS tests or research tests) have dropped from 432000 to 237000 in the last 10 days
A 45% drop
Cases have dropped from 51,000 to 25,000 in the same time - 51% drop
So are cases falling so less tests are being done, or are less tests being done so less are identified?

It may be people deliberately choosing not to be tested so to avoid isolation and protecting their holidays, it may be that the younger people who have covid may not have obvious symptoms to make them arrange a test, it may be a genuine drop in cases.

The hospital admission data is now the one that matters - NHS modelling has moved away from +ve case since there are now serious concerns about the accuracy of the numbers.
Hence the caution being expressed by scientists and politicians
 
According to government statistics daily PCR tests (booked by the public, not NHS tests or research tests) have dropped from 432000 to 237000 in the last 10 days
A 45% drop
Cases have dropped from 51,000 to 25,000 in the same time - 51% drop
So are cases falling so less tests are being done, or are less tests being done so less are identified?

It may be people deliberately choosing not to be tested so to avoid isolation and protecting their holidays, it may be that the younger people who have covid may not have obvious symptoms to make them arrange a test, it may be a genuine drop in cases.

The hospital admission data is now the one that matters - NHS modelling has moved away from +ve case since there are now serious concerns about the accuracy of the numbers.
Hence the caution being expressed by scientists and politicians
Sorry where are you getting your information from its very misleading. PCR tests on the dashboard include pillars 1-4 in the figures you quote. Also 2 days ago the testing was over 370k so a drop of just over 10%. There is clearly a drop in cases unrelated to a slight drop in testing for that period and you always have two days with less testing each week hence better to look at the average than pick the very lowest day.

I would be genuinely amazed if anyone actually gives in and says yes cases are falling. Seems you guys are all just determined to find reasons why this isn’t the case :rolleyes:
 
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