Author Topic: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic  (Read 729 times)

Offline Mince

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Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« on: December 14, 2020, 12:45:54 PM »
And so after being told it was fine to open schools, we get this.

A large study from Austria shows that SARS-CoV-2 infects just as many schoolchildren as it does teachers. Other surveys indicate that while young children may show no symptoms, they are quite efficient at spreading the virus.

Offline Mince

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 01:08:52 PM »
Once again, get your information from multiple sources and don't believe just one. Many on Reddit and other forums have been watching since January the slow train wreck of Covid19.


JANUARY: Human to human transmission is unlikely.

TRUTH: Human to human transmission was evident and the virus was spreading five times faster than the flu. Taiwan tried to warn the world but was ignored and silenced by the WHO.


MARCH: Masks are not necessary.

TRUTH: Masks should have been mandatory immediately. Taiwan stepped up mask production in January, making one mask per person per day, and reduced the cost of a mask to $0.20. They eliminated the disease in April with 500 total cases and 7 total deaths. Masks are not needed in Wuhan and New Zealand anymore after the virus was eliminated there. They are mandatory only on public transport.


Asymptomatic people do not spread the disease.

TRUTH: Asymptomatic spread is a key driver of community spread and the main reason this virus is such a big problem.


Lockdowns are a 'last resort' and must be avoided because of the 'damage to the economy'.

TRUTH: Lockdowns are a first resort as demonstrated in New Zealand. A strong, early lock down can be regional and can eliminate community spread in a matter of weeks. The Wuhan and Melbourne full lockdowns eliminated the disease in 76 and 100 days respectively.


Forget about elimination or eradication: the "curve must be flattened".

TRUTH: Taiwan had 76 deaths from SARS and only 7 deaths from Covid19. The disease has been eliminated in Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam. There is always a risk from imported cases but elimination is a real possibility and the proper response. "Curve flattening" and "herd immunity" are phrases that have literally killed a million people.


AUGUST: Do not worry about disinfecting surfaces and groceries: it is not the primary means of transmission.

TRUTH: This is the same as saying "don't wash your hands". It does not make sense. Studies form Australia show that the virus can live on some surfaces up to 26 days. It is easily destroyed by soap and alcohol.


DECEMBER: Children do not spread the disease. Keep the schools open with rampant community spread.

TRUTH: Children are asymptomatic super spreaders. Australia, Wuhan and New Zealand closed school immediately during their elimination effort. Their effective lock downs resulted in eradication of the disease.

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2020, 09:03:28 PM »
Well, given that you urge us NOT to believe just one source of information, it's a bit bold to label all the points you make as "TRUTH"!
One thing I'm sure of---I'd hate to be in a position where I had to make decisions that affect millions of people. Literally, their lives.
Earlier in the pandemic, I listened to several experts who were more than uncomfortable with the wearing of masks. If I remember correctly, their view was that when the material became damp, almost immediately after being applied, it eased rather than prevented the spread of the virus. I made my own decision about this and wear a mask any time I'm in shops etc.
As for lockdowns, well, of course they work in regards to stopping transmission. If we all stayed indoors forever, we'd probably see an end to the common cold. Sadly, it's the horrible knock-on effects that have to be weighed up and there are many. The economic catastrophe that is imminent is obvious and may well destroy millions of lives. Mental health problems have rocketed in the past nine months, along with domestic violence and suicide. The lack of easy access to medical treatment has meant that many lives have been lost that, in "normal" circumstances, would have been saved. It's a diabolical balancing act. Let's be blunt  here. The VAST majority of deaths from this virus has been in the over-seventy group and many of those would have died naturally within a few years. (I'm very aware of this---I'll be 70 next year!). The question is, should 100% of the population be made to make enormous, potentially life-destroying sacrifices for less than 1% of the population? I really don't know but, as I said earlier, I'd hate to be in a position to have to make those decisions.


Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 10:40:12 PM »
I completely agree about the difficulty in making any decisions relating to Covid, Roger, and for that reason, I refuse to indulge in the relatively easy pursuit of knocking governments (I make an exception in Trump's case, but only for him and his closest toads), most of whom are doing their best in enormously difficult circumstances. The fact that they are still pilloried by people who would have them take extreme polar opposite measures to those demanded by other people underlines that they cannot and will not do the right thing by all, but are generally doing okay.

But my support is not unconditional. Even in Scotland, where, from my own perspective, I think it has been handled well, I've been disappointed that we have fallen into line with the Christmas 'relaxation' period. And with numbers already beginning to rise rapidly again, I am very fearful for the month ahead, and the inevitable aftermath of a loving Christmas that I fully understand the desire for, but cannot believe is being sanctioned, especially with the virus about to be rolled out on a nationwide scale. People will die as a direct consequence of Christmas. It's simply not worth it. Christmas in April or May will almost certainly be infinitely safer - just this once, why can't we postpone it till then? I feel we are about to snatch defeat from the jaws of a hard-earned victory.

And whilst I take your point about the over-70 group, and recognise that many people are making those enormous sacrifices, I'd dispute that 100% (much of the current spread is down to those who are making no sacrifices whatsoever, I fear). And the >1% is also questionable, as we are only just beginning to assess the long-term effects of contracting so-called Long Covid, which may have life-long consequences for those who don't even realise they've had the disease yet, due to the way many contract it asymptomatically.

It's anything but simple, and that balancing act is diabolical indeed. I think Mince's "truths" are probably a distillation of many sources, gathered through experience rather than theory, and not just one source. We are learning slowly as we go along, and with each step there is hope and light. But it's a road we must walk with care, possibly now more than at any time so far, with the finishing line hopefully, finally in sight. It's those who have been running ahead since the first slight relaxation of Lockdown who need to examine their behaviour. They are the lifeblood for Covid-19.

I apologise, in advance.

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 11:39:26 PM »
Steve, the Christmas "relaxation" period was nothing more than a realistic, pragmatic approach to the inevitable. After virtually nine months of lockdown, people were going to get together whatever the government said. To make this illegal would have been impossible to police. I'm not saying this is right, but it's understandable, and we may well suffer the consequences in the New Year.
I stand by my figure that 100% of the population has been asked/made to make sacrifices for a tiny minority. In the end, will the "cure" for this pandemic be worse that the pandemic itself? Honestly, I haven't a clue.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2020, 01:05:53 AM »
I can't agree, Roger. It's the "Give them an inch" Principle. Yes, of course some people are going to do what they want, come what may. They already have been. That is absolutely no reason to put your hands in the air and say it's okay. The people they are going to do it to need protecting. Give them four days and they'll party for six. Elderly relatives will die as a result of Christmas visits. And it won't just be the elderly. It will be the weak and the frontline health professionals too. The virus is already on a steep rise across the UK at the moment, and in many other places around the world. Potentially this could be worse than the first wave. Many, and probably even most, people will obey if the Christmas Relaxations are cancelled. Many will also be mightily relieved that they're removed from the very awkward and potentially lethal position of having friends and family drop by with the best of intentions, and possibly the virus. They will not feel so pressured into opening doors they'd rather keep closed, just for this year. Lives will literally be saved. It doesn't have to be strictly policed in order to work. Most people will take heed of the law if they can see the reason for it. Not killing Granny is surely a pretty good reason.

People are not being asked to follow the rules for the rest of their lives (unless their lives are tragically cut short by this plague, as many thousands already have been). They're not being asked to take up arms, to kill or be killed. They're being asked to stay at home and watch telly, play games and bake biscuits. I fully accept that there are mental health issues in all of this which can be devastating, and that has to be considered, yes. Support needs to be in place for those affected. But the virus figures are currently rising, and for those who will have to deal with the trauma of loved ones dying because of Christmas, those mental health issues will be every bit as devastating.

My own 'bubble' over the past months has been with my eldest daughter and her family, including her husband and my two older grandchildren. They'd like me to spend Christmas Day with them in the magnificent new house they've been building themselves for the past three years (they move in this coming weekend, at long last). I can think of nothing I'd like more. But it was my daughter who last week reminded me (not that I needed it) that she is a secondary school teacher, mixing with kids from multiple households every day, my two grandchildren are both now school age and do likewise, and their Dad is a plumber, who is in and out of many  households every day. As bubbles go, it ain't the safest. And that is why I shan't be taking up their offer this year.

It's not the thought of fighting the virus that worries me most, although I have an 'underlying health condition' that wouldn't make that a picnic. What scares me most is the notion that if I got it and succumbed to it, my beautiful grandkids would be left with the suspicion that they might have passed it on to me, and that is unbearable to contemplate. I wouldn't have to live with it of course, but they would. That is completely unacceptable to me.

Once I have the vaccine, I will be unstoppable. Till then, Christmas isn't cancelled, but it's on hold.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2020, 10:31:47 AM »
I can't say I disagree with anything you say, Steve. You're taking an extremely sensible approach to this Christmas and I'd like to think that many others will do the same. As you know, our First Minister has stated on a daily basis that, while it won't be illegal to visit family over the festive period, she strongly recommends that we postpone all get-togethers until a safer time. Many people will do this. We just have to hope they're in a majority.
It's a wee bit unfair to say that people have been asked to "stay at home and watch telly, play games and bake biscuits". Thousands of people have already lost their jobs because of lockdown. (Including my own daughter, an award-winning editor at you-know-where). Thousands more are GOING to lose their jobs. Lockdowns, I believe, are necessary but they surely can't be any kind of long-term solution. The results are utterly devastating. I have everything crossed for the vaccine...
I'll finish by repeating my original thoughts. I am so glad I'm not the one to have to make these impossible decisions.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2020, 11:05:18 AM »
I'm certainly with you all the way on your last line, Roger, and I do have a lot of sympathy for everything you've written on this thread, even if I've disagreed with some of it.

It's a wee bit unfair to say that people have been asked to "stay at home and watch telly, play games and bake biscuits". Thousands of people have already lost their jobs because of lockdown. (Including my own daughter, an award-winning editor at you-know-where). Thousands more are GOING to lose their jobs. Lockdowns, I believe, are necessary but they surely can't be any kind of long-term solution. The results are utterly devastating. I have everything crossed for the vaccine...

You're being generous. It's more than a wee bit unfair - it's grossly unfair. But then so is the virus - which is the real reason people are suffering, both in terms of health, lives and personal fortunes (I'm really sorry to hear your daughter has lost her job - I hope it's not long before she can find another one). And the fortunes of the virus itself are entirely dependent on people. We spread it. We can choose to do everything we can not to spread it, or choose to leave that to others. And we can choose to take the vaccine and, fingers crossed, effectively kill it off. Or we can let others do that, and hope that enough do, so that we don't have to. It's entirely down to all of us. Not governments, but the people they serve.

I've rarely, if ever been associated with the words "extremely sensible", but they made me smile, Roger - thank you for that. One of the main items on my Covid List (kind of the opposite to a Bucket List, where I have a bunch of things I'm desperate to do once we're allowed to live again) is to zip over to the Kingdom for a long-overdue coffee at Kettle Towers. That's always been a joy, but right now, it's one of a number of very shiny beacons at the end of a tunnel which draws ever nearer.

Bring on the vaccines! 
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2020, 11:36:48 AM »
Hear! Hear! To the vaccines AND the coffee!

Offline Mince

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2020, 04:07:07 PM »
One of the main items on my Covid List (kind of the opposite to a Bucket List, where I have a bunch of things I'm desperate to do once we're allowed to live again) is to zip over to the Kingdom for a long-overdue coffee at Kettle Towers.

I bet I won't be invited. Again.  ;D

Offline Mince

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2020, 04:18:42 PM »
Well, given that you urge us NOT to believe just one source of information, it's a bit bold to label all the points you make as "TRUTH"!

Firstly, I quite agree with you. I guess I could have written "MUCH MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE TRUE:" or "LESS LIKELY TO BE A PORKY:", but that seemed a little long-winded. But no one can say the warnings were not out there. I remember my topic on March 10 with the Cheltenham Festival. I believe I lost faith in our government around then.

Offline Mince

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2020, 12:03:46 PM »
Lockdowns, I believe, are necessary but they surely can't be any kind of long-term solution.

The new variant seems to spread exponentially even during a lockdown. The only good news is that the vaccine seems to be effective against it.


I am so glad I'm not the one to have to make these impossible decisions.

I read somewhere on the internet someone expressing this same sentiment: "How can a leader make sensible decisions in this chaos?" Another replied: "It's not chaos. Things fell apart predictably and uniformly, just as the scientists said it would right at the beginning." Perhaps places such as Taiwan and Australia (where Melbourne was under lockdown for 112 days) listened better and had a better plan. They also probably would not have tolerated a Cheltenham festival. I don't know and I dare say it's all more complicated than I am making it out to be. But the truth is that much could have been done that was not. Now we'll never know.

I guess the UK is slightly better than the US, whose motto seems to be "We've tried everything and now we're all out of ideas."

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2020, 06:58:43 PM »
Until this is all over, we won't know which countries adopted the best policies. Even then, it will be almost impossible to gauge because of the huge differences in culture, population, wealth and medical facilities available. It's not a question of simply comparing the horrible death tolls around the world---the far-reaching effects of lockdowns and other measures are still to be calculated. Of course, a quick glance across the Atlantic will show what happens when a moronic leader calls the shots but I'd like to think that, generally speaking, most governments are doing their utmost to protect their people.
At least, I'd LIKE to think so.

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2020, 07:46:48 PM »
Mince, as I'm sure you've noticed, Australia is now back in trouble with Sydney going into strict lockdown.
I doubt if we will ever be able to establish who has taken the best approach---at least, not until it's way too late.

Offline Mince

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Re: Oops, our bad, children probably are driving the pandemic
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2020, 08:17:29 PM »
With so few new cases, it will be interesting to see whether they can again get it under control.