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Corona virus


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Please remember - this thread can get a bit heated at times... try to keep politics out of it, and be respectful to the views of others.

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We've a young crowd in here today!

It will be pasta and rice next, how have they got through the stockpiles from March?

Neil’s photo reminded me of my own mother, also a Margaret and 88 years young, lives on her own in a retirement flat near Bristol. She hasn’t seen anyone for over a week now so really important point

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Just perspective really. Obviously it shows that the death rate across the population is tiny but maybe the death rate across the proportion of over 70s might look a bit different.

We are not locking ourselves away, we went shopping in the local town (Horsham) today and felt reasonably safe, especially as the infection rate here is around 10/100,000 compared with Bolton at 239/100,000. A bit of a difference!

However we  would still avoid non socially distanced gatherings indoors or outdoors.

It is rather clear from the reports in today's media that a significant proportion of the population is totally and deliberately ignoring the guidance. On the other hand I feel really sorry for the university students who are finding themselves incarcerated in their expensive accommodation and still being 'taught' by video link. They would all be better off at home and a lot more comfortable. The idea of keeping them locked up over Christmas is ludicrous.

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2 hours ago, cvabishop said:

On the other hand I feel really sorry for the university students who are finding themselves incarcerated in their expensive accommodation and still being 'taught' by video link. They would all be better off at home and a lot more comfortable. The idea of keeping them locked up over Christmas is ludicrous.

As someone putting myself at risk (albeit small) by continuing to teach my groups at the university, I'm afraid I'm not very sympathetic to their plight.

They are the architects of their own situation. They were warned, repeatedly, of the risks and have ignored them on both sides of the channel.

The authorities were warned too about what would happen but can't be held accountable for the students' behaviour given that they have done everything possible to make university sites as safe as possible.

These are now adults we are taking about and they have to accept responsibility for their behaviour like the rest of us. 

Distance learning is fine for lecture classes but the seminar classes I give only work face-to-face because language learning needs a dialogue. I'll keep going like this as long as I can but with up to 40% absence recently is not easy. Most of us staff are now prepared to let them have their fun and develop herd-immunity so that things can get back to some semblance of normality after the half-term break.

Ed

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On 27/09/2020 at 18:14, Jim said:

Unfortunately, in a nutshell, government IT is not particularly integrated - and whilst in theory lots could be done, the cost of doing so would make your eyes water let alone a huge number of ethical and regulatory hurdles.

I do wish I was a mathematician as it occurs to me that the amount of variables involved in the functioning of such an app are almost bound to doom it to failure. If you take into account the number of networks, times that by the number of known blank spots in those networks, add in the sheer number of phones of all ages and makes, then consider the number of versions of all the operating systems and overlay all the human behaviour differences then it seems to me that the probability of such software not working for any particular user would be quite high.  

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57 minutes ago, Millsy said:

I do wish I was a mathematician as it occurs to me that the amount of variables involved in the functioning of such an app are almost bound to doom it to failure. If you take into account the number of networks, times that by the number of known blank spots in those networks, add in the sheer number of phones of all ages and makes, then consider the number of versions of all the operating systems and overlay all the human behaviour differences then it seems to me that the probability of such software not working for any particular user would be quite high.  

The app is actually fairly simple in operation.

It relies on Bluetooth to work so no mobile / WiFi networks involved in actual recording. The app via Bluetooth handshakes with all the other apps around it exchanging anonymous IDs. It then measures the time you are in contact with that ID and approximate distance. Every 5 minutes it detects you are in range of of the other ID it awards points.

Approximately the points structure for every 5 minutes in contact is

0 to 2 m - 300 points
2 to 4m - 150 points
Over 4 metres - nil points

If it totals 900 or more points in a 24 hour period then the other ID goes on the 'keep an eye on' list. Otherwise the ID is supposed to be ignored. I believe it has been tweaked now to attempt to take into account when someone would likely be most infectious but the actual algorithm is being honed all the time.

If one of the IDs reports via the app of having COVID symptoms then this is communicated to the network and everyone with enough points wins the stay at home lockdown prize. Doing it this way keeps data local, helps protect privacy and minimises the data flying around clogging up the networks. Leave that to cat videos :)

The location signing in part works slightly differently, as each sign in is recorded in the app with time of visit, and if the location becomes a source of outbreak, then the app gets a notification and tells you if with a defined time period.

 

For the privacy pundits, you do not know who triggered the warning / self isolation notice, although it will be pretty simple to work out, and as anonymous IDs the authorities do not know either. They do know how many and where.

Obviously if you turn Bluetooth off for power saving or security the app isn't going to work but 99.x% of the population never turn it off (or realise it is there).

 

The app does have other separate features like a very helpful countdown time before release from doing COVID time.

Operating system wise not a problem, as long as you have iOS 13.5 (you need an iPhone 6 or later) or Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) plus Bluetooth 4.0 (released 2011 ish so all app phones will have it), the app will work. It is designed that even the most technophobic person doesn't have to think. The issues will come from misuse and abuse.

Programming wise, not difficult, many apps already have similar functions. The points algorithm proving would be the time consuming bit.

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23 hours ago, cvabishop said:

We are not locking ourselves away, we went shopping in the local town (Horsham) today and felt reasonably safe, especially as the infection rate here is around 10/100,000 compared with Bolton at 239/100,000. A bit of a difference!

We went into Truro yesterday and 2 things frightened me. A woman walking along without a mask and coughing her head off. No handkerchief.

It was a still day, no wind, and I saw the size of the vapour cloud from a guy vaping. It was a huge demonstration of how much further one's breath can spread beyond 2 metres.

 

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11 minutes ago, Shefford said:

Apparently the French Covid app has had only 3 million downloads, compared with the UK's 12 million and Germany's 18 million. Even Jean Castex has not downloaded it, not exactly a vote of confidence 🙄

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/29/france-struggles-to-push-covid-app-as-neighbours-race-ahead

I saw that too but, to be honest, if you see him coming you are likely to run away anyway for fear his blandness might be contagious.

Ed

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At this evening's press conference Boris Johnson appeared to pay tribute to all those students who are experiencing a first semester far removed from what they must have imagined. 5 minutes later Prof. Whitty clearly explained which age groups are contributing to high infection statistics. Did they not speak before coming to the podium?  After last night party in Coventry (I believe) he should be coming down on them like a ton of bricks not telling the poor diddums that he'll make sure they get home for Christmas. Ed. 

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26 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

At this evening's press conference Boris Johnson appeared to pay tribute to all those students who are experiencing a first semester far removed from what they must have imagined. 5 minutes later Prof. Whitty clearly explained which age groups are contributing to high infection statistics. Did they not speak before coming to the podium?  After last night party in Coventry (I believe) he should be coming down on them like a ton of bricks not telling the poor diddums that he'll make sure they get home for Christmas. Ed. 

Hopefully they won't be bringing their friends and families home a Father Coivid present.

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5 minutes ago, colinschandler said:

Hopefully they won't be bringing their friends and families home a Father Coivid present.

They appear to be planning something and I very much suspect it's a shortening of the semester to finish a good two weeks before Christmas to allow for people to quarantine somewhere before getting together with their elderly relatives. Ed. 

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Two French Nobel laureats, both in the field of economics no less, have suggested a near complete lockdown of France in the first three weeks of December (with the closure, as I understand it, of schools, factories and other businesses -as parents will need to look after their kids -, restaurants and bars etc) so that everyone can be fit and healthy come Christmas. Shops would be allowed to stay open but people would not be permitted to socialise. Luckily, the French government seem to have rejected this idea for now and presumably the so-called experts' medals are being melted down for scrap and their certificates shredded. Ed 

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Things in the UK seem to be slipping progressively out of HMG control, particularly in the North and now in London. There are clearly significant minorities now blatantly ignoring the regulations.

Burnley have a rate of 327/100,000 whilst Horsham, my local town have just 15/100,000. Burnley has an infection rate 21 times the one we have locally. That is a staggering difference.

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

Burnley have a rate of 327/100,000 whilst Horsham, my local town have just 15/100,000. Burnley has an infection rate 21 times the one we have locally. That is a staggering difference.

Whole host of reasons - socio-economic, genetic, cultural, demographical, more likely to give the finger to authority ...

1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

Things in the UK seem to be slipping progressively out of HMG control, particularly in the North and now in London. There are clearly significant minorities now blatantly ignoring the regulations.

There is also a seismic shift going on in people's attitudes. The medical COVID Apocalypse has not arrived, people want to live life and economic factors are taking over, which mainly go along the lines of 'I need to earn money'.

It is not just students, but throughout the age spectrum, but students are more likely to publish their actions online. More people learn the art of subtlety as they grow older.

RT Hon. Kerfuffle PM and the Wooden Dementor FM have not helped with their bungling and more and more incongruous stipulations. We are now getting to the position of "the harder you squeeze the lemon the faster the pips escape". A popular uprising of CV2 dissent was one on the situations modelled at the start, when would the general population say enough is enough? More restrictions, another lockdown, a cancelled Christmas?

Or shall we continue along the current path and having lockdowns in 3 years time? Will the weather forecast will be replaced with the daily Corona Conjecture?

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Somewhat inclined to agree that it's becoming everyone for themselves! As retired over 70s we will simply continue to keep away from people as much as reasonably possible. Not too difficult around here but elderly people in urban situations are going to face a much nastier situation that they simply cannot avoid and will suffer the consequences.

Whichever way you look at it, a differential of 21/1 in different parts of the country must be a serious cause for concern. We should not be blase about that.

Over the last several years it has become very noticeable how selfish a lot of people now are. whether it is just chucking litter out of their cars or, as was the case this morning, illegally blocking the road on Zig Zag lines outside our local school so that Mrs 'couldn't care less' could offload her precious (presumably legless) offspring without the bother of parking just around the corner.

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15 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

At this evening's press conference Boris Johnson appeared to pay tribute to all those students who are experiencing a first semester far removed from what they must have imagined. 5 minutes later Prof. Whitty clearly explained which age groups are contributing to high infection statistics. Did they not speak before coming to the podium?  After last night party in Coventry (I believe) he should be coming down on them like a ton of bricks not telling the poor diddums that he'll make sure they get home for Christmas. Ed. 

Yes, let's send Chris Whitty round to every student party, that should put a damper on things.

It seems like you are saying that higher infection rates among certain age groups are the fault of that age group, is that right?

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14 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Burnley have a rate of 327/100,000 whilst Horsham, my local town have just 15/100,000. Burnley has an infection rate 21 times the one we have locally. That is a staggering difference.

What are the testing rates for the two towns? The figures are kind of meaningless without that

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3 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

It seems like you are saying that higher infection rates among certain age groups are the fault of that age group, is that right?

Yes in the case of those aged 17 to 24 for example but clearly not for those aged 75 and over. Ed. 

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26 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Not really, I'm not aware of any reports of 75 to 80s dancing in the streets or holding wild house parties - Just Boris' Dad shopping without a mask.

 

I'm not aware of vast amounts of young people doing that either.

I am very much aware of this being the age group that has, en-masse, recently been sent to school / college / university, where a level of mixing with people from disparate locations is inevitable, regardless of abstinence levels.  

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16 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

I'm not aware of vast amounts of young people doing that either.

I am very much aware of this being the age group that has, en-masse, recently been sent to school / college / university, where a level of mixing with people from disparate locations is inevitable, regardless of abstinence levels.  

With a virus spread that grows exponentially you don't need vast amounts of people, you just need enough in a single place and not following the guidelines. 

I am teaching classes with 25 or so students from different regions of France and different countries too. I'm making sure I don't mix with them any more than is necessary and always with our masks on at a distance of at least a metre. For now I don't think I've been infected. If I can do that, so can they. But only if they want to. 

Ed. 

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1 minute ago, Cabin-boy said:

With a virus spread that grows exponentially you don't need vast amounts of people, you just need enough in a single place and not following the guidelines. 

I am teaching classes with 25 or so students from different regions of France and different countries too. I'm making sure I don't mix with them any more than is necessary and always with our masks on at a distance of at least a metre. For now I don't think I've been infected. If I can do that, so can they. But only if they want to. 

Ed. 

With this virus, you don't need any amounts - simply following the government guidelines and returning to university would have had much the same result, in my opinion. But vilifying a whole age group based on the actions of a few sells more papers and shores up votes.  

Keep safe.

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