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Why is UK one of the worst hit?

(172 Posts)
seastar Mon 13-Apr-20 02:00:20

I've been looking at the stats for other countries in Europe and we look like we are faring the worst. Is it due to our geographical location - being furthest North and so the virus thrives or are we are not testing enough or could it be that in the UK we are not following lockdown as strictly? It is worrying that the lockdown doesn't appear to be having a dramatic effect. We just dip a little and then we are back up with higher numbers. We don't seem to be making much progress in the UK. After 3 weeks I was expecting to see a trend downwards slightly.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 13-Apr-20 02:30:47

You need to read the article I’ve put up a link to in the 10000 thread.

The article explains in detail how the government failed to get a grip and so resulting in thousands of needless lives.

whywhywhy Mon 13-Apr-20 02:40:39

I dont think the government started the lockdown soon enough and some people just do not obey it even now. Today I watched as several of our neighbours visited a neighbour whose child had a birthday. I could hear my mam (long since dead) saying “Hell mend them”. This will never be over until everyone obeys the rules. If the likes of Boris Johnson can get it and have a bad time with all of the best help, then what chance do we have. Stay safe.

Teacheranne Mon 13-Apr-20 03:05:47

I'm getting fed up with following all the rules - I live alone, I see no one, I shop every 10 days or so, I don't go out in my car to exercise in a local park or beauty spot, I don't even see my neighbours as they are all very elderly, my children live miles away from me - BUT WHY DO I BOTHER WHEN OTHER PEOPLE MEET WITH FRIENDS FOR A WALK, TO CHAT IN THE STREET, TO POP OUT TO THE SHOPS FOR A DAILY NEWSPAPER, TO EXERCISE IN A COMMUNAL AREA ETC ETC. It makes me so cross as some people are being so selfish and extending the lockdown by their behaviours. I have a friend who lives in London and posts messages on FB with photos of her with friends ( not people in the same household) exploring the tourist sites. Other friends visit their parents, take their children to the park, shop every day, drive to country parks to exercise - whilst I stay in my house on my own! Grrrr!

Doodledog Mon 13-Apr-20 03:06:23

The government didn’t act quickly enough. They thought it would ‘only’ affect the old and infirm, and killing off a few drains on the public purse in the name of herd immunity would be worth it.

Now they are blaming non-compliance with the vague and half-hearted ‘rules’ for deaths caused by inaction, lack of PPE and an underfunded NHS.

rosecarmel Mon 13-Apr-20 03:28:57

In a nutshell, some countries (states) (governments) (people) laughed longer than others prior to taking action-

We're the 5th most populated state and 17th for most cases which are predominantly concentrated in the cities, prisons and nursing homes, currently-

Our state governor faced criticism early on, being the first in the country to take drastic measures before a single case was reported in state-

I think the health director summed it up perfectly when she said in the beginning that we looked like Chicken Little (the sky is falling!!!) but in the end will look like we didn't do enough-

vegansrock Mon 13-Apr-20 04:12:17

We continue to allow plane loads of people in unchecked. Why?

Jaycee5 Mon 13-Apr-20 05:16:34

We are getting a higher number of deaths to cases compared to countries like Germany who heeded the warnings of a pandemic to come and prepared and followed sensible policies from the beginning.
We had an MP who thought it was funny to brag about having gone into hospital and shaken hands with people with the virus.
It is not a difficult question to answer. Deliberately run down the NHS in the hope of privatising more of it and this is the result.
All countries have idiots who don't follow the rules. I think that most are, the photographs of deserted towns seems to suggest that they are in most places. In any event, that does not explain why the UK is getting it worse. So many of the deaths are going to be of people who are in the front line without necessary equipment.

Jaycee5 Mon 13-Apr-20 05:16:55

That should be PM not MP.

growstuff Mon 13-Apr-20 06:08:39

Jaycee Sadly, you're right. The NHS staff are being hit hardest, but there are also Transport for London staff. It wouldn't surprise me if staff in warehouses and transport hubs are disproportionately affected too, although the evidence is, as yet, only anecdotal. There's pressure for schools to re-open, but no mention of providing teachers and other staff with any kind of PPE. Some teachers have already died, providing places for key workers.

Apparently, about a third of deaths have been amongst BAME people, which is disproportionate. It could be that London has been hit hardest and London has a more ethnically diverse community than anywhere else in the country. It could be that BAME people do jobs which can't be done at home or that they have existing health issues. I honestly don't know, but I hope it's investigated because there are serious questions about why a particular sector is more at risk.

At the moment, we have so little data. Germany is testing more, so the proportion of deaths to cases will appear lower. On the other hand, Germany has nearly five times the number of ICU beds per capita, so maybe it does a better job of saving the lives of the most seriously affected. There are some really serious issues and they must be investigated and addressed. Clapping and weasel words aren't enough.

Blencathra Mon 13-Apr-20 06:53:39

We should have acted like New Zealand - they locked down before they had a case. We were too late and wasted time with the herd immunity idea before changing it.
The NHS has been underfunded for years. They need testing and PPE.
I am shocked to find that people are not taking the lockdown seriously. I can’t tell because since I can’t go out I can only see a small area but my road are sticking to it rigidly - no visitors and no going out except for shopping and exercise.

Washerwoman Mon 13-Apr-20 07:20:07

London has population of 9 million compared to Paris 2.1 and Berlin 3.7 and we are more densely populated than both France and Germany with a higher proportion of our population living in urban environments rather than rural.Surely that has to be factored in .Plus I still believe -indeed know-too many British people have been sneaking about -or blatantly carrying on - seeing friends and family and tweaking the rules because they think a little visit from the grandchildren at Easter or meeting a friend for a walk won't do any harm.Or the insanity of that weekend 3 weeks ago when people flocked to the coast and National parks for one last hurrah.No wonder the death toll has now risen.Countless cross infections must have happened then.A friend of ours was still intent on a large birthday gathering over that weekend but DH and I had already decided 40 people all together for a whole weekend was insanity and said we wouldn't be attending..They did cancel very last minute.But I'm certain thousands of similar events went ahead.
That's not to say things couldn't have been done differently.Personally as an island nation I wish flights and travel had been more restricted earlier on.And more contact tracing.But scaremongering statistics now aren't helpful.Aren't things gloomy enough ?I am currently self isolating from DH as I have a fever and aches despite following all the guidelines rigidly.Worried about passing it on to him.I would be happy right at this moment if everyone did their bit day by day and we see where we are in hopefully a few weeks time.Thanks to all who are. TeacherAnne I feel your frustration .Same here !

grandMattie Mon 13-Apr-20 07:24:10

There appears to be three strains of CV19. The one Britain has is the most contagious and with the highest morbidity. No amount of testing or lockdown can change that. Of course, distancing etc., can help.

janeainsworth Mon 13-Apr-20 07:29:33

The reason why Germany’s case/fatality ratio (number of deaths per number of cases) is so low is because they did a lot more testing in the early stages, so many more cases were recorded. In the U.K., there will have been many more cases that the authorities and statisticians simply don’t know about.

The problem is that the virus won’t be eradicated by a few weeks of lockdown. As soon as it is lifted there will be more cases.

Glorybee Mon 13-Apr-20 07:37:32

I agree washerwoman, when comparisons are made population numbers need to be taken into account. Sweden has started along a slightly different path than most European countries but it must be borne in mind it has a population of just 10.23 million, compared to ours of 66.65 million. The USA has a population of 328.2 million. I can’t believe any figures China puts forward.

Glorybee Mon 13-Apr-20 07:42:36

China’s stats on deaths that is, Google reveals it has a population of nearly 1.5 billion

suziewoozie Mon 13-Apr-20 07:46:25

But jane the deaths per million in Germany is around 36 and ours is around 156. The death rate in any country is obviously contingent on how many tests are carried out but the deaths per million is contingent on many other things of which greater testing may well be relevant in terms of strategy. What Germany has had is a health service in fine fettle before this startled and a superb strategy from early on. I posted a link somewhere to an article in the NY times which described the care given from when you first report symptoms there - monitoring, home visits if necessary. We are not going to come out of this well - I still believe we are being lead by donkeys and that includes some of our medical advisers.

suziewoozie Mon 13-Apr-20 07:50:24

And Sweden’s deaths per million is much higher than Norway, Denmark and Sweden who have had a very different strategy from Sweden. In other ways, they are broadly comparable countries.

vegansrock Mon 13-Apr-20 07:52:35

All these stats and graphs are confusing and not always comparable. It will be interesting to see the true picture. I don’t think this is one league table we want to be top of.

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 13-Apr-20 07:59:52

One of the advantages of being an Island nation is that we have borders that can be locked down, but we haven’t done it.
Anyone coming in should have been placed in quarantine immediately, and they should pay the Subsidised bill when they leave. In instalments if necessary.
Maybe 7% matched by the employers should be taken from our wages and used specifically for our healthcare, as they do in Germany? I believe higher wage earners pay a higher rate. That way the NHS is taken out of Politics and should be properly funded.
I also think , and I’m prepared to be shouted down, that if China had admitted in 2019 that there was a huge problem, (instead of censoring Doctors who were trying to get the information out) then our Medical Experts, who are advising the Government, wouldn’t have thought it a minor event.
estimates of Chinese deaths are over 45,000. But we will never know.
I also read that Germany only report Covid Deaths if there are no underlying health conditions, if there is another health problem then It is listed as that.
Again I have no way of checking some Newspapers findings.maybe some German GNs will be able to find out?
I guess that eventually all of the facts will be published , until then ,
Stay At Home, not like our village yesterday with cars parked in the roads and relatives in the gardens of elderly parents and Grandparents. I assume they were keeping their distance, but really?

NfkDumpling Mon 13-Apr-20 08:11:01

I agree with Teacheranne and Washerwoman*.

My DD’s neighbours had the family round as normal over the weekend. They probably did spend more time in the garden and the probably did sit further apart and they probably thought they weren’t doing any harm. But they were. She says its always the elderly who ignore the rules (we haven’t been out at all for four weeks), but the family accepted the invitation. They came, so in my mind are just as guilty.

Apportioning blame isn’t doing any good. Saying we should have done more earlier isn’t changing anything. I don’t care whether we should have ‘Locked down’ earlier. I do care that people are flouting the instructions right now.

If there’s one thing we should have learnt from all this is that there’s nothing to be gained from lamely saying “It’s all your fault”. It doesn’t get us out of the mess. Pulling together and doing the best we can is the only way forward and I believe the present government, businesses and the vast majority of the population are. Rather than repeating who’s to blame, write emails, report, do something to stop those - big business or individuals - who’re not.

janeainsworth Mon 13-Apr-20 08:21:20

Suzie I’m speculating here, but if you look at deaths per million population as opposed to case fatality rate, then you have to look at other factors within that population.
For example, proportion of older people, proportion of people who live in crowded urban communities compared to rural communities. In the north east, Newcastle has proportionally more confirmed cases than Northumberland where people live in small towns and rural communities.

Gaunt47 Mon 13-Apr-20 08:27:13

Oopsadaisy3 - I've heard that too, that Germany has a different and more accurate way of recording deaths during this pandemic.
The UK is recording deaths of all people with the virus, although they may not have died from the virus.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 13-Apr-20 08:28:37

It is tragic that so many people have died, and so many more desperately ill, because politicians refused to listen to advise.
Scientists said lockdown earlier, test, trace, isolate.

But they said they knew better.

There will be a reckoning.

It will not be forgiving.

suziewoozie Mon 13-Apr-20 09:13:55

Yes I agree jane but Germany and us are more more comparable overall. As for the persistent rumour that Germany records deaths differently, I still have not seen one reputable source that confirms this. Rather, I see people using it as a sort of comfort blanket because they don’t want to face the fact that we are not dealing with this well. I’m not saying I know about Germany just that I’ll believe it when I have evidence.