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Coronavirus

Why Did the UK Have Such a Bad Covid-19 Epidemic?

(69 Posts)
varian Thu 02-Jul-20 10:36:56

The brilliant "More or Less" programme on Radio 4 has just concluded this series with an expert analysis of the factors affecting the pandemic in the UK.

I am sorry this series, presented by Tim Harford, is stopping for now and look forward to its return.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need expertese more than ever.

ttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000kfpy

Luckygirl Thu 02-Jul-20 10:40:30

Why? - because we were ill-prepared and the government failed to take the right steps. A cock-up all round.

Tangerine Thu 02-Jul-20 10:40:31

I suspect we locked down a little too late.

Also, even though many people have been sensible, there have been lots of times when there have been crowds of people together even if they have been outdoors. Perhaps that didn't happen in other countries if they were more strictly controlled.

Tangerine Thu 02-Jul-20 10:40:31

I suspect we locked down a little too late.

Also, even though many people have been sensible, there have been lots of times when there have been crowds of people together even if they have been outdoors. Perhaps that didn't happen in other countries if they were more strictly controlled.

silverlining48 Thu 02-Jul-20 10:54:37

Varian like you I enjoy More or Less and also listened the the last programme of the series. I am sorry it’s finishing now but think it was mentioned that it had been extended before due to public demand so let’s hope it does make a return.

MayBee70 Thu 02-Jul-20 11:38:39

The government and it’s advisors planned (I use that word loosely) for a flu pandemic but, even when it was obvious it wasn’t flu they still proceeded as if it was because that’s what they wanted it to be. The rest, as they say, is history. Also, other countries made it clear that people needed to take care of and protect each other, whereas here our leadership (again, I use that term loosely) made us think that protective measures needed to be done even though they were taking away our personal freedom.

spabbygirl Thu 02-Jul-20 13:12:22

this gov't has messed up big time, they ignored the evidence from Italy & did nothing, this would have been the time to stock up on PPE, instead they told us to wash our hands and sing happy birthday, we still don't have an effective track and trace or testing system, its easy to see why our death rate is so high, this gov't was careless at least, if not negligent, the deaths in care homes was easy to predict but still no testing

MayBee70 Thu 02-Jul-20 14:06:32

At least, now that Scotland has made face wearing in shops mandatory, we will be following them [hopefully]. Better late than never I suppose.

MawB Thu 02-Jul-20 14:11:42

PHE decided it couldn’t handle the amount of required so announced it was not necessary and gave up when everybody was ramping theirs up.

Furret Thu 02-Jul-20 14:28:43

I think the OP’s headline should be in the present tense, not the past. We are not over it yet by any means.

GGumteenth Thu 02-Jul-20 14:31:15

I'm another More or Less fan and a New Statesman fan and my reading of some of their articles today may well have contributed to my views.

If they do find we locked down late - and I cannot at this point see why they won't - then I wonder if the none attendance of Johnson at the first five COBRA meeting led to the months delay?

The lack of supply and the reliance on old and dysfunctional stock of PPE may also have been a reason as could the inability to have a test and trace system up an running, or a system that reported back locally. The ideological use of the private sector to oversee a national programme, which seems to have been a pretty unmitigated disaster could not have helped either.

One the NS flagged up which I had not thought of was "... the sloganising news-management approach, rather than one of transparency and public engagement based on a broad range of professional advice." They also point out "data hoarding by the controlling PHE".

There was, as has been mentioned before on GN, the discharging of untested patients from hospital to Care Homes from where the PPE had been sequestered. Then there is the almost certain to early easing of lockdown.

You won't, if you have read other threads about this, be surprised to find I agree with Sadiq Khan that "the shameful treatment of care home residents was the biggest failure".

GGumteenth Thu 02-Jul-20 14:33:25

certain to early certain too early

Furret Thu 02-Jul-20 14:34:05

PHE must also accept part of the blame.

GGumteenth Thu 02-Jul-20 14:43:28

The leadership is the governments though Furret. Lack of knowledge on their part allowed the PHE to dictate to some extent. It's not as if all the world and his wife had not predicted a pandemic was likely to be the next crisis.

Furret Thu 02-Jul-20 14:51:28

Leadership? Boris? 🤣😅🥴

Curlygirl Thu 02-Jul-20 19:10:34

In the beginning I tried to have confidence in the government but no more. We isolated a week before the official lockdown and I don’t know why the Govt waited another week. Since the it has been one disastrous thing after another. Lack of PPE, no support for care homes and people being released from hospital without testing into care homes. Herd Immunity then oh no that’s not a good idea. Track and tracing on and off. Lack of testing available it goes on and on. Now when we still have a large number of infections each day what happens - pubs opening with Boris Johnson urging people to enjoy themselves. Doesn’t he realise that this will only encourage people to forget social distancing and the same for the FA Cup Final. What is more important Football or lives? That’s not to mention allowing Protest marches to take place. Sorry but we are governed by idiots and we deserve better than this.

Witzend Thu 02-Jul-20 19:21:00

On R4 earlier someone (I think Matthew Parris) was saying that countries that locked down early will have built up less herd immunity, and therefore, once they open up again many people will still be vulnerable, given that presumably the virus is not going away any time soon.
How true that is I don’t know, but it seems plausible.

So (his argument went) it will all even out eventually - we won’t know the outcomes of various countries’ strategies until we think it’s more or less behind us.

GGumteenth Thu 02-Jul-20 20:17:20

Witzend

On R4 earlier someone (I think Matthew Parris) was saying that countries that locked down early will have built up less herd immunity, and therefore, once they open up again many people will still be vulnerable, given that presumably the virus is not going away any time soon.
How true that is I don’t know, but it seems plausible.

So (his argument went) it will all even out eventually - we won’t know the outcomes of various countries’ strategies until we think it’s more or less behind us.

I can't believe anyone is still spinning this herd immunity idea.

1) We still have no proof that getting it give you immunity.
2) Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic.
3) Allowing it to run rampant like that would mean the NHS would be quickly overwhelmed.
4) This amount of infection could also lead to serious complications and millions of deaths, especially among older people and those who have chronic conditions.

I hope it wasn't Matthew Paris as he is capable of talking sense at times but then, you never know. It sounds like a poor protection of the Conservative party to me.

suziewoozie Thu 02-Jul-20 20:21:00

I missed the bit where Matthew Parris qualified as an epidemiologist.

suziewoozie Thu 02-Jul-20 20:21:52

It was him GGum

EllanVannin Thu 02-Jul-20 20:29:11

Considering the pandemic started earlier than is published, like December last year ( at least ) it would have been difficult to have had a lockdown during and from the Christmas period, with people flying hither and thither to join families for the festive season.

The pandemic began amongst crowds of people---shops/ flights/ trains/ . It takes crowds of people to infect each other and it spreads like wildfire.

I believe the scientists got it wrong when they estimated that it began in March-----it had a stronghold by then which meant that it began a lot earlier.

Callistemon Thu 02-Jul-20 20:31:38

Yes, it was Matthew Parris on The World at One.
Followed by a scientist who is a lockdown sceptic and a Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford Uniersity, sorry I forget his name.

I do wonder if this virus has been with us for longer than we know and more people may have had it and developed antibodies. Without more testing we will not know.
However, it is not known if antibodies would guarantee immunity anyway.

Callistemon Thu 02-Jul-20 20:32:58

X posts with suzie and Ellan.
I am rather a slow typist.

suziewoozie Thu 02-Jul-20 20:42:01

Call the ONS have been doing surveillance surveys on COVID ( as they do for the flu every year) including antibody testing. In common with other countries, we seem to have a rate of 7% outside London. Sweden is similar ( outside Stockholm) I’ll see if I can f8nd a link. There’s lots of other research also happening re % with antibodies

Callistemon Thu 02-Jul-20 20:44:07

Thanks suzie