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Discussion: So

in: BrandNewMe; BrandNewMe > 2021-02-16

Feb 16, 2021 10:23 PM # 
Big Jon:
you'd rather get the death rate 10 times as high and the hospitals totally over-run?
Feb 16, 2021 10:26 PM # 
We had 10 cases August - Christmas in a high school of 1500, so absolutely!
Feb 16, 2021 10:28 PM # 
Have you seen this? Have you seen how rare getting ill actually is. I was v surprised indeed. I mean masks, social distancing etc but I know so many depressed kids just now. Edinburgh council area is tiny. They are so bored.
Feb 16, 2021 11:14 PM # 
Big Jon:
Do you know anyone who works in ICU units for NHS Scotland? I'm sure they wouldn't be happy to have a let-up on the current restrictions.
The fact is The UK (English) government has been far too lax from the start and has dragged the devolved administrations along with it by exporting infections. No surprise that Northern Ireland has the lowest death rate - no land border with the rest of the UK.
In early August Scotland had no deaths for weeks on end, then holidays happened and cross border travel. By September 80% of Scottish infections were a Spanish variant. Since then we've struggled to control things and new variants have increased infection rates. Until the infection rate is close to zero there is no point opening up society, or else we'll just get soaring rates again and have to cut down for harder for longer. I'm hoping the English border is properly policed soon to avoid importing infection, otherwise we'll continue to get an inflow from the south that will keep rates higher than they need to be.
Look at New Zealand - 26 deaths... as opposed to Scotland's 6700. Because they shut borders and clamped down hard early enough.
Feb 17, 2021 6:08 AM # 
Yes. I am in a bubble with a dermatologist who is working the COVID wards on the back of medicine she last studied 20 years ago. She wants schools reopened too though as she sees how much damage is being done to kids and how few cases were in her kids primary school - approx 600 kids, no cases whatsoever August to Christmas. It’s just not a thing in our schools at all. Whereas it was totally rampant in the uni. Keep the uni online, but not schools. Compare the number of cases with the online provision. Our online schooling is dire. Lucy is done within 30 mins every day. The school just don’t ever give work remotely hard enough. Laurence gets one 40 min lesson a day. Edinburgh education department props up the bottom of the home schooling provision. Nothing is being learnt at all, the schools are just killing time.
Feb 17, 2021 9:05 AM # 
I’m definitely with you on schools. At the end of the day, Covid is a bit like Brexit in that it shafts the young in favour of the old - that balance has tipped too far in my opinion.
Feb 17, 2021 9:15 AM # 
Some of my students haven't left their homes since last March because they are shielding, or live with someone who is. I've been really worried about some of them...we've called in our student counselling service several times but they're totally overwhelmed. Our 1st Year students have never met each other (or us). Meanwhile schools were open throughout the autumn and kids have been able to mix outdoors most of the time.

I could go on a much longer rant about this, but Covid isn't a conspiracy against parents and children. Other groups are having an equally shitty time and making a hell of a lot less noise about it. Sorry if saying this makes me unpopular. Hope your lot get back in school soon.
Feb 17, 2021 11:59 AM # 
Alex got it at school last March and passed it on to us. Two kids in his class tested positive last week so all the key worker children are now quarantining for half term...
Feb 17, 2021 4:51 PM # 
Its odd isn't it, how it has spread through some schools and not touched others. Our schools just do not seem to be a vector for it. Our little strip of Edinburgh had the highest infection rate in September, but that was as it includes Pollock Halls. Still no cases in their primary school 300m from the entrance. My son and most of his mates have given up even trying in most subjects. I sit next to him and make him do science and maths, but its all so uninspiring and they just see no end and no point. I think schools opening is a quick win. They could open them and close them for a fortnight if they have any infections. Some hope for the kids would be better than no hope.

I know there are others in much worse situations. I think the shielding, those who live alone and those who work in hospitality must have it tough. And students that are made to pay for uni accommodation they can't use. And getting a degree from their childhood bedroom. And those leaving uni trying to get jobs in the current situation. CAMHS in Edinburgh had a waiting list of over 15 months before the pandemic so to receive a child mental health service you had to go private. Now they are going through the waiting list trying to weed yet more kids out. It is not a good situation at all.
Feb 17, 2021 8:21 PM # 
Sounds like you're seriously missing having a Peter/Rona about. Couldn't you find someone else?
Feb 17, 2021 8:47 PM # 
Well we could but we don’t invite others into our house cause we don’t want to spread unnecessary infection or catch it. We stick to the rules pretty rigidly. We rarely drive anywhere unnecessarily, we don’t use public transport, we haven’t been in anyone’s houses except our bubble with Megan since the summer, Bertie has been held by less than 10 people in his entire 9 month life. If I think about when I have broken the rules recently we were xc skiing with a whole family of friends last week as the alternative was the mums met up with the under 12 daughters, and the boys met up and the dads met up in 3 separate groups but that’s just a nuts rule. And I tend to take the kids when I go anywhere which includes shops as they are so bored and miserable I don’t want to leave them by themselves. But schools are an absolutely necessary risk - to close them when transmissions have been so low is wrong.
Feb 17, 2021 8:56 PM # 
Apologies for butting in and adding to an already bloated thread but the whole COVID lockdown thing is something that I feel quite strongly about and thought I'd help people potentially make up their minds on the whole thing a little better with some facts you'll not come across in the media.

Bottom line is that the argument for lockdown is incredibly over sighted. This professor from ed uni has done some good work on the stats and has referenced what are basically as well accepted economic studies as your going to find. The upshot is that even if the whole population contracted COVID and the death rate was a worst case ~ 0.5% which is buffed massively to assume more people die due to lack of adequate care ( actually currently ~ 0.2-0.25%) . Even in this scenario the number of deaths from COVID wouldn’t even reach half the deaths caused by the economic impact of lockdowns. What’s more, because the average COVID death age in UK is 82 and many of these even have further underlying health conditions, a worst case number of life years lost estimate is approx. 2.5 years. This cant be said for the people who will die due to the economic impacts, many will even be children. Now you can, if you are willing to do the maths from demographic data, as I did, calculate that this means the economic impact OF LOCKDOWNS is likely to result in somewhere in the region of 50x more life years lost than a WORST CASE COVID scenario. That sound like an unbelievable number but If you flick through that professor’s page you will see he came to a very similar conclusion backed by hard data.

This is all before we even touch on the extra educational damage caused by lockdowns, or even the mental health impact, doesn’t help that we can’t tell that because SNP refuse to release suicide data early for this year, I wonder why ?
Now this does obviously mean that for a period we would have to turn many people away from hospitals to essentially die at home from COVID (which is rough admittedly) but given the difference in the region of 50x more life years lost, not to mention the full life of poverty millions more will have to endure due to these restrictions, I would say it’s a hard call that should have been made.

Sadly you won’t see any of that on the news. The lesson, Its easier to scare middle class old people in to fearing for their own life than it is to make them care about some poor bugger who’s just lost their job and cant feed their kids any more.
Feb 18, 2021 4:32 PM # 
Interesting thread but some questionable interpretation of stats (to say the least) – would take a very long response to completely refute them but worth noting a) covid has already killed nearly 0.2% of the population, so the death rate if everyone got it (even if NHS wasn’t overwhelmed) would be rather more than 0.5% and b) the “economic” deaths implied by the Marmot review reflect inequality and deprivation, not the direct impacts of the 2008-9 economic downturn (although they were undoubtedly increased by the austerity policies subsequently imposed).
Whether or not closing schools is the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus is a different question - maybe it’ll never be entirely clear which measures worked best – but seems that we’re largely where we are because of all the mixing and particularly the overseas and domestic (most of the 2nd house owners around here seem to come from Scotland rather than abroad) travel when things relaxed previously.
Full disclosure: no school-age offspring anymore but my partner has two teenagers not being well-served by online teaching and they are all desperate for a return to normal schooling. On the other hand I’d be completely fucked if I caught it so am (selfishly) quite keen on restrictions – although being old with a PEHC I guess I should just get used to being expendable :-)
Feb 18, 2021 5:40 PM # 
+1, jayh. And you are most definitely NOT expendable!
Feb 18, 2021 9:23 PM # 
All lockdowns are not equal. Take China for example, their GDP actually grew in 2020, albeit slower than in previous years. There are other examples too, in less totalitarian countries. You don't need a theorectical study any longer to see the success or otherwise of different lockdown strategies. Even with hindsight, I doubt we'll know what the correct strategy was for each country.
Feb 18, 2021 9:40 PM # 
To me SNP lost all lockdown credibility when John Swinney said in August that we were going to do a year of 'blended learning'. In Edinburgh this would have been a day a week in school for our kids, with an extra day every 3rd week. Halve the productivity of every working parent and make every child in the country miserable for a full year. Totally tone deaf to the strain school closures were putting on parents and families, and the damage having to home school was doing to the economy. And also when the first thing Nicola opened up was golf and bowling. What even is bowling, Lucy wondered (we live opposite a bowling green!)? What kids do that?

You can't just listen to Health Advisors and their fantasy of zero covid, you have to weigh up every decision against the damage those decisions are doing to the economy and mental health of the nation, and there is no sign of the scottish government doing that.
Feb 18, 2021 9:41 PM # 
World Masters is going to be lovely next year Jon. Got to get your body fixed in time for it. Italian hilltop village, lots of little passages...
Feb 18, 2021 9:43 PM # 
Big Jon:
There's an old Scottish saying:
There's nae remeid for deid...
Economies can be mended, educations regained but lives lost are lost forever.
Feb 19, 2021 2:08 PM # 
But blended learning never happened, which kind of disproves the idea that they are only listening to health advisors.
Agree that kids need to be back in school and think that infection rates should now allow it to haappen much much faster than is being proposed
Feb 19, 2021 7:51 PM # 
Every single parent I know in Scotland wrote an apoplectic email to every politician they could think of, and every parent council in Edinburgh banded together to give one big message of f-off to the council. They seem to have got the message.

And now the government seem to be making out that they can’t open primary schools more as parents will use their new found freedom to socialise. It’s like they have never heard of the concept of working parents. If you open schools again it would mean that I wouldn’t have to work from 6am - 1pm then entertain kids until 8pm when I do a few more hours work. I won’t be off to coffee shops.!
Feb 19, 2021 10:40 PM # 
Not saying it's been well-managed but find it hard to believe that any other party / administration would have done much better: Boris has more kids than he can count but it's still a shambles S of the border :-) And the politicians don't have complete control anyway - up here the schools were already shutting before the first lockdown was announced because they didn't have enough teachers turning up...

yes: WMOC 2022 looks great and definitely a target - hoping to be vaguely mobile again by then!

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