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Scaremongering or Not, Corona Virus = Nae Killie

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Just now, Lroy said:

We had around 20 out of ~2500 in today. (2 sites)

I ended up going around delivering free school meals to disadvantaged kids in the school minibus. Seen nothing like it, parents off their faces, arms covered in needle marks, houses stinking of s**t. You don't know how lucky you are until you see that. A learning experience for sure.

Good on you mate and people who slag off teachers should respect the profession they do

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3 minutes ago, skygod said:

There is a defined list of essential occupations. 

It includes utilities, sewerage, food production and retail, banks and post offices, health services etc - everything you would expect. 

Plus journalists. 

 

Jornalists that should not include that Daily Mail Rag

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1 hour ago, Beaker71 said:

I cannot agree that we were watching the same announcement.  What bit of you will not leave your house apart from 1 bout or exercise, to shop for food or medicine and as infrequent as possible, or for treatment or to go to essential work and only where that cannot be done from home, do you see as being the same as what we had yesterday?

To be fair to you n RAG, Beaker, I'm no way an expert on this but just watching views on BBC, maybe I interpreted the announcement more cynically as I should because I hate the twat of a man. Saor Alba. 

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UK sports retailer Sports Direct says it will stay open despite the guidance announced by the government.

Its rationale was set out by finance chief Chris Wootton in an email sent to the Press Association news agency: "We stock a huge range of sports equipment designed for exercising at home... indeed home fitness is the number one trending topic on social media after coronavirus itself.

"Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open where possible to allow us to do this (in accordance with the Government's current social distancing guidance)."

 

Presumably you can't buy the equipment online, oh wait. 

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2 hours ago, killie1961 said:

Not many key workers kids going to school sending teachers home

Apparently not all schools are staying open ... they are going to send several schools to the one site.

I've heard Grange pupils are going to Gargieston whilst Annanhill kids (who share the Grange Campus) are being sent to Bellfield.

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My mate's girlfriend has been told to go to work as normal because she works in the food supply industry.... she does accounts for a company that supplies cattle feed amongst other farm related products and services.

 

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Interesting wee article I found..

10 Days That Changed Britain: "Heated" Debate Between Scientists Forced Boris Johnson To Act On Coronavirus

Buzzfeed reports on  March 21, 2020, at 8:57 a.m.

It was on Wednesday, March 11 — 10 days ago — that some of the experts on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies began to realise that the coronavirus was spreading through the UK too fast for the NHS to cope.  Over the next few days, Britain’s leading epidemiologists were embroiled in a series of extremely tense — and until now private — discussions among themselves, with the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, and Boris Johnson’s government over what to do.  There was no consensus. Several of the scientists frantically argued that the UK must immediately introduce social distancing to halt the spread of the virus. Some pleaded with the government to change tack or face dire consequences.  But others continued to believe that introducing social distancing now would be unsustainable for a long period and would lead to a more disastrous second wave of infection.  The dayslong debate between the experts themselves and with the government was “heated” and “extremely difficult”, multiple sources familiar with the discussions told BuzzFeed News. Vallance admitted as much at a health select committee hearing this week: “If you think SAGE is a cosy consensus of agreeing, you're very wrong indeed”.  The extent of the disagreement between the nation’s top scientists and the government can be revealed at the end of one of the most extraordinary weeks in modern British history.  

As chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled an unprecedented package of state intervention in the economy, and Johnson enforced the closure of pubs, restaurants, theatres and gyms, it also emerged that: Ministers have criticised the prime minister's senior aides for “outsourcing” leadership on the coronavirus to a small group of experts; Downing Street is still considering a partial lockdown of London in the coming weeks; and cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill introduced a series of new Whitehall structures after concerns that the government was acting too slowly on both its health advice and its economic response.  While the scientific debate was raging last week between experts, officials, and ministers in face-to-face meetings and over emails and text messages, Johnson’s government was publicly insisting that the scientific advice showed the UK did not yet have to bring in more stringent measures to fight the virus.

Political aides tacitly criticised other countries who had taken more dramatic steps, claiming Britain was being “guided by the science” rather than politics.  Towards the end of last week, some ministers and political aides at the top of the government were still arguing that the original strategy of home isolation of suspect cases — but no real restrictions on wider society — was correct, despite almost every other European country taking a much tougher approach, and increasing alarm among SAGE experts.  The thought of months or even a year of social distancing was simply not feasible, some in Johnson’s team still thought at that point. They continued to privately defend the controversial “herd immunity” approach outlined to the media by Vallance, even as other aides scrambled to claim the UK had never considered it to be policy.  And there was fury behind the scenes among members of Johnson’s team at the likes of Rory Stewart and Jeremy Hunt, who had been publicly saying the government had got it wrong.  But data from Italy — presented to the government before it was published by experts at Imperial College on Monday — changed all that. Their report confirmed the earlier fears of the epidemiologists who had been calling for more drastic action.  It showed that the NHS would indeed soon be overwhelmed if the UK’s “mitigation” strategy continued. The country had to move right away to a “suppression” approach with much more social distancing and restrictions on normal life, Imperial concluded.  Vallance and Johnson accepted the chilling findings and the prime minister finally advised social distancing on Monday. The experts who had been demanding this for days wondered what the lost time would mean in terms of deaths.  They also raised concerns that the government must be completely transparent with the public, questioning why Vallance later chose to describe the difference between the mitigation and suppression strategies as “semantics”. “This will all come out in the mother of public inquiries,” a source said.  "If you want to know how much we underestimated this, last Wednesday Rishi's budget gave a £30 billion stimulus for the economy, six days later he had to spend another £330 billion," said a Whitehall official.  Allies of Johnson strongly defended his performance over the last two weeks to BuzzFeed News. They said no British government since the Second World War had been forced to deal with a crisis on this scale, and stressed that both the volume of decisions that had to be taken and the enormity of those decisions meant that they could not get everything right straight away.  Johnson’s own personal views on the role of the state have also been a major factor, according to those familiar with his thinking. The prime minister has held deep ideological reservations about turning Britain into an effective police state, as some other countries have done. On Wednesday, Johnson told a press conference that the UK was a “land of liberty”, but warned he would take further measures to enforce social distancing if necessary.  A lockdown at least in part reminiscent of what has happened in Italy and France is still being considered at the top of government if the situation worsens in the weeks ahead, despite Downing Street denying that it would happen. “This will be the hardest decision he will ever make,” a source said of the PM.  While the crisis that Johnson faces is undoubtedly unprecedented, there is significant criticism of Number 10’s handling of the situation across the government and the Conservative Party.  Chief among them is the view — expressed by several ministers and Tory MPs to BuzzFeed News over the last few days — that Johnson and his chief aide Dominic Cummings have effectively “outsourced” the government’s decision-making process to Vallance, the chief medical officer Chris Whitty, and a small team of scientific advisers.  While Downing Street’s deference to the experts won plaudits early on, this approach has turned out to be lacking, the ministers and MPs said, because the scientists themselves disagreed on what to do. One minister said that it was then the political responsibility of Johnson and Number 10 to decide which scientists to back, but described a “vacuum of leadership” among aides.The minister told BuzzFeed News that Cummings and Vallance were “close allies” and claimed the government had “bet” the future of the UK on advice from a very small group of scientists that for a long time differed from the wider international consensus, and other members of SAGE.  They said they had been reassured that Sedwill had taken on a greater role in setting up new structures to manage the crisis over the last few days.  On Tuesday, the cabinet secretary established four implementation committees — chaired by Sunak, health secretary Matt Hancock, foreign secretary Dominic Raab, and Michael Gove — to form a "war cabinet" that is providing greater political and civil service support to the experts and Number 10. Senior officials from across Whitehall have been drafted in by Sedwill to head up work on the coronavirus.  The new structures have begun to improve the government's response, insiders said, but there is a general belief that this should have happened days or even weeks earlier — and if it had, Johnson and Sunak would have been able to announce this week's health and economic measures sooner and in a more joined-up way.  One cabinet minister said that the culture instilled by Johnson’s Downing Street operation had not helped in terms of quickly and smoothly implementing radical policy changes, suggesting that the personal style of some aides had made it harder for issues to be raised internally.  Widespread disquiet at the slow pace of the government’s response to coronavirus blew into the open on Thursday, as Tory MP after Tory MP stood up in the House of Commons to lambast the Treasury for taking too long to announce safeguards for workers, businesses and those on benefits.  While French president Emmanuel Macron announced a full package to safeguard his economy largely in one go, it took Sunak five days to come up with Britain’s own response.  The government’s failure to announce a full suite of economic measures simultaneously to Johnson’s statement on social distancing on Monday, coupled with Sunak’s statement on Tuesday missing out measures on wages, as well as the further delay on that announcement to Friday, had likely led to thousands of layoffs across the country, the cabinet minister said.  Even the massive economic package for workers and businesses eventually delivered by Sunak on Friday is not complete. There is a growing Tory backbench rebellion on the lack of measures aimed at self-employed people. MPs expect Sunak to have to “go further” once again next week to protect the self-employed.  Despite the prime minister’s praise for Londoners, there is increasing concern in Downing Street the public is so far not heeding his advice to avoid unnecessary social gatherings.  It is believed that in particular, millennial men have been the worst offenders at failing to reduce their contact with other people, continuing to visit pubs, travel widely, and take part in other social events, despite being told that doing so risks the lives of the elderly and vulnerable.  On Wednesday, health minister and recent coronavirus sufferer Nadine Dorries blasted the "selfishness" of Londoners who have been failing to follow social distancing advice.  But there is also criticism within government of Downing Street’s messaging. While France and Italy used the law to enforce social distancing, and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison gave an impassioned speech telling people to stop hoarding, Johnson gave a press conference on Thursday where the cut-through message was one of optimism that coronavirus can be defeated, rather than a stern order about the nation’s behaviour. The length of time to announce measures has also inevitably resulted in widespread speculation about what is coming next, which in turn has led to increased panic-buying from some sections of the public. Some ministers want Johnson to deliver a starker warning to the country about how difficult life is about to become in the UK over the next few weeks.

“This is going to get much, much worse, very quickly, both in terms of deaths and the economy,” the cabinet minister said. “It will not be long before we are getting numbers like Italy. I don’t think people realise that yet.”

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12 hours ago, piffer said:

Have the Aussies stopped all sport in their own country yet. The AFL stopped yesterday but that was their decision.

Yep. Football season finished this morning. Was behind closed doors for the last 2 weeks.

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I thought my work would be put on emergency calls only but we were emailed by management last night saying we will be carrying on as normal. 

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Spoke to my mate in Amsterdam this morning.... they've been put in a similar lockdown to us for the until 1st June.

They are expecting some sort of rationing or controlled shopping procedure to be brought in ... I can see us doing the same.

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The full list of key workers is below:

 

Health and social care

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Paramedics
  • Social workers and care workers
  • Frontline health and social care staff (including volunteers).
  • Specialist staff required to maintain the health and social care sector
  • Workers part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

  • Nursery and teaching staff

  • Social workers
  • Specialist education professionals

Key public services

  • Essential justice system staff
  • Religious staff
  • Essential charity staff
  • Anyone responsible for managing the deceased
  • Journalists and broadcasters providing public service broadcasting

 

Local and national government

Occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms-length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

  • Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
  • Workers essential to the provision of other key goods (including hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

  • Police and support staff

  • MOD civilians and contractors

  • Military personnel considered critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Fire and rescue service employees and support staff

  • National Crime Agency staff

  • Staff maintaining border security

  • Prison and probation staff

  • Other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

  • Workers who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

  • Staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • Oil, gas, electricity and water sector (including sewerage) workers
  • Information technology and data infrastructure sector workers
  • Those crucial to primary industry supplies continuing during the COVID-19 response
  • Key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)
  • Postal services and delivery
  • Payments providers
  • Waste disposal sectors

 

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3 minutes ago, skygod said:

 

  • MOD civilians and contractors

Where did you get the above list Skygod?

At present my employers are listing us as above presumably. They say they have had discussions with the authorities and have agreed such. That could change at any time.

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12 hours ago, Wrangodog said:

UK sports retailer Sports Direct says it will stay open despite the guidance announced by the government.

Its rationale was set out by finance chief Chris Wootton in an email sent to the Press Association news agency: "We stock a huge range of sports equipment designed for exercising at home... indeed home fitness is the number one trending topic on social media after coronavirus itself.

"Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open where possible to allow us to do this (in accordance with the Government's current social distancing guidance)."

 

Presumably you can't buy the equipment online, oh wait. 

I see they were forced to back down on this and will not open.

 

The government has now issued a list of which "essential" retailers are allowed to stay open. They include:

  • Supermarkets and other food shops
  • Pharmacies
  • Petrol stations
  • Newsagents
  • Bicycle shops
  • Home and hardware stores
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Garages
  • Pet shops
  • Post Offices
  • Banks

 

Bicycle shops seems a strange inclusion to me. (they are not open here).

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52011915

 

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Seems loads of folk casually ignoring orders. Most folk out at Tesco in Irvine today in twos plus. Whole family groups in some cases. 

We need to limit it it one person in unless its a patent with no other childcare. 

Shut ALL areas with non essential goods has ti be done as well. I realise I need to work here but we are not being protected. I can social distance but not when the whole toon decends on my work place many of them for no reason other than just because. 

Only a handful of people seem to be in any rush to get what they need and out. 

Utterly infuriating. 

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1 hour ago, gdevoy said:

At present my employers are listing us as above presumably. They say they have had discussions with the authorities and have agreed such. That could change at any time.

Finally obtained an official "non-essential" rating so I am offski. 

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I read an article from this guy in the Financial Times. He seems to suggest that research at Oxford University is suggesting that this virus has been in the UK for longer than we've known and that a much larger range of the population have been asymptomatic, or had a prolonged case of the sniffles or a cough closer to January and February time and simply put it down to a cold. The article then brings the question of herd immunity again, suggesting it might be possible but that antibody tests are pivotal to confirm or dissprove the research. 

Interesting, and I want to believe the report is correct but we'll need to wait and see. It still recommends social distancing at the current time to relieve the stress and pressures on the nhs but believes that restrictions may be able to be lifted a bit sooner than imagined. 

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20 hours ago, Lroy said:

Seen nothing like it, parents off their faces, arms covered in needle marks, houses stinking of s**t. You don't know how lucky you are until you see that. A learning experience for sure.

A career in social work beckons.

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15 minutes ago, Dieter's Heeder said:

I read an article from this guy in the Financial Times. He seems to suggest that research at Oxford University is suggesting that this virus has been in the UK for longer than we've known and that a much larger range of the population have been asymptomatic, or had a prolonged case of the sniffles or a cough closer to January and February time and simply put it down to a cold. The article then brings the question of herd immunity again, suggesting it might be possible but that antibody tests are pivotal to confirm or dissprove the research. 

Interesting, and I want to believe the report is correct but we'll need to wait and see. It still recommends social distancing at the current time to relieve the stress and pressures on the nhs but believes that restrictions may be able to be lifted a bit sooner than imagined. 

Without proper diagnostic testing, "experts" using  all the most sophisticated mathematical models in the world, is no better than studying the tea leaves.

Medicine at the best of times likes to run lean of testing because people don't like to be "poked at". This "stay at home and self isolate if you feel a sniffle" stuff is fine for well known illnesses but as this is completely new it is just plunging into an ocean of uncertainty about how widespread, infectious and deadly it is.   

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The obfuscation, prevarication and waffling by politicians about who should go to work and who should not is totally jaw dropping.

I wouldne trust them to choose the right sweetie oot a poke.

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4 minutes ago, gdevoy said:

This "stay at home and self isolate if you feel a sniffle" stuff is fine for well known illnesses but as this is completely new it is just plunging into an ocean of uncertainty about how widespread, infectious and deadly it is.   

I fell down a wikipedia hole one evening and was looking at the Black Death Plague. Apparently that's where they developed the concept and idea of quarantine - despite not knowing what the plague was at the time.  Seems to be a standard human societal  response trough the ages, quarantine the population when infectious diseases that can't be treated are kicking about.  We're no the first and sadly we'll no be the last..

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1 hour ago, virtuocity said:

A career in social work beckons.

I'll leave that to better people than me.

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There was a definitely a difference between Scotland and England and Wales with the virus. Perhaps it’s demographics but we’ve less than 7% cases and less than 3.5% deaths.

Not political but it needs looked at to see if there’s anything to help further curb the numbers of our neighbours being infected and losing their lives.  Their curve looks much more like Italy’s which is bloody scary and worrying.

perhaps it’s a mix of population concentration and also global transportation links.  Two of which we don’t really have in the same scale.  But then neither does Wales.

My thoughts are that the UK government have acted too late to stop the Italian like surge or cases in England and Wales,  and we may just be fortunate to kiss the exponential increase being seen in many countries on the continent and elsewhere on this island.

 

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