Coronavirus - how is it/has it affected you?

DRW

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There is a false dichotomy between getting medical control of the virus and maintaining the economy. The economy will not recover properly until this virus is properly controlled. That lesson was learned in the Spanish flu pandemic. US cities which locked down hard and fast recovered sooner and better than those that prevaricated. The US is seeing some of that repeating itself now in Texas and Arizona. Our current Test and Trace is pitifully inadequate, it won't control anything other than Serco's bottom line. The problem with further opening up is that incremental opening up can lead to exponential growth in disease. There is too large a reservoir of virus in the community at present. It isn't coming from returning holidaymakers, it has been circulating for months.

In my opinion, opening schools is safer than pubs and restaurants. Much as I would love to go back to football matches, public crowds like that could be disastrous.
Don't necessary disagree with what you are trying to say.

I didn't think most countries or states implemented full lockdown measures for Spanish flu in the main. When I read up about it, I remember some certainly shut certain premises, banned crowds etc and implementation stuff like social distancing, quite different to a lockdown in my eyes...… Lockdowns are an interesting matter and history will tell us how effective lockdowns are.

We have done most of the stuff that was done for Spanish flu(to late perhaps, I don't disagree) and these have been tightened over time not loosen in thoery, unless people choose to ignore them.

Also an important factor when comparing Spanish flu with Covid, is that the death rate was higher with Spanish flu and it killed all ages(think there was an bias towards working population age and below iirc), so basically all elements of society were much more at risk, with no known cross protection from previous flus with T cells or antibodies.(and medical science was much worse, ie the treatment of such cases was really dodgy!!). Lots going on.

All these factors are not true with Covid, we need to protect the venerable in particular(don't dispute other ages are affected, even when 'recovered' but).

There is the balance as we are trashing the economy, cancer treatment, younger peoples lives(so under say 55s) and everything else imho. People who haven't had the virus(or will never have the virus or people who have had the virus) are going to die from the decisions made. As you would be aware there are hundreds of thousands of early referrals for cancer screening that has not happened, that is not good news and plenty of people will die early. We are looking at probably 1-2 million people lost jobs now(lots still on furloughed) and the knock on effects of that, to health.

I'm not really looking backwards at what has happened in this post and what could have been done. Wwe need to learn but looking at the future with social distancing measures in place.

A fine balance between medical, money, life and death and I suppose freedoms should be thrown into the mix as well, lets hope for the sake of all of us, the world and governments get this approximately correct.

I do know some opinions on here, have far too much covid bias or anti-government bias.

All depressing.:(
 
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Are they not including the opening of schools as part of the limit.
I don't think so. It was Chris Whittey who said (at the PMs press conference last week) that the government had reached the “outer limit” of how far the lockdown could be eased. “The idea we can reopen everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong,”

I suppose there is ambiguity in that as schools are open (or they were). But I think the implication is that - yes - open schools - but if we do so then we'll have to close down something we have recently re-opened or we risk going over the tipping point.
 
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...What they should have done, and what was suggested at the time was to scale up PHE local tracing and draft in other health brokers with transferable skills, e.g. district nursing staff, public health doctors etc. Instead when it restarted it was given to Serco and Dido.
Indeed - I thought the point (and what I believe we were led to believe by the government) was to employ 18,000 individuals will skills and experience - preferably in something medical/clinical or with background delivering difficult news and supporting those contacted. That's why my Mrs applied (a retired BC clinical nurse specialist). But she wasn't asked for any form of interview, not required. Instead it seems that the majority employed are frankly no more than call centre agents reading from a script - with no real understanding of the virus - or the skills on delivering difficult news that can persuade those contacted of the importance of what they are being asked to do and to provide.

And what are the numbers? 218,000 contacts made over 8 weeks by 27,000 tracers. Now that's almost exactly one contact a week for each tracer. And we don't know whether a 'contact' is a phone call made - or actually someone spoken to - and whether the contacts are individuals or could include multiple calls to the same individual trying to get through. Who knows. But it is not great - no matter how much it is 'bigged' up.
 
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Ethan

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Indeed - I thought the point (and what I believe we were led to believe by the government) was to employ 18,000 individuals will skills and experience - preferably in something medical/clinical or with background delivering difficult news and supporting those contacted. That's why my Mrs applied (a retired BC clinical nurse specialist). But she wasn't asked for any form of interview, not required. Instead it seems that the majority employed are frankly no more than call centre agents reading from a script - with no real understanding of the virus - or the skills on delivering difficult news that can persuade those contacted of the importance of what they are being asked to provide.
This is the new world of employment. Minimising costs means low wages, little training and slavishly following the algorithm.
 

Ethan

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I don't think so. It was Chris Whittey who said (at the PMs press conference last week) that the government had reached the “outer limit” of how far the lockdown could be eased. “The idea we can reopen everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong,”

I suppose there is ambiguity in that as schools are open (or they were). But I think the implication is that - yes - open schools - but if we do so then we'll have to close down something we have recently re-opened or we risk going over the tipping point.
Whitty was saying that this is on the edge of getting out of control again and not to blame him when it does.
 
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This is the new world of employment. Minimising costs means low wages, little training and slavishly following the algorithm.
Indeed - when we looked on the NHS Professionals website we found that there were in fact two roles - one at £20/hr for the tracer role and curiously another that we weren't aware of for call handlers paid a rate of half that. We thought that the 18,000 were all to be the former. My understanding is that there are in fact about 7,000 of the former (skilled nurses/clinicians/practitioners etc) and 20,000 of the latter.

How does this relate to how did if affect me? Well - my Mrs didn't get a job :)
 

MetalMickie

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Indeed - I thought the point (and what I believe we were led to believe by the government) was to employ 18,000 individuals will skills and experience - preferably in something medical/clinical or with background delivering difficult news and supporting those contacted. That's why my Mrs applied (a retired BC clinical nurse specialist). But she wasn't asked for any form of interview, not required. Instead it seems that the majority employed are frankly no more than call centre agents reading from a script - with no real understanding of the virus - or the skills on delivering difficult news that can persuade those contacted of the importance of what they are being asked to do and to provide.

And what are the numbers? 218,000 contacts made over 8 weeks by 27,000 tracers. Now that's almost exactly one contact a week for each tracer. And we don't know whether a 'contact' is a phone call made - or actually someone spoken to - and whether the contacts are individuals or could include multiple calls to the same individual trying to get through. Who knows. But it is not great - no matter how much it is 'bigged' up.
Why would the system need anything other than a call centre approach?

And who was led to believe that nursing professionals were to be employed?

Who are all these professionals with an "understanding of the virus"? After all we have been told often enough that this is a new and evolving illness and has puzzled many of the experts.
 

Ethan

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Why would the system need anything other than a call centre approach?

And who was led to believe that nursing professionals were to be employed?

Who are all these professionals with an "understanding of the virus"? After all we have been told often enough that this is a new and evolving illness and has puzzled many of the experts.
Because people don't respond well to call centre algorithm and scripted anonymous people, obviously, and it is possible to find people at ground level you can't reach on the phone.

There is plenty of understanding of how contact tracing works and how transmission happens in populations. You don't have to sequence the virus's genome to do it effectively. Other countries have done it the old fashioned way and done it much better than the UK.

And of the people traced during the first few weeks of the NHS Track and Trace system, more than 80% were traced by local PHE staff at barely no extra cost to normal. The Track and Trace system is massively expensive and not worth a fraction of it.
 

MetalMickie

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Because people don't respond well to call centre algorithm and scripted anonymous people, obviously, and it is possible to find people at ground level you can't reach on the phone.

There is plenty of understanding of how contact tracing works and how transmission happens in populations. You don't have to sequence the virus's genome to do it effectively. Other countries have done it the old fashioned way and done it much better than the UK.

And of the people traced during the first few weeks of the NHS Track and Trace system, more than 80% were traced by local PHE staff at barely no extra cost to normal. The Track and Trace system is massively expensive and not worth a fraction of it.
So did we need to recruit additional staff and, if so, do those recruited need specific medical skills as appears to be suggested by SilH?
 

chellie

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So did we need to recruit additional staff and, if so, do those recruited need specific medical skills as appears to be suggested by SilH?
I think they were recruited as it was expected that loads would be needed. Sital is the call centre company. Think I might have posted the link for SiLHs son.
 

Ethan

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So did we need to recruit additional staff and, if so, do those recruited need specific medical skills as appears to be suggested by SilH?
We needed to allow existing tracing staff to do their jobs with modest increases in staff but mostly short term additional support drafted in from other locals in the NHS and community temporarily not doing their usual daytime job. The specific medical skills needed are not virology but public health and communications skills. A retired nurse may be ideal.
 

MetalMickie

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We needed to allow existing tracing staff to do their jobs with modest increases in staff but mostly short term additional support drafted in from other locals in the NHS and community temporarily not doing their usual daytime job. The specific medical skills needed are not virology but public health and communications skills. A retired nurse may be ideal.
Your last point is definitely one of experience as I am afraid that throughout my life and contact as a patient and a patient's relative the one skill that I have consistently found missing from many in the nursing profession is the ability to communicate.

Perhaps I have been singularly unfortunate.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Your last point is definitely one of experience as I am afraid that throughout my life and contact as a patient and a patient's relative the one skill that I have consistently found missing from many in the nursing profession is the ability to communicate.

Perhaps I have been singularly unfortunate.
Communication is a skill and like any other some are better than other and although it should improve with experience sadly that isn't always the case
 

Doon frae Troon

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Update from No 10.

When I said Covid19 will be all over by Christmas I did not state which year.

When I said everyone in England would be only 30 minutes away from their nearest Covid Test Centre I assumed that everyone could afford to hire a helicopter.
 
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I didn’t realise until this evening that management of the test and trace programmes of Scotland, NI and Wales have effectively been kept ‘in-house’ In their respective NHS organisations, whilst that of England has been contracted out - to Serco.

But going back to when Recruitment for test and trace was launched, I am sure the implication was that 18,000 skilled communicators or with relevant other experience (or something like that) would be employed. I don’t think I expected 75% of the workforce to be call centre agents working off a script - and we now hear only making one contact a week over the last 8 weeks - some only making one over longer than a week. Anyway - it’s what it is...
 
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MetalMickie

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Communication is a skill and like any other some are better than other and although it should improve with experience sadly that isn't always the case
True.

I think my concern was the assumption that a retired nurse might be expected to automatically have that skill.

As you say some might and others might not.
 
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