Notice for readers

Due to certain technical and other issues (unrelated to the blog) the next article may not appear until March 16

10 thoughts on “Notice for readers

  1. Brychan

    As we eagerly await Jac’s new post, may I kick things off with this comment. Besides to downright fake and alarmist, there appears to be some contradictory advice from various organisations relating to Covid-19. Within the British Isles there appears to be three different public health public health policies.

    (a) Ireland including the northern counties,
    (b) Scotland, and
    (c) England – Wales follows England.

    It is important to note that the BBC is just a mouthpiece for Public Health England. So here is the advise from a far superior health provision.

    There are important features in dealing with the outbreak that, alas, does not exist in Wales.

    (a) A Communicable Diseases Act.

    This deals with issues such as quarantine and public gathering, but it also defines what arrangements are being made for schools, workplaces, hospitals and care homes. For example, in workplaces where there is a large number of employees off sick, there is modification to contracts of employment that introduce temporary compulsory overtime for those that are not, as well as automatic sick payments. For hospitals, there is no mass cancellation of ‘routine surgery’ as that is causes the problem of other health conditions escalation from ‘routine’ to ‘severe’, which would cause future mortality. Lockdowns, which affect schools has a rolling application based on ‘zone’, see below. Care homes become ‘sterile’ zones.

    (b) Report and dealing the infection by ‘zone’ according to municipal authority.

    Spreading is not uniform, so it’s possible that some municipal authorities will be at the beginning of the curve, some at peak, some at the tail of the curve. The public health agency defines the zones, and zones depend on population density. There is no reporting of ‘national cases’ as that statistic is of no value, for two reasons. Firstly that most cases are mild and go un-reported, and secondly there will be a growing proportion of confirmed cases where recovery has resulted in passing the infectious stage.

    (c) Prepping those of high risk to prevent mortality.

    People don’t die of Covid-19. The cause of death is by pre existing or other acquired illness, usually associated with old age or depressed immune system, or a flare of otherwise benign affliction. This leads to bacterial or cardio-vascular conditions becoming critical as the immune system fights off the virus. For this reason the health authority concentrates on isolating such existing patients, replacing conservative management of such patients in favour of direct pro-active intervention. If they do catch it, then they are most able to survive.

    There is only one public health authority in the United Kingdom that approximates the Scandinavian approach. It is here.

    Vaughn Gething AM, our heath minister has not taken advice from other more effective countries. He’s just being the echo, or lapdog puppy of London.

    Herd Immunity.

    This depends on the vector of transmission (in this case coughs and sneezes), the size and density of the herd (cities different from rural or provincial areas), and the shedding period (proportion of the population who have mild symptoms but are still infectious). The concept of herd immunity is best described here.

    The error of this video is that the big bucket does not exist. A host population of humans is diverse, both geographically and lifestyle. It may be a valid experiment for London, which has dense population and a saturated public transportation system, but for other regions of England, and of course Wales, it’s not meaningful, which is why vector policy in Scotland and Sweden depends on municipality.

    The most dangerous people in Wales at the moment is teenagers.

    They are most able to develop immunity, will be super-shedders, and most geographically promiscuous. They are also least like to develop visible symptoms. Or suffer any medical complications. Close a school in the middle of Cardiff and you have groups of hundreds of teenagers in Roath Park, on the busses, and thousands in the shopping centres. Close a school in Tywyn and you’ll have three teenagers and a dog having crafty fag in the shelter on the prom, and maybe a couple helping out on the farm.

    This is why Sweden and Scotland have municipal based vector policy. Boris is basing his calculations on London (young mass-herd population at low risk) and trying to force the rest of the United Kingdom to this model. It’s old people in Wales that will die, not young professionals with an Oyster card.

    I suggest effective methods of vector suppression in Wales is to ..

    (a) ban use of the holiday homes,
    (b) having a rolling school closure policy in rural areas (like Ireland),
    (c) lockdown the student apartment buildings in Cardiff and Swansea and
    (d) remove travel concessions from teenagers.

    If you cannot wash you hands in Carmarthenshire, just plunge your hands into those buckets of disinfectant at the farm gate. It kills viruses as well as the bTB bacteria. We need no advice from Boris in London about herd immunity. We need to identify Covid-19 hotspots and perturbation boundaries before plumping for a ‘herd immunity’ regime.

    1. Stan

      Lots of interesting looking material there, Brychan. Thank you. I’ll check out the links when I’ve more time later.

      A website I’ve been using almost daily is the one for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. I see it’s referred to in the Swedish link you provided. This site gives a daily update on the European and world Corvid-19 situation as well as having some excellent papers about coronaviruses and public health. I highly recommend it.

      I honestly don’t know if the UK is doing the right thing but it looks certain now that far more stringent measures, maybe more in keeping with those seen in China and Italy, will be with us in days rather than weeks. Only time will tell which if any is better in terms of keeping the body count lower. We look to governments for an effective disease prevention strategy but fundamentally, I think, it’s up to each and everyone of us to look after ourselves and our families and friends and neighbours, possibly in that order. I believe the biggest impact we can have in getting this under control is by our own personal behaviour, limiting our exposure to the virus wherever possible, and as we are all potential spreaders, taking action to limit going out in public places. So no need for whole bloody families, mam, dad and four kids to be hauling themselves around Tesco, filling the store with 3 or 4 times as many potential virus carriers as needed. Or include members of the family in a shopping expedition who are coughing and sneezing and clearly unwell. I saw for myself such behaviour this morning in a local store. Rant over. Stay safe.

  2. David Smith

    No worries. At the risk of sounding like some sort of “You want it, I got it!” Spiv much like some of the chancers you report on here, I did used to work for a scientific stock photography company in London, Science Photo Library. If any pics might be of geological, ecological or other Earth Science-y interest it may be worth getting in touch with them?

      1. David Smith

        As an IT professional I’d be happy to share some pointers and the like if I’m able to assist?

        1. Thanks for the offer, David. As I explained in the reply to Wrexhamian, the problem was trying to transfer thousands of e-mails from Incredimnail to Thunderbird. It’s done now. I just need to tidy things up – mark them as read, lay things out the way I like them – and generally familiarise myself with Thunderbird.

          Now I can get back to launching the local photo archive online. Partly to make it available to a wider audience than before, and also to make some money by allowing people around the world to buy and download images. But before I can lay my sweaty paws on the funding we’ve been promised I must sort things out with Companies House and the bank.

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