In the last couple of days I’ve seen three polls asking about government handling of the Coronavirus. There was a short Yougov poll shared between Sky and the Times on Friday (here), a much longer YouGov poll in today’s Sunday Times (here), and an Opinium poll for this morning’s Observer (here).

I should start by saying a little to what extent public opinion matters at all on a topic like this. In judging what the correct approach is, public opinion obviously weighs little if at all compared to the opinion of experts in epidemiology. However polls are not about finding the correct answer, they are about measuring what the public think, whether that is right or wrong, wise or foolish, and on other levels this does matter. We know the government are keen to stress they are following the scientific advice, but would they be blown off that course if there was widespread public dissatisfaction? We don’t know. Perhaps more importantly, many of the actions the government will take in the months ahead will depend upon the public’s willingness to get on board and follow their instructions, so public confidence in the government’s actions really will matter.

On the topline the majority of people approve of the government’s performance:

  • in the YouGov/Times/Sky poll 55% said the government was handling it well, 31% badly.
  • In the YouGov/Sunday Times poll 53% say they have a confidence in the governments handling, 40% do not.
  • In the Opinium/Observer poll 44% approved of the government’s reaction, 30% disapproved.

Overall these are positive findings. However there is a caveat. Asked about the amount the govt have done to respond the YouGov/Sunday Times polls dound 47% think have done too little, compared to 4% too much and 39% about right. Using a differently worded question Opinium found a similar breakdown of opinion (12% over-reacting, 41% under-reacting, 41% about right). In other words, while the public support the governments handling so far, there is some feeling they should now be going further (though given the government have been explicit that they will be introducing more stringent measures in future weeks it’s probably a good sign that there is public appetite for it… it would be far trickier if the public thought the government were over-reacting).

It’s also worth noting that Opinium found that only 36% of people trusted what Boris Johnson personally said on the issue of the coronavirus, a less positive figure than the government as a whole (in contrast 59% of people said they trusted Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Advisor – suggesting the government’s strategy of regularly flanking Johnson with Whitty and Patrick Vallance at press conferences may be a wise one).

Asked about specific changes that could be introduced there seems to be widespread support for a wide variety of measures. The YouGov/Sunday Times poll found majority support for a state of emergency, for travel bans, for food rationing, for cancelling large events. Opinium found similar. Asked about closing schools (perhaps the topic that has been discussed the most over the last week), Opinium found 44% of people in favour, 26% opposed – plurality support, but not the overwhelming backing they found for some other measures.


4,675 Responses to “YouGov and Opinium polls on the government’s handling of the Coronavirus”

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  1. @RobbieAlive

    “Don’t Mock Majorca!”

    What? Where was anybody doing that?

    I’ve done the package holiday thing with the kids but we fell in the love with the place whilst doing so. My wife and I have returned may times since for slightly different holidays and Palma is one of my favourite cities on the planet. Once, in the very small hours, in a wine bar in the city, with a band playing mainly English/American music, I was dragged on stage to participate in a horrendous version of Hey Jude. The bar rapidly emptied as we did so, but it was very late! Once stayed in Santuari de Lluc, an old monastery high up in the mountains on the west coast. Love Soller too. No, you;ll get no mockery of Majorca from me. Beautiful place.

    @Hugo

    See you in Clacton later this summer! The spiritual home of UKIP and Brexit! :-)

    @Neil A

    “I particularly love Germany. Very underrated tourist destination in my opinion. Copenhagen is also fantastic.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Bavaria utterly beautiful.

    End of Alan Whicker-esque tales from me.

  2. JIB

    Are Labour voting septuagenarians immune ?

    How ?

  3. JIB

    Are Labour voting septuagenarians immune ?

    How ?

  4. @ Colin

    I completely agree with your post on lockdown. I also think that as fatigue starts to set in among some people, the press is being irresponsible is raising this as a possibility in the not too distant future.

    The government would be sensible to knock this on head like Sturgeon has said and tell them “not a chance mate” even if officially there has to be a review after 3 weeks. Probably helpful also for the scientific advisors to give some forward guidance such as “not expected to happen until we reach 100 new cases a day subject to other considerations”.

    The reason is obvious- if people start breaking the rules now then the lockdown has been for nothing so they need to know in no uncertain terms they can’t jump the gun on something that is most likely a few weeks away still.

  5. @Danny
    ‘The official stats are nonsense and reflect the number of tests done, not the number of cases. The kings 2 million repondend poll has cases fallen from 1.9 to 1.4 million from 1-8 April. With more fall expected. Falls in deaths havnt worked through yet, but we are under the capacity in intensive care already.’

    The Kings study is not meant in any way to be a definitive statement of those suffering symptoms:
    – it is self-selected
    – it is not representative of age groups, ethnic groups, or geographies.
    – it relies on self-diagnosis, which is notoriously prone to over-statement; you can see that on here – how many of us think we might have had COVID-19?
    – you don’t even know if the number of people doing it has stayed constant! Some people will have started out completing it and got bored by day ten…

    Yes the official stats have their issues, but they include the patients admitted to hospital with suspected COVID as a major sub-set, so they aren’t nonsense.

    Dismissing the formal case stats and instead relying on a self-selected, self-diagnosed app counter is a bit barmy IMHO…

  6. @Leftieliberal – that German research is well timed. It’s just the kind of thing we need.

    From this data is looks like the death rate may be somewhat lower than had been feared, but still twice at high as a bad flu.
    I would perhaps argue that 15% immunity is actually a long way from 60 – 70%, but at last we have some clear evidence that the Oxford modeling of 64% infection in the UK from well over a week ago is likely to be fundamentally flawed.

    It’s worth noting that the study is a small study in Germany’s worst hit town, so the 15% is almost certainly quite a hefty over estimation in terms of an all German figure.

    The 0.37% fatality rate suggests the UK infected number is currently around 5.5m or 8.5%. To me, that ‘feels’ about right, whatever that’s worth.

    A very long way from herd immunity, and a pretty clear sign that to get there we will need to put the NHS on effective hold for months, and accept widespread economic disruption if we decide to release the lockdown too quickly.

    But at last, thanks to German efficiency and serological testing we are getting some larger scale and better quality data on infection rates.

  7. @TW

    “However, it is a political decision whether you wish to “flatten the curve” with 95% confidence you’ll never use up max capacity (approx 800 daily deaths once we’ve peaked and all the new Nightingale Hospitals are ready) or whether you drive the number lower first and “flatten the curve” at say 500 (99.9% confidence you won’t blow the NHS capacity limit). We can also “throttle” the measures (eg if we see risk of 2nd wave in improved testing info then we can put some of the brakes back on).

    In yet other “maths” that I have previously shown, then IF ‘lockdown’ has got R to 0.6 then it will probably be 18weeks before we can get to where S.Korea are at and then we’d need to have the S.Korean “surveillance” State to keep the virus contained and hope we avoid a 2nd wave. Not a credible option for UK IMO (although some “S.Korean-lite” approaches or things like ‘smart ID cards’ would be something I’d certainly support)”

    We can reasonably expect that the easing of the lockdown in early May will still mean that unnecessary travel, holidays to country cottages or caravan parks etc will be prohibited.

    Allied to social distancing measures and hygienic practices, then the Government could be confident that we would be well on the way to eradication.

    Allied to a mobile phone based app that might give users enhanced freedoms, then we will be well on the way to getting rid of this.

    Clearly mass gatherings, cinemas, theatres, sports etc will be lucky to return this side of Christmas.

  8. SHEVII

    Yes-it is apparent from that incredible police report from Manchester that lots of people simply don’t accept the personal inconvenience of lockdown.

    And that is in the middle of a COVID Hot Spot.

    If you give these idiots the slightest inkling that relaxation is being considered, it will just confirm their apparent opinion that none of this applies to them.

  9. @Colin – “Yes-it is apparent from that incredible police report from Manchester that lots of people simply don’t accept the personal inconvenience of lockdown.”

    Personally I think the police releasing of this data was misguided. They’ve basically told the nation that over 500 parties have been held in Manchester during lockdown, and have helped normalise such behaviour. The news should be full of stories about how rigorously people are sticking to the rules, even if that isn’t strictly true.

    Besides, while I agree it demonstrates a stupidity on the part of a few people, it’s a meaningless measure unless we know how many parties would have taken place without the lockdown. If, for example, over 5,000 was normal, the police are effectively publicising how magnificent a response we have had to the lockdown, with 90% adherence.

    We just don’t know, but we really shouldn’t be publicising the fact that this is taking place. The only time we should do that is where we have a 20 something dead from covid 19 who caught it at an illegal party.

  10. In case anyone is wondering about why Gangelt, here is the explanation in an article in The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/the-cluster-effect-how-social-gatherings-were-rocket-fuel-for-coronavirus

    What this is telling us is that social gatherings are where superspreading occurs; it’s not that individuals are superspreaders because they discharge large amounts of virus, but that their behavious puts them into situations where a large number of people can be infected at once.

    {So OldNat can reassure his daughter that in fact he is taking less of a risk than it appears}

    It means that we can start to think about restarting some events, once lockdown is over. For example as long as games are played behind closed doors and televised we could complete the football season. It would only be necessary to ensure that all the playing and backroom staff of teams are free of the virus and kept isolated.

    Cruises again come under scrutiny in another article in the same newspaper

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/09/revealed-6000-passengers-on-cruise-ships-at-sea-despite-coronavirus-crisis

  11. The Trevors,
    ” Hence the slow and gradual exit from lockdown,”

    Absolutely wrong. The faster we establish herd immunity the better. The post above yours was from leftieliberal, mentioning the death of an octogenarian locally, who could have been save if only herd immunity was already in place. There will be a lot more.

    “It will take months – perhaps as long as the 6mths”

    I would be thinking in terms of 6 wks myself. If the Uk has achieved 15% as has Germany, then 4x duration at the same rate would do it. All this lockdown is just wasting time and lives.

    Colin,
    “DANNY
    So which government , do you predict, will be the first to say :-
    ” F8ck this-lets scrap the restrictions & save the economy.

    We only have the one…Why do you think they are all desperate for Boris to come back and take responsibility?

    But it would not be save the economy, but herd immunity is in sight -lets save granny.

    Alec,
    “Agreed. Something the herd immunity supporters are as yet not acknowledging is that pursuing this policy will mean that the outbreak goes on for a very long time. ”

    There you go again, presupposing the conclusion at the start of the argument. If the infection rate is as high as it possibly is, then herd immunity can be achieved quickly. There is no prospect of eliminating the disease in any other way without a vaccine. China has not eliminated it.

    Shevii,
    “The reason is obvious- if people start breaking the rules now then the lockdown has been for nothing ”

    But if facts start to emerge that herd immunity had been attainable with far less deaths than supposed and quite quickly, yet we still locked down and the government told us it was all essential….then not only was the lockdown for nothing but it made matters worse and the government connived in that for its own political gain. Not a good look when the details get fought over next year while we work through the corona/brexit recession.

  12. Alec,
    “The only time we should do that is where we have a 20 something dead from covid 19 who caught it at an illegal party.”

    But a more likely outcome is 2000 immune who caught it at an illegal party granny did not attend.

  13. @ LL – Long reply hit auto-mod but thank you for posting that info. If anyone has a German source can they post it[1]. Some info on the testing:

    https://www.thelocal.de/20200402/how-german-scientists-hope-to-find-answers-on-coronavirus-in-countrys-worst-hit-spot

    Some issues with the 2nd Prof’s comments from the Torygraph piece but I’m not going into that or correcting anyones maths.

    [1] I’m not sure Merkel+co will want that info spread too widely going into Easter weekend. There is a RIGHT time to turn the narrative although given how low their deaths are, how much healthcare capacity they have and that they have much better testing capacity than UK maybe they want to turn the narrative sooner? Get folks back to work and avoid a deeper recession / more debt than they need to?

  14. My youngest son lives in Manchester and while I don’t bother him much, nor him me unless it involves football, I better check he and his missus have been behaving themselves.

    I need an app so I can track the young wastrel’s movements!

    :-)

  15. ALEC

    Thanks

    I disagree completely.

    They haven’t “normalised” anything-they have told us how many stupid , inconsiderate people there are-or were-in Manchester.

    I feel absolutely certain that their colleagues in ther NHS up there will be applauding them.

  16. @Danny – “There you go again, presupposing the conclusion at the start of the argument. If the infection rate is as high as it possibly is, then herd immunity can be achieved quickly. ”

    It is very easy to glide past evidence.

    I have previously twice posted evidence from the Spanish Flu outbreak in the US that suggests lockdowns, as opposed to carrying on as normal, produced less long term economic damage.

    One other argument you should also consider is that if we really do think we have high levels of herd immunity already, then that makes an eradication strategy much easier.

  17. @Leftieliberal – I posted previously how Patient 31 in South Korea was at one point responsible for 80% of their infections, through attending two packed church services, then going to hospital twice, refusing to get tested or self isolate, and then carry on socialising until she was too ill to do so.

    My worry is that we are misdirecting policing of the lockdown and targeting people strolling outdoors in parks, rather than aggressively curtailing close confinement incidents.

    To be honest, driving 50 miles as a family to go for a walk isn’t a risk at all, especially as you can’t go into pub etc, but I can understand how we need to set some limits that are not necessarily drive by science.

    Despite the impression that people like the @trevs like to give, most of us on here (excluding @Danny, obvs) really seem to be in agreement with regards the lockdown;

    – It needs to stay longer than 3 weeks
    – it needs to be released gradually
    – we don’t have mass levels of infection currently
    – large scale testing will be critical to the lockdown release
    – reverting to tracking and containing cases is the most likely way out

    [Perhaps less wholesale agreement on this last point].

    We have (mercifully) largely moved away from pretending that models built on incomplete data are effective policy making substitutes for a good old fashioned public health based approach, and we are now broadly all singing the same tune.

  18. ALEC

    @”The only time we should do that is where we have a 20 something dead from covid 19 who caught it at an illegal party.”

    I think you miss the point entirely-I’m much more concerned about the nurses and doctors who had to deal with them.

    The police cannot win with some folk.

  19. ALEC

    @”The only time we should do that is where we have a 20 something dead from covid 19 who caught it at an illegal party.”

    I think you miss the point entirely-I’m much more concerned about the nurses and doctors who had to deal with them.

    The police cannot win with some folk.

  20. @Colin – We do actually agree on this, but there is a need to be careful to not create the impression that breaking the rules is commonplace.

    It needs to be framed as a rarity, and in that way it helps the social reinforcing on the message.

    One for the nudge theorists.

  21. @COLIN

    ” DANNY

    So which government , do you predict, will be the first to say :-

    ” F8ck this-lets scrap the restrictions & save the economy. We need lots of people to get it- the death rate will be low & mainly those at the end of life anyway” ”

    I’m sure no government would say that, but 200k lives lost to recession (apparently that’s what the financial crash of 2008 cost in the UK) vs. 200k coronavirus deaths?

    Apparently the global economic crash is already worse than 2008…

  22. Crossbat11

    I need an app so I can track the young wastrel’s movements!

    :-)

    The app is available (used for spying on partners), but you would have to install it on their phone remotely (let me not to into the exact method ).

    Just joking (kind of).

    The government agencies have a more sophisticated app, but not available in Play Store and Apple Store.

  23. @Crossbat1

    My son’s girlfriend is in Manchester – we quarantined him in an empty cottage for two weeks when he got back from visiting her (just around the time lockdown was being talked about) and he has just emerged. Mind you as he was sitting on his computer on day with his headphones on being passed curry and tea through the window at regular interval I don’t think he noticed. I was thinking about offering to swap with him when he came out.

  24. @TW

    Thanks for the link. The additional data on how they are detecting viral RNA, but can’t culture it suggests that information on it surviving for several days on surfaces like stainless steel and plastic isn’t relevant, because those tests cannot tell the difference between live and dead viruses.

    @Alec

    Yes, patient 31 in South Korea was another example. Apart from Danny and his belief in ‘herd immunity’ I think everyone else is on the same page with a containment strategy (testing and rigorous contact tracing) once we slowly release lockdown. Restarting sport behind closed doors could be good for people’s mental health in the period before all restrictions are removed (which I don’t think can happen before the autumn). In the meantime we need to tell the police to stop being so heavy-handed with people sunbathing as long as they are observing reasonable social distancing rules.

  25. ALEC

    Far too subtle & woolly.

    Manchester Police did what they had to do-tell the locals that some of their number aren’t playing fair .

  26. LEWBLEW

    Yes-I don’t deny that dilemma one bit.

    I tried to address it on a personal basis here recently.

  27. I’m not sure if anyone else has picked up on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishing data on deaths where Covid-19 was on the death certificate, but here is the link to the 27th March data

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending27march2020

  28. I can see that the UK might be able to get control of the outbreak within our shores, but how do you stop it being reintroduced by visitors, illegals, product surfaces etc from abroad, especially from less developed countrie?

  29. @SDA

    Sadly I think much of the developing world is going to have no choice but the “Herd Immunity” route as suppression and contact/trace regimes will be hard to sustain even for a short period with the resources available and the fragility of economic systems.

  30. Sorry didn’t realise finish my thought.

    If herd immunity is achievable as some have theorised, we will probably see it happen in some devoping countries – accompanied by massive loss of life.

    If it is, then contact with those countries should become safe in time.

  31. Like the SARS outbreak, AIDS and even mad cow disease (with regards to beef, not humans) there will be travel bans to/from certain areas for a long time to come. I imagine the West will relax things together far more quickly.

    Be careful where you book that holiday!

  32. @ JIB – “Clearly mass gatherings, cinemas, theatres, sports etc will be lucky to return this side of Christmas”

    Well that all depends but cinemas and theatres will likely be last and for I’ll also suggest that IF we’ve been successful with “shielding the most at risk” then we’ll have to continue that.

    One possible solution is similar to copying the supermarkets early opening for elderly and extending that to cinemas and theatres where they have early performance or one/day week where only the elderly/at risk or those with “immunity certificates” are allowed in and for all other showings it “under 70s” only.

    I hope you’ve been reading LL’s links and the issue with the 2nd Prof is the view that “population immunity” will extinguish the virus – it won’t.

    It’s a just one way, hopefully in conjunction with others’ to get the R-eproduction rate to 1 or below.

    EG at 50% aggregate then you can have an R0 (raw R) of 2 as 50% of people you would have passed the virus do will have already had it. However, the other 50% won’t and that is in a care home or in a theatre packed with old folks then.. well, not good!

    Clearly cities (eg London where more folks are “young” anyway) will need a higher % of population immunity and older demographics and more rural areas will have a lower % (due to “shielding” and less person-person contacts)

    As per Starmer’s request then the timings will depend on many things but I can see how Harries came up with the “6mths” and that will be a “new normal” not exactly the same as the “old”.

    I appreciate one poster is either incapable of understanding my posts or just an !diot (probably both) but I have posted the maths, rough “possible” plan and timings before and can’t be bovvered to do so again – folks can check MY posts if they want, hopefully we know to avoid the tr0lls misrepresentations or ignorance.

  33. Re-importing the virus.

    We know the issue in China and the 2week quarantines in S.Korea as well but Singapore having a similar issue:

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-singapore/singapore-reports-287-new-coronavirus-cases-in-biggest-daily-jump-idUKKCN21R1XD

    If some countries have very naive populations (v.low population immunity) then they’ll have to have strict quarantine protocols (aided by new tests such as immediate live virus and antibody tests) to avoid reimporting the “global pandemic”

    Travel to/from said countries will have to be very restricted as it’s harder to “track” non-natives domestically or your own natives when they are abroad (although I’d have no problem a tracker app that allows me to travel I can’t see whole World agreeing on that one!)

    That issue will be a problem within the Schengen zone if/when they hope to reopen that but not my polity!

  34. One for the north Britons amongst us.
    The Times is quoting some Scottish business owners moaning that the Scots government is not as generous with business grants as south of the border.
    Down here, if you have more than one retail unit, you get the grant , either £10k or £25k, per unit. One per business in Scotland.
    Also, councils in Scotland expect the business to apply,via 11 page form, whereas down here, my form came from the council, 2 pages via email, sent back and money in bank within 3 days.
    Scotland’s government had the same funding under Barnett, but is not passing it all on.
    I’m guessing once HM Treasury passes it on, the Scots government can do what it likes with it? Reason iiask is I know Wales is doing the same as England.

  35. One for the south British trolls amongst us.

    https://twitter.com/KateForbesMSP/status/1246400940401471489

    Hugo (and Ruth Davidson who raised the issue that was picked up in the far distant press) are perfect examples of what I referred to earlier as the creation of narrative from carefully selected and incomplete data.

    To be fair to Hugo and the Times, they are just repeating Tory propaganda, but that’s how narratives are created.

  36. I hope Nicola Sturgeon and the Wales FM win their arguments at this afternoon`s Cobra meeting, and get the UK government to announce the lock-down will definitely be extended.

    Possibly some criteria could be announced for judging when gradual release could be contemplated, but clearly that is several weeks away yet.

    Meantime we are still getting organised on managing the present lockdown arrangements – what is safe to do, how to shop, what folk should never go out. And stores that have never done home delivery are gradually getting systems running.

    On the midday questions to the FM, she didn`t seem able to give a firm date on when supermarkets will get from the SG the list of vulnerable people who should be given priority for delivery slots. Though it seems this has been done in England (or maybe parts of) two weeks ago.

    Which means people who ought to be at home are deciding to do their own shopping because it`s weeks before they can book deliveries. Just been hearing about a 91-year-old still going to his local co-op, but in an Aberdeen suburb and beyond our locked-in capacity to help. It`s very hard to control fit independent pensioners living on their own.

  37. Colin,

    So basically a company producing what it markets as a “Wonder Cure” is claiming on the basis of a half dozen cases that it’s “Wonder Cure” is a “Wonder Cure”

    What’s it made from Snake Oil?
    It might be true but I’d be at least looking for some kind of confirmation.

    “All the Presidents Men”; Never Publish without Two Independently Verifiable Sources.

    Peter.

  38. All clear from the hospital this morning, and great news! Just to make sure, they’ll arrange a CT scan, so I’ll get another day out!

    I paid attention to Bantams advice, and skipped the supermarket and popped into the local farm shop instead, which had no other customers.

    As well as their wonderful meat and fresh veg, they also had eggs!

    I may have to lie down for a day or so to recover from the excitement.

  39. @ Colin/Alec

    Maybe it’s just an argument over getting the wording right? I’d go with 200 people nicked, many of them pretty boys who won’t last a day in the state penitentiary”.

  40. In Cluj there are about 1,500 people at the car park of the airport waiting for the charter flights to Germany to do seasonal work. As they don’t keep social distance and have no masks the police will dissolve the gathering (provisionally, and making sure that they can board the planes). They arrived in buses, and many have gone through the airport checks already.

    One of the British labour recruitment agencies have also booked charter flights (they get government subsidy) in spite of the reported increase in search for seasonal agricultural work websites in the UK.

    [I read the Condition of the Working Class by Engels yesterday, and while I have fully internalized his views about the solution when I was 13, it is a nice (not at all) addition to the picture.]

  41. @ OldNat

    Good on you, how was the thingy up your wotsit at the hospital?

    On Hugo’s comment, in normal times we deal with a lot of businesses in Scotland, a couple who are struggling have told me they’re having to jump through hoops to get Government help. The funding allocation based on your link seems to definitely be different, I’ve forwarded the link to them as they might find she will be helpful in cutting through the red tape.

  42. @ JIB – from my 3:28pm I note DANNY has finally started saying NO and that I’m wrong so looks like I’ve finally dropped him. There are very important differences between his “plan” and Vallance+co, other European countries (management of the crisis and “Exit” from it) and what I’ve been posting.

  43. @Colin

    I have seen figures that 50% of patients in intensive care with Covid-19 survive anyway with standard treatment; so think of this as tossing a coin six times and it coming up heads each time; that’s a 1 in 64 chance, so only probably significant in statistical terms. If they are still getting 100% success with 10 patients, then it is worth looking at it further.

  44. Bantams

    Quite interesting seeing the inside of your own body on a TV screen!

    Whether the Scottish model suits those particular companies, obviously I don’t know. Each administration has tailored its distribution to what is appropriate for its own economy, so a company that gets more help in Scotland might not get it elsewhere – and vice versa.

    Possibly of more help to your friends would be to alert them to this site – though they should know of it already.

    https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

  45. Admission’s slide: +2% GB wide (NE and Yorks a bit worrying but OK elsewhere)

    COVID-19 patients in critical care: +5%
    (didn’t spot them mention spare capacity yet but hopefully in the Q&A)

    A per LL’s 5pm then “rough” numbers for those leaving ICU are 50/50 so around 1,762 folks would have left ICU y’day (ie there were more “out” than “in” and more spare capacity – that will continue for the coming days)

    Good news for those hoping we can start to slowly and gently Exit lockdown from 20Apr (when schools MIGHT reopen) – with some sneaky little “pre-release” like passports office, etc. ssshhh…

  46. Glad to hear that OldNat (us oldnats need to stick around), also re your meat and two veg (and eggs). We have good organic produce here from local farms and are eating more of that as supermarkets are 15 miles away, we are a no car family, and there is a 21 day lead in time to deliveries

  47. The link from @leftieliberal to the Guardian article about clustering makes for good reading.

    It touches on some of the simplistic understanding of the pandemic and (my view) illustrates why the reliance on conventional modeling has led us astray at times.

    As has been posted several times before, the evidence from China suggested that the spread was largely confined to familial groups in prolonged contact at home, along with specific, random, spreading events.

    Several studies have suggested that it’s really quite hard to catch from brief encounters. [This can’t last. This misery can’t last. I must remember that and try to control myself. Nothing lasts really. Neither happiness nor despair. Not even life lasts very long. There’ll come a time in the future when I shan’t mind about this anymore, when I can look back and say quite peacefully and cheerfully how silly I was…..]

    ‘Super spreader’ is language the epidemiologists don’t like, as it suggest an individual is a spreader, whereas it’s the event that is the spreader.

    Excessive talk of R0 and ‘flattening the curve’ has ingrained the idea that there is a kind of steady, statistical wave of infection that can be manipulated if we just adjust the social parameters.

    In reality, it appears the virus doesn’t move much, most of the time, but then can erupt in a single event and make big leaps in a single go. This introduces a big element of randomness into the modelling, which the model parameters aren’t well equipped to deal with.

    The trick is to eliminate the potential spreader events. Then it becomes far easier to track and control, through conventional means. It also mean releasing the blanket restrictions should be easier – if we adopt good public health based approaches.

  48. ON

    Happy for you that the hospital news was good.

    I had one of my regular CT scans back in the autumn and they were concerned that some lymph nodes were slightly enlarged, so they sent me for a PET scan. The results were inconclusive and I’m supposed to have another CT scan in the next month or so. In current conditions I’m less than ecstatic about going to the hospital.

    However I recall the doctor listing several things that I should look out for, one being unexpected weight loss. Four weeks ago I weighed 17st 7lbs. Today 16st 13lbs. So around half a stone lost in a month. Mrs SDA says it’s lack of sneaky chocolate bars, biscuits and less vino, due to lockdown. Not sure if I should raise an alarm.

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