Life vs Living

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From our Swindon Correspondent:

From The Guardian

Sweden’s chief epidemiologist and the architect of its light-touch approach to the coronavirus has acknowledged that the country has had too many deaths from Covid-19 and should have done more to curb the spread of the virus.
Sweden’s death rate per capita was the highest in the world over the seven days to 2 June, figures suggest. This week the government bowed to mounting opposition pressure and promised to set up a commission to look into its Covid-19 strategy.
Okey-doke, but what does the highest death rate per capita in the world look like? Well, per day, it’s 5.29/million vs 4.48/million in the UK, the nearest rival. So, over a week, it’s an extra 5.67 deaths per million. Over a year, that’s roughly 300 deaths/million.
We also know that only 12% of all deaths are under-65s, and for under 45’s, the death rate is around 1%/
How, would someone like the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) deal with this? They measure things like Quality adjusted life-years (or QALY). Not a bad idea. Treatments aer done based on how many years of good life someone is going to get for it. How many QALYs are we getting for all of this and at what cost to everyone? Granny, who can barely walk, is in a home getting to avoid Covid-19 so that she can die of a heart attack or natural causes in 3 months instead.
Meanwhile, the medicine is being given to all of us. Millions of years of QALYs are being lost to this across the 66 million people in the UK. Teenagers aren’t hooking up and getting to shag each in the backs of cars. Women don’t get to weep at La Boheme, and men at football matches. Students won’t have pissups. Businesses will go to the wall. And the young people will be left with a mountain of government debt they’ll have to service for years.

We should get to the same point as Sweden, let individuals take risks. If old people are scared, they can stay home. It’s not like they have jobs to go to anyway. When it’s 3 people per million for under 45s, it’s crazy to worry about it. We should reduce the speed of all roads to 20mph when you get to that sort of thinking.

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The Mole
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The Mole

I’m not sure you are comparing the right numbers at all. The death rate might only be 3 per million for under 45’s currently, but that is because the measures are having an impact on the spread. If you let people take risks we know the infection rate and death rates will go up. Now there is obviously still a point where that increase might be considered acceptable, and a debate can be had about at what level it should be. You just can’t take a leap in logic from saying it (might) just be 3 now for under 45s… Read more »

Snarkus
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Snarkus

Mole, disagree. The timid, either lefties or the old (of which I am one) are generally too timid and want comforting lies which comfort cruel men (and fools) to misquote Chesterton. Sure we be careful as that is a generally applicable goal, seeing how many people dont wash hands after using toilets whatever these days. However also we should be allowed to get on with our lives now. By all means keep the airports closed except for countries that have infection under good control

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

We don’t know that at all. The infection was alraedy decliing at lockdown and has declined in a classic infction curve ever since. There is zero evidence that lockdowns anywhere have a changed a single infection. If you can show that your assertion is right, go ahead. Meanwhile the rest of us are going with the evdience all around us.

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

Yes, the deaths will go up. But I think we’re long past the half a million death situation that was originally stated. And if we voluntarily return completely, we won’t get that, because there will be changes in personal behavior as a result. Personally, I’m not going back into an open plan office or riding the train. I might avoid crowded wine tastings, and maybe they’ll be held outside instead.

Spike
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Spike

“If you let people take risks”

I absolutely assert the right to do anything legal, even if there is a quantifiable risk of catching a chest cold.

Bloke in Kent
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Bloke in Kent

A subtle but important difference – I assert the right to do anything *not illegal*. This is a major difference between British law and that used in other european countries; not sure about the US.

Spike
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Spike

Your wording beats mine. Our law is based on British Common Law (except in Louisiana, I’ve heard). Indeed, one frustrating aspect of US governance right now is the apparent need for any commercial activity to await a pronouncement by the governor that it will fit under some chapter of his master plan for reopening the state. I hope this doesn’t set a precedent.

Esteban
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Esteban

Almost any discussion on this topic is difficult due to crappy statistics. Just one example – in the U.S. we know that they are deliberately inflating the “deaths” due to Kung Flu. Don’t know how big a deal it is, but it is absolutely going on. Also, note that nobody is thinking about the deaths due to Lockdown. If we save 10 people from Kung Flu but kill 11 people from Lockdown they score it 10-nil, aren’t we wonderful! Whether Sweden got this right or not won’t really be known until we all get to the end of the road.… Read more »

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

The thing is, he didn’t really say that, as the Swedish papers have been pointing out.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

Uhhh… so the epidemiologists have been one hundred and eighty degrees wrong on this right from the start, but suddenly one of them is right? Wow…

Janner
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Janner

Bored of dancing around all the new germophobes. Stay in bed and leave living to the men.