109 thoughts on “Thursday’s Papers

  1. Steph Pinker

    A few months ago, aspiring to the level of Phase 4 was the light at the end of the tunnel, but now it means the light of the oncoming train.

    As the Greeks say: I elpída pethaínei teleftaía, which means, ‘hope dies last’.

    1. dav

      So long as there’s a minority who think masks reduce oxygen levels an help to spread the disease further lockdown is inevitable

      1. E'Matty

        “Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%.”

        “This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. “

        Conclusions This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated – text excerpt from the British Medical Journal.

        Are masks safe? During walking or other exercise surgical mask wearers had significantly increased dyspnea after a 6-minute walk than non-mask wearers.

        Dyspnea is the medical term for shortness of breath, sometimes described as “air hunger.” It is an uncomfortable feeling. Shortness of breath can range from mild and temporary to serious and long-lasting. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose and treat dyspnea because there can be many different causes.

        Researchers are concerned about possible burden of facemasks during physical activity on pulmonary, circulatory and immune systems, due to oxygen reduction and air trapping reducing substantial carbon dioxide exchange. As a result of hypercapnia, there may be cardiac overload, renal (kidney) overload, and a shift to metabolic acidosis.

        Hypercapnia (from the Greek hyper = “above” or “too much” and kapnos = “smoke”), also known as hypercarbia and CO2 retention, is a condition of abnormally elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood. Carbon dioxide is a gaseous product of the body’s metabolism and is normally expelled through the lungs.

        Metabolic acidosis develops when too much acid is produced in the body. It can also occur when the kidneys cannot remove enough acid from the body.

        ”With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport.” – Anders Tegnell, State Epidemiologist.

        “From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation,” said Dutch Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark late Wednesday, after a meeting with health experts and mayors.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          Awaiting Nigel and realPolitics to give an alternative view, complete with facts. Then again – maybe not.

          1. Nigel

            You should probably go looking for alternative views from actual experts rather than attractive and witty comment section superstars.

          2. Listrade

            Can I chip in instead? I’m guessing the reason that no link was accidental rather than to deliberately give the impression that all that text was from the BMJ and all related.

            Here’s the study:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/#:~:text=An%20analysis%20by%20mask%20use,%25%20and%20medical%20masks%2044%25.

            Everything in the above up to “British Medical Journal” is accurate to the study. Everything is not sourced from this study.

            On the actual science bit. Science confirms that in a High Risk environment (study conducted in a hospital) cloth masks are crap. Cloth masks are crap because we have no control over how they’re made and people don’t wear them correctly. They’re especially crap in a hospital where you have a much denser concentration of airborne virus and where you have much closer contact with sick people (within 1 meter).

            Surgical masks are better, but again they are more designed to protect a potentially immunocompromised patient from being made sick by a surgeon/medical staff than protect the wearer. However, filtration by 66% is good enough in an lower risk environment.

            That is the key. Our normal day to day activities and even in a workplace or public transport would not provide exposure at the same levels of a hospital during an influenza outbreak. Add in physical distancing and ventilation and the amount of airborne virus we are exposed to is even less. Therefore, a surgical mask would further reduce (but not eliminate) the amount of a virus we are exposed to. Cloth masks would have negligible impact.

            The rest of the text on oxygen and masks is not in that report and appears to have been extracted during a colonoscopy. However, the proctologist was wearing a mask at the time so all’s good.

            TLDR of the report: if there’s an ebola outbreak, it’s not a good idea to wear the Hufflepuff mask you just ordered off Etsy. Wear actual PPE that does filter out nasties.

          3. SOQ

            Why do you think governments done a 180 on mask wearing after the epidemic had waned Listrade?

            Is it really just a placebo to make people feel more secure when going about their business? Or the opposite- to keep the fear going?

          4. Listrade

            “Why do you think governments done a 180 on mask wearing after the epidemic had waned Listrade?

            Is it really just a placebo to make people feel more secure when going about their business? Or the opposite- to keep the fear going?”

            Neither. It wasn’t malicious or devious, it was a decision out of need. We need to remember the context:

            PPE graded masks were and are effective to different degrees depending on the type. But China locked down who were the biggest supplier of PPE. No biggie, the next biggest suppliers are Italy and USA. OH crap. They’re down too.

            We have a world wide shortage, no manufacturing and we need PPE for healthcare but can’t get it. The political answer was to go with the truth that if you have physical distancing the need for a mask is reduced and keep masks for high risk environments like health care.

            But to do that they needed to ignore all the evidence we were getting about asymptomatic spread. It was a political deception but I can sympathise. There were no masks, how can you tell people to wear a mask if there are none?

            The compromise came with the “face covering” and an attempt to save face. The cock up is that they state “where physical distancing can’t be maintained”. Cloth masks are even less effective in that scenario, it also gives the impression of safety and tacitly allowing close contact.

          5. f_lawless

            @Listrade I think you’re misinformed. Several randomised control trials have been conducted over the last decade to determine how effective masks are in preventing community spread during flu pandemics. The vast majority of them concluded that there was no evidence that masks reduced the spread. One or two concluded that there was very little evidence masks had any significant effect

            – In 2019 the WHO carried a large scale meta-analysis of 10 of these RCTs. They concluded:
            “OVERALL RESULT OF EVIDENCE ON FACE MASKS
            Ten RCTs were included in the meta-analysis, and there was no evidence that face masks are effective in reducing transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza”
            https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329438/9789241516839-eng.pdf?ua=1 (quote on page 26)

            This was the WHO’s policy status on masks up until June 2020 when they suddenly reversed their recommendations citing new evidence. The problem was, however, that they were now disregarding all of the previous RCT’s in favour of new research which wasn’t itself an RCT but lower down in the hierarchy of scientific evidence. The new research even recommended in its conclusion that RCT’s be conducted to inform its findings. This wasn’t done.

            – That in itself was an indication that something was seriously amiss with the WHO, but then the BBC’s political correspondent, Deborah Cohen apparently confirmed suspicions on Jul 12, saying

            “We had been told by various sources that the WHO committee reviewing the evidence had not backed masks but recommended them due to political lobbying. We put this to the WHO who did not deny”

          6. Nigel

            ‘Is it really just a placebo to make people feel more secure when going about their business? Or the opposite- to keep the fear going?’

            Masks: threat or menace?

          7. Listrade

            @flawless, the misinformed bit depends on what we are comparing.

            1. Which type of mask?
            2. Symptomatic vs Asymptomatic spread
            3. General protection for public
            4. Is dispersal a risk reduction or is it only filtering.

            The problem as I see is that in everyone’s haste to be an informed expert, everything is mixed together.

            WHO policy was always that surgical masks are effective if you have symptoms. That is what the mask is designed for. They were on the fence with asymptomatic spread because there isn’t enough research as it’s really hard to test. If people are asymptomatic, they don’t know they are sick so it’s impossible to build a large enough sample to test conclusively.

            And that document is actually what I based my own decision on masks on. It has been updated reguarly btw since March.

            But have a gander at page 14, which is the summary of recommendations. Face Masks are given a conditional recommendation for asymptomatic spread. Those conditions were based on whether the more proven control of distancing would be ignored because of the masks as well as other issues. They left it up to countries to make that decision.

            The issue we had, which I should have been clearer on was if you remember the who asymtomatic debate. For a long time there were reports that it could be spread by people who were either presymptomatic or asymptomatic. Poltically this was ignored…same way other things have been ignored (such as obesity).

            The WHO recommendation is in severe pandemics that masks are recommended (with conditions). Despite the lack of evidence (see above on how hard it is to test), their vague words are basically saying that it is plausible that a surgical mask woud reduce the amount of viral shedding by a pre or asymptomatic person.

            It’s not that i’m misinformed, its that I read the whole thing. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The fact that surgical masks are designed to prevent aysmptomatc spread at a close range would lend credence to the fact that they would be a benefit in a severe pandemic. That fact that it is extremely difficut to test this exactly (lack of pandemics for one) does not mean that this principle is wrong. And that is what the WHO document you refer to says.

          8. E'Matty

            The WHO Committee which reviewed the evidence for mask wearing did not come out recommending masks and refsued to deny it had changed its recommendation following alleged political lobbying. On July 12, Deborah Cohen, the medical correspondent of BBC Newsnight claimed that the World Health Organisation reversed its advice against wearing masks because of political lobbying. The BBC challenged the World Health Organisation over this claim and they did not deny it. People should also consider who the prime sponsors are of the WHO, the organistion who have taken on Vatican significance as the infallible voice of authority on this issue.

        1. Papi

          Excellent, I have a vision of some eejit with a broken phone slugging rocks at people.
          If it’s any consolation, my girlfriend says ” disposable thumbs” and that is what they shall be from now on.

  2. dav

    Looks like Kent is getting it’s own border – on the Land side!
    https://www.ft.com/content/3362e1f9-fbfe-4d6d-abc8-c8de74f67aa7
    “Plans to force British and international lorry drivers to obtain an “access permit” to drive into Kent next year have caused uproar after they were outlined to MPs by Michael Gove, the cabinet minister responsible for Brexit implementation.Under the scheme, announced by Mr Gove on Wednesday, drivers will be tracked by number-plate recognition technology and forced to pay spot-fines of £300 if found to be travelling without the correct customs documentation.The measures are designed to avoid clogging the roads around the Kent Channel ports of Dover and Folkestone when customs controls are reimposed on the UK’s border with Europe at the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1.”

    1. Charger Salmons

      ” Drivers tracked by numberplate technology ” .
      The same technology that all the ” experts ” on here said couldn’t work with a trusted trader scheme on the island of Ireland.
      The experts that work on Project Spoof.

      1. bisted

        …nah…numberplate recognition has been round for decades…the keyword is trust and if there was ever any doubt how perfidious Albion could be they have demonstrated to the world their contempt for agreements…technology wouldn’t stop a dodgy burger chain getting a supply of chlorinated chicken and hormone stuffed burgers from blighty…

      2. dav

        A UK road haulage representative was on the radio stating the UK government haven’t shown if the system works or not and hasn’t hired and trained the 50,000 (his figure) Customs staff that will be required.
        https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/gove-says-kent-access-permit-will-be-needed-to-avoid-lorry-congestion-1.4362701
        “However, industry representatives criticised the government’s lack of preparation for changes that will come in three months’ time even if a free trade deal is agreed.

        “There is no point pretending it’s going to be smooth – we are heading for major delays and disruption. Systems are not ready, processes are unclear, awareness of what will be required is low across the industry. We will need calm heads and a willingness from customs, food and security officials to make sensible, pragmatic, decisions, probably throughout 2021 as systems bed down and new ways of working emerge,” said Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation.”

  3. GiggidyGoo

    ‘An awful lot of young people might have to die’ if we were to pursue herd immunity strategy, according to Professor Nolan.

    I think at this stage it is time for NPHET to come clean and to have their meetings in the public eye, streamed live. There have been no minutes of these meetings since 12th August. There are decisions being made on recommendations of a faceless, cowardly group of people who are not giving details of the debates that they say are taking place in these meetings. Those decisions are making sure that poverty and homelessness will be rife in a year or two. Not just in Ireland, but worldwide.

    On the one hand NPHET maintain that they take their lead from the WHO. On the other they disown advice from the WHO. They can’t have it both ways.

    People have been subservient long enough now. Enough of the secret meetings. Each member of NPHET needs to be put under the spotlight as to their contributions (if any) to these meetings.

    1. Alexander the Great

      I’d say they are all reading this thread avidly and all thinking oh no that guy who litters verbal diarrhoea on broadsheet ad nauseam is on to us,

      1. E'Matty

        Oh, there are definitely people observing online commentary. Online comment sections today play a key role in shaping public opinion. The government and NPHET know they are losing the narrative and public along with it. As a result, last weekend you had a number of Irish media outlets seek to frame all people who oppose the governments response to the “pandemic” as “Far-right” and “Conspiracy theorists”. They are effectively attempting to herd as many people back into their camp by making it socially unacceptable (peer pressure) to hold any views counter to government dictat. It’s an effective strategy. People are generally hardwired to seek the safety of the group (or tribe) and to not be an outlier. They use fear and hysterical headlines to evoke an emotive response which will often result in the reader seeking safety and comfort, back in the warm embrace of their establishment voices of authority, they’ll take care of you. You only have to read the “You’ll kill your granny” nonsense these types having been propagating these past few months for an example of the more susceptible types response and attempt at emotional bullying of their peers.

        I note you had no substantive resposne to the points raised by GiggidyGoo?

        1. Tom J

          B9 Wong
          Son of WONG Wai-Pak and WAN Suyim
          Brother of WONG Chung Choi; WONG Chung Nan; HUANG Shun-Mei (伍黃順美); WONG Chung Tak; WONG Shun-Cheung (Julia) and 10 others

          Dr, Tom.

    2. SOQ

      Does the good doctor think that somehow Ireland’s young people are going to react in a way they have not elsewhere?

      If so, should he not explain why he feels they are so different?

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Thanks Cian. I’ll spend some time on it. At a quick glance, Darina O’Flanagan (special advisor to NPHET) didn’t attend in person or via video link for a number of the most recent meetings. Tom McGuinness was shy a couple of times.
        As I say, I’ll go through it a bit more. I would have thought that attendance in person or by video to such a high flying group think would be of the utmost importance. So, who is putting forward the suggestions, and how are decisions taken if various experts don’t attend?

      2. GiggidyGoo

        It’s now threw up questions regarding minutes of the sub-groups that NPHET set up, and which had started recording minutes but then stopped:

        Guidance and Evidence Synthesis. Last minutes 1st July
        Diagnostic Testing Approaches: Last minutes 15th May
        Medicines and Medical Devices Criticality Assessment Group (Medicines): Last minutes 5th March
        Medicines and Medical Devices Criticality Assessment Group (Medical devices): Last minutes 14th May
        Subgroup Vulnerable People: Last minutes 24th June
        Pandemic Ethics Advisory Group: Last minutes 22nd June

        etc. etc.

        Now, give or take, there are 60-70 ‘members’ of the Nphet group that, up until yesterday had their minutes witheld since 12th August. (Yes it was as slow as I suggested). I’m afraid I don’t believe that these Nphet meetings are allowing full discussion of the whole group. For 60-70 people to have their say and then all agree to measures is fantasy island stuff. There are people on the Nphet main membership who are at the help of the sub-groups. If they cannot provide minutes of meetings of the sub-group, then it throws doubts on the whole Nphet.

        In the main Nphet minutes there is no mention of actual varying views or ideas put forward. No such thing as putting forward a motion and having it carried etc.

        There is also, for instance, a sentence starting with ‘The NPHET reviewed the current …’. No the ‘team didn’t review it, as team members were not present (Darina O’Flanagan missed three meetings on the trot in August)

        1. Cian

          Who is Dr Darina O’Flanagan? you mention her twice. How important is she to NPHET?

          Do you actually understand minutes? They stated who was in attendance, and then when they say “The NPHET reviewed the current …” there is an implicit understanding that the people that weren’t in attendance didn’t review it.

          It seems that you are actively looking for faults in the minutes.

      1. SOQ

        The topic Trump was talking about was UV light- also referred to as disinfectant. He asked about it being injected into veins which is an actual treatment already but the media ran with various slants on him suggesting people inject dettol or bleach.

        And now it comes to pass- if this technology really works then it will be on every bus and every train and every classroom even.

        1. Nigel

          This sounds almost reasonable, an impression that can only survive if you avoid listening to the actual clip.

          1. SOQ

            Or the media deliberately took him up wrong because they were there and knew the context which was then conveniently omitted.

          2. millie madonna

            He is the President of the US. He, more than anyone, ought to know the power and weight his words can be given, how they can be twisted or weaponised. They are tools he has used to great effect himself. He should take better care with the language he uses, but he doesn’t, and the media reports it – sometimes in his favour, but increasingly not.

      1. SOQ

        There are UV vein treatments available but they are not as yet FDA approved- they would be considered an alternative treatment.

        1. Nigel

          Don’t worry, he”s said he’ll overrule the FDA if he disagrees with them, so if you trust his expertise that much everything will be fine.

        2. Listrade

          The “injection” method is a long way off being proven to be effective. Blood irradiation isn’t new, but did fall off from popularity in the 40s. Probably more to do with technology at the time as well as the whole irradiation=nuclear=cancer public opinion.

          You can do the treatment outside the body, like dialysis. There are some good studies and data showing positive results. The main issue is it doesn’t “cure” it reduces the viral load. If you’re fit and healthy enough, that’s not bad as the body could fight off a low viral load. But if not, it could still replicate and your viral load goes back up.

          The injecting laser techniques is way off. Russia does it, same principle, but not enough data.

          Also, these treatments are more effective against long term viruses such as Hep C and HIV. Coronavirus is like the flu, it’s a one shot and done. It makes testing the technique difficult, but also means that you would need to catch the virus at the exact right point to have any effect.

    1. Listrade

      Hello. Technical Bot Here.

      UV is already in use for sterilising as its damn good. It can already be used to kill coronavirus because it’s not that difficult to kill coronavirus. UV is currently being used to sterilise office spaces as a chemical free alternative. So that side isn’t new.

      The new bit is that this can be used while people are present so we don’t have to worry about giving them all skin cancer. There are practical benefits to this as it can be done during the day and keep exposure to a virus on surfaces low rather than after hours or at weekends which incur additional labour costs.

      However, it does the same job. It sterilises surfaces and touch points. It doesn’t cure people.

        1. SOQ

          Thanks Listrade

          So it a feasible way of disinfecting shops and offices then?

          Possibility also now as a tool to reduce transmission in crowed spaces?

          1. Listrade

            100% effective. UV always has been. Well, when I say 100% it needs line of site…because it’s light. But as long as there were enough units to cover every surface, it’d kill it alright.

            Nothing to stop people doing it now, apart from keeping the area unoccupied. I’d need more info to see if this could be constantly running safely with people there or whether it’s something you do intermittently. Still, it’s better than someone running a dirty cloth over surfaces.

          2. Janet, dreams of big guns

            dirty cloth, dirty fingernails, dirty dirty dirty
            btw Listrade I’m always almost relieved when you weigh in with your informed and measured comments,
            and whatever anyone else thinks I admire and appreciate SOQ ‘ s tenacity too.

    2. Rob_G

      Did you get too over-excited to actually read the article before posting it here?

      “Light equipment maker Ushio’s Care 222 UV lamp is expected to be used to disinfect heavily trafficked spaces where people run the risk of contracting the deadly bug, including buses, trains, elevators and offices” – it’s for disinfecting surfaces, not for curing people.

    3. Q Celt

      How does UV ‘kill’ a virus, virus are not alive. UV can be used to kill bacteria but would not denature virus proteins accept at dangerous levels for human health

      1. Listrade

        “kill” is used because it’s more simple than “inactive”. Normal soap can render coronavirus inactive, but we say kill because it is something all can understand. UV works in a similar way by breaking down the external membrane of the virus which effective renders it useless. All the other gubbins are still there. If you took away human skin, all our other gubbins would be there, but we’d soon enough be inactive.

        It’s why studies that have looked at how long the virus can live need to be read very carefully. Many of them have looked for RNA which can be detected for weeks after, but the virus itself may have been made inactive (due to drying out, cleaning, UV) in a matter of hours. It’s like digging in a graveyard and finding human DNA and declaring them all alive.

  4. Q Celt

    Beef barons charge for PPE, is this not illegal under H&S regs
    Harry & Megan continue to avoid the media
    Liz its pretty clear how you can reduce your cancer fears. Nice

    1. GiggidyGoo

      It’s a pre-covid arrangement. To do with their job in general. They were employing people, supplying them with PPE, and the employees upped an left quickly, bringing the PPE with them. So they introduced a charge and, they say, re reimbursed the employee after 12 weeks.
      That’s what they say anyway.

  5. E'Matty

    @ Nigel “You should probably go looking for alternative views from actual experts rather than attractive and witty comment section superstars.” Oh, Thank you. You’re very kind.

  6. Charger Salmons

    Superb assured speech by Kentucky’s first black Attorney General Daniel Cameron announcing the results of the investigation into the Breonna Taylor killing.

    https://m.facebook.com/nbcphiladelphia/videos/627033384549485/

    Also laid in to the usual suspects of Oprah and the BLM gang of celebs for trying to distort the truth.
    Courageous stuff from a black man in the face of intense political pressure.
    He’ll go far.

    1. Lilly

      Dr Feeley should be reinstated.

      ‘Regardless, we need to stop scaring the nation; be honest with the nation and consider how to better facilitate personal choice.’

      Amen.

  7. Junkface

    Harry and Meghan fancyBalls giving people subtle advice on who to vote for in the US election will certainly go down well in the media. They really would get less hassle if they just did not speak about politics. Isn’t that how the royal families have always done it? What changed? Oh right..

    1. Janet, dreams of big guns

      if I had that kind of money I’d be too busy enjoying it to give a fupp about being in the public eye, are they masochistic ?

      1. Junkface

        Yeah me too! Maybe its just because they have to have regular incomes since they divorced themselves from the royal family. Must keep themselves in the public eye, but then they want the paparazzi to lay off too. I don’t think they will be able to have their cake and eat it here.

        It will all be fodder for The Crown season 10 or whatever

      2. Lilly

        Most of us try to influence others at some level, even if it’s just family and friends. If I had the kind of platform this pair has, and wanted Trump to get the boot, I’d definitely use it, even if it meant having to take some flak for sticking my neck out.

          1. Janet, dreams of big guns

            Just after reading up on him there, thanks for that rabbit hole !
            He was some man for one man all right ! He would have made history class a little more spicy if they thought to include him !

          2. Junkface

            There’s a good episode about him on the Rome series on Netflix. A man worthy of many rabbit holes!
            I remember reading that they had to suspend history classes about him in Oxford University in the 19th Century as he was a bad influence on the students! Ha ha

          3. Janet, dreams of big guns

            I did find myself having an urge to gallop up and down a purposely made floating bridge for the craic there…
            thanks I’ll check it out :) tis a rainy day here

  8. GiggidyGoo

    Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said we “can’t have everything that we had eight months ago.”

    “Go to your football match but then don’t go to the pub, or go to the pub but don’t go to the football match,” he is reported as saying.

    My Jeebes. Any wonder that Donnelly and Harris come out with what they do/did?

  9. Charger Salmons

    I see Max Headroom still struggling to make the big breakthrough against Boris.

    Conservatives 40% (-5)
    Labour 37% (-)
    LibDem 8% (+2)
    Green 5% (-)

    IpsosMORI Sep 11 – 18

    Conservative 40% (-2)
    Labour 37% (-)
    LibDem 8% (+1)

    SavantaComRes Sep 18-20

    People have long memories of failed Brexit blocking, silence on Labour’s anti-semitism under Corbyn and preposterous virtue signalling.
    Taking the knee in his office wearing a suit and tie just made him look like a plonker.

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