Clubs vote to resume training

Monday, 18 May, 2020 308comments  |  Jump to last

Updated Representatives of the Premier League's 20 clubs reconvened over video-conference this morning to discuss the next phase of planning to restart the 2019-20 season.

Everton were represented by Chief Executive, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale and she, along with her counterparts took a vote on whether to restart training which ended up being unanimous.

It means that first-team squads can reconvene for limited training this week — i.e. in small groups — provided the first round of tests for the coronavirus come back negative. Everton's players will apparently begin returning to Finch Farm on Wednesday.

It paves the way for the first matches to potentially take place, behind closed doors, starting either the weekend of 19th June or the 26th but a raft of protocols and precautions will need to be in place before the clubs, their players and the Government are all convinced it is safe to do so.

That will include bi-weekly testing of players, social distancing practices where possible with non-playing staff and directives for what should happen if someone tests positive for novel coronavirus at any point.

The Premier League has 92 matches to complete and they will have watched the German Bundesliga with interest this weekend where their season resumed with a full schedule of games, albeit played in empty stadiums.  

Reader Comments (308)

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John Salmon
1 Posted 18/05/2020 at 08:36:36
Troy Deeny on Morning Breakfast today saying that at least 65% of players are against playing, brought up the fact that 2 testings a week, for them, especially when care workers cannot get them, plus the amount of PPE going to be used. Well in, Troy.
Martin Nicholls
2 Posted 18/05/2020 at 08:54:30
I'm hoping (but not anticipating) that EFC's vote will be to end the season, thus reflecting the wishes of some three-quarters of its supporters. Only then if 14 or more vote the other way should we reluctantly take part.

How we vote (if made public) will determine what I will do with the season ticket refund I am entitled to for this (and in time, no doubt, next) season.

Ken Kneale
3 Posted 18/05/2020 at 09:02:49

I have communicated my feelings direct to Everton FC and like yourself, I am watching the situation. I have made the point that the good works of the club off the field are somewhat contradicted if they vote for a restart in the present circumstances.

I hope someone has taken notice; I have yet to receive any formal replies beyond the usual standard 'Thank you for your communication'.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 18/05/2020 at 09:19:49
I've heard that Everton players have been instructed to turn into training on Tuesday, with plenty of instructions on how they will train. One of them is they will not shower at Finch Farm but go home in their training gear and do their own laundry – that will be a comedown for most of them.
Martin Nicholls
5 Posted 18/05/2020 at 09:41:26
Ken #3 – good for you. I'll follow suit. Will also ask for details of Richarlison's charity in Brazil as I might donate my refund to it – he seems to be the only one at our Club whose thinking is more in line with that of the majority of we supporters.

Dave #4 – most would probably need a satnav to locate their washing machine, then a set of instructions on how to use it!

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 18/05/2020 at 10:03:57
Ken (3), Ken, Everton have always been one of the most conservative (notice the small 'c') clubs in the country, they never, ever, rock the boat, expect them to do as they are told and vote for whatever is on the agenda.
Clive Rogers
7 Posted 18/05/2020 at 10:20:43
This season should be written off without doubt. Neither the fans nor the players want it (apart from across the park). The only reason for resuming is TV money.

The season should be over by now and resumption of play will push the start of next season back significantly, resulting in a shortened season with games crammed in. It will be another abnormal season.

The fans are not being considered at all in all this. Abandon this season and do whatever is necessary to make next season as near to normal as possible.

Tony Everan
8 Posted 18/05/2020 at 11:47:09
The will vote to restart training and they will restart playing mid-June, conditionally.

If Germany has to abandon in the interim, or if one of our teams has to isolate, it's all over for this season. The clubs will have to face the facts accept the season is null and void and take the TV money hit. It can't go on like this much longer.

Paul Tran
9 Posted 18/05/2020 at 11:49:11
Martin & Dave, you could be more right than you think. I ran a training course for some staff at a Premier League club some years ago. One of the delegates was a Player Liaison Officer...

"So what exactly do you do?" I asked. He showed me a message on his phone from a player 5 mins earlier:

"I need iPad. Now!"

So, when the course finished, he had to go and buy an iPad for this player who would finish work way before him.

Different world.

Clive Rogers
10 Posted 18/05/2020 at 11:51:32
Tony, I think that mid-June has already gone back to late-June according to reports. Nothing is certain apart from it being a shambles.Premier League clubs have agreed to stage one of the return to training protocols which would allow teams to start training in small groups from Tuesday.
Joe Corgan
11 Posted 18/05/2020 at 11:59:36
Load of bollocks.

Most clubs have around 10 league games left. Assuming they can start playing them at the end of June, it would take at least 5 weeks for them to be played, ending in early August.

What then would the effects on next season be? A short break until early September before beginning the 20/21 season. That would be 48 league games in 10 months heading into the Euros. Can't see the players or the PFA liking that.

Why disrupt next season at all? Just call it a bad job and start the new season - behind closed doors or not - in August.

If it wasn't down to money they wouldn't even be discussing restarting the season and when something is done solely for the money you can bet it's a bad idea.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 18/05/2020 at 12:12:16
Troy Deeney came across really well today, I heard a rumour yesterday that a lot of players are not happy and will point blank refuse to play, but we will obviously find out a lot more today after this meeting.

It's crazy this virus, the fella who told me about the rumour, also told me about his mate whose son-in-law, plays for Liverpool. The player lives with them, was tested, and told he'd had the virus four weeks ago? This meant the family had to be tested, and everyone of them had also had this virus, and not one of them had even had any symptoms.

The one thing that might happen if football does go ahead is that they might be able to start the new season, straight after they finish this one because, let's face it, these games are only going to be like pre-season friendlies anyway.

Tony Everan
13 Posted 18/05/2020 at 12:36:56
Yes, Tony, Troy Deeney spoke articulately and sincerely, my respect for him grew a bit this morning. He mentioned about his daughter having a respiratory issue and returning was a real concern for him.

I don't think the authorities have fully acknowledged the complex reasons for individuals to be exceptionally worried. For players like Deeney, it is a concern for others rather than himself.

James Flynn
14 Posted 18/05/2020 at 12:45:00
They are going to vote to play. It's the simplest way to settle the financial situation with the networks and players.

And, no, Moshiri should not vote to end the season. He has a lot more to consider than you or me do.

Ray Roche
15 Posted 18/05/2020 at 12:48:43
I read yesterday that the Premier League have cash reserves cash, not loans or anything, of £1.5b. The reported £430m loss wouldn't be noticed.
Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 18/05/2020 at 12:57:06
It seems the few people who oppose the season being abandoned are the people who will vote on the matter. It's the principle, you see, or should that be the principal?
Ken Kneale
17 Posted 18/05/2020 at 12:57:09
James – we should be looking at the correct way not the simplest or the most financially advantageous. Football is not some special case that it is immune from the ravages of Covid-19.
Paul Jones
18 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:08:15
I would like to reiterate 1) John Salmon. I have relatives who work in the NHS, one in a Covid-19 unit; they still have not got adequate PPE and are using equipment past shelf life. Still using stock that was labelled out of date and hurriedly deemed fit for purpose. For elite sport to resume using facilities that are still urgently required by front line workers is unacceptable.
Peter Mills
19 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:26:48
I was reading this morning that a South Korean club placed cardboard cut-outs of fans in seats to try to give the appearance of the stadium being partly occupied.

It seems they had insufficient cut-outs, so they supplemented the scene with the addition of life-size models which turned out to be sex dolls.

I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this innovation?

John Keating
20 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:30:24
Well, as suggested last week, the SPL has called off the season, so Celtic are Champions and Hearts relegated.

Obviously the four home countries are not really working together.

Chris Williams
21 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:31:02
Go down great at Anfield, Peter!

Jay Wood

22 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:33:34
Peter @ 19.

"...they supplemented the scene with the addition of life-size models which turned out to be sex dolls."

Sounds like something blown up out of all proportion to me, Peter.

Brian Wilkinson
23 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:47:32
Tony @12, I was watching about various scientists and doctors who have commented on the above, but they keep getting the video took down by people in high places.

They were saying that small strains of the Coronavirus comes from the same animal strains they use in the flu jab; anyone who had a flu jab, then chances are it would show up positive. They also said, apart from the very vulnerable, self isolating at home lowers your immune system, so outside covering the 2 metre rule is what people should be doing. Also, because it is not airbourne, wearing masks could do more harm than good with your breathing.

Interesting that they get their videos blocked, yet you do not get anyone disputing it or reporting these people in any news whatsoever.

I doubt any of us will know the answers.

James Flynn
24 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:53:01
Ken (17) - Ideally? I agree completely. I've stayed out of most discussion on the subject but when I did comment I said that games shouldn't be played until it's safe for everyone; players and supporters.

Now, we have no idea when that is, 2 years maybe? And that if someone actually comes up with a vaccine before then, if there is a vaccine at all.

If there was not this financial question, I'm certain all leagues would have shut down, the EPL too.

The networks are owed money for 8 or 9 games they didn't get to televise. This being May, the players will have been paid for 8 games they didn't play.

Those 8 games are going to be played.

John Pickles
25 Posted 18/05/2020 at 13:59:35
The Premier League is a business, if they don't play, they lose money. It doesn't matter about anything else to them, if they can find a way to legally bring in all the money they can, they will.
Michael Kenrick
26 Posted 18/05/2020 at 14:28:59
BBC Sport says:

Premier League clubs have agreed to stage one of the return to training protocols which would allow teams to start training in small groups from Tuesday.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 18/05/2020 at 14:34:22
Paul (9), I remember reading an article by Terry Neil, when he was manager of Arsenal, he said grown men didn't know how to apply for a passport, they had been cosseted from leaving school and joining their clubs and having everything done for them. Unbelievable.
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 18/05/2020 at 14:40:00
James (24),

“Those games are going to be played”, James if the government says it is too dangerous to play, I know they won't. Will the players still have to be paid, along with the TV companies?

Billy Roberts
29 Posted 18/05/2020 at 14:48:57
Why isn't the PFA balloting their members on such an important and personal decision? Effectively, the players could go on strike if there was enough numbers with the appetite for it? They would have to forfeit any wages already paid but I'm sure all could afford it.

The clubs wouldn't be able to sack or force these players to play if a legitimate ballot was taken and the given circumstances. Of course I realise we are talking about the best paid but least active "Union" in the world here.

Paul Tran
30 Posted 18/05/2020 at 15:04:50
Dave #27, that's completely believable. In the 1990s I worked with a lad who was an apprentice at Forest. He didn't make it because, in his own words, he was 'a waster'.

Lovely lad, but he'd struggle to walk through a door unaided. He still acted like the professional footballer he never became. Mind you, he was brilliant in our 5-a-side team and told a few good Cloughie stories.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 18/05/2020 at 15:13:56
Baffled by science, or baffling scientists, Brian? I know it's both, but I definitely think it's time for people who are not in the higher risk category to be moving around more now.

I can see the fear in the older generation, and because I also think there will be another spike, I can also understand this fear.

The best things in life are still free though, and since the pollution levels have begun to massively improve, then it's imperative that anyone who can go and get fresh air, must get it, even though they are obviously worried.

Spain had a system for everyone once they finished complete lockdown, different hours for different age groups, and if something like this was brought in, then I'm sure it would give people in the higher risk categories a bit more confidence to start moving just that little bit more?

Do you mean they can train in small groups from tomorrow, Michael, or in 8 days time? (If you are still reading!) Deeney said most players had no problem with phase one, because it entailed loads of space, and players were working individually, but phase two, which is what you describe, puts a lot more doubt in a lot of players minds.

George Carroll
32 Posted 18/05/2020 at 15:46:21
What expertise do the CEOs of football clubs have regarding medical matters to be able to decide it's fine and safe to start training never mind playing?

Greed and nothing else is the motive, no thought for players and their families. Mind you, do any of us know what we are supposed to be doing when the PM bumbles giving us instructions?

Jay Wood

33 Posted 18/05/2020 at 16:15:46
When I watch a game of football I totally immerse myself in it. On Saturday, like a good few others, I tuned in out of curiosity to the Dortmund-Schalke game for the obvious reason to watch JJK play and our (alleged) Barcelona centre back target Todibo.

Now I could talk a bit about the match, how Dortmund generally looked all-round sharper and fitter; how Todibo didn't look anywhere near as good as Mason Holgate has played this season; how JJK did OK (NOT at fault on the 2nd goal as some blamed him for - that was a sequence of rickets by the keeper that completely exposed his defence), but JJK did a very JJK thing I've commented on before for the 4th goal: he drifted back into defence whilst the rest of the defensive line was moving out, playing the scorer onside.

I thought it would be amusing to hear the shouting from the players and the technical staff, but even that novelty wore off after 10 minutes.

In summary though, I just wasn't emotional engaged with a live game of football as I am accustomed to be. It was all so tepid, an artificial imitation of the real thing.

I understand the finances which is encouraging leagues to complete fixtures, but if the Bundesliga return at the weekend is anything to go by, the governing bodies and the clubs themselves are potentially doing more harm to the image of 'the product' than good.

There is evidently a lot of unease from players about not only their personal safety and that of their families, but also the question of morality, of using up resources best used elsewhere.

I cannot foresee a time when I will permanently turn my back on football, but I really have no great enthusiasm for what is proposed or being offered right now. It has absolutely nothing to do with 'integrity'.

John McFarlane Snr
34 Posted 18/05/2020 at 16:23:30
Hi Tony [31] I received a letter advising me to remain in isolation for twelve weeks from the 23rd of March, and as I haven't been out since March 16th [our 56th anniversary] that isolation will now be 13 weeks. I agree with you that a system similar to that of the Spanish scheme, would be beneficial to people in the 'at risk' category. I stay in not because of fear, but because of respect, I would hate to think that my behaving in an irresponsible manner could have an adverse effect on the situation.

Hi George [32] I don't believe that the CEO of any football club has a any say in the decision of staging games, I should imagine that the medical personnel would make that decision.

Paul Hewitt
35 Posted 18/05/2020 at 16:34:27
Everyone else is going back work. About time footballers did too.
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 18/05/2020 at 16:45:47
I'm not even being funny John, but one of the best places to go if you want to keep your distance, is a cemetery!

I'm not sure many people have respected this lockdown like your good self John, but if the weather is decent, get someone to drive you to a cemetery, and I'm sure you will be able to have a little walk around in peace, honest mate!

I can imagine the replies, but if that little bit of freedom to walk around, helps the mind, and the body, then it will also be good for your soul

James Flynn
37 Posted 18/05/2020 at 17:06:33
Dave (28) - Beats me.

Never seen a player contract and not going to do a search for one. I'd assume that if the players make themselves available to play but do not because the season's been cancelled, it's not their fault and so get their paychecks. Even Schneiderlin.

As far as the TV contracts, I sure don't know. Be interesting to see what happens if the gov't forbids resumption.

We'll find it all out pretty soon.

Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 18/05/2020 at 17:19:29
Tony #36, that would certainly meet the standards for social distancing, since the nearest people would be six feet away. Downward, that is.

Pete #19, a dozen great comments immediately popped into my head, but none of them are appropriate to publish for a man whose wife has been away so long!!

John Pierce
39 Posted 18/05/2020 at 17:51:24
I find it quite amusing that we are going to have to accept games behind closed doors and yet we (fanbases) regularly mock others for not taking up their allocation or clubs with poor attendances...

As we realize in normal life we'll have to accept chances to how do things to get going, football with no fans is something we will have to accept.

Brian Wilkinson
40 Posted 18/05/2020 at 19:10:29
Your spot on Tony@36, the person I am caring for, has also been in isolation for the 13 weeks, I took her to the Cemetery last Saturday, and like you said, was only a couple of others in the Cemetery visiting And plenty of paths to keep social distancing, if someone can drive you to the Cemetery John snr, I would recommend it along with Tony's suggestion.

The vitamin d from the sun will do you a world of good and unlike previous when people first used them as an excuse to get out and exercise, now the parks etc have reopened, the Cemetery is not used as much.

Chris Hockenhull
41 Posted 18/05/2020 at 19:15:40
Tony 36. I have done exactly the same. I find a great deal of peace walking around cemeteries wherever I find them on my travels before all this. Looking at the names...seeing a wife/ husband go only to see often the other follows them soon after which makes you wonder. Seeing those passing at a young age tragically throughout the times. Wonder a lot about who they were..what lives they led..what impact they may have had on the world etc. I think of all sorts of stuff whilst in the silence. Last week it was trying to remember all the lyrics of the 5 new songs I've learnt during this lockdown in readiness for any gigs I may have in the future. Never thought about football though!!
Jim Wilson
42 Posted 18/05/2020 at 19:21:43
To resume the season would be madness.
Admittedly there's a lot of madness around at the moment, politically.

But someone brave enough needs to say no.

The first game we play would be against them. Lambs to the slaughter. They won't give a shit about safety, they will just want their 2 wins at all costs.

We on the other hand will be tentative, no home support to motivate us. And how the hell can you tackle or jump up to challenge someone to win the ball in the air etc. and keep social distancing. Ridiculous.

A couple of weeks later we might find out a player or staff had Covid 19 and it's been passed on fifty times over.
Even if it causes the death of just one person is this really worth it.

Not in my book and we should stay well clear of any money motivated restart on behalf of Liverpool FC

Even using the governments fiddled figures well over 30,000 people have died in the UK and people are still dying never mind all the suffering that is going on.

Keep the madness away from Goodison, don't be bullied Everton and say NO. It is the correct thing to do.

Tim Welsh
43 Posted 18/05/2020 at 19:38:18
Jim ( 42) Hear, hear!

We owe the RS no favours.

We need to front up and do what is morally right.

We still have enough cachet to make some people sit up and take notice.

We should vote against a restart.

Jim Wilson
44 Posted 18/05/2020 at 20:13:34
Thanks, Tim.

And I forgot to mention the game v the RS would be rigged. We all know who would be the ref. Absolutely nailed on!

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 18/05/2020 at 20:38:34
Chris (41), I also find cemeteries, good for the mind, exactly the way you do, imagining how the people lived, the long ages of some, the very sad ages some babies died at, and getting exercise at the same time.

I came across one grave of a fella I knew, a proper nark, always looking for trouble and on his gravestone was the inscription “Who are you fuckin' lookin' at?”

No there wasn't, but would have been if he had his own way!!

Rob Halligan
46 Posted 18/05/2020 at 20:57:17
Jim, there's one more German game tonight, then I think they will release any information as to if any player has contracted the virus? It will only need one player to catch it and that will be the end of the Bundesliga and I think we will follow suit.
Martin Berry
47 Posted 18/05/2020 at 21:15:30

The only way they have a chance of finishing this season is if they start it at the beginning of next season. And then it will need to be stretched out to allow the social impacts.

In effect, I am saying there will be no new season until August 2021, hopefully after a successful Euro.

Patrick McFarlane
48 Posted 18/05/2020 at 21:26:35
Sorry Rob #46 There is no chance of the PL Jugernaut coming to a shuddering halt due to player(s) contracting the virus, the show must go on!

Premier League CEO Richard Masters talking to the Independent said:

“The football looked good. In terms of the way it is on television, I think that is going to develop. It's only the first week, obviously.

“Interestingly, television viewing figures were positive. I think we'll take a different approach, not better, but slightly different approach about the behind closed doors product and that was one of the things we were able to talk to clubs today, the direction of travel on. We have group of clubs and broadcasters together on that. All in all, I thought it was good. The other thing is we didn't have, in any of the games, any fan issues, congregations or gatherings to speak of. It was a positive start for Bundesliga.

“That is helpful and it does add confidence that it can be achievable in this country.

“In terms of the precise nature of what we are planning, we haven't really talked about it with the wide group yet so I don't want to share too much of the plans.

“But obviously the big issue is that if there aren't fans in the stadium, what does the viewing fan at home, what's his experience like? And how different is it to a normal Premier League production and that's the question we're seeking to answer.”

Some of those ideas will involve the days games are played.

“Given we are trying to get the season away in a slightly truncated situation, we may look at some interesting scheduling options. Nothing we can confirm yet, but we've got to make it work for everybody.”

If Liverpool eventually win the league, then, there will be a televised trophy handover.

“If at all possible, we would like to have a presentation to give the players and staff the moment they have worked so hard for. We don ‘t want to lose that, unless it is not possible.

“We are focused on finishing the 2019-20 season, but we also have to plan for all eventualities.”

That is increasingly likely to be as a result of a game on the pitch rather than a mathematical formula, as Masters said curtailing the season did not come up in Monday's meeting. There was more discussion about neutral grounds, but that is set to be talked about in greater detail over the next two meetings due to government guidelines.

“In terms of venues, yes we are working with clubs. We had a meeting last week with the DCMS, the police and the SGSA [Sports Grounds Safety Authority] and DCMS asked football to come forward with its proposals. We are planning to do that, working in conjunction with the EFL and have asked our clubs for lots of information. It's an ongoing discussion.”

I expect we'll see peak-time TV slots for the usual suspects and unless Everton happen to be facing them, silly kick-off times for the Blues like a Thursday morning or some such. Premier League football has become the X-Factor, Strictly and Who wants to be a Millionaire all rolled into one.

Dennis Stevens
49 Posted 18/05/2020 at 22:15:32
Patrick #48,

That was very interesting, especially: "If Liverpool eventually win the league, then, there will be a televised trophy handover. If at all possible, we would like to have a presentation to give the players and staff the moment they have worked so hard for. We don ‘t want to lose that, unless it is not possible."

That sounded rather concerning to me.

Ray Roche
50 Posted 18/05/2020 at 22:46:27
Dave @45,

There's a grave in Llanrhos with a guy called 'Rick O'Shea' in it. True, we erected a headstone a couple of plots from it last year.

John McFarlane Snr
51 Posted 18/05/2020 at 00:10:42
Hi Tony [36], Brian [40], Chris [41] & Dave 45],

I share your appreciation of the tranquillity of a cemetery, but my son Alan and my daughter Nicki, both drivers, have inherited my trait of playing by the book, and refuse to allow me to travel in their vehicles. They don't consider that the 2-metre guideline can be met. I suppose I only have myself to blame, but deep down I know they're right.

Albert Perkins
52 Posted 19/05/2020 at 03:37:53
I've heard Man City are bulk ordering the blow-up ladies to fill their seats for next season.
Bob Parrington
53 Posted 19/05/2020 at 05:59:39
Patrick @48,

You're so right mate. There is so much money involved in the game nowadays the "us" mere mortals have no say whatsoever in our views being listened to.

I'm afraid that everything will be back to how it was within a year or 2 and the greedy ones will have learned nothing other than they can get away with just about anything they want.

I'd like to revisit the time of the Rapid Vienna final in Rotterdam, when in the town square by my hotel the cops set up a pitch (well, good on them) and played a game. They and us fans were having a great time and there was no trouble as I can remember.

It was so much simpler then!

Jack Convery
54 Posted 19/05/2020 at 06:04:42
Is it true the RS blow up ladies have the valve located right up their arse.

With regards to this crisis. Cancel relegation and promotion - harsh I know but the pandemic is much harsher. When the pandemic ends – the new season begins – start with the fixtures left over from this season. Let these games count for last season and the new season.

Problem solved. Daft I know but no one is put in danger. As for the FA Cup of 19-20 scrap it. I see many issues with this cunning plan but threat to life is not one of them and in my estimation that is all that matters.

Paul Tran
55 Posted 19/05/2020 at 07:03:32
The ruse continues. For now.
Alan J Thompson
56 Posted 19/05/2020 at 07:10:58
John Snr(#51); Don't do it, John, don't go there! You'll be walking along in the peace and quiet with the Sun's warming rays shining down on you thinking, poetic..."Somewhere they think I'm not, I shall be..."

And before long, you'll start wondering why you didn't bring a flask and some sandwiches and if it's really worthwhile catching the bus home.

Jeff Spiers
57 Posted 19/05/2020 at 07:55:03
We still need at least 3 points to avoid the drop!!!
Derek Knox
58 Posted 19/05/2020 at 08:19:21
Ray @50, "True, we erected a headstone a couple of plots from it last year."

Could it have been the ricochet effect?

Seriously though, BBC News reporting this morning that Celtic have been awarded the Scottish Championship, due to a points per game ratio, and also announced Hearts to be relegated by the same premise.

I'd be fuming as a Hearts supporter (which I'm not) unless it is mathematically impossible for them to remain. So many times in the past, regardless of which League or Division, we have seen teams suddenly go on a winning streak and avoid the drop, how can they speculate?

Next thing will be that shower over the park!

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 19/05/2020 at 08:51:31
Just watching Gordon Brown, on television, and he's basically saying that if the Goverment, don't really ramp up testing, then he expects a second wave. He also spoke about what's going to happen if we get a second wave, and these Goverment schemes, (furlough/loans) eventually have to end, and how bad it's going to be for pubs, resteraunts, gyms ect, if this happens.

He said if they had a vaccine, then the slogan would become- get vaccinated, but because they haven't got a cure, then instead of stay alert, the Goverment has got to massively ramp up testing, and change the slogan to "get tested."

The Chinese tested 11 million in 11 days, (don't trust them?) so 100,000 tests a day is nowhere near good enough, and they are arguing on tele right now, that they haven't even got up to this paltry figure, so maybe it's not just China, who are good/bad at telling lies.

Football will give the public a boost? I think ramping up testing would give us a much bigger boost, and maybe even a little bit of confidence, in this very, out of its depth Goverment, or is this too much to ask for?

Bob Parrington
60 Posted 19/05/2020 at 09:04:02

Unbelievable if that is the case in Scotland. Sets up too many precedent possibilities. New meaning for Covid – Calling out visibly idiotic decisions (off the top of the head but I'm sure somebody on here can improve on it).

Eric Myles
61 Posted 19/05/2020 at 09:13:16
Tim #43, we should do more than vote against a restart, the Club should come out and say it has a duty of care towards their workers and will not deliberately put anyone in harm's way.

They can play the rest of the season without us if necessary but I'm sure if one club comes out and says it, others will follow.

Unfortunately money rules the game so that's not likely to happen.

Ray Roche
62 Posted 19/05/2020 at 09:17:58
Del @58

You're right, teams CAN and do have late surges in form as seen in 2007 (?) when WHU won seven of their remaining nine games and stayed up. It's shameful to relegate clubs when they still have a chance of avoiding relegation, just so Celtic or the RS can be crowned Champions.

Rob Halligan
63 Posted 19/05/2020 at 10:16:15
Derek #58, if as reported, Hearts appeal the decision to be relegated despite there still being plenty of points to be won, then, by the same theory, could Rangers not also appeal on the basis that Celtic can still be caught?

I don't believe in this "Points per game" method, nor the "Pools Panel" method, as games were eventually played, often with a completely different result predicted by the pools panel.

Should our season be cancelled and the RS given the title, then I fully expect Man City to appeal the decision as the RS can still be caught!! 😁😁😁

Eric Paul
64 Posted 19/05/2020 at 11:15:20

I'm sure the club's desire to get their hands on the loot outweighs their desire to see the RS miss out on the title, so I doubt they would vote against a restart.

Derek Thomas
65 Posted 19/05/2020 at 11:23:38
Rob @ 63;

Even if Man City are in a minority of one against, but abide by the decision to play this behind closed door farce, once a ball is kicked, I would think their case is lost.

Paul Tran
67 Posted 19/05/2020 at 11:44:46
Thing is, the league was ended in Scotland because it was the only way the clubs could get prize money, which will be a short-term lifeline for many.

Aberdeen and Hibs have already asked their fans to not seek a refund for bought tickets/season tickets.

Some of the lower league clubs are already talking about going amateur, as most will not survive without match day income.

Going to get very interesting up here.

Julian Exshaw
68 Posted 19/05/2020 at 12:47:45
First and foremost, I miss football, really miss it. Not only the game itself but the whole soap opera around it. But there are far more serious issues at sake. The understandable dilly-dallying is due to the fact that nobody wants to take responsibility. Who wants another death on their conscience even if the chances of it happening as a direct result of football matches are thankfully minimal.

Everyone has an agenda, the clubs themselves, Fifa, Uefa, the Premier League and of course the likes of Sky. I'm not entirely sure they always act in the interests of the public at large though. It seems that this season is like an annoying itch and no one knows how to go about scratching it.

My own view, aside from the health issue, is that if we have to witness football as seen in the Dortmund /Schalke match, I'd rather have none at all. It was miserable.

So, either cancel it or tie it up now and let's wait until we can conquer this hateful disease.

Best health and wishes to all.

John Keating
69 Posted 19/05/2020 at 12:59:18

Hibs have told season ticket holders they will be reimbursed for the 4 home games they will miss. If, however, they waive reimbursement, the club will make it up to them in other ways.

The general feeling is that very few supporters will take up the offer of reimbursement rather leaving the money in the Club. Actually, they have already sold over 7,000 season tickets for next season.

As you mentioned though with Rangers and Hearts still moaning and groaning – when don't they – there will be more twists and turns.

Kevin Molloy
70 Posted 19/05/2020 at 14:00:50
Liverpool's parade through the city isn't worth thinking about... Oh wait...

Oh well, we can have the world's smallest brass band, playing just for the Mighty Reds on the end of a pin.

Eric Myles
71 Posted 19/05/2020 at 14:16:28
Paul #64, hence my last paragraph.
Paul Tran
72 Posted 19/05/2020 at 14:32:04
Cheers John #69, The Times didn't put that extra bit of info in there. Good on Hibs, again. I'd say Hearts have cause for complaint, but I'm not sure why Rangers chose to get offended again.
Jamie Crowley
73 Posted 19/05/2020 at 14:34:03
Julian @ 68,

It will take a very, very brave soul and leader of men to point out to people that the mortality rate for this virus in the UK is 0.05%, and that a gradual return to playing not only to empty stadiums, but social-distance friendly stadiums (like 25% capacity) is the way back to normalcy.

And an even braver leader to not listen to the baying, sanctimonious crowds who say you're self-absorbed and selfish if you favor a “Sweden-like” approach to all of this mess. Sweden, fans of “fuck that we're not sheltering”, have realized a 0.03% mortality rate.

Unlike you, I enjoyed the footy this weekend, as awkward as it was without fans. The fans will come back, as long as they are brave enough to do so, actually understand data and statistics, and don't let the new politically correct shame movement dampen their desire to brave a 0.05% mortality rate. Such risk men have never known!

I apologize for pissing on the narrative. As you can see, I don't buy it.

As you were! Out of your hidey-holes now. C'mon, you can do it. Elderly, preexisting, and obese stay inside for a bit longer. Everyone all together now!

Pat Kelly
74 Posted 19/05/2020 at 15:23:29
Among the protocols to be followed is that balls must be sanitised at half time. It's a whole new ball game.
John McFarlane Snr
75 Posted 19/05/2020 at 15:48:32
Hi Jamie [73], I try not to get involved in non-football matters but I feel that I must respond to your post, I hardly think that the relatives of the 0.05 % who have lost their lives will take kindly to your comments, and the criticism of what you call "The Newly Politically Correct Movement."

I have no doubt that some fans would consider coming back when they are "brave"(?) enough to do so, but I believe that the sensible fans will come out of their hidey-holes when they are informed that it's safe to do so.

Jamie Crowley
76 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:22:38
John McFarlane Sr -

The only way I can respond to your comment is to say I'm quite sure relatives of the 0.05% who have lost their lives will feel grief. As do all family members of the departed.

I wonder how the mother of 2 children who managed a restaurant and now don't have a paycheck will feel? Maybe one of those kids has a medical condition she can't afford to pay for now?

I wonder how the family members of those who commit suicide and drug overdose feel when they perish? Two factors already on the rise in this country. Down in no small part to losing jobs, feeling economic pressure to pay bills and eat, feed dependents, etc.

I wonder how the family members of people who perish in much, much greater numbers due to other ailments feel?

John, people die. It happens. Staying in and causing massive unemployment which leads to all sorts of health issues on a macro level isn't the answer when your mortality rate is 0.05%.

You're causing more issues in the long run than you would if you'd re-enter society, as long as you're not elderly, obese, or have a preexisting condition.

In short, I'd argue I'm more considerate of others – I care that in this country about 33 million people are unemployed and the health effects of their plight. And that number will far outweigh any mortalities from Covid-19.

Sensible? What's occurring is madness. We've stopped commerce and freedom of movement in its tracks for a number that is infinitesimal on a percentage basis. I'm sorry, but you won't shame me into being "sensible" or insensitive. I believe society isn't looking at the entire scope of affect when they myopically define sensible and insensitive.

To each their own. You're free to make your own decisions. I'd caution against judging myself and people like me who don't subscribe to your view. We can argue we're more sensitive and sensible quite easily.

Have a nice day. And for me, bring back the footy.

Kevin Molloy
77 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:27:00
I think Jamie has a point, insofar as the threat to somebody with no health issues and under 60 is vanishingly small. If we can find some way to lock up the vulnerable, then we should, and get everything else moving as soon as we can. Not cos of the footy, but cos every day more of this lockdown is absolutely killing us.

You've just got to look at how skint Britain was after the war, and for how long. We didn't really start spending money for 40 years. Look at anything in the 70s, and everyone is skint. Well, they're saying this lockdown will be worse, back to the 20s... No, thank you very much.

Alan J Thompson
78 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:30:46
And we wonder how somebody like Trump could get elected!
Michael Lynch
79 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:36:11
I'm not sure about "lock up the vulnerable" – why should the 'vulnerable' be condemned to life in a home-prison for the forseeable future, just so the rest can have more freedom? How about lock up the young – who are much more likely to catch the virus and be asymptomatic, thus carelessly spreading it to everyone else – so the vulnerable and careful can have some freedom?

Just asking like.

Michael Spear
80 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:37:45
Well said John Mac Snr. And to Jamie (73), yes we know the stats point to a decreasingly low risk of contracting Covid-19, probably lower than getting run over by a bus. The point though is that you know where the bus is likely to be and so take steps to keep out of its way. How do you knowingly keep out of the way of an invisible virus that can be carried by asymptomatic people (of all ages) so neither you nor they know they're infectious?

Yes, officially I'm 'elderly' (73) but have no 'preexisting' and have a BMI of 29, so not obese (a bit overweight maybe). But an ex-neighbour of mine died of Covid-19 last month. Not in ICU but at home, carried away by a 'cytokine storm'. He had no underlying conditions, had led the local Scouts for 30 years (not relevant I know, just to show he was active in every sense, particularly in the community) and, Jamie, he was only 58.

His funeral is not until the end of this month with only 10 mourners allowed. His widow has asked that we pay our respects from the side of the road as the hearse goes off to the crematorium.

So, Jamie, I will be coming out of my hidey-hole soon, not to watch an ersatz game of football but simply to honour one of the tens of thousands that have died over here from Covid-19.

Robert Williams
81 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:37:53
DA (#6): "Everton have always been one of the most conservative (notice the small 'c') clubs in the country, they never, ever, rock the boat."

Is spineless the word you are looking for?

Michael Lynch
82 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:40:22
Meanwhile, a number of positive tests in Premier League clubs have been announced. And Troy Deaney is saying he won't go back to training. Fair play to him, his baby son is having some breathing issues, and he's worried about high death rates in the BAME communities.

I like the idea that one of the hardest, most macho players in the Premier League is prepared to stand up and say No. I wonder how many more will?

Like he says, he's not allowed to get a haircut, but he's being told to cram into a penalty box and get hugged, coughed on, and shouted at by a load of men from outside his family group. Weird.

Kevin Molloy
83 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:41:19
Michael, the economy functioning is the difference between your two scenarios. A rather big difference when all is said and done, it's not just about what is fair. We've got to pay our way or we're dead.
Robert Williams
84 Posted 19/05/2020 at 16:46:02
John 34 & Tony 36,

Cemeteries are a great place to relax – but beware you don't lose the plot!!

Tony Abrahams
85 Posted 19/05/2020 at 17:19:27
I lost the plot years ago, Robert, and this lockdown is making me realise how much!

Jamie feels like a lot of people, but I've read there is going to be a lot of people attending these football matches, players, trainers, officials, ballboys, doctors, first aiders, and then I read what Michael @80, tells us about his neighbours funeral, and think how the fuckin hell can football have all these people but only 10 people can go and pay their proper respects when someone is getting buried?

0.05% is a hell of a lot of people though, Jamie, even when you say it fast. If a second wave comes, it “will be” a lot more overwhelming than the first wave, because of all the things you mention in your post. And that's before we even consider how many more people are going to perish, and still we don't look like we have a proper plan in place, which should be and always has been to test, test, test, and isolate the people who don't even know they are carrying around this virus.

Ray Robinson
86 Posted 19/05/2020 at 17:32:17
I don't normally get involved in coronavirus statistics arguments on ToffeeWeb but, acknowledging the general point Jamie is making that at some point soon the Government will have to make a decision to "get back to normal" due to the adverse consequences and hardship caused by the lockdown, why has nobody queried his statistics?

Based on a UK population of 66.7 million and a current death tally of approx 40,000 the mortality death rate is indeed currently about 0.06%, but does he really think that there will be no more deaths?

I know that the science is very immature in terms of Covid-19 but there is a general consensus that the mortality rate is about 4%. That's a hell of a lot higher figure than he is quoting and not an insignificant number.

It's a delicate tightrope that the authorities have to tread and at some point it will be up to individuals to decide if they are prepared to take the risk in attending matches, but is it really a viable proposal to allow millions of people to congregate every week and let the virus take its course? I don't think so.

Brian Cleveland
87 Posted 19/05/2020 at 17:48:38
Jay (33),

I like you, want to be immersed and passionate in a game, and tuned in to that game out of morbid curiosity. It felt rather like a training match, pointless. Obvious which team was better, but it hardly seemed to matter. My level of enthusiasm get ever lower until I was only half watching. Empty stadium, celebration at 2 m, feeling of it all being inappropriate and almost in bad taste to be playing at all.

Far too soon, and good on Troy Deeney for saying so here. Having said that, when we are playing, will I be able to not watch out of protest? I doubt it. I'll be drawn like a horse to water, as I suspect will everyone posting here.

Rob Young
88 Posted 19/05/2020 at 18:06:30
Fair play to Troy Deeney, saying it like it is.

I always hated the summer break, too long without football and... Over 2 months and I have no need for it to start yet.

Ed Fitzgerald
89 Posted 19/05/2020 at 18:07:34
Jamie Crowley,

You make some interesting points. It is not given that the mortality rate is 0.05% for Covid-19. To be able to be accurate about this, the status of all individuals would need to be known. Its impact upon mortality will depend on many factors such as age, health, socio-economic factors and ethnicity to name but a few.

It is normally assumed that viruses that are harmful to human life have a mortality rate of around 1% but this isn't set in stone; these are models of infection created normally after an epidemic or pandemic has receded.

In Liverpool, 32% of all deaths between the end of February and the beginning of May are attributable to Covid-19 in some way. The current death rate based on cases identified also stands about 30 per cent. Even if you increase the base of infected people (due to non-diagnosed cases) 10-fold, it is still a death rate of 3% which is higher than the 1% model oft-quoted. Moreover, in a city with its fair share of poverty and ill-health, the distribution of the disease is going to be uneven amongst the populous.

I for one think the rush to get the Premier League back is a little obscene and motivated by broadcasting contracts rather than concerns for those at risk.

Covid-19 is a novel virus, virologists and epidemiologists are still not sure how this virus will behave as we enter the Autumn months and whether there will be significant second wave of lethal infections.

Getting back to normal is of course important for the economy and people's well being. I do not think ‘normal' includes watching 22 people kick a ball around pitch with no fans.

Chris Williams
90 Posted 19/05/2020 at 18:47:47
I'm not sure it's just a binary choice – lockdown good; no lockdown bad... or vice versa – depending on your opinion. As to the economics of it, again that's a subject all on its own, and opinions on that are many and varied.

It's a matter of how and when you do it, what the risks are, do you have all the things in place to measure, react, control etc. Do you understand all the key issues?

In England, it is clear we do not have a robust testing regime, and the figures being quoted are perhaps not to be trusted entirely. Why did we send 50,000 tests to be evaluated in US, for example? Why are we told today that it is taking 10 days for Care Home staff to get test results? Why are home testing kits always running out of stock? Again today.

We were told that the tracing team which was due to start work tomorrow, had only recruited 1,500 last Friday. That had grown miraculously to 17,000 by Sunday, and then to 22,000 yesterday. I'm assuming they will need some training, so we're not quite sure when and how many will start this vital task.

The tracing App, which we're told is equally vital, isn't ready. It may never be ready and may have to be replaced.

PPE is still in short supply and we have hospital trusts making their own.

The level of new infections is still very high, certainly much higher than Germany when they brought football back. Their transmission rate has crept up to 1.1 apparently since relaxing lockdown. But they have all the measures in place.

The level of excess deaths is still very high, many as yet with no explanation. ONS are looking into it and will report separately, but it may be that some of those may be Covid-19 related. So we may be looking at 50,000 or 60,000 deaths depending on which figures you choose. Certainly much higher than the bullshit being peddled nightly by the government.

We relaxed the lockdown last Monday, and the message was confused / totally clear / deliberately vague [delete as applicable]. We won't see the results of that if any for another 3 weeks or so.

The transmission rate is creeping up and varies from place to place. London was 0.4 last week; the Northwest and Northeast is much higher. Death rates the same.

So, given all of that, and there's a lot more, the question to ask yourself is: "Is this the right time to get back to 'normal'?”

As to understanding this week, I don't think anybody does, so best you have all your ducks in a row, before committing yourself.

Gary Mortimer
91 Posted 19/05/2020 at 19:14:26
Ray @86,

The 4% mortality rate is calculated using the number of people who have tested positive for the virus and those who have died from it (or complications to existing conditions due to it).

The rate is not 0.06% because not everyone in the UK has caught the virus (yet).

Without an effective track-and-trace app working, we have no idea how many people have it in the community.

John Keating
92 Posted 19/05/2020 at 19:25:59
Joe Anderson was brought up when he said supporters would congregate at Anfield should they clinch the title.

"No chance" said that bastion of righteousness, the Spirit of Shankly, "Our supporters are law-abiding citizens who know what is right and wrong."

So also said the Celtic Supporters Club.

About an hour after the league was cancelled and Celtic declared Champions... guess what happened???

Eric Paul
93 Posted 19/05/2020 at 19:35:33
Certain industries are being advised by the government to prepare for a lockdown in November after an increase in cases in October.
John McFarlane Snr
94 Posted 19/05/2020 at 19:39:36
Hi Jamie [76],

I didn't ask you how the relatives of the 0.05% felt. Having lost nearest and dearest through the years, I have a fair idea of how they felt.

I wrote "I hardly think that the relatives of the 0.05% who lost their lives will take kindly to your comments, and the criticism of what you call 'The Newly Politically Correct Movement'.

I have no intention of shaming you into being 'sensible' or 'insensitive' – I believe that you have done that yourself, in a far more efficient way than I could ever achieve.

My intention is to make this my final post to you, because I know that we will never be able to come to an amicable agreement.

Danny Baily
95 Posted 19/05/2020 at 19:44:27
Some sort of invitational tournament for those clubs and players who are willing to participate is the best way to solve the Premier League dilemma.

The integrity of the existing tournaments is in tatters. The top six, Sky darlings with a trophy to play for over a week or two in the summer, will give the broadcasters something to show.

Ray Robinson
96 Posted 19/05/2020 at 20:19:27
Gary # 91, I was not suggesting the rate is 0.06%, I was actually disputing the figure that Jamie mentioned. I was trying to work out how he had arrived at his stupendously low figure and figured that 40,000 divided by 67.7 million was indeed about 0.06%.

Of course I realise that not everyone has caught the virus yet! As for the 4% mortality rate, I'm not sure how it is derived but it is the figure widely quoted by "experts".

The prospects are scary but Jamie is right up to a point in that, at some point, the Government is going to have to say we have had enough of lockdowns – we can't afford to continue to furlough people and the adverse consequences that any ensuing economic depression would lead to a worse outcome than resuming "normal activities".

Similarly, we match-goers will have to at some point weigh up the risks in a resumption of attending matches.

For me, it's far too soon to adopt this approach (and we should not be resuming football yet)... but, at some point fairly soon, the tipping point will arrive.

Jay Harris
97 Posted 19/05/2020 at 21:14:53
My view is very simple and based on risk. There are areas of concentration of the virus, like big cities, nursing homes etc. There are also the very vulnerable and the not so vulnerable.

Concentrate the lockdown on areas of high risk and concentrate the care on the extremely vulnerable. We need to stop people dying. People get sick all the time and while it's not nice to catch this thing it is only a problem if it is life-threatening.

I also think it's crazy to have around 200 people per game in a contact sport and yet some poor sods can't even attend their own kin's funeral.

We need the world leaders to show some leadership instead of gamesmanship and politics.

Jamie Crowley
98 Posted 19/05/2020 at 21:26:57
John -

You brought up the relatives of the 0.05%. I made a statement that they will feel grief. They were the subject matter that I commented on. You never asked how they felt. I made a fairly safe conjecture when I stated how they would feel.

You say:

... but I believe that the sensible fans will come out of their hidey-holes when they are informed that it's 'safe to do so'.

The complicit understanding and hinted meaning in that sentence is that fans who don't wait until they are informed it's 'safe to do so' [come out and resume daily life] are NOT sensible. To argue contrary to that is disingenuous in the extreme.

I have no doubt – repeating for emphasis, NO doubt – you are a very, very good-hearted man and a gentleman. If it is implied I'm not being sensible, or that the idea that those of us that advocate for a return to normalcy based upon the statistics do not care about our fellow human beings, I will respond very directly and refute that notion.

Be well, Sir. If this is the last we speak, that will not be my doing.


Jamie Crowley
99 Posted 19/05/2020 at 22:30:10
Alan Thompson @ 78,

I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. If your statement is a backhanded slap at 360+ million people, we called Americans who democratically elected the Orange One into the Oval Office, you're entitled to your broad-brush view of the world.

This is not a political issue, it's an issue of humanity and economics.

It concerns football in that we simply have to discuss when and how to return.

Si Cooper
100 Posted 19/05/2020 at 22:57:17
Jamie, you need to explain where you are getting your 0.05% figure from if you expect anyone to take your posts seriously.

As Ray has said, you seem to be doing the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 as a percentage of the national population. That is just a plain stupid way to gauge the threat.

It was reported at the start that this virus is expected to have a near 100% infectivity rate and I have yet to hear that figure pared down. There is also, as yet, no definitive information about how good any immunity is for those who recover.

Thus far in Germany, who are held up as a role model for testing and tracing, there have been less than 200,000 confirmed cases. If that figure is anywhere near accurate, then over 80 million of their population haven't had it yet. You seem to be assuming they would have had it by now if they are ever going to catch it but you can't make that assumption. The whole point of lockdown, social distancing, testing, tracking and tracing was to minimise the spread of the virus and that seems to have worked well.

But that still leaves the vast majority of us who just haven't been exposed yet – at least that is what the scientists have to treat as the facts, until such time as widespread reliable antibody testing is available for everyone and we've all been checked.

John Keating
101 Posted 20/05/2020 at 00:09:08
So we have 6 positive tests at Premier League clubs, 3 at Watford.

Watford are a team fighting relegation; their main man, Deeney, refused to train as he has a young child that's unwell.

Quite rightly, Deeney has put his family first and his refusal to train is borne out by these results.

So, the main man doesn't train, doesn't play, really affects the club and its fight to stay up. Is that the "integrity" we keep hearing from the football heirachy?

Jamie Crowley
102 Posted 20/05/2020 at 00:51:17
Si, You can see the deaths per million by country. You could also Google the numbers, or visit John Hopkins University for further data. I disagree with your assessment that my mortality percentage as a way to gauge the severity of this pandemic is “stupid”. Seems to me to be the only way to gauge this when we're considering shutting down entire economies and limiting the freedom of the world's inhabitants.

That aside, not being exposed to this virus as a numerical factor under consideration, has many permeations which gently glide into the “who the fuck knows” category, creating a slew of people scared to re-enter society. That kind of ambiguity feeds fear. Fear is a disease. If you assume the 80 million in Germany unaffected WILL get it, then?

If we wait around to figure out the number of uninfected people vs infected people, or the mathematical proportional relationship between those two numbers, scared to return because we don't know that number / percentage, we'll be in our homes forever.

Viruses, historically, have always infected a very small percentage of the world population. Why in the holy hell would we want to know what percentage / number of people HAVEN'T been infected?? We can't make enough tests to ever reliably ascertain that number?

I honestly don't understand your logic or reasoning. The sole number that matters is the mortality rate due to the virus when factoring in when to shut down an economy. How many people has this thing actually killed? I'd argue if the original models were remotely accurate, and we were looking at between 3% and 5% death rate due to Covid-19, we should lock it down. In the UK, you're at 0.05% – NOT 0.5% as some were typing in previous posts [Now corrected — Ed]. You could DOUBLE the mortality rate and be nowhere close to 1%.

The knock-on effect of this action of sheltering based upon those mortality rates is crippling. Just now, a major retailier in the USA – Pier One Imports – announced they are closing their retail operations. How many people are now unemployed because of that one company going under? We continue down this road, it's a recipe for utter and total disaster. More bankruptcies and closures creating more unemployed creating more health issues – you see the trend.

The above is absolutely applicable to footy. It is a business.

I'd also say I think that's your angle on this? If I'm wrong, please correct me and I'll try a more cogent response.

Six positive cases out of I believe 784 tests in the Premier League. A 0.8% infection rate. Again, the numbers bear out a return to playing. Carefully executed, not rash, but any type of a return. There will be mistakes. Those in charge will learn from them and make adjustments.

Regarding Troy Deeney, I say good man! He's putting his family first as his 5-month-old son has breathing troubles. He should be paid through this situation by the club, they should support him, and Watford need to continue the season without him. It's unfortunate, but the show must go on. Troy Deeney needs to do what he must for the good of his family and should be financially supported. The Premier League should continue and get playing again – they must or they face terrible, unsustainable losses.

And that reality is applicable to every business affected by this shutdown on the globe.

Jamie Crowley
103 Posted 20/05/2020 at 01:16:38

One more thing. You say:

It was reported at the start that this virus is expected to have a near 100% infectivity rate and I have yet to hear that figure pared down.

Are you insinuating that it's your opinion that this virus has 100% infectivity rate? Every single inhabitant of earth will contract this virus?

Or are you saying it was reported that the virus has 100% infectivity rate? If so, I'd suggest you find your statistics and news elsewhere.

Pure fantasy. Every inhabitant on the globe contracts / is infected with Covid-19? Never.

Paul Ferry
104 Posted 20/05/2020 at 02:43:04
Jamie: 'If your statement is a backhanded slap at 360+ million people, we called Americans who democratically elected the Orange One into the Oval Office'.

360+ million people do not vote in the USA. Check out USA demography.

Erm, 'democratically elected'? You mean the electoral college which is the antithesis of democracy?

In a democracy, like the UK, Trump would not have been elected. Who won the popular vote, Jamie?

In a democracy, Hilary Clinton would now be the first female president of the USA.

Hilary compared to Trump – on Twitter today, the laboratory solid VA/UVA survey of his drug of choice is an 'enemy' statement – yes, Veterans Administration are 'the enemy'.

If the USA was a democracy, we – as I live here – would not have the disgusting testing mess and confirmed death toll with a maniac in charge who is the epitome of anti-democracy.

Don't use 'democracy' Jamie to justify the criminal electoral college system that wiped out the will of the people.

Si Cooper
105 Posted 20/05/2020 at 02:59:01
Jamie, it's not insinuation and it is not my opinion. It's not even an interpretation, it's what has been stated. No natural immunity, everyone can catch it. That is what has been reported for this novel virus and nothing yet has been published to change that.

It is where the 250,000 (for the UK alone) figure came from that changed our government's strategy from going for the quickest route to herd immunity to the co-ordinated attempt to contain the outbreaks as much as possible.

Incidentally, without a vaccine or some useful antiviral, we are still expected to reach that figure of 250,000 because that was even with all affected getting treatment. As things stand, it will come at a relative trickle rather than the torrent or tsunami that we would have arrived at very quickly had the virus been allowed to spread unchecked.

Balanced against that is that 80% will show no to only mild symptoms. Of the 20% that get the severe disease, most will recover. To me, both your mortality and infectivity figures are next to meaningless unless you can put them into the context of how many have been exposed, how many of them contracted the infection, and how many of those died because of the virus (directly or through complications/ secondary illnesses).

That's why I quoted the German figures – because they are supposed to know better than most what their headline figures represent. And they still haven't exactly thrown the fetters off yet, have they?

For your information, I have never been for a long-term lockdown. I could see from the very start that there will probably be a lot of upsetting compromises before this ordeal is over. I count myself lucky that I've never had to stop working and isolating and social distancing is relatively easy for me at this point in my life. But I still hate having to give up all those little choices that make up individual freedom, and there are a few things that would see me jumping in my car and driving to where I think I should be rather than technically where I am allowed to go right now.

Thing is, I think the mega-rich Premier League should be able to get all their players back to their work safely and without endangering any of their family members or compromising the health services. It's just logistics, planning and a bit of proper discipline over quarantining for a couple of months. We need to test the water periodically to see where we are with this virus. There are just so many unresolved questions – we treat it lightly or already dealt with at our peril.

I think only an idiot like Trump would nail his colours to the mast over a single one-route solution to this pandemic until we have both an effective mega capacity screening test and, ultimately, an effective vaccine or treatment for all.

Ed Prytherch
106 Posted 20/05/2020 at 03:17:14
I am 100% with Jamie on this. There are people who at higher risk and, if they are sensible, they will act accordingly.

I am 72 with a chronic condition and my wife is 71, also with a condition that results in a compromised immune system. We try to lead normal lives, keep our distance, wash our hands frequently, wear N95 masks in public places, avoid places where others who are at lower risk are behaving differently.

Life is too short to be paranoid. I read an estimate of the number of additional cancer deaths because testing has been curtailed for the past couple of months and in many places it exceeds the Covid-19 deaths.

An old friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago as a result of falling downstairs and cracking his head. Life (and death) goes on.

Mike Gaynes
107 Posted 20/05/2020 at 06:09:40
Ed #106, I don't know where you read your "estimate" of additional cancer deaths because "testing has been curtailed", but unless you can cite a credible source for that, I'm going to tell you that here in the US that is simply not true. I can't speak for the UK, but cancer testing here is considered a necessity, not an elective, and any cancer patient has access to testing, scans and treatment at any time. I'm a stage 4 patient in remission and my scans and tests have not been impacted at all.

It is the virus, not the restrictions, that endangers cancer patients. Many died in Wuhan and New York, not just because Covid-19 overwhelms compromised immune systems but because patients on chemo could not access their treatments in overwhelmed hospitals where the virus raged.

I congratulate you on your willingness to live by the premise that "life is too short to be paranoid". Personally, I consider a sufficient number of my fellow citizens to be blathering idiots that I do not wish to trust my safety to merely avoiding people who are acting idiotically.

Let's both come through this and continue debating here for many years to come.

Mike Gaynes
108 Posted 20/05/2020 at 06:16:38
Jamie #102...

"Viruses, historically, has always infected a very small percentage of the world population."

Not quite true.

1/3 of the world's population at that time was infected by the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic.

And although I've seen no worldwide estimates for the 2009 swine flu, in the US one-fourth of the population was infected.

Si Cooper
109 Posted 20/05/2020 at 08:59:21
Ed, my issue with Jamie is his use of figures which are, as far as I can work out, based on massively incomplete data. To use them as a clarion call to rush back to normality just seems to be misguided to me. We have to balance things and proceed cautiously until we have much more solid information.

You are currently able to take some calculated risks precisely because we have checked the spread of the virus greatly. If we hadn't been even half as successful in that regard, then you might find your current choices much more limited and all of us a lot further away from the normality we all crave.

If we abandon the things that are keeping this virus contained too early, then we really do risk things getting far worse than what we have experienced so far.

John McFarlane Snr
110 Posted 20/05/2020 at 09:45:31
Hi All,

I'm hoping that this will be my final post on this subject.

What I find a bit rich is that someone 3,000 miles away can be so interested in the movements of UK residents. I think that there might be a clue in the final sentence of post [76] "Have a nice day!, and for me, bring back the footy."

Jack Convery
111 Posted 20/05/2020 at 10:12:03
Anyone who sends their kids out to play in a lightning storm is asking for trouble. Just saying.

Health before wealth. If every bloody football team went down the tube financially, would that stop football? I think not because the TV people would bring it back in some form.

Life is precious and those advocating freedom of movement can put their lives at risk if they choose but what they can't choose is who contracts the disease from them if they catch it and that's the real issue here. Me Me Me is running this world we live in, more's the pity.

Cancel the season – it's ruined anyway now. Give the RS the trophy if it stops them moaning. Me, I'll sit out the storm and walk on when it's over.

To those key workers, God bless you and keep you safe. Footballers are not key workers, please remember that.

Dave Abrahams
112 Posted 20/05/2020 at 10:27:02
Jack (111), lovely post, echos my sentiment entirely. As you say, each to their own.
Liam Reilly
113 Posted 20/05/2020 at 10:36:38
Couldn't agree more with Deeney; protecting his child first has to be paramount.

If one life is lost from this restart (which has to be a strong possibility), one can only imagine the fallout and the lawsuits.

Unfortunately, until the righteous ones are crowned official champions (where they cannot be caught), voiding the season will not be an option.

You can bet if one of the so-called media darlings was in the relegation zone at this stage of the season, the talk about voiding the season would have a whole new perspective.

Kim Vivian
114 Posted 20/05/2020 at 11:13:25
John McF - 117 and more. Hi - I thought you more than anyone else might enjoy this lifted from someone's post on 24 November 2013...

"Thanks for letting me share and you'll probably see more of my uniquely American ignorance in the comments section."

Just saying, like...

Dave Evans
115 Posted 20/05/2020 at 11:29:44
I cannot see any uniquely American ingnorance in someone pointing out the devastation protracted lockdowns will have on lives.

Increased poverty, deaths, unemployment, psychological traumas and stifled opportunity for our young. Just to mention a few.

Paul Tran
116 Posted 20/05/2020 at 11:33:25
Jack #111 nails it.
Alan J Thompson
117 Posted 20/05/2020 at 11:45:14
Jamie Crowley(#99); Now there's a phrase, "Democratically elected".

Just how do you define that, Jamie? The person who got the most votes? Preferential voting, proportional representation, qualifications for access to a ballot paper, colleges and peerages? A broad-brush view of the World? An issue of humanity and economics that doesn't concern politicians but does concern footballers?

It may not be who you are, Jamie, but you come over to me as a selfish individual who will later want to be judged as successful based on your money and possessions. As you say, an issue of humanity and economics.

Personal liberties? Take a year out as, at the moment, it seems to be all that will allow more to have them. As another American once said; "Freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to shout FIRE in a crowded theatre."

David Metcalf
118 Posted 20/05/2020 at 12:18:31
The season surely must be null and void. There are numerous reasons, and we all know what they are, so I won't go over them again.

Changing tack slightly, it was interesting to read the comments from Tony Abrahams and Chris Hockenhull in regard to social distancing and a sense of peace when walking in a cemetery. This is very true. I recently took a stroll around Walton Cemetery, near Walton Prison, and at the risk of sounding morbid, it was a very enjoyable experience.

As Chris stated, it's quite interesting and relaxing, looking at the graves and wondering about the lives of the people buried there. At Walton, you can also see the paupers' grave in which Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, is buried... a very sad story. I also saw the grave of a man who drowned when The Lusitania was torpedoed.

For peace, quiet, and a chance for a bit of knowledge and reflection, a walk around a cemetery is perfect.

Martin Nicholls
119 Posted 20/05/2020 at 12:36:21
John Keating #92 – excellent post!

Joe Anderson spoke perfect sense but is open to the kind of outraged response he got from these sanctimonious gits and indeed their club simply because he is an Evertonian.

As I say, he spoke perfect sense – time for the city's Metro Mayor, Steve Rotherham, to put the people he represents before the club he supports and express his agreement with Joe? Or is he just like the rest of the rs and will put them above all else?

Charles Barrow
120 Posted 20/05/2020 at 12:36:32
There are a few issues being raised here. Whether you think we should be in lockdown or not – to me, we cannot allow the Premier League to start up again, safe or otherwise. Unfortunately, I think it will – as any excuse will be used to crown 'you know who' Champions.

On the reaction to the Virus, The US and the UK have a similar experience. Two over-sensitive, attention-seeking, incompetent leaders. Both countries have basically ballsed up their response – on the testing, the protection of front line workers, the organisation of contact tracers, the debacle over border control, the lateness in doing all this stuff. The difference is Trump wants to come out of lockdown and Johnson doesn't know if he wants to come out of lockdown.

Personally, I think we have to start getting back to some normality soon and then concentrate on protecting the most vulnerable. Cars kill thousands every year, but they're not banned – we manage the risk, by imposing speed limits, enforcing seat belts etc. I think we'll have to do the same with the virus if there is no vaccine or proper treatment.

Eric Myles
121 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:12:37
@ Jamie Crowley, good luck, it's a tough crowd on TW, you'll get a lot of invective comments.

But at least some people are coming around to questioning the conventional "wisdom" including a growing number of scientists.

Patrick McFarlane
122 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:17:04
If ever there was a time to re-examine our values, is it now?

We are all pretty selfish, if we are truthful with ourselves, we all want to progress in our careers, we all want to see a successful economy to help us to improve our own lifestyles, we all wish to have good health and live a long life, to watch our children and grand-children grow and prosper.

Most of the leadership, both here and in the USA, has been woefully inadequate, it has failed, to help us the public, fully understand the ramifications of their decisions, it has added to the confusion when clarity was all we asked for.

It isn't a time for party politics, they constantly tell us, when criticism is aimed at them. But they continue to play politics at every turn, constantly appealing to what they perceive to be their core supporters values', telling them what they think they want to hear, rather than informing the whole population about the real risks and the real costs.

They try to underplay their own mistakes, their own short-comings, because they are afraid of the ramifications.

I've little doubt that the lockdown was necessary; some claim that without it, the number hopitalised would have been significantly higher and therefore the number of fatalities would be far far greater.

What was and is missing from this lockdown plan is an escape route: How do we navigate ourselves back to some semblance of normality? How do we infuse ourselves with enough confidence to take the plunge? How do we evaluate the risks? Who do we listen to? Who do we trust?

When there is conflict between nations, many of us acknowledge those that go to war on our behalves, to defend whatever it is that the military have been sent to protect, but usually those battles take place elsewhere in a far-off land and life in general has continued for the majority of us without too much interference in our everyday lives.

When disgruntled workers decide to withdraw their labour, for reasons which in many cases are justifiable and legitimate, most of us don't take much notice, until it starts to interfere with our own lives. We often care not for the why's and focus mainly on what effect the strike is having upon our own lives and our own livelihoods.

This is the dilemma that we all find ourselves in now: are we supposed to support the 'troops' and make sacrifices of our own to support the 'war effort' or are we supposed to decry the 'strikers' for being so selfish by their actions.

I think the lockdown has already done the catastrophic economic and social damage that many have feared. A hasty return to opening everything up under the wrong circumstances won't undo that damage, it may indeed exacerbate it.

Perhaps the time has come to re-examine our individual values?

Eric Myles
123 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:23:35
Si #109, Jamie has stated his source as Worldinfo, and I agree, it is massively incomplete.

Could you suggest a better source that you use?

John Keating
124 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:29:32
Mikel Arteta got the virus and we stopped playing football.

Yesterday, 6 tested positive and The Times headline: “ONLY 6 test positive”.
That's okay then — on the day another 500-odd people die of the virus.

Eric Myles
125 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:35:14
Alan J. #117, you should know enough of American politics to know that a "Democratically Elected Government" means that the Democrats won the election. ;-?

But, then again, UK is not a democratically elected government either.

Ernie Baywood
126 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:46:12
People are going to continue to contract this virus. People are going to continue to die from this virus.

The Government's job is to avoid anarchy. So they need to make sure that, if people die, it isn't because they didn't have enough test kits or ICU beds.

Once that's at a level they can defend, restrictions will be gone and it will be over to the people. Make your own choices and deal with the consequences.

Football was never the risk anyway, the crowds were the risk. Take away the crowds and you've got fit young men working 45-minute shifts between breaks with every possible accommodation made.

And to put it bluntly, Troy Deeney can make the same choices people make all the time. X pounds vs X sacrifice. If he chooses to stay with his family and not work, then good on him. If he chooses to 'work away' for a couple of months to bring in a few hundred thousand, then good on him. None of us can make that decision for him. He's fortunate to actually have a choice though.

Football teams are workplaces. Time to get back to work. Safely.

Tony Abrahams
127 Posted 20/05/2020 at 13:56:47
It's all getting political and Johnson has now said 200.000 tests a day. 24 hours after a very sensible man, an ex-prime minister, said it's all about testing.

We can all re-examine our individual values, Patrick, you speak a lot of sense as usual, but this world has been dragging us all along for years, and that's why I personally think Alan J, is wrong about Jamie, who is doing nothing more than doing his best to provide, and hopefully build a future for his family, which just falls in line with the current policy of the western world.

Robert Williams
128 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:01:10
Just off topic for a minute.

A chap I knew, Bill, had the surname Strange and he used to say that, when he died, all he wanted on his headstone were the words.

"Below this Sod, lies another."

and he went on to say that people would walk past his grave and say – "That's Strange"!!

John Keating
129 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:04:13
Martin @119,

If Steve Rotherham put as much effort into standing up for the 30-odd thousand people already dead and the thousands more to come that he did for the Hillsborough dead, then we'd have had no RS Atletico game and talk of the Premier League starting.

He couldn't handle being a brickie and saw the easy money in politics. Why rock the boat now as nothing's more important than seeing thousands practising social distancing outside Anfield when they win the league.

Just another waster.

Jamie Crowley
130 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:04:34
Jesus. Good night's rest. Good morning.

Si @ 109,

Your argument, along with Eric's and Ray's comments (all the way back at 86) is that the data presented to you is incomplete. I disagree.

I believe – again, correct me if I'm wrong – you're stating it's incomplete as we don't know how many people will get infected once the virus has run the course. This gets back to infectivity rates being inaccurate if the virus hasn't been exposed to a large, large majority of society.

My response to that view is the data is certifiably not incomplete. We are simply viewing the data at this snapshot in time. Because none of us have a crystal ball. In fact, crystal balls have been wildly inaccurate – just ask the English bloke who started these models with their wildly inaccurate numbers.

At this moment in time, the mortality rate is 0.05%. Therefore, again to hammer this home, when qualifying whether or not to shut down an economy, create massive unemployment, creating massive health issues and civil unrest, the UK should not be sheltering. Nor should the USA.

Will cases spike when you come out? Yes. Yes, they will. The virus is highly, highly contagious. Will the health care system be over-run? No, it won't because we all pitched in, sacrificed, and made sure by sheltering that it wouldn't.

When faced with crippling an economy, and having to make decisions NOW and not being afraid of the Boogeyman in the closet, the quarantine has to end. 0.05% is not a high enough number to continue in the fashion that the UK and many states in the USA are.

Patrick McFarlane
131 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:04:46
Robert #128,

A nice story in other news: Everton announce club record 3-year kit deal with Hummel. Worth about ٧M a season, according to a tweet by Paul Joyce.

Tony Abrahams
132 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:06:10
And you were telling me and John to be careful we don't lose the plot! Brilliant that, Robert, very strange!!
Ray Robinson
133 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:13:38
No Jamie, the mortality tally is currently 0.05%, the mortality rate is significantly higher. Not just semantics and crucially important as long as the contagion is expanding.
Jamie Crowley
134 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:15:19
John @ 110,

My relief and happiness to see you post is palpable. No matter how mad you may get at me, and no matter how much you may dislike me and/or my approach, we can have a difference of opinion. It's allowed.

Now to your post.

I care about the movement of UK residents for a hell of a lot of reasons, but to highlight a few:

The UK is America's single greatest ally. Period. Some over here may claim Israel, I'd disagree. If someone looks cross-eyed at England, we jump. We're cousins, that's the way it is.

Ergo, our economies are intertwined. Watch TV, listen to music, note the companies who have a presence in both countries, etc. It's insane. For me, the UK might as well be another 4 states added onto our 50. For you, as perspective is everything, we're 'Far West Lancashire Over the Pond'. We just got a bit pissed off in the 1700s, but that's been patched up and we love the Queen. Why? She helps us make money, she shares defenses with us, she shares intelligence, etc.

IF (IF) England's economy (5th largest in the world, I believe) tanks, we feel it. IF (IF) America's economy tanks, you feel it. There's a symbiosis involved here I shouldn't need to explain.

So why do I care about the movements of people in the UK while I'm 3000 miles away? Read the above, connect the dots, you're more than capable of finishing this story.

I'd add, as I post on TW, I've been on this site a long while now. In that time, I've been fortunate enough to come up with a few 'internet friends'. Ones I'd like to meet someday. If I see friends walking down a path that doesn't have a happy ending, I'll say something. That's how I roll, John.

Jamie Crowley
135 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:29:38
Kim @ 114,

How in the world did you find a post from 2013???

Yes, I'm humble in my own way – especially back then wading into waters I knew very little about, attempting to respect the "fandom" and veteran posters was something I always placed a premium on.

I thank you as well for illustrating my sublime sense of humor. Oops, humour.

I'll say it again in 2020, and specifically use it in regards to this conversation. However, I'm going to change one word as, 7 years later, I'm slightly more confident in my dealings on TW:

Thanks for letting me share and you'll probably see more of my uniquely American contributions in the comments section.

Someone who trumpets (not Kim necessarily, just anyone) sheltering on this post, do me a favor. Answer me two questions:

1. Do you believe that continuing to shelter could have a negative economic effect?

2. Are you currently employed or receiving income assistance? If yes, are you possibly not understanding the plight of the millions of unemployed as you continue to support sheltering?

Jamie Crowley
136 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:31:32

A tally is a whole number, a percentage is a rate, even if the rate isn't "complete" because it could continue to increase with time?

Correct me if I'm wrong – I'm not a mathematician.

Jamie Crowley
137 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:40:30
Last post for a bit, I have to go to work. Work that has thankfully increased dramatically in May as I live in a "free" state here.

Couldn't resist, sorry

Eric @ 121,

You say TW is a tough crowd. I've been coming on here for years now. I've had my rear end ripped more than once. Sometimes the ripping was unwarranted, unintelligent shite. Sometimes the ripping was warranted and I regretted my comments.

Such is life.

But – I've been coming on the Live Forum for just about every game for a long, long time now. If you survive that, you can survive a debate on the pros and cons and consequences of sheltering without breaking a sweat.

This is nothing. Cheers.

John Keating
138 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:47:16
Patrick @131,

True, it is a good news story that we've doubled the income from Hummel by changing from Umbro.

You posted earlier about us changing how we look at things, an excellent post. Maybe we should just think that our new Hummel shirt will probably be made by the same Indonesian company that Umbro use...

Costs about a quid to make and the workers will be paid a pittance. How much will we pay?

Jamie Crowley
139 Posted 20/05/2020 at 14:47:50
Speed typing, re-reading, I'm noticing a lot of grammatical errors (auto-corrects surely!)

'knew' @ 135 for starters.

Lyndon, I will make a contribution to TW to compensate you for your time in the next few days.

James Flynn
140 Posted 20/05/2020 at 15:11:58
"Alan J. #117, you should know enough of American politics to know that a "Democratically Elected Government" means that the Democrats won the election. ;-?"

Thoughts for simpletons.

It doesn't mean that and never has.

Brent Stephens
141 Posted 20/05/2020 at 15:52:13
Alan #117. I can personally vouch for the fact that Jamie is a long way from a selfish individual. I've never met Jamie as I live on Merseyside. But I can definitely vouch for his humanity, towards me and my wife, which literally had me in tears. I won't go into details as I wouldn't want to embarrass him any further and I don't want to personally look for the sympathy card on here.

Take my word for it.

Eric Myles
142 Posted 20/05/2020 at 15:57:13
James #140, you didn't notice the tongue in cheek emoji? :-?

But then again, didn't the Democrats complain that Dubbya was not democratically elected?

Eric Myles
143 Posted 20/05/2020 at 16:02:36
Jamie #129, I'm not questioning your analysis of the Worldinfo data, I'm questioning the data itself.

And when I say it's a tough crowd here, my experience on another thread is that they don't want to listen to alternative views. As I said, you'll be villified, but vindicated.

Eric Paul
144 Posted 20/05/2020 at 17:08:01
Why will Jamie be vindicated?
Jamie Crowley
145 Posted 20/05/2020 at 17:13:43
Eating lunch, tune in, Paul Ferry @104...

Hello fine, fine sir. It is wonderful to see you post, even if it's a disagreement with myself that brought you here.

Regarding the Electoral College and the definition of "democracy", and understanding I'm about to disagree with a professor, ergo I wade into deep, deep dark waters and fear for my life, I'd say this:

The Electoral College is a system of brilliance, placed into existence specifically to limit the power of the Central Government in this country and empower the individual states. The Founding Fathers feared not foreign aggression the most, but themselves. They fought to rid themselves of a tyrannical, unrepresentative, oppressive monarchy. [Sorry]. They wanted to ensure that the government they set up would never have ultimate power.

We are a conglomeration of 50 independent, United States. We are represented as such through the Electoral College, ensuring centralized government never grabs too big a foothold, and that the dynamic of "tyranny of the majority" never rules the day.

In short, brilliance. Throw up all together at once please, dear TW readers.

50 independent states, Paul. 'Merica. Democratic in ever single way, despite your distaste for decentralizing power.

Cheers mate. I mentioned "hidey-holes" in a previous post. I'm glad to see you've exited your TW hidey-hole.

Please don't rip me a new one with any response you may pen. 😉 Arguing with you is a dangerous venture on any level.

Paul Columb
146 Posted 20/05/2020 at 18:06:54
Rather than regurgitate much of what is reviewed regarding the electoral college and its history, have a wee listen to this:

Electoral College 'Not Carved In Stone:' Author Advocates Rethinking How We Vote

Very much time for the electoral college to be shelved for the dysfunctional, non-representative system that is it is. The election has been reduced to a myopic attention to a handful of battleground states, rendering millions of votes ignored.

Tony Hill
147 Posted 20/05/2020 at 18:17:41
9,000 job losses at Rolls Royce have been announced, mainly going to be in Derby. Best brace ourselves, this is going to be devastating economically and socially.
Mike Gaynes
148 Posted 20/05/2020 at 18:33:41
John #110, under normal circumstances I am vitally, keenly interested in the movements of UK residents.

Particularly those named Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, Mina.....

Mike Gaynes
149 Posted 20/05/2020 at 18:53:24
Jamie #145, your history teachers are cringing in their graves. I can't believe you came out of the Boston school system.

We are NOT, repeat NOT, "a conglomeration of 50 independent, United States." There is nothing sovereign about the states. They cannot raise their own armies, conduct their own foreign policy or overrule the federal courts. Texas was once independent. Vermont was once independent. But today states have autonomy, not independence.

Furthermore, we are not a "conglomeration" -- we are a nation. United, interdependent, not a conglomerate.

Finally, the Electoral College was NOT established to ensure "centralized government never grabs too big a foothold" -- it was established by the Framers because they wanted the president chosen by what they thought of as "enlightened statesmen". It was established at the insistence of the slave states because at that time they were at a distinct minority in population and they knew that no Southerner could be elected president by a popular vote of all the states.

It's also worth noting that the Electoral College is inherently anti-democratic because the electors are not allotted proportionally. Wyoming has 3 electoral votes and California has 55, but California has 70 times as many citizens. So a Wyoming citizen's vote for president carries 4 times more weight than a Californian's. (That's why conservatives so desperately love the Electoral College -- they've elected two recent presidents with a minority of the votes.)

You're welcome to be a states-rights advocate if you like, but please don't rewrite American history or basic civics in the process.

Kim Vivian
150 Posted 20/05/2020 at 19:29:52
Jamie – have a good day at work. Well detected – I'm sure you won't remember that. And my comment was meant a little tongue-in-cheek.

To answer your questions – I am fortunate/unfortunate to be of a retirement vintage but do a little work which is impossible at this time as it involves home visits and design consultations. Having just moved with the intention of networking locally, that of course is on hold.

Of course, Jamie, a protracted, or even a short, lockdown or sheltering regime will impact negatively economically. I do feel, however, that a few weeks digging in now may save us months at the other end. That is easy for me to say but I can foresee a see-saw of relaxation and re-tightening of rules.

The other half of my household works in the care service, so no furloughing – attending to the needs of (very) special needs adults in a care home and until recently part of a mobilisation team, fortunately in an area of the country on the South Coast, relatively little affected by (identified) infection and with no deaths recorded due to Covid-19 so far in about a 400 square-mile area. That can make one feel a little blase but folk here are pretty vigilant with their social distancing, sheltering etc.

It will be interesting to watch the figures over the next month or as the area has received an influx of thousands of visitors to the beaches and towns here enjoying the good weather and Boris's relaxation guidelines – which are not being very strictly adhered to.

I believe that answers both your questions which both have an easy answer actually, but I think we are enjoying a more supportive policy here compared to your country's situation which affects your own view.

It won't last but hopefully we can reduce the pain with the appropriate vigilance because it could get worse – much worse.

Oh, and I hope your day has been okay.

Jamie Crowley
151 Posted 20/05/2020 at 19:33:15
Mike -

I'm rewriting nothing. Any proponent of a decentralized system prefers to refer to our country as a conglomeration of 50 independent states. The federal government supplies the armies - although there's the whole regulated militia issue in the Second Amendment to discuss. If you prefer semantically to use the word "autonomous" - reminding you it's been 30 years since I've been in a civics class so my "correct usage" might be off a bit, fine. I'll go along with that. But for me, a 'conglomeration of 50 independent states' as a descriptor works. If you prefer '50 autonomous united states' I'm fine with that. But let's not take our eye off the ball - my point stands. Quite clearly.

Try not to be too derogatory with the overall premise, dare I say preachy.

It was established by the Framers because they wanted the President chosen by what they thought of as "enlightened statesmen"

Jesus Christ above. The Electoral College isn't some white-guy, impose on the proletariat thing you portray. Hogwash.

Mike -

If the left in this country would actually look at why they keep losing elections, finding excuses and someone to vilify, instead of taking responsibility for the losses and ask rhetorically, "what can we do to improve our standing with the American people?" They might just stop blaming a system set up by the Founding Fathers and look inward?

Ignoring wide swaths of their base, grounding themselves in a PC culture, embracing identity politics as their religion, and never listening to their electorate, lost the left PA, WI, OH, MI, etc. in 2016.

Keep blaming the Electoral College, which brilliantly decentralizes our governmental system for the greater good, argue semantics, keep on keeping on, and see where this approach gets Dems in this country.

This is, after all, a constitutional republic, and even the most casual reader of the Constitution cannot fail to notice that the Electoral College is the only method specified by that document for selecting the president of the United States.

If it's good enough for the Constitution, it's good enough for me.

And, on that note, before this completely derails, I'm taking another break from TW. Cue the "thank fuck!" comments. But worry not, I'll be back. In the interest of my sanity and the internet relationships that I do appreciate, I'm going to step away for a bit. Out of respect for all those I've enjoyed over the years. Sometimes when you appreciate someone and you argue, it's best for all involved to remove yourself, take a break, consider what you've said, reevaluate, and discuss at a later time.

We need football back! ;0) I long for the days when disagreements were about whether Davey Moyes kept playing people out of position!

My wife said to me this morning, "Just stop. You're going to get banned, and then you'll be miserable." I'll heed the first part of her advice.

I'm at that point. Be well, friend.

Mike Gaynes
152 Posted 20/05/2020 at 21:05:27
Jamie, I didn't make up "enlightened statesman" -- that's a direct quote from Federalist #10 by James Madison. (Not Jesus Christ above. That would have been in the Bible.)

I'm glad the Constitution is "good enough" for you, but as originally written it allowed only white male property owners to vote, so it wasn't exactly an infallible document from its moment of origin. That's why they have amendments.

And the immutable fact remains that the essence of democracy is -- or is supposed to be -- that the person with the most votes wins. The United States, the cradle of democracy, is now the only democracy on earth where the person who gets the most votes for president can still lose. No attempt to swamp the issue with arguments about why elections are won and lost can obscure that basic unfairness.

Enjoy your break. Talk to you when you get back.

Paul Ferry
153 Posted 20/05/2020 at 23:12:18
Hi Jamie and Mike, best wishes to both of you.

Good to hear you at your robust best, Jamie, sticking to your guns (pun intended). I've been following the trials and tribulations of your missus, Mike, and look forward to you being together sooner rather than later.

Jamie, as I understand it, the constitution including the electoral college ought to be thought of as a thing of its time. It was created in very particular circumstances a long time ago and is not set in stone.

The Founding Fathers did not believe that ‘the people' could make credible decisions about who should govern them on their own and so they turned instead to ‘enlightened statesmen' to do it for them.

This active distrust of the sovereignty and will of the people is still embedded in the constitution. So, we have Jefferson, Madison, and the rest of the gang to thank for the ‘enlightened statesmen' who, against the wishes of the majority of voters, put the craziest and most dangerous clown on earth in the White House in 2016.

The electoral college in effect puts a brake on the electorate who are ‘moderated' and, since its birth, gives an undue amount of influence to smaller states by design. The number of votes as a proportion of the populations of the states is criminal. So, too, is the fact that 48 states follow a first-past-the-post policy were getting 49.99999% of votes earns in real terms nothing for a candidate.

If the electoral college actually did stay true to population counts when making allocations, then the odds would always be on the Democrats winning today – think large cities. But the electoral college is a relic of a frontier agricultural society and economy with a small number of largish cities. It is out-of-date, its original purposes were – to say the least – undemocratic, and it needs to be refashioned in ways that reflect the USA today.

Mike Gaynes! America, ‘the cradle of democracy'! Wash your mouth with soap sir! That's what the Founding Fathers of HIST-101 Western Civilization Part I wanted to put inside the heads of teenagers!

Stay well, Mike; stay staunch, Jamie mate, and beware of those ‘time-bound' originalist and textualist Scalia-like folks who treat the 1789 constitution as scripture (I'll raise a glass to you Jamie on September 17!).

Good health to each and everyone in these testing times.

Eric Myles
154 Posted 20/05/2020 at 00:02:34
Mike #152, UK has an electoral college system also. I thought America had just copied that when they set theirs up.
Darragh Farrell
155 Posted 21/05/2020 at 01:17:40
Jamie @151, when you mention the left here in the US not taking responsibility or listening, in New York, I can tell you it is the Democrats that are advocating for financial support for first responders – cops, firemen etc., many of whom voted for Trump. The Republicans are advocating nothing.

For 3½ years, the Republicans have done nothing to reach out or broaden their base. Even on issues that would get bipartisan support, like infrastructure, nothing... sensible immigration reform, nothing (they went crazytown with The Wall). What's their biggest achievement, something to be proud of? A huge tax break for their donors. Nothing for the working person. They kept the economy ticking over, blowing up the debt in the meantime.

If anything, it is the GOP that is obsessed with identity politics, using it to stir up people as they cannot motivate people with any constructive policies. They haven't reached out and are reliant on the quirks of the electoral college, gerrymandering and restricting voting rights.

Si Cooper
156 Posted 21/05/2020 at 03:00:38
Eric (123), the point with Worldinfo is that it is just numbers and the figure Jamie clings to as an ‘informative' mortality rate is a simple calculation of number of deaths ‘caused' by Covid-19 in a country, divided by the country's population, and then multiplied by 1 million. For all non-mathematicians (including Jamie) that is not a rate, analysis or modelling and is pretty much a meaningless without context.

Two ridiculous extreme examples to make a (very exasperated) point: Two Covid-19 carriers return to their home countries, A and B, which are both virus free. In secret, the one from A is summarily shot and his body burnt to a crisp. He passes it on to no-one but his death is recorded as Covid-19 related. You can calculate one of Jamie's vaunted mortality rates for country A at that point from the official figures. Meanwhile, in the very poor country B the returning unmolested infected is just the first of their country's unchecked epidemic which is officially over 2 years later with many thousands dead and the rest protected by acquired herd immunity. Again a mortality rate can be calculated. Without context, what do those mortality figures actually tell you? Bugger all.

Eric, I don't have a source of rock solid statistics because, at this stage, of the pandemic nobody does. We are still learning. Things I am particularly waiting to find out are whether the predicted extremely high infection rates are borne out, whether any of the recovered get decent persistent immunity, and how many people have actually had the virus so that the ‘mortality rate' can actually become a number you can judge the risk to the remaining population on and make proper decisions about how to move forwards.

Jay Wood

157 Posted 21/05/2020 at 03:29:49
Jamie C. I think you've been treated a tad unfairly, even aggressively, for your views on Covid-19 on this thread.

Your concerns on the impact of partial or total lockdown on local and global economies are perfectly sensible and legitimate ones, all the more so for a small business owner such as yourself.

The headline numbers are the reported cases and mortality rates. Some countries doing better than others, clearly. But none of the numbers are reliable and it's highly unlikely we will ever have definitive figures once the bushfire of this virus finally burns itself out.

So no matter where anyone stands on the very broad spectrum of different views on Covid-19, it is very hard to be categorical and calculate the risk to mortality rate in the way you do Jamie and conclude measures taken are coming at too high a price.

It is too glib to say the numbers are similar to the annual flu season. This virus is extremely contagious, you can be asymptomatic – carrying and transmitting it to others without even knowing it. It has traits unseen and unheard of when compared to earlier coronaviruses. And whilst there is a clear demographic at greater risk of getting seriously ill or even dying with the virus, without knowing the reason why, perfectly healthy people of all ages are also falling victim to the pandemic.

You say “This is not a political issue, it's an issue of humanity and economics.”

Jamie, it very much is a political issue which is impacting on humanity and economics.

It is political policies and budget cuts which has ensured some nations, like your own USA and the UK, were ill-prepared for an inevitable pandemic, whereas other Governments had a plan and warehoused resources to put into effect immediately when the crisis broke.

If you feel resentful towards the evident economic and emotional suffering millions around the world are enduring now and will continue to suffer for a still-not determined future date, then part of your resentment should focus of the false economising very rich nations took which ensured the rebound for some will be slower than for other nations.

As a businessman you probably use a cost-price analysis formula to determine the cost of your time and material to produce the service or product you sell. The price you sell your service/product at covers these costs at a mark up so you profit your labour and time. To increase your profit margin, you probably strive to lower your costs whilst raising your price to as high as you can before meeting consumer resistance.

Governments have gambled big by not maintaining a tried and tested pandemic emergency plan and ‘saved' on costs by drastically reducing, or dispensing with altogether, stockpiled resources which would have helped avoid some of the social and financial hardships many now face.

It has proven to be an extremely false ‘cost-saving' exercise. The price we are paying for those political decisions are and will prove far higher and more disruptive than if plans and stocks had been properly maintained, enabling governments to manage every aspect of the virus far better than they have.

Then there is the political will and ‘leadership' in how best to deal with the crisis. It saddens me greatly that here in Brazil we have the very worst of many worlds. Trump's evident narcissism, self-promotion and prioritising the self above all else doesn't come close to the destructiveness of Jair Bolsonaro.

Throw into the mix an under-funded and under-resourced health service, poor sanitation in densely populated slums, poor education and little self-restraint, very mixed messages from federal and state government and it is absolutely no surprise that Brazil's numbers are spiralling out of control.

I get your position, Jamie, on the economics. I just don't know what is the ‘tipping point' of what you propose; that we need to get back to work to stimulate the economy. How many lives and at what price in a Cost-Price analysis is deemed ‘acceptable'?

Because decisions are being made in the here and now who of the many ailing patients merits saving and placing on the limited ventilators available. And the person winning or losing the flip of that coin, Jamie, could be you, could be me, or any loved one you care for just by dint of opening a door in a public place, pressing a button in an elevator, holding the handrail as you walk up a flight of steps.

Keep a close eye on the Brazil numbers. I fancy they are going to torpedo a few theories of ‘best practice' and be a perverse model of exactly what NOT to do in a pandemic.

Dave Evans
158 Posted 21/05/2020 at 09:23:48
Covid-19 kills people. An extended lockdown kills people.

Jamie C has slung a few unpalatable truths that lend weight to the opinion that the way forward is a balanced one.

This is why the Premier League are trailing the shit of sharks. Any balanced analysis would have play resuming in late August or September, so systems to mitigate risk can be better prepared.

Martin Nicholls
159 Posted 21/05/2020 at 10:41:38
John K#129 - spot on again! I find myself agreeing with practically everything you post!
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
160 Posted 21/05/2020 at 11:56:20
Paul @146.

I couldn't get your podcast link to work but I tracked it down to an episode of Fresh Air on National Public Radio in the US. Thanks for finding that — very interesting interview. I've fixed the link for others interested to listen to it.

I guess from Jamie's perspective, it all depends how you define 'democracy'. First past the post doesn't mean a true majority but it does mean garnering more votes than anyone else in a given constituency. Buried in his post is a very strong very right-wing American ethic that insists on primacy of the individual states over the federal government (think of them as sovereign Nations battleing the EU).

In the UK, we are in contrast very much a United Kingdom (devolution notwithstanding) with a simple single-tier periodic democratic vote for the members of our House of Commons.

I think he is being a bit sneaky in claiming that the electoral college is somehow protecting 'democracy'. It may be protecting an ancient and horribly outmoded historic structure of the US electoral system that, for most onlookers, it is anything but truly 'democratic' as far as the totality of the US populace is concerned.

Alan J Thompson
161 Posted 21/05/2020 at 13:01:25
Is it me or has Paul Ferry's comments been inserted quite some time later? At first I thought I must have just missed his #104 but I don't recall seeing his at #153 until now. Can the editors advise on the matter?
Kevin Molloy
162 Posted 21/05/2020 at 13:11:45
So Jamie is elevating his region over his country. Speaking as a scouser I am shocked, shocked to even hear of such a concept.
Eric Myles
163 Posted 21/05/2020 at 13:48:01
Si #156, yes it is all just numbers, that's what maths and statistics are all about. And I agree with you that they (Worldinfo) are unreliable but some people point to them as being a Biblical source. Hence my question about you having better sources, but as this pandemic is not yet over I agree with Jay #157, none of the numbers are reliable, or in my own words, they're all just guesses.

What Jamie has done though is look at the overall percentage risk of death in a particular country (based on available data; again, if there is other data out there the calculation may be different) and concluded that the risk of death in that country is 0.05%, and questions if that justifies the economic consequences.

Of course that raw data doesn't show the high risk categories of those whose demographic will represent a greater death toll, but most likely a different economic impact. That demographic could benefit from special attention to protect them, as is already happening.

As I've pointed out on another thread, so far this pandemic has been no worse than three pandemics in the last ten years in which there was no economic shutdown of the economy.

So I largely agree with Jamie.

Charles Barrow
164 Posted 21/05/2020 at 14:16:22
I have sympathy with Jamie's points on the Coronavirus. I also am concerned about the economic impact. I don't have a obvious interest in the lockdown ending as I'm still paid as I work in the public sector. The longer the lockdown and the longer people can't go to work the more problems are stored up for the future (economic and health wise). But, as we know, there are no easy answers to this problem.

On the argument over whose interpretation of the US Constitution and the meaning of democracy is correct, I think I'll pass on that one!

Mike Gaynes
165 Posted 21/05/2020 at 15:08:56
Paul #153, long time no hear... good to see your byline, and hope all is well.
Kevin Molloy
166 Posted 21/05/2020 at 15:28:25
I think the cruise ship situation probably gives us a decent shot at estimating death rate, as on the attached. May be even better than this, if we assume most people on cruises will be older.

Cruise ship outbreak helps pin down how deadly the new coronavirus is

Ray Robinson
167 Posted 21/05/2020 at 15:45:28
Kevin, looks promising but I wonder did everyone on board who tested positive and struggled with the disease receive hospital treatment? And with a much more widespread outbreak in the general population, how many would be able to receive hospital care if the health services were overwhelmed? Promising stats but requires caution.
Michael Lynch
168 Posted 21/05/2020 at 15:59:10
Siggi, in his interview today, reckoned it would take him about four weeks to get back to full fitness, and Dani Ceballos - Arsenal's midfielder - told a Spanish paper that their first game would be on June 20th (coincidentally, around four weeks away).

So that looks like the aim for the PL at the moment. Though I would think it might be scuppered by even one club having a high number of positive tests.

Kevin Molloy
169 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:00:22
Ray yes good points. I'm not sure. I seem to remember though that they were all stuck on the boat for some time, so hospital access may not have been available til late on. I do wonder knowing now what we know whether ventilators are the great boon we all thought. I think if you need to go to the hospital the survival stats are fifty fifty if you end up in the ICU
John Keating
170 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:17:07
I think the dickheads at the top of the football pile and their government mates need a reality check. Someone needs to get them all together and show them photos of the 500-odd who died yesterday and the 300-odd today. Tell them about those individuals, their families and lives affected.

As an individual I am disgusted that we are not only rushing this departure from lockdown. As an Evertonian, I am disgusted we are acting as just one of the flock the farmer is controlling.

From standing in Goodison Road after the Fulham game watching us lift the league trophy, Wembley in 66, 1970, the '80s glory years and being so proud to be a blue – and now watching us being led by a bunch of television controllers... disgusted to put it mildly.

Michael Kenrick
171 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:24:34
Thanks for posting that, Kevin (#166).

In the case of the Diamond Princess, as throughout this contagion, it's the other side of the coin that never seems to be addressed:

In that closed environment, where most – if not all – of the 3,711 people on board must have been exposed to the virus, how come 'only' 17% had the virus? Does that mean that as many as 83% of a given population will be exposed but will not contract the virus? Not quite the "we're all going to die" message we're getting from the fear-mongers and the media, is it?

Or do you look at it the other way and say that they (presumably) implemented lockdown after a passenger tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and that the 634 infected cases represent simply the fully extrapolated 1-2-4-8-16 etc infection spread from that first case while they were infectious and not caught, through until the disease was contained, again, by rigid lockdown? And thus that over 3,000 people on the boat were never exposed to it?

Eric @154, where you being mischievous with that claim about the UK having an electoral college?

Kevin Molloy
172 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:34:18
with the long incubation period, I reckon by the time they knew they had a problem the whole ship would have been exposed.
Michael Kenrick
173 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:41:15
Thank you, Kevin.

In which case, how come so few (only 17%) were infected by this "highly infectious" disease?

I know we're not supposed to say the flu word but surely in a typical flu season, a very large percentage are infected?

I recall they were all locked in their cabins, though. Remember the videos sent out? Why would they do that if everyone had already been exposed? What would be the point?

Kevin Molloy
175 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:54:43
At that time, they did not know about the long incubation period. So they thought they were locking it down fast. I remember marvelling at how fast it spread when they were all still confined in their cabins... of course, they had already been exposed.

As to why it is a low infection rate, this article was in March, so just cos they got a negative reading, they may have been about to develop. They may now be admitting a higher rate. I suspect a lot were asymptomatic, and I think this is encouraging.

Tony Abrahams
176 Posted 21/05/2020 at 19:00:05
Surely the reason covid has spread around the world so quickly, is because of air travel and also because of so many asymptomatic cases?

Whilst it's encouraging to know that so many people are symptomatic, it just shows you how off-track so many countries have been by not making this the number one priority, especially when they tell us how long it might take to eventually find a cure.

Si Cooper
177 Posted 21/05/2020 at 00:44:54
Eric (163): ‘Yes, it's all just numbers' – I haven't said that and that's not ALL that maths and statistics are.

‘I agree with you that they (Worldinfo) are unreliable' – I didn't say that either, my point is that they are just posting numbers without anything like full context.

‘But as this pandemic is not yet over, I agree with Jay that none of the numbers are reliable' – er, that is exactly my point. Jamie is trying to make long-term predictions based on what has to be considered as incomplete data, and which could even turn out to be wildly inaccurate as far as his deaths per million figures go.

‘What Jamie has done is look at the overall percentage risk of death in a particular country' – no, he most definitely has not. Risk assessment is just not as simple as dividing current deaths by the overall population to get a number per million when you are only part way through a pandemic.

That is exactly what I, and Jay, are criticising Jamie for. He is trying to do a very complicated analysis with fragmentary data and insisting it is accurate, when he admits he is nothing but an amateur. His 0.05% figure is in no way a ‘risk' assessment; as Mike G put it, it is just a tally of the number of deaths so far presented as a per-million figure.

We are all worried about damage to the various economies but, if we mess up how we proceed, we run the risk of actually delaying the eventual return to normality.

‘So far this pandemic has been no worse than 3 previous pandemics in the last 10 years' – what on Earth are you on about??? Those were limited outbreaks, absolutely not pandemics and surely you must understand that, without the lockdown and social distancing, etc, we would be much deeper in the proverbial than we are now (with over 40,000 deaths in the last 2 months)???

Perhaps the graphs showing the (1st) peak to be behind us rather than ahead of us, and talk of falling R rates don't impinge on your consciousness? Look where Russia and Brazil are heading (but I wouldn't trust their numbers on deaths attributable to Covid-19).

‘So I largely agree with Jamie.' – I think we all empathise with Jamie's concerns over the economic problems we face and all that could flow from that. We all want to come out of lockdown but I think where I differ from Jamie is I want that to happen as sensibly as possible, not merely as quickly as possible, and he is presenting meaningless figures to support his point of view which people like you are apparently absorbing as a coherent analysis.

I confess that I don't know what the final deaths-per-million figures will be but I am just pointing out that Jamie doesn't either. He is assuming – not analysing – and without context, he cannot even begin to make a valid attempt at risk assessment. He should not be presenting his figures here or anywhere else unless he at least can provide some credentials that epidemiology is anywhere near his sphere of expertise.

Si Cooper
178 Posted 22/05/2020 at 01:14:14
Michael (173 & 174), I think there is a lot of confusion over infectivity, transmissibility, and a few other terms that people are hearing.

I don't know that this virus is classed as highly infectious. After all, staying 2 metres apart and practising good hygiene are considered effective protection.

The key point has to be immunity, natural or acquired. The nature of this virus that leads to it being a global threat is that the early information was that there was no natural immunity which would mean we could all potentially catch it. Doesn't mean we automatically will, even if we are physically exposed. But, if you are repeatedly exposed, then you would probably end up infected.

I think that is where some people are misunderstanding the potential risk. I think people are assuming that most of us have already been exposed and the majority of those who will catch it already have done. There is no evidence for that because to do that you need to be testing everyone with an accurate and consistent screening test which just isn't available yet.

As I keep posting, I've yet to see a retraction of the ‘no natural' immunity statement or a positive statement on proven, persistent acquired immunity (which an effective vaccine will rely on). If anyone else has seen such things, I would be grateful to hear about them because it would be a weight off my mind!

Swedish epidemiologist reckons most countries may be up to around 1% population immunity due to recovered infected. Admits their current death toll is worse than they had hoped. Germany still only claiming 170,000 confirmed cases. That doesn't necessarily mean we can't / won't all eventually end up contracting the infection; the longer the virus is about, the greater the risk we will eventually catch it, just based on probability.

I don't think you can assume that all who could have caught the virus on the cruise ships did catch it. It really depends on their personal behaviours and how much they mingled.

Swedish epidemiologist says, with things like Covid-19, we have never really been able to stop them, just delay them.

Eric Myles
179 Posted 22/05/2020 at 02:21:55
Michael #171, not entirely.

In the UK, the people's votes do not count towards the formation of the government, it's the number of seats each party wins in Parliament in a 'first past the post' race.

Those seats represent constituencies around the UK based on the majority party of voters in each constituency. Hence one may be strongly Labour, the next strongly Conservative and "battleground states" where it can swing any way.

It seems that the difference with the US is that their States represent more than one seat, whereas in the UK it's one state one vote in electing a government.

Both systems are not democratic as it's not 'the will of the people' that is counted.

Likely when it was set up in USA, they adopted a system that they knew worked but changed it as it came from the hated British they had just fought a war against. Much like they did with netball and rounders. ;-)

Eric Myles
180 Posted 22/05/2020 at 02:54:00
Si #177, read the first line of your post #156 again "it is just numbers" and in #163 I state that the raw data does not provide context.

Jamie's number of 0.05% represents the percentage of people that have so far died of CV-19 and is derived from dividing the number of deaths by the population and multiplying by 100, not 1 million, I think most non-mathematicians can understand that. It represents a snapshot in current time, not a prediction of future events with the number of deaths certain to increase.

A pandemic is a disease that spreads throughout a whole country, so previous 'flu pandemics certainly were pandemics.

Tony #176, agree that air travel has been a major source of the spread. Viet Nam had controlled the virus but as they didn't close their air borders Ho Chi Minh City was hit by infections resulting from an incoming flight from London and they had to introduce restrictions which have again eliminated the virus. Something UK is only just thinking of doing.

Ed Prytherch
181 Posted 22/05/2020 at 03:04:22

California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns
by Andrew Mark Miller
| May 21, 2020 08:50 PM

Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they've seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

“The numbers are unprecedented” Dr. Mike deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of suicide deaths adding that he's seen a “year's worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

DeBoisblanc said he believes it's time for California officials to end the stay-at-home order and let people back out into their communities.

"Personally, I think it's time," he said. "I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering."

Kacey Hansen, a trauma center nurse at John Muir Medical Center for over 30 years, says she's not only worried about the increased suicide attempts but also about the hospital's ability to save as many patients as usual.

"What I have seen recently, I have never seen before," Hansen said. "I have never seen so much intentional injury."

Businesses across California have started defying stay-at-home orders imposed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and hundreds of protesters have hit the streets, making the argument that the orders were only meant to flatten the curve of the virus's spread, which Newsom himself said was achieved in mid-April.

Suicide has been an increasingly significant problem across the country as the coronavirus outbreak caused stay-at-home orders that led to unemployment and stress.

By late March, more people had died in just one Tennessee county from suicide than had died in the entire state directly from the virus.

A study published in early May suggested the coronavirus could lead to at least 75,000 deaths directly brought on by anxiety from the virus, job losses, and addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Another study conducted by Just Facts around the same time computed a broad array of scientific data showing that stress is one of the deadliest health hazards in the world and determined that the coronavirus lockdowns will destroy 7 times more years of human life than strict lockdowns can save.

Earlier this week, a group of over 600 doctors signed their names on a letter to President Trump, referring to the continued lockdowns as a “mass casualty incident” and urged him to do what he can to ensure they come to an end.

Ed Prytherch
182 Posted 22/05/2020 at 03:10:25
Mike Gaynes,

I too am an advanced cancer patient in the US and I too am getting tested as normal except that it has been stretched out a bit. The report that I read was referring to colonoscopies, mamograms, prostate biopsies and the like for patients who have yet to be staged.

Eric Myles
183 Posted 22/05/2020 at 03:30:53
Kevin #166, that article is dated 12 March, current numbers from Worldinfo state 712 infections and 13 deaths which I guess are the final figures.

All passengers and crew were tested, some more than once.

Paul Ferry
184 Posted 22/05/2020 at 05:52:38
Eric – 179. MK was right. There is no electoral college in the UK and, with respect, your fuzzy 'grasping at straws' attempt at a reply was as bad as we were against them in the cup in January.

It's always smart to be fully informed when suggesting something, and I've failed on that score more than a few times. Just, let's go basic and Wiki 'electoral college', and then think 'UK constitution' – unwritten.

All the best.

Kevin Molloy
185 Posted 22/05/2020 at 09:46:03
Thanks Eric. So the death rate is up significantly, but we must ponder as Michael alluded to, the fact that so few people relatively were infected, given that for two weeks they were sitting ducks.
Michael Lynch
186 Posted 22/05/2020 at 10:43:15
Si and others - I know there was constant testing for the virus of passengers on the Diamond Princess, but does anyone know if antibody testing took place afterwards, which would impact on the figures? I can't find that information anywhere.

With regards to flu, a UK study showed that only 25% of those in the group who tested positive for flu antibodies had actually reported symptoms:

This is why antibody testing is so vital to understanding the numbers in the Covid pandemic.

Eric Myles
187 Posted 22/05/2020 at 10:51:39
Kevin #185, the fatality rate in your link is stated as 1.9%, the final (?) rate is 1.83%.

The infections percent went from the reported 17%, to 19%.

Significantly up?

Eric Myles
188 Posted 22/05/2020 at 10:54:43
Michael #186, I can tell you that my mate who had Covid-19 has had no follow up antibody testing. He only has to report his temperature daily.
Michael Kenrick
189 Posted 22/05/2020 at 11:12:32
Some interesting numbers coming out here, thanks Kevin and Si.

Ignoring for a moment the objections to Jamie's simple mathematics, I'm going to do the same for the Diamond Princess: 13 ÷ 3,711 = 0.35% death rate for the beleaguered 'sample' on board.

Now, this is where it gets interesting: 0.35% of 66 million = 231,000.

The ultimate figure projected for the UK that Si quoted at #108 is 250,000. I assume this is a more deliberative reanalysis of the flawed Ferguson model that erroneously gave us 510,000 and prompted the massive U-turn on 'herd immunity' by our beloved BoJo, slamming us all under this blanket lockdown for what will be going on 3 months.

[I just heard the pubs won't be allowed to reopen till 4 July... WTF!!!!]

The media's campaign of fear-mongering and the ongoing justification for lockdown "until it's safe" is so misguided as it feeds the assumption that deaths are being avoided. As Si says, they are merely being delayed – to Save the NHS:

"Incidentally, without a vaccine or some useful antiviral, we are still expected to reach that figure of 250,000 because that was even with all affected getting treatment. As things stand, it will come at a relative trickle rather than the torrent or tsunami that we would have arrived at very quickly had the virus been allowed to spread unchecked."

Put bluntly, people are going to die from this virus. (Although it still leaves a lot of nagging question-marks over the many countries with far lower numbers than the UK – are they also merely forestalling the inevitable???)

The idea of locking down the economy, or vast portions of it, until that mythical vaccine is invented, is simply disastrous for the world, and, as Ed @181 has posted, will lead to uncountable more misery and deaths for people affected by the lockdown and its wholesale destruction of the economy.

Measures need to be targeted against the spread of the virus, especially to the vulnerable. On the downside, there seems to be an inevitability in terms of what this virus will do to humanity. Someone posted that science has been unable to develop a vaccine for any coronavirus.

But on the upside, there may be huge untested portions of the population who have been exposed but not developed symptoms, suggesting their healthy immune systems have fought it off. Which would mean it really is down to the much-derided fact of herd immunity.

Or do we go on living in what has now become a pandemic of fear?

Eric Myles
190 Posted 22/05/2020 at 11:13:03
Paul #184, I don't follow American politics much except for the 4 year circus that gets clowns like Reagan, Carter and Trump elected, and re-elected.

But it seems to me that the main complaint of the undemocratic election system of the self-proclaimed "greatest democracy in the world" is that the votes of the individual states don't reflect the 'will of the people' because of the heavy bias towards different states voting rights in the election.

That is the same as in the UK where there is no one person, one vote system, for electing the government.

Call it an electoral college, or whatever you want, the result is the same.

Tom Bowers
191 Posted 22/05/2020 at 11:17:45
There is certainly no quick fix or even one that is acceptable to everyone further down the line. To finish or not to finish is the question whatever the method is and we all have differing opinions. The TV companies won't mind closed door games but they can be so boring for the armchair fans.

Waiting is the best way to go until things get better and that seems a long way off. With clowns in control like Bojo and Trump this thing could have been dealt with weeks earlier but it's steamrolling right ahead still.

Training for athletes is of course essential as inactivity will get them down to a fitness level that will be hard to recover from when things do start up again.

Weight gain is just one aspect of not training and one would hope that common sense will prevail when they get back at the training ground.

Everyone is affected by this and the need to keep financial operations going is causing impatience but putting people at risk too early should not be an option.

Kevin Molloy
192 Posted 22/05/2020 at 11:21:32
Eric, I think from the article the overall death rate is 0.9% on board the ship, which is I think significantly up from the earlier 0.5% I quoted. The surprising thing for me is that only 17% of the ship were infected. It would be good to know if it was the case that all passengers were aboard the ship for two weeks with somebody carrying the infection, cos if that was the case, then this disease is not nearly as infectious as I thought.
Eric Myles
193 Posted 22/05/2020 at 11:49:28
Paul #184, I googled Electoral College and agree that's not how we do things in UK. After getting half way through it I could only conclude that there is a good reason why USA gets clowns of all political persuasions elected.

I particularly liked "Hamilton was also concerned about somebody unqualified, but with a talent for "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity" attaining high office."

Seems his concerns were well justified and the system failed!!

Kevin Prytherch
194 Posted 22/05/2020 at 11:53:13
Kevin 192 - it is contagious, however it is not as hyped as some media sources. My understanding is below (if it's wrong, please correct me)

If it has an R rate of 3 (there are various reports putting this between 2.5 and 5.7), then 1 person will infect 3 others, hence how it spreads. However, if there is a 5-7 day period before symptoms appear, that means that, between all the people an average person comes in contact with in 5-7 days, 3 of them will catch the virus. It is not, as some media will allow you to believe, going to infect absolutely everyone who has ever been closer than 2 metres to you.

There are many comparisons with flu on here, and it is probably just as contagious as flu. Flu has an R rate of just over 1 in winter, however flu symptoms are apparent within 2-4 days of contracting the virus. So with flu you infect roughly 1 person in 2-4 days, or 1 person every 3 days on average. With COVID you infect roughly 3 people in 5-7 days or 1.5 people every 3 days on average.

Eric Myles
195 Posted 22/05/2020 at 12:05:39
Kevin #194, according to the WHO, 'flu is spread at a faster rate than Covid-19.
Michael Kenrick
196 Posted 22/05/2020 at 12:15:08
Eric #193...

Finally! Thank you for doing that.

The Electoral College in the USA has absolutely no parallel in the UK. The sad irony is that the latest incumbent embodies exactly what it was set up to prevent (sorry, Jamie!).

Yes, there is a demographic 'accident' factor in the disposition of UK constituency locations and boundaries. In terms of representation at Parliament, I would argue that is a good thing — especially coming back to this country after 35 years away, and seeing the incredible diversity (ethnic, racial, class, religious – you name it) of New Britain on display at Prime Minister's Question Time!

The UK election process is simple and the MPs either have allegiances to parties or they do not. But there is nothing in the UK system to corrupt the result of the 'democratic' vote in anything even approaching the bizarre anachronism that is the US Electoral College.

But you said this: "That is the same as in the UK where there is no one-person, one-vote system, for electing the government." Can you indulge me a little and either explain or give me a reference that describes this?

Those of us who get their names on the electoral register chose (if we bother to turn out) to elect representative MPs who may or may not espouse allegiance to the party that secures most seats, and thus becomes the government.

It may be a very very bad system, but, as some fella far wiser than me (who incidentally had an American mother) once said, it far far better than anything else.

Kevin Prytherch
197 Posted 22/05/2020 at 12:29:48
Eric 195 – it is my understanding (and again I might be wrong) that the R rate for flu is less than Covid-19 due to the vaccines available every year. However, without these vaccines, it would be equally, or perhaps more contagious (but less deadly).
Eric Myles
198 Posted 22/05/2020 at 13:23:55
Michael #196, my reason for that paragraph you quote is that individual votes are not counted towards the election of the Prime Minister, the constituent seats are.

So one seat may be won by 10,000 votes and another by 500. That represents one seat for each party, not that one party has 9,500 more votes.

So all votes are not equal.

Eric Myles
199 Posted 22/05/2020 at 13:40:17
Kevin #197, according to the WHO:

"The serial interval for COVID-19 virus is estimated to be 5-6 days, while for influenza virus, the serial interval is 3 days. This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19."

Tony Hill
200 Posted 22/05/2020 at 13:44:29
There is a very careful interview on UnHerd with Professor Sunetra Gupta from Oxford University - the care is on her part rather than the interviewer's. I found it a very useful contribution to the debate and her concluding remarks are particularly telling.

Derek Thomas
201 Posted 22/05/2020 at 14:06:29
Tony @ 200; what I take from her closing piece, is the longer you leave at risk people in lockdown, the worse will be the 'rebound' in infections when they eventually 'come out'.
John Pierce
202 Posted 22/05/2020 at 14:22:31
My experience of the US, coming up to a decade here is that, ‘United' is not appropriate, you might like to think they are and federal oversight exists but really it feels like 50 different fiefdoms conducting their business as if it's still 17something or other.

This weakness is absurdly its biggest strength allowing individuals to find success where others could not. It's not equal in any way. Sadly, the reaction to Covid-19 shows how fractured the States are, the premise is State first, country second. The arrogance that they can swat away any foe with a dismissive still hangs heavy here even on the more enlightened west and east coasts. Does that sound United to you? It leaves many behind with little or no safety net, it's deffo not democratic, the senate is the best exemplar of how rotten it is. The system relies on people with integrity.

So, as a result, the response to ‘the Covid' has been a patchwork of self-interest and very little joint initiative to combat it and help the whole population. It's left states in an unedifying squabble for resources. Although NY, NJ & CT's governors have helped nicely to form a consistent response.

I'm afraid that mindset will overcome the moral imperative to take our time and ease the lockdown, follow the money they say. To round it off, the same mindset is prevailing in the Premier League, money is driving the agenda and we will be watching footy from afar for some time. With much discussion about how to finish the season, we could well be looking towards an American style franchise system with salary caps etc. A touch ironic that that system is more democratic than the one that runs the country.

Tony Hill
203 Posted 22/05/2020 at 14:37:48
I think she is also making the point, Derek @201, that it will be the poorest, both here and globally, who will be hit hardest. The suggestion that the disease has its own trajectory is also intriguing.

As I say, I found her manner to be refreshingly open.

Jamie Crowley
204 Posted 22/05/2020 at 15:22:50
Exile over (24 hours only, TW is a drug akin to heroine), calmer head prevailing, I'd highlight three things.

1. Michael says:
I guess from Jamie's perspective, it all depends how you define 'democracy'. First past the post doesn't mean a true majority but it does mean garnering more votes than anyone else in a given constituency. Buried in his post is a very strong very right-wing American ethic that insists on primacy of the individual states over the federal government

Never has a more accurate or truer paragraph appeared on TW. Michael has completely hit the mark. My view is, definably, very right wing. That is without apology. Despite the concept of an Electoral College being foreign to many over the pond, it is supported in this country as a means - originally framed in the Constitution - to decentralize the federal government. Millions of us prefer more power to be in the hands of the individual States.

2. Jay Wood @157 - that post was brilliant. It is intelligent, measured, presents a counter-argument well placed and thoughtful, and I thank you for that contribution. It doesn't nit-pick over terminology, it makes a compelling case, it presents a viewpoint I'd not really thought of and will consider. Microcosmically, why I read TW. Thank you.

3. Paul Ferry (legend) and Mike Gaynes (Yank legend) -
To begin to argue the Electoral College with you is an exercise in futility. You will not, nor will you ever, change my mind. I also will not change yours. You've stumbled upon an area where I am extremely, even fanatically, right wing in my beliefs. My 'real life' friends who've known me for years know me to be "moderately right". There's 3-4 areas I am staunchly right, you've hit one of them. So much so, it actually irks me when states like Maine "split" their electoral votes. Really gets under my skin. So knowing that, I think it best to move on.

4. Si -
It doesn't take an expert to analyze numbers. You can argue the analysis is elementary and you may not like that level of analysis and want to dive deeper. For me, that's not worth it. Again, when considering shutting down an economy I care about one thing, and one thing only - what is the percentage of deaths to the overall population. I'm a bottom-line guy Si when it comes to closing an economy, and creating MORE health issues, deaths, unemployment, substance abuse, etc. To discount my statement because I'm not an expert (because the experts have been wrong a bazillion times through this thing) or don't delve as deep as you think we should with projections, infectivity rates, etc., is frankly silly for me.
Again Si, for affect, and just look at this comment and let it sink in:
The negative affect of sheltering will cause more problems, health and otherwise, in the long run, based upon the current death rate. We have to return to work or it will be worse in the long run. Thank you.

5. Brent Stephens @141- I appreciate your support and don't think it didn't go unnoticed. My best to you and your bride.

6. Michael (again). To be honest I'm a little hesitant to give him praise twice in a post. He already holds dictatorial power on TW, is entirely too confident an individual, and hopefully this doesn't go to his head. [that was joke FFS]. But he nails it AGAIN:
The idea of locking down the economy, or vast portions of it, until that mythical vaccine is invented, is simply disastrous for the world, and, as Ed @181 has posted, will lead to uncountable more misery and deaths for people affected by the lockdown and its wholesale destruction of the economy.

I've probably posted 50+ times in this thread. Number 6 sums it all up.

If any of you have missed this, give it a watch. It will absolutely brighten your day and in many instances make your eyes wet. Eight 15 to 20 minutes episodes. Kind of a nice reminder that despite differences of opinion, we'll all in the end try to do the right thing. It's seriously brilliant.


Everyone have a good day. I'm going to work. 😜

Michael Lynch
205 Posted 22/05/2020 at 15:38:12
Tony @200 - I watched that this morning. The UnHerd interviews are very good, massively better than anything I've seen on any TV station. The interviewer lets the interviewee speak, and simply prompts to get more information. Professor Gupta was very interesting, as was Professor Sikora the other day - and his interview was taken down by YouTube for a while for "violating guidelines". The guy is a former Director of Cancer for the World Health Organisation, he's hardly David fucking Icke!

Mike Gaynes
206 Posted 22/05/2020 at 16:02:02
Ed #182, sorry to hear you're a member of the club. Hope you are doing well. Please keep me posted.

I had heard the same thing as you about routine cancer screenings being delayed -- colonoscopies, mammograms et al -- but I had not heard that biopsies for suspected cases and confirmed-but-unstaged patients had been impacted. Perhaps that varies by local circumstances and healthcare providers. I get my scans in San Francisco, which was locked down early and completely, and like you my regular schedule has been stretched out a bit, but when my alarm bell rang in March I was fast-tracked as usual (turned out to be a false alarm).

Wishing you all the best. Where are you in the US?

Eric Myles
207 Posted 22/05/2020 at 16:05:19
Michael #205, Professor Sikura – this link is working for me.

Jamie, there's a time out at 40 posts, so you haven't made 50 yet but at least have learnt to address multiple posts in one to keep the count down.

Alan J Thompson
208 Posted 22/05/2020 at 16:12:50
Can we keep this enormously interesting thread going by moving on to the unelected swill who get their 70 guineas (that was some years ago so does anyone know if they've voted themselves a rise or have caught up with decimalisation?) a night attendance/accommodation expenses that are known, somewhat comically, as The House of Lords.

It has been a while since I checked but is it an Upper House (with how many members?) that can return a Bill for amendments to be considered but at the third time of asking is passed regardless?

The World is Blue... sorry, that may have another meaning in other places.

Si Cooper
209 Posted 22/05/2020 at 17:13:27
Eric, you inserted the word ALL which suggests that all analyses are the same. I said ‘it's just numbers' when talking about the information on Worldinfo specifically. You altered what I said.

Well you can get to Jamie's figures simply by dividing the Worldinfo per million figure by 10,000, and you don't need to independently check the population of each country to do that. The point remains that it is a meaningless figure. The important figure is percentage deaths from actual infections (which we don't really know yet).

Sorry, Eric, but pandemics are worldwide at the same time, if limited to one country or gradually making its way around the globe like annual flu does, it is an epidemic. If you want a comparable event, you are left with the ‘Spanish' flu. Pretty much none of us has experienced anything like this pandemic, especially considering the modern multinational travel habits.

A proportion of us will have some level of immunity to the annual flu because of exposure across our lifetimes, this virus came from bats and our immune systems haven't seen it before. There may be some adventitious immunity from exposure to related viruses but that is still not known about.

Brian Wilkinson
210 Posted 22/05/2020 at 17:44:36
That might well be true, Si, about coming from bats... how do we know? Well, because we are being told that is the case, ruling out any possibility that it might somehow have been man made in a lab.

If you go back to December, there was a big push for people to have the flu jab, especially in big headlines saying over 65-year-olds.

Any flu vaccine will contain traces of animal in it, so how do we know that by having the flu jab, this has been part of the cause, who knows, maybe small traces of Coronavirus in the flu jab.

I know a lot of the older people on here are rightly concerned about going out, be interesting to know if any had the flu jab last winter.

We are hearing about people going into hospital and a very high rate of deaths have come from there; is there a reason for that, could it be that either the ventilators are causing more harm than good, could it be that entering the hospital is where people are picking it up.

No-one knows the answers, we take it set in stone that what we get told is facts.

John Snr has shielded and a few others and are not showing any symptoms which is great.

I think we have to step back, stop reading the news and use common sense and think logically.

Anyway, we all need to stay safe and look after ourselves and loved ones.

Si Cooper
211 Posted 22/05/2020 at 17:44:50

Three points:

1) As already stated, I've never been for a long-term lockdown and I want to return to normality as quickly as sensibly possible. You just can't spout meaningless figures to support your point of view.

2) ‘based upon the current death rate.' That is exactly what I and others (including Jay Wood @157, paras 3 to 5) are saying is the flaw in your reasoning. It's not analysis, it is just number-crunching.

3) I agree entirely with Jay Wood at 157. I just haven't taken the time to mention what I agree with, just focusing on what I consider to be a flaw in your reasoning which you persist in presenting as a foundation point for your point of view.

If you wish, you can now assume that Jay speaks for me on this thread. I am just exasperated that you cannot see where he is backing what I have posted in response to your posts.

Si Cooper
212 Posted 22/05/2020 at 18:03:31
Michael (186) – I don't think there has been reliable and intensive antibody testing anywhere yet. The Roche test is the only one that has a multi-national thumbs up for reliability and that was only very recently. It will take a good while to get sufficient numbers of the test to make a significant start on testing across the globe.

Most testing has been for the currently infected. Widespread testing for antibodies is the game changer but don't expect everyone to be tested in anything like the near future.

Si Cooper
213 Posted 22/05/2020 at 18:39:16
Brian (210),,

I think you've been reading stuff where the message is garbled, at best.

If by traces of animals, you mean antigens, then you are partially right. It is theoretically possible to purify the standard vaccines to a level where you only have viral antigens but that does make the process more expensive and I don't know whether any of the current vaccines are still purified to that extent.

The animal antigens come from the fact that the virus strains for the vaccine have to be grown in host cells. However, the host cells (for example embryonic chickens) are from animals that flu routinely circulates in. Human strains are ‘egg adapted' to get sufficient yields of the live virus, which is harvested and then inactivated. The harvested material will inevitably contain egg proteins, chicken cellular components. Purification steps can be employed to remove the unnecessary ‘bits' but that may not be 100%.

There is no reason to believe a bat virus would be in the flu vaccine. As a key worker, I am offered and take the annual flu jab.

This virus is thought to have ‘jumped' from bats to humans, either in a natural way or in a laboratory. The ‘natural' path would be considered to be highly unlikely, but it is generally those viruses that make such a ‘large' leap across the species barriers that are going to be candidates for pandemics.

The high numbers of deaths in hospitals is due to the fact they are taking in the desperately ill, a percentage of which may be untreatable anyway.

Mike Gaynes
214 Posted 22/05/2020 at 18:44:55
Jamie, that sure was a short vacation, my friend. Does your wife know you're back already?
Jamie Crowley
215 Posted 22/05/2020 at 19:47:31

Shhhhhhh. Quiet now. She might hear.

Jamie Crowley
216 Posted 22/05/2020 at 19:51:12

That brought a smile to my face, and that little bit of happiness reminded me of one thing I forgot to mention through all this mess!

Kevin Molloy at 162 – that was very, very funny. That one got a literal "LOL" here in Florida. Very clever, very funny. Cheers.

Eric Paul
217 Posted 22/05/2020 at 21:11:40
Brian @210,

Most of what we know is what we are told. A large portion of the world's population worship gods that they have never seen and there is no evidence they actually exist, but worship they do, despite the vast majority having good reason not to believe. Why? Because it's what we are told when we don't know any better.

John McFarlane Snr
218 Posted 23/05/2020 at 01:00:13
Hi Brian [210] as you rightly say I have been observing the lock-down instructions, my 'Young Lady' and I began a week earlier than most, our last outing was on March 16th. We have no idea what the shopping situation is like, our son and daughter, along with a wonderful neighbour and her husband [who have been a blessing], do our shopping for us.

I have obeyed the stay at home rule to the letter, because I am not inclined to gamble on being responsible for the possibility of spreading the disease, and I place my trust in the advice of the medical experts. Luckily the weather has [in the main] been kind to us, I sympathise with the younger people who were forced until the last few days, to stay confined to their homes, but as we're informed that nothing lasts forever, let's hope for better times.

Eric Myles
219 Posted 23/05/2020 at 03:05:08
Si #209, I inserted the word ALL specifically referring to your reference to Worldinfo, unless there are now some numbers in their data that you consider not to be numbers?

And I suggest you look up the dictionary meaning of pandemic, don't bother, I've done it for you, in both English and US.



Si Cooper
220 Posted 23/05/2020 at 03:40:35
Anders Tegnell, the Swedish epidemiologist who is the scientific advisor regarding Covid-19 to the Swedish government, gave an interview on the BBC's HardTalk program last night.

Some interesting comments that I picked up on were:

1) The Swedes have made any restrictions / social distancing etc, purely voluntary but it doesn't mean the Swedes are swanning around as normal. Their travel is down to about 10% and the general population is taking a common sense approach to distancing, good hygiene etc. Domestic flights have all but ceased. One consequence of this is that their flu season basically stopped, unexpectedly.

2) He reckoned, presumably having seen the results of official testing, that their neighbours (who took stricter measures) were at about 1% ‘acquired immunity' / presence of antibodies to Covid-19 (which is the aim of the Swedish approach) whilst in their conurbations selective testing was showing between 10 - 15%.

3) The Swedes want up to 40% with naturally acquired antibodies (ie, recovered infected) in the relatively near future because they need something north of that to be able to get any sort of herd immunity. They are planning more extensive community testing for antibodies to get a more accurate figure on how many have actually had the virus throughout their whole population. Note, that will not be testing 100% of the population but will rely on testing ‘representative' samples.

4) The Swedes are not resting their hopes on a vaccine or antiviral treatment. They have gone for the herd immunity approach. It is not plain sailing. Their death total is more than they had expected, and is definitely worse than their neighbours. Anders Tegnell did say those things may have balanced by the end of this pandemic especially if a vaccine or other effective treatment isn't actually developed (remember this guy is an expert).

Considering some of the posts on this thread I would make the following points:

Even without official instructions, many people will change their behaviours to avoid catching a disease. Please don't assume that the passengers on one of the cruise ships not catching the virus tells you all you need to know about the infectivity or transmissibility of this virus.

The Swedes altered their behaviours enough to get rid of this season's flu but they still have Covid-19 spreading, though not like wildfire. I suspect that is because the percentage of the population who are liable to catch the flu is much less than those who could catch Covid-19. Catching any virus is something of a lottery but a virus that has the capability of infecting 100% of the population will hang around a lot longer than something that can only infect 5%.

Those are not official figures, by the way, just examples. There is a major problem with people quoting percentages without full context. All a percentage does is relate one figure to another. If you don't know how many of us are capable of catching the various viruses, then comparison of R rates becomes largely meaningless as well.

Ed Prytherch
221 Posted 23/05/2020 at 03:44:38
Mike Gaynes @207,

I am in Columbia SC, been here since 1982. I was born and raised in Ormskirk, about 15 miles from Goodison Park.

San Francisco seems to be one of the success stories so far. Your mayor is a lot smarter than the mayor of New York. Good luck with everything.

Si Cooper
222 Posted 23/05/2020 at 04:24:08
Eric, if you keep your ‘all' of a group / community to mean one country, then your use of pandemic (for the flu spikes you were introducing to the debate) holds up. If you choose (as I do) to use mankind as your group, then it doesn't become a pandemic until it has spread across the globe. The pandemic definitions you have given still hinge on how you define your group.

The US reference comes up with “A pandemic is a widespread epidemic that may affect entire continents or even the world.” That to me is a better description of what we have now and those nasty flu seasons don't measure up to Covid-19's sudden and fairly ubiquitous spread.

I worked in the flu vaccine sector with many experts in that field. I never heard any of the annual flu seasons called a pandemic. That term was reserved for the likes of the Spanish flu and the potential ‘pandemics' that a swine or bird flu could cause (all so far false alarms in that they were contained / nipped in the bud fairly easily). For me, you are using semantics to try to compare apples and oranges, and that just muddies the water.

There is absolutely no need to qualify my ‘it's just numbers' quote with ‘all' unless you are broadening the reference, and the next part of your sentence was about mathematics and statistics which I wasn't talking about whatsoever. I reserve the right to distance what I have said from what you appear to be trying to make me say.

Dan Nulty
223 Posted 23/05/2020 at 07:26:48
Who knew we had so many scientific experts in the Everton fans community?

Amazing, you boys should get yourselves on the SAGE committee.

Mike Gaynes
224 Posted 23/05/2020 at 07:50:01
Ed #221, 38 years is a long time. Has the South Carolina accent overtaken your original Merseyside brogue?

I actually live in Oregon. I have to hop on a plane for my care. It's a little weird right now, traveling through empty airports.

Mike Gaynes
225 Posted 23/05/2020 at 07:53:28
Si #220-222, very interesting stuff.

Was just reading tonight that many experts are now calling Sweden's herd immunity experiment a failure:

Mike Benjamin
226 Posted 23/05/2020 at 08:18:14
My wife and I were on our way back from our daily exercise when we passed a farmer's field. I observed that all the cows (about 30) were huddled together. “No social distancing being practiced there” I wittingly commented. Whilst still feeling chuffed with my one one liner my wife instantly replied “perhaps they're going for herd immunity“. “You win” I replied.
Michael Kenrick
227 Posted 23/05/2020 at 08:24:42
Si @220,

I'm sorry but you critcise or warn against people making too much of percentages and then you make this horrible statement in the immediate context of Covid-19:

"Catching any virus is something of a lottery but a virus that has the capability of infecting 100% of the population will hang around a lot longer than something that can only infect 5%."

Did you listen to Professor Sikura? This man is brilliant! I say that of course because he is hitting so many of the right notes that very few others have dared to say about this increasing madness that is being perpetrated. The pandemic is burning out naturally but we have been consumed by fear.

It's ridiculous statements like that which use percentages in a meaningless way that do nothing but enhance the message of fear that is paralyzing the Government and prolonging our path out of this mess!

Much of the analysis of this and every pandemic comes down to percentages because that's how the experts begin to understand what is happening. But I don't recall anyone using this "capability of infecting" versus the more meaningful "proportion of people infected" (very hard to measure) or "proportion of people dying" – which is sadly much easier to measure.

Tony Abrahams
228 Posted 23/05/2020 at 08:33:38
Si@220, very good post mate, but sometimes the worry is the scientists, because some of their opinions seem to differ as much as some of the ones on this website!
Brent Stephens
229 Posted 23/05/2020 at 09:16:49
Michael #227 "The pandemic is burning out naturally but we have been consumed by fear".

Michael, I might misunderstand what you mean but my understanding is that the extent of the problem in the UK has for the moment been reduced, not yet burned out, because of intervention (i.e. lockdown) - not "naturally" (which to me implies no intervention). But I might misunderstand you.

Chris Williams
230 Posted 23/05/2020 at 09:36:24
I've mentioned the Covid-19 Symptom Tracker a couple of times. It currently has about 3.7M and rising people across the UK reporting symptoms, tests etc in daily, and is the biggest such Tracker in the world, they say. It has started feeding in useful research to the government resource. It was for example the first to report that loss of taste and smell was a prime symptom of the virus, maybe 2 months ago.

They track new cases daily and estimate (model!) a national daily figure from their sample. That figure reached its lowest level about 2 weeks ago and first plateaued then started increasing slowly day by day since. It has increased by about 40,000 in that time, from about 230,000 to currently about 270,000 daily. Probably insignificant in national terms, and could be explained by modelling assumptions. But a trend nonetheless.

It shows these figures by region and local authority.

It recently conducted a trial involving about 1M of its reportees, 18,000 of whom having reported the onset of appropriate symptoms. These people were swab tested either at home or in testing centres.

They were able to obtain data which enabled them to apply it to their 3.7M and estimate a national figure for England only. It doesn't include hospital figures.

The figure for Thursday was 9,900 new cases. The same day I think the official figure was about 2,600 new cases. The official figure yesterday was about 3,400 I think.

It can also estimate by region. The general trend is that the new cases in the North are twice those in the South.

This is so far the biggest community exercise of its kind and will supplement the ONS snapshots and hopefully assist the government. It'll be interesting to see how it develops going forward.

It's worth a look if you're interested.

Michael Kenrick
231 Posted 23/05/2020 at 09:56:26

Prof Sikoura's description (ridiculous as it sounds) is that the virus is getting bored, tired... for whatever reason, that the pandemic is playing itself. It ties in for me with the mysterious natural immunity (for want of a better term) that large segments of the population appear to have, but that others are putting down to the effectiveness of control measures such as the mass indiscriminate lockdown.

Listening now to an absolutely fascinating interview with David Starkey – a historian, not a scientist, but obviously a man far smarter than most of us. I love that he will shoot at anyone – no sacred cows. Everyone gets it in the neck! NHS, BoJo, Hancock, Labour, left-wing self-hatred of Britain, Globalization, HS2, Big Pharma, dependence on the service economy, Major developing a swath of 'generalist' universities at the expense of elite places of learning and especially technological research... Brilliant stuff!

The socialists may like one of his future scenarios: the door opening for a highly managed economy going forward. Or a strategic realignment of capitalism. Obviously he's hedging his bets there but things will not be the same, which seems to be the case with the wholesale destruction of pubs, restaurants, theatres, concerts, and of course football — almost everything we enjoy in our social (small-s) society.

Tony Hill
232 Posted 23/05/2020 at 09:56:30
If only we had recognised early enough that this is a disease which overwhelmingly attacks the old and vulnerable, and then targeted advice and protection measures accordingly.
Brent Stephens
233 Posted 23/05/2020 at 10:41:17
Michael #2321 " It ties in for me with the mysterious natural immunity (for want of a better term) that large segments of the population appear to have, but that others are putting down to the effectiveness of control measures such as the mass indiscriminate lockdown".

That to me says that those who had natural immunity didn't need to lockdown, just those without that immunity. But the problem is in not knowing who had natural immunity and who didn't. In which case, who needed and who didn't need to lock down?

Tony Hill
234 Posted 23/05/2020 at 11:11:56
The Starkey interview is very good value. Interesting, in particular, as to the pivotal weekend when the government switched its strategy.
Billy Roberts
235 Posted 23/05/2020 at 11:25:23
Michael @231

Thanks for the link to the Starkey interview.

While it is clear he is a right-wing admirer of Boris Johnson (before Covid-19) or Conservative ideals, he doesn't spare them criticism.

Despite his leanings, I found myself agreeing with so much of what he touches on, especially the point of this country's abandoning of manufacturing and obsession with becoming a service industry.

This was always going to be a fragile state to run a country, we will find out after Covid-19.

The argument about whether we had to have a lockdown against acceptable levels of deaths will be forever a "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" type debate.

I too enjoyed the way Starkey had no reservations when holding back on the sensitive subjects, like the reluctance of modern society to accept death. Amusing though how he chooses to use an 85-year-old as an example when talking of the futility of resuscitation and not a 75-year-old like himself!!

I definitely don't subscribe to all his theories but welcome his respected opinion. If anybody has a more left-leaning interview with someone of his standing as a counterpoint to this, I would be interested.

As ever with interviews of this type it's the unanswered questions we don't hear that are as important as the admittedly brilliant answers he gives us.

Tony Abrahams
236 Posted 23/05/2020 at 11:54:41
Seriously can't see how anyone with any intelligence could admire Boris Johnson, Billy, but that's just my own opinion and it's definitely not because he is a conservative politician.

Let's see how he goes with Cummings, and it looks like he's been forced to backtrack on his deal with the Chinese over the 5G. That is good news for me, because I'm selfish and want us to get a much bigger trade deal with America. That will only be good for Liverpool, now that we are hopefully in a much better geographical position with our new trade partners.

Steve Brown
237 Posted 23/05/2020 at 12:55:55
Ah David Starkey, I could listen to his right wing, bigoted ramblings for hours...
Tony Hill
238 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:00:03
No such things on the Left, course, where truth and sweet reason always prevail.
Charles Barrow
239 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:11:33
The compulsory 14-day quarantine for arrivals in the UK (including UK citizens) is another example of the Government just blundering into yet another stupid policy – it's Johnson playing to the gallery and making a 'populist' decision.

Why now, not in March, April, May? Why is it dangerous for anyone to enter the UK in June, but not May?? Why can someone travel to Newcastle where the R value is high and bring it back to London, for example, when that same person travels to Greece (where it is almost eradicated) and on their return is isolated for 14 days and not permitted to leave their house on pain of criminal prosecution??? And why are there so many exceptions, if it's suddenly so dangerous that we have to lock borders now?

In March, the answer for not closing borders was because 'the scientists' said it made no difference, it was irrelevant how many people travelled to the UK and testing wouldn't help. So what's changed? The reality is, he no doubt thought it looked good to close borders, it made him look decisive and strong and many people would applaud the exclusion of foreigners. But it's going to come back and bite him on the arse – it's government policy that is irrational and most of all it's going to be incredibly unpopular once the weather turns shit and families see Spain, Italy, Greece etc unlocking and opening up to Tourism. His focus groups will change their tune and so expect it to be abandoned after the first 3 weeks.

Tommy Bowman
240 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:28:27
My wife is a nurse consultant (A&E) who for the last 10 weeks has been working in an ITU Department in the midlands. She had retired 6 months ago after 31 years in the NHS but went back (against my wishes) when it was clear just how much her skills were going to be needed.

She was running a department but left after years of battling with senior management to do more with less (less of everything, personnel, equipment, bed space etc).

I only get to speak to her via Skype, as she's living on-site and I've a health condition which means I'm in the shielded group and she can't come home for another month at least.

Here's her experience related to me in our hourly evening call. She's had wards full of people on ventilators who are were not elderly, didn't have underlying health conditions and who didn't all get better. She's lost two valued colleagues, one of whom leaves a 2-year-old child and the road to recovery for some previously healthy people is going to be a very long one.

The disease does primarily affect older people but some younger and previously very fit individuals can get really poorly really quickly and as yet, nobody knows quite why.

At the beginning of the crisis, her hospital was critically short of PPE particularly visors. One of the consultants went to B&Q and bought safety goggles for the team to supplement the one and only visor the department had left for one particularly difficult shift (things are much better now, she says).

In the last 10 weeks, she's had 4 days off, as many of her colleagues have gone sick after catching the virus or with sheer exhaustion.

She's really worried that the government are rushing people back to work and a second peak could emerge to further stretch already limited resources.

Anyhow, that's how she feels. Incidentally, she's a Geordie who I've converted to being a Blue and attends about half a dozen games a season.

Eric Myles
241 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:32:01
Tony #232, I think that WAS recognised early on, but some are arguing why lockdown only the vulnerable and those at risk?
Ray Roche
242 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:36:43
Charles @239,

I agree with your comments, but the thing that puzzles me is how is it going to be policed? Who is going to watch the “quarantined” people? The Police? They don't have the manpower to investigate crimes properly as it, let alone spy on returning tourists. Maybe they'll appeal to people to grass on their neighbours.

Yet another poorly thought out idea.

Eric Myles
243 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:38:24
Ray #242, use the Army?
Chris Williams
244 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:50:25
Apparently there will be ‘spot checks by the authorities' at the addresses people will have to declare on arrival. Fines of � to be levied.

So that's clear then!

Self quarantining doesn't seem to apply to Dominic Cummings.

Billy Roberts
245 Posted 23/05/2020 at 13:51:27
Tony @236,

It's also a mystery to me how Boris Johnson got to the position he did, but he did with millions of people voting for his Conservative party.

We have to accept that there are those amongst his supporters who have ideas worth listening to? We don't have to subscribe to it all.

At present, we have no option; we'd better hope someone in Government has some coherent plan to ease us out of lockdown before too much economic damage is sustained.

The NHS everybody has suddenly fallen in love with won't exist unless we start working again.

Michael Lynch
246 Posted 23/05/2020 at 14:11:16
La Liga can resume from June 8th. Germany I can understand, the impact of the virus was relatively light there, but Spain, Italy and UK have all had a really tough time of it.

There does seem to be a rush across some of the worst-affected countries of Europe to resume the professional game. I wonder what they think in Holland, Belgium and France, all of whom cancelled their leagues?

Ray Roche
247 Posted 23/05/2020 at 14:19:40
Chris @244,

I would be more impressed if the Police did their “day job” properly instead of finding time to check on returned tourists.

A few years back, burglars were trying to break into my sister's house while she and her husband were in it. They dialled 999 to report it and said that the burglar was still in the garden. She was very frightened. She was given an incident number and the Police took a statement. Four days later! They didn't even turn up yet they can now be expected to check on some who's flown back from Alicante? It's a joke. Just not a funny one.

Eric. The Army? It's not their job.

Chris Williams
248 Posted 23/05/2020 at 14:29:57


It is up for review after 3 weeks seemingly. Might disappear quickly.

It's ironic, isn't it, that people arriving here from Italy and Spain, might actually see themselves as the ones taking the risk now?

Alan McGuffog
249 Posted 23/05/2020 at 15:11:38
Ray... Your comments appal me. They typify the anti-police attitudes that are prevalent amongst many in our fair city.

How d'you expect police officers to protect us from angry burglars when they have, at a moment's notice, to be prepared to swoop, team handed, on any octogenarian pop star who may, allegedly, have touched a teenagers bum back in nineteen hundred and frozen stiff.

Get a grip, man!

Dave Abrahams
250 Posted 23/05/2020 at 15:17:54
Alan (249), so true, it must have been agonising for Saint Cliff and his poor mam Gloria Hunniford, my heart bled for him!!
Paul Tran
251 Posted 23/05/2020 at 15:39:14
Tony #228, scientists' opinions should differ. That's the whole point; they research from different angles and constantly test hypotheses and change their views based on the results they obtain. Plus, in some cases, their own value judgements and those of their sponsors.

There is no such thing as 'the science'. The politicians are doing what some people on here are doing - holding a strong view and finding the science that justifies it.

People are asking why so many voted for Johnson. I'd say there's two reasons:

1. They're doubling down on Brexit.

2. He isn't Jeremy Corbyn.

Anyway, great news, we can now all disobey the law. If anyone arrests you, tell them they 'shouldn't be political.'

Ray Roche
252 Posted 23/05/2020 at 16:23:00
Sorry Alan.

I must attempt to keep things in perspective.😔

I mean, what are the lives of two pensioners worth compared with fining some sunburnt holidaymakers? I must repent.

John Pierce
253 Posted 23/05/2020 at 16:29:12
Michael K.

Starkie is always worth a listen. A pompous git for sure but in amongst the bluster there is plenty to feed off, plenty to at least consider even if you don't agree.

Chris Hockenhull
254 Posted 23/05/2020 at 16:55:28
Alan 249. Hi. Been thinking this a lot too recently regards to constant anti police attitudes. Take one look at the Red Echo comments regards anything like drug busts/ arrests etc etc. Total negativity towards police even over handling over lockdown etc. Speaks volumes.
Tony Abrahams
255 Posted 23/05/2020 at 17:27:03
Thanks for pointing that out Paul T, because it's something I honestly hadn't even considered. Alls I'm seeing is politicians, out of their depth, possibly because the only time they can't bullshit people, is when there is a genuine crisis.

Billy, very good point, that we should be able to learn off anyone mate. I'm totally aware of it, and that's why I haven't shook anyone's hand for ages! I'm glad Johnson survived Covid-19, but surely the Conservatives, must have someone better in the ranks to lead us... please god.

Dave Brierley
256 Posted 23/05/2020 at 17:34:08
Don't worry, Tony, you've got Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB QC waiting in the wings to lead us to the promised socialist land at the next election.
Paul Tran
257 Posted 23/05/2020 at 18:26:43
Tony, this government is brilliant at running successful election/referendum campaigns, but can't make and enact policy. Can't even abide by its own laws. Two very separate skill sets.

Good governments of all shades make policy, get it through civil servants and onto the statute book. They robustly and consistently articulate it and defend it to us.

This government can't do it. It needs to bring in people who can, for all our sakes.

Tony Abrahams
258 Posted 23/05/2020 at 18:34:18
I wish he was in now, Dave, but if I'm being honest, I'd like to see a new political party started, a party that could reach some middle ground.

I think you called it right when you said he was a millionaire socialist, but I'm not sure England would accept a socialist government, and I think the new leader of the Labour Party knows this deep down.

I honestly don't think it should be a time for politics right now, and I'm not sure it would be either, but for the total lack of leadership in the Government at the moment, mate, and that's why I was saying I hope the Tories have got someone better to help us all... please.

Dave Brierley
259 Posted 23/05/2020 at 18:41:52
Well, I don't wish he was in now, Tony, but that's the only part of your post that I would disagree with.
Tony Abrahams
260 Posted 23/05/2020 at 18:47:32
Fair enough, Dave, but that's the bit I honestly don't get! Seriously, if someone is not good enough, and Brexit Boris is absolutely lost whilst this is not the number one goal, then it's plain to see he's not the right man for the job right now.

Sorry, Dave, I couldn't even see your irony because I can't understand how Johnson has reached such heights, and I think the man is a clown. Fair play to you, mate.

Martin Nicholls
261 Posted 23/05/2020 at 18:49:23
Tommy Bowman #240 – I can't find the words to adequately respond to your post but it does deserve a response and acknowledgement by all of us. My heartfelt thanks go people like your good lady.

Stay safe Mr & Mrs B!

Paul Tran
262 Posted 23/05/2020 at 18:52:53
Interesting argument around class regarding Starmer. Is he the son of a nurse and toolmaker, who carved out a successful career and became a great story of social mobility in modern Britain, or is he a rich toff? He's just replaced a public schoolboy as Labour Leader and I'd argue, for now, he's pointing Labour back towards planet Earth.

When I was a kid, working-class parents like mine wanted their kids to work hard and do 'better', whatever that was.

The question is, where's the point when working-class kids become 'posh'? Should we know our place and be unambitious? Do we all have to become a complete and utter bastard to run our own business? Should we doff our caps to the Eton/Oxbridge classes and accept that they're better than us plebs?

I'll judge him on his ability to oppose this government and the programme he puts forward at the next election.

Best posh story was from the mad Tory politician, Alan Clark, who in his wonderful autobiography, scathingly described Michael Heseltine as one from a family that 'bought its own furniture.'

Now that's posh!

Tony Abrahams
263 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:00:46
And Heseltine was the last Tory politician (only) who ever helped Liverpool, Paul.

Life's full of contradictions, I've heard but haven't checked, that Liverpool has produced more self-made millionaires than any other city, even if it's probably the last bastion of a socialist!

Paul Tran
264 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:06:05
Tony, I'd say Liverpool is as much contrarian and entrepreneurial than socialist. Even Degsy carved out a good business career, didn't he?

Tony Hill
265 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:07:21
Paul @257, absolutely right. I think this may be the most purely incompetent government in my adult memory, and God knows that's saying something.
Dave Abrahams
266 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:12:55
Paul (264), yes Degsy carved out a good career for himself alright, he always looked after himself and ruined the career of a genuine socialist in John Hamilton, who allowed himself to be domineered by the quick talking Degsy.

Tony Mulhearn on the other hand lived and talked like a socialist and was worth listening to and voting for.

Billy Roberts
267 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:15:49
Dave @259,

Why the full title for Keir Starmer? Is that to imply you can't be a socialist if you succeed? I don't care if a Labour Party Leader is from working-, middle-, or upper-class roots as long as the message is the same.

You can't imagine Keir Starmer and a Labour Government handling this crisis? I suppose seeing how this Tory party and its leader, when he isn't in hospital, have handled it all so impeccably well makes that hard.

The preparation for an event like this has been superb, hasn't it, and thousands of elderly people and staff left to deal with patients returning from hospitals with coronavirus – sent back to preserve NHS beds only to infect far more.

I would feel embarrassed to attach my affiliation with this Government. And before you say, again, I believe you don't vote Tory, don't laugh at the alternative. It's not a time to sneer.

Paul Tran
268 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:29:04
Absolutely, Dave, and Degsy, like the current government, is living proof that spouting populist cliches is very different from actually running something successfully.

That's the problem with populism. At some point, it has to do something and that's when it falls apart.

Tony Abrahams
269 Posted 23/05/2020 at 19:33:32
I've heard it was Derek Hatton's son who became a very successful businessman, Paul. He got a football scholarship to America (got in the way of a good American kid, probably), got himself educated, and learned all about websites, which were already established over there.

Came home and made good on his dad's contacts, and eventually sold his company for a few million quid.

It's all about education, something the liberal Dutch pay for if any of their citizens, want to continue into university, I've heard, which shows you there is good and bad in every political party.

Jeff Armstrong
270 Posted 23/05/2020 at 20:01:12
Dave @256, Sir Kier Starmer is from a working-class background who was clever enough and hard-working enough to climb to where he is now.

So far, I've been impressed with his thoughtful, balanced, and at times respectful comments and questions of this government's handling of the current crisis.

I know it's early days for him but, for me, he's made a decent start as Labour Leader, and we may now have a proper opposition to the buffoonery of the present incumbent and his cronies. The days of Corbyn and Abbott can now hopefully be consigned to a terrible time in the Labour Party's history.

Dave Brierley
271 Posted 23/05/2020 at 20:10:56

Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB QC (that was for you Billy) is a London metropolitan elite remainer and was the architect of Labour's defeat in the Midlands and Northern seats where people wanted to leave the EU. Him and Jeremy Corbyn are the two reasons they lost in December 2019.

I have little faith in him or any of the Labour front bench – particularly in a crisis like this.

Paul Tran
272 Posted 23/05/2020 at 20:12:49
My wife's Dutch, Tony. Both healthcare and education are a public/private mix. Free at point of use, but once your income hits a certain level, you pay extra. I'd say there's a strong case for a similar system here.
Paul Tran
273 Posted 23/05/2020 at 20:16:20
Tony, does that mean Degsy was the 'deputy' in his son's business as well?
Billy Roberts
274 Posted 23/05/2020 at 20:29:48
Dave @271
Either you are too thick to understand what I said or are just trying to hurt my feelings?? Haha by being rude, take your pick?

It doesn't matter what he's achieved, does it?
It doesn't matter where he comes from, does it ?
It's about whether he is fit to run a Government.

The present incumbent isn't doing a great job and, for all your imagining of what Sir Keir Starmer would do, I would like to take my chances.

We will never know, but don't be so dismissive of a Labour Party returning. I remember the lilly-livered shitbags saying the same thing before Blair took over after years of Tory neglect, including a proposed managed decline of Liverpool.

Do you live in Liverpool, Dave? Would you have been on board with that thinking in the '80s?

Dave Brierley
275 Posted 23/05/2020 at 20:43:13
I would never hurt your feelings, Billy, and didn't mean to be rude.

You have convinced me through your powerful and persuasive reasoning that I am wrong and you are right.

I think it was the "lilly-livered shitbags" thing that did it.

Dave Brierley
277 Posted 23/05/2020 at 21:11:06
You're not with the Samaritans are you, Bill?
Tony Abrahams
278 Posted 23/05/2020 at 21:18:46
That sounds like a good system the Dutch have got, Paul, but it would be interesting to know how many millionaires have applied for furlough in this country, when you hear of people like Steve Coogan putting his cleaner on furlough.

Maybe the rich finally getting a bit back? Although I'm not sure if Derek Hatton had anything to do with his son's very successful business dealings, mate.

Michael Kenrick
279 Posted 23/05/2020 at 23:00:51
Tony @258, you say it's not a time for politics.

Forgive me for being so bold as to point out the obvious inconsistency but I think, in your case at least, you might be right. Cos you can't seem to stop with the constant political drumbeat that pervades many of your pronouncements, which we've now heard countless times.

Just saying!

Jay Wood

280 Posted 23/05/2020 at 23:25:25
Tommy @ 240.

As someone who has shared on TW my nursing wife's experience here in Brazil, your post and the description of the sacrifices both you and your wife are taking in this pandemic resonates very loudly with me.

My wife is in a sector with 28 co-workers. 25% - 7 of them - caught Covid-19 in the line of duty, including my wife's back-to-back who was off work for 3 weeks. Her absence placed even more responsibility and work on my wife's shoulders.

Fortunately, no deaths among them although one of them is fighting for his life on a ventilator as I write.

Three colleagues lost a parent to the virus and they are ridden with guilt that they may have transmitted it to them. My doting wife fears meeting her own parents - 90 and 95 - for obvious reasons.

When her B2B returned to work 10 days ago, my wife's boss gave her 3 days off, her first break in two and a half months. She spent most of it sleeping. On the Sunday evening at the start of this week when she was due to return to work the next day, she said to me very quietly: "I don't want to go. I don't know how much longer I can do this" and tears fell.

I wished there and then there was a magic wand I could wave to end the suffering for everyone. To whisk her away to some safe haven. Not even as if that is an option as international travel is virtually totally on hold.

But...Monday morning, she woke, donned her PPE which she has to pay for and buy herself, the same way she has to pay for her own Covid-19 testing because the public hospital where she works can't or won't provide for either...and placed herself back in the frontline.

If I were being totally blunt, what our respective wives are doing is not intelligent. The instinct of the individual is to survive, to avoid risk. But each day they place themselves directly in harm's way.

They both evidently have compassion and social responsibility in buckets that very few have that overrides the instinct to protect themselves.

The levels of physical and emotional stress and duress they are living under is off the scale. I wish I could find a link to a very powerful news item I watched on Brazil TV this week.

It followed an ITU in Sao Paulo, the 20 beds full. It very graphically showed the reality which, in the academic discussion on the subject here on TW, gets overlooked.

With all 20 seriously ill patients, ranging in age from early 20s to 80+, linked up to a ventilator in semi or full comatose state, there was almost constant 'coding' alerts - the beeping, or single-tone alerts, that there is a serious problem with the patient that needs immediate emergency attention.

If two or three start coding simultaneously, difficult decisions have to be taken for the limited staff available.

A 40-something woman started coding. They tried for an hour to revive her. They lost the fight. Tubes were removed, the bed sanitized...and immediately occupied with the next urgent case.

They have found for some reason there is a greater degree of comfort if the patient lies on their stomach, but when that person is intubated that is no easy process to safely undertake. It takes EIGHT medical staff to safely and carefully turn a patient over from lying on their back to their stomach, or vice-versa as a single maintained position is also not good.

On the signal from the lead person, on the shout of '90!' the patient is turned from lying flat on their back 90 degrees to lying on their side. The tubing, their comfort and vital signals are checked before the next shout '180!' to complete the maneuver.

The nurses and doctors were interviewed and all mentioned how suffocating and cumbersome it is working in PPE the entire shift as they do. But they know it is the veil that affords them some protection from catching the virus.

Brazil is now at the very epicentre of all this. And we're not even close to the expected peak. They are second only to the USA with the number of (reported) cases...and they are barely testing. Some estimates are that the contagion and mortality rates could be as much as EIGHT TO SIXTEEN TIMES HIGHER than the reported numbers.

As I write, Brazil has 342,000 cases and 22,000 deaths. 8-16 times more deaths would place the number of Covid-19 deaths in Brazil at anywhere between 180,000-360,000.

Within a week, I expect Brazil to have surpassed both Spain and France in the death charts.

Not surprisingly, the city hardest hit in Brazil is Sao Paulo - a mega-city with a population of 21 million. Not surprisingly again, it is the location with the most deaths amongst medical staff.

In second place for mortalities amongst medical staff is where my wife and I live. That is quite scary because although it is Brazil's second largest state - as big as Angola, Africa's 7th largest country - it has a total population of barely 9 million people, more than half living in its state capital. The rest thinly spread out in remote riverine municipalties in the forests.

Even so, Covid-19 has been reported in 98% of the 144 municipalities in the state.

When my wife and I heard on the news last night that our state is second only to Sao Paulo for medical staff deaths, we exchanged a silent look.

I keep reading from UK and US-based contributors here on TW about 'scaremongering' by the media. Brazilian media is doing an excellent job. To personalise it more, the nation's leading channel in its evening news now has a backdrop of the images of those who have lost their lives in Brazil to the pandemic.

Keep well, Tommy. You and your wife both.

Si Cooper
281 Posted 23/05/2020 at 00:48:40
Michael K (227) it's the use of percentages applied to complex situations with undefined variables that worries me, like the extrapolation of the data gathered from the cruise ships for instance! ;)
Seriously, I don't expect people to stop using percentages as long as they aren't relying on perceptions of accuracy that just can't be justified.
I haven't taken the time yet to check out Prof Sikora. To be honest I'm not actively seeking high profile individual pronouncements because I think the science community has more than it's fair share of publicity hungry self-promoters and sorting out the wheat from the chaff would be incredibly difficult.
I will try to get around to checking it out because I am interested where you are getting your info regarding large sections of the population having natural immunity?
There are a few things I've been looking out for.
1) First thing is that it was reported early on that there was no natural immunity and I have been looking out for updates around that. So far I have seen nothing that refutes it or suggests large numbers of us may be immune. The opposite in fact. Anders Tegnell certainly didn't mention any the other day in his interview on the BBC and you'd expect him to have a vested interest in something like that. He talked about 1% acquired immunity in neighbouring countries and something like 10 to 15 % in the Swedish conurbations.
2) The actual spread of Covid-19? I don't expect any useful information on this until widespread reliable antibody testing becomes routine and that is still months away. After that all we have is the ‘common or garden' virus testing which has variable reliability. You can probably say it is an underestimate but by how much is guesswork. The Swedes certainly aren't proceeding on the basis that most of their population is likely now immune.
3) How good is acquired immunity? Anders Tegnell rebuffed anecdotal reports that recovered patients in some places has been re-infected, but he didn't wax lyrical about how well protected his recovered infected would be. Obviously the Swedes are relying on some level of immunity for their aim of herd immunity to work, but interestingly they weren't prepared to try to hang in there until a vaccine was developed which suggests a lack of faith in persistent high grade immunity being induced.
As Mike G says, there were some indications that the Swedish strategy wasn't exactly panning out the way it was intended to. Apparently the spread of the virus has been greatly slowed (but not halted) by the behaviours the Swedes have voluntarily adopted, such as social distancing and cutting out non-essential travel. The virus is still spreading though, and that is in a country that has a pretty low population density. The Swedes want at least 40% with acquired immunity and believe they are still well short of that, with the rest of us even further back on the acquired immunity curve.
In contrast, the same voluntary measures stopped the flu dead in its tracks and curtailed their flu season well before it was expected to end.
I haven't tried to examine relative R rates because I do think it is an apples and oranges comparison.
The biggest difference, I would suggest, is that until proven otherwise the vast majority of us could catch and transmit this vaccine. According to CDC figures the maximum that annual flu can use as a vector is 3-11% or 5-20% (depending on study) of us.
Also, the CDC say the highest percentage immunity to annual flu is actually in the over 65 age group although that is one of the most vulnerable groups (with children who have the lowest percentage immunity). As far as the current information I have seen shows the over 65s can't rely on pre-existing immunity to this virus and the way it rips through nursing homes seems to support that.
Derek Thomas
282 Posted 24/05/2020 at 01:41:57
Ray @ 247; The Army? An excellent suggestion. Unless they are shooting at soldiers from an enemy power - just what is their job.

I think you'll find that for the average squady their job (aid to civil power ?) is what ever the the Sergeant tells them it is (and so on up the line) and I would rate chasing down public health risks higher than polishing buttons - and a lot less boring too.

Ed Prytherch
283 Posted 24/05/2020 at 01:41:57
Mike Gaynes,

I love Oregon except the weather on the coast. I nave spent some time in Eugene (track and field) and I have friends in Bend. I am at prytherche at bellsouth dot net.

Scouse accent, like beauty, is in the ear of the beholder. In Preston or Wigan, I was called a scouser and in Liverpool, I was a woolyback. Now, I am a yank.

Ed Prytherch
284 Posted 24/05/2020 at 01:56:17
More expert opinion that the shutdown is damaging:

A physician in Sacramento, California, said this week the cancellation of regular medical care during the coronavirus pandemic could yield a “massive wave” of cancer patients in the future.

In an interview with California Public Radio (CapRadio) Tuesday, Dignity Health thoracic surgeon Dr. Costanzo DiPerna said even though Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced in late April that hospitals and healthcare providers could resume some nonemergency medical care, many patients are still not scheduling appointments.

“Many patients are concerned about coming to visit us, to be screened for cancer, to be surveilled for their previous cancers we've taken out” DiPerna explained.

From CapRadio:

What I'm concerned about right now, not just for lung cancer but for all cancers, is are there patients out there that don't want to come in because they're afraid of getting COVID-19? And, so, they avoid mammograms, they avoid cat scans, they avoid colonoscopies … Then in two years we're hit with this massive wave of patients that are all at a later stage of essentially incurable cancers.

In California and many other states, medical visits governors decided are of a “nonemergency” variety have included routine mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and colonoscopies – which often detect cancers at their earliest stages, when they are most treatable.

Similarly, heart valve replacements, angioplasty, and tumor removals have all been delayed because of the orders of many governors as they focused solely on the infections caused by the Chinese coronavirus and associated massive testing and contact tracing expansions.

Hundreds of physicians, led by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and the White House Coronavirus Task Force Friday urging the reopening of the nation's business and schools and warning that delay will show a negative impact on the health of millions of Americans.

The physicians observed:

Our patients have suffered needlessly in pain and physical decline with disease progression because of short-sighted government edicts to stop all non-emergency care that is unrelated to COVID19. Some patients now face inevitable death because the diagnosis and treatments were delayed too long. Too many of our patients have suffered far more from the psychological, physical, and economic effects of the shutdown of communities and businesses than the direct impact of COVID 19 itself.

Tony Abrahams
285 Posted 24/05/2020 at 08:37:06
Keep saying it, Michael, but look at some of your own posts before you do, though, please.
Dave Abrahams
286 Posted 24/05/2020 at 10:35:19
Jay (280), keep sending in those reports, harrowing and frightening as they are. Britain is suffering a lot less, thankfully, than Brazil, but still far too many deaths and new cases every day.

I fear a second wave of this terrible virus, especially seeing the packed beaches and lots more traffic on the roads this last week.

The strain on the nursing staff and their families I can only imagine, I pray every night that it will soon end, but I know there are months of this misery still to come.

Take care Jay, God bless to you and your wife and families.

Chris Williams
287 Posted 24/05/2020 at 11:04:01
There are a couple of reports gone up on The Imperial College website, both concerning USA and State by State data, which may give some insights, given careful reading.

One is under COVID Reports, the other under COVID tools, which also includes some forecasts.

It might be of interest to the US contributors on here.

Ray Roche
288 Posted 24/05/2020 at 11:11:57

And maybe the Army can come and cut my hedges for me too. Better than polishing buttons.

Using the Army... isn't that the sort of thing dictators do? Just asking.

Eric Myles
289 Posted 24/05/2020 at 11:52:55
Ray #288, the army has been successfully deployed in this, and other crises.

Don't you remember the Green Goddesses in 1977 and 2002s??

Green Goddess

They can be called upon in times of national crises, I'm afraid your hedges are probably not as important as polishing buttons though.

Tommy Bowman
290 Posted 24/05/2020 at 12:01:43
Jay Wood (280). I honestly don't think I'd have the courage, certainly not the mental resilience to face what my missus faces in hospital every day, let alone in these times.

When the Manchester Arena bombing happened a few years ago, she was off duty but immediately called the A&E department in one of the Manchester hospitals to see if they needed help (they did). I never saw her again for 48 hours.

The last home game we attended seems like years ago, it was only January!

Ray Roche
291 Posted 25/05/2020 at 08:43:44

I well remember the Green Goddess situation when the Fire Brigade went on strike. I also know that the Army have done a great job helping flood-ravaged towns in this year as well as others. I just don't think they should be employed as debt collectors, bailiffs or snitches.

I stand by my earlier comment that the Police can't do their “normal” job, let alone be expected to check on returning tourists.

Eric Myles
292 Posted 25/05/2020 at 09:34:03
Ray, there are countries that are checking incoming flights, even having all passengers quarantined for 14 days before releasing them into the general populace.
Ray Roche
293 Posted 25/05/2020 at 09:50:45
Eric, yes, some countries ARE insisting on quarantine, I think that France are amongst them, quarantining arrivals from certain places and charging them for their bed and board. Do you not think that we should have been doing something similar weeks ago?

Literally millions of people have arrived on these shores from all over the world, yet no testing etc has been considered important enough to be implemented. Unbelievable!!

And you have no idea of the importance of my hedges!

Eric Myles
294 Posted 25/05/2020 at 10:15:51
Ray #293, they should have just done what most other countries did, stopped all incoming flights.

You got topiary hedges? Squaddie grunts would just ruin them.

Tony Abrahams
295 Posted 25/05/2020 at 11:48:02
If there is to be a second wave Eric, then like the initial spread, this will surely come about because of air travel, mate.

If we are going to suffer loads of unemployment, then both the Government and the airlines could create a lot of jobs by testing and quarantining if necessary, or if not just ban non-essential travel, which definitely won't be any good for the economy.

Ray Roche
296 Posted 25/05/2020 at 12:20:34
On Saturday, a Eurowings flight left Dusseldorf for Sardinia. It was refused permission to land because Sardinia hasn't opened up to travel from countries outside of Italy. Bollock dropped by someone.🤣
Alan McGuffog
297 Posted 25/05/2020 at 12:29:28
Privet Hedges reporting for duty, Sah!

I'll get me coat...

Ray Roche
298 Posted 25/05/2020 at 13:07:56
I'll help you with it!
Tony Abrahams
299 Posted 25/05/2020 at 13:08:25
Maybe the Germans are just desperate to get away, Ray!
Alan J Thompson
300 Posted 25/05/2020 at 14:35:14
Alan McGuffog (#297),

For heaven's sake, man, everyone knows Hedges was an ARW! Now put that bloody light out!

Ray Roche
301 Posted 25/05/2020 at 14:48:27
Tony, well, they had a nice flight! There and back.
Eric Myles
302 Posted 25/05/2020 at 15:21:35
Tony #295, I think the second wave is more likely to come from release of the asymptomatic locally before air travel gets into it. Especially as some countries have their borders closed.
Eric Myles
303 Posted 25/05/2020 at 16:16:07
Some sensible talk from the Huddlesfield owner.

Huddersfield owner Phil Hodgkinson warns '50 or 60 clubs' could go bust

Tony Abrahams
304 Posted 25/05/2020 at 17:06:36
Scary report Eric, but it's impossible to pay everyone's wages if you are not earning nothing just like the man says. I'd love the top clubs get together with Sky, and come to some sort of agreement, that filters money down the leagues, because it's horrific to think of what could happen to so many clubs otherwise.

If it's true what the players are on, then Everton's two top earners both donating a month's wages to a League Two club, would probably help sustain that club for a full year, which is staggering when you really think about it.

Michael Lynch
305 Posted 25/05/2020 at 17:31:11
Eric - this quote gets a million likes from me:

"The PFA need to put in place salary cuts of between 30% and 50% for all players at all levels until such a time as crowds are allowed back into football stadiums."

Eric Myles
306 Posted 26/05/2020 at 04:58:33
I don't think it's just lower league clubs at risk, Tony, I wouldn't be surprised if a handful of Premier League teams go bust also.
Tony Abrahams
307 Posted 26/05/2020 at 08:11:39
Incredible if that happens, Eric, but nothing surprises me, and I'm sure the next television deal will become different as the richer clubs just walk right over the hill.
Danny Baily
308 Posted 26/05/2020 at 08:19:28
Loans with 100% of wages covered by the parent club might be a good way to help out the lower league clubs next season.

Our U23s would benefit from proper first team football.

Tony Abrahams
309 Posted 26/05/2020 at 08:35:41
It would be a start, Danny, but maybe the Premier League clubs could pay 𧶲.000 for each player they loan out in these uncertain times?

Pay these clubs for allowing them the chance to give our younger players some valuable experience, whilst also helping to contribute in keeping some of these clubs alive.

I think the bottom two leagues might also benefit from having a bit of a revamp, because if their main source of income is through the turnstiles, then wouldn't it be better to go back to the old format of north and south divisions, with less travelling helping to give some better attendance figures maybe?

Justin Doone
310 Posted 26/05/2020 at 15:50:20
It's the money talking of resuming training and the league. It's way to soon and I wouldn't be sending my kids back to school either.

I'll say it again, the government and the financial 'power' people are risking people's lives.

I wouldn't play, I wouldn't officiate and I'd do all I could to get the unions to stop this nonsense before someone has a needless death on their hands.

Michael Kenrick
311 Posted 31/05/2020 at 23:07:12
McGeady Story

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