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Everything posted by Carbuncle

  1. I don't know if it has changed since the original variant or if vaccination affects matter but my memory is that on average peak infectiousness coincides with onset of symptoms.
  2. Africa does not have very much testing. Many countries in Africa do not have systematic registration of deaths.
  3. I think you will find Glaswegians lead the World in the creative 'culinary' uses they have found for their deep fryers. If there is an insufficiency of used vegetable oil perhaps enquiries could be made as to whether any misused vegetable oil is available.
  4. I didn't offer "at its best fifty years ago" as an option because that is an answer to a different question. Of course, it may well be that more people would have been interested in your implied question ("When was the NHS at its best?") than the one I asked which has drawn relatively few responses.
  5. I think he was trying to avoid the attention of those who had gone over to the orange side, you know the conspiraloons and Trumpians and so forth.
  6. Two names for the same guy, pro-vax, good chap.
  7. Evidence-free nonsense. Excellent! I have some nonsense of my own for you to consider ... Ben Kenobe offers the following advice: "Use the vax, Luke." Pretty clear cut, I would say, especially when you have the background and know the importance of midi chlorians. What do you think of that? Huh? And what about all the Death Stars the rebellion has taken down ... first there was the original, then the alpha and then the delta variant. Surely, nobody could miss the message.
  8. China is a worry. Their human rights record is awful and they are persecuting the Uighurs. There is also growing Chinese nationalism. That is awful but lets not forget the positive: Chinese GDP per capita has risen about 50-fold since Mao died. That is enough to have lifted 1 billion plus Chinese from abject poverty (50c a day per capita in 1976) up to middle income status. Surely, that's the greatest exercise in poverty reduction in global history. And it all happened in an autocracy.
  9. The whole situation is in flux. Suppose as seems the most likely scenario, covid ends up looking like cold or flu then think of all the things that are to come before we have moved from a pandemic to an endemic disease and are reasonably clear on the new situation. For a start, we will all or almost all need to have been infected a few times as opposed to maybe 40% of the population having been infected. Ditto for most of the World's population. We need the global vaccination programme to run to a reasonable state of completeness where at the moment it's less than half done and in a way which is rather skewed towards China and the West. If after the great majority have been 'fully vaccinated' and had a booster and the immunosuppressed have had a third dose and then a booster (four doses) we may still need annual boosters. And then there may well be new rounds/ types of vaccine because the virus has evolved. And if the virus is still killing maybe 1 in a 1000 annually, there will in those 7 million deaths a year globally be plenty of impetus to develop new drugs and vaccines. All of which means we're a long way from some kind of dynamic equilibrium with covid. The vaccines are fantastic and we can imagine getting back to normal but we can be sure of relatively little going forward. The situation with the NHS is also precarious. About 8 000 beds are occupied by people with covid and we only had 140 000 beds prepandemic. Not all the 140 000 beds are available because of the need to do infection control. And the NHS also has to plan in the face of considerable uncertainty. How many beds does it need for covid next week? How long will it be before we can go from protecting the NHS to it protecting us? The immuno-suppressed are already on a track that assumes they will have a fourth vaccination. I think the proportion of the population with antibodies is in the region of 95% ... mostly due to vaccination. There have been around 9 million cases so far but that grossly underestimates the number of infections. I would guess around 40% of the population have had covid so far ... but that is just back of the envelope.
  10. Our World in Data has some data on the trend towards democracy and away from autocracy ( https://ourworldindata.org/democracy ). According to the data, the World moved fairly steadily away from autocracy throughout the twentieth century so that starting from a very low base the number of democracies overtook the number of autocracies by around the year 2000. Slightly different data suggests most of the World's population now lives in democracies and the proportion look sets to continue increasing.
  11. Thanks for posting the link. Frankly, I was amazed. At the low point in 1997, 34% of survey participants said they were 'very or quite satisfied' with the NHS. At the high point in 2010, 70% said they were 'very or quite satisfied'. Wow! I would never buy a product on Amazon or order from an EBay seller with these kind of reviews. Actually, I have made the choice to buy books from a seller with a 99% satisfaction level at a higher price in preference to a seller with a 95% satisfaction level because it is such a pain when things go wrong ... such a pain and of course it is only metaphorical when it comes to online sellers. The news media when it talks about the NHS seems to frequently set the scene with the 'national treasure' angle and I have often wondered how it is they know the public thinks the NHS is a national treasure. It seems to be just something that everybody knows but this long running survey would seem to give the lie to it. The public may like the idea of the National Health Service but it would seem they have not been impressed with the implementation of the NHS at any time over the last forty years. I would not have guessed that.
  12. Indeed, we have an excess of f**kwits.
  13. True to form you are spreading misinformation. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have all had requirements to wear a face mask in some public spaces. You can check this for yourself at Our World in Data.
  14. Just to clarify: I am not asking about staff performance or dedication. I am not asking about whether the NHS is value for public money.
  15. Usual nonsense. Incoherent argument with vague allusions to evidence but no actual links or references to evidence or argument. As usual, when one begins to check the elements of your posts that one can, one immediately finds your statements to be in error. Excess mortality in the UK is currently running at around 10% above normal ( https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?facet=none&Metric=Excess+mortality+(%)&Interval=Weekly&Relative+to+Population=true&Align+outbreaks=false&country=~GBR ) which is entirely consistent with the current death rate from covid ( https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ ) given the noisy nature of the weekly excess mortality numbers. There is a similar level of consistency for Germany.
  16. Thanks for posting the link to the documentary, which I had not been aware of and was well worth watching. It is still available to watch if you missed it. My sense is that there is a lot more wrong with the NHS than a shortage of funding - although we do underfund - and this programme highlighted some examples of those problems including the high rate of medical error, the failure to learn from errors including because of prioritising a supposed need to fight liability and the targeting of whistleblowers.
  17. Prescriptions and dentistry are subsidised.
  18. Interesting. I think from a historical perspective, large scale democracies are a relatively modern innovation though having 'bits of democratic machinery', for example democracy at the level of a tribe or having a tribal confederation where each tribe has a voice in a council is ages old. Personally, I am hopeful that liberal democracies do often evolve from stable despotisms and equally importantly they can be stable having emerged. It happened in Britain a bit at a time over a period of centuries and in the "settler offshoots" of Britain (Aus, NZ, Canada, US). It has happened in Europe multiple times. It was induced to happen in Japan under the US occupation. It has evolved from despotisms in S. Korea and Taiwan without a long cultural history of democracy over a relatively short period. India has been democratic since independence. Often the evolutions have been of a two steps forward, one step back kind of a thing. Unfortunately, there are also examples of the one step forward, two steps back kind of evolution.
  19. Why are you repeating this nonsense? I have already given you half a dozen examples which contradict even your modified version where you added 'since the creation of the UN'. More nonsense. Dynastic dictatorships, ie monarchies or imperial dynasties, are probably the most common form of government recorded by history.
  20. I very carefully wrote: "North Korea under Kim Il Sung". That was the counterexample, not North Korea under Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Il and it is very bad of you to rewrite one of my examples for the purpose of argument/ distraction when in fact your 'rule of history' demands that they all be wrong in their as written form. No points.
  21. Feel free to comment! That's what I like about you, you swim round and round in your barrel with no sense of impending danger. Here are some counter-examples to your rule of history: China under Mao Tse Tung; North Korea under Kim Il Sung; Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh; Romania under Ceausescu; Cuba under Fidel Castro; Libya in the period after Lockerbie under Gadaffi; ...
  22. So let me get this straight: "Dictatorships cannot survive without financial aid from democracies" errr ... "since the establishment of the UN." Would you like to think about that some more to see if you want to add any more conditions or exceptions to your iron rule of history before I take look?
  23. Oh dear, ... Given the absence of wealthy ancient democracies to fund them how did the ancient dictatorships survive?
  24. Thanks for posting this. So was it a media lie or a government lie?
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