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Coronavirus - Part Two.

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1 hour ago, Thirsty Relic said:

Track and Trace was never going to work for the whole population, but it could have worked for the very limited numbers leaving/entering the country (apart from illegal immigration of course) during this present crisis if there had been the will to really get to grips with it. 

 

It sounds like, a whole year into Covid, we still do not check who is coming in and have details on them for at least 2 weeks to check for new variants. 

 

Travel Agents were clearly given the green light on foreign travel well before Boris's talk on the 22nd,  Many UK residents have as a result booked holidays in countries that are not at present on the "red list", but may be in future.  No quarantining is planned on return, so we can expect many more cases coming this summer and another lockdown.

I do worry about this. I get that people want to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but it's not helpful for government to give optimistic forecasts just because they don't want to upset people. I know for some people it's really difficult for their mental health, but you'd hope that others would have enough in them to be able to cope without a holiday abroad.

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Posted (edited)

Apelike,

You have highlighted a very interesting aspect of the ever evolving corona virus.

A microbiologist friend of mine who worked at St Thomas Hospital (London). Explained to me that the virus can pop out variants here in the UK that are exactly the same as those that occur in different parts of the world.

The upshot is a bit unnerving. It theorises that variants don't need to be imported, but occur here at the same time as in Brazil,  because of the  virus's natural mutation cycles.

Anyway,that 's the theory. The implications for border control are massive. The variants are not stopped from getting in. They are here already, or will eventually be here.

Edited by petemcewan

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2 hours ago, petemcewan said:

Apelike,

You have highlighted a very interesting aspect of the ever evolving corona virus.

A microbiologist friend of mine who worked at St Thomas Hospital (London). Explained to me that the virus can pop out variants here in the UK that are exactly the same as those that occur in different parts of the world.

The upshot is a bit unnerving. It theorises that variants don't need to be imported, but occur here at the same time as in Brazil,  because of the  virus's natural mutation cycles.

Anyway,that 's the theory. The implications for border control are massive. The variants are not stopped from getting in. They are here already, or will eventually be here.

Thank you for that.

 

What is a known fact is that viruses evolve over time but at a much more accelerated rate, which is also compounded by the fact that millions of people now have had it. When it comes to general evolution we also know there is parallel and convergent evolution where specific biological DNA traits can appear independently thousands of miles apart, even when there is no direct ancestral link. 

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12 hours ago, Delbow said:

I do worry about this. I get that people want to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but it's not helpful for government to give optimistic forecasts just because they don't want to upset people. I know for some people it's really difficult for their mental health, but you'd hope that others would have enough in them to be able to cope without a holiday abroad.

It will be far worse for mental health to build up hopes only to have them dashed (yet again!). I’m sure most people would prefer to stick out restrictions for a few more weeks to properly suppress the virus whilst vaccines are rolled out than start opening at the earliest opportunity only to give the virus an opportunity to run rampant again.  

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Delbow said:

I do worry about this. I get that people want to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but it's not helpful for government to give optimistic forecasts just because they don't want to upset people. I know for some people it's really difficult for their mental health, but you'd hope that others would have enough in them to be able to cope without a holiday abroad.

Some assistance could be had through  informing people about how life can become quite difficult once they get there, if Covid circumstances end up shifting the logistical goalposts time and again, that they cannot come back.

 

We're driving my mother in law to Paris for catching a return flight to the UK this weekend. 200 miles, then return. Curfew notwithstanding. This will be her 3rd attempt to "get back home" in about a month, now.

 

The previous 2 flights were cancelled by the airlines at short notice, due to shifting confinement policies/new measures, either in the UK and/or Netherlands.

 

If that one gets cancelled too (e.g. because Paris ends up getting red zone-rated this week due to Brit/Brazilian variant surge there, and the UK then nixes flights inbound from Paris), it's return to start and do not collect £200 (in fact, this time, lose £210 because that UK test kit purchase is non-refundable).

 

Technically, her tourist Visa expires at month end (90 days from 1st  January are up) and she becomes an illegal immigrant.

Edited by L00b

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2 hours ago, L00b said:

Some assistance could be had through  informing people about how life can become quite difficult once they get there, if Covid circumstances end up shifting the logistical goalposts time and again, that they cannot come back.

 

We're driving my mother in law to Paris for catching a return flight to the UK this weekend. 200 miles, then return. Curfew notwithstanding. This will be her 3rd attempt to "get back home" in about a month, now.

 

The previous 2 flights were cancelled by the airlines at short notice, due to shifting confinement policies/new measures, either in the UK and/or Netherlands.

 

If that one gets cancelled too (e.g. because Paris ends up getting red zone-rated this week due to Brit/Brazilian variant surge there, and the UK then nixes flights inbound from Paris), it's return to start and do not collect £200 (in fact, this time, lose £210 because that UK test kit purchase is non-refundable).

 

Technically, her tourist Visa expires at month end (90 days from 1st  January are up) and she becomes an illegal immigrant.

That sounds very difficult and stressful, and a useful warning.

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Apelike,

I think that's a pretty good description you've given  of 

virus mutation cycles.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Delbow said:

That sounds very difficult and stressful, and a useful warning.

It's par for the "perfect storm" that is the mix of Brexit and Covid.

 

It's difficult and stressful for her.

 

Just mildly inconvenient for us, Saturday with a 3AM start and the day wrote off ; and potentially expensive if we get fined for breaking curfew/travel restrictions (we should not, since there is a specific exception for assisting travel/connections of relatives, especially elderly ones with assistance requirements...but well, famous last words and Murphy's Law and all that). 3 of us in the car one way, 2 on the return,  and the fine is €135 a head each time (not 'way'), with the certainty that there will be checks/controls at toll booths on the A4 there and back.

 

But as a warning, ooh yes, absolutely. If you do not *have to* go anywhere, then don't. Because with the current panic about Covid variants and the measures taken off-the-cuff at ultra short-notice here, there and everywhere, that 'bargain week in Majorca' could just end up into a forced month or two there, costing many multiples of the holiday, besides your job that you can't return to, and what else.

 

Latest local example, as it happens: Germany closed its border to the French Moselle department this morning, you're only allowed through with a negative PCR test less than 48 hours old, no exceptions. That was first announced 72 hours ago, i.e. leaving 24 hours to sort out and get tested, ready for this morning.

 

If you live in France and work in Germany (crossborder workers doing that daily, tens of thousands concerned), tough: no PCR test, no going through to your place of work. 

 

Likewise if you're e.g. holidaying in that neck of the woods and are due to fly back from a nearby German airport, say Sarrebrück. No PCR test, no going through to the airport to catch your flight.

Edited by L00b

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I just hope people thinking about foreign travel get to read these posts

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On 28/02/2021 at 15:40, Annie Bynnol said:

Mixing ethical and medical issues just leads to confusion delay and more deaths.

First lets get as many people protected as quickly as possible.

Let us monitor how the disease is behaving/changing and decide how it is best controlled and how best people all people are protected.

 

I would expect that people of any age who deal with public at this stage  to take measures to protect themselves, their families, friends, work colleagues, transport drivers, shopworkers and anybody else. 

 

The virus is not ageist. The virus won't wait to mutate for long term studies. The virus is not ethical or political.

I am more than happy to accept the risk that is posed by those who cannot be vaccinated and who need the protection of mass immunization.

 

The issue  of "vaccine passports" is a media and an invention of the chattering classes. How can we possibly object to something that has not been defined? Is it to do with travel, international travel, work places, shops, restaurants ....?

 

Declarations of fitness to work/travel, quarantine regulations etc have been around for a thousand+ years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the vaccine does not stop people getting the virus or spreading the virus then what is the rush ? as long as those at risk are vaccinated that should be the focus.   All the talk about people having to have the vaccine and every person who dares to ask a question about it on the news is just put down as "anti vax" so there is no sensible discussions.  

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5 hours ago, petemcewan said:

Apelike,

I think that's a pretty good description you've given  of 

virus mutation cycles.

There is a theory by a Japanese guy that Darwin was wrong to assume that natural selection was the driving force behind evolution. He proposes that it's actually molecule mutations that is the driving force something which can now easily be seen to occur in the coronavirus.

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A bit highbrow for me, but if that means that I'll evolve not by studying hard but simply due to molecules, then that's great by me - I'll get there with out all that hard work!  Thanks team!

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