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Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Really interesting
SAGE are abject in my opinion, they clearly either do not study international information or don't have anyone suitably qualified in analysis of partial or preliminary data sets. Before Xmas on this thread I was saying ther best case scenario modeling was far too pessimistic (I said max of 500 deaths a day then before New Years revised this down to a max of 350 a day (currently around 270 a day and thankfully unlikely to go much higher)). So my accurate worst case scenario for Omicron has proven lower than SAGE's best case scenario. It is alarming that two years into a pandemic a random Scottish dude on the internet, with no pandemic management experience, can call out SAGE estimates as being worthless, just by looking at early data from SA, Netherlands and the UK.

Back in early March 2020 (possibly even February before it was entrenched in the UK) we had a knowledge that Covid-19 could be passed on by a host for 10-12 days if you were asymptomatic and that China was estimating a fatality rate of around 2%. We also knew in Korea that 1 infected man, went to three nightclubs in one night and infected over 100 people (i.e. clearly, irrefutably airborne unless Koreans have a culture of opening toilet door cubicles with their mouth). The above is a truly horrifying combination.

Yet in the UK (and many other places) we had muppets in high places telling us masks could do more harm than good and that if we all just kept singing Happy Birthday it would be alright and we should all keep working in our offices. All while refusing to look at evidence from East Asian countries more experienced in pandemic management and ignoring the fact they were all going around with facemasks and being incredibly vigilant at airports (Korea would even provide all recipients with a mobile device so they could monitor and enforce that they were indeed isolating).

The UK (and presumably Ireland), as island states, worked on medical advice that you couldn't keep the infection out and let lots of perfectly healthy people die while Australia, Korea, Japan New Zealand showed this to be a basic error and took appropriate steps to protect their citizens that I consider were blindingly obvious at the time. Even third world countries like Vietnam kept the initial variants under control.

When this was kicking off, I felt so failed by UK and Scottish medical expertise and that they simply didn't care about the health of my elderly relatives and my ability to inadvertently infect them while asymptomatic. Operating on the expert medical advice, my employer continued to ask me to work in an office I could only get to by squeezing through crowds of (predominantly Chinese) students packed into a corridor and queuing all the way out the building. You couldn't make it up. I was fortunate I could take a much longer commute to a different town and work safely in a glorified cupboard with a window and a computer. I could take steps to protect my relatives but others were not so lucky.

So first SAGE were so lax and got every single major call catastrophically wrong and now they show that they couldn't analyse data if our lives depended on it. Plus a few of them get gongs for their services! I'm not sure any lessons will be learnt for any future pandemic (be it Covid-19 related or something new) but I do know I'll be continuing to look out for me and mine based on my own interpretation of events before listening to politicians of any hue and their dullard advisors.
 

The_Blindside

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It should be remembered that SAGE’s modelling are worst case Projections, they are asked to prepare; they are not predictions as is commonly put out there. They do not have a crystal ball to tell the future because they cannot predict peeps’ behaviour.

 
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Amiga500

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It should be remembered that SAGE’s modelling are worst case Projections, they are asked to prepare; they are not predictions as is commonly put out there. They do not have a crystal ball to tell the future because they cannot predict peeps’ behaviour.


Ah, now thats not true.

They'll be presenting a range of data. Best-case, worst-case and (probably a few) most probables.

If there is one thing anyone who has been in both will know.... once you step out of academia into industry, you realise within a few months academics don't know ****.
They are neck deep in theory - but when it comes to do something in the real world - all their theories bog down in their own complexity and assumptions when you step beyond a few small sub-systems.

Which is more accurate - the model that needs 10 assumed values or the model than needs 1 assumed value when you can only guesstimate what the assumed values will be? You can guess which one will have a Prof's name hanging off it.
 

The_Blindside

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Ah, now thats not true.

They'll be presenting a range of data. Best-case, worst-case and (probably a few) most probables.

If there is one thing anyone who has been in both will know.... once you step out of academia into industry, you realise within a few months academics don't know ****.
They are neck deep in theory - but when it comes to do something in the real world - all their theories bog down in their own complexity and assumptions when you step beyond a few small sub-systems.

Which is more accurate - the model that needs 10 assumed values or the model than needs 1 assumed value when you can only guesstimate what the assumed values will be? You can guess which one will have a Prof's name hanging off it.

Yes, that is what modelling is. And no as Graham Medley said they did not present best case scenario. What would be the point of that?
 

Amiga500

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Amiga500

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Yes, that is what modelling is. And no as Graham Medley said they did not present best case scenario. What would be the point of that?

What? Why the f**k didn't they?

Surely they are presenting something like below (adding more detail to prev post which was simplistic just to get point across).

baseline = this is the range of what we expect to happen if we do nothing
action A = this our range of what we expect to happen if we do this
action B = this our range of what we expect to happen if we do that
action C = this our range of what we expect to happen if we do the other

etc etc

If them, and the government, haven't been doing that, then they need a good f**king kicking.
 

Amiga500

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Sorry, read the spectator article there - so they largely have been doing what I said in post 5066.

But they are still being too arrogant to learn from foreign experience. That was the case on the initial breakout of CoV-2 from China and sadly still seems to be the case.

Not Invented Here Syndrome is as healthy as ever I guess.
 

ncurd

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Sorry, read the spectator article there - so they largely have been doing what I said in post 5066.

But they are still being too arrogant to learn from foreign experience. That was the case on the initial breakout of CoV-2 from China and sadly still seems to be the case.

Not Invented Here Syndrome is as healthy as ever I guess.
Didnt they say they were sharing numbers with abroad and with places like SA they felt they didn't have enough data on virulency of Omicron. Therefore they factored it in at a standard rate rather than best case with it actually being milder because they needed to plan in case it wasn't. Because by the time they could have the exact numbers it would of been too late if its wasn't.

Seams like a pretty reasonable assumption to me.

But we have two self appointed guru's here, you do both realise how arrogantly stupid you come across when you say you know better with no qualifications? Right?
 

Tallshort

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Didnt they say they were sharing numbers with abroad and with places like SA they felt they didn't have enough data on virulency of Omicron. Therefore they factored it in at a standard rate rather than best case with it actually being milder because they needed to plan in case it wasn't. Because by the time they could have the exact numbers it would of been too late if its wasn't.

Seams like a pretty reasonable assumption to me.

But we have two self appointed guru's here, you do both realise how arrogantly stupid you come across when you say you know better with no qualifications? Right?
There was Data from South Africa though wasn't there?

The fact they got it so wrong does need to be investigated. The modelling they use has a massive influence on the daily lives of people in the UK and although their intentions might have been good they have lost a lot of credibility on this and if in future we end up in another pandemic, anti vax types will use things such as this as an argument against necessary measures.

From memory wasn't it Sage or people who work there that did the modelling for Foot and Mouth? Millions of healthy animals killed unnecessarily because of more worst case scenario thinking.
 

ncurd

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There was Data from South Africa though wasn't there?
Yes and the decision was made there wasn't enough especially with the age profile of SA compared to the UK.

That's the problem though we also suffer from the Millennium Bug issue. If they do their job correctly normal people dont notice there was a problem and claims there never was one.

Also in this pandemic it might be the one time SAGE got it wrong. Every other time they were calling for curbs well before the government enacted them. Result 150,000 deaths.
 

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Again modelling are projections the Government asks Sage modellers to make and base policy decisions on. There likely won’t be an investigation into their modelling because they are not predictions; they just used to inform Govt on policy. They shouldn’t be used by General public. But it most probably was by those who read the numbers and in turn changed their behaviour; which was not a bad thing. Also The UK Government chose largely to ignore the worst case scenario modelling otherwise we would have been in lockdown over Xmas.

The Omicron variant was so new as well and SA average age population is about 12 years younger than UK’s population so very difficult to get numbers of hospitalisations and deaths completely spot on.
 

BiggusLaddus

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https://www.thejournal.ie/french-vaccine-pass-5656786-Jan2022/?utm_source=shortlink

Includes players, actors, servers etc... France putting the hammer down.
I gave this an instinctive 'like' because I can't be doing with anti-vaxxers.

But when I stop to think about it, the longer this goes on, the less justification I see. Being 'fully vaxxed' offers very little protection against omicron infection and those who are unvaccinated make up a very small proportion of our populations.

Seems more like giving a kicking to the people who stuck 2 fingers up, then a rational public health response.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Again modelling are projections the Government asks Sage modellers to make and base policy decisions on. There likely won’t be an investigation into their modelling because they are not predictions; they just used to inform Govt on policy. They shouldn’t be used by General public. But it most probably was by those who read the numbers and in turn changed their behaviour; which was not a bad thing. Also The UK Government chose largely to ignore the worst case scenario modelling otherwise we would have been in lockdown over Xmas.

The Omicron variant was so new as well and SA average age population is about 12 years younger than UK’s population so very difficult to get numbers of hospitalisations and deaths completely spot on.
Yes, I would imagine that leaks such as this SAGE modelling are undoubtedly an attempt to sway public behaviour when restrictions are off the table politically. It is unfortunate that playing 'Project Fear' in this manner is deemed necessary as it undermines future confidence in expertise and gives ammunition to the anti-vax brigade. Short term gain for long term pain, although I'm not without sympathy for the tactic during genuinely lethal developments like Alpha and Delta.

I speak as someone who is very supportive of the role of expertise, but I find it baffling a suggestion in the thread that this is the first error SAGE made. In Scotland, Wales & NI the pandemic response is devolved, but was all broadly (and catastrophically) similar to that in England in terms of actions, inactions and fatalities. All four govenrments are very diverse politically but have broadly followed SAGE advice from the outset.

No face coverings for months, ship elderly infected hospital patients back into care homes without tests, next to no airport restrictions, general inaction and acceptance that the virus will take hold and no measures can prevent that (and clearly flirting with the notion of herd immunity before vaccines were available). On every count the above list is calamitous and was done at the time of abundant data and evidence in East Asia, where the virus had emerged weeks earlier, of the nature of the virus and what steps could be taken to avert disaster. The cry was "be led by the data" but there was no sign they ever looked at countries where more substantial datasets were available.

The only comfort for SAGE is so many others globally screwed this up and that the speedy creation of efficient vaccines (hopefully) has curtailed the worst of this mess to two years. I'd give Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Aus, NZ, China, Denmark, Norway and Finland strong pass marks for their response (and resultant far lower death rates). The non-European ones above got the initial calls spot on, and the European ones I mention remedied the situation after the first wave. I'd give most others, including SAGE, an epic 'F' for fail. There is no reason the British Isles nations should all have a death rate roughly 3 to 5 times worse than Scandinavian nations and 20 time worse than Australia and think they've done a good job.

Think how irate people are when people die with terrorism, die fighting pointless wars or die due to individual errors in a hospital. Magnify all of those by many tens, hundreds or thousands and you will see the bumbling hands of SAGE at the steering wheel. In Scotland our Chief medical officer had to resign after repeatedly flouting restrictions to travel to her holiday home. As such, the majority of our pandemic advice has come from a guy whose medical specialism is dentistry. The medical expertise across the UK in relation to pandemic, management has been found badly wanting and I wouldn't object to investigations in terms of criminal negligence and corporate manslaughter (as can happen with individual issues in hospitals).

Mercifully the medical expertise in terms of vaccine creation has been superb in the UK and elsewhere. Even vaccines that are well short of Pfizer and Moderna have been a superb achievement by medical expertise. I also think health services have operated very well globally with the appalling situation that those employed to manage pandemics has placed them in. So it is important to isolate the pandemic management side of things when criticising.
 

Which Tyler

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Being 'fully vaxxed' offers very little protection against omicron infection and those who are unvaccinated make up a very small proportion of our populations.
For a certain value of "protection against omicron infection"
Yes, in straight terms - but it still seems to offer huge protection against severe illness from Omicron, and therefore against health costs.
Equally, that "very small proportion" are still accounting for a huge proportion of covid-related healthcare costs.
 

ncurd

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No face coverings for months
Most of the other other in this paragraph were political rather than scientific decisions. This one however has some merit but is way more complex as another member has pointed out cloth masks do something but in reality they've never been a panacea compared to well ventilated rooms, social distancing and cleaning/washing hands. Lets not forget we had a PPE shortage in the NHS early pandemic, a key concern early days was people panic buying masks especially the medical grade ones which make a significant difference. So reality was they focused on the stuff that make a significant difference and readily doable rather than people getting the wrong one with people thinking masks make them immune, which is still a considerable problem. There also been the issue that the public needed to be highly educated in the fact cloth masks are only useful if you have COVID from spreading it to other people they do very little to prevent you getting COVID.

Masks are better than nothing and its become a symbol of anti-lockdown/anti-vax sentiment to not wear one. Someone did a brilliant interactive infographic on this stuff.


Just saying the entire mask thing was never as stupid as people like to think it is but the wrong message got across.
 

Al Bangor

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Free Covid-19 tests sent to your home begins this Wednedsay, January 19th here in the USA.
 

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