High infection rates in the UK vs western Europe

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Either I'm missing something, or there doesn't seem to be any questioning why the UK infection rates are stuck at the current high levels when western Europe's seem to have dropped, especially in France. After seeing that article today about the dodgy tests I wonder if it's something to do with the testing system in the UK. It's all very odd.
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  • vizviz Frets: 8306
    edited October 15
    I agree, and I find it odd that the numbers have been sustained at a relatively stable level for so many weeks. Normally infections either grow or die down, it's like walking a tightrope - very hard to keep it balanced at such a consistent level.
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 6042
    Before anyone uses this theme to justify their personal hobby horse remember that:
    1. A key factor in these numbers is the extent of testing in each country.
    2. It was always expected that infection would continue to circulate in the community, just as other viruses do.
    Known here as Old Misery Guts or the Big Bad Classified's Sheriff. Also guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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  • France was forced to crack down with mandates and the bulk of the working population complied.

    What we do have in the UK is millions of unvaccinated younger adults interacting more since the summer..  the combination/balance of our larger pool of numbers vulnerable to infection and the relaxing of measures is maintaining things here at higher levels as it spreads.  If we are going for natural exposure vs mandates (which I think the Gov’t want to avoid) this is exactly what it should look like.   Delta variant also spreading among those infected earlier on.

    Sweden only relaxed its final rules for nightclubs a few days ago.  Scandinavians, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Denmark and others not suffered the right wing, anti-vax nonsense and not needed mandates or anything to get the vast majority of their populations on board with vaccination immunity method.

    We are just lagging and failing in the latter stages.  We are now around 12th in Europe for adult vaccination and have had pretty late and poor community compliance with measures throughout.  We see the result in high cases and deaths.

    IMHO, if we had less ‘anti-experts’, confusing anti-science narratives and less politicising/side taking here, we could have been further through this. 
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 8107
    edited October 15
    Someone in another thread posted some numbers on testing.  From memory, we are doing 13 tests per 1000 population, while Germany are only doing 1.5.  I may have mis-remembered the numbers, but we are doing a lot more testing.

    I don't know how the hospitalisation and death figures compare.  They would give a much more accurate comparison than the number of positive tests.  If we are higher on those, it's partly because we are fatter and are more densely populated, with more of our population living in cities with bad air pollution.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 12746
    I think infection rates are only part of the story and we do seem to test more. The death rates also will depend on how accurately ( or how similarly anyway) those are collected. A quick google suggests that the UK is closer to mid ranking in European terms once you take out the outliers ( I'll assume that places such as Iceland and Norway will have been able to manage their responses very differently hence much lower death rates). 
    Certainly the impression I get is that in France and Spain at least there is still much higher compliance with using masks and social distancing and their covid passport systems, it has all become much more normalised. 
    Hungary has the highest death rate in Europe and one of the highest in the world. Their role out of vaccines is relatively poor and their population already has a lower life expectancy than the rest of europe. So, it certainly fits with that pattern.  
     
    I’ll handle this Violet, you take your three hour break. 
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  • GreatapeGreatape Frets: 1026
    France was forced to crack down with mandates and the bulk of the working population complied.

    What we do have in the UK is millions of unvaccinated younger adults interacting more since the summer..  the combination/balance of our larger pool of numbers vulnerable to infection and the relaxing of measures is maintaining things here at higher levels as it spreads.  If we are going for natural exposure vs mandates (which I think the Gov’t want to avoid) this is exactly what it should look like.   Delta variant also spreading among those infected earlier on.

    Sweden only relaxed its final rules for nightclubs a few days ago.  Scandinavians, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Denmark and others not suffered the right wing, anti-vax nonsense and not needed mandates or anything to get the vast majority of their populations on board with vaccination immunity method.

    We are just lagging and failing in the latter stages.  We are now around 12th in Europe for adult vaccination and have had pretty late and poor community compliance with measures throughout.  We see the result in high cases and deaths.

    IMHO, if we had less ‘anti-experts’, confusing anti-science narratives and less politicising/side taking here, we could have been further through this. 
    Broadly concur. One point of order: 'anti-vax nonsense' is rife at both ends of the political spectrum. I have acquaintances of both persuasions and I can assure you that the inner join seems quite large. One of the worst areas in the country for vaccine (all kinds) denial is Totnes, that hippy hotbed. I'm sure there's an interesting sociological study to be done around this. 

    Schools are a big problem now. Ten kids off with a +ve test from daughter's class this week, including her. I am presently enjoying all the fun of covid due to this, although thankfully, I've had both jabs and thus it's like a strange but mercifully not-severe flu. 
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 1414
    edited October 15
    We do appear to be giving the Vaccines a bit of a good old workout!
    That said, I do think that we are testing more than our peers but I also feel that for a large part of our society, Covid is over and we are mixing fairly freely in social environments.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 8107
    edited October 15
    The situation in schools should ease off in the next week or two.  Whitty said 3 weeks or so ago that 50% of secondary age kids had had it already.  Whitty and SAGE have consistently underestimated the number who have had it, so it could well be 60 or 70%.

    Meanwhile the ONS figures published today say that 1 in 10 secondary school age kids (years 7 to 11) had it last week.  That's old data based on kids who got infected two weeks ago.  Two or three weeks of that, and schools will be at herd immunity.

    I would expect numbers in schools to start dropping soon, and numbers in the general population to fall with them.
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 5230
    The answer is testing, testing, testing. We do literally millions more tests a week than anyone else in Europe. If you test more people, you find more cases. As @crunchman points out regularly (and rightly), even our testing regime is only finding about half the cases. So, if you're testing less than half the people in France, Spain etc, you won't find as many cases.

    It's time we moved away from the cases obsession. People getting covid and having a mild illness is utterly irrelevant. People dying is obviously a problem. 

    BTW - lol at the post saying we need to de politicise and then banging on about right wingers causing a problem. The irony was dripping from that particular post.
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  • Roland said:
    Before anyone uses this theme to justify their personal hobby horse ....
    the right wing, anti-vax nonsense 
    Too latey matey!!!

    Bye!

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  • peanutspeanuts Frets: 112
    edited October 20
    Roland said:
    Before anyone uses this theme to justify their personal hobby horse remember that:
    1. A key factor in these numbers is the extent of testing in each country.
    2. It was always expected that infection would continue to circulate in the community, just as other viruses do.
    2. depends on where you are - or were . 'Zero Covid' is/has been a thing, extraordinary though that may be . .

    1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104645/covid19-testing-rate-select-countries-worldwide/

    chris78 said:
    The answer is testing, testing, testing. We do literally millions more tests a week than anyone else in Europe....
    No.1 in the World league table at 11 October . . over 2X as many per million population as France at no.3 & USA at no.4 & almost 1 million more than Czech Rep at no.2 

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  • SnapSnap Frets: 5033
    its not about infection rates.
    It's about hospitalisations, length of stay in hospitals and deaths.
    Unfortunately the desire for hysterical narrative continually overlooks this.
    We have, as a population, entered into a permanent brink of panic mentality. Hypersensitised to anything. Witness panic buying at the drop of a hat. 

    Don't know about anyone else, but I am heartily sick of it all. 
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 4339
    A figure that can be used consistently is the number of cases per 100,000 population. Likewise the number of attributable deaths per 100,000.  

    IMHO, the calls for more and more testing from politicians is the classic politicians solution: something needs to be done, this is something so let's do it.

    What needs to be done is to get more people vaccinated.  In Ireland you need proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant. One member of the group who is not vaccinated effectively prevents everyone in that group from admittance, so there has to be a reward for getting the jab and a cost for refusing to do so.  This should be and probably is the case for overseas flights too.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

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  • Nick13Nick13 Frets: 683
    Snap said:
    its not about infection rates.
    It's about hospitalisations, length of stay in hospitals and deaths.
    Unfortunately the desire for hysterical narrative continually overlooks this.
    We have, as a population, entered into a permanent brink of panic mentality. Hypersensitised to anything. Witness panic buying at the drop of a hat. 

    Don't know about anyone else, but I am heartily sick of it all. 

    This, these maniacs have been talking about "the way out" for almost 2 years and now seem fixated on finding a way back in instead.
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  • GillyGilly Frets: 240
    Snap said:
    its not about infection rates.
    It's about hospitalisations, length of stay in hospitals and deaths.
    Unfortunately the desire for hysterical narrative continually overlooks this.
    We have, as a population, entered into a permanent brink of panic mentality. Hypersensitised to anything. Witness panic buying at the drop of a hat. 

    Don't know about anyone else, but I am heartily sick of it all. 
    More infections means more hospitalisations and deaths so it kind of is about infection rates.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 8107
    edited October 21
    Rocker said:
    A figure that can be used consistently is the number of cases per 100,000 population. Likewise the number of attributable deaths per 100,000.  



    As discussed over and over again, those numbers aren't comparable between different nations.

    We discussed somewhere in this section of the forum a few days ago, that the UK is doing approximately 8 times as much testing per head of population as Germany is.  That means we are going to get more cases.  Even then, the ONS study suggests that we are only catching about half of the cases with the tests.

    The figures for deaths willl be more comparable, but even there different countries account for deaths differently.  We count anyone who dies within 28 days of a positive test, even if they go out and get run over by a bus.  The Torygraph quoted a study a while back that said 30% of our "Covid deaths" were not caused by Covid.  There will probably be some dispute over that number, but there are undoubtedly people counted as having died from Covid where they would have died anyway, and  happened to have caught Covid in the last weeks of their life.

    You also have to allow for other demographic factors.  A country with an older population will see more deaths.  We are fatter than places like Germany, which will also affect death and serious illness rates.  We are more densely populated, and have more people living in areas of bad air pollution, which will affect the death rate.  Even with the ULEZ,  London is behind Berlin in terms of dealing with pollution from diesel.  In the centre of Berlin, it is is illegal to drive a diesel that is pre Euro VI. We just charge someone £12 and allow them to carry on polluting.

    Air pollution and obesity are major public health issues, and you can argue that there are government failures there, but in terms of "infection rates" which was the original subject of the thread, it's very difficult to get accurate information, and the numbers published by different nations are not comparable.
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  • AdeyAdey Frets: 1179
    edited October 22
    Gilly said:
    Snap said:
    its not about infection rates.
    It's about hospitalisations, length of stay in hospitals and deaths.
    Unfortunately the desire for hysterical narrative continually overlooks this.
    We have, as a population, entered into a permanent brink of panic mentality. Hypersensitised to anything. Witness panic buying at the drop of a hat. 

    Don't know about anyone else, but I am heartily sick of it all. 
    More infections means more hospitalisations and deaths so it kind of is about infection rates.
    More infections register following testing probably means that you have tested more people. It doesn't mean that they aren't in the process of happily fighting the infection off at the time of the test.

    It's really excess deaths that is the best measure we have.

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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 9922
    Gilly said:
    Snap said:
    its not about infection rates.
    It's about hospitalisations, length of stay in hospitals and deaths.
    Unfortunately the desire for hysterical narrative continually overlooks this.
    We have, as a population, entered into a permanent brink of panic mentality. Hypersensitised to anything. Witness panic buying at the drop of a hat. 

    Don't know about anyone else, but I am heartily sick of it all. 
    More infections means more hospitalisations and deaths so it kind of is about infection rates.
    not when the ratio of infections to death changes drastically

    now it's about hospitalisations and deaths
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  • ColsCols Frets: 4014
    edited October 22
    Aye.  And hospital admissions rates are six times higher, while the death rate is three times higher, compared to the rest of Western Europe.
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 5230
    And yet hospitalisations have hardly moved since July and average deaths haven’t changed in a month.
    We also measure hospitalisations and deaths differently of course.
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