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Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
893
Hi @Palerider, I can understand that totally - only you are really in that position (in consultation with the home and GP) to make that call when you feel the time is right. I do feel for you.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
Today I am off for the weekend and have work to do in moving things forward in being allowed to visit my mum. To clarify I don't have an issue with the care mum recieves at all, I do have an issue with being told I can't see her because of the government guidelines which still don't really make sense or justify blanket banning of visiting in care homes.

So to update anyone who is now confused and confounded by the whole care home visiting saga, on 15th October the government published new guidance on visiting in care homes, having revised these due to complaints about the previous guidance being ambiguous and illegal (see Johns Campaign), I confess I also wrote a significnat letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as no doubt many have, which received a reply I can only describe as limited and dissapointing and no issues were addressed other than being referred back to official guidance -erm yes I read that, that's why I wrote a letter🤬

The new guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...icies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

On 27th October, Johns Campaign have rejected the recent revamped (or rather reworded and almost contradictory) government guidance. Johns Campaign recent update said:


"We strongly believe that the Government Guidance, updated on 15th October, is unlawful, and that it has had - and continues to have - a devastating impact both on residents of care homes and their loved ones.
By suggesting that in 'high' and 'very high' risk areas, visits should be limited to exceptional circumstances (such as end of life), and that therefore a general policy of exclusion may be adopted, the Government, in our solicitors' words, 'misstates the law' and as a consequence also encourages care providers and Directors of Public Health to behave illegally."

More about Johns Campaign and visiting in care homes here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/government-guidance-has-failed-care-homes/

I would invite anyone to read the recent government guidance and tell me that it actually makes sense as it eludes to being allowed to visit on the one hand and then removes it on the other by rather unusefullly implying 'risk' as the locus of argument. This is confounded by the fact that despite all of the evidence to date on infection control measures being effective, this is some how ignored as an actual risk reduction strategy -although it is mentioned for 'low risk'. The reality is that the risk in this scenario is now loosing any weight, because SARS-COV2 is now in all probability endemic -at which point it is impossible to say with any certainy that risk stratification has any usefulness. There is also the matter of a 'second wave' hence our current lockdown. There is clear factual evidence that a sweeping second wave is not possible as the population is now not naive to SARS-COV2. What matters is that where those in society are more likely to be a concern is to give autonomy back to the public, but have a clear infection prevention and control strategy in place in care homes and allow us to get on with seeing our loved ones who have very limited time.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
893
Hi @Palerider, I couldn't agree more - as I stated previously, you good people are being made to, quite unfairly, pay for the dreadful mistakes made in care homes in February and March when the Government placed individuals into care from hospital without testing. There is scope for visiting at End of Life (although there is also scope for the Home not to permit it by the looks of the guidance), I don't know but I am guessing that stage is determined by GP assessment? Such an unjust situation.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
595
I'll email mine again, maybe she will bother to reply this time!

Mums care home ( in Greater Manchester) have been under local restrictions for months and even garden visits were stopped. But we have been told that they are looking into creating a covid secure area in an separate area of the home and using a clear screen to divide the room to allow visits again! I'm not sure how it will work but will give it a go.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
Yesterday it was announced that England will be going back into lockdown. But I am not convinced we are getting this completely right and the long-term impact of care home restrictions is beginning to show.

The issues around the science of SARS-COV2 are complex, but the end target for policy makers is about protecting healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed versus economic cost of lockdown to quote Prof Neil Ferguson, Imperial College, London:

“We can say that these sort of policies will have this sort of effect, broadly on the epidemic trajectory, but it’s up to policy-makers to determine whether the benefits of that in terms of health impact are worth the economic cost.”

Anyway, after a very brief look at most of the evidence out there the reality is that what follows over the next few months is one of uncertainty rather than anything that is convincingly true or for that matter false. Two things were always a certainty: a second wave was inevitable as the first lockdown was eased and secondly lockdown is a very blunt instrument with little in the way of resolving infection rates long term -SARS-COV2 does not behave that way.

Now there has been mention of a chap called Dr Mike Yeadon, who has given some compelling opposite arguments and he does make some valid points. Out of interest he wrote an article in the Daily Mail last week (Yeadon, 2020) the link can be found in the reference section at the end of my rhetoric. What he says about the studies at Stanford are supported by Prof Ioannidis (Ioannidis, 2020) in his paper, I quote:

“based on the currently available data, one may project that over half a billion people have been infected as of 12 September 2020, far more than the approximately 29 million documented laboratory-confirmed cases. Most locations probably have an infection fatality rate less than 0.20% and with appropriate, precise non-pharmacological measures that selectively try to protect high-risk vulnerable populations and settings, the infection fatality rate may be brought even lower”

Inferred predicted mortality rates have ranged between 0.2% upwards to 1.4% dependent on which scientific group has published. At best we can say that predicted mortality is in the range of 0.2% to 1.4%. Hopefully, it will be the lower figure stated by Ioannidis (2020).

Now, the whole ethos of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is based on modelling SARS-COV2 penultimately to aid decision making around NHS resources more than anything else. This is because there is nothing else to offer at present other than expert care for those who become seriously unwell -that is the stark reality. The only tool anyone has globally in their toolbox to support healthcare providers is lockdowns. I got a bit fed-up with hearing the words ‘the science’ and ‘the scientists’ so I looked at what SAGE says about its work. SAGE has a number of studies it has openly published online, one of significance is by Ferguson et al (2020) which states:

the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option”

What they mean by suppression is of course lockdown. These models are a crude representation of a natural phenomenon SARS-COV2. One of which is initially based on a previous study by Danon et al (2009) which looks at the effects of movement of hosts as opposed to the behaviour of disease itself. This is where the crunch comes because this kind of approach brings with it considerable uncertainty (Holmdahl & Buckee, 2020).

A paper by Lourenço et al (2020) gives a very convincing argument that it would be reasonable to expect deaths to be less in the second wave than the first wave. Is that assertion possibly true? If so, then the modelled prediction is wrong.

Below is a graph showing the trend for SARS-COV2 infection rates from April 2020 to date. A larger peak is seen in the current second wave of rates of infection
1604248400213.png


Below is a graph showing deaths from SARS-COV2
1604248425785.png


As can be seen, so far, the trends for infection rates are higher in the second wave, but the trend for deaths is lower than the first wave. What happens next is a point of argument between different scientific groups, but some groups are looking at the actual science of the virus and immunity (which to me holds more persuasion) but our guiding light (erm glimmer) is mathematical modelling to try and predict what are essentially unknowns. So, the result of SAGE is the following image that we were shown yesterday:

1604248460048.png


So, we have a graph that represents the different predictions from different groups, but this graph does not show a complete representation of the whole story. If Lourenço et al (2020) are right in their assertion of a lower death rate along with the assertion by Ioannidis (2020), then I will be scratching my head trying to puzzle out the above graph.

So, is any of this geared to how people are affected in care homes? In short, the only significant point of any of this has been about protecting the NHS, in particular intensive care beds, because of the possibility of being overwhelmed. I do not think any of us disagree with that, even though it seems to me there is some considerable uncertainty involved -best to be safe than sorry.

So how do we now deal with the care home situation and visiting? I think this requires more debate, because although none of us would disagree with another lockdown if it serves the end with which it is intended, we may find ourselves disagreeing with care home restrictions on visiting for much longer.


DANON, L., HOUSE, T. & KEELING, M. J. (2009) The role of routine versus random movements on the spread of disease in Great Britain. Epidemics, 1(4), 250-258. Available online: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21352771 [Accessed 01/11/2020].

FERGUSON, N., LAYDON, D., NEDJATI-GILANI, G., IMAI, N., AINSLIE, K., BAGUELIN, M., BHATIA, S., BOONYASIRI, A., CUCUNUBÁ, Z. M., CUOMO-DANNENBURG, G., DIGHE, A., DORIGATTI, I., FU, H., GAYTHORPE, K., GREEN, W., HAMLET, A., HINSLEY, W., OKELL, L., VAN ELSLAND, S. & GHANI, A. (2020) Report 9: Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. Available online: https://post.parliament.uk/models-of-covid-19-part-2/ [Accessed 30/10/2020].

HOLMDAHL, I. & BUCKEE, C. (2020) Wrong but Useful — What Covid-19 Epidemiologic Models Can and Cannot Tell Us. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(4), 303-305. Available online: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2016822 [Accessed 01/11/2020].

IOANNIDIS, J. P. A. (2020) Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence data. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 1-37. Available online: https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/BLT.20.265892.pdf [Accessed 01/11/2020].

LOURENÇO, J., PINOTTI, F., THOMPSON, C. & GUPTA, S. (2020) The impact of host resistance on cumulative mortality and the threshold of herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2. medRxiv, 2020.07.15.20154294. Available online: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/medrxiv/early/2020/10/01/2020.07.15.20154294.full.pdf [Accessed 30/10/2020].

YEADON, M. (2020) Three facts No 10's experts got wrong: DR MIKE YEADON says claims that the majority of the population is susceptible to Covid, that only 7% are infected so far and virus death rate is 1% are all false. Mail Online. Available online: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...DON-Three-facts-No-10s-experts-got-wrong.html [Accessed 30/10/2020].
 
Last edited:

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
58
Yesterday it was announced that England will be going back into lockdown. But I am not convinced we are getting this completely right and the long-term impact of care home restrictions is beginning to show.

The issues around the science of SARS-COV2 are complex, but the end target for policy makers is about protecting healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed versus economic cost of lockdown to quote Prof Neil Ferguson, Imperial College, London:

“We can say that these sort of policies will have this sort of effect, broadly on the epidemic trajectory, but it’s up to policy-makers to determine whether the benefits of that in terms of health impact are worth the economic cost.”

Anyway, after a very brief look at most of the evidence out there the reality is that what follows over the next few months is one of uncertainty rather than anything that is convincingly true or for that matter false. Two things were always a certainty: a second wave was inevitable as the first lockdown was eased and secondly lockdown is a very blunt instrument with little in the way of resolving infection rates long term -SARS-COV2 does not behave that way.

Now there has been mention of a chap called Dr Mike Yeadon, who has given some compelling opposite arguments and he does make some valid points. Out of interest he wrote an article in the Daily Mail last week (Yeadon, 2020) the link can be found in the reference section at the end of my rhetoric. What he says about the studies at Stanford are supported by Prof Ioannidis (Ioannidis, 2020) in his paper, I quote:

“based on the currently available data, one may project that over half a billion people have been infected as of 12 September 2020, far more than the approximately 29 million documented laboratory-confirmed cases. Most locations probably have an infection fatality rate less than 0.20% and with appropriate, precise non-pharmacological measures that selectively try to protect high-risk vulnerable populations and settings, the infection fatality rate may be brought even lower”

Inferred predicted mortality rates have ranged between 0.2% upwards to 1.4% dependent on which scientific group has published. At best we can say that predicted mortality is in the range of 0.2% to 1.4%. Hopefully, it will be the lower figure stated by Ioannidis (2020).

Now, the whole ethos of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is based on modelling SARS-COV2 penultimately to aid decision making around NHS resources more than anything else. This is because there is nothing else to offer at present other than expert care for those who become seriously unwell -that is the stark reality. The only tool anyone has globally in their toolbox to support healthcare providers is lockdowns. I got a bit fed-up with hearing the words ‘the science’ and ‘the scientists’ so I looked at what SAGE says about its work. SAGE has a number of studies it has openly published online, one of significance is by Ferguson et al (2020) which states:

the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option”

What they mean by suppression is of course lockdown. These models are a crude representation of a natural phenomenon SARS-COV2. One of which is initially based on a previous study by Danon et al (2009) which looks at the effects of movement of hosts as opposed to the behaviour of disease itself. This is where the crunch comes because this kind of approach brings with it considerable uncertainty (Holmdahl & Buckee, 2020).

A paper by Lourenço et al (2020) gives a very convincing argument that it would be reasonable to expect deaths to be less in the second wave than the first wave. Is that assertion possibly true? If so, then the modelled prediction is wrong.

Below is a graph showing the trend for SARS-COV2 infection rates from April 2020 to date. A larger peak is seen in the current second wave of rates of infection
View attachment 63400

Below is a graph showing deaths from SARS-COV2
View attachment 63401

As can be seen, so far, the trends for infection rates are higher in the second wave, but the trend for deaths is lower than the first wave. What happens next is a point of argument between different scientific groups, but some groups are looking at the actual science of the virus and immunity (which to me holds more persuasion) but our guiding light (erm glimmer) is mathematical modelling to try and predict what are essentially unknowns. So, the result of SAGE is the following image that we were shown yesterday:

View attachment 63402

So, we have a graph that represents the different predictions from different groups, but this graph does not show a complete representation of the whole story. If Lourenço et al (2020) are right in their assertion of a lower death rate along with the assertion by Ioannidis (2020), then I will be scratching my head trying to puzzle out the above graph.

So, is any of this geared to how people are affected in care homes? In short, the only significant point of any of this has been about protecting the NHS, in particular intensive care beds, because of the possibility of being overwhelmed. I do not think any of us disagree with that, even though it seems to me there is some considerable uncertainty involved -best to be safe than sorry.

So how do we now deal with the care home situation and visiting? I think this requires more debate, because although none of us would disagree with another lockdown if it serves the end with which it is intended, we may find ourselves disagreeing with care home restrictions on visiting for much longer.


DANON, L., HOUSE, T. & KEELING, M. J. (2009) The role of routine versus random movements on the spread of disease in Great Britain. Epidemics, 1(4), 250-258. Available online: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21352771 [Accessed 01/11/2020].

FERGUSON, N., LAYDON, D., NEDJATI-GILANI, G., IMAI, N., AINSLIE, K., BAGUELIN, M., BHATIA, S., BOONYASIRI, A., CUCUNUBÁ, Z. M., CUOMO-DANNENBURG, G., DIGHE, A., DORIGATTI, I., FU, H., GAYTHORPE, K., GREEN, W., HAMLET, A., HINSLEY, W., OKELL, L., VAN ELSLAND, S. & GHANI, A. (2020) Report 9: Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. Available online: https://post.parliament.uk/models-of-covid-19-part-2/ [Accessed 30/10/2020].

HOLMDAHL, I. & BUCKEE, C. (2020) Wrong but Useful — What Covid-19 Epidemiologic Models Can and Cannot Tell Us. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(4), 303-305. Available online: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2016822 [Accessed 01/11/2020].

IOANNIDIS, J. P. A. (2020) Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence data. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 1-37. Available online: https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/BLT.20.265892.pdf [Accessed 01/11/2020].

LOURENÇO, J., PINOTTI, F., THOMPSON, C. & GUPTA, S. (2020) The impact of host resistance on cumulative mortality and the threshold of herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2. medRxiv, 2020.07.15.20154294. Available online: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/medrxiv/early/2020/10/01/2020.07.15.20154294.full.pdf [Accessed 30/10/2020].

YEADON, M. (2020) Three facts No 10's experts got wrong: DR MIKE YEADON says claims that the majority of the population is susceptible to Covid, that only 7% are infected so far and virus death rate is 1% are all false. Mail Online. Available online: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...DON-Three-facts-No-10s-experts-got-wrong.html [Accessed 30/10/2020].
Hi Palerider, Re the graph of new cases, do you know how the number of cases is established, has that changed since the outbreak began, and what is the impact of continuing increases in testing capacity?
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
Hi Palerider, Re the graph of new cases, do you know how the number of cases is established, has that changed since the outbreak began, and what is the impact of continuing increases in testing capacity?

Cases are established by confirmed test results (not forgettting the possibiloty of false positives). I was just looking at todays total since the beginning with a total of 1.03 million confirmed cases up till todays count and 46,717 deaths in the UK, which puts our overall mortality in the UK at 0.045%.

On testing capacity there is an article published in September about testing as it explains the problems with making comparisons:
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
Feeling utterly ****. This time last year I was trying to find the courage to take mum to the care home, which is a year tomorrow -yup one year has passed. Today I avoided all the places we used to go to because its just too much. I called the care home and got F's husband who is now covering for her as she is on maternity leave -what a relief it is to have some faith in all of this somewhere. He gave me a full update which was reassuring -did it make me feel any better? No! I really still can't quite come to terms with everything today.....but I guess this is the rollercoaster of the long goodbye.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
891
Sorry you're feeling so asterisky @Palerider . At the beginning of lock-down, I used to call mum's care home every day. I tapered off gradually and call about once a week now. If I get to talk properly with one of the carers I know well and mum's been calm and cheerful, it buoys me up but, if she's not (particularly if I can hear evidence of that in the background) , or nobody has time to talk or even answer the 'phone, I feel dreadful. It does shape our world. I suppose that's just part of loving them. "Tomorrow's another day" became my mantra when I was visiting, even though sometimes I didn't really feel like having another one.

I hope you feel better tomorrow.

When I'm in the shower in the mornings, I think of things I have to be grateful for (clean hot water, cup of tea first thing, blah blah blah). It's probably incredibly, annoyingly positive and cheerful of me to say it here right now, I know, but it really can make you feel better.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
Sorry you're feeling so asterisky @Palerider . At the beginning of lock-down, I used to call mum's care home every day. I tapered off gradually and call about once a week now. If I get to talk properly with one of the carers I know well and mum's been calm and cheerful, it buoys me up but, if she's not (particularly if I can hear evidence of that in the background) , or nobody has time to talk or even answer the 'phone, I feel dreadful. It does shape our world. I suppose that's just part of loving them. "Tomorrow's another day" became my mantra when I was visiting, even though sometimes I didn't really feel like having another one.

I hope you feel better tomorrow.

When I'm in the shower in the mornings, I think of things I have to be grateful for (clean hot water, cup of tea first thing, blah blah blah). It's probably incredibly, annoyingly positive and cheerful of me to say it here right now, I know, but it really can make you feel better.

Thanks @lemonbalm I know exactly what you mean -but telling myself I should be thankful I have hot water etc begins to wear thin after 9 months almost. You know there is a great passage of writing in The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse where they talk about a glass half full or glass half empty and the boy says 'I am lucky to have a glass at all'
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
891
Well you've done me a favour there @Palerider. I haven't read it but have just looked it up and will buy a copy. I am an artist, or at least I was. I haven't found the will to paint or sell any work for some time. It might just get me started again. Thank you.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
Well you've done me a favour there @Palerider. I haven't read it but have just looked it up and will buy a copy. I am an artist, or at least I was. I haven't found the will to paint or sell any work for some time. It might just get me started again. Thank you.

May you overcome the dry period lifes mysteries bring. Let us all come home after this long weary path

 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,150
North West
And so comes the last goodbye

So the time has come to leave you my TP friends. The last year and a half has been one of the most intense in my life so far. But I am glad to have taken this journey and I am stronger in helping my beautiful mum in her journey too. I hope you will all carry on to wherever it is you are going. Here although our ways now part I will take a little of you all with me :)

Be faithful to your calling and always be true to your self ;).

My love

Simon xx

 
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