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2 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Lockdown is popular, a... · 0 replies · +1 points

Rather cold here too (for Seville), I think it is the same cold wave that you've been having. The garden is fine: my roses and jasmines are in full flower, which means that I'll again prune too late. I didn't manage to defeat blackspot last year so I am trying again with a different fungicide, but I am not very optimistic.

M&M hate the cold but are otherwise fine.

After the "hard" lockdown which ended in mid May, we have been relatively free to go around, bar a few weeks in November when we had to stay within the limits of our municipality. We can meet people (at most six of us at the same table), preferably outdoors, so our social life hasn't stopped.

I have been using Zoom for our book club, but with little success - people have preferred to wait until we could meet again face to face. It is a good way to keep in touch with people who are far away.

So far, so good. We are well - and from what you say you are well too. Good! I am happy to hear that :-)

2 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Lockdown is popular, a... · 0 replies · +1 points

Very good post - I agree entirely. Well said, as usual.

2 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Lockdown is popular, a... · 2 replies · +1 points

I agree entirely. Mistakes have been made but lessons are being learned - after all, this was an entirely new situation and other governments have made mistakes too. I am not a fan of Boris but I think that, given the advice he was given (some of it, with the benefit of hindsight, possibly wrong) and with the constraints due to the structure and working practices in the NHS and in PHE, the Gvernment could have done much worse. He should have probably talked a bit less and acted a bit faster, but the direcion of movement has been broadly right.

How are things in your neck of the wood? Here we have been lucky (so far - fingers crossed), thanks toour climate and to the ingrained preference for outdoor socialising.

2 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Lockdown is popular, a... · 0 replies · +1 points

Good, balanced comment. I think that those who compare the death toll of Covid-19 with that of flu,or of car accidents, overlook a key difference: that the Covid-19 virus is more infectious than flu and that the number of hospitalisations increases very fast unless measures to stifle transmission are taken - which is what the Government has been doing. As far as car accidents are concerned, the comparison is simply wrong - accidents happen all the time and are at random, no contagon involved.

The Government and the scientists who advise it have made mistakes, but on the whole, they have moved in the right direction; and other governments in the West have not done much better.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Toby Young: O'Brien is... · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree that views one doesn't agree with should be dealt with by providing countervailing evidence, rather than censorship. However, the effectiveness of conversation based on evidence should not be overstated. Take Covid-19: if someone states that the virus does not exist and it is a hoax, the provision of evidence to the contrary - laboratory-based evidence, for instance - may well be met by a statement that the labs providing tests are in cahoots with big pharma. Asking for evidence of that may get answered by saying that the evidence is being suppressed - which gets us into conspiracy theory domain. BUT in the past evidence about the damage of smoking tobacco was being suppressed, and there were scientists willing to endorse the proposition that smoking did no damage. So things are not that simple. Invoking scientific consensus behind the evidence fr the existencs of cornavirus is fine - but in the past scientific consensus has proved erroneous, time and time again.

By this I mean that this kind of discussion is complicated, because outside the real of pure logic using evidence is not trivial, and most people look for and find evidence that supprts their previously held opinions. Censorship is bad, but open discussion based on evidence is not easy. And scientists are also human beings and prone to biases, less than most people but not bias-free.

To me, it is also a matter of respectin gthe people who come forward with evidence. A record of having changed one's opinon in the face of contrary evidence is a big plus. I wish I could name a politician who has done that - recognising having been wrong whan their opponents were right.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Back to the fut... · 0 replies · +1 points

Again, same here - the key information on hospitals is available but central government briefings mention it only sporadically. Our local government is better - at least, restrictions are triggered on the basis of clear criteria.

I have to say I am impressed by the current President of the local government, Juanma Moreno (Partido Popular, centre-right). He has managed to work with all parties, from the rightwing Vox to the leftwing IU and Podemos, without much fuss. As a result, the measures taken have not been used as a political football. I suspect that his background has helped - he started young in poitics, but worked as a singer in pop-rock groups, as a commercial rep and as I can't remember what in a pizza shop. Not a professional controversialist.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Back to the fut... · 2 replies · +1 points

Yes, there are far fewer severe cases. Same here.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Back to the fut... · 4 replies · +1 points

oops.... 26,626. I didn't look well. So it is about 15-16%.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Back to the fut... · 8 replies · +1 points

Does anyone know the hospital and ICU bed occupancy rates for Covid-19 in the UK? I believe that 15% is the level beyond which "normal" (i.e. non-Covid) care is affected. On average, in the UK the occupancy rate is 84%, therefore I would expect the margins to be pretty tight.

I am surprised that the Government doesn't provide these figures when announcing this kind of tightening.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Bill to enact John... · 0 replies · +1 points

We'll see what happens. For now, here's to a better 2021. Very best wishes!