Discussion:
Testing
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Penny
2020-05-11 09:42:27 UTC
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Just picked this up on Facebook.
I don't know the woman who wrote it but she is a friend of a friend and I
have no reason to disbelieve her.

For those who don't know, my husband is a key part of one of the 8 public
health labs that have been doing covid-19 testing for England since this
all first kicked off. I am so sick of the bullshit in the news about
testing; it is complete politicising and misses out massive chunks of fact
depending on what the government want to spin.

Since the middle of March Simon has had 3 days off work, and 4 out of 7
days he has been at work from 9am until well past midnight. My husband has
been so tired and weak that I have felt sick to my stomach most days
because if he catches the virus, I am terrified he is way too weak to stand
a chance against it.

'Why has he been working these hours?' I hear you ask. Because of the
government (and an extremely well known scientific company with a
double-barreled name beginning with T):

Years of brutal budget cuts left the lab underfunded and understaffed to
start with.

This is a new virus and Simon spent a few weeks working long hours setting
up the lab to test for it; completely understandable but finished and
running by mid-March.

Since mid-March the majority of his work has been sourcing reagents,
plastics and equipment, then validating them every time they have to switch
suppliers or methods. There is a global shortage of these items but the
reason my husband and his lab are working under these conditions:

The government has been commandeering supplies as they land in the country
FOR WEEKS and stock-piling them for the new super labs they need for their
100,000 a day testing. Bearing in mind the importance of my husband's lab
is such that it has been classified 'category 1' by the cabinet office in
this crisis, and yet the government has been purposefully siphoning
essential resources from them for weeks before the new mega labs were even
running! So yes, they can say they are (nearly) meeting those figures but
at what expense?

I asked my husband why this was a big deal today; couldn't he now relax in
his smaller lab because his couple of thousands tests a day are a drop in
the ocean compared to the 3 mega-labs. No. The mega labs are only testing
samples from the new (privately run) test sites, not the majority of
frontline NHS staff in the hospitals, or any vulnerable patients in
hospitals. These 100,000 tests the government has set up (with private
companies) are literally preventing many frontline NHS staff and vulnerable
patients from being tested. My husband's lab has spent the last 5 weeks
wondering if they'll be able to do tests for more than a couple of days
because they don't have what they need. This is not just test for covid-19,
but also for all the normal illnesses they test for. All of their success
had been down to their extraordinary efforts.

I absolutely believe that keyworkers must be kept safe and if they think
they might be a risk to others, they must be tested. But the rush to hit
the 100,000 a day target means the government is allowing people who don't
need to be tested, to be tested, while keeping valuable resources away from
NHS and public health England labs who are desperate for them.

If the government can be such massive politicising arseholes about this it
makes me question all the stuff I don't have insider knowledge on too.

Simon is not a conspiracy theorist and has been known to vote Tory in the
past (not recently admittedly) but he is absolutely livid with the current
actions of this government in hindering the care of staff and patients. He
also wonders from what he has experienced whether the government is using
this crisis to creep further privatisation into the NHS.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Chris B
2020-05-11 11:37:47 UTC
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Post by Penny
If the government can be such massive politicising arseholes about this it
makes me question all the stuff I don't have insider knowledge on too.
I think this is the knub of it and you can also use "press" instead of
government. I have found out over my life that when you know a lot of
details about a topic even the "quality" broadsheets produce absolute
rubbish. So how can I believe anything about stories when I don't know
the details.
--
Chris B (News)
John Ashby
2020-05-11 13:52:35 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Penny
Just picked this up on Facebook.
I don't know the woman who wrote it but she is a friend of a friend and I
have no reason to disbelieve her.
For those who don't know, my husband is a key part of one of the 8 public
health labs that have been doing covid-19 testing for England since this
all first kicked off. I am so sick of the bullshit in the news about
testing; it is complete politicising and misses out massive chunks of fact
depending on what the government want to spin.
Since the middle of March Simon has had 3 days off work, and 4 out of 7
days he has been at work from 9am until well past midnight. My husband has
been so tired and weak that I have felt sick to my stomach most days
because if he catches the virus, I am terrified he is way too weak to stand
a chance against it.
'Why has he been working these hours?' I hear you ask. Because of the
government (and an extremely well known scientific company with a
Years of brutal budget cuts left the lab underfunded and understaffed to
start with.
This is a new virus and Simon spent a few weeks working long hours setting
up the lab to test for it; completely understandable but finished and
running by mid-March.
Since mid-March the majority of his work has been sourcing reagents,
plastics and equipment, then validating them every time they have to switch
suppliers or methods. There is a global shortage of these items but the
The government has been commandeering supplies as they land in the country
FOR WEEKS and stock-piling them for the new super labs they need for their
100,000 a day testing. Bearing in mind the importance of my husband's lab
is such that it has been classified 'category 1' by the cabinet office in
this crisis, and yet the government has been purposefully siphoning
essential resources from them for weeks before the new mega labs were even
running! So yes, they can say they are (nearly) meeting those figures but
at what expense?
I asked my husband why this was a big deal today; couldn't he now relax in
his smaller lab because his couple of thousands tests a day are a drop in
the ocean compared to the 3 mega-labs. No. The mega labs are only testing
samples from the new (privately run) test sites, not the majority of
frontline NHS staff in the hospitals, or any vulnerable patients in
hospitals. These 100,000 tests the government has set up (with private
companies) are literally preventing many frontline NHS staff and vulnerable
patients from being tested. My husband's lab has spent the last 5 weeks
wondering if they'll be able to do tests for more than a couple of days
because they don't have what they need. This is not just test for covid-19,
but also for all the normal illnesses they test for. All of their success
had been down to their extraordinary efforts.
I absolutely believe that keyworkers must be kept safe and if they think
they might be a risk to others, they must be tested. But the rush to hit
the 100,000 a day target means the government is allowing people who don't
need to be tested, to be tested, while keeping valuable resources away from
NHS and public health England labs who are desperate for them.
If the government can be such massive politicising arseholes about this it
makes me question all the stuff I don't have insider knowledge on too.
Simon is not a conspiracy theorist and has been known to vote Tory in the
past (not recently admittedly) but he is absolutely livid with the current
actions of this government in hindering the care of staff and patients. He
also wonders from what he has experienced whether the government is using
this crisis to creep further privatisation into the NHS.
Can Simon shed any light on the discrepancy between number of test
carried out per day and the number of people tested on the same day?

john
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-05-11 14:27:00 UTC
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On Mon, 11 May 2020 at 14:52:35, John Ashby <***@yahoo.com>
wrote:
[]
Post by John Ashby
Can Simon shed any light on the discrepancy between number of test
carried out per day and the number of people tested on the same day?
john
I think the "number of people" figure is (total or daily) _new_ people
tested: in other words, a lot of the tests are on people who have
previously been tested (and I'm guessing in most cases tested negative).
This makes sense to me - for example, NHS personnel (and others similar,
probably meaning anyone who comes into contact with lots of people: till
operators, public transport, ...) probably should be tested frequently.
(Then there's those - again, probably most important in those
occupations - who tested _positive_ up to 14 days ago, who it'd be
useful to know if can come out of isolation. [My hobby-horse, or one of
them: I'd like figures on that one.])
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"Usenet is a way of being annoyed by people you otherwise never would have
met."
- John J. Kinyon
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-05-11 14:29:48 UTC
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Post by Penny
Just picked this up on Facebook.
I don't know the woman who wrote it but she is a friend of a friend and I
have no reason to disbelieve her.
[]
Can someone who understands Facebook give me a URL? (If that's possible
for Facebook, without having to "join" it or whatever.) Or, failing that
(or as well), can someone who understands Google Groups give a URL that
points to the Penny post (!)?

I'd like to post a link on Twitter.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"Usenet is a way of being annoyed by people you otherwise never would have
met."
- John J. Kinyon
Penny
2020-05-11 15:42:55 UTC
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Permalink
On Mon, 11 May 2020 15:29:48 +0100, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by Penny
Just picked this up on Facebook.
I don't know the woman who wrote it but she is a friend of a friend and I
have no reason to disbelieve her.
[]
Can someone who understands Facebook give me a URL? (If that's possible
for Facebook, without having to "join" it or whatever.) Or, failing that
(or as well), can someone who understands Google Groups give a URL that
points to the Penny post (!)?
I'd like to post a link on Twitter.
The original public post (which presumably means anyone can view it) is
<https://www.facebook.com/hazel.taupin/posts/10159736216548242>
I snipped a bit from the bottom and have not read the hundreds of comments.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-05-11 19:06:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 11 May 2020 at 16:42:55, Penny <***@labyrinth.freeuk.com>
wrote:
[]
Post by Penny
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
I'd like to post a link on Twitter.
The original public post (which presumably means anyone can view it) is
<https://www.facebook.com/hazel.taupin/posts/10159736216548242>
I snipped a bit from the bottom and have not read the hundreds of comments.
Thanks. Tweeted.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

<This space unintentionally left blank>.
Nick Odell
2020-05-11 21:59:38 UTC
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Post by Penny
Just picked this up on Facebook.
I don't know the woman who wrote it but she is a friend of a friend and I
have no reason to disbelieve her.
<snip>


Nesrine Malik, writing in The Observer on Sunday summed it up well for
me (1)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/10/anglo-american-coronavirus-crisis

Political ideology has stripped the country of all the qualities it
needs in a crisis like this and political ideology has become the
driver behind the decision making and implementation.

Plus, there is only one person in the driving seat in the US as the
UK. From the article:

As the New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen puts it,
“There is no White House. Not in the sense that journalists have
always used that term. It’s just Trump – and people who work in the
building.”

Meanwhile back in Dear Old Blighty (which I am not - more on that
later) it is the same story. The fight against the pandemic stood
still while Prime Minister was in hospital because nobody dared
second-guess what the supreme leader would demand.

And from what I have been reading about the Johnson Sunday
Omnishambles, the Telegraph is just as aghast as the spurned ministers
that the majority of cabinet ministers were left out of the
decision-making loop before That Speech was recorded.

If you care to substitute Bolsonaro for Trump and/or Johnson - it is
pretty easy to do - there was another article worth reading in the
same edition of The Observer:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/10/argentina-covid19-brazil-response-bolsonaro-fernandez

Long story short: what is happening in Argentina goes beyond politics
and ideology as ministers of national government and the heads of
regional government of all political persuasions collaborate to defend
the country against the effects of the virus.


Nick - happy to be in Argentina right now.
(1)Other journalists in that and other newspapers are available - but
they all seem to come back down to the same thing
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