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Swine Flu - Epidemic or Hyperbole?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I couldn't let this quote go, but didn't want to hijack another thread:
stargalaxy wrote: »
I would ignorance guidance from the likes of the Department of Health...

Their handling of the swine-flu epidemic that never was last year proves these people are utterly incompetent. .

Would love to know what SG thinks is the evidence of "incompetence" but he does raise an interesting question...

Was the outbreak handled well in the UK?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »

    Was the outbreak handled well in the UK?


    Considering most of us are alive, then yes.

    I don't understand why people think the government overreacted. They were told that it was a potentially catastrophic illness with a potentially huge mortality rate. So they stockpiled enough vaccine to administer to every man, woman and child in the UK should the need arise.

    The need, didn't arise. Who knows why it didn't, the reasons are irrelevant. What is relevant however is that SG and people like him would have been the first to criticise the government if people had begun dying in the predicted numbers and the government hadn't had the foresight to stockpile the vaccines.

    I'd love to know what they should have done.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think its better to be prepared for the worst, and it turning out not quite as bad. As opposed to being prepared for nothing and it all going to rat shit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Considering most of us are alive, then yes.

    I don't understand why people think the government overreacted. They were told that it was a potentially catastrophic illness with a potentially huge mortality rate. So they stockpiled enough vaccine to administer to every man, woman and child in the UK should the need arise.

    The need, didn't arise. Who knows why it didn't, the reasons are irrelevant. What is relevant however is that SG and people like him would have been the first to criticise the government if people had begun dying in the predicted numbers and the government hadn't had the foresight to stockpile the vaccines.

    I'd love to know what they should have done.

    Experts from Oxford uni and many other eminents around the world kept saying ...this whole thing is being exagerated.
    This will be no different than your average flu.
    The governments of the west payed out billions to the drug companies.
    Drug companies were happy.
    It was an exercise in looting as far as I'm concerned.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Let's see...

    Number of Brits that it was predicted would die from swine flu - 65,000.
    Amount of money spent on stockpiling medicines by UK government - £1.2billion.
    Number of swine flu jabs available after stockpiling - 44million.
    Number of swine flu jabs government originally wanted to buy from GlaxoSmithKline - 120million.
    Number of Brits who actually did die from swine flu - highest estimate is 457, lowest estimate is just 26.
    Amount of money made by pharmaceutical companies from selling vaccines. - about £4.6billion.

    Sounds like incompetence on an astonishing scale to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Sounds like incompetence on an astonishing scale to me.

    .. or good planning and vaccination programme which prevented a wider spread of the disease.

    Over 25m cases in the world, the UK had (per capita) fewer deaths than the US (for example), few cases than Germany.
    Some details

    What you highlight is the problem. Deal with it effectively and there are people who will say "Ha, it was nothing", deal with it badly and people die, then those same people would say "Why didn't the Govt act".

    I'd say that NHS did very well. But I would, wouldn't I.

    Perhaps I was aware of the briefings before it really hit, the steps that were put in place to avoid cross contamination (such as GPs making visits instead of people going to the GP and infecting everyone else in the waiting room), I know of the measure put into ITUs across the country and the number of people saved as a result (including a personal friend).

    That less than 500 people died in the UK as a result wasn't an accident or luck you know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Experts from Oxford uni and many other eminents around the world kept saying ...this whole thing is being exagerated.
    This will be no different than your average flu.
    The governments of the west payed out billions to the drug companies.
    Drug companies were happy.
    It was an exercise in looting as far as I'm concerned.

    Here here...

    I understand Whowhere's post that being cautious and prepared is a good thing, however, i hate the fact that it was rammed down our throats and all over ever form of media available, i chose to completely ignore it and thought if it gets me ill go and see what help i can get, that was my thoughts all along.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Experts from Oxford uni and many other eminents around the world kept saying ...this whole thing is being exagerated.
    This will be no different than your average flu.

    In terms of the number of deaths, that's right, it was not expected to be any worse than seasonal flu.

    However, the issue was who would be infected and not the number. Seasonal flu affects the elderly and infirm much more than any other sector of the population. H1N1 was affecting children and the working population.

    The risk was that wide spread infection would impact on food distribution (for example) and, as we all know, we're only ever two meals away from anarchy.

    You were looking at wide school closure programmes, which would mean people staying at home and not going into work. We were looking at maintenance of vital services such a power and water being affected - we were looking at contamination in the health sector and that would have a huge impact too.

    That was the issue in play. Not whether a number of people would be affected, but who those people were and how that would impact on infrastructure.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    That was the issue in play. Not whether a number of people would be affected, but who those people were and how that would impact on infrastructure.


    Oh that makes much more sense, the people in power didnt really want to protect us, they wanted to protect their position.

    I love reading all the differant viewpoints here :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    sepumseeme wrote: »
    Oh that makes much more sense, the people in power didnt really want to protect us, they wanted to protect their position.

    I love reading all the differant viewpoints here :chin:


    So you think that preventing anarchy doesn't protect you?

    Food, power, water etc, use any of those?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK Quote:
    Originally Posted by sepumseeme



    So you think that preventing anarchy doesn't protect you?

    Food, power, water etc, use any of those?


    I take your point, if if did go bad and their wasnt enough vaccinations/food people would of started fighting each other for whats left to protect themselves and family.

    I guess decisions for those at the top are very complicated if youre faced with a lot of possibilities.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Let's put it this way. I came out of my briefing about what the possibilities were and said to my workmate that if things got bad I'd rather put a gun in my mouth.

    We often laugh at apocalyptic films like Mad Max, 28 Days Later etc but you really are talking about a complete breakdown of society without food, power and water.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    .. or good planning and vaccination programme which prevented a wider spread of the disease.

    :yes:

    I happened to do a presentation for French on this subject... on whether the French government had overreacted when faced with swine flu. France also stockpiled vaccines, having 94 million (more than the population). Only a small percentage of people were vaccinated, only 5 million, and so France had tried to sell off surplus to other countries.

    As far as media coverage is concerned, I think its difficult for anyone to judge. If people exaggerate the potential risk, it could cause unnecessary panic, but at the same time if people talk of a limited effect, actions taken by the general population might not be enough to make a difference when it comes to the prevention of a serious pandemic. But here in the UK, i think it went a bit over the top.

    I think in these situations, health departments should prepare for the worst case scenario. I think as a result of quickish reactions from health departments around the world (not just vaccines - other measures) it did save lives.

    In an ideal world, sure we'd be able to tell exactly how an epidemic would pan out... but we can't. With swine flu different researchers were saying different things, and I just don't think the health dep. could have taken that gamble and sat back and hoped for the best.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lot of people swallowed the fear despite what the experts were saying.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    All the experts Mr Roll, or did you choose to follow the minority?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Report condemns swine flu experts' ties to big pharma
    Trio of scientists who urged stockpiling had previously been paid, says report'
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/04/swine-flu-experts-big-pharmaceutical
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Google ...was avian flu a scam?
    I thought everyone had been informed by now that it was.
    You'll get hundreds of results ...conspirasists scientis doctors politicians etc ...to explain it for you.
    Here's a random one ...Donald Rumsfeld again!!
    http://www.kickthemallout.com/article.php/Story-Rumsfeld_Profits_From_Tamiflu
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Report condemns swine flu experts' ties to big pharma
    Trio of scientists who urged stockpiling had previously been paid, says report'
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/04/swine-flu-experts-big-pharmaceutical

    So, three (or was it four) scientists (out of how many?) once recieved payments for papers written for one of the companies that made tamiflu. The most recent payment was five years before swine flu hit.

    Oh, and just in case you think that this was all hidden by them. Each one declared that they had previously been paid.

    Yeah Rolly, it's a conspiracy. :yeees:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »

    Sounds like incompetence on an astonishing scale to me.



    As I said before you would have changed your tune completely if it had turned out as bad as the government thought.

    I'd love to have known what your plan was. What would you and others have done. I'm assuming you wouldn't have stockpiled the vaccine (remember it is a vaccine so you can't give it out once people are sick anyway).

    What would you have done once the breakdown of society was under way? The police and armed forces are too busy trying to maintain order, the NHS is overwhelmed with sick/dying people, the road networks are gridlocked, you have mass population movements away from urban areas, carrying the disease with them.

    Because of the breakdown of the road/rail networks how would you deliver the vaccine to anyone? The workers who make it are ill, the drivers who would transport it are ill, the doctors who would administer it are ill.

    The £1.2 billion it cost to stockpile the drug is absolutely peanuts compared to the cost to the nation where most people are bedridden and people are rioting in the streets because they can't get hold of the drugs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    As I said before you would have changed your tune completely if it had turned out as bad as the government thought.
    Whowhere: Blunkett Bobby and a part-time Mystic Meg.
    The £1.2 billion it cost to stockpile the drug is absolutely peanuts compared to the cost to the nation where most people are bedridden and people are rioting in the streets because they can't get hold of the drugs.
    Under your scenario, people would be too sick to turn up for work and the like, but not so sick that they couldn't join in a riot because they couldn't get their hands on a drug.

    Strange set of circumstances.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Under your scenario, people would be too sick to turn up for work and the like, but not so sick that they couldn't join in a riot because they couldn't get their hands on a drug.

    Strange set of circumstances.

    It doesn't need huge numbers of people to be ill. Just the wrong people. That's the point.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Whowhere: Blunkett Bobby and a part-time Mystic Meg. Under your scenario, people would be too sick to turn up for work and the like, but not so sick that they couldn't join in a riot because they couldn't get their hands on a drug.

    Strange set of circumstances.

    Answering my very specific question with an old, shitty insult isn't answering my question.

    Firstly, what would YOU do? You have recieved information about a possible pandemic. Your choice is either prepare for the worst and possibly look a fool, or fail to prepare and watch as the country slides into chaos.

    Because lets get some things straight. Firstly, once everyone starts dying of the illness, it is TOO late to administer the vaccine which you haven't even bothered stock-piling.
    Once everyone starts dying off the illness it can take upwards of 12 months to find a cure, assuming that all the research staff are actually alive.

    Whilst all this is going on, your road networks are jammed with people fleeing areas of population. You also have to deal with looters (people who haven't fallen sick), people beseiging hospitals for drugs and people besieging you for answers/
    Now you will start off with about 155,000 healthy police officers and PCSOs. They still all start getting sick as well, leaving the rest of them to close roads, guard hospitals and public works and try to maintain order. You wouldn't have tens or hundreds or thousands of people trying to get into the hospitals, you'd have millions. Invading every hospital/pharmacy/doctor's surgery all over the country at once.

    Now, what would you, a person who's only experience of public order/police work is keeping an eye on the dodgy bloke trying to fleece a games machine, actually do?

    You have to maintain order, find a cure and keep the rest of the country running.

    At the moment, MOK and myself are the only ones currently part of this discussion who have any experience of emergency planning or procedure. But you obviously know better, so carry on.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Answering my very specific question with an old, shitty insult isn't answering my question.

    Firstly, what would YOU do? You have recieved information about a possible pandemic. Your choice is either prepare for the worst and possibly look a fool, or fail to prepare and watch as the country slides into chaos.

    Because lets get some things straight. Firstly, once everyone starts dying of the illness, it is TOO late to administer the vaccine which you haven't even bothered stock-piling.
    Once everyone starts dying off the illness it can take upwards of 12 months to find a cure, assuming that all the research staff are actually alive.

    Whilst all this is going on, your road networks are jammed with people fleeing areas of population. You also have to deal with looters (people who haven't fallen sick), people beseiging hospitals for drugs and people besieging you for answers/
    Now you will start off with about 155,000 healthy police officers and PCSOs. They still all start getting sick as well, leaving the rest of them to close roads, guard hospitals and public works and try to maintain order. You wouldn't have tens or hundreds or thousands of people trying to get into the hospitals, you'd have millions. Invading every hospital/pharmacy/doctor's surgery all over the country at once.

    Now, what would you, a person who's only experience of public order/police work is keeping an eye on the dodgy bloke trying to fleece a games machine, actually do?

    You have to maintain order, find a cure and keep the rest of the country running.

    At the moment, MOK and myself are the only ones currently part of this discussion who have any experience of emergency planning or procedure. But you obviously know better, so carry on.....

    :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    At the moment, MOK and myself are the only ones currently part of this discussion who have any experience of emergency planning or procedure.

    How do you know that ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do not think Roche are complaining about how the situation was handled.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How do you know that ?

    A reasonable assumption based on our chosen career paths.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    A reasonable assumption based on our chosen career paths.

    Groupthink
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Groupthink

    Wankspeak.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wankspeak.

    This.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    This.

    Are you suggesting that a person is not (or should not be) capable of providing their own emergency planning and procedure ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Are you suggesting that the plans you have in place to save your own skin during an emergency are remotely similar to the things MOK and myself would have to do?
    Do you even have any idea of the sort of things we'd be doing or are you just guessing because my plans dont involve leaving the area or hiding in a basement until its all blown over.
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