M615 – Christmas Crisis Avoidance Motion 2020

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Andrew97
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M615 –Christmas Crisis Avoidance Motion 2020, Miss Maddie MP

If there is going to be a second wave, we need to have it now! A second wave over Christmas is going to be worse than a second wave now.

Flu season happens between weeks 40 and 14 (early October - late May)[1]. There were 3,936 separate outbreaks in the 2019/2020 flu season. Outbreaks were most numerous in care homes followed by schools [1]. Flu leads to tens of thousands of deaths in the UK each year with the worst season being the 2014/2015 season where shy of 30,000 died [2]. The average being 17,000 deaths. Public Health England does not publish a mortality rate for flu making it difficult to identify exact numbers. Vaccine effectiveness in 2019 to 2020 against a laboratory confirmed infection resulting in a primary care consultation could be as low as 27.8% [1]. There is no reason to believe the vaccine for the 2020/2021 flu season will be more effective. Furthermore, flu season coincides with RSV/Bronchiolitis, severe common colds, strep throat, Norovirus and other diseases more prevalent in colder months. During the flu season it is common for hospitals to report being at 99% capacity [3]. COVID-19 during the winter would push them over the edge.

Under the current plan, schools will return in September. Children are super-spreads of the flu [4] and having the children in school will increase the R value of the flu. If a second wave does coincidence with flu season, the government will be forced into a second costly lockdown. Flu season is usually considered to be 7.5 months long [1]. It is infeasible to have an extended lockdown over winter. Even if a COVID-19 vaccine was invented by September, it would not be a golden bullet to save everything. This would cause a Christmas crisis!

Furthermore, we have evidence to say COVID-19 is not that bad. Six weeks have passed since George Floyd’s death. Early studies (examining 315 cities) show protests have not caused a spike in COVID-19 cases [5]. Since May, tens of thousands of people have been piling onto UK beaches during hot spells. Social distancing being ignored here did not lead to a massive onslaught of cases either directly or indirectly. There could also be up to 30% of people with immunity to COVID-19 [6]. Lastly, since the start of the easing, infections have continued to tumble [7].

Taking everything into account, we do not know if there will be a second peak. If there is, we need to have it now!

To avoid a Christmas crisis this House calls on the government to introduce the following measures:


1. Advise all extremely clinically vulnerable people to remain at home in isolation for the foreseeable future.

2. End all restrictions on meeting friends and family in and outside the household.

3. Allow all mass-gatherings of any size to take place and advise against people considered vulnerable and people otherwise in contact with people considered vulnerable from attending.

4. Remove all restrictions on people entering the UK and remove FCO advice advising against travelling.

5. Allow all gyms, bars, restaurants, pubs, cafes, nightclubs, theatres and all other types of venues to reopen without social distancing measures. Advise against people considered vulnerable and people otherwise in contact with people considered vulnerable from visiting.

6. Remove all restrictions imposed on companies to help deal with COVID-19.

Short term pain and long term gain is better than risking a Christmas crisis!

Sources:

1. https://assets.publishing.service.go...2020_FINAL.pdf
2. https://fullfact.org/health/coronavi...are-influenza/
3. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a8136231.html
4. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2017/11/s...-at-christmas/
5. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...e-coronavirus/
6. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...ped-immunity/?
7. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...down-relaxed/?
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04MR17
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LiberOfLondon
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Aye.

I have advocated for voluntary social distancing and shielding in the Bar. This Motion seeks to impose that and whilst I may disagree with the proposer's political stance and personality, I wholeheartedly agree with this motion.
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04MR17
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I'll go first then



Vaccine effectiveness in 2019 to 2020 against a laboratory confirmed infection resulting in a primary care consultation could be as low as 27.8%

And could be as high as 54.5% according to the same source. :fyi:

There is no reason to believe the vaccine for the 2020/2021 flu season will be more effective.

The source very clearly says there is reason to believe the vaccine for the 2020/21 flu season could be more effective than 27.8%, because it could be as high as 54.5%. Mr Speaker this sentence is the motion is deceitful to the house.


During the flu season it is common for hospitals to report being at 99% capacity

This is according to Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine. Neither Dr Scriven nor The Independent have provided a source for that figure. The actual quotation is only pertinent to a week before Christmas and it isn't stated whether this is a common occurrence or unique to that year.

I recognise that hospital capacity during the Christmas period is a problem, however, I think a good solution ought to be variable across the country, especially since the article cited says: NHS England said hospitals were “generally coping”, with overall bed occupancy levels down from 95 per cent in the lead-up to Christmas to around 93 per cent. While again rather high, 93 is reasonably lower than 99. My conclusion is that where hospitals are at capacity, the government could and should provide support to that location and not a blanket national approach.




Under the current plan, schools will return in September. Children are super-spreads of the flu [4] and having the children in school will increase the R value of the flu.



I appreciate that the current plan on TSR has only been released today, but I will add here that schools (and especially primary schools) will be spending a lot more of their time washing their hands and learning basic hygiene than pre-lockdown. That doesn't mean children will stop being super-spreaders but as SoS I would hope that their capacity to spread the disease is reduced somewhat by this.



Furthermore, we have evidence to say COVID-19 is not that bad. Six weeks have passed since George Floyd’s death. Early studies (examining 315 cities) show protests have not caused a spike in COVID-19 cases [5]. Since May, tens of thousands of people have been piling onto UK beaches during hot spells. Social distancing being ignored here did not lead to a massive onslaught of cases either directly or indirectly. There could also be up to 30% of people with immunity to COVID-19 [6].

I welcome this news, but personally I think there are a few too many maybes here to risk the dismantling of existing provisions. In reality we have seen a lot of people making up their own rules and I do think that is set to continue. But government messaging that everything is now safe would be both misleading and irresponsible at the present time. As previously, I think a nationally varied approach would be the best way of dealing with this.





Mr Speaker, I could support calls for watered down attempts at any of the six actions listed in the motion for the government to undertake. And I would prefer to see some more watered down than others. However, the extreme jump that this motion is proposing I believe would damage public trust in the government and be too unsafe for public health at the present time.
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Theloniouss
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This is a little too extreme, I think
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
This is a little too extreme, I think
(Original post by 04MR17)
I'll go first then
How do you propose a second peak is avoided during flu season?
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TheDefiniteArticle
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Nay.

I feel that, despite the extent to which the issue has been politicised, the substantially greater access to public health expertise held by the IRL government justifies maintaining canon on this. The importance of day-to-day reaction accentuates this need.

As a general rule, I'm not convinced MHoC should be legislating on coronavirus at all, as I'm sure all sides of the House will agree it is best to treat it as a principally technocratic issue, and a political issue second.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
Nay.

I feel that, despite the extent to which the issue has been politicised, the substantially greater access to public health expertise held by the IRL government justifies maintaining canon on this. The importance of day-to-day reaction accentuates this need.

As a general rule, I'm not convinced MHoC should be legislating on coronavirus at all, as I'm sure all sides of the House will agree it is best to treat it as a principally technocratic issue, and a political issue second.
Blindly believing the government often gives good public health decisions. Nothing like a repeat of the NHS hepatitis scandal.
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TheDefiniteArticle
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Blindly believing the government often gives good public health decisions. Nothing like a repeat of the NHS hepatitis scandal.
I am not blindly believing the government, but I am rejecting the idea that the MHoC has the evidence or the expertise to make better decisions than the government on technocratic issues.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
How do you propose a second peak is avoided during flu season?
As I mentioned at several points in my post above, my strategy would be regionally diverse. Have locally-imposed restrictions where necessary to do so, as well as take measures to generally improve hygiene in schools and workplaces so as to slow the spread of illnesses rather than avoid them altogether - since I'm not convinced it's possible to achieve the latter.
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
How do you propose a second peak is avoided during flu season?
Are we currently on track to get one during flu season?
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Are we currently on track to get one during flu season?
Some health experts say yes. Some say no. Like with most things COVID-19 we don't know. I don't want to risk it.

(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
I am not blindly believing the government, but I am rejecting the idea that the MHoC has the evidence or the expertise to make better decisions than the government on technocratic issues.
The same could apply to everything in the MHoC. The motion is not completely at odds with even SAGE, it is a valid opinion to have. Should we bet on there not being a second peak? I wouldn't. That's what the issue comes down to.

End lockdown today
Benefits: no second peak during flu season
Drawbacks: potential for a second wave over summer

Copy real life
Benefits: potentially avoid a second peak
Drawbacks: second wave during flu season

I (along with some public health officials and epidemiologists) want option 1.
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Some health experts say yes. Some say no. Like with most things COVID-19 we don't know. I don't want to risk it.
Which public health experts? Where? What did they say specifically?
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TheDefiniteArticle
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
The same could apply to everything in the MHoC. The motion is not completely at odds with even SAGE, it is a valid opinion to have. Should we bet on there not being a second peak? I wouldn't. That's what the issue comes down to.

End lockdown today
Benefits: no second peak during flu season
Drawbacks: potential for a second wave over summer

Copy real life
Benefits: potentially avoid a second peak
Drawbacks: second wave during flu season

I (along with some public health officials and epidemiologists) want option 1.
The distinction I am drawing is between political issues (where people disagree about the policy goals) and technocratic issues (where there is broad agreement about the policy goals, but there may be technical questions about how to achieve them). I do not think the latter is suitable for the MHoC.

The only political issue which I think relates to coronavirus is the price of a human life. If there were reasonable evidence to compare the economic expenditure against the total death toll of coronavirus in several counterfactuals, I would accept that this would be appropriate to debate.

Others may believe they have the expertise, but I am not so arrogant as to think I have the scientific knowledge to understand the data better than the teams of scientists behind the government.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
The distinction I am drawing is between political issues (where people disagree about the policy goals) and technocratic issues (where there is broad agreement about the policy goals, but there may be technical questions about how to achieve them). I do not think the latter is suitable for the MHoC.

The only political issue which I think relates to coronavirus is the price of a human life. If there were reasonable evidence to compare the economic expenditure against the total death toll of coronavirus in several counterfactuals, I would accept that this would be appropriate to debate.

Others may believe they have the expertise, but I am not so arrogant as to think I have the scientific knowledge to understand the data better than the teams of scientists behind the government.
Technocratic issues is what the MHOC does best. Last term there were four bills to fix one technocratic issue (allowing women to rape men). It still hasn't been achieved because rape was removed altogether. When there is evidence publicly available to make technocratic decisions they should be our concern. That's if you accept this is a technocratic issue. It isn't! I want a second peak. I want it now. That's at odds with real life who don't want a second peak, ever! It's two different policy stances. We should make decision to the best of our ability using the data we have available. Not doing that risks a second hepatitis disaster (an example where the public using logic and the library knew better than public health experts).
Last edited by Miss Maddie; 1 month ago
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SnowMiku
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I'm not too keen on the motion as a whole but I do support the opening of gyms.
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Moonbow
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Miss Maddie may I ask if there would be thorough cleaning down of all equipment within gyms before being used by the next person? Just curious due to this being guidance for children using outdoor equipment in schools currently
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Moonbow)
Miss Maddie may I ask if there would be thorough cleaning down of all equipment within gyms before being used by the next person? Just curious due to this being guidance for children using outdoor equipment in schools currently
There shouldn't be. The purpose of this plan is to spread COVID-19 to as many people as possible when shielding the most vulnerable. Get it over and done with to avoid a second wave.
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Jammy Duel
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This is a silly motion, we all know we need a lockdown over Christmas anyway to deal with the tens of thousands of flu deaths that could be avoided if we don't let anybody near anybody else!
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Moonbow
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
There shouldn't be. The purpose of this plan is to spread COVID-19 to as many people as possible when shielding the most vulnerable. Get it over and done with to avoid a second wave.
So an increase in herd immunity. I see your logic, even if it may be rolling the dice slightly to do such a sudden change in course of action after the government’s take on the issue so far.
I’ve had a look at Sweden, which of course have refused a strict lockdown. If the following article is to be believed, they seem to be doing rather well :^_^:
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/heal...-a4485076.html
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