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Covid-19 questions

From Sally B

Sunday, 12 April 2020

I have been watching on HebWeb the changing numbers of cases of Covid-19 being reported in Calderdale. Fortunately, the number in Calderdale is lower than many areas. However, is there any way to find out more? Are new cases related to existing cases?

Is extensive contact tracing taken place? While the numbers remain low, contact tracing would seem an essential tool.

Are there any parts of Calderdale which so far remain free of the virus?

I don't know whether there are any official sources for the answers to such questions.

From Arla R

Sunday, 12 April 2020

I know of several people in Calderdale, or more specifically in the Upper Valley here, who believe they have had the virus, but have not had it confirmed.  The official numbers are leaving out an awful lot of cases, here and everywhere in the UK.

This is one reason the death rate looks so high - most people who die from it are hospitalised and therefore in the official tally, while many who are not hospitalised and get through it OK are not included in the official numbers.

From Gideon Foster

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

One way you can assist with the data is via mobile phone app Covid-19 symptom tracker. It's in conjunction with Kings College London and Guys and St.Thomas's hospital.

I believe I had it earlier in the year, as do quite a few others I have spoken to starting as far back as early December, but were not aware until this became public and the symptoms published. Obviously, without testing, I don't know if my suspicions are true, but I do think the more people who report these things even if you're now well, it should hopefully enable a clearer understanding and more comprehensive data, hopefully leading to a brighter picture emerging.

From Ms. P. Finch

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

I know of two people who had it quite badly in Todmorden in mid March - now recovered & three others who had it at the same time, but milder sypmtoms. (None were tested. )

Its frustrating not to have local distribution maps with more detail of even 'suspected' cases, to help us all stay safe!

Do consider wearing some kind of face cover & gloves. Out this morning & most not.

From Tim Brooks

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Wearing a mask should be left for health and care professionals.  There is no evidence they will protect the general public according to the WHO and British government. Hand washing and personal distancing are effective at reducing the risk of catching it.

BBC News: Coronavirus: Should I wear a mask to stop the virus?

From Mark H

Friday, 17 April 2020

Tim, please don't take whatever the British government says as good, peer reviewed scientific advice. 

I Wear a mask when I go out not to avoid getting infection from others, but to show that I care enough about my neighbours that I don't want to infect them. I don't know if I am hosting the virus or not. 

It's possible that I am talking sanctimonious tosh here, but in the absence of a realistic programme of testing I have enough respect for pharmacists, shop staff and the NHS staff I meet to abandon my usual achingly cool persona, and wear a mask. 

Stay well, everyone. 

From Arla R

Friday, 17 April 2020

 It's not just about what the government is saying, but what scientists are saying is more important maybe.  Currently most seem to agree that wearing a mask won't stop you from catching the disease, but if you have it masks will much reduce your spreading it around to others.

This makes it difficult, as it seems many people have Covid-19 without symptoms, and also of course we know that people who are infected are contagious for some time before symptoms show.  So there could be a case for saying everyone should always wear a mask when out, except for those who know they have had the virus and are now recovered.

But the other side to is that there simply aren't enough masks of good enough quality to go round, and at the end of the day it's more important that medical people and those working with the public have the protection they most definitely need and deserve.  If we all buy a load of masks there will be so many less for those who are working for us and saving lives.

From Arla R

Friday, 17 April 2020

I reread through my last post on this topic and I realise it looks inconsistent: if masks don't protect people then why would they protect doctors etc ...?

Quoting from a BBC article today:

"It [WHO] believes masks aren't useful for the general public because they offer a false sense of security. Why? Because they don't necessarily protect against infection, particularly if homemade or loose-fitting, and they may encourage people not to follow other advice to keep 2m away from others and wash hands frequently."

From Sally B

Friday, 24 April 2020

I was interested to read the posts in this thread in response to my original message. But my questions have really gone unanswered.

With so few cases being reported in Calderdale, why hasn't contact tracing been done since the beginning? Or has it?

Where do we find more information, other than the number the HebWeb reports each day? How many deaths? What areas are bad/good? And are we finally going to start contact tracing, now that it has finally been accepted once again by the Government as part of its strategy?

From Arla R

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Contact tracing hasn't been done in Calderdale for the same reason it hasn't been done nationally - the government hasn't made it happen.  

But even if it was, first of all you need widespread effective testing.  If most cases in Calderdale and presumably elsewhere aren't scientifically confirmed, then contact tracing of the few confirmed cases will have limited effectiveness.

There are some smartphone apps available for contact tracing, but there are a number of problems with these, including that many of the most at risk people - over 70s in particular - don't use a smartphone, or if they have one they may not really understand how to access an use an app like that.

For regular updates on this stuff it's best to go the national news providers eg the BBC website. There is continually updated information there on a lot of the specific questions you have asked, which are not so much local issues as UK wide ones.