I’ve just spent an evening with Dr. John Campbell. This is a brief blog to offer a few headlines worth checking out from sources you trust.
Visibility | b | t
Given the lack of press attention it would be easy to think all was now fine. Well, with minimum enquiry the data is still easily found. Here are some headline graphics (links to the data source embedded if other info is desired)
Which appears to be a glimmer of hope and perhaps not headline news. BUT:
whose reporting the worrying case load raise in a few pockets of Europe? And why no questions asking what that means for travel?
what happened about the Wolverhampton 43,000 cases of mishandled testing? BBCBMJ 15th Oct
why has the Pfizer whistle-blower story not made headline news? BMJ 2nd Nov
Thankfully, the data is still readily available to review, even if the media have decided to move on.
v | behaviour | t
Social interventions. My psychology readings are indicating that the motivations of people are best orientated around self-determination. Persuasions best aimed at doing the right thing with internal will, not enforced via external carrot and stick demand. So what to make of the Austrian situation this week? Fines of EUR1,500 if the unvaccinated in the population are found to have broken lockdown. BBC. Here is the data showing their worsening situation (interactive link attached below).
Testing questions. I am still struggling to understand the lack of publicity of the Pfizer revelations in the whistle-blower story in the BMJ. Much as I blogged about the Wolverhampton story a month ago this looks to be a classic case of inadequate control systems going unnoticed and largely ignored as governance, intervention, or news. This is not to say vaccines are being questioned. Not at all. The UK case demonstrates a levelled off position and nothing I have read suggests anything but support toward greater vaccination effort everywhere. cf. Dr John Campbell. But that is not to excuse specific breaches of protocols, as being reported with professional candour by the BMJ.
No herd immunity? However, there is more story unfolding now too. It seems herd immunity is not expected anytime soon. This YouTube link explains this better than I could hope to do. Dr John Campbell is a go-to source of sensible analysis. I also loved this response to FaceBook fact-check…and the insights into vitamin D.
v | b | trust
Having spent an evening updating my understanding of existing and new C-19 issues – matters that impact my family – I am reminded of the premise of trust. And how trust is hard won, and easily lost. Plenty to ponder on in considering why some of these high quality medically backed stories sit so low in the interest of the news.
We live in a society of distrust and high blame. Best to remember what motivates those advising and informing. And make your own enquiry from there.
If this pill is as effective as widely claimed, the potential for Covid19 to be confined to the history books may be close at hand. The speed of advancement of the medical science behind this progress is a marvel to behold. Even compared to vaccination this new weapon being dispatched to the front line is game changing. It destroys the virus from within its host. Destroyed to the core of it’s replicating genes.
A moment of hope that we can soon turn all attention back to the bigger challenges in hand. The next test more fundamental. But if this first is overcome, we must be living with hope of future breakthroughs more profound than even micro-biology at its best…
…we have advanced our understanding of both the behaviour and the control of viral threats. Next is reappraising the behaviours of us all, and what we need to turn new attentions toward. Next is regards our collective selves, the system of systems upon which we live, and the frameworks of our own forward-focused control.
43,000 people wrongly told they were Covid-19 negative – the critical control questions to ask, today
Visibility – what metrics are private labs being assessed against in their contracts for PCRs? Specifically, has a failure rate been agreed?
Behaviour – What connects the interface of communication of results between labs and NHS Test and Trace and the public? If labs are communicating directly with the public how regularly are their failure rate results being independently checked?
Trust – using these metrics of failure rates as a guide, what is the current performance rates of all other labs? What was the failure rate of this lab prior to 8th September? If this question cannot be answered, what is it that enables UKHSA to confidently state “public should remain confident in using both kinds of test”.
Trust – given this systemic failure what changes to critical controls between individual labs and the NHS Test and Trace service are now to be made, and why? Noting particularly the interventions needed by the public and GPs to flag this failing.
These questions are produced by reordering the facts of today’s news of unexpectedly high false negatives being presented directly to the public from one private lab working on behalf of NHS Test and Trace. They are common-sense questions, derived from taking each fact from one press article, and considered holistically across the metrics of visibility | behaviour | trust, as detailed below.
43,000 deemed to have been wrongly advised; false negative rates breached by a multiple of the norm; dates in question are over a period of one month (8th September to 12th October); the lab have analysed 2.5 million samples in total for NHS test and trace; anectotally reported to BBC by GP’s for two weeks with concerns that symptoms of covid-19 were not being confirmed by PCRs;
v | behaviour | t
NHS test and trace investigation conducted; UKHSA suspended the lab; all prompted by individuals raising concerns as lateral flow tests and PCR tests conflicted; control environment uses PCR as a second check but overrides the LFT; UKHSA confirm no unusual circumstances that would suggest external cause (all other labs working normally, tests kits normal); testing sites deemed to be operating normally; UKHSA have commented “working with NHS test and trace and company to determine the laboratory technical issues…”; the lab commenting “fully collaborating”;
v | b | trust
UKHSA said “public should remain confident in using both kinds of test”; BBC asking who knew what when?; BBC asking how are these labs being run?; local councils in West Berkshire are asking people to redo their tests; scientists [per this article] advising people to trust the LFT if testing positive and stay at home.