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November 7th, 2021, 20:21
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Yes, and of course many safety decisions aren't completely black and white, but overwhelmingly in favour of one course of action over another. If you consider seatbelts, there are crashes where the seatbelt was a contributory factor in the fatality. But, if we look at the data, the chances of a seatbelt saving you in a crash are orders of magnitude more likely than harming you.



There's a term, which I can't recall just now, for our cognitive bias that overrates the significance of positive action (a thing we do) and underrates the risk of negative action (a thing we don't). We need to bear in mind that we're making choices between options - and "do nothing" is an option with consequences like any other.



I have a lot of sympathy for pregnant women, as they're so bombarded by different views on what's good for their baby, or not. But the fact is that around 20% of our severe covid cases are unvaccinated pregnant women. And when mum gets critically ill, that is really not good for baby. This is why it's so important for people to get the best possible information.
The trolley problem is a good example of the doing nothing versus doing something being harder for people.

I'd recommend to watch Michael Sandels Harvard Justice lecture on YouTube. Very well explained problem.
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November 7th, 2021, 23:51
Pladio - I don't really see the connection with the trolley problem. In the trolley problem you stand aside and let five people die and say nothing to do with me so not my fault. The other option is that you move the trolley to another track and, actively(?) kill one person. In both of these cases strangers died.

With the vaccine the do nothing option may kill other people (family, friends and/ or strangers) and possibly yourself. Taking the vaccine may help save the people in the previous sentence but the risk is that you may die (which of course has impacts on your family and friends wellbeing). Of course in a family with a serious heart disease history then I understand the decision to do nothing e.g. my wife has a cousin who had a heart attack in his early 50s (though he decided to get jabbed after he looked at the options).

Could you explain how taking/ not taking the vaccine is the trolley problem or clarify were I have made a mistake? Or is it a general comment on perception?
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November 7th, 2021, 23:58
Originally Posted by SleepingDog View Post
Pladio - I don't really see the connection with the trolley problem. In the trolley problem you stand aside and let five people die and say nothing to do with me so not my fault. The other option is that you move the trolley to another track and, actively(?) kill one person. In both of these cases strangers died.
Yes, I see what you mean. The trolley problem I think is a different thing - that's to do with making choices between guaranteed bad outcomes, and asks the question of how you ethically decide which is the lesser of the evils. What I was getting at is more to do with how people assess risk, and weight positive vs negative actions. Psychologically, I'd say that's quite a different thing.
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November 8th, 2021, 01:02
As Ripper put it, they are doing so from a positive/negative action perspective. Example below:

1. Don't take vaccine for me and my family with the potential to get ill and hurt some people.
2. Take the vaccine for me and my family with the potential to hurt my family.

In option 1 it is as you say a negative action, so the significance thereof is much lesser.
Option 2 is a positive action, so the significance is greater, but it implicitly also impacts closer people (e.g. family) since you are choosing to vaccinate them, so you would find those decisions even harder.

Obviously if everyone thought the vaccines were magic wands with no negative consequences whatsoever, then everyone would take it.


Re The trolley problem is not necessarily about strangers. The people on the tracks can be substituted for loved ones. It doesn't matter. That is not the point of the trolley problem. The main purpose is to show a non-action is easier than an action. That is what Ripper seemed to be getting at.

Unless, I am completely misunderstanding something here.
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November 8th, 2021, 01:18
Just in terms of what I'm getting at, I think there's a difference between how people think when assessing risk, and when they're facing stark, definite choices. So, in that sense, I see distinct problems there.
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November 8th, 2021, 09:12
About a week ago there were reports on the transmission of the virus by people who had been vaccinated. It was in response to some reports that suggested that you are as likely to transmit whether you are vaccinated or not under the Delta variant.

The initial news reports were based on studies that measured the "Ct scores" which includes both living and dead viral RNA which includes those killed by the body's immune system. Dead viral RNA are not infectious. A small study of 23 people who tested positive for covid included 6 fully vaccinated people found that vaccinated people shed fewer viruses and stopped shedding earlier. In addition 5 of the 6 did not produce any infectious samples. I know small sample but when you have limited or iffy data you take what you can. It was also found that this protection fell by a quarter over 3 months after the 2nd jab. Is this a case for boosters?

A team in the Netherlands found that vaccinated people are 63% less likely to transmit the delta variant (it was 73% for the alpha variant). Of course if you are vaccinated then you are even less likely to catch the virus in the first place so the 63% is too low when considering all the people who have been vaccinated. Using data from Israel another study found that this figure was really about 89% (alpha variant) when taking in to account those that don't catch the virus.

On a personal level the evidence suggests that getting the booster is good for me and those who I come in to contact with. If I was in my 20s then I would still want to do it - my parents would of been in their 40s and my grans in their 70s.

Pladio/ Ripper - thanks for the clarification.
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November 8th, 2021, 10:27
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Just in terms of what I'm getting at, I think there's a difference between how people think when assessing risk, and when they're facing stark, definite choices. So, in that sense, I see distinct problems there.
Sorry, can you clarify ? I am not sure what you mean when you contrast the assessing risk and stark definite choices or when you say you see distinct problems here.

Do you mean that with the trolley problem you know someone will die, whilst with the vaccine it's a risk of death ?

If that's the case, I get that point, but I believe the principle still applies.
Many people would prefer doing nothing whether it's risk based or definite.

@SleepingDog, thanks for the information. That's very interesting. Would be good to see the follow-up numbers on a larger scale to these once they are available.
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November 8th, 2021, 16:14
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Sorry, can you clarify ? I am not sure what you mean when you contrast the assessing risk and stark definite choices or when you say you see distinct problems here.

Do you mean that with the trolley problem you know someone will die, whilst with the vaccine it's a risk of death ?

If that's the case, I get that point, but I believe the principle still applies.
Many people would prefer doing nothing whether it's risk based or definite.
What I mean is that I think there are distinct (or separate) considerations when talking about being forced to choose in a dilemma with certain consequences, and how people tend to assess risk. It may well be that in both scenarios people tend towards inaction over action, but not necessarily for the same reasons, as there is a major difference between how people think about probabilities, and how they reason the least worst outcome in a trolley problem.
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November 8th, 2021, 16:22
The main factor is still that they don't get to witness the immediate consequences of their actions. If people that are choosing not to be vaccinated saw random people fall on the ground dead as they bruise past them in the supermarket or the cafe, their mindset would change very quickly, as well as the precautions taken in their daily lives regarding the pandemic as a whole. Also the lawful regulations about whether getting vaccinated or not should be a personal choice would change quite a bit, I bet.

Because all the pain and disgrace they cause is never seen, and it stays as a delayed, slow, abstract and anonymous probability, it's easy to just not care or feel guilty about it.
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November 8th, 2021, 16:30
Yes, I think that's key, and that ties into what I'm saying. In the scenario you describe, that obliviousness is an option, whereas in a straight-up dilemma with the consequences right in front of you, you can't really think that way. If we imagine your hypothetical where people's risk-taking behaviour (including the impact on others) manifested consequences immediately in front of them, I'm sure we would see different thinking.
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November 8th, 2021, 18:02
Originally Posted by SleepingDog View Post
A team in the Netherlands found that vaccinated people are 63% less likely to transmit the delta variant (it was 73% for the alpha variant). Of course if you are vaccinated then you are even less likely to catch the virus in the first place so the 63% is too low when considering all the people who have been vaccinated. Using data from Israel another study found that this figure was really about 89% (alpha variant) when taking in to account those that don't catch the virus.

On a personal level the evidence suggests that getting the booster is good for me and those who I come in to contact with. If I was in my 20s then I would still want to do it - my parents would of been in their 40s and my grans in their 70s.

Interesting. I also read in the news today that for a fully vaccinated person the risk of an infection after seven months is twice(!) as high as the risk after five months. Those booster shots are much needed.

From personal experience (i.e. anecdotal but maybe still of interest) at the hospital I'm working at, I can say that CoVid cases have skyrocketed in the last two/three weeks or so. There were maybe one or two CoVid in-patients at a time between July and early/mid October. This weekend there were ten patients, three of them in IMC/intensive care. I personally had a young, fit guy with a positive rapid test and typical symptoms show up at my desk (well, outside my desk luckily as I did not let him in ) on one of my shifts.

Out of the total ten patients, only one of those was not vaccinated at all. All others were fully vaccinated and at least two had also received their booster shoots already but still got infected.
The three cases in intensive care/IMC are obviously severe but the others all seem to be relatively mild cases luckily, i.e. the vaccines are definitely working but they can't prevent everything. There is no total protection but that was never advertised so that's fine.

When looking at public life, I'm not surprised at the exploding number of cases. When I walk past bars, I see them packed with people. No masks, no distance, no other precautions. People just party like CoVid was never a thing.
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November 9th, 2021, 00:19
Moriendor - it would be interesting to know what communities exist in your catchment area for your hospital, vaccination rates (by age groups) and when vaccinations started. For any one area these, and no doubt other, factors make each hospital experience different.

I believe that the only thing I am sure about is that without the vaccine death rates would of been much higher in the UK.

Delayed consequences of our actions makes a lot of sense of why human appear to be so stupid. [Good discussion above people]. In fact you could apply the logic to many other problems that exist which requires co-operation between many different parties. Does any one remember how difficult it was to get lead taken out of petrol? The problem of creating non-smoking areas because you could not prove that passive smoking was bad for you.

I remember being involved in business process changes whether several departments would fail to agree to do something that benefited the company as a whole because the costs would fall on one department and the benefits would accrue to another department. And then there was the Finance department. Strange that I do not miss those days.
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November 9th, 2021, 00:25
Originally Posted by SleepingDog View Post
Moriendor - it would be interesting to know what communities exist in your catchment area for your hospital, vaccination rates (by age groups) and when vaccinations started. For any one area these, and no doubt other, factors make each hospital experience different.

I believe that the only thing I am sure about is that without the vaccine death rates would of been much higher in the UK.

Delayed consequences of our actions makes a lot of sense of why human appear to be so stupid. [Good discussion above people]. In fact you could apply the logic to many other problems that exist which requires co-operation between many different parties. Does any one remember how difficult it was to get lead taken out of petrol? The problem of creating non-smoking areas because you could not prove that passive smoking was bad for you.

I remember being involved in business process changes whether several departments would fail to agree to do something that benefited the company as a whole because the costs would fall on one department and the benefits would accrue to another department. And then there was the Finance department. Strange that I do not miss those days.
I know we're off topic, but it's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

Did you know many US cities still have lead pipes for water supplies ?

https://www.economist.com/united-sta…rom-lead-pipes
Over a century has passed since the dangers of consuming lead became widely known. Ingesting even small quantities damages young brains and may raise the risk of heart problems. Yet residents of Chicago—and many other cities—still mostly swig from taps fed by lead pipes. About 400,000 lead service lines connect to the mains in the Windy City, linking about four in five of all houses there. One study of nearly 3,000 homes, two years ago, found two-thirds had elevated levels of lead in their water.
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November 10th, 2021, 10:28
New drug to treat covid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PF-07321332
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November 12th, 2021, 22:08
Originally Posted by OverIt View Post
New drug to treat covid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PF-07321332
Yeah, that's the pill (Paxlovid) that I mentioned. It's more of a treatment than a prevention though.
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November 12th, 2021, 22:54
A couple of kids in the family have picked up Covid. They seem fine - much like a regular respiratory bug in children, and the adults are tripled up. But the interesting thing is that though the kids have been diagnosed through PCR tests and are symptomatic, they are repeatedly testing negative on lateral flow tests.

Just anecdotal, of course, but I have heard a few medical folks who aren't too interested in test results unless they're PCRs.
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November 13th, 2021, 01:00
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
A couple of kids in the family have picked up Covid. They seem fine - much like a regular respiratory bug in children, and the adults are tripled up. But the interesting thing is that though the kids have been diagnosed through PCR tests and are symptomatic, they are repeatedly testing negative on lateral flow tests.

Just anecdotal, of course, but I have heard a few medical folks who aren't too interested in test results unless they're PCRs.
It's been known since the very start that lateral flow tests are less than 60% effective if not handled by a professional. I read a whole paper on it a year or so ago.

Even when done by professionals the results aren't more than 85% effective. That's why they can't take them seriously
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November 13th, 2021, 08:09
I was tested positive twice for CoVid 19 in April of this year at the nursing home where my mother resides. It was with rapid antigen test kits and both tests were conducted by one of the nurses there. After the first test they told me they had an "unclear" result and after the second test they said it was a double positive.

I could not possibly imagine that the tests were correct because I had no idea where I could have gotten infected. I had always been wearing a FFP2 mask at my job, followed all the rules without exception etc.
I kind of knew it was a false positive but you never know and I had to go to a test center to confirm the results. Of course there was some uncertainty left. It was a pretty unpleasant 24 hour wait until I finally got the PCR test result which was negative. Phew. Big phew.

To be fair, this was the one and only false positive test for me out of dozens. I also know of no one else who had a false positive rapid antigen test, let alone two in a row. But it can happen. I'm the living proof .
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November 20th, 2021, 00:29
I see that the Austrians are going into lockdown as the number of cases per 1 million people rises. I gather that roughly two-thirds have been vaccinated. As some-one said the only way to deal with covid is to build up immunity and/ or limit people's contact. I gather that there are also problems in Germany as well. No talk of increasing death rates so not sure if the concern is the hospitals being overwhelmed.

Do we have any German or Austrian watchers that can give some more info?

Can anyone throw some light on the 2nd Feb mandatory vaccination in Austria? It seems a bit late to have a Winter impact. Something to do with changing the law?

[Got my flu jab Wednesday pm , walk-in at the local chemist, this time I got a sore arm and a couple of sleepless nights - next time use the other arm.]
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November 22nd, 2021, 22:41
I got the third jab, since, why the fuck not. I've already jumped on this rollercoaster.

And man, the good news is I still got no symptoms this time either. But my lymph node near my armpit got swollen, as apparently it sometimes does when the body is fighting infection. But it's frikkin awful. I hope it goes away fast.
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