back to article UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight told Brits to stay at home for the next three weeks, at least, to thwart the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. In short, Britons should remain indoors, and work from home if at all possible. They should only leave to buy food and medication, exercise once a day, or travel to work if it …

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    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: "One form of exercise a day"

      He literally couldn't have explained it any clearer.

      If you still don't get it, let me summarise it for you. Stay in your f*cking house, unless you need to get something you need to keep you alive, like food and medicine.

      It really, really isn't rocket science.

      1. NullNix

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        Full guidance, quite detailed, is here

      2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        He literally couldn't have explained it any clearer.

        We, Australia, are in lock-down because there are some people idiots roaming on the streets flashing without-a-care-in-the-world attitude.

        If people heeded the simple advice of "social distancing" in the first place, we wouldn't be in this bind.

        And if nobody takes heed to the "lock down" then things can get ugly.

        ## Stay in your f*cking house, fools!

        (And don't make me come over!)

        1. kmedcalf

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          The next step is, of course, to deploy armed "enforcers" onto the streets to shoot in the head anyone who sticks their head of of their house.

          1. Peter X

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            All in the name of preventing death... Hmmm....

            1. Mike007

              Re: "One form of exercise a day"

              We could detain people under the existing powers that have been relaxed. "I believe you have a severe mental health problem and pose a risk to yourself or others. Detained for assesment and treatmemt.".

              Treatment options include activities to boost your sense of social participation, such as volunteering to help provide essential supplies as part of the UK governments national food and amazon package delivery network.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: "One form of exercise a day"

                Treatment options include activities to boost your sense of social participation, such as volunteering to help provide essential supplies as part of the UK governments national food and amazon package delivery network.

                The only way they're going to get the message is either armed troops, or more creatively, mandatory detention and infection of those found to be roaming. That way we can limit the damage they do by herd immunizing them. I'd rather some of them die than someone innocent that gets caught up in their superspreading, for no better reason than the innocent person needed Calpol for a poorly child or medicine for an elderly spouse.

              2. Simian Surprise
                Big Brother

                Re: "One form of exercise a day"

                Oh cool, using mental-hygiene laws to punish dissidents. "If you were sane, you'd agree with us, so obviously you're nutso and a danger to yourself/others. Loony bin with you!"

                Yes, sounds like the sort of thing a modern democratic state does.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  No winners in this game.

                  They lose. No matter what they do. Just be thankful, you are in the camp that can make a thoughtful analysis of their actions, either right or wrong. If lots of people are going to die, I'd hate to be in their shoes, as at least some people are gonna yell at them.

                  So being constructive in criticism is probably the best action right now, of all times.

            2. 's water music Silver badge

              Re: "One form of exercise a day"

              All in the name of preventing death... Hmmm....

              Saving the village* is necessary

              *possibly more correctly, town apparently.

          2. Captain Hogwash

            Re: shoot in the head

            Way to spread the virus dude. Obviously they'll use tasers.

          3. Irongut

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            They're called the Metropolitan Police Service.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          If people heeded the simple advice of "social distancing" in the first place, we wouldn't be in this bind.

          And if nobody takes heed to the "lock down" then things can get ugly.

          I was expecting to be able to count the number of people I see out of the window on a per hour basis. Nope, everyone seems to be going about their normal day. It's looking more and more likely that the military are going to end up deployed to force people to stay in doors.

          Stay the fuck home, mouthbreathers. The longer you fuck about the longer this goes on for all of us and the worse it gets!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            Strangely this seems to be a regional difference. Some areas are dead quiet. Some are not.

        3. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          (And don't make me come over!)

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        Here is the list of business exemptions and it looks nothing like Johnson's speech or the guidance to people given elsewhere in this thread (link if it becomes too separated from this post). Or maybe they're supposed to stay open but customers can't leave their house to go to them.

        Also, what about the other businesses not mentioned? Can they stay open if they don't serve the public or not?

        No, they really can't write specs.

        1. Bill 21

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          I notice retail exceptions include "Bicycle shops". Twice.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            I notice retail exceptions include "Bicycle shops". Twice.

            How many times are the unicycle shops there?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            They mentioned that the proof readers are overwhelmed. Not in their careers have they had so much work and so little time to do it in. But yes, a worrying time.

      4. elaar

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        "Stay in your f*cking house, unless you need to get something you need to keep you alive, like food and medicine."

        Except that isn't a summary of what he said. There's a lot of ambiguity. What if your employer deems your work to be "absolutely necessary" (like mine)? The same goes for the self employed.

        "Travelling to and from work​, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home."

        That's the official quote from the government guidelines, it doesn't quite match your summary....

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          "Except that isn't a summary of what he said. There's a lot of ambiguity. What if your employer deems your work to be "absolutely necessary" (like mine)? The same goes for the self employed."

          If your job really isn't necessary, then report your employer to the police, who will have a nice chat with them to find out what they are playing at.

          1. manchesterj

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            Amazon still appear to be making deliveries as are DHL amd others so warehouses are still operating along with their staff - so its not a full lockdown. What they've done is shutdown shop type retail and banned public gatherings. If you're working in a warehouse or fullfilment centre its not clear what the picture is.

          2. elaar

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            "If your job really isn't necessary, then report your employer to the police, who will have a nice chat with them to find out what they are playing at."

            According to Gove this morning on Radio4, building sites are allowed to remain open even though they cannot garauntee 2m distances. Are those jobs necessary? Who deems what's necessary or not?

            Gove stated that anything essential to public services is also included, e.g plumbers, electricians, boiler repairers etc.

            In the predicament we're in, how many employees do you think really want to get involved in a stand-off with HR, or call the police in (which seems a bit of a waste of police resources)? There should be VERY CLEAR guidelines for employers, so that employees aren't put in difficult positions.

            That's all we want.

          3. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            If your job really isn't necessary, then report your employer to the police, who will have a nice chat with them to find out what they are playing at.

            And don’t worry about how you will pay your bills.

            I am OK, I have my income assured, but some folk are understandably anxious because they live from day to day and they can’t place their total trust in the government to ensure they get paid.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If your job really isn't necessary, then report your employer to the police

            you're talking through your arse. Try to call the police on the non-essential line, and then come back :(

            1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

              Re: If your job really isn't necessary, then report your employer to the police

              Try to call the police on the non-essential line

              Did that once. Got answered by the front line operator almost immediately. "Which police force do you want?" "Putting you through." Ring, … ring, … ring, …, etc. Gave up after ~30 minutes.

          5. Irongut

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            And lose your job.

            Helpful and useful advice at this time.

        2. Piro

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          The job guidelines are shit. The government needs to force a lot more working from home.

          I've been working from home for over a week now.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          "What if your employer deems your work to be "absolutely necessary" (like mine)? "

          Same here. Field engineer. And the vast majority of our customers will still be working, whether at home or their office as appropriate because they are mainly key or essential workers. If their kit breaks, they still need to work. That will probably mean their own peeps go and swap the broken kit then take it back to base where we'll then turn up to fix it. We have of ant-bacterial cleansers and hand sanitiser since we'll have no idea if that kit is infected on the surface or inside the keyboard.

        4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          Employers don’t get to decide what’s necessary; UK Gov does. This includes Mike Ashley - hopefully UKGov decides to make an example of him to show what happens when employers take the piss.

      5. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        My, my. So many overnight global experts! And all about a subject little understood by the world's leading specialists.

        Try reading this for a start.

        "A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data"

        By John P.A. Ioannidis

        March 17, 2020

        https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          See also Rob Slane's take:

          "Notes from a Large Prison"

          http://www.theblogmire.com/notes-from-a-large-prison/

          "Make no mistake: this is the most monstrous attack on a free people in the history of Britain".

        2. fajensen Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          The very job of the politicians is to make reasonable decisions without having reliable data!

          'Data' will pull us down: While waiting for 'reliable data', the number of confirmed cases in the UK doubles every four days. Next doubling is from 6600 cases to 12000 on Friday. Out of those 'confirmed, aka as people feeling shit enough to seek medical attention' 1 in 5 cases ends up in hospital. Next Friday, the NHS has to make room for 2400 new cases. Monday another 5000 will arrive. Friday after that 10000 .... Monday 20000 ...

          The 'wait for data' people must be writing their school papers from "Assume Infinite Health Care Resources and frictionless supply lines ..."

          1. Irongut

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            Thats's an awful lot of data for someone who's point is to ignore the data.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: "One form of exercise a day"

              The point isn't to ignore it, but to accept that the data we have is the best data we have to make decisions today.

              Tomorrow we might have different data, and the decision might change accordingly.

              Had a telephone consult with one of my consultants yesterday, and their opinion was that the UK Gov response was still a serious under-reaction...

              I have no intention of leaving the house (except to the middle of our garden, more than 2m away from the boundaries)

              1. Archtech Silver badge

                Re: "One form of exercise a day"

                Well, here's some different data.

                "As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK".

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid#status-of-covid-19

                Is that going to change your decision?

                Didn't think so.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: "One form of exercise a day"

                  No, it won't change behaviour in this household - because I am on four separate immune suppressant drugs. The risk to me is therefore significantly higher than the general population, so I won't be coming out for a while.

                  Moving out of that classification is partly the result of increased awareness, and a specific test being available...

                  Obligatory XKCD.

            2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: "One form of exercise a day"

              "...who's point is to ignore the data"

              Point wasn't about ignoring the data, was it. FFS. Do you work in Trump's Alternative Fact's Division?

          2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            I'm currently watching "How to Command a Nuclear Submarine" on Netflix - it follows 5 Captains-in-training as they go through the RN training programme prior to taking on their own command.

            The single biggest reason for these trainees failing to complete their objectives is 'command paralysis through overload of data' - they are faced with so much information that they need to be able to distill and decide very quickly, and many are not up to the job.

            A good leader is able to make a call based on consideration of the right factors, INCLUDING time. Sometimes this means making a judgement call in absence of data, or when overloaded with data; it may not be a perfect decision, but it needs to be made NOW.

      6. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        How long do you expect to be confined to your house? Why do you think it will take that long, no longer, and no shorter?

        And what exactly do you think is going to happen to the virus while you are in hiding? Will it get bored and go away?

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          I refer you to the Imperial College paper on modelling the effects of suppression.

          https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/bitstream/10044/1/77482/5/Imperial%20College%20COVID19%20NPI%20modelling%2016-03-2020.pdf

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            I refer you to the word "modelling".

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: "One form of exercise a day"

              Good thing you never use any bridges, or in fact anything that was engineered in the last 50 years - all of which have used modelling to determine how to build them.

              supermarkets model demand for perishable items, and do a pretty good job most of the time - because on average we are reasonably consistent in our behaviour.

              The model fell apart when everyone decided to buy groceries for three weeks at a time... but that'd not unexpected (well, the panic buying was, the model failing on that event wasn't).

        2. Joeyjoejojrshabado

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          No, but transmission will have been reduced significantly, hospitals will have had more time to prepare and intensive care units will not have become overwhelmed to the extent that they have to leave the majority of people requiring critical care to die without treatment.

        3. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          How long - as long as it takes - there is no defined end point at the moment.

          What will happen - It will spread MUCH slower, giving more time for treatment options to be considered, and reducing the number of people requiring simultaneous treatment.

          That last bit alone (which is easily predicted, and fairly reliable, as opposed to the wait for more effective treatments) is key.

          For those who are not under 30, fit and healthy.... this particular virus carries a significant risk.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            "For those who are not under 30, fit and healthy.... this particular virus carries a significant risk."

            I should add that - and for everyone the potential overload of the health service carries serious risks - as well as most people knowing a number of people who are considered at serious risk

      7. e^iπ+1=0

        He literally couldn't have explained it any clearer.

        Shame about all of the prevarication that came before.

        Any takers for 'herd immunity"?

        Science? We've herd of this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

      You just made my day. ROFL

      My friends in the US have renamed the virus to 'Trump Virus'. His 'pronouncements' (sic) are so bad that in future people teaching effective speaking will use his rantings as how not to do it.

      They see BoJo's words as being much clearer and actually admire him for handling the daily press conferences. May I humbly suggest that you try it yourself sometime. It is really, really hard to do any serious form of Q&A and with that load of political hacks wanting you to fail miserably (that would be the headline news... go figure) on every question, he's not doing too bad.

      I'm not a supporter of Doris, far from it but I tried to imagine if whatshisname... oh yes, Jeremy Corbyn ws PM. We'd have a lot, no make that a hell of a lot more dither, prevarocation and bluster instead of action. He would not do anything without consulting half a gazillion people (unions, momentum and the party membership)

      Right or wrong, who is to say right now which is which eh? Boris and the team behind him are making decisions on behalf of all of us. We need to get behind him for now.

      Later, in say a years time, we can get the long knives out and get him out of No 10 with all that wonderful thing called hindsight behind us. I would pay good money to be at ringside for that event!

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

        "Later, in say a years time, we can get the long knives out and get him out of No 10 with all that wonderful thing called hindsight behind us. I would pay good money to be at ringside for that event!"

        Lovely as that thought is, the fucking muppets that voted him and his terminally corrupt Party into power will vote them in again because they showed" strength" and "leadership" in a time of "war", as well as being anti-EU. I would much have much preferred someone who presented a plan, and the responded to changes with a timed response, not a "everything changed since yesterday, and our response is effective without warning!" We, the electorate, ate not being treated as autonomous agents (again) - the Westminster elite have responded to people making their own informed decisions (going out to get exercise and fresh air on a nice day) with "The plebs didn't listen to us. Bring out the cane!"

        Remember that the government doesn't care about you only themselves. They want to be *seen* to be doing something - at the moment they are responding to pressure from the media and other countries (obviously an odd form of "taking back control") instead of looking at this calmly. They also don't want to end up carrying the can for decades of running down capacity in the NHS (if hospitals normally ran on 80% capacity, like the pre-Thatcher days, this virus wouldn't be such a big issue now). They are making deaths and serious health effects from isolation an externality - suicides, deaths and injuries from domestic violence, DVTs, ill-advised DIY... the list goes on - will be blamed on the individuals concerned.

        Many of the people listed as dying from Covid-19 may not have died from the virus, but simply with the virus in them. The tests are not robust enough yet. For example, the only death attributed to Covid-19 in the Czech Republic was a 93-year-old with more than ten co-morbidities, yet, because SARS-Cov-2 was identified in the person, that has to be given as *the* cause.

        Remember: don't trust government and work with and for your community to protect people from governmental actions.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

          I’m actually feeling pretty sick that people are using this global crisis to try and score political points. Fucking appalling people. I’m no fan of Boris, but he’s doing OK in the circumstances. All this armchair criticism, hindsight wisdom and politically motivated whinging during these times makes me want to vomit, it is the wrong approach, save it for peace time low lives. Be constructive not destructive. Lives come before your petty politics.

          This is rare anger from me.

          1. Laura Kerr
            Pint

            Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

            I’m no fan of Boris, but he’s doing OK in the circumstances.

            Upvote and a pint from me. I can't stand Borat, but he handled it like a boss last night. Have to give credit where it's due.

            1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

              Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

              I would not go that far - he has prevaricated and blustered with the odd off-colour joke (Last gasp effort to get more ventilators built) but at the same time I will follow HMRC and scientific advice. No need to make political points.

              1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

                Although reading that again, I think that HMRC will probably not help very much - we are lucky to be in a position to have a very active order group and good cash reserve, as well as all staff happily based at home now. So maybe I meant to say HMG not HMRC.

          2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

            My party political point was actually peripheral to the wider point about the trustworthiness of government, though I stand by all I said.

        2. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump

          Many of the people listed as dying from Covid-19 may not have died from the virus, but simply with the virus in them. The tests are not robust enough yet. For example, the only death attributed to Covid-19 in the Czech Republic was a 93-year-old with more than ten co-morbidities, yet, because SARS-Cov-2 was identified in the person, that has to be given as *the* cause.

          Rather like Smoking Related Deaths of yore: they weren't necessarily caused directly by the habit,but if you worked as a coal miner for 40 years, slept in an asbestos house, and drank fish-tank cleaner as a pick-me-up each night, but smoked a cigarette after each shift, guess what got the blame ?

          .

          Some of this was to do with getting industry off the hook; particularly industry that scorned nanny-state regulation.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: "One form of exercise a day"

      Johnson explains things terribly, about as bad as Trump, and with a lack of clarity that makes one wonder whatever caused the dons to rate him as high as a 2:1. How is it possible for so many apparently educated people to do such a poor job of conveying important information?

      Your real problem with Johnson isn't any of this; even before the crisis he was already the best PM since Maggie. No, your real problem is you STILL think the wrong party won the election, and you know, you know that if Boris continues doing a good job of managing the crisis then he's going to be reelected again many times over.

      You're frightened that your party blew its chance following a 1970s agenda in 2019, and you know what? You're right, they did.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        "Best PM since Thatcher" - damning with faint praise!

        I'm sore because we don't have any real political representation in the UK - isn't it time for a UK Pirate Party?

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          > damning with faint praise!

          I will never see a more perfect application of this response.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            Thank you, Androgynous Cupboard - I appreciate that :-)

        2. TheIO

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          There was a UK Pirate Party as it happens, but it never got very far.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          I'd go further, he's the best PM since Cameron, or certainly in the top three anyway!

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: "One form of exercise a day"

        No, your real problem is you STILL think the wrong party won the election,

        Well - let's look at the vote share of the main parties, and compare it with the seat share:

        Tory - 43% vote, 56% seats

        Lab - 32%/31%

        Lib - 11%/2%

        SNP - 4%/7% (But very concentrated)

        So what we should have had was a coalition - the tories had significantly less than 50% of the vote, so their policies were not voted for by the British electorate.

        Yes, our electoral system is badly broken, but claiming that 43% is a clear majority is just male bovine excrement.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          Not broken - working as it is designed to work.

          What you MEAN is "not working as I think it should work".

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            I mean broken...

            It's not working as intended.

            If it's as 53/54 then I'd run with it.. heck if it was 49/51 I'd probably run with it, it's fairly close.

            But the current "mandate" is no such thing.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: "One form of exercise a day"

          let's look at the vote share of the main parties, and compare it with the seat share

          Yes, and that happened because labour voted against the boundary changes to equalize constituency size precisely because they'd spent a decade rigging the ballot in favour of their Northern heartlands, on the critically flawed assumption they would always vote labour no matter what. Oops.

          Scotlands votes only actually matter if labour get enough votes to need a coalition. Libs are dead and aint coming back soon. Scots are SNP or nowt. So Scotland has chosen not to matter electorally. We have to respect their choice.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: "One form of exercise a day"

            It shouldn’t be something that Parliament has a say in...

  2. HimInDoors
    FAIL

    What about the airports?

    The borders are still open, especially the airports, with no obvious attempt to stop or quarantine people entering the country. This makes a mockery of Boris' attempts to put everyone else under house arrest.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: What about the airports?

      "This makes a mockery of Boris' attempts to put everyone else under house arrest"

      No it doesn't.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: What about the airports?

        It's literally how the virus got into the UK in the first place, and there's still no testing on arrivals from abroad. It's like trying to fix a hole in a bucket while it's still being filled with water.

        1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

          Re: What about the airports?

          there's still no testing on arrivals from abroad

          Most likely because there is not enough testing kit available.

          Have a read of this: The US decided to make its own coronavirus test, but the process was plagued by errors and delays. Here's a timeline of what went wrong.

          “The notion of accepting a test developed by someone else I think was a bit alien,” Schaffner said. “There may have been other considerations of which I’m not aware, but I’m sure that pride was one of them: ‘We know how to do this, thank you very much. We’ll develop our own.'”

          We have grown accustom on China to produce something really, really fast and really, really plenty. With China in a lock-down themselves, it is left up to ... wait, no one is left. Oh, Duuuhhhhhhhh ...

          1. kmedcalf

            Re: What about the airports?

            Testing is just a waste of time if one is not sick. The test is an RT-PCR test for pro-viral RNA fragments. They are *NOT* IgM and IgG tests.

            1. Eric Olson

              Re: Here in the UK... off topic

              S. Korea and Singapore would like a word

              1. mrobaer

                Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                South Korea is a poor example. They've got more infected per capita than the US or UK.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                  Degree in epidemiology you have? Calculated time dependant prevalence and incidence?

                  South Korea is a poor example. They've got more infected per capita than the US or UK.

                  Speak to you in a couple of weeks...

                  1. mrobaer

                    Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                    Right. The US and South Korea had their first reported cases of COVID-19 the same day. The state of New York alone is responsible for about half of the cases here in the entire country, with New York City responsible for half the state's cases. If you were to take California and Pennsylvania (the 1st and 5th most populated states, getting you a population roughly equal to South Korea, albeit greater area) and their cases of COVID-19, it's about 1/3 of what South Korea currently has.

                    We have one place responding horribly (New York) while the rest of the country isn't as bad as it's portrayed to be.

                    1. Archtech Silver badge

                      Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                      "The US and South Korea had their first reported cases of COVID-19 the same day".

                      Yes. First *reported* case.

                      Guess which country is more punctilious about reporting? Clue: the one right next to China.

                    2. John Robson Silver badge

                      Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                      Note that you're only counting reported cases, so of course the country that does widespread testing will show up as having more infections.

                      The trick is to find asymptomatic people who are still transmitting the virus, and stop them doing so...

                  2. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                  South Korea is a poor example. They've got more infected per capita than the US or UK.

                  Due to Patient 31 who decided to ignore lock-down. Trying to fit the facts to your view is doing things ass-backwards. Find facts, use them to form a view, yes? Also due to their being a few weeks ahead of us - hold your breath for a moment and you're going to see our numbers motor.

                  Looking out my window, half the town is ignoring lock-down.

                  1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                    Re: Here in the UK... off topic

                    Good!

            2. NATTtrash Bronze badge

              Re: What about the airports?

              Your RT-PCR remark is very true. Well done.

              Then again, with an asymptomatic but virulent first 8 -10 days, your testing argument is off. Wide spread testing can identify the asymptomatic infected early on, enabling isolation and spread. Thing however is that politicians are not that quick (in multiple ways), flat out denying it is happening, or convinced only their national(istic) kit can work, Hence, that opportunity is quickly lost. Then again, as the hills in Snowdonia show, politicians are not the only ones being a bit slow...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What about the airports?

                The kit isn’t the entire test - PCR test need lab analyser equipment which is the bottleneck.

                This nationalist BS is coming out of your arses. You are definitely slow, not just a bit, but really slow - cooking up shit you haven’t bothered to understand.

                1. NATTtrash Bronze badge

                  Re: What about the airports?

                  You are definitely slow, not just a bit, but really slow - cooking up shit you haven’t bothered to understand.

                  Really? I can show you our Qiagen analyser or send our analysis protocols we use currently if you want. But don't forget to mark your sample so I can skip it because I don't understand the results of your sample anyway. Oh, FYI, putting AC on it won't work, so real name please...

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What about the airports?

              Not correct - it depends on what the purpose of testing is. If it is for contact tracing PCR is the right test - antigens emerge later and do not appear during the transmission stages. The current mantra for testing is for this purpose.

              Antigen testing is useless outside of a clinical setting. You would be symptomatic by this time. Or for epidemiological studies once most of the population is infected. If you are symptomatic and want to confirm covid. But you’re already symptomatic, so it is just covid statistics gathering.

              Maybe it could be used to allow sick people to work? But then just getting controlled infections of covid itself would be more effective. Hell imagine every healthy person in lockdown is infected, 14 days. The danger is of undiagnosed vulnerabilities - you die then.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What about the airports?

          So it didn't come through the channel tunnel? Evidence please.

        3. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: What about the airports?

          How can you possibly know "how the virus got into the UK in the first place"? In Italy, South Korea and other countries the authorities have been quite unable to pinpoint "Patient Number 1". There seem to have been multiple sources of the infection. (Nothing at all to do with the US biological labs that were often very near).

          https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/no_author/covid-19-targeting-italy-and-south-korea-the-chain-of-transmission-of-infection/

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What about the airports?

        HMG's advice to people abroad (aka tourists) was to come home pronto if you could that is.

        Closing the airports would make that impossible.

        Oh... which way to turn? Reminds me of the Mad Hatter.

        Coat with gardening gloves in the pocket ready for yet another day of isolation (9th day) pottering in the garden. At least my Shed has a kettle, a chair and is out of the wind. SWMBO can mess about in the house. At least that way we don't get under each other's skin to much.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: What about the airports?

          Well we have good weather for 'gardening leave', and living in the Scottish countryside, miles from the nearest town, I can get my 10 mile walk or 30 mile cycle in without seeing, let alone being in danger of coming even within 10m of anyone else. On my own as well as my partner is with the NHS in Glasgow - poor girl and staying in the her flat there.

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: What about the airports?

          Surely they should think twice - or more - about inviting people to come home from abraod. Wherever they might be at present.

          For a couple of weeks now the only new cases in China have been precisely Chinese people coming home from abroad.

      3. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: What about the airports?

        Yes it does. No matter what 'the science' says about it, it's a pretty hard sell that everyone, except for tourists just plodding off a plane from Italy, should self-isolate and be diligent.

        You *have to* treat your own people better than your customers otherwise it causes resentment, and then staff discipline together with service quality will go to hell!

      4. Irongut

        Re: What about the airports?

        > No it doesn't.

        Yes it does.

    2. David Shaw

      Re: What about the airports?

      I’ve been locked down in Lombardy, now in third week of confinement. Rather stricter than UK, but Italians are allegedly aiming for an R0 of zero, at present.

      Cuba has just arrived with spare doctors, Russia sent a squadron of super-SAS doctors and spare respirators, China sent some expert advisors and even a US NGO has quickly built a military field hospital in nearby Cremona. I like this international cooperation.

      I’m replying to this “airports” sub-thread as although my local Milan airports are shut until about the first week of April, the nearby Geneva airport has EasyJet still flying in/out for a few hundred swizz frankles. Friends thought that was a potential route back to Italy, (rail from GVA to Brig, then over the Simplon) So a couple flew in yesterday from Manchester, arrived at GVA and were denied entry and deported back to UK last night! That’s the severity of the situation. Oh and a dear respected scientist at work, with underlying health conditions, has passed.

      So stay at home.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    And use food delivery services where you can.”

    Who is going to pay for millions of home delivered meals, I wonder. Also where are the extra numbers of delivery people going to come from?

    Spain has been locked down for a week and a half and we have just had 15 more days added, construction is still going on, so professional builders merchants are open but DIY stores are not. Some other parts of industry are also still in action but in general we are only allowed to shop for food and medications. Dog walking is permitted but exercise anywhere is not, none of these regulations anywhere are well thought out but that is in the main because they are ad hoc responses to a changing situation.

    Oddly, during the cold war Civil Defence had disaster plans for bio warfare or pandemics as well as WWIII but apparently once the cold war had finished it seems disasters were no longer likely, hence the patchwork regulations each country is introducing.

    1. NullNix

      Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

      That's OK: every single UK supermarket has buckled under the load, and is either not accepting new registrations (Sainsburys) or hanging when you try to do it (Waitrose) or not allowing you to buy anything (Tesco) or simply not bothering with a website any more (Ocado). So I guess it's go out and try to pick what food there is off the nearly-bare shelves.

      Food markets *are* still open, so those of us lucky enough to live in market towns can still use those as our primary fresh food supply. They seem to be a bit less stricken by panic-buying than the supermarkets.

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

        not accepting new registrations (Sainsburys)

        That's kind of irrelevant. I was able to sign up with my local Sainsbury's after the curfew was imposed and before the time-banding of purchases was introduced, but, and its a big BUT, its not worth a damn because the website shows no delivery slots are available and the select your slot page has a note at the bottom saying they they can't do deliveries at present and don't know if/when/how they'll do them in future. No reason for non-performance is given.

        My local branch doesn't offer an order and pick-up service either.

        However, I have a modest proposal: let the Army to do the deliveries. Unlike normal military activities that can't easily be done in isolation, this can be done using their usual vehicles while maintaining isolation and will keep them active, unlike the rest of us with our minimal permitted out-door activities. Besides, I quite like the idea of getting my groceries delivered in an armored car.

        1. Andy 68

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

          This. Absolutely.

          It's no good Boris telling us to use supermarket delivery services.

          I couldn't create an account, and once we'd filled up SWMBO's shopping basket, we couldn't get a delivery date. Nor any information on when we would be able to get a date.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

            "It's no good Boris telling us to use supermarket delivery services".

            Please tell me you didn't expect his "advice" to be practical, affordable or even feasible.

          2. cynic56

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

            And its no good blaming people for overcrowding the Tube trains when they all knew the tube was at least 70% full the day before and at no stage in between did they demand EMPLOYERS close their offices and shops - and lets be really stupid and close half the stations and reduce the number of services. All the directives were aimed at little people - none at business.

            If your boss says go in you probably have very little choice in the matter.

            If they restricted travel earlier and more comprehensively and told businesses, shops and sports earlier then we wouldn't be in this mess. Until about two days ago their first and second thoughts were business and the economy, the rest was just platitudes.

            NO JOINED-UP THINKING. NO LEADERSHIP AT ALL.

          3. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

            To be fair, I imagine he genuinely understands most working people to have as much cash in the bank[s] as he does, and that most problems can be easily solved by throwing money at Harrods.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

          Besides, I quite like the idea of getting my groceries delivered in an armored car.

          "Deadly force will be deployed against loo roll looters"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

            Coronavirus distributed and delivered direct to you door by zero hours contract slaves who can't afford to take off of work because they don't have Sick Pay.

            Get it delivered for Free with Amazon Prime.

            1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

              Re: Get it delivered for Free with Amazon Prime.

              So??? Amazon Prime has just become a free (As in something you do not pay for) service?

              It isn't free (other than the first month which is getting increasingly harder to avoid signing up for...).

              As far as zero hours contracted workers go.

              How do you know that the driver who delivers you 'free' Amazon Prime stuff isn't on one as well? Did you ask them?

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: Get it delivered for Free with Amazon Prime.

                Pretty sure the “get it delivered free” was a reference to the virus, not magically virus free food

            2. hoola Bronze badge

              Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

              And why, just because it is coming from Amazon does that mean the driver is any less likely to be carrying the virus or has come into contact with someone or something that is?

              All these delivery services are perfect vectors for transmission.

              One would hope that they were using hand sanitizer constantly before and after every drop. That or gloves.

        3. wolfetone

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

          "However, I have a modest proposal: let the Army to do the deliveries"

          Why is it that whenever there's a little bit of a crisis, or something that puts the shiters up people, the default response is to involve the Army?

          Calm the fuck down, walk to your local shop and do your shopping and walk back home. There you get your bit of exercise and your food at the same time.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

          I like this idea, can I pay a delivery premium and have the delivery done by a Challenger 2?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I quite like the idea of getting my groceries delivered in an armored car.

          for once the price of fuel is pretty low. In Saudi Arabia... ;)

        6. hoola Bronze badge

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

          I don't know about Sainsbury's but based on a single order from Waitrose by my Father-in-Law at Christmas, you can fill a basket up and book a slot then keep changing it up to the day before delivery. This means that a small number of scroats have been able to book all the delivery slots BECAUSE THEY CAN. It is the same as panic buying in the physical supermarket. What is needed is a rule in the system that prevents one account/address receiving more than one delivery per week.

          I attempted to sort something out for my Mother and we managed to register but could not buy anything even if we found a delivery slot. This begs the question as to who are all these people that have the delivery slots?

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

            Funny how badly a country seems to work when it's "organized" on the principle of "grab what you can and devil take the hindmost".

            Whereas rationally, humanely run countries like China and Russia perform a lot better.

            Planning isn't always bad. And good planning is better than bad planning.

            1. NullNix

              Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

              Err.. Russia, rationally, humanely run? It's *literally* organized on the principle of "suck up to the boss, you get everything: everyone else gets nothing".

        7. JDX Gold badge

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.

          shops are working flat-out to increase capacity and there has been mention of them sharing vehicles, using other sources, etc.

          Maybe a guy from Yodel will turn up in a beat-up 206 and chuck your groceries over your fence in coming weeks.

      2. Irongut

        Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

        None of them have had any delivery slots avialable for the next 3 weeks since the end of last week, possibly earlier.

        It doesn't help that they decided to do for Easter what they have been doing for Xmas for a few years now and allow people to book all the deliveries months in advance leaving their regular weekly customers unable to get a delivery. I couldn't get a delivery for 6 weeks around last Xmas. Add to that Tesco drivers claiming to have made a delivery but the recipient never saw them (presumably they wanted the loo roll?) and supermarket delivery is useless right now. What my disabled partner will do if I fall ill is anyone's guess.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

      Who is going to pay for millions of home delivered meals, I wonder.

      You literally have nothing else to spend money on. Home delivered food doesn't mean takeaways, it means a bag of tesco delivered spuds and some meat.

      1. Adelio

        Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

        The only thing I am going to be saving on is Fuel to travel to work, I still have everything else to pay for.

        I have been GIVEN a 15% pay cut so that makes it a bit awkward!

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

          I still have everything else to pay for.

          Yes, and food shopping was one of those things so is already covered. Lock-down isn't a licence to put away the pans and JustEat - simply have your groceries delivered or arrange a click and collect type thing and your bill stays pretty static.

          1. Caver_Dave
            Unhappy

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

            Where the hell do you live? My nearest shop is 4 miles away, and they complain that they can't buy anything from the wholesalers!

            I normally self-isolate to a large extent because of multiple issues. I spend £100 - 150 a week on a weekly shopping delivery from the nearest superstore (8 miles) for my family and have done for all of this century! However, for the last 3 weeks we have not been able to get a delivery slot and the earliest delivery we could get is still 2 weeks away.

            My Pharmacist wife is in isolation due to a virus (don't think it is that one, but as there is no testing for NHS staff we don't know for sure), but had to break this to travel to the superstore (see above as to why the local shop was not an option) to get a few basics, but came back almost empty handed.

            Things may be OK in the large cities, but just outside a county town the situation is dire!

            1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

              Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

              No better in the large cities. Supermarket delivery services have all but collapsed under the load. No delivery slots from any of the usual suspects, and that's if you can even get onto the website in the first place.

          2. Irongut

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

            They have no click and collect slots for the next 3 weeks either. Guess again.

      2. Irongut

        Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

        > Home delivered food doesn't mean takeaways, it means a bag of tesco delivered spuds and some meat.

        Good luck with that. They have no delivery slots for the next 3 weeks and don't plan beyond that.

      3. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

        Yes. Thank goodness no one will have to pay taxes, or rent, or interest, or fuel bills for the foreseeable future.

        Because the Mighty Boris is going to pick up the tab for you!

        Isn't he?

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

      Oddly, during the cold war Civil Defence had disaster plans for bio warfare or pandemics as well as WWIII but apparently once the cold war had finished it seems disasters were no longer likely, hence the patchwork regulations each country is introducing.

      There's a bloke on twitter who suggests they could be taking more than a look at the old Government War Book for more ideas. Give @wellbright on twitter a look. Designated survivor, Python ship leaving port etc.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

        Up until the '70s at least the Civil Defence were still carrying out annual exercises for various types of disaster but of course most aspects of defence spending have been cut back on since then. Aside that is from the current 'Do it all' aircraft the UK is buying.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

          Hey, that's an idea! Can we eat F-35s?

          1. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: And use food delivery services where you can.”

            I've recently been reading up on Australian politics of the 1950s-60s --- a fascinating subject --- Apart from the fact that most politicians back then were wowsers and drongos *, I was struck by the fact that Menzies, in the interest of sucking up to the USA, pre-ordered the most modern long-range bombers from the Americans in 1963.

            Might very possibly help in deterring the blue-ocean navies of China, Japan and Indonesia, had any of them the faintest possibility of building one in the next half-century --- which they didn't --- but I can't imagine a more frivolous and useless purchase for a continent 4000 miles from anywhere except tiny islands who may not have enough manpower to invade Oz.

            .

            .

            * Back then there were:

            The Liberals [ Conservative capitalists in the classic Manchester Liberal way ]

            Country ---present National Party --- [ Conservative Rural Idiots ]

            Labor [ Conservative semi-socialists, yet to morph into woke thatcherites carrying on the privatization dance ].

  4. monty75

    Exercise

    So, does fighting for toilet rolls in Tesco count as shopping for essentials or does it use up my one-a-day exercise ration?

    1. IceC0ld Silver badge

      Re: Exercise

      so long as there's just the two of you, shouldn't be an issue. may be arrested if someone else joins in :o)

  5. Peter Clarke 1

    Read the PDFs

    When you read the PDF for Business Users it only relates to retail premises. No mention is made about manufacturing/service companies closing. Some of my co-workers at the factory were interpreting 'travel to work only if essential' as only if the business was essential and we should not be coming to work.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Read the PDFs

      As I understand it, if it's unavoidable you have to come into work at a factory or non-retail place, then it's not against the rules - but it's against guidance as well as your well-being and those around you.

      The government doesn't want to say 'shut all the offices and factories'. It's more 'shut all the communal places like cafes and gyms and hotels and hairdressers' and everyone else, please stay at home.

      Contrast to California where all businesses have had to close if they are non-essential, though some people are allowed in for special work like security patrols and ensuring payroll is completed. Restaurants and cafes are allowed to do takeout and delivery. There has been little ambiguity.

      El Reg has been working from home since last Monday.

      C.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Read the PDFs

        "Non essential"

        There you have a prime example of lack of specifications, although thinking about it should give a fair answer to any reasonably intelligent individual, I am there are essentials that many of us would miss the without a larger, clearer picture.

        If these columns are anything to go by, the UK is panicking far more than I would have expected, whatever happened to the British stiff upper lip ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Read the PDFs

          whatever happened to the British stiff upper lip ?

          Facebook & millenials.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: Read the PDFs

            I notice that the 1968 Hong Kong flue killed over 1 million worldwide and over 30,000 in the UK.

            I was at uni that year, and I never even noticed it. Recently I have been going through old letters and diaries, and none of them mention a flu epidemic.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_flu_pandemic

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Read the PDFs

          "If these columns are anything to go by, the UK is panicking far more than I would have expected, whatever happened to the British stiff upper lip ?"

          My point exactly, as previously mentioned !!!

          Our parents/grandparents should be ashamed of the people we have turned into.

          (I say this because apparently we have no shame ourselves !!!)

          Our Brexit indecision (process as a whole) & our reaction to COVID-19 shows up the 'Current' UK spirit ....... perhaps we will be forced to learn our 'old ideals' the 'Hard Way' rather than simply look back through history at a better more caring version of the UK as realised by War and the last fight for our existence against Nazi Terror & Genocide.

        3. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Read the PDFs

          @Chris G

          "whatever happened to the British stiff upper lip ?"

          We got 'woke' and look to Europe. look at how Boris started and how he seems to be forced to 'do something' just like the over-reactionaries in Europe. France is running the military through the streets to go to war with a virus and the rest is various and slightly lesser stages of 'the sky is falling'.

          Instead of the intelligent approach of wash your hands and be sensible (which is about the only answer right now) we have people demanding the gov must do something, even though the gov literally cannot solve this. The gov decided to manage the hosts as they cannot attack the virus and people cried how they preferred the approach of China! That by itself makes me question what happened to education or thought.

          And of course Boris will never be able to do right because he is a Tory.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: Read the PDFs

            The attitude has feck all to do with having been in Europe, the French have not lost their obstinate natures and the Germans and Italians have managedto maintain their national characteristics, maybe you could blame some other foreigners, or perhaps you could look to yourselves and get some British spine back. At the moment, being in or out if Europe is not going to make a difference, acting with some common sense and everybody supporting everybody else will. Panic only leads to more panic.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Read the PDFs

              @Chris G

              "The attitude has feck all to do with having been in Europe"

              Reading your comment you seem to have made 2 big mistakes. You seem to be using the word Europe in place of EU (we are not leaving the continent, only a political organisation) and I didnt say our reaction had anything to do with being in the EU.

              What I said was- "We got 'woke' and look to Europe". When China locks everyone up nobody really championed that approach. When Europe did suddenly we panicked.

              "acting with some common sense and everybody supporting everybody else will. Panic only leads to more panic."

              I agree. The UK initial reaction was pretty sensible from the gov and if people would so the simple hygiene and common sense then all would be fine.

              1. Archtech Silver badge

                Re: Read the PDFs

                "...we are not leaving the continent..."

                Obviously we couldn't, as we haven't been part of it for at least 14,000 years.

        4. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Read the PDFs

          Well, grocery shopping and pubs are "non-essential" for Boris and his pals. They have their meals and drinks served to them by polite flunkeys whenever they snap their fingers.

          Isn't it the same for everyone?

        5. NullNix

          Re: Read the PDFs

          A horrific disease happened to it. Panic if you can't stay indoors and away from anyone (who cannot also do that themselves) is *rational* when faced with something that spreads more easily than flu and hospitalizes a high proportion of those it infects -- and even if you survive that, the experience is reportedly horrible. Going on a ventilator is not an easy thing: it takes months to recover and often causes permanent damage. COVID-19 may well also cause permanent damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys. Being extremely worried seems sensible to me.

          Incurable diseases with consequences like this are beyond the memory of almost everyone now living in the western world. Of *course* people are panicking.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Read the PDFs

        But wot about my work's canteen? Cannot survive without my 10:00am bacon butty!

    2. Irongut

      Re: Read the PDFs

      As far as the Tories are concerned they got rid of all that dirty manufacturing in the 80s thanks to Saint Maggie. Why would they waste time writing rules for something that doesn't exist?

      (Unlike the Tories I know there is more manufacturing in this country than people realise.)

      1. KBeee

        Re: Read the PDFs

        As a side note to that, quite recently in Gov UK there was the idea that we didn't really need UK based farming any more (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-farming-industry-tim-leunig-treasury-brexit-nfu-a9367001.html). I guess the idea was we "successfully" outsourced manufactoring so why not food production too?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If my only form of exercise includes the self I'm not sure I do it with family that would just be weird.

    On a more serious note these are the most ambiguous set of rules I've ever seen and only our government could come up with them. Sometimes I think we are a country of clowns run by clowns. I'm off to my 6-2 shift at a supermarket in a minute and I can guarantee it will be pandemonium with clowns bulk buying flour even though they have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      clowns bulk buying flour even though they have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives.

      One wonders about their arse-wiping capabilities.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: clowns bulk buying flour even though they have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives.

        One wonders about their arse-wiping capabilities.

        I wonder that about most of the people I encounter in a typical day, as well as who is dressing all these idiots so they can go out and walk among us.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: clowns bulk buying flour even though they have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives.

          My only response is ' Thank dog for hook and loop fasteners' it saves many lost hours attempting to teach them how to tie shoelaces.

    2. smudge Silver badge

      I can guarantee it will be pandemonium with clowns bulk buying flour even though they have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives.

      Nail on the head! My wife does make her own bread, but hasn't been able to get bread flour for a couple of weeks or more. Never knew that so many people made their own. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of actual bread and other bakery products.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Keep calm and capitalise on the circumstances

        Keeping calm and carrying on is something of a myth. Just like during WW2, I'd be very surprised if there isn't already a strong black market in groceries. Nobody could personally use the amounts many people have been seen to be buying. If we're going to have emergency powers, one should be to curb this, as many people are being left without adequate supplies.

        1. BigAndos

          Re: Keep calm and capitalise on the circumstances

          There is definitely a black market for groceries! I was looking for red lentils and kleenex tissues, both for sale at vastly inflated prices on ebay but out of stock everywhere else! E.g people attempting to flog 500g of lentils for £15 on ebay, usually about £1-£2 in the shops. Luckily stock levels are gradually returning to normal so these opportunists will be out of pocket soon.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Keep calm and capitalise on the circumstances

            Supermarkets have already upped prices of some things by 5-15% in just a week. Mainly bananas and other imports.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Looking ahead

        They're stocking up on flour for when money and gold lose all their value.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Little update form today, managers all in meeting and conference calls till 11, staff meeting is usually 10 was done at 11:30.

      Were told stricter measures likely and all staff given letters confirming that they are critical workers and where they work, even the ones finishing at 12.

      Take from that what you will however I think they have been given a heads up regarding a curfew.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep Calm and ...

    ... Bring Out your Dead.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Keep Calm and ...

      Just watching the news, here in Spain they have been leaving the dead (and some barely living) inside.

      Don't know the full details yet but apparently a load of people in senior care homes have been abandoned, we don't even know if any of them were infected with corona.

      I suspect it is largely due to the employment of poorly paid and abused foreign workers, most of whom have little or no in house training or materials to work with.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Keep Calm and ...

      "... Bring Out your Dead."

      I'm not dead!

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Keep Calm and ...

        "... Bring Out your Dead."

        I'm not dead!

        You. Have. To. Leave. A. Note. If. You. Aten't.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Pirate

        I'm not dead!

        That's what you say.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three weeks

    Even if isolation was absolute, in three weeks the number of cases resulting from previous contacts will just have peaked, and the number of deaths would just be peaking, so there is no way restrictions would be lifted at that point. In at least 8 weeks when deaths are on the decline, any relaxation will rapidly lead to further increases in infections from symptomless carriers, and restrictions being restored.

    The really clue to all of this is the emergency legislation will be debated and renewed on a 6 monthly basis, i.e. this is going to be long term.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three weeks

      It looks like a strategy with no exit, other than hoping that an effective vaccine can be mass-produced at some indeterminate point in the future. Or maybe we end up in that Bruce Willis movie, Surrogates.

      I wonder how long you can keep people cooped up with their immediate families before the murder rate outstrips the death rate from the virus.

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Three weeks

      It is only 6 months because suspicious opposition parties would not wear a 2 year limit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three weeks

        Pretty sure it was their own party as well because strangely enough a government in a majority can pass whatever law it wants.

    3. scrubber
      Big Brother

      Re: Three weeks

      "debated and renewed"

      The debates will stop fairly quickly, but the renewals will be rubber stamped.

      This level of power is intoxicating for everyone involved: protesters getting annoying in front of Parliament? Police have full dispersal powers. New political party making waves? No more than two people are allowed to gather together. Want to track the public? Monitor all mobile location data and see who has been meeting with who.

      Lest we forget, the "emergency" terrorism rules were used by everyone from dog catchers to councils looking for fly tippers and the majority of those laws are still in place.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Three weeks

        "Forget Churchill - look at ME!"

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Three weeks

      "The really clue to all of this is the emergency legislation will be debated and renewed on a 6 monthly basis, i.e. this is going to be long term."

      So, more 28 Weeks Later rather than 28 Days Later?

    5. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      The hammer and the dance...

      Widespread intensive suppression now to bring the transmission rate below 1, then gradually ease societal restrictions combined with widespread testing to rapidly identify any rebound areas. Where rebound occurs, impose local quarantine. Rinse and repeat until transmission rate tends to zero.

      https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56

  9. Chozo
    Black Helicopters

    Paranoid Rant

    If history is any yardstick to measure by then this coronavirus outbreak is not going to be a 'comfortable catastrophe' where the enlightened prepared ones can simply bug out drinking beer in the woods for a month while the government returns things to normal. Now some say the rules here for the next three weeks are ambiguous, I suggest we are being given the message of a choice: Behave & shop responsibly lest harsher rules be enforced. It's probably worth mentioning that one of the biggest boosts to the general health of the UK was food rationing during WWII and if reintroduced as an emergency measure you can bet they will include a photo ID this time around. Plus under the guise of health 'screening', well that's a swab of everybody's DNA on file.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Paranoid Rant

      Like I said above - don't trust government. They aren't here to help you, only themselves.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Paranoid Rant

        Like I said above - don't trust government

        Did you enjoy Snowdonia at the weekend?

        1. Caver_Dave
          Unhappy

          Re: Paranoid Rant

          Or the large numbers of twitchers descending on my local reservoir from all over the country because someone thought they saw a bird! This means that it is now closed and it was the main dog walk for the locals.

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Paranoid Rant

          I live in Scotland - we went to Glenshee. Didn't get closer than 30 metres to anyone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paranoid Rant

        They aren't here to help you, only themselves.

        Was the supermarket out of tinfoil hats, then?

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Paranoid Rant

          I speak from a position of 40+ years of observation of government (NOT Parliament), and teaching and researching administrative and constitutional law for nearly half that time. Not unconnected is that I have effectively lived through continuous Conservative government (Blair's administration was Tory-lite). Maybe you can show *any* proof that government in the UK has done anything to help you, without helping themselves more - I'd be genuinely happy to see it, because my distrust of UK government weighs heavy on me.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May the Force ...

    ... be with you..

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Under sweeping stricter measures, announced on Monday evening

    I was, as intended by a clickbait beeb text, about to get into a high indignation mode about sportsdirect, that ryanair-sque company that decided to brave the virus (and make profit while it spreads and competition is gone) by staying open as one of the "essential" retailers. And yes, indignation would have been in place, other than the fuckwit-gov advice to let bicycle shops open. Which includes, what else, your corner bike shop, aka, decathlon. And yes, their corner superstores in Croydon, south London, and others around the non-lockedown London and elsewhere, are proudly open as of today, with a large, luvely front-page banner "Keep your family active" (you know how to teleport to our nearest superstore, right?)

    p.s. yes, I get it, "Boris on his bike", but WTF?!

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge

    My sister is self employed and has an online shop on ebay and her own website, she already works from home but needs to be able to go to the post office or Royal Mail depot to drop of parcels for the customers online orders. It isn't an 'essential business' so the guidance is vague regarding going outside for something like this, as its not one of the 4 exemptions for leaving the house. So she isn't sure whether that is permitted or if she needs to close the ebay shop and website so she is not leaving the house unnecessarily. But in doing so she will then just become another closed business and have to claim benefits as she doesnt have the funds to be able to survive for a long period without any income.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pickup? Some delivery services, and even Parcel Force (IIRC no idea if Royal mail does it) offers a scheduled pickup service, especially for businesses.

      Hope that helps.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Yes, I was about to post exactly the same. Most if not all couriers will collect as well as deliver. Sending parcels might cost a little more, but you just either eat the extra cost or informer the people ordering that P&P will be a little more.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Delivery services? What delivery services?

    The entire plan for this seems to have been to simply dump the whole thing on the supermarkets without so much as a heads up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      supermarkets

      I'm sure Matt Hancock will say he's already had a chate with them about it, and then they will deny all knowledge of it.

      Rather like those PPE deliveries he's been seen on TV packing up personally, but have yet to arrive.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. arduinna64

    workshops and factories

    What about workers in a workshop doing industrial parts or non-food factories? Are these one supposed to be at work? I don't think that these are key workers but forced to go to work. In that case the management does not talk about CV at all, pushes it under the carpet. No chats, no information about the companies strategy ... nothing.

  16. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    No one-eyed man to rule this kindom of the blind?

    Misplaced priorities, ill-considered advice, and petty political concerns (e.g. trade sanctions against Iran and persistent vilification of China) have brought the global economy to its knees and induced exaggerated fears among ordinary folk.

    Repeat of 2008/9 was widely predicted. The pandemic is merely a precipitating factor brought into play by panic response to the 'flu; many governments now face economic meltdown and handling what's deemed a public health 'crisis' at the same time. Most governments previously were able barely to cope with 'business as usual'; faced with a two pronged disaster they run around like headless chickens.

    Italy faces economic collapse and social disintegration. The EU demonstrably is incapable of organising co-ordinated response. The USA is headed only God knows where. Boris Johnson has taken this as opportunity to brush up his Churchillian rhetoric.

    Crying over spilt milk gets one nowhere. However, in this instance revisiting the initial muddled thinking is helpful because it leads to suggestion of how panic mode may now be abated and the painful task of revitalising economies begun (with measures introduced to place markets as servants of populations rather than their masters).

    It was clear from the outset that recognisably vulnerable people were at high risk of sequelae from infection, particularly death. By the nature of things, prevalence of vulnerability increases with ascending age group. The age-structure of Italy naturally made it an epicentre for raw numbers of deaths arising but there is no reason yet to believe case-fatality by age group differs much from elsewhere. This 'flu virus clearly is more harmful to some than seasonal 'flu but the fact remains that almost all cases are minor illness. Nevertheless, government responses better match those appropriate for the smallpox outbreaks of distant memory, and some high fatality new plague, than the present circumstance.

    The proper initial reaction would have been to encourage and facilitate isolation of known high risk people and suggest that the elderly in general voluntarily stay at home. A couple of billion pounds could, if necessary, have been deployed to make voluntary isolation quick to implement, comfortable, and with minimal risk of exposure; compare that to sums involved in mitigating economic meltdown. Meanwhile the epidemic could have been allowed to run its natural course through the healthy population. There would be minor inconveniences arising from sick people taking days off work. There would be some unexpected deaths among the exposed 'healthy' population - inevitable, sad, but no great disaster when put in context of life's other risks. The more quickly exposure to the virus occurs among the healthy population the less time vulnerable people need spend in isolation.

    It remains feasible to institute that scheme and thereby salvage something from the economic wreck.

    Good sense dictates simple solutions rather than false hopes reliant upon stocking up on ventilators to be used on people many of whom would nevertheless die and, particularly among the elderly, others emerge for continuing low quality existence. For good reason, pneumonia was at one time called "the old man's friend": the best choice among ways to go.

    -----

    Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license.

  17. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Meanwhile...

    ...in Putin's Russia lions roam the streets at night to enforce lockdown (if it is true). I nearly widdled myself laughing when I saw that.

    ...in South Africa the army has been deployed and we are gearing up for a lockdown. Only time will tell if people will actually adhere to lockdown regulations.

    I will be one of those who will adhere to lockdown regulations. What runs in our favour is that we are on a smallholding, so lots of space without any neighbours coughing at us.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Shurely shome mishtake - Ed

      "...in Putin's Russia lions roam the streets at night to enforce lockdown (if it is true)".

      Rubbish! Everyone knows that Russian streets are patrolled by bears.

  18. hoola Bronze badge

    China

    Whilst I believe that it is pretty much established that COVID19 came out of China as a result of their appalling "Warm meat trade", we are where we are. In this fast evolving situation it is difficult to do anything other than react, particularly when you have a population that stubbornly refuses to take any notice of the advice being given. What happened this weekend here and on places like Sydney just demonstrates how stupid and selfish a large sector of the population is. The resulting lockdown is not surprise, it is encouraging the BJ had the balls to do it Monday.

    Even then some people are still bumbling around as if nothing has changed.

    I have a friend who is a anaesthetic consultant in a major hospital. She is on the front line of this and they do not have enough PPE. In the hospital they are saying thing like "I did not sign up for this and die, this is not the army". Apparently one of the ways it was turned round in China was a ruthless policy of not treating people who had no hope of survival. Victims were put together in wards and if they survived, then they were treated. This reduced risk to medical staff and maintained resources for those with a good chance of survival. Here every case that comes in is treated the same regardless of outcome. This then puts further lives at risk as resources and staff are stretched. I cannot answer which approach is right, that is a political and moral problem but it is infinitely more difficult to make those choices in a society where the ethos is to preserve life at all costs. Ultimately the availability of respirators, staff and beds will dictate what happens.

    1. Long John Silver
      Pirate

      Re: China

      Not actively treating, but making as comfortable as possible, people with little chance of recovery is not only good use of scarce resource but also kinder to patients and families. Ventilators, if the patient remains semi-conscious, offer an unpleasant transition from life to death. Also, 'saving' lives for its own sake is silly unless account is taken of anticipated length of subsequent survival and quality of life associated with it.

      Unfortunately, we now live in an ethos in which many medical professionals take deaths of patients as personal failures. The professionals are technically proficient but ethically deficient: what they might regard as preventing personal failure intrudes on what could be the patient's best interests.

      1. Caver_Dave
        Coat

        Re: Medics

        A significant part of my Wilderness First Aid and Casualty Care training over the years has been about when not to bother.

        My daughter has just qualified as a UK doctor and they are worried about the percentage they lose as bureaucracy use that is a valid metric without any form of context. (It's one of the metrics provided to prospective patients when they chose where to have treatment.)

        [ICON] My only white coat is used for stock judging, not for medical use!

  19. JDX Gold badge

    meetings of more than two people, excluding those you live with, are banned

    It's rather a shame they add that exemption.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignoring, mostly

    I drive a taxi and it seemed to me today that a lot of people in my area were totally ignoring the instructions, still going about their every-day business, possibly thinking that they were advice only, I guess, but are they actually mandatory and involve police, without formally going through parliament? Can Boris do this, or has he been watching too much Trump TV?

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring, mostly

      It speaks for itself that a British citizen has to ask whether the UK is still a country ruled by law.

      Probably the answer is "yes and no". It's not ruled by law - exactly - but it is ruled by obscure regulations and the arbitrary decisions of bureaucrats who were empowered - secretly - by law long ago.

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