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Davetrials

Covid19

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Mark - gotcha about the PCR / lat flow tests. As far as I can work out you take a lateral flow test first, and then a PCR test in an attempt to confirm that result? I guess my point is why do we use the rapid tests at all, when they aren't accurate. (Edit: I guess a positive result on a lateral flow makes you 'cautious' and take a PCR, if you didn't bother with the lateral flow at all you might never know that you potentially had the virus... That makes sense now).

I think I have also figured out why PCR tests are not being used to end self-isolation, because again they are inaccurate in the case of negative results (false negatives up to 29% - eg. if the first test is negative, in up to 29% of cases repeat testing gives a positive): https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/369/bmj.m1808.full.pdf

As far as I can figure out, asymtomatic people will still have the virus 'particles' (for want of a better word) but already have the antigens available to produce the antibodies to prevent the virus from causing harm, hence should still test positive (but then again with no symptoms, I guess you are less likely to go and get tested). Perhaps wrong there!

 

Interesting point about breast cancer screening. My thoughts around stuff like this are definitely unusual, and my opinion of the medical profession as a whole is gradually decreasing, but I do see that what they do is remarkable and can 'save' lives - inverted commas because I don't believe you can ever 'save' a life, only prolong it, because death is the only certainty that we have. The quality of life that many people experience after serious medical interventions is debatable, so that leads me to question the validity and motives of such processes.

Anyway, back to breast cancer... Roundabout story but a few people close to me are definitely seriously affected by what I would call health anxiety - either living their lives bouncing from one test result to another, or have spent considerable time worrying about an 'abnormal' test result, or both. To me, quality of life holds more importance than length of life, so while I appreciate that regular testing (of all sorts) can 'save' lives, what is the cost of that?

https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/screening/mammography/accuracy/  - "After 10 yearly mammograms, the chance of having a false positive is about 50-60 percent"

Cervical cancer is another one - regular screening encouraged, but lots of false positives and worried people. The actual percentage of cervical cancer prevalence is hovering around 0.7%, but "A long-term cohort study of 3,406 HPV-negative women who had annual Pap smears for 5 years found a 14.4% rate of false-positive cytology that resulted in unnecessary interventions and treatments" - https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/365059

If people spent their time eating properly and doing exercise instead of having tests and worrying about whatever the results might throw up, would that be better at preventing cancer? Hard to say, but that's what I plan to do - while still being mindful that I will probably get cancer or another life-ending disease at some stage. If I can make as small an impact as realistically possible on the planet until that point, then bugger off and leave the space and resources for someone else to enter the world, then happy days.

 

I guess the above links back to Covid, in that I think we should just crack on (and have from the start). It is a disease created by nature to remove the weakest of our species, because we are too numerous. It's not going away, and so far the average age of a UK Covid death has been 80.3, with an average life expectancy of 81.3 - we've ruined 18 months' worth of life already so I'd say we're into negative equity with that badboy. The amount of people down the bowls club (yes, I play crown green bowls :lol:) who have completely changed (aged years) since I last saw them, and have said they feel pretty miserable now, is well over half.

Bowing out of this thread now...

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23 minutes ago, Adam@TartyBikes said:

I'd say we're into negative equity with that badboy.

I suppose out of everything you said this is the thing to highlight here. Unlike cancer screenings, and personally deciding when to accept those interventions and treatments, our actions with covid affects everyone else around us. So personal opinions on how we value our freedoms over the last year and a half, how much we value people not getting sick, dying, and the value we individually believe that those last 10 to 15 years of our lives are worth really become irreverent and are just thrown into a melting pot with everyone else's opinion. If you're one of the outliers, you're gonna be pissed, but what can we do about it?

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