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Dr Balls

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About Dr Balls

  • Birthday 29/04/1969

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  1. Just accept that we won’t complete this season until either late summer or the autumn at earliest. And even then it may be played behind closed doors. Whatever happens, I predict that there will be no League Cup or EFL trophy next season as the priority will be to get through the league fixtures. And even then the 20/21 season may only be half the length of a normal season, so that we only play each team once.
  2. Fulham aren’t even in that top 10 but still went up that season. Of course they came straight back down, but at least they got the parachute payments etc....
  3. The situation is complicated to say the least. There are going to be many more cases than the official figure because testing has been restricted to the hospitalised cases for the past week or so. What we don’t know is whether 5% or 20% of cases are being hospitalised. If it’s the former then the likelihood is that there are a lot of people with relatively mild or no symptoms with the virus (Prince Charles) but if it’s the latter then the NHS will be overwhelmed very quickly. There are definitely more patients with respiratory problems being admitted to intensive care than usual, so if anyone still believes this is just like a bad flu winter, please junk that misconception. The likelihood is that this will be somewhere between very bad and the NHS will just cope given the massive plans already being devised, or it will be truly apocalyptic and up to half a million will die. Until we get the serological (blood) testing to see how many already have antibodies we will remain dependent on modelling assumptions, which will range from the stupidly optimistic to the darkly pessimistic. Unfortunately you have to plan for the latter until proven otherwise. On that basis, please try to stay at home, self isolate if you have symptoms, although in mild cases it can be hard to know if it really is anything or not, which is a problem in itself, and hopefully we can slow transmission for now. However, this isn’t going away if it’s own accord and until either there is an effective early treatment to stop people getting so sick as to need intensive care, a vaccine or herd immunity does reach a high enough level, then restrictions are likely to continue. I would suggest that is more likely to be months rather than a few weeks.
  4. Hopefully in the emergency measures, we can just cancel all those PFI contracts as being in the public interest. They have already had to renationalise the railways in all but name. Many policies previously deemed too difficult or too left wing may actually be needed to deal with this crisis.
  5. We will need real statesmen like we had after the Second World War, and that really took 10 years and a lot of money across most of Europe. Nationalism is of little use when dealing with worldwide situations like this. Unfortunately our current crop of leaders (Johnson, Trump) do not compare well with those of the past. Their failings to recognise the seriousness of this situation quickly enough will have consequences for everyone. And as much as I think things will be very bad in the UK, I expect them to be far worse in other parts of the world without the ability to organise their health services appropriately. And that’s not just the developing world. The US stands out as being at significant risk. Fortunately some of their state politicians understand the peril, but many do not.
  6. My other half (a nurse) was there too on Mother’s Day, and she said that the crowd control at Eastville was not good. She queued inside for about an hour to get to a checkout but the NHS staff stayed good humoured in the main. Difficult to socially distance and she wished she had had a mask. She gave the flowers to a homeless girl outside who was eating cold baked beans from a snack pot, who was overcome that she had something that she could give to her mum, wherever she was.
  7. A really interesting article on how he works and achieves success. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51962924 Nothing particularly clever in terms of team and squad bonding but obviously he is good at implementing it. And the fact that they have only used 20 players this season is incredible and even give our injuries sits in contrast to our own experience.
  8. It’s not a difficult calculation. 60 million population. 80% catch the virus. 1% die. I am still amazed that people don’t understand the concept of exponential growth. If every person who catches this virus gave it to 3 people over 5 days that they were infectious, then in 100 days, 3.5 billion people would have the virus. That’s the point of isolating and quarantine. Stop the spread. Look at what happened in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong King and Singapore. If you want to stop the spread you have stop people giving it to each other, which means staying home. I know there will be sceptics who ignore this advice and say I am doom-mongering and indulging in panic. Many on this forum will be in the high risk categories of age, sex, BMI and less than good general health. You do not want to catch this virus. If this is you, the chances of you needing intensive care and dying are high. Please take care and take the risks seriously. This has a long way to go yet. We aren’t even 1 week into Boris’s overoptimistic 12 week time frame yet.
  9. No. That won’t have be Covid-19 at Christmas/New Year. More likely actually influenza. There are about 6 major types of respiratory viruses (RSV, Adenovirus, Rhinovirus, Influenza, Parainfluenza and Human Metapneumovirus) all of which occur at varying stages during the autumn and winter, with a fairly predictable pattern. Currently Hunan Metapneumovirus is the most common, and can be pretty severe on its own.
  10. Comparisons are a bit irrelevant. That said this is the the biggest since then and ultimately will be bigger than 1918. It’s what we have been fearing for some time. My quick calculation a couple of weeks back was at least 60 million deaths worldwide by the end of this, so we are only really at the very beginning. The estimates for the UK vary but 250,000 dead over a year or so is at the lower end. If 80% of the population catch it and 1% die that’s roughly 450,000 dead. There are no clear game changers on the near horizon. Antiviral drugs are months away at best and a vaccine even further than that. The important thing is to limit the numbers ill at any one time to stop the health service being overwhelmed, otherwise the number of deaths will be even greater. Since Wednesday, I have been out as little as possible. I have been at home or walked the 5 mins to work and back again that’s it. I must be washing my hands 20+ times per day even on non-clinical days, plus alcohol gel in between. As soon as I get in the house, I wash my hands. Today I had to go to the shops for essentials but even though a few other people were trying to keep an appropriate distance, I was amazed how few were. And there were a lot of people out on the Downs, although to be fair most were in separate family groups. I know it’s going to be hard to keep kids inside on sunny days, but if you have a garden keep to that. My garden will hopefully be looking fantastic this summer, plus I am hoping to grow some vegetables in case things get really tough!
  11. RIP An extremely talented player who you might fear but it was impossible tobb NBC really dislike as he was so classy in the pitch. And apparently a nice quiet bloke off the pitch too. I found this bit from the EFL team of the decade from 2015. He was in some pretty good company... https://www.efl.com/news/2015/april/the-football-league-announces-its-team-of-the-decade/
  12. For Boris, read King Canute. This is not a tide it’s a tidal wave!
  13. Only if you place the whole country on lock down for at least 6 weeks. No evidence Boris is willing to do that.
  14. Sorry but I think you can expect this to continue into next year. Hence my pessimism about any of us seeing a live football game before 2021. I am just waiting for the IOC to bow to the inevitable that the Tokyo olympics will need to be postponed by at least a year.
  15. As someone who for once is “in the know” there are potential antivirals that may mitigate the worst of the disease. One has been developed for Ebola and is only just undergoing human trials. It says it can be used for “compassionate release”, which means if we are desperate we can ask the drug company for some even though it hasn’t completed trials. However there is very little if any available and the evidence so far suggests using early in the disease rather than late when the person is rally sick. The second is a combination of 2 antiretroviral drugs (for HIV) but again there are issues with this. There are a couple of other drugs suggested, one of which is very commonly used as anti malarial but there is no evidence that they work. As for a vaccine, if anything appears for general availability before the end of the year, I would be amazed.
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