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Thread started 12 Mar 2020 (Thursday) 15:31
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Coronavirus General Discussion (no politics, no flamewars!)

 
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Choderboy
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Apr 18, 2020 01:39 as a reply to  @ post 19048367 |  #2251

Jacinda, shows how it should be done, and that's not being political. Regardless of whether one agrees with her policies, she acts with style, sensitivity, dignity. A true leader.


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Apr 18, 2020 01:57 |  #2252

Choderboy wrote in post #19048487 (external link)
Jacinda, shows how it should be done, and that's not being political. Regardless of whether one agrees with her policies, she acts with style, sensitivity, dignity. A true leader.

that's pretty much how i feel about gavin newsom for califronia in the US...in comparison to all the other US states, it's not even close to see who has done the best job of containing/flattening the curve on this virus


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Apr 18, 2020 02:21 |  #2253

Pippan wrote in post #19048447 (external link)
What do the countries with the best coronavirus responses have in common?

Women leaders.

"Looking for examples of true leadership in a crisis? From Iceland to Taiwan and from Germany to New Zealand, women are stepping up to show the world how to manage a messy patch for our human family. Add in Finland, Iceland and Denmark, and this pandemic is revealing that women have what it takes when the heat rises in our Houses of State. Many will say these are small countries, or islands, or other exceptions. But Germany is large and leading, and the UK is an island with very different outcomes. These leaders are gifting us an attractive alternative way of wielding power."

Compare the leaders of these countries with the strongmen using the crisis to accelerate a terrifying trifecta of authoritarianism: blame-others, capture-the-judiciary, demonize-the-journalists. Lie, deny and blanket their country in I-will-never-retire darkness. It’s time we elected more women to lead us.
https://www.forbes.com …men-leaders/#3c9075e83dec (external link)

On what criteria are you basing you conclusion? My gear is that se are sidetracked and personality i think Sweden is doing the right thing.


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Apr 18, 2020 02:36 |  #2254

soeren wrote in post #19048508 (external link)
On what criteria are you basing you conclusion? My gear is that se are sidetracked and personality i think Sweden is doing the right thing.

Really? Sweden has (as of today) 139 deaths per million, that's even higher than USA, and 676 new cases reported yesterday. How is this good?


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For comparison, New Zealand, with half of Sweden's population, has 2 deaths per million and 13 new cases yesterday.


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Apr 18, 2020 02:53 |  #2255

Pippan wrote in post #19048514 (external link)
Really? Sweden has (as of today) 139 deaths per million, that's even higher than USA, and 676 new cases reported yesterday. How is this good?
thumbnail
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For comparison, New Zealand, with half of Sweden's population, has 2 deaths per million and 13 new cases yesterday.
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Is the number of dead the final criteria for measuring success?
Sweden is going for herd immunity


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soeren
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Apr 18, 2020 02:55 |  #2256

soeren wrote in post #19048508 (external link)
On what criteria are you basing you conclusion? My fear is that we are sidetracked and personaly i think Sweden is doing the right thing.

Damned spell checker


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Apr 18, 2020 02:58 |  #2257

soeren wrote in post #19048519 (external link)
Is the number of dead the final criteria for measuring success?

No, in fact I don't think so. But I think the number of new cases each day is absolutely a relevant criterion in determining whether progress is being made in eliminating the virus from a country and having it return as soon as possible to some semblance of normality.


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Apr 18, 2020 03:08 |  #2258

Pippan wrote in post #19048522 (external link)
No, in fact I don't think so. But I think the number of new cases each day is absolutely a relevant criterion in determining whether progress is being made in eliminating the virus from a country and having it return as soon as possible to some semblance of normality.

In the case of Denmark i think we are only pushing the inevitable in front of us prolonging the crisis and amplifying the negative effects of the lockdown. Only around 0,1% of the population has been tested positive meaning that with even the most optimistic multiplikation to estimate dark numbers we are only at 8% and thats with severe consequences and very high costs/life saved (or slightly prolonged) .
The number of Corona deaths doesnt even make a riple in statistics over annual deaths here.
Still we are experiencing an arterial bleedout of the society and economy.


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Apr 18, 2020 03:25 |  #2259

soeren wrote in post #19048523 (external link)
In the case of Denmark i think we are only pushing the inevitable in front of us prolonging the crisis and amplifying the negative effects of the lockdown. Only around 0,1% of the population has been tested positive meaning that with even the most optimistic multiplikation to estimate dark numbers we are only at 8% and thats with severe consequences and very high costs/life saved (or slightly prolonged) .
The number of Corona deaths doesnt even make a riple in statistics over annual deaths here.
Still we are experiencing an arterial bleedout of the society and economy.

Yes I understand what you're saying and it's the same in most parts of the world. Here in the Northern Territory of Australia we have largely escaped the virus, so far at least, but our economy is similarly haemorrhaging (actually it was in very poor shape even before the virus). My own small business, in tourism, has been reduced in a few days to zero income and I have no idea how I will get through the 12 months until the next tourist season starts (BTW, Danes are our third most numerous customers after Australians and Americans :)). But it does seem that the jurisdictions that acted quickly and sensibly to stem the spread of the disease will benefit from earlier recovery.


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Post edited 10 months ago by Tronhard. (8 edits in all)
     
Apr 18, 2020 03:53 |  #2260

First, let me say I don't want to get into a gender debate as to who makes the best leaders. All I appreciate is that my PM is doing a great job for our country and in our circumstances, an opinion supported by the mass of the country and commentators abroad.

In considering the success, or otherwise, of any country's countermeasures, identifying the number of deaths is one metric for gauging the success of a government, as is the number of cases per million (for example).

However, it has already become apparent that the information provided by different governments is extremely varied in quality and reliability. One only has to look at the WHO daily report to see how many countries have a PENDING against their identification of clusters - essentially this means they don't know and have insufficient contact tracing.
https://www.who.int …6ed.pdf?sfvrsn=​ebe78315_6 (external link)

For example China just increased massively their initial assessment of deaths in Wuhan. India has had minimal testing, as has Japan and Indonesia. The USA has a patchy record considering their testing regime used a flawed protocol at least initially. In fact all over the world countries are struggling with the issue of accurately assessing how many people have contracted the virus.

In part, this comes down to how much testing has actually been done. With very few exceptions not enough testing has been done of people presenting with symptoms and in particular of sentinel testing of the general population. This leads to another element of uncertainty: the fact that a significant number of people are carrying the virus without symptoms at all, and where people do get sick they can be contagious for up to 48 hours before they display symptoms. Both of these issues provide sobering food for thought.

Details from a Quebec Medic:
You are contagious 2-3 days before you have symptoms. Maximal peak of contagion is 12-24 hours before you have symptoms. And it declines 8 days after you begin to have symptoms.
Transmission without symptoms happened in 44% of the cases tested.


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Source Health Quebec, provided by a medic.

This leads to a huge uncertainty, and it really bites home when agencies and governments are considering coming out of lock-down. As I have said it is much easier to go into lock-down than withdraw. Authorities need to know with some degree of confidence that they are, in fact, flattening or squashing the curve, and more significantly they have to have a fast and reliable means of contact tracking in the event of new clusters. Japan is a case in point where they did minimal testing, took their foot off the throat of the thing and are now facing a second huge wave of infections.

Right now NZ is facing the dilemma of reducing the lock-down level. They have increased sentinel testing significantly, but want a lot more to be certain. Secondly they are examining technologies to automate contact tracing.

Apparently one system using phones and a Bluetooth app is having too many problems, so they are now looking at issuing cards with Bluetooth chips that can identify other cards in close proximity. That will take some time to confirm, produce the hardware and distribute the cards - which means a delay in reducing controls.

Then, of course, will be a battle with libertarians who consider any kind of tracking, even for saving lives, to be a gross imposition. Unless one makes use of such devices mandatory, that means that the success of automated tacking requires a critical mass, the engagement with which depends on the good will and trust of the general population, and a buy-in on the benefits to get a reduction on social, behavioural and economic sanctions.

Finally, it is likely that COVID-19 will mutate, as has been the normal progression of RNA-based contagions, so that tests may become obsolete, as may attempts at creating immunization or curative medicines.

Face it, this is not going to be a short-term thing, the world has changed and we must accept that. We did after the traumatic events of 9-11 and people accepted impositions of security during travel to avoid terrorism, they will have to accept that something else like that may apply in the future to avoid recurring pandemics.

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Apr 18, 2020 04:26 |  #2261

Recently someone bemoaned to me "will the cure be worse than the disease?"

First, the disease is bad The disease is killing people and doing so by them essentially drowning in their own lung infections - from all accounts it's a horrible way to go.

So the first part of my response is that allowing the disease to go unchecked is going to permit more deaths like that. Look at what is happening in New York when it took hold so quickly in a major port of entry to a highly sophisticated and technologically advanced society, then exploded across the population through community transmission, overwhelming resources very quickly.

As far as I can see there are 3 choices, and there are examples of each around the world:

1. A LAISSEZ-FAIRE APPROACH.
Marked by little or no involvement by governments in countermeasures.

a) Sweden decided to go that way when it held onto a business as usual approach, allowing the economy and social interaction to continue as before. They are already moving away from their initial position in doing so as their numbers have increased significantly.
According the the WHO report:
(https://www.who.int/d​ocs/default-sou...rsn=7b8629bb_4 )
Sweden (with a population of 10.23million) has 12,540 about 613 of which are new cases and 1333 deaths: that's a mortality rate of over 10%, which is very high despite having an advanced health care system. Their delay in recognizing the need for countermeasures also impacted their testing program, which is very limited (their status on community transmission is "Pending" - i.e. they have no idea, thus it is likely that there are many unreported cases and levels of community transmission yet to surface or be reported - if much more testing is done it may reveal the missing cases and return the mortality rates to the more normal 3-4% of infections. To reach a state of control they will need an extremely strict lock-down policy for some time, and have a massive increase in critical care capability and testing.

b) Indonesia's government ignored and decried the significance of the virus, claiming that the virus would founder in its warm climate.
(https://www.thejakart​apost.com/acade...indo​nesia.html)
This resulted in them NOT closing borders and spending $8.3 on social media influencers to boost tourism. The pandemic there is exploding and their meagre health system is poorly resourced to handle what is coming. They will have to get into the queue for PPE, respirators and testing materials. Their outlook is very grim.

2. THE PARTIAL LOCK-DOWN:
There are many variations of this across the USA for example, but one thing that makes that example hard to reconcile is the fragmented approach between the various levels of government around the world. So let's look at a general definition of partial lock-down: According to Business Insider "it can refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantines to non-mandatory recommendations to stay at home, closures of certain types of businesses, or bans on events and gatherings". That's a massive range, and the degrees of success are dependent upon several factors:

a) how quickly the measures were introduced - earlier interventions will be far more successful and of shorter duration because the level and spread of infection is kept at a minimum and reduce community transmission.

b) how quickly borders with outside countries were sealed- obviously the spread was caused by travellers in our highly mobile society, so closing the borders was a no-brainer, yet not all did that early. To be fair this was much easier for island nations such as NZ and Australia than for land-locked countries or those with massive population movements on a daily basis, as for the Canada-US border. Worse still are those places with porous borders such as many countries in Africa and Asia. Finally countries involved in social unrest and armed conflict would have to reconcile their differences before a stable security situation could be established.

c) the clarity of the administrations in expressing precisely the rules for limitation of movement association and commerce, and their enforcement in doing so. Japan is a good example here. It was very reluctant to admit that it had the virus, did no testing and even when realization hit as hospital admissions rose, the federal government has been powerless to exert it authority over freedom of economy and association - the post-war constitution, imposed by the USA, precludes that and authority is assigned to prefectures. This is already creating a fragmented approach.

d) the acceptance and trust by the population in those measures from their governments and engagement with them. Every country has its doubters but in some countries (as I mentioned the US is one) distrust, skepticism and political agendas are undermining the advice and countermeasures that are recommended by medical, academic and scientific experts. Social distancing will only work when the authorities express and enforce the rules, and that requires the hearts and minds of the general population. Again the US has issues as, in many cases the enforcement heads are elected and will inevitably reflect the biases of their communities rather than the pragmatic truths expressed by experts.

e) The ability of health systems to engage and to be resourced with the appropriate levels of PPE, medications, ventilators and tests. Here, even advanced societies are struggling where there is no central control of the health system. Like many countries, in the US and Canada the health resourcing is allocated to states and provinces respectively. This has led to a fragmented approach to resourcing with individual authorities bidding against each other for resources and driving up the prices. Having a centralized health authority with a clear mandate to purchase and allocate reduces this risk dramatically.

3. The HIT HARD and FAST APPROACH:
NZ is probably among the most extreme in its reaction to the Covid-19 threat and it is already reaping the benefits of doing so. As mentioned it has major advantages in that is an island nation, has a single level of government that controls a national health system, has major resources in terms of technology, and a generally young population (unlike Japan, for example with a massive proportion of elderly).

However, given all of that, its success also depended on the government giving clear guidelines on behaviour (https://covid19.govt.n​z/) (external link), daily briefings and updates with long, open questions from the media. A leader who is respected and trusted after dealing with two other major tragedies in her tenure and the people's trust - over 84% expressed confidence in what the government is doing. The government even appointed a joint working committee to examine its decisions in real time, with advice from experts and chaired by the leader of the opposition.

For a status report see:\https://www.stuff.co.n​z …t-the-spread-of-the-virus (external link)

Well worth looking the wealth of details offered by the authorities and comparison to NZ with comparable countries.

So, I will leave it to you to decide. Which of these approaches do you think will promote the lowest mortality, and the fastest return to a relatively normal existence within borders, but take into account my previous post on statistical reliability and contact tracing.


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Apr 18, 2020 04:56 |  #2262

Meanwhile, we still have people who have tested positive for the virus, think it's okay to carry on as normal doing the weekly grocery shopping:
https://i.stuff.co.nz …ing-at-timaru-supermarket (external link)

then we have a medical officer assuring shoppers that they are not at "increased risk" of catching the virus from this incident. My BS-meter is reading quite high levels at this point.


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Apr 18, 2020 05:19 |  #2263

joeseph wrote in post #19048541 (external link)
Meanwhile, we still have people who have tested positive for the virus, think it's okay to carry on as normal doing the weekly grocery shopping:
https://i.stuff.co.nz …ing-at-timaru-supermarket (external link)

then we have a medical officer assuring shoppers that they are not at "increased risk" of catching the virus from this incident. My BS-meter is reading quite high levels at this point.

Without doubt there are people flouting the law and restrictions. You will also have read of people spitting on police and transit workers. Some of them already have jail sentences.

As regards the incident at the supermarket. Yep, that was really bad, and it should never have happened. From my own discrete inquiries the person was late in the recovery cycle, had been released from hospital some time before and was wearing a mask. Of all of that the latter one offers the most reason that someone might pose a lesser risk. The reason the local medical officer said they were of lesser risk was that no-one apparently claimed to be within the prescribed 2m of him and the staff he engaged with were all using PPE. As my Quebec medic eloquently put it, "the disease does not leap between people, it transmits by fluids expelled via coughs or sneezes". So if everyone was behind glass or wearing a mask too, the risk should be low.

Personally, I have huge respect and confidence in the Chief Medical Officer (a different person from the one in the story) and I would not have the jobs of anyone in authority at this stage for all the money in the world.

On a complete digression... I really like your shots of the Spitfires and Hurricanes in your gallery!
Thanks for sharing them.


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Apr 18, 2020 07:11 |  #2264

Tronhard wrote in post #19048547 (external link)
On a complete digression... I really like your shots of the Spitfires and Hurricanes in your gallery!
Thanks for sharing them.

you're welcome! I had the privilege of being in the UK last year & able to attend "Flying Legends" at Duxford - pure awesomeness! I'll try & find some more shots.
Can't imagine the kaos & mayhem that covid-19 has done to many folks travel plans these last few months, must be a nightmare, really feel for those that had stuff planned & paid for.
First-world problems compared to those with the virus though.


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Apr 18, 2020 07:42 |  #2265

DreDaze wrote in post #19048493 (external link)
that's pretty much how i feel about gavin newsom for califronia in the US...in comparison to all the other US states, it's not even close to see who has done the best job of containing/flattening the curve on this virus

I have relatives in California and from what they've told me I would agree. Our governor in Ohio working closely with the state health director has done a fantastic job also. We were early adopters of social distancing and related procedures and our lower numbers bear testimony to that.

What will really be interesting is what happens now in FLORIDA which IMO is very troubling. As of yesterday they have reopened their beaches. I'd never wish this on anybody but I believe they are being dangerously premature.

https://www.cnn.com …a-beach-reopen/index.html (external link)

It takes about 2-14 days for the virus to incubate. If there's a spike in Florida's numbers then this will have been a stupid move; I hope I'm wrong.


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