The Coronavirus!

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Narendra
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The Coronavirus!

Post by Narendra »

Hello,
A friend asked me this:
1 - Would you allow the UK Economy to prosper and let people to work
or
2 - Allow people to to quarantine and stay safely at home,

even there is the corona epidemic and no cure yet?
I was choosing the 2nd option, but I am not sure now!
what is your opinion?
Thank you.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by asinoro »

Live healthy, free and without fear!
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GS3
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by GS3 »

The dilemma is so badly proposed and excludes the middle so I don't know even where to begin.

You cannot do 100% of any of the two. Pretend like nothing is happening and carrying on like before and the economy shall not prosper. Soon you have a lot of people dying and the economy suffering. Nobody is going to be a tourist in a country ravaged by an infectious disease. On the other hand lock everybody at home and soon groceries and other essential supplies are gone.

So it is a matter of somewhere in between. An the choice is not really a percentage towards one end or the other. It is a matter of planning and managing many different things. Of deciding what measures to implement and how according to the means and authority at your disposal. It is very complicated and the thought that non-experts believe they are qualified to judge is just frightening.

The best strategy is to have a well prepared panel of experts with a well prepared plan and have the government follow their advice and have the population follow what they are told.

And the guy in charge cannot force everyone to do as he says, on the contrary, many will not do it just because he said so. So it is a matter of being convincing, not bullying. It is a matter of coordinating, organising, leading, etc.

The worst situation is the opposite: when you have the government in charge disregarding the advice of the experts because it hurts their popularity and you have the population divided and each one doing whatever they want.

The way I see it the pandemic has been best controlled in countries with a high degree of internal cohesion, where they would all agree to follow the same plan, even if each country had their own plan different from the others. And the worst results have been in countries with low cohesion where it was trying to herd cats.

The most important thing is to have a sound plan which does not mean there is only one possible plan. Different countries have followed different plans but they did follow them.

This is like asking someone: If you were in charge of the Japanese Navy what would you have done after the battle of Midway cost you half your fleet? The answer is that only highly educated and trained people can have anything resembling a reasonable opinion. If you are Eisenhower in charge of D day landings and the first wave to land at Omaha beach is butchered, should you call back the second wave or should you send them in, maybe to suffer the same fate? Even Eisenhower and his generals had doubts and we would want to give the only final, true and correct answer?

A pandemic, like a war, is a very complicated thing to fight. There are no simple solutions to complicated problems. There are only very complicated plans but any plan is better than no plan and changing plans every other day.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Pjotr »

GS3 wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:21 am
So it is a matter of somewhere in between.
Exactly. The best compromise seems to be: shield off the weak and fragile, forbid superspread events (Mardi Gras, festivals etc.), make masks mandatory in shops and in public transportation, deploy a nationwide effort to ensure adequate ventilation (filtering + fresh air from outside) of buildings, including airconditionings, before the summer ends.

That'll probably be enough to prevent most deaths and serious illnesses, whilst keeping the economical damage acceptably low.

In the meantime each government should launch a targeted campaign to exhort people to improve the general effectiveness of their immune systems, by making some simple lifestyle changes: do more physical exercise, eat more green vegetables and take some appropriate vitamin supplements. And of course stop smoking.... Maybe COVID-19 will be incentive enough for many people who otherwise wouldn't improve their lifestyle.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by GS3 »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:33 am
Exactly. The best compromise seems to be: shield off the weak and fragile, forbid superspread events (Mardi Gras, festivals etc.), make masks mandatory in shops and in public transportation, deploy a nationwide effort to ensure adequate ventilation (filtering + fresh air from outside) of buildings, including airconditionings, before the summer ends.

That'll probably be enough to prevent most deaths and serious illnesses, whilst keeping the economical damage acceptably low.

In the meantime each government should launch a targeted campaign to exhort people to improve the general effectiveness of their immune systems, by making some simple lifestyle changes: do more physical exercise, eat more green vegetables and take some appropriate vitamin supplements. And stop smoking.... Maybe COVID-19 will be incentive enough for many people who otherwise wouldn't improve their lifestyle.
Well, that might be true but it is extremely simplistic. It is sort of like saying the best strategy for fighting a war is have your soldiers fire in the direction of the enemy. I mean, it's true but it hardly scratches the surface.

Are we facing a smaller group or is the infection already widespread? Because the strategy in each case is going to be very different. Ideally you want to catch it before it spreads. Countries that did this have done much better. Once the enemy gets a beach-head things get exponentially more complicated.

What sectors and industries are more important to keep the economy and the war effort going? Groceries, transportation, etc are essential to keep going. And yet people could not wait to go to the hair salon or the restaurant.

Then, what resources do we have at our disposal and how can they be best used? Availability of masks, gloves, and other safety and protective equipment. Availability of trained personnel. Availability of hospital beds and other equipment like respirators, etc.

You use what you have to best effect you can. If you have masks then you use masks. If you don't have masks then you use whatever you have. Same thing with testing. Same thing with social tracing. Same thing with quarantines, etc.

In any war, there are many strategies which lead to victory but many more that lead to defeat.

Like in any war, keeping the people informed, motivated and knowing what to do is essential. It has to be a focused effort so everyone is on the same page. Yes, we know you want to get your hair done but first look at this video of a person drowning in their own fluids because their lungs are flooded and they are actually drowning just like if they were in the middle of the ocean. You think maybe your hair can wait?

Isolation by areas being dealt with. It serves for nothing if you are controlling the epidemic in one country or state and the country or state next door is sending you contagious people. So the best strategy is to go all in parallel but this requires a high degree of coordination and political will to coordinate and cooperate.

So, just saying "old peoples' residences are locked down" is easy to say but if you have a population who doesn't believe in the need and is actively hostile to following those rules then you have a problem. When you have a population where half the population has as its aim to impede and obstruct whatever the government wants to do then you have a problem.

This is an extremely complex issue and that is why we need to have professionals entirely dedicated to studying and preparing for this. And a highly responsible people who will cooperate and help rather than hinder.

As I said, it's complicated.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Pjotr »

The thing is: a few rather simple measures (like the ones I described) are probably enough. Not to prevent increase of infections as such, but to prevent most serious illnesses and deaths. Those not very invasive measures are good enough for most countries; perhaps even for all countries.

It's not a killer germ like the bubonic plague. Most people only develop mild symptoms (if at all). This isn't March: it's August, and we know a lot more about the virus than we did 5-6 months ago.

We should not treat COVID-19 like the bubonic plague; there's absolutely no need to kill off our economies with severe lockdowns and draconic measures like we had before.
Last edited by Pjotr on Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Moem »

Mod note:
Please give the subject of politics a wide berth in this thread. I know, you know and we all know that the virus and the way it's handled has a political component; no one is denying that. But we won't be talking about it here. And if someone starts talking about it, the thread will be locked sooner than you can say 'herd immunity'.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by GS3 »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:42 am
there's absolutely no need to kill off our economies with severe lockdowns and draconic measures like we had before.
I do not believe the facts bear you out. Countries that were prepared and dealt with it early and drastically not only had way lower sick and dead but their economies suffered much less. The sick and the dead are a high cost and produce nothing. And that is looking at it only from an economic standpoint. I would be willing to pay a price to save lives but that's just me. But countries that saved lives also saved their economies. Countries hardest hit by sick and dead are the countries whose economies are also being hit hardest. Again, the evidence does not support your assertion. The more a country said "nah, not to worry" the more dead and the greater the hit to the economy. It is like the motor of your car losing oil pressure. You can choose to keep going and later replace the entire motor or you can choose to stop and replace only the oil pump.

Code: Select all

Country	   Deaths / 1M pop

Belgium     850
UK          680
Spain       609
Peru        600
Italy       582
Sweden      569
Chile       507
USA         481
France      464
Brazil      445
	
Australia     9
S. Korea      6
Singapore     5
New Zealand   4
China         3
Taiwan        0.3 
Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Countries that were prepared with a plan saved hundreds of thousands of lives AND their economies.
In the Asian countries listed life and their economies are much more back to normal than in the first countries on the list where the pandemic is mostly not totally under control and additional shutdowns will probably be necessary.

It is not a matter of doing nothing and then being drastic. It is a matter of reacting very early when the problem has not exploded. Once the problem has exploded it is a disaster no matter what. Just like a house or wildfire.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Flemur »

corona.jpg
corona.jpg (9.7 KiB) Viewed 450 times
Edit: here's an important video about the mask debate. Funny, too.
(ignore the first 15 sec or so)
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Pjotr »

Mask debate.... :lol:

In all seriousness though: of course masks help, even if they protect only partly. They reduce the viral load, both for the wearer and for the people in his vicinity.

Viral load (in the form of microscopic aerosols) seems to play a much bigger role than previously assumed. The higher the viral load, the bigger the chance that you'll get seriously ill.

Masks should therefore be mandatory in all public buildings (including shops) and public transportation. Not in the open air, because aerosols can't reach a dangerous concentration then.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by GS3 »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:45 pm
Masks should therefore be mandatory in all public buildings (including shops) and public transportation. Not in the open air, because aerosols can't reach a dangerous concentration then.
I disagree and some scientists do too. In busy streets walk behind someone smoking and you will see how much air from their lungs you can breathe.

I would mandate masks based on distance to other people. If you are closer than, say, 10 m to any other person, I don't care if you are in the middle of the desert or the ocean, then you need a mask or keep the distance. This has the advantage that it is self-regulating. It is absurd to demand people walking their dogs in the middle of the country, far from anybody, wear masks. So, if you move closer than 10 m to anybody you need to wear a mask. If you are in Times Square at a time when it is empty then there is no need for a mask.

Indoors it is probably safer to require a mask always anywhere the public has access because there are too many maskholes out there.

By the way, masks also need to be used correctly and within their limitations. It seems some people have been getting sick because wearing the same mask for too many hours breeds bacteria and doctors recommend not wearing the same mask for more than four hours. After that it needs to be discarded or suitably disinfected.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Bobb24 »

The method of respiratory virus spread from aerosol particle inhalation has been known for years but suddenly in 2020, 6 months into a pandemic, the experts conclude that masks or facecloths can reduce the spread. Good work team!
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Re: The Coronavirus!

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Bobb24 wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:49 pm
The method of respiratory virus spread from aerosol particle inhalation has been known for years but suddenly in 2020, 6 months into a pandemic, the experts conclude that masks or facecloths can reduce the spread. Good work team!
I know you would like to feel so superior to all the scientific establishment and paint them like bumbling fools but that is not quite what happened.

Some viruses are more transmissible than others and the extent for this one was unknown. The safest course would have been to ask people to wear masks except that

(1) there was an acute shortage and whatever masks were available were needed for health care workers first, then for people working with the public and gradually the public at large. There probably could have been a more agile response if there had been better planning and organization but...

(2) the whole issue was (and still is) very politicised in many places and wearing a mask became associated with defeatism, negativity, etc. People always prefer to listen to the guy who says not to worry, be happy, enjoy...

So, it is not that "6 months into a pandemic, the experts conclude that masks or facecloths can reduce the spread" as much as (2) experts are now freer to state the obvious (although still under great pressure to moderate the message) and (1) they have realised a number of things like asymptomatic transmission, highly infectious, etc which were not so clear at first.

It resembles in a way what happened with tobacco over the years. It's not that the doctors discovered late that tobacco caused cancer, it is more that they knew it but there was pressure to moderate the message because there just wasn't that much awareness. I say people knew about tobacco and cancer but they just preferred not to think about it even though the evidence was there. Tobacco really started being the cause of cancer when millions of announcements pounded us all and repeated over and over that "tobacco causes cancer". Only then some people began to think maybe there was something to it. The evidence had not changed, public perception had changed.

Something similar is happening with masks.
Last edited by GS3 on Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by mr_raider »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:33 am
GS3 wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:21 am
So it is a matter of somewhere in between.
Exactly. The best compromise seems to be: shield off the weak and fragile, forbid superspread events (Mardi Gras, festivals etc.), make masks mandatory in shops and in public transportation, deploy a nationwide effort to ensure adequate ventilation (filtering + fresh air from outside) of buildings, including airconditionings, before the summer ends.

That'll probably be enough to prevent most deaths and serious illnesses, whilst keeping the economical damage acceptably low.

In the meantime each government should launch a targeted campaign to exhort people to improve the general effectiveness of their immune systems, by making some simple lifestyle changes: do more physical exercise, eat more green vegetables and take some appropriate vitamin supplements. And of course stop smoking.... Maybe COVID-19 will be incentive enough for many people who otherwise wouldn't improve their lifestyle.
There's actually evidence that smokers do better!
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by GS3 »

mr_raider wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:31 pm
There's actually evidence that smokers do better!
Sometimes. I know a guy who was killed when he was hit by a car when he was crossing the street on his way to buy cigarettes.

I am not a gamer but I think Covid-19 might make for a good game. You become the ruler of a country (real or fictitious) of your choice. You have to manage the entire situation with the pandemic. People get infected, hospitals can get overwhelmed, etc. Hundreds of variables. Let's see how long the country lasts.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by lsemmens »

Of course we all have opinions, but, seriously they are just that. If we could convince the ENTIRE population to use some (un)common sense, we may not be needing this discussion at all.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Bobb24 »

I was trying to point out that influenza spreads the same way but I don't recall any media campaign about wearing masks to slow the spread. If it is an effective reducer of this method of transmission why was it not considered before ? It should have become law in 1990 at the latest. Think of how many people died. Is this a new discovery ?
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by GS3 »

lsemmens wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:03 pm
Of course we all have opinions, but, seriously they are just that. If we could convince the ENTIRE population to use some (un)common sense, we may not be needing this discussion at all.
That is not how humans or human societies work. At all. And, in a way it is a good thing.

What is common sense to one person is idiotic to the next person. Most our opinions are not formed by a careful analysis of all the relevant facts. We do not have to time or inclination. Humans are wired to be part and integrated in a pack or hive. Each human has a tiny amount of knowledge of the total amount of knowledge a society needs to function. So, by living in a hive we are using the knowledge of others. It is like our knowledge is enlarged by the knowledge of others.

But for this to be effective we need to put aside some individualism and value integration, cohesion and getting along. That has to be a value of the highest order in a society for it to work well

Like in smaller societies or even families. The most successful marriages are not those where they use their common sense and do whatever their common sense tells them. It is where where they put high value in getting along and cooperating even if it means conceding and going along.

A society where each person uses their common sense to decide whether to wear a mask is a recipe for disaster. What works much better is a society where people feel integrated and feel their leaders are doing their best and relying on expert advice and they will follow their leaders. People thinking their own common sense is better than the collective knowledge of their leadership is not a good thing.

If you look at countries and societies around the world you can see that cultures which are tightly cohesive and integrated generally do much better than those which are divisive and individualistic. The latter tend to be dominated by the former.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Pjotr »

GS3 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:37 am
People thinking their own common sense is better than the collective knowledge of their leadership is not a good thing.
Now that is a very dangerous remark. :shock:

I won't address that any further, because then this thread will be locked even sooner than it ultimately will be.

Back to basics:

- The virus is thankfully not the superkiller that we feared it was in March;

- Of course we need to shield the weak and fragile who are roughly the only category that's likely to become seriously ill or die;

- But we should definitely not kill off what's left of our economies;

- A few simple and relatively non-invasive measures suffice to keep the situation manageable and our economies alive;

- Unfortunately there's still too little awareness of the risks of aerosols and the build-up of viral load in the (*cough*) "collective knowledge of our divine leadership";

- Therefore there's too little attention for the imperative need to improve ventilation (outside air, filtering) in public buildings, for which masks are only a poor substitute;

- Which means many will needlessly get seriously ill or die in the coming months;

- Which will mean a return of the draconic lock-downs that will severely damage the remains of our economies. The future is grim: bad years are coming.
Last edited by Pjotr on Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:03 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Coronavirus!

Post by Dark Owl »

The fundamental fly in the ointment is the unruly behaviour of a significant proportion of the population, who will not make sacrifices for the benefit of all and only consider their own convenience. You can see that any day in a supermarket car park, by where people choose to put their BMWs (other "entitled" makes are available), and by the number of people who took absolutely no notice of one-way systems inside the supermarket. These are people who consider themselves above rules and regulations, and if there is any justice they will be the ones who die of it (but they won't, proving their point).
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