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Jan Finster

Coronavirus - those in China, and general discussion

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Dawei3
10 hours ago, Tomsima said:

Yichang was sprayed with disinfectant (is that the right word for this sort of scale?) by helicopters

This reminds me of discussions from the late 1800s in the USA when they used horse-drawn tankers to spray phenol (carbolic acid) on the streets in futile attempt to control disease.  Phenol is moderately toxic.    

 

(disinfectant is the right word).

 

I expect you are right that the government wants to show it is doing something, so it's doing this spraying.  I can't imagine it has much of any efficacy.  

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Jan Finster
34 minutes ago, Dawei3 said:

Regarding the comment on whether people outside of China are getting worried - probably not - but they should be. 

 

 Here in Germany the official statement is "we are monitoring it closely and we are well prepared". I am not sure what this "preparation" really looks like. I believe this statement is a bluff  and more to communicate competence and avoid (mass) panic. As someone above said, it is a catch-22: if you do too much and nothing happens, people will mock you later on. If you do too little and the sh** hits the fan, people will criticise you.

 

At Frankfurt Airport hardly any staff and very few passengers were wearing masks. I had my mask in my pocket, but did not put it on either.

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Ruben von Zwack

I worked on a study for the German virology/disease center a few years ago, they wanted to know how aware Germans were of how viruses transmit and what you can do to protect yourself and others. Especially in our day and age of travel. And I found that my countryfolk fall into two categories: "OMG we're all going to get wiped out!" - about 5% of the population. Will probably die of heart attack/stroke before pandemic even hits town. And the other 95: "Hahah, ridiculous, it's just the media/big pharma/whatever, and no, I would never wear a face mask if I had the flu, not even if I was on the subway in rush hour, and no, I would never sneeze or cough into my elbow, that's for idiots".

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imron
7 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I am still waiting to be killed by Ozone layer depletion, Y2K

Not going to happen.  Billions were spent fixing Y2K.  Next up Y2038.

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Lu
7 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I am still waiting to be killed by Ozone layer depletion, Y2K or the AIDS epidemic

Many governments banned certain ozone-depleting coolants and took other measures. The ozone layer is now slowly recovering, but people in Australia and New Zealand still are in significantly more danger of skin cancer than the rest of us, because they are just under the hole.

As I understood, a lot of money and effort was spent to prevent a Y2K disaster, and it was indeed prevented because of all that money and effort.

Since the 1980s, many governments have taken measures to stop the spreading of AIDS: educating everyone on what does and what doesn't cause it, encouraging everyone to use condoms when having sex, making blood transfusions safer, funding research to find a cure. As a result, people don't need to die of AIDS anymore in rich countries: it has become a chronic disease you can life a long life with. And many, many fewer people get infected everywhere.

 

In other words, all these disasters that didn't kill you did not kill you because people spent money and effort specifically to prevent them from killing you and others, and it worked: some people got killed, but fewer than otherwise would have happened.

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Shelley
8 minutes ago, Lu said:

Australia and New Zealand still are in significantly more danger of skin cancer than the rest of us, because they are just under the hole.

 

Its not just becuase they are closer to the hole but also becuase the climate encourages exposing the skin, here for example, in the UK the number of days that encourage exposing skin are a lot fewer. Not saying there is no risk here but it is lower.

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Shelley

First suspected case in our university student population of about 3000 chinese students. They were returning from china, taken to hospital and now in isolation. Wonder if the number of masks will go up, non till now.

 

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/18210385.university-southampton-student-taken-ill-returning-china-yesterday/?ref=rss

Edited by Shelley
roddy pointed out it was only suspected and not a definite case

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ChTTay

Looks like we’re staying too. I guess we’re also classed as unable to leave or at least not easy to leave. So far Beijing hasn’t become totally locked down. You can still leave your apartment to go outside freely if you wish. They have started temperature checking everyone though and deliveries aren’t allowed inside the complex. 

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imron
5 hours ago, Shelley said:

Its not just becuase they are closer to the hole but also becuase the climate encourages exposing the skin,

Not sure if you've been to Australia, but it's more than just the climate encouraging people to wear less clothes.  The sun here burns with an intensity that it doesn't seem to do in the other countries I've been too, even at equivalent temperatures. 

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DavyJonesLocker
5 hours ago, Lu said:

Many governments banned certain ozone-depleting coolants and took other measures. The ozone layer is now slowly recovering, but people in Australia and New Zealand still are in significantly more danger of skin cancer than the rest of us, because they are just under the hole.

As I understood, a lot of money and effort was spent to prevent a Y2K disaster, and it was indeed prevented because of all that money and effort.

Since the 1980s, many governments have taken measures to stop the spreading of AIDS: educating everyone on what does and what doesn't cause it, encouraging everyone to use condoms when having sex, making blood transfusions safer, funding research to find a cure. As a result, people don't need to die of AIDS anymore in rich countries: it has become a chronic disease you can life a long life with. And many, many fewer people get infected everywhere.

 

In other words, all these disasters that didn't kill you did not kill you because people spent money and effort specifically to prevent them from killing you and others, and it worked: some people got killed, but fewer than otherwise would have happened.

 

 

My point is that every few years some imminent global disaster is splashed across the media and blown way out of proportion and predicting huge death toll. However as you mention people, governments  take measures to deal with such disasters hence they don't occur to the extent that was earlier predicated. It will be same with this Coronavirus. That's not an excuse to be lackadaisical about it , but to be objective, rather than emotional about it. For example according to CNBC the flu affected "19 million across the U.S. alone this year and led to 10,000 deaths and 180,000 hospitalizations". Yet for decades we know it will occur annually and hospitals are prepared for it.  That's a long way short of 492 deaths  from the coronavirus dispite being caught totally off guard. 

 

An example from our tabloid newspapers, possible 33m deaths  https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10814760/bill-gates-predicted-coronavirus-simulation-33-million-die/ Sure its a low grade rag of a newspaper but that and the Daily Mail are the most popular papers in Britian, hence a lot of people are swayed by them.  

 

(Just on the Y2K, that is very debatable, at the time my PhD professor was involved in that and he constantly said it was blown way of out proportion, he mentioned that it was driven a lot by financial opportunities from the software industry consultants etc . He stated that some countries spend a pile of money on it and others like Italy spent little yet had no real fallout  Plenty of web articles about it. Past history now)

 

 

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Dawei3

A friend in Kunming told me her apartment complex in Beijing wouldn't let her return unless she had a certificate from a doctor that says she doesn't have the virus (which is almost impossible right now).

 

She sent me a photo of a family that was locked into their home after being tested as positive.  They are given food to live.  

 

A 2nd photo is of a disinfection squad (whose effectiveness I would question).  

 

Although the discussion about SARS raised some hackles, it was interesting to read about potential sewer source.  The # of dedicated people who post to this site is relatively few.  It's good to correct other's incorrect info,  but it's better for all of us if corrections are done diplomatically.  I'm sure at some time, I'll post a less than intelligent comment and  I would appreciate being corrected in a manner that doesn't turn me off from this group.  Differences of opinion can add much to a discussion.  

 

To be clear, I think it's good  to correct factual misinformation. 

 

In contrast, there is no perfect opinion on how the coronavirus should be managed.  It's definitely complicated.  To add a layer to this, H5N1 avian flu just popped up in Hunan.  This virus has been "lurking" in bird populations for >20 years and killed or resulted in the culling of ~300 million birds.  Of the 861 confirmed H5N1 human cases, 455 died, i.e., it's quite deadly.  There has always been concern that it would mutate into a more human transmissible form, but it hasn't (yet).  

 

As a sense of how dangerous it was perceived, when H5N1 appeared in Hong Kong in 1997, they culled their entire chicken & poultry flocks in just days.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14575073

 

Imagine the challenge in Hunan, you're dealing with coronavirus and H5N1 appears.  (and virtually the entire country is fighting swine fever as well - it kills 90-100% of pigs)  

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3048566/china-reports-outbreak-deadly-bird-flu-among-chickens-hunan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virus door blocked.jpg

Virus disinfection team.jpg

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carlo
3 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

My point is that every few years some imminent global disaster is splashed across the media and blown way out of proportion and predicting huge death toll. However as you mention people, governments  take measures to deal with such disasters hence they don't occur to the extent that was earlier predicated. It will be same with this Coronavirus. That's not an excuse to be lackadaisical about it , but to be objective, rather than emotional about it. For example according to CNBC the flu affected "19 million across the U.S. alone this year and led to 10,000 deaths and 180,000 hospitalizations". Yet for decades we know it will occur annually and hospitals are prepared for it.  That's a long way short of 492 deaths  from the coronavirus dispite being caught totally off guard. 

Unfortunately, when it comes unknown new diseases, meteor strikes or stock market crashes, both things can be true at once: (1) there is a large probability it’s less serious than it looks and we’ll have forgotten all about it in half a year. (2) there’s a tiny chance that we’re risking a major calamity. So pity the policy makers: if they don’t do anything, by the time they spring to action it’s far too late. If they do something, they’re wasting public resources and creating panic. They literally can’t win. Personally, I’m happy if they panic early.

 

By the way: this new virus doesn’t kill you *instantly*. Assuming it takes on average one week, 492 dead today should be divided by 6.1k confirmed cases a week ago, which is 8%. I don’t know how many people it puts in the ICU needing a respirator, let’s say 20%. A flu pandemic may typically infect 1/10 to 1/5 of the world population. Now, these numbers are not very reliable or precise, and could change. But they seem a good enough reason to take this very seriously.

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roddy
8 hours ago, Shelley said:

First case in our university student population of about 3000 chinese students.

The article is very clear that it's a suspected case at worst, and given the person has been sent home, the doctors are presumably not very concerned. Describing it as a 'first case' is inaccurate. Number of cases in the UK is still 2, I believe. It might seem an unimportant distinction, but it's exactly how rumours start. 

 

Good luck to those staying on, could easily be weeks to months of uncertainty and inconvenience.

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imron
5 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Past history now

Due to repeat in 18 years time. 

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889

Hong Kong is de facto blockading itself from the Mainland. From Saturday, anyone coming from the Mainland will be quarantined for 14 days. This blocks HK as a last-chance exit from the Mainland, unless you have two weeks to spend in quarantine.

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roddy

I wonder if they’ll just send an army truck around to pick you all up at some point. Trapped foreigners are annoying for both governments. 
 

@Balthazar Did you get home ok?

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Balthazar

Yep, thankfully we didn't face any issues. Arrived according to schedule on Sunday evening.

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