Author Topic: Coronavirus Outbreak  (Read 28785 times)

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What are you talking about, social security is far from "untested". The scale of this crisis is unprecedented,

It should be noted that the US has implemented social security before, during the Great Depression, which at the moment has still left a bigger economic impact then the Coronavirus. Didn't lead to mass suicides or starvation deaths back then either.

 
 

Offline The E

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No, they were effective, even if they came too little and too late. Situation would be worse without them and they do slow down the curve. And that is why most of the world has corona-related travel restricitions implemented as of right now.

Do you have data on that? Like, is there actual data that shows that the travel bans enacted by the Trump administration significantly altered the trajectory the covid outbreak followed?
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Offline theperfectdrugsk

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What are you talking about, social security is far from "untested". The scale of this crisis is unprecedented, but the basic mechanisms behind our social security do not care; We know that there's going to be a bit of deficit spending in the medium term, but here's the thing: That's not catastrophic either. Instead of seeing it as a debt, see it as an investment (which it is): By spending money now to keep people's lives and jobs as intact as possible, we're banking on a return on investment in a few years or decades.

No, the 'basic mechanisms' don't care. The checks can still be written. But it is untested for the long-term support of a large portion of the population with the economy essentially paused. Sure, it was implemented during the Great Depression, but that also included things like the WPA. Putting people to work. Things that aren't really feasible under lockdown. As you said, the scale of the crisis is unprecedented. And it's more than a "bit" of deficit spending. The 'stimulus' bill was (very) roughly equivalent to the cost of the Iraq War. An ROI of a few decades is a long damn time for basically an entire generation that just managed to dig itself out of the last recession.

I mean, what can they do? the WHO recommended states to go for early detection, testing, tracing and social distancing according to risk from february onwards, advice which the Trump administration completely ignored but is now praising itself for implementing. They can't exactly pressure the WHO to err, go back in time and not give the advice the US refused to listen to?

Yeah, I think its much more about a smokescreen/shifting blame than any "policy changes" that Trump would want from the WHO. I don't think Trump gives a **** what the WHO actually does, I think he's just seized on them as a useful punching bag to distract people.

 

Offline karajorma

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I think you and Joshua are absolutely right about what will be the result of trying to pressure the WHO. But that doesn't mean that Trump isn't arrogant enough to believe it will play out in his favour.

1. WHO erroneously said that healthy general population did not need to wear masks.

Prove it was erroneously. There's actually no scientific proof whatsoever that use of masks cuts down transmissions at all. Weigh that up against the danger of people panic buying PPE equipment which is still in short supply for hospitals and you're going to do a hell of a lot to convince me that it didn't actually save lives.

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WHO erroneously said that travel restrictions are ineffective.

1) Did you notice that the WHO stopped doing that after countries actually did restrict travel?
2) Did you actually bother to read why they said they ineffective?

It's because if you restrict a certain country, people will just fly in via a different country thereby avoiding any checks for the country you think might be causing a danger. Having people arrive from China who fly in via Thailand to avoid restriction doesn't protect the US at all. But it does put Thailand at increased risk. Furthermore, you are going to have a hard time restricting your own nationals from flying back into the country. 40,000 people flew from China to the US after the ban. And yet the version of the virus that is spreading most in America is the European strain.

This is similar to your other argument where you are taking an idealistic view of how to prevent the spread of a disease while the actual experts in doing so have the experience to know why that won't work and actually try to make suggestions based on the best data they have.
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Offline 666maslo666

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Italy implemented a full ban on travel to and from china from january the 31st onwards as soon as they detected the Coronavirus. It was the only EU country to do so.

It's also the EU country most affected by the outbreak.

Again, too little and too late. Should have been done two weeks sooner and also including most flights, not just direct to China. And as I said, situation would be even worse without this.

And do you realize your article is from January and we are in April right now, with most of the world having significant travel restrictions due to corona, and rightly so? If anything, your article proves in hindsight how stupid the WHO position was.
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Offline karajorma

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Read my post. It doesn't prove that at all. What happened in Italy and the US is exactly what they predicted would happen.
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Offline 666maslo666

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This is similar to your other argument where you are taking an idealistic view of how to prevent the spread of a disease while the actual experts in doing so have the experience to know why that won't work and actually try to make suggestions based on the best data they have.

Actual experts are east Asian virologists. You know, the only countries that managed to deal with the pandemic effectively so far. Not WHO and not CDC.

And they do recommend both masks for general population and travel restrictions.

Prove it was erroneously. There's actually no scientific proof whatsoever that use of masks cuts down transmissions at all. Weigh that up against the danger of people panic buying PPE equipment

Masks generally work to prevent transmission of droplet infections. This is the mainstream scientific position. Corona is a droplet infection. Now nobody has dealt with a situation like this pandemic before, so maybe the mainstream view is wrong and masks are actually a bad idea in this case. But there is no evidence of that so far, and so stating that masks are not effective is erroneous. As for panic buying PPE, this is where WHO ought to have recommended to wear homemade washable cloth masks instead of disposable ones, and also come clean that they are doing it for this reason, not because it is supposedly not effective. They did neither of these things.
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Offline karajorma

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So now you're trying to bull**** me about what the WHO said about masks?

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/documents/advice-on-the-use-of-masks-2019-ncov.pdf

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a medical  mask  is  not  required,  as  no  evidence  is available  on  its  usefulness  to  protect  non-sick persons. However,masks  might  be  wornin  some  countries according to local culturalhabits. If masks areused, best practices  should be  followed  on  how  to  wear,  remove, and  dispose  of  them  and  on  hand  hygiene  action  after removal  (see  below advice  regarding appropriate mask management).

Find me one quote where they said they weren't effective or admit you made the whole thing up about them saying it.

EDIT: As for why they didn't recommend masks (homemade or otherwise), they had to weigh up whether wearing a maks protects you more than the dangers of touching your face constantly to adjust it or contaminating yourself when you remove it. The science is completely out on that one. So you're basically saying that they should have made a completely unscientific recommendation based on no data whatsoever in January. And you're using the fact that they had a slight amount of data in April to suggest that they should have done it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 08:03:31 am by karajorma »
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Offline The E

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In that same document, the WHO recommends all the basic stuff that has been government policy around the world: Keep your distance, wash your hands, make sure you take measures to protect yourself and others. It also says that people who do show symptoms of some respiratory infection absolutely should wear masks.
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Offline 666maslo666

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So now you're trying to bull**** me about what the WHO said about masks?

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

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If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection

And from your own source:

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a medical  mask  is  not  required,  as  no  evidence  is available  on  its  usefulness  to  protect  non-sick persons.

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Offline 666maslo666

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Note that travel restrictions and bans ARE a subset of social distancing, and the default scientific consensus is that social distancing is a good idea during a pandemic. You better come up with some very good positive evidence to the contrary BEFORE you go against this view during a crisis like this. Even then, I think the best you could probably do is not show that travel restrictions are ineffective, but merely that their economic cost is not worth it depending on details of the situation.
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Offline karajorma

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Evidently you don't understand what "Not effective" means. Not required does not mean not effective.
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Offline 666maslo666

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Evidently you don't understand what "Not effective" means. Not required does not mean not effective.

Unimportant semantics. My previous post said "WHO erroneously said that healthy general population did not need to wear masks." anyway.

Any statement that can be interpreted as not needing to wear masks, especially by general public, is a stupid statement. And this is not a theoretical danger but an actual one, as there were and are plenty of people running around without masks and even looking down on those who wear masks as uninformed or paranoid, precisely because of these erroneous recommendations aired by CDC and WHO.
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I think you and Joshua are absolutely right about what will be the result of trying to pressure the WHO. But that doesn't mean that Trump isn't arrogant enough to believe it will play out in his favour.

Oh I flat out think this isn't a play that will "play out in his favour", this is just a teenager angrily screaming at his parents for not warning him about the things he was specifically warned about.

  

Offline MP-Ryan

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Hi.  Actually guy with a genetics degree here and hefty immunology course load.  Wife is a public health RN.  And I read journal articles and studies because I'm a nerd like that/

Masks for general public use are NOT effective in preventing transmission.  The vast majority of people wear masks incorrectly (removing them to talk, not practicing proper hygiene, not maintaining a sterile zone) and they have been proven to increase risk of transmission via a false sense of security.  SARS-CoV-2 is droplet transmission and only aerosolized by certain medical procedures, so while an infected person wearing as mask is likely to reduce transmission via surfaces, MORE effective is STAYING THE **** HOME and having non-symptomatic people WASH THEIR HANDS and MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF 2 METERS.  In other words, the three bits of advice that every public health authority the world over is giving out.  Recommending masks does nothing to prevent transmission, and creates a run on medical PPE - which we already saw and there are still shortages - by people who don't actually need it.  Medical professionals need medical grade masks (surgical, N95, N100, P100) - if everyone else wants to wear a cloth or non-medical masks that's their option (which the WHO said from the beginning) but they do very, very little to stop or slow transmission.

The difference in Asian countries is not masks.  It's aggressive distancing, rapid and aggressive test-and-trace, and collectivist cultures that prioritize following the instructions of authorities to everyone's benefit unlike the "MUH FREEDUMS!" asshats in most Western democracies.

So no, the WHO's advice on masks was not incorrect.  It was evidence-based best-advice designed to prevent false sense of security leading people to violate the other public health orders, and to keep precious PPE supplies from being bought and hoarded by private individuals.

And if you don't believe me.  That's influenza modelling/review data, which actually does readily aerosolize.

TL;DR:  Outside of a medical / close-contact setting, masks are nothing more than a feel-good placebo.  Maintaining a proper social distance will do more to prevent transmission than wearing a mask, particularly because mask wearers are more likely to engage in risk behaviour like touching the mask, touching their face, contaminating the protective field with mask removal with gloves or unwashed hands, and not following distancing protocols out of a false sense of security.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 09:47:26 am by MP-Ryan »
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Offline karajorma

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I'd heard most of that but not any evidence that masks actually were ineffective. Just that there was no proof that they were.

Just out of interest, what caused the WHO to start recommending cloth masks? I never heard an explanation for the change.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Just out of interest, what caused the WHO to start recommending cloth masks? I never heard an explanation for the change.

Public pressure.

Okay, that may be overly cynical.  There is also evidence that proper mask use, when combined with social distancing, handwashing, and staying home when sick may inhibit transmission particularly among presymptomatic individuals (one recent study from earlier this week estimates an average pre-symptomatic transmission rate of 44%) who will be inhibited from spreading droplets if they - and I can't emphasize this enough - wear masks properly.

To put this in perspective, my wife went grocery shopping yesterday.  We live in a fairly small community on the edge of a large city (low-ish population density).  In the course of her shopping experience, where are stores are heavily enforcing social distancing and hand/object sanitization measures, she also saw maybe a dozen people wearing masks.  Of that dozen, she witnessed - in just the few minutes she observed these people - no less than four of them compromise the mask's protective field through removal and/or touching.  One particularly brilliant individual would lift his mask to talk to people, then replace it.  :yes: genius.

What general advice to wear a mask does do is make it less stigmatizing for infected, symptomatic people - who should not be anywhere in public anyway - to wear a mask.  When everyone wears one, a mask no longer signals infection.
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Offline Luis Dias

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You're mistaking my intent here, so maybe I wasn't clear. It isn't to defend Goober's beliefs, nor is it to say "the truth is in the middle," because in this case it absolutely is not. You're correct, there are often such things as objective truths and right answers. My argument (belief, whatever) is simply that we're better off not just dismissing people with whom we disagree as "unreachable" and asking them to leave a community. In my mind, that's being fragile because it's far easier to just say "no, go away you're wrong" than to keep talking to them. I know it's been tried in this thread with limited success...that's good. Keep trying, is my point. Maybe this short aside will help illustrate what I'm trying to say: One of the biggest struggles in my field is how to shift attitudes and policies regarding climate change, particularly in conservative areas. And what we've found (studies have been done!) is that the answer isn't just to say "go away you're wrong," but rather to try and find areas where meaningful dialogue can take place (even though they are wrong). Common ground.

I have all the empathy in the world for those living in the hardest hit areas, and all the admiration in the world for those who are risking their lives to help (including, apparently, your partner, Battuta). You're in the worst place in the US for this, and that has got to be terrifying. I'm scared too...because it's ****ing scary.

Just to add my support to this statement, which was very well put and I agree completely. I totally understand Battuta's feelings because I feel them myself (so that's an easy thing at least), and I quite not get Goober's feelings at all because I don't feel them whatsoever, but I fail to see malice in his words, at least by intent. And what good will it make to create barriers between different chambers, will the echoes we get as a result of those walls rising comfort and appease our souls? I think that may be the case, but on the other hand, we will have done two things: absolve ourselves of changing, even if millimetrically, those who feel completely otherwise, and provide our brains with the illusion that everyone thinks like we do.

And then we will falter with an immense fragility to the surprise of reality, just like in November 2016, or any other year since.

 
Florida's governor, DeSantis, already drew criticism for leaving beaches open during spring break. Now, with Florida's daily death toll steadily increasing, beaches are starting to reopen.