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Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic

Discussion in 'General' started by Biigoh, Mar 16, 2020.

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  1. mishie

    mishie Experienced.

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    Thing is though, we've already got significant contact tracing in place, to the point where we know exactly where the vast majority of our positive cases came from. And when ypu add in the fact that we can easily test and isolate at risk people from dangerous countries like the US, then that makes it even easier to be ready for a second wave.
     
  2. Aleh

    Aleh Destroyer of Faith in Humanity

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    ... yeeeah, no. We don't have the numbers to say that. Getting them is at least four to ten months out.

    Of course, given the next bit...

    ... which falls under the category of "evidence that you don't understand how medical science, and particularly epidemiology, works," I suppose I shouldn't exactly be surprised.

    Science is, in a very real sense, the systematic acknowledgement of the limitations of our knowledge. Scientists, especially good scientists, and particularly those in wishy-washy, complicated areas like medicine, epidemiology, and in vivo biology which are prone to things seeped in multifactoral and complex causation, are, by the standards of anyone who's not used to dealing with them, extremely reluctant to say anything conclusively.

    So, yeah, what we're seeing is exactly what we'd expect to see from a post-COVID syndrome. It's also, by far, the most likely explanation.

    I mentioned that it was too early for firm numbers, right? Well, the reasons for that are pretty much the same as why we won't have a vaccine for at least the latter amount of time despite the fact that we have candidates (the first of which just passed Phase 1 trials with promising results) already. Specifically, you detect things like that via a method called "followup studies..." or, more technically in the case of the aftereffects of the disease, case-control and longitudinal cohort studies. Again, without getting into the fiddly technical details, you have to observe people after recovery and follow up on them to see how (and if) they get better.

    Thing is, SARS-CoV-2 spilled over back a bit before December -- the first documented case showed his first symptoms on December 1st and was admitted to the hospital on the 16th. The first cases outside China started in January... and things started to pick up around mid-March.

    This means that the very first known case of SARS-CoV-2 would be about five months past recovery now. The people in the first real "wave" here in America have had less than two months since infection, and about a month and a half since recovery.

    Thing is, people's situations in recovery tend to vary dramatically over time. Disregarding the issue the the disease reemerging in a new form (something that there's notable precedent for), someone who's had their major organs attacked in some way takes time to recover... and so we can't tell if it's going to happen until that time has passed.

    For various reasons (again, this involves technical details that I don't have the time or spoons to get into here), the traditional follow-up times are, roughly, three, six, and twelve months, followed by multiples of years. Five-year follow-ups are common.

    For reasons of statistical power and the sheer number of things we need to look for, getting said numbers will require samples at least in the thousands.

    As such, at least here in the US, that means we'll be looking at the people who started getting infected in March. We should thus expect early numbers to maybe start coming out in June, with them firming up somewhat around September or so... while still remaining highly preliminary.

    That's also around when we'll be able to get more definitive answers as to whether these syndromes we're seeing are COVID-related. In the meantime, I can simply say that there's substantial precedent for the answer being "yes."
     
  3. TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    Exactly. We don't have the numbers, yet you're acting as if your claims are facts.

    And you have the nerve to claim I'm the one who doesn't comprehend science?
     
  4. Drak4806

    Drak4806 Experienced.

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    Are you absolutely sure you wiped out the virus? And are your borders really locked down? And how long can you keep things locked down? Just think about how international trade and travel goes on during normal times. And how long can your economy last with the people locked in place and the borders shut?

    Island countries have it easy unlike here in the US. We have long stretches of borders with Canada and Mexico that we have trouble securing not to mention the people who sneak in through boat or even rafts.

    Two to three months of global lockdown where if you leave your house you get shot is the only way to defeat this but that's impossible to ever happen.
     
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  5. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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    Our borders are honestly much less of a problem than our home-grown idiots.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. zup

    zup Versed in the lewd.

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    Who is going to enforce that? If the soldiers or police are out of their homes, they are breaking the lockdown. Autonomous killbots?
     
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  7. Aleh

    Aleh Destroyer of Faith in Humanity

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    You're the one making unwarrantedly optimistic claims about the economic consequences of letting people get infected when every indication is to the contrary.
     
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  8. Drak4806

    Drak4806 Experienced.

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    That's why i said it was impossible.
     
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  9. Xicree

    Xicree Destroy and Rejoice!

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    Its not the specific number of deaths that fucks with the Economy so much as the Fear of it combined with the fear of incompetent handling by those above you.

    Doesn't matter if your group aren't the ones dying of it in droves so long as enough people are dying and Some of your group is getting hit visibly...

    That chains into an effect where people who might have been otherwise able to go out and work and otherwise participate in economic activity... just don't. They stop doing anything unnecessary for survival because uncertainty has set in, and an inability to believe those who are above them cripples any attempts at trying to get them back out.


    Even a large number of deaths isn't as much of an economy killer as that lingering uncertainty that comes with perceived incompetent handling.


    You're actually forgetting a factor that mitigates for multiple places in Africa in general.

    ... they've had to VERY RECENTLY deal with Several major plagues...


    This is not an insignificant factor, because it influences the way that humans on the ground will deal with things. Even if it is in a less efficient manner, they at least have that experience of having to dodge various plagues and sicknesses either institutionalized in various smaller organizations, or spread through the general population. There's probably few populations with as much experience in 'not getting sick 101' as most of the african nations.

    So even if their institutions suck, the general herd behavior probably will have some effect.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  10. .We

    .We Lewdness is just a matter of perspective

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    So the Swedish health agency finally released a report on how their strategy works in practice.

    TL;DR
    • It’s shit
    • Herd immunity without a vaccine is a pipe dream.
    • Sweden now has the highest rate of corona caused deaths per capita per day[1].
    • Bunch of people have died for no reason
    [1] Official confirmed cases. Actual rates for many countries could be considerably higher than their official numbers as deaths go unaccounted because of incompetence and/or political agenda.
     
  11. OverMaster

    OverMaster L

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    We might be freaking done then, since regardless of what some people in this thread are trying to sell around, I still am not sure we'll ever have an efficient, lasting vaccine for this thing (and certainly not before a year or two), and it's obvious global lockdowns lasting long enough as to stop transmission aren't really an option either.
     
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  12. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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    Human testing for one decent-looking vaccine started roughly a month ago in Oxford, UK.

    Last week some big pharma company in San Francisco, CA announced plans for another one.

    Even if neither of those work out, I don't think we're done as a species. We survived the Black Death.
     
  13. TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    Eh, the black death is overhyped... it killed a bunch of people in a narrow span of time, then burned itself out. A flash in the pan, little more. Still infects a few people every year in the modern world (including the USA and Australia)... otherwise, we basically ignore it.

    Smallpox is the gold standard of pandemics... it spent 2400 years ravaging our population on a regular basis, killing about a third of all its victims, and leaving roughly 1 in 10 of the survivors permanently blinded or otherwise crippled. A toll orders of magnitude beyond even the most deranged fearmongering about any and all brands of coronavirus.

    Yet we kept progressing forward in spite (and in many ways *because*) of its consistent decimation of human life. And the moment we had the ability, we fucking murdered it.

    Wuhan Flu is the easy-mode epidemic. We've overcome so much worse, and we did it with vastly inferior knowledge and resources.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  14. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Bubonic plague caused periodic apocalyptic epidemics all over the world all throughout human history; what we call "the Black Death" was only the biggest one. E.g. Plague of Justinian, Plague of 1666, probably others I'm forgetting.

    I don't know whether it or smallpox were worse overall, but plague was very much not a flash in the pan.
     
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  15. TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    What you described was the definition of 'flash in the pan' plague. I don't think there's been a single disease in history that's only had *one* outbreak. Even Wuhan Flu is SARS 3.0 .

    Normal not-Spanish-influenza has killed more than the plague. So has salmonella and E. Coli. I would be only mildly surprised to learn the Common Cold has claimed more lives overall.

    Bubonic still kills three or four people every year... rarely makes more than the local news. It's been relegated to the 'mostly ignored' bin alongside salmonella and yeast infections. Both of which at least kill in the double digits. As opposed to influenza, which kills several thousand and is *also* mostly ignored.


    Smallpox was never ignored. It killed over 50 million people in the 20th century alone. And that was in spite of effective vaccinations starting in the early 1800s and continuing until the disease's extinction in the 1970s. It was far worse in the thousands of years beforehand.

    Random fun fact: it was also the first vaccine ever created.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  16. zup

    zup Versed in the lewd.

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    Another fun fact: the Finnish verb 'rokottaa' (to vaccinate) literally translates as 'to infect with pox'.
     
  17. TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    That *is* fascinating. Thank you.
     
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  18. Derrandoo

    Derrandoo Not too sore, are you?

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    Smallpox is fun because the first vaccine was based on cowpox when it was observed milkmaids didn't get smallpox.

    Then they did all kinds of cowpox based experiments, many of them kinda gross.
     
  19. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Further trivia: "vaccination" comes from Latin "vacca", "cow", since the original smallpox vaccine was in fact just an infection with a closely related but much less severe disease, cowpox, that conferred an immunity to both cowpox and smallpox. There's another word in English, "variolation", which was the original therapy on which vaccination was an improvement: this was just to infect people with smallpox, using a small dose under controlled conditions, in order to confer smallpox immunity after recovering from the disease a few weeks later. Variolation killed about 2% of its patients; however, this was an improvement over uncontrolled smallpox, which killed more like 30%. (And of course "variolation" comes from "variola", which is the Latin term for smallpox itself.)
     
  20. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Experienced.

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    Isn't it weird how people living paycheck to paycheck are supposed to have months worth of savings for emergencies but billion-dollar corporations are so poorly managed that they are on the verge of bankruptcy after a few weeks of reduced profits.
     
  21. eager slacker

    eager slacker Know what you're doing yet?

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    It is rather funny. In many cases it can be a matter of incompetence and blind optimism in which case they should have seen this coming. In other cases it maybe due to liabilities they owe in various deals that are all of a sudden being demanded by other companies in similar situations with everyone juggling around what actual liquidable assets they have on hand to pay out their debts.
     
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  22. TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    Billion-dollar corporations are expensive. Electricity isn't free, production of... well, products... takes resources. Employees are nowhere near cheap.

    That ol' adage 'you have to spend money to make money' is painfully accurate. It's part of why climbing out of poverty is such a pain in the dick, and why it's so very easy for the giants to topple.

    Kinda like how elephants need to eat around 180 kilos of vegetation per day or starve to death.

    And that's before considering competition.

    Thanks to the power of free markets, most companies are on the razor's edge of insolvency- on average, most American companies only make about 10 cents in net profits off of each employee per hour (with the bulk of exceptions in entertainment and medical fields).

    The margins must be that narrow, or someone else would come in, undercut your prices, steal all your customers, and drive you out of business.

    Now, when you have a million employees putting in 40 hour workweeks, that's not such a bad deal... 800 thousand per day is nothing at all to complain about- it's almost 300 million a year. But it's not a 'steady trickle', it's a tempest in a teacup.

    You have to spend about 100 million dollars a day (about 70% in employee wages and benefits, 30% in utilities and materials), to get 100.8 million dollars gross income back. Suddenly that 800k doesn't sound so impressive, does it?

    What that means is even a 1% decrease in revenue flips you from black to red.

    And most companies are seeing something like a 20-30% cut in revenues right now. Or worse, in some cases... the airlines are getting particularly hammered right now.


    Or, at least, that's how it works in the USA. Other countries (especially ones without labor laws) may not play out quite the same way.


    Not to say the common citizen isn't also getting fucked. Because they definitely are.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  23. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    Yes, no and maybe-ish

    Most (reasonably successful) companies, even big ones, are not in the news because they're operating responsiblyish and it's only the extreme outliers that you hear being a problem.

    What this means in practice is that if we ignore the extremely large multi nation companies in Malaysia for instance, we get big companies that don't require government bailout because they aren't so leveraged they'll die with a few weeks of reduced profits. Even a few super big companies have enough cash to last for a few months in Malaysia/

    However note that this comes at the cost of reduced wages or layoffs as labour is the single biggest expense in most companies. So not good for everyone involved.

    Now there are economic problems with letting super large companies dominate your economy, namely that their optimal move is usually not good for your economy, but thats another topic to withstanding prolonged revenue reduction.

    A situation that no company had realistically prepared for since virtually noone has experienced or expected any disease to be deadly ,virulent and resistant enough to occur with modern medicine.
     
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  24. Aleh

    Aleh Destroyer of Faith in Humanity

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    Except, you know, pretty much every public health expert for the last 30+ years?
     
  25. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    That doesn't invalidate my post.

    Most companies are staffed and advised by people who don't deal with, or has any experienced with epidemics or pandemics. And the number of people who are actually experienced in the field are not working in those companies since their choice of vocation is not usually coomercial in nature.

    In Malaysia specifically, the vast majority of people who have training or experience in public health are working under or with the government in healthcare or education of future doctors. Outside of that the number of practicing(within the last ten years or so) public health specialist is really really small and is basically non existant as a % of the private sector workforce.

    In Malaysia specifically most "public health expert", prior to february, DID NOT believed that C19 would be such a massive problem even when it was known to be an issue in China. Now it was expected to be a problem, but it was anticipated that it would be like SARS and would burn out within a couple of months. Initial data in January indicated that the Ro was approximately 0 from observation of early patients.

    The difference however is that unlike some more overconfident countries, the Health Ministries of most ASEAN countries have been preparing for a hypothethical biosecurity threat starting from 7-9 years ago since the talks started and pushed by Obama* and his counter china initiatives.

    It's this system that was repurposed to handle the C19 problem. And since even when trump pulled out from Asia, the EU and Canada helped resume pushing that biosecurity initiatives and we were in a better position to react to and contain the spread of the virus.
     
  26. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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  27. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

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    That's amazing.
     
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  28. Biigoh

    Biigoh Tanuki Moderator

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  29. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy Verified Sanity

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    Looks like someone went a little crazy during quarantine and came up with gold!
     
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