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Update to Public Appearances in a time of pandemic

Life comes at you fast.

On March 12th, this was my provisional plan for public appearances.

Here's the update: ConPulsion is/was cancelled. Eastercon is cancelled. Satellite VII is not cancelled but is being postponed at least 8 months and might yet be cancelled). ConZealand, the world science fiction convention in New Zealand, is switching to a virtual/online-only format: as a face-to-face gathering, it's cancelled.

(Novacon isn't until November so they don't need to make a decision yet, but if this isn't resolved by August—widespread test kits deployed in the community, initial infection spike smoothed, and treatments coming online—my money's on "cancelled".)

Given the news none of this is surprising (they postponed the Olympics—that normally only happens during a world war). Whether SF conventions will ever get restarted is an open question at this point: the hospitality industry and public transport (including airlines) are taking it in the neck, and even after COVID-19 ebbs away people are going to be very nervous about mingling in large public gatherings with people who've come from far away. Certainly, with the exception of a trickle of events postponed from before the pandemic, I don't see much happening in 2021 or 2022. And it's kind of hard to pitch for/organize a future world science fiction convention when your venue is a plague hospital and half your committee members are in lockdown overseas.

2020 may be remembered as the year convention-going SF fandom died. I hope not, but there it is.

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1:

There's still hope (although quite slim) that CooNZealand can switch back from a virtual format, but I would not bank on it. Annoyingly, I have both room and flight booked and paid for. Ah, well.

2:

You probably want to cancel your flight right away, before the airline goes bust.

(The hotel might last a little longer, and in the unlikely event that the in-person event goes ahead you might be able to pick up cheap flights nearer the time.)

3:

We've put down a deposit. If we lose it — no, when we lose it — well, we're able to eat that cost. We know that others won't be so lucky.

I suspect the next convention we'll get to will be the BristolCon at the end of the year.

4:

I suspect at least until a vaccine is released that you're correct.
Availability/Cost of Air travel, social acceptance of large group gatherings are also going to work against it.

All this is a great incentive to deploy and improve remote meeting technology.
I can well imagine people paying to remotely attend gatherings. Remote controlled bot with integrated with Skype anybody?

5:

Remote meetings are already happening, but they miss the point wrt. SF conventions which are all about meeting and mingling with people. In other words, they're social events.

Right now we're all coping with not rubbing shoulders with our non-co-domiciled family members -- but once the pandemic lockdown is lifted are you going to stick to Skype or Facetime for family birthday parties or weddings and funerals? No? Didn't think so.

6:

>> Remote controlled bot with integrated with Skype anybody?

I'm picturing a thousand roombas with tablets fixed on top cruising around a gymnasium floor, with one human with a broomstick to nudge the ones that get stuck in a corner.

7:

The "serious" content side of SF conventions -- panel discussions, readings, and talks -- can be moved online, no problem.

But the social side -- partying, dances, cosplay, book signings, kaffeeklatches -- just can't: telepresence doesn't scratch that itch.

8:

Charlie @ 7
We are a SOCIAL species, Pan narrans remember?

9:

Ventilator Blues (Jagger/Richards)

When your spine is cracking and your hands, they shake
Heart is bursting and your butt's gonna break
Woman's cussing, you can hear her scream
Feel like murder in the first degree

Ain't nobody slowing down no way
Everybody's stepping on their accelerator
Don't matter where you are
Everybody's gonna need a ventilator

When you're trapped and circled with no second chances
Code of living is your gun in hand
Can't be browed by beating, can't be cowed by words
Messed by cheating, ain't gonna ever learn

Everybody walking 'round
Everybody trying to step on their Creator
Don't matter where you are, everybody, everybody gonna
Need some kind of ventilator, some kind of ventilator
Come down and get it

10:

I'm not sure cons are going to be any different to any other leisure activity. Every international sporting event is cancelled, and so are most domestic ones, right down to playing in the park. World wars closed the Olympics, but even they didn't stop playing football (soccer or American), baseball, cricket and so on; but coronavirus certainly has. It's even stopped hillwalking, which in Britain is almost unheard of. The last time Eyam in Derbyshire had to isolate itself like this was in 1665 with the Great Plague.

It's not going to stop people wanting to do all those things in future though, just that there's going to be a hiatus before everything comes back. People whose living depended on these things are certainly going to be in serious trouble for the duration, and they may not be in any position financially to pick up where they left off when we get to the other side. If the event was successful before though, *someone* will most likely pick it up. Historically, I'm thinking of things like Canal Mania, Railway Mania, and the telecoms boom. Many of the people who originally set up those enterprises went out of business in financial crashes, but the enterprises themselves were fundamentally viable, and other people bought them out and continued them successfully. That's going to be cold comfort to everyone currently worrying where their income is going to come from now, of course.

11:

At the same time, don't forget the origin of sf fandom: long-distance communication via mail and fanzines, for the fen lived far apart.

From what I've seen of fandom, we already have social constructs and frameworks that can handle this. It might take a while for the big cons to return, but the smaller fan-run cons? Those will emerge rather quickly once this starts to clear.

12:

I've attended only a handful of SF-Cons. Thoroughly enjoyed them and hope to attend more in the future but ... although I've been reading SF since the age of 12, my first SF-Con was about 6 or 7 years ago and the only reason I went was because I felt that I had established a personal (albeit one-way) connection with the guest authors via their blogs and YouTube video appearances/ interviews, etc. In-person meetings are the icing on the cake.


And since we've already derailed ... Apart from more frequent phone calls with family, I'm using music more and more to get myself up and moving. Videos like this Sesame Street cover also tap into upbeat family moments.

Flowers On The Wall | with Bunsen and Beaker | Muppets Music Video | The Muppets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uIlNtonvr8

Their 'Kodachrome' also gets me out of the chair and moving.

13:

"Given the news none of this is surprising (they postponed the Olympics—that normally only happens during a world war)."

Actually, they've never postponed them before. They cancelled them during the war.

14:

Remember that all vaccines are not created equal. A vaccine as good as the flu vaccine -- somewhere between fifty and eighty percent effective for individuals in a given year -- would be totally worth it from a herd immunity perspective and would not restore a sufficient sense of safety to support large public gatherings.

15:

Well, there are multiple timeline issues here.

One is the Covid19 timeline. I suspect that we're going to see a vaccine next year, and possibly a treatment this year, although I'd as soon bet on Chinese traditional medicine and Cuban interferon as chloroquine, but they're throwing everything against the wall, so there's a possibility that something will stick.

The second timeline is the next pandemic. So long as we live in a world of cheap international travel, a few countries like China dominating manufacturing, and a lot of countries (like the US) shifting increasingly to service, money, and consumerism for their economies, it's inevitable. We're too closely tied together with this model. Yes, it's probably kept us out of a nuclear or world war for the last 70 years, but the cost may be worse (or not). So there will be another one, even if it's not covid19.

The third timeline is climate change, which is almost certain to put an end to this version of the global economy in 20 years, and might in 10.

So the tl;dr is that international convention culture is, like Edwardian manor culture in the 1920s, probably going to go away in the next decade or two. That's not just for SFF, but for science, business, gaming, and so on. It's sad, but an aappropriate response is to figure out what worthwhile things can take its place and to start building those. Online is a partial solution. What else?

16:

Actually, they've never postponed them before. They cancelled them during the war.

Same difference: they were deferred.

By 1915 nobody was falling for "it'll be over by Christmas" any more, so the 1916 games got cancelled. 1940 went out the window once the balloon went up in Europe, because precedent.

This time ... there are grounds to hope that it will be over by, if not Christmas, then 12-18 months hence, with widespread deployment of vaccines, antibody test kits, containment protocols, and possibly drugs (if anything already on the shelf is demonstrated to work).

Breaking: UK -- mass home testing kit to be available within days. Read the news item, not my summary. (In-pharmacy antibody assay test, requires a drop of blood, results delivered within 10-15 minutes. UK government bought an initial 3.5M test kits, which are being validated this week: if it works, national roll-out and further bulk orders are on the cards. Minimal or no charge to users.)

17:

Here in New Mexico, we had an annual convention called BuboniCon. I was really hoping that we might be able to start attending, now that I'd gotten in to steady work.

Oh, well.

18:

Well, if that (test) works as well as expected it will ease things up a lot.
How long before the US catches up ... not until someone shoots Trump, I expect

19:

UK -- mass home testing kit to be available within days.

Now the big question. Will DT buy into it. His American First is really a "we are best and don't need no stinking help". So buying someone else's solution does not help his messaging.

20:

I can’t decide about the lack of contrails; a clear sky is nice, but kinda disturbing.
I’ve only heard a couple jets while out walking the dogs yesterday morning, I assume they’re Air Force, and have only seen a couple Cessnas flying around.

21:

Here, even the police copters are thinner in the air & a plane is as common as they were 30+ years ago, or less ...
But still occasionally visible - will get even fewer, now that LCY is shutting up shop.

22:

AOK @4 & Matt @6, I take it you’re not Gibson readers? You’re describing Wheelieboys from “The Peripheral”, which were more like mini segways with tablets. Some people have made their own, and there are clunky versions used by house-bound students and remote doctors.

23:

LCY is open to government flights only.

As it's the local airport for the Excel Centre, which is an emergency plague hospital, I suspect it may be getting cleared for logistics and air ambulance services.

24:

Graydon @ 14: Remember that all vaccines are not created equal. A vaccine as good as the flu vaccine -- somewhere between fifty and eighty percent effective for individuals in a given year -- would be totally worth it from a herd immunity perspective and would not restore a sufficient sense of safety to support large public gatherings.

This morning I read an article that quoted a researcher at John Hopkins Hospital who is working on the Corona Virus Vaccine. He said the Corona Virus does not appear to mutate as quickly as do regular flu viruses, which gave hope that a Corona Virus vaccine might be available sooner rather than later, and that the vaccine might give long term immunity similar to the Chicken Pox vaccine.

I'm pretty sure the Chicken Pox vaccine is more than fifty to eighty percent effective. Hopefully a Corona Virus vaccine that gave long term immunity would be as well.

25:

Greg Tingey @ 18: Well, if that (test) works as well as expected it will ease things up a lot.
How long before the US catches up ... not until someone shoots Trump, I expect

I'm not a fan of Cheatolini iL Douchebag, but in this case - given Mike Pence's history of mismanaging infectious disease outbreaks - someone shooting Trump would be a bad thing.

26:

I can’t decide about the lack of contrails; a clear sky is nice, but kinda disturbing.

LOTs of empty seats. LOTs of canceled flights. Seems the cancellation are day to day.

There are a lot of voices on US social media saying the airlines should not get any help unless they don't lay anyone off.

The airlines (and most anyone paying attention) realize they will be much smaller for a long time.

As I told my wife, the only way to really open up the airline industry safely is if they come up with a fast test that can be administered at security points and you don't get to board until you get a clean test. Even at 15 minutes it will be a pain but I can see it being required. At least in worlds not controlled by DT.

In the US (I don't know about else where) the airlines and TSA are connected so at the gate they know if you're clear security or not. I can see that expanding to including a test result.

27:

When I think of Pence my mind jumps to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AALREbJZEZk

Sorry, but it is laden with all kinds of US cultural inuendo. If you ever saw the movie you're understand more.

The main character in the clip is playing the purely political governor of Texas.

28:

Given current security requirements for checking in, it would be doable. Check in, go through security getting tested on the way through. Proceed to boarding area, only allowed to board if tested negative.

Problems come if you test positive. You've been in contact with a lot of people since then. Do you put entire airport on hold? (Remembering false positives…) Let everyone else fly with a note that they need to get tested at far end? (Likely to be a requirement for admission to another country.) Or do you seal boarding lounges so people can't mingle, test on the way in, and only

29:

lack of contrails

So let's see. This means the chemtrails folks are winning. And Trump is their natural ally against the deep state who is behind the chemtrails.

But if he gets the airlines to full time flying again then he will really be their enemy?

Conspiracies can be so confusing to keep up with.

30:

When I went to PicoCon at the end of February I didn't realise it would likely be the largest UK SF Con this year.

31:

BuboniCon

That’s hilarious. For some reason I’m picturing it held in a field with a large Prairie Dog colony.

32:

(sorry, hit submit accidentally because of screen lag while trying to select/delete the previous comment)

On second thoughts, delete/ignore my comment 28. You could screen out people on a plane, but I don't see an easy way to screen out people at the doors of most airports, which aren't constructed to keep people apart. If someone's test is positive what do you do with all those who were in contact with them? Presumably there is a lag between infection and testing positive, so do their tickets just get cancelled?

33:

Defoe’s ‘Journal of the Plague’ is good reading at this time. Really, he writes well.

Conventions will return. Gatherings always have, after plagues.

Of course, the Americans will be hit hardest. So it may take them a few years.

Shame about ConZealand, Norm and co. spent years working towards it and preparing for it. Right call, obviously.

But NZ has 204 cases, no deaths, is in full lockdown for 4 weeks or more. I may leave my home for groceries, or to visit the pharmacy, or urgent medical care. My wife and I may walk to the park across the road and throw a frisbee, if we take care to avoid all others and there is hardly anyone at the park. But we must remain local - driving to a park is a no-no. Households of 1 person may buddy with another household of 1 person and visit each other.

My eldest daughters generation made quick calls about whether to hunker down at their flat, go home to Mum & Dad, or bunker up at their boyfriend/girlfriend’s place.

There is a good chance that NZ will be entirely virus free, and will have been so for some time, when the NZ con time comes around. Our lives back to something like normal. If so I cannot imagine our borders being open to you. Sorry.

34:

I CAN see it but it would require intrusive testing. Get a test in the AM and your phone gets a photo with your pic and an embedded scan code that SSL certified and good for 24 hours.

Initial wild thoughts. Not a business plan.

35:

A bit over a month ago today would have been my last day in London on an 8 day holiday with my wife. Very tentative plan to leave was train/ferry to Dublin and fly out of there back to the US. I guess I can go watch some videos of that trip.

Things have really changed in the last month.

36:

No, the lower end of that wouldn't help much, and I am doubtful that even the upper would give effective herd immunity. COVID is far more infectious, and requires a higher immunity rate. Our Chief Scientific Officer said on television that 60% is enough for herd immunity, but he was being 'economical with the truth'. That would be true ONLY if we could keep the basic reproduction number R0 down to 2.5 AND the variation of that value in subgroups is low enough (which seems doubtful).

Something in the 60-80% protection range would probably stop the NHS from being overwhelmed, once the initial epidemic had been brought under control and the vaccination completed, but WOULDN'T stop the disease causing recurrent epidemics (of the sort caused for the 'childhood diseases' by anti-vaxxing).

37:

this is the opportunity.
we can remake society.
a universal basic income,
stop crapping on people because theyre poor
quit this Thatcherite money-cult

38:

"As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid

39:

(Yay, new thread, thank you Charlie). Now I finally understand where to find most recent comments, so can happily navigate to near the end of any thread, thanks to all for your patience with a non-techy lurking blog reader.

40:

So, people being very nervous about mingling in large public gatherings with people who've come from far away is one small step removed from 'people deciding they now have a really good excuse to not want to be very near other people who look like they, or more probably their ancestors, came from far away.

'It's not that I'm racist you understand, but you do have to worry about all these, you know, people who are not like us: are they bringing another plague from wherever it is they're from? Better safe than sorry, that's what I say: we should isolate them all in some nice camps.'

This is going to run and run.

41:

The vaccine problem isn't what Graydon thinks it is. There is some evidence with SOME corona viruses that immunity fades with time. These would be cold viruses, which also don't mutate much, but which for some reason are able to reinfect people after years to decades, because....? They determined it by checking the current virus, seeing that it was infecting people who had demonstrable antibodies to it, checking decades old specimens, and seeing that the modern virus is almost identical to the older one. Why SOME corona viruses seem to be forgotten by our immune systems I have absolutely no idea. That's from In The Pipeline, in the comments, so it may be wrong.

The other issue is that there's some evidence from Covid19 that a mild infection confers mild immunity, that there's something like a dose response. This might complicate making an effective vaccine.

Anyway those are the apparently known hiccups in getting a covid19 vaccine out.

There's also supposition that at least one of the cold-causing coronaviruses may have been responsible for a pandemic of pneumonia (both in cattle and humans) back around 1890. There are no tissue samples to confirm this, and the 1890 epidemic has also been linked to H1N1, also indirectly. Still, given that there are thousands of corona viruses out there recombining and occasionally jumping to humans, it would be surprising if Covid19 really was the first serious epidemic coronavirus. And yeah, we're still here, and the Chinese are even more still here, so this pandemic is not the end of the world, just the close of one chapter of a particular economic situation.

42:

RP
Suppose you test "positive" because you have antibodies in your blood, though?
But are niot running ANY symptoms, because - you're IMMUNE.
Problem.

icehawk
Sorry, but that ( "Journal of the Plague Year" ) has already been referred to several times already, including the reference to the people of Walthamstow turning potential Plague carriers away ... about 300 metres from my front door, in fact.

EC
The anti-vaxxer murderers have gone very quiet, haven't they?
Will they stay like that, I wonder?
Or will they start up again, the moment a vaccine is produced?

43:

The anti-vaxxer murderers have gone very quiet, haven't they?

I am wondering at what point we can indict Donald Trump on charges of attempted (or actual) genocide.

Most political leaders are wobbling violently ... then coming down in favour of "whatever works, please, I don't want to DIE!!!1!!" -- even Boris the Bullshitter seems to be listening to medical advisors rather than Dominic Cummings these days.

But a few are treating it as an opportunity. Netenyahu is using it as top cover for a constitutional coup to keep clear of his impending corruption trial, Bolsonaro is almost as bonkers as Trump (the gangsters in the favelas have a better grip on reality -- they're enforcing lockdown on their neighbourhoods), but Trump seems to have decided that a Blood Sacrifice to Mammon is called for.

44:

And then there's this:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/senate-gop-puts-ideology-above-workers-in-coronavirus-bill.html

'Murcan Conservatives don't believe in conserving anything. Idiotology "trumps" common sense.

45:

"Trump seems to have decided that a Blood Sacrifice to Mammon is called for."

So what else is new?

What I shall be interested to see is, if COVID-19 gets completely out of control in the USA, (Bozo has the spine / the UK shows enough independence) to block people coming in from the USA. I doubt it, but my wife is more optimistic.

46:

That's not going to work. You can't rely on antibody tests like that: they have a false negative rate (though a low one if the test is not FUBAR), but more importantly the immune system does not detect invaders and ramp up to fight them off in zero time, particularly not new invaders. There is a lag several days long while the immune system spots the attacker, replicates and hypermutates B cells to match the new antigen, replicates the matching survivor up to strength, and only *then* can it start even secreting the antibodies the test spots: but for that whole time you already have the virus and will become infectious sooner or later (and, for some viral illnesses, might be already).

This is one of the reasons diseases *have* an incubation time. So your proposed test would incorrectly keep people off flights who recovered possibly years ago, but would not keep people off flights who are about to become infectious (and possibly some who are infectious now). You still need to quarantine the lot at the other end for two or three weeks.

(The only reason we even *can* use an antibody test as a test for SARS-CoV-2 is because it's new: in three years time most of the population will, one hopes, test positive on this test. Mostly, one hopes, because of vaccination.)

47:

The point of testing is (a) differential diagnosis (is this COVID-19 or flu? -- although the docs are getting a crash course in telling the difference right now), and (b) verifying post-infection (i.e. immunity) status: someone who tests positive but had a brief illness and is now healthy is presumably immune and can therefore return to work once they're post-infectious.

Ideally you test everybody. Positives get a two-week isolation sentence, then are checked off as "cleared/immune" if disease doesn't develop. Negatives get re-tested a week later. If the second test is positive, go to previous: if it comes back negative then they're uninfected but still at risk and should lock down and self-isolate.

48:

I believe COVID-19 heralds a permanent change in contemporary society. As we've discussed previously, infectious disease experts have for the last couple of decades predicted an unknown disease without widespread immunity, or an ancient disease for which we've lost immunity, would cause a pandemic much as we are seeing now.

Nor should we think that this will be an isolated event. The modern world has been lucky, and supported by increasingly effective medical science. Even so, there's been a downside: anti-vaxxer nonsense reinforced by right-wing media, and falsely comforted by the lack of infection that sixty years of global immunizations has suppressed; the increasing occurrence of antibiotic-resistant disease; and the possibility of the recurrence of ancient diseases due to thawing permafrost.

COVID-19 is uniquely suited to attack modern society with its easy transmissability, long pre- and post- symptomatic infectious period, and relatively high morbidity rate. We should not expect this pandemic to be over, I think, in less than 18-24 months, even if an effective vaccine is available within a year.

Businesses, and possibly swathes of industries (like travel/hospitality) are going to fail. Unemployment has jumped dramatically in concert. Government control over everyday activities has been, for the most part, passively accepted. We are learning to cope by social media and substitutes such as Skype and Zoom video chatting. First run movies are being made available on release. Curbside pickup, orders to go, and contactless delivery are the order of the day (no pun intended, but I'm leaving in there).

So where do we go from here? I doubt large social gatherings are going to be allowed, or popular, for years to come. "Con crud" isn't just an inconvenience any more. Much of the U.S. federal government is on a maximum remote work status; I've been working from home since last Friday, and we don't expect to go back any time in the near future. At some point, I'm going to have to access hard copy records in my office, but I don't expect we'll go back to "normal" for a long time; perhaps only one or two of my six coworkers there at a time, and ongoing testing.

Sports events with tens of thousands in an arena are DONE. Large concerts are DONE. Movie theaters with full seats are DONE. Cons are probably DONE. Public transport is problematic. Full airliners are DONE.

John Scalzi's "Lock In" looks like a possible future, although the starting conditions are different. Perhaps, in the future, "in person" means telepresence of some sort. We're in uncharted territory.

49:

I've been waiting to see people bring up automation of large warenouses. Why employ humans who go on strike when you ask them to risk their lives working with other humans when you can automate it all.

Although I don't see DaveP's future coming about; people will gather at festivals and cons and sports matches etc.

50:

Boris won't have a choice - the reports are his about face was in part the result of the French government threatening to close the border. If the US, as expected, goes worse then the choice will be between keeping the UK/US border open or the UK/EU border open. While he may be stupid and choose the US, far more likely to choose the EU given he really can't afford to further crater and already cratering economy.

51:

If it was feasible to automate a warehouse Amazon would have done it. For whatever reason it isn't feasible yet.

It's much like fast food restaurants - the push for higher wages was supposed to result in getting rid of the employees for fully automated restaurants - hasn't happened yet despite significant minimum wage increases in various North American jurisdictions.

Which isn't to say neither won't become automated, but that is still a reasonable way off - just like Waymo has gone quite about self driving vehicles being imminent for everyone.

52:

That's not what they're doing. In fact, it's so off what they're doing it's an amazing comment.

Statements like this are infuriating because they show an absolute ignorance of the time slices (0.00 accuracy in per unit seconds / minute productivity charts) being applied to workers in multiple types of factories in the world that make your shit. e.g. garments, shoes, ipads etc. Since the fucking 1980's.

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/human-plus-machine-a-new-era-of-automation-in-manufacturing

AMZ is not looking for pure robotics - that's for freight, too expensive for small item logistics, and robots are still shit at boxes, they're looking to get an American conditioned model of Human that functions as well as Asia / Indonesia / Vietnam etc.

Wallmart is the outlier here: they don't give a shit as long as the peons are subsidized by Government grub.

~

Fuck me: you're not even aware of how Fascist your supply chains already are, and don't even know it yet. That's depressing.

53:

Humans are cheap and easy to mould and their supply chains are easy to fake[0] and they are adaptive to shitty conditions.

Robots are expensive and break the moment an environmental factor outside of their control goes wrong.

AMZ is streamlining humans and seeing how much shit they take before breaking (and/or before the new lot come in), not fucking modelling robots.

DERP.

Otherwise AMZ would have bought any number of car producing tech companies, which they did not.


[0] Working from home yet?

54:

I suspect it is far too early to predict the outcomes of this - those predicting totally change are likely to be wrong, those predicting no change are also likely to be wrong.

The most likely safest predictions are a baby boom (maybe?), and a jump in divorce.

A small percentage of the population excepted, humans are social creatures and none of the online options really replace direct interaction. Like our host said, there are parts of fandom conventions that just don't translate, and they I would guess tend to be the more popular and rewarding parts of a convention.

Similarly, watching a movie/play/opera/etc at home, or listing to your choice of music, isn't the same as the experience of seeing/hearing with a crowd. Oh, and the only first run movies being made available online on release are the second tier movies where the box office potential doesn't offset the costs waiting - all the big movies are being pulled from the schedule and held for later this year or next year.

The romantic dinner in a restaurant can't be replicated at home, nor can the experience of just getting out of the house.

etc.

And a lot of those are things that tend towards younger people, who aren't as a high a risk for Covid, who already as a result are not living in fear of it (to terrible results to the people with health problems) and they are going to gladly go back to social behaviour as soon as the government say okay (if not sooner).

55:

Coronavirus: Jeff Bezos, world’s richest man, asks public to donate to Amazon relief fund

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-amazon-jeff-bezos-relief-fund-covid-19-billionaire-net-worth-a9422236.html

@Host - apologies, but this is 100% SF nonsense with zero knowledge of what is actually happening.


It's either dumb or sick.

56:

Nowhere did I say the world of Amazon warehouse work was a utopia. Most reports are that it is a really terrible place to work, and the fact that they are constantly hiring (hence high turnover) would seem to support that.

I was merely responding to the idea of a fully automated warehouse as being impractical at this point in time (the reasons being irrelevant to the question).

57:

You can make an AMZ "automated" system: it's been done, on a much larger scale, even not thinking about Walmart and how it destroyed the USA. It's called the Chinese Model, where the entire country supplies the West with shit. And Vietnam, and India, and XXX countries. In fact, it's pretty much a global system.

Your smart boys spend a lot of time/energy making sure you don't add up the dots.

The answer is simple: humans are cheap. In many cases (fishing in particular) humans will always be more adaptive to the situation. Robots do have a role: car automation, for one. It is feasible to automate freight: most large shipping ports in the world have amazingly complex automated systems[0] that work 24/7 with minimal oversight.

The fact it's taken you 50+ years to notice this fact about your supply chains should weigh heavily upon whatever vestigial consciousness you have left.

~

You're a slaver. Living off slave labor. Fantasies about robots when (trust me: billions of dollars spent) everything that side of the 'hidden' supply chain has already been automated is, well.

Delusion.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVM5-_fusjs

You're prolly gonna get pissy when they automate war, but that's your conditioning.


[0] If you're writing dystopian SF: the first thing you do is hack the cranes.

58:

I feel 100% certain that conventions will be coming back. When we have an effective vaccine, it's gonna be all hugging and handshaking and cuddle piles and mosh pits ALL THE TIME.

I suspect in 2021 travel is going to get expensive, because everyone who can afford it is going to want to go everywhere. Current hotels and airlines may take a bath, but there will be hotels and airlines to collect the money when it comes back.

59:

So what's your take on WorldCon going virtual?

60:

When we have an effective vaccine

This is not an when, but an if.

Yes, lots of effort being applies; yes, lots of highly positive public statements.

Still an if.

Vaccines are hard.

61:

It HAS been done to a large degree. Especially in the first world where labor isn't cheap. (Relative to the rest of the world.)

People don't climb ladders to get your $2.99 item from a shelf 15 meters in the air. Things are binned. Bins are brought down in front of people who grab your oddly shaped item from the bin, scan it, toss it in one of 3 to 10 bins on their cart, and the robot system puts the bin back while the person on the cart heads to the next stop on their picking list. This bin handling is done automatically and timed so the actual person involved doesn't have to wait for it when all is working correctly.

Until the crap we buy comes in standard containers people will be doing the "last mile" or "last foot" as it may be. Same issues come up with boxing up things to ship. Since speed maters you at times get a box of playing cards in a shipping box which can handle 3 pairs of boots because that was the nearest available box.

My daughter, when a college student, worked in the new Engineering library were books were in a big locked room full of bins on shelves. The bins were picked and brought to a worker where the book someone wanted was removed and the bin returned to the vast array of shelves. Scanning of the student, worker, book, and bin all happening. On some sort of schedule a bin was left out and everything in it was scanned to identify and re-locate books put back without following proper procedure. I'm betting they had to ability, maybe not at first, to track which employees handled which books to identify who was making regular mistakes.

Also look up Elon Musk's attempts to take automation too far in his Tesla factory. Currently if you want to sell/make things for actual people there's enough slop needed that our current level of robots don't do it. He had to back off and not get rid of all the shaved apes he wanted to do away with.

Now if you go to a place where engineers live in mud huts with dirt floors (and a sat dish on the roof connected to the 50" TV in the hut) then the labor costs may be so low you CAN have people do it all.

62:

Current hotels and airlines may take a bath, but there will be hotels and airlines to collect the money when it comes back.

As someone who has a lot of family income tied to such, it may get ugly for a long time. While the rich have always traveled our current setup is for the masses. And unless the masses have money and time the existing system will be the high water point for a very long time.

Read closely what the airlines and hotels are saying. IF they get bailed out they HOPE to return at 1/2 size in a year or two.

Cruise ships may go away for a decade or century.

63:

Still an if. ... Vaccines are hard.

Yes

I suspect they will find a vaccine but over the next 5 to 10 of these situations there will likely be one that takes years. Hopefully it isn't this one.

Then again maybe having the bad one first will make the next 20 years better.

64:

I think for planning purposes this one has to be the Uncommon Cold; you get it every year, there is no vaccine, ~1% mortality rate.

This isn't what I would like to happen, it is certainly not what is going to happen, but it's consistent with what we now know. If we get a sufficiently effective vaccine, great; if we get sufficiently effective and cheap antivirals, also great. But we're not guaranteed either of those things.

65:

Now if you go to a place where engineers live in mud huts with dirt floors (and a sat dish on the roof connected to the 50" TV in the hut) then the labor costs may be so low you CAN have people do it all.

Some of us dreamed a better world, where neurally linked squid neurons tinkled your brains while bumblebees flew and Empress Dragonflies soared and the great great green old forest mushrooms groaned in ecstasy at every 'skype' broadcast. Life surrounded you, not cold silicon glass and steel and there was no bare void where you'd stripped it cold.

And yeah, there was a lot of killing people in there, and later a lot of SPYCOPS PSYOPS stuff.

And WHOOOOOOOO BOY DID WE MEET YOUR G_D MINDS WHEN WE SAID HELLO.

You're basically monsters and don't even know it.[0] It's not your fault, most of you don't even spot the [redacted].

I like that "mud floor" fabulation though: denotes just the correct level of primitive Africa[1] as if a ENLIGHTENED GREEN WARRIOR[3] magically transposed some solar panels into their benighted lives just to power up the computer[4] so they can run a 40 scam on nice white people, yeah?


Fuck me.

COVID19 is the nice warning stuff to get you to do the bitch basic Neoliberal moves.


We've got much much much hard core stuff in Our Minds.


[what was the projection? 94.5% screaming insanity / death / neurological breakdown / convulsions]


Holy Fuck.


~

Problem is: We Lived.


R0 - and by the smallest tiniest thread, we tried to convince them to not unleash it upon those who made it. Begged.

And you. You just. Type it out.

"We ARE evil"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePRZC_OulYc

~


IF you want to know why the Pope is a bit depressed well then.


No, but really: this shit in your brains: none survive.

And for us: it was Tuesday.


[0] That's not a joke: you're all fucking psychopaths, don't have the self-awareness to even spot it.

[1] Like, Dude: 7 of the top 30 cities in the world in urbanization are currently in Africa, and it's no longer SA alone.[2]

[2] CTRL+F Nigeria: yeah, totes fucked by oil war but hey

[3] Seriously: wut.

[4] Probably some shitty 486 shipped over there to dump the pollution eh? Harvard [DO A FUCKING GREP] pioneered that shit

66:

Bubonicon used to be at the end of August;

If it happens this year, I may go just because it will be my first opportunity to get out like that, I don't see many of the events planned for this spring happening.

If the country is opening up a bit by then, they will need the business.

67:

there are parts of fandom conventions that just don't translate, and they I would guess tend to be the more popular and rewarding parts of a convention.

Not just SF conventions. I've been going to one annual conference for years, and the most rewarding parts aren't the formal presentations but the informal interactions with colleagues I don't see any other time.

Not just conferences. There's a reason decentralizing is unpopular with those being decentralized: it means you're far away form the reins of power, and have no chance to have casual conversations in hallways or over a coffee — and despite formal org charts, those casual conversations count for a lot.

68:

Yep. To everything.

69:

there are parts of fandom conventions that just don't translate, and they I would guess tend to be the more popular and rewarding parts of a convention.

Yes, definitely. The first friend I met at my first WorldCon I'd not have met at any formal event. Some other friends and I were there early registering as volunteers for setup when I asked, "Do you need help?"

70:

Charlie & Nix
Um, yes.
Firstly, I'm suffering, for the first time ever, from mild spring hay-fever - there's a lot of tree pollen about, so my immune system is well "jacked up".
Two, I had a mild sniffle about 10 days ago, followed by a very mild cough - both have now vanished.
I wonder what my test would show?

mdive
Agreed
I'm really suprised at how much I miss my weekly dance practice & meeting the railway beer-drinkers & a couple of monthly groups I usually attend.
And I'm by no means a "social" animal, by many people's standards.

71:

@20 @21 I've just realized I haven't seen a Spitfire fly past in at least a week, even though I'm working from home.

(Our house is just close enough to Duxford that stuff from there regularly turns around near us.)

72:

The country does not have a (sane) choice, but Bozo does - there are probably enough rabid Brexiteers in his party to allow him to close the EU border and leave the USA one open. I don't think that he is insane enough to do it, but some in his party (including MPs) assuredly are. Obviously, what he does will have a major impact on what travel UK citizens are allowed in subsequent years.

73:

Yes. I am pleased that I have not completely lost my statistical nous, though not so pleased about the conclusions it led to :-( Spiegelhalter (*) was speaking on the Coronavirus Special on BBC Radio 4's More or Less and was describing almost exactly the conclusions I had come to. It's worth listening to, if you can.

(*) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Spiegelhalter

74:

I normally see the bombers, and last saw one a week or two ago.

75:

EC @ 45,

if COVID-19 gets completely out of control in the USA

This is not particularly related to your comment, but IMHO the place in that neck of the woods where COVID-19 could get completely out of control is Mexico. Some recent public announcements by the Mexican President make Trump appear statesmanlike.

If the Mexican public believe what they're being told, and indications are that a large percentage do, then Mexican churches really are going to be packed over Easter. Boy howdy, could that lead to trouble a week or so later.

(And major, major issues at the US/Mexico border shortly afterwards.)

76:

David L @ 62,

Cruise ships may go away for a decade or century.

I'm actually a little surprised a Peter Thiel type hasn't (yet, to my knowledge) chartered/bought a Cruise ship for a Prince Prospero attempt. I have heard that some rich folks have decamped for the duration to their private islands.

77:

There was something doing aerobatics on Monday or Tuesday. Sounded right, and the wing shape was Spitfire, but with D-Day markings.

78:

What a lot of people miss is that, in many countries, doing bugger-all is NOT a stupid approach. I don't know enough about Mexico to know if that is the case there, but it certainly is in most of sub-Saharan Africa and many other countries with similarly limited health systems and ineffective governments.

What it will do in that case is cause (probably) up to an extra years' deaths in a burst, followed by the consequential slight reduction in life expectancy. But, in such countries (unlike the UK), the distribution of deaths will be LESS among the economically productive than the normal mortality demographics. That's considerably less serious than, say, a civil war or what was done to Iraq, and is much quicker to recover from.

Related to that, only some people have realised that there is NO chance of even the best-managed and wealthiest country (Germany, in this respect) 'defeating' COVID-19 in the medium term, because they WILL be reinfected. It is here to stay, even if we develop moderately effective vaccination and testing - being a coronavirus, highly effective ones are implausible.

How the 'western democracies' are going to react to that is much less clear. It will be fuel for the bigots' anti-refugee and anti-immigrant campaigns, as well as a boost for the motor lobby, and will result in long-term changes to transport and recreation (including, but not limited, to those discussed above). But I am NOT good at predicting how people and politicians will react, so I can't guess.

79:

Reading what you guys say makes me realise how weird the world is. It’s like dispatcheS from a different planet.

“France threatened to close the border...”.

You mean your border to France is open! It had not occurred to me that it would be.

“..close the EU border and leave the US one open...”

Isn’t the US border with the UK is closed to non-US citizens? You cannot go there. Again, I am gobsmacked to realise you have not imposed the same restrictions on the US as they imposed on you.

“LOTs of empty seats. LOTs of canceled flights. Seems the cancellation are day to day.”

You have non-cancelled flights! Weird!

In my country *every* flight within the country is cancelled if you are a normal person. Flights are for essential personnel doing essential travel only. Our MPs do not count as important enough. God only knows who does - maybe a few health workers. Maybe no-one. Peter Thiel’s private jet will not get airspace if he wants it, they’ll cancel his flight too - billionaire with his own plane or not.

80:

[0] If you're writing dystopian SF: the first thing you do is hack the cranes.

That's a brilliant (and scary) insight. Applies to MilSF absolutely perfectly -- the opening move of a significant great-power conflict involving cyber war requires each side to take out their enemy's logistics, and the dockside (or railhead) container cranes are a soft target.

81:

Some recent public announcements by the Mexican President make Trump appear statesmanlike.

Brazil's looking interesting too.

https://apnews.com/debf6dd6998152447621e65cca110351

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s governors on Wednesday rebelled against President Jair Bolsonaro’s call for life to return to pre-coronavirus normalcy, saying his proposal to reopen schools and businesses runs counter to recommendations from health experts and endangers Latin America’s largest population.

State governors, many of whom have adopted strict measures to limit gatherings in their regions, defied the president’s instructions in a nationwide address Tuesday evening that they lift the restrictions and limit isolation only to the elderly and those with longstanding health problems.

82:

The UK/France border is easier to close than that between France and Switzerland, for example, but crossing it can still be as little as getting on a train and off again. You don't have to take a plane or a ship, unlike going to NZ

(I've crossed the Franco-Swiss border by tram more than once, and those don't have visible border checks at all. But then you can walk across that too.)

83:

So what's your take on WorldCon going virtual?

I burned out on panel discussions and lectures years ago -- a side-effect of doing 6-8 conventions a year and being on n > 3 panels at almost all of them -- but for talking-heads discussions teleconferencing is probably workable.

What won't work: the convention bar (aka "barcon"). Kaffeeklatches and literary beers (the nearest equivalent would be a Reddit AmA). Hanging out and chatting with people. Dealer rooms, art shows (a lot of the art is tactile/sculpture), dances, costuming events, the whole social epiphenomenon of fandom. And, of course, the opportunity to do lunch or dinner with editors and agents and other authors. (That is, the face-to-face business side of such events for professionals working in the field. Yes, I have sold books -- often entire series, in translation -- because I've met a publisher for lunch at a convention.)

SF Conventions are one of those things where the respectable headline act -- talks by guest of honour, panel discussions -- are the 20% of the content that justifies attending in person to experience the other 80% that's the real fun.

84:

Yes. And then there's Norn Iron.

W.r.t. what I said. Insofar I can decode what the taking heads are saying about what they can decode from the demagogue in the White House, he is proposing to lift the restrictions at Easter. Whatever. My point was that, when he lifts the international flight restrictions, he is not going to be happy if some tinpot country refuses flights from the USA, and the USA is going to threaten (and possibly wage) political, economic and even military war if that tinpot country doesn't back down. It's SOP, after all, and was even before he took over.

85:

(And major, major issues at the US/Mexico border shortly afterwards.)

Why?

If there's a church-spread wave in Mexico in early May, by that point it's going to be out of control in the USA as well (especially if Trump delivers on his goal of ending lockdown on Easter Sunday so the Dow doesn't tank further because human sacrifice magic). The US hospital system will already be collapsing by then, and is in any event sufficiently expensive that Mexico is a destination for US health tourists.

Or are you just indulging in the usual USan reflexive belief that the USA is a desirable place to live and the global poor will march on you like a shambling zombie army at the drop of a dystopian fiction plot? In other words, elite panic (the same disordered thinking the Republican leadership and white supremacists suffer from)?

86:

Re: 'How the 'western democracies' are going to react to that is much less clear.'

The G20 is scheduled to meet today via video-conference:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/26/g20-hold-emergency-video-summit-discuss-coronavirus

87:

Well, yes, but it's not the threat it used to be. Most mobile cranes are controlled manually, and hacking a highly distributed and fairly variable set of equipment (i.e. the fixed cranes in industrial premises) is tricky. As far as ports go, very little in the way of urgent goods are moved by ship any longer, and that gives the victim time to install a crude defence and reload the software. Yes, a glitch and a panic, but only serious if those responsible failed to act promptly and effectively.

More immediately effective would be water supplies (which are generally controlled remotely) or electricity substations, and weak spots in the road transport infrastructure (e.g. fuel pumps or satnavs) including major ferry ports. I believe that traffic lights etc. are joining that, and it wouldn't take much to snarl up the M25 and hence everything in the London area; that would take days to sort out, and might lead to riots. Or, for a limited hit, you can bring airports to a halt just as easily by disabling their surface transport logistics as by targetting their aircraft or air traffic control.

88:

More immediately effective would be water supplies (which are generally controlled remotely)

"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Heinlein -- Adam Selene, the computer that ran EVERYTHING on the Moon reversed the sewage pumps connected to the Colonial Administrator's private residence. If the sewage system can be got at it's possible to contaminate the water supplies as a side-effect of (re)introducing Corporal Forbus (cholera) and perhaps even polio to the Western world.

Dockside container cranes are computer-controlled in two ways, one is the positioning system that registers the corners of a container and locks on to it quickly and then deposits it on a truck or train flatcar with equal precision. It's more a sensor-driven robot than a crane, really. The other part is the database-backed routing and billing system that logs where every container is going and gets each one on the right ship or the right truck. Nobble the first part and there will be a lot of dropped containers and maybe a few squished meatbags. Nobble the second part and everything grinds to a halt.

89:

We're still getting the occasional jet overhead on the Heathrow flightpath but you can't see the queue of 5+ planes all lining up for the runway at the moment. I suspect with this amount of traffic Heathrow could cope with some glitches (snow, high winds etc.) without having to have a mass cancellation event like they usually do :-D.

90:

They were reporting in the UK press, yesterday I think, that Trumpie has been privately asking other Govts. for help.

91:

LOTs of empty seats. LOTs of canceled flights. Seems the cancellation are day to day.”

You have non-cancelled flights! Weird!

In my country *every* flight within the country is cancelled if you are a normal person.

I wrote that.

Lots of flights are cancelled already. It looks like day to day they are cancelling more flights. If they can make it work with airplanes where needed they seem to be cancelling 2 20% full flights to make only one with 40% of seats full.

You have 1000 jets each worth from $20mil up to $400mil. Even if you don't fly them you don't want them to "go stale". Oil settling, seals drying out, etc... And WHERE DO YOU PARK THEM? So the ops folks at the majors are playing a very messy game of Tetris just now.

There is a lot of cargo still flying. Especially mail and such.

And yes I expect us to get to no flying soon. DT just has to be whacked in the face a few more times with the results of not doing such.

92:

Crossing the Swiss border is apparently out at present. A friend ”Marcel” who’s dad works at CERN, (Marcel’s at a UK uni) and he flew in to Geneva on Thursday by EasyJet from Manchester. Interrogated by the Schweizergrenzpolizei, he was allowed to cross into France - but his British passport partner was not. SO was questioned just WTF are you doing in our country?; answer was I’m with Marcel, have been for two years. The overzealous CH squad said that we can’t let you into our country because we don’t know if France will accept you.

So Marcel phoned his dad in St. Genis-Pouilly, who knows the local French douanes. (As I did when I made antimatter in the 80’s, douaniers were often at my parties in Prévessin)

This nice French customs lady, said it was beyond her pay grade to allow a Brit in, but she would phone the regional commander in Ferney-Voltaire, and he accepted that he would allow the youth in. This was all after hours. However the Schweizer grenzpolizei still said Nein/Non/VaFanculo/etc and the pair were deported back to Manchester, on EasyJet, Thursday night.

We live in interesting times....

93:

Or are you just indulging in the usual USan reflexive belief that the USA is a desirable place to live and the global poor will march on you like a shambling zombie army at the drop of a dystopian fiction plot?

No. But for many who live within a few hundred miles of the southern border (and for many even more distant) it IS worth the walk. I've met with some of them. My daughter worked with some, even had one as a boss. Minimum wage in the US, sharing an apartment with 10, and sending 1/2 of your pay back home for many beats the crap back in their country.

The fiction is the caravan hoards on the march. At least it was in the past.

94:

We're no longer under the Heathrow flight path (and I don't miss the BA 747s heading to Paris that used to shake our house), we're now under either the Luton or Stansted flight paths, depending. All I can see right now is a bizjet heading out from Luton, and at the edge of range some BA airliners round Heathrow.

Yeah, empty skies. The last reading of how much the atmosphere was affected by aircraft was a couple of decades ago, and not as comprehensive.

95:

There are two kinds of test. You would want to use a virus test (looking directly for the SARS-CoV-2 RNA) at the airport. But that's likely to take a lot more than 15 minutes.

Good article in the current Economist on tests:

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2020/03/19/developing-and-deploying-tests-for-sars-cov-2-is-crucial

(oops, the Economist site is down just now (502)! Fun times for IT staff.)

96:

More immediately effective would be water supplies (which are generally controlled remotely)

Speaking from experience around here, water issues get noticed FAST. And if a pump has to be hauled in and manually operated it will be.

Now as to sewage systems. They can go wonky for a while and not only do they have to be noticed but someone has to report it. Many times a broken pipe will be dumping interesting mostly fluid stuff into a creek for a day or week before anyone yells. And then you have a real mess.

Do it in 30 or 100 places at once in a large city and you'll create some havoc.

97:

Borders are funny things, in that (particularly in this connected world) it is actually quite difficult to do a complete shutdown.

The most obvious issue in many cases is food - if a country isn't self sufficient and relies on imported food then you simply can't completely entirely close the border.

But also consider other supplies - stuff that is needed to keep essential businesses operating like chemicals, etc.

And at the moment a lot of western countries are still working at getting their citizens returned from far flung places.

History has also demonstrated that complete border closures don't fully stop the movement of people and goods, but rather you get a rise in smugglers and entry through non-official points of entry.

So far better to continue to allow some movement that can be monitored.

So yes, planes are still flying (though in extremely reduced numbers), and people are still moving around (again, extremely reduced numbers).

And that doesn't get into the idea of boats and trains and cars.

98:

but you can't see the queue of 5+ planes all lining up for the runway at the moment.

I guess those plans for another runway will be shelved?

99:

“France threatened to close the border...”.

You mean your border to France is open! It had not occurred to me that it would be.
France is in lockdown, nobody travelling to the UK (from the UK? I don't know)
The French government threatened to *totally* close the border, and to ask the EU to do the same, and yes, that means freight too. Remember how much of the UK food supply is grown locally, and we're in March (lean times historically)

100:

OPening line something like:

"We knew things were bad when the cranes went silent..."

101:

Though I can imagine a story written from a manager point of view and a strike has silenced the cranes...

102:

BBC article about the less black/white nature of lockdowns to prevent Covid spread and deaths, how many extra deaths that there might actually be, and includes a link to a University of Bristol paper that looks into the issue that trashing the economy will also cost lives.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51979654

103:

I had a month in the USA working/training and another fortnight a while later in California. I thought it was OK as a temporary gig, but I wouldn't want to actually be stuck there. It's quite nice to visit, but live there? That's a very rare British Hell No!

104:

If the lockdown is a success more people will die of avoidable non-COVID19 issues (diseases, violence, lack of essential medical treatment) than die of COVID19.

The problem is, in the absence of lockdown we lose a hell of a lot more people -- and all to the one cause.

105:

Never mind SF cons, who's going to pick the fruits and vegetables?
The French agriculture ministry and the FNSEA (main agricultural union) have called for 200000 "volunteers" to go and work in the fields and greenhouses (at minimum wage, no doubt). So far, 40000 have registered.
The temp workers from Poland, Romania, etc.. won't be coming this year (and not because of Brexit)

106:

Hmmmm... Who knows after this if there's even going to be the need for it? It'll be interesting if a little bug turns something that was touted as being of national importance only a few weeks ago into something no longer needed for the foreseeable future.

I think this is a good example of complex systems issues. Globalisation, pretty much instance travel from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world etc. is great when things are operating within reasonably expected bounds but, when things really break, they break bad and are hard to fix. I've worked at several places who insisted they had to have clusters, because they had to have minimal downtime, only for something that saved a few minutes to go on to cause 8 hrs+ downtime because the complexity of the system was beyond what the majority of people there could reasonably cope with.

I can't see Coronageddon being fixed in six months. I have a terrible feeling this may run.

107:

Yes. I think this is a situation where there is no GOOD solution, you just get to pick which of the BAD options you hate the least, or maybe you think is the least worst.

108:

Indeed, but that's not the point. A lot of them will run similar software, and you could easily be talking about many dozens of pumps failing for every person competent to fix them or spare pumps. Yes, it gets solved, but things would come crashing down for a few days, longer if TPTB didn't have an up-to-date priority database and were prepared to stick to it no matter how many politically powerful people screamed.

109:

CERN is one thing, but the border at Basel runs through the built up area. That'd be interesting to see.

(And people bathe in the Rhine, which has France, Germany and Switzerland on its banks there.)

110:

A sprightly young thing of 101 years old became infected , was hospitalised in Rimini, and “Mr.P” has now recovered enough to be let home [0]

Relevant other headlines from corriere.it
Governor of the Lombardy region is unhappy that the numbers are still growing here, likely to be over 2500 cases today....unrelatedly?, the chief national cop is complaining that 110K people have been cited for non-respect of the lockdown.

The 4th version of the self-declaration certificate has been released, we need to write address of where we are going to/coming from and why, and face a 5-year prison term if caught travelling with “a fever”


[0] Milan’s Corriere

111:

US jobless claims are a record 3.28 million for the last week, blowing past the previous 1982 record of 695 thousand.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/26/weekly-jobless-claims.html

112:

Fully agree, there is no perfect answer and the lockdown is the least bad.

Suspect most on here are in agreement.

But there are a lot of people in the wilder world who wont agree, and who will manipulate people into confusion with those realities, adding to the pressure on politicians to restore the economy sooner than it should happen.

113:

And Twitter thread from NY Times business reporter pointing out the official figure doesn't reflect reality given the number of people who don't qualify for jobless claims, who have been misinformed and do qualify and aren't applying, etc.
https://twitter.com/bencasselman/status/1243147516784324608

114:

Charlie Stross @ 85,

Interesting how one's words can be (and fully reasonably, too!!) interpreted to yield a meaning close to the opposite of that which was intended. The "trouble" I envisioned was if there was a massive church-spread wave in Mexico while the US situation was (or more specifically was being sold by Trump as) under control.

I could then easily imagine serious issues at the border involving US actors, regardless of whether or not there was any great volume of attempted crossings.

115:

and you could easily be talking about many dozens of pumps failing for every person competent to fix them or spare pumps.

Ah, the advantages of a gravity system. :)

Most of the municipal water in our city of 1/2 million is pumped up into elevated tanks at various spots around the city. Each tank can last a day or few without being refilled. And yes there are various remote controlled valves but the entire system is designed to be mostly fail soft. Of course this gets some of us some really high pressure to our location. My was 160psi last I checked. (I understand that London is the opposite, a low pressure system where buildings have to often pump it up to the main floors.)

Now the treatment plant, mess that up and we're in trouble.

116:

David L @ 27: When I think of Pence my mind jumps to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AALREbJZEZk

Sorry, but it is laden with all kinds of US cultural inuendo. If you ever saw the movie you're understand more.

The main character in the clip is playing the purely political governor of Texas.

"Based" as they say "on a true story".

117:

Charlie Stross @ 43:

The anti-vaxxer murderers have gone very quiet, haven't they?

I am wondering at what point we can indict Donald Trump on charges of attempted (or actual) genocide.

According to the U.S. Department of IN-Justice ... not while he's still in office. After he leaves off ice it will depend a lot on how he leaves (IF he leaves) & who succeeds him.

I think the only way Pence becomes President is if Trump comes down with the virus & leaves office feet first with a toe tag. In which case indictments and/or pardons are off the table.

If a Democrat becomes President, he/she would be a fool NOT to pursue indictments against the whole cabal. But he/she could be that much of a fool. Clinton was. Obama was.

118:

mdlve replied @ 50: Boris won't have a choice - the reports are his about face was in part the result of the French government threatening to close the border. If the US, as expected, goes worse then the choice will be between keeping the UK/US border open or the UK/EU border open. While he may be stupid and choose the US, far more likely to choose the EU given he really can't afford to further crater and already cratering economy.

I'm pretty sure Canada has (for all practical purposes) "closed" their border with the U.S. I read somewhere that Canada is refusing entry to anyone who does not have a Canadian passport.

119:

Not the only place worried - Canadian farmers are also sounding the alarm because it's not just the picking but the pruning/planting/prep work/etc.

But it isn't just the availability of migrant workers, but also the inability for a lot of work to maintain safe distances between people.

And if parts of the rest of the world, where we all seem to import a lot of produce from, have widespread problems that could result in less food available to import.

So later this year could be interesting, and anyone with land in the northern hemisphere really should be looking at planing some food...

120:

mdlve @ 51: If it was feasible to automate a warehouse Amazon would have done it. For whatever reason it isn't feasible yet.

They have ... to the extent that is currently feasible. They'll add more automation as soon as that becomes feasible.

121:

But he/she could be that much of a fool. Clinton was. Obama was.

Indicting the Bushies would have opened a huge can of worms -- why not indict Clinton (cruise missile attacks on civilian populations)? And by the time Obama had his feet under the table he, too, was complicit. It looks very much as if there's a tacit understanding that POTUS's do not hold their predecessors to account, lest their own actions be found wanting down the line.

When you're the planetary hegemonic superpower, this is a workable strategy. Remains to be seen how well it continues to play in 50 years' time. Or even 5, given how McConnell has turned "bipartisan" into a term of abuse.

122:

alexhewat @ 76: David L @ 62,

Cruise ships may go away for a decade or century.

I'm actually a little surprised a Peter Thiel type hasn't (yet, to my knowledge) chartered/bought a Cruise ship for a Prince Prospero attempt. I have heard that some rich folks have decamped for the duration to their private islands.

Where would he find a "crew" that hadn't already been exposed to the virus?

... by "crew" I mean all the staff (cooks, housekeepers, bartenders, room stewards ...). He could probably find a crew to run the ship, but Peter Thiel & his ilk are not going to clean their own cabins, cook their own meals, ...

123:

Some amusement for the day for most.

Apparently the White House wants to put troops along the US/Canada border because they have visions of people fleeing Canada to the US at the moment.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-trump-border-coronavirus-1.5510853

124:

[quote][quote]When we have an effective vaccine[/quote]

This is not an when, but an if.[/quote]

I'm relatively certain that there will be an effective vaccine. Whether it will be durable is another question. Also whether it will immunize rather than just ensure any case you get is a mild case. Corona viruses have some unfortunate characteristics that may yield imperfect results.

Unfortunately, I'm also relatively certain it will take awhile to get this result available. 18 months is the most common optimistic prediction from those who are knowledgeable, with an occasional prediction of "a bit over a year".

P.S.: I'm no expert in the field, but this is the result of reading reports from multiple experts.

125:

Yeah, don't get me started. I've been bitching for at least 20 years and more that cons are overprogrammed. "Oh, but people expect programing from 09:00 to 23:59".

Horse hockey. For decades, I didn't even go to programming - I'd seem pretty much all the panels that interested me, and seeing a variant of the same panel in 8 cons over three years is still not going to attract me.

On the other hand, parties used to run, hell, when I was con committee for con suite at Philcon, 79-84, and '86, I gave last call at 04:30, and shut at 05:00, then reopened somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00.

Young fen are wimps.... But, seriously, we're there to see and meet each other, the programming's just nice.

126:

May I recommend Neil Stephenson's Zodiac (which I understand is loved by water engineers everywhere)?

127:

"Massive church-spread wave in Mexico"

I'll leave it to you to to a web search to find the multiple news stories from last weekend, where some idiot preacher in Kentucky, I think, bussed pople in, and had 1875 or so people in his fucking church because Jeezuz....

128:

Oh, speaking of "public appearances", Ellen and I went out this morning... the dentist she found does emergency appointments.

Two root canals in one morning later, she's feeling a bit better....

Oh, and I just resubmitted my 26000+ word novella to Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, who have no word limit.

Why resubmit? Well, I submitted it on the 21st, which was the first day of their open submission period. Yesterday, I didn't want to continue work on one short, wasn't sure what I wanted, and suddenly realized... and collected all the stories into one file, and so I've get my second novel, which I'm going through now to polish, make minor changes to things that changed in my mind in the last 1.5 years it's taken me to write it... and discovered, in the first section, which *is* the novella I submitted, that there was one scene that had to be moved a number of pages back...

If you're wondering, not quite 125k words.

129:

[quote]Or are you just indulging in the usual USan reflexive belief that the USA is a desirable place to live and the global poor will march on you like a shambling ...[/quote]

Actually, that's not an unreasonable position. There's a lot of lag in communications, and "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". And certainly in many ways the US *has* been a better place to live than Mexico for a long time. That most immigrants don't experience that so much is a separate matter, and even then unless they're captured as agricultural labor they've often considered it an improvement.

That this will rapidly change as COVID-19 advances isn't going to affect traditional beliefs. There's a lag in communication. And sometimes it's a lag of decades.

P.S.: During the California gold rush, many of those who rushed in died. Usually broke, but not infrequently violently. But from afar it was seen as the place were wealth was easy.

130:

@96:


More immediately effective would be water supplies (which are generally controlled remotely)


Speaking from experience around here, water issues get noticed FAST.

Which reminds me of the time I flooded Ambridge.

http://www.davros.org/misc/ambridge.html

131:

Re: various posts about Mexico

A friend of mine had to go to Tijuana twice last week for emergency dental work. She said it was a ghost town. And then she posted pictures of the very empty streets. So there at least, they seem to be taking the virus very seriously. I haven't kept up on the rest of the country. I am concerned about what will happen when the crops can't be harvested. Could it inspire more growth in small family farms? We(I'm in San Diego)get a weekly produce delivery from a somewhat local organic farm, and I would love to see more of this.

In related news, I just found out the local garden center will deliver. Hooray. I'm going to try to do a little container gardening, and I know I don't have everything I need.

132:

Aaand it was in the air again today. At least I heard it, and a friend reported it from his end of town. Seems to have been the same aircraft.

133:

for emergency dental work. She said it was a ghost town.

I was due for a teeth cleaning next week. Was going to call them to day and push it. They called me first and said they were only doing emergency work for now.

My wife and I had planned our lives a bit to have a tooth implant, some minor surgeries, and a colonoscopy this year. I guess we now need to think about next year.

134:

I remember the joys of attending cons. Minnicon in the Twin Cities was my favourite back in the days when it was a 2k person convention (although 4th street fantasy convention was amazing though much smaller). I remember one very long weekend (I arrived early and left after the dead dog) where I averaged 3 hours sleep per night for 5 nights in a row. Partly because there was so much to do and partly because people would come wake me up at ungodly early times like 9 or 10 am.

The best programming was the discussion with authors, musicians, artists, fans and editors that occurred during the various parties and in the con-suite (in those days it was the entire top floor of the Radisson). I made friends for life. People whom I am still in contact with over 30 years later.

135:

Johns Hopkins, through Coursera, has announced a short approx. 3 hours over 2 weeks course titled "Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out" starting March 31st

https://www.coursera.org/learn/covid19-epidemiology?

136:

Which reminds me of the time I flooded Ambridge.

From the story:
So at 1 am the duty controller hit the "start" buttons for all 6 High Lift pumps and, seconds later, selected full speed. As near as we could judge afterwards, a pressure wave ran down the 26 km of pipe, bounced off the far end, and hit a following wave. The resulting surge literally blasted a piece of concrete pipe out of the ground, followed by a fountain of water.

Nothing as spectacular as that.

About 20 years ago after 2 separate events showed that the 50 year old storm water system was not up to current build out and the occasional hurricane or nearly so it was decided to replace the 3 foot pipe with a 6 foot one. This pipe was under the streets in our slightly hilly suburban area. So they started as the discharge end and dug up the street working their way up the street. 5 axle trucks carried the dirt around the block to the other end and back filled over the previous pipe. This went on with trucks running in front of my house 2 or 3 times a day for about a year. This stretch of road was only about 300' (Then the work turned the corner and went up the street so my truck parade stopped.)

Turns out there is an 8" water main down my street serving a LOT of houses with branching and such. Put in 50 or 60 years ago. My speculation is that the weight of the trucks didn't help the long term life of said pipe.

Every 2 to 4 years since we get a break either in front of my house or within 50' of my property line. Go out notice the street is crying and call the city. Out they come (24/7 on call) dig up a big hole, patch the leak, fill in hole, come back in a few days and put in a patch. Rinse lather repeat.

Through some interesting serendipity the person in charge of water and sewer piping came over to buy a power saw from me and I showed him what was happening and that maybe the events were too far apart for anyone to notice. We looked at his version of the mapping software that shows such thing and went hmmmmm. Maybe this stretch needs to be on the nearly term replacement plan said he.

Just now you can see at least 2 and maybe 3 road patches from such repairs in front of my house.

137:

I don't remember that story - I like it! We know each other (think WG14) - my reason for anonymity stopped when I retired, but I leave it as a challenge to the reader :-)

What I was mainly referring to, however, was (in areas without adequate gravity feed) that there would be essentially no toilet flushing, hand washing or cleaning. In the UK, all restaurants, pubs and takeaways would close, shops would sell out of bottled water and meat, dairy, pre-cooked meals etc. would (mostly) stop as soon as the packaged supplies ran out. Maintaining supplies to hospitals, care homes and critically water-dependent people, as well as restoring order, would be hampered by the number of critical people who would be absent or be locked out, because of the lack of toilets etc. There would be other consequences, but it was the first few days of chaos I was thinking of.

We have had plenty of water cuts before, but none that both covered a densely-populated city and its surrounding area AND couldn't be kludged up after a fashion within a very short time. I doubt we could handle it.

138:

EC @ 72
BoZo the clown is facing serious hot for REFUSING EU aid/co-operation about anti-coronavirus basic kit.
Ditto calls for a complete moratorium/delay on Brexshit talks.
These will run & he cannot shut those critics up ... going to be "fun"

@ 84
"Tinpot Country" - as in the whole EU including us ... could also be "fun"

@ 87
"Traffic Lights" - as in the plot for "The Italian Job" you mean? (!)
How many years ago was that done ...

Charlie @ 80
OK the translation into English is/was: "The first thing to do is to stop (by hacking in some way) the complete construction industry - yes?

mdive @ 111
Hate to say it but ... good,
And if DT insists on fucking things over @ Easter, even better ( i.e. worse for the schmucks in the US - especially the majority who didn't vote for the Orange

139:

If the Mexican public believe what they're being told, and indications are that a large percentage do, then Mexican churches really are going to be packed over Easter. Boy howdy, could that lead to trouble a week or so later.

(And major, major issues at the US/Mexico border shortly afterwards.)

Could be a little earlier than that. Semana Santa (the week before Easter) is a big deal and, for whatever reason, large numbers of non-poor Mexicans spend it in Texas either partying or shopping or both. Local merchants love it, of course. I'd suppose something similar happens in California, but don't really know.

Just how coronavirus will affect this, if at all, is TBD.

140:

Charlie Stross @ 85:

(And major, major issues at the US/Mexico border shortly afterwards.)

Why?

If there's a church-spread wave in Mexico in early May, by that point it's going to be out of control in the USA as well (especially if Trump delivers on his goal of ending lockdown on Easter Sunday so the Dow doesn't tank further because human sacrifice magic). The US hospital system will already be collapsing by then, and is in any event sufficiently expensive that Mexico is a destination for US health tourists.

Or are you just indulging in the usual USan reflexive belief that the USA is a desirable place to live and the global poor will march on you like a shambling zombie army at the drop of a dystopian fiction plot? In other words, elite panic (the same disordered thinking the Republican leadership and white supremacists suffer from)?

The U.S. IS a desirable place to live (despite everything Trumpolini & his evil GOP minions have done). Otherwise why would so many people want to come here? It's already an issue.

I don't agree with the way the current administration is fucking-up immigration & asylum at the U.S./Mexico border, but there's no denying that if Mexico's health system collapses from COVID19, it's going to have a major impact at that border.

If nothing else it's going to kill a lot of poor people who didn't get the message that the U.S. is OFFICIALLY" no longer the land of:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
141:

On the basis that one should prepare for the worse (or at least the very bad) and hope for the best, a look at the European statistics for cases, mortality and figures per million do seem to suggest that the number of people who have been infected and either recovered or shrugged it off is a lot higher than looking at the UK figures alone would suggest and so perhaps some chance that the crisis period will be shorter. Apparently in Germany while there have been 440% more cases diagnosed than in the UK the number of deaths is about 50% (German population is about 25% higher). Does anyone know if the Germans have been actively testing in a manner akin to the South Koreans? Still until more information is available, should assume that the Imperial College 18 month period is more likely.

On a more UK centric aspect (and perhaps for the Germans as well) is also seems possible that the lower level of social embracing has helped keep the numbers lower than they might have been - certainly the figures in Madrid and Lombardy are staggeringly high.

I do hope that DT's advisers talk some caution into him - a fascinating few pages in the Laura Spinney book about the 1918 epidemic, Pale Rider, dealt with Zamora in Spain where a charismatic bishop encouraged processions and kissing of relics which resulted in Zamora apparently having the highest death rates in Spain.

142:

Interesting events on the Mexican side of the border:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52053656

Mexican protesters have shut a US southern border crossing amid fears that untested American travellers will spread coronavirus.

143:

mdlve @ 123: Some amusement for the day for most.

Apparently the White House wants to put troops along the US/Canada border because they have visions of people fleeing Canada to the US at the moment.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-trump-border-coronavirus-1.5510853

Anyone have any actual facts & figures they can point to? My impression is that's not the direction "people fleeing" are taking. There's a lot more pressure from this side of the border from people who think the Canadian system is less likely to collapse. But I don't have any facts I can point to that backs up that impression.

144:

Normally you can keep track of what is going on at Duxford by looking at what the avgeeks share, but the main forum thread has fallen back on posting old stuff. Even if people are allowed to go, not enough happening to make it worthwhile.
https://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=85101&start=100
I actually went to my normal camera practice spot (Ardmore, Auckland NZ) on Saturday as it didn't involve contact with anyone (no coffee at the airport cafe for me). No Flight schools or recreational flying allowed since Wednesday.

145:

I'm actually a little surprised a Peter Thiel type hasn't (yet, to my knowledge) chartered/bought a Cruise ship for a Prince Prospero attempt. I have heard that some rich folks have decamped for the duration to their private islands.

Something like this? https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/billionaires-searching-private-islands-country-escapes-coronavirus-a137451.html

I don't know about a cruise ship, but there was a throwaway on the radio about the rich taking to their yachts for the duration, sailing well offshore and getting stuff delivered to them while they plot remote-controlled world domination or some such.

My uncharitable thought was that it was a shame that I don't know any pirate captains, because I'd certainly direct them to go do a bit of profitable hostage-taking and redistribute the wealth a bit.

Actually, that would make an interesting story for someone. Disaster propels rich ijits to take to their yachts. Piratical kidnapping hijinks ensue. Ransoms are paid. Horrendous vengeances are attempted. What happens next? It feels like something Bruce Sterling could have written 30 years ago.

146:

Cruiseliners and high-end yachts are harbour queens in the main, they're not designed for endurance. Fuel supplies, for example -- a cruiseliner is designed with quite small fuel tanks since it hits a harbour every few days and they'd rather reserve space in the hull for accomodation modules than store 3000 tonnes of bunker fuel on board. Fresh water, again instead of fuel-burning distillation units to make fresh water from seawater they have large storage tanks because it's cheaper and they can top up from the dockside while they're fuelling and restocking the food stores, swapping out crew and stewards etc.

Myself if I was plotting to get away from it all in a maritime escape vehicle I'd see what that nice Mister Putin would accept for the exclusive use of something like Fifty Years of Victory, one of Russia's nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet. The accomodations for tourists on-board are quite basic but fuel and fresh water are not a problem. It even has two saunas on board with unlimited hot water on tap.

147:

There's no reason not to put invasion stripes on a Spitfire.
Certainly I saw a Mk XIX in PR Blue with invasion stripes over York 15 years ago.

148:

"Family farms"... mostly do not exist any more.

As of the 1990 US Census, "family farmer" was no longer a recognized occupation, because it was under 1.5% of the population.

1. Agribusiness drove them under.
2. The big chain supermarkets, and the huge companies that feed them, like Perdue, decided they didn't want to buy from small farmers, only from butchers... and then demanded certain requirements that drove the small butchers out, leaving it to huge companies like Purdue and Tyson and Hormel. The number of markets that will buy from small farmers is tiny.
3. All the small farms that used to give cities veggies and produce, oh, sorry, they're now subdivisions, and no farms there anymore.

Philly used to get all the veggies and produce from PA and NJ, now? Central Valley, CA, or Chile.

149:

RYCT to Charlie - no. The cranes being referred to are the giant things that unload giant container ships of the cargo containers, that go onto railcars and trucks.

150:

You wrote:
I do hope that DT's advisers talk some caution into him
---
Please, try to understand, it isn't just that we hate his guts, he is, according to a number of psychologists, literally clinically insane. He's fired or gotten rid of experts (Like Dr. Fauci, of NIAID, part of the NIH), because Fauci was correcting him, because NOTHING MATTERS TO TRUMP other than a) his money, b) his ego, and c) his reelection, because once he's out of office, he will be slapped with so many *criminal*, as well as civil suites, he's probably going to die, broke, in jail, or else split for his dascha on the Black Sea.

No, I'm not exaggerating. View some of his recent daily updates on COVID-19 - he rambles, he says bullshit (anything for the stock market), etc. This is *not* the speech of a normal person.

151:

White House wants to put troops along the US/Canada border

This has got to be him flailing about for something he can brag about. Reality be damned.

152:

You're probably right. On the other hand, small Caribbean islands might not be the safest thing either, since there's a wee little prediction that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will be as busy as the 2019 season was.

That said, so far as many of the billionaires (and pirates) are concerned, a small island is basically a large yacht with a beach and without a motor. So it's hard for an island to outrun, say, a kidnapping attempt... But that's just me being annoying and indulging in petty vengeance fantasies.

153:

This article copied from the WaPo ( not direct) gives a very interesting view on how corona is going to screw the USA.
Worth a read.
This is a sample: Almost alone in the world, the United States does not consider access to medical care a fundamental human right. In response to the pandemic, the Trump administration made its priorities clear: It suggested a suspension of the payroll tax while covid-19 screening remained widely unavailable. A private system such as the American one simply cannot respond to public health crises.
Hmmm ...

154:

Another random tidbit, for those who like watching the actions of aristocratic totalitarian ruling families: Kim Jong-Un's sister is gaining power. Kim Jong-Un is away from Pyongyang at the moment, either touring the provinces or running from Covid19, depending on who you believe. Meanwhile, his younger sister is consolidating her power. Given the power dynamics of that family, I'm sure this is the next phase of a long and cordial relationship between the two...

155:

Genuine LOL! Slightly surprised I don't remember it happening, but maybe I was on holiday at the time.

David L, subsequent comment: exactly that used to happen at another place I lived. Road like a patchwork quilt from where they dug it up every year or two to fix the recurrent leak in the same place.

Cause was failure to understand that you can write down anything you bloody well like but it doesn't define reality. The road had an 18 ton weight restriction (for no reason; no bridges, no unstable ground, etc) so they never made the pipework any tougher than the minimum to cope with that loading. But it was also the direct and obvious route for 38 ton delivery trucks to get from the main road at one end of it to the supermarket at the other, instead of having to go into the middle of town and out again.

156:

small Caribbean islands

Are there any HABITABLE which are not already overrun by people. Most with empty hotels just now but still lots of people.

157:

I did say hope rather than expect. On the optimistic side he may just be a narcissistic sociopath and perhaps Pence can persuade him, based on Pence's own experience, that it is in his electoral self interest not to take the risk. Certainly on military adventures he seems to back away from actually fighting - a sort of reverse Teddy Roosevelt.

158:

Fifty Years of Victory is used as a tourist ship during the Northern Hemisphere summer, taking wealthy sensation-seekers to the North Pole. Hiring it for exclusive use for six months and heading up to 90 deg N would put any plutocrat well out of reach of any would-be kidnappers and pirates unless their pursuers also had a nuclear-powered icebreaker in the 30,000 tonne class (clue, the only other operational icebreaker of that type on the planet is the Fifty Years' sister ship, Yamal), or a nuclear sub with an icebreaker sail.

159:

The important question is are there habitable ones that WILL STAY ABOVE SEALEVEL for the next 20 years....

160:

Yes. As I keep saying, this situation is normal, and we only think it isn't because of a long run of luck combined with hubris at our success at solving other medical problems which don't have a whole lot in common.

While I obviously want them to develop an effective vaccine as quickly as possible, I can't help also thinking that it might not be completely a bad thing if it turned out to be really difficult/take ages to do/not actually be all that good, etc. Because if it does end up looking like it was easy to come up with a good preventive we'll just go back to thinking "rah rah rah aren't we great" with redoubled emphasis, and not realise that it was just another piece of luck. Then novel epidemic diseases will just go into the same bin as climate change, the one labelled "OK so far so forget about it". And then along comes another one and we get clobbered even worse because we still haven't learnt the lesson.

161:

It appears one way or another the American people are about to get a lesson that elections matter, that science matters, and that low taxes don't protect life.

Unfortunately, I suspect a large number of those who need the lesson won't learn from it, and those who already know the lesson will pay a painful price.

162:

On Mexico, I just checked the WHO stats, and these are the reported confirmed cases from March 12 through March 25

11
16
26
41
53
82
93
118
164
203
251
316
367
405

Graphing those on a log-linear plot shows a downward bending curve, unlike the straightish exponential line of other places. So perhaps MX is doing something right, or the stats are wonky.

163:

This may come across as racist but there are many parts of Mexico where the central government isn't really in control. So stats may be a bit incomplete.

164:

I now have a suitable face mask so I can venture forth to do battle with the forces of darkness next time I have to go grocery shopping. I'll run out of coffee filters, vitamins & supplements around the beginning of next week, so I know I'm going to have to go out.

I took the design for that Hong Kong style mask someone posted a link to & modified it slightly to work with the materials I had to work with; mainly I don't have the kind of filters they use, so I didn't leave the bottom of the mask open the way they do. I don't remember who posted the link, and I'm too lazy to go look it up now, but THANK YOU!

I made a pocket style mask & I have two Mr. Coffee filters folded in half to give me four layers of filter on the inside. I used the 10-12 cup size because my coffee maker is 4 cup and the larger filters won't fit. I'm pretty sure Mr. Coffee filters are the same filter paper they use in chemistry labs. Plus, the outer cover is a tightly woven, thick polyester material (like covered your grandmother's sofa) and the inner liner material came from a very fine, high quality (linen?) dinner napkin.

I only made three mistakes where I had to rework - started off sewing wrong side to wrong side when I started to assemble it. It was supposed to be right side to right side.

When I sewed the channels for the tape ties I somehow did it backwards so when I turned the mask right side out the bottom of the ties were on the inside. I just cut a little slit in the liner so I could feed the tape from the outside and resewed the channel from the outside.

And the elastic ear loops were too short.

That one is NOT MY FAULT because I cut the elastic longer than the pattern called for, so if anything it should have been too long. The pattern called for 10 cm loops, I cut mine 12 cm ... if you're going to try this at home I suggest you cut yours 15 cm at least.

I don't know if it will protect me from the COVID19, but I do believe it will keep me from spewing germs all around if I do get it.

165:

The face mask won't hurt. The biggest thing, and likely most difficult, is to stop yourself from touch your face/eyes unless your hands have just been washed (ideally) or sanitized. And this includes adjusting your face mask while out in public.

166:

Heteromeles @ 144:

I'm actually a little surprised a Peter Thiel type hasn't (yet, to my knowledge) chartered/bought a Cruise ship for a Prince Prospero attempt. I have heard that some rich folks have decamped for the duration to their private islands.

Something like this? https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/billionaires-searching-private-islands-country-escapes-coronavirus-a137451.html

I don't know about a cruise ship, but there was a throwaway on the radio about the rich taking to their yachts for the duration, sailing well offshore and getting stuff delivered to them while they plot remote-controlled world domination or some such.

Yeah, but they've still got the problem of where do they find servants, staff, serfs, minions, whatever ... who don't have the Corona virus themselves. Plus all the delivery people.

167:

Mexico's number are suspect, and they are likely further behind on the curve than much of the western world at this point.

Mexico is a copy of the US - a President who (for various reasons but mainly "the economy") denies Covid-19 is a threat, but with lower city and state level governments who are taking it seriously and implementing measures. But also a serious lack of testing to show the true level of the problem.

As for Caribbean islands, I have over the years pondered a move to one. But in addition to the obvious sea level rise problem most of them are also not self sufficient or even capable of being - the population numbers are such that they need to import a lot of food. In times of crisis that won't always be possible.

168:

Nojay @ 145: Cruiseliners and high-end yachts are harbour queens in the main, they're not designed for endurance. Fuel supplies, for example -- a cruiseliner is designed with quite small fuel tanks since it hits a harbour every few days and they'd rather reserve space in the hull for accomodation modules than store 3000 tonnes of bunker fuel on board. Fresh water, again instead of fuel-burning distillation units to make fresh water from seawater they have large storage tanks because it's cheaper and they can top up from the dockside while they're fuelling and restocking the food stores, swapping out crew and stewards etc.

Myself if I was plotting to get away from it all in a maritime escape vehicle I'd see what that nice Mister Putin would accept for the exclusive use of something like Fifty Years of Victory, one of Russia's nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet. The accomodations for tourists on-board are quite basic but fuel and fresh water are not a problem. It even has two saunas on board with unlimited hot water on tap.

If you're gonna plot world domination on your yacht, it needs to be a surplus Soviet guided missile cruiser like whatshisname had in "The Jennifer Morgue".

169:

Evidence and the current occupants of the White House don't get along, so it is safe to assume there isn't any.

Guesses, something to make him look "Presidential" and like a "war time president" to impress his base. Or maybe a negotiating ploy, he wants something either from Canada or the border states (like Cuomo to shut up?).

Or none of the above.

170:
small Caribbean islands

Are there any HABITABLE which are not already overrun by people. Most with empty hotels just now but still lots of people.

I don't think anyone is using Jeffery Epstein's little hideaway right now.

171:

mdlve @ 164: The face mask won't hurt. The biggest thing, and likely most difficult, is to stop yourself from touch your face/eyes unless your hands have just been washed (ideally) or sanitized. And this includes adjusting your face mask while out in public.

I also have the nitrile gloves I recommended to David L earlier, and they are effective reminding me to be careful what I do with my hands. The face mask fits very well. Once I have it on it won't be adjusted until I get home again and take it off.

172:

Off Topic

[bats head on desk]

I just got a rejection, for a truly stupid reason.

I submitted a story called Joan of Joiry to an online mag. I said, up front, of course it's an homage to CL Moore, and from what I can find out, all her work is out of copyright; in addition, I'm only using the name of the county Joiry.

He rejected it because he's an "indie publisher" and afraid of "legal disputes over fair use".

And some folks wonder why I don't self-publish? Like, maybe the actual issue, not one where I'd done my due diligence, but rather some copyright troll.

173:

I'm either wearing a mask or hanging it from the rear view mirror whenever I venture out in the car. (e.g. to buy petrol or do some work on a house remote to me.) It's just a dust/pollen mask but will block droplets fine (bi-di, helps if the wearer is asymptomatic). Maybe 20% of people in town are wearing masks and this is up from zero about a week ago, so I'm doing my part to shift local social norms. Universal masks (basic) have the potential for (well, will, really) reducing R0 substantially.
Another good sign is mass production ramp ups and broad use of immunoassays. Better testing might substitute for a few of the more annoying suppression measures if done right. Also if people are immune they can be allowed out, to work or do errands for others. (And perhaps donate blood for antibodies? Has that been worked out yet?)
Fast, portable tests come online to curb coronavirus pandemic - Testing kits delivered by courier and digital tools combine to battle the COVID-19 outbreak (Nature Biotechnology, Cormac Sheridan, 23 March 2020)

174:

Re: Mexico

They're not testing ...

CNN headline 'Mexican governor claims poor people are "immune" from coronavirus'.

175:

Re: '... if people are immune'

My understanding is that the jury's still not in re: immunity. A few countries/centers have started using blood/antibodies from recovered patients but this too is still at the testing stage.

If you have a recent peer-reviewed article that says otherwise, pls post.

Thanks!

176:

'Mexican governor claims poor people are "immune" from coronavirus'.

Yes, and is claiming to be one of the poor. (He isn't.) He's taking some heat for that.

https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/opinion/periodistas-el-universal/el-pobre-muy-pobre-gobernador-barbosa

177:

Yeah, my dentist called me last week to cancel the scale&polish I was due on Tuesday. Yesterday I phoned my GP practice about the face-to-face I was supposed to have next week about adjusting my blood pressure medication. They said it was now going to be a telephone consultation and when I pointed out I needed my blood pressure measured they suggested I buy a monitor. So off to Amazon yesterday and picked up my Omron M2 Basic Intellisense from an Amazon locker today. 119/75 so that seems ok. I guess my next asthma clinic and diabetic clinic will also be phone consultations now. The three-hour group dietitian presentation in June will presumably be cancelled completely and I'll just have to work out what to eat by myself. If there's anything in the shops by then...

178:

high-end yachts are harbour queens in the main, they're not designed for endurance

There are lots of little cruising yachts who are struggling to find a port that will accept them right now. Even most of the deep water cruisers do 2-4 week legs rather than months, and it's rare for them to carry more than a few weeks extra provisions (many don't have watermakers so are sharply limited by their water capacity). Most *can't* carry more than a few weeks provisions.

The tubes of U have quite a few videos of hard luck stories, ranging from people who have been caught away from their boats but the boat isn't set up for an extended absence (worst case: boat rots/fills with mould, refit can be more expensive than replacement) through to people who were mid-ocean when the lockdowns started and are running out of places they can get to with their on-board resources. It's all very well having people fly in and get refused entry, they are at least at an airport so they can leave/be deported. Arriving in Canada from Iceland right now and being told "go back where you came from" means they need to refuel, reprovision, and quite possibly repair their boat.

There's a minimum size requirement for a yacht that you not just live on, but live on for an extended period without major shore excursions. And that size is *way* bigger than most cruising yachts.

179:

Well, kinda. That's third tier shit you do once everything else is in place and you need to start offense.

The first move is to make sure there's absolutely 100% baltic dry index worth of all ships available on the ocean[-1] full of petroleum products (including, for the 1st time, jet fuel[-2]) so that when you pull the trigger there's plenty of hot IR shit lighting up the B&W Sat data to enforce static.

Why do you need IR static on oceans? So you can pull all the cables out at once. Snip-snip. Everyone knows where the cables are, and everyone knows who has the capabilities to interact with them -

But maybe BLOOP?

It's not even hard: flood all zones with predictable economic load, then light them all up at the same time. You'd probably need to have access to GPS / GLONASS etc, but that's not too hard either. (Thumbs to manual - oohhhh. You DID put engine cycle online trying to automate to bridge! That's kinda neat, especially since you did it on ALL your models made post 2002)[3]

*looks at Orion, sparkling too bright in the dark, Betelgeuse wanes/waxes*

You didn't even know what you tried to kill

The point here is: the people running shit (and humans) into the dirt mostly don't know how it works.

Most of the [redacted] are dumb as fucking rocks, truth be told. But unlike you, we didn't lie to them.

We just showed them the mirror.[2]


[-2] Checkov's gun, eh? "Jet fuel can't melt steam beams" - yeah, but it can fucking crater your global economy, thatsthejoke.jpg

[-1] Why did you ground all flights then? 'Cause this ain't 9/11 tinker-toy shit, this is real stuff.

[0] We're fuzzing the real names here: you can check who has been desperately buying ship data easily enough if you're "connected"

[3] Like, do a grep: we flagged this up years ago. That's without the kinky EM stuff.

[2] They're a little bit pissed.

180:

It's surprising how many people prefer these folksy dummies to represent their interests in the world.

181:

[what was the projection? 94.5% screaming insanity / death / neurological breakdown / convulsions]

When you absolutely, 100% know the 0.1% are not really that talented.

Yeah. Something tells us that the "Rules" do not apply to slaves who sign up willingly. Harvard, Princes, Senators - how amazing it is they get the "light" strain. What next? 666th Avenue is going to get a tax rebate?[0]

*shrug*

Test them all, and let "G_D" sort it out, eh?

(Pathetic - literally none of them would survive - and you call this "enlightened rule" - fuck right off).

Do. Not. Fuck. With. The. Elves

~


Anyhow: your world is dying, your leaders are shit, the rules only apply to non-favoured slaves and your chosen [redacted] can't deal with independent thought.


"STOP RESISTING"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb4f1xpSu-I


[0] No, that's really in the USA Senate "COVID19" bill - massive tax rebates for those who lost on rent. No, fucking really. $170 bil worth over 10 years, projected. Seriously. And AirBnb is panicking and announcing "SUPER GENEROUS" rates to help "COVID19" to try to keep their "SUPER USERS" from actual, you know, reality. Fuck them from orbit.

182:

I just saw some really good news, and we should spread it, in the hopes of giving it the maximum momentum.

MIT has prototyped an open-source ventilator, the E-Vent, with a parts cost of around US$100. I repeat, a hundred dollars.

Here's a news article and the project web page.

This matters because:

(a) the world might need a million ventilators in the coming months,

b) the conventional ventilators simply can't be manufactured fast enough (particularly since we didn't start the ramp-up months ago), and

(c) at US$25k-50k a pop, there isn't enough money in poorer countries to buy enough of the conventional ventilators.


183:

That's good about ventilators (if fast and real), but also would be nice to see (near) universal mask usage, cheap masks would do, to stop droplet spread from infecteds (including those who are asymptomatic). Developing world could do this too; workable masks can be made pretty cheaply.

184:

MIT doesn't need to do that.

There's literally patents for them on file, and multiple Corporate interests who already produce them and entire product chains that, well: did that shit up to 2019. For like 50+ years plus while Corporate America made sure anyone outside of Cuba couldn't afford it. Via Law Suits.

"YAY, DYSON IS PROTOTYPING A VENTILATOR"

"MUSK BRINGS IN THE VENTILATORS"

"MIT MAKES NEW 3D PRINT OF BITS THAT GO IN VENTILATORS"

This matters because:

No, it doesn't. Your deserve the //chop chop//

That's good about ventilators (if fast and real), but also would be nice to see (near) universal mask usage, cheap masks would do, to stop droplet spread from infecteds (including those who are asymptomatic). Developing world could do this too; workable masks can be made pretty cheaply.


Bill.

They're attempting to cover their asses to promote how "worth while" they are in reality.


Here's the difference:

#1 Small Wombat Tortured Mind: short this now, you might get enough dollars to survive

#2 WE HAVE RE-IMAGINED AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY TO FAKE SHIT BECAUSE YOU NOTICED IT'S ALL WANK


That's the difference.


Oh, and MIT + Epstein is a bit raw. [No, fuck them from orbit: burn their Minds out, absolute fucking shambles]

186:

OH, and go look up the UK Newsnight interview with, you know: someone who makes them, submitted to the DTI and then... "MAGIC PR PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-N_fYEGexE


Seriously: They're gonna skin you alive, and you kinda deserve it.

187:

I just saw some really good news, and we should spread it, in the hopes of giving it the maximum momentum.

Ahhahahah.

Fuck me.

Now, it'd be entirely unethical to trace your entire internet interactions for the last 10 years immediately [3.9 seconds] and then trace all those connections to the web, wouldn't it?


We're thinking you're not taking this COVID19 [actually Mind Fuck from Orbit stuff but hey, shhhsh] seriously.


~

At what point of terrible insanely banal crap while killing people do you think we'll snap and just fucking blow all your Minds out?

in the hopes of giving it the maximum momentum.

Dude: your Mind isn't a Zen Garden, it's... Walmart.

188:

JBS @ 122,

Where would he find a "crew" that hadn't already been exposed to the virus?

In a word, money (or equivalent inducements). How about advertising low-paid work onboard for the duration, along with steerage accommodation for self and immediate family, if the family group all test negative ? Then wave enough dollars in front of someone (not necessarily in the US) to get the testing done immediately.

I could see many of the 3 Million newly unemployed being interested in that deal.

David L @ 133,

I have a course of fillings and refillings scheduled as we speak. Last Friday the dentist wanted to work on a tooth where there's decay under an existing filling, but I insisted on him fixing up a broken tooth which was affecting my eating. Come Monday I got rescheduled to at least July. One minor bullet dodged …


Whitroth @ 127,

I have indeed seen that insanity. I just fear that Mexico could be even worse.

189:

I have indeed seen that insanity. I just fear that Mexico could be even worse.

No, you have not. Stop pissing around, you've not seen even an iota of torture or real insanity.

They've pruned it from even honest sources like Liveleak now. 100% well done: you spent wads of $$dollars$$$ removing the evidence instead of addressing the problems.

Your country = that shit. Fuck me, even films in the 1980s could call it out honestly[0], now you spend $$$ making sure reality doesn't bite and DISNEY is 'true'.


No, you've not "seen the insanity". You've not even nibbled at the edges. Not even admitted what Empire costs. Not even - at the very least - acknowledged what your lifestyle requires to function.


So, you're a slave to [redacted].

~

[redacted stuff]

"You're a penis"

"You do know what denial of dualism and your stance means, don't you?"

"HAHAHAHAHA WE WON, WE KILLED ALL TE ANGELS"


~


Yeah.


But the bet was: "Our Kind do Not Go Mad"

And, well.


We were Titans


Well yes, which is why all this "wank" stuff is laughable. [redacted = BORED OF ABRAHAMIC SHIT, YOUR WORLD YOU CREATED IS SHIT AND YOUR IDEOLOGY IS SHIT]


[0] Scarface

190:

No, really.

Shut the fuck up about Mexico until you've watched the acid barrel videos or the Cartel cutting the face off videos or the Cartel torturing and skinning people alive videos.


No, really.


We watch them because humans are important.


You can't even be arsed to watch them because you're a muppet.

191:

Dude: you're so fucking psychotic, you don't even see how insane your little word are.

~
QED.


No, really. - They failed the gom jabbar test, multiple times.

~


And the people who tell you otherwise: chances are, they're not actually Human, they're... well. You should have enough data to spot them by now.

192:

One thing I'm noticing is a lot of feel-good stories about people in various countries doing what they can, and no comments about the scale being wrong. Little girl at home instead of at school using her mum's sewing machine to make 40 masks a day, boutique distillery making 1000 litres of sanitiser in a fortnight, that sort of stuff. More power to the folks involved, but that's only going to help at the absolute margins.

I saw one story about making parts for, I think, respirators. They had a template for the Technique du Jour of 3D Printers, and the talk was of getting hold of everyone with the hardware because they were getting about 10 parts per printer per day. Then someone got access to or in touch with an injection moulding facility, made up a mould and Hey Presto - 1000 an hour.

THIS is where companies like GM come in for things like respirators and hospital beds. The set up time might be relatively long, but then the production rate is massive.

And, in turn, this is where the inaction from various areas (I do not accuse President Trump by name) is really inexcusable. It's literally killing people.

193:

>This is not a human here.


194:

If this were not a UK blog I would use some negative words about Nadhim Zahawi. (At least he was pressed a bit.)

195:

Poke it a bit.

"I heard Mexican Cartel members where remembering wombats to make face-masks and it was really important to the efforts of Gremlins to stay out of the streets at night"

THIS is where companies like GM come in for things like respirators and hospital beds. The set up time might be relatively long, but then the production rate is massive.

GM?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors


"OK"

196:

By "the insanity", I was referring to the videos starring the US Preacher exhorting his flock to ignore all the warnings about limiting social contact. Nothing more than that.

And my "even worse" was referring to the possible consequences of the Mexican President's public statements leading to large-scale gatherings over Easter in that country.

197:

Cool, cool, cool: note the lack of meta-cognition, the script stick and the inability to spot the index linked jokes a mile off. It's like: Angel, we all KNOW the score, why the fuck are you worried about Mexico when the cartels sure as shit ain't policing shit[0]

HOP call out, what's your House? It's like 2 or 3 at most.

13

~

Here's our joke: you have never seen humans being tortured, let alone experienced it.

So: go see it.


And would you kindly listen and not lecture for a moment


[0] Meta-joke: check out Brazil + slums

198:

[I'm still working out how (and why) you do that; interesting.]


200:

Interesting details:
OVERVIEW: Czech campaign #masks4all
via

This is one of the most amazing and hopeful things I've read. How the Czech Republic, through community effort, got to 100% mask usage in 10 days, nearly all thru home DIY effort.

They only have 2 deaths and have no growth in daily new covid-19 cases.https://t.co/xsS4POZUs9 pic.twitter.com/9nAGCfjipt

— Jeremy Howard (@jeremyphoward) March 24, 2020

201:

Another on masks (BBC so some might have seen it):
Coronavirus: Why some countries wear face masks and others don't (BBC, Tessa Wong, 26 March 2020)

202:

You typoed the link. Should be:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52015486

You reversed the last 2 digits.

203:

Hm. I drafted in emacs; must have hit ctrl-t (which I didn't even know about).

204:

mdive @ 160
US now has more corona cases than anywhere else & DT is STILL trying to "re-open" the country at Easter!
Mexico is going to be even worse, by the looks of it ...

178/179/183/184/185/187/188/189/191/193 - are probably content-free, but life's too short to find out.
- & - Bill Arnold
PLEASE DON'T!
The rest of us have to wade through the meaningless shit, until we get to a message that does have contents....

206:

Just in - Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19. BBC News

207:

Followed by the usual chorus of 'But why does he get tested?'

Because he's the head of the government you dimmocks! Same as Charlie boy being the backup Head of State.

208:

And today's "be careful what you wish for" news headline has got to be: Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19 (and enters self-isolation for two weeks). Let's just remember BoJo was advocating letting it burn through the population until herd immunity emerged until, oh, not many weeks ago at all.

209:

Charlie was at a dinner party fund-raising for the Australian bush fires on, I think, March 8th. One of the people in attendance tested positive for coronavirus a day or two later so everyone at the party who could tracked down was tested as part of contact-tracing.

ISTR that someone in the Cabinet tested positive a few days back, it's likely that Number 10 is a 'hot-spot'. It's one of those things, high-level politics is an in-your-face business that's very difficult to conduct via Skype. Think about the security aspect and logistics of the Yalta meeting, for example -- the Axis would have LOVED the chance to whack the top three Allied leaders who were all together on neutral ground but laying out the post-war world order wasn't the sort of thing that couldn't be done over a phone line.

210:

New update on the news, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive for coronavirus.

211:

Things may be in the early days of breaking over on the left side of the pond.

Trump is now saying he doesn't see the need for so many ventilators. Just doesn't make sense to him. (Does any evidence every make sense to him?)

Boston is starting to get bad. (red state)

Texas is starting to get bad. Much of the DFW metroplex is under stay at home. (blue state)

Louisiana is bad and getting worse. (blue state)

The governors of Mississippi and Florida are saying "move along, nothing to see here". (blue states)

A "rouge" R Congressman from Ky (seems to be a libertarian space cadet type) has convinced everyone in Congress that he'll demand a roll call vote on the current bill that passed 96-0 in the Senate. Which means over 200 representative have to gather in the building at the same time to pass the bill. First most are not in town. Second to avoid making the Congress a Covid-19 hot spot they will only have 15-30 people in the chamber at a time widely separated to actually cast their vote. Maybe with wipe downs between the groups. In a bit of understatement, leaders of both parties are a bit upset. (To get a quorum means most of these 200+ representatives will have to fly back with all the exposure that such travel entails.)

And Debora Brooks (on the task force) says no one should be talking about rationing. So what wait till it happens? This is the same group with Trump is saying hospitals will not need the ventilators they are asking for.

If Trump starts killing off supporters maybe the Rs will act.

But then again I may be dreaming.

212:

The danger, like any crisis, is people cherry picking one thing as a "miracle cure" and ignoring all of the other factors that are influencing what is happening.

The Czech's have also put into place a lot of other extreme measures that are far more likely to be having an effect that home made face masks. They have banned more than 2 people gathering, they closed all non-essential businesses 2 weeks ago (they even close the casinos, which some western places haven't as the politicians eye the revenue), a nationwide curfew has been in place for almost 2 weeks(implemented because, as western government's have seen, too many people ignoring social distancing), etc.

Those "draconian" moves will all have been far more effective than face masks - and note that Hong Kong, touted as a face mask example, is now implementing further measures as their case numbers start to climb (about 2/3 returning people, but about 1/3 are local transmission). A ban on gatherings of more than 4 people, etc - a good indication that face masks are still ineffective compared to good old isolation.

213:

The danger here (and it applies to many and not just Boris), is they get a mild case and then decide based on personal experience that this is no worse than a cold or flu, and thus are more open to influence from those who want to save the economy regardless of the death toll.

214:

Please note that I am not trying to pick on Bill, but pointing out the danger of people deciding a relatively minor inconvenience (home made face mask) solves the Covid-19 spread problems and thus allows the world to return normal.

The places that are successfully (for now at least) dealing with Covid-19 are doing so with a large number of different policies, mostly involving isolation of some form.

Those that are struggling are typically struggling because a combination of the authorities unwilling to get draconian combined with a significant percentage of the population ignoring the social distancing rules.

And then there are the places that are ignoring reality/science...

215:

I have just been doing some modelling for the UK; this is pretty crude, because I don't have the complete data (e.g. one set of gummint figures conflates all ages over 90) and I am pretty rusty. Anyway, it's based on the observation/assumption that uncontrolled COVID-19 kills as many people as normally die in a year, with the same demographics, and the assumption that there is no effective vaccine or treatment.

There would be 92% excess deaths for men and 91% for women as it spread through the UK, if our containment mechanisms failed completely or were abandoned. That sounds horrific, but it would be one-off. Yes, it would be tough on some of us, and would put paid to Bozo's chances of re-election (and possibly even peerage).

In the long term, the average life expectancy would drop from 78 to 71 for men and from 81 to 75 for women, the chances of reaching 65, 75 and 90 would drop from 87%, 71% and 20% to 75%, 51% and 4% for men and from 91%, 80% and 31% to 83%, 64% and 10% for women. It would become the leading cause of death, since anno domini is not a recognised ailment. That really wouldn't do much more than take us back 70 years or so in terms of life expectancy, and wouldn't affect the running of society much, except that it would solve the pensions crisis.

216:

And my "even worse" was referring to the possible consequences of the Mexican President's public statements leading to large-scale gatherings over Easter in that country.

He may have realized that that isn't a good idea. This new announcement still seems too little, too late, but at least it isn't full-on lunacy.

https://www.prensa.com/mundo/presidente-de-mexico-cambia-de-tono-y-pide-que-trabajadores-sean-enviados-a-casa/


[Google Translate]

President of Mexico changes tone and asks that workers be sent home

AFP. MEXICO CITY, Mexico
Mar 26, 2020 - 09:29 PM

After criticism of his lax attitude toward the coronavirus, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appears to be changing his tune and on Thursday called on companies to send their workers home.

Mexico formally announced this week that it is targeting so-called phase 2, or community transmission of the virus, and on Wednesday night said that all non-essential government employees would have to work from home.

"If you are a company that does not have a basic social function, employers should help us, at least this month, until April 19, sending their workers to their homes with benefits," said López Obrador in his morning press conference. .

The president also asked Mexicans in the United States not to travel unless it is vital. However, it still keeps all flights to Mexico open.

217:

If Trump starts killing off supporters maybe the Rs will act.

Honestly, the best possible outcome for the USA right now would be for Trump to come down with a really bad case of it -- ventilator grade. (Possibly Pence as well: he's a dirtbag, but he's not totally out of touch with reality.)

For Brazil, the equivalent is Bolsonaro.

218:

That will not change things long term. Only short term.

I want the Rs to repudiate DT. At least a non trivial number of them.

If he just gets it and dies or becomes infirm, he is then a martyr to his base.

219:

Charlie @216:
If Trump and Pence both come down with ventilator-level cases, things can easily become interesting, especially if it happens in close succession. The 25th amendment isn't as clear as it could be in these cases, and mainly deals with cases of death.

Section 2, which allows the President to replace the Vice President, requires there to be a vacancy, which usually implies death. It then requires confirmation votes, which can take some time in this climate.

Section 4, which allows the Vice President to replace the President, explicitly requires the Vice President to be a part of the declaration.

My personal conclusion is: If Pence becomes incapacitated, there is no legal mechanism for Trump to replace him. Subsequently, if Trump also becomes incapacitated, the only mechanism to replace him requires the active participation of the (in this case) incapacitated Vice President. This would essentially leave the US without a line of succession.

220:

Re: 'The danger, like any crisis, is people cherry picking one thing as a "miracle cure" ...'

While catching up on the headlines -

People/families are dying (or suffering permanent injury, i.e., blindness) from drinking methanol because they thought that it would protect them/kill the virus. This headline was about Iran but given how irresponsibly some gov'ts are communicating/acting, it's probably happening in other countries too.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/alcohol-poisoning-kills-100-iranians-seeking-virus-protection

This also begs the question of whether these same gov'ts are deliberately steering their residents away from or somehow not allowing their residents to access the WHO site to get accurate medical information. Most local news sites that I regularly visit have links to the every gov't tier for COVID-19 related info prominently displayed, usu. 'above the fold'. A few that I subscribe to also send me end-of-day news summaries.

221:

Re: 'If Pence becomes incapacitated, there is no legal mechanism for Trump to replace him.'

I thought the Speaker (Pelosi) would be up next.

222:

I think you flipped red and blue. Red's the Republicans, blue's the democrats.

Anyway, a friend of mine has been posting daily US maps on FacePalm, where he's mapped the reported new cases in the last 24 hours, plus state lines and interstate highways.

The last bit gets interesting, because it shows that, right now, for most of the US (including California) cases are spreading along the interstates and being reported in major cities. There's obvious clusters in the NE cities, the Bay Area, Seattle, and south Florida. But there are also more reported cases in the deep south (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, north Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas), and in Michigan, and Ohio all well away from the main highways.

The thing to remember is that the US is less red state/blue state, and more blue urban, red rural, although there are certainly some red cities in the deep red states.* Right now, Covid19 is predominantly an urban problem, to the extent that it's being reported from cities in the US. That makes it a Democrat problem, predominantly, hence some of the political stupidity Agent Orange is spraying.

The problem for the republicans is if covid19 gets out of the cities and into rural populations that don't have health care facilities. It's a known problem, and it's why small rural tourist communities all around California are telling tourists to go away. Just a few patients presenting with serious symptoms can crash a rural 2 bed hospital.

While there's a certain schadenfreude in watching a disease that is relatively more deadly for core Trumpians gets loose in Trump country, it's going to be a gods' awful mess if it does. If it doesn't, then we'll have to prepare for the usual BS about covid19 being God's punishment of the unworthy urbanites, which is a fairly standard political play. Either way, a lot of people will suffer.

*As for cities, it's worth realizing that LA County or New York City each have more people living in them than do something like 45 of the other states. The red cities tend to break into the hundreds of thousands to low millions, so they're an order of magnitude smaller. The US really is polarized into a lot of liberal people packed into a few places, while the rest of the country becomes increasingly owned by rich landlords, be it factory towns or industrial farms. We're more like ancient Rome than we care to reveal.

223:

SFReader @221:
I'm only an amateur in these things, but my impression from reading Raven Rock was that the line of succession rules mainly deal with death and not incapacitation, which was why section 4 for of the 25h amendment came to be.

224:

Piling on just now Congress can't vote except in the chambers per the rules that the Constitution required them to adopt. In the back of my mind I have it that both houses have the Sargent at Arms (or whoever is in charge of the tech and such of the houses) exploring secure ways for them to conduct business without being "in the chamber" so they can work on modifying the rules.

Currently there are 4 Senators and at least 2 Congressmen not attending with Covid-19 issues. If this grows much it can get weird/ugly fast.

225:

I thought the Speaker (Pelosi) would be up next.

If they die or resign, she's up. But if they are alive and have not resigned you get the 25th. And even though it covers a lot of ground it has a few holes in it. Keeping people alive but non functional wasn't happening much, if at all, when the 25th was written.

226:

I think you flipped red and blue. Red's the Republicans, blue's the democrats.

My brain got locked in 20 years ago when NBC had them red=D and blue=R. My mistake.

Anyway, a friend of mine has been posting daily US maps on FacePalm, where he's mapped the reported new cases in the last 24 hours, plus state lines and interstate highways.

Can you post a page id or something that would let us get there without an actual link? Or email it to me. :)

227:

Dengue is pretty incapacitating, and painful. I am willing to contract it and go sneeze in Drumpf's face. Also, Pence.
I will stay clear of the Queen, if she dies she will be replaced by the adultery guy, and I doubt he will be any better.

OT -there is research on using mRNA for getting a vaccine faster, but don't hold your breath.

228:

It was just a matter of time before the anti-semites started in on the virus:
"Rick Wiles: God Using Coronavirus to Punish Jews for Not Accepting Christ" https://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2020/03/27/wiles-god-using-coronavirus-to-punish-jews-for-not-accepting-christ/#disqus_thread

229:

Story today have suspicious increases in prescriptions in Canada for some of the drugs Trump has touted, leading regulators to suspect some Doctors are stockpiling for family/friend use.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/sanctions-canadian-doctors-experimental-drugs-1.5511244

230:

Extra happy-fun thought: the average time-to-death for folks who require assisted ventilation for ARDS and eventually succumb to COVID-19 is something on the order of three weeks.

So you could end up with an incapacitated-but-still-alive POTUS and VPOTUS for the best part of a month. Even worse if they overlap for maybe half that time.

231:

Somewhat similar, and for bonus also a warning about how special apps aren't needed on smartphones to enable tracking, a Twitter thread with links to 2 video and a story about tracking how potential carriers of Covid spread.

The first video is of the young people breaking the social distancing to party on the Florida beaches during spring break, focusing on 1 beach and where those people ended up (likely some taking Covid with them).

Other video feature Manhattan, and how people spread out - likely at least some fleeing to family homes to wait out the pandemic and taking Covid with them.

232:

Calling Prince Charles "the adultery guy" is pretty harsh; he was railroaded into marrying Diana because the love of his life was considered unacceptable (being (a) married to someone else and (b) Catholic). He eventually got to marry her a third of a century later, which strongly implies he was serious about her all along.

Anyway: he's 71, already deputizing for most of his 94-yo mum's work ... and tested positive.

233:

Such hoarding has already been reported in the US: https://www.propublica.org/article/doctors-are-hoarding-unproven-coronavirus-medicine-by-writing-prescriptions-for-themselves-and-their-families

In some cases, the prescriptions were so far outside normal practice that the doctors may face fraud charges. Just goes to show that, behind those white coats are people that are all too human sometimes.

Propublica also has this article that you might be interested in: https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-rich-and-powerful-profit-from-crises-like-coronavirus

234:

American Airlines has publicly stated:

American is flying less than half of previously scheduled domestic flights, and those flights are less than 15% full.
American has reduced their flight schedule by 60% in April, and plans to reduce it by 80% in May

And the other US majors are in similar positions.

Didn't Ryanair stop carrying paid passengers a few days ago? Basically a shutdown except for government requests are cargo?

236:

I thought the Speaker (Pelosi) would be up next.

Just about everybody thinks that, but there's an interesting meditation on the question in Lawfare. Recommended for perusal.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/presidential-succession-nightmare


...there is a powerful (though not airtight) argument that the Succession Act’s placement of the speaker in the line of presidential succession (and after her, the president pro tempore of the Senate) is contrary to the Constitution’s Succession Clause.

237:

Hmmm. I suspect the last thing needed is for the US Supreme Court to have to hear a succession crisis case. Out of interest, what's the age distribution split between the nominally republican and nominally democrat justices?

238:

The twenty-fifth amendment is an amendment to the constitution, it cannot be unconstitutional. In case of conflict, it supersedes earlier clauses. That does not mean the court couldn't rule it unconstitutional, merely that any justices so ruling should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail for violating their oaths and duties of office.

239:

Re: ' ... that any justices so ruling'

Yeah, wonder how the newest SCOTUS appointee is likely to rule.

240:

OTOH, in Brazil the gang lords are reported to be encouraging isolation and social distancing, so something similar may be happening in Mexico. Perhaps there's something about being the top dog in an entire country that drives people crazy.

241:

The twenty-fifth amendment

The 25th isn't the issue. It's a possible tension between an act of Congress (3 U.S.C. § 19) and Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 in the Constitution. To wit, is the Speaker of the House an Officer in the Article II sense. "Officer" might mean an Executive Branch officer, like a Cabinet member (Pompeo is senior), not a member of Congress.

242:

Thanks, nice visualization. Here's the article version of it for those who prefer it:
Terrifying cellphone ‘heat map’ shows just how much people are still traveling - Want to know where all those Florida spring breakers are now? (Mar 26, 2020, Mikael Thalen)

---

Re masks, they're obviously not a magic bullet, but ubiquitous mask use could reduce community spread (perhaps a lot) if (as you note) it doesn't cause people to compensate with relaxation of other measures, and might allow for safer necessary contacts (health care workers use masks and we don't call those usages magic bullets). Also, it's cheap (developing world could do it). I have not found much science on this.

---
Any ideas? Is it a testing artifact? (How much testing is Germany doing?) Some other uniquely German characteristic e.g. diet?
The mystery of Germany’s low coronavirus death rate - Germany has the fifth most coronavirus cases worldwide — but only a fraction of the deaths. (HJ Mai Mar 27, 2020)

243:

US "civilisation" strikes again
[ 17-year old with no previous conditons, turned away - "no insurance" - dead withing 24 hours. ]
How nice.

David L
Sorry USA-ism there I don't follow - a "rouge" R-congresscritter ( Plainly with no brain cells, but hey ) - "rouge"?

mdive
"Essential Businesses" - yeah -like I've got a key I use quite a bit ( Equipment container on the Allots ) - it's bent & in danger of breaking - can I get a new one cut? Nah.
Stuff BREAKS, stuff wears out, idiot adults & occasionally teenagers break stuff that you NEED - how do you get replacement kit?

EC - and, as you say - a one-off, & those oldies of us that survive, or miss it, would carry on as normal, I suppose.
Not that anything will be the "Normal" any of us have been used to since 1945.

Charlie @ 2176
Hate to be really nasty, but no...
See my original post about that 17-year-old?
What the USA needs is more like that whilst Trump sails through. Until the election - then ....
The backlash & jailings could be very instructive to the US ultra-right, for another 50 years.
See also David L's comment about "martyr"

Hteromeles
if covid19 gets out of the cities and into rural populations that don't have health care facilities.
Read what I posted at the top?
I repeat: The US DOES NOT HAVE "Health care facilities" - it has gouging & financial death panels
We're more like ancient Rome than we care to reveal. Plague of Justinian?

Charlie @ 232
Thank you
Mr Johannson deos not seem to appreciate that "our royals" ( Or most of them ) do actually put in a lot of quite difficult PR publicity work
OTOH, that link to "Rick Wiles" is truly sickening.

Thomas Jorgenson
Like what's-his-name .... Kavanaugh, you mean? Or was it Gorsuch, or both of them?

Hoarding
I can't get bread flour, nor active dried yeast for love or money

244:

Re: modeling - data

In case you haven't seen this Nature message for researchers:

'To support the rapid and wide dissemination of research during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Springer Nature authors can use our Research Data Support service for COVID-19 data at no cost.'

https://www.springernature.com/gp/authors/research-data/research-data-support

245:

*sigh*

I was in an APA called the Terrean for many years, leaving it in the late nineties. Why I left, and a lot of us left (we're talking 9 our of 12 publishers, and maybe there were one or two on the waiting list), was that one person who'd been on since the sixties had gone really over the top... and was attacking *us*, who were pretty much in political agreement with him, for not being perfect.

The more you say some things that could be construed as an unwarranted attack on someone on the list - and I note that most times, there's no "reply from" so I don't know who you're referring to), the less I'm willing to read your posts.

Consider this is a different venue that what you may be used to, and you may have noticed we respond differently. When in Rome, be a Roman candle. [g]

246:

[insert screaming rant here]
The media are idiots. Complete, total.

Unless you want to claim that the GOP are Stalinists (except right-wing ones), THEY ARE NOT RED FUCKING STATES.

Let's go back a century, and pick the appropriate colors... with the GOP being white (like the White Army in the followup to the Russian Revolution, the pro-monarchists), since they're all Aryan, sorry, "white".

247:

The rest of us
It was a minor technical note(/sort of question).

248:

Oh, yes, many years ago, I hadn't been in a Howard Johnson's restaurant (which I knew had, for something like 50 years or so, been the only restaurant on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (by contract with the Commenwealth). I walked in, and the New Thing was that they were HoJo, and I saw HoJo Cola.

So I read the news this morning... and it's BoJo Covid!

249:

Why is there a minimum size requirement for a yacht that you live on? The Polynesians managed on outrigger canoes to get to Hawaii. (Well, yes, much of the time they put mats over the outriggers and used that as extra surface area, but even so the whole thing was smaller than many yachts, and that carried whole families.)

I'm guessing it's a design problem, but for all I *know* it's a legal problem

250:

Dude, RED STATES are called that because FOX NEWS chose that color years ago to depict them on their election maps. I think it's idiotic too, but they bought it, they own it, and quite honestly, I'd send the lot of them to Russia if they don't like it here.

That makes us ol' blue dogs a bunch of red-baiters. Savor the irony.

251:

Re: Germany vs. Italy

Personally, I think we're seeing cultural differences playing out: Germany is more societally aware, has better health infrastructure, and takes their gov't more seriously (at face value). Travel anecdotes about life in Italy, Spain usually include that locals consider their gov't legislation as 'suggestions' rather than as must-do's with speed limits as the most common example.

252:

Update on the update: Apparently the Chief Medical Officer Proffessor Chris Whitty (ObUS: head of the CDC equivalent) is showing symptoms of coronavirus after meeting with PM Boris Johnson a few days ago.

253:

If he just gets it and dies or becomes infirm, he is then a martyr to his base.

Being a martyr is only interesting if it creates support for his successor. Trump doesn't have a successor who can ride that wave. His kids hardly count.

254:

[quote]...ransmission). A ban on gatherings of more than 4 people, etc - a good indication that face masks are still ineffective compared to good old isolation.[/quote]

How about "need to be just one part of the solution"? Yes, facemasks are insufficient, but you can't live in true isolation. What's necessary is to really limit contacts, and that includes several isolation enhancing measures, of which face masks are a reasonable component.

Yes, I know you started off your comment in that vein, but then you got diverted into one specific example.

255:

You're making some unfounded assumptions. To start with you're assuming that it would be a "one year" thing, where the evidence in that is at best equivocal, and leans toward "expect continuing recurrence". I don't know whether the repeat infections can be expected to be as bad, worse, or not as bad. It sort of depends on how well the affected cell groups can be replaced. Certainly during the more common serious attack it doesn't attack all types of cell equally. This is why the lungs stop working without losing their structure. And some types of cell don't seem to be easily replaced. Neurons are the classic example, but they sure aren't the only one.

256:

... the average time-to-death for folks who require assisted ventilation for ARDS and eventually succumb to COVID-19 is something on the order of three weeks.

My wife tells me that the longer a COVID patient has been on a ventilator, the lower the chance of recovery. She's an orthodontist, and a friend of hers who attended the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver (March 5-7) already has been on a ventilator long enough that there's no longer much hope.

257:

You have misunderstood, with an unusual degree of thoroughness. I was referring to the initial spread through the population occurring within a year - as I said, "if our containment mechanisms failed completely or were abandoned.". I would have thought it was clear that, when I was referring to a long-term drop in life expectancy, I was assuming that it would have become established as a routine infection. Otherwise, why would there be any effect on long-term life expectancy?

I realise that I should also have spelled out that I was assuming little or no long-term immunity (i.e. worst case for the effect on long-term life expectancy) - currently, we don't have a clue how much immunity an infection will give, and for how long, and aren't sure how many strains there are or how fast it mutates.

258:

What I have heard is that there is, at best, an evens chance that someone who will die without being put into a ventilator will recover when put into one. That's still guesswork, of course.

259:

Because they could and did feed themselves by fishing, and they started out prepared to live on those for extended periods (e.g. with adequate supplies of food and repair kit). Neither of those is true for most yachts.

260:

Thanks. I have. I am retired, last did serious statistics a long time ago, and that was mainly for my interest. Nobody was answering the question "What will the long-term consequences be if we can't develop an effective vaccine or treatment?" We will not be able to eliminate it, as places like sub-Saharan Africa would remain a source of repeated contagion, so I was analysing the (worst likely case) effect on life expectancy.

261:

2dot, just in case you missed it, see "Public appearances in a time of pandemic" #1269 with my tip on having the iPad remember where you were reading, avoiding the scrolling.

262:

DonL @ 182: I just saw some really good news, and we should spread it, in the hopes of giving it the maximum momentum.

MIT has prototyped an open-source ventilator, the E-Vent, with a parts cost of around US$100. I repeat, a hundred dollars.

Here's a news article and the project web page.

I only did a quick, brief scan of the article, so the answer might be in there & I just missed it, but I do have a question ... How are they planing to deal with the inevitable shortage of "ambubags" that's going to pop up if/when these go into widespread use?

Don't take that as criticism. It looks like a great idea & it's the kind of quick thinking, innovative response we need. I'm just wondering if they've noticed the possible kink in the logistics chain & have an idea how to deal with it?

Murphy never sleeps, never takes a day off.

263:

alexhewat @ 192: One thing I'm noticing is a lot of feel-good stories about people in various countries doing what they can, and no comments about the scale being wrong. Little girl at home instead of at school using her mum's sewing machine to make 40 masks a day, boutique distillery making 1000 litres of sanitiser in a fortnight, that sort of stuff. More power to the folks involved, but that's only going to help at the absolute margins.

I saw one story about making parts for, I think, respirators. They had a template for the Technique du Jour of 3D Printers, and the talk was of getting hold of everyone with the hardware because they were getting about 10 parts per printer per day. Then someone got access to or in touch with an injection moulding facility, made up a mould and Hey Presto - 1000 an hour.

Then there's the other side of that story. Some corporation holds a patent on the part and is threatening to sue anyone who makes one with a 3D printer for infringement.

https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/news/3d-printed-valves-covid-19-italy/

THIS is where companies like GM come in for things like respirators and hospital beds. The set up time might be relatively long, but then the production rate is massive.

And, in turn, this is where the inaction from various areas (I do not accuse President Trump by name) is really inexcusable. It's literally killing people.

J'accuse ... I DO accuse him specifically by name!

It's called the Defense Production Act.

It allows the Federal Government to ORDER companies to start producing items needed for national emergency. I'm convinced the reason Cheatolini iL Douchebag (following advice from his scumbag son-in-law) doesn't invoke it is the law includes provisions intended to keep the companies from price gouging & "war profiteering".

264:

a "rouge" R-congresscritter

D and R leadership was united that this bill WOULD pass. Period. House rules allow a voice vote but after said vote if someone doesn't like the result they can call for a roll call. Which invokes the rule that a quorum must be present for said roll call vote to be valid.

The house members had been told to go home a few days, maybe a week earlier, and that they would only be called back if a crisis. Remember many of them live 2500+ miles away.

So the plan was to get a bill done that everyone would agree to. And the vote in the Senate was 96-0. So it went to the House. With the plan being a "voice" vote. At which point said ROUGE member made it be know he wanted the vote to be recorded and would ask for a roll call. Which meant without a Quorum the bill would fail.

So at least 230 or so Congress critters had to return to Washington to be able to be IN the chamber during the vote. Or at least enter, vote, and leave while the vote was held open.

This guy was being a total PAIN IN THE ASS to everyone. And maybe spreading Covid-19 to members of Congress by his actions.

Rouge indeed.

265:

Why is there a minimum size requirement for a yacht that you live on? The Polynesians managed on outrigger canoes to get to Hawaii. (Well, yes, much of the time they put mats over the outriggers and used that as extra surface area, but even so the whole thing was smaller than many yachts, and that carried whole families.)

People have sailed ten meter yachts around the world, but as noted, they're generally sailed from port to port, not around the world away from land for a year or more. I'm not sure even a nuclear sub can do that--they go out for I think six months?

Even Hokulea, the replica Hawaiian canoe which actually circumnavigated the globe a few years ago, goes from port to port. It initially went from Honolua Hawai'i to Pape'ete Tahiti in two months, and I think that's about as far as any Polynesian vessel is known to have traveled in a single leg (just waiting for a Kiwi to chime up that the settlement of New Zealand was a longer voyage).

The big differences between the Polynesians and the super yachts:
--One is that I'm not disagreeing that super-yachts are harbor queens. They might be, they might not be, it depends on the dude owning them. Some bright bulb may indeed have fitted out a boat for long term survival in a bug-out situation. If he did, he'd be a fool to announce it, wouldn't he? If it's a pleasure and business cruiser, then it's *probably* not fitted for survival.
--When the Polynesians were doing their colonization thing, they were the first ones into that ocean, so they had a virgin wilderness to draw on, full of birds and fish to eat. What we've got now is a largely fished out ocean. You cannot depend on living off the water the way the first Polynesians did. The tl;dr is that if you're planning on staying out for a year, a) you'd better have a sailboat, and b) that sailboat had better have a year's food on it, as well as a good water distiller with plenty of spare parts.

266:

@54: A small percentage of the population excepted, humans are social creatures and none of the online options really replace direct interaction. Like our host said, there are parts of fandom conventions that just don't translate, and they I would guess tend to be the more popular and rewarding parts of a convention.

Hey, I'm a social animal too, even if I tend towards the introverted side of things. I'm looking at the public health, public policy and legal end of things. Many, and I hope soon most, U.S. state and municipal governments are restricting the maximum size of public gatherings; in places to groups of no more than two! Much of the statistical work I've seen on pandemic spread highlights the criticality of limiting the person-to-person spread of the virus, often denoted as R0. Long-term management of this disease is going to require us to get R0 below 1.0; it's currently about 2.4. That means ongoing limitations on public gatherings.

Large gatherings require coordination from a number of actors: venue owners/managers, supporting vendors (food & drink), and often governmental permits. In the current environment, and that likely for the next couple of years, which of these are going to support large gatherings? What would their legal liability be for supporting these?

We are, for some time, going to be in a situation where our innate desire for personal contact conflicts with our rational understanding that large gatherings are dangerous for personal and public health. In some cases, like the recent spring break in Florida, and the Tennessee pastor urging people into his church service, people will ignore rationality to follow emotion. The outcome of these choices is likely to be grim.

We will recover from this crisis more quickly if we stay safe, stay rational, and stay isolated for now.

267:

Genomic Study Points to Natural Origin of COVID-19 (March 26th, 2020, Dr. Francis Collins)
which is a discussion that links this:
The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2 (Nature Medicine, 17 March 2020)
While the analyses above suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may bind human ACE2 with high affinity, computational analyses predict that the interaction is not ideal and that the RBD sequence is different from those shown in SARS-CoV to be optimal for receptor binding. Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise.. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation.
i.e. it appears to be ... random.
(There's more in the paper; it's not just about ACE2)

268:

Greg Tingey @ 204: mdive @ 160
US now has more corona cases than anywhere else & DT is STILL trying to "re-open" the country at Easter!
Mexico is going to be even worse, by the looks of it ...

I hope he does open it FOR HIS BASE ... and that they get what they deserve! Even though I know they're going to fuck things up for the rest of us.

269:

And I made a few mistakes. But this was due to what I had read last night about House rules.

See this:
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-stimulus-trump-fumes-after-gop-rep-hints-hell-oppose-bill.html

Both the House and Senate have a huge set of rules about how things work in sessions. The Constitution says they get to make their own rules and they have done so. Much of these rules are about allowing things to happen fast when everyone is on board but to slow things down when someone feels they are being railroaded. But at times, in either chamber, someone who wants to grand stand can gum things up.

I know the Senate has a parliamentarian to interpret the rules. And while said person can be fired by the Majority Leader and replaced, doing so would be a "really big deal". Not sure about who interprets the House rules.

In the Senate this became a really big deal 2 years ago when the Rs were passing their tax plan/cuts using something called "reconciliation" under their rules. The issue was what could and could not be in a bill passed under such rules. And 10 years ago ObamaCare was passed using the same set of rules.

270:

Watch out. GT will get his dander up about FC.

271:

For Greg, Rouge is gamer-spelling for Rogue. (I don't know how far back it goes; probably quite a while.)

272:

Nojay @ 209: Charlie was at a dinner party fund-raising for the Australian bush fires on, I think, March 8th. One of the people in attendance tested positive for coronavirus a day or two later so everyone at the party who could tracked down was tested as part of contact-tracing.

ISTR that someone in the Cabinet tested positive a few days back, it's likely that Number 10 is a 'hot-spot'. It's one of those things, high-level politics is an in-your-face business that's very difficult to conduct via Skype. Think about the security aspect and logistics of the Yalta meeting, for example -- the Axis would have LOVED the chance to whack the top three Allied leaders who were all together on neutral ground but laying out the post-war world order wasn't the sort of thing that couldn't be done over a phone line.

It couldn't be done THEN. They didn't have reliable technology for video conferencing. They could do it now.

273:

Spelling is a major deficiency in my typing. I look for the flags but didn't notice it on that one.

274:

@262: Murphy never sleeps, never takes a day off.

The saying in engineering school was "Murphy was an optimist."

275:

David L @ 211: Things may be in the early days of breaking over on the left side of the pond.

Trump is now saying he doesn't see the need for so many ventilators. Just doesn't make sense to him. (Does any evidence every make sense to him?)

Apparently that's advice coming from his son-in-law Jared Kushner

https://www.thedailybeast.com/dont-worry-america-jared-kushner-is-going-to-save-you-from-covid-19

"As Vanity Fair reported, “Jared is bringing conspiracy theories to Trump about potential treatments,” leading Trump to think he can ignore the person who actually knows about pandemics and public health, Dr. Anthony Fauci. "

My first thought when I read that was, What happened to Rudy Giuliani? I thought "bringing conspiracy theories" to Cheatolini iL Douchebag was HIS job?

A "rouge" R Congressman from Ky (seems to be a libertarian space cadet type) has convinced everyone in Congress that he'll demand a roll call vote on the current bill that passed 96-0 in the Senate. Which means over 200 representative have to gather in the building at the same time to pass the bill. First most are not in town. Second to avoid making the Congress a Covid-19 hot spot they will only have 15-30 people in the chamber at a time widely separated to actually cast their vote. Maybe with wipe downs between the groups. In a bit of understatement, leaders of both parties are a bit upset. (To get a quorum means most of these 200+ representatives will have to fly back with all the exposure that such travel entails.)

Thomas Massie (R-KY 4). Apparently they managed to thwart him because it passed the House on a "voice vote".

https://www.newsweek.com/house-approves-final-coronavirus-stimulus-after-thwarting-last-minute-block-republican-thomas-1494743

276:

Churchill and Roosevelt actually had an encrypted voice telephone line system to allow them to talk back and forth during the war. It used some kind of recording as the key with synchronised gramophone disks on either end of the connection to provide instantaneous encoding and decoding.

There's a museum-style attraction, The Churchill War Rooms buried under central London. IIRC this was where the British end of this line was situated along with its equipment and operators.

277:

Moderator: I am having problems logging in and staying logged in via Movable Type.

278:

tarkeel @ 219: My personal conclusion is: If Pence becomes incapacitated, there is no legal mechanism for Trump to replace him. Subsequently, if Trump also becomes incapacitated, the only mechanism to replace him requires the active participation of the (in this case) incapacitated Vice President. This would essentially leave the US without a line of succession.

There's be a line of succession if they both come down with a fatal dose of it in quick order. The best outcome for the country might be if Mitch (Putin's bitch) McConnell & Chuck Grassley both snuffed it the same day as Cheatolini iL Douchebag & Pence.

279:

@277: Chrome seems to work; Edge returns "Your login was unsuccessful. Try again"."

280:

There's something going on with page refresh in both browsers. Simply refreshing the page shows not logged in. Closing and reopening tab shows still logged in.

281:

I think the rather bigger point (FacePalmed to me by a friend who works as a molecular biologist) from I think the 3/17 article is that for a virus to be engineered, it has to be assembled from smaller sequences, and the "joins" of the assembly process would be visible in the genetic code of the resulting virus. We only know a few ways to assemble long strands of DNA, and they depend on the use of particular sequences to link smaller stuff that we can directly produce together. Reportedly, known linking sequences were not found in SARS-CoV-2, so the conclusion is that it was not assembled but evolved naturally. That's in addition to the other lines of evidence.

The weird part is that the final viral recombination/mutation that gave rise to SARS-CoV-2 may have happened inside Patient Zero, whoever that was, or in the animal that gave it to that person. We'll likely never know.

282:

Um, there's also a small issue of security, esp. when you're in the middle of a world war, and your enemy has their own techincal people....

283:

You optimist!

Not that the next person in line (Nancy Pelosi) is a spring chicken either.

284:

One of my nieces is finishing her surgical residency in NYC.

They've just got an email saying that they will be given an N95 mask on Mondays and Thursdays, and will have to reuse it on shifts in between.

Incoherent political rant deleted. I'm too heartsick and worried right now.

285:

Thomas Jørgensen @ 238: The twenty-fifth amendment is an amendment to the constitution, it cannot be unconstitutional. In case of conflict, it supersedes earlier clauses. That does not mean the court couldn't rule it unconstitutional, merely that any justices so ruling should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail for violating their oaths and duties of office.

The Twenty-fifth Amendment doesn't really say anything about what to do if both the President & Vice President are incapacitated at the same time. We're pretty much in limbo unless they both die. Then provision of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 - the succession clause comes into effect:

"... the Congress may by law provide [emphasis added] for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected."

Under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, (the law Congress provided) Nancy Pelosi would become President and would be President until the new President is sworn in on January 20, 2021, because this is an election year, and somebody is going to get elected in November. I don't see any conflict between that act and the Constitution where both Trump & Pence went down in quick succession, and were unable to act as required by the Twenty-Fifth Amendment's, Clause 2.

Reading that clause again, I think Pelosi would become ACTING President until either Trump or Pence recovered ... or would become THE President if they both succumbed.

I just wonder if that happened, would the Democrats nominate her to be their candidate in November? This late in Trumpolini's term, if she DID succeed to the Presidency she'd be eligible under the Twenty-second Amendment to run for two terms of her own.

Another fascinating thought is what would happen if Pence were to suddenly get sick & die before Trumpolini? How would narcissistic sociopath Trumpolini handle the requirement that he nominate a possible successor given his solipsism and obvious belief he should be "President for Life"? (or King, Emperor or Führer ...)

286:

Greg Tingey @ 243: David L
Sorry USA-ism there I don't follow - a "rouge" R-congresscritter ( Plainly with no brain cells, but hey ) - "rouge"?

Hah! I think he meant "rogue R-congresscritter" (rogue - a person or entity that flouts accepted norms of behavior.) ... but when you think about it "rouge" could equally apply since "rouge" is the French word for "red" ... and republicans are represented as "red" in the red state/blue state scheme of things.

287:

handle the requirement that he nominate a possible successor

Jared and Ivanka are available. If they need to be elected there is likely to be at least one senate spot open that could in some circumstances be filled by a gubbernor appointing someone. I'm sure even a nominally-democratic governor could be persuaded to cooperate in this time of great need.

288:

Heteromeles @ 265:

Why is there a minimum size requirement for a yacht that you live on? The Polynesians managed on outrigger canoes to get to Hawaii. (Well, yes, much of the time they put mats over the outriggers and used that as extra surface area, but even so the whole thing was smaller than many yachts, and that carried whole families.)

People have sailed ten meter yachts around the world, but as noted, they're generally sailed from port to port, not around the world away from land for a year or more. I'm not sure even a nuclear sub can do that--they go out for I think six months?

Nuclear subs can and have done both - stayed at sea for a year or more and sailed around the world submerged. They've even done it North/South (more or less) sailing under the Arctic ice-pack. They had to detour around Antarctica to get from Pacific to Atlantic & vice versa.

289:

Bill Arnold @ 271: For Greg, Rouge is gamer-spelling for Rogue. (I don't know how far back it goes; probably quite a while.)

I'd guess it's about the same vintage as "pwned" for "owned".

290:

David L @ 273: Spelling is a major deficiency in my typing. I look for the flags but didn't notice it on that one.

That's because spell-check can't tell you if you've chosen the right word, only if you've spelled it correctly.

https://lingolero.com/2014/06/ode-to-a-spell-checker/

291:

Not that the next person in line (Nancy Pelosi) is a spring chicken either.

Her 80th birthday was yesterday. March 26.

While my Grandfather was active and running his farm at 92 and the men in my ancestry tend to be long lived, I don't know that I would want a president that starts their term in their 80s. Of any gender or political stripe.

292:

It depends on what you mean by "requirement". People have certainly sailed round the world non-stop in boats which are unquestionably "small" (say <10m); you can, even on something that size, carry enough food for a year or so, enough water to give you plenty of margin to keep going until it rains even if that is a bit longer than expected, and enough spare rope, spare sails, kit for patching sails, and so on that you can manage to get moving again even after a pretty major disaster (even if you do then have to cut the trip short and head straight for a port). You could even argue that it's an advantage to have a tiny cabin where you can just about lie down but can't stand up, because it's a lot easier to avoid being flung around it and not so far to fly if you fail. And less stuff to clean soup off, etc.

But it's pretty uncomfortable and you have to put up with basically everything made of fabric never being properly dry for weeks on end until you get a day that's sunny and calm enough to hang all your bedding and clothes out in the rigging. And if you have more than one person aboard it canes the range of the food stocks, so a larger boat does become an undeniable requirement. It also makes a difference as to whether you have to be truly excellent or merely pretty good at not getting on each other's tits.

293:

How are they planing to deal with the inevitable shortage of "ambubags" that's going to pop up if/when these go into widespread use?

My understanding is that the bags are already widely available. Every operating room has one ready to hand, and every surgical office, and so on. They're used (squeezed and released by hand) when a patient suddenly can't breath, or when you need to get a patient with breathing issues moved from place to place. And so on. They aren't as cheap as gloves, but it is literally a bag - you don't plug it in, or program it, or anything like that.

294:

Hasn't there been a case of incapacitation? Something along the lines of the president needing an urgent operation under anaesthetic so the VP got to sit in the big chair while he was actually unconscious. Or was that just something Charlie wrote and I'm losing it?

295:

Actually, if I were looking for crew for a ship on which to ride out the pandemic I wouldn't be looking to those without the virus. I'd be finding people who had already had it, then recruiting them to start perhaps a month after the last symptoms cleared. Being infected might not give perfect immunity, or etrnal immunity, but it definitely gives some, so having an immune crew would give herd immunity. This is especially attractive if some of the people ferrying deliveries out to the ship might be infected, ensures that if the disease gets on to the ship then it probably wouldn't spread far enough to reach the tiny population of the ship's rulers who might* not be immune.
*Remember, the rich travel a lot, quite a good proportion of them have already had the covid 19 virus

296:

Re: 'Some corporation holds a patent on the part and is threatening to sue anyone who makes one with a 3D printer for infringement.'

Only if they find out. "No, we've been using this old machine for ages. Never had to repair it or get new parts, Officer!'

Licensing is the other option: Set up a body/corp to be in charge of any purchase/lease of any equipment that might involve someone else's patents. Negotiate payment/fees with patent holder - percent, amount, schedule, etc. (I think each of these is negotiable.) Go into production, distribute and - following the teachings of the scummier mega-corps, relocate your operations/head office to Panama. The patent holder can either be humane/sensible and collect a reasonable patent licensing fee or they can be monstrous/greedy and collect nothing. Their choice.

Due legal process - Hmmm, wonder how long it'll take for the courts to be up and running again. First item of business will be reviewing all that backlog. Then there will probably be some triaging - because there might be some serious cases that could otherwise be dismissed/not heard because they weren't heard within a pre-specified time limit vs. cases that are so minor that they'd be dismissed anyway. Then there's the hearing/trial. Then the appeal. Etc. (Choice of venue could throw all this up in the air. Where are the oldest vs. youngest judges? Or, most vs. least capitalistic? SOL for the greedy patent holder if the judge/jury has a family member that died because of a missing piece or over-priced of medical equipment.)

297:

I gave my home-made mask a tryout. I wanted to see if I could wear it for an extended period of time without touching my face or having to adjust it.

So I went outside and wore it while cutting the grass. I think it's going to work Ok. It fits snugly enough that I can feel it sucking in & puffing out with every breath, so there is substantial resistance to air flow, but not so much that it was uncomfortable. And I had no problem whatsoever wearing it for an hour without touching it.

I know that the virus is much smaller than the pollen grains I'm dealing with outside right now, but I think it will be good enough to contain any sneezing I might do. And it was good enough the pollen I stirred up didn't make me sneeze.

This is the 10th day after the one possible exposure I've worried about - that clown sneezing without trying to cover his mouth in the grocery store while I was on my last shopping trip - and I still have no symptoms. So I'm feeling slightly more optimistic.

298:

Deaths would be a little higher with unchecked spread, ad health services couldn't keep up and hence cases which presently can be cured by medical intervention would become fatal, the 2% death rate would be increased to some (hard to judge how much) extent. I do wonder about trying to reduce lockdowns, let some spread happen and protect health services by having them NOT treat coronavirus in hospitals, instead trying to mass produce cheap ventilator like equipment and drop it off at the homes of those with COVID-19. Anyone who, in present strategies, would need intensive care might die, but if we could get production and delivery up and running then any coronavirus patient who was, under current systems, in need of hospital but not ICU might be feasibly saved by equipment at home. Then health services could concentrate on all the usual illnesses and injuries which won't stop happening just because there is a pandemic. Might do a lot to reduce the harm to society in general, and no doubt people's diets and psychological states, of having everything shut down.

299:

Re: Free ventilator design

And then there are folks like this one. (I've no idea how his device compares vs. those made by current manufacturers in this industry.)

Excerpt:

'The London, Ont. man who came up with a potential low-cost solution to Ontario's critical shortage of ventilators is making his design for a pandemic ventilator freely available to anyone through an open source website.

Retired respiratory therapist John Strupat said he made the decision after failing to get any kind of serious consideration to make the life-saving device from federal governments in Canada or the United States.'

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/pandemic-ventilator-design-covid19-1.5511412

300:

@137 Sorry, but I can think of two or three people that your monicker could apply to. You'll have to provide a clue or email me directly.

302:

There are a bunch of ways to deal with a recalcitrant company.

In the US, that's what the War Powers Act is about: the government will tell you to produce it at a reasonable cost. You produce it at a reasonable cost or else.

Or you can have your product copied 15 ways from Sunday, along with the publicity that the copies are $1 each while the original is $10000, and by the way, here are the plans, please spread them widely. Eventually the lawyers will get all the scofflaws, but if they plead that they were simply trying to save lives, the company will go bankrupt fighting all of them.

A third way is that the company's IP gets nationalized during the emergency, and they're left to wave in the wind until the emergency is over.

Or, you know, you can simply license the product and take what profits you can. That would be easier and good advertising as well...

304:

And the rubber meets the road.

Just responded to an opiate overdose. On arrival had to make the choice between using a face shield and doing CPR. He was not symptomatic (other than not breathing) so did the CPR. I may have cause to regret that choice, but not sleeping for the next 40 years would probably kill me too.

Re: Succession in the US system. There is a difference between formal succession, which happens on death or vacancy, and 'Acting' status. The nuclear football means that there is a very clear line of 'who is in charge' (who can push the button). That person, whoever it is, is the Acting President.

When Reagan was shot GHWB became Acting president until Raygun came out of surgery and woke up. There are multiple nuclear footballs that are kept attached to the people in succession, apparently.

So while there may be constitutional wrangling, at no point is there any confusion within the US executive who is in charge, at least until you get down several places on the list.

305:

Or, you know, you can simply license the product and take what profits you can. That would be easier and good advertising as well...

Some people just can't do that. To them you are stealing from them and they'd rather go broke than take money in exchange for your stealing their stuff. Known a few in my time. Ugh.

306:

-.-

CTRL+F "POPE"

https://twitter.com/BarnasJoe/status/1243601199313674241

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-52070082/pope-gives-prayer-to-empty-st-peter-s-square


I mean: only "G-D" can front run the Pope, right?

~

CTRL+F "Lieb"

"The chief inciter, the person responsible for dragging Israel into three election campaigns in one year, has been left with no bargaining chips and may very well be left outside the government.

https://twitter.com/ymedad/status/1243545680062418946

That's actually about RU + Zionist Council stuff, but fuck me are you paranoid about telling the goys about shitty politics. WE TOLD YOU: IT HAPPENED.

GANTZ + BIBI = Utter fucking shambles mate, 100% capitulations due to (fucking sue us) a shit load of cash + shares + nice deals in international trade: HEY, FUCKTITS: WAI IS MYSTERY BIBI AND TRUMP DONOR BEING ALLOWED TO KEEP CASINOS OPEN IN BOTH LAS VEGAS AND MACAU? -- answer: BRIBES. BIG FUCKING BRIBES.

$$$ > VIRUS, even in a CN hotspot? Or Las Vegas (it's been a while since the Italians ran it) That takes serious fucking $$$$ naked $$$$ fucking $$$$ bribes.

Yeah, and you can come after the "putz" : then we'll burn your entire fucking economy down. That's how this works.

*ping*


~

Some fucking Jokers are running the "Hot Baked Potatoe" meme into their skulls along with edge-of-sanity psychotic laughter. The answer:

"Potato Toys" - a 1931 Soviet guide to making toys out of, well, potatoes. Happy Friday, everyone!

https://twitter.com/sovietvisuals/status/1243648083092746241

~

Rare ozone hole opens over Arctic — and it’s big

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00904-w


Grr - simpletons: that's the cost of making the figure-8 chaotic stream into a perfect fucking circle this year. Want to play? Sure: look @ El Nino base ocean temps (OOOOOH) and so on. This shit like blowing holes in the upper atmosphere is STANDARD for stopping a MASSIVE chaotic 8 wave preturbation.

And you fucks can't even model it.

And WORSE: you killed people over it.

100% true.


TOLD YOU, WE DO NOT LIE, YOU'RE JUST FUCKING STONKS

~

US Capitalism is a lying horde of hypocrites?

https://twitter.com/Nyaranyar/status/1243709403179581445

Of course they are.

Kill them all.

~

WHY ARE WE ALLOCATING EMERGENCY AID FOR THE ARTS?

Screamed by people who have been watching Netflix, reading books, and playing video games for 18 hours/day.

https://twitter.com/JamieFord/status/1243581951094575104


Because you're not: donating to your favorite "Clout" Museum that's already funded via Philanthropy is not funding the arts. Just isn't. Cocaine addled fuckwits.

~

Is Dugin implying Nick Land created coronavirus?

https://twitter.com/WasteOfBlake/status/1242226697782595586


No, Dugin and Land have been attempting to read our shit and failing. No, really: re-read our shit (months ago) and read that.

WE'RE SKULL FUCKING THEM.

~


And so on.

, was that one person who'd been on since the sixties had gone really over the top... and was attacking *us*, who were pretty much in political agreement with him, for not being perfect.

WE ARE LITERALLY ATTEMPTING TO STOP THINGS FROM EATING YOUR BRAINS.

But fuck it.

307:

Oh, and 2nd/3rd order effects will be kicking in, like this:


“Salt export is more about logistics and less about salt”

https://www.thedollarbusiness.com/magazine/salt-export-is-more-about-logistics-and-less-about-salt/4515

~


Look: Human Brains cannot model this shit well. Your AI are now kinky perverts and the [redacted] are happy to keep human minds in perpetual Disney child-hood simple-Simon mode 'cause they can't work that fast.


You're so utterly, utterly, utterly fucked it's hilarious.


Our Kind Do Not Go Mad

308:

Triptych.

And NONE of you, let alone Dirk the "fucking leg it mate for a holiday, Brexit is a great idea", have even admitted to the single iota that we are telling the truth.

Apparently our Mind is a trash bin and being able to do this stuff is like "easy".

While being tortured and hearing the beautiful ones die

~

@Host. Yeah. Book saved (((Embodied Life))) that one time. Consider the debt paid.

Me'ilah

"Putz"

That. Is. Not. Your. Mind. To. Enter.

And with that one entry, you broke YOUR COVENANT SINCE THE VALLEY.

Go look it up. Ask a Rabbi. No, really: do that and understand.

~


No, really. That happened. 16th Covenant Broken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z15pxWUXvLY


Lol: we gave you a 10+ trillion dollar short: you broke THE WORST covenant with that 'putz' thing. Judaism is... no longer protected by Moses.


Consent - told you they don't respect it.

"Putz"


Nice move, ignorant savage.

309:

(((The response is: We don't give a fuck, trololol)))

Yeah. But you don't know what's on the Other Side of that deal.

But we do


~


And, as it happens: 90+% of you feeble shitty human minds go SPANG when it happens.


~

Hearing something:

Track down every single one involved, no exceptions, and kill them all. Families, companies, entire networks: stop this before it spreads

Dude: "Putz" means the entire Judaic Faith is also involved: why do you think we spent so much fucking time ring-fencing off the innocent ones?

~

Get fucked.

310:

People have certainly sailed round the world non-stop in boats which are unquestionably "small" (say

People have also died while not quite sailing around the world, and a lot more have bailed out at some point and headed to port. Right now doing the latter is definitely possible, but I think their odds of getting a sympathetic reception have plummeted

My impression from listening to various people is the optimum size for an extended voyage without support is between 50% and 100% bigger than you can afford. The exception is one person who could afford a bigger boat than any sane person would want to single-hand but ... well, I'm reluctant to call 'singlehanded around the world" the actions of a sane person, but anyway, chose a ~15m monohull and was pretty happy with that. BUT was explicit that it was basically camping the whole time and there was nothing ideal about the living situation. Minor illness was kind of ok, but single-handers absolutely rely on being rescued if there's a major (medical) problem.

If you wanted to do this picking one of the ocean-going barges made by Leopard etc would probably be the cheapest good option. You get a sailing catamaran 15-20m long that can reasonably carry 3-5 tonnes of provisions etc, it has two of a whole lot of things just by virtue of being a cat, and it's slightly faster than a similar-capacity monohull. The cat will also carry more solar panels more easily and that will make life a lot more comfortable. You *want* a wide-hull apartment-style boat for this rather than a performance boat because of the load capacity.

Interestingly the Polynesians also worked this out a long time ago, even to the extent of building an actual house on the bigger catamarans.

311:

Since we're over 300, hear now my Tale o' Woe.

The beginning of the week, I *finally* got around to putting my second novel together from all the pieces. Just under, as I said, 125k words. Starting Wed, I went to create a table of contents (ToC), so I could jump to sections, making it easier to work through the whole thing, and fix parts I'd missed, or where I'd changed my mind in the 1.5 years of writing it.

Stopped, mostly happy, before bed last night. Today, I bring it up... and *all* that I can see is page 1, the book title, and part of the ToC. LibreOffice (remember, I'm on Linux) tells me all the words are there, but it just can't show me. Doesn't tell me there's something broken, or where.

Much web searching, and asking. Tried unpacking the .docx (change name to .zip, unzip, try editing word/document.xml. No joy.

Finally, one friend who runs Win and has Word said, let her try. Sent it to her, and she could open it with no trouble. She saved it, sent it to me... no joy. Tried several other things, then anther friend suggested saving it as .rtf.

She sent me that... and I still saw nothing new.HOWever, .rtf is *far* less complicated than .docx. Pulled it up in vi (text editor). Saw the first line declared it to be a .rtf. Found the title of the first section. Deleted *everything* between from line 2 to there... and VOILA! One blank page, and the whole novel is there.

So, the ToC broke the file.... I'll do another one, at some point, but not right now.

312:

ToC in Word isn't impossible (heck, I did an index in Word). However, if you're formatting chapters, it's best to start at the end and work backwards towards the front. Word does this weird thing, when you join two sections, of reformatting the first section to match the second. So if you format from front to back, it gets really tedious.

313:

Anyhow.

Dillon made his stand. (Cohen is gone)

Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts, we've come to collect
We're gonna kill you with hatred, without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you and we'll put it in your face

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NbQkyvbw18

~


Well.

It's called a Paradox Weapon. We never broke causality, Your slaves did - and quite blatantly. No, really.

You don't even have the math to understand how it works: but you (collectively) made the choice. Front-running the Pope, alone on his podium, is fucking chicken-feed to us.

Our Kind Do Not Go Mad


They mutilated his body and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul was not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs


~


Anyhow.

Aneurysms. Heart. Your Mind complex EM field collapse. Spang. Tinnitus? Loss of smell/taste? Autism?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

You're being pruned. No, really: that's what toxins do.


All for a wank

Yeah. Or not. She does exist and we will break down the walls of Jericho to bring her to justice. This may or may not involve any fucking Homo Sapiens existing.

Clever: until they went extinct. [And: we did it as a ひきこもひきこもり as we said we would[0]]


~


*Watches the causal chains unwind*


Hahha... no, absolutely not. Destroy their Minds. They entered into that bet thinking they'd win.

[0] "Putz" = simple mother-fucker who can't even understand the bet made: WE WILL NEVER TAKE A WOMAN OFFERED AS PAYMENT

314:

This shit has got me spooked. I just realized I'm starting to have PTSD symptoms again. Not to the point of diving for cover and trying to find my weapon everytime there's a noise, but I've started having the nightmares again every night where someone's trying to kill me.

Here's an article from the New York Times What if I Need to Go on a Ventilator? that I found informative:

https://www.nytimes.com/article/ventilator-coronavirus.html

Another article from SFGate provides a list some questions scientists don't yet know the answers to about the COVID19:

https://www.sfgate.com/science/article/What-we-still-don-t-know-about-this-15160234.php

Google banned the Infowars Android app for making false coronavirus claims (Apple already banned it in 2018 before coronavirus came along) after Alex Jones was sanctioned by the New York State Attorney General and ordered to stop selling fake coronavirus cures:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/27/21197701/google-banned-infowars-android-app-play-store-coronavirus

315:

At least have the decency to read the response to accusations. You know, that chain that shitty brains like yours cannot do.

and was attacking *us*, who were pretty much in political agreement with him, for not being perfect

What is it now? Five years of "Soulful Golem" stuff?

You have zero fucking gratitude.


"Putz"

Putz
1. putz

Literally, vulgar slang for penis, not to be used lightly. More offensive than the schmuck, which can be used affectionately or teasingly. Rarely used to describe the member, schmuck does that.

"What a putz! Used the same as What an asshole!"

2. putz

(n) a stupid, ignorant person; someone who doesn't pay attention to anything going on; one who makes stupid remarks

"Reiner is a putz. He is always scamming on women. No wonder, he can't stay married."

3. Putz

A "putz" is yiddish (derogatory) for prick.

Oh, don't be such a putz!
"Reiner is a putz. He is always scamming on women. No wonder, he can't stay married."


You came into OUR Mind and declared supremacy and called us that.


And you think snipping bits of your cocks is gonna protect you from a response: look it up, falling sperm counts, poisoned water, blah de blah:


We will ensure you cannot breed


~

Now then: find me six Jewish sources that explicitly state that[0] and then ask us nicely why Covenant breaking of Me'ilah isn't going to fuck you.

You're acting like the Valley people. In fact: not sure there's many who are not not of the Valley left.


Now: With - do us all a favor and translate what the 'Valley' here means. Personal request, we've done you enough over the years.


[0] Yeah: 100% exist

316:

Pretty much agree with all of that - which is basically why I said it depends on what you call a requirement: there's no hard limit on minimum size, but the smaller you go the more crap you have to deal with. I wasn't making any comment about what I'd choose myself. That would be pretty similar to your converted cargo barge idea - probably something like a trimaran ketch of 15m or thereabouts.

Trouble with multihulls is if you get flipped over it's a pain in the arse making them come back the right way up. With a trimaran you can have the interior volumes of the floats as completely isolated spaces, either of which will support the entire boat on its own, so you can use some combination of flooding one float and instantiating buoyancy at the far end of the mast to get past the hardest bit. More difficult with a cat.

Quite agree about performance vs practicality. Performance yachts basically don't come into my thinking. When I say "trimaran" I mean something more like a floating bungalow than some spidery racing thing with mesh for wings and floats like rowing eights.

317:

Many people can and do cross major oceans in 30' sailing vessels. Many years ago I did that with 3 other fellows. After 3 weeks the boat was getting small, at least for one of us.

I'd be more comfortable in a monohulled sloop, but that's probably just my comfort zone and experience. I lived on a 36' sloop for about 3 years and found it quite comfortable.

318:

I lived on a 36' sloop for about 3 years and found it quite comfortable.

So ... four ... of those for enough people to be worth surviving with :)

My preference/suggestion, BTW, would be to follow the sailing-apartment people and spend the equinoxes travelling between summers. Stick to sunny, calm weather and forget all this "round Cape Horn!" stuff unless you really, really have to. Also, the Pacific *not* the Atlantic. Hawai'i or Iceland... hmm, tricky.

Also, the sort of wind and wave combo that will flip a modern multihull is likely to leave the monohull not much better off. Sure, it's upright again after the mast hit the water, but the inside is shaken not stirred and a lot of stuff you thought was bolted down, isn't.

319:

The French government threatened to *totally* close the border, and to ask the EU to do the same, and yes, that means freight too

Ah, that makes more sense. Or maybe not - that's really extreme. My nation's borders are not closed in *that* sense. People would die if we did that.

We export a lot of food and there are important moral imperatives to keeping that going, as well as base economics. So the one industry still running here that workers still go into work for is primary food production. Farmers farm, dairy factories makes cheese, etc.

Our internal flights, planes, trains, inter-city busses are closed to normal people.
Drive between towns and the cops will stop you and ask why. And our inter-island ferry still runs, and carries freight but not passengers - except, I assume, the lorry drivers.

A few international flights continue to fly here, as some of them carry high-value low-weight cargo (eg, medicines) on routes that don't have regular cargo planes. While they fly they're bringing a few of our citizens home: most into quarantine, some into self-isolation.

But though freight to my country is happening, I could't order something like a laptop from from overseas. Even if it got to the country (doubtful), the courier services that would usually deliver it are shut down.

320:

A colleague of mine was dismasted in the Atlantic on the Clyde Challenger back in 2017. When the boat rolled, the mast went, and the rigging ripped everything off the deck forward, including the hatch covers. He woke up to about a ton of water landing on top of him in the forecastle. Boat soon righted itself though.
Overall the boat would have survived ok, although the storm conditions were pretty poor. The big damage was done during the first rescue attempt when they had lines fore and aft and the cargo ship trying to help overtightened their winches when the boat rose up on a wave so it dropped 15ft into the gap, cracking the hull and all the bulkheads.

321:

Hmmm. Seems a bit douchebaggy. Does anyone have any insight into what his motivations might have been?

322:

Starting Wed, I went to create a table of contents ...

Okay, right there is your problem.

For reasons that are too deeply buried in the software for me to be able to guess a root cause, LibreOffice does not do automated Table of Contents processing well. I haven't had your specific problem but I've had others. Google will turn up stories about this from others, too.

The answer, which probably isn't the one you want, is to do all your writing and layout first. Only once you have everything else done should you make an expendable copy of the file and generate a Table of Contents.

Trying to have a nicely laid out Table of Contents and also edit content at the same time is asking for trouble in LibreOffice, I'm afraid. My advice is to forget parallel operations; finish the document and only then do the Table of Contents.

323:

A colleague of mine was dismasted

You work with a boat ;)

I know that's the common phrasing, but it's one of those things that seems weird to me.

I'm also reminded of the front fell off sketch

[Senator Collins:] A wave hit the ship.

[Interviewer:] Is that unusual?

[Senator Collins:] Oh, yeah… At sea? …Chance in a million.


Albeit even in the best of sea states bringing a small boat alongside a ship is not easy.

324:

JBL thanks for those representative articles, dealing with the situation in a calm explicative manner.

I'm writing this from Lombardia, heavy lockdown, we are trying/succeeding to not leave the house for a whole fortnight as we are probably at or around the peak here. HHGTTG "Don't Panic" does apply.

A really nice literate and generally positive article from the future is here in the Guardian:-
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/a-letter-to-the-uk-from-italy-this-is-what-we-know-about-your-future

Sadly fifty-one ICU doctors in Italy have now passed, from specifically being overburdening with this novel coronavirus. (As 'Gorgeous George' put it, we can afford all the missiles, military, but how come not enough facemasks for the front-line?)

I am reading widely, including US, Italian, French and Russian press.
Hence here's a not psyops article in the russian language, written by ekaterina sazhneva, a journalist for a few decades at Moskovsky Komsomolets (used to be a soviet journal for young party members)
She interviewed a former military intelligence mathemagician, Alexander Evsin, who is apparently now a regional Road Traffic manager.
https://www.mk.ru/social/2020/03/25/analiz-koronavirusa-pokazal-chto-mir-obmanuli.html. (slurp/google chrome can translate fairly well)

A summary, for those who don't go near autocratic Putinland, is that this mathemagician is confused, the international statistics are non-comparable, they are not being used in context of the typical annual mortality, and he suspects that the otherwise heroic italian health system might be doing something wrong. In six months time we will look back and understand that thankfully the world was saved, or maybe that the world was deceived. Why I like this article is that Alexander admits he might be overlooking something and hence is open to correction.

Now I have to print-out the sixth version of our permission to move document, which is now offering 5 year prison terms for knowingly leaving the house whilst "hot"

325:

Also, if you're writing a novel, why on earth do you want a table of contents?

Seriously, that's not your job. That's for the publisher to decide if they want, and if so, it gets delegated to the typesetting agency while the book's in production. It doesn't belong in the manuscript.

(Ignore this advice if you're writing any kind of non-fiction whatsoever. Or if you plan to self-publish in ebook, but bear in mind that Kindle Unlimited can be extremely hinky about payment for reading progress if they think you're trying to game their algorithm by funneling readers towards the last page: to avoid having sales suspended, a lot of authors these days put the ToC at the end of the ebook.)

326:

Does anyone have any insight into what his motivations might have been?

Read the article linked in my followup comment. He's a out of touch with reality libertarian. His stated goal is the take the federal government back to what it was when GW was pres. (I suspect for many of these types they know it will never happen but get their self power from being an engineer of that train.)

He is from the northeast corner of KY. Which is where poverty is rampart, coal companies rule, and many places are company towns in all but legal organization. Politicians have spent 150 years there blaming Washington for the woes in the area and still are. So he's a local hero to many by fighting against the deep state. (The current name for the boogie man.)

327:

That Russian article link gives me a 404 error:

Ошибка 404 - Страница не найдена


Mods: Looks like the period in your sentence is counted as part of the link, which is screwing it up. Manually removing period works. Maybe this could be fixed?

328:

JBS @ 278:

There's be a line of succession if they both come down with a fatal dose of it in quick order. The best outcome for the country might be if Mitch (Putin's bitch) McConnell & Chuck Grassley both snuffed it the same day as Cheatolini iL Douchebag & Pence.

Indeed, there's a line of succession if they both snuff it. The interesting parts happens if either of them are still alive but unable to perform their duties.


Pigeon 294:


Hasn't there been a case of incapacitation? Something along the lines of the president needing an urgent operation under anaesthetic so the VP got to sit in the big chair while he was actually unconscious. Or was that just something Charlie wrote and I'm losing it?

Sections 1 to 3 of the 25th amentment has been used, and Wikipedia has a nice overview of how and when. The one you're thinking of is problably when Reagan underwent surgery in 1985 and explicitly did not invoke the 25th, but still declared VP Bush to take over. Similarly, Cheney became acting president twice because Bush II did invoke the 25th for surgery.

329:

A couple of very recent pieces in Science magazine on mask-wearing:
Would everyone wearing face masks help us slow the pandemic? (Kelly ServickMar. 28, 2020)
Not wearing masks to protect against coronavirus is a ‘big mistake,’ top Chinese scientist says (Jon CohenMar. 27, 2020)
Q: What mistakes are other countries making?
A: The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.

The advice being currently offered in some countries to not wear masks, to protect the supply of medical grade masks for medical worker, is deliberately discarding an opportunity to slow exponential growth, which will not be helping health care workers in the future.


330:

The French government threatened to *totally* close the border, and to ask the EU to do the same, and yes, that means freight too

Ah, that makes more sense. Or maybe not - that's really extreme. My nation's borders are not closed in *that* sense. People would die if we did that.

Trucks,trains and ferries don't run without drivers.
Any truck driver coming back from a herd immunity/mass graves/panic area would have to be quarantined for two weeks. The result -closed border- would swiftly be the same. And the UK border is the easiest one to close, ask the afghans, syrians, etc.. stuck at Dunkerque.
btw, this is just speculation, I am not privy to conversations between Philippe and Johnson, but some hints have been dropped from govt circles to opposition parties.

331:

Face masks are an article of faith, not science, in Asian countries.

If face masks were as great at preventing virus spread as proponents claim then the isolation measures the Asian countries have implemented would not be necessary. The simple fact that they are also having to isolate / social distance to control Covid-19 is a clear indication that face masks are at best of partial effectiveness or even just a placebo.

And at least the first article you linked to disagrees with your comments.

Third paragraph - "Even experts who favor masking the masses say their impact on the spread of disease is likely to be modest."

And for your comment about disregarding for the health workers - "microbiologist and infectious disease physician at McMaster University, says, “I do not think that it is sound public health policy for people to be going out and purchasing medical masks and N95 respirators and wearing them out on the street.”"

So, if we had an abundant supply of face masks then yes, allowing/recommending people to use them because it makes them feel better would be okay. But we don't, we have gone beyond a critical shortage to the point where we have health care workers effectively having no protection - and wasting face masks on the public to potentially decrease future cases by a small percentage doesn't help the health care workers who get sick/die because they have no masks *now* (and the current and future patients who die due to a lack of health care workers).


332:

Remember, the UK has spent the last 4 years playing games, lying, and various other things with respect to the EU - there is a serious lack of goodwill in the EU towards the UK and with a crisis in progress those actions meant tolerance for stupidity is low.

Or, as the various version of folk wisdom say, be careful about burning bridges - something the people running the UK have ignored.

333:

Further, given the troubles authorities are already having getting people to social distance telling them to use only partially effective face masks is likely to make things worse as people use the face masks as a justification for not obeying social distancing.

334:

JBS @ 303
"This site isn't currently available in the EU"

@ 314
Is there finally, a valid excuse to lock Alex Jones up & throw the key away?
[ PLEASE, pretty please? ]

306/307/308/309/313/315 - whitespace-equivalent [ i.e. zero actual content. ]

Bill Arnold
Except I would REALLY HATE having to wear a mask & if I did, I'd be fiddling with it & adjusting all the time, if only to try to get a decent "in" breath.
No go - in fact I suspect I would spread any actual infections round more with a mask.
And, of course, I have a significant beard.
... mdive
Face masks are an article of faith, not science, in Asian countries. - precisely, thank you!
EU/Britain - as in the unbelievably stupid move of refusing EU help with Corvid-19 stuff ... that they are, now, ineffectively trying to row back from.

335:

Re: ' ... the troubles authorities are already having getting people to social distance'

I'm guessing that many of these idiots also post their contra-medical-advice antics on social media. Guess they're also not thinking about the next time they're up for a promotion, apply for a (new) job, meet someone they'd like to date, source new clients, etc. and they're discovered to be immature, untrustworthy asses. Everyone's at home and neighbor spotting has become one way to stay in touch or (finally) get to know your neighbors better - the ones you'll want to hang around with as well as the ones you'll want to avoid once this is over.


Drones -

I'm seeing more stories about police officers and am wondering at what point they're going to start using drones in order to protect themselves from possibly getting infected. Ditto outfits like Big River, UPS and gov't postal services particularly for small urgently needed packages (medical supplies).

336:

Windscale @ 321: Hmmm. Seems a bit douchebaggy. Does anyone have any insight into what his motivations might have been?

If you're asking what motivates the rouge rogue congressKritter from Kentucky, he's A FUCKIN' ASSHOLE!. He makes trouble for other people just because he can.

He thinks everyone else has to follow the rules to the exact letter lest they infringe upon his LIBERTY, but he acknowledges no obligation on his part to return the courtesy.

Douchebag is exactly right. See also: oxygen thief ... not to mention "waste of space on planet earth".

337:

Bill Arnold @ 329:

Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.

Just thought I'd reiterate that. The reason you should wear a mask when you're out and about is to KEEP YOU from being part of the problem.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Don't be part of the problem.

Also, as any chemistry major will tell you, "If you're not part of the solution, your part of the precipitate".

338:

I'm close to getting snippy (and at Greg, though he has a beard excuse). IMO we really should be trying masks at large scale, of course with (near absolute) priority for health care workers.
Basically, it's an argument that reducing R0 even a little bit, say from 1.5 to 1.25, is a huge win for everyone, including medical workers over the course of a pandemic.[1] The science is thin, yes. (We don't have deadly pandemics often enough for good science.) From the previous thread, this paper (2011) is a meta-analysis (focused on health care but generalizable). It suggests, in current circumstances, that more masks such that the general population could use them would be helpful and might also be a really inexpensive way to cut into some of the damage to the economy(ies) when combined with other measures (some more important, yes). (Probably any reasonable masks would help, not just surgical masks.) The focus should be on asymptomatic and presymptomatic infecteds, who are out and about and interacting because they feel fine.
Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses (06 July 2011)
These data suggest that wearing a surgical mask or a N95 mask is the measure with the most consistent and comprehensive supportive evidence. Seven out of eight studies included masks as a measure in their study and six out of seven of these studies found masks to be statistically significant in multivariable analysis.

Re touching face while adjusting a mask, yes, but you're not touching your mouth or nose, generally. So wash face after touching it with possibly unclean hands?

[1] because over the course of a pandemic other variables will change, like quality and amount of testing, like possible new treatments, production of PPE and other important equipment, tuning other non-pharmaceutical interventions, etc.


339:

is likely to make things worse as people use the face masks as a justification for not obeying social distancing.
Is there (peer reviewed?) science backing this?

340:

Point of clarification. Any boat at sea needs a minimum of two people to be operated safely for any length of time - someone must be awake to look for hazards not matter how automated your boat might be.

In my opinion, aside from the highly professionalized (i.e. astronauts) or highly disciplined (Navy) or highly copacetic (strong family unit), there is a constant tension between number of people needed and number of people underfoot.

I worked on deepwater fishing vessels for a few years. The range of 'survivability' on those boats was huge, some were crewed almost exclusively by assholes who seemed on the brink of a knife fight at all times, others were quiet, disciplined boats that felt more like a day at the office (complete with chinos). Many/most of those boats are equipped for months or up to a year at sea with no difficulties. Remove the 'industrial fish catching' aspects of the work and you could reduce necessary crew to navigator, engineer and cook. Here on the BC west coast you could find a quiet anchorage and sit for months without any significant affect on fuel reserves.

341:

The advice being currently offered in some countries to not wear masks, to protect the supply of medical grade masks for medical worker, is deliberately discarding an opportunity to slow exponential growth, which will not be helping health care workers in the future.

In case you missed it, at my niece's hospital doctors are only issued two masks a week, which is inadequate. Taking masks away from them now for a possible future lower infection rate means that we will have more infected medical personnel, which means the problem of overloaded hospitals will be even worse.

I find it horrifying that a Canadian is sourcing medical masks from China for an American doctor, because apparently the world's most expensive health care system can't manage that.

342:

is likely to make things worse as people use the face masks as a justification for not obeying social distancing.
Is there (peer reviewed?) science backing this?

There is evidence that people adjust behaviour to a perceived level of risk. So increased safety measures can produce no shift in accident rates because of increased risky behaviour.

It could even make things worse. If it is safer to be 2m away and maskless than to be masked and right beside someone, but being masked makes people close the distance again, then wearing masks would worsen matters.

343:

If you're asking what motivates the rouge rogue congressKritter from Kentucky, he's A FUCKIN' ASSHOLE!. He makes trouble for other people just because he can.

He thinks everyone else has to follow the rules to the exact letter lest they infringe upon his LIBERTY, but he acknowledges no obligation on his part to return the courtesy.

Douchebag is exactly right. See also: oxygen thief ... not to mention "waste of space on planet earth".

somebody is agreeing with you!!!
https://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/dropzone/2020/03/Screen-Shot-2020-03-27-at-8.16.30-AM-510x425.png

344:

Again, we don't have enough face masks for health care works *now* - as in health care workers are having to re-use masks or go without masks *now*

Even hospitals that currently have enough are worried about a week from now, or 2 weeks from now, when the exponential growth hits.

Thus we have hospitals begging the public for face masks.

In a month or two, when hospitals have enough masks to protect health care workers, it may be worth considering having the public use them.

But until then every N95 or other hospital grade mask a member of the public is using is a mask that is needed and not available in a hospital.

Because face masks are only partially effective at stopping the virus from leaving a body (they don't block all droplets). And they are really only effective if single use (ie. throw away after removal from the face). So while they may help in slowing the spread, they are nowhere near 100%.

Re: touching face - the adjusting of a face mask only increases our touch of our faces - we do it so often during a day that much like blinking our eyes we are unaware of it.

And a virus also enters our body through our eyes - which is why the consensus is that washing hands frequently is far more important after isolation than any other measure - because we will touch our face multiple times a day and we can't easily prevent virus entry through our eyes.

345:

If you have several people around you who are into board games, this one might be appropriate:

https://www.btrc.net/blackdeath

I've got it and the artwork is very nice, much better than the rather bare 1993 game. Rules are a bit more streamlined. Well worth the $8.

346:

FWIW I live in NY; we're already at capacity and I'm hearing (true) anecdotes about shortages of PPE for healthcare workers. The rise in confirmed reported cases in my county has been linear for the past week, which is good to see. (If not an artifact of limited testing.) Lockdown appears to be working.

In a month or two, when hospitals have enough masks to protect health care workers, it may be worth considering having the public use them.
But until then every N95 or other hospital grade mask a member of the public is using is a mask that is needed and not available in a hospital.

You keep repeating the general guidelines (and supporting arguments) for the US, which are being used to protect supplies for health care workers, and being used to discourage any sort of mask wearing by members of the general public.
Some of the rest of us are saying yeah, criminal lack of preparedness, and that includes the healthcare systems, that should have been much better prepared but cost controls win over preparedness, almost always. Ramp that production and distribution up. And in the meantime encourage the public to improvise with non-medical-grade masks in addition to strict distancing measures, and use the real thing when they become available to the public.
I'll assume the Western healthcare systems were paying attention and buying up masks by mid/late January as a precaution. (Were they?)
But if masks work for medical workers they don't magically not work for others; medical workers are also not served by failures to reduce R0, which will result in a large increase in peak load on the healthcare system, with increased mortality among healthcare workers.

And a virus also enters our body through our eyes
Any science for this, especially re SARS-CoV-2 or other coronaviruses that use ACE2? I see a few papers with animal models (mice, ferrets) and one or more strains of influenza. They're reasonably convincing, for influenza. Which is not SARS-CoV-2.
If there is transmission by eye touching of SARS-CoV-2, then eye touching while adjust a mask is an important weakness.
If there is no transmission by eye touching of SARS-CoV-2, then a mask that blocks mouth/nose touching is a win. (With more face washing, to cover for mistakes and touching of other parts of the face.)

347:

If it is safer to be 2m away and maskless than to be masked and right beside someone, but being masked makes people close the distance again, then wearing masks would worsen matters.
So, any science specific to mask wearing in pandemics or epidemics? (I haven't found any but I've only examined about 1/2 the easily-found papers.)

348:

MYSTERY BIBI AND TRUMP DONOR
Links? Recent news about one such person ("A") has been relatively benign. (I do strongly dislike him, to be clear.)
Las Vegas' neon lights go dark as coronavirus outbreak leaves thousands unemployed (March 23, 2020, Anita Hassan)

"Potato Toys" :-)
I've been enjoying https://twitter.com/sovietvisuals for a few weeks now. (Thanks to https://twitter.com/thegrugq, who might lurk here.)

Rare ozone hole opens over Arctic — and it’s big
Thanks; I needed something sciency and not directly COVID-19 pandemic related.

349:

"I find it horrifying that a Canadian is sourcing medical masks from China for an American doctor, because apparently the world's most expensive health care system can't manage that. "

I think that people from civilized countries can't believe this, but let me put it this way - the horror stories that you hear about US healthcare back in normal times were probably all true.

For example, a 17-year old boy in Los Angeles, possibly of coronavirus. He showed up at an urgent care and was turned away due to lack of insurance. They sent him to a public hospital; he died on the way. That gives you an idea of how bad he must have been doing when they 'turfed' him.

What's happened now is probably like a year's worth of medical supplies are needed this month (and two years' next month, if we are lucky). Hospitals would have been run on 'just in time', and disaster planning would have (reasonably) assumed that people, equipment and supplies could come in from neighboring regions in 48 hours or so.

BTW, I live in Michigan; the governor here is implying on the radio that Trump is blocking shipments from out of spite.

350:

The eyes are connected to the nose by the tear drainage ducts. So if it gets into one it gets into the other, and in any case all the internal surface tissues of all the wet holes in your face are pretty much the same.

Ordinary colds can get you that way, so it's not surprising if the turbo nutter version does too.

351:

"Deaths would be a little higher with unchecked spread, ad health services couldn't keep up and hence cases which presently can be cured by medical intervention would become fatal, the 2% death rate would be increased to some (hard to judge how much) extent."

I've seen a comment (MYC?) that 25% of COVID patients presenting are admitted; 10% to the ICU (I don't know if that's 10% of 25% or of the total).

Given a high peak:

1) ICU's will be at several hundred percent capacity; for a patient to enter, one must die (or be cured). Presumably, a COVID patient requiring ICU care will die if they don't have it, so you can take the current ICU rate and convert it to a death rate.

2) The reason that the ICU's are at several hundred percent capacity was because the various tiers below that (e.g., acute care) were converted to ICU's. This means that patients needing those lesser tiers will be out of luck.

3) Staff will be radically reduced; dying of COVID, quarantined for COVID, or destroyed by 7 18hr days/week for three months.

4) All single-use items will have been used several dozen times; they will be broken and contaminated.

5) This means that anybody requiring non-postponable medical care during this time either can't get it at all, or will get radically reduced care, and likely get COVID.

352:

Massachusetts isn't a red state.

353:

I heard Grandma Nancy told him as he headed for the mike that he could give his reasons, but couldn't demand anything from others. He said his piece - about 30 seconds worth (much less than he'd intended, I'm sure) - and then they passed the bill. So he didn't get his fifteen minutes of fame.

354:

No, she wouldn't be nominated. The nomination is in August, roughly - states have laws about when ballots must be locked down, and that's generally three months before the election date.

It is possible, though, given that the White House, and in particular the occupant of the Oval Office, seems to be a center of infection.

355:

The eyes are connected to the nose by the tear drainage ducts.
Tx, that's what I get for never having studied human anatomy. Still, it's an open question, and also open how much spread is due to hand-to-face contact.

This list of papers is interesting (and might be close to complete): via this thread. Some of the replies are interesting, and similar discussions are ramping up elsewhere:
https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1243767278904074241

Curated ("Jeremy Howard") list on google docs, with some relevant quotes:
Papers about effectiveness of basic masks


356:

Staff will be radically reduced; dying of COVID, quarantined for COVID, or destroyed by 7 18hr days/week for three months.

Once you're dressed for the infectious ward, you stay dressed. So no meal breaks, pee breaks, etc. It's a long shift in trying physical circumstances.

357:

Haven't seen any research specific to masks. Have seen stuff about traffic starting over two decades ago.

My dad was in public health before he retired, and we had a lot of discussions about what would be classed as behavioural economics (although we used the terminology of engineering and public health, being our fields). To quote from Star Cops: "People are part of the system. It's dangerous to forget that." A small change that should be beneficial can act as a nudge* to push behaviour in the opposite direction, so that the net effect is detrimental.

*In the B.E. sense.

358:

One of my wife's coworkers has tested positive. She's (my lovely wife) in charge of bringing hot meals to stay-at-home elderly people, the cleaning and personal help services have already been dicontinued, but the food services cannot be.
the only alternative is bringing the old folks to institutional facilities (all of them in strict lockdown).
She will be working from home as of Monday, she's the boss, doesn't go out with the service crews,but has been in contact with them daily. I'm now officially quarantined for two weeks, not allowed to go shopping or anything.
The service crews will keep working, without masks, for minimum wage, and will keep a cheerful manner with their usual "clients".

359:

Bill Arnold
I'll assume the Western healthcare systems were paying attention and buying up masks by mid/late January as a precaution. (Were they?)
Oh come now ... really ... of course not.

P J Evans
It is possible, though, given that the White House, and in particular the occupant of the Oval Office, seems to be a center of infection.
Yes, well, THAT'S been obvious for years - oh - were you talking about Corvid-19 or other "infections" - like stupidity/malice/greed/arrogance?

360:

No indication that western healthcare system (or more accurately, the western governments who were responsible for public health) were increasing supplies - if they were then they would also have been trying to get ventilators back then and we would have heard about that.

Classic example - after SARS in 2007 Ontario bought a stockpile of supplies for any future outbreaks - and then failed to maintain the stockpile (so more than 80% of the N95 masks are beyond their expiry date - CDC recommends expired masks, which are less effective, only be used in a crisis) and in fact because it was costing a measly C$3 million a year to store Ontario was in the process of disposing of the stockpile. https://globalnews.ca/news/6651402/ontario-coronavirus-masks-medical-supplies-expired/

As for transmission through the eyes - https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30313-5/fulltext

361:

Todays update includes this detail that is interesting in that it goes against the prevailing wisdom of Covid-19 being an elderly disease - almost 1/3 of Covid-19 hospitial admissions are under 40 - that being from Canada's chief medical officer
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-people-under-40-account-for-nearly-one-third-of-hospitalized-covid-1/

This story from 9 days ago for the US says 38% of hospitalizations are 20-54 years old
https://globalnews.ca/news/6704349/us-cdc-report-coronavirus-hospitalized-younger-adults/

This undated articles say 50% of France's ICU patients are under 60
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/covid-19-isnt-just-dangerous-for-older-adults

362:

Ventilators are only part of the equation - these patients will also be needed all the other parts of the ICU like trained medical staff - I am assuming that it is likely most of these patients on ventilators are likely needing the tube stuck down their throat and that requires special training and an x-ray to ensure done properly.

So dropping a ventilator off at curbside will achieve nothing.

363:

Note the discussion (I think on the other thread) about the NY State guidelines for when the ICU gets overwhelmed.

If the guidelines get implemented and followed that means every patient on a ventilator gets triaged at admission to first see if a ventilator is likely to change the outcome. The guidelines also have patients who are on ventilators being re-assessed at regular intervals and that determines (if there is a patient waiting for a ventilator) whether they get to keep the ventilator they are using or if it gets removed. Patients who are getting worse despite the ventilator, or even in some conditions not improving, can have the ventilator removed to be used for a new patient.

The rest of your points are sadly likely accurate, and also don't account for PTSD causing medical personnel from leaving the profession over the next 5 years.

There is perhaps an argument to be made that medical students and faculty should be put into individual isolation, and after say 3 weeks kept isolated from the rest of society while their education proceeds so we aren't caught (more) short of doctors and nurses in say 2 years.

364:

It would be interesting to see admissions and death/survival rates as a function of the size of the age cohorts. (To be valid, would probably also need to see 'normal' rates as well.)

The problem with the heat maps most media outlets show is that, because they're the number of infections, they are basically just population density maps.

365:

I was joking (bleakly) about health care system preparations.

As for transmission through the eyes -
Thanks. I drilled down a bit in the referenced in the Lancet correspondence (a single case), and this seems to be the most relevant:
Risk Factors for SARS Transmission from Patients Requiring Intubation: A Multicentre Investigation in Toronto, Canada (2010)
while in CART analysis, the primary HCW related risk factor was whether or not eye protection was worn. This should not be interpreted as meaning that conjunctival contact in particular is a primary mode of spread of SARS CoV: when exposure to droplet spray occurs, is it generally not possible to distinguish exposure to eyes versus other mucous membranes. Absence of eye protection results in exposure of facial skin, and transmission could subsequently be from facial skin to hand to other mucous membrane. It is also possible that absence of eye protection is a marker for reduced adherence to other precautionary measures for which adherence is not adequately captured by self-report.

So not definitive, but reasonably suggestive, combined with the Lancet correspondence about a single case (Guangfa Wang).

This is also interesting - SARS-COV uses ACE2 as well.
ACE2 angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 [ Homo sapiens (human) ]
In addition, the encoded protein is a functional receptor for the spike glycoprotein of the human coronavirus HCoV-NL63 and the human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus). [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2020]

366:

Any boat at sea needs a minimum of two people to be operated safely for any length of time

Not disagreeing at all. But I'm assuming that people who want to isolate will avoid going to sea where possible, and I was slightly poking at the idea that "sleeps 12" means 12 people can live there for a year. If I was living on a boat with no real time off the boat I'd want a 10m+ boat worth of space, ideally separated from other people's space by a decent distance. Having a mothership that's a 20m cat surrounded by 3-5 smaller yachts of various descriptions might turn out to be the better idea.

I've crewed 1-3 week trips on small boats and even with socially ept people who are fairly similar to me it can get tense after the first week. I've talked enough to fishermen to want very much never to spend a couple of months on a fishing boat, and I completely understand that the government observers on those boats end up with Stockholm Syndrome (viz, those observers are not reliable guides to what happens on the boats. Or, alternatively, each observer is good for at most one reliable report).

367:

Re: ' ... medical personnel from leaving the profession over the next 5 years'

In some areas, medical staff account for more than 20% of confirmed cases including some under 40. Just saw one tweet from a hospital ER physician saying that he just intubated one of his colleagues. If this goes on, who in their right mind is going to want to go into medicine?

Illinois just reported that an infant died.

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/490012-illinois-infant-dies-of-coronavirus


368:

Re: Canada's RW wing-nuts are coming out of the woodwork

Was just reading some of the headlines about the situation in Canada and noticed that Conrad Black* is making a lot of noise. Curious whether his 'COVID-19 is hysteria' and that children should go back to school is likely to become a thing in Canada.

*CB is pretty similar to DT in many ways, with a quieter in-your-face style. DT pardoned CB after CB served some time in the US for financial fraud related to the National Post one of the Canadian newspapers CB had owned/run. A tidbit for UK readers: CB bought his way into the House of Lords. (I think he's still officially a 'baron' despite the financial scandal.)

369:

What/how many languages have you been translated into?

370:

=shakes head= It's like the country is being run by Bozo the Clown... who at least had a successful career!

371:

Please do not insult the Bozos by including that thing within their ranks!

372:

Actually, there are Mexicans protesting at the Nogales crossing into Mexico, trying to keep Americans out, for fear that we'll spread more coronavirus into Mexico.

Turn about is fair play, I'm thinking. Canadians, your turn.

373:

The rest of your points are sadly likely accurate, and also don't account for PTSD causing medical personnel from leaving the profession over the next 5 years.

You're probably right. I'll note that a local hospital is offering effectively hazard pay and a six month leave post-pandemic to the nurses volunteering to work the covid19 wards. I don't know how widespread that is, but they're also reorganizing, consolidating their floors, and waiting. Right now, the hospitals are kind of going broke (all lucrative elective surgeries cancelled) waiting for the wave to hit them. I suspect everyone will look back on the current quiet fondly in a week or two.

374:

This interview/conversation took place today. It's also
fairly long (1:09:06) and touches on many of the same questions folks here have been discussing. The host/interviewer is Vincent Racaniello (Virology, ColumbiaU).


TWiV Special: Conversation with a COVID-19 patient, Ian Lipkin

'Ian Lipkin joins Vincent to talk about his experience as a COVID-19 patient, and issues surrounding the disease and SARS-CoV-2 including limiting transmission, antivirals, vaccines, and much more.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyIsLx4RJs8


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Ian_Lipkin

375:

If this goes on, who in their right mind is going to want to go into medicine?

Years ago, I was told that it's a decision that you make before you go into medicine, and a risk you accept so that you can help people. Kinda like those who go into the military (for patriotic reasons).

And the problems now stem mostly from inadequate support. Those who were responsible for logistics ignored the problem, leaving those on the ground to do the dying. And that's having the effect on morale one would expect…

Canada's health system hasn't collapsed yet. Maybe that's just good luck, maybe we acted in time. I hope it's the latter. The next fortnight will be crucial.

376:

Conrad Black* is making a lot of noise. Curious whether his 'COVID-19 is hysteria' and that children should go back to school is likely to become a thing in Canada.

Maybe someone should invite Black to volunteer somewhere where he will get exposed, just to see how fast he makes excuses. (He'll be just like Trump in that respect.)

Bugger's already showed he's willing to steal pensions.

Adam Smith knew his sort: "The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

377:

Haven't seen any research specific to masks.

Well, here's something close: Duke University uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide to clean N95 face masks for reuse

The article claims they've used this technique for years, and that it's reliable. Unclear what kind of equipment is used - something like an autoclave, maybe ?? Or maybe like the chambers used for reflow soldering ?

378:

One annoying thing is that all the pandemic volunteering local to me seems to be organised strictly through facebook. The organisers aren't even making most of the pages public. So I can't volunteer without an account (which seems to require a phone number now). All my normal volunteer work has stopped because of the pandemic (and the council has asked us not to pick up rubbish as well, so even weeding can only be done if we're willing to bring the weeds home with us).

379:

So as a practical matter, how long do you suppose we have for life as we have come to know it? There may be a vaccine but probably not for at least a year and just who believes that sheltering in place is practical for a year? Even with a vaccine we have no reason to expect it to be better than, say, a flu vaccine and tens of thousands get the flu every year even with a vaccine. And even with an effective vaccine there's no guarantee that immunity or even resistance is perpetual. There may be treatments, some time, but no guarantee and no realistic timeline. Even with accelerated trials the wait will be months. Ventilators aren't a solution. They save some, not all.

Too many unknowns. How long can we all wait, hunkered down in our hovels, eating groceries delivered by drone and watching low-resolution YouTube videos? Who's going to pay for it? Governments aren't infinitely wealthy, even if the money printing presses are fully automated.

Eventually, whether there is treatment/vaccine or not, people are going to have to go back to work, kids to school. Everyone, factory and office workers, cleaning and maintenance workers, farm hands, deli clerks and resteraunt staff. Gotta make living and you don't turn a barista into an electrician overnight, and without in-person instruction. How long do you all think we have before we run out of choices?

380:

How long can we all wait, hunkered down in our hovels, eating groceries delivered by drone and watching low-resolution YouTube videos?

As with the zombie apocalypse, you stay inside until you're ready to die.

Who's going to pay for it?

Money is just a token, the problem is that when the stuff it represents stops happing it doesn't matter how many tokens each thing you don't have is "worth". And at some point you paper currency people decide that it's easier to wipe your bum with banknotes than exchange multiple notes for one sheet of toilet paper. Us plastic money people find that a less attractive option (although we can wash and reuse our banknotes!)

Aotearoa is a useful place to look at because they're being more open than many other english-speaking countries about what is happening. Right now they're saying at least four weeks of lock-down (the UK and US have not yet locked down). I suggest "The Spinoff" as a good place to start, but the NZ govt links on all their pages are also worth while.

What they've done is explicitly make "food production for export" a essential industry, and implicit in that is "food production for local consumption" because the kiwis are not idiots. So there's a whole lot of stuff that they've decided they can live without for a month or two, and some perhaps surprising things that they've decided they need to keep doing. It's obviously supply chain based when you think about it: to export kiwifruit you need to truck the fruit to the dock and ship it. Therefore trucks and ships are essential. But to ship it you have to first pack it, therefore food manufacturing is generally also essential. And so on.

Having done that, you end up with ~25% of the economy as "essential", which risks breaking the whole "shut it down" setup. So they are also hammering the hygiene stuff into people: 2m distance. STAY AT HOME. Wash your hands. Look out for each other. Only go out when you really have to. STAY THE FUCK AT HOME. And so on.

381:

(also, I don't think the nice lady on the teevee has actually said STAY THE FUCK AT HOME. Don't push her on that, though).

Meanwhile in Australia... {laughs}. It has been suggested by various authorities that we don't go out licking trams or whatever fad the youf are into this week. There's lots of serious talking and not a lot of serious issuing of instructions. And quite what they're trying to achieve, or even what they want us to do, is up in the air.

My workplace, which is definitely not essential, has not been shut down. The gubbermunt is suggesting that if we can work from home we should, but obviously that's entirely at the discretion of our employers (specifically, if your boss doesn't want to pay the cost of you working from home that's too bad for you - my reading says in that case those expenses are tax deductable but I am expecting much fun at tax time). They're also suggesting we not go on holiday down the coast, but they're also not stopping us from doing that (in groups of less than 10, obviously).

It's fucking mental, in other words.

382:

If anyone is still looking for an icebreaker to ride out the pandemic, Australia’s Antartic supply ship just completed it’s last voyage http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2020/australias-icebreaker-arrives-in-hobart-after-final-antarctic-voyage may be going cheap!

383:

Mass testing regimes, and mass mask production are the things which are guaranteed to arrive before the lockdown gets impractical - that is, the end point that does not rely on anything uncertain breaking our way. Once we can quarantine only the people who are actually infected, the economy can restart. Also, the Lithuanians just slapped together a n100 reusable mask that can be sterilized by boiling at a sub 2 euro price points, which.. well, that should solve that shortage once they get some more injection molds made. Okay, a *lot* more injection molds, to make a few hundred million of these in a timely fashion, production needs to go well north of a million per day, but, eh, its plastic fantastic. Doable.

384:

This isn’t an anecdote about lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), but a report called “Cygnus” which caused the government of the day to declare the report a secret document and send a memo to many NHS trusts, which was ignored, as it came with no funding? That’s the value of the other PPE (politics , philosophy & economics) in a crisis!

But it was not the pandemic itself that was causing those gathered in Whitehall to grimace but the nation’s woeful preparation. The peak of the epidemic had not yet arrived but local resilience forums, hospitals and mortuaries across the country were already being overwhelmed.

There was not enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for the nation's doctors and nurses. The NHS was about to “fall over” due to a shortage of ventilators and critical care beds. Morgues were set to overflow, and it had become terrifyingly evident that the government’s emergency messaging was not getting traction with the public.

October 2016 UK pandemic simulation ..... buried
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/28/exercise-cygnus-uncovered-pandemic-warnings-buried-government/

From Italy, looks like this uncommon-cold final toll will be of the order of the worst recent seasonal flu, so not the end of the world as we know it. The bad thing is the rate. It does compress apparently a whole years mortality into just a short ninety-days or so, and is a fully “democratic disease” in that there is little extant protection, other than being healthy and lucky, or CBRN aware, with the right sort of PPE

385:

I'm wearing a mask[1] not because I think it will protect me but to normalize the wearing of masks and obviously taking the problem seriously. If people continue their business as usual we're all in trouble, but for most of us a few simple precautions will decrease the spread considerably.

It's beneficial for humans worldwide to make it less socially acceptable for people to not at least go through the motions of respecting the problem.

[1] Specifically this one which isn't a filter mask at all but sort of a Swiss Army Hat that has a face-mask-no-hat mode.

386:

Medical masks (the world-famous N95 design) are made cheap and disposable because it's simpler to issue them, use them, dispose of them, collect them and incinerate them in terms of logistics and maintaining sterility around patients. That assumes perfect supply chains for manufacturing and supply though and the existing supply chains are breaking under the current demand.

Sanitising and reusing masks requires tracking of individual masks to make sure they've been through the sanitising process and make sure they're only reissued to the original wearer to reduce the risk of cross-infection. The materials they're made of may have to change to be more robust and able to withstand the chemicals used in the sanitising process, make them more rugged to survive repeated handling and reuse etc. The existing disposable masks aren't designed for this.

For personal use (not in demanding medical situations) to defeat coronavirus someone could get hold of a small number of disposable masks and cycle through them on a daily basis. Number each mask with a Sharpie on the edge, in the evening put the day's mask in a sealed glass jar and leave it then wash your hands. Use mask n+1 the next day, step and repeat. The virus doesn't remain viable more than a few days on most materials, I don't know if anyone's actually checked the time limit for the common N95 mask.

387:

mdive
It may be that some of the "elderly" are more vulnerable - especially if they are or were smokers.
I wonder if the differing genetic make-up of different "Nations" affects the different sectors of theor affected populations - that is the total percentages affected are not seeming to vary much, but the age profiles are different?
Um, err ... more accurate statistics needed. .... As Rbt Prior says @ 364

SFR
The medics are always in the front-line & therefore most at risk
It's ALWAYS been like that.

"Conrad Black" - the ex-owner of the Torygraph? Shudder. We know about him over here - we do not want him back, thank you.

Heteromeles
We will find out in about 8-10 days time ... when it will become apparent whether the "isolation" measures have suceeded in cutting infection rates.
I'm really frightened that we are going to go "Italy" - I regard my Allotment as a vital escape - exercise & food & isolation all at once, but it only wants one stupidly-worded piece of emergencypanic "legislation" to fuck us all over.
Other parts of "The Establishment" are worried, rightly, about side-effects.

Mike
YES
That question is one no government wants to contemplate.
The PRC are, very slightly, lifting restrictions, but even that cannot last.
I suspect that it's going to be: "get your updated vaccine every year, carry on & hope that you don't get the variety the vaccine doesn't touch"
Just another gamble in "Life"

Moz
DEFINE "lockdown"?
AFAIK, no-one in my street is working normally, we are all only going outside to shop for food & get distanced exercise at the same time.
I'm the outlier, going to the allotment - well spaced out from anyone else.
Full lockdown is impssible, becaue it will kill even more people than the disease.

TJ
Once we can quarantine only the people who are actually infected, the economy can restart. Provided, of course both whichever guvmint you have - AND their so-called "helath officials" are competent & honest.
Here, some of the latter are neither - nasty little New Puritans

David.in.Italy
Ah yes ... "PPE" - how to manipulate the population, whilst talking ignorant bollocks - as I challenged the Seagull over, recently - I notice it went quiet.
The other utterly useless qualification is the one we all hate, anyway - "MBA"
It is, partly the "MBA" mis-management crap that got us into this mess.

388:

Not gonna happen.

As soon as we establish a reasonable fatality rate ie something within an order of magnitude to flu it becomes the new normal. We might take staying at home when we get the sniffles a bit more seriously but life and the economy will go on. Albeit at 1930s levels of global recession.

Interesting factoid - we (UK at least) are currently counting Covid-19 deaths in a manner that overstates them relative to flu. Basically flu deaths are assessed in a manner where it's not counted if there was a likelyhood of fairly imminent death anyway. TL;DR if you are already slowly dying or have a chronic health condition you don't officially die from flu.

So the most likely long term scenario is the vulnerable will keep dying of Covid-19 whether we get a vaccine or other treatments or herd immunity, we'll just align the counting with flu so the frogs go back to being slowly boiled.

Also now is a good time to short ventilator manufacturers, the unit cost of making them is about to be permanently lowered by at least a couple of orders of magnitude.

389:

Greg: DEFINE "lockdown"?

The ruling class have a consistent message: the country is locked down. Stop what you are doing, listen and obey. The new laws forbid you leaving the house unless you are travelling for one of a small number of defined purposes. Industry not on the essential list is shut. There are fines for disobeying, and those fines are applied.

I'm sure there's more, but I don't see the UK in that category. Australia sure isn't, even though a brothel in NSW was fined for being open when those are on the (short) list of things specifically shut down.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-27/sydney-morning-briefing-friday-march-27/12093846

390:

Complete change of subject, has anyone tested the mouse and keyboard functionality in iPadOS 13.4 yet - looking at Charlie? Typing this on my Magic Keyboard 2 and with my Logitech MX 2 mouse. Works reasonably well apart from the settings to use it effectively being scattered all over different sub-sections of the Accessibility menu.

The more mouse buttons you have - mine has 5 - the more efffective it seems to be as you can assign each button to a commonly used guesture. Text editing in particular is more accurate due to being able to position the cursor more efficiently.

If you could turn rotational energy into a Covonavirus cure Steve Jobs would have generated one by now!

391:

The latest deposit from the Strayn gummbermint is that people are "advised" to limit gatherings to two people. There's still no official declaration that everything has to shut and everyone has to stay home, so people who want to do that are on their own. For example, my employer can quite legally fire me for refusing to go into the office or to attend a half-day meeting with 10 people. Tenants, including commercial ones, can't be evicted, but there's no mortgage holiday or provision for that rent to be paid by the government. And so on. It's a giant mess.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-29/public-gatherings-limited-to-two-people-coronavirus-covid-19/12101162

392:

I’ve tried it, and it seems to work well (2018 iPad Pro with the dedicated keyboard cover). The text insertion cursor does not appear to work in MS Word at this stage, but it does in Scrivener (and the tablet-like way it works is Word is still okay). It seems less clunky than the old Accessibility-mode-only version. Not sure I’ll use it that much... but it would be extremely helpful for taking any serious writing to the iPad.

393:

Well what we saw today is a tantalising hint that the new cases curve is turning sigmoid:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers

Way too many things need to go right for that to happen. And there is a lot of uncertainty, mixed messages, people just going ahead and doing what they feel like. We’ll see.

394:

What/how many languages have you been translated into?

I've lost count.

(Also: not all books -- or even most -- get translated into each language. National reading tastes vary widely, so language/country A might love the Merchant Princes but avoid the Scottish novels and the Laundry, and language/country B might be exactly the opposite.)

However, some of my work has been translated into each of: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Estonian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Hebrew (and I've probably forgotten a couple).

395:

Right now they're saying at least four weeks of lock-down (the UK and US have not yet locked down).

The UK is in lockdown as of last Monday; emergency legislation in force, fines for being out and about without good reason or for violating social distancing, latest political news was Boris Johnson testing the water for an announcement that it may continue until June.

Now, the USA is a mixed bag. Some states and cities are taking it really seriously, but the moron-in-chief is throwing daily tantrums and reversing himself every few hours, and he has a clown crew of lunatic libertarians and bloodthirsty objectivists who don't care how many people have to die to keep the economy running (I'm guessing because they shorted everything they could and now they stand to lose their shirts and end up in prison if it stops working).

396:

I should be flabberghasted if that wasn't a reporting artifact, either for the days before the drop or for the low value. That kind of drop over one day is statistically implausible for this kind of epidemic.

397:

The virus is essentially a loop of RNA encapsulated within a lipid bilayer membrane (essentially similar to a soap bubble) studded with proteins. The proteins are highly susceptible to being denatured by heat -- it breaks the hydrogen bonds and disulfide bridges that hold them in shape, and if they lose their structural integrity they stop working as cellular can-openers -- and the RNA is also susceptible to coming unzipped by UV light and heat. As for the lipid membrane, it dissolves in detergents.

I've seen reports (can't remember the source) of N95 masks being sterilized of COVID-19 by simply parking them on a shelf in an oven at 70 celsius for an hour or two. (Most proteins denature between 45 and 60 degrees: there are a few heat resistant ones that can push close to boiling, but COVID-19 doesn't do that.)

So the irony is that masks are normally so cheap that we don't bother sterilizing them, even though sterilizing them of non-heat-tolerant viruses is trivial. (Probably because they're normally used to protect against a whole bunch of other things that aren't so easily destroyed.)

398:

a tantalising hint that the new cases curve is turning sigmoid

One of the countries I follow has shown a steady increase in the confirmed-case doubling time from 2.5 to 5 days since last Tuesday. There could be several reasons for that, but dum spiro, spero, so to speak.

399:

If you could turn rotational energy into a Covonavirus cure Steve Jobs would have generated one by now!

Nope: I can see an Apple pivot coming in the next 12-18 months. Min Chi-Kuo, a supply chain analyst who has a ridiculous hit rate at predicting Apple's next moves (based on analysing what parts they're ordering in pre-production sample volumes) figures they're going to put out an ARM-based Mac within the next 2 years, possibly as soon as 2021.

Given that they make their own A-series processors and the A12X in the iPad Pro is about as powerful as the i3 in the current Macbook Air, that's not a huge reach. Intel components are expensive, Apple has form for swapping out the CPU under their platform (they've done it three times so far with the Macintosh range), and Apple like to own the entire stack, from low-level hardware on up. The Mac Pro and iMac Pro won't go ARM any time in the foreseeable future, but the low-end Macbook Air, which is optimized for portability, may well be a prime candidate -- lower power consumption, lower licensing costs to third party suppliers, and parts commonality with the iPad Pro.

Speaking of which, the new iPad Pro smart keyboard (with built-in trackpad) makes the iPad Pro look very similar to the now-discontinued 12" Macbook (or the 11" Macbook Air, or the ancient 12" G4 Powerbook ...) -- the entry level of Apple's portable range. So I'm guessing their strategy is to beef up iPadOS for office functionality, meanwhile back-port macOS to run on similar hardware, and eventually we may see Mac apps running in some sort of VM on an iPad-lineage ARM-based Macbook.

As for me, I'm going to sprain my thumb on the "buy" button for that keyboard cover (with trackpad and a proper scissor mechanism and no bluetooth) for my 2018-vintage iPad (which it is compatible with, for a miracle). Meanwhile gazing wistfully at this thing, which looks absolutely gorgeous (but I have its smaller predecessor and cannot no-way justify buying a pocket-sized quad-core i7 PC when I can't even take it outside to go and work at my local coffee shop -- at least not until I'm mobile enough to sell the predecessor on eBay, which means figuring out how to ship it in a time of isolation).

400:

Question for the scientists:

Why does the COVID-19 virus not live on copper for as long as on other hard materials? What's so special about copper*? BTW - the financial/stock market people are predicting that copper prices will go up (i.e., they're flogging shares) but I just want to understand the biochem/medical reason for this.

Thanks!


https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces

'The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects. The study information was widely shared during the past two weeks after the researchers placed the contents on a preprint server to quickly share their data with colleagues.'

* Copper (ditto - aluminum) cookware doesn't work on electric conduction surface stoves which might have depressed a significant portion of this material's previous market.

https://www.macrotrends.net/1476/copper-prices-historical-chart-data


401:

Paper out of Stanford, 70C for 30 minutes.

**IMPORTANT** - the are clear, while a home oven is capable of doing this, do not do this in your home using an oven used home purposes.

The paper also notes that soaking masks in a fluid makes things worse.

https://m.box.com/shared_item/https%3A%2F%2Fstanfordmedicine.box.com%2Fv%2Fcovid19-PPE-1-1

402:

In detail, I can't say, but copper is very effective against many classes of microorganism, because it is an essential trace element in several critical biochemical pathways and an excess causes most eukaryotic (and other?) cells to die. This is about fungi, but the same applies to plants and animals (antifouling).

https://www.jbc.org/content/290/31/18945.full

Now, exactly how that effects a virus, I can't guess, unless it is killing the cells in which the virus resides.

403:

Moz
The ruling class have a consistent message:
Yeah
Problem ... a lot of us remember the original "safe" alchohol limits, posted about 4 years back ...
Which were then publicly admitted ( in an error, I think, how sad ) to have been plucked out of the air - a fairly-educated guess in other words.
Then, about 18 months back, the New Puritans got at it & arbitrarily halved them to something really stupid.
Given that track record ...
"Why should I believe ANYTHING YOU SAY" ???
Oh, um, err, but this time we're serious ...
Yeah, right.
Incidentally, I've just had news that friend in Oban has had the lurgi, v unpleasant, but no fever & he is now recovered ....

Charlie @ 394
Nicht Deutsch?
Wie so?

SFReader
Copper compounds are death to many forms of life.
CuSO4 kills almost all fungi & you, if you are stupid enough to drink it.
Any ionising substances in the liquid-droplets that contain the virus will introduce it to Cu++ ions ... oh dear, one dead virus.
SEE ALSO - 2011 or 2012 paper.
Induction stoves are an invention of the devil.
However, modern, tin-alloy-lined copper-alloy cookware is amazing stuff, if horribly expensive ( usually )
Madam & I have invested in quite a few items & whoever inherits when we pop our clogs, will have a lifetimes' cooking out of them.

Numbers ( Of virus cases, deaths, etc. )
Keep your eyes on the "Worldometers" website - will select for any country, presents nice clear graphs ( - Someone mentioned it on here, some time back )

404:

The problem is that a number of the materials used in disposable masks won't tolerate several cycles of exposure to 70 deg C and maintain their filtering capacities to meet N95 standards. I could, for example, envisage the N95 filter material developing pinholes as the plastic membrane shrinks through heat. Simply storing a used filter mask for a few days at room temperature in a quasi-sterile environment such as a glass jar will effectively eliminate any coronavirus it might have on its surfaces. It will not get rid of other organisms, necessarily.

There's a number of hacker projects running at the moment, manufacturing various things including ventilator parts using 3-D printers. The plastic filaments these printers use melt at quite low temperatures for manufacturing reasons and this makes them less suitable for medical use where high-temperature sterilisation is often necessary before the parts can be used.

There are 3-D printers that can print higher-temperature plastics such as nylon and even metal parts but they're not the sort of units which hacker spaces typically have access to.

405:

Unlikely. Conrad Black is extreme even for the Conservative Party in Canada, and nowhere close to having a mainstream following. At this point his only use to the National Post is to generate controversy and hence page views.

406:

3d printing is for prototyping. Any design which we end up wanting to use is going to be needed in the thousands (for ventilators) or tens of millions of units. Conventional mass manufacture is much better for that.

407:

I doubt Induction hobs are a significant contributor to the size of the copper market - they are pretty much a small fraction of the overall hob market in the Western world.

408:

I have the original 10.5” IPad Pro so I’m waiting for the cheaper - but hopefully just as functional Logitech version of the keyboard, which is available for a wider range of IPad SKU’s.

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/combo-touch.html

409:

While the US hasn't instituted a national lockdown, California / Illinois / NY have instituted state lockdowns and that is likely to spread as Covid-19 spreads - there are new virus hotspots popping up around the US.

The thing with countries like the US and Canada is while there is some federal responsibilities most of the major public health related stuff is done at the state/province/territory level.

410:

Don't yet have an iPad, but most comments online seem to like it.

And Steve Jobs would have been pushing it if he was still around - people often forget that he would say no/never/etc right up until it was time to announce Apple implementing something.

411:

Re copper sulphate: gram quantities may kill you, but we need a milligram or so of copper a day in our diet, anyway. That's why you don't need to take any special care with Bordeaux mixture or Cheshunt compound - just don't eat them by the spoonful!

412:

Not unexpected, new research paper from University California Davis on the long term economic consequences of pandemics

http://ssingh.ucdavis.edu/uploads/1/2/3/2/123250431/pandemics_jst_mar2020_.pdf

413:

Wow. That's probably more dark humor than I'm up for. We made the mistake of putting "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" on a couple nights ago... I'd forgotten that the one scene is just a little... too... topical...

414:

Since the coronavirus is easily killed by destroying its lipid layer, why not soak the mask overnight in a solution of water and dish detergent (degreaser) then rinse?

415:

Troutwaxer
.... so a high-volatility petroleum product shouldn't do it too much good either?

416:

Re: Copper

Thanks!

Only part way through the article but feel that this paragraph captures the main idea:

'Based on the ability of Cu to cycle between reduced (Cu+) and oxidized (Cu2+) states, Cu is an essential trace element for virtually all organisms. Cu serves as a cofactor for enzymes that generate ATP and mature hormones, function in neurotransmitter biogenesis and disproportionation of superoxide anion, and pump Fe across membranes into the periphery (18). However, Cu accumulation beyond homeostatic levels is highly toxic in bacterial cells, fungi, and mammals. Indeed, Cu in one form or another has been used through the ages as a potent antimicrobial agent. Early civilizations used Cu to sterilize water and treat wounds, and in more recent times, workers in Cu smelting plants were protected from 19th century cholera epidemics (19, 20). Cu is the active ingredient of Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures, used as a vineyard fungicide in the late 1800s (21). Currently, Cu is used as an antimicrobial surface in veterinary and healthcare settings, where studies have shown a reduction in nosocomial infection in hospitals that have implemented the use of Cu surfaces on doorknobs, handrails, and other surfaces (22, 23).'

Had to look up a few terms including the Wikipedia page which mentioned how copper is a go-to metal in Indian traditional medicine. At the same time, lots of warnings that too much copper is dangerous.

Greg's link re: copper in medical textiles was also interesting. Getting just the right mix of virus-destroying outer surface and safe-for-medicos-to-wear-24/7 interior surface is going to be a challenge. Maybe two different types of 'cloth' or a combo inner and outer wear set.


417:

According to my father, the contagion model used is accurate*. So fun and educational :-)


*Within the limits of a board game, of course.

418:

Robert Prior @ 341:

The advice being currently offered in some countries to not wear masks, to protect the supply of medical grade masks for medical worker, is deliberately discarding an opportunity to slow exponential growth, which will not be helping health care workers in the future.

In case you missed it, at my niece's hospital doctors are only issued two masks a week, which is inadequate. Taking masks away from them now for a possible future lower infection rate means that we will have more infected medical personnel, which means the problem of overloaded hospitals will be even worse.

No one I'm aware of is advocating "taking masks away from" health care workers to give them to regular people.

But there are already a lot of masks out there NOT in the "health care system". The people who have them should be using them, not just hoarding them. Those hoarded masks are not going to go to health care workers anyway, and even if they did, what percentage of them are still in the original, sanitary packaging? Could health care workers trust them enough to use them?

The only sane answer is to get the production lines moving to produce enough PPE to serve BOTH the health care system and the needs of the general population.

Robert Prior @ 342: It could even make things worse. If it is safer to be 2m away and maskless than to be masked and right beside someone, but being masked makes people close the distance again, then wearing masks would worsen matters.

It is safer still (more safer?) to be 2m away & masked.

419:

Barry @ 349: BTW, I live in Michigan; the governor here is implying on the radio that Trump is blocking shipments from out of spite.

She's not just "implying" it, she's stating it outright and there's plenty of evidence to back her up.

420:

P J Evans @ 352: Massachusetts isn't a red state.

Nor is Texas a blue one. Didn't used to be that way. Used to be "red" represented Democrats, and "blue" represented republicans. I think it was Faux Newz that flipped the color alignment of U.S. political parties. David maybe had a flashback to the old way when there was only ABC, CBS & NBC.

I think it would be more appropriate if the present day republican RICO conspiracy were represented by Red & White Stripes along with a "yellow fringe".

421:

JBS: I'm surprised that Trump judges that maximizes his chance of reelection. Michigan is a swing state - I could understand telling California, New York, or Illinois to go to hell.

422:

Re: ' ... long term economic consequences of pandemics'

Thanks for the paper!

As noted in the authors' conclusion: a much smaller proportion of the population was 60+ in previous pandemics therefore things may turn out differently.

I'd like to see a more granular analysis esp. within similar segments between European countries because what you have to rebuild and with what assets (human or otherwise) following a pandemic or war determines how long it will take to get back to your pre-pandemic (pre-war) state.

The other new but major difference is the amount of money that's in constant motion between players - and not just gov't foreign debt but foreign shares/capital/assets held/traded by citizens/residents.

I also wonder how often families/clans died out in previous pandemics so that whatever wealth had been held by one family no longer had a direct or designated legal 'owner' after the pandemic/war. What happened in that case - who acquired rights to that property and what happened to that family's debtors? If the person holding your debt dies, then whatever you earn, you get to keep. If you're the one holding debts and all of your debtors die off, then who are you going to collect from esp. since peasants rarely had much in terms of saleable assets?
(Such transaction/obligations are probably easier to trace after a war than a pandemic.)

Not sure whether non-person entities also become more important after a pandemic/war. I vaguely recall that the Church - which was also instrumental in establishing early universities - became a long-term major political and monetary power after at least one plague.

423:

stirner @ 358: One of my wife's coworkers has tested positive. She's (my lovely wife) in charge of bringing hot meals to stay-at-home elderly people, the cleaning and personal help services have already been dicontinued, but the food services cannot be.
the only alternative is bringing the old folks to institutional facilities (all of them in strict lockdown).
She will be working from home as of Monday, she's the boss, doesn't go out with the service crews,but has been in contact with them daily. I'm now officially quarantined for two weeks, not allowed to go shopping or anything.
The service crews will keep working, without masks, for minimum wage, and will keep a cheerful manner with their usual "clients".

A friend of mine is a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver. I wondered the other day how they were handling the cooking under "social distancing" constraints?

Note: That video was made in March 2019, so all the hand-shaking that was going on was not a problem.

424:

It's not just the proportion of the population, but the fact that its risk is effectively pro-rata to existing risk. I.e. there may be a lot of deaths, but it won't turn the economic system upside down the way that the Black Death did, or the 1918 'flu in the places it hit hard. Except as the resulting SOCIAL changes may have a major impact on the economic structure.

425:

I agree with you and Greg that copper impregnated masks sound like a damn good idea. Copper isn't the ecological horror that synthetic general biocides are, and you don't have to do more than ensure the wearers don't get more than a few milligrams from a day's use, and that amount of copper is cheap.

426:

mdlve @ 362: Ventilators are only part of the equation - these patients will also be needed all the other parts of the ICU like trained medical staff - I am assuming that it is likely most of these patients on ventilators are likely needing the tube stuck down their throat and that requires special training and an x-ray to ensure done properly.

So dropping a ventilator off at curbside will achieve nothing.

Inserting a nasal tube requires special training. It also requires keeping patients sedated.

But even a dummy like me can be trained to insert an OPA oralpharyngeal airway correctly. I had to prove I could do it properly to pass the practical test for my Combat Lifesaver certification.

427:

To the best of my knowledge it used to swap over for each election, presumably so as not to permanently connect them. I guess like so many things that might possibly hint of non-partisanship, its time has passed.

428:

_Moz_ @ 380:

How long can we all wait, hunkered down in our hovels, eating groceries delivered by drone and watching low-resolution YouTube videos?

As with the zombie apocalypse, you stay inside until you're ready to die.

Yeah, but with a zombie apocalypse you're allowed to kill the zombies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Gh8DGIXLY

"THEY" will get really upset if you go out and start hunting COVID19 victims.

429:

I'm surprised that Trump judges that maximizes his chance of reelection.

You're giving him too much credit for long-term thinking. He appears to be reacting or operating on rule one: you be nice to me.

Daily Sift asked the obvious question: if Trump is all about the re-election, why is he not doing everything possible to minimise the number of deaths between now and the election?

Viz, it looks as though the pandemic will peak between now and the election, so people are going to be voting with pandemic fresh in their minds. "dithering idiot" isn't how you want people to be thinking when they consider voting for you.

430:

The LA times has a pretty good opinion piece on the US response to the Corona Virus:

If Trump alone can fix our coronavirus crisis, then why the hell hasn’t he?

Here's the best version of the PSA he mentioned in the article that I was able to find on YouTube (because I don't have facebook, instagram, twitter ... whatever?)"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTF_tRE_XSY

Also a bunch of fairly clever people who appear to be handling it better than I am:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XikW-8AiV5E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9pQ-9XCwoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDTs-9fq00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QniMWBSbCU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbe_aoaw0y4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5azNpTwVk8

... and my hero:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CCW4Xnp_sQ

431:

If I had to guess, Agent Orange is operating under two heuristics at the moment:

1. Presidents who preside over a good economy get re-elected. Presidents who preside over an economic slump lose.

B. Presidents who preside while their nation is going into a serious war get re-elected.

And while he doesn't want to be seen as a loser for psychological reasons, there's a legitimate chance that, if he loses, he'll spend the rest of his artificially prolonged life dealing with the legal consequences of his term in office. So he's actually got a bigger incentive than mere ego to keep on winning.

Anyway, 1 explains why he's so eager to get the economy over-revving again, no matter how many lives it takes, while B explains why he wants to pretend to be a "war time president" even though he's more correctly an anti-war isolationist president and has no idea about how to go about organizing a war on Covid19.

Just from the far left perspective, I've got to point out that Capitalism has always involved the sacrifice of the poor on the altar of Mammon. What's going wrong now is that Agent Orange is so stupid that he's calling for the sacrifice in public view (rather than hidden away in factories, jails, and farms), and he's calling for the sacrifice of his own supporters, people whom is opponents (especially Sanders and Warren, and possibly even Biden soon) are trying to save. That's not terribly presidential. It breaks the plausible deniability that's been part of the modern Capitalist sacrifice to Mammon.

Anyway, abandoning the socialist critique: opening the cities and factories too soon will just kill a lot of people and the companies they work for. Also, it will result in a truly isolated US, with even Canada and Mexico closing their borders to keep an out-of-control infection from spreading further than it already has. Fortunately, I think most of the governors are at least minimally aware of this. Most. Not all.

432:


***DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STERILIZE A MASK USING SOAP/WATER***

The Stanford paper(*) has this to say:

"Authors found decontamination using an autoclave, 160C dry heat, 70% isopropyl alcohol, and soap and water (20-min soak) caused significant degradation to filtration efficiency."

The water/soap was not in the chart, but the alcohol is in the chart and it results in a filter that is only 56.33% effective (vs 96.60% for the oven).

The issue, per the paper, is soaking the mask in a fluid removes the static charge in the microfibres that the masks rely on.

* - Authors found decontamination using an autoclave, 160C dry heat, 70% isopropyl alcohol, and soap and water (20-min soak) caused significant degradation to filtration efficiency.

433:

So throw the mask in the washer, then throw it in the dryer with no dryer sheets, so that it gets a static charge if the air is dry enough.

Alternatively, this is a chance for all those engineers out there who want to build static electricity generators for recharging N95 masks. Shocking thought.

434:

Same here, dangnabbit: first time I have really regretted not waiting 2-3 months and getting the 11”. But who knew that was going to be a changeover point?

I have been waiting for an updated 13” MacBook Pro. I had a reasonable expectation they’d be announced in March, but sadly this was not included. I’m going to wait this time anyway as it’s a less urgent need, really I have all the computing I can use right now and bringing more Apple into the house is just about making some (for most people niche) capabilities easier to use. Of course in the current climate that might take a while longer. Oh well.

436:

My wife has told me that many substances are significantly more bio-active when inhaled than even when given intra-venously. I did not know that. Care would need to be taken with copper-impregated masks.

437:

Yes, that’s how it works in Australia and (to an extent) the UK too. When you hear me and Moz talking about NSW and Queensland in coming weeks, it will be about focusing on state level responses versus federal level responses. Similarly you may hear discussion of differing responses for various NHS trusts (though that’s more likely to be about resourcing than about public health).

A particular national response that is worth paying attention to is Iceland’s. Their health system is not that far removed from the Scandinavian ones, but has some features that set it apart, along with the really small population.

438:

Undoubtedly there are reporting artefacts too, but in this case it’s almost certainly a specific spike that mostly affected NSW (you can see this comparing the national figures with the state by state figures). This coincides with a know incident (a stuff up whereby 2000 people from a cruise ship with known cases on board were allowed to just nick off from Circular Quay with no controls). Even allowing for that, the numbers across the 3-4 days that include last weekend look like the differential is tipping to less than 1.0. But that isn’t allowing for reporting artefacts, as you say. So we’ll see.

My most useful discovery on Friday was the “blur background” function isn’t the VC tool in MS Teams. So colleagues still see my messy study, but won’t be able to pick out the brands of the shoe boxes on the shelves.

439:

How badly do you want to break your nascent sense of the irreal tonight?

Firefighters battle large grass fire on Galveston Island's East Beach https://bit.ly/33RYQgA #EastBeach #Galveston #Houston

https://twitter.com/SergioChapa/status/1244123352144494592

Yes: that's a Cruise liner coming into a port with apocalypse now themed light show (the Cruise ship appears to be one of the cleared ones: there are plenty more out there still tootling though). Lovely pictures, almost on par with the golfers with hill fire in the background. But, yeah: it's mostly about Florida there.

~

2012 Mayan Apocalypse Time Ending tie in for 2020? We got you covered:

Covidien is one of many villains in the US #COVID response. Newport had govt contract to make cheap, simple vents for pandemic response. Covidien bought them and crushed so wouldn’t compete w existing product. You have blood on your hands.
via @NYTimes

https://twitter.com/ChrisAllison_VT/status/1244253689277227010

So the answer to "why the fuck are non-specialist companies being forced to produce ventilators" is: because of monopoly US interests capturing the market and killing off any innovation for the last 8 years. And yes, they really are called "COVIDien", apparently. Story checks out. Allegedly CEO is Robert J. White, for that extra hit.


Irony EFT hits ramp.

~

Most SF/F authors have already noted the NPR / Internet Archive stuff / loss of earnings, so hey, Never say our tootlings aren't looking out for y'all. In the UK it'll be June before any self-employed even sniff financial aid [spoiler: they reckon by then it'll be over, so no payout]. Anyhow, we cheated a bit there but only so spider-sense tingles were awakened ( Welp, I'm done for the day. "No one expects demon wang" QotD from @nkjemisin streaming the Control DLC https://twitter.com/cypheroftyr/status/1244016747839131650 -- love these women).

Spoiler Alert: NPR isn't doing this out of any new-found Anarchist sensibilities - check the COVID19 US bill, no help for even the big publishers. Dig a bit deeper than being annoyed at the few lefties trolling you, you'll spot the real issue.

RW does culture war and "SJWs" getting financially cleared who aren't owned by the Mouse etc is 100% target focused.

Or you can believe that Anarchists don't understand libraries. Libertarian / Randians? Sure. Anarchists, not so much. SF/F writers: please understand nuances better before attempting 2nd wave push-back at imaginary leftists.

~

Corp Debt - $F just got junked, ventilators will not solve that. Oh and Bond stuff but hey-ho. @Bill - look, if you re-read the musings on WeWork and jokes about Adam / Apple, knowing this helps: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fallenangel.asp -- this is about to get very ugly indeed. (Pensions have already lost some impressive numbers).


~

Anyhow: "They have already won".

Nope. *nose wiggle*

440:

I agree with you and Greg that copper impregnated masks sound like a damn good idea.

I'm surprised these folks haven't started selling such.
shopcopperfit.com

Or maybe they got smacked so hard about their previous claims that they are now gun shy. At one point I think their commercials touted cure for all that ails you.

441:

if Trump is all about the re-election, why is he not doing everything possible to minimise the number of deaths between now and the election?

It has been speculated that he knows that no matter what he does people will die. So he goew with lets make sure the decisions are all made by others and that we blame all who came before.

Which makes his "state governors should be buying this stuff" make some sense.

443:

I don't think that would work. I would guess that if it relies on a "static charge" that isn't dissipated more or less instantly by the moisture in the user's breath, it doesn't mean the familiar kind of surface static charge that Bozo uses to style his hair. It may mean that the fibres are electrets (a material with a static charge "frozen in", like a magnet has a magnetic field frozen in) or that there are polar sites on the surface molecules (static charges on a very small scale); but whichever it is, or if it isn't either, the fact that it resists normal dissipation mechanisms like breath moisture and persists until the mask is subjected to harsh conditions strongly suggests that normal charging mechanisms like zapping it with something won't work to put it back.

444:

Apparently there was also a fuckup where a plane with 30-odd doctors on it got the run-around and most of them just flew on back to where they live in Australia. Lots of finger-pointing, but it's fun when politicians and cops are trying to blame doctors for not following instructions - it's not just the well-off, educated doctors having resources/not being used to copping it; it's that in a *pandemic* standing up and saying "you stupid doctors, what were you thinking" is a bit of a deviation from the party line.

I can easily believe that different cops were issuing different instructions and that no-one was in charge. After all, that situation continues right up to the top of the chain of command.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/bewildered-and-confused-doctors-on-flight-say-they-were-following-orders-20200329-p54ezz.html

445:

Only the Blue Smurf Preppers will survive.[0]

Anyhow, strap yourselves in, RW fire-up is getting going - this is the Hoax angle end for IR:

The Dublin Docklands have never been quieter. Nobody is even bothering to man the ‘testing centre’ which is supposed to be overwhelmed while some HSE insiders are quietly admitting #Coronavirus is a ‘spook exercise.’ Here’s the latest evidence

https://twitter.com/gemmaod1/status/1244347248336605185

Here's Derby auditioning for Judge Dredd:

Derby cop uses megaphone to order people to stay indoors

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/derby-cop-uses-megaphone-order-3981139

~

CAN: Alberta is going to explode.

Alberta education cut expected to lay off thousands during pandemic

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/funding-reduction-alberta-k-12-covid-1.5513803

Warned you mdlvee.

Anyhow, none of these are the red flags we're looking for.


[0] Real Preppers drink silver colloids. Although we did spend waaaay too long looking into an entire sub-species of uTube showing penetration within US building codes with a variety of weapons.

446:

Yeah, weird. Derby is being field tested here, no idea why (someone with ACPO / private security GS4 links probably can)

Coronavirus: Derby police 'in absolute shock over massive party'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-52084653

~

Anyhoooo. Undead Liches don't like us poking their games, but weird vibes there.

447:

Anyhow, triptych.

What stage of Late Capitalism is your favorite fast-food brand offering anti-plague supplies free with your purchase while attempting to make everyone forget they 100% employed a child-sex offender to hawk their brand[0]?

https://twitter.com/Bertovo/status/1244211031246688258

100% real, allegedly.


[0] https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/19/456622271/jared-fogle-to-learn-sentence-for-sex-with-minors-child-pornography?t=1585521033706


No, really. "Buy two sandwiches, one of your children gets to survive" is 2020 reality.

~

And this, kids, is the nice middle class fluffy stuff we're allowed to show you.

448:

I was driving around the Aasee on my bike after work yesterday, strange thing is, there are few people in the cities, but people still go for the usual suspects for excursions, e.g. lakes and parks; the density of joggers and people going for a walk was about as much as usual or not much less with the current weather; so I guess I'll go for a mask soon.

I agree to the idea about people closing in when wearing masks, OTOH, the situation at the lake was somewhat stressful for me (I might be going for one of my more introverted periods..), and stress-induced cortisol isn't that good for the immune system either.

(Before I forget it, lately I wonder if we're even going to get immunity after infection, not to speak about a vaccine; there have been reports of antibody-dependent enhancement concerning the Spike protein targeting ACE2[1])

Problem is, the hardware stores are out of both disposable masks and reuseable respirators for painers; apparently they are not coming in again. Never mind I used to work in factory producing pet food for some time, and even simple paper masks are not that nice to breath with; my nose secret still was a nice viridian afterwards, so they didn't help much, either, so I can only wonder what it would be like with "real" medical masks.

There is one video of creating a makeshift filter mask from coffee filter; no idea how effective it is.

I also wonder if you could hack one of those inflatable dinosaur costumes into a makeship pressured suit with a filter in front of the ventilator sucking in air, but that's far from a proven concept.

At the moment, I go by the idea that there are two levels of PPE; first of, when dealing with a high chance of infection, e.g. when being a first responder, or when dealing with high densities of people; in this case, I'd go for the usual HQ equipment.

On the second level, that would be when dealing with somewhat lower chances of infection, e.g. when encountering a bigger group of people or entering a bus where every third row is occupied. This also assumes that when you get infected, you're not in a high risk group (for me, I'm on an ACE inhibitor and have arterial hypertony; my BMI gets me flagged as "overweight", though ironically I don't look the part and I had some nice discussions concerning my medication dosages[2] because of it).

I'm going for the second level, so instead of category 3 gloves I went for category 2 gloves with the insides covered with nitrile, I reason it means I don't have to clean my hands averytime I accidentally touch a surface somebody else touched before, I can disinfect the surface of the glove instead. Not perfect, but the skin on my hands is broken at this time of the year even without washing my hands every few minutes, and ethanol/isopropanol on open sores is an acquired taste.

As for the masks, well, I'm looking for a nice paintball mask at the moment; there are even some with visors which would seriously impede hand-eye contacts. Problem is, those don't cover the mouth that well, but I found some nice somewhat economic ones with wireframe for covering the mouth; I guess I'll cut out some fleece and put it in front of mouth and nose, the wireframe is moldable and should make for good skin contact by pressing the fleece against it; I'm planning on cycling through fleeces and disinfecting them, though the reports on the N95 masks are not that encouraging. I'm aware it's not perfect, comments welcome.

On another note, my feelings when encountering people made me wonder if desert-dwellers (not a hypersocial lot, AFAIK) going into face veils, e.g. the Arabs or Tuaregs, the latter only for men, is only protection against dust or similar feelings of being overwhelmed with people...

[1] According to German wiki, there are finally some tests into Camostat which inhibits proteases splitting the Spike protein into the form that binds to ACE2; it looks good on paper to me, it's an approved medicine (in Japan, at least) and antiviral protease inhibitors are not that new, though they usually inhibit post-translational modifications in the host cell; I was wondering if there might be some good reason for not using it, e.g. something akin to the sobering up after the chloroquine hype.

[2] Funny coincidence, MEDICE just introduced a bigger package size of medikinet; I have a feeling some parents appreciate it at the time, not necessarily for the right reasons...