Leo

Active member
it's actually a tricky call, how to manage the balance between health risks and the risk of economic devastation which undoubtedly will happen the longer businesses are closed. some doctors might hypothetically believe the safest route is to continue lockdown until we have a vaccine, but even they acknowledge that's not realistic.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It's definitely a tricky call... that's why I don't think the best way to decide is for Johnson to come bumbling back from Checkers and decide it off the cuff cos he's got a gut feeling things will be ok now and he's bored of all this piffle anyway.
His speech this morning contained the insane phrase "I know there will be many people looking at our apparent success" which hardly inspires confidence.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
My friend owns (or part owns more accurately) a restaurant in Lisbon... he's saying that he expects they will be opening at the start of May but that he (and the other owners and I'm guessing the staff too) will need to take a test for C19, and, more weirdly, it seems as though they will need to perform certain tests on people coming in, take their temperature for starters. Seems a bit of a fudge to me, we know all about asymptomatic carriers now and surely a temperature test is an extremely crude measure of who is ill.
 

sufi

lala
it's actually a tricky call, how to manage the balance between health risks and the risk of economic devastation which undoubtedly will happen the longer businesses are closed. some doctors might hypothetically believe the safest route is to continue lockdown until we have a vaccine, but even they acknowledge that's not realistic.
It's really fascinating to see how the balance is struck between these two gigantic invisible spectres - economic devastation and viral contagion.

Both are at this point mainly hypothetical risks, though obviously will be real consequences, but noone can say with confidence what will happen. So we are forced to extrapolate with huge measures of uncertainty, from past experiences which may or may not turn out to be applicable, between these two calamitous predictions, it seems likely that both will play out badly, but noone really knows, in economics or epidemiology

Both spectres have their expert theorists, their advocates, and it seems like these spectres are prancing hand in hand in some areas, rather than being played off against each other - UK seems to be cherry picking the worst of both worlds somehow
 

catalog

Active member
Is there enough money in the system to keep providing poorer service workers with a ubi/income support type deal for longer? The risk is hyperinflation, like the 20s in Germany and money will become devalued. If so, the hit travels up the food chain and richer people, business owners, those with savings, landlords etc, will come off worst. Protests, calls for loosening and so on, they don't seem to be coming f on those at the 'bottom', or are they?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It's interesting (to me at least cos I've only just lately been active on twitter) to see how an order comes down from somewhere and suddenly all the people make the same argument again and again. Today I've noticed that the right is using an argument based on population density - the UK has obviously had a catastrophic number of cases and deaths, in terms of raw numbers, and now those numbers are so high, that the UK is 5th in terms of deaths per million. But that's not so bad - it was to be expected cos of high population density... apparently.

eg

You’re up to your tricks again Burgon.. I’m sure you know that the most important factor in virus transmission is population density.. Germany’s population density is far less than that of the UK.
Seems crazy cos Germany has more cases than UK so (in this particular example) it's nothing to do with transmission, it's more to do the fact that people in the UK who get C19 are dying at a much faster rate than those in Germany - probably cos they have more beds per head, more ventilators per head, more PPE and so on - in general a health service not hollowed out by austerity and Brexit etc

That again depends on certain assessments, how do we compare with population density.
The worst in Europe, so as we are 5th in terms of deaths per million, we are doing very well.
Even more mad. We have a high population density so it's to be expected that our people die faster?

But not as densely populated
Again and again... it's frightening to see the coordination. I guess a few bots start spreading it and then loads of morons who think it makes sense repeat it without realising they are being used.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
There is a way out of lockdown. Wait until transmission, hospital admissions and deaths are below a certain rate, then institute mass testing and contact tracing. Mandate mask wearing in all public spaces, ban all but essential international travel and then slowly bring things back in, sector by sector, maintaining social distancing, with reversion to local lockdowns when outbreaks occur.

It can be done, but it must be done with care, transparency, competence and rigour.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I can't be the only one who is imagining Johnson reading that and thinking "Yikes... that looks like way too much work and thinking and stuff... probably if I just wing it and jolly well make the right noises about following those spiffing science fellows it will turn out for the best - after all it's worked like a bally dream so far - and if there is a problem I'll say just blame it on Govey and that frightful oik Hancock, anyway pass the icing sugar"
 

droid

Beast of Burden
That said, Im not sure id be going out much even if things were deemed safe. Weird heart diseases in kids, strokes in the middle aged. Reports of all kinds of bizarre neurological effects. Long term lung damage, liver failures... there seems to be a ton of very nasty stuff associated with this that we just dont know enough about yet.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I got into an almost identical argument on Twitter with some tosser claiming the UK is bound to struggle, this time because of our large total population, rather than high population density.

Pointing out that Italy and Spain have more deaths (by official figures, anyway - but that's another argument) despite lower populations, and that Germany and Japan have fewer deaths despite bigger populations, did no good at all. Dude was convinced he'd got to the bottom of it and that was that. I kept asking him why he was making excuses for our government's piss-poor response and he kept saying he wasn't, even though he very obviously was.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
On the bright side, daily new diagnoses seem to have flattened off and the daily death toll is gradually decreasing from the peak at the start of the month. That could all go out of the window if restrictions are lifted prematurely, of course.
 

luka

Moderator
Why should Japan be getting away with it? Or all sorts of other countries? I'm not totally convinced that Johnson and Trump are the only reasons for the high death rates here and in the US. That seems to conviently moral a fable.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Why should Japan be getting away with it? Or all sorts of other countries? I'm not totally convinced that Johnson and Trump are the only reasons for the high death rates here and in the US. That seems to conviently moral a fable.
I don't think it's that at all... to me when you could see the number of cases and deaths that were happening in the eastern US and the delay in doing anything at all and then the lack of any travel restrictions within the states, no federal lockdown, huge congregations in churches and so on - all pretty much directly caused (or at least not prevented) by Trump I thought it was completely insane. So now, when they are just approaching 60k deaths a better question to me is how is it that despite the lack of (and wrong-headed) federal leadership it hasn't been worse? When in Italy they were taking it so much more seriously and relatively being hit harder. No moral fable there, it's just we know how it's spread and we know how dangerous it is and we know steps haven't been taken to stop it - it's very straight forward cause and effect.
Similar in UK though not quite as batshit insane as the US as far as I could tell, there is at least a mechanism for a national response which swung into action eventually.
Japan, I'm not sure, I haven't really being following it but I think that they are possibly in the early stages and so we may not be comparing like with like.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Why should Japan be getting away with it? Or all sorts of other countries? I'm not totally convinced that Johnson and Trump are the only reasons for the high death rates here and in the US. That seems to conviently moral a fable.
I doubt anyone is saying they're the only reasons. The NHS has been run down for years so we have fewer hospital beds per person than many other European countries, and the USA basically doesn't have healthcare if you're not comfortably middle class at least.

Those problems are both connected to the two countries' present leaders but by no means originated with them.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
And the Brexit cult here has resulted in a whole generation of radicalised boomers who think "Boris" is a bloody spiffing top bloke but who react to any sort of advice from doctors, scientists or basically anyone who knows what the fuck they're talking about like a hormonal teenager who's just discovered Rage Against The Machine and has been politely asked by his mum to tidy his room.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Regarding Japan specifically, I think they locked down very early but relaxed it and are now worried about a second wave.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Why should Japan be getting away with it? Or all sorts of other countries? I'm not totally convinced that Johnson and Trump are the only reasons for the high death rates here and in the US. That seems to conviently moral a fable.
We're not treating it effectively.

That's because the more 'advanced' health systems are lumbering beasts that struggle to solve problems on the fly.

Maybe this is why the government portrayed Italy as our touchstone rather than *anywhere else* (or maybe it was for reasons of PR)

Poorer countries are forced to quickly adopt (cheap) good-enough approaches that are resulting in far better recovery:death ratios.

Effective treatment would obviate the need for lockdown.
 
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