Author Topic: COVID-19  (Read 3064 times)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2020, 08:23:55 PM »
I think the virus will be virtually gone from the Netherlands in 1, at most 2 months. At the rate new cases and deaths are currently decreasing.

That's really good news.  We Americans these days are so accustomed to a depressing, acerbic, and contentious news cycle.  Glimmers of hope are welcome.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2020, 09:36:48 AM »
I think the virus will be virtually gone from the Netherlands in 1, at most 2 months. At the rate new cases and deaths are currently decreasing.

All of which is great news. However, until we get an effective treatment or vaccine then the COVI-19 can and will return. You cannot maintain a hard lock down indefinitely, and it only takes on infectious person on an inbound flight to lick the whole thing off again, UNLESS you have a highly efficient contact tracing and testing environment in place.
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline JayUtah

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2020, 11:56:06 AM »
I'm hoping that some of the behaviors such as hand-washing, distancing, and mask-wearing will have more of a lasting effect at blunting the inevitable autumn return.  Until this illness, Americans looked very askance at people wearing filtration masks in public.  And, believe it or not, I currently get yelled things from cars while I'm walking on the street with my N95 mask on.  Here's what's funny:  I mentioned out temperature inversions that make us one of the most polluted cities during winter.  When people wear filtration masks voluntarily during these periods, people don't really mind.  But now that we're being told to wear them, there's not just stubborn resistance but active shaming.

So maybe the mask-wearing won't persist.  But maybe people will have learned some sort of lesson.

"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline gillianren

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2020, 01:06:27 PM »
I know a lot of my friends are planning to keep their cloth masks for later, when they have colds.  I'm also definitely looking at fire season--my handmade mask won't be perfect for that, but it'll be better than nothing.  Especially because the ones I make have an opening to put a filter into.  (Side note, if anyone is in need, send me a message and we'll work something out.)  Mask use is far from universal here in Washington State, which may well be why my best friend has had to get tested and may be positive (she hasn't gotten the results yet), but we're flattening our curve more than a lot of other states.  It's nice to have an intelligent governor.

Meanwhile, I am left wondering what our new neighbourhood sounds like when there isn't a pandemic--I don't think we'll ever be that loud, except noise drifting from the nearby lake, but we moved into a house last month.
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Offline Britmax

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2020, 07:19:14 AM »
Ah yes, I'd recognise MS Bible anywhere...

In the beginning was the Word.  Then the Excel  Then the Powerpoint.  Then the Outlook.  And there was great rejoicing.  (Yay!)

I love how everyone thinks Microsoft invented word processing.  Long before it was WordPerfect, a product out of my home state (although from the valley to the south.)  It ran in text mode on MS-DOS and was the go-to product for many years.  I mention it because the former WordPerfect campus has been recycled into offices and headquarters for so many companies since then.  Adobe even occupied it for a while.  It's the cathedral of Silicon Slopes.  Its tenants at any time literally only have to say, "We're in the former WordPerfect offices," and everyone instantly knows where you are and how to get there.

Yes, the novel Bomber, by the British author Len Deighton, has claimed to be the first written out on a word processer. I first bought a copy with the prize money for something modest I did at school, the year it was published, 1970. Great book, by the way. Without undue added drama it captures the indiscriminate nature of industrialised warfare. Everyone should read it. 

Offline gillianren

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2020, 12:11:34 PM »
Good news--my best friend tested negative.
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates

Offline Obviousman

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2020, 04:20:31 PM »
Good to hear.

Offline raven

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2020, 07:47:43 PM »
Awesome, for both your friend, you, and their other loved ones! :D

Offline gillianren

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2020, 12:00:51 PM »
Her mom's a midwife, and while I don't think they've had any close contact since this began--she lives with her husband and a roommate, not her mom--it doesn't take much imagination to be terrified by the potential consequences.  Actually, I need to sit down and make masks for her mom at some point soon.
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2020, 08:53:58 AM »
I have a question for American members here. I keep seeing reports of a vocal (and violent) minority demanding their 'right' to go into a store without a mask. I'm wondering how that really works in the US. Here in the UK you do not have any 'right' to enter any store, pub or restaurant. They are considered the private property of the owner and the opening to the public is entirely at their discretion. Many have signs up pointing out that management reserve the right to refuse service or eject anyone for any reason. If they say you can't go in without a mask, shirt, shoes or without being dressed up as Mickey Mouse, that's the rule and you don't get to contest it, nor is there any legal basis on which you may do so. Is it different in the US or are these people just idiots who think living in a 'free' world means they can literally do what they want?
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2020, 09:34:55 AM »
I have a question for American members here. I keep seeing reports of a vocal (and violent) minority demanding their 'right' to go into a store without a mask. I'm wondering how that really works in the US. Here in the UK you do not have any 'right' to enter any store, pub or restaurant. They are considered the private property of the owner and the opening to the public is entirely at their discretion. Many have signs up pointing out that management reserve the right to refuse service or eject anyone for any reason. If they say you can't go in without a mask, shirt, shoes or without being dressed up as Mickey Mouse, that's the rule and you don't get to contest it, nor is there any legal basis on which you may do so. Is it different in the US or are these people just idiots who think living in a 'free' world means they can literally do what they want?

The same idiots want to arm themselves like a mercenary to "protect their family", but won't wear a simple mask to do the same.
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline JayUtah

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2020, 10:12:30 AM »
Places of business in the U.S. are private property as well, and generally have the right to refuse entry or service to anyone.  However, the private owner of a "public place of accommodation" is governed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.  These set forth certain traits for individuals on which basis service may not be denied -- race, color, religion, national origin, and disability.  However, members of these classes may be denied service on other grounds that are otherwise equally applied.  A private business owner is entirely within his rights to refuse entry to people who do not wear masks, as long as that rule applies to everyone who seeks entrance.  Previous requirements, for example to wear shirts and shoes, did not pose any legal problem.  In fact, during the Halloween season some businesses disallow costume masks without incident.  A business can require you to wear one, or not to wear one, as their discretion demands.

Vocal and violent protesters in the U.S. who claim a right to enter private property without complying with its proprietor's requirements are idiots.  I don't know if their beliefs in non-existent rights is a universal "I can do whatever I want at any time," but they certainly seem to give that impression.  And it is on par with a certain American brand of individualism that earns Americans such a disdainful reputation abroad.  Here, of course, we have a sensationalist media and a childish President egging the protesters on.  And there was a tragic case recently where the door guard of a thrift store was shot and killed for refusing entry to people not wearing a mask.  That's a different American problem, but it explains in part why there are so many reports of this kind of exceptionalism.

While individualism is a broad American trait, most Americans will not carry it to the comical extent you see emphasized in the media.  As Zakalwe notes, the extremists rarely have a coherent point.  The reasons given for having a small private arsenal don't seem to extent to taking basic precautions.  And the "only cowards wear masks" argument doesn't jive with their apparently fearful need to arm themselves for every occasion.  (Brandishing firearms as you see these nuts do is about intimidation, not "protection.")  Most Americans are courteous and responsible, but the fanatics are the ones who attract the attention and set the tone by which their more reasonable peers are judged.  The objection to wearing a mask is not the inconvenience or discomfort of it, or the imagined right to patronize businesses while disregarding the rights of their owners.  They object to doing something simply because they've been told to do it.  As I said previously, our happy little valley is home to some notorious wintertime pollution.  During the worst of it, some people commonly wear filtration masks.  They do it voluntarily.  But now because it's a requirement imposed by government authority or other citizens, we have mask-shaming.  And that leads to a somewhat darker side of the story.  Wearing masks in public is "what the Chinese do," and the ongoing conspiracy theory requires blaming China for this mess.  Not wearing masks while the Chinese have to is one of the ways the fanatic fringe tries to show its defiance in the face of the designated enemy.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2020, 11:25:44 AM »
Places of business in the U.S. are private property as well, and generally have the right to refuse entry or service to anyone.  However, the private owner of a "public place of accommodation" is governed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.  These set forth certain traits for individuals on which basis service may not be denied -- race, color, religion, national origin, and disability.  However, members of these classes may be denied service on other grounds that are otherwise equally applied.

Yes, here we have the Equalities Act 2010 which serves the same purpose. When I said the owner reserves the right to refuse service or entry for any reason, I should have qualified it by saying those reasons have to be valid and not contravene the Equalities Act 2010. You can't deny entry on the basis of race, disability etc, but you can deny entry to soeone with those protected characterisitics if they're being a dick, or inappropriately dressed, or any other reason that would get someone else refused entry as well.

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Vocal and violent protesters in the U.S. who claim a right to enter private property without complying with its proprietor's requirements are idiots.

OK, that's what I thought.

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While individualism is a broad American trait, most Americans will not carry it to the comical extent you see emphasized in the media.

Oh yes, I fully appreciate that the majority are sensible and law-abiding. The media always presents a reversing mirror to any society, in that it emphasises the exceptional and sensational above the common and mundane.

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(Brandishing firearms as you see these nuts do is about intimidation, not "protection.")

As a Brit, the whole notion that you need a firearm for 'protection' seems mad to me. Whatever else you may say about our society, I have never felt sufficiently threatened here that I feel the need to carry a lethal weapon around or have one in the house.

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They object to doing something simply because they've been told to do it.

I just posted on Twitter that it seems to me this is more about the 'newness' of the restriction than anything else. We grow up with restrictions. Where we can smoke, having to wear a seatbelt, age limits on purchasing alcohol and pharmaceuticals, dress codes and so on, and we accept them as normal and sensible, just how life is. Then along come a new one and suddenly a small subset of society start whining about losing their freedoms, as if we're one sensible restriction away from a totalitarian state.

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Wearing masks in public is "what the Chinese do," and the ongoing conspiracy theory requires blaming China for this mess.

Yes, I have noticed that disturbing theme. And yet even that is an incoherent pile of nonsense, because even if China was responsible for the pandemic, the actions taken in any country affected are entirely that country's responsibility. Whatever China did or did not do, once the virus entered the US it was entirely within the power of the US Federal and State govenments, and its population, to control its spread. Blaming China for the current situation is like blaming the electricity company for the electrical fire in your house because they're the ones supplying the electricity, even though you did all that DIY re-wiring and skipped over basic stuff like grounding and insulation and not using flammable materials in certain areas.
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain

Offline JayUtah

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2020, 03:52:39 PM »
As a Brit, the whole notion that you need a firearm for 'protection' seems mad to me.

As I recall, the British and Americans did have a fairly strong disagreement on that issue at one point.  ;D

The social, legal, historical, and ethical discussion of the 2nd Amendment could fill volumes.  And it has.  I live not too far from places where having a firearm to defend yourself against dangerous animals is often considered prudent, although not always necessary.  And ranchers will generally always carry firearms in order to ward off predators.  The American frontier is still in many ways a frontier.  But obviously this is not the kind of protection spoken of by the sort of people you refer to.  Nor do people who have a more legitimate need for firearms generally behave in the stupid, braggartly way you often see depicted.

I myself have owned a few firearms.  I had a "Navy Six" revolver I built from a kit as a teenager.  I only ever used it for target shooting, and soon grew bored with it and sold it.  I would never consider it protection, because it certainly didn't help Gen. Custer very well in that duty.  And as a smoothbore pistol, it wasn't very adept at hitting targets either.  And then some target-shooting rifles, also as a teenager.  Not for protection, unless you consider paper targets especially menacing.  But I outgrew interest in them too.  I can shoot well, but I see no need for me to own a firearm.

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I just posted on Twitter that it seems to me this is more about the 'newness' of the restriction than anything else.

That's insightful.  I remember similar grumbling when wearing seat belts in cars became mandatory.

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Wearing masks in public is "what the Chinese do," and the ongoing conspiracy theory requires blaming China for this mess.

Indeed, it's starting to be quite a task to separate the pandemic discussion from the American politics discussion.  Even without the pandemic and its conspiracy theories, there was mild xenophobia.  You saw someone wearing a filtration mask and he looked vaguely of Asian descent, and you just wrote it off as their culture.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: COVID-19
« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2020, 04:47:58 PM »
As a Brit, the whole notion that you need a firearm for 'protection' seems mad to me.

As I recall, the British and Americans did have a fairly strong disagreement on that issue at one point.  ;D

Yeah. You got your independence and look what you did with it! Loads of memes circulating around here about revoking your independence after Trump got elected.

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The social, legal, historical, and ethical discussion of the 2nd Amendment could fill volumes.  And it has.

Indeed, and I certainly don't propose to get into a debate about gun control issues.

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I live not too far from places where having a firearm to defend yourself against dangerous animals is often considered prudent, although not always necessary.  And ranchers will generally always carry firearms in order to ward off predators.  The American frontier is still in many ways a frontier.

Of course, and here we still have people using guns for legitimate purposes such as protection of livestock from predators and game hunting. No issues there. I'm referring to urban settings. Where I live the largest predator I'm likely to encounter is a fox, and I sure as hell don't need a firearm to see one off. The idea of needing a firearm for home defence just doesn't make sense to me. Part of that is probably because, since we do have strict gun control here, I am unlikely to ever need to defend myself against an assailant carrying a firearm.

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But obviously this is not the kind of protection spoken of by the sort of people you refer to.  Nor do people who have a more legitimate need for firearms generally behave in the stupid, braggartly way you often see depicted.

I certainly don't doubt it. I'm certain that the majority of firearm owners are responsible and follow sensible precautions. The media with its distorting mirror means of course that these people are not newsworthy, so all I hear about is the idiots waving their guns around at city hall, school shootings or accidentally shooting their family through carelessness.

Personally I have never fired a real firearm. I have held a few, mostly deactivated, and I can certainly appreciate them as a piece of engineering, but that's as far as it goes. Air guns are the most offensive weapon I have ever fired. And frankly I was pretty crap at it, so...

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I just posted on Twitter that it seems to me this is more about the 'newness' of the restriction than anything else.

That's insightful.  I remember similar grumbling when wearing seat belts in cars became mandatory.

When the smoking ban in public places was introduced there was uproar from a certain group of smokers who, like the anti-mask brigade now, couldn't grasp that it wasn't about them, and they weren't having their right to smoke taken away, just restricted for the health of others. As a lifelong non-smoker I was delighted by it.
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain