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Help the Fight Against COVID-19

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Wolfenstein98k

Power User
Pretty grim statistics today. We'll probably hit 1M cases worldwide in a day or two. By the end of April there will be 10M cases and 1.5M deaths if things don't change drastically.
15% death rate? Even Italy is only 12% (and their cases are probably much higher). Are you weighting places like India & Indo heavily, or?
 

Donnie B.

Experienced
This looks terrifying. Is this really necessary?
NYC has long used different lighting on the Empire State Building to signify things.
Italy had singing, but each night at 7:00 NYC residents are asked to applaud all of the
workers keeping things going. It's caught on and the clips of it last night were very cool.
The night before the lights were celebrating doctors and nurses with a white and blinking
red lights.

Last night was applauding police, firemen, EMTs, etc.

I think it's really cool especially when people can use any little bit of positive they can get.
The fog does add a nice effect!
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
They lit up the CN Tower and Toronto sign, at city hall, blue the other day to show support for all the healthcare workers on the frontlines. Locally, Everyone is being asked to tie blue ribbons around a tree on their property, to show support.

Last week, a parade of vehicles drove by the local hospital. People were honking and waving, to show their support and appreciation.

At this moment...anything that uplifts the human spirit and unites us, is okay by me.
 

flageolet

Member
In belgium also applause every evening. Some medical personnel have mentioned there's a bitter after taste as many of the ones giving applause probably also voted in a direction that reduces our social security and health care. They hope people will learn and remember.

Myself, i guess any applause never hurts anyone, but short spirals of spontanious solidarity can t make up for a lacking system. I also hold no illusion about any positive aftermath. 😏
 

MisterE

Power User
I also hold no illusion about any positive aftermath
Nor do I
As a virologist here in Belgium stated that it's a shame that people working in healthcare who are underpaid are now the ones stepping up and taking care of the sick.
I have no doubt that after this crisis things will go back to the way it was before.
CEO's feeling that they are the only ones who deserve a raise and think all of their employees are overpaid
Shareholders who couldn't get rid fast enough of their shares will again feel they're the only ones who are entitled to a share of the profits and not the workers.
 

Dr. Dipwad

Experienced
Question:

I keep seeing news stories, blog-posts, video-commenters, etc., from sources I'd normally regard as respectable, all of whom are claiming that "The United States has now surpassed China for confirmed COVID-19 cases."

They just say this, without qualification, and then pass on to what they feel are the logical implications of this factoid (e.g., the U.S. botched its response; the governors were irresponsible for failing to call for complete shelter-in-place a week earlier than they did; teenagers at Spring Break tend to be childish a**holes, etc.).

Nobody seems to be questioning the stat, itself.

But when I look at that stat, I don't believe it. I think it's a lie.

If it's true, it means Wuhan went to 81,000 cases and then just stopped cold and never got any more.

I grant that China does things we wouldn't do here. They literally welded people into their homes to enforce quarantine. I wouldn't be overly surprised if only COVID-19 patients with high Social Credit scores get medicine, and those with overly-low scores (Uighurs, Falun Gong, inconvenient bloggers, Christian clergy who don't join the Patriotic Association) just get shot. There's plenty of precedent. And when you're the type of government that can do such things, sure: I bet that gives you some extra raw power for fighting pandemics. (In the long run, you go to hell, but in the short run, you save bundles on health care costs.)

Having said that, I still think it's extraordinarily unlikely that nobody got out of Wuhan into other parts of the country prior to Wuhan being locked down. And in that case, we ought to be seeing new cases in other locations. But, again, the stats have been stuck basically unchanging for, what, over 2 weeks now?

I don't buy that at all. I suspect that China has a cool half-million cases by now, and no particular reason to honestly report on any of it.

Am I being too cynical about that stat?

Does anyone have an argument for why I should trust it?

Does anyone have an explanation for why so many news reports DO seem to trust it?
 
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Donnie B.

Experienced
They just say this, without qualification, and then pass on to what they feel are the logical implications of this factoid.
You just described every 24 hour cable news network for the last 20 years.
Why should they operate any differently now?
:(

Re: numbers - at this point I'm not sure what motivation there is to lie?
Early on, sure, but we're two months into it now. Their curve is similar to Germany
who took similar immediate and drastic measures.
Plus, pretty sure there's Virologists from all over the world who've been spending
a lot of time there.
 

Dr. Dipwad

Experienced
Re: The Empire State Building, "they need the sheep fearful," and "sense of entitlement":

That sub-thread of conversation is groanworthy. But, if anyone cares, my quick take is as follows:

1. The color on the Empire State Building makes the thing look dystopian. I'm sure they were well-intentioned, but it was a well-intentioned mis-step. They should switch it to something soothing, or patriotic, or cheerful. Right now it looks like the Eye of Sauron has found a new home.

2. This is not a good example, @Musikron, of "they/them" trying to manipulate the proverbial "sheeple." I don't deny there are people, even in the unruly U.S.A., who are too-easily cowed or swayed by mass-marketing or ideological propaganda. And I don't deny that we should be skeptical of those who knowingly try to manipulate the "sheeple." But IF the bad choice of color on the Empire State Building was a conscious attempt at any kind of manipulation, it was ham-handed and counterproductive, and thus not the work of a skilled manipulator, but of an inept clown. That's IF it was a dumb attempt to terrify.

But I doubt it was. I'm confident the real explanation is something like this: A bright, sensitive young thing with a marketing degree, recently hired to do PR work for the city, proposed at a meeting, "We should do something to celebrate emergency responders!" ...and the boss half-glanced down from the end of the table with a look of boredom and said, "Sure, Cindy Lou, make it happen," and Cindy Lou went off and did it, without running it by anyone more experienced.

3. I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, @jon, but if there were any genuine threat to anybody's life, liberty, or property in the Empire Sauron Building debacle, then it would be important to stress that unalienable rights are, y'know, unalienable, and not the product of a "sense of entitlement." (That is to say, we shouldn't construe liberty as something a spoiled person feels he is owed, but isn't actually owed, since even a spoiled brat is really and truly owed equal justice under law, protection from arbitrary seizure of property, etc.) But of course there isn't any such threat from the Eye Of DeBlasio (I prescind from the question of de Blasio himself), and as you correctly noted the real threat, at present, is the pandemic!

Jeez. The whole thing wasn't even worth saying all that.

But I've typed it, so I guess I'll hit post. What the heck.
 
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Donnie B.

Experienced
1. The color on the Empire State Building makes the thing look dystopian. I'm sure they were well-intentioned, but it was a well-intentioned mis-step.
By all accounts I've read, the people who live and/or work there love the nightly displays.
Being New Yorker's, safe to say they could give a flying f*ck what any of us think. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
 

Dr. Dipwad

Experienced
@Donnie B.:
You just described every 24 hour cable news network for the last 20 years.
Why should they operate any differently now?
:(
True enough.

Re: numbers - at this point I'm not sure what motivation there is to lie?
Don't forget how such things work, in a rigid hierarchical system driven (partly) by fear of embarrassment. It's not that all the regional authorities report true numbers to the national government, and the national government then replaces them with a lie. It's that each local guy knows he can get fired or jailed if his numbers aren't coming down, so he trims them a bit before reporting them. The regional authority he reports to knows they can all get fired or jailed if their numbers aren't coming down, so he trims them a bit before reporting them. And so on. Whenever someone gets a fit of honesty and reports a real problem, all he does is make himself look bad in contrast against the other folk who're fudging the numbers. Peer pressure is applied, in addition to downward pressure.

Plus, pretty sure there's Virologists from all over the world who've been spending a lot of time there.
I'm not so sure about that, unless they happened to be stuck there before flights were cancelled.

After travel became restricted, they'd have to make a special effort to go to China, and be allowed in by special dispensation of the government, and not be held back from leaving by their own home country (which undoubtedly would prefer them to stay at home to be available as a resource to call on!). And then, they'd have to be in a position to see aggregate data, which means, a position of some authority or oversight. (But such a position is probably only open to Chinese nationals.) And then they'd have to be willing to risk expulsion or prison by contradicting the central government during a time of crisis. And then they'd have to get that information out of China without being detected.

Maybe I'm wrong. But I'm not as sanguine as you are about there being easy access to alternative flows of unfiltered information from disinterested observers.
 
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Donnie B.

Experienced
I'm not as sanguine as you.
The older I get, the more I like glass half full.

Found this:

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/24/covid-19-answers-doctors-turn-to-china/

Doesn't answer the question but it's interesting info nonetheless.

“All of my medical school classmates are clinicians in China now,” Dai said. “I quickly thought of people” who could help Hopkins understand what was coming and how to cope with it.

It came together within hours: They would have a Zoom meeting on Thursday, led by physician Jian’an Wang, president of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou. It had sent 123 nurses, 42 physicians, and six other staffers to run an ICU in Wuhan, about 500 miles away, soon after the city was locked down in January. Although the number of new cases there and in surrounding Hubei province has dropped to the single digits (and, on some days, zero), many of the Zhejiang staff are still there.

“When facing a global crisis, sharing of medical and scientific information is invaluable if we are to save lives and halt the pandemic as quickly as possible,” said physician Paul Auwaerter, director of Hopkins’ division of infectious diseases.
 
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