Started by dsanchez, February 23, 2020, 23:47:08
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QuoteAustralia's deregulated, fluid economy creates the perfect conditions for the virus to thriveMicrobes are brilliant at exploiting human economic structures. And our 21st century economy provides opportunities for them to resist even concerted attempts at elimination.As Victoria is discovering, and the rest of us may yet discover, COVID-19 is perfectly habituated to a 21st century economy centred around services delivered by outsourced, precarious workforces.Daniel Andrews, whatever his faults, at least recognises the role of insecure work in driving people to continue going to work even if they're feeling ill, enabling the transmission of the virus. And many of those jobs are in service industries, which exposes more people to potential infection.The acceleration in infection is thus a US-style outcome to a US-style feature of our economy -- that despite Medicare, and a better industrial relations system, workers are still faced with an invidious choice of working while ill or losing income.The current $1500 payment for casual workers if they become infected is little help for people deciding to lose a few days' shifts for the good of the community.It's not a choice many people on higher incomes face. And the government is giving federal politicians time off work rather than requiring them to attend parliament, without any loss of income. High-profile journalists, enjoying incomes multiples of those of people in insecure work, scold lower-income people for their irresponsibility.But many are doing exactly what our economy requires them to do. Australia was once the land -- so we told ourselves -- of worker self-indulgence, a national that honoured the great tradition of chucking a sickie, of putting the feet up rather than doing the hard yakka (funnily enough, that was also when our labour productivity was significantly higher than now, but anyway).Since the 1990s -- when the level of casualisation in the workforce dramatically increased, though it has stayed relatively level since then -- that's changed fundamentally.The rapidly expanding personal service economy enabled by the internet has accelerated that in recent years, creating terms like "gig economy" and "side hustle" to describe what has replaced full-time, secure work. And the war in penalty rates conducted by business and the Coalition has only increased pressure on the incomes of people in casual work.And these are jobs that the worried well of the middle class -- including well-paid journalists -- expect as part of the modern economy. The barista to make a coffee whenever you want; the driver to deliver your food and transport you across town at your command; the petsitter to look after your animals; the cleaner you need at home because you and your partner are too busy. All jobs where if you miss a shift, you don't get paid.That's a related but quite separate matter to the growth of labour hire and outsourcing, by both governments and the private sector, of what used to be specialist roles but now appears to be pretty much anything, including security guards.Labour hire, a sector rife with exploitation and wage theft, offers not merely a lower-cost form of labour than bothering to employ someone, but it also outsources responsibility for any problems....For millennia, viruses and bacteria have cleverly adapted to and thrived in human structures -- the settled communities that followed agriculture, the towns and cities that created employment, economies of scale and innovation, the networks that connected them together.Human economic activity provides the infrastructure for infection, and our latest innovations of outsourcing, insecure work and leaving housing to the marketplace have provided a perfect environment for COVID-19 to resist our attempts to eradicate it. It's a viral world; we just deregulate in it.
QuoteTreasurer Josh Frydenberg has identified the first cab off the policy rank in the government's quest to reverse a "free fall" in business investment: industrial relations reform, aimed at "injecting greater flexibility into the labour market"."Our view is that those flexibilities that apply to the employer, and give them the ability to change duties, to change hours and to change the location of staff, should continue, not just for those firms that meet the reapplied eligibility test, but should apply to those firms on JobKeeper right now," he said.In case you needed reminding, the vast majority of this second wave comes down to "flexible" (see deregulated) work -- casuals who worked while ill because they didn't have access to sick pay, untrained security guards hired over WhatsApp, and now, underqualified and inadequately trained staff without access to proper PPE at aged care homes.
Quote from: undefinedNews from the cultural sector has not been hope-inspiring as of late -- mass layoffs and furloughs continue to plague US institutions, with reopening dates in some states increasingly uncertain as the virus continues to spread. The latest survey to measure COVID-19's impact on the industry, conducted by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), does not augur well for museums: a third of them -- a total of 12,000 organizations -- may never reopen.
Quote from: SueC on August 02, 2020, 02:22:04So, we've been living with COVID-19 in our societies for about half a year...
Quote from: Ulrich on August 03, 2020, 09:54:35In my humble opinion, they shouldn't have allowed travelling so soon. In theory, you're supposed to go into quarantine when coming home from abroad and/or be tested, but no-one really controls if this gets done at all.
QuoteThen politicians talk about the rules, which should be followed, but at the same time there's a huge demonstration in Berlin against those rules (and most of them didn't wear masks, didn't keep distance).
QuoteI don't know... if there should be a "2nd wave", restrictions should be regionally - we can't afford to put the whole of Germany in "lockdown" again.
QuoteWiderstehen muss man jedenfalls einem Reflex: alles, was nicht vernünftig ist, als idiotisch und alles, was nicht moralisch ist, als kriminell abzutun. Denn das Verhalten von Menschen, wie destruktiv und soziophob auch immer, hat Ursachen, »Erklärungen«, hat einen psychologischen Unter- und einen ideologischen Überbau.
Quote"We don't have the resurgence of the disease that many countries have," Anders Tegnell, the country's chief epidemiologist and architect of its no-lockdown strategy, told broadcaster France-24 in an interview, adding that the country was broadly happy with its overall strategy."In the end, we will see how much difference it will make to have a strategy that's more sustainable, that you can keep in place for a long time, instead of the strategy that means that you lock down, open up and lock down over and over again."Unlike many countries, Sweden closed schools for the over-16s but kept those for younger pupils open, insisting on full attendance. Schools and universities are now open again.It also banned gatherings of more than 50 people and told people over 70 and in at-risk groups to self-isolate.Otherwise, the population of 10 million was asked, rather than ordered, to respect physical distancing and work from home if possible, which it largely did. Shops, bars, restaurants and gyms stayed open and the wearing of masks has not so far been recommended.
QuoteMan habe in Deutschland derzeit eine völlig normale Sterblichkeitsrate. Bei der Hitzewelle 2018 und bei der Grippewelle 2017 habe man sehr viel deutlicher eine Übersterblichkeit gesehen. "Wir haben es mit einem ernstzunehmenden Virus zu tun, aber wir dürfen dieses Virus nicht mehr überdramatisieren."Streeck wies darauf hin, dass die Sterblichkeit von Corona-Infizierten sehr viel niedriger sei als man das im Frühjahr befürchtet hatte. "Dieses Virus ist tödlich nur für wenige. Genauso wie viele andere Viren auch", meinte Streeck.Die zunehmenden Erkenntnisse der Wissenschaft sollten Mut machen: Es gebe fast keine Übertragung über Gegenstände. Auch gebe es im normalen Alltagsgeschäft - etwa im Einzelhandel - wenige Ansteckungsrisiken. Viele Infektionen verliefen komplett ohne Symptome. Nur noch fünf Prozent der Infizierten bräuchten überhaupt eine klinische Versorgung, weitaus weniger gar eine intensivmedizinische.Streeck plädiert für ein Ende des Krisen- und Panikmodus, der Umgang mit dem Virus müsse zur in ein normales Risikohandling wie bei vielen anderen Risiken des Lebens auch übergehen. Ängste zu schüren sei der falsche Weg, weil man damit die Gesellschaft spalte und die Akzeptanz für eigenverantwortliche Achtsamkeit schwäche.Maskenpflichten etwa an der frischen Luft seien unsinnig. "Wir brauchen einen Wechsel im Krisenmanagement. Wir dürfen die Krise nicht verwalten, sondern müssen Lösungen finden. Sorgsam pragmatische Lösungen", empfiehlt der Virologe.
Quote from: Ulrich on October 05, 2020, 18:57:26In my humble opinion, it is time (in Germany at least) to slow down with the "panic-making" and fear-mongering.
Quote from: MeltingMan on October 06, 2020, 13:39:29Was it necessary to paralyze a country or an entire continent? I dare not to answer.
Quote from: SueCThe main reason human respiratory viruses tend to spread morewhen it's cold is because(...)
Quote from: SueCHigh humidity is another factor,