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Coronavirus: More than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover

Started by dsanchez, February 23, 2020, 23:47:08

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Quote from: BiscuityBoyle on March 26, 2020, 05:47:46I'm assuming this is solid advice if you're a public health official or anyone with any say on coronavirus response.

I recently heard someone saying that if we don't have data we just have an opinion. The data shows South Korea declining cases without closing their country. I personally don't say it's a bad thing to lock down a country/area (it worked for China), but maybe a mix between that and what South Korea did is the solution. What I see from their experience is that aggressive testing is what is paying off, the opposite of what is done in the US.
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Quote from: BiscuityBoyle on March 26, 2020, 05:47:46Probably the most compelling piece of analysis I've read so far on the issue drives home precisely how interconnected everything in our world is.

Thanks for that link, @BiscuityBoyle.  Yes, it describes that interconnectedness, which for some reason the majority of Westerners don't seem to have even a basic clue about these days - partly, in Australia, it's the urbanisation of populations and their removal from interaction with nature, food production etc, so most people have only vague ideas about where their food comes from, how it is produced, and what the effects of various types of food production are on the environment - let alone understanding that disrupting ecosystems has always favoured opportunists (humans, above all), and therefore also opportunistic pathogens, and that the more you push that, the more it pushes back.

Have you ever heard of the Gaia hypothesis?  Very relevant.

I don't know whether you'd like my personal opinion, so I'll just say that as someone who qualified as a biologist and environmental scientist, and worked in sustainable land management / biodiversity research before turning to education, my views on what we're doing to the planet, and what the likely outcomes of that are going to be for the planet and for our own species, align very closely with what I've heard David Attenborough say about it, and Paul Ehrlich.

My two main critiques of the article you linked to are:

1) Referring to "animals" as if humans aren't animals themselves, and of course humans are animals.  People should correctly refer not to "humans and animals" but "humans and other animals." Making that artificial distinction between "humans and animals" is very much linked to the anthropocentric Western cultural idea that humans are somehow above and separate from "mere nature" and basically supernatural beings in training, put there by God allegedly in his image, to exploit everything else, which was allegedly put there entirely for our own use (which is a really convenient and self-serving world view).  If people continue to talk about humans and nature using anthropocentric language, these misconceptions will continue to be perpetuated.

2) Not even mentioning the two main reasons for the accelerating destruction of the biosphere:  The continued human population explosion, and the accelerating consumption of resources per capita in our wasteful (and doomed) consumerist societies.  ...the people in the article seem to think that the "solution" is just to tinker around the edges, and re-arrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.  This is not going to work.

The reason that most media articles (sadly, even Guardian articles) don't mention these basic facts, aside from widespread ignorance on these matters, is that we currently live under an economic system which thrives (in the short term) when there is skyrocketing demand for consumer items, as happens when you continue to add to the human population above replacement rate, and when you continue to fan demand for items nobody actually needs (need versus want), and create a whole bunch of throwaway goods with built-in obsolescence so you can sell more and more short-lived items that end up in landfill a relatively short time later.  This is current Western capitalism, as favoured by the neoliberals who've got their claws in power structures, legislation, media, etc etc, and whose upper echelons get dirty rich out of exploiting the planet, and the most powerless of their fellow human beings, through this system.

I'm not sure if you ever saw the film Idiocracy, but their hypothetical society's economic system was actually no more ridiculous than the one it set up to spoof - it's just that when ridiculous has been your lifelong normal, it's hard to see it that way.

So yeah, unfortunately, humans behave like bacteria cultured in the laboratory:  They grow exponentially until all their resource base has been exploited - and then they crash; even though humans actually have brains, and have all the necessary knowledge as a species to live in harmony with nature.  If humans don't control their own population size through contraception, then diseases, famine, war and ecosystem collapse will have to control it for them.  The greater the population size and the more mobile the human population amongst each other, the more rife the situation becomes for having pandemics to knock the population back down to less ridiculous levels - because we've long since exceeded the planet's sustainable carrying capacity, and are all living on borrowed time (while continuing to exterminate other species and the few remaining wildernesses - we've not stopped doing this since industrialisation).

Ditto, for controlling our greed and wastefulness as a modern species.  Homo sapiens, that's a laugh, and typical hubris...

/end rant

As a result of reading this link, I bumped into a salient critique of the government response to COVID-19 in Australia here: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/26/australia-is-scared-and-confused-about-coronavirus-is-scott-morrison-the-leader-we-need-for-this-grave-moment

...and one of the best books I've seen on the topic on humans, growth economics and the environment was written by a psychologist - if you're only going to read one book on these issues, read this one:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0522849695?tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1
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Quote from: BiscuityBoyle on March 26, 2020, 05:47:46I don't want to read your words uncharitably as saying "we shouldn't pay too much attention to the suffering of our fellow human beings" but you see where I'm coming from...

Thank you for that.  :cool
Of course I said "too much", because we should not look just at the problem(s), but at possible solutions too. That is all.
If only I'd thought of the right words...


By the way, I don't mean to depress anyone, because that would actually make everything that's already bad much worse, and then there wouldn't even be a slim chance of turning things around.  I'm not a fan of doom and gloom, even in the face of horrific facts, because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, sapping those of us who care of the energy and will to do things differently.  I guess I learnt to look for beauty in people and the world, and to survive and get through, while growing up in a really horrible dysfunctional family, and those skills transfer well to the realisation that the wider social structures are equally horrible and dysfunctional.

So, lots of love to all of you. ♥

And a story my teacher told me when I was in Grade 2:  Two frogs who fell in a bucket of milk, and they were both swimming all night, and eventually one of them gave up and drowned, while the other said, "Well, it probably is hopeless, but it doesn't hurt me to keep swimming as long as I am physically able."  And the frog's swimming churned the milk, and as the fable goes, caused butter lumps to form, from which he was able to jump out of the bucket.

The science on that is a bit dodgy - both the butter making (you do that with cream) and that you could make enough to push off and that you could push off enough to get out of the bucket - but it's a great story which still warms my heart, more than half a statistical human life span later. :)

And for those who like black humour:

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Quote from: dsanchez on March 26, 2020, 08:20:50I recently heard someone saying that if we don't have data we just have an opinion. The data shows South Korea declining cases without closing their country. I personally don't say it's a bad thing to lock down a country/area (it worked for China), but maybe a mix between that and what South Korea did is the solution. What I see from their experience is that aggressive testing is what is paying off, the opposite of what is done in the US.

You might be interested in this comparison analysis: What we can learn from the countries winning the coronavirus fight
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An article about Germany:
Quote from: undefinedWhen an individual tested positive, they used contact tracing to find other people with whom they had been in touch and then tested and quarantined them, which broke infection chains.
If only I'd thought of the right words...


OUCH! Till Lindemann of Rammstein positive and in hospital.

Source: German press

Edit: I stand corrected. He's tested negative. Source: more press. I guess I shouldn't trust Bild.


Quote from: piggymirror on March 28, 2020, 04:15:09I guess I shouldn't trust Bild.

So mildly put!  :lol:

In related matters, I'm sorry, but I have an evil streak and am currently laughing as the very officials / suits who were dragging their heels about safety measures and talking it down are now testing positive.  Oops!   :evil:  :angel

...more evilly still:  There's currently an excess of power concentrated in the hands of wealthy middle-aged white guys.  I wonder if COVID-19 will significantly correct that imbalance (but at an approx. 1% overall mortality rate I doubt it, plus there's always more of them crawling out of the woodwork etc).  And have you noticed how the most neoliberal of the mainstream neoliberal parties skew even more towards white, rich, male and middle (+) aged?  Hardly any women in the current Australian government... and not very multicultural in representation either...

/end rant.  And I do like men, am even married to one, I just don't like nincompoops and narcissists, who seem to turn up disproportionately in governments and general power positions.  (Books have been written about this.)
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Quote from: undefinedThere are several arguments supporting the current official Swedish strategy. These include the need to keep schools open in order to allow parents who work in key jobs in health care, transportation and food supply lines to remain at work. Despite other infectious diseases spreading rapidly among children, COVID-19 complications are relatively rare in children. A long-term lockdown is also likely to have major economic implications that in the future may harm healthcare due to lack of resources. This may eventually cause even more deaths and suffering than the COVID-19 pandemic will bring in the near term.

Life is carrying on as normal in Sweden - scientists explain the controversial approach
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