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Millions watch live streaming of hospital construction in Wuhan (shine.cn)
74 points by zachguo 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments





It’s very interesting that at this stage it doesn’t look very different from any other construction site: 37 people chatting and walking around while the other 4-5 do some actual work.


What? Are you looking at the same stream? I see an intensely busy construction site with 10s of trucks and cranes and hundreds of people. It's extending to the right - perhaps you've missed that. Certainly not typical


They commented 30 minutes ago. Things may change in that time frame.


Guess this might be a candidate for _the list_: https://patrickcollison.com/fast


It might be nice if the list was in a git repo that people could contribute to


Yeah. I’d like to add HMS Dreadnought (1906). It was the first proper battleship ever built (truly revolutionary), and it was built in one year and one day.


From the list page: > Please send me more entries. (Preferably with sources.)


You could just email the owner.


Or a subreddit


Imo, the most interesting part is at the bottom under "What's going on"

> The physical infrastructure projects enumerated above occurred before 1970 to a disproportionate degree. Why? Some works containing hypotheses:

Is there a Western country where this isn't a problem? Germany has a bunch of engineering projects that are either completely held up/cancelled by red tape or are just mismanaged so badly that the cost overruns and delays can be staggering.


It would be nice to have some kind of impenetrable bubble to make certain works happen regardless of protest. Some people just want to frustrate any progress.


I can’t help but recall a tiny little <5000 sqft, one story building close to my residence (in the U.S.) that took almost a year to construct a few years ago. Somehow the construction workers managed to show up every weekday, wake me up with construction noise while accomplishing almost nothing...


This hospital is temporary. It doesn't need to be high quality, because it doesn't need to last, and its purpose is to be better than nothing. Most buildings take longer, because they're intended to last, and because they don't have such enormous crews working on them (which costs a lot). Some of the processes in this live stream don't seem especially safe to my non-expert eye either (I'm thinking of the cranes and diggers quickly moving big heavy swinging things; in NZ I've only seen that done with extra people manning guide cables to keep the movement slow and controlled).


Never underestimate the efficiency gained by completely circumventing the need for permiting, civic reviews, public commentary, funding allocation, bidding, design review, labor negotiation, inspections, regulations, and a zillion other bureaucratic wastes of time.


True, but from looking at some videos of generic apartment buildings in China the overall building quality seems to be quite poor already.


Human rights tend to complicate these things. USA and every other developed country would surely be able to achieve the same under similar circumstances.

It's worth reading http://chinamediaproject.org/2020/01/27/dramatic-actions/ and watching https://youtu.be/7OEqybiGdaA for first-hand experience of the incompetence and evilness of their government and how they've been handling the situation.


Politically motivated people throw the phrase “human rights” around to justify any incompetence but I don’t think my human rights were respected at all during that one year of on-and-off construction noise throughout the day.


Sounds like you were mostly inconvenienced with noise, which I agree can be annoying, but I'm sure the safety standards, work hours, living standards of the construction workers, etc. were at a much higher level.

If you've been to China or some other third-world country then I'm sure you've seen first hand the living conditions these workers endure, the safety standards of their work, etc. I've had friends whose families were kicked out of their homes to make room for shopping malls.

Why are they even rushing to build these hospitals in the first place? There are plenty of empty buildings that they could turn into temporary hospitals instead. All of this seems to be just for show..


> If you've been to China...

Yes, I have, and my conclusion is it’s nothing like what fear mongers tell us what it’s like (btw you got a nice single-purpose account there so the credibility is low in my books). Construction workers’ living conditions are on the lower end for sure, but often an improvement over rural life (which is why they’re drawn to cities in the first place), and even rural living conditions isn’t that bad from what I’ve seen. Of course there are huge gaps between “the third world” or even different regions in China so what I’ve seen is far from the worst possible.

> whose families were kicked out of their homes to make room for shopping malls.

I heard these people are usually compensated very well by local standards. In fact, I heard there’s a whole class of people in Beijing, Shanghai, etc. who became multi-millionaires because their old family homes were bought up for new development projects.

> There are plenty of empty buildings that they could turn into temporary hospitals instead.

Citation needed.

And none of your arguments justified the snail pace of taking a year to build a tiny little building, when even by U.S. standards it could have gone a lot faster (otherwise an apartment building would easily take a decade), unless your human rights include dragging projects out in order to be paid more for the same amount of work.


> Yes, I have, and my conclusion is it’s nothing like what fear mongers tell us what it’s like (btw you got a nice single-purpose account there so the credibility is low in my books).

Actually, I'd say it's far worse. If you talk to people that aren't active on reddit and whatnot, then they will often have no idea what's happening in Xinjiang. And if they don't even know what's happening in Xinjiang then they of course won't know about organ harvesting of political prisoners, how people who spread information the government doesn't appreciate will end up like this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vspukvqxTSg), etc. Foreigners wishing to live in China will also experience a lot of discrimination and hardship that they wouldn't have to endure in other Asian countries. For example, a foreigner will be denied entry to 9/10 apartment/hotels if they don't stay at 4-5 star hotels, or go through agencies that have a "green book". It will also be much more difficult to be able to live there as a digital nomad or whatnot compared to other Asian countries.

That's also why I use VPNs and multiple accounts on all social media sites. If I didn't then I'd risk a lengthy jail sentence or death if I ever got caught by the Chinese authorities.

> I heard these people are usually compensated very well by local standards. In fact, I heard there’s a whole class of people in Beijing, Shanghai, etc. who became multi-millionaires because their old family homes were bought up for new development projects.

That's not what I've heard, and I know at least one friend said their family couldn't afford to buy a new place with the compensation and was thus forced out of the city. But I'm sure there are people who fit both descriptions.. regardless, imagine how you would feel if you were forced out of your home that you didn't want to leave.

> Construction workers’ living conditions are on the lower end for sure, but often an improvement over rural life (which is why they’re drawn to cities in the first place), and even rural living conditions isn’t that bad from what I’ve seen. Of course there are huge gaps between “the third world” or even different regions in China so what I’ve seen is far from the worst possible.

These people are often forced to live at the construction sites, or share a tiny room and toilet with a bunch of other people. They won't be able to see their families for many months. Their living conditions are worse than the living conditions of prisoners in Scandinavian countries. Not just with regard to living conditions, but also with regard to being able to see their families and loved ones. It's also very common to see them sleep on the street, under a bridge, etc. during times where they aren't working.

> Citation needed.

Have you ever been in a big city such as Wuhan during CNY? We also know 5 million left before the lockdown (great job CPC), and do you really think people should be going to school, gyms, factories, etc. during the epidemic?

> And none of your arguments justified the snail pace of taking a year to build a tiny little building, when even by U.S. standards it could have gone a lot faster (otherwise an apartment building would easily take a decade), unless your human rights include dragging projects out in order to be paid more for the same amount of work.

I think I did, but without knowing the exact situation then it's difficult to be more precise. I assume you're a software engineer, so let's look at it from this perspective.. have you ever worked on projects that should only take a week but ended up taking many months? I'm often assigned work that I could solve in a couple of hours but I instead spend a few days or a week, because if I didn't then I'd feel too exhausted and risk burnout. I assume almost everyone here do the same, and I imagine it's no different for construction workers where different projects are given different priority.

I've also seen plenty of construction work in China and third-world countries move at a snail pace, and construction work in developed countries (e.g. fixing a road in the city center) be completed within a day.


Eminent domain exists in the West, too


People in developed countries that belief an inconvenience like being woken up by construction noise is a "violation of human rights" can not comprehend what real violations of actual human rights are


Good article - paints a clear picture of how things ended up this bad and how the govt attempted to handle it (poorly).


25M construction site supervisors. Imagine if we could have that for programming ;)


Diseases are rivalled only by war in bringing out the best in human creativity and ingenuity.


Pure nonsense imho. Everytime there is an epidemic are new 1000 bed hospitals going to be erected overnight?

Where the heck are doctors and nurses going to come from? Do they have excess trained people just hanging out at the mall?

God knows how many other hospitals and construction projects were thrown into chaos by crews being pulled from all over the place.

This is the kind of reaction seen when too much power lies with one guy up the heirarchy and he panics and overrules all his underlings. Wants to give an appearance of solving a problem much more than actually solving it.

I have seen this kind of stuff happening at global software crisis centers, where things escalate quickly and some guy up the hierarchy panics. Has too much power and just overrules everyone below. "We have to do something! Right now!!!" Bangs table!!! Underlings without push back obey. Those who do are pushed out and resources are mindlessly pulled from all over and massively squandered. With the PR dept blaring away about decisive leadership.

China has all the ingredients for that kind of decision making. The bug will die out in a couple weeks and then this will be a standing monument to how the herd reacts under stress.


> Where the heck are doctors and nurses going to come from? Do they have excess trained people just hanging out at the mall?

Apparently thousands of medical professionals have already been sent from other provinces. There are millions of medical professionals in China so sending even 1% would be night and day difference locally while not throwing other hospitals into chaos.

Throwing other construction projects into chaos? That’s utter nonsense, no normal construction projects would be active during the Chinese New Year period.


Seemed to have helped the last time they did exactly this. So I don't see it as an overreaction or completely irrational. Reports say that the makeshift hospital they built in record time for SARS in Beijing turned out to treat 1/7th of all the SARS patients at the time. And judging by the projected infection rate numbers, and their medical infrastructure already being stressed so much by a load that it probably wasn't designed to handle, building these hospitals could very well be a good move.

> Where the heck are doctors and nurses going to come from? Do they have excess trained people just hanging out at the mall?

I'm sure there are regions that aren't facing even remotely the same crisis as Wuhan, where they can divert resources from. It's really not a huge deal. Unless you want to make the claim that all of China is going to succumb to this such that a diversion of resources wouldn't be possible at all? That's a stretch.


The current hospitals are based on the 2003 design. One reason that they can be constructed so quickly.

(I was skeptical myself initially. Looks like it's actually coming together.)


While you do have some good points, it’s possible that the severity and danger of this virus, required a different approach.

Some people in the West suggested to use an existing school or sports stadium, and while this may work in the West, the question is: Does Wuhan even have such a public facility available?

Some (unverified) reports were already suggesting that the city’s existing hospitals and facilities were already overburdened. At least something like this could help keep the very sick isolated from the others, and allow them to gracefully recover. Or if they are too far gone, then it would keep them isolated from those that can be saved.

I agree, I think this will blow over in a few months, and they’ll get it contained, while they starve out the virus. And that might only have been possible, because the central government mandated the quarantine, which did more to just inform people to keep their distance from others, and to wear protective gear while in public. We’ll see in a few months how effective this all is.


You definitely have a point but sometimes showing off top-level commitment for a cause can make the difference. The live construction video feed can boost morale significantly by spinning the narrative that actual work gets done .


Links to the streams;

Leishenshan: http://t.cn/A6PIeT14

Huoshenshan: http://t.cn/A6PIYNvD


The livestream comments are just fascinating. For some reason live chat brings out the worst in people.

It's also amazing how inneficient the whole construction medium is with human resources. Everytime I see construction going I see most of people are literally doing _nothing_ and it's not like their lazy - human resource distribution just sucks.


Fascinating how quickly something can be accomplished in an emergency (shortcuts accounted for)


Wouldn't be dangerous to live in buildings nearby the "coronavirus hospitals"?


I think it's fine with proper controls. I don't think the virus is going to fly out the smoke stacks and infect anyone. Of course getting infected people in can be dangerous if they're just walking themselves to it, or taking a taxi.

In Hong Kong there were protests against the gov't using an apartment building of sorts for quarantine, because the building was within 500m of residences. One protester even set fire to the lobby of the building.

https://twitter.com/ezracheungtoto/status/122140698236137881...


Actually, some dude took a fat shit during the SARS epidemic and infected 329 people in other apartments...

I think I came across this on HN many, many years ago!

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197121...

From this paper https://europepmc.org/article/med/15737152

"The index patient in the second super-spreader outbreak was an individual on hemodialysis for chronic renal failure who had diarrhea and, on two occasions, stayed with his brother in Block E in the Amoy Gardens residential complex.30, 31 Amoy Gardens has 19 residential blocks, with eight apartments on each of the 33 floors.31 In several bathrooms from block E, it was reported that the U-shaped traps linking the vertical drainage pipes, known as risers, to the sanitary fixtures, did not function properly. As a result, when water flowed down, the backflow from the risers was able to generate aerosols and spread pathogens into individual bathrooms. In addition, powerful window fans installed by residents in many bathrooms created a significant negative pressure that amplified the aerosol backflow. In the Amoy Gardens complex outbreak, 329 individuals were infected and 42 died."


No, it isn't that contagious. You need to be physically very close to someone... they have to be coughing on you, or touching the same door knobs as you.


The question of waste materials (solid, liquid, and that messy in-between state) could matter.

Those would have to be decontaminated. The risks of infected sewage or tissue winding up in muncipal systems, possibly backing up onto streets (or into buildings) would ... not go so well.


What was on the sites before? Or what was previously planned for them?

I'm curious about backstory and disruption here.


Is there a link to the live stream?

Edit - Found it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypti_cB0JTc


Is there any sort of timelapse video available?


Haha, I wish sometimes I could live stream my work. It might be entertaining and I like writing code as people watch.


One main barrier is API Keys, emails, secrets etc. It wouldn't be possible for me to stream my work because of this.

I was thinking of making a filter of the video stream which would blur out sensitive strings if it encountered them...

I suppose I could just use an offscreen terminal for environment variables and secrets, but it's bound to be leaked at some point.


I wonder if it works better if you're just building an offline app.


I wouldn't mind doing that if purely to force myself to actually work in my own time rather than knowledge-magpie over a completely different topic/project e.g. Writing a quick summary of some tactics in the most recent British election -> Writing a C-ish parser???



Check out https://shipstreams.com , it's basically a community of developers building live on twitch.tv


some people do already on Twitch. It is sometimes very interesting and sometimes very boring. Not sure what makes the difference. I've always thought trying to do so to, my work would probably allow me only for open source things tho.


Boredom brews greatness.


Coronavirus is completely overblown. Regular influenza kills 12,000-61,000 Americans each year.

Coronavirus is only deadly to elderly with existing medical problems. Its not worth shutting down the economy over. Reducing this population would also entail a reduction in healthcare and pension expenses, benefiting younger workers.


Let me guess, you are not part of the demographic you just opted to let die in the name of cost reduction?


Wow. Regular flu kills around 300-650k people per year worldwide, but in general it only has a 0.1% mortality rate; and guess what, it also only basically kills the elderly.

Now you have a virus with a mortality rate of 2-3%, so it'll kill a lot more people once it begins to spread. The sick people from the coronavirus also needs a lot more medical work and efforts to separate them from the rest of the populace.


The whole idea is that you don't need both in countries where it is not present. Using that reasoning: why do you care when malaria kills >300k yearly? We all know the numbers.


It's only not deadly because it hasn't spread yet.




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