The title is also misleading, as Merkel does not have the power to decide such things. Well, at least not by the letter.
Bavaria declared a statewide emergency in part to be able to overrule and have a consistent guideline across all health departments.
The list of exceptions in NRW is completely crazy.
Not every state responds the same and follows the same routines, that's the federal structure for you and differences can be enormous depending on where it is.
Germany just began any serious action, and there is a 2 week lag before seeing any sort of impact.
In Poland we had a national lockdown a week ago (which you can see everywhere - empty streets and so on), and so far the numbers don’t reflect it at all.
As for locking people down, yes you can do it, it’s called a quarantine.
So I would expect to see first effects in new infection numbers over the coming week, with nearly full effect probably visible some time during the following one.
Most might have stayed at home but the 5% that didn't are still enough to spread it exponentially.
Home office has changed from being the exception to being the norm for a week now at my workplace (an IT company), and I've heard the same from members of my family working elsewhere (in non-IT businesses).
In the current circumstances, in a lot of places in the U.S. people are being told to stay home unless they have a specific, approved reason to go out. These are legal orders--not suggestions--that are ultimately upheld by the threat of force.
If things get really bad, we could see the National Guard deployed to enforce curfews and such. And there are other uses of force that are legal in emergency circumstances.
I assume things are similar in Germany and other European countries. The German government could order people to stay home under threat of fines or jail time, even if they haven't done so yet. (I'd be very surprised if this isn't the case.)
Now, I'm not saying the U.S. or Germany is equivalent to China or anything nonsensical like that. I just don't see why people need to keep saying we don't do this or that (e.g., use force) when we clearly do.
I don't have much optimism that people, on the whole, will do the right thing and self-quarantine. Being forced to stay home is probably the only thing that will work.
Which includes things like walking, running, & hiking with people at 6ft distance. Not sure how serious that is.
> These are legal orders--not suggestions--that are ultimately upheld by the threat of force.
They're also not getting enforced AFAIK, so not everyone's taking it seriously. I don't really have reason to think anybody's getting "forced" in the sense of threat-of-force.
This is the official statement, but some newspapers seem to have more details: https://www.polizei.bayern.de/news/presse/aktuell/index.html...
> The Oak Park order is in effect until April 3, which means local schools will be closed a week longer than the governor has commanded. While the order states that violations can result in a misdemeanor criminal charge, Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb said the goal is not to place people in jail, but rather to use the ordinance to explain the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:I-uzFm... (google cache due to paywall)
But I think anyone can agree that if it becomes a question of, say, millions of people dying unless people stay home for awhile that it would be okay for government to exercise that kind of authority.
Card sharing may account for low percentage of that perhaps.
So I'd trust about 50% of people, perhaps. I guess this number rises, as the effects of the crisis are getting more severe and immediate.
> COVID19CZ's IT Initiative has put together anonymised card payment data at merchants. They show that people do not comply with the mandated quarantine, but also that many Czechs are still in risk areas.
Those arriving from Italy are going to quarantine for two weeks, the government announced on Friday 6 March. The measure began to apply from Saturday. That person was supposed to report on the phone to his general practitioner, who decided on quarantine on Monday. If returning Czechs have taken this step, it is not clear, but their payment data shows that 46 percent of people quarantined at least once in the first week in the first week.
“We can look at the number of people who paid with a card for one week in Italy and the next one in the Czech Republic. It can be seen from payment transactions that such people often went somewhere in the Czech Republic and bought something, ”says Petr Bednařík from DataSentics, who is part of the initiative of several Czech technology companies and IT enthusiasts COVID19CZ. It focuses on helping to combat a new type of coronavirus pandemic.
His analytical group, consisting of DataSentics and Keboola, works with leading Czech financial institutions. The analysis of Czech payment card activities abroad was based on Dateio data.
Wait until you will (chance of avoiding it I think is really small)
Except it's been shown time and time again that people can't be trusted to do the right thing.
There are many other good examples, like driving, over-the-counter medications, and firearms, for example. The fact that 56,000 people each year in the US end up in an ER because of acetaminophen overdose is not a good reason to ban Tylenol from being sold.
The argument is that those who do cause issues cause them in a disproportionate manner that it makes total sense to ban it outright. It is 100% the logical thing to do.
The Tylenol argument doesn't make sense because it is a medicine that can have good come out of it. Alcohol is dangerous, and it mainly exists for companies to profit hugely from it (it's sufficient to watch the lewd ads around alcohol to know what's going on).
I think you will find that human manufacture and consumption of alcohol predates the idea of companies. You seem to be letting your personal biases about it affect your beliefs, for example:
> It is 100% the logical thing to do.
This is not some logical, objective fact, but is actually your opinion. It's fine to have the opinion that it should be banned; to present it as "the logical thing" is another.
No one ever came to test them, after multiple pleas. The two weeks ran out some time ago.
The test is a simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR), however, the number of PCRs that some labs have to perform has increased by an order of magnitude. The utilization of the required machines and the number of qualified lab scientists are now bottlenecks. This is why tests results often take a couple of days now.
We should see faster lab results in the coming weeks as labs are equipped with more machines and staff is retrained. However, this is also of course dependent on the increase of tests.
So most results we see today are about ~9-10 days old if we combine that with “when did first symptoms appear?” survey in the Chinese study (results were often 5-10 days before visiting the hospital when the tests are first initiated). Then on top of that some people take up to 5 days to show the first symptom.
So any data you see today could easily be 2 weeks old. 1 week would be an ideal target in the short term, depending on where your goalposts are...
* "everyone" being a large enough population in the world where heard immunity is achieved, probably something around 90%
Global numbers are so tough to compare with different countries testing differently, reporting differently, and of course demographic differences.
- assume it was coronavirus, test the remaining 20 people - cost: 20 tests
- or, test the dead person, then only test the remaining 20 people if that test comes back positive - cost: 1 test or 21 tests, expected cost 1 + 20 * % chance the person was infected tests.
Unless you believe there's a 95% chance they were infected, the tests are better spent elsewhere.
(This assumes you are also going to isolate them until the results are in regardless, which has further cost and dangers especially in high-risk groups. And that you are either already testing or not testing anyone outside the living group possibly exposed. Public health is a wicked problem.)
2. Bigger death numbers allow medical professionals to go to their government, and demand for more stringent quarantine measures.
I just found it weird that people seem to be focusing on all sorts of factors like family structure, median income, winter holidays, Fasching/Karneval celebrations etc (which of course also play a role) while completely ignoring that higher population density facilitates the spread of a novel virus.
Physical distance is a major determinant, as people naturally in times of crisis tend to stick together or even visit their parents more often.
Before people downvote me for being kooky conspiracy theory, read:
It's not a bug, its a feature.
Seriously, the very idea of democracy is to only have laws accepted by the people.
So if there is no acceptance, there should be no law. Unless it is accepted to have emergency authorian rule, like in this case.
It does matter what the people like and not. The problem in this case is just, that most people do not at all understand the implications of breaking encryption. Actually most barley know what encryption is at all. Thats why there is no outrage.
There's plenty of laws that your average person agrees with because they want everyone else to follow them: pay your taxes, follow the speed limit, don't be loud after 10 PM, and clean up your dogs poop. But at the same time, they have no problem making exceptions for themselves.
So whether or not any individual follows a certain rule is not indicative of their support of the rule, and a lot of people breaking a certain rule doesn't make it nondemocratic.
Post socialist seem to understand what a national emergency is and when it's on, you shut up and do as told. I'm a Hungarian, living in England; the brits have no grasp on this scenario. Somewhere deep down it feels like we needed this pandemic to:
a, undestand one's "rights" doesn't always apply
b, to realize we're living in the golden years* - it's cushioned, comfortable, wonderful, and that we should cherish it and value it.
* Iron Maiden - Wasted Years
It's not an excuse to lose rights outside the confines of the emergency.
It might be true post-Russian dominated states might still have recent memories on how to obey a central authority (mainly on pain of 'disappearing' into something like a gulag or being executed), it's not a lesson we need to learn thanks.
It's still hard for many of us to take the threat seriously, but that'll change.
It's funny, movies got it wrong, you don't need mass deaths, zombies or giant deadly global disasters to have people accept their rights being suspended and acquiesce to being herded like sheep under strict authoritarian rules under threat of monetary punishment or even incarnation....you just need to make them scared of being sick...
I can definitely tell you that up to around a week ago, there was a certain anarchy, that is people carelessly meeting in crowded places (Italy has a mix of both strongly social behavior, and cultural aversion to rules), but things changed drastically.
Until people is scared, they'll honor the rules (of course, one will always find exceptions); I think that it's not about acceptance, but fear.
If this is true, then while the epidemic is (sadly) going strong, people will do what's necessary in an acceptable manner.
As one of the locked up people in Italy, I don't think it is completely true. The media did quite a nice job at cherry picking the bad apples. But if we go by the number of fines levied for breaking the rules, it's around 45K (figure taken from a day). A drop in the bucket compared to the population that's staying at home.
And it's still not clear why the people were fined: were they breaking intentionally the rules, or were they not in possession of the required documents? (You have to go around with a piece of paper stating wh you're out of your house, and if not found truthful you risk a fine and an arrest).
Therefore, the reference "around a week" that I've made is wrong, considering that March 9th was the lockdown date.
My experience with another country with lockdown is still different - people started to be wary of social gatherings/interactions earlier, however, at this point, the anarchy argument is weaker :-)
That's what I meant by cherry picking. Some were ignoring the requests, but a lot of others did respect them. I was already working from home from a few days before.
However, I live a villagers life. Wuhan is a huge city with much less public space. So I argue, it is not only democratic vs. Non democratic society but also depends on the location dramatically.
But i think you are right: The infection risk out in the countryside must be magnitudes smaller than in any major city (so long as mass-events are banned).
Non-compliance will increase the longer it goes on, I suspect. There's a reason isolation is used as punishment/torture in prisons.
As soon as it will start getting nice outside, I don't believe you will be able to detain people for long.
Those are two different things! Most people think they are the same, but they are not.
Nonetheless,thats why i wrote, soon or later we accept the dead people as part of doing "business"
The cold truth -- if the bodies that keep stacking up are nearly all 80+ years old, as it seems to be now, then people of working age aren't going to tolerate a forced quarantine all that long. If gov't tries to force the issue, they may only succeed in demonstrating the limits of gov't power.
Rules can be enforced even in western democracies.
Most people would agree that most traffic regulations makes sense in general. Not just necessary in that specific situation. Like "yes speed limits make sense but in this street it should be 20km/h higher then it is". "Yes speeding cameras make sense when used at places where speeding is quite dangerous. But do they need to use them here where it's not really dangerous just to earn more money with fines" etc.
Still you can enforce regulations the _population_ doesn't like, but it's really hard to do so effectively for more then just a short amount of time.
I can't imagine this is true. Not many drivers overtly claim to support rules against speeding, but I expect most people would not campaign to remove them because it's not hard to imagine potential problems in their absence.
Just saw this paragraph in the article "The politics of pandemics" in The Economist: "To see what is to come look to Lombardy, the affluent Italian region at the heart of the covid-19 outbreak in Europe. Its hospitals provide world-class health care. Until last week they thought they would cope with the disease -- then waves of people began turning up with pneumonia. Having run out of ventilators and oxygen, exhausted staff at some hospitals are being forced to leave untreated patients to die". So, this article is telling people that Italians thought that they were so good that exponential contagion was no big deal?
An honest question: isn't what the Europeans have been doing a classical example for the quote "Weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is"?
In the US, there is a severe shortage of masks. Even hospitals are struggling to get enough masks for health-care workers.
The passive voice is doing a lot of work here with only one anecdote cited.
If it reduces transmission by 20%, that would be a fantastic win due to reduction in exponential growth.
So "I don't have a mask" is really no argument, as long as you have at least one piece of clothing on you, you can wrap it around your mount & nose. There, you have a mask.
The only reason I was able to get one is because I know people who live in China and already had boxes of them before COVID-19.
Judging from my own personal feelings I think you're kinda answering your first question with your second one. Being one of the few people wearing a mask in public signals that you think everyone around you might be contagious. People worry that they might be seen as rude.
I'm not saying this is a logical behavior, and things might be different in the current situation if masks were in wide supply.
Personally I'm not wearing a mask yet as I am strict about only going outside for exercise and essential shopping, I am staying very mindful about keeping distance (which I think many people are being lax about), and I don't own reusable masks yet. I have ordered cotton reusable masks though and plan to buy additional ones (from a friend who is starting the process of sewing them - taking nothing from medical personnel) so I can change to keep them effective as needed. And then when (probably not if, I speculate) I need to go out more before this pandemic is over, I plan to wear them in public. Both to avoid spreading to others if I am an asymptomatic carrier and to do my very tiny part in normalizing mask wearing in this case. My thinking has gone from buying into to the current conventional wisdom in the west not to wear them to believing that they are a relatively low cost way to slow both this and possible future epidemics.
I don't know if this is the reason, but they're not exactly comfortable to breathe through.
Nor have they explained how we are going to a handle a situation where ~5-20% of the under-65 people who will catch it all at once will require hospitalization.
Hospitals in affected areas are currently overwhelmed, with people under 65 alone. Italy has stopped treating people under 60. And this is when the vast majority of people under-65 are not infected!
Somehow, I doubt their situation would improve if people over 65 stopped getting sick, while people under 65 started getting sick at 4x or 5x the rate.
It only really works if you act decisively and can infect enough of the population before the virus really gets started in your area. I would sign up for that, provided I didn't just father a child, if only to get it over with.
Isn't our current approach of social distancing also vulnerable to mutated strains? Except, of course, we keep social distancing forever. Possible mutations affect all strategies in the same way and can't be used as an argument against a strategy.
For this to have not been the case it would have been a very novel strain of covid indeed.
Yes, social distancing is good, and yes we need to flatten the curve, but there are other possibilities, too? Protecting people above 65 (i.e., retired) and with medical conditions would have been easier. Now there is fear everywhere. Still, I hear from a lot of people that they indeed show (mild) symptoms, but are not tested - even upon request. How can that work?
I was riding the subway here in Munich last Friday. Quite empty - still very dirty. No where anyone with sanitizing spray or anything.
You also can't just protect people above 65 and let the virus spread amongst young people. Have a look at the Imperial College study published a few days ago, where they modeled the effect of different interventions in the UK and US. Even if you could perfectly isolate all old people (and ignoring the mental health cost of that) the young people needing medical attention would still vastly overwhelm the health system.
And I agree that widespread testing would be great, but there are simply only so many tests you can do with the resources available. It's easy to say "you should test everyone" but nobody ever has an answer for how.
I am willing to stipulate that this is correct.
However, I feel that we've slowly developed (over the past few decades) an underlying assumption that "flu-like symptoms" automatically warrant a trip to the hospital.
During normal times, if you went to an emergency room in rich, well-educated American cities, you would see many, many rich, well-educated people who had taken their children to the ER (or urgent care center) for flu-like symptoms and had asked for and been given antibiotics, wastefully, for a condition caused by a virus.
This was, of course, irksome and disappointing, but now it is a matter of tremendous import for public health: what would our options look like if we did not assume every person exhibiting flu-like symptoms needed medical services ?
What would our options look like if people understood that there is no such thing as cold "medicine" or flu "medicine" and that the doctor can do nothing for your not-critically-sick child other than prescribe rest and good nutrition ?
Instead, we desire to be consumers of health-care because it is a modern imperative.
I believe these were wrong-headed attitudes and we are now paying the price for them.
This is not about people's attitudes towards healthcare, this is about thousands and soon millions of people suddenly requiring emergency medical treatment, way beyond what the health system can cope with.
I'd be interested to see the stats on this. I also hear that the success rate for patients who have to be ventilated for COVID19 is pretty low. Given that the vast majority of deaths are 70+, one of these statements isn't correct. Either ventilation is pretty successful after all, or many young and healthy patients who are hospitalized for COVID19 are not vented.
No. As of this writing, on March 22, no hospitals in California are, as yet, overwhelmed.
I am saying that we are taking steps to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed, with the assumption that anyone with flu-like symptoms will be utilizing professional medical care.
If, instead, we assumed that only critical cases (as you say, those needing, for instance, ventilation) need to avail themselves of medical care, then the potential for overwhelm drops significantly.
"This is not about people's attitudes towards healthcare ..."
I think it is. We set a symptomatic bar, above which we seek professional care and consume medical resources. In 2020 America, I think that bar is too low.
And of course the case everybody should know about:
The example of the hero doctor frankly stands out as an outlier. We aren't actually sure he was healthy, and even if we were, what we know is he was exposed to a high viral load very rapidly. Beyond that he was under tremendous stress from being a front line worker, meaning he might have been exposed to multiple infections and under stress from an authoritarian government trying to silence him with questionable means. Stress has a very real effect on our immune systems that has been empirically shown to make it very challenging for the body to recover from infections.
I want us to be incredibly careful about how we share information and our interpretations of it. I have yet to see anything that clearly indicates that young people age 20-44 are at a high risk if they are HEALTHY. Healthy here means not currently battling any other severe infections, and in a general state of good health. The percentage within this demographic is clearly stated as 0.1-0.2% and this includes immunocomprised people.
Please help spread accurate information, as this panic is getting absurd. I was at a grocery store today and people were fighting for supplies that there is not actual shortage of, and being generally rude to each other.
People are losing their livelihoods and our economy is crashing. A recent bloomberg article is stating that we should expect a 30% unemployment rate. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-22/fed-s-bul...
This would be a devastating outcome which will be substantially worse than this virus has been, especially in a country like the USA with no universal health care and no clear indication that will ever happen. Have you ever tried being poor in the US? It's not fun or easy.
Unfortunately our leadership is not equipped to handle this correctly. Corrupt congresspeople are profiting off of this. The sitting president is showing signs of mental instability. The alternative probably isn't much better. Beyond that, sentiment on social media now seems to have people favoring authoritarian measures enacted to force people to stay home.
This virus is serious, but our reaction to it is much more serious. We cannot sustain this type of quarantine for the long run. We may end up finding ourselves under authoritarian rule that won't disappear anytime soon.
The only solutions we have are that we accept this virus as a real part of life, we attempt herd immunity through a more targeted type of quarantine, or we wait for the miracle of a vaccine to be developed. Referring back to the statnews article, they come to a similar conclusion and say that the demographics of a country should dictate the measures taken to prevent the most at risk populations from contracting this virus.
That's not what I responded to. This is:
> I haven't seen any young and HEALTHY folks needing ICU care.
The linked articles says "up to one-fifth of infected people ages 20-44 have been hospitalized, including 2%-4% who required treatment in an intensive care unit."
Unless you wish to claim that 1/5 people ages 20-44 are not HEALTHY (your capitalization, maybe there is some intended meaning I'm missing there), you have now seen what you were asking for.
> That being said there is a 0.1-0.2% risk for people within the age range of 20-44.
Let's go with the lower number, 0.1%, and see what that implies. In 2018, there were about 109 million people aged 20 to 44 in the US ; 0.1% of that is 109000, more than all ICU beds in the US . And that's just counting those who would die if given intensive care. If we go with 2% of the same age group needing ICU treatment (again, the lower end of the quoted range, 2-4%), that's 2.2 million people.
With only 100000 ICU beds available, that means 2.1 million people aged 20-44 die, even if we deny everybody else intensive care.
And before you downvote this comment... consider all the “exponential growth” you see on those stat counters could correlate to number of tests administered.
That's just a little tidbit on people who don't even show any symptoms. Then there's many people hospitalised who're literally in a state of feeling like they can't breath for weeks, it's absolutely agonising. If you want more, just look up the pictures of coffins laid out in Italy and the military trucks transporting out dead bodies. These aren't hoax images or videos (although some do circulate). I don't see how the comparison to flu is apt.
If you want something prescribed the local urgent care center is a much quicker and much cheaper option. For children you can also generally get same day appointments at most pediatric clinics.
It would require a pretty severe case to justify a trip to the ER.
I don't think the desire for a cure is unreasonable on the part of patients though, but it's the job of public health and experts to temper those expectations. By now any doctor prescribing antibiotics for a virus or to placate a patient should be facing professional sanctions.
I am in mainland China (outside Hubei) where we had about 4 weeks of strict lockdown and then 4 weeks of shops slowly reopening but still fences and checkpoints and restrictions on where people are allowed to go... It's been devastating to my mental health, and that of many others. The schools still aren't open and parents are on their last thread.
If there is a strategy for getting on top of this outbreak where less people have to go through the stress of lockdown, I think that would be worth investigating.
The assumption regarding the health system is based on the official number, which is way too low. The official number right now is ~25k cases in Germany. The real number may be closer to 250k cases. Most people get mild or no symptoms at all. Also of these 25k cases - most people do not require intensive medical care. Yes, the deaths are tragic, but influenza death count is above 2k this year alone. In comparison each year we have 33k kills caused by superbugs in Europe. Do we act here (in some countries there are active measurements - not so in Germany)? So while flatten the curve is definitely important its all about the balance here. And I think the balance is way off ...
Yes, I am aware that Germany has only 25k breathing machines (80% already taken) and would not be equipped for a full outburst - but that would not happen with general sanity, too (e.g., basic hygienic measures). For instance, in South Korea (sorry to use this example again) every citizen gets 2 facial masks per week. I know that these masks are not for your protection, but for protecting others - but that's exactly it. If everyone wears them (by order of the government) then the infection risk is drastically reduced.
Again I don't want to claim all would be good, but claiming that now everything is good is certainly wrong, too. Without basic testing and other essential measures the spread will continue. If you need some evidence here then look at Italy. First country to act with such strong restrictions, still right now the one that has the most problems.
You compare death numbers from the flu to COVID.
COVID is a pandemic that is in its exponential growth phase, with zero existing immunity and no existing treatment. The flu is a well-known, well-studied disease for which we have a vaccine, to which many people will have some level of immunity and for which we actually have a treatment. The flu is also at the end of the season right now. COVID is only getting started.
Even if we instituted perfect social distancing and prevented all further spread we can expect COVID deaths to double every few days for the next few weeks because of the incubation period. I am willing to bet good money that the 2k influenza deaths this year will dwindle in comparison to the number of COVID deaths when everything is said and done.
I would suspect that as long as people don't sneeze/cough without a tissue they are not actually spreading that much copies of the virus on surfaces. And similarly I would also expect that if you wash your hands before eating or touching your face, you are not that likely to get infected even if you had touched a surface with viral particles on it.
But of course I have no evidence for any of this since the studies have clearly not been done yet.
Why would you test everyone with mild symptoms? 90% or more of those people are going to have the flu or a common cold. And they’d use a test that can be used on someone where it makes a difference: someone admitted to hospital, or someone working at a hospital.
Everyone else with symptoms can just act as if it is covid and isolate for 14 days.
When you have exponential growing, testing capability can never keep up.
You test someone who has symptoms. The test returns negative. What do you tell them to do, given that you know the false negative rate?
This doctor says it better than me.
The 80% of the time it returns positive, you tell the epidemiologist, and they prevent a few further infections by investigating close personal contacts.
If you could test everyone with symptoms (or everyone full stop) then go for it. That’s not possible though.
With less foot-dragging it can be. Germany tests 20,000 people a day, Korea tests 15,000 a day, the US (4-6x more populous) only test a few thousand...
Testing does not halt the virus. A test is just an indicator to see if you have it or not. Even if you could test for Corona as easily as you can for drunk driving, it'd still do us no good if you don't actually take some concrete steps to halt the virus.
If you have mild symptoms, you don't need a test. You need to stay the fuck home. No symptoms? Avoid going out if you don't need to.
20000 per week seems to be an absurdly low number to me.
> Less than 3% results were positive.
Given high number of VIPs that are already infected (members of the parliament, professional soccer, actors), I suspect that 0.5% to 1% of the population is already infected.
Edit to add numbers: The German parliament of size 709 had 4 member already infected last weekend. On March 19 we were at 6.
Haven't heard really anyone talking about disposable gloves, so I'm not exactly surprised that people are not wearing them.
I was saying the same thing as you two weeks ago (even in HN comments). Now I'm confined and can't leave my home without risking a fine. There may not be sufficient scientific evidence yet, but I'm starting to believe that we wouldn't be in this situation if everybody started to wear a mask in public places at the very start of the epidemics.
Even when you only think you are infected or there is a good chance => wear a mask
1. Heaps of people have the virus without showing symptoms
2. No-one wants to be treated like a leper, so everyone needs to wear masks. If only the sick wear them, then self-deception and avoiding social opprobrium will cause people to avoid wearing masks, and the selfish will not wear masks
3. If home-made masks help even 20%, that would make a massive difference to infection rates over time due to exponential growth (think compounding interest).
4. Everyone in smart Asian countries wears them for a reason.
5. There is a reasonable chance that the reason Japan has low infection rates is due to masks. Everyone should be jumping on whatever actions that have a percentage chance of working (so long as they don’t carry significant risk).
They are using many overlapping layers of solutions to contain the virus.
Everyone using masks is surely a great help in reducing the R0, but it is the breadth of multiple solutions that is protecting Taiwan so far.
The sad truth is that we're low on reagents to test if people are infected. If the general advise is to stay home and self-isolate anyways, then we can stretch the supply for healthcare workers (nurses, doctors,...).
I might be wrong but I think this is the reasoning to prioritize and ration testing for certain critical people in the health supply chain of things.
edit: "low on reagents" was meant relative. I just wanted to convey we need to be smart how we use this limited supply.
In Sweden, I see more people on the street now than before the pandemic was announced, although I definitely see a downtrend in Restaurants. People are not staying inside, and I lament this. Failure to prevent the spread of this virus will only lead to harsher regulations and a lengthening of the quarantine period. But it seems like for a certain part of the population legal force is actually necessary.
I can only assume that this is driven from "individualist" mentalities that often come with delusions of being above rules or communal responsibility.
If that's the case then if Sweden can't follow such simple rules then I have no hope for the UK and even less hope for the USA.
: (Sorry about daily mail) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8133303/Pubs-packed...
People need to take responsibility of course, but they also need to protect their physical and mental well being, and being outside contributes to that. Covid-19 isn't the only challenge people face. What I mean is, you can't just let it become a Pyhrric victory.
Lots of discussion here on mask wearing, which I think is great and would help slow spread of this (reusable ones for those who aren't health professionals). Not a lot of discussion that I've seen on how to improve health and function of the immune system, which might not stop spread but could certainly improve the percentage of those who don't get critically ill. I'm talking mainstream advice like getting rest, exercise, eating nutritious food, not smoking. I've also seen a reputable study that states that vitamin d supplements can lower odds of getting respiratory infections. So a low cost way of improving odds. I'm glad I take vitamin d already.
Video here: https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/fn3p40/brazil_using_...
> But it seems like for a certain part of the population legal force is actually necessary.
Still, a few think that all this wouldn't apply to them. Or think this is the problem of the risk groups, who should stay at home while all others act as if nothing happened. Just had that discussion with a friend, who wanted to host a game night and used that very "argument". Well, egoism rules supreme :(
Thanks to people like these, some of our basic rights now have to be suspended.
This makes a huge difference. Though I am seeing a non-negligible portion of the population believing they could just act as if nothing happened. I know it sucks, but not meeting people for a while isn't the end of the world. And it would be easily possible without any laws, giving law- & policy-makers time to gather data and make a better, well-informed decision. I see this (voluntary, not-enforced-via-the-law-like-this-lockdown) as my democratic responsibility.
Edit: I see two interpretations for this lockdown: 1. "Shit, this is out of control and oh god, plenty of our people will die". (as a side note, the parties in power tend to be strong with the elderly; though I believe this isn't a major factor for this decision) 2. "Oh, what a nice chance to fk democracy and get more power".
I'm tending to the 1., as long as the measures are not enacted for too long. Problem is: Relaxing too early will be bad for the people, relaxing to late will bad for getting re-elected. So I'm very happy right now I didn't enter politics.
Also, the government can't just ramp up mask production. You need raw materials for that, factories, a supply chain. You need to make sure the masks are safe to various standards, else - even if you're the government - you're in a huge legal mess. Oh, and train people for all that. Germany isn't strictly free market economy, but it's not too far away from that ("social market economy"). And under that system, the state isn't meant to spontaneously interfere massively with markets by becoming a producer. So if they did, that would open just another pandoras box. Yes, we have food and other critical supplies, but masks and other medical equipment is a wholly different league.
The "ruleset" is too complex, there is no obviously best decision right now :(
For those of us old enough to remember 9/11 - we should remember that everyone wanted their rights and liberties to be removed because they were hurting. They applauded authoritarian measures then, just as we are now. And it did save lives (at the expense of brown ones).
The outrage revealed by Snowden and Assange happened years and years after everyone was happy to have sign away their basic rights to have some control over the crisis.
I am glad that the client I currently work for closed all offices and sent all people to ull remote work two weeks ago.
I guess they will escalate over time and fine only those people breaking the rules multiple times.
§ 73 provides for fines up to 2500 Euros or 25000 Euros, § 74 provides for up to five years imprisonment, § 75 provides for up to two years imprisonment.
edit: Ah, yeah that might well apply. Would be an upper bound though.
Aside, members of Parlament are similar protected like journalists.