Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Clay
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Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Clay » Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:50 pm

So, what are people's impressions in here?

In the US, I see people both under and over react.

Most problematically, the people that are under reacting are doing so based on the idea that the virus is a media hoax created to discredit Trump (somehow?), notwithstanding that at this moment Trump's on the tv declaring it a national emergency. Or they're dismissive because they think that coronavirus and covid-19 are interchangeable. Or some other mentally deranged reason.

I worry that, when it's all over, containment efforts will have sufficiently slowed the spread to the point that it's manageable and/or a treatment is developed, which will cause all the more people to completely dismiss the entire threat. And as I think of all the elderly people and people with fragile health that I know, I find myself that much more agitated.

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Denyer
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Denyer » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:56 pm

It's a shame it won't largely be the ****ing idiots culled.

For most of us in decent health the optimal strategy is probably infect and get antibodies, but there isn't a safe way of doing that for anyone in a vulnerable category until effective vaccines can be developed. Until that point's reached, interaction for them with anything outside of a controlled environment remains unsafe.

Keeping more of a distance from folks, personally. They're not really social / probably have sense to do things at non-peak times. Hopefully that'll be enough.

There's a chance this will become ongoing or cyclical. Either way long-distance travel is likely to shrink, with border closures becoming more common, insurance excluding disruption, people being less likely to chance unfavourable outcomes, and xenophobia increasing. Anything on thin margins (travel companies, events, venues) is going to get bought, bailed out or go bust.

Covid-19 is analogous to H1N1, which accounts for swine/avian/Spanish flu and the last of which killed anything up to 100 million people in three months. Population densities have only increased since then -- the only plus is that this strain of virus doesn't agressively attack and subvert healthy immune systems.

edit: All of these "sudden" advancements in remote working, class/exam taking etc aren't going to go back in the bottle easily when they stop being needed by more people, so some things may improve for those with specific needs.

Bit much to hope for that high-density open plan environments are dismantled as the hellholes they are, though.

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Warcry
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Warcry » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:34 am

What I'm experiencing is a strange mix of over- and -underreaction. You have people nonsensically hoarding toilet paper or pointlessly wearing facemasks everywhere, but the parking lots for all the restaurants and malls I went past on the way home today were all packed with cars. It's like most folks are livig in two totally different worlds.

The government hasn't helped matters either. Lots of mixed messages coming from them... "Oh, there's no need to panic and we won't order public assemblies, flights or cruises cancelled...but 70% of you will catch this, you should have weeks and weeks of supplies on hand at home and Parliament is closed because the Prime Minister is infected."

(The last bit is actually great news because when Trudeau doesn't die it'll probably help to calm some of the panic...)

I'm not worried much for myself, since I'm young and healthy. Doesn't sound like it's any rougher than a cold on most children either, so my son is probably safe. But all those 70- and 80-something aunts and uncles I have? I'm definitely worried about them!
Denyer wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:56 pm
It's a shame it won't largely be the ****ing idiots culled.
Well, Trump DOES continue to have rallies after having shaken hands with multiple people exposed to the virus (and at least one confirmed case). And his supporters do skew to the ridiculously old... :glance:
Denyer wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:56 pm
edit: All of these "sudden" advancements in remote working, class/exam taking etc aren't going to go back in the bottle easily when they stop being needed by more people, so some things may improve for those with specific needs.

Bit much to hope for that high-density open plan environments are dismantled as the hellholes they are, though.
The company I work for has gone from "We don't believe in remote work" to "ZOMG everyone try tonight to connect to our VPN from home or else!" inside of six days. That was pretty damned amusing, or would have been if the situation wasn't so macabre. I doubt we'll really need it, but it's good to see they're at least taking the issue seriously and preparing for the worst. Employers that don't are going to be screwed.

(I do find that working remotely is INCREDIBLY unproductive, though. I doubt I'd do too much of it even if it was a regular option going forward.)

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Denyer
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Denyer » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:02 am

Warcry wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:34 am
Well, Trump DOES continue to have rallies after having shaken hands with multiple people exposed to the virus (and at least one confirmed case). And his supporters do skew to the ridiculously old... :glance:
Yeah, I'd assume he's already been confirmed infected, and will either disappear for a while or be broadcasting-only. Likelihood of someone in his immediate circle being confirmed and/or seriously ill.

UK seems to be on a fast track to suspend civil liberties, but doesn't have enough either police or armed forces to do anything consistently.
Warcry wrote:I do find that working remotely is INCREDIBLY unproductive, though.
Depends on task, personally. Interruptions account for a significant part of office time. I'd consider it a weak argument that in-person meetings are actually necessary for our job, for instance -- you might not get all of the insight, and things will take longer, but email/phone/webcam and messaging plus screen sharing would cover it 100% IMO if people didn't have Luddite tendencies. And I hate instant messaging, but that doesn't mean being unable to use it.

I suspect people may start pushing back against meetings, and go over certain people's heads to refuse them.

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Unicron
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Unicron » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:41 am

Denyer wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:02 am
Warcry wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:34 am
Well, Trump DOES continue to have rallies after having shaken hands with multiple people exposed to the virus (and at least one confirmed case). And his supporters do skew to the ridiculously old... :glance:
Yeah, I'd assume he's already been confirmed infected, and will either disappear for a while or be broadcasting-only. Likelihood of someone in his immediate circle being confirmed and/or seriously ill.
Thought he looked a bit rough in that speech he gave the other night after the DOW dropped hard, assumed it was just from him ripping his hair out over the state of the market but having learned he's been around people who were exposed...

Not that he'll ever admit it if he did have it, because it would make him look weak. (where's an eyeroll smiley when I need one).
And I agree, he'll definitely do some broadcasted speeches here and there. Probably claim he's isolated himself at the recommendation of someone-or-other because he's too important to risk being exposed or similar BS, and then try to blame Obama for something

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Skyquake87 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:38 pm

I've just got back from doing the big shop and the shelves for toilet roll, pasta and soap are barren (what are people doing with all this toilet roll? making a big toilet roll throne whilst eating soap and washing themselves with pasta (a product of Italy...) ?) and people have moved on to buying all the tinned food they can lay their hands on. It's like 28 Days Later. Or Threads. Or (more accurately) 12 Monkeys.

Personally, I'm feeling quite calm about it all (despite probably being in one of the 'at risk' groups with as I do get asthma … although this is generally triggered by allergies to animal dander and whatnot). I feel the best you can do is just mind your personal hygiene. I get the self-isolating thing, but as with any flu related virus, you're going to get it or you're not. The rolling 24 hours news coverage and none stop chatter of the internet does engender a sense of this being the end of the world, and given those sources ability to whip even minor things up into a massive frenzy is perhaps what's making me take a step back. 55,000 die in the UK from flu each year and we've had 10 deaths from this so far. (all people who were elderly with underlying health issues) That's not to dismiss how virulent this is, and any new disease/ virus where there's no cure is a concern, but it just gives me a bit of perspective on it. So, cautious, but not excitable is how I feel.

Work wise, its' a bit difficult for us as so much of what we do involves being out and about, so there's guidance for all our field guys on keeping safe and anything we need to do where we might need to get in someone's home is being carefully monitored. Some of our office people who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms and have health conditions did get sent home yesterday and some areas are also looking into home working. So I think we're preparing and reacting as best we can on the available information.

I also find myself agreeing with government policy that we don't need to shut every single school and university down and stopping people moving about altogether, as you do need people to mix and build up some herd immunity, but such thinking is just being shrieked at in some quarters as "think of the children!!!", which annoys me.

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Denyer
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Denyer » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:33 pm

I'm inclined to agree more with some of the math here --

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavi ... d3d9cd99ca

-- which is that having failed to contain (like countries that have already had to deal with SARS and other outbreaks, which therefore took things a bit more seriously) the best -- fewest fatalities, ultimately least disruptive -- course of action would be shutdown, which the UK isn't smart/decisive enough to do quickly enough to prevent more than typical annual flu deaths. Essentially the decision is to delay economic damage to an extent in favour of a higher body count, then flap about having done "everything possible" afterwards, which is about what you'd expect from the current administration.

Herd immunity is the ideal principle if you've got effective vaccines available and distributed.

edit: It would appear people better informed and smarter than me reached similar conclusions;

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51892402

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Warcry
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Warcry » Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:56 am

I read that Medium article earlier and it's depressing as hell. It's rare that I read a news article that out-bleaks my own world view but that managed it. Sadly, I can't think of a thing to criticise. Some of the numbers are guesswork but the underlying math makes sense.

The economy is already fucked anyway. The stock markets here have crashed so hard that some of my older friends have been forced to put off their retirement. A lot of my savings were fairly liquid so I'm less screwed than most, but I'm still not in good shape.

The company I work for is hemorrhaging business, since no one wants to do focus groups or in-person interviews right now. And our call center is at high risk of shutdowns, either due to one lowlife going in while sick and getting 25 other people infected, or staff staying home thanks to fear of same. The buyout last year is actually a godsend now, since the majority of our new parent company's business is online.

Oh, and based on my shopping trip this evening people are now hoarding MILK, which is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It goes bad after a week and a half, people! Ironically the shelf-stable and condensed varieties were NOT sold out... And of course, zero toilet paper. Do people think this is going to turn into the apocalypse? And if so wouldn't canned food or ammunition or something for clubbing zombies be a better thing to spend money on than buttwipe? You only need enough supplies to be able to stay home for a couple weeks if you're contagious, folks.

Our government finally put up serious travel restrictions today, and the province announced that schools would be closed for three weeks...starting a week from now. Both restrictions are about two weeks too late to stop an outbreak but hopefully it'll allow some time for the first wave of cases to resolve before the second wave comes on. As morbid as it is, as long as the number of critically ill stays below a critical threshold, not many people are going to die who wouldn't likely have died soon from underlying conditions anyway. It's when the hospitals have more seriously ill patients than ventilators that we really need to worry.

And now I'm the bleak-sounding one again. :(
Denyer wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:02 am
Depends on task, personally. Interruptions account for a significant part of office time. I'd consider it a weak argument that in-person meetings are actually necessary for our job, for instance -- you might not get all of the insight, and things will take longer, but email/phone/webcam and messaging plus screen sharing would cover it 100% IMO if people didn't have Luddite tendencies. And I hate instant messaging, but that doesn't mean being unable to use it.
It's not a matter of meetings, I just have a hard time focusing on work when I'm at home surrounded by snacks, Transformers, kitty cats and Netflix. Also the VPN my previous company had was slow as hell, though the new overlords seem to be able to afford much better.
Denyer wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:02 am
I suspect people may start pushing back against meetings, and go over certain people's heads to refuse them.
This has already happened...one of the ladies in my office flat out refused to go to Edmonton next week for a meeting and forced them to send someone local instead. The fact that she was in the airport at the same time as multiple people who got diagnosed with COVID-19 the next day has rightfully spooked her, I think.

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Skyquake87
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:14 am

I'd read the beeb article, but that Medium one I hadn't. Thanks for that :)

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Denyer
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Denyer » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:36 pm

Warcry wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:56 am
As morbid as it is, as long as the number of critically ill stays below a critical threshold, not many people are going to die who wouldn't likely have died soon from underlying conditions anyway. It's when the hospitals have more seriously ill patients than ventilators that we really need to worry.
Yep. Best advice for anyone in the retirement age bracket is to isolate now, not when the government actually gets around to issuing that advice;

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51895873

There's some truly ****ing stupid/unrealistic advice being put out about staying two metres apart (there aren't many mansion-owners) or avoiding coughing whilst breastfeeding.

edit: Also, https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-c ... ?r=US&IR=T

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:30 pm

I think my favourite has been Boris' helpfully vague advice today, which basically boiled down to 'people should start isolating at some point and don't go to the pub'. Well, cheers.

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Denyer » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:04 pm

Yeah, also intentionally screwing employers out of business insurance by not mandating closures.

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Sades
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Sades » Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:10 am

Well, Alberta is basically slowly shutting down. Schools and daycares are closed until further notice, speculation is that they will be closed until September as the government is saying that all students will get an automatic pass at the end of the year. Public events are cancelled and most public venues are closed/closing. I think it's finally starting to hit that this is going to be very serious for some people. But the amount of "I don't care, it won't affect me" still around is really frustrating.

I'd term myself "cautious", I'm not hoarding but I did buy extra groceries. I'm glad I got out there early, because the city is currently going apeshit over buying everything. I'm glad to see the amount of places that are banning people from reselling, there was a run on children's thermometers and children's Tylenol recently.

The milk thing mystified me, as well. Are they goiing to freeze it? If I had to choose (and I did, ha) I'd go with powdered/shelf stable almond etc over previously frozen anyday.

Don't forget your multivitamins, peeps. I know we're unlikely to get seriously ill but there's still a chance. Get lots of sleep and take care of yourselves.

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Clay
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Clay » Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:17 pm

Sades wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:10 am
But the amount of "I don't care, it won't affect me" still around is really frustrating.
I'm still seeing this everywhere here. And even though Trump himself declared a national state of emergency on Friday, yesterday morning the people I work with were still banging on about how it's a grand liberal conspiracy to make him look bad. Add to them the ones that think a 4% overall fatality rate just ain't no thang for a disease that's highly contagious and has no available treatment, and I'm finding myself more and more agitated.

Even when/if a vaccine is developed (most likely when, not if), it'll be the same people that then refuse to take it, thinking that the whole affair was just some bunch of hokum for the government to trick people into letting them inject their evil chemicals or whatever.

<sigh>

I mean, I'm not in the least worried about contracting it myself as I should be fine. But the number of people I know or am related to that would probably die from it is kind of high. Seeing so many others I interact with be so flippant about is irksome.

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:03 pm

Denyer wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:04 pm
Yeah, also intentionally screwing employers out of business insurance by not mandating closures.
Which I'm pleased to see they've thought about a bit overnight.

Just been checking my emails and it's full of businesses saying they're closing until whenever.

We got told at work today that as we're an essential service, we won't be closing. Those of us who are still able to work have been told to expect to be asked to work flexibly. They've been really good about reassuring everyone over sick pay if they have to self isolate and whatnot.

It seems surreal to see the world slowly grind to a halt.

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Tantrum » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:47 pm

The U. S. Navy facility I work at is a Working Capital Fund. This means we are not funded by the budgets and continuing resolutions that Congress and the President pass. Instead, agencies that are funded by those budgets and CRs give us money to do projects. The good part of this is that we don't have to worry about shutdowns when the budget/CR runs out, as long as we still have money in the accounts for our current projects.

The down side is that when we can't work, we can't spend that money. I asked my union rep what happens if we close for the pandemic, and he said the Captain who runs our facility told him that Navy Policy is to pay us weather and safety leave if the base is closed. There's some money set aside each year for this, which covers snow days/delays and power failures from the occasional hurricane. But, that won't last long enough to cover a pandemic. So, what happens when that money runs out?

Our management has decided to duck this question by getting as many people signed up for telework as they can. The first problem with this, is that many of us really can't work from home. There's machinists and calibration people who need to be in their work areas to access their equipment, and people who work on classified material that can't leave the facility.

Still, they'll approve telework for anyone who asks for it, and suggest that you ask for it if you don't. Apparently, the plan is to bill the project for 40 hours/week each, even if we can't come in. Our project sponsors are going to notice the money being spent, and know that we aren't doing any work at home. I don't know what'll happen if they complain.

The second problem is there's not enough network capability for (nearly) everyone to telework. They had a larger than usual number of people try this weekend, and the system couldn't handle it. This Thursday, they're testing the system even further by having everyone approved to telework do so. They're even telling us to fill out our electronic timesheets for the next four weeks since we may not be able to access them while teleworking. No good will come of this.


Anyway, what songs are you using to time your handwashing? The common recommendation is to sing Happy Birthday twice to time 20 sec. I prefer the chorus to this song (starts at 1:23). Singing it out loud also encourages social distancing. The chorus to that old Busta Rhymes song about having you all in check, but replacing all the "Woo-hah!"s with "Wu-han"s, comes up a couple seconds short.

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Warcry
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Warcry » Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:26 pm

My employer closed all it's offices as of today, so we're all working at home. So far, it's about as effective as you'd expect -- the half-dozen of us who are tech-savvy are fine, while everyone else is running around with their hair on fire, begging our overworked IT (or me) for help.
Denyer wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:36 pm
edit: Also, https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-c ... ?r=US&IR=T
Shitty but not unexpected. Subsequent infections would hopefully be less severe now that your body knows what to do, but since it's a close cousin to the common cold I don't think we'll ever be totally done wih it. It's more likely that it'll gradually become less severe as people develop partial immunities, treatments are developed for acute cases (I've read a lot of hopeful-sounding news out of China and Australia about various drugs going into clinical trials that seem to have helped), and vaccines are given to those who are at-risk.
Clay wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:17 pm
Sades wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:10 am
But the amount of "I don't care, it won't affect me" still around is really frustrating.
I'm still seeing this everywhere here.
I haven't run into any of these personally...or at least not in the last week after the government stopped treating it as an "over there" problem. But I know they're out these because only a couple days ago the mall and restaurant parking lots were packed.
Clay wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:17 pm
And even though Trump himself declared a national state of emergency on Friday, yesterday morning the people I work with were still banging on about how it's a grand liberal conspiracy to make him look bad.
Sadly, conspiracy theories seem to be a common response worldwide. According to our old pal Blackjack, in Asia the general feeling from the ignorant classes is that it's all a grand US conspiracy because Trump wanted to break China. And he's a doctor in a major hospital in a third-world country, so sadly he has to deal with that a lot.

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Heinrad » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:00 pm

Well, where I am is shut down for at least a week and a half, thankfully with pay for that week and a half, but still....

Was it like this during the Spanish Flu?

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:16 pm

You know the UK is fucked when the pubs are shut down.

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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Sades » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:02 am

Not gonna lie, Since I've been laid off and school is closed possibly till the fall, I've been trying to get Hound to quit his job so we can go and hide at my dad's house.

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