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Everything posted by Paxter

  1. I think this goes without saying. As an obvious example, we have nothing more than an estimate of how many people have died from HIV/AIDS (one of the great pandemics of recent decades). The margin of error is in the millions.
  2. Sure, but those measures were (perhaps, it's too early to judge) justified given their circumstances and possible based on the form of government. Does NZ need to do the same (with around 300 infections and 0 dead)? Countries need to sensibly learn appropriate lessons, not adopt Chinese responses wholesale.
  3. Ha yes, was possibly the wrong choice of words given that ends are not always justified by means. But the numbers (if you believe them) are pretty astounding. And the evidence that the economy is kicking back into gear must lend them some credibility.
  4. Iran is clearly the biggest offender in this regard.
  5. I'm not sure you can paint all jurisdictions with the same brush. Some are clearly learning appropriate lessons from China, others certainly less so.
  6. Yeah, the fatalities / day in Italy were reasonably static this week at around 600-700 / day. I'm guessing the latest jump in numbers is due to a spike in deaths in central/southern regions rather than the previous Lombardia/Veneto epicentre. (No data to back that up though). The other possibility (again, no data) is that some previous deaths in the epicentre are being re-classified as COVID deaths. There seemed to be some severe under-attribution of deaths in some northern towns. The longer this continues, the more we are seeing how heroic China's containment efforts were. To have less deaths overall than Italy is having in a week, in a country many times the size...
  7. How do you know they aren't a couple? It's pretty hard to socially distance from someone you are sharing a bed with. ETA: Larry stole my thunder!
  8. Is anyone prepared to call a peak yet in terms of fatalities/day in Italy? The national lockdown is about 2.5 weeks old now, so in theory we should see the number of new cases fall quite steeply.
  9. Just on the economic response, there seems to be some consensus emerging from the G20 that direct support to business is the way to go, alongside measures to support citizens directly. The chances of a V-shaped recovery are much slimmer if permanent economic damage occurs (e.g. business insolvencies, evictions from or foreclosures on commercial property, broken supply chains).
  10. Not the biggest story to come out of this crisis by any means...but WA's beloved Rottnest Island is about to be used once again for internment (this time as a quarantine station for cruise passengers). The last time this happened was WWII, when it was used to detain suspected enemy aliens (Italians).
  11. For sure Canada has some inherent weaknesses (winter only just ended, land border with the US, unfortunate timing with Spring Break returns). But Canada locked down sooner and more comprehensively than Australia. Aus is basically operating on the premise that community transmission is/has been low. If that assumption proves wrong, then Aus could see a dramatic uptick in cases in the nearish future.
  12. Countries with experience in managing pandemics do seem to have the upper hand though. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are all reporting a lower absolute number of infections than Australia, despite closer proximity to the original epicentre. One wild card that seems to have upset the public health response in Australia in the last week or so is arriving cruise ships.
  13. All done with Flaubert's Madame Bovary. This was a great read, seemingly way ahead of its time in focusing on the everyday travails of a woman wanting so much more from life than it can give. I finished the novel feeling depleted; as much as it was a fun read with no shortage of comic relief, Flaubert certainly didn't have the most rosy view of the civilised/human world. I was lucky to stumble on Lydia Davis' translation, and would recommend it to anyone interested. Now resuming my slog...Stone of Farewell.
  14. MG was as well attended as ever AFAIK. On a sample size of 1: I was there this year and haven't gotten sick in the nearly four weeks since :P.
  15. Yeah the modelling I’ve seen suggests that the lockdown has to last months rather than weeks - otherwise you achieve only delay. ETA: Also, finally, the NRL season has been suspended. What a farce that was.
  16. Sanity prevailed with the AFL. The NRL is taking a “fuck it” approach.
  17. Serves me right for posting late at night...you’re right that it wasn’t a matter of “could”. Again, it seems that the Govt is doing a better job of responding economically than health-wise. The stimulus package is good, but the shutdown seems (at least from afar) chaotic and unnecessarily late.
  18. I think K is assuming that you weren’t able to close down borders early enough to avoid community transmission. Which is indeed the case in Australia as I understand it.
  19. Looks like Bondi and social distancing don’t mix...
  20. Personally I’m not convinced that the Australian border closure happened anywhere near early enough to create a clear advantage vis a vis northern hemisphere countries. And Australians are still returning home now in large numbers (the latest being a cruise ship). Plus Australia is now lagging the world on social distancing by keeping businesses trading.
  21. Yeah I think we are still weeks away from being able to tell whether the public health impact is going to be similar or different across these two (reasonably) similar countries.
  22. Just to build on something I said earlier...I actually think now that Australia has got their overall response quite wrong. The Government has taken the middle road between two extremes and I think they have erred too far towards #2. Shutting the country down as early as possible, causing massive economic pain, but giving the health care system the best possible chance of coping. If after a month or so things are under control, then you could at this point start to relax certain policy settings (while monitoring the transmission rate very carefully!) Keep things open as much as possible, mitigating the economic pain, but effectively playing Russian Roulette with people's lives and risking an Italy (or worse)-style situation.
  23. Qantas has now grounded its entire international fleet. I basically just have to hope that my family stays healthy now - it’s going to be tough to get back to Perth in the next couple of months, even in a life or death scenario.
  24. An annoying minor thing - but why are we still playing footy? I know that sport is important to us...but putting $ ahead of player safety is not the way to go. There is a good reason most other codes around the world have suspended play.
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