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The Anti-Targ

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Everything posted by The Anti-Targ

  1. Yay, I guess. Welcome to my 'hood anyway. But dress warm and dry. July/August is pretty much the worst time of year to visit my fair city. But at least that will help keep you inside most of the time. I'll probably still be living here, if so there'll be a couple of beds available for those who offer the best bribes. Oh, and GRRM will be the toastmaster.
  2. The Anti-Targ

    Will We Stand The Corona Test of Time? - Covid #7

    It's got nothing to do with the healthcare system, the course of the disease has nothing to do with any healthcare system, because the healthcare system is just the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. What influences the course of the epidemic within any country are the "pre-healthcare" actions taken to limit the spread. Social distancing, social isolation etc. We have been lucky (or the govt has been from a PR perspective) that almost all of the people that brought the disease into the country have been returning NZers, and interestingly none of these returning NZers have come from China. Our first couple of cases were people coming back from Iran, then Italy and more lately the USA (before the USA blew up officially) and the UK and other parts of Europe, and one Aussie. We closed out borders pro-actively to China and Korea but only reactively to Iran, Italy and the other risk countries. Being reactive to Iran I can sort of understand, because Iran was engaging in an even worse cover up than China. But the disease had blown up in Italy to an equal extent as China and Korea and we hadn't closed off our border to Italy. But as I said, lucky it's all been returning NZers who brought the disease in with just a couple of exceptions those from "non-ethnic countries"well after the disease had already arrived. So it meant the govt avoided being blamed for not closing borders soon enough (even though they didn't close borders soon enough), and it kept the mouths of racists and xenophobes shut, except in the early days when the racists were out there blaming NZ born and bred people of Chinese ethnicity. This Evangelline Lilly situation is interesting, for only one reason: She said something like people are making too much of a fuss over a "respiratory 'flu". The thing is, yes this is basically a respiratory "'flu" (but in a totally different family of virus so not actually a 'flu at all). What people like her don't understand is that if not for the 'flu vaccine this is the sort of thing that would be happening almost every year, and it's only because we have been vaccinating the most vulnerable people for 'flu for decades that seasonal 'flu isn't having this effect every year (or most years), especially now with the world being so mobile. But even if we were experiencing 'flu infections like this every year, throwing this Coronavirus on top of uncontrolled seasonal 'flu would be throwing petrol onto a bonfire.
  3. The Anti-Targ

    Will We Stand The Corona Test of Time? - Covid #7

    It definitely starts before Christmas, but Feb/March is the peak of the peak. School keeps going here until just before Christmas, so tourists coming here to see family / friends will normally come January when all schools are on summer break so there is a lot of domestic tourism in January. But visitors who want to avoid a bunch of annoying school kids cramping their holiday will wait until Feb when kids are back in school. Cruise ships are mostly doing the rounds in from Feb onwards. But there's always Cruise ship traffic even in winter.
  4. The Anti-Targ

    Will We Stand The Corona Test of Time? - Covid #7

    The one upside to having a lot of confirmed cases is that once all those people with mild illness clear their infection their blood plasma can be used as an anti-serum to treat the critically ill, which will hopefully mean that at some point this year there should be enough blood donations from recovered patients to really drop the death rate and length of stay in hospital for those with severe disease. If you know anyone who's had the disease and is now over it, encourage them to see about getting on an anti-serum donor list. Anti-serum supplies will always only be limited so would need to be reserved for the severest cases, but it will be a useful weapon in the arsenal.
  5. The Anti-Targ

    Will We Stand The Corona Test of Time? - Covid #7

    Kind of just coming to an end. I think Feb and March are probably the biggest tourism months. China is a huge source of tourists for us so the tourism sector has been operating on significantly reduced numbers since January. And of course earlier in March we closed our borders to all non-citizen / permanent resident arrivals so tourism ground to a total halt a few weeks back.
  6. The Anti-Targ

    Will We Stand The Corona Test of Time? - Covid #7

    I see the USA now has the most confirmed cases in the world for an individual country. Italy I imagine is still the leader on a per-capita basis. But USA being #1 in absolute number of cases is not a nice place to be. We were lucky to be behind the curve in terms of spread and put in place strict social isolation measures when our case numbers were in the 1:64,000 range with very limited evidence of community spread. It's a pity most countries in Europe and the USA (and probably Canada and Australia too) were caught a wee bit by surprise and already well into a community spread situation before significant social isolation measures were put in place.
  7. The Anti-Targ

    US Politics: Testing, Testing, T... Te.. Testing

    Just found out that the person infected in my area is a local council staffer so not a daily commuter to Wellington. A relief for me, but there will be a lot of council staff and their families worried right now. Probably a lot fewer people at direct risk, which is good. But bad news none the less that it is in this district now and likely cycling through the community to some extent.
  8. The Anti-Targ

    US Politics: Testing, Testing, T... Te.. Testing

    Excuse my french but FUUUUUCK!!! We've now had our first confirmed case of community spread and it's in my region. We are a satellite commuter community for Wellington with thousands of people commuting by train in to Wellington daily. On Friday (yesterday) they started setting up tents for testing at a local sports ground, which would have been about the time this case would have been tested. That tells me the person is a commuter, and I am also a commuter. So There is a chance I've been exposed. I'm just waiting for the announcement that everyone who used this commuter service over the past 2 weeks needs to come in and get tested. Man, my wife is an at risk person being asthmatic with a tendency for any respiratory infection to go to her chest and sometimes turn into bacterial bronchitis.
  9. The Anti-Targ

    Muh muh muh means tuh testing - Covid #6

    Individual civilisations do collapse, it's true. But globally there has never not been several thriving civilisations, pretty much once agriculture became a thing. Coronavirus isn't an existential threat. Climate change is. Coronavirus might actually have a silver lining in its effect on climate change. A short term crisis could help us to achieve a much greater long term victory. Though if in 2 years or so we go back to BAU with the fossil fuel burning it could be an opportunity lost. Some countries might be functionally wiped out by this, but most countries will get back on an even keel maybe a year or so after a vaccine, or effective antiviral treatment has been developed. The good thing is governments realised that they need to spend their way through this problem to mitigate the worst economic effects. They should have spent their way through the GFC too, but too many countries bought into the austerity BS which made the GFC worse.
  10. The Anti-Targ

    COVID19/4 Keep calm and wash your hands

    I would say it's not unreasonable to still poke a bit of fun. Because it's still based on an extreme belief that govts and civil institutions can't handle this sort of temporary disruption, which is quite wrong. Most of what they are prepping for is highly, highly unlikely to happen in their lifetime, or it's something that even a half competent govt will be able to muddle through with only moderate disruption. The one thing they could be legit prepping for a lot of them don't even believe in: climate change. Everyone should be reasonably disaster prepared: water, food that doesn't need to be cooked to be eaten and can last un-refrigerated, toilet paper I guess, and emergency contact / meet up plan. But there's not much need to go beyond that. Reminds me, I threw out all of our water stash when we moved last month, so I need to get another stash.
  11. The Anti-Targ

    COVID19/4 Keep calm and wash your hands

    Vinegar will be more plentiful, but lemon juice would work to. might be nicer (small wise) to use Vinegar on surfaces and Lemon Juice for hands if hand sanitiser is unavailable. I suppose it would also be less harsh on skin than meths, though is the drying effect of alcohol harsher than the effect of moderate acids? Depending how vulnerable the virus is to acid it could be that even plain carbonated water is sufficiently acidic to kill the virus (pH 3-4). Our case # has gone up to 11. So far all official cases are New Zealand residents who arrived recently from overseas trips, or immediate family members. We also have our first deportation under our mandatory self-isolation for all international arrivals (implemented on Monday NZ time). A backpacker was taken away from a hostel by police because she had no self-isolation plan.
  12. The Anti-Targ

    COVID19/4 Keep calm and wash your hands

    Our govt has just announced a massive economic package aimed at taking most of the sting out of the conomic fallout of this disease. The over all package amounts to 4% of GDP. which if scaled up to the USA equates to $480 Bn in extra spending (for us though it's $12.1 Bn). Nearly half of that money is going to wage support, paying employers up to $580 per week per employee to keep underutilised staff employed. Special sick leave is also going to be available for people needing to do the 14 day self-isolation, which will also apply to contractors (who normally have no leave provisions as contractors). There is also extra money for the health system, a permanent increase to the unemployment benefit, extra money for people on welfare and retirement superannuation to pay for expected higher winter heating bills. Hopefully it will be enough to stop too many business from going belly up. But I'm sure there will still be economic casualties.
  13. The Anti-Targ

    COVID19/4 Keep calm and wash your hands

    I know about that, It's a big part of a subculture, but it's not the practice of vast numbers of people. But those aren't the people being considered here, because they are already doing it. It's the people being told not to come into the office and work from home instead during this pandemic. Those people will mostly work at home. So the transmission pattern won't be influenced by a whole bunch of people suddenly working in cafes.
  14. The Anti-Targ

    COVID19/4 Keep calm and wash your hands

    I think for most people working at home means working at home. Maybe for some people working at home means working in a cafe, but it's not a very good working environment. And if social isolation and self-isolation are the current reasons for closing offices then every worker sent home need to be told to not just go and work in some other crowded, confined space.
  15. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    All international arrivals except from most Pacific Islands have to self-isolate from Sunday. My friend's elderly mother went back to Australia on Friday to sort some step-family crap out and then will move here permanently. She is planning to come back in May, I wonder if this self isolation requirement will still be in place then. If we still don;t have the virus freely circulating by then I imagine we'll keep this restriction on until the rest of the world is fully in recovery mode. Travel bans still in place for China, Korea, Iran and italy. But that is kind of ridiculous now since the whole world has it. We banned China arrivals, but we got the virus first from Iran, and then we banned Iran arrivals, then we got more of the virus from Italy, then we banned Italy arrivals. I guess they might as well keep those bans in place for show, but there's no point in banning the whole world. We're probably at a high chance of an arrival from Australia being the next person to come in with the virus.
  16. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    I wouldn't be sure about scaling up production. You need the staff to be available just to maintain production, so if the staff numbers are down because of the illness production is likely to decrease. In times of strictly overseas crisis there's the ability to scale up production, but when the crisis is domestic it might be harder to do.
  17. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    As I mentioned a few posts back. NZ exports quite a lot of toilet paper to Aus. If that supply gets disrupted (it isn't at the moment) then it will put a squeeze on supply.
  18. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    It wouldn't be. Even though 80% of cases are mild and likely to not need any kind of medical treatment, 12% are serious and 5% are critical. 12% and 5% of a large wave of infections over a short span of time will overwhelm the health service and cause a lot more deaths than would happen if delay tactics are used. If this was a disease that had a 1-2 week incubation period and severe illness only lasted a couple of days then you might be able to cope. But since it takes about as long (possibly longer) to recover from severe illness as it does to incubate it then a backlog of hospital admissions is likely.
  19. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    Let me know how the vet visit goes.
  20. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    My brother owns a cleaning supplies company and is part of a national buyers group, demand for hand sanitiser from clients and walk-ins is massive. They will be receiving a resupply of hand sanitiser in 2 weeks. Phone enquiries have been off the hook, they sold though an entire year's worth of stock in a week. And we only have 5 confirmed cases and no evidence of significant amounts of undiagnosed illness. If you can't find hand sanitiser buy methylated spirits, it'll do the job, albeit be rougher on the skin, so buy moisturiser too. My brother still has stocks of meths and may offer that to desperate clients. Though he can't officially endorse it as a hand sanitiser product because it's not supplied for that purpose. His TP situation is fine though, so I don't think we're going to have a run on TP. Potential bad news for Aussies though, New Zealand actually supplies quite a lot of TP to Aussie. If our production drops because of factory closures (or reduced production) we'll probably keep the stocks for us and reduce or stop exporting to Aus. I don't think that's on the horizon right now, but it could be that stockpiling TP in Aus is not the craziest idea. If a country is somewhat dependent on imports for certain essential consumables then those are the products likely to come under significant supply constraints. I don't entirely disagree with the people who are saying there's too much catastrophising going on. If this isn't approached rationally the cure might be worse than the disease. But I also disagree with the UK position that large crowds aren't really a risk. We have the example of one person spreading the virus to something like 2/3 of the people who attended church in Italy, and that was a gathering of about 100 people. Albeit a crowd of 10,000 is probably not much greater risk to any given individual than a crowd of 100. You can talk about the benefit of people isolating themselves and then say big crowds are a non-issue. If you are going to assume that only healthy people are going to go to events with large crowds you're deluded. And if you are going to say that cancelling large events won't have any effect on the rate of spread, then that's more likely to make people feeling slightly off colour think it's OK to go to events. Cancelling entertainment events is not that big of an economic deal, it's the preemptive disruption of everyday economic activity that could cause economic harm a lot worse than the disease. Govts need to spend their way through this, and there needs to be debt relief for people so that mortgages and business loan debt can still be paid, at the same time making sure banks have liquidity during the period that loan repayments are reduced.
  21. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    China is starting to conduct serology surveys. This is different, and far superior, to the previously mentioned 320K surveillance sampling aimed at 'flu and other diseases. Serology surveys is searching the population for antibodies, so that's people who have been exposed to the virus and either not got the disease or have recovered. This is the kind of survey that will tell us whether China is an iceberg or a Pyramid, because a serology survey will identify (or estimate) the number of people who went undiagnosed.
  22. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    This is a bit of an interesting piece from an article in a NZ paper: No wonder a bunch of Billionaires have bought land here. It's warmer than Iceland and doesn't have wild animals that can kill you, unlike Australia. And in the case of Coronavirus there is already community spread in Australia and if not already in Iceland seems like it might be on the virge of happening So far there does not seem to be any evidence that the disease has gone beyond the 5 cases that have officially been reported. So there is somewhat of a chance that we may dodge this bullet. Though while we may dodge the disease we aren't going to be immune to the economic impact. At least we should not run out of toilet paper, since we produce a shit ton (pardon the pun) of wood pulp and we have a few factories who's raison-d'etre is to pump out toilet paper by the boatload (or should I say buttload). We also produce food to feed 30 million, so we might not be able to import Ben and Jerries or poptarts but we should cope nonetheless. Pharmaceuticals is our weakness in global health crisis. Private medical practices have stopped accepting patients who have 'flu-like symptoms. I do worry if medical facilities close their door to 'flu-like patients that these people won't get tested and thus control of the virus will be lost. So if you are going to keep people out of traditional faciltities to spare the other people who are vulnerable (and the workforce) then alternatives need to be made available so non-severe cases can get tested. You can tell people to self-isolate regardless of being tested, but IMO too many people won't do that unless they have a positive test.
  23. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    Also I'm a lapsed vet, I work in govt on trade negotiations, still ostensibly using my veterinary "expertise" (I maintain my registration for that purpose), but I haven't been near a vet clinic for over 20 years. So "rusty" is a bit of an understatement.
  24. The Anti-Targ

    US Politics: Time to Stock Up

    Yeah, well the only real solution is an international police / peace force operating independently of any one nation and the strict prohibition of individual nations taking unilateral action outside of its own borders. But almost no one is willing to go there.
  25. The Anti-Targ

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus (#3)

    It could be that the vet is willing to do a telephone consultation where you just describe the symptoms. But they might want to bring your dog in to maybe do some blood work anyway. I wouldn't "suggest" this diagnosis to the vet. Some vets don't like it when clients suggest diagnoses, even if it's come from some other vet on the internet.
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