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Clueless Northman

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  1. You can also mass-produce a few billions of them and send half a dozen to every teen and adult people in the country, and let them take the test every day for basically a week. Even with a test that would miss 1/3 of all infected people, odds are that you'll have found out the bulk of ongoing infections with a ridiculously low % left out. Definitely way more than with any other way of testing, except if you lock down everyone and test block by block for months. Oh, and also there's a very good reason to bring on another kind of tests: it's going to go up fast in Europe in the next couple of months. The West will need a lot more testing that it can do right now.
  2. It's possible that the R0 in most cases isn't that high, lower than the flu for instance, but can skyrocket with some people and in some specific situations - so the average could easily sit at 3-4 in some places, if no measures are in place. That said, I don't think the 2nd wave would be that much worse than the 1st - definitely not 4 times worse, as it might have been with the Spanish Flu -, at least not in places were it was nearly or already out of control. It's clear all demographics were hit in NYC, Spain and the like, when the Spanish Flu disproportionately hit young troopers in the 1st wave. All at-risk groups have already been hit in places like Italy or Sweden. Not that they have herd immunity and won't have much deaths, but when vulnerable people have already been hit, they won't be hit much harder 5 months later. Of course, a 2nd wave that would be as deadly for Spain, Italy or US as the 1st one would already be a nightmare and a massacre. Hopefully, it'll be less deadly.
  3. Silly? It's criminal, it's actually murderous. I bloody hope every (democratic) government psychopathic enough to go for it will be sued by families of the dead.
  4. If measures are lighter than during the first outbreak for everyone outside Auckland, this shouldn't be an issue, should it? On the other hand, I could understand people despairing if they had to go through another 6 weeks of lockdown, Spain style.
  5. Saw it on theatre release with friends. Watched it again with some of these friends and a totally newbie one, at New Year's Eve. No need to precise it didn't go that well Alas, contrary to Gaston's expectation, Fight Club got robbed and only got a nomination for Sound Editing... Kevin Spacey won for American Beauty (a movie Gaston should watch one day, if he hasn't). I can live with that, but Ed Norton should've been nominated at the very least. I still think there was some stealth-censorship against Fight Club at the time - not because it praised "toxic masculinity", but because of the massive criticism of capitalism gone amok and of our society based on massive consumption to get the economy running.
  6. Herd immunity is fucking nuts, because if you want to let 60% of your people catch it, then you basically expose vulnerable people, specially in the US, considering the amount of overweight people around. Besides, we know this doesn't just kill some people, it massively hurts others with lasting damages. And I'm mightily annoyed these idiots haven't been able to tell us the % of people with breathing issues months after getting rid of the thing, because that's actually as important as the 0.5-1.5% death ratio (depending on country and age distribution). Scaring 25-y old with being disabled for life is pretty much the only thing that might let these young idiots behave responsibly. That said, I disagree with Zorral that isolation is only there to slow down the spread. The only defensible strategy is full eradication, first by special measures and then by mass vaccination. Any other strategy, be it herd immunity or even just flattening the curve, is pretty much a sociopath's lunacy. Alas, looks like NZ wasn't serious enough when controlling who they let in and how to handle them (though to be fair, NZ still did better than any other "Western" country so far). And here, by "let in", I don't mean tourists put into quarantine like in early July, but most probably airport security measures when dealing with incoming flights, probably trading goods. Either you have enough people who already got the virus and who can work without extreme security measures, or you have to pretty much isolate people coming from outside, even when they only stay at the airport to deliver or pick up stuff (after all, it wouldn't be realistic to quarantine them for 2 weeks). Bottom line: pretty much every nation on Earth should work towards a higher level of autarky, to reduce as much as possible the need of importing stuff and of having to deal with people from more infected areas. Since this would also do wonders when it comes to environmental issues, specially climate change, it's for once a win-win trend that could help us to face two global crises with one move.
  7. Oh yes, you can open when your area is truly covid-free. But you have to open for the locals only and ban any outsider from entry, basically. Keeping borders closed and letting in only people after quarantine, basically. And when I say "borders closed", this also means internal borders inside a country, at a more local level, not just the border between China and Russia or Mexico and USA. Any virus-free area should be fully off-limits to anyone that hasn't proven to be virus-free as well. It's just as simple as that. Of course, this goes fully against the mindblocks of ideological people who think free movement and free trade trump everything and can't fathom a world where there are limitations, checks and borders, whatever the situation. This is also why we need cheaper easier to make and use tests, more reliable ones, and way quicker ones - say, tests with 95% confidence level, not a mere 75%, and that bring results in less than 5-6 hours, not 40 h. After all, the real goal is to test as close as the entire population in a matter of days, and then test them again a couple of days later, just to be sure. That's stupid. Something obviously went wrong, otherwise they would've gone on with 0 cases. Saying they did nothing wrong is the kind of criminally stupid mindset that have put most of Western countries in such a deadly situation. As long as you have deaths, you fucked up. As long as you have new cases popping up from local infections, there's something wrong in your country. It's not hard to grasp, FFS. I begin to see why Melbourne is in such a bad state if one of their own epidemiologists has such a defeatist point of view. You only win against the virus if you know you can fully eradicate it from your community and if you fully intend to eradicate it; if that's not your goal, as far as I'm concerned, you have no business being in charge of the country / administration / health office, and you should go back flipping burgers in some shithole. And, alas, they haven't any clue how it came back into Vietnam. Though some local complacency is obvious. It's totally ludicrous to allow big gatherings as long as there's no effective way of fighting the virus - even if your country is supposed to be virus-free, having 10K people gathered for a political rally, a football game or a big concert shouldn't be allowed, not even be considered. It's pure madness, the risk is way too high, no matter how well you screen attendants.
  8. That one infected person might make it through the quarantine, that the virus might once a year slip through the security measures is possible, of course. But still, as long as the quarantine is done more seriously than the 1st NZ version (letting people through before their time and without testing, for reasons, whatever good they might be) or than Melbourne (contract low-skilled barely paid people to guard the hotels so that they won't give a damn about the job, will let quarantined people go wherever they are, and even occasionally be dumb as shit and actually sleep with them), then NZ should be fine. Basic hand-washing should be done as long as there's a pandemic somewhere, and people should have some reserve of masks and hand sanitizer, and probably ban gatherings of more than 1K people - including concerts and sport events - should be enough until we have truly effective drugs (as protection or as cure) or vaccine (the former should come first, most probably). Hopefully, you'll avoid Vietnam's fate. I'm still wondering how the heck the mess began in mid-July, because they really had it wiped out until then. Were they sloppy or downright stupid and let people in without checks?
  9. Misanthropy is the best way to reach equal opportunity. When you think that the bulk of mankind is made up of scumbags, you don't have any favourite. And I really didn't need this crisis to boost my innate misanthropy; what's sure is that it will never ever disappear, now. As for correct behaviour, it really depends on the severity of the outbreak, on how many infected people you might meet, and on how much contact will occur outdoor in a sunny and hot weather, or indoor. There's a reason why the severity of cases has been going down in Europe and some places in Northern US in late spring / early summer, and why it's been going up in places where summers are insanely hot, like Israel or Florida. If you're outdoor with sun blasting all over, the virus won't survive more than a few minutes in the air or on any sun-bathed surface. But when it's so hot that everyone takes shelter inside in more or less ventilated closed spaces, things begin to go bad. And you risk to take in way higher viral loads inside than outside walking in the sunny park. When it comes to surfaces, there's a risk, but from what I've seen of studies the last few months, it's way lower than airborn / droplets, which make up the high majority of infections. Sure, washing hands should be the way to go, but cleaning everything you touch every few hours is most probably overkill if you're in a country with low level of infections (say Italy or Austria right now); if you're in Texas or Brazil, the risk of surface contamination seems way higher.
  10. This. Most main characters are truly grey in Dune. And when it comes to acting the villain, Leto II is way worse than Paul, who ruled a very short time, shorter than he could have even. And then he kind of redeemed himself when coming back as a blind prophet. I really liked how it played out in the 2nd book, King of Thorns. Chapters in current time were always repeating how Jorg didn't want to bow to the Prince of Arrow and fought hard to beat him, while chapters "5 years earlier" were always showing how the Prince of Arrow was a noble good guy and Europe's best hope, basically - as if Jorg's opposition to the Prince leading a united Holy Empire was just Jorg being stubbogn and an egotistical jerk (which wasn't too surprising, from what we had seen of him until then). It's only at the very end that the twist happens and I was like "Duh, I didn't pay enough attention when reading the chapters".
  11. The plague of Marseille is another tragic example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_Marseille
  12. Hopefully not a derail, but this reminds me I've never read anything by G.G. Kay, though I've heard many good things and should definitely consider it one day. So, which Kay book should I read first? (or basically which one is best, and isn't in the middle of some series)
  13. Yeah, Back to the Future should be the top priority. Fight Club should come soon after, though I'd understand if some Western movies came first - I'd go for High Noon and then Good, Bad and Ugly - though if Lord Foix has watched Back to the Future II and III before, he might also be interested by watching Fistful of Dollars You might be thinking of other scenes, but I think both endings are iconic scenes. Seven on its own, Fight Club also because of some later real-life event - but then, reading the opening chapter of Pahlaniuk's novel which describes it is even weirder and impressive. (hopefully that's not spoilerish in any way)
  14. There's a difference between socializing with your close friends and clubbing all night for weeks with hundreds of strangers in the midst of a global pandemic. One behaviour is understandable, normal and justified, the other is, actually, tantamount to manslaughter and should be punished as such. Bloody extroverts have made life hell for introverts for decades, pressuring them to conform to "normality", to go out, meet plenty of people, party, drink, dance and what-not. Now that we demande of extroverts to shut the fuck up and comply for a tiny portion of their lifetime, they can't and some make a major fuss about it? I'm pissed off that I won't be able to attend any concert for months, but I know why and I don't bitch about it or try to cheat my way in; I expect the same sensible and responsible behaviour from the other people. Seriously, fuck them if people can't stop partying for a few months. They deserve the utterly destroyed economy they'll inherit. (that said, there should be consistency in what's allowed and what's not allowed - indoor gatherings should indeed be limited to a reduced amount of people, whatever they are - mega-churche services should be forbidden just like clubs should be closed, for instance)
  15. I suppose both effects go. There are a few days, say 5, during which people are very infectious. Then, there's most probably also some physiological variable to take into account, with some people being more infectious. Of course, one can also factor in some specific activities, like shouting a lot, that will make things worse because any infectious person involved will expel a lot of viruses (and if there's anything like a superspreader person, then it's just an absolute nightmare). But of course, it's quite logical to avoir superspreading events as much as possible, and for authorities to limit the actual happening of potentially superspreading situations - for instance, you don't have huge indoor concerts, and you don't allow clubbing to go on as if we were still in early 2019, because there's a massive risk for very little benefit to the society as a whole; it definitely isn't worth it.
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