COVID-19: Non-Medical Effects (Responses; Disruptions; Etc.)

Lord Lucan

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The entire situation is looking potentially disastrous, with millions on the move worldwide for the Lunar New Year celebrations. How this thing can be contained is beyond me. The news tonight (Australia) has stated that the virus was first reported as transmittable on Dec 31, 2019, yet just this week, 3 flights from Wuhan have landed in the country.
 

ramonmercado

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ramonmercado

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Interesting report on BBC News Channel. A Spanish El Pais corespondent is in Wuhan and he suggests that people are cooperating with the authorities regarding the quarantine/travel ban.
Here's a report from El Pais, auto-translate.

Unfortunately the government is still cracking down on rumours.

On the outskirts of the airport, where there were no exceptional security measures, the driver Zheng Wang complained: "I've been standing in line for five hours, no passengers come, so we don't move." His 13-year-old son has not been to school since January 10 because classes have been suspended. Asked about the credibility he grants to the official figures of those affected, he replies: "That is better not to talk about." The Government has threatened to punish anyone who contributes to spread rumors and local or regional administrations that make up reality.

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020/01/23/actualidad/1579752483_950317.html
 

Mythopoeika

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blessmycottonsocks

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Heading into Reading station on Monday or Tuesday I did see an oriental looking woman wearing a face mask.

She got a few strange looks.

The medical advice is that face masks offer negligible protection against viral infection though.

Far more important is proper hygiene and responsible food preparation.
 

Xanatic*

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I see those ocassionally, I believe it's more to avoid air pollution.
 

Lobeydosser

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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
Both Glasgow and Edinburgh Uni's have large student programs with China - and I myself work at Strathclyde Uni which also has a fair number of Chinese nationals as staff and students.
To the best of my knowledge there have been no directions or advice to any of those institutions staff other than a vague "follow Gov advice if travelling to the affected area".
Also, Scottish airports appear to have no measures in place at all (not even the crappy leaflet that Heathrow gets and certainly no "heat" cameras) - while there are currently no direct flights from China there are several connecting ones with Air France and Emirates arriving regularly. I believe Manchester also has flights that connect through to China on a very regular basis and I've heard nothing of any precautions being taken there.
I'm not particularly surprised though, during the 2003 outbreak I was then working at the old Glasgow college of Nautical studies - which had onsite a large student hostel and large numbers of overseas students - there were zero precautions or guidance recieved back then either.
I suspect, in reality their is probably little authorities can really do so it's all an attempt to keep everyone calm and manage the news.
Interesting article on the practicality of trying to "lockdown" a city here - https://www.wired.com/story/would-the-coronavirus-quarantine-of-wuhan-even-work/
I am struck by the fatality rate quoted in that article - they have it as higher than in was 1918 (3% vs 2.5% ) - but I see no source and that certainly doesn't seem like a high percentage given how bad 1918 was (though it's still a heck of alot of people).
 

Frideswide

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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
sending good wishes @Lobeydosser .

We are in a similar situation for the same reasons.
 

Mythopoeika

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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
I hope it's just flu - hope your partner is well again soon.
 

ramonmercado

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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
Both Glasgow and Edinburgh Uni's have large student programs with China - and I myself work at Strathclyde Uni which also has a fair number of Chinese nationals as staff and students.
To the best of my knowledge there have been no directions or advice to any of those institutions staff other than a vague "follow Gov advice if travelling to the affected area".
Also, Scottish airports appear to have no measures in place at all (not even the crappy leaflet that Heathrow gets and certainly no "heat" cameras) - while there are currently no direct flights from China there are several connecting ones with Air France and Emirates arriving regularly. I believe Manchester also has flights that connect through to China on a very regular basis and I've heard nothing of any precautions being taken there.
I'm not particularly surprised though, during the 2003 outbreak I was then working at the old Glasgow college of Nautical studies - which had onsite a large student hostel and large numbers of overseas students - there were zero precautions or guidance recieved back then either.
I suspect, in reality their is probably little authorities can really do so it's all an attempt to keep everyone calm and manage the news.
Interesting article on the practicality of trying to "lockdown" a city here - https://www.wired.com/story/would-the-coronavirus-quarantine-of-wuhan-even-work/
I am struck by the fatality rate quoted in that article - they have it as higher than in was 1918 (3% vs 2.5% ) - but I see no source and that certainly doesn't seem like a high percentage given how bad 1918 was (though it's still a heck of alot of people).

Oh dear, hope your partner is better soon.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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escargot

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China running out of face masks.

Face masks are a very common site in China, notorious for having become the greatest polluting nation in humankind's history, but with citizens wearing and then discarding masks, in a (probably futile) attempt to protect against the Coronavirus, supply is now way behind demand.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/...e-e-commerce-sites-running-medical-masks.html
Techy wanted some so I sent off for a pack of the Chinese type (that look like bra cups) and they arrived yesterday. I tried one and it fogged my specs up so I won't be bothering.

At work I see a lot of foreign nationals and many far Eastern people wear the masks. It's normal.

If I wore anything to protect my face it would be one of the dust masks I have for cycling. They're not made of miracle anti-virus fabric but they'd stop me touching my face with dirty hands, which is one of the ways infections spread.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Techy wanted some so I sent off for a pack of the Chinese type (that look like bra cups) and they arrived yesterday. I tried one and it fogged my specs up so I won't be bothering.

At work I see a lot of foreign nationals and many far Eastern people wear the masks. It's normal.

If I wore anything to protect my face it would be one of the dust masks I have for cycling. They're not made of miracle anti-virus fabric but they'd stop me touching my face with dirty hands, which is one of the ways infections spread.
I was in Poundland yesterday and saw they had some in stock in their DIY dept at 2 for a £1.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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I think it's astonishing, is it not, that things haven't been more contained from an earlier stage? Stop all flights to/from the affected city immediately to quarantine the affected people instead of letting them fly who-knows-where.

In this day-and-age business can surely be conducted via the internet by whatever software does such things, and "leisure travel" should surely be seen as a non-necessity during times like this.

Are flights being stopped to/from there now? Even if they are it is potentially too little, too late. Stable door, horse bolted and all that.

I'm not saying there should be panic about it or anything, I just think measures should have been put into place as soon as the virus was detected; if it turned out to be nothing then fair enough, but at least it wouldn't now be spreading all over the damn place.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Xanatic*

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Schrödinger's Zebra: Do you think the kind of work done by people who visit live animal markets can be done online?

Besides, this is chinese new year. Huge amounts of people move around and for many it's the only holiday they get. Not easy to keep them in one place.

Personally I'll drink a few Corona beers to inoculate myself.
 

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hunck

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I think it's astonishing, is it not, that things haven't been more contained from an earlier stage? Stop all flights to/from the affected city immediately to quarantine the affected people instead of letting them fly who-knows-where.

In this day-and-age business can surely be conducted via the internet by whatever software does such things, and "leisure travel" should surely be seen as a non-necessity during times like this.

Are flights being stopped to/from there now? Even if they are it is potentially too little, too late. Stable door, horse bolted and all that.

I'm not saying there should be panic about it or anything, I just think measures should have been put into place as soon as the virus was detected; if it turned out to be nothing then fair enough, but at least it wouldn't now be spreading all over the damn place.
Wuhan is a city with the population of greater London. Now picture trying to stop all travel in & out of it in a lockdown. Stopping flying alone won't do it - people can travel to another city & fly from there..
 

AlchoPwn

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Sources from inside China suggest that Wuhan and Hebei are in far more serious trouble than China Media is allowing to be reported. Hospitals are being crowded out, and the central authority is actually planning to build new hospitals in record time, literally in 6 days from start to finish in order to deal with the problem. The suggestion is that there are about a hundred thousand people infected, and the number is likely to rise due to things getting out of control. There have been suggestions of an evac of foreign nationals, but nothing tangible to report. This is a huge test of Xi Jinping's leadership in a crisis, and eclipsing the Hong Kong issue. It has also come out that the virus likely came from snakes served as bush meat in local delicacies.
 

ramonmercado

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Interview on BBC News Channel right now with two British teachers trapped in Wuhan. It will be repeated.
 

kamalktk

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Sources from inside China suggest that Wuhan and Hebei are in far more serious trouble than China Media is allowing to be reported. Hospitals are being crowded out, and the central authority is actually planning to build new hospitals in record time, literally in 6 days from start to finish in order to deal with the problem. The suggestion is that there are about a hundred thousand people infected, and the number is likely to rise due to things getting out of control. There have been suggestions of an evac of foreign nationals, but nothing tangible to report. This is a huge test of Xi Jinping's leadership in a crisis, and eclipsing the Hong Kong issue. It has also come out that the virus likely came from snakes served as bush meat in local delicacies.
That's great, but do they have a plan to produce doctors and nurses and other staff in six days?
 

AlchoPwn

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That's great, but do they have a plan to produce doctors and nurses and other staff in six days?
LOL, nah, they'll just bring them in from other provinces or perhaps from Cuba.
 

uair01

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And here is a good speculation on Corona-virus censorship in China:

So far central CCP has been fairly transparent w global community on coronavirus, If the Sichuan earthquake is any guide, it is worth watching for censorhip in the second phase of the outbreak. It's important to understand what the Party sees as threatening. It's not viruses. 1/x
If anything the Chinese science community has already overdelivered on this one with the rapidity of its response. But it will take months to produce and distribute a vaccine. In the meantime... 2/x
The 1st response to the Sichuan earthquake was laudably open. Foreign volunteers were permitted to go to smashed towns to help; I was there alongside a Buddhist NGO from Taiwan and Korean Christians handing out bibles. The press, and ghoulish hobby photogs, had full access. 3/x
The problem was the common theme encountered: school collapses. I was taken on a tour by two elementary school girls who pointed out the ruins of their school and noted their classmates were buried beneath it. Officials banqueted away the construction budget, they said 4/x
So long as problems could be blamed on nature, or individual failure, Sichuan remained open. But difficult to blame individuals for province-wide problems. It made terrible press. On Childrens Day I saw parents mourning a line of dusty bookbags dragged from rubble 5/x
With coronavirus, the sensitive spot will be health system capacity. As with education, we have a fair amount of understaffed buildings run by undertrained/underpaid people, because that's a compromise some cadres make to hit GDP targets while controlling expenditure. 6/x
Officials have no reason to cover up the virus itself. But nobody wants reporters interviewing patients lyng at home because denied access to hospital beds. It would be one thing if this was limited to Wuhan, but it is now running around the rest of the country. 7x
So far Chinese press ht @caixin are attacking this theme. I think *some* local officials are trying to stop them; who will the centre back? There's another theme the Chinese elite doesn't like, and that is the theme of Beijing/Shanghai leaving poor interior behind (graphic) 8/x
I make no predictions as to what the central govt will do. I would suggest a two warning signs that they are going to significantly tighten up info control, which I saw in Sichuan. First and foremost will be signs of the PLA being thrust to the forefront of media coverage. 9/x
2nd: silencing criticism from medical professionals/patients/relatives. 3rd: attempts to generate hurt feelings by drawing attn to hostile foreign media etc. Not sure this will happen - cat is out of the bag, and CCP is learning PR. Still worth monitoring. 10/10 ends
I guess that's three warning signs. Anyway. Rooting for govt to fix this quickly and take its publicity lumps. Praying for the ordinary people of China and Hong Kong, who just can't seem to catch a break these days.
 

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If of interest, you might find this, seemingly first-hand, video account absorbing.

Note: It also touches on the presenter's perspectives of living in China.

I found it compelling, yet almost surreal...

Here is someone from our proverbial, 'other side of the world', appearing via my mobile phone and emploring for my compassion.

It's not some clip from a movie, this is someone risking punishment, merely for speaking to myself.

 
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