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Thread: Coronavirus COVID-19 - SARS-CoV-2 - spooky or just a slow news week?

  1. #1
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Coronavirus COVID-19 - SARS-CoV-2 - spooky or just a slow news week?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Coronavirus - spooky or just a slow news week?

    I flew through China during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic and when the plane touched-down a pile of hazmat suited officials boarded and went from seat to seat with laser temperature guns before we were allowed to disembark. They dragged a couple of people off the plane (that were sitting a fair way from me). It was a known viral outbreak at the time but pretty early on, and while some people were wearing masks it was still pretty half-hearted. Seeing the storm-troopers get on the plane made it real for me though. I then got laser scanned and heat-map videoed 3 more times before leaving the airport. I live to tell the tale.

    This feels similar but the thing that's changed in 11 years is the speed of news and fake news.

    Not wanting this to turn into a political thread but dear Mr Trump just said:

    "We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully,"

    Idiot. Okay, maybe that's harsh and he's under some instruction to play it down to stop panic but he has nothing "under control", just got lucky so far and when all the Americans that went to China for the New Year come back it might be a different story. Even a few hours since his statement, America has it's first confirmed person to person transmission which is the "game changer".

    I liked the Aust governments response of chartering planes to bring Aussies back to Christmas Island for a fortnight (incubation period), although I'm not the one getting dropped in a detention centre with other possibly infected people, it still seems like a smart way to deal with it.

    The numbers of fatalities and infections of the Coronavirus is a tiny fraction of the garden variety influenza outbreaks each year but it's always a little more spooky when it's a new disease that we don't know much about.

    I love that Wuhan is building a couple of hospitals in 10 days. Wow. I look at our infrastructure builds that take years to turn dirt and I'm sure our governments couldn't erect a tent in the same time period without soil tests and environmental impact studies. Rome wasn't built in a day but the Chinese could probably get it done in a month.

    So what's your take?
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I have no doubt there is a problem and it should be contained earlier rather than later.

    Having said that, once again the media is doing everything in it's power to scare the living shit out of the average Joe, aaaaaaaand! if we can play the racism card so much the better.



    "This virus is not 'Chinese' - don't racialise it"
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/this...30-p53w0j.html


    Once again we see over population as one of the causes, Wuhan is a city of over eleven million inhabitants, once something like this virus takes off with this level of population density it's pretty difficult to stop.
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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    We've had previous scares of pandemics involving SARS, Ebola, swine flu, h1n1 and probably the biggest to cause panic, bird flu.

    All came to nothing.

    Is it different this time? Probably not. But I find it reassuring that measures are being taken to confine it.

    A little worrying though when the Chinese government notorious for faking, fudging and lying, admits it is serious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    We've had previous scares of pandemics involving SARS, Ebola, swine flu, h1n1 and probably the biggest to cause panic, bird flu.

    All came to nothing.

    Is it different this time? Probably not. But I find it reassuring that measures are being taken to confine it.

    A little worrying though when the Chinese government notorious for faking, fudging and lying, admits it is serious.
    It isn't true that the previous epidemics came to nothing, a lot of people died.

    What you don't want is for viruses to become endemic like the flu where 8000 people in the USA have already died this flu season.

    The Wuhan corona virus is more contagious than flu and more lethal so it is a big deal. It is much less lethal so far than SARS but the corona virus is know to mutate to worse things.

    It is all careful science and investigation that underpins this and a real virus has already been created here in Australia I believe. China was slow to respond but everything that scientists need to know about the virus is out there outside China so no secrets.

    Now the WHO has declared it an emergency then more things will be done. The key is not to let it get to the point where it infects many many millions every year like with flu.

    I hear that a vaccination may be effective against it but it is much better to prevent it spreading too widely so it becomes another 'came to nothing' virus and not a global killer.

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    When I said previous scares came to nothing I was talking about here I Australia.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    One of these days the excrement will hit the fan and it will come to something.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I just learnt a new word, Sinophobia. It's doesn't refer to me or my post but interesting just the same.

    The timing couldn't be much worse for something with a Chinese epicentre. Chinese New Year (CNY) is the one time of year everyone travels everywhere, mostly back to the home village from the larger city centres. I'm guessing there are a lot of people stuck in locked-down cities for the next few weeks.

    A friend from Shenzhen travels to the middle of China every CNY on about the 20th Jan and returns to work on the 10th Feb but I don't like her chances of that being a smooth trip this year. I haven't heard from her but at 8 month pregnant I hope she is hunkered down somewhere.

    Another friend was booked to go to HK then mainland CN on the 11th Feb, I've suggested he delays the trip, most of it could be done electronically anyway.

    I saw this youtube (allegedly) the Wuhan market. Shudder -- Insert stomach turning warning here --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EPz8PSue2o
    Does make me wonder what I've eaten before in CN.

    and a real virus has already been created here in Australia I believe
    Yeah, they shipped it just across the bay from the Snobbery. The CSIRO animal health laboratory is home to every nasty thing found on the planet. It's a biosecurity level 4 facility and we all cross our fingers that all that nasty stuff stays inside. 30 years odd without a escapee, so far so good!
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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    The Spanish flu of 1918 was an H1N1 variant and killed more people than WW1 - over 20 million.
    Is it possible that SARS, Ebola, Bird flu etc did not reach global epidemic status not because the impact of these diseases was overstated but effective measures were involved to contain and manage the outbreaks? Australia has strong quarantine measures so we have managed to avoid the major pandemics of the 21st C.

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    Our bodies develop resistance to bugs and germs. This is why I refuse to time travel into the future. Too dangerous. Holiday to Margaret River is enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    One of these days the excrement will hit the fan and it will come to something.
    Well the batshit maybe did hit a fan somewhere in China...

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    The Spanish flu of 1918 was an H1N1 variant and killed more people than WW1 - over 20 million.
    Is it possible that SARS, Ebola, Bird flu etc did not reach global epidemic status not because the impact of these diseases was overstated but effective measures were involved to contain and manage the outbreaks? Australia has strong quarantine measures so we have managed to avoid the major pandemics of the 21st C.
    ... but never forget that the Spanish Flu started in the Missouri / Mississippi region in the US, spread to Spain via US troops and was called the "Spanish Flu" to prevent panic "way back home in the US". Early example of fake news titling which is still used today - talk about long legged BS...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    ... but never forget that the Spanish Flu started in the Missouri / Mississippi region in the US, spread to Spain via US troops and was called the "Spanish Flu" to prevent panic "way back home in the US". Early example of fake news titling which is still used today - talk about long legged BS...

    Complains about fake news then spreads some of his own?

    The origin of Spanish Flu has never been conclusively established, but the USA theory is one of the loopier fringe ideas. Most of the stronger hypotheses put forward by legitimate researchers place the source as France or, ahem, China.

    As for the title suggesting it’s a slow news week... You’ve got Impeachment trials, the shock death of Kobe Bryant, bushfires surrounding Canberra, a potential pandemic. Slow news week?
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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    There are reports that health workers or others in China speaking out (telling the truth) about the Corona Virus, are being arrested.

    Only parroting the official Government's party line (Down playing numbers, misinformation) is allowed.

    The so called Quarantine of Wuhan is a joke as there was a warning that this was about to happen many hours before it did. Thousands fled the city.

    The videos in the links below are from 2 guys who lived in China for years and both married Chinese ladies, one a doctor. They still have contact with people in China including those in the medical field.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE7Iz7HLpYg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwXPeIwV_q4
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 1st February 2020 at 10:18 AM.
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    That first video CafeLotta is really good, he has some really good points and it sums-up the problem well.

    Second video @27min where the govt is barricading people in their units is shocking and hard to imagine happening here!


    This has been a good running blog
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/31/coronavirus-latest-updates-china-says-death-toll-rises.html
    and the newer one
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/31/coro...t-updates.html

    ** Singapore’s health ministry banned entry to all Chinese visitors and foreigners with a recent history of travel to China. The move, which effectively shuts out the island’s largest group of visitors, takes effect Saturday. It is the first Southeast Asian country to implement a travel ban for China travelers to contain the outbreak.

    Oddly, half of the country are Chinese and residents are allowed back into Singapore without quarantine. A ban on just visitors seems pretty halfarsed.

    I'm fascinated by the different reaction/approach by countries.

    ** The Trump administration is issuing a mandatory quarantine for U.S. citizens who’ve visited Hubei province in the last 14 days and denying entry to foreign nationals who “pose a risk of transmitting” the virus in the U.S.

    Oh, you mean American's 'aint immune? Funny the difference 24 hours has on a superpower leader.

    On Thursday our Fastway guy said that the medical supply place that he collects from is out of masks and the phone is ringing off the hook.

    I'm curious, anyone here wearing a mask outside or has bought some?
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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    The plot thickens. You need to suspect there's more to the story when you see "Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO (World Health Organisation").

    Obviously lots online to wade through - BS v Truth. The truth is somewhere in there amongst it all. Lots of concern worldwide and the Chinese rushing to build Hospitals for a problem which they claim isn't really a big problem, yet quarantine a city of millions of people. Where there's smoke.....

    Interesting to come across a report which states that an extremely high security BioLab / Bio Research facility is located in Wuhan, just 32km from the market that's been reported as the original source of the virus. There's some suggestion it may have been an accidental release of a virus being worked on at the facility. Also some suggestion that the facility does Bio weapon research....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96VLV09IDcU (video does kick-in eventually)

    Take it as you may, a commentary about Genome analysis of the Wuhan Corona Virus being a strain of Bat SARS virus but having a strange variation which may suggest it could have been engineered rather than evolved. One for the conspiracy theorists (or not). A bit heavy going on the science but the message is there.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrxoyQyYxmg

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZy...ApTxWKg/videos

    Can't believe how slow and how Blasé the response has been WorldWide up until now. Maybe largely due to the misinformation being officially released from China? If true and accurate numbers of those affected were known, maybe the alert level would have been raised earlier?

    Plays a lot like the plot of one of those Pandemic movies - why didn't we act earlier? Hopefully that isn't the case here!
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 1st February 2020 at 04:16 PM.

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    If you want quality information listen to WHO and Australian health authorities. We have the right information, no hidden agendas. Outbreaks like this are totally normal and expected so authorities are relatively prepared. China Wuhan province were slow to act.

    I just like to remind people these conspiracy theories are there for entertainment but linger in the minds of some. Remember that this virus has been isolated and grown here in Australia probably just across from the CS premises. I will still buy green beans...

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    I read a book where this doctor jihadi created a smallpox virus then modified it so that the vaccine wouldn't work and enhance its lethality to 100%.

    He then grew it and worked at the facility in Germany where the fluvax was made and swapped out enough boxes going to different parts of the U.S. at the start of flu season to ensure that it would all be used before the source was found and a totally out of control epidemic was created that would wipe out most people in the U.S. before any vaccine could be found.

    It is a good idea when you think about it as Smallpox and Measles are much more contagious and deadly than corona virus.

    Anyway, it is fiction but it will probably happen one day.

    He did have to break into a Syrian facility to get the virus then used mail order genetic sequencing kits to do the work.

    If I posted this on Breitbart it would probably hit a million shares on social media in a few hours, a viral hit.

    People are idiots and will believe anything. Eventually the FBI will trace the bogus news to the CS website?

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    The conspiracy theorists are having a field day, this story has all the right ingredients to make something up that sounds plausible (well more plausible than the 9-11 conspiracy theories anyway). A China oops, an opposition attack or real germ warfare along with the Canadian lab spy story, it's all there.

    Can't believe how slow and how Blasé the response has been WorldWide up until now.
    I agree, it's also the reason for my tongue in cheek subject line. I'm not a panic merchant but it does seem to be getting shrugged-off by many of the people we entrust with our safety and there have been plenty of back-flips too.

    Interesting to watch different airlines first reducing flights to and from China (for dollars, not for safety) and then stopping all flights a day later (for safety).

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    The reason they are worried is it is more contagious than flu and has a much higher fatality rate at 3%. 15 million Americans have been infected this season with 8000 deaths.

    If this Wuhan became endemic then 15,000,000 x 0.03 is 450,000 deaths. So it is a worry but the behaviour of the virus is the ??? mark and that is why the authorities are worried about that and maybe taking more action. The WHO were already treating it as an emergency when they made it official. This would assume no effective vaccine and it will be 12 months at least before we get there on that.

    Australia needs to be careful as flu season here is in six months so this virus needs to be contained in that time and probably will be.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I have difficulty accepting that Australia has handled this well.
    Action by all levels of government seemed to initially be focused on trying to convince us that there was absolutely no reason to be alarmed. This kind of behaviour treats citizens like idiots. Particularly when it inevitably becomes clear that they have every reason to be alarmed.
    For outbreaks of this kind we should have a well developed plan that can be implemented immediately and in different ways by different levels of government.
    The objective is to respond appropriately at the earliest possible time. An example of this could be cancelling flights into the country from the source, screening everybody that arrives after Day 1, quarantining if necessary and certainly ensuring that health authorities know who they are and where they are. Customs/Quarantine/Security should immediately have the appropriate safety clothing and equipment - from Day 1 (then they wouldn't need to threaten strikes to get some action)
    People are inclined to trivilise the situation if they see no threat to themselves or family. As long as somebody else dies it is fine. "Oh, lots of people die from road crashes every year". One death is one too many for some unlucky person. I consider the situation extremely serious and I expect our government to treat it the same way.
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    You know the thing we should worry about is this...

    There was NO vaccine for SARS or MERS developed. The flu fax is only partially effective 50% maybe more or less.

    They say they can develop a vaccine....they can't even cure the common cold which happens to be a corona virus.

    It is also more contagious than flu and so far 30 times as deadly.

    Edit: 11 cases here now compared to 6 in total for SARS
    Last edited by wattgn; 2nd February 2020 at 02:22 AM.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    I suppose it comes down to whether you believe what is being reported in the media and what is being released by the Chinese Government.

    The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory does exist and was supposedly built to study some of the world's most dangerous viruses.
    https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/24/us-wa...ntre-12114591/

    Wuhan city was sealed off and placed under quarantine on January 23. There was a mass exodus when people knew hours beforehand this was going to occur.

    Numerous reports including those from Chinese medical staff that the Chinese Government is grossly under reporting numbers infected. People being arrested for commenting on CoronaVirus contrary to the Government line. New Hospitals being feverishly constructed. Empty streets. Forced home quarantine.

    Numerous countries reporting cases of Corona Virus. Travel bans.

    No, nothing to see here.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Anyone seen an age breakdown of fatalities?
    Not making light of it but the flu generally kills the very young and the elderly or people with preexisting conditions, I'm wondering if this is the same demographic as the highest risk.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    You'd imagine that the same precautions for the vulnerable would apply. Attention to hygiene and limit potential exposure where possible.

    I'm interested in any information that seems credible. Some may be BS, some not. Common sense seems to indicate that vigilance is called for - "be alert, not alarmed".

    The Australian Government's intention to Quarantine evacuated residents returning from Wuhan indicates increased vigilance albeit a little late.

    We're just down the road from where the person who was the first Victorian case of Corona Virus had spent time at a local restaurant and potentially exposed fellow diners on Australia Day. The shopping strip which has predominately Chinese run businesses and patrons was eerily quiet afterwards with people staying away from the area.

    As far as interesting discussions by online posters' go, this guy (previously linked), still has my curiosity's attention - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgR18GtO_1Y

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Age and conditions of Coronavirus cases

    According to the WHO Situation Report no. 7 issued on Jan. 27:
    • The median age of cases detected outside of China is 45 years, ranging from 2 to 74 years.
    • 71% of cases were male.

    The WHO, in its Myth busters FAQs, addresses the question: "Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?" by answering that:

    • People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
    • Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.



    Serious Cases of 30 year olds

    Two patients in France who are now being treated in intensive care in Paris have been described as a young couple aged 30 and 31 years old, both Chinese citizens from Wuhan who were asymptomatic when they arrived in Paris on January 18 [19].
    Reports from NHC
    The China National Health Commission reported the details of the first 17 deaths up to 24 pm 22 Jan 2020. The deaths included 13 males and 4 females. The median age of the deaths was 75 (range 48-89) years.[21]
    Worldometer is conducting further research on case and deaths demographics and will update soon with its findings
    .

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
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    If authorities overreact then there can be a huge economic cost. You can see people overreacting and that is very costly also for business, people withdrawing from holiday and travel and even shopping centres.

    Time will tell but they have managed past outbreaks successfully.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Why oh why do the Chinese always adopt an adversarial stance to everything that occurs in their country.

    Seems every exchange that takes place between them and the Western world ends acrimoniously, and most of it is caused by them failing to be truthful.
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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    If authorities overreact then there can be a huge economic cost. You can see people overreacting and that is very costly also for business, people withdrawing from holiday and travel and even shopping centres.
    The fact that so many infected people left China, especially those who had been in Wuhan, means that being cautious is probably the correct course of action. Some had even bragged on Chinese social media that they had symptoms and managed to fly out of China, even giving tips to others following. This was probably as a result of the Chinese Government not being truthful about the seriousness of the situation. I'd hate to think they knowingly placed others at risk.

    It's still early days and hopefully with containment plans in countries outside of China, a better understanding of the implications can quickly be found and the correct course of action determined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Why oh why do the Chinese always adopt an adversarial stance to everything that occurs in their country.
    l.
    Probably should clarify, it’s not the average punter in the street but rather the Chinese Communist party and supporters. These guys suffer from a horrible combination of extreme nationalism and paranoia.

    Xi Jinping has pretty much wiped out the world’s trust of his country.
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    Why? Not surprising. China after all is a one-party communist State, and communist regimes can only survive on lies and subjugation.

    Totalitarian systems concoct an enemy from which they "protect" the masses. In Nazi Germany it was the Jews, in North Korea, Cuba, China, Communist Russia the perceived barbarians at the gate are invariably the morally bankrupt capitalist West.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Why? Not surprising. China after all is a one-party communist State, and communist regimes can only survive on lies and subjugation.

    Totalitarian systems concoct an enemy from which they "protect" the masses. In Nazi Germany it was the Jews, in North Korea, Cuba, China, Communist Russia the perceived barbarians at the gate are invariably the morally bankrupt capitalist West.
    In the interest of fair play you should have included: in the morally bankrupt capitalist west it's the terrorists.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    Good link. Would like to see more data than an average, and the initial CN average of 75 might be where it really falls.

    I did notice this on that page:

    "Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses"

    On the CafeLotta's youtube link the guy said that in CN, they will record a preexisting condition as cause of death, not the straw that broke the camels back (flu etc) so I'm assuming that is why it has a +/-120% spread

  33. #33
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Good link. Would like to see more data than an average, and the initial CN average of 75 might be where it really falls.
    Yes, watch that space (apparently). :

    Worldometer is conducting further research on case and deaths demographics and will update soon with its findings

  34. #34
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    I think wattgn correctly identifies that governments, particularly conservative/right/capitalist governments, usually consider whether any action will have a negative impact for 'business'.
    This should always be a consideration in our Western Capitalist system. It's when governments start making bad/dangerous/potentially fatal decisions in order to "protect" business that I get a bit concerned.
    It may be better for business (and the wider community) to take a little pain at an early stage than a lot of pain at a later stage.
    I would like to see government do what was rationally necessary in a crisis and then say "Right - if your business has been negatively affected, in to your local Member's Office and put your case for compensation" (to be delivered this month - not in 3 month's time). I sometimes wonder what the hell local Members do with the resources provided to them - this would be a good use of their time and put them in touch with the people that make the community run.
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Netflix has released a docuseries called Pandemic
    There is a good chance that the producer (Zero Point Zero Productions) released the virus to make sure it rated well.

    You saw that stupid conspiracy theory here first!

    I just watched the first episode, spooky in the first 5 minutes as this was obviously put together before the coronavirus but does a pretty good job of describing what's unfolding at the moment. I watched it while roasting (distracted often) so I might need to watch it again with more focus but it looks like it's worth a try. Producer is Zero Point Zero Productions are the mob that also did the docuseries Broken and Rotten which were both good/thought provoking watching too.

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    I think it is a serious problem but it will be a footnote in history soon based on other pandemics that have successfully been managed.

    Much more serious problems pending and current. The world is in a serious crisis and thank goodness we have a virus to talk about instead...

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    thank goodness we have a virus to talk about instead.
    Really?
    This topic had a pretty clear subject, no need to drag it off topic, no requirement to read it or comment either.
    If discussing this topical virus isn't important too you, click somewhere else. Easy!
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Really?
    This topic had a pretty clear subject, no need to drag it off topic, no requirement to read it or comment either.
    If discussing this topical virus isn't important too you, click somewhere else. Easy!
    I just don't think it is going to go beyond nuisance value based on past performance of health authorities.

    Maybe thinking about it I just have confidence. We will see...I might have to change my mind.

    If there is going to be a serious issue it will be with countries with poor health care systems not having the resources or leadership to tackle this. This could indirectly impact us.

  39. #39
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    It's probably a bit beyond "nuisance value" for those who die of it. Particularly those who live thousands of miles away and would not have been exposed to it if governments were a bit more pro-active and responsible and made some plans as to how this and potentially more virulent epidemics of the future will be dealt with.
    Andy, CafeLotta and magnafunk like this.

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    It hopefully will be just nuisance value for Australia from a human life point of view. No one has died. With SARS no one died in Australia.

    The economic cost though is considerable as everything gets shut down and businesses get affected. If you are in the tourism business here it is a big deal or if you live in China, it is a big deal.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Complains about fake news then spreads some of his own?

    The origin of Spanish Flu has never been conclusively established, but the USA theory is one of the loopier fringe ideas. Most of the stronger hypotheses put forward by legitimate researchers place the source as France or, ahem, China.

    As for the title suggesting it’s a slow news week... You’ve got Impeachment trials, the shock death of Kobe Bryant, bushfires surrounding Canberra, a potential pandemic. Slow news week?
    G'day herzog

    Loopy? My post is in line with the papers I read on the subject in the '70's whilst studying military strategy. One of the WWI US generals even stated his troops brought it from Kansas in his personal analysis of his role in WWI battles (nothing to do with the flu, other than he reckoned he lost more troops from the flu than in combat - a much quoted finding by other years later). Much later research in the '90's seems to be heaping whitewash on the original findings and trying to modify history. BTW - China is the "loopy idea" as virtually nothing from there arrived in Europe until even later in the war. So I looked it up on the good old wiki(pedia, not leaks):- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu
    There have been claims that the epidemic originated in the United States. Historian Alfred W. Crosby claimed that the flu originated in Kansas,[23] and popular author John Barry described Haskell County, Kansas, as the point of origin.[15] It has also been claimed that, by late 1917, there had already been a first wave of the epidemic in at least 14 US military camps.[24]

    That "first wave" is pretty definitive IMO... as well as being in line with what I read way back. Whether the mild form came from China to Boston (later in the same thread) and then mutated still places the actual H1N1 in the US first.

    Anyway, enjoy your cuppa - whatever that is.


    TampIt
    I also went onto the history channel to get the US view.
    https://www.history.com/news/why-was...he-spanish-flu and https://www.history.com/topics/world...8-flu-pandemic are illuminating (higher US casualties - why if it didn't start there?).

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    Given the sad state of public health at the time and the presence of millions of troops in various states of health, the original Adam or Eve could be any farmer or soldier in contact with animals.

    It definitely spread in France, a big dormitory at the time then those troops got rotated out, went home, all over the world and 50 to 100 million people died. Conditions in Europe would have been third world at the time.

  43. #43
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Netflix has released a docuseries called Pandemic
    Poor form replying to my own post but I just watched the rest of the series and can recommend it. Amazing humans, workng on a shoestring budget in a viral warzone with a passion to make a difference until they just can't continue.
    A well put together doco.

    Re: governments being more proactive, the travel bans go against the WHO recommendations of not imposing them. That's a pretty bold move by many member countries like Italy who stopped all CN flights in and out while they work out what's going on.

    Buggered if I'm smart enough to know what the right balance is, all I can do is hope those that making choices are listening to right people
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  44. #44
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    The Pandemic on Netflix is a sensible documentary, well made, not sensationalist.

    Halfway through.

  45. #45
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    This from the latest Washington Post, certainly sounds like its being taken pretty seriously.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...ge%2Fstory-ans

    "Coronavirus infections predicted to grow exponentially; first death outside China; outbreak becomes political





    The United States has issued a “Level 4” travel advisory for China, its highest level of caution, over the rapidly spreading outbreak. (The Washington Post)


    By Anna Fifield and


    Alex Horton




    Feb. 3, 2020 at 5:37 a.m. GMT+10:30

    The Philippines and New Zealand have joined the list of countries that have sharply restricted entry to people traveling from or through China, as the number of cases confirmed outside the mainland continues to grow. Meanwhile, inside China, the number of reported cases has grown rapidly, and scientists predict that exponentially more have been infected. Here is what we know:


    ● There are nearly 14,500confirmed cases of coronavirus in China, including 10 on the self-governing island of Taiwan, with more than 300 dead. A new study says that as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan may have been infected.

    ● The World Health Organization has reported roughly 130 confirmed cases of the virus in more than 20 countries outside China and Taiwan. The Philippines reported the first death attributable to the virus outside China. New cases have been confirmed in South Korea and India.

    AD



    ● Doctors say the virus can be spread by fecal matter, as well as droplets from the mouth and nose.

    ● Chinese financial regulators have prepared a $173 billion support package for when markets reopen Monday.

    ● Are you in isolation or quarantine because of the coronavirus? We want to hear your story.

    First person-to-person case reported in the U.S. | Mapping the spread





    BEIJING — The Philippines has blocked entry to travelers from China, including from Hong Kong and Macao, after a man from Wuhan died in Manila of the coronavirus, the first person outside China to succumb to the pneumonia-like respiratory illness.

    With the coronavirus continuing to spread beyond China’s borders, more countries are moving to close their doors to foreign nationals who have visited there. New Zealand, Iraq and Indonesia joined the Philippines on Sunday in imposing new restrictions on people coming from or through China.






    The virus has been detected in small numbers in some 20 other countries — from the United States and France to Thailand and Australia — while the number of infections in China has surged to nearly 14,500, according to the latest National Health Commission figures.

    The number of deaths has risen to 304, although anecdotal reports suggest the true number could be much higher.

    A 44-year-old Wuhan man died in a Manila hospital Sunday, after arriving, via Hong Kong, on Jan. 21. He was admitted to a hospital with pneumonia four days later and his 38-year-old companion remains hospitalized, but there was no evidence of local transmission, the country’s Department of Health said.

    Early missteps and state secrecy in China probably allowed the coronavirus to spread farther and faster

    Even before the man’s death, President Rodrigo Duterte had decided to expand the Philippines’ travel restrictions from those traveling from Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, to the rest of mainland China, as well as its special administrative regions, Macao and Hong Kong.

    Members of the People’s Liberation Army arrive Sunday in Wuhan with medical staff members and supplies to fight the coronavirus outbreak. (China Daily/Reuters)
    “I wish to emphasize that we are not singling out Chinese nationals,” Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, a close aide to Duterte, said in an interview with DZBB radio station on Sunday, after meeting with the president on Saturday night. “It covers all travelers from China to the Philippines regardless of nationality.”

    AD


    New Zealand’s government announced that starting Monday, it would deny entry to foreign travelers arriving from China and order returning New Zealanders to isolate themselves for 14 days.


    Indonesia said it would immediately bar visitors who have been in China for 14 days, the maximum incubation period, from entering or transiting. Iraq’s Interior Ministry said it would ban all foreign nationals coming from China.

    These three countries have not reported a case of coronavirus on their shores.









    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared the coronavirus a public health emergency in the U.S. on Jan. 31. (Reuters)



    They, however, join countries including the United States, Australia and Singapore in imposing travel restrictions on visitors from China. Japan and South Korea have imposed looser rules on people from the Hubei province, although the subtropical South Korean island of Jeju, where 98 percent of foreign tourists are Chinese, said Sunday that it would rescind visa-free entry for them.

    AD


    South Korea on Sunday reported three more cases of infection, taking the total to 15, while India confirmed its second case. The United States now has eight infections.

    But even as countries around the world impose restrictions on travel from China, the Foreign Ministry’s combative spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, has sought to frame the coronavirus outbreak as part of a bigger, existential battle between the United States and China.

    After U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the coronavirus could “help” to bring jobs to the United States as companies moved operations away from China, Hua said these “unfriendly U.S. comments” were “certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”

    A worker disinfects an area in Jincheon, South Korea, on Sunday. (Yonhap/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
    “Many countries have offered China support in various means,” she said. “In sharp contrast, certain U.S. officials’ words and actions are neither factual nor appropriate.”






    Over the weekend, she singled out the United States for going against the World Health Organization’s advice that travel limitations were not necessary, even though a raft of other countries have also imposed restrictions.

    A “certain country has turned a blind eye to WHO recommendations and imposed sweeping travel restrictions against China,” Hua tweeted Saturday. “This kind of overreaction could only make things even worse. It’s not the right way to deal with the pandemic.”

    Reality check: The flu is a much bigger threat than coronavirus, for now

    China is still struggling to contain the spread of the virus, which began in December in a market in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, where exotic animals including bats, civets and snakes were sold for consumption. Bats and the catlike civets have been linked to previous mutations in viruses that have jumped from animals to humans, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which began in southern China in 2002.





    With authorities slow to recognize this latest outbreak as a new virus and even slower to warn people of it, the number of infections has continued to rise rapidly, passing the total infected by SARS.


    The number of confirmed cases rose by almost 2,000 between Saturday and Sunday, despite stringent restrictions placed on movementof some 50 million peoplefrom Hubei province.

    The People’s Liberation Army sent 1,400 medical staff members from the armed forces to Wuhan on Sunday to treat patients at the new 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital, which was built in just 10 days and is due to start operation on Monday.


    “This is the latest development in the Chinese people’s critical battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak,” the official Xinhua News Agency said in an article that presented leader President Xi Jinping as “commanding this fight” against the coronavirus outbreak.




    In trying to contain the outbreak, Hubei officials continue to speak in terms of an epic battle against what Xi has called a “devil” virus.

    “Cadres at all levels should truly show a wartime spirit,” the Hubei state newspaper exhorted Sunday after a meeting at the provincial pneumonia prevention headquarters.

    A leukemia patient waits for permission to cross a checkpoint in Jiujiang, China, on Saturday. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)
    Scientists around the world have raced to consolidate and share what they’ve learned since the outbreak.

    Virologists at Italy’s National Institute for Infectious Diseases announced on Sunday they isolated the virus for research, uploading its partial sequence in the GenBank database — a first in Europe. “In the next few days the whole virus will be made available to the international scientific community,” said Salvatore Curiale, a spokesperson for the institute. “This is a fundamental step for perfecting diagnosis [and] developing treatments and a vaccine.”





    China’s stock markets will reopen Monday after the Lunar New Year holiday, the first trading day since the extent of the outbreak became clear.

    Anticipating a sharp sell-off, China’s central bank and other financial regulators said Sunday that they had prepared an emergency package totaling an astronomical $173 billion to support companies and markets during the coronavirus crisis.

    This news came as a new study by University of Hong Kong scientists, published in the Lancet, said the outbreak could be even worse than it appears and could get dramatically worse over the next week or two.

    They found that as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan had been infected with the coronavirus by Jan. 25, based on an assumption that each infected person could have passed the virus to 2.68 others. It also said the epidemic was doubling every 6.4 days.

    If the virus was spreading at a similar level around the country, “we inferred that epidemics are already growing exponentially in multiple major cities of China with a lag time behind the Wuhan outbreak of about 1-2 weeks,” the scientists wrote.

    In coronavirus outbreak, China’s leaders scramble to avert a Chernobyl moment








    Scientists have identified certain parts of the world as hot spots for emerging diseases. (Blair Guild, Luis Velarde/The Washington Post)



    Medical advice over the past two weeks has emphasized the need to wear masks to stop transmission through respiratory droplets from the mouth and nose. But Chinese authorities are now saying that the virus can be passed from fecal matter.


    Researchers from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported this weekend that there had been fecal-oral transmission. It warned medical workers to “protect themselves against vomit and feces of patients.”

    In Shenzhen, on China’s southern border with Hong Kong, scientists at the Third People’s Hospital said the stool samples of infected people had tested positive for the virus, further suggesting that it could be transmitted through feces in addition to through respiratory droplets.


    Health officials urged good personal hygiene, and especially washing hands well and often.

    “When mildly ill patients are isolated in their homes, they and their family members should pay special attention to hygiene, and they should avoid sharing bathrooms with family members as much as possible,” officials said, according to the China News Network.


    Hubei Vice Gov. Xiao Juhua acknowledged in a news conference Sunday the province’s medical resources were relatively weak amid the “severe and complicated” outbreak, Reuters reported, though officials described optimism that test kits for the virus have improved in speed and accuracy.

    People in Hong Kong protest on Sunday government plans to convert a heritage site into a quarantine camp. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)
    As the virus continues to spread and new cases continue to emerge, anger is mounting about the lack of access to protective equipment, especially the face masks that authorities are urging to be worn in public places.

    With stores and online shopping sites sold out of masks, many cities across the country have launched an online booking system or lottery system for masks.

    In Guangzhou in the south, each person can reserve up to five masks a day, although those in the Zhejiang province’s Shaoxing are allowed only one. In the southeastern seaboard city of Xiamen, authorities have launched a lottery system for residents.


    Masks and other basic protective equipment like goggles and gloves are in such short supply that Hubei hospitals have been openly appealing for donations on social media.

    U.S. seeks to send expert team to China to combat coronavirus outbreak; Xi defends response

    There is growing criticism about the shortage of masks and particularly about the distribution of the masks after a video emerged of a man taking a box of masks apparently donated to the Red Cross Society in Wuhan. Rumors spread that the man was diverting the masks for local leaders, rather than for their intended recipients, prompting state news outlets to claim that he was simply delivering them to their rightful place.

    A list of the materials donated to the Red Cross Society branch in Hubei showed that 36,000 masks had been given to two private hospitals in Wuhan, while the public Wuhan Union Hospital, whose doctors have been working at the front line in fighting the coronavirus, had only received 3,000.

    One Wuhan doctor said that his hospital had not received a single mask from the Red Cross, one of the few officially recognized organizations permitted to handle civic donations.

    In a post on social media, since deleted by censors, the doctor said his hospital had only 300 N95 masks left, barely enough for a day. “Fortunately we got a batch of donations from America, 500 U.S. FDA standard N95 masks. It made us so happy because we could last one more day!”


    One netizen even called the Wuhan Charity Federation and other such groups “pixiu,” a mythical winged animal that eats but never defecates, accusing them of receiving more than $80 million in donations but spending none of that amount on the public. That post has also been deleted by China’s zealous Internet police, which tries to swiftly stamp out any criticism of the ruling Communist Party.


    In apparent recognition of this growing discontent, Premier Li Keqiang, who is leading the party’s efforts to prevent and control the coronavirus outbreak, went to the national hub for medical supplies in Beijing over the weekend.


    Kimchi, cow poop and other spurious coronavirus remedies

    Li “called for all-out efforts to ensure the provision of key medical supplies and create necessary conditions to win the battle against the outbreak,” the Foreign Ministry said Sunday in a statement about his visit. He also urged “further refinement” of the ways equipment was allocated, noting that “the priority is to meet the needs of medical workers selflessly saving lives on the front lines.”


    Echoing the military language of the state media, Li said medical supply manufacturers were “like military contractors producing for the ‘arsenal’ in this battle against the epidemic.”

    Horton reported from Washington. Liu Yang in Beijing and Stefano Pitrelli in Rome contributed to this report."

  46. #46
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    As the virus continues to spread and new cases continue to emerge, anger is mounting about the lack of access to protective equipment, especially the face masks that authorities are urging to be worn in public places.
    Interestingly, here in Australia the official line is:

    Should I wear a facemask?
    Facemasks are not recommended for use by healthy members of the public. A facemask will not protect you against becoming infected.


    If you are unwell or are in isolation and you need to go outside, you should wear a facemask if available to protect others.

    from:
    https://www.health.gov.au/health-top...irus-2019-ncov

    The self isolation of 14 days is the thing with hairs on it.

    Australia has banned visitors/tourists who were in CN in the last 14 days but Australian residents can "self isolate" for 14 days.

    What does isolate yourself in your home mean?
    You should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university.


    Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.


    There is no need to wear masks in the home.


    If you must leave the home to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask if you have one.


    Where possible, have other people get food and other necessities for you.
    from:

    https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov



    Yet in the USA, the government is "providing quarantine housing for residents.

    The Pentagon approved a request on Saturday from the Department of Health and Human services to provide housing for 1,000 people who could need to be quarantined after traveling abroad due to the virus, according to a Pentagon spokesperson.

    I find it really odd that we allow infected people to duck down to the shop if they can't get someone else to do it for them.
    Dimal and 338 like this.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    "Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses"
    Does put our place on the food chain into perspective.

  48. #48
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    Statistics aren't always what they seem. It depends on the context and whether appropriate comparisons are being used.

    At this time, the important statistics in regard to Flu v Coronavirus (2019 Novel Coronavirus - 2019 nCoV) appear to be these -

    Case Fatality rate :

    Flu 0.1%
    nCoV 3% or higher

    R0 (How contagious, average no. infected from the 1 person) :

    Flu 1.28
    nCoV up to 4.0

    Serious complication rate (ICU bed requirement)
    (Once hospitals are overwhelmed with cases, unnecessary deaths result due to lack of resources.)

    Flu < 1%
    nCoV 20%

    As it's still relatively early days and the Chinese can't really be relied upon for accurate information, other sources are compiling information and working towards a better understanding of this virus.

    Edit : Interestingly, a Pandemic simulation excercise took place late last year to gauge global preparedness. Known as Event 201, it has some eerie parallels to what we are starting to see now.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-...demic/11906562
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 4th February 2020 at 03:13 PM.

  49. #49
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    Anecdotal "evidence" suggests Chinese authorities are downplaying the number of cases.

    Suggestions that doctors who reported the early cases were shut up. Western doctors saying the reported growth rate of infections (linear) does not match disease modelling (parabolic).

    Emergency actions by the Chinese government also suggest they know the true extent of infections, and so are far worse than reported: -- building emergency hospitals, ordering the cremation rather than burial of victims, quarantining Wuhan.

  50. #50
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Anecdotal "evidence" suggests Chinese authorities are downplaying the number of cases.

    Suggestions that doctors who reported the early cases were shut up. Western doctors saying the reported growth rate of infections (linear) does not match disease modelling (parabolic).
    Chinese authorities keeping Schtum! outrageous.

    Seriously, very little that emerges from China can be taken at face value.



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