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Thread: Mass hysteria and the media.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Mass hysteria and the media.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    The media (once again) have done an exemplary job of whipping the world population into a state of mass hysteria, as this article informs us, also known ironically as "epidemic hysteria" https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/mass...1#rebelltitem1

    Covid-19 has already made the Wikipedia "list of mass hysteria cases" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...hysteria_cases heaven help us if we ever face a real world crisis, its a case of dog eat dog now, I suspect one of the first things we would see is the introduction of ration books or similar, something we haven't seen since the Second World War, close behind would come martial law to control a panicking population.

    Once again the ABC news service was one of the worst offenders, this morning almost the entire page was devoted to doom and gloom Covid-19 stories.

    A short time ago PM Morrison said

    "this is not the zombie apocalypse that it would appear some people believe it to be.

    Morrison could not have been clearer in his message to the hoarders and doomsday preppers who are driving human behaviour in Australia to new levels of absurdity.

    “Stop it. It is ridiculous. And it is un-Australian,” the PM declared at his press conference in Canberra on Wednesday morning."


    To try to gain some sort of perspective, each year world wide 1.25 million people die in road accidents, no one bats an eye at this figure, simply a cost of going about our daily lives.
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    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    To try to gain some sort of perspective, each year world wide 1.25 million people die in road accidents, no one bats an eye at this figure, simply a cost of going about our daily lives.
    We are constantly reviewing rules around road safety, there's constant advertising blitzes and law updates regarding seatbelts, headlights, dui, distracted driving and on and on. The modern vehicle has ABS, airbags, lane departure detection, pedestrian detection, crumple zones etc. I don't think these features have been introduced to save money and I think a lot of eyelids are batted around the clock, so much so that we don't notice it.

    I agree that the media has driven the hoarding mentality happening out there and at this time, nobody will be listening to the advice of an out of tune PM who is once again failing to show any leadership so I feel his breath is wasted telling people not to hoard, and would be better spent explaining what the government is doing (and not just what they want us to do). Everything they've talked about so far is about what we are banned from doing and how they're going to try and prop up the economy. Right now casual workers couldn't give a stuff about the economy, they're worrying about what will happen when the cafe they're at closes for a month and they can't pay rent. Full time workers are wondering if the company they work for will even exist after this is over, teachers are concerned that they're spending their days with hundreds of potential carriers that do not and probably can not really understand the implications of poor hygiene and Scotty is once again sitting on his hands.

    I sincerely hope that this all blows over and we come through the other side pretty much the same but I have my doubts. Thousands of doctors and healthcare workers are advocating for a total shutdown for 3-4 weeks to "flatten the curve" and there is currently no indication that this is going to happen. We have had months to prepare for this, a rapid response was required, but the gov are still playing it slow, while countries like China, Singapore and South Korea hit it early and hard and are showing signs of recovery.

    Sorry, I know this post is rather scattershot, but I am in an industry that is being crushed by this and I worry about our future so I've just sort of banged out a few thoughts on how I'm seeing. I think the economy is going take a massive hit no matter what (already is) so we should get cracking on getting the pain out of the way early so we can move onto recovery.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I guess that's the problem, no one really gives a stuff about anyone else, very much a case of I'm alright Jack.

    "out of tune PM who is once again failing to show any leadership so I feel his breath is wasted telling people not to hoard, and would be better spent explaining what the government is doing (and not just what they want us to do). Everything they've talked about so far is about what we are banned from doing and how they're going to try and prop up the economy."
    How would you suggest we, as a nation tackle the problem? let me guess, more cash handouts! if we were not so busy living beyond our means perhaps we would be better placed to cope financially when these Crises come along.
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    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    I don't have the answers, I am not an economist or a health professional or a politician. I really made that post to highlight that we do in fact bat eyelids at the road toll and got carried away with the train of thought. I don't think cash handouts should be on the cards but yeah, there needs to be a way to keep people home to a prevent the spread of the virus, and there will inevitably have to be a financial incentive to stay home, I unfortunately don't know what that looks like.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    I really made that post to highlight that we do in fact bat eyelids at the road toll and got carried away with the train of thought.
    Yep, understand what you say, I used the road toll as a single illustration, there are many other conditions that take millions of lives each year, interesting figures here from the WHO https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death
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    This is a drama we will all see play out in real time before our eyes, with the claims of experts back and forth, all believing each is totally right.

    The closest relevant comparison I can think of is the 1919 Spanish Flu.

    The Spanish Flu wiped out about 50-100M at a time when experts knew little about viruses with more deaths than the slaughter of combatants in WW1.

    The options range from treating Covid19 as a very bad flu, i.e. business as usual, to shutting the country down as is currently being done. The effect of doing so on the entire population is more than I can imagine and I suspect the cure is worse than the problem. However 3% of 24M as my worst case death estimate is 720,000, so I am very reserved as to being critical of those at the coal face trying their best to provide solutions.

    As they say, prepare for the worst and hope for the best, appears appropriate at this stage.
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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Yelta, there is a proportion of the population that do not need any help to whip themselves into a state of hysteria.
    The rest of the population (I'm beginning to think this proportion is not the majority) will absorb what information is available and make a rational assessment about what they need to do.
    The latter group will always be the ones who miss out on the baked beans, pasta and toilet paper as they are not disposed to panic-buy and will only think about it after the shelves are empty.
    The "media hysteria" has in the main, been the product of a Nation totally unprepared for an epidemic (let alone a pandemic) and a government that is making it up as they go along, unfortunately with a substantial time-lag.
    Hopefully this experience may result in the development of comprehensive plans by governments at all levels (hopefully also coordinated) and the acquisition of the appropriate medical supplies and infrastructure to cope with the next one which will inevitably occur.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Yelta, there is a proportion of the population that do not need any help to whip themselves into a state of hysteria.
    The rest of the population (I'm beginning to think this proportion is not the majority) will absorb what information is available and make a rational assessment about what they need to do.
    The latter group will always be the ones who miss out on the baked beans, pasta and toilet paper as they are not disposed to panic-buy and will only think about it after the shelves are empty.
    G'Day Rocky, some may well miss out, others, and I include my family in this category maintain a well stocked pantry as well as a freezer full of cooked meals and other perishables, I suspect this habit comes from growing up during the post war era when food and other consumables were in very short supply.

    I read a comment from a woman who lives on a station the other day re panic buying, she couldn't comprehend the panic buying mentality, her thoughts were along the lines of, doesn't everyone maintain a backup supply, just in case.

    I note in the US one of the hot ticket items for the "panicked" was frozen pizza, wonder how many in this day and age know how to cook.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Stories I've heard today is a shortage of ventolin caused by people buying up stock in the belief that it will ease COVID-19 symptoms and this tweet from a doctor:

    I live in a small town of 1500 people 100 kms from Melbourne. Yesterday 4 tour buses arrived from Melbourne and 200 people descended on our supermarket and stripped the shelves of everything. Not. One. Foodstuff. Left

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I grew up in the 50's and 60's and there was no shortage of consumables in Regional Queensland. Never acquired a habit of stockpiling groceries although we would normally have at least one replacement for most items - i.e. pack of 8 toilet rolls, 2 kilo rice, couple bags pasta, 2 kilo sugar, 2 kilo flour, and a couple of extras of anything we use regularly - but NOT dozens!
    Country folk (Station/Farm people are a special case as you need to buy in bulk on your trips into the city and would generally maintain a bit of a buffer) I'm surprised a Country person would expect city people to maintain a significant backup supply - just in case. Country people are usually very common-sense in my experience.
    The last thing most people want is a heap of stuff that they have no room for, stacked in every available corner. Also a lot of people simply cannot afford to hoard a supply of items.
    Panic buying of excessive supplies creates shortages (and problems) that would not otherwise exist and we go from a situation of everyone having enough to some people having more than they can use and others not having any. There is absolutely no justification for panic buying and hoarding and supermarkets/stores should be required by law to ration items the moment this begins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I guess that's the problem, no one really gives a stuff about anyone else, very much a case of I'm alright Jack.

    "out of tune PM who is once again failing to show any leadership so I feel his breath is wasted telling people not to hoard, and would be better spent explaining what the government is doing (and not just what they want us to do). Everything they've talked about so far is about what we are banned from doing and how they're going to try and prop up the economy."
    How would you suggest we, as a nation tackle the problem? let me guess, more cash handouts! if we were not so busy living beyond our means perhaps we would be better placed to cope financially when these Crises come along.
    The Mooch was suggesting 4.2 trillion dollars was necessary for the USA to tackle the fallout from the virus as well as costs associated with the virus itself.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/p...nge/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    The Mooch was suggesting 4.2 trillion dollars was necessary for the USA to tackle the fallout from the virus as well as costs associated with the virus itself.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/p...nge/index.html
    Quoting CNN is part of the problem.
    Also, TDS is more prevalent with certain sections of the media and population.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    Quoting CNN is part of the problem.
    Also, TDS is more prevalent with certain sections of the media and population.
    TDS? three times a day, total dissolved solids???

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    OCD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    TDS? three times a day, total dissolved solids???
    "Trump Derangement Syndrome". Not to be confused with BDS or ODS.
    Regards
    OCD.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    "Trump Derangement Syndrome". Not to be confused with BDS or ODS.
    Regards
    OCD.
    New one on me, quite apt.
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    Hi, TDS new on me too, good one though. How about MDS, media derangement syndrome. Just a silly question? to put things in perspective, how many people have died this year from the flu and why doesn't this get airtime. Or how many people have died in Libya or anywhere else because of ego driven dick swinging. or how about-----? John

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    OCD
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    Quote Originally Posted by chippy View Post
    ...Just a silly question? to put things in perspective, how many people have died this year from the flu and why doesn't this get airtime. Or how many people have died in Libya or anywhere else because of ego driven dick swinging. or how about-----? John
    I'm guessing because they don't have the potential to kill 4% of the world's population which, by my calculation, would be about 280,000,000 people.
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    There is an interesting article questioning the cica 4% mortality thinking OCD here;
    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/...reliable-data/

    Due to the fact so many people with Coronovirus were in the upper age ranges were infected in China, Italy and in other countries with ageing populations, it could turn out that the mortality rates are much the same as any other influenza strain.

    But playing down the situation won't be good for clickbait or sell news stories so I don't see it getting that much press.
    Last edited by roosterben; 1 Week Ago at 02:45 PM.
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    Hi OCD, thanks for the reply and you are perfectly correct, and you and I (everyone) hope / pray that potential isn't realised. I was replying to Yelta's post on media hysteria,which I believe to be correct. My reference to the Flu was the estimate by WHO (lies, damn lies etc) of 294,000-518,000 deaths in 2017/18. and the flu will return every year. OK its not 280,000,000 but there are other issues the press could look at and report responsibly. I think Yelta is not only right but understated. John

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    OCD
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    We get the press we collectively deserve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenK View Post
    This is a drama we will all see play out in real time before our eyes, with the claims of experts back and forth, all believing each is totally right.

    The closest relevant comparison I can think of is the 1919 Spanish Flu.

    The Spanish Flu wiped out about 50-100M at a time when experts knew little about viruses with more deaths than the slaughter of combatants in WW1.

    The options range from treating Covid19 as a very bad flu, i.e. business as usual, to shutting the country down as is currently being done. The effect of doing so on the entire population is more than I can imagine and I suspect the cure is worse than the problem. However 3% of 24M as my worst case death estimate is 720,000, so I am very reserved as to being critical of those at the coal face trying their best to provide solutions.

    As they say, prepare for the worst and hope for the best, appears appropriate at this stage.
    I typed this on my iPhone at 230am, I apologies for what are probably gross typing errors.

    unfortunately I think this may be a massive underestimation (24m) I have spent a lot of time looking at the data, this is an excellent site https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

    however, one important piece of missing information is what is really happening in China. On feb 11th they started a phone tracking system, on feb 16it went mostly nation wide, then on 18th they started phasing back into work. Yet, that is exactly when the cases stopped. It makes zero sense unless the people are simply too scared to go and get tested (that’s a whole conversation centered around the app I won’t go into here, but obviously this data is unreliable at best)

    if we remove China’s data from the picture, the world is currently doubling at a 5 day rate. And America is just coming on the scene which has doubled and tripled of each the last few days. And we will certainly be the worst at containing it by far. Our health care is basically just a big middle finger to half our country, so, yea... Thus I expect the doubling rate to stay the same or get worse as it spreads in USA but if it stays at 5 days we would hit 1billion infected in just 60days. This would cause the death rate to soar over the current 2.2% because

    1: USA is so unhealthy something like 67% have an additional at risk factor

    2: the worlds healthcare will be overwhelmed. Then of course just a week or so later and it’s practically the whole world. The window to slow it down is closing rapidly and it’s barely started, if USA can’t do better immediately it’s going to be way more than 24m.


    also, I notice that Russia has performed some of the most test in the world. They have performed way more test than Australia, they also have 4x Australia’s population. However, Australia has 4x as many cases as Russia. I mean, even South Africa has almost as many cases as Russia and the number of tests they have performed is almost nothing compared to Russia (74,000ish to 600ish) this suggests to me that the covid might in fact be seasonal but like many other viruses it will peak in the summer. I thought Canada might be a good sign that it isn’t going to peak in the summer (with some 800 cases) until I compared Ontario and Victoria British Columbia to Moscow’s weather. Where Moscow had sustained periods of 20degrees those areas in Canada with the virus were largely in the 40s. Thus, I am quite concerned it may be suggesting a summer virus, hence the relatively slow growth in China until Hubei started seeing 60degree weather at the end of Jan.

    worst, with the obvious misinformation from China we have no way of relying on the recovery rates posted. Thus we really don’t know the death toll since the rest of the world has such low recovery yet, and already very high death rates. Now that it is in USA, I really think we are underestimating it, not overreacting. If only we could all manage it as well as South Korea though! Man they have done fantastic so far but as it spreads in Seoul it’s probably going to break out of their control as well.

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    Sorry but comparisons to the Flu are not logical. In the world of true skeptics these types of arguments are known as "whataboutisms".

    The following is a cut and paste from the following website which has good wrap ups and links for science based information if people would like to stay informed and ignore the hysteria on both sides.

    "On the one hand, everyone is probably tired of the incessant Coronavirus/Covid-19/pandemic news, but on the other hand that is the big news everyone wants to hear. We’re trying to strike a balance here, and in fact we should probably be writing more about it given the number of questions and requests I am receiving. David Gorski gave an excellent update just two days ago, and I wrote about Coronavirus myths vs facts two weeks ago. But the information is moving quickly and there has already been a few bits of news I thought worthy of another update.

    I won’t give the numbers. Dave’s update will do, and there are plenty of sites from the CDC to the WHO if you want the latest up-to-the-second numbers. Bottom line – it’s bad. If you just look at the raw numbers it may not seem that impressive, especially since the number of cases and deaths are much higher in for the seasonal flu. But don’t be confused – this is a much more deadly virus, it is very contagious, and causes serious illness. I will reinforce was Dave reported and what the experts are endlessly saying – our hospital system will be overwhelmed (like it is in Italy) if we don’t slow down the spread of this disease through aggressive social distancing. Everyone needs to take this very seriously.

    Ironically, if we are successful and avoid a worst-case scenario, like Hong Kong and some other locations have, then the uninformed cynics will say that it was all hype and panic. Don’t believe them. Don’t believe the talking heads saying that it is not that bad, that you should still go out and keep up your economic activity. Rather, we should be seriously preparing for social isolation for several weeks at least. This is likely beyond the experience of most Westerners living today, and it may be challenging, but I think we’re up to it if we ignore the naysayers. Listen to the experts instead.

    Here are some bits of virus news, some encouraging, some sobering:"

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/more-covid-19-news/
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    I think the best source of info is your mate the medico. S/he is currently working arse off in a way like never before and will be for some time. It's no 'flu.

    As for food, we comfortably feed an entire country even at Christmas when some seem to eat for two- or three.

    My preference is for fresh food and regardless of stupidity, there is still fresh food. The choice might be limited, but there is still food. We who gives a crap and have a couple of boxes of tissues, some cleaners and some painkillers and there's probably enough to eat around the home to get us through a couple of weeks. Nobody's going to starve.

    The hysteria? Seems as if a goodly proportion of our population are lemmings in training.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    The hysteria is difficult to comprehend.

    We live in a small community 160km North of Adelaide, workers from our local supermarket tell us people are driving up here from Adelaide to stock up on stuff that's sold out down there.
    Lemmings4.jpg

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    I have avoided commenting so far, however this is getting seriously crazy. Media hype is biting deep and creating mass hysteria.

    For an equally scary example of media power, see the BBC documentary "The power of nightmares" which is about how J Dubya got elected. And be very scared - it happened in Oz elections more than once - "Tampa overboard" being merely the most scurrilous example.

    Now for a minor reality check. Only 3% of the deaths so far have NOT had "moderate to severe" secondary health problems (look out USA - half the population is a "health train wreck"). Further, most of the fatalities have been over 70 - so the earlier posts about it mainly hitting the elderly are on the money. Mister, why do I feel like a duck in a shooting gallery? (I am not a spring chicken).

    So what did our utterly incompetent Oz Guvmnt do? Waited (for plainly stated "economic reasons") until the horse had bolted and then closed the stable door. Waited a week or two and then, amidst a blaze of publicity, bolted the door. Waited another week or three and then hit the panic button and padlocked the stable door - complete with more media frenzy. Now they are trying to close everything down - far too much knee jerk, way too late to matter.

    Meanwhile our "Health Dept" sat on its hands whilst spending more time preparing "nice bureaucratic media spin" than getting clear messages out.

    Now for the personal touch - I went to the WA Symphony Orchestra "Covid19 concert" on Saturday 7th March. The Perth concert hall / WASO sent me a timely email (very early Sunday morning) which clearly stated the whole situation (down to the seat row the infected person was in). Kudos to WASO.

    The media (boo hiss) implied it was the person's fault for attending - total BS. She had flown from Cuba to UK to Perth - all low risk - and had no symptoms for a few days, felt unwell and got herself checked as a precaution - and even her doctor told her not to worry at that time. She received her test results at about the time the concert ended and advised the WASO staff and Health Dept immediately. Seriously, I doubt she could have been more responsible about the whole thing. As a music lover, missing Beethoven's 7th symphony under those circumstances - no way, Jose. Big thumbs down to the media.

    Then, as if the media frenzy was not bad enough, WA Health sent me a pile of steaming bureaucratic BS 1:30PM MONDAY afternoon. As a precaution I had already self isolated for 36 HOURS before their "advice". Had WASO not got their act together I would have done my normal Sunday & Monday "swim & gym", followed by a prearranged breakfast at the local Kent St Deli (multiple award winning cafe which is always crowded) and then off to Rocky City shopping centre (one of WA biggest) for my weekly (non panic buying) shopping. In other words, our primary health providers advice was so useless I would have "close contacted" about 1,000 people before I even received a mealy mouthed pile of steaming crud which did not even clearly state what had hapened. If Health are our custodians for this issue, we are in a lot of trouble.

    So in my view it is hard to know whether the media, the Health Dept or the oxygen thieves in Canberra are doing a worse job. Big black mark to all three.

    End rant.

    TampIt
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    Some may consider it dense reading, but it is factual, informative, and not terribly long; dated earlier this week. You could settle for the Summary and Discussion.

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imp...16-03-2020.pdf

    We can suppress or mitigate. The major risk is overwhelming existing health resources. Without action, 2.2m deaths in USA alone would rather exceed 1.25m world-wide for what-about-flu.

    Adding a personal view, the economy will follow the health outcome. Look ahead for 1. treatment and 2. vaccine.

    It has been about a year. See you around again some time.

    edit: It's Discussion, not Conclusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by beensean View Post
    Some may consider it dense reading, but it is factual, informative, and not terribly long; dated earlier this week. You could settle for the Summary and Conclusion.

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imp...16-03-2020.pdf

    We can suppress or mitigate. The major risk is overwhelming existing health resources. Without action, 2.2m deaths in USA alone would rather exceed 1.25m world-wide for what-about-flu.

    Adding a personal view, the economy will follow the health outcome. Look ahead for 1. treatment and 2. vaccine.

    It has been about a year. See you around again some time.
    A very good read.

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    It is scary enough to require sensible action on our part.

    I think our government is doing OK after a slow start. Like most countries we haven't prepared for an epidemic and we will all pay the price.

    One good thing is politicians are getting hit at a good rate so they will take this all very seriously, which they should of course.

    The virus is about to kick off big time in the next few weeks here in oz. It will be challenging.



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