Coronavirus

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    • #192953
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/cloneofchina-battles-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-200124234326882.html

      Is it the new plague? A return of the Black Death? Another Spanish Flu pandemic?

      Or an over-reaction and an unfounded panic?

      41 deaths is scarcely little more than a bus crash. 1,400 confirmed case – a blip compared with the increases measles cases. The rise and spread of Dengue fever is a genuine health emergency

      http://news.trust.org/item/20200124114822-5b3e5/

      WHO has not declared it as a global health emergency

      But already the stock market has responded with a drop – and no wonder at the closures of businesses and restrictions on travel. Couldn’t have happened at a worse time – the Chinese New Year – the world’s biggest migration of people.

      But what really struck me is that China is capable of building a new hospital, designed to have 1,300 beds,  scheduled to be completed in two weeks.

    • #192958
      ALB
      Participant

      https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-china-51245156

      Yes, building that hospital will be a great feat and shows what can be done when there’s a will — and as soon as socialism is established there will be a will to eliminate world poverty and the diseases it leads to. We know too that the US Air Force can build an airfield in the same sort of time. So the technical means to eliminate world poverty and disease are already to hand.

      All that is standing in the way is class ownership of the means of life and production for sale with a view to profit.

    • #192962
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      How quickly will the slums and shanty towns around the world can be demolished and re-built with decent housing and sanitation and infrastructures such as schools and clinics certainly won’t take as long as some presuppose. Similarly, the rural areas can be equipped with better connecting roads.

      I always mention that when the military is demobilised many of its regiments will in fact remain. The Royal Engineers, The Corp of Signals and Transport, logistic brigades, Medical Corps, REME, etc.  These will be diverted to civilian use in the undeveloped and developing world, making use of those skills for civilian use, as you say, building airfields and laying bridges.

    • #192963
      ALB
      Participant

      If this becomes a world pandemic (hope not) maybe we would enter the scenario in Pieter Lawrence’s novel The Last Conflict where the world is threatened by an asteroid hurtling towards it and the authorities everywhere are forced to forget about monetary constraints and set about mobilising resources directly to deal with it (to built underground shelters, if I remember).  Not the ideal way for world socialism to come about, but it was just a novel.

    • #192964
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      I think it isn’t the right analogy. One was an extra-terrestrial threat.

      This simply could become very protectionist…as we see with the now closed city and province of Wuhan, whole countries might be placed in quarantine and of course civil liberties suspended and probably a rise of xenophobia soon as a stranger shows  a temperature.

      As mentioned there would be serious economic ramifications, another world recession. To adapt a saying, if China catches a cold, then the whole world will begin to sneeze.

      I recall one flu epidemic several years ago brought trains and other parts of the economy to a temporary stand-still.  With Brexit, could the UK endure an additional economic strain.

      It would also result in the collapse of the NHS which health experts say is already tottering towards a collapse of services every Winter with normal seasonal flu. A pandemic would bring it crashing down.

      So far it is only the old folk with pre-existing chest complaints that have died. The risk is as with flu, is it once again mutates into something more virulent and I believe this is the reason for the urgency to contain and remove it.

      I recall the World was awaiting for bird flu to cross over the species line, which it did but only in a few isolated cases where there was much more human chicken contact.

      Then there was SARS, again originating in China which they stopped from turning into a global pandemic.

      This too I think will not develop into a Spanish Flu (note how we do blame foreigners) which killed millions upon millions.

      No – on this topic I am an optimist, not gloom and doom.

      Atishooo… and we all fall down

    • #192970
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Oh, I should add, that if this is indeed serious, I fully expect the pharmaceutical industries to try to hold the World to ransom, just as they did when the HIV/AIDS epidemic took place and the outrageous price demands they placed on antiviral medicines.

      It took a lot of political lobbying from activists plus the competition threat from cheap Indian generics to make them reduce the costs of treatment.

    • #192971
      robbo203
      Participant

      This too I think will not develop into a Spanish Flu (note how we do blame foreigners) which killed millions upon millions.

      Talking of which the first suspected case of coronavirus has just been identified here in Granada, Spain – a Chinese tourist

    • #192974
      marcos
      Participant

      There is an epidemic of Tuberculosis around the world and they are not talking about that, it is considered one of the diseases of the poor peoples, it is a disease produced by poverty,  lack of medical services,  poor nutrition, and lack of proper sanitation. There are thousands of cases in the USA

    • #192975
      marcos
      Participant

      In the USA there are millions of Peoples infected with Hepatitis and they are not ready to face the problem, and many homeless are also infected with hepatitis

    • #192976
      marcos
      Participant

      There are thousands of peoples infected with Measles and chickenpox and there are more than 30 millions of  peoples without medical coverage

    • #192977
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      I have already mentioned the rise in dengue fever cases due to the changing climate patterns and the subsequent spread of the species of mosquitoes which carry it.

      But also related to climate change is the rise of Lyme Disease caused by widening spread of ticks.

      Compared to Ebola, in the Congo, measles is far the greater killer.

      Swine flu is also a potential disease doctors are waiting for to mutate

      But already because of the swift reaction of the Chinese government, old-time Maoists are out hailing their response

      Flu Deaths: US 6,600 — China 25

    • #192978
      ALB
      Participant

      I was wondering when you were going to get round to blaming climate change 😁

    • #193001
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Look on the bright side, at least David “National Treasure” Attenborough will be cheered up if half the world’s population die.

      He talks about overpopulation, if he was sincere he could at least do the honourable thing and top himself. It might not solve the situation, bit at least it would give me a laugh.

    • #193002
      robbo203
      Participant
    • #193015
      marcos
      Participant

      There is an epidemic of Dengue in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and after the earthquake in Haiti, ( or Hayti )  the amount of peoples infected has increased, and now the scapegoat in the Dominican Republic are the Haitians, they must blame everything on poverty and misery produced by capitalism, and the US corporation who are destroying the rivers and the lack of potable clean water.

      The Sorcerer with an academic diploma in Theology known as Pat Robertson said that the earthquake is in  Haiti was produced by god because they practice Voodoo and Santeria,  but the first question is what is the difference between Voodoo, Santeria,  and Christianity ?  and the second one is, what produced the earthquake in the Caribbean region?

      Santeria is the Catholicism of the black slaves of the Caribbeans which were not permitted in the Protestants and Catholics church, and they created their religion, saints and rituals, similar to the Catholics saints and rituals,  and earthquake in the Caribbean are produced by two tectonic plates, one coming from North America and another one from the Caribbeans region,  and Milwaukee deep, and when both reached each together, one below the other one,  they crack into pieces producing an earthquake.

      We can see how religion is used to justify poverty and contradicts science, no wonder why a communist party in the Caribbean  called  pope Paul II  the Great Sorcerer

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by marcos.
    • #193122
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      I am being constantly surprised at just how well society can mobilise itself world-wide to deal with a potential threat.

      This  coronavirus outbreak shows what an effective campaign can be put into action when needed and the numbers are not even relatively significant. The mere change in seasons incapacitate and kill more people.

      As indicated already by Marcos many pre-existing diseases do not rate the same sort of urgency, often because the cause of those illnesses are systemic to capitalism – poverty and overcrowding.

      As ALB has pointed out in his post every district around the world could have a hospital up and working with an airport bringing in the necessary staff and medical supplies,  all in a matter of a few weeks – yet under capitalism it takes years and requires financing from PFI so to line the pockets of business.

      We see humanitarian responses every time there is a natural disaster. But under capitalism, what we also witness is the first priority is restoring “law and order” and protecting private property. Who can forget that the initial aid and assistance on the scene in New Orleans was the National Guard declaring people to be looters (particularly if you were non-white) for taking food and bottled water from the supermarkets

    • #193143
      robbo203
      Participant

      It seems from this that the coronavirus was actually patented way back in 2003/4. I am not quire sure what to make of this.   Does this mean the virus was simply identified or developed under lab conditions?  If the latter then the implications are (potentially) alarming

       

      Thoughts?

      https://patents.google.com/patent/US7220852

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by robbo203.
    • #193145
      robbo203
      Participant

      Also this

      https://www.ccn.com/israeli-analyst-one-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-less-crazy-than-you-think/

      But the above seems to be dismissed as conspiracy theory according to this

      https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-51271037

       

       

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by robbo203.
    • #193147
      DJP
      Participant

      Coronavirus are a group of viruses, given the name because of the shape (‘corona’ means crown). There is no such thing as “the” coronavirus, the word refers to a group.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus

    • #193152
      marcos
      Participant

      It is more hysteria than anything else, that group of the virus has existed for a long time. Dengue is more dangerous and thousands of peoples are infected in Latin America and the Caribbean

    • #193214
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/01/coronavirus-weaponised-way-to-be-openly-racist

      “…Coronavirus has spread to at least 16 countries including Japan, Thailand, Australia, France, the US and the UK. Hostility and racism directed by some people towards east Asians seems to be spreading faster still….”

    • #193222
      ALB
      Participant

      In the days before political correctness this sort of thing used to be called “Asian flu” but it wasn’t a joke:

      https://www.britannica.com/event/Asian-flu-of-1957

    • #193271
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster
    • #193276
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51352535

      The Shanghai Composite index fell nearly 9% before recovering slightly, while commodity prices also slumped. Manufacturing, materials, and consumer goods companies are among the hardest hit. China’s travel and tourism sectors have already taken a hit over an unusually quiet Spring Festival break, while cinemas were forced to close to try to contain the virus. Meanwhile, numerous factories have suspended production while companies have instructed employees to work from home
      Foxconn, Toyota, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Volkswagen are just a few of the corporate giants to have paused operations or shuttered outlets across China.

      But every cloud has a silver lining – the good news – healthcare shares soar.

    • #193282
      marcos
      Participant

      The capitalist crisis is always blamed in different factors instead of the internal logic of the operation of capitalism. China despite its large industrial and commodities production they already had an economic slow down before the emerge of the virus. Pharmaceuticals are expecting  to make huge profits

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by marcos.
    • #193302
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Sad thing, Matt, they can also build prisons and detention camps in the same short time

    • #193328
      ALB
      Participant

      A contributor to the Socialist Standard has drawn attention to what the Indian government is recommending to deal with this:

      https://www.sciencealert.com/india-s-government-is-recommending-homeopathy-to-ward-off-the-coronavirus

      As the article says:

      “If it weren’t for the Dalai Lama recently telling his followers to chant a mantra as protection, India’s purported tips to fend off the coronavirus might be the least effective advice offered yet. Now, the two will have to battle for that top spot”

      At least the Chinese government isn’t relying on “traditional Chinese medicine” which they have been known to promote in general. They are not so stupid when things are serious.

    • #193343
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #193383
      marcos
      Participant

      The Indian government like all the capitalists around the world, they do not want to invest money and resources on the needs of the peoples, they are too busy trying to compete for the military hegemony around the world and to compete with others superpowers , they are spending billions of dollars in modern weapons and atomic bombs but pennies for the poor peoples

    • #193423
      ALB
      Participant

      I didn’t think they were going to be so stupid but apparently the Chinese authorities are promoting the unproven quack remedies of “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (Mumbo jumbo inherited from the pre-scientific past of medicine when virus were unknown) as a way to combat this new variety of the coronavirus;

      https://factcheck.afp.com/medical-doctors-challenge-claim-chinese-herbal-remedy-inhibits-novel-coronavirus-after-chinese-media

      They are using it as a complement to scientific medicine which of course will allow them to claim that any improvement is due at least in part to TCM whereas it will be due entirely to scientific medicine.

      No wonder other countries want to get their citizens out of China. If I was there I would want to too.

    • #193430
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      A brief article on TCM here

      Material World: TCM – Cheaper and Nastier

    • #193434
      ALB
      Participant

      Chairman Mao may have promoted TCM (for others) because it was cheap but the present Chinese government promotes it because it is also a profitable export item. As an article in the September/October 2019 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer explained:

      “Outside the WHO domain, the Chinese government is pursuing a similar agenda—TCM as an export product—by attempts to have an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for, for example, TCM herbs and sterilization procedures for acupuncture needles (Dorlo and Timmerman 2009). These attempts fit the overall goal of the Chinese government to enlarge China’s herbal exports and to gain recognition for Chinese herbs, given that the Chinese herbs will never be able to receive a formal medical product registration for European or U.S. markets due to the “strict” requirements to demonstrate efficacy and safety. At this moment, ISO standards provide a false aura of reliability to thirty-three TCM products and “activities” of planting, from the sowing of ginseng seeds to an infrared moxibustion device, and another forty-three standards are in the making (International Organization for Standardization 2019). In a direct meeting between then WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and President Xi Jinping, the latter said straightforwardly that he counted on a good collaboration between China and WHO and that he expected the WHO would help with “promoting TCM and Chinese herbs to foreign countries.” The Chinese government lobbied Chan repeatedly while attempting to increase TCM’s acceptancy and suitability for export. This culminated, among other things, in the publication of purely commercial paid advertising supplements in Nature in 2011 and Science in 2014, in which the pseudoscientific articles received an approval in a preface written by then WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. (See David Gorski, “Science Sells Out: Advertising Traditional Chinese Medicine in Three Supplements,” Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2015.) In 2017, the value of the growing Chinese export of medicinal herbs had peaked to $295 million (Cyranoski 2018).”

      Chan, though not a Chinese subject, was a Chinese appointee and having someone who believed in TCM at the head of the World Health Organisation, for 10 years from 2007-2017, was like having a representative of Saudi Arabia as the head of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

      Another article here, Alan?

    • #193435
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Here’s another sceptical article

      Chinese Media Is Selling Snake Oil to Fight the Wuhan Virus

      “TCM – a $45 billion market in China”

    • #193444
      marcos
      Participant

      Mao Tse Tung never used Traditional Chinese Medicine, but he recommended  to the Chinese peasants to use the Barefoot Doctors

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by marcos.
    • #193447
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Picked up at the Libcom website

      Coronavirus: nature fights back

      Some interesting observations in the comments also.

    • #193472
      marcos
      Participant

      This Coronavirus looks like a biological warfare

    • #193626
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #193984
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Of course, this virus is what the over-populationists have all been waiting for. A plague to wipe out the parasitical homo sapiens from the face of the Earth, well about 60% of us, at least.

      The conspiracists are at work already. Its a bio-weapon created by eugenic social engineers introducing the virus to reduce the population. It is the pharmaceutical industry seeking to make profits. Its a plot to get rid of the aged and elderly that are an increasing drain on the economy.

      Depopulation for Profit? Bill Gates funded the PIRBRIGHT institute, which owns the patent on coronavirus

    • #194021
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      A global recession?

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/27/coronavirus-could-trigger-damage-on-scale-of-2008-financial-crisis-covid-19

      “analysts warned the outbreak could wreak economic havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.”

    • #194022
      robbo203
      Participant

      Of course, this virus is what the over-populationists have all been waiting for. A plague to wipe out the parasitical homo sapiens from the face of the Earth, well about 60% of us, at least.

       

      I understand the mortality rate is only about 2% though…

    • #194023
      marcos
      Participant

      More peoples are dying from hunger, malnutrition, dengue, tuberculosis,  and smallpox than from Coronavirus

    • #194038
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Alan Johnson wrote A global recession?

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/27/coronavirus-could-trigger-damage-on-scale-of-2008-financial-crisis-covid-19

      “analysts warned the outbreak could wreak economic havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.”

      On the bright side shares in undertakers and coffin makers are on the up, might dust down my black suit and tie and apply for a job. With my miserable phizzog I should be a shoe in.

       

    • #194039
      marcos
      Participant

      The deep economical crisis of capitalism was already there before  the  Coronavirus, whatever is taking at the point of production can not be blamed on a medical disease. Capitalists always want to blame the problem of their system in something else. This is another crisis of super-production, In the USA the housing and real estate crisis is coming back, and bankers and investors continue building houses that they can not sell,  student loans are in the brinks of a bankruptcy and banks continue lending money and the USA continue providing guarantee to the banks,  car loans are in crisis, sales of cars have dropped but car dealers have a big pile of cars in their lots, farmers have an excessive amount of commodities that they can not sell, and they must be thrown away, the list is very extensive

      • #194047
        Matthew Culbert
        Keymaster

        Yes I think this is spot on. The trade wars and all that stuff along with the contraction on China,were happening before the coronavirus.

        This is not to minimise the seriousness of the virus, but it is not the cause of capitalism’s current ills.

    • #194052
      ALB
      Participant

      Put off by the title “Covid-19. More evidence that capitalism has become a danger to humanity”, I started to read this article thinking it was going to be more ICC millenarianist nonsense about capitalism bringing about the literal  “decomposition” of society, but, actually, apart from the tendentious title and a few references to “decomposition”, it’s not all that bad and makes a few good points:

      https://en.internationalism.org/content/16810/more-evidence-capitalism-has-become-danger-humanity

    • #194074
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.iamat.org/country/haiti/risk/dengue

      This is a big epidemic in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and all rivers have been polluted by Canadian and USA mining companies,  and this disease is transmitted by mosquitoes

    • #194075
      robbo203
      Participant

      The comments section makes for interesting reading including this one for the statistical geeks

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/opinions-i-have-the-coronavirus-so-far-it-isnt-that-bad/ar-BB10yKyg?ocid=spartanntp

       

      “All these prophets of doom saying it is a pandemic, there have been about 1200
      deaths so far and the population is 7.7million. That is 0.0064166666666667%.
      “We estimated an average of 389 000 (uncertainty range 294 000-518 000) respiratory deaths were associated with influenza globally each year during the study period, corresponding to ~ 2% of all annual respiratory deaths. Of these, 67% were among people 65 years and older”
      Recent University of Edinburgh study.
      By all means take precautions but no need to panic yet.”

    • #194076
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Not all bad news. China’s pollution levels drop.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51691967

    • #194099
      marcos
      Participant

      More than 15,000 peoples in Paraguay have been inflected with Dengue and 34 have died already. Those diseases are only popular and are a world threat  when they come from China or Iran

    • #194100
      marcos
      Participant

      The USA is not prepared to handle the Coronavirus, and they can not build a hospital in a few days like it was done in China, and the person assigned for this task does not know anything about Medicine and infectious diseases, he is just a religious fanatic,  probably, they would be forced to take money from the military budget like Trump did for the Mexican wall, or to make another overdraft from the state checking account. After 50 years of Chinese capitalist development, many peoples have discovered that the USA is completely dependent on Chinese industrial production including medications, and medical supplies

    • #194313
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #194546
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Preparing for the Apocalypse – the first Horseman on his white horse  is called Pestilence.

      Matt Hancock said: “We are working with the supermarkets to make sure that, if people are self-isolating, then we will be able to get the food and supplies that they need.”
      But supermarket sources said they had not discussed getting food to homes.
      One executive said he was “baffled” by the suggestions.
      An executive told BBC business editor Simon Jack: “Matt Hancock has totally made up what he said about working with supermarkets. We haven’t heard anything from government directly.”
      He added that sales of cupboard basics such as pasta and tinned goods have “gone through the roof”. There was no suggestion that there were food shortages, but people bringing forward some purchases was creating logistical challenges, he said.

      The executive added: “While I think people don’t need to panic buy and should just shop normally, I’m not sure the government can guarantee all food supply in all instances.”

      https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51769184

    • #194554
      ALB
      Participant

      Yes, there is something in common between being doomed by this virus and being doomed by global warming. It’s the concept of a “reasonable worst case scenario” as something that has some slight chance of happening but probably won’t.

      I don’t know why the government has mentioned the remote possibility of 80 percent of the population getting it and a million dying. This was bound to frighten some people and lead to panic buying.

      We’ll see but won’t have to wait till 2100 to find out if it was necessary to scare people by invoking a “reasonable worst case scenario”.

    • #194569
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      With a survival rate of 98% there is no cause for alarmism. Those dying are the same people who get serious complications from ordinary flu.

      Marcos has often pointed out the mortality of various preventable social illnesses such as TB are producing higher death tolls.

      Here is  PRE-coronavirus press story

      Deadly flu outbreak could spread in 36 hours and kill 80,000,000 people, experts warn

      But there is a link between disease and global warming. Various nasty bugs are migrating as the weather warms to places previously unaccustomed to them.

      But the silver lining is that the downturn in the economies of the world because of coronavirus means a drop in carbon emissions. They say GHG is down a quarter in China.

      And another point to ponder is how we can have such a global shift in government policies such as shutting down public gatherings etc yet the climate crises does not warrant such an emergency response when air pollution kills millions is ignored. No matter how Greta criticised air travel, there was not much of an impact, but coronavirus has made a airline bankrupt with others soon to follow.

      As long as you don’t have a cough or a sneeze, a great time to travel with plane ticket prices dropping and no crowds at plenty of the tourist spots.

       

    • #194591
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/world/africa/madagascar-locusts/index.html

      Due to climate destruction, in some countries around the world, specially Africa, there is a big pandemic of locust infestation which is destroying agriculture and there is going to be a big shortage of foods and it is going to produce hunger, poverty, and diseases. The press is not saying anything about it, because this is a pandemic produced by capitalism. If some of these journalists ( which I call cardboard reader ) want to see a real pandemic they should go to Haiti where thousands of children are infected with Dengue, and they do not have any medications and hospital available

    • #194756
      robbo203
      Participant

      With a survival rate of 98% there is no cause for alarmism. Those dying are the same people who get serious complications from ordinary flu.

       

      This is true enough Alan (although I believe the survival rate is slightly lower than this in actuality – more like 96.5% according to more recent data).  However,  what is most concerning is the response to the spread of the Coronavirus and its manifold social and economic repercussions, rather than the number of deaths it causes . The 1918 flu pandemic claimed at least 50 million lives, or 2.5 per cent of the global population, according to current estimates; the coronavirus to date has claimed just under 4000 lives though this will change significantly over the coming weeks and months.

       

      With just over 100,000 cases worldwide we have already seen quite drastic actions being taken by governments – the latest being the Italian government – clamping down on freedom of movement and assembly.   Fear of the virus has caused a spike in incidence of racism domestically and calls for much stronger border controls

       

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/coronavirus-news-live-italy-death-toll-leaps-past-360-with-millions-quarantined-as-uk-prepares-emergency-laws-to-fight-infections/ar-BB10U1XA?ocid=spartanntp

       

      We are only at the start of something that is going to get much much worse in time. We can expect an almost exponential increase in the number of cases globally and we need to be prepared for what might well follow. Almost certainly its going exacerbate downward economic trends and trigger a global recession of huge proportions, in my view, surpassing that of 2008

       

      For people here who want to keep track of this development can I recommend this website

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

       

       

       

    • #194757
      marcos
      Participant

      This  virus is another pretext for government to suppress peoples, to discriminate against colored peoples and Asian and to continue eliminating certain bourgeois civil rights

    • #194760
      robbo203
      Participant

      Just a clarification on the mortality rate of coronavirus…

       

      “3.4% Mortality Rate estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of March 3

      In his opening remarks at the March 3 media briefing on Covid-19, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated:
      “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.” [13]

      Initial estimate was 2%

      Initially, the World Health Organization (WHO) had mentioned 2% as a mortality rate estimate in a press conference on Wednesday, January 29 [1][2] and again on February 10. However, on January 29 WHO specified that this was a very early and provisional estimate that might have changed. Surveillance was increasing, within China but also globally, but at the time it was said that t:
      We don’t know how many were infected (“When you look at how many people have died, you need to look at how many people where infected, and right now we don’t know that number. So it is early to put a percentage on that.”[1][2]).
      The only number currently known is how many people have died out of those who have been reported to the WHO.
      It is therefore very early to make any conclusive statements about what the overall mortality rate will be for the novel coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization”

       

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/#who-03-03-20

       

      If a 3.4% mortality rate was applied uniformly to the current world population of 7 billion this would result in a death toll of nearly 240 million,  about 5 times the size of the toll from the influenza pandemic of 1918.   Of course that is making all sorts of assumptions that may not hold

    • #194766
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Of course, we have the flu vaccination which is annually adjusted to meet the regular mutation of the flu virus and that reduced the mortality rate to 1%. What it would be without that, I have no idea.

      The vaccination for Covid-19 is still some years off.

      The economic impact of quarantined populations will as always hurt the poor more such as the Uber workers not covered by any paid sick-leave.

      We now see panic buying in the UK where Tesco, Boots and Waitrose announcing it will ration certain purchases.

      These are not any of the health consequences of Covid-19 but the result of capitalism.

      Just how would a socialist society handle an outbreak of a new contagious disease would make a good article for someone to write.

    • #194795
      robbo203
      Participant
    • #195000
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Robbo, George Galloway had a health expert on his show and it appears the earlier estimates about the mortality rate was based on statistics partly determined in China when there was a lack of knowledge on the care and treatment of those with Covid-19.

      However, later analyses of when they had better understanding shows that the mortality rate although still high was more in the region of 0.7 – 0.8%

    • #195046
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster

      I hope our H.O.O has stocked us up with hand gel, tissues, paper towels and masks for volunteers getting the Standard out and for EC meetings when the government health minister has got clobbered by this bug it is serious enough to warrant us taking robust preventative measures.

    • #195047
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster
       A guest lecture by
      Marcel Salathé in the BIO-477 Infection Biology course at EPFL a couple
      of weeks ago. It's a good introduction to basic epidemiology and summary
      of what we know about SARS-CoV-19/COVID-19 what it does, how it spreads,
      and so forth. It is worth watching if you're interested in those things.
      
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYTQI2DvAfo
      
    • #195048
      ALB
      Participant

      Now the Minister of Health has spread it:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-51827356

      You’ve got to laugh but either she didn’t do what her ministry was telling the rest of us to do or they’re running around like headless chickens.

      She’s a raving free-marketeer so maybe she thought she could ignore the advice of the “nanny state”.

    • #195049
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Was talking to a big hotel chamber-maid laid off with no compensation because of the cancellations of the bookings by the Chinese.

      I recall at the last flu outbreak the prison authorities were impressed by the enthusiasm of prisoners for hand-washing…until they discovered that most hand-gels are based on alcohol and was being used for making illicit hooch.

      In the US, inmates will be used to manufacture the hand sanitisers who typically earn less than $1 an hour and will be banned from using the gels they make.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/10/hand-sanitizer-prison-labor/

      Am I the only one unmoved by all this panic?..aaaatischooo…

    • #195119
      robbo203
      Participant

      Robbo, George Galloway had a health expert on his show and it appears the earlier estimates about the mortality rate was based on statistics partly determined in China when there was a lack of knowledge on the care and treatment of those with Covid-19. However, later analyses of when they had better understanding shows that the mortality rate although still high was more in the region of 0.7 – 0.8%

       

       

      Not according to this, Alan

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

       

      Also, if there is really no need for concern, why the concern? I mean its not exactly in the interest of business-as-usual to promote a panic on this scale, is it? We have seen significant falls in shares in stock markets round the world, lockdowns in Italy and elsewhere, all sorts of events cancelled and public transport affected.

       

      Is this all just a conspiracy by toilet roll  and hand gel manufacturers?   Or maybe Big Pharma hoping to cash in on the corona virus crisis?  Hmmmmmm

       

       

       

       

    • #195120
      Wez
      Participant

      Robbo, perhaps the reason is that the virus doesn’t respect wealth and the 1% are as likely to catch it as us proles.

    • #195121
      james19
      Participant

      I saw this on FB. One of my family members liked. All good I thought, he’s reposted/liked stuff which is a tad racist unfortunately.🙁

      This meme sums it up really.

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by james19.
    • #195172
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Robbo, there is many variations of the mortality figure. It is early days.

      “The mortality rate in South Korea, where more than 1,100 tests have been administered per million residents, comes out to just 0.6%, for example. In the U.S., where only seven tests have been administered per million residents, the mortality rate is above 5%…The quality of the data per country range from extremely precise, such as in South Korea and the U.K. to fairly rough, as with Australia, whose department of health offered a rounded number.”

      https://time.com/5798168/coronavirus-mortality-rate/

      The 3.4 percent estimated mortality rate will likely change downwards as more and better information comes in. Remember, stats are over-estimates because do not include those who suffer no or insignificant symptoms to bother going to the doctor and go uncounted.

      And of course it is age-related

      “In data from China, less than two-tenths of one percent of victims under 40 who got COVID-19 died from their infection. But the mortality rate multiplied rapidly as patients got older, to nearly 15 percent among patients over 80.”

      Why the concern? Is it a justifiable fear?  I still have no idea. It appears to be a panic or even hysteria.

      Perhaps it is the highly contagious nature of it compared with SARS or MERS which have higher mortality rates. Also the speed of first shown symptoms to an acute medical condition. Like the flu, perhaps it is its possible potential to mutate annually? Unlike controlling Swine flu or bird flu we cannot cull the population of infected or potentially infected animals.

      Question is about ignorance, even institutional, are we more developed in our emotional reactions to the unknown than a medieval population when faced with the Black Death and plagues?

      Am I coronavirus denialist by suggesting an over-reaction to it?…I may well be verging on being one.

      I view the consequences of the current response to Covid-19 to be more detrimental than the actual illness with the enforced quarantine and the economic impact on those financially vulnerable as that precarious employed chamber-maid I mentioned in my earlier post although some countries with advanced welfare systems are starting to tinker with it to cope with the economic issues. Poverty is always more a killer than any medical condition.

    • #195174
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      An update

      Was this a rational well-thought out public health policy?

      Trump has introduced a total travel ban from Europe, (excluding the UK), for 30 days.

      So we can expect Europeans now to rebook to fly to the USA via Heathrow and Gatwick.

    • #195182
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      The ICT view

      http://libcom.org/blog/initial-thoughts-coronavirus-its-fallout-10032020

      “There is a cure for this virus, as for all the other disasters that the capitalist disease has produced, is still producing and, even worse, will produce in the future. The cure is not immediate and definitive, that is clear, but it is a cure that fixes the minimum conditions for facing the environmental, human and social emergencies that capitalism will bequeath to the society that will replace it. Communism is the cure for this evil…We can guarantee our cure will work because it implies a radical change in mindset as well as in economic and social relations, exactly what this planet and this humanity so dramatically ill with capitalism needs today.”

    • #195183
      ALB
      Participant

      And he denounced it as a “foreign virus”, stopping short of saying it was biological warfare by China. You’ve got to give to him. He’s always true to form as the world’s prime idiot.

    • #195194
      robbo203
      Participant

      Robbo, perhaps the reason is that the virus doesn’t respect wealth and the 1% are as likely to catch it as us proles.

      There may be something in this Alan but is this not also true of the flu which in absolute terms kills off far more people?  Yet the official response to the regular culling of the old and the fragile – rich and poor alike –  has been far more muted. No lockdowns or cancelled flights or stock exchange crashes in that case

       

      I think the main driver behind the panic is the fact that the coronavirus is

      1.  So easily transmittable unlike MERS or SARs which are far deadlier but affected far fewer people .  Models I have come acorss suggest that in time, 50-70 % of the global population could succumb
      2.  The mortality is significantly above that of flu.   Granted the 3.4% mortality suggested by WHO  may well be an gross overestimate because it discounts lots of people whose symptoms are mild and who have not bothered to present themselves to the medical authorities (the same would be true of flu), even it is only 1%, if you combine that with the ease of transmission, you have quite an alarming picture – 1% of half the world’s population is a lot of dead people!

      I notice incidentally that the article from the ICT you posted states that:  “Italy has currently one of the worst death rates from coronavirus (4%), higher even than China’s. This despite locking down over a dozen towns”.  Perhaps, the variability of the death rate is additional factor causing concern

       

      Here in Spain the number of cases at the time of writing is 2277 with 55 deaths.  Spain has overtaken Germany which has 1966 cases with 3 deaths.  Why the stark difference?  Spain has a relatively good health  service – some would say better than the UK’s NHS – and longevity is higher in Spain than in Germany.   Maybe that’s part of the reason – we’ve got more old folk here cos we tend to live longer in Spain with all that Mediterranean food and oodles of sunshine which you poor buggers in Northern Europe are sorely missing

       

       

       

    • #195221
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Perhaps like pigs that are already facing swine fever pandemic,  people are reacting to crowded factory life conditions

      https://www.grain.org/en/article/6418-building-a-factory-farmed-future-one-pandemic-at-a-time

      African swine fever (ASF) outbreak has killed a quarter of the world’s pig population. The outbreaks are concentrated in geographic areas where small pig farms are being rapidly replaced by corporate pig farming operations. The vast majority of pigs that have died from this pandemic are in factory farms and primary vectors in the spread of the disease include meat processing plants, movements of live pigs and animal feed supply chains controlled by large pig farming companies. Big meat companies are making huge profits from the ASF pandemic and using it to consolidate their control over the global meat supply.

      In the 1990s, small backyard farms supplied around 80% of China’s pork needs. But this has changed rapidly over the past two decades, as the government has steadily industrialised the sector. By 2018, the share of pig farms with more than 500 pigs was around 80%, state-run media reported in November. The government is aiming for at least 65% of pork from industrial farming operations by 2025. As the government’s focus has shifted towards supporting larger-scale production, smaller operations continue to be squeezed into contract farming operations for larger companies.

       

       

    • #195232
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      India suspends visas for visitors from all other countries for at least a month in response to the coronavirus pandemic, effectively bans all tourism to India until at least 15 April. It will be enforced from Friday onwards.

      India’s coronavirus cases rose to 72

      Karnataka invoked 123-year-old legislation to announce that any person who refuses hospital treatment or violates their quarantine will be prosecuted.  The 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act was brought in by the occupying British administration to tackle the plague.

      Is this a rational decision by the Indian government or driven by ill-founded fear? Is it justified?

    • #195234
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Capitalism is an Incubator for Pandemics: Socialism is the Solution

      An interesting article that expresses much of our own ideas.

      “COVID-19 highlights the need for socialism to face epidemics like these. And by socialism, we don’t mean Medicare for All or New Deal liberalism. Medicare for All is not enough to face pandemics like the coronavirus. We mean a society in which human needs govern production, not the drive for profit. It’s a society without capitalists, where production and reproduction is democratically planned by the working class and oppressed. In this kind of society, we would be able to respond to the COVID-19 infinitely better than in capitalism.”

      “In a socialist society, both prevention and responses to outbreaks of illness would change drastically. Supplies such as hand soap, hand sanitizer, and surface sanitizing wipes or sprays are in extremely high demand at this time. We are already seeing shortages of key supplies around the world. The need for profit maximization under capitalism has led companies to drastically raise their prices in this time of high demand. For example, the Washington Post has reported drastic increases in prices of products such as Purell Hand Sanitizer. Under capitalism, scarcity leads to greater profit…A central aspect of socialism is a democratically run planned economy: an economy in which all resources are allocated according to need, instead of ability to pay. Need is decided democratically by both producers and consumers. With the means of production under workers’ control, we would be able to quickly increase production of these products in an emergency.”

      “Capitalism has led to a globalized system of production containing industries at disparate ends of the globe that truly depend on each other to function. This allows for a capitalist’s exploitation of a worker in a factory in China producing iPhones that goes unnoticed by an Apple customer here in the U.S.. It also allows corporations to drive down costs in one area of the world that may have weaker protections for workers. While this is beneficial for capitalists, outbreaks of illnesses such as COVID-19 highlight clear weaknesses in this system…Socialism cannot exist in only one country, so a global planned economy would be key in these moments. If one country is experiencing a shortage, others would have to make up for it. This is key for reigning in global epidemics like the coronavirus: it will only be stopped if we stop it everywhere. In a global planned economy, this would be a much easier task.”

      “Under socialism, the increased mechanization of production and the elimination of unnecessary jobs — goodbye advertising industry! goodbye health insurance industry! — would already drastically reduce the number of hours that we would need to work. We would be spending vast hours of the day making art or hanging out with friends and family. During disease outbreaks, we would be able to stay home at the first sign of a cold, in addition to getting tested right away. In a planned economy, we could allocate resources where they are most needed, and take into account a decrease in the workforce due to illness.”

      “Companies such as Gilead Sciences, Moderna Therapeutics, and GlaxoSmithKline all have various therapies in development. Each company’s interest in maximizing profits around their particular COVID-19 therapy has kept them from being able to pool their resources and data to develop therapies in the most expeditious manner possible. The state of COVID-19 research exposes the lies about capitalism “stimulating innovation.”… Expropriation of the capitalists would mean the public would no longer have to subsidize private corporate profits.”

      “Under socialism, the entire healthcare industry would be run democratically by doctors, nurses, employees, and patients. This would be drastically different from the current system in which wealthy capitalists make the major decisions in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturing firms, and insurance companies (the key players that make up the “medical industrial complex”).”

      “Capitalism created the conditions of the epidemic. Capitalist “solutions” are insufficient and exacerbate the crisis, meaning more sickness and more death. Capitalism has been an incubator for the continual spread of the coronavirus. Health care under this system will always be woefully inadequate in addressing epidemics. The coronavirus highlights the fact that we must move to a more social analysis of health and well-being. We are all connected to each other, to nature, and to the environment around us. Socialism will restructure society based on those relationships.
      At the same time, socialism is not a utopia. There will likely be epidemics or pandemics in socialism as well. However, a socialist society — one in which all production is organized in a planned economy under workers’ control — would best be able to allocate resources and put the creative and scientific energy of people to the task.”

      Nevertheless the article is still wedded to the belief that nationalisation is progressive.

    • #195270
      marcos
      Participant

      Dengue has increased to 66% in Argentina, the most affected ones are the poor peoples from Buenos Aires, therefore, the Stock Exchange is not going to collapse.

      https://www.clarin.com/sociedad/mapa-dengue-argentina-casos-14-provincias-crece-nivel-alerta_0_zLs3M41A.html

      This article says that there are 1,000 cases of Dengue  in Argentina in 14 provinces, but there are 9 cases of Coronavirus

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by marcos.
    • #195272
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/trump-coronavirus-photo-brazilian-aide-bolsonaro-contact-latest

       

      The President of the USA was in contact with one minister from Brasil which has Coronavirus, therefore, the president must be tested too, and  the whole white house must be placed in quarantine

    • #195273
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      One reason for the panic is that we have no natural immunity to COVID-19

      The best information now available suggests a fatality rate of around 0.7 per cent

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24532733-400-why-the-coronavirus-is-different-from-flu-and-warrants-major-action/

      To me what this highlights is that if those in power really thought the climate change was an emergency, urgent action could be taken despite the economic consequences as we now see in many nations lock-downs and travel bans.

      The fact that nothing like government responses to coronavirus is happening signifies that Greta’s and the greens’ message that we are on a cusp of an environmental emergency is not getting through, and governments are needlessly procrastinating over taking action.

      At what point will climate change result in similar intervention from the State?

       

    • #195275
      marcos
      Participant

      There is a Chinese doctor who tested the first Corona Vaccine on herself

    • #195276
      ALB
      Participant

      What is this dengue thing that we are all going to get rather the Coronavirus? What precautions do I have to take to stop getting it ?

    • #195277
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.cdc.gov/features/avoid-dengue/index.html

       

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6335707/

      Denque is a disease transmitted by Mosquitoes bite, the best prevention is wearing long sleeve pants and shirts, or using repellents, it is more frequently propagated in the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa, and place where the rivers have been polluted

    • #195282
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      The relevance of Dengue fever, an illness with no cure nor vaccine just palliative treatment, is it is spreading to previously non-affected regions due to  climate change but reaction is not as urgent despite some frightening stats.

      https://www.climate-change-guide.com/dengue-fever.html

      Where I lived in Kerala, there was no species of malaria carrying mosquitoes but Dengue infected ones were prevalent. And many were active day-time.

      The good news was that unlike malaria mosquitoes that are numerously different types, Dengue mosquitos tend to be specific species so can ultimately be tackled by genetic targeting to make them extinct.

      Another illness I read is on the spread is Lyme Disease, caused by tick bites and that too is being driven by climate change.

      There was a vaccine available for it until 2002, when the manufacturer, facing criticism that the effect wore off over time, discontinued production. Scientists are again researching a vaccine

      Reason for the lack of panic, is that it is neither is transmitted person to person.

    • #195321
      ALB
      Participant

      So there’s no chance of me or any member of the working class in Britain catching  it? On the other hand, there is a high chance of thousands here getting the Coronavirus and, as the prime minister has just announced, hundreds dying from it. As a pro-working class party we can’t complain that too much is being done to deal with it compared to what is being done about dengue fever. That won’t wash and can’t be our position. That’s irrelevant to the immediate threat to  workers here.

      We are not reformist but we must want as much to be done as it takes to protect the health and life of workers. Also the loss of earnings by those who can’t afford to take time off sick. I think that something along those lines  would  be a much more credible approach.

    • #195371
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “no chance of me or any member of the working class in Britain catching it”

      Little Englander  😛

      Marcos and I fully acknowledge we are part of the world socialist movement and recognise global threats

      “we must want as much to be done as it takes to protect the health and life of workers. Also the loss of earnings by those who can’t afford to take time off sick.”

      I’ve said as much to Robbo, having talked with a direct victim of her precarious employment.

      It isn’t coronavirus that is the real threat but it is the vulnerability of the poor, the inadequate health and social services.

      But i still have never really got an answer to Robbo’s question…why this concern of capitalists to Covid-19, that it is rushing themselves into a recession when the death toll is far less than ordinary flu, wars and conflicts and many other social ills where the actual death toll is ignored.

      I simply cannot believe it is the capitalist’s humanitarian concern for the relatively few victims.

      Is it, as some say and as being frequently revealed with increasing numbers of the elite falling victime, the same mind-set that brought improved sanitation and treated water supplies and ending adulteration of food – that the capitalists are also part of the public and suffer equally?

      The rich can retreat to their bunkers but you and I can’t

       

       

    • #195372
      marcos
      Participant

      Even bunkers are not safe for the capitalist class, it was proven in Iraq when the USA penetrated the walls of the bunkers with depleted uranium. I know that this disease is becoming a pandemic because it is affecting the rich class and the lack of health service that is affecting the poor

    • #195373
      marcos
      Participant

      Alan, Have I denied what you have said?

    • #195374
      marcos
      Participant
    • #195375
      ALB
      Participant

      That document says that there are a few hundred cases in the UK all acquired by travellers from areas where it is endemic. So not a problem for workers here. Unlike the Coronavirus which is an immediate current threat to the health and life of workers here.

      Incidentally dengue fever is a threat to some workers in the US as parts of the US are “tropical”:

      https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0005744

      In fact dengue fever is not the only Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) threatening workers in those parts of the USA. I can see therefore why in the US the amount of money devoted to dealing with these diseases compared with that being made available for combatting Coronavirus might be an issue.  It not in the UK or indeed the rest of Europe.

      Raising it here could even be counterproductive as, given nationalist sentiments, some politicians will be tempted to call for money to be diverted from the budget to deal with NTDs in other parts of the world to helping workers here.

      I don’t think that the government is prioritising the problem here because it affects the rich. I think it is to do with its effect on production as, with so many workers off sick, this will fall and the flow of profits be interrupted. A confirmation as to who the real “wealth producers” are. They will also be concerned with whether the health care system can cope with a huge unexpected increase in sick workers and the cost of dealing with this.

      What will also be revealing is, as Alan has raised, how capitalism deals with this global problem compared with how it is dealing with the threat of global overwarming. Will it be each state for itself here too? Or will the existence of a World Health Organisation be of some use?

       

    • #195377
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      ALB, I am still very puzzled.

      From what I read, for the vast majority of working age adults, Covid19 can be symptomless and at most a minor illness. Those at risk are the frail elderly and already chronically sick (you and I are probably in the former category) – non-productive sections of the population.

      So when you say, “…I think it is to do with its effect on production as, with so many workers off sick, this will fall and the flow of profits be interrupted…They will also be concerned with whether the health care system can cope with a huge unexpected increase in sick workers and the cost of dealing with this.” i’m not sure that applies.

      Just to repeat, it is not a debilitating illness for most healthy fit workers. Why should they care about its spread when it is there own actions such as self-imposed quarantine, lock-downs and ending travel which are impacting upon the profits, not the actual illness, nor the potential sick rate.

      The healthcare consequences is a real concern for it adds to the already existing burden  for looking after the aged and dependent which cannot be dealt with at the present time.

      I’m surprised that the right-wing has not already said it is nature’s way of culling those who are drain on resources.

      I am, as I said, truly mystified by the reactions of the ruling class and cannot think of any reason except mass hysteria.

      Can it be they have now got an irrational fear of contamination from the “masses” and as Marcos says, there is no place for them to hide in their mansions.

      It is almost like all those Zombie movies and we are walking dead to them.

      When will they begin treat us like lepers were in the past, we have to ring our bell and call out “Unclean…Unclean”

      When this pandemic exhausts itself, and herd immunity to the coronavirus is established, and all the panic fades away as we return to normalcy, will ordinary people learn that drastic government legislation that reduces the corporations profits can be passed to protect people.

      And when, in the future, similar action is called for and it is opposed, will our fellow-workers recognise it is being done for the benefit of vested interests and not the well-being of the majority?

      Perhaps we will all become aware of what community really means and that share prices on the stock-market does not reflect the real welfare of the people.

      It might be as you suggest ALB, a silver-lining.

      But the more I read the less I see that we have global cooperation to tackle it but individual nations taken un-coordinated action without consultation.

      WHO’s role appears to be collating data. It is not being used to apply its recommended policies and best practice.

       

    • #195379
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      An unintended consequence of closing schools and nurseries in Ireland and elsewhere because of COVID19 is that many poor kids will be deprived of their free school dinners.

      Working single mothers will have the responsibility of day-care for their children which means time-off work or unsupervised kids at home.

      What is worse?

    • #195380
      ALB
      Participant

      I don’t understand your position. You get worked up about a potential threat that may or may not materialise in 50 years but pooh-pooh an immediate threat to fellow workers.

      I am not saying that this pandemic is going to be as bad as the one a hundred years ago but this is what happened then:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

      No government can just let the pandemic take its course, as you seem to be suggesting. Even under capitalism those in charge of the central administration can’t be, and aren’t, that irresponsible. If they were that would of course strengthen our case that society’s central administration should not be in the hands of the capitalist class and its political representatives.

    • #195399
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Look at the figures, ALB. We are not facing any apocalypse.

      Look at the death count. Compare it with other illnesses. There are numerous health threats with a higher mortality toll that are ignored or neglected.

      1.7 million people die of tuberculosis globally each year.

      11,700 deaths from prostate cancer in the UK 2015-2017, 16,200 from bowel cancer, 35,300 from lung cancer, 11,400 deaths breast cancer.

      One in five deaths around the world is caused by sepsis. Sepsis – 44,000 deaths a year in the UK, almost 260,000 in the USA,

      We are not looking at an apocalypse with Covid19. Most people being detected are by tests since they show no symptoms or display mild flu-like effects. In other words fit and healthy people with immune systems strong enough to suppress the virus, despite natural or herd immunity still to develop. Then 3 or 4 years down the line and vaccines will be available for the vulnerable.

      As I said it is the elderly who bear the brunt of covid19 and it’s them who get very little support from the State even under normal circumstances.

      For society, it seems as if the cure is going to be worse than the disease.

      We eliminated smallpox. We are on the verge of making polio extinct and that would happen already if the same energy were being used. Many others could be ended

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eradication_of_infectious_diseases

      My position is one of priorities. I still do not see why covid19 is as deserving all the publicity and concentration of resources. It is not the Spanish Flu.

      Compared with climate change covid19 is insignificant and the climate threat is not 50 years from but happening in many places right now – the effects of climate change on Dry Corridor of Central America for instance is producing desperate refugees. Or the forest fires and droughts in Australia. Climate change is taking place right now, not in any indeterminate future.

      And the only similarity between the two issues is the government actions – building of walls and ending peoples right to travel and move.

       

    • #195400
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster
    • #195403
      marcos
      Participant

      Denque is called a travel disease

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by marcos.
    • #195421
      marcos
      Participant

      There are too many suspicious things about this Coronavirus, it is very similar to the one the Germans was working in laboratory which produced Encephalitis and Pneumonia, and it can be found on sheeps

    • #195430
      marcos
      Participant

      This virus has certain similarities with HIV, and in some places, they have used medications for HIV to treat the disease

    • #195445
      ALB
      Participant

      Alan, you say: “My position is one of priorities. I still do not see why covid19 is as deserving all the publicity and concentration of resources.”

      But if we say that priority should be given to dealing with dengue fever in the swamps of Asia and Latin America over dealing with the current new strain of Coronavirus in the densely populated parts of the world, we are likely to attract the support only of Christians and other do-gooders rather than ordinary people. In fact we’ll be seen and dismissed as just another bunch of do-gooders. Which we are not and must avoid.

      We have got to think of something better to say on this issue.

    • #195461
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Matt, I read the article and again it is not satisfying me that the effects of covid19 justifies the extreme responses of various governments to stem its spread.

      That covid19 travelled around the world fast is no surprise since in many cases it is symptomless and carriers can only be identified by tests and that is a point I keep raising. Very much like some STDs which are asymptomatic meaning  the symptoms are not at all obvious. Hence the need for regular screening to ensure you’re free from sexual infection which of course is not done on the required scale and the continual rise of the numbers infected.

      It is a threat only to a small section of the population and the much cited mortality rate of 3.4 is an over-estimate and it is 0.6 – which is albeit much higher than normal flu-rate of 0.1 which has been around longer and has various research facilities identifying the mutations to develop almost annually adapted vaccines for the vulnerable parts of the population. A few years down the line and so will covid19 have its vaccine incorporated in the health system.

      Lets put things in perspective.

      Up to beginning of Feb in the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths this season

      In 2009 during the swine flu pandemic, which is estimated to have killed between 151,000 and 575,000 people worldwide,

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-the-new-coronavirus-compare-with-the-flu/

      Globally less than 5000 have died from covid19. So far less than 130,000 out of 7 billion people have been detected with the virus. That is absolutely  miniscule.

      And I am only making comparisons with many other diseases such as dengue to bring that out. And asking why they did not deserve the focus from capitalists.

      Do we credit the precautions that governments have taken or do we view the virus as mostly non-fatal?

      I’m suggesting that it is the latter

      And my problem is that I don’t understand what is now become hysteria about it from the normally conservative scientific community and governments who primary care is usually solely about the health of their economy than with the health of their citizens. What is the threat that has got the callous capitalist class so concerned, very much more so than ever before?

      ALB tried to say it was because of the potential effects on we the wealth-producers and sick days off but I don’t see that and have said why so I won’t repeat myself.

      I really don’t like being in what can be considered a denialist camp.

      I am genuinely mystified and until I find some rational explanation I have to remain a sceptic and express my doubts here on a discussion forum, rather than air them on a public medium like our blogs.

    • #195462
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      To return to politics

      What Sanders could do

      What Richard Wolff thinks

    • #195463
      ALB
      Participant

      How can you deny that the pandemic is having a negative effect on production?

      https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/business-51689178

      It will be the same in other countries though with a smaller impact in those with a larger service sector where some people can work from home. This should be confirmed (or not) when the statistics for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the year are published.

      The reason the government here is giving for their particular policy is that they want to try to control its spread so that the inevitable peak comes at a time (May) when the health service will be able to cope better. Other governments are pursuing the different strategy of trying to contain the spread now rather than control and postpone it. (None are pursuing your suggested policy of letting the pandemic run its course as it eventually will). We will see who’s right. Meanwhile we in the UK are guinea pigs in the government here’s experiment.

    • #195464
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      The herd immunity theory that the government are relying on is the idea that immunity has a rather large flaw.

      It relies on the idea that millions will get the virus and develop immunity to future outbreaks. This itself is reliant on the idea that there will be no mutations. The common cold has no vaccine against because it mutates regularly and infection with one strain gives no immunity against another.

      Mutation is more likely the higher the number of times an organism reproduces itself.

      The current government strategy is based on high numbers of reproductions of the virus, which increases the risk of mutation.

      On the plus side, we in the SPGB have been isolated and distanced for many years, so it won’t be a new experience.

      On a serious note I do think we need to consider postponing annual conference, we have a number of members who have health vulnerabilities and we don’t want to endanger any members.

    • #195465
      robbo203
      Participant

      Do we credit the precautions that governments have taken or do we view the virus as mostly non-fatal?

       

      I dont think there is any doubt that the virus will be overwhelming non fatal, Alan, but the death toll even with a mortality rate of 1% or slightly less will still be catastrophic. There is also the risk that a more lethal strain will emerge.

       

      What puzzles me is the high degree of variability in mortality rates between countries.  Italy, for example, according to this site

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

      has at the this point in time 17,660 total cases and 1266 total deaths.  Unless my arithemetic is wrong that works out at a mortaility rate of just over 7 percent!  That’s astounding.  If the virus is likely to affect 50-70 percent of the global population as epidemiologists predict then, with this mortality rate,  that means a death toll of hundreds of millions!

       

      Germany by contrast has 3481 total cases and only 8 total deaths.  Very odd.   Of course these are just officially registered cases as many people carrying the virus are only mildly affected and probably dont realise they have the virus. According to one estimate there are already about 10.000 cases in the UK alone, mostly unoffocial

       

       

    • #195466
      robbo203
      Participant

      It relies on the idea that millions will get the virus and develop immunity to future outbreaks. This itself is reliant on the idea that there will be no mutations

       

      Bijou I believe there have been cases of repeat infections in China which suggests that the virus is mutating and that there are already several strains kicking around

    • #195467
      ALB
      Participant

      What Bernie is advocating— help for the self employed and those with no sick pay — is already going to be implemented by the Tory government in the UK. As for Woolf, I thought I heard him complain that everybody in the US was not being tested to see if they’re carrying the virus. That doesn’t seem realistic or even necessary for that matter. He does raise one issue, though, of what about “illegal” immigrants: will the government here do what he says the one is South Korea is doing, ie forgetting their illegal status if they come forward for treatment?

      It does appear, though, that there is concern about the pandemic even in the USA.

    • #195468
      KAZ
      Participant

      AlJo asks:

      And my problem is that I don’t understand what is now become hysteria about it from the normally conservative scientific community and governments who primary care is usually solely about the health of their economy than with the health of their citizens. What is the threat that has got the callous capitalist class so concerned, very much more so than ever before?

      Perhaps yesterday’s steepest one day drop in the stock market since 1987 might be a good reason why governments are making a fuss about the Corona. Focusing on disease, even on the perceived deficiencies of the response, deflects attention from economic problems. Health of the economy comes first.

    • #195469
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Reported today, divorce rates in China have spiked after the lock down there.

      I also wondered about the way in which some people are panic buying toilet roll. In my local supermarket all of the shelves were cleared.

      I took a slightly different view and loaded my trolley with spirits, wine, cider and beer. let’s face it you can always wipe your arse on the curtains, but how would I manage 4 weeks locked in with my beloved, without some gargle.

      To be fair she seemed to share the same sentiment and ensured there were several litres of vodka and brandy purchased. Must be my scintillating conversation.  😥

    • #195470
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster

      Matt, I read the article and again it is not satisfying me that the effects of covid19 justifies the extreme responses of various governments to stem its spread.

      Well, when they have now cancelled the Old Firm game and Scottish  fitba’ in general here in Scotland and I can’t get my regular high strength coffee, because of panic buying, I have got to take it seriously.

      I am already self isolated, but that is normal for me.

    • #195485
      ALB
      Participant
      Just been reading the chancellor’s budget speech (as you do) and at one point he says “if we expect 20 per cent of the workforce to be unable to work at any one time.” There are 34.5 million in the UK workforce, so the government is apparently anticipating that some 6.5 million workers could be off work during the peak of the epidemic.
      This would only be temporary but would translate as a significant drop in production — and so the flow of profits. It seems that have calculated that this can’t be avoided and have resigned themselves just to trying to limit the damage; which would be more if they did nothing.

      It is true they could be exaggerating or panicking but we’ll know in two or three months.

       

      Sent from my iPhone
    • #195486
      twc
      Participant

      (1) Exponential growth and epidemics

      https://youtu.be/Kas0tIxDvrg

      Note the innocuous appearance at the start of the epidemic.

      For naysayers.  It took just 2 rabbits—at the start of the spread—to overrun a continent.  ‘Innocuous‘ linguistically relates to ‘inoculation‘, which for COVID-19 is many, many, months off!)

      (2) How serious is corona virus (COVID-19)

      https://youtu.be/cZFhjMQrVts

    • #195501
      robbo203
      Participant
    • #195506
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “How can you deny that the pandemic is having a negative effect on production?”

      Whoever denied that? What I have said is it appears that it is the containment policies are a self-inflicted wound upon the economy. I said the cure is proving more painful than the sickness to the economy and it was something I found hard to understand about the ruling class response.

      I have highlighted the policies are particularly damaging to the poor economically and for many the covid19 threat is less than the harm of poverty upon them.

      ALB does that stat include the recommended self-enforced quarantine or actual employees falling sick?

      The exponential risk video is useful.

      The contagious rate drops if travel is locked-down or social distancing or we clean our hands more. What should have been the most cost-effective policy implemented, one that can be sustained for a long time?

      TWC, Michael Osterholm makes a very good case to treat the illness as a matter of urgency. His own view has changed from January.

      He says Americans should be aware of the situation, but not worried.
      “Public health around the world is on alert for this. They’re monitoring it closely and intervening quickly when cases are identified,” Osterholm says.

      https://www.kare11.com/article/news/health/coronavirusintheus/89-265304f1-fd57-4942-b189-e2ed36d864e0

      Like all good scientists his opinions change with improved information.

      He has a respected history of analysis which widens the debate. He was the messenger that nobody listened to. So I appreciate that you drew my attention to the interview

      “We have the ability to make a very effective vaccine for yellow fever. The problem is no one wants to spend the money to make it because you can’t make money on it… And even though we have a vaccine for it today, we can’t get it to people because nobody will make it. If yellow fever comes back, it will make dengue and Zika seem like [much lesser] public health problems…And even though we have a vaccine for it today, we can’t get it to people because nobody will make it. If yellow fever comes back, it will make dengue and Zika seem like [much lesser] public health problems…We published a paper in 2011 in the Lancet about how flu vaccines don’t work nearly as well as the public health community has led the public to believe. In some cases, they don’t work at all, and their ability to be available for a pandemic is extremely limited worldwide because of the time period it takes to make them and the amount of vaccine we can make. During a pandemic, we’ll be lucky if a few percent of the world would even get a vaccine by the time the pandemic has wiped through the population. And then on top of that we don’t even know how well it would work, and it could be very poor.”

      Why we can’t be complacent about the threat of infectious disease: a Q&A with Michael Osterholm

      “We don’t want to do things that are counterproductive if there’s not a benefit,” he said.

      I referred to the closing of the Irish schools as an example.

      This virus is often talked about in terms of two modes: containment — preventing spread — and mitigation — trying to minimize harm — Osterholm said. But there’s a middle ground: suppression, or flattening the timeline of the epidemic so it’s not, for example, 100 people getting admitted to the hospital one week, but maybe 10 cases a week for 10 weeks.

      What we know about COVID-19 in Minnesota so far

      Reading his other articles, his priority is protecting the healthcare workers who would treat coronavirus patients – suppression.

       

    • #195517
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Bijou –  “On a serious note I do think we need to consider postponing annual conference, we have a number of members who have health vulnerabilities and we don’t want to endanger any members.”

      Certainly not under today’s circumstances but confirmation for those of us who have been saying for a long time that we should be making conference a virtual video interactive event.

      Too late in the day to do it now, though. Or am i wrong?

       

    • #195518
      ALB
      Participant

      “ALB does that stat include the recommended self-enforced quarantine or actual employees falling sick?”

      Yes I think so. So  the estimated 6.5 million to be off work during the peak period would include those advised to self-isolate as well as those too sick to work.

      The stated policy of the UK government is, as the doctor you quote put it, “flattening the timeline of the epidemic so it’s not, for example, 100 people getting admitted to the hospital one week, but maybe 10 cases a week for 10 weeks.” Which of course prolongs  the epidemic and the disruption to everyday life even if it would make it easier for the NHS to cope.

    • #195521
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      I’m a strong believer that when you have dug yourself into a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging yourself any deeper. So no more challenging the medical seriousness of the pandemic.

      From now on my focus will be on the damaging impacts of covid19 on those who are not being effectively protected and that is widespread both in the developed world and the less developed.

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-lockdown-strikes-fear-manila-poor-200313133102404.html

      President Rodrigo Duterte issue a lockdown order for Metro Manila. This has already happened in Quezon City, which has so far reported six of the country’s 64 confirmed coronavirus cases. Quezon City  has a population of more than three million.

      The Manila lockdown, which takes effect between March 15 and April 14, will bar domestic travel in and out of the capital and confine more than 12 million people to the area. Duterte vowed to deploy police and military to instil “peace and order” during the lockdown, which was recommended earlier that day by an interagency committee. He insisted the measure is “not martial law”.

      Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas said that violators of the lockdown would be subject to arrest.

      Dr Joshua San Pedro, co-convener of the Coalition for People’s Right to Health said,  “It seemed mostly like a military and police solution rather than a health intervention.”

      Duterte said authorities would enforce social distancing measures in public areas, including mass transportation. This may be impossible in densely populated, impoverished communities where families live in one or two-room dwellings and share bathrooms with neighbours.

      The lack of running water, access to nutritious food and dilapidated housing conditions in poor communities makes “advice such as handwashing, maintaining good nutrition, and self-quarantine matters of privilege,” San Pedro said.

      There is a severe shortage of COVID-19 tests in the Philippines and the country’s health workers are overburdened. Last autumn, it was reported the health department’s budget was cut by 10 billion Philippine pesos ($195.8m).

      This is a typical situation for low-income countries with very poor safety-nets and where many live in overcrowded shanty-towns with little or no sanitation.

       

    • #195524
      robbo203
      Participant

      Its getting a lot worse in Europe – and so suddenly!  Be prepared.  We are at the start of a very bumpy journey in the weeks and months ahead

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-europe-now-epicentre-of-pandemic-as-travel-restrictions-imposed-across-continent/ar-BB119ZAb?ocid=spartanntp

    • #195526
      robbo203
      Participant

      Latest figures today  from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      72,550 (93%)
      Recovered / Discharged

      5,438 (7%)
      Deaths

       

      The real death  rate is undoubtedly much lower because the real number of cases is undoubtedly much high than the official or confirmed cases.  In the UK confirmed cases to date is 798 with 11 confirmed deaths but the real number of people infected is estimated to be between 5000 and 10,000, mostly asymptotic or with mild symptoms

       

       

    • #195527
      ALB
      Participant

      The media are reporting that one of the strategic aims of the government’s policy is to achieve “herd immunity” so that the next time the virus comes around, like next year, it won’t be so bad as enough people will be inoculated against it. Since there is as yet no vaccination against it, this means that the only way to inoculate people will be for them to have contacted the virus and recovered.

      According to an item in today’s I paper:

      ” for the UK population to gain herd immunity, a large enough number of people — 60 per cent of the country, 40 million people, in the words of the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance — will  need to contract the virus and then recover.”

      But not everyone will recover. If the death rate is 3% then 1.2 million won’t. Even if it is only 1 percent some 400,000 won’t. These will be the number of us herd who will have be sacrificed to achieve “herd immunity”.

      I don’t know if achieving herd immunity is the government’s aim or if the figure of 6 out of every 10 people having to get the virus and recover is valid, but if so it appears that the government is being advised by a mad professor.

    • #195534
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      ” for the UK population to gain herd immunity, a large enough number of people — 60 per cent of the country, 40 million people, in the words of the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance — will  need to contract the virus and then recover.”

      But not everyone will recover. If the death rate is 3% then 1.2 million won’t. Even if it is only 1 percent some 400,000 won’t. These will be the number of us herd who will have be sacrificed to achieve “herd immunity”.

      “I don’t know if achieving herd immunity is the government’s aim or if the figure of 6 out of every 10 people having to get the virus and recover is valid, but if so it appears that the government is being advised by a mad professor.”

       

      I think I smell the influence of Dominic Cummings and his fruitcake mates.

    • #195584
      ALB
      Participant

      Missed this from yesterday’s Times:

      “At the core of policy decisions, argues Roy Anderson, from Imperial College London, there is a dilemma. ‘The simple epidemiological rule is the earlier you intervene the better. Weighed against this is the economic impact. Governments cannot minimise mortality and economic impact.’”

      If this is the dilemma, in deciding to delay the peak the British government appears to have decided to minimise the economic impact rather the number who will die.

      Which might explain why the Prime Minister went out of his way to warn that “many more families are going to lose loved ones” — many more than strictly necessary?

    • #195609
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      In an open letter, a group of 229 scientists from UK universities say the government’s current approach will put the NHS under additional stress and “risk many more lives than necessary”. The group said the current measures are “insufficient” and “additional and more restrictive measures should be taken immediately”, as is happening in other countries.

      The signatories also criticised comments made by Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, about managing the spread of the infection to make the population immune.

      The letter continues: “Going for ‘herd immunity’ at this point does not seem a viable option, as this will put the NHS at an even stronger level of stress, risking many more lives than necessary.
      “By putting in place social distancing measures now, the growth can be slowed down dramatically, and thousands of lives can be spared.

      The scientists also questioned the government’s view that people will become fed up with restrictions if they were imposed too soon.

      The government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) advised that measures to protect vulnerable people – including household isolation – “will need to be instituted soon”.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51892402

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/14/scientists-urge-government-to-enforce-social-distancing-now

    • #195610
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      No faith in the divine

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51887510

      Roman Catholic churches in England are “preparing for a time” when the celebration of Mass may have to “come to an end”

      The Muslim Council of Britain urged mosques to have contingency plans in place for Ramadan – which begins in the second half of April – as it may have to suspend mass gatherings.

      The United Synagogue asked its members to refrain from shaking hands and kissing religious artefacts, such as communal siddurim, which is a Jewish prayer book.

    • #195705
      ALB
      Participant

      Even the Rebellion has been called off:

      https://www.cityam.com/extinction-rebellion-cancels-london-protest-over-coronavirus/amp/

      Meanwhile others are beginning to worry about the strategy the government here has adopted:

      https://uk.yahoo.com/news/boris-johnson-turned-britain-petri-130300274.html

      Don’t know how reliable this publication is but the government seems to be backtracking anyway. Giving the impression that they are carrying out some experiment on “the herd” as they call us is bad for publicity.

       

       

       

    • #195735
      ALB
      Participant

      It looks as if other scientists are beginning to criticise the “mad professor” who is advising the government and his experiment in “herd immunity” with us as the herd of guinea pigs:

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/coronavirus-scientists-share-fears-uk-21695523

    • #195736
      ALB
      Participant

      Just heard on the news that the aviation sector are calling on the government to stop “bean counting”:

      “In a stark message, industry body Airlines UK said the government’s “prevarication” and “bean counting” had to stop.”

      That’s a bit rich. Just because they are not getting enough beans they are begging the government to hand them out a few. As if their whole business wasn’t based on bean counting, including making staff redundant and opposing strikes to keep as many beans for themselves as they can.

      Still, ignoring bean counting and mobilising resources directly was how the changeover to a moneyless society started in Pieter Lawrence’s The Last Conflict ….

    • #195761
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Once more business will be expecting to receive a huge bail-out from governments for their drop in profits.

      And although some tinkering is being done to alleviate the impact on coronavirus upon workers, it is minimum and often reluctant and certainly won’t compensate for the loss of earnings and loss of employment many are already suffering.

    • #195768
      ALB
      Participant

      It seems that the government is now disavowing their chief scientific officer and his mad “herd immunity” scheme. From today’s Times:

      “Mr Hancock has insisted that the government is not pursuing a policy of allowing the virus to spread in order to achieve ‘herd immunity,’ apparently contradicting a statement last week by Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific officer.”

      That’s a relief.

    • #195838
      robbo203
      Participant

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/uk-coronavirus-crisis-to-last-until-spring-2021-and-could-see-79m-hospitalised/ar-BB11dSJ1?ocid=spartanntp

      Whatever we may think about it,  this pandemic is going to bring about profound changes in the whole cultural landscape of capitalism.  Here in Spain we are already two days into lockdown.   Its like another world.   My local city of Granada is like a ghost town now.  Deserted streets bar the odd “man and his dog”.  On the news I saw clips of the Guardia Civil in Madrid cautioning couples (via loudspeakers mounted in their cars) to stop holding hands and maintain the designated  minimum distance of 1 metre between them. “Social distancing” indeed!

      incredibly, there is going to be months and months of this in store, never mind the so called “state of alarm” , as it is called, which is technically supposed to last for only 15 days.  The coronavirus is going to get worse and worse for the foreseeable future and we’ve all been wrongfooted by it.  Comparisons with flu epidemics and its regular culling of old folk  just dont hold up.   What is happening in Italy and Spain is very soon going to happen in the UK despite Bojo and his “Government Scientific Officer”.

       

      Its so surreal and it still hasn’t quite set in.  I personally find it quite difficult to wrap my mind around what is happening. Last night, once again,  all the flats around here, at the appointed time, opened their windows to the night sky and their occupants started clapping and shouting their appreciation for the work done by all the medical staff throughout Granada for a few minutes.   I dont mind admitting it brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eyes.  The contradiction was so acute and so moving: families confined to the stark isolation of their own four walls yet expressing their union and sense of identity with anonymous others.

       

      We are social animals and the coronavirus pandemic is bringing this home to us as never before.   I am coming round to thinking that this virus, for all the tragedy it has visited upon  the many thousands of families who have lost, or will lose, loved ones, will help to trigger a profound change in the way people perceive the world around them that will make them far more receptive to the case for socialism.   As socialists we need to be prepared for this.  We need to do what we can to turn what is an unmitigated  human disaster into a firmer  hope for better future.

       

       

       

       

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    • #195840
      marcos
      Participant

      At present many peoples from the so-called first world are experimenting what others peoples have suffered and have experimented in the so-called third world, now they can not talk about shithole countries, because the whole capitalist world is a shithole. Many peoples ignorantly they approved embargos, blockades, wars, and bombardments,  and now they can see what are the consequences of those actions. It might be like the science fictions movie whereas the whole north was frozen and everybody had to run away to Mexico and South America because it was warmer, and they had foods,  it might reverse the actual course of capitalism which have injected nationalism, and xenophobic in the minds of many peoples, there are rumours that Italy is requesting the help of Cubans and Chinese doctors, due to the fact that Cuba is graduating thousands of medical doctors every year. China is also buying antivirals medications from Cuba

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by marcos.
    • #195842
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.workers.org/2020/03/46641/.  Cuba antiviral medications

    • #195843
      marcos
      Participant
    • #195880
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #195882
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/16/vauxhall-owner-psa-car-shuts-european-plants-amid-coronavirus-fears

      This story sort of reminded me of the Lucas Plan from the 1970s. Defence work could be re-tooled for socially necessary production

    • #195890
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      While the rest of the world panic buys tissues and face-masks, Americans rush to the gun-stores

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/16/us-sales-guns-ammunition-soar-amid-coronavirus-panic-buying

      “There was almost no interest in hunting rifles… there was big demand for AR-15 semi-automatic assault-style rifles.”

    • #195922
      ALB
      Participant

      Alan wrote: “This story sort of reminded me of the Lucas Plan from the 1970s. Defence work could be re-tooled for socially necessary production.”

      I am sure it would be technologically possible to retool production lines to make respirators and I am sure the workers involved would be enthusiastic  to respond. But this sounds like another of Johnson’s stunts. In this case to give the impression that, after previous talk about sacrificing them for the benefit of the herd, it’s now all about saving the most vulnerable victims of the virus. I doubt if it will happen.

      If it did, it would give some credence to the Pieter Lawrence scenario of the state, in a dire emergency, resorting to production for use, presumably paid for with newly created payment vouchers. In fact they may have to do this to compensate the pubs, restaurants and places of entertainment whose business will be ruined by the government’s policy.

      Of course the outcome won’t be socialism or a moneyless economy but, combined with Robbo’s point about the revival of community spirit, might make putting of the case for socialism easier — even the counter-example of the  American response might help people realise where the capitalist ideology of individualism leads.

    • #195923
      robbo203
      Participant

      This is quite an interesting development..

      Pandemic Demands and Mutual Aid

      “In the past 48 hours across the UK, over 500 new mutual aid groups have been set-up to take action against the pandemic. These mutual aid groups have been set-up to ensure no one is left behind, that those who are self-isolating can call upon others to help them. Primarily using Facebook and Whatsapp Groups to coordinate, from a ward to constituency level, hundreds of people across the country are informing their neighbours of the new initiative.”

      and

      “To survive coronavirus we need to look at creating new commons through the expropriation of private assets, including private hospitals and hotels without financial compensation. If we cannot work due to the public health risks posed by coronavirus, then regardless of the law enshrined in employment contracts we must have money to live without work. If we cannot pay our rent or mortgages then regardless of our tenancy or mortgage agreements we should stop paying.”

       

      Here in  Spain we are in lockdown. Very few people seem to be working.  Only those in the medical profession, the  police, army, some functionaries or civil servants, supermarket workers and those working in the chemists.  The great majority of retail establishments are completely shut down.  The tourist and entertainment industries have been completely mothballed.

      I look around the deserted streets of Granada and the literally thousands of little shops, bars , restaurants and kiosks , all shuttered up, and ask myself : how on earth are these people going to survive financially?  Not just the 15 days “state of alarm” but the months and months ahead. Because the problem is not going to be solved by the time the state of alarm comes to an end.  Its going to get worse and its going to get worse for many more months ahead until it starts getting better.

      In the meanwhile something has to give.  Capitalism cannot function on the basis of “business as usual”.  If people cant pay their rent or mortgage because they have no, or only a little, income then their rent and mortgage wont be paid.  Its as simple as that.  You cant get blood from a stone.

       

      What is the state gonna do? You can’t turf people out of their homes at a time like this.  You will have a civil war on your hands which will completely mess up the government’s strategy of containing the virus and make matters far worse.

       

      We are at the start of something very unusual.   Where it will end up I dont know. But it is a period bursting with the potential of a future socialist society

       

    • #195924
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      ” In fact they may have to do this to compensate the pubs, restaurants and places of entertainment whose business will be ruined by the government’s policy.”

      Reports this morning are stating that pubs and restaurants are complaining that as the government hasn’t formally ordered them to close, they cannot claim on their insurance policies. It is said that the government are looking at a bail our for some small businesses This shown the government pecking order, big business and finance before small business and sole traders, and small businesses before the workers.

    • #195925
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “Prof Jonathan Van-Tam told the BBC, he could not rule out the strict measures having to last for a year but predicted they would last at least “several months”.”

      Bad news for Summer School, bad news for ADM, bad news for EC and branch meetings.

      We’ll have to come up with a plan and that may well mean spending money on alternatives, not just the equipment and the software but if we cannot do it ourselves, we might have to consult professional specialists to help out.

      Cde. Mike Foster it seems if there is no change will now have the added weight and responsibility of re-arranging Summer School and re-negotiating with Fircroft College so we all wish him well and will understand and support his decisions.

       

    • #195926
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      One positive it gives us a big incentive to update the way we engage the general public, I’m sure the evolving nature of this will give birth to new and interesting ways of getting the Socialist message across. I think there should be even more fertile ground as a result.

      In the meantime, comradely best wishes to all of the comrades out there from all of us at the Salman Rushdie World of Adventure, Whitley Bay.

    • #195932
      ALB
      Participant

      Some revealing ideas coming out. Today’s Times reports Julian Jessop, of the free-marketeer thinktank The Institute of Economic Affairs, as suggesting:

      “that the government introduce ‘some sort of temporary universal basic income’ in the form of a £,1000 handout per person ‘to make sure people can afford essentials during this crisis.”

      More here. Free handout to the workers to allow them to buy essentials.

      Where will it end, die-hard supporters of capitalism must be asking.

      Also, this scientific advice as a pretext for the government abandoning its previous mad “herd immunity” plan:

      “More than a quarter of a million people would have died under previous plans to control the spread of coronavirus, according to the government’s own advisers.”

      Advisers other “mad professor” Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s Chief Scientific Officer, that is. Fortunately, the Chief Medical Officer seems ok.

      Not that it needed a team of experts to work that out. Anybody could have on the back of an envelope (and did).

       

    • #195940
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Naomi Klein video

    • #195941
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.democracynow.org/2020/3/17/spain_coronavirus?utm_source=Democracy+Now%21&utm_campaign=4df6307381-Daily_Digest_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-4df6307381-192449069.  This is what some persons, and entities in some part of the world call socialism. Nationalization is another fallacy propagated by the left

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by marcos.
    • #195942
      marcos
      Participant

      Naomi Klein is another personality who believes that the problem is Donald Trump instead of the whole capitalist system around the world. Capitalists are doing what they have to do, which is to try to safe their economical system, a bailout is not financed by the so-called taxpayer, the capitalists are saving others capitalists. The state emerged as an institution to protect and defend the interests of the ruling class, it is not a charitable institution, and its other purpose is to suppress, oppress,  and dominate the working class. Engels, explained it very clear, and it looks like they skipped that page

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by marcos.
    • #195944
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “Naomi Klein is another personality who believes that the problem is Donald Trump instead of the whole capitalist system around the world.”

      I think you do Klein disservice, Marcos.

      We might not agree with her version of radical reformist ideas to re-shape capitalism but she began long before Trump appeared on the scene.

      “No Logo” – 1999

      “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” – 2007

      I think we can have some sympathy with the view that the status quo establishment politicians will use the present pandemic to extend their reactionary authoritarian policies.

      But that it also offers an opportunity for ourselves to expand upon our vision for the future, one of mutual aid and social planning.

    • #195946
      marcos
      Participant

      Alan, Noami Klein is just another darling of the left who believes that the problems of the world are the leaders, ( before was George Bush, and then Barrack Obama )  just change the name and insert the name of another leader and it would be the same statement. The so-called establishment is the capitalist system. The whole role of the state is to oppress the peoples and it can be done by anyone of its representatives in the USA, in Cuba, Venezuela, Korea, China, etc, etc, The ruling class of China, Italy, Latin America  are  also using this pandemic to establish reactionary rules

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by marcos.
    • #195949
      marcos
      Participant

      Andrew Killman also began before Trump appeared and he was also blaming the problems of the world in other leaders, and then he switched to Donald Trump. I have known most of the peoples for a long time, and I have read their books,  there is another sociologist who is not mentioned too, he follows the same line of thoughts

    • #195950
      marcos
      Participant

      In certain occasion she was also supporting Barrack Obama promises and then she changed, she has supported the social democrats of Canada, and the NDP leadership, she also has had certain Keynesian views, for her the problem of pollution, and world contamination is due to lack of legal agreement among governments, but she never goes into the roots of the problem which is capitalism

    • #195981
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      The idea that the leaders are to blame, not the concept of leadership is difficult to refute when the leaders chosen to represent the Capitalist Class are fuckwits like Johnson and Trump.

      I think it is a huge danger to the working class movement to be sidelined into the issue of the leaders not the system. This is where Killman and Klein are a real danger.

      Trump and Johnson end up being the scapegoats for a failing system. Undoubtedly they are a pair of clowns,  but is it not the fact that they are clowns, or even the fact that we have a system that allows clowns like them to be in positions of power that matters, the market system is the issue. This is what we need to get across.

      UK doctors and nurses are missing out on having personal protective equipment at this point in time, not because no one had the foresight to order them. It was because the way the system works is that it prioritises Bill Gates’ need to have yachts and Roman Abramovich’s wish to own football teams over the Social needs of the vast majority.This is the message we need to get across, the way the world’s resources are used should be about the needs and requirements of the many, not the foibles of the few.

      the Chinese multi billionaire Jack Ma has said he will pay for face masks, etc. For various countries. We need to get the message out that the health and well-being of the world’s population shouldn’t depend on the largesse of one individual, but on the democratic decisions of us all about the resources we all took part in creating.

      This is a time like no other to demonstrate the case for socialism

       

    • #195988
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Weighing up nationalisation plans to cope with the economic consequences of coronavirus

      Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France might nationalise big companies.

      NYC mayor De Blasio on MSNBC and CNN calling for nationalisation

      Airlines, rail and bus companies could be temporarily nationalised to protect them from the economic fallout from coronavirus, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, suggested

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/03/17/airlines-train-companies-could-nationalised-prevent-going-bust/

    • #196000
      marcos
      Participant

      It seems that Adam Buick articles of December 2019 is very appropriate for the occasion

    • #196003
      Jack_higgon
      Participant

      Bijou makes a very important point. Rather like climate change, the human race has collectively been aware of the risks of a pandemic for ages. Worse, we’ve had the means to mitigate or even prevent it. But the powers that be chose not to do this, instead putting their business interests first. The only reason we are in this situation is because our system of society puts profit before people. Seems to me that is one of the main arguments as to why capitalism is at fault here.

    • #196005
      wheatwa46ar
      Participant

      Sorry guys but I am only just getting up to date with events on this forum.

      Must say I am surprised that there isn’t a lot of happy, motivated people on here who are talking about the successes they are having at work or elsewhere, due to Covid19 and its impact, in getting people to think about a world ordered in a different way, namely a socialist way. Work colleagues are showing far more interest and can see the failures in the system we now have and are asking more about socialist ideas.

      So don’t spend your time on this forum or any other social media talking about Johnson,Trump etc. Get the message across to working class people everywhere.

      Why as a party are we worried about our own EC meetings and summer school? why are we not putting ourselves up for debates on radio, television on a post capitalist world? If it doesn`t  happy this time it is only a matter of time before a far nastier virus or some other crises rears its head.

      Come on SPGB this is the best opportunity for years!

       

       

    • #196059
      robbo203
      Participant

      Come on SPGB this is the best opportunity for years!

      I agree wheatwa46ar – although organisationally it mught be a setback for the SPGB in terms of organising meetings , selling literature , holding summer schools etc.   We can limit the damage in that regard by getting all members and sympathisers connected up via the internet for instance and by taking certain other measures.

       

      However in terms of breaking the mould of politics.  I think this pandemic is going to have a profound effect on the way people think about the world. In so many ways it makes the case for socialism so much more relevent and appealing

       

       

    • #196060
      ALB
      Participant

      Looks as if Trump is acting quicker and going further than the British government, by giving every US citizen a check for $1,000.

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/salvadorhernandez/coronavirus-trump-mnuchin-1000-check-economy

      What is that? About two weeks wages? That won’t go very far but it’s not every day that the government gives everybody something for nothing.

    • #196063
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      And presumably you take the cheque (sic) to the bank, along with all of the other citizens and spread the virus even further!

    • #196066
      marcos
      Participant

      You can make a bank deposit with  a smartphone using it as a scanner

    • #196068
      marcos
      Participant

      The big paycheck is for the corporations which are going to get an $850.00 billion bailout compared to $150 billions for the US citizen. Bernie Sanders is asking for $2,000 every month

    • #196089
      ALB
      Participant

      Actually it is so-called “helicopter money” defined by Oliver Kamm in his column in the Times last week entitled “To rescue the economy, summon the helicopter and do a money drop” (13 March) as:

      The Bank of England could in effect create money and then distribute it direct to consumers. It’s known as helicopter money, on the model of a helicopter drop of banknotes to anyone underneath who’s lucky enough to pick them up.” 

      The idea is to increase aggregate demand and get the faltering economy expanding again. It’s been tried in Japan and Taiwan with the same trivial amount per person. But didn’t work because the capitalist economy isn’t driven by consumer (or for that matter government) demand. It’s driven by profitable capital investment. Without that, you can put as much water in front the capitalist horse as you like, but it won’t drink.

      It’s not really got anything to do with helping people survive the loss of income many are suffering through the Coronavirus virus and the effect on the economy of the measures the US government has taken to combat it. But it’s useful to give this impression especially in a presidential election year.

       

    • #196093
      ALB
      Participant

      Imposs1904 has drawn attention to this amusing headline in an Australian newspaper:

      “Conventional capitalism is dying: Macquarie warns

      Macquarie analysts say the world could be tilting back toward an economic system that’s more like communism”

      Mind you, as Marcos has pointed out, this does seem to be the end of so-called “neo-liberalism”.

       

       

    • #196099
      robbo203
      Participant

      That’s weird – I post something on this thread but the post doesn’t appear.  Any ideas Matt?

    • #196100
      robbo203
      Participant

      It did include a video link – could that be the reason?

    • #196101
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster

      That’s weird – I post something on this thread but the post doesn’t appear. Any ideas Matt?

      I have no idea. You should have got an alert if you left the page while the text hadn’t been posted.

      Repost it.

    • #196121
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Dismissing the conspiracy theories that COVID-19 was a bioweapon

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18314818.coronavirus-not-bioweapon-created-lab-scientists-say/

    • #196148
      robbo203
      Participant

      Could America become the new epicentre of the virus?

      On the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Doctor’s View

      Also this

       

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by robbo203.
    • #196156
      marcos
      Participant

      This crisis has proven our argument that the state is financed with surplus value , without surplus value the state must reduce its benefits and social service, specially medical services, and food for the poor,

      The  USA is not prepared to confront this epidemic, which is spreading like a fire, there are not enough hospitals,  beds, doctors, medical equipment, planning, prevention, now nobody can talk about shithole countries, even more, American are crossing the Mexican border to buy supplies and medications, and some are running away from the epidemic

      The billions of dollars  spent on the Mexican wall is wasted and gone and only benefited the contractors and others investors , as well, billions was spent on military hardwares instead of bread and butter and medical infrastructures.

      Proven that nationalism doesn’t work for the working class it is only a tool used by the capitalist class

    • #196180
      marcos
      Participant
    • #196213
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      From our comrades in the WSPUS

      The coronavirus, bats, and deforestation

    • #196217
      marcos
      Participant

      That is a very well written article and it is in accordance with several microbiological researches done already. There was another virus before 1960 known as visna found on the sheep and it produced encephalitis and pulmonary diseases

    • #196218
      marcos
      Participant

      This is a well written article There was another virus known as visna who came from the sheeps and it produced encephalitis and pulmonary disorders

    • #196222
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Who are capitalism’s key workers?

      There are a few categories we may well take exception to the inclusion of some but most are what socialists would say are performing socially useful work.

      Health and social care
      Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.
      Education and childcare
      Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.
      Key public services
      Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.
      Local and national government
      Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.
      Food and other necessary goods
      Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.
      Public safety and national security
      Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.
      Transport
      Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.
      Utilities, communication and financial services
      Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/20/key-worker-official-list-of-uk-personnel-who-can-still-send-children-to-school

    • #196247
      ALB
      Participant

      It looks as if the Governor of California has some bad advisers too. According to this, they have calculated that 56% of the state’s population of some 40 million could get the virus. That’s 22.5 million. Chose your own death rate and “do the math” as he says: at 1%  it’s 225,000, which is indeed “a particularly large number.”

      When the UK Government’s advisers put out a similar calculation this backfired and they dropped it on the pretext of new medical advice. Now they are talking about keeping deaths down to 20,000 or so.

      Of course it could be that the Governor is deliberately exaggerating to try to impress on people the need to stay at home (which is good advice). And the report does say that the figure of 22.5 million probably does not take into account any effect from mitigation measures. But at least he isn’t talking about aiming at herd immunity.

      Putting this out doesn’t seem politically astute as he too might have to backtrack. On the other hand, he is a politician and could be calculating that when the figure of deaths doesn’t reach anyway near that figure he can claim the credit for this as a result of the bold mitigation measures he took.

    • #196248
      marcos
      Participant
    • #196249
      marcos
      Participant

      The government of California does not know  what he is talking about, the real number is around 200,000

    • #196252
      marcos
      Participant

      China and Cuba offered medical assistance, medications and medical equipment and the USA rejected the offer but Italy did not reject it, even more cuba is producing and antiviral which helps to recover the immune system to the patients infested with coronavirus. Brazil have asked the Cubans doctors to leave but they want to employ them again

    • #196322
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51982005

      <i>The government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a radical move aimed at protecting people’s jobs.</i> <i>It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.</i>

    • #196452
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Cuba has one of the highest ratios worldwide of physicians per capita even when excluding those doctors abroad

      A 52-strong brigade  has sent an emergency contingent to Italy.
      This is the sixth medical brigade Cuba has sent in recent days to combat the spread of the new disease abroad. It has sent contingents to socialist allies Venezuela and Nicaragua as well as Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada.

      “In a time of crisis, the Cuban government, the Cuban people … have risen to the occasion, they have heard our appeal and they have responded,” Jamaican Health Minister Christopher Tufton said on Saturday upon greeting 140 Cuban medical professionals at Kingston international airport.

      Britain also thanked Cuba last week for allowing a British cruise ship that had been turned away by several Caribbean ports to dock on the island and for enabling the evacuation of the more than 600 passengers onboard.

      Meanwhile Cuba, which is known for its disaster preparedness, is stepping up measures at home too to stem the coronavirus contagion. Twenty-five cases have been confirmed so far. Thousands of doctors and medicine students are also going door-to-door monitoring their local communities.

      https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-cuba/cuban-doctors-head-to-italy-battle-coronavirus-idUKKBN219051

    • #196453
      ALB
      Participant

      Also sanctions in place against countries like Iran, Venezuela and Syria have not only weakened the general health of the people there but also the health service and access to medicines, drugs and medical equipment. It is therefore not surprising that Iran is being particularly hit by the virus.

    • #196457
      robbo203
      Participant

      Also sanctions in place against countries like Iran, Venezuela and Syria have not only weakened the general health of the people there but also the health service and access to medicines, drugs and medical equipment. It is therefore not surprising that Iran is being particularly hit by the virus.

       

      It is ironic that America, the instigator of these sanctions, has now surged ahead of Iran in terms of the number of confirmed cases and is now third in the world behind China and Italy

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

      “Confirmed cases” does not go anywhere near to reflecting the true extent of the infection because so many people who may have the virus may not have been tested . South Korea has probably got the most effective testing and tracking capacity of any country in the world.  By contrast the US is very weak in this area and this combined with the unique deficiencies of the  healthcare system there and the dithering  bumbling and contradictory approach of the Trump regime is a recipe for disaster.

       

      I have a hunch that the epicentre of the virus is soon going to move from Europe to America just as it earlier moved from China to Europe.  In a month’s time the picture could be dramatically different.

       

    • #196459
      ALB
      Participant

      Here is Boris reported as saying (19 March) that, unlike in the last crisis in 2008, this time the government is putting people first :

      “Unlike during the financial crisis, Britain will put its people first in the fight against the coronavirus and more measures will be announced by the government on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said..”This time it is going to be different,” Johnson said at a news conference. “(Remember) what happened in 2008, everybody said we bailed out the banks and we didn’t look after the people who really suffered – this time we are going to make sure that we look after the people who really suffer from the economic consequences.”

      Of course he is a politician and so we don’t need to take anything he says at face value. Even so the government does seem to be putting people first, even if compelled to by the particular circumstances of this crisis as a public health one.

      So I wonder if we shouldn’t change what we are saying from “they are putting the health of the economy before the health of the people” to “circumstances are compelling them to put the health of people first but this is being made difficult by capitalism as this is against its nature and can only be temporary.”

      They do seem to be trying to put people’s health first in the sense of spending “what it takes” to enable the health services to cope and so minimise the number of deaths. And the measures they have taken have adversely affected the profits of most businesses, not to mention that the bill will have to be paid later out of future profits. You could argue that what they are doing is in the longer term interests of business but I don’t think we could sustain the argument that this is their main motivation.

      It is not unprecedented for capitalism to give priority to something other than profit-making. They don’t in major wars when their priority is to win and they spend “what it takes” to achieve this. But the war over, whether won or lost, it’s a return to prioritising profit as usual. Which is what will happen after this public health crisis is over.

    • #196461
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/21/trad-m21.html.   The USA Intelligence Committee knew about the Coronavirus possible spreading since January but some senators preferred to hide the dangers of the virus and decided to sell stocks in the market to make profits, and some of those senators are the same one indicating that the government have handled the situation promptly, and have called it a Chinese virus. The USA congress is the club of the rich peoples and billionaires

    • #196462
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/senator-fire-early-coronavirus-warning-donors-200319210633822.html.  They are just a bunch of criminals and peoples have elected them as their  so-called representative, in reality, they represent the rich peoples and their campaign donors

    • #196470
      rodshaw
      Participant

      As has been said before it’s just a pity that a crisis like this doesn’t induce more socialist-minded thinking in people, beyond the creation of self-help groups and suchlike, commendable though these may be. Yes, there are far more people being co-operative and helpful than there are cynically taking advantage of the situation, but if a worldwide crisis like this, causing so much misery and financial hardship, doesn’t switch on the light showing that capitalism and its money-based constraints should be dead and buried, I don’t know what will.

    • #196471
      marcos
      Participant

      Capitalists have done a wonderful job in the minds of the workers. Warren Buffet said: There is a class war and my class is winning that war

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by marcos.
    • #196480
      kohara66
      Participant

      I think that is a bit harsh in expecting this crisis to ‘switch on the light’ in the world’s working class in bringing about world socialism. It took me several years to come across a ‘true’ socialist alternative to capitalism after flirting with reformism of various kinds. Hopefully, workers who have heard of our case may be more likely now to put forward our ideas to fellow workers.

      I have been heartened by some things I’ve heard. A friend who for decades I’d put forward our case to rang to tell me he’d said to his girlfriend that I may have been right all along. I’ve also heard criticism of those who’ve put ‘money’ before people. I was walking locally when I overheard a builder, working on a local house, say on the phone..’what do you think of Cheltenham horse races going ahead..’ and other person replied..’ it’s all about the money.. ‘ to which he replied..’ yeah! it’s always about the money..’. A small thing yet it shows worker’s are aware of capitalism’s priorities.

    • #196508
      marcos
      Participant

      The Medical Services in the USA are so mediocre that in several hospitals the medical workers have been infected with the Coronavirus because they were using leaky respirators. Most of the agencies dedicated to providing financing for the health of the peoples have been eliminated or bankrupted to use the funds to construct the so-called Mexican walls, and workers have shot  themselves in the foot by supporting those measures to support nationalism and xenophobia

    • #196551
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Some of us may be forgiven for a touch of schadenfreude when we read that Rand Paul was the first US senator to contract coronavirus.

      He voted against a House-passed bill last week that provided more than $100bn to boost testing for the coronavirus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers. He also was the only Republican senator who opposed an earlier bill authorizing $8.3bn for initial response to the coronavirus.

      The only regret is that he was a symptomless carrier of the virus

    • #196565
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/gaza-confirms-coronavirus-cases-ongoing-blockade-200322072036366.html

      “If the biggest and most powerful countries are struggling, how is Gaza supposed to cope?” says Ayman al-Halabi, a doctor at the laboratories run by Gaza’s health ministry

    • #196571
      marcos
      Participant

       

       

      Gaza  already has  its first-person infested with Coronavirus, it is to go be a very difficult situation for the Palestinians

       

       

    • #196627
      ALB
      Participant

      Diehard supporters of capitalism are beginning to fight back against the government’s apparent decision to put people or at least the health service before the health of the capitalist economy.

      Sparked off by an article in Saturday’s Times by Matthew Paris entitled “Crashing the economy will also cost lives”, a debate is raging on “crashing the economy versus sacrificing lives” with some actually arguing that minimising deaths today should not be the objective.

      It is true that crashing the capitalist economy, ie provoking a slump, will also cost lives, as always does happen in a slump through increased ill health and suicides of those who lose their jobs and so their previous level of income.

      So that’s all capitalism has to offer: less deaths today and more tomorrow or more deaths today and less deaths tomorrow. We can let the sick supporters of this sick system argue which of these is the lesser evil.

      The very fact that this is the choice under capitalism is itself an indictment of the profit-driven system. And another good reason why it has to go.

      In socialism if a pandemic breaks out ( as it might) this wouldn’t be the choice as minimising deaths today could be the objective without endangering future production as this would be directly for use and not for sale and profit as now under capitalism. Some adjustments would have to be made but nobody would need to be denied access to what they needed to live and enjoy life as the direct link between taking part in production and what you get will have been broken.

    • #196638
      marcos
      Participant

      The members of the Congress of the USA they only  want to save capitalism first and to let peoples die, for them the economic system is more important than human beings, it is very clear, and we do not need binoculars to see that capitalism only exists to satisfy the needs of a small group of peoples, at this moment whoever does no see that, it is completely blind

    • #196664
      rodshaw
      Participant

      It would appear that most governments round the world are genuinely trying to save lives now and acting on the best possible medical and scientific advice. Though somehow in the next few weeks and months I expect a fair number of reports about how more could have been done, too little too late, all sorts of cover-ups, etc.

      As regards the NHS, of course, the irony is that it wouldn’t be in quite as much of a mess if it hadn’t been starved of cash and resources over the decades by Labour and Tory alike on behalf of the capitalist class. The same is no doubt true of most countries.

      And no doubt the government has an eye to the future and will make political capital later out of what it’s doing if it can be seen to be in any way successful.

    • #196699
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #196741
      marcos
      Participant

      His own real estate and hotels business are going into bankruptcy, and the last  stimulus package was rejected by the Democrats because it was in order to rescue his family business and his friends, and allow the Treasurers department to give loans and money  to their own discretion without making any disclosure for six months

    • #196763
      ALB
      Participant

      It seems that Trump is veering away from the policy of putting the health of the people even if only temporarily ahead of the health of the capitalist economy towards frankly putting the health of the economy first. From today’s Times:

      “President Trump has declared the re­sponse to coronavirus must not be worse than the pandemic itself as he hinted he would lift social distancing rules in an attempt to salvage the eco­nomy.
      More than a week after he banned almost all travel from Europe and with many states imposing severe restric­tions on their residents, Mr Trump signalled a sudden change of tack in a tweet late on Sunday night.
      Shortly before midnight, writing in block capital letters, he said: “We can­not let the cure be worse than the prob­lem itself. At the end of the 15-day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go!”
      (…)
      The White House’s medical advisers have suggested that the restrictions will have to be extended for much longer, but the president appears amenable to a rival camp who believe that the eco­nomy should be prioritised and some people allowed to go back to work.”

      We will see if he dares. After all, people have votes and this is an election year.

    • #196765
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      We were impressed by China building a hospital in two weeks.

      Ineos, the chemicals company, is planning to build two hand sanitiser factories in just 10 days.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/uk-chemicals-firm-plans-to-build-two-hand-sanitiser-factories-in-10-days

    • #196768
      ALB
      Participant

      I must admit that I was wrong to be sceptical about factories switching to producing ventilators. It’s not turned out to be just another of Boris’s publicity stunts.

      Building a factory in ten days shows what can be done in an emergency and how quickly socialist society will be able to clear up the mess inherited from capitalism. And it’s good to have examples  from other than the military, though in the early days of socialism the disarmed forces could have a useful role in quickly building airfields and using their drones to drop medical supplies instead of bombs.

    • #196795
      a2722059165
      Participant

      In fact.Chinese product ion medical production is still in marks law unto system that as a Chinese I must explan.Is stand for 

      oppression  worker you can translate this   

      by google

    • #196828
      ALB
      Participant

      A comrade who understands Chinese has said that this is what the link says:

      ”It’s about the hospitals that were built in double-quick time to cope with coronavirus victims: apparently many of the migrant workers employed to build them haven’t been paid.”

      We hadn’t thought of that but, this being capitalism, perhaps we should have taken into account who the workers who actually built that hospital were and their terms and conditions.

    • #196829
      marcos
      Participant

      They had done the same thing by building apartments complex and some of them have collapsed, because they have not been built properly and trying to save money they have not used the proper concrete mixtures, and they are cutting corners to produce more profits by the construction companies, schools and public building also collapsed during an earthquake in 2008 due to poor construction and lack of safety, they used more sand than concrete. China is a capitalist nation like any other capitalist nation and profit is the main concern, leftwingers will applaud the measures taken by the Chinese government but they never talk about the conditions of the workers, and the high level of exploitation. They use foreign labourers because they pay is lower than the pay given to Chinese workers and many times they do not get payment of their wages. Some of these schools and buildings constructions are called Tofu Projects by the Chinese workers and parents of school children

      • This reply was modified 6 days, 21 hours ago by marcos.
    • #196855
      robbo203
      Participant
    • #196863
      marcos
      Participant

      But millions of peoples continue worshipping him like a god or a cult, he has been blessed by the Evangelicals as the chosen one, and millions of peoples believe that too and then, they are talking against the cult of personality of   Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. There was a Senator who said that he is willing to risk his life to save the economy. He can go ahead and kill himself but other human beings do not have to follow him like sheep going into a corral, but it is all flattery, they do not have any dignity,  and they are  just a  bunch of cowards who will do anything to save their jobs and careers

    • #196873
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “The guy is insane”

      His business empire is centred on hotels and golf.

      His personal wealth is particularly vulnerable to lock-downs and restrictions on travel.

      As always, he is looking after Numero Uno

       

    • #196879
      marcos
      Participant

      And casinos,  and Real estate,  and both sectors are also in troubles, and in the brink of collapsing. He is an expert in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, probably, he would force to use that federal  court system again

      Many islands in the Caribbean region who depend on tourism and hotel business  are in a difficult situation, many peoples are going to be laid off, and those nations depend in that income to pay their huge debts with the IMF

    • #196880
      marcos
      Participant

      The USA government does not want to show to the US workers their dependency on medical products and equipment that are made in China, and the tariff war affected the importation of medical supplies toward the USA

    • #196881
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      A worrying development. Some countries are stopping the export of food and beginning policies of stock-piling reserves

      Vietnam halts export of rice, the country’s major hard currency earner.

      Kazakhstan,  one of the world’s biggest shippers of wheat flour, has suspended exports of buckwheat, wheat and rye flour, sugar, potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, onions, cabbages, sunflower seeds and oil.

      Russia has suspended exports of processed grains such as ready-to-eat buckwheat, rice or oat flakes from March 20 for 10 days,

      Kyrgyzstan banned the exports of basic food products for six months. Kyrgyzstan will stop the exports of wheat and meslin, wheat flour, rice, macaroni products, vegetable oils, eggs, sugar and almost all types of feed for agricultural animals.

      Ann Berg, an independent consultant and veteran agricultural trader who started her career at Louis Dreyfus Co. in 1974.
      “You could see wartime rationing, price controls and domestic stockpiling,” Berg said, “it’s the least-developed countries with weak currencies that get hurt the most.”

      “We’re starting to see this happening already – and all we can see is that the lockdown is going to get worse,” said Tim Benton, research director in emerging risks at think tank Chatham House “If governments are not working collectively and cooperatively to ensure there is a global supply, if they’re just putting their nations first, you can end up in a situation where things get worse,” He warned that frenzied shopping coupled with protectionist policies could eventually lead to higher food prices – a cycle that could end up perpetuating itself. “If you’re panic buying on the market for next year’s harvest, then prices will go up, and as prices go up, policy makers will panic more,” .

      “Given the problem that we are facing now, it’s not the moment to put these types of policies into place,” said Maximo Torero, chief economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. “On the contrary, it’s the moment to cooperate and coordinate.”

      https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2020/03/25/Countries-begin-to-hoard-food-sparking-fears-of-shortages

    • #196886
      robbo203
      Participant

      Half the population of the UK may already be infected according to this Oxford study.   If true this could be significant: “If the results are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment”

       

      https://www.msn.com/…/coronavirus-may-have-infected-half-of…—-oxford-study/ar-BB11DVwS?ocid=spartandhp

    • #196887
      Ozymandias
      Participant

      This whole thing is dodgy as fuck.

       

      1. https://youtu.be/Wk_9EDU95SM
    • #196888
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      XR distanced itself from stickers purporting to be from the campaign group which state: “Corona is the cure, humans are the disease.”

      While the State repression continues for Julian Assange who had his bail application again refused

    • #196889
      robbo203
      Participant

      Has anyone come across updated information on the mortality rate of the virus?  I keep coming across conflicting information. So much depends on what proportion of the population infected are asymptomatic or only mildly affected.  Many may not be aware they are infected and depending on how many that makes quite a big difference.  To know how many requires large scale testing whereas I believe countries like the UK only test those who arrive at a hospital.  South Korea is the outstanding example where there has been large scale testing  and tracing contacts and this has helped quite a lot in reducing the rate of increase in infections

       

    • #196895
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      COVID-19 – the class connection

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52023147

      “The social class who is ill at the moment are the upper-middle and upper classes, and that’s why we haven’t yet seen a sustained transmission rate,” says Dr Beatriz Perondi, who heads the disaster and emergency committee at São Paulo’s Hospital das Clinicas, the largest public hospital in Latin America. “Once they start spreading the virus to the middle and lower classes, that’s when we are going to have issues with quarantine. With lots of people living in the same room, that could cause huge transmission problems.”

    • #196899
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      While Bolsonaro denies the crisis, the drug gangs impose their own lock-downs.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/25/brazil-rio-gangs-coronavirus

       

    • #196909
      marcos
      Participant
    • #196917
      marcos
      Participant

      They want workers to die to keep capitalism running.

      • This reply was modified 5 days, 17 hours ago by Matthew Culbert. Reason: Dodgy link leads to personal gmail box
    • #196955
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Robbo, this article makes some interesting comparisons on different rates for different nations.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-germany-cases-death-toll-italy-spain-bavaria-lockdown-a9424591.html

    • #196956
      marcos
      Participant

      Pablo Escobar in Colombia was paying the rent and supporting a  whole poor neighbourhood, provided constructions material to build homes, and buildings  and one of that neighbourhood carries his name

    • #196957
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #196958
      ALB
      Participant

      I see that Prince Charles has caught it and he’s over 70. Let’s hope he survives if only to show that if you are over 70 and get it you’re not done for.

      Another example of the elite getting it and why they might take more seriously establishing procedures and facilities to deal with the next pandemic. Though, to tell the truth, shorter term profit considerations are more likely to prevail as they generally do.

      Talking of members of the elite, it’s them who seem to have brought the virus to Brazil where, unlike their wealth, it will trickle down to the rest of the population.

      • This reply was modified 5 days, 10 hours ago by ALB.
    • #196961
      marcos
      Participant

      Wildcat strikes are taking place in some factories and industries in the USA, workers are refusing to continue working, or to come back to work

    • #196962
      robbo203
      Participant

      Oh dear the capitalists are suffering.  Would a whip round be in order. comrades

      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-loses-500-000-millionaires-152034654.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=fb

    • #196977
      ALB
      Participant

      NHS gets 560,000 volunteers to help fight coronavirus

      This can’t be. It’s against human nature !

    • #197035
      Ozymandias
      Participant

      “Let’s hope he survives if only to show that if you are over 70 and get it you’re not done for.”

       

      WhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiT?

       

       

       

    • #197057
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/mar/26/gordon-brown-calls-for-global-government-to-tackle-coronavirus

    • #197058
      marcos
      Participant

      Adam Buick wrote :
      We will see if he dares. After all, people have
      votes and this is an election year.

      Donald Trump approval rate is 47%, I do not doubt that millions of USA workers will vote him, and he might win the Electoral Colleges again, and due to his personal power they can do a lot of manoeuvres to win the election including voters repression

    • #197059
      Ozymandias
      Participant

      I know David Icke might be a loon but it’s funny how a few of the things he’s been harping on about for years are now coming to fruition. Epstein, Saville, Prince Andrew, mandatory vaccinations and now Gordon Brown calling for a temporary  Global Government.

      The enabling act passed in parliament in February is quite breathtaking. Most SPGB traditional activity has been made illegal in the past 10 years. I just don’t believe the hysteria surrounding this Corona cult. Also I find it dubious that governments suddenly want to “Wrap Arms” around every worker.

      In terms of mortality figures alone this whole con trick doesn’t make sense. This podcast ends on an insane note when the guy asks the question “Are Demons Real” to prep next weeks broadcast. But there are grains of truth here. What the elite have planned for us is terrifying.

      Sneer if you want…

      • This reply was modified 4 days, 4 hours ago by Matthew Culbert. Reason: Removed vido inserted link
    • #197086
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Ozy, if you look back on this thread, you will find that I was perhaps the most sceptical and cynical about the COVID-19 threat. It took comrades many posts and links to convince me otherwise. It was perhaps TWC’s two links on message #195486 that finally succeeded in convincing me that I was wrong with my analysis and emphasis.

      As the blogger on SOYMB, I have made a judgement not to post messages that are apocalyptic predictions (as I have been guilty of on other threads here about climate change) but instead highlight how this pandemic is exposing the inequalities inherent within capitalist society and also to point out the cooperation and mutual aid initiatives being set up as positive signs of perhaps social changes that in future maybe stepping stones to socialism.

      Even governments have now had to face for what for them must be harsh realities of the contradictions that the capitalist system has built into it. I view Gordon Brown’s admission for the need for a global government as being a positive for our view of the necessity of world socialism rather than the propaganda of the nationalist authoritarianism that is being promoted by some.

      Surely, our task now is to use this health crisis to strengthen the case for socialism – that even with social distancing, and self isolation we are social animals and when push comes to shove, we will work together as citizens of the world.

       

    • #197088
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Ireland is nationalizing its healthcare system for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

      Health Minister Simon Harris says ‘there can be no room for public versus private’ healthcare during a pandemic,

      Ireland nationalizes hospitals for duration of the coronavirus crisis

      The move follows a decision by Spain to do the same

      While in the UK private hospitals have integrated into the NHS system

    • #197110
      marcos
      Participant

      Probably,  the USA will be forced to follow the route of nationalization or to reinstall the old new deal,  they do not have any other choice because the whole health system is falling apart and probably, they would be forced to reinstate all the agencies,  policies, and regulation that were eliminated. Several companies and agencies like Amazon, Tesla,  Microsoft, Apples and workers unions are the ones providing equipment and medical supplies to the hospitals in the USA, due to the fact that they are running out supplies and equipment. This crisis has shown the dependency of the USA from Chinese importation

    • #197113
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #197114
      ALB
      Participant

      ”I know David Icke might be a loon”

      You can say that again.

      In fact can’t we delete that video of his from this site. It’s a disgrace.

    • #197116
      robbo203
      Participant

      I just don’t believe the hysteria surrounding this Corona cult. Also I find it dubious that governments suddenly want to “Wrap Arms” around every worker.
      In terms of mortality figures alone this whole con trick doesn’t make sense

       

      Ozy

      Look at it another way – if this is all a con trick why would the ruling class inflict such grievous damage on the economy for some unknown or vaguely defined objective? Why shoot themselves in the foot and incur astronomical losses in profits for the sake of achieving this supposed objective.?  If anything doesn’t make sense it is that

      The fact that celebrities , politicians and billionaires can succumb to the virus as easily as workers may be one reason for the scale of the official reaction.  But more importantly, it may be because if governments are, as you say,  suddenly wanting to “Wrap Arms” around every worker,  it is because the material reality of the capitalist class’ total dependence on the workers gives them no other option but to do so.   They need to protect the working class as the source of future profits. They dont want the geese that lays their golden eggs killed off in such large numbers

       

      You refer to the mortality figures.  Yes they are comparatively small compared to death toll resulting from flu.  But you forget that it is early days yet. COVID-19 was only just discovered in December last year.   The eventual death toll  may well become much much higher than that of flu.   Countries like China and South Korea have reduced the rate of increase in infections but ONLY because they have taken effective steps to limit the spread.  In others by  treating the virus as a serious threat.

       

      The key variable is the mortality rate.   There is no doubt that the mortality rate is significantly higher than flu.  Granted it may not be as high as WHO originally thought – 3.4% – because quite a large number of people present only mild symptoms or are asymptomatic and may not realise they carry the virus.  The best estimates  to date for the proportion of asymptomatic carriers of the virus is about 50 percent of the people infected. But even allowing for this the mortality rate is still significant higher than flu and accordingly the eventual death toll could be much higher too.

       

      Also, the virus has yet to make significant inroads in places like Africa.  Though it is ironic that, to date, poor countries such as in Africa have fared comparatively better than rich countries – probably for reasons to do with mobility and relative isolation – this could change dramatically.   I was looking at a programme on the situation in South Africa and the commentator made the point that given the extreme population density of the black townships outside cities like Cape Town, the virus, once it got a foothold , could spread like wildfire.  Social distancing is almost impossible to effectively implement in these cramped circumstances.

       

      Even in wealthier countries containment might become increasingly problematic beyond a certain tipping point if the number of cases grow to the point where they start to overwhelm the available resources.   Furthermore the impact on the economy could be such that it begins to threaten basic supplies such as food and water causing people to take risks to secure these supplies (e,g panic buying in the shops and social protests on the street) and so risk spreading the virus further.   It is a nightmarish prospect.  China and South Korea have seemingly nipped this in the bud but we cannot be complacent about this.  The vast majority of their populations have not been infected.  Any relaxation of the measures they have adopted could precipitate a massive new wave of infections.

       

      In the long run, only the development of a vaccine or a form of treatment using plasma can absolutely ensure the worst case scenario does not materialise.  But a readily available vaccine is at least a year off from now even though human trials have already begun

       

      Finally you mention  Gordon Brown calling for a temporary Global Government. Brown is an idiot.  There is no prospect of such a government being formed whatsoever.  You only have to consider the deep animosities between leading capitalist powers like China and the US to see this.  If anything globalisation has gone into reverse in recent years with the rise of populist nationalism.  COVID-19 is accentuating this trend by closing borders.

       

      There is of course the UN but the UN has always been a largely toothless tiger and a mere talking shop – not to say a front behind which the various rival capital powers pursue their own divergent interests.   “World government” presupposes a degree of common interest which simply does not exist in reality

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • #197132
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      To be fair to David Icke though, if Michael Gove and his Daily Mail “journalist” wife, did in fact turn out to be flesh eating lizards, in human form, who would honestly be that surprised? To be honest if tests were done and they turned out to be human, I’d be more surprised.

      • This reply was modified 4 days, 3 hours ago by Bijou Drains.
    • #197166
      ALB
      Participant

      Just heard that “reptile” Gove, who thanks to both Boris and the Health Secretary Hancock (another self-publicist) catching the virus has been able to step into the limelight, interpret the volunteers who have come forward to help the NHS (now 700,000) as being an expression of patriotic “national solidarity” rather than of simple human solidarity. But that’s par for the course from a rabid nationalist like him as well as being what the ruling class would like to turn it into.

    • #197111
      Dave B
      Participant
    • #197167
      Dave B
      Participant

      Ozy is correct it is a load of bollocks

       

      There are two example links below I have been following it and understand the science and statistics.

       

      https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

       

       

      https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

       

       

      I have been trying to post but nothing getting thro

       

    • #197158
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      I did a bit of epidemiology as part of my Open University Studies and have been doing a bit of number crunching, based on stuff I did back then.

      The difficulty with the data is general lack of reliability and also lack of testing. However there are a couple of exceptions that can be used to further extrapolate information. Firstly South Korea, which carried out large scale testing and appears to  have been reporting honestly and secondly the figures from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship where there was full testing and long scale monitoring.

      There are a couple of issues. The first is that the demographics of the passengers and crew on the cruise ship were not representative of general demographics (generally older, some with long term health problems, although I would guess less very chronic illnesses and also although the crew were young, there were very few children). The second issue is that of hidden or asymptomatic cases. In South Korea the % of the population tested being less than the whole, the asymptomatic might not have been tested.

      The plus side (certainly in the UK) is that using South Korea as a model is probably ok, as the demographic structure is quite similar to the UK one, see links below:

      https://www.indexmundi.com/united_kingdom/age_structure.html

      https://www.indexmundi.com/south_korea/age_structure.html

      So using the figures from the Diamond Princess, which were as follows:

      Total tests – 4061

      Total Positives – 705

      Asymptomatic Positives – 392

      Total deaths to date – 11

      The numbers of deaths to cases in this instance is perhaps not as important because of the previously mentioned demographic anomalies for the cruise ship, the number of asymptomatic cases, however is. Because everyone on the ship was tested we know that as far as can be ascertained this is a pretty accurate reflection of the level of asymptomatic infection for those on the ship. You could argue that in a younger demographic, asymptomatic infection might be less, but it is unlikely to be more, so this gives us a rate of asymptomatic infection of roughly 4/7ths of cases or possibly more.

      Going back to South Korea, we have the advantage in this case of having a demographic which is closer to that of the UK. In South Korea, the death rate has been at about 1.3%, because of the difficulty with regards to the possibility of asymptomatic cases which haven’t been identified, the death rate is probably less than this, however it would probably be okay to use this as a base line higher limit.

      Using all of this to examine the UK, the statistics we have in the UK are probably very unreliable in terms of cases and asymptomatic cases, due to lack of testing, etc. However we can use the death rate as a reasonably reliable source of information, if we look at the death rate in the UK (there are a number of caveats here as we don’t know what numbers of those currently infected will die) but as an informed guestimate, if we have 759 deaths in the UK, with a death rate of roughly 1.3% (from South Korea), then an estimated 58,384 people could have the infection of which 4/7ths will be asymptomatic (33,363).

      In terms of the future, viruses tend to become less fatal as they spread, effectively a virus which kills its host is less likely to spread than one that is less deadly and it will progressively become the dominant strain. Very deadly viruses tend to “burn out” very quickly and don’t spread as intensively because of this, so it is likely that the death rate will reduce as time goes by. Similarly, treatments and interventions (not necessarily cures) will likely reduce the death rate over time. We certainly won’t get worse at looking after victims, but shortage of equipment might mean that victims don’t get the most effective treatments. On that basis we can estimate that, with a bit of luck the death rate will fall to about 0.5% or thereabouts, over time.

      If we go back to figures from the Diamond Princess, 4061 tests were carried out for 705 positives, that means that nearly 5/6 of those on the ship didn’t acquire the virus, or were able to fight it off without infection. In some cases there were couples who shared the same living space for up to two weeks where one caught the virus and the other didn’t. We can guess from this that there is some percentage of the population that will not succumb to the infection.

      If we could put this at 2/3 of the population, as another guestimate, we can start to work out when/if herd immunity might kick in and how many maximum deaths we can expect.

      UK total population is 67,786,872, if only 1/3 are susceptible then that gives us roughly 22.5 million possible victims. However as the number of immune and non susceptible people increases the spread of the virus becomes less common, as it cannot find a host to act as a breeding ground. Once we get past about 70% it should be about there, so that gives us 15, 750,000 infections, with a death rate (being positive) of around 0.5%, so roughly about 315,000 deaths. Hopefully social distancing and all the other measures taking place can bring this number down significantly

       

       

    • #197112
      Dave B
      Participant

      A Swiss medical doctor provided the following information on the current situation in order to enable our readers to make a realistic risk assessment. (Daily updates below)

      ***

      According to the latest data of the Italian National Health Institute ISS, the average age of the positively-tested deceased in Italy is currently about 81 years. 10% of the deceased are over 90 years old. 90% of the deceased are over 70 years old.

      80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases. 50% of the deceased had suffered from three or more chronic diseases. The chronic diseases include in particular cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer.

      Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases. Only about 30% of the deceased are women.

      The Italian Institute of Health moreover distinguishes between those who died from the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus. In many cases it is not yet clear whether the persons died from the virus or from their pre-existing chronic diseases or from a combination of both.

      The two Italians deceased under 40 years of age (both 39 years old) were a cancer patient and a diabetes patient with additional complications. In these cases, too, the exact cause of death was not yet clear (i.e. if from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases).

      The partial overloading of the hospitals is due to the general rush of patients and the increased number of patients requiring special or intensive care. In particular, the aim is to stabilize respiratory function and, in severe cases, to provide anti-viral therapies.

      (Update: The Italian National Institute of Health published a statistical report on test-positive patients and deceased, confirming the above data.)

      The doctor also points out the following aspects:

      Northern Italy has one of the oldest populations and the worst air quality in Europe, which has already led to an increased number of respiratory diseases and deaths in the past and is likely an additional risk factor in the current epidemic.

      South Korea, for instance, has experienced a much milder course than Italy and has already passed the peak of the epidemic. In South Korea, only about 70 deaths with a positive test result have been reported so far. As in Italy, those affected were mostly high-risk patients.

      The few dozen test-positive Swiss deaths so far were also high-risk patients with chronic diseases, an average age of more than 80 years and a maximum age of 97 years, whose exact cause of death, i.e. from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases, is not yet known.

      Furthermore, according to a first Chinese study, the internationally used virus test kits may give a false positive result in some cases. In these cases, the persons may not have contracted the new coronavirus, but presumably one of the many existing human coronaviruses that are part of the annual (and currently ongoing) common cold and flu epidemics. (1)

      Thus the most important indicator for judging the danger of the disease is not the frequently reported number of positively-tested persons and deaths, but the number of persons actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality).

      According to all current data, for the healthy general population of school and working age, a mild to moderate course of the Covid-19 disease can be expected. Senior citizens and persons with existing chronic diseases should be protected. The medical capacities should be optimally prepared.

      Medical literature

      (1) Zhuang et al., Potential false-positive rate among the ‚asymptomatic infected individuals‘ in close contacts of COVID-19 patients, Chinese Medical Association Publishing House, March 2020.

      (2) Grasselli et al., Critical Care Utilization for the COVID-19 Outbreak in Lombardy, JAMA, March 2020.

      (3) WHO, Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019, February 2020.

      Reference values

      Important reference values include the number of annual flu deaths, which is up to 8,000 in Italy and up to 60,000 in the US; normal overall mortality, which in Italy is up to 2,000 deaths per day; and the average number of pneumonia cases per year, which in Italy is over 120,000.

      Current all-cause mortality in Europe and in Italy is still normal or even below-average. Any excess mortality due to Covid-19 should become visible in the European monitoring charts.

      Winter smog (NO2) in Northern Italy in February 2020 (ESA)

      Updates

      March 17, 2020 (I)

      • The mortality profile remains puzzling from a virological point of view because, in contrast to influenza viruses, children are spared and men are affected about twice as often as women. On the other hand, this profile corresponds to natural mortality, which is close to zero for children and almost twice as high for 75-year-old men as for women of the same age.
      • The younger test-positive deceased almost always had severe pre-existing conditions. For example, a 21-year-old Spanish soccer coach had died test-positive, making international headlines. However, the doctors diagnosed an unrecognized leukemia, whose typical complications include severe pneumonia.
      • The decisive factor in assessing the danger of the disease is therefore not the number of test-positive persons and deceased, which is often mentioned in the media, but the number of people actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality). So far, this value remains very low in most countries.
      • In Switzerland, some emergency units are already overloaded simply because of the large number of people who want to be tested. This points to an additional psychological and logistical component of the current situation.

      March 17, 2020 (II)

      • Italian immunology professor Sergio Romagnani from the University of Florence comes to the conclusion in a study on 3000 people that 50 to 75% of the test-positive people of all ages remain completely symptom-free – significantly more than previously assumed.
      • The occupancy rate of the North Italian ICUs in the winter months is typically already 85 to 90%. Some or many of these existing patients could also be test-positive by now. However, the number of additional unexpected pneumonia cases is not yet known.
      • A hospital doctor in the Spanish city of Malaga writes on Twitter that people are currently more likely to die from panic and systemic collapse than from the virus. The hospital is being overrun by people with colds, flu and possibly Covid19 and doctors have lost control.

      March 18, 2020

      • A new epidemiological study (preprint) concludes that the fatality of Covid19 even in the Chinese city of Wuhan was only 0.04% to 0.12% and thus rather lower than that of seasonal flu, which has a mortality rate of about 0.1%. As a reason for the overestimated fatality of Covid19, the researchers suspect that initially only a small number of cases were recorded in Wuhan, as the disease was probably asymptomatic or mild in many people.
      • Chinese researchers argue that extreme winter smog in the city of Wuhan may have played a causal role in the outbreak of pneumonia. In the summer of 2019, public protests were already taking place in Wuhan because of the poor air quality.
      • New satellite images show how Northern Italy has the highest levels of air pollution in Europe, and how this air pollution has been greatly reduced by the quarantine.
      • A manufacturer of the Covid19 test kit states that it should only be used for research purposes and not for diagnostic applications, as it has not yet been clinically validated.

      Datasheet of Covid19 virus test kit

      March 19, 2020 (I)

      The Italian National Health Institute ISS has published a new report on test-positive deaths:

      • The median age is 80.5 years (79.5 for men, 83.7 for women).
      • 10% of the deceased was over 90 years old; 90% of the deceased was over 70 years old.
      • At most 0.8% of the deceased had no pre-existing chronic illnesses.
      • Approximately 75% of the deceased had two or more pre-existing conditions, 50% had three more pre-existing conditions, in particular heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
      • Five of the deceased were between 31 and 39 years old, all of them with serious pre-existing health conditions (e.g. cancer or heart disease).
      • The National Health Institute hasn’t yet determined what the patients examined ultimately died of and refers to them in general terms as Covid19-positive deaths.

      March 19, 2020 (II)

      • A report in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera points out that Italian intensive care units already collapsed under the marked flu wave in 2017/2018. They had to postpone operations, call nurses back from holiday and ran out of blood donations.
      • German virologist Hendrik Streeck argues that Covid19 is unlikely to increase total mortality in Germany, which normally is around 2500 people per day. Streeck mentions the case of a 78-year-old man with preconditions who died of heart failure, subsequently tested positive for Covid19 and thus was included in the statistics of Covid19 deaths.
      • According to Stanford Professor John Ioannidis, the new coronavirus may be no more dangerous than some of the common coronaviruses, even in older people. Ioannidis argues that there is no reliable medical data backing the measures currently decided upon.

      March 20, 2020

      • According to the latest European monitoring report, overall mortality in all countries (including Italy) and in all age groups remains within or even below the normal range so far.
      • According to the latest German statistics, the median age of test-positive deaths is about 83 years, most with pre-existing health conditions that might be a possible cause of death.
      • A 2006 Canadian study referred to by Stanford Professor John Ioannidis found that common cold coronaviruses may also cause death rates of up to 6% in risk groups such as residents of a care facility, and that virus test kits initially falsely indicated an infection with SARS coronaviruses.

      March 21, 2020 (I)

      • Spain reports only three test-positive deaths under the age of 65 (out of a total of about 1000). Their pre-existing health conditions and actual cause of death are not yet known.
      • On March 20, Italy reported 627 nationwide test-positive deaths in one day. By comparison, normal overall mortality in Italy is about 1800 deaths per day. Since February 21, Italy has reported about 4000 test-positive deaths. Normal overall mortality during this time frame is up to 50,000 deaths. It is not yet known to what extent normal overall mortality has increased, or to what extent it has simply turned test-positive. Moreover, Italy and Europe have had a very mild flu season in 2019/2020 that has spared many otherwise vulnerable people.
      • According to Italian news reports, 90% of test-positive deceased in the Lombardy region have died outside of intensive care units, mostly at home or in general care sections. Their cause of death and the possible role of quarantine measures in their deaths remain unclear. Only 260 out of 2168 test-positive persons have died in ICUs.
      • Bloomberg highlights that „99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says“

      Italy test-positive deaths by prior illnesses (ISS / Bloomberg)

      March 21, 2020 (II)

      • The Japan Times asks: Japan was expecting a coronavirus explosion. Where is it? Despite being one of the first countries getting positive test results and having imposed no lockdown, Japan is one of the least-affected nations. Quote: „Even if Japan may not be counting all those infected, hospitals aren’t being stretched thin and there has been no spike in pneumonia cases.“
      • Italian researchers argue that the extreme smog in Northern Italy, the worst in Europe, may be playing a causative role in the current pneumonia outbreak there, as in Wuhan before.
      • In a new interview, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, a world renowned expert in medical microbiology, says blaming the new coronavirus alone for deaths is „wrong“ and „dangerously misleading“, as there are other more important factors at play, notably pre-existing health conditions and poor air quality in Chinese and Northern Italian cities. Professor Bhakdi describes the currently discussed or imposed measures as „grotesque“, „useless“, „self-destructive“ and a „collective suicide“ that will shorten the lifespan of the elderly and should not be accepted by society.

      March 22, 2020 (I)

      Regarding the situation in Italy: Most major media falsely report that Italy has up to 800 deaths per day from the coronavirus. In reality, the president of the Italian Civil Protection Service stresses that these are deaths „with the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus“ (minute 03:30 of the press conference). In other words, these persons died while also testing positive.

      As Professors Ioannidis and Bhakdi have shown, countries like South Korea and Japan that introduced no lockdown measures have experienced near-zero excess mortality in connection with Covid-19, while the Diamond Princess cruise ship experienced an extra polated mortality figure in the per mille range, i.e. at or below the level of the seasonal flu.

      Current test-positive death figures in Italy are still less than 50% of normal daily overall mortality in Italy, which is around 1800 deaths per day. Thus it is possible, perhaps even likely, that a large part of normal daily mortality now simply counts as „Covid19“ deaths (as they test positive). This is the point stressed by the President of the Italian Civil Protection Service.

      However, by now it is clear that certain regions in Northern Italy, i.e. those facing the toughest lockdown measures, are experiencing markedly increased daily mortality figures. It is also known that in the Lombardy region, 90% of test-positive deaths occur not in intensive care units, but instead mostly at home. And more than 99% have serious pre-existing health conditions.

      Professor Sucharit Bhakdi has called lockdown measures „useless“, „self-destructive“ and a „collective suicide“. Thus the extremely troubling question arises as to what extent the increased mortality of these elderly, isolated, highly stressed people with multiple pre-existing health conditions may in fact be caused by the weeks-long lockdown measures still in force.

      If so, it may be one of those cases where the treatment is worse than the disease. (See update below: only 12% of death certificates show the coronavirus as a cause.)

      Angelo Borrelli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Service, emphasizing the difference between deaths with and from coronaviruses.

      March 22, 2020 (II)

      • In Switzerland, there are currently 56 test-positive deaths, all of whom were „high risk patients“ due to their advanced age and/or pre-existing health conditions. Their actual cause of death, i.e. from or simply with the virus, has not been communicated.
      • The Swiss government claimed that the situation in southern Switzerland (next to Italy) is „dramatic“, yet local doctors denied this and said everything is normal.
      • According to press reports, oxygen bottles may become scarce. The reason, however, is not a currently higher usage, but rather hoarding due to fear of future shortages.
      • In many countries, there is already an increasing shortage of doctors and nurses. This is primarily because healthcare workers testing positive have to self-quarantine, even though in many cases they will remain fully or largely symptom-free.

      March 22, 2020 (III)

      • A model from Imperial College London predicted between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths in the UK „from“ Covid-19, but the authors of the study have now conceded that many of these deaths would not be in addition to, but rather part of the normal annual mortality rate, which in the UK is about 600,000 people per year. In other words, excess mortality would remain low.
      • Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, asks in the New York Times: „Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease? There may be more targeted ways to beat the pandemic.“
      • According to Italian Professor Walter Ricciardi, „only 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus“, whereas in public reports „all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus“. This means that Italian death figures reported by the media have to be reduced by at least a factor of 8 to obtain actual deaths caused by the virus. Thus one ends up with at most a few dozen deaths per day, compared to an overall daily mortality of 1800 deaths and up to 20,000 flu deaths per year.

      March 23, 2020 (I)

      • A new French study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, titled SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data, concludes that  „the problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated“, since „the mortality rate for SARS-CoV-2 is not significantly different from that for common coronaviruses identified at the study hospital in France“.
      • An Italian study of August 2019 found that flu deaths in Italy were between 7,000 and 25,000 in recent years. This value is higher than in most other European countries due to the large elderly population in Italy, and much higher than anything attributed to Covid-19 so far.
      • In a new fact sheet, the World Health Organization WHO reports that Covid-19 is in fact spreading slower, not faster, than influenza by a factor of about 50%. Moreover, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to be much lower with Covid-19 than with influenza.
      • A leading Italian doctor reports that „strange cases of pneumonia“ were seen in the Lombardy region already in November 2019, raising again the question if they were caused by the new virus (which officially only appeared in Italy in February 2020), or by other factors, such as the dangerously high smog levels in Northern Italy.
      • Danish researcher Peter Gøtzsche, founder of the renowned Cochrane Medical Collaboration, writes that Corona is „an epidemic of mass panic“ and „logic was one of the first victims.“

      March 23, 2020 (II)

      • Former Israeli Health Minister, Professor Yoram Lass, says that the new coronavirus is „less dangerous than the flu“ and lockdown measures „will kill more people than the virus“. He adds that „the numbers do not match the panic“ and „psychology is prevailing over science“. He also notes that „Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country.“
      • Pietro Vernazza, a Swiss infectious disease specialist, argues that many of the imposed measures are not based on science and should be reversed. According to Vernazza, mass testing makes no sense because 90% of the population will see no symptoms, and lockdowns and closing schools are even „counterproductive“. He recommends protecting only risk groups while keeping the economy and society at large undisturbed.
      • The President of the World Doctors Federation, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, argues thatlockdown measures as in Italy are „unreasonable“ and „counterproductive“ and should be reversed.
      • Switzerland: Despite media panic, excess mortality still at or near zero: the latest testpositive „victims“ were a 96yo in palliative care and a 97yo with pre-existing conditions.
      • The latest statistical report of the Italian National Health Institute is now available in English.

      March 24, 2020

      • The UK has removed Covid19 from the official list of High Consquence Infectious Diseases (HCID), stating that mortality rates are „low overall“.
      • The director of the German National Health Institute (RKI) admitted that they count all test-positive deaths, irrespective of the actual cause of death, as „coronavirus deaths“. The average age of the deceased is 82 years, most with serious preconditions. As in most other countries, excess mortality due Covid19 is likely to be near zero in Germany.
      • Beds in Swiss intensive care units reserved for Covid19 patients are still „mostly empty“.
      • German Professor Karin Moelling, former Chair of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich, stated in an interview that Covid19 is „no killer virus“ and that „panic must end“.
      • In Italy, overall national mortality of the 65+ age group until March 7 remained below the level of earlier years, especially due to the rather mild winter (see red line in chart below).

      Italy: Overall mortality of 65+ age group (red) compared to earlier years (March 7, 2020 / MdS)

      March 25, 2020

      • German immunologist and toxicologist, Professor Stefan Hockertz, explains in a radio interview that Covid19 is no more dangerous than influenza (the flu), but that it is simply observed much more closely. More dangerous than the virus is the fear and panic created by the media and the „authoritarian reaction“ of many governments. Professor Hockertz also notes that most so-called „corona deaths“ have in fact died of other causes while also testing positive for coronaviruses. Hockertz believes that up to ten times more people than reported already had Covid19 but noticed nothing or very little.
      • The Argentinean virologist and biochemist Pablo Goldschmidt explains that Covid19 is no more dangerous than a bad cold or the flu. It is even possible that the Covid19 virus circulated already in earlier years, but wasn’t discovered because no one was looking for it. Dr. Goldschmidt speaks of a „global terror“ created by the media and politics. Every year, he says, three million newborns worldwide and 50,000 adults in the US alone die of pneumonia.
      • Professor Martin Exner, head of the Institute for Hygiene at the University of Bonn, explains in an interview why health personnel are currently under pressure, even though there has hardly been any increase in the number of patients in Germany so far: On the one hand, doctors and nurses who have tested positive have to be quarantined and are often hard to replace. On the other hand, nurses from neighbouring countries, who provide an important part of the care, are currently unable to enter the country due to closed borders.
      • Professor Julian Nida-Ruemelin, former German Minister of State for Culture and Professor of Ethics, points out that Covid19 poses no risk to the healthy general population and that extreme measures such as curfews are therefore not justified.
      • Using data from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, Stanford Professor John Ioannidis showed that the age-corrected lethality of Covid19 is between 0.025% and 0.625%, i.e. in the range of a strong cold or the flu. Moreover, a Japanese study showed that of all the test-positive passengers, and despite the high average age, 48% remained completely symptom-free; even among the 80-89 year olds 48% remained symptom-free, while among the 70 to 79 year olds it was an astounding 60% that developed no symptoms at all. This again raises the question whether the pre-existing diseases are not perhaps a more important factor than the virus itself. The Italian example has shown that 99% of test-positive deaths had one or more pre-existing conditions, and even among these, only 12% of the death certificates mentioned Covid19 as a causal factor.

      March 26, 2020 (I)

      • USA: The latest US data of March 25 shows a decreasing number of flu-like illnesses throughout the country, the frequency of which is now well below the multi-year average. The government measures can be ruled out as a reason for this, as they have been in effect for less than a week.

      US Influenza Trend (March 25, 2020)

      USA: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (March 25, 2020, KINSA)

      • Germany: The latest influenza report of the German Robert Koch Institute of March 24 documents a „nationwide decrease in activity of acute respiratory diseases“: The number of influenza-like illnesses and the number of hospital stays caused by them is below the level of previous years and is currently continuing to decline. The RKI continues: „The increase in the number of visits to the doctor () in adults cannot currently be explained either by influenza viruses circulating in the population or by SARS-CoV-2.“

      Germany: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (20 March 2020, RKI)

      • Italy: The renowned Italian virologist Giulio Tarro argues that the mortality rate of Covid19 is below 1% even in Italy and is therefore comparable to influenza. The higher values only arise because no distinction is made between deaths with and by Covid19 and because the number of (symptom-free) infected persons is greatly underestimated.
      • UK: The authors of the British Imperial College study, who predicted up to 500,000 deaths, are again reducing their forecasts. After already admitting that a large proportion of test-positive deaths are part of normal mortality, they now state that the peak of the disease may be reached in two to three weeks already.
      • UK: The British Guardian reported in February 2019 that already in the otherwise weak flu season 2018/2019 there were more than 2180 flu-related admissions to intensive care units in the UK.
      • Switzerland: In Switzerland, the excess mortality due to Covid19 is apparently still zero. The latest „fatal victim“ presented by the media is a 100-year-old woman. Nevertheless, the Swiss government continues to tighten restrictive measures.

      March 26, 2020 (II)

      • Sweden: Sweden has so far pursued the most liberal strategy in dealing with Covid19, which is based on two principles: Risk groups are protected and people with flu symptoms stay at home. „If you follow these two rules, there is no need for further measures, the effect of which is only marginal anyway,“ said chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Social and economic life will continue normally. The big rush to hospitals has so far failed to materialize, Tegnell says.
      • German criminal and constitutional law expert Dr. Jessica Hamed argues that measures such as general curfews and contact bans are a massive and disproportionate encroachment on fundamental rights of freedom and are therefore presumably „all illegal“.
      • The British magazine OffGuardian reports on „12 experts questioning the corona virus panic“.
      • In his famous book „The Plague“ (1947), French Nobel laureate in Literature Albert Camus wrote: „The only way to fight the plague is honesty.“

      Albert Camus, The Plague (1947): „The only way to fight the plague is honesty.“

    • #197056
      Dave B
      Participant
    • #197098
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #196952
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Yes we are selfish self-interested people who’d never risk our lives to help another [sarcasm]

      The number of people who have volunteered to help the NHS in its fight against coronavirus has passed half a million, double the government’s recruitment target. The helpers are needed for delivering food and medicines, driving patients to appointments and phoning the isolated.

      https://www.goodsamapp.org/nhs

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52029877

      Outside this government initiative various mutual aid groups have sprung up

      UK – https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/

      USA – https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/collective-care/

    • #196837
      marcos
      Participant

      https://fortune.com/2020/02/19/coronavirus-china-workers-businesses-pay-wages A growing number of China’s private companies have cut wages, delayed paychecks or stopped paying staff completely, saying that the economic toll of the coronavirus has left them unable to cover their labour costs.

       

    • #196670
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      It would appear that most governments round the world are genuinely trying to save lives now and acting on the best possible medical and scientific advice.”

      There is a notable exception, climate change denialist Bolsonaro of Brasil

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/brazils-jair-bolsonaro-says-coronavirus-crisis-is-a-media-trick

      While Sweden is under criticism also

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/swedish-pm-warned-russian-roulette-covid-19-strategy-herd-immunity

    • #196621
      harvey
      Participant

      Hi -A link to an article by the Lancet editor. He outlines the government’s failure in dealing with the Coronavirus

      https://www.medialens.org/2020/for-unknown-reasons-they-waited-and-watched-lancet-editor-exposes-devastating-government-failure-on-coronavirus/

       

    • #195999
      marcos
      Participant

      https://thepointsguy.com/news/alitalia-nationalization/ Nationalization of Alitalia, coming back to the old days again. It looks like Adam Buick article of December 2019 is very appropriate at this moment, It  is not Neoliberalism that is to blame, It is capitalism
      <p class=”western” align=”left”>This warning is apt because left-wing populists are calling for neo-liberalism to be replaced by government intervention to spend money to end austerity and get capitalism expanding again – a revival of Keynes’s discredited idea that could be called ‘neo-Keynesianism.’ As Marxists know, both from the past experience of such attempts and from a knowledge of how capitalism works, this is doomed to fail and would make things worse.</p>
      <p class=”western” align=”left”>It is not neo-liberalism that is the problem, but capitalism. It is not a change of policy that is required, but a change of socio-economic system.</p>
      <p class=”western” align=”left”><b>ADAM BUICK</b></p>
       

    • #196095
      robbo203
      Participant

      Just to slightly change the focus to more practical matters should any comrades here have the misfortune to contract the virus…

       

      I am certainly no expert on the subject and cannot vouch for any of the remedies offered though they dont appear to be listed among those discounted as mere quackery.  Two or three stand out should you find yourself in self isolation anxious about your own condition,  but not yet in a severe enough condition to warrant hospitalisation.   This is likely to be the case in the UK which does not have the capacity to accommodate the expected increase in the numbers of confirmed cases

       

      The first involves increased consumption of vitamin C .   You could supplement consumption of citrus fruits with chewable tablets https://medium.com/@MaraLeverkuhn/vitamin-c-dramatically-helps-against-coronavirus-infection-romanian-biophysicist-2341dc7e7a38

       

      The second is the use of Sudafed spray decongestant.  A number of anecdotal reports on FB have suggested it could make a discernible difference

       

      Thirdly,  it is believed that the coronavirus like other viruses cannot withstand high temperatures and for which reason it tends to proliferate in the sinuses which is the coldest part of the head.  The remedy involves using a simple hairdryer and water spray to direct heated water molecules into the nostrils to penetrate the sinuses.  Here is the link in question

      https://video.fgrx1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t42.3356-2/10000000_3137921649605593_1942141082901179688_n.mp4/video-1584608672.mp4?_nc_cat=1&_nc_sid=060d78&_nc_ohc=V_Frse0Ot1AAX8cTjhj&vabr=470626&_nc_ht=video.fgrx1-1.fna&oh=b9ead3872e6f43b0910541ddd2b7142b&oe=5E744C65&dl=1

       

      There is finally this Internal email for staff in St George’s Hospital

      Virus Detection:
      The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough.
      The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days.
      The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days.
      Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In this case, the doctor should be called immediately.
      Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds. If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection. It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection.

      Prevention:
      The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day. These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest.
      Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.
      Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY? Even when the virus enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.
      For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun’s UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you.
      The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life.
      If an infected person sneezes near us, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you.
      When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel
      The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours. Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die.
      The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present.
      Washing your hands is essential.
      The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them.
      You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs.
      Disinfect things touched often: cellphone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc

    • #196096
      robbo203
      Participant

      Just to slightly change the focus to more practical matters should any comrades here have the misfortune to contract the virus…

      I am certainly no expert on the subject and cannot vouch for any of the remedies offered though they dont appear to be listed among those discounted as mere quackery. Two or three stand out should you find yourself in self isolation anxious about your own condition, but not yet in a severe enough condition to warrant hospitalisation. This is likely to be the case in the UK which does not have the capacity to accommodate the expected increase in the numbers of confirmed cases

      The first involves increased consumption of vitamin C . You could supplement consumption of citrus fruits with chewable tablets https://medium.com/@MaraLeverkuhn/vitamin-c-dramatically-helps-against-coronavirus-infection-romanian-biophysicist-2341dc7e7a38

      The second is the use of Sudafed spray decongestant. A number of anecdotal reports on FB have suggested it could make a discernible difference

      Thirdly, it is believed that the coronavirus like other viruses cannot withstand high temperatures and for which reason it tends to proliferate in the sinuses which is the coldest part of the head. The remedy involves using a simple hairdryer and water spray to direct heated water molecules into the nostrils to penetrate the sinuses. Here is the link in question
      https://video.fgrx1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t42.3356-2/10000000_3137921649605593_1942141082901179688_n.mp4/video-1584608672.mp4?_nc_cat=1&_nc_sid=060d78&_nc_ohc=V_Frse0Ot1AAX8cTjhj&vabr=470626&_nc_ht=video.fgrx1-1.fna&oh=b9ead3872e6f43b0910541ddd2b7142b&oe=5E744C65&dl=1

      There is finally this Internal email for staff in St George’s Hospital
      Virus Detection:
      The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough.
      The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days.
      The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days.
      Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In this case, the doctor should be called immediately.
      Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds. If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection. It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection.
      Prevention:
      The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day. These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest.
      Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.
      Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY? Even when the virus enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.
      For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun’s UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you.
      The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life.
      If an infected person sneezes near us, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you.
      When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel
      The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours. Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die.
      The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present.
      Washing your hands is essential.
      The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them.
      You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs.
      Disinfect things touched often: cellphone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc

    • #196147
      robbo203
      Participant

      I have been monitoring the spread of the virus  on this very useful site:

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

       

      In Spain where I live , we have been in lockdown for a few  days but still the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths are rising relentlessly.  I had to go with my wife to a local hospital a few days ago for a check (nothing to do with the virus) and saw a very sick woman only a few feet away coughing continuously.  Its quite unnerving.  The first few deaths from the virus in my city of Granada have been recorded.  These are worrying times.   Spain is on track to overtake Iran as the third mostly badly affected country in the world after China and Italy

      However looking at the above site I notice that the US has been steadily rising up the league table (along with the UK).   I have a hunch that the epicentre of the pandemic will shift from Europe to the US in the next few weeks ( just as it has now shifted from China to Europe)

       

      There is some quite disturbing information in this article which seems to support this view

       

      On the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Doctor’s View

    • #196245
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #196454
      ALB
      Participant

      Don’t know why this has gone up again.

       

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 21 hours ago by Matthew Culbert.
      • This reply was modified 3 days, 20 hours ago by ALB.
    • #196455
      ALB
      Participant

      Maybe there’s a virus in that David Icke video ?

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 21 hours ago by Matthew Culbert.
      • This reply was modified 3 days, 20 hours ago by ALB.
    • #196456
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Iran’s supreme leader has today refused US humanitarian assistance to fight the new coronavirus, citing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the virus could be man-made by America. Washington has offered to help Iran while refusing to lift crushing sanctions blocking the country from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets.

      Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:

      “Possibly your (offered) medicine is a way to spread the virus more, Khamenei said. Or if you send therapists and doctors, maybe he wants to see the effect of the poison, since it is said that part of the virus is built for Iran.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/22/coronavirus-news-coronavirus-live-updates-deaths-uk-italy-lockdown-spain-us-new-york-south-america

      Not just Cubans but Russians are being sent to Italy

      Also to note is that Italy’s high mortality is related to the general age of its population. It has the second oldest population worldwide. The median is 67, compared to China which was 46. 87 per cent of deaths in the country have been in patients over 70 years old while 88 per cent of patients who have died had at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/have-many-coronavirus-patients-died-italy/

    • #196458
      ALB
      Participant

      Still don’t know why.

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 21 hours ago by Matthew Culbert.
      • This reply was modified 3 days, 20 hours ago by ALB.
    • #196598
      Dave Chesham
      Participant
    • #196098
      robbo203
      Participant

      Just to slightly change the focus to more practical matters should anyone here have the misfortune to contract the virus…

      I am certainly no expert on the subject and cannot vouch for any of the remedies offered (though they dont appear to be listed among those discounted as mere quackery) Two or three stand out should you find yourself in self isolation anxious about your own condition, but not yet in a severe enough condition to warrant hospitalisation. This is likely to be the case in the UK which does not have the capacity to accommodate the expected increase in the numbers of confirmed cases

      The first involves increased consumption of vitamin C . You could supplement consumption of citrus fruits with chewable tablets https://medium.com/@MaraLeverkuhn/vitamin-c-dramatically-helps-against-coronavirus-infection-romanian-biophysicist-2341dc7e7a38

      The second is the use of Sudafed spray decongestant. A number of anecdotal reports on FB have suggested it could make a discernible difference

      Thirdly, it is believed that the coronavirus like other viruses cannot withstand high temperatures and for which reason it tends to proliferate in the sinuses which is the coldest part of the head. The remedy involves using a simple hairdryer and water spray to direct heated water molecules into the nostrils to penetrate the sinuses. Here is the link in question
      https://video.fgrx1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t42.3356-2/10000000_3137921649605593_1942141082901179688_n.mp4/video-1584608672.mp4?_nc_cat=1&_nc_sid=060d78&_nc_ohc=V_Frse0Ot1AAX8cTjhj&vabr=470626&_nc_ht=video.fgrx1-1.fna&oh=b9ead3872e6f43b0910541ddd2b7142b&oe=5E744C65&dl=1

      There is finally this Internal email for staff in St George’s Hospital

      Virus Detection:
      The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough.
      The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days.
      The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days.
      Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In this case, the doctor should be called immediately.
      Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds. If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection. It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection.
      Prevention:
      The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day. These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest.
      Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.
      Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY? Even when the virus enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.
      For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun’s UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you.
      The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life.
      If an infected person sneezes near us, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you.
      When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel
      The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours. Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die.
      The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present.
      Washing your hands is essential.
      The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them.
      You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs.
      Disinfect things touched often: cellphone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc

    • #197219
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      It seems that the pending posts have all appeared at once and has made the thread out of synch.

      But I return to my question on Spintcom

      https://groups.io/g/spintcom/message/19692

      What is the motive that the capitalist class – collectively, not just one vested interest section nor one national group – seek to cut off their nose to spite their face?

      Why adopt globally much the same policies – all which harm the economy?

      If the threat is not real that makes no sense to me.

    • #197250
      ALB
      Participant

      The pandemic of an infectious disease  for which there is as yet no cure or antidote is real. The “threat” is that millions throughout the world will die from it.

      Governments throughout the world are trying to minimise this, essentially by limiting physical contact between people so that they don’t infect each other. This has an economic effect in that, with people not going to work, production falls. This would happen anyway even if governments did nothing but in a completely uncontrolled and chaotic way; which is why doing nothing was not an option for governments.

      To get people to isolate themselves governments have three ways: persuasion, legal enforcement , and paying people to.

      Persuasion is the only one that will work in the end. Most people probably don’t need persuading as they understand the need to reduce social contact and will comply voluntarily. But not all. To persuade the others it does appear (as contributors have been pointing out here) that the government could be exaggerating how severe the pandemic could be and how severe the illness will be for most people who get it, so as to frighten them into complying. No doubt they calculate that the end justifies the means and maybe it does.

      As the pandemic is happening under capitalism, where people have to have money to survive and for most people this involves going to work for an employer, if they are prevented from this they still need money. So compensating people for their lack of earnings has to be part of the policy of reducing social contact — in effect paying people to stay away from work and the social contact that involves. Hence, in Britain, paying 80% of the employer’s wage bill if their workers can’t work because of government policy. Sick pay has also been increased. Businesses that are losing income because of government policy need to be compensated too.

      All this is costing large amounts of money, leading to a huge increase in government borrowing to a level only found in wartime. This is in fact the nearest parallel as, like in war, the government is spending “what it takes” to achieve the aim, in this case minimising the effect of a pandemic. The government is hoping that this will only be temporary (months rather than years) and that the normal business of capital accumulation will soon resume. It might well but governments will have acquired enormous debts which will weigh on any other spending plans they might have had.

    • #197251
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Ministry of Defence plans to build  three temporary hospitals.

      Listed as phase one, London’s ExCeL centre in the capital’s docklands will have capacity of between 4,000 and 5,000 beds and will open next week.

      Phase two is a temporary hospital for England and Wales at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, with a capacity for 5,000 beds, and will open in mid-April.

      The third phase is a 1,000-bed facility at the Manchester Central Conference Centre (formerly the GMEX Centre) and will also open in mid-April.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NHS_Nightingale_Hospital

       

    • #197253
      robbo203
      Participant

      What is the motive that the capitalist class – collectively, not just one vested interest section nor one national group – seek to cut off their nose to spite their face?

      Exactly.  This is why I just dont buy the argument that the threat of the virus is overblown or conspiracy theories that it is a man-made virus deliberately intended to cull the populace.

      As I understand it the best epidemiological evidence is that the mortality rate is at least ten times that of flu.  The death toll may be comparatively low now but that is only because the virus is so new and so few people have been infected thus far. If and when infections become far more widespread -particularly in places like Africa which doesn’t have the resources to cope – the death toll will sadly rise dramatically

    • #197256
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      With the COVID-19 pandemic we now know how far that capitalism will go to protect the goose that lays the golden egg – the millions that are the producers and consumers.

      Now the question is going to be: Is capitalism which is now procrastinating over the emergency measures that many say are necessary to avoid the climate catastrophes that are presently are in store for the world but which are not yet imminent is going to take climate actions.

      We now know the capitalist class  can cut output to reduce pollution and emissions and that they can re-tool their technology if they so wish, sacrificing immediate share price, dividends and profits for their longer term interests

      When will the climate change timetable and future consequences result in such urgency as being shown in these crisis days, is now what environmentalists must be asking themselves.

    • #197258
      Dave B
      Participant

       

      mortality rate

       

       

      Robbo is going on about the mortality rate.

       

       

      This of course is really important; in fact it is everything.

       

      That is because although they might have a good idea of how many people have died with it, they don’t know how many people or what % of people have it or have had it.

       

      Because they have up to now had limited RT-PCR testing capability and they have been focusing on testing people who have serious symptoms of it or people who they believe have been exposed to it.

       

      What the should have done was suspend a days testing and tested 5000 people randomly selected from the population and seen how many had it.

       

      We can jump forward now to some background to recent scientific material on the subject.

       

      In Epidemiology what you need to know for a virus or disease is its Basic reproduction number or R0.

       

      Plugging it into computers along with other known population parameters will give you an estimate how fast it will spread through a population from a “patient Zero” how many will become “infected” or “exposed” to the virus etc etc.

       

      They have a good estimate for the R0 value of corona virus from data collected from the Princess Diamond cruise ship case where they had a patient Zero and everyone was tested etc etc

       

      Eg;

       

      The international journal of infectious deceases by Zhang et al feb 2020.

       

      A team a Oxford University have used this and other data to estimate R0 values and ranges.

       

      Its paper is being peer reviewed now.

       

      It estimates that a huge number of people in the UK have already had it even going as far as up to 50% although the range is quiet large.

       

      Even if it was 2% or a million people the mortality rate would be lees than a common cold and certainly less than flu.

       

      RT-PCR tests for tell tale fragments of RNA

       

      [ I think this corona virus is one of those that has RNA rather than DNA]

       

      It tells you if you have virus in your sputum or whatever.

       

      There appears to be another different type of test about to be rolled out which is based on immunoassay for antibodies method.

       

      That tells whether or not you have had it in the past eg your body has had it , produced the antibodies for it and have recovered as well as if you are in the process of doing the same and have it active.

       

      So we will see soon I expect.

       

      The UK makers of the kit are not happy about rolling it out because it hasn’t been validated and often the prototypes for this kind of thing can be disappointing.

       

      Neil Fergusson of imperial college London who told us that 500,000 would die of it has already rowed that back to 20,000.

       

      Approx 600,000 die every year in the UK a lot of them with or from respiratory illnesses with 2 or more underlying conditions.

       

      Cancer is on the rise in the UK and everywhere , chemotherapy is often the only hope, it nearly always suppresses the immune system

       

      Thus dying with it and dying from it is another issue.

       

      I think 2 or 3 people in the UK have died from it so far and they reckon about 50 in Italy.

       

      Eg no underlying conditions.

       

      About 8000 to 30,000 people die each year in the UK from flu with an average of about 18,000 I think.

    • #197252
      Dave B
      Participant
       
      It is a hoax
       
      Some of the most famous academics in the field are hopping mad about at s real science is going to be dragged thro the mud on this by L Birds later on!
      Eg

      Professor Sucharit Bhakdi,

       

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBB9bA-gXL4

       

      most of the good material on this with a plentiful supply of links is appearing on the site below. And is updated each day.
      eg
      March 27, 2020 (II)
      • German researcher Dr. Richard Capek argues in a quantitative analysis that the „Corona epidemic“ is in fact an „epidemic of tests“. Capek shows that while the number of tests has increased exponentially, the percentage of test-positive people has remained stable and mortality has decreased, which speaks against an exponential spread of the virus itself.
      • German Virology professor Dr. Carsten Scheller from the University of Würzburg explains in a podcast that Covid19 is definitely comparable with influenza and has so far even led to fewer deaths. Professor Scheller suspects that the exponential curves often presented in the media have more to do with the increasing number of tests than with an unusual spread of the virus itself. For countries like Germany, Italy is less of a role model than Japan and South Korea. Despite millions of Chinese tourists and only minimal social restrictions, these countries have not yet experienced a Covid19 crisis. One reason for this could be the wearing of mouth masks: This would hardly protect against infection, but would limit the spread of the virus by infected people.
      • The latest figures from Bergamo show that total mortality there almost quadrupled in March 2020 from typically 200 to 300 people per month to around 900 people. It is still unclear what proportion of this was due to Covid19 and what proportion was due to other, locally specific factors or other causes (see above).
      • The two Stanford professors of medicine, Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, explain in an article (Paywall) that the lethality of Covid19 is overestimated by several orders of magnitude and is probably even in Italy only at 0.01% to 0.06% and thus below that of influenza. The reason for this overestimation is the greatly underestimated number of people already infected (without symptoms). As an example, the fully tested Italian community of Vo is mentioned, which showed 50 to 75% symptom-free test-positive persons.
      • Dr. Gerald Gaß, President of the German Hospital Association, explained in an interview with the Handelsblatt that „the extreme situation in Italy is mainly due to the very low intensive care capacities“.
      • Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, one of the early and vocal critics of a „Covid19 panic“, was provisionally excluded by the board of Transparency Internantional Germany, where he headed the health working group. Wodarg had already been severely attacked by the media for his criticism.
      • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that governments are using the current situation to expand the surveillance state and restrict fundamental rights. The control measures currently put in place would not be dismantled after the crisis.

       

       

      https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

       

      Professor Sucharit Bhakdi,

       

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBB9bA-gXL4

       

       

    • #197261
      Matthew Culbert
      Keymaster

      Just post once Dave. There were still links in the second one causing it to be misidentified as spam.

    • #197262
      Dave B
      Participant

      If you want data

       

      Google

       

      2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

       

      They do one for each country.

       

      The more you test the more you find of course so you need to watch that.

       

      Testing can be completed in about 2 hours but samples need to be sent to the places that can do it and they go into a queue so it seems to be taking 2-4 days.

       

    • #197270
      robbo203
      Participant

      Dave

      From my reading of the literature the scientific consensus seems to be that the mortality rate for the virus is about 1% .   The initial WHO estimate of 3.4 % was adjusted downward after taking into account many people may have the virus without knowing it.

       

      By contrast the mortality rate for flu is o.1% i.e. ten times less

       

      https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

       

       

      If this whole thing is a hoax as you suggest then why would the capitalists cause such enormous self inflicted damage to their economy and for what possible purpose????

       

      This is something for which I have yet to come across a remotely plausible explanation

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 2 hours ago by robbo203.
    • #197307
      Ozymandias
      Participant

      Thankyou Dave B for your info which kind of corroborates what Dr Vernon Coleman was saying. Also I apologise to anyone who is offended by David Icke although I don’t think I actually uploaded one of his videos.

       

      I ask myself the same questions. Why would the owning class sabotage Capitalism in this way with some gigantic hoax? I can’t fathom it.

       

      Nevertheless I can only go by what I’m seeing around me. We are almost three straight months into this “Pandemic” now (since the first case was announced December 30th) and although we are at the tail end of the traditional flu season, here in Scotland precisely 40 people have died of this thing. In a country of 5 Million inhabitants who are currently joining another 2.5 BILLION people in virtual martial law/house arrest globally.

       

      Something is going on. But what? I just worry about a time in the future when a REAL Pandemic hits us. Because THIS DOESN’T FEEL REAL. It feels bogus. Look at Dave Bs data.

       

      This is an article from a conspiracy website. I know it’s anathema. But I just can’t get my head around this panic. None of it adds up. Is it too fantastical to even remotely entertain that with AI, Mass Surveillance, and GPI Monitoring and Cell phone addiction the elite are co-ordinating something? With China’s Social Credit System as their template. Call me crazy but somethings not right.

    • #197308
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Seasonal Flu related deaths 2015-19

      2014-15 season – 28,330

      2015-16 season – 11.875

      2016-17 season – 18,009

      2017-18 season – 26,408

      Source Public Health England -Surveillance of influenza and other respiratory viruses in the UK Winter 2018 to 2019

      Re the following advice:

      It is believed that the coronavirus like other viruses cannot withstand high temperatures and for which reason it tends to proliferate in the sinuses which is the coldest part of the head. The remedy involves using a simple hairdryer and water spray to direct heated water molecules into the nostrils to penetrate the sinuses.

      One of the reasons the body goes into a fever is that the temperature rise causes viruses to die, basically the body overheats to kill the invading virus. However, if this virus is from a bat, as has been suggested, we  have  a problem. Bats are unique amongst mammals in actually flying, as part of this they have to produce high levels of energy when they leave the roost and when they return to the roost.  Consequently they have a body temperature that is much higher than most other mammals, including humans, and one which would be lethal to a human. So temperature will kill the virus, but might not be bearable for humans.

    • #197309
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Ozy, nobody is claiming that there won’t be those in power who will endeavour to take political advantage of the pandemic. See our blog

      https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2020/03/pandemic-populism.html

      But equally we have to also acknowledge that it has empowered those who previously were seen as surplus to requirements.

      Capitalism has identified who really are the key workers to the operation of its economics. Surely the shelf-stackers, the uber and gig workers will not forget the lesson. The skills and scalpel of the surgeons was very much secondary to the scrubbing brush and disinfectant of the hospital cleaners.

      As in post-war Britain, people expect their sacrifices to be rewarded.

      Will capitalism do this? Or will it opt instead, as it did in 2008 recession, for a course of austerity to bring back its profits and pay back the debt of extra government spending?

      Surely the positive outcome is that we recognise cooperation and solidarity was what got us through COVID-19 and after it we can expect our economic demands to become higher and our newly found power exercised if we are refused.

      That is what i am hoping for, anyway.

       

       

    • #197310
      Dave B
      Participant

       

       

      Ok

       

      They are not testing people who are asymptomatic.

       

       

      They are testing people who are symptomatic ie got a cough high temp or whatever.

       

      Go to hospital and say I am feeling fine and asymptomatic but I would like a bat flu test for piece of mind please.

       

      The will tell you fuck off out of here you git.

       

      Unless you are Prince Charles , Boris Johnston, the minister for health or Niel Fergusson who said 500,000 are going to die from it.

       

      They are testing nurses etc who may have come into contact with it I will have to remember to come back to that.

       

      Asymptomatic; symptomatic ratio for bat flu; what is it and why does it matter?

       

      What is it is just the number of people who have it that have no symptoms as a % or whatever of the snowflakes who are laid up in bed.

       

      I am giving my opponents a chance here by winging it.

       

      I think the Princess Diamond dataset indicated that 85% of the cases where asymptomatic,

       

       

      And in the village of 3000 called Eugano in Italy near Venice ? isolated and tested it was 75%

       

       

      Actually with even two different haplotypes of the virus ; I think that is the right spelling it might be halotype or something- this is a really interesting subject but will save that for later as they say.

       

      There were empirical and theoretical reasons why it could be higher.

       

      Some are arguing at 90%

       

       

      But anyway for every symptomatic case there are 4 times as many asymptomatic.

       

      So from that any number you want to come up eg 1% should be divided by 4.

       

       

       

      We don’t know or I don’t know who these symptomatic cases are that are being tested.

       

      I don’t have the data.

       

      Are they mostly over 70?

       

      Do they live in cities with high nitrous dioxide [car exhaust] pollution.

       

      It is weather, does the wind blow and geography as much as anything, so watch Madrid.

       

      Are there lots of old fogies still on 40 unfiltered a day?

       

      There is data of up to 8% mortality rates for common colds in old peoples homes; never mind flu.

       

      Ah yes nurses!

       

      I think it is 8% of nurses are tested positive and asymptomatically self isolating.

       

      That is a really interesting number!

       

      That is overloading the NHS.

       

      The evidence is stacking up that about 5% have it over a time period that might rank up to 30% had it and with ‘herd immunity’.

       

      I seem to remember scanning thro posts people emotionally trashing that; there is nothing horrible about it and is wrapped with R0 .

       

       

      Non essential medical treatment has been suspended including hip replacements and chemotherpathy for cancer put on hold.

       

      I have just talked to a friend and said I can’t deal with this shit and bat flu drones telling me to get back in the house.

       

      I am going to bail out now I have had enough.

    • #197311
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “I am going to bail out now I have had enough.”

      A rather disappointing response from a socialist during the midst of perhaps the greatest political and economic development in certainly my life-time.

      As I have tried to argue, it could also be one of socialists greatest opportunity in generations to present the case for a society of mutual solidarity.

      I have moved from the position of a cynic and sceptic, highlighting in early posts the low mortality rate compared with many other illnesses and being confused by what I perceived to be an over-reaction to asking myself why the ruling class are so desperate to contain this pandemic that they are suspending some of the basic laws of capitalism itself.

      I’m open to suggestions but some I have already dismissed as an insufficient explanation i.e. a plot to establish authoritarian governments. Others, i am still weighing up as the most likely such as the self-interest of the capitalist class to protect itself from a public health risk.

      I recall when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle to expose the misery of immigrant labour in the Chicago slaughter houses, the ruling class focussed solely on the adulteration of the food and got reforms passed on the quality of the meat because they discovered just what they were eating.

       

    • #197264
      DJP
      Participant

      I think Dave B is making a fool of himself and over-egging it a bit and pushing dodgy sources. A hoax is something that is *totally* false and deliberately engineered. And what on earth is this “Swiss Propaganda Research” place he keeps pushing?

      Of course, it is interesting to hear critical voices with backgrounds in epidemiology, the video from Professor Sucharit Bhakdi was interesting – I’m not sure fully what to make of it yet. But for now, I think the sensible thing is to maintain social distancing.

      Here’s an article debunking the headline that 50% of the UK population may have already had covid19: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-infections-oxford-study-immunity

      I have been doing some online courses about the virus:

      https://www.coursera.org/learn/covid-19/

      https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/covid19-novel-coronavirus

    • #197376
      ALB
      Participant

      i am still weighing up as the most likely such as the self-interest of the capitalist class to protect itself from a public health risk.”

      I don’t think this works either though this will be a consequence of what they are doing. I know I keep harping on about this but I think that our late comrade Pieter Lawrence got it right in his novel about how capitalist governments would react to some asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth. This would be an existential threat not just to capitalist society but to human society. As the class that happened to be in charge of society’s central administrative organ (in class society taking the form of the state) at the time their political representatives were in charge of dealing with it. In his novel they take measures pragmatically to deal with the threat. The ruling class and their political representatives are in the same position today.

      Of course the threat from the current pandemic is not of the same magnitude as an asteroid collision but it is the same sort of thing. Those in charge of society’s central administrative organ are behaving pragmatically. Their main concern is to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Of course they are operating within the context of a society with a capitalist economy and a ruling class and so protecting human society means protecting society in that form. Nevertheless they are still compelled to protect human  society as such. If they refused to, they would be faced with social breakdown and revolts which could endanger their personal position as members of a ruling class. Of course social breakdown is something they want to avoid but avoiding it  isn’t an unreasonable aim.

      After all, socialist society could face a pandemic (and probably will at some point, also in fact from an object from Space) and would want to avoid this too. Clearly it would be in a better position to deal with one but one of the measures that would have to be taken would probably be social distancing and what that involves.

    • #197377
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      “If they refused to, they would be faced with social breakdown and revolts which could endanger their personal position as members of a ruling class. Of course social breakdown is something they want to avoid but avoiding it isn’t an unreasonable aim.”

      Paddy on Spintcom suggests much the same point that it might be for self-preservation from what would be the alternative.

      https://groups.io/g/spintcom/message/19699

      What I find very hard to accept is that the ruling class have been struck by altruism (although they make a good pretence of it such as Bill Gates philanthropy)

      I am minded of the Tolstoy quote:

      “I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that i am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible…except by getting off his back.”

      I think we need a message that goes beyond the conclusion that when push comes to shove, the ruling class acts in the interest and well-being of everybody. After this pandemic, we cannot return to normal – because the normal was what got us into this predicament in the first place, a shaky welfare state and healthcare system from decades of austerity and cut-backs.

      The promise I expect to receive is that future governments will repair the damage until our collective amnesia re-imposes itself and they once again make us bear the burden of restoring the health of the economy.

      I think our emphasis must be that we do not need the trillions in government bail-out money to end the consequences of the pandemic.

    • #197379
      ALB
      Participant

      I don’t think that the ruling class and their political representatives have been “struck by altruism”. In fact I don’t think they are doing what they are doing for any ideological reason.

      Their representatives happen to be in charge of society’s central organ (currently taking the form of a state) at a time when there’s a threat to the whole of society. They are essentially just taking pragmatic measures to try to mitigate the consequences. Objectively these are in the interests of all the members of society, including themselves. But I don’t think we can say that have made a conscious decision to do what they are doing this just or even primarily to protect themselves. They are just doing it because they have to do something. They are navigating by sight.

    • #197382
      ALB
      Participant

      I think someone who knows what they’re talking about should explain to us exactly what “asymptomatic” means. Until I looked it up I thought it meant you hadn’t got it, but I see it means you’ve had it but didn’t show the symptoms ie you didn’t know you’d had it.  Is this right? And is it a good thing or a bad thing?

    • #197385
      DJP
      Participant

      As far as I understand it I think the thing with asymptomatic carriers of the virus is that they could be spreading the virus around without realising it. It’s another factor that contributes towards complicating how hard it is to know how many people may have already had the virus, which would be needed to be known in order to work out the seriousness of it all.

      • This reply was modified 2 days, 6 hours ago by DJP.
    • #197384
      ALB
      Participant

      Here is something Paddy has just put on our internal discussion forum:

      Here’s an indication of the ruling class’s worst nightmare, if this news report is reliable:

      Footage shows him shouting at officers, telling them the family has no money, his mother begging them to go to their home so she could show them they have no food. It’s hard to watch. It’s what desperation looks like.
      He gestures to his little girl who is eating a piece of bread and says: “Like my daughter, other children in a few days won’t be able to eat this bit of bread. Rest assured, you will regret this because we’re going to have a revolution.”
      Images have also emerged of police descending on supermarkets in Palermo in Sicily after reports people have started stealing to feed themselves. And groups have been set up in the last few days on social media to organise raids of supermarkets.
      “Discomfort and malaise are growing and we are recording worrying reports of protest and anger that is being exploited by criminals who want to destabilise the system,” said Leoluca Orlando.
      Italy is ahead of other countries in this outbreak and unrest threatens to be the next chapter in this crisis.
      From https://uk.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-italy-becoming-impatient-lockdown-social-unrest-brewing-203100320.html

    • #197390
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      It is a pity that members do not focus discussion on one website because Paddy has also made a contribution to how socialism can be organised.

      https://groups.io/g/spintcom/message/19709

    • #197395
      robbo203
      Participant

       

      This is a very interesting article. So capitalist agribusiness may very well be what lies behind this virus https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/spotlight/is-factory-farming-to-blame-for-coronavirus/ar-BB11Qjbo?ocid=spartandhp

    • #197401
      DJP
      Participant

      If anyone else was intrigued by that Sucharit Bhakdi video, I’ve found an interesting critique. It’s in German but the Google translate version is readable.

      https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/panorama/coronavirus-faktencheck-bhakdi-100.html

      Seems it wasn’t so accurate after all, he is using figures that are far to low. We really should be wary of anything pushed the conspiracy and anti-vax industry right now…

    • #197406
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Dave B wrote – I am giving my opponents a chance here by winging it.

      You most certainly are!

      I think the Princess Diamond dataset indicated that 85% of the cases where asymptomatic,

      The numbers were as follows and show nothing of the sort:

      eventually all 4,061 on board were tested, 705 tested positive, therefore 3,356 tested negative, a negative test does not mean you are asymptomatic, it means you do not have the virus it means the the virus is not currently active in your system. of the 705 who tested positive 392 or roughly 4/7ths were asymptomatic (have the virus active in your system but are not showing outward symptoms). This is very different from 85% asymptomatic

      And in the village of 3000 called Eugano in Italy near Venice ? isolated and tested it was 75%

      The actual story is as follows and relates to Vo Euganeo nor Eugano:

      “Professor Cristani directs the Molecular Medicine Department in Padua. His team carried out 3300 coronavirus swabs on the entire population of one of the initial 11 lockdown towns in northern Italy, Vo Euganeo, the only one in the Veneto region.

      No one else decided to test every single member of the lockdown community. The results immediately showed that 3 percent of all those tested were positive. “We did not realize at the time this was a huge number but we immediately were able to see that the majority of those who were positive did not have any symptoms”, said Cristani.”

      This is from the RFI website who are – “a French news and current affairs public radio station that broadcasts worldwide in French and in 13 other languages”- “It draws on the expertise of its Paris-based editorial teams and unique global network of 400 correspondents to provide news bulletins and features”

      Actually with even two different haplotypes of the virus ; I think that is the right spelling it might be halotype or something- this is a really interesting subject but will save that for later as they say.

      The word I think you are talking about is haplotype. It might be easier to use the term strain, Haplotype has a couple of technical meanings, but strain is probably the best word to describe what I think you re referring to. There is evidence that there are two strains which have been labelled the L type (which is the more lethal) and the S type (which is less lethal). The L type was more prevalent in Wuhan (about 70% of cases were of this type), whereas the S type is the one that seems to be spreading most quickly. This fits in with what is generally understood about viruses, they tend to become more lethal as they multiply. There is a evolutionary reason for this, the mutations that don’t kill spend longer in their hosts, have a higher chance of multiplying and overtake the more lethal ones. From an evolutionary point of view a virus does not gain from killing its host.

       

      There were empirical and theoretical reasons why it could be higher.

      Some are arguing at 90%

      But anyway for every symptomatic case there are 4 times as many asymptomatic.

      No there are not, As you can see from the Diamond Princess statistic, it is closer to 4/7 ths, all be it in a skewed sample in terms of age profile health, etc.

      So from that any number you want to come up eg 1% should be divided by 4.

      No it shouldn’t

      We don’t know or I don’t know who these symptomatic cases are that are being tested.

      I don’t have the data.

      Are they mostly over 70?

      Do they live in cities with high nitrous dioxide [car exhaust] pollution.

      It is weather, does the wind blow and geography as much as anything, so watch Madrid.

      Are there lots of old fogies still on 40 unfiltered a day?

      You say you don’t have the data, then go on to make an awful lot of assumptions about data that you don’t have! All of the evidence suggests that areas of dense population are the first to be hit and that the spread in these areas is the quickest. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that the most probable reason for this is the likelihood of human to human transition and lack of social distance in big cities, rather than the prevaling wind, cigarettes or car pollution!

      I also find it somewhat amazing that a Socialist of all people would dismiss the possible early deaths of 1,000s of fellow workers in terms of “old fogies”. If it was mainly killing black people, or Asian people would you dismiss it that easily, is it not ok to be racist but perfectly fine to be ageist?

      There is data of up to 8% mortality rates for common colds in old peoples homes; never mind flu.

      What data, I have searched on line and found nothing to suggest such a death rate and also your lack of clarity is surprising what do you mean by the term “old people’s homes” are you talking about sheltered housing, residential homes, nursing homes, EMI units, there is a huge difference between them

      Ah yes nurses! I think it is 8% of nurses are tested positive and asymptomatically self isolating.

      That is a really interesting number!

      That is overloading the NHS.

      I have no idea what you mean by the term “asymptomatically self isolation”, but I am working on the assumption that by asymptomatic, you mean that they do not have the virus, this is not what asymptomatic means, as explained earlier it means you have the virus but do not display symptoms, you are however still infectious. If you think its a good idea that asymptomatic nurses go back to work then I assume you would be happy to have your dinner prepared by Typhoid Mary!

      The evidence is stacking up that about 5% have it over a time period that might rank up to 30% had it and with ‘herd immunity’.

      You have clearly put together a few random, figures, which are demonstrably wrong and come with an equally random and incorrect figure

      I have just talked to a friend and said I can’t deal with this shit and bat flu drones telling me to get back in the house.

      And if you end up on a life support machine because of your decision, that’s a life support machine that a fellow worker (aged or not) could have used to save their life, not a very fraternal or cooperative action, in my view.

       

    • #197407
      ALB
      Participant

      Bijou, I think you can take over from Dave  B. Sc. as our Chief Scientific Adviser.

    • #197409
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Bijou, I think you can take over from Dave B. Sc. as our Chief Scientific Adviser.

      I wouldn’t want to risk the ire of L Bird!

    • #197410
      ALB
      Participant

      Even so, can you advise on whether or not flu is a virus that crossed to humans from our feathered friends?

    • #197417
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Is the capitalists’ anthem Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive”

      Almost half of company bosses in 45 countries are speeding up plans to automate their businesses as workers are forced to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/bosses-speed-up-automation-as-virus-keeps-workers-home

       

    • #197418
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Italy’s unrest?

      “We have no money to pay, we have to eat.”

      The Italian government has designated €400m (£358m) for food vouchers amid brewing social unrest as the country’s coronavirus lockdown takes its toll on the poor. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made the announcement late on Saturday after reports emerged of people in the south running out of food and money. He said that €4.3bn would immediately be made available to mayors to help their citizens and another €400m would go towards an emergency food-relief fund.
      “We know that many suffer, but the state is there,” Conte said.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/29/italy-sets-aside-400m-for-food-vouchers-as-social-unrest-mounts

    • #197419
      Ozymandias
      Participant

       

      Thoughts from the old bore…

    • #197420
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant
    • #197423
      Dave Chesham
      Participant
    • #197424
      Bijou Drains
      Participant

      Perhaps he thought it was a way to get an attractive nose? 😯

    • #197425
      robbo203
      Participant

      A rather disturbing and very informative report of the deteriorating situation in America which is now pulling away from the rest of the world as the new global epicentre of the virus

      https://medium.com/the-atlantic/how-the-pandemic-will-end-c6200beea706

       

    • #197533
      robbo203
      Participant
    • #197534
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      A simple blood test can check for more than 50 types of cancer, often before any signs or symptoms.  It could help diagnose tumours sooner, when they are easier to treat and, ideally, cure. More than 99% of positive results are accurate.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52090359

      Now will we see the world place as much emphasis on the current mantra testing, testing  and more testing . Will the technique be rushed through the clinical trials as a priority?

       

    • #197536
      marcos
      Participant

      https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y3mjxg/general-electric-workers-walk-off-the-job-demand-to-make-ventilators. General Electric workers  walk off the job to demand to make ventilators instead of jet engines

    • #197537
      marcos
      Participant
    • #197542
      robbo203
      Participant

      What about the refugee camps and the vast crowded slums in places like Africa , Bangladesh and the Middle East (Syria, Yemen etc )? After America , these countries could soon become the new epicentre of the virus.  War is an important factor in spreading the virus through the creation millions of refugees fleeing to overcrowded camps and as in Libya, the warmongering death cultists are cynically taking advantage of the situation when the eyes of the world are focussed on the virus, to pursue their disgusting objectives

       

      “We’ve seen how countries with advanced health and disaster management systems, across Europe and in the US, have struggled with the coronavirus,” Miliband told FRANCE 24. “Imagine what it’s going to be like where there is no proper health system, where there is no public health system – those are the places where the International Rescue Committee works.” https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20200331-interview-coronavirus-could-run-rampant-in-poor-countries-irc-chief-david-miliband-warns

    • #197548
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      America’s sanctions against Iran breached

      The UK, Germany and France announced the first sale of medical goods to Iran using a bartering mechanism called Instex

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/coronavirus-iran-tehran-medicine-us-sanctions-news-a9437961.html

    • #197553
      marcos
      Participant

      The slogan of Make America Great Again is going to be sent to the fucking hell,  after this epidemic capitalists are not going to follow the orders of the USA, and many industries are going to nationalized including medicine and medical services,  The so-called stimulus package is not enough, they will need more money

    • #197554
      marcos
      Participant

      The slogan of Make America Great Again is going to be sent to the fucking hell,  after this epidemic capitalists are not going to follow the orders of the USA, and many industries are going to be  nationalized including medicine and medical services,  The so-called stimulus package is not enough, they will need more money

    • #197556
      alanjjohnstone
      Participant

      Latest from our American comrades

      Coronavirus crisis. Ventilator fiasco

    • #197578
      marcos
      Participant

      Besides that, millions of peoples approved the elimination of all the medical agencies and supervision because they want America to be great again, and poor peoples were against the poor peoples and many poor peoples do not have medical coverage and they approved the transferring of money from any agencies in order build the stupid wall, and instead of buying medical equipment, they approved the purchase of more modern weapons. We can not romanticize the working class

      • This reply was modified 1 hour, 22 minutes ago by marcos.
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