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Countries/states with sparser population density have a huge natural advantage (which they have not always exploited). Countries with a culture of a lot of effusive hugging and kissing on greeting and good-bye have a huge natural disadvantage. Countries with a liberal culture probably could have successful implemented a Wuhan style total lock-down.

I don't know if a Zero Covid strategy was ever going to be possible in relatively densely populated central/western Europe but it was certainly possible in Ireland last June - had not the Unionists in N. Ireland followed Boris' "strategy" instead. Now N. Ireland has twice the rate of infection and death as the south.

In general scientist and policy makers made some v. mistaken assumptions. They under-estimated how infectious the virus was, asymptomatic transmission, and transmission by aerosols. There has been almost no emphasis on ultra-low energy plasma technology which kills 99.9% of viruses in the air as part of air conditioning solutions on planes, building and enclosed spaces.

Hopefully widespread vaccination can suppress future outbreaks more successfully. But will it stop transmission? There is so much we still don't know. And every week costs a lot more lives. Best case scenario? Virus suppressed by next summer, with cross border travel only allowed with current vaccination cert.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 08:31:18 PM EST
" Countries with a liberal culture probably could NOT have successful implemented a Wuhan style total lock-down"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 09:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Calling it a liberal culture may be giving it too much credit. After all, our cultures are quite willing to inflict quite impressive amounts of suffering on individuals for much worse reasons. Getting involved with the wrong chemicals or drawing the Mouse™ without leave. Yet at the mere suggestion that there are powers beyond them, the blind idiot gods of commerce scream in incoherent rage. The tabloids tell us how the cure can't be worse than the disease, the serious moderates on TV tell us we just can't yet know if this virus is incubated in schools like all the others, politicians are self-flagellating over their sins and declare loudly that there shall be no more lock downs. The face mask becomes a symbol of blasphemy. It's not even about the inability of dealing with short term pain. All the same people who now tell us we can't close the schools and the economy can't stand another lock down were hooting and hollering at the idea of expansionary austerity. Our culture is a weird death cult.
by generic on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 01:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, but a liberal gives people a choice of death...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 01:36:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do explain New Zealand's success in dealing with COVID19 then?

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 06:42:16 PM EST
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Ireland had a similar opportunity last June, but were stymied by N. Ireland refusing to coordinate policies. Islands have a massive advantage provided they institute robust border controls and enforce quarantines on travellers.  NZ did. We didn't because it was politically unacceptable (and probably impossible) to close the border with N. I. Even so we were down to a handful of cases last June.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 07:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never mind New-Zealand, Australia, Taiwan or South Korea: they are island states (yes, SK is an "island" from the human travel POV). But the four Atlantic provinces in Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) have also managed to keep the virus down to almost non-existent. The cost was extremely strict border controls with the other Canadian provinces and stringent quarantine requirements for arriving visitors, plus a lot of criticism from the rest of the country. Not an island (well, not all of them), not an authoritarian country, but it worked.

Of course, the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic means that the whole island is depending of the sectarian politics of the North...

by Bernard on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 09:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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