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Raising public morale

by Frank Schnittger Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 12:39:22 AM EST

In Ireland, as elsewhere, debate about the most appropriate public response to the pandemic is becoming increasingly fractious. A minority of expert opinion is still advocating for a zero Covid policy while government and various businesses and interest groups are arguing for a "more balanced" approach which seeks to minimise the economic and social damage caused by lockdown measures.

The success of any lock-down is dependent, very largely, on voluntary compliance rather than enforcement measures, and so it is easy for many people to become disheartened in the face of mixed messages and grim infection and death statistics. I have sought to lighten the mood and paint a more hopeful picture in my letter to the editor published by the Irish Times (scroll down the page) and below the fold:


A chara, - This week Ireland passed a sad milestone - over 2,000 deaths from Covid 19 - and doctors are warning that the current lockdown seems to be losing its effectiveness, with the number of new infections stabilising at a high level.

However, it is not a case of all or nothing, and all is not bad news. Although this may be of little comfort to the afflicted and bereaved, Ireland is actually doing relatively better than much of the rest of the world.

Ireland's ranking in the world for total infections is 77th. total deaths is 51st, cases per million population is 62nd. and deaths per million is 33rd. We have been gradually slipping down these awful league tables as the pandemic has taken greater hold elsewhere.

For those who feel the lockdown is never-ending, the development of safe and efficient vaccines offers the hope that 2021 could see the virus substantially defeated, and probably sooner rather than later.

Improved therapeutics have reduced the serious illness and death rates substantially, and our health service has shown an ability to adapt and meet the challenge head on.

What we need is one last push to reduce the incidence of the disease back down to the levels we achieved last June, so that we can then control the re-emergence of the disease by vaccinating the most exposed and vulnerable as soon as vaccines becomes available.

It would be a tragedy if we were to lose many more people just as the possibility of victory comes into sight. The biggest gift we can give each other this Christmas is a Covid-free celebration, socially distanced where necessary. - Yours, etc,

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Covid Pandemic Colonizing Your Own People

Understanding the Economic Shock of Coronavirus | Harvard Business Review |

As the coronavirus continues its march around the world, governments have turned to proven public health measures, such as social distancing, to physically disrupt the contagion. Yet, doing so has severed the flow of goods and people, stalled economies, and is in the process of delivering a global recession. Economic contagion is now spreading as fast as the disease itself.

This didn't look plausible even a few weeks ago. As the virus began to spread, politicians, policy makers, and markets, informed by the pattern of historical outbreaks, looked on while the early (and thus more effective and less costly) window for social distancing closed. Now, much further along the disease trajectory, the economic costs are much higher, and predicting the path ahead has become nearly impossible, as multiple dimensions of the crisis are unprecedented and unknowable.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan - Interview CNN

Many economists interviewed on CNBC urged federal and state policy to be set to contain the virus and mitigate its damage to society. That's the first priority ...

by Oui on Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 01:15:42 PM EST
It's not just the vaccine. There are many causes for hope in the fight against Covid - Devi Sridhar
This is why it's so important to reduce transmission now. Some have argued that enforcing lockdown restrictions in the present just means delaying the future death toll, but this ignores the role of scientific progress, and the treatments and vaccines that are becoming available. Now, if you're admitted to hospital with Covid, you're much more likely to survive than nine months ago. Every time we stop someone getting infected, it gives them a chance to live into an era where better therapies and treatments are available.

... The ultimate exit strategy from this pandemic will involve a safe and effective vaccine, treatments for those who have Covid-19, and cheap mass testing. We already have some of these tools, with more expected in the coming months. Although winter will be challenging, with shorter, darker days, colder weather and an overstretched health service, the progress of science means we will have a window of opportunity to break this destructive cycle of lockdowns in the spring. That should give us all cause for hope and optimism.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 11:18:32 PM EST
Togetherness can raise morale. In a certain European country, city inspectors are going around town and advising bar owners on how to circumvent the 10pm alcohol restriction. They tell the publicans to just reopen at 11pm and serve low alcohol drinks and food. Hallelujah!

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 02:07:41 PM EST
In Italy some bars closed at 10pm, as required, and reopened a minute later, The law was immediately changed to stop that. Why hasn't this "certain European country" done this?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 02:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they will get around to it when it gets bad enough. Meanwhile I can only speculate it's about something like this.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 03:12:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the only thing that gets our great leaders to act is being handed the worst-outbreak-in-Europe award.

Also we need to laugh at the NYT a bit more:

by generic on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 03:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you really want to laugh at the NYT, check this job ad. I won't quote a highlight, as there are too many to choose from.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 03:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, in at least one part of that country, home deliveries of alcohol have to be consumed on the spot in front of the delivery person. Otherwise it's an illegal alcohol sale. Gotta stick to the rules!

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 03:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW Source for the weird 11pm policy

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 06:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 04:55:56 PM EST
We voted for the biggest and we got it
by asdf on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 06:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland has had two very distinct Covid-19 waves. A Zero covid strategy was possible last June had we had an all island strategy and good controls at ports and airports together with an enforced quarantine period, but is it now?  The public are tiring of lock-downs and many businesses will start to go bust. But can we hang in their until safe and efficient vaccine arrive n sufficient numbers to generate herd immunity?



Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 02:42:42 PM EST
The public are tiring of lock-downs

Are they also tired of being alive?

...many businesses will start to go bust

Change the policies or watch the economy crumble.

Sometimes the answers get really simple.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 04:31:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's always somebody else whose going to die, and my business which has to come first...  In fairness bankruptcies have been largely avoided to date due to government subsidies.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 07:47:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did the DUP not want to go for an all-island strategy? Is my prejudicial guess right?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 07:25:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No Sinn Fein did. the DUP were reluctant to depart from Boris' policies, although recently more agreement and better coordination on an all-island basis has been achieved. Unfortunately infections and deaths in the North are now more than twice the southern rate.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 07:44:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Fein?! Why?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 07:53:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because they support a united Ireland, and anything which reduces divergence between North and south.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 10:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I misformulated my question.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 at 06:25:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The recent OECD study confirms... we are among the best of the bad. Yippeeee! That should tide us over the minimal Christmas festivities.

`To be forced to lock down the economy once may be regarded as a misfortune; to do so twice looks like carelessness'

But the bigger international picture is far less flattering. While Europeans like to think that their societies are the epitome of global sophistication and progress, both their governments and their economies are dealing with the pandemic much worse than China and East Asia are.

Indeed, scarcely a decade after the 2008-09 financial meltdown and the ensuing crisis in the eurozone shredded Europe's reputation for sound economic management and speeded its relative economic decline, the coronavirus pandemic is destroying its reputation for good governance and accelerating that economic decline.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 at 07:00:36 PM EST


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