Lockdown!

Share your experience, tips, advice, questions…

As it seems most communities world-wide are going into voluntary or enforced quarantine that involves staying at home and avoiding physical contact as much as possible, I thought we could have a thread where we could try a bit of mutual support by cheering each other up over the next few days, weeks, months… Who knows?

I don’t know: suggestions on films to watch, books to read, gardening tips, exercise ideas

Usual rules apply plus a guideline. Let’s be kind and supportive to each other.

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885 thoughts on “Lockdown!

  1. petrushka:

    What is happening now is not thoughtful. In fact, it will almost certainly help Trump.

    From what I have read, the underlying problem is that white people too often tend to regard black people with suspicion or nervousness. There is a presumption on the part of many whites that blacks are less intelligent, less civilized, more likely to do illegal things or become violent. This presumption seems pervasive in police forces. It goes a long way to explaining why, of all the news crews reporting on the protests, ONLY the black reporter was handcuffed and arrested.

    The statistics comparing blacks and whites by almost every metric shows a strong bias. The crowds are intensely aware that if blacks had done what those cops did, they’d have either been shot or at least arrested. But these are white cops, so they aren’t yet even charged (except one). The Minnesota AG is investigating first, with all deliberate speed. White cops get the presumption of innocence, something not extended to a black man accused of using a counterfeit bill. There have been three cases of armed cops shooting or killing unarmed people. Two involve white cops killing blacks, no punishment. The third was a black cop shooting a white women. HE got charged and convicted. The beat goes on (and on and on and on).

    But I agree that the video being shown to the nation of blacks breaking into and looting stores only reinforces that profiling. “Yep”, whites think, “what did you expect? Many blacks need no excuse to be criminals, the rest will turn criminal given any good opportunity. It’s how they are, you know.”

    And surely we all recall the last demonstrations against police anti-black bias – taking a knee at football games. Which was promptly misrepresented as an attack on our flag and our servicemen! I wonder if Fox News will even mention George Floyd while they report gleefully on the looting. I have no doubt they’ll find plenty of cops willing to tell the Fox audience that those cops did nothing wrong.

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  2. petrushka: Burning down one’s own neighborhood is an emotional reaction?

    Close, protesting against what you described as a empty slogan even if it provides, as if he really needs it, Trump with a way to further divide Americans apart.

    Rioting is another animal. Get enough testosterone filled guys and sooner or later something messy will happen. Then there are those taking advantage situation, that is more reason based. Many motivations.

    My understanding is that the people who live there and who owned the businesses are pissed.

    Who wouldn’t be. There was a protest tonight in front of the police station, closed down the Interstate. I lived like 30 blocks away. Plenty of sirens tonight. Just thinking how vulnerable I felt , all my safety could go up in flames.

    Exactly how the people protesting feel right now, vulnerability and pissed off.

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  3. petrushka:
    On some of the videos you can hear black women yelling at white men to stop destroying property.

    The question is becoming ,who exactly are those white men? Friend or foe?

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  4. newton: The question is becoming ,who exactly are those white men? Friend or foe?

    In at least one case it was an undercover cop smashing windows pretending to be a rioter.

    Twitter

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  5. Just wondering, many TSZ members are in the US. As an outsider, one thing the current situation might benefit from is a statesman. Are there such people but their voices are being drowned out?

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  6. Alan Fox:
    Just wondering, many TSZ members are in the US. As an outsider, one thing the current situation might benefit from is a statesman. Are there such people but their voices are being drowned out?

    Most are at the local level Art Acevedo, chief of Houston Police, is pretty impressive.

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  7. newton: Most are at the local level Art Acevedo, chief of Houston Police, is pretty impressive.

    “Police chief to Trump: If you can’t be constructive, keep your mouth shut”

    , very statesmanlike

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  8. Alan Fox: Listening to Joe Biden recently, maybe he has been coached by Obama.

    I think that was the natural Joe Biden. I’m assuming it was the same speech that I heard.

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  9. Alan Fox:
    Just wondering, many TSZ members are in the US. As an outsider, one thing the current situation might benefit from is a statesman. Are there such people but their voices are being drowned out?

    One doesn’t win elections by being a statesman. Generally.

    Some possibly recognizable names of people who impressed me as being near statesmen are Eisenhower, Stevenson, MLK, Goldwater, McGovern, Humphrey, Reagan, Carter, GWB.

    Some near misses: JFK, Malcolm X.

    I suspect most people would find this list rather odd. I voted for McGovern, by the way. The only one on the list I voted for.

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  10. petrushka: One doesn’t win elections by being a statesman. Generally.

    Some possibly recognizable names of people who impressed me as being near statesmen are Eisenhower, Stevenson, MLK, Goldwater, McGovern, Humphrey, Reagan, Carter, GWB.

    Some near misses: JFK, Malcolm X.

    I suspect most people would find this list rather odd. I voted for McGovern, by the way. The only one on the list I voted for.

    Interesting would never put statesman and W together.

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  11. petrushka,

    This is rather depressing. So, it turns out that both sides of the hydroxychloroquine debate have been conned by hucksters with fraudulent data (first Raoult, now Desai). But there is still no reason to think that it works against SARS-Cov2, and no reason to use it.
    Paper published today in NEJM (Boulware et al), shows that it doesn’t work as post-exposure prophylaxis; so, in the unlikely event that you are hoping to defend Trump’s use of the drug — nope, he’s still a moron.
    Nucleoside analogs and anti-inflammatories are still the best bets.

    In other news, before curfew Trump unleashed flash-bangs and chemical weapons on peaceful protesters in order to provide his bible-toting “I’m not a coward” photo-op. WTF?

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  12. DNA_Jock,

    Jeez, this is a gift to the pushers. I hadn’t realised chloroquine conspiracism was even a thing till a friend of a friend popped up on a thread with a bunch of papers curated on Google docs, and endless wild-eyed enthusiasm. “It’s a zinc ionophore, don’cha know”, citing a cancer study in cell culture. “What, so it’s the zinc, not the chloroquine at all?”. You have to take both. “But the cancer study was looking for cytotoxicity”. That’s good, kills the problem cells. “Viruses aren’t cells…”. No, the cells where the viruses are …

    If studies show no effect, it’s cos there wasn’t enough zinc … 🙄

    I saw an almost identical conversation between strangers in another arena. It’s bang in the realm of ‘avocado stones cure cancer’.

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  13. petrushka: I suspect most people would find this list rather odd.

    I suspect many people will find your inclusion of Bush junior as rather odd. Or did you mean his dad?

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  14. Can that Desai guy be prosecuted for this? I certainly hope so. What a piece of shit.

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  15. Allan Miller,

    What’s wrong with air bridges? Coronavirus-free countries can open up among themselves. Just a little more effort from UK and US and we could be back to almost normal.

    NZ demonstrates it is possible to achieve. Not saying it won’t be tough. Better effective measures for a short time than ineffective measures indefinitely.

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  16. PS Lower the rate of infection and contact tracing etc becomes manageable.

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  17. Alan Fox,

    The problem I see is that there is no halfway house. As with allele spread, ultimate fate is either elimination or fixation, and I don’t think anyone is seriously backing global elimination. This can happen locally, but if there is any migration at all, local demes become connected.

    Of course, effective vaccination would be a game changer – the ‘a wizard will save us’ option: Gandalf on a white horse.

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  18. … although having said all that, there is the curious phenomenon whereby pandemic pathogens just kind of … disappear. One could conceive of a situation where some countries had no immunity and eliminated, while others had suffered the ravages of the disease and hadn’t eliminated, yet there was no significant reservoir of virus anywhere.

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  19. Allan Miller: One could conceive of a situation where some countries had no immunity and eliminated, while others had suffered the ravages of the disease and hadn’t eliminated, yet there was no significant reservoir of virus anywhere.

    That seems to be the current reality. Daily deaths seem to peak and wane. Even the US appears to be past the peak. No sign of a dreaded second wave anywhere. Not much sign in UK of effective contact tracing or testing either.

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  20. Allan Miller:
    … although having said all that, there is the curious phenomenon whereby pandemic pathogens just kind of … disappear. One could conceive of a situation where some countries had no immunity and eliminated, while others had suffered the ravages of the disease and hadn’t eliminated, yet there was no significant reservoir of virus anywhere.

    The cruise ship data suggests that 40 percent of people have some immunity, possibly from other coronaviruses. Adding to that, we have reason to believe that 90 percent of infections are not reported.

    So you could get to herd immunity without seeing anything like 60 percent infections. If two percent confirmed is really 20 percent, that could effectively be 60 percent.

    That’s guesswork, but it conforms to the fact that the disease is tapering off, and is doing so in the same way everywhere. Some places are just late getting started.

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  21. petrushka: …the disease is tapering off, and is doing so in the same way everywhere. Some places are just late getting started.

    Let’s hope you are right! 😉

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  22. PDF of Harvard paper analysing hospital traffic in Wuhan

    Analysis of hospital traffic and search engine data in Wuhan China indicates early disease activity in the Fall of 2019

    In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data. While surprising, this finding lines up with the recent recognition that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a unique feature of COVID- 19 disease and may be the chief complaint of a significant proportion of presenting patients 18. This symptom search increase is then followed by a rise in hospital parking lot traffic in October and November, as well as a rise in searches for cough.

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  23. Two law enforcement agencies acknowledged Monday that officers patrolling Minneapolis during the height of recent protests knifed the tires of numerous vehicles parked and unoccupied in at least two locations in the midst of the unrest.

    Video and photo images posted on the news outlet Mother Jones show officers in military-style uniforms puncturing tires in the Kmart parking lot at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue on May 30.

    Images from S. Washington Avenue at Interstate 35W, also showed officers with knives deflating the tires of two unoccupied cars with repeated jabs on May 31. Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon confirmed that tires were cut in “a few locations.”

    “State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tires … in order to stop behaviors such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement,” Gordon said.

    John Wayne had previously endorsed a version of this strategy in the movie True Grit

    Boots Finch : So this is the man that shot Ned Pepper’s horse from under him.

    Rooster Cogburn : Yeah, this is the famous horse killer from El Paso! He believes in putting everybody afoot. Says there will be less mischief that way.

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  24. petrushka,

    That’s guesswork, but it conforms to the fact that the disease is tapering off, and is doing so in the same way everywhere. Some places are just late getting started.

    There is resistance to factor in, I’d agree. This may be a combination of innate mechanisms and acquired resistance to related pathogens. But, as with vaccines, it seems a bit Gandalf at this stage.

    Even though I have some skepticism of the efficacy of blunt-instrument lockdown, all countries seeing reversals have implemented policies of some kind, so I don’t think we can divorce the result from the action. “The fire is probably dying out. If it isn’t it probably soon will be. So shall we let the air in?”. My biggest fear, though, is if the right-wingers and “hoax” conspiracy nuts end up being proved right. We’d never hear the last of it.

    Nonetheless, the situation is subtly different from pre-lockdown. We have developed distancing habits. I’m still amused by how much farther people try to get from me than I from them. Do they know something I don’t? But that basic broad-scale population behaviour may be all that is really required, if it can be achieved.

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  25. Letting air in is precisely how you prevent the worst kinds of fires, the ones that explode due to accumulation of combustible gasses. So perhaps metaphors aren’t useful here.

    I don’t have anything to add to all the woulda shouldas. I think officials did what they thought best with the knowledge they had at the time.

    Except probably the Chinese. Evidence from non politically motivated researchers all over the world is converging on the likelihood that the epidemic began in China last August, and that by October they had identified the virus. There is evidence they shut down the Wuhan lab for several weeks in October for unknown reasons.

    So for nearly three months they denied the problem to themselves and to the world. They quarantined Wuhan to the rest of China, but not to the rest of the world. As late as January they were telling the world the virus did not spread from person to person.

    Perhaps in the long, long, run, it made no difference. But fire, oxygen….

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  26. petrushka,

    Letting air in is precisely how you prevent the worst kinds of fires, the ones that explode due to accumulation of combustible gasses. So perhaps metaphors aren’t useful here.

    Metaphors are fine until people try to make too much of them.

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  27. petrushka,

    Evidence from non politically motivated researchers all over the world is converging on the likelihood that the epidemic began in China last August, and that by October they had identified the virus. 

    I’m going to have to ask for some support for this claim.

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  28. Allan Miller:
    petrushka,

    I’m going to have to ask for some support for this claim.

    Some evidence, from Harvard, was included in my post. What specifically do you doubt? What date do you find implausibly early? August, September, October, November?

    We have good evidence of cases outside China in December. France, for example.

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  29. petrushka: Some evidence, from Harvard, was included in my post. What specifically do you doubt? What date do you find implausibly early? August, September, October, November?

    We have good evidence of cases outside China in December. France, for example.

    Sorry, but that’s a fail.
    1) You attempted, unsuccessfully, to provide a link in a separate comment, not the one that made the disputed claim.

    2) Your claim was

    Evidence from non politically motivated researchers all over the world is converging on the likelihood that the epidemic began in China last August, and that by October they had identified the virus.

    The evidence to date that the epidemic began in August is rather goofy, unreviewed and uncontrolled (Internet searches for “diarrhea”, and the parking lot occupancy of two hospitals, one of which was paediatric, ffs!)
    Personally, I do think that August may well be the correct origination date, but “Evidence from non politically motivated researchers all over the world is converging on the likelihood” is quite the over-statement.
    Most importantly, you have provided no evidence to support the second part of your claim, that the virus was identified in October.
    I would be fascinated to see the data supporting that claim (and no, articles in Falun Gong’s newspaper don’t count as “non politically motivated”.)

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  30. What I read (no, I don’t remember all the places) implied that perhaps the very first cases might have been months before the actual problem was identified. After all, flu season arrived and this LOOKED like a flu, or some more-or-less unusual pneumonia. I’m inclined to believe the allegations that the Chinese authorities didn’t consider the problem worth concealing until probably November at the earliest. I doubt if they were able to spend more than 2 months sweeping it under the rug before the lump in the rug became too obvious.

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  31. Parking lot data … ! I tend to park at the local supermarket and walk up myself, or (when I jabbed my foot with a piece of broken fencing in the hills last week) get the missus to drop me off. Damned if I’m paying for parking.

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  32. Allan Miller,

    The parking charge racket for hospital visitors was just getting going when I left UK. They must be missing the revenue with lockdown.

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  33. petrushka: We have good evidence of cases outside China in December. France, for example.

    First reported cases in China were mid-November. With air travel and no restrictions, doesn’t take long to get around the world.

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  34. Flint:
    What I read (no, I don’t remember all the places) implied that perhaps the very first cases might have been months before the actual problem was identified. After all, flu season arrived and this LOOKED like a flu, or some more-or-less unusual pneumonia. I’m inclined to believe the allegations that the Chinese authorities didn’t consider the problem worth concealing until probably November at the earliest. I doubt if they were able to spend more than 2 months sweeping it under the rug before the lump in the rug became too obvious.

    This is hypothesis building, not iron clad logic.

    The question is not whether we have proof, but whether we have likelihood.

    The hypothesis is that a new disease with unusual combinations of symptoms appeared in August.

    Searches were made trying to identifying it as a known disease. Eventually it was identified as something new, but this took time, because it required sequencing the virus. Not a routine medical procedure. And the symptoms are not all that different from known viruses. It takes time and statistics to see the differences.

    If you combine the detective work with the lying and with the threatening of countries that want an investigation, it raises flags.

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  35. petrushka: The hypothesis is that a new disease with unusual combinations of symptoms appeared in August.

    Isn’t the hypothesis a new virus occurred and it was covered up?

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  36. newton: Isn’t the hypothesis a new virus occurred and it was covered up?

    I don’t think so. I think Petrushka is largely correct – that something not recognized as new and different cropped up, and was treated as though it were something already known. There’s no need to perform a coverup until there’s something recognized as a political threat of some sort.

    What triggered the coverup was that (a) this disease was not responding to treatment; (b) it was highly contagious and spreading rapidly; and (c ) admitting this was happening would make the government look bad. I’m not aware of any solid evidence as to whether the identification as something novel, or the coverup, started first. What DID start first was the appearance of the government losing control.

    I do think it’s important that months later, when it was clear this was highly infectious and few people had any resistance (Italy was already reeling) the US government continued to pretend, just as the Chinese had, that there was no problem here, pay no attention, move along. Dr. Fauci noted that the way to tell if a nation responded in a timely and appropriate fashion, was because it would look like they overreacted. Yet many governments were willing to look silly this way. Not the US, though. Autocratic governments do not admit error.

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  37. No one ever said there was no problem

    What was said was it would be comparable to a bad flu season. Not an order of magnitude worse, as Ferguson projected. It has not been as bad as the 57/58 flu season, and only marginally worse than recent flu seasons.

    No one is counting the people who have died as a direct result of hysteria. People who didn’t get diagnosed or treated for cancer. People who committed suicide due to confinement and unavailability of treatment. General unavailability of routine medical care.

    All in all, the only useful policy was social distancing.

    As for preparation, the big concern was masks and ventilators, shortages of which has made no difference. The only thing that makes a difference is limiting the number of people in enclosed spaces.

    Even if a vaccine becomes available this fall, the disease will be extinct. There will be no way to test it.

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  38. petrushka,

    Certainly interesting how closely perspective on this seems to align with political persuasion…

    I comment on The Guardian, whose readership is typically middle-class-liberal, and can pretty much guarantee a severe backlash for the mildest of stances similar to yours – for example noting that lockdown has costs that can be measured in lives and health, and not merely in pounds. I was advised to leave the thinking to those with compassion and a clue … !

    I disagree that this equates to a ‘severe flu season’ though. It is, after all, summer in the northern hemisphere. Classical flu has a reservoir of resistance in the population which reinforces the factors that come into play in spring, even for novel strains. There is some hope that this population resistance may assist with this virus too, but no guarantees. What does concern me is that prolonged social distancing may detune the ‘alertness’ of our immune systems, particularly among the young, so I anticipate a possible issue there, with both severity and incidence of other common illnesses.

    Ferguson was today trumpeting that 20,000 lives could have been saved by locking down a week earlier. France did, and the differential so far is just 10,000. But too many variables to make that comparison in anything other than a speculative way.

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  39. petrushka:
    No one ever said there was no problem

    What was said was it would be comparable to a bad flu season. Not an order of magnitude worse, as Ferguson projected. It has not been as bad as the 57/58 flu season, and only marginally worse than recent flu seasons.

    It’s quite true that the current count of deaths from COVID-19 in the US is about the same as the H1N1 flu pandemic of 1957-58. The difference is, the death count of that flu accumulated over a year, and was a total. The current count has accumulated over about 1/4 of a year, and is still going strong. Current estimates have US deaths reaching 200,000 by September, STILL without treatment or vaccine.

    With further shutdowns being politically infeasible, everything re-opening even where cases are spiking, and simple protections like masks becoming a tribal identification badge, let’s look at the numbers after a year and see. Projections have deaths exceeding the worst flu seasons by about a factor of 5.

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