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Do you agree with the measures taken to combat the coronavirus?


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Simple poll. Also, you can state your country and what did the government do, if you want to. Mods: this is not a general Covid discussion thread. The point of this one is the poll, so I hope it's not closed.

Poland went totally draconian. Everything is closed, police is enforcing social distancing, huge fines, requirement to wear masks, etc. Obviously I don't agree with any of it. How about you?
 

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I think a 3rd option with something in between would be what I think is a suitable reaponse. I mean the disease is certainly more dangerous than a seasonal flu but some of the measures in some countries were exagerated and/or inconsistent while on the other hand some countries reacted too late and too slowly. So it’s not a simple choice between „total lockdown” and „doing nothing” but from the governing bodies perspective it’s extremly difficult to find the right balance because they are dealing with the unknown enemy.
 

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Lol, is that even a question? Think about it - despite strict measures taken 7000 people die every day and deaths will be counted in hundreds of thousands soon. The virus is nasty shit. Imagine what would be happening if they didn't take it seriously and let it spread like influenza - complete breakdown of health care systems and millions of dead (not only because of the virus but because of other diseases that wouldn't be treated properly due to the situation).
 

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Lol, is that even a question? Think about it - despite strict measures taken 7000 people die every day and deaths will be counted in hundreds of thousands soon. The virus is nasty shit. Imagine what would be happening if they didn't take it seriously and let it spread like influenza - complete breakdown of health care systems and millions of dead (not only because of the virus but because of other diseases that wouldn't be treated properly due to the situation).
I agree.

My concern (and maybe I should stop trying to think ahead and just live in the day) is what happens for people in higher risk categories before there is a vaccine? Permanent self-isolation until it's safe to go out? Or do we accept we are only staging deaths?
 

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Agree with the total shutdown but I'm a little worried of the economic repercussions.
I'm personally not affected but I know many people who lost their jobs and live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Government can only do so much.
My fear is the almost inevitable economic depression will sink many families below the poverty line and they might take fatal steps like taking their own lives or drug overdosing
 

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The problem is, Sars-Cov-2 is not well understood, only that it's a very infectious virus. What really scares the people is the way the really sick people die from it. If you are one of the poor folks who get more than mild sympoms, there's nothing anyone can do to help you, you will either ride it out or die.

It doesn't even appear that the lockdown is particularly good at controlling the spread, probably because they all happen after the virus has already arrived. I also hear, the vast majority of people who get infected, recover just fine.

I don't know about what the data really looks like (the reporting worldwide seems rather inconsistent, though), but if you consider the only a small percentage of the population get sick enough to be at risk of dying and an even smaller percentage dies from Covid-19, you do have to wonder if the economic damage that comes from extended general lockdowns could possibly be worth it. The longer this goes on, the more I get the feeling the "cure" (lockdown) is worse than the disease (Covid-19), because this affects far, far more people negatively than the virus so far.

I understand my sentiment is not a popular one, and perhaps a callous one. But I don't like the fear that has taken hold among the people, and I don't like that the media is fueling it with outrageous headlines and wording, and I don't like how I read about governments starting to stomp on basic human rights, destroying livelihoods all across and just generally lack levelheaded leadership.
 

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The problem is, Sars-Cov-2 is not well understood, only that it's a very infectious virus. What really scares the people is the way the really sick people die from it. If you are one of the poor folks who get more than mild sympoms, there's nothing anyone can do to help you, you will either ride it out or die.

It doesn't even appear that the lockdown is particularly good at controlling the spread, probably because they all happen after the virus has already arrived. I also hear, the vast majority of people who get infected, recover just fine.

I don't know about what the data really looks like (the reporting worldwide seems rather inconsistent, though), but if you consider the only a small percentage of the population get sick enough to be at risk of dying and an even smaller percentage dies from Covid-19, you do have to wonder if the economic damage that comes from extended general lockdowns could possibly be worth it. The longer this goes on, the more I get the feeling the "cure" (lockdown) is worse than the disease (Covid-19), because this affects far, far more people negatively than the virus so far.

I understand my sentiment is not a popular one, and perhaps a callous one. But I don't like the fear that has taken hold among the people, and I don't like that the media is fueling it with outrageous headlines and wording, and I don't like how I read about governments starting to stomp on basic human rights, destroying livelihoods all across and just generally lack levelheaded leadership.
Lockdowns were initially to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed, this was the only feasible solution in most country.

Now, it will come a time where we will have to accept new infections, it's all about having the right measures to avoid having a second wave.

I believe the virus will go away as quickly as it went, it wont be a seasonal thing like the flu so vaccine are useless. Like other coronaviruses it will come back (possibly even stronger) in 10 years if we don't change our habits.
 

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Simple poll. Also, you can state your country and what did the government do, if you want to. Mods: this is not a general Covid discussion thread. The point of this one is the poll, so I hope it's not closed.

Poland went totally draconian. Everything is closed, police is enforcing social distancing, huge fines, requirement to wear masks, etc. Obviously I don't agree with any of it. How about you?
If you became infected and critically ill, what would you then think of the lack of action by your government?
 

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but if you consider the only a small percentage of the population get sick enough to be at risk of dying and an even smaller percentage dies from Covid-19,
Does 43% look like "small percentage"? Because that's the provisional excess mortality in Spain in the 2d half of March comparing with average of past five years. At a time auto accidents and work accidents dropped to nearly zero.

Your post is based on very wrong assumptions, so it's utter BS, sorry.
 

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Its hard times for some people, because the causality in this crisis is crystal clear.

1. Problem arises (new virus is spreading)
2. Experts come up with possible solutions (social distancing ect.)
3. Politics implement the measurements (Lockdown ect.)
4. Problem prevented from escalating
5. Science working on long term solution (vaccine)
6. Problem (hopefully) gets resolved in 1-2 years

So it looks like its actually smart to listen to the experts to solve problems, instead of pretending to be a wiseass who knows everything. Who would have thought.

Now all the people complaining about the measurements or coming up with their own stupid theories look like utter fools. The problem is so obvious to everyone that it is almost impossible to frame politically, no matter how hard some people try.

This will have a lasting impact for a lot of people. Maybe some more will even come around that the problem of climate change must be taken seriously, since almost all experts on the field are warning about it. One can dream.

So, to make things short: If you chose "No, the virus is either not that dangerous, or does not justify the implemented measures", you are a confirmed idiot. All health experts around the world disagree, and the scientific facts are crystal clear. Congratulations.
 

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I agree.

My concern (and maybe I should stop trying to think ahead and just live in the day) is what happens for people in higher risk categories before there is a vaccine? Permanent self-isolation until it's safe to go out? Or do we accept we are only staging deaths?
I think it's the first pandemic wave. I'm afraid that another may come in the autumn or when they cancel measures. This shit infected too many people all over the world to completely fade away, it will silently creep in the population and come back just like flu does. Staging deaths? Flattening the curve should at least partially prevent health systems from breaking down increasing the chance of receiving help and survival for serious cases plus it gives more time to find some treatment or vaccine (increasing the chances of those who get infected later).
 

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Its hard times for some people, because the causality in this crisis is crystal clear.

1. Problem arises (new virus is spreading)
2. Experts come up with possible solutions (social distancing ect.)
3. Politics implement the measurements (Lockdown ect.)
4. Problem prevented from escalating
5. Science working on long term solution (vaccine)
6. Problem (hopefully) gets resolved in 1-2 years

So it looks like its actually smart to listen to the experts to solve problems, instead of pretending to be a wiseass who knows everything. Who would have thought.

Now all the people complaining about the measurements or coming up with their own stupid theories look like utter fools. The problem is so obvious to everyone that it is almost impossible to frame politically, no matter how hard some people try.

This will have a lasting impact for a lot of people. Maybe some more will even come around that the problem of climate change must be taken seriously, since almost all experts on the field are warning about it. One can dream.

So, to make things short: If you chose "No, the virus is either not that dangerous, or does not justify the implemented measures", you are a confirmed idiot. All health experts around the world disagree, and the scientific facts are crystal clear. Congratulations.
Many unknowns still, both in terms of the virus and how it behaves as well as possible solutions. People still learning about the virus. As an example, I read some doctors have recently started to doubt whether ventilators are a good solution at all for Covid-19 patients. Normally 40-50% of people needing a ventilator don't survive. With Covid it's 80+ %. Here's one POV from your fellow Swiss doctor:


[...]

7. Was wissen wir? Was wissen wir nicht?

Wir wissen,
dass es sich um ein aggressives Virus handelt;
  1. dass die mittlere Inkubationszeit 5 Tage dauert; die maximale Inkubationszeit ist noch nicht klar;
  2. dass asymptomatische COVID-19 Träger andere Personen anstecken können und dass dieses Virus „extrem ansteckend“ und „extrem resistent“ (A. Lanzavecchia) ist;
  3. wir kennen die Risiko-Populationen;
  4. dass es in den letzten 17 Jahren nicht gelungen ist, weder eine Impfung, noch einen monoklonalen Antikörper gegen Corona-Viren zu entwickeln;
  5. dass es überhaupt noch nie gelungen ist, eine Impfung gegen welches Corona-Virus auch immer zu entwickeln;
  6. dass auch die so genannte „Grippe-Impfung“ entgegen der gängigen Werbung nur einen minimalen Effekt ausweist.
Was wir nicht wissen:
  1. ob nach durchgemachter Infektion eine Immunität vorliegt, oder nicht. Gewisse Daten weisen darauf hin, dass der Mensch ab dem 15. Tag Immunglobuline der G-Klasse entwickeln kann, welche eine erneute Infektion mit demselben Virus verhindern sollten. Aber es ist noch nicht definitiv bewiesen;
  2. wie lange eine allfällige Immunität schützen könnte;
  3. ob dieses COVID-19-Virus stabil bleibt, oder ob sich im Herbst analog der üblichen Grippe-Welle erneut ein leicht verändertes COVID-19 über ganze Welt verbreitet, gegen welches keinerlei Immunität vorliegt;
  4. ob uns die höheren Temperaturen des Sommers helfen, weil die Hülle des COVID-19 bei höheren Temperaturen instabil ist. Hier muss erwähnt werden, dass das MERS-Virus sich im Nahen Osten in den Monaten Mai bis Juli verbreitet hatte, als die Temperaturen höher waren, als sie bei uns je sind;
  5. wie lange es dauert, bis eine Population so durchseucht ist, dass der R-Wert <1 ist:
    Wenn man zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt 1 Million Zürcher testet, sollen aktuell angeblich 12% bis 18% COVID-19 positiv sein. Um der Pandemie ihren Pandemie-Charakter zu nehmen, müsse der R-Wert <1 sein, d.h. circa 66% der Bevölkerung müssen mit dem Virus Kontakt gehabt und Immunität entwickelt haben. Niemand weiss, wie lange, wie viele Monate es dauern wird, bis die Durchseuchung, die aktuell 12% bis 18% betragen soll, 66% erreicht hat! Aber man kann davon ausgehen, dass die Weiterverbreitung des Virus von 12% bis 18% auf 66% der Bevölkerung weiterhin schwerkranke Patienten generieren wird.
  6. wir wissen also nicht, wie lange wir mit diesem Virus zu tun haben werden. Zwei Berichte, welche der Öffentlichkeit nicht zugänglich sein sollten (U.S.- Government COVID Response Plan sowie ein Bericht des Imperial College London) kommen unabhängig voneinander auf eine „Lock-down“-Phase von bis zu 18 Monaten;
  7. und wir wissen nicht, ob uns dieses Virus epidemisch/pandemisch oder vielleicht sogar endemisch beschäftigen wird;
  8. wir haben nach wie vor keine anerkannte und breit anwendbare, definierte Therapie; eine solche haben wir auch bei der Influenza nie präsentieren können.
    Vielleicht sollten Behörden und Medien einmal die Fakten auf den Tisch legen, statt alle zwei Tage Meldungen von einer scheinbar erfolgreichen Impfung, die nicht mehr weit weg ist, zu präsentieren.
[...]
He himself is definitely against a herd immunity approach (and particularly in Switzerland; point #4):

Wir können nur sagen, was nicht machbar ist: eine aktive Durchseuchung der nicht-Risiko-Gruppen mit dem COVID-19-Virus ist mit Sicherheit ein absolutes Hirngespinst. Es kann nur Leuten in den Sinn kommen, die keine Ahnung von Biologie, Medizin und Ethik haben:

  1. kommt es mit Sicherheit nicht in Frage, Millionen von Gesunden Mitbürgern absichtlich mit einem aggressiven Virus zu infizieren, von welchem wir eigentlich überhaupt nichts wissen, weder das Ausmass der akuten Schädigung, noch die Langzeitfolgen;
  2. je grösser die Anzahl Viren pro Population, desto grösser die Wahrscheinlichkeit einer zufälligen Mutation, welche das Virus noch aggressiver machen könnte. Also sollten wir sicher nicht aktiv mithelfen, die Anzahl Viren pro Population zu erhöhen.
  3. Je mehr Leute mit COVID-19 infiziert sind, desto wahrscheinlicher wird es, dass sich dieses Virus noch „besser“ an den Menschen adaptiert und noch desaströser wird. Es wird ja angenommen, dass das bereits einmal passiert ist.
  4. bei staatlichen Reserven von angeblich 750 Milliarden, ist es ethisch und moralisch verwerflich, aus blossen wirtschaftlichen Überlegungen Millionen von gesunden Personen zu infizieren.
  5. Die gewollte Infizierung gesunder Leute mit diesem aggressiven Virus würde eines der fundamentalen Prinzipien der gesamten Medizingeschichte aus reinen, kurzfristigen ökonomischen „Bedenken“ akut aushebeln: das Prinzip des „primum nil nocere“. Ich würde mich als Mediziner weigern, an einer derartigen Impfaktion überhaupt teilzunehmen.
 

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People here pointing out the danger of COVID 19 have made many good points, most importantly, that it cannot be compared with the ordinary flu and that strong measures are justified. While I won't argue against these general observations, I gotta say I still have some sympathy for Bighax's point of view. Not that we shouldn't take the virus seriously (we should), but just like Bighax I'm asking myself, are really all the strong measures justified? Before you deem me a COVID 19 denier, just hear me out:

First of all, the idea that people arguing for less severe restrictions are willing to sacrifice lives to save the economy is not necessarily true. Sure, a heavy lockdown of society during a longer period will lead to severe economic recession, no doubt about that. But the thing is that saving the economy is not all about the money per se - a recession by itself implies a deteriorated public health, with problems such as increased mortality in psychic disorders, heart diseases, cancer, etc. For those of you who think this sounds far-fetched, you may read a study in Lancet: Economic downturns, universal health coverage, and cancer mortality in high-income and middle-income countries, 1990-2010: a longitudinal analysis. - PubMed - NCBI made a few years ago. As you can see, the study deduced that the economic crisis in 2008 increased mortality by 260 000, counting cancer cases only.

Secondly, I have a feeling that many commentators (not specifically on MTF) are commentating on a marathon race as if it was a sprint. The countries that have the lowest mortality early on are assumed to be the ones that come out the best in the end. However, very few seem to be prepared for a heavy lockdown for more than a few months. If countries with only a minor fraction of their population having been infected lose up on their restrictions before a vaccine is out, what you think is gonna happen?

Thirdly, I am living in a country (Sweden) where the restrictions are fairly mild, and I think we have succeeded in finding some sort of balance. Those who can work from home, but it is not mandatory. Older students (high school and universities) get their teaching online, whereas the schools are open for the younger pupils (15 and below). Restaurants are open but with restrictions for the number of visitors. Sports events with a larger audience are closed but at lower levels (with minor or no audience), a lot of activities are still going on. As for now, this relative openness has come at a prize, since Sweden has a higher death toll than our neighbors that got the disease at roughly the same time. However, the situation is far from a disaster. While the health care employees are working hard, we still have room for more people at the intensive care units. Importantly, since the measures have not been draconic, people are ready to follow the recommendations from officials for several more months, rather than looking for ways to beat the system.

Fourth: The Swedish politicians in charge have followed the recommendation from the state experts to a large degree. In Denmark, for example, the experts made the same recommendation as in Sweden (not to close the school for young pupils), but the politicians wanted to show power and decisiveness, and therefore the Danish politicians decided against the advice of their own experts. I'm not blaming them, really, because it's so easy to understand the psychology of it all. When the death count keeps ticking, and everyone wants you to do something, it is so easy to fall for the pressure. No doubt, your own country will be compared with the neighbors, and if the death count/capita is higher than your neighbors, you can be sure you will be held accountable. No matter if your state experts did not advocate super-strong measures, as the leader of the government, you were the one in charge.

While I'm advocating a policy without draconian measures, I'm not saying that all of you who prefer a more strict policy does not have a point. In fact, I think you do, as the virus is far worse than what we have seen in a long time. Nevertheless, unless a cure (vaccine or anti-viral treatment) appears sooner than anyone expects, my guess is that many countries with super-strict policies will lose up. And when they do, they will be worse off than they would have been, had they been less strict in the earlier stages.
 

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No, and I don't even think it is close.

The implementation of banning mass events etc. and an initial shutdown of everything originally were based on trying to relieve the health care, to "flatten the curve" in order make sure the hospitals capacities will be enough to handle the amount of rather severe cases. That is something I agree on and I think something every strategy to fight the Virus should be based on, it is absolutely essential. However, things have gone completely overboard with more and more strict measures that stand in no relation to the threat of the Virus at all. You don't prevent hospitals from overflooding by making sure two people in public keep a distance of 1.5 m instead of 1.4 m and lash out severe punishments. This hasn't anything to do with the initial goal of relieving the hospitals anymore, it is about politicians of one country showing politicians of other countries the amount of power they have.

Measures like this unfortunately aren't just tolerated but also appreciated by the general public, the politicians numbers are skyrocketing. As usual the media does its job beatifully by presenting numbers that don't just have no significance but are also plainly wrong with misleading interpretations just because it sounds "drastic". The number of active cases is wrong by a factor of something between 5 and 10 and the absolute number of deaths is also flawed. The national institutions on the other hand prevented the gain of valuable insights necessary to determine further strategies by firstly not recommending autopsies of the dead persons (something that has been done nonetheless) and secondly by not conducting further and representative studies as fast as possible.

I personally believe that the economic consequences of the lockdown for many people will (or probably already have) pass the potential consequences of the Virus itself in its severety. I don't critizise the government for initially locking down everything in a state where the proper degree of the spread of the Virus had been unclear, but after it became obvious that our hospitals capacities aren't even close to being exhausted with how the things are going currently, politicians here should have reevaluated their course (opening certain shops/businesses that have rather low risks of infections) instead of taking part in an international dick-measuring contest. Fortunately this is something considered by the politics currently.
 

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The two post above seem very sound in their analysis , critique , coherently and cohesively put. Too bad they part on false assumptions

1) that you know better than scientists, the spread and all the technical shit , the amount of deaths that we are supposed" to be ok with", the risks we are able to take , the evaluation of economic implications, society customs, state of health care, possible political chaos

2) like we were supposed to have been prepared for this, a big capitalist powerforce in the occident ?, a 3rd world country? We are not, even if we see it coming from a long distance.

3) as if nordic efficiency or Asian discipline could be transferred to the rest of the countries. Guess what, it cannot.

4) alot of what you say is based as we say "with the monday newspaper on hand" meaning here already knowing the results of the lockdown on hand.

When you are caught off guard by your enemy , you retreat immediately, or fight and risk to lose a great number before the end result is the same, retreat. This is essentially the same.
 

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The two post above seem very sound in their analysis , critique , coherently and cohesively put. Too bad they part on false assumptions
Interestingly enough, I felt much the same about your post. A well-written reply, but ultimately wrong. :sneaky:

As for your criticism, that I feel I know better than the scientists, you are partly right, partly wrong. True enough, me and some of my immediate family members (wife, brother, and father ) are a bit of smart-asses, who tend to think we know best regarding lots of different issues. No doubt, sometimes a more humble approach from our side would be wiser.

However, when discussing the pandemic, we are not total amateurs. My father is a professor of medicine (he was one of the referees on the Lancet article I referred to) and my wife is a statistics professor, who knows a thing or two about data interpretation and data analysis. While me and my brother are the least qualified in our family discussions about the pandemic, being physics professors, at least we understand the mathematical modeling aspects of the problem. Still, with that being said, obviously, none of us works with the core issues related to policymaking in a pandemic, and thus our respective points of view should be regarded as that of mere laymen, our academic titles notwithstanding. So, the bottom line is that I agree with you that policy-making should be made by the true experts (those who study the relevant science issues for a living), not by some hobby-experts (like, for example, myself).

The problem is, to find the best policy is not just an issue of infectious spreading. In most countries, the experts guiding the politicians are working at an authority specialized in infection protection. I guess that makes sense since it is an infection we are dealing with. Still, it is not ideal, since many of the health issues of a pandemic do not depend only on the virus itself, like psychic disorders, heart diseases, cancer, etc, see the Lancet article I referred to.

In Sweden, the experts guiding the politicians work on the public health agency. It is a relatively new authority, which was founded as late as 2014 when the authority specialized in infectious spreading was fused with the institute for public health. Thus, in contrast to most other countries, while the Swedish authority has lots of experts on infectious spreading, they also have access to experts with a broader perspective on health issues. In Sweden, while the politicians have been praised by some for following the advice of Swedish experts, they have also gotten criticism "why are you only listening to the Swedish experts, obviously, experts in other countries give different advice, favoring more severe restrictions." I think much of the difference is explained by the broad set of experts employed by the public health agency in Sweden. The fact that the experts in infectious spreading have to weigh their arguments against other health arguments, makes for a more balanced analysis. Also, I think the Swedish politicians have been wise, not falling for the temptation to take ineffective measures just to show decisiveness.

With that said, you are certainly right about one thing. We won't know who is right before everything is over, and maybe not even then.:sneaky:
 
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