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CaptainSwing

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  1. So (1) he doesn't have any family or friends in London who could have helped him, (2) anybody who has a young child and who falls ill can do whatever they think fit, even if it breaks the rules, (3) if your wife suddenly falls ill with an infection that you've probably also got, it's sensible to embark on a non-stop 4.5 hour car drive with a 4-year-old in the back seat, and (4) he doesn't like it when misinformation is directed against him.
  2. I think this is him in full labradoodle mode.
  3. The 'optics' of that will be interesting! I'm sure he puts down any criticism he might face to ressentiment. Will be interesting to see how much of that comes across in this press conference (or whatever). Can't imagine he's suddenly going to turn on the smarm.
  4. Morality?! I'm sure that Mr Cummings considers himself well beyond good and evil.
  5. The point is that it's the Party who are telling us not to behave that way, so it's hypocritical for them to do these things. Makes it look like they don't really mean what they say or, as others have put it, that it's one rule for them and another for us. We're all in this together, and they need to be leading by example - that's why it matters.
  6. 2:1 in literae humaniores I believe.
  7. Wikipedia reckons that tourism contributes 9.9% of GDP in NZ (5.6% directly and 4.3% indirectly), including 17.1% of export earnings. Nearly 2/3 (NZ$20.2 billion) of tourism spending is by kiwis themselves, with international tourists (45% of whom are from Australia) spending NZ$11.8 billion. Haven't been able to find comparably detailed figures for the UK, but this site says that tourism contributes 9% of GDP, "predicted" to rise to 9.9% by 2025. So on the face of it NZ's tourism industry isn't relatively much bigger than the UK's. Furthermore, again according to Wikipedia, tourism contributes only about 3% of GDP in Australia, which has had essentially the same coronavirus response as NZ.
  8. And still well over 2,500 new cases being identified per day. So moving in the right direction, but still way too soon to be significantly relaxing the restrictions (IMO).
  9. For instance, referring to chemical oceanography, what value does it give for, say, the residence time of sodium?
  10. Would you mind expanding on that, L00b? That's not a story that I have been following.
  11. Yes, the 0.004% figure is only relevant on the assumption that nobody else gets infected from now on, which would basically entail the whole world being perfectly socially isolated for as long as it would take to be sure that nobody was contagious any more, maybe about a month. The actual number of people who would die if the virus was allowed to run riot is anybody's guess. At one extreme, if the pandemic suddenly fizzled out (like the previous SARS pandemic did, for reasons still not fully understood), it wouldn't go much above that 0.004%. At the other extreme, if everybody got infected and the fatality rate is what it currently seems to be, it would be around 1%.
  12. No, I wasn't dismissing the dangers. To the contrary, I gave an example later in that same post of the potential dangers of releasing a vaccine that hasn't been properly trialled (a SARS-CoV-1 vaccine that was under development at the time that that outbreak fizzled out, which was having severe side effects on the non-human animals it was being tested on - and which therefore presumably wouldn't have passed its trial, or even been trialled on humans). The point I was making is that a vaccine one version of which may have caused serious side effects in up to 0.006% of the people who took it isn't a good reason for not taking a [properly tested] vaccine against a disease that probably kills around 1% of the people who get it (and probably has serious long term consequences for a larger number). [The exact figure in the paper I linked to was 1 in 18,400 or 0.00543%.]
  13. Yes, if I was one of the 0.006% or fewer people who may have been affected that way by that vaccine, I'd definitely think twice before having any new one. More about the swine flu vaccine here, a few key points being: -- It was only people who were given the version of the vaccine containing an 'adjuvant' that may have been affected. This version wasn't used in America, and apparently no-one was affected there. -- The virus itself probably caused the same thing in some people. -- The evidence that the vaccine actually caused the narcolepsy is quite thin, though experts do believe that there was a connection. This is not to downplay the potential nasty side effects, however. According to the following link, SARS-CoV-1 went away, for reasons still not fully understood, while a vaccine for it was still being developed, but the vaccine being trialled at the time, on non-human animals only, was causing 'an immune disease', as well as working against the virus. The people who are developing the new vaccine know all about this and are trying to avoid it e.g. by using only a part rather than the whole of the virus's genetic material. With any luck, trials should screen out common side effects, but not rare ones. Of course, if the new vaccine is rushed out without proper trials, that is a different question. https://theconversation.com/the-mysterious-disappearance-of-the-first-sars-virus-and-why-we-need-a-vaccine-for-the-current-one-but-didnt-for-the-other-137583
  14. Ah yes, Sir Lynton Crosby's famous "dead cat" tactic.
  15. I guess that, at the end of the day, the point of individual wealth is to ensure security of access to food and decent housing. In a democracy it would be very hard to defend corporate wealth and globalisation as ends in themselves - you could only try and spin them as means towards people having access to food and shelter. Preferably some of the other good things in life too, but those are the basics. I very much hope you're right, but am not optimistic. Today's economists and world leaders are not, in general, quite of the same calibre as those of 1945. I'll try and check out the book you mention, thanks for that.
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