International Skeptics Forum

International Skeptics Forum (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumindex.php)
-   Non-USA & General Politics (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=98)
-   -   Covid-19 and Politics (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342577)

Susheel 22nd April 2020 05:23 PM

Well the lock down has actually resulted in huge cuts in atmospheric population. Much clearer skies. I heard that in Delhi, people were actually able to see the Himalayan range in the distance.

Susheel 22nd April 2020 05:29 PM

I am sure your PM has her faults. But she has earned quite a lot of admiration from many liberal left here. She seems to have a pleasant charisma that many here like. How are things there? Any advantages of being a little difficult to get to from the rest of the world. I guess the economic impact would be your real worry. My advice...don't ever support the dismantling of a social safety net and public health system.

Giordano 22nd April 2020 05:30 PM

Head of a Federal vaccine development program possibly removed due to his resistance to Trump’s pro-hydroxchloroquine positions:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/u...gtype=Homepage

I can’t tell if this is paywalled or not.

Blue Mountain 22nd April 2020 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susheel (Post 13065211)
https: www google com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/22/two-muslim-students-face-bogus-charges-of-inciting-delhi-riots

Please do not link through Google. It's better to post directly to the site hosting the content. In this case:

Two Muslim students face 'bogus' charges of inciting Delhi riots [The Guardian]

Susheel 22nd April 2020 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13065476)
Please do not link through Google. It's better to post directly to the site hosting the content. In this case:

Two Muslim students face 'bogus' charges of inciting Delhi riots [The Guardian]

Thank you
..

The Atheist 22nd April 2020 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susheel (Post 13065391)
Well the lock down has actually resulted in huge cuts in atmospheric population. Much clearer skies. I heard that in Delhi, people were actually able to see the Himalayan range in the distance.

Yeah, air pollution is down by amazing amounts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susheel (Post 13065396)
I am sure your PM has her faults. But she has earned quite a lot of admiration from many liberal left here. She seems to have a pleasant charisma that many here like. How are things there? Any advantages of being a little difficult to get to from the rest of the world.

There appear to be a few right now - we haven't had a single case in the past week that wasn't linked to an existing cluster and already in isolation.

The plan is to eradicate it entirely, and it might just work.

I'm not putting the bank on yet, but the signs are good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susheel (Post 13065396)
I guess the economic impact would be your real worry. My advice...don't ever support the dismantling of a social safety net and public health system.

Actually, the economic impact is the least of our worries - we were in a superb position regards debt per capita and as % of GDP, and as the world's biggest exporter of dairy and top ten in lots of other food products, we're well set.

Have no fear on the social safety nets here - NZ was an early designer of the welfare state and there's zero appetite to change that.

Susheel 22nd April 2020 10:51 PM

"Have no fear on the social safety nets here - NZ was an early designer of the welfare state and there's zero appetite to change that."

Glad to know...

The Don 23rd April 2020 12:59 AM

England's Chief Medical Officer, Dr, Chris Whitty said a number of things yesterday which I think set some reasonable expectations regarding the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK:
  • The best way out of the situation would be an effective vaccine
  • The chance of there being an effective vaccine in the next year is incredibly small
  • Therefore social restrictions will have to be maintained in some form for the rest of the year at least

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52389285

That last point will have major implications for a variety of industries not least the hospitality, travel, entertainment and restaurant sectors. Those industries will not be able to operate in anything like their original way and as a consequence, the millions of jobs which are directly and indirectly dependent on them aren't going to be available.

This in turn will result in high levels of unemployment and/or a long-term extension of the furlough programme to protect those jobs (so long as the businesses can also stay afloat).

There are knock-on effects through the economy. The closed bar cannot pay its rent which affects the property company which finds it more difficult to service its loans which in turn effects the financial institution which holds those loans and so on.....

Samson 23rd April 2020 02:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susheel (Post 13065554)
"Have no fear on the social safety nets here - NZ was an early designer of the welfare state and there's zero appetite to change that."

Glad to know...

As was aptly said, the whole country is on the dole. $7000 (about 4 US) paid to half the working population, 1.5 million, and the other half are local and central government workers.
There's 10 billion, but only a few % added to national debt. The problem is most people have spent it already and musing moves on to the next rabbit from hat.

Samson 23rd April 2020 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 13065397)
Head of a Federal vaccine development program possibly removed due to his resistance to Trump’s pro-hydroxchloroquine positions:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/u...gtype=Homepage

I can’t tell if this is paywalled or not.

NYT is not paywalling Covid articles.

Nessie 23rd April 2020 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13065602)
England's Chief Medical Officer, Dr, Chris Whitty said a number of things yesterday which I think set some reasonable expectations regarding the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK:
  • The best way out of the situation would be an effective vaccine
  • The chance of there being an effective vaccine in the next year is incredibly small
  • Therefore social restrictions will have to be maintained in some form for the rest of the year at least

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52389285

That last point will have major implications for a variety of industries not least the hospitality, travel, entertainment and restaurant sectors. Those industries will not be able to operate in anything like their original way and as a consequence, the millions of jobs which are directly and indirectly dependent on them aren't going to be available.

This in turn will result in high levels of unemployment and/or a long-term extension of the furlough programme to protect those jobs (so long as the businesses can also stay afloat).

There are knock-on effects through the economy. The closed bar cannot pay its rent which affects the property company which finds it more difficult to service its loans which in turn effects the financial institution which holds those loans and so on.....

I think the solution is for all businesses to produce a social distancing plan to allow them to reopen.

It can be as simple as only a few people inside at any one time with someone at the door. Or click and collect sales only. Our local restaurant has had work done and now has a hugely increased takeaway menu, which has proved very popular. Building sites and outdoor work can be done with social distancing.

Even if it means businesses are working at half capacity with half their staff, that is better than the situation we face.

Squeegee Beckenheim 23rd April 2020 02:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13065227)
Looks like Cummings spent the afternoon putting electrodes on Simon McDonald’s knackers, now the retraction. It is beyond satire. How stupid does this government think we are?


EU are now corroborating what Sir Simon McDonald said in his video testimony to the select committee yesterday

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52377087

This makes the retraction letter a lie

I'll see if I can find it again later, but yesterday I read a twitter thread by a lawyer (who also wrote a blog post that I only skimmed) where he went through the letter and pointed out where the language was suspicious for a document written by a senior civil servant. Basically, in his opinion, it stunk to high heaven of having been "lawyered" to the point where it was concealing what the actual truth was.

Squeegee Beckenheim 23rd April 2020 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 13065397)
Head of a Federal vaccine development program possibly removed due to his resistance to Trump’s pro-hydroxchloroquine positions:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/u...gtype=Homepage

I can’t tell if this is paywalled or not.

That should go in the US politics/coronavirus thread. This is the non-US politics/coronavirus thread.

Squeegee Beckenheim 23rd April 2020 02:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 13065641)
I think the solution is for all businesses to produce a social distancing plan to allow them to reopen.

Not all businesses. The main stock in trade of the company I used to work for (and which it seems I got out of at exactly the right time) is running music festivals. Every weekend over the summer putting on up to three events at once, with up to 50,000 people crammed into a field watching people on a stage.

There's no social distancing measures that can make that work.

Ambrosia 23rd April 2020 03:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13065540)

Have no fear on the social safety nets here - NZ was an early designer of the welfare state and there's zero appetite to change that.

Shame the UK safety nets aren't as good.

I changed jobs recently and started work on Feb 17th, up until yesterday my employer planned to furlough me using the govt. scheme so that I'd get 80% of my salary and be able to pay the bills. Yay.

Then I got a call from a very apologetic boss, who said they applied to the scheme and in my case "computer says no" I missed the govt. cutoff date for my details to be added to the UK PAYE RTI system by 12 days. (cutoff is 19th March - I got added 31st of March)

Previous employer ended my employment circa end of Jan so they can't furlough me either.

I am left scratching my head now wondering how I going to pay the bills for the next several months seeing as I'm not eligible for any other help either and in order to get a temp job I'd need to move house as my partner is on the high risk list and I'd much rather stay home and ruin my hard earned credit rating than potentially infect her with coronavirus.

Fun times.

Still at least I'm healthy and have a huge pile of jobs I can get done in the garden and around the house, so it's not entirely bad.

Ambrosia 23rd April 2020 03:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13065671)
Not all businesses. The main stock in trade of the company I used to work for (and which it seems I got out of at exactly the right time) is running music festivals. Every weekend over the summer putting on up to three events at once, with up to 50,000 people crammed into a field watching people on a stage.

There's no social distancing measures that can make that work.

My main work in the summer is event catering. Our first event was supposed to be two weeks ago. There's no way in hell any events are going to happen until at least August and more than likely not until at least next year.

I do think that a lot of businesses will be able to re-open soon in some limited capacity but there's a good chunk of businesses that just can't open at all.

It'll be very interesting next year when things are hopefully back to normal how many of the smaller events guys managed to survive having the best part of a whole years income wiped out.

Weather at the moment is *perfect* show weather too. Would have been a cracking season under normal circumstances.

Blue Bubble 23rd April 2020 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13065663)
I'll see if I can find it again later, but yesterday I read a twitter thread by a lawyer (who also wrote a blog post that I only skimmed) where he went through the letter and pointed out where the language was suspicious for a document written by a senior civil servant. Basically, in his opinion, it stunk to high heaven of having been "lawyered" to the point where it was concealing what the actual truth was.


David Allen Green's blog (formerly Jack of Kent):


https://davidallengreen.com/2020/04/...a-guided-tour/

Squeegee Beckenheim 23rd April 2020 03:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambrosia (Post 13065686)
It'll be very interesting next year when things are hopefully back to normal how many of the smaller events guys managed to survive having the best part of a whole years income wiped out.

Yes, I suspect there will be far fewer organisers still in business next year, although from my experience most organisers wouldn't have paid out any money yet. They tend to run close to the wire, rather than paying people off months in advance.

In fact my experience of performing at festivals, rather than being on the other side of the desk, tells me that many people are paid after the fact. My habit of seeking out the organisers and demanding payment on the day while they're sitting there with wads of cash in their hands has more than once meant that I was the only artist to get paid.

There are also plenty of organisers who don't rely on it as their main source of income. One organiser I spoke to one time was starting up a new festival. He otherwise ran restaurants and nightclubs, although he did put on a couple of other festivals, and he said that as it was a "growing the business" thing that if he lost £60,000 in the first year then that would be a good result.

Mind you, I think there he was just talking about ticket sales/vendor fees vs. paying for artists/stages/etc. and was ignoring the fact that he was also running the bar. And in my experience the bar is where the vast majority of the money is made.

Quote:

Weather at the moment is *perfect* show weather too. Would have been a cracking season under normal circumstances.
Yeah, it does seem like it'd have been a good one.

The Don 23rd April 2020 05:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 13065641)
I think the solution is for all businesses to produce a social distancing plan to allow them to reopen.

For some businesses this is a possibility, but their business is likely to be significantly reduced, which in turn means that they require far fewer staff and/or have much higher costs.

As others have pointed out, some industries are simply not able to proceed and I'd include live entertainment venues, nightclubs and stadium-based sporting events. Anyone employed at one of those will not have a job in the foreseeable future.

The whole travel industry will likely be on its knees too. Would you be prepared to check into a hotel room ? Would you travel in an aeroplane or any other public transport ?

If there is significant social restrictions, those jobs will continue to be lost until they are lifted.

Captain_Swoop 23rd April 2020 05:24 AM

My local pub the Yorkshire Lass relies on live bands to make it's income. Restricting the audience to people 2 metres apart will kill that. Same with their evening carvery and Sunday dinners.

The Don 23rd April 2020 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13065781)
My local pub the Yorkshire Lass relies on live bands to make it's income. Restricting the audience to people 2 metres apart will kill that. Same with their evening carvery and Sunday dinners.

It'll make less of a difference to Wyld Bird Seed :o :D

Dr. Keith 23rd April 2020 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13065790)
It'll make less of a difference to Wyld Bird Seed :o :D

Time for a WBS online concert?

Captain_Swoop 23rd April 2020 08:50 AM

So relieved that Aston Martin is reopening its factory. I was down to my last three luxury cars.

Captain_Swoop 23rd April 2020 09:00 AM

New drinking game for the No. 10 news conference ... down a shot every time Matt Hancock uses the words "ramping up" or "Stay home" "save the NHS "save lives" like some kind of startled malfunctioning robot.

If he starts crying ... drink the bottle.

Captain_Swoop 23rd April 2020 10:18 AM

“For the economy’s sake, for businesses' sake, for jobs' sake, we have to accept a little bit of risk” says Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and he thinks the government are being too cautious with lockdown measures.

He's prepared to risk lives but he doesn’t say how many deaths are acceptable. 2,000? 5,000? I can see him running an extermination camp without getting too much of a sweat on.

Darat 23rd April 2020 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13066087)
“For the economy’s sake, for businesses' sake, for jobs' sake, we have to accept a little bit of risk” says Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and he thinks the government are being too cautious with lockdown measures.

He's prepared to risk lives but he doesn’t say how many deaths are acceptable. 2,000? 5,000? I can see him running an extermination camp without getting too much of a sweat on.


Which of his family is he willing to sacrifice?

Nessie 23rd April 2020 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13065671)
Not all businesses. The main stock in trade of the company I used to work for (and which it seems I got out of at exactly the right time) is running music festivals. Every weekend over the summer putting on up to three events at once, with up to 50,000 people crammed into a field watching people on a stage.

There's no social distancing measures that can make that work.

By businesses, I was thinking of shops and offices where people would be working and or receive customers, not music festivals. I get that venues, pubs and restaurants are unlikely to come up with a workable plan.

We need to get as much going as is reasonably possible.

Steve 23rd April 2020 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13065977)
So relieved that Aston Martin is reopening its factory. I was down to my last three luxury cars.

Stock up when you can!

Darat 23rd April 2020 01:25 PM

Interesting hearing the health official who reviewed the swine flu outbreak and who did the report into future pandemics saying they did not implement the policies and processes, such as contact tracing and quarantine.

It was on a radio programme, link here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000hght it is mentioned at the top of the bulletin and the actual interview starts at 16:30

Captain_Swoop 23rd April 2020 01:41 PM

Did anyone else notice that Matt Hancock didn't let any of the journalists come back with a response to his answers to their questions today. it's happened at every other one, what's he scared of today?

The Atheist 23rd April 2020 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambrosia (Post 13065680)
Shame the UK safety nets aren't as good.

Quite funny - I've been critical of our government for the first 2/3 of their tenure, but they were unquestionably the right people in the right place for a pandemic, because we are looking pretty good at the moment.

Australia also, where everyone I know has been highly critical of Scott Morrison, yet he's done everything right, as evinced by their extremely good numbers as well.

There's talk of re-opening the Aus/NZ border in the not too distant future, probably about June if the disease doesn't break out in either in the meantime.

I'm not yet 100% convinced we've eradicated it, but we're well on the way.

NZ hasn't had an unknown infection for over a fortnight and yesterday's three positive cases was an accounting change - no new infections were found despite the largest number of tests in a day yet.

Planigale 23rd April 2020 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13066304)
Interesting hearing the health official who reviewed the swine flu outbreak and who did the report into future pandemics saying they did not implement the policies and processes, such as contact tracing and quarantine.

It was on a radio programme, link here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000hght it is mentioned at the top of the bulletin and the actual interview starts at 16:30

This is the actual report. I am not certain that she actually remembers what she wrote; none of the 28 recommendations she made seem to address contact tracing or quarantine. Indeed the overall tenor of the report is that the government should be cautious about over egging the seriousness of a pandemic.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...mic-review.pdf

ETA indeed having done a search on her report quarantine is never mentioned.

Captain_Swoop 23rd April 2020 02:58 PM

Hospitals sound alarm over privately run virus test centre at Surrey theme park

Quote:

Hospitals sought to take over the operation of a flagship government coronavirus testing centre from the accounting firm Deloitte after severe failings in the service led to the test results of NHS staff being lost or sent to the wrong person, the Guardian can reveal.

The drive-through centre, at Chessington World of Adventures, in Surrey, was among the first in what will be a network of about 50 regional facilities, trumpeted by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, as key to delivering on the government promise of 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.
Quote:

The alarm was sounded when doctors and nurses complained that test results never arrived, or that they had been sent someone else’s results. In other cases, the test centre, which is about 12 miles south-west of central London, was unable to ring through with the diagnosis because of a failure to record correct phone numbers.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ntre-in-surrey

a_unique_person 23rd April 2020 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13064548)
I wouldn't claim to be sure of anything. But Johnson's speech where he praised the NHS in general and some doctors and nurses specifically for saving his life seemed genuine. I believe this makes him less likely to gut the NHS for profit.



Furthermore, IIRC it was Matt Hancock who at the start of all this said that the situation would have to be looked at (or words to that effect) when talking about changes that had been made to the NHS which left it unprepared for this.



Of course it's easy to say that the Tories are proven liars and dismiss it all out of hand, but I do honestly think that this crisis has hammered home to them that it is actually a vial service that has a real purpose, rather than a commodity that should be used for political and personal gain. I genuinely think that they will be less likely to harm the NHS and more likely to push it in the right direction after the dust settles.



If for no other reason than that there's a considerable amount of goodwill from the public towards the NHS at the moment, including from the right-wing press, and attacking it after it's saved so many constituents or friends and relatives of constituents would be a risky strategy from anybody who is interested in retaining power.

Dom will sort him out.

Ambrosia 24th April 2020 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13066346)
Quite funny - I've been critical of our government for the first 2/3 of their tenure, but they were unquestionably the right people in the right place for a pandemic, because we are looking pretty good at the moment.

Australia also, where everyone I know has been highly critical of Scott Morrison, yet he's done everything right, as evinced by their extremely good numbers as well.

While both the NZ and Aus govts. are clearly doing the right things I suspect the climate helps to reduce how communicable the virus is. If heat and sunlight do kill this virus then how long it remains active and able to be transmitted when outside of a person is probably a bit less.

Having said that Germany have also done a bang up job on controlling things and their climate is not that dissimilar to ours.

There are many good people here doing good work to contain and control this, who aren't being helped in the slightest by our UK governments shambolic response, much the same as the USA.

Quote:

There's talk of re-opening the Aus/NZ border in the not too distant future, probably about June if the disease doesn't break out in either in the meantime.

I'm not yet 100% convinced we've eradicated it, but we're well on the way.
Good on ya. If the rest of us can follow the lead of countries like NZ and Germany maybe we can get a lid on this sooner rather than later.

Squeegee Beckenheim 24th April 2020 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 13066198)
By businesses, I was thinking of shops and offices where people would be working and or receive customers, not music festivals.

Yes, and I was pointing out that your definition of "all businesses" was actually a subset of "all businesses" - perhaps even a small one.

Whether actual offices will go back to how things were before is an entirely different question. That working from home has become the norm may make businesses realise that not only does that mean that they don't have to pay rent on big buildings, but that then their employees can be expected to pay for things like office supplies.

Squeegee Beckenheim 24th April 2020 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambrosia (Post 13066851)
Good on ya. If the rest of us can follow the lead of countries like NZ and Germany maybe we can get a lid on this sooner rather than later.

I think that horse has bolted. What those countries did right was act swiftly and decisively. I don't know about NZ and Oz, but Germany was also very quick to test as many people as possible, which epidemiologists have been saying since day 1 is the best way to control the disease.

Ambrosia 24th April 2020 01:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13065716)
Mind you, I think there he was just talking about ticket sales/vendor fees vs. paying for artists/stages/etc. and was ignoring the fact that he was also running the bar. And in my experience the bar is where the vast majority of the money is made.

For my end of events while food/bar vendors do make decent money a decent chunk of the takings go to the event organisers.

A good pitch on a site is worth *serious* money and there is obviously a lot of competition both legitimate and otherwise to secure the best spots.

The company I work for runs bars and food outlets and typically has to pay, upfront, a substantial deposit to secure a pitch and then the balance once the show is concluded.

Deals vary from show to show but typically are in the 10-15% of gross takings ballpark.

As an aside VAT is also chargeable on food sold on site so about 33% of the cost of a typical show burger goes out of the window right away on pitch fees and VAT, which is why a burger costs way more at a show than at the McDonalds down the road.

I think a typical food/bar outlet for events runs at something like 15-20% net profit once all is said and done. If you're a small operator and have already shelled out deposits for this year which most organisers are going to hold over till next season it's definitely going to be a tough year.

Ambrosia 24th April 2020 01:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13066856)
I think that horse has bolted. What those countries did right was act swiftly and decisively. I don't know about NZ and Oz, but Germany was also very quick to test as many people as possible, which epidemiologists have been saying since day 1 is the best way to control the disease.

True, but you'd kind of hope that for the 2nd wave of infections the govt. would be much swifter to act decisively and control things much better. Though with our current shower of politicians God knows.

Squeegee Beckenheim 24th April 2020 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambrosia (Post 13066862)
For my end of events while food/bar vendors do make decent money a decent chunk of the takings go to the event organisers.

Sure they make money, but the bar makes a tonne.

My old boss actually got into organising with a couple of other guys. They were in charge of things like booking acts and advertising, while he was responsible for things like supplying and operating stages, sorting out security, etc. and, most notably, supplying and running the bar. The arrangement he had was that he would keep the bar money, and the other two would keep all the other money.

On the first day of the first festival due to problems with the bar there was no pressure at all and it took a long time to pour a beer - and it was warm when it came. Sales were very slow, and there were a lot of complaints. This was sorted the next day and they did a roaring trade.

For the next festival the three of them put on (they'd organised a run of maybe 10 festivals, all basically the same with many of the same acts, to tour around the region) a few weeks later the other two insisted that the deal was changed because they'd only made a fraction of the money my old boss had, despite both days being sold out and the bar only operating properly for half the festival.

Of course, you can talk about the pricing scheme of things like tickets and vendor fees, but that's just the example I'm closest to. It's a consistent theme I've seen over the years - that the bar is by far the most lucrative part of a festival.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2015-22, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.