Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 19 submissions in the queue.

Log In

Log In

Create Account  |  Retrieve Password


posted by Fnord666 on Saturday April 04 2020, @08:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the lots-of-bots-went-into-the-making-of-this-story dept.

This story is a merge of 26 story submissions.[* See Note] Given that it was well over 18,000 words of original source material (excluding HTML markup!), a great deal of pruning was performed to get it to a manageable size. We strongly encourage folks to read the linked articles for more information.

For latest statistics, and finer granularity, see https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ or https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6.

Coronavirus Cases: 1,182,827
Deaths:               63,924
Recovered:           244,224

Active Cases:
  874,679 Currently Infected Patients
  832,714 (95%) in Mild Condition
   41,965 (5%) Serious or Critical

Closed Cases:
  308,148 Cases which had an outcome:
  244,224 (79%) Recovered / Discharged
   63,924 (21%) Deaths

[*] NOTE: We had an issue with the site's story-merging interface. It apparently was not ever used all that much, and certainly not for merging more than a couple stories or so. Further, we have repurposed the submissions classification feature to gather all COVID-19 stories into the "Hold" classification. That gives us a clean view of all virus stories in one view. And, even more usefully, a clean view of all the non-virus submissions exactly where we would normally see them.

The story submissions list page we use tries to be helpful (or maybe just fails to notice and uses a hard-coded value?) Anyway, there are times when one's view of the "Hold" stories is automatically changed to the "Unclassified" (normal) view. During the processing of this story, we clicked the button to "Select all stories in the submission queue, and then clicked "Merge". There was some surprise, when it was realized we accidentally got a new story containing a merge of all of the non-virus stories.

The error was corrected by a manual re-submission of each of the 26 accidentally-merged, non-virus stories. If you had a story submission pending at the time, you may find that your story is marked as "Accepted" as a result of this mistake. We regret the confusion if your story submission was one of these. --martyb

Stories appear below the fold.

Instacart Workers Go on Strike After Rejecting Mild Concessions

Instacart workers go on strike after rejecting mild concessions:

Instacart hasn't had success trying to avert a strike over a lack of COVID-19 protections. The Gig Workers Collective has declared that a shopper strike is "still on" after asserting that Instacart's concessions were inadequate. A change that sets the tip default to a customer's previous amount will likely offer "no meaningful benefit," the shoppers said, as that previous amount will frequently come from the pre-outbreak era. There's still no sick pay for workers who have to stay home due to health conditions that put them at high risk. The company also left hazard pay "completely unaddressed," according to the objectors -- an average pay per order of less than $10 still leaves shoppers "risking their lives for pocket change."

The service did say it had sourced hand sanitizer that would ship next week, but workers saw this as indicative of Instacart dragging its heels. Shoppers said they had been asking for sanitizer for "many, many weeks," but the company was only now conceding to this demand.

We've asked Instacart for comment on the decision to continue with the strike.

Coronavirus Cases are Growing Exponentially: Here's What That Means

Coronavirus cases are growing exponentially: Here's what that means:

In the U.S., scientists stress that the number of coronavirus cases has been growing exponentially. In ordinary speech, the term "exponential" usually means "really fast."

To mathematicians like myself, and to scientists and public health officials, the term has a precise and subtly different meaning: A quantity is "exponential" if its rate of change at each point is proportional to the current size.

Let's explore why the difference matters, and how exponential processes can mislead our perception of risk.

When an exponential quantity is small, its change is slight; when the quantity is large, the change is rapid. Thanks to exponential growth, epidemics start slowly, then balloon with surprising speed.

This pattern presents a distinctive challenge. People intuitively underestimate exponential growth. By the time individuals sense their peril and act, the damage has been multiplied many-fold.

In an epidemic, numerical data and mathematical models are like night-vision goggles, illuminating what cannot be directly perceived.

Dodgy Protective Equipment from China Seized at Australian Border

Authorities have begun seizing Chinese-made faulty face masks and other protective clothing that is being exported to Australia. It is stressed that not all Chinese products were considered faulty, and other imports of PPE from China were still passing Australian regulations.

How at Risk are You of Getting a Virus on an Airplane? New 'CALM' Model on Passenger Movement Develo

"How *much* of a Risk do you have of Getting a Virus on a Plane?" (Otherwise, Betteridge says no)

How at risk are you of getting a virus on an airplane? New 'CALM' model on passenger movement developed using Frontera supercomputer:

Historic research based on group movements of humans and animals suggest three simple rules:

  • move away from those that are too close.
  • move toward those that are far away.
  • match the direction of the movement of their neighbors.

This research is especially used for air travel where there is an increased risk for contagious infection or disease, such as the recent worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 disease.

"Airlines use several zones in boarding," said Ashok Srinivasan, a professor in the Department of Computer Science University of West Florida. "When boarding a plane, people are blocked and forced to stand near the person putting luggage in the bin -- people are very close to each other. This problem is exacerbated when many zones are used. Deplaning is much smoother and quicker -- there isn't as much time to get infected."

Srinivasan is the principal investigator of new research on pedestrian dynamics models that has recently been used in the analysis of procedures to reduce the risk of disease spread in airplanes. The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE in March 2020.

A Ventilator Stockpile, With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work

A Ventilator Stockpile, With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work:

President Trump has repeatedly assured Americans that the federal government is holding 10,000 ventilators in reserve to ship to the hardest-hit hospitals around the nation as they struggle to keep the most critically ill patients alive.

But what federal officials have neglected to mention is that an additional 2,109 lifesaving devices are unavailable after the contract to maintain the government's stockpile lapsed late last summer, and a contracting dispute meant that a new firm did not begin its work until late January. By then, the coronavirus crisis was already underway.

The revelation came in response to inquiries to the Department of Health and Human Services after state officials reported that some of the ventilators they received were not operational, stoking speculation that the administration had not kept up with the task of maintaining the stockpile.

In fact, the contract with a company that was maintaining the machines expired at the end of last summer, and a contract protest delayed handing the job to Agiliti, a Minneapolis-based provider of medical equipment services and maintenance. Agiliti was not given the $38 million task until late January, when the scope of the global coronavirus crisis was first becoming clear.

It is not known whether problems with the ventilators predated the contract lapse, but maintenance of the machines did halt. That delay may become a potentially deadly lapse.

"We were given a stop-work order before we'd even started," said Tom Leonard, the chief executive of Agiliti, which had won the contract to service the ventilators in the stockpile. "Between the time of the original and the time of this contract award, I don't know who was responsible or if anybody was responsible for those devices. But it was not us."

Mr. Leonard said confidentiality agreements with the government over the stockpile prohibited him from giving specific figures on the number of ventilators the company was now working on.

Common Antiparasitic Drug Found to Kill Coronavirus

Ivermectim has been shown to be effective for killing COVID-19 within 48 hours. This cheap drug is available in large quantities in many countries. The only question to answer is what dose is needed for this virus.

Florida Bucks Social Distancing Trend as COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

Florida bucks social distancing trend as COVID-19 cases skyrocket:

As more and more states issue stay-at-home orders, Florida is taking a different—some say dangerous—approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the state's confirmed case counts have rapidly risen in step with increased testing, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has rejected the idea of a state-wide order to keep people at home. Instead, the governor has opted to address coronavirus responses on a county-by-county basis, in hopes of sparing local economies.

On Monday, DeSantis signed an executive order urging residents in just four counties in Southeast Florida to stay in. The counties—Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe—include some of the hardest hit in the state. Together, they have reported around 60 percent of the state's 5,704 cases as of Tuesday, March 31. Many people in the four counties had already been limiting outings.

The true number of cases in the counties and state overall are likely to be much higher due to slow and limited testing.

"This codifies a set of rules regarding 'Safer at Home' in Southeast Florida," DeSantis said Monday. "It gets all four counties operating on the same sheet of music."

Experts say that such a patchwork approach of county-by-county restrictions, in which residents can easily move between areas with different levels of restrictions, is ineffective at preventing disease transmission. Moreover, DeSantis drew heavy criticism for allowing Floridians and college students on spring break to flood beaches in the state.

Many public health experts as well as other lawmakers have urged DeSantis to stop delaying state-wide measures that would curb disease spread.

"It is past time to intervene to slow transmission [in Florida]," Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told reporters on a call March 23.

Virgin Orbit Plans to Mass-produce New Medical Breathing Device to Help Fight Coronavirus Pandemic

Virgin Orbit plans to mass-produce new medical breathing device to help fight coronavirus pandemic:

Richard Branson's aerospace company Virgin Orbit, which is primarily focused on developing rockets to launch small satellites into space, is shifting gears during the coronavirus pandemic and has created a new medical device to help health care workers treat patients with COVID-19. The company is hoping to mass-produce the new device after receiving the necessary approvals from the FDA.

The device that Virgin Orbit has created is one that can help people get much-needed oxygen when they're short of breath. The machine automatically pumps what are known as ambulatory bags, which emergency responders squeeze manually to pump air into a patient's lungs. The idea is that these machines will pump the bags on their own for patients who need oxygen but don't need to be hooked up to a ventilator. That will then free up ventilators for people who need them most, as well as free up the time of responders and health care workers to treat patients who are in critical need.

The idea for the device came after Virgin Orbit employees started looking for ways to help with the COVID-19 response. "[We] said hey, we're not doctors, and we're not medical device manufacturers; that's not the background we come from, and we have enormous respect for those people," Will Pomerantz, vice president of special projects at Virgin Orbit, tells The Verge. "But on the other hand, we've got a lot of engineers; we've got a great factory; and we've got a great fabrication facility machine shop. There must be something we can try."

The company reached out to California governor Gavin Newsom, who put the team in touch with the California Emergency Medical Services Authority. The organization turned Virgin Orbit over to the Bridge Ventilator Consortium, which includes researchers at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Texas, Austin. They provided guidance on what kinds of devices would most benefit the medical community right now. After consulting with them, Virgin Orbit employees started to home in on ideas for devices that could be made as simply as possible, as quickly as possible, and as cheaply as possible to fill in the gaps in the health care system. They ultimately came up with this automatic pump and started building it with materials and tools already located at the company's factory in Long Beach, California.

"We largely started from scratch on the simple device that goes and squeezes that bag in a reliable pattern," says Pomerantz. The device provides a similar function to one created by MIT, but Pomerantz says the Virgin Orbit machine is largely original to the company.

Arrests for Sending Medical Supplies out of Australia

Following on from previous news about a Chinese company, Greenland, sending its workers out to buy up tonnes of medical supplies then sending them to China, Australia will now heavily penalise Australians exporting face masks and hand sanitiser to China as Greenland prepares more shipments. A penalty of up to five years in prison can apply to offenders. Meanwhile, a Chinese firm claims to have lots of face masks in stock to sell however doubts have been raised as to whether the products would meet Australian customs regulations.

Hopes for Pandemic Respite This Spring May Depend Upon What Happens Indoors

Hopes for pandemic respite this spring may depend upon what happens indoors:

The cold, dry air of winter clearly helps SARS-CoV2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- spread among people, Yale research has shown. But as humidity increases during spring and summer, the risk of transmission of the virus through airborne particles decreases both outside and indoors in places such as offices.

While viruses can still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises, researchers suggest that, in addition to social distancing and handwashing, the seasonal moderation of relative humidity -- the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity -- could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission.

The review was published online the week of March 23 in the Annual Review of Virology.

"Ninety percent of our lives in the developed world are spent indoors in close proximity to each other," said Yale immunobiologist and senior author Akiko Iwasaki. "What has not been talked about is the relationship of temperature and humidity in the air indoors and outdoors and aerial transmission of the virus."

Iwasaki is the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale, and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Iwasaki said the seasonal nature of respiratory illnesses have been chronicled since the times of the ancient Greeks, who noted such illnesses rose in winter and fell during spring and summer. Modern science has been able to identify cold, dry air as a factor in spread of viruses such as the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. Research by Iwasaki's lab and others explains why.

UK Broadband Data Caps Removed During Pandemic

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

The UK’s main internet providers have agreed to remove data caps on fixed-line broadband during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is part of a range of new measures agreed between telecoms companies and the government.

Other commitments include “fairly and appropriately” supporting customers who have trouble paying their bills.

Providers have also agreed to offer “generous” new mobile and landline packages, the government said.

The initiative supplements measures the individual companies had already announced themselves.

'I Love Rock 'N' Roll' Songwriter Alan Merrill Dies of Coronavirus; Joan Jett Mourns

Alan Merrill, who penned the anthem "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" that became an era-defining hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett, has died of complications from coronavirus at age 69.

Daughter Laura Merrill announced her father's death on Facebook Sunday, hours after leaving his New York City hospital room.

Airbnb to Pay Hosts $250 Million to Cover Coronavirus Cancellations

Airbnb to pay hosts $250 million to cover coronavirus cancellations:

Airbnb said Monday it will pay hosts $250 million to help offset losses due to guest bookings canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The payments apply to canceled reservations made before March 14 with check-in dates between March 14 and May 31.

The company had previously said that guests would receive a full refund for reservations canceled by March 14 for check-in between March 14 and April 14.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky made the announcement in a letter to hosts that apologized for making the decision to offer refunds without consulting hosts.

"If we allowed guests to cancel and receive a refund, we knew it could have significant consequences on your livelihood," Chesky wrote. "But, we couldn't have guests and hosts feel pressured to put themselves into unsafe situations and create an additional public health hazard.

"While I believe we did the right thing in prioritizing health and safety, I'm sorry that we communicated this decision to guests without consulting you -- like partners should," he wrote.

CDC Says We All Should Wear Face Coverings to Avoid Spreading Virus

CDC says we all should wear face coverings to avoid spreading virus:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday shifted course on its guidance for masks, saying all Americans should wear a cloth face covering when out in public to avoid spreading the coronavirus. But medical masks, including surgical masks and N95 masks, should still be reserved for health care workers. And the recommendation to wear a mask isn't mandatory.

According to the CDC's new guidelines, members of the general public should wear cloth masks outside their homes, whether or not they're sick. They can be washed and reused. Some infected people don't have symptoms and can unknowingly spread the virus to others; homemade and other cloth face coverings can help prevent that. At the same time, people wearing cloth masks should take the same precautions as before, including social distancing and hand washing.

Previously, the CDC said members of the general public didn't need to wear face masks unless they were sick or caring for someone who was ill.

The new CDC guidelines don't mean you should rush to find an N95 mask -- those medical-grade masks are in short supply and are needed by health workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Instead, people should use other cloth masks or homemade face coverings. For a homemade mask, some health centers have recommended using four layers of fabric to better block out particulates. You can click the links in this sentence for more information on homemade face masks and how they differ from N95 masks.

Even if you're wearing a face covering, though, you should exercise the same caution as if you weren't wearing one: Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, avoid group gatherings, go outside only for exercise and essential errands, and wash your hands when you return home.

America's COVID-19 Testing Has Stalled, and That's a Big Problem

America's COVID-19 testing has stalled, and that's a big problem:

One of America's biggest fumbles in the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis was inadequate testing. Thanks to a series of poor decisions by federal officials, the United States had far too little capacity to test for COVID-19 throughout the month of February, hampering our ability to contain the spread of the virus.

In early March, things seemed to be turning around. According to data from COVID Tracking Project, daily testing grew exponentially from a few hundred tests on March 5 to 107,000 tests last Friday, March 27.

But since then, progress has stalled. The US has been testing a bit over 100,000 people a day for the last six days—including 101,000 yesterday. And that's a cause for concern because the US will need to do considerably more testing to get its coronavirus outbreak under control.

The most urgent need for testing is when a patient shows up at the hospital with coronavirus symptoms. Knowing if a patient actually has coronavirus or some other disease with similar symptoms determines what kinds of treatment are most appropriate. It also lets health care workers know whether they need to take precautions to avoid catching the coronavirus themselves.

Testing is also crucial for slowing the spread of coronavirus in the wider world. Ideally, when a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19, health officials would test everyone who has had close contact with that person. If someone else tested positive, officials would test all of their close contacts too. This process is known as contact tracing. Doing it on a wide-enough scale should allow officials to quickly identify and isolate almost everyone who has the disease.

You might not think that would matter now with so many people staying at home. But there are a fair number of people still working in essential industries who are at risk for catching COVID-19.

Trump Extends Federal Social Distancing Guidelines to April 30

Trump extends federal social distancing guidelines to April 30:

The 15-day guidelines Trump announced two weeks ago were set to expire on Monday, and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to relax them, at least in some parts of the country. He even floated Easter, on April 12, as a potential date by which the country could return to normal.

But on Sunday he said he'd decided to extend the guidelines -- which include suggested limits on large gatherings -- to April 30, a sign his earlier predictions were overly rosy.

[...] The announcement marked an abrupt turnaround from a week ago when Trump said he was convinced the distancing restrictions were causing irreparable damage to the economy.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Will Now Take Place in July 2021, Due to Coronavirus

Tokyo 2020 Olympics will now take place in July 2021, due to coronavirus:

Almost all major sporting events have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Olympic Games, originally set for this summer in Tokyo, was also postponed. But has now been officially rescheduled, with new dates just announced.

The Olympic Games will now start on July 23, 2021 and run until August 8. The games were originally supposed to take place July 24 until August 9 in 2020.

As a result the Paralympic Games has also shifted dates. It will now run from August 24 until September 5, 2021.

"It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games," said Andrew Parsons, the President of the International Paralympic Committee. "The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world."

The Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games will now take place in the same year, within weeks of one another.

"When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport," said Parsons.

Thomas Bach, the IOC President believes that the Olympics Games now represent a "light at the end of this tunnel".

Government Uses Location Data to Track Coronavirus Outbreak

Government Uses Location Data to Track Coronavirus Outbreak:

The U.S. government is using cellphone location data to track the movements of people during the outbreak of coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Using data from the mobile advertising industry, government officials including those at the federal and state level, as well as those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have been tracking the public's movements to better understand how coronavirus is spread. One person involved said that there was a plan to create a portal through which officials could easily track location data for up to 500 U.S. cities, which could be used to check whether people are complying with shelter-in-place orders and staying at home.

The data collected does not include any individually identifying information, such as the name of the person or their phone number. Still, there are privacy concerns about whether the government should have access to so much data revealing the exact movements of people within its borders. Some privacy advocates have argued that even if the data is anonymized, it could be used in combination with other data to identify individuals. And while using the data for the purpose of containing a deadly virus is something most people would support, there's no way of knowing if government officials will continue to use this data for other purposes once the outbreak is more contained.

On the other hand, the data could be invaluable in slowing the spread of coronavirus by showing areas where large numbers of people are still congregating, such as parks or other public spaces. As an example, the data was used to show that large numbers of people in New York were congregating in Prospect Park in Brooklyn; information which was handed over to the local authorities.

Some COVID-19 Patients Still Have Coronavirus After Symptoms Disappear

Some COVID-19 patients still have coronavirus after symptoms disappear:

In "Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection," Lixin Xie, MD, Lokesh Sharma, PhD, and co-authors report on a study of 16 patients with COVID-19, who were treated and released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing between January 28 and Feb. 9, 2020. Patients studied had a median age of 35.5 years.

Researchers collected samples from throat swabs taken from all patients on alternate days and analyzed. Patients were discharged after their recovery and confirmation of negative viral status by at least two consecutive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

"The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patients kept shedding the virus even after resolution of their symptoms," said co-lead author Dr. Sharma, instructor of medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. "More severe infections may have even longer shedding times."

[...] "If you had mild respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 and were staying at home so as not to infect people, extend your quarantine for another two weeks after recovery to ensure that you don't infect other people," recommended corresponding author Lixin Xie, MD, professor, College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing.

The authors had a special message for the medical community: "COVID-19 patients can be infectious even after their symptomatic recovery, so treat the asymptomatic/recently recovered patients as carefully as symptomatic patients."

The researchers emphasized that all of these patients had milder infections and recovered from the disease, and that the study looked at a small number of patients. They noted that it is unclear whether similar results would hold true for more vulnerable patients such as the elderly, those with suppressed immune systems and patients on immunosuppressive therapies.

"Further studies are needed to investigate if the real-time PCR-detected virus is capable of transmission in the later stages of COVID-19 infection," Dr. Xie added.

FCC Outlines $200 Million COVID-19 Telehealth Plan

FCC outlines $200 million COVID-19 telehealth plan:

Today, the FCC announced a few additional measures to help the US during the coronavirus pandemic. Chairman Ajit Pai shared plans for a $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which would equip healthcare providers with the broadband connectivity and devices they need to provide telehealth services. The FCC also eased off its ongoing crackdown on cell phone subsidy abuse, saying that it won't de-enroll participants until at least May 29th.

The COVID-19 Telehealth Program would use funds allocated for the FCC in the CARES Act. If approved, it would provide select applicants with full funding for eligible telehealth services and devices. Pai also presented plans for a longer-term Connected Care Pilot Program, which would make $100 million available over three years to help health care providers implement telehealth services, with an emphasis on serving low-income Americans and veterans.

The FCC also said that, during the pandemic, it won't kick users out of its Lifeline program, which provides monthly discounts on broadband and voice services to low-income customers. Lifeline providers are normally required to de-enroll subscribers who they believe are no longer eligible, but the FCC says it will suspend that requirement until at least May 29th.

Would the US be Behind in Testing if it Didn't Arrest People Doing the Tests?

FBI agents arrested a Georgia man Monday on charges that he accepted kickbacks from medical testing companies by referring people for COVID-19 testing who didn't need it to fraudulently get Medicare reimbursement.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/coronavirus-kickbacks-fbi-arrests-georgia-man-large-scale-unnecessary-testing-n1172101

Shouldn't we be testing everyone? No wonder the U.S. is behind in testing, the FBI is arresting people who are testing asymptomatic citizens. News flash FBI, you can have the virus, and have no symptoms. Everyone should be tested for it.

AT&T Will Give Users an Extra 15GB of Mobile Hotspot Data

AT&T will give users an extra 15GB of mobile hotspot data:

AT&T is still expanding its offerings to keep people online during the COVID-19 outbreak. Between April 2nd and May 13t, it&aposs adding an extra 15GB of mobile hotspot data to every line on unlimited plans that have a monthly tethering allowance. If you have the Unlimited Extra plan, for instance, that will effectively double the amount of data you get. That's still not enough data to completely rely on your phone's connection if you're used to landline data allotments, but it could be helpful if your wired service goes down or becomes oversaturated.

At the same time, AT&T will provide more contact-free delivery options that include curbside pickup (if there&aposs an AT&T store still open near you) and doorstep delivery with virtual setup if you need help.

Astroboffin Gets Magnets Stuck Up His Nose Trying And Failing To Invent Anti-Face-Touching Gizmo

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

We're all told from a tender age not to shove things up our noses – Lego, chickpeas, pencils, fingers – but it seems even grown-up astrophysicists can have difficulty grasping these most basic recommendations when it's in the name of science.

Unfortunately for 27-year-old Dr Daniel Reardon, the items that became wedged up his schnozz were neodymium magnets.

Reardon, however, was taking a break from his regular jam of pulsars and gravitational waves "trying to liven up the boredom of self-isolation" by attempting to build a necklace that sounds an alarm when the wearer touches their face – handy while everyone should be trying to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – so maybe we can give him a free pass for this extreme silliness.

He told the paper: "I have some electronic equipment but really no experience or expertise in building circuits or things.

[...] At this point, Reardon should have probably dug into a box set or video game to alleviate the tedium of self-isolation and put this idea to rest. Instead, he put two magnets inside his nostrils and two outside. When he removed the ones on the exterior, the two inside... well, to quote the Insane Clown Posse: "Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?"

Of course they snapped together with his septum in the middle. "After struggling for 20 minutes, I decided to Google the problem and found an article about an 11-year-old boy who had the same problem." The solution? More magnets.

"As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets, they clipped on to each other and I lost my grip. And those two magnets ended up in my left nostril while the other one was in my right. At this point I ran out of magnets."

The academic then tried to shift them with pliers – which became magnetised in the effort. "Every time I brought the pliers close to my nose, my entire nose would shift towards the pliers and then the pliers would stick to the magnet." His partner took him to the hospital – her workplace – where amused doctors were able to remove the magnets manually with the help of an anaesthetic spray.

We're assuming that the astrophysicist will cease to dabble in fields away from his area of expertise.

Amazon Fires Warehouse Worker Who Organized Staten Island Protest

Amazon fires warehouse worker who organized Staten Island protest:

Workers at Amazon's Staten Island warehouse took part in a walkout on Monday afternoon to protest what they say are unsafe working conditions. The demonstration came after at least one worker at that facility has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Amazon said later Monday that the protest brought out 15 employees, out of 5,000 workers at the facility. It also said Christian Smalls, who became a vocal organizer for the protest, was fired Monday for violating "multiple safety issues," including instructions from the company to stay home with pay for 14 days because he had been in close contact with an infected employee. He instead came to the warehouse Monday, the company said.

"Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe," Smalls said in an emailed statement released by protest organizers. "I am outraged and disappointed, but I'm not shocked. As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than act to keep workers and working communities safe."

In addition to Monday's strike, Whole Worker, a grassroots group of Whole Foods employees, is planning a "sick out" on Tuesday to protest conditions in the grocery stores. Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017. Separately, workers for the Instacart delivery service put together their own national strike on Monday.

[...] The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, another organization that's worked with Amazon employees to hold public protests, sent out a statement Monday night to decry Smalls' firing. Amazon employees in the US aren't unionized.

"Workers should be protected when speaking out about safety conditions during this crisis," union president Stuart Appelbaum said. "They are performing a public service. It is unacceptable that Amazon has terminated Chris Smalls for doing that today rather than addressing their serious COVID-19 safety problems."

Amazon Stops Selling N95 and Surgical Masks to Public

Amazon stops selling N95 and surgical masks to public:

Amazon has stopped selling N95 respirators, paper surgical masks, face shields, surgical gowns and gloves, and large-volume containers of sanitizer to general consumers, according to Recode. The company will instead prioritize the sale of these products to hospitals and governments, which can sign up to make purchases through a new portal on Amazon's business site.

Amazon says it will waive the commission fee it typically takes from sellers "to encourage our selling partners to make additional inventory of these products available at competitive prices to these customers with the greatest need."

Many other products like small-volume sanitizers and wipes will still be available for the general public to buy, Amazon told CNBC.

Trying to get them to "customers with the greatest need"

Online Grocery Deliveries are Facing an Unprecedented Stress Test

Online grocery deliveries are facing an unprecedented stress test:

In the past few weeks, cities and states across the country have instructed people to stay home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Going out for essentials like food is allowed, but that can be a risky proposition. Not only can grocery stores get crowded, social distancing protocol often means long lines just to get inside. The obvious alternative to all this is to shop online, but as several shoppers can attest, that experience can sometimes be even more frustrating. The state of online grocery deliveries is apparently a lot more fragile than anyone had anticipated.

One of the biggest problems is that delivery time slots are seemingly impossible to come by. After filling out their carts, customers would attempt to check out, only to find that all of the delivery options are suddenly unavailable. We spoke to a few shoppers, who told us of the various issues they encountered.

Mark Gerolimatos, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, said he's been unable to order groceries from Amazon Fresh for three to four days. "I found that using Fresh has become 'reFresh constantly,' not unlike trying to get tickets to some stupid concert," he said. After constant reloading, he was able to get a delivery time slot, but by then the cart was empty, as all the goods were gone. He also tried the Safeway app, but all slots were reserved as well.

Keenan from Los Angeles reported similar issues. "I've literally been trying to order Amazon Fresh for the past week or longer," he said. "I kept on top of it, and just kept trying day after day, multiple times per day and hour, which was exhausting to say the least [...] If you go through that entire process over and over as items continue to sell out, let me tell you that isn't fun." After trying for over a week, Keenan did eventually chance upon an open window for delivery and had his groceries delivered.

Both Keenan and Gerolimatos were not frequent users of online groceries prior to the coronavirus lockdown, as they are both able-bodied enough to shop for them in-person. But for many others, like the elderly or the disabled, online groceries are a valuable alternative to in-store shopping. Yasmin, a San Antonio attorney with AMC (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita), a disorder that restricts her movements, was a frequent user of Instacart, Favor (a delivery service for HEB, a Texas-based grocery chain) as well as Amazon Fresh. But the coronavirus has changed that.

[...] At first glance, it might seem like big companies like these would be able to handle online deliveries on a large scale; after all, these are huge multimillion-dollar corporations. Plus, there's the fact that companies like Amazon have spent years building a reputation of bold promises like same-day deliveries, two-hour delivery windows and being the one-stop-shop of your everyday life. Clearly, however, even with such a wealth of resources, the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be too much to handle.

Of course, the extent of the coronavirus pandemic hasn't affected just online grocery deliveries; every aspect of the economy has been hit hard. The fact that online grocery deliveries have failed to keep up with the increased demand due to the coronavirus is not surprising. But you can't blame consumers from feeling disappointed when, after all those grand promises, the service fails them when they need it most.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3Original Submission #4Original Submission #5Original Submission #6Original Submission #7Original Submission #8Original Submission #9Original Submission #10Original Submission #11Original Submission #12Original Submission #13Original Submission #14Original Submission #15Original Submission #16Original Submission #17Original Submission #18Original Submission #19Original Submission #20Original Submission #21Original Submission #22Original Submission #23Original Submission #24Original Submission #25Original Submission #26

Related Stories

2020-06-15 Roundup of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2, Coronavirus) Stories 153 comments

World-wide data as of: 20200615_140637 UTC:

total_count 8,028,325
closed_count 4,584,407
closed_deaths_count 436,277
closed_deaths_percent (10%)
closed_recovered_count 4,148,130
closed_recovered_percent (90%)
active_count 3,443,918
active_mild_count 3,389,380
active_mild_percent (98%)
active_serious_count 54,538
active_serious_percent (2%)
total_deaths 436,277

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @08:51PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @08:51PM (#979137)

    Methinks that someone was planning on getting fat off a gov't contract--

    tfa says it was a $38,000,000 contract to maintain ~12,000 ventilators or over $3,000 each. That's a heck of a service call price--maybe it would make sense for one unit where a tech has to pick one up at a hospital and take it into a shop? But in this case they are all in one (or very few) locations, so the techs travel to the storage location and set up an assembly line for maintenance.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:23PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:23PM (#979148)

      Ventilators take a surprising amount of maintenance to work properly and be good for use. Off the top of my head, you have to run the self-test every two weeks, check the battery and self-test that every 3 months, check the oxygen and CO2 sensors by hours, check for noises, all the alarms, all connections, the mechanical parts, and the 6 filters, check everything is within calibration, check for leaks, check the disinfection status and seals, update the maintenance software to show you did that, and then independently cross-check that with the machine log and checklists.

      • (Score: 2) by Username on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:53AM (1 child)

        by Username (4557) on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:53AM (#979331)

        There is no need to do maintenance on something in long term storage. Even if they did keep it up, the hospital will just redo it once they get it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:13PM (#979491)

          If only there was some story, written by someone like the New York Times, that shows what happens to ventilators when they don't have maintenance done to them in storage. Something about how more than a sixth won't be in good enough condition to pass certification.

          Not to mention that when the hospital is in such a bad position that they require extra ventilators from the emergency stock pile, they probably want something they can use after a few hours after getting, not a few days or weeks for a monthly, six-month, or yearly overhaul and shipping time for replacement parts.

  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:00PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:00PM (#979139)

    You're in a big city, standing on the sidewalk at night. Suddenly a group of people approaches you, and you somehow know that they are illegal immigrants from Mexico. They grab you and force you to come with them into an alleyway that contains a large empty dumpster. A man and a woman are waiting for them near the dumpster.

    The atmosphere here is strange; everyone is looking at you with cold, almost sympathetic eyes, as if something awful is about to happen to you. You want to leave, but something seems to be preventing you from doing so. Suddenly, one of the Mexicans says, "Okay, baby with Hugo." It seems as if the man and woman near the dumpster want to have a baby, but have had trouble doing so. Thus, these Mexicans are going to perform an ancient Mexican ritual to ensure that the woman gets pregnant. But what kind of ritual, you don't know. It seems that it's beginning.

    The woman climbs into the vacant dumpster and lies down in it. The Mexicans throw black garbage bags loaded with garbage on top of her until the dumpster is almost full. Then, the Mexicans have the man strip naked and place him into a very large black garbage bag, and then tie it shut. There is only one hole in the garbage bag that the man is in, and you see his penis is sticking out of it. The Mexicans then throw the man on top of all the other garbage. You have no idea what to make of this bizarre ritual. You still cannot leave. It seems that the first phase of the ritual is complete.

    What will happen next, you wonder. The Mexicans whisper something to the man in the garbage bag, and he begins thrusting his erect penis in and out of the hole in the bag. Eventually, he ejaculates all over the other garbage bags. Is the ritual complete? No. A mysterious, ominous voice seemingly coming from nowhere suddenly says, in a hushed tone, "It seeps into garbage, it creates garbage, it motifies garbage." The knowledge that the woman has become pregnant enters your mind. All of the Mexicans then turn to look at you with cold eyes. You feel as if you should run, but it is too late.

    All of a sudden, you appear in a dumpster that looks similar to the one the man and the woman were in; it is still filled with trash, but you sense that both of them are gone. You sense a malevolent entity - which you somehow understand is a children's toy - in the dumpster with you, and realize that you were the sacrifice to ensure the ritual's success. You have to get out, but the dumpster doors are shut and won't budge. So you take the offensive, and crawl through the garbage towards the small toy to try to grab it. But this turns out to be foolish as the toy easily maneuvers its way around you and gets sucked into your snappyhole as if it's nothing more than a spaghetti noodle!

    A powerful mixture of dread and anxiety overwhelms every fiber of your being. You know that something awful is about to happen, even if you cannot fully grasp the extent of the suffering that will soon befall you. At last, it happens: An incomprehensible amount of tickle can be felt coming from deep within your asshole! You scream in your mind, 'No! It tickles! Please, stop!' That toy - whose appearance you don't know - is wriggling around at extreme speeds on the walls of your rectum, inflicting tickle upon every ass molecule! No matters how much you scream, no matter how much you plead for mercy, the overwhelming ass tickle - so concentrated that it would be capable of transforming any being into shells of their former selves - continues.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:56PM (3 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:56PM (#979175) Homepage

      Goddamn. It's about fucking time we have another worthy troll around here.

      I was sick of doing all the work and I've been uninspired for years anyway.

      • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:16AM (#979209)

        Key word being "worthy".

        I wouldn't permit the troll above to lick the sweat from my nutsack. But, you may lick, EF. Go ahead, good boy, EF.

      • (Score: 2) by The Vocal Minority on Sunday April 05 2020, @04:58AM (1 child)

        by The Vocal Minority (2765) on Sunday April 05 2020, @04:58AM (#979288) Journal

        It's a repeat of a post from a couple of years ago. Expect more posts about anal violation by magic toys and then further posts about horrible things being done to women and children.

    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by driverless on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:52AM

      by driverless (4770) on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:52AM (#979316)

      You're in a big city, standing on the sidewalk at night. Suddenly a group of people approaches you, and you somehow know that they are illegal immigrants from Mexico. They grab you and force you to come with them into an alleyway that contains a large empty dumpster. A man and a woman are waiting for them near the dumpster.

      You look down and see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you... You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that, Leon?

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:00PM (8 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:00PM (#979140) Journal

    Unfortunately for 27-year-old Dr Daniel Reardon, the items that became wedged up his schnozz were neodymium magnets.

    [...]

    The academic then tried to shift them with pliers – which became magnetised in the effort. "Every time I brought the pliers close to my nose, my entire nose would shift towards the pliers and then the pliers would stick to the magnet." His partner took him to the hospital – her workplace – where amused doctors were able to remove the magnets manually with the help of an anaesthetic spray.

    He's lucky those magnets weren't very strong. He could have lost part of his nose. I used to volunteer at a aerospace non profit. They worked with a lot of hazardous stuff: solid propellant motors, metal ladders, machine shop tools like bandsaws and sanders, lots and lots of sharps, and pressurized helium gas to name a few. But the thing we considered the most dangerous was some high strength rare earth magnets (using them for a MHD project). Hold those the wrong way (for example, gripping the magnet tightly) and you could accidentally crush your hand by walking near something with iron or steel in it like a table with metal trim or a shelf unit. And don't ever put one or worse two of these things in your pockets.

    • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:14PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:14PM (#979143)

      What rare earth magnets?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:55PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:55PM (#979150)

        Ever hear of search engines? Turn in you geek badge.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:11PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:11PM (#979153) Journal
          I think the GP was trying to imply that rare earths were extremely scarce.
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:06AM (3 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:06AM (#979178) Homepage

        Neodymium magnets are the shiny ones that go in the good shit, and they are no joke. You have to use nonferrous jigs to very carefully position them into their bonding spots and if you allow even 2 small ones (say, the size of a small can of pepper-spray each) to mate accidentally then you're not gonna be able to pull them apart by hand.

        Some other applications use those shitty alnico magnets. Yep, the gray brittle pieces of shit that are more well-known for being in guitar pickups. You leave two of those on the workbench close enough to attract each other and when they collide they're going to throw magnetic chips and dust all over the fucking place. I never understood why those were used in brushless motor applications, the whole fucking point of a brushless is not to throw brush dust all over the fucking place when the motor's running.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:19AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:19AM (#979210) Journal

          But, magnetic dust will stick to the steel frame of the motor, rather than the copper windings. Dust from brushes goes EVERYWHERE!!

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by janrinok on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:33AM (1 child)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:33AM (#979309) Journal

          say, the size of a small can of pepper-spray each

          What a useless item for a metric. How about you choose something that most people have at least seen - no, not just in North America. Is that similar to a 400g tin of beans, a tube of toothpaste, a smart phone?

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday April 05 2020, @07:03AM

        by driverless (4770) on Sunday April 05 2020, @07:03AM (#979317)

        What rare earth magnets?

        They're like common earth magnets but they make less of them to increase their collectibility. I thought everyone knew that.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:06PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:06PM (#979142)

    Britain pulled the so-called "herd immunity" strategy, but the death toll piled up super quick and they turned 180.

    Japan pulled the same stunt, but now that the olympics are postponed, the numbers "mysteriously" shoot up.

    Sweden is the last one standing, and their death toll shot up higher than all other nordic countries. Would it perservere? Sweden is no country for old man.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:14PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:14PM (#979144)

      Sweden is a great country for young women though.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:17PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:17PM (#979154)

      Britain pulled the so-called "herd immunity" strategy, but the death toll piled up super quick and they turned 180.
      Japan pulled the same stunt, but now that the olympics are postponed, the numbers "mysteriously" shoot up.
      Sweden is the last one standing, and their death toll shot up higher than all other nordic countries. Would it perservere? Sweden is no country for old man.

      Sweden is apparently the last standing against the police state because politicians don't get to decide on a quarantine. It has an independent health authority.

      In Britain, the body count has piled up to a grand total of 4300 dead of COVID-19. In a country of 67 million (and an average death rate of 1751 per day). So why did Britain flip? Because influencers were criticizing the government on social media?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:31PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:31PM (#979157)

        Sweden is apparently the last standing against the police state because politicians don't get to decide on a quarantine.

        If elected politicians don't get to decide on a quarantine, who does? Jesus?

        It has an independent health authority.

        The one that dismantled the medical facility over the decade? The least number of ICU beds per capita in EU?

        At any rate, Sweden certainly is an interesting case to watch.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:09PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:09PM (#979163)

          Swedish constitution leaves that power to the Public Health Agency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Health_Agency_of_Sweden [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:27PM (#979172)

            Hiding behind legalism, eh. And we were told how sensible the nordics were.

            Who knows? Maybe the Swedes will turn out to be "right" (for whatever value that may be), hence it will be an interesting case to watch.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @11:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @11:37AM (#979351)

        Sweden is apparently the last standing against the police state because politicians don't get to decide on a quarantine.

        It takes more than police to enforce a lockdown in a 3rd world shithole like Malmo where grenade and rocket attacks are commonplace. Lockdown isn't enforced in 3rd world ghettos of Paris or Brussels or in Birmingham in the UK. This is also why people who value civil liberties should object to importing populations that only understand the language of violence.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:28AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:28AM (#979186)

      Which makes two in Europe. Coincidentally, neither has anything even remotely comparable to what is reported from Italy or Spain, despite no quarantine.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:53AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:53AM (#979196)

        Even Sweden knows what's coming. [dw.com]

        I'd have thought there's nobody sober enough in Belarus to have noticed what is going on but instead it looks like they have one hell of a hangover. [belarusfeed.com]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:07AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:07AM (#979204)

          Unless the "what" is the Great Depression to end all Depressions. That thing is coming all right.
          As to the virus and the epidemics thereof, we all are still at the guessing stage. Despite 3+ month spent going increasingly crazy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:46AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:46AM (#979220)

          German state media has to justify German policy. If German citizens see that other countries still have civil rights and the world hasn't ended there, it could raise doubts that their own deprivations are legitimate.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:14PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @09:14PM (#979145)

    A lot of the blame gets pointed at the US, but lots of countries are failing to test enough people. They're also having their healthcare systems overwhelmed. Countries might have taken the threat more seriously if China hadn't lied and covered up the seriousness of the virus.

    Even in South Korea, which has tested extensively, has a case fatality rate of 1.74%. I'm calculating this with all of the reported cases, not just those that are closed. This number has risen somewhat over the past few days. Germany has a case fatality rate of 1.35%, but this is also rising because deaths lag behind new cases. The news is much worse elsewhere, with substantially higher case fatality rates. Some of it is probably due to a lack of testing, but also because healthcare systems have exceeded their capacities. I'm leaving out countries in the data below that I've already mentioned and also excluding China and Iran because I don't believe they're providing accurate data.

    United States: 2.72% (300,617 cases)
    Spain: 9.42% (124,736 cases)
    Italy: 12.33% (124,632 cases)
    France: 11.02% (68.605 cases)
    United Kingdom: 8.66% (33,718 cases)
    Turkey: 2.03% (20,921 cases)
    Switzerland: 3.06% (20,278 cases)
    Belgium: 6.96% (18,431 cases)
    Netherlands: 9.93% (16,627 cases)

    Those are staggering numbers, probably a combination of limited testing and a surge of patients in hospitals. For that matter, Japan is facing a surge of cases in Tokyo and the Prime Minister has come under heavy criticism for a lack of testing and not implementing measures to curb the spread of the virus.

    Trump gets a lot of attention because he's an easy target and his messaging has been very poor. But these problems are widespread throughout western countries, not just in the US. Part of this is a complacency, that the only threats we seem to prepare for are military threats. We spend vast sums of money on new weapons, but have neglected other national security issues like pandemic preparedness. The US stockpile of medical resources was intended for response to bioterrorism, but it's proven inadequate for this crisis. It was poorly stocked and poorly maintained, with some of the ventilators in the stockpile being unusable because of the lack of maintenance. We pretend that the rest of the world desperately wants and needs the leadership of the West, including the US, in order to solve their problems. That's a lie we tell ourselves, when we actually can't even solve our own problems. It's easy to tell that lie so long as these problems are happening in "shithole countries" while we're neglecting to take care of our own business at home.

    In the US, we still have governors refusing to implement stay at home orders, making up bullshit reasons to justify their inaction. I know that Ricketts says he's following the advice of state health officials that one isn't necessary, but the cases are severely underreported because of the lack of testing. And health officials have gotten plenty wrong, which is why the CDC reversed course on whether people should wear masks in public. Ricketts is also known to deny science, refusing to accept the link between human activity and climate change. How can someone who denies science on some matters be trusted to make science-based decisions on others?

    And China doesn't get a pass here, either. This was covered up by the government, ordering doctors to recant their concerns, then lying about the death rate. Estimates are that China underreported the deaths in Wuhan by an order of magnitude, perhaps more. Meanwhile, Bruce Aylward of the WHO can't stop falling all over himself to praise China. The WHO has zero credibility and continues to make excuses for a regime that actively covered up the severity of the outbreak, misleading other governments and providing false information.

    At this point, any governor who hasn't issued a stay at home order has no business being in public office. This occurs as many other governments are also completely botching the response to this pandemic. The WHO needs to stop whitewashing China's lies. And China needs to be held accountable, both for lying and the harm to their own people. This is terribly wrong.

    And when this is done, a vast amount of people will have needlessly died because of these failures.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by khallow on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:09PM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:09PM (#979152) Journal

      And China needs to be held accountable, both for lying and the harm to their own people.

      How? And would this cover other misdeeds, like Russia's invasion of Crimea or the US's droning of weddings? And what happens when the guilty party chooses not to go along with the accountability?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:27PM (1 child)

        by edIII (791) on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:27PM (#979174)

        And what happens when the guilty party chooses not to go along with the accountability?

        World War II and the rise of fascism. Pretty sure if the German people weren't under extreme financial pressure from the "accountability" of World War I, there wouldn't have been the environment that allowed both the rise of that Nazi party and the narrative that Germans were taking back what they lost.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:02AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:02AM (#979176) Journal
          That's a very good point. Accountability massively backfired in that case. I think there would be powerful Fascist political factions anyway, particularly in Italy, Germany, and France due in large part to the weaknesses of those countries pre-Fascist governments and reaction to Communist political factions.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:56AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:56AM (#979199)

      Is Latvia populated by iron people who just plain refuse to die, and for the most part even to sicken, despite being infected, or what?
      https://spkc.gov.lv/lv/tavai-veselibai/aktualitate-par-jauno-koronavi [spkc.gov.lv]
      Or maybe, just maybe, in some other countries with so many more human beings that they're just statistics, the statistics sometimes get skewed?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:04AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:04AM (#979202)

        Are you questioning the medicinal properties of Riga Black Balsam?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:12AM (#979207)

          https://rigablack.com [rigablack.com] FTW!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:49PM (#979458)

      Countries might have taken the threat more seriously if China hadn't lied and covered up the seriousness of the virus.

      Covered up the seriousness??? Many countries are not even taking the threat seriously NOW.

      That's a lot of anti-China spin there. The last I checked China sure didn't cover up the fact that they locked down entire cities in a province and built new hospitals just to handle the disease. And they sure were reporting quite a lot of deaths. If that's not enough to convince you that it's serious, what else from China do you want that would convince you that it's serious? Even today lots of people are still saying it's only as bad as seasonal flu.

      China famously tried to stop that doctor from talking to the public but that was still at quite an early stage (Dec 30 2019), when there was probably still disagreement on how dangerous the virus really was. You don't want people to spread panic if it turns out to only be as bad as seasonal flu (which can be bad but nobody locks down entire cities for seasonal flu). Even now most scientists in the medical field would agree that covid-19 is not the same as SARS (whereas that doctor said it was SARS).

      China reacted pretty fast to a new disease:
      https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-pandemic-timeline-history-major-events-2020-3?r=US&IR=T [businessinsider.com]
      They informed the WHO about 41 patients with pneumonia in Dec 31 2019 (so what cover up there?). They announced the "first" (official ;) ) death in Jan 11. They locked down Wuhan in Jan 23 and started building hospitals. That's less than one month. Then the WHO declares a global public health emergency on Jan 30.

      Don't other countries have similar practices of not allowing people to talk to the public about such stuff and require them to go through proper channels? https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3078211/us-navy-removes-commander-coronavirus-hit-aircraft#Echobox=1585867643 [scmp.com]
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-31/hospitals-tell-doctors-they-ll-be-fired-if-they-talk-to-press [bloomberg.com]

      Meanwhile in the USA, the Trump administration was saying everything was under control, pretty much shut it down, and contained it and it should be done by April. In Feb 26 nearly 1 MONTH after the WHO declares it an emergency (and Wuhan lockdowns), Trump says the risk to the American people is very low. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NezEbDx4B9A [youtube.com]

      Everyone could see the "flames" burning in Wuhan and Hubei, and the diamond princess cruise ship quarantine in Feb 4. Some sparks got to their countries, and still many continued saying it was not a problem, not worth doing stuff like banning mass gatherings etc.

      Now it's April and there's still Sweden, Brazil (well the Prime Minister of Brazil anyway) etc who think there's not enough evidence that the disease is serious enough to do lock downs.

      So as far as I'm concerned there's no significant cover up by the Chinese from a _practical_ fighting the disease perspective. Yes some citizens were not allowed to talk to the press or the world, big fucking deal, the Gov was already telling WHO etc what was going on, reporting case and death counts etc, publicly locking down entire cities etc. Unless it really turns out they made the virus and it got out (but most scientists analyzing the virus don't think they did).

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 06 2020, @01:16PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 06 2020, @01:16PM (#979630)

      The US president is a target because he's repeatedly made decisions that (a) made this a much more serious problem than it had to be, (b) made the jobs of governors and the people working in health care much harder than it had to be, and (c) made sure that the cost would be placed almost entirely on the people least able to bear it namely the poor.

      So far, the death rate in the US has been relatively low, but that's despite of rather than because of the decisions of the guy in charge of many aspects of what's happening. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where bigwigs made numerous stupid or even borderline insane decisions in an effort to make themselves look good, the underlings work a whole lot of extra hours and somehow pull out a miracle to make those decisions not be a complete disaster, and then the bigwigs stand around congratulating themselves when the dust settles? Yeah, this is one of those times, except that instead of money or engineering mishaps at stake it's hundreds of thousands of human lives.

      As an example of the president being part of the problem rather than part of the solution: There's a company with a system for cleaning the masks used by medical personnel. The president directed the FDA to delay approving its use on a large scale, apparently because the governor of the state that company is based in is making him look bad. Which is one of many reasons there are insufficient masks for doctors and nurses, which means that quite a few of them are getting Covid-19 and some of them are dying as a result, not only increasing the death toll in the short term but also reducing the health care capacity of the area they're in.

      And ultimately, you're looking at the wrong number, namely the number of people who die out of those known to have gotten Covid-19. The number you actually want to measure is the number of people who die of Covid-19 per 1 million people, and as of right now the US is at 29/million, substantially worse than the global average of 9.1/million. And we also know that the US hasn't hit its peak yet.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by captain normal on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:27PM (16 children)

      by captain normal (2205) on Saturday April 04 2020, @10:27PM (#979156)

      Hell, that list of sources looks like "The Men In Black, using the National Enquirer to get news of off world visitors.

      --
      Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:10PM (#979164)

        Symptoms exactly the same:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness#Signs_and_symptoms [wikipedia.org]
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7096066/ [nih.gov]

        Acute cure:

        Cigarettes as an aid to climbing Report, November 21 1922

                Captain GJ Finch, who took part in the Mount Everest expedition, speaking at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, London, last evening on the equipment for high climbing, testified to the comfort of cigarette smoking at very high altitude. He said that he and two other members of the expedition camped at 25,000ft for over 26 hours and all that time they used no oxygen.

                About half an hour after arrival he noticed in a very marked fashion that unless he kept his mind on the question of breathing, making it a voluntary process instead of an involuntary one, he suffered from lack of air. He had 30 cigarettes with him, and as a measure of desperation he lit one. After deeply inhaling the smoke he and his companions found they could take their mind off the question of breathing altogether … The effect of a cigarette lasted at least three hours, and when the supply of cigarettes was exhausted they had recourse to oxygen, which enabled them to have their first sleep at this great altitude.

        https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/oct/17/sportandleisure.sport [theguardian.com]

      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:13PM (13 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:13PM (#979165)

        The symptoms:

        This virus shares highly homological sequence with SARS-CoV, and causes acute, highly lethal pneumonia coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with clinical symptoms similar to those reported for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. The most characteristic symptom of patients with COVID-19 is respiratory distress, and most of the patients admitted to the intensive care could not breathe spontaneously. Additionally, some patients with COVID-19 also showed neurologic signs, such as headache, nausea, and vomiting.

        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32104915/ [nih.gov]

        Smokers rarely get it (only 1.5% of 7k US patients were current smokers and only 2.5% were former smokers):
        https://old.reddit.com/r/COVID19/comments/faluhv/an_exhaustive_lit_search_shows_that_only_585_sars/ [reddit.com]

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:36AM (12 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:36AM (#979216) Journal

          Smokers rarely get it (only 1.5% of 7k US patients were current smokers and only 2.5% were former smokers):

          You are selectively reporting one study . Other studies showed far higher numbers of smokers. Further, this reddit garbage ignores, once again, that early infections are going to have high numbers of medical professionals who have much lower smoking rates.

          • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:50AM (11 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:50AM (#979252)

            Nope, there was a link to a summary of every study on it ever published. That was the biggest one from anywhere, it is about 50% the total available data.

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:58AM (10 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:58AM (#979259) Journal
              None of the data is valid for the reason I stated. You're starting with very biased data which doesn't have a lot of smokers in it. Further, you selectively cited that one study even though it's at odds with many of the other studies.
              • (Score: 5, Funny) by aristarchus on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:05AM (1 child)

                by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:05AM (#979262) Journal

                Kaka, AC! You just made me mod khallow +1 Informative. That hurts me more than Republican Congressmen forced to vote to give money to poor people hurt! So just get the disease and die already, so the rest of us do not have to listen you your craven cowardice. All your data points to your imminent demise! Happy dying!!

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:23AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:23AM (#979265) Journal
                  It just goes to show that stupidity is bottomless. There's always a dumber idiot out there.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:14AM (7 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:14AM (#979324)

                Huh, find one study with the expected number of smokers.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:11PM (6 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:11PM (#979393) Journal
                  What's the "expected number" of smokers in a population with a lot of medical professionals?
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @05:00PM (5 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @05:00PM (#979424)

                    The percent of them that smoke in general, in China that's like 60% of doctors.

                    Anyway, you don't have a paper showing what you said. Not as single one. I thought maybe you had something useful to share.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:35PM (4 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:35PM (#979455) Journal

                      The percent of them that smoke in general, in China that's like 60% of doctors.

                      Now, you're just bullshitting and moving goalposts all over the place. In China isn't the only place with highly biased data.

                      Anyway, you don't have a paper showing what you said.

                      I do have some of yours [soylentnews.org]. Link 6 was alleged to show a negative correlation between smoking and getting infected with covid. I noted from the study [hkcem.com] (pp 145-146):

                      The results in this study show that smoking does not protect patients from contracting SARS. In this cohort a greater proportion of non-smokers contracted SARS than smokers, which may appear to support the initial rumours. However, a far greater proportion of non-smoking, female, health care workers contacted SARS cases than smokers and were therefore placed at much greater risk. When adjustments are made for gender, health care occupation and contact history, then smoking is shown to provide no protection. Even if smoking does protect patients against SARS, caution is required because of the many other hazardous effects associated with chronic smoking.

                      Now, I have a paper. One of yours, I might add.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:37PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:37PM (#979456) Journal

                        Link 6 was alleged to show a negative correlation between smoking and getting infected with SARS.

                        FTFM.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:56PM (2 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:56PM (#979503)

                        You need to be able to assess what they did. It is a total bullshit statistical model. In that study almost no one who got SARS was smokers, just like the other dozens of studies.

                        If they would have studied this back then we would have figured out what was going on with this illness now (hypoxemia, not ARDS just like high altitude sickness which is also helped by smoking). Those people and their dogmatic anti-science defenders like you are responsible for all these deaths and the big shutdown.

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday April 06 2020, @01:19AM

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 06 2020, @01:19AM (#979537) Journal
                          Just be sure to tell us when you have actual evidence rather than observation bias.
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06 2020, @01:30AM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06 2020, @01:30AM (#979542)

                          So you think hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels) is helped by smoking? I would love to hear your thinking on that. Sure, I could see subjective symptoms and coping being better, but that isn't the same thing as objective signs and outcomes being better.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:19PM (#979167)

        Doctors are reporting apparent spO2 levels of 50% in awake patients when they are supposed to be dead before it drops below 80, so any ventilator decision based on that is going to be wrong and hurt them:

        https://twitter.com/EricLeeMD/status/1245054768185303041/photo/1 [twitter.com]
        https://old.reddit.com/r/COVID19/comments/fu4c36/frontline_nyc_doctors_think_covid19_should_be/ [reddit.com]

  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:21PM (1 child)

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 04 2020, @11:21PM (#979168) Journal

    Those figures show a 20% death rate, but I suspect that most people don't ever get tested, and also aren't seriously sick. Based on other figures, like the grave digger survey in Brazil, I expect the death rate overall is closer to 5 times the normal death rate rather than 20% of the people who get sick. So deaths related to COVID-19 (not just caused by, but including people who can't get treatment) is about 4 times the normal death rate. And this is slanted towards older people (possibly because they are more likely to have cardiovascular problems), so for younger people it's probably more like 2 or 3 times the normal death rate. Bad, but not intolerable. Lots of times throughout history people have lived with that kind of death rate. (And I'm not talking about extremities like "The Year of the Plague", I'm talking about the decade before that, or the 1880's.)

    But if that 20% figure is valid, this may be the kind of thing that we *can't* survive without drastic changes. (I'm not really convinced that a durable vaccine is possible. Many corona viruses have tricks that they use to prevent long term immunity.)

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @12:49AM (#979193)

    If you like to see plots novel virus data, there is a good selection here:
        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105 [bbc.com]

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by aristarchus on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:28AM (6 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:28AM (#979213) Journal

    Funny, isn't it, that in the merging malfunction, all the relevant aristarchus submissions just quietly disappeared! Yes, they are marked "accepted", but are nowhere to be found. Like,

    this one: https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=40095 [soylentnews.org]

    Or, this one: https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=40096 [soylentnews.org]

    But most importantly, to reveal the Fox Nubes legal liability and plan to off the stupid, this one:
    https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=40190 [soylentnews.org]

    "Twinks for Trump" trying to get infected was also mildly disturbing.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:52AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:52AM (#979255)

      Not funny, standard operating procedure for the alt-right infected Soylent News, and its fellow traveller fifth columnists like janrinok. They don't "censor", they just "lose stuff." Hanlon's Razor, y'all! But after the 50 thousandth time in five years, one has to wonder.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:25AM (#979306)

        “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action” ― Ian Fleming

        Rule 89: "One's an anomaly, two's a trend."

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:49AM (3 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:49AM (#979315) Journal

      Funny, isn't it, that in the merging malfunction, all the relevant aristarchus submissions just quietly disappeared!

      It's not funny at all - but we are very lucky in this instance. JR

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:05AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:05AM (#979322)

        Yeah, you censorious ex-pat Brit with pronounced Exit tendencies. Well, we are done here. janrinoker confesses to censorship on the SoylentNews. Milo Rules! Shapiro sucks? Turning Point subincision [wikipedia.org]! And Spencer beat his wife. Not to mention Heimback, Heimbach, unheimlich mensch.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:07PM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:07PM (#979363) Journal

          Er, no I didn't admit to anything of the sort. There has been no censorship. Martyb has explained what happened. You have been given the credit for your stories in karma - even though they possibly wouldn't have been published (based entirely on the subject matter and your success rate in getting such stories printed).

          But I do consider myself fortunate that I will not have to press a solitary button to delete your stories, or wait for them to age out.

          Well, we are done here.

          I'm staying - are you planning on leaving? As I have said before I would prefer you to stay, but the choice is entirely yours. My contribution to this site is very much reduced as I have personal responsibilities that take priority. I don't recall personally rejecting or deleting any of your submissions for quite a few months other than the one last week that was not even in English which is a requirement of our submission rules.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday April 06 2020, @01:21AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 06 2020, @01:21AM (#979538) Journal

          Well, we are done here.

          You are such a tease!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:04AM (#979228)
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:34AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:34AM (#979248)

    New illness I have that prevents me reading anything about c********s.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:00AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @03:00AM (#979261)

      New illness I have that prevents me reading anything about c********s.

      Just guessing, but would that be "cock*******s" ??? Just trying be be clear, in a time of corona virus.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:20AM (#979304)

        No it is "chunter2s" or at least that is what it looks like to me.

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:41AM (1 child)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:41AM (#979313) Journal

      Which is why we put them into one round up with an obvious title so that you can avoid reading them.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:14PM (#979493)

        Yeah thanks. I can see you do much hard work on this, not intended to be critical of that.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @02:51AM (#979253)

    Recent interview with the former UK Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Sumption, QC:
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/former-supreme-court-justice-this-is-what-a-police-state-is-like- [spectator.co.uk]

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:08AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @06:08AM (#979300)

    Stay the fuck home, cocksuckers.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:25PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @01:25PM (#979368)

      Stay the fuck home, cocksuckers.

      But I can't reach my own cock with my mouth!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:30PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:30PM (#979496)

        Nor is being a cocksucker any of *my* goals.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05 2020, @09:41PM (#979500)

          Press X to doubt.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by anubi on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:29AM

    by anubi (2828) on Sunday April 05 2020, @08:29AM (#979326) Journal

    I was browsing around and found this..

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/science/coronavirus-genome-bad-news-wrapped-in-protein.html?module=MoreInSection_AMP [nytimes.com]

    A lot of techie stuff of how the virus works

    It's a long read... But I liked it.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 1) by jrbrtsn on Monday April 06 2020, @01:50AM (3 children)

    by jrbrtsn (6338) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 06 2020, @01:50AM (#979545)

    Official pandemic propagation models are rigged: y=mx+b stuff. The correct equation is:
    y=y0*(1+r)^x
    y: cumulative count (cases, bodies, take your pick)
    y0: initial count
    r: growth factor (currently 0.32 for US)
    Give this a try!
    #CoronaMath
    ~

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday April 06 2020, @09:26AM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday April 06 2020, @09:26AM (#979598) Homepage
      I call straw man. What "official" propagated such a model?

      And your model's nearly as bad. It's a first order approximation to only the early spread in a population with unbounded movement.
      And it has a very hard job escape from the actual initial condition of zero cases.

      Limit movement and increase transmissibility, and a quadratic is a better approximation, for example, as an infection spreads like a wave through the population.

      However, exponential's better than quadratic for a starting point for most infections, as movement is high and transmissability of low. However, it ignores the finiteness of the population, and a better model is a sigmoid curve. And indeed, this curve does have a near linear patch in it around its inflection point, so for that period, a linear model is actually better than yours. Checkmate, exponentialists!

      However that ignores recovery, and so a better model is the product of two independently parameterised sigmoid curves (one inverted). OK, you're up to 5 parameters now, but you've got a pretty good model now. Alas, one that doesn't take into account any changes in NPIs (laws or common sense) and PIs (druuugs) during the spread, which would require piecewise modelling, and way way way more parameters.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 06 2020, @01:51PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 06 2020, @01:51PM (#979635)

      You're claiming that the official models are using linear math. That (a) doesn't make any sense based on what they're trying to model, and (b) can't possibly produce the curves they're showing. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that jrbrtsn knows something that every epidemiologist everywhere doesn't.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 06 2020, @01:53PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 06 2020, @01:53PM (#979637)

        And obviously I flubbed my last sentence: "I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that jrbrtsn knows something that every epidemiologist everywhere doesn't."

        That's the exact opposite of my intended meaning: "I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that jrbrtsn doesn't know something that every epidemiologist everywhere knows."

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 1) by jrbrtsn on Monday April 06 2020, @01:52AM

    by jrbrtsn (6338) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 06 2020, @01:52AM (#979546)

    The gig is up. We know the plan is for Trump to declare martial law within 4 weeks, and use the massive economic stimulus to take over the USD.

    Please read this, and do what you think is appropriate:
    THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG
    This may sound conspiratorial, but please humor me long enough to read this post.
    Trump's endgame all along has been declaring nationwide martial law, because when this happens he will in effect become a dictator.
    Prior to this pandemic, the plan was to foment civil war for this purpose; thus the sabre rattling such as, "our side has things that go boom."
    With a pandemic in full swing, civil war will not be necessary. Instead, all he has to do is wait for conditions to become so bad that the populus will accept martial law without protest. This explains the recent characterization of Covid-19 as a "military invasion", and why his state governor operatives continue to hold out on an SIP order.
    It is a forgone conclusion that in 3 weeks conditions will be horrible enough that declaring martial law will solicit no protest.
    The economic stimulus congress is working on is also part of this plan, the main objective of which is to seize control of the USD.
    All the 2nd Amendment folks out there, this is where you have a part to play; because our last line of defense against tyrannical oppression will be citizen militias. Please begin to organize yourselves.

    God, I sure hope this is just paranoia.

    If you are so inclined, please share this post far and wide!

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Monday April 06 2020, @04:04PM (1 child)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 06 2020, @04:04PM (#979674) Journal

    Someone told me that taking vitamin B3 helps to protect the lungs against the likes of Corona virus. Is this true?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06 2020, @08:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06 2020, @08:21PM (#979756)

      Yes and no. There is some evidence that B3 protects against lung infections in general and secondary bacterial infections in specific. However, the evidence as to its effectiveness against Coronaviruses is mixed.

(1)