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Messages - dubsartur

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1
The Jolly Boar Kitchen - Food Discussion / Re: Welcome to the Kitchen!
« on: April 05, 2020, 05:43:06 PM »
I have decided to experiment with some historical recipes.  I don't yet have the Baghdad cookery-book and I am limited by what the local supermarkets and greengrocers and butchers carry but I have worked through things like chicken in pomegranate sauce.

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Stories and AARs / Re: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
« on: April 03, 2020, 10:33:27 PM »
Thanks for sharing!  I hope I have energy for more substantive comments later.  What is War of Realms?

3
If you assume that every infected person infects 2-3 others in the circumstances of normal life and people who have been infected once are immune for the next few years, then you achieve herd immunity when 60-80% of the population have been infected.  But since February, there have been epidemiologists who believe that the true number was more like 4 or 5 new infections per patient in China before the lockdown (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.18.20024315) and they tell me that in that case, there is no way to just let the virus race through the less vulnerable population then die out.

A lot of these fashionable online conference and chat systems sound impossible for anyone, and especially an introvert, to manage: too many things flashing at you at once and demanding instant replies.

4
Also, at the start of this week, after two weeks of stay-at-home and three weeks of closed schools, the government believed that covid-19 was spreading in ?AT? or Tirol as fast as a seasonal flu spreads in a normal winter with people out working and drinking and partying and exercising together.  So they brought in the masks for shoppers and probably some other tweaks in hopes of bringing the number of people infected by each infected person closer to 1. 

Nobody knows how many are sick or dying (the test of essential workers suggests that Austria has only identified 20% of people with covid-19) but the public health workers are worried. 

I am sorry, I keep talking about serious things.

5
Lets give it a week or two.  This may be the phase in the story where we have conversations like "our entrenchments are holding!  With the hill on one side and the marsh on the other the tyrants and their slaves can't get through.  Gracchus, have your men reported anything on the rustling from the reedbeds?" "No, imperator, they went 50 paces into the marsh and they did not see anything."  "Right, so lets move on to logistics ... Perses, how many amphorae of wine have you scrounged up?  If the number is not high enough I will sell you to the Parthians!"

If parts of Europe and some Anglo settler countries manage to contain the disease by May, reducing travel restrictions will be a mess.  If it goes out of control in some Canadian provinces, US states, and Schengen countries but is contained in others, how can you allow travel without opening the floodgates to infectious people?

My understanding is that herd immunity is only possible if you accept the low estimates for infectivity and assume that infected people are immune for an extended period of time.  If you accept the high estimate for infectivity, or assume that people infected can be infected again a few months later, then more than 90% of the population could be infected before the disease starts to become rare.

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El PaĆ­s in Madrid reports the same thing as the mayor from Lombardy: official death figures show coronavirus doubling the normal death rate, but three to five more deaths from all causes are being registered than in the same region last year.

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-27/el-coronavirus-causa-mas-muertes-de-las-detectadas.html

The situation is so unusual that Americans are actually acknowledging sources written outside their country in a language other than English during their lifetime!

Meanwhile, the curve in British Columbia continues to flatten.  And patreon pledges are up 13%, and amount pledged up 16%, over the previous month for the first time since they finished shooting themselves in the foot in 2018.

Update: Random sample of 1.161 people in key occupations (care homes, hospitals, supermarkets) in Austria on 29/30 March: 6 tested positive for covid-19 (0.5%)  That is similar to Iceland's results earlier in March, and lower than I expected.

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I had what was probably a bad flu in late February and early March, a lot of people I know have or had flu-like symptoms.  It would be interesting to know whether one kind of dreaded lurgie makes you more vulnerable to the other.

So some of the people who are out sick will just have colds/flu/stress-related symptoms, but people with public-facing jobs are exposed to a lot of respiratory ailments- and its easier to deal with a cold or a flu when you are sure its something not so dangerous and that your job will still exist when you recover.

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Austria plans to test a random sample (Stichprobe) of 2,000 residents starting today.  I will be interested to see whether there are more like 20 or 200 positive.

If the number of confirmed cases, 10,000 in a population around 9 million, represented the state of the pandemic, we would expect about 2 people to test positive (plus a few false positives).  If you believe that, I have a nice rug merchant in Isfahan who I would like to introduce you to.

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All I can find in the tablets is the words of Ea the Wise:

Quote
Abandon riches, seek survival!
Spurn property, save life!

(Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, XI.25-26)

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I don't handle the unusual well either, but let me see what I can come up with in masks with an appropriate inscription embroidered on.

Skimming the Tageszeitung, they seem to be still assuming a base replication number/Replikationsfaktor of 2-3, but I have read specialists who think the true number in China was around 4 (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.18.20024315 seasonal flu is in the 1.3-1.5 range). 

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I think that social media is buzzing with East Asians + Czechs screaming "everyone should wear a mask" and Anglos + the rest of Europe saying "at best it makes the sick slightly less infectious, and medical personnel need the medical-grade masks."

Maskenpflicht? *clangs*

All openings are guaranteed smaller than a Turkish arrow or a Cologne poignard which in microns is ...*advisor whispers in my ear* new plan, to the sewing room!

12
Good luck Gmd.

Re needing documentation, Britain's lockdown sounds like it's rapidly becoming more illiberal than Austria's - I've seen reports of multiple UK police forces trying to go beyond the law and impose additional arbitrary restrictions (by suggesting that their daily exercise is limited to 1hr, which it isn't, or that they can't move so a more walkable location in a car in order to take it, which they can). I think that's a real problem, because the biggest challenge of the lockdowns is going to be holding them together for long enough. But then, the Austrian lockdown basically seems to be effective, I'm hearing very few reports of anyone breaking the rules here, whereas the UK seems to have more of a vocal minority who think it's all a conspiracy or something.
When I go for walks I see some groups of three or four teenagers along the river, and the Tiroler Tageszeitung reports a couple who crashed someone else's car in a village at 1.20 am and who were charged with violating the curfew as a group of more than one person.

I get the impression that civil society pushed back to get an acknowledgement that outside exercise alone or with members of your household is allowed, early on the messages were mixed.

What I remember reading in 2019 is that British police forces and the army have been cut so small that they don't think they could handle any disorder worse than the local team loosing at footie in a week one of the supermarkets unloads some discount cider.  And that is without a double-digit percentage of the force having to go home sick, and 20% of the sick needing long-term hospital care.  So aside from being confused by rapidly shifting policy, I would not be surprised if some British police forces are resorting to "bark orders and hope nobody notices that we can't actually enforce them against more than one person at a time."

Deaths attributed to coronavirus in Austria are still doubling every 3-4 days, but those are people who were infected about three weeks ago.  The mayor of Nembro in Lombardy has released an op-ed: "Nembro, one of the municipalities most affected by Covid-19, should have had - under normal conditions - about 35 deaths. 158 people were registered dead this year by the municipal offices. But the number of deaths officially attributed to Covid-19 is 31."

According to Wikipedia, the population of Nembro is around 12,000.

13
On 26 March the CPC suspended the leadership context despite Peter MacKay pointing out the Canada held national elections while we were fighting the Krauts and Stornoway would be a great place to self-isolate.  They will reconsider the decision on 1 May.

The Liberal minority government tried to grant itself unlimited powers to tax and spend without parliamentary oversight until December 2021, after media protests the opposition parties admitted that that might not be a good idea.  One rogue Conservative MP attended the bare minimum quorum (with 2 metre social distancing ...) against the wishes of his whip to deny unanimous approval to the final bill.

I would say that Trudeau is handling this pretty well because he knows he doesn't know anything about epidemiology, and because for whatever reason this situation does not run into a contradiction in his ideology in the way that all the things he promised in 2015 ran head on into "but I don't want to bother anyone with power."

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Also, my impression is that at the beginning of March experts were telling European governments that the infection was probably no longer controllable.  Angela Merkel's statement that 60-70% of the population of Germany will be infected in 2020 sounds like the kind of number that the UK government herd immunity plan was working with.  And if you assume the disease is not containable, there are apparently some arguments that letting it run wild would reduce the total deaths (although we are still talking about on the order of 1% of the population dying!)

But all of these numbers are very uncertain, and at least shutting down things for a few weeks gives time to prepare the medical system for masses of very sick people!  And currently most governments seem to think that they can at least slow the rate of infections to something the health care system can sort of handle.

15
Yes, to understand how many people are already infected we need tests of a random sample of the population.  That data is not available to the public in most countries and I am afraid that the reason is that any medium-sized country which did so would leap to the top in the number of cases.

I think that early on the UK government had the plan 'we cannot stop this, so lets spread it as quickly as possible and get it over with.'  But committing to the death of around 1% of the population and a total collapse of the medical system in a single year, losses similar to the UK's losses in World War II but crammed into a single year, when so many things about this disease are uncertain and some countries seem to have contained it, is mad.  That is not the Dunkirk spirit, that is the Wehrmacht hearing their chief of logistics explain that an invasion of Russia would bog down well short of Moscow due to lack of fuel and transport, thanking him and invading anyways.

I imagine that one day we will hear in court what some of the US president's courtiers and sophists are telling each other.

I have my covid-19 reading list on my site, I am trying to emphasize the useful resources by Europeans and Asians and by scientists not by business owners with a Medium account.

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