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51
For example, I can't see a good explanation for why infection rates and death rates are higher in Italy than in adjacent countries. If we don't know what causes accelerated contagion, how do we really know that any model will be accurate.

Cultural issues.

As I've said before, Italians are kissers and huggers. They greet people by kissing them on both cheeks. That's an immediate transfer of body fluids, where the virus is ejected from the body through the mouth. Hugging places the mouth alongside the neck, and transmission could be through the ears.

Large parts of Europe have the same sort of greetings.

As I've also suggested, New York, which is heavily high-rise in nature, has elevator buttons and stair rails to transfer from person to person via. The hands touch, and go to the face.

Australians on the other hand are mainly hand shakers, and that stopped pretty quickly. As did hugging greetings.
52
Please everyone needs to watch/listen to this. It's essential info

We're in a phase now of normalizing the horror statistics and to such a degree that 100,000 deaths could be viewed as dodging the bullet (I don't personally feel we'll get anywhere near that number). It's important to keep in mind 20,000 possibly avoidable deaths is an extraordinarily high number to take lightly.

But I think the real story here will be told in the aftermath. It's clear millions of Americans face another month of uncertainties and the emotional damages may be severe.

Not to take lightly but to understand that it is not exceptional; in fact, the 20,000 cited in the revised United Kingdom numbers is very close to the annual deaths in the United Kingdom from flu which average 17,000 per year, with a range in recent years of 15,000 to 28,000. (U.S. flu deaths average 46,000 with recent years as low as 32,000 and as high as 61,000.)

And it's certainly not grounds for policies that are destroying not only the economy but lives. We live with far greater numbers of daily tragedies. Annual worldwide flu deaths are 300,000 to 600,000 per CDC, annual traffic fatalities worldwide are 1,350,000 per CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/global-road-safety/index.html ), annual worldwide deaths from malaria 450,000 to 550,000, etc.

The early, woefully inaccurate models have precipitated policy reactions that will reap far more lives in suicides, broken marriages, homelessness, lack of medical care from loss of jobs leading to preventable deaths from any number of causes, and so on.
Being an optimist, I'd love to believe your assessment of the situation. Two things keep me from immediately leaping on board:

First, why is it that so many medical professionals don't seem to agree with Dr. Birx? Dr. Fauci was just saying in the last couple of days that the worst case scenario for the US (assuming no preventive measures) was 100,000 deaths. I know models can be inaccurate, but it's interesting that we aren't seeing agreement on what the inaccuracies are. It's also important to note that we have many years of data on flu deaths and infection patterns. We have data on Covid-19 in humans for only a short period of time. So maybe the more pessimistic models were inaccurate, but who's to say the adjusted models will pan out? Maybe the 20,000 estimated deaths in the UK is an underestimate. The truth is that we don't know yet.

Second, what current data we do have on Covid-19 is doubtless influenced by measures taken to mitigate the infection rate. How do we know what would have happened if, for example, the US and the individual states had been doing a lot less? The fact that the US has a higher infection rate than China (which took much more drastic measures much earlier) is suggestive in this regard. The variations in local infection rates also suggest there may be variables we haven't isolated yet. For example, I can't see a good explanation for why infection rates and death rates are higher in Italy than in adjacent countries. If we don't know what causes accelerated contagion, how do we really know that any model will be accurate.

We do know one thing. When cases continue to escalate, the infection is not yet contained. NY predictions suggest the problem will get worse for the next 21 days before it peaks. By that time, California may be experiencing rates comparable to what NY has now. We just don't know yet.

We all want the current shutdown to be relaxed or eliminated as soon as possible. But there's still a lot we don't know--or at least, that's how it seems to me.
Everything about lockdown stinks but I am willing to continue doing it until we have a handle on this thing.  Until we are really sure we have a handle on it.
53
Please everyone needs to watch/listen to this. It's essential info

We're in a phase now of normalizing the horror statistics and to such a degree that 100,000 deaths could be viewed as dodging the bullet (I don't personally feel we'll get anywhere near that number). It's important to keep in mind 20,000 possibly avoidable deaths is an extraordinarily high number to take lightly.

But I think the real story here will be told in the aftermath. It's clear millions of Americans face another month of uncertainties and the emotional damages may be severe.

Not to take lightly but to understand that it is not exceptional; in fact, the 20,000 cited in the revised United Kingdom numbers is very close to the annual deaths in the United Kingdom from flu which average 17,000 per year, with a range in recent years of 15,000 to 28,000. (U.S. flu deaths average 46,000 with recent years as low as 32,000 and as high as 61,000.)

And it's certainly not grounds for policies that are destroying not only the economy but lives. We live with far greater numbers of daily tragedies. Annual worldwide flu deaths are 300,000 to 600,000 per CDC, annual traffic fatalities worldwide are 1,350,000 per CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/global-road-safety/index.html ), annual worldwide deaths from malaria 450,000 to 550,000, etc.

The early, woefully inaccurate models have precipitated policy reactions that will reap far more lives in suicides, broken marriages, homelessness, lack of medical care from loss of jobs leading to preventable deaths from any number of causes, and so on.
Being an optimist, I'd love to believe your assessment of the situation. Two things keep me from immediately leaping on board:

First, why is it that so many medical professionals don't seem to agree with Dr. Birx? Dr. Fauci was just saying in the last couple of days that the worst case scenario for the US (assuming no preventive measures) was 100,000 deaths. I know models can be inaccurate, but it's interesting that we aren't seeing agreement on what the inaccuracies are. It's also important to note that we have many years of data on flu deaths and infection patterns. We have data on Covid-19 in humans for only a short period of time. So maybe the more pessimistic models were inaccurate, but who's to say the adjusted models will pan out? Maybe the 20,000 estimated deaths in the UK is an underestimate. The truth is that we don't know yet.

Second, what current data we do have on Covid-19 is doubtless influenced by measures taken to mitigate the infection rate. How do we know what would have happened if, for example, the US and the individual states had been doing a lot less? The fact that the US has a higher infection rate than China (which took much more drastic measures much earlier) is suggestive in this regard. The variations in local infection rates also suggest there may be variables we haven't isolated yet. For example, I can't see a good explanation for why infection rates and death rates are higher in Italy than in adjacent countries. If we don't know what causes accelerated contagion, how do we really know that any model will be accurate.

We do know one thing. When cases continue to escalate, the infection is not yet contained. NY predictions suggest the problem will get worse for the next 21 days before it peaks. By that time, California may be experiencing rates comparable to what NY has now. We just don't know yet.

We all want the current shutdown to be relaxed or eliminated as soon as possible. But there's still a lot we don't know--or at least, that's how it seems to me.
54
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Holding New Releases
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on March 31, 2020, 12:32:31 AM »
I'm conflicted. May 1 could be better--last I heard the prediction from NY was that it would peak in 21 days. On the other hand, it's possible other areas will get worse. I haven't found any statistics yet today, but California's case count has been doubling every three or four days, and some were worried it would surpass NY as the viral epicenter. Here and elsewhere, much depends on how effective the attempts to mitigate the spread have been. That can't really be judged until they're at least two weeks old. If the curve generally starts to flatten, that's a good sign. If the increase rate on the whole keeps escalating, not so much.

On the other hand, a lot of people are still working and/or will be making about their regular salary when the new, improved unemployment kicks in. A lot of them may be looking for escape. For at least the ardent readers, books will be their escape of choice. And some of those may be ardent fans of yours, eagerly awaiting your next book. (I'm sure all three of mine are awaiting my next book. :icon_rofl:)

It's hard to predict how people will respond to a situation many countries haven't experienced in our lifetime. The weird let's-take-a-vacation response we see from a lot of people is a good example. It never would have occurred to me that people would do that. Will readers start buying books again, even in uncertain times? It's hard to say. Maybe.
55
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Holding New Releases
« Last post by Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books] on March 31, 2020, 12:11:33 AM »
Shoe, is it next in a series?  People are hungry for books with the libraries closed. 

Best of luck whatever you decide.  :dog1:
56
Editors & Proofreaders [Public] / Now booking for April (proofreading, beta reading)
« Last post by Alexa on March 30, 2020, 11:55:08 PM »
I have only one more open slot in April and two in May!
57
Bar & Grill [Public] / Re: 50+ words a day...no matter what!
« Last post by Maggie Ann on March 30, 2020, 11:50:02 PM »
Hope you're all having a peaceful Sunday! 💜
Photo courtesy of Secret Garden



Sweet
58
Instead of trying to write, I'm playing computer games and gardening.

I write comedy, mostly, and dire global emergencies do not foster the funnies.  I had a similar situation a few years back when my personal life took a turn for the grim. I don't bother fighting it, because anything I write now won't match up to the rest of my stuff.

On the plus side, one of my novels is a finalist in the Aurealis Awards (Australia's premier award for speculative fiction).  I snuck into the horror category with A Riddle in Bronze.

I dont know, there is plenty funny about people fighting over toilet paper. About people forced to remove items from their trolley at the checkout, and the next person picks them up,  buys them for them and gives them over, and the whole thing going down the line to the horror of the checkout person. Not to mention those at the end of the line ducking off to get extras since they dont need them, and then getting the first person wait while they go through checkout themselves. So someone who needs 12, but can only have 2, gets their twelve, and the whole thing becomes high farce.  grint

I didn't know Australia had any book awards. But with only 5% of my income here, I doubt I'd even get a look in on it.

Congrats on making finalist.


The next Hal Spacejock novel was maybe sorta going to be something to do with climate change - that aged fast. I did think of Hal turning down a cargo of toilet paper as a side joke ("who would buy that much of the stuff?") but I'm not ready to write another Hal novel just yet. Also, I think toilet paper humour has had its day - a wash, you might say.

If I write anything, it won't have pandemics or viruses or any thinly-veiled satire on current events. That's usually the case for me.
Congratulations on the award nomination! I will note the sequel to Riddle in Bronze does not need to mention plagues or toilet paper and some people really want to read it ASAP.
59
Also, Tim, have you made any arrangements as to who will run this forum should anything happen to you? I think and hope you will stay safe, but in these times, I think itís a reasonable question.

As I said in another thread, I'll be here at least another 29 years.  Grin

But I will give that some more thought for different scenarios.

Please do. Not to be grim or anything, but years ago I lost a good friend to a sudden death. No one suspected anything and he didn't show any outward signs of illness.

Just, one morning he got out of bed and dropped dead before he took a step. All of his family and friends were devastated by the sudden loss. He was still young. No one saw it coming.

Having contingency plans is always a good idea.
60
Instead of trying to write, I'm playing computer games and gardening.

I write comedy, mostly, and dire global emergencies do not foster the funnies.  I had a similar situation a few years back when my personal life took a turn for the grim. I don't bother fighting it, because anything I write now won't match up to the rest of my stuff.

On the plus side, one of my novels is a finalist in the Aurealis Awards (Australia's premier award for speculative fiction).  I snuck into the horror category with A Riddle in Bronze.

I dont know, there is plenty funny about people fighting over toilet paper. About people forced to remove items from their trolley at the checkout, and the next person picks them up,  buys them for them and gives them over, and the whole thing going down the line to the horror of the checkout person. Not to mention those at the end of the line ducking off to get extras since they dont need them, and then getting the first person wait while they go through checkout themselves. So someone who needs 12, but can only have 2, gets their twelve, and the whole thing becomes high farce.  grint

I didn't know Australia had any book awards. But with only 5% of my income here, I doubt I'd even get a look in on it.

Congrats on making finalist.


The next Hal Spacejock novel was maybe sorta going to be something to do with climate change - that aged fast. I did think of Hal turning down a cargo of toilet paper as a side joke ("who would buy that much of the stuff?") but I'm not ready to write another Hal novel just yet. Also, I think toilet paper humour has had its day - a wash, you might say.

If I write anything, it won't have pandemics or viruses or any thinly-veiled satire on current events. That's usually the case for me.

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