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Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

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So far, health authorities here in Italy have no clue about the extremely rapid spreading of the infection. The so-called patient zero, the origin of the infection, has not been found. An unspoken, plausible impression is that one or a few asymptomatic carriers with high viral load may have spread it out around their whereabouts in abundance  .

If so, the outburst in Italy was mostly random and it can happen everywhere. The financial markets are maybe the ones who have ponderated this more thouroghly, in fact, if the Italian market is pretty much down, the European ones are on its tail. 

By the way, in the locked-down areas, Amazon cannot deliver. They only allow in food and pharmaceutical products. I don't know about other areas, I'm going to try and see.

I spent about 600 US$ in food, like legumes, flours, nuts & seeds, soy milk, dried fruit, honey, tomato sauce, food which hopefully I'm going to consume anyhow. The real danger is that the distribution chain will be compromised and some specific items (for example healthy foods) will not be widely available. Also, in the affected areas panic-stocking seems to be likely to empty the supermarket shelves, especially so fresh products.

Edited by mccoy

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Mccoy, thanks for the info.   Yeah,  I'm thinking it could hit my area at any time.

Gordo, thanks for the Atlantic article.

Quote

Lipsitch predicts that, within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. But, he clarifies emphatically, this does not mean that all will have severe illnesses. “It’s likely that many will have mild disease, or may be asymptomatic,” he said. As with influenza, which is often life-threatening to people with chronic health conditions and of older age, most cases pass without medical care. (Overall, around 14 percent of people with influenza have no symptoms.)

Lipsitch is far from alone in his belief that this virus will continue to spread widely. The emerging consensus among epidemiologists is that the most likely outcome of this outbreak is a new seasonal disease—a fifth “endemic” coronavirus. With the other four, people are not known to develop long-lasting immunity. If this one follows suit, and if the disease continues to be as severe as it is now, “cold and flu season” could become “cold and flu and COVID-19 season

Edited by Sibiriak

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1 hour ago, mccoy said:

Also, in the affected areas panic-stocking seems to be likely to empty the supermarket shelves

The panic and economic impact could end up being far more dangerous/destructive than the actual virus.

https://www.rt.com/news/481542-milan-zombie-apocalypse-coronavirus/

Shops stripped bare in scenes reminiscent of ‘zombie apocalypse’ as coronavirus fears sweep Italy (VIDEOS)

24 Feb, 2020 09:38 / Updated 1 day ago
 

Shops stripped bare in scenes reminiscent of ‘zombie apocalypse’ as coronavirus fears sweep Italy (VIDEOS)

© REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
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Driven by fears of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, Italians in the Lombardy region have begun stockpiling food and basic necessities, leaving shops in a post-apocalyptic-looking state.

Supermarket shelves were stripped in mere hours as stocks ran low and queues lengthened, as evidenced by eyewitness footage from Milan.

Some wistfully joked that it was almost pleasant to be living through what they dubbed a “zombie apocalypse.”

Schools and museums have been closed, events such as the Venice Carnival have been cancelled while Fashion designer Giorgio Armani reportedly held a closed-door event to conclude Milan Fashion Week on Sunday by streaming his latest collection from an empty theater.

Roughly a dozen northern Italian towns have been placed on lockdown as the total number of infected in Italy stands at over 150. Later on Sunday, officials closed theaters, cinemas and other public places like pubs and clubs for at least seven days, the majority of which are located in the densely populated region around Milan.

The coronavirus crisis in Italy has shocked Europeans, jumping from fewer than five known cases before Thursday to over 150 by the end of the weekend. 

The coronavirus has infected more than 78,000 worldwide and killed more than 2,400, many of whom died in China.

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Hi Tom!

Like flu, it is an RNA virus.  But it is not related to flu.  It's a coronavirus.  Two other examples are MERS and SARS.

Unlike previous coronavirus infections, it does not show obvious symptoms early; other respiratory diseases -- such as flu and the other coronaviruses -- show symptoms like a runny nose.  This one does not.  It attacks the respiratory tract further down.  Often, the first observed symptom is pneumonia.

  --  Saul

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17 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

Yep, which is why RT and Sputnik re so busy spreading this....

Ahh those pesky Russians, always trying to cause chaos and destruction! They probably created the virus.  Haha.

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Yep. Tru dat.

Russia Knows Just Who to Blame for the Coronavirus: America
"Russian efforts to undermine Western countries long predates the outbreak of coronavirus. The nature of the messaging and their singling out of the United States are typical of the Kremlin’s disinformation playbook, which loyal editors and producers are well familiar with—and know the political necessity of sticking to.

The overarching theme of the stories that appear across the Russian media, from fringe websites to prime-time television, is that the virus is the product of U.S. labs, intended to kneecap China’s economic development. Some articles have flirted with the idea that Bill Gates or Kremlin nemesis George Soros might have had a hand in the outbreak. In one of the more bizarre turns, a host on Russia’s state-funded Channel 1 floated the idea that the name “coronavirus,” is a veiled reference to its American origins, because U.S. President Donald Trump once handed out crowns at beauty pageants, and corona means crown in Latin."

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Well, that's not an alibi, because the coronavirus panic causes whatever drop in oil prices regardless of what anyone says, so if there's nothing Russia can do about that drop, may as well at least try to blame the U.S. for the virus and hopefully make the average Chinese outraged at the U.S. - sowing chaos is definitely something they love doing.

There is always that segment of any society that's willing to believe any absolutely insane and implausible thing, especially if they're motivated. I can see how many Chinese would be naturally inclined to believe that the terrible epidemic was caused by an evil outsider rather than something endemic to China. So the play by Russia in assigning blame and spreading rumors is probably going to be fairly effective with some, how big that effect is, nobody knows.

 

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The RT news article   accused by Ron of "spreading this" merely reports facts about the situation in Italy. 
 

Quote

[RT NEWS: ] Driven by fears of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, Italians in the Lombardy region have begun stockpiling food and basic necessities, leaving shops in a post-apocalyptic-looking state.

Supermarket shelves were stripped in mere hours as stocks ran low and queues lengthened, as evidenced by eyewitness footage from Milan.

[...] Schools and museums have been closed, events such as the Venice Carnival have been cancelled while Fashion designer Giorgio Armani reportedly held a closed-door event to conclude Milan Fashion Week on Sunday by streaming his latest collection from an empty theater.

[...] Roughly a dozen northern Italian towns have been placed on lockdown as the total number of infected in Italy stands at over 150. Later on Sunday, officials closed theaters, cinemas and other public places like pubs and clubs for at least seven days, the majority of which are located in the densely populated region around Milan.

[...]The coronavirus crisis in Italy has shocked Europeans, jumping from fewer than five known cases before Thursday to over 150 by the end of the weekend.   The coronavirus has infected more than 78,000 worldwide and killed more than 2,400, many of whom died in China.

 

 

Ron argued that RT is "spreading" those kinds of facts because:

Quote

The panic and economic impact could end up being far more dangerous/destructive than the actual virus.

So,  Ron argued that Russia was deliberately using RT and Sputnik to try and worsen the  economic impact  of the virus.   Makes sense to you?

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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Hm, Sibiriak, maybe Siberians are not the target audience...?

Here are a few of the many pearls of often silly disinformation spread by Russian outlets a quick search finds (I assume you can read Russian):

https://ren.tv/news/v-mire/653042-mutatsiia-tainaia-laboratoriia-ili-provokatsiia-otkuda-prishel-koronavirus

http://katyusha.org/view?id=13538

https://topcor.ru/12844-smertelnyj-virus-shiritsja-protiv-kitaja-mogli-primenit-biooruzhie.html

Of course, the armies of Russian disinformation trolls are the main "carriers" (pun intended) spreading it in the West.

BTW, the majority of the Russian energy contracts are long term ones and short-term fluctuations are well hedged against. And I don't think those who are in charge really care much about such fluctuations if longer term goals of Western destabilization are advanced, or if they can create enough turmoil and public opinion spikes in the EU, to push stuff like Nord Stream 2 through and prevent energy diversification in Europe.

Cheers.
 

Edited by Ron Put

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  I''ll check out  those  articles.    No doubt such theories exist--Russia has a diverse media--  but they are not getting much popular focus or credence. 

And let's not forget that baseless conspiracy theories are being pushed by major media and political figures in the U.S. For example:

Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins

Quote

Scientists have dismissed suggestions that the Chinese government was behind the outbreak, but it’s the kind of tale that gains traction among those who see China as a threat.

[...]The conspiracy theory lacks evidence and has been dismissed by scientists. But it has gained an audience with the help of well-connected critics of the Chinese government such as Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist. And on Sunday, it got its biggest public boost yet.

Speaking on Fox News, Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, raised the possibility that the virus had originated in a high-security biochemical lab in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak.

[...]Right-wing media outlets fan the anger. Beijing, with its heavy-handed censorship and stranglehold on information, unwittingly gives the conspiracy theories a boost.

The idea of the coronavirus as an escaped weapon has been carried through international news outlets like the British tabloid The Daily Mail and The Washington Times, which suggested that the virus was being developed as part of China’s biowarfare program.

[...]A plethora of misinformation has led World Health Organization workers to call it an “infodemic.”

Spreading that information are some well-known critics of the Chinese government like Mr. Bannon and Guo Wengui, a Chinese fugitive billionaire.

 

 

Quote

longer term goals of Western destabilization.

 Russia has no long term goal of "Western destabilization".   Western stability  is good for  Russia economically and politically.    Russian policy is to increase trade, particular with Europe,  and minimize political tensions.  U.S. policy, in contrast, is to undermine Russian-European relations in order to maintain its political, military and economic hegemony.

Quote

if they can create enough turmoil and public opinion spikes in the EU, to push stuff like Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 is naturally and logically supported by Germany et al.  based on sound economics and politics.  No "turmoil" required.   Just the opposite.

In any case,   this is not really a good forum to discuss general U.S./Russian relations etc.  

But on the coronavirus topic being discussed in this thread,  you did suggest that the RT article cited by Gordo was somehow part of a nefarious Russia disinformation campaign.  Perhaps you could tell us exactly what you found so objectionable about that article?

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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I read this book on the 1918 influenza pandemic a couple years ago. I highly recommend it and I'm going to give it another read now.

It is very well written and a fascinating story. It is also quite frightening. Although it is unclear just how bad the coronavirus will turn out to be, it seems quite likely that it will be the worst pandemic since 1918 and if that turns out to be the case that will be very very bad.

One key thing that The Great Influenza book makes clear is just how radically the pandemic changed medical science and the way that doctors are trained. Our current healthcare system leaves a lot to be desired, and a pandemic will expose it's weaknesses in ways that cannot help but transform it (hopefully for the better in the long run). It is possible that we will see similar marshaling of resources and minds that will lead to major medical breakthroughs that go well beyond treating this one flu.

The book also makes a plausible argument that President Wilson suffering from neurological disorders as a result of catching the influenza, and that he had wild and uncharacteristic behaviours including embracing harsh austerity against the Germans in the wake of WWI, creating the conditions that lead to WWII.

I'm trying to keep up with the news and the best advice for how to be responsible. I'm finding it harder than usual to gage just how concerned I should be, feeling tugged in directions that I worry are both over- and under-reacting.

Given that my latest project is to learn as much as I can about sleep and try to improve my sleep as much as I can, that seems like a prudent and healthy thing to do to help my immune system.

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Thanks for the book recommendation.

 

4 hours ago, Thomas G said:

One key thing that The Great Influenza book makes clear is just how radically the pandemic changed medical science and the way that doctors are trained.

 

In regards to the current viral outbreak,  one long-term consequence may be a radical expansion of  the use of technology  to track and control public movement.  China is leading the way:

 

 

How big data is dividing the public in China’s coronavirus fight – green, yellow, red

 

Quote

 

On Valentine’s Day, a 36-year-old lawyer Matt Ma in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang discovered he had been coded “red”. The colour, displayed in a payment app on his smartphone, indicated that he needed to be quarantined at home even though he had no symptoms of the dangerous coronavirus.

Without a green light from the system, Ma could not travel from his ancestral hometown of Lishui to his new home city of Hangzhou, which is now surrounded by checkpoints set up to contain the epidemic.

Ma is one of the millions of people whose movements are being choreographed by the government through software that feeds on troves of data and issues orders that effectively dictate whether they must stay in or can go to work.

Their experience represents a slice of China’s desperate attempt to stop the coronavirus by using a mixed bag ofcutting-edge technologies and old-fashioned surveillance. It was also a rare real-world test of the use of technology on a large scale to halt the spread of communicable diseases.

The rating system that snagged Ma is known as Health Code and can be accessed through the Alipay payment app. It was developed by Ant Financial, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba, and local authorities of Hangzhou, home to many of China’s biggest tech companies. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post. It was launched last week as millions of Chinese people began returning to work after a Lunar New Year holiday that was extended by the coronavirus epidemic.

The colour code is the result of an automated analysis that uses big data to identify potential carriers of the coronavirus. Chinese state media has reported that the system covers three provinces – Zhejiang, Sichuan and Hainan – and the municipality of Chongqing with a total population of nearly 180 million, and will soon cover the entire country. In Hangzhou, where the system was first launched, the city’s deputy Communist Party chief, Zhang Zhongcan, said the software took into consideration a person’s self-declared health status, travel history and the people they had been in close contact with.

The city has assigned every resident one of three colours – green, yellow or red – indicating different levels of risk the person poses to public health.   People with QR codes coloured in red are not allowed to enter public venues such as subway stations, restaurants or shopping malls for at least 14 days. Workers at those places are able to scan the QR code to verify the users’ identity. Yellow code holders face similar restrictions, but for seven days.  ETC

 

 

 

image.png.50b64fead0a570db64f51315339b5368.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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12 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Exactly!   Russia would do practically anything to get oil and gas prices to drop!   What could be more logical?

It is really cold there in winter after all 😉

On a lighter note:

 

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Leaked Documents Reveal Coronavirus Infections up to 52 Times Higher Than Reported Figures in China’s Shandong Province

 

Coronavirus Outbreak 5 to 10 Times Worse Than China Admits: Study

 

Trump to address the nation at 6PM EST

President Donald Trump and federal health officials plan to brief the public Wednesday evening on efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, even as the White House continues to want global markets and the American public to believe that the disease poses little risk to the U.S.

 
 

“I will be having a News Conference at the White House, on this subject, today at 6:00 P.M.,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, adding that he’d be joined by representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 
 

The CDC warned Tuesday that the virus’s spread in America is inevitable and could bring significant disruption to the world’s largest economy -- a message that runs counter to the one that has been coming from Trump in recent days.

 
 

So far, the markets have sided with the CDC’s experts. U.S. stocks hit a 12-week low following the CDC warning, with losses on the S&P 500 totaling 7.6% over four days.

 

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A week ago it looked to me like efforts to contain this virus were becoming increasingly effective and perhaps soon boosted by the end of winter I expected rapidly diminishing alarm.  But the recent numbers coming out of South Korea, Italy, Iran and a couple other countries have me questioning last weeks optimism.

One question I haven't seen much discussed is what is going on in Africa?  In the past few years there have been many stories about China's investments and projects throughout Africa.  And despite all this activity supposedly for the entire continent there has only been a single case of covid-19 in Egypt?  My guess is there are countries in Africa less well prepared to monitor, treat and contain this virus than countries such as Italy, South Korea and Japan.  I also have concerns about India which has acknowledged 3 cases.  Perhaps climate lessens the risks for those areas but the rate of cases occurring in Singapore and the Middle East suggest warmer weather isn't wholly sufficient protection. 

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17 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

One question I haven't seen much discussed is what is going on in Africa? 

There are only 2 reported cases in Africa.  From what I've read the typical coronavirus can survive on surfaces up to 30 times longer in places where the temp is in the low 40's vs. 70F, and it also does much better in low humidity.  The hope is that warm weather will stop this thing, and places like Africa and maybe even India will not be hit as hard due to their tropical climates.

 

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Today's updates: 

  • CDC reports first case of unknown origin in the US, so we have confirmed community transmission in the US (not good):  “The individual is a resident of Solano County and is receiving medical care in Sacramento County. The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual,” California Department of Public Health officials said in a news release. State public health officials in Sacramento, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the case is the first person-to-person transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • South Korea reported its largest number of new coronavirus cases (505) in a single day (and the number of new cases reported outside China  surpassed the number of reported new cases inside China).  1,766 grand total cases in South Korea.
  • In Italy, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 528

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3 hours ago, Gordo said:
  • In Italy, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 528

Among the plentitude of news circulating, it seems that that number is not strictly confirmed since rigorous confirmation implies the positivity of the second test performed at the central facilities of the Italian Health Institute, sort of a domestic CDC. Those tests are more reliable and can rule out false positives possible with kits in possession of local hospitals. So the 528 cases would actually be preliminary confirmations and not final ones. The definitely confirmed cases seem to be about 250 so far, but of course there is a lag time in obtaining the final results.

Anyway, last week at about this time the number of preliminary confirmations was less than 10 in Italy,  it was really fast.

Outside the quarantined areas life is as usual, government agencies have canceled meetings, workshops and seminars and discourage outside inspections, some schools closed some others didn't, people are just waiting apparently without much worry.

Cases in other European countries are starting to pop up.

In Italy, in the locked-down areas some people remained without income and others are worrying about the continuation of their business. Some local authorities started to issue ordnances which will allow businesses to restart in safe conditions. 

Tourism is -70%. GDP is foreseen to lose at least 1% but probably more...

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  • WHO says outbreak in Iran likely worse than official numbers suggest; outbreak could go in "any direction"
  • California governor announces they are "monitoring" 8400, 28 confirmed cases in the state
  • Dozens of hospital staffers who treated California coronavirus patient with 'unknown' origin being 'monitored'
  • 700 in New York asked to 'self-isolate'
  • Iran confirms 26 deaths, vice president for women and family affairs infected
  • The Netherlands has confirmed its first case
  • Northern Ireland confirms first case
  • Norway confirms three new cases
  • Germany confirms 14 new cases
  • Italy reports 3 more deaths, bringing total to 17; total cases jump to 650

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15 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

  I''ll check out  those  articles.    No doubt such theories exist--Russia has a diverse media--  but they are not getting much popular focus or credence. 

And let's not forget that baseless conspiracy theories are being pushed by major media and political figures in the U.S. For example: Russia has no long term goal of "Western destabilization".   Western stability  is good for  Russia economically and politically.    Russian policy is to increase trade, particular with Europe,  and minimize political tensions.  U.S. policy, in contrast, is to undermine Russian-European relations in order to maintain its political, military and economic hegemony.

Nord Stream 2 is naturally and logically supported by Germany et al.  based on sound economics and politics.  No "turmoil" required.   Just the opposite.

In any case,   this is not really a good forum to discuss general U.S./Russian relations etc.  ...

 

Sibiriak, thank you for the NYTimes article assailing the few fringe conspiracy theorists in the US. Now, if you can find similar Russian mainstream articles assailing the avalanche of disinformation spread internally and externally by Russian sources and government sanctioned trolls, I would appreciate it.

I don't know your back story, but I am somewhat familiar with Russia and life in Russia. Your statements read like 30 years old Radio Moscow communique. And are just about as inaccurate. 

Not a single of Russia's neighbors is likely to agree with that "minimize political tensions" bit. And from my experience, few of the brighter (and wealthier) Russians have such illusions -- I've heard much disdain for the mujiks who can't afford to go to Crimea, but are willing to die for it.

As to gas pipelines and driving wedges: Vladimir Putin bribed Schroeder (now on the boards of two Gazprom subsidiaries, even though he should be in prison) and Berlusconi into allowing Gazprom to tie their economies to Russian energy supplies and is trying to do the same now. Russia has a long history of using supplies of resources as a tool to influence others and to aid its expansionist interests -- it is currently applying pressure on Byelorussia, with the goal of effectively absorbing it. And Russia has a long history of financing fringe elements with the goal of destabilizing its neighborhood and beyond. Seeding fear, anger and mistrust in local institutions is a large part of it.

But you are right that this is not the forum for it, so this is all I will say on the subject. Cheers.

 

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Ron, I think you may need more vodka.  There is a country that can help with that.  😉

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