Italy is in total lockdown now

Old Jun 7th, 2020, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
<<So did Portugal and Greece.
But it seems that the EU will open their borders for Brits next weekend anyway.

BTW: there were 1560 new positive Covid19 tests in the UK yesterday.>>

That number says it all. Not sure I feel comfortable about going anywhere even in the UK at the moment and I would be highly dubious about the risk of spreading Covid back to Italy or the rest of the EU.
I don't know about anybody else, but I am finding the "new" phase to be infinitely more confusing than Phase 1 in the USA (at least where I am, in SF Bay Area).

Everything seems to point to our not being even remotely out of danger for another surge, yet what I'm seeing is a huge relaxation of restrictions. Which seems to be contagious in itself.

I really really really wish there were definitive guidelines. I guess that's not possible, but despite being normally comfortable with ambiguity in other areas of my life, I'm finding this ambiguity to be very anxiety-provoking.

And as much as I support and appreciate the protests, the virus seems to have fallen out of the headlines, which makes me worry that it is no longer being given the attention that it needs from scientific researchers, etc.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 08:00 AM
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Easy enough. To protect yourself, stay home.

To protect others, wear a mask and social distance (not 100% of course). If you are sick or think you have been exposed, say to someone who went to a protest march, self-isolate at home until the incubation period has passed.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Easy enough. To protect yourself, stay home.
You're right, of course. As I said, though, the relaxation is contagious. Especially for the easily-tempted, longing-to-reconnect, less-than-resolute -- like me.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 08:40 AM
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I summarized a WaPo article about how Europe seems to be faring after many countries started opening up in early and mid May:

Which countries will be open for tourism this summer?

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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 11:01 AM
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<<I don't know about anybody else, but I am finding the "new" phase to be infinitely more confusing than Phase 1 in the USA (at least where I am, in SF Bay Area).

Everything seems to point to our not being even remotely out of danger for another surge, yet what I'm seeing is a huge relaxation of restrictions. Which seems to be contagious in itself.>>

LucyV - sad to say I think that both of our governments are playing chicken with the virus hoping that somehow they can kickstart our economies without provoking a second surge. I regret to say that the virus is likely to run them - and us - down thus doing further damage to the economy along the way.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 11:41 AM
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Even though I live in an almost unaffected place from the virus, I continue to take it seriously and hardly leave home, wear a mask when I do, take all the precautions. It was a HUGE pleasure to sit at an outdoor café the other day and have an apéro - we were the only ones there and were outside with a huge breeze blowing. We contemplate having a meeting with our notaire and visiting one of our favorite restaurants for lunch in the near future, but this all seems fantastical to us, and we're fine if it doesn't happen. We gaze in horror at the photos of beaches full of sun worshippers in the US and Europe. Maybe we're just more scared than most people, but there's no harm in us being wusses, as far as I can see.

I do agree that putting the emphasis on kickstarting the economy rather than keeping populations safe and healthy is going to backfire bigtime. I truly believe that come this fall everyone is going to be really sorry. And I'm not normally even close to being a pessimist. But I just don't see this turning out well, especially now with the added layer of gazillions of protesters the world over shoulder-to-shoulder in mass gatherings. I support them all wholeheartedly, but have grave fears about the consequences of so much body-to-body proximity. It's a real Morton's Fork.
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
<<I don't know about anybody else, but I am finding the "new" phase to be infinitely more confusing than Phase 1 in the USA (at least where I am, in SF Bay Area).

Everything seems to point to our not being even remotely out of danger for another surge, yet what I'm seeing is a huge relaxation of restrictions. Which seems to be contagious in itself.>>

LucyV - sad to say I think that both of our governments are playing chicken with the virus hoping that somehow they can kickstart our economies without provoking a second surge. I regret to say that the virus is likely to run them - and us - down thus doing further damage to the economy along the way.
I heard Peter Singer interviewed by the always-wonderful Shankar Vedantam on NPR last night. Mind you, I've never been fond of Singer, who's always impressed me as being fundamentally a cold-hearted cynic if ever there was one, who masquerades (and impresses people) as Mr. UberRational Genius (imnsho -- I could well be wrong in my assessment of him!)
Anyway, among other things, he made the point that nobody really knows whether or not kickstarting the economy is going to save or cost in the long run. As I understand it, if we have another surge, it's going to be so devastating economically that whatever "gains" we might make by moving forward will be buried so deep as to be nearly impossible to unearth. He wasn't predicting that that will happen...just saying that it's a possibility.
https://www.npr.org/2020/06/01/86676...fering-equally
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Old Jun 7th, 2020, 10:25 PM
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The problem with this is the belief that it's possible to 100% avoid new infections. My guess is in almost every town grocery cashiers have gotten sick. Do we shut down the grocery stores? You need to keep the factories making medical products open. All their suppliers need to be running. You need to keep the power plants open. Water and sewage. You need some amount of public transit. At least in Europe. Obviously trucks and trains carrying freight.

I'm sure we will have new infections but remember the vast majority of those have no need for any medical care.

The EU last month put out a report calling for rolling lockdowns. Six to eight weeks of closure. Open until new cases become an issue. Close down again. The report claimed that was the best overall tradeoff.

I'll also point out lockdown fatigue is real. Maybe not in the countryside for people with large homes and gardens but the longer you keep people shut into their apartments the more will ignore the rules.

I wouldn't worry so much about the number of cases but the percentage of positives. If you have 1500 cases out of 1600 tested that's bad. 1500 out of 15 million tested isn't.

Final point. If nobody is working nobody is paying into the pension systems of various countries. What happens when those systems collapse?
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
I wouldn't worry so much about the number of cases but the percentage of positives. If you have 1500 cases out of 1600 tested that's bad. 1500 out of 15 million tested isn't
Sincere question (because I still don't completely understand testing, and I understand even less about statistics and probability and all that good stuff): unless we're talking about antibody testing, what does testing prove other than one is/is not infected with the virus on the day that one is tested? Couldn't Joe Blow test negative on Friday but be positive on Saturday?

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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 06:43 AM
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Yes. But if you're positive you might spread it. If nobody is positive than nobody can spread it.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 06:47 AM
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<<I'll also point out lockdown fatigue is real. Maybe not in the countryside for people with large homes and gardens but the longer you keep people shut into their apartments the more will ignore the rules.>>

This has got to be so true. There's very little lockdown hardship for people like me, but I think I'd be barking mad if I lived in a big-city apartment.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 06:56 AM
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With good weather, more people are venturing out. More traffic on the road and more cars in the parking lots around here than 2 months ago.

And of course beaches and parks are more crowded.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
Yes. But if you're positive you might spread it. If nobody is positive than nobody can spread it.
I'm still not getting it: just because 100 out of 100 people are not positive on Friday doesn't mean they won't be positive on Saturday; so if they base their confidence on their being non-contagious on Friday, how can they be certain they're not going to spread it the next day? (I realize my questions are probably silly, but I don't think I'm the only one who's confused by the "facts"!)
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
<<I'll also point out lockdown fatigue is real. Maybe not in the countryside for people with large homes and gardens but the longer you keep people shut into their apartments the more will ignore the rules.>>

This has got to be so true. There's very little lockdown hardship for people like me, but I think I'd be barking mad if I lived in a big-city apartment.
True, and because of that, I feel like a s#!t for the occasional complaining that I do.
But for people like me, for whom being with children has always been an essential part of the enjoyment of life, this is pretty painful. (Yes, I can still interact with them from a distance; but 'tis not the same, not by a long shot.)
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 08:11 AM
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I also don't get it. If I'm non-positive on Friday or just feeling fine, what if that's not the case on Saturday? And what if that's the case for 100 people? I guess I'm really stupid about all of this, but I'm truly feeling dumb.

As for children, there frankly aren't any around here. We love it when we get to hang around a friend's daughter, Lilou, but it's been weeks since we've seen her. We do have some wonderful moments with neighbors' dogs, though. They seem blissfully unaware of any threats to existence and still love to scrounge scraps in our kitchen and roll over for belly rubs.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 08:31 AM
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They're still learning a lot about the virus but one thing that's clear is that you can be infectious, meaning shedding a lot of virus, before you start to have symptoms.

And some large percentage of people never have symptoms but are infectious.

If you're infectious, you will test positive, because the test is looking for presence of the virus.

So the likely scenario is that you test negative but won't become infectious until a few days later at the earliest, not the next day.

High mask compliance would be a huge deal in limiting spread.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 08:33 AM
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I, too, don't get all this emphasis on testing, for the reasons stated above. It's a contagious virus. One day's results could mean absolutely nothing the very next day.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Holly_uncasdewar View Post
I, too, don't get all this emphasis on testing, for the reasons stated above. It's a contagious virus. One day's results could mean absolutely nothing the very next day.

Testing by itself tells the authorities the extent of the spread in the population. They would also tell the infected person to quarantine, assuming he doesn't need to be hospitalized. In the early days, around March, you couldn't get tested unless you had some serious symptoms like trouble breathing which got you hospitalized and tested.

Testing with contract tracing helps suppress the spread by identifying the infected and the potentially infected and monitoring that they're staying in quarantine. That is how countries like Taiwan and South Korea have prevented the spread of infection. In general the Asian countries were better prepared because of their experience with SARS, even though it was almost 20 years ago.

Germany has also built up a lot of contract tracing personnel so they're ready to suppress any clusters of outbreaks.
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
Testing by itself tells the authorities the extent of the spread in the population. They would also tell the infected person to quarantine, assuming he doesn't need to be hospitalized. In the early days, around March, you couldn't get tested unless you had some serious symptoms like trouble breathing which got you hospitalized and tested.

Testing with contract tracing helps suppress the spread by identifying the infected and the potentially infected and monitoring that they're staying in quarantine.
I get all of that.

What I don't get is the significance of TravelerNick's statement("I wouldn't worry so much about the number of cases but the percentage of positives. If you have 1500 cases out of 1600 tested that's bad. 1500 out of 15 million tested isn't.")

I don't get how the "percentage of positives" is meaningful, i.e., why it is the thing I should be worried about rather than number of cases?
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Old Jun 8th, 2020, 09:39 AM
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They're only going to be able to test a percentage of the population. So if a larger percentage of people who are tested show that they're infected, that implies a huge number of undetected/untested positive cases.

But if out of a large number of tests, only a small percentage are positive, that's a more hopeful sign that there aren't too much undetected positive cases out there.
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