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Som (সোম)
COVID-19 a trivial threat?
The initial reactions of Тrumр and Jоhnsоn were in keeping with that position but at least they turned around to relatively reasonable positions. Not BоIsоnаrо, though. He is still in a full denial mode despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary: 79,685 cases and 5513 deaths as of now, with a mortality rate close to 7% for the country. I find this quite inexplicable. Does anyone here understand what's going on there?
Apr 30, 2020 9:02 AM
Comments · 5
While I agree with you that COVID-19 is not trivial, note that I’m just a language nerd (Portuguese is one of my favorites), not a health policy expert, nor do I have access to such experts. Although President Bolsonaro’s decisions may seem ill-advised from where we sit, the reality is that shutting down the Brazilian economy could easily lead to mass starvation, not just this year, but with lasting effects for many years to come. The supposed COVID-19 mortality rate of 7% will almost certainly turn out to be greatly exaggerated once all the asymptomatic cases are accounted for, but even in the unlikely event it’s accurate, that may be a much lower figure than the starvation deaths from shutting down the Brazilian economy. Presumably experts in Brazil have been advising the President. It’s easy to judge when we’re not responsible. To be frank, I was much more disappointed in the slow response in Italy, Spain, Germany, and New York City, where the situation (relative to population) was much worse than in Brazil.

April 30, 2020
I don't understand anything of what is going on with world leaders or global advisers. I understand the seriousness of exponential infection and that only just a small number of infections leading to death can lead to overwhelming of hospitals and any national health system to become overwhelmed.

But what I do not understand is the preaching of one thing from the global people I mentioned above and the practices of all those people.

We are told to stay at home and quarantine to limit social interactions and to slow or stop the virus from spreading.
BUT BUT BUT the police and the military go out onto the streets in large groups always much less than the stated two metres apart.
The police stand on average three feet apart only, in large groups including the commissioner outside St Thomas's Hospital on Westminster bridge alongside many hundred of members of the public all potentially infecting each other.

The nation claps the sky every Thursday with many only two to three feet apart once again cross infecting each other. The rich the famous and the politicians travel hundreds of miles to infect the villagers of the location where they have second homes. The politicians walk into a room every day less than two metres apart to give press briefings, they stand at lecterns that are not cleaned and always with their bare hands in contact with the surface. There are hundreds of thousands of professional healthcare workers not wearing face masks correctly, and the military taking swabs with no protection and only wearing a painters plastic overall the type you give children at an art class to protect their clothes from paint splashes.

THE MIND BOGGLES.
And I live on a road that is usually busy 24/7 with ambulances going to The Royal London Hospital, for twelve weeks I have not heard one single siren.
April 30, 2020
Som writes:
the probability of starvation deaths here is much higher, but the government is still doing a rigorous nationwide lockdown, the biggest anywhere.

That’s probably true; I’m really worried about India. By the way, we’ve been seeing some rather, interesting, pictures coming out of India.

My guess is that Brazil’s economy is already so precarious, that people aren’t going to see a doctor unless they’ve got really serious symptoms — that’s why the mortality rate looks so high. If people are only identified as infected once they’re nearly dead, then obviously the disease is going to look a lot worse than it is. Also, a lot of those deaths would have come about from the seasonal flu or other causes — unlike mass starvation, which would hit every generation very hard — with effects lasting for decades.

Also, starvation is just one way for millions of people to die other than from the disease. There’s also social unrest, and a host of other dangers lurking behind a shutdown of the economy. Local authorities and experts familiar with conditions on the ground (not the WHO bureaucracy) need to make tough choices, and (as John points out) citizens need to cooperate for the good of all.
April 30, 2020
Phil, it's politically incorrect to talk of race, so I would just say ethnicity, meaning region specific genes - and maybe also population demographics. To my untrained eye, the mortality rate varies widely based on those two factors. Italy at 13%, Spain at over 11%, Iran at close to 7% and US at over 5.5%. Oddly enough over here in India it's 3% just on raw visible data.

I know well enough that the virus is here to stay. They have been around a lot longer than we have at over three billion years compared to our measly 200 thousand. The likeliest scenario is that we'll all get it sooner or later, and the lucky majority will survive depending on the lottery of genes, climate and age. The unlucky ones won't make it but humanity will acquire herd immunity.

My question was different. How can anyone ignore stark visible facts? That's Ostrich policy at its best. Sure we will all get it but there's a heck of a difference in too many getting it all together in hysteric times and the same thing happening at a slower, more manageable pace.

Edit: the probability of starvation deaths here is much higher, but the government is still doing a rigorous nationwide lockdown, the biggest anywhere.
April 30, 2020
John, politics by definition means that the words, intentions and actions do not match. They are power games, intended to serve those at the top. But I still don't get how this guy got to be the President. It is so contrary to common sense that it boggles the mind
April 30, 2020
Som (সোম)
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