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Old 27-03-2020, 01:50   #1
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Just what we need...

another thread on Cov2, and its insidious disease...

But, whilst reading this article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20..._b-aplnews_d-1

it occurred to me that I'd not seen any information describing if or how covid19 is an existential threat to the human species.

Has anyone seen the question addressed directly?


And no, I'm not suggesting that the sometimes hysterical-seeming response is unwarranted, just that it appears to me that the issue addressed by this exerpt from the above article


"Like every other scientist, Heeney spends part of his days worrying about funding. All these vaccine projects hurtling towards trials may yet be drawn to a screeching halt by a lack of money. Trials are expensive; so is the outlay on manufacturing and marketing vaccines. “If you’re going to make enough doses for the whole world, you’re going to need billions and billions of dollars,” Heeney said. Earlier this week, the Wellcome Trust put an exact number on it: a further $3bn, across the industry, to fund and produce enough vaccines to beat the pandemic.

Most of this money will go towards trials and production, the costs of which are now frequently borne by drug companies. After the 80s, when a series of mergers left the pharma industry in the hands of a few behemoth companies, vaccines fell thoroughly under the sway of market forces, subject to the kind of logic that prompted Goldman Sachs, in a 2018 report, to wonder: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” (It isn’t, the analysts concluded.)"

is, or, at some time in the future, may become the larger existential threat.


If, writ large, it isn't already...
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Old 27-03-2020, 02:08   #2
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Re: Just what we need...

none of us are sustainable
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Old 27-03-2020, 02:49   #3
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Re: Just what we need...

Good question(s)!


Existential means”: “of or relating to existence”.
An existential threat, therefore, is a threat to something’s survival.
If a threat does not endanger something’s existence, then it isn’t existential, even if it is a very, very serious, threat.
(Another interpretation, which I discount (in this context) might be that the threat simply exists.)
An event that could cause human extinction, or permanently, and drastically curtail humanity's potential ( endangering or destroying modern civilization), would be (IMHO) an “existential risk”.


I don’t believe that COVID-19 poses such a risk, serious though it is.

The Covid-19 pandemic, challenging our world, is simply the latest serious crisis, and certainly not the last. Following prior coronavirus outbreaks of SARS in 2002 and MERS in 2012, this represents simply the latest global health threat, that comes at the interface of human health, animal health and the environment.

Some interesting reading, around the subject:

"Why Is COVID-19 Taken More Seriously Than Climate Change?"
“... Money is an easy one to explain. There are trillions of dollars at stake in the carbon wars. If we get off of carbon, the eminently wealthy fossil fuel corporations will suddenly have zero revenue. Hence, they spend vast amounts of money making sure we doubt climate science and courting people who are afraid of progress who become their allies and victims...
... There is no organized cartel to perpetuate coronavirus, and virtually all of us would find it criminally abhorrent if anyone tried to infect more people with the virus for profit (plus, price gouging is universally reviled)...”
More ➥ https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/21...limate-change/

"Why COVID-19 gets more government attention than the climate catastrophe"
“... There are at least two key factors that matter.
The first is time horizons. Evolutionary psychologists have shown that we tend to respond more significantly to immediate threats than we do long-term ones...
... For good reason, the coronavirus is largely understood as an imminent threat that requires a prompt government response. For no good reason, however, climate change is widely viewed as an issue that poses significant challenges years or decades from now, despite evidence that the threat is indeed immediate...
... In addition to immediacy, COVID-19 poses a threat that comes from other humans, which makes it more psychologically legible than climate change. ..
... We tend to be less sensitive to threats that come from floods, heat waves and draughts than we are those that come from identifiable human beings...
More ➥ https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/why-...e-catastrophe/

“Why we need worst-case thinking to prevent pandemics”
Threats to humanity, and how we address them, define our time. Why are we still so complacent about facing up to existential risk? ...
More ➥ https://www.theguardian.com/science/...istential-risk

“Confessions of a coronavirus skeptic”
More ➥ https://theweek.com/articles/904019/...avirus-skeptic

“We Should Deescalate the War on the Coronavirus”
Fear, finger-pointing, and militaristic action against the virus are unproductive. We may be better off adjusting to a new normal of periodic outbreaks...
More ➥ https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-...e-coronavirus/
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Old 27-03-2020, 05:41   #4
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Re: Just what we need...

To mobilize humans into any action or to have the society allow more stricter gov't controls over it there must be a perceived immediate threat, whether real or not but that's for another discussion. In the past such threat were military attacks, both real and just anticipated or feared, unsurections within, terrorism, mass death events from any causation, etc.

How do you get your population to accept printing 5-6 trillions of new dollars in just few days/weeks without a visible war effort? You got to scare them with something really scary to justify such big devaluation of their currency. But there is no war or a large terrorist attack in sight. So what else can happen for the public to look away while their economy is hijacked and their jobs evaporate? Are we still allowed to ask these questions or they're verbotten under the new quarantine regime?

Oh, look! There is a new kind of flu over there. Let's pin everything on it. New is scary anyway. As in that commercial from the 80s - "let's give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything!"
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Old 27-03-2020, 08:50   #5
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Re: Just what we need...

The US, with a fraction of China's population, now has more infected people than China ever did. You are on track to have quite possibly over one million deaths. You are just starting up an exponential curve.

Please, skeptics, go to New York and volunteer to help at the hospitals. They're now storing bodies in refrigerated trailers because the morgues are overflowing.

Those of us over 70 with underlying health issues, particularly respiratory and cardiac problems, are at serious risk. There are far too few respirators. Doctors are having to decide who gets them and who doesn't. People over 60 won't so those with families to support can live.

As a result of a rugby injury and a huge infection many years ago, my lungs are compromised. Pneumonia has been a HUGE problem several times. If I get this thing, I'm probably dead.

Thanks for taking this seriously.
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Old 27-03-2020, 09:05   #6
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Re: Just what we need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
To mobilize humans into any action or to have the society allow more stricter gov't controls over it there must be a perceived immediate threat, whether real or not but that's for another discussion. In the past such threat were military attacks, both real and just anticipated or feared, unsurections within, terrorism, mass death events from any causation, etc.

How do you get your population to accept printing 5-6 trillions of new dollars in just few days/weeks without a visible war effort? You got to scare them with something really scary to justify such big devaluation of their currency. But there is no war or a large terrorist attack in sight. So what else can happen for the public to look away while their economy is hijacked and their jobs evaporate? Are we still allowed to ask these questions or they're verbotten under the new quarantine regime?

Oh, look! There is a new kind of flu over there. Let's pin everything on it. New is scary anyway. As in that commercial from the 80s - "let's give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything!"

Please, ask away.

btw It takes extra-special effort to portray a genuinely serious global health threat as just a new excuse for some nameless "them" to take away your nice things. So, kudos for that.

Agreed with the consensus that COVID-19 is not an existential threat. It's merely a viral nuisance that, unchecked, is projected to kill roughly 13+ million people worldwide, and overload our healthcare systems with multiples of that number. Where's the problem?
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Old 27-03-2020, 09:06   #7
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Re: Just what we need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
another thread on Cov2, and its insidious disease...

But, whilst reading this article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20..._b-aplnews_d-1

it occurred to me that I'd not seen any information describing if or how covid19 is an existential threat to the human species.

Has anyone seen the question addressed directly?


And no, I'm not suggesting that the sometimes hysterical-seeming response is unwarranted, just that it appears to me that the issue addressed by this exerpt from the above article


"Like every other scientist, Heeney spends part of his days worrying about funding. All these vaccine projects hurtling towards trials may yet be drawn to a screeching halt by a lack of money. Trials are expensive; so is the outlay on manufacturing and marketing vaccines. “If you’re going to make enough doses for the whole world, you’re going to need billions and billions of dollars,” Heeney said. Earlier this week, the Wellcome Trust put an exact number on it: a further $3bn, across the industry, to fund and produce enough vaccines to beat the pandemic.

Most of this money will go towards trials and production, the costs of which are now frequently borne by drug companies. After the 80s, when a series of mergers left the pharma industry in the hands of a few behemoth companies, vaccines fell thoroughly under the sway of market forces, subject to the kind of logic that prompted Goldman Sachs, in a 2018 report, to wonder: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” (It isn’t, the analysts concluded.)"

is, or, at some time in the future, may become the larger existential threat.


If, writ large, it isn't already...

I came across this yesterday that explains the threat best....

Good read from an immunologist at Johns Hopkins University
“Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal
flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this
with others who don’t understand.

It has to do with RNA sequencing...i.e. genetics.
Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up
the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your
body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year. You get
immunity two ways...through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.

Novel viruses come from animals. The WHO tracks novel viruses in animals
(sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only
transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1, birds in the case
of the Spanish flu). But once one of these animal viruses mutates and
starts to transfer from animals to humans...then it’s a problem. Why?
Because we have no natural or acquired immunity. The RNA sequencing of the
genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t
recognize it, so we can’t fight it off.

Now...sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human.
For years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human
before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human. Once
that happens, we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion
of this new mutation, that’s what decides how contagious, or how deadly,
it’s going to be.
H1N1 was deadly, but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the
Spanish flu. Its RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host
differently, too.
Fast forward.

Now, here comes this Coronavirus. It existed in animals only, for nobody
knows how long. But one day, at an animal market in Wuhan China, in
December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At
first, only animals could give it to a person. But here is the scary part.
In just TWO WEEKS, it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from
human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”.

This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we
would all have some natural or acquired immunity), took off like a rocket.
And this was because humans have no known immunity...doctors have no known
medicines for it.

And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus changed
itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs.
That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1, or any
other type of influenza...this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater.
And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal
with, strain S and strain I. which makes it twice as hard to develop a
vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed with this. History has shown that fast
and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics.
Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they
were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.
Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him till the
Black Plague passed (honestly, I understand him so much better now). Just
like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation.

And let me end by saying...right now it’s hitting older folks
harder...but this genome is so slippery, if it mutates again (and it will),
who is to say what it will do next.
#flattenthecurve. Stay home folks. And share this to those that just are
not catching on."
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Old 27-03-2020, 10:00   #8
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Re: Just what we need...

I am not discounting the severity of this virus, and I agree - stay home. But this 'article' is considered to be false to some degree:

https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/03/...-seasonal-flu/

Be safe out there!
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Old 27-03-2020, 13:40   #9
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Re: Just what we need...

I'd be curious to know who wrote that article. I work for Hopkins and have been getting their email updates about this pandemic as well as the daily newsletter. This would be the type of thing that would be highlighted in some fashion if it was valid or backed by the institution. I'm not privy to any special knowledge (just a facilities guy) but something is strange about that article, especialy without an author. Be careful how you get your information.

I'm also not discounting the severity of all this. I just don't want to see anybody else end up like the poor Arizona couple who acted off of bad information and even worse judgement by choosing to self medicate. Make sure any action you take and any knowledge you pass on is only from those with the proper, verified credentials. Once you get to "my mom's friend said that Dr. Fauci said..." it is no longer inherently valid. Verify the information.
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Old 27-03-2020, 14:05   #10
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Re: Just what we need...

Also this part...
Quote:
virus changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs.
...the virus doesn’t actually cause the damage, it is the bodies immune system attacking the virus on the cilia cells it prefers to attach itself to. This becomes a problem as the cilia are the main means to remove debris from the lungs (little hair like cells than push things out). As the immune system attacks the infected cilia they die and shed, with fewer cilia to remove the dead cells they begin to build in the lungs causing severe pneumonia.
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Old 27-03-2020, 16:10   #11
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Re: Just what we need...

Fly or Cruise ship into Australia and now you will be put straight into a hotel for a fortnight. Locked down. Guarded. Or, in Western Australia you will get a fortnight holiday on the state's premier holiday resort, Rottnest Island. Could be worse. And now state borders are being monitored.
You will not be allowed to wander freely anywhere until cleared.
For the rest of us, the message is to stay at home, wash your hands and be nice to the family (domestic violence is on the rise). Schools are now closed in some states. Mixed blessings here I suspect. So pleased I live on my yacht.
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Old 30-03-2020, 09:55   #12
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Re: Just what we need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post
The US, with a fraction of China's population, now has more infected people than China ever did...
(snippage)
Thanks for taking this seriously.
If you believe that you can take ANY information put out by the Chinese government, then you would believe literally anything. If you added a zero to each of the "official" numbers from China, it would likely still fall short. China silenced and jailed many doctors and others who were trying to get the word out about this virus FIVE MONTHS ago. There are videos that made it out of China taken from vehicles driving down streets in Wuhan with wrapped bodies in front of just about every building.

I do, of course, take the virus seriously. I too, am over 60, with asthma, and in a category of elevated risk. What I can't take seriously is anybody who believes what China is shoveling.
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Old 30-03-2020, 19:35   #13
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Re: Just what we need...

Today I saw a Vimeo put out by an ICU respiratory specialist from Cornell. It is over on atoll's thread about corona virus facts. Here's the link:

The young doctor's main point is that it is very possible for us to do adequate corona virus prophylaxis. The video also discusses home care for covid 19, including for someone with compromised lung health, and how to discern if one needs to go to the hospital.

Be well, everyone.

Ann
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Old 31-03-2020, 03:44   #14
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Re: Just what we need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewgyver View Post
If you believe that you can take ANY information put out by the Chinese government, then you would believe literally anything. If you added a zero to each of the "official" numbers from China, it would likely still fall short. China silenced and jailed many doctors and others who were trying to get the word out about this virus FIVE MONTHS ago. There are videos that made it out of China taken from vehicles driving down streets in Wuhan with wrapped bodies in front of just about every building.

I do, of course, take the virus seriously. I too, am over 60, with asthma, and in a category of elevated risk. What I can't take seriously is anybody who believes what China is shoveling.
What he said
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Old 31-03-2020, 04:40   #15
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Re: Just what we need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
To mobilize humans into any action or to have the society allow more stricter gov't controls over it there must be a perceived immediate threat, whether real or not but that's for another discussion. In the past such threat were military attacks, both real and just anticipated or feared, unsurections within, terrorism, mass death events from any causation, etc.

How do you get your population to accept printing 5-6 trillions of new dollars in just few days/weeks without a visible war effort? You got to scare them with something really scary to justify such big devaluation of their currency. But there is no war or a large terrorist attack in sight. So what else can happen for the public to look away while their economy is hijacked and their jobs evaporate? Are we still allowed to ask these questions or they're verbotten under the new quarantine regime?

Oh, look! There is a new kind of flu over there. Let's pin everything on it. New is scary anyway. As in that commercial from the 80s - "let's give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything!"

Its not just the printing of money, this is DEBT - Very real and far worse than the devaluing of an artificially propped up currency.


Not only will individuals throughout the world be falling into debt, our governments will be borrowing to the hilt to hand out $$$ to keep us from starving.


This will be a multi-generational debt that our children's children will be paying off! Great future for them and everyone is just begging for it.



Welcome to the Brave New World.......
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