Approaches to COVID around the world

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Bird on a Fire
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Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:13 pm

Thought it might be interesting to have a thread for articles showing different responses to the pandemic from around the world, in particular as it takes hold in poorer countries, which on the one hand lack the resources of China and the "West" but on the other have watched it playing out in different jurisdictions and can at least learn from others' experiences.

First off, Duterte breaks ranks with the other macho populist hardmen: The Philippines Will Be ‘in Deep sh.t’ if it Follows Trump and Bolsonaro in Reopening, Duterte Says
"We are poor. We cannot afford total pandemonium.”

He added: “If we follow the examples of other countries by opening our entire economy and thousands upon thousands of new cases happen—then we are in deep sh.t.”
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:19 pm

Meanwhile, with the government failing to mount any meaningful response, Brazilian communities have had to take matters into their own hands:
The “baile funk” dance parties have been called off. Some open-air drug markets are closed for business. Gangs and militias have imposed strict curfews. Coronavirus is coming, and Rio do Janeiro’s lawless favelas are gearing up for the onslaught.

City of God, a sprawling complex of slums made famous in a hit 2002 movie of the same name, registered the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Rio’s favelas over the weekend.

Now, with the state government woefully underfunded and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro widely criticized for a slow response to the outbreak, criminal gangs that have long held sway across Rio’s favelas are taking their own precautions against the virus, according to residents and press reports.

According to well-sourced Rio newspaper Extra, City of God gangsters have been driving round the slum, blaring out a recorded message to residents.

“We’re imposing a curfew because nobody is taking this seriously,” the message said, according to Extra’s Tuesday story. “Whoever is in the street screwing around or going for a walk will receive a corrective and serve as an example. Better to stay home doing nothing. The message has been given.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN21B3EV
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Grumble » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:07 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:19 pm
Meanwhile, with the government failing to mount any meaningful response, Brazilian communities have had to take matters into their own hands:
The “baile funk” dance parties have been called off. Some open-air drug markets are closed for business. Gangs and militias have imposed strict curfews. Coronavirus is coming, and Rio do Janeiro’s lawless favelas are gearing up for the onslaught.

City of God, a sprawling complex of slums made famous in a hit 2002 movie of the same name, registered the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Rio’s favelas over the weekend.

Now, with the state government woefully underfunded and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro widely criticized for a slow response to the outbreak, criminal gangs that have long held sway across Rio’s favelas are taking their own precautions against the virus, according to residents and press reports.

According to well-sourced Rio newspaper Extra, City of God gangsters have been driving round the slum, blaring out a recorded message to residents.

“We’re imposing a curfew because nobody is taking this seriously,” the message said, according to Extra’s Tuesday story. “Whoever is in the street screwing around or going for a walk will receive a corrective and serve as an example. Better to stay home doing nothing. The message has been given.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN21B3EV
Wow. Brazilian gangs as the voice of reason (if still somewhat forcefully expressed)
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by JQH » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:32 am

One suspects the "corrective" will be terminal.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Grumble » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:44 am

JQH wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:32 am
One suspects the "corrective" will be terminal.
Yes, not on the side of the gangsters here, but it shows one example of what happens when there’s a complete failure of leadership at the top.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by sTeamTraen » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:50 pm

From Monday, everyone in the Balearic Islands will have to wear a mask at all times when out in public. Up to now this was "unless social distancing can be maintained", which in practice meant you only needed one in a shop or on a bus - now you will need one when walking down the street with nobody else in sight. It's still OK to take it off on the beach, though.

This is copying Catalonia, which introduced this rule a week or so ago. One difference is, we are down to a case every 3-4 days, whereas Catalonia is still at 50-100 new cases a day. I guess the authorities here have seen how places like Israel and Melbourne have dropped the ball, and are determined to stay as close to COVID-free as they can get, while 100,000 tourists a week roll in.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:11 am

sTeamTraen wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:50 pm
From Monday, everyone in the Balearic Islands will have to wear a mask at all times when out in public. Up to now this was "unless social distancing can be maintained", which in practice meant you only needed one in a shop or on a bus - now you will need one when walking down the street with nobody else in sight. It's still OK to take it off on the beach, though.

This is copying Catalonia, which introduced this rule a week or so ago. One difference is, we are down to a case every 3-4 days, whereas Catalonia is still at 50-100 new cases a day. I guess the authorities here have seen how places like Israel and Melbourne have dropped the ball, and are determined to stay as close to COVID-free as they can get, while 100,000 tourists a week roll in.
Yes, 100 000 tourists sitting on the beach probably won't be a problem. But get them pissed in bars and its a much bigger risk.

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by sTeamTraen » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:03 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:11 am
sTeamTraen wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:50 pm
From Monday, everyone in the Balearic Islands will have to wear a mask at all times when out in public. Up to now this was "unless social distancing can be maintained", which in practice meant you only needed one in a shop or on a bus - now you will need one when walking down the street with nobody else in sight. It's still OK to take it off on the beach, though.

This is copying Catalonia, which introduced this rule a week or so ago. One difference is, we are down to a case every 3-4 days, whereas Catalonia is still at 50-100 new cases a day. I guess the authorities here have seen how places like Israel and Melbourne have dropped the ball, and are determined to stay as close to COVID-free as they can get, while 100,000 tourists a week roll in.
Yes, 100 000 tourists sitting on the beach probably won't be a problem. But get them pissed in bars and its a much bigger risk.
164 flights are coming into PMI today. At 150 people per plane that's 25,000. Times 7 because there are a lot of flights every day, minus a bit because Saturday is the busiest day, plus more because the school holidays start next week, plus a bit more because many people stay for 2 weeks... we're probably looking at 300,000 visitors on the island around 1 August. That's way down on the usual peak (there are 450,000 tourist beds here, many of them doubles), but many of those people will be coming from places with higher COVID-19 prevalence than we have, notable the UK and Sweden. So we are bracing for numerous "sprouts" (the Spanish word brote means a sprout in both the vegetable sense (Brussels or bean), but also an outbreak, leading to much hilarity when reading computer translations of news reports about COVID-19 incidents).

Also, hotels are banned from running buffets, which I suspect means that many of the all-inclusive places will not open at all. So a higher proportion of those who do come will be in self-catering accommodation, or the city hotels here in Palma, and going out to drink locally in the evening. Mrs sTeamTraen and I are mostly going to be staying in, although we're in a fairly non-touristy bit and our local bars are mostly for people who have two cañas while watching the football.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by jdc » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:03 pm

More here on gangsters filling the gaps left by governments: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/22/go ... -conflict/
Italy’s sputtering economy has created a new vacuum for the mafia. While the country’s southern regions largely avoided the worst of the pandemic’s health effects, the ensuing lockdown led to the loss of daily work for tens of thousands of informal laborers, Stefania D’Ignoti reported on May 4. Municipalities are taking longer than expected to distribute relief funds from the central government, leaving room for organized crime to step in. “In Naples, the mafia has stepped in as a provider of food parcels and loans. In Palermo, the brother of a mafia boss was reportedly seen distributing food packages in the city’s poorest neighborhood,” she writes.
Countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and El Salvador have also witnessed an increase in deadly violence at the hands of drug cartels and criminal gangs, which are using the opportunity of the pandemic to build soft power by providing essential goods and services to vulnerable groups, Robert Muggah wrote on May 8. In many slums, crime groups rather than the police are enforcing lockdown orders and curfews. “Their appeal may be growing at a time when government leadership is lacking,” he writes. “In addition to fueling rising violence, the pandemic could enhance the social, economic, and political clout of some criminal organizations in the same way that the Italian mafia and Japanese yakuza emerged stronger after the great dislocations of World War II.”
There's a bit in McMafia about some of the cases of gangsters stepping in to perform various roles of the state, e.g. in post-communist countries.

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:07 pm

Bolivian sex workers using raincoats to keep 'safe'
Prostitution in the South American country is legal and regulated in licensed brothels.

Restrictions have slightly eased after an early lockdown in March.

But some work - including sex work - is still restricted during the day and a night-time curfew remains in place.

Vanesa is a single mother of two children and says she needs to work to fund her studies.

"Our clients respect the issue of safety, that we are taking these measures for our security, but also for theirs," she says.

Another worker, Antonieta, says she is using a paper face mask, plastic visor, gloves and a raincoat.

She also sprays a bleach solution on the pole she uses to dance for clients at her brothel.

"The biosecurity suit will allow us to work and protect ourselves."
Obviously it's great that these women are able to minimise their additional risk in the workplace.

But I must confess to a slight giggle at one of the article's photos, of a woman posing sexily in her PPE. It's not subtle, and it's quite a long way from what is traditionally considered sexy, not only in the west but also, AFAIAA, in Bolivia.

Some people are going to be having formative sexual experiences during the pandemic, and come out of it with a fetish for see-through plastic raincoats, surgical masks and latex gloves.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Aitch » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:25 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:07 pm
...

Some people are going to be having formative sexual experiences during the pandemic, and come out of it with a fetish for see-through plastic raincoats, surgical masks and latex gloves.
There are already p.rn vids of ladies in rainwear getting up to naughty things. Not to mention HAZMAT fetish vids. :shock:

Or so I am reliably informed... ;)
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:48 pm

African countries are probably in the early stages of the pandemic, due to lower rates of international travel, but there is still a relatively low rate of mortality, according to this piece in Science: Africa's pandemic puzzle: why so few cases and deaths?

Testing is limited, but nevertheless there doesn't seem to be a spike in all-cause excess mortality either.

Two main possibilities proposed: one is that Africa in general, and cities in particular, are demographically much much younger than hard-hit countries like Italy, Spain and the UK. Perhaps more intriguingly:
Jambo is exploring the hypothesis that Africans have had more exposure to other coronaviruses that cause little more than colds in humans, which may provide some defense against COVID-19. Another possibility is that regular exposure to malaria or other infectious diseases could prime the immune system to fight new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, Boum adds. Barasa, on the other hand, suspects genetic factors protect the Kenyan population from severe disease.
Seems to be open-access, and well worth a read.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:28 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:48 pm
African countries are probably in the early stages of the pandemic, due to lower rates of international travel, but there is still a relatively low rate of mortality, according to this piece in Science: Africa's pandemic puzzle: why so few cases and deaths?

Testing is limited, but nevertheless there doesn't seem to be a spike in all-cause excess mortality either.

Two main possibilities proposed: one is that Africa in general, and cities in particular, are demographically much much younger than hard-hit countries like Italy, Spain and the UK. Perhaps more intriguingly:
Jambo is exploring the hypothesis that Africans have had more exposure to other coronaviruses that cause little more than colds in humans, which may provide some defense against COVID-19. Another possibility is that regular exposure to malaria or other infectious diseases could prime the immune system to fight new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, Boum adds. Barasa, on the other hand, suspects genetic factors protect the Kenyan population from severe disease.
Seems to be open-access, and well worth a read.
The later hypotheses are interesting. If they turn out to be correct then Covid would resemble Polio. In the past children living in unsanitary conditions built up immunity and often didn't have serious complications as a result, whereas by the 20th Century adults or older children living in more sanitary conditions were much more susceptible to severe infections as they hadn't been exposed to the virus as young children.

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:45 pm

Yes, and I think the links with the wildlife trade are interesting too. It's possible that COVID or its ancestor is endemic in some region of Africa already, and arrived in China in smuggled animals. There's very little surveillance of potential zoonoses in the developing world due to financial limitations and research priorities, and pretty much nothing in the wildlife trade (of traded animals or workers) as most of it is completely illegal.

I didn't know that about polio - interesting, thanks.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:24 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:45 pm
Yes, and I think the links with the wildlife trade are interesting too. It's possible that COVID or its ancestor is endemic in some region of Africa already, and arrived in China in smuggled animals. There's very little surveillance of potential zoonoses in the developing world due to financial limitations and research priorities, and pretty much nothing in the wildlife trade (of traded animals or workers) as most of it is completely illegal.

I didn't know that about polio - interesting, thanks.
I looked up Polio, more info at the link. It looks like its a robust hypothesis supported by evidence rather than something that has been proven https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991634/

On wild animals, it appears that a SARS-CoV-2 developed from very similar viruses that had been circulating among bats in China for decades. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-0771-4

Though of course that doesn't rule out an infected animal having been smuggled into China earlier.

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Ijon Tichy » Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:46 pm

Re: Covid in Africa.

One indicator for susceptibility to the virus in the west is obesity. It will be interesting to see if there's any correlation between higher than the African average rates of Covid-19 infection in Africa, and obesity in that continent (yes, there are places in Africa where obesity is an emerging public health/chronic disease threat).

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by lpm » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:03 pm

There's also the Vietnam mystery. A hidden wave of coronavirus some time in the past would fit the lack of cases now - but why would that wave have been limited to just the Far East? Why wouldn't it have reached Europe, or the US, or even the Philippines?
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:23 pm

Amazon indigenous protesters vow indefinite roadblock
Armed with spears and bows, dozens of indigenous protesters in Brazil vowed Thursday to maintain a roadblock on a key highway until the authorities listen to their demands for help fighting COVID-19 and deforestation.

Members of the Kayapo Mekranoti ethnic group have been blocking highway BR-163 through the Amazon since Monday outside the northern town of Novo Progresso.

But they vowed that they would no longer lift their blockade periodically to let truckers through, as they had done for the past two days.

"We're going to stay right here until the government sends its representatives to talk with us," one protest leader, Mudjere Kayapo, told AFP.
In Brazil, the country with the second-biggest COVID-19 death toll worldwide after the United States, 26,000 indigenous people have been infected and 690 have died in the pandemic, according to the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Association (APIB).

"Our rights are being violated," the protesters said.

"Indigenous health is growing more fragile by the day... We are here to defend the Amazon and protect our territory. But the government wants to open indigenous lands to illegal projects, including mining, logging and ranching."
Three things Bolsonaro hates - indigenous people, environmentalism, and taking the pandemic seriously.
A federal judge has ordered the protesters to stand down, citing the economic damage they are inflicting.

She rejected an appeal Wednesday, and has ordered the federal police to remove the protesters if they do not comply.

The Kayapo Mekranoti warned that would lead to violence.

"We do not want to fight. But we will not accept the army or police coming here and removing us by force. If that happens, there will be blood spilled on the asphalt," they said in a letter to the government's indigenous affairs office, FUNAI.
Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by bmforre » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:23 pm

Lockdown and religion in Israel
Netanyahu and son seem to listen more to the ultra-Orthodox than to experience and science.
He utterly denied having flagrantly capitulated to the ultra-Orthodox when, at the last minute, he canceled the coronavirus chief’s plan to put 10 cities under lockdown (though civil servants say the media’s descriptions were completely accurate). He even repeated the accusations by his son Yair, the crown prince, on Twitter that the anti-Netanyahu protests are a hotbed of infection whose impact is being concealed by an anonymous gang.
Promises: Things will soon be much better.
The contact-tracing system will be “the best of its kind in the world,” and the government will soon hand out another 11 billion shekels ($3.3 billion) to jump-start the economy.

In reality, the contact-tracing system run by the army will be launched two months after its target date of September 1, having been unnecessarily delayed during the lull between the first and second waves of the virus. And the economic pledge merely recycled old promises that haven’t been kept.

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Re: Approaches to COVID around the world

Post by shpalman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:34 pm

molto tricky

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