Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

Re: mathematics manages expectations
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by Cat on
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In story: From Outbreak to a Global Pandemic

Re: From Outbreak to a Global Pandemic
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From Spain Foreign Minister to NL Foreign Minister:

by Bernard on
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In story: Ireland becoming a socialist state?

Re: Ireland becoming a socialist state?
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From neolib Politico.eu, of all places:

In Spain, austerity legacy cripples coronavirus fight

That changed in 2011, as the economy spiralled downward and a newly elected conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy embarked on a program of heavy spending cuts. He started by slashing a combined €10 billion from the health and education budgets and kept up an austerity program for much of his tenure, which ended in 2018.

Investment in the health care sector has dropped from 6.8 percent of GDP in 2009 to 5.9 percent in the government's most recent draft budget -- far below the current EU average spending of 7.5 percent of GDP.

As a result of the cuts, a "growing number of newly trained doctors were unemployed or migrating to other countries," an EU report noted last year.

The austerity measures have also led to a number of shortages, specifically a decline in the number of hospital beds and a rise in temporary contracts for doctors and nurses, the report said.

by Bernard on
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Based on original flu modeling report from Imperial College in London with faulty assumptions.

by Oui on
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In story: Batten down the hatches...

Re: Batten down the hatches...
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by Oui on
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The Data Whisperer
She has a way of spelling out the implications of the virus to Americans in personal terms while offering reassurances that the administration is approaching the pandemic with a data-driven mindset.
"knowledge base," sociolect, "experience-based" creditial. ahem.
Others worry that Birx, who stepped away from her job as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator to help lead the White House coronavirus response, may be offering Trump cover to follow some of his worst instincts as he considers whether to have people packing the pews by Easter Sunday.
< wipes tears >

by Cat on
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In story: Trump: It's About #Me, Not Others

Re: Trump: It's About #Me, Not Others
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by Oui on
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In story: Batten down the hatches...

Re: Batten down the hatches...
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Abbott ID NOW CoV-2 molecular point-of-care test for novel coronavirus

Abbott has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), delivering positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.

What makes this test so different is where it can be used: outside the four walls of a traditional hospital such as in the physicians' office or urgent care clinics.

The new Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test runs on Abbott's ID NOWTM platform--a lightweight box (6.6 pounds and the size of a small toaster) that can sit in a variety of locations.

Because of its small size, it can be used in more non-traditional places where people can have their results in a matter of minutes, bringing an alternate testing technology to combat the novel coronavirus.

We're ramping up production to deliver 50,000 ID NOW COVID-19 tests per day, beginning next week, to the U.S. healthcare system.

This comes on the heels of our announcement last week of the availability of the Abbott RealTime SARS-CoV-2 EUA test under FDA EUA, which runs on m2000 RealTime molecular system for centralized lab environments. Combined with ID NOW, Abbott expects to produce about 5 million tests in April.

How It Works: Portable Coronavirus Teating

Formerly AlereTM i. New and Improved Speed, Performance and Efficiency. Plus a new name.

Reviews: "The Alere I is constantly being sent in for service. The touch pad stops working at regular intervals. The mechanical parts of the machine break often. I have the machine for free if I buy test kits. If I had purchased the machine outright I would have been fuming mad."

by Oui on
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In story: Batten down the hatches...

Re: Batten down the hatches...
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ALERT: Please do not share the guidance on social media, as it contains some information that may be distressing to the public if not presented in a sensitive way with appropriate opportunity for discussion and explanation.

[From an earlier post - Oui]

by Oui on
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In story: Trump: It's About #Me, Not Others

GP Letter to Healthy Elderly Citizens
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In case of an COVID-19 infection, do you want to be treated in the hospital, or do you prefer to stay in quarantine at home.

Dutch Hospitals to Reach ICU Bed Capacity by Sunday

Dutch hospitals will probably reach full capacity of intensive care unit beds on Sunday due to the pandemic, local newspaper Trouw writes, citing numbers from a medical association. The government is currently in talks with Germany to see if it can transfer intensive-care patients. Doctors have also started calling (early reports mentions a letter sent to) elderly people at home to ask if they want to be treated in the hospital or at home if they get Covid-19, causing panic among older citizens, newspaper Telegraaf reported.

Later, Royal Philips NV delivered the first 100 of 1,000 ventilators to the Netherlands from the U.S. The devices will help to increase the number of ICU beds.

ALERT: Please do not share the guidance on social media, as it contains some information that may be distressing to the public if not presented in a sensitive way with appropriate opportunity for discussion and explanation.



by Oui on
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In story: Batten down the hatches...

Re: Batten down the hatches...
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one week ago U.S. approves Abbott coronavirus test; company set to ship 150,000

I suppose, this second wave of promotion is intended by editorial managers to convey gov expectations of improvement in reporting accuracy of health care utilization currently "estimated as a range".

by Cat on
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Propounding categorical error and propaganda.

In most cases, I think, medical pros are trained to respond to hearts and minds of the living with a visceral, idiomatic explanation of death at the moment of death--whether or not its circumstance is "violent". However, additional responsibilities for and discrete knowledge of death's process also burden the medical pro. (eg. I had a strangely satisfactory exchange with the resident neurologist on evolving locutions for "brain death," while my ma lay dead and intubated.)

Final value assignment--industrial purpose for quantification--necessarily subordinates pathological minutia normally dismissed by the bereaved: proximal (pneumonia, myocardial infarction, etc) and distal (COVID-19, emphysema, etc) and comorbid disease(s)(diabetes, TB, etc) and pathogen (SARS-CoV-2, Staphylococcus, etc) and medical error or fraud.
reference
Sorting Things Out, Classification and Its Consequences + diverse "bioethical" tracts in consideration of disparate bodies of information operating on perceptions of competence

by Cat on
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In story: Batten down the hatches...

Re: Batten down the hatches...
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There appear to be rapid advances in testing technology which should make more accurate diagnosis, treatment, recording and timely contact tracing more feasible in the future. They have come too late to stem the tide of mass outbreaks, unfortunately, but could make testing at ports and airports more feasible in future.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

Re: Dutch IC Protocol: From Code Red to Black
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by Oui on
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Cabinet delays climate change plans, corona measures cut air pollution | Dutch News |

Trump's Move to Suspend Enforcement of Environmental Laws is a Lifeline to the Oil Industry | Inside Climate News |

by Oui on
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In story: The Covid-19 Patterns are changing

Re: Brexit before breathing...
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Wow - your linked article is devastating - like sending NHS staff into a battle with sabres drawn against machine gun fire...

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

The politics of Pestilence and Pollution
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Brilliant comment Melo  - no chance you could convert into Diary? "The politics of Pestilence and Pollution"???

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

Re: Dutch IC Protocol: From Code Red to Black
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Even today, the pollution in Lombardia is the worst in Western Europe, even worse than the Ruhr area:

by Bernard on
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In story: Crisis In Leadership

Will Those Bearing Responsibility Be Sacked?
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by Oui on
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In story: Crisis In Leadership

Will Those Bearing Responsibility Be Sacked?
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Coronavirus exposes the problems and pitfalls of modelling | The Guardian |

The modelling from Imperial College that underpinned the government's belief that the nation could ride out the epidemic by letting the infection sweep through, creating "herd immunity" on the way, was more troubling.

The model, based on 13-year-old code for a long-feared influenza pandemic, assumed that the demand for intensive care units would be the same for both infections. Data from China soon showed this to be dangerously wrong, but the model was only updated when more data poured out of Italy, where intensive care was swiftly overwhelmed and deaths shot up.

Nor was that the only shortcoming of the Imperial model. It did not consider the impact of widespread rapid testing, contact tracing and isolation, which can be used in the early stages of an epidemic or in lockdown conditions to keep infections down to such an extent that when restrictions are lifted the virus should not rebound.

The UK government's woeful response to the coronavirus outbreak

by Oui on
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It's Boris and Donald who are anxious to wear the clothes of Winston ...

How Dare You!

That's why I mentioned the Young Winston 😉 ... the Boer War ... concentration camps, wealth of oil et al.

by Oui on
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First Lord Churchill sought to move quickly and decisively, and was stymied by others not under his control who offered inadequate resources and moved too slowly. I have no idea if Churchill would have been successful if the plan had been executed as he wished, but the faults are the opposite of Trump's: having no clear idea what he is up to, and resisting experts who actually want to lead.
by Andhakari on
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In story: CoV-2 Herd Immunity is Incongruous to Healthcare

CoV-2 Korean Head Devastatingly Critical of UK
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by Oui on
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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

Re: Dutch IC Protocol: From Code Red to Black
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Thanks for insightful post. 🇨🇮 🇨🇭

by Oui on
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More likely Admiral Churchill at the Dardanelles in 1915-16 ...

Winston Churchill's World War Disaster

Trump's narcissism has taken a new twist. And now he has American blood on his hands | The Guardian - Opinion |



by Oui on
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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

Re: Dutch IC Protocol: From Code Red to Black
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Every time there's a lull in winds and rain to clean Milan's skies and the smog piles up over the city and hinterland, the full amount of Lombardia's pollution is suddenly revealed. If in winter the particulate counts go far higher as most central heating is from legacy diesel oil combustion.
I have workstayed in Milan many times and while not Bangkok levels, the pollution levels were stifling, only relieved when (extremely acid) rain would fall and temporarily rinse the air. Summer, while better from the heating being off, is also worse because of the intense heat buildup from hot weather radiating from the cement almost till dawn and the sun's interaction with the emissions, L.A. style.
Traveling on a 'pendolino' (short commuter trainride from city centre to suburbs and back) there haunted me for days as never elsewhere in Europe have I felt such a palpable sense of desolate doom as exhausted low food-chain workers (mostly POC) returned home in silence, body language of crumpled defeat, 1000 mile stares, the implicit acceptance and sadness of that knowledge parallel with the grimy light and sepia sorrow of the scene.
It was 20thC Dickensian, an Italian Ruhr valley.

Looking at European pollution maps the obvious immediate suspects, the big cities, Brussels, Paris and like stand out till you grok that a triangle between Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna pumps out more pollution than anywhere else. The Italian Wuhan, iow.
The hotbed and stronghold of Italy's AFD party, the Lega di Salvini, whence come regular calls to secede from the 'lazy, parasitical' south (whose starving emigrés powered the North's workhouses during the golden years of Italian industrialisation), before Fiat jumped ship to the USA after sucking public bailout funds for years after Italy's boom hit reality's shoals. Alitalia is on a similar teat right now, huge payouts to heads of failed companies, who then fall upwards to helm other state/private shipwrecks.
Northern Italians have been so much wealthier than Southern counterparts since Alpine trade routes opening to North European markets supplanted the South's historical sources of maritime trade wealth that there are basically 2 Italy's now, and little love lost between them.
Northerners mostly vote C. right and hard right, like Republicans in the USA they hate central government because they only want to pay less taxes, Berlusconi's siren song. Southerners take free fish dinners and are slipped E50 to vote for whom the mob tell them to vote for, whoever accomodates their simbiosis, deals not ideals, party-agnostic, or don't bother voting at all, (understandably as it hasn't detectably improved their lot much).
This concentration of wealth in the north has much weakened any unity Italy enjoyed, sapping civic sense and national identity.

Perhaps this crisis will humble the hothead Salvini, whose 30% poll ratings make him the shoo-in next PM if Conte drops the ball and Italy goes to new elections.
Tellingly Salvini carbon-copied Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson and Rutte in his initial economy-trumps-human collateral damage and similarly has U-turned and is now rabidly baying for tighter control, tanks in the street etc.
Renzi suffers equally from media attention deficit syndrome (and love for Berlusconismo) and so his perennially polemic yappings punctuate and pollute the political discourse further even than when he was PM. His job is to outyap his own ovious-to-all-but-him political irrelevance and together with Salvini stir shit to undermine Conte, whose continued popularity infuriates both of them. The Pekinese and the Pitbull running maximum interference to Conte's smoothly calming leadership so far in this crisis.
In an Italian political climate that favours hysteria and hype Conte stands out for dignified aplomb. After some initial message fumbling 3 weeks ago he has kept his head commendably during this epic crisis, treading the finest of political lines between health and wealth calmly and seriously.
For which in these saddest of times I and many, many others here am incredibly grateful.

(Especially watching how other state leaders are comporting themselves evem after so much time and warning.)

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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I'll just leave this here for posterity, when the fingers quit wagging. Central limit etc etc

CDC | How CDC estimates Influenza-Associated Deaths in the U.S.

Laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalization rates are obtained from the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET), a collaboration between CDC, the Emerging Infections Program Network, and selected state and local health departments in 13 geographically distributed areas in the United States that conduct population-based surveillance. The network includes hospitals that serve roughly 9% of the U.S. population. The reported numbers of hospitalizations are used to calculate hospitalization rates and the rates are adjusted to correct for under-detection of influenza.  This adjustment is done by using the percent of persons hospitalized with respiratory illness who were tested for influenza and the average sensitivity of influenza tests used in the participating FluSurv-NET hospitals. The data on influenza testing can lag up to two years after the end of the season, so for more recent seasons, testing data from prior seasons is used (1).
[...]
Some people with influenza will seek medical care, while others will not. CDC estimates the number of people who sought medical care for influenza using data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, which asked people whether they did or did not seek medical care for an influenza-like illness in the prior influenza season (6).
[...]
The methods to estimate the annual number of influenza-associated deaths  have been described in detail elsewhere (1-2). The model uses a ratio of deaths-to-hospitalizations in order to estimate the total influenza-associated deaths from the estimated number of influenza-associated hospitalizations.
beside me da's urn, etched "failure to thrive"
Doctors And Nurses Say More People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In The US Than We Know
In the US, state and county authorities are responsible for collecting data on cases of [INSERT DISEASE], and deaths. The data is then reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


by Cat on
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In story: The patterns of a pandemic

Re: Not suffering fools gladly
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Entente cordiale on full display.

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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In story: Sectarianism goes viral

Re: Is the Corona Crisis the Third World War?
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Hi Bernard, thanks, you too!
Strange days...

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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In story: The Covid-19 Patterns are changing

Re: Brexit before breathing...
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This was directly contradicted by Matt Hancock the week before, when he said the UK would be participating in the scheme. And also by Johnson a couple of weeks ago when he said that the UK would be doing everything possible to procure ventilators - in what he colourfully ad libbed as "Operation Last Gasp", on live TV.

Now it turns out this means ignoring existing sources in the UK and EU, and handing a plum contract for ventilators - which haven't been designed yet, never mind assembled and shipped - to arch Brexiter, Tory donor, tax avoider, and builder of brightly coloured domestic cleaning equipment, James Dyson.

Trust in Johnson and co is so low there's a serious debate about whether the top team are faking infection purely for political sympathy. The question isn't even whether or not this is true, but whether or not it's believable. Unfortunately it is.

Meanwhile the UK's more authoritarian elements have been all over social media trying to persuade everyone to pull together and get behind the herd alpha. Apparently comments about hubris and nemesis are unacceptably tone deaf in the circumstances - which is in poor taste itself, considering the number of people who are going to die unnecessarily. And also considering the state of the NHS after ten years of covert privatisation and other political abuse.

About the latter - the editor of The Lancet is not impressed: "COVID-19 and the NHS - a National Scandal."

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on
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News and Views

 December 2019

by Colman - Dec 11, 504 comments

Your take on this month's news

 End of Year (and possibly times) thread

by Colman - Dec 11, 101 comments

What could possibly go wrong?

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