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Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3203
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 2/8/2020 7:46:04 PM

In Saturday's Globe & Mail for 08.02.2020 there is an article on Chinese request for Canadian assistance with the Coronavirus, and a suggestion that Canada respond in the spirit of Dr Norman Bethune (about whom who many of you may know nothing).
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Let me provide a quick hit from Wikipedia on Bethune, to spare you another link: Quote:
Henry Norman Bethune (/ˈbɛθ.juːn/; March 3, 1890 – November 12, 1939; Chinese: 亨利·诺尔曼·白求恩; pinyin: Hēnglì Nuò’ěrmàn Báiqiú’ēn) was a Canadian physician and medical innovator. Bethune came to international prominence first for his service as a frontline surgeon supporting the Republican faction during the Spanish Civil War. But it was his service with the Communist Eighth Route Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War that would earn him enduring acclaim. Dr. Bethune effectively brought modern medicine to rural China and often treated sick villagers as much as wounded soldiers. His selfless commitment made a profound impression on the Chinese people, especially CPC's leader, Mao Zedong. Mao wrote a eulogy to him, which was memorized by generations of Chinese people.[2] Bethune is credited for saving millions of Chinese soldiers and civilians during the Second-Sino Japanese War, and is known worldwide as one of the most influential doctors of all time.

While Bethune was the man responsible for developing a mobile blood-transfusion service for frontline operations in the Spanish Civil War, he himself died of blood poisoning.[3] A prominent communist and veteran of the First World War, he wrote that wars were motivated by profits, not principles.[4] Statues in his honour can be found in cities throughout China.

Good man. Physician. Communist.

I may be misreading the Globe & Mail opinion piece, but I feel somewhat insulted that the authors (at least some of whom may be of Chinese ancestry) should feel the need to draw on Bethune's memory to expect Canadian assistance.

Yep, Canada has been in deadlock with China since (at the request of the US) they arrested Meng Wanzhou, CFO of and heiress to Huawei. At least two Canadian citizens are being held on similar charges in China, in what looks very like a quod pro quo. Certain Canadian products have been placed under economic pressure, perhaps to demonstrate the economic pressure China might apply.

So what?!

This isn't about Bethune, or about Meng or the Canadians in Chinese custody. Or if it is, it damned well shouldn't be. People are dying. Humans. All over the world. Canadians shouldn't need a reminder of Norman Bethune to offer whatever assistance we can to reduce and ultimately defeat an apolitical virus.

Cynically, I would assume that were Canada to assist in whatever way it can, China would make its thanks known. I'd rather leave that to the future. Help them in a frightening, burgeoning crisis not despite who they are but because in every fundamental way they are us.

Cheers
Brian G


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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Wazza
Sydney
 Australia
Posts: 573
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 3/6/2020 11:26:22 PM

And meanwhile in Australia, we have suddenly become obsessed with hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer!!!!

It's becoming violent in some shopping centres as people fight over the last packs of dunny rolls.

very amusing but concerning.
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5893
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 3/12/2020 1:37:52 PM

Guys,

This has suddenly become “drop dead serious”, excuse me if I use that term! Here in the US, all of our major venues for sports are being canceled or shut down! Most schools are conducting classes online, not in class rooms! Even some of our leading celebrities have tested positive like Tom Hanks, and his wife Rirta Wilson. How serious is this Pandemic Virus?. What’s the latest in your neck of the world??

Stay safe!
MD

This could be the worst virus, since the Black Death of the Middle Ages! Comments??
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3203
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 3/12/2020 8:35:30 PM

Wazza, went to my doctor last Tuesday for a standard appt. She was carrying a huge bottle of hand sanitizer in her smock pocket. Seems patients were stealing it out of the examining rooms. And today at my super market the TP aisle was totally empty!

Cheers,
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3203
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 3/13/2020 11:34:13 PM

Quote:
This could be the worst virus, since the Black Death of the Middle Ages! Comments??”

MD, odd but interesting question. I’ll be honest: I personally think asking such a thing is not helpful in any way, but I can see why the question might spring to mind. Just some random thoughts on what we’re dealing with:
• we have little trustworthy data on which to evaluate this virus;
• we live in an environment where faith in the reliability of information sources is at an ebb;
• we have leaders who in some instances see this is political rather than human terms;
• particularly in the US (IMHO), the virus is seen as arising from two declared enemies.
When you look at those four points, rattled off almost at random, it is hard not to be forced to speculation. But speculation is the last thing we need right now.

I feel I’m getting good information, to be honest. My province (BC) has more cases than all of Mexico, including one case reported yesterday on Vancouver Island, but our government has chosen a spokesperson who is a community health specialist who gained her training by working on SARS and N1H1 (or was it N1H5). During her press conferences, which can run up to 1.5 hours (and are carried live), she is accompanied by the BC minister of health. He is there to cover political questions; she runs the show and he has not yet contradicted her findings or her statements. I also have a lunch buddy who, though 20 years retired, remains an accredited physician. He shares as appropriate what the medical community is learning as well as what they are advising physicians to do.

What’s the result of all that information I receive. We don’t know what we’re dealing with. We’re still working largely in the dark. We are probably a year away from a vaccine, at best. We know there are models for the spread of such a virus, but that Cover-19 might not sufficiently fit such models. We’re learning, if we didn’t already know, that world health authorities we thought had regulatory powers in fact can be ignored at will. And, sadly I think, we’re learning that humans have little natural commitment for the herd instinct survival mode.

Increasingly, I see what seem to me to be government decisions which range from sensible to mindlessly stupid, or – from a different perspective – somewhat helpful to a waste of time and resources.

Point behind all that rant? We don’t know what we’re dealing with, we don’t trust those we would turn to for direction, and in the absence of knowledge we ask questions that might simply raise anxiety levels.

Second response to your question comparing Covid-19 with the Black Death. At this point, there’s no comparison. Covid-19 is having, and will continue to have, an impact on our lives, IMHO, but I think it will remain a medical issue, just as to some extent Herpes and HIV remained largely social issues in the eyes of the public. I can hear some MHOers screaming at that last sentence, but the point is that we are constantly facing new viruses which we deal with depending on how they affect the general population.

Let’s give some thought to the Black Death. First made an appearance in 1347, and lasted until 1352. In fact, there are indications there may have been two variants, based on how people succumbed to the virus. Some people seemed to die within three days of showing symptoms; some died much more rapidly. There was a maxim of sorts, at the time: “Merry in the morning; dead at noon.” Whether this draws a distinction between Bubonic Plague and Pneumonic Plague I don’t know. And the medical world of the time had little ability to determine the reasons for distinctly different death patterns.

“Plague” was a descriptor, of course, rather than an analysis or diagnosis. And though it’s not discussed much, various plagues were endemic. Folks in Europe died of them every year. In 1665, England (and most other European nations, where trade was brisk and interlinked) suffered a plague which, while not as severe or socially altering, ravaged London and the nation. European expansionism may have brought more diseases to the rapidly industrial world. Yellow Fever, malaria and a host of other ailments became endemic. They were the medical price we paid for lack of cleanliness, ignorance of germs, unawareness of sanitation and chronic dietary insufficiencies.

But… .

The Black Death literally changed the social structure of Europe, And that meant changing the economic, financial, and political structures as well. Maybe in England more than elsewhere, I admit, but across a wide swath of Europe. In truth, the Black Death killed the medieval world.

Some MHO readers know what I’m going to say; some haven’t run into it. But the 1347-52 plague was so devastating the accepted basis for wealth and position was brought under a new kind of pressure.

Traditional economics in England and elsewhere were based on land ownership, which really meant what yield land could offer. Land that didn’t yield profit was dead or useless land.

Peasants – tillers of soil – were thinned out just as other social strata were. And at plague’s end, the peasants were so relatively few that their contracts with their lords could be negotiated differently.

My guess is that within 10 years the Covid-19 will be about as important as SARS was last November: gone but not forgotten. And I can see that some aspects of our lives might change during the next year or so – until a vaccine is found and made available. But I don’t foresee changes anywhere near those brought on by “The Great Mortality” of the 1350s. I honestly don’t believe that Covid-19 will prove as destructive as the Spanish Flu of 1917-1920.

Yep, Corvid-19 will get worse over the next few months. And it will kill off (so it appears) some older or health-compromised seniors. It may affect anything that includes large gatherings, including sports venues, and it may reshape how people work or how products are shipped. But it will not reshape the entire world, which was what happened with the Black Plague.

Cheers
Brian G

As an aside, I might mention John Kelly’s The Great Mortality: an Intimate History of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time. Helluva good read.
B
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5893
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 3/16/2020 2:28:40 PM

Hi Bri,

I hope that it takes less than 10 years to control & forget about the Coronavirus! I already have had to cancill our spring Condo trips to New England & N. Michigan, because all resturants, bars, casinos, & most tourist attractions are cancilled! ( lost bigtime $$$$) but what can you do, others have it much worse!! More & more cancillations are coming
We can't even travel through Canada to get out East! It's like a night-mare, my daughter works at a Senior Assisted Living Home, & she's walking on pins & needles! I always used sports as an escape from problems I couldn't control, but now even that is gone!?

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Does'nt anyone have any good news!?
MD

At least I have my home library, trying to self quarenteen myself!

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Update, The Canadian travel ban, does not include Americans!
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 337
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/17/2020 9:22:43 PM

Here's some interesting and possible positive numbers;
Quote:
Coronavirus: Santa Clara County has had 50 to 85 times more cases than we knew about, Stanford estimates
Stanford research concludes that the infection rate is far higher, and the death rate far lower, than previous estimates
...
In a startling finding, new Stanford research reveals between 48,000 and 81,000 people in Santa Clara County alone may have already been infected by the coronavirus by early April – that’s 50 to 85 times more than the number of official cases at that date.

The estimate comes from a first-in-the-nation community study of newly available antibody tests, that suggest how widespread the invisible — and perhaps benign — companion has been in the Bay Area’s hardest-hit county. Not only do the numbers show how the U.S.’s severe shortage of testing led to a profound undercount of COVID-19 cases, they indicate that the death rate is likely far lower than previously understood.

Just how much of an undercount? Stanford’s low-end estimate of Santa Clara County cases is nearly double the confirmed total — 28,000 — for the entire state of California. The study estimated 2.5% to 4.2% of residents here carry antibodies to the pathogen, suggesting it may be safe for them to go back to work and school.

“The most important implication is that the number of infections is much greater than the reported number of cases,” concludes the research paper, published Friday morning in the online journal medRxiv.
...
The research also implies that the death rate is far lower than believed. At the time of research, 39 county residents had died – a fatality rate, based on estimated infections, of only 0.12 to 0.2%. California’s assumed death rate, based only on confirmed cases, is 3%.
....

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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10971
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/19/2020 8:37:26 AM

Quote:
Update, The Canadian travel ban, does not include Americans!


Yes it does Dave. The border is closed in both directions to Americans and Canadians not involved in critical services or in the delivery of goods.

So Canadian nurses can go to work in Detroit and truck drivers are getting through in both directions.

But for you and me, it's a no go.

Just yesterday, PM Trudeau announced that the US and Canada had agreed to extend the travel ban for 30 more days.

Trudeau gives as a briefing at 11:15 every day and he was asked whether he was concerned about Trump's desire to open things up and whether he will demand that the borders be open. His response was circumspect but our Premier in Ontario, Doug Ford, said that we cannot allow Americans to cross the line what with major outbreaks of Covid-19 in the border states of Michigan and New York.

It would be a disaster if we allowed more cases of Covid to enter from anywhere in the US because I don't think that we have peaked in my part of Canada yet.

I hope that your governor in Michigan has the strength and sense to hold the line on lock downs. She is taking a lot of heat right now as she follows the guidelines set out by the science and health care people.

Cheers,

George
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5893
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/19/2020 8:15:15 PM

Hi George,

Notice that my post was from 3/16, when they were jocking back & forth on just who was banned for travel. After this time they added the Americans to the travel ban! Sadly I had to cancil a 3 week April excursion through Canada to New England!

My trip a victim of the C-19 Pandemic!
No Cheers!
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10971
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/19/2020 8:51:51 PM

Quote:
Hi George,

Notice that my post was from 3/16, when they were jocking back & forth on just who was banned for travel. After this time they added the Americans to the travel ban! Sadly I had to cancil a 3 week April excursion through Canada to New England!

My trip a victim of the C-19 Pandemic!
No Cheers!
MD


You're correct Dave. I forgot to check the date of your post. The PM is taking some heat for not closing things up sooner. And I have no idea when we will be getting back to normal.

Trudeau says that physical distancing is working but we are not even close to relaxing restrictions in Ontario or Quebec. BC did a pretty good job and it may be able to loosen things up a bit but I don't know whether a provincial premier can open up an international border without federal permission. Don't think so.

George
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Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3203
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/19/2020 10:08:06 PM

David, not had a chance to welcome you. Always good to have another Wet Coaster adding his voice.

Your comment confirms how little is known about the current virus, how inexact various assessments might be, how misdirected any projections could be.

I'll admit I don't know what to make of the Stanford study. I'm neither an actuary nor a statistician. But I sense we would be mistaken to determine too much from a single study, or perhaps from any study at this point. We're (and I include Canada with the US on this) still much too far behind in testing or assessing or aggregating data to know what we are facing. Or, IMHO, to make decisions about reopening anything. Quote:
The study estimated 2.5% to 4.2% of residents here carry antibodies to the pathogen, suggesting it may be safe for them to go back to work and school.

Good dataset, I guess. Certainly a comforting direction ... I guess. But doesn't that mean that an estimated 95.8% to 97.5% of residents do not have antibodies and therefore it would not be safe them to return to work or school?

I gotta say that I don't know what the most important numbers are. I don't know what the general focus should be. My guess is the focus should for now remain medical. If COVID-19 is a wide-spread but only mildly lethal response to a virus, we have to pin that down and know it. If there is a 100% effective test to determine it, we have to share it. If there are vaccines that can counter COVID-19, we have to develop then. If there are means by which COVID-19's impact can be mitigated, we have to find them.

These are not political issues, IMHO. we're talking medical requirements that might supply data for political issues. But without the data, making decisions about re-opening our economies or our schools or any number of other social, cultural or religious structures and processes is dangerous.

I get that North Americans – with other parts of the globe – have been steamrolled by this. I sense our handling of it has been less successful than other parts of the world. I think many of us are shocked at how fragile our way of life is, and how unprepared we are for what might yet prove to be a relatively minor challenge. I hope folks learn from the impact of COVID-19 how dangerous it is to live beyond one's means, or even to assume stability as a factor in life.

Cheers
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 337
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/29/2020 1:25:16 AM

20 everyday products that will be affected by the coronavirus
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/savemoney/20-everyday-products-that-will-be-affected-by-the-coronavirus/ss-BB122Cba?li=BBnb7Kz#image=1
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 337
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 4/29/2020 5:46:44 PM

Perhaps the best place for this, the page linked has a list of articles/links some may find interesting;
How Past Plagues & Pandemics Have Shaped Human History
https://blog.getpocket.com/2020/04/how-past-plagues-pandemics-have-shaped-human-history/?utm_source=pocket-newtab
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 337
Coronavirus and human reality
Posted on: 6/30/2020 2:23:48 AM

17 Subtle Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/17-subtle-signs-youve-already-had-coronavirus/ss-BB14tT0c?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=msnbcrd
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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