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2 minutes ago, kevinkin said:

Believe it or not there is no actual shortage of any item in the US (but maybe common sense). The availability retail vs wholesale involves - get this - packaging. The regulations on how to package large and small amounts of things like lettuce and other things like paper products differs based on which market the product is being sold into. A 12 pack of toilet paper in Costco is fundamentally packaged, barcoded  and labeled differently than the same product sent to a wholesaler that services many establishments. It takes a lot of time to change over packaging lines that have been dedicated to the wholesale market into lines that can crank out small family sized packs meant to supply the retail market. So there are many products just waiting to be packaged and barcoded into family sized packs but the line capacity for them does not exist. To put it another way. A Shop Rite can't just unpack 1000 rolls of unlabeled toilet paper and try to sell them without a barcode or any labelling that traces the product to the manufacturing site. Sure a tiny corner store can do that - and they do. But big boxes will not assume the risk.  

I know that, I was speaking facetiously. Something like 50% of our strategic toilet paper stockpile is going unused because it's all sitting in commercial offices and other places that are closed for business, or tied up in the aforementioned UPC barcode wars.

Still rankles a bit my local supermarket has been hoarding toilet paper for the special "old people hours" they enforce every morning. By the time I'm allowed through the door, all the toilet paper is gone. If I hadn't stockpiled stuff back in December when I first became aware of the virus outbreak, I would have nothing now. The nearest wholesale location is an hour away, but even if I could, I would never walk into those disease factories.

 

 

If you didn't buy stock in Amazon, WalMart, and Costco during the recent market tumble you missed out on a golden opportunity.

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I've got an idea.  Let's NOT trust scientists & doctors who ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. Let's trust Fox news, who've done a stellar job of brainwashing people into being very unsafe

JFC Kettler could you just once not spread your conspiracy bull**** all over the place.  Goddamn man.

Here are some shocking news from the UK. Perhaps @Warts 'n' all can confirm:

Posted Images

1 hour ago, kevinkin said:

Believe it or not there is no actual shortage of any item in the US (but maybe common sense). The availability retail vs wholesale involves - get this - packaging. The regulations on how to package large and small amounts of things like lettuce and other things like paper products differs based on which market the product is being sold into. A 12 pack of toilet paper in Costco is fundamentally packaged, barcoded  and labeled differently than the same product sent to a wholesaler that services many establishments. It takes a lot of time to change over packaging lines that have been dedicated to the wholesale market into lines that can crank out small family sized packs meant to supply the retail market. So there are many products just waiting to be packaged and barcoded into family sized packs but the line capacity for them does not exist. To put it another way. A Shop Rite can't just unpack 1000 rolls of unlabeled toilet paper and try to sell them without a barcode or any labelling that traces the product to the manufacturing site. Sure a tiny corner store can do that - and they do. But big boxes will not assume the risk.  

All of this and worse.  I'm very plugged into the food side of things and it suffers from all of this and more.  Everything is specialized to cater to either consumer or industrial end consumers.  In good times it produces everything we need at the lowest price, which is why things evolved to be the way they are.  But it's not a resilient system because it can't handle rapid change, and in fact is resistant to change even when current conditions seem favorable to it. 

Case in point is that here in Maine most of our potatoes go to institutional and industrial customers.  That's what everything is geared for.  Machines that are built to do 50 pound sacks can't adapt to 5 pound plastic bags.  Further, the supply chains are extremely specialized and do not talk to each other because they don't speak the same language.  Worse, the buyers for these sorts of potatoes have no markets established in grocery stores, so they don't have known customers to buy for.  If potato growers and factories have product to sell, they don't have connection to the buyers.  The distribution systems they rely upon are companies like Sysco, who buy from the institutional producers and turn around and sell to restaurants, hotels, schools, casinos, cruise ships, etc.  Because those customers are, for the most part, shut down... the whole system collapses.  Adaptation is spotty, at best.

Given enough time and incentive the systems can be melded together.  The problem is these players know that in a few months this will likely be back to business as usual, so why invest hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, into retooling for such a short time only to switch around again?  Not going to happen.  So food is rotting in the fields and farmers are planting less this year than last.  I don't blame the system, or anyone for that matter.  It just is what it is.

There is some cross over between the two systems, though.  Some restaurants are making ends meet by using their licensed kitchens to take the 50 pound sacks of potatoes and reselling them in smaller bags.  There's licensing issues (and for good reason), but in some places it's being waived under emergency rule making.  However, more directly commercial food products are making their way to some grocery stores if they are compatible enough.  For example, our local grocery store has been selling Sysco branded paper products for a couple weeks now.  It's only the ones that were already individually packaged, but it's better than nothing.  Another example is the 1 pound package of yeast we bought because the individual packets and jars aren't to be found.  We'll probably pitch 1/2 of it because we won't use it before it goes bad, but it's available and so it's fine.

This crisis has absolutely brought attention to the over specialization of the food economy.  I'm glad because some practices need a rethink.

Steve

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1 hour ago, General Jack Ripper said:

I know that, I was speaking facetiously. Something like 50% of our strategic toilet paper stockpile is going unused because it's all sitting in commercial offices and other places that are closed for business, or tied up in the aforementioned UPC barcode wars.

Yup, that is a problem.  All the hotels that closed down are sitting on quite a stockpile of all kinds of things.

Where I live we had a different problem... interlopers.  Word got out that our grocery stores were well stocked after the first wave of panic buying.  So what happened?  Well, we started seeing an awful lot of unfamiliar faces in our stores.  Yeah, small town... we notice these things.  Weeks later a news story ran where someone admitted to driving 150 miles to our town to buy $800 worth of stuff from our stores.  One of the stores is locally owned, and a friend of mine, and he said something like they did a month's worth of business in one week. Believe it or not, he was not happy about it.  Since then he's done an amazing job keeping things stocked.  I don't think he slept for a week.  He's a freak'n hero in our eyes.

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If you didn't buy stock in Amazon, WalMart, and Costco during the recent market tumble you missed out on a golden opportunity.

We had a toilet paper factory come online a few miles away from me.  Guess when?  Second week of March.  Who wants to guess that their ownership's ROI projections just got blown out of the water in a good way? :D

Steve

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3 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

The naysayers are always right, until they're not. If millions had died, then the naysayers would have to eat some humble pie wouldn't they?

Correct.  And that's the crux of the problem.  Both sides can only be proven right, or wrong, by comparing parallel timelines after a trip back in a time machine.  Provided that time is not linear, because that buggers it all up ;)  Both sides would do well to have a slice of humble pie while this plays out, because it's likely both sides will wind up eating some.

The problem with this whole thing is it really was a case of two competing points of view and BOTH are responsible for the mess we're in.  In typical Human style, Side A makes an argument that Side B disagrees with.  Instead of working together to find something they can agree is sensible, they simply try to shout down the other side.  The louder one side shouts, the louder the other shouts.  And while this goes on the window of opportunity for an optimal solution closes.  Then we're forced into bad choices with bad results, no matter which side prevailed in the shouting match.

I'm not going to debate people picking apart numbers.  COVID-19 is far worse than regular Flu by any open minded examination of the facts.  The arguments based on cherry picking parts of the complex pattern don't impress me any more than some dude telling me that he can prove his Tigers are getting killed because Combat Mission sucks.  Numbers are not the most compelling indicators of the problem, which is why the naysayers tend to be fixated on them.

But I do agree that COVID-19 (so far) appears to be somewhere between the worst fears and the dismissive predictions.  And surprise surprise... far more nuanced than was predicted.  However, given the choice between listening to someone with an applicable background in science and listening to some political agenda grinding blowhard who is paid to say shocking things to a captive lap dog audience... I'll go with the egghead in the white coat every time.  No regrets this time either.

Steve

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3 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Now apologize to Alex Jones. He was right the whole time.

Err it has been known for a very long time that amphibians like frogs are good indicators of the damage we are doing via pollution.  Alex Jones hopping onto the bandwagon and maybe for once getting something right is a kin to a broken clock.  And no I won't watch the video.  I'd rather smear feces up my nose and snort real hard than listen to that gas bag.

I spend my time reading stuff from educational institutions and the like, you know where people actually study science.

https://www.e-education.psu.edu/earth103/node/960

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5 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Sounds like Japan is taking steps to move some manufacturing out of China due to the virus.  Probably a good idea not to have all / most of the eggs in one basket.  

Japan has earmarked $2.2 billion of its record economic stimulus package to help its manufacturers shift production out of China as the coronavirus disrupts supply chains between the major trading partners.

“There will be something of a shift,” said Shinichi Seki, an economist at the Japan Research Institute, adding that some Japanese companies manufacturing goods in China for export were already considering moving out. “Having this in the budget will definitely provide an impetus.” 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-08/japan-to-fund-firms-to-shift-production-out-of-china 

My wife (Japanese) is really frustrated with the response there.  There is still no real lockdown and cases are spreading.  A sense of exceptionalism pervaded things because the virus for whatever reasons took a while before really beginning to spread.  That period seems to have ended as cases start to spike.

 

Getting back on India, the only source I have been pointed to is an obvious one.  However none of the folks I know there feel these numbers are accurate and consider them to be understating.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/coronavirus

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4 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Still rankles a bit my local supermarket has been hoarding toilet paper for the special "old people hours" they enforce every morning. By the time I'm allowed through the door, all the toilet paper is gone. 

For once I feel pretty good about aging.  :P  Hey if I lived near you I'd grab you some.  We actually haven't bought toilet paper since this started.  We had a typical pack that we buy, but just lucked out in that we had just bought it when this kicked off.  I have seen TP in the market, but didn't purchase as we have enough for a bit yet and we aren't hoarders.  You need to buddy up to some of us geezers, we can be bribed.. pretty cheaply too.

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6 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Call me a doubter then.

The graphs you posted indeed show we will hit a million confirmed at some point in the Summer... which is all that I claimed.

As for everything else... I have little interest in models or theories about medical miracles or predictions about hospitals or anything else.

I have repeatedly mocked the "experts" who told us not to worry about Covid & instead worry about "stigma" & "seasonal flu". All the resulting millions of deaths & economic chaos that has been, & will be, caused was entirely preventable.

 

As to a sense of perspective, although I may agree with your perspective (perhaps I would go further & say I consider "abortion" to be nothing more than recreational human sacrifice) I must point out how utterly useless "perspective" can be when used as a prediction tool.

Consider this "Conservative" article written in late February... we could probably agree it has a sense of perspective but, in hindsight, it seems to be somewhat lacking in predictive power.

Meanwhile, at the same time, I was telling my family that the schools would close when the UK death toll reached a hundred... on the 18th of March the UK death toll hit a hundred & the school closures were announced that day.

Useful predictions need to take into account observed reality & (often irrational) human behaviour.

Edited by 37mm
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11 hours ago, Holien said:

This world leader is taking his safety seriously, no shaking hands and wandering around un protected in the covid wards....

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52461431

A pity his medical teams don't get the same level of PPE, mind you our UK staff don't either...

 

Only after first wondering around wards unprotected with a doctor that soon after tested positive for Covid19. Lesson learned

TASS391890681.jpg

 

Meanwhile our leader graciously demonstrates how to put on a mask....

ramacover.width-800.png

 

 

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Thanks AlanSA I had previously read that darling Putin was having everyone tested off screen before he staged photo shots like that? 

Do you have the article to hand with that story? 

Certainly a different approach now being communicated to the Russian people. Early days it was a Western thing nothing to fear I am a hard man and won't wear a mask, but I will have checked the folk who I meet.

Now the media message with him in full PPE has changed and asking the Russian people to take it seriously.  Comrades look how serious your President is taking it.

Compare to the American leadership approach. Different message being sent...

Media is important and I guess Putin now thinks he needs to remembered in full PPE, why?

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2 hours ago, AlanSA said:

Only after first wondering around wards unprotected with a doctor that soon after tested positive for Covid19. Lesson learned

TASS391890681.jpg

 

 

 

Ok found a report on this.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-doctor-putin-positive-test-update-a9438391.html

As mentioned the doctor had been tested before being allowed near Putin. Obviously there are still concerns about testing not being accurate. Still interesting to see the pivot in how Putin is now portrayed in full PPE...

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From The New York Times:
 
U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests
 
In seven hard-hit states, total deaths are nearly 50 percent higher than normal, according to new C.D.C. statistics, suggesting that the virus has killed far more people than the number in official counts.
 

 

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9 hours ago, 37mm said:

Consider this "Conservative" article written in late February... we could probably agree it has a sense of perspective but, in hindsight, it seems to be somewhat lacking in predictive power.

This is an excellent point.  To illustrate it further, here's two quotes from the article:

"How many of us wear face masks because of winter flu? How many planes and trains are cancelled? Does the stock market slump? There is some justification for being more wary of Covid-19 than the flu. The former is an unknown quantity and we don’t yet have a vaccine. But we know more about it by the day. Its death rate is now around 1 per cent or less and it is mostly killing people with pre-existing health conditions; anyone else would be unlucky to die from it."

 

The presumption of this statement is that the more we know the less scary it will be.  That's not the case at all with COVID-19.  It seems the more we learn from it, the more scary it becomes.  From just this week alone papers were published describing the following:

1.  there's significant evidence that people can get reinfected within a short period of time.  This is contrary to other viruses within the family

2.  some side effect, or perhaps direct result, creates blood clotting in otherwise totally healthy patients.  The clots can cause severe strokes and kidney problems so severe that dialysis is necessary to keep the patient alive.  No regular flu behaves this way

3.  viral cells are able to cling onto "aerosol" particles, which means they can hang around suspended in air longer than previously thought

4.  viral cells are being detected attached to air pollutants, again suspending them in the air longer and also possibly allowing them to spread further distances

It is still early days on all of these observations, but they are definitely something to be concerned about.  Especially about the possibility of reinfection, because if that turns out to be true we're going to have a much rougher ride with economies reopening.

 

And the second quote:

"Coronavirus hysteria occurs because we confuse precaution with risk. We see Chinese cities being cut off, people being quarantined, factories closed, the streets emptying (save for a few people in face masks) and we interpret this as a sign of grave and imminent danger. If China had not taken such dramatic steps to stop the disease, we wouldn’t be half as worried."

 

Perfect example of looking at this from a biased position.  Yes, what he said is absolutely true.  But the flip side is if China had not done anything and their death rate went through the roof, we'd be twice as worried as we are now.  It's really easy to make a convincing argument for something if you limit the scope of discussion to those things that support your argument.

Plus, let's not forget that the Chinese have (most likely) been lying and if they told us the truth from the start we'd be more worried.

 

Separate from these, there's this one that actually made me laugh a bit:

"There is something more to the Covid-19 panic. It is the latest phenomenon to fulfil a weird and growing appetite for doom among the populations of developed countries. We are living in the healthiest, most peaceful time in history, yet we cannot seem to accept it."

 

Many people do accept it, just like they accepted property values would only go up until they didn't. 

Others, like me, accept that superficially it is true that things were going pretty well prior to this mess.  But growing income inequality, resource depletion, climate disruption, democracies sliding towards authoritarianism, weakening of the global institutions that help preserve peace, etc. are all getting worse.  There is also pandemic situations to factor in.  People like me were called "doomsayers" when we said the housing market was a bubble that was going to burst badly (I started saying this c.2004) because we can't accurately predict exactly when the good times will end.  We just know that they will because that's the way it works.  Always has, always will.

Maybe I shouldn't have got a degree in history.  To paraphrase Spinal Tap, it gives me too much f'n perspective ;)

 

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Meanwhile, at the same time, I was telling my family that the schools would close when the UK death toll reached a hundred... on the 18th of March the UK death toll hit a hundred & the school closures were announced that day.

I made similar predictions.  I said the day any local government shut schools down for even "2 weeks" the entire rest of the year would be cancelled.  Only a few states in the US have openly stated this is the case, but defacto for the US that is what it is.

Quote

Useful predictions need to take into account observed reality & (often irrational) human behaviour.

Many of the right leaning pieces I've read/seen/heard acknowledge this, but then quickly dismiss as something that can be beaten down.  As the saying goes, "how's that working out for you?"

Steve

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14 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

a news story ran where someone admitted to driving 150 miles to our town to buy $800 worth of stuff from our stores.

Reportedly people were driving from Las Vegas, Colorado and Salt Lake City - as much as 300 miles to raid small stores near people I know.  

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I heard a really interesting piece on the radio during the panic buying episodes.  It was about how unprepared "preppers" were and that they were among the panic shoppers.  The guy being interviewed has been studying them for a long time and explained why Human Nature gets in the way of the best planning.  In short, the more time that goes by after a plan is in place, the less likely it will still be of actual use when needed. Either because it's not been updated, not been properly adhered to, or both.

And that presumes the plan was good to start with.  He had some hilarious examples of people who plan for the type of crisis they want to experience, not what they might experience.

Steve

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16 hours ago, sburke said:

Jeez man, hope she stays well.  You must be pretty damn proud of her.

Thanks. Yes I am very proud of her.  (always am of course, but even more now)

She's a senior nurse with about 12 years of varied experience, so she definitely has the knowledge and experience to keep herself medically safe. Mentally though, it's been tough on her. She was pretty upset about this guy - her patient. The other day I called in a care package for her to a local package store she could pick up - a bottle of Jameson Black Barrel and a nice bottle of wine. She doesn't drink much but it's a nice treat she wouldn't get for herself and she's been on a pretty strict diet so I didn't want to get her food goodies.

She calls and we IM a lot. Told her to just call anytime and unload if she needs to. Wake me up. I'm not working so I can make up on the sleep anytime.

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16 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

I know that, I was speaking facetiously. Something like 50% of our strategic toilet paper stockpile is going unused because it's all sitting in commercial offices and other places that are closed for business, or tied up in the aforementioned UPC barcode wars.

Still rankles a bit my local supermarket has been hoarding toilet paper for the special "old people hours" they enforce every morning. By the time I'm allowed through the door, all the toilet paper is gone. If I hadn't stockpiled stuff back in December when I first became aware of the virus outbreak, I would have nothing now. The nearest wholesale location is an hour away, but even if I could, I would never walk into those disease factories.

 

Wish we had that problem. There isn't any in the morning when we go on old people hours. LUCKILY, I had just bought a big family sized package just before all the stay at home orders. We still have some of that.

 

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1 hour ago, DesertFox said:

A lot of truth here:

People should start listening to the doctors who actually are confronted with the patients on a daily basis:

 

Anyone who watches this clip I then suggest you read the following...

(The truth is out there, imo usually not in YouTube clips...)

https://theprepared.com/blog/dr-ericksons-viral-covid-19-briefing-video-is-dangerously-wrong/

His starting point is seriously flawed...

"So if you look at California—these numbers are from yesterday—we have 33,865 COVID cases, out of a total of 280,900 total tested. That’s 12% of Californians were positive for COVID. So we don’t, the initial — as you guys know, the initial models were woefully inaccurate. They predicted millions of cases of death — not of prevalence or incidence — but death. That is not materializing. What is materializing is, in the state of California is 12% positives. You have a 0.03 chance of dying from COVID in the state of California."

Here’s the obvious reason why using a 12% test positivity rate to claim that 12% of Californians already have SARS-COV-2 is so dangerous. Right now, the USA and many other countries are limiting their testing only to people who show symptoms of COVID-19. Furthermore, in many parts of the country since this all began, only those with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms have been tested. We aren’t testing 100% of the population.

What Erickson does in this video is conceptually the same as sampling a communion line to figure out how many Catholics live in California. Or estimating the prevalence of alcoholism by sampling an AA meeting.

It may be hard to believe that a physician would do something so dumb, but that’s exactly what he’s up to in this clip.

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1 hour ago, DesertFox said:

A lot of truth here:

People should start listening to the doctors who actually are confronted with the patients on a daily basis:

 

Numbers are starting to accelerate and blow up in Bakersfield, despite these two doctors (who, seem to be worried about their private business as they urgent care business owners). 

Their claim that the hospitals are empty are false  Yesterday  morning (28th April) , 31 county hospital beds are full from covid--(the ones testing confirmed, with 5 dead now,  856 "tested" positives, local prisons infected, 3,615 tests still pending results.

Their arguments are already falling apart. Every county agency has blasted them and a gaggle of local doctors, hospitals and virologists have had them on the carpet.

This video has been making all the conspiracy/alt-right site rounds of late

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7 minutes ago, Ultradave said:

Thanks. Yes I am very proud of her.  (always am of course, but even more now)

She's a senior nurse with about 12 years of varied experience, so she definitely has the knowledge and experience to keep herself medically safe. Mentally though, it's been tough on her. She was pretty upset about this guy - her patient. The other day I called in a care package for her to a local package store she could pick up - a bottle of Jameson Black Barrel and a nice bottle of wine. She doesn't drink much but it's a nice treat she wouldn't get for herself and she's been on a pretty strict diet so I didn't want to get her food goodies.

She calls and we IM a lot. Told her to just call anytime and unload if she needs to. Wake me up. I'm not working so I can make up on the sleep anytime.

That is Great support for her and I wish her and her colleagues well. As a society we are going to have to give the healthcare staff some serious PTSD support as they are taking a battering. This is not just the Flu as some YouTube pseudo Drs are still pushing...

Doctors and healthcare staff in UK without PPE have fallen and the sustained influx of dying patients on the mental welfare of the staff is not great...

🙄

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17 minutes ago, Wicky said:

Their claim that the hospitals are empty are false  Yesterday  morning (28th April) , 31 county hospital beds are full from covid--(the ones testing confirmed, with 5 dead now,  856 "tested" positives, local prisons infected, 3,615 tests still pending results.

Nope, they reserved a lot of emergency beds (ICUs) in germany for covid (50%) and had to sent staff home because elective surgery practically was forbidden. The covid patients never materialized. They now reduce this to 25% reservation rate for covid patients and open up hospitals for normal surgical procedures again. So these guys are spot on at least for what is happening in germany. If you look at the numbers of early tests in the country you find that in a covid hotspot area (Heinsberg) 15% of the people were positive for antibodies (were already exposed to the virus) with death rates at about 0,4%.

Edited by DesertFox
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Desertfox 

Yes that is happening now in Germany because Germany has been one of the successes in keeping on top of it. 

Likewise in the UK the emergency hospitals in Exhibition centres have not been used and as we see a drop off in cases there is a push to get people back in for normal treatment which is great as we need to find a way of getting back to normal, whatever that is going to be.

The world Governments were truly horrified at what happened in Italy and that informed the responses and lock downs that have curtailed the death rates.

Please read the link provided to understand why those two gents are not the chaps to be informing Government health policy as they can't get the basics right!

0.4% death rate vs 0.1% doesn't sound too much different but what that is saying is it 4000 people will die compared to 1000 in a million people. Say 83  million Germans let's open up and let it run free, 332,000 people die, that is not going to have a great economic impact. 

Germany might have kept it to 0.4% but that is through test and trace and lock down which those muppets you have quoted would not have done...

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