Who's Next to Cough?

Started by wilberfan, March 11, 2020, 09:22:36 PM

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The World Is Changing — So Can We

The pandemic is revealing the many ways our lives intersect. Is this an opportunity for us to reimagine what we can be?

By: David Byrne

I went for a long bike ride today. I needed to get out and clear my head. The sun was shining, daffodils were emerging along the riverside bike path, dogwood trees were in bloom and at one point I thought to myself, "Yeah, life goes on."

Pretty corny, and maybe even a bit selfish given what so many people are going through right now. But maintaining the basic rhythms of life that remain available can give one a sense of resilience.

I ask myself, is there something we can learn from this, something that will prepare us to better weather the next crisis, some different way of being that might make us stronger? Is this an opportunity to change our thinking, our behavior? How can we even do that? Are we capable of doing that?

It's ironic that as the pandemic forces us into our separate corners, it's also showing us how intricately we are all connected. It's revealing the many ways that our lives intersect almost without our noticing. And it's showing us just how tenuous our existence becomes when we try to abandon those connections and distance from one another. Health care, housing, race, inequality, the climate — we're all in the same leaky boat.

Viruses don't respect borders. They get in even with extra screening and travel restrictions. Maybe less, but some slips in. And until there is a vaccine, no one is immune. What that means is that we have to put aside some of our suspicions and animosities towards others and see how much we can limit or even halt the damage.

One hopes that smart analyses and initiatives will help us discover how to do that. We at Reasons to Be Cheerful like to look around and see who has already found success in solving a problem. A few places like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have done a good job with containing this thing — kids are in school, people are going to work, cafes and restaurants are full. In many European countries, governments are making sure folks still have an income. Gingerly, these people's worlds and economies are returning to normal — a somewhat new normal.

What can we learn from their success? For one, many of these countries didn't hesitate. They began testing as many people as possible almost as soon as the virus appeared. Many of them tested even those who didn't show symptoms. If someone tested positive they were quarantined, and using GPS and phone data the people they had recent physical contact with were found and isolated as well. Meanwhile, other folks went about their lives while submitting to screenings like mandatory temperature checks before entering public spaces.

In these places there were sometimes lockdowns and town-wide quarantines, but not for very long. Vò, the Italian city that had that country's first coronavirus death, did something remarkable. According to the Guardian, absolutely everyone in town was tested — 89 of the tests came back positive. Then, after a nine-day period of town-wide isolation, another series of tests was conducted. Six people tested positive that time, and those people continued to be isolated, while others went back to their lives. Workplaces reopened, kids returned to school. Life has come back. Folks can pay their bills.

Vo's intervention worked, but there was a price. Freedoms were curtailed, as they have been, to some degree, in virtually every place that has contained the virus. Authorities have used surveillance cameras and contact-tracking teams to locate the recent contacts of the infected. In places like Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Vò, folks have shown a willingness to share information with the government, make personal sacrifices and do what is necessary for the greater good.

Some might find the measures taken to halt the spread of the infection to be intrusive. But the outcome they led to — THAT is freedom. To be able to return to one's life, with a job, healthy and safe — THAT is national security.  If those places can do it, why can't the rest of us? And what kind of change in our thinking would it take?

Nothing is normal anymore

There are different kinds of freedoms. When you're stuck in your house, as I am, you're not free, that's for sure. If you've been laid off you're not exactly free, either. How much do we surrender our rights and freedoms as individuals in order to better the health, safety, economic security and well being of everyone, including ourselves? Are we a bucket of crabs or a community?

We have changed our behavior before. Ignaz Semmelweis was mocked when, in the mid-19th century, he said that doctors washing their hands before working with patients could save lives. After his death, other germ theorists like Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister showed how correct he was, and the procedure was adopted. Doctors, and all of us, made this change willingly, without coercion. It became a social norm.

What is happening now is an opportunity to learn how to change our behavior. For many of us, our belief in the value of the collective good has eroded in recent decades. But in an emergency that can change quickly. During the Great Depression, new policies to protect the public were introduced. It was accepted that these were necessary to stabilize society and get life back on track.

In emergencies, citizens can suddenly cooperate and collaborate. Change can happen. We're going to need to work together as the effects of climate change ramp up. In order for capitalism to survive in any form, we will have to be a little more socialist. Here is an opportunity for us to see things differently — to see that we really are all connected — and adjust our behavior accordingly.

Are we willing to do this? Is this moment an opportunity to see how truly interdependent we all are? To live in a world that is different and better than the one we live in now? We might be too far down the road to test every asymptomatic person, but a change in our mindsets, in how we view our neighbors, could lay the groundwork for the collective action we'll need to deal with other global crises. The time to see how connected we all are is now.



Quote from: eward on March 29, 2020, 07:31:42 PM
It's ironic that as the pandemic forces us into our separate corners, it's also showing us how intricately we are all connected.

eww ewww ewwwwww


That shit is serious and has killed a husband in his forties kind of related to my family, and another man in his forties known by the family is at the hospital with a ventilator.




I had to double-check that it wasn't still April 1st with that tiger story.  What are the implications of THAT?  Cross-species infection can't be good.  The way people have been freaking-out lately, does this mean literal packs of pets roaming the streets as families dump Fido & Mrs. Fuzz at local parks?

I was also just reading this:  Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here's How.



The Entire U.S. Box Office This Weekend Came From a Single Florida Drive-in Theater

With movie theaters across the country closed for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the weekly box office report is all but a distant memory. But there's one theater that's still keeping the weekly box office report alive. A single drive-in theater in Florida was the source of the entire domestic box office this past weekend, showing a whopping two (!) movies to its audience. So if you were missing your weekly box office report, here it is, in extremely barebones form.

The forced temporary shutterings of businesses and movie theaters across has created an unexpected result: the rise of drive-in movie theaters. Once a widely frequented form of moviegoing, the drive-in theater has become an increasing rarity since its heyday in the late 1950s. But now the drive-in theater is seeing a boom in business thanks to the pandemic.

That's true especially of the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida: the one source of the domestic box office this past weekend. The weekend box office report on the website The Numbers (via ScreenCrush) showed two new movies playing at one theater in the entire United States last week. The two films, the World War II mime biopic Resistance and the indie psychological thriller Swallow (both from IFC Films) were shown at the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida, according to journalist Gitesh Pandya, for a grand total box office $33,456.



In 2020 I can now say that I smoke for health reasons.


He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


Was Sundance a "First Petri Dish" of Coronavirus in the States?

QuoteLike many who make the annual trek to the indie film mecca, Jackson left Sundance far worse off than when she entered. After all, the quaint mountain oasis transforms into a petri dish as some 120,000 festivalgoers from around the world huddle in crowded movie theaters during cold and flu season. In recent years, the festival's organizers have placed an emphasis on attracting international filmmakers, and this year was no exception, with a lineup of 118 feature-length films representing 27 countries.

Industryites long have dubbed any illness caught while visiting the 10-day festival as "the Sundance flu," a byproduct of frigid temperatures, late-night partying and all that handshaking, in which everyone becomes an unknowing vector for spreading germs. But there was something different about Sundance 2020. A swath of attendees, including festival regulars and at least one high-profile actor, became sicker than ever before, leading some to later believe they had early, undocumented cases of COVID-19.

QuoteTwo days after Patient Zero was identified in Washington, the festival kicked off. Few if any in Park City were thinking of the coronavirus. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with more than a dozen people with similar stories. Some asked to remain anonymous, including one writer and three of his friends who "all got the same mysterious sickness — a little different for each of us — but always quite intense."

QuoteDean Hart, a microbiologist and expert in virus transmission, says there's a good chance coronavirus did, indeed, sweep through Park City during the run of the festival given that the Wuhan lockdown began Jan. 23, the same day Sundance started. "Logic dictates that they most probably did have it," says Hart of the presentation of symptoms. "With Sundance, you've got the perfect formula for this virus to really go to town and contaminate everybody."

It may take months before the mystery of Sundance 2020 is unraveled. Antibody tests are not yet readily available. Further confusing matters, the country was in the midst of a particularly bad flu season. And during the fall of 2019, the CDC began investigating a mystery vaping illness, whose symptoms were nearly identical to COVID-19, with many of those hit experiencing fevers and shortness of breath, suffering respiratory failure and being put on ventilators. Furthermore, mounting evidence suggests that coronavirus hit the U.S. well before the Washington state case, which deviates from the initial understanding of its path. The Santa Clara County medical examiner recently announced that two residents who died in early to mid-February were infected with COVID-19, according to postmortem testing. That could mean the virus was silently spreading in California before mid-January.

None of the people THR talked to has yet to receive an antibody test. But all plan to get one as soon as a reliable test is available and will continue to practice social distancing. The experience has left several wondering whether Sundance 2020 was a previously unknown incubator for the virus.

"All those people that were in Park City, we all flew in and went somewhere else. And even a lot of the Uber or Lyft drivers were just in town for the festival, so they weren't all necessarily even from the area," says Morris, "We really could have been the first petri dish, and then we all just scattered."


NY tribute from Spike Lee

He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


I'd say natural selection would eventually take care of this, but let's be realistic, dumb people reproduce like rabbits at a rave.
My house, my rules, my coffee


'Hugs very okay' - who runs that place, John Lasseter?


I've Heard They Sell Bathrobes.


The Tribeca/Cannes We Are One Global Film Festival schedule has dropped.
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.