Coronavirus: COVID-19

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CBJ
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by CBJ » Tue, 8. Sep 20, 17:50

I don't disagree about the media's role, but whenever we criticise the media it's worth remembering that they're largely driven by what the public wants to see and hear. If people weren't so eager to consume garbage, the media organisations wouldn't produce it.

The respectable media is in a bit of a no-win situation with the pandemic. If they don't provide stories then people will flock to whatever rubbish the less-respectable media comes up with. If they do then they either report cautiously as you suggest, in which case people lose interest and go back to the rubbish because scientists saying "sorry, we don't know yet" doesn't satisfy them, or they report on the work-in-progress science and people then fail to understand that it's incomplete and subject to change.

So ultimately it does boil down to education. You don't have to actually be a scientist to understand that science takes time and that its advice can and will change. If an education system doesn't teach you basics, such as that complex problems don't always have simple solutions, that not understanding something doesn't make that thing wrong, and that there's a difference between opinion and evidence, then that education system is failing.

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Santi » Tue, 8. Sep 20, 18:16

Easy, the media could make it an option, that will solve all the problems.
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Mightysword » Tue, 8. Sep 20, 23:54

CBJ wrote:
Tue, 8. Sep 20, 17:50
I don't disagree about the media's role, but whenever we criticise the media it's worth remembering that they're largely driven by what the public wants to see and hear. If people weren't so eager to consume garbage, the media organisations wouldn't produce it.

The respectable media is in a bit of a no-win situation with the pandemic. If they don't provide stories then people will flock to whatever rubbish the less-respectable media comes up with. If they do then they either report cautiously as you suggest, in which case people lose interest and go back to the rubbish because scientists saying "sorry, we don't know yet" doesn't satisfy them, or they report on the work-in-progress science and people then fail to understand that it's incomplete and subject to change.

I don't disagree with what you say here, but to me those are more of a modern culture problem than an 'education' problem. I would point out the described problem here does not seem to have a limit in term of demographic: it happens to people who graduated last year and it happens to someone who received their education 50 years ago. It happens to people living in poverty to people in the higher percentile of the income scale. It happens to people living in both in east and west with very different educational standard and structure ...etc... so unless there is a very clear/obvious universal failure in all of those education systems I don't believe it's a correct place to lay the blame. What is clear "to me" is that across all different types of border, one thing that remain (or had become) a constant since the turn of the century is our societies as a whole had been conditioned to a 24/7 news cycle. We want tomorrow news, and we want them yesterday. Another point I can bring up as in favor of my argument is this "phenomenon" is hardly limit to just matters under the sphere of science, but you see it in pretty much every other aspects as well.

Maybe it's an equal blame, trying to pin the blame on one party over another (viewership vs media) is probably a "chicken and egg" argument, and this also includes the professionals. Maybe they feel the 'pressure to comply' because of this new culture, but the fact remain I believe there is a need to be more 'discipline' in messaging from the sciene community. I don't believe it's a priority for scientists to constantly 'satisfy' the thirst and hunger of the public. If people want to gossip in between official statements, that can't be help and I don't believe it's wise to dilute the official message to keep up with that. The point is when an official message come out, it should be as conclusive as possible with all the checks that entail.

The main point is still I don't believe this is a failure of education. After all, the people who drink and drive, text and drive are probably told/taught a bunch of times to NOT do those things before they get into an accident. The fact that those people eventually still get into accidents on those same reasons can't be attributed to the lack of prior warning, right? ;)
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by RegisterMe » Wed, 9. Sep 20, 14:49

@felter this may be of interest (testing etc in the UK and how it's reflected in the numbers):-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54064347
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by CBJ » Wed, 9. Sep 20, 15:14

Mightysword wrote:
Tue, 8. Sep 20, 23:54
The main point is still I don't believe this is a failure of education. After all, the people who drink and drive, text and drive are probably told/taught a bunch of times to NOT do those things before they get into an accident. The fact that those people eventually still get into accidents on those same reasons can't be attributed to the lack of prior warning, right? ;)
Yes, but also no! People who do those things usually do know the potential consequences, yes, but they are too selfish to consider the impact their actions could have on others. Selfishness is a basic human trait, and not one we're likely to be able to educate out of people completely, but there is a tendency in society now (particularly in certain countries) to conflate freedom (being able to do what you want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else) with selfishness (being able to do what you want, regardless of the harm it does to others). As long as we (whether through the education system itself, through parental guidance, or society as a whole) fail to teach people the difference, we are encouraging their selfishness, even venerating it, rather than trying to minimise it.

Anyway, I think this has turned a little too political, and drifted away from the subject in hand. So, back to the pandemic!

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by BrasatoAlBarolo » Wed, 9. Sep 20, 15:35

CBJ wrote:
Wed, 9. Sep 20, 15:14
Anyway, I think this has turned a little too political, and drifted away from the subject in hand. So, back to the pandemic!
...before the pandemic gets back to us!

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Alan Phipps » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 11:29

I find it interesting that two news services can report the exact same thing under their differing headlines and thereby put a totally different spin on public perception regarding current Covid testing issues in the UK:

BBC News: "Testing problems to be solved in weeks, says Matt Hancock."
Sky News: "Testing problems could take weeks to fix, says Matt Hancock."
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by BrasatoAlBarolo » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 11:46

Alan Phipps wrote:
Wed, 16. Sep 20, 11:29
I find it interesting that two news services can report the exact same thing under their differing headlines and thereby put a totally different spin on public perception regarding current Covid testing issues in the UK:

BBC News: "Testing problems to be solved in weeks, says Matt Hancock."
Sky News: "Testing problems could take weeks to fix, says Matt Hancock."
Me: "It's going to be tens of days before solving issues related to Covid!!!"

Media is very good at reporting news. But also very bad at it.

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Vertigo 7 » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 14:55

Alan Phipps wrote:
Wed, 16. Sep 20, 11:29
I find it interesting that two news services can report the exact same thing under their differing headlines and thereby put a totally different spin on public perception regarding current Covid testing issues in the UK:

BBC News: "Testing problems to be solved in weeks, says Matt Hancock."
Sky News: "Testing problems could take weeks to fix, says Matt Hancock."
That's a bit nitpicky. They're both non-specific and both mean the same thing. We talking 2 weeks? 5 weeks? 1000 weeks?

Without knowing any of the surrounding details, I see either headline and it suggests that there's something wrong with the current testing and it's gonna take a while to get things sorted. Is that inference wrong?
In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.

Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by CBJ » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 15:41

Vertigo 7 wrote:
Wed, 16. Sep 20, 14:55
Alan Phipps wrote:
Wed, 16. Sep 20, 11:29
BBC News: "Testing problems to be solved in weeks, says Matt Hancock."
Sky News: "Testing problems could take weeks to fix, says Matt Hancock."
That's a bit nitpicky. They're both non-specific and both mean the same thing. We talking 2 weeks? 5 weeks? 1000 weeks?
It's a question of emphasis. The first implies that it's "only" a matter of weeks (rather than, say, months), the second that it could take *shock horror* weeks (rather than, say, days). I'm sure Mr.Hancock was hoping that we'd all accept the emphasis as stated in the first headline, but frankly we're 6 months into the testing regime and there's no excuse for there being a problem with testing capacity at this stage. That there is one, and that it might take time to resolve, suggests that someone messed up in a big way.

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by RegisterMe » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 16:19

CBJ wrote:
Wed, 16. Sep 20, 15:41
..... suggests that someone messed up in a big way.
"Silent L" Harding didn't realise that reopening the economy a smidgen, sending children back to school, and sending young adults back to university, would increase testing demand.
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Mightysword » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 23:40

On the subject of restarting school. I don't like how the subject has been vilified. Reading mainstream news it feels like the narrative want me to believe that the "evil goverments" just want to force kids back to school despite risk for nothing more than a big "LOL".

- First: you can't properly restart the economy without putting kids back to school. In the US, there is a saying "school is free daycare", the main point of that saying is about how sad our K12 system is (to a point it's nothing more than a daycare), but in this context it's important because if they kids aren't back in school ... the adults can't go to work. This is why I believe during the hardest lockdown, the UK kept school open for NHS's kids so the parents can work, and the public kinda just forget about it IS an issue because of summer. Asia doesn't have this problem btw, because we don't have the "kids need to be watched by adult" kind of law.

- Second: losing a semester or a year or delay education can have more impact on the students themselves than I think people are giving the issue credits for. For me, after one semester of grad-school I stopped and went out to work (like a dog) for a full year, save up as much as I can. I made a budget plan that once I came back, I would be able to focus and finish my program before the money run out, basically it was a meticulous plan on a shoe-string budget. My situation was that if for any reason I got delay for one semester, I may not be able to complete my education or faced some pretty hefty financial percussion for it. And I know many students are walking a similar path. Even for K12, think about these questions: should the kid delay 1 year before going to college? if the curriculum is shorten/compromised to compensate how would that affect their college readiness ...etc... questions that if not answered properly will have long percussion for the future.



... call this devil advocate or whatever you like, but there are more angles to this issue than the headline seem to care to discuss about. Sure, in term of health safety, should we but kids back to school despite the risk? No. But right now the discussion is feel like everyone screaming the obvious problems, and any one 'dare' to propose an imperfect solution will be immediately crucified, yet I don't see any of people who are doing the crucifying propose any alternative/workable or perfect solution (I would assume they want a perfect solution seeing how they often criticize everything else). That includes remote and online learning btw.
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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Vertigo 7 » Wed, 16. Sep 20, 23:57

That's great. I'm sure that's a comfort to parents whose kids get covid and then come home and infect them with it. Or to the teachers that get infected from their students.

But good news! There's this wonderful marvel of modern technology called the internet! Perhaps you've heard of it?

Text books can easily be delivered in PDF format and teachers can hold their classes via a plethora of available virtual meeting applications that are out there! And best of all, there's no risk of getting covid through a computer! That's what's known as risk mitigation.
In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.

Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.
Captain Gustave M. Gilbert

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by RegisterMe » Thu, 17. Sep 20, 00:06

I wasn't vilifying anybody, least of all school children or university students. Just pointing out that sending children back to school etc was going to increase infection rates, and that would (ignoring common colds etc) increase testing requirements.

This was predictable.

I saw my best friend on Sunday for the first time since February. The reason? His son was sent home from school on Thursday last week with a temperature (how else is the school meant to respond?). That necessitated the whole family being tested. The only reason he managed to get the tests done is that he is a senior doctor. The test results were negative so we felt that it was probably the best time to meet up (outside - barbecue etc). Had he not been a senior doctor he would have had to drive the whole family hundreds of miles to get to a testing station.

The situation is ridiculous. It was predictable. That's what I am annoyed about.

I'd add that I am extremely aware of the costs of this, and that many of those costs conflict.

Schools or pubs?
Christmas or football?
National debt, or sickness and possibly death?
See your parents, or stay away?
Wear a mask, or don't wear one?
Go on holiday and risk having to be quarantined, or don't?
Have that party? Or delay it?
Don't send children to school, to open up the economy, at the cost of holding back a generation's education?
etc

All of the above have second and third order costs and benefits associated with them. It isn't easy. But predicting that testing requirements would increase was.
I can't breathe.

- George Floyd, 25th May 2020

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Re: Coronavirus: COVID-19

Post by Mightysword » Thu, 17. Sep 20, 00:41

RegisterMe wrote:
Thu, 17. Sep 20, 00:06
I wasn't vilifying anybody, least of all school children or university students. Just pointing out that sending children back to school etc was going to increase infection rates, and that would (ignoring common colds etc) increase testing requirements.
Wasn't referring to you, I would have quoted you specifically if that's the case. Just adding my own 2 bits in the discussion. ;)
All of the above have second and third order costs and benefits associated with them. It isn't easy. But predicting that testing requirements would increase was.
And that's kinda my point. I would love it much more for all of those discussion to be discussed in a balance manner, and they are not. All of those proposal is at best a dilemma, each decision will have reason against and reason for, we're not in a situation where we can pull a 'perfect' solution out of our arse. Yet, the politicized discussion talk as if it's just that, and the people in charge just want to avoid the "obvious perfect solution" just because .... It's always the case of the people who themselves do not in take part in the process that seem to know better "oh you just do this and that, easy!", to those who actually have to do the works to make things happen it has been no less than hell. 3 months is an extremely short time to prepare for a whole sale curriculum adjustment even with a perfect infrastructure already in place, which we know most schools don't have.
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