A black hat perspective.  Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

After a buoyant few days, I’ve stopped to think.  It is necessary, albeit depressing, but it helps me get things weirdly acceptable in my head.  I still haven’t heard anything definitive about how much of the new corona virus, Australia, is prepared to live with.   Some apparently.  However, no-one in authority is yet prepared to be upfront about the costs of this suppression strategy.  It is one thing to be reassured that there will be a (net?) benefit, but without being specific about what is being traded off — who and what is to be sacrificed — how can the community have ownership of any virus-related actions and outcomes?

I wonder what a suppression (rather than elimination) strategy means for people at the top of their fields — scientists, researchers, etc — for whom it has taken a lifetime to build critical knowledge and expertise on which the community relies?  Can we do without these people?  Can we save them and continue to benefit from their expertise by locking them up in a virtual bubble, while the rest of us go about our “new normal” business?  It is not as though the Australian public even understands what “new normal” means either.  There’s no guide or staging process, such as exists in New Zealand, that has been made public.  So yep, I have a lot of questions but few answers.

Personally, I like the old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’.  For me, prevention means going for elimination.  Prevention could mean a vaccine for Covid-19, but as a vaccine hasn’t been developed for any corona virus before, a viable vaccine seems to be only a fantasy at this stage.  Best not plan for it.  As far as treatment goes,  access to a ventilator seems mostly palliative.   If prevention is not feasible, please tell me why not.  If those in authority can’t answer my questions, how can I plan?  Where does that leave people like me, those over 50 years old, sick or immune-compromised?  Sitting around waiting to die?

Here’s a song by The Be Good Tanyas.  It’s a bit depressing.  Yes, I have seen them perform live in Australia (at Woodford Folk Festival I think).   Better than performing dead, I suppose.

Perhaps I should have thought this through first.  That’s the trouble with thinking out loud.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Ragtag Daily Prompt — Overwhelmed.

30 thoughts on “Waiting Or Anticipating?

  1. I learned yesterday from Dr. Fauci (epidemiologist) that there was a vaccine developed for SARS but it ended up not needed because SARS went away. I also learned from the Johnson & Johnson website that they expect to have a vaccine in September, unfortunately I don’t remember for sure if that meant available to the public, but the explanation of how it works was fascinating. Our asshole leader is busy rallying his base around reopening the country (prematurely). A cure would be as good as a vaccine right now but… I am lucky that no one is depending on me for anything and I can just stay here and visit the Big Empty and pick up my groceries, effectively limiting my chance at exposure. I got a full inhaler from my doc and I’m ready for the nonce. 🙂

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  2. It appears that at this time Australia’s cases are low for the Covid 19 virus. Google “Australia Covid 19.”
    It shows the number of cases in Australia compared with the number of cases in other countries in the world. Our data in British Columbia (BC) suggests that persons at least twenty years older than you are at greater risk of the disease. BC put in measures of social distancing of two metres, social isolation, hand cleaning, no touching the face, limiting only very necessary travel within the province, schools were closed, people were encouraged to work at home, food stores open , take-outs open, and parks were closed. Getting fresh air is encourage keeping in mind the health restrictions. Keep well Tracy!

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    1. I am well, Sid. I just had the black hat on momentarily and so I was not trying to present a balanced perspective. I’m incredibly grateful for the prompt actions by Australian governments to contain this virus. Thanks to their efforts and those of the Australian community, we have been doing incredibly well at keeping the infection rate low. The same restrictions are being followed here as in BC. It seems all countries are moving on this tracing app now. Aussies were first told it would be voluntary, and then threatened that it would be mandatory, and now the PM has said again it would be voluntary. It’s an imperfect tool. It is a post-infection management tool. And only one of many tools that we will need to use.
      It is so easy for me to criticise from the sidelines but I don’t want to do that. Everyone is scrambling and it is apparent they are doing their utmost to protect all Australians. The messaging could be better, but we are all human, so that is completely forgivable.
      There is a chart being shown on media talk shows of the infection rate being greatest in the 20-30 age group but the death rate being highest in the over 70s. Fair enough that its being used to generate discussion around the relative economic and health burdens borne by different cohorts of the community, but what I haven’t heard being discussed is the knowledge and expertise powerhouse that resides in our older generations that could be potentially be lost . That same knowledge continues to be imparted to the younger gens.
      So yeah, I’m good. Still, I can’t quite shake that lost feeling of sitting around waiting to die, even though the waiting room is very nice.

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      1. I liked your Friday song sung by the ‘Be Good Tanyas’ and its message. Thank you for your reply. My suggestion is on YouTube: Selfie Cam Jam Barenaked Ladies “Lovers in a dangerous time”
        I think you will like it. Each of the musicians are self-isolating but perform together on a web stream.

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  3. I’m waiting for my second Instacart delivery. I’m a senior and have a history of respiratory illnesses so I’m in the danger demographic. Still, it makes me anxious that someone else is shopping and delivering for me, that they take a risk I have the luxury of avoiding.

    Tracy, you bring up so many points we should all be thinking about. How do we approach a future we can barely envision, one left unstable for our children and grandchildren and made so much worse by an appalling lack of leadership and a skewed moral compass? I don’t have the answers but I suspect that my years of recyling and water conservation are not enough.

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    1. Shari, I’m concerned that climate change-driven extreme events may combine with the corona virus to put even more people at risk over your summer. And of course, the virus will play out in unstable countries in horrendous ways. The US gives the impression that it is falling into that category as well. Still people are entitled to their vote and if they are stupid enough to return your president, then that is democracy in action, I guess.
      The WHO has warned there is likely to be food shortages. There is likely to be huge political turmoil. The world may be a very scary place for a very long time.
      Stay home, friend. No point in being a martyr. I can understand that feeling of guilt though.

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      1. It isn’t really democracy in action in the US because the Republican Party has gerrymandered and manipulated voting so that people most adversely affected by their policies can’t even vote. Agent Orange has never even had a majority approval rating here but he controls the media and the incredibly stupid, hate-filled, racist, conspiracy-believer gang of red hats who follow him.

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  4. Good on you for thinking and asking the hard questions Tracy. I’m enacting a mental version of the fairground game where, when a shape pops up you hit it with a mallet. Bonus points for being quick.

    I know I’m stalling and the game is on permanent loop, but so far my mallet arm is holding up and keeping me vaguely sane.

    Thank you for the song. It’s lovely and somehow sad music is ok right now.

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    1. That mental mallet is likely to get thumping for a while, Su. It’s a good strategy.
      I’m characterising my latest thinkfest as a blackhat moment, so I acknowledge that it is not necessarily balanced or rational. Still, I have decided that this “thinking” is an important coping strategy because I can’t deal with my fear unless I first acknowledge it. However, I should have said that I am terribly encouraged with recent responses by Australian governments. The economic spokespeople on the various talk shows are are a bit scary though. Thankfully it is not all up to them. To think I was once an economist!

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    1. I know, Liz. Who would have imagined that the world would have changed so much in just two months. I shouldn’t complain at all when I see the situation in the US. I really feel for you. I’ve just had a look at the NH situation. The spread of infections in care facilities must be a huge worry for families with loved ones in those facilities. I saw that there was a study in one facility for the disabled that showed a staggering amount of people with the virus that were asymptomatic, which was good in one way but you can just imagine the potential for exponential growth in infections. Be careful, Liz. Thinking of you and all your compatriots.

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  5. I think we all have more questions than answers at this point, or at least those who are honest. (Just get on social media you’ll see tons of “experts” telling us exactly how this is going to play out.) Trying to decide what is the best way forward is so difficult that I wouldn’t want to be a leader of any country right now, to be honest. Sadly, our current leader has zero communication skills and isn’t exactly what you would call mature or selfless….. And others are spending more time fighting with him when they should be trying to find solutions. After 9/11, we came together as a country, if only for a little while. That isn’t happening this time, which just makes a bad situation worse.

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    1. I’m having a break from social media (apart from my blog) for the reasons you describe, Ann. It has really helped my mental health, although I admit, I’m not above above speculating about the future myself as part of that thinking aloud process that I occasionally find beneficial (for me at least). 🙂
      I’m loathe to comment on other countries, except to acknowledge the considerable challenges that good people are facing, and your country looks like it is a facing a good many terribly divisive challenges at the moment of its own making.

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      1. Yep….New York City is hardest hit, and they waited too long to get the shelter at home order in place. It’s a mess for sure, but at this point, it’s time to move beyond the finger pointing (it’s an election year, so we’ll have plenty of time for that later!) and to work together toward solutions. Sadly, that’s not happening. But despite our bad leadership, we do have many good people in our country doing the right thing, and that gives me hope. I hope the same is true of Australia (I’m sadly uninformed of the details there, but from what you’ve said it sounds as if your numbers aren’t too bad?), and that we an all minimize the damage this horrible virus is causing.
        And nothing wrong with speculating about the future, Tracy! We all do it and it’s helpful. I was just whining about the people who are passing themselves off as experts stating facts, when all their really doing is speculating.
        Take care and know that I’m sending good thoughts your way!

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  6. The ever-changing opinions of all governments are a real challenge these days, in every country it seems. What’s an option now turns out to be law tomorrow and back again in a matter of hours. A whirlwind is nothing to that! All that speculation isn’t very helpful either, and although I’ve started watching the news again, it doesn’t seem likely to provide any real news. As long as there’s no vaccine it would be horrendously stupid to ease out of regulations, and what is Germany doing for instance right now? Exactly – easing out. We’ll see what the numbers will say in about two weeks…

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    1. I hope everyone continues to stay away from one another, Sarah.
      We have had promises made about moving slowly, so I’m pleased about that. It is likely the pressure will build for a faster return to “normal”. I am sure people will have good intentions to keep up physical distancing but complacency does set in. We’ll see what happens. Likewise in Germany too.

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      1. I’ve heard a psychologist talk about people having an automatic reflex to withstand authority, especially when told stuff they don’t want to hear or like. It’s obvious that’s how people react these days, especially in the western world. They’ve showed pictures of people milling about the beaches in Hamburg without keeping any distance at all. Can’t they see how stupid their behavior is?? 😦

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