Friends across the globe

Hang up the labcoat, relax and chat about anything
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Steven Sesselmann
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Friends across the globe

Post by Steven Sesselmann » 16 Mar 2020, 21:18

Greetings Friends,

As events unfold around the world I think of all my friends and fellow scientists in Europe and the USA and hope you all have a safe place to work. Once again the news is full of people in hazmat suits and respirators, this time with thermometers instead of radiation detectors.

As we watched the corona virus spread in China, everyone sat around and did nothing, assuming it was a local Chinese problem, but viruses don't carry passports do they?

Many western governments completely failed to get the problem, they failed to understand that people, not corporations are their biggest assets, so their first reaction was to rescue the economy.

Here in Australia our prime minister Scott Morrison rushed to the scene and announced a two billion dollar stimulus package, encouraging people to go out and spend money with local restaurants and businesses !!
(probably not the best way to deal with a contagious virus epidemic)

Lack of strong leadership, created fear, panic, a run on toilet paper and the stock market, in turn sending the economy into a tailspin.

Valuable time was lost as a result of this incompetence, which instead could have been used to mobilise hospitals and educate people.

My 5 cents worth ;)

Stay safe and remember, next time you vote for a politician, forget the policies, just consider how good they will handle a real crisis.

Steven

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Svilen
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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by Svilen » 16 Mar 2020, 23:43

Very well said, Steven!

Many governments have missed the moment for the most appropriate actions, both strategic and restrictive. It seems even here in Germany, where usually prevention and safety are taken very seriously, the measures are late, the preparation is insufficient. Of course, no country can be fully prepared for such large-scale crises, but it could definitely be thought of and acted earlier in limiting travel/contacts and supply/equipt hospitals, to the possible extent at least.

Thanks, and you stay safe too.
Svilen

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Geoff
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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by Geoff » 17 Mar 2020, 11:54

Thanks for this Steven. Currently sitting in my front row seat to the continuing collapse of America, but not hoarding toilet paper.
Geoff Van Horn

Former Alaskan living in rural Wisconsin

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by Steven Sesselmann » 17 Mar 2020, 21:20

Geoff wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 11:54
Thanks for this Steven. Currently sitting in my front row seat to the continuing collapse of America, but not hoarding toilet paper.
Geoff,

I think you should have stayed in Alaska, things are not looking good in the US.
Assuming that the death rate is an indication of the number of infections 17 days ago, the number of infected people could be in the 10,000's, clearly they are not testing enough people.

Stay safe.

Steven

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sgt_bear
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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by sgt_bear » 18 Mar 2020, 08:14

I also hope all of you are save and that this crysis is going as good as possible.....

Its surely very serious, but i'm kinda not with people that think this will cause a colapse of humanity or even industrial countries. If we took a look back in time, we can see that the spanish flu has cost the life of nearly 50million people, and the population was way smaller than now (2billion compared to almost 8 today), many people were hurt or sick from WWI and medical treatment was not like today. And even then, humanity made its stand, and i'm sure we will survive this crysis also. Surely some rough economic years will follow.

Some note about testing: There problem here is, that the testing itself, does not change alot to the situation. The most significant solution would to shut down the world to the most basic needs (food, water, health) for 3 weeks and the pandemic would be solved. The issue with testing is the expontial number combined with the long incubation period of the virus. Imagine testing one person positive today, that had contact to 10-25 persons in the last days (if you could identify all), you would have to test all those persons too, and one person that was tested today negative, could be getting infected tomorrow, so you would have to test all persons in periodic cycles - which is impossible. Even in a rather small country like switzerland, there are 8 million people...try to test 8 million people periodically. And in heavy populated areas, the risk of infection rises exponentially.

Another thing to cosinder is the fact, that in the last century, we have improved quality of life and health services that much, that the average age has risen significally, and also the number of persons who are old. The same is valid for recovery from any diseases. Most of the current virus fatalies happen to people that are either very old or have medical preconditions or both.

The real danger is to come to countries that either have no infrastructure or knowledge to deal with such issues.

Stay safe all, protect you, and protect others by limiting social distance.
- Jonathan from Switzerland

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by Steven Sesselmann » 18 Mar 2020, 09:16

Jonathan,

I agree, testing is a logistical problem.

Maybe with our collective knowledge we can develop a cheap USB Corona meter :)

Stay safe !

Steven

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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by gwgw » 19 Mar 2020, 06:23

The USB corona meter would be much more dangerous to operate than a gamma spectrometer...
Regards,
Milen Rangelov

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by Steven Sesselmann » 19 Mar 2020, 13:37

Milen,

It would be a personal corona meter, just like an alcohol tester you just blow in it once a day with a disposable straw and it sends the result to a global database with GPS location.

Maybe a tiny mass spectrometer tuned to detect particles with the same mass as the virus, I don't know if that would be possible?

Steven

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Re: Friends across the globe

Post by gwgw » 20 Mar 2020, 02:45

Not quite into that, but I'd guess nothing, even fancy new methods can beat good old serological testing. On the other hand, I think cheap portable (well not necessarily USB) colorimetric or spectrophotometric device can be made that may automate/assist the personnel in the serological test procedure, replacing expensive ones. In fact I've built some crappy ones for my own projects (researching UV fluorescence spectrum of some bever...err liquids). There are already available cheap electronics, mechanical construction and calibration can be real pain, but well who knows, at the end this might be really helpful fighting the COVID19 pandemic.
Regards,
Milen Rangelov

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