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Beijing tightens grip over coronavirus research, amid US-China row on virus origin





So, can someone remind me again, why is it, that we allow people to run the countries of the world, whose, only skill, is to be popular?

Do we get Taylor Swift to design and formulate anaesthetic drugs? Do we allow Robert De Niro to calculate rocket trajectories? David Beckham to project virus spread and the efficacy of various isolating models? Kim Khardashian to bring peace to the Middle East?

So why is it, we let these two hold the fates of their respective millions of people in the balance? and by extension the leaders of the rest of the world's countries?

To be fair some of these leaders are doing a good job, but almost none of them have any skills, in anything other, than being popular.


Time for technocracy



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I mind reading this book when I first came to Thailand, purchased at Asia books and written by an anthropologist.  I lost the book, and haven't found another copy, but it was remarkable in that it described my feelings of first arriving in Thailand. 

Walking out into the pea soup humidity out of the filthy Don Mueng to a taxi.  The grand thoughts as the taxi passes over the flyover.  Well this place could certainly do with a touch up, I'm thinking.  For a start get rid of all the rubbish festering on the street, that will employ some people for next to nothing - and it is a hygiene concern.  But aesthetically get rid of all those ugly concrete planter boxes with weeds growing in them - is this someone's idea of a joke?  And what is up with all this concrete?  This place could really be the jewel of Asia if only it was given some direction. 

I learnt some of the language and the culture and it gradually dawned on me - it will never change. 

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So what is the end game here?

Right now everywhere is pretty much locked down and the world is effectively at something of a standstill. Questions being asked relate to when will things re-open or change and when will some degree of normal life be allowed to return. Before we get to that though I think there is a related question that I'm not seeing asked and which I think needs to be asked and that is, what are the conditions being looked for to determine making changes is safe?

Thailand has a relatively low official number of both infected and dead. At what point does the government say its no longer a problem, 10 people a day, none? The same with other countries, given something that essentially cannot be contained what are the models for determining a time frame to de-escalate and what do they suggest as an acceptable level of risk.

I think eradication is unlikely, a vaccine is still 12 months away, and even then will take 12 months to deploy globally I'm sure. I can't see the gen pop going along with the idea of another 24 months of restrictions, at least not seriously.

Whilst those that have little have little to lose, those that have plenty might be more seriously affected and more inclined to kick up a fuss.


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20 hours ago, Flashermac said:

You mean secret like the USS Theodore Roosevelt? Or secret like Boris Johnson caught the bug?  Or only secret as in the CCP never admits to anything?


The conditions on the USS Roosevelt only came out because the Capt. was ignored by the command and he sent emails to get help for his crew. The conditions on the aircraft carrier was NEVER released by the Navy until his email was leaked.

The USA has bases in S. Korea, Germany, and Japan. It is obvious that some military personnel would get infected, but the Pentagon has not released any information.

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>So what is the end game here?

Interesting question and I would not be surprised to find out that the majority of governments have no idea what it is. Keeping a lockdown as is in place now for 6-12 months is not really an option as it would destroy the economy (even further) and could easily cost as much or more lives as the pandemic.
Alternatively, loosening the restrictions too early could easily result in another spike of cases.

Luckily we have brilliant minds in the government to deal with this problem 🤣 Or, in other words, we are likely fucked 😟


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Sky News host Andrew Bolt says claims coronavirus came from a Wuhan exotic animal market were beginning to fall apart with a Chinese academic pointing the finger at dangerous virology labs. A scholar from the South China University of Technology wrote a report casting doubt on the claim revealing “bat was never a food source in Wuhan” and bat was never sold at the infamous wet market. Instead, the author theorised that “a nearby laboratory just 300 metres from the market” was responsible for the outbreak. He said a researcher who worked coronaviruses and bats was quarantined for 14 days after being splashed with infected blood and urine. The scholar has since withdrawn his paper, a decision Mr Bolt said may have been due to pressure “to shut up” from Chinese leadership. Mr Bolt also revealed on his show that another nearby lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, bragged about discovering and identifying “a large number of new bat and rodent viruses” in a job ad posted in 2019.


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Well first of all, if you take anything Bolt says at face value you are contemptible. 

Also I would caution anyone not to politicize this crisis we are all going through.  We will get through this, and all the better if we can refrain from making ignorant racist comments.  

I would like to remind you of this - was Bolt ever seen in Wuhan?  If so, when and where was his visa issued?  It seems tiresome to point out his obvious connection to Murdoch and Trump. 

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Covid-19 outbreak ‘could kill 10m Thai jobs’

Thailand's job losses may reach 10 million if the coronavirus outbreak continues for a few months, a business advisory council said on Monday.

 The kingdom’s economy is being hit hard by the virus outbreak and is heading into a recession.

"We think about 7 million jobs have been lost already, and the figure will hit 10 million if the outbreak drags on for 2-3 months," Kalin Sarasin, a council member and the head of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, told a briefing after a meeting.

The country has a workforce of about 38 million.

The council of government and business agencies discussed requests for support measures before proposing them to the government, said council chairman Thosaporn Sirisumphand.

They included soft loans, tax breaks and financial support to retain jobs, he said.

Thailand, which has recorded 2,579 cases of infection and 40 deaths, has imposed a nationwide night curfew, having closed malls and discouraged activities to limit the spread.

The central bank has forecast the economy will contract 5.3% this year, which would be the weakest performance since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.



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