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  #3101  
Old 05-13-2020, 08:03 PM
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And results from similar testing in Slovenia.

Quote:
The Slovenian government released the results of a nationwide antibody study in which 3.1% of participants tested positive for antibodies indicating prior exposure to the novel coronavirus. Based on the study, researchers say with 95% certainty that 2-4% of the population had an immune response to Covid-19, far less than the 60-80% immunity rate believed to be needed to prevent renewed spread of the virus. Since yesterday there were two additional confirmed cases, for a cumulative total of 1,463. There was one additional fatality, bringing the total to 103. The number who are currently hospitalized decreased to 38 persons, of whom 9 are in intensive care.
Link for more complete situation goes to Slovenian US Embassy
  #3102  
Old 05-13-2020, 08:12 PM
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Here in Ireland, things are slightly easing from 18th May.

Main difference for me is I'll be allowed meet some friends/family outdoors, socially distant up to a max of 4.

Businesses appear to have been slowly reopening, more or less in line with government guidelines.

I've been cocooning my elderly (multiple health problems including cancer) mother these last almost 8 weeks and I'm fraying, so while keeping her health (and my own) to the fore, I'm looking forward to things being slightly less locked down.

FWIW I've worn masks in stores for most of these past 8 weeks and have observed as best I can the social distancing best practice. I live in a fairly densely populated suburb of the city so it can be hard to give others a 2 metre berth without walking out into traffic.
  #3103  
Old 05-13-2020, 08:33 PM
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Does that mean 1.16% of the whole population died or 1.16% of the 5% died?
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:37 PM
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Does that mean 1.16% of the whole population died or 1.16% of the 5% died?
The latter.
  #3105  
Old 05-13-2020, 08:43 PM
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Does that mean 1.16% of the whole population died or 1.16% of the 5% died?
If it were the former, then there would be 545,000 dead in Spain, or nearly twice the entire total deaths worldwide.
  #3106  
Old 05-13-2020, 09:22 PM
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Wisconsin’s supreme court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order on Thursday, ruling that Governor Tony Evers overstepped his authority by extending the order through the end of May.

The ruling reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants. The Tavern League of Wisconsin swiftly posted the news on its website, telling members, “You can OPEN IMMEDIATELY!”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-at-home-order
  #3107  
Old 05-13-2020, 09:31 PM
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Notice how those signs the women in the middle have don't say "lets go back to work." Just "go back to work". How many of these defenders of freedom are up for letting low-paid workers have the freedom to choose whether to go back to work in the middle of a pandemic or not - by providing financial support for people who can't otherwise avoid it to self-isolate?
  #3108  
Old 05-13-2020, 11:55 PM
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4,429,884 total cases
298,174 dead
1,659,797 recovered

In the US:

1,430,348 total cases
85,197 dead
310,259 recovered

Yesterday's numbers for comparison:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
4,342,355 total cases
292,893 dead
1,602,443 recovered

In the US:

1,408,636 total cases
83,425 dead
296,746 recovered
  #3109  
Old 05-14-2020, 12:18 AM
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And results from similar testing in Slovenia.
The problem that I have with that study is the method in which it was performed. They invited 3,000 people (who they claim were a representative sample of age and geography), but fewer than half of those invited decide to actually go be tested. I'd be willing to bet that the people that showed up were not the same distribution of age and geography (especially age), but the testers seem to ignore that possibility. At the very least, I can't find any source that shows the breakdown of those invited vs. those who accepted. I also can't find where the tests took place, but if it was a medical facility, that would make it even more likely to be biased. I don't know of a single at-risk person who wants to go within a mile of a medical facility right now.

Biased possibilities

1. Some of the people who show up had coughs, fevers or similar symptoms over the past 2 months and accepted because they wanted to know for sure.

2. Many at risk people have been very careful about possible exposure and therefore are very unlikely to have had the virus. They are also very unlikely to accept the invitation which could increase that risk of exposure.

3. People who are currently not feeling well choose to not participate, as they don't want to infect others or be stigmatized for showing possible symptoms.

I'm sure there are others, but it's nearly impossible to do an in-person random sample at this particular time.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:17 AM
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The problem that I have with that study is the method in which it was performed. They invited 3,000 people (who they claim were a representative sample of age and geography), but fewer than half of those invited decide to actually go be tested. I'd be willing to bet that the people that showed up were not the same distribution of age and geography (especially age), but the testers seem to ignore that possibility. At the very least, I can't find any source that shows the breakdown of those invited vs. those who accepted. I also can't find where the tests took place, but if it was a medical facility, that would make it even more likely to be biased. I don't know of a single at-risk person who wants to go within a mile of a medical facility right now.
Also, not sure if false positives are accounted. It is about 3 times more than me (and majority of expert here) would predict, with about 20-30 times more infected than regularly tested positive (cca 1400 infected /per 2,1 million vs 47 infected in 1463 sample). But seems to be somewhat consistent with some other (still rare) similar studies (Austria, Iceland, some regional studies in Germany and US). Samples were collected in last week of april, some at home and some at closest medical facilities. It will be repeated in 6 months and status phone checked bi-weekly in meantime.

Some other interesting data which reveals one slight local abnormality. 80 of 103 dead are accounted at retirement homes, and 80% of that for only 3 or 4 specific ones (of total 102 in the country). Less than 20 actually died on ICUs in hospitals. When doctors were asked why so many were not bothered to be ICUzied (although ICUs were utilized only 35% at the peak), they were like, they would not survive procedure. Granted, average age of the passed is way above average, close to 90, which would also give some answer why positives to dead ration here is relatively high.

Last edited by yo han go; 05-14-2020 at 02:19 AM.
  #3111  
Old 05-14-2020, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-at-home-order
Quote:
Wisconsin’s supreme court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order on Thursday, ruling that Governor Tony Evers overstepped his authority by extending the order through the end of May...
With reference to the Guardian article, this is slightly misleading. It wasn't the governor's action that was negated by the court, but Secretary Palm's directive:
Quote:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the state's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic as "unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable" after finding that the state's health secretary exceeded her authority.

In a 4-3 ruling, the court called Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm's directive, known as Emergency Order 28, a "vast seizure of power."
  #3112  
Old 05-14-2020, 03:10 AM
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Also, not sure if false positives are accounted. It is about 3 times more than me (and majority of expert here) would predict, with about 20-30 times more infected than regularly tested positive (cca 1400 infected /per 2,1 million vs 47 infected in 1463 sample). But seems to be somewhat consistent with some other (still rare) similar studies (Austria, Iceland, some regional studies in Germany and US). Samples were collected in last week of april, some at home and some at closest medical facilities. It will be repeated in 6 months and status phone checked bi-weekly in meantime.
Adjusting for a known false positive rate is so straightforward that I would certainly hope and expect a reputable research team would have done so ... of course, this does add in some additional possibility of error, but you can account for that too.

DMC's point about sample bias is well-taken though, and it seems like the most likely biases are in favour of finding more people who had the virus and didn't notice it (sample probably contains fewer elderly people, fewer people being very strict about isolation, fewer people who live in more remote areas etc). This ties in well with the fact that the study found a very low death rate, compared to the Spanish study (only about 0.16 percent, if I'm doing my maths right)
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  #3113  
Old 05-14-2020, 03:31 AM
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They've been saying this since the start. It's not unlikely that a COVID jab will eventuality be given out alongside the flu jab every year. Hopefully they'll be able to roll both into one.
Hopefully not, otherwise I won't be able to vaccinated against covid because I'm allergic to the flu vaccine.

The other possibility no one but the scientists seem to want to consider is that we may not get a vaccine - there are many diseases we don't have one for.

I'll believe we have a viable vaccine when we actually have a viable vaccine, not until then.
  #3114  
Old 05-14-2020, 03:59 AM
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...New Zealand opened up today.

We dropped to Alert Level 2 which essentially allows almost everything to open up again (with the exception of the borders) to some degree or another. Schools go back next week. I went out to a shop today and bought something without having to "text and collect" and if felt really weird.

So this is the real test for how well our lockdown has worked. For the third day in the row we've had zero new cases, zero new deaths, only 2 people in hospital and nobody in ICU. And they conducted 6,568 tests yesterday: a big ramp up of the testing to try and see if there are any undiagnosed cases or clusters out there in the community. We are being told that "if you feel sick then stay home. And go get tested." If you need a test you get a test.

As much as I'm pleased to see how well we've done, I still look in abject horror at what is going on overseas, especially in America and the UK. Over the last 6 or 7 weeks (I've lost count, everything has rolled into one) we've had the science of transmission drilled into us down here. So I watch this from people who are actually setting health policy in the UK and my jaw just dropped. These guys don't have a clue about "what is safer and what is not." A real estate agent visiting multiple houses will be significantly more likely to be exposed to the virus than a mum and a dad who have been self-isolating for the last seven weeks. Yet it is the former which is allowed because "they will only come into the house once" which is completely nonsensical. Its the sort of advice which is going to cost lives.

In New Zealand we used the concept of the "bubble." Its a very simply concept to understand: the people you were locked down with "on the first day of lockdown" are in your bubble. At Level 4 you had to remain in your bubble, so if someone was incubating Covid-19 then it would only potentially spread to people within your bubble. When we dropped to Level 3 we were allowed to "expand our bubbles" to include another bubble. That meant we could catch up with whanau but still limited exposure to within those two bubbles.

But what they are doing in the UK is the opposite of this. They are allowing multiple bubbles to interact and consider this to be safer and less risky than two bubbles merging. I dread what we will see in a couple of weeks.
  #3115  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:15 AM
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Beijing Back to Campus Bulletin!

It's been a few days now since the students have returned to campus. My school's 12th graders and 9th graders (aka "Year 12" and "Year 9" for some odd Australian and/or Chinese reason) returned to the campus, a boarding school, on Sunday, 10 May 2020 and Monday, 11 May 2020, respectively. Classes began for Year 12 students on Monday, 11 May 2020 and Year 9 students on 12 May 2020.

This schedule required us teachers to be on the campus Sunday and Monday at 8:00 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. That part doesn't bug me so much; what does is that we still stay until 5:30 p.m. each day. What I did appreciate this time, though, is the "Semester Opening Ceremony" (yeah, TIC*) was held with just select senior staff and teachers and all of the students during the student's evening study hall time (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.). The staff shuttle buses therefore ran their morning routes thirty minutes early.

Once departing the bus in the school parking lot, I noticed the line barriers (what are those thing called?) set up again. A couple of students were entering the campus and they had to do the same routine we staff did last week.

All classes are divided into two groups: Group A and Group B. Half the classes on each floor are in Group A, the other half in Group B. Group A classes begin at the normal times (8:30 a.m. for morning classes, 1:50 p.m. for afternoon classes) and last for forty-five minutes with a ten-minute break between classes. Group B's classes begin at the same times, but the first class in the morning and the first class in the afternoon are fifty minutes long. This is to minimize the number of students in the hallways and restrooms during the break between classes. Every restroom on campus now had an occupancy limit clearly posted at the door. In addition to that, every other stall door is bolted shut and every other urinal is covered up. Some genius decided that the western style commode on the first floor male restroom is one of the stalls to be closed--I hope he falls into the squatter.

Each grade is now assigned a time to go the cafeteria (aka "canteen" for yet another Australian or Chinese reason). Before the pandemic, the students had the entire lunch break (12:00 noon to 1:50 p.m. for the students) to hang out and eat at any of the canteens on campus. Now they must be escorted by their grade's senior teacher.

Students are no longer permitted in any of the teachers' offices. If they need to use the restroom, only one student per class may go. (Reminds me of that character in Summer School who got the restroom key on the first day and returned it on the day of the final exam. Or was that Fast Times at Ridgemont High?) The form teachers are required to ensure no students are in the halls during classes.

In class, we teachers have been tasked with ensuring the students do not congregate closer than one meter to each other, and that they wear their masks properly instead of the usual Chinese practice of wearing it as a sort of fashion statement (not covering the nose or even the mouth). For Group B classes, those teachers are permitted to let the students have a rest in place for the extra five minutes of the first period in the morning and the first period in the afternoon. Personally, I think that Group A should have the normal times for the morning and the fifty-minute class in the afternoon, just to make it fair.

The school staff discovered that with all the social distancing and other pandemic prevention rules ("Pandemic prevention"? Apparently someone forgot that it's already a pandemic now; we need to control it, not prevent it.) the students in one of the two departments in which I'm currently working simply do not have enough time to get to PE class, have PE class, clean up after PE class, and then get back to their classroom for their other subjects. This is because that department is further away from the gym than the other departments. The decision came down on Tuesday that the students in that department will all have PE in the final period in the afternoon. I suppose I should mention that there are four periods in the morning and four in the afternoon.

The students are again herded escorted to dinner by their department's head teacher and are turned over to the form teachers for study hall, and finally to the dorm teachers at 9:00 p.m. I have no idea what the new dormitory restrictions are so I cannot report on those.

The Beijing Municipal Education Commission and the Beijing CCP Education Committee have observers meandering around campus throughout the day to ensure the staff and students are following the new rules.

All of the above is for private boarding schools in the city. The training centers ("cram schools"/"afterschool academies") are still closed.

For the public schools, the 12th graders returned a few days ealier, 27 April 2020. Their campuses have similar markings and signages throughout the campus but their control procedures are more strict. The students are stuck in the classroom for the duration of the day. During their ten-minute break, they get to rest in place. There is no leaving the classroom until lunchtime and then when it's time to go home. I do not know if they get escorted to the cafeteria for lunch or if the food is brought to their classrooms.

The really big news was announced yesterday by the Beijig Municipal Education Commission! The other grades, except for first, second, and third grades, are returning to campus per the following schedule:

Quote:
Originally Posted by the link above
Grade 12 – already back at school, as of Apr 27
Grades 10 – 11 – Jun 1
Grade 9 – already back at school, as of May 11
Grade 8 – Jun 1
Grade 7 – Jun 1
Grade 6 – Jun 1
Grade 5 – Jun 8
Grade 4 – Jun 8
Grades 1-3 – to be announced at a later date
Kindergarten – Jun 8
After school training centers – to be announced at a later date
The very important announcement over the commission's official WeChat account is that the summer holiday will not be postponed. I was very excited to read that, but I still have my doubts about it for the private schools. Anyway, so long as the borders are closed to foreigners retrurning, that might not be such a big issue for us foreigners in country.

A number of foreign teachers at my school and, of course, at others are not in China now for the aforementioned ban. Some of those teachers are stranded in locales where they can neither return to China nor get to their home countries. On the foreign teachers' WeChat group, someone stated that some teachers were told those whose contracts end this semester will not be renewed. Note that I have heard nothing from administration or senior management on that nor anything official; it's just something one of those out-of-country teachers stated in the group.

If true, I guess I can see the school's side, but at the same time, it's really looks like abandonding somene especially if that person is stranded elsewhere and has been doing the job online as directed. If not true, that's good news for those folks.

Speaking of contracts ending in July, mine does. I've already asked my department head what's going on with that. I guess I just have to be patient. That's getting very difficult the longer my wife is stuck oustide of the country! Oh, and her visa, just like mine, expires 31 July 2020. Actually, there's a possibility that her visa may be void because it was issued last year. I guess we'll discover what's going on with that when and if China cancels the ban on foreigners returning.

I think I did not make any spelling or grammar errors in this post. I do not mind if you find any and let me know I made such errors.

*TIC = This Is China.

Last edited by Monty; 05-14-2020 at 04:19 AM.
  #3116  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:21 AM
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I forgot to mention one thing I found interesting. The night before last when I got home from work, one of my neighbors was taking a video of her daughter, who's in primary school, doing a number of exercises. The neighbor then had to send the video to her daughter's PE teacher as that was the daughter's final exam to show she understood the proper way to peform those exercises.
  #3117  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Beijing Back to Campus Bulletin!
....

All classes are divided into two groups: Group A and Group B. Half the classes on each floor are in Group A, the other half in Group B. ....
I'm up early-- thunderstorm woke me. Very clear description-- just like being there! (Sort of.) Question: what's the process/rationale for putting a student in Group A v. Group B? Purely arbitrary or is there some academic reason?
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  #3118  
Old 05-14-2020, 07:04 AM
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I'm up early-- thunderstorm woke me. Very clear description-- just like being there! (Sort of.) Question: what's the process/rationale for putting a student in Group A v. Group B? Purely arbitrary or is there some academic reason?

Thanks! The metric is that one half of the classes on each floor is in one group, the other half in the other group. I think it's simply every other room chosen, but a coworker thinks it's based on the students' academic standing. Since the students are assigned to classes based on academic performance, there's really no way to tell without the person who made the choice telling you. The rationale is to minimize the number of students in the hallway between classes. A sharp observer would note that there is still a five minute overlap when both groups are on break between periods. The first period should have been extended for ten minutes, IMHO; however, this protocol seems to be working as intended for the four days it has been in use. Supposedly the break halfway through evening study hall is also staggered in the same way, but I do not know that for a fact because I simply do not care what happens on the campus after I leave each day. I care what happened on campus when I lived on campus and that was too much aggravation.

The students will have to adjust more when more grades have returned because a number of classes are now meeting in rooms that will all of a sudden be occupied by their original student inhabitants.
  #3119  
Old 05-14-2020, 07:47 AM
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I forgot to mention one thing I found interesting. The night before last when I got home from work, one of my neighbors was taking a video of her daughter, who's in primary school, doing a number of exercises. The neighbor then had to send the video to her daughter's PE teacher as that was the daughter's final exam to show she understood the proper way to peform those exercises.
"Send me videos of your young children doing exercises. What could go wrong?"
  #3120  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:27 AM
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Hah!
  #3121  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:41 AM
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Our state started reopening but me and my family decided to stay home and wait a little further. We think it's too early to reopen. It's better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:47 AM
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I have a friend that is a teacher. Special ed. We both are on satellite dishes for internet (no other choice), so video conference with her kids is pretty much impossible because of the latency/delay. She has come up with a novel solution. She has an agreement with a B&B where she, and only she goes to the house and use the internet for her work and connect to her students via zoom. Then she returns home.

The B&B is empty otherwise. I think she is paying the B&B owners $25 a day. So it's a win/win.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:12 AM
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Our state started reopening but me and my family decided to stay home and wait a little further. We think it's too early to reopen. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Our state is pretty much still closed. Which is fine for me, but I feel very sorry for businesses that this is affecting.

I've been wanting to work from home for years anyway, so it's working out well for me. Bosses boss has said this will probably continue until July for our department. And then, we'll see. We've proved that working from home … works.

I would very much like to continue to be able to work from home a few days a week. And especially in our frequent snowstorm events so I can plow our driveway in the daylight. It sucks to come home, park in the 'road' hike uphill through a foot of snow to my truck and plow in the dark.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:14 AM
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enipla, it occurs to me that folks who run Air BnBs (like my parents) could also offer rooms to people who have adequate technology to work from home, but find it crazy-making because of kids or what-have-you. I should tell my parents about this idea.
  #3125  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:05 PM
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Today in Austria:
  • Chancellor Kurz came under heavy criticism today for failing to maintain enough distance from well-wishers and fellow speakers at an outdoor press event in Vorarlberg yesterday. A widely circulated video of the event prompted a flood of negative front-page news stories and social media comments, all shaming the chancellor and those members of the public who got too close to him or to each other. I suppose that this video may look rather tame to some, but it bears keeping in mind that the chancellor has been absolutely fastidiuous until now in personally demonstrating his commitment to his own distancing regulations. In recent weeks he had never appeared public without a mask (except when speaking, and even then usually behind a plexiglass screen) and press conferences with his cabinet were careful to show him giving everyone an extraordinarily wide berth when entering, standing, and leaving. The public backlash forced him into damage control mode today. After he and members of his cabinet were grilled about the issue at televised press conferences this morning, he spoke on public television this evening, partly to deflect blame onto the media and to the unruly crowd at the event, but also to admit that things could have been handled better and to promise to stick to indoor, well-contained and -orchestrated press events from now on.

  • I passed the federal chancellery on my way home from work today, sans ferret, and noticed a public protest by some 500 people. This was organized by the Initiative for Evidence-based Corona Information, the same group whose demo on 24 April was cancelled at the last minute (but which kind-of sort-of went ahead anyway thanks to the assorted conspiracy theorists and white nationalists who showed up to watch). This time I didn't spot any obvious lunatics in the crowd; most people weren't even holding signs, and those that did just had generic anti-lockdown messages. One of them was waving a Swedish flag. Almost everyone was wearing a mask and keeping distance. Police were present in much smaller numbers than before, though they did have all egresses barricaded with police trucks. The demo was actually quite boring so I didn't stick around for more than a couple minutes.

  • Cafés and restaurants will reopen tomorrow but need to ensure that guests from different do not sit too close together. This is a problem for certain establishments whose tables are bolted to the floor in close proximity to each other. Some clever café owners are getting around this problem by seating well-dressed mannequins at every other table. Not only does this help enforce the social distancing rules, but it also gives the establishment the illusion of being well-attended by fashion-conscious customers.

  • Swimming facilities will open later this month. The published health regulations indicate that open-air facilities can admit no more than one visitor per 10 m² of floor space, and swimmers not living in the same household must maintain two metres' distance from each other. Enclosed pools can admit no more than one visitor per 6 m² of pool space. It is prohibited for visitors from different households to simultaneously use saunas or steam rooms. Visitors will need to wear face coverings in the lobbies and changing rooms.

  • The Austrian Airlines fleet will remain grounded until at least 7 June.

  • Current statistics: 16,014 confirmed infections, 626 deaths, 14,405 recovered.
  #3126  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:57 PM
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More bad news and more reasons for wearing masks.

Talking Can Generate Coronavirus Droplets That Linger Up to 14 Minutes

Quote:
Coughs or sneezes may not be the only way people transmit infectious pathogens like the novel coronavirus to one another. Talking can also launch thousands of droplets so small they can remain suspended in the air for eight to 14 minutes, according to a new study.

The research, published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help explain how people with mild or no symptoms may infect others in close quarters such as offices, nursing homes, cruise ships and other confined spaces. The study’s experimental conditions will need to be replicated in more real-world circumstances, and researchers still don’t know how much virus has to be transmitted from one person to another to cause infection. But its findings strengthen the case for wearing masks and taking other precautions in such environments to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Scientists agree that coronavirus jumps from person to person most often by hitching a ride inside tiny respiratory droplets. These droplets tend to fall to the ground within a few feet of the person who emits them. They may land on surfaces like doorknobs, where people can touch lingering virus particles and transfer them to their face. But some droplets can remain aloft, and be inhaled by others.

Elaborate experiments have revealed how coughing or sneezing can produce a crackling burst of air mixed with saliva or mucus that can force hundreds of millions of influenza and other virus particles into the air if a person is sick. A single cough can propel about 3,000 respiratory droplets, while sneezing can generate as many as 40,000.
....
The hits just keep on coming.
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  #3127  
Old 05-14-2020, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
More bad news and more reasons for wearing masks.
Talking Can Generate Coronavirus Droplets That Linger Up to 14 Minutes
The hits just keep on coming.
Stores should tell their employees to speak as little as possible. All that happy customer service chatty talking they tell their employees to do are just more opportunities for the virus to spread. The idle chit-chat between an employee and customer spreads millions of droplets between them. The chit-chat at the registers and doorways means the fog of droplets will be thicker there and the surfaces in that area will have more droplets land on them, which means more get transferred to your purchases. And with the extra distance apart from social distancing, people have to project their voice more which releases more droplets.

People should be aware that the amount of droplets they release is proportional to how hard they exhale. Even soft breathing may release a small amount. Talking will release more, projecting their voice will release more than that, yelling even more, and so on. The danger with the more forceful exhales is that they have the strength to bring virus all the way up from deep in the respiratory system, but even a light exhale may release virus in the throat or nose.
  #3128  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:22 PM
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For simple folk, maybe best explanation would be "one fart rule" (tm). If one man farts and coughs (or talks loudly with lots of certain consonants) at the same time, then if you smelled it, you can get it. Empty elevators included. Common sense educated guess?

Last edited by yo han go; 05-14-2020 at 08:23 PM.
  #3129  
Old 05-14-2020, 11:02 PM
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4,526,905 total cases
303,405 dead
1,704,268 recovered

In the US:

1,457,593 total cases
86,912 dead
318,027 recovered

Yesterday's numbers for comparison:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
4,429,884 total cases
298,174 dead
1,659,797 recovered

In the US:

1,430,348 total cases
85,197 dead
310,259 recovered
  #3130  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:08 AM
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Stores should tell their employees to speak as little as possible. All that happy customer service chatty talking they tell their employees to do are just more opportunities for the virus to spread.
There is the problem that the customers are now conditioned to expect customer service chirpiness. Between no longer seeing smiles and no chirpy greetings customers react to store employees as hostile, when said customers are already stressed or even pissed off.

Not sure that would end well...
  #3131  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:39 AM
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Do you have those perspex barriers in your stores? I would think those would take care of most of the droplets-from-talking problem
  #3132  
Old 05-15-2020, 05:10 AM
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Yes, at the registers, but it's not like we walk around the store with riot shields strapped to our arms. We still talk to/help customers in the aisles. I'm not sure how someone could just a plastic shield and stock shelves at the same time.

Working in a grocery store is and will continue to be a risk.
  #3133  
Old 05-15-2020, 06:10 AM
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Lots of ideas are being used to make restaurants safer.
  #3134  
Old 05-15-2020, 07:14 AM
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I hope this means they will stop welcoming me to Moe's.
  #3135  
Old 05-15-2020, 10:34 AM
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Kidney damage seen in one-third of COVID-19 patients studied in new report

Note: The study group was patients sick enough to be hospitalized. So we aren't talking about one-third of all COVID patients. Still, the findings remind us that getting over a COVID-19 infection doesn't necessarily mean you're in good health. One concern that just popped into my mind: There may be some/a lot of COVID-19 survivors who succumb to other infections (like the flu) that they would have otherwise been able to fight off. And there may be some/a lot of COVID-19 survivors whose unhealthy lifestyle habits (drinking and smoking) may catch up to them sooner than they would have otherwise as well.
  #3136  
Old 05-15-2020, 10:45 AM
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There is the problem that the customers are now conditioned to expect customer service chirpiness. Between no longer seeing smiles and no chirpy greetings customers react to store employees as hostile, when said customers are already stressed or even pissed off.

Not sure that would end well...
David Foster Wallace on The Professional Smile
  #3137  
Old 05-15-2020, 02:11 PM
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Today in Austria:
  • Slovenia has reopened its border with Austria to incoming EU citizens who have not been outside the EU in the last 14 days. Austria has not yet reciprocated; it is maintaining controls on travellers from Slovenia until at least the end of May.

  • People in Austria have gotten very much accustomed to wearing masks. A recent poll showed that 98% of people wear masks in public. 26% of people even wear masks in places where it is not legally required to do so. Interestingly, only 69% people agree that it makes sense to wear masks, so a lot of people are consenting to wear them despite their own reservations.

  • The state secretary for culture resigned today after coming under criticism from artists and cultural workers for not doing enough to support them during the pandemic. The government had established financial aid packages for artists and cultural workers, and made efforts to increase access to their works and performances online and in the media, though evidently this was not seen as enough. In response, the health minister today outlined plans to relax the restrictions on cultural events: from 29 May, events of up to 100 people will be allowed; from 1 July, events of up to 250 people will be allowed; and from 1 August, events of up to 1000 people will be allowed, subject to special security rules. Cinemas will be permitted to reopen on 1 July.

  • Yesterday I reported passing through an anti-lockdown protest rally outside the federal chancellery, and said that I didn't notice any people with signs promoting lunatic conspiracy theories. It turns out there was one such sign that I overlooked: someone was parading around with one that said "Impfen macht frei". This is a play on the notorious message on the gates to Auschwitz, but with the word Arbeit ("work") replaced with Impfen ("vaccination"). The incident was reported to police, who are investigating whether prosecution under the country's laws against extremist and anti-Semitic speech. (My own view is that the sign may have been in poor taste by likening the "oppression" of mandatory vaccination to the oppression of the Jews under Nazi Germany, but doesn't rise to the level of hate speech.)

  • Current statistics: 16,093 confirmed infections, 628 deaths, 14,471 recovered.
  #3138  
Old 05-15-2020, 03:36 PM
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Is TechCrunch a reputable online news source? They're pretty breathless over an antibody being researched by the Sorrento company. Sorrento claims the antibody provides "100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection of healthy cells after four days incubation". It's only being discussed for the first time today, so I'm not holding my breath.
  #3139  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:05 PM
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it's generally a reputable source, but the original source in this case is the company itself, which is one reason for tempering your hope. A bigger reason is the study was in vitro, and most things that show promise in vitro don't pan out in vivo.
  #3140  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:42 PM
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Since there is so much depressing news in this thread, it seems like we should include some amusing stuff. While not really relevant to the topic, it is fun to watch a massive phalanx of goats getting loose and running through the quiet streets of San Jose.
  #3141  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:42 PM
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https://www.factcheck.org/2020/05/wh...hs-per-capita/

The United States has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 deaths per capita in the world. However, President Donald Trump made the false claim that “Germany and the United States are the two best in deaths per 100,000 people.”

As of May 11, the U.S. had 24.66 deaths per 100,000 people — more than two times higher than Germany (9.24 deaths per 100,000), and the 11th highest rate out of the more than 140 countries tracked by Johns Hopkins University...Of the more than 140 countries for which data is available, the U.S. figure for deaths per 100,000 people as of May 11 was the 11th highest and Germany’s was the 18th highest. Neither is anywhere near the “lowest rung of that ladder.”
  #3142  
Old 05-15-2020, 08:43 PM
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Since there is so much depressing news in this thread, it seems like we should include some amusing stuff. While not really relevant to the topic, it is fun to watch a massive phalanx of goats getting loose and running through the quiet streets of San Jose.
Thank you for that! Love it.
  #3143  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:16 PM
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Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro sees second health minister quit


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52682358
Quote:
Mr Teich also butted heads with the president over plans to open up the economy, saying last week that he was not consulted ahead of an order that paved the way for gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers to reopen.

But disagreements over how chloroquine should be used was the final straw, the Globo newspaper reported.
Detailed U.S.-focused context is here:

Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus 'game changer' increasingly linked to deaths
  #3144  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:29 PM
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In all fairness, we should define "game changer". Egregious mortality seems like a game changer to me.
  #3145  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:37 PM
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My local Costco here in Hawaii is up to speed on toilet paper and paper towels.

You can play singles tennis and pickle ball. Do yogo and Tai Chi with distancing.

Shopping malls have reopenned as of today.

Almost all the golf courses are open.

Still a 14 day quarantine for visitors and homcoming residents.
  #3146  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:57 PM
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Taiwan confirmed no new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus for the eighth consecutive day on Friday, keeping the total at 440 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

It was also the 33rd straight day with no domestically transmitted infections and the eighth day with no imported infections recorded in Taiwan, according to CECC statistics.

Taiwan is starting to open up.

Some 1,720 fans flocked to a baseball game played in New Taipei on Friday, one day after Taiwan's professional baseball league began relaxing its restrictions by allowing more fans into stadiums and letting them eat and drink while watching the games.

The match was between the Fubon Guardians and Rakuten Monkeys at Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium in the northern Taiwan city.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) on Friday detailed a plan to loosen travel and transportation restrictions as Taiwan appears to have controlled the spread of COVID-19.

The three-stage plan is aimed at addressing different goals to achieve in order for the public to resume normal lives, and at reviving the economy, said Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) in a statement.

According to the MOTC, in the first phase between May 27 and July 31, the priority will be to form new standards for travel, with a group consisting of local tourism operators traveling along the West Coast Expressway on May 27 to demonstrate safe methods of travel.

The ministry will provide guidelines to the public on how to travel safely under the threat of COVID-19, it said.

Starting on June 1, passengers on the country's regular trains and high speed rail will be able to eat onboard as long as social distancing is maintained, but they will still have to wear masks during other times, it added.

In addition, starting from the June 25-28 Dragon Boat Festival weekend, standing tickets will be available again for regular trains and non-reserved seats will be available for the high speed rail, the MOTC said.
  #3147  
Old 05-15-2020, 11:16 PM
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...and in BREAKING NEWS from New Zealand, a couple of days after the country opens up the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gets rejected from a local cafe because it was full. (Spoiler, they quickly found room for her)

This article is paywalled, but IMHO is worth the $4.00 to subscribe to read. Its the inside story of how the civil service, scientists, and the government worked together in unprecedented circumstances to close the country down. Its an exhilarating, breathtaking read and I can't help but feel proud of what they have done. Looking at the dates as well we can directly compare what we did with what is happening around the rest of the world.

Some highlights from the article by Matt Nippert:

Quote:
ts officials drafted an order for Health Minister David Clark to bring along to the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, January 28, to add the disease to a register recording infectious diseases worth keeping an eye on. That register reads like the inventory of a nightmare plague warehouse, including scares of yore such as mad cow disease, measles, leprosy and the more recent near-pandemic acronyms Mers and Sars. To this was added "novel coronavirus capable of causing severe respiratory illness".

But, not to worry, officials said: "The risk of spread to New Zealand is low".

This cautiously optimistic assessment would not survive the week. At 8pm on February 1, the Saturday before Waitangi Day, a highly unusual and urgent emergency Cabinet meeting took place by phone. It heard of alarming new numbers on the virus's spread. Cases in China had increased tenfold in the previous seven days, leading the World Health Organisation to ratchet up its alert klaxon to "global emergency".
So the alarm bells in New Zealand started to sound on February 1st.

Quote:
Every province in China had now reported cases, Bloomfield's briefing said, and it had already spread - albeit in low numbers - to a handful of other countries. There was a likelihood of asymptomatic spreaders, meaning reported infections were almost certainly understating the true growth in case numbers. One in five of those who contracted the virus required hospitalisation. This was clearly not the flu.

Bloomfield urged the immediate expansion of a limited ban on travel to New Zealand from not only those who had visited Wuhan but any travellers from mainland China. It was the same policy move Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had implemented the night before.

The crisis was on. Multiple insiders told the Weekend Herald this marked the moment when "things started to go crazy" and concerns and decision-making at the highest level stepped up in tempo to levels never before seen.
So much going on behind the scenes at this point. I remember at the time thinking we might have been going overboard. Its a good thing I wasn't in charge.

Quote:
Treasury, tasked with assessing the likely economic impact of Covid here, came up with three possible scenarios ranging from short-term disruption to global recession. They moved from thinking the best-case was most likely, to the worse-case being probable in a matter of weeks. The disruption of early moves, and rebuffed protests that they were too harsh, came as New Zealand had yet to record a single confirmed case. But attitudes were hardening at the highest levels that the apparent calm was merely because we weren't looking hard enough.
Sheesh. Treasury in NZ are conservative, measured organization. But the writing was on the wall.

Quote:
On February 14, Bloomfield argued against border restrictions being relaxed. His briefings said he considered there to be a "high" likelihood Covid had already reached our shores and was beginning to circulate.

While later events would appear to prove Bloomfield's assessment wrong - it was two weeks later before New Zealand recorded its first case, a traveller from Iran and not from local transmission - his precautionary approach won out and perhaps represents a case of officials making the right decision for the wrong reason.
So Bloomfield thought the virus was already here and in community spread. It appears that he was wrong on that specific point, but regardless the approach he recommended was the correct one.

Quote:
Events built to a head the following week. By Monday, March 9, case numbers in New Zealand reached five. Italy - where Lombardy had recorded its first case three weeks before but where the death toll was now more than 100 - began rolling out a nationwide lockdown as stresses on their health system became overwhelming.

Outbreaks were swelling across Europe and the United States, and international stock markets began a weeks-long slide with volatility that exceeded the worst spikes of panic seen during the global financial crisis.
It was about this time I was starting to get a bit worried.

Quote:
Treasury officials, amongst the most-cautious branch of the public service, had abandoned business as usual the previous week and were now telling ministers the rapidly developing situation meant they were effectively flying blind.

Decisions on the need to mitigate rapidly worsening economic impacts for which there was no precedent may need to be made with incomplete information.

"By the time it is clear that action is desirable, it may be too late to implement a timely response," officials said.

One Beehive official told the Weekend Herald the crisis resulted in a dramatic change of pace from the traditionally deliberate, tortoise-like rhythm of a public service that preferred inaction over policy that hadn't been scrutinised by committee to ensure it was watertight.

"The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet were reaching deep into the public service at 10am saying 'Cabinet is going to be considering this move in a meeting tomorrow and we'll need a briefing paper in four hours,'" the source said. "The process for Cabinet papers usually, from drafting to submitting, takes three months."

A senior government figure said the pace with bewildering: "New information was arriving faster than we were able to make decisions, which were quickly being made obsolete."
The article makes a reference to cricket to describe what is going on here, but that might go over the head of most Americans on the board. But essentially the entire civil service and government had to pivot from a "waterfall" methodology to an "agile" one overnight.

Quote:
Veteran public servant John Ombler was conscripted to co-ordinate the all of government response to Covid, and one of his first reports to cabinet on March 10 noted the Covid crisis team at the ministry of health was 70-strong, growing, and working seven days a week.
Its simply astonishing that the person coordinating the response to Covid-19 was a person I had never heard of until today.

Quote:
"You're not making a decision on five cases, you're making a decision on what's about to happen. And you know it's about to happen, because it's happened everywhere else on earth," one senior government figure told the Weekend Herald.
This is, of course, plainly obvious. It breaks my heart that this obvious point got ignored in so many places around the world.

Quote:
"Iran and Italy show dramatically what happens when action is taken too late. Their health systems are overwhelmed which is leading to alarming fatality rates," the briefing paper said. The experts said while community transmission had yet to be detected, it was likely to be occurring in New Zealand. "If community transmission becomes widespread we will have lost the opportunity gained by closing the border. International advice is that for each case we may be missing nine."

The risk of inciting public alarm was considered, and advice given to be open about the dramatic actions being contemplated. That horse, with stockpiling and dramatically reduced school attendance in the community, had already bolted. "Increasing panic is likely regardless, and without such information, communities are more likely to respond and act on rumours than official advice."
The bolded is one of the key reasons why the New Zealand public responded so well to the lockdown. The communication from the government from all sectors was simply out-of-this-world. From the daily briefings given by the Prime Minister and Dr Bloomfield, to the little things, like how my mum got a phone call from (we still don't know exactly what agency) to see how she was coping, and if she needed any support, to myself applying for the small business wage subsidy and having the money land in my account (a day later) before I even got the email to say the subsidy had been approved.

Quote:
The day before lockdown, the ad hoc committee of ministers was still cobbling together a quarantine policy, having scraped together 3300 suddenly-empty hotel rooms and 1400 campervans for use by arrivals unable to self-isolate or who showed symptoms of sickness.

Briefing documents from this day include many spelling and grammar mistakes and show the sense of urgency, verging on panic, that had taken hold.

"The rapid implementation of the approach will entail some risks given the speed, and key personal [sic] and resourcing constraints. The staggered approach of flights throughout the 26[th] will enable ongoing improvement and refinement of processing of passengers throughout the day," the official advice read.

"We do not expect the first few arrivals will be a seamless experience given there is no time for a trial run."
I'm simply in awe. All I had to do for the last six months was sit on my ass. There are so many faceless heroes here, the beancounters and suits, who ordinarily do ordinarily boring things but when a crisis arrives they have the institutional knowledge on how to "get things done."

And I think this points to yet another thing that has failed in both the American and the UK response: both countries have systematically stripped the institutional knowledge from its civil service over the last 3-4 years. And without that knowledge things "slow down" and even worse they "grind to a halt."

Its clear from the NZ response that they had assumed Covid-19 was already here and in community spread: the lockdown was the only card left to play. That they were wrong isn't a bad thing: its the best possible thing that could have happened. We aren't out of the woods yet of course. In a couple of weeks we will see what, if any effect of dropping to Level 2 will be. But the local bakery is open, mince-and-cheese pies are back on sale, and that makes me a happy man.
  #3148  
Old 05-15-2020, 11:47 PM
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4,628,555 total cases
308,645 dead
1,758,079 recovered

In the US:

1,484,285 total cases
88,507 dead
326,242 recovered

Yesterday's numbers for comparison:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
4,526,905 total cases
303,405 dead
1,704,268 recovered

In the US:

1,457,593 total cases
86,912 dead
318,027 recovered
Tomorrow the US will have more than 1.5 million total cases AND over 90,000 dead.
  #3149  
Old 05-16-2020, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
enipla, it occurs to me that folks who run Air BnBs (like my parents) could also offer rooms to people who have adequate technology to work from home, but find it crazy-making because of kids or what-have-you. I should tell my parents about this idea.
I think in my county that it is technically illegal though. We are just trying to discourage travel/tourists. But if all you do is drive there, use their wifi for the afternoon, and then return home, I don't see a big risk. I would not involve a lot of different people sharing the place at different times though. My neighbor is the only one that visits the place as far as I know.

It would have more people going to gas stations and foraging for food away from home I suppose, but may also alleviate some of the difficulties some people have from staying home.

I thought it was a clever solution.
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  #3150  
Old 05-16-2020, 10:28 AM
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Five sailors from the Roosevelt who had tested positive but were asymptomatic have now tested positive again. The story is that they underwent isolation for 14 days and had two negative tests at least 48 hours apart. After they were cleared, one developed symptoms and contact testing showed four additional positives. I see several possible scenarios.

-The tests showed false negatives and the incubation period may be longer than we thought meaning that these sailors were still in the presymptomatic stage for over two weeks
-The virus can exist in a latent smouldering state where the tests do not detect it but it can activate or reactivate several weeks after infection
-Getting infected does not confer immunity so that reinfection can occur even shortly after recovery

None of these is good. I wish we had antibody tests on these people so we would have some insight into whether they had not yet developed them or whether they had antibodies which were not protective.

I keep coming back to herpes viruses and I worry that this is a virus that is never completely cleared and can keep reactivating.
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