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Sunday, March 01, 2020

US-based pro sports leagues monitoring coronavirus outbreak

By request:

Major North American professional sports leagues are talking to health officials and informing teams about the coronavirus outbreak that has led to the first reported death in the U.S.

Officials from the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball say they are all consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations on a regular basis about COVID-19. Washington State reported Saturday that a man in his 50s died from the virus.

There are no immediate plans to cancel or postpone games or have them held in empty stadiums or arenas. Some of those contingencies have been taken in other countries, including Italy, where soccer matches were postponed until May.

Pro sports in the U.S. for now are going on as scheduled, though leagues are closely monitoring the situation. The NBA and NHL are in their regular seasons and MLB in spring training in Arizona and Florida with Opening Day less than a month way.

 

QLE Posted: March 01, 2020 at 12:56 AM | 4260 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: March 01, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5927402)
In retrospect, baseball dodged a bullet by ending the 1918 season a month early -- the Spanish flu killed most Americans in October of '18.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2020 at 07:13 PM (#5927403)
I have a nonrefundable flight with Norwegian Air to Paris in mid-April. At this point I'm kind of hoping that the flight gets outright cancelled and I get my money back.
   3. greenback slays lewks Posted: March 01, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5927404)
I have a nonrefundable flight with Norwegian Air to Paris in mid-April. At this point I'm kind of hoping that the flight gets outright cancelled and I get my money back.

I would hope the airline would refund you now anyway. I'm naive that way, I guess, but it's getting obvious that international tourism won't be a good idea for the next few months.
   4. depletion Posted: March 01, 2020 at 07:43 PM (#5927405)
Just read that Washington officials think 1500 are infected. A case in Rhode Island too. If the ncaa was wise, they’d cancel the tournament. Can you imagine bars crowded with people watching, how many that would put at risk?
   5. puck Posted: March 01, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5927408)
It doesn't seem realistic that every country is going to cancel every public event until the corona virus is gone.
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: March 01, 2020 at 08:43 PM (#5927410)
if this makes ticket prices a bargain, I'll be attending a lot more sporting events.
   7. Hot Wheeling American Posted: March 01, 2020 at 08:47 PM (#5927412)
My brother had a trip planned to Rome and the Amalfi Coast, leaving next Saturday. His wife is a nurse, so this was an easy cancel, but the Italians aren’t making it easy on refunds so far. A Bonvoy hotel was cool about it, but like the only hotel open in a small town on the coast (it’s the offseason anyway) has refused his refund request. Same with his flight with Alitalia, though at least the rep there said to try again in a few days when hopefully some more formal decisions have been made.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2020 at 09:10 PM (#5927415)
I would hope the airline would refund you now anyway. I'm naive that way, I guess, but it's getting obvious that international tourism won't be a good idea for the next few months.


Norwegian Air is one of the skeeviest airlines - they charge for seat assignments, they actually weigh your carry-on luggage, charge for water, etc. It would cost $600 merely to move my flights to a different date. I think it's more likely that the airline declares bankruptcy in the next 6 weeks than that they refund my flight voluntarily. I think I need CDG to close entirely for a chance at my money bank.
   9. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: March 01, 2020 at 09:39 PM (#5927421)
It doesn't seem realistic that every country is going to cancel every public event until the corona virus is gone.


It won't help much, anyway--if the virus reaches the point where kids at daycare are spreading it around, pretty much every American is going to contract it regardless.

It's a flu--a good bit stronger than the usual flus, but its big feature is it's a new strain that no one has any immunity to, so it's able to spread like wildfire. It's mainly a concern to me because I have a new daughter scheduled to arrive in a week, which I admit makes it a little bit scary for me personally.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5927422)
I too wonder how much of the response is security theater. But I am totally unqualified to make a judgment. Not even a classic internet blowhard judgment. That's how little I understand about the subject.
   11. greenback slays lewks Posted: March 01, 2020 at 09:53 PM (#5927423)
It won't help much, anyway--if the virus reaches the point where kids at daycare are spreading it around, pretty much every American is going to contract it regardless.

Yes, schools and day care are more important than baseball games. But, for example, the whole of Japan is apparently closing its schools for almost a month. I don't know how that's feasible, but those are the kinds of plans that will be implemented.
   12. depletion Posted: March 01, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5927424)
The front page of Barron's had a bar graph of the number of cases outside China: 1200 on Feb 24, 2500 on Feb 28. The insidious nature of COVID-19 is that someone can carry it around for weeks, spreading it, and not think they have much more that a sniffle. Supposedly younger people don't have too much to worry about. I'm 62, and have a brother and sister who are 77 and 75. Even at a 1% fatality rate (it could be greater than that) this is a terrible event.
Best of luck with your wife and daughter, PASTE.
   13. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: March 01, 2020 at 09:59 PM (#5927425)
The best estimates I've seen suggest a fatality rate in the range of 1.5% to 2% of reported infections, which is about 2-3 times that of bog standard annual flu in the U.S. And as with bog standard flu, most of the deaths are infants, elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. It seems like half or more of people who contract the virus will experience no symptoms or manageable common-cold-like symptoms (which is a big reason why it spreads so explosively: you can go to work with nothing more than some sinus congestion and a slight cough, never suspecting you're spreading the coronavirus to everyone you work with.)

It's flu, just a bit stronger and a lot more contagious.
   14. puck Posted: March 01, 2020 at 10:02 PM (#5927426)
But I am totally unqualified to make a judgment. Not even a classic internet blowhard judgment. That's how little I understand about the subject.


Me too! I hope someone has a better idea.


Yes, schools and day care are more important than baseball games. But, for example, the whole of Japan is apparently closing its schools for almost a month. I don't know how that's feasible, but those are the kinds of plans that will be implemented


Interesting that children have been less affected:

In many ways, this pattern parallels that seen during outbreaks of SARS and MERS, also coronaviruses. The MERS epidemics in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and in South Korea in 2015 together claimed more than 800 lives. Most children who were infected never developed symptoms.

No children died during the SARS epidemic in 2003, and the majority of the 800 deaths in the outbreak were in people over age 45, with men more at risk.

...The body’s innate immunity, which is critical for fighting viruses, also deteriorates with age, and particularly after middle age.

“Something happens at age 50,” Dr. MacIntyre said. “It declines, and it declines exponentially, which is why for most infections we see the highest incidence in the elderly.”


Oh dear, baseball and classical music are doomed!
   15. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: March 01, 2020 at 10:05 PM (#5927427)
The only major change my wife and I are making to our lives is that we're not eating any food we didn't prepare ourselves until further notice. Food service workers don't get paid sick days, so they go to work sick.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: March 01, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5927428)
I literally have never had the flu (nor a flu shot) and I believe my last cold was in 2002.

Is that relevant to the likelihood of me getting this thing? Note that I plan to double down on sporting events if there are bargains to be had, so I'm hardly in panic mode here. am pushing 60, though.

[ooh, post 14 almost feels like a challenge of the "irresistible force vs. immovable object" variety!]

thanks, I'll hang up and wait for your response.
   17. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 01, 2020 at 10:16 PM (#5927430)
Tiny sample size, but I've been heading to or tentatively planning to fly to NYC pretty much a few times a month this calendar year and the flights prices have nose dived recently for upcoming flights between now and early April. (From mid 400s to high 200s, low 300s, really across most business/leisure times, I only shop NS and don't care LGA/JFK/EWR usually in that order though) On the other hand, I'm used to slight escalation in the hotel costs as the year goes on (NYC is unbelievably (and relatively) inexpensive downtown during many weeks in Jan and Feb, but gradual rise in March/April). I haven't noticed any drop in lodging prices yet.

I did buy insurance for my family's flight though for Spring Break.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 01, 2020 at 10:57 PM (#5927436)
The best estimates I've seen suggest a fatality rate in the range of 1.5% to 2% of reported infections, which is about 2-3 times that of bog standard annual flu in the U.S.

Hospitals in Wuhan are overwhelmed, and they didn't know what they were dealing with at first, so the early cases had a much higher mortality rate. The mortality rate for people in China who were diagnosed after Feb. 1, as well as for people diagnosed outside of Wuhan, is 0.7% (I am guessing those numbers will rise a bit as some of those people are not out of the woods yet).

Also, my impression is that China does not have a very good healthcare system. Significantly fewer doctors per capita than more developed countries, including the U.S.

All of this gives me some hope that the mortality rate in the West will be closer to "normal" flu than what we've seen in Wuhan so far.
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 01, 2020 at 11:28 PM (#5927442)
It's not flu. Not remotely. The only thing it has in common with flu is that it's a respiratory virus. And the fatality rate for seasonal influenza in the US is 0.1%, so the currently estimated fatality rate for COVID-19 is at least 20 times that, not 2 or 3. The problem is that we have no idea what the real fatality rate is. We also have no idea what the real total number of infections is. Both infections and deaths are probably drastically underreported in China. Kinda hard to calculate an accurate ratio when you don't really know the numerator or the denominator.
   20. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 01, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5927443)
Norwegian Air is one of the skeeviest airlines - they charge for seat assignments, they actually weigh your carry-on luggage, charge for water, etc. It would cost $600 merely to move my flights to a different date. I think it's more likely that the airline declares bankruptcy in the next 6 weeks than that they refund my flight voluntarily. I think I need CDG to close entirely for a chance at my money bank.


You get what you pay for.
   21. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 02, 2020 at 12:00 AM (#5927444)

   22. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 01:02 AM (#5927448)
Another potential problem is that so far around 20% of cases require hospitalization. If 1/3 of Americans get it, that's 20,000,000 hospitalizations in a country with approximately 1 million hospital beds (most of which, obviously, are in demand for people with other conditions).
   23. Ron J Posted: March 02, 2020 at 07:51 AM (#5927452)
#15 Interesting point. I hadn't thought of that and because it's convenient I eat out a lot. May make a lifestyle change.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: March 02, 2020 at 08:20 AM (#5927454)
You get what you pay for.


Absolutely. I knew what I was getting into. We flew Norwegian for a big family trip last summer, 6 passengers total, and I had a google alert set up because there were daily stories about Norwegian's solvency, their issues with the Boeing 737 Maxes, etc, and it seemed possible that it would all go poof, like WOW Airlines did just months previous. The flights ended up being great, although we had a bizarre situation where one was canceled because the plane dropped parts of its engine over Rome the day before our departure, and Norwegian had to temporarily hire a Portuguese plane and crew to complete our route. So we ended up in this ginormous plane that had previously been owned by Singapore Airlines, and they hadn't bothered repainting or reupholstering anything, so, a Norwegian airlines flight in a Singapore airlines plane crewed by some Portuguese carrier that I'd never heard of that seems to specialize in these emergency situations.

I actually have had almost nothing but good experiences with budget airlines of different varieties - even Spirit, which is the most bare bones and outrageously avaricious of them all - and I've saved tons of money, overall, by choosing the discount carriers. I've got my tiny roll-on bags, I pack my own meals, I don't care where I sit. But cutting costs was bound to bite back at some point.
   25. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:14 AM (#5927457)
My take thus far:
- this is deadlier than flu
- the initial conditions in the area of the outbreak likely lead to more deaths and I'd guess that the death rate going forward will be lower
- it's really really unfortunate that the current admin killed a lot of our pandemic planning. i've also been told by someone in industry that the cdc is operating with "one hand tied behind its back" here. when pressed, they didn't clarify.
- i am worried about the hospitalization rate going forward as well.
- it's going to be very interesting to see how vaccines (if available) are disseminated / if we choose to ramp up testing or not.
- we should all have a 2 week emergency preparedness kit anyway. that should be sufficient here, if needed. also, save the masks for the sick people and healthcare workers.
   26. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5927463)
The error bars on the denominator are gargantuan, which makes the actual mortality rate little more than a wild guess. Two doctors on CNBC this morning said their best estimates were 0.2 to 0.4 percent, or 2 to 4 times the rate of regular flu.

I literally have never had the flu (nor a flu shot) and I believe my last cold was in 2002.


Most things that make people feel like they have the flu aren't actually "the flu." I was sick over the holidays, wound up with the worst sore throat of my life by a factor of like 50, went to the doctor. They tested and I had neither flu nor a strep throat. Symptomatically, it felt entirely like both.

It seems like half or more of people who contract the virus will experience no symptoms or manageable common-cold-like symptoms (which is a big reason why it spreads so explosively: you can go to work with nothing more than some sinus congestion and a slight cough, never suspecting you're spreading the coronavirus to everyone you work with.)


This seems right and really isn't consistent with the panic we see and are going to see. Our current media environment is terrible for these things, it's arc tending toward panicking people with faux-real time updates and of course they all have a business interest in getting people to tune in to be more panicked. Our society has no capacity to put events like this in perspective and in large measure that's because of the internet, social media, and media.

I'm not going to get too much into the details, but I had a cold last week that felt entirely different from any cold I've had (I very rarely get colds). It had a virtually certain cause -- an oblivious hacking and wheezing and sniffling millennial in the back seat of an Uber pool, and it looks like, despite all precaution, two people I couldn't avoid at work got the same cold virtually immediately. I don't think it was corona, but it very well could have been. I'd only need about 10 to 1 odds to take the "it was" side. Our building weeks ago put out the "if you feel sick, don't come to work" memo and I took two days off even though I didn't feel that sick (another bizarre symptom) and then was very careful the third day I came in. I might be permanently out of the hand-shaking business and I very well could see the hand shake custom not survive this virus. Supposedly the French are already abandoning the double cheek peck en masse.

   27. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: March 02, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5927471)
To be fair, almost everyone I know has been sick more, and with more unusual symptomology, this winter than I've ever seen before in my life (myself and my family included). It's been a weird winter in that regard. I don't know whether it having been the warmest winter ever in this region (eastern PA) has something to do with it, but I would bet that it does.

I've had minor congestion and sore throat for weeks and have been declining to shake hands the whole time. People express understanding, but there's always that initial quick flash of offense in their eyes. The handshake tradition is very deeply rooted in American culture and will survive this and future pandemic scares just fine.
   28. Lassus Posted: March 02, 2020 at 11:22 AM (#5927498)
This seems right and really isn't consistent with the panic we see and are going to see.

The greater possibility of death from what will initially appear a common cold seems consistent with panic.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5927499)
I work for a company that was swallowed up last year by a European giant. they released guidelines today, including how you have to work from home for 2 weeks if you have been in Asia recently or if you know someone who has Coronavirus. (I work from home anyway.)

here's this gem in the missive - "flexed elbow" for the win!

Cough etiquette

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
Throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 02, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5927502)
To be fair, almost everyone I know has been sick more, and with more unusual symptomology, this winter than I've ever seen before in my life (myself and my family included). It's been a weird winter in that regard. I don't know whether it having been the warmest winter ever in this region (eastern PA) has something to do with it, but I would bet that it does.

Influenza B had schools closing in our area recently due to illness rates of students and teachers. My daughter's school was not one of them but that had more than 25% absence one day a couple weeks ago.

They tested and I had neither flu nor a strep throat. Symptomatically, it felt entirely like both.

The false negative rate on flu tests is very high.

Another potential problem is that so far around 20% of cases require hospitalization. If 1/3 of Americans get it, that's 20,000,000 hospitalizations in a country with approximately 1 million hospital beds (most of which, obviously, are in demand for people with other conditions).

To take the flu comparison farther, here are the CDC's numbers on it this year:

In addition, the CDC estimates that flu has sickened at least 13 million people so far this season, hospitalized at least 120,000, and killed at least 6,600. A week ago, the estimated death toll was 4,800.


That's a hospitalization rate below 1% and a fatality rate of 0.0507%; though that's probably going to be higher since some people who will die are counted in the 13 million.

EDIT: Here is the article I quoted.
   31. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 02, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5927525)
Cough etiquette

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
Throw tissue away immediately and wash hands

My firm sent out an email today asking that we "Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve."

"Sneeze into the sleeve" is catchy!
   32. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5927527)
"Sneeze into the sleeve" is catchy!

and two days of rain
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 02, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5927529)
It will be interesting to see if U.S. companies start being more OK with (if not all the way to encouraging of) people working from home, beyond just the "stay at home if you're sick" warnings. I mean, it should be a no-brainer in industries/workplaces where it is feasible, but there is still a lot of entrenched resistance to it. I wonder how bad the virus outbreak would have to get to overcome that.
   34. chisoxcollector Posted: March 02, 2020 at 12:45 PM (#5927530)
My wife and I were on vacation in Japan from 2/1 - 2/17. We debated canceling the trip, but ultimately decided our bucket list vacation was worth the risk. I'm very thankful we squeezed in the trip when we did, as many of the things we did closed soon after our trip.

We've officially been back for two weeks now, and haven't really shown any symptoms. I'm glad, because I travel every single week for work, and I've visited two out of state customers since my return. I didn't have any more vacation time accrued yet, and my employer didn't give me an option.

One of the customers was a big defense contractor. They actually temporarily banned from me from entering their facility on the second day of my visit, but eventually allowed me in. I completely understood, and am surprised they relented so quickly.
   35. Lassus Posted: March 02, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5927536)
I'm about to book a plane ticket on a lark trip to San Francisco to see a Mahler 8 performance in MTT's retirement concert, and now I'm petrified somehow that the world on June 25th will be nothing like the world now and purchasing that ticket will be like throwing the money in the toilet.
   36. DCA Posted: March 02, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5927541)
Food service workers don't get paid sick days, so they go to work sick.

I travel every single week for work, and I've visited two out of state customers since my return. I didn't have any more vacation time accrued yet, and my employer didn't give me an option.


If there's ever an outbreak in the near future to rival the 1918 Spanish flu (very much doubt that Covid-19 is it), this will be the reason. Relying people to individually make decisions with a low probability of impact to others, that have an immediate financial consequence to self, is not going to work.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: March 02, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5927546)
I might be permanently out of the hand-shaking business and I very well could see the hand shake custom not survive this virus.
It will be interesting to see if U.S. companies start being more OK with (if not all the way to encouraging of) people working from home, beyond just the "stay at home if you're sick" warnings.


So is this the precipitating event that ushers in the long-anticipated future in which we are all sequestered in little rooms and interact almost entirely via computer screens and such? I mean, it's been trending that way, but will this be one big push that shoves us closer?
   38. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5927553)
I'm petrified somehow that the world on June 25th will be nothing like the world now and purchasing that ticket will be like throwing the money in the toilet.


If the world on June 25th isn't anything like the world now, I think that wasting money on Mahler tickets will be the least of your worries.

So is this the precipitating event that ushers in the long-anticipated future in which we are all sequestered in little rooms and interact almost entirely via computer screens and such?


Do "spare bedrooms in mothers' basements" count as "little rooms"? Because if so, we Primates are way ahead of the future on this one.
   39. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:03 PM (#5927554)
New England Journal of Medicine: Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted

If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.2
   40. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5927561)
So is this the precipitating event that ushers in the long-anticipated future in which we are all sequestered in little rooms and interact almost entirely via computer screens and such? I mean, it's been trending that way, but will this be one big push that shoves us closer?


It very well could be, particularly since the trend is already in that direction. That's a dystopian future, but we've been lurching toward dystopia for several years now. It's obvious that a situation wherein so many people would prefer an online "like" from a stranger to real people actually really liking them is rather ... odd.
   41. Tin Angel Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:46 PM (#5927563)
It's obvious that a situation wherein so many people would prefer an online "like" from a stranger to real people actually really liking them is rather ... odd.


What's much more odd is to get banned from a baseball web site, multiple times, and to keep coming back under pseudonyms specifically because people don't like you.
   42. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:52 PM (#5927566)
What's much more odd is to get banned from a baseball web site, multiple times, and to keep coming back under pseudonyms specifically because people don't like you.


I typically don't respond to the gnat stings and flea bites of trolls, but I have no idea where you get the idea that I've been "banned" even a single time, much less "multiple times." (*) Bitterness and bile tend to retard clear thought, and maybe that's what's going on.

(*) Several other people have been banned or suspended, but I'm not one of them.
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5927567)
What's much more odd is to get banned from a baseball web site, multiple times, and to keep coming back under pseudonyms specifically because people don't like you.


He's almost certainly the league leader in "Ignored by Other Posters" here at BTF, but I don't recall Sugar ever getting the banhammer under any of his monikers.

Edit: Confirmation coke to _.
   44. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5927568)
He's almost certainly the league leader in "Ignored by Other Posters" here at BTF,


This was actually a leading indicator of said dystopian future (*) and a nice example of the distinction between "likes" and likability/actual likes.

(*) It's really strange to narcissistically sit in front of a computer screen and expect to have your every whim catered to, even to the degree of not having to read anything that you yourself don't agree with. Just really, really weird. Maladjusted, frankly. Misanthropic. Odd.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5927569)
This was actually a leading indicator of said dystopian future (*) and a nice example of the distinction between "likes" and likability/actual likes.


No, that's not the reason.
   46. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:04 PM (#5927571)
No, that's not the reason.


Yeah, actually it was. Not being able to sit at a computer screen and have contrary opinion enter your read-field without some type of ... reaction ... is strange.(*) It really is. Pooh-pooh it as one may, but there's no getting around that reality.

(*) It's strange and narcissistic to conclude that anything that displeases you and your personally-curated reality is per se illegitimate. No getting around that.
   47. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5927574)
Yeah, actually it was.


Everyone in the thread who actually likes SugarBear and enjoys reading his posts, please feel free to say something to that effect right now. Stand up and be counted!
   48. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5927575)
So is this the precipitating event that ushers in the long-anticipated future in which we are all sequestered in little rooms and interact almost entirely via computer screens and such? I mean, it's been trending that way, but will this be one big push that shoves us closer?


"The Machine Stops" is one of my all-time favorite science fiction stories. I read it in an anthology when I was a teenager, and it's stayed with me ever since.
   49. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5927576)
Everyone in the thread who actually likes SugarBear and enjoys reading his posts, please feel free to say something to that effect right now. Stand up and be counted!


No dopamine hit -- sorry. Can you write it a second time?

Speaking of second times, didn't you already try to play the "Nobody likes you" card like two or three days ago?
   50. jmurph Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5927577)
How did the thread on the out of control virus turn into a state of the sugarbear discus...

Oh right.
   51. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5927578)
How did the thread on the out of control virus turn into a state of the sugarbear discus...


The bizarre, lie-ridden Post 41. Kind of a typical development, though. The internet democratized things, and people gravitated online from the street corners and the pamphlet booths, and now here we are.
   52. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5927579)

"The Machine Stops" is one of my all-time favorite science fiction stories. I read it in an anthology when I was a teenager, and it's stayed with me ever since.


Oh, hey, that's in the public domain now.

I will try and check it out this evening.
   53. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5927582)
Speaking of second times, didn't you already try to play the "Nobody likes you" card like two or three days ago?


Sorry, you must have me confused with one of the many other people here who don't like you, either.
   54. PreservedFish Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5927584)
"The Machine Stops" is one of my all-time favorite science fiction stories. I read it in an anthology when I was a teenager, and it's stayed with me ever since.


He really nailed it. Super impressive insight.
   55. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5927586)
Sorry, you must have me confused with one of the many other people here who don't like you, either.


Nah, no confusion.
   56. Greg Pope Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5927591)
He really nailed it. Super impressive insight.

I only read the plot summary on Wikipedia, but I have a question. The story was written in 1909. What kind of concept did people have then of artificial intelligence and computers? Babbage theorized his Analytic Machine in the 1830's but couldn't actually make it. A couple of machines were built before 1909, but they were really just more complicated abacuses and I don't see how people would have extrapolated that to the kind of machine that Forster was talking about.

There was a lot of interest in aliens before then (War of the Worlds, Barsoom), but I don't recall there being any computer stuff in those kind of stories.
   57. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5927593)
Wow, you guys let the troll defeat you. AGAIN.
   58. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5927596)
Nah, no confusion.


You sure? Might want to double-check - I wasn't on the site at all over the weekend.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem endorsing the sentiment, but I'd hate for someone to be denied their due credit for a meritorious act like that.
   59. Esoteric Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5927599)
Everyone in the thread who actually likes SugarBear and enjoys reading his posts, please feel free to say something to that effect right now. Stand up and be counted!
Listen, he has a point. I think people who block other people here from even appearing in their eye-sockets are weak, mentally. You've failed at socialization. We all (at least all of the old-timers) know who has actually been banhammered on this site, and what they did to earn it. SBB can be annoying at times, but the people who publicly preen about how they have him muted (and want him and others to know!) are just pathetic.
   60. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:02 PM (#5927600)
You sure?


Yeah, pretty sure.

Might want to double-check


Nah, don't really care that much.

I'd hate for someone to be denied their due credit for a meritorious act like that.


Yeah, that's true. It was quite the impressive thing to do. Amazingly so. I shouldn't have been so reckless with the credit-bestowing.
   61. Esoteric Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5927601)
I rarely post on Primer anymore and a huge part of the reason why is because of how people with intolerant attitudes like "Tin Angel" came to dominate the politics threads (nuking them was a huge gain but came sadly far too late) and got into the "let's tell a lie on the internet if it makes me feel better in the moment" mindset.

And yes, I know, nobody cares. But what I'm seeing in this thread is basically just mobbing mentality as far as I can tell. We're not dealing with a "kevin" here.
   62. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5927603)
Listen, he has a point. I think people who block other people here from even appearing in their eye-sockets are weak, mentally. You've failed at socialization. We all (at least all of the old-timers) know who has actually been banhammered on this site, and what they did to earn it. SBB can be annoying at times, but the people who publicly preen about how they have him muted (and want him and others to know!) are just pathetic.


That isn't actually saying that you like him or enjoy reading his posts, it's worth noting.

I agree that muting someone and going out of your way to remind people that you've muted that person is somewhat passive-aggressive, but ultimately, their hearts are in the right place. Public shame and shunning are both useful social correctives, and if he doesn't want people to express the belief that he's a pathetic troll (in whatever fashion they choose), all he needs to do is stop acting like one.
   63. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5927604)
Going on the internet doesn't mean I have to read the rantings of every ####### and lunatic. You can do so if you like.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5927605)
I only read the plot summary on Wikipedia, but I have a question. The story was written in 1909. What kind of concept did people have then of artificial intelligence and computers? Babbage theorized his Analytic Machine in the 1830's but couldn't actually make it. A couple of machines were built before 1909, but they were really just more complicated abacuses and I don't see how people would have extrapolated that to the kind of machine that Forster was talking about.


I can't answer these questions.

I read it in a seminar on utopian and dystopian fiction. What struck me at the time is that the story came about a decade after a rush of very popular works of speculative fiction focusing on the shape of future society - notably Looking Backward, News from Nowhere, and The Time Machine. Those three are all obsessed with class conflict. So is the 1927 film Metropolis, and for that matter Chaplain's Modern Times. Class conflict hasn't exactly disappeared, but it doesn't look like it used to. We no longer worry much about the lower classes (in the West) being doomed to dirty, unhealthy, short lives in factories. In fact, we worry now that they aren't allowed to work in factories anymore, that the robots are taking their jobs.

The Machine Stops isn't about class conflict though - it's about man's relationship with technology, and predicts how technology will become so overwhelming that it will sedate and sanitize mankind, make us pathetic and enervated. I don't know if people would have recognized how prescient it was until recent decades.
   65. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5927606)
They got the OTP threads nuked because they couldn't really compete in the marketplace of ideas and they knew it.(*) They've spent the post-OTP era dropping political ideas, references, asides into threads knowing that they'd cleared a lot of the people out who might dispute them or who were smarter than they are.

(*) And because hard leftists, particularly in such divisive times, are often prone to violence and violent fantasies and they couldn't keep there's out of it. And of course, notwithstanding Post 41, those are the people that actually got banned and suspended from the site.

   66. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5927607)
Public shame and shunning are both useful social correctives, and if he doesn't want people to express the belief that he's a pathetic troll (in whatever fashion they choose), all he needs to do is stop acting like one.


See post 65.

You're a bit of an embittered leftist, so it isn't exactly a surprise that you'd come up with something like Post 41 being a "useful social corrective." The people not in your tribe see through your act perfectly, and always have. That's what chaps your ass so chappingly. Always has been, always will be. So boringly obvious by now as to be virtually cliche.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5927609)
I rarely post on Primer anymore and a huge part of the reason why is because of how people with intolerant attitudes like "Tin Angel" came to dominate the politics threads (nuking them was a huge gain but came sadly far too late) and got into the "let's tell a lie on the internet if it makes me feel better in the moment" mindset.

And yes, I know, nobody cares. But what I'm seeing in this thread is basically just mobbing mentality as far as I can tell. We're not dealing with a "kevin" here.


I'll co-sign this.
   68. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5927612)
When people make arguments you disagree with, the thing to do is make the counterarguments that underlie the disagreement. If an argument is obviously wrong, then it's easy to mount a persuasive counterargument. You won't persuade everyone, of course. You'll persuade some, but others simply won't be persuaded. You persuade as many as you can, and at the end of the day, some ideas take hold and others don't.

There are terms of art for people who can't stand when not everyone is persuaded, so much so that they resort to "public shaming" as a "useful social corrective."

(I don't have any idea what this "conversation" is about, by the way--it doesn't matter.)
   69. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:36 PM (#5927614)

This seems right and really isn't consistent with the panic we see and are going to see. Our current media environment is terrible for these things, it's arc tending toward panicking people with faux-real time updates and of course they all have a business interest in getting people to tune in to be more panicked. Our society has no capacity to put events like this in perspective and in large measure that's because of the internet, social media, and media.

Certainly some people are overreacting, but this seems a bit presumptuous to say about a disease that still has not been contained. And to the extent it does get contained, some of the more extreme reactions (like quarantining certain towns/regions, cancelling flights to China, etc.) will almost certainly have contributed to that.
   70. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5927615)
There are terms of art for people who can't stand when not everyone is persuaded, so much so that they resort to "public shaming" as a "useful social corrective."


There's nothing wrong with people disagreeing. The problem is that it's impossible to "agree" or "disagree" with SugarBear because he doesn't actually have any underlying beliefs. He just looks at a thread, sees where the majority of people fall on whatever issue is under discussion, and takes the opposite position, usually in a gratuitously provocative way designed to induce an emotional reaction, i.e. trolling. Making "the counterarguments that underlie the disagreement" does nothing in such a situation because there is no actual underlying disagreement - just one man's inexhaustible, sucking need for emotional validation and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get the attention he desperately craves.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5927617)
Certainly some people are overreacting, but this seems a bit presumptuous to say about a disease that still has not been contained. And to the extent it does get contained, some of the more extreme reactions (like quarantining certain towns/regions, cancelling flights to China, etc.) will almost certainly have contributed to that.

Containment may not be an issue. If the recent reports are true that it has been spreading for 6 weeks in Washington, the disease may just not be that deadly.

https://www.boston.com/news/health/2020/03/01/coronavirus-may-have-spread-undetected-for-weeks-in-u-s
   72. Karl from NY Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:45 PM (#5927619)
Everyone in the thread who actually likes SugarBear and enjoys reading his posts, please feel free to say something to that effect right now. Stand up and be counted!

I'll say so at least sometimes. Sometimes he's out there, sometimes contrary just for the sake of it, but sometimes he's a voice that's useful in not going along with the hive mind. And he doesn't make it rude or personal, and thus has never warranted any sanctions.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5927620)
Vlad's right. The issue isn't disagreeing with arguments.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:50 PM (#5927622)
I'll say so at least sometimes. Sometimes he's out there, sometimes contrary just for the sake of it, but sometimes he's a voice that's useful in not going along with the hive mind. And he doesn't make it rude or personal, and thus has never warranted any sanctions.

I think that's a fair statement.

Vlad's right. The issue isn't disagreeing with arguments.

He trolls. Everyone knows that. Just don't read/respond when he's doing that.
   75. . Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5927626)
The problem is that it's impossible to "agree" or "disagree" with SugarBear because he doesn't actually have any underlying beliefs. He just looks at a thread, sees where the majority of people fall on whatever issue is under discussion, and takes the opposite position, usually in a gratuitously provocative way designed to induce an emotional reaction, i.e. trolling.


Nah, it just seems this way because I don't fall into either of the two internet-fueled, "politically-active" tribes.
   76. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 04:59 PM (#5927627)
He trolls. Everyone knows that. Just don't read/respond when he's doing that.


Why would anyone ever assume that he isn't trolling in any particular post, given his history?

Even if he happened to make a good point, by random chance, nobody he tries to engage with is going to take it seriously.
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5927628)
Why would anyone ever assume that he isn't trolling in any particular post, given his history?

Even if he happened to make a good point, by random chance, nobody he tries to engage with is going to take it seriously.


I think I can usually tell.
   78. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 05:20 PM (#5927631)

SBB is sometimes right, and sometimes he's not trolling. He is often rude, however. (It's possible to be rude without calling people names or cursing at people. This is what people who fetishize "civility" don't understand. To be clear, I'm not defending name-calling or cursing except in extreme circumstances, but there's a lot of other ways to be rude.)
   79. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5927632)

Containment may not be an issue. If the recent reports are true that it has been spreading for 6 weeks in Washington, the disease may just not be that deadly.

True. Although the mortality rate was much higher in Wuhan, at least early on when hospitals were overwhelmed, treatment protocols uncertain and they didn't even know how the disease was spread. It's possible the containment efforts limited the spread during those early days and saved us from a much worse outcome.
   80. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 05:28 PM (#5927633)
I haven't seen any confirmation on the virus' incubation period. We've gone from the first US death two days ago to now six. It seems people are in a rush to label it a 'big deal' or 'no big deal' as if there is some prize for being the first person to be right about it, but I think it simply is too early to tell for sure.
   81. greenback slays lewks Posted: March 02, 2020 at 06:31 PM (#5927640)
Containment may not be an issue. If the recent reports are true that it has been spreading for 6 weeks in Washington, the disease may just not be that deadly.

You can't know this with any degree of certainty because nobody in the US is getting tested. I would guess in God's accounting that more than six people in Washington have died from covid-19, but it's probably a waste of resources to dig up every single person who has died in the last month and check them for the virus.

Or what SdeB said. Although I will say the way the Chinese mobilized in Wuhan against this virus makes it pretty clear that they thought the virus was a big deal.
   82. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2020 at 06:51 PM (#5927641)
The Dow was up a record 1,294 points today, which was interesting. still doesn't erase the correction of last week, of course, but it did take a bite out of it.
   83. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 02, 2020 at 07:26 PM (#5927645)
Although the mortality rate was much higher in Wuhan

Maybe. If you believe the published number of infected. A simpler explanation is there are a lot of undiagnosed cases. Or data suppression by the government.


   84. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 07:36 PM (#5927647)

Maybe. If you believe the published number of infected. A simpler explanation is there are a lot of undiagnosed cases. Or data suppression by the government.

But there are a lot of undiagnosed cases elsewhere too, presumably. More in Wuhan probably, but still...

If you think the Wuhan mortality rate is really like 0.2-0.4%, then that means there have been 350,000-700,000 cases there. In a city of 11 million, that's possible, but the city has been on lockdown for a month, so again I'm not sure what to think.

My guess is there is a combination of underreporting and poor treatment due to overwhelmed facilities. There is also the question of whether there has been more underreporting of deaths or infections.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 07:50 PM (#5927648)
Maybe. If you believe the published number of infected. A simpler explanation is there are a lot of undiagnosed cases. Or data suppression by the government.

Or people in that area happen to be more susceptible to this particular virus. No reason it would effect every population and place the same.
   86. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2020 at 08:24 PM (#5927650)
Zero reason to think that the population in Wuhan is uniquely susceptible to the virus. Occam suggests that the only thing that's unique about Wuhan is that the virus emerged there. Plenty of reason to think that there are countless undiagnosed infections that have been mostly mild or even asymptomatic.
   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 08:49 PM (#5927656)
Zero reason to think that the population in Wuhan is uniquely susceptible to the virus.

There's some reason. They seem to be dying at a much, much greater rate than elsewhere.

Not every population has been exposed the same viruses in the past, especially given the fact that China was largely closed to the outside world until 20-25 years ago.

I also wouldn't completely dismiss the odd coincidence that China's only secure virology lab, where they do their biological weapon research, is located in Wuhan.
   88. homerwannabee Posted: March 02, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5927657)
We already had a good sample. That was the cruise line. 705 people were infected. There was no, "what if others were infected?" They were all tested regularly. They knew they had the virus super early. Yet despite this 7 people died. I don't think most people will catch the disease super early like this. To me, at least 1 percent will die from this. Probably more to be honest.
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:10 PM (#5927661)
To me, at least 1 percent will die from this. Probably more to be honest.

1% of people infected? Very, very unlikely. 1% of those sick enough to seek treatment, maybe.

If it's been spreading around Washington State for 6 weeks, like they think, thousands and thousands of people have gotten it without developing much in the way of severe symptoms.
   90. greenback slays lewks Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:23 PM (#5927664)
If it's been spreading around Washington State for 6 weeks, like they think, thousands and thousands of people have gotten it without developing much in the way of severe symptoms.

Again, we're not testing anybody, so we have no idea how many people in Washington were infected. And something like 50,000 people will die this year from influenza, so the initial phase of any outbreak could be masked by the larger environment.
   91. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:26 PM (#5927668)
1% of people infected?
I'm guessing the actual numbers will be a little under 1% myself, but as 88 points out, on the Diamond Princess 1% of infected have died (so far). Half of the Diamond Princess infected were completely asymptomatic, so would not have sought treatment, and presumably another large chunk also only had minor symptoms.
   92. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5927673)
@91, now hold on a second. I think I'm misreading this but I want to be clear, the fact that asymptomatic people won't get treatment is a problem for containment and infection, but asymptomatic people aren't the ones who are dying so it really shouldn't affect the mortality rate of those already infected.
   93. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5927676)
Asymptomatic people are infected, so they should count in the denominator. If you don't count them, then the mortality rate on the diamond princess would be 2%.
   94. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:50 PM (#5927678)
If you consider incubation period + only figuring out the probably in the last day or two - I think it is quite unwise to suspect community spread in king county constitutes “whew!” news....

   95. smileyy Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:51 PM (#5927679)
I was sick over the holidays, wound up with the worst sore throat of my life by a factor of like 50, went to the doctor.


For me, that was a case of Hand Foot and Mouth.
   96. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5927681)
Asymptomatic people are infected, so they should count in the denominator. If you don't count them, then the mortality rate on the diamond princess would be 2%.


Ok, I misread. I somehow thought you were making the argument the fact they wouldn't seek medical treatment somehow meant they were more likely to die.
   97. smileyy Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5927682)
It's been fun (read: not fun) to live in the Seattle area and watch the virus creep closer to my home. OTOH, if they are right about the contagion having been active for 6 weeks, I suspect there's a lot of asymptomatic/low-symptom carriers of it. That's ... heartening(?) because I think transmission to nearly everyone is inevitable. And on the third hand, boy am I worried about my 75+ year old parents in Europe right now.
   98. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5927683)
I read today that two of the King county casualties were only counted as "infected" on the same day they died. That's not particularly encouraging.

Korea is testing pretty much anyone they can find associated with the religious group that spread the virus, regardless of whether they have symptoms. That's likely one reason why they have found almost 5000 infected with only 28 deaths so far.
   99. Walt Davis Posted: March 02, 2020 at 10:05 PM (#5927686)
Zero reason to think that the population in Wuhan is uniquely susceptible to the virus. Occam suggests that the only thing that's unique about Wuhan is that the virus emerged there.

Sure but Occam's after-shave would note that Chinese health is not always great, that its cities are frequently heavily polluted and (I'd guess) they have higher rates of respiratory problems because of that. People with existing health issues, especially respiratory issues, will be more susecptible to the virus (at least in terms of death once infected). One would expect a relatively high death rate in a nursing home for the same reason. Occam's razor should probably be amended to something like "after controlling for all the stuff we know affects an outcome, the next simplest explanation that explains some of the left over variation is preferred."

I just googled it to make sure I remembered it correctly. It isn't about preferring the simplest model, it's a statement that (statistically speaking) "if two models lead to the same prediction, prefer the simpler one." It doesn't help in comparisons of models that lead to different predictions. It is worth nothing that Occam seems to have considered this a good defense of the hypothesis of divine miracles (or "this person died of evil humors" has the same validity as "this person died of coronavirus"). "X% will die" and "P(D|I,X)P(I|X)P(X)" will lead to the same prediction on what %age overall will die but, assuming you have some clue what variables are in X, you want model #2 which allows for different death rates across groups. It would only be after verifying that death rates were constant across values of X that you would deploy Occam's razor in favor of the first model.

Which isn't meant as a defense of my assumption that the citizens of Wuhan are more likely to be toting around a disadvantageous set of X's than your average internet baseball thread poster or US resident.
   100. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2020 at 10:11 PM (#5927688)
Also 50% of Chinese men are smokers.
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