back to article Infosys fires employee who Facebooked 'let's hold hands and share coronavirus'

Infosys has fired an employee who reportedly used his Facebook account to suggest wilfully spreading coronavirus. The man allegedly posted: "Let's join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the Virus." The post was widely spread, then widely condemned, and the poster identified as an Infosys employee in …

  1. David 45

    Misfiring joke?

    Sounds like some sort of "witticism" that went awry. Not the sort of comment or "joke" that should be made in these troubled times. Tasteless, if that was the intention, bearing in mind the virus can be fatal. Not totally sure it warranted an out-and-out firing though. Some sort of admonishment or downgrading maybe.

    1. Mark192

      Re: Misfiring joke?

      I wondered the same thing as you so did some light searching (see my post below/above yours). Looks like was just engaging in some light trolling for his own amusement.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1

        Re: Misfiring joke?

        > trolling for his own amusement

        Benign motive isn't a defence, though. It's like doing the 'bomb in my hand-luggage' "joke" at the airport. As you're taken away in cuffs, it's no good whining "Where's your sense of humour?"

    2. Raj

      Re: Misfiring joke?

      Not necessarily . There’s a subgroup of people, particularly Muslims, who hate the Indian PM and want to make the lockdown a failure so they can blame the PM. This subgroup also overlaps those who have no regard for just how potentially dangerous a public health crisis the Coronavirus could be.

      Historically this demographic was the hardest to address when India eradicated polio as well - nearly all of the country was sanitized by the end of the 20th century, but several lame Islamic clerics issued fatwas ‘haram vaccines’ and the job took another 10 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Misfiring joke?

        The 'polio' illustration is a strawman argument.

        The population at large has been apprehensive because of unwanted deaths and contaminated vaccines

        Even as recent as 2018

        https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/contaminated-vaccines-put-indias-polio-free-status-at-risk/articleshow/66021197.cms

        Good english vocabulary is not adequate enough to cover up for your communal bias.

        Grow up !

      2. Paul 195
        WTF?

        Re: Misfiring joke?

        I wonder why Muslims dislike the Indian prime minister? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-50670393

        Your unsubstantiated accusations about Muslims suggest that perhaps you share the prejudices of the thuggish BJP. Perhaps thuggish seems like a strong word? Then again, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/13/attacks-delhi-universities-modi-muslims-allies

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Persona Silver badge

      Re: Misfiring joke?

      He might have been serious. It depends on context. “Let's join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the Virus" is about as effective a mechanism for slowing the virus spread as the Indian government policy of shutting everything down with just four hours notice, thus forcing migrant workers with no jobs or food to crowd onto transport in an attempt to get out of the cities.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Misfiring joke?

        Must admit, that bit did seem a little silly. Town is contaminated, so you get everyone on a bus (to make sure that everyone who doesn't already have a dose gets one) then disperse them around the country. Made me wonder if India isn't going for the "let's get it over with and maybe do something about overpopulation while we're about it" approach.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Misfiring joke?

          to make sure that everyone who doesn't already have a dose gets one

          I thought exactly the same when looking at the pictures of London Tube Trains

          Only that wasnt 4 hours before lockdown - that was 3 days INTO it!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Misfiring joke?

            Let's join hands, go out and wear a Make America Great hat in public. Spread the Trump. - yes, I think I'd better delete that in case Bombastic Bob gets me deleted from El Reg.

        2. Persona Silver badge

          Re: Misfiring joke?

          Sadly you might be right about "let's get it over with". At least 70% of the population are going to catch it eventually. With the level of healthcare available to the Indian poor, it makes no difference to the final death toll if they get it all at once or spread over the next year. I disagree about it doing something about overpopulation. A high death rate of 4% takes the population from 1.3 billion to 1.26 billion.

      2. Handlebars

        Re: Misfiring joke?

        If only there were buses to get on. There are lots of reports from mainstream news that thousands of Indians are walking back to their villages. It's a really bad situation.

  2. Mark192

    Background

    "Others argue the former employee’s freedom of expression made the dismissal unconscionable"

    People can say anything they want - no one is gagging them - but words, like actions, often have consequences.

    I wanted to know his motivation/the context... seemed an odd thing to say. A wire article has the police (he was arrested and charged) stating that he:

    "did not give any reason for such a post but casually said 'I just felt like posting it'. He was very casual,"

    Thd Twitter thread that kicked this off, started by a chap to alert the man's employer to the post, stated:

    Hey

    @Infosys

    ! What kind of Islamic Terrorists are working in your organization? It's really unsafe for other employees.

    @Infosys_nmurthy

    sir, please fire him right now.

    It also has screenshots from what appears to be his social media account.

    His profile picture has a 'spread the word to end the word' logo, a 2018-19 US campaign to stop people using the word 'retard' as a slur.

    The thread continued with most people assuming he was a dangerous Muslim terrorist, presumably on account of the assertion in the post and his Jihadi-chic look in his profile pic. Thankfully, no one called him a retard.

    The thread has 30 replies, 121 retweets and 284 likes.

    My take, based on nothing but a cursory Internet search and bias, is that he was just trolling for his own amusement - to get a reaction from people - and is now surprised that a country with widespread anti-Muslim sentiment reacted in a way that didn't provide him with any amusement at all.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Background

      It seems the inane thing one might do for shit n' giggles, mostly if one were 15 and not excessively aware, but they were right to fire him.

      .

      Other libertarians than he --- even in the highest reaches of government --- also believe in absolute freedom of speech, not to mention negating tyrannical regulation purposed to avoid mass deaths, yet they too must be resisted.

      Way down in Louisiana, where there is quite a bit of epidemic, some pastors are holding mass services of 1000 and more, they too believing the virus is a false flag operation designed to erode FREEDOM! --- like so much of American religious, still the same puritan gangs who plagued Britain in the War of the Three Kingdoms...

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Background

        Surely this is exactly what the Bible bashers have been waiting for.

        Fires and floods, pestilence (plagues of locusts currently swarming across Africa), War, Famine and now "plague".

        This is happy times for those nutjobs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Background

        The main downside to the Life Tabernacle Church (Louisiana magic sky fairy nutters) is that the same people will then go on to infect people who aren't quite so stupid.

      3. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: Background

        Ahem... that should be FREEDOM!(tm)

        1. Mongrel

          Re: Background

          ....

          FREEDUM! shurely?

      4. chuBb. Silver badge

        Re: Background

        Should have locked the doors and surrounded the place, yeah might look like waco, but they are free to be stupid, and everyone else is free from there stupidity

      5. Wzrd1

        Re: Background

        <blockquote?Other libertarians than he --- even in the highest reaches of government --- also believe in absolute freedom of speech, not to mention negating tyrannical regulation purposed to avoid mass deaths, yet they too must be resisted.</blockquote>

        Yeah, I get a chuckle out of some of those propeller hat idiots. One, who advises the maladministration went on about people suing states that enforce a quarantine.

        OK, I'll bite. How much should my mother's family get in damages for being quarantined in their home over her father's TB? Sounds like in his world, I should own the entire nation!

        Alas, history and case law disagrees with the tinfoil hat and propeller hat crowds.

      6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Background

        Well Louisiana has been an odd duck in the US. Many states have implemented a ban on all public gatherings of more than 10 including church services. Also, do not forget NY dynamic dimbulbs (Cuomo and DeBlasio) were telling New Yorkers to party hard in early to mid March when any with a few functioning grey cells was aware Covid-19 was something to be very concerned about. This was contradicting what Feds were saying at the time and the news reports out of Italy.

      7. jelabarre59

        Re: Background

        Other libertarians than he --- even in the highest reaches of government --- also believe in absolute freedom of speech,

        Just to clarify that point; libertarians believe strongly in free speech, but also that you are then responsible for that speech. People like to forget that second bit. It's like the big companies who push laissez-faire when it suits them, ignoring the second half that they are also perfectly free to fail unhindered.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Background

      "that didn't provide him with any amusement at all."

      It didn't provide him with amusement.

      Us, on the other hand... It's always good to see a moron get slapped down.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Background

      If limiting the antagonistic use of the word 'retard' was his aim, that was not the best approach.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Ah, that old chestnut.

    Freedom of expression does not mean you have the right to spout any old bullshit at any point in time. This is the exact same thing as yelling "Fire !" in a crowded theater.

    As such, freedom of expression falls under the same blanket of social responsibility. You don't yell "Fire !" in a crowded place because the ensuing panic can get people injured and even killed. You don't encourage people to spread a pandemic virus because God knows there's gonna be some damn fools that are actually going to find that a hilarious idea and do it.

    Your freedom of expression is subject to being responsible for what you say. The thing is, on the Internet, nobody feels responsible for anything and they behave accordingly.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

      Rule of thumb: if "freedom of expression" is the only positive thing about a statement one should probably not make it.

      1. David Austin

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        Stolen from XKCD:

        "defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express"

        1. Robert Grant Silver badge

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          Unless, of course, you're getting fired for it, rather than just debating.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

            wha . .?

    2. DavCrav

      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

      That's all well and good, but this took place in India, where government ministers encourage police to shoot people, victims of police brutality are usually charged with bruising cops' knuckles, and crowds literally lynch people for doing something they find offensive. In that sort of environment, getting fired for a stupid joke seems a little excessive, no?

      1. Raj

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        Ah yes and now let’s list the very long list of thing they do in Britain, where the monarch walks around wearing things stolen from all over the place, something he average person would be clapped in irons for.

        When you’re done absolutely spotlessly washing yourself clean of your every sin, I’ll consider thinking about the drivel you just wrote.

        1. Geoffrey W

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          And here's another old logical fallacy chestnut...two wrongs don't make a right. Pointing out the wrongs of another country does not exculpate the wrongs of the original country. Can't we point out the wrongs of all countries? Some of them continuing unabated to the present day. It's a matter of context which country we're criticizing at any given moment. We can criticize Britain on a more relevant occasion, and I know for certain I will. Nothing I like better; just not now.

          1. Raj

            Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

            Did you not read the part where I stated that I do not even consider his original claims to be worth a serious rebuttal ?

            The 'two wrongs don't make a right' argument depends on the respective arguments being actually factual claims of wrongdoing.

            The original post in question makes a series of gross exaggerations, on par with standard western views of India - find one odd story, then proceed to paint the entire nation with it. Therefore I'll treat his kind exactly the same way, tarring them all - which would include you - equally. It's only fair.

          2. Raj

            Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

            Speaking of context, why do you presume this is a reasonable time to criticize India in the first place ?

            The article talks about an Indian company firing someone for something that'd get him fired anyplace else in these times as well. Explain why that construes your self-entitled right to tar the whole country.

            1. John Savard

              Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

              Your country has elected Narenda Modi as its leader.

              A leader who has interfered with relief efforts for victims of communal violence in Orissa.

              A leader who has moved the political landscape in India so that all the parties have to display "nationalism", which means supporting favoring Hindus over other people in India.

              So criticizing India is not hostility to the people of India, it is solidarity with the right-thinking people of India who believe in equality.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                "So criticizing India is not hostility to the people of India,"

                Reminds me of a similar scenario involving another country, one where it's actually illegal to criticize the actions of the government of that country because apparently they are synonymous with prevalent religion of said country.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                  I do love swapping poland for palistine and asking what the difference is, or the irony that dictator and autocrat enabling civil liberty destroying technologies pour forth from there.

                  The bullied becomes the bully

                  And no it is not anti-semetic to criticise isreal, its politics or its actions, has nothing to do with an individuals faith, and if they cant separate there religion from there faith then i would suggest they have no faith, as to belive blindly denies the ineffable nature of favored deity.

                  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
                    Paris Hilton

                    Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                    Absolutley none of your post makes any sense , apart from im getting a feeling the gist is that some bad things that happen in country x also happen in country Y in some form.

                    But particularly baffling was this bit.

                    if they cant separate there religion from there faith

                    um , im sorry what?

                    I get the 2 words have subtly different meanings , but what did you mean in that context?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                      Faith is what you believe applied and interpreted by YOURSELF, Religion is what you are told to believe by a ruling class of some form or another.

                      If your faith is defined by being told what to believe you have no faith as there is nothing personal about conforming, no interpretation, just spouting the party line. I believe strongly in personal freedoms and rights to expression, so if you are unable to separate your personal (and note all mainstream religions make quite a big deal out of self determination) faith from prescribed interpretation, then you are mistaking faith for religion, and well like invoking hitler in an argument, as soon as your defense becomes because i was told so/too your on very shakey ground.

                  2. heyrick Silver badge

                    Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                    "And no it is not anti-semetic to criticise isreal, its politics or its actions"

                    Actually, that rather depends upon what you are criticising and how. You might want to read https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/Submissions/JBI-Annex1.pdf

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                      The biblical ideal of isreal, and the modern day country are very different, of course you can criticise the actions of the state without it having a thing to do with religion. The state of isreal may not like criticism, but acting like a kid who keeps poking you then cries and hides behind the dinner lady when you give them a thumping is a pretty immature stance

                      1. heyrick Silver badge

                        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                        Hey, I didn't say I agreed with it. Personally I think that things to do with Jewish people and things to do with Israel should be kept entirely separate and not conflated into the mess that is that "definition". And, really, it would just be much better to remove all references to a specific religion and replace with "believer" and thus extend the sentiment of that document to all religions. Insulting/hurting/killing people based upon their mythological sky fairy being different is, frankly, abhorrent.

                        However, given that the governments of various western countries (perhaps yours) are enacting that as an official definition of anti-semitism, what I think has nothing to do with it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          @ Raj

          "When you’re done absolutely spotlessly washing yourself clean of your every sin, I’ll consider thinking about the drivel you just wrote".

          Can I assume that you and your country's monarchy/Leaders are spotless?

          Don't worry about the speck of dust in my eye until you have got rid of the rock in your eye.

          Seriously, the man made a comment that I could imagine someone pissed out of their face would make. And no one would take it seriously. Except, of course, for the "look how caring I am" brigade.

          The company don't give a fuck about what he said, they sacked him because he was stupid enough to use a company facebook account.

          So they had to go full on "Holier than thou" otherwise the self righteous paragons of virtue would have had a party with the company.and that is all they care about.

          I was offended by your statement. So I just ignored it. It is called tolerance.

          Try doing it sometime. It makes life easier and a lot more pleasant

          Cheers… Ishy

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

            So , which of Raj's statements were you offended by?

            I liked the one about the Pillaged-during-Empire artifacts. I thought "he's got a point there!"

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

              To be fair pillaging is more or less the point of having an empire.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

                What happens if the former Empires demand all their arrow/spear-tips/bullets back?

      2. Hans 1

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        "victims of police brutality are usually charged with bruising cops' knuckles"

        Yeah, we have that in France as well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          Well of course, who wants to eat bruised porcine?

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon
          Coat

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          Overzealous policing at its finest..

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teSPN8sVbFU

          Of course Rowan does say that it isn't an offence to cough without due care and attention - which it obviously is now.

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

      And people, especially stupid people, need to be reminded that freedom of expression does not mean freedom from consequences. Far more higher profile people have been fired from far more higher profile jobs for posting things on social media.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        Companies would be better serviced by identifying who is still using Faecebook in 2020 and firing them.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          And if it turns out to be the C-Suite, the CEO, or the shareholders?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

            Start at the top, it's much easier and likely to save the company.

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Pirate

            And if it turns out to be the C-Suite, the CEO, or the shareholders?

            Even better.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: And if it turns out to be the C-Suite, the CEO, or the shareholders?

              How? The ones up top are the most able to resist and dictate terms. And it's not like everyone can just up and walk away. After all, what good is jumping ship if the water is full of sharks?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        > freedom of expression does not mean freedom from consequences

        On the contrary, freedom from consequences is essential to have freedom of expression. If people are afraid to voice a dissenting view, then the only speech heard will be orthodox dogma.

        This is why enabling anonymous speech is essential, in a world where freedom from consequences is impossible.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          "On the contrary, freedom from consequences is essential to have freedom of expression."

          But like everything, it cannot be absolute or universal. Like the old saw, "your right to throw a punch ends at my nose," one cannot expect to say anythingwithout consequences (the Shenck or "Fire in a Crowded Theater" case, for example). Thus such crimes as "Inciting a Riot". The big concern of the Founding Father was the ability to speak dissent freely. Thus why the current administration is so dangerous: their consideration of dissent as unpatriotic (when it's quite the opposite).

    4. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

      Gawd, that old chestnut: fire in a crowded theater. It fails totally here because who the feck is going to act on these sorts of comments from some rando on the internet?

      Anyway, this argument is based on the 1st amendment, which _also_ allows for freedom of association (the "peaceably assemble" bit), so while the dude has (should have) the right to make an ass of himself, so too does Infosys have the right to decline to associate with the ass!

      1. Mongrel

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        The 1st amendment protects US citizens freedom of speech from the US government.

        A private company, driven by capitalism, has every right to make whatever decision they want, as long as it doesn't breach Federal rules. If they think having a gormless Edgelord associated with them who's posting shite on a public forum and they think it'll affect the public's perception of them, and therefore the bottom line, then they're allowed to get rid of him.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

          A private company, driven by capitalism, has every right to make whatever decision they want, as long as it doesn't breach Federal rules.

          Even when that's an US-based company, there's a good chance some, or even all, of their overseas departments are locally incorporated for all kinds of reasons. Taxes being a major one, conforming to local laws another.

          So when this happens in India it's quite likely the US Feds can't do more than look disapprovingly at the Infosys board and HR people. If they even feel the need to act on this.

    5. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

      You are also assuming that American ideals apply in other countries...

      1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        No, I'm not. But anyone using the "fire in a crowded theater" trope is (see the comment to which I was replying). And if you use that trope, you should at least have a vague clue about freedom of association _as well as_ freedom of speech.

    6. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

      This is the exact same thing as yelling "Fire !" in a crowded theater.

      Under current conditions, if anyone actually encounters a crowded theater, it is their moral duty to loudly cry "FIRE", to alert any nearby residents, immediately after locking and barricading the exits and dousing the offending building in petrol - or gasoline if you live in some banana republic with a clown despot..

      the best response to that level of social irresponsibility is to nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure, but "kill it with fire" comes in as a respectable second.

      People engaged in theatre crowding are dangerous subversives, politically suspect, disease ridden, and probably eat babies.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Ah, that old chestnut.

        And if it turns out this new Coronavirus is in fact an Andromeda Strain (and a nuke makes it stronger)?

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why was he using Social Media, at work, anyway? No work, to do? He should've known better, than to have his personal information accessible to anyone, at his job. I don't share personal information. It's personal, not public. Sure, it was a bad idea and he should've known better.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would have fired him too. If he's stupid enough to say it on social media, he might well be stupid enough to actually do it and you don't want that sort of liability around.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Once again, Social Networks and Work don't mix!

    Just don't do it! Don't join social networks. Don't post crap if you must have one. I saw this kind of issue coming long before FB was a rage, now a mainstream part of a lot of people's lives. Join a more profession driven platform, if you must.

    A appreciate the freedoms El Reg forums provide us all.

    The one internet rule I've tried to live by is: Would you like grandma to see this?? Another reason I like El Reg forums, she will know the words, and have no idea what we're talking about!

    icon for gran!

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Once again, Social Networks and Work don't mix!

      Join a more profession driven platform, if you must.

      Profession driven? Wut? Like Linked-in?

      I thought that was some weird Business Fantasy RPG, lot's of people pretending to by CEOs and making up stories about their business battles and victories and collecting other visitors like Top Trumps cards..

    2. Geoffrey W

      Re: Once again, Social Networks and Work don't mix!

      Another internet rule is that no matter the location or subject, people being what they are, crap will be posted and often. My wife is a member of a crotchet group - something to do with "Hookers" which sums up the general tone of the place - and I look on aghast at some of the fights that go on there. Who would ever imagine crocheters could be so unruly?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Once again, Social Networks and Work don't mix!

        Crotchety people. Fights are inevitable.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freedom of expresion / speech does not apply

    the government may not, except in well defined circumstances, restrict freedom of expression. This does not apply to private corporations. Anyone suggesting that a company may not restrict the freedom of speech of its employees, agents, associates or people using their services does not understand the law and has never been a sales person. ever been a victim of upselling, bought a great 'lemon', or been convinced you cannot exist without a product?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Freedom of expresion / speech does not apply

      the government may not, except in well defined circumstances, restrict freedom of expression.

      This sounds like a US-based AC.

      In other jurisdictions, other rules may apply. Whether you, and others, like that or not.

  9. davebarnes

    Jeebus will protect you

    As long as they are Trump voters and/or evangelicals, holding hands sounds like a great idea. MAGA

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Jeebus will protect you

      As long as they are Trump voters and/or evangelicals

      In the USA, some people seem to hold both of these mutually exclusive concepts!

  10. John Savard

    Lockdown in India

    Of course, India's national lockdown is also problematic. The grocery stores are also closed. It was not announced in advance, and up to the lockdown, people were repeatedly urged against panic buying. So many people in India will be locked down in their homes for two weeks without enough food.

    One result has been mass migration of workers in the cities, going back home to rural areas - on foot.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one.

    Thus if being surrounded by other people's arseholes really floats your boat, join Tw@ter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surely Tw@ter is populated with fannies, not arseholes?

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon
      Joke

      "Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one."

      You forgot to add:- "and they all stink (except for mine, coz I shit rose petal scented nuggets of a uniform size, which require minimal subsequent use of loo roll."

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The lesson is - never use your real name on Twitter.

    Whatever you say that seemed like a good idea at the moment can later come an bite you.

  14. Big_Boomer
    Facepalm

    Idiots are everywhere

    And you thought that our hoarders were the only idiots? The idiot in question published a suggestion that would endanger other peoples lives, and the company that employs him decided it didn't want to employ an idiot that liked to endanger other peoples lives, so it fired him. The sooner that the idiots of the world learn that ALL their actions have consequences, the better.

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Idiots are everywhere

      I sincerely doubt the employer was greatly concerned by the employee potentially endangering lives.

      what does concern every employer, is damage to their image. The unforgivable sin in business, is embarrassing your boss, and they are zealous in punishing transgressors.

  15. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Constitutional rights

    An acquaintance was a consular officer in Asia at one time, probably 40 years ago now. One of his duties was to look in now and again on jailed citizens. He said that his conversation with one such tended to run:

    citiizen: I was framed!

    co: I've seen the video tape of the drug deal and it looks very convincing.

    citizen: They violated my consitutional rights!

    co: Not under the constitution of ***********.

    Meanwhile, for what it's worth, persons who apparently mean to be taken seriously are making odd suggestions over here:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/25/how-medical-chickenpox-parties-could-turn-the-tide-of-the-wuhan-virus/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Constitutional rights

      Ive often wondered why at US airports, as soon as you clear security and are heading to international departures they dont punt the perfume sprayers half a mile further down the corridor and replace it with some really big bill boards saying:

      "Your Local Laws Stop here, The consitituion no longer applies, the dollar is used for business you need funny money in your wallet, no where else cares about your guns and are safer without them, its pronounced football not soccer, the world laughs at not with you, most places include sales tax in the price, enjoy your trip"

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Constitutional rights

        "its pronounced football not soccer"

        We'll change as soon as you can get Australia to change first.

        PS. You won't. They love their footy as much as Americans love theirs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Constitutional rights

          Nah we kinda wiped our hands of both Oz and USA, just exported uppity religious nut jobs or undesirables, the civilized world (more than half millennia of history) calls it football.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Constitutional rights

            Oh? Who took your Ashes, then (and last I checked, currently still hold them)? As I recall, it was not a pretty piece when it first occurred over a hundred years ago, so don't say you've washed your hands of them.

      2. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Re: Constitutional rights

        Not from over there, but from what I've heard, your local laws - and constitutional rights, whatever those might be - stop a lot further back than just past the security screens.

        Otherwise I mostly agree with your list ( with reservations concerning punctuation ), but would add that employee wages are also factored into the price in most advanced countries.

  16. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Valid policy

    The idea of isolating only the vulnerable and then spreading the infection among the rest as quickly as possible has a great deal of merit. Get the healthy immune ASAP after which the vulnerable will benefit from herd immunity. Slowing down the spread within the general population does not reduce the number of people who eventually get infected, and while it reduces the peak strain on the medical facilities (thus saving some lives), it also massively increases the economic effects which will also claim lives and greatly reduce quality of life in the long term. If all healthy people were to be infected,we could be back to normal within 2 weeks.

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Valid policy

      I'd be out there pursuing exactly this strategy. But my vulnerable/invulnerable dowsing rod got lost last time we moved.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Valid policy

        "But my vulnerable/invulnerable dowsing rod got lost last time we moved."

        No need for YOU to know. Most people who are vulnerable know very well that they are in that category, and will take the advice to self-isolate very seriously knowing that everyone else is infected but that it will only be for a relatively short period of time. Yes, there is a small percentage who will not know they are vulnerable, and if they get severe symptoms they will be cared for by an NHS that is not over-stretched.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Valid policy

      Apparently healthy teenagers have died. I read a news article from an olympic swimmer who said it fucked him right up (that was the TL;DR version) and it's going to be a long time training to get back to where he was. Plus how do you identify those apparently healthy people who have congenital defects (esp. heart and lungs) that would be harder hit by the virus?

      And even people in the peak of health require some nurses or ventilator time or other stuff we haven't got enough of as part of the process of getting over it.

      As pure theory that idea has some merit; but in practice it is cpmpletely unworkable. You could, on an individual basis, deliberately contract the virus and then self isolate with -and this is the important bit - no medical aid whatsoever no matter how bad it gets. But - like getting an attack of religion on your deathbed - I suspect that the vast majority would not have the fortitude and would call for medical aid when things went titsup. And then you end up with a medical system even more swamped.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Valid policy

        "

        You could, on an individual basis, deliberately contract the virus and then self isolate with -and this is the important bit - no medical aid whatsoever no matter how bad it gets.

        "

        Why no medical aid? If all the known vulnerable isolate then the number of healthy people who unexpectedly suffer severe symptoms should be low enough for the NHS to cope. It will achieve the same that is the goal now - to ensure that there is not a huge number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time. But unlike the present method, it should also ensure that the vulnerable are unlikely to contract the disease before a vaccine is developed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Valid policy

          Known vulnerable. There's your problem right there. You can't tell who's vulnerable and who isn't until it's too late. So in your experiment there would be casualties. Lots of them.

          Your theory is based in what I have come to call the "I can take the virus" mindset. I think I can take it. We all do. Up until we can't. That olympic swimmer gave me some pause for thought, because if an olympic swimmer isn't the very definition of healthy then I don't know what is. Swimming, of all sports, excercises pretty well all of your body and definitely beefs up lungs and heart. And he required some medical care while it was going on, if memory serves.

          You're talking about a large scale experiment. Lets say 33.3% are vulnerable (for tidy numbers). So we isolate those. That leaves us with 70% which in the UK would be around 40 million people. You're suggesting that they all contract the virus at the same time on the theory that only a few need medical care. To pick a number out of my arse, lets say 1% need treatment (and the numbers seem to suggest that the percentage is a lot higher than that. That's 400,000 people who would all need treatment at the same time....this unloading itself onto an NHS that is currently crapping itself with (at time of writing) 22,141 confirmed cases. We're already at the point where respirators aren't being given to people who don't look like they're going to make it (thus ensuring, of course, that the prediction will be correct). I really can't see how dumping 20x the cases on the NHS is going to help much, and remember that was with an unbelievably generous 1%. More a sort of eugenics Battle Royale than pandemic mitigation. Meanwhile, you've got most of the population variously disabled for 2 weeks+ and 1/3 of the population locked indoors waiting for a vaccine that just might be here in a year if everything works out.

          Nice as a pure theory, but stops working as soon as you add actual people. You can't tell beforehand who's vulnerable. You can't say in advance how many of your 'healthy' people will require medical assistance and how much they will need.

          The only way for it to work would be for volunteers to do it; behave responsible; isolate the crap out of themselves; end eschew any medical aid. Even then you'd need a fuckton of testing kits to make absolutely sure that "all clear" really is "all clear". Plus somebody who can work the kits.

          I've toyed with the idea myself, but can't because I'm not alone in the house. Get the virus, spin the wheel and (hopefully) emerge two or 3 weeks later and ask if anyone wants some plasma ("Antibodies! Get your luvverly fresh antibodies 'ere!"). Only works, though if 1) you don't put ANY additional strain on an already struggling system and 2) you're the only one taking the risk.

          P.S. It's not me downvoting you; but I'm not upvoting either because it's a bloody stupid idea.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Valid policy

            Bollocks. That's 33.3% and 66.7%. Didn't spot the 70% until after the editing window had closed. I originally had 30% and 70% but there was less maths with 1/3 and 2/3.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Valid policy

            Plus there's the fact we now know the virus can be transmitted asymptomatically (a la Typhoid Mary), so as mentioned, there's no way to know just who's got it if they're not showing (or they're showing so mildly they're being mistaken for the common cold coronavirus).

            So the problem with the scenario is that the unknown vulnerable are (1) much more numerous, and (2) impossible to actually determine due to the specter of asymptomatic transmission; it's a lot simpler (and not too far off) to just assume everyone is potentially vulnerable.

    3. jtaylor Bronze badge

      Re: Valid policy

      "If all healthy people were to be infected,we could be back to normal within 2 weeks."

      I heard an interview with a doctor, who was asked whether this idea has merit. He replied that it certainly does.

      He explained that if COVID-19 were to hit the entire population at once, it would quickly lead to herd immunity because it spreads quickly and survivors of coronaviruses develop immunity.

      He noted that the reason we aren't doing this is because, as a society, we're not prepared to accept the high number of people who would die as a result.

      Incidentally, the disease outcome isn't a binary "dead" or "back to normal in weeks." Research has found patients with reduced lung function after recovering from COVID-19; it's not yet known whether full recovery will happen. I know an otherwise healthy person who got sick and several weeks later, hasn't recovered sufficient lung function to do more intense exercise than an occasional walk.

    4. G R Goslin

      Re: Valid policy

      I'm pleased to see that there are people with common sense, as in cynic 999. No battle has ever been won by running away from it. Our last, real pandemic was in the period 1939-1945. Millions died, but by not running away, a victory was finally achieved. Rather a pity that we, apparently, have not learned anything from this.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Valid policy

        "No battle has ever been won by running away from it."

        Then please explain the Parthians and why we got the term "Parthian Shot" which is now better known as the Parting Shot.

        1. G R Goslin

          Re: Valid policy

          Ah, the Partian Shot! A classic, or should I say a classical, losers manoeuvre.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Valid policy

            Is it? The Parthians WON the battle that made the Parthian Shot famous. That may have been because they were light cavalry and were experts at mobile hit-and-run warfare.

  17. bjr

    Can't shout fire in a theater

    India has no first amendment but even in the US which does this would fall under the "Can't shout fire in a theater exception", i.e. speech that causes an imminent threat to the safety of others is not protected. Clearly this falls into that category, encouraging people to deliberately spread a deadly virus, even if done in jest, poses an imminent threat to the safety of others.

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Can't shout fire in a theater

      A few comments up, I posted the link https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/25/how-medical-chickenpox-parties-could-turn-the-tide-of-the-wuhan-virus/ . Do you really imagine they'll face any consequences?

  18. Not Elvis

    AMANFROMMARS

    These are the times and discussions where I truly miss Amanfrommars. He would have the wisdom and guidance to lead us forward through this pandemic.

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