back to article Facebook sort-of blocks anti-quarantine events – how many folks are actually behind these 'massive' protests online?

If there was any hope that the coronavirus crisis would put a stop to the culture wars that ravage American society, it has long since died. On Monday, Facebook announced that it would take down anti-lockdown events advertised on its site. But only if state officials ask them to do so; because state officials have nothing …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Big rant, lots of capital letters...

    , lots of incoherent punctual and lots of words like freedom and liberty. So long as it's their freedom and liberty, not someone else's.

    From me?

    No, our resident Bob of course.

    Incoming in 3....2....1

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

      Global medical advice is to test & isolate.

      They desire their freedom to continue living as normal, does their medical insurance policies have any self endangerment clauses?

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        They desire their freedom to continue living as normal, does their medical insurance policies have any self endangerment clauses?

        I have no problem with them endangering themselves if that is what they want. Freedom, after all, includes the freedom to act stupidly to your own detriment.

        What I do object to is their belief that this gives them the right to endanger innocent bystanders - the other people who will suffer and die as a result of their selfish actions.

        1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

          Interestingly, this is the exact argument Communist regimes always used to explain why protests against the regimes needed to be punished.

          It was always about protecting the interests of majority from the minority that endangers them by their reckless acts and propaganda.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

            True, nearly all good things have been used for bad purposes.... but that doesn't mean they can never be used for a good purpose.

          2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

            Interestingly, this is the exact argument Communist regimes always used to explain why protests against the regimes needed to be punished.

            There is copious scientific evidence that without either a proper testing/tracing campaign or a vaccine, the only effective way of reducing the basic reproduction number - and thus the number of people who die - is social distancing and lockdown.*

            It is not the protest that matters, it is the failure to respect social distancing and lockdown, and the encouragement of others to do the same.

            Neither of these things can be said of totalitarian propaganda. So, the larger of the the two massive flaws in your comparison is that more people really will die. The other is that no-one really cares if these people complain about having to do these things, as long as they do them.

            *See https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30567-5/fulltext for an overview of the issues

            1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

              "

              There is copious scientific evidence that without either a proper testing/tracing campaign or a vaccine, the only effective way of reducing the basic reproduction number - and thus the number of people who die - is social distancing and lockdown.*

              "

              Yes, but the number of deaths due to the virus is not the only factor that needs to be considered. The number of deaths over the next few years as a direct or indirect result of months of lockdown should also be evaluated and taken into consideration.

              1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
                Pirate

                Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

                Yes, but the number of deaths due to the virus is not the only factor that needs to be considered. The number of deaths over the next few years as a direct or indirect result of months of lockdown should also be evaluated and taken into consideration.

                It is axiomatic of proper risk management that you deal with the risks that you have good evidence for rather than the ones that you imagine to exist. We have good evidence that the NHS would be totally overwhelmed and that half a million people will die if the virus is allowed free reign across the UK.

                We don't have much evidence, of any kind of credible estimate, for deaths over the next few years from a recession other than some vague fears that swaths of the population may be reluctant to ramp up spending or return to work.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

                  "We don't have much evidence, of any kind of credible estimate, for deaths over the next few years from a recession "

                  Too true. About all that can be said is that it is a non-zero number. There could also be another meltdown caused by banks in the next few years that swamps the numbers out. There could be a plague of locusts. Oh yeah, there has been one. Pig flu. Oh yeah, that's happening too. Well, at least there fowl. Hmmmmm, the media stopped reporting on the current avian flu problem.

                  The thing with CV-19 is the fatalities from not keeping to preventative measures means deaths in the immediate future. 2-8 weeks, not next year.

                  1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                    Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

                    It isn't an issue of if any given individual will get it, but *when*. Indeed, none of the models or responses have done anything but accept this. The total number of deaths from the virus is not going to be affected much by the actions as far as anyone can tell - the issue is simply controlling the number at any one time. The survival rate for anyone who needs ventilating is so small that it is, in almost* every case, simply prolonging death.

                    Most of the lockdowns are just governments needing to be seen to do something. The numbers don't really support the draconian measures taken. The long-term effects, which are well known from previous great depressions, *will* (not might) lead to millions of deaths, and untold misery for hundreds of millions for years, if not decades, to come. The poorest people in developed countries are being "thrown under a bus" for a tiny number of largely elderly people**. It is probably far too late for the UK and most of Europe to avoid the catastrophe to come. Oddly, developing countries might benefit, and become the world leaders of the 21st century, because the developed world is going to be crippled.

                    *And those who survive are left significantly worse off than they were before.

                    **I'm close enough to being in the at-risk group, and have relatives who are well into that bracket. We are not selfish enough to think that our lives mean more than ten or a hundred times more people who will suffer for our benefit.

            2. Jaybus

              Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

              There is also evidence that far more people have already been exposed than previously assumed. And all of the evidence is being questioned and debated in the scientific community with no definitive answers...yet. Bottom line: we don't really know yet which of the measures in place work better or if any of them even work at all. But we have many places on strict lockdown, some early, some late, as well as places like Sweden that took a very lax approach and now Georgia in the US that opted for a very short lockdown, and no doubt there will be all manner of different approaches before it is over. So there will be plenty of data on each approach and we will have a reasonable consensus in a year or two. For now, I will withhold judgement on Sweden and Georgia's more lax approach.

              Also, we don't yet know how long previously infected people will maintain the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, so we cannot know how long these people will remain immune. We don't even know what their level of immunity is. So, neither do we know if a vaccine can be effective. We do know that people infected with the similar SARS-CoV-1 virus maintained antibodies for years. Not proof that this will be true for SARS-CoV-2, but we can hope.

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

            "this is the exact argument Communist regimes always used"

            The big difference is the communist playbook has that rule at all times, not just during extraordinary one.

            It's long been forecast that the only way to combat a viral pandemic is to do many of the things that are being done now. Maybe a good solution for the conspiracy theorists and those on the left hand side of the bell curve in the US is to designate a state to be the Roach Motel for the duration. People can check in but they can't check out (until things are under control.)

            I've see some forecasts based on the data as it's made available and the propagation rate is very sensitive. A few tenths of a percent means the difference between a containable problem to exponential growth with millions dead.

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        Whatever your opinion, you must recognize that there are 2 perfectly legitimate sides to the question of whether it is desirable to have a nation-wide lockdown.

        Medical experts are, quite naturally, concerned only with the medical impact, and that undoubtedly is greatly reduced by having a lockdown.

        Many of us are however also concerned about the economic impact of such a lockdown. The choice for most is between catching coronovirus, recovering from it in a couple of weeks and carrying on as normal thereafter, or avoiding coronovirus now but dying in 5 years' time from the many combined effects of extreme poverty and/or economic recession.

        Quite apart from the personal consequences of companies going bust and millions of people becoming unemployed and unable to find new jobs, the £billions being paid out by the government in compensation for the consequences of lockdown will mean that there will be a LOT less money for all sorts of things for many years into the future - including the NHS and the police. This will kill people.

        It may well be a choice between an additional 10's of thousands of dealths now, or millions of deaths over the next few years.

        I am not asking anyone to agree with the above - just to recognize that there are indeed legitimate arguments that should not, in any free society, be censored in favour of the lie that there is only one sensible course of action, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is some sort of dangerous idiot (or worse) whose views should be rigorously supressed.

        1. James Wilson

          Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

          Well, possibly, but it depends on the numbers and the evidence. We're in to 10s of thousands already *with* the lockdowns in place, without then projections were 100s of thousands. If there's good evidence that continuing to lock down for at least several more weeks would cause millions, or even 100s of thousands, of deaths over the next few years then yes there are 2 legitimate arguments. If it's a number plucked out of thin air by people who are distressed (and yes, there are going to be a lot of people legitimately in severe distress right now), or the calculations aren't including the number that would be caused by the financial impact of letting the virus rip through the population (as that isn't going to be trivial either), then you can't say it's a lie that there is only one sensible course of action.

          Yes, there are 2 arguments, but I'm going to need to hear some convincing backup before you can convince me that both are legitimate.

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

            "

            Yes, there are 2 arguments, but I'm going to need to hear some convincing backup before you can convince me that both are legitimate.

            "

            And if all the contrary arguments are censored, then of course you could never be convinced no matter how good those arguments might be, because you are not permitted to hear them. It would be like trying to convince someone in a dictatorship that democracy has merits without being permitted to say anything good about democracies.

            If you are certain that lockdown is the best solution, you should not be afraid to listen to contrary views and be able to refute them.

            And the figure to look at is not the total number of deaths, but how much greater that figure is than has been the case in the same time period in previous years.

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

              Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

              But the arguments are not censored, so what is your point? The arguments appear over and over again in the writings of commentards on all kinds of social media, and our mainstream news outlets.

              I agree the economic impact of lockdown may cost lives too. However, the economic effects of not locking down might be easily as disastrous. If the USA wants to reach herd immunity without vaccination, roughly two thirds of the population needs to become infected. At a mortality rate of 1.5% (which seems to be close to the values I have seen in the literature), that would mean 3 million deaths. Quite apart from the suffering implied in these numbers (remember there are people behind those percentages), a large number of people suffering permanent effects from the lung damage caused by COVID-19 (this could also run into a few million).

              There is no easy solution, and shouting abuse, accusing people putting forth arguments you don't like of "communism" or "fascism" is never going to help.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

                "If the USA wants to reach herd immunity without vaccination, roughly two thirds of the population needs to become infected. "

                The immune period after recovering is not looking all that great. There are many documented cases of re-infection weeks after a person recovered. Much more data has to be gathered so it's something to be watched very closely to make sure the numbers are accurate. If people are only immune for a month or three, there won't be any "herd immunity". That term really only applies to vaccination percentages anyway.

        2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

          Many of us are however also concerned about the economic impact of such a lockdown. The choice for most is between catching coronovirus, recovering from it in a couple of weeks and carrying on as normal thereafter, or avoiding coronovirus now but dying in 5 years' time from the many combined effects of extreme poverty and/or economic recession.

          You seem happy to throw the elderly population under a bus, I imagine because you are not yet one of them. I wonder if you will be so sanguine in forty years time.

          There is also reasonable evidence that you don't become immune to the disease for very long after you have recovered from it and so it will rattle around the World indefinitely if not controlled.

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

            You have been rather presumptuous. I am plenty old enough to qualify for a free bus pass, and if I am still alive in 40 years' time it would be headline news. I do not believe that putting the entire country into lockdown is ultimately going to save the lives of all that many elderly people, though it may prolong them by a few months. I also do not believe it is the best way of doing it in any case. Putting the elderly & vulnerable into quarantine and letting the rest carry on as normal would have had all of the benefits with far fewer downsides. You appear to be looking only at the benefits of lockdown without considering the huge negative consequences

            1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

              Putting the elderly & vulnerable into quarantine and letting the rest carry on as normal would have had all of the benefits with far fewer downsides.

              The current lockdown is the product of computer modelling of different scenarios for handling the pandemic. One of these epidemiologists' reports examined social distancing for the elderly, combined with case and household quarantine for those with symptoms, with grim results:

              In the most effective mitigation strategy examined, which leads to a single, relatively short epidemic (case isolation, household quarantine and social distancing of the elderly), the surge limits for both general ward and ICU beds would be exceeded by at least 8-fold under the more optimistic scenario for critical care requirements that we examined. In addition, even if all patients were able to be treated, we predict there would still be in the order of 250,000 deaths in GB, and 1.1-1.2 million in the US.*

              I've shown you mine - now show me yours. What is the basis of your assertion that "putting the elderly & vulnerable into quarantine and letting the rest carry on as normal would have had all of the benefits" - i.e. what evidence do you have?

              *https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

              1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

                "

                The current lockdown is the product of computer modelling

                "

                The same model that has not been all that good at predicting the course of the disease to date? As this is the first time we have dealt with this disease, I would be extremely surprised if any model were at all accurate. There are far too many unknowns to make a model that is worth much at all. We don't even yet know what percentage of people who have caught the disease will develop immunity - which is just one huge factor.

                And did the model include deaths resulting from the fixation on covid-19 to the exclusion of any other concerns (e.g. cancer treatment and heart operations being withheld)? Or the long-term consequences of a long lockdown? What is needed is not a model of the best way to deal with the immediate impact of Covid-19, but the course of action that will result in the best overall outcome for all of society once the threat has passed.

                Gosh, I really wish that people had been as concerned about people dying as a result of the completely unnecessary decision to wage war in the ME as they are about the effect of this virus. But as always, most people are led by the media rather than figuring things out for themselves. The World has worked itself into a panic, and the result is going to take scores of years to recover from.

                1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

                  The same model that has not been all that good at predicting the course of the disease to date? As this is the first time we have dealt with this disease, I would be extremely surprised if any model were at all accurate. There are far too many unknowns to make a model that is worth much at all. We don't even yet know what percentage of people who have caught the disease will develop immunity - which is just one huge factor.

                  It is certainly not the first time that pandemics have been modelled, nor is it the first time for modelling SARS infections. Mathematical models of infectious disease epidemiology have been done since the 18th Century, so there is plenty of understanding of it. No model is completely accurate, but it is infinitely better than pulling sweeping statements about life or death decisions like "putting the elderly & vulnerable into quarantine and letting the rest carry on as normal would have had all of the benefits" out of thin air without any evidence whatsoever to support them. I assume you haven't presented any evidence to back you arguments because you have none. That is called "making a wild guess".

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

      I'd say: let them have their freedom and liberty!

      Don't get me wrong, I think the limitations of some of our fundamental rights is not something to be taken lightly and should indeed be critically questioned. After all, there has to be some balancing of conflicting goals and e.g., a total shutdown with the whole population forcefully quarantined without exception isn't, in my opinion, an acceptable answer either (i.e. under current circumstances).

      Coming back to our "libertarians". Let them rant, let them demonstrate, let them meet! Not online, but rather in real life, in person. Let them spread viruses amongst themselves. And let evolution do the rest.

      I do have some doubts that this actually works, but one can at least hope... Or as an American friend of mine recently said: then there will be less Trump-voters.

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        "I do have some doubts that this actually works, but one can at least hope... Or as an American friend of mine recently said: then there will be less Trump-voters."

        Classy. Wishing death for your political opponents. Must be all that love and inclusion I keep hearing about.

        The hotbeds of infection are places like NYC and Detroit. Strangely enough, these are not hotbeds of libertarians. These are the hip, the urban, the woke. Maybe *they* need martial law, for some reason ...

        Everyone I know who is cheesed off about the capricious arbitrary restrictions is *voluntarily* distancing, wearing masks, etc. They don't need to be ordered to do it.

        But they do think that it's stupid to be forbidden to buy garden seeds but allowed to buy marijuana. They do think it's stupid that you can't go the dentist but you can get an abortion. They do that it's stupid that you can go to an overcrowded trailhead, but not to work. But "shut up", their betters explained ...

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

          The hotbeds of infection are places like NYC and Detroit.

          Don't worry, you'll get yours. This is where Italy initially went wrong, they locked down *some* towns in Lombardy. By the time they realized that they should have locked down even the places not showing many cases, it was too late.

          Open up, go to the beach, get a haircut, get your teeth polished. Can't teach them as won't learn.

      2. Amentheist

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        "And let evolution do the rest"

        I agree with the idea of them having a go and having their protests don't get me wrong but this isn't evolution, it's just people dying (which will initially be mostly medical staff further exacerbating the issue) because of no hospital capacity. If it's evolution then get ready for it to apply to all of us meaning we have to keep dying from Covid-19 for generations until only those naturally immune (if there is such a thing) begin to have an offspring - assuming there's any social structure to support such an hypothetical future society.

        Obvs overstating but you get the idea.

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        Wow. Ten people upvoted a comment which basically said that people who have a different political opinion to you should kill themselves.

        Amazing.

      4. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        "

        Coming back to our "libertarians". Let them rant, let them demonstrate, let them meet! Not online, but rather in real life, in person. Let them spread viruses amongst themselves. And let evolution do the rest.

        "

        We are not dealing with ebola. This virus will have very little effect on the vast majority that contract it. So not sure what role evolution is likely to play on those who fail to isolate and as a result get nothing worse than a cough and sore throat for a couple of weeks.

    3. holmegm Bronze badge

      Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

      Mockery isn't a substitute for thought though.

      Liberty does, actually, matter. If we substituted "terrorism" or "violent crime" (both real things, that cause death) for "virus", I guarantee you that it would not just be some Republicans protesting the practice of the governors ruling by (basically) martial law via executive order.

      For those unfamiliar with ordered liberty, executive orders are supposed to be orders given to government offices that are under the executive branch, not orders given to the *people*. Governors are not supposed to be able to create civil and criminal law by fiat.

      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

        Terrorism can be caught simply by being in the presence of a terrorist at the grocery store?

        Violent crime can be caught by being on the bus with a criminal?

        No...? Then they're really not the same as a quite contagious virus, now are they?

        False Equivalency on offense -- ten yard penalty and loss of down.

        1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

          According to all oppressive governments the answer to your questions would be “yes”. Their defence of limiting protests is that they can make people become “terrorists” and “violent criminals”.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Factually incorrect

    "...that affects everyone no matter their color(sic), creed, sexual preferences, religious conviction or political affiliations."

    Actually, in the UK the death rate in men is twice that of women, and would appear to be higher in ethnic minorities than whites [gov now monitoring]

    And as 90+% of deaths are in the over 65s, probably a higher percentage of Conservative voters too. Cue evil marxists wishing death on someone for their choice of political party.

    1. Bob7300

      Re: Factually incorrect

      They said "affects everyone" not "affects everyone equally".

    2. Dr Dan Holdsworth
      Boffin

      Re: Factually incorrect

      The virus enters cells using the ACE2 receptor, of which men have more than women. Levels of ACE2 receptors vary genetically, and it seems that persons of Asian or African descent have more ACE2 than do the Western Europeans; probably just founder effect more than anything else.

      Once in cells, the virus as a side effect of its reproduction causes blood problems. These are exacerbated by conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and so on (which these BAME minorities suffer from more than do Western Europeans).

      Finally, there is a weird oddity whereby nicotine seems to decrease the numbers of ACE2 receptors. Smoking, the primary nicotine administration route, causes circulatory issues so ex-smokers may be less prone to complications from the virus, and active smokers more prone.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Factually incorrect

        As an ex-smoker I am fully in favour of these findings.

        Although my understanding is that the poor underlying health of BAME communities has been discounted. At least according to Trevor Philips in The Times yesterday.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Factually incorrect

        The virus enters cells using the ACE2 receptor, of which men have more than women.

        I hate sexist virii! I saw an explanation saying it affected 'man bits', which I then read around to discover meant testicles. So more reasons to socially distance and protect our jewels.

        Finally, there is a weird oddity whereby nicotine seems to decrease the numbers of ACE2 receptors.

        Yup. That seems counterintuitive given smoking generally reduces lung function & oxygenation, so would have thought smokers were at higher risk. Or maybe the virus gets stuck in the tar & coughed up. I suspect it's rather more complicated than that though. I did wonder if nicotine's vasodilator effect might have some impact, but presumably that's outweighed by the negative effects.. And certainly doesn't seem to be a good reason to take up smoking.

        Makes for interesting isolation reading though, and I still have an 'Endocrinology for Dummies' textbook to buy. It's fascinating learning about how our internal chemical factories keep us going.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Factually incorrect

          "I still have an 'Endocrinology for Dummies' textbook to buy"

          Pick up Richard Preston's "The Hot Zone" and "Panic in Level 4". Both non-fiction narratives about infectious agents such as Ebola and Marbug.

          It could be time to re-read Thomas Malthus again too.

      3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Factually incorrect

        How many times in your life did you ever think that smoking might actually turn out to have really been good for you? (at least once you've given up).

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Factually incorrect

        "Levels of ACE2 receptors vary genetically, and it seems that persons of Asian or African descent have more ACE2 than do the Western Europeans"

        Now throw in socioeconomic and education variables. There are so many things to model that it hurts me to think about it. I'll stick to electronics and mechanics were life is easier. The complex models still have to be done or you never know if something is highly critical or an 8th level effect that can be ignored to keep the surveys reasonably short.

    3. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Factually incorrect

      The ethnic breakdown is rather difficult to assess at the moment. A quarter of the deaths in England are in London, which in the 2011 census only had 45% of its population identified as "White British" so it would be astonishing if BAME people weren't impacted to a greater extent than their national demographics might suggest.

      Indeed, crude calculations (ignoring financial situation, type of work, prevalence of extended families and cultural factors) would put half the BAME victims in London alone, leaving the rest of the country if anything under represented.

      While I'm confident that the Government will perform a thorough assessment the media does feel to be race baiting on this topic.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Factually incorrect

        Similarly here it is killing men:women 55:45% but the median age of those deaths is 86

        And 86 is a lot older in "man years" than "women years"

        And >86 year old men have a lot more other illnesses than old women

  3. Dinanziame

    What I find fascinating is that only in the US would people accuse their government of prolonging the lockdown in order to seize freedoms from the population at the cost of destroying the economy. Even French people don't do that, even though they were in full-blown protests for the whole of 2019.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      The French rushed into lockdown because Macron wanted to suppress the Yellow Vest protesters. He then quickly shoved through the laws they were protesting against.

      ( Whether or not quarantine was medically justified, it's hard to deny Macron was delighted by the opportunity ).

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        Yes, there is a difference between politicians seizing an opportunity, and creating one from whole cloth.

        Though, if your *goal* was to create conspiracy theories, then gleefully seizing the opportunity is a good way to go about it.

      2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        FUD. The Yellow Vests movement was barely alive at the start of 2020. The latest social movement at the end of 2019 was against the pension system reform, and that reform has been put on hold while the lockdown is in place.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Ok, that's a lie.

          I know the French government has been telling people that the Yellow Vesters are fizzling out, but that doesn't make it true.

          1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

            Think what you want, the facts are there. The YV had already lost most of their traction by summer 2019, with only a few thousand protesters nationally, then they were completely overshadowed come autumn by the protests against the pensions reform. The YV parties for the EU elections didn't make it past 1%. So, apart from a few inflated Facebook groups, tell me how they are still active?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Over here in Poland we're protesting the government (mostly online, some signs displayed, and some limited car protests - no mass protests like in the US, since you know, quarantine conditions), but for pretty much the opposite reasons - that the government is not doing everything not to declare an actual, official state of emergency.

      Not that they're doing nothing, mind you. Partial, quite sensible, lockdown conditions are in place (and people are mostly obeying them), but at least in portion decreed in a possibly unconstitutional fashion.

      The reason for this? A state of emergency would disallow them to take over the Supreme Court with their toadies, and prevent them from conducting presidential elections now (as in, in three weeks), in which the incumbent, Party-aligned president has a clear advantage. Those things are interconnected BTW, as the Supreme Court has the final say on the legitimacy of any election. Interesting times...

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        Right. The mere fact that people are protesting does *not* make them unwashed idiots who just want everybody to die. However convenient that might be for those who don't like the protesters.

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          It's not the fact of protesting that makes one an unwashed idiot, as you called them, it's the way they protest (as stated in the comment you replied to)

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Indeed, if women want to protest for the right to vote they should do it quietly, in private, in their own homes..

            1. Wellyboot Silver badge
              Trollface

              5 seconds of thought...

              "votes for women, make this headache go away"

  4. Mark192 Bronze badge

    I've got some sympathy for people caught up in lockdowns. They're not told why we can't have the less economically disruptive and (probably cheaper, long term) testing and tracing regimes that were successfully followed by several countries earlier in the outbreak.

    The answer appears to be a combination of lack of testing infrastructure on a sufficient scale, lack of ingredients/materials for tests and unreliable tests (especially once real-world issues interfere) and an inability to continue it once the rest of the world starts competing for resources (heck, the UKs NHS is struggling to get basic PPE that isn't sub-standard... if a customer with that kind of buying power doesn't get to the front of the queue/if that's what the front the front of the queue looks like...).

    In addition, the lockdown has to start when the virus isn't causing a problem... the way the virus spreads, the UK would have had a fraction of the current cases & deaths if it had started the lockdown event a few days earlier and would have been able to relax it sooner.

    It's no wonder that otherwise intelligent citizens, facing financial ruin/spending extended time with their partner or family, are demanding 'why a lockdown when things haven't gone to s#&t yet.'

    I'm just thankful it's not spread by vapour and is not more deadly - learning that the UK doesn't keep a stock of even basic PPE in case of pandemic was rather disconcerting...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's all well and good. But let's be fair: for the most part this is about finding another excuse for waving one's gun around in public and to fly one's confederate flag.

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        No, that's just a few people the media love to zoom in on.

        The Michigan protest, for example, was overwhelmingly people staying in their cars, as the organizers had in fact requested. The protest you saw in the media bore little resemblance to the one that actually happened.

        But, I know I speak into the wind ... the true situation just isn't as delicious as the imaginary one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And which one was Trump encouraging and applauding?

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      I'm just thankful it's not spread by vapour and is not more deadly - learning that the UK doesn't keep a stock of even basic PPE in case of pandemic was rather disconcerting...

      I'm fairly certain the UK used to, although less certain about which bits of the UK was responsible. So waay back in the early '90s, some friends and I were thinking about buying a 'bunker' in Essex. It was pretty huge and used to be part of our Cold War strategic reserve storage for (I think) non-munitions stocks. Memory is a bit rusty, but didn't have obvious magazines in it anyway. I think those sites were part of a joint MoD/Civil Defence storage network, but sold off as a combination of cutbacks and peace dividend. I think it ended up being sold for document storage & we didn't buy it as it wouldn't have been practical (ie affordable) to bring it up to fire safety specs to have people in it.

      But such is/was politics. Given the threat of bioterrorism, including state-sponsored, it would have seemed sensible to have stockpiles. And those probably exist(ed), just understocked for current events. I'm guessing there was an assumption that any bionasty could have been detected and isolated quickly, before it became a national problem. Which seems a little short sighted, ie plan for the worst, hope for the best, and AFAIK the basic PPE we're out of would have been easy to store long-term.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        There's a cold war bunker in Manningtree in Essex, you can find it quite easily, there are brown tourist road signs with "Secret Bunker, 3 miles" all around it.

        1. Spasticus Autisticus

          The bunker is/was in Mistley, the ground site has been developed in to housing recently (haven't looked for a few months to see if its finished yet). I'm not sure the the Secret Bunker signs are there as the 'attraction' isn't open any more. As I live in the third of 'The Three Parishes', I don't know, because I don't 'see' the local signage.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Play Mistley for me

            That sounds about right for the location. It wasn't a 'secret bunker' in the ROTOR/C3I/COG sense, just a large underground storage facility. Which might explain why it didn't work as a tourist attraction as there wasn't really much to see. Guessing it was picked for proximity to the A12 and transport routes. I think it's a good excuse to poke around subbrit though and see if they visited it.

        2. Glenturret Single Malt

          Scotland's secret bunker:

          https://secretbunker.co.uk/your-visit/

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        UK Cold war food reserves alone were several million tonnes, (all pretty basic stuff) which was expected to feed the few million (at best) initial survivors for a year or two while they waited for the countryside to stop glowing in the dark.

        I'd like to think that the post pandemic lessons learned report will be acted upon because the next new bug to arrive will almost certainly be more lethal.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "because the next new bug to arrive will almost certainly be more lethal."

          Ebola Zaire was extremely lethal and incubated in ~48 hours with a more than 90% mortality rate. Gruesome, but it burned so hot that it couldn't travel very far from the source. The current strains are less lethal but take much longer to incubate in a host so they can spread across the planet via aircraft.

          Will the next strain of something be sneakier? When I get the flu, I don't go to the doctor. I keep warm, sleep a lot and try to stay hydrated since I know that supportive care and something to control symptoms is all that can be done. Somebody has to notice that a new and dangerous virus is circulating and it's not just an average flu. Insurance companies don't usually want to pay to have an assay done and it can be expensive so many people will just figure that Nyquill and chicken soup is the way to go when the doctor tells them, it's just the flu that's going around right now, here's a note for your employer.

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge

      >>>learning that the UK doesn't keep a stock of even basic PPE in case of pandemic was rather disconcerting<<<

      I think the UK did have a pandemic stock and pre br.x.t (like the other medical stockpiling) would have been added to just in case, but I believe the plans were expecting a 1918 type Flu event with a slower infection rate and a little more notice, not this completely new beast.

      Also I doubt the plans had changed much since the 80s/90s when the UK still had a rag trade capable of meeting UK PPE demand.

      NHS buying power can't do much to improve the rate at which production can be ramped up, production facilities & supply chains take time to organise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If this is worse than than any pandemic the government could have planned for - then they need to get out more.

        Compared to eg a SARS like fatality rate with a month long symptomless incubation period.

        Or a multi-strain resistant bacteria from factory chickens

        Or an airborne nasty with this same fatality rate but the infectiousness of measles.

        Never mind all the really interesting ones we have been deliberately engineering

        This (unlike crucifixion) is a doddle

    4. hoola Bronze badge

      The lockdown is to slow the rate or infection so that the NHS is not overwhelmed. When the lockdown is lifted there will be an increase in the infection rate. What is particularly worrying is the research that is beginning to indicate that being infected does not provide much in the way of antibodies to protect against re-infection. There is some output from research that a vaccine may have longer lasting antibodies than the result of being infected. However you look at it the crossing of this Coronavirus from animal to man is an utter disaster. The large amount of travel then spread the virus rapidly around the globe. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle and it is very difficult to see how we extricate ourselves from this mess.

      In the short term a vaccination (that will probably need to be repeated at regular intervals) could give some respite but given the size of the task it is going to be many years before you would reach the level to control COVID19 successfully. Beyond that one can only hope that stronger vaccines, better treatments and regulation will help.

      There is no point in finger pointing and recriminations as it will not achieve anything. What has to happen is the current practices of handling food in Asia and Africa have to be brought into the 21st Century. The difficulty is that there are cultural traditions that appear to be impossible to eradicate. The responsibility for this can only lie with those countries. Given that China has still not sorted out the problem of using rhino horn and bits of tiger as treatments that have no effect I have little confidence they will resolve this. If they do fail to act then the blame game is valid.

      Equally there has to be cultural shift in the West to live more sustainable and not put money, economic growth and short term gains ahead of everything else.

      Possibly the only way to drive this is for the West (where most of the excessive consumption is) to stop manufacturing everything at the lowest possible cost and repatriate it back. The problem is that the majority of the population are so conditioned to low cost they are not prepared to pay the real cost of producing & using items in a responsible way.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        > handling food in Asia and Africa have to be brought into the 21st Century.

        I hope not. When China and Africa start factory farming billions of chickens or cows and feeding them massive doses of human anti-biotics then driving them around the country in large open sided trucks aerosolling their crap

        Welcome to a world where a scratched insect bite or a tooth filling has a 50% chance of killing you

        1. Stork Silver badge

          A dramatic reduction of consumption of animal products would make a difference here.

          No, I am not trying to play holy (pls notice reduction as opposed to abolition), but SARS, COVID-19, MERS and influenzas originate in animals. Ebola too, most likely.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "The large amount of travel then spread the virus rapidly around the globe."

        I posted previously that Thunderf00t overlay-ed an air traffic map on top of the major hot spots early on and it was a perfect match. If he would have also included train lines and major motorways, the smaller hot spots would likely have correlated quite nicely.

        This has been well know for ages, but is all the more relevant with actual data.

        Big Clive was talking about his CAT mobile on his YouTube channel that has a built in IR camera and playing with it while working on the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. He scanned the audience and could pick up people with higher temperatures. He did this last year before the pandemic hit. It's not a perfect way to find people with the virus, but IR could be a good way to do some rough screening. Better than taking individual temps of people.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What will Trump do

    when all those massively intelligent people who normally vote for him die from Coronavirus after catching it whilst out protesting about Lock-down?

    1. Bob7300

      Re: What will Trump do

      Blame China, the WHO and Santa.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What will Trump do

        China caused it by allowing the wet markets. China then covered it up. The WTO's China backed head happily helped them cover it up ( he having experience in covering up a cholera outbreak in Ethiopia his past ).

        I'm not sure of Santa's involvement, but blaming the other two seems extremely reasonable.

        Is Santa still travelling despite the lockdown? Mines the one with the fake white beard in the pocket.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What will Trump do

          disgustedoftunbridgewells>>>The WTO's China backed head happily helped them cover it up ...

          The bastard!!!! We should be careful trading on WTO rule next year then.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: What will Trump do

            Urgh. Obviously I meant WHO.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What will Trump do

          Wet markets?

          I thought it was developed in a Chinese lab this week?

          I do wish people would keep their ranting, xenophobic conspiracies straight so i can follow them...

          1. baud Bronze badge

            Re: What will Trump do

            I don't the idea that COVID-19 originated from a wet market with dubious sanitary condition from China is that much of a conspiracy theory

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What will Trump do

              No, the point I was making was that the "theory" changes from week to week depending on whatever suits their agenda...and they're all absolutely certain.

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: What will Trump do

                "Their"?

                I'm repeating what is widely accepted ( by, as far as I can tell, all mainstream media ) to be likely the truth.

                Where's the conspiracy theory? Why are you putting me in that group?

                Is it because you want to muddy the waters?

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: What will Trump do

              "I don't the idea that COVID-19 originated from a wet market with dubious sanitary condition from China is that much of a conspiracy theory"

              It goes one step deeper. If it WAS a bat that hosted the virus, it could have been something that circulates in the bat population and rarely affects them. Trapping a bat and butchering it for human consumption might have been the point of first contact between humans and a mutation that affects humans. A customer or vendor at the market shares it with more people and they do the same and you have a breakout. I'm just saying that the virus didn't originate in the market. The market was just a good jumping off point for it.

              If somebody in the bush caught an infectious bat and ate it, they could become ill and die without spreading it any further than their own family or tribe and that mutation strain could have ended right there. Greater population density and faster travel provide a positive feedback path to combat a species' over success. This sort of thing happens a lot when a native predator is wiped out. Their prey population explodes and often goes through boom and bust cycles with disease culling the herd in place of the predator.

          2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: What will Trump do

            Tell me what is xenophobic or a conspiracy theory about repeating the widely accepted theory that the virus came from a Chinese wet market.

            When did I say that it was developed in a Chinese lab?

      2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: What will Trump do

        and Obama. All that went wrong in the last 3 years was Obama's fault.

        1. holmegm Bronze badge

          Re: What will Trump do

          The time frames vary. For some reason, it took only four years for Carter's goodness to kick in, for example, while it took eight years for Obama's goodness to kick in. It's all rather elastic ...

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: What will Trump do

            Are we blaming Carter now?

            Makes sense, he was behind 5G - part of his plan to turn us all metric

    2. holmegm Bronze badge

      Re: What will Trump do

      You really show your true colors with that stuff. It's almost as if "hate has a home" with you.

      Anyway, you do know the hotbeds of infection are places like NYC, right? Centers of the hip, the woke, etc.?

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: What will Trump do

        High density city populations are hotbeds of airborn infection - who'd have thunk /sarc

  6. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    <quote>

    Somewhere in the middle of all this there remains a deathly microscopic virus that affects everyone no matter their color, creed, sexual preferences, religious conviction or political affiliations.

    </quote>

    That's not strictly accurate. According to an article in The Times yesterday, roughly and in Britain, black men are worst affected, Pakistani muslims are hardly affected, even when adjusted for population density, income, etc. So well off black men are more likely to die from CV19 than a poor Pakistani muslim.

    1. holmegm Bronze badge

      Darn viruses just won't get woke.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Although it seems El Reg readers do now, sadly. I've been called a xenophobic conspiracy theorist for saying that the virus likely came from a Chinese wet market.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Pakistani muslims are hardly affected,"

      If the number of infected keeps rising, there is more opportunity for the virus to mutate. Those least affected today may not be next week.

  7. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Flame

    "Give me Liberty or give me Covid-19"

    I think someone should tell them it's not a 'one or the other' choice.

    I do have sympathy for those fed up with being treated as guilty until they can prove their innocence. Being pushed around and punished by jobworths. Those criminalised, named and shamed, for not doing as told rather than posing any actual actual risk. And it seems worse in America than in the UK where their police state is more advanced than ours.

    I could also understand it if these were people protesting the Failed States of America, where poverty is widespread, healthcare and welfare so poor and lacking that lockdown means comply and die.

    But these American protests are purely political, pro-Trump, anti-Democrat, organised and supported by the usual right wing suspects, white supremacists, racists, neo-Nazis, fascists and ultra-nationalists, militias and assorted gun-totting nut jobs and conspiracy theory loons.

    Though they do have a point; the greatest freedom and liberty is being able to chose to lose one's life and take others out with you. It's "better dead than red" all over again. Welcome to America.

    1. holmegm Bronze badge

      Re: "Give me Liberty or give me Covid-19"

      "I do have sympathy for those fed up with being treated as guilty until they can prove their innocence. Being pushed around and punished by jobworths. Those criminalised, named and shamed, for not doing as told rather than posing any actual actual risk. And it seems worse in America than in the UK where their police state is more advanced than ours"

      This is what people are actually protesting.

      "But these American protests are purely political, pro-Trump, anti-Democrat, organised and supported by the usual right wing suspects, white supremacists, racists, neo-Nazis, fascists and ultra-nationalists, militias and assorted gun-totting nut jobs and conspiracy theory loons."

      And these are like five guys the media cameras zoom in on.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: "Give me Liberty or give me Covid-19"

        Downvoted because those five guys will infect 15 folk. And so on, exponentially.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/21/can-you-believe-there-is-someone-who-had-a-worse-response-to-coronavirus-than-boris-johnson

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Give me Liberty or give me Covid-19"

          But, like BoJo, they are mostly going to be shaking hands with other idiots of a similar political hue.

  8. FBee

    Give Me Liberty AND Give Me Death

    Available in other countries as well...

    1. FBee

      Live Free AND Die

      OK, I'll stop...

  9. osakajin Bronze badge

    Am dissapointed by the reg lack of critical perspective on the lockdown. Why are you swallowing the government line and supporting it in the subtext?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      To be honest since we are all locked down and stuck in front of Netflix we are all binge watching the new series of "The America" even though the new characters are completely unbelievable.

  10. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Typical of Failbook

    So Faceborg is, as usual, sucking up to the gun-grabbers. The action on the part of the gun advocacy groups is **NOT** to defy "social distancing. The fact is that the gun-grabbers are just frothing at the mouth to take advantage of this crisis to push through their anti-gun agenda, trying to bury their ever increasing restrictions deep into "must-pass" legislation. The gun advocacy groups are making sure any legislation ONLY deals with the critical issues at hand, and to make sure this doesn't get used to push the agenda of a small subset of people.

    The only reason the advocacy groups have to act is BECAUSE the opposition is all set to twist and manipulate a crisis to their OWN failed ideology. NOTHING to do with opposing the emergency measures needed to address the crisis.

    (now bring on the obvious downvotes)

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Typical of Failbook

      Your evidence...?

    2. Citizen of Nowhere

      Re: Typical of Failbook

      >now bring on the obvious downvotes

      I obliged your eminently sensible request.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    What to do in an emergency

    What should happen:

    Get everyone as safe as possible as quickly as possible. Move research of the problem into top gear.

    What all politicians and most others do:

    Find someone to blame as quickly as possible. Silence anyone who contradicts this.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: What to do in an emergency

      "What all politicians and most others do:

      Find someone to blame as quickly as possible. Silence anyone who contradicts this."

      SOP in the US. The legislature (the wonks what pass laws) just sit in their mansions and blame the President. To be certain, President Trump is ill-equipped for this. Earlier this year the major focus of most of the US Federal Government was to get the president tossed out to the exclusion of most everything else. After this and right at the forefront of the outbreak, they all went on a month long Easter holiday, which they've extended. Now they are all battling to attach pet projects to any legislation aimed at keep some sort of economic activity going and people fed. A few of the bright ones will realize that a hungry population with their utilities shut off for non-payment aren't going to sit still and take it quietly. The US Government has been broken for some time. All they are missing is race jackets with all of their sponsor's patches sewed on.

  12. jonnycando

    Has anyone not realized that Facebook is a wasteland of epic proportions?

  13. gemini
    Trollface

    Americans: Freedom for me but not everybody else.

    Americans. LOOOOOOOOL.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We reached out to state officials to understand the scope of their orders" So Facebook has become an organ of the state...

    Personally, I avoid social media like the plague.

  15. David Crowe

    Is it deadly? Is it even a thing?

    Deadly virus? It's losing its sheen as more antibody testing is done.

    And is it even a virus at all? I was perhaps the first to question whether Chinese scientists had jumped past the awkward question of whether their RNA actually was a virus and not endogenous:

    http://theinfectiousmyth.com/book/CoronavirusPanic.pdf

    I am pleased that some other scientists have come on board (including an 'in press' paper from Georgia public health scientists).

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