back to article DBA locked in police-guarded COVID-19-quarantine hotel for the last week shares his story with The Register

Alex Mackenzie was due to arrive home from a holiday in Japan on April 15. But the DBA is currently under guard in a Sydney hotel while he serves out a mandatory 14-day quarantine period after finally making it home from what’s turned into quite an odyssey. Mackenzie’s story starts in mid-March when he and his partner went to …

  1. TonyJ Silver badge

    Sounds sensible

    Does sound like their precautions and quarantine have been sensible and reasonably handled and communicated.

    Also seems like they've handled the time in quarantine well, too.

    Hope both are safe and looking forwards to getting home

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Sounds sensible

      Yep. Yet at Gatwick we have reports, back when lock down started, or a plane from China landing and being allowed through with no checks. And the same person that mentioned this, a baggage handler, who was worried for his health went to the office and grabbed a mask and started to wear it. He was then pulled into the office and given a warning and told to remove the mask.

      So, we know the management at Gatwick are dicks and don't give a shit about the health of their own staff. Anyone dies from it there, those managers need to be charged with corporate manslaughter.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Sounds sensible

        On the brighter side, Gatwick Airport doesn't look very likely to survive this.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Sounds sensible

          Not brighter for me as it's closer than Heathrow :)

          1. seven of five Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Sounds sensible

            Not only clos_er_, clos_ed_ as we.. yes dammint, my cloak is already outsi*ouch* no kickin damint

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Sounds sensible

      The only thing that doesn't sound "right" is no opening windows and not being allowed out of the room, that would drive me stir crazy, I don't like AC air and I can only sleep with the window open.

      I don't see why they can't organize a short walk in the hotel grounds / in the entrance-way in small groups with distancing - I assume that guards are on duty 24/7, so putting up a fence and letting them walk around guarded should make them feel better.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds sensible

        Pot luck depends on which hotel you get shipped to from the airport. You don't pick a hotel. You are escorted to one from the airport and the state picks up the bill.

        There was a story on the ABC website about a couple in quarantine. Their hotel room had a balcony so they considered themselves lucky.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Sounds sensible

        Air-conditioned air? Fresh from outside, or recycled from the rooms next door with their plague-ridden occupants?

        Sounds about as a safe as a cruise ship.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: Sounds sensible

          Conditioned air from the rather large units normally situated on the roof. You only tend to get outlets in hotels, not recovery intakes like in residential systems.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a shit hole

    I think it's time Oz was booted from the Commonwealth, just like Zim. How did it become such a police state?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: booted from the Commonwealth

      You really think anyone would notice? Fuck sake, being booted from mySpace would be more newsworthy.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: What a shit hole

      Please read the history books and discover how we created Australia..

      But note that the UK is now proposing the same thing. At this point it is just Quarantine Theater, Typhoid Mary would have sailed through modern quarantine efforts and gone straight back to work.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: What a shit hole

        The UK is now proposing the same thing, a couple of months after it would have been useful.

        One gets the idea they're just going with whatever plays well in focus groups.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: What a shit hole

          That seems to be exactly what they're doing. All the while hiding behing the science and the data so they can point fingers if it doesn't go as they hope. I won't say as they plan, because clearly there is no plan.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a shit hole

            clearly there is no plan.

            I must have missed the bit where they discovered the plan for how the virus would be spreading, so they could plan a response.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: What a shit hole

              I must have missed the bit where they discovered the plan for how the virus would be spreading, so they could plan a response.

              The perfect is the enemy of the good.

              They have known since January exactly what type of virus this is, and therefore the likely transmission routes. Quarantine is a simple measure designed to prevent more outbreak centres...

              Letting people from known hotspots congregate on a plane, and through an airport and then spread themselves around the country was always crazy at the start of a serious outbreak (which it clearly was months ago).

              Doing so now, when relatively few people are travelling is obviously easier, but is also probably a completely futile gesture, we have enough infections that an additional outbreak centre would likely go unnoticed in the noise of all the others.

            2. Paul 5
              Facepalm

              Re: What a shit hole

              The Novel Cononavirus' plan is the same as for any other highly infectious virus - spread exponentially until contact between potential hosts is reduced and R drops below 1. The Government's response is more in line with the magic 8 ball - Better not tell you now / Outlook not so good / Reply hazy, try again!

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a shit hole

              Competent countries do actually have pandemic plans in place. In Australia there is a national plan which is updated every year as new information becomes available and occasionally there are drills to test it involving commonwealth, state and territory governments. The last major drills being in 2008 and 2010. The only real criticism has been that there have been no major drills more recently as the way we communicate has changed a lot since the last drill.

              The basic response to any pandemic virus is the same. Effective quarantine being the main first step. Yes, you will need to tune it as you discover more about the particular disease you are dealing with but you should have a basic plan that stops rampant spread through the community.

              Maybe this is why Australia has a fraction of the caseload and death that the UK has had despite the relative population sizes. UK has about 2.7 times the population, 32 times the number of cases and 330 times the number of deaths.

              1. SundogUK Silver badge

                Re: What a shit hole

                It's not. Population density seems to be a bigger factor.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: What a shit hole

                  "Population density seems to be a bigger factor."

                  Not really.

                  Packing hundreds of confirmed infected seniors off to care homes and telling those care homes that they will lose ALL funding immediately if they don't take them (yes, really) is on par with trebucheting infected corpses over the wall into a beseiged town

                  It's no wonder care homes across the UK are seeing staggering death tolls with most seeing between 1/2 and 2/3 of their residents die in the last month - one site reported losing 85% of their residents in a single week.

                  The words "corporate manslaughter" are appearing more and more often in connection with covid deaths

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What a shit hole

                  Population density seems to be a bigger factor.

                  There's also the fact that coronaviruses tend to come to the fore around mid-winter or so at a similar time to the flu virus, and Australia hasn't been anywhere near that period yet. It is still regularly mid-twenties Celsius during the day and our flu season is yet to start. Check back when we're past winter and back into spring.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What a shit hole

                >Competent countries do actually have pandemic plans in place. In Australia there is a national plan which is updated every year as new information becomes available

                According to my brother - Oz resident since 1980, when talking about government: "competent" and "Australia" are words that don't go together, particularly when talking about CoViD19.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What a shit hole

                  Note I said competent countries. We have a plan due to the hard work of the health officials and civil servants.

                  In normal times I would agree with you about the Australian govt. There is usually too much bickering between the commonwealth and states, the two main parties don't work together very well and the factional infighting within the parties often leads to policy paralysis. The 3 year govt terms don't help as almost as soon as they are elected they start campaigning for the next election.

                  However, in these times they genuinely seem to have done a good job. The different levels of govt of different parties have worked together and the liberals dropped their fanatical approach to budget ideology where everything was done in a single minded pursuit of budget surplus. When they saw what was happening they did a swift 180 and started pumping cash into the economy to keep people in jobs. We had the very strange sight of people from the govt and members of trade union peak bodies standing on the same stage at press conferences praising each other.

                  The numbers speak for themselves when you look at the health response. The virus is currently under control. With the economy, it has taken a pounding but we are now coming out the other side. Things are opening and retail sales are going back up. I am not sure which countries your brother thinks have done better. Taiwan probably had the worlds best response as they were bitten hard by SARS and learned the lessons, but Australia and NZ are not far behind.

                  We are starting to see signs of things going back to normal. The Commonwealth and Victorian govts were sniping at each other last week and the opposition are starting to get some digs in about non coronavirus related issues. There was some hope that everyone working together would become the (overused phrase) "new normal". It doesn't seem that this will be the case, but at least it shows that we are starting to get past the crisis.

              3. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: What a shit hole

                "Competent countries do actually have pandemic plans in place"

                Whereas the UK fared so badly in BOTH of the last 2 pandemic planning exercises (the germane point being they were under the same government) that UK dot gov kicked the results under the carpet and ignored it whilst whistling loudly if anyone bought the subject up and talked about the exercises before those.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: What a shit hole

            "hiding behing the science and the data "

            Except there was clearly none of either, as what was being pushed was party line, not WHO recommendations or in line with what any sane medic was recommending

            Covering a turd with vanilla sprinkles doesn't make it any more edible.

        2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: What a shit hole

          Actually my understanding was that the UK was proposing 14 days Self-Quarantine - which will work as well as the person complying to it....

          Waste of time IMO. Mandatory and enforced or not at all.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: What a shit hole

            They started with self-quarantine in Australia and found that, predictably, it didn't work. We now have a positive test gets you a mandatory quarantine period as does interstate or overseas travel (returning residents).

    3. Kangaroo
      WTF?

      Re: What a shit hole

      Jealous much that they have 1% of the deaths per head of population compared to the UK?

      1. seven of five Silver badge

        Re: What a shit hole

        Corona would cause more deaths, but it just isn't though enough to stand up against all the native predators (and the really aggressive sheep) Oz has. Like throwing a tomcat into a raptor pen...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a shit hole

        Jealous much that they have 1% of the deaths per head of population compared to the UK?

        Well, it helps that they have 30x the land area to put less than half the same number of people in.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: What a shit hole

          They might have 30x the land area, but they also only use a few percent of it... Almost all the population is in 6 cities.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: What a shit hole

            heat tho!

            Dosent warm weather kill this virus? i think i read that .

            if so , it dosent stand a chance in Oz

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a shit hole

              No, warm weather doesn't make any significant difference. This was just one of Trumps suggestions to wish the virus away. Singapore has had an explosion of cases after initially keeping on top of it. Other tropical countries such as Indonesia are also hard hit.

              Quarantine is the only way to stop a virus, but you have to do it early before the disease has had a chance to spread to a significant part of the population.

              1. A2HostingUserEnraged
                WTF?

                Re: What a shit hole

                >Other tropical countries such as Indonesia are also hard hit.

                You'd think so but... I'm a coder living on Bali (and have been working at home since forever anyway) and there are a bare handful of deaths here. A couple of months back I was expecting by now there would be piles of corpses in the streets but practically nada.

                Sure, one suspects the official figures but I'm in an unusually well-informed position, my girlfriend is a Balinese journalist and her Mum has just had a kidney operation so she's been in and out of the main hospital in Densasar (Bali capital) most days initially to visit her pre and post-op, then subsequently 2 or 3 times a week to collect medicine for her, she's also been paid recently by an Aussie newspaper to actively snoop around and investigate 'where the bodies are' but there just aren't any big piles of them. In fact, it's a notable event in the local journo community when somebody dies and it's associated with CV.

                Some villages are being locked down either by the 'Banjar' (the local village council/elders) or in one case at least by the military as a hotspot of people have been tested positive there or have symptoms but the number of deaths remains super-low, even with a slew of Balinese locals returning to their villages in March and April from work on cruise liners (that's been stopped now, may are still stuck on ships or quarantined on Java).

                All very odd, and counter-intuitive but there you go. With the density of population here, multi-generational families crammed into small spaces, the general low level of organisation and medical facilities especially for the poor (aka. the vast majority), and the lack of a serious lockdown (the beaches are closed, shops, bars and big-name stores like circle K etc. close at 9pm now) you'd think it'd be screaming through the population like wildfire, but not.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What a shit hole

                  Official figures for Indonesia are about 14200, with over a third of them in Jakarta.

                  Good to hear that Bali isn't too badly affected as my brother managed to get himself stuck there and is finding it very difficult to get back to the UK.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: What a shit hole

                    Doesn't Indonesia have a population of over 100 million people?

                    14,200 isn't really that high, especially if they are using the test for the E gene (on the advice of the WHO) which is shared by other corona viruses rather than the ORF1 gene which is meant to be specific to SARS-CoV-2 i.e. they would have a high chance of false positives with the E gene PCR testing.

                  2. ChrisCoderChap

                    Re: What a shit hole

                    He should at least be OK visa-wise for the time being, thankfully they're giving all foreigners that are still here free emergency visa extensions 'until further notice' without any need to apply or go to immigration etc. but obviously it's worth them checking the imigrasi web site/social media and/or keeping in touch with a visa agent for updates.

                    The lack of a major death count on Bali itself is most odd. As you say, Jakarta is bad for it though given the staggering population density and horrific conditions in many spots outside the shiny parts, it's amazing it's not a lot worse.

                    Bali population 680,000+ yet 'official' figures are 314 infections, 4 deaths (at least according to https://www.baliplus.com/2020/05/13/breaking-news-bali-hopes-to-be-the-1st-province-clear-of-covid-19-in-indonesia) but as mentioned above, my partner is a journo here and hasn't seen any evidence this is an understatement despite having recently been hired to discover otherwise by an Aussie rag.

                    I forgot to mention in my OP that there used to be dozens of direct flights a day from China to Bali, including from Wuhan itself, tens of thousands of Chinese holidaymakers are usually here year-round, Bali is a fave spot for Chinese tourists and there's a whole chunk of the island pretty much devoted to that sector of tourism (Nusa Dua in the vestigial-looking bit dangling off the bottom of Bali).

                    If you'd tried to design an environment specifically to be most vulnerable to this outbreak, you'd not have gone far wrong to create something that looks very much like Bali but we seem to be sidestepping the worst of it rather well, lord knows why, for sure it's not the social distancing and excellent general public health. Maybe my 'spiritually enthusiastic' long-term ex-pat guru-lady is right, this is the result of Ganesha holding Shiva at bay so we'd better keep doing the chanting and meditation and burn more incense.

                    The local economy on the other hand... will pretty much tank unless we get some kind of high season this summer, happily my income isn't directly related to folk arriving on aircraft but most locals and ex-pats I know are very much depending on it on one level or another. Many of my closest mates own or manage scuba dive outfits, restos, bars etc. and most are are just about hanging on to their employees for the moment can't do so for long with practically zero dollars coming in through the doors.

                    Lots of cars and scooters for sale on social media, restaurants selling the contents of their freezers etc. Now is typically a low-income time of year and people are stocked up with cash to some extent with last summer and Christmas not having been too bad (despite the quake the previous year, people really needed this summer to be a profitable one !) but it's not looking good, apart from good local supplies of rice, fish and a shitload of fruit, Bali essentially relies on tourism to stay afloat.

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: What a shit hole

              Dosent warm weather kill this virus? i think i read that .

              It doesn't survive long on surfaces in hot weather. No reported difference in person-person transmission.

        2. Sam Paton

          Re: What a shit hole

          Ah the old "Australia is really big" argument. We get the same thing whenever internet comes up, or someone wants to argue that nothing Australia does is valid because it's so spread out. It's pretty much rubbish.

          In reality people live in 4 places. The 4th most populous of which has 2m people living in it. Even if you went down to #10, Wollongong, it's pretty much the size of Cardiff.

          The figures are also misleading if you go by size of metropolitan area. Sydney, is massive, like Romford to Basingstoke sort of size. Same size as the LA Metro, which has about the population of Australia in it, but this doesn't magically make it a wonderland where we frollick in our acres of space.

          If you take even an extended, overly generous view of Sydney and said "Central Coast to Kiama and out to the Blue Mountains" (and I just pissed off half of NSW) That can be exactly overlaid onto triangle of the Manchester Metro, West Yorkshire and Sheffield Areas. Population of which is about 4.9m, Sydney (and bear in mind its census area is much smaller) is >5.2. The national park area in Sydney for that space is a damn site more than the Peak District as well, just the Blue Mountains is twice as big and there are 6 and a bit National Parks in that slice of the map.

          Plus whilst we have bigger houses etc, we still all work in offices, building sites, hospitals and schools, we go to supermarkets and shop in malls and those aren't magically oasis of space and serenity. It's the same aggregation of people as most places. The reason this seeming dissonnance needs a logical leap, is because these equivalent areas in the UK have farmland in it, you don't get it like that in Australia. Farming will be a couple of hours drive minimum from the city. Inner City land is still expensive and dense. Then we have heaps of outer suburbs with massive plots of land, then national parks. It's >$1m for 200sqm of land where I am. Better believe we use all of it.

      3. PTW

        Re: What a shit hole

        @Kangaroo maybe Oz is counting "deaths by" rather than the UK's "death with" in their numbers?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a shit hole

          However you count it, 97 is significantly different to 32,065.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: However you count it

            You are now winner of the best statistical observation of the week award

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: What a shit hole

            and 32,065 "hospital deaths" is significantly different to 52,000+ "excess deaths above baseline"

            Unless there are some REALLY stealthy ninja assassin squad carving their way across the UK countryside it's a sure bet that Covid19 is the culprit for most-if-not-all of the line above the "normal for this time of year" figure.

            (especially since "influenza" "road crash" and other "accidental" causes have taken a general dip - the first for general reporting reasons, but the other two because they genuinely have dropped - it's even more pronounced in South Africa where the rise in Covid deaths has seemingly been outweighed by the drop in the murder rate.)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a shit hole

              Interestingly in Germany they have noted that general mortality is largely unchanged...

              https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PawelBoe/corona-integration/master/results/corona_total_deaths_germany.png

              But that wouldn't fit with the need to rush through a vaccine without proper testing like they did with Pandemrix in 2010.

    4. Flywheel Silver badge

      Re: What a shit hole

      We (Britain) taught them everything they know. The rest they just managed to work out for themselves...

    5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: What a shit hole

        There there calm down. Nursey will come with your shot soon and make it all better....

  3. LDS Silver badge

    Perfect example...

    ... of lack of situational awareness. It looks we can't really blame governments only for having underestimated and mismanaged the crisis for far too long.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Perfect example...

      Hmmm not sure I agree with you there. If we were talking a 1 or 2 week holiday then I would agree with you, but thinking they should have tried to guess the situation a month in advance, before there were any lockdowns being discussed, no quarantines in place, is harsh. Things changed very fast at the start of the outbreak, not being able to predict it a month in advance is not something i feel you can put on Alex and his partner. A lot of governments with a lot more info then them got it wrong (and continue to do so!).

      1. coconuthead

        Re: Perfect example...

        Australia started requiring all arrivals from overseas to self-isolate at home for 14 days on 15 March, almost exactly when the couple would have started their holiday. Qantas announced on 19 March that they would be shutting down most of their international operation at the end of the month. A total ban on Australians travelling overseas was issued on 20 March and at the same time Australians overseas were advised to return home immediately. The lockdown started on 22 March.

        Sorry, no sympathy. Especially since I am awaiting a test result and am currently required to self-isolation (and yes, the police may come to check I am here). I could have only caught it from food shopping or exercising in the local park.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Perfect example...

          Australia initially introduced the self isolation that the UK is now proposing weeks ago. It didn't work as selfish idiots did not stay home. Mandatory quarantine was introduced instead. This allows health authorities to treat and trace existing cases without having to worry about importing new ones. It worked. There are virtually no new cases and we can open the country back up with relative safety. Compare and contrast to the absolute clusterfuck in the UK. Less that 100 deaths in a country of 25 million compared to 31,000 deaths in a country of 68 million.

          I am in the NT, which has had no deaths at all. I am glad I am here, while at the same time have a raging fury at what has happened in the UK as we still have so many friends and family there suffering due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

            This is exactly the kind of defeatist attitude that holds the UK back!

            We're leading Europe, second in the world! Now we've killed off your Nan and made you hate your kids there's no excuse for not going back to work.

            Stay Alert!

            or should that be

            Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

              We're leading Europe, second in the world!

              Nowhere near. 8th highest number of confirmed cases per capita, Italy, Spain and Belgium have higher death rates per capita than the UK.

              1. Paul 5
                Stop

                Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

                As Prof David Spiegelhalter said on the Andrew Marr show yesterday, while there is little point trying to make detailed comparisons between the UK and the other badly-performing countries in Europe, there absolutely is value in looking at what is different between those poorly performing countries and the countries which are doing a lot better.

                Dominic Cummings may not like people to do that, in case it shows up any weakness in government policy - past or present - but finding out what works well can only be good for the country.

              2. John H Woods Silver badge

                Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

                "Nowhere near. 8th highest number of confirmed cases per capita"

                We're quite a lot further back in total cases per capita, but we're only 6th in deaths per capita, --- or, if you discount San Marino (pop. <35k) and Andorra (pop. <80k), we're more realistically fourth.

                But it all depends on when the growth really started -- if we use per capita measures without adjusting for date, USA seems to be doing quite well. And it really isn't, as the absence of BOMBASTIC BOB telling us that it's not much worse than flu tends to show.

                1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                  1. sabroni Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: I will substitute FOR Bombastic Bob!

                    Do you GET your pc SUPPLIES from THE SAME place as them? You seen to HAVE THE SAME fucked up KEYBOARD....

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

                >Nowhere near. 8th highest

                There' always someone doing Britain down.

              4. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

                Really? http://offloop.net/covid19/ (which I assume you're looking at) shows "reported hospital confirmed covid deaths", not "excess deaths above baseline" for the UK. That big jump in the curve was when it was adjusted to "reported hospital and carehome confirmed convid deaths" for the week.

                In reality it's up near Belgium and Belgium has 1/6 the population, mostly geriatic. Offloop's admin is aware of the ONS API but it runs a week behind the government announcements ( I asked him to plot UK excess deaths as a separate line)

            2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

              Strength Through Purity, Purity Through Faith.

            3. Dr_N Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: due to the ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

              AC> Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!

              Beer for Torquemada (Nemesis) quote.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Perfect example...

            I am in the NT, which has had no deaths at all.

            That's because there's fuck-all there, only 250,000 people in a space 6x the size of the UK. You probably couldn't catch COVID-19 even if you tried!

            ineptitude of Boris and his cohort of fuckwits.

            The UK has much the same figures as France, Spain, Italy, all of whom are better than places like Belgium, and that is despite the UK not imposing the same police-state restrictions as France has. FFS, you complain about Boris when thanks to Macron I can't even go shopping without a signed permit to show the police.

            They started to ease those restrictions today, but Macron couldn't even get parliament to approve the new rules in time, so until midnight today we're expected to obey new restrictions which aren't yet legal.

            Right now I'd much rather be in the UK where some common sense applies than stuck here in France.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Perfect example...

              The UK government had the example of what was happening in Spain and Italy and pissed it away by doing fuck all for two weeks. Boris has been banging on about "controlling our own borders" for years and when he should have actually done some border control he did nothing. As an island nation, they could have closed the borders like NZ, Taiwan and Australia did then you would be only looking at a few hundred deaths instead of over 30000. Only now, far too late is he looking at imposing a quarantine on new arrivals and is excluding France anyway.

              1. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: Perfect example...

                Oh please.

                Two weeks before the UK entered lockdown the country had a cumulative total of 321 cases of Coronavirus and an aggregate total of three deaths.

                People would not have accepted a lockdown. They'd have resisted, disobeyed and possibly rioted. Shit, some communities have struggled even when it was delayed until needed. Already there are a lot of people demanding that it ends; had we locked down two weeks earlier we'd have had people breaching the rules a month ago because they just wouldn't have understood the benefits.

                Fortunately the Government realised all of this and factored it into their plans, instead of going full authoritarian prison island as you want.

                There are plenty of valid criticisms of the response to the Coronavirus, stop making up spurious ones.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Perfect example...

                  You had a cumulative known total of 321. It was spreading invisibly through the population. This is the only chance you get to stop it.

                  Other countries with access to exactly the same information and lower case loads saw what was coming took the required action. (NZ, Taiwan, Australia for example).

                  If you stop the spread early, you can open up early so the total effect on the economy is less. If the UK had taken the required action when it was required you wouldn't have community transmission now and you could open back up. As it is, the virus is out of control and there is no way to safely open up for months.

                  1. Roland6 Silver badge

                    Re: Perfect example...

                    >If you stop the spread early, you can open up early so the total effect on the economy is less. If the UK had taken the required action when it was required you wouldn't have community transmission now and you could open back up.

                    Agree, however, given the nature of the English - and the typical Brexiteer, Cederic is absolutely right,

                    people would not of have accepted a government (even a Conservative one) enforced lockdown. Even waiting there were and still are people who think CoViD19 shouldn't be treated any differently to seasonal flu, however, they just grumbled rather than get out on the streets, like they have been doing in the US and Germany...

                  2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: Perfect example...

                    "You had a cumulative known total of 321."

                    That was a cumulative total of people who had died in hospital after confirmed diagnosis, when there were no fucking diagnostic kits available.

                    You can warp stats around in any number of ways if you restrict the way you express your datasets

                    The best overall proxy for covid19 death rate is the excess population deaths over the 5 year average deaths for this time of year and that's painting a VERY bleak picture.

                    It was only when the FInancial Times started weighing on how appallingly bad things are that the rest of the media started sitting up, stopped reportng the govt "official" figures as if they were gospel and started making noises to say "hospital deaths" or other footnotes to say the numbers were incomplete

                    https://www.ft.com/content/40fc8904-febf-4a66-8d1c-ea3e48bbc034 - currently pointing out that ONS stats show 50,979 deaths vs the govt's claimed 32,065 - the curves showing at the bottom of the page are nice, but they make it clear that this is the FIRST wave of the disease and there is worse to come(*)

                    At the time the UK government was saying "22,000 deaths" the figure was already PAST 45,000 and when they said 32,000 (after "Adjusting for care homes") they're still missing out around 1/3 of the recorded deaths above the baseline.

                    An awful lot of people are dying at home, or in care homes _without_ the benefit of a covid diagnosis and medics are afraid to put "possibly covid" on the death certificate without a test result as the health authority manglement have been making various noises about funding, etc. They know they're going to be facing corporate manslaughter investigations and the better they can make numbers look, the harder it is for prosecutors

                    This is going to be the Potters Bar event for public health investigations and politicians will be held to account. There have been too many deaths for the to deflect to 3rd parties.

                    Opening up too soon will result in things taking off like an exploding boiler. Wuhan, Singapore, South Korea(**), Germany and other places are already finding this out the hard way

                    (*) Every pandemic in the last 150 years has had multiple waves with the second being significantly larger than the first (even the last Ebola outbreak). looking at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/three-waves.htm should be eyeopening

                    Some countries actually TEACH this stuff as part of history due to the impact it had. Samoa lost almost 1/3 of its entire population in 12 days in 1918 - and the British governer behaved almost exactly like Boris - refused to allow quarantines, then to accept responsibility, running away to New Zealand as fast as he could - leaving his assistant to deal with hundreds of grieving families - then back to England when investigators tried to detain him for a commission of enquiry. Most Pacific Island countries saw 20-25% death rates - that's why they locked down tighter than a snail's arse when this one came along.

                    (**)Seoul: 1 carrier, one epic pub crawl to celebrate the night of the easing of lockdown. 30 confirmed infections already, another 7200 people exposed. It only takes a couple of carriers to restart the blaze

                    1. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: Perfect example...

                      >but they make it clear that this is the FIRST wave of the disease and there is worse to come

                      However, this seeming clarity is being eroded by the testing of biopsy samples taken last year, in which evidence of SARS-CoV-2 is being found, suggesting there was an initial wave in UK/Europe last autumn...

                      What people are ignoring is just what government policy (around the world) actually means, basically, they are accepting CoViD19 is here to stay, it won't be eradicated and achieving herd immunity is a pipedream, the best seems to be to keep it's R-value below 1, in the hope that a vaccine can be developed within the next year then mass produced and then a programme of injections started - which to me indicates CoViD19 and thus lockdowns and social distancing are going to be part of 'normal' for at least the next 3 years.

                      There is one thing we can be certain of: CoViD19 is action research on a grand scale and is providing many opportunities for people to see scientific problem solving - warts and all - in real-time.

                      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                        Re: Perfect example...

                        "suggesting there was an initial wave in UK/Europe last autumn..."

                        1918 seems to have started around Kansas - already deadly when it struck there and travelled to USA military camps - and went to Europe. It changed and came back to the USA. Nobody tries to argue that what left the USA was "Wave 1"

                        In the case of what's been found in Europe/USA, it's clear it was out and circulating sooner than people thought - but that could have been a less virulent form too. My GP is already suggesting the "extreme flu" I had in late December-early January (and still suffering after effects from) was Covid, although I'm personally doubtful and tend towards H1N1. Without swabs at the time or accurate antibody tests it's anyone's guess. (Amongst other things I lost smell entirely for a couple of weeks and went completely deaf for 3 days/impaired for 5 weeks)

                2. Robert D Bank

                  Re: Perfect example...

                  So the Gov't keeps saying they have done all they can...

                  The investigation by BBC Panorama found that vital items were left out of the stockpile when it was set up in 2009 and that the government subsequently ignored a warning from its own advisers to buy missing equipment.

                  Why some NHS workers are wearing bin bags

                  Are NHS staff getting enough protective gear?

                  The expert committee that advises the government on pandemics, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), recommended the purchase of gowns last June.

                  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-52440641

                  And now, trying to relax the lock-down with having mass scale testing or track and trace in place...recipe for a 2nd wave...we could be stuck with this for years...

                  1. Cederic Silver badge

                    Re: Perfect example...

                    The investigation by the incredibly biased BBC Panorama kept interviewing political activists without declaring their political interests. It was a blatant hitpiece with no journalistic credibility.

                    I'm sure that mistakes in preparation were made. I welcome suggestions and changes to improve future preparations. I'll even invite people to make recommendations for future courses of action based on the things learned during the past few months.

                    I'm just not going to accept people screaming hysterically about what's already happened without even acknowledging the complexity of the situation, the difficulties in determining reliable information inputs and the nuanced multi-faceted implications of every decision.

                    As for being prepared for a pandemic, you are I assume aware of the 2019 Global Health Security Index? See page 20 of https://www.ghsindex.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2019-Global-Health-Security-Index.pdf

                    That report does identify opportunities for the UK to improve its preparations but there are 193 other countries that needed to do more.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Perfect example...

                      Cederic > "the incredibly biased BBC Panorama"

                      Is that its full title? ™® ?

                      Funny how the BBC is always botg biased against Left and Right; both Nationalist and Globalists. Maybe that's that pesky balance stuff.

                      1. Cederic Silver badge

                        Re: Perfect example...

                        There was no balance around Brexit.

                        There is no balance around coverage of Coronavirus.

                        There's never been any balance around coverage of men's rights.

                        The left complain when the BBC let someone in the middle ground of politics speak unchallenged.

                        The right complain when the BBC promote far left policies continually all day every day.

                        The BBC go, "Both sides are complaining, we're balanced."

                        Keep voting me down, I don't mind. I'm just trying to find informed unbiased commentary on current affairs, and since I have to pay for the BBC, I'm going to keep deriding their inability to provide it.

                        Regarding that Panorama episode specifically, even the Government felt the need to respond:

                        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-minister-oliver-dowden-warns-bbc-about-bias-after-panorama-story-vvnp6dldd

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Perfect example...

                          >>>https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-minister-oliver-dowden-warns-bbc-about-bias-after-panorama-story-vvnp6dldd

                          [Pay Wall]

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Perfect example...

              True that there are not many people in the whole of the NT, but most of them live in Darwin/Palmerston. all arrivals from overseas/interstate have been quarantined and their contacts traced. If we hadn't done this then despite the small population the disease would have spread and people would have died.

              For a more accurate comparison look at Sydney and London. Two major world cities with tourists from all over the world. One implemented border controls, one didn't. London has had 6000+ COVID deaths, the whole of NSW has only had 44.

              Quarantine works. It stops disease spread so you can treat existing cases, prevents deaths and allows you to safely open back up quicker. We have had a month of economic pain, but are coming out the other side. Hell, even the pubs open back up on Friday. The UK economy is going to be fucked for months as the spread of the disease is not under control. People I know in the UK are suffering. A close relative is in hospital with the disease and it was avoidable.

            3. nsld

              Re: Perfect example...

              Yeah, sounds great until you realise the UK has out paced France and Italy whilst being between 2 and 3 weeks behind them in the cycle.

              When you adjust for time you see a very different picture, and its not pretty. Then factor in excess deaths compared to a proceeding 5 year period and you get the real picture of the failure of the UK government.

              Cummings little herd immunity experiment, based on his 2013 essay in which he relied on everyone except virologists, epidimiologists and public health experts was the blue print for the current dog and pony show. Little wonder we faced 500,000 deaths without a huge pivot, and completely coincidental that the guy who did that work that led to the pivot was outed to the Telegraph for having his girlfriend visit.

            4. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: Perfect example...

              >>Right now I'd much rather be in the UK where some common sense applies than stuck here in France.

              No one is stopping you. If you don't like the rules here you can "go back to where you came from" can't you.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Perfect example...

                No one is stopping you. If you don't like the rules here you can "go back to where you came from" can't you.

                How, with no flights and a ban on non-essential travel over 100km?

                1. Dr_N Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: Perfect example...

                  AC>>How, with no flights and a ban on non-essential travel over 100km?

                  The borders are not closed. You are perfectly entitled to leave. BA are offing a couple of flights a day at around £300 single. Off you pop.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Perfect example...

                    The borders are not closed.

                    They are in France. To leave the country before June 15th to travel within Europe you need special authorization justifying taking care of a child, visiting a parent in a care home (now there's a daft idea), or other special situations. Police are monitoring the roads to borders and airports.

                    1. Dr_N Silver badge

                      Re: Perfect example...

                      "Special authorization" that you print out and fill in yourself. And it's mostly for the return trip.

                      If you have a family reason, or for a couple of other excuses, you can travel to the UK now. They don't care if you leave. They will just not let you back in. Especially if you don't have a titre de sejour.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Perfect example...

        Sometimes, you should read or listen to something more than local news. By the middle of March a lot of countries were already or entering lockdowns or were about to start it by closing some public places and limiting gatherings - and it was happening in Europe too, much far away from China than Australia and Japan. The Diamond Pricess cruise ship full of ill people were already in front of Japan by the end of February. South Korea was already heavily hit (it worked hard to contain it, true).

        My company stopped all travels to Asia by the end of February, and put us working from home by the beginning of March. In the same days I cancelled a personal travel in the first days of April because it was clear to me that the situation would have only become worse, would not be under control in a month, and I didn't want exactly to find myself blocked abroad even if I could afford a $7000 ticket in an emergency, although it would put a dent into my finances.

        Taking any trip in the middle of March was playing roulette. Governments did ("hey look at the sentiment analysis from Facebook and Twitter, we can't do this and that!!! Let's drink some cholirine, maybe?"), and people as well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How far away is home?

    For those of us who don't fully comprehend Australian-style distances, how far away is home from Sydney for them? Judging by the line regarding flight availability, I'm guessing it will be "...and then it's only a quick four-hour flight back to the airport to pick up the car for a three-hour drive to home sweet home" sort of deal.

    From an AC on the other side of the world: you have my sympathies!

    1. ssharwood

      Re: How far away is home?

      12 hour drive, one hour flight.

      1. Boothy

        Re: How far away is home?

        As someone who drove (early January) from Sydney to the north end of the Gold Coast coast, and then a week later flew from there to Melbourne, I concur.

        The drive took about 12 hours, including a couple of short breaks. Thank <deity> for automatics and cruise control!

        The flight down to Melbourne, which of course passes Sydney about half way down, took a little over 2 hours, and being domestic, you only needed to be at the airport about an hour before the flight.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How far away is home?

          We did a road trip over Christmas and New year to visit friends and relatives. Darwin to Melbourne via Adelaide. Stayed for a week. Side trip to Barwen heads near Geelong, then up the East coast to Brisbane. A bit further North to the Sunshine coast then back West through QLD to the Stuart Highway to get home. About 8.500 kms over 3 weeks.

          When we went back to the UK a few years ago, we stayed in the Lake District. We then drove down to London to visit a relative. I lost count of the number of people who were very surprised at this asking how we travelled so far in a day. This was very puzzling to me.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: How far away is home?

            "When we went back to the UK a few years ago, we stayed in the Lake District. We then drove down to London to visit a relative. I lost count of the number of people who were very surprised at this asking how we travelled so far in a day. This was very puzzling to me."

            To a Londoner, anything outside the M25 is "long way" :-)

            Having said that, I know people locally here in the Grim North of England who would get lost if more than 15 miles from home but can tell you where all the best pubs are in there regualarTurkish or Spanish holiday resorts!

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: How far away is home?

            "I lost count of the number of people who were very surprised at this asking how we travelled so far in a day."

            I lived in New Zealand - which is only about the same size as the UK. Driving 100 miles each way for a decent coffeehouse and night out wasn't considered unusual. Even in a country that size it was perfectly possible to live places where the nearest neighbour was 20-30+ miles away.

            Then again, consider it can take 2-3 hours to drive the 19-20 miles _across_ London, vs under 2 hours to travel the ~100miles between the ring motorways connecting London and Birmingham or that it's 90-120 minutes on the commuter network from the outer London suburbs to St Pancras Station, vs a fraction over 2 hours to Paris from St Pancras).

            Where I live now, I can _see_ Canary wharf on a clear day. It takes 2 hours at best to get there (3-5 on a bad day). Brighton Beach is 3 times further away but I can be there in 45 minutes. You eventually start thinking of things in terms of travel time rather than distance

            It's a common failing of organisations outside the UK to assume all distances are equal when planning appointments for technical staff - which can lead to some "interesting" conversations with manglement who really don't understand that "it's only 5 miles, how can it possibly take 90 minutes??"

    2. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: How far away is home?

      To be fair, most people working in Sydney leave within an hour or so of their office, many much closer. I live on the Central Coast, and can drive to my office in Parramatta in about an hour and a half - most Aussies would travel further than that for a Sunday lunch!

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: How far away is home?

      "those of us who don't fully comprehend Australian-style distances"

      Australia is about the size of the US lower 48 - or would completely cover western Europe right up to the Russian borders: https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/united-kingdom/australia or https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/united-states/australia

      Darwin to Sydney is about the same distance as London to Moscow (or London to Tel Aviv, or Seattle to Houston)

      China is about the same size as Australia: https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/united-kingdom/china or https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/united-states/china

      Plugging in a few equatorial countries (try Ghana vs United Kingdom) can give an understanding just how distorted the standard Mercator projection makes our view of the world. It's a navigator's map, not an accurate sizing one.

  5. simonlb Silver badge
    Meh

    And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

    I'm glad the DBA and his partner look to be ok and will be able to go home soon, but the quarantine is one one the main reasons Australia is right on top of controlling the spread of Coronavirus and has had a death rate a few orders of magnitude less than the UK.

    Mandatory quarantine for all people arriving in the country is also something the UK government have singularly failed to do which is complete madness, and with the garbled and incoherent announcement from Boris last night we will see another spike in the confirmed cases in about three weeks which will set the whole country back at least another two months. I can see this outbreak will rumble along in the UK until November due to our governments complete lack of decisive and responsible action in controlling the Pandemic here. It's like they don't give a shit about anyone else in the country.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

      OTOH, as there are so few people flying now, it is a good time to impliment quarantine. Far less people to handle while the scheme is brought up to speed and issues ironed out. There is a lovely detention centre just over the A4 from Heathrow that is apparently almost empty now. That's where I'm guessing the first 'guests at Boris's pleasure' will be sent.

      Yes, the Government has made mistakes in the handling of CV-19. They are writing the user manual as they go.

      I didn't find 'Boris on TV' last night garbled at all. There is little detail that could be conveyed in 10-11 minutes. We'll need to wait for the 50 page document. Then we can properly assess the next stage in the plan. I'm not a supporter of Boris but I do appreciate that he is very much caught between a rock and a hard place. No matter what he does, he'll antagonise someone.

      Personally, I don't think we will be properly in 'Level 3' until late June.

      Look forward to lots more working from home people.

      I've done it for the past 8 years so nothing much has changed for me apart from the lack of Traffic noise when I have the windows open.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        "Yes, the Government has made mistakes in the handling of CV-19. They are writing the user manual as they go."

        Maybe if they had bothered to RTFM from other countries who had it first they'd have made fewer mistakes. It is becoming harder and harder to claim that the UK has not badly mismanaged this: we squandered several advantages (Island, reasonably wealthy, state health service AND MOST IMPORTANTLY at least two headstarts [China and Italy]).

        The fact that some will criticise the government whatever they do does not invalidate all criticism of the government.

        1. Caver_Dave
          Coat

          Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

          Two flies in the ointment:

          1) There are a couple of clusters of unexplained Coronavirus outbreaks in the UK in December and many more in January (two choral societies in Manchester for instance) - all linked to people travelling back from Wuhan. The illness already had a foot hold well before the WHO announced the problems.

          2) Some people in the UK refuse to do as they are told! The self isolation of travellers has been generally ignored if you look at the clusters of illnesses that surround many of them, and the general public seem to be even worse!

          So we really cannot learn from the lessons of China - where people do as they are told (often forcibly) - see fly no. 2 above.

          But we have learnt from Italy, as our Health Service was not overwhelmed like theirs was.

          We can learn from those countries that still impose quarantine, such as Australia. We only did it for the first flights from Wuhan, but now we have to enforce it - see fly no.2 above.

          Working back from the death rates (although they are a little skewed by the Care Homes) and WHO figures for the number of asymptomatic or mild illnesses, we get figures of 5-10% of the population have been infected. Now is the time for the next stage, but yes, we will see the numbers of infected bounce back up again, but if people follow the rules, this should be well within the limit of the NHS.

          Remember this is an illness of age:

          2 deaths in under 10's - both with pre-existing conditions

          27 deaths in under 25's - most with pre-existing conditions

          1% of all over 90's dead from this virus.

          In my view school children could be back, if there are sufficient young teachers available, so parents can get back to work - except for those children where they live with the most vulnerable. This half school year can be generally be written off - not because the teachers have not tried to provide remote work for the children, but because so many children (with their parents blessing) have not done any of the work. These will all have to be "brought back up to speed" in September to the detriment of the rest of the classes :-( I have many reports of this from teacher friends, where those who do not bother much in class, have not returned any work since they have been at home!

          Sorry rambling - I'll get my coat!

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            our Health Service was not overwhelmed like theirs was.

            No, the UK pushed the problem into care homes.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: No, the UK pushed the problem into care homes.

              And cancelled all other non-virus health care. The health service wasn't overwhelmed, it effectively shut down for everything but Coronavirus. Where are the numbers for the harm caused by this?

              1. Paul 5
                Unhappy

                Re: No, the UK pushed the problem into care homes.

                The health service wasn't overwhelmed, it effectively shut down for everything but Coronavirus. Where are the numbers for the harm caused by this?

                That would be the excess deaths over the average for the time of year - for example, see this article on fullfact.org, or check the Office of National Statistics. It's of the order of magnitude of 20K extra deaths in April. Unfortunately these excess death figures also include COVID-19 deaths outside the hospital/care system, or who were never tested, or who were not included in official statistics.

              2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: No, the UK pushed the problem into care homes.

                As medical staff told me while I was in hospital all last week for a non covid related condition, the supposed shut-down for non-covid conditions is pretty much a self-fulfilling media invention. The hospital A&E was open as usual but very quiet because people who should have gone to A&E stopped going due to what they were told by the media. Consequently there have been many deaths from completely treatable conditions that went untreated because people stayed away thinking that they would either not be treated or would be risking contracting the virus.

                The hospital I stayed at have not cancelled any treatments, but have had many patients cancel appointments due to exaggerated fear of coronavirus. A friend who is having cancer treatments has had all his treatments and tests on schedule. Staff did however say that things sound a bit worse in the London hospitals, though they understand it is well under control.

                1. Steve 114
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: No, the UK pushed the problem into care homes.

                  Wife had early minor cancer diagnosis, all tests, 2 procedures, CT, MRI on time and telephone appointments as needed - NHS hospital very quiet, all staff charming and unhurried. Her consultant said: "I have a really nice day here, then listen to the News in the car on the way home, and get completely depressed".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              No, the UK pushed the problem into care homes.

              It's a virus that is more fatal to the elderly with underlying health issues. Where do you find most of them? In care homes, of course.

              France has seen exactly the same distribution of deaths.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

                What's the PPE situation like in French care homes?

                Was testing in care homes scarce-to-nonexistent in France?

                Were people sent back from hospitals to care homes without being tested in France?

                Did the official French healthcare guidance mean patients with symptoms could mix with patients without symptoms as they were classified as living in the same household?

                Were deaths in care homes not quoted as part of the official stats for a long time, and later on when they were quoted were they revised upwards by the government's statistics body but still not quoted in the official stats in France?

                By accident or design, the UK's way is a very good way of sweeping the problem under the carpet.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

                  > What's the PPE situation like in French care homes?

                  If it was like the rest of the country, pretty bad.

                  > Was testing in care homes scarce-to-nonexistent in France?

                  Considering testing is scarce in France overall, I'd say it was also scarce in care homes

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

                  What's the PPE situation like in French care homes?

                  Same as everywhere else: shortages, panic imports from China, etc.

                  Was testing in care homes scarce-to-nonexistent in France?

                  Yes. April 18th the state legal advice service returned a judgement saying it was "matériellement impossible de soumettre, à bref délai, l'ensemble des personnels et résidents des Ehpad à un dépistage", i.e it is "physically impossible to submit all staff and patients in care homes to testing at short notice", and the state was therefore right not to try.

                  Were people sent back from hospitals to care homes without being tested in France?

                  Yes.

                  Did the official French healthcare guidance mean patients with symptoms could mix with patients without symptoms as they were classified as living in the same household?

                  All viists to care homes were banned. Joint activities like cinemas were banned, but patients in care homes were confined together and allowed to mix freely.

                  Were deaths in care homes not quoted as part of the official stats for a long time, and later on when they were quoted were they revised upwards by the government's statistics body but still not quoted in the official stats in France?

                  They were not quoted at first, but were later merged into the official statistics.

                  the UK's way is a very good way of sweeping the problem under the carpet.

                  Just like in France.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Remember this is an illness of age

            No, this is not you die (Gran) or you live.

            This is an illness of weeks and weeks of trying to get over it, if you get more than a cough and less than a death sentence. Not "bouncing back", but convalescence and recuperation over a long period. Read the fine print about the Manchester choir cluster: sick at end of December and communicating again mid-February. You're offline a long time...

          3. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            "1) There are a couple of clusters of unexplained Coronavirus outbreaks in the UK in December and many more in January (two choral societies in Manchester for instance) - all linked to people travelling back from Wuhan."

            It's either unexplained or linked to travelling back from Wuhan. Given the infectivity, I would suggest it may not have been Covid19. I have friends who returned from Wuhan in Jan with severe Covid19-type symptoms but it seems inconceivable to me that they wouldn't have started a local cluster.

            I can see no acceptable explanation for why the UK is performing so poorly and, unless the UK is to be considered far more rebellious than any other country, you haven't really provided one here. This is a failure of government, they only excel (especially with the latest vague non-advice) at shifting the blame back to the citizens.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: This is a failure of government

              They didn't buy PPE because they couldn't be seen to be working with the EU. That decision is directly responsible for the death of care workers.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: This is a failure of government

                They didn't buy PPE because they couldn't be seen to be working with the EU.

                Ah, so it's all the fault of Brexit?

                Idiot.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: This is a failure of government

                  >> They didn't buy PPE because they couldn't be seen to be working with the EU.

                  > Ah, so it's all the fault of Brexit?

                  Ministers rejected invitations to join because of Brexit, and worry about offending the ERG, so.. YES it's a fault of the brexit poison xenophobic bullshit.

                  > Idiot.

                  See mirror.

                  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52377087

                  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-uk-eu-ppe-ventilators-brexit-foreign-office-equipment-a9478676.html

                  https://fullfact.org/online/50-thousand-ventilators/

                  1. baud Bronze badge

                    Re: This is a failure of government

                    France is (as far as I know) still in the EU and the PPE situation was pretty bad, up until the start of May

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: This is a failure of government

                      So, maybe they didn't take the EU offer either?

              2. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: This is a failure of government

                [Citation needed].

                Last time I checked the EU purchasing hadn't delivered a single bit of PPE or a single ventilator to any EU state.

                Meanwhile, we've created something like an extra ten thousand beds with ventilators through boosting production of the things in the UK, and whilst PPE is in short supply due to competing with buying on an international market which is quite busy there are no reputable sources showing anywhere that has actually run out.

                And since care workers are employed by private companies and not the government, it's actually the responsibility of those companies to put measures in place, not the responsibility of the government. Carehomes that basically stopped visits and had staff stay in the carehome or camp outside have done fine. Those that did nothing and gone on at business as usual have largely not done fine. Again, not something you can blame on the government when it's not run by the government. If they were run by the government, I have no confidence that the care homes would have been running at a universally high level.

                1. Robert Sneddon Bronze badge

                  Re: This is a failure of government

                  My thought, back in the middle of March, was that the government shouldn't be scrabbling around trying to find boxes of medically-rated masks in the back of cupboards and competing for PPE supplies from abroad with other nations. Instead they should have been throwing money and effort into rapidly building production lines to make new N95/N99-class masks in the UK as well as securing the raw materials to make masks and other PPE here, locally. What we actually got were RAF transport aircraft flying back and forth to Turkey to import PPE that the NHS doesn't believe meets the standards they need.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: This is a failure of government

                  Stop conflating the issue

                  https://fullfact.org/online/50-thousand-ventilators/

          4. Old Tom

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            This half school year can be generally be written off - not because the teachers have not tried to provide remote work for the children, but because so many children (with their parents blessing) have not done any of the work

            Maybe some teachers have bothered, I'm unaware of anything other than vague stuff on Twitter from my kids' school.

            Meanwhile - if any work was set - some of us parents are working full-time, and while we would love our children to stay quiet and get on with educational things, we have our own work to do.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              > Maybe some teachers have bothered, I'm unaware of anything other than vague stuff on Twitter from my kids' school.

              Then I suggest you look on the school's website rather than twitter and you might find something. Oh, and when the phone rings - pick the bloody thing up - because making 32 calls to see how kids are faring takes a hell of a lot longer when people don't answer.

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

                If the number isn't recognised, the phone stays on the cradle. If you want an answer, leave a message.

                (Note: I don't have school-age children, but this is my general rule and it would apply whoever called.)

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            Have you seen how busy it gets when the school run is happening? Kids at school means lots of mingling parents!

          6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            "because so many children (with their parents blessing) have not done any of the work"

            Would things have been much different in school?

          7. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            There are a couple of clusters of unexplained Coronavirus outbreaks in the UK in December and many more in January (two choral societies in Manchester for instance)

            I wasn't aware of these and can't find any useful references online. Are there any news articles or summaries that could help inform me?

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              Are there any news articles or summaries that could help inform me?

              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52589449

              1. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

                Appreciated, thank you.

          8. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            >In my view school children could be back, if there are sufficient young teachers available, so parents can get back to work - except for those children where they live with the most vulnerable.

            According to the ONS, 47 teachers per 100000 have died of COVID-19 in the UK, so with 500,000 teachers that makes it around 225 up to 20th April. That doesn't include non-teaching deaths.

            Another 1000 have died without having COVID on their death certificate, which is probably far in excess of the usual for this time period.

          9. Reg Reader 1

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            The problem with school children going back is that seems to be evidence that Covid-19 may present differently in the young than even people in their mid-teens and older. I think it is premature to to send children back to school, especially as the age group they are targeting will have little understanding of social distancing.

            As I was typing this it occurred to me that sending the really young back and then enforcing social distance might really frighten them and leave with social anxiety, such as, fear of being near or touching others. That's a thing that could carry forward through their lives.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

          Maybe if they had bothered to RTFM from other countries who had it first they'd have made fewer mistakes.

          What, like Italy and Spain, both of whom have higher death rates than the UK? Great examples to follow.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            Me: "Maybe if they had bothered to RTFM from other countries who had it first they'd have made fewer mistakes."

            AC: "What, like Italy and Spain, both of whom have higher death rates than the UK? Great examples to follow."

            I was talking about avoiding making the same mistakes, sorry if that was not sufficiently clear.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            >What, like Italy and Spain, both of whom have higher death rates than the UK? Great examples to follow.

            Italy and Spain did terribly. Germany really did terribly. But what about "Global Britain" learning the lessons of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan? - triple the population between them, and under 1000 deaths. Or better still, Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia - with 6 deaths between them.

            Closer to home, how about Denmark, Austria, or Greece? Portugal, Slovakia, Norway, Finland? Lots of countries have fared comparatively a lot better than the UK - and we are still hoping that recovery confers immunity and not some nasty sequelae.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              Italy and Spain did terribly as they were affected very early. It is inexcusable that the UK didn't look at the situation there and take action when other countries with much smaller case loads at the time saw what was coming and did something about it.

              There is no excuse. The UK botched their response leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and the biggest collapse in the economy for 300 years.

              The death rate is what is making me especially angry. As I noted in another post, UK has 32 times more COVID 19 cases than Australia, but 330 times the number of deaths! 10 times more people are dying of the illness and these death figures are very likely to be massively under reported. Yet, we are told that the health service isn't being overwhelmed.

            2. Joe Montana

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              What makes you think that reporting and testing in third world countries like myanmar and laos is at all accurate?

              Also the vast majority of deaths have been elderly people with existing conditions, in developed countries with effective healthcare systems there are a lot of elderly and sick people still alive thanks to the healthcare, in third world countries people who would be in these categories are often already dead.

              Many young and healthy people experience little or no symptoms, and third world countries are full of young healthy people because it's hard to survive there otherwise.

        3. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

          The strength of the UK being an island is fatally undermined by being one of the worlds largest aviation transport hubs.

          And while I do think that the government hasn't covered itself in glory, let's be honest for a moment. Most people complaining about the governments handling are actually complaining about the conservative party's handling of it because they support the Labour party. Who outside of activists really actually believes that if the Labour party had of won the last election that they would have done any better than the Conservative party with Jeremy Corbyn as PM and Diane Abbot as home secretary?

          A more rational belief is that pretty much all modern politicians are voted in on the basis of looking good on camera and when it comes to actually managing anything are equally as bloody hopeless.

          The "government" is effectively a couple of dozen ministers and perhaps a hundred or so "Special Advisors", who aren't civil servants but rather "party servants". If these people aren't buried in problems passed upwards because the people at a lower stage are incapable of doing the job then i'd be amazed.

          I've yet to see any blame being attributed to the civil service who are responsible for drawing up the plans and who should be dealing with certain problems at a level below the ministers. Especially the home office, which ought to be dealing with internal affairs. You know, the department described under the Labour government like 15 years ago as being "unfit for purpose". Who thinks it has improved significantly?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            >> "Most people complaining about the governments handling are actually complaining about the conservative party's handling of it because they support the Labour party. Who outside of activists really actually believes that if the Labour party had of won the last election that they would have done any better than the Conservative party with Jeremy Corbyn as PM and Diane Abbot as home secretary?" <<

            Absolute tosh. This ain't America. People aren't so tribal.

            I criticise them for ever fuck up they make. If it was Labour in power, and they were making the same mistakes, I'd be complaining about them too. Everyone else I know is doing the same too, our lives are being turned upside down, and you think we care about "sides"?

            People are dying needlessly, and you blame people speaking out as point scoring? Sickening.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              My dear Anonymous Coward,

              Did you actually read beyond the second paragraph where I insulted [all of] our glorious leaders? If so, you'd note that in the third paragraph I said:-

              A more rational belief is that pretty much all modern politicians are voted in on the basis of looking good on camera and when it comes to actually managing anything are equally as bloody hopeless.

              And in the last paragraph I pointed out that Britains world beating civil service who is actually running the show at every level beyond the top dozen people is actually being shown up to be rather crap. But do go on blaming political parties who are largely impotent. It doesn't matter which party was in power when this hit, either was going to do badly and i'm sure the civil service will be quite happy with the blame going no further than politicians.

              My "side" is pointing out that the existing political point scoring is bollocks and we need a major rethink on how the country is governed that goes way beyond changing the politicians. The "not fit for purpose" parts of the Civil Service needs some radical reforming to be "fit for purpose" at the minimum. Or are you actually disagreeing with this?

            2. Beeblebrox

              If it was Labour in power

              Bliar.

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

            "Most people complaining about the governments handling are actually complaining about the conservative party's handling of it because they support the Labour party."

            This is doubly invalid. Firstly, they are entitled to complain whomever they support, whether anarchists / communists / fascists / people's front of Judea. Secondly, having complained, the validity of such complaints has nothing to do with their motivation.

            Pretty crass to suggest that people only care that the UK is managing this so poorly because they "want to score political points" - I think that's called Poisoning the well.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              And I think that very carefully building up a separate argument to carefully demolish without attacking the opponents argument is of the species of logical fallacy called a Straw Man. What's your point?

              People certainly are entitled to moan. But realistically my point remains; it doesn't matter who is nominally in charge with our existing system of government firstly because I think that pretty much all politicians are incompetent, and secondly because you've got to get a civil service department described as being "not fit for purpose" 15 years ago to operate at what would be a high level of performance for a healthly organisation and I don't think the civil service is capable of doing it.

              If they are capable of doing it, they are certainly experts in concealing it. Just changing politicians is vastly unimaginative, how the country is governed needs a rather major shake up.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

              Not me, I am criticising them because they are inept. While living in the UK, I have voted for both major parties. Labour when I was younger, Conservative after seeing the balls up Gordon Brown made of the economy. I also voted for the lib dems once.

              Here in Australia I generally vote Liberal which is the equivalent of the Conservative party. The Liberal govt here has handled the virus response well resulting in very low cases. They did this by working with the opposition and state governments and ditching much of their ideological opposition to things like wage support.

              The govt in the UK has not handled things well. simple as that.

      2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        Fewer! - Stannis Baratheon

      3. notmyopinion
        Facepalm

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        I didn't find 'Boris on TV' last night garbled at all. There is little detail that could be conveyed in 10-11 minutes. We'll need to wait for the 50 page document. Then we can properly assess the next stage in the plan.

        This should really have been announced in parliament, where the announcement would have been followed by questions to clarify what it actually meant. And if this has been in the planning for longer than since last week's PMQs, when Boris was on the ropes and needed a distraction, why didn't Boris have some of the detail that might have gone into that 50 page document you mention?

    2. Neiljohnuk

      Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

      The reports of those instructed to 'self isolate' and failing to do so having flown into the UK from high risk areas (Indian and Pakistan especially) shows the Australian enforced quarantine measures are probably required here.

      Internationally it's reported that in Bobcaygeon Ont. a retirement home owner having flown home from overseas ignored the Canadian 14 day stay at home and self quarantine order, the owner was initially asymptomatic, at last report 27 of 65 residents had died from Covid-19, as have family members who'd visited them before the place was locked down, the health body declared a Covid-19 community outbreak 'incident' in March, and unlike others it's still ongoing:

      http://www.hkpr.on.ca/category/my-community/outbreaks/

      https://www.centraleasthealthline.ca/displayservice.aspx?id=51212

      https://www.kawartha411.ca/2020/03/28/wife-of-pinecrest-nursing-home-resident-dies-of-coronavirus/

      Still if 14 days is too hard for some to do, along with all the potential spread as they travel 'home', they should be thankful it's that short, quaranta giorni the original Venezia quarantine was 40 days long.

      I do hope Boris has the balls to stand-up to the PC brigade and bring in a strict 14 day enforced secure quarantine, and close our borders properly to the undocumented...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        > I do hope Boris has the balls to stand-up to the PC brigade and bring in a strict 14 day enforced secure quarantine

        It's not the PC brigade, it's the airline industry brigade. If there's a mandatory lockup-up 14 day quarantine on return, nobody is going to fly out in the first place.

        Instead, everyone will Eurostar it to Brussels or Amsterdam and fly from there.

        1. Paul 5
          FAIL

          Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

          > > I do hope Boris has the balls to stand-up to the PC brigade...

          > It's not the PC brigade, it's the airline industry brigade.

          It's the libertarian phalange in the parliamentary Tory party, some of whom were elected after the purge of ideologically impure members just before the last general election.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

          "Instead, everyone will Eurostar it to Brussels or Amsterdam and fly from there."

          The quarantine is for people coming TO the UK. I've not seen anything about quarantining people leaving FROM the UK.

          Having said that, we won't, yet, be quarantining people from Ireland or France. So I suppose people coming to UK could fly into either of those places and then use Eurostar to get here. I suppose that depends on whether Ireland or France are going to be quarantining incomers, however they arrive and whether the UK will be at least checking who arrives from France/Ireland by ferry, tunnel or plane and how/when they got to France/Ireland

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        > I do hope Boris has the balls to stand-up to the PC brigade

        It's not the PC brigade that's the issue - it's the right-wing/ libertarian element of the Tory party that is pressuring him into reducing the already slack rules.

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

      Banning foreign visitors ( which is what a quarantine would do ) is exactly what Trump was lambasted for, until the EU did it and suddenly the anti-boris-and-trump-whatever-they-do people went quiet and moved on to something else.

      Britain didn't ban international travel because you may remember at the time it was believed that it would only delay the peak by 15 days.

      1. notmyopinion
        Unhappy

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        A timely quarantine would also have reduced the number of infections due to returning UK nationals who had picked up Covid-19 while abroad - quarantines don't just affect foreigners, you know.

    4. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: It's like they don't give a shit about anyone else in the country.

      Nonsense! They care a great deal about their old school chums who sit on the boards of multinational conglomerates.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

      "garbled and incoherent announcement from Boris"

      Be fair. Garbled and incoherent is what Boris does.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

        Garbled and incoherent is what Boris does.

        Yes, but he does it so well!

  6. Pete 2

    Back in time

    Uber eats, Netflix, remote working, hotel wifi, plus all the other trappings of "modern" tech existence.

    It makes a chap wonder what the situation would be like if this virus had hit 10 or 15 years ago.

    While many of those things were possible for a few, they would not have been widespread enough (or familiar enough) to scale to a national level.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Back in time

      I was ill whilst on assignment and couldn't travel home for 2 weeks in 2001. I was stuck in my hotel room (too sick to get out of the room, not sick enough for a hospital bed).

      I could order food from the hotel, I had wired Internet and I could order food deliveries from the local pizza parlour etc. Not that I was actually capable of eating, I lost nearly 40 lbs in under 2 weeks.

      The best thing about being ill with a high fever in a hotel was calling room service at 3 in the morning and getting them to change the bedding. I will be forever grateful for the outstanding service and understanding of the staff at the hotel.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if this virus had hit 10 or 15 years ago.

      It seems to me that 10-15 years ago is difficult to call, but make it 25-30 years ago and I imagine - given that working from home was a realistic option for very few - that most people would have just had to carry on going in to work, and hope. But it'd be more interesting to hear an opinion from someone who would have been regarded as having some relevant expertise at the time.

      1. Kingstonian

        Re: if this virus had hit 10 or 15 years ago.

        Over 25 years ago (pre-internet use for most people) we just carried on as normal. Working from home was mostly impossible even for the office based staff. If taken ill we were just told to stay off work until we got better and take precautions such as not sneezing over everything (plus we had telephone sanitizers as telephones were often shared). Most didn't have air conditioning to spread disease either. 50 years ago was much the same we just carried on as normal and accepted there would be deaths. We didn't expect to be able to cure almost everything. Workplaces didn't close - this would have been unthinkable. Adults didn't have to be told how to wash our hands either. Even 10-15 years ago we would not have shut down workplaces. Some hotspots might be shut down but no general shutdown perhaps the odd school but not all of them countrywide.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: if this virus had hit 10 or 15 years ago.

          The worst pandemic since the Spanish flu, 100 years ago.... It didn't happen 10 or 15 or 45 or 50 years ago.

          You have nothing to compare it with, but seem to be showing off that "back then" we valued human life less.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: if this virus had hit 10 or 15 years ago.

            Well, it's not the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu, since there was an influenza pandemic in 1957–1958 which killed ~ 1 million people and then the Hong Kong flu, in 1968-1970, which also killed 1 million people (both figures are from the CDC). In both case, I think there wasn't any big-scale lockdown like we're seeing for the current pandemic.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: if this virus had hit 10 or 15 years ago.

              A few figures.

              Uk Deaths "Asian Flu" 1957-8 33 000 "HongKong Flu" 1968-9 80 000 (51 years ago)

              "Spanish Flu" 1918-9 200 000

              UK population has grown from 52 million in 1960 to 55 million in 1969 and to 66 million 2019

              UK Deaths on an average day is 1500-1600

              Covid19 Deaths (confirmed) so far just over 32 000 - there are 37 000 excess deaths so far this year over similar periods the last few years according to the government.

              We can't directly compare with flu deaths but for comparative figures Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19. Yearly deaths from flu vary widely from a high of 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Go

    He has his priorities right

    After being cooped up for that long, a Mexican meal is at the top of the list, I would have put a nap in my own bed ahead of keyboards or monitors though...

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: He has his priorities right

      What you chose depends how much of a geek you are.. I've got friends who would chose a decent keyboard and monitors over Air given the chance..

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

        Re: He has his priorities right

        Honestly, how many of us have sneaked into our offices for supplies?

        My 32" at home makes a wonderful second-screen for the work laptop that easily compensates for not having my usual laptop + dual-24" (one wide, one portrait). I also have a trackball mouse at home; not the same model as at work, but possibly better in the long run -- I may have to switch them in the future. (I don't type much aside from Reg comments so the laptop keyboard is good enough.)

        But I did grab a couple things from work when I was in the neighborhood: my "Peanuts" daily calendar and my Sharp EL-1197 PIII printing desk calculator (needs a new ribbon, though). The first was for kid-safe laughs and to help remember what day it is. The second was to simplify some unit conversions (inch / mm) thanks to one-touch ×RATE and ÷RATE keys (using the on-screen calculator just sucks).

        This calculator has a bigger story. Someone left it behind at my old job when they took the Engineering Buyout of Summer 2016. It was filthy but I could see it had potential, and it made the migration with me in 2018 to a new employer. Only recently being at home, and after reading so many comments about keyboards, did I actually take the keys off for a deep cleaning -- it's a full-travel membrane system. Scraped/wiped out all the key hollows with a small screwdriver and Clorox wipes, and soaked the keytops in a measuring cup with hot water and Dawn dish soap. Let everything dry, reassembled, and it looks almost-new and the keys work great (smell better, too)! Of course, this was under the impression that it was old, but quite the contrary -- they're apparently quite a popular office item with various outlets selling them for $65 - $100! Just another thing my former employ forgot to charge me for on my way out; a $5 ribbon is worth it to bring it back to full life!

  8. avakum.zahov

    Participating in Agile rituals

    That is what Agile was turned into - a cult.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Participating in Agile rituals

      A new software development manager has introduced agile practices, so stand-up meetings are taking place remotely. Staff are staging scrums and working on sprints.

      Good reason to stay in quarantine and claim your internet is bust.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been there, done that.

    I just came back home to SIngapore about a month ago.

    Had a similar experience, was put up in a fairly decent hotel for 2 weeks. Was an interesting experience.

    In my case I had a balcony so I can have a smoke whenever I felt like it.

    And I had people from home drop by and deliver clothes etc at the reception. And they were also allowed to collect whatever luggage we wanted to send home.

    We were allowed to order food in, if we did not like / want the food which was provided. Fairly decent food, but having sausage and egg / hash as breakfast for most of the two weeks got boring fast. lol. More variety for lunch and dinner, generally.

    Was kind of fun, in it's own way actually.

  10. The Axe

    Tests

    Why quarantine for so long when they could wait a few days and then test.

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