Coronavirus Open Thread 2021

Yes, I imagine few people will mix it up with Italy in this regard.


This guy is absolutely brilliant.

Tucker Carlson: If you let Democrats force you to get the vaccine, they’ll have complete control forever

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Looks like Singapore’s “Bubble” dreams might be over.


Vaccines ordered by Trump. Did he have any bad words left back then?
Still can’t get rid of the feeling that “covid sceptics” do anything to undermine this pandemic and try to ride it out as long as possible.

Not sure if “brilliant” is the word I’d use to describe Tucker. Numbnut, maybe.

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Prof Teo said: "What’s critical is cooperation from the public: If you are requested to go for a swab test, please go for it. If you are given a leave of absence, please stick to it.


“Traveler quarantine from May 8 will be boosted to 21 days from the current 14, except for a small group of lower-risk places including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, the ministry said.”

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He can hope all he likes, but inevitably it will. Singapore (and Taiwan) will have a massive, uncontrollable outbreak at some point. The reason is well-understood: you cannot eliminate an infection that is asymptomatic and/or has a long incubation period. It’s impossible.

Vaccines can help, but at some point humanity has to accept reality for what it is, not what they think it ought to be.

Does it? I have enough stress from the relentless tsunami of BS, which I try to ignore. This pronouncement, IMO, is very bad advice indeed. Not relaxing even for a moment will kill you a lot more reliably than COVID. I suspect the effects of chronic stress are a big factor in COVID deaths.

However, is Singapore is already at 15-20% vaccination, so will have completely different outcomes compared to Taiwan.

On the second point, there is difference in realities and outcomes, I don’t understand why you say here and elsewhere it is all equivalent, surely you agree we have much better outcomes from having been vaccinated against, say, Polio?

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It seems unlikely that a vaccination rate of 15-20% would have a massive effect, considering the 80-85% of people remaining unvaccinated (I assume that Singapore is also prioritizing vaccinating older people, who presumably get around less anyway). I’m guessing that other things like control measures, mask wearing and hygiene, population density, cultural stuff, and so on would play a bigger role there.

It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out in practice. I hope there are some epidemiologists watching and noting down the results.

But yeah, Taiwan really ought to stop dragging its feet with vaccination now that cases seem to be creeping up. I don’t believe that a rising caseload presents any threat to civilisation unless people start to panic, but it would be prudent to (a) vaccinate those who are at risk of complications and (b) get people who are at risk to minimize their risk profile.

COVID is not Polio. I really don’t know why people keep making this comparison - the two things are not equivalent.

  • it has a route of transmission that’s easy to short-circuit.
  • in a large number of cases, the effects of the disease are horrible, justifying a concerted effort at control.
  • it can (and in fact was) controlled very effectively via hygiene measures. By the time mass vaccination was rolled out, cases were already in freefall (in the West at least).

In any case the vaccine doesn’t work particularly well, and as of today is responsible for more cases of disease than ‘wild’ polio. Today, Polio is still controlled mostly via good hygiene (or not, as the case may be - outbreaks in modern history occurred only in countries where they don’t care about such things).

I agree that it may not suppress the spread of the virus, but assuming they are prioritizing the vaccination, it can offer protection to those most vulnerable and those that are caring for them. I believe some regions already started to show divergence in cases vs. deaths even with vaccination rates below herd immunity.

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This was in response to your earlier post which I interperted as a general statement regarding vaccination:

Even if you are talking specifically about Covid vaccination, there is two different realities: one where the virus reaches your country and everone is vaccinated and one where they are not. I think most people would prefer to accept the first and would hope that their government would make the best effort to realize this.

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In the bad news department,

Can’t disagree with that. I’m not sure why Taiwan and Singapore have (apparently) made so little effort to get people vaccinated. Clearly, they both think it’s a Big Deal if COVID runs rampant.

Worth noting, btw, that COVID deaths in the UK are now essentially zero. Half the population have had at least one dose; 23% are fully vaccinated. Which suggests those memes about “anti-vaxxers” preventing herd immunity aren’t based in fact.

First dose is at 50%, and it is likely that a single dose will also help to reduce onwards infection and so contribute to herd immunity. There is still s few thousand cases per day, mostly in those under 50, so hence very few deaths. However, the virus is still mutating, so I don’t think even UK is quite out the woods yet.

IMO this is a very good thing. Some background exposure to the virus is important to reach that equilibrium point where the virus can keep itself ‘alive’ without causing mayhem.

It’s certainly too early to guess what might happen. I suspect there will be another upsurge in winter, TPTB will start running around like headless chickens again, and the great unwashed will clamour to be locked in their houses. But just maybe people will have moved on with their lives by then and will have lost interest.

Or, who knows, maybe China will be proceeding with the next phase of their biowarfare assault and we’ll have bigger things to worry about…

This remains the East Asian Mystery—it’s not just Taiwan and Singapore that have been lagging. It seems to be the entire region. Why?


Incompetence and venality?

In the case of Taiwan, I suspect it’s overconfidence (they think that because they’ve been “suceessful” for a whole year, they’ll carry on being successful).

Hard to tell with Singapore, but I’m guessing they’re trying to do it in a way that follows The Rules. Singaporeans, whatever else you might say about them, are sticklers for The Rules.

Singapore is not doing too bad: