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The next pandemic : What have we learned ?


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32 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Looks like I might be in the minority in this thread but I couldn't disagree with this one strongly enough. I'd rather get COVID and join the (ugh) Republican Party than be part of forgetting human rights and locking people up. 

Generally, I agree but if it was something like Ebola or Rabies and one is uncooperative, then involutary  incarceration is necessary, likewise if covid19 mutates to the same level of virulence or other harm. If ones presence harms the well-being of a community, resolving that trumps personal freedom.

Edited by StringJunky
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10 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Generally, I agree but if it was something like Ebola or Rabies and one is uncooperative, then involutary  incarceration is necessary, likewise if covid19 mutates to the same level of virulence or other harm. If ones presence harms the well-being of a community, resolving that trumps personal freedom, which is also the case with many other actions.

Sure, if it was like Ebola, harsher steps would be required. Although the OP basically said 'what have we learned and what should we do differently?' For a replay of COVID-19 I would find incarceration to be unacceptable.

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11 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Sure, if it was like Ebola, harsher steps would be required. Although the OP basically said 'what have we learned and what should we do differently?' For a replay of COVID-19 I would find incarceration to be unacceptable.

I think it is a bit of a false dichotomy to pit quarantine measures vs human rights. There are a couple of good discussions out there and I can link some once I am bit less tired.

But fundamentally the argument is that in order to prevent serious harm (and millions of deaths clearly qualify), such measures can be justified, as long as certain limitations are in place (e.g. scientifically justified, time limited, non-discriminatory application, etc.)

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8 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Sure, if it was like Ebola, harsher steps would be required. Although the OP basically said 'what have we learned and what should we do differently?' For a replay of COVID-19 I would find incarceration to be unacceptable.

Probably more stringent control of international travel may have helped to slow the spread better.  Earlier notification by Beijing would have helped. The Trump administration didn't help by ostracising China about it, calling it the "China virus", so it's very important not to encourage a judgemental blame culture in such health matters... the only response will be withdrawal from co-operation, as we've seen.

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3 hours ago, zapatos said:

Looks like I might be in the minority in this thread but I couldn't disagree with this one strongly enough. I'd rather get COVID and join the (ugh) Republican Party than be part of forgetting human rights and locking people up. 

If refusing vaccination, masks, handwashing etc as advised to minimise the risks to others is some kind of inalienable human right it is news to me, but if we are to grant that right I think those of us doing the right thing should have a complementary right to hold them legally accountable if we get sick with Covid as a result and sue them for damages.

I've had to work with anti-vaxxers and they are dangerous idiots full of contradictory conspiratorial BS who are not simply arguing for personal liberty or  only putting their own health on the line; the risks are also to others - even those vaccinated are still at risk (vaccination isn't 100% effective) and there are people who legitimately should not be vaccinated for medical reasons who are endangered. One thing to claim they would rather die than get vaccinated or obey health orders - another for them to be okay that other people to die because they refuse to get vaccinated.

I don't think known risks to public health should be off limits for regulation - which I think is the view of a large majority around here; pandering to the extremists is a bad idea.

Edited by Ken Fabian
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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

I think it is a bit of a false dichotomy to pit quarantine measures vs human rights. There are a couple of good discussions out there and I can link some once I am bit less tired.

But fundamentally the argument is that in order to prevent serious harm (and millions of deaths clearly qualify), such measures can be justified, as long as certain limitations are in place (e.g. scientifically justified, time limited, non-discriminatory application, etc.)

I think youre right that its a false dichotomy but on the other hand, if there is an open discourse well on its way in Europe about letting people use efficient and very easy to use suicide capsules then why couldn’t we fine the living daylight out of anti vaxxers or force them to isolate?

Edited by koti
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6 hours ago, koti said:

I think youre right that its a false dichotomy but on the other hand, if there is an open discourse well on its way in Europe about letting people use efficient and very easy to use suicide capsules then why couldn’t we fine the living daylight out of anti vaxxers or force them to isolate?

My point is that e.g. fining them or mandating vaccines in public spaces is not a violation of human rights, or at least within the confines of the social contract. Suicide on the other hand is the opposite, it is about fulfilling individual desires vs social norms. The issue here is safeguarding the individual against themselves with regulating under which conditions suicide should be allowe.

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10 hours ago, CharonY said:

I think it is a bit of a false dichotomy to pit quarantine measures vs human rights.

To begin with, it was the OP who made the link. Second, unless the jailing of of citizens can be justified by the harm they will cause, then we are very much talking about human rights violations.

7 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

If refusing vaccination, masks, handwashing etc as advised to minimise the risks to others is some kind of inalienable human right it is news to me

It's not. But freedom of movement is. You must tread very lightly if you want to make the punishment for not washing your hands a stint in jail.

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42 minutes ago, zapatos said:

To begin with, it was the OP who made the link. Second, unless the jailing of of citizens can be justified by the harm they will cause, then we are very much talking about human rights violations.

It's not. But freedom of movement is. You must tread very lightly if you want to make the punishment for not washing your hands a stint in jail.

I think the topic is worth exploring, but should probably be in a different thread. If it is alright with everyone, I am going to sketch out a very rough OP and post it in the Ethics section. 

Edit: Done, not very well thought out (as usual) but contains some reading material to set a baseline. 

 

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7 hours ago, zapatos said:

To begin with, it was the OP who made the link. Second, unless the jailing of of citizens can be justified by the harm they will cause, then we are very much talking about human rights violations.

It's not. But freedom of movement is. You must tread very lightly if you want to make the punishment for not washing your hands a stint in jail.

More serious penalties should be reserved for actual instances of infecting other people through their failures to follow community health advice  - which I think counts as causing significant harm. I am not advocating jail as the principle penalty for refusing to wash hands or vaccinate but it needs to be made clear that it endangers public safety. I think assurances of public health and safety are a prerequisite for freedom of movement.

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On 12/13/2021 at 4:37 AM, zapatos said:

Looks like I might be in the minority in this thread but I couldn't disagree with this one strongly enough. I'd rather get COVID and join the (ugh) Republican Party than be part of forgetting human rights and locking people up.

Human rights have always been adjustable. They have never been higher than they are at the moment. But the right to life is the one at the top. We lock up serial killers, quite rightly. Covid is a serial killer, 5.32 million victims so far, have died a lingering death. 

If you are harbouring a serial killer, it's not a huge price to pay, to be locked up in reasonable comfort for a couple of weeks. It's not really what I would call a breach of human rights. 

Edited by mistermack
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1 hour ago, mistermack said:

We lock up serial killers, quite rightly. Covid is a serial killer, 5.32 million victims so far, have died a lingering death. 

Then lock up COVID, not its victims.

8 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think the way some in the US talk about freedom is way overrated, It's not to be at any cost.

Of course not. And no one is saying it should be at any cost.

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6 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think the way some in the US talk about freedom is way overrated, It's not to be at any cost.

And as is the case with that small noisy minority in Sydney. Needed to take a bus ride yesterday, to see a couple of old school mates for dinner and the usual piss up. While restrictions have relaxed mostly in NSW because of our 93% fully vaccination rates, it is still required to wear masks in public transport. After a couple of stops this great big hulking fool boarded the bus and plopped himself one seat from me. He didn't have a mask. Thankfully the bus was half empty, so I made eye contact with him, muttered loudly "f%$#&@# Idiot" and moved to another seat.Just before my stop and getting off, I told the bus driver, but not sure what action was taken

Thankfully also my favourite drinking hole at Bondi, is exercising its rights, ( given to them by me and other members) to exclude all unvaccinated people from the club until further notice, members or non members. 

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14 hours ago, mistermack said:

Not possible, but I know what the next best thing is. 

If there was just one person on Earth who had covid, would it be ok to lock them up for a matter of days? 

If there was just one person on Earth who had covid, how would we know the threat to the rest of us?

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16 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

If there was just one person on Earth who had covid, how would we know the threat to the rest of us?

Because he is the last person on Earth to have it. Like there was a last person on Earth to have smallpox. If you got to that stage, you would surely lock that person up, till they were clear of it. You would be crazy not to.

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

Maybe he's the first...

What can you learn from that?

Nothing. But I wasn't talking about him. At the start of this outbreak, people were dying from pneumonia. It was known as the pneumonia-causing virus. Cases were still in the dozens. But the local Chinese communist bigwigs refused to recognise it, and locked up anyone who mentioned it as an epidemic. It was well known, even at that stage, that it was dangerous. I was just inertia that let it get out of hand.

If you are going to learn anything from this outbreak, it's that inertia can't be tolerated, you have to act immediately.

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What have we learned ?

The stupidest action that was done was the evacuation of tourists, businessmen, citizens, to the homeland....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evacuations_related_to_the_COVID-19_pandemic

Which was basically importing the disease into the country..

What tourists do when they return home after a week or two of vacation? They go to the store or mall to buy food, where they spread disease to the local population (hard/impossible to track).. Then they meet family, friends, colleagues, neighbors (possible to track, if people are honest) and the disease spreads..

Edited by Sensei
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25 minutes ago, Sensei said:

The stupidest action that was done was the evacuation of tourists, businessmen, citizens, to the homeland....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evacuations_related_to_the_COVID-19_pandemic

Which was basically importing the disease into the country..

What tourists do when they return home after a week or two of vacation? They go to the store or mall to buy food, where they spread disease to the local population (hard/impossible to track).. Then they meet family, friends, colleagues, neighbors (possible to track, if people are honest) and the disease spreads..

Yes, I think the draconian measures needed to start there. Maybe they'll do that next time.

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2 hours ago, Sensei said:

The stupidest action that was done was the evacuation of tourists, businessmen, citizens, to the homeland....

Probably right. A lot of stupid things were done, but I can't think of any worse than that. 

What's depressing is that if a new pandemic happened, maybe in three years time, they would do exactly the same again. Partly because politicians are not particularly bright, and partly because their own popularity comes before everything else. 

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