China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

For my money it's partly the experience of SARS leaving governments more practiced in the specific measure needed but there's a more fundamental explanation in East Asian governing culture.

Simply put, the Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean and Chinese people expect competence in government and have low tolerance for its lack, which in turn shapes the level of preparation their governments undertake.

There's also the aspect that people in these countries generally take more personal responsibility for the well-being of the group - e.g. wearing facemasks to protect everybody else.
Canada has experience based on the SARS epidemic as well, as it hit here too. A royal commission was set up, responses were studied, changes brought in to prepare for the next one, and stockpiles of medical equipment built up.

A lot of questions are starting to be raised now about whether the wearing of masks by the general populace would be a good idea however. It's not feasible at the moment, because there simply aren't enough to go around, and health care workers need to have first priority over them. The WHO have said that a major reason they don't recommend universal wearing of masks is because it would cause shortages for health care workers (this is a separate issue from N95 masks).

At first the conversation was "but non-N95 masks won't protect you from COVID-19". The message however has started to get through that it isn't about protecting the wearer, it's about reducing the transmissibility from the wearer to everyone else.

In an environment where fighting the virus is all about reducing the rate at which the virus can transmit from one person to another, this may, if it has a genuine significant effect, be a game changer. On it's own it wouldn't stop the pandemic in its tracks, but if it slows the rate of growth this allows time for more traditional public health containment measures (testing and contact tracing) to do its job of suppressing outbreaks. You don't have to prevent all transmission of the virus, you just have to push the rate of growth below 1 for the pandemic to fizzle out.

We of course don't know that universal (or near universal) mask wearing is effective. That will take study, and it will take building up a very large stockpile of masks. Cost is irrelevant, as the cost of masks for everyone is infinitesimally small compared to the measures we are taking now.

But we sure as hell aren't going to find out if this is in fact an effective measure if we spend our time listening to the conspiracy theorists who are running around in a panic screaming that it's all a plot against us and that we need to kill the yellow hordes.
 
We of course don't know that universal (or near universal) mask wearing is effective. That will take study, and it will take building up a very large stockpile of masks. Cost is irrelevant, as the cost of masks for everyone is infinitesimally small compared to the measures we are taking now.
We don't know in quantitative terms but we can look at the countries which were exposed but experienced the lowest rates of transmission and infection, and we can work out which packages of measures were successful. Widespread wearing of masks is pretty much the universal factor in all of them.

It's not conclusive in scientific terms but given the cost, as you noted, is insignificant, it's got to be worth a punt.
 
We don't know in quantitative terms but we can look at the countries which were exposed but experienced the lowest rates of transmission and infection, and we can work out which packages of measures were successful. Widespread wearing of masks is pretty much the universal factor in all of them.

It's not conclusive in scientific terms but given the cost, as you noted, is insignificant, it's got to be worth a punt.
Masks may be the important factor by slowing down transmission, but the main reason may have been something else. Perhaps they just have much bigger public health staffs to put "boots on the ground" in tracking down cases and ordering isolation. We don't know.

However, whatever it is we better find out quick because once the lock downs are lifted the virus is expected to bounce back again in an exponential growth pattern, as there's nothing to stop it so long as there is a source of infection and a large number of non-immune hosts. All we can do is test, track, and trace, and we need some sort of edge to slow down the spread so those measures have a chance to work in the face of exponential growth.

I would be surprised if there weren't some public health studies in Taiwan on the use of masks, given the prevalence of their use in the region. It's a good question of whether they are available in English, and have been published in places where Western public health experts have seen them.
 
Perhaps they just have much bigger public health staffs to put "boots on the ground" in tracking down cases and ordering isolation. We don't know.
I know for sure that the local government systems in Taiwan were mobilised to support location and containment.

There's a level of government called the Li (里) which corresponds to a neighbourhood of a few blocks and each has its own leader (Lizhang) and a rudimentary office supported by volunteers.

Lizhangs are elected from within their communities and they're expected to keep abreast of what's going on locally. In a crisis, they're expected to organise manpower for local relief efforts and in the current situation they keep tabs on anyone with a quarantine order to make sure the terms are being obeyed. If not, a quick call to the local cop shop and the defaulter suddenly finds themselves doing the right thing regardless of choice.
 
I know for sure that the local government systems in Taiwan were mobilised to support location and containment.

There's a level of government called the Li (里) which corresponds to a neighbourhood of a few blocks and each has its own leader (Lizhang) and a rudimentary office supported by volunteers.

Lizhangs are elected from within their communities and they're expected to keep abreast of what's going on locally. In a crisis, they're expected to organise manpower for local relief efforts and in the current situation they keep tabs on anyone with a quarantine order to make sure the terms are being obeyed. If not, a quick call to the local cop shop and the defaulter suddenly finds themselves doing the right thing regardless of choice.
I can recall my father telling me that at one time here (Canada) when a quarantine order was put against a household by the medical authorities the neighbours were made officially responsible for ensuring that it was obeyed and were also made responsible for ensuring that the family under quarantine were supplied with food. I don't know if this is a direct memory from his childhood or whether he was repeating what he was told about what had happened in previous generations, possibly during the Spanish Flu pandemic (which was before his time).

So we may have had social structures and institutions in place at one time to deal with these sorts of situations which have fallen out of use.
 
So we may have had social structures and institutions in place at one time to deal with these sorts of situations which have fallen out of use.
I suspect the 'flexible labour market' played a significant part in the fall. It's hard to put down stable roots when you need to keep shifting regularly to find work.
 
What does any of that have to do with the effect of the PRC's population protection measures on their domestic economy?

Oh, wait. Nothing, you just wanted a bit of a rant. Right.
You think people will want to buy chinese goods now? after the Chicoms fucked the planet over and knowingly sold defective PPE to nations?
 
I suspect the 'flexible labour market' played a significant part in the fall. It's hard to put down stable roots when you need to keep shifting regularly to find work.
I suspect it's more likely the result of a shift in emphasis from quarantine and isolation for dealing with illnesses to vaccination and medical treatment. For all I know the necessary quarantine authority to make neighbours responsible for enforcing it may still be somewhere on the books in Canada, but just isn't being used.

It goes back to the point though that it may be that having lots of "boots on the ground" may be the key to dealing with pandemics, rather than masks.

People have been going on and on about how South Korea contained the pandemic by lots of testing. However, apparently Japan didn't do lots of testing but had much greater success than South Korea. So, it appears that mass testing isn't the magic solution.

Whatever the key to Taiwan's (and Japan's) success though, it needs to be studied quickly and the results applied elsewhere.
 

endure

GCM
Masks may be the important factor by slowing down transmission, but the main reason may have been something else. Perhaps they just have much bigger public health staffs to put "boots on the ground" in tracking down cases and ordering isolation. We don't know.

However, whatever it is we better find out quick because once the lock downs are lifted the virus is expected to bounce back again in an exponential growth pattern, as there's nothing to stop it so long as there is a source of infection and a large number of non-immune hosts. All we can do is test, track, and trace, and we need some sort of edge to slow down the spread so those measures have a chance to work in the face of exponential growth.

I would be surprised if there weren't some public health studies in Taiwan on the use of masks, given the prevalence of their use in the region. It's a good question of whether they are available in English, and have been published in places where Western public health experts have seen them.

Masks are used across SE Asia not necessarily as a defence against disease but more against poor air quality which is why it's common to see SE Asians wearing masks on a regular basis.
 
Masks are used across SE Asia not necessarily as a defence against disease but more against poor air quality which is why it's common to see SE Asians wearing masks on a regular basis.
They also routinely use them during flu season to reduce the spread of viruses from themselves to other people. You can infect other people for several days before you show any symptoms yourself, so self isolation after feeling symptoms can be closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.
 
You think people will want to buy chinese goods now? after the Chicoms fucked the planet over and knowingly sold defective PPE to nations?
Oh, right. I thought you were rebutting my point that they'd savaged their economy to protect the lives of their citizens. Turns out you had nothing.

Thanks for clearing that up, but you could have just buttoned it instead.
 
Pathetic response.
It was a pathetic statement you made.

If you honestly think a lockdown on such a scale as the PRC implemented doesn't have severe effects in the economy; and you're prepared to ignore the evidence of PMI stats, exports, overseas purchasing, et all. then there's nothing reality can do to convince you to step outside your own imagination.
 
It was a pathetic statement you made.

If you honestly think a lockdown on such a scale as the PRC implemented doesn't have severe effects in the economy; and you're prepared to ignore the evidence of PMI stats, exports, overseas purchasing, et all. then there's nothing reality can do to convince you to step outside your own imagination.
Just to refresh your tiny mind, my statement was "I have always believed on China, its ruthless drive to rule the world by any means, and complete disregard for human life.” was met with
"Given that they've just savaged their economy to protect human life, that's a bold statement."

Their lock down and measures to ensure national survival has been the most draconian of any country bar perhaps N Korea.

This has indeed enabled them to now be gearing up for a rapid return to a more normal economy than will be possible for most other countries...all of whom have in your words have ‘savaged their economies’ to assist their populations, though in a rather more humane way than was done in China.

Your undoubted love for China and the Chinese seems sometimes to cause you to ignore some of the darker aspects of the PRC and their methods of governance.
 
Just to refresh your tiny mind, my statement was "I have always believed on China, its ruthless drive to rule the world by any means, and complete disregard for human life.” was met with
"Given that they've just savaged their economy to protect human life, that's a bold statement."

Their lock down and measures to ensure national survival has been the most draconian of any country bar perhaps N Korea.

This has indeed enabled them to now be gearing up for a rapid return to a more normal economy than will be possible for most other countries...all of whom have in your words have ‘savaged their economies’ to assist their populations, though in a rather more humane way than was done in China.

Your undoubted love for China and the Chinese seems sometimes to cause you to ignore some of the darker aspects of the PRC and their methods of governance.
He is a closet commie.
 
Just to refresh your tiny mind, my statement was "I have always believed on China, its ruthless drive to rule the world by any means, and complete disregard for human life.” was met with
"Given that they've just savaged their economy to protect human life, that's a bold statement."

Their lock down and measures to ensure national survival has been the most draconian of any country bar perhaps N Korea.
Just to refresh yours, the legitimating factor for CCP rule since the end of the GPCR has been economic development and continuing improvements in the standard of living. They sacrificed that and created the seeds of discontent to control the epidemic and save lives. You'd really have to be quite dense to understand that as, "a disregard for human life."
Your undoubted love for China and the Chinese seems sometimes to cause you to ignore some of the darker aspects of the PRC and their methods of governance.
My long familiarity with China, the Chinese and the PRC state sometimes causes me to know more about what their government is doing and why than those who ignore anything except hysterical Sax-Roehmer screechings.
 
He is a closet commie.
Not even close. It's a stupid ideology borne of desperation and doomed to failure without a fundamental change in either production efficiency or human nature.

Handy hint: failing to be an unflinching waver of Old Glory does not make someone a Communist.
 

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