Monday Message Board

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Mastodon here

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.

13 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Per US CDC data, as of 25 Jan 2023:

    * 11% of people reporting they currently have long COVID; & 17% of people reporting they have had long COVID but have fully recovered from it currently;
    * Among those still with long COVID, 79% report ongoing limitations to their day-to-day activities, and 27% characterize their limitations as significant;
    * 5% of the adult population are struggling with activity limitations from long COVID.

    Then there’s this Lancet meta-study, published 1 Dec 2022, with the interpretation of the findings as:

    Our work shows that 45% of COVID-19 survivors, regardless of hospitalisation status, were experiencing a range of unresolved symptoms at ∼ 4 months. Current understanding is limited by heterogeneous study design, follow-up durations, and measurement methods. Definition of subtypes of Long Covid is unclear, subsequently hampering effective treatment/management strategies.

    New research published recently (Apr 13) in Lancet Digital Health shows at least three distinct ‘types’ of long COVID for people experiencing symptoms for 12 weeks or more. It identifies patterns among people infected with the wild-type, the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, and Delta and Alpha variants, among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. People with symptoms for 12 weeks or more fell into three main groups based on the types of symptoms they were experiencing:

    * Neurological – brain-fog, fatigue & headaches;
    * Respiratory – chest pain, shortness of breath;
    * Muscular – heart palpitations, muscle aches & pains

    The risk of long-COVID overall is reduced by vaccination.

    Even though many would wish the COVID pandemic is finished, COVID aint over!

  2. As per Geoff’s post above, COVID-19 disease represents a huge new disease burden we have added to our society. The burden is escalating exponentially as the data show. Our society, meaning the majority of people in it, has decided or has been manipulated to decide, that all this means nothing. It doesn’t matter to them that we have added a new and third-ranking cause of death. It doesn’t matter that we have added a major new cause of illness and disability.

    View this statement from the Qld. “Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games”

    Note all the downplaying and pretense that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu, with use of mealy-mouthed qualifiers like “may”. Even if COVID-19 were no worse than flu (memo, it’s a lot worse than seasonal flu) the fact that it’s far more contagious and people can catch it year round makes it far more dangerous. The more times you go in the death and disability lottery, the more chances you have of getting the death or disability booby prize. Is this what people want?

  3. Thanks Geoff. “The risk of long-COVID overall is reduced by vaccination” reminded me to get my booster.

    Yet, as Ikon says “Note all the downplaying and pretense that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu, with use of mealy-mouthed qualifiers”
    From article:
    “But Dr Griffin raised concerns about Queensland’s low COVID vaccine booster rates compared with other states.

    “We’re actually doing the worst at three doses and second worst at four doses, so our work with vaccination is not over,” he said.

    “If we are excessively reassuring people it can downplay the significance of COVID and trying to motivate people to get vaccinated and do those simple measures becomes even more challenging,” he said.

    1 step forward into vaccination, 1 step back into she’ll be right maaate.

    “Ms Palaszczuk said…” using a 300 person observational poster at a conference. I wonder if a staffer ran up to Ms Palaszczuk saying “look! your next presser tidbit”, or said staffer was asked to find a tidbit.

    Because touting a poster presentation, with the whole of government, research, media at your disposal – well – seems a bit – clutching at votes.

    Politics by Covid – the booby prize.
    Health by Politics.

  4. People often forget that flu can still kill either, directly for immune deficient people, or indirectly by weakening the infected person’s immune system. I once saw a perfectly healthy 23-year-old woman get the flu. She came back to work a shadow of her former self. If she had got a secondary infection, then who knows what would have happened. But my main concern is the elderly. Those in aged care homes and those isolated in regional areas. Not everyone lives in a city close to a general hospital.
    My brother-in-law is immune deficient and lives more than two hours away from a small district hospital. There is no GP surgery where he lives. Now for some reason he has not had his booster in over six months. There was a fete in his local town. Someone there must have had Covid19 because two days after that event he started to get sick. He then got very sick and was rushed to Canberra hospital. He has had his third anti-viral dose but is still in danger. Now his wife, who is also elderly but not immune deficient, had the latest Covid19 vaccine just one month ago. She only got a little bit sick for a few days. After taking the anti-viral medicine on her GPs advice, she has fully recovered. They are both in their mid70s.
    Now this is just one instance, but it seems to indicate that constant vaccination, especially for the elderly, is the only answer. At the very least, it will give an infected person a chance to get to hospital.
    I hope my brother-in-law lives to tell his tale to those Canberra politicians who live on the doorstep of a hospital and can get instant access to anti-viral drugs at any time. Maybe then they will wake up to the need to look after the elderly and the immune deficient people out there, or maybe they just don’t care.

  5. “the long term LCOE target for all three plants is 30 EUR/MWh.[60] LCOE for the OL3 reactor alone is estimated at 42 EUR/MWh.[61]” Wikipedia

    “After 18 Years, Europe’s Largest Nuclear Reactor Starts Regular Output

    Wikipedia Olkiluoto 3 page reads like a novel. A dystopia.

    “Construction of unit 3 began in 2005. Commercial operation began in April 2023[4] after being originally scheduled for May 2009.[5][6]”

    “The agreement would settle all legal actions between the two companies. With the settlement, TVO disclosed its total investment to be around €5.5 billion. Areva had accumulated losses of €5.5 billion. The total cost of the project, therefore, is estimated to be €11 billion.[59]

    “Between 2013 and 2017 OL1 and OL2 produced between 13,385 GWh and 14,740 GWh per year at capacity factors between 87.2% and 96%. OL3 is expected to produce an additional 12,000-13,000 GWh annually. Even taking into account all OL3 construction delays the long term LCOE target for all three plants is 30 EUR/MWh.[60] LCOE for the OL3 reactor alone is estimated at 42 EUR/MWh.[61

    “Olkiluoto 3 was supposed to be the first reactor of 3+ generation which would pave the way for a new wave of identical reactors across Europe, safe, affordable, and delivered on time. The delays and cost overruns have had knock-on effects in other countries.[48]

    “The construction workforce includes about 3,800 employees from 500 companies. 80% of the workers are foreigners, mostly from eastern European countries. In 2012 it was reported that one Bulgarian contracting firm is owned by the mafia, and that Bulgarian workers have been required to pay weekly protection fees to the mafia, wages have been unpaid, employees have been told not to join a union and that employers also reneged on social security payments.[65][66]

  6. Gregory J. McKenzie: – “People often forget that flu can still kill either, directly for immune deficient people, or indirectly by weakening the infected person’s immune system.

    ABS provisional data indicates SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 killed about 35 times more Australians in 2022, compared with deaths due to influenza. It seems influenza doctor-certified deaths were 287, whereas there were 10,095 deaths due to COVID-19.

    Per the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), re Provisional Mortality Statistics for period Jan to Dec 2022, as at 31 Mar 2023:

    * In 2022, there were 190,394 deaths that occurred by 31 December and were registered by 28 February 2023, which is 25,235 (15.3%) more than the historical average.

    * The age-standardised death rate (SDR) for December 2022 was 43.3 deaths per 100,000 people, above the baseline average (40.9).

    * 50,209 people died from cancer (of various types) in 2022, accounting for close to one third of all deaths certified by a doctor.

    * Deaths due to dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) have been increasing over time. During 2022 dementia was the cause of 16,909 deaths, with numbers increasing across all age groups.

    * Of the 14,930 deaths due to ischaemic heart diseases (IHD) in 2022, 234 had COVID-19 listed as a contributing cause.

    * There were 10,095 deaths due to COVID-19 in 2022 (9,732 doctor-certified and 363 coroner-referred). A further 2,901 deaths were due to other causes but had COVID-19 as a contributing factor (i.e. were deaths “with COVID-19”).

    * There were 2,614 deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in 2022, representing a 1.6% share of doctor-certified deaths. From that, pneumonia represented 2,327 deaths (1.4% share of doctor-certified deaths).

  7. When it comes to public policy, people should be obsessed by just two things, Climate Change action and COVID-19 disease action. All other policies and pursuits are rendered pointless for as long as these issues are not addressed. Without addressing these issues we face societal collapse and very possibly extinction. All else will be lost entirely if these two issues are not addressed. It’s as simple as that.

  8. Ikonoclast: – “When it comes to public policy, people should be obsessed by just two things, Climate Change action and COVID-19 disease action.

    I think there are at least three existential threats…

    On Mar 9, the Australian Parliament House of Representatives Standing Committee published my Submission (#165) + Attachment 1 on their submissions webpage for their Inquiry into Food Security in Australia. On Mar 29, my Supplementary Submission (#165.1) was published.

    My Submission included:

    I think humanity is facing at least three existential threats to human civilisation if we/humanity continue business-as-usual (BAU). These are:

    1. The Climate Crisis;
    2. The Energy Crisis, including particularly the emerging Oil Crisis; and
    3. The ongoing COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

    I think governments at all levels in Australia are failing to adequately deal with these issues.

    I think these threats will inevitably worsen Australia’s food security.

    Some of the evidence/data I see that supports my concerns is highlighted in the accompanying document Climate,_Energy,_COVID_&_Food_Security.pdf, which is derived from a PowerPoint file Climate,_Energy,_COVID_&_Food_Security.pptx, prepared specifically for this inquiry.

  9. I see reducing energy waste and reducing fossil fuel use as parts of comprehensive Climate Change action. It pretty much depends on whether one’s list points go 1, 2, 3 or 1(a), 1(b) and 2 (for example). I’m not trying to be facetious. We can slice and dice the main problems a few different ways and we could also add in conflict vs. cooperation which is the other big problem we face.

    We need to get on with it but the elites and the duped majority are still in their wealth-accumulation and cornucopian-consumerist fantasy lands. Some serious doses of natural system physical reality will soon (in historical terms) shock them out of it. But will people act wisely and cooperatively or go completely haywire at that point? I no longer feel confident that humanity (elites and masses) possesses anywhere near the requisite good will and wisdom. Not after the COVID capitulation fiasco. I also fear we have delayed action(s) too late in any case.

  10. Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill at the Australian Press Club Address on Wednesday (Apr 19) suggested anti-fossil fuel campaigners that she called a “vocal minority” will push us to not have enough food.

    I think those advocating for more fossil fuels are the really dangerous radicals.

    Evidence/data I see indicates more fossil fuels are facilitating a trajectory towards civilisation collapse before the end of this century and the consequent suffering of billions of people.

    The Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, tweeted on 5 Apr 2022:

    Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals.

    But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.

    Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.

    Meanwhile, here’s a compilation of some public comments from some leading climate scientists:

    • Professor Tim Lenton, Director of Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, said:
    If we carry on the way we’re going, I can’t see this civilisation lasting to the end of this century… no chance in my view, on the current trajectory.

    • Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, atmospheric physicist, climatologist and founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and former chair of the German Advisor Council on Global Change, said:
    If we get it wrong, so if we do the wrong things, then I think there’s a very, very big risk that we will just end our civilisation. The human species will survive somehow, but we will destroy almost everything we built-up over the last two thousand years, ja? I’m pretty sure.

    • Dr Peter Kalmus, climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, said:
    It’s, huh, it’s just so… The path we’re on is just so dark. It’s so, it’s so bleak, you know? I … I see a, you know, tropics that’s uninhabitable by, uninhabitable by humans because it’s too hot, it’s too humid and hot, that our bodies couldn’t even survive there, and I see, you know, potentially hundreds of millions of people needing to leave that region and go to cooler areas, and ah, that’s just the beginning.

    • Professor Julia Steinberger, Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Lausanne, and an author of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report, contributing to the report’s discussion of climate change mitigation pathways, said:
    We are without exaggeration, facing a trajectory and impacts that will, um, obliterate the possibility of human civilisation within, you know, by the year 2100, and that is not an exaggeration, and the, the fact that that is not widely known, that the stakes are so extraordinarily high, I think is something that really ah, really should cause a lot of people to, you know, from, from media to, to scientists to, to hang their heads in real shame and real horror.

    • Professor Kevin Anderson, holding the Zennström professorship at Uppsala University and is chair of energy and climate change at the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE) at the University of Manchester, as well as the Interim Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said:
    Recent um, history supports the view from the IEA, the International Energy Authority, ah Agency, um, that the CO2 trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of six degrees Celsius which would have devastating consequences for the planet.

    • The late Professor Will Steffen, who was the executive director of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute, said:
    These tipping points have the possibility, they certainly put forward the risk of a, of um, of a cascade that could take the climate, the Earth System, out of our control, into conditions that would be an existential threat to us. Well if that isn’t a ah, emergency situation, I don’t know what is.

    • Professor Saleemul Huq OBE, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD) and Professor at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), said:
    Everybody on the planet now needs to be galvanised to tackling climate change, because it is by far the most important and biggest emergency that mankind has ever faced.

  11. NSW COVID-related hospitalisations increased by almost another 100 cases this week:

    Mar 17: _ 834 cases, including 13 in ICU
    Mar 24: _ 873 cases, including 13 in ICU
    Mar 31: _ 891 cases, including 16 in ICU
    Apr 07: _ 952 cases, including 20 in ICU
    Apr 14: 1,042 cases, including 21 in ICU
    Apr 21: 1,139 cases, including 26 in ICU

    Meanwhile, the NSW Gov is winding up PCR testing sites across NSW.

    Ignoring something doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    More avoidable infections, hospitalisations & deaths. When will people learn?

  12. Lawsuits settled. I think the discovery process due to the Dominion case unearthed enough evidence that was highly suggestive of Crikey being right, the Murdoch’s made a business decision to drop the lawsuit against Crikey. I imagine that if they had been called to give evidence at a trial, the Murdoch(s), even if they won, would have exposed evidence under cross examination that could have been used by Smartmatic in their lawsuit against Fox Media.

    The Smartmatic is an interesting case, for the estimated value of Smartmatic is in billions of dollars, unlike the relative minnow of Dominion. Given the size of the settlement for Dominion of approx $780m USD, I imagine any settlement for getting out of the Smartmatic case could break the billion dollar mark, and then some. After all, they have grounds for being able to conduct legal discovery, based on what a treasure trove was unearthed by Dominion in their discovery process. The risk of even more potentially damaging evidence being unearthed is surely not negligible.

    Sadly though, these are all civil cases, not criminal ones. Seems there is no law against fomenting an insurrection attempt by people who predominantly got their “news” from a certain media organisation.

  13. On the matter of the dole—I won’t call it anything else—there are no good economic or political grounds for not changing the base of the dole, and/or the manner of deciding when and by how much to increase it in line with rises of the so-called cost of living. It’s been decreasing in real terms since 1996, give or take. It’s not fit for purpose by any reasonable measure. The past twelve months of real inflation (as opposed to whatever the ABS think they are measuring) is substantial, especially so for renters, for not only have rents gone up by 23% approx, in the past year, but the availability of *any* housing, let alone affordable and adequate housing, is virtually nil in the capital cities, and still SFA in the rural cities and towns. I thought I had seen a lot of homeless people several years ago, but now, they are in the doorways along the alleys and lanes that branch off of the main streets in the CBD, they are in the parklands beneath trees, and even dotted along the main roads. It’s a social catastrophe.

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