Algernon_Asimov's recent activity

  1. Comment on Australia should be moving to utilise people who have recovered from coronavirus and developed immunity against the virus to bolster essential services, a leading expert says in ~health.coronavirus

    Algernon_Asimov
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    I've seen a few scientists saying a similar thing about this coronavirus: the immunity that people get from exposure will only last a year or so. But a year is a long time in pandemic terms! That...

    I've seen a few scientists saying a similar thing about this coronavirus: the immunity that people get from exposure will only last a year or so.

    But a year is a long time in pandemic terms! That can get us through until a vaccine is ready.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Australia should be moving to utilise people who have recovered from coronavirus and developed immunity against the virus to bolster essential services, a leading expert says in ~health.coronavirus

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I'm not a medical professional, but I have read a lot about the coronavirus (possibly too much). Your body's immune system will generate antibodies when it encounters this coronavirus - just like...

    I'm not a medical professional, but I have read a lot about the coronavirus (possibly too much).

    Your body's immune system will generate antibodies when it encounters this coronavirus - just like it generates antibodies for all other viruses. That's why you can't (generally) catch diseases like measles or the mumps twice: after the first time, your immune system has a template for antibodies to those viruses, ready to fire up the instant it sees them again (the template is stored in so-called "memory B-cells").

    You even have perpetual immunity for the influenza virus after you recover from it. The problem is that there is no "the" influenza virus: there's an ever-growing variety of influenza viruses, plural, as each virus mutates and spawns different versions of itself. Each season's flu is therefore slightly different than last season's flu, which is why your antibodies to last year's flu probably won't work this year, which is why you need to get this year's vaccine.

    The default assumption is that the coronavirus, like all other viruses, will prompt your body to create antibodies to fight it off - so, once you've had it once, you can't have it again. And, generally speaking, the evidence so far (it has only been a few months!) seems to support this hypothesis: people who have had the SARS CoV-19 coronavirus are mostly not getting it again. This implies that the antibody assumption is holding true.

    There are a few occasional reports of people catching the coronavirus a second time, but it's not yet known exactly why this is happening. Scientists haven't found enough examples of this to be able to study the phenomenon. So, it's not known exactly why this might be happening. There are a few possibilities:

    • The person catching the coronavirus a second time didn't really have it the first time. Maybe the original test gave a false positive to the SARS CoV-19 virus, when it was actually something else.

    • The person catching the coronavirus a second time is actually catching a different coronavirus for the first time. Maybe the coronavirus is mutating so quickly that there are already new varieties out there.

    • The person catching the coronavirus a second time has already lost the antibodies for the coronavirus. While many antibodies stay with you for life, some expire over time. The memory B-cells that store the template for a particular antibody can die off if they're never used. If you're never exposed to a particular virus, you might find that, ten or twenty years later, you no longer have immunity. However, templates expiring within only a few months would be extremely unusual.

    So, until scientists can explain exactly why a few people seem to be catching the coronavirus a second time, they're not willing to commit to the statement that "of course you'll be immune after recovering". Scientists are not known for making absolute statements. They'll always hedge their bets.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on What everyone’s getting wrong about the toilet paper shortage in ~finance

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    In most supermarkets I've been in, toilet paper takes up nearly a full side of one aisle. Like, you walk down an aisle, and it's just rolls and rolls of toilet paper on your right or left side for...

    relatively little shelf space and inventory is devoted to toilet paper

    In most supermarkets I've been in, toilet paper takes up nearly a full side of one aisle. Like, you walk down an aisle, and it's just rolls and rolls of toilet paper on your right or left side for about two-thirds of the length of the aisle (the remainder is usually boxes of tissues). It is the product with the most shelf space in the whole supermarket - because it's so bulky. There are fewer packs per square metre compared to other products, but there are a lot more square metres of it to make up for that.

    Remember: toilet paper is a staple item, like milk and bread. It's a necessity. Everybody buys toilet paper, if not every week, then every second week. It has high stock turnover even at the best of times.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on What everyone’s getting wrong about the toilet paper shortage in ~finance

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    The two manufacturers I cited were talking about increasing production of domestic toilet paper to meet the extra demand. The aim was to calm down the panic-buying by letting everyone know they...
    3 votes
  5. Comment on What everyone’s getting wrong about the toilet paper shortage in ~finance

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Here in Australia, during the height of the panic-buying, people bought the industrial stuff from warehouse-style hardware shops who supply it to construction workers and tradespeople for their...

    Here in Australia, during the height of the panic-buying, people bought the industrial stuff from warehouse-style hardware shops who supply it to construction workers and tradespeople for their work sites. Maybe you could try something like that?

    2 votes
  6. Comment on What everyone’s getting wrong about the toilet paper shortage in ~finance

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    It could explain some part of the ongoing shortages. But also remember that there were those of us who were unable to buy any toilet paper during the panic. We still need to get our supplies. And...

    It could explain some part of the ongoing shortages.

    But also remember that there were those of us who were unable to buy any toilet paper during the panic. We still need to get our supplies. And given what we saw, we might want to top up our own supplies. Panic buying tends to breed panic buying.

    It's also worth pointing out that our two largest Australian toilet paper manufacturers have increased their production. Quilton is "working round the clock", and Kimberley-Clark (Kleenex) is also "around the clock; 3 shifts a day, 24/7". That's at least a doubling, if not a tripling, of production.

    Even with the now-actual increased demand for domestic toilet paper, there should be enough supply to meet it. Any shortages must be being caused by something other than simply increased usage.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What everyone’s getting wrong about the toilet paper shortage in ~finance

    Algernon_Asimov
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    This is bullshit. Plausible, but bullshit. At the time that Australian supermarket shelves were emptied of toilet paper, all the way back on the first weekend in March, there were no "stay at...

    This is bullshit. Plausible, but bullshit.

    At the time that Australian supermarket shelves were emptied of toilet paper, all the way back on the first weekend in March, there were no "stay at home" orders in place. Noone was being asked to work from home. Noone was being told to avoid social gatherings. There was no such thing as "social distancing". Noone was being laid off. That all came later.

    The first event to be cancelled was the Grand Prix, on 13th March. The first restriction on Australians' movements was announced on 21st March.

    There was no increased need for domestic toilet paper at the time it was being sold out, because most people were going about life as normal. The heightened purchasing of toilet paper wasn't a natural result of people spending more time at home, because most people were not yet spending more time at home when they were grabbing all the toilet paper they could carry.

    Next guess?

    3 votes
  8. Comment on What old tech are you holding onto and why? in ~tech

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Of course it does. It's technology, and it's more than a decade old. That makes it an antique by IT standards!

    It doesn't really count

    Of course it does. It's technology, and it's more than a decade old. That makes it an antique by IT standards!

    7 votes
  9. Comment on What old tech are you holding onto and why? in ~tech

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Everything? All of it? All my tech is old! :) I still have a VHS player, because I still have some old movies and personal recordings on VHS. I have a clock-radio my parents bought me on my 16th...

    Everything? All of it? All my tech is old! :)

    • I still have a VHS player, because I still have some old movies and personal recordings on VHS.

    • I have a clock-radio my parents bought me on my 16th birthday back in the 1980s. It's practically an antique, but it still works. I keep it for sentimental reasons.

    • I only just retired (literally 2 weeks ago) a microwave oven that has given me more than 30 years' service without a hint of trouble. The only reason I retired it is because it has acquired rust on the inside of the door, which seems like a safety risk. I bought a similar model by the same manufacturer but, sadly, I know it won't give me 30 years' service like the last one did.

    • My desktop computer is 11 years old, and is running Windows 7. It's never given me any trouble (except that the CD drive sometimes won't eject when it's empty).

    I just don't throw things out when they get old. I keep them as long as they work. I also don't like the consumerist philosophy of discarding and replacing things regularly. That's wasteful in so many ways.

    When I bought a mobile phone a year ago (the old one was getting screen burn), I deliberately bought a retro-style phone because I hate the modern style of phones which are just boring bland sheets of glass.

    9 votes
  10. Comment on The shows must go on!: Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals to be aired for free in ~arts

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    You're welcome! I'm getting this info through some theatre groups I follow on Facebook. I'm definitely making this "must watch" material for myself every weekend for the foreseeable future. I...

    You're welcome! I'm getting this info through some theatre groups I follow on Facebook.

    I'm definitely making this "must watch" material for myself every weekend for the foreseeable future. I might not have liked the first offering, but I'll be checking each one out.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Let's all wear a mask in ~health.coronavirus

    Algernon_Asimov
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    I've promised I'm going to mention this every time I see this point. So here it is. :) Wearing a mask can potentially increase the frequency at which you touch your face, because masks can be...

    A mask is a barrier that keeps you from touching your nose and mouth.

    I've promised I'm going to mention this every time I see this point. So here it is. :)

    Wearing a mask can potentially increase the frequency at which you touch your face, because masks can be uncomfortable or itchy, prompting you to adjust the mask or scratch under it.

    People need a strong sense of self-discipline not to touch their face, with or without a mask - moreso with a mask which increases the triggers for face-touching. You can't rely on the mask to do this for you.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on Now is not the time to lose our humanity: Some DOs and DO NOTs in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Ironically, that proves the Republicans' point in their eyes. Those restaurateurs didn't need any interferin' gummint to tell them what to do. They just did it. Why do people need a government to...

    In my city, a group of restaurant owners who collectively own dozens of restaurants, got together and decided to all close at the same time - before anyone at any level of government ordered it.

    Ironically, that proves the Republicans' point in their eyes. Those restaurateurs didn't need any interferin' gummint to tell them what to do. They just did it. Why do people need a government to tell them what to do when people are so capable of doing the right thing without being told?

    Of course it's not that simple. But like partisans of all stripes, they see what they want to see.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on The shows must go on!: Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals to be aired for free in ~arts

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I was looking forward to this. I just sat down to watch 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'. I only got about 15 minutes in. It was just too cheesy for me - the story, the music, the...

    I was looking forward to this.

    I just sat down to watch 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'. I only got about 15 minutes in. It was just too cheesy for me - the story, the music, the production style, the performances, the for-video setting in a school hall. Everything was just wrong for me.

    I hope the future productions are better.

    2 votes