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Good Morning!


Schools here are now closed for the next 3 weeks and various other things... bars, cafe's, sportclubs, etc.

Ben Hammond08:03:54

This from my son's school last night > However, as a precaution, we will be conducting a deep clean of Perth High School, which goes beyond the cleaning recommended by current advice. This will take three days and the school will reopen to pupils on Thursday 19 March. That's a really badly worded email IMHO

Ben Hammond08:03:39

I think deep cleaning is when you move the furniture to mop behind

Ben Hammond08:03:18

Not immediately obvious that means closing the school


You don't always move the furniture when you clean?


depends on the furniture...

Ben Hammond09:03:21

and the kind of dirt you are trying to shift...

Wes Hall11:03:45

Mostly it depends on how much you've been paid.

dominicm08:03:27 curious to know whether anyone has had this kind of thing made locally, if so, who by?

Ben Hammond09:03:26

if Dr Gunther von Hagens made desks...


There’s someone who operates out of an antiques mill locally that makes and sells this kind of stuff. Also seen similar folk in other antique spots


I had a bespoke desk made for my office, it's p. nice


It was a guy off Etsy in Birmingham


Morning 🌞


👋 ☀️


I was wondering how I might test if a function is returned from a function under test, I thought, probably just fn? and you know what, I was right 🙂

Wes Hall11:03:20

@dharrigan fn? good for, "is this a function?", there is also (if useful), ifn? for, "does this thing behave like a function?", maps, sets etc.


nice! thanks!

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Quite spring like today


somebody really doesn't get "exponential" : ≪Johnson says it looks as though we are approaching the “fast growth” phase of the curve. That means cases are expected to double every five days.≫


just like last thursday then


yep, no obvious differences. fiddle while rome burns


apparently we are doing things early but it feels like we would be in a much better position if we did these things last week, last month etc


it seems like they are betting the farm on a complex process working first time. that doesn't seem like a great bet


too many models and not enough looking at actually existing evidence from other countries


makes me very sad. i pulled my kids out of school a few days ago, 'cos maybe every little helps


will you get fined?


not sure - i wrote to the headteacher and explained my motivations, backed it all up with lots of evidence. she responded and didn't mention "unauthorised absence" at all, so i suspect i might not. it is within the discretion of the school - my mum's a governor at a school where they never fine anyone for unauthorized absences


we've started a home-schooling program though - kids were super enthusiastic this morning - i wonder how they'll feel in a few weeks

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> somebody really doesn't get "exponential" : ≪Johnson says it looks as though we are approaching the “fast growth” phase of the curve. That means cases are expected to double every five days.≫ he's not wrong, a logistic curve better models and epidemic than an exponential curve. But the "fast growth phase" will last until a significant proportion of the population has been infected


if you let everyone get it. china, SK, SG decided no


yeah, i get that, but before the inflection point a logistic is very close to an exponential (and is the result of solving a slightly modified exponential process) and looking backwards the doubling period has been consistent all the way - we're not in some new phase

Wes Hall18:03:38

It's got to be pretty clear that this thing is going to be endemic now. Another item on the fairly long list of things that could kill you. I definitely wish that wasn't the case. I have people in the highest risk brackets very close to me (both older and immunocompromised). Maybe I am just a pessimist but it seems to me that the evil genie is well and truly out of the bottle. Flattening the infection curve makes all kinds of sense, but hopes of ridding us of it... less sense sadly.


@wesley.hall that may well be the case - in which case, as you say, flattening the curve is crucial to not overwhelming ICU capacity and minimising deaths - but if you are holding off until some unkowable "right time" to implement social-distancing measures which will have unknown latency and unknown effect sizes then i think you are playing with plutonium


> Two fundamental strategies are possible: (a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread – reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection, and (b) suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely. Each policy has major challenges. We find that that optimal mitigation policies (combining home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease) might reduce peak healthcare demand by 2/3 and deaths by half. However, the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option.


> We show that in the UK and US context, suppression will minimally require a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members. This may need to be supplemented by school and university closures, though it should be recognised that such closures may have negative impacts on health systems due to increased absenteeism. The major challenge of suppression is that this type of intensive intervention package – or something equivalently effective at reducing transmission – will need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available (potentially 18 months or more) – given that we predict that transmission will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed. We show that intermittent social distancing – triggered by trends in disease surveillance – may allow interventions to be relaxed temporarily in relative short time windows, but measures will need to be reintroduced if or when case numbers rebound. Last, while experience in China and now South Korea show that suppression is possible in the short term, it remains to be seen whether it is possible long-term, and whether the social and economic costs of the interventions adopted thus far can be reduced.

Wes Hall18:03:48

A lot of this comes down to what we expect of the government really. I'm not convinced that a state enforced curfew / quarantine would be particularly effective in the UK. It's hard to get people not to buy 300 toilet rolls. I personally find the Spanish "drone enforcement" a little creepy but I am aware that my vaguely libertarian stance on these issues is not super popular around here 😉. In any case, whether we'd actually have the stomach to start rounding up stragglers and putting them in cells is definitely an open question. We can hope that people follow sensible advice, but i'm not really seeing that either. Ultimately we are at the mercy of common sense... not a great place to be.

Wes Hall18:03:31

As members of the, "able to work at home" class... we are, I suppose, the lucky ones.


At least you only have "one government" setting policy. Over here we have local (city/county), state, and federal "governments" all providing conflicting policies. California is quite a hot spot so they've just ordered all over-65 folks to self-quarantine, no gatherings over 250 (and mandatory six feet social distancing), and yesterday asked all bars, pubs, breweries, wineries etc to close (or offer takeout/delivery only), and for all restaurants to move to half capacity and keep patrons six feet apart. The CDC (federal level) is now saying no gatherings over 50 people -- although there's virtually no true federal level policies. Some states are being more strict than California, many are less strict. Some cities are shutting down everything non-essential, some aren't shutting down anything. No one really knows what the rules are where.


Chatted to my mum today -- she and hubby are self-quarantined since he's very at risk (over 90, previous heart failure). They've been really careful about any exposure for the last week already, even in their little tiny village.

Wes Hall19:03:30

@seancorfield I know the worry. My sister is battling stage 4 cancer. The "chemo in a pill" that she takes is frankly miraculous and has kept everything under control for a few years now, but immune system suppression is a side effect. Two young kids too, so it's quite a concern. In addition to my fears over the virus though, I am also concerned about the potential for supply of those miraculous little pills to dry up. I am really hoping that the maximum amount of people behave rationally and sensibly because my feeling is that if people willingly make good choices, it will reduce the need for such strong reaction from states. Tanked economies, also being a fairly powerful subtractor from life expectancy. Sadly, I have been watching the behaviour of a significant minority of my compatriots with increasing rage and despair. In any case, sounds like your mum is doing the sensible thing. My best wishes for her and hubby. Let's hope we can at least get this under control in relatively short order.


@wesley.hall Yeah, I suspect many of us have elderly and/or immuno-compromised friends and this is going to be a very rough month or so for us all. I'm glad I work from home full-time and can avoid people most of the time. If anything, this will make me more available at work since I won't have any dentist or chiropractic appointments for a while so there will be no reason to leave work during the day...

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