May 29, 2020, 01:41:25 AM

Author Topic: The Virus thread  (Read 7885 times)

Offline Rostum

Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #120 on: April 04, 2020, 12:25:31 AM »
SFTDP

And if anybody is feeling really bright at the moment here is a paper from 2007 on the reimergence of SARS

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2176051/

Under the heading SHOULD WE BE READY FOR THE REEMERGENCE OF SARS?

"The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored"

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #121 on: April 04, 2020, 09:24:08 AM »
^ wow :o
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #122 on: April 06, 2020, 03:06:43 PM »
Saw this (rather long) post on Facebook from the editor at Tor. I knew things were hard with all the bookshops closed, but the audio side took me by surprise.

Spoiler for Hiden:

I want to talk for a minute about why publishing is in so much trouble right now. It's way more complicated than most people seem to think.

First, you need to know that the vast majority of our business remains in hardcover and paperback books. Hard copies, physical objects. The second strongest sector has been audio books. Ebooks are a distant third.

Selling books is a very long and complicated supply chain. Ignore editorial -- writers and editors can work at a distance and electronically. It really starts with the paper. Storing paper for the big presses takes an enormous amount of warehouse space, which costs money. Printers don't store a lot -- they rely on a "just in time" supply chain so that when a book is scheduled to go to press, the paper is delivered to the printer. Most of that paper is manufactured in China. Guess what isn't coming from China? Anything, for the last three months. Some of it comes from Canada. Guess what the Trump administration put a big tariff on at the beginning of the year?

So, we don't have adequate paper supplies. Then consider, big printing plants are not "essential businesses". There are only a couple printers in the US that can handle the book manufacturing business. One of them shut down last week. Covid-19. We started rescheduling books like mad to deal with that.

But supposing we had paper, and a printer and bindery, the books have to be shipped to the warehouse. Again, non-essential movement. The freight drivers moving books? Staying home, as they should. Not all of them. I hope they remain healthy, because dying to get the latest bestseller to the warehouse doesn't seem quite right to me.

Now then, our warehouse. We have a gigantic facility in Virginia. Lots of people are working there, bless them, but it's putting them at risk. There they are, filling orders, packing boxes, running invoices. Giving those boxes to the freight drivers who take the books to the bookstores and distributors. Again, truck drivers risking their lives to bring books to the bookstores.

But think again. The bookstores are closed. The distributors are closed . No place open to deliver the books to. Some bookstores are doing mail order business, bless them, but they aren't ordering very many books from our warehouse. Amazon isn't ordering very many, either -- because they have (correctly) stopped shipping books and are using their reduced staff to ship medical supplies and food.

So the books that distributors and sellers ordered months ago are not being printed or shipped or sold. And because of that, they aren't making any money. And because of THAT, they are not ordering any books for months from now. Plus they aren't paying for the books they got from us last month and the month before. Cash flow has ground to a halt.

Now, audio books....turns out that people mostly, almost 100%, listen to audio books while they commute to work. Sales of audio books collapsed about three weeks ago. Fortunately, there isn't a physical supply chain there, so theoretically that business can restart immediately upon resumption of commuting.

So given all the above, it's not a good time in the publishing industry. The damage is going to last for a long time, the effects will be felt for at least a year to come, even if we do go back to business as usual in May. Or June. Or July.....

Oh let's be real. We won't go back to business as usual until there is a real vaccine for this coronavirus.

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #123 on: April 06, 2020, 03:38:47 PM »
Yes, strange about audio almost 100% for commuting!

I'm trying to help... Over the weekend I just bought 2 books from Waterstone's, for the son of a friend's birthday this Friday - I hope they get here on time, it says 72 hours.

I've also been seeing some articles wondering if summer will improve the situation (= no flu season), but that ignores the fact that this is a worldwide disease, doesn't it? I mean, in the Southern Hemisphere it's Summer (or Autumn now), and yet that didn't stop the virus from spreading there, even if it started in a colder climate...
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 03:41:03 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #124 on: April 06, 2020, 03:45:42 PM »
I'm topping up from Waterstones too. Their deliveries are a little slower because of business, but usually within a week of ordering.

As I understand it, the warmer weather won't affect Covid-19 itself, but it means there are fewer other problems going around, so more focus can be put on the virus.
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Offline Skip

Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #125 on: April 06, 2020, 08:58:07 PM »
I keep noticing small things that reflect the impact of the virus. Today I did some shopping. No paper products, no sani, no pasta (which seems just weird), no sugar or flour. All that I expected.

Unexpected: there's a small church I pass to and from the store. It's one of those congregational places with the word Bible in its name (true name obscured, just because). The church is a building set back; set near the road is the pastor's house. Very plain, very simple. The family has two cars. Today, one of them has a For Sale sign in it.

These kinds of churches operate on a shoestring and less. Their brand of Christian fundamentalism is very far from being my cuppa, but my heart went out to them today. They depend on that collection plate to supplement whatever meager income they get from other sources. They aren't going to get any government bailout money. I do see evidence of churches trying to go online as best they can, but they don't exactly have web coders to tap or much of a mechanism for collecting money virtually.

That church made me wonder how many other small catastrophes are happening all around me. My grandparents went through the Great Depression. They remembered the small catastrophes, for they happened all around them. With my wife's grandparents, it happened to them. They went from owning a small trucking company to squatting on a relative's land in northern Minnesota.

More people will, I think, recover from the virus than will recover from the consequences of the virus.

Offline JMack

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #126 on: April 07, 2020, 12:04:51 AM »
Quote
More people will, I think, recover from the virus than will recover from the consequences of the virus.

I’ve been a supporter of all the strategies to protect the communal health.
But God! Sometimes I’m with those who say we need to just get our economies going again.
The impacts of this are going to be with us...
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Offline Skip

Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #127 on: April 07, 2020, 04:12:39 AM »
I struggle with that phrase, "get the economy going" as if it were some sort of machine. The economy *is* going, it's just not going the way it had been. It's entirely possible that there will be some permanent changes, economically.

For example, there has been talk for quite a while now about employment levels, with predictions that we are fast approaching a time when there simply won't be enough "full time" jobs to go around. Talk about a 30 hour work week, and so on. This disruption could tip us much further along that road. I fully expect to see more pandemics in the coming years.

So, getting "the economy going again" sounds uncomfortably close to "make America great again." No offense meant. Rather, the phrase looks backward to what has been lost and implies the best way forward is to recover what was lost. That constrains thinking in a time why perhaps new ways of thinking are needed.

I realize this is terribly vague. I plead historian. <g>

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #128 on: April 07, 2020, 06:15:29 AM »
It struck me how strange that we are all facing essentially the same things all across the globe at the same time. My family and I are doing well - I hope you and yours are as well. I believe great good can and will come of all this. But we have to slog through April and May, which will be difficult. Be prepared for anything and everything. I am most concerned about doubling of our troubles - weather, unrest, shortages, hostile actions, utility-losses. Even modest issues will be magnified in their impact(s). My analogy is taken from fact - most fatal car accidents involve two or more relatively uncommon or rare situations happening at once. As we swerve to deal with this virus, it would be terrible to have to deal with ... anything else. Stay frosty.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2020, 09:48:04 AM »
Interesting graph:

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Offline JMack

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #130 on: April 07, 2020, 10:33:19 AM »
I do like “safeguard livelihoods”, rather than “get the economy going again.”
It speaks to my concern for the humans, rather than the businesses. But the two are hugely intertwined. So many small businesses are at risk, so many people’s savings may be wiped out. Perhaps there will be a new social contract that arises from this. But even if so, and even if that might be a good, it’ll have terrible birth pangs.
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Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #131 on: April 07, 2020, 11:41:09 PM »
Iceland's top epidemiologist has predicted that the nation may have to live with some level of restriction for the rest of the year.

These certainly are interesting times to observe. Just too bad they are so awful.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #132 on: April 09, 2020, 07:47:45 AM »
There's now a campaign going on here to raise money for the NHS.
As valid and commendable that is, personally I'd rather give money to the small local/regional charities that are in extreme difficulties at the moment because the fundraising stopped.
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Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #133 on: April 09, 2020, 09:54:39 AM »
That's what taxes are supposed to be for.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: The Virus thread
« Reply #134 on: April 09, 2020, 10:02:15 AM »
That's what taxes are supposed to be for.
Exactly.
(I assume you mean the 'raising money for the NHS' bit, rather than supporting the charities, hehe)
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