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Germany and Denmark recovery


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ColleenFrancis

With B.C., Denmark and Germany slowly starting to come out of lock down this week, I would love to hear from community members in these countries and province. From your perspective:

  • How is the recovery going?
  • How do you feel about it?
  • What's actually going on? As opposed to what is being reported

Of course if other states are also early to move out of the lock down I would like to hear from them too.

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I'm still not convinced it's proper or necessary to tell people they can't mow their own lawns.  We're living a good life, and we're acutely aware of it. We're supporting everyone we can. Despite

Huh. I talked to a client Monday and he said the weather was nice enough to get all his gardening done. I wonder if that is a rule or just guidance.There is a lot of rumor floating around about Michig

Ahhh.... "The page  says that lawn care services are prohibited “except if the service is necessary to maintain and improve safety, sanitation and essential operations of a residence."  but it does no

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Hamish Mackenzie

In Germany, the first meagre lifting of restrictions only began today. The speed of the changes being made is also different depending on what state you're in - but for the forseeable future, that only means variations on the theme of "glacial".

May will see a lot of small stores reopening, but there is also little sign of shopping malls and large stores reopening in the near future. Although perhaps the fact that in Bavaria today they made wearing facemasks in public compulsory is an attempt to accelerate that.

There seems to be even less prospect of restaurants and bars opening before the summer, and we have been told by the powers that be that international tourism within Europe will not restart before the Autumn. This may turn out to a political ploy, so that they can position themselves as our benefactors when they decide to lift travel restrictions "early". Cynical? Me? Mind you, that would still be far preferable to the consequences of the entire tourist season being wiped out, here and elsewhere. A large proportion of tourism dependent businesses who made it through March to May won't make it to the Autumn if the peak summer months are essentially cancelled.

While I am excited about how I am using this period from a business perspective, my overwhelming feeling is one of anger, because I feel the response, as well as the social and economic consequences, are out of all proportion to the actual or conceivable medical threat.

90% of people I know accept what they are told by the media and the government wholesale. There is very little debate, and any attempt to express an opinion which in any way differs from the accepted wisdom is met with disbelief and hostility.

As things stand, our hospitals are empty, doctors are saying they have too little to do and that they need to start catching up on the backlog of operations that were put on hold to cope with the potential flood of covid patients who never arrived. And meanwhile, hundreds of businesses are going bust daily. Promised financial support will arrive too little and too late for most. I would not be able to look any of these business owners in the eye and tell them that losing their business was necessary for the public good. Fortunately for the politicians and media owners, they will never have to either.

To put it bluntly, no matter how slowly or fast everything reopens, the real recovery for most people won't start for another 6 months, if we are lucky. While we may have reached the peak in terms of infections, we are nowhere near the trough of the economic consequences in my view.

 

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patrickdaly

Our government In Ireland has indicated that they are working on a plan to exit the lockdown but have not as yet released details. In principle we will continue with the current restrictions until May 5th. Around end of April we will get some details. Our fatalities peaked about 10 or 11 days ago and the health services coped well because of the rapid increase in capacity and the reduction of non-COVID related demands. Luckily we haven’t had the dramatic scenes that arose in Italy, Spain, UK and New York. 

While details have not been released, from what I am picking up here, the return to a functional normality whereby the economy can get back to work and normal social interaction can take place, will necessarily be through a strategy of mass testing, tracing and follow up - a really major undertaking. The concern is that, otherwise, just releasing the restrictions, even while maintaining physical distancing, will simply result in a resurgence of cases and a requirement to shut back down again. Given that prospects of a vaccine are still some way off in the best of cases, a succession of openings and closings like that could be very destabilising and demoralising.

We may see some very limited school openings and building site and factory openings in May but I think we won’t be fully back in business until the testing and tracing capability is planned, resourced and implemented. That could take several months and hence I think the German government is probably right in thinking that international travel between European countries will be limited until the autumn and will require that a similar approach and strategy be adopted across EU members. Some might think that all this is OTT, but regardless, this is just the way it is.

Travel to/from non-EU countries, I think, could take longer and will depend on the commonality of approach across the world. Current indications do not augur well in that regard.

Perhaps the fact that that oil companies cannot now give the stuff away, might encourage a more unified approach on the global scale.

 

 

 

 

 

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popky

The problem with responding to this kind of health crisis is that no matter what you do, people will say you're wrong.

If you do a good job locking down routes of transmission and the number of patients is much lower than expected, people say you did too much and caused unnecessary harm to the economy.

If you don't lock things down fast enough and thousands of people die (Spain, Italy, UK, NYC), then people say you didn't move fast enough and as a result, too many people died.

There's a potential new development that might complicate things. The original thought was that once you had the virus, you developed antibodies and immunity (like with influenza) and couldn't become sick again. But there are now patients in Asia that were thought recovered who are coming down with symptoms again a second time. This means the virus may go dormant and then reappear again (sort of like how the virus that causes chickenpox can reappear decades later as shingles). That makes the need for antibody tests and contingent treatments even more important until we get to the vaccine, which is likely 9-12 months away, at best.

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Alan Weiss

I don't understand the point. It's totally ambiguous. Most people recover or have it and don't realize it. It may come again, it may not. You might be immune, you might not. What's the issue?

The economic devastation this will cause is far worse than the medical deaths. Are you going to test everyone in the country? Will we have to carry negative cards or antibody  cards? Pretty useless if you can get it again. 

What's the point of the discussion? I would contend that the only real issue right now is the risk/reward of opening economies to put people back to work, provide businesses with customers, and restore dignity to people who are sheltering like hermit crabs. Except they can't change their shells.

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Ruben Ugarte

In B.C., our case count has stabilized. We are still adding new cases and deaths every day but the growth is linear and not exponential. The government here took  a softer approach to the lockdown and is common to see people walking and biking on the seawall. Overall, the response is seen as positive and effective. There was a sense that "B.C. wasn't testing enough" since they only wanted to test people who are at-risk or clearly sick. However, our deaths and hospital numbers are under control so the overall strategy has worked. They event converted our Vancouver Convention Centre for a hospital but it hasn't been used.

In terms of loosening the restrictions, the government is aiming for a mid-may target and they will announce how restrictions will be removed in early May. I'm not sure that I have seen anything about B.C. coming out of lockdown this week (April 20) though. The government is trying to manage expectations around which events and activities will come back and which ones will simply be skipped this summer.

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patrickdaly

@Alan Weiss what is your evaluation of the risk/reward with the information available at this juncture?

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Alan Weiss

I think it's reasonable to wait until early May, which is what the governor has proposed in Rhode Island. However, the economic damage all over the world is immense. We're going to be in a triage situation. You can't save every life. We made bad judgements about nursing homes and cruise ships. We need to be prudent but not frightened to death. We have to honor people's dignity and not treat everyone as if they're children. 

I think the risk of keeping tight controls is far greater than the reward of saving some at-risk lives, because we are going to "kill" people who will lose their live savings, their businesses, their ability to work, lose arts and culture, their recreation, their educations, their health (stress-induced illness), and their human interactions. We need to open businesses, open sporting events, open travel, open socializing, open commerce. I think people will accept a gradual but forecast plan, but not a "let's wait until next month" continuing litany.

Governor Cuomo whined for help continually and wound up shipping unneeded ventilators to other states. The estimations of deaths have been wildly inaccurate. The media continues to sensationalize the epidemics. The deaths are horrid, as are all deaths, but we have lost proportionality.

Already we're reading about every cause in the world wanting to leverage this misery: climate change, prisoners' rights, domestic abuse, immigration, minority treatment, voting mechanisms—it's endless, and it's appalling. Speaking for the US, we have an FDR-level crisis, but no FDR (or even Tip O'Neal, or Sam Rayburn, or Everett Dirksen, no Edgar R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite). And the blame game isn't even in full rapture as yet.

Summary, Patrick: We need to restore the economy as quickly as we can and we need to stop being so petrified. More and more scholars and scientists are writing op ed pieces about this, I'm hardly alone or contrarian here. But more than this, intelligent people need to at least consider this position without scoffing at it or running from it. 

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ColleenFrancis
6 minutes ago, Alan Weiss said:

Summary, Patrick: We need to restore the economy as quickly as we can and we need to stop being so petrified.

This is why I’m interested in this discussion. I think hearing from people living in regions where the economy have opened up will provide evidence for what is working and what is not. Denmark is taking a slow and measured approach to opening up while Georgia and Tennessee appear to have taken a more random and quick opening approach. It will be interesting to learn from them. 

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Alan Weiss

I agree completely, Colleen, and then we have to decide our own risk/reward ratio. Personally, I think anyone seeking total safety is foolish, and anyone seeking an immediate return to pre-crisis interactions is delusional. People have trouble with the "grey" areas in-between, where I find great comfort. I guess that's why I'm doing an Ambiguity Workshop in a week or so.*

*(That was a paid, endorsed advertisement from the owners of this station.)

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patrickdaly

I don’t think we are in disagreement here. Indeed, I am actively working with a National Logistics Forum here informing our government on precisely HOW to open up as quickly as possible but safely. 
COVID19 may not be a spectacularly dangerous illness compared to other flu-like illnesses, we don’t really know yet, but we do know that there is no natural immunity in the population, and we do know that it has already overwhelmed some very advanced health services around the world. That is what it will do again if unchecked.

Consequently, the reboot needs to be done with care, and there is no rule book.  A series of false starts could be disastrous for the economy and for morale. Looking to those that are ahead of us in the process, in places like Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain etc., as  Colleen is doing, for best practices, issues, challenges and intel about what has is happening there, what is working and what is not, makes a lot of sense to me. I speak to professional people in these countries every day got that specific reason as part of my work with the National Logistics Forum.

Massive testing, tracing and follow-up, I think, will necessarily be part of getting to a functional normality in business, travel and social life in the absence of an effective vaccine. That will be difficult and intrusive and I know a lot of people don’t want to hear it. However, that is what the experience in Taiwan, Germany and some other places indicates.

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Alan Weiss

Patrick, I agree with you mostly, except perhaps in severity. The fact is that most people recover from the illness or don't even realize they have it. I understand about its spread, but we should be sheltering those at most risk, not everyone else. With "no rule book," who knows what "care" is? The health services in advanced societies have not been overwhelmed. They've been stretched to unusual lengths, but the hospitals have handled the numbers. 

I'm not al all sure what "massive testing" does. I would fear the day when we have to carry around some "antibody proof" card. The fever we test for at airports could be associated with any number of non-malign illnesses. "Intrusive" is very dangerous in its own right. We are sacrificing personal freedoms and I think we're reaching the limit. More harm has been done by governments historically "for the good of the populace" than by any other cause.

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ColleenFrancis

There is a huge push for manufacturing and food production to add thermal scanning to all secure entrances to their building. This is one way people will be tested daily. Everyone will be required to have their temperature taken before the enter. We are also seeing this being rolled out at airports and cruise ship terminals. Taiwan is using this method of testing for a customers in retail stores as well.

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Linda Henman

Alan, you seem to be advocating a moderate approach to the recovery, and the U.S. doesn't usually do moderate very well. 

I'm saddened by the decisions of some governments, like Michigan's, that put such draconian approaches in place to start with that now they have people standing shoulder-to-shoulder protesting. What are they thinking? No moderation on either side there.

I have seen a definite turn in the past couple of days among the people I know. They have lost patience with all the restrictions and want to get back to a more normal way of doing business.

Personally, I'm willing to risk my life to get my hair done. No one needs to know my true hair color. 

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Alan Weiss

If we can put a man on the moon, Linda....

I have allergies. Will people think my sniffling and coughing is a continuing threat? Will low grade, irrelevant fevers cause people to be denied plane boarding (or work)? There is a clear limit when people are willing to take more risk in return for their freedom. We might be able to save every life while actually destroying every life, if you know what I mean. 

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ColleenFrancis

Linda, Michigan has the third fastest infection rate in the country behind NY and NJ. I think her action were reasonable given what she saw happening in other densely populated areas. Denmark is currently experiencing a .7 infection rate. Meaning that 1 person infects only .7 people. California is at .9 this morning I for comparison purposes, Washington state is 1.7.  These numbers are important because they can tell us how infectious the disease is, and guide a smart opening up.

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Alan Weiss

I'm still not convinced it's proper or necessary to tell people they can't mow their own lawns. 

We're living a good life, and we're acutely aware of it. We're supporting everyone we can. Despite the fact the ballet is a government loan away from being almost broke, I sent $5,000 to a local theater as part of my three-year commitment of $30,000. Three different people called me to thank me: the artistic director, the managing director, and the development director. I allowed the Palace in New York, a good client of mine, to retain $15,000 of my deposits toward future events. They actually need the money. 

The only way to keep our rationality is to try to retain perspective and humor. People gathering in crowds in churches and on the beaches are moronic in my opinion. People who wear masks to walk the dog on their own property are overreacting. And the anti-plastics one-use people who now have to advocate them, well, God works in mysterious ways. Gun shops are essential? Cigars are essential? Booze is essential? But not a hobby store? 

I deserve no stimulus check. I'm calling it 50/50 that they send me three or four.

A guy who's a friend on Facebook didn't think I should be shaking Manhattans, so he sent me a very nice stirring set, as a gift!! I had the drink with chips prior to wallowing in these two ginormous rib eye cheeseburgers which La Massaria still makes just for me, but now as take out.

 

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ColleenFrancis

"I'm still not convinced it's proper or necessary to tell people they can't mow their own lawns. " - who is saying this?

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ColleenFrancis

Huh. I talked to a client Monday and he said the weather was nice enough to get all his gardening done. I wonder if that is a rule or just guidance.There is a lot of rumor floating around about Michigan right now as it's getting political. She's a leading contender to be Biden's VP and so is being attacked hard by extremists on the the right as a way to discredit her.

I'll take a look at the official state guidelines, as I don't trust anything in the news about what's going on in Michigan. I'm in daily contact with a number of client's in Michigan and they are not reporting restrictions like this.

 

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Alan Weiss

https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/lawn-mowing-double-jeopardy-in-roseville-citys-order-versus-states

 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new stay-at-home order prohibits “in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.”

 

 

Does all of this make sense?

Arguably, some of it does not. Many have appointed out apparent inconsistencies, such as being able to buy lottery tickets, but not a can of paint or a bag of seeds.

Commercial lawn care is definitely banned. Personal lawn mowing is apparently headed for the Supreme Court.

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ColleenFrancis

Ahhh.... "The page  says that lawn care services are prohibited “except if the service is necessary to maintain and improve safety, sanitation and essential operations of a residence."  but it does not say that you can't mow your own lawn. I know of at least a dozen men who cut their lawns in Michigan last weekend with no issue, what so ever. John Deere has been labeled an essential service for all divisions including Lawn and turf divisions. And, while Jeff's client's might not be ale to operate at residences, they are certainly busy in commercial operations.

The official government website says you can be outside on your own property and for exercise, dog walking etc. The interpretations get people all in a knot because I don't think the news does a great job of communicating them clearly. 

 

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hannojarvet

There is still too much that is unknown with this disease and which containment / mitigation practices are most appropriate for each region. I keep looking at the less limiting approach that Sweden took that has lead them to have 10 times the per capita Covid19 deaths as their neighbour Finland. https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million?year=2020-04-21

In Sweden the children are still in schools, restaurants are open and gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Time will tell whether it will be a successful strategy,  what caused it and whether it could work elsewhere. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed and waiting on Google and Apple to work out a voluntary app that would help track infected cases.

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patrickdaly

Our prime minister spoke these evening about the current thinking of the government here.

Current restrictions are in place until May 5th.

An exit plan to reboot the economy is being worked on informed by a wide range of stakeholders across society and the economy who will put forward proposals for HOW they will manage the opening of their sector. The plan will be announced publicly  in advance of May 5th.

While details are not available now, he has indicated that the plan will be gradual, subject to review every two to three weeks, with criteria set for GO/NOGO to each progressive stage of opening. Close attention will be paid to what works well in those countries that are further along in the process of opening such as Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic and so on.

He said that three conditions need to be achieved in order to progress this plan:

1. Rate of increase in infections improving. This has been achieved.

2. ICU capacity well in excess of demand. This has been achieved.

3. Sufficient testing and tracing capability. Not quite there yet.

Our economy is set to shrink by 10% this year having been one of the fastest growing in Europe until about 4 weeks ago. Our deficit will rise to 7.5% of GDP as the government borrows to support the unemployed and businesses having run a surplus for the last couple of years.

It is a severe recession without a doubt but we were here before in 2008/2009. We went into this in a strong position, we will recover.

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Kevin Berchelmann
7 hours ago, ColleenFrancis said:

I think her action were reasonable given what she saw happening in other densely populated areas.

I think she way overreached, and seemed to do so without logic, or the common sense she is claiming. Commercial lawn services can easily operate well within social distancing guidelines, and prohibiting boats with motors but not those without is borderline comical. You can go in stores, but only purchase certain items. Travel between your own homes, if you own two or more, is prohibited.

The problem with overreach is not just an eye roll; people of influence see it and use the overreach to justify ignoring requirements. Many cities in Michigan are ignoring the "no commercial lawn services" requirement (just for example), and have told residents it will not be enforced.

I've read her executive order in detail, and it sure seems draconian to me. An elevated infection rate doesn't justify any and all restrictions on personal movement and commerce. Again, in my opinion.

But that's just me...

KB

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