There are some who feel that the UK was a little slow in imposing a lockdown, Boris initialling thinking that heard protection might be the best policy, then dithering for a week before imposing a complete lockdown.
This is reflected in a recent opinion poll when, a week before the lockdown, Boris refused to close non-essential services in the leisure industry, such as restaurant’s café’s, pubs, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas etc. All the places where people Social Gather, and thus spread the virus. At that time only 55% of Brits thought that Boris Johnson (British Prime Minster) was doing a good job to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic in Britain.
The following week, when he did order the complete shutdown of the leisure and a few days later put the whole of Britain into complete lockdown, 59% of Brits thought that he was doing a good job. And after the first week into the lockdown that support shot up to 72%, with only 20% of Brits thinking he was handling the crises badly.
If Britain was a little slow in responding to the virus crisis, then according to the news media in Britain, Trump was even slower, and far less strict e.g. not a complete lockdown, with some States not even bothering with Social Distancing, such as church goers still attending church, with the real risk of spreading the virus even further.
And more alarming, from the news reports we get in the UK, is Trump’s eagerness to ease up on the Social Distancing by his desire for the USA to return to normal by 1st May; with the real threat of allowing the virus to spread further and deeper, at a time when it isn’t even under control in the USA.
Britain’s initial dithering, before lockdown, is reflected in that we now have the 5th largest number of deaths in the UK, and still rising, while the USA, who have taken a much softer approach to Britain is 1st, with the largest number of covid-19 related deaths in the world, and with the daily rates in deaths rising at double the rate than in the UK. While Italy and Spain, who have been in total lockdown much longer than Britain and the USA appear to have now reached their peak, with daily death rates on the decline.
For the latest figures, visit https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?
So the question is, are countries like the UK & USA doing too little, too late?
If the US is doing so badly with their virus control, how is it that San Morino, Andorra, Spain, Belgium, Italy, France, San Maarten, the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Ireland all have a higher death rate, per million population, that the US does? How does the UK have over double the death rate if the US isn't doing nearly enough? Or Spain and Italy with nearly 5X the rate?
(You can believe that China has a death rate of 2 per million population, as opposed to the UK figure of 167 and the US of 67, if you wish. I certainly don't.)
Yep, I don’t dispute what you say wilderness. To quote from Shakespeare's King Henry IV Part I, 1597: "Before the game is afoot, thou still let'st slip.", and paraphrased by Sherlock Holmes as “The game is afoot” when pursuing a lead in a case.
We are in a middle of a pandemic, which didn’t start to rise sharply in each country affected simultaneously, but spread across the world in a wave e.g. in Europe, in Italy first, shortly followed by Spain, and with it sweeping across the UK and the USA weeks later.
Therefore Spain and Italy, who were first hit badly, have been the most affected badly so far, with them having the highest death toll per million to date. While Italy and Spain now appears to have reached their peak, with signs that the pandemic is slowing in those countries, neither the UK nor USA have reached our peak yet.
Therefore, over the coming weeks/months, you may find the gap of deaths per million between Spain/Italy and the UK/USA may narrow e.g. at the time of writing this, the death rate per million in the UK has stayed stable at 167 million (since your comment), while in the USA it has increased from 67 per million (when you made the comment) to 71 as of now.
Also, New York State, with a population of over 19 million have had 10,056 deaths, compared to the whole of the UK (with a population of over 66 million) with 11,329 deaths in comparison. Therefore, NYS with a population of only one third of the UK has had almost the same number of covid-19 related deaths as the UK e.g. NYS deaths per million is three times higher than the UK’s.
It is patchy across the USA, as it is across the UK e.g. London and the Midlands have been the worst hit, while the South West England (where I live) have got off lightly e.g. just 500 deaths in the South West.
We’ll not know the final status for weeks or months, and then I’m sure the academics will be kept busy debating all the stats for years to come.
The question is, is it prudent to be complacent?
Yes, we may find that the US ends up with the worst fatality rate in the world. Or we may find that it has the best of populated nations. Impossible to tell at this point.
But to indicate that it is one of, if not the worst, because it has more deaths than a nation a fraction of the size of the US is silly. Much like saying that because a portion of the US with an extreme population density (where the virus thrives best) is worse than a population spread over an entire nation. In both cases it's apples and oranges; you cannot make a reasonable comparison.
My state of Idaho has had 33 deaths so far. It is half again the size of England; would you compare those 33 with the 12,000 in England and decide Idaho has done a much better job? Of course not!
Yep, I totally agree wilderness, every time the News Media says the USA has the highest number of deaths in the world, I cringe because the USA has a very large population compared to most counties and therefore it's no surprise (all things being equal) its going to have a high number of deaths.
Therefore, like you I prefer to compare the death rate per million of population, because then it does give a more sensible comparison, than comparing deaths by country (rather than by 'n' per million of population).
As to whether the USA ends up the worst, per 'n' million of population or not remains to be seen. I suspect not, because for example the death rate is starting to accelerate in Russia, where hitherto Putin has a very cavalier attitude towards the virus, and was slow in taking preventative action; plus poor countries like India and Africa are struggle to contain it, if the virus spreads out of control in those countries. Plus, what transpires across Europe has yet to be seen.
It's still early days yet.
Many people have a so-called positive bias. They think positive. (it will not happen to me, I' healthy, it's far away...) This optimism bias is often good. But in this case, it is deadly.
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have both the same naive optimism bias. They feel invincible, powerful. They think they can do whatever they want. And on a personal level, this may be true. But they have the responsibility for a whole country.
They had warnings from other countries long in advance. China, Iran, Italy, Spain. But they thought it would pass. This miscalculation has cost unnecessary lives.
It also shows weak leadership. Both statesmen are not clear in their actions. Trump is saying one day this and the other day the opposite. He is even blaming others and attacking journalists for asking questions. That's not what you should do as a leader at this moment. If things go wrong don't blame others. finding a scapegoat is ostrich politics.
Boris Johnson who was taken to the intensive care did not do well either before he disappeared from the stage. He downplayed the virus too and did not take the proper measures.
Living in Spain is living in fear at the moment. But with the Lockdown - no more than one person in a car doing the necessary shopping. Getting fined if the police find two people together or even walking with your dog too far from your home. These measures are necessary. Yesterday the 13th of April they were loosened a bit, but personally I do not think that this was a good action of our government. A second wave can easily be triggered. Better safe than sorry.
I keep hearing about a "second wave". Is there any reason to think there will be one? If so, is there any reason to think there won't be a third, fourth and fifth wave?
How long, in other words, do we huddle in our homes waiting for the grim reaper to appear?
What they mean by a second wave. Or what I understand of it. It is that after the lock-down is released the danger lays there that people think it would be save to go to church, concerts, parties and the like. And there could still be a lot of infected people that could start a new wave of virus infections.
You can calculate when the virus infections become less and their incubation time has ended. So I think it's not an ever-ending story.
According to the WHO the incubation time of Covid is between 1 and 14 days.So if you are really strict for two weeks, this would help to stop the spread enormously. Something that has been done successfully in South Korea for example.
Spain was too late, and it looks as if the UK and the US also were to slow in the response. I wouldn't like to live in London, New York or Madrid at the moment.
I'm lucky that I live already isolated on the countryside, but people in the city here in Spain are having a hard time.
" Trump was even slower, and far less strict e.g. not a complete lockdown, with some States not even bothering with Social Distancing, such as churchgoers still attending church, with the real risk of spreading the virus even further.'
Trump made the decision to let individuals state Governors make decisions in regards to setting mitigations. Was this a mistake? It appears it may have been. Some took very progressive mitigations some did little. At this point, It is clear Trump wants to reopen the country. It is also true he has no Codsitusional power to do this. I guess we will see what the individual Governors decide to do.
So, to get to your question --- After a lot of research into the timeline that the virus followed from its birth in Wuhan to the first reports where WHO reported (Jan 22) that the virus could pass animal to humans, the report the virus could pass from humans to humans. To our very first case in Washington Jan 21, to our first death Feb 29th. to now. I have followed the timeline of what was known by our government to what actions they took. It appears the crisis was handled timely and efficiently. I kept in mind this virus was new and would take time for our scientist virus to work on not only a vaccine but test kits due to it being new. On Feb 4 a few days after US first death the CDC started working with the FDA to create test kits. One can follow the timelines of the WHO, CDC FDA as well as what the Trump administration was doing every step of the way. In my opinion, The Trump administration did very well with a crisis that posed several uncontrollable problems. The states had uniquity stockpiles as did the US
Government. Information was slow from WHO, which is well proved by their timeline, and China was not honest about how the virus progressed in their country. In my opinion, the outcome could have been a lot worse if it would have not been handled quickly. Many blame the administration for lack of test kits. Test Kits for each virus strain has to be produced. Any kits that may have been available for past strains could not be used on COVID19 due to it being a new strain. Kits had to be produced and manufactured, These kits are being made with great speed, It seems very odd to think anyone is dragging their feet producing these kit. Trump acquired many manufactures to work quickly to make the test kits.
"22 January 2020
WHO mission to China issued a statement saying that there was evidence of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan but more investigation was needed to understand the full extent of transmission."
https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08 … --covid-19
Feb 1 2020
Coronavirus: US and Australia close borders to Chinese arrivals
To answer your question --I consider there has been much done with good speed.
I know I will receive comments in the response to what Trump said... he said "Its all under control" "this will be gone" I thought it was a pandemic before anyone".
Save your energy, I don't care about what he said. As you see by my research I care what he did... The outcome. Many models from the scientist first claimed 1.5 to 2.5 million could parish, then they reevaluated the numbers to 100,000 to 250,000 would parish, then the last projection was 80,000, Today our death toll is 25,794, and hopefully will lower not reach the 80,000 that was last predicted. I would say our government handled the crisis well.
Sharlee: What people don't understand, including Trump is that this virus is not like the flu. It spreads at an exponential rate. It has a spread rate of 3-6. The flu has a spread rate of 1.
With COVID19, if one person is infected, they can infect 3 people. Those 3 people can infect 9 people those 9 people can infect 27 people. Those 27 people can infect 81 people. That's at a spread rate of 3. At a spread rate of 6. One person can infect 6 people. Do the math and you will see how fast it multiplies.
The flu and other virus have a spread rate of 1. That means 1 person can only infect one other person.
That's why the health care providers are concerned about surge rates and asymptomatic people who are carriers with no symptoms and yet can still spread the virus at an exponential rate. That is what social distancing is all about.
Your comments are in past tense, but we are still in the present. None of the curves have yet shown a distinct flattening.
Trump doesn't want to understand the science. His focus is getting the country open as soon as possible so that he can get re-elected. He is almost fanatic about it and is willing to put people at risk. He has no plans and no basis for opening the country other than his gut feel. If we don't follow the science we will go back to square one.
Yes, my comment was in the past tense, The question called for a past tense answer. Question --"So the question is, are countries like the UK & USA doing too little, too late?"
In order for me to answer the question and give my opinion, I pointed out what was done to curb the spread and death toll during this virus crisis. My answer was. I consider there has been much done with good speed.
In regard to your lesson on the "flu" in my answer, I referred to the virus as a virus or by its given strain title COVID19.
I am not in conflict with the stats you have provided. Although I did point out the fact that several models that we were provided by the Taskforce
were not correct or even close to being correct.
I am not sure once again you would feel I have not been provided the same information on COVID19 that you have picked up. from reading, media, etc.. I am aware of what you have presented.
You claim Trump "doesn't understand science". I would assume he does not understand the science of a virus or do many. And yes, he has certainly claimed he hopes to get the country up and running again. So, should we all. He has verbally said time after time he will be listening to his Taskforce before putting together a plan to reopen the country. Keep in mind his taskforce includes two Physicians that are are well respected in the field of Virology. He has listened to both's opinion, and as Dr. Fauci said at yesterdays press conference "anytime I asked him to do anything, his answer was yes.".
Perhaps it's not a time to presume what his plan will be to reopen the country, and wait to see that plan unfold. And I disagree that he has no plan to reopen the country. He has announced that he will work with all govenors to obtain their input and consider their individual concerns and needs.
The US has flattened the curve
Daily New Cases in the United States
https://www.forbes.com/sites/sergeikleb … c9452d7023
https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/vi … 1803845939
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/g … r/2371213/
And so many more. At present, it seems we have a good handle on the crisis due to the mitigations. No one can predict what tomorrow will bring or what the next round of COVID19 will bring in Nov. It appears to me Trump has done a good job, and hopefully, he will continue to do a good job for all of us.
I note you ignored the subject of the thread. I did a lot of research to back up my opinion on this subject. To little to late.
To answer your question, YES.
The moment for social distancing and or lockdown was when there were a low number of cases (that we all know is higher than tested/reported). But hey, the economy!
Now there are thousands of deaths and a FU economy.
With the economy in shambles right now, the only way we know to support the millions out of work is to simply feed them money. Money which is not borrowed and which we don't have, which means the government simply prints it and gives it out (yes, I know it isn't actually printed but only bookkeeping entries). And every single time in history that a government has done this the entire country falls apart with inflation rates of 1,000 percent or more, with the result that people starve. Not go hungry - starve to death as they fight over a scrap of bread or an apple.
Yes, we'd better pay attention to the economy. It can cause far more deaths than the virus can.
And that's why earlier social distancing and/or lockdown would have been better. It would have been shorter if you get things under control easier/faster.
Would it? Distancing won't make the virus go away - it simply flattens the curve so that our health care is not overwhelmed. People will still die from it, and will for many years to come - witness the death toll from the common flu bug.
There is also the small problem of state governors telling us that "You just lost your job and will now go hungry and homeless for the next 6 months...because there is a disease in China that is killing the Chinese people". Given that we still have people gathering in the hundreds, even with the news every night full of hundreds/thousands dying from it, I don't see that as going over very well.
We simply can[/i]not[/i] shut the country down until it goes away, for it isn't going to go away. We will have the corona virus with us for years, if not forever. All we could ever hope for is to flatten the curve and prevent overloading our health care system, which we have, hopefully, done or will soon have accomplished.
Are you predicting we won't have a vaccine "for years, if not forever?"
The prediction was "We will have the corona virus with us for years, if not forever." and that "People will still die from it".
Do you disagree? If so, do you think the flu virus is gone, or that our vaccine protects 100% of the people (whether they take the vaccine or not), with no deaths from it?
We won't have a vaccine for most likely a year. Do you think the majority of our citizens can afford not to return to work until we have a vaccine?
Everybody: The key to going back to work is testing. Without testing we don't know who is well and who is asymptomatic and can still spread the virus exponentially.
According to the experts that I saw on Fareed Zakaria's show, the first people that should be tested are the essential workers. They are still working and may have contracted the virus. Here is what they said about testing. It's in two separate videos.
Video 1: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/04/1 … nel-p1.cnn
Video 2: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/04/1 … nel-p2.cnn
Here is what the lead scientist at the NIH who is working on the vaccine said:
I agree with testing as many as we can is the prudent thing to do. What would be optimal is to test all citizens for the virus as well as tested for titer. It could give us a better picture of how to proceed. Hopefully, many have had the virus, this would mean far fewer deaths next bout around. Hopefully, by the third bout, we will have a good vaccine.
I feel testing everyone in the country would be a wonderful idea to get a correct baseline number on who has the virus and who has had the virus. One thing the Doc did not bring up. This virus is brand new tests had to be developed to detect the virus. This took a bit of time. Then the government was left with the problem of manufacturing the new test kits. There are only so many companies that make test kits. I will say they were on it quickly and it well appears we are on our way to having the amounts we will need to test the country.
"Distancing won't make the virus go away - it simply flattens the curve so that our health care is not overwhelmed. People will still die from it, and will for many years to come - witness the death toll from the common flu bug."
We need to remind ourselves of this - it was the stated purpose of the distancing (and the resulting business closures). No medical expert claimed that it would necessarily have prevented deaths except those resulting from hospital overload.
I understand your concerns about the economy wilderness, very valid points. Something which I might put in my “two pennies worth” (comment on) latter e.g. another lovely hot day in Britain (Global Warming), so I want to keep this short, so that I can get out into the garden.
However, just ‘food for thought’ concerning the infection rate; considering how infectious experts reckon the virus is:-
• USA Population = 328.2 million
• Heard protection from other diseases usually about 80% = 262.56 million
Assuming the fatality rate is 1.5% of those infected, and then if Covid-19 was allowed to sweep across the USA unchecked e.g. ‘No Social Distancing’; one might expect a death toll of around 3.94 million Americans within six months?
The above assumptions are based on speculation only, as currently, not enough is known about Covid-19 to be sure what the fatality rate is. WHO put it at 3.4%, but I’ve seen speculation from other sources that suggest it’s nearer to 1.5%, which may be more accurate given that the disease seems to be asymptomatic in a high proportion of those infected?
Therefore, if there is any validity in the above, then if ‘Social Distancing’ keeps the final death total to below 100,000 Americans’ before a vaccine is widely available, which was one of the lower USA estimates quoted a few weeks ago, then that would be a great achievement in saving millions of lives!
Easy to say to keep the controls in place until a vaccine is found, tested and distributed to everyone in the country.
I hear that will likely take a year or more. If we simply print out a trillion dollars per month and hand it out, do you see any form of economy, or society, left? Think Germany after WWII and consider what happened there, what their inflation was.
I guess one could say due to Governors not putting in Stay at Home orders out sooner did cost lives. But, I agree that we can not shut down our economy due to this new virus. I have not yet figured how some have come have to the conclusion we can continue to stay at home. I suppose they think the Government can print money to support millions of people. I guess some are not aware our dollar would fail and we would head into a worldwide depression. It baffles me how anyone I mean anyone could think we could afford to keep our country at a standstill for any reason.
"I have not yet figured how some have come have to the conclusion we can continue to stay at home."
Near as I can figure it comes from fear and from looking at only part of the picture. Panic at the thought of a deadly disease that will kill everyone in the country, coupled with a total disregard for anything else.
You're absolutely correct: we cannot simply print money to support the millions out of work forever - the results of that are well known and more than a couple of countries have experienced first hand the results of such activity. But that isn't on the mind of too many - all they can think of is that terrible disease killing everyone.
What if this pandemic s psychic -- rather than actual.
I guess being a nurse I have become very aware viruses come and go, some worse than others. This one was very different, for one reason we just don't have the test to prove how many have had it. Many getting mildly ill, some not knowing they ever had it. The stats are not complete. We only have stats on who presented with symptoms making the death toll seem very high. The virus does spread more quickly than most. But we will get a vaccine, and we most likely will get some meds to handle the symptoms. But, can we afford to shut down the country, no.
As a rule, the yearly flu will affect anywhere from 50 to 60 million in the US killing anywhere from 12 to 30 thousand. We just don't have enough info on how many have had COVID19 due to a lack of testing. We don't have test kits due to the virus being a virus. One could say this is a vicious cycle. These kits will take time to produce. What really baffles me is how some really think more could have been done or could be done that is not being done.
With reference to your comment “We only have stats on who presented with symptoms making the death toll seem very high.” That is very true, for as far as it goes e.g. WHO put the death rate at 3.4%, other reports put it closer to 1.5% (or even lower).
However, what has transpired in recent weeks/days is that the ‘Official’ Death toll from Covid-19 being reported across the world may well be significantly under estimating the true death toll:-
Not just in China in the early stages, because it was a NEW virus, so they didn’t even know that many of the early deaths were related to the Covid-19, at that point there wasn’t even a test for it.
And not just countries like Iran and Russia, who are suspected of covering up the true figures in the early stages in their countries.
But also, Italy was so overwhelmed by the pandemic that many deaths in ‘Care Homes’ went unreported; and within the last week (with the publication of data from the ONS) it’s transpired that deaths in ‘Care Homes’ and in the community at large in the UK, that are now suspected of being due to Covid-19 have not been included in the Official Records, because they were not tested for it at the time. The ONS (Office of National Statistics) is an Independent Government Department, which means they are not answerable to the Government; but only answerable to Parliament e.g. prevents the British Government from interfering with the work of the ONS for political reasons.
Around the world, everyone who dies in the hospitals from Covid-19 are tested for it (The Official Record), but in many countries (if not most countries) around the world (more so in the poorer countries); people are dying from Covid-19 in ‘care homes’ and in their own homes within the community who are not being tested for Covid-19, and therefore not being included in the stats. It wouldn’t surprise me if this is also the case in the USA e.g. people dying at home from apparently natural causes e.g. a heart attack, with the underlying cause being Covid-19, but not being tested for Covid-19.
If this is the case, then rather than the death rate being lower, it might actually be higher?
Also, you seem quite content with the death toll from Covid-19 being a par with seasonal norm flu of around 30,000 deaths; is there any level of death toll from Covid-19 that you would consider unacceptable?
"Also, you seem quite content with the death toll from Covid-19 being a par with seasonal norm flu of around 30,000 deaths; is there any level of death toll from Covid-19 that you would consider unacceptable?"
I am aware people are dying in Nursing homes as well as their homes and not being tested for COVID19. It well appears not enough test kits are available. It's also evident that the government is doing everything it can to get test kits. As I explained these kits needed to be produced due to the virus being brand new. No one would have had them stored.
I am in no way content with any form of death from any given virus. I do find it odd that it seems many in our society have not noted the rates of death flu causes yearly. You are misunderstanding my view. Perhaps due to having a conversation on an internet forum.
To sum it up I don't feel we have enough information to project what could happen if we reopen the country. I think the poor model projections that were provided by our Virologists prove my point. The first death forecast was 1.5 million to 2.5 million. How do I put this? The numbers we have now have been gathered by those presenting ill with the virus, and those that pasted from the virus. It has now been documented that there are some in our society that has been non-symptomatic, this may indicate many have not been detected and counted. And yes with the numbers that are factually know provided a very high death rate. And would it be important to be cautious reopening our country, yes it is pertinent we be cautious? when reopening. Due to not knowing the true stats on the virus, it makes it important. It is also very important we have considered our economy.
I may be looking at this very differently due to being a registered nurse, I have studied viruses as well as worked the flu season yearly for many many years. I respect your opinion, it is logical and I see where you are coming from.
Yes you are right; trying to communicate remotely does tend to lead to misunderstandings that could be ironed out with face to face contact.
For those who are not asymptomatic, there is generally a lag time of a week or two before they show symptoms, in which time they could have spread the virus onto many others (especially how contagious it is compared to ordinary flu). Plus those who are asymptomatic can spread the virus without even knowing it. Then there is a lag time of up to three or four weeks between contracting the virus and death.
The data so far, strongly indicates that the lockdowns have significantly reduced the spread of the virus, and deaths from Covid-19 e.g. within three to four weeks of the lockdowns the rate of infection and deaths slow, and eventually peak. So restarting the economies too soon, and without adequate steps being taken to limit the spread, there is a real risk that tens of millions of more citizens will become infected, resulting in another sharp rise in deaths.
Yes, economies do need to be restarted at some point; but when and how to do it successfully has yet to be established. The UK doesn’t currently have an ‘Exit Strategy’, our Government is taking lessons from China and South Korea (the first affected countries), where they are now re-opening their economies; and carefully monitoring Italy and Spain (the first countries in Europe to be hit), who are now taking tentative steps towards re-starting their economies. But the UK and the USA are several weeks behind Italy and Spain in the time-line; so if the strategies of Italy and Spain are successful, then it’s most likely the UK will follow a similar strategy in perhaps 3 or 4 weeks’ time!
Albeit, a lot of the indecision by our Government in the UK at the moment, on how to exit from the lockdown (when the time is deemed to be right) is that currently the UK is Leaderless e.g. our Prime Minister is recovering from Covid-19, and under the British (unwritten) Constitution there is no provision for anyone else to have ‘Full Powers’ in the event of the Government’s Leader (Prime Minister) being incapacitated.
I think a couple of differences between the UK and USA is:-
• Right at the start Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) was open and honest in telling the Public that Britain would probably remain in lockdown until at least June, and that the situation would be reviewed once every three weeks. So right from the start people’s expectations were not raised, only to be dashed later e.g. as in wartime Britain, the British people have mentally prepared themselves for the ‘long-haul”
• The British Government has ensured that the vast majority of the British Public, whether they are working or not, continue to get paid at least 80% of what they would normally get paid if they were working e.g. the Government pays 80% of the wages for those currently not working (people not in essential services) so that the British people continue to enjoy an adequate income to pay their bills and buy food. Consequently, taking the burden of wages away from the employer has resulted in just 1.4 million Brits losing their jobs (to date) rather than the 20+ million in the USA; albeit it’s predicted this will rise to 2 million in the UK by June.
Although, unemployment in the UK might be kept to a minimum (considering the circumstances) due to the Government Strategy e.g. predicted to be up from 4% to 10% by June; Industry hasn’t fared so well. The UK’s Government’s prediction is that around 35% of British Industry will go bankrupt by June. So when we do emerge from the lockdown (exit strategy) British Industry is likely to be slimmed down somewhat.
So in the British Public not having such a financial worry, because the Government is paying their wages where necessary, it’s been easier for the British Government to keep the Public onside (keep their support) while the Government keeps Britain in lockdown, for however long is required.
On a final note, before she took early retirement, my wife worked for the NHS (in Admin), so we might have something in common, somewhere!
Have you any idea where the money your govt. is giving away is coming from? It certainly wasn't borrowed from the US - did China make a big loan to the UK?
Or is the UK simply printing money to give out? Your thoughts on how long it can do that without producing runaway inflation and making the pound worthless?
(What is Ireland doing - where do they get the euros to give out there?)
If 35% of industry goes bankrupt, what will be the result of that on govt. coffers? Will it balloon into other industries?
If 35% of the people have no income with which to buy cars, pay rent, buy new clothes, etc. what will happen when the purchases they would have made are no longer happening?
All valid points wilderness:-
I haven’t paid much attention to Ireland on this matter; a different country. So I’ll just focus my reply to UK matters. Although, with regards to the EU; although it’s up to each individual Member State within the EU to make their own decisions and arrange their own finances e.g. sale of Government Bonds; the EU Member States are currently in joint discussion on the EU using emergency funds of $0.5 trillion to provide additional aid to Member States in most need.
Background Info First:-
Firstly, we have a hard right-wing Conservative Government in Power in the UK. A Government I did not vote for; and as you know from other forums, I am a Socialist, so it’s a Government I do not support in peacetime. Therefore, as a Socialist, I’m more than happy to be critical of my Government, where I feel criticism is justified; and in some aspects of the way this Government has handled the Covid-19 crisis I do have criticism. But for the duration of this crisis, the public and politicians (of all political parties) have put politics to one side to fight the common enemy rather than each other e.g. the fight against Covid-19.
Although Scotland is part of the UK, Scotland also has its own National Government, currently run by the SNP (Scottish National Party), a Socialist Government who in peacetime are usually fighting the UK Conservative Government. The Scottish Government has its own powers and budgets e.g. it could choose to ease off on the UK lockdown and try kick starting its own economy contrary to the approach being taken by the UK Government. However, from day one of the crisis, the SNP (Scottish Socialist Government) have given the UK Conservative Government its full backing, and full support.
So given the above, considering that we have a hard right-wing (Capitalist) Conservative Government in Power; since the UK lockdown (now in its 4th week) the way the British Government has tackled the Covid-19 crisis has been a big surprise to me; it’s not what you would normally politically expect from such a Government e.g. willing to pay 80% of the wages of those not working in essential services so that they can stay at home (and prevent the spread of the virus), while at the same time still getting sufficient income to pay their bills and buy food.
The Nub of Your Questions:-
#1. Yes I do know how the British Government is funding the cost of this crisis.
No the money is not coming from the USA or China, and the UK is NOT printing the money e.g. printing money (monetary financing) is inflationary, and that is an option the British Government wants to avoid.
UK Government Financing of Covid-19 Crisis:-
i. The UK Government has an overdraft facility with the Bank of England for short term use only e.g. cash flow. That overdraft currently (9th April) stood at £400 million, but can be used to borrow $10’s Billions (for short term use) at short notice, as required. For example the UK Government used it to temporarily borrow £19.8 billion during the 2008 Recession.
ii. But the main source of long term loans for the Government (to pay for this crisis) is through the financial markets (debt management), by the Government sale of Government Ordinary Bonds, and Guilt Edge Bonds. The total sums to be raised in this way are predicted to be about £200 billion, which per head of population (given the USA population is 5 times larger than the UK population) is comparable to the $2 trillion that it is expected to cost the USA Government. So far, not only have all the Government bonds that have been put on the financial market for sale been snapped up, but confidence by ‘investors’ on the British approach has led the £ to rise significantly against the $ over the past three weeks.
Industry Bankruptcy & Unemployment in the UK:-
35% of industry going bankrupt does not mean 35% unemployment; the vast majority of Companies going bankrupt are SMALL Firms; most people are employed by the Large Companies. Therefore, the anticipated unemployment by June is predicted to be around 10% (about a 6% rise in unemployment).
A couple of large Companies went bankrupt in the first week of the lockdown, as did one of the Bristol nightclubs that competed with the nightclub where my son predominantly works as self-employed professional photographer. The owner of the nightclub where my son earns most of his (bread and butter) income has sufficient funds to weather the UK lockdown; and not only that, but during the lockdown the nightclub owner is currently spending all his free time renovating another (rundown) nightclub, 20 miles outside of Bristol, which he bought cheaply earlier in the year. And once the lockdown is over he has asked our son to do all the promo photos and video of the new nightclub for the grand opening; offering to pay our son double his normal fee for the promotional work.
Yes, with 35% of (mostly small) businesses wiped out because of the effects of the lockdown, when the economy does eventually start up again, supply chains are also going to be hit; but with 90% still in employment, and with employees currently at home being paid by the Government 80% of what their employer would normally pay them, there will be more than sufficient ‘disposable income’ to kick start the economy.
As regard the 10% that will be unemployed, they will be entitled to ‘unemployment benefit’, which although not brilliant, is nevertheless enough for most to still be able to buy their cars, TV, Mobile Phones, have cheap holidays, buy clothes etc., and when people are unemployed in the UK the Government pays the rent and local taxes for them anyway. And the Health Service (NHS) is also ‘Free’ to all at the point of use; which is another financial burden that the unemployed don’t need to worry about.
What has surprised me with this Conservative Government is that they have put far more effort into looking after the employee than they have in looking after the employer. While employees at home (and not working) are automatically paid on time through the PAYE system: Amid criticism of the Conservative Government earlier in the week that they have made it too difficult for Industry to get the loans and grants they were promised; the Public Response from the Government (during their daily briefing) was that they “Cannot Save every job or every company”. The PAYE system is whereby the Employer pays your taxes to the Government on your behalf before they pay you e.g. the wages you get is NET (taxes paid), so that employees never have to deal with Inland Revenue directly themselves e.g. no annual tax return.
However, in spite of the above, the UK, if it comes out of the lockdown relatively smoothly economically, there are still choppy waters facing the UK that could still cause major economic damage. Namely: following Brexit the Transitional period with the EU expires on the 31st December 2020; after which (in the absence of any Trade Deals), none have been negotiated yet, the UK will be Trading with the EU (its biggest customer) and the rest of the world on WTO Terms e.g. high tariffs on imports (inflation), and disruption to supply lines (customs), affecting manufacturing industry (higher production costs) and food chains (delays in perishable food) in particular. But that’s another worry for another day. The main thing at the moment, is (putting politics aside) Boris Johnson (Conservative Prime Minster), is heavily criticised by the public and the opposition political parties for dithering in the first place e.g. over a week’s delay before putting the UK under lockdown, he now has the overwhelming support of ‘the people’ and politicians (from all political parties) for the actions he’s currently taking.
Perhaps this is a case where socialism triumphs - where govt control of what people earn is more useful to the people than owning (and controlling) what they earn. If you're correct and govt. can simply hand out the money taken from others long enough to manage that "kick start" it would seem to be of great value.
I do think, however, that it will be considerably more difficult than you think. A drop of even the 10% you indicate in GDP (and tax receipts) is pretty large. Coupled with P&I payments on the billions borrowed it could be considerably more difficult than you are thinking.
In response to your valid points, wilderness: Earlier this week, both the IMF and OBR agree that 35% of British Businesses will be lost, and that the UK unemployment will rise to 10% in 2020. However, they disagree on GDP, the IMF predicts the UK GDP will drop by 6.5% in 2020, and the OBR predict the UK GDP will drop by 12.8% in 2020; take your pick!
The quote from the IMF was:-
“The U.K. has done, has taken a very aggressive approach. They’ve come in with large, substantial, very carefully targeted measures. So, they have done all the right things at this point. Considerable support to firms and to households and to the financial system.”
The OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) is a British Independent Government Department e.g. a Government Department that is answerable to Parliament, not the Government; Independent of Government so that Governments cannot interfere with the Department’s duties for political reasons. The OBR was created by the Conservative Government in 2010 to provide independent economic forecasts and independent analysis of the UK public finances.
Like the USA, the UK had an AAA credit rating e.g. the cheapest rates of interest repayment. But because of Brexit, that had dropped three grades over the past four years to ‘Aa2’, and on the 28th March (due to the Covid-19 crisis) was further downgraded to 4th position (AA-). But it still is in the ‘A’s e.g. relatively cheap loan repayments on ‘national debt’, just not as cheap as the USA gets its loans.
I think the UK’s Conservative (Capitalist) Government would be rather upset to hear you call their policy to tackle the Covid-19 crisis ‘Socialism’; but calling a spade a spade, it does smack of ‘Socialism’! Whether it pays off or not remains to be seen; we’ll have a much better picture by the end of the year.
Yes I also think that it’s going to be considerably more difficult than the ‘cold stats’ suggest. There is no illusions that we are heading for a deep recession; and in that respect the British Government have been open and honest in their daily briefings to the British Public; so that no one should be under any illusions that things are going to be tough e.g. quotes from the British Government in their daily briefings have included comments like “It’s going to get a lot harder before it gets better”, “we are not over the worst of it yet”, and “We are in it for the long haul” etc.
Therefore, as in wartime Britain, for as hard as it’s going to get, the British Government has ‘mentally’ prepared the British Public for what’s to come. And therefore has kept the British Public on their side.
As regards the payments and interest on the billion borrowed; it’s nothing new. In the aftermath of the 2nd world war Britain was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the USA bailed us out with loans equivalent to what we are facing now, so that Britain could rebuild: Loans which the Labour (Socialist) Government used to pursue its Socialist Policies e.g. the creation of the Welfare State and the NHS etc. in 1948; both of which has stood the test of time, in spite over the decades, various Conservative Governments trying to undermine them from time to time.
Ever since then (over 70 years) Britain had been saddled with huge loan repayments (national debt), which it finally paid off just a couple of years ago: So we are now back to ‘square one’ e.g. huge national debts that will take another two generations to repay, maybe longer if the British economy struggles after Brexit. Déjà vu.
Wilderness, another nice summer’s day where I live, so I’ve got just an hour to spare to put my ‘two pennies worth’ on the economies, before I got back out in the garden.
Yes, world economies are in shreds, and we are heading for a deep worldwide recession as deep, if not deeper, than the Great Wall Street Crash of the 1930s.
I understand from the News Media that over 16 million Americans have already lost their jobs because of the American economy being shut down to fight the spread of Coid-19. In the UK just 1.4 million have lost their jobs, and that is expected to rise to 2 million by June.
The reason the unemployment is so low in the UK is that the British Government is paying the wages (80% of what they would normally earn) of all employees sent home by Companies during the lockdown. Therefore, for Companies in the UK who survives the economic shutdown then they have their workforce ready to go back to work as soon as they open for business again.
Obviously a lot of Companies will not survive, even with the Governments loans and grants, but some will; albeit the longer the shutdown the more Companies will go bankrupt in the UK, a number already have.
Obviously the supermarkets will be unaffected because people need food, and in the UK DIY Stores will survive because the British Government has classified them as an ‘essential service’ because DIY is a popular pastime in Britain and it’s something which people can do at home during the lockdown; albeit in-store shopping has been banned e.g. DIY Stores can only operate a ‘click & collect’ service whereby customers pick up their pre-ordered goods from a designated pick-up point in the Store’s carpark; or home delivery.
Although many garden centres will go bankrupt because although gardening is as popular as DIY in the UK, buying plants on-line isn’t practical; so most of the stocks of plants garden centres have, will have to be destroyed (perishable stock that will not keep).
The leisure industry will be one of the hardest hit Industries as that is dependent on Social Gathering; the one thing Governments are trying to avoid this year. So when the economy does restart many nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, cafes, theatres and cinemas etc. will have gone bankrupt.
My son, a self-employed professional photographer, works for the Leisure Industry, with one of the Bristol nightclubs being his main source of income. That particular nightclub will survive because the owner has sufficient funds to weather the lockdown. In fact (to expand his business) the owner of that nightclub bought another nightclub in Trowbridge (20 miles from Bristol) cheaply, earlier this year, because it had gone into decline due to mismanagement by the previous owner. So at the moment, the owner is spending his time (while he has no business to run) in renovating the Trowbridge nightclub himself, in preparation for when business starts up again. And he has asked our son (offering him double normal rates) to do the ‘promo’ videos and photography of the new nightclub for its ‘grand opening’ (whenever that maybe).
However one nightclub, near where our son normally works in Bristol, wasn’t so lucky; that has already gone bankrupt, and I’m sure it’s not the only one.
But all said and done; we are in unchartered territory, and as important economies are, as soon as Governments ease up on the lockdown and Social Distancing there is the real risk of the virus spreading again, potentially out of control if not handled properly, leading to another large rise in deaths. At the moment, the only guidance Governments have are the lessons learnt from China, and South Korea, and whatever happens in Italy and Spain, and other European counties, as they slowly start to ease off on their lockdown.
I am surprised if (as you say) the USA is just printing money as the solution; that would be a high risk strategy that tends to be inflationary. Britain is just borrowing the money (National Debt), as it did (predominantly from America) after the 2nd world war when Britain was on the verge of bankruptcy. Britain only just finished paying that debt of (after 70 years) just a couple of years ago; so we are back to square one.
The EU is using $0.5 Trillian of reserve funds (e.g. nether borrowed or printed), but kept aside in reserve for crisis situations, to give aid to those EU countries in most financial need. Obviously it will not be enough, but every bit helps.
As the British Government stated yesterday; in trying to find the balance between ‘saving the economy’ and ‘saving lives’, which do you priorities: And currently the British Government (as with almost every Government in the world) feel that it is more important to priorities on ‘saving lives’. It’s a view which some (yourself included) may not agree with; but into the 4th week of lockdown in the UK and the latest opinion polls show that 66% of Brits are in full support of the British Government’s handling of the covid-19 crisis; and what might be surprising, is that 84% of the British Public currently favour even more stringent measures e.g. a ‘total quarantine’ of British towns and cities.
Hindsight is a valuable aid, but unfortunately it comes too late in the process. No doubt in the months and years to come, there will be enquiries and reports which will pronounce on the effectiveness of the measures taken. It will be interesting to see how the Swedish relaxed approach compares to the lockdown strategy. Government decisions and strategies will be examined in the light of history. But, at the moment, we are in a life and death battle against an invisible and deadly enemy. I don't envy politicians at all for the difficult decisions they are having to make on a daily basis in these unprecedented times.
I felt from the outset that the government was relying to heavily on the advice provided by Public Health England, which they would later use to deflect responsibility. Boris Johnson seemed to be totally out of his depth in the daily briefings but most sensible people, I felt, would see a flaw in the logic of ‘herd immunity’ and that reiterated advice to frequently wash our hands was insufficient.
Clearly, there ought to have been more testing and following up of contacts from the get go. As an example, we are as sure as we can be without testing that a son who shares my home had a nasty case that developed over three weeks ago - his work base is Nottingham and he had travelled in the preceding weeks to site work in Holland, via Schiphol, to Liverpool and to York. It’s anyones’s guess where he picked up an infection and to who he subsequently passed it on. Furthermore, if there was an antibody test he could probably now have resumed work instead of being furloughed from a business which is suffering financially.
But we are where we are. I just hope that the government has absorbed the hard lesson of the consequences of systematically running down the NHS and having no emergency plan in place for pandemics.
A final thought - the amount of money made available for support during this crisis is staggering. I anticipate high levels of taxation in the coming years.
I think for a long time the British and American led by Boris Johnson and Trump failed to realise the seriousness of the situation. I remember Johnson coming on TV and stating that he would continue to shake hands as was his custom. Trump also had been thinking all the time when to come back to square one. Another major. failure of both the leaders was not to realise the threat from China. They failed to realise a historical fact that China is not a friend of the UK and USA and having social relations with the Chinese was like commuting Hara Kiri. Now in both these countries 35000 people have died and that is a sad story for them. Even now Trump is thinking of getting America back to where it was earlier. What does that mean? does it mean that he wants to allow traffic of millions of Chinese into USA again? both the countries are economically hit. In America there are millions unemployed and Industries closed. Sadly even for small items like the Mask the great America is dependent on China. This virus and the failure to appreciate its danger may bring a teutonic shift in world politics and unless the UK and USA face China, I do not see how the status of the great power status will not shift to China
Trump sent a tweet saying he wanted to fire Fauci and then he denied it. Trump not only doesn't understand science, he doesn't believe in it. He calls global warming a Chinese Hoax. If he listened to his scientist , he would understand that when he said in January, there was just one person who had the virus, he would have understood that one person can start the whole exponential spreading of the virus and create a crisis. He waited until March to declare social distancing.
I invite you to look at this link. It is interactive and is updated every 15 minutes. Just select the U.S. and let me know how much the curve has flattened or select any state you want or county. You will notice there is just barely a start of a flat curve. It is still too early to tell if the curve is going to flatten further or continue to trend upward.
The data is collected from all of these sources:
Data from: CDC · WHO · ECDC · Wikipedia · 24/7 Wall St. · BNO News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/coronavi … InAppShare
As I stated you have veered off subject. You dismissed my research and did not at all address the subject of the thread. The question was did the UK and the US do too little too late. You have to know taken you're deflecting into a retweet Trump posted in regard to someone other than himself making a statement about firing Dr. Fauci. Last I knew he has not fired him. Not sure how this has anything to do with what actions Trump has done to curb the spread and death toll of the virus.
I appreciate your link, and yes it has lots of info to offer. But the WHO websites give actual factual information on what they knew, what they did, and dates. AS I said this offered me factual information on the subject of this thread. What was done when... What our Government was aware of when.
You veered off subject, and now you seek to take it one step further. Stick to the subject. I think it more important than what Trump feels about science or his tweeting habits. I have no argument with the fact he should cool it when tweeting or keep his opinion on science to himself.
I will be glad to defend my opinion on anything in my original answer to the threads question. I am not willing to defend what Trump said and when he said it. I am only interested in his actions. His job performance.
In regard to your opinion on the virus and its virulence. I am sure you have read many articles on the virus. However, at this point, it's my opinion, not enough is known about the spread due to we lack the numbers of how many have actually may have had the virus. We could literally have had millions in the US that had the virus and went uncounted. If this were the case, the death toll would become normal for most given flu seasons. The numbers we have thus far are from people presenting due to feeling ill. We have no way to know how many have been infected.
An interesting article out of Germany in regard to COVID19 study on population.
https://spectator.us/covid-antibody-tes … tion-rate/
I read your link with interest, and it confirms other reports that in some countries (some regions) up to 15% of the population may already have been infected; but 15% is not heard protection, which for many diseases tends to be around 80%.
Also, in another post on this forum you quote the deaths in the USA from the seasonal norm flu are from 12,000 to 30,000. Given that the official recorded deaths for Covid-19 in the USA is already almost 30,000, and the deaths haven’t even peaked yet, and given that deaths don’t just suddenly drop off once the peak is reached, but gradually decline over the coming weeks, just as they climbed before reaching the peak (a curve); then on current trends you could expect the final death toll to be around 60,000 (double the seasonal norm for flu).
Also, given that Covid-19 is reckoned to be 3 times more infectious than flu, and with maybe only 15% of the population having been exposed to the virus because of Social Distancing; if the American economy were to be re-opened prematurely, without adequate persuasions and testing, to allow the virus to infect a further 65% of the population before natural herd protection kicked in, then you could expect deaths to sore triple from their current levels.
Lots of assumptions made above, as there is currently insufficient data to know what the situation is. Nevertheless, there are risks in a nation acting rashly, rather than with caution e.g. if hasty decisions are made, which allows the virus to spread out of control, there is currently no vaccine to stem the flow of infection and minimise deaths.
I did bring up stats on the approximate yearly flu infections and deaths. Also, I noted not enough is known about how many may have had COVID19 to really come up with a percentage of infections to deaths. At this point, the death count is getting very close to what one could expect from the yearly flu. I also did claim I felt this virus is more virulent and appears to spread more quickly. But we are using stats that may not be correct.
And it is a fact there is no vaccine and won't be for some time. I can only give a personal opinion in regards to what could occur if we open up the Country at this point. Again if we knew how many people have had the virus and would have antibodies to the virus I would believe one could come to a more educated opinion. If millions have acquired the virus, we would see fewer problems with infection rates due to most of the "herd" having antibodies. It would mimic a normal flu season, and yes there would still be death as expected as yearly flu. It is unrealistic to think we can prevent all yearly deaths related to seasonal flu. Not sure if you considered many million get their flu shot (Vaccine) yet we still have many deaths from yearly outbreaks of flu. 2918 30 some thousand died. We had a vaccine available and many million would gotten their flu shot.
Bottom line this virus has caused a great problem due to not having a vaccine or enough true stats we need to really predict a percentage of infection to the death rate. We have lacked in testing properly. And this is no one's fault. Being a new virus we had to developed test kits for the strain, this takes time.
I agree with your opinion, but I also feel it unrealistic to keep our country close to much longer. In Michigan, we have many now in food lines. One must consider everyone that is being affected in different ways. The economy must be considered.
Can We Learn Anything from History:-
The ones that spring to my mind are the Black Death that plagued Europe for four years between 1347 and 1351; sweeping across Europe, first from Italy in 1347, arriving in Britain in 1348, and finally reaching Russia in 1351. It rapidly spread across the whole of Britain, in the course of just two years, killing over 50% of the population.
That was a time when diseases were little understood. However when the same plague swept across Europe again a few centuries later (in the 1660’s), Europe was better prepared; and it was largely contained to just the hot spots; most predominately the large Trading Ports e.g. London.
The measure to slow the spread of the plague across Europe in the 1660’s included putting all Trading Ships from infected ports into quarantine for 30 days (this was later extended to 40 days). But in spite of all efforts the Black Death did eventually reach London in 1665, and over the course of the next year killed 25% of the London Population.
But if it wasn’t for the measures of quarantine’s and other strict measures imposed on Londoner’s, and across the rest of Britain; in spite of the fact that many Londoner’s tried fleeing London, the plague was contained within London, and the death toll much lower than it would otherwise have been.
Although the plague pandemic was largely contained within London, and prevented from spreading to the rest of Britain in the 1660’s; one English village over 160 miles away from London was not so fortunate, but their self-sacrifice did help to prevent it from spreading further.
Below, is the touching story of that village, and the sacrifice they made, so that others may live:-
The Plague Village of Eyam, Derbyshire, England: - https://youtu.be/3-ACLPr-xkE
It is indeed surprising that the UK and the US did not give much credence to modelling data and predictions released by researchers at the Univ. of Washington. As early as the first week of March, these researchers were asking the UK, the US, and India to either implement a complete lockdown or amp up measures to make sure there'd be enough makeshift hospitals and ICUs and beds for the predicted landslide of critical cases and deaths. People laughed these predictions off. Sure, the common flu also kills many on a yearly basis, but arguments claiming that lockdowns don't do much--that in fact they do more damage than the disease--cannot rely on this fact alone.
The trouble is the sudden spike in critical cases and deaths that leaves healthcare systems reeling--as is the case with Italy, Spain, and New York. These are relatively well-off states, and yet they struggled, which only begs the question: why haven't countries prepared to fight epidemics and pandemics? healthcare spending needs to be reimagined; we not only need more funding but also more funding across diverse sectors--normal healthcare and emergency healthcare (in the case of pandemics and epidemics). If the world is reeling in the face of a pandemic, imagine where we'd be if covid-19 were deadlier and more menacingly communicable--if it were an epidemic? Virologists and biologists have been warning us that this won't be the last outbreak, so one hopes countries might take it easy on space research funding and military funding and invest more in healthcare. Is it at all right that countries fund space explorations when they can't guarantee universal healthcare? Sad state of affairs.
Hind sight is always 20/20. I think all countries Didthe best they could with the information at hand. Although, the UK's first idea to get a herd immunity was a little shocking.
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