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Corona quarantine diary
Autor de la hebra: Mervyn Henderson

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Miembro 2014
danés al inglés
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Stayin' Inside Apr 17


Annotation 2020-04-17 180130


Chris S
Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
francés al inglés
https://inisolationtogether.artcoreuk.com/artists-group2/ Apr 17

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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:35
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Cursor Apr 18

Thanks, Brian. I'm sure the site might be interesting if you could actually browse around it. Somebody should suggest that they focus on user-friendliness instead of user-irritatingness.

Or maybe it's an art thing, and that's why I don't get it. Thinking outside the box, round the box, up and down the box and all over the box with a circle cursor that just won't cooperate. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I reckon there must be an existentialist message in there somewhere,
... See more
Thanks, Brian. I'm sure the site might be interesting if you could actually browse around it. Somebody should suggest that they focus on user-friendliness instead of user-irritatingness.

Or maybe it's an art thing, and that's why I don't get it. Thinking outside the box, round the box, up and down the box and all over the box with a circle cursor that just won't cooperate. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I reckon there must be an existentialist message in there somewhere, conveying the meaninglessness and pointlessness and fruitlessness and everythinglessness of life.

[Edited at 2020-04-18 08:54 GMT]
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Brian Joyce
expressisverbis
Kay Denney
 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Miembro 2004
italiano al alemán
+ ...
Quarantine fish soup Apr 18

Thank you, Mervyn, for this recipe (very tempting), but also rather complicated for quarantined persons that don't live in walking distance from the sea or fishmongers with a good assortment, which is my case.
Therefore I prepared another tortilla, this time with bacon. But I must say it was much better without...

Coming back to Corona, it is difficult to understand why the mortality rate (I think it is called l
... See more
Thank you, Mervyn, for this recipe (very tempting), but also rather complicated for quarantined persons that don't live in walking distance from the sea or fishmongers with a good assortment, which is my case.
Therefore I prepared another tortilla, this time with bacon. But I must say it was much better without...

Coming back to Corona, it is difficult to understand why the mortality rate (I think it is called like that, I mean deaths per million) is so high for example especially in Lombardy (Italy), Madrid or NY, while Germany in a whole seems to get off for the moment rather cheaply, fortunately (don't get me wrong, I believe each dead is too much), and Portugal, so close to Spain, where the late Luis Sepúlveda has been infected, has relatively low numbers. Belgium, instead, has AFAIK one of the highest mortality rates worldwide (to say nothing of San Marino), much higher than in Spain. It's a puzzle for me!
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expressisverbis
Mervyn Henderson
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 17:35
Miembro 2015
inglés al portugués
+ ...
More time to prepare ourselves Apr 18

Christel Zipfel wrote:

Thank you, Mervyn, for this recipe (very tempting), but also rather complicated for quarantined persons that don't live in walking distance from the sea or fishmongers with a good assortment, which is my case.
Therefore I prepared another tortilla, this time with bacon. But I must say it was much better without...

Coming back to Corona, it is difficult to understand why the mortality rate (I think it is called like that, I mean deaths per million) is so high for example especially in Lombardy (Italy), Madrid or NY, while Germany in a whole seems to get off for the moment rather cheaply, fortunately (don't get me wrong, I believe each dead is too much), and Portugal, so close to Spain, where the late Luis Sepúlveda has been infected, has relatively low numbers. Belgium, instead, has AFAIK one of the highest mortality rates worldwide (to say nothing of San Marino), much higher than in Spain. It's a puzzle for me!


More preparation time has helped Portugal manage its coronavirus outbreak, and strict measures were taken.
From one day to another, services, schools, universities, shops, companies, bars, restaurants, etc. closed.
Also, people are obeying confinement measures, with some exceptions.
The country geographical conditions can be the main reason for Portugal not been as badly hit by COVID-19 as our neighbor Spain.
I wish deaths and infections start to slow down soon in the most punished countries. Press and health authorities say they are…
It's heart-breaking.


Angie Garbarino
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:35
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Sunday 19 April Apr 19

Deaths up a little again, and also up the day before, so we seem to be hovering between 500 and 600 a day for the duration. Usually on a Saturday we have the news at 9, and then a weekly round-up in Informe Semanal, but last night the wretched Sánchez was wheeled out again live from the official PM’s residence, Moncloa, for some pre-news news at a press conference. He gave a speech – “ … positive figures … grim times ahead … severe lockdown conditions for Spaniards and Spaniardesses... See more
Deaths up a little again, and also up the day before, so we seem to be hovering between 500 and 600 a day for the duration. Usually on a Saturday we have the news at 9, and then a weekly round-up in Informe Semanal, but last night the wretched Sánchez was wheeled out again live from the official PM’s residence, Moncloa, for some pre-news news at a press conference. He gave a speech – “ … positive figures … grim times ahead … severe lockdown conditions for Spaniards and Spaniardesses … we shall not falter … our health service heroes and heroines … light at the end of the tunnel … researchers and researcheresses working hard to find a vaccine … we shall prevail … solid hands-on administration by our doctors and doctoresses … help is on the way for our brave functionaries and functionariesses …” (yes, he does speak like that), and he fielded Tough Questions afterwards.

A question, as usual, broken down into two or three subquestions, would just about have fitted on a page of double-spaced A4, but the questions were as nothing compared to the answers. By the time a question had been asked and he had answered it, I realised a quarter of an hour had gone by and I had forgotten what the question was, or even whether he had answered it. But ignoring the question is politics, I suppose, and a lot of them are pretty good at that.

All this ran into news time, which started with what is now Coronavirus News, plus the inevitable - and pointless - analysis of Pedro’s speech, plus reactions to Pedro’s speech, plus reactions to the reactions to Pedro’s speech, all equally pointless, an array of experts on things coronavirus, rather less pointless, and ending up with sports news, which included “coverage” of the Athletic Bilbao-Real Sociedad Copa del Rey derby final, which should have been played yesterday in Sevilla, but obviously couldn’t be, but there was footage of Athletic/Real Sociedad flags and shirts on the balconies yesterday at 8 pm (tribute to our brave players, and playeresses too in the female Athletic and Real Sociedad teams), and finally the weather (the weather is the only slot that can’t mention coronavirus).

Guess what the weekly Informe Semanal round-up was about? Yes. Except they focused on how bad they have it elsewhere – Ecuador, with the bodies being left out in the streets, and Nicaragua, where Mr Ortega has finally resurfaced after a month away from the cameras. Not dead, then. Although he’d have had a nerve if he had died and had come back to say No problem, comrades. He claimed there had been 1,500 deaths in the last month, and only 1 coronavirus death. Some stuff! Naturally he can’t be lying because he’s the President, but let’s remember this is a country which pooh-poohed the problem from the start and positively encouraged social non-distancing? Somebody should be asking him how they do it, especially since it now seems the Chinese haven’t been completely up front about the whole thing and we don’t believe them just as much as we wanted to believe them before. But we need their spare mask, respirator and glove supplies now, so best not to rock the boat.

Ho-hum. Another 2K to finish. On the positive side, April’s not looking too bad workwise in the end.


[Edited at 2020-04-19 08:57 GMT]
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Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Anthony Keily
Local time: 18:35
Miembro
italiano al inglés
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@Christel Apr 19

Christel Zipfel wrote:


Coming back to Corona, it is difficult to understand why the mortality rate (I think it is called like that, I mean deaths per million) is so high for example especially in Lombardy (Italy), Madrid or NY, while Germany in a whole seems to get off for the moment rather cheaply, fortunately (don't get me wrong, I believe each dead is too much), and Portugal, so close to Spain, where the late Luis Sepúlveda has been infected, has relatively low numbers. Belgium, instead, has AFAIK one of the highest mortality rates worldwide (to say nothing of San Marino), much higher than in Spain. It's a puzzle for me!


You'll find lots of reasons for the "German phenomenon" in the international media and on the country's relatively low case fatality rate (number of deaths per confirmed infections) rather than the mortality rate (number of deaths per million inhabitants), but many of these articles are now a bit outdated due to the relative (only relative) normalising of the German figures. Really it's better to avoid questions such as why Belgium is "worse " than Germany because these sorts of discussions then often break down into ugly arguments based on nationality. Belgium is probably the only country that is releasing "raw" unconfirmed figures that include untested suspected cases of Covid19 (for example the UK yesterday announced a total to date of 15K confirmed hospital deaths, but an estimate was mentioned of a possible 7.5K additional deaths in care homes, which would have been included in the Belgian data).

Maybe it's more helpful, for example, to ask why Lombardy had such high fatality/mortality rates compared to most of the rest of Italy and the answer is that it was the first place in Europe to uncover a vast hidden cluster (the only comparable case would be the Madrid area). There had been Covid19 cases in Italy before, but these were isolated and limited using testing, identification of "patient 0" and contact tracing as suggested by the WHO (as also happened in the Bavarian car plant case or in the case of the famous UK "super-spreader"). The problem is that the WHO testing protocols limited testing to those who had been in contact with suspected sources of infection. Fortunately thanks to the insistence of one woman working in an ICU in the Lodi area "non-compliant" testing was eventually started and the Lombardy cluster was uncovered. She no doubt saved many thousands of lives. But by this stage the virus had been circulating for weeks and thousands of people had been infected.

Were there special conditions in south-east Lombardy that welcomed the virus? Probably the answer lies in the fact that it's a densely populated, heavily industrialised and polluted lowlands area that is also the logistical hub for that part of Europe (Amazon is based there), almost identical to Wuhan in China, to which it is linked by two daily direct Alitalia flights.

Because of the evident danger of the problem based on this initial cluster, Lombardy was partially closed down on 24 February and all of Italy was "fully" closed down on 9 March. This meant that the vast majority of regions that had relatively few cases had to adopt very strict measures at an early stage and this accounts for the relative limitation of the outbreak to the areas around the original clusters in the North and the relatively low mortality rates in much of the Peninsula.

This success can be seen in the fact that in my part of Lombardy, to the north, near Switzerland, hospitals continued to function normally and the province was able to helicopter in moveable intensive care patients who could not be cared for in the provinces directly affected. We are really only feeling the effects of the pandemic now, with the rest of Europe, despite the fact that Bergamo is only 50 km away.

I think that one problem with the cases after Lombardy was that just as Italy had been looking for the "Chinese connection", the rest of Europe and the world started to look for the "Italian skiing holiday connection" instead of testing based on suspect symptoms (although I suspect Madrid was basically a re-run of Lombardy). I think the "Italian skiing holiday connection" will eventually be seen as flawed also because the skiing resort areas here never had major clusters. The least affected provinces in Lombardy, certainly for the first month, were the three Alpine provinces where resorts are located.

[Edited at 2020-04-19 09:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-19 09:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-19 09:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-19 09:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-19 09:06 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
Angie Garbarino
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 18:35
Miembro
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PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Monday 20 April Apr 20

"We'll speed up tax refunds and taxpayers will have more money". It's a quote from the Bizkaia Provincial Council's Tax Secretary. Or Secretary of Taxation. Or Treasury Secretary. Or whatever. I forget how I translated it last, because I do more than a few translations for the local government here. Anything but Tax Deputy or Treasury Deputy. Deputy? Jesus H. Since the Provincial Council (best I can do) is Diputación Provincial (got it, Diputación? ...), the Main Man is the Diputado General, w... See more
"We'll speed up tax refunds and taxpayers will have more money". It's a quote from the Bizkaia Provincial Council's Tax Secretary. Or Secretary of Taxation. Or Treasury Secretary. Or whatever. I forget how I translated it last, because I do more than a few translations for the local government here. Anything but Tax Deputy or Treasury Deputy. Deputy? Jesus H. Since the Provincial Council (best I can do) is Diputación Provincial (got it, Diputación? ...), the Main Man is the Diputado General, which they have on their website as General Deputy. But then they have Deputy this and Deputy that and Deputy the other, Environment Deputy, Institutional Relations Deputy, Central Government Relations Deputy ... Not my translations, I assure you. But you all know how difficult it is to translate all that stuff ...

I've told them "Deputy" sounds crap. But they don't have the culture. In fact, the very word "Deputy" brings any "Deputy" down a peg here. And it could be more than one peg. Does anyone out there remember the wonderful, but in this case rather poignant, Deputy Dawg? Deputy Dawg was a dawg, FFS. And they didn't even pronounce it Dep-yoo-tee, as I remember. It was "Deppity Dawg". I even sent a Deputy Dawg video to the customer once. Deputy? WTF?

Or Deputy in the sense of the assistant sheriff in all those Westerns. Who always gets killed, too, early on, but afterwards Gary Cooper or someone blasts the bad guys to kingdom come before the gal swoons. But Gary, now he was the Sheriff. The Main Man. And Gary got the girl. He got all the best lines, too: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, honey, you hear me? So git, girl, you go on, yes you go on back to your house and you take care of old daddy, see? I'll be there by and by. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

But the Deputy, he don't get to do that, do he? No, only the Sheriff do. Does, I mean. Maybe I should suggest "Sheriff" from now on.

Anyway, I digress. What José María Iruarrizaga (for it was he, the aforemisdefined deppity) means is that we're all going to have more money. Whoopee. I had already heard that we don't have to pay our VAT until 1 June, too (usually we'd have to present first-quarter VAT round about now). They announced a round of cuts and rebates and grants and freebies and dildos and blow-up dolls, likely as not, on a first-come-first-served basis the other day, and apparently loads of people were sitting at their PCs at midnight to get in first when the clock struck twelve midnight and they could apply. I forget the figures now, but it was dismal. Thousands of people looking for very few slots. I wasn't among them (I have the dolls already). April hasn't been so bad, and it's going wellish still.

But I digress. Spain finally brought its deaths down to 410 yesterday. Not just below 500, but edging towards less than 400. Ain't life grand?
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expressisverbis
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
francés al inglés
North sea tigers Apr 20

When I was a little boy, my dad worked on the north sea oil rigs. At that time he earned more then a premiership footballer, in 2011 oil was $114 a barrel, today, and we should make a note of the day, today oil is worth LESS than $0. The economies of the world are going to have to find another cash crop, any ideas? Has anyone any idea what this could mean for the world economy? Sorry if this question is off track, but I mean really the world has gone insane, here is the proof. Where are we going... See more
When I was a little boy, my dad worked on the north sea oil rigs. At that time he earned more then a premiership footballer, in 2011 oil was $114 a barrel, today, and we should make a note of the day, today oil is worth LESS than $0. The economies of the world are going to have to find another cash crop, any ideas? Has anyone any idea what this could mean for the world economy? Sorry if this question is off track, but I mean really the world has gone insane, here is the proof. Where are we going?
Also I was going to ask, I can remember being told for at least 30 ears oil was going to run out soon, was that the biggest lie ever told?
What else have they lied about?




[Edited at 2020-04-20 20:26 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-20 20:27 GMT]
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Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco al inglés
+ ...
Economics Apr 20

Brian Joyce wrote:
What else have they lied about?

Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy?

Oil isn’t really worth less than nothing. Typical media bollocks. Soon the planes will start flying and things will be back to normal and oil prices will recover.

As for the economy... The “recession” in itself is not problematic. It just means we made less stuff. Well, we didn’t really need it anyway. Except maybe PPE.

The only problem is where firms go under and jobs are lost, because it will take time for other firms to pick up those workers. Hence the government chucking money at everyone to keep things afloat.

The world won’t actually have changed (much) post Covid. So don’t worry about the economy. It is pretty meaningless anyway. Growth is ultimately only a measure of greed.

All we need is health and a few basic necessities, like bikes and beer.


Dan Lucas
Mervyn Henderson
Apolonia Dermit
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
francés al inglés
Live on nothing Apr 20

Great idea Chris I'll come and live with you, it's not far, I'll get there on my BMX, we'll live in the woods off natures rich bounty, forget Covid, forget capitalism, forget politics, forget the media and the false hope it controls us with, forget football, forget Saturday night curry, forget holidays, forget the x box, forget Netflix, forget the latest mercedes, forget seeing Liam Gallagher play Old trafford, forget Brexit, forget social media and forget sick pay. At least until the vaccine ... See more
Great idea Chris I'll come and live with you, it's not far, I'll get there on my BMX, we'll live in the woods off natures rich bounty, forget Covid, forget capitalism, forget politics, forget the media and the false hope it controls us with, forget football, forget Saturday night curry, forget holidays, forget the x box, forget Netflix, forget the latest mercedes, forget seeing Liam Gallagher play Old trafford, forget Brexit, forget social media and forget sick pay. At least until the vaccine gets here, about 18 months I reckon.Collapse


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Tuesday 21 April Apr 21

Took a look at the thread when I logged on for work this morning to catch up on the stuff about the economy. Shunning the light, them ProZ economists, they come out at night, they do. They leave their burrows in search of hope, meaning and certainty. I know hope, meaning and certainty doesn’t mean much, but I had to make it a classic three, if you see what I mean, because it has to be three, and two will never do. I can just see Winston and his speechwriter agonising over that one:
... See more
Took a look at the thread when I logged on for work this morning to catch up on the stuff about the economy. Shunning the light, them ProZ economists, they come out at night, they do. They leave their burrows in search of hope, meaning and certainty. I know hope, meaning and certainty doesn’t mean much, but I had to make it a classic three, if you see what I mean, because it has to be three, and two will never do. I can just see Winston and his speechwriter agonising over that one:

I have nothing to offer you but sweat and blood – oh bollocks, no, how about – I have nothing to offer you but blood, and tears too – or it could be tears and blood? Or tears and sweat? No, Winston, it lacks a little punch … wait a minute, wait! Yes, it’s coming to me, no, don’t say anything, don’t interrupt my train of thought, yes, yes, it’s coming to me now, what we have to do, in a kind of, you know, symbolic symbolism to, er, symbolise the Big Three - you, FDR and nasty old Joe - is to stick in a Big Three of our own, sweat, blood and tears. Or tears, blood and sweat. Or even better, in alphabetical order, blood, sweat and tears. Yes, that’s it, blood, sweat and tears. Brilliant. You’ll knock the punters dead with that one, Win. Yes, Win. Now there’s something we could work in too. “Win with Winston.” Winston’s a Winner.” “Winston’s a Win.” “Winston is Win-Win.” All right, all right, maybe later …

Having said that, I reckon Chris S is right. So we’ve lost a month or two. It’ll pick up, you’ll see. Won’t be long before we’re back to normal, the rich much richer and the poor much poorer. Status Quo. I mean the group, of course. Remember that song: Again, again, again, again, oh bloody hell, not again, again, again, oh no, FFS, not again, again, again, again …

399 deaths yesterday. It’s hardly appropriate to add “Rejoice!!”, but you can’t say it’s not encouraging that Spain’s now looking back at the 400 mark in the rear-view mirror.

These days I’ve become an addict to Law & Order UK. I can’t hack the original US version, it’s too sharp-suited for me. But in either version, I have to keep an eye on the kind of talk they talk. I have to rewind occasionally to recap and understand my own language, too, what with all the copper jargon they throw in in the UK version:

“This geezah got any form, Matty?

“Yer, guv, a few stretches ‘e has. Went dahn for A&B and GBH, plus the odd bit of D&D, but gone straight since then. Put an APB out on ‘im, so uniform’s lookin’ to get eyes on ‘im right now.”

It’s not so much the acronyms as the fast chirpy Cockney talk, though. By the time my brain's figured out the actual utterances with all the glottal stops and H-shedding, it has to deal with the subtext. Anuvvah episode this offftah, I mean another episode this afternoon …


[Edited at 2020-04-21 06:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-21 08:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-21 08:31 GMT]
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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More economists Apr 21

Over the last few years I've met a few people who, when asked what they did for a crust, told me they were "economists" at their company. Now, my idea of an economist is Stiglitz, Krugman, Keynes and the like, but as far as I know they don't work at a company. They write books on it and so on, or articles in the press.

Either the models are changing and companies really do have "economists" now, or what they really mean is that they're accountants, but economist sounds miles better
... See more
Over the last few years I've met a few people who, when asked what they did for a crust, told me they were "economists" at their company. Now, my idea of an economist is Stiglitz, Krugman, Keynes and the like, but as far as I know they don't work at a company. They write books on it and so on, or articles in the press.

Either the models are changing and companies really do have "economists" now, or what they really mean is that they're accountants, but economist sounds miles better. I just can't see that name plate on the door saying "Mr Fred Bloggs - Economist", but I could go with "Mr Fred Bloggs - Accountant". Evidently a better class of name would help. "Mr. Aloysius Q. Ravensdale - Economist".

Am I wrong? Does anyone else know an "economist" who works at whatever an economist does at a company?
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TonyTK
alemán al inglés
+ ...
Sorry to confuse any Americans here Apr 21

Brian Joyce wrote:

... forget seeing Liam Gallagher play Old trafford ...


You had me worried there for a second. You mean Emirates Old Trafford, don't you - i.e. the Lancashire cricket ground - not Old Trafford as in Theatre of Dreams. Never happen. Liam is a massive fan of the soap-dodgers ...


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia y Herzegovina
Local time: 18:35
alemán al serbio
+ ...
Economist vs. accountant. Apr 21

Have you been told they were an economist by a non-native English speaker? Sounds like a literal translation/false friends type of thing.

 
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