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Tom Speirs

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6 hours ago, RIP-Felix said:

Will someone please explain the TP raid!!!

Seriously WTF???

You must be kidding, right?

 

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Unless you are sneezing and coughing so hard you are shitting yourself, there's no reason to hoard all the TP and every reason to check into the nearest ER because you probably have something worse than COVID-19!

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Some absurdities are humorous to me, and some of the reactions to the pandemic defy all logic and common sense. 

On a more serious note, we are waiting for more businesses to be ordered for lockdown. 

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We are all affected globally by this and in this together and are in slightly different stages by state and country..

Stay chipper etc! Anyway, you nerds probably seen this already

 

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On a serious note (honestly) I would all urge you all to look after yourselves. I've been battling with this as over the past week or so- how seriously to take this. I was hospitalised last year and received two diagnoses of chronic conditions: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Wegeners (a respiratory condition). I'm presently on immuno-supressants. It made me realise how fragile health is. However, I'm also still going out to pick up groceries (I live alone) and thinking about how I'm goign to do my job when I go back to work next week (I work for the NHS). 

Someone I respect has just told me to take this all very seriously (and he's no drama queen), so I'm think I'm going to "Shield" myself away. 

Funny really, if you'd have told me 4 weeks ago that I was going to have to lock myself indoors, order in all the time and have no contact with people, I'd have advised you that you'd just described heaven. Now it tastes a little sour....

Look after yourselves, guys - I suspect there may be a few chronic, auto-immune or respiratory conditions amongst us - let those who it wont effect do the leg work for once. 

Well enough seriousness nor now. I'm off to give myself a peanut. 

range-peanuts.png

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3 minutes ago, stigzler said:

On a serious note (honestly) I would all urge you all to look after yourselves. I've been battling with this as over the past week or so- how seriously to take this. I was hospitalised last year and received two diagnoses of chronic conditions: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Wegeners (a respiratory condition). I'm presently on immuno-supressants. It made me realise how fragile health is. However, I'm also still going out to pick up groceries (I live alone) and thinking about how I'm goign to do my job when I go back to work next week (I work for the NHS). 

Someone I respect has just told me to take this all very seriously (and he's no drama queen), so I'm think I'm going to "Shield" myself away. 

Funny really, if you'd have told me 4 weeks ago that I was going to have to lock myself indoors, order in all the time and have no contact with people, I'd have advised you that you'd just described heaven. Now it tastes a little sour....

Look after yourselves, guys - I suspect there may be a few chronic, auto-immune or respiratory conditions amongst us - let those who it wont effect do the leg work for once. 

Well enough seriousness nor now. I'm off to give myself a peanut. 

range-peanuts.png

Completely agree. This is not a conspiracy theory or fake news. It is very real. Be nice and look out for each other. Consider peoples mental health too.

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Thanks, @stigzler. My hat is off to you for enduring what you've had to please take care.

Growing up being alone and to myself was not a problem. The running joke in the family is that I was going to be old fat and lonely living in Mom's basement. Feeding would be sliding the occasional pizza under the door. 

Now it is, as you say, sour. We really don't realize how many freedoms we have until they are stripped away. Even if you don't use them, knowing they are no longer there feeds the anxiety.

Have a peanut, my friend and know that you and the rest of my friends here are in my prayers for recovery and safety during these trying times.

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Try being me guys.  I work in a grocery store deli.  It has been HORRIBLE for me.  Please be kind, considerate, respectful, and THANKFUL for those of us putting our lives on the line working every day to make sure you get your necessities.  Hat's off to you @stigzler.  Hang in there buddy.  As for the rest of you, please just take a moment to thank those workers on the front lines making sure your family gets what it needs.  We don't need pissed off people arguing at us about why something isn't the way it is.  We're doing our best.  We know we're out of stock already, you don't have to tell us lol.

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4 minutes ago, hansolo77 said:

Try being me guys.  I work in a grocery store deli.  It has been HORRIBLE for me.  Please be kind, considerate, respectful, and THANKFUL for those of us putting our lives on the line working every day to make sure you get your necessities.  Hat's off to you @stigzler.  Hang in there buddy.  As for the rest of you, please just take a moment to thank those workers on the front lines making sure your family gets what it needs.  We don't need pissed off people arguing at us about why something isn't the way it is.  We're doing our best.  We know we're out of stock already, you don't have to tell us lol.

Well done buddy. Thank you.

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We laugh at germophobes like Howie Mandel, then something like this happens and we become just like him.  If you didn't know to cover your cough and wash your hands by now,  I guess the silver lining is now you do. We shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking we'll get past this. SARS and MERS are both coronavirus, this is just a new version of them. Global outbreaks occur all the time. Seasonal flu kills up to 650,000 people every year (a global pandemic we've gotten used to living with), but we allow big pharma to custom tailor a vaccine each year to the specific strain so they can profit from seasonal immunity (this year's was only about %50 effective), instead of developing broadly effective vaccines that would eradicate the flu once and for all. H1N1 and Ebola are still out there. Even the measles made a comeback last year, a disease we thought was eradicated in the 60s and for which there exists an effective vaccine.

We are living on the razors edge of life every day. People are freaking out now because coronavirus reminded them of this unsettling truth. I just don't understand why this one gained global traction. I'm not saying we're over reacting, This is how we should be responding to any global crisis. I'm just wondering why the collective world choose to respond decisively to this virus and not all the others? If we put this kind of importance on global warming, imagine what we could accomplish. I don't buy the argument that it's too difficult, we just lack the desire to do anything about it. 

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@hansolo77 - you, buddy, are one of the front-line. All the focus is on the NHS (and i know it well - it doesn't surprise me - it is its own best promoter ;) ), but there's an army of other's that will be needed over the next 6 months to a year. Food manufacturers, deliver drivers, logistics firms, IT people, pharmaceutical manufacturers etc etc. These are all heroes. Thanks for the risks you're taking, Hans. 

@RIP-Felix - I do take your points about how this throws 'market forces' into relief and it's maybe a real opportunity to stop and ask "wait, what do we really need?" Things like a 4 day working week and basic universal income may become more "considerable" if we manage to exist through 6 months of difference. However, my understanding is that this is a true pandemic, and not linked with the usual suspects - 3 times more potent than flu and also on a similar contagion scale to thresholds for such a classification. Apparently, we tend to get 3 a century and one was due.

Good point about global warming! In some ways this is simpler than that - limit contact and transmission + we're done in a set period of time. Now, asking people to invest in the short term to save in the long term - that's a different issue (especially when 'value' is commonly linked to money, not quality of life). 

As I sit here in my warm house with food in my fridge, I feel privileged. There are refugees and people in significant poverty out there who have no access to medical services, can't avoid residential overcrowding. These are the people we need to be thinking about.

Oh yeah - and you IT guys - you're also the front line. What a fantastic opportunity for innovations. Raspberry Pi zeros, a $10 LCD screen and a $3 webcam, anyone?

< steps off soap box

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$3 webcam?! If you want a webcam get it now. Even now ebay is your only choice! That goes for anything non essential too. Get it now if it is important to your mental health.

I actually feel very privileged and lucky too. Although I normally do. 

I don't currently see any problems with here staying open either as things are just so you know. I [plan to keep very busy too. Im blessed to be able to do that.

Im just helping my sister move her work to purely online then im back to this stuff.

What do you think of what I have done?

https://sue.speirs.net

 

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Keep up the great work @hansolo77 and try not to let the assholes out there bring you down!  Surprisingly, it seems down in my neck of the woods that people are actually being more kind to one another.  Amazing how such a reality check can show you how unimportant so many things we get tore up over really are.

@stigzler, that's really scary dude!  Hoping speedy recovery for you with an extremely extended purple patch :D

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If there is a positive I can grab for now, seeing my sisters coming together after years of estrangement is something I wasn't expecting. 

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Yeah my job is just ridiculous.  We've had to change our operating hours to close earlier and open later just so we can have time to restock our shelves.  Of course, customers don't understand that.  They wonder why I'm able to walk past the 30+ line of people waiting to get in and just open the door so I can start my day.  They're pounding on the doors 5 minutes till open time demanding they get let in.  Then the stress starts, hearing announcements over the intercom every 10 minutes saying "we got 20 minutes guys", "10 minutes to go", "5 minutes left", "here they come!".  Then you see a freaking cattle herd running through the store with people grabbing up everything they possibly can.  The meat department guys across the way trying to tell customers there's a limit of 3 items total (beef, chicken, fish, whatever, 3 total, not 3 each).  Every single customer has like 8 packs of family size hamburger in their carts.  Then the idiots try to come to the deli counter and just stand there like they don't know how to read.  We have a sign in bright red color that says the deli counter opens at 8.  But the customers still come to the counter at 7:03 demanding service.  Like, I just walked in the door.  I have an hour to get other things done before management comes in wanting to know why "this" or "that" isn't done yet.  But apparently, our store manager (top leader) doesn't understand things either.  I had a customer last Friday literally argue with me and my department head about how the sign says 7:00 (store hours) and never saw the deli sign.  When we tried to explain it, she got so pissed, yelled that we're just standing around not doing anything, and was going to complain.  10 minutes later the guy opening the service counter up front comes up and tells me to cut stuff for her.  I make more money than him, I'll be damned if I'm going to stop what I'm doing to make things easier for him because he can't deal with an upset customer.  Rules have to be followed or anarchy ensues.  My department head then flipped on him and said "well, what if I come to your counter at 7:30 and demand a money order, you gonna tell me no too?  Seems like rules only apply to you and not others".  The end result of that scene was the store manager coming to me and telling me "that scene was completely unnecessary.  That if a customer wants something, we stop what we're doing and help them, even if we're not open yet.  We want their money, we don't turn them away."  The whole rest of the day we're all like "whats the point of closing earlier and opening later if our company is so greedy they want customer's money rather than getting our job done?"  Apparently, we should be open 24/7 and not worry about stocking shelves and getting the departments ready for opening.  It's chaos,  Truth is, management gets a bonus if the store exceeds a set income for the week, and he's just being greedy and expects to get more on his bonus by selling that extra 2 pounds to a customer an hour before we're open.  To make matters worse, they're still treating our employees like drones, not willing to listen to excuses for calling off or being sick.  We're told we're not allowed to wear face masks and gloves because it promotes the idea that we're sick to our customers.  And yet, management is practicing social distancing by locking themselves in their offices and not coming out, but just answering escalated calls.  It's sickening.  But on the plus side, they did give us a $25 store credit last week, to spend on specific restricted necessities (of which was all sold out by the time I could get some).  I'm just so tired, exhausted, and sick of it all.

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We reap what we sow and the world's going to feel incredibly ugly for a while. We've allowed capitalism, consumerism and a sense of entitlement flourish as the guiding moral principles in this world and I'm afraid it's good people like yourself, Hans that are going to get it. You don't deserve it, just stick to your own morals which presumably are treating people with respect. Pause, breath and repeat the position. That's all you can do. Do not let others escalate you. They have no entitlement or power over how you react or when you respond. 

I'm really grateful to people like you, Hans and to be honest, I really need people like you at the moment else I would starve. Please look after yourself and keep yourself well for us all. 

As a funny aside, a Deli assistant was my very first job! White waxed hat, meat slicer, cheese wire and all! I could hit half a pound of cheese every time! Hated changing that cheese wire though! Loved meat slicing - (mmmm offcuts!)

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I know that even though I am not the hunter and fisherman that my dad, uncles and grandparents were, I recall enough to put into practice what they shared to live off the land if I had to.  Events like this will change you in several ways, some healthy and others not so much. As an example, I recently bought a new car. I shared some pics of it with my sisters. One of them said that it was "very nice and they were glad that I am happy." to which I responded "Satisfied with my purchase, yes. Happy is relative and I am less dependent upon things to make me so." 

So what makes me "happy" in this dress rehearsal for the zombie apocalypse?  I am happy because I have a beautiful wife that loves me for being me - grumpy bear and all. I am happy that I have (most) of my faculties and can apply what I have learned to make a decent wage and help people in a hobby I enjoy in my down time. I am happy with the friendships I have made here over the years. Some have moved on and I am grateful for the time they were a part of my life because I came out the better because of their presence. 

I hope that we all make it to the other side of this stronger physically and at heart. As one of the earlier posts said - Don't let them nick your bog roll! Stay the great people that you are!

P.S. Here are a few pics of my satisfying purchase - a 2019 Hyundai Kona IRON MAN edition:

 

20200301_101952.jpg

20200301_101918.jpg

20200301_102100.jpg

20200301_102028.jpg

20200302_154649.jpg

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23 hours ago, stigzler said:

...my understanding is that this is a true pandemic, and not inked with the usual suspects - 3 times more potent than flu and also on a similar contagion scale to thresholds for such a classification. Apparently, we tend to get 3 a century and one was due.

Good point about global warming! In some ways this is simpler than that - limit contact and transmission + we're done in a set period of time. Now, asking people to invest in the short term to save in the long term - that's a different issue (especially when 'value' is commonly linked to money, not quality of life).

I don't mean to sound like we're over reacting. I just want poeple to understand the importance of basic hygiene and not becoming complacent. One of the annoying things about viruses is that they mutate as they circulate in the population (in and among people, to and from animals). There is the seasonal flu on a normal year that doesn't rise to the level of an epidemic (we've gotten used to having 600,000 people drop dead every year, no sense in bothering the rest of us with it unless it's abnormally bad), then there are years where it's virulence is higher leading to epidemics and additional deaths above the basal rate (then we start to take notice). And there are pandemic outbreaks like the "swine" flu outbreak in 2009 (H1N1). The "flu" is Influenza virus A, H1N1 is a subtype of which there are many variants (or mutations). "Spanish" Flu of 1918 was one such H1N1 variant, which caused serious illness in 20-30% of those who contracted it and mortality in 3-10%. It remains to be seen if we've can prevent that kind of impact).

This is a serious outbreak requiring a serious reaction, but coronaviruses are nothing new. They were discovered in the 1960s and many exist. Three recent examples you've probably heard of are SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and 2019-nCoV (the novel beta coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which is basically an iteration of SARS). A few more common ones you've likely not heard of are 229E (an alpha coronavirus), NL63 (another alpha coronavirus), OC43 (a beta coronavirus), and HKU1 (another beta coronavirus). They tend to cause local epidemics, but not global pandemics - not that they couldn't, as we've learned.

The point is that we have been living with the threat of new viral outbreaks for as long as history has been recorded. Before we understood what was killing us and how it spreads, many more people died. Now that we do, we don't have an excuse! Basic Hygiene (for both people and our livestock) is the most important part. It mitigates the conditions under which new viruses evolve and make the jump to humans. However, once a novel virus does appear, quarantine procedures can prevent/slow the spread (flatten the curve), allowing medical intervention to minimize the death toll in serious cases. Vaccines and ventilators are the last line of defense. Basic hygiene is the first. We're currently caught in the middle stage right now, the part where we either do a good job of quarantining to flatten the curve, or don't and more people die than could have been avoided. We need to buy the medical community time to treat the inflow of patient while a vaccine (or heard immunity) is developed. That's why we're taking such draconian action - to prevent another Spanish flu. So far I'm very encouraged by the response.

You all should be commended for your attitude and willingness to make sacrifices. You are saving lives by doing so!

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The wet market has got to go.  We're lucky it hasn't happened sooner and more often than it has.

 

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China in particular has a such a large population of poor rural farmers and ranchers that need the income they make off wet markets. I mean, you gotta give it to china, they're industrializing and modernizing quick, they just have so many people that the challenge is nearly insurmountable. And it's not like the world is going vegan anytime soon! There are many dirty markets all over the world where conditions could be better, but it's such a difficult thing to crack down on when the most affected people are poor.

In short, it's hard to ensure a pig doesn't mire in bat droppings. It's even harder to give up bacon! We need to be prepared for this to happen again.

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16 hours ago, Draco1962 said:

 

20200301_101918.jpg~]

I know I'm always banging on about capitalism, but gotta say - awesome motor! What I really want to know is whether there's a Jarvis inside?

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Typically I am not a slave to "keeping up with the Joneses." An example, my current gaming PC is used kit and showing its age. I will probably keep going with it until it stops working.

The car was different. My wife jokingly calls it my "mid-life crisis" has a JARVIS  launching graphic on the HUD that rises from the dash. Otherwise, no sounds or voice. They could have used a voice similar to JARVIS or FRIDAY, but no. ☹

As for mutation in COVID-19, it already has. The S-Type was the original that originated in Wuhan province and is less prevalent. Likely this mutated to the more aggressive L-Type that is more prevalent and deadly. This kind of mutation is not uncommon once a virus as already made the jump from one species to another.

 

giphy (4).gif

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