134

The short answer to this question is that 2019-nCoV is new. All the other diseases you mentioned are known quantities: epidemiologists have a good idea how they behave, how they spread, what is likely to happen in a variety of different scenarios, etc. But this disease represents a new mutation that behaves differently from other coronaviruses. It's far more ...


68

Many countries are seeking to move to a system of 100% voluntary (unpaid) blood donations, and many others already have; according to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Blood Safety and Availability 2016, fifty-seven countries reported collecting 100% (or more than 99%) of their blood supply from voluntary non-remunerated donations. The ...


66

Respectfully, I think complacency is misplaced. Malaria is locale-specific, and doesn't really affect rich first world countries. While it certainly could receive better funding, it is also easy to see why it doesn't affect the average European or American much. HIV/AIDS is partially tied to lifestyle and one is at low risk if not in a risk category. In ...


65

The spread of the pandemic can be reduced by reducing contacts between infected and uninfected people. Since many infected are unaware of their infection, the goal is to reduce contacts between people in general. (Few countries have enough testing capacity to reliably identify the infected part of their population.) The maximum reduction of contacts would be ...


54

In hindsight it's clear that many governments should have taken the risk of a Covid19 pandemic much more seriously, but it's not that easy to anticipate the reach and intensity of the epidemic before it happens. There have been other serious threats before for which the containment strategy proved sufficient, and if a government allocates resources (for ...


54

Arguably, the United States of America has. Sort of. It's confusing. The federal government, or rather the president and some of his cabinet, has largely left the response up to individual states. It's less of a conclusion, and more a result of chaos and denial at the Federal level. It is difficult to write this up in a neutral tone, to find sources with ...


47

Future potential For a new disease, it doesn't matter how many infected or dead people there have been as of now, it matters how much infected or dead people can we expect in the future if we don't do anything. It's possible and plausible to stop a new disease before it reaches it's full potential. If we stop a new "malaria-2" before it has the chance to ...


42

The reason for Sweden's rather hands-off approach compared to other European countries was summed up rather well by lead epidemiologist of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Anders Tegnell, who said in an interview with CNBC: My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much ...


41

Another possibility, ignoring fears of infection, is that the country doesn't want their citizens to become stranded in another country if flights are suspended at a later date. For example, on Monday, March 30th, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced a £75m plan to charter flights to repatriate stranded Britons, and also advised any citizens still ...


37

Events like parties, clubbing, concerts, etc happen past curfew. These events have the potential to infect a lot of people. The problem with such superspreader events isn't just the number of people they infect but also that they also serve as additional bridges between different social circles.


33

While discussions on lifting restrictions have already been started (here in Germany they were initiated by opposition parties), there is no sane politician that would announce a concrete plan. Even the opposition politicians initiating the debate do not want to name any dates, and would rather use a vague "as early as possible". Nobody knows when the peak ...


31

For a detailed analysis of the dynamics in Congress see ProPublica's piece, "How Tea Party Budget Battles Left the National Emergency Medical Stockpile Unprepared for Coronavirus". Dire shortages of vital medical equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile that are now hampering the coronavirus response trace back to the budget wars of the Obama ...


27

Arguably, Russia did. Traditional Russian response to any problem in the last 20 years is to do everything on federal level to be able to praise V. V. Putin. All decision making process is centralized. However, nCoV pandemic with its restrictions of public freedoms and economic activity seems to be too toxic for that, so it's one of very rare cases where ...


25

There can be different motivations for this, ranging from mere bureaucratic "ostrich" cover-up, i.e. hope it goes away, which is probably what happened at city level in Wuhan in the early days, to more "rational" decisions not to do anything (or to implement limited/gradual responses), where "rational" means you have some other ...


23

The other answers were about general problems with having a market for blood, but the specific context of your question adds even more problems. If viral antibodies being present in blood elevates its market value, what's to prevent someone from attempting to deliberately infect themselves in the hopes of recovering and then selling their now very expensive ...


21

“I think that to live is inherently to take risks. I’m not concerned about this virus any more than I am about the flu.” To explain this: when you live, you are taking risks. For example: By going to work, you are traveling. By traveling you are running the risk of being knocked down by a car. By walking, you are running the risk of falling and breaking a ...


21

There are laws that are meant to prevent people from hurting themselves. Examples: Prohibition of advertising for cigarettes (or forcing cigarette packs to contain images of lung cancer sufferers, etc) Minimum age for driving, drinking, etc Minimum age of consent Financial literacy tests before people are allowed to buy options in the stock market ...


21

In my country (Bulgaria), paid blood donorship is forbidden. What the donor gets is a pack of food/drinks/snacks and 2 paid days off (days off are at the expense of the employer, as the law is from communist times, but most employers don't oppose). Then again, there is a stable black market of donor blood because voluntary donorship is simply not enough. It'...


20

So what was Fauci talking about precisely in there? Did he mean all live animal markets? Has he given any other statements on the matter that might shed light on this? In a JAMA1 audio interview (transcript available), January 23, 2020, Dr. Fauci suggests "wild game". HB: Is there something unique about the coronavirus that has allowed this jump? ...


18

No, there are no detailed plans. Let me describe the current situation: We are up in the air, flying by visual flight rules through a dense fog of unclear data. We try not to hit the mountain, but we don't know how high it is. Some people say it's just a hill like all the others. We don't even know our own altitude. We were forced to shut down one engine to ...


18

This particular protest is far more localized and gained publicity because of the unusual circumstances surrounding it. Most states have closed "non-essential" businesses. That usually includes stores that only sell things like clothing, electronics, furniture, etc. Grocery stores are, of course, essential and are allowed to remain open. The catch ...


17

There are a number of reasons that a country would want to restrict outbound flights. Firstly, there is the issue of getting to the airport to catch the flight. Someone catching a flight will interact with a transport provider (taxi driver, car rental company, etc), check-in staff, security staff, passport control, gate staff, and others. These additional ...


17

If the (reopened, but still rather unclear to me) question is why is the news media prioritizing this, the answer is (duh) because it's new. If the question is why is China prioritizing this, e.g. building an entire hospital for it in Wuhan... look no further of how the problem is being politicized elsewhere: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday ...


16

This Forbes article sheds some light upon the Sweden's strange response to COVID-19: There seems to be no agreed action plan: The crux of the argument put forth by Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s Chief Epidemiologist, and other leaders is essentially that nobody really knows what approach works best for a virus like this, and that the difference in outcomes ...


16

It's a tradeoff between two things: the harm prevented by the law, and the freedom exercised (or harm tolerated) without the law. While I won't echo the existing answers, I will say that the harm prevented is fairly substantial and potentially lethal to more than just the victim. In contrast, the freedom infringed upon is tiny: Unless your helmet is damaged ...


14

Probably because prior WHO research was rather skeptical of their ultimate effectiveness: Screening and quarantining entering travelers at international borders did not substantially delay virus introduction in past pandemics, except in some island countries, and will likely be even less effective in the modern era. That paper was co-authored (on behalf of ...


13

In New Zealand, where I live there is a pretty good long term framework as least if not a plan. Save lives manage the spread until a vaccine is available. The government has communicated that this 'Event' will last about 18 months maybe even 2 years. So has implemented a 4 Level system. https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/ Level ...


13

In addition they probably don't care about infecting and killing others much. The fact that infecting others is a (negative) externality is being much discussed by economists in such context; see related q here. And the propagation of memes like "boomer doomer" etc. attests to that. See also some quotes in this q which a few of those at the receiving end of ...


12

Right now, as Covid-19 is on-going, they can't do very much to prepare for a hypothetical Covid-??. However, once the Covid-19 situation has ended, then it would be vital to do a thorough analysis of what worked, and didn't work in the Covid-19 situation. This is one of the reasons, why the East-Asian countries, such as Hong Kong or Korea have fared so well ...


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