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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Poor trading conditions.

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EdwinSm, View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 20 2020 at 11:21pm

One of the main beneficiaries of "Opening Up the Economy" in the early stages are supposed to be the restaurants and bars.  Here in Finland they will open soon.

Interestingly, on last night's tv news there was a long section on how the restaurants etc have done in Sweden where they were never closed.   The data from Stockholm (which is also the part of the country worst hit) shows that trade is down 60%.   This is because Sweden is relying on people voluntarily keeping their distance, and it seems that many are doing that.  The other reason given (twice in the report) was that people have less money.   The decline in trade has lead to many people in the industry loosing their jobs.

Based on Sweden's experience, I think many people will be disappointed with the economic benefit of opening up, as many will still want to keep their distance (and stay at home, as people on this site have written), or that they do not have the money to eat and drink out as much as they did before.   

If my expectations prove to be too pessimistic, then it probably would be because people do not have the internal discipline to change former behaviours.  As one person said [in this case about a young man who had paid sex without precautions] "The fear of loneliness was greater than the fear of death".  

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CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2020 at 11:59pm

Originally posted by EdwinSm, EdwinSm, wrote:

One of the main beneficiaries of "Opening Up the Economy" in the early stages are supposed to be the restaurants and bars.  Here in Finland they will open soon.

Interestingly, on last night's tv news there was a long section on how the restaurants etc have done in Sweden where they were never closed.   The data from Stockholm (which is also the part of the country worst hit) shows that trade is down 60%.   This is because Sweden is relying on people voluntarily keeping their distance, and it seems that many are doing that.  The other reason given (twice in the report) was that people have less money.   The decline in trade has lead to many people in the industry loosing their jobs.

Based on Sweden's experience, I think many people will be disappointed with the economic benefit of opening up, as many will still want to keep their distance (and stay at home, as people on this site have written), or that they do not have the money to eat and drink out as much as they did before.   

If my expectations prove to be too pessimistic, then it probably would be because people do not have the internal discipline to change former behaviours.  As one person said [in this case about a young man who had paid sex without precautions] "The fear of loneliness was greater than the fear of death".  

Brilliant post, thank you!  I didn't know you were in Finland, and they are having spectacular success against COVID-19 from what I've read.  What are the Finns doing right that the rest of us aren't? 

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ksc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote ksc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2020 at 1:37am

"What are the Finns doing right that the rest of us aren't"?  

Finland run by 5 parties led by women, 4 of whom are under age 35


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ksc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2020 at 1:42am

Now if we could muzzle Trump and have our First Lady do the talking, more people might listen

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EdwinSm, View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2020 at 3:35am

What are the Finns doing right?   

Well, one thing was the country wide lock down occurred before there were 10 deaths.   [I suppose we can thank Italy and France for showing what the effect of the virus could be.]

When cases started rising fast in the capital region there was a total lock down of that region with no traffic in or out.  This internal lock down / isolation lasted about two weeks, with a large police force manning the roads at the boundry of the region.

Another thing is that the government has followed the advise of the chief medical officers, who were given prime TV time to explain things.

Then there is geography, being reasonably far from the first European cases (this is an "accident of history" rather than any action).  Also in a country that is sparsely populated the spread would be slower than in the cramped quarters of major cities.

There has been clear communications. The prime minister has done very well at this (and it is showing in the polls). At the same time the other leaders have not tried to turn it into a political issue even if they are loosing voters to the prime minister's party.  The prime minister took over just before the corvid19 crisis when the previous party leader was very unpopular (and the party doing badly).  I was worried that she might have been too inexperienced to handle this but she has surprised me [some times it is good to be proved wrong].  

Lock down here was easier to do than in some other countries as only a minority of people come by land routes (in the north from Sweden, and a few crossings from Russia which are mostly in the south east near St Petersburg).  

On the political front, Finland has a "Constitutional Committee" made up of members of all parties whose job is to see if any proposed law actually contravenes the constitution.  People pay attention to this committee and its approval of the lock-downs helped the population to accept it.  Similarly the extra isolation of the capital region was lifted earlier than the Prime Minister had earlier announced because the situation improved so fast that the conditions allowing extra-ordinary actions were no longer valid, and to prolong the isolation would therefore be "unconstitutional."


[ps. As I have kept my UK citizenship, I am not able to vote for any of the five lovely ladies heading up the government parties - I am, however, allowed a vote in local elections]

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KiwiMum View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2020 at 12:37pm

New Zealand has done much the same as Finland, and I wonder if it's pure coincidence that we also have a young female prime minister? We started our lockdown before we had any deaths and we currently have 35 active cases with only one person in hospital and we've had 21 deaths in total. We were able to move to level 2 of our lockdown protocol last week. Level 4 is the highest and we spent 5 weeks in total lock down with every one staying at home. The last case of community spread we had was in early April.  Level 2 means we've reopened restaurants and bars but with social distancing and table service only. Hopefully we'll move to level 1 in a few weeks time. 

But I'm sure that our island location has been a major factor in our success. We don't get illegal immigrants here because we are too remote. I'm not sure if a land locked country or a country with land boundaries to another would be able to stop the disease. Europe, even if it acted unilaterally, would struggle because of it's leaky borders and all the immigrants who can walk in. It's a terrible situation.

You can't fix stupid.
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