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GuyBarry
1345613.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:22 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
No. Pandemics happen a fairly small percentage of the time.


To say that I am gobsmacked is an understatement. It has taken me a week to respond to this, and all I can say is that it is without doubt the most crass, insensitive, stupid comment I have ever seen in thirty years on the internet.

And you are the moderator of this forum. Utter shame on you.

I haven't taken part much recently for a number of reasons but I am cancelling my membership immediately.

EDIT: I can't find a facility on the board for doing so. Please delete my account.

 
barbados
1345615.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:56 pm Reply with quote

What is it about the comment that smacked your gob?
As far as Corona pandemics, there have been 3, SARS, MERS, and now Covid.
The most prevalant pandemic is HIV, there has been 1 HIV pandemic.
The most common viral illness, influenza, the last influenza pandemic was 10 years ago, and the one before that 40 years previous.

I'm pretty sure it is safe to suggest that pandemics are very small in frequency.

 
PDR
1345620.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:12 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:

I'm pretty sure it is safe to suggest that pandemics are very small in frequency.


I couldn't possibly agree with that.

Frequencies can be enumerated so they can't be small, only low. Or infrequent.

PDR

 
barbados
1345621.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:15 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps that was the cause of the gobsmacking?

 
PDR
1345622.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:16 pm Reply with quote

Well to be strictly accurate frequencies can't be infrequent, but the things whose frequency is being counted can, which is what I meant.

PDR


Last edited by PDR on Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
PDR
1345623.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:21 pm Reply with quote

Actually thinking about it frequencies CAN be infrequent - in the sense of "FM radio frequencies are all spoken for, and their availability for re-sale is pretty infrequent", but that's not really applicable here.

PDR

 
PDR
1345624.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:35 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Perhaps that was the cause of the gobsmacking?


Or more likely the effect.

PDR

 
barbados
1345625.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:41 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Actually thinking about it frequencies CAN be infrequent - in the sense of "FM radio frequencies are all spoken for, and their availability for re-sale is pretty infrequent", but that's not really applicable here.

PDR

Surely any frequency that occurs rarely are infrequent.
For example a frequency of 0.000000000003.154e+7Hz is an infrequent frequency.
Unless you know different ;)

 
suze
1345626.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:55 pm Reply with quote

Coming back to the actual topic of the thread, let us suppose that we are indeed designing the next Milton Keynes. Should we, or should we not, build into it features that are only necessary if we suppose that one or more pandemic incidents will occur?

To build a city on the assumption that it hardly ever rains would be a foolish thing to do in practically all of the inhabited world. Parts of Chile and Peru are the nearest to an exception, but even there they put roofs on their houses.

But in Britain we do build on the assumption that earthquakes hardly ever happen. If Milton Keynes suffered a major earthquake (for geological reasons this is very unlikely, but not completely impossible) it would fall down. Houses on the west coast of North America are built differently to take account of the higher earthquake risk.

Similarly, in the south of England we build on the assumption that it hardly ever snows (and this has been a snow free winter in the south of England, although the first one for a decade). In Maine and Switzerland they really don't.

When we design our cities at present, do we consider the possibility of a pandemic event? If we do not, will we now start to?

 
barbados
1345628.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:14 pm Reply with quote

Why would we need to?
If you build against a hundred year storm, then there will inevitably a higher cost. At what point does the cost of insuring outweigh the benefit of insuring?

 
PDR
1345632.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:53 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Coming back to the actual topic of the thread,


Aw, Miiiiss - our normal teacher lets us do it <pout>


Quote:
let us suppose that we are indeed designing the next Milton Keynes. Should we, or should we not, build into it features that are only necessary if we suppose that one or more pandemic incidents will occur?


Actually we don't need to just think of pandemics. High-density living usually has an associated increased risk of spreading all sorts of microbial, bacterial and viral conditions. Especially if there is any element of common ventilation (air conditioning or heating) or water supply - the classic large resort hotel creates a huge risk of legionnaire's disease if it gets into either the air-conditioning water (or the hot water system if people shower rather than bathe). High density living does the exact opposite of social distancing and so increases the risk of onward transmission and the exponential co-efficient of the transmission rate (the closer people live together the steeper the curve).

Quote:

Similarly, in the south of England we build on the assumption that it hardly ever snows (and this has been a snow free winter in the south of England, although the first one for a decade). In Maine and Switzerland they really don't.


We had a brief snowfall here in surrey at about 4AM a week or two ago, actually!

Quote:
When we design our cities at present, do we consider the possibility of a pandemic event? If we do not, will we now start to?


But we're supposed ti build for 125-year events, so I don't see why we SHOULDN'T be taking cross-infection risks into account.

I would.

PDR

 
barbados
1345633.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:12 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
We had a brief snowfall here in surrey at about 4AM a week or two ago, actually!

There was also snowfall in a certain medway town beginning with C

 
PDR
1345635.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:49 pm Reply with quote

Seaford?

PDR

 
suze
1345637.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:12 pm Reply with quote

Was there? Chatham is 200 feet or so higher than we are in Rochester so I'm not especially surprised, but I'm fairly sure that I have not seen a snowflake this winter. Mind you, in the south east a White Easter is actually more common than a White Christmas, so come back to me next week.


PDR wrote:
But we're supposed ti build for 125-year events, so I don't see why we SHOULDN'T be taking cross-infection risks into account.


See, this is the bit that I'm not entirely sure about.

Whenever it snows in the south of England, it becames clear that our railways (and to a lesser extent our roads) are indeed built on the "It hardly ever snows here" principle. While it doesn't snow much in the south of England, the average must be something like three days per year - and yet it seems to be accepted that it's not reasonable to expect the railways to be able to deal with it.

So we are asked to believe that a 125 day event need not be considered. The good folks of countries like Russia and Switzerland find this rather amusing.

Pandemics are fortunately less common than snow. What have we had in recorded British history of the same magnitude as the current event? The Black Death in 1349, the Great Plague of 1665, the Spanish Flu in 1919 (against which no lockdown-type measures were imposed in Britain, although they were in the US), is that about it? So four events in ~700 years makes it a 175 year event.

Should we be building for that? This is a genuine question, and I don't know the answer.

 
barbados
1345638.  Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:42 pm Reply with quote

The answer really is no.
175, is approximately 2.5 lifespans and while we are pretty well known for building things that last, there isnít really much that is that old, sure weíve got the Queen, and she has some properties that are almost as old as she is, but most stuff isnít that old.

On a point of pedantry, you seem to have overlooked the biggest pandemic of all HIV and while there are fluctuating numbers, it is still an ongoing pandemic as it has been for nigh on 40 years.

 

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