Sorry to hear the news about Arecibo by the way. A useful tool in it’s day, but superseded by more modern arrays. Still, as a scientific icon it was wonderful to behold. See Scott Manley’s commentary on the collapse below.
Hi-ho, another day on Youtube comment threads, another raft of insults. Oddly enough not here. I keep on posting polite, well-informed comments on YouTube about the efficacy of masks and lockdowns and keep on getting insulted. Just a little light flak, so I must be close to the mark. Good to see that some of my old infection control and aseptic training has come in useful for raising the blood pressure of the partisan and ill-informed.
For those who use name calling as a debating tool, all I can say is; “is that all you got?” Or in the words of much-cancelled philosopher Stephan Molyneaux; “Not an argument.”
As many bloggers have pointed out; if you think surgical masks work outside of a controlled environment like operating theatre, just read the packaging. “Will not protect from airborne pathogens” is one of the texts I’ve read on surgical mask wrappers. Must get some pictures tomorrow when I’m out. Never mind that your street clothes are a regular petri dish of infection, so the moment that mask comes off, you are exposed to all the icky pathogens you’ve supposedly been dodging, so you might as well not have bothered. Never mind that you’ve been re-breathing the bacteria and virus ridden contents of your sinuses. As well as lowering your blood O2 saturation levels.
The only way to be sure of not spreading or catching any disease would be to wear full Hazmat with a full decon unit at your front door to a positive pressure air conditioned home. But that’s a bit extreme. Far better to ensure your immune system is up to snuff. Simple measure like getting a little sunshine where possible, unmasked exercise out in the fresh air. Balanced diet. Maybe some Vitamin D supplements.
Surgical masks at this stage of the game are little better than a totem, a fetish object or idol to hang on to. In a non-surgical environment they’re a placebo at best. Besides, the worst of the pandemic passed months ago. The pandemic proper has been effectively over since late May. No matter what the mathematical modellers say. I say; How often have they been right? On the fingers of one hand… Never? Their predictions of doom are normally out by a factor of ten, which says a lot for any ‘science’ based on their prognostications. As far as I’m concerned they are looking at the numbers wrong. Too many assumptions based on bad premises.
As for the UK vaccine rollout planned for as early as next week. Bad idea. Not enough testing. The BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccine will probably be foisted on UK hospital staff and the public sector first. Me, I’ll just avoid hospitals and needles as much as I can for the time being.
If the vaccine works without too many casualties, and that’s a big if, then maybe I’ll think about getting the jab, just so I can actually bloody well travel to the UK and Europe. Until then I’ll be watching carefully as we have shares in Pfizer, and at the first hint of trouble will dump the lot. Must talk to our broker today. Put contingencies in place. Our exposure isn’t huge, but if our drug company investment went completely down the pan we stand to lose about four figures GBP. A small enough sum, but it would still sting.
On the upside, Mrs S has finally got her new Irish bank account and other financial paperwork sorted out at long last. Which has taken over a month longer than it should. However, here we are. We’re no longer bleeding money hand over fist and our investment portfolio is almost back to where it was. We will pay no capital gains for at least the next two years at this rate. Not unless the markets do something miraculous in the next 28 days. Which is highly unlikely. Seasonal patterns alone indicate a depressed market or ‘market correction’ across the board over New Year.
Until these lockdowns and pointless tiers are removed everything will take an unconscionable time to sort out. Then there is a massive nascent backlog of follow up, which the politicians and so-called ‘experts’ don’t seem to appreciate. It’s just not only civil liberties or economy or mental health of the population, it’s everything. The tax take to pay for all the stupidity will be significantly reduced. So the politicians will have to raid already depleted savings and pensions accounts to make good the shortfall. On top of an estimated reduction in the overall economy of 10.3% (And then some). The July figures say that it’s 17.2% down on February. Add to that the latest round of lockdowns and tiers and we’re looking at something like 25% down overall on 2019. Even though the stock market is significantly up.
Personally, I think that any major uptick will be just a temporary rebound, or “Dead cat bounce“. If the restrictions continue, the overall decline will, too. This isn’t just my opinion by the way, this is based on personal investment experience. Not government figures, but the end result in cold hard cash where we’ve dodged major financial bullets.
On the subject of cash Mrs S and I were fortunate in that we had money put by to pay for our transatlantic move, which has cost us around 50% more than it should because of delays and cancellations due to lockdowns. I reckon we spent somewhere in the region of CAD$10,000 (about GBP5,800 at the time of writing) over budget. Which is about my tax bill for 2018-19. Because of lockdown caused losses my tax liability for 2019-2020 should be a negative value. No idea what 2021 will bring if matters continue. I’d put my resources offshore again if that were possible, but just try and open an offshore account as a civilian with less than seven figures to shift around nowadays. If you’ve forgotten your Grandmothers inside leg measurement you haven’t a chance.