The Eye of the Fish

Leviathan
March 20, 2020

Everything changes

one small virus – one large effect world wide. Is anywhere free of Covid19? Perhaps the scientists on Antarctica? Bhutan? North Korea? This is spreading like the plague – only much faster. They’re almost at the Monty Python stage in Italy of “Bring out your dead”. Yes, I know that is in incredibly poor taste but it’s true – another 400 deaths last night in Lombardy, too many to bury.

How will the future change?

Worldwide, I think much will change. Seen in the news lately: of the approximate 700 airlines currently worldwide, one guesstimate was that perhaps only 30 airlines would survive this crash. The travel experience therefore is over for the foreseeable future. The age of cheap travel holidays to exotic places using vast amounts of avgas to fund stupid British stag parties to Reykjavík are thankfully over. Of course, that means that adventure tourism to New Zealand is now over too. Academic conferences too are finished: the risk is too high. The future is digital.

TV shows will change – already the Late Show with Stephen Colbert has gone to an audience-free, studio-free format that I think was filmed on his wife’s iPhone. Unlikely to last. Cinemas will close for months perhaps even forever in some cases. Remember the Rialto? The Paramount? The Mid-City Plaza? The Film Archive? The Reading? Once these places close, they don’t re-open. So who is closed now? The Empire? The Roxy? The Penthouse? or – don’t dare say so: the Embassy? How long can you mothball a venue?

Crucially we need to think how the future will unfold, as more people get infected and survive. The winners of those life-lotteries will be allowed out to socialize with the other survivors: ironically those spared the virus will be condemned to enjoy life inside with no escape except into the sticky arms of the COVID-19. That has a huge effect on New Zealand’s future, as we currently bravely struggle on trying to contain it. If we lose the battle, then what? But if we win the battle, how do we win the war? If, say, Australia is full of only Covid-survivors, and New Zealand is full of only Covid-free people, what then for the future of out two countries? We can’t mix. In a Zombie Apocalypse, the zombies always win, by exponential number increases if nothing else.

Some people would only partly survive. Crippled body caused by damage to lungs, the virus will of course mutate over time, not for better but more likely for worse. Will there be so many deaths that house prices will fall? Is a property crash on its way to follow up this week share market crash? Will tiny houses win out over tiny apartments?

Andrew
20 - 03 - 20

Chill dude, the world’s not going to end. The vast majority of people who contract this survive – a large quantity with almost no symptoms.
In 5 years’ time we’ll hardly remember it. Remember when the planes hit the twin towers? People said it was the end of flying – well that was wrong and these prophesies of doom are wrong too.

Andrew
20 - 03 - 20

…and just think how happy you’d be to be a fish in the canals of Venice today.

Leviathan
20 - 03 - 20

Andrew, in 5 years time: sure. But in the mean time, its going to be big.
My point is, amongst all the rambling, that we need to be thinking about the really long term.
The press here are thinking very short term. The Fish takes a longer view….

Leviathan
20 - 03 - 20

On a different note, this comment right here is number 10,000th legitimate comment – there are of course way more spam comments, currently about a thousand a week, all of which are trapped and dumped. We’ve been going since 2008 i think (and i need to update the archive link!) and somehow we keep on going. I was going to give it up, but just recently, I’ve been spending more time home alone… and this is part of my way of keeping my sanity – and hopefully yours as well.

Stay healthy people! Cheers, Levi Fisher.

Leviathan
20 - 03 - 20

“There is a number we do know that you can use as a rough proxy for hospital readiness: the number of ICU beds there are in each DHB and across the country. In New Zealand there are 176, or 3.6 beds for every 100,000 Kiwis. That ratio varies wildly across the country – thanks presumably to our decentralised system – from 1.8 ICU beds per 100,000 people in the Southern DHB to 13.3 in South Canterbury. If you want a sobering comparison – in Italy there are 12.5 beds per 100,000, over three times our rate.”
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120372743/coronavirus-the-simple-number-the-government-cant-seem-to-find

So that’s a statistic that we should all find particularly concerning: we have a 3.6 bed ICU capacity – whereas Italy has a 12.5 bed equivalent – and they over-ran that capacity substantially in their continuely rising death toll. If this thing really gets on the loose in NZ (and the way it is rising at the moment, it has passed that containment possibility point) then as a country, we are totally screwed. Ponder on that.

60 MPa
20 - 03 - 20

Won’t somebody think of the boomers?

Seamonkey Madness
22 - 03 - 20

60, they’ve been doing enough thinking about themselves for the rest of us for a few decades now. ;-)

Especially the political ones. Nothing like selfish short-term thinking to solve the social woes that encompass all of society

Leviathan
22 - 03 - 20

I’ve never really noticed any great difference between Boomers and others – indeed I really don’t know who is meant to be a gen X or gen Y or millennial or whatever – I mean, who cares? We’re all humans – we’re all in this together. In the 1918 flu there was vastly more death amongst the young ones, and this time there is more death amongst the elderly. I’m somewhere in between – and don’t know what my chances are – somewhere in between i guess. I’m keen not to catch anything though, just to be on the safe side.

796 deaths in Italy last night. By anyone’s standards, that is a massive death toll.

John
24 - 03 - 20

Leviathan, The difference between boomers and the following gens is they have kept owning everything (tax free) and the rest have to rent it. Instead of passing along assets in a reasonable manner the cost has been inflated to ridiculous levels so that when the limited amount does trickle down the debt that comes with it will be an anchor around the neck. This large debt will hinder the ability of the younger generations to invest in actually productive things, limiting our economy. The flip side of this debt is being hoarded by a minority to pay for expensive beach houses and trips to italy…well it used to be. Or the difference is avocados, all depended on your perspective.