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Eating away over the winter

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Re: Coronavirus
adelaide 30 March, 2020 17:44
It's not. MERS. another coronavirus which jumped to humans was first noted in Saudi Arabia and is thought to have migrated from bats to dromedary camels to humans. Ebola (a filovirus) and HIV are thought to be from Africa. The SARS cononavirus was from China though.

The suspicion is, I think, that it is the level of hygiene that is the issue, not the level of cruelty. Keeping large numbers of animals in a small space is both cruel and unhygenic. Our poultry industry certainly does the overcrowding bit and we have had our problems with salmonella and listeria.

A total cynic might argue that you can be as cruel as you like, as long as you are hygienically cruel.


Re: Coronavirus
Primrose Hillbilly 31 March, 2020 11:34

to answer your question about how China manages to export its less desirable products so effectively :

- Because they can throw up an international airport in a few months' time, and the rest of the world wants to trade with what either is the mightiest economy in the world - or soon will be. So, a flight out of Wuhan International to a hub, like Dubai, and there you are, connected to the rest of the world, and China has a lot of airports and airplanes. If WuHan needs another airport, they just bulldoze a suburb to flatten the ground for the runways. The locals will not protest, because that's the way it has always been and they have been indoctrinated that they must do whatever it is that benefits the people (and if they did, they'd be carted off for re-education).

As illustration of the buying power: My godson graduated from Exeter last Summer. Every third name read out as graduating that day was oriental. Godson confirmed there are complete student accommodation blocks set aside for the Chinese there, with no other race at all in that block. They associate only with their own race. They take no part in student life. They sit en bloc at lectures and do not interact with anyone else at all, or "attend" the lecture remotely from their barrack block. Such is the buying power of the yuan now that a Chinese student can be identified by the quality of their attire - Versace jeans and Ralph Lauren hoodie e.g., and a rucksack made by somebody incredibly posh. The University will point out that it is charging these students so much more than they charge UK students, so the Chinese "are subsidising" the study of Godson etc.

That is just Exeter. The Chinese go home every vacation.

When a Chinese company invests in a project abroad, they send their own staff to deliver it. When they invest shedloads in an African mining project, the mineral wealth gets sent straight back to China. The mine is dug and operated by Chinese contractors, so the local economy benefits very little. No one opposes any of this.

Will we do anything about the fact that China is effectively responsible for the deaths of thousands in the UK and Europe, and has very probably lied about the real extent of the deaths in China?

I hope so, but right now, the global economy is in such a dicky situation that even Donald Trump may decide it doesn't need any more disruption. However, whether people will continue to buy Chinese products after this, remains to be seen.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31/03/2020 11:41 by Primrose Hillbilly.

Re: Coronavirus
adelaide 31 March, 2020 15:37

International travel has certainly made it far easier for viruses to spread and travel to and from China has undoubtedly increased many times over.

However, is Wuhan likely to be anywhere near as well connected and used internationally as London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, New York City and so on? It's the combination of a situation where viruses can get into humanity and humanity can travel so easily that does the damage. I dare say there are diseases which originated in Europe but perhaps not in recent times (the introduction of syphilis to South America from Europe is rather a long time ago).

There is a travel-related parallel with the most recent foot and mouth outbreak. The control system seemed suited to a system where livestock are traded and moved locally. What we discovered was that livestock were habitually being moved from one end of the country to the other (and indeed abroad) making the spread of the disease much more difficult to control. Whether the authorities were ignorant of the change in the farming industry, complacent about the disease or simply saving money is not clear, at least not to me.

Your point about blocs of Chinese students is well made, I think. Once upon a time, one of the main benefits of university was that you mingled with people from a wide range of backgrounds (*). If the Chinese are all housed together that eliminates a lot of that. There are also concern that some universities have sold so much of their soul to China that it poses a threat to academic freedom, in terms of both teaching and research.


(*) A bit of a generalisation; I found that some (certainly not all) from the more famous public schools tended to stay aloof from those they regarded as their inferiors. A bit silly, really, as someone who had got to the same destination from a less advantageous starting point is arguably superior. I hit the roof one day when some of these idiots were laughing at someone who had got to uni after starting at a secondary modern.

Re: Coronavirus
Sussex Seaxe 31 March, 2020 16:14
Returning for a moment to the Daily Mail, there is a real moral dilemma if you offer to get some shopping for an elderly or infirm neighbour and they ask for a copy. Would you do it? I would either have to suggest that they had sold out, or leave the shop with a paper bag over my head, in case anyone I knew saw me!

On a more serious note, I do think we need to be careful when we 'blame' the Chinese. It seems very probable (almost certain) that the disease started there and their treatment of and hygiene arrangements around animals are indeed different from our own culture. I have worked there a bit and had some interesting conversations with locals - admittedly locals who are in good jobs and are internationally connected. They are appalled, for example, that we blow our nose on a piece of cloth and then put it back in our pocket!

There are of course different cultures and I would love it if their treatment of animals was better. Having said that, choosing the wrong words can cause some people, perhaps lacking in emotional intelligence, to carry out abhorrent racist attacks, I emphasise that I'm sure that the comments on here are not intended to have that effect, neither are they any indication of racist attitudes.

It is just my observation and a gentle request to us all to remember that words mean something.

Re: Coronavirus
London Leprechaun 31 March, 2020 17:11
I am closing this thread. It is in danger of going somewhere we don't want, and there is still the anything goes thread to talk about the current situation. Just please remember to be kind to each other and everyone else. Thank you and stay safe.

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