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So, I’m getting a mild anxiety regarding the fact that all the sites I browse are slowly (or fastly in the case of the orange site) turning into a collection of coronavirus stories. I understand why it is happening and I understand it is important but it would be great if there was a tag for it so that people who want can temporarily filter it. Self moderation is important as more people will be in lockdown and will end up spending more time online.

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    No. It’s off-topic and will be removed. If the intro to working from home posts pick up I’ll start merging them.

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      I’ve been trying to really wrap my head around it, and would like to volunteer to be helpful on the topic here in whatever way is most useful, though it sounds like the admins have decided that they just want to not talk about it. Ok.

      My experience trying to respond on the orange site yesterday was mixed. I’d like to think I got some truthful information out there, but I was also struck by how much people want to believe their own narrative rather than learn facts. One of the most interesting patterns was people citing legit sources to provide more weight to their claims, but when you actually read them, more often than not it undermines them.

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        I’d like to think I got some truthful information out there, but I was also struck by how much people want to believe their own narrative rather than learn facts. One of the most interesting patterns was people citing legit sources to provide more weight to their claims, but when you actually read them, more often than not it undermines them.

        A lot of channels (our newspaper, Twitter, the orange site) are already full of news on the corona virus. I think it is important to inform ourselves about the impact and what we can do to help to end the crisis. However, it is also nice to have a site that is just about technology. lobste.rs is a great tech community, and we should not try to be everything to everyone. So, I think the mods did well to remove these stories.

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          My take: not dealing with these posts is the sane decision. Dan is seriously burning himself out, over on the orange site. It sounds like you’ve experienced the same exhaustion on the orange site’s epidemic discussion. I think the current panic just makes it hard to maintain a sane discussion about the epidemic, regardless of whether it belongs on this site (it doesn’t).

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            “My experience trying to respond on the orange site yesterday was mixed…”

            That paragraph is a strong argument for keeping this topic off of Lobsters. Especially given there’s a mass panic behind it.

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            makes sense. Thanks for replying.

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            Haven’t seen a single post here about that.

            So I guess my current set of filters already does the job? :)

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              Haven’t seen any without any filters.

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                There’s only been one, and it was very bad. It was heavily flagged and I removed it.

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                  I don’t want to be too critical, but I consider that a devastating indictment of the site and its readership. I was considering posting my resource list, but held back because I wasn’t quite sure whether it was on topic.

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                    The topic is more important than we can do justice to. The first story was uninformed scaremongering; the second announced a cure. They were both obviously bullshit, but neither mods nor readers have the medical, epidemiological, or public policy expertise to evaluate everything people post to avoid doing more harm than good. Recognizing our limitations is not a failure.

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                      Fair enough. By “indictment” (which I realize is a strong word), I express disappointment that the community can’t come up with anything better than that. There’s plenty about the topic that should be of interest to broadly curious people, including a bunch of raw data to analyze and visualizations that might be useful.

                      Is it ok if I post my resource list and do my best to be a good presence in a discussion thread on it? I’d like to think we can do better.

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                        Realistically, what is the intersection between “coronavirus” and “computing”?

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                          Both start with ‘co’?

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                            A few examples: the wirvsvirus hackathon. A covid data cleaner. The helpwithcovid initiative.

                            But I understand the desire for a covid-free space. It’s just not where my energy is right now.

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                            Fair enough. By “indictment” (which I realize is a strong word), I express disappointment that the community can’t come up with anything better than that.

                            The smart and thoughtful posters all knew it was off-topic.

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                    I appreciate your concerns, but I think a better solution for you personally is to be liberal with the hide functionality.

                    Also please come by and hang out in the chat. We can create a corona-free channel if needed.

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                      At this point, how people are reacting to the coronavirus bothers me more than the risk of the virus. It’s not just most of the web sites. The worst is that my whole city did a run on toilet paper, cleaners, meats, etc. Our grocery and supply stores have been empty for almost a week from folks stockpiling non-stop. Strangely, beer and liquor is still well-stocked.

                      I’ve been through a few rounds of the world ending in my life. Almost always media-driven, sometimes political. This level of real-world madness reminds me of Y2K if it all happened really fast. Except there’s no end of the world parties since they’re afraid of being close to other people. We at least had a lot of fun in 1999. There was no beer or liquor left. :) This doomsday looks to be lonely for a lot of people. Folks just need to stop watching the news or acting crazy after watching it. I feel for them. I’m just gonna keep living as usual with some things in upswing.

                      On the bright side, we had lots of interesting papers, authored by’s, etc here during the same time range. Although C.V. had a few mentions, Lobsters was a breath of fresh air (i.e. a nice escape) compared to the other sites I was looking at. Community is changing a lot. Yet, still more mind-expanding submissions and quality discussion than many other places. Everyone keep it up!

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                        Dangerous line of thinking, comparing to a real pandemic to Y2K which took no lives.

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                          Thank you, the most sensible thing I read on the topic in days.

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                            I’m young and don’t remember any other End Of The World situations, but I’m equally as bothered. I’m in my final year of school, and the teachers are talking more about it getting shut down than actually helping with those last bits of the syllabus. While I personally think the situation is being entirely blown up (not to belittle any concerns for the vulnerable for whom the virus might actually pose an issue), I’m still concerned about how this time of my life is going to be affected - I haven’t been able to visit many universities because the offer days have been cancelled.

                            Carrying on as normal is probably the best bet, but it’s definitely still worth letting any vulnerable people know that you’re there if they need anything, as with all the media coverage it can be difficult to know what to do, and confusion isn’t going to do anything to make the situation better.

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                              It’s a situation in which literally millions of people will likely die if big steps aren’t taken to prevent the worst-case scenarios. I’ve noticed that essentially everyone I’ve heard saying the issue is overblown has included a mention about its effect being disproportionately toward the vulnerable. It’s hard to escape the unpleasant implication that they thus value the vulnerable drastically less than the healthy/young.

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                                I don’t mean to imply that I don’t value the vulnerable. But I’m worried that the more the issue is viewed as the pandemic it is by the general population, the less concern people will have for those who need their concern most. Millions of people will likely die if big steps aren’t taken, but how many of those big steps should be families of healthy individuals buying up all the toilet paper and alcohol gel that they can, and how many of those steps should be families of healthy individuals letting the vulnerable people around them know that they can call them if they need anything, so as to allow them to avoid having to go to public places?

                                When I alluded to the issue being overblown, I meant that much of the population have nothing to worry about, and their hysterical response is only going to harm those who actually do have something to worry about. I also focused on my own personal detriments as a result of the outbreak, which definitely didn’t help to set the tone that I wanted to set. I hope that helped to clarify where I’m coming from?

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                                Well, there’s the damage from the virus and that from all the responses to it. I definitely feel for those of you being affected at school, work, etc. Part of the reason some of us call out the overreaction is to reduce that.

                                As a personal example, I just found out an hour ago that at least three people in my family whose jobs require Chinese imports will likely get laid off. Others I know in service sector are at risk with hour cuts already hitting them.
                                Some self-employed folks that do events are getting cancels. I was about to do some but those might be toast, too. These people and their families might lose their current homes due to how companies and regulators are responding.

                                Very real effects. I’m helping those I can down here with all damage being from people and businesses rather than the virus. So far. If its damage goes up, I’ll be trying to help on it, too.

                                Got the rest of you in my prayers for now. All I can do given how fast and unpredictably the situation is moving.

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                                  Agreed - I suspect the economic damage from the virus will cause nearly as many deaths as the primary infection.

                                  I still think the quarantine is the right response to a difficult set of tradeoffs, though.

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                              Sorry, I posted one of the recent working from home posts (which I wrote) on the off chance it was helpful as I’ve been working from home for a number of years (coincidentally in disease surveillance and outbreak management) and a lot of the articles I was seeing out there were pretty light on detail and practical common sense things.

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                                I for one found that story helpful so thank you.