Saturday, 17 July 2021

Are Chinese Vaccines Effective?

Are doubts about Chinese vaccines another form of China-bashing or racism, or commercial competition? Or is there some truth to those doubts? Here are some of my "research".

Video: After Chinese Vaccination:

At about 1:13, the video shows the number of new cases in each country as they rolled out the Moderna/ Pfizer/AstraZeneca vaccines in their respective countries. The number of infection falls as more of the population is vaccinated.

Then, at about 1:37, the video presents the new cases in countries using the SinoPharm vaccine. The pattern (below) is vastly different.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

The Future of Covid19 II - The near future (my thoughts on April 2020)

[I started this in April 2020, as Singapore entered our "circuit breaker" (a.k.a. lockdown). Along with most of the rest of the world. The news were depressing, and mostly pointed to what looked like the end of civilisation as we knew it. So I wrote and edited this draft, but as the pandemic seemed to have no end. I had no end for this piece. I just kept writing and re-writing. There may be no end to this pandemic. Or it will become endemic. With intermittent flare up of epidemics. Who knows?]

Some time ago, which seemed like a very long time ago, I had tried to consider what is the long-term effect of Covid19 as it spread across the world and what might happen to it - would it be defeated and die out never to bother us again? Would it become endemic like the cold or seasonal like the flu?

Would our "familiarity" with the virus lead to some herd immunity and lessen its toll on human lives?

Would we come to live (and die) with it?

Teddy bear abandoned on street in Turin, Italy (Photo: Reuters)

Sunday, 11 July 2021

The business of Air Travel after Covid

There was a news report about how SIA may be in a good position to gain market share in the post-pandemic air travel business.

Firstly, the business of air travel is going to change fundamentally.

Pre-pandemic, airlines and the industry was powered by business and first class travel. The pandemic has changed business travel. Zoom and WFH has shown that you can meet online and it can be as good as being there in person. Companies will scrutinise business travel - can a zoom or conference call achieve the same effect? 

Business travel is going to be reduced, and with fewer business travellers, there will be fewer flights, and with fewer flights, there will be fewer seats in economy, to fill with leisure travellers. 

Yes, there is pent-up demand for leisure travel, but this segment of the market is VERY PRICE SENSITIVE. Those low low airfares pre-pandemic, are not likely to endure. Sure, when planes fly again, airlines may offer promotional, cut-throat airfares. but it will not last.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Short Explanation: Nuclear Power

The World is being polluted by carbon (specifically, CO2) which is a waste from burning fossil fuels. And as the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, it warms traps more heat (from the sun) and warms up the earth, and melts the polar ice, and causes sea level to rise, and extreme weather conditions.

You should know this. If you don't, your education is shockingly inadequate.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Will China Grow Rich before it Grows Old?

 Short answer: China is growing old. This is inevitable. In 1980, there were 3 times more people in their twenties than there were people in their sixties. 

Now, the number of people in their sixties is almost as many as the number of people in their twenties. And there are fewer younger people (below 20) and more people in their fifties that will soon be in their sixties.

This is inevitable.

But, China could get rich, right?

Friday, 18 June 2021

Tang Ping, Soshoku danshi, and opting out of the rat race.

I heard about the phenomena of "herbivore men" or soshoku danshi in Japan. These may be otaku who decide that sex and relationships are just too complicated. Or, more positively, they are the Satori Generation, who have "achieved the Buddhist enlightened state free from material desires".

I did not realise that this phenomena is also present in Hong Kong.

In Korea, there is the Sampo Generation. And the Strawberry Generation in Taiwan.

And in China, some men (and maybe women too?) have decided that in the face of unrelenting social and economic pressure to succeed, and the irrepressible rat race and work pressure, the best resistance, is to "lie flat" (tang ping)

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Denying (Cancelling?) Joe Biden Communion

 From a newsletter:

4. Pope Francis, above, warned conservative U.S. bishops to back down from their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights.

That includes President Biden, the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years.

Despite the Vatican’s remarkably public stop sign, the bishops will most likely force a debate this week. The effort could shatter their facade of unity with Rome and set what church historians consider a dangerous precedent for bishops’ conferences across the globe.