Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

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David Robertson
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Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by David Robertson » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:07 pm

I'm opening a separate thread to the ongoing Coronavirus thread because I don't want my case to be lost in a general discussion. As I explain below. we need to act quickly, immediately, and specifically with regard to our community. We need to suspend all chess activity. Within ten days. most gatherings will be closed, I'd guess. We should act more swiftly given our circumstances
David Robertson wrote:I've not (yet) seen the email (from 4NCL). But I think it is poor advice. From what I've been reading today, albeit from an inexpert but informed and intelligent assessment, I think ECF and other chess authorities should act in advance of Government guidance and advise an immediate suspension of all chess activity

My reasons?

* chess is uniquely (specially?) exposed to limits on social distancing. We play within 0.5 metres of each other, face-to-face; share cross-infecting pieces
* chess requires us to spend 3-7 hours in close confinement
* chess community has a well-above average 'at-risk' demographic

Government guidance will apply soberly to all activities. It cannot possibly anticipate the particular and peculiar activities of chess. Hence, our authorities CANNOT wait. We must act, even over-react, in advance rather than wait for a general shut-down

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:36 pm

The PM press conference tomorrow will be big news. Will it be closure of schools, working from home and postponement or cancellation of all large sporting events? Italy today closed all shops in the country apart from food shops and pharmacies. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!

Daniel Gormally
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Daniel Gormally » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:48 pm

I guess I agree with this, but the other issue at play is whether or not this virus will burn out. if say 10,000 people in this country get it then it's worth trying to avoid it, but if the experts are saying that 70-80 percent of us will get it, then is this just not delaying the inevitable?

I'm also concerned about coronavirus as I have asthma, although my breathing is better than it was a few years ago.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:00 am

I know what you mean with the asthma. Mine is very mild but chest colds really linger and the asthma gets noticeably worse. I think you’re probably right, but I suppose the delay phase will try to push the peak of the outbreak into the summer months, where in theory it may die off a bit like seasonal flu. Although the expectation is probably it will be back with full-force come winter. Hopefully at some point in the next 12 months there will be a vaccine.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Chris Goodall » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:17 am

If 10-12 people gathering in a pub for a chess match is an unacceptable coronavirus risk, then the pub would not be allowed to stay open, lest the same 10-12 people gather in it for purposes unrelated to chess.

If you aren't qualified to second-guess the advice of government epidemiologists, then don't.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Richard Bates
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:46 am

Is the “3-7 hours” angle actually that relevant? If one person is infected and the other isn’t then it appears that it takes very little contact for one to infect the other. Is spending 3-7 hours opposite them actually any more significantly risky than spending 10 minutes with someone? Genuine question.

Of course if neither have it then there is no risk at all (And on the numbers so far you are still going to be statistically extremely unlucky to be sitting opposite an infected individual. Especially an asymptomatic infected person who might otherwise self isolate as a precaution.

Sensible to avoid too much social mixing though.

Richard Bates
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:06 am

There are armchair experts all over social media declaring that we must act yesterday to take various measures to prevent the spread of the virus. But the point about the more extreme measures is that they all come with their own negative consequences for people’s lives and livelihoods, and as such cannot be made lightly or indefinitely. Once put in place they will subsequently have to be loosened. Put them in place too early and it becomes very difficult to loosen them without very rapidly having to reinstate. Leave it too late, and you lose control.

Personally I think we’ve just got to trust the Govt and their advisers to get it right. And hope they do. Nobody envies their job. That’s not to say individuals can’t take their own decisions where possible for their own circumstances.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:09 am

Daniel Gormally wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:48 pm
I guess I agree with this, but the other issue at play is whether or not this virus will burn out. if say 10,000 people in this country get it then it's worth trying to avoid it, but if the experts are saying that 70-80 percent of us will get it, then is this just not delaying the inevitable?
What's the point of fighting something that's bound to happen anyway? Why not just let the epidemic run its course?
Flattening the curve
Daniel Gormally wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:48 pm
?

I'm also concerned about coronavirus as I have asthma, although my breathing is better than it was a few years ago.
Me too, and during the last few winters I've coughed and spluttered for months. Thankfully I've got past that, this time around, or I think I might be a good deal nervous than I am.
"Do you play chess?"
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Daniel Gormally
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Daniel Gormally » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:20 am

Richard Bates wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:46 am
Is the “3-7 hours” angle actually that relevant? If one person is infected and the other isn’t then it appears that it takes very little contact for one to infect the other. Is spending 3-7 hours opposite them actually any more significantly risky than spending 10 minutes with someone? Genuine question.

Of course if neither have it then there is no risk at all (And on the numbers so far you are still going to be statistically extremely unlucky to be sitting opposite an infected individual. Especially an asymptomatic infected person who might otherwise self isolate as a precaution.

Sensible to avoid too much social mixing though.
I think we can be pretty sure a lot more people have it than is currently been reported, after all they have only tested a small percentage of the population. unless the government has psychic abilities we aren't aware of.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:55 am

"I think we can be pretty sure a lot more people have it than is currently been reported, after all they have only tested a small percentage of the population. unless the government has psychic abilities we aren't aware of."

And that will remain the case - some people will have the symptoms and retire to bed for a few days and hopefully get better. They won't get tested. A few will die, and they won't get tested either, especially if they have underlying medical conditions. So any published figures will be misleading, and not for sinister reasons. I think that only about 1 % of those tested were positive (at the time of the test...) Obviously, its understandable that people want to get tested.

"Hopefully at some point in the next 12 months there will be a vaccine."

I'm sure there's a number of teams working on this right now, same as with any flu-type virus. It needs to be tested before use.

"I suppose the delay phase will try to push the peak of the outbreak into the summer months, where in theory it may die off a bit like seasonal flu. "

Probably - there's a theory that the virus doesn't like hot weather, but the theory might derive from what normal flu does...

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Chris Goodall » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:24 am

Daniel Gormally wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:20 am
I think we can be pretty sure a lot more people have it than is currently been reported, after all they have only tested a small percentage of the population. unless the government has psychic abilities we aren't aware of.
If that's the case, it's good news. It means the 8 people who have died are a smaller percentage of the total cases. In other words, the virus is less likely to kill you than we thought. Possibly no more likely than seasonal flu.

The NHS, even when berating us for not taking seasonal flu seriously enough, has never advised us to cancel chess lest we catch it.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:37 am

David. A simple solution is that you can, as an individual, self isolate from taking part in any chess activity you wish.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:48 am

Ihor Lewyk wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:37 am
David. A simple solution is that you can, as an individual, self isolate from taking part in any chess activity you wish.
Well yes, as long as we personally abstain from situations of risk, everything will be all right, won't it?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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NickFaulks
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:39 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:17 am
If you aren't qualified to second-guess the advice of government epidemiologists, then don't.
Sums up my view. I am not a slavish follower of "expert" advice, but on this occasion it looks ok.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Covid-19 - Suspend Chess Immediately

Post by Chris Goodall » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:17 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:48 am
Well yes, as long as we personally abstain from situations of risk, everything will be all right, won't it?
Yes. Yes it will. How else do you suppose you're still alive?
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

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