Shanghai Disneyland will close in effort to contain coronavirus

Posted | Contributed by Tekwardo

Shanghai Disneyland will close its gates on Saturday in an effort to stop the spread of a new SARS-like virus that has killed 26 people and sickened at least 881, primarily in China. It’s not known when the theme park may reopen.

Read more from Gizmodo.

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This is a quick semantic point...

Replying to me, Jeff said:
...John Q. Public, you and me, don't model anything, because it's not what we do. We are not experts. But we can use critical thinking to evaluate the credentials of experts and recognize their consensus. ...

Ah, but that's exactly what we do. You are thinking of modeling in the sense of a mathematical model, and that's too specific; that's not what I am talking about at all. In fact, I think you know exactly what I mean...you even alluded to it 9emphasis mine)...

...People believe the world is flat and that climate change isn't caused by the actions of humans. Are they right too? Does it matter how they model their beliefs?...

I'm talking about a "model" as our view of how the world works. It's based in experience and observation and hopefully informed by the people we learn from. We know things about our universe and how we think it works, and we extrapolate from what we know to try and anticipate the answers to the things we don't know. The more accurate our models are, the better we are at using them, mostly. But we model everything. It's how we figure out what inputs to put into the black boxes in our lives to get the outputs we want. How about a black box with wheels where we've learned that if we push the right-hand pedal it goes faster, if we push the left-hand pedal it goes slower. That's all we really have to know for that part of the model. And the model is abstract enough that we know that it applies to all kinds of vehicles, and it doesn't matter whether they run on dinosaur juice or angry pixies. Then we get into an airplane and discover that the pedals have a completely different function, and we have to work that into our model. More experience makes for a better model.

I think you know what I meant, but I thought I'd best make sure.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

Lord Gonchar's avatar

It does seem to be slipping into a semantics argument over what "belief" means.

Jeff said:
What I believe doesn't mean dick. People believe the world is flat and that climate change isn't caused by the actions of humans. Are they right too?

I don't think that's a fair argument, necessarily, because we have an agreed upon objective truth to compare against. We can observe that the world is not flat. Believing it is not in this case doesn't mean dick.

In the case of the pandemic, what observable truth do we have to compare to in order to make the correct/incorrect assessment? (and this is where everything Dave explains comes in to play)

On the large scale with big picture thinking - there is certainly a threat to humans. The widespread death is observable. But (as I've tried - apparently poorly - to express), that is a completely different thing than my individual risk. The risk of a lot of people dying is very real. The risk of me in particular dying is not.

In this case, I propose being "correct" simply means your actions did not lead to your death. It doesn't matter what the advice of 1000 of the world's most qualified experts is and whether I followed it or not, if I don't die. Because by not dying, my actions were 'correct' for my situation. If you stay in your house for a year and never die of COVID-19, then you were right. Hooray! If you go outside and do everything you did before with no alterations whatsoever and never die of COVID-19, then you were still right. Hooray!

I suppose this get a little more abstract or philosophical, but (still working on the assumption that not dying equates to being correct) even if the fatality rate is 2% across the board - then not changing anything, letting the chips fall where they may and living life as if nothing is different will be the 'right' course of action for 98% of the population...on the individual level.

And yes, I understand that those numbers mean six and a half million people die.

At this point I'm mostly thinking out loud. I'm not sure I have a point. Just random ideas.

Still building my personal model, I guess.

...almost 100k Americans are dead so far in the last two months that wouldn't have been otherwise.

That means that roughly 328,100,000 Americans are still alive that would have been anyway.

And this is where I think the appropriate retort to what I'm suggesting is that 100k lives is unacceptable and different actions could have saved those people and how would I feel if it were me or a loved one among those 100k and so on and so forth.

At that point it gets into a different argument about what large scale goals should be, what kind of loss or compromises are acceptable - big picture, wide brush stroke kind of thinking - about the greater good, and society as a whole and thinking beyond yourself and glabal responsibility...and we've had that discussion too many different ways already.

I dunno. Seems like it went exactly where I suggested it would (and was basically told I was wrong, ironically) - we chose to move the slider. We locked down for a little bit and got some rough 'control' numbers and decided were willing to accept a lot more risk and death in exchange for something closer to normality.

That this is a surprise...well...surprises me. 🙂


HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

By 'belief' I mean a mixture of the information available to us, what information we choose to consume, and the most important of all 'life experience.' The biggie is that life experience is going to be different amongst all of us. Think about the trip reports we've read about the same park, the same day, same event, yet different outlooks. Person A had an absolutely terrible day at the park, thinks its a terrible park, and has their own anecdotal evidence to back it up. Person B has an amazing experience, thinks highly of the park, the operations, so on and so forth.

No matter what, the data is the same as far how many attended the park, the PPH ridership, number of people who ate food, whatever it is.

My earlier post about not participating in these kinds of discussions circles around back to me not willing to be Person B and spend the time to convince Person A that the park is amazing. Instead, I'd rather spend the time making photoshops to poke fun at the whole thing.

And Dave (Rideman) is correct, beliefs aren't static. The way I feel about my risk towards the virus would be vastly different if I was 30 years older.

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?,

The last page of this thread (belief/reality) is starting to remind me a little of the Westworld I've been watching recently. (Good quarantine show ...amusement industry centric, if someone's looking for an open park to enjoy)

Brett, I can pull your argument apart on one statement that is complete hyperbole and not based in any fact:

BrettV said:

why the f the traffic on I-4 West from Exit 64 to Champion's Gate in the early evening (pre-COVID) makes Midtown Manhattan at rush hour look like nothing.

You've got me there.

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

The way I feel about my risk towards the virus would be vastly different if I was 30 years older.

I agree with this. Because of all the facts and science that have been presented to us, I am able to believe that my risk is low enough where I'm comfortable going out into the world and participating in activities that have resumed. For all I know I have some weird, underlying condition and if I catch COVID I'm a goner in a gruesome way. But seeing the facts presented allows me to make a personal judgement call, a belief, that I am comfortable going out into the world again with proper precautions,.

And Jeff I absolutely agree with the statement you made about my perspective would be different If I lived in or was in frequent communication with people in New York City. I'm sure I have some "ignorance is bliss" blinders on since none of it has entered my personal degrees of separation algorithm.

Again - I'm amazed that we are all able to have such differences in opinion, we know we can't convince each other that they're wrong or we're right, yet we're all still civil and respectful. I thought that was illegal on the internet.

Jeff's avatar

So what do you guys believe is going to happen in the next four to six weeks?

I think the issue with what you guys are thinking is that you concentrate on your risk, and the actual risk of a contagion that spreads so easily is rooted in the spread itself. You might be fine, but in the process, you could spread it to dozens of people who each spread it to dozens of others. Your think the economic impact is bad now? It's going to be much worse when it drives up healthcare costs and takes out a ton of vulnerable people, to say nothing of the psychological impact on society.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I believe there will be a spike in cases and certain areas will fare better than others. But I also believe reopenings will continue and the overall goal is/was to "flatten" the curve and move the slider. It'll take more than just a second wave with spikes to shut down again.

BrettV said:

If I lived in or was in frequent communication with people in New York City. I'm sure I have some "ignorance is bliss" blinders on since none of it has entered my personal degrees of separation algorithm.

I would say the general sentiment here has gotten to 50-50 at this point.

So I can imagine/empathize what less affected, Redder (and the crazy outlier-of everything Florida) places must be thinking like. At a Holiday that is known for kicking off the congregating and travel season.

(Even if they're wrong).

Lowkae's avatar

Things will only shut down again in a given area if it becomes apparent that they're running out of something critical in the COVID-19 supply line, whether it be ICU beds, vents, or PPE. The initial shutdowns were done because we knew very little about the disease at the time, and modeling showed a possible deadly wave that would have far exceeded the capacity of our healthcare system. Most hospitals have since massively expanded their capacity to handle these patients. Mine expanded our vent stock from 5 to 20, reopened an entire unused wing, and had several doctors start working extra shifts for these patients. To my knowledge the only place in the country where capacity was almost reached was in NYC briefly in March/early April. We are well ready for another possible surge and know much more about the disease than before.

What's the endgame going to be for COVID? It's going to be herd immunity, which I'm told is going to have to be 80% population. That means 80% of us will either have to get it (and recover) or wait for a vaccine (anywhere from 6 months to 2+ years). Right now U.S. has 1.6 million confirmed cases. Let's say that's actually 2 million, since our testing is so poor right now. That's 0.6% (Edit: it's really ~4% per a study I read) of the population that's been infected so far, and we need to hit 80%. This is probably much lower in the rest of the country, as NYC has, by far, a disproportionate number of cases. We're clearly far, far away from the end of this.

So what does the rest of the country do in the meantime? The number of active cases has been falling for weeks now in most places. It's time for businesses to open back up. An increase in cases is expected. The issue is different models are predicting anything from a small increase in cases to a surge worse than the initial one. Every business is going to differ in how likely they are to spread disease in the first place and how effective their social distancing measures will be. But it is clear that smaller businesses (and some larger) are desperate to reopen for financial reasons. Nobody can tell you how soon this should be, and this has been reflected by how differently states have allowed reopening. Nor has it been long enough for places that reopened quickly (Georgia) to tell if reopening has had poor outcomes.

Amusement parks.... I'm not sure personally. But I did read this article that made me think parks can handle this. There's not much intrinsic to a park visit that requires being around a huge crowd, unlike sporting events. Things will just have to be like visiting parks on slower days every day this year. I think with proper precautions (reservations, masks, sanitation, reduced capacity, etc.) most parks in the country could reopen at this point in some capacity.

Apparently Fun Spot Orlando reopened last night. Social distancing in queues, filling every other row, and (half-heatedly) wiping down each seat between cycles. No masks or temperature checks required. Which of those things actually matter, I'm not sure. Hopefully they'll enact better precautions, but I wouldn't call the place a public health threat.

Last edited by Lowkae,

I'm at Fun Spot right now. White Lightning is running every other row, which is a max of 6 riders per train. Even if you have a large group you still have to spread out every other row. But as a single rider I was asked (and politely declined) to fill in a single seat with a group of 5. Sitting next to them would have been fine, but a group of 8 was asked to not all sit together on one train.

They'll load a cycle with Rows 1, 3, and 5. Then the next cycle will load Rows 2, 4, & 6. Then all 6 rows get wiped down. As you exit they dismiss by row.

It turns a ride that you can stay seated and marathon most of the time into a 10 minute wait with 3-5 minute dispatch times. Fine for Fun Spot. A potential disaster at a park like Cedar Point.

It seems like it's all sanitation theater rather than using a common sense approach.

Just rode the Freedom Flyer. The exit is in the part of the station by the back of the train, but they dismiss by row from the front. So everyone from the front of the train has to walk past those still seated in the back half of the train at a distance of far less than six feet.

But you better believed they doused every harness in sanitizer after we all exited, even the rows that weren't occupied.

kpjb's avatar

Sanitation theater?


Hi

More observations after one more lap on White Lightning before calling it a day.

After pausing operations for a few minutes to spray and wipe down handrails in the station that nobody had touched, Rows 1 and 3 were occupied and Row 5 was available for a group of two or a single. Two groups of four were at the head of the line and then me. The groups of four were denied sitting in Rows 5 and 6 together as a group with Row 4 still empty as a buffer. But they also weren't going to send the train with just four riders and called for a single or group of two and I was able to come up the queue stairs to fill in that last row. So I got to do the "excuse me, pardon me" single rider dance with 8 people in a narrow queue so they could make sure the riders on the trains were spaced out properly. I didn't mind because I had already decided to come to the park and assumed that risk of being close to people. But I'm sure others would have had a different response. And the ass-backward logic of the entire situation was truly laughable. But as parks open up I suspect this kind of episode will be the norm.

And after an 8 or so minute dispatch the five of us were off on a GCI that has held up beautifully in the Florida heat.

And yes - they do have "stand here" markers in the queues and pride themselves on having it all set up for nine foot spacing rather than just six.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

In this case, I propose being "correct" simply means your actions did not lead to your death. It doesn't matter what the advice of 1000 of the world's most qualified experts is and whether I followed it or not, if I don't die. Because by not dying, my actions were 'correct' for my situation. If you stay in your house for a year and never die of COVID-19, then you were right. Hooray! If you go outside and do everything you did before with no alterations whatsoever and never die of COVID-19, then you were still right. Hooray!

Just to reiterate Jeff's point: Was my choice correct if I did not die but asymptomatically got it at the amusement park, then passed it to someone at the grocery store who passed it to someone in their household who works in a nursing home where 10 people later died? I may feel super great about my choices and feel like they were correct, but have no actual feedback about the fact that, had I not gone to the amusement park, 10 people would still be alive.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I love appliances. I really do.

ApolloAndy's avatar

BrettV said:

You can science all you want and show us the facts and talk about the refrigerated trucks. But we're opening back up.

Profanity filter starred out the "duck" in the link. It should be "america-in-duck-it-mode."

And I think (as one sided and sort of off-the-cuff as it is) the article nails it on the head. I also think it's way easier to say "f' it" when most of the damage is being done outside your personal demographic, geography, income bracket, etc.

Anecdotally, a group of 9 of my church ladies in their 70's and 80's had a secret backyard party this week. When asked about it later, they said, "we're just sick of staying home." I think the less polite way of saying that is "f' it."

I find this infuriating, given that I'm going to have to be the one to manage the protocols to protect employees and guests when we begin to return to our building and I'm 100% sure that people will misrepresent what they're doing in private and skirt the protocols when we're together.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

ApolloAndy's avatar

It's also interesting to have the pro-reopening folks coming at it from such widely different angles. There's the people saying "duck-it, let's roll the dice." There's people who believe our social distancing measures will keep this thing at bay. There's people who are angry that they're being told to do anything they don't want to do. There's people who think this thing isn't what science generally accepts it to be (e.g. inflated death counts, bio-engineered in a lab, just like the flu etc. etc.). There's obviously some overlap among those groups, but there's a wide variety of positions in that coalition.

I'm sure the same could be said for the "don't reopen" crowd, I just haven't thought about it.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I think there's a wide array of "don't reopen" folks. You have people who are fine with 25% capacity in restaurants but think it's too early for the jump to 50 or 75%. Folks that think their neighborhood swimming pool or playground should open but think something like Cedar Point shouldn't even try until 2021. And then you have the people who go to the grocery store dressed like they are prepped for surgery and disinfect themselves and the groceries in diluted bleach when they get home. And then the people that I know are in the grocery stores, getting take out and out and about a bit, but then on social media blast anyone who dares even remotely suggest people should start to go back out and things should reopen because every person that dines in a restaurant should be held personally responsible for the murder of every COVID victim in their county.

There is just so much data out there, not all of it good, and the situation is so different for different people in different situations. I know people whose businesses were nearly destroyed by the shutdown, meanwhile I have missed a single day of work through the whole thing. There were multiple positive cases in my workplace, and a single death (!) although he wasn't someone I knew personally. So yes, this thing is pretty darned serious. I also ran a few numbers last night and so I know that if the positive cases were evenly spread across the state (which they aren't) and all the active cases are out and about (which they aren't), then the odds of any given Ohioan you meet having this virus are about 1:2037 even accounting for a 35% undercount. At this point I'm not certain that the shutdown was warranted, and it certainly should have ended after 14 or no more than 21 days. But then that's got the benefit of hindsight (insert obvious joke here).

So yeah, there is a considerable continuum for the "open it up" crowd. It's not that the virus isn't serious, because it is. It isn't because we shouldn't take precautions, because we most definitely should. It's that closing everything down and cowering in fear in our houses (6' apart of course) isn't really helping, and is causing more collateral damage than the virus was ever going to inflict. This is something that has to be managed, and to do that we're going to have to start getting back to something that looks a little more like normal.

And no, it's not a "new normal." It's just new.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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