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Encouraging signs re: controlling the spread
at 13:30 31 Mar 2020

This graph seems to be one of the most relevant for spread until the antigen an antibody tests can come online.

The new cases appear to be going down or at last flattening off. New deaths can be a week later to show a similar tailing off - but shows that public awareness and responsibility (on top of government efforts) will pay off in the end.

Still need a longer period of this trend but opens up for a long-term approach of protecting the at-risk groups in isolation and relieving the lockdown soonish but knowing that it's an effective tool to stop local if not national spikes before they happen. Also suggests that the results from China's lockdown weren't as dubious as they perhaps first seemed.

The worry when you see what's going on in India is that certain countries just can't socially or economically handle these sorts of measures. A modern society and economy makes a massive difference.
There is a precedent for this, Laura ... the post-war years
at 09:44 28 Mar 2020

After the Second World War, the UK achieved our greatest leaps forward in social welfare, education and healthcare reforms. That was about dealing with the trauma and rebuilding the economy and society after 6 long years of war. But also a reflection of what happens when the whole country (and indeed other countries in a global alliance) works together to overcome enemies.

This isn't at the same scale but I think the money now being spent unquestioningly to protect the vulnerable plus how we're recognizing the value of public services (and humanising those who work in them) means we should see a shift in attitude and commitment.

I'd obviously rather people didn't have to die for that to happen but it does seem like a bit of a wake-up call so some good can come from this.

And on a side note, that's an awfully written piece by Kuenssburg. It's so shoddily put together that you'd think others in the News department are out to get her by posting it as is.
The new Coronavirus economy
at 20:13 26 Mar 2020

I'm trying to find any websites where this is made clear but it's an intriguing problem: What's the model for an economy that pretty much stops? The G20 are committing to putting 5 trillion into the economy but isn't it just going to be like treacle? Where's it going to move?

Don't get me wrong: I think this and the money guaranteed by the UK government is great for the security of businesses and individuals. But how are people going to use it? I don't see many or any companies investing in new technology or launching new products/services with the market uncertainty and the inability to sell or promote stuff anyway.

And I don't see people consuming much beyond the essentials although perhaps spending more on "bunkering" luxuries like streaming services, chocolate and alcohol etc. But who is going to be buying a new house? Going on holiday? Splurging on a kayak?

If I was cleverer and had extra cash available I'd be looking to see where this money is heading. Obviously, it's largely going to help prop up share prices and various funds but understanding where that money is going to end up must be worth a fair bit.

Straight-talking from Sturgeon
at 12:52 24 Mar 2020

The US looks in particular trouble with Covid-19
at 13:30 23 Mar 2020

They've got a faster doubling of cases than anywhere apart from the initial outbreak in Wuhan. Clearly this may be down to testing/reporting irregularities but if it's already spreading worse than even Spain and Italy then that's going to create massive problems for them.

And really not the best situation to be overseen by a narcissistic liar.
So, how are we all doing?
at 23:14 20 Mar 2020

It's a strange time. I'm worried about parents and older friends, concerned about the overall situation but basically trying to work out why THIS has suddenly grabbed the world's attention.

We seem to be on mental lockdown. Because of a virus (serious as that virus is).

Of course, we should take Covid-19 very seriously but are our politicians and establishment taking this much more seriously because it actually might affect them?

"Caremongering" instead of scaremongering
at 12:16 17 Mar 2020

"Scaremongering is a big problem," she tells the BBC. "We wanted to switch that around and get people to connect on a positive level, to connect with each other.

"It's spread the opposite of panic in people, brought out community and camaraderie, and allowed us to tackle the needs of those who are at-risk all the time - now more than ever."

With the information still difficult to interpret even for experts re: Coronavirus, it really makes no sense to spread opinions and certainly to spread panic*. There's just far too little concrete and consistent data to jump to any lasting conclusions.

Like our stickied help thread, I think this is a way for people to use their imagination in a positive way and make the outlook better. It's also stuff we actually understand and can use our common sense towards.

*And if you're under 50 with no underlying health concerns then there's little need to panic. If it's out of concern for family and friends at risk then that's the last thing they need anyway.
Good Covid-19 data source
at 11:36 15 Mar 2020

Our World in Data is an Oxford Uni site that has been great for clean, clear economic and environmental data before it's often twisted and butchered by the politicians and the media.

Their coronavirus stuff is very good too with some good tips to interpreting the data and crucially what can't and shouldn't be interpreted yet.

Fill your boots:
Heroes and Villains
at 13:07 13 Mar 2020

I love Bobby Womack for Across 110th Street but in terms of all round b@st@rdry this takes some beating:

Any other contenders for total hero and utter villain at the same time?
The rest of the season
at 11:53 11 Mar 2020

What's the betting we now go on a run completely out of the blue? We'd still miss the playoffs comfortably but it would seem typical of us somehow to end up three or four points adrift.

The Ipswich Way seems to be about new and cruel ways to disappoint fans.

Wins and some entertainment would be better than the alternative. I'm not looking forward to the next six months if the season just dribbles away badly.
at 16:02 7 Mar 2020

Actually we're not playing that bad in our new Barcelona-style formation.

But the difference in cohesion and confidence when Coventry attack is striking. We may have better individuals in terms of pedigree and experience but they look like a familiar and together side who are all moving in the right direction as a unit.
Oborne nails it again
at 13:19 7 Mar 2020

And so does O’Brien who might be starting to feel a little duped ...

The lack of mainstream coverage or comment on this and other stuff like the ruling against the JC for making up allegations of bullying against Louise Ellman (who also did nothing to correct this as far as I can see) suggest we have a media that is entirely compromised as a seeker of truth and balance. They are an intrinsic part of the problem in UK politics.
[Post edited 7 Mar 13:22]
We’ve had a shocker tonight
at 21:55 3 Mar 2020

From the manager, players, fans and the owner who oversees it all.

Tonight felt like we are legitimately a third-tier side that’s not going anywhere fast.
What's our fascination with touchline possession?
at 09:10 2 Mar 2020

This hasn't just happened versus Blackpool but in many games this season. We have a habit in possession of getting the ball out to the touchline and then having three or four players work it around in a tight area. That sounds fine but it always slows down the attack and lets defenders get back into position. And the best outcome is that we win a throw-in.

It got me particularly frustrated on Saturday. Especially with Bishop wide on the right and seemingly squeezed out by the defence. He tried to cut inside a few times but was invariably crowded out.

If we're going to do that and drag in defenders then surely we should be looking to switch play and quickly exploit any space? But we almost never do.

Seems to me that playing at that slow tempo in such a tight area is just handing the initiative over to the other team. I'm also struggling to think of any other side that does it as much as Ipswich Town 2019-20.
It's not a failure of strategy, it's a failure of execution
at 11:02 1 Mar 2020

TLDR version: We need to go back to a long-term approach however painful that sounds. But a manager who is solid and effective at getting adequate results is key. Lambert's not looking like he's that manager.

Looking at how badly things have unraveled the past couple of seasons I went back to Evans's Five-point plan from December 2016.

Here it is:

- To provide a significant ongoing financial commitment to the club’s academy, enabling a steady flow of players into the first-team

- To provide a sustainable and competitive squad salary budget

- To make annual investment funds available to purchase players in the early stages of their career and to assist in their development

- Maintaining a stable management and coaching team

- To develop a team to play attractive and exciting football

I said so at the time and I still think now that this is a solid strategy. The problem has been execution.

Arguably Evans and McCarthy got the basics right. Although a "competitive squad salary budget" is pushing it. And when you add in limited transfer spending on players that are to be developed and are presumably undervalued then Mick was always up against it in the Championship with at least 10 clubs always going to dwarf our spending.

And the last point re: attractive football wasn't forthcoming. Admittedly, it's more of an aspiration once you know you can compete in the division and it also relies on the development of our own academy players and bargains so wasn't ever going to be a flick of a switch. But given how frustrating the previous 15 years had been overall, clearly it needed more thought and attention even if it was explaining the context to fans and the need for patience. After all, Mick had done this before in 2014/15 building a team of scrappers into a side that could play a bit too but this time the patience and the credit in the bank just weren't there.

But moving onto Hurst,we then seemed to abandon the plan totally. Our own youngsters were sidelined with players like Nydam who had finished the previous season very well now overlooked for new signings like Nolan and indeed Edun. Players like Dozzell found their path blocked and even Downes had to fight his way in. More fringe players like Morris, Folami and Woolfenden had their likely place on the bench taken and slipped out of the picture. And at the same time we were splurging precious cash and paying over the odds for mid-20s players who may or may not succeed but who weren't in the early stages of their career. Basically, we became what Hurst was most comfortable with and with players he knew more about but the result was that we lost any progress on almost every single point.

Lambert inherited a bad situation and a wonky squad. Everything also has become incredibly short-term from trying to stay up last season to trying to bounce back without really building a team. We're paying for that now but also almost the entire long-term strategy has been on hold and suffered as a result. Now our young players are being blocked by a bloated squad and rotation that never gave them much of a chance to settle. And if we don't go up we'll end up cashing in on our better youngsters just to fill the hole in the finances the last two years have caused. So no team building or player development that supports our aspirations but just keeps us with our heads above the water in a lower league.

I'm loath to criticise Lambert for not having a long-term view given the situation he inherited. His failure is all about not being able to get a functional solid team over the past year or more, and developing us from there. In that respect it's been very much like Jewell who always wanted to stumble on a good team rather than get the basics right first.

Where do we go from here? Well, whatever happens and wherever we are in May I think we need to get back on track with a more long-term approach. The key to being able to keep working towards those goals seems to be a manager who can cope with the need to accumulate points in the short term. A manager and coaching team that can take care of the pragmatic side of the game and be hard to beat. I'm not asking for Mick MkII but if we're going to learn from the past and build towards any kind of future then we need someone who can consistently get respectable results irrespective of who is fit and available or how much the opposition is spending. And they definitely need to get results when we're spending more.

At the moment, there's little evidence to suggest Lambert is the manager that can be trusted to take on and execute that long-term approach given his inability to handle the short-term challenges.
Just not sharp enough
at 17:08 29 Feb 2020

We do so much that's right but the injection of tempo or final ball is rarely there.

Feeney was a study in doing that well today.
This made me laugh
at 10:07 21 Feb 2020

In an age of slightly sterile, family-friendly and corporate football (which on the whole is better than the alternative) ...

Vladislav Surkov and HyperNormalisation
at 10:22 19 Feb 2020

One of Putin's advisers is sacked and while that's not major news in itself it reminded me of HyperNormalisation, the excellent Adam Curtis documentary where Surkov and his political theatre figured prominently.

It was probably a fair bit ahead of its time when this was made as we were just dealing with the idea of Trump getting elected and what was happening with Brexit. But now that we've got used to it and even seen where our own government has ended up with Johnson and Cummings, I think the documentary probably makes more sense and will resonate with a lot more people.

It's a long film but pretty easy to watch in bite-sized chunks.

[Post edited 19 Feb 10:23]
Needed that ... and hopefully the start of a little run
at 17:54 15 Feb 2020

Looked dodgy for the first 20 but we created and took chances so in the end it was pretty comfortable.

We are still flat-track bullies IMO but we did compete well today to neutralise Burton so the win was much more about us pushing for the win than them just falling away.

Oxford looks a massive game but no reason why the current balanced side with a majority of players in the right position can't take the win.

On a related note, Earl looks to be a very good LCB or LB. Filling that gap pushes Garbutt forward either as a LWB or LM and we suddenly start looking a much more balanced side as a result.

Let's keep it going.

Same problem we've had all season
at 21:44 11 Feb 2020

There's really no connection between the midfield and attack.

Whether that's personnel or approach I'm not sure but you won't beat teams without showing some sort of fluency in attack.

Apart from that the rest of it looked fine. But of course pretty toothless.
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