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Author Topic: Corona pandemic in Norway.  (Read 1185 times)

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Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2020, 07:12:25 AM »
Update: 6052 infected, of which 257 are in hospital (10% down from yesterday, on top of 10% down the day before that)- 70 in ICU with respirator (also 10% down from yesterday).  93 are dead. 113k+ tested.

One of the issues we've had with the pandemic are the prisons. The Norwegian justice system has its faults but it isn't lax. Compared to our neighbors Sweden, Denmark and Finland we have a higher percentage of the population in the jail (although still only a tenth of as many as USA has in prison by percentage) and we have tougher laws. A drug smuggler of some size risks being twice as long in prison here as in Sweden, gram for gram. And we also send more foreigners in prison, because we get a lot of eastern european criminals here doing smuggling and in particular theft. About 7 years ago, when a long period of socialist rule ended, we had a massive backlist of sentenced people waiting in freedom to serve their prison term and frequently doing new crimes while they waited. The new right wing government tackled this by renting empty prisons in Netherlands - to massive criticism from the socialists - and filling them with mostly the foreigners who were going to be deported after serving their sentences. This cut a large swathe in prison space and queues and by last year, the combination of this and the building of new local prisons had resolved the issue so the leasing could end. Except many of our older prisons still have a lot of two man rooms. This isn't in itself a problem because a lot of people feel being alone on single cell is an extra sentence. However, que in the pandemic. The double rooms have become an issue and today we have been told how it has been resolved this time. 260 convicts, of something like 4000 serving at any time, who have served most of their sentences have been released. This is a shortening from a few days to a couple of weeks for each. Obviously those were all non-violent cases. As a result there are now 0, zero, prisoners left with a mate in their cell. I won't say I approve because justice shouldn't work that way and we now have 260 more criminals among us, but on the other hand they are now subject to the same fun of being in quarantines and isolation as the rest of us so maybe it's not entirely unfair. And the risk of prisons turning into sick homes with hundreds of corona cases is considerably lessened.

---

Yet another hour-and-half of press conferences, which was more in the line of wrapping things up before the govt guys and journalists head home for Easter than presenting much in the way of news. The most interesting numbers given were that the average age of the about 6000 infected is 48 and evenly male and female patients, while the average age of infected dying is now up to 90.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2020, 10:48:32 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2020, 08:22:12 AM »
Update: 6085 infected, of which 252 are in hospital - 70 in ICU with respirator.  105 are dead (10% up since yesterday). 121k+ tested. 8000 More tested since yesterday, but this number has probably not been correctly up to day for a while. Also most of the other numbers are unchanged since yesterday so I doubt they are up to date either.

Otherwise it's officially Easter holidays. Probably won't be much in the way of news for a while. But we can all use a breather. Literally.


Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2020, 07:27:10 AM »
Update: 6233 infected, of which 233 are in hospital (10% down from yesterday) - 67 in ICU with respirator.  111 are dead. 123k+ tested.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2020, 05:57:27 AM »
Update: 6360 infected, of which 220 are in hospital - 64 in ICU with respirator.  114 are dead. 123k+ tested. All numbers that can go down keeps going down and there's no change for the rest.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2020, 08:09:45 AM »
Update: 6459 infected, of which 216 are in hospital - 59 in ICU with respirator.  123 are dead. 126k+ tested. Also, my own litttle municipality has 15 infected. 1300 hospital staff are still in quarantine but that is down from amost 8000 at the top.

When the pandemic started here, every hospital in the country clamped down and canceled all scheduled operations and treatment that wasn't life critical, in fear of a massive load of corona patients coupled with many of the staff being absent. Also most of the doctors in medical centers accepted only patients with suspected symptoms. Now this has been going on for what, five weeks, and the backlog for the hospitals for ordinary patients is growing faster and faster. As a consequence of the pandemic appearing to be petering out under current conditions, there is talk of opening some medical facilities for normal operations again. Most places can do this while also serving the pandemic patients because they already have special entrances, quarters and routines for the pandemic ones. We have an abundance of staff too, after students and pensioners and anyone else with a medical license of any kind were drummed into the ranks. So I expect medical business to be resumed to some degree within the next few days, for the less weak patients anyway. Most of those who have died so far have been the very elderly from nursing homes, not ordinary hospital patients.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2020, 04:56:36 AM »
Update: 6527 infected, of which 214 are in hospital - 58 in ICU with respirator.  128 are dead. 126k+ tested.

19 Norwegian doctors and nurses have been sent to Italy to help out in one of the hospitals there, since a few days ago. All of the patients there are of the pandemic variety. There's a language barrier since many older Italians don't speak English but a number of Italian assistants and translators are making it possible.


Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2020, 05:36:09 AM »
Update: 6569 infected, of which 204 are in hospital - 53 in ICU with respirator.  136 are dead. 127k+ tested.

It's the first week day after Easter. I assume there will be a press conference in a few hours.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2020, 02:46:17 AM »
Update: 6686 infected, of which 201 are in hospital - 53 in ICU with respirator.  140 are dead. 128k+ tested.

Looks like the press conference I expected yesterday will be today instead.

One of our smallest prisons have a minor virus outbreak. About 8 prisoners and guards in all. Fortunately the prison is on a small island. Being a low security prison they have a mess hall, so no wonder it spreads once it got in there.

Our national day is 17th of May, and is famous for its endless school children parades with marching bands and the streets thronged with spectators. The big city parades are now all canceled and I expect many of the smaller ones to follow suit.

---

Update: 6740 infected, of which 194 are in hospital - 52 in ICU with respirator.  145 are dead. 130k+ tested. This means that we are dipping below 200 in hospital since the start of the pandemic here. The respirator cases are also on a new low. We still get new deaths but afaik the average age of the dead is still 90. This is higher even than the normal average longevity in Norway. A bit more of half of those occured at nursing homes for the very elderly, with most of the rest happened at hospital. In all we have just a handful of cases of people being found dead at home. Typically these have been home nursed with medical staff showing up on intervals. In Norway just about everyone who can still get to the bathroom on their own and don't need medication help are at home even at very advanced age. One side effect is that the nursing home is usually where most people die after a short stay. In my youth I went to a school next to a nursing home and the flag was at half mast most days.

This evening's press conference was spent underlining that there is no fear among the authorities for the health of the small children now returning to kindergarten and the lower half of elementary school. Among other things they refered to Sweden, which has not closed schools and kindergartens at all and still have had no child deaths. There is more worry that healthy children will carry the virus from infected people to uninfected in the risk groups, so a lot of safety measures will be in place. Things will be different at these reopening places.

Of other news is a statement from the justice department that crime is down and accidents are down, while the number of police is rising by 400.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 10:39:39 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2020, 06:19:43 AM »
Update: 6794 infected, of which 179 are in hospital - 52 in ICU with respirator.  152 are dead. 130k+ tested. Most of these numbers are the same or nearly the same as yesterday. Second day in a row with less than 200 in hospital.

Several of our larger hospitals are now reducing their alert state and resuming some of their normal activities, and getting started on the backlog of canceled operations.

One hospital had a situation yesterday where an isolated patient in a secure unit suddenly became infected, causing 40 staff people and patients to be put in quarantine. The cause seemed to be a temp worker who had not even been part of the treatment team, but just walked into the room briefly on an errand. A lesson for many to learn from.

Evening update: hardly any change in numbers.

The big story from the authorities today is the unleashing of... an app. Yes, and it gets worse. "Smittestopp" (translates to 'Infectionstopper') is a phone app that they want the entire population to install on their cell phones so people can see if they are in the vicinity of someone who is infected. My head hurts and I am not alone in being aghast. And it gets, yes, worse. Because this cute little thing will report everybody's movement to the authorities' central server. Hellooooo Big Brother. The authorities swear that everything will be anonymized, that the data will be erased within 30 days and the application itself will terminate in December. And if you buy that, I have a bridge I want to sell you. Now I can understand why a lot of people WILL install it. It's the new cool gadget to play with, and they can see who else in the room is or isn't infected, and the Norwegian authorites aren't known for heavy duty home espionage. Bullshit. Thrice over. Already the authorities have by-the-second updated maps of which cellphones are where, and that's fully established fact. And the application assumes that the user can't lie. 'No I don't have the virus, honestly, just show me who say they have it'. And I bet you good money that at least four separate foreign espionage organizations have already gained their way into this system and they are SO not going to delete the data they harvest. Plus Google, of course. And who is making the platform for your phone's operating system again? Feel safe yet? I realize I am a cynical oldtimer and I don't have a single app on my phone anyway. But I am a cynical oldtimer with experience in running state IT systems. I'll rather drown my cell phone in something horrible than install this thing.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 03:17:29 PM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2020, 07:04:35 AM »
Update: 6905 infected, of which 164 are in hospital - 54 in ICU with respirator. 158 are dead. 136k+ tested.

The number of infected reflects how many have tested positive. About 95% of those tested so far were negatives. However the number does NOT show the total because there has been no followup tests to check if they still are infected, so the number can only go up. It is meaningless anyway with just 3% of the population tested.

Gah. Another necessary grocery shopping trip. Another dull disappointment. Looks like I am still the only guy in town who see a point in covering up my face. No one were cleaning their hands as suggested at the entry. The poster said 'no more than 8 inside the store please' but when I left there were more like 28. And people bunch up, have conversations... 2.5% of the local town population is registered infected, but judging by today's behavior it is probably closer to 25%. I wonder how many of our oldest are dying because of their relatives going shopping then visiting? We'll never know because practically nobody are getting tested in the first place, including those in the nursing homes. I feel like I am either the only one here who got the memo, or the only one who didn't get it: "Disregard all public information and requirements. A couple of hundred thousand people have died from this but YOU probably won't, so whatever. Of course everyone else will stand on their head to help and protect YOU if you should get trouble, but that doesn't obligate you to make any concessions. Go on and do nothing. Have a nice day."
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 08:58:34 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2020, 06:10:45 AM »
Update: 6992 infected, of which 153 are in hospital - 47 in ICU with respirator. 162 are dead. 136k+ tested. Hospital and respirator cases are the lowest since we passed the summit of the curve.

Otherwise, no news.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2020, 06:51:35 AM »
Update: 7069 infected, of which 154 are in hospital - 46 in ICU with respirator. 165 are dead. 142k+ tested. In all, only minor changes.

The "Smittestopp" application is everything I thought it would be. After two days it has been downloaded a whopping 1.3 million times, which is pretty good in a 5 million population. It is also being deleted on a whopping scale. Users complain of it hogging cpu and battery resources. That's nothing. External security experts now confirm that it is like wearing a tracker. Computer guys will understand the issue a permanent addressing number poses? Want to stalk someone? Get a visual on them while you read off their address and you can now follow their footsteps all day long. Women with safety alarms must feel SO safe. Of course you can do something similar with any cell phone but you need high tech spy gear for it. Not so in this case. And all the makers needed to do was install rapidly rechanging addresses like all laptops have. Since the entire government leadership all boast of having this installed I expect they'll put effort into fixing it. Because someone could get killed, or just followed and raped, after trusting our illuminated government with their cell phones in this. It probably be any of the leaders because I didn't believe their boasts for a second. Like hell they would walk around with trackers the public has access to.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2020, 06:57:30 AM »
Update: 7095 infected, of which 165 are in hospital - 43 in ICU with respirator. 168 are dead. 142k+ tested. In all, only minor changes. Respirator cases keep going lower.

Today a number of things have been scheduled to happen. The dreaded ban on cabin sleepovers finally end and I doubt it will return. It has been universally hated, but also the minor counties where most of the cabins are have not been anywhere near overwhelmed by local cases. Rather the opposite. Heavy handed as the isolation and quarantine rules have been, it seems like they have worked. Now the fist need to be opened some because ironically, the more effective the lockdown the less necessery it feel to retain it. Other important things happening are that the kindergarten and the lower half of elementary school reopens today. Many have said they feel it is too soon, and we don't really know how many will show up today. What we do know is that some countries haven't kept their children at home at all during the pandemic and they have no deaths among them

Another thing started yesterday. Norway has conscription, meaning recruits are considered and then called in for a year of training and service within Norwegian borders. (For foreign service we only use enlisted.) Recruits intakes are four times a year to maximise the boot camps usefulness. This April is one of them; obviously there has been a lot of talk about what to do during the pandemic. One does not drop an entire intake without big consequences, nor can it be postphoned. Ours is a small country and it shares a border with Russia, so military issues are always dramatic. So the armed forces have come up with a brave decision. Intakes go as normal. Service will be odd though, with groups reduced to five people for social and training. Not a single home leave or leaving camp grounds during boot camp. Intensive testing for virus at arrival and later. I doubt we have had an upheaval of that order during training since the Cold War ended.

Update: no biggies

The hell with it. Today I went shopping like it was February. I had multiple reasons to to a specific hardware store in the next town, and for the first time in six weeks I dropped the bank robber bandana and the gloves, even the closed tight jacket and hood, and suddenly I looked like all the other shoppers. Fortunately the store was huge so I only passed other people every 30 seconds in the aisles. Washed my hands with antibac from the dispensers about seven times though. I figure if I am going to get seriously sick then this is a good as a time for it as any and I am already living like I am infected, so what am I waiting for? It won't be two weeks until my next visit to a store. Unless I get sick of course. Ha ha.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 03:28:18 PM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2020, 06:04:09 AM »
Update: 7156 infected, of which 148 are in hospital - 42 in ICU with respirator. 181 are dead. 143k+ tested. The average age of those dying remains very high.

Kindergarten reopened yesterday. Reports in so far indicate about 75% of the kids showed up. Speculations as yet are that some parent want to wait a bit longer, while others have slightly older children who can't yet start at school again until theirs reopen. We'll see how long that will last. Once kids find out their friends have been allowed to go but not them there'll be a ruckus.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2020, 07:11:39 AM »
Update: 7241 infected, of which 133 are in hospital - 33 in ICU with respirator (9 down since yesterday). 183 are dead. 148k+ tested.

I am running out of new stuff to comment on. Life is returning toward something resembling normal. Government measures are all about getting the wheels going again now. While there are many blockages still in effect, the border control has not been eased one inch and inland traveling is still heavily curtailed, the worst of the dread is gone. I guess this is like being in a war after your homelands aren't being bombed any more.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2020, 11:05:44 AM »
First update in four days:
7511 infected, of which 123 are in hospital - 31 in ICU with respirator. 201 are dead. 155k+ tested. Basically all curves that aren't cumulative are going downwards, slowly. Deaths keep climbing but now it's down to one or two per day. We have had two people die in the age group 40 to 50 altogether and none below. There has been two outbreaks in closed locations; one on an island, another on a home for the elderly; these case are clamped down on hard and are highly unlikely to spread outside initial parameters.

During this week something like 1300 new recruits, entering their conscription year, have been tested and isolated. Conscription being only for the most fit and healthy (and motivated) within the age groups, these could still be infected. 99.8% of these 19 year olds turned out to be uninfected, as in being neither infected or formerly infected. The 2 - two - cases reported are in isolation on base and will continue their service as soon as they are clear. No doubt the entire military medical service is following their every breath as it is a rare opportunity for our armed forces to deal with a viral outbreak.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2020, 04:41:04 PM »
It is what, five days since the last update?
7770 infected, of which 84 (down from 123!) are in hospital - 30 in ICU with respirator. 210 are dead. 172k+ tested. All numbers than can drop are dropping, and the bad cumulative numbers are standing almost still.

This happens as the same time that kindergartens have been open for two weeks and lower elementary schools have been open for one. Hairdressers are open too now and the queues are massive. For my part I'm just half an inch from having to start a ponytail or join a heavy metal band. Culture will still be restrained for an unknown time; all public events must have a maximum of 50 participants which makes concerts impossible and soccer without paying visitors can't pay player wages.

There aren't really any other news.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2020, 07:24:35 AM »
Four days since the last update.
7904 infected (134 up), of which 71 (down 13) are in hospital - 27 in ICU with respirator (down 4). 214 are dead (up 4). 189k+ tested (17k up). The number of hospital staff in quarantine which was at one point close to eight thousand, is now down to less than six hundred. At this point the number of badly afflicted is just a very small part of the total of currently hospitalized for all sorts of reasons. And we now have several days in a row where noone dies from corona at all.

I did some shopping errands yesterday. The signs of there being a pandemic are vanishing. Lots of people in the stores and noone seems to maintain a distance anymore - but then, the authorities have said that keeping a 1 m distance instead of 2 m is now okay. Posters reminding people to wash hands and keep distance are mostly gone, and so are the bottles of antiseptic fluid that were everywhere at the shop doors for a while.

The corona coverage in Norwegian news are also waning and other types of news stories are getting the first priority now. There are no more daily press conferences.

The numbers of unemployed are finally starting to sink again. For a while we had more than 420 000 people on the dole - in a population of five million. Just 12 000 down since last week, but it means 12 000 could return to the job they had before this pandemic hit us. It's a long way down to the 3.2% unemployment rate we had in January, but every job regained is going to help one worker and their family get back to normal.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2020, 08:04:37 AM »
Three days later:
8034 infected, of which 59 (down 12) are in hospital - 16 in ICU with respirator (down 11). 218 are dead. 195k+ tested.

Some big announcements yesterday. All schools of all types are allowed to reopen next Monday. Probably it will take a few days more for many as two days to get ready will be difficult for many schools. On the bright side, this is what we have been waiting for so they have had plenty of time to prepare. Also public events including weddings and concerts up to 200 attendees are allowed again, provided the one meter distance rule is still obeyed. Another announcement will have impact for a lot of people; the official bank rate is set down to 0% for the first time ever. Provided the banks respond as expected and reduce their own rates, a lot of people will find it a little easier to service their loans for a while.

I tried to get a haircut today, but was informed the waiting time for an appointment is a whopping month. I'll have to take matters into my own hands.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2020, 06:15:11 AM »
Four days later:
8132 infected, of which 58 (down 1) are in hospital - 16 in ICU with respirator (unchanged). 224 are dead. 195k+ tested.

This week school resume for all age groups. With about four weeks left of scheduled lessons there's already talk of summer classes for some, but online home education has overall been a success. In fact, some pupils and students who were struggling before the pandemic started have thrived and gained better results than before. There are enough such positive surprise cases than a state study will look into it and see if something can be learned and improved on here. In Norway the public schools massively outvolume private schools and homeschooling is so rare as to be almost extinct. But we have as many kids who struggle as any other western country none the less.

What is not a success is the 'Smittestopper' cellphone app which was supposed to help people avoid infected people. The naive idea of the state was to make an application that lets everybody register if they themselves have infection or symptoms or not, and then one could walk in the street and the app would go ping if someone with symptoms or infection came too close. George Orwell would have been so proud. From a personal privacy angle this is tantamount to ringing a bell every ten feet and shouting 'INFECTED', Plague style. Even worse, this is a fantastic way to track every step you take - or the steps you are interested in following, if you have some computer skills and ill intentions. I have already voiced my concern about this crap and so have about every security professional on the planet. By now we have some statistics from the state, which conveniently does not include any crimes done through this tool. About 1.5 million people of a population of five million have downloaded it. Which means the chances that anyone you meet on the street ever downloaded it, are 30%. However, four(?) weeks after it was introduced less than 50% of the downloaders still has it on their cellphone. Now the chances of that random guy passing you on the street telling you by his cellphone that he has symptoms or infections, is down to just 15%. AND he might just happen to not register that he IS infected because that is socially awkward. And considering how many people install an app and don't use it intentionally ever again, I'd say the odds of you walking down the street and getting as much as a ping are very very remote. This is a waste of taxpayer money at a time when we need them for other things, a waste of normally very solid faith in the government, an ineptly planned campaign - and we still haven't seen the statistics for criminal abuse of this "Wunderwaffe".

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2020, 10:31:44 AM »
Three days later:
8196 infected, of which 58 are in hospital - 13 in ICU with respirator (down 3). 232 are dead. 216k+ tested.

The vast majority of those registered as infected no longer have any symptoms. The number 8196 includes everyone testing positive during the last two months.

Of the deaths attributed to the virus, about 95% happened to people aged 84 or more, and about 95% happened to people with other serious health issues.

Unsurprisingly, the 'Smittestopp' cellphone app is in deep shit. It was offered from the government as a tool strictly for letting people know if their nearest passing people were infected so they could maintain minimum presense. Now it has been revealed, to nobody but the politicians' apparent childlike surprise, that the state has been using the system to track infected people and use it as a data gathering tool for statistics. This is stuff the system was not legally approved for. Somebody's pants are on fire. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority, which is a powerful independent national board for the protection of individual privacy, are now investigating these breaches and may throw a monkey wrench in the entire system.

There are now government signals that there will be some easening on the border control, like in other European countries. Norwegian borders were shut and shut hard as the gravity of the situation came on to us. Going back to how it was is not happening any time soon. The massive international tourist traffic from Norway is not resuming this summer. The government strongly advises tourists to explore our own country this summer. Also the traffic into Norway from other country will likely be just a small fraction of what it usually is. Job travel will be eased somewhat; already the obligatory 14 day quarantine is reduced to 10 days. That's not going to bring much joy for business travelers, but for seasonal farming workers the entire quarantine is removed as long as the traveler have no symptoms.

The Baltic countries and other European cluster nations are now working on freeing the borders inside their groups, where they have the same level of infection. This is now refered to as 'travel corridors'. Norway is also discussing such measures, with the other Scandinavian countries except Sweden as they have chosen a radically different approach and are considered to have much more infection.

Some good news: After the arrival of the corona virus, other infectious illnesses are registered down with 70%.

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Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2020, 01:13:53 PM »
Unsurprisingly, the 'Smittestopp' cellphone app is in deep shit. It was offered from the government as a tool strictly for letting people know if their nearest passing people were infected so they could maintain minimum presense. Now it has been revealed, to nobody but the politicians' apparent childlike surprise, that the state has been using the system to track infected people and use it as a data gathering tool for statistics. This is stuff the system was not legally approved for. Somebody's pants are on fire. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority, which is a powerful independent national board for the protection of individual privacy, are now investigating these breaches and may throw a monkey wrench in the entire system.

Having looked at the online info for Smittestopp, my first instinct is to say, "Well, how else are they supposed to do that?" All that data has to go somewhere, in order for the app to work as intended. Of course it's tracking infected individuals. It has to, in order to tell when someone comes within 6 feet of them.

And while a lot of machine learning is a black box, there's still going to be people looking at that data - they have to in order to make sure that the app is working properly. Running statistical inference on that data is essential to making the app work. And in the process you're gonna learn some things about trends and hotspots.

As someone who's learned a thing or two about Data Science for work, the moment I heard the premise the app, my first thought was, "This will be used to gather epidemiological data, and better understand the spread of the virus." Alerting users that they have been within 6 feet of an infected individual is the "selling point" - it makes users want to use the app, because it gives them helpful information.

Which isn't to say I think they behaved ethically. I think the intention was good, but you've gotta be really upfront and transparent with people - most of whom don't fully understand how much data they give up every time they use any app of any kind. Would that have passed muster and gotten approved? That's a good question. If approved, would it have gotten as many users? Unlikely, but hopefully enough people would still sign up to give valuable epidemiological insights.

In this case, I don't think there's anything truly sinister going on (though lord knows data can be collected and used for sinister purposes), but people need to be better informed about such things.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2020, 10:58:22 AM »


You have some good points. Yes, it is highly unlikely that the Norwegian government has evil intentions for the system. In the 75 years since WW2 there has hardly been any incidents where cruel masterminds in state employ were abusing the trust given them. Unfortunately there is no lack of incidents where innocents have suffered from the actions of ill directed leadership. We were castrating gipsies so they shouldn't breed up to the 1950s, lobotomy was still practiced until the 1980s, until last year people were registered locally as halfwits so the municipalities could cash in on state support for them while spending the money on other things, and on and on. We have the harshest child support services on the planet (according to a lot of other countries anyway). More relevant, new security additions to state systems revealed that 'celebrities' (anyone known from TV or the news) were checked out in the system by about a hundred times more police and hospital workers than actually worked on their law/health cases. To me, Smittestopp is yet another state system positively begging to provide entertainment to the people who are supposed to keep information private.

This is not a story isolated to the state. Incidentally we currently have a big national newsissue about how cell phone apps gather user data, which are then sold as 'statistics' on the open market. The trouble is, the data seem to always include such details as name, phone number, street address.... One of the main news channels here showed how they could buy a 'statistics' package for about 3000 dollars, then follow one randomly picked guy's every step outside his own home for eight entire months. Where he shopped, who he visited, what roads he preferred, it was all available. The app makers' big trick is to offer the app to people along with a bunch of guarantees and limitations and they promise to only sell data which are volume statistics. Except the base data aren't anonymous. That's what makes them so sellable.

I'm a cynical guy. Bordering on paranoid, perhaps. But I go by what they have done in the past. On the big clock of the universe it's just a minute since our leaders started rounding up jews, gipsies and other undesirables and putting them on a boat for holiday camps in Poland. That one will probably not happen again, because there weren't really any jews left afterwards. What else can happen? We might find out. For my part I like to keep the state out of my cell phone to what degree I can, before they start handing out gold stars again. It's 1984.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Corona pandemic in Norway.
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2020, 07:10:33 AM »
Four days later:
8257 infected, of which 50 are in hospital ( down 8)- 11 in ICU with respirator. 233 are dead (1 up). 219k+ tested.

A little while ago ago there was talk of gearing up the local authorities's test taking ability to 5% of the population per week, after testing gear became available for something like that volume. This goal has now been reduced to 1.5%, if even that happens. Partly this is because the apparent pandemic spreading in the general public is now so low that it makes little sense to put that sort of machinery into action. Partly because an increasing number of people doesn't want to get tested any more.