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The Stationmaster

Corona-virus - Impact of the Health Situation worldwide

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9 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

The impact on the Chinese economy - of which model railways are an insignificant part of overall consumer goods manufacture - will take time to become clear.  There is a considerable difference in what we know of the way China is dealing with this outbreak and the way it dealt with the SARS outbreak in 2003.  For example this time round there are major restrictions on the movement of of people which no doubt also impacts on the movement of goods as it has been reported that special arrangements have been made in order to allow food supplies into Wuhan because the 'blockade' was preventing their delivery.

 

The 2003 SARS outbreak knocked Chinese growth and output back by a couple of percentage points but the impact was not so widely felt internationally.  Since then China's overall involvement in the worldwide economy, and its role as a supplier of consumer goods to the Western World in particular, has grown massively while Chinese involvement in various developments outside the country has also increased substantially.  So in theory the impact of the movement restrictions to help control spread of this outbreak will have a more significant domestic and international impact than the SARS outbreak.  But theory is one thing and practice is another so it is difficult to say what might happen in that respect although stock markets around the world seem to have made up their minds that there will be an impact.

 

Another significant thing this time is that it appears that most of the movement restrictions were put in place after people had travelled home for Chinese New Year.  That could have two effects - Wuhan itself is largely a production and development centre for all sorts of things with a strong presence from western companies who are no doubt involved in manufacture there so the infection might have spread although restrictions were out in place there quite early on.  But if - as is usual - many people went home for CNY they might not now be able to get back to where they worked so that effect could well potentially add to the normal problem of labour turnover due to CNY - but again we simply do not know what the impact might be on manufacture of consumer goods (or anything else).   But we can surmise that there might be some impact - without having much idea of what it will be.

 

As I mentioned in my original post choking off, or reducing, the supply of output from Chinese factories could have all sorts of impacts we wouldn't otherwise think of.  The Chinese Govt can easily take steps to financially protect companies and factories in China because it has the financial power to do so.  The situation outside China could be different because of an interruption to supplies and might even impact on concerns and businesses which are far more household names than purveyors of model railways.  For example I recently bough a camera - Japanese company but like many contemporary  'Japanese' cameras it was made in China, as were the new teapot and slow cooker my wife bought recently.  Those purchases are  possibly a microcosm of something far wider in economic and business terms but as yet we simply do not know what might happen beyond China if goods can't get to ports because of movement restrictions on people.  

 

as for Aommunication that is much simpler - the internet is a powerful tool for business communication particularly when it involves conversations halfway round the globe.

 

At the moment I think - as others have said - the biggest concern around the world has to be control of the spread of infection and the search for a vaccine.  The wider economic effects will have to come out in the wash and that  includes model railways.

 

Thank you Mike for that,

 

I tried to express something similar in Hornby with reference to how it might turn out for industry (like Hornby) and others who are suffering in China and potentially worldwide, we already have big effects on tourism here, downturns in all kinds of  related trade, without even thinking about such as model trains.

 

As I see it many if not most deaths are so far lung related from secondary infection, and we will know long before a vaccine is available just how virulent this strain is; whether facemasks etc will help stem the spread, and remember many Chinese are heavy smokers, but this doesn't appear in so-called 'cause of death', but as it stands now we don't know much and are quite reasonably stopping all travellers from China into Australasia.

 

It is very hard on the very many  o'seas uni students here who are now stuck in China, having gone home for their Chinese New Year.

 

I apologise in advance for any offence I may cause by inappropriate phrasing. I am no stranger to life-and-death medical situations and may sound blase at times.

 

 

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With a global economy the effects can be widespread. More on UK news today about UK companies using Chinese electronic components who are in difficulties. Air freight has resulted in a very short supply chain from a distant country.  

As stationmaster says, China is now involved in many industries that can be affected by the necessary responses to coronavirus. 

Apart from the very serious effects of this disease to those who suffer from it or have to deal with it, it has a big knock on effect on many other people's lives. 

So I think Rob was right to bring this up for discussion.

Hopefully there will be a cure soon.

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On 28/01/2020 at 13:17, KeithMacdonald said:

 

Yet, it is relevant for similar reasons. Headline news in the UK would have us believe Avian Flu is somehow (and only) being spread by wild migrating birds. Ignoring the reality that most outbreaks of Avian Flu reported in the UK happen indoors in breeder farms. Typically in East Anglia, which use chicks imported by the lorry load from breeders in the east of Europe, where chicks can be bred and hatched more intensively and at lower cost, bringing Avian Flu in by road.

My 60's warning was after an article  about intensive chicken farming which was just starting  then .Probably in the Guardian .

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The panic is starting to take hold, as today’s  BBC report of an ethnically Chinese market stall trader in Aberyswyth show’s.  She had been visiting rellys in Taiwan, 1,000 km away from China and 2 from Wuhan.  This is not racism, it’s irrational fear, though both are capable of suspending normal rationality, as well as being indicators of stupidity in general. 
 

I’m Welsh myself and proud of it, but have to admit that when we go down the stupid road, we go all the way, non stop, outside lane, horn blaring...

 

 

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13 hours ago, The Johnster said:

The panic is starting to take hold, as today’s  BBC report of an ethnically Chinese market stall trader in Aberyswyth show’s.  She had been visiting rellys in Taiwan, 1,000 km away from China and 2 from Wuhan.  This is not racism, it’s irrational fear, though both are capable of suspending normal rationality, as well as being indicators of stupidity in general. 
 

I’m Welsh myself and proud of it, but have to admit that when we go down the stupid road, we go all the way, non stop, outside lane, horn blaring...

 

 

And every one thought the Chinese where going to get us with 5G!! ....no need give the world another type of virus! 

 

Let's hope the world leaders can keep us safe and the current 'problem ' peaks and faids with PROPER cooperation, control.....and a bit of good fortune.

Heavens forbid my new loco is delayed getting on a boat in China

 

 

Hugs and kisses...stay safe

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This morning they reported that the man who was taken ill on the first repatriation flight does not have the virus. So his self isolation on the plane and the authorities actions on arrival, were not actually necessary. However they were entirely rational measures.

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According to the most recent WHO report (available on their website), there have been no new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

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2 hours ago, HonestTom said:

According to the most recent WHO report (available on their website), there have been no new cases reported in the last 24 hours.


Did it not say no new countries reporting cases.  There were over 3000 new cases.

 

 

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200204-sitrep-15-ncov.pdf?sfvrsn=88fe8ad6_2

 

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Every cloud has a silver lining.

The situation has quietened down in Hong Kong.

Bernard

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I do hope this thing is sorted and goes away. I have been quite worried about this and I know that is irrational but I'm getting on a bit and already have a load of stupid conditions that leave me vulnerable to Viruses. However, it must be a warning. Imagine if it had started somewhere that did not have the resources and/or knowledge of the Chinese and that place was possibly a very popular tourist destination and/or had loads of through transport, busy airports. Think those Indian Railways for example!

P

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The effect on trade with China is large, as is the effect on the population in China, and we still don't know the virulence of the strain as in transmission and likely outcomes, so travel and trade are the biggest effects, with 400+ deaths from many many thousands described as 'infected' it may not be much worse than an influenza type ,  but since all that is not known yet we will get in the meantime precautions and  attendant cancellations of sales in both directions of trade.

 

Apart from the sad loss of life, many many people are stuck in quarantine, not nice.

 

I look forward to more clarity about the ability of the virus to travel, and suitable lifting of restraints. But that is based on hope, currently. A vaccine will be many months away, and isn't relevant to decisions for the next month or two.

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On 28/01/2020 at 13:49, KeithMacdonald said:

 

Now that you've reminded me, unpleasant memories have resurfaced, Memories I'd rather not have back. People who watched events on TV from the comfort of their homes may have no idea at all that the cure was worse than the disease. Many people who did live in F&M control areas witnessed first hand distressing instances of incompetence and downright cruelty from people acting on behalf of the UK government's agencies (DEFRA/MAFF). Often including farms that were miles from known F&M outbreaks, with animals being shot in open fields by people with no previous experience of handling livestock.

 

Please read the Warmwell Knowstone transcripts:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190424233800fw_/http://www.warmwell.com/july15knowstonetranscripts.html

 

It's worth noting that the MAFF policies were based on theoretical mathematical modelling of "worst case" scenarios by "experts" at the University of London. The same "experts" were used for Swine Flu in 2009 and yet again today. Of course, when the "worst case" scenarios didn't happen, MAFF and the experts were congratulated for the promptness of their action, avoiding whether the action was ever proportionate or clinically necessary.

Hi Kieth,

 

Strangely all of the farmers in my area that did not allow the ministry onto their lands did not get foot and mouth within their herds.

 

Gibbo.

Edited by Gibbo675
Improper grammar.
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17 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

Hi Kieth,

 

Strangely all of the farmers in my area that did not allow the ministry onto their lands did not get foot and mouth.

 

Gibbo.


What about their livestock though?

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4 minutes ago, BoD said:


What about their livestock though?

Apologies for my poor grammar !

 

I shall edit my post accordingly.

 

Gibbo.

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1 hour ago, Bernard Lamb said:

Every cloud has a silver lining.

The situation has quietened down in Hong Kong.

Bernard

 

Smaller scale, certainly.  Some of the emphasis has also changed to 'close the borders'.  Expect further trouble between the HK locals, and the incomers from the mainland who are settling in the towns surrounding Kowloon.  

 

All my planned trips to HK and the mainland are now postponed indefinitely.

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1 hour ago, Dr Gerbil-Fritters said:

 

Smaller scale, certainly.  Some of the emphasis has also changed to 'close the borders'.  Expect further trouble between the HK locals, and the incomers from the mainland who are settling in the towns surrounding Kowloon.  

 

All my planned trips to HK and the mainland are now postponed indefinitely.

I was just attempting to add a bit of black humour to the topic.

However the situation in Hong Kong has become more complicated with this outbreak.

Travel has been restricted and I don't think the full situation is well known in the UK.

I know a family where one young person has been involved in the demonstrations.

An account of her experience of being on the wrong end of tear gas was quite illuminating.

There is a marked difference between the views of the younger generation and their parents.

Her parents are fairly well off and at weekends they have been crossing over into mainland China to get away from the demonstrations.

Not many people are able to do that.

This has now been stopped.

My daughter is a teacher and her school has a teacher exchange arrangement with a school in China. At the moment the next trip has been suspended.

Add to the mix the point you make and once the virus has gone I fear that troubled times are ahead.

Bernard 

 

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10 hours ago, APOLLO said:

Interesting article here - a bit concerning.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/02/05/chinas-coronavirus-not-remotely-control-world-economy-mounting2/

 

Far more to worry about than model trains.

 

brit15

Which is why I started this thread in the way that I did.  Model trains are really an irrelevance here - just a minor matter among far wider economic circumstances in respect of consumer goods and various other things such as components where the west has allowed encouraged China to become the workshop of the world and build up massive reserves of foreign currencies.  There could be a so far unforeseen impact on the whole way in which consumerism works - although in saying that it is a sort of worst most extreme case example.  And that might - at the most extreme situation - be a more influential effect on theh world economy as China has t spend it reserves and resources within the country and reduces its export capital.

 

Although of course neither we nor anybody else really knows how it will pan out because so far effectively it appears all that might have happened in production terms has been an extension of CNY out to the maximum extent of the holiday period.  in other words the annual blip has just become a very slightly bigger blip for some factories etc.

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19 hours ago, APOLLO said:

Interesting article here - a bit concerning.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/02/05/chinas-coronavirus-not-remotely-control-world-economy-mounting2/

 

Far more to worry about than model trains.

 

brit15

That’s essentially a more thorough analysis of what has been leaking out through contacts in China.  One has only to wonder why the news of the virus had such prominence when the number of confirmed cases was apparently very small, given also China’s reputation for openness, to question the veracity of the early reports.  The perception is that the official figures are starting to catch up with the reality.

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It is going to have a huge effect for many businesses.

 

Models are only a tiny bit.

 

I just hope for everyones sake it dies down again soon.

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On 06/02/2020 at 18:36, EddieB said:

That’s essentially a more thorough analysis of what has been leaking out through contacts in China.  One has only to wonder why the news of the virus had such prominence when the number of confirmed cases was apparently very small, given also China’s reputation for openness, to question the veracity of the early reports.  The perception is that the official figures are starting to catch up with the reality.

The official figures in the Wuhan area have now changed - very much in an upward direction - but due to a change in the way in which infection is assessed.

 

The wider economic picture continues to produce what some might regard as totally unconnected consequences showing just how something like this outbreak can influence all sorts of areas.  With considerable publicity about outbreaks in certain cruise ships in the Far East it might not be entirely surprising to learn that Carnival Group (a major cruise ship operator) are showing a very unseasonal downturn in sales although thus far their prices are following their normal pattern.  In addition they have one ship ('Diamond Princess'  - Princess Cruises brand) quarantined at Yokohama while another, MS Westerdam (sailing under their Holland America flag) and with no reported cases has been turned away by 4 countries in South East Asia/Oceania although it's reported it will now be allowed to dock in Cambodia.   So if nothing else Carnival are being hit by increased costs although with revenues of nearly $19 billion  (2018 figure) it doesn't look as if they're in any danger of going bust.

 

It was incidentally reported yesterday that Chinese factory staff will be allowed to start returning to work in groups rather than all at once (although perhaps things might be different if it involves travel between quarantined areas?) so attempts are now being made to restart production.

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On 13/02/2020 at 11:49, The Stationmaster said:

The wider economic picture continues to produce what some might regard as totally unconnected consequences showing just how something like this outbreak can influence all sorts of areas.

 

The disruption will have global impacts to varying degrees. Locally we had this story yesterday https://www.ft.com/content/ef3b2caa-4e73-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5 where JCB are reducing production hours. "The Staffordshire-based company gave no timeline of when normal production would resume. “The industry as a whole is just-in-time supply chains so if a manufacturer the size of JCB is affected like this, you’d expect others to be,” added Mr Sleight."

 

In our micro-world of the hobby there will, inevitably, be some knock on effects on supply. I understand that Kader's design staff for the railway division are working as usual as they are in Hong Kong so their impacts are limited to production rather than the whole workflow. Others may face different issues.

 

Family in HK tell us that the streets there are largely empty; many are staying at home wherever possible, some schools are remaining closed until mid-March (at least) and the majority of public or tourist facilities are closed. Fewer flights seem to be operating to there as some long-distance flights are consolidated.

 

Overall I can see this being attributed for a slowdown in global economy elements for part of the year. With reduced industrial output I can see shipping facing some consolidation from the East too which may affect shipping of products.

 

So, probably, some model railway items will face production delays; we may not know what the slated arrival dates are for some items and may never know how much of a delay this will cause so I think some understanding of the frustration for everyone in the supply chain will be appropriate.

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I feel very sad for those people caught up in this epidemic. Ordinary people, leading ordinary lives. I'd guess China will try to keep a lid on this, both as a virus, and the news of the virus. 

 

I'm not too sure about those people who have left Wuhan; I'm sure that those evacuees will be very closely monitored, but that is not always the point. What do you say to people who are escaping, leaving the ordinary folk behind? How do you return, after failing to share the burden together?

 

Self-preservation is an understandable emotion, but sometimes you have to stand your ground. It's easy for me, typing this post whilst being 10,000 miles away  I forsee a  social shift, amongst those who have 'had' to stay, and those who have the necessary clout or ability to  flee. 

 

Sad times indeed. Writing this on here, a model railway forum, leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

 

Best Wishes,

Ian Smith.

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Andy Y is right about the short- and long-term effects of the virus spreading out across everyone's pool. Take one example - the stricken cruise liner with thousands of people on board. We all hope they survive, passengers and crew, of course, but what claims will be made against the cruise line, and individual holiday insurers, such insurance being mandatory for cruising? And what of bookings right now? Would you be signing up for a cruise, when who knows who, recently in China, might be your dinner-table partner? 

 

Manufacturing of electronic components and all sorts of machines and widgets, great and small, is concentrated in China, or other SE Asian countries. If supplies dry up from them what does the Western World firm do? Close its doors for months, put the workforce out, plead to the bank for clemency? Would a banking crisis be far behind? 

 

If China does not re-open for business relatively soon, the scope for meltdown in the rest of the world is enormous. 

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