Reply To: Point of Order

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Thank you for raising this point of order, ET.

I think you’re missing the point of the mod comment, which could have been spelled out more clearly. Dave had already accused Clark of feigning distress as a “tactic” to close down discussion and was sardonically invoking the same method himself – except of course in Dave’s case the expression of upset really was feigned and insincere. The mod remark was designed to show, with similarly dry humour, that the sarcastic implications were acknowledged. It wasn’t arraigning Dave for a simple typo (most of which we silently fix for everyone as a matter of routine), much less censuring dyslexia (which clearly isn’t the case here, in view of Dave’s other contributions). Dave’s dry reply shows he acknowledged the point. However, the inherent risk in using sarcasm is that some people interpret the communication literally, as seems to have happened here. So we will resort to making more literal statements.

The “SARS cov2 and Covid 19” thread hasn’t been closed permanently. It was locked because the mode of communication had degenerated into pointless off-topic sniping, and was getting worse overnight. That thread required continual monitoring and intervention from moderators at a time when we are trying to prepare new guidelines for the forum. When new problems start appearing while moderators are still dealing with earlier ones, it’s time to slam on the brakes (not literally, of course).

The arguments were overlapping and distracting from each other, and people were posting replies – not all of which are visible – to offend rather than inform, so the thread was locked temporarily to allow the heat of debate to cool down while the moderators develop new forum guidelines. Clearly there were some valuable contributions amongst the mudslinging, and they have not been lost. You are welcome to create your own topics in the meantime to follow particular lines of argument in the locked thread. Incidentally, one of the new guidelines will be that topic titles should define the discussion more specifically – as N_ has done with SARSCoV2 “outbreak” on isle of Barra in Scotland rather than just “SARSCoV2“.