Perceptions and facts about Coronavirus - discussion

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dvsDave

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Moving conversations about the coronavirus here.
 
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TimMc

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@StradivariusBone I wasn't suggesting FAST Billie'd get deleted but myself. My expeditions to and fro' our local hospital were a fabulous treat, I met many, MANY, fabulously attractive ladies; ALL ladies are attractive, some more so than others; more than 'enough said.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Damn sight-seers...

My Doc said "use the precautions with people you think are healthy as you'd use with those who are not." Do they sell bubble suits on Amazon?
 

Ben Stiegler

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I don't think that's fair, either as a comparison or to the media. Automobile accidents are in the news all the time, a bus driver has a heart attack and the bus hit a tree, and a child died, a car lost control and skidded off the highway in the mountains and was lost in the snow, and wasn't found for weeks, etc, etc, etc. There are examples of tragic accidents and road-rage, vehicle pileups and senseless acts of violence everyday.

But, those things are an accepted risk of getting into your car everyday. Kids today are taught to drive more defensively in drivers Ed, cars have gotten much safer, with anti-collision sensors, and automated braking, and a host of thousands of incremental improvements every year. Better crumple zones, stronger and lighter materials, better airbags, more airbags, active sensors on seatbelt pre-tensioners, sensors that detect if you start falling asleep at the wheel. Lane-drift correction, the list goes on and on. We, as a society, are getting really good at being able to mitigate as much risk as possible, while still allowing the freedoms we all enjoy today.

Coronavirus is much scarier than a car accident, you can't see it, you can't sense it, and you have no immediate way to know if you contracted it. It traveled so fast through parts of China that production of goods basically came to a standstill, and the Chinese government responded by putting more than 45 MILLION people into involuntary quarantine, which would basically be the same as the US shutting down all of California and Oregon combined. That is a very scary prospect. The scope, and speed of transmission is what sets coronavirus apart. It's not part of society's collective known risk factors.

We all accept that influenza raises it's ugly head every winter, in fact, myself and my whole family, all 7 of us, had influenza over a two week period in February. It nailed our house, we were in a self-imposed quarantine for nearly 2 weeks, only venturing out to the doc's and to the pharmacy. We had groceries delivered, and thankfully, I work remotely from home. What could have been a major financial blow for us was not, and I know that I am extremely lucky in that regard. I have a great job, and the flexibility to take time off, or work in my PJs at odd hours while sipping soup and trying to breathe normally. The whole family getting the flu sucked, like a lot, and it truly underscores the fact that we need true healthcare reform in this country, we were able to weather the flu because we all had insurance, either provided by my job, or through the state. Too many people do not have that. But, I digress.

The flu is a known risk factor. Coronavirus is not part of our collective risk factors. It's an outlier, a non-discriminating virus, transmitted invisibly and undetectably. Our only saving grace is that while it's amazingly easy to transmit, it's not sd amazingly deadly. Please don't get me wrong, it's still deadly and has killed thousands, but its death vs transmission rate could be much worse. That said, the statistics of coronavirus survival on non-immunocompromised people is really good. Especially for kids. That's the good news, the bad news is that it's really bad for people who have respiratory issues and for older generations. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Much remains unknown about the novel coronavirus ripping through China, but one thing is certain. The disease can cast a storm over the whole human body. Such has been the nature of past zoonotic coronaviruses, ones that hopped from animals to humans like SARS and MERS. Unlike their common-cold-causing cousins, these emergent coronaviruses can spark a viral-induced fire throughout many of a person’s organs, and the new disease—dubbed "COVID-19" by the World Health Organization—is no exception when it is severe.

That helps explain why the COVID-19 epidemic has killed more than 3,800 people, surpassing the SARS death toll in a matter of weeks. While the death rate for COVID-19 appears to be a fifth of SARS, COVID-19 has spread faster.
On February 14th, the confirmed cases rose to more than 50,000, nearly a 50 percent jump relative to the prior day, and the tally has since increased by another 13,000. Today, it stands at over 111,000 globally. The leap in cases reflects a change in the way Chinese authorities are diagnosing infections instead of a massive shift in the scope of the outbreak. Rather than wait for patients to test positive for the virus, diagnoses now include anyone whose chest scan reveals COVID-19’s distinctive pattern of pneumonia. This is what kills people, the way it attacks our respiratory system, causing the cilia, which helps keep our lungs clear, to die and we basically drown with fluid in our lungs. The virus ups the ante by attacking the cytokine response, which is our bodies attack beacon for our immune system, and our body starts attacking healthy cells as well.

All of this is to say that the danger is not over-hyped. It is deadly, maybe not to you, but to a large segment of the global population, it has the potential to be fatal. We have seen pandemics before, but this one is scarier because of how fast it travels. I don't think the media is overplaying this.

We, as a society, need a wake-up call. A call for taking better care of ourselves, a call to recognize that the herd has to protect the weak and that we all share the responsibility to act responsibly and try not to spread our illnesses around.

Perhaps, for those of us in the US, this is what we need to finally get people to agree that healthcare for all benefits society as a whole. I really don't care where people stand politically on most subjects, but there is no good argument that our current system isn't terribly broken and that healthcare should be a basic human right.

So, let's stop comparing coronavirus to other risk factors of life, like auto deaths, influenza, and obesity. These are all known risk factors, that we have the ability to fight. When we have a vaccine for coronavirus, it will fade from our consciousness, but until it does, it's gonna be part of the conversation for the next year or two, and it will have a lasting impact on our society.
well said, Dave!
 

Ben Stiegler

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Here is hands-down the BEST analysis (and help-yourself play with the model) article I've seen in a month, by Tomas Pueyo. "Corona Virus - why you MUST act now.

Lots of graphs, lots of recommendations. Takeaway - shut down events/isolate HARD now, as even a 1-2 day delay in implementing measures allows exponential growth of contact and cases. Our medical system is woefully under-supplied (for example, only 250 functioning special respiratory assist devices in the US at the moment) - and we can't build these out of muslin and 2x4s quickly. I urge you to read this all the way thru - then use your best judgement and influence to create as much safety as possible for yourself, loved ones, work mates, and the public.

 
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macsound

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I've seen some of my friends deciding to make spur of the moment trips because of low prices. Also because airlines are offering refunds no questions asked, the planes are virtually empty and no longer as much of an issue for contracting diseases.
I can also see the supply/ demand thing with TP and hand sanitizer, all of the crazies who stocked up for the end of the world won't be purchasing any time soon, so once the shelves get restocked, they will deplete at normal or less than normal rates.
 

JimOC_1

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For those like myself who profess ZERO medical knowledge: Is this a case of if you survive it, you naturally acquire / develop an immunity making it more difficult to become reinfected OR? (No, I'm not proposing a new QOTD. )
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Hi Ron,
Regrets on your hospital trips and get well soon. Did you get to ask the medical folks your question? Word out of China has been considered suspect. It's one bug, and not hundreds of types like the common cold (becoming immune to one type of cold may not protect from the next one). I've heard the expectation is that people do get immunity like other Coronavirus . The question is will this bug mutate it's outer shell and come back around?
Get better,
Jim
 

JChenault

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Dave

in your post you said.

The flu is a known risk factor. Coronavirus is not part of our collective risk factors. It's an outlier, a non-discriminating virus, transmitted invisibly and undetectably. Our only saving grace is that while it's amazingly easy to transmit, it's not sd amazingly deadly. Please don't get me wrong, it's still deadly and has killed thousands, but its death vs transmission rate could be much worse. That said, the statistics of coronavirus survival on non-immunocompromised people is really good. Especially for kids. That's the good news, the bad news is that it's really bad for people who have respiratory issues and for older generations. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
i believe you are wrong about “statistics for survival on non-immunocompromised people is really good “

the stats from China show a case fatality rate of 2.3% from all confirmed cases. That rose to 8% for ages 70 to 79 and 14.8% for ages over 80. Looking at the numbers for underlying medical conditions make me think age is at least as important than other factors. ( stats from an AMA paper about the Chinese experience)

it may just be the fact that I am (just) over 70, but if I can’t avoid the disease, I have an 8% chance of death. Doesn’t sound good to me.

personally I’m worried and a bit scared ( and washing my hands a lot )
 
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dvsDave

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Dave

in your post you said.



i believe you are wrong about “statistics for survival on non-immunocompromised people is really good “

the stats from China show a case fatality rate of 2.3% from all confirmed cases. That rose to 8% for ages 70 to 79 and 14.8% for ages over 80. Looking at the numbers for underlying medical conditions make me think age is at least as important than other factors. ( stats from an AMA paper about the Chinese experience)

it may just be the fact that I am (just) over 70, but if I can’t avoid the disease, I have an 8% chance of death. Doesn’t sound good to me.

personally I’m worried and a bit scared ( and washing my hands a lot )
That's fair, I should have included older demographics as well. In my defense, I initially wrote that post really early in the morning (for me).
 
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Ancient Engineer

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I should probably not post this because it will paint me a morbid MF, which I am not.

But perspective is always interesting at least.

This virus has to kill 6,000,000,000 (that is billion) people to reduce the earth's population to 1930s levels...

I would comment on the conditions in the 1930s, but that would be pedantic.

It took us about 200,000 years to go from cave dwelling to 2,000,000,000 people in 1930.

It took only 90 more years to get to 8,000,000,000.

No snarky comment needed about growth rates, but in reality, Covid is unlikely to be radical fast enough to cause this kind of destruction to our population.

A group of science professionals have determined that a measurable part of global warming is the radiant heat from living humans...

In our own minds we think 1000 or 10,000 people is a lot. It isn't. Unless you have to pick them up.

We may have closely encountered 100,000 people in the course our lives, or .0000125 of the planet's population...

So, when the news readers strike fear into your heart that the deaths have "surged" to 6606 (per the WHO report today 17MAR20) it is not even close to the end of times.

6606 deaths worldwide, or .000000825 of the planet's population.

Namaste.
 
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BillConnerFASTC

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But, those things are an accepted risk of getting into your car everyday
Just had some time and wanted to note 16% of those are pedestrians. I guess if you go walking you could consider getting plowed down by a car as an accepted risk, but I don't. That's in US, and reported as over 6000 in 2018. As reported by CBS on line this afternoon, 95 deaths from coronavirus in US so far of 5700 diagnosed.

If you look at it like the Italians look at this, you might consider the majority of coronavirus deaths are over 60, and the deaths caused by vehicles concentrated in the 17-44 age range.

You may believe the coronavirus is a bigger threat to humanity than DUIs, but I don't. And besides, after a couple of pandemics like this, we'll become complacent like we have for so many other things. And I'm in the coronavirus high risk group for this.
 

dvsDave

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Just had some time and wanted to note 16% of those are pedestrians. I guess if you go walking you could consider getting plowed down by a car as an accepted risk, but I don't. That's in US, and reported as over 6000 in 2018. As reported by CBS on line this afternoon, 95 deaths from coronavirus in US so far of 5700 diagnosed.

If you look at it like the Italians look at this, you might consider the majority of coronavirus deaths are over 60, and the deaths caused by vehicles concentrated in the 17-44 age range.

You may believe the coronavirus is a bigger threat to humanity than DUIs, but I don't. And besides, after a couple of pandemics like this, we'll become complacent like we have for so many other things. And I'm in the coronavirus high risk group for this.
But again, there are ways to mitigate these dangers. Curbs, bollards, bollards disguised as massive planters (seriously all over DC), pedestrian warning systems + active braking in cars, etc. We have the tech to mitigate this, and we haven't stopped developing it further. And we'll never know how many of those pedestrian deaths were avoided, or how many could have been avoided with the right technology, better road/sidewalk design, or better public transportation options.

Now, I wrote the initial post back on March 9th, and a lot has changed in our world since then. We now know what is required of us, social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation. Only time will tell how effective it all is, we still don't even know the true morbidity rate of this virus, since it now appears that a LOT of people may have it and it's so mild it's nothing more than a cough/cold in presentation. Hopefully, it will be lower than we feared, and we see start seeing a slowdown in reported cases, of course, that means we need enough test kits available to determine this with any degree of precision. The tricky part is once the infection rate starts to slow, we keep the social distancing going for enough time that we can really stop this thing in its tracks. I would argue that it's as dangerous as we feared. @gafftaper pointed me to an Influenza genetic study going on in Seattle. They had some of the earliest information about COVID-19 pop up in their results. They studied two cases 6 weeks apart in time. Genetically they could see that the one was a direct descendant of the other. The two people lived 20 miles apart and had no connections to each other. They figure it passed undetected through at least 6 people to reach patient #2. Meanwhile, if every generation infects 2 people, passing through 6 people in between means there are 253 others who had it undetected... And they infected 506 people who infected 1012 people... This is the sort of math that makes CV more dangerous than pedestrian deaths. Pedestrian deaths don't spread exponentially.
 
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gafftaper

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My wife is a nurse in a cancer center. All of her patients are on chemotherapy so they are incredibly fragile and at high risk at this time. So my wife spends a good part of her day studying all of the latest research and announcements from the WHO, CDC, major research institutions, and her own hospital network's policies. If you have any questions post them here and I'll try to get answers for you.
 
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JChenault

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To Ancient Engineer.
Not sure why you picked 1930 as an reference point, but you made me wonder if I come up with a guesstimate for deaths in USA

So I did a back of the napkin calculation on probably deaths in the US based on China experience from a JAMA ( Journal of American Medical Association) article.

At the writing of the paper, There were 44, 672 confirmed cases. Most in Wuhan. Wuhan has a population of 11 million.
That means that approximately .004 of the population contracted the disease with enough symptoms that they were considered sick.
On the 44,672 who were confirmed, the death rate was 2.3% ( Much higher among older patients. 8% in my age group.

So if we simply expand that to the US with a population of 330 million, we should expect about 1,320,000 confirmed cases.
If we apply the 2.3% death rate that gets us to about 30,000 deaths.

So that is around the death rate from auto deaths in this country for a year.

But the Chinese experience is not yet over. The number of cases is lowering, but there are still new cases ( and new deaths)
And the Chinese took draconian quarantine procedures that are unlikely to be imposed here.

30,000 is probably a reasonable floor for deaths in US. If we work hard at keeping the virus from spreading. If we don't contain it - and our hospitals get swamped - it could be substantially worse.

Just my back of the envelope calculation. - and I am not a health care professional.

One of my fears ( and should be Gafftapers as well) is that 3.8% of the cases were from health care professionals. That indicates that his wife ( and mine ) are at much greater risk from this disease than the general population.
 
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RonHebbard

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Ancient Engineer

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1930, because that is when the planet's population was at 2 billion. It was the first true evidence that the industrial revolution was causing a population explosion that was unlikely to cease.
 
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sk8rsdad

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Food for thought for anybody who operates a performance venue.

 
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