Author Topic: The Official Coronavirus Discussion  (Read 32937 times)

peAk

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The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« on: February 27, 2020, 09:33:54 PM »
What are people thinking?

Might be nice to talk about especially since people from all over the world frequent this site.

Didn't see this being talked about anywhere else in the forum. My apologies if I missed it.

alanp

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 10:18:36 PM »
From a cold, purely logical viewpoint, we were well overdue for a horrible pandemic of some sort.

https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/press-media/wwi-centennial-news/3978-flu-killed-more-world-war-i-troops-than-any-battle.html

Horrible little fact that most WW1 histories hide -- more people died from the Spanish Flu epidemic than in the trenches.

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Willybomb

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 10:52:35 PM »
I'm thinking that if you haven't had your flu shot you probably shouldn't be harping on about how dangerous Coronavirus is.  I'm not dismissing it - the death rate is 2% vs 0.4% - but I think the danger has probably been overstated.  I could be wrong though.

Personally don't know why we need a forum about it here.

Quote
Humanity dodged a bullet in how AIDS is not air-borne, and how Ebola has been contained
Yeah, especially with Ebola - that crap's nasty.

somnif

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 10:53:32 PM »
Hooray, I'm an actual microbiologist, I get to chime in!

...I'm not really worried.

Ok, first of all, calling it "Coronavirus" is a bit vague. That is the name for the group of viruses this bug belongs to, rather like if you referred to the RAT, DS-1, and Shredmaster all as "Distortion" and nothing more. Officially, this is "2019-nCoV" or "COVID-2019". For reference, SARS back in 2003 and MERS back in 2012 were also Coronaviruses.

The name comes from the shape of the virus itself, has a sorta "decorated" look that the described as "crown-like", hence, corona.

Past the semantics, while it's worrying that it started in China (which is notorious for caring more about saving face than dealing with problems), It's currently sitting at an overall mortality rate of about ~3%, but most of those are from China where public health kinda sucks in general. Outside of China the mortality rate is currently hovering around 0.25% (for comparison, the normal yearly flu tends to sit around 0.1-0.2% mortality rates). The risk is of course greater to those with preexisting conditions, particularly high blood pressure and heart disease (it's rough on the lungs and associated vessels, so issues surrounding those can exasperate things)

So in general, with decent basic health care (and I mean things like "access to food and water" basics) it's no more concerning than a nasty flu year.

BUT, it is also new, and "exciting" so it will most definitely be blown majorly out of proportion by most media because it will sell.

It's also completely unrelated to the flu, so it could entirely possibly come to exist "beside" the flu as a new normal illness folks have to deal with.

So how to keep safe? Same rules apply as the flu. Wash your hands frequently. Don't touch your face/mouth/eyes without washing your hands while out and about. A face mask will not help you so don't bother (though they can help reduce spread of the disease if you end up sick). Eat a healthy diet and sleep well and all the usual stuff to keep your immune system running full steam.

But seriously, wash your hands. Number one way of respiratory viruses getting in is via your fingers, not your nose. In the same vein, alcohol based hand sanitizers can help in thise case (the virus has a fatty outer layer it needs to actually infect, and solvents destroy that very easily). If you want, carry some alcohol prep pads to wipe down things like shopping cart handles or restaurant tables (or again, just wash your hands before touching your face area).

Again, wash your hands. Soap and running water will reduce your chances of infection by orders of magnitude.

Torgoslayer

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 11:16:06 PM »
Perfectly stated. Microbiologist myself. cheers!

benny_profane

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 11:35:57 PM »
Hooray, I'm an actual microbiologist, I get to chime in!

...I'm not really worried.

Ok, first of all, calling it "Coronavirus" is a bit vague. That is the name for the group of viruses this bug belongs to, rather like if you referred to the RAT, DS-1, and Shredmaster all as "Distortion" and nothing more. Officially, this is "2019-nCoV" or "COVID-2019". For reference, SARS back in 2003 and MERS back in 2012 were also Coronaviruses.

The name comes from the shape of the virus itself, has a sorta "decorated" look that the described as "crown-like", hence, corona.

Past the semantics, while it's worrying that it started in China (which is notorious for caring more about saving face than dealing with problems), It's currently sitting at an overall mortality rate of about ~3%, but most of those are from China where public health kinda sucks in general. Outside of China the mortality rate is currently hovering around 0.25% (for comparison, the normal yearly flu tends to sit around 0.1-0.2% mortality rates). The risk is of course greater to those with preexisting conditions, particularly high blood pressure and heart disease (it's rough on the lungs and associated vessels, so issues surrounding those can exasperate things)

So in general, with decent basic health care (and I mean things like "access to food and water" basics) it's no more concerning than a nasty flu year.

BUT, it is also new, and "exciting" so it will most definitely be blown majorly out of proportion by most media because it will sell.

It's also completely unrelated to the flu, so it could entirely possibly come to exist "beside" the flu as a new normal illness folks have to deal with.

So how to keep safe? Same rules apply as the flu. Wash your hands frequently. Don't touch your face/mouth/eyes without washing your hands while out and about. A face mask will not help you so don't bother (though they can help reduce spread of the disease if you end up sick). Eat a healthy diet and sleep well and all the usual stuff to keep your immune system running full steam.

But seriously, wash your hands. Number one way of respiratory viruses getting in is via your fingers, not your nose. In the same vein, alcohol based hand sanitizers can help in thise case (the virus has a fatty outer layer it needs to actually infect, and solvents destroy that very easily). If you want, carry some alcohol prep pads to wipe down things like shopping cart handles or restaurant tables (or again, just wash your hands before touching your face area).

Again, wash your hands. Soap and running water will reduce your chances of infection by orders of magnitude.

Public health systems / programmatic development person here. This is a great and thorough rundown. The misinformation with any public health situation is one of the most dangerous aspects. Thank you for writing this up. Also, I donít think itís just semantics to be clear about what the virus is called: itís hugely important that the public be educated of health concerns and risks, and a big part of that is being clear about what is even happening.

This has been important to public health and medical science because itís a novel pathogen. With any novel pathogen (especially those with high infection rates or severe symptoms/mortality), the medical community investigates to 1) understand whatís happening and 2) strategize response(s). This particular pathogen has been particularly alarming because the previous coronavirus outbreaks have had a substantial burden of disease (i.e., SARS and MERS). Compounding that is that China has been historically opaque with reporting and, of course, the political spin and general sensationalism of contemporary media. This will probably recycle itself through the year and return. Adequate health systems (i.e., those that can respond to annual flu or other communicable diseases) will be able to handle it just fine.

That said, my main concern is the nexus of political issues and health here. Many of the measures enacted to contain the spread I believe will prove to backfire. In many cases, health-seeking behaviors (e.g., going to the doctor or hospital) are not being promoted. Encouragingly, though, there has been great moments of communication and cooperation and were seeing really impressive treatment and vaccine development.

Advice remains the same as any time: ensure youíre practicing good health habits and focus on preventative care. Get your information from reputable sources and learn about this (and other) pathogens. I think this should also be a moment of reflection for people to evaluate the prioritization of health preparedness and response systemsóboth in their country and internationally. Outbreaks like this really demonstrate the connectedness of the global community and should show the importance of these systems and investment in medicine.

Drew Hallenbeck

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2020, 11:57:34 PM »
As stated, it's probably not too much more serious than the typical illnesses that we already have to deal with. (at least in developed areas with decent health care)
But beside that, I live in Michigan.
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SirEgno

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 02:08:36 AM »
I'm in the hurricane eye.
Lodi, Italy. A week working in my house alone.
General panic and people have stockpiled as for a nuclear holocaust.
I have proof:


I was looking for some beers and junky pizza slices for a good Saturday night and around me people with carts full of pasta, tuna cans, salt (wtf?)...


EBK

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2020, 05:10:07 AM »
[Rant]
Unfortunately (perhaps), there are so many idiots in the world (my country proudly has the most) that no amount of public education will make a difference.  People who have never had the flu basically will believe they are immortal and will outright defy any advice that interferes with their "freedom" and "rights".  Tell them to stay inside for example, and they will go outside, even if they would have otherwise stayed inside all day.  I predict that, in a worst case scenario, ammunition will vastly outsell food here.
[/Rant]

People are buying less Corona beer now, apparently.   ::)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 05:26:07 AM by EBK »
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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2020, 06:09:38 AM »
Itís nice to be connected to people in the know so thank you guys. Please update us as things progress.

That said, having asthma and having three kids under ten, Iím still a little concerned.

From a cold, purely logical viewpoint, we were well overdue for a horrible pandemic of some sort.

https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/press-media/wwi-centennial-news/3978-flu-killed-more-world-war-i-troops-than-any-battle.html

Horrible little fact that most WW1 histories hide -- more people died from the Spanish Flu epidemic than in the trenches.

Humanity dodged a bullet in how AIDS is not air-borne, and how Ebola has been contained.

I was actually reading speculation that the Spanish flu might be a good reference point for what we are facing but with modern medicine we shouldnít expect the death rate to be the as high.

Hopefully it only spreads so far before the spring and subsides for a while so everyone has time to prepare if it comes back in the fall.

Gotta say some actual leadership from the government might come in handy.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 06:14:47 AM by Matmosphere »

jimilee

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2020, 06:16:43 AM »
I bought corona virus stocks companies developing and ďcureĒ but more importantly the testing kits. CODX so far is skyrocketing. If you want in, now is the time. Just saying, Iíve doubled my money and then some.


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thesmokingman

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2020, 06:32:17 AM »
it is definitely extending out shipping times for my direct from China purchases. It used to be 1-2 weeks wait time now it is 1-2 months. I mean ... this is modern-day bad but this doesn't compare to the flu pandemic from WWI or the black plague. of course, this is also just getting rolling too.
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m-Kresol

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2020, 09:34:49 AM »
I was on my way to the airport to go to Italy for a business trip when they called it off because they are shutting down the plant (to a minimum, not totally at least). Going to Italy is forbidden by the company now, also you are to stay at home if you have visited China, Italy, Japan or South Korea in the last 2 weeks.
It's ok to be cautious, but I think they exagerated this thing. less than 1000 infected off 60 Million is not a lot. In addition, borders are not closed so anyone can travel and goods are coming in and out anyways...
The only thing that is super annoying is that if you'd have holidays planned in one of the affected countries you can basically cancel (and possibly pay some fees), because otherwise you will be on 2 weeks quaranteen without pay...
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benny_profane

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2020, 10:45:21 AM »
It's ok to be cautious, but I think they exagerated this thing. less than 1000 infected off 60 Million is not a lot. In addition, borders are not closed so anyone can travel and goods are coming in and out anyways...

Part of the issue is that ~80% of cases are mild and the percentage asymptomatic carriers is yet to be determined. Since mild symptoms may seem like a common respiratory cold and asymptomatic patients won't know anything is wrong, those individuals will not report their status nor seek medical intervention. This makes monitoring and surveillance particularly difficult. Since it can affect susceptible individuals quite hard (i.e., those with preexisting cardio/pulmonary conditions, the elderly, and otherwise immunocompromised), there is a risk with the spread. This is also the beginning stages of a novel pathogen and with much to be understood, people are concerned. If you don't have accurate measurement and understanding is nascent, you're stuck with assuming the worst when you are trying to develop management strategies.

Despite that, though, many of the measures being used are not in line with best practices nor generally accepted guidelines. It's been very messy and, even if this is contained, the methods used to respond to COVID-19 should not be looked at as an example of effective emergent disease management or public health intervention. I would characterize many of the measures taken as management decisions made by individuals either not heeding to public health and medical science advice, the fallout of lack of preparedness and response systems, unwillingness to cooperate with the international community, or any mix of the aforementioned. A virus doesn't care if you're a tough guy.

Wash your hands.

Aentons

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Re: The Official Coronavirus Discussion
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2020, 11:01:28 AM »
As stated, it's probably not too much more serious than the typical illnesses that we already have to deal with. (at least in developed areas with decent health care)
But beside that, I live in Michigan.
We have Vernor's Ginger Ale.
We use that s#!t to cure all illnesses!
(Google it)  ;D

Just put some Tussin on it!  ;D




But seriously, I have the flu right now and it sucks. I did not get a flu shots this year but I most certainly will next year (if Im still around ;))
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 11:04:03 AM by Aentons »