Author Topic: Covid 19 virus  (Read 71660 times)

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Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2020, 03:57:56 pm »
If you really think that is not what you said, you really need to be a lot more careful about how you write things.
Well, I simply didn't say would you apparently like to think I did. After all you felt the need to forge the quote just to be sure. It's quite obvious how you interpreted the worst by reading only a part here and a part there and filling the gaps with your worst expectations. It's probably easy to feel righteous and be angry about others at the same time with this approach. Not my cup of tea though, so please don't put words in my mouth.

But no need to get your panties in a bunch, it's not the apocalypse, right?
Sorry, I kinda mistook this for a serious discussion. Guess I was wrong. So I'm outta here and leave this to the prophets of the apocalypse.
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Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2020, 06:57:07 pm »
For what it is worth (less than two cents, really), here's my opinion:
  • No reason to panic.  Coronaviruses cause flu-like symptoms, and the main reason it is more dangerous than influenza viruses is that it is harder on the kidneys.
  • We ordinary people should adopt behavioural patterns that discourage the spread of viruses, influenza and coronaviruses in particular, as our current behavioural patterns lead to rather dangerous pandemics every couple of decades.
  • The proper time to react is when the first signs of possible pandemic are seen.   At the point where lots of people are showing symptoms already, the infection has already spread, and can only really be endured, not prevented anymore.
  • The proper early reaction is quarantine.  Stop unnecessary travel (holiday travels and such), and quarantine the hotspots.  If it means throwing people who ignore the rules into jail, so be it.  Better alive in jail than risking the lives of who knows many others.
  • Quarantine to stop pandemics should be seen as a good, positive thing.  We should think of ways of providing food and water to people who have quarantined themselves voluntarily, and see that kind of action as commendable (in the early stages of infection spreading especially).  Think of help after a natural catastrophe, except this time the help helps everyone, not just those suffering.  It is courageous and considerate.
  • Being sick, coughing (especially coughing towards someone else, or into your hand, instead of your elbow), and spitting, should be treated as worse than yelling racial slurs, even outside pandemics.  Traveling while possibly infected should be a cultural no-no; something people are taught at school to not do, even shown what happens when people ignore that and think "well I'm not sick, I can go home" and spead the illness to their friends and loved ones.
  • Media and celebrities should show an example, and politicians should be encouraging self-imposed quarantine and travel restrictions, and bring forth epidemiologists and doctors' suggestions and reports on how much that would help.  If sufficient cultural movement gets going, it will be possible for politicians to set up laws and procedures, to prepare for the next time.
  • The next time will come.  And the next.  We cannot eradicate viruses.  Attempting to do so, or pre-medicating and over-medicating people, just leads to superbugs that ignore even our most powerful medicine.  The medical community concentrates on vaccines and antivirals that can combat these viruses (but note that we only have vaccinations for the three main types of influenza virus, and no antivirals that help combat an existing infection), so it is up to the rest of the humanity to work out how to behave in ways that reduces the spread of these viruses.
  • I think most humans are too stupid to work this out, until a pandemic that actually kills a major fraction of humans on this planet comes along.  We just do not seem to be able to look at history, see what actions lead to, and avoid those disastrous actions.
  • Even if nothing is done, you are more likely to die from cancer than from an influenza or coronavirus infection.
 
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Offline 1Ghz

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #27 on: February 29, 2020, 10:03:55 am »
South Korea records its biggest daily jump in infections https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/28/coronavirus-latest-updates-china-hubei.html

It's getting worse day by day. :(
Total infections is now 3000+!
 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2020, 01:38:26 pm »
  Yeap, and the number of cases in Germany jumped from 49 to 60. That's a 22+% increase in two days. And France has jumped from 38 to 57. That's a 50% increase in the last two days! Anyone that understands anything about geometric progression knows where this is leading. Japan who has been treating this very serious for weeks now has had 20 new cases in the last 24 hours.  And China is still getting something like 500 new cases everyday, for weeks nows.

   The US has added at least three possibly four new cases and they're had very tight travel restrictions, quarantining and monitoring in place for weeks. The reports says that there are only THREE new cases in the US but the total was 54 for over a week and now it's 63 so somewhere, they also snuck in 6 more cases in addition to the three reported ones.

   The CDC tried to move a bunch of infected patients from Travis AFB to a city in California with the  city's knowledge or consent, claiming that they needed more room, but the city got wind of it and has filed a federal lawsuit to block the move. The US also has at least twenty known quarantine sites, which seems like a lot for only for only 63 people!  Obviously they're expecting this to get much worse before it gets better.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2020, 02:12:46 pm »
Why are the Chinese Government attacking Australia, for being over zealous???
This is not a fucking GAME!!  It has now crossed the lines to being a PANDEMIC.
There is NOTHING 'racist' about protecting one's country-folk.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2020, 02:31:19 pm »
Why are the Chinese Government attacking Australia, for being over zealous???

 :palm:
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2020, 02:40:31 pm »
Sorry, I kinda mistook this for a serious discussion. Guess I was wrong. So I'm outta here and leave this to the prophets of the apocalypse.

Well, thanks for being "calm and rational"  :-DD

Some genuinely calm and rational commentary :  Is Coronavirus ‘Like a Strong Flu’?   (Rated: "misleading").

The article doesn't have soundbite conclusions, and is worth reading in full. Some excerpts:

Quote
But in a Feb. 26 interview in London, Oliver Baete, CEO of the Germany-based multinational financial services company Allianz SE, told Bloomberg News that the reaction was overblown.

“There is a lot of panic at the moment that is really not warranted,” he said. “If you think about the fundamental health impacts, they are significant but it is not like we have a real pandemic. It’s like a strong flu.”

Quote
Indeed, as coronavirus cases continue to emerge globally, scientists are urgently studying its characteristics, but it may be too soon to draw conclusions about fatality rates, transmission and who is most vulnerable to infection or complications.

“There are so many huge unknowns about this outbreak,” said Professor Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University told The Guardian this month. “For example, we don’t know just how infectious people are before they show symptoms. That makes it impossible to predict what is going to happen.”

“The trouble is, this outbreak is caused by a very different virus. And unlike flu, there are no vaccines or treatments and, crucially, no pre-existing immunity in the population.”

All quotes 100% genuine  :-+


« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 02:42:19 pm by donotdespisethesnake »
Bob
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Offline Leo Bodnar

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2020, 04:49:05 pm »
Nature is doing what it's doing best. 
And humans are not, necessarily, a guaranteed part of its long term plan, whatever we think.

It's definitely spreading in a predictable way, however everybody seems to be surprised that it does...

We can get over this but it needs everybody to put some efforts in.

Stay safe, sane, and civil, guys. 

Leo
It's getting worse day by day. :(
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 12:06:40 pm by Leo Bodnar »
 
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Online Bud

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2020, 07:38:36 pm »
Quote
But in a Feb. 26 interview in London, Oliver Baete, CEO of the Germany-based multinational financial services company Allianz SE, told Bloomberg News that the reaction was overblown.
When it comes to dealing with  a risk of  a pandemic, a CEO of some "financial services company" will be the last person i am going to listen to.
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Online Bud

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2020, 07:47:29 pm »
Why are the Chinese Government attacking Australia, for being over zealous???
This is not a fucking GAME!!  It has now crossed the lines to being a PANDEMIC.
There is NOTHING 'racist' about protecting one's country-folk.
I am sure the Chinese Government loves the Canadian Government who says "when you see a Chinese person, shake their hand". Can you imagine a more moronic advice from a country's health official ?  When i heard that on the radio i did not know if to laugh or to cry.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 07:49:06 pm by Bud »
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Offline Kilrah

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2020, 08:35:36 pm »
I think most humans are too stupid to work this out, until a pandemic that actually kills a major fraction of humans on this planet comes along.  We just do not seem to be able to look at history, see what actions lead to, and avoid those disastrous actions.
Not too stupid to work it out, just unwilling to significantly alter their daily life for a very remote possibility, like with everything else. Only immediate threat causes people to change, it's just human nature. Not just human actually, other animals do the same.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2020, 10:33:17 pm »
Quote
But in a Feb. 26 interview in London, Oliver Baete, CEO of the Germany-based multinational financial services company Allianz SE, told Bloomberg News that the reaction was overblown.
When it comes to dealing with  a risk of  a pandemic, a CEO of some "financial services company" will be the last person i am going to listen to.

Quote the whole thing : "Germany-based multinational financial services company Allianz"

Then use Google : "Allianz SE is a European multinational financial services company headquartered in Munich, Germany. Its core businesses are insurance and asset management.  As of 2014, it is the world's largest insurance company". I know you all can sometimes be a bit parochial in the Great White North but I'd be a little surprised if the name of the World's largest insurer (that's been around since 1890) isn't common knowledge there.

Insurers know a thing or two about risk. The world's largest insurance company probably has quite a bit riding on the outcome of a possible pandemic. Ergo, their CEO is likely to be one of the best informed people in the world at the moment about the realistic risks this poses. Even if he is only worried about his bottom line, his information is quite likely to be the best and most comprehensive available.
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2020, 11:32:28 pm »
    When was the last time that a financial services company gave medical advice???  NEVER! 

     Companies like Alianz have a lot more at stake than just life insurance payouts and they're probably a lot more concerned about the loss of business to the entertainment parks, cruise lines and air lines, manufacturing companies and import and export companies and the like so, just considering their possible conflict of interest alone, I shouldn't won't trust their advice. In addition to having other possible interests, they are NOT in the medical profession so why in the hell would you even consider taking their advice??? 

   Just because they know something about risks, doesn't mean that they're going to tell you the truth. They're going to tell you what they think will save them money in the long run.

   One of the first rules of life that everyone should know: Consider the source! (and what's in it for them.)
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2020, 11:38:30 pm »
  Yeap, and the number of cases in Germany jumped from 49 to 60. That's a 22+% increase in two days. And France has jumped from 38 to 57. That's a 50% increase in the last two days! Anyone that understands anything about geometric progression knows where this is leading. Japan who has been treating this very serious for weeks now has had 20 new cases in the last 24 hours.  And China is still getting something like 500 new cases everyday, for weeks nows.

It's exactly that kind of thinking that leads people to panic rather than approach this rationally.

Firstly saying "the number of cases in Germany jumped from 49 to 60. That's a 22+% increase in two days." as if that "22+%" means anything. That's the kind of percentage used by red top newspaper subeditors to make something out of nothing. Even the use of the emotive "jumped" instead of 'increased' or some other less loaded word is straight out of the same playbook. Why not go the whole hog and say 'soared'.

It sounds a lot less apocalyptic if you use a proper epidemiological basis and note that "the infection rate in Germany has risen from 0.059 people per 100,000 to 0.072 people per 100,000 in two days, an increase of 0.01 per 100,000 in two days". Eleven extra infections out of 83 million people is insignificant, from an infection rate of 0.000 059% of the population to 0.000 072% of the population. That's not an epidemic, it's an inconvenience. Over the same two days on average 18 people in Germany will have actually died on the roads (Rate 4.1 deaths per 100,000 per year). With the current estimate fatality rate for Covid-19 of 2-3%, that 11 extra infections amounts to only 1/3 of a death at most.

You say "Anyone that understands anything about geometric progression knows where this is leading" and yet two sentences later say "And China is still getting something like 500 new cases everyday, for weeks nows (sic).". Is an ongoing rate of 500 people per day a geometric progression? No, it it not. Rather, in the place most affected, for the longest time, where the spread pattern is likely to have settled into what's typical for the disease it is showing anything but a geometric growth rate of infection.

Even if that infection rate persisted in China, that means an extra 15 deaths a day, 5500 a year in a country with a population of 1.435 billion people. That would push the annualised death rate of China up by 0.383 per 100,000 from 711 per 100,000 to 711.38 per 100,000, a 0.1% increase.

Please folks, less histrionics. This disease is a legitimate health concern. It's a highly virulent variant of the common cold virus that has a much higher fatality rate than the standard virus (which nevertheless does kill some people each year). But with a fatality rate of 2-3% for people who actually get infected it is not going to wipe the world out, it is not even going to decimate it.

The level of precautions being taken at the moment to contain its spread will be quite adequate to ensure that in years to come hardly any of us will have tales to tell of the death of someone we knew due to Covid-19. I, and I suspect most of us apart from the very young, can tell tales of having friends taken from us by AIDS, motorcycles, motor cars, alcohol and cancer. Very few of you will be telling those tales about Covid-19. Be cautious, yes, but don't panic.
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Online hamster_nz

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2020, 08:21:26 am »
It's exactly that kind of thinking that leads people to panic rather than approach this rationally.

Firstly saying "the number of cases in Germany jumped from 49 to 60. That's a 22+% increase in two days." as if that "22+%" means anything. That's the kind of percentage used by red top newspaper subeditors to make something out of nothing. Even the use of the emotive "jumped" instead of 'increased' or some other less loaded word is straight out of the same playbook. Why not go the whole hog and say 'soared'.

I disagree - it makes sense to talk about % of population once equilibrium is found within the population (e.g with heart disease or sexually transmitted diseases), but not with a new emerging infectious disease.

In Wuhan cases were originally increasing at 40% day on day - at the time I was keeping a spreadsheet of the WHO Situation Report numbers and could predict them days in advance withing a +/- a few %.

Then very extensive measures were taken to reduce spread by reducing person to person contact, and build emergency medical facilities, on the 23rd Jan . For the next week the new cases per day still increased, then started to level off, then fell dramatically. The cause of this was those who were already exposed developing symptoms and seeking medical assistance.

(There was then the blip when the included clinical diagnosed cases, but the leveling off has continued, with now cases just trickling in).

The Wuhan lockdown have not yet been relaxed - the latest is "20 February 2020, the Chinese government has issued extension of order to shut down all non-essential companies, including manufacturing plants, and all schools in Hubei Province until at least 24:00 10 March"

To me, it seems to be a very unstable situation - any relaxation will cause a jump in cases in 14 days, but the lockdown cannot be in place indefinitely.

I would wager that Italy and the US will see double-digit day-on-day growth rate in cases until either lockdowns have been in place for a week or more, or more that 25% of the population have experienced the illness. The growth rate will vary country to country because of population density health systems, sanitation and so on, but without intervention it won't stop.

All you have to do is look at the Johns Hopkins graph on a log scale to see where this is going without meaningful intervention. Another week and there will be more cases outside China than inside (see attached image)

Oh, and reporting in the USA is so stuffed up for political and social reasons. Only the number of deaths will be reliable. At a guess I work backwards and say for every death there were 50 cases about 2 weeks ago, and this has increased at 20% day on day - I know it sounds fanciful, but there may be as many as 10,000 undiagnosed there! The USA really need to sort their testing out.

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Online Cerebus

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2020, 02:46:18 pm »
All you have to do is look at the Johns Hopkins graph on a log scale to see where this is going without meaningful intervention. Another week and there will be more cases outside China than inside (see attached image)

Absolutely. You have a disease with a minimum 2 day period before people show symptoms (2-14 days before symptoms appear) and for at least part of that time they are infectious (infectious time versus infected time currently unknown). Uncontrolled that would indeed spread following a power law. However, there is intervention, worldwide, and it seems to be working.

Yes, it's a nasty disease. For some it has been a tragedy, but perspective is necessary. There have been around 5000 deaths worldwide at the time of writing. Currently daily it is killing less than malaria does, killing less than road traffic accidents do, killing less than the effects of war are in Yemen - all things that most of us are not even paying any attention to. Heck, there are probably more people dying daily in the developed world from the complications of obesity.

We need to respond to Covid-19, but we don't need to lose our heads. It's the old story of humans reacting to unfamiliar threats with exaggerated fear out of proportion to the threat while treating familiar threats with disdain. For most of us getting into our cars to drive to the shops is more likely to kill us this month than Covid-19 is but it's not causing people to panic buy and lock themselves up in their houses as some people have reacted to Covid-19.

It doesn't help that the disease first appeared in a slightly different tribe of bipedal monkeys, so our reactions are also loaded with our innate bipedal monkey xenophobia to other tribes as well. Not that any of the wise, rational people on here have ever exhibited an overreaction to that particular tribe like, say, saying that everything that tribe makes is crap, or counterfeit, or the product of mere copying. Oh no, we're thankfully all immune to that particular fallacy of thought.  :P

But seriously. The Chinese response to this has been quite amazing and they have taken measures at a speed and scale that has taken a lot of the brunt of dealing with this off the shoulders of other countries. It's down to the rest of the world to manage the relatively light load of carefully monitoring and quarantining of people leaving the affected area and returning to other parts of the world (possibly extending this if other hotspots appear). As long as the rest of us don't do something stupid* that encourages people to avoid/evade the necessary controls then we'll all be fine.

All that's needed on top is a system to manage and isolate any cases that have already slipped through the net. In the UK there's been adequate and reasonable public advice issued: if you get symptoms and have cause to believe it's Covid-19 stay home, phone the NHS helpline and you'll get help (at no cost to yourself).


* The US state department evacuated an American from Wuhan and then forced him and his family into quarantine. So far so good. BUT, he was then hit with a US hospital bill, at rapacious US hospital rates for the six days he was quarantined there, for which he is not insured. (For those not familiar with US hospital charging this will be at least a $1000 a day for each member of his family.) The hospital has since fixed this and is billing the government instead, BUT this is just the kind of thing that would encourage some people to evade controls. Further this from the same story:

Quote
The incident highlighted how the American government’s response to a public health emergency, like trying to contain a potential coronavirus epidemic, could be handicapped by relying on a system built around private hospitals and for-profit health insurance providers. Last month, a man in Miami who returned from a work trip to China feeling sick went to a hospital to be tested for coronavirus. The test came back negative, but his high-deductible health insurance provider told him he would have to pay at least $1,400, the Miami Herald reported, and provide three years of medical records to prove that the flu he got was not related to a preexisting condition. Without producing the records, he would owe $3,270 for getting tested.

Nothing beats a system set up to effectively punish people for being responsible as a means of encouraging them to be irresponsible.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 02:49:07 pm by Cerebus »
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Online splin

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2020, 11:12:18 pm »

As long as the rest of us don't do something stupid* that encourages people to avoid/evade the necessary controls then we'll all be fine.

All that's needed on top is a system to manage and isolate any cases that have already slipped through the net. In the UK there's been adequate and reasonable public advice issued: if you get symptoms and have cause to believe it's Covid-19 stay home, phone the NHS helpline and you'll get help (at no cost to yourself).

But that's the problem - there are plenty of people who will ignore/evade the necessary controls. On a BBC Radio 2 phone-in today the issue of self isolation was being discussed. One caller said he could not afford the loss of income of self isolation so if he contracts the virus he will carry on working. Various others talked of the financial difficulties of self isolating (but didn't go as far as to admit on air that they might not self isolate if push came to shove).

I'm sure he's not alone, especially when people, such as my wife's work colleagues who are saying it's nothing to worry about; it's all hype, it only affects old people with underlying conditions (implying they are likely to die soon enough anyway?) and most people who get it have very mild to non-existent symptoms.

There were reports last week of many guests at the Tenerife hotel which was supposed to be in lockdown who blatently ignored instructions to stay in their rooms and wear masks otherwise and decided to continue their holiday poolside taking no precautionary measures.

You don't need many with these attitudes to guarantee widespread dissemination of the virus. I suspect there will be a lot like them.
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2020, 12:59:41 am »
Very good points from Cerebus and splin, above.

This is kinda off-topic, but this is exactly what I belive Nietsche meant when he said that God is dead.  You see, in the olden days, this kind of selfish behaviour ("keeping other people safe is too expensive for me, so I will risk their health instead of taking a financial hit") was controlled by fear of God, of divine punishment here or in the afterlife.  We don't have that, so we are finding it difficult to force people to behave in a way that minimizes the risk for the entire herd species people.  We have become self-centered and shellfish selfish, without the counterbalance an organized religion used to have.

It is also an excellent point that rather than to try and control others, we should try to instill in ourselves and our children that the best results are gained by controlling our own behaviour, rather than pushing others.  (We do not put ourselves in quarantine to protect us from those possibly infected, but to avoid spreading the infection, in case we ourselves happen to be infected.) It works in other fields of human interaction as well  :-*
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2020, 01:42:20 am »
It's all hype in that it's not much different from the regular flu that goes around. I just looked it up today and in the USA the flu has killed 10,000 already this year, yet everyone is panicking that *6* people in my state have died.

We should take measures to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, not just ignore it until the media hypes everyone into a frenzy over something like this. I think that ALL businesses should provide paid sick leave or the ability to work remotely when feasible for anyone who is sick. If someone shows up at the office visibly ill send them home! A place I used to work had no work from home policy and while we did get paid leave that was only for FTEs and we had a few hourly contractors who didn't. They would come in sick as hell, coughing and sneezing and a few days later half the office would be sick. Even FTEs would often come in sick, I guess due to a culture that views such things as indicating that one is a hard worker. It drives me nuts, the cost of paying one person to stay home and rest far outweighs the cost of paying 20 people to come in and get nothing done because they're miserable and ill.

People should also wash their hands properly, and take other sensible precautions. Instead we oscillate wildly between careless disregard and flailing around in a panicked frenzy.
 
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Online splin

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2020, 02:10:33 am »
It's all hype in that it's not much different from the regular flu that goes around. I just looked it up today and in the USA the flu has killed 10,000 already this year, yet everyone is panicking that *6* people in my state have died.

Seriously??  :palm:

Not very long ago there were *only* 6 deaths from Covid 19 in China. More recently there were *only* 6 deaths in Iran, Italy etc. So no need to worry!

A doctor on the radio (here in the UK) the other day pointed out that the infection rate was around double that of regular flu, and approximately 10 times the death rate of regular flu (not to be confused with non-regular flu such as the post first world war Spanish flu). He also pointed out that his intensive care unit is typically 60% occupied by flu patients in the winter; I expect the NHS is going to be in major crisis before too long despite lots of complacent reassurances from politicians and even some senior scientists. I really hope they are right.

I rather think you're "yet everyone is panicking that *6* people in my state have died" is going to look very foolish in a few months time. Though I really hope you are right.

Given the relatively high mortatality rate in the elderly, you have to wonder how the UK's house of Lords and the US senate might look in a year's time...
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2020, 03:08:13 am »
It's all hype in that it's not much different from the regular flu that goes around. I just looked it up today and in the USA the flu has killed 10,000 already this year, yet everyone is panicking that *6* people in my state have died.

The salient difference is that 0.095% of people who contract 'ordinary' seasonal flu die from it (the case-mortality ratio), 2-3% of people who contract covid-19 die from it - that's a case-mortality ratio 21-31 times higher. So if that 10,000 deaths from flu in the US was deaths from covid-19 at similar infection rates you'd be looking at 210,000 to 310,000 deaths in the US. That is why infection control measures are necessary beyond those that would be taken for typical seasonal flu outbreaks. Also remember that for seasonal flu there is some existing specific immunity in the population that helps to control the spread (herd immunity), there is no existing herd immunity for a novel virus like covid-19 so the number of cases is likely to be significantly higher than for seasonal flu.

The case-mortality ratio of covid-19 is about the same as that of the 'Spanish' flu virus of 1918. That's why we need to take it seriously and thankfully we are, with infection control measures being put in place world wide. But at the same time we must not be Chicken Littles and run around panicking -  those infection control measures are working, if they weren't we'd already be knee deep in cases of covid-19 worldwide. That is no excuse however for complacency or carelessness, we need to continue with infection control measures until well after the number of new cases reported starts falling.

Just take you own reasonable precautions. The most important thing you can do is wash your hands if you've been out in public handling things that others may have and avoid hand to face contact - don't rub your eyes, pick your nose, chew your nails or smoke (an often missed cause of hand to mouth contact) with unwashed hands. I'd suggest that it might be good to avoid airports if you can, large dense gatherings of people are possibly risky, hospitals and schools are always places to avoid if you don't want to catch something that's 'going around'. Avoid the office if you have idiots around who insist on coming into work when they are ill. But nothing's stopping you going to the shops, taking a walk in the park or generally following a mostly normal routine.

And remember to boil all children, nurses and doctors before petting them.  :)
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2020, 03:23:21 am »
Not very long ago there were *only* 6 deaths from Covid 19 in China. More recently there were *only* 6 deaths in Iran, Italy etc.
I read his post in a completely different vein!  Weird, eh.

That's how flu epidemics start, too.  Thing is, flu is dangerous.  A lot of people die from it.  A lot, if not most, of those deaths could be avoided by early voluntary isolation (to isolate symptom-free infected carriers, stopping the spread).  We don't, and I find that utterly stupid; similar to driving against traffic lights.

Covid-19 is very flu-like.  Like for influenza viruses, there are no known antiviral treatments.  There are vaccines for the three main influenza variants, but their efficacy varies; and sometimes the variant is a different one than actually spreads most.  Covid-19 seems to spread a little slower, but with a longer incubation period, and have a higher mortality rate (as it tends to stress kidneys more in patients who get seriously ill).  The differences are quite minor, really.

Yes, it is a different virus.  Yes, both will kill a large number of people, albeit a very small fraction of the population; nothing like the black death in the middle ages (which killed about 45% of Europe's population in five years or so), or the Spanish Flu in early 1900s (which killed about 2.4% of humans on Earth).  It has been too long since the last really bad flu epidemic, I guess, since people are freaking so bad right now.

Because of the low likelihood of death for any particular individual, infected or not, there is no need to panic.  Yes, a lot of people will die, but there is a stupendous number of humans on this planet; way too many for an ordinary human to understand or grasp in any intuitive manner.  (We can "feel" amounts up to a couple of thousand, but above that, we abstract, and instead count groups of humans.)

In particular, the overall death toll from covid-19 will almost certainly be no different than a bad flu season; at most at the level of pandemic expected to occur from one of the influenza viruses every three decades or so.  All the statistics bear the signs of that (since we can very simply compare them to old ones, except that we now have better information networks and much more data).

Also, the Chinese response to the virus is rather exemplary.  I do not know why they reacted so strongly, but it definitely was effective.  In the coming weeks, we will see that the number of deaths in Europe will be much higher, because of the ideological/political opposition to any sort of borders or restriction on movements -- that is my guess and bet.  I estimate we are only in the second week of the infected but symptomless carriers spreading the virus, so the true spike in cases will be a week to three weeks away still.  If that does happen, we know from the Chinese example that it could have been avoided.  Hopefully I'm completely wrong, though.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2020, 03:49:37 am »
The Chinese response is probably down to previous experience with SARS (also a coronavirus) back in 2002-2003 - a rare example of a political entity learning from history.

SARS is an interesting exemplar for what is happening at the moment. In 2002 the UK implemented screening at UK airports and if necessary quarantine. The UK had a grand total of 4 confirmed reported SARS cases (the Chinese, the hardest hit, 5000+ cases for comparison). The UK is responding similarly this time around and at the moment the UK has had 39 cases of covid-19 recorded and China 80,000 - ratios of 1:1250 (SARS) and 1:2000 (covid-19), not wildly dissimilar. If the similarities keep up then sorry Canada you're in for a bad time (251 SARS cases in 2002-2003, 29 covid-19 cases so far).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 03:52:46 am by Cerebus »
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Online Bud

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Re: Covid 19 virus
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2020, 04:43:17 am »
Yes, a lot of people will die, but there is a stupendous number of humans on this planet;

Ready to write this on your loved one's tombstone if they die from the virus ?
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