March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

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jwhouk
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March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:50 pm

The day that things basically turned upside down - at least in the US.

All three major pro sports have suspended their seasons. The NCAA has canceled their tournaments (hockey, basketball, other winter sports).

DISNEYLAND is closed until April, fercryinoutloud.

Discuss.
Last edited by jwhouk on Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:59 pm

It reminds me more than a little of what I've read of life in the US during the big polio outbreaks, back in the 1950s... or (common example) during the Spanish Flu pandemic about a century ago.

My brother and my sister-in-law are over in China (she's CEO of a joint venture over there). Her comments add up to "The US is not taking this situation anywhere near seriously enough!" My brother just returned to China from the US... and he's been quarantined at their apartment for the next 14 days, by himself. She had to move out to a hotel. She'll have to do the food shopping for him, and drop off food outside the front door of the apartment - no personal contact allowed.

I think things here in the U.S. are going to get quite a bit worse, before they get better. Only a very few people alive in the US today, have had to live through anything like what we're going to be facing in the next few months. We've been lucky... and unfortunately our luck has run out, world-wide.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:28 pm

I srto-of recall the polio scare; born in 1948, i really didn't know what was happening, but i knew it was Bad.

My aunt and uncle suffered milld cases of polio, with no apparent lingering effects.

I do clearly recall the Salk vaccine.

Trump is suggesting there may be domestic travel restrictions coming.

Broadway is closed down.

Maggie and Natalie's school will be closed next week.

The Georgia Legislature session will be suspended for an indeterminate time beginning Monday.

{They have to get today and Friday in - today is "crossover day", the last day that bill passed in one Houze has time in the session to be considered in the other.}

We're all gonna die.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Catawampus » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:51 pm

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:28 pm
We're all gonna die.
Probably only once, though.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:23 pm

Catawampus wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:51 pm
AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:28 pm
We're all gonna die.
Probably only once, though.
And we knew both of those things last week, and last month, and a year ago. That much, at least, hasn't changed.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:55 pm

Well, my workplace has just issued its recommendations, concerning the coronavirus...

The highlights:
  • avoid gatherings of 150 employees or more
  • consider teleworking (for bus drivers? Yeah right... I guess these are general guidelines for all employees, not just for drivers, but it makes for amusing reading, as a bus driver...)
  • if you are, or have just returned, from outside the country, we ask that you would voluntarily self-isolate yourself for 14 days.
    • You will be paid for that time off work.
  • we recommend that you do not travel outside of the province of Québec for personal reasons.
    • If you do travel outside in spite of our recommendation, we will ask you to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days
      • You WILL NOT be remunerated for your time, in this case
These guidelines follow, from what I can tell, national guidelines that have been issued recently.

Oh, and all schools in Montréal are now closed for the next two weeks.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:31 pm

lake_wrangler wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:55 pm
Oh, and all schools in Montréal are now closed for the next two weeks.
Last i heard, Friday evening, nine US states had closed their schools {Georgia is not one - apparently Gainesville took action unilaterally}, and the Los Angeles school district - largest in the country - was considering it.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:06 am

A lot of news shouting has been without context, so here's some numbers for you:

The death rate from the Swine Flu/ H1N1 was about 2%.
Available numbers from the current Cornoavirus is about 2-3%
The "regular" flu death rate is in the 1-2% range.

And in all these cases, those dying tend to average about 80 years old, are ill already, or have immune deficiency issues.

Basically it's the Super Crud and you're laid out for 3-5 days. If you're way old, pretty sick, or have immune issues, then it's a bigger problem.

Numbers source - CDC based news citations.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:52 am

Atomic wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:06 am
A lot of news shouting has been without context, so here's some numbers for you:

The death rate from the Swine Flu/ H1N1 was about 2%.
Available numbers from the current Cornoavirus is about 2-3%
The "regular" flu death rate is in the 1-2% range.
I think your third line has figures that have skipped a decimal point somewhere. They off by a factor of 10.

For example, in 2017, CDC reports an estimate of 44,802,629 cases of flu, and 46,404 – 94,987 deaths as a result. That's 0.1% to 0.2% mortality... one or two people die out of every thousand who get seasonal influenza. It's only the oldest cohort (65+) in which the morality rate climbs to or above 1%.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/20 ... htm#table1

All the reports I've been reading (from CDC and elsewhere) say that current figures for COVID-19 are in the 1%-4% range for the whole population of those infected... above 5% for those over 60. Very roughly 10x higher morality rate than seasonal influenza. We're talking 1-5 deaths for every hundred people diagnosed. It's not anywhere near as bad as MERS or Ebola but it's quite a bit worse than seasonal flu.

The good news is that the young don't seem to be at high risk of complications with COVID-19... as you say, it's a mild or bad case of the Creeping Crud but it usually doesn't go further than that. As I recall, both the Spanish Flu, and the H1N1 could hit there young-and-heathy very hard, triggering an immune system overreaction (cytokine storm) which badly damages the lungs. My company's Emergency Medical Response trainer was the second person in our county to die from H1N1 and he was only in his 30s.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:30 am

Well, I just got an email from my church, and they are suspending our Sunday morning meetings until further notice, as per the government's recommendation to not hold gatherings of 250 people or more.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:28 pm

I stand corrected, Dave. Thank you! Botched the leading zero. Let me re-summarize:

The death rate from the Swine Flu/ H1N1 was about 2%.
Available numbers from the current Cornoavirus is about 2-3% (maybe more depending on source numbers)
The "regular" flu death rate is in the 0.1-0.2% range.

Those most in danger are the elderly, the ill, and those with immune system issues. But don't take it lightly because you're young and (mostly) healthy so far!
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:11 pm

lake_wrangler wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:30 am
Well, I just got an email from my church, and they are suspending our Sunday morning meetings until further notice, as per the government's recommendation to not hold gatherings of 250 people or more.
Same here, but not per government recommendation. They decided to go online instead.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Alkarii » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:58 am

Yeah, the worse the bad news sounds, the more people will try to pay attention to the news.

Has anyone started a betting pool regarding how long the chow mein strain is going to be a big issue?
There is no such thing as a science experiment gone wrong.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:15 am

Alkarii wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:58 am
Yeah, the worse the bad news sounds, the more people will try to pay attention to the news.
I was at a friend's place, yesterday, to do my taxes (he's been doing taxes for people for years, and he lets me use his computer and software - for free - to do my own tax report). As per our custom, he and his wife then have me stay for dinner afterwards. The TV was on, and set to a news channel. It was starting to get on my nerves... Those channels have to find ways to fill air-time, so it's all professionals, followed by man-on-the-street, followed by interviews at old folks homes (who have been told they should not leave the facilities, while no one is allowed to visit...), and so on. It gets tiring, after a while. I understand the seriousness of the situation, but the coverage just makes things worse, after a while...

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Just Old Al » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:57 pm

The reporting on this reminds me of the reporting on 9/11 back at the millennium. They keep regurgitating the same information and speculations over and over and over again.

And don't get me started on the conspiracy theorists...
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:18 pm

Just Old Al wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:57 pm
And don't get me started on the conspiracy theorists...
Indeed. :roll: Much like after 9/11. Also similar to what happened after HIV was identified.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:41 pm

Well, they just put my whole area of California under a 3-week "shelter in place" order, starting at midnight tonight. Everybody except for those working in essential businesses (food stores, medicine, banks, gas stations) is to stay at home; non-essential business are required to close. Restaurants will be allowed to operate in a take-out/delivery basis only.

Fortunately for our sanity, outdoor activities (walking, running, hiking) are allowed - they're specifically listed under "Essential Activities".

I think my wife will be relieved to know that one of her pet peeves (hand-shaking) is now forbidden. She's always preferred the Namaste.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/16/ ... -counties/

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:58 pm

Dave wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:41 pm
Well, they just put my whole area of California under a 3-week "shelter in place" order, starting at midnight tonight.
One hopes you have lots of movies and music you haven't yet watched/listened to...
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Bookworm » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:58 pm

Dave wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:52 am
Atomic wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:06 am
A lot of news shouting has been without context, so here's some numbers for you:

The death rate from the Swine Flu/ H1N1 was about 2%.
Available numbers from the current Cornoavirus is about 2-3%
The "regular" flu death rate is in the 1-2% range.
I think your third line has figures that have skipped a decimal point somewhere. They off by a factor of 10.

For example, in 2017, CDC reports an estimate of 44,802,629 cases of flu, and 46,404 – 94,987 deaths as a result. That's 0.1% to 0.2% mortality... one or two people die out of every thousand who get seasonal influenza. It's only the oldest cohort (65+) in which the morality rate climbs to or above 1%.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/20 ... htm#table1

All the reports I've been reading (from CDC and elsewhere) say that current figures for COVID-19 are in the 1%-4% range for the whole population of those infected... above 5% for those over 60. Very roughly 10x higher morality rate than seasonal influenza. We're talking 1-5 deaths for every hundred people diagnosed. It's not anywhere near as bad as MERS or Ebola but it's quite a bit worse than seasonal flu.

The good news is that the young don't seem to be at high risk of complications with COVID-19... as you say, it's a mild or bad case of the Creeping Crud but it usually doesn't go further than that. As I recall, both the Spanish Flu, and the H1N1 could hit there young-and-heathy very hard, triggering an immune system overreaction (cytokine storm) which badly damages the lungs. My company's Emergency Medical Response trainer was the second person in our county to die from H1N1 and he was only in his 30s.
These are somewhat incorrect numbers. Specifically, they lie about the death toll.

You see, there are some conflicting numbers.

1) They don't actually get real numbers. They extrapolate based on what they're told (and they've apparently never required good numbers)
2) The '.1%' that people like to quote appears to ONLY be deaths directly related to the influenza virus. The real mortality index is because of viral pneumonia. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/fl ... 7-2018.htm

The death toll for at least 4 consecutive weeks was 10%. not 1%, not .1%. 10%. One in ten people with viral pneumonia died. The true meaning of the word 'decimation'. (We don't actually know if it's 10% of those who just went pneumonia, or if it's 10% of the total, as it's called "Pneumonia & Influenza" ) This is the number at which we should look - plus the number of influenza infections vs SARS-Cov-2. The killer here is that SARS-Cov-2 seems to trigger pneumonia more often, and faster.

3) It's looking like SARS-Cov-2 (The actual _virus_) may not be as lethal to the general population as originally thought. Michael Levitt, a biophysicist, did some number crunching on what happened in China.

https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Is ... ing-621145

His conclusion is that the majority of humans are naturally immune. I will say that he ALSO appears to be firmly behind the various quarantines, because infecting 1.5 people every 3 days is better than 2.2 a day.

Frankly, I'm hoping that he's right. Yet, I also want them to finish testing a vaccine for it. So far, we've had SARS, MERS, and now COVID-19. That's three coronavirus jumps to humans within 25 years. It's not unreasonable to assume that more and more will keep making the jump (This is probably how the "Human Coronavirus" that is referred to as 'rhinitis' first hit humans - https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold ... old_causes ) Having at least one solid vaccine that's been tested will mean that if something like this happens again, they can build a vaccine within a month to try to protect front line medical people. (and those that have to be exposed to lots of people every day). Maybe eventually a fix for part of the common cold :)

No matter what, this is STILL a threat to the elders in our society, many of which are still reasonably irreplaceable, especially en-mass. It's also a threat to productivity, as people that catch it are generally down and out for two to three weeks, even if they don't have life threatening symptoms.
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:36 pm

Bookworm wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:58 pm
2) The '.1%' that people like to quote appears to ONLY be deaths directly related to the influenza virus. The real mortality index is because of viral pneumonia. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/fl ... 7-2018.htm

The death toll for at least 4 consecutive weeks was 10%. not 1%, not .1%. 10%. One in ten people with viral pneumonia died. The true meaning of the word 'decimation'.
Hmmm. I think you may be comparing two different types of numbers there... that is, they're percentages of different sorts of things.

As I read it, what they're saying is:
  • Approximately .1% of the people who were diagnosed with influenza, died.
  • For a period of several weeks, 10% or more of the total deaths recorded were ones which occurred in people diagnosed with influenza or pneumonia.
If I'm interpreting that correctly, then there isn't any conflict between these numbers, because they're measuring/quantifying entirely different things.

Lessee... if I chase through some CDC pages and end up at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr ... 09-508.pdf (statistics for 2017) they say that there was a total of 2,813,503 deaths in that year, of which 55,672 are ascribed to "influenza and pneumonia". They also estimate 44,802,629 cases of influenza.

So, if their number-of-cases is anywhere near correct (that's roughly 1 person in 5 getting the flu that year, which seems reasonable), then it's impossible for influenza to have a 10% mortality rate (even if you throw in all of the cases of pneumonia in that number), because it would account for twice the number of people who actually died.

As I read it, about 2% of total deaths in 2017 were from influenza-and-pneumonia, when averaged across a whole year. However, influenza deaths are not evenly distributed... they tend to hit in waves during the outbreaks. I can well believe that during a flu pandemic, 10% of the total deaths in any given week might result from flu, even if the death-rate-per-case is under 1%, simply because so very many people are infected at once.
His conclusion is that the majority of humans are naturally immune. I will say that he ALSO appears to be firmly behind the various quarantines, because infecting 1.5 people every 3 days is better than 2.2 a day.

Frankly, I'm hoping that he's right. Yet, I also want them to finish testing a vaccine for it. So far, we've had SARS, MERS, and now COVID-19. That's three coronavirus jumps to humans within 25 years. It's not unreasonable to assume that more and more will keep making the jump (This is probably how the "Human Coronavirus" that is referred to as 'rhinitis' first hit humans - https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold ... old_causes ) Having at least one solid vaccine that's been tested will mean that if something like this happens again, they can build a vaccine within a month to try to protect front line medical people. (and those that have to be exposed to lots of people every day). Maybe eventually a fix for part of the common cold :)

No matter what, this is STILL a threat to the elders in our society, many of which are still reasonably irreplaceable, especially en-mass. It's also a threat to productivity, as people that catch it are generally down and out for two to three weeks, even if they don't have life threatening symptoms.
Here, we are in strong agreement, not least because I'm old enough to be considered high-risk, as are a few others here... and a lot of our families. My mom's 91, and my brother has given her strict instructions to Stay The Hell Indoors By Yourself.

I'm not sure whether "immune" is quite the right word... "subject to infection but asymptomatic" might be more correct. A lot of what we're reading suggests that a substantial percentage of those infected never show symptoms... but they're still contagious (albeit less so than those with symptoms). Some of this certainly seems to be age-related, some seems to correlate with blood type, and there are probably a bunch of other genetic factors that haven't yet been discovered.

I too, hope he's right.

I'm a bit disturbed by the fact that he didn't (from what I could see in that article) try to disentangle the "most people are immune" effect that he believes in, from the "people aren't being infected in China because of the draconian isolation and lockdown" effect. The Chinese government has been trying very hard (a bit late perhaps) to break the chains of infection, by strictly isolating anyone who has or might have the virus. We simply don't know whether the people who "aren't coming down sick" now, are immune, or are simply being kept away from the virus. It makes a big difference, both to how soon the pandemic burns out, and how likely it is that it'll reawaken from the embers.

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