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The Official MacNN COVID-19 Thread
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Thorzdad
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Mar 1, 2020, 01:52 PM
 
‘Cause y’all are sooner-or-later gonna talk about it, and it’s all but guaranteed to have a nice, thick coating of politics. Enjoy!
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subego
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Mar 1, 2020, 02:13 PM
 
Cases reported here, so I started to stock up on some non-perishables, just in case. If nothing happens, I’m fine putting away some Easy Mac.

I also have a cough, so it’s been nice knowing y’all.
     
reader50
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Mar 1, 2020, 02:39 PM
 
Johns Hopkins situation dashboard
WHO situation dashboard

Data today: (i'm updating this daily)
5,460,747 confirmed cases in 188 countries.
2,920,993 currently ill.
346,293 deaths.
2,193,461 recovered.

"currently ill" is calculated using the equation: confirmed cases = (currently ill + recovered + deaths).

At least 100 organizations are trying to create a vaccine. A few have begun human trials. However, completing the trials and approving a vaccine for general use is expected to take about a year.
( Last edited by reader50; May 25, 2020 at 02:45 PM. Reason: daily numbers update)
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 1, 2020, 03:03 PM
 
My wife works for a small home healthcare company. They're a small, overworked management crew, and I don't think this is even on their radar as of yet. There's just too many day-to-day trashfires they have to contain to have any time to look into what sort of preparedness they can even muster, beyond requiring their caregivers to wear masks and gloves all day. And I can't imagine they'd get anything close to even 50% compliance from the caregivers.
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Mar 1, 2020, 09:14 PM
 
[...deleted...]
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OreoCookie
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Mar 1, 2020, 09:16 PM
 
The situation here in Japan is bad: it is a mix of utter incompetence and hysteria. On the one hand, the Japanese government created a floating petri dish, but then refused to test health care workers and government officials who had come into contact. Only reluctantly did they decide to test less than half of the affected health care workers. And then they turned around and let people off the ship and let them take public transportation home. The government prides itself in the low number of infected, but undoubtedly the main reason is that other countries, most notably South Korea, test many, many more. Yesterday or the day before yesterday 10,000 tests were administered in South Korea. Whereas last week, the number of tests performed in Japan steadily decreased to ~500 per day.

To make matters worse, the Abe Administration published a “recommendation” that all schools be closed. Which is awesome for all working parents, because companies sure as sugar won't cut workers any slack to take care of their family.

At work I am being bombarded with health advisories, which are essentially all the same: wash your hands properly, stay at home when you are sick, avoid large gatherings, etc. Conferences and meetings are all cancelled, which even includes my wife's a cappella group. Japanese start hoarding face masks, disinfectant, toilet paper and tissue, too. Even my wife went out yesterday to buy some more.
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subego
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Mar 1, 2020, 09:45 PM
 
Did the school closing cause a panic?

I mean, was that a point where a bunch of people all at once went “okay, this is real”?
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 2, 2020, 04:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Did the school closing cause a panic?
Yeah, all the working parents were suddenly asking themselves “WTF should I do with my children during the day?” Because if you are a working parent, you can't just take a month off of work even under these extenuating circumstances. At least around here, individuals are not too worried. But organizations and companies seem overly conservative. Basically all domestic scientific conferences have been cancelled. My wife's company has suspended all domestic travels and allows some of its employees to do teleworking (it is a German-Japanese joint venture working on renewable energy, so they are much more flexible than the average Japanese company).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I mean, was that a point where a bunch of people all at once went “okay, this is real”?
A lot of it is on the shoulders of the Japanese government.
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Laminar
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Mar 2, 2020, 09:01 AM
 
The Olympics are getting cancelled, right?
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 2, 2020, 10:20 AM
 
In Boston, the Marathon is still going on, but without athletes from the countries Trump has banned travel from (china, italy, iran, south korea, etc). I wonder if they will test the other athletes. My work has stopped travel to those countries also, and is requesting that if you have personal travel plans to those places that you self-quarantine upon return. :/ 2 people have now died in WA state.

I was impressed to read of South Korea's prompt response.

NEJM has made their coronavirus articles free: https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus

Subego, I also have a cough since last week and am staying home today just so my coworkers don't freak out.
     
subego
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Mar 2, 2020, 04:14 PM
 
Ordered a couple cases of MREs. Amazon makes shopping for the apocalypse easy!

It looks like there’s been a run. Choices were moldy Russian or kosher. Easy pick.

Idea is to have something extra on hand because my family and friends don’t listen to my good advice.
     
subego
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Mar 2, 2020, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yeah, all the working parents were suddenly asking themselves “WTF should I do with my children during the day?” Because if you are a working parent, you can't just take a month off of work even under these extenuating circumstances. At least around here, individuals are not too worried. But organizations and companies seem overly conservative. Basically all domestic scientific conferences have been cancelled. My wife's company has suspended all domestic travels and allows some of its employees to do teleworking (it is a German-Japanese joint venture working on renewable energy, so they are much more flexible than the average Japanese company).

A lot of it is on the shoulders of the Japanese government.
Thanks! Good luck with whatever happens!
     
turtle777
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Mar 2, 2020, 06:14 PM
 
The utter incompetence of most countries will ensure this will be a bad pandemic.

The only countries doing things all the way right are South Korea and Singapore. High transparency, no propaganda, meaningful actions.

China is intransparent, and draconian. Because they know how bad it really is.
US, CDC and WHO are shitting the bed on an hourly basis.

I’m prepared for a complete shit show.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 2, 2020, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
The Olympics are getting cancelled, right?
Well, the Japanese government is trying everything it can to not have to cancel. Of course, their backwards solution was to attempt to conceal the extent of the problem by simply not testing people and not allowing the passengers of the Diamond Princess to disembark (as in that moment that would have increased the Japanese tally). That's why there are so relatively few officially confirmed infections.

Even without the Corona virus pandemic, the organization of the Olympic Games is a sh*t show. First and foremeost, the IOC insisted on holding the games in the hottest, most humid period of the year. The organizers at least decided to move the marathon to Sapporo 1,000 km North of Tokyo … but cyclists and many other outdoor athletes are still expected to compete under very harsh conditions. For good reason the previous Tokyo Olympic Games in the 1960s were held in October — and that was before the average temperatures rose to today's levels.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The utter incompetence of most countries will ensure this will be a bad pandemic.
I think this is fear mongering. Given the extent of international travel, this kind of disease will spread all over the world — precisely because it is less deadly. Governments can only mitigate some of that and lower the infection rate.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The only countries doing things all the way right are South Korea and Singapore. High transparency, no propaganda, meaningful actions.
There are plenty of other countries that have reacted in a responsible fashion, e. g. The Netherlands and Germany. The extent of the problem in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan is simply of a different order of magnitude due to geography.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
US, CDC and WHO are shitting the bed on an hourly basis.
Also here, this blanket statement I think this is ill-informed. The CDC's funding has been slashed by the Trump administration, and their advice was not heeded when e. g. potentially infected citizens were repatriated. Despite the CDC's protest, they were put on regular flights with unsuspecting fellow travelers.

To claim that the CDC is incompetent is incorrect, especially after the Trump administration put a bullet in their knee cap and ignored their expert advice.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 2, 2020, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Thanks! Good luck with whatever happens!
Thanks! Fortunately, our daughter is still in day care, so that doesn't affect us yet.
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andi*pandi
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Mar 2, 2020, 11:10 PM
 
my parents in FL just got tested. They both had pneumonia-like symptoms. No results until Wednesday which seems pretty slow.
     
turtle777
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Mar 5, 2020, 08:00 AM
 
The US squandered 6 weeks in making test kits widely available.
All hands should have been on deck late January.
It was clear from the managed numbers in China that this virus is highly transmissive.

Why the US can’t test all people is beyond me, other than CDC and government incompetence.
I’m not defending the Trump Administration either. Putting Pence in charge was a idiotic move.

And the media is complicit as well, silencing critics with constant shouting “This is just like the flu” and “It’s not a pandemic - nothing to see here.”

It’s going to be bad, and it was clear in late January.

-t
     
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Mar 5, 2020, 08:09 AM
 
All the cool tech kids are cancelling events now: Google cancelled I/O, Facebook cancelled F8, GDC (Game Developers Conference) is delayed until at least the summer, Mobile World Congress was cancelled already weeks ago... Anyone wanna bet whether WWDC gets cancelled this year?
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Doc HM
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Mar 5, 2020, 09:42 AM
 
My daughter and her boyfriend have been working hard, saving and planning for their round the world trip. They've been planning everything in detail for the last 9 months. They were going to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan then on to Hawaii and the continental US over a period of 6 months. They both left their jobs and were ready for the off in two weeks.

That's all been blown apart and they aren't sure how much they will recover from booked flights etc.

I understand that people are dying but it's still upsetting for them.
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subego
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Mar 5, 2020, 09:45 AM
 
That’s awful, and it’s completely reasonable to be upset about it even though there are people who have it worse.
     
turtle777
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Mar 5, 2020, 03:19 PM
 
No trip insurance ?

-t
     
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Mar 5, 2020, 03:44 PM
 
[...deleted...]
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subego
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Mar 6, 2020, 07:34 AM
 
This actually seems reasonable to me. People need to sit down in the park or take a dump. People don’t need to use non-disposable cups.

Since putting a clamp on this particular vector involves little cost to anyone, why not do it?
     
turtle777
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Mar 6, 2020, 08:53 AM
 
Here’s a latest example of government propaganda, incl. the WHO.

They say that using face masks are useless, can have adverse effects, or could even have negative effects on your own health.

Pure bullshit propaganda.

Fact:

- face masks don’t guarantee anything, but it definitely reduce risk of infection, if used properly
- there are not enough face masks because the governments didn’t take COVID-19 seriously early on, and didn’t ramp up production in western countries
- governments absolutely need face masks for health care workers. But rather than admitting that they screwed up, they tell the public to not use them, so they can get their hands on it. Very disingenuous.

-t
     
subego
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Mar 6, 2020, 10:34 AM
 
I’ve heard that [masks are useless], from a doctor no less, but isn’t the main use of face masks for the infected?


Edit: I can see a case for if you’re a health care worker, you need a more serious mask than normal.
( Last edited by subego; Mar 6, 2020 at 11:28 AM. )
     
Doc HM
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Mar 6, 2020, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
No trip insurance ?

-t
Yes, but they won't pay up for epidemics or pandemics.
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Ham Sandwich
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[...deleted...]
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andi*pandi
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Mar 6, 2020, 12:18 PM
 
I don't know... colleges are cancelling trips abroad and conferences, so maybe spring break is curtailed to a staycation.
     
subego
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Mar 6, 2020, 12:44 PM
 
Has Spring Break always been in early March?

It’s not Spring for another two weeks.

Kids today... I tell ya.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 6, 2020, 11:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
No trip insurance ?
Usually there is a Force Majeure (aka Acts of God and Parliament) exclusion to many contracts (including insurance contracts), and it seems reasonable that would apply here. These clauses indemnify the company e. g. in case of natural catastrophes, outbreak of war or many other events that are considered out of both parties's control.

For example, if you are a building contractor and an earthquake occurs, you can't be penalized for not finishing construction on time.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 7, 2020, 09:20 AM
 
The city of Austin has cancelled SXSW.
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turtle777
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Mar 7, 2020, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’ve heard that [masks are useless], from a doctor no less, but isn’t the main use of face masks for the infected?
That doctor doesn’t seem to have too much knowledge.

There are two basic type of masks:
- surgical masks
- respirator type masks (N95, P95, N100)

Surgical masks are strictly used to stop someone spreading droplet viruses or bacteria to others. It doesn’t NOT properly protect the wearer, because there is no close, airtight seal. Hospital staff wears it to not infect patients with any virus they would have.

Respirator type masks, when properly fitted to create a closed seal DO increase protection significantly, but can never be 100%.

The big unknown is how easily SARS-COV-19 spreads airborne.
If airborne transmission is a thing, surgical masks wouldn’t even protect others if a sick person wore it.
At that point, respirator masks would do a better job, but can not be 100% effective.
Goggles would have to be worn in addition, because airborne virus could infect through eyes.

Secondly, there is a positive side effect from wearing masks - people stop touching their faces. That is a huge plus, because most transmission is probably from touching infected surfaces, and then touching eyes or mouth.

TLDR;

Respirator type masks work, and reduce the chance of infection.

Further, there is no excuse for the right information (see above) to not be reported by government and doctors, unless they are clueless.

-t
     
subego
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Mar 7, 2020, 02:35 PM
 
He was saying surgical masks are useless, or more specifically, when masks came up he said “you don’t have the right kind”.

Likewise, he also may have thought I was talking about getting infected, whereas I was asking about infecting others.
     
reader50
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Mar 7, 2020, 02:39 PM
 
I was in my local hardware store on thursday. They're rationing breathing masks, maximum 5 per customer. Yesterday, I was in a nearby Lowes, and they're seeing runs on masks too. Both stores are seeing runs on disinfectants and cleaning supplies.

Really hoping the government gets serious with the testing & quarantines. So it doesn't get to my neck of the woods. Blame games against other political parties does not inspire confidence.
     
subego
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Mar 7, 2020, 02:47 PM
 
Yeah... no masks available anywhere I’ve seen.

I picked up a bag off of Amazon at greatly inflated prices.

The idea wasn’t to protect myself, but if I get sick, I want to make it less likely to infect others. I’m already sick... a little at least. Maybe that was stupid. I dunno.
     
reader50
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Mar 7, 2020, 03:00 PM
 
In recent news, Obama (administration) is to blame for the test kit shortage in the US. Trump himself says so.
The president on Wednesday blamed a federal agency decision during Barack Obama’s presidency, which Trump said made it harder to quickly roll out testing for the virus.
No doubt it's on Hillary too somehow.
The responsibility for the coronavirus test kit shortage appears to lie with the CDC’s choice to develop and distribute its own kit rather than use the one recommended by the World Health Organization, according to ProPublica. But the CDC’s tests didn’t work, falsely flagging harmless samples that contained viruses other than Covid-19.
With all the CDC budget cuts in recent years, you'd think they would just use the WHO test kits.
( Last edited by reader50; Mar 7, 2020 at 04:26 PM. )
     
ghporter
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Mar 7, 2020, 06:04 PM
 
The CDC estimates that from October - 2019 through February 29, 2020, there have been:
34-49 MILLION influenza cases (people who had the flu)
16-23 MILLIION flu medical visits
350,000 to 620,000 flu hospitalizations
and 20,000 - 50,000 flu deaths.

Compare that to COVID-19 as of March 7; (again per CDC, this is a daily updated page)
Total cases: 162
Total deaths: 11
States reporting cases: 19

What should we do to avoid catching or transmitting influenza (any strain)?
> Stay away from people who are sick. DUH! Seriously, avoiding contact with people who have symptoms of anything is a great strategy.
> Stay home if you're sick. Again, DUH, but there's a thing called "presenteeism," and it's BAD. If you're sick, don't go out and infect other people.
> Cover your cough or sneeze. Tissue is cheap, but if you can't get a tissue out in time, you can also cover your face with the inside of your elbow to reduce the spread of droplets.
> Wash your hands with soap and water. It doesn't have to be ultra hot water (that's actually bad for you), but at least 20 seconds of vigorous washing of the full surface of both hands (including the backs, between fingers, and under fingernails) it effective in removing almost everything infectious.
> Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. That keeps your germs off of your hands, and it keeps other people's germs off your your eyes, nose and mouth.

Why am I going on about the flu? Because everything you do to avoid flu is effective against ANY respiratory illness. Is this perfect protection? No. But it's pretty darn good.

And keep in mind that influenza has already killed far more people worldwide than there are COVID-19 infected people. So take influenza seriously and you'll pretty much cover the bases for Corona...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Mar 7, 2020, 07:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The CDC estimates that from October - 2019 through February 29, 2020, there have been:
34-49 MILLION influenza cases (people who had the flu)
16-23 MILLIION flu medical visits
350,000 to 620,000 flu hospitalizations
and 20,000 - 50,000 flu deaths.
.
Sigh. Another “the flu is also bad” post.
I would have expected better from you, since you (AFAIR) worked in the heath care field.

The issue is the high number of serious hospitalizations that require a stay in the ICU. Currently, about 5% of the corona virus infections lead to serious complications. The US has only about 100,000 ICU beds in total. Do your math. This has the potential to be massively worse than any flu strain, or even SARS or MERS.

Further, the high R0 of this virus (estimated at 4 or higher$, this has the potential to spread more than the flu (which has a R0 of below 2).
But you won’t hear that in the news, because it would self-isolation (a.k.a. Doomsday Prepping) a viable course of action.

-t
     
subego
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Mar 7, 2020, 09:57 PM
 
Is he saying that?

By those numbers, the death rate for flu is 0.1 percent, and the rate for CORVID is 6.7%.
     
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Mar 7, 2020, 10:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Sigh. Another “the flu is also bad” post.
I would have expected better from you, since you (AFAIR) worked in the heath care field.
It is important to put COVID-19 into perspective, and to understand why you shouldn't all run out and buy toilet paper (which seems to be a worldwide pandemic, stretching Italy to Japan to Australia). Usually panic makes things worse and leads to people making bad decisions from their gut such as buying up surgical masks and cancelling schools across entire countries, even though the infection rate amongst children is extremely low.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The issue is the high number of serious hospitalizations that require a stay in the ICU. Currently, about 5% of the corona virus infections lead to serious complications.
According to these statistics, about 14 % of the cases are classified as serious and has a mortality rate of 3.4 % (I expect that in many richer nations the mortality is lower than that). So yes, that will put pressure on the world's health care systems. In addition to that, though, there is the possibility that this becomes something like the Spanish Flu.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The US has only about 100,000 ICU beds in total. Do your math. This has the potential to be massively worse than any flu strain, or even SARS or MERS.
SARS or MERS had a higher mortality rate, but also a much shorter incubation period (2-7 days for SARS and typically 5 days for MERS according to the CDC). Hence, they did not spread as far as COVID-19.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
But you won’t hear that in the news, because it would self-isolation (a.k.a. Doomsday Prepping) a viable course of action.
Self isolation ≠ dooms day prepping.
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Mar 7, 2020, 11:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
By those numbers, the death rate for flu is 0.1 percent, and the rate for COVID is 6.7%.
Simple calculations suggest a high mortality rate of 3% or higher. But that is against the confirmed cases. Most people experience mild symptoms, and recover without ever being confirmed. Testing ability was severely constrained for a long time.

Also, the death rate is skewed by China cases. They didn't know how to handle it initially, and the Wuhan medical system was being overwhelmed. Allowing for the missed mild cases and the earlier China problems, it looks to be around 1% mortality rate. At least, that's what I'm concluding from the stats and stories.
     
subego
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Mar 8, 2020, 12:25 AM
 
I could be wrong, but I think when it comes to death rates, it’s probably better not to include the minor cases.

I think the useful statistic here is chance of dying if things go bad.
     
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Mar 8, 2020, 08:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I could be wrong, but I think when it comes to death rates, it’s probably better not to include the minor cases.
Why?
Diseases that are too deadly and kill quickly don't get very far. The problem with COVID-19 is precisely, because it strikes the Goldilocks balance between being benign and infectous enough to spread extremely quickly, but deadly enough to matter in the end.

That's also why it is hard for governments to strike a good balance between being prudent, but not inducing panic.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I think the useful statistic here is chance of dying if things go bad.
That depends on what you have in mind when you write “if things go bad.” 
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turtle777
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Mar 8, 2020, 09:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I could be wrong, but I think when it comes to death rates, it’s probably better not to include the minor cases.

I think the useful statistic here is chance of dying if things go bad.
Serious cases requiring hospitalizations seem to be in the 10-20% range of cases that tested positive.

So if the CFR (case fatality rate) in total is about 3.5%, it indicates that you have a 17-35% chance of dying once you need hospitalization.

Problem is, this seems to be in circumstances where the hospital system is not yet collapsed due to case load. Once that happens, CFR will go up rapidly.

Conservative estimates are that if there are no measures to slow down the spread in the US, we will run out of hospital beds in May. Read this, compiled from an epic tweet:
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1...459003909.html

I think mild panic is warranted at these prospects.

My prediction:
- We will see massive spread on West Coast, leading to an overburdened health care system
- Quarantines for several cities enacted
- Days or weeks after that, US wide travel ban

It’s too late to stop the spread. All you can (and have to do) is slow down the spread, to give hospitals the chance to stay afloat.

-t
     
turtle777
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Mar 8, 2020, 09:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Self isolation ≠ dooms day prepping.
You can’t successfully self-isolate for many weeks without some sort of “prepping”.

Also, who says dooms day has to be a zombie apocalypse ?
70%+ of all API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) are made in China.
Most of them are further processed in India.
India already started banning exportation of many pharmaceutical supplies.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ol-antibiotics

The western word could run out of the basic building blocks to make every day medicine and drugs. Pretty bleak.

Qualifies as a dooms day scenario for me.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 8, 2020, 11:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
You can’t successfully self-isolate for many weeks without some sort of “prepping”.
Doomsday Preppers are different from people who keep enough canned food for a reasonable amount of time.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
70%+ of all API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) are made in China.
Most of them are further processed in India.
India already started banning exportation of many pharmaceutical supplies.
The EU is banning exports for medical supplies it runs low on as well. Although that is mainly, because people have been panicking and started buying up face masks and the like.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Qualifies as a dooms day scenario for me.
How Doomsday Preppring is going to help here is a mystery to me. The world is interconnected, and we are becoming aware of that now. Doomsday Preppers have the illusion that they can get by without that and just rely on themselves. But the answer is more collaboration between everyone rather than less. To share the development work for a vaccine and bring it to market earlier. We know how to do this.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego
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Mar 8, 2020, 11:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Why?
Because from what I understand, this infection doesn’t have much of a “middle”. It’s either nothing, or it completely lays a person out.

Some numbers I made up for an example.

100 infections.
50 are minor.
10 deaths.

The raw death rate is 10%.

People with minor cases have a death rate of 0%.
People with non-minor cases have a death rate of 20%.

10% is the “middle” number, and isn’t really representing either group well. Most importantly, it’s giving people who have non-minor cases a false sense of security.
     
turtle777
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Mar 8, 2020, 03:08 PM
 
Well, this guy is not known to be an alarmist.

Dr. Richard Hatchett,
- sat on the White House Homeland Security Council in 2005 - 2006
- principal author of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan
- heads the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

"This is the most frightening disease I've ever encountered in my career, and that includes Ebola, it includes MERS, it includes SARS.

"I don’t think it is a crazy analogy to compare this to World War II. The World Health Organisation is using those kinds of terms. They have seen what this virus is capable of doing."

Channel 4 interview:
https://youtu.be/dcJDpV-igjs

Time to panic yet ?

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 8, 2020, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Because from what I understand, this infection doesn’t have much of a “middle”. It’s either nothing, or it completely lays a person out.
Your way of computing the death rate is highly misleading, you could have one disease that is mild in 98 % of the cases, but in those 2 % of severe cases, the death rate is 50 %. It is then statistically expected that per 100 infected, 1 person will die. That is very different from a disease where only 80 % of the cases are mild and 20 % are severe. But of those 20 % “only” 25 % die — which means 5 people out of 100 are expected to die.

If you compute the death rate the way that everybody else does it, the first disease has a mortality rate of 1 % (vs. your 50 %), the second one's is 5 % (vs. your 25 %). To gauge a the severity of an epi- or pandemic, “your” mortality rates, you of course need to know more than the mortality rate. But that's clear.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
10% is the “middle” number, and isn’t really representing either group well. Most importantly, it’s giving people who have non-minor cases a false sense of security.
I think it is the opposite: have a look at my example, clearly, the second disease is more serious than the first. But IMHO if the news used your mortality rates, the first one would get more of a reaction from the public even though it is only 1/5th as deadly.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 8, 2020, 09:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Well, this guy is not known to be an alarmist.
We all know the situation is serious, because the mortality is quite similar to the Spanish Flu from 1918/1919 despite our advances in medicine. Thus, we know what to expect and what to do: we can expect that a large number of people in infected. Nevertheless, simple measures will greatly reduce the number of victims (the way Philadelphia did not cancel many public events back then and incurred a much larger death toll is a cautionary tale).

Panic will make things worse, the moronic run on toilet paper is proof. Not going by science will exacerbate the situation. For example, closing schools but letting people commute will make matters worse. Making testing and treatment unaffordable will make things worse. Etc. IMHO improving the US's bad health care system will have a much greater effect than pretending you can live in the woods for a year with your family.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Time to panic yet ?
Nope, because wide-spread panic will kill more people than the disease.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
 
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