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Ser Scot A Ellison

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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2 minutes ago, Fez said:

I still think the right move is to not get overly concerned. At the same time though, I do think some amount of caution is warranted. Unless there's a huge number of unreported cases (which is entirely possible, to be fair), it looks like the fatality rate for COVID-19 is about 2%, which is way, way higher than the flu.

Actually the fatality rate seems to be 6% which is very low, as pandemics roll.  Had lunch today with a person who is an epidemiologist -- one of the guys who isolated the Legionnaires virus.  This is what he says.  It's likely a lot of people will get sick, but the fatalities will vastly be among the usual suspects such as the homeless, people in prisons, and older men with health issues already, particularly if they are smokers.

I'm more concerned about supply chain disruption.  So today I went out and got those over-the-counter medications that we use here to treat bad respiratory infections that are broadly still called colds, and flu, such as cough medications, aspirin (bottle was nearly empty, which I hadn't noticed since don't use it much except when sick), cough drops and lots of boxes of tissues.  From past experience, when the City's hit hard by flu and colds it can be hard to find these items on the shelves -- and if one is sick one doesn't want to go out looking, and one shouldn't.

I nearly died of flu as an undergraduate ... I've always thought since then that flu is how I shall die. So I take flu seriously all right.

 

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4 hours ago, Gertrude said:

I don’t mean that people should barricade themselves in their houses and hunker down, but traveling to a known outbreak area, which Italy is, is not unreasonable and is a responsible line of thinking

Yes. For whatever reasons (all roads lead to Rome?), it's the center from which the virus has been spreading through Europe.

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6 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

That's kind of what I hope happens, but my guess is the cruise line won't cancel it until they absolutely have to, which will probably be after my March 18 deadline. 

I'm just having a hard time getting my head around just how serious this thing is, and if I'm overreacting or not.  I probably wouldn't think about cancelling a cruise in the Caribbean for example, but the recent cases coming out of Italy definitely has me concerned.  All of my stops are in southern Italy but still... 

I'll probably wait until March 16 and hope either that this thing starts to die down or the Cruise line does the right thing and cancel it or let us reschedule.

The thought that crossed my mind first thing was, how old are you? And do you have any existing conditions? 

As with the the flu, the death rate is higher with the elderly. I’m 65, so I would likely wait to the 16th and if things have gotten worse in Italy, cancel. Since the incubation period is about two weeks, I’d almost guarantee that things will be much worse in Italy by the 16th, sorry to say.

But just as important, if things are much worse your cruise may be cancelled. There’s a story I saw going on right now, an MSC cruise ship in the Caribbean has a crew member sick with the flu and Jamaica and the Caymans refused to allow the ship in port or for anyone to disembark. Imagine your ship being refused to the right to enter a port. 

I also heard today a list of those at higher risk, and I was surprised to hear that in addition to age and existing conditions they included diabetes, not something I expected, the usual ones being such as heart disease or respiratory illnesses. And then, also surprisingly, obesity.

I really feel for you, sorry. 

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2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Well, as I diabetic, I can tell you that we are taught to fear the flu the same way kids raised in Christian cults are taught to fear Satan.

I did not know that! Sorry to hear it.

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I don't envy governments around the world right now. They're caught in a mess of decisions; be too proactive and you've inconvenienced a huge amount of your population for no reason, don't be as proactive and then if it gets out of hand you'll be blamed.

The Internet is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's obviously a tool that can cause major panic and disinformation. On the other hand, its connectivity has made it easier for people to self-isolate or otherwise cope with quarantines and the loss of personal freedom.

It's kind of instructive to see what stocks people are piling into - some of the prepper/staples consumer goods and some technology companies. I'm sure Netflix wouldn't mind if a large proportion of the American population were suddenly quarantined.

In all of this, I'm actually quite surprised that it hasn't gained a toehold in the USA yet. Given the huge amount of internationals who travel to and from the US for business, study or other purposes, and as a global hub that has so many different gateways into the country, the American situation is remarkably stable.

Edited by Jeor

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As an extra fun bonus, I finally got a legit case. As in went to urgent care and was told hey bro that’s the flu, with theraflu and instructions to stay home for a week, for the first time ever. Been diabetic since I was a wee baby so this is pretty much the first time in my 41 years. Not fun. I can count the times previous to this I’ve run a fever on one finger and even then it was at 99.9. I run cold. So when I got up one morning and my temp was 103.7 my mom dragged my to the car and drove me to urgent care. The moral of this random not yet fully awake post is if you think you’ll had the flu before? WRONG. Unless a doctor tells you you have the flu, you probably just have a bad cold.

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Take this as you will. I got information through work that things were happening in Iran in November. November is when some epidemiologists think the first cases started appearing in China. There is a fair amount of interaction between China and Iran, they are on pretty good terms.

I don't know if that potentially puts the origin of the virus in Iran, but there is definitely increasing doubt that it originated in the animal markets in Wuhan or even in Wuhan itself. Wuhan just seems to be where shit got kicked off in a big way.

@Darth Richard II Yeah, I've had 'flu once. If you've had the flu you definitely understand why people die from it and that it's not like just a particularly nasty cold.

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8 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Take this as you will. I got information through work that things were happening in Iran in November. November is when some epidemiologists think the first cases started appearing in China. There is a fair amount of interaction between China and Iran, they are on pretty good terms.

I don't know if that potentially puts the origin of the virus in Iran, but there is definitely increasing doubt that it originated in the animal markets in Wuhan or even in Wuhan itself. Wuhan just seems to be where shit got kicked off in a big way.

@Darth Richard II Yeah, I've had 'flu once. If you've had the flu you definitely understand why people die from it and that it's not like just a particularly nasty cold.

Could you be more specific? If the virus had origins in Iran, the whole ME would be already overwhelmed with the disease. There is way more exchange between Iran and Iraq/Pakistan/etc than with China. Even S. Arabia allows Persian tourists visiting Mecca. I don't give these reports more credit than to those that this was a lab virus that escaped from Chinese experiments or was an American biological against China. All of which I've read in different forums and social media.

 

6 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Well, as I diabetic, I can tell you that we are taught to fear the flu the same way kids raised in Christian cults are taught to fear Satan. 

I just recovered from what I think was my first time experience with the flu and now I fear it that way. Never felt so bad in my life. I used to laugh about it being a healthy male but now I can see that people can die from it. I cannot even imagine getting the flu with some underlying health condition besides. .

 

3 hours ago, Jeor said:

The Internet is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's obviously a tool that can cause major panic and disinformation. On the other hand, its connectivity has made it easier for people to self-isolate or otherwise cope with quarantines and the loss of personal freedom. 

 

Well, established media are not behaving better (with exceptions of course). The printed pages are I see on the streets are clearly instigating panic. What the fuck are they thinking? For that shit do we have freedom of press? Hopefully governments will set them straight and soon. 

 

3 hours ago, Jeor said:

In all of this, I'm actually quite surprised that it hasn't gained a toehold in the USA yet. Given the huge amount of internationals who travel to and from the US for business, study or other purposes, and as a global hub that has so many different gateways into the country, the American situation is remarkably stable.

Because it is an American biological weapon against China!!1!!1! (see above)

 

 

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42 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Could you be more specific? If the virus had origins in Iran, the whole ME would be already overwhelmed with the disease. There is way more exchange between Iran and Iraq/Pakistan/etc than with China. Even S. Arabia allows Persian tourists visiting Mecca. I don't give these reports more credit than to those that this was a lab virus that escaped from Chinese experiments or was an American biological against China. All of which I've read in different forums and social media.

 

It was a conversation between a colleague of mine and an Iranian (who is lives in Iran) health professional. The health professional didn't claim that Iran was possibly the origin, just that things got started there in November. It's just that the traceback of the start of the disease currently seems to peg the beginning at November, so assuming is started in China is got to Iran very quickly. And the stories leaking out of Iran from unofficial sources is that it's pretty bad there. The deputy health minister has the infection. He might be the first senior politician in the world to have got the disease. Various Chinese govt officials have got the disease, but AFAIK no one at that senior political level.

Diseases aren't easily predictable. Movement works on probabilities. It's more probable that a disease originating in Iran will spread to other parts of the ME before China, but it is only more probable not definite. There is also a non-zero probability that it would spread to China first. And sometimes the lower probability outcome actually happens. If the first people to take the disease out of an area just happen to go to the less probable location that will make the less probable route of spread become the actual route of spread. Probability is the disease originate in China, but the info I got from Iran and the more widely known unofficial information about the situation in Iran lends a bit more probability of Iran as the origin than it being a research lab leak or an American biological attack.

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4 hours ago, Jeor said:

I don't envy governments around the world right now. They're caught in a mess of decisions; be too proactive and you've inconvenienced a huge amount of your population for no reason, don't be as proactive and then if it gets out of hand you'll be blamed.

The Internet is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's obviously a tool that can cause major panic and disinformation. On the other hand, its connectivity has made it easier for people to self-isolate or otherwise cope with quarantines and the loss of personal freedom.

It's kind of instructive to see what stocks people are piling into - some of the prepper/staples consumer goods and some technology companies. I'm sure Netflix wouldn't mind if a large proportion of the American population were suddenly quarantined.

In all of this, I'm actually quite surprised that it hasn't gained a toehold in the USA yet. Given the huge amount of internationals who travel to and from the US for business, study or other purposes, and as a global hub that has so many different gateways into the country, the American situation is remarkably stable.

It probably already is here in the US, beyond whatever caused that one unknown case so far. Between the almost complete lack of testing so far, and the fact that a large majority of patients are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, it would be pretty easy for an undetected outbreak to be ongoing. It wouldn't be until someone gets really sick, goes to a hospital, and medical staff get suspicious enough that we'd learn about it.

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8 minutes ago, Fez said:

It probably already is here in the US, beyond whatever caused that one unknown case so far. Between the almost complete lack of testing so far, and the fact that a large majority of patients are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, it would be pretty easy for an undetected outbreak to be ongoing. It wouldn't be until someone gets really sick, goes to a hospital, and medical staff get suspicious enough that we'd learn about it.

Some people will die and go undiagnosed, either because of a lack of testing or because cause of death will be deemed to be something else. If death happens suddenly the death may not be investigated fully. The people most likely to be tested are those who develop severe symptoms and seek treatment before they either die or recover.

I think that a country can only contain the disease if the only people who get the disease picked it up outside the country and were effectively quarantined before they left that country can came home. As soon as there is a "native" case in a country it's already spread to a bunch of other people and you are faced with the kind of lock down that China undertook if you want to keep spread limited.

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2 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Some people will die and go undiagnosed, either because of a lack of testing or because cause of death will be deemed to be something else. If death happens suddenly the death may not be investigated fully. The people most likely to be tested are those who develop severe symptoms and seek treatment before they either die or recover.

I think that a country can only contain the disease if the only people who get the disease picked it up outside the country and were effectively quarantined before they left that country can came home. As soon as there is a "native" case in a country it's already spread to a bunch of other people and you are faced with the kind of lock down that China undertook if you want to keep spread limited.

The US markets are taking another big hit this morning and one of the reasons is that the first 'community' case of Covid-19 has been reported in the US. 'Community' meaning they cannot trace the origin of the infection. They didn't travel, no one they know travelled, they don't know someone with Covid-19.

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7 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

The US markets are taking another big hit this morning and one of the reasons is that the first 'community' case of Covid-19 has been reported in the US. 'Community' meaning they cannot trace the origin of the infection. They didn't travel, no one they know travelled, they don't know someone with Covid-19.

Dang BIRD!, you weren’t kidding. Down 800 right now and roughly 3,000 in less than four full days.

Still, I’m more concerned with the first case in Brazil. Having lived in South America, I could see this sweep through the shantytowns and favelas with extremely lethal force, and that in turn will lead to mass exposure to huge segments of people.

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Another Atlantic Article (limited clicks) about the Outbreak in Iran.

Quote

The city is Qom, Iran, and two days ago, a local health official declared on Iranian television that the coronavirus was burning through the community. The situation, he said, is grim. Iran claims that, countrywide, 26 people have died from the coronavirus illness (known as COVID-19), out of 245 total infections. All acknowledge that Qom is the center of infection, but many doubt that the numbers are accurate. Another official, a member of Iran’s Parliament from Qom, said last weekend that his city had already lost 50 people to COVID-19. That figure, assuming it’s accurate, suggests that if COVID-19 is as deadly in Iran as it is elsewhere and kills 2.3 percent of its victims, another 2,000 people have the disease in Qom alone.

It is difficult to overstate what a disaster these numbers express—not just for Iran, but for everyone. Qom is a seat of Shiite learning, the spiritual omphalos of Iran, and as a result, it draws the pious from all over the Shiite world. I profiled a Lebanese cleric in Paraguay for The Atlantic in 2009; his previous address had been in a seminary in Qom. On the streets of Qom, you hear Persian spoken in many accents, including Tajik and Afghan. In some restaurants, servers will address you in Arabic, and posters of Muhammad al-Sadr, a revered Iraqi ayatollah, look down at you as eat your kebab. Qom feels like a Shiite Disneyland, filled with religious attractions (with junk food for sale between stations), and that comparison might be the best way for Americans to understand the gravity of this outbreak. What if we found out that thousands of people at Disney World all had a highly contagious, sometimes fatal illness—and that vacationers had been coming and going, returning to their home city, for weeks?

...Today, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s vice president and a notoriously cruel member of the group of Iranians who held U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979, announced that she, too, has the disease. According to reports, she met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet just yesterday, potentially exposing the entire senior leadership of Iran to the disease.

Harirchi stated that the government refuses to impose quarantines, because they are premodern and ineffective. Mohammad Saeedi, the head of the shrine in Qom and a local representative of the country’s supreme leader, not only opposes a quarantine but begged people to visit the shrine, calling it a “place of healing.”

Yeah, that's bad.  It doesn't seem at all far fetched that Coronavirus could bring down the Iranian govt, which was already weak after their failed coverup for downing the civilian airliner last month. 

Edited by Maithanet

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

Still, I’m more concerned with the first case in Brazil. Having lived in South America, I could see this sweep through the shantytowns and favelas with extremely lethal force, and that in turn will lead to mass exposure to huge segments of people.

Not to mention our enormous homeless populations -- walk the streets of San Francisco, and the sidewalks are packed with homeless, including those who are missing limbs, in wheelchairs, mentally ill and with a host of other health crises which are not and have not been treated by anyone anywhere.  Then there are the immigrant prisons, in which people are incarcerated in  degrading, conditions that are often filthy -- "disgusting" is a word that is often used.

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40 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Not to mention our enormous homeless populations -- walk the streets of San Francisco, and the sidewalks are packed with homeless, including those who are missing limbs, in wheelchairs, mentally ill and with a host of other health crises which are not and have not been treated by anyone anywhere.  Then there are the immigrant prisons, in which people are incarcerated in  degrading, conditions that are often filthy -- "disgusting" is a word that is often used.

San Fran is nothing like the major cities in South and (I assume) Central America, plus these population centers are fairly connected to one another, unlike say places in Africa. I really do think SA is the continent we’re really overlooking.

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15 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

San Fran is nothing like the major cities in South and (I assume) Central America, plus these population centers are fairly connected to one another, unlike say places in Africa. I really do think SA is the continent we’re really overlooking.

Nevertheless, these SF populations (and in other cities too) are where diseases of every kind are left to fester without any mitigation or care.  It doesn't take much, particularly in city like SF which is an international port and travel center, for infection then to travel globally as well as nationally.

Taking some care right this minute with these populations in the US could help a lot.

 

Edited by Zorral

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I’m not at home and can’t do decent research on my phone, but there is an article from the CDC stating economic status is not a factor normally reported with regard to deaths in flu cases, so it worked with 14 states to come up with some numbers and they believe poverty places people at higher risk. It’s a 2011 article, iirc, and perhaps someone can see if there’s something more up to date.

More interesting to me, is that Health and Human Services (?), which I gather is the US health department, published a ‘Request for Correction’ from a doctor stating the CDC’s reports about how many deaths there are from the flu is ‘propaganda’. There is no date on the article, and I’d really like to know if this is a Trump era document.

This doctor says almost nobody dies of the flu, less than 2,000 people a year, but the CDC says they die from secondary pneumonia. And that the figures are all over the place and completely misleading, and this bs is affecting his practice as a pediatrician. He wants a correction to the numbers.

Go take a look for it and tell me what you think...

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43 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Nevertheless, these SF populations (and in other cities too) are where diseases of every kind are left to fester without any mitigation or care.  It doesn't take much, particularly in city like SF which is an international port and travel center, for infection then to travel globally as well as nationally.

Taking some care right this minute with these populations in the US could help a lot.

 

I’m not trying to down play what could happen in a city like SF, but it’s the fourth richest market in the U.S. They have the resources to deal with this, assuming it can be controlled at all. OTOH, many South American countries are completely broke. Argentina’s stock market fell by 50% in a single day not all that long ago, and Brazil’s once promising economy is now a disaster. There are riots in the streets in Chile and Venezuela is failed state. I don’t think any of those places could stop mass outbreaks, and it only takes one of them to fall for all of them to fall.

Edited by Tywin et al.

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