Forum > General discussion > So, Coronavirus
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"So, Coronavirus", 27th Feb 2020, 3:42 AM #1
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So unless you're living under a rock, I'm guessing you've heard at least something about the coronavirus hullabaloo. If you're living under a rock, stay there, it's probably the best place to be right now.

In all seriousness, I'm not panicking and don't think you should be either. There's a pretty big spectrum of thought ranging from "this is nothing" up to "this is the end of the world." Neither of those seems very likely at this point, but experts and health officials are now acknowledging that this could be a long and bumpy ride to one degree or another.

My humble offering to ComicFury is a bit of insight into what I've picked up while following this fairly closely for the last month+ as well as the icebreaker to let people give voice to their concerns and feel less alone if they've been worried. It has already helped me to pare down everything I've ingested into what I'm confident is true and think is useful. I haven't cited any sources so I may be wrong (or behind) and am happy to be corrected (especially if my error trends toward the negative!).

The goal of this thread is not to unleash a political discussion. This involves a lot of countries, their leaders, their health care systems, and their economies. We all have a lot of opinions about those things. The goal of this thread is to focus on what you can do right now. If you want to discuss what Trump, or China, or the WHO should be doing please start a new thread. It's also not for conspiracy theories about how this started or how it will end. Again, start another thread.

The picture of what this virus is really like is still blurry. In its worst form it manifests as flu-like symptoms (aches and fever) that devolve into serious pneumonia requiring mechanical assistance for breathing. In its mildest form… there appear to be people who test positive without displaying symptoms or only experiencing the equivalent of a mild cold. Serious cases seem to require weeks for recovery and the drop into critical condition can come on suddenly. It appears to be highly infectious. How infectious it is in a certain area will likely vary based on a number of factors (weather, population density, hygiene practices, and more) but I don't think anyone can say for certain that "it will clear up when summer comes" or "we're fine, we're more spread out here." Additionally, the image of how widespread and severe it might be is obscured by the possibility that many are toughing out their perceived cold or flu without getting checked. As with the flu, the elderly and those with existing conditions are most at risk for serious cases and death. Children seem quite resilient as the numbers of infected remain low and no deaths among those under 9 have been reported.

Work is underway in many countries both in terms of treatment methods and vaccine. To implement either on a large scale, a lot of testing needs to be done. It is unrealistic to expect a vaccine to be available this year.

One of the concerns based on what we've seen from the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan is the high number of cases that become serious and require close medical attention. Hospitals can become overwhelmed, overwork and poor PPE use can lead medical staff to being infected and spreading the infection to other patients, compounding the problem. Numerous manufacturing sites in China have been shut down for weeks in an attempt to stop the spread. Though the effects might not be seen for some time, as stock runs low and is not replenished we are likely to see shortages and price hikes for many goods, including medicine. Companies and schools may proactively shut down in some areas. Travel is already being limited by governments and airlines. Public events have been and will be cancelled. The Olympics may be delayed. This is probably going to touch your life in some way.

With all that in mind, here are some things you can do in your own life right now. None of them are extreme. They're good advice any time.

Staying updated:
-If you're trying to keep abreast of what's happening I recommend the tracker at BNO News which provides a source for its most recent stats from each country.

-It's a potential huge time suck/train wreck but r/Coronavirus on reddit is a centralized up-to-the-minute source of news from different countries, r/China_Flu is more for discussion (it can get pretty wacky there since there's a lot of layman speculation), r/COVID19 is the more scientific side (which can be kind of reassuring, there's less speculative posting and more hard data, or if there is speculation it's more grounded in science)

-You might want to follow the World Health Organization and your country's Center For Disease Control or equivalent organization on Twitter if you have it. You can also follow BNO News over there. They RT a lot of the relevant sources.

-Importantly, always consider the source and don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Staying healthy:
-Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with warm water and soap. Wash for a full 30 seconds, none of that splash and dash stuff friends.

-Wash before and after eating, before and after going to the bathroom, and after being in public places. Get a shower and change clothes after being out of the house if you can.

-Avoid touching your face. Stop biting your nails. If the CF home page admonition not to pick your nose has ever mattered, the time is now. If you must touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly before doing so.

-If you're out in public, try to touch as few surfaces as possible. Use hand sanitizer if you need to, but still don't touch your face. Also, hand sanitizer is better than nothing but is not a substitute for proper hand washing.

-I haven't seen a lot about this, but I'd avoid public restrooms as much as you can. They're just germ-houses and in America at least the toilets often don't have lids.

-If you're following this at all you're probably seeing and hearing a lot about masks. Most health orgs are not recommending that healthy people wear masks. It's actually more helpful for sick people to wear them to prevent spread. It's also likely that people unused to wearing masks will misuse them (touching their face frequently to adjust, wearing the same mask too long, or contaminating themselves while they remove it) or become overconfident and practice other unsafe behaviors. Also, don't hoard masks if you're not even going to wear them. It might be good to have a few if you actually do get sick and need something to wear to the doctor's office/hospital.

-Things I haven't brought myself to do yet but I've seen recommended: take your shoes off outside or in your entryway and leave them there (I take mine off just inside the door) and wash or wipe down things you bring into the house like groceries.

-If you are sick STAY HOME. If you are sick STAY HOME. If you are sick STAY HOME. What manifests as a mild cold for you might spell death for your grandmother, or your coworker's mom, or the diabetic guy in line behind you at the grocery store. This is true during any flu season, but it's extra true now.

-If you are so sick that you need to see a doctor, see a doctor. I can't give a ton of advice about the best way to do this and we'll probably learn more for our respective countries/local areas in the coming days. Try to get the help you need while minimizing the risk of spreading to other patients or the people taking care of you. This may mean calling ahead of time or wearing a mask.

-EDIT: Sheez, I can't believe I forgot this, it's huge. Again, if you're sick (with anything, regardless) sneeze or cough into your shoulder/sleeve to limit the spread/splatter of droplets. Not your hand.

Staying calm:
-Panicking does not help anything, in fact it makes you less likely to respond rationally in a true crisis. If you find yourself getting too sucked into following the news, use SelfControl or another app to block news sources for a few hours or the whole day. It's unlikely that a development will be so significant that you need to know right this minute.

-If you live in a less densely populated area and weather permits, go for a walk. Fresh air and exercise are good for your body, mind, and soul. If a walk isn't an option, do something else that relaxes you.

-Get your sleep. This also falls under staying healthy.

Staying home:
-Do it as much as you can. Embrace your inner hermit. See sections above for when you can't.

-Take the time now to stock up on some food and essentials. Do not hoard or panic-buy. Buy what you think you'd need if you were going to be snowed in for a few weeks. Get some of the fresh foods you normally buy, but grab some healthy soup/canned & frozen food and staples like rice and pasta. Choose things you'd eat anyway, best case scenario is you just eat it whenever! Some people are recommending getting water. I personally haven't done this- I can't foresee this being so bad that anyone loses power or water for a prolonged period. Buy toiletries you use like toilet paper, cleaning products, menstrual pads, and soap. If you have medications you need and can get them, get them. If you have pets get food for them. None of these things are prepper advice. I'm not telling you to learn to hunt or to hit up Alex Jones. Just have a bit of stuff in store in case you need to stay home for awhile whether it's because you're sick, or because everyone else is sick, or because everyone else started panic buying and the grocery store is empty for a few days.

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Okay, ComicFury. I've said my piece and I feel a bit better for it. Take care of yourselves and others. Don't freak out. Keep making your comics. Mama Roux out.
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27th Feb 2020, 6:54 AM #2
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1. It's a flu...
we've all had one at some time. There's no 'real'cure for viruses except an attenuated recent-version vaccine, like the 'flu' shot some of us get every year, which just winds up our immune system, but is no guarantee

2. Flu kills an average of about 400,000 people, worldwide, per annum (mostly elderly or vulnerable)

3. It's NOT the start of "12 Monkeys" B-)

4. The most likely casualty on here, is me - I'm in 3 of the vulnerable categories - 70+, a lifelong asthmatic, plus immuno-suppressed post-transplant

....so if I stop posting entirely - you'll know where I am (a slab or beyond)

B-) Like "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" says on the cover "Don't Panic !"
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27th Feb 2020, 7:21 AM #3
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I live in northen Italy, only 18-or-so miles away from the epicentre, so I can authoritatively say that yes, this is good advice.
Also, the Guardian keeps pretty good updates on the spread of the virus worldwide.

Personally, I think that what makes coronavirus scary isn't its fatality rate (which isn't very high, considering), but how it spreads. People have tested negative for it and still transmitted it, or have healed from it, and then tested positive again later. Authorities still haven't figured out how it came into Italy in the first place.

Also, we've been (relatively) lucky since the countries the virus had hit so far have had good health care systems, but, like. What happens if it gets going in India/Iran/poorer countries?
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27th Feb 2020, 8:54 AM #4
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I'm not an infant or an elderly, I should be fine. I had flu before, and colds for even longer.
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27th Feb 2020, 9:24 AM #5
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It probably got into Italy because of its long incubation period. It's being considered now that it can be up to 28 days before symptoms develop. I'd second getting the supplies thing. And don't feel shamed for doing so either. You wouldn't feel shamed for buying bandages right? Same principal. If nothing happens, you'll eat it anyway.

I don't think the virus itself is going to cause large fatalities but I think the real problem is going to be the economic impact it might have.
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27th Feb 2020, 9:45 AM #6
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Sure, it's "just a flu" but it's a particularly nasty case of a flu. The 1918 influenza (Spanish flu) was just a flu and it killed around 40-50 million people (although it was in the middle of WWI, so not the most ideal of circumstances to be dealing with a pandemic).

Anyways, like most people are saying, if you get it, there's a fairly good chance it won't be life threatening unless you're elderly or are dealing with pre-existing condition (you're already sick of something else). However, nobody cares that you have a strong immune system and can weather the disease. We're looking at the global population.

It's super easy to just dismiss it and say "0h, I'll be fine" but when dealing with pandemics, it becomes a numbers game. Does the disease have a 1% mortality rate? If it infects 10% of the world, that's still more than 7 million dead. If you live in a relatively big city, that's the entire population gone. Can hospitals make sure that every single sick person survives? Not if they get overwhelmed and filled with sick people who are infecting all the sicker people.

So, yeah, if and when the disease reaches your area, make sure to take care not to infect yourself and others. It's the type of disease where we have to take others into consideration.
27th Feb 2020, 10:37 AM #7
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Good advice. The virus is rumoured to have spread to my city because of school children back from holiday in Italy, but nothing's confirmed. The news is a little... Enthusiastic as you can imagine. For all we know, they just have colds.

My state of mind is cautious, but not pessimistic. I don't think things will be as dire as the news makes out. But since everyone is really worried about it, that'll help curb the spread. I do feel really bad for the people who got quarantined, but there's nothing most of us can do except be careful.
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27th Feb 2020, 11:01 AM #8
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'Don't be anxious, be alert' as one doctor put it recently.

Cleaning at a debt ridden school district that doesn't even have real disinfectant anymore (don't get me started), I'm pretty much resigned to the idea I'm going to get it if it comes over here. I'm not worried about 'surviving it', as I don't fit the age group or characteristics of the lethality demographic, but there is a sense of some shame I think I might feel in regards to concerns about accidentally infecting someone else as a vector, particularly my wife.

When swine flu hit my district back in the day, they took it seriously enough. A few kids did develop it and were pulled out of their classes. We had masks, good disinfectants, and such back then. I cleaned those rooms and never caught it. Now? I have a very overcrowded school filled with tweens who don't have basic hygiene skills and an incompetent school administration who couldn't care less about anything until it's too late, and then out comes the Pikachu face.
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27th Feb 2020, 11:42 AM #9
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My mum is a nurse and she said that usually viruses in their earlier stages are more lethal, because they haven't mutated yet. That's why the Coronavirus can be deadly nowadays. There's a small outbreak where I live and I am hoping for the best. I have to cut on going to the gym, since it's a germ playground there.
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27th Feb 2020, 11:42 AM #10
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Thanks for the PSA. There's no shame in being prepared just in case. Just be calm, thoughtful and courteous about it.

For those with pets, don't forget to add pet food to that list of things to have around in the event you end up stuck at home/in short supply for a few weeks. I guess in an emergency you could also try boiling rice in meat broth or something?

It does make me anxious, admittedly, since my husband works in the city and there's family members whose health have been declining over the years. And every little danger in the world has a way of becoming freakier once there's a tiny baby around. It's also just sad. Hearing about what's going on in Wuhan and for those who are fatally effected; it's always saddening. Be tidy, if not for your own sake, then for others. (emphasis added due to some comments in thread :| )
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27th Feb 2020, 11:44 AM #11
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LeRenardRoux:


All of that is mostly hysteria. Frankly, I wish the media (both social and televised) would stop talking about it or at least be a bit more honest about it. People are still dying from completely preventable causes like hunger, inaccessibility to insulin and gun violence, and I'm in no way surprised the media is using this situation to whine about Trump handling it poorly, but at the same time keeps trying to dismiss Bernie Sanders who is pushing for a medicare for all system to make sure people won't go bankrupt for getting sick in the first place.



This is very helpful information, but as someone who has already fell upon the impression that the media doesn't actually give a shit about these people getting sick, I was never really worried nor did I have any impressions that those numbers meant anything more to them than statistics they can televise for ratings. From what I have heard, the only people who have died from it either had underdeveloped to weak immune systems or were in the area where the diesease originated (which at this moment is around close to 2k deaths).



That's a lot and of course it can't hurt to be prepared, but not enough in my opinion to panic about it. Stuff like this makes me want to slap these damn news outlets (like seriously in this situation why would you gaf about what Bill Gates thinks????He retired anyway, lol).
27th Feb 2020, 11:56 AM #12
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Call me nuts but I'm more concerned about the seasonal flu than the virus. There is only one confirmed case in my country as of now.
Flu is way more deadly and widespread.

Even if you're not vulnerable, having the flu is bad enough, you have to stay in bed for days with a fever and take shots. Pretty much how I remember the one time I had it.(still hate needles)
Luckily for me, I work from home and don't come in contact with a lot of people so my chances of catching an infection are slim.
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27th Feb 2020, 11:58 AM #13
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Bill Gates has spent like, 20 years of his life and 10 billion dollars, combating preventable diseases in Africa. I think he's allowed to have an opinion on this.

His points also have good merits. So far, the disease has only had chance to travel along common tourist and trade routes, so it's mostly been affecting countries with strong economies and healthcare. If this is allowed to spread into developing countries, we're going to start seeing massive spikes in death toll.
27th Feb 2020, 12:10 PM #14
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Haha, yeah... As a US citizen I’m more concerned about the medical costs should I get sick with this as opposed to virus actually killing me. :’D If I get it and then get pneumonia and go to the hospital I can say bye-bye to all my savings and hello to more debt... RIP.

I definitely wouldn’t call this 1918 influenza though. That virus was mixed with war time practices that did not favor avoiding the spread of disease and there are a slew of theories on how the war could have helped it mutate into the killer it became. (It’s funny this was mentioned, cause I just watched the Extra History segment on it.)

The entire world is being a lot more cautious with this one. Probably because we have learned from our past mistakes. Like everyone is saying, just stay calm, be careful, and try not to get anyone else sick.
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27th Feb 2020, 12:15 PM #15
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Product Placement:Bill Gates has spent like, 20 years of his life and 10 billion dollars, combating preventable diseases in Africa. I think he's allowed to have an opinion on this.

His points also have good merits. So far, the disease has only had chance to travel along common tourist and trade routes, so it's mostly been affecting countries with strong economies and healthcare. If this is allowed to spread into developing countries, we're going to start seeing massive spikes in death toll.


I suppose that's a fair point, but dude, don't you think 10 million is a hugely inflated number?

Like, when I was in the army, we were about to deploy to help contain an Ebola outbreak and that hit 11k deaths, and need I remind you unlike Coronovius Ebola had a 25-90% mortality rate. That's a lot and it's horrible those people died, but no where close to 10 million. As soon as the death toll reaches like 12 I guarantee the U.S. as well as other developed countries will start deploying military personnel and doctors to contain it.

We are literally already there fighting military conflicts and providing medical aid right now. Sorry, but such an inflated number I have to say is a bit unrealistic, even for Mr. Gates. Perhaps his opinions have merit, but they are still just that, opinions. It's not like he's a doctor or actually fought these diseases, he just contributed capital, which is good, but I would hardly say that yields enough experience in the field to make such bold predictions. And to make it seem like such a disaster is out of the hands of the professionals whose job it is to combat such things on the daily is a bit disingenuous don't you think? I mean, already there are a plethora of survivors and treatments.

Merged Doublepost:

AK Illustrate:Haha, yeah... As a US citizen I’m more concerned about the medical costs should I get sick with this as opposed to virus actually killing me. :’D If I get it and then get pneumonia and go to the hospital I can say bye-bye to all my savings and hello to more debt... RIP.

I definitely wouldn’t call this 1918 influenza though. That virus was mixed with war time practices that did not favor avoiding the spread of disease and there are a slew of theories on how the war could have helped it mutate into the killer it became. (It’s funny this was mentioned, cause I just watched the Extra History segment on it.)

The entire world is being a lot more cautious with this one. Probably because we have learned from our past mistakes. Like everyone is saying, just stay calm, be careful, and try not to get anyone else sick.


Gonna be honest. As a Louisiana resident with no health insurance, I would pray for the virus to kill me should I ever obtain it.

I'm already like, 2000 dollars in debt because my boss got me checked out at the hospital for catching pneumonia at work. Not that I could blame him, but seriously, 2000 dollars for them to give me an xray with a machine they kept, a pill with some water and tell me suck it up be a man and stay home for a few days till I get better..........
27th Feb 2020, 1:22 PM #16
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27th Feb 2020, 1:44 PM #17
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Product Placement:Can hospitals make sure that every single sick person survives? Not if they get overwhelmed and filled with sick people who are infecting all the sicker people.

So, yeah, if and when the disease reaches your area, make sure to take care not to infect yourself and others. It's the type of disease where we have to take others into consideration.


Seeing how this is playing out in China and South Korea, I think it would be wise to understand that with the long incubation period, the rate of transmission/how it transmits, and the fact it has flu-like symptoms, it can easily overwhelm even well-prepared hospitals. There are A LOT of hospitals that don't have properly equipped isolation units/rooms.

Being that it's essentially plague pneumonia, hospitals aren't going to be equipped to handle an influx of patients who need to be on respirators and isolated.
That's why people need to call ahead if they believe they need to be tested for it, so they can make sure the hospital/facility has a testing kit and can provide the necessary services and procedures to protect other people. :s


As an aside comment, I can't wait to just get coronachan and die from her sweet embrace as an Asian American -sunglasses emoji-
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27th Feb 2020, 2:13 PM #18
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killersteak:mortality rate... is a thing to worry about, but everyone thinks they wont die, so its like whatever.

infection rate + time off = economy hit. ... so if youre not worried about mortality rate, then surely this must bother you instead. this is what makes it different from starving children and whatever else people are using as measuring sticks.


Huh?

I'm sorry, I think there is a huge misinterpretation of my sediments, but it's my fault for not properly conveying context, I apologize.

I'm not trying to turn this conversation into a competition for what's the worse problem, I was simply reiterating an opinion, that it is bothers me that there are people who are treating this thing like it is an epidemic that will cripple society when we have other issues plaguing us that people care substantially less about.


This is an excellent point you brought up, but I don't think this is an issue that will dramatic cause the impact you are implying, here in the U.S. there are only 14 cases with the majority of those being because the person traveled abroad and only two being infected via person to person contact as of yesterday. Even if they die tommorrow, that is still a far cry to the 45,000 people a year who die because of lack of health insurance.

And yes, in the origin country things are bad, but not to the point where it should be treated like the end times. To date, close to 2K people in China died because of this virus. And yes, that is a lot of people, but you also have to keep in mind that the mortality rate of the virus is 3% (most people recover from it), most of those deaths are from people over 60 (on top of the fact that China is currently facing issues with an aging population), China has a population of over 1.428 billion and the biggest attributing factor to it's spread being Chinas' lacking to provide a swifter response time to cases and overran hospitals from people who are panicking.

Already there are treatments that are shown to be effective with more in production.





Take care of yourself and your family and just let things run it's course. There's no need for this mass panic.
27th Feb 2020, 2:14 PM #19
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Yes. My husband and I are preparing in case of a lockdown. We're not panicking about it, but we're being cautious.
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27th Feb 2020, 2:16 PM #20
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mightguy15:Huh?


sorry, wasnt replying to you directly. more venting from what ive been reading elsewhere on my lurking travels.
Forum > General discussion > So, Coronavirus
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