I live in Lombardy and here the deathcount really went up, as everyone knows (luckyly I don't live in the worst stricken areas of Lombardy).
In the recent two days it seems (crossing fingers) that the numbers of contagions and deaths are going down.
I'm very dubious about contagion numbers because the NHS here really is not able to test enough people.
However, if the numbers are really going down and it isn't a blip, this happened probably because of the lockdown.
While the nationwide lockdown happened on march 11, the lockdown in Lombardy dates from march 8.
So I think that the positive effects of lockdown are lagged by more or less two weeks, which is the time it takes for the virus to have effect.
But the contagion spreads doubling the number of infected people every 3 or 4 days, so in two weeks the number of infected people can easily go up by x10 or more, which is the reason stuff got out of control here in Italy, in my opinion.
We're not on full lockdown yet but it might be happening today. Still only in the hundreds over here at the moment. If this explodes our already strained health service will not be able to cope. I'm telling people if they're eventually going to get sick, try and avoid it for as long as possible so that when they do, that initial rush is gone and you'll be guaranteed some quality of health care.
I read that Varadkar may be considering a lockdown, yeah. I doubt it will be a full one like we've seen in Lombardy or Hubei, but I'd imagine it'll be more of a partial one like in the UK, where people are still allowed to go for walks and a limited number of stores can remain open.
Do you know if the ferry services between Fishguard and Rosslare and Holyhead and Dublin will likely be operating to passengers on the 9th April? I was due to travel to Northern Ireland by via Rosslare on that date.
I heard on the news that we might be reaching the peak of infections here in about two weeks. That's sooner than I expected, so although obviously not good news, it's... Something? MAYBE after that point things will start to slowly improve. I do expect the 3 week lockdown will be extended, but if it stops things getting extremely out of hand, then good I guess.
Location:Munich, Germany, Europe, Terra, Solar system, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Laniakea Supercluster.
Cooke:I'm telling people if they're eventually going to get sick, try and avoid it for as long as possible so that when they do, that initial rush is gone and you'll be guaranteed some quality of health care.
Good idea. Also, the more you can delay getting sick, the more likely it is that you can get healed because medicines are in development and they will get better and better with time.
RJDG14:I was due to travel to Northern Ireland by via Rosslare on that date.
I heard Washington is going into lockdown soon. Strangely the virus hasn't really affected my daily life. I run a landscape business and something like this doesn't affect my work, I get a lot of my customers coming out to talk to me while I work in their yard wanting to discuss whats going on. But I'm doing good and no one I know has caught the virus so thumbs up!
Location:Munich, Germany, Europe, Terra, Solar system, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Laniakea Supercluster.
Jason Moon:I get a lot of my customers coming out to talk to me while I work in their yard wanting to discuss whats going on. But I'm doing good and no one I know has caught the virus so thumbs up!
It's probably a relatively save job if you work alone, but have you considered the incubation period? If you catch the flu, you'll most likely know it a few hours later but this thing can develop in any period between 2 and 27 days, from what is known by now.
I was on the train on my last day of work from the office and seriously, people are not getting the social distancing rules.
Despite an almost empty carriage, some moron decided it was a good idea to sit directly in front of me.
Now I officially need permits to go outside my home. Ok. I'm gonna crack on those permits alright.
The elders are not allowed to leave their houses anymore. Police and army will check on us each time we're out.
I have a neighbor whose family is now on isolation. Police is at their door twice a day to make sure everyone is home or else...
I'm starting to get very scared and it's not the virus.
I've said enough.
I've been shifted to working from home. It makes sense for me but I'm the only one at the company able to (combo IT support and programmer). Well, I guess the sales guys could also do it, but they sadly seem to have bought into the bullshit that this will all be over in a few days and it's all just a dumb panic and hey shouldn't we be more worried about the economy?
My area's about to hit the rough part of the storm, I think. We're up to 35 cases in the area. ~300 in the whole state, and seven dead. Schools are shut down for the rest of the school year. The National Guard's been activated, though I'm not really sure what they're doing as yet. I haven't ventured into a grocery store since before the first wave of panic - I'll probably do so sometime this week, get some fresh foods. My current stock should last two or three weeks, but I think a second wave of panic will hit the area soon and don't want to run out of food at the same time things go Mad Max.
In other news, we've gotten a new study of hydroxychloroquine, this one out of China. Still not a full-size study (15 active/15 control), but at least randomized and (single-)blinded, so I consider it better than the prior study. The results were... kind of a whiff. 14/15 recoveries in the active branch... and 13/15 recoveries in the control (good news for the patients, at least). Similar results across the board for measures like temperature and x-rays. Even complications - both control and active branches had liver abnormalities and diarrhea. There's more "P>0.05"s than I've ever seen in a six-page paper - a lot of "any effect is too small for this study to measure accurately", if you don't know how p-values work. The paper concludes "further study will be needed".
And it is. We need a large-scale or even a medium-scale study, something with a few hundred people. Unfortunately, that takes time. I expect at least one such study has started by now... we can only wait for results.
This definitely casts some doubt on the earlier trials that showed much stronger results. In fact, the actual paper for the French study has now come out (previous discussion has been based on the preprint version), and strangely the data now shows a less strong effect. Not that unusual, this is why we do peer review, but it definitely shows that the most hyperbolic claims being made about chloroquine are overblown.
Sadly, the panic now extends to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Stocks are now running short, as even doctors are writing false prescriptions to try to hoard them. The people who actually need them - the hydroxy- derivative is used to treat rheumatism and lupus - are now having difficulty. I fear someone's going to wind up dead because of that. And there's been another confirmed fatality from chloroquine overdose, someone who got their hands on some and took five times the recommended dose. (Remember what I'd said about the narrow therapeutic window?)
Continuing on with the drug study news, there's been a barrage of studies into existing anti-viral drugs, too many to name. Many of these were considered long-shots - a lot of antiviral drugs are aimed at HIV, which is a very, very different sort of virus, but fuck it, they tried them anyways (most of these are in-vitro tests, not human trials... if it doesn't work under a microscope, it definitely won't work in a body). So far there's been no successes, but they haven't tried everything yet. Maybe a successful trial is just around the corner.
And the antibodies people are hard at work. It's a fairly well-proven technique by now - dig through the blood of survivors for a good antibody for the disease, and clone it en masse (it's a bitlot more complicated than that, but you get the idea). The concept's been used for pretty much everything, from cancer to asthma. It's not super common against viruses, but there's an approved treatment for Hep C, and some experimental ones for Ebola (which are only still experimental because the outbreak faded - they got good enough results to be approved for emergency use during the last outbreak). It may be a while before this research bears fruit, but with half the industry cranking on it, I'm sure something will come of it.
Vaccine development likewise continues. I'm sure every company even vaguely in the field has a conventional vaccine in the works, one based on a neutered version of the virus. There's a few long-shot ideas out there too - DNA/RNA/mRNA vaccines are very fast to develop for a specific virus... but none have ever been approved for human use, so there's a big safety hurdle to clear. And a vaccine has to be safe as houses - since you're dosing everyone, not just the infected, even a tiny rate of complications gets multiplied by a very big number. I suspect we might see some rules get bent due to the pressure of the situation - I would not be surprised to see a combined stage II/III study, if there's a strong candidate. This will still take time, though, probably the longest of any of these angles of attack.
From what I've seen reported, it's going to take at least a year before any viable vaccine is released and even that's pushing it at the rate they usually work. I reckon the best option now is to try and work on viable treatment options and reduce the death rate of those who have severe cases. Not easy I know with it being novel.
Keep in mind also, since lockdowns and quarantines look to be heading into the summer months, we might see a decline once temperatures start to rise. But no guarantees on that. If we do, we also have to be mindful that we could see a spike in Autumn again, similar to the Spanish flu. So all the routines and habits we're picking up now will be second nature by then so hopefully we could lock it down pretty fast.
So Ontario has gone on lockdown, everything non-essential has been called off and you can only go out for medicine or food. There is mandatory distancing at the grocery. There are taped lines everywhere telling people where to stand while in line (to maintain social distancing) and a manager and security guard standing by to enforce it. But I managed to get fresh meat and even the rare and precious toilet paper (that cost $26!!)
It was announced today that all electricity will be charged at off-peak rates for the next six weeks (they usually charge peak rates between 7a-7p on weekdays)but now at least everything will be the lowest rates, even for the businesses that are required to stay open. They have also waived all waiting periods and pre-requirements for OHIP (the national Health care program) and that all testing will be free regardless of whether someone has OHIP or not. I am so glad to be in Canada right now, and so so terrified for my family and friends still in the states. My maternal grandmother is still with us, but she has emphysema and is on multiple inhalers and sometimes needs oxygen.
I have been trying to stay in touch with people over social media (since most of us are now shut-ins) and have actually reconnected with some people I hadn't really talked to in years. So that is one nice thing to come of this.
If you're in the USA, there might be a state hotline for Corona. Please check your state's Department of Health (DOH) website for information of a hotline, and PLEASE call your health provider/hospital, answer any questions they have regarding your dad's symptoms and the severity before going in to make sure they have a testing kit available, can provide information for when a testing kit will be available, and to make sure they are medically prepared.
Somewhere, there's a bit on how it's useful for COVID-19 research, but I can't find it at the moment.
I added one of my machines last night. (Forgot about it for years before this.) Will add a couple more now I'm not so sleepy. It's incredibly easy to install except for Win10 opening the installer under other windows. (Not blaming Windows; I haven't found a really good window management system in over a quarter-century of searching, except maybe Plan 9 from Bell Labs which inverts the whole problem.)
I've been fortunate to be able to work from home, but this situation is certainly scary.
I live in the USA and they are about to pass a bill for economic relief but I'm not sure how much good a one-time $1,000 will do.
For everyone living here we need to make sure we support each other.
I heard Denmark's been very radical with their approach to their economy by trying to reduce massive layoffs by paying workers salaries directly. I think that will help in the long run but what do you guys think? Does anyone on CF live there?