Work from home
Doesn't sound like a good idea now, eh?
An Amazon staffer based a couple of blocks from its Seattle nerve-center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The employee worked at the web giant's SEA53, aka Brazil, building on 9th Avenue in the US Pacific Northwest city, close to Google's new downtown offices, and not far from Amazon's 7th Avenue headquarters. …
To be fair, the preparations for both are similar, barring the hoarding of brain-destroying weapons and the materials to barricade the windows and doors. I like to keep a stock of both, just in case. After all, we don't yet know that this won't mutate into a zombie-causing virus.
"Seattle and Washington state are at the heart of the COVID-19 outbreak in America: nine people have died from the disease among 27 cases reported in region"
That would be a mortality rate of 33% - which is way higher than all reasonable estimates, which point more towards 1%. So there is a high number of undiagnosed cases in that region. Let's face it: it is out there, it is unlikely to be contained any more, and it will probably establish itself along with the flu as a seasonal infection.
No, I don't think this virus is really as scary as people make it, the main problems are that it seems to spread easier and quicker than an influenza and that there is no vaccine. Those two factors combined mean that it is far more likely to reach people that really should not catch it. No, I'm not a medical doctor, but I have enough of those (and pharmacists and biologists) around me that are still quite relaxed... and one should also consider that nobody makes such a fuss about influenza (unless it is a new virus type, then "OMG swine flu!!one!"). Mortality seems to be comparable, so maybe we are overreacting a tad?
No, I don't think this virus is really as scary as people make it, the main problems are that it seems to spread easier and quicker than an influenza and that there is no vaccine.
Mortality seems to be comparable, so maybe we are overreacting a tad?
More infectious and no vaccine with the same mortality means more people dying, no?
"The phillipines have also reported a 33% mortality rate, with one dead out of 3 total infectees."
If we had reliable numbers about the true number of infected people, I suspect this percentage would be closer to the W.H.O.'s ~3%.
But there's a lot to be said about being in a place that has a better medical system. I was in the P.I. a couple of times when I was in the Navy. When you have a river of sewage separating the Navy base from Olongopo, it says something about lack of public sanitation. And I suppose it gets worse from there.
"3rd world" vs "1st world". Worth pointing out.
That is a small sample size, which includes a cluster located in or associated with a single nursing home - which was housing people that were already weak and old - the very category most likely to die from any illness.
We need to be careful throwing around statistics as the values change based upon the definition of key terms.
For example, what is the definition of a "case" of illness "X"?
When the person presents in a doctor's office? Or arrives in the hospital? Or, when they simply have symptoms that look like a illness "X"?
For a US example using the common flu in 2018-2019 :
If "case" = "presenting to the hospital for care due to symptoms" then death rate = 7%.
If "case"= "visit primary care provider for care due to symptoms" then death rate is 0.2% (very different).
If "case" = "anyone with flu-like symptoms" then the death rate = 0.1% (half of the prior).
Then you have to take into account age groups. The vast majority of the population might get sick and annoyed, but won't die, but the normal flu is lethal to people 65 and older - they are more likely to seek hospitalization and far more likely to die (they account for 75% of the deaths in 2018-2019).
For the Wuhan/COVID-19 virus, we need more data before an accurate statistical picture can be created - the data from China is not reliable as they changed their definitions multiple times and seem to have not counted all people that would likely have been infected early on.
Then you have to take into account age groups
There is a pretty clear link between mortality and age - the very young seem to shake it off with little effect but old people (or people with compromised immune systems like me) seem to have much higher levels of mortality.
at least it's not 27,000
To the afflicted: keep warm, take vitamins, have some chicken soup, cold medicine of your favorite most effective type, and some adult beverages!
And viruses HATE capcaicin. Spicy foods like "chips and salsa", in a hot steamy bath, with some "corona" (beer). Get over that cold!
icon, because, part of the solution, heh
Personally I think the the worry should come from three things and whether they will cause a pandemic is yet to be seen.
1. Nobody has immunity.
2. People are getting reinfected.
3. There are many people in our society who just can't afford to be sick or they will lose their house or starve meaning they will go to work. Most of those people just for that added extra icing on the cake are mostly in customer facing roles such as retail and the gig economy.
Time will tell however I'm not stocking up on toilet paper just yet. As for the 1% mortality rate we just don't know yet because everyone's numbers are different and there will be people that get it but don't get confirmed.
We first have to understand the nature of the reinfection. I believe that strep has three sections in the binding protein. The outer one frequently mutates, the middle occasionally. As someone is repeatedly infected, their immune system eventually learns the inner section, and they don't get sick any more.
If this virus behaves in this fashion, then a vaccine that trains against an inner, non-changing section will be the fix. If not... well, I'm not an immunologist.
Strep is a bacteria and lives between the cells of the host body - not within them. Totally different type of infection to Covid-19. To combat viral infections you have to stop the hosts' cells transporting the virus inside or disrupt the manufacture of new virus once it's in. There are many broad-spectrum anti-bacterials but I'm not aware of any broad-spectrum anti-virals. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.
> There are many people in our society who just can't afford to be sick [and most are] in customer facing roles such as retail and the gig economy.
Bingo. Don't know specifically which country you have in mind here, but it applies particularly to the US. Their piss-poor worker protections- most obviously sick pay- and obscenely broken healthcare system already encourage (and in some cases force) people to come to work when they're ill and not to go see a doctor. Anyone who does so is effectively penalising themselves for erring on the side of caution- or even not behaving recklessly- for the sake of everyone else.
If US society isn't going to behave in its own enlightened self-interest, if it's more interested in screwing low-paid workers like them over because it can... well, why the fuck should they care or look out for anyone other than themselves either?
So, yeah. You can bet there are a lot of people that aren't going to throw themselves on their swords even during the upcoming epidemic, and it'll be hard to have any sympathy for the people that forced them into that position then get exposed to the consequences.
Of course, there's also the fact that Donald Trump fired the US pandemic response team in 2018. Some scaremongerers warned at the time was "setting up the US to botch a pandemic response", but that's not definitely going to happen, and if it does it'll be a small price for his voters stigginit to the libs and experts. Especially as they'll find some way to blame them anyway- never themselves.
"Nearly $3000 for the test I read."
I believe in Switzerland it's ~ 200CHF so $3000 would be a huge margin.
"The cost of a test (CHF180) will be reimbursed by basic health insurance as of Wednesday March 4, the health office announced."
Incidentally the information from China is little or no reinfection., little evidence for transmission before symptoms.
There you go again, quoting facts from generally reliable sources. This is the internet - we don't need no stinkin' facts; we don't need no stinkin' reliable sources! Give us a random tweet, a random Facebook post, or a random comment from a commentard - as long as it agrees with our preconceived ideas, we know it is right. And if it doesn't agree with our preconceived ideas? Well, that is the definition of bias - the thing other people have that causes them to disagree with us!
Now I need a lay down. You people with your facts are enough to make anyone sick.
Just because the test itself costs, say, $100, is irrelevant if the entire experience of going to the hospital to get tested for COVID-19 costs $3k - travel, admissions, testing for other things, taking up a bed for a few hours, etc. In that case, the cost of being tested for COVID-19 is the $3k (or more) cost of the total hospital visit.
"No, I don't think this virus is really as scary as people make it, the main problems are that it seems to spread easier and quicker than an influenza and that there is no vaccine."
It's spread rate is estimated as just over 2 (ie 2 other people infected from anyone who already has it). Influenza, in comparison has a rate of around 1.3, which is much less AND can be vaccinated against. Given the incubation of around 2 weeks, one could estimate that the 'doubling' of COVID-19 infections would happen around every week. That rate is convenient for calculations as all of us here are well versed in powers of 2.
Given the outbreak was reported in late December it's probable that the first case occurred in the beginning of December, 13-14 weeks ago. So total infections based on this rate would be around 2^14 - 2^15, ie 16-32k people. The actual estimate as of this morning was 92k people (probably because initially the virus was spreading much faster than X2 because it wasn't known and being paid attention to). What IS scary is that the X2 per week increase has continued even after primary precautions have been well established, and left unchecked at current rates could reach around 1.5 million in a few weeks. It seems like to be contained it will require more drastic measures than simply asking people to sneeze into a tissue and wash their hands regularly.
The other thing of course, is that Flu mortality is about 1/1000 and COVID-19 is estimated to be 10 times higher, about 1/100.
So, yes, I think it is as scary as being made out
If it is doubling every week then the entire world will have been infected in 6-8 months, and then we'll know just how bad it's been. If it kills 1% that's about 80 million dead; half a million in the UK, 3 million in America, 14 million in China and India.
Maybe we should organise 'coughing parties'; get it over and done with sooner rather than later?
Some might say it's not all bad news - As it seems old folk and the ill are most at risk it will lighten the load on government budgets for the non-contributing and could even free some much needed housing stock.
And, as our countries will no longer be "full", we'll have more space for refugees, migrants, and others who have been displaced, who have survived.
"If it is doubling every week..."
It HAS been around doubling every week, but the numbers are still too low to give a clearer picture. More likely it has been spreading at something like 10X rates in first few weeks when no-one knew about it and around doubling in the initial period of lesser concern. With increased precautionary measures in place the rate should be greatly reduced.
"the entire world will have been infected in 6-8 months"
Yes, indeed, it's quite likely that, if no precautionary measures are / were taken, that everyone in the world would have been at least exposed to the virus within 6-8 months. Which is why public health authorities are freaking out.
I don't want to sound over-alarmist, I would just avoid crowds for a while.
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Point of note, flu is imperfectly vaccinated against. Health professionals look at the strains circulating, find a few of the most probable ones to spread, and create a vaccine from them.
If they're correct about the most virulent strains then the vaccine works and there are minimal infections, but if they're wrong the vaccine has no effect.
I ... get the shot every year, that way I get the flu every three or four years instead of every year
I find this surprising but perhaps you are more susceptible than me/others - which is very unfortunate.
I last had flu about 25 years ago - despite daily rush-'hour' commuting on the London tube where I would have thought I'd be exposed to anything that's doing the rounds. I do always try to follow good hygiene and wash my hands and face after the journey. I too now get the vaccination - but only in the past 5 years (since getting 'old').
icon: keep your keyboards clean too --->
"I know but I still get the shot every year"
I never got the flu shot, and I got flu 1 year in the last 20-ish. I get that some people working in healthcare, exposed to large numbers of people at close quarters, or with more delicate immune systems will benefit from it. I also know that last year a co-worker, after a flu shot, fainted, continued to have dizzy spells, and was unable to work for 3 weeks. In other words, everyone's situation is unique.
> No, I don't think this virus is really as scary as people make it, the main problems are that it seems to spread easier and quicker than an influenza and that there is no vaccine.
> Mortality seems to be comparable, so maybe we are overreacting a tad?
On the face of it, mortality seems to be reported as in the 1-2% range, whereas 'flu is in the 0.1% range. So only an order of magnitude more fatal.
However, not sure if this initial estimate of mortality is now falling due to people actually getting treated rather than just attempting to shrug off a nasty cold/flu, or more cases getting diagnosed due to increased awareness of the issue..
A possible problem for the nation, however, is the rate at which people require hospitalisation for the bit of the virus that causes breathing difficulties. There are only just over 100K hospital beds available for General/Acute patients (source), and they're usually over 90% occupied. That leaves fewer than 10K beds available for such patients (assuming they can be suitably quarantined away from other patients, and that the bed availabilty matches the spread of the virus).
As a healthy(ish) person, I have no significant concern about the virus, but I *do* have a concern as to the ability of our health service to cope with the numbers of those that might be affected
The mortality rate has been upped to 3.4% now, but that is still a guess. We can be pretty sure it is much higher than for the flu.
As for the number of reported cases: for all intents and purposes almost no testing is being done in the US, so we can be pretty sure that the number of actual cases is much higher than reported. As we are relying on people to "self quarantine", we can expect those numbers to explode.
FWIW: My son-in-law is an ER doc in Seattle who is sick, but they won't test him because he doesn't meet the criteria.
Apparently, the NIH has JUST gotten the FDA to waive some 5 to 10 year old regulation limited the deployment of tests. Hopefully, we'll be testing for this as aggressively as we should soon.
Of course, delaying knowledge about just how bad this problem is makes it a whole lot worse...
Plus mortality rate at present is being estimated assuming that we have a functional health care system. If 20% of the population go down with this at once and 4% of those fall into the "critical" category then we're talking about more than 500,000 people in the UK needing ICU treatment at any one time. That still leaves the 15% with "severe" symptoms to fend for themselves at home. Better hope that you're one of the 81% with only "mild" (whatever those are!) symptoms.
Better hope that you're one of the 81% with only "mild" (whatever those are!) symptoms.
Rumack: Extremely serious. It starts with a slight fever and dryness of the throat. When the virus penetrates the red blood cells, the victim becomes dizzy, begins to experience an itchy rash, then the poison goes to work on the central nervous system, severe muscle spasms followed by the inevitable drooling.
[Oveur does all of the above as Rumack describes each one]
Rumack: At this point, the entire digestive system collapses accompanied by uncontrollable flatulence
[Oveur begins to fart uncontrollably]
Rumack: Until finally, the poor bastard is reduced to a quivering wasted piece of jelly.
Talked to a neighbor who spent his life in public medicine, retired o disability after one too many bouts of weird stuff suffered far from home
His take is that we should take comfort in the fact that ~80pct of cases will be minor. Assuming this coronavirus behaves like most, we can expect a significant drop in transmission and mortality in the summer months, and then US and Europe will get slammed hard in the fall. Similar to the 1918 pandemic's two waves.
At 1pct mortality, basically most people will personally know of one victim who ends up taking a dirt nap.
This virus seems to kill through a viral pneumonia, and the usual supportive measures (oxygen and steroids) do not seem particularly effective. None of the usual antivirals seem to do much. Mechanical respirators are needed to recover victims. These cost as much as a small car, take months to order, and require trained respiratory techs to set up and operate. He said that until we get a vaccine, respirator availability becomes a limiting factor.
Asked him for his advice, and he said "people should get their flu and other shots and avoid doing stupid things that consume medical resources."
There's definitely a degree of that, but we all know vulnerable people, our parents and grandparents at least. The health service is likely to take a hammering, but if most people can last without medical assistance, then there's more resource for the vulnerable and badly affected. It could be much worse.
I know! I'm definitely not of sound mind and body. Definite dirt nap material, and my doctor friend is already completely wasted about away from whatever crud he's been screwing around with through his career.
It's morbid, but sometimes we've got to look in the mirror and admit that were not 20 anymore :(
I think I need a large, unhealthy, and totally satisfying drink. To your health, eh?
Not Tamiflu. Some researchers are apparently working with cocktails of the HIV drugs to see if they can get some response. I am not qualified to discuss whether that makes sense or is just wishful thinking.
Discussion on a National Public Radio broadcast a couple of days ago included a statement that struck me as very interesting. Children seem to be somewhat immune to the novel coronavirus. That's not too surprising because usually the aged get hammered by respiratory stuff more than young, non-smoking, and generally healthy people. But the doctor who was being interviewed said there's a body of thought that children are constantly exposed to all types of coronaviruses in school settings, and generally have a low level of permanent infection. Something about a total lack of social distancing and questionable personal hygiene. So it raises the question- if this theory is correct then closing schools may be precisely the wrong answer... There may be a benefit to zero social distancing.
But gooooood luck getting a controlled test for THAT experiment approved by a Medical Review Board!
cocktails of the HIV drugs to see if they can get some response
Hmm, HIV is a retrovirus - meaning it permanently inserts modifications into the host cells' DNA. If Covid-19 does that then it's going to be really interesting* getting rid of it.
* Where interesting means effing difficult.
"children are constantly exposed to all types of coronaviruses in school settings, and generally have a low level of permanent infection. Something about a total lack of social distancing and questionable personal hygiene."
Not sure if it applies specifically to coronavirus, but it's certainly good for the development of a strong immune system to allow kids to get dirty. Might sound counterintuitive but some mess and dirt is healthier than hospital-like hygiene, for most people in their domestic environment at least
and consider working from home until this blows over. ®
Would love to, but core IT cannot, since core IT need to be on-premises to make sure fans are fanning, CPU's are CPU'ing, swap out fawlty HDD's, restart stuck servers and services, keep an eye on the genny and allsorts of other things that cannot be done remotely.
>until this blows over.
According to this Epidemiologist, it'll be widespread within a year or two with 40 to 70% of humanity affected and it'll evolve and return with a vengeance in the winter year after year to claim more and more old folk in particular... the new seasonal reaper flu:
...new vaccine needed every year formulated from previous year's virus variations
Age death risk chart: