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Coronavirus... tidbits

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1343444.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:26 pm Reply with quote

Seems that Mr.Pence came in contact with students whose classmate is currently quarantined due to his mother's exposure to coronavirus.

Trump in the meantime had to be convinced that using a flu shot wouldn't deal with the pesky virus.

The rest of the world seems to be taking this thing fairly seriously, while here in 'Murica it's only when the stock market took one its largest single day tumbles ever did it really hit home.

1343447.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:20 pm Reply with quote

And, presumably, any treatment will have to be paid for?

Meanwhile, North Korea says it is unaffected by the outbreak, but there is a rumour that someone tested positive for it. They shot him.

Alexander Howard
1343454.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:00 pm Reply with quote

It's getting tiresome, all the waiting. It makes me want to just contract the disease, sneeze it out and get on with things, like bird flu and that other one I had.

1343464.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:43 pm Reply with quote

An online friend of mine with some medical expertise posted this on a thread I'm following in a private FB group - I thought this was pretty sensible as a summary:

So my thoughts on coronavirus as medical person who doesnít directly treat or interact with patients ... Iím torn. I think the reality is somewhere between the panic I see on one side and the frank lies and dismissal from the government and people who think this is no big deal.

First... the lethality rate... well we donít actually know what it is at this point. But letís say it is 2%. Goody far less than Ebola, MERS, SARS etc. except... the high and rapid death rate in those diseases is PRECISELY what keeps it from spreading as much. People are far too rapidly too ill to infect others.

Second .. rate of spread... Covid19 seems to be spreading to at least 2 people from every infected one. In addition we know that people can be asymptomatic and still spread the disease. We have failed at containment and it seems likely to me most people will likely end up exposed at some point which leads me back to the first point.... the number of people who caught MERS and SARS was extremely low... 2% of whatever number of people who end up exposed (if that is the Number) will be vastly higher.

Third... treatment.. it is purely supportive at the point. On Rachel Maddow tonight it was stated the country has 75,000 ventilators. I think that number sounds low but... whatever the number is will likely be far below the actual number needed when we factor in all the regular cases who require them on a daily basis plus all the newly ill. Also factoring into treatment is that currently we are isolating any health care workers who were exposed which will rapidly exhaust our ability to staff medical offices and hospitals. In addition health care workers are people too with families and other responsibilities which may factor into the level of risk they are willing or able to undertake.

Fourth ... and frankly most important in my mind.. the lying and incompetence from our government. We have had weeks to begin planning, to formulate tests, to set up disaster planning etc. Iíve seen enough drills with the pop up white tents at the hospital to know this is something we can mobilize to do. How can South Korea be testing thousands of people daily, London has drive through testing and weíve tested only a few hundred. We canít react properly to something we donít know the dimensions of. There is no benefit to the articles I see being passed around saying donít worry you wonít get exposed or donít worry it isnít so bad. The reality is.. we donít know. You donít find what you donít look for. Having confusion over who is in charge of the response (is it Pence? Is it Azar?). Muzzling actual scientists. Releasing false and misleading information all leads to confusion.

So finally to sum it up.. I donít think we are facing the apocalypse (or not from this at least). But I do think it will spread worldwide. I do think most of us will eventually be exposed within the next year or two. Many with extremely mild or unnoticed cases. I do think our medical systems will be overwhelmed both with sick people and the worried well. And I do think we will have far more social upheaval and confusion and panic the longer the government either cannot or will not be honest with us. Institute a robust testing program. Get a better handle on the rate of infection (hint we need widespread testing) and less importantly in my mind the death rate (which will vary by who catches it and what level of medical care is available and is probably the least important factor since it is the one we have the least control over). Release clear instructions and true information to the public updated as new information comes to light.

1343465.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:52 pm Reply with quote

I was kind of expecting to find a flurry of chat here about the corona virus thingy Ė is this it?

Because Iím finding it all quite fascinating.

The virus itself Ė I can accept that itís a nasty little beastie that is best kept safely away from people; and I can understand the WHO suggesting a high level of alert. And without doubt, in an ideal world, given the outbreak of ANY currently untreatable threat, youíd put everyone on complete lock-down.

In our non-ideal world, where things come down to a cost-benefit analysis, itís interesting to see the reactions of different cultures around the world.

Hereís my view of what the history books will show in a few yearsí time:

First major outbreak occurred in China where it was identified as being

a) Unknown
b) Contagious
c) Dangerous

Which was fortunate in some ways Ė because the nature of the regime was such that they

a) Recognised the threat (being a modern scientific society)
b) Had no compunction or difficulty in imposing emergency measures

By the time the thing has spread (despite the Chinese efforts to contain it) to other countries, the threat has been identified as serious but not humongous. Itís at the ďyes, itís deadly, yes, we donít have a cure, but we know itís related to other viruses that we have a lot of experience with, and we know we can partially treat it, and we know who the high risk groups areĒ stage.

However, a secondary virus has broken out Ė a meme that the apocalypse is upon us.

The weird thing is that the control measures taken by the Chinese to contain the real virus (which have, in my opinion, done the job of reducing this to a new variety of flu Ė whilst accepting that is still v.dangerous), have fed the spread of the apocalypse meme.

Which is kind of neat Ė since according to Dawkinsí original speculation about the meme Ė it should spread more quickly than any biological gene. This meme thrives on the very success of the measures taken to counter the biological genetic mutation.

I think that would have been predictable under the Dawkins proposed science of Memetics Ė as would the short life (despite its proclivity) of this particular meme. This will be a question on many a pub quiz by 2022 Ė barely remembered.

1343468.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:03 pm Reply with quote

1343472.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:27 pm Reply with quote

and as a btw

I sell (mostly cultured) cheese in an open market (in the UK). Just saying - no noticeable effect of either the mutated gene or it's memetic accompaniment on sales.

1343473.  Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:32 pm Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
And, presumably, any treatment will have to be paid for?

Meanwhile, North Korea says it is unaffected by the outbreak, but there is a rumour that someone tested positive for it. They shot him. //

another btw

Can we NOT propagate this clearly-a-myth? The North Korea thing I mean - just read the text and the sources. Basically, can we treat this particular link as akin to an advert for some snake oil?

1343493.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:36 am Reply with quote

Italy is closing all schools and universities until mid March.

1343500.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:31 am Reply with quote

Saudi told people not to do the Hajj this year, and has cancelled Friday prayers for the second week.

1343505.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:41 am Reply with quote

I am due to go to a tea party in Brighton in April, featuring that excellent writer Jodi Taylor.
I hope this all blows over before then.
Not a mass gathering, but about 70 people...

Last edited by tetsabb on Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total

1343507.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:43 am Reply with quote

Oh I envy you tetsabb! I'd love to go to that but I won't be in the UK in time.

1343514.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:04 pm Reply with quote

Our entire teaching staff is due to attend a conference where the entire teaching staffs of 12 Maine school districts will be in attendance later this month. I am slightly concerned.

1343519.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:57 pm Reply with quote

I have been running a mild temperature and associated headaches/joint-aches for over a week now. I worked two days last week because my presence was essential to deal with an outbreak of bullying behaviour amongst my apprentices on one of our south-west sites, and I tried returning to work on Monday (bad idea - completely drained me). So I'm now following policy and self-isolating at home until the temperature returns to normal and other symptoms disappear.

Had a teleconference this morning to open the discussion on whether:
(a) we should postpone the next apprentice university week (in 3 weeks time), and;
(b) whether we should postpone our assessment centres for the next intake, or look to devise a non-contact assessment process.

(a) is one we can work around if needed, but (b) is more problematic. The assessment centres usually involve 1-2 days of individual and group exercises because this stage of the process is looking mainly at non-academic characteristics. They happen in April so that conditional offers can be made by mid-april for a start date in september. If we delay the offers the vetting process can't complete in time for the september start. So if we're doing anything different we really need to decide this week.


1343523.  Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:10 pm Reply with quote

I'm trying to avoid saying this in public because some will say that it's irresponsible.

But is it just me*, or is the world massively over-reacting to the coronavirus?

* No, it isn't, because the CEO of Allianz SE has said the same thing. Not many others though.


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