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× A place to talk about stuff that doesn't belong anywhere else.

Coronavirus

  • jeb
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10 Mar 2020 14:08 - 13 Mar 2020 20:03 #307823 by jeb
Coronavirus was created by jeb
This is one of the Most Important Things that has happened in decades, so I thought I would make a thread for questions/concerns/information that people have or want to share. This and Twitter are my social media, so if you are getting all this from Facegram or WeSnap or whatever, power to you. I am the one folks ask about stuff like this, so I am connecting with you all in case you have that same role.

This is the best, most informed pop science piece on what's going on:
arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/dont-pan...-to-the-coronavirus/

A bit on terminology:
  • coronavirus: a kind of virus. Like "poxvirus" or "paramyxovirus." It's like saying "marsupial." You're talking about a kind of thing, not one thing exactly. In the zeitgest it's become interchangeable with this particular virus and the associated disease. But try to separate them, if only because the next time there is a coronavirus we'll need to call it something else if the current one is still a pandemic.
  • SARS-CoV-2: The circulating coronavirus getting people sick right now. It sounds like an earlier one commonly called "SARS" because it is closely related to that (that one is SARS-CoV-1). "SARS" also describes the illness caused by these viruses: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Basically, acute bilateral interstitial pneumonia. But the disease is actually called COVID-19
  • COVID-19: The disease in humans caused by SARS-CoV-2.

For a parallel:
The flu is a disease caused by influenza strains of an orthomyxovirus.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 strain of a coronavirus.

What typifies the disease?
The boundaries of this are still unknown, but it's typified mostly by fever and dry cough. The incubation period (ie, no symptoms) is a little under a week (can be two), then actively sick for two weeks (maybe up to six weeks, based on severity). Children fare better than adults, in general. Higher age is correlated with morbidity, in general. People with compromised immune systems and underlying illness are at particular risk, other demographics aside.

What should you do to prevent infection?
  • Wash your hands (soap is better than gels, but gels are better than nothing. This is a membrane-bound RNA virus, and alcohol can denature the membrane, but soap is much better at this).
  • Avoid sick people. If someone has a respiratory infection, stay 2m/6' away.

What should you do if you think you are infected?
Call your doctor/healthcare provider. Don't just go to the office. Call ahead, they will have instructions.

//edit

Is this "just a bad flu?"
No. It is more serious than that, and we should endeavor to treat it as such. First, the flu is serious. In the US, this year's flu infected 45M people, hospitalized 560,000, and killed 46,000. This disease is more serious than that, especially for those groups identified above as at particular risk. The 10yr case-fatality-rate for the flu in the US is 0.1%. That is, as the disease changes and evolves over ten year period, the chance that a person infected with the flu will die from it is 0.1%. Current chatter for COVID-19 has a crude CFR around 3%, some 30x higher. That CFR gets bigger quickly if everyone gets very sick at the same time and the healthcare system fails to adequately support the community, as happed in Wuhan, where the CFR was close to 6% in the heat of the outbreak. So that's why taking steps to avoid getting sick matters, even if you're young and healthy. Spreading the illness out, if you will, is good for everyone, because it minimizes pressure on the healthcare system.

This Twitter thread captures some aspects of a healthcare system dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak:
(click "Show this thread" on the top post to see the whole thing)

//edit2

Should I be panic buying? I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD BE PANIC BUYINNNNGGGGGG!!!!
Oh capitalism. No. As noted below in the comments, the water isn't getting turned off, the electricity will still get to your house. The issue is you might be stuck in it for two weeks. The best thing to do is over the next couple weeks, as you shop, add extra to your cart to build up a stock of stuff that you'd want in any two week period. Get the bigger bag of rice. Get four boxes of the pasta that's on sale instead of two. Get a backup of your Flonase. You don't need fifty bars of soap. You don't need (I hope) 200 rolls of toilet paper. If you are a Costco/Sam's Club shopper, your set-point on replacing stuff should move up, that's about it. Normally I don't get more paper towels until we're down to the last roll in the hay bale we usually buy at Costco. Now I'll get one when there are maybe three left.
Last edit: 13 Mar 2020 20:03 by jeb. Reason: influenza is an ORTHOmyxovirus, my wife corrected me

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10 Mar 2020 14:20 #307824 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Coronavirus
I'll be staying away from the local game club for a while. Playing boardgames with strangers might be a little too risky right now.
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10 Mar 2020 14:25 #307825 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Coronavirus
Excellent, Jeb.

I’ll also mention that you shouldn’t buy all your store’s stock of soap, since you need other people to wash their hands too.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, JoelCFC25, jeb, Frohike, Gregarius, BillyBobThwarton, RolandHemisphere

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10 Mar 2020 14:57 #307827 by Disgustipater
Replied by Disgustipater on topic Coronavirus
Also, what’s with all those people buying up all the Costco bottled water and toilet paper? This isn’t an environment-related natural disaster where infrastructure no longer works. The virus isn’t going to stop water from coming out of the faucets.
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10 Mar 2020 14:57 #307828 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Coronavirus
I liked this article:
"Preparing for the almost inevitable global spread of this virus, now dubbed COVID-19, is one of the most pro-social, altruistic things you can do"

"...we can alter every aspect of this risk we face as a society."

Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S.: Getting ready for the possibility of major disruptions is not only smart; it’s also our civic duty
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10 Mar 2020 15:04 #307829 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Coronavirus
I thought I'd poke in and mention that it doesn't have to go as bad as China or Italy, though the US appears to be on track to. Look to South Korea's extremely assertive but not authoritarian response which seems to have peaked the virus's impact very quickly.

I'm pretty worried about my (70s) parents.

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10 Mar 2020 15:06 #307830 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Coronavirus
I was hoping we wouldn't discuss this on TWBG as it's the one place I hadn't seen it brought up yet. Inevitable I suppose.

I've been a little obsessed with this for the past two weeks as we're leaving for Disney World Sunday. Honestly, I'm full of anxiety and have had trouble sleeping. My wife doesn't want to cancel and my 63 year old mom is also going with us.

At least we're driving but I'm pretty sure I won't enjoy a moment of it.

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10 Mar 2020 15:23 #307831 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Coronavirus
We were leaving for Rome 3/31 but that’s a bust now! Apparently it’s just a total shitshow there right now.

I’ve seen the panic buying. WTF, are people like “now it’s time for me to start wiping my ass and washing my hands”? It’s fucking stupid. This is a serious situation that could get way out of control...but here we have a president who has a “hunch” it will go away or whatever...

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10 Mar 2020 15:31 #307832 by BillyBobThwarton
Replied by BillyBobThwarton on topic Coronavirus
My theory regarding all the toilet paper: people don’t want to get butt hurt over this.
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10 Mar 2020 15:36 #307833 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Coronavirus
One of my local gaming groups is talking about avoiding the Fantasy Flight Event Center in the near future, due to coronavirus. There are a lot of people there every day, but they have the cleanest bathrooms that I've ever seen in a gaming venue, competitive with many restaurants. On the other hand, some gamers are notably indifferent to hygiene, so that's a potential issue.

I hate that nearly every aspect of life in the United States is becoming politically divided, including response to potential contagion. A few years ago, some liberals decided that any sort of quarantine of Ebola victims was morally wrong, and then idea spread like wildfire thru social media. Ebola is legitimately a very scary and lethal disease that has ravaged some parts of Africa, so it takes an extraordinary degree of ignorance to oppose an Ebola quarantine. Now there are some conservatives who are claiming that coronavirus is not as bad as the flu, or just the same thing as the common cold, or some fake crisis made up by mainstream media. And the underlying motive for their denial is that they would rather pretend that the coronavirus is harmless than see their stock portfolios take a hit.
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10 Mar 2020 15:57 #307834 by southernman
Replied by southernman on topic Coronavirus
Hey - don't think the toilet paper thing is just a few wacky people, over here in the UK where it hasn't hit properly yet - BUT IT WILL IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS - my supermarket has been sold out constantly of toilet paper, soap and pasta for the past four days and this is quite common throughout the country. People are just getting scared, selfish and stupid and I'm bloody sick of it.
This thing is not going away soon and our countries are going to see a lot more unbelievable days in the next few months, Italy may be (I hope) the nadir of a country being hit but we are not going to get off lightly, hopefully a lot fewer deaths but we will be shutting down to some extent and the economy (people) will take financial hits.
Well that's enough of me bringing gloom to the site, you all be safe out there folks and follow all sensible advice you're given
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10 Mar 2020 16:13 - 10 Mar 2020 16:23 #307835 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Coronavirus
Just received the email for a "continuity of operations preparedness" meeting for work.

ETA: @Michael, sorry about your trip. I hope you had trip insurance, or that the airlines and hotels are being cool about cancellations.
Last edit: 10 Mar 2020 16:23 by ubarose.
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10 Mar 2020 16:24 #307836 by ChristopherMD
Replied by ChristopherMD on topic Coronavirus
I wonder when the Pandemic expansion for this will be announced.
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10 Mar 2020 16:42 #307837 by Josh Look
Replied by Josh Look on topic Coronavirus
I was only going to make it for one day this year, but I’m skipping ConnCon this year due to what’s going on. I feel like holding cons at all are irresponsible right now.
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10 Mar 2020 17:06 - 10 Mar 2020 17:16 #307838 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Coronavirus
Our state Capitol Building, Legislative Office Building, and State House are being closed for a "special cleaning."

ETA: And Governor just declared a state of emergency. I'm guessing it won't be too long before everyone in my dept is told to work remotely.
Last edit: 10 Mar 2020 17:16 by ubarose.

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