Covid-19 (WuFlu) News

  • rather bad radio news this morning... more or less a lock down of northern italy - all of lombardia, milano, parts of veneto with venecia (red zone). According to news no one is allowed in or out. 10 million people are locked up. 1/6 of total population. Measures have been leaked too early and people tried to escape to southern, not so affected parts, of italy. Over 5800 infections in italy!


    Arguably, the fact that western countries are willing to implement major lock-downs is positive for the overall progression of the epidemic this year, and we can hope next year to have a vaccine.


    There is still a lot we don't understand about transmission in Western countries with population exercising good hygiene and selective closures and lock-downs. I think good hygiene might be achievable in UK, not so sure it will be in US where it seems half the population does not believe scientists, and political leaderships just says no-one should worry.

  • They did in fact jail them. They built walls up to 3 meters around all buildings with a single checkpoint for selected individuals allowed to leave e.g. twice a week... what does this tell about China? China is the most ready country to contain their people - sorry slaves....

    I doubt you will find a credible report of this. The walls I have read about in the New York Times and elsewhere are things like trucks parked in neighborhoods to keep people out, not in. But in any case, this is an appeal to emotion. You are changing the subject to avoid addressing the issue. Read the W.H.O. report and watch the Aylward presentation. You will see the steps the Chinese have taken, such as confining people in their houses and bringing them food. Or dispatching small groups to trace as many contacts as possible. These steps are not "slavery" by any stretch of the imagination. They are not even very onerous. If the U.S. does not take similar steps, ~480,000 people may die, which is about a hundred times more than the ~4,000 who have died in China. (That is probably close to the final toll in China, if a vaccine becomes available next year.)


    Do you really think it is worth sacrificing 400,000 lives just to avoid learning from the Chinese? Or to preserve a superficial sort of "freedom" from the "slavery" of implementing common-sense public health measures? In the 19th century, U.S. laws allowed the same kinds of steps the Chinese are now taking. These laws are still on the books. The only ones enforced so far are quarantines of people coming into the country. The other laws can -- and should -- be enforced. It will interfere with our freedom, but only temporarily, and it will save hundreds of thousands of lives. The emergency laws implemented during WWII such as rationing were much more onerous. No one thought they were a permanent reduction of Constitutional rights.

  • There is still a lot we don't understand about transmission in Western countries with population exercising good hygiene and selective closures and lock-downs. I think good hygiene might be achievable in UK,

    Apart from the open markets where the disease originated, hygiene and public health in China meets European standards. South Korea also meets European standards, yet yet the per capita infection rate is higher than China: 142/million compared to 56/million. Italy also has a higher per capita infection rate, 97/million. (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/) So, ordinary health standards, public health and national health insurance alone will not stop this pandemic. Until a vaccine becomes available, you have to use 19th century methods such as quarantine. That's the gist of the Aylward W.H.O. report. These methods work much better than Aylward and other experts expected they would.


    Public health standards, longevity and infant mortality in China are considerably better than the U.S. Overall U.S. public health is abysmal, especially in response to pandemics. It is at third-world standards. Mainly because 27 million people have no health insurance; millions of others have no sick leave or vacation time and no savings, so they have to go to work even if they are sick; and roughly 10 million people are illegal immigrants. The illegal immigrants have no health care, and they are afraid to go to the doctor, because they may be deported. These millions of people are a gigantic reservoir of ill health and viruses. Many of them work in restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and other service industries. So, the next time you get a fast-food hamburger, it may come with a side order of coronavirus.


    Meanwhile, as you noted, the administration is headed up by people who know nothing about science. Some of our GOP legislators make fun of the pandemic, saying we are panicking and that $8 billion is too much to spend on this. One of them showed up on House floor wearing a gas mask to ridicule the legislation. (It wasn't clear from initial reports that was his point, but his later comments clarified it.)


    https://thehill.com/homenews/h…-coronavirus-supplemental


    This kind of attitude may kill hundreds of thousands of people.

  • Maybe they will take it seriously if the president catches coronavirus - he was exposed to it recently and being over 70 probably wouldn"t survive.:)

  • Philippines and Singapore look into COCONUT OIL molecules as potential cures for the coronavirus

    https://infections.news/2020-0…ial-cure-coronavirus.html


    …..Dayrit and Newport’s paper proposed three mechanisms to explain why lauric acid (C12) and monolaurin, its derivative, harbor potent antiviral properties. They claim that previous research has shown that both lauric acid and monolaurin contribute to the disintegration of the virus membrane, inhibit the maturation of the virus, and prevent the binding of the viral proteins to the host cell membrane...…..,,,,Given the considerable scientific evidence for the antiviral activity of coconut oil, lauric acid and its derivatives and their general safety, and the absence of a cure for [COVID-19], we urge that clinical studies be conducted among patients who have been infected with [COVID-19]……....We have heard very good studies with regard to its ability to neutralize the viruses, but for the COVID- 19, it is not clear,” the top health official added...…….this treatment is affordable and virtually risk-free, and the potential benefits are enormous

  • Lawler's "480,000 dead" slide is dated 2/27 and labelled DRAFT

    Yes, it was 10 days ago. The data still looks up-to-date to me. Anyone can do the arithmetic and see it will be ~480,000 dead if things continue as they are. Look at the trend in Italy, where there are 1,492 new cases today, and 133 more deaths. If they do not successfully implement the changes ordered by the government yesterday, they will see a catastrophic, exponential increase. So will the U.S.

  • Quote

    There is still a lot we don't understand about transmission in Western countries with population exercising good hygiene and selective closures and lock-downs. I think good hygiene might be achievable in UK, not so sure it will be in US where it seems half the population does not believe scientists, and political leaderships just says no-one should worry.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "good hygiene." I just returned from a grocery store. I picked up a dozen items that were handled first by other people, some probably recently. I was in a line very close to other people. I used a point of sale terminal. I was able to pay with non-contact ApplePay but had to slide a membership card through a reader requiring me to grab the reader because it was on a swivel mount. Then I got fuel and had to input zip code data via a touch panel that is used by everyone and is never cleaned. At the bank, I had to enter my PIN on a touch panel, despite having ApplePay for ID. And this is just the beginning. Think of standing in a pharmacy line to pick up prescriptions. What did the persons before me at that counter have?


    I now carry an 0.5 ounce container of sanitizer in my pocket... but what happens when I go to put it in or take it out? How do I get into my car without touching anything before I sanitize my hands?


    Our society is less set up to prevent transmission than a primitive one. Industrial design has never considered microbiology of infection. Humans have relied largely on natural or acquired (vaccine or previous exposure) immunity. That pretty much fails entirely with coronavirus COVID-19.

  • Quote

    If they do not successfully implement the changes ordered by the government yesterday, they will see a catastrophic, exponential increase. So will the U.S.

    Without successful intervention, an exponential growth phase is virtually inevitable. This is both from theory and from the history of many past epidemics with various highly infectious agents.


    Parenthetically, politicians are at high risk because they go into large crowds and interact directly with their audience. And most are old white men, the exact target demographic. Selfie anyone?

  • Without successful intervention, an exponential growth phase is virtually inevitable. This is both from theory and from the history of many past epidemics with various highly infectious agents.

    Yup. The good news is, successful intervention is possible. It is even easier than experts such as Aylward thought. The internet has helped. In China there are small groups tracking every case, and finding everyone who might have been infected. They are connected to headquarters with giant screens and lots of real-time communication between groups. Aylward described this. You might not think that the internet can help stop an epidemic, but it can. For the last several days, the number of new cases in China has been less than 100, with none outside of Wuhan. If they can hold it down for a year until a vaccine becomes available, their total deaths will be about 5,000.


    It is a remarkable accomplishment. I hope the rest of the world learns from them.


    https://www.vox.com/2020/3/2/2…coronavirus-covid19-china


    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0…ina-coronavirus-cost.html

  • Just read article about Italy.

    Doctors are desperate. they are sorting who will have a respirator and who will... probably die.

    The goal of quarantine and social restriction are only to slow the epidemic... we can manage everybody infected, but not doubling few times a week.


    We have the power in our hands. soap.

  • I think there is a lot of good commentary in the panel discussion link below. These epidemiologists are open to the possibility that the mortality rate could be as low as .1 to .5%. One said he thinks 10x the number of people in China have likely been infected or exposed to the virus than what has been reported. My concern is people are going to hear a .1% mortality rate and go back to that overused talking point that this virus is in-line with the flu.

    But it needs to be shouted from the rooftops that COVID-19 burns through populations much, much faster and easier than the flu viruses we are used to. So the types of restrictions that work to contain the flu do not work here.


    Put me in the camp that there are simply no good answers until a vaccine arrives, or we build up a natural tolerance to it. Best case for a safe, working vaccine is 1.5-2 years away. No one wants to panic, but we are in a bad situation between now and then.


    The health toll will be bad, but I don’t think people are talking enough about the economic toll as well. The health system will be under serious strain, I could see oil prices going to $20, which for an extended period of time would cause several countries to be on the verge of economic collapse. You could even think of geo-political implications for all of this that lead down some dark paths. No one wants to be a doomsayer, but this virus could send the world into uncharted waters within the next 6-12 months.


    https://www.statnews.com/2020/…unting-virus-in-50-years/

  • At the bank, I had to enter my PIN on a touch panel, despite having ApplePay for ID. And this is just the beginning. Think of standing in a pharmacy line to pick up prescriptions. What did the persons before me at that counter have?


    I now carry an 0.5 ounce container of sanitizer in my pocket... but what happens when I go to put it in or take it out? How do I get into my car without touching anything before I sanitize my hands?

    If things get worse, I plan to wear latex surgical gloves when I go out of the house. Everyone on staff at the YMCA is already wearing them. I have already started wearing them there. That is uncomfortable and they are fragile, so I recommend wearing regular fingerless gym gloves on top of them. You don't want to tear the glove while lifting weights.


    I have a limited supply of gloves but a nurse told me I can toss them into the washing machine and reuse them.


    During the 1918 epidemic, my grandfather would come in the basement door of the house, take a shower and put on fresh clothes before coming upstairs. I plan to do something similar, dumping my clothes into a bucket on the back porch with water and some bleach in it.

  • If things get worse, I plan to wear latex surgical gloves when I go out of the house. Everyone on staff at the YMCA is already wearing them. I have already started wearing them there. That is uncomfortable and they are fragile, so I recommend wearing regular fingerless gym gloves on top of them. You don't want to tear the glove while lifting weights.


    I have a limited supply of gloves but a nurse told me I can toss them into the washing machine and reuse them.


    During the 1918 epidemic, my grandfather would come in the basement door of the house, take a shower and put on fresh clothes before coming upstairs. I plan to do something similar, dumping my clothes into a bucket on the back porch with water and some bleach in it.

    The nitrile gloves are much stronger. Get them from a janitorial supply store where they are much cheaper and come in boxes of up to 250, and they usually have all sizes rather than the regrettably common “one size” (which for certain don’t fit my hands).

  • Put me in the camp that there are simply no good answers until a vaccine arrives, or we build up a natural tolerance to it.

    That is wrong. The Chinese have found the answers. They are close to eliminating the epidemic within China, or reducing it to a few deaths per day. Very few additional people will die there before a vaccine can be deployed.


    In Japan they are using Chinese methods. So far, they have kept the epidemic at bay. They are now getting around 50 new cases a day, which they can handle. It is starting to recede in Sapporo, which is their worst hot spot.


    The number of new cases per day are finally stabilizing and falling in South Korea. It is 272 today. It was 400 to 500 last week, and 800 per day before that.


    The Italians are also now using aggressive methods. If the Italian methods work, there is good hope of controlling this in the first world. Unfortunately, I fear it will go out of control in the third world.


    Best case for a safe, working vaccine is 1.5-2 years away.

    I have heard it might be sooner than that. Perhaps in a year. There are already tests underway. The previous record for this stage of development was 5 months, and this has only been 3 months. Deployment usually has to wait until rigorous safety testing is finished, but if thousands of people are dying every day, I am sure they will cut corners.


    http://www.pmlive.com/pharma_n…accine_candidates_1326923


    I have heard middle aged researchers say it will take a year and a half, and young, hotshot researchers with the latest gadgets say it might be done in 6 months. The young ones are usually right. They know how to do things more quickly. It is like that in programming and other high tech fields. Look at how fast the hotshots fixed the botched Obamacare website rollout.


    No one wants to panic, but we are in a bad situation between now and then.

    I think a panic would be appropriate. I wish the administration had started panicking weeks ago.


    The health toll will be bad, but I don’t think people are talking enough about the economic toll as well.

    I feel sorry for small shop owners in China, and travel agents in the U.S., but other than that who cares about the economic toll? The economy will snap back as soon as a vaccine is deployed.


    The health system will be under serious strain,

    If the U.S. healthcare system collapses, it will be a blessing. The hospitals are charging people $3,000 to test for the coronavirus. A two-week hospital stay to cure, without IC, would cost $55,000. That is not sustainable. A year from now we may have Medicare for all universal healthcare, the way every civilized nation already has.

  • It is a remarkable accomplishment. I hope the rest of the world learns from them.

    Unluckily the virus did find his path to the third world and also in China they will have a huge percentage of undetected infections.


    So far (in Switzerland) the virus did only kill people with severe preconditions and all statistics totally overestimate the real damage for the healthy part of the population. The problem is that todays population has a live style that accepts severe preconditions as being quite natural.


    Being able to contain covid-19 is a tranquilizer story for older people... Corona is a cold virus, now just a bit more nasty. A vaccine would be a miracle as it did not work for the last 50 years now... more realistic is to find an inhibitor like for AIDS.


  • The measures China is taking do appear to work. I guess my point is that we are going to get into a social science experiment soon. How long can people live that way if a vaccine is at best a year away? They are getting through it now, but what about 2-3 months from now? Things could start to get very uncomfortable living that way. I think we will see a scenario in China where the number of infections continue to go down because of these measures. Then people will feel safe to go about their normal lives again (and the government will acquiesce), and then the infection rate will go right back up. That’s the problem with this virus. It’s very contagious.


    I also just don’t know if people in the U.S. and other western countries are going to be comfortable living in any way like that for an extended period of time. Some people may say screw it, and just live out in the world with the risk of getting it thinking they are young and strong enough to fight it off. Then the government would have to decide on becoming more authoritarian in a way we’ve never seen before. Imagine large populations in the U.S. being told they have to stay home and can’t leave their city.


    And I get that the economic toll takes a back seat to the health one. But watch for failing corporate debt that could tank the economy. And $20 oil for a year’s time in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Russia could not only lead to serious economic collapses there, but there would be political unrest that would come from that.

  • During the 1918 epidemic, my grandfather would come in the basement door of the house, take a shower and put on fresh clothes before coming upstairs. I plan to do something similar, dumping my clothes into a bucket on the back porch with water and some bleach in it.

    In my house, the back door goes to a small hall with the washer and dryer. I have set up hand sanitize and wipes there. I can put close into the washer there. I also got a time UV light/ozone generator. push button leave, and it runs for x time. That is for packages and "things".


    But all in all, I don't expect to go out (away from home) much. I live in a remote forest and avoid going to town.


    PS you may not want to use bleach for all of your clothes. Lysol ( or other quaternary ammonium disinfectant cleaner) works.


    Take care and remain safe. I don't think I will be traveling to ICCF conferences this year......

  • I play a lot of email correspondence chess (on online group lists me an international master).

    One of my opponents is in N. Italy. He says that "Northern Italy has fallen" - mate.

    They are now limiting/rationing ICU hospital beds and only giving them to those though with the best case of survival. The hospitals are overflowing.