What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

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takenoko
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What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by takenoko » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:04 am

Just thought I'd make this post here for people that need to vent about the corona viruses

Over here, we've closed our local schools for two weeks, and a lot of them are going to go straight into spring break after that. At work, all events are pretty much cancelled or postponed till April.

People are apparently going nuts at grocery stores

Personally, I kind of like not a lot of people being around, but I'm introverted

Anyway, let's all try to exercise prudent cautious behavior while also not losing our heads in the process. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Mandalori » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:43 am

Personally, I find it really funny. We have a virus that's more harmless than the regular one, but since it's a new one, every leaders not on the medical field is freaking out because it's a new virus from China so it must be deadly. The virus is only a problem for elders and already fragile people, but it's the same thing for all diseases. It seems to be over in China by the way.

In France, some say it's because they don't have anything else to inspire terror to the population so they would all form a block behind their leaders. Others say it's because they know nothing about it so they got all worked up with it. I remember that, in France, people were making fun of them because they were so incompetent that the only thing they did was to put posters.

The problem seems to be more about the consequence of the reactions than the virus itself.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Catastrophe » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:31 am

So I'm going to do an information dump. I've been a member of this forum for 11 years and have never contributed anything, other than the occasional shit joke and complaining about how my childrens toy commercials are poorly written. If this is the only thing I ever contribute, I'm okay with it.

I have a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and and do most of my work in infectious diseases. I've worked in several countries around the world studying many different types of infectious diseases, including influenza, so between that and following what has been happening, I feel like I'm a little qualified to talk about this.

The one thing that every virologist will tell you, is that if anything is going to kill off the human population, it is a respiratory virus. The concern for COVID-19 is real, because of its high transmissibility and higher mortality rate than than seasonal influenza. I would advise everyone to excise precautions in the coming weeks and the months that follow for the health and safety of not only yourselves, but your friends and family.

I'll start by addressing parts of your post Mandalori, not to have a go at you, but to clear up some common misconceptions that you've said that I've seen/heard/read a lot.
We have a virus that's more harmless than the regular one, but since it's a new one, every leaders not on the medical field is freaking out
So when you say 'regular one', I'm assuming you're comparing it to seasonal influenza. Seasonal influenza has a mortality rate of about 0.1 percent of infected patients. Current data suggests that COVID-19 is between 2 - 3.5%, which is 20 to 35 times greater. While this might not seem like a lot, experts theorise that between 40%-70% of the worlds population will contract the virus. If make a conservative estimate and that half the worlds population gets infected, you'd still be looking at 100 million deaths from it.
The virus is only a problem for elders and already fragile people, but it's the same thing for all diseases
A partially correct statement. The mortality rate of the infection greatly increases in the 45+ age range, so anybody in this bracket needs to be proactive when they think they get symptoms in order to be treated appropriately. One major concern is that in addition to the substantial aged population that the planet has compared to 100 years ago, is the number of people that are immunosuppressed due to having medical conditions such as diabetes or taking drugs for organ transplants. These people have a 10-20% greater chance of mortality compared to age-matched healthy patients, so precautionary measures need to be taken to protect these people

And I'll make some extra points as they come to me
It's just like the flu!
Chances are you've never actually had the flu and are confusing a cold for it. The flu is a specific infection caused by the influenza virus. It sidelines you pretty hard with a dry cough, fevers and muscle pains. A cold is a cough and blocked/runny nose for a couple of days. The symptoms of the COVID-19 infection are actually similar to Influenza, so that's why anyone who has had influenza will recognise when they get it.
Even if it is as serious as you say, will I recover on my own if I get it?
It's hard to say, because everyone responds to infections differently. You might get it and never have any symptoms, you might be sick for two weeks or you might have to go to hospital to get ventilated because you can't breath unassisted.

This is where the real issue is. Most hospitals in the world do not have the infrastructure to deal with a global pandemic. Part of what governments are trying to do is to control the rate at which the populations gets infected, so the burden on the hospitals is reduced.

Take Italy as an example. It is under full quarantine, but hospitals are at capacity. I was talking to a friend who works as an ER doctor who was telling me that they do not have enough respirators to use on everyone. This also affecting other aspects of hospitals as well, as doctors and students from other parts of the hospital have been reassigned to help deal with the burden on the pandemic. Get into a car accident and need surgery? Chances are there won't be any respirators to keep you breathing or surgeons to do the surgery. This is why controlling the initial load of infection is important.
It'll go away in the Summer!
Nobody has any evidence of this, and Australia is probably going to have a big boom in the coming weeks and it's hot as anything there.
Why worry if (insert where you live here) only has a small number of reported cases?
What makes COVID-19 difficult to combat, is that the incubation time is anywhere between 3-14 days, depending on the individual. So if you read a news report that your country has it' 6th confirmed case, then that person could have transmitted to everyone they came into contact with in that timeframe. Some countries don't have enough kits and are only testing directly exposed individuals and many doctors have said that they have had patients they believe had the infection, but didn't meet the criteria to test. In the United States, it is theorised that there could already be half a million people already infected.

Most experts are expecting the Europe and the US to have a massive spike in cases in the coming weeks, with Australia to follow soon after.
Alright then smartass, how does one protect themselves/others from it
Washing your hands regularly is important. I make the assumption everyone does it after going to the bathroom, but before eating is very important. Try to avoid touching your face. Respiratory viruses can infect through pretty much any mucosal surface, not just droplets from someone coughing or sneezing.

Washing your hands it the best method, but hand sanitiser can be useful if you have to be out and about. Get at least 60% alcohol formulation. Any less is a waste of time and money.

Masks are useful if you are sick and want to limit spreading it, not so much for avoiding getting it. N-95 masks are great, but make sure you fit it to your face or it won't work as well. If you have any facial hair, you'll want to shave it so it fits better.

The virus can survive on surfaces for around 3 days, so keep this in mind if you are sharing a dwelling with someone who is suspected of being sick.

Even saying all of this, If the whole thing does fizzle out then that's ultimately fine. It's better than being lax about it and having substantial death. Like Take said, sensible precautions without the fear-mongering is what will help. Work from home if you are able. If you need to isolate, see if you can get a friend or family member to get you supplies without going out and exposing other people. Don't go on any non-essential travel.

This is all that comes to mind at the moment, but if anybody has any further questions, I'd be happy to answer. If you need some resources I'd be happy to provide them as well. In the mean time, I'll be back in the Zero-One episode threads complaining how Gai and ZAIA fucked up a perfectly good series.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by takenoko » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:54 am

This is great stuff Catastrophe. Thank you for laying out the information in such a detailed and factual manner.

I was trying to look up some comparisons with previous diseases to try to figure out why this case in particular has been so different.

I know one thing I heard was that it's hard to estimate mortality/infection rate at the time, because scientists are still acquiring data and reporting has been uneven. Do you think there's still a good chance that it might be higher or lower than currently predicted as time passes?

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Catastrophe » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:10 am

There is a definite possibility that the mortality rate can and will change as more (accurate) data is acquired. The problem with total percentage vs. infected is it doesn't tell the whole story. That's probably the reason why the quoted mortality rate is reported between 2-3.5%, because the WHO doesn't have enough information to say accurately.

Using China and Italy as examples. China has the largest adult smoking population on the planet, with almost a third of the planets total smokers. Italy is the number 2 country behind Japan when it comes to percentage of population over 65. These are both significant risk factors for mortality, so in theory you could argue this might be driving up the rate.

On the other hand, if I was to make an educated guess, I imagine it'll probably eventually creep up to be a bit higher. Nobody really has any predictions as to what will happen if it hits a poor country without significant medical infrastructure.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by decade368990 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 7:51 am

Do you guys live in a flat of a building or live in a house?

If you live in a flat of a building, make sure your toilet has a U shape pipe to flush things. DO NOT modify it. If you modify it from a U shape to a rectangular shape, the virus can affect you and your neighbors whether they live above, bottom, or next to you.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Dark Ren » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:13 am

Well, our governor just close schools and any public entertainment for 2 weeks starting today. Some offices ask their employees to work from home.

I can see Netflix subscriber will skyrocket in upcoming days

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Lunagel » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:03 am

Thanks Catastrophe, that was a very helpful explanation. There's far too much misinformation going around.

I've basically been staying inside for three weeks, which is fine, just starting to get a bit cabin feverish. I'm not high risk, but some of my family are medium risk so rather not tempt fate. Running out of masks though (I know they don't prevent from catching, but 90% of people are wearing them, so it's keeping it from spreading too bad). Some workplaces are giving their employees a small number of masks so they can keep working in the office since there aren't enough laptops to go around.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by xiiliea » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:10 am

Honestly, I'm not too worried as the government is footing the hospital bill for all citizens who get infected here. There have been 0 deaths so far too, and about 70% were recovered before we started importing ten cases per day from overseas a few days ago.

The only thing I'm worried about is food. I've heard of malls closing in other countries and I don't want to be stuck eating bland food everyday.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by takenoko » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:24 am

Lunagel wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:03 am
Running out of masks though (I know they don't prevent from catching, but 90% of people are wearing them, so it's keeping it from spreading too bad). Some workplaces are giving their employees a small number of masks so they can keep working in the office since there aren't enough laptops to go around.
Why not reuse them?

>The only thing I'm worried about is food. I've heard of malls closing in other countries and I don't want to be stuck eating bland food everyday.

You need to buy 90 tacos now so you can eat one per day for the next 3 months

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Catastrophe » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:10 pm

I've basically been staying inside for three weeks, which is fine, just starting to get a bit cabin feverish.


So this is a good point I forgot to mention. People will deal with self isolation and social distancing differently. If anyone finds that their mental wellbeing is beginning to deteriorate, then it is important to try to talk to someone. In crisis situations, governments may expand phone based counselling (check whatever your equivalent of the CDC website is) or use your employers/schools EAP programme (should be able to get a phone appointment).

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Lunagel » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:51 pm

takenoko wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:24 am
Why not reuse them?
They're basically filters for microscopic germs/dust/pollen. Even if they don't look dirty, after a day's use they're not working properly anymore.

That said, since there is such a shortage, I followed some instructions from the manufacturer and washed some in diluted detergent, then bleach.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by takenoko » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Filters don't work after one day? What???

I'd get it if the case were the filter wore down and didn't properly filter things out anymore, but that wouldn't be fixed with washing. If it's just a case of you've blocked some of the holes, I'd think you could still breathe through it okay?

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by Lunagel » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:16 pm

It's not a question of breathing, it's a question of whether the mask is working properly. After a certain amount of time it just doesn't filter right any more, that's why they're all one use.

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Re: What are your Corona fears, gripes, and needs for reassurance?

Post by takenoko » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:29 pm

Right, but how would washing it in bleach fix that?

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