Coronavirus pandemic non-socio-political discussions

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RxCowboy

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#1
From my friend at Purdue:

Feb 26

I have been getting some questions regarding things you can do to "be prepared" in case coronavirus hits the USA. Here are my recommendations. 1) frequent handwashing with soap and warm water. 2) hand sanitizer, 3) replace hand towels and washcloths more often than normal, 4) stay home when you are sick, 5) clean/disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, toilet handle, car keys, etc. more often, 5) keep a little extra food, TP etc. on hand in the rare event of a quarantine or illness. and 6) don't panic, prepare.
 

RxCowboy

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#2
Feb 27

Ok...here is your latest Coronavirus PSA. 6 things you need to know.
1. COVID-19 only kills about 2% of the people who get it. So it isn't some "killer" virus to start the apocalypse.
2. People who develop serious complications (mostly people with other health issues - particularly lung issues) will develop pneumonia in both lungs - which is significant.
2.Fever and cough are the most common symptoms but some people never experience any symptoms and over 80% of people with the disease only have mild to moderate symptoms (like a cold without the runny nose).
3. It spreads like the common cold so you prevent it the same way - good health hygiene.
4. Medical face masks are designed to keep things in - not out. Meaning - designed to keep you from breathing your funk on others - not to keep you from catching theirs. This is an important distinction. Wearing one won't keep you from getting sick.
5. There are only 60 CONFIRMED cases in the US right now. No one has died. None of them have been serious.
6. This will most likely become a disease that is part of our "seasons" of viruses.
UPDATE: 2 new cases in the United States from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. 1 person in the United States is not in serious condition.
 

RxCowboy

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#3
March 2

Your COVID-19 update. The numbers for the United States. Part of the uptick in confirmed cases can be attributed to better/more testing. But expect to see those numbers increase over the next week or so. REMEMBER: it's like a cold. But it can develop into pneumonia in both lungs - which is sort of unique. (the both lungs part). Wash your hands, wash doorknobs, refrigerator handles, stove handles, etc. cover coughs and sneezes and stay home when you are sick. COVID-19 is one strain of the coronavirus, there are others such as SARS and MERS. This strain has just crossed over to humans which is one reason it is interesting and why it is spreading so quickly - our immune systems have never encountered it.
UPDATE: the virus is estimated to only survive about 9 days on surfaces outside the body.
UPDATE 2. Just to get ahead of the story...a dog in Hong Kong has tested positive for COVID-19. The dog isn't sick - but his owner was. They are running more tests to see what this means. (i.e. the dog could have traces of the virus without actually getting sick) I am including a link to more if you are interested.
 

RxCowboy

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#4
March 4

A few Covid-19 updates that you might find interesting, (posted the US numbers from today below). Children seem to be less vulnerable to the disease and less likely to die if they do get it. We see this sometimes in respiratory viruses because the immune response can be quite fierce in healthy/strong immune systems and sometimes that response causes mild "damage" to the respiratory tract. In those with less developed immune systems (children), the body's response isn't as strong which actually results in a protective effect. I find this piece particularly interesting.
They are still testing the dog in Hong Kong to see if he will get ill or become a carrier of the disease - stay tuned for those results. They are using antiviral medications as treatment. Today's tip: don't waste money on antibacterial cleaners etc., it's a virus so they won't have any impact.
 

RxCowboy

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#5
March 6

Covid-19 UPDATE: so as more cases appear in the United States we are learning more. Here are the Top 10 things you need to know.
1. If you are over 60 - you are at highest risk for both contracting the disease and from having serious complications.
2. We anticipate more deaths than we see with the flu. So totals could be in the thousands. Still - a VERY small percentage of total cases but there are risks.
3. If you have other health issues, such as cardiovascular issues, lung problems, high blood pressure, cancer etc. Or if you are a smoker/vaper, you are at increased risk.
4. Try to avoid places that are heavily crowded if you live in a state with an active outbreak. Avoid large gatherings.
5. Avoid shaking hands and/or touching your face.
6. Clean surfaces regularly and wash your hands with warm water (not hot or cold) and soap for at least 20 seconds. Pay special attention to washing your knuckles, around fingernails and between fingers (this is where germs like to hide).
7. If you have a fever stay home!
8. If you think you may have coronavirus, call your doctor before you go. They may have special instructions.
9. Remember, we are concerned about pneumonia (or acute respiratory distress syndrome) developing so if you have trouble breathing or think you may have pneumonia, don't be a hero - call the doctor.
10. Don't panic.

Also March 6

Covid-19 Recommendations: to be clear, I do think this outbreak will be bigger, particularly now that it seems to be in Florida. I also recommend you do store a few things because I anticipate some disruptions to normal life. Keep in mind production is down in China and shipping is questionable. Things I recommend “stocking” is hand soap, toilet paper and some extra food, over the counter meds you take regularly, something for fever like Tylenol etc. Just my two cents.
 

RxCowboy

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#6
March 8

COVID-19 update: This map is handy for a quick visual, but numbers are a day off. The fatality rate-globally is rising a bit, (meaning a larger percentage of the sick are dying). Part of this is due to the places impacted but part we can’t explain. Please stay home if you have a fever. It is worth mentioning that 46% of workers in the United States don’t get paid sick days. So compliance with this could be very low. Ask your employer about their Coronavirus plan, they should have one. Also remember that suspected and confirmed cases are two very different things.

1585424985579.png
 

RxCowboy

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#7
March 9

Covid-19 Update: Here are the latest US numbers from the CDC updated at noon. (global updates and state specifics posted as a link below) Due to state reporting practices it is possible that cases in your state may be slightly higher than listed here. If you live in a state with active cases it is time to start thinking about mitigating spread. If you have a fever of 100.4 or higher - stay home (recommended for up to 72 hours after fever free instead of the typical 24 hours in active outbreak areas). If you are at work or school with someone who has fever, send them home. If you have a cough - stay home. Keep in mind that confirmed cases are those we know about, there are always cases we don't yet know about. Avoid large gatherings and/or places where you can't stay arms length from others. Have a few days worth of supplies/food on hand so you can stay home if sick. Talk to your employer and/or school about their coronvirus plan. If you are an employer, communicate out to your employees regarding expectations and how sick time will be handled. Make a plan with your family. If possible, avoid traveling to places with active outbreaks. If you have had known exposure, self quarantine is recommended for 14 days post exposure. It's going to take all of us. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Also March 9

Covid-19: terminology update. Understand the terminology, isolation is when someone has tested positive and is being kept isolated from others until they are once again healthy. (typically 72 hours after they no longer have fever). Quarantine is when someone has potentially been exposed but has not been diagnosed with illness/disease. For covid-19 this typically would be for 14 days.
 

RxCowboy

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#8
March 10

Covid-10 updates: Based on the latest research here are some updates.
1. If you get coronvirus you become contagious almost immediately, even before symptoms set in. We call this shedding. It is one reason the virus is spreading so quickly - because people typically are spreading it rapidly before they know they are sick.
2. From exposure to illness is averaging about 5 days. You will be contagious before this. If you know you have been exposed, self quarantine is the best way to prevent the spread.
3. Those with mild cases will be contagious for about 10 days after they begin to show symptoms. - You may continue to test positive for weeks but shedding is greatly reduced or non-existent.
4. Those with moderate to severe symptoms are contagious for longer.
5. You can test positive for weeks after you have recovered.
6. There is still confusion regarding if your pets can become carriers. Two pets have been exposed to our knowledge. One tested positive and continues to do so, the other tested negative. The positive dog has shown no signs at all. It is unknown if the dog can spread it but current recommendations are if you get it, don't let your dog lick people.
 

RxCowboy

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#9
Also March 10

There should be 3 stages to covid-19 response. Think Defcon1, Defcon2 and Defcon3. When in Defcon1 you don't want to act like you are in Defcon3. MOST of us are in Defcon/stage 1.
Stage 1: planning and preparation - this is where most of us are right now. Make a plan (work, school, family, church etc.). Include everyone who will be part of your plan or impacted by it. Set aside some resources in case you end up in quarantine. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid very high traffic areas. Communicate the plan with everyone who needs to know. Practice not touching your face. Practice good health hygiene.
Stage 2: when you have some active cases in your county. Time to start putting your plan in action. Avoid public areas, those at high risk should stay home. High-risk employees should not come in. Use hand sanitizer and hand washing frequently, avoid situations where you can't practice social distancing. Stay home if sick with fever or a cough. Finalize any supplies you may need in the event of quarantine.
Stage 3: significant cases in your area - this is when it is most appropriate for school closings, business closings, self-quarantine etc. Time to fully implement the plan.
A quality plan should include all three stages. Also, just to be clear, a pandemic just means an outbreak that has spread across continents and this clearly is. The term hasn't been used because they are worried about inciting fear, but don't let the word bother you. A rose by any other name...
 

RxCowboy

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#10
March 12

As coronavirus spreads and daily life is disrupted (as we were all warned it would be) people are quite vocal about their disagreement with how things are being handled and decisions that are being made. As an epidemiologist, I don't agree with every decision either. But here's the thing....it doesn't matter what I think, it wasn't my decision to make. Let's not all become Monday morning quarterbacks. Let the people who are tasked with making the decisions make the decisions. We don't have to like them or agree with them, nor do we have to rant and rave. This too shall pass.

Also March 12

The most common question I am getting about covid-19 is if it is "worse" than the flu. The short simple answer: In terms of spread (it spreads more easily and faster and before you know you are sick) and, it is significantly more fatal. In rough estimates, (this fluctuates from year to year and among demographics) but for simplicity, we can use 1% as the average fatality rate of the flu. Covid-19 (also ranges from demographic) but currently 7% of resolved cases resulted in death. 10% of open cases are serious or critical. So yes, it is "worse" than the flu. You should be taking it seriously. You should be making a plan. You should be expecting disruptions. You should not panic or freak out. You should probably buy something for fever if you haven't. In most places, we are still in stage 1 of this (planning but no major risk) Some of you are of course in stage 3 (Washington, parts of NY and CA).

Also March 12

Important update: Virus can remain viable "in aerosols up to 3 hours, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel" a Princeton study awaiting peer review has found
 

RxCowboy

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#11
March 13

A few practical coronavirus (cv) tips that aren't about washing your hands.
1) Don't burn through all that Lysol prematurely. Clean now. Then, when it is in your county, step up the cleaning. When it is in your house, get crazy with it. (not literally, just a little cv humor).
2) If you end up quarantined in your home for 2 weeks what on earth are you going to do? Think about a watch list, a reading list, card games, board games, DIY home projects etc. Especially if your kids are there - have a plan for entertainment. Being prepared is about more than having toilet paper.
3) Don't plan to leave your kids with your parents if your parents are over 60 and/or have any health issues. Remember, it looks like kids may be carriers so you don't want to put them with the vulnerable population. It's our parents we are protecting in this one.
4) If you start to think you may have been exposed. Take your temp daily for 6 days. No fever? You should be in the clear. This is not 100% of course, but a fairly safe bet.
5) If someone in your house gets it - they need to be isolated from the rest of the household. Including family pets. Think about where you can put them. Wear gloves when handling their dirty dishes and clothes etc. if you can.
 

RxCowboy

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#12
March 14

Today’s covid-19 tips and myth busting.
1) Currently, there is no treatment/cure specific to the virus but there are treatment options like anti-virals etc. for serious cases. Developing a vaccine is a rigorous process and will take 1-2 years. BUT....as was done with Ebola, they are testing a treatment based on antibodies found in the blood serum of people who have recovered. This is a faster option but is still a work in progress and would only be available to the most severe cases, at least for a while.
2) You don't need anything fancy for cleaning. It's ok that the stores have no Lysol. 10% bleach solution (10% bleach, 90% water) works very well. Just don't use hot water to mix it because it causes the bleach to break down. Ethyl alcohol (70%) is another good choice. Be sure to ventilate when using, as you would with any chemical/cleaner.
3) Yes, Lysol cans say good on human coronavirus. Remember, Coronavirus is the umbrella name for a host of diseases. Much like we use the term “truck” to mean a whole host of types of trucks. Covid-19 is one type of coronavirus and it is new to humans so the Lysol can is referring to the umbrella of the types of coronaviruses previously seen. It is not specific to this one. And it is not evidence that this is all a hoax or conspiracy.
Finally, let’s all take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Let’s be the people who respond with honor, compassion, and dignity. Check on your elderly neighbors and make sure they have what they need. Volunteer to help others with childcare etc. This is a great chance to show love and kindness.
 

RxCowboy

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#13
March 16

Let’s all take a vow that we will not promote or share misinformation in regards to this disease or “treatments” Poor information could cost someone their life. Let’s all vow to fact check things using reliable sources. If you aren’t sure, don’t share it. If you find out it’s wrong, remove it. If you see someone else with misinformation posted - let them know (in a respectful way). Ask questions- seek the truth and spread that. Please.

Also March 16

In case you are looking for an update for the country and how your state compares. WV is the only state without any cases. We now have seen more cases passed via community spread/close contact than we have travel-related cases. These are official numbers as of yesterday at 4pm. Also, note that the US case count is beating itself each day. Meaning each day we are seeing more new cases than we saw the day before. I have posted a graphic below to show that rate. If you have not yet gotten supplies to stay inside - you need to do that. Pray for Italy and stay home if you can.In case you are looking for an update for the country and how your state compares. WV is the only state without any cases. We now have seen more cases passed via community spread/close contact than we have travel-related cases. These are official numbers as of yesterday at 4pm. Also, note that the US case count is beating itself each day. Meaning each day we are seeing more new cases than we saw the day before. I have posted a graphic below to show that rate. If you have not yet gotten supplies to stay inside - you need to do that. Pray for Italy and stay home if you can.

Also March 16

Latest USA: Trump releases new guidelines for the next 15 days to slow coronavirus spread:
- Americans are urged to stay home and work from home if possible
- people should avoid non-essential contacts with others and non-essential travel
- everyone should avoid eating in restaurants and bars
- no social gatherings with more than 10 people
- Governors are urged to close schools in states with 'evidence of community transmission'
- the guidelines will be reviewed in 15 days
 

RxCowboy

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#14
March 17

I want to review with you how viruses work. (I know I started with that but it was weeks ago so who can remember that!?) Viruses can't reproduce outside a host (meaning a living animal or person). They can live there for a bit, but they can't reproduce. They need your RNA or DNA (depending on the type of virus -covid-19 is an RNA virus). The virus finds just the right cell and "burrows" into it. Then it uses your DNA or RNA to replicate itself over and over - killing your cell in the process. Eventually, it makes so many copies of itself that your cell can no longer contain it and it "explodes" sending the virus out to find more cells to invade and do the same exact thing. SO...."treatments" that people are pushing on the internet (like gargling, heating your sinuses, using essential oils, etc) won't work. The virus is not just sitting around waiting for you to rinse it out. It is down inside your cells doing its thing (reproducing as fast as it can).
 

RxCowboy

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#15
March 19

My only covid-19 updates today are these:
1. Remember 90% of all cases are mild and therefore not life-threatening.
2. Step away from it. Outbreaks bring with it a flurry of information and that information shifts and changes as things move along. An outbreak of an emerging infectious disease is even more tumultuous. This can be unnerving and anxiety invoking. Give yourself a break. Step away. Stop watching. Let your mind have a break. Do you have provisions? Are you staying home? Are you taking precautions to protect yourself and others? Then step back and give yourself a break from this outbreak - trust me, it will be here when you get back.

Also March 19

Covid-19 update. I’m sure you’ve heard but just in case here are some things to note:
1) if you get the virus, don’t use ibuprofen for fever. It could make you worse. This is based on things they were seeing in France. The science is still being worked out but the evidence is strong enough that WHO made a recommendation.
2) the spread is moving fast now. Remember for each case we know about there are at least 2 more. We are going to continue to see those go up more and more. This isn’t a medical professionals issue or an epidemiologist issue or a government issue. It is an American issue and every single one of us must do our part. “United we stand” has to mean something.
3) DON’T Flush wipes (even flushable ones) down the toilets. They are causing trouble for the sewage plants and seriously, do we need sewage issues too? Please, please don’t.
4) if you are now working from home you need to figure out boundaries. It can be VERY easy to either neglect work or work non-stop. Neither option is good. Establish a schedule to help guide you. Set a stopping time and stop when it’s time. Don’t become consumed. This isn’t going to be over in a couple days, we have to establish new routines and new ways of doing things. Then give yourself some Grace because it is an adjustment.
5) stay connected to people. Share your experience. Encourage one another. Support one another. This is unprecedented in our lifetime so people are all dealing in their own way. Give people some space to figure it out. We have to be socially distanced physically but we don’t have to be isolated and alone.
I am always available to answer questions or fact check as needed. I am loving all the funny posts and positivity. Let’s keep each other lifted up.

Also March 19
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RxCowboy

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#16
March 20

For today's update I want to answer some questions I have been getting. My hope is to provide you with facts and therefore bring you some sense of calm. But if these updates do the opposite for you - please mute them or scroll on by. I don't want to stress you out. EDITED - one item posted twice (#5) instead of #6 posting so I have edited it to fix that.
1) Why aren't they testing everyone? Tests are limited and not free. In my state alone they have tested nearly 700 people as of this post and only 44 have tested positive. 44. That is a lot of wasted tests. Being tested doesn't change treatment. They have protocols for who to test and while tests are limited they need to reserve them for people with the strongest likelihood of having it and/or needing advanced care. Think of it like your kids using the toilet paper to dry their hands. This is not the time for that - this is the time to count squares.
REMEMBER - we are more concerned about overwhelming the system right now. Hospitals and offices around the country are running out of supplies - gloves, masks, gowns, etc. in some areas they have gone to TV to beg people that hoarded that stuff to please give it to the clinics so they can do their jobs.
2)What do I do if I get it? Treat it like a cold but don't use Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is most commonly found in Advil. You don't need to steam your face or gargle any of the crazy things the internet is suggesting. Just treat it like a cold. Isolate the sick person in a designated room of the house and if you have more than one bathroom give one of them to them. If you don't have more than one, clean the bathroom after they use it. NOT because you can get it from the toilet but because they leave behind germs wherever they go. Drink fluids to stay hydrated and rest. IF you develop serious complications (trouble breathing) call your doctor and they will tell you where to go. REMEMBER: Some cities have designated facilities or entrances etc. You want to know that and adhere to so you don't expose others. Don't just show up anywhere unless your condition is life threatening.
3) Is it just high risk people who are getting it? NO. 40% of hospitalizations in the US are ages 20-45. There is an effect called ecological fallacy - it happens when you take a statistic and apply it to an individual. Statistics don't work that way. So statistically, those over 60 OR those with chronic health conditions are at highest risk. That doesn't mean any given individual that isn't over 60 or isn't at higher risk won't develop complications. To assume that is to commit an ecological fallacy.
4) "I'm not worried about getting it" good. Don't worry. But...take precautions anyway because it is about who you are going to give it to and if you will overwhelm the system. Care about us.
5) What about these new treatments? There are some promising new treatments they are exploring. These have not been clinically tested so we don't know how well they will work or what side effects they may have. There is a lot to know, but while that is happening they are trying them. Let's let that process play out. But certainly, the possibility of improved treatment options is hopeful. Trust me, everyone around the world is working to find a treatment. And countries are sharing those findings with the WHO who is sharing it with every member nation. REMEMBER: it takes time and they have to be sure it works and doesn't create more problems than solutions. And of course, one size doesn't fit all.
6) What about the blood type thing, is that true? We don't know. If you haven't heard this one. China is reporting that they noticed people with type A blood were more likely to develop severe symptoms and people with type 0 blood were less likely. (after controlling for population distribution). This is currently under peer review so we don't know if it is just a fluke thing they saw or a real effect. Stay tuned for more. REMEMBER: information moves fast and furious at a time like this. Some of it will be found to be true, some won't. We have to vet it and that takes time. Hello scientific method.
7) Is the Elderberry thing true? Again, still being studied but - early indicators suggest that Elderberry can make symptoms worse. So, as a precaution I wouldn't use it.
We have been at this for about a week so hopefully some of the fear has passed and people are settling into our new, short term normal. If you are staying home, away from people, you are doing what you need to to protect you and your family. You don't need to worry. (as a mom I know that it is hard not to worry - so let's just say, don't fret). I again want to encourage you to step away from it - give yourself breaks. Watch something funny. Turn off the news, turn off the outbreak shows. Check in on it only once a day if you need to. Lift each other up. Some amazing things are happening. In my state a woman created a FB page to connect people who need things (like baby formula, diapers, food, distilled water for their medical devices) to people who had those things and could share. Look around and see what you can do to help. Small things matter. Sometimes it's all that really does. So spread kindness and love and light. And, as always, I am here to answer any questions or fact check things for you.
 

RxCowboy

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#17
March 21

Please please please do not believe what you are reading online. Lots of people are posting cures, treatments, preventions that claim “if you just...” opinions, analysis, behaviors, cleaning advice, conspiracies...the list goes on. But these people are not experts in disease outbreaks or medicine. They are just people with time to spare and thoughts to share. Politicians are trying but they too are not experts so they mess it up when trying to explain or justify. Just because it looks professional doesn’t mean it is reliable information. Just because it sounds authoritative doesn’t mean it is. I realize it is the age of Google and everyone thinks they are an expert but believing it doesn’t make it true. Let’s trust the people who have spent their lives dedicated to these things. Let’s trust the water treatment workers when they say not to flush wipes. Let’s trust the CDC when they stay stay home and wash your hands. Ignore people who give you conspiracy theories and simple solutions like lemon slices and essential oils. Ignore people who have no epidemiological training but think they can interpret the data better. Do you think if this were really as simple as gargling salt water we wouldn’t just be telling everyone to do that?? Tell the family burying their loved ones that they could have lived if they had just had a warm drink instead of all that medical intervention. Trust the people who are sacrificing so much of their time and sleep and their own peace to help resolve this. This is real. It’s what happens when we don’t have vaccines. Welcome to the past. Please stop listening to people who are experts at something but not at this. Thank you to those who refuse to share misinformation. Thank you to those who fact check. Keep it up. People are panicking because there is too much noise. By not contributing to and spreading misinformation you are helping!
 

RxCowboy

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#18
March 22

188 new cases in Thailand "Most of the new cases were found in Bangkok and were among young people who continue to have social activities, which can lead to more infections," a senior Public Health Ministry official said.
 

RxCowboy

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#19
March 23

Covid-19 Update. In an effort not to overwhelm any of us, and to lessen the noise - I will only be doing one update a day unless there is a very compelling reason to do more. Here is today's update.
1) REMEMBER, unlike the flu - with covid-19, you are contagious BEFORE you feel sick. You could be contagious and spreading it for 5 days before you feel the least bit ill. So "stay home if you don't feel good" is true but incomplete, because by the time you are sick you have already been handing it out to everyone you have been within 6 feet of.
2) Some people will become carriers, meaning they will not get sick but will spread it to others without ever knowing they have it. Thus far, children seem to be in this category, among others. This doesn't mean kids can't get it (they certainly can and have) but statistically they are more likely to become a carrier (giving it to people but not getting sick themselves). One early indicator of being a carrier (this has NOT yet been proven scientifically but is currently being investigated) Roughly 30% of carriers report losing their sense of smell or taste. So-while this is being researched and explored, if someone in your home suddenly loses their sense of smell or taste - you may want to consider that they are a carrier and move them into isolation (like you would a sick person) if possible. This of course won't always be possible or practical.
3) Remember, politicians are not outbreak experts or medical experts. They are politicians and often say things wrong (let's assume unintentionally). Medications and treatments take time to develop and we spend considerable time testing them and assuring they are safe and effective. We have to know how much to give, who can have it, what is the max a person can have before serious side effects occur and lots of other factors. I am no medication expert (seek out a Pharmacist for that type of information) BUT I do know that the process for approval is rigorous and not as simple as something worked on a couple of people so let's all take it. They are working on it but we need to make sure the treatment is doing good, not harm. The World Health Organization is a good source for information.
4) Some of my former students are asking me about the SNS so I want to address that (and can I just publicly say how pleased I am that you were listening!). We have something in this country called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). (feel free to Google it). The SNS is a stockpile of medical supplies and medications set aside for national catastrophes, such as this. This system is set to be able to deploy and be anywhere within 12 hours for generic supplies such as masks and gloves etc. Longer for more specific supplies. The use of this stockpile has been approved but not yet deployed. Not sure why not. Of course, we do have to ration our emergency supplies just as we do our toilet paper. So I can confirm that we yes, the stockpile is real and has been approved for use but that's all I know.
5) Final thought - I have literally watched the numbers and history of this be rewritten before my eyes. Numbers have been altered/changed as I watched. Dates/timelines being altered. Some of this is because things shift and change aggressively during an outbreak of this magnitude, some of it because mistakes were made in reporting or recording, some because of hackers who clearly have nothing else to do. Stuff is going to change. We are getting information at a rate that it can't all be correct or solid. So ride the wave of information but don't let it pull you under. Take frequent breaks from it.
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
A/V Subscriber
Nov 8, 2004
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#20
March 24

Covid19 Update: Let's talk Numbers. I have posted yesterday's numbers because Italy's numbers are captured later in the day and this gives you a complete picture as of yesterday. Lots of people are speculating and slicing the numbers lots of different ways. But don't. In an outbreak, there are really specific things to look at and the numbers need to be taken in context. So here are some basics - happy to take questions.
1. Globally, It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100k cases. It took 11 days for the second 100k cases, 4 days for the third 100k cases and we will hit our fourth 100k cases today.
2. NY has the most cases because NY is doing the most tests. Your current numbers in your state are artificially low. We are not testing widely enough to know the full numbers.
3.Numbers are going to really start popping over the next week and probably will continue to rise dramatically for a couple of weeks. Don't let that alarm you. This is because of spring break travel, improved testing (as it improves) and people who aren't socially distancing.
4. It takes 14 days of true social distancing before you start to see a difference in the numbers. We are still catching up on identifying cases and while it seems like we have been in quarantine for months - it's only been a few days. So we are going to see a big jump first, then we should see a bit of a dip.
5. What we are currently doing will not stop this virus. It isn't designed to - it is designed to slow it down enough for us to get on top of it. To stop it we need to do the following: identify cases via widespread testing (we are not yet doing this). isolate all cases (we are not yet doing this), conduct contact tracing for all cases (we are not yet doing this), quarantine contacts of all cases and monitor/test (we are not yet doing this). Right now we are just trying to slow it down so we can ramp up our equipment and capacity to manage it. Think of it as being "shields up" but not yet "swords out"
6. A number to watch is the "total cases per 1 million" that will give you a better sense of saturation. And of course, from the worldometer site you can click on USA and see the breakdown for each state.
FINAL THOUGHT: this is going to take time. This is not a quick thing and we aren't going to be inside for a week or two and it's over. We are looking at months. I am guessing 4-6 months to the peak. (this is an estimate only based on the stats). The Spanish flu epidemic took 2 years as have others in history. So you may want to take up gardening.