"Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

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Mongrel
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"Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:17 am

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/ ... ic-vaccine

Now, many experts tell Vox, that scenario seems impossible. “Two or three weeks ago, we were still hoping for containment,” says Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University. “We’re really past that. ... The horse is out of the barn.”

The assertion was based off an estimate from Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, who predicted some 40 to 70 percent of all adults around the world would catch the virus within a year. Lipsitch has since revised that estimate downward and with a greater range: He now estimates it’s “plausible” that 20 to 60 percent of adults will catch the disease. (If this comes to pass, while being bad, it’s not apocalyptic: Most cases of Covid-19. are mild. But it does mean millions could die.)

In Washington state, health officials are now asking community groups to cancel events that bring together more than 10 people, and are recommending that people telework if they can. Pregnant people, people older than 60, and those who have underlying health conditions are being asked to stay home. More states and communities may have to impose such measures in the coming weeks. So be prepared for them.

Napkin math here is that at 60% infection and 3% mortality, we'll be seeing 130 million deaths worldwide. In percentage terms of the overall global population, that's on the same order as total global deaths resulting from all of WWII (usually estimated as 2% of the total global population at the time). Even at 20% that would be 43.3 million.

I don't think anyone figures we'd be talking black plague numbers. It's unlikely we'll see bodies in the streets, with Google street view cars hurriedly converted to automated meat wagons ambling down the road while broadcasating tinny announcements of "Bring out yer dead, bring out yer dead". But deserted streets and huge numbers of failing businesses are a real possibility. As Krugman was recently quoted as saying "[Covid-19] probably won't kill you, but it certainly might kill your job".

Price gouging and panic-buying have already started. My SIL who works at Amazon mentioned tonight that overnight they removed more than a million listings overnight for price gouging and things like hand sanitizer either can't be found or are being resold for $300 for a six-pack (not actually kidding, though I don't know how many are buying). I know Costcos on the west coast are barren this week after being normal last week. I things are quiet where you are, pick up stuff now, because if a panic sets in, you'll see empty shelves everywhere as quick as you can sneeze.

So, no panic, but stay safe, and be at least reasonably prepared. Sensible amounts of non-perishable food, water, plenty of good soap, maybe masks if you have to go out (and get good ones if you can. Some N95-standard ones are shit, even though they technically meet N95 standards). The big beard trend might be coming to a sudden end. Have whatever supply of medications you allowably can. If you have family members who are at risk due to respiratory conditions or other factors, take extra measures to keep them safe (if that's YOU, then be ready to take extra precautions).

We've had to cancel our trip to Seattle entirely. And that's hard because Starr's dad is 85 and we haven't seen him in a few years (he's currently healthy at least). It FEELS like we're making an excuse not to go, even though it's the objectively sensible thing to do. Washington state is already being particularly affected as is air travel. Even if no one gets sick, what are we even going to do with most venues closed? We're a little old to go burglarize Pike Place market for fish that are six days past their expiry. And we might even end up quarantined when we (try to) come back if things get worse while we're visiting.
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:43 pm

On a lighter note,



If I was teaching those kids I might be upset, but I would still be SO PROUD.
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby atog » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:46 pm

Yeah today I get to call my dad back after tentatively setting up visits and dinners, and say, "well it's been 6 years since we last saw you but we live in those interesting times the old curse warned us about, so whatevs"

FUck fuckity fuck fuck
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Büge » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:52 pm

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby beatbandito » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:46 pm

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:06 am

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Büge » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:32 am

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Friday » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:12 pm

just change the fucking rule

i swear to god human beings are so beyond idiotic
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby zaratustra » Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:07 pm

Mongrel wrote:


well, dying of plague kinda *is* the European way

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:36 pm

zaratustra wrote:
Mongrel wrote:


well, dying of plague kinda *is* the European way

Maybe black plague specifically. But Smallpox...
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:58 am

Mongrel wrote:As Krugman was recently quoted as saying "[Covid-19] probably won't kill you, but it certainly might kill your job".


Joke's on him. I work for a life insurance company.

Mongrel wrote:So, no panic, but stay safe, and be at least reasonably prepared. Sensible amounts of non-perishable food, water, plenty of good soap, maybe masks if you have to go out (and get good ones if you can. Some N95-standard ones are shit, even though they technically meet N95 standards). The big beard trend might be coming to a sudden end.


Masks are not likely to stop you from getting infected; they're mainly useful if you've already been exposed and are trying to prevent the spread to others. (Though, y'know, if you have reason to suspect you've been exposed, try not to go out in public, please?) The virus doesn't travel very far by air; it's transmitted through droplets. You're much likelier to pick it up by touching a contaminated surface and then your face than by catching it through the air. If someone coughs or sneezes and is standing close enough to you that you would inhale it, then a mask isn't going to stop it getting in your eyes.

That said, if you can avoid places where you'll be standing in line or otherwise pressed within six feet of another person, it's probably best that you do so.

Other than that? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and try to avoid touching your face. Plain old soap and water should be fine if you wash for 20 seconds. If you want to have some hand sanitizer onhand and the store's out, you can mix rubbing alcohol with aloe vera gel or plain old hand lotion in a pinch.

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Upthorn » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:23 am

Also, I've read a few reports that alcohol sanitizers don't really affect COVID-19, since they're more of an anti-bacterial measure, and coronavirus is a virus.
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Grath » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:27 am

Upthorn wrote:Also, I've read a few reports that alcohol sanitizers don't really affect COVID-19, since they're more of an anti-bacterial measure, and coronavirus is a virus.

The alcohol disrupts the protective shell, it still works. But soap and water is still better because it doesn't play into the price gouging.

(Meanwhile New York's solution is making cheap hand sanitizer using slave labor.)

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:34 am

The best part about the masses hoarding soap and sanitizer is that the best way to prevent yourself getting coronavirus is making sure everyone around you washes their hands, too.

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Silversong » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:47 am

I'm trying to figure out how to handle event planning in all this, when I just don't know day to day whether our speakers will decide to fly out or whether the whole dang university is going to decide to shut down like all the others have. In the meanwhile, is it safe to offer reception food? I'm planning on adding hand sanitizer and "use the damn tongs" signage. No cases in Michigan yet, but still doesn't feel too early.

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:29 pm

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:31 pm

The catering department at the university where I work is still doing brisk business, for whatever that's worth.

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:49 pm

Al Jaffee, incidentally, will be celebrating his 99th birthday this Friday the 13th.

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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:38 am

Guess it's as lucky a day for him as it is for my brother!
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Re: "Coronavirus" is the category, dangit. (COVID-19 thread)

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:42 am

NYT WHO docs go to China to check their response.

Could still be Potemkin health care, but it seems legit. Kind of hard to cover up *that* many deaths or new cases, even with their capabilities.

The bad news is that while he's right that western governments are capable of this sort of response - true emergency mobilization at all levels of society - it's unlikely they will, because... y'know. The US's health insurance regime makes this especially difficult for you guys.

I guess we'll see how Italy does. People are panicking because the apparent death rate in Italy is 6% (and 10% in Iran!), but this is almost certainly due to mild asymptomatic cases not being tested and therefore being excluded from the data.
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