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  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    From epidemiologist Greta Bauer, PhD on March 14:

    "Hi everyone. As an epidemiologist, I know I've been running around saying every case prevented now is multiple cases prevented down the road, but I worry that there is a gulf of difference in understanding between those of us who understand exponential growth and those who don't. This isn't a linear function, meaning it doesn't increase at a steady speed.

    Let me explain. We have 16 days to the end of the month. If the doubling rate is 3 days (one estimate), then preventing a case today is preventing 32 cases by the end of this month (2^5). When we extend time outward to the end of April, so 46 days from now (15 doubling periods), the exponent growth shows how much more stark the situation is. One case prevented today prevents 32,768 new cases by the end of April (2^15)! (Or, we can flip that and say a new case caused today would lead to an average of 32,768 new cases by the end of April!)

    The other important factor is the doubling time. This is what we are trying to lengthen when we talk about "flattening the curve" or "reducing the R0, the basic reproduction number". If the doubling time is extended to say 9 days instead of 3, then we only have 5 doublings until the end of April. So each infection now results in an average of 32 infections by the end of April rather than 32,768. Still horrible, but so so so much better.

    This is why the situation is so critical here, now that we know we haven't identified every case, traced all contacts, and isolated. Things are going to go really fast really quickly now, and every action right now makes an unbelievable huge difference. We need to flatten that curve and we do so by preventing every possible chance of infection.

    Please act like lives depend on your actions, because they literally do. If you prevent one case now, and this prevents 32 cases in the next 16 days, one of which would have died, you have saved a life right there. It's the type of invisible heroism we need in public health. There will be no medal of honour, but you will have saved that life just the same and I for one offer you the Public Health Invisible Medal of Honour for each and every action you take!

    I posted this below, but was asked to add it here:

    I will add here that even if we lockdown now, we will still see an exponential increase for awhile (in addition to any increase in diagnosed cases corresponding to an increase in testing). The average time before symptoms appear is about 5 days, but it can range from a couple of days at the short end to about 14 at the long end. At that point, it is believed 99% of symptomatic cases will have shown symptoms. So, even if we could fully stop spread right now (which we can't), we will still see all those earlier infections developing into illness. So, don't think that the huge increases we will see this week mean our actions aren't helping, okay?!"

  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    JaimieT said:
    Is it a "I want to learn" question, or a close-minded judgement? I think the latter.
    I can't speak for bizmarkiefader, but I can speak for myself. And this isn't a personal attack on you @JaimieT but yeah, quite honestly, it's a judgment. But close-minded? No, it's sensible. I spent all weekend trying to talk sense into people who won't stay the fuck home for a couple of weeks in order to avoid spreading a virus that is actually killing people, and I can't for the life of me understand why so many people are being so cavalier about it. Italy had 155 cases on 2/23. By 3/14, they had 21,157 cases and someone was dying an average of every 4 minutes. On 3/5, the US had 159 cases. That means that by the end of this month, we could easily be in Italy's situation. Frankly, I think it's going to be much worse here. And I get the economic impact this is going to have. It's going to be really bad, and it's going to be bad for a long, long time. I already know people who have lost their jobs in restaurants, and we haven't even started to get serious with it. But places like Iran are digging mass graves near their cities to bury the dead, and a lot of people are going about things like nothing is going on. You can be contagious for at least 2 weeks before you ever show any symptoms. You can pass it to like 70% of the people you come in contact with, without ever knowing you did. The elderly may have the highest fatality rate, but plenty of people in their 20s, 30s, 40s are dying or being disabled by it. So again, I'm not trying to be a dick, but people who aren't taking this seriously or have a "who gives a fuck" attitude are endangering everyone and I am not OK with that.

  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    Every time I think this administration can't possibly get worse, they somehow still manage to surprise me.

    "The Trump administration has offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive access to a Covid-19 vaccine, German media have reported.

    The German government is trying to fight off what it sees as an aggressive takeover bid by the US, the broadsheet Die Welt reports, citing German government circles.

    The US president had offered the Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac “large sums of money” to gain exclusive access to their work, wrote Die Welt.

    According to an anonymous source quoted in the newspaper, Trump was doing everything to secure a vaccine against the coronavirus for the US, “but for the US only”."

  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    Hey folks

    I was doing pretty well, taking things relatively seriously but not like a zombie apocalypse prepper or TP black market trader.

    Then I read this tweet thread:

    I'd say I'm normally pretty level headed but this is putting the willies up me.
    It is so scary. My sister heads up the food service department for a somewhat rural hospital in the midwest and she's freaking out a bit. She says they not only are not prepared, but they're not even starting to understand how prepared they need to be. She says they're nearly maxed out when things are normal. And while people are complaining about having to stay home, she's wondering when she'll even get to be home, and how quickly she'll get infected. She's in very good health but still, she's 61, and I'm very worried for her.

    I spent a lot of the day yesterday trying to talk sense into people on Facebook who are still acting like this is no big deal, bragging about how many times a day they're still going out to eat, how the media is blowing this out of proportion. I tried to explain the exponential nature of how this spreads and how you're infectious long before you even know anything is wrong. Unfortunately, the unconvinced are not listening and won't until people they know start getting seriously ill and dying. 'Cause this is 'Murica and you can't tell me what to do! I luv my freedumb!
    From a piece by Megan McArdle in the Washington Post:
    "There’s an old brain teaser that goes like this: You have a pond of a certain size, and upon that pond, a single lilypad. This particular species of lily pad reproduces once a day, so that on day two, you have two lily pads. On day three, you have four, and so on.

    Now the teaser. “If it takes the lily pads 48 days to cover the pond completely, how long will it take for the pond to be covered halfway?”

    The answer is 47 days. Moreover, at day 40, you’ll barely know the lily pads are there.
    But go back to those lily pads: When something dangerous is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesn’t. In the early days of the Wuhan epidemic, when no one was taking precautions, the number of cases appears to have doubled every four to five days."
    On a lighter note, since I didn't hoard enough toilet paper to last me 5 lifetimes, and the stores can't keep it in stock, looks like I'll be joining the much-discussed Bald Move bidet brigade in order to conserve as much as possible! I went back through the old posts to see the recommendations and everything. So here's to new adventures?!

    Giovanniken haleDee
  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    I live in Orlando and I’m wondering how long before the theme parks have to shut down. We haven’t had any outbreaks here, but it’s only a matter of time. I know a lot of events at the convention center have been cancelled.

    I work from home, but my company has 2 offices and they’ve been really proactive with measures to protect employees for weeks now. At first it seemed like an overabundance of caution (which I had no problem with), but now it seems downright smart. We had a test last week where everyone worked from home for 2 days, and any issues were documented and addressed, and they announced another home day on Friday to make sure those were ironed out. By the end of the day yesterday, they decided to make it mandatory for anyone over 50 to work from home for now. The North Carolina office shares a building with a doctor’s office and someone visiting there showed signs and got a test, but I don’t think we have the results yet.

    I just got over a nasty cold that lasted for 5 weeks and eventually became a sinus infection and bronchitis. I was coughing and wheezing so much. Seeing how hard that hit, I’m more than a little worried about exposure to the coronavirus, but at least I work at home and don’t have to go out a lot. My biggest concern right now is that my mom has advanced dementia in a nursing home, and it’s going to be bad if it spreads through there. I’m going to visit today because I suspect they’ll close it to visitors soon, and even if they wait, I’m really paranoid about being asymptomatic and still being able to bring it in there, so I will probably stay away.