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I'm not going to bother to find all the relevant people to quote.  Here's what I've come across that I found interesting as a statistician:

  • While the total mortality rate is estimated at 2 per 100, the mortality rate among  healthy adults is 2 per 1000. In elderly and immunocompromised populations, it is about 14 in 100. Thus, the value of containment has little to do with the general population and more to do with vulnerable populations.
  • The majority of the concern is not about the severity of the illness.  The larger concern is the long incubation period.  A person can carry the virus asymptomatically for up to two weeks. Most flu viruses incubate over a matter of a couple of days. It's hard to isolate and contain a virus with such a long incubation period.
  • If this latest case in California truly shows not immediate connection to an exposed person, that is potentially very good news. It means that the virus may incubate, spread, and never become symptomatic. If this is true (and its still to early to tell), then the mortality rates are surely even lower than estimated (as Vort noted, mortality rates only report on those diagnosed.  If we are missing a lot of diagnoses, then the estimates are too high)
  • It is estimated that it will take about 18 months to develop, manufacture, and distribute a vaccine. WHO/CDC/Health organizations are not concerned about this becoming an apocalyptic event. They fully expect this to be contained and a non-issue in about two years. 
  • Containment is about protecting the health of our most vulnerable citizens. 

My best advice, based on what I've read, is to take some fairly simple actions to prevent spread

  • Wash your hands often. This protects you more than it protects others, but this is a case where protecting yourself is protecting others.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Carry hand sanitizer.  It isn't as effective as washing your hands, but is appropriate when soap and water aren't readily available.
  • If you use reusable water bottles, wash them often. At least daily.
  • Stop shaking people's hands.  This action likely won't have a major impact, but it will have some.  Remember, two week incubation. That means isolating an individual for a couple of days isn't effective, so we may temporarily change some habits that promote infection.  Fist bumps, wrist bumps, and elbow bumps are common replacements for greetings.

If you are a part of a vulnerable population, I would consider wearing a mask in public now. It isn't recommended by health officials yet, but the two week incubation period means by the time an outbreak is identified in your area, it's already been there a long time and you've probably been exposed.  If nothing else, wearing a mask will help remind you not to touch your mouth, nose, and eyes before watching your hands.

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56 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

If you are a part of a vulnerable population, I would consider wearing a mask in public now

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but remember that a face mask will do nothing. 


https://www.businessinsider.com/face-masks-wont-help-avoid-illness-so-why-wear-them-mental-health

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-prevention-face-mask-not-helpful-wash-hands/

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1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

If you are a part of a vulnerable population, I would consider wearing a mask in public now. It isn't recommended by health officials yet, but the two week incubation period means by the time an outbreak is identified in your area, it's already been there a long time and you've probably been exposed.  If nothing else, wearing a mask will help remind you not to touch your mouth, nose, and eyes before watching your hands.

My Momma is RIGHT once again.  As most Filipino Mommas do, my Momma's answer to everything is VICKS VAPORUB.  You have cough or colds... Vicks.  On your chest.  On your feet.  Cover your feet with socks.  You have headache... Vicks.  On your forehead.  You can't sleep...Vicks.  On your eyelids ("Ma!  I can't open my eyes!" "That's right, you go to sleep now baby.").  Corona Virus... Vicks.  On your fingers.  Thickly slathered.  You won't be touching your face with that now, would you.  Ahhh... my Momma is right again!

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

As one who has been known to privately join in the mockery of the mask-wearers, let me nevertheless point out that the articles linked above are pretty bad. The first mentions nothing at all (that I could find) about why a mask is supposedly ineffective, but just proclaims masks to be ineffective. The second gives a little chatter about ill-fitting masks, but not much else. Both ignore the reality of what masks actually do in this situation.

The logic against using masks goes something like this: Mask pore sizes are on the order of tens of micrometers. Really good masks might be on the order of micrometers. Viruses, of course, are vastly smaller than this. If you magnified a coronavirus to the size of a baseball, the individual atoms would be clearly visible, maybe the size of a BB or a popcorn kernel. That would make the overall coronavirus size something on the order of a tenth to a hundredth of a micrometer, a small fraction of the mask pore size. So a mask cannot possibly filter out viruses. Ergo, useless.

But this is an oversimplified representation of reality. In the real world, coronaviruses do not float naked and unattached around the atmosphere, just waiting to be inhaled. Rather, coronaviruses floating in the air are found in microdroplets that come from coughing and sneezing and maybe just breathing of those carrying the virus. And guess what? Those microdroplets are huge compared to the virus size and even the size of the micropores on the mask. Thus, they are very efficiently filtered out by existing masks. If an infected individual wears a mask (the kind that doesn't have an exhale valve), his coughs and sneezes and breaths are filtered by his mask, making it less likely that he'll transmit the virus to others. So it's beneficial to public health for both the infected and the uninfected to wear masks. (Whether such benefits are sufficient to ask or require people to mask up is another matter. For now, I don't believe it is.)

I am on record several times as agreeing that it's nonsense to panic over something that is basically a cold. But by the same token, it does no good to act like there is no threat whatsoever, or that certain practices (such as mask-wearing) have only psychological benefit with no real, measurable microbiological effect. That's simply not so.

Edited by Vort

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19 minutes ago, Vort said:

I am on record several times as agreeing that it's nonsense to panic over something that is basically a cold.

Frankly, I'm starting to hope people do panic and run to the hills. Less traffic and a shorter wait time for Space Mountain. 

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3 hours ago, Vort said:

As one who has been known to privately join in the mockery of the mask-wearers, let me nevertheless point out that the articles linked above are pretty bad. The first mentions nothing at all (that I could find) about why a mask is supposedly ineffective, but just proclaims masks to be ineffective. The second gives a little chatter about ill-fitting masks, but not much else. Both ignore the reality of what masks actually do in this situation.

The logic against using masks goes something like this: Mask pore sizes are on the order of tens of micrometers. Really good masks might be on the order of micrometers. Viruses, of course, are vastly smaller than this. If you magnified a coronavirus to the size of a baseball, the individual atoms would be clearly visible, maybe the size of a BB or a popcorn kernel. That would make the overall coronavirus size something on the order of a tenth to a hundredth of a micrometer, a small fraction of the mask pore size. So a mask cannot possibly filter out viruses. Ergo, useless.

But this is an oversimplified representation of reality. In the real world, coronaviruses do not float naked and unattached around the atmosphere, just waiting to be inhaled. Rather, coronaviruses floating in the air are found in microdroplets that come from coughing and sneezing and maybe just breathing of those carrying the virus. And guess what? Those microdroplets are huge compared to the virus size and even the size of the micropores on the mask. Thus, they are very efficiently filtered out by existing masks. If an infected individual wears a mask (the kind that doesn't have an exhale valve), his coughs and sneezes and breaths are filtered by his mask, making it less likely that he'll transmit the virus to others. So it's beneficial to public health for both the infected and the uninfected to wear masks. (Whether such benefits are sufficient to ask or require people to mask up is another matter. For now, I don't believe it is.)

I am on record several times as agreeing that it's nonsense to panic over something that is basically a cold. But by the same token, it does no good to act like there is no threat whatsoever, or that certain practices (such as mask-wearing) have only psychological benefit with no real, measurable microbiological effect. That's simply not so.

One should also bear in mind that the P95 or P97 fabric masks you get from Home Depot, often don’t seal very well around the face.  I do a bit of woodworking now and then, and on a cold day my breath goes right up the gap between mask edge and face, and fogs up my safety goggles.  No amount of adjustment seems to prevent this.

I’m saving up for something with a silicone seal around the face to use while woodworking; and if I were looking at a respirator/mask as a potentially life-saving instrument in the midst of a global pandemic I’d never settle for anything less.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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5 hours ago, MormonGator said:

I'm aware of the arguments. I have to agree with Vort, though. A mask-preferably a surgeon's mask-will effectively filter out vapors that could transmit viruses. This is, in fact, a large part of why surgeons wear them, after all.

I implicitly acknowledged that masks my not have a big impact in my post. But it is highly likely that the mask will modify behaviors of the wearer and those around the wearer that greatly reduce the risk. In other words, wearing a mask can socially engineer those around you into better hand hygiene habits. Not bad for $1.50 (20 masks on Amazon can be purchased for $30)

I will also emphasize that my recommendation was for high risk individuals. When the you're facing a mortality rate of 15%, it makes sense to take measures that are inexpensive, even if they only reduce your risk of exposure by 3%

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5 hours ago, MormonGator said:

I’m convinced some actually want this to be a devastating plague because it’ll validate their views on prepping, the last days, etc.

Oh yeah.  Nothing more woeful than a dude forced to admit he never needed to go into his bunker in the first place.  

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Family forwarded this to me today from Des Moines, Iowa. Wal-mart bleach and disinfectant shelves.
Perhaps Phil in stocking has just been out with a cough for the past few days??

8756.thumb.jpeg.b15be8189884a91d66a3028b9bb4d95d.jpeg8757.thumb.jpeg.9be6d3f4c956c5dd334db8cc04d352b0.jpeg

 

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It is interesting how many conservatives want so badly for this to be nothing and it appears some may even by claiming that it IS nothing.  The truth seems to be that it is an evolving situation that no one knows what will occur.

It has me alarmed particularly because I appear to be in the group most at risk.  Perhaps keeping updated at the government organizations that monitor this would be better at seeing what is or may be happening.  Interviews with the officials that are part of those in this government group or associated with it is probably also useful. 

With how severe it appears it could become, I am HOPING that it dies out in warm weather (such as when spring or when April comes around) before it has a chance to affect me if it does turn out to be hazardous.  It will be great if this IS nothing (this season already had a bunch of Influenza in our area).

This is from the ECDC that I took today (29/2/2020).

Quote

The risk associated with COVID-19 infection for people in the EU/EEA and UK is currently considered to be moderate.

This assessment is based on the following factors:

  • Most cases reported in the EU/EEA and UK outside some regions in Italy have identified epidemiological links. However, there is an increasing number of cases without a defined chain of transmission. Extraordinary public health measures have been implemented in Italy and other EU/EEA and UK, and strong efforts are being made to identify, isolate and test contacts in order to contain the outbreak. But in spite of contact tracing measures initiated to contain further spread there continue to be exportations and an increasing number of sporadic cases across EU/EEA countries. The probability of further transmission in the EU/EEA and the UK is considered to be moderate to high. There is still a level of uncertainty regarding several unpredictable factors in a situation that is still evolving.
  • The possibility of new introductions from other countries outside China into the EU/EEA appears to be increasing as the number of countries reporting cases keeps going up. A comprehensive list of these countries can be found here. This also increases the possibility of cases being introduced by travellers from other countries outside China to the EU/EEA and UK.
  • The evidence gathered so far from an analysis of COVID-19 cases is that COVID-19 infection causes mild disease (i.e. non-pneumonia or mild pneumonia) in about 80% of cases. More severe disease occurs in about 20% of cases, with about one in four or five experiencing critical illness. The great majority of the most severe forms of illness, and deaths, have occurred among the elderly, particularly those with other chronic illnesses.

and

Quote

The risk for people from the EU/EEA and the UK travelling/resident in areas with presumed community transmission is currently high.

This assessment is based on the following factors:

  • The overall number of reported cases in areas with community transmission is high or increasing. However, there are significant uncertainties regarding transmissibility and under-detection, particularly among mild or asymptomatic cases.
  • For travellers/residents, the evidence gathered so far from an analysis of COVID-19 cases is that COVID-19 infection causes mild disease (i.e. non-pneumonia or mild pneumonia) in about 80% of cases. More severe disease occurs in about 20% of cases, with about one in four or five experiencing critical illness. The great majority of the most severe forms of illness, and deaths, have occurred among the elderly, particularly those with other chronic illnesses.

I am older than some and it appears within the threat range where the disease has around a 14% mortality.  Luckily, currently as far as I know I do not already have a chronic illness so perhaps I'm safer than others my age.

Current risk assessment novel Coronavirus Situation

This is also a rather useful link

Geographical Distribution 2019 NCOV cases

I am uncertain how updated they keep the site on weekends though.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Oh yeah.  Nothing more woeful than a dude forced to admit he never needed to go into his bunker in the first place.  

I like laughing at those people, but there is also a much more serious element here. If we scare people over every mouse, they won't listen to us when a lion comes. Nor will they have the resources needed to protect themselves because they've used them all up. 

Edited by MormonGator

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9 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

I am older than some and it appears within the threat range where the disease has around a 14% mortality.  Luckily, currently as far as I know I do not already have a chronic illness so perhaps I'm safer than others my age.

I think for now you are safer that @Vort @prisonchaplain and I....unless I am mistaken, we all live in this area and are in the age range of this man.  Healthwise, I tell myself I'm Wonder Woman, but I'm really like the Velveteen Rabbit. But for now, I think the flu, cancer, a car accident, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, are all far more likely to be my fate than Coronovirus.  

Quote

 


KING GOUNTY MAN IS FIRST PERSON TO DIE FROM CORONAVIRUS IN THE US
SEATTLE — A King County resident has died from the 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, health officials said Saturday. 

This is the first known death from COVID-19 in the United States.

He was in his 50s and had underlying health conditions, according to Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health Seattle & King County.

The man had no history of travel outside of the U.S. or known contact with anyone who had COVID-19. He is also not connected to the possible outbreak at a nursing facility in Kirkland.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-washington-state/281-5a511b20-4a3f-4380-8d79-15d7a1456887

 

 

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8 hours ago, mirkwood said:

I went to Wal Mart today.  It looked pretty normal.

I went to mine in southern Utah last night. All germX and similar products are sold out. Same with masks and a lot of disinfectant wipes.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

Did you get any ore?

Absolutely not, you can’t mine without germX on hand!

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Last night I had dinner with a group of old fogeys with underlying medical conditions.  They aren't worried about COVID, it's just the latest thing in a long line of things that will eventually do them in.  They are making changes though, trying to get into the habit of replacing handshakes with fist-bumps.  They've heard from several sources it's less likely to spread germs.

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