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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: bacardiandlime on January 30, 2020, 03:20:28 PM

Title: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on January 30, 2020, 03:20:28 PM
Any scientists here willing to give the ELI5 version of what's going on/likely to happen?
On social media I'm seeing conspiracy theorists swarming around (there are medical research labs in Wuhan! This is an excaped bioweapon!), general doomsayers etc.
I'd be interested to get some balanced insight.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hibush on January 30, 2020, 03:35:42 PM
A new type of flu virus in on the loose
It is spreading fast
Wash your hands often
Don't go to China right now

New viruses show up regularly, and it is important to stop the spread as soon as possible and to develop vaccines against them. Those things area ll happening. New viruses take a lot of work to figure out.

These viruses often come from wild animals when some unusual contact allows the transmission between species. There are markets in southern China that carry live wild animals as well as a lot of domestic animals. If you wanted to set up the petri dish that would best allow an unusual transfer, that is pretty much the environment you'd want to create.

Interestingly the Chinese government is taking an unusual step in trying to stop these markets, which have been illegal for a while. They have enlisted a pop start to make a public service announcement, saying something along the lines of, "You dumb****, eating monkey testicles isn't going to give you boners." Some frank public health official apparently got ahead of the censors.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on January 30, 2020, 03:39:59 PM
I agree with Hibush. I will also add to go get your flu shot if you haven't already. No it won't protect you from Corona virus, but it might protect you from the flu which kills many times more people each year. Right now the epidemiology estimates are that flu and Corona viruses spread at about the same rate. Too early yet to get a solid read on the lethality, but it's probably about the same as flu.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on January 31, 2020, 04:39:57 AM
Last year there were 30,000-40,000 deaths by firearm in the USA. Current coronavirus fatalities number approximately 200. In the USA people are 8-9 times more likely to be the victim of an intentional homicide than in China. You're safer in China.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on January 31, 2020, 05:24:02 AM
Travel warnings for all of China also seem exaggerated to me. The distance between Wuhan and Beijing is roughly the same as between New York and Chicago. When there's a measles outbreak in New York, you probably wouldn't avoid travel to Chicago.

But it's harder to sell advertising on "don't panic!" articles. So here we are. Doesn't minimize the need for a concerted medical response, but it's not really something the rest of us need to think about.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hibush on January 31, 2020, 05:53:28 AM
Travel warnings for all of China also seem exaggerated to me. The distance between Wuhan and Beijing is roughly the same as between New York and Chicago. When there's a measles outbreak in New York, you probably wouldn't avoid travel to Chicago.

The virus travels on people, and the amount of travel between the two cities is considerable (e.g. six nonstop flights, five direct high-speed trains each direction daily.) That's why the concern. The travel estimate for all of China was that 400 milllion people would travel to a different city during the present New Year holiday. The internal travel restrictions have cut that number down, but movement is still considerable.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on January 31, 2020, 08:33:25 AM
Yes, and every traveler in a plane with one infected person becomes a potential germ vector wherever they go.

Especially among family members and friends who are going to towns where more family members and friends (who can be quite casual about infection avoidance) live.

Contaigion is like that...

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on January 31, 2020, 09:00:19 AM
1.  Death rate appears to be quite low.  Lots of sick people, but no that many deaths so far.  Biggest risk in the elderly, those with respiratory problems or other underlying illness.

2.  Corona viruses also cause many kinds of common cold.  Corona viruses are not unusual, but this one appears to be a mutated version that jumped from animals (some are thinking snakes) to humans.

3.  Not clear yet how infectious it is.  Measles has an Ro of 12-18.  Every person infected with measles infects a further 12-18 people so massive outbreaks are a real issue.  Any Ro of > 2 implies logarithmic growth of the infected population.  Not clear yet what this risk is for corona, so until better numbers are available, quarantine is a reasonable public health measure.

4.  No reason to panic.  Lots of things kill lots more people than Wuhan corona.  Wash your hands, cover your cough.

5.  Stay off social media.  It causes brain damage far more often than corona causes respiratory infections.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 31, 2020, 09:11:25 AM
Looks like a periodic news cycle-driven panic to me. The most interesting thing about it is the quarantining of entire cities.

I'll start paying attention when healthy young people are dying in droves. But mortality rates far below those of the common flu aren't going to get any special attention from me.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Liquidambar on January 31, 2020, 10:57:12 AM
3.  Not clear yet how infectious it is.  Measles has an Ro of 12-18.  Every person infected with measles infects a further 12-18 people so massive outbreaks are a real issue.  Any Ro of > 2 implies logarithmic growth of the infected population.  Not clear yet what this risk is for corona, so until better numbers are available, quarantine is a reasonable public health measure.

Actually, any R_0 of >1 should cause growth (not just >2).  Also, the growth should be initially exponential, but it saturates as susceptible individuals are depleted.

The simple models assume fixed R_0, though.  In reality, changes in people's behavior (such as self-isolation, washing hands more frequently, etc.) can cause a reduction in R_0 over time.  That's what happened with previous Ebola outbreaks, for example--people's behavior changed, so the rate of spreading dwindled.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Aster on January 31, 2020, 11:29:40 AM
I remember all of the panic in the U.S. from H1N1.

If the coronavirus had just showed up 3 years earlier, Big Urban College would have kept all of the portable hand sanitizer stations that we (and many other U.S. universities) invested a lot of money on back in 2009 for H1N1.

But we threw all of that equipment away. I wonder if we will have to buy that stuff all over again.

I read earlier this week that some U.S. cities (Los Angeles, New York) were experiencing critical supply shortages of facemasks. People are buying them all up and stockpiling them.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on January 31, 2020, 04:55:33 PM
My concern is about the under reporting of the cases.  within the last 2 days I read an online article about a women that visited her parents over the Chinese New Year holiday in the prime city.  She and her father came down with something but the clinic would not test them for the coronavirus.  She indicated that there are 4 different tests and until the final test confirms it, they dont report it, but they were not given the last test so she was not added to the infected count. 

I am concerned that there are a lot of people that are in the same boat.  Not confirmed because the final test results are not in so there is an undercount.

Also in the news were reports of a new 1000 bed hospital to be ready in 10 days! This was first hitting the news when the official count was less than 3000 people!  Now if I remember the news, there are 1000 bed hospitals being built in 3 different cities. 

Why would you start something like that if the infections are still relatively low?  Also, IF the fatality rate is lower than SARS (which was reported to be about 10%) then why build, in 10 days, 3 hospitals?  Send most of the people home and wait out the illness!

In all, I think that there is more to be learned from this, and while I have grown skeptical of my OWN government, I absolutely Distrust  the  Chinese government!! 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on February 01, 2020, 05:16:46 AM
My concern is about the under reporting of the cases.  within the last 2 days I read an online article about a women that visited her parents over the Chinese New Year holiday in the prime city.  She and her father came down with something but the clinic would not test them for the coronavirus.  She indicated that there are 4 different tests and until the final test confirms it, they dont report it, but they were not given the last test so she was not added to the infected count. 

I am concerned that there are a lot of people that are in the same boat.  Not confirmed because the final test results are not in so there is an undercount.

Also in the news were reports of a new 1000 bed hospital to be ready in 10 days! This was first hitting the news when the official count was less than 3000 people!  Now if I remember the news, there are 1000 bed hospitals being built in 3 different cities. 

Why would you start something like that if the infections are still relatively low?  Also, IF the fatality rate is lower than SARS (which was reported to be about 10%) then why build, in 10 days, 3 hospitals?  Send most of the people home and wait out the illness!

In all, I think that there is more to be learned from this, and while I have grown skeptical of my OWN government, I absolutely Distrust  the  Chinese government!!

My understanding is that it goes both ways though. There are almost certainly more people who have this than the official count, but by the same token, that probably means that the mortality rate is lower than the official numbers too. Also am I right in thinking that it is possible there are lots of people who have pretty mild symptoms and thus would never even go to a hospital or doctor?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on February 01, 2020, 09:05:59 AM
Also in the news were reports of a new 1000 bed hospital to be ready in 10 days! This was first hitting the news when the official count was less than 3000 people!  Now if I remember the news, there are 1000 bed hospitals being built in 3 different cities. 

Why would you start something like that if the infections are still relatively low?  Also, IF the fatality rate is lower than SARS (which was reported to be about 10%) then why build, in 10 days, 3 hospitals?  Send most of the people home and wait out the illness!
I think this is China trying to show that they are able to deal with an outbreak and not wanting to be blamed for not having done enough. So much is really just about appearance, not about actual medical necessity. Also, it's a potentially useful "test run" for how to quickly establish medical facilities when (not if) there is a more serious virus outbreak.

I think it's also worth pausing to acknowledge how amazing an achievement it is to build 3 hospitals in 10 days. Yes, they're super temporary facilities and I'm sure they're not up to any building codes. But imagine you could do this cheaply in the rural US where so many people simply live too far from hospitals to get needed medical care. Who cares if it gets knocked down when a tornado hits: that's not when you'd be providing routine medical care anyway and you could have it standing again in a matter of days. There are these makeshift camps already where doctors provide free medical care for a day or two, but they're simply not able to offer anything beyond a check-up and prescriptions (you can't do surgery in a high school gym). (This would go into a healthcare thread, but it's still worth noting that the people who get help generally do have Medicaid -- so no deductible and a copay, if any, of less than $5. They just don't have physical access to doctors.)


What worries me most about this virus is that it's really fueling already existing xenophobia. An Uber driver yesterday told me he wishes he could decline all Chinese passengers. We also see economic damage as a result of the response (not the virus): halting flights is going to dampen business investments and reduce trade. Non-citizens who have been to China in the past 2 weeks are refused entry into the US, with US citizens facing mandatory quarantining. It's this sort of stuff that's much worse than whatever the fallout from the virus will end up being.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 01, 2020, 01:14:14 PM
here is the article I mentioned

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/asia/chinese-health-care-virus-intl-hnk/index.html
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 01, 2020, 02:17:19 PM
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/early-missteps-and-state-secrecy-in-china-probably-allowed-the-coronavirus-to-spread-farther-and-faster/ar-BBZya9o

"nside the quarantine zone. hospitals have openly pleaded on social media for donations of basic equipment like masks and protective suits. Wuhan residents widely report a severe shortage of testing kits, raising the possibility that the true number of cases are far greater than the confirmed figures released by officials."

"After city hospitals were overwhelmed by patients who sought coronavirus tests, local authorities this week announced hospitals would only give tests to those who showed severe symptoms and obtained a referral from smaller neighborhood clinics."


I fear that this is far more widespread and perhaps that the death rate is well under reported.  Im not thinking that this will become another Spanish Flu sort of thing, but it is something to monitor and I wonder how one CAN monitor it when the Chinese government has been doing everything it can to suppress information.

"Person-to-person spread occurred as early as mid-December, and cases were doubling every seven days.

Yet in Wuhan, local cadres were focused on a days-long Communist Party conclave that was scheduled to run from Jan. 11 to Jan. 17. During that time, the Wuhan Health Commission each day claimed there were no new infections or deaths."

"Medical professionals who tried to sound an alarm were seized by police. Key state media omitted mention of the outbreak for weeks. Cadres focused on maintaining stability — and praising party leader Xi Jinping — as the crisis worsened.

“China’s public health system has modernized, but China’s political system hasn’t,” said Jude Blanchette, head of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “If anything, there’s been a regression.”
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on February 02, 2020, 06:32:51 AM
I live in a community that has a lot of international travel for work including China, we went to a school open house on Wednesday, and now I have a severe cold for which I called in sick to work on Friday.

If I don't make it, then it's been nice knowing you all.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on February 02, 2020, 08:03:14 AM
I live in a community that has a lot of international travel for work including China, we went to a school open house on Wednesday, and now I have a severe cold for which I called in sick to work on Friday.

If I don't make it, then it's been nice knowing you all.

Can I have your stereo?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 02, 2020, 02:15:06 PM
https://www.theblaze.com/news/new-science-model-finds-coronavirus-numbers-significantly-too-low-disease-will-double-in-size-in-less-than-a-week


"
The shocking results of the study, which was performed by experts at the University of Hong Kong, found that as of Jan. 25, more than 75,000 people in Wuhan had likely already contracted the disease, a number nearly 100 times greater than what the official record stated. At the time, there were just 761 reported confirmations of the disease in the Wuhan area.

Even more alarming is the fact that the disease doubles in the number of infections every 6.4 days, the experts found.
"
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on February 02, 2020, 02:36:46 PM
I live in a community that has a lot of international travel for work including China, we went to a school open house on Wednesday, and now I have a severe cold for which I called in sick to work on Friday.

If I don't make it, then it's been nice knowing you all.

Can I have your stereo?

I'll put you in the will now.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 02, 2020, 06:11:36 PM
I live in a community that has a lot of international travel for work including China, we went to a school open house on Wednesday, and now I have a severe cold for which I called in sick to work on Friday.

If I don't make it, then it's been nice knowing you all.

Can I have your stereo?

I'll put you in the will now.

Polly, I completely believe you are waaaaaaay too tough for any stupid virus.  I actually feel sorry for the coronavirus that messes with you.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on February 02, 2020, 07:15:33 PM
I live in a community that has a lot of international travel for work including China, we went to a school open house on Wednesday, and now I have a severe cold for which I called in sick to work on Friday.

If I don't make it, then it's been nice knowing you all.

Can I have your stereo?

I'll put you in the will now.

Polly, I completely believe you are waaaaaaay too tough for any stupid virus.  I actually feel sorry for the coronavirus that messes with you.

The new bookshelves are yours, Wahoo, if I don't make it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 02, 2020, 07:41:10 PM
I live in a community that has a lot of international travel for work including China, we went to a school open house on Wednesday, and now I have a severe cold for which I called in sick to work on Friday.

If I don't make it, then it's been nice knowing you all.

Can I have your stereo?

I'll put you in the will now.

Polly, I completely believe you are waaaaaaay too tough for any stupid virus.  I actually feel sorry for the coronavirus that messes with you.

The new bookshelves are yours, Wahoo, if I don't make it.

Ha!  Polly, you are going to be slugging back home-brewed brewskies long after the rest of us are being used as fertilizer in the fields of the next dominant species, which will be puffins, of course.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on February 02, 2020, 07:58:27 PM
https://pollysbrew.co
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ex_mo on February 03, 2020, 11:22:18 AM
https://www.theblaze.com/news/new-science-model-finds-coronavirus-numbers-significantly-too-low-disease-will-double-in-size-in-less-than-a-week


"
The shocking results of the study, which was performed by experts at the University of Hong Kong, found that as of Jan. 25, more than 75,000 people in Wuhan had likely already contracted the disease, a number nearly 100 times greater than what the official record stated. At the time, there were just 761 reported confirmations of the disease in the Wuhan area.

Even more alarming is the fact that the disease doubles in the number of infections every 6.4 days, the experts found.
"

The Blaze? Really?

I wouldn't trust any information from that website.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 03, 2020, 11:42:07 AM
https://www.theblaze.com/news/new-science-model-finds-coronavirus-numbers-significantly-too-low-disease-will-double-in-size-in-less-than-a-week


"
The shocking results of the study, which was performed by experts at the University of Hong Kong, found that as of Jan. 25, more than 75,000 people in Wuhan had likely already contracted the disease, a number nearly 100 times greater than what the official record stated. At the time, there were just 761 reported confirmations of the disease in the Wuhan area.

Even more alarming is the fact that the disease doubles in the number of infections every 6.4 days, the experts found.
"

The Blaze? Really?

I wouldn't trust any information from that website.

Well, here is the paper (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30260-9/fulltext#articleInformation) the Blaze article initially references. 

And here is the Business Insider (https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-coronavirus-75k-infected-doubling-every-64-days-lancet-says-2020-1) article The Blaze also references.

Come on biologists and statisticians, do your thing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on February 03, 2020, 01:06:06 PM
I was at an infectious disease conference over the weekend. The keynote speaker was the head of one our the nations regional special pathogens unit and was scheduled to talk about "Emerging zoonotic viruses". So it was a packed house. He spent a lot of time discussing bats. Just stay away from bats, as they are amazing disease vectors. He also said that the epidemiologists have gotten really good at mathematical modelling of how these diseases play out. As of Saturday, his best guess was that this would not become a pandemic. Now, as of this morning, the NY Times disagrees with him.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/health/coronavirus-pandemic-china.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/health/coronavirus-pandemic-china.html)

But the NYTimes makes a VERY good point about this spreading the Africa as opposed to Europe or N. America, where everyone is on high alert at the first sniffle. And 2 continents officially constitutes a pandemic. It is WELL known and has been for years that China under reports all infectious diseases (HIV is a huge taboo there). So I'm guessing the math modelling folks have that taken into account. Until we start seeing significant spread of cases in the US from non-travelers I really wouldn't worry too much.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on February 03, 2020, 02:28:21 PM
My wife and I discuss bat soup periodically. Ebola outbreak in 2014, for example.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on February 04, 2020, 04:13:34 PM
Apparently 492 dead?
There was a paper in the Lancet predicting that the actual number infected more like 150,000...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on February 04, 2020, 06:58:49 PM
I wonder if there is a Mexican brewery somewhere hoping desperately somebody discovers the new Bud Light Virus.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on February 05, 2020, 10:35:53 PM
My wife and I discuss bat soup periodically. Ebola outbreak in 2014, for example.

While there are a a few dishes, including European ones, more disgusting than raw bat soup, such as casu marzu (illegal in the only place where anyone wants to eat it) or surströmming (eating it can get you legally evicted in Germany), raw bat soup is hard to beat in terms of how dangerous it is. The worst case scenario isn't catching Wuhan coronavirus, the worst case scenario is catching rabies.

Of course China is underreporting, but what about other countries? China jailed doctors who tried to sound off the alarm, but North Korea would've executed them. If it's become an epidemic in North Korea, we wouldn't know about it. What about cover-ups and/or failures to detect it in the Russian Far East? The danger of it speading to Africa, where China has a substantial presence, has been mentioned, but what about Latin America? The region may be overall more prosperous, but Venezuela doesn't have a functioning healthcare system and China has a presence there. Venezuela is somewhat protected by summer, but Central America has several failed states/provinces and it's winter, sort of. Overall things may not be as dire in Mexico but the healthcare system has severe challenges and there are places where the State has failed. Also, a number of countries like Peru, Mexico and Bolivia have cool highlands where the weather really wouldn't help.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on February 06, 2020, 04:33:38 AM
My wife and I discuss bat soup periodically. Ebola outbreak in 2014, for example.

That wasn't how the outbreak started. Probably it was a bat bite.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on February 06, 2020, 04:38:39 AM
My wife and I discuss bat soup periodically. Ebola outbreak in 2014, for example.

While there are a a few dishes, including European ones, more disgusting than raw bat soup, such as casu marzu (illegal in the only place where anyone wants to eat it) or surströmming (eating it can get you legally evicted in Germany), raw bat soup is hard to beat in terms of how dangerous it is. The worst case scenario isn't catching Wuhan coronavirus, the worst case scenario is catching rabies.



Great, but as it turns out

https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus-bat-soup

bat soup is not really a thing in China, eating bats is not a likely cause of the disease, and the whole thing is based on racist ideas. So, how about we not spread around baseless radicalized rumors?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on February 06, 2020, 05:20:06 AM
So, how about we not spread around baseless radicalized rumors?

Great idea! 

Are you ready to lead the way on discussing the real problems in US academia and the realistic solutions or are we still going to go with foolishness by people employed in academia who refuse to read research and policy statements?

I know where my bet lies since I still regularly encounter foolishness on the level of bat soup accusations.

In other events, no one is getting any of my stuff this week and I'm so tired of orange juice that I could scream.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 06, 2020, 09:01:40 AM
So, how about we not spread around baseless radicalized rumors?

Great idea! 

Are you ready to lead the way on discussing the real problems in US academia and the realistic solutions or are we still going to go with foolishness by people employed in academia who refuse to read research and policy statements?

I know where my bet lies since I still regularly encounter foolishness on the level of bat soup accusations.

Seems to me that rational discussion leads to rational discussion, or so I've heard.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on February 06, 2020, 09:03:29 AM
No one has said, officially or otherwise, that eating bats was how this was contracted. Bats may have been roosting in the area of the market and contaminated local foodstuffs, or a farmer may have bats on his farm and then come to the market already infected. Or a number of other permutations. We likely will never have a true case zero for this.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on February 06, 2020, 02:11:54 PM
The Wuhan municipal government has been ordered by central authorities to put infected residents in mass concentration camps for quarantine (in other words, in the minds of many in the city, death).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bopper on February 06, 2020, 02:28:38 PM
If you want to read fiction about an epidemic that started from bats... "Wanderers" by Chuck Wendig
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/555273/wanderers-by-chuck-wendig/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 06, 2020, 09:19:35 PM
I had planned an Alaska trip with my fiance and my best friend for the end of May.  With the news out of China, my trip mates want out.  The final payment is due this weekend.  We would have an additional 2 weeks for a full refund (until 90 days before the trip date).

However, my friend does not trust the Chinese government news on the number infected or the mortality rate.  I dont blame him for not trusting them!

 I think that for my girlfriend/fiance, the dealbreaker was the news about the Diamond Princess off Japan.  They are quarantined for 14 days, and her first thought was that being on a ship for 14 days would not be bad, but then she saw that they were being held in their cabins and food brought to them and no laundry.  I guess that IF she can not eat all the goodies that come with the ship and being stuck in the room only, that it lost its luster!  Of course being stuck in a ship size cabin with others and not necessarily even having clean clothes was just too much to risk!

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on February 07, 2020, 04:38:03 AM
Don't pay for the trip. Your friends are already flaking out. Reimbursement is a hassle.

Think about a possible future cruise along the coast of West Africa. The bat soup in Conakry was supposedly delicious before the government banned it. It's probably still available in out-of-the-way street markets.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ex_mo on February 07, 2020, 05:22:08 AM
If you want to read fiction about an epidemic that started from bats... "Wanderers" by Chuck Wendig
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/555273/wanderers-by-chuck-wendig/

Or the film Contagion

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598778/

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on February 07, 2020, 08:01:38 AM
I had planned an Alaska trip with my fiance and my best friend for the end of May.  With the news out of China, my trip mates want out.  The final payment is due this weekend.  We would have an additional 2 weeks for a full refund (until 90 days before the trip date).

However, my friend does not trust the Chinese government news on the number infected or the mortality rate.  I dont blame him for not trusting them!

 I think that for my girlfriend/fiance, the dealbreaker was the news about the Diamond Princess off Japan.  They are quarantined for 14 days, and her first thought was that being on a ship for 14 days would not be bad, but then she saw that they were being held in their cabins and food brought to them and no laundry.  I guess that IF she can not eat all the goodies that come with the ship and being stuck in the room only, that it lost its luster!  Of course being stuck in a ship size cabin with others and not necessarily even having clean clothes was just too much to risk!

Any thoughts?

This is all pretty irrational. I've had some pretty intense periods of anxiety centering around my health. The one positive of that is that I've had to accept that I actually can't trust my emotional responses, or more importantly, the intellectual scaffolding I tend to build around those emotional responses. At various times I have thought that it was quite likely that I had all kinds of dangerous diseases that were going to kill me and I believed that it was rational for me to think this. In fact, I had none of these things. What I have is anxiety. When I see the ways people react to these highly publicized health scares it is really obvious to me that lots of people also have anxiety that latches on to these things, but they really believe they are just responding appropriately to the situation, instead of letting their anxiety run their lives.

1. I don't really understand why your friends would think a trip to Alaska is dangerous. It might be closer to China geographically, but in terms of global travel, it is more remote, not less.
2. If they're worried about air travel, I don't see how that makes any more sense. Coronavirus isn't spreading in the US at this point, it doesn't actually appear to be being widely transmitted anywhere but China at this point. There's no reason to upend your life to avoid it in an airplane because until that changes it is incredibly unlikely anybody in the airplane is going to have it.
3. Ditto on the cruise ship. People convince themselves they are just being cautious, but caution only makes sense when you are responding to actual dangers, not just ones you can imagine. If there's a severe thunderstorm and I avoid tall trees that might be a perfectly rational response to the situation. If the weather is perfectly pleasant outside and I won't walk under a tree because I'm afraid a gust of wind could come up and the tree might fall on me, that is pretty clearly disordered.

What is happening is that your friends are trying to tell themselves stories that make themselves feel better about their ability to control the world and avoid pain, suffering and death. Saying that you won't go to Alaska because you don't believe the Chinese government is about trying to assert control. If you can properly assess risk and then take some concrete step to avoid, like pointlessly cancelling your vacation, then you can feel like you can mange these things. Of course he can't. It is theoretically possible, you could all get coronavirus in Alaska. It is also possible that you'll die in a car wreck on the way home today, or that a tree will fall on you while you walk across the quad, or that you'll have a heart attack tomorrow. Based on what we know now all of those things are far more likely than you getting coronavirus in Alaska in May.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on February 07, 2020, 09:54:02 AM
Somewhat like this logic (n=1), I nearly cancelled my wonderful, productive, satisfying trip to Europe last month.

There was the treat of a "Named storm" hitting England the week Iwas due to land at Hea5hrow.

The French train strikes were starting, and I worried other countries might go out in sympathy.

I found out one of the libraries I had to visit was going to be unusually closed on the week I'd planned to visit.

Etc.

I went anyway.

I'm glad I did.

I found a workaround for one set of cancelled trains, and discoved thenight-before schedule that made planning possible otherwise.

I flipped two nearby library visits and made it to the one I really had to see the next-to-last day (and got everything there done.)

Etc.

Not on the same level of worry, exactly, but a parallel combination of potential for anxiety and offsetting reasons not to let it be the voice that calls the game...

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on February 08, 2020, 06:35:18 AM
I'm wondering if this thing is more contagious than they're telling us. One person who had travelled to Singapore spread it to the other people in their ski lodge in France. The numbers on that cruise ship in Japan keep rising.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on February 08, 2020, 06:41:15 AM
Somewhat like this logic (n=1), I nearly cancelled my wonderful, productive, satisfying trip to Europe last month.

There was the treat of a "Named storm" hitting England the week Iwas due to land at Hea5hrow.

The French train strikes were starting, and I worried other countries might go out in sympathy.

I found out one of the libraries I had to visit was going to be unusually closed on the week I'd planned to visit.

Etc.

I went anyway.

I'm glad I did.

I found a workaround for one set of cancelled trains, and discoved thenight-before schedule that made planning possible otherwise.

I flipped two nearby library visits and made it to the one I really had to see the next-to-last day (and got everything there done.)

Etc.

Not on the same level of worry, exactly, but a parallel combination of potential for anxiety and offsetting reasons not to let it be the voice that calls the game...

M.

Yeah, I know what you mean. The problem with anxiety is that it is totally rational to be concerned about all kinds of things. Of course you want to be keeping an eye on the weather when you travel, and you don't want to be trying to travel around a foreign country during some massive transit strike.
If I was scheduled to take a trip to Indonesia or something right now, I might rethink it. The actual risk of getting this might be pretty low, but this is all pretty disruptive to travel and I wouldn't want to put myself in a position to get stuck. But there's a thin line between totally reasonable caution and excessive anxiety that gets in the way of your life.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on February 08, 2020, 07:01:49 AM
I'm wondering if this thing is more contagious than they're telling us. One person who had travelled to Singapore spread it to the other people in their ski lodge in France. The numbers on that cruise ship in Japan keep rising.

They've been saying it is about as contagious as the flu for quite some time and those things seem pretty consistent with that. You aren't usually going to get the flu just from walking by someone on the street, but if you're in close proximity to people you can get it pretty easily. This is the problem with the way media coverage of something like this works. 700 people dying in China seems terrifying, and obviously it is awful, but 20k people in the US this year have died of the flu. This does seem quite a bit worse than the flu, but it also is pretty clearly that the vast majority of people who get this, get better. It also seems clear that, like the flu, it is most dangerous to people with compromised immune systems and the elderly. It seems to be barely effecting children at all.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on February 10, 2020, 09:55:59 AM
Traveled cross-country for a conference and on the return flight started feeling terrible, with respiratory symptoms. I did not eat bat soup however, so I feel confident that it's not the Wuhan coronavirus. I did see some people on planes wearing N95 masks, which was odd.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on February 10, 2020, 12:38:12 PM
The Guardian reports that the death rate from the current coronavirus seems to be about 2%, where the death rate from the flu is less than 1%. Or more precisely:

We don’t yet know how dangerous the new coronavirus is, and we won’t know until more data comes in. The mortality rate is around 2%. However, this is likely to be an overestimate since many more people are likely to have been infected by the virus but not suffered severe enough symptoms to attend hospital, and so have not been counted. For comparison, seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below 1% and is thought to cause about 400,000 deaths each year globally. Sars had a death rate of more than 10%.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/10/what-is-coronavirus-how-worried-symptoms-how-spread
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on February 10, 2020, 03:40:04 PM
https://dronedj.com/2020/02/09/drone-delivers-wine-couple-quarantined-coronavirus-cruise-ship/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 10, 2020, 07:38:27 PM
Quote
https://dronedj.com/2020/02/09/drone-delivers-wine-couple-quarantined-coronavirus-cruise-ship/

As do the comments to the article, I call Bullshit.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: fuwafuwa on February 26, 2020, 09:32:50 PM
Glad to be working at middle-of-nowhere university! 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Morris Zapp on February 27, 2020, 05:42:31 AM
Attended a graduation planning meeting the other day. We have online students so participants will come from all over even overseas. Odds that all graduations all be cancelled this year?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on February 27, 2020, 07:15:21 AM
There are 3 threads running on this topic.

Is there a way to get some convergence?

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on February 27, 2020, 08:33:50 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/world/asia/japan-schools-coronavirus.html

Japan Shocks Parents by Moving to Close All Schools Over Coronavirus



Oh, dear Lord, please let this happen here.  I can use a vacation.  Amen.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: backatit on February 27, 2020, 09:14:21 AM
Attended a graduation planning meeting the other day. We have online students so participants will come from all over even overseas. Odds that all graduations all be cancelled this year?

I'll take pretty high for $10. The UK is doing some pretty strong pre-planning in the school system (and my partner's company just announced a travel ban - no travel, necessary or unnecessary, and not even to Asia. We are having to cancel our usual Spring trip).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on February 27, 2020, 09:37:03 AM
There are 3 threads running on this topic.

Is there a way to get some convergence?

M.

The threaduality is spreading as fast as the virus.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: backatit on February 27, 2020, 02:16:52 PM
Attended a graduation planning meeting the other day. We have online students so participants will come from all over even overseas. Odds that all graduations all be cancelled this year?

I'll take pretty high for $10. The UK is doing some pretty strong pre-planning in the school system (and my partner's company just announced a travel ban - no travel, necessary or unnecessary, and not just to Asia. We are having to cancel our usual Spring trip).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: magnemite on February 28, 2020, 10:54:04 AM
What might be interesting is that the covid-19 cases will ramp up at ~same time as seasonal pollen allergies do, and the respiratory and other effects of pollen allergies seem to parallel who folks react mildly (for all we know) to this novel virus. So, a mix of pollen mistaken for virus, and of viral cases being overlooked (thinking it is pollen) might be a complicating factor. So, let's hope a good, reliable, and plentiful set of test kits can be produced and distributed.

A related thought is that folks (like me) who have bad pollen allergies may well be at risk for a more severe reaction to the covid-19, given that the severe respiratory symptoms are an over stimulated immune system response (as with pollen allergies).

** take the above with a giant grain of salt, as I'm the wrong sort of Dr. to really know what's what about viral infections...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: zyzzx on February 28, 2020, 11:42:44 AM
So, I have tried to look for this, and have not found such an analysis, but shouldn't the Diamond Princess cruise ship fiasco give us a pretty definitive idea of the mortality rates (at least for that demographic)? From my understanding of all the news articles, everyone on the ship ended up getting tested, right? So here's a population in which every case, mild/asymptomatic or not, would be caught. So according to the Johns Hopkins website, there were 705 cases, 5 deaths, and 690 cases not yet resolved. So with at least 5 deaths, that's at least 0.7% mortality rate, and that number can only go up. I guess cruise ship passengers likely skew older, but still, this seems like a pretty obvious case study where we really do know the denominator in the mortality rate equation. I am somewhat surprised that these numbers are not discussed more; I hope that some epidemiologists are closely following this population, as it seems like a very useful source of data.

At any rate, I am headed off for a Europe-US trip in a few days, and I admit that I routed my flights with an eye towards not getting stranded by border restrictions or flight cancellations. It would really suck to get stranded/quarantined away from home in a country where I don't have health insurance. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 28, 2020, 12:26:32 PM
Quote
From my understanding of all the news articles, everyone on the ship ended up getting tested, right?

I dont think so...

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday that it might be difficult to test everyone aboard the ship.

Only 336 passengers had been tested as of Monday, according to the health ministry."

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/10/national/japan-test-all-passengers-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-coronavirus/#.Xll2U6hKjIU


The inability to test the passengers was linked to a shortage of the testing supplies. 

Recently California's Governor indicated that they had only 400 kits, if I remember the number.  That is a big part of the weakness in the response. It is hard to identify who has the illness, and it has taken some time to get the results back... it is not a quick test.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on February 28, 2020, 12:32:08 PM
To continue...
"California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at least 8,400 people have been monitored locally, but the number of test kits his state has received isn't enough. We have just 200 kits, and that's for not just the traditional diagnostic, but also surveillance. It's simply inadequate," Newsom said Thursday. "But no longer will that be the case. ... We have been assured of our capacity to significantly, exponentially increase the capacity to test.""

https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/27/health/us-cases-coronavirus-community-transmission/index.html
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: zyzzx on February 28, 2020, 01:17:30 PM
Quote
From my understanding of all the news articles, everyone on the ship ended up getting tested, right?

I dont think so...

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday that it might be difficult to test everyone aboard the ship.

Only 336 passengers had been tested as of Monday, according to the health ministry."

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/10/national/japan-test-all-passengers-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-coronavirus/#.Xll2U6hKjIU


The inability to test the passengers was linked to a shortage of the testing supplies. 

Recently California's Governor indicated that they had only 400 kits, if I remember the number.  That is a big part of the weakness in the response. It is hard to identify who has the illness, and it has taken some time to get the results back... it is not a quick test.

That was Feb. 10, which was ages ago... From more recent articles about the end of the quarantine, it sounds like people were not allowed to leave unless they tested negative. And everyone who got repatriated on a special flight would have also been tested. Looks like 23 people did slip the net (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/23/coronavirus-woman-on-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-tested-positive-after-disembarking), but that wouldn't be noteworthy unless they'd thought they'd tested everybody.

Dunno what's going on with the inability to do tests in the US, but other countries seem to have figured this out - South Korea is getting up to something like 10,000 per day.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on February 28, 2020, 01:21:59 PM
So here's the thing about the "testing". Right now there is no universally agreed upon, validated, easily available commercial kit to test for this. Samples sent to the CDC have the viral genomes PCR amplified and sequenced! This is NOT something that the average community hospital has the ability or the expertise to do. Especially if your community hospital farms out their testing to Quest Diagnostics or the like. I'm amazed that the news hasn't brought up this fact- the virus is too new to have a reliable test developed for it yet!
    Most the testing being done right now in the US is for every other family of respiratory viruses. This is what my colleagues who are Clinical Micro directors at major hospitals are doing. It's a process of elimination. If you don't have flu/ RSV/adenovirus etc. and you have the appropriate symptoms, THEN we send your sample to the CDC. It's slow.
    In Asia they MAY be using some sort of SARS test as the closest thing- but that will have a huge error rate. I have colleagues who work in molecular diagnostics companies and have been to Chinese hospitals. Chinese hospitals have accumulated all the equipment for the molecular tests, but generally don't have anyone who knows how to run them. They are often showpieces. This is a BIG part of the reason why the numbers in China have been so wonky- we haven't all decided what "counts" as having Corona virus. The US numbers will be slow coming out, but will at least be more accurate.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hibush on February 28, 2020, 01:48:17 PM
Thanks mythbuster for that update.

How many of the supplies and machines for testing are made in China, and therefore subject to the same supply shortage that is hitting other industries?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: no1capybara on March 02, 2020, 08:12:30 AM
Thanks Mythbuster, for the info. It's already interesting to read this thread and see the information and thoughts change over the past month or so.

I spoke to a friend of mine Friday who is a large city health and safety director.  That city has gone through several public health alerts.  He said the main thing will be to try to slow the spread of the virus until they can get a vaccine developed which should be a year or so.

In the meantime I am waiting to hear if I get a major travel grant in April.  I will DIEEEEEEEEE if I get it and then they ban all Americans from entering the country or otherwise screw up the travel.

DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE I tell you.  The anxiety is driving me nuts!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on March 02, 2020, 02:52:52 PM
So on my Twitter feed, I saw a faculty member on the west coast (CA, not WA) who seems very woke, pronounce that they have taken the following steps as a result of the potential pandemic:
- I'm using Zoom to broadcast my lectures
- I'm no longer taking attendance
- I've cancelled sections
- I'm doing course evals early

I'm inspired to stay home and cancel all sorts of stuff. I'm just curious how grades will be assigned for students who do worse as a result of these changes.

I was under the impression that there was a Federal mandate to take attendance. Something to do with student funding.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 02, 2020, 03:08:08 PM
Quote
I was under the impression that there was a Federal mandate to take attendance. Something to do with student funding.

I do not take attendance in my classes. 
I do report those that have not attended by the 12th day, which is something related to student funding.  When I submit final grades, I am required to report the last date attended for those earning an F.  I use the last date of any work submitted/quizzes taken.  (I give frequent quizzes.  IF they attend, they get at least a 1, so a zero means that the student was not in attendance).

For what it is worth.

For the other... I would not take such actions unilaterally.  There is a requirement to meet your classes, and changing the format of a class to online is not something that I think a faculty member can do unilaterally.
There could be repercussions.  Students could complain that they are not able to learn and ask questions or whatever.  There are test issues I would think.  Grade appeals would be hard to defend with a unilateral change.  Faculty members could complain and administrators would find this hard to defend, I would think. 

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 02, 2020, 04:23:49 PM
"...changing the format of a class to online is not something that I think a faculty member can do unilaterally." Unilaterally meaning what?  Moving classes online is part of our disaster policy (we are in an earthquake zone). I moved mine online once when we were snowed in for a week and campus was closed.

I think it would be smarter for the university as a whole to set guidelines as to when it's time to move classes online, but I also think prudence is the better part of valor. Some professors are immune-compromised, some are undergoing treatment for cancer, some have severe asthma ... I don't think any of those should be compelled to endanger their lives when perfectly suitable alternatives exist. The West Coast has multiple cases of community transmission going on — it's going to get worse before it gets better.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 02, 2020, 06:20:30 PM
Quote
"...changing the format of a class to online is not something that I think a faculty member can do unilaterally." Unilaterally meaning what?  Moving classes online is part of our disaster policy (we are in an earthquake zone). I moved mine online once when we were snowed in for a week and campus was closed.

I think it would be smarter for the university as a whole to set guidelines as to when it's time to move classes online, but I also think prudence is the better part of valor. Some professors are immune-compromised, some are undergoing treatment for cancer, some have severe asthma ... I don't think any of those should be compelled to endanger their lives when perfectly suitable alternatives exist. The West Coast has multiple cases of community transmission going on — it's going to get worse before it gets better.

"Unilaterally meaning what?  Moving classes online is part of our disaster policy (we are in an earthquake zone). I moved mine online once when we were snowed in for a week and campus was closed." 
IF campus was closed, that would initiate the switch.  Faculty do not close the campus, administration does.  When we close for hurricanes, that is the signal to implement the switch.  It is not a professor deciding that "it is going to rain, so we will be online for the next 40 days".

"ome professors are immune-compromised, some are undergoing treatment for cancer, some have severe asthma I don't think any of those should be compelled to endanger their lives when perfectly suitable alternatives exist."
then they should notify their supervisor that they have an issue and seek permission to make the changes.  Even with the American Disabilities Act, your employer is not required to accept YOUR solution to the problem.  The employer must allow accommodations, but not just any accommodation is permitted, even under ADA.  The point is, IF you take unilateral action, then you are alone. That may be fine, but IF there are problems, you will be hanging out there ALONE ... as an example perhaps of what or how to do or NOT do something. 

Maybe I just feel that MY administration has taken too many lessons from the Chinese Government.  ... the one that arrests you and makes you apologize for doing the right thing, but which may be viewed as critical of the government or 'spreading rumors'.  It is best NOT to be on the front line before the firing squad.  It is best to be behind the administration, not in front of it. 

Im reminded that one should not do something that would not look good on the front page of the local paper.  Professor (not administration) cancelling classes (or not showing up to classes in person) would not be looked upon favorably by administration I dont think.  IF it were the correct thing to do, then the administration would initiate the action (like a snow day mentioned above). 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 02, 2020, 07:27:53 PM
Well, I also moved online when I was stuck in another city for a week by a snowstorm after a conference. The rest of the university continued as usual.

In the present situation, I am head of a program, and I've let the profs teaching in my program know that I fully support them switching their classes to online, even if the university does not mandate it as a whole. In the case of one prof who is definitely immune-compromised, I have urged her to do it, and told her that I will meet up with her to help her get her materials online rapidly and smoothly. I also will be holding our regular department meeting online, by email — it's only 9 people, so that's simple enough.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 02, 2020, 07:52:11 PM
Quote
Well, I also moved online when I was stuck in another city for a week by a snowstorm after a conference. The rest of the university continued as usual.
That was appropriate.  However, you didnt go online for 'winter' because there is a danger of snow. It was not open ended.

I hope your decisions do not come back to haunt you.  As I believe I said earlier, if everything works out, then there is no problem.  IF one person complains, some actions would be hard to find support by administration (at least the administration I have at the salt mine that buys my services!) 

IF one program on campus 'went rogue' while others were still requiring classes to meet where and when scheduled, I suspect that would trigger the 'one person complains' situation and the department head of the 'rogue' department would have what in my vocabulary would be defined as "a coming to Jesus meeting" with a higher level administrator.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 02, 2020, 08:49:14 PM
Clean, your place is much more micro-managing than ours.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 02, 2020, 09:57:49 PM
I hope you are right and all works out positively. 

I hope that the actions you are taking are well documented and supported by the policy.  For instance, while it is nice that you are supporting your ill coworkers, here, if someone has cancer and needs an accommodation for their schedule, they would need to file paperwork with HR first.  HR would then take the steps to inform the chair to make the required adjustments. It would not be appropriate for the chair to take these actions without the documentation going to HR first.  Otherwise, should someone else later claim that they deserve similar treatment, but did not get it, it opens the university to legal entanglements. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 02, 2020, 11:51:38 PM
Do you not have online courses as a regular part of your curriculum?  Some of our courses are online, some are face-to-face, and we certainly don't have to get permission, much less HR permission (!) to run one or the other. In fact I had set up six new online courses just before the whole coronavirus thing broke, and I certainly didn't need anyone's permission to do so, any more than I did when I set up last year's batch. We're on the quarter system, as well, so the new set doesn't start until the beginning of April — plenty of time to adjust if need be. And I see no issues with offering the online option to all our faculty. The university has been urging us to develop more and more online courses, giving us extra development funds to transfer courses online, and applauding if we do it.  It's win-win over here.

If you really have to jump through so many hoops just to offer an online course, your place is even more micro-managing than I had assumed.  Do they also require the agreement of higher administration and HR if you decide to run them on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule instead of MWF, or as a once-a-week seminar, or as a hybrid online/face-to-face course (we have those too, completely at the discretion of the department), or anything else outside of the normal lockstep? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 03, 2020, 12:20:53 AM
Quote
Do you not have online courses as a regular part of your curriculum?  Some of our courses are online, some are face-to-face, and we certainly don't have to get permission, much less HR permission (!) to run one or the other. In fact I had set up six new online courses just before the whole coronavirus thing broke, and I certainly didn't need anyone's permission to do so, any more than I did when I set up last year's batch. We're on the quarter system, as well, so the new set doesn't start until the beginning of April — plenty of time to adjust if need be. And I see no issues with offering the online option to all our faculty. The university has been urging us to develop more and more online courses, giving us extra development funds to transfer courses online, and applauding if we do it.  It's win-win over here.

Yes we have online classes.  We also have a full semester, so if someone decided, of their own accord, that they would move a face to face class online as a response to CV19 I foresee problems for that faculty member.  Making changes at the start of the term is not a problem. However, this conversation was started because someone in California made such a decision, and not at the start of a quarter.  It also seems that you, an administrator, have made changes that are congruent with the university's mission and goals.  It seems that those changes were made at the usual time for such changes, and not in the middle of a quarter. If so, then that is not the same situation as that alluded to in CA.

Do we need permission to change to TR from MWF... well that is a bit of a trick question.  Our building management issues require that a certain percentage of classes be offered on MWF, and even before 930 am.  As long as the requirements are met, then no permission is required. However, if moving a class from MWF or after 930am  caused a department to go out of compliance, then there would be problems or approval by the higher ups.  (Administration has studied the formula funding requirements from the state that govern approval of new buildings, and as administration wants new buildings built, then deviations from their optimization formula plan ARE monitored!)

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 03, 2020, 05:01:34 AM
One thing about all of this that is vastly different from a "weather event" is the time scale. We have the occasional snow day here; a big storm may last for a day or two, and cleanup may take a day or two. Usually we only miss a day, but a week would be ridiculously long. However, a viral outbreak is going to last weeks if not months. Rather than missing a day or maybe a week of classes, it may lead to losing an entire term. That sort of thing has occasionally happened for strikes, but even then there's a clear date when it's over. In this case, arbitrary decisions will have to be made, and they won't necessarily be the same for neighbouring institutions or communities.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 03, 2020, 06:12:25 AM
There's a larger social aspect of this to consider, as well. Based on the available evidence, there's no reason to think that Coronavirus is widely circulating throughout the US. The people who seem trustworthy think that if it was it would be getting picked up in flu surveillance data as a surge of hospitalizations. So, what seems to be occurring, is small outbreaks, certainly in Washington and probably in one or two places in California. Is the virus circulating in some other places without anybody knowing about it? Probably. Is it circulating in your area, and are you at all likely to get it on your campus? Probably not. In fact, there's a very good chance that getting coronavirus is pretty far down on the lists of risks you are running in going to campus. Probably below auto accident. I understand that some people are in high risk groups, but even in that case, the flu, which is definitely circulating on your campus, is probably a much greater risk.

All of this might change. We might have widespread transmission in a lot of places and all kinds of things might need to change. But, the problem is we can't do that forever. What that means is that drastic measures need to be pretty carefully calibrated. Shutting down schools and asking most people to stay home is something you would do if you thought you had a dramatically expanding epidemic in the area and needed to slow it down to avoid hospitals being overrun and really sick people not being able to get treatment. You couldn't do it for too long. That also means it won't help if individuals start making weird decisions now. All it is going to do is erode people's ability to do the things they need to do later. We can't all be in crisis mode forever.

Like it or not, students think of professors as authority figures. If their professor emails them and tells them that the class at San Diego College has been moved online because of Coronavirus, they are going to think this means there's a real threat and will be confused since the University is saying that there are no changes since the threat, at the moment, seems low. Is that going to improve their confidence in future notifications from the University or other authorities? There's a social responsibility at the moment to make sure you aren't letting your fears about a novel threat cause you to do things that aren't rational.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 03, 2020, 06:33:29 AM
What Caracal says may be true. However, my particular university is located in one of the places that's having a demonstrated outbreak.

I also personally think it's likely that the virus is circulating widely in ways that are not being monitored. You all may be interested in the experience of "Sketchy Woman" on Twitter.  She posted:

"I live in Seattle, I have all symptoms of COVID-19 and have a history of chronic bronchitis. Since I work in a physical therapy clinic with many 65+ patients and those with chronic illnesses, I decided to be responsible and go to get tested. This is how that went.

"I called the Corona hotline, was on hold for 40 minutes and gave up. So I looked at the CDC and Washington public health websites.  They told me to see a primary care doctor, but there's no information about testing.

"I called 2 primary care doctors. One told me they don't know where to get testing, and that I should not to seek out testing. The other one told me to go to an urgent care or ER. I called the Urgent Care, they also had no idea where tests are, but told me to call the hospital.

"I called the hospital. They do not have tests, but transferred me to the COVID-19 hotline to "answer my questions". Since I was transferred on a medical provider line, I actually got through. Progress!

"The lady with the hotline was very kind and professional and understood my concern about my own health and those at my clinic. (Which is currently being sanitized). However, I was told I do not qualify for testing. And I was not given a timeline or info on current resources.

"So. Who does qualify? Those who have been out of the country in the last 14 days, and those who have had contact with one of the few people who have been tested and come up positive. That's it.

"The only way I can get treated is if my symptoms get so bad I develop pneumonia or bronchitis, which is very likely in my case. Then I'll be in the ER and quarantined for several days while waiting for a test and for the results to come back.

"This is all incredibly frustrating because I am trying to do everything right in a system that punishes moments of "weakness" like taking days off. It's also scary to know that I won't be able to get help until I need life support."

People have been chiming in with similar stories. For instance: "I’m a medical provider in a psych ward near Seattle. I tried to transfer a sick pt to the ER to be checked for corona. He said he had relatives who’d been to Asia recently. Well, it was like WW3 to get pt transferred & they didn’t check him for corona. Just sent him back to us."

And people have reported that the CDC site on infection rate is not being updated. Entire thread here: https://twitter.com/into_the_brush/status/1234685467682979840

In short, we don't know how fast the virus is spreading, and we are not gathering the information in any systematic way. It may well be that we are in for months of this — maybe two years of this. I know some people say, "Screw it, for 80% of us it will be a minor virus, let's go about business as usual." For the 20% who may need intensive care, or ventilators, or who may die, I think it's understandable if they feel less sanguine. I'm on the side of not killing my faculty and students, even only 2% of them.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 03, 2020, 06:52:08 AM

People have been chiming in with similar stories. For instance: "I’m a medical provider in a psych ward near Seattle. I tried to transfer a sick pt to the ER to be checked for corona. He said he had relatives who’d been to Asia recently. Well, it was like WW3 to get pt transferred & they didn’t check him for corona. Just sent him back to us."


Frustrating as this is, I'm guessing it's at least partly due to the availability of test kits. There are probably barely enough for people who have probably been in contact with the virus, and until production and distribution are ramped up a lot that's the way it will stay.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Kron3007 on March 03, 2020, 07:03:43 AM
I think the idea that the minimal steps we are taking would have any chance of stopping an infectious disease like this from coming and spreading is crazy.  China clamped down pretty hard, doing much more than I could see the US or most Western countries attempting, and it has still spread within and outside of China.  Now with it spreading in other countries outside of China, it seems inevitable that it will come and start spreading within North America.  We simply live in a world that makes stopping something like this nearly impossible. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 03, 2020, 07:05:46 AM
I was travelling last weekend, and it was amusing/a little sad to see how many people in all the airports were wearing various kinds of face mask (including some pretty heavy-duty painting masks).
`
There's no way they were all sick, which means they mistakenly think wearing a face mask will protect them.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 03, 2020, 07:26:00 AM
What Caracal says may be true. However, my particular university is located in one of the places that's having a demonstrated outbreak.

I also personally think it's likely that the virus is circulating widely in ways that are not being monitored. You all may be interested in the experience of "Sketchy Woman" on Twitter.  She posted:

"I live in Seattle, I have all symptoms of COVID-19 and have a history of chronic bronchitis. Since I work in a physical therapy clinic with many 65+ patients and those with chronic illnesses, I decided to be responsible and go to get tested. This is how that went.

"I called the Corona hotline, was on hold for 40 minutes and gave up. So I looked at the CDC and Washington public health websites.  They told me to see a primary care doctor, but there's no information about testing.

"I called 2 primary care doctors. One told me they don't know where to get testing, and that I should not to seek out testing. The other one told me to go to an urgent care or ER. I called the Urgent Care, they also had no idea where tests are, but told me to call the hospital.

"I called the hospital. They do not have tests, but transferred me to the COVID-19 hotline to "answer my questions". Since I was transferred on a medical provider line, I actually got through. Progress!

"The lady with the hotline was very kind and professional and understood my concern about my own health and those at my clinic. (Which is currently being sanitized). However, I was told I do not qualify for testing. And I was not given a timeline or info on current resources.

"So. Who does qualify? Those who have been out of the country in the last 14 days, and those who have had contact with one of the few people who have been tested and come up positive. That's it.

"The only way I can get treated is if my symptoms get so bad I develop pneumonia or bronchitis, which is very likely in my case. Then I'll be in the ER and quarantined for several days while waiting for a test and for the results to come back.

"This is all incredibly frustrating because I am trying to do everything right in a system that punishes moments of "weakness" like taking days off. It's also scary to know that I won't be able to get help until I need life support."

People have been chiming in with similar stories. For instance: "I’m a medical provider in a psych ward near Seattle. I tried to transfer a sick pt to the ER to be checked for corona. He said he had relatives who’d been to Asia recently. Well, it was like WW3 to get pt transferred & they didn’t check him for corona. Just sent him back to us."

And people have reported that the CDC site on infection rate is not being updated. Entire thread here: https://twitter.com/into_the_brush/status/1234685467682979840

In short, we don't know how fast the virus is spreading, and we are not gathering the information in any systematic way. It may well be that we are in for months of this — maybe two years of this. I know some people say, "Screw it, for 80% of us it will be a minor virus, let's go about business as usual." For the 20% who may need intensive care, or ventilators, or who may die, I think it's understandable if they feel less sanguine. I'm on the side of not killing my faculty and students, even only 2% of them.

To be clear, I don't think we should ignore things. Also, as I said, since you are in an area that has an outbreak, different considerations might be at play especially if you are in a high risk group. I wouldn't think someone in those circumstances who didn't feel comfortable teaching classes was being irresponsible.

That said, I think we all need to be careful about these anecdotal stories going around Twitter. I have no idea who "Sketchy Woman" is. She could be a Russian Bot, a troll who likes scaring people by making up frightening stories, or someone with mental illness. Maybe she's a hypochondriac, like me. She could also be someone who is just freaked out in a way that is causing her to mischaracterize the situation. "All the symptoms of Covid-19" sounds scary but probably just mean she has a cough and a fever. The estimates are that perhaps 1500 people in Washington might have acquired this so far. 3.5 million people live in the greater Seattle area, so I'm going to guess there are a lot more people right now who have the flu or a mild cold. Eventually they are going to need to get testing up so they can actually figure out the scale of the problem, and it sounds like they will be there by the end of the week. But basically, people who are sick should stay home and limit contact with others. That's sort of it. She also reports guidelines on testing that are not correct now, that could be alarming if that is what she is being told, but again, this is just some person on twitter and you want to be careful.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 03, 2020, 07:27:54 AM
I think the idea that the minimal steps we are taking would have any chance of stopping an infectious disease like this from coming and spreading is crazy.  China clamped down pretty hard, doing much more than I could see the US or most Western countries attempting, and it has still spread within and outside of China.  Now with it spreading in other countries outside of China, it seems inevitable that it will come and start spreading within North America.  We simply live in a world that makes stopping something like this nearly impossible.

Well, what China did actually does seem to have worked in terms of dramatically slowing down spread within China for the moment. It isn't clear how much of it we could do or we would even want to if we could.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 03, 2020, 09:13:03 AM
Just reporting in that my university has officially announced that we are invoking the crisis plan, and that people are encouraged to transfer their classes online or otherwise adapt to the unfolding situation.

As for "Sketchy Woman," sure, she could be a bot, as could the many other people reporting chaos and confusion over how to get tested. The people being interviewed on TV about it could be lying as well. The pundits commenting on the difficulties could be operating on false information. It could all be minor and under control. If that's true, no worries. If at least some of those people are sincere and correct about their experiences, it suggests to me that erring on the side of caution has a potentially great up side, and little down side.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 03, 2020, 09:48:47 AM
Just reporting in that my university has officially announced that we are invoking the crisis plan, and that people are encouraged to transfer their classes online or otherwise adapt to the unfolding situation.

As for "Sketchy Woman," sure, she could be a bot, as could the many other people reporting chaos and confusion over how to get tested. The people being interviewed on TV about it could be lying as well. The pundits commenting on the difficulties could be operating on false information. It could all be minor and under control. If that's true, no worries. If at least some of those people are sincere and correct about their experiences, it suggests to me that erring on the side of caution has a potentially great up side, and little down side.

I'm glad to hear about your school. That sounds like the appropriate course of action at the moment given the local situation.

As for the rest, I think it is important to find the balance between everything is "minor and under control" and full on panic. There's a temptation when you lack complete information to fill in the blanks with whatever random information you can find, but that is going to result in a ton of misinformation which won't help.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Morris Zapp on March 03, 2020, 11:16:15 AM
My dad has lung cancer and is taking no precautions though they live in an outbreak area because Fox News is telling him it will be fine. He believes there is no real danger, just hype.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 03, 2020, 04:00:29 PM
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/#correct


this article explains how to calculate the mortality rate for an ongoing illness.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: reener06 on March 03, 2020, 04:24:13 PM
Yes, Sketchy woman could be a bot. So could I, I suppose.

My sister went to China and returned Jan. 22. She had COVID-19 symptoms within a day of returning. After 3 days (where she went to work, at a hospital, and went to the store, etc.) she went to her doctor. She was put into an isolated room, but the doctor wouldn't test her, thought she probably didn't have it. Told her to stay home for a few days--but she didn't, not fully, because she went to get my 89 year old father the next week.

There were probably 300 people in the flight with her.

So, yeah, I feel safe.

I'm high risk, so I'm hanging out at home. Also on sabbatical, so I can do that. Not looking forward to where this goes.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 03, 2020, 10:43:45 PM
Reener, did your father come down with anything?  (I hope not!)  Can you tell us what region of the country she lives in?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 04, 2020, 04:38:33 AM
Yes, Sketchy woman could be a bot. So could I, I suppose.

My sister went to China and returned Jan. 22. She had COVID-19 symptoms within a day of returning. After 3 days (where she went to work, at a hospital, and went to the store, etc.) she went to her doctor. She was put into an isolated room, but the doctor wouldn't test her, thought she probably didn't have it. Told her to stay home for a few days--but she didn't, not fully, because she went to get my 89 year old father the next week.

There were probably 300 people in the flight with her.

So, yeah, I feel safe.

I'm high risk, so I'm hanging out at home. Also on sabbatical, so I can do that. Not looking forward to where this goes.

To be clear, I wasn't actually saying the person was a bot, she doesn't seem to be. I was just pointing out that random twitter accounts aren't a particularly good source of information during a crisis. I think in a weird way we tend to trust them more than unverified things you hear from people you know, or people relaying secondhand information. And again, I really think the point about the tendency to fill in information is key. Obviously, I believe your account Reener, but chances are your sister didn't have Coronavirus. There actually weren't all that many cases outside of Hubei, so any individual person who had a cough and a fever and was in China, probably just had a bad cold or the flu. Heck, maybe her doctor had very good reasons to believe that to be the case based on symptoms.

The broader problem here, of course, is that obviously this has been messed up. There's reason to doubt there was really a great chance to contain this, but the people in charge clearly messed it up and haven't been testing enough people. If you don't think you are getting the best information you can quickly move to filling in blanks. The issue is that everyone jumps from that to absolute worst case scenario at this exact moment and that probably isn't real helpful.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 04, 2020, 09:02:33 AM
There's a report on the difficulty of getting tested here:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/03/coronavirus-washington-state-deaths-testing

"One potential sufferer in the state, Jeannette Jameson, 61, a criminal defense lawyer, told the Guardian that she had been sick for about a month when her doctor suggested she go to an emergency room to be tested for the virus. On Monday, Jameson went to Providence hospital in Everett, Washington, and after waiting for over two hours near dozens of other sick people, she was escorted to a chair in the hallway, separated from other patients with respiratory symptoms by carpeted wall partitions. Jameson said she never saw a doctor, and after testing negative for flu and being given a chest X-ray, she was discharged with papers that said she had “some non-specific respiratory virus”, along with prescriptions for ibuprofen and acetaminophen. When she asked why she wasn’t given a test for coronavirus, she said that a nurse practitioner told her she could only get tested if she was admitted to the hospital with severe symptoms. After the flu test results came back and Jameson asked about the coronavirus test, she said the registered nurse practitioner told her: “You should be glad you don’t have influenza because that’s worse than coronavirus.”"

Among the maddening things about this are that they didn't tell her upfront that they would refuse to test her for COVID-19; that they put her in a situation where she could infect numerous others; and that they undoubtedly charged her an arm and a leg for this inconclusive waste of time.

Meanwhile someone I know had a son who flew from Milan to Newark, has a cough and a virus, and nobody at Newark Airport tested him or even seemed to be aware that there might be an issue.

All of this is just making me, and everyone, more skeptical when they announce things like: "We have only 90 coronavirus patients in the U.S." What they really mean is that among the very limited number they tested, they found 90.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on March 04, 2020, 09:24:29 AM
So I caught up with my colleagues who run various hospital Micro labs last night, as well as several colleagues who head the Microbiology section of the State Health Department lab. They are all exhausted. The state lab has now been cleared to do initial testing for the virus. Those that come up positive are "presumptive positive" and the samples will be forwarded to the CDC for confirmation.
   The FDA has also put in extreme streamlining for private hospitals to develop their own in house tests with approval in as little as 48 hours. However, the development of the test will take several weeks before you can ask the FDA for the quick approval.
   I will reiterate. The reason that it is so hard to get tested is because there is no one agreed upon test. Apparently there is one diagnostic company that has a general coronavirus test, but you need special equipment and it costs over $100 per sample to run. The test the CDC is distributing to State labs is a PCR based test, which means that they all should have the equipment and supplies should be relatively cheap and not coming from China.
   The general agreement of the group was that this virus has likely been in circulation for much longer than we realize. This is in part because many people just have common cold intensity symptoms.
   So stories like Hegemony's don't surprise me. It's likely that the hospital had no real way to test for this, and so ruling out flu was the next best idea.
 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 04, 2020, 09:27:17 AM

All of this is just making me, and everyone, more skeptical when they announce things like: "We have only 90 coronavirus patients in the U.S." What they really mean is that among the very limited number they tested, they found 90.

Well nobody is actually saying there are only 90 cases. That isn't what the CDC is saying. They are saying there are outbreaks and they expect to find more cases. But yes, the lack of testing, which hopefully is quickly starting to change, is a real problem and shows that some things went really wrong. Some of these people, maybe most of them, don't have Coronavirus, but we can't have any idea of what is happening until we get more tests. It is also really, really not helping with the the anxiety and fear going around.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 04, 2020, 09:33:47 AM
Well, the article does say "a nurse practitioner told her she could only get tested if she was admitted to the hospital with severe symptoms." So that suggests that there was a test available. If they have few tests, I can understand why they would test only the most severe cases. Other countries seem to have many more tests at their disposal, which doesn't speak well to our ability to keep up. The lack of coordination is also worrying. There are multiple reports of doctors advising sick people to do things that other healthcare agencies refuse to do — as in this case, where a doctor told her to go to the emergency room for a test, and the emergency room then refused to test her. If there were clear directives about this, and the initial doctor had known them, they could have spared a possibly contagious person sitting near other sick people in the emergency room for several hours. And people flying in from Milan is a prime source of spread of the virus — many of the UK cases are from precisely that. So what's our policy on people flying in from Milan? Test them? Ask them to self-isolate without a test? Ignore them and figure the virus will spread anyway?  Let's get some policy decided and publicized, whatever it is.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on March 04, 2020, 10:13:07 AM
A friend has posted a picture from an Iowa City grocery store.  A store sign says that they are limiting the amount of items you can buy in certain categories such as rice, Lysol, toilet paper, water and paper towels.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 04, 2020, 11:31:06 AM
Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 04, 2020, 01:34:21 PM
After the flu test results came back and Jameson asked about the coronavirus test, she said the registered nurse practitioner told her: “You should be glad you don’t have influenza because that’s worse than coronavirus.”

The nurse was outright lying, of course - even by conservative estimates, the coronavirus has several times the fatality rate of ordinary seasonal flu (the worst-case estimates are over an order of mangnitude), and it's also more contagious. I guess the nurse was trying to be reassuring or something, but these sort of lies and false reassurance are exactly what feeds conspiracy theories, rumors, etc. If this had been a young child instead of a 61-year-old, the nurse would've probably been right, but it wasn't.


Quote
Meanwhile someone I know had a son who flew from Milan to Newark, has a cough and a virus, and nobody at Newark Airport tested him or even seemed to be aware that there might be an issue.


European airports aren't doing much, either (note that Italy didn't quarantine people being repatriated from China). Only in some Asian countries are airports checking people's temperature, etc.


Quote
Among the maddening things about this are that they didn't tell her upfront that they would refuse to test her for COVID-19; that they put her in a situation where she could infect numerous others; and that they undoubtedly charged her an arm and a leg for this inconclusive waste of time.

Yep. Talking to a friend of mine, we both agreed that if we were in the US and suspected we had it we wouldn't go to a hospital unless it was immediately life-threatening bad, as we likely wouldn't get tested anyway and we would only get palliative care at best, so no point on spending several months' pay on it.
The Chinese and Japanese healthcare systems are looking very good on this, on the other hand. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 04, 2020, 02:33:21 PM

Yep. Talking to a friend of mine, we both agreed that if we were in the US and suspected we had it we wouldn't go to a hospital unless it was immediately life-threatening bad, as we likely wouldn't get tested anyway and we would only get palliative care at best, so no point on spending several months' pay on it.
The Chinese and Japanese healthcare systems are looking very good on this, on the other hand.

You aren't supposed to go to a hospital unless you have symptoms of pneumonia. In fact, if this gets worse it will be very important that mildly sick without a lot of risk factors stay home and don't contribute to the overwhelming of the medical system. They aren't admitting everyone who has this to hospitals in Japan and China either. The vast majority of people are just going to have some flu symptoms and then get better with no medical treatment. (Which isn't to say there aren't lots of people in high risk groups, or this isn't dangerous)  At the moment, there aren't any drugs to treat it, so there's no reason for people to be in a hospital unless they develop more severe symptoms and need supportive care.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 04, 2020, 02:37:00 PM
In which case, it's important that there should be a consistent message across the healthcare system, instead of the woman's doctor explicitly telling to her go to the emergency room and get tested. When your doctor tells you to go to the emergency room, normally you tend to believe the doctor knows what they're talking about — after all, they're the one you're asking for advice.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 04, 2020, 02:51:42 PM
In which case, it's important that there should be a consistent message across the healthcare system, instead of the woman's doctor explicitly telling to her go to the emergency room and get tested. When your doctor tells you to go to the emergency room, normally you tend to believe the doctor knows what they're talking about — after all, they're the one you're asking for advice.

Indeed. One really hopes that the CDC and local health departments are going to start doing a better job communicating to health care providers.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 04, 2020, 03:04:16 PM
In which case, it's important that there should be a consistent message across the healthcare system, instead of the woman's doctor explicitly telling to her go to the emergency room and get tested. When your doctor tells you to go to the emergency room, normally you tend to believe the doctor knows what they're talking about — after all, they're the one you're asking for advice.

This. Basically, what I meant was that in the US my friend and I wouldn't go to a hospital unless it was immediately life-threatening even if explicitly told to do so by a physician.
The US is well past the early, imported-cases-only stage, but in the early stages actually it makes sense to test, if you can, everyone with reasonable suspicion it could be coronavirus, screen travelers, etc to prolong the early, "easy" stage as much as possible.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Kron3007 on March 04, 2020, 05:01:26 PM
So I caught up with my colleagues who run various hospital Micro labs last night, as well as several colleagues who head the Microbiology section of the State Health Department lab. They are all exhausted. The state lab has now been cleared to do initial testing for the virus. Those that come up positive are "presumptive positive" and the samples will be forwarded to the CDC for confirmation.
   The FDA has also put in extreme streamlining for private hospitals to develop their own in house tests with approval in as little as 48 hours. However, the development of the test will take several weeks before you can ask the FDA for the quick approval.
   I will reiterate. The reason that it is so hard to get tested is because there is no one agreed upon test. Apparently there is one diagnostic company that has a general coronavirus test, but you need special equipment and it costs over $100 per sample to run. The test the CDC is distributing to State labs is a PCR based test, which means that they all should have the equipment and supplies should be relatively cheap and not coming from China.
   The general agreement of the group was that this virus has likely been in circulation for much longer than we realize. This is in part because many people just have common cold intensity symptoms.
   So stories like Hegemony's don't surprise me. It's likely that the hospital had no real way to test for this, and so ruling out flu was the next best idea.
 

All this just highlights the failure of the US response.  Other countries are testing thousands of people and have been for weeks.  They don't seem to be having any of these issues, or at least not to the same degree.  I just heard in BC and Ontario they are testing all patients that come to the hospital with flu like symptoms.  There is no reason that there should be a testing ssue in the US when Canada and so many other countries seem to be able to do it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 04, 2020, 05:23:28 PM
Quote
There is no reason that there should be a testing ssue in the US when Canada and so many other countries seem to be able to do it.

Well, others on this fora are mentioning that there is no ONE test, so the test used in the US (reported to cost $100 to run) is not likely the test that others are using. The accuracy of the different tests around the world is also an issue, I am sure!  In this or the other Cornavirus thread, there was discussion of the Diamond Princess.  For much of the quarantine period, even Japan was unable to test the entirety of the passengers and crew, at least in any timely fashion. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on March 05, 2020, 03:04:06 AM
I was travelling last weekend, and it was amusing/a little sad to see how many people in all the airports were wearing various kinds of face mask (including some pretty heavy-duty painting masks).
`
There's no way they were all sick, which means they mistakenly think wearing a face mask will protect them.


It is my understanding that wearing a face mask will provide partial protection. Obviously, it doesn’t cover your eyes and most of them are not airtight. However, if you are exposed, you will be exposed to less of the virus and viral load is important. In other words, it is literally better than nothing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on March 05, 2020, 03:31:31 AM

All of this is just making me, and everyone, more skeptical when they announce things like: "We have only 90 coronavirus patients in the U.S." What they really mean is that among the very limited number they tested, they found 90.

Well nobody is actually saying there are only 90 cases. That isn't what the CDC is saying. They are saying there are outbreaks and they expect to find more cases. But yes, the lack of testing, which hopefully is quickly starting to change, is a real problem and shows that some things went really wrong. Some of these people, maybe most of them, don't have Coronavirus, but we can't have any idea of what is happening until we get more tests. It is also really, really not helping with the the anxiety and fear going around.


Yes, I am sure most of them do not have the Coronavirus. If you take a look at the data for countries where there are known, serious outbreaks (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/), countries where they are testing thousands and tens of thousands of people, you will see that the rate of positive tests is still pretty low. It is  a little more than 4% positive for South Korea. In Italy, the rate was only a little higher in spite of there being an obvious crisis with lots of people dying and them deciding to limit testing only to those with symptoms. In the UK, where they are also testing many, many people, they are finding a .2% positive rate.


My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

Instead, my point is that people from Washington or Oregon who have flu symptoms and are worried about not being tested are really most likely to not have coronavirus. Or, no more than 1 in 20 Twitter complainers actually have it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 05, 2020, 04:00:05 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on March 05, 2020, 04:03:19 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Kron3007 on March 05, 2020, 04:18:16 AM
Quote
There is no reason that there should be a testing ssue in the US when Canada and so many other countries seem to be able to do it.

Well, others on this fora are mentioning that there is no ONE test, so the test used in the US (reported to cost $100 to run) is not likely the test that others are using. The accuracy of the different tests around the world is also an issue, I am sure!  In this or the other Cornavirus thread, there was discussion of the Diamond Princess.  For much of the quarantine period, even Japan was unable to test the entirety of the passengers and crew, at least in any timely fashion.

Well, this is a different narrative than what I have read.  What I read is that there was a standard WHO test that was available, but the CDC decided to develop their own and essentially dropped the ball.

South Korea had conducted about 36 000 tests to the US's 500.  China has confirmed almost 90 000, so how many tests have they run?

I don't know where the response went wrong in the US, but it clearly did.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 05, 2020, 04:57:47 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.

Here's the xkcd (https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/self_isolate.png) take on this.

On a tangential note- Does anyone know what anti-vaxxers do in times like this? Will they avoid vaccinations during a pandemic? Or are they not that consistent?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Kron3007 on March 05, 2020, 05:03:22 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.

Here's the xkcd (https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/self_isolate.png) take on this.

On a tangential note- Does anyone know what anti-vaxxers do in times like this? Will they avoid vaccinations during a pandemic? Or are they not that consistent?
.

There was a pocket of religious based anti vaxxers in my area.  When there was a measles outbreak in their communuty, they lined up pretty quick....
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 05, 2020, 05:31:30 AM
Quote
On a tangential note- Does anyone know what anti-vaxxers do in times like this? Will they avoid vaccinations during a pandemic? Or are they not that consistent?
.

There was a pocket of religious based anti vaxxers in my area.  When there was a measles outbreak in their community, they lined up pretty quick....

I'm curious; do you know if they were against vaccines in general, or just specific ones like HPV?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 05, 2020, 05:31:37 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.

I've wondered about this sort of guidance too. I suppose as an adjunct, I have sort of light, unofficial sick leave. If I get sick I can just write my chair, cancel class and I don't lose any pay. But I have a kid in daycare, if I cancelled class every time I had sort of a gross cold, I'd probably be cancelling a class at least every three weeks. The distinction I really make is between the kind of sick where I know that once I start lecturing I'll forget about it, vs the kind where in the middle of the lecture I'm thinking "oh man, I feel like garbage. When is this over."

I saw an op ed with a guy on the Diamond Princess who owned a small business and said that for him it had been pretty mild and that if he had gotten this in the course of his normal life he probably would have just gone to work since it really didn't feel much worse than just a bad cold. It just seems like it probably isn't practicable to be telling people that if they have minor cold symptoms they should stay home if everything is still open. If I'm not supposed to come in because I have a sore throat we should probably not be having class.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 05, 2020, 05:34:09 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.

Here's the xkcd (https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/self_isolate.png) take on this.

On a tangential note- Does anyone know what anti-vaxxers do in times like this? Will they avoid vaccinations during a pandemic? Or are they not that consistent?
.

There was a pocket of religious based anti vaxxers in my area.  When there was a measles outbreak in their communuty, they lined up pretty quick....

Hmm, if you'r referring to Orthodox Jewish communities in certain areas, it isn't really accurate to describe the opposition as religious. It was more that in some particular cultural contexts, anti vax movements got a lot of currency. The actual religious authorities were never involved and mostly encouraged vaccinations once it became clear there was an issue.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Kron3007 on March 05, 2020, 05:45:56 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.

Here's the xkcd (https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/self_isolate.png) take on this.

On a tangential note- Does anyone know what anti-vaxxers do in times like this? Will they avoid vaccinations during a pandemic? Or are they not that consistent?
.

There was a pocket of religious based anti vaxxers in my area.  When there was a measles outbreak in their communuty, they lined up pretty quick....

Hmm, if you'r referring to Orthodox Jewish communities in certain areas, it isn't really accurate to describe the opposition as religious. It was more that in some particular cultural contexts, anti vax movements got a lot of currency. The actual religious authorities were never involved and mostly encouraged vaccinations once it became clear there was an issue.

No, a different group.  I don't really know their specific reasons, perhaps it was not entirely religious.  Regardless, they changed their tune pretty quick when it was in their own back yard.

As far as I know, they were against all vaccines.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 05, 2020, 06:11:09 AM

[. . .]

My point is not that we shouldn’t be testing more. We definitely should be. How else are we going to contain the outbreak if we don’t test?

[. . .]


The same way people have contained contagious diseases for centuries: self-quarantine.

So, you are suggesting that anyone and everyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms stay home? Well, I suppose that could work if we had more paid sick leave, but ha ha, we don’t.

Here's the xkcd (https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/self_isolate.png) take on this.

[. . .]

Well that pretty much describes me to a T.

Generally, to minimize spread of head colds and influenza, anyone with symptoms should not be at work or school -- especially if one of those symptoms is fever, or if leaving the house means close contact with vulnerable populations (elderly, immune suppressed, etc.). We all know that is usually far from common practice. But it is effective when people do isolate themselves.

There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption. Previously isolation has reduced the spread of smallpox, polio, and Ebola. I just wish people would use this strategy for the common, non-dread risk illnesses like head colds.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 05, 2020, 06:16:32 AM

Generally, to minimize spread of head colds and influenza, anyone with symptoms should not be at work or school -- especially if one of those symptoms is fever, or if leaving the house means close contact with vulnerable populations (elderly, immune suppressed, etc.). We all know that is usually far from common practice. But it is effective when people do isolate themselves.

There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption.

But it's totally unsustainable in the long term. Unless there's a current spike in cases in a particular area, how are they going to make the decision to re-open? If there are no current cases, what's the metric they are using to evaluate the risks? And how long until the next similarly dangerous factor is on the horizon?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 05, 2020, 06:56:54 AM
There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption. Previously isolation has reduced the spread of smallpox, polio, and Ebola. I just wish people would use this strategy for the common, non-dread risk illnesses like head colds.
This seems like a terrible policy. On top of marshwiggle's concern that there's no natural end, this imposes a big burden on parents who now need to find caretakers. A likely outcome is that grandparents will look after the kids... but, of course, the elderly are the group most susceptible to adverse health outcomes if they get infected. Kids (and non-elderly adults), on the other hand, seem to recover pretty easily. So this may reduce the number of infections/cases, while simultaneously driving up the number of deaths.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 05, 2020, 07:05:21 AM
There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption. Previously isolation has reduced the spread of smallpox, polio, and Ebola. I just wish people would use this strategy for the common, non-dread risk illnesses like head colds.
This seems like a terrible policy. On top of marshwiggle's concern that there's no natural end, this imposes a big burden on parents who now need to find caretakers.

And working single parents with no family close by, i.e. some of the most vulnerable already, will probably have to resort to all kinds of precarious arrangements....indefinitely.

Quote
A likely outcome is that grandparents will look after the kids... but, of course, the elderly are the group most susceptible to adverse health outcomes if they get infected. Kids (and non-elderly adults), on the other hand, seem to recover pretty easily. So this may reduce the number of infections/cases, while simultaneously driving up the number of deaths.

And places where a bunch of kids are being taken care of together, cases will cluster in these childcare settings with no consistent procedures in place rather than in schools where protocols can be enforced.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 05, 2020, 08:19:28 AM


Generally, to minimize spread of head colds and influenza, anyone with symptoms should not be at work or school -- especially if one of those symptoms is fever, or if leaving the house means close contact with vulnerable populations (elderly, immune suppressed, etc.). We all know that is usually far from common practice. But it is effective when people do isolate themselves.

There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption. Previously isolation has reduced the spread of smallpox, polio, and Ebola. I just wish people would use this strategy for the common, non-dread risk illnesses like head colds.

Again, if you're talking about the flu, absolutely. I really can't see how this is feasible for colds. Sure, if you have a cold and you have the sort of job where you can work from home for the day without a lot of disruption, that's probably sensible and more comfortable. But, as a college professor, I just can't cancel class every time I have a cold. With a kid in daycare, I'd never be in class.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: magnemite on March 05, 2020, 10:26:11 AM
As I sneeze out of control because of tree pollen, and blow my nose, etc, I'm getting the "stink-eye" from some folks...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 05, 2020, 10:49:27 AM
As I sneeze out of control because of tree pollen, and blow my nose, etc, I'm getting the "stink-eye" from some folks...
Better than what happened to my Chinese friend today: someone yelled "get out of the way, Corona" to her on public transit. Racists being racist, example #infinity.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: magnemite on March 05, 2020, 10:55:19 AM
As I sneeze out of control because of tree pollen, and blow my nose, etc, I'm getting the "stink-eye" from some folks...
Better than what happened to my Chinese friend today: someone yelled "get out of the way, Corona" to her on public transit. Racists being racist, example #infinity.

Yes, and I am sorry but not shocked to hear that. As I was posting, it had occurred to me that the ability to sneeze in public w/o being tarred and feathered is a manifestation of white privilege in this situation.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 05, 2020, 10:59:33 AM
As I sneeze out of control because of tree pollen, and blow my nose, etc, I'm getting the "stink-eye" from some folks...
Better than what happened to my Chinese friend today: someone yelled "get out of the way, Corona" to her on public transit. Racists being racist, example #infinity.

Yes, and I am sorry but not shocked to hear that. As I was posting, it had occurred to me that the ability to sneeze in public w/o being tarred and feathered is a manifestation of white privilege in this situation.

Sorry, this came across as critical of your post -- and it was definitely not meant to be!

It was just meant to provide an additional anecdote of how fear of disease is bringing out the worst in people.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: magnemite on March 05, 2020, 11:13:35 AM
As I sneeze out of control because of tree pollen, and blow my nose, etc, I'm getting the "stink-eye" from some folks...
Better than what happened to my Chinese friend today: someone yelled "get out of the way, Corona" to her on public transit. Racists being racist, example #infinity.

Yes, and I am sorry but not shocked to hear that. As I was posting, it had occurred to me that the ability to sneeze in public w/o being tarred and feathered is a manifestation of white privilege in this situation.

Sorry, this came across as critical of your post -- and it was definitely not meant to be!

It was just meant to provide an additional anecdote of how fear of disease is bringing out the worst in people.

Do not be sorry- I did not take that as criticism- I was just pointing out that I too was recognizing some of the racist manifestations of reactions.

Also, it's not easy to not touch your face, especially when having allergies...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on March 05, 2020, 12:43:15 PM
As I sneeze out of control because of tree pollen, and blow my nose, etc, I'm getting the "stink-eye" from some folks...

One good thing about living in "flyover country" is that you're still assumed when you cough to have simple cold, sinus, etc.  People around here are still figuring that the hoofbeats they hear are from horses, not zebras with Covid-19.

Although in my case a persistent minor sinus drainage cough has people at work starting to wondering whether that lung I punctured last summer is broken again.  I know now what a busted lung feels like, and this isn't it!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 05, 2020, 02:13:38 PM

Generally, to minimize spread of head colds and influenza, anyone with symptoms should not be at work or school -- especially if one of those symptoms is fever, or if leaving the house means close contact with vulnerable populations (elderly, immune suppressed, etc.). We all know that is usually far from common practice. But it is effective when people do isolate themselves.

There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption.

But it's totally unsustainable in the long term. Unless there's a current spike in cases in a particular area, how are they going to make the decision to re-open? If there are no current cases, what's the metric they are using to evaluate the risks? And how long until the next similarly dangerous factor is on the horizon?

You might want to pose this question to the Iowa Board of Regents, which cancelled all university-sponsored international travel for at least the next 30 days.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: magnemite on March 05, 2020, 02:39:40 PM

Generally, to minimize spread of head colds and influenza, anyone with symptoms should not be at work or school -- especially if one of those symptoms is fever, or if leaving the house means close contact with vulnerable populations (elderly, immune suppressed, etc.). We all know that is usually far from common practice. But it is effective when people do isolate themselves.

There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption.

But it's totally unsustainable in the long term. Unless there's a current spike in cases in a particular area, how are they going to make the decision to re-open? If there are no current cases, what's the metric they are using to evaluate the risks? And how long until the next similarly dangerous factor is on the horizon?

You might want to pose this question to the Iowa Board of Regents, which cancelled all university-sponsored international travel for at least the next 30 days.

the impacts on folks doing research in foreign lands will be fun to sort out. What do they think will change after 30 days?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 05, 2020, 03:11:44 PM
I think, as pundits and the WHO are saying, the situation is simply unprecedented. Will a successful treatment or a vaccine be developed quickly, before people get tired of being so cautious? Will we simply accept that the virus will race through the population and kill 3.4% (latest WHO figures) of us? Will at-risk people hunker down while everyone else relaxes and goes about their normal business?  We simply don't have a blueprint for it because the last time this happened — an easily-transmitted disease with enough power to kill people but not enough to keep sufferers from travelling widely and spreading it — the last time this happened, in 1918, the world was less interconnected, and despite that it was a disaster. What level of caution is optimum, and for how long?  We have no useful precedents.  At what point do you say, "I'm sick of not travelling, I'm going to resume business as usual, and if my elderly parents catch it from me, oh well"?  Or do you say, "I'm sick of not travelling, but it's been two years and I'm feeling really restless, so despite the fact that I'm immune-compromised, I'm going to throw caution to the winds"?  We'll see.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 05, 2020, 06:27:33 PM
I think, as pundits and the WHO are saying, the situation is simply unprecedented. Will a successful treatment or a vaccine be developed quickly, before people get tired of being so cautious?
I think WHO's messaging here is really counter-productive. Yeah, it's "unprecedented" -- but qualitatively, it's not all that different from the swine flu, the bird flu, or SARS. There are differences in transmission rates, variability of symptoms, etc, but it's not like people didn't freak out just as much about these other things.

Quote
We simply don't have a blueprint for it because the last time this happened — an easily-transmitted disease with enough power to kill people but not enough to keep sufferers from travelling widely and spreading it — the last time this happened, in 1918, the world was less interconnected, and despite that it was a disaster.
That was also a time when washing your hands just wasn't the norm, not even in hospitals. That didn't become a widespread thing until the 1980s -- and even now, hand hygiene in hospitals often leaves something to be desired. There are numerous clinical trials trying to improve adherence... and that's among the people who (1) should really know better, and (2) where transmitting infections to patients has a much higher chance of leading to death.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 05, 2020, 07:14:48 PM
I think, as pundits and the WHO are saying, the situation is simply unprecedented. Will a successful treatment or a vaccine be developed quickly, before people get tired of being so cautious? Will we simply accept that the virus will race through the population and kill 3.4% (latest WHO figures) of us? Will at-risk people hunker down while everyone else relaxes and goes about their normal business?  We simply don't have a blueprint for it because the last time this happened — an easily-transmitted disease with enough power to kill people but not enough to keep sufferers from travelling widely and spreading it — the last time this happened, in 1918, the world was less interconnected, and despite that it was a disaster. What level of caution is optimum, and for how long?  We have no useful precedents.  At what point do you say, "I'm sick of not travelling, I'm going to resume business as usual, and if my elderly parents catch it from me, oh well"?  Or do you say, "I'm sick of not travelling, but it's been two years and I'm feeling really restless, so despite the fact that I'm immune-compromised, I'm going to throw caution to the winds"?  We'll see.

Well, it isn't going to be Spanish Flu level bad. The WHO isn't really an estimate of the actual mortality, its just a simple division of deaths by diagnosed cases. That's all it is supposed to be. It doesn't account on the numerator for people who haven't died yet but will, and on the denominator it doesn't count all the people who have mild or asymptomatic cases. In Korea, for example where they have been testing really extensively, right now the rate is like. .6%. Doesn't seem like we are going to know this for a while.

As for the rest, well, who knows. But, this article lays out possibilities. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/02/how-is-coronavirus-outbreak-going-end-heres-how-similar-epidemics-played-out/ Basically, it doesn't seem like this is going to be a multi year type thing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 05, 2020, 08:09:10 PM
Well, the Spanish flu death rate appears to have been around 2.5%. Maybe our current estimate of 3.4% is overblown — it's too early to tell. But we travel a lot more now, and there are more of us. So I don't think it's impossible that the situation could be similar. The U.S. hospital system isn't well set up for significant numbers of people needing intensive care or ventilator support at the same time, so that's another drawback — if the system is overwhelmed, some people who might be saved won't be. But really it doesn't matter whether the optimists are right or the pessimists are right, because time will tell.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 06, 2020, 06:18:15 AM
MIT has suspended all official international travel. "This includes any travel associated with one’s scholarly activities as an MIT employee, even travel funded by a government grant, foundation, company or other university."

The decision was reached based on advice from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.


Generally, to minimize spread of head colds and influenza, anyone with symptoms should not be at work or school -- especially if one of those symptoms is fever, or if leaving the house means close contact with vulnerable populations (elderly, immune suppressed, etc.). We all know that is usually far from common practice. But it is effective when people do isolate themselves.

There are K-12 schools in the USA and other countries that are simply shutting down for an indefinite period because of possible contact between pupils or employees and people who possibly have Covid-19. It's a smart attempt at preemption.

But it's totally unsustainable in the long term. Unless there's a current spike in cases in a particular area, how are they going to make the decision to re-open? If there are no current cases, what's the metric they are using to evaluate the risks? And how long until the next similarly dangerous factor is on the horizon?

You might want to pose this question to the Iowa Board of Regents, which cancelled all university-sponsored international travel for at least the next 30 days.

the impacts on folks doing research in foreign lands will be fun to sort out. What do they think will change after 30 days?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 06, 2020, 10:40:50 AM
University of Washington has suspended in-person classes and exams for the rest of winter quarter, due to an infected person on campus:

https://komonews.com/news/local/uw-suspends-classes-finals-on-campus-starting-monday?fbclid=IwAR30Lw-mGRP6rPyQmlqKOhVNlfxNnu--XGWSIj6Ze46xOKnYWdrETT99CXY

"We plan to resume normal class operations when spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance."

Note: "Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled."
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on March 06, 2020, 10:46:48 AM
University of Washington has suspended in-person classes and exams for the rest of winter quarter, due to an infected person on campus:

https://komonews.com/news/local/uw-suspends-classes-finals-on-campus-starting-monday?fbclid=IwAR30Lw-mGRP6rPyQmlqKOhVNlfxNnu--XGWSIj6Ze46xOKnYWdrETT99CXY

"We plan to resume normal class operations when spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance."

Note: "Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled."

That must be because athletic events don't put people into the same crowded spaces with close physical contact that classes do and have no risk of bodily fluid transfer, etc.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 06, 2020, 12:03:40 PM
University of Washington has suspended in-person classes and exams for the rest of winter quarter, due to an infected person on campus:

https://komonews.com/news/local/uw-suspends-classes-finals-on-campus-starting-monday?fbclid=IwAR30Lw-mGRP6rPyQmlqKOhVNlfxNnu--XGWSIj6Ze46xOKnYWdrETT99CXY

"We plan to resume normal class operations when spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance."

Note: "Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled."

Well, we can't let something as minor as a pandemic impede the important stuff, now can we?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 06, 2020, 12:06:17 PM
Quote
Quote from: Hegemony on Today at 10:40:50 AM
University of Washington has suspended in-person classes and exams for the rest of winter quarter, due to an infected person on campus:

https://komonews.com/news/local/uw-suspends-classes-finals-on-campus-starting-monday?fbclid=IwAR30Lw-mGRP6rPyQmlqKOhVNlfxNnu--XGWSIj6Ze46xOKnYWdrETT99CXY

"We plan to resume normal class operations when spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance."

Note: "Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled."

That must be because athletic events don't put people into the same crowded spaces with close physical contact that classes do and have no risk of bodily fluid transfer, etc.

2 things...
1.  Exams make students stressed and therefore susceptible to illness

2.  You can always retake a test/class, you can not retake a GAME (or party). 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 06, 2020, 01:23:29 PM

Quote
Note: "Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled."

Quote
That must be because athletic events don't put people into the same crowded spaces with close physical contact that classes do and have no risk of bodily fluid transfer, etc.

Well, except for the audience being in close physical contact with each other, and in much greater numbers than in a classroom.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bio-nonymous on March 06, 2020, 01:59:42 PM
Just got a notice the Experimental Biology Meeting was canceled this year (supposed to have been in San Diego April 4th-7th) because of the outbreak. This a huge meeting. IT makes me wonder what happens if the virus doesn't fizzle out over the next few months, my University is already asking us to reconsider ALL upcoming travel--and refusing to pay for travel to many areas with active outbreaks (makes sense that part!). The 3.6% death rate is 36 times higher than the flu--without a vaccine perhaps all the caution is more reasonable than I had first thought...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 06, 2020, 03:13:31 PM
L.A. Times (https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-05/flu-killed-more-people-coronavirus-covid-19) has a pretty cogent discussion.

Quote
No vaccines, no medications
Humanity has been contending with seasonal flu for centuries, so scientists have had a long time to study the influenza strains that circulate in the winter months.

This research has led to the development of annual vaccines that protect large swaths of the population from getting the flu and reduce its severity in those who do become infected. In addition, there are medications available that can treat influenza symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness.

Also, when individuals come down with the flu, their bodies build up immunity. That means not everyone who is exposed to the flu virus gets sick.

But the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 has been in existence for only about three months, so there is no natural immunity in the population.

And unfortunately, there isn’t a vaccine that can pick up the slack. Although several experimental vaccines are in the works, none will be ready to roll out for at least 18 months...

Quote
For public health officials, another cause for concern is the lack of information about how easily the coronavirus spreads.

Quote
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Among other things, it implies that an infected person can spread the virus to someone who is more than six feet away, “so that is also part of the rationale for keeping people at a distance from one another.”

And researchers are still trying to determine how long the new virus can live on surfaces like handrails, doorknobs and elevator buttons that may be touched by hundreds or even thousands of people each day.

It isn’t yet clear whether the coronavirus spreads as easily as the flu, but it has moved quickly. It has reached six continents in a matter of weeks with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 89 countries and territories. Some of those patients became infected despite having no contact with anyone known to be exposed to the virus.

Higher fatality rate than seasonal flu

And here’s another reason health officials are sounding the alarm: It appears that COVID-19 has a higher fatality rate than the flu.

Although four out of five cases of COVID-19 result in mild illness, the director-general of the World Health Organization said this week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 could be as high as 3.4%.

That would be higher than the mortality rate of the 1918 Spanish flu, which is estimated to have killed at least 50 million people worldwide over two years. Among those who were infected, the death rate was around 2.5%.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ab_grp on March 06, 2020, 03:14:22 PM
Our large national meeting is in April in San Francisco.  It has not been canceled yet, though I pretty much expect it to be.  My institution has already canceled all non-essential business travel for the foreseeable future, and we usually send a couple hundred researchers to that conference.  Maybe there will be more interest in and support for virtual meetings and conferences at my own institution and beyond. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 06, 2020, 05:46:58 PM
Our campus is in a flurry of preparation to move courses online, figure out other workarounds, and reduce the number of times large groups of people have to meet.  So to learn how to implement this, they have called a large meeting. We're all supposed to show up to this large meeting to learn how we should avoid large meetings. I think I will inaugurate my avoidance of large meetings by avoiding this one.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pgher on March 06, 2020, 07:39:27 PM
A major conference for which I serve on the steering committee is supposed to start a week from Sunday. That means at least some preparation will happen next Thursday. The more we talk about it, the less I think anyone will show up. Several major companies in our industry have issued a global travel ban for their employees; violators won't have their travel covered, and will have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. Whether or not that's a reasonable response, the actual conference attendees are not in a position to argue with their senior management.

So we're discussing going to a virtual conference. The thing is, we can't possibly set that up in time to match the existing schedule. It's a mess. A no-win situation.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 06, 2020, 10:42:18 PM
Sorry to hear of that. A mess, indeed.

Out of curiosity, though, can you say what steps you'd take, and in what order/time frame, to move a conference online?

That would be useful knowledge.

I can see how to move a class to a CMS-supported online format, but how would you do that with a conference?

I guess you could start by having everyone tape a reading/talk-through of their papers, but what then?

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pgher on March 07, 2020, 05:48:46 AM
Sorry to hear of that. A mess, indeed.

Out of curiosity, though, can you say what steps you'd take, and in what order/time frame, to move a conference online?

That would be useful knowledge.

I can see how to move a class to a CMS-supported online format, but how would you do that with a conference?

I guess you could start by having everyone tape a reading/talk-through of their papers, but what then?

M.

That's about all we've seriously discussed. The problem with that is, it doesn't capture all of the conference experience. Actually viewing the presentations is, for me, a small part of the reason I attend. I'll let you know what else is discussed if we go down that road.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ab_grp on March 07, 2020, 08:13:14 AM
Our national conference just canceled, as expected.  It sounds as though some parts may be conducted virtually, and others may be postponed until the fall.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 07, 2020, 09:40:37 AM

Although four out of five cases of COVID-19 result in mild illness, the director-general of the World Health Organization said this week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 could be as high as 3.4%.

That would be higher than the mortality rate of the 1918 Spanish flu, which is estimated to have killed at least 50 million people worldwide over two years. Among those who were infected, the death rate was around 2.5%.
[/quote]

This isn't to dispute the rest, but very crucial to understand that number. It is not an estimate of the mortality rate of either people who get it or people who show symptoms. It is just number of deaths divided by confirmed cases. Full stop.
Read this. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/06/why-its-so-hard-pin-down-risk-dying-coronavirus/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 07, 2020, 09:54:16 AM
Anyone managing increasing anxiety over this?  I think I need to take some serious breaks from reading news.  There are constant updates and it's hard to put it all in proper context.  Distracting me from getting things done.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 07, 2020, 10:52:47 AM
Anyone managing increasing anxiety over this?  I think I need to take some serious breaks from reading news.  There are constant updates and it's hard to put it all in proper context.  Distracting me from getting things done.
Don't follow the "breaking" news and anticipate that this epidemic will be active for at least a few more months. Epidemics are a marathon, not a sprint, even though it's being covered like the latter. I suspect we'll start seeing much less news coverage by the end of the month. Something else will have captured the news cycle by then. See also Avian flu, swine flu, Ebola... news coverage and panic unfold largely the same way.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 07, 2020, 03:52:25 PM
Thanks very much, pigou, that helps.

Recent mass media articles on keeping calm during this time suggest some doable actions:  stay physically and mentally healthy, rely only on credible news sources, keep things in perspective (most people with the virus recover), and take breaks from following the news.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on March 07, 2020, 04:17:34 PM
Here's the effective behavior to lower the probability of getting infectd oneself, from the CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

Best of luck to all.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 07, 2020, 06:00:09 PM
Thanks very much, pigou, that helps.

Recent mass media articles on keeping calm during this time suggest some doable actions:  stay physically and mentally healthy, rely only on credible news sources, keep things in perspective (most people with the virus recover), and take breaks from following the news.
I also think the "negative" tests give us meaningful information. The UK tested 20,000 people and came up with just over 200 positive results. That may well include a lot of hypochondriacs who, despite having no risk factors, think their sneezing means they're about to die from the coronavirus. Don't be like those people.

Also, don't be like the government of Italy, which may be about to quarantine a quarter of its population: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/italy-coronavirus-milan-lombardy-lockdowns/2020/03/07/403fcea2-60b3-11ea-ac50-18701e14e06d_story.html

Quote
ROME — Italy's government on Saturday considered dramatically expanding its northern lockdown zone to encompass up to 15 million people — about a quarter of the country's population — in an extraordinary bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to a draft proposal reviewed by The Washington Post. [...]

The measures would at least temporarily transform the nation, locking off much of the northern part of the country, with people allowed to exit or enter Lombardy and 11 northern provinces only for emergency reasons or for essential work that cannot be delayed.

The changes would cut off the daily high-speed rail connections between Milan and Rome, bring an absolute halt to tourism in Venice, and essentially paralyze Italy’s economic heartland.

It would also signal that Western democratic nations are willing to drastically restrict freedoms as they contend with major outbreaks.

I just can't grasp the insanity of this action. The Italian government has always been pretty dysfunctional and their economy was going to do poorly no matter what... but it seems like their politicians have decided a show of strength is what they need and they might as well give up on things like employment, growth, and liberalism.

While I'd not generally recommend people take any action beyond basic hygiene... if you lived in one of those areas, I'd absolutely recommend getting out ASAP (and perhaps getting out of Italy entirely). Governments have massive powers when it comes to stopping the outbreak of diseases and the mere existence of such a draft proposal suggests Italy may be considering using them. It's all fun and games until you end up on the wrong side of that.

In the US, for what it's worth, the federal government can deploy the military to enforce a quarantine. Moreover, the standing rules for the use of force would apply and allow the armed forces to use deadly force against anyone trying to leave a quarantine. That's at the complete discretion of the president and not subject to Congressional review or authorization. If you want something to be anxious about, let it be this -- not the virus.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pgher on March 07, 2020, 07:18:21 PM
I think the time has come to remember this: All is well! Remain calm! (https://youtu.be/zDAmPIq29ro)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 07, 2020, 08:35:48 PM
Well, I'm not all that displeased at the Italians setting a quarantine. Some larger effort needs to happen, and that appears to be it. The WHO praised China's success in slowing down the epidemic considerably, and strict quarantines were at the heart of it. To those who would say, "Everyone's going to get it anyway, so quarantines are useless" — they are still useful because they slow the rate of transmission so that hospitals can cope with the surge. Although "only" 1-3.4% of people appear to die from it, as many as 14% of those who contract it need to be hospitalized, and 5% of the total will need to be in intensive care with ventilators and other equipment in limited supply. So unless we slow the rate of transmission appreciably, many people will die simply through lack of available beds and equipment in hospitals. The first line of defense is tracing contact lines. When the transmission gets too wide to make that feasible, slowing social contact is the next and in fact only line of defense, until such day as better treatments and vaccines are developed. It's fine and dandy if people want to elude the quarantine — unless they happen to have the disease. Then their "freedom" spreads it more widely. At the moment in the U.S., infection rates are doubling every 6 days. Coming soon to a crowded venue near you.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 08, 2020, 03:53:50 AM
Taiwan's response to Covid-19 (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762689)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 08, 2020, 08:12:10 AM
Thanks for that.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 08, 2020, 08:41:30 AM
Do any of the folks here with medical/biological/public health connections have information on how long the Covid-19 virus remains active (or "alive") on a dry surface that's at room temperature?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 08, 2020, 09:09:57 AM
Well, I'm not all that displeased at the Italians setting a quarantine. Some larger effort needs to happen, and that appears to be it. The WHO praised China's success in slowing down the epidemic considerably, and strict quarantines were at the heart of it. To those who would say, "Everyone's going to get it anyway, so quarantines are useless" — they are still useful because they slow the rate of transmission so that hospitals can cope with the surge. Although "only" 1-3.4% of people appear to die from it, as many as 14% of those who contract it need to be hospitalized, and 5% of the total will need to be in intensive care with ventilators and other equipment in limited supply. So unless we slow the rate of transmission appreciably, many people will die simply through lack of available beds and equipment in hospitals. The first line of defense is tracing contact lines. When the transmission gets too wide to make that feasible, slowing social contact is the next and in fact only line of defense, until such day as better treatments and vaccines are developed. It's fine and dandy if people want to elude the quarantine — unless they happen to have the disease. Then their "freedom" spreads it more widely. At the moment in the U.S., infection rates are doubling every 6 days. Coming soon to a crowded venue near you.

Plus, there's the knock-on effects - if hospitals and the healthcare system generally are overwhelmed, then cancer patients, accident victims, women in labor, etc will not get timely/adequate/any treatment. It's eminently sensible to slow down the spread, even if it had no effect on the final tally of cases. Quarantines and similar measures are pretty much all that's available aside from hygiene.
Plus, the experiences of China and Singapore show that drastic measures are effective against Covid-19. The experiences of countries that did nothing until they faced a full-blown epidemic - Italy (didn't quarantine folks repatriated from China) and Iran (they at first said they didn't believe in quarantines), show that there's a high cost to not taking drastic measures early. The reluctance of many countries to impose any restrictions on people coming from Italy (unlike the much greater willingness to impose restrictions on people coming from China or Iran) quickly spread it across the world, again illustrating the difference between imposing restrictions and doing nothing.
Yes, the economic cost of drastic measures is massive, but there would also be a massive cost to the healthcare system collapsing - and Italian officials are saying that the healthcare system in Lombardy is close to collapse.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: onthefringe on March 08, 2020, 09:47:08 AM
Do any of the folks here with medical/biological/public health connections have information on how long the Covid-19 virus remains active (or "alive") on a dry surface that's at room temperature?

I am not an immunologist, but I've done some reading in the scientific literature.

I don’t think we really know for this particular strain, but we might be able to make predictions based on other coronaviruses. This review (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1828811/) looks at surface survival of several respiratory and enteric viruses on fomites (inanimate objects that can transmit infections). They note that a multitude of factors including temperature, humidity, and UV exposure affect viability. Some studies they cite give other coronaviruses survival periods in the range of 3-12 hours (in contrast, some influenza viruses survive up to  several days in similar conditions). But there’s evidence of some coronaviruses being able to survive on a non pourous surface for up to a week given the right conditions. This paper (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16914034) suggests some respiratory viruses can survive for a few days.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on March 08, 2020, 11:11:08 AM
So, I have tried to look for this, and have not found such an analysis, but shouldn't the Diamond Princess cruise ship fiasco give us a pretty definitive idea of the mortality rates (at least for that demographic)? From my understanding of all the news articles, everyone on the ship ended up getting tested, right? So here's a population in which every case, mild/asymptomatic or not, would be caught. So according to the Johns Hopkins website, there were 705 cases, 5 deaths, and 690 cases not yet resolved. So with at least 5 deaths, that's at least 0.7% mortality rate, and that number can only go up. I guess cruise ship passengers likely skew older, but still, this seems like a pretty obvious case study where we really do know the denominator in the mortality rate equation. I am somewhat surprised that these numbers are not discussed more; I hope that some epidemiologists are closely following this population, as it seems like a very useful source of data.

Russell TW, Hellewell J, Jarvis CI, van Zandvoort K, Abbott S, Ratnayake R, CMMID nCov working group, Flasche S, Eggo R, Edmunds WJ, & Kucharski AJ. Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.  (http://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/severity/diamond_cruise_cfr_estimates.html) Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases.  Published online 5 March 2020. 

Abstract:
Quote from: Russell et al.
Adjusting for delay from confirmation-to-death, we estimated case and infection fatality ratios (CFR, IFR) for COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess ship as 2.3% (0.75%–5.3%) and 1.2% (0.38–2.7%). Comparing deaths onboard with expected deaths based on naive CFR estimates using China data, we estimate IFR and CFR in China to be 0.5% (95% CI: 0.2–1.2%) and 1.1% (95% CI: 0.3–2.4%) respectively.

Note: CFR = # deaths / # of symptomatic cases; IFR = # deaths / # of infections.

Excerpt from discussion:
Quote from: Russell et al.
The case fatality ratio is challenging to accurately estimate in real time [8], especially for an infection with attributes similar to SARS-CoV-2, which has a delay of almost two weeks between confirmation and death, strong effects of age-dependence and comorbidities on mortality risk, and likely under-reporting of cases in many settings [6]. Using an age-stratified adjustment, we accounted for changes in known outcomes over time. By applying the method to Diamond Princess data, we focus on a setting that is likely to have lower reporting error because large numbers were tested and the test has high sensitivity.

The average age onboard the ship was 58, so our estimates of cCFR cannot directly be applied to a younger population; we therefore scaled our estimates to obtain values for a population equivalent to those in the early China outbreak. There were some limitations to our analysis. Cruise ship passengers may have a different health status to the general population of their home countries, due to health requirements to embark on a multi-week holiday, or differences related to socio-economic status or comborbities. Deaths only occurred in individuals 70 years or older, so we were not able to generate age-specific cCFRs; the fatality risk may also be influenced by differences in healthcare between countries. Because of likely age-specific differences in reporting, we focused on overall cCFR in China, rather than calculating age-specific cCFRs [7].
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 08, 2020, 04:57:50 PM
Anyone have details on the air travel situation to Rome from the USA and back? Asking for an acquaintance. She doesn't want to get stuck in Italy or be put in a quarantine upon returning home.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 08, 2020, 05:11:58 PM
Quote
Anyone have details on the air travel situation to Rome from the USA and back? Asking for an acquaintance. She doesn't want to get stuck in Italy or be put in a quarantine upon returning home.

In past years, (in past presidencies), there might have been a centralized State Department advisory page on this (like the M&IE website I referred someone to on another thread recently).

I haven't looked for it, but that's one place to start.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on March 08, 2020, 05:14:36 PM
The reference to an ‘average’ in the Russell study makes me nervous as I’d expect the population to be strongly bimodal - generally young staff, generally older travelers.

I think Rome is ok but smart traveller in Australia or its equivalent in the US will list the travel restrictions. Also International SOS.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 08, 2020, 05:22:35 PM
Anyone have details on the air travel situation to Rome from the USA and back? Asking for an acquaintance. She doesn't want to get stuck in Italy or be put in a quarantine upon returning home.

I wouldn't go right now. Rome hasn't had a lot of cases, but that could change quickly. The same, of course, could be said for just about anywhere in the US, but I think the danger of getting stuck is real. It also just seems like it be worth it at this point unless there's a really compelling reason to go. Just doesn't seem like a fun time to be a tourist in Italy, if that's the purpose of the trip, lots of stuff might get shut. If she's doing research, similar problems and concerns.

Of course if she has any medical condition or is older, than she definitely shouldn't go and probably should avoid travel in general...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 08, 2020, 06:58:17 PM
Quote
Anyone have details on the air travel situation to Rome from the USA and back? Asking for an acquaintance. She doesn't want to get stuck in Italy or be put in a quarantine upon returning home.

In past years, (in past presidencies), there might have been a centralized State Department advisory page on this (like the M&IE website I referred someone to on another thread recently).

I haven't looked for it, but that's one place to start.

M.

OK, found it:

Here's the basic site:

   https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

Here's the travel map (note: the "Do not travel"/red areas don't say why, so they might not all be contaigion-related):

   https://travelmaps.state.gov/TSGMap/

Here's the site for Italy: restrictions are for the north, although I pointed the cursor on Rome and the pop-up was focused on Rome itself, but the "More Info" link took me here):

   https://it.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: AmLitHist on March 09, 2020, 07:38:53 AM
A young woman in our town came home from studying abroad in Italy and brought the virus with her.  The train she took home from Chicago is out of service, being cleaned, and all passengers notified, etc.  She and her family got tested and agreed to in-home quarantine. 

Until the dad and younger sister went to a father-daughter dance on Saturday night.  They also stopped at a private pre-dance party on the way there.

Today, two high schools are closed, with others whose students also went to the party and/or dance telling their students to watch for symptoms, etc.

Not too surprisingly, the patient and her family live in one of the richest suburbs.  So, the rest of us slumming in economically-struggling areas are safe. . . .

. . . .EXCEPT.. . . . my campus traditionally has a number of students who work as valets, housekeepers, bar- and waitstaff at the hotel where the dance was held. 

I'll keep my colorful comments about the dad to myself.  (The patient herself has maintained the quarantine, as have her mother and other family members.)  Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.  Let it have been one of my students who did such a lame-brained stunt, and all hell would be raining down.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 09, 2020, 08:09:06 AM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on March 09, 2020, 08:09:52 AM
    At the medical center where Mr. Buster works they has a similar situation. Sister of an employee at Medical Center came back from Italy and is is self-quarantine. So employee went and hung out with her sister over the weekend. I'm not sure if the sister has any symptoms. Once word of this got out, days later, the medical center acted as fast as they could to isolate the employee and determine a chain of contact.
   People need a review of what the word quarantine actually means.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 09, 2020, 08:30:40 AM
Originally from French, "quarrantaine," a 40-day period (like Lent) or distancing and deprivation for the purposes of purification.

I don't know/am too lazy to pull out the OED to look up first uses, etc. but at some point that usage was broadened  to include medical segregation.

I'm sorry these peoples' selfishness is causing such problems.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ergative on March 09, 2020, 09:06:08 AM
Originally from French, "quarrantaine," a 40-day period (like Lent) or distancing and deprivation for the purposes of purification.

I don't know/am too lazy to pull out the OED to look up first uses, etc. but at some point that usage was broadened  to include medical segregation.

I'm sorry these peoples' selfishness is causing such problems.

M.

In Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, he discusses a delay in reported cases between the first few in December 1664 and the later ones in February 1665, and says the following: Now the question seems to lie thus: Where lay the seeds of the infection all this while? How came it to stop so long, and not stop any longer? Either the distemper did not come immediately by contagion from body to body, or, if it did, then a body may be capable to continue infected without the disease discovering itself many days, nay, weeks together; even not a quarantine of days only, but soixantine; not only forty days, but sixty days or longer.

So at the time quarantine had a very specific meaning, not just of medical isolation, but specifically isolation for the period of 40 days--and the morphology of the word was productive enough that it was possible to adjust it to keep the same word form but allow different numbers in the root to indicate different durations of isolation. Defoe wrote the book in 1722, but the OED dates this particular usage back to 1630 in English, and it came from Italian (Italy had a lot of plague outbreaks in the 17th century). There are, of course, other usages that refer to the passage of time, but are unrelated to medical isolation (e.g., penance, a deadline for turning a dower over to a widow, or a place where Christ fasted for 40 days).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 09, 2020, 11:09:30 AM
Thanks, yes, that's what I had in mind.

I'm curious, though....Does it actually say, "place" where Christ fasted?

I could understand it saying "a time for fasting," or withdrawal/isolation: that's where the timing for Lent is derived, from the period of temptation between Jesus' baptism and first days of public ministry (Matt. 4: 1-11; Luke 4:2-13--OK, so I have my Bible closer at hand than my OED....sorry!)

But I hadn't heard of there being a place identified for that. Interesting.

When I'm up next (still crutching around) I'll have to see if I can pull the OED down without it falling over on me and look at that further.

Anyway, back to our regularly-scheduled whatever-it-is-we-were-doing.....oh, yeah, still trying to find that colonial gravestone's background info....

ETA: Apropos of this exact discussion, this Tweet--a MS citation on plague isolation in Old England--just showed up in my Twitter feed two minutes later:

   https://publish.twitter.com/?query=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FSonja_Drimmer%2Fstatus%2F1237059343343747074&widget=Tweet

M. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ergative on March 09, 2020, 12:54:32 PM
Yes, the place itself:

†1. Christian Church. The place where Jesus fasted for forty days. Obsolete.
c1470   W. Wey Itineraries 14   By yonde ys a wyldernys of quarentyne, Wher Cryst wyth fastyng hys body dyd pyne; In that holy place, as we rede, The deuyl wold had of stonys bred.
c1500   Stations of Jerusalem 780 in C. Horstmann Altengl. Legenden (1881) 2nd Ser. 365/2 (MED)   And after we..turnyd vp to Quryntyne [read Quaryntyne], There Jhesu fastyd xl deys.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on March 09, 2020, 01:07:51 PM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.

How exactly does one do this?  Do you just stay in the house and have others deliver food to you?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: wwwdotcom on March 09, 2020, 01:12:33 PM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.

How exactly does one do this?  Do you just stay in the house and have others deliver food to you?

Or eat the food you have in your house.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on March 09, 2020, 01:36:56 PM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.

How exactly does one do this?  Do you just stay in the house and have others deliver food to you?

Or eat the food you have in your house.

Defoe gives examples of this as well.  Really, A Journal of the Plague Year gives a LOT of food for thought about epidemic and pandemic situations.  It's not only a vivid historical novel portrayal of a devastating epidemic, it's also the grandaddy of modern epidemic disaster stories.  You can even see the distant ancestors of all those zombie apocalypse stories of recent years in Defoe's descriptions of people fleeing from shambling, delirious plague victims.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 09, 2020, 01:49:48 PM
Eastern Psychological Association meeting, scheduled for Boston this weekend: cancelled this morning.

The head of the NY/NJ Port Authority has tested positive for Covid-19. I think NYC and environs is going to become a mess.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 09, 2020, 02:08:33 PM
All of Italy now on lockdown. But per the BBC, that does not apply to foreign nationals. Who are allowed to leave as they please: BA is running a reduced schedule but has not cancelled all flights to Milan...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 09, 2020, 02:40:18 PM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.

How exactly does one do this?  Do you just stay in the house and have others deliver food to you?

Or eat the food you have in your house.

Defoe gives examples of this as well.  Really, A Journal of the Plague Year gives a LOT of food for thought about epidemic and pandemic situations.  It's not only a vivid historical novel portrayal of a devastating epidemic, it's also the grandaddy of modern epidemic disaster stories.  You can even see the distant ancestors of all those zombie apocalypse stories of recent years in Defoe's descriptions of people fleeing from shambling, delirious plague victims.

Yes.

And then there's the Decameron...

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 09, 2020, 03:07:46 PM
Eastern Psychological Association meeting, scheduled for Boston this weekend: cancelled this morning.

The head of the NY/NJ Port Authority has tested positive for Covid-19. I think NYC and environs is going to become a mess.

IHE had these two articles up:

1. The ACE (Am. Council on Ed.) has cancelled its annual meeting:
   https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/03/09/college-presidents-group-cancels-annual-meeting

2. A roundup of news on higher ed and coronavirus-related issues (including those discussed on threads here):
   https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/09/roundup-news-coronavirus-and-higher-ed

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 09, 2020, 03:14:06 PM

Defoe gives examples of this as well.  Really, A Journal of the Plague Year gives a LOT of food for thought about epidemic and pandemic situations.  It's not only a vivid historical novel portrayal of a devastating epidemic, it's also the grandaddy of modern epidemic disaster stories.  You can even see the distant ancestors of all those zombie apocalypse stories of recent years in Defoe's descriptions of people fleeing from shambling, delirious plague victims.


Ooooh, thanks for the tip! I look forward to reading this!



For my part, it's weird to compare (what looks like) the panic south of the border to the mostly calm take up here. All the American conferences and things are in the process of being cancelled, including well into the summer; so far, it looks like ours aren't. (I'm involved in organizing an American conference in April which isn't yet cancelled, which is also an interesting experience. Not sure we'll make our room numbers, but COVID-19 seems like a good excuse for it.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: no1capybara on March 09, 2020, 09:17:23 PM
Argh, I can't deal!!

Today was our first day after spring break. My university's computer network has been down for four days but no one is stating why. It was a sunny day so I took the students outside to sit on the lawn and discuss our options for the rest of the semester if we have to move to an online/remote environment. Did I mention that our computer network is down?

The major university in my city just closed for the next three weeks.   My students' anxiety levels are sky high.  This is fun.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on March 09, 2020, 09:42:55 PM

Defoe gives examples of this as well.  Really, A Journal of the Plague Year gives a LOT of food for thought about epidemic and pandemic situations.  It's not only a vivid historical novel portrayal of a devastating epidemic, it's also the grandaddy of modern epidemic disaster stories.  You can even see the distant ancestors of all those zombie apocalypse stories of recent years in Defoe's descriptions of people fleeing from shambling, delirious plague victims.


Ooooh, thanks for the tip! I look forward to reading this!



For my part, it's weird to compare (what looks like) the panic south of the border to the mostly calm take up here. All the American conferences and things are in the process of being cancelled, including well into the summer; so far, it looks like ours aren't. (I'm involved in organizing an American conference in April which isn't yet cancelled, which is also an interesting experience. Not sure we'll make our room numbers, but COVID-19 seems like a good excuse for it.)

FWIW, the chief health officer in NSW (Australia) recommended that people avoid international travel to all destinations other than Canada and New Zealand. I live in Aus and am currently on a research trip to NZ :)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ergative on March 10, 2020, 01:42:01 AM

Defoe gives examples of this as well.  Really, A Journal of the Plague Year gives a LOT of food for thought about epidemic and pandemic situations.  It's not only a vivid historical novel portrayal of a devastating epidemic, it's also the grandaddy of modern epidemic disaster stories.  You can even see the distant ancestors of all those zombie apocalypse stories of recent years in Defoe's descriptions of people fleeing from shambling, delirious plague victims.


Ooooh, thanks for the tip! I look forward to reading this!


I was utterly fascinated by this book. The discussion about possible vectors of transmission, rates of infection, psychology of crowds, social and economic ramifications, and so on were really sophisticated. For example, he has a rather ruthless discussion about the quarantine measures: People whose houses were infected were involuntarily shut up, sometimes even with the doors nailed shut, with guards posted to ensure no one got out. He doubts that this prevented the spread of the disease very much (people had all sorts of clever ways of sneaking out), and he thinks it was incredibly cruel to the rest of the household who were quarantined with the sick person, but he grants that it had two advantages: First, that it prevented sick people from rampaging through the streets in delirium, which would have been distressing to the city (not because of the risk of contagion, which was unstoppable with or without rampaging zombies, but because rampaging zombies are bad in general); and second, by setting watchmen to enforce the quarantine provided employment to poor people who would otherwise have starved because all trade stopped during the outbreak. Also, he makes the cruel but accurate point that it was only the fact that so many people died that prevented the poor from starving, since only by reducing their population did it become feasible to feed them; and the reason people were willing to take jobs like collecting and burying the dead--jobs with hideous risks of infection--was because they would starve otherwise, so they were facing death of one sort or another whatever they did.

There are also tons of discussions that preface modern medical knowledge about the spread of diseases: transmission vectors, incubation periods, innaccurate recording keeping (e.g., the death records showed an odd increase in death from regular 'spotted fever' about the time people were worried as to whether there was a plague outbreak; suggesting that early plague deaths were being misrecorded as spotted fever) and how to diagnose it. I was particularly fascinated by the following claim, which Defoe presents with the same skepticism as the claims that the breath of an invisibly infected person will instantly kill a chicken: Some have proposed that such persons should breathe hard upon warm water, and that they should leave an unusual scum upon it, or upon several other things, especially such as are of a glutinous substance and are apt to receive a scum and support it. Is this just more bosh, invented by desperate people who don’t understand bacterial infection? Or is this an instance of a pioneering scientist who genuinely observed that it was possible to culture bacteria sampled from the breath of infected people on particular substances (like proto-agar)?

The books is great, but  I'm not fully sure how accurate the claims are. Defoe is rightly skeptical of a great deal of the claims that he reports (good journalism there: it's probably wrong, dear reader, but here's what people were saying and doing), but in other cases he makes rather sweeping claims that don't necessarily hold water: For example, at one point Defoe claims that an ongoing war with the Dutch starting going better for the British, because the Dutch got all shy about taking potentially infected boats. However, Stephen Porter's modern text about that outbreak in 1665 suggests that, in fact, no such thing happened. So perhaps the actual history may not be accurate, but certainly the constructed history shows a deeply intelligent man considering extremely plausible sequences of events, many of which probably happened.

So, yes: read this book! it's great! Especially now!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on March 10, 2020, 05:30:01 AM
So, I was sitting around rewatching the scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in which Brad Pitt beats the @#$% out of Bruce Lee when I saw on Twitter that the name "coronavirus" is now racist ("racist"). Forumites, is this a thing? Have I been living under a rock?

I'd appreciate it if someone on this thread would advise me. Until then, to be safe, I'll stop calling it "coronavirus" and go with "Xi Jinping Disease" instead.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apostrophe on March 10, 2020, 06:17:13 AM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.

How exactly does one do this?  Do you just stay in the house and have others deliver food to you?

Yes, but you can only accept delivery outside your door. I'm in a place where many people are in quarantine but not one where there are shelf-emptying consumer behaviors. Knowing that quarantine might be extended, many of us have been gradually adding to our supplies.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: AvidReader on March 10, 2020, 07:01:14 AM
So, I was sitting around rewatching the scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in which Brad Pitt beats the @#$% out of Bruce Lee when I saw on Twitter that the name "coronavirus" is now racist ("racist"). Forumites, is this a thing? Have I been living under a rock?

I'd appreciate it if someone on this thread would advise me. Until then, to be safe, I'll stop calling it "coronavirus" and go with "Xi Jinping Disease" instead.

If it's the same thing I saw shared this morning, I don't think the problem is "coronavirus," but the adjective preceding it. It took me a minute to see it also.

AR.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on March 10, 2020, 07:48:52 AM
Once again, the rules and common sense apparently only apply to some of us.

A similar thing happened in New Hampshire, a man violated advice to self-quarantine.

How exactly does one do this?  Do you just stay in the house and have others deliver food to you?

Or eat the food you have in your house.

Defoe gives examples of this as well.  Really, A Journal of the Plague Year gives a LOT of food for thought about epidemic and pandemic situations.  It's not only a vivid historical novel portrayal of a devastating epidemic, it's also the grandaddy of modern epidemic disaster stories.  You can even see the distant ancestors of all those zombie apocalypse stories of recent years in Defoe's descriptions of people fleeing from shambling, delirious plague victims.

Yes.

And then there's the Decameron...

M.

Yes, I suppose I'm not giving Boccaccio his due.  But his descriptions of a plague, vivid though they are, aren't modern in a way Defoe's are.  Ergative sums it up pretty well. 

To ergative's discussion I would only add that A Journal of the Plague Year includes an extended sequence in which a group of plague refugees from London camp out in an uninfected village and have to deal with the fears of the locals.  The locals are afraid that the refugees might be bringing the plague, or might be ne'er-do-wells who threaten them in other ways.  It looks for a time like there might even be violence.  Fortunately everything is resolved peacefully.  There's a very believable account of how the two groups work out an accommodation so that the refugees can stay until the epidemic is over.  It's enough to make one wonder whether Defoe based this sequence on actual events, and if so, how much dramatic license did he use.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: fourhats on March 10, 2020, 08:49:09 AM
I heard this morning that a lot of our students are planning to take advantage of low fares (from airlines who've lost bookings) to start traveling to all sorts of tourist destinations. Also that those brought back from affected areas and ordered to self-quarantine at home have instead come to campus to attend parties and events.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 10, 2020, 09:15:57 AM
I heard this morning that a lot of our students are planning to take advantage of low fares (from airlines who've lost bookings) to start traveling to all sorts of tourist destinations. Also that those brought back from affected areas and ordered to self-quarantine at home have instead come to campus to attend parties and events.

I'm not sure it makes sense to spend time worrying about this when it might be just as bad for students to be traveling to New York or Washington or various other places in the US.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: fourhats on March 10, 2020, 09:19:27 AM
But what about returning to campus from affected areas, and going to parties when ordered to stay home and not potentially expose other students to the virus?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 10, 2020, 09:25:04 AM
But what about returning to campus from affected areas, and going to parties when ordered to stay home and not potentially expose other students to the virus?

If that is really happening that is obviously not good, although it sounds like a rumor which might or might not be true.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: fourhats on March 10, 2020, 09:32:16 AM
It isn't a rumor, and the administration has had to get involved to stop the students.

Other students are booking cruises over spring break because the prices are low.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 10, 2020, 09:37:06 AM
It isn't a rumor, and the administration has had to get involved to stop the students.

Other students are booking cruises over spring break because the prices are low.

I'm just saying that campuses are hotbeds for various rumors that might have only a grain of truth in them. One students mentions to a professor that maybe they should go on a cruise now since prices are so low and suddenly this is a trend. Perhaps one student wasn't responsible about quarantine and somebody in the administration had to deal with it and mentioned it to someone.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: fourhats on March 10, 2020, 09:40:46 AM
I work closely with residential life, faculty in residence, and the administration. I can assure you that it's true. In addition, students who are supposed to be self-quarantined at home (out of town) have been seen at campus events and parties.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 10, 2020, 09:43:44 AM
Rumor has it that one of the Science grad. students has it...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: no1capybara on March 10, 2020, 12:32:01 PM
Our classes just got suspended until Monday to give us time to move to an online environment.

Until March 27th: Residence and dining halls remaining open.  Sports events still going on without spectators.

Interesting times!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on March 10, 2020, 01:56:39 PM
https://news.yahoo.com/french-mayor-defends-smurf-rally-outcry-over-virus-001955753.html

The fearless French inspire me with their bravery.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on March 10, 2020, 03:00:11 PM
There's a fine line between bravery and stupidity.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on March 10, 2020, 05:45:08 PM

I am said to be old, and I substitute teach.  Last week, while shepherding an agricultural science class, I decided to try to enlighten a large high school class about hygiene.  The area about which I chose to remark was hand washing. 

When I was a youngster, our family had a nursemaid that instructed us to at least rinse our hands after a long day of play, after touching unsanitary areas, or before coming to dinner.  I tried to tie this in to a "Good, Better, Best" approach to "cleaning up" but I am afraid the students thought that meant that they should only make sure to rinse their hands as an added precaution during this time of disease worries. THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT!

Having been in a variety of school systems during the past twenty years, I know that, although at the start of school most bathroom areas are well supplied and in a good state of cleanliness, the
restroom areas become dirty, stopped up, non functioning, and missing paper towels and such very quickly.  So I suggest that if one finds oneself in one of those areas, one should at least consider these good, better, best priorities:

  1.  No water, try to find sanitizer/sanitizer wipes
       2. Room temp water only, at least rinse (and dry if possible)
          3. Heated water, dry
             4.  Heated water and soap, dry
                5.  Heated water, rub up soapy hands while whistling Dix..uh.. a tune for about 20 seconds, then drying them.

Being a guy and having been a teenager, I know that the impulse for some guys is to just rub their hands around in their pockets a bit ( I know nothing of what girls might do!).  You, of course can design your own process choice protocol for a portion of hygiene activities, as I have had only a few minutes of experience at this. 

                 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 14, 2020, 04:01:02 PM
Things have really gone crazy now. Planes turned around mid-flight. Governments cancelling things left right and center. And maybe Trudeau has it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 17, 2020, 10:21:38 AM
I hope forumites are ok. This whole thing has spiralled from when I started this thread!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 17, 2020, 02:15:49 PM
Yeah, what a difference less than two months has made since you started the thread, bacardiandlime.

I'd like to see a thread on optimistic and "good news" things related to the virus.

We'll have less air pollution for awhile.  The first vaccine experiment has begun. Some therapeutics for other illnesses are showing promise.  Things like that.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 17, 2020, 02:21:08 PM
I like that some people are reaching out and helping neighbors. Offering to get things for them, sharing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 17, 2020, 05:06:31 PM
We're doing something a little like that on the "humor & wisdom" thread, if you want to join us!

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 17, 2020, 05:35:54 PM
I SCORED! !!  I was able to get BREAD AND MILK!!!

I also picked up a 14 pound turkey. I am NOW prepared for quarantine! 

In graduate school I cooked a 14/16 pound bird every term... Quick quiz... How much turkey can you eat if you cook a 16 pound turkey and a term lasts 15 weeks?  Enough that I have not cooked a turkey in almost 20 years!!  BUT if Im stuck home and with 2 days (defrost) notice, It will be Turkey, Turkey, Turkey.... turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, turkey with rice, turkey with stuffing, turkey with potatoes, ...

So I am now ready. I have (fat free - only choice) milk, bread, turkey and I already have plenty of eggs.

Are you able to find what YOU want at your store?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on March 17, 2020, 06:08:00 PM
I like that some people are reaching out and helping neighbors. Offering to get things for them, sharing.

People in my town have begun a Facebook group with  name like What's For Dinner Springfield?   It is meant to inform us about take out and delivery options from our local independent restaurants who can no longer have  diners inside.   
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Puget on March 17, 2020, 07:10:47 PM
Are you able to find what YOU want at your store?

I went yesterday evening and it was surprising un-apocolypic but the pattern of what was depleted and not was quite bizarre--

Almost no bottled water. WHY?! Water is the one thing you do not need to buy. Our tap water is just fine. It will continue to be fine.

No eggs at all, but plenty of cheese and yogurt. Limited supply of milk but plenty of non-diary milks. Somewhat depleted produce supply, but still a good selection. Almost no rice and a limited supply of dried beans, but lots of pasta left. Very little toilet paper. Plenty of everything else so far as I saw (frozen foods, snack foods, cereal).

I mostly went to get more yeast so I can continue to bake my own bread (which I always do), and garlic (which was urgent, obviously). But I also took the occasion to buy more peanut butter, dried beans, cheese, and chocolate. Definitely set now for quite a while.

Strangest cart I saw at check out-- two young men buying bottled water, four packages of Oreos and one box of nutrigrain bars.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on March 17, 2020, 07:18:16 PM
Apparently, people are stocking up on guns and ammo.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-15/coronavirus-pandemic-gun-sales-surge-us-california

Well, whether this is rational or not depends on who one's neighbors are! :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 17, 2020, 08:31:27 PM
Apparently, people are stocking up on guns and ammo.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-15/coronavirus-pandemic-gun-sales-surge-us-california

Well, whether this is rational or not depends on who one's neighbors are! :-)

Didn't know you could shoot the virus!  Cool.

Kind of reminds me of the surge in gun sales when Obama was elected and certain people were sure he was going to impose martial law. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apostrophe on March 18, 2020, 04:27:55 AM
I SCORED! !!  I was able to get BREAD AND MILK!!!

I also picked up a 14 pound turkey. I am NOW prepared for quarantine! 

In graduate school I cooked a 14/16 pound bird every term... Quick quiz... How much turkey can you eat if you cook a 16 pound turkey and a term lasts 15 weeks?  Enough that I have not cooked a turkey in almost 20 years!!  BUT if Im stuck home and with 2 days (defrost) notice, It will be Turkey, Turkey, Turkey.... turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, turkey with rice, turkey with stuffing, turkey with potatoes, ...

So I am now ready. I have (fat free - only choice) milk, bread, turkey and I already have plenty of eggs.

Are you able to find what YOU want at your store?

Turkey chili?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on March 18, 2020, 05:47:56 AM
Apparently, people are stocking up on guns and ammo.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-15/coronavirus-pandemic-gun-sales-surge-us-california

Well, whether this is rational or not depends on who one's neighbors are! :-)

Didn't know you could shoot the virus!  Cool.

Kind of reminds me of the surge in gun sales when Obama was elected and certain people were sure he was going to impose martial law.

My rural county is both a 2nd amendment sanctuary and a militia supporter (whatever that means).  I expect the gun toting militias to park at the county line and shoot the virus as it attempts to enter .....  If not, what's the point of a gun toting militia?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 18, 2020, 06:04:49 AM
Mass media say Wuhan, China reports just one new case for second consecutive day.

Can we trust this as being at least semi-valid data?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 18, 2020, 06:56:31 AM
Here's hoping they've brought it under control.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hibush on March 18, 2020, 05:26:12 PM
Mass media say Wuhan, China reports just one new case for second consecutive day.

Can we trust this as being at least semi-valid data?

Given that the expectation is that ~80% will get the disease eventually and that Chinese media are not allowed to report bad news, I do not think this means that the problem is over in Wuhan. Nor does it mean that we should expect it to resolve in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 18, 2020, 07:20:44 PM
Mass media say Wuhan, China reports just one new case for second consecutive day.

Can we trust this as being at least semi-valid data?

Given that the expectation is that ~80% will get the disease eventually and that Chinese media are not allowed to report bad news, I do not think this means that the problem is over in Wuhan. Nor does it mean that we should expect it to resolve in a few weeks.

And even if it's "over" for now, it won't take much to re-start it. Sounds to me like we're going to need on-off periods of social distancing every couple of months for, like, a couple years.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on March 18, 2020, 08:37:31 PM
Speaking of China....
Have there been any sightings of the youtube 'journalists' that disappeared last month?

there was a news item that a Chinese Billionaire was critical of the government and disappeared too. Any word or sign of him lately?

Then there is the spat over Trump calling it 'the Chinese Virus", though the Chinese government ministers (at least one) was accusing the US military of sending it over (when there was some military athletic event in November).

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on March 18, 2020, 10:10:19 PM
Speaking of China....
Have there been any sightings of the youtube 'journalists' that disappeared last month?

there was a news item that a Chinese Billionaire was critical of the government and disappeared too. Any word or sign of him lately?

Then there is the spat over Trump calling it 'the Chinese Virus", though the Chinese government ministers (at least one) was accusing the US military of sending it over (when there was some military athletic event in November).

Who's got cooties?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 19, 2020, 10:28:17 AM
Spoke to someone fairly high up in the state's public health hierarchy. He said mass testing in this area should come on line in about a week and then we will have a much better understanding of the extent of community transmission. In other words, the number of reported cases will skyrocket simply because more people will be getting tested.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: alto_stratus on March 19, 2020, 11:09:23 AM
Thanks for sharing that info, spork.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on March 19, 2020, 11:53:58 AM
And even if it's "over" for now, it won't take much to re-start it. Sounds to me like we're going to need on-off periods of social distancing every couple of months for, like, a couple years.

Someone at MIT Tech Review agrees with you:  We're not going back to normal (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615370/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing-18-months/)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: zyzzx on March 19, 2020, 12:50:41 PM
This site https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en (https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en) has now added a link to testing info by state. For some states the numbers are really shocking - 50% or more tests are positive, with some even about 70% (New Jersey, Alabama, which do not have small numbers of confirmed cases). If 70% of the tests are positive, that means that they have truly no clue how many cases there could be. Not the slightest clue. That is not good. (assuming that these numbers are reliable)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 19, 2020, 02:33:48 PM
And even if it's "over" for now, it won't take much to re-start it. Sounds to me like we're going to need on-off periods of social distancing every couple of months for, like, a couple years.

Someone at MIT Tech Review agrees with you:  We're not going back to normal (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615370/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing-18-months/)

Oh goodie.

FWIW, I suppose I should say: guess I was totally wrong in my very first post on the subject. Probably should have taken it more seriously earlier on. I can admit it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 19, 2020, 03:33:40 PM

Given that the expectation is that ~80% will get the disease eventually and that Chinese media are not allowed to report bad news, I do not think this means that the problem is over in Wuhan. Nor does it mean that we should expect it to resolve in a few weeks.

And even if it's "over" for now, it won't take much to re-start it. Sounds to me like we're going to need on-off periods of social distancing every couple of months for, like, a couple years.

That's the worst case scenario, though of course it's possible. Hopefully in about a year there will be an effective vaccine and/or an effective treatment that will make it much more manageable.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 19, 2020, 04:28:22 PM

Given that the expectation is that ~80% will get the disease eventually and that Chinese media are not allowed to report bad news, I do not think this means that the problem is over in Wuhan. Nor does it mean that we should expect it to resolve in a few weeks.

And even if it's "over" for now, it won't take much to re-start it. Sounds to me like we're going to need on-off periods of social distancing every couple of months for, like, a couple years.

That's the worst case scenario, though of course it's possible. Hopefully in about a year there will be an effective vaccine and/or an effective treatment that will make it much more manageable.

Also many of those least able to cope with infection will be killed off in the first wave. And after that there will be more herd immunity.

Assuming the virus doesn't mutate sufficiently, of course.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 19, 2020, 06:46:30 PM
Mutations could go either way; new strains could be less deadly.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on March 20, 2020, 01:54:40 AM
Next time around however, most of us will have been exposed and will have developed antibodies. I don’t think we’re going to see repeated episodes of the current measures unless the virus mutates significantly.

The comparisons to ‘Spanish flu’ are important but we have to remember that modern medicine, even if stressed, if much better than what was available in 1918.

Don’t panic, friends,

SE
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 20, 2020, 04:56:11 AM
Mutations could go either way; new strains could be less deadly.

It tends to go that way as I understand it because of natural selection. If mutations occur that result in lesser severity, that actually would make it easier to spread. A virus that results in people walking around sneezing and coughing on others is going to spread more rapidly than one that has those same people lying in bed at home. (or worse, sigh) But I don't think anyone has any real sense of the time scale.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 20, 2020, 09:54:06 AM
With hair salons and barber shops closing, what will Americans look like when they emerge from isolation?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on March 20, 2020, 11:37:46 AM
With hair salons and barber shops closing, what will Americans look like when they emerge from isolation?

I'm reminded of the Michael Keaton Batman, in which a particular (but unknown) combination of cosmetics is poisonous.  Everybody looks like hell.  The nightly-newscast clips are particularly funny.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on March 20, 2020, 12:12:27 PM
With hair salons and barber shops closing, what will Americans look like when they emerge from isolation?

Unfortunately, I'll look about the same.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on March 20, 2020, 12:40:36 PM
With hair salons and barber shops closing, what will Americans look like when they emerge from isolation?

Funny you should ask!  My local hair-care provider was still open, and I got mine cut earlier today.  The biggest thing I was worried about catching was a chill getting through the rain to get there.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 23, 2020, 10:54:55 AM
Debates about human and financial costs/benefits of statewide and nationwide shutdowns are underway.  These are not all partisan debates.

What do you think happens next in individual states and for U.S. national guidelines?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on March 23, 2020, 05:13:00 PM
Debates about human and financial costs/benefits of statewide and nationwide shutdowns are underway.  These are not all partisan debates.

What do you think happens next in individual states and for U.S. national guidelines?

Unless bodies are piling up in the streets or we're treated to news clips of U.S. hospitals looking like Mother Teresa's Calcutta, the majority will get sick of sheltering in place in about two weeks.  Because Trump's political instincts are often extraordinarily good, he is already realizing this and is clearly coming to the conclusion that "don't let the whiners keep you inside" is a winning message.

My guess is that the citizenry, businesses, and the President will want to get back to work before governors believe it's safe.  Thus, this will be settled where all American issues are settled: in court.

I look forward to the inevitable New York Times article about how the "legitimacy of the Court" is at stake if John Roberts doesn't side with the progressives and keep the economy shut down.  Needless to say, the moment Biden wins the election, you'll never hear the words "coronavirus" or "COVID" again.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: AmLitHist on March 24, 2020, 06:17:24 AM
Just opened an email sent by my institution @ 11 last night:  a Clery notice that a student at my campus has been diagnosed as positive. 

Do they have to notify those the student was in contact with for a period of time prior to diagnosis?

ETA:  Good lord.  That sentence looks like something my students would write.  Sorry.  :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on March 24, 2020, 06:33:00 AM
Debates about human and financial costs/benefits of statewide and nationwide shutdowns are underway.  These are not all partisan debates.

What do you think happens next in individual states and for U.S. national guidelines?

Unless bodies are piling up in the streets or we're treated to news clips of U.S. hospitals looking like Mother Teresa's Calcutta, the majority will get sick of sheltering in place in about two weeks.  Because Trump's political instincts are often extraordinarily good, he is already realizing this and is clearly coming to the conclusion that "don't let the whiners keep you inside" is a winning message.

Analogous to stopping your antidepressant medication because it's working and you conclude you don't have depression any more and so don't need treatment. I think you're right that Trump has good political instincts. But that's not necessarily good for anyone every time.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Myword on March 24, 2020, 07:13:52 AM
Hey, this is not the Black Plague or leprosy or a fate worse than death.

I've been practicing social distancing for years without trying.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 24, 2020, 09:33:44 AM
An interesting analysis of geopolitical consequences:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52008453 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52008453)

A related, and IMO broader matter, is that the West has largely botched up its response compared to the Far East. I think a reasonable measure is the number of dead per million inhabitants, as it accounts both for success or failure in keeping contagion low and the success or failure of hospitals in keeping patients alive. By this measure, PR China and South Korea are tied with the US and Germany (and have much better numbers than Italy or Spain, or even than the UK) - but China's and S. Korea's numbers aren't changing much anymore. Japan and Singapore have much better numbers than the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Switzerland or Norway, and Taiwan (which had prepared extensively for a pandemic) has much better numbers than Japan and Singapore. All this even though North America and Europe had longer to prepare than Japan or Taiwan, let alone PR China. The regional/cultural factor seems to outweigh everything else, as the Far Eastern countries with good numbers include both democracies and dictatorships, and the Western countries doing badly include countries with very different politics and healthcare systems.
Numbers available here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 24, 2020, 09:48:42 AM
The regional/cultural factor seems to outweigh everything else, as the Far Eastern countries with good numbers include both democracies and dictatorships, and the Western countries doing badly include countries with very different politics and healthcare systems.

Thanks, Stockmann.  Many lessons to be learned.

Many U.S. politicians (D and R) have shifted to focusing on mortality rates and characterizing the virus as "most people don't die" and "it's an old people's problem."  They are ignoring that the virus can be a long, miserable thing for a person to endure, regardless of age, with long-term consequences to individual health unknown.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on March 24, 2020, 10:17:20 AM
Sad to say, a noticeable spike in infections nationwide right about now would probably be a good thing in the U.S., to discourage complacency.  I have to admit that it's already overcome mine.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 24, 2020, 10:20:43 AM
It looks like infection rates haven't really increased much at all over here in a few days.

At least, in this province. My home province just--literally seconds ago--posted an increase of 400 infections. Looks like my hometowns are at the epicentre.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Puget on March 24, 2020, 10:25:49 AM
Sad to say, a noticeable spike in infections nationwide right about now would probably be a good thing in the U.S., to discourage complacency.  I have to admit that it's already overcome mine.

There will be a large spike in confirmed cases even if social distancing is working perfectly now, because of the incubation period between infection and symptoms, and also the increase in testing. Spike in hospitalizations also lags spikes in infection by about a week, so things are going to get very bad in the next few weeks even if new infections are (hopefully!) going down.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apostrophe on March 24, 2020, 12:17:45 PM
Debates about human and financial costs/benefits of statewide and nationwide shutdowns are underway.  These are not all partisan debates.

What do you think happens next in individual states and for U.S. national guidelines?

Unless bodies are piling up in the streets or we're treated to news clips of U.S. hospitals looking like Mother Teresa's Calcutta, the majority will get sick of sheltering in place in about two weeks.  Because Trump's political instincts are often extraordinarily good, he is already realizing this and is clearly coming to the conclusion that "don't let the whiners keep you inside" is a winning message.

My guess is that the citizenry, businesses, and the President will want to get back to work before governors believe it's safe.  Thus, this will be settled where all American issues are settled: in court.

I look forward to the inevitable New York Times article about how the "legitimacy of the Court" is at stake if John Roberts doesn't side with the progressives and keep the economy shut down.  Needless to say, the moment Biden wins the election, you'll never hear the words "coronavirus" or "COVID" again.

Reading your posts as satire continues to be a good strategy.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on March 24, 2020, 01:02:41 PM
The regional/cultural factor seems to outweigh everything else, as the Far Eastern countries with good numbers include both democracies and dictatorships, and the Western countries doing badly include countries with very different politics and healthcare systems.

Thanks, Stockmann.  Many lessons to be learned.

Many U.S. politicians (D and R) have shifted to focusing on mortality rates and characterizing the virus as "most people don't die" and "it's an old people's problem."  They are ignoring that the virus can be a long, miserable thing for a person to endure, regardless of age, with long-term consequences to individual health unknown.

Not only that - in Lombardy, people have died of things unrelated to coronavirus because there aren't enough respirators to go around - coronavirus patients aren't the only ones who need them. Also, doctors in parts of Lombardy are having to choose which patients to even try to save, because they can't try to save all. There are also patients in hospital corridors because there are not enough beds. I doubt the healthcare system in, say, Appalachia, Detroit, rural Alabama or Mississippi is much better than that in Lombardy. So spring breakers in Florida are not going to die of coronavirus directly, but they better hope if they have a serious accident in a drunken antic that the local hospital isn't already overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on March 25, 2020, 03:47:28 AM
Just popping in from the rest of the Internet to report on the innumeracy of  the general populace.

A good one: “They had 5,000 new cases yesterday! Just because the new case numbers are lower doesn’t mean they are flattening the curve.” Actually, yes, that is exactly what that means.

Or: “No one is reporting that there are 100,000 recoveries. We need to stop cowering in our basements!” Yeah, 110,00 recoveries actually, but over 19,000 death which makes for a case fatality rate of 15%. So, 100,000 recoveries = not such great news after all.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 25, 2020, 04:22:36 AM


Unless bodies are piling up in the streets or we're treated to news clips of U.S. hospitals looking like Mother Teresa's Calcutta, the majority will get sick of sheltering in place in about two weeks.  Because Trump's political instincts are often extraordinarily good, he is already realizing this and is clearly coming to the conclusion that "don't let the whiners keep you inside" is a winning message.

My guess is that the citizenry, businesses, and the President will want to get back to work before governors believe it's safe.  Thus, this will be settled where all American issues are settled: in court.

I look forward to the inevitable New York Times article about how the "legitimacy of the Court" is at stake if John Roberts doesn't side with the progressives and keep the economy shut down.  Needless to say, the moment Biden wins the election, you'll never hear the words "coronavirus" or "COVID" again.

As well as being absurd, this doesn't make any sense. The president hasn't ordered anything to shut down./ He probably could, using certain emergency powers, but he can't use those powers to end restrictions that governors have enacted. That's how Federalism works. So this whole weird scenario you've imagined bears no relationship to reality. The danger is Trump issuing new guidance at Easter that says everybody should reopen everything. I think its unlikely to actually happen, mostly because the pace of actual events is unfortunately likely to totally wash over all of this nonsense. By the way, that isn't a prospect that fills me with lots of glee.

I'm struck by your limited (and rather racist) imagination of how bad things could get. No, it isn't the Zombie apocalypse, but Spain and Italy have high quality health care systems and things there are very bad. Are most people ok? Sure, but a ton of people are getting sick and a lot of people are dying. Do you think Spanish and Italian people aren't complaining about restrictions because they enjoy sitting around in their houses all the time?

By the way, I know a lot of people who really detest Trump. I have heard nobody say that this is great because they think it will cost him the election. If someone did say that I'd be pretty furious. I'm worried about my parents and other older family members, as well as a few friends who have conditions that could put them more at risk. I have a toddler and the idea of me or my wife getting sick makes me pretty anxious. Chances are, we'd be fine, but it isn't a pleasant thought to imagine trying to isolate in our very compact house. Also, I can't say I'm loving the sudden end of daycare, and losing all the aspects of my job that I actually enjoy, interacting with students in person, but having to deal with more of the parts I hate. If in a couple weeks, the local situation was clear enough and there was limited and containable local spread, do you know how happy I'd be to send the kid back to hang out with his friends at school? To go hang out with some friends and have a beer?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 25, 2020, 04:48:55 AM
Just popping in from the rest of the Internet to report on the innumeracy of  the general populace.

A good one: “They had 5,000 new cases yesterday! Just because the new case numbers are lower doesn’t mean they are flattening the curve.” Actually, yes, that is exactly what that means.

Or: “No one is reporting that there are 100,000 recoveries. We need to stop cowering in our basements!” Yeah, 110,00 recoveries actually, but over 19,000 death which makes for a case fatality rate of 15%. So, 100,000 recoveries = not such great news after all.

This is innumeracy too. If you divide fatality rates by total number of cases, you could be underestimating fatality rate early on if there are lots of people who have recently gotten sick, those people skew young and if testing has been extensive. However, if you only count resolved cases when numbers have been rapidly increasing, especially if lots of sick people aren't being tested, you are going to get some really distorted numbers. You start getting deaths before you get recoveries.

None of this back of the envelope math is actually how epidemiologists figure out what a real fatality rate is though. To do that you have to find ways of estimating the actual number of people infected. I'm not going to pretend to have any sort of expertise, but I saw various people who do on Twitter saying that they think a study that did this through various methods and estimated a death rate of a bit over one percent in Hubei is probably the most accurate measurement of the death rate there. It doesn't do any good to pretend this isn't a big deal, but it also isn't helpful to overestimate the bad effects either.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: zyzzx on March 25, 2020, 05:34:24 AM
Just popping in from the rest of the Internet to report on the innumeracy of  the general populace.

A good one: “They had 5,000 new cases yesterday! Just because the new case numbers are lower doesn’t mean they are flattening the curve.” Actually, yes, that is exactly what that means.

Or: “No one is reporting that there are 100,000 recoveries. We need to stop cowering in our basements!” Yeah, 110,00 recoveries actually, but over 19,000 death which makes for a case fatality rate of 15%. So, 100,000 recoveries = not such great news after all.

This is innumeracy too. If you divide fatality rates by total number of cases, you could be underestimating fatality rate early on if there are lots of people who have recently gotten sick, those people skew young and if testing has been extensive. However, if you only count resolved cases when numbers have been rapidly increasing, especially if lots of sick people aren't being tested, you are going to get some really distorted numbers. You start getting deaths before you get recoveries.

None of this back of the envelope math is actually how epidemiologists figure out what a real fatality rate is though. To do that you have to find ways of estimating the actual number of people infected. I'm not going to pretend to have any sort of expertise, but I saw various people who do on Twitter saying that they think a study that did this through various methods and estimated a death rate of a bit over one percent in Hubei is probably the most accurate measurement of the death rate there. It doesn't do any good to pretend this isn't a big deal, but it also isn't helpful to overestimate the bad effects either.

With South Korea testing like crazy, seems like they should have the best handle on numbers of infected. They did aggressive testing of contacts, etc. and if they had missed a lot of asymptomatic cases, it seems unlikely that the new cases would be so low now. They are also well past their peak, so a large proportion of their cases have been resolved. Their death/recovery is 3.3% and death/cases is 1.4%. The first number will continue to go down, and the second number will continue to go up (assuming they don't get a second wave of cases), putting the final rate somewhere in between.
Similarly, the cruise ship where everyone was tested now has a death/case rate of 1.4%, which also still has the potential to increase.

So yeah, while we don't know the real death rate yet, we're not totally clueless. Best case scenarios where everyone can still receive top-quality care, and it seems like 1-2%. As health care systems get overwhelmed, this will go up. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on March 25, 2020, 05:54:18 AM
People might also want to use the fact that once things get bad enough, like NYC and Italy, no one is bothering to test; all the hospitals do is treat the people in front of them as best they can.

In terms of fatalities, the numbers that seem most convincing to me are from the weekly CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (https://www.cdc.gov/media/mmwrnews/index.html).  A very readable overview from last week is https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-new-age-analysis-of-risk-confirms-young-adults-not-invincible/ with breakdowns by age group.  1-3% overall fatality rate with good medical care while in quarantine is not nearly as informative as 10% over age 80 and within rounding of 0% below age 29. 

Fatality rate is also not nearly as informative as how many people need medical care to survive as well as what type (the goal of not overwhelming the medical system in each local place that flattening the curve is an abstraction to describe) and what after effects survivors might feel for weeks/months/years.  The on-the-ground rate is affected by quality of medical care; no/limited medical care is going to be very different outcomes than immediate quarantine with good medical care.

What scares me are the reports that rural hospitals may close before they even get to treat any COVID-19 because they were already in dire financial straits. (https://www.modernhealthcare.com/providers/covid-19-threatens-rural-hospitals-already-stretched-breaking-point)

Stay home.  Call/Skype/Portal/FaceTime your family and friends instead of visiting.  We can rebuild businesses a lot more easily with adults ready to resume their activities when the time comes than we can if we have random lottery choosing which people are still able to work with no regard to experience, skill sets, or ability.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 25, 2020, 06:29:19 AM
Just popping in from the rest of the Internet to report on the innumeracy of  the general populace.

A good one: “They had 5,000 new cases yesterday! Just because the new case numbers are lower doesn’t mean they are flattening the curve.” Actually, yes, that is exactly what that means.

Or: “No one is reporting that there are 100,000 recoveries. We need to stop cowering in our basements!” Yeah, 110,00 recoveries actually, but over 19,000 death which makes for a case fatality rate of 15%. So, 100,000 recoveries = not such great news after all.

This is innumeracy too. If you divide fatality rates by total number of cases, you could be underestimating fatality rate early on if there are lots of people who have recently gotten sick, those people skew young and if testing has been extensive. However, if you only count resolved cases when numbers have been rapidly increasing, especially if lots of sick people aren't being tested, you are going to get some really distorted numbers. You start getting deaths before you get recoveries.

None of this back of the envelope math is actually how epidemiologists figure out what a real fatality rate is though. To do that you have to find ways of estimating the actual number of people infected. I'm not going to pretend to have any sort of expertise, but I saw various people who do on Twitter saying that they think a study that did this through various methods and estimated a death rate of a bit over one percent in Hubei is probably the most accurate measurement of the death rate there. It doesn't do any good to pretend this isn't a big deal, but it also isn't helpful to overestimate the bad effects either.

With South Korea testing like crazy, seems like they should have the best handle on numbers of infected. They did aggressive testing of contacts, etc. and if they had missed a lot of asymptomatic cases, it seems unlikely that the new cases would be so low now. They are also well past their peak, so a large proportion of their cases have been resolved. Their death/recovery is 3.3% and death/cases is 1.4%. The first number will continue to go down, and the second number will continue to go up (assuming they don't get a second wave of cases), putting the final rate somewhere in between.
Similarly, the cruise ship where everyone was tested now has a death/case rate of 1.4%, which also still has the potential to increase.

So yeah, while we don't know the real death rate yet, we're not totally clueless. Best case scenarios where everyone can still receive top-quality care, and it seems like 1-2%. As health care systems get overwhelmed, this will go up.

Not to be difficult here, but I think that range doesn't really describe what experts seem to think is likely. The problem is that no matter how good the testing is, you still aren't getting all the symptomatic cases , and then you also have to consider the population effected. The people on the Diamond Princess skewed really old which makes them more vulnerable, but also were probably in pretty good health because they were on a cruise in the first place. So even when it seems like you have a natural experiment, you can't just divide deaths by cases and have a good number. Again, I can't claim any actual expertise, I just follow some people who seem well respected on Twitter and they all seemed to think the study that showed about 1.4 percent in Hubei was pretty good and that the methods they used to estimate unrecorded cases were solid.  At least early on, they were pretty overwhelmed there so that is probably more of an upper bound than a lower bound although I wouldn't want to assume things couldn't get worse here.

In a larger sense, I agree with Poly, it is really more about the health care system. However, I actually do think there's a danger to what I've been seeing with attempts to scare younger, healthy people with numbers that are misleading or overinflated. It is pretty clear that if hospitals are going to keep their heads above water and be able to treat very sick people, people who are just pretty sick need to be at home or somewhere else. I've seen suggestions coming from Italy and Spain that they need systems where people who would normally be admitted into the hospital but don't need ICU care could either stay at home and receive daily visits from people who check their vitals and supply oxygen if needed, or that you need to create centralized places where non-critically ill people can get these services. You aren't going to get people to accept this stuff if you've persuaded them that they are at really high risk when they aren't.

 To be clear, Poly's point is valid
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 25, 2020, 07:12:53 AM
There's a really urgent need to get better data. California is doing some of it by randomly selecting people to test from some communities, including people with no symptoms and no connection to people who tested positive. That's a much better way to get a real sense of infection rates and share requiring hospitalization. That is, right now we have P(hospitalization|testing) and P(mortality|testing), and P(testing|symptoms). That's going to upward bias the actual estimate. The problem is that this still doesn't let us detect people who already had the virus and are now immune to it (so the estimate is still going to be too high). For that, we'll need a different test (that I'm sure is being developed).

Incidentally, if you look on reddit's nursing forum, you'll see universal reporting that ER visits are down massively. People avoid going to the hospital for minor injuries, most likely because they don't want to get in contact with potential COVID patients. That's also going to drive demand for testing: if you have a mild fever, are you really going to risk exposure just to confirm one way or another? No: you'll just stay home unless your symptoms get more severe. That's the best outcome for the healthcare system, too -- we don't need everyone with mild symptoms taking up scarce hospital beds.

If it turns out that for 10,000 known positive cases there were 90,000 unknown positive cases, the mortality rate drops from 2% to 0.02%. The former is "shut down the economy!" bad, the latter is basically business as usual.

None of which is to say that the optimal policy response is business as usual. In a crisis, you make decisions with the information you have, not the information you wish you had. But at the same time, we could have been ahead of the game if it hadn't taken us months to approve commercial labs to do COVID testing. A municipal health department running 20 tests per day by hand vs. a single Cobas machine running 3,000 per day fully automated (and there are over 100 of them scattered throughout the country). Only one of those is useful. Incidentally, FDA only just now relaxed ventilator regulation, allowing manufacturers minor changes like using a different type of plastic or an engine sourced from a different supplier without going through re-certification. So we should expect production of those to speed up, too. Maybe we can end the trade war with China so these supplies don't get stuck at the border.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Morris Zapp on March 25, 2020, 07:12:59 AM
I was really scared about all the reports of people in their 20s, etc.  getting a serious case of the virus, since I have adult children.  However, I wondered if anyone has looked at whether those who are getting serious cases have perhaps vaped in the past?  Given the stories last year about how vaping damages your lungs, I wondered if it might be something that made coronavirus worse.  Haven't seen anything about that, however.  Has anyone looked at this?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on March 25, 2020, 07:16:15 AM
From polly_mer:  What scares me are the reports that rural hospitals may close before they even get to treat any COVID-19 because they were already in dire financial straits.

My rural area definitely falls into that category but I just learned that one small area hospital (within a larger combined, multi-state health system) is being converted to Covid 19.  And now one confirmed case at area nursing home.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 25, 2020, 07:59:32 AM
Illness rates reported today are apparently due to people being infected up to 14 days ago.  There is a lag time for state and local shut downs to yield results in terms of fewer reported cases.


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apostrophe on March 25, 2020, 08:35:48 AM
The regional/cultural factor seems to outweigh everything else, as the Far Eastern countries with good numbers include both democracies and dictatorships, and the Western countries doing badly include countries with very different politics and healthcare systems.

Thanks, Stockmann.  Many lessons to be learned.

Many U.S. politicians (D and R) have shifted to focusing on mortality rates and characterizing the virus as "most people don't die" and "it's an old people's problem."  They are ignoring that the virus can be a long, miserable thing for a person to endure, regardless of age, with long-term consequences to individual health unknown.

Not only that - in Lombardy, people have died of things unrelated to coronavirus because there aren't enough respirators to go around - coronavirus patients aren't the only ones who need them. Also, doctors in parts of Lombardy are having to choose which patients to even try to save, because they can't try to save all. There are also patients in hospital corridors because there are not enough beds. I doubt the healthcare system in, say, Appalachia, Detroit, rural Alabama or Mississippi is much better than that in Lombardy. So spring breakers in Florida are not going to die of coronavirus directly, but they better hope if they have a serious accident in a drunken antic that the local hospital isn't already overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

I realize this wasn't your main point, but the opposite is likely the case—the hospitals in Lombardy (certainly in Milan) are likely to be much better than those in the US.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 25, 2020, 08:44:50 AM
A friend asked, and I have no idea, but imagine someone here does: is there any reason why we can't use the oxygen masks on airplanes to supplement the ventilator shortage? (I mean, I know they're not ventilators, but I imagine they might be helpful for less severe cases?)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Puget on March 25, 2020, 09:09:27 AM
A friend asked, and I have no idea, but imagine someone here does: is there any reason why we can't use the oxygen masks on airplanes to supplement the ventilator shortage? (I mean, I know they're not ventilators, but I imagine they might be helpful for less severe cases?)

Unfortunately they are not remotely the same thing. Those just supply the oxygen levels of a normally pressurized cabin (the equivalent of 5000-8000 ft elevation) in the case of cabin depressurization. A ventilator breathes *for* the patient when they are unable to breath on their own. Supplemental oxygen may help some patients but that is already given in hospitals. Ventilators are what there is a critical shortage of.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on March 25, 2020, 09:16:29 AM
A friend asked, and I have no idea, but imagine someone here does: is there any reason why we can't use the oxygen masks on airplanes to supplement the ventilator shortage? (I mean, I know they're not ventilators, but I imagine they might be helpful for less severe cases?)

I'm not "that" kind of doctor but this is probably close enough for our purposes here.  May expand a bit on Puget's post

Hospitals already can provide oxygen via nasal cannula or full face mask now.  Airplane oxygen systems depend on a chemical reaction that releases oxygen gas for about the 10 minutes it would take the aircraft to descend to a level where the air was breathable.

Ventilators can provide oxygen, but mostly they assist with the act of breathing in people whose respiratory drive is too weak, or whose use of accessory (i.e. chest wall) muscles suggests they are unable to breathe on their own.  In most people they assist with the process of breathing.  The patient starts a breath and the vent provides assistance to complete it.  And if they stop breathing, the machine kicks in to essentially force one (meaning that strictly speaking, you could ventilate a corpse).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 25, 2020, 09:52:29 AM
Makes sense, thanks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on March 25, 2020, 10:06:15 AM
A friend asked, and I have no idea, but imagine someone here does: is there any reason why we can't use the oxygen masks on airplanes to supplement the ventilator shortage? (I mean, I know they're not ventilators, but I imagine they might be helpful for less severe cases?)

I'm not "that" kind of doctor but this is probably close enough for our purposes here.  May expand a bit on Puget's post

Hospitals already can provide oxygen via nasal cannula or full face mask now.  Airplane oxygen systems depend on a chemical reaction that releases oxygen gas for about the 10 minutes it would take the aircraft to descend to a level where the air was breathable.

Ventilators can provide oxygen, but mostly they assist with the act of breathing in people whose respiratory drive is too weak, or whose use of accessory (i.e. chest wall) muscles suggests they are unable to breathe on their own.  In most people they assist with the process of breathing.  The patient starts a breath and the vent provides assistance to complete it.  And if they stop breathing, the machine kicks in to essentially force one (meaning that strictly speaking, you could ventilate a corpse).
I was wondering about CPAP machines in the same vein - could they be used as ventilators?  After noodling around on Google a bit, it seems like a maybe?  But you'd need to control aerosolization of respiratory fluids.
FDA Ventilator Supply Mitigation Strategies (https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/ventilator-supply-mitigation-strategies-letter-health-care-providers)
Airway management adjustments in era of COVID-19 (https://www.ems1.com/ems-products/medical-equipment/airway-management/articles/airway-management-adjustments-in-the-era-of-covid-19-0RrHWNl1MpLw95dY/)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on March 25, 2020, 11:53:14 AM
I was really scared about all the reports of people in their 20s, etc.  getting a serious case of the virus, since I have adult children.  However, I wondered if anyone has looked at whether those who are getting serious cases have perhaps vaped in the past?  Given the stories last year about how vaping damages your lungs, I wondered if it might be something that made coronavirus worse.  Haven't seen anything about that, however.  Has anyone looked at this?

As a longtime hypochondriac, I think the thing to remember is that people are always focused on more unusual events, especially if they seem more tragic. None of this is to say that this isn't serious, or that young people can't get sick, or it is just the flu, or any of that. However, anecdotal reports can be deceiving about this stuff and make you more anxious if you're prone to anxiety.

If you just follow news reports you could easily believe that most of the people who get cancer are young, but its just that people pay more attention to younger cancer patients than older ones who make up the large majority.

Same thing here. Older people are far more likely to get very sick and also far more likely to die from this. That's the established narrative so stories that fit that don't get much attention. When a younger person gets sick, it becomes a whole story. A lot of people have this now. The US could easily have a few hundred thousand cases already. You get numbers that large and unusual events start occurring, but it doesn't actually make them more likely. The other thing is that young people are just a lot more likely to talk about their experience. I've been seeing lots of accounts of people very sick in their 30s, but you have to remember that those are the people more likely to be on Twitter. With personal accounts, there's also just a bias towards the more severe, because there's more to talk about. My stepbrother got it, had a mild fever, felt crummy for a few days and then was fine. That isn't an interesting story so you'll hear less about it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on March 27, 2020, 05:41:33 AM
From The Guardian:

"The Spanish government has withdrawn 9,000 Chinese-made coronavirus testing kits from use after it emerged that they had an accurate detection rate of just 30%."

"However, a batch of Chinese-made kits bought by Spanish health authorities a few weeks ago has been pulled after they were discovered to be unreliable and the Chinese government said that they had been made by a company that did not appear on its list of authorised manufacturers.

In a statement on Thursday, Spain’s health ministry said it would be returning the kits, but stressed that they had not be bought directly from the Chinese manufacturer but from a supply company in Spain that had purchased them in China and had provided the necessary accompanying paperwork."

Not nice.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 27, 2020, 11:22:00 AM
From The Guardian:

"The Spanish government has withdrawn 9,000 Chinese-made coronavirus testing kits from use after it emerged that they had an accurate detection rate of just 30%."


FFS. I wonder if tests of similar shoddiness are being used in China? There seem to be a lot of reasons to wonder whether any of the figures we're seeing (of infection rates, or deaths) bear any relationship to reality!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 27, 2020, 11:26:38 AM

I was wondering about CPAP machines in the same vein - could they be used as ventilators?  After noodling around on Google a bit, it seems like a maybe?  But you'd need to control aerosolization of respiratory fluids.

This CPAP manufacturer seems to be doing so (or retooling their products to work as ventilators) https://www.businessnewsaus.com.au/articles/resmed-ramps-up-ventilator-production-to-tackle-covid-19.html
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on March 27, 2020, 01:27:52 PM
In the pharmacy today: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538250592963920136/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: backatit on March 27, 2020, 02:16:53 PM
My partner is sick now. He's got a fever and body aches, and a bit of chest pain (he's seen a teledoctor and they are advising him to self-isolate so we've moved him into the spare room which fortunately has an ensuite). I don't think I've ever wanted someone to have the actual flu before....
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on March 27, 2020, 02:23:47 PM
Very sorry to hear that.

Thinking of you both.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on March 27, 2020, 02:33:42 PM
My partner is sick now. He's got a fever and body aches, and a bit of chest pain (he's seen a teledoctor and they are advising him to self-isolate so we've moved him into the spare room which fortunately has an ensuite). I don't think I've ever wanted someone to have the actual flu before....

Maybe you have already been told this, but can you get a pulse oximeter? They are available from places like CVS and Amazon. A thermometer and pulse oximeter are two pieces of equipment that will provide very helpful information to the physicians about whether your partner should be hospitalized.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: backatit on March 27, 2020, 03:09:10 PM
My partner is sick now. He's got a fever and body aches, and a bit of chest pain (he's seen a teledoctor and they are advising him to self-isolate so we've moved him into the spare room which fortunately has an ensuite). I don't think I've ever wanted someone to have the actual flu before....

Maybe you have already been told this, but can you get a pulse oximeter? They are available from places like CVS and Amazon. A thermometer and pulse oximeter are two pieces of equipment that will provide very helpful information to the physicians about whether your partner should be hospitalized.

They seem to be sold out both locally and on amazon (I'm trying to find one in a more out of the way sort of place, now, and will post on Nextdoor to see if anyone has a spare). I had been trying to find one before this, but they've been gone for a while now, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on March 31, 2020, 01:12:00 AM
How are things now, backatit?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on March 31, 2020, 08:13:02 AM
They seem to be sold out both locally and on amazon (I'm trying to find one in a more out of the way sort of place, now, and will post on Nextdoor to see if anyone has a spare). I had been trying to find one before this, but they've been gone for a while now, unfortunately.
Have you looked at eBay? Looks like there's a large supply there: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=pulse+oximeter&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: backatit on March 31, 2020, 08:42:40 AM
They seem to be sold out both locally and on amazon (I'm trying to find one in a more out of the way sort of place, now, and will post on Nextdoor to see if anyone has a spare). I had been trying to find one before this, but they've been gone for a while now, unfortunately.
Have you looked at eBay? Looks like there's a large supply there: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=pulse+oximeter&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1

Thanks, I hadn't thought to look there (I haven't shopped ebay in yonks!). You're a lifesaver (perhaps literally :D). We're actually both doing a bit better, fortunately, but someone else might need it or we might relapse, which I've heard is unfortunately common.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on March 31, 2020, 06:31:48 PM
Just popping in from the rest of the Internet to report on the innumeracy of  the general populace.

A good one: “They had 5,000 new cases yesterday! Just because the new case numbers are lower doesn’t mean they are flattening the curve.” Actually, yes, that is exactly what that means.

Or: “No one is reporting that there are 100,000 recoveries. We need to stop cowering in our basements!” Yeah, 110,00 recoveries actually, but over 19,000 death which makes for a case fatality rate of 15%. So, 100,000 recoveries = not such great news after all.

This is innumeracy too. If you divide fatality rates by total number of cases, you could be underestimating fatality rate early on if there are lots of people who have recently gotten sick, those people skew young and if testing has been extensive. However, if you only count resolved cases when numbers have been rapidly increasing, especially if lots of sick people aren't being tested, you are going to get some really distorted numbers. You start getting deaths before you get recoveries.

None of this back of the envelope math is actually how epidemiologists figure out what a real fatality rate is though. To do that you have to find ways of estimating the actual number of people infected. I'm not going to pretend to have any sort of expertise, but I saw various people who do on Twitter saying that they think a study that did this through various methods and estimated a death rate of a bit over one percent in Hubei is probably the most accurate measurement of the death rate there. It doesn't do any good to pretend this isn't a big deal, but it also isn't helpful to overestimate the bad effects either.

With South Korea testing like crazy, seems like they should have the best handle on numbers of infected. They did aggressive testing of contacts, etc. and if they had missed a lot of asymptomatic cases, it seems unlikely that the new cases would be so low now. They are also well past their peak, so a large proportion of their cases have been resolved. Their death/recovery is 3.3% and death/cases is 1.4%. The first number will continue to go down, and the second number will continue to go up (assuming they don't get a second wave of cases), putting the final rate somewhere in between.
Similarly, the cruise ship where everyone was tested now has a death/case rate of 1.4%, which also still has the potential to increase.

So yeah, while we don't know the real death rate yet, we're not totally clueless. Best case scenarios where everyone can still receive top-quality care, and it seems like 1-2%. As health care systems get overwhelmed, this will go up.

Actually, one thing I have been wondering (and have not seen discussed) is how the case fatality rate of typical seasonal flus as well as epidemic flus are calculated. I have seen .1% cited as the case fatality rate for the former and 2.5% for the Spanish flu. But do these rates include all (or many) of the asymptomatic infections? I am thinking not — particularly in the case of the Spanish flu. Were there people who had the Spanish flu and were asymptomatic? Probably no way of knowing. I would also think it highly unlikely they were included in the CFR, if they existed. But how about H1N1 cousins of the Spanish flu? Can people be infected with H1N1 flu and remain asymptomatic? Are these cases included in the flu’s case fatality rate?

I am bringing this up because it seems like one of the key things people do with various possible COVID-19 CFRs is turn around and compare them with those of various flus (generally with the intention to minimize COVID). For example, the CFR for the Spanish flu was 2.5%, but when you really test everyone, as they did in South Korea, the CFR for COVID-19 is much lower — only .4%. But, really, apples and oranges are being compared here —- unless all the asymptomatic or mild “cases” of the Spanish Flu were counted too, which I doubt.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on March 31, 2020, 07:00:12 PM
Some of those questions are probably unanswerable, since we can't go back in time and retest for Spanish flu.

I've heard various arguments that Covid-19 is no worse than the flu, and I'm in no position to judge about fatality rates. What I do see is that thousands are dying from Covid-19, at a nastily accelerating rate. And because there is no vaccine still hardly any appreciable rates of immunity (and indeed it hasn't even been firmly established that surviving it confers immunity, though we hope so) — a huge percentage of the population is likely to get it, which is not the case with the flu.  If the flu were as transmissible and we were as vulnerable to it as to Covid-19, even the flu wouldn't be "just the flu." It would be something to be feared and avoided much more than it is now.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on March 31, 2020, 07:17:12 PM
Actually, one thing I have been wondering (and have not seen discussed) is how the case fatality rate of typical seasonal flus as well as epidemic flus are calculated.

For seasonal flu, here's how the CDC arrives at its estimates. (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/how-cdc-estimates.htm)

For the 1918 flu pandemic, there are numerous published papers giving (a wide range of) estimates and detailing the methodology used to estimate overall mortality and case fatality rates, some of which you can find here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=1918+influenza+pandemic+mortality).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 01, 2020, 05:18:48 AM
Thanks for the link, namazu. I had been wondering the same thing.

For this current pandemic, I'm feeling the % death rate being put out for many countries must be at this stage meaningless (given different rates of testing). Surely we will only really know the impact in about a year when we can compare the overall national mortality rate for 2020 with 2019 and see the difference?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 01, 2020, 05:25:35 AM
They seem to be sold out both locally and on amazon (I'm trying to find one in a more out of the way sort of place, now, and will post on Nextdoor to see if anyone has a spare). I had been trying to find one before this, but they've been gone for a while now, unfortunately.
Have you looked at eBay? Looks like there's a large supply there: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=pulse+oximeter&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1

Thanks, I hadn't thought to look there (I haven't shopped ebay in yonks!). You're a lifesaver (perhaps literally :D). We're actually both doing a bit better, fortunately, but someone else might need it or we might relapse, which I've heard is unfortunately common.

Never heard "in yonks" but love the way it rolls off the tongue!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 01, 2020, 05:39:26 AM
Actually, one thing I have been wondering (and have not seen discussed) is how the case fatality rate of typical seasonal flus as well as epidemic flus are calculated.

For seasonal flu, here's how the CDC arrives at its estimates. (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/how-cdc-estimates.htm)

For the 1918 flu pandemic, there are numerous published papers giving (a wide range of) estimates and detailing the methodology used to estimate overall mortality and case fatality rates, some of which you can find here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=1918+influenza+pandemic+mortality).

It does highlight the really basic problems with the whole question. Nobody thinks it would be a good idea to try to estimate flu mortality with the number of confirmed cases as the denominator, because they know they are only getting confirming a minority of the total cases. There's no really good reason for most people to go to the doctor when they have flu symptoms. I always go, but that's just because I'm a worrier and want to hear a medical professional tell me that I seem normal sick and not alarming sick.

This is obviously much worse than normal flu, but it also has a really wide range of symptoms. Even in places like South Korea where they are testing a ton of people, they are still probably missing people who have mildish symptoms are asymptomatic, or very lightly symptomatic. There's also apparently a pretty high false negative rates for tests, maybe as high as 25 percent. You're just never going to get a reliable number by trying to do simple math, you have to do modeling of various sorts, and there's not enough data yet for these models to be particularly reliable.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 01, 2020, 05:46:03 AM

For this current pandemic, I'm feeling the % death rate being put out for many countries must be at this stage meaningless (given different rates of testing). Surely we will only really know the impact in about a year when we can compare the overall national mortality rate for 2020 with 2019 and see the difference?

Even that might not tell you about COVID deaths per se. People might die at higher rates of other things if they are more reluctant to seek care, or if the medical system is under strain.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: HomunculusParty on April 01, 2020, 05:49:54 AM

For this current pandemic, I'm feeling the % death rate being put out for many countries must be at this stage meaningless (given different rates of testing). Surely we will only really know the impact in about a year when we can compare the overall national mortality rate for 2020 with 2019 and see the difference?

Even that might not tell you about COVID deaths per se. People might die at higher rates of other things if they are more reluctant to seek care, or if the medical system is under strain.

Yes, that's quite right. A family friend recently contracted an unrelated infection, but they were advised not to bring him to the overloaded hospital. It got rapidly worse, and he died two days after they finally brought him in. I know anecdote != data, but I'm sure others have experienced similar tragedies.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 01, 2020, 07:04:26 AM

For this current pandemic, I'm feeling the % death rate being put out for many countries must be at this stage meaningless (given different rates of testing). Surely we will only really know the impact in about a year when we can compare the overall national mortality rate for 2020 with 2019 and see the difference?

Even that might not tell you about COVID deaths per se. People might die at higher rates of other things if they are more reluctant to seek care, or if the medical system is under strain.

Yes, that's quite right. A family friend recently contracted an unrelated infection, but they were advised not to bring him to the overloaded hospital. It got rapidly worse, and he died two days after they finally brought him in. I know anecdote != data, but I'm sure others have experienced similar tragedies.

Conversely I'm assuming that during the various lockdowns we will see a reduction in deaths from motor vehicle accidents.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 01, 2020, 08:20:25 AM
Great U.S. data projections here:

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections (https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 01, 2020, 09:03:05 AM
Great U.S. data projections here:

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections (https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections).

Agreed, but those 95% CI's are enormous.    I did not read what their underlying assumptions were but there's a lot of wiggle room in those numbers.  A few dozen more fundamentalist churches packing the pews for a couple more Sundays could blow these models to bits.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 02, 2020, 05:34:00 AM
Great U.S. data projections here:

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections (https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections).

Agreed, but those 95% CI's are enormous.    I did not read what their underlying assumptions were but there's a lot of wiggle room in those numbers.  A few dozen more fundamentalist churches packing the pews for a couple more Sundays could blow these models to bits.

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2020-03-31/louisiana-pastor-says-hell-keep-violating-coronavirus-ban

And reduce the numbers of Trump voters, while further crashing our fragile health care system.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on April 02, 2020, 09:25:18 AM
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/daniel-finney/2020/04/02/coronavirus-in-iowa-ballet-dancer-performs-for-grandparents-des-moines-neighbors-dsmstrong/5097922002/

Nice, inspirational news story.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: alto_stratus on April 02, 2020, 10:41:17 AM
This is making its way around the interwebz. Fun flashback to some of our earlier fora days.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/robbie-robertson-the-weight-coronavirus-974210/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 02, 2020, 01:50:58 PM
This is making its way around the interwebz. Fun flashback to some of our earlier fora days.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/robbie-robertson-the-weight-coronavirus-974210/

Here's another one.  Maybe the sweetest song ever from the Good Ol' Grateful Dead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHo1fNnXFVU
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 04, 2020, 05:15:55 AM
Is anyone else freaked out by those logarithmic graphs that the FT keeps publishing and then get shared around?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on April 04, 2020, 07:10:21 AM
Great U.S. data projections here:

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections (https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections).

Agreed, but those 95% CI's are enormous.    I did not read what their underlying assumptions were but there's a lot of wiggle room in those numbers.  A few dozen more fundamentalist churches packing the pews for a couple more Sundays could blow these models to bits.

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2020-03-31/louisiana-pastor-says-hell-keep-violating-coronavirus-ban

And reduce the numbers of Trump voters, while further crashing our fragile health care system.

We live in an ironic age, but Trump losing the election because his voters were literally too stupid to live would really be something.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on April 04, 2020, 07:14:51 AM

We live in an ironic age, but Trump losing the election because his voters were literally too stupid to live would really be something.

Now that you mention it, it's inevitable that some analysis is going to be done after the election to try and estimate the "covid effect" in close races.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: paultuttle on April 04, 2020, 10:15:54 AM

We live in an ironic age, but Trump losing the election because his voters were literally too stupid to live would really be something.

Now that you mention it, it's inevitable that some analysis is going to be done after the election to try and estimate the "covid effect" in close races.

The truly horrifying element for me is how completely expendable some Trumpists think the base is. What an extreme disregard for human life!

It's really Stalin-esque.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on April 04, 2020, 12:47:32 PM
Is anyone else freaked out by those logarithmic graphs that the FT keeps publishing and then get shared around?

 I have not seen the FT ones but the plots for Italy look hopeful.  Daily new cases have been constant for about 2 weeks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on April 04, 2020, 03:00:00 PM

We live in an ironic age, but Trump losing the election because his voters were literally too stupid to live would really be something.

Now that you mention it, it's inevitable that some analysis is going to be done after the election to try and estimate the "covid effect" in close races.

The truly horrifying element for me is how completely expendable some Trumpists think the base is. What an extreme disregard for human life!

It's really Stalin-esque.

Well, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few . . . never mind, let's change the subject to whether abortion is an essential service. As a conservative, I'm on firmer ground there.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 05, 2020, 06:26:25 AM

We live in an ironic age, but Trump losing the election because his voters were literally too stupid to live would really be something.

Now that you mention it, it's inevitable that some analysis is going to be done after the election to try and estimate the "covid effect" in close races.

The truly horrifying element for me is how completely expendable some Trumpists think the base is. What an extreme disregard for human life!

It's really Stalin-esque.

Well, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few . . . never mind, let's change the subject to whether abortion is an essential service. As a conservative, I'm on firmer ground there.

As usual, you are on thin ice.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: RatGuy on April 05, 2020, 07:47:22 AM
Serious question: How long do the experts think Covid19 has been in the States? I'm thinking that I heard that the "first cases" were in Washington State in late January. But I'm thinking back to a colleague who was out the the first two weeks of the term, and how many of my students went to the clinic only for the diagnosis to be "its a virus, but we only know it's not the flu." With so many of our students being from out of state, what's the likelihood that some of these students were infected over the holidays -- and we just didn't know what it was?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 05, 2020, 08:22:16 AM
Serious question: How long do the experts think Covid19 has been in the States? I'm thinking that I heard that the "first cases" were in Washington State in late January. But I'm thinking back to a colleague who was out the the first two weeks of the term, and how many of my students went to the clinic only for the diagnosis to be "its a virus, but we only know it's not the flu." With so many of our students being from out of state, what's the likelihood that some of these students were infected over the holidays -- and we just didn't know what it was?

Given that Covid-19 was spreading in Hubei province as early as mid-November (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074991/coronavirus-chinas-first-confirmed-covid-19-case-traced-back), and the many tens of thousands of people per month traveling between the USA and China, I would not be surprised if SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in the USA by early December.

Edited to add: we've had a worse than average flu season in the USA -- in terms of number of doctor's office visits for influenza-like illness. On my campus there was an unusually large number of students getting sick with generic dorm-crud infections throughout the first half of the semester (described by campus health clinic personnel as "flu" but probably not actual influenza). But these students missed at most a week classes, many went home to recuperate, and none ended up on ventilators or dead.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 05, 2020, 08:46:10 AM
At this point, it can only be speculation, and I m reminded that "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." 
I was reading about the length or liife cycle of the illness. It seems that the worst hits about days 7 and 8, so if the students were better in a week, it may not have been CV19. However, most of what I was reading was about the people that were hospitalized. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on April 05, 2020, 09:35:29 AM
Serious question: How long do the experts think Covid19 has been in the States? I'm thinking that I heard that the "first cases" were in Washington State in late January. But I'm thinking back to a colleague who was out the the first two weeks of the term, and how many of my students went to the clinic only for the diagnosis to be "its a virus, but we only know it's not the flu." With so many of our students being from out of state, what's the likelihood that some of these students were infected over the holidays -- and we just didn't know what it was?

Now you got me thinking.  I do remember an unusually high number of absences due to some "flu bug" going around but I am not sure if it was this year or last year.  Eventually the virus experts might figure this out as more data becomes available.  They might be able to figure this out if tissue samples were preserved from autopsies.   
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: fourhats on April 05, 2020, 10:44:27 AM
Quote
Never heard "in yonks" but love the way it rolls off the tongue!

Meant to jump in earlier on this one. It's a Britishism, short for "in donkey's years." Apparently donkeys live a long time.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on April 05, 2020, 11:12:22 AM
Serious question: How long do the experts think Covid19 has been in the States? I'm thinking that I heard that the "first cases" were in Washington State in late January. But I'm thinking back to a colleague who was out the the first two weeks of the term, and how many of my students went to the clinic only for the diagnosis to be "its a virus, but we only know it's not the flu." With so many of our students being from out of state, what's the likelihood that some of these students were infected over the holidays -- and we just didn't know what it was?

Given that Covid-19 was spreading in Hubei province as early as mid-November (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074991/coronavirus-chinas-first-confirmed-covid-19-case-traced-back), and the many tens of thousands of people per month traveling between the USA and China, I would not be surprised if SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in the USA by early December.

Edited to add: we've had a worse than average flu season in the USA -- in terms of number of doctor's office visits for influenza-like illness. On my campus there was an unusually large number of students getting sick with generic dorm-crud infections throughout the first half of the semester (described by campus health clinic personnel as "flu" but probably not actual influenza). But these students missed at most a week classes, many went home to recuperate, and none ended up on ventilators or dead.
In addition to the several strains of flu that had been going around, there are numerous other respiratory viruses that circulate in any given year.  Adenovirus (https://www.cdc.gov/adenovirus/index.html) and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) (https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/index.html) are two that come to mind. 

So while it is likely that some early COVID-19 cases were missed, it is probably more likely that people who were sick earlier in the fall/winter had something else.

When we have valid, reliable, widely-available antibody tests, it will be much easier to get a sense of the scope of infection in the population.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on April 05, 2020, 11:59:05 AM
When we have valid, reliable, widely-available antibody tests, it will be much easier to get a sense of the scope of infection in the population.

When do you reckon that will be?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 05, 2020, 12:14:04 PM
Serious question: How long do the experts think Covid19 has been in the States? I'm thinking that I heard that the "first cases" were in Washington State in late January. But I'm thinking back to a colleague who was out the the first two weeks of the term, and how many of my students went to the clinic only for the diagnosis to be "its a virus, but we only know it's not the flu." With so many of our students being from out of state, what's the likelihood that some of these students were infected over the holidays -- and we just didn't know what it was?

Given that Covid-19 was spreading in Hubei province as early as mid-November (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074991/coronavirus-chinas-first-confirmed-covid-19-case-traced-back), and the many tens of thousands of people per month traveling between the USA and China, I would not be surprised if SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in the USA by early December.

Edited to add: we've had a worse than average flu season in the USA -- in terms of number of doctor's office visits for influenza-like illness. On my campus there was an unusually large number of students getting sick with generic dorm-crud infections throughout the first half of the semester (described by campus health clinic personnel as "flu" but probably not actual influenza). But these students missed at most a week classes, many went home to recuperate, and none ended up on ventilators or dead.

No, almost certainly not. I should say that I'm the furthest thing from an expert on this, however there is actually pretty clear evidence that can tell us about how the virus has spread and when.
First of all the way exponential growth works is that it takes time for cases to build to the point where lots of people would be getting sick. The estimates are that this emerged around late November and it wasn't till late December that there were enough cases that it was obvious something was going on. If a few hundred people have something in China, it isn't particularly likely to end up in other places, that only starts happening when the numbers get much higher. Even when that does happen, it would just be a few cases at first. Not enough that tons of college students would be getting sick.

But, there's actually clearer evidence than that. People have been sequencing the genes of the virus and pinpointing mutations to see how it has spread. https://nextstrain.org/ncov

Basically you can look at these and know that the strains circulating in the US almost certainly weren't here before Late January at the very earliest, and probably it was more like mid February. Even at those early dates, we would have just been talking about a few people.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on April 05, 2020, 12:35:21 PM

We live in an ironic age, but Trump losing the election because his voters were literally too stupid to live would really be something.

Now that you mention it, it's inevitable that some analysis is going to be done after the election to try and estimate the "covid effect" in close races.

The truly horrifying element for me is how completely expendable some Trumpists think the base is. What an extreme disregard for human life!

It's really Stalin-esque.

Well, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few . . . never mind, let's change the subject to whether abortion is an essential service. As a conservative, I'm on firmer ground there.

As usual, you are on thin ice.

I wonder how many conservatives in the academic life just keep their views to themselves in the land that loves diversity.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on April 05, 2020, 01:56:03 PM
I wonder how many conservatives in the academic life just keep their views to themselves in the land that loves diversity.

This is one of my favorite subjects! The short answer is, we're everywhere, and our numbers are growing. And because we've trained ourselves to make woke noises from time to time, you'll never spot us. We'll just linger, biding our time, honing our outlawed arguments, until our enemies relax. Then we'll pounce.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on April 05, 2020, 02:00:20 PM
I wonder how many conservatives in the academic life just keep their views to themselves in the land that loves diversity.

This is one of my favorite subjects! The short answer is, we're everywhere, and our numbers are growing. And because we've trained ourselves to make woke noises from time to time, you'll never spot us. We'll just linger, biding our time, honing our outlawed arguments, until our enemies relax. Then we'll pounce.

Even middle-of-the-road people are in the same boat; when expressing anything other than the progressive mantra will get someone villified all kinds of people will just remain silent.

Acquiesence <> agreement
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on April 05, 2020, 02:08:40 PM
I worry not so much about the so-called progressive mantra in higher ed:

-The academy has always been nuts and ignored in real life.

-The main centers of the mantra are private, expensive places. Let them pay for their own nonsense.

-Most important, the mantra that is taught does nothing specific for the economic well being of graduates. The mantra will be competed away without massive additional state support, which I do not see coming. [If I'm wrong about this last, all bets are off.]

Disclaimer: Along with Freddy Hayek, I am not a conservative. :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on April 05, 2020, 02:49:08 PM
When we have valid, reliable, widely-available antibody tests, it will be much easier to get a sense of the scope of infection in the population.
When do you reckon that will be?
Good question!

A few labs have developed tests already, though there may still be validation and production steps required before those tests can be deployed broadly and with confidence.

The CDC has just started conducting serosurveys (https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/04/cdc-launches-studies-to-get-more-precise-count-of-undetected-covid-19-cases/).  Hopefully we'll know more soon (over the next few months). 

Of course, knowing that infection was widespread in your region and knowing for sure whether you personally have been infected are two different things. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 05, 2020, 02:50:47 PM
I wonder how many conservatives in the academic life just keep their views to themselves in the land that loves diversity.

This is one of my favorite subjects! The short answer is, we're everywhere, and our numbers are growing. And because we've trained ourselves to make woke noises from time to time, you'll never spot us. We'll just linger, biding our time, honing our outlawed arguments, until our enemies relax. Then we'll pounce.

This sounds like a virus. Or a parasite. Watch out!

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on April 05, 2020, 04:44:52 PM
I wonder how many conservatives in the academic life just keep their views to themselves in the land that loves diversity.

This is one of my favorite subjects! The short answer is, we're everywhere, and our numbers are growing. And because we've trained ourselves to make woke noises from time to time, you'll never spot us. We'll just linger, biding our time, honing our outlawed arguments, until our enemies relax. Then we'll pounce.

This sounds like a virus. Or a parasite. Watch out!

Indeed. I make a new conservative every time I cough.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on April 05, 2020, 06:02:44 PM
I wonder how many conservatives in the academic life just keep their views to themselves in the land that loves diversity.

This is one of my favorite subjects! The short answer is, we're everywhere, and our numbers are growing. And because we've trained ourselves to make woke noises from time to time, you'll never spot us. We'll just linger, biding our time, honing our outlawed arguments, until our enemies relax. Then we'll pounce.

This sounds like a virus. Or a parasite. Watch out!

Or a pipe dream.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 05, 2020, 09:05:25 PM
So now, we're all supposed to wear a mask when we go out.  But masks are all sold out so we're to MacGyver our own solutions.

I predict there's going to be a problem if I walk into a liquor store or a bank wearing a bandana and with my hands in my pockets.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on April 05, 2020, 09:36:48 PM
So now, we're all supposed to wear a mask when we go out.  But masks are all sold out so we're to MacGyver our own solutions.

I literally spent all day today hand-stitching ONE.  I'm very proud of it, but - ain't got time for this ****.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on April 06, 2020, 02:28:04 AM
So now, we're all supposed to wear a mask when we go out.  But masks are all sold out so we're to MacGyver our own solutions.

I predict there's going to be a problem if I walk into a liquor store or a bank wearing a bandana and with my hands in my pockets.

Indeed! And here the cops are stopping people on the street to ask whether they’re on essential business. Apparently some guy got busted when he said he was going to meet his drug dealer.

I wonder how the cops would respond to someone wearing a bandana who said they were heading to the bank... :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 06, 2020, 02:38:12 AM
Yep... we are entering a Twilight Zone phase when the police stop the people NOT wearing masks! 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 06, 2020, 05:04:55 AM
Photos on social media suggest some rather creative alternatives have been tried (plastic bags, scuba masks, bras, bikini briefs, paper bags).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 06, 2020, 05:16:55 AM
So now, we're all supposed to wear a mask when we go out.  But masks are all sold out so we're to MacGyver our own solutions.

I predict there's going to be a problem if I walk into a liquor store or a bank wearing a bandana and with my hands in my pockets.

I did and they didn't give me a second glance.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Morris Zapp on April 06, 2020, 07:01:51 AM
My husband is required to wear one at work with the military. He was informed of this last evening. He went to work this morning wearing my pink flamingo running scarf that you can pull up over your face. So professional
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 06, 2020, 08:49:24 AM
USPS mailman is now wearing a mask.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on April 06, 2020, 11:06:03 AM
I had to go drop a package off at UPS today. Only 2 customers allowed inside at a time. The rest wait outside on the designated x marks on the ground. All employees wearing masks and gloves. Although one had an N95 mask he was wearing improperly, without the bottom strap engaged.

This is in a state that only got a stay at home order on April 1.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on April 06, 2020, 12:27:25 PM
Boris Johnson now in Intensive Care.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 06, 2020, 12:58:43 PM
Boris Johnson now in Intensive Care.

Probably under the care of a medical team that is substantially not of native British origin.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on April 06, 2020, 02:16:57 PM
Boris Johnson now in Intensive Care.

I can't stand his political grandstanding but I would not wish this on anyone.

I'm so sorry to hear this.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: onthefringe on April 06, 2020, 07:27:41 PM
Today in the grocery store, I was wearing a home made mask, but few other people were. I was excessively annoyed by the woman wearing an N95 mask around her neck. And I called the store central number to suggest that maybe at least the employees packing up groceries for delivery (potentially to elderly or immune compromised customers) should be wearing gloves and masks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 07, 2020, 02:55:23 AM
People riding horses outside as usual. Haven't seen any delivery people or trash collectors wearing masks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 07, 2020, 06:29:28 AM
Today in the grocery store, I was wearing a home made mask, but few other people were. I was excessively annoyed by the woman wearing an N95 mask around her neck. And I called the store central number to suggest that maybe at least the employees packing up groceries for delivery (potentially to elderly or immune compromised customers) should be wearing gloves and masks.

I actually don't think either of those is particularly necessary or useful for delivery. The only way gloves would be effective is if the person took them off in the proper way after every thing they touched and then put on a whole different pair of gloves, which is obviously impractical if you want these people to actually get their deliveries. It would probably be better for those people to just go wash their hands every fifteen minutes or something, which perhaps they are doing. The masks might be a better idea, but even there it has pretty limited benefits. The article I read about packages said that really you have to have an almost perfect chain of transmission to get something that way. A person has to sneeze on something, you have to touch it and then you have to put your hand on your face. A person can totally eliminate that very small risk, just by taking stuff out of the bags, washing down the counter surface, and then just washing your hands after you handle any food packaging.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 07, 2020, 08:27:29 AM
I'm not close to any of our neighbors, but last night there was a knock on the door and a neighborhood couple were going around distributing face masks they had made.  They gave us 2 masks and moved on.  No idea which house they were from.

How am I supposed to maintain my façade of misanthropic cynicism if people do things like this for complete strangers? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: onthefringe on April 07, 2020, 09:33:57 AM
Boris Johnson now in Intensive Care.

I can't stand his political grandstanding but I would not wish this on anyone.

I'm so sorry to hear this.

M.

My frontal lobes agree with you. My lizard brain is cackling in inappropriate glee that no doubt means I am a horrifying person at heart...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ciao_yall on April 07, 2020, 12:12:31 PM
I made a new friend in line at Safeway. She offered to make me and hubby some masks when she saw my sad napkin + headband contraption. I am going to hook her up with our transfer center to get her fixed up with a plan to transfer to State and get her Bachelor's degree.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 07, 2020, 12:17:21 PM
State authorities announced that six people from my neighborhood are dead from Covid-19.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on April 07, 2020, 01:22:22 PM
Here's a question for everyone: Is there any reason a university should decide now to move fall classes online? I can't think of one, and yet I hear rumblings.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on April 07, 2020, 02:14:16 PM
Here's a question for everyone: Is there any reason a university should decide now to move fall classes online? I can't think of one, and yet I hear rumblings.

I'm a lab instructor. For summer, I have one lab to "virtualize". If I have to virtualize labs for several courses in September, I can't wait until mid-August to figure it out.

I would guess any courses with labs or other hands-on stuff are in a similar boat.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on April 07, 2020, 02:19:13 PM
I find it difficult to understand how at least some labs can be virtualized. Sure, the instructor can demonstrate. But what are students to do? I'm thinking of a chem lab. I'm seriously interested intellectually, not practically, for I don't run a lab.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on April 07, 2020, 02:27:27 PM
I find it difficult to understand how at least some labs can be virtualized. Sure, the instructor can demonstrate. But what are students to do? I'm thinking of a chem lab. I'm seriously interested intellectually, not practically, for I don't run a lab.

I can't speak for chem, but with my physics lab for the summer, since a couple of lab exercises are already on data analysis, those can stay the same whether students generate their own data or have it given to them. I'm working on a simple simulation of an experiement online; I can incorporate randomness in the readings. The one thing the "virtual" experiment will allow is generating as much data as they can stand, rather than being limited by the physical logistics of the lab. (Important point, as I see it: virtual labs will make sense to focus on different factors than actual labs, so students may get more of some things out of the experience while obviously getting less (or none) of others.)


I'll see how it goes......
 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on April 07, 2020, 02:32:31 PM
I find it difficult to understand how at least some labs can be virtualized. Sure, the instructor can demonstrate. But what are students to do? I'm thinking of a chem lab. I'm seriously interested intellectually, not practically, for I don't run a lab.

... Important point, as I see it: virtual labs will make sense to focus on different factors than actual labs, so students may get more of some things out of the experience while obviously getting less (or none) of others.)


Excellent point, the Law of Comparative Advantage in yet another guise! Should have thought of it myself. :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on April 07, 2020, 04:27:33 PM
State authorities announced that six people from my neighborhood are dead from Covid-19.

I'm sorry for your neighborhood's loss.

The town next to mine announced their first known death yesterday.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Vkw10 on April 07, 2020, 07:17:58 PM
Here's a question for everyone: Is there any reason a university should decide now to move fall classes online? I can't think of one, and yet I hear rumblings.

My university delayed Summer 1 registration a week because entire session is moving to online. The delay was apparently because registrar's office had to do massive updates to registration system so all classes would show as online. I'm not sure why that was essential, but maybe you're hearing rumblings because of similar discussions about time needed for system updates?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on April 07, 2020, 07:43:16 PM
All of our summer courses are labelled as "Remote", which is not the same as Online. Only those courses originally scheduled to be delivered Online receive that designation. I wonder if this is an accreditation thing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 08, 2020, 01:49:11 AM
All of our summer courses are labelled as "Remote", which is not the same as Online. Only those courses originally scheduled to be delivered Online receive that designation. I wonder if this is an accreditation thing.

Probably. Some places also require instructors to have different training to officially teach "ONLINE" courses.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on April 08, 2020, 04:12:50 AM
All of our summer courses are labelled as "Remote", which is not the same as Online. Only those courses originally scheduled to be delivered Online receive that designation. I wonder if this is an accreditation thing.

Probably. Some places also require instructors to have different training to officially teach "ONLINE" courses.

At our place (in Canada) it's an indication that the course wasn't designed to be online, so it's probably a little rough around the edges. (There are actually grants people can get normally to put a course online, reflecting the amount of work it takes to do properly.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 08, 2020, 05:12:23 AM
State authorities announced that six people from my neighborhood are dead from Covid-19.

I'm sorry for your neighborhood's loss.

The town next to mine announced their first known death yesterday.

M.

I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information.  Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Scotia on April 08, 2020, 05:58:39 AM
All of our summer courses are labelled as "Remote", which is not the same as Online. Only those courses originally scheduled to be delivered Online receive that designation. I wonder if this is an accreditation thing.

It may be to make easer to change courses back to "face-to-face" (or whatever they are normally labelled) in systems once we are able to return to teaching on campus. Instead of having to manually search through courses because all are now labelled "online" it will be possible to do a simple global search and replace for "remote" so that the courses that are normally taught online are untouched by the changes.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on April 08, 2020, 07:06:20 AM
Just to make sure no stone is
unturned. I listened to a BBC guest as he, I think, gave protocol before C-19 possible sufferers sought medical help. In that was noted " a continuos spell of coughing lasting for more than an hour". Could that be linked symptomatticaly or treatmentwise to
 whooping cough. I've not
heard mention of that malady's medicines or treatments being applied against the Caronavirus.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on April 08, 2020, 07:46:24 AM
Just to make sure no stone is
unturned. I listened to a BBC guest as he, I think, gave protocol before C-19 possible sufferers sought medical help. In that was noted " a continuos spell of coughing lasting for more than an hour". Could that be linked symptomatticaly or treatmentwise to
 whooping cough. I've not heard mention of that malady's medicines or treatments being applied against the Caronavirus.
Whooping cough (https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html) is cause by a bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, and there is a vaccine to prevent it.  In general, antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections don't work to treat viruses. 

Whooping cough also tends to be most severe in young children, whereas this coronavirus tends to be most severe in older people. 

While there may be some similarities -- both affect the lungs and cause a cough, and severe cases may require oxygen support in a hospital -- it's not likely that there would be much cross-over in potential medical treatments, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on April 08, 2020, 07:49:12 AM
I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information.  Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,
My county publishes a map and table with case counts by zip code.  I've seen other county health departments with maps showing case counts by town.  I can PM you some examples, if you'd like.  Of course, if your county or state's health department doesn't already publish this info somewhere, you'd likely have to source it from news reports.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on April 08, 2020, 08:22:24 AM
Just to make sure no stone is
unturned. I listened to a BBC guest as he, I think, gave protocol before C-19 possible sufferers sought medical help. In that was noted " a continuos spell of coughing lasting for more than an hour". Could that be linked symptomatticaly or treatmentwise to
 whooping cough. I've not heard mention of that malady's medicines or treatments being applied against the Caronavirus.
Whooping cough (https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html) is cause by a bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, and there is a vaccine to prevent it.  In general, antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections don't work to treat viruses. 

Whooping cough also tends to be most severe in young children, whereas this coronavirus tends to be most severe in older people. 

While there may be some similarities -- both affect the lungs and cause a cough, and severe cases may require oxygen support in a hospital -- it's not likely that there would be much cross-over in potential medical treatments, unfortunately.
OK, unlikely. Impossible? Thank you for your reply.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on April 08, 2020, 08:34:14 AM
So when is the government going to send us free codeine (cough suppressant) so we don't infect others?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 08, 2020, 09:36:11 AM
Quote
So when is the government going to send us free codeine (cough suppressant) so we don't infect others?
Quote


I have no idea what is being prescribed for treating the symptoms of CV19. I would think that codeine would not be ideal.  One of the symptoms is shortness of breath.  Things that would suppress ones ability to breath would not really be ideal.

What ARE doctors prescribing to treat the symptoms?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 08, 2020, 10:39:53 AM
Part of an email from a friend that HAS it!

"This is no picnic. The only thing they suggest, if not hospitalized, is over the counter pain relief of whatever brings you comfort. When I was in the hospital they told me that the steroids and z-packs they originally prescribed actually made the symptoms worse."
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 08, 2020, 10:44:27 AM
State authorities announced that six people from my neighborhood are dead from Covid-19.

I'm sorry for your neighborhood's loss.

The town next to mine announced their first known death yesterday.

M.

I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information.  Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,

It was disseminated via the governor's office and broadcast in local media outlets.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on April 08, 2020, 11:01:05 AM
Still very few confirmed cases where we live.  Most suspected cases are coming back negative.  Just this morning I learned that a friend's husband has been hospitalized in the state capital with fluid on his lungs.  He has tested negative twice for Covid-19.  It's looking like he may have a cancerous mass.  Due to the epidemic, neither she nor anybody else has been allowed to be in the hospital with him.  It's a very hard situation for them.  They're now over two hours' drive apart.

Meanwhile my mother has been having to drive herself to the oncologist (again, over an hour away) for consultations, since she isn't allowed to have anybody with her.  Her treatments have been postponed until the end of this month in hopes of getting past the hospital lockdowns.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 08, 2020, 12:21:26 PM
I was tempted to start another thread, but I think between this one and the Hypochondriacs thread we are covered, so Im going to start here and see IF I get sufficient answers. 

I am concerned about the deaths of the 20-60 year olds.  NOt that Im not concerned with the others, but I see news items about the people in this category not making it. The news is sort of making obituary notices for these younger people, and I can not tell if these deaths are common or not.  So help me with these thoughts, please:

How common are deaths in the 20-60 group?  Are they making the news because it is a warning to the younger folk that they CAN get it AND DIE from it? 
 
OR
Is this a relatively rare event, such that the novelty is newsworthy?

For Instance.... Airplane crashes just about anywhere on the planet seem to make the news.  Not because they are common but because they are rare. Still, IF one were to see one crash on the news every 3 months, for instance, then one may conclude that these death machines are falling out of the sky every 90 days!  However, they make the news BECAUSE they are so rare.

SO... Are deaths in these age groups so tragic to justify being on the news (and thus justifying my great fear to be around anyone because everyone is a walking virus factory looking to contaminate and kill me!) or are they just so rare that these deaths, and the tragedy that they represent, are novel and deserve special mention?

With Boris Johnson, (MY age) in the ICU, I m more concerned!  I dont have all of the health support that would be available to the UK PM, and yet all the kings horses and all the kings men still didnt keep him safe from the ER and ICU!!

How scared should I be?  (Cautious 2-3?   Moderate?  4-6, or Nuclear 8-10?  --- it IS out to KILL me/us?)

Thoughts?  (should this be its own thread?)  Is the news overfocusing on the young deaths, or are all ages dropping dead in short order?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 08, 2020, 01:32:00 PM
Quote
Is the news overfocusing on the young deaths

Yes. They will tell us that 800 people died, but the story and the photo are about the young outlier.

Nobody is immune (as this is a new virus), but your chances of dying from it are low (even for the over 70 cohort, the death rate is something like 10%: so 90% survive).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on April 08, 2020, 01:35:18 PM
There are a number of analytical articles and websites on this.

I'll cite two but I do not have the epidemological background to determine how useful or reliable they might be.

   https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

and

   https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2020/03/23/a-mortality-perspective-on-covid-19-time-location-and-age/
 
might start to answer your question.

A couple of posters here might want to weigh in as to the hermeneutics.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 08, 2020, 03:00:20 PM
State authorities announced that six people from my neighborhood are dead from Covid-19.

I'm sorry for your neighborhood's loss.

The town next to mine announced their first known death yesterday.

M.

I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information. Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,

Why would you need it.  Your state dept of public health is almost certain to have the most up to date data and information already.  All a Facebook page will get you is a selection of half baked conspiracy theories and the usual scientific and statistical ignorance about things most Americans can't understand.  By the time you can post who has masks or toilet paper in stock, the news will be out of data anyway.

This is worth a read:

What We Pretend to Know About the Corona Virus Could Kill Us (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-fake-news.html)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 08, 2020, 03:11:51 PM
Quote
So when is the government going to send us free codeine (cough suppressant) so we don't infect others?
Quote


I have no idea what is being prescribed for treating the symptoms of CV19. I would think that codeine would not be ideal.  One of the symptoms is shortness of breath.  Things that would suppress ones ability to breath would not really be ideal.

What ARE doctors prescribing to treat the symptoms?

The most recent thinking is that cough suppressants are generally ineffective.  In high doses, Tessalon Perles (an ancient product now more commonly prescribed because it's non-narcotic and you know-- opioids) can be lethal.  Teens have been using Robitussin DM (dextromethorphan) to get high for the last few years -- Robo-Tripping.  As far as I can tell,treatment for Covid-19 is just supportive therapy - maintain airways and blood pressure, Tylenol + Motrin for the fever (lasts longer that way).  You can try DM syrup in the labeled dose if you want, but don't hold your breath as to how much help it's going to be.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 08, 2020, 07:35:06 PM
I was tempted to start another thread, but I think between this one and the Hypochondriacs thread we are covered, so Im going to start here and see IF I get sufficient answers. 

I am concerned about the deaths of the 20-60 year olds.  NOt that Im not concerned with the others, but I see news items about the people in this category not making it. The news is sort of making obituary notices for these younger people, and I can not tell if these deaths are common or not.  So help me with these thoughts, please:

How common are deaths in the 20-60 group?  Are they making the news because it is a warning to the younger folk that they CAN get it AND DIE from it? 
 
OR
Is this a relatively rare event, such that the novelty is newsworthy?

For Instance.... Airplane crashes just about anywhere on the planet seem to make the news.  Not because they are common but because they are rare. Still, IF one were to see one crash on the news every 3 months, for instance, then one may conclude that these death machines are falling out of the sky every 90 days!  However, they make the news BECAUSE they are so rare.

SO... Are deaths in these age groups so tragic to justify being on the news (and thus justifying my great fear to be around anyone because everyone is a walking virus factory looking to contaminate and kill me!) or are they just so rare that these deaths, and the tragedy that they represent, are novel and deserve special mention?

With Boris Johnson, (MY age) in the ICU, I m more concerned!  I dont have all of the health support that would be available to the UK PM, and yet all the kings horses and all the kings men still didnt keep him safe from the ER and ICU!!

How scared should I be?  (Cautious 2-3?   Moderate?  4-6, or Nuclear 8-10?  --- it IS out to KILL me/us?)

Thoughts?  (should this be its own thread?)  Is the news overfocusing on the young deaths, or are all ages dropping dead in short order?

The death rates by age in the US are about the same as everywhere else and they are pretty low for younger people without pre existing conditions. I think two things are going on. One is just that young people who get really sick are more newsworthy. A 42 year old who ends up in the ICU and survives is more likely to write about their experience on social media than a person in their 80s. I could be wrong about this, but my impression is also that younger people are more likely to get infected than older people, which would stand to reason. A person in their 30s is, on average, going to come into contact with a lot more people on an average day than someone in their 80s. So when you see reports that a fairly high percentage of hospitalized people are younger, a lot of that is just because they make up a large number of cases.

The other part of this is about the public health messaging. Public health messaging tends to be aimed at people who aren't concerned enough about their health, not people like me and you who are overly concerned. When some doctor says in the news that people shouldn't ignore persistent stomach pain, they are really talking to the guy who has had a terrible stomach ache for a year and figures there's no reason to bother to go to the doctor. The problem is that I hear that and start thinking "huh, well I did have a stomach ache the other night after I ate the nachos and the huge bowl of ice cream and then 5 days later, I didn't feel great on that day when I had a really stressful day, maybe I have stomach cancer..." Same thing here. They really want to persuade younger people that this isn't something they want to get, and that it can be serious. That's probably the right message for the knuckleheads hanging out at beaches, and its also true enough. This is a lot worse than the flu and you don't want to get it. But it is also true that the risk is relatively low if you're youngish and healthy















































































































Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 08, 2020, 07:59:31 PM
I was tempted to start another thread, but I think between this one and the Hypochondriacs thread we are covered, so Im going to start here and see IF I get sufficient answers. 

I am concerned about the deaths of the 20-60 year olds.  NOt that Im not concerned with the others, but I see news items about the people in this category not making it. The news is sort of making obituary notices for these younger people, and I can not tell if these deaths are common or not.  So help me with these thoughts, please:

How common are deaths in the 20-60 group?  Are they making the news because it is a warning to the younger folk that they CAN get it AND DIE from it? 
 
OR
Is this a relatively rare event, such that the novelty is newsworthy?

For Instance.... Airplane crashes just about anywhere on the planet seem to make the news.  Not because they are common but because they are rare. Still, IF one were to see one crash on the news every 3 months, for instance, then one may conclude that these death machines are falling out of the sky every 90 days!  However, they make the news BECAUSE they are so rare.

SO... Are deaths in these age groups so tragic to justify being on the news (and thus justifying my great fear to be around anyone because everyone is a walking virus factory looking to contaminate and kill me!) or are they just so rare that these deaths, and the tragedy that they represent, are novel and deserve special mention?

With Boris Johnson, (MY age) in the ICU, I m more concerned!  I dont have all of the health support that would be available to the UK PM, and yet all the kings horses and all the kings men still didnt keep him safe from the ER and ICU!!

How scared should I be?  (Cautious 2-3?   Moderate?  4-6, or Nuclear 8-10?  --- it IS out to KILL me/us?)

Thoughts?  (should this be its own thread?)  Is the news overfocusing on the young deaths, or are all ages dropping dead in short order?

According to my state Dept of Public Health, about 2/3 of those who test + are younger than 60 - roughly 700 vs 350.  The number of deaths is too small to be of much real use in determining risk but nearly all have been in those over 80, and mostly in nursing homes.

I'm not "that kind of doctor" but this will be close enough for our discussion here:

In general, with diseases like this, the young die due to an overwhelming immune response.  They drop their blood pressures, get shocky, don't perfuse their end organs due to the shock and expire despite heroic medical efforts.

The elderly die because they already have an existing cardiopulmonary or other problem. 

Dead is dead, but in general, you'll probably do better if you are young than if you have an underlying medical problem that is exacerbated by the virus.

I'm older than Boris and would put my personal concern level at 3.  Social distancing and soap & water are my friends and I will continue to employ them vigorously until this is over and/or they develop a vaccine and/or there is sufficient herd immunity in the community for me to pop up out of my bunker.

Then again, I don't live packed in with 8 million people in NYC.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on April 08, 2020, 09:58:10 PM
What is the recommended criteria for returning back to normal life according to the epidemic experts?  Is it only when we have a vaccine or just when active cases mostly disappear?    Suppose it was completely wiped out but then appears again in one city.  Do we then repeat all of the social distancing procedures again in the entire nation?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 08, 2020, 11:43:15 PM
I think, or at least hope that once this is 'under control', that we would revert to a S Korea model.  Heavy testing, and heavy contact tracing. IF someone comes down with anything looking like the illness, then the testing would kick in and find out quickly (unlike the early days here, where you had to meet criteria before you could even GET a test).  Contact tracing would seek out the people someone came in contact with and test them too. 

Once this is under control, this should not be as much of a problem.  We should have more testing kits and centers available once the flood is over, so this should not be as big a problem.

Of course social distancing will continue until there is a vaccine.  The 'stay home' orders may not need to continue once we are 'under control'  (I hope not longer than another six weeks, or June 1).  However, I think that people, and not the government, will still be leery.  Are you going to be venturing to a bar or movie theater with a lot of people you do not know sitting next to you?  Will you be in a rush to go to a restaurant for a sit down meal with lots of servers and other customers?    Will you fly anytime soon?  Take a cruise, anyone? 

And what if you are overweight/obese, diabetic or prediabetic, male,black, or have high blood pressure, more than one and are over 60?  These are the ones that seem to have a worse experience.  IF any of these are you, how cautious will you be? 

The earliest estimate for a wide spread vaccine is next January!  Are we patient enough?  Can we 'afford' to be patient, or will we return to the cartoon days of the headstone that says, "I died so that your 401k could live"? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 09, 2020, 03:50:42 AM
I think after the first wave of infection SARS-CoV-2 will become like influenza -- a constant part of the natural environment that the public doesn't pay much attention to. I think that influenza kills ~ 15,000 people in the USA every year and it occasionally gets a brief mention in news outlets. Traffic fatalities and gun homicides/suicides, which occur at a greater rate, are mentioned even less frequently.

Supposedly the epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said on a cable show that in the USA Covid-19 will probably infect 50% of the population, 20% of those will get sick, 10% of those will be hospitalized and 1% of those hospitalized will die. That's ~ 33,000 killed by Covid-19 in the USA, which I think it a reasonable estimate.

I think Covid-19 has pointed out that the USA is, comparatively, a very unhealthy country. Major determinants of health lie totally outside our very expensive health care "system." Vast amounts of money are expended with very little effect on illnesses that are for the most part entirely preventable. But I doubt a pandemic is going to get people to wake up and smell the coffee.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 09, 2020, 05:56:36 AM
]

Supposedly the epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said on a cable show that in the USA Covid-19 will probably infect 50% of the population, 20% of those will get sick, 10% of those will be hospitalized and 1% of those hospitalized will die. That's ~ 33,000 killed by Covid-19 in the USA, which I think it a reasonable estimate.



Hmm, I obviously can't evaluate different estimates, but that seems, unfortunately, very low on hospitalizations vs deaths. In New York City about a fifth of those hospitalized have died. It is also way below most of the estimates I've seen, which again, I can't evaluate. To take an example, the Imperial College modeling people estimated that perhaps 15 percent of people in Spain were infected (that number has a really big confidence interval) Spain has had 15,000 deaths from COVID. The same percentage of the American Population would be over 100k just for 15 percent, never mind half the population. Again, I'm not trying to make estimates, just point out that I don't think those numbers make any sense.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 09, 2020, 05:58:46 AM
I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information.  Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,
My county publishes a map and table with case counts by zip code.  I've seen other county health departments with maps showing case counts by town.  I can PM you some examples, if you'd like.  Of course, if your county or state's health department doesn't already publish this info somewhere, you'd likely have to source it from news reports.

Mostly, we sourcing from local gossip, unfortunately.  The state provides county level numbers but that's it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on April 09, 2020, 05:59:12 AM
Yesterday, CDC issued controversial guidance regarding essential workers who may have been exposed to the virus but do not have symptoms.  Examine the "printable flyer for workplaces:"

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/Essential-Critical-Workers_Dos-and-Donts.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html

This guidance is inconsistent with prior emphases on tracing and 14 day quarantine for anyone exposed to a case.  There is a back story here and I'm wondering what the feds are up to.

I feel sorry for grocery workers, especially, and others.  Grocery workers deserve huge raises. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 09, 2020, 06:04:26 AM
State authorities announced that six people from my neighborhood are dead from Covid-19.

I'm sorry for your neighborhood's loss.

The town next to mine announced their first known death yesterday.

M.

I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information. Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,

Why would you need it.  Your state dept of public health is almost certain to have the most up to date data and information already.  All a Facebook page will get you is a selection of half baked conspiracy theories and the usual scientific and statistical ignorance about things most Americans can't understand.  By the time you can post who has masks or toilet paper in stock, the news will be out of data anyway.

This is worth a read:

What We Pretend to Know About the Corona Virus Could Kill Us (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-fake-news.html)

Unfortunately, all we know is the number of cases in the county.  The county Emergency Services office said there is no imminent health threat.  That pretty much says it all.  We're not concerned about TP.  Mostly, our goal is to consolidate information, not just on official cases, but food bank needs, domestic violence shelter needs, school food programs.....There is no one place in our miserably dysfunctional county that has the information..  The last posting on the County web site was March 20.  When I brought it up to a Supervisor (to whom I am related), he told me "Technically, that's not my area of responsibility."  That's where we are:  complete abrogation at all levels....
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 09, 2020, 06:40:51 AM


Of course social distancing will continue until there is a vaccine.  The 'stay home' orders may not need to continue once we are 'under control'  (I hope not longer than another six weeks, or June 1).  However, I think that people, and not the government, will still be leery.  Are you going to be venturing to a bar or movie theater with a lot of people you do not know sitting next to you?  Will you be in a rush to go to a restaurant for a sit down meal with lots of servers and other customers?    Will you fly anytime soon?  Take a cruise, anyone? 



If there was widespread, available and fast testing of symptomatic people and regular updating of those numbers? Then sure, I'd do some of those things if the numbers were low enough in my area. If, in this hopeful future world, I could know that there were lots of tests being run, but only five positives in the last week, and there was decent contact tracking, I could feel like while the risk of going to a restaurant or bar wasn't zero, it would be relatively low. I don't like crowded bars anyway...

Obviously flying might not seem like a good idea as long as there are places in the country with larger numbers of cases.

That said, it seems like what would probably happen would be very gradual relaxation of rules. That seems to be what is starting to be considered in places like Denmark. Maybe take away shelter in place orders and tell people that it is ok to meet with friends in groups under ten, but it should be outside. Then perhaps daycares and kindergartens reopen and people could start going into offices, perhaps with continuing substantial remote work to prevent things being too crowded. The testing is what would be really key though, because you would really want to be able to know that cases weren't going up again as you did these things.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 09, 2020, 06:49:03 AM
Yesterday, CDC issued controversial guidance regarding essential workers who may have been exposed to the virus but do not have symptoms.  Examine the "printable flyer for workplaces:"

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/Essential-Critical-Workers_Dos-and-Donts.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html

This guidance is inconsistent with prior emphases on tracing and 14 day quarantine for anyone exposed to a case.  There is a back story here and I'm wondering what the feds are up to.


I suspect it is just about numbers going up. They dropped quarantines for doctors, nurses and EMTs possibly exposed weeks ago, because it was obvious that if you did that you weren't going to have any medical workers.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ciao_yall on April 09, 2020, 07:57:44 AM
I am working with a few others to set up a FB site for our county to attempt to collect and disseminate Covid 19 information.  Would you all PM me about how the information was disseminated in your areas?  Thank you,
My county publishes a map and table with case counts by zip code.  I've seen other county health departments with maps showing case counts by town.  I can PM you some examples, if you'd like.  Of course, if your county or state's health department doesn't already publish this info somewhere, you'd likely have to source it from news reports.

Mostly, we sourcing from local gossip, unfortunately.  The state provides county level numbers but that's it.

Here are two handy resources...

Real time tracker, can drill down: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

And spiffy charts showing local trends: https://weather.com/coronavirus/l/37.7795,-122.4195
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ciao_yall on April 09, 2020, 08:13:50 AM
Ooh, this is interesting for all you data viz nerds.

https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/1853362/?fbclid=IwAR0-dC2tGsO88TTec8otUhlRDXHhXC0pBAzGbHKHrnw5mJyxxVXdf7ijsgg
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 10, 2020, 05:30:14 AM
Ooh, this is interesting for all you data viz nerds.

https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/1853362/?fbclid=IwAR0-dC2tGsO88TTec8otUhlRDXHhXC0pBAzGbHKHrnw5mJyxxVXdf7ijsgg

Got  a 403 error and  Forbidden
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 10, 2020, 08:38:24 AM
This report from CDC is also disturbing, though I don't have the medical background to claim expertise. It seems that covid-19 may be much more contagious than originally thought.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0282_article
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on April 11, 2020, 01:39:04 PM
Might someone explain what is meant by "peak"?  Is it number of cases?  Is it deaths? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on April 11, 2020, 01:45:58 PM
Might someone explain what is meant by "peak"?  Is it number of cases?  Is it deaths?

I assume that it means the highest number of newly infected people in one day or one week.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 11, 2020, 01:51:06 PM
Might someone explain what is meant by "peak"?  Is it number of cases?  Is it deaths?

I believe it can be either, they are also sometimes using it to refer to things like numbers of people in intensive care, or numbers of people hospitalized.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on April 11, 2020, 01:55:51 PM
Yeah, the newspaper headlines from NY seem to mean new hospitalizations, though I can't be sure.

The best source of data was put up on this thread, or elsewhere on the fora https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-cases/

My favorite is these: Ignore China, choose total cases, and by country, click to transform to logs, and look at all the curves flatten, though they're not perfectly flat yet [which would mean a relative growth rate of zero].
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ciao_yall on April 11, 2020, 03:10:56 PM
Might someone explain what is meant by "peak"?  Is it number of cases?  Is it deaths?

I believe it can be either, they are also sometimes using it to refer to things like numbers of people in intensive care, or numbers of people hospitalized.

It is when the number of hospitalizations maxes out and begins to decline. Coupled with a lower rate of new infections.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on April 11, 2020, 05:14:16 PM
If people spend a week in the hospital, then the real "peak" for the health care system is at least one week after the peak in new cases. That is even if we're adding fewer new cases per day, for quite some time we'll still be adding more people than are leaving the hospital.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 12, 2020, 04:24:01 AM
Fair point, Pigou. The reports I'm seeing is that a fair proportion of those who are serious enough to be hospitalised take 2+ weeks to recover.

Do we need a separate thread for academics who have passed from Covid?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 12, 2020, 07:05:10 AM
If people spend a week in the hospital, then the real "peak" for the health care system is at least one week after the peak in new cases. That is even if we're adding fewer new cases per day, for quite some time we'll still be adding more people than are leaving the hospital.

I think when they are talking about the idea that the peak might be right now in NY, they are talking about numbers of deaths, hospital admissions and  people in the ICU. The number of deaths have been almost the same for the last few days and the other numbers have dropped very slightly. Because testing is only getting a fraction of cases and access to tests isn't constant, these sorts of numbers essentially are telling you about spread of the virus in the past, but they suggest that the infection numbers were leveling off a week ago. If those ICU numbers keep going down, then eventually you'd expect the deaths to start going down too, but they'll be a lag.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on April 14, 2020, 08:34:16 AM
Stop-the-World-I-Want-To-Get-Off department:

A crew of Dutch high school students on a transatlantic tall ship voyage made it into Cuba after five weeks at sea.  Rather than fly home from Cuba as scheduled, they've turned around and headed back to sea to avoid the plague-ridden outer world.


https://wsbt.com/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-forces-dutch-students-into-long-voyage-home


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on April 14, 2020, 08:43:02 AM
Stop-the-World-I-Want-To-Get-Off department:

A crew of Dutch high school students on a transatlantic tall ship voyage made it into Cuba after five weeks at sea.  Rather than fly home from Cuba as scheduled, they've turned around and headed back to sea to avoid the plague-ridden outer world.


https://wsbt.com/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-forces-dutch-students-into-long-voyage-home

It sounds more like they flew to the Caribbean, and they were to sail to Cuba, and instead sailed home. The article's not clear, but it doesn't sound like the orginal ocean crossing was on the ship.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on April 15, 2020, 09:50:54 AM
4/15 media briefing up on www.who.int.
Our president is making a point but is probably spurring actions beneficial by and to others. Disagree? Well, there is a WHO donation link on the web site (above).

I suggest (from):

Individuals -    $      5
Pvt. Sch.                 10
Sch. Sys.                 50
Colleges.               100
Universities.       1000
Foundations.      1000
Other Able Org.  1000

OK?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on April 16, 2020, 08:25:15 AM
We've had the first death in our county.  He went in to a hospital in the state capital for a pacemaker, and apparently caught the virus in the hospital.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 17, 2020, 01:55:34 AM
I'm hearing from a lot of friends and acquaintances who have it, or think they have (and who are suffering a lot more than the "usually mild" that was being put around).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ergative on April 17, 2020, 03:23:27 AM
I'm hearing from a lot of friends and acquaintances who have it, or think they have (and who are suffering a lot more than the "usually mild" that was being put around).

As I understand it, 'usually mild' doesn't mean 'like a cold'. It means 'not enough to require hospitalization'. And that can be pretty bad.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on April 17, 2020, 03:44:31 AM
I've got a few friends who think they have had it and a bunch of friends of friends who have definitely had it. I've been struck by the variability of symptoms. Even some elderly people seem have relatively mild symptoms. The breathing problems are the hardest symptoms it seems even when it does not turn into pneumonia. The fever, headache, and overwhelming tiredness are also alarming. But some people only get a few of those symptoms, and less. Then there's the completely unresolved question of how many people with it are asymptomatic.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 17, 2020, 03:59:31 AM
I know of one person who said that they were suffering from nausea, vomiting, etc - no respiratory issues. They were not tested, yet are convinced they had Corona. I'm thinking they probably had norovirus.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 17, 2020, 06:31:05 AM
I'm hearing from a lot of friends and acquaintances who have it, or think they have (and who are suffering a lot more than the "usually mild" that was being put around).

As I understand it, 'usually mild' doesn't mean 'like a cold'. It means 'not enough to require hospitalization'. And that can be pretty bad.

From a mix of news reports and people I know who got it, it seems to vary a lot even within that spectrum. One of the people on the Diamond Princess said it basically felt like a mild flu and if he got it in a different context, he might have gone into work. I have a couple of family members who got it (they are doctors, so had easy access to testing) and it seemed pretty unpleasant but also of fairly short duration. Fever, Chills, Cough, but in a couple of days they were fine. Also know some other people who were quite sick for more than a week and only gradually got better. The digestive symptoms are less common, but they do happen. An acquaintance tested positive and have only a pretty slight cough but much more severe digestive problems.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 18, 2020, 03:14:50 AM
I understand symptoms can vary. I'm still skeptical of the self-diagnosed. (Especially all the "oh, I probably had it back in December" crowd: seems like a weird version of early-adopter syndrome).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 18, 2020, 06:30:29 AM
I understand symptoms can vary. I'm still skeptical of the self-diagnosed. (Especially all the "oh, I probably had it back in December" crowd: seems like a weird version of early-adopter syndrome).

Oh, those people are driving me nuts. If you were sick in December or January in the US, you had the flu. Even in February, when Covid was circulating undetected in the US, it was undetected because pretty small numbers of people had it. (And we weren't testing) The guy who felt crummy in Utica in February almost certainly just had the flu.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on April 18, 2020, 09:57:59 AM
From another thread
Based on what we know, which isn't enough, it appears that unlike flu, kids probably aren't a big driver of COVID. They can get it, they can transmit it, but adults gathering together seems to be a much greater risk than kids doing the same.

I haven't seen evidence for this. I think of kids as carriers who are just as likely to transmit the virus as anyone else.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 18, 2020, 10:45:45 AM
From another thread
Based on what we know, which isn't enough, it appears that unlike flu, kids probably aren't a big driver of COVID. They can get it, they can transmit it, but adults gathering together seems to be a much greater risk than kids doing the same.

I haven't seen evidence for this. I think of kids as carriers who are just as likely to transmit the virus as anyone else.

Yup. The data that do exist suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is far more contagious than the previous SARS virus or MERS and that a large portion of those who get infected remain asymptomatic.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 18, 2020, 02:13:09 PM


I haven't seen evidence for this. I think of kids as carriers who are just as likely to transmit the virus as anyone else.

Yup. The data that do exist suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is far more contagious than the previous SARS virus or MERS and that a large portion of those who get infected remain asymptomatic.
[/quote]

I might have overstated this, but I think it is probably more accurate to say that the jury is still out. There haven't been known clusters of transmission centering around children. That could be because kids get milder symptoms so their role has been missed, but it could also be that they don't transmit the virus as easily. You would sort of think it might have been noticed if tons of parents and teachers at particular schools got sick, but to my knowledge there isn't much evidence of that.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 19, 2020, 08:45:55 PM
As someone who was struggling with bipolar depression before the mandate to shelter-in-place, I would really like to know how much of what I'm currently experiencing is less to do with mental illness and more to do with the unusual circumstances we are all living with.

As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Liquidambar on April 19, 2020, 09:34:56 PM
Smallcleanrat, I'm hearing 1-3 from a lot of people.  I haven't heard about 4-5 from others.

I'm surprised at how much I've been sticking with my eating schedule because of classes.  (I eat breakfast before Zoom classes start and lunch after Zoom classes end.)  If I didn't have classes, my meals would be more disordered.  I'm appalled at how much I've skipped brushing my teeth, though, since students can't tell through Zoom.  Washing my hair hasn't been so great either.  That's with no current mental health issues, just feeling overwhelmed by online teaching.

Actually, regarding your #4, I feel like I'm in a post-apocalyptic novel when I go out in public.  It does feel a bit unreal.  I don't feel like that at home.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sylvie on April 19, 2020, 09:47:16 PM
Definitely 1-3 on a regular basis. And it's funny you should post this, because two days ago I felt unreal in the way you describe, sort of disassociated from my body in an unpleasant way, and also the feeling that I was trapped in some kind of purgatory (a feeling I haven't had in 28 years, since the last time I dropped acid at age 20). I felt completely normal the next morning and have felt okay since, but it was definitely a disturbing sense of unreality.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 20, 2020, 06:18:57 AM
As someone who was struggling with bipolar depression before the mandate to shelter-in-place, I would really like to know how much of what I'm currently experiencing is less to do with mental illness and more to do with the unusual circumstances we are all living with.

As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

1. Yes, definitely. Maybe not like days on end but I definitely have gotten to the end of the day and realized I'm still wearing all the same clothes as the day before. In normal times I take a shower and change clothes before I go somewhere where I'm going to see people, even if it is just the coffee shop. Now I have to remember to do it without that trigger.
2. No, but I live with my partner and a toddler so that tends to regulate those things. (and disregulate others) It wouldn't be strange to have trouble regulating  when you aren't leaving the house.
3. Depends what you mean. I'm definitely having more trouble focusing and wasting more time, but I know what I've been doing.
4-5. Sound more like the issues you've discussed before. It wouldn't be particularly surprising if they are being exacerbated by the other stuff. I hope you're still able to see a therapist/psychologist remotely. It might be worth really trying to establish a more regular schedule and see if that helps some. Get up at roughly the same time, go to bed by certain times, go for a walk, come back, take a shower etc.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on April 20, 2020, 07:00:32 AM
Actually, regarding your #4, I feel like I'm in a post-apocalyptic novel when I go out in public.  It does feel a bit unreal.  I don't feel like that at home.

I second this. I was leaving my apartment building to get some coffee this morning and someone from DHL came with a bunch of packages. I ended up waiting and holding the door for him... which in normal days would be obvious/trivial. But he ended up being so appreciative and said people just aren't doing that right now, because of the virus. (But I bet they're happy to get the packages he's delivering.)

It strikes me that, collectively, we've flipped from one absurd behavior (going to beaches and bars as if nothing happened) to another. Social distancing is sensible and important, but not all forms of it impose the same cost or have the same benefits. Talking to someone wearing (surgical) masks isn't particularly risky, but probably has lots of mental health benefits. Holding the door for someone imposes virtually zero risk (none if you get behind the door as you hold it) and so much social benefit.

I don't think these all-or-nothing policies are necessary. As we see in Sweden, with no lock down, people are still practicing social distancing, just not as extremely. And we have data on this from the US, too: even states that didn't issue shelter-in-place orders saw a rapid drop of restaurant reservations. Anecdotes of some packed diner aside, the location data from smartphones also suggests people started staying at home before the orders came into place. They just continue to go to beaches and parks, where social distancing is actually pretty easy to do. A 6 foot distance between people who don't live together is easily maintained and someone walking past you (without yelling in your face) poses a very low risk of infection. If that were not true, we'd all be infected by now.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on April 20, 2020, 08:18:43 AM
I haven't experienced any of the symptoms smallcleanrat lists.  I do sleep more now than I did, but that was a side effect of medication that I began taking shortly before the pandemic hit.  I've always been a creature of habit.  My routines tend to be hard to disrupt too drastically.  I'm also in a position to continue physically going in to work most days.  Saturdays and Sundays are the strangest days.  On Saturdays I no longer go in to work, except briefly to check on the building.  On Sundays I now go to my office to use my computer to attend a virtual church service, instead of actually going to church.

The stressers are still getting to me somewhat.  My productivity at work has gone down considerably.  It's harder for me to focus on tasks.  I don't spend a lot of time worrying about stuff--at least not more than usual.  But the general emergency and changes in society and at work are definitely proving a distraction.  As much as anything I feel a huge frustration at not being able to do my job of serving the public the way I feel I should be. 

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on April 20, 2020, 08:19:18 AM
Our community has been fortunate in some ways at this time.  We're a small town, fairly isolated, in a rural state where the state leadership has done a credible job of responding.  Our state has had some of the very lowest rates of infection in the nation, despite being right next door to a hot-spot state.  Our main employer is a toilet-paper factory, which is now working full-blast to satisfy accelerated demand.  We've had a single verified Covid-19 death in our county thus far.

But it's still a tough time.  I know multiple people who have had loved ones go to the hospital (for non-virus issues) in the state capital, without their being able to go there with them.  One friend and fellow church member of mine died there by himself just last week.  His funeral will be the second that our pastor has had to preach where only a handful of family will be able to be present.  Today my parents, who live across the state, are beginning the first of a series of two-hour round trips to take Mom to have radiation therapy treatments.  That won't be easy on them at their age.

The newly-deceased friend I just mentioned above was also our town's Mayor.  He had been under a great deal of stress trying to deal with the challenges to the community posed by the pandemic.  He also had chronic health problems, chronic issues with a member of the family, and was coming up on the anniversary of his beloved wife's death.  All the strain was just too much for him.  We can't hold a proper funeral for him, so today the city is holding a funeral procession.  Citizens will be able to pay their respects and maintain social distancing as the procession goes down the street.  It's the best we can do right now.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mahagonny on April 20, 2020, 08:28:09 AM
As someone who was struggling with bipolar depression before the mandate to shelter-in-place, I would really like to know how much of what I'm currently experiencing is less to do with mental illness and more to do with the unusual circumstances we are all living with.

As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

#4 and #5 are derealization and depersonalization disorder, and probably have to do with you how are using the forum as you currently are. (I'm glad you are keeping in touch and I know you've been asked to; I wouldn't dissuade you). But you are using the forum in order to make  your world seem more real to you. Perhaps you are experiencing this in response to a traumatic life event. I believe I mentioned before, I have personal history with derealization. I would take a wild guess and say the feelings of derealization are somewhat abated after reading the forum, temporarily.
Derealization is difficult to endure but passes.
I recommend keeping up with personal hygiene and dressing up for work on zoom (within reason). I always shave before going on and teaching. It makes me feel more grounded.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 20, 2020, 03:10:35 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html)

So does anyone know what the most reliable/accurate pulse oximeters are for home use?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on April 20, 2020, 04:17:04 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html)

So does anyone know what the most reliable/accurate pulse oximeters are for home use?
I checked a couple weeks ago and they were all sold out on Amazon, and very limited supply on eBay. I suspect it may be hard to get any at this point.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Vkw10 on April 20, 2020, 04:57:10 PM
As someone who was struggling with bipolar depression before the mandate to shelter-in-place, I would really like to know how much of what I'm currently experiencing is less to do with mental illness and more to do with the unusual circumstances we are all living with.

As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

I was struggling with the first three. I now have a daily task chart, where I mark off personal routines as I do them. Tasks include shower, floss,  write meal plan, lay out clothing for next day, etc. I also set alarms on phone to remind myself of mealtimes and bedtime. I use my Amazon Echo to help myself stay aware of time, setting 30-minute reminders for myself like, "You started reading at 6:30. Time for a walk?"
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 20, 2020, 05:03:40 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/opinion/coronavirus-testing-pneumonia.html)

So does anyone know what the most reliable/accurate pulse oximeters are for home use?
I checked a couple weeks ago and they were all sold out on Amazon, and very limited supply on eBay. I suspect it may be hard to get any at this point.

Amazon is listing dozens of models, some in stock now and others listed as next in stock on May 2 or 3.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: att_mtt on April 21, 2020, 10:20:57 AM
As someone who was struggling with bipolar depression before the mandate to shelter-in-place, I would really like to know how much of what I'm currently experiencing is less to do with mental illness and more to do with the unusual circumstances we are all living with.

As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

I have heard from several people (which all normally don't have any particular mental health struggles) that they have experienced that and I think it is very common. I especially heard it from people that normally do not structure their day themselves. Everyone that has been working from home before seemed to be better. I found this article helpful: https://markmanson.net/coronavirus-mental-health-crisis
For me it's all about routine at the moment, even normally I detest routine. Now I get up at the same time every day, shower, eat, everything just to make sure I don't forget anything. However, productivity has massively dropped, which is also okay.
There are three articles on Karen Kelskeys blog, which I found useful: http://theprofessorisin.com/2020/04/02/adapting-to-disaster-episode-one-security-a-guest-post/
Maybe you already know these articles but I hope that you can find something useful and that you will feel a bit better soon.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 21, 2020, 12:04:48 PM
As someone who was struggling with bipolar depression before the mandate to shelter-in-place, I would really like to know how much of what I'm currently experiencing is less to do with mental illness and more to do with the unusual circumstances we are all living with.

As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

I have heard from several people (which all normally don't have any particular mental health struggles) that they have experienced that and I think it is very common. I especially heard it from people that normally do not structure their day themselves. Everyone that has been working from home before seemed to be better. I found this article helpful: https://markmanson.net/coronavirus-mental-health-crisis
For me it's all about routine at the moment, even normally I detest routine. Now I get up at the same time every day, shower, eat, everything just to make sure I don't forget anything. However, productivity has massively dropped, which is also okay.
There are three articles on Karen Kelskeys blog, which I found useful: http://theprofessorisin.com/2020/04/02/adapting-to-disaster-episode-one-security-a-guest-post/
Maybe you already know these articles but I hope that you can find something useful and that you will feel a bit better soon.

Good links, att_mtt. Thanks for those.

I know from experience I do much better with routine. I've been marking down what tends to throw me off my routine these days (other than the lack of accustomed daily markers like heading out the door to work) and more often than not it's either pain, nausea, or other issues related to chronic illness. Does anyone have tips for making a routine more adaptable for times when interruptions are frequent and difficult to avoid?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 21, 2020, 01:19:53 PM
FWIW:



As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)

Yes, to varying extents. I live with my partner, however, so there's a kind of externalization of responsibility for (1) and (2) that we both find helpful. If we were each on our own, it would be a very different story.

Quote
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

Nope.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 21, 2020, 01:42:58 PM
Has anyone received their stimulus payment from the feds yet?  What did you do/plan to do with it?  Ours was significantly smaller than we expected due to our income, but I suppose that just means we are lucky and it's a good problem to have.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on April 21, 2020, 02:15:05 PM
Got mine last week. Straight into my bank account. I didn't give a thought to it. I'm sure that I'll be paying it back at some point.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pgher on April 21, 2020, 03:51:57 PM
I am fairly comfortable (still working from home etc.), so I donated a large fraction of it to two community organizations who help those who are not so fortunate.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on April 21, 2020, 04:36:19 PM
My single (evil , rich) income is above the cap, so no money for me. However, my fiance is single (and poor) but hasnt yet got her check. 
Will we get a break in next year's taxes?  While I make too much as a single, our combined income will be well below the cap.  Will I get a credit in next year's taxes when Im no longer single (and rich), but married and below the combined cap?

For the second half of the question, I m investing in retirement accounts, cutting back on other expenses as I isolate at home (much less gas going in the car, eating at home more).  So Im saving as much as I can as married life will be more expensive, and after reading the Furlough thread with the pay cuts at different places, Im trying to keep my expenses in check.

Even if my state reopens, I plan to stay home.  In fact, I fear that as the governors reopen their states, it will mean that my life is in even greater danger!  I will be even more likely to stay home and cut back on what little I venture out now.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on April 21, 2020, 06:39:15 PM
Yep and went straight into my brokerage account. Good time to buy stocks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pgher on April 21, 2020, 08:22:22 PM
Yep and went straight into my brokerage account. Good time to buy stocks.

Or oil futures.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on April 21, 2020, 08:26:15 PM
If I knew what stocks or oil were going to do in future, why would I tell anyone? :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 21, 2020, 09:52:10 PM
Yep. I received my check. Right now, it's sitting in the bank. I may use some of it to work on the house.

On another note, I became aware of a faculty member who is posting about protesting the 'lockdown' on FB. Anyone else see this? I think this person may plan on attending.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 22, 2020, 03:46:39 AM
Not on FB so I don't see this protest stuff. Are they demanding that colleges reopen or what?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 22, 2020, 07:48:19 AM
Not on FB so I don't see this protest stuff. Are they demanding that colleges reopen or what?

This person subscribes to a lot of conspiracy theory ideas. Basically, our civil liberties are being violated by a shelter-in-place order. Disturbing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 22, 2020, 08:20:03 AM
Not on FB so I don't see this protest stuff. Are they demanding that colleges reopen or what?

This person subscribes to a lot of conspiracy theory ideas. Basically, our civil liberties are being violated by a shelter-in-place order. Disturbing.

Anne Frank spent 2 years in an attic.  Americans can't manage a month. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on April 22, 2020, 08:49:14 AM
Not on FB so I don't see this protest stuff. Are they demanding that colleges reopen or what?

This person subscribes to a lot of conspiracy theory ideas. Basically, our civil liberties are being violated by a shelter-in-place order. Disturbing.

Anne Frank spent 2 years in an attic.  Americans can't manage a month.

I really don't think there's broad based support for this stuff. The polls have all showed pretty broad support for restrictions. These ideas are being promoted in coordinated well funded efforts by extremist groups. It also seems like most of the participants at these rallies and people spouting rhetoric online are the usual suspects. Militia groups, Racial extremists, Anti-Vaxxers, all the usual suspects. Of course, the idea is to take these fringe ideas and make them mainstream. That's what I worry about.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Thursday's_Child on April 22, 2020, 09:01:46 AM
<snip>
As a result of pandemic-related stressors, including the loss of normal face-to-face interaction, has anyone else experienced any of the following?

1) Decreased success rate sticking to a regular hygiene routine (e.g. going days without showering or changing clothes)
2) Irregular eating and/or sleeping schedule
3) Missing time (i.e. realizing a significant chunk of time has passed that you cannot account for as you do not remember what you were doing)
4) A strong sense that your surroundings are not real, as though you were trapped in a dream or a video game
5) A feeling of being disconnected from your own body, such that you barely feel objects you are touching or actions you are performing and looking down at yourself or looking at your reflection gives a sense that you are looking at someone else

Yes to 1 & 2, No to the others.

In addition, a general malaise which, now that I think about it, feels a lot like post-9/11.  There's the same sense of futility and doom that, even though I know humans have weathered much worse than this, still saps my focus and energy.  I'm fighting back (with varying success) by lowering expectations, being kind and helpful, restricting my news-watching habit, and trying to take care of myself - especially in the areas of nutritious food, adequate sleep, staying physically active, and doing at least a few pleasant things every day.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 24, 2020, 12:31:37 PM
My (completely unscientific) sense of academics is they are either a flurry of productivity, and journal submissions, or complete paralysis.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 29, 2020, 12:41:20 AM
There's apparently a gender divide going on too - women's submissions to academic journals in several fields have dropped off.

https://www.thelily.com/women-academics-seem-to-be-submitting-fewer-papers-during-coronavirus-never-seen-anything-like-it-says-one-editor/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on April 29, 2020, 02:08:14 AM
There's apparently a gender divide going on too - women's submissions to academic journals in several fields have dropped off.

https://www.thelily.com/women-academics-seem-to-be-submitting-fewer-papers-during-coronavirus-never-seen-anything-like-it-says-one-editor/

They are probably doing most of the childcare/homeschooling -- Daddy has to attend his important Zoom meetings.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 29, 2020, 02:23:18 AM
Well, quite. It's probably been observed on these boards before, that there is a phenomenon of academic men taking their "paternity" leave as a bonus research leave.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on April 30, 2020, 03:53:06 AM
Yep. Plus they’re more likely to go above and beyond in their transition to online learning and in providing pastoral care to their students.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on April 30, 2020, 03:57:02 AM
Plus they’re more likely to go above and beyond in their transition to online learning

This x100. I'm seeing female colleagues recrafting entire syllabi - male colleagues just saying "whatever".
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: waterboy on April 30, 2020, 06:58:28 AM
To be honest, I didn't rejigger my syllabus much because of the uncertainty of where we're going. I'm waiting until we decide what the fall looks like before I make any needed changes to how my courses will go.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on April 30, 2020, 10:21:15 AM
Plus they’re more likely to go above and beyond in their transition to online learning

This x100. I'm seeing female colleagues recrafting entire syllabi - male colleagues just saying "whatever".

Great if you can/want to.  In my college, making major changes like that requires review at multiple levels.  Given the 1 week we had to get everything online, the fact that something actually IS online is a win.  If we are still online come fall, I have the summer to make such changes as are necessary and gain approvals. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 30, 2020, 10:30:39 AM
In my college, making major changes like that requires review at multiple levels.

Here, too. The admin very nearly forgot, however, and it took some convincing to get them to implement mass-approval of emergency changes, rather than going through each course one by one, dragging the instructor before the Senate, etc.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on April 30, 2020, 11:16:57 PM
In my college, making major changes like that requires review at multiple levels.

Here, too. The admin very nearly forgot, however, and it took some convincing to get them to implement mass-approval of emergency changes, rather than going through each course one by one, dragging the instructor before the Senate, etc.

Wow! Here they put in a rapid local level approval process.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 01, 2020, 12:41:52 PM
Apparently Ohio University laying off faculty due to the virus....
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 01, 2020, 12:45:50 PM
In my college, making major changes like that requires review at multiple levels.

Here, too. The admin very nearly forgot, however, and it took some convincing to get them to implement mass-approval of emergency changes, rather than going through each course one by one, dragging the instructor before the Senate, etc.

Wow! Here they put in a rapid local level approval process.

I've certainly never claimed that we were a model of smooth-functioning! =p
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 02, 2020, 09:48:53 AM
minor prediction...
yesterday was May Day.  I saw on the news that China had relaxed flight restrictions and that flight booking for the May Day Weekend spiked.  (Sounds like the January issues a bit, doesnt it?)  So to the extent that you can believe numbers from China watch to see who they blame or IF they announce any CV19 spikes in 2 weeks or so. 

If none are announced does that mean that there are none?
If some are announced, will anyone here listen and slow the reopening frenzy? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Ruralguy on May 02, 2020, 10:06:42 AM
No.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 02, 2020, 10:19:13 AM
minor prediction...
yesterday was May Day.  I saw on the news that China had relaxed flight restrictions and that flight booking for the May Day Weekend spiked.  (Sounds like the January issues a bit, doesnt it?)  So to the extent that you can believe numbers from China watch to see who they blame or IF they announce any CV19 spikes in 2 weeks or so. 

If none are announced does that mean that there are none?
If some are announced, will anyone here listen and slow the reopening frenzy?

Well they've been ramping up air travel all month and there hasn't been a huge resurgence in cases. I can't really see how the situation in China is remotely comparable to the US. The number of new cases is way, way down. I find it weird when people say you can't trust the numbers in China. Our numbers aren't accurate either. It is pretty clear that there's very little transmission there.

Of course they are relaxing restrictions. If the US was averaging under 20 confirmed cases a day, most imported, we'd be relaxing restrictions too.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 02, 2020, 11:10:36 AM
Masks are mandated in my state.  Yet lots of people aren't wearing masks while walking in areas with constant or frequent foot traffic.  Arrogant and rude.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 02, 2020, 11:50:16 AM
Masks are mandated in my state.  Yet lots of people aren't wearing masks while walking in areas with constant or frequent foot traffic.  Arrogant and rude.

I'm curious about the mask mandates. Are there specified mask vendors? What is one supposed to do if there are none available? Is a bandana considered sufficient?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: arcturus on May 02, 2020, 12:03:16 PM
You can make your own mask: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html . I wore my "bandana face covering (no sew method)" to the grocery store this morning. My state does not have a mandatory mask regulation in place, but most people at the store had a mask of some type or another.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 02, 2020, 05:49:31 PM
I have a mask, but the elastic toggles are too short for my giant face so it pulls uncomfortably at my ears (and eventually comes off). I'm currently (as I type) attempting to create toggle extensions with string, but I suspect it's hopeless and I'll have to do some sewing. If I can source longer toggle material.

Update: snot bad, actually.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Penna on May 04, 2020, 06:22:41 AM
If anyone is looking to buy mask holder extensions, I found a place that sells them for $3 each:

https://www.keffalasdesigns.com/collections/social-distancing/products/elastic-mask-clip-extender

For those of us who don't have a sewing machine or any hand-sewing skills, the same site also sells 3-layer cloth masks (outer layers of cotton, with a flannel inner layer) for $5 each.  The seem able to keep up with their orders pretty well, too.  I have placed three separate orders from them in the last month, and each order has arrived in less than 2 weeks from the time of placing the order.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on May 04, 2020, 06:54:21 AM
Given the number of tests now flooding the market, without much information about specificity, indicators of immunity, etc., does it make any sense at all for me to get tested? Although technically I am in a high-risk population, I don't work in health care and I haven't had any symptoms suggesting an infection other than a dry cough (which disappeared over a week ago). I'm thinking that even if I tested positive for prior Covid-19 infection it wouldn't make any difference in how I'm living my life.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 04, 2020, 07:17:02 AM
Given the number of tests now flooding the market, without much information about specificity, indicators of immunity, etc., does it make any sense at all for me to get tested? Although technically I am in a high-risk population, I don't work in health care and I haven't had any symptoms suggesting an infection other than a dry cough (which disappeared over a week ago). I'm thinking that even if I tested positive for prior Covid-19 infection it wouldn't make any difference in how I'm living my life.

Not sure, I understand. There's no reason to get tested unless you have symptoms and you probably wouldn't be given a test anyway. The antibody tests are a different thing. At the moment, they are just being used to try to figure out how many people have been infected. It isn't something you could request or get in most circumstances.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on May 04, 2020, 09:07:13 AM
I guess you don't live in Chico (https://krcrtv.com/news/local/chico-clinic-offers-drive-through-antibody-testing-for-covid-19). Or Jacksonville (https://www.news4jax.com/health/2020/05/04/covid-19-antibody-tests-now-available-in-jacksonville/). Or Ames (https://www.kcci.com/article/serology-testing-determines-if-you-can-build-immunity-to-covid-19-but-theres-a-catch/32244399). Or any of the multitudes of other locations in the USA where antibody testing is available.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on May 04, 2020, 09:27:28 AM
I guess you don't live in Chico (https://krcrtv.com/news/local/chico-clinic-offers-drive-through-antibody-testing-for-covid-19). Or Jacksonville (https://www.news4jax.com/health/2020/05/04/covid-19-antibody-tests-now-available-in-jacksonville/). Or Ames (https://www.kcci.com/article/serology-testing-determines-if-you-can-build-immunity-to-covid-19-but-theres-a-catch/32244399). Or any of the multitudes of other locations in the USA where antibody testing is available.

Or you could join the NIH study:  NIH begins study to quantify undetected cases of coronavirus infection (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-begins-study-quantify-undetected-cases-coronavirus-infection)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on May 04, 2020, 09:28:33 AM
I have read that all the available antibody tests are very faulty, and give both false positive and false negatives. And since we don't know what kind of immunity is conferred by having had the virus, it's not really clear how infection-proof a recovered person is. It sounds as if there's a possibility that people who had a low-level infection are not very immune. I am wondering if a bout of something I had was a low-level Covid infection, but I'm going to wait until they have more reliable antibody tests before attempting to get tested.

(Incidentally I did volunteer for that NIH study, but never heard anything back.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 04, 2020, 09:33:50 AM
I have read that all the available antibody tests are very faulty, and give both false positive and false negatives.

This is what I'm concerned about. I was seeing some where the margin of error was pretty close to the % they were classing as having had the disease.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 04, 2020, 09:36:19 AM
Which antibody test would you take?  My understanding of the news about them is that there are many of them, but they are not well tested themselves and some that have been tested have a very high error rate. 

A man with one watch knows what time it is, but a man with 2 is never sure.  So do you really want to risk that you get a false positive and then end up getting it and risking your life? 

Im not going to take any of the tests until I think that I have been exposed. If the CDC specifies a list of verified tests for the antibodies, only then will I consider taking the test and only if proving that I did or did not have the antibodies.  (Like IF my employer wants me to risk my life on some half thought out plan whose primary goal is to 'protect the students', but exposes faculty to 100% of them*).

* the discussion my dean had with us last week was that one of the plans to protect students was a 'hybrid plan' where we would meet 1/2 the class on say Monday, the other half on Wednesday, and the be online for the other half of the material.  The result being that faculty get the worst of both worlds.  We are online for all of the joys that entails, and we spend just as much time in the classroom where over the week we are exposed to 100% of the students!   All in a measure to protect the population that is least likely to have adverse reaction, even though I, like many faculty, have 2 or more additional risk factors!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 04, 2020, 09:50:37 AM
* the discussion my dean had with us last week was that one of the plans to protect students was a 'hybrid plan' where we would meet 1/2 the class on say Monday, the other half on Wednesday, and the be online for the other half of the material.  The result being that faculty get the worst of both worlds.  We are online for all of the joys that entails, and we spend just as much time in the classroom where over the week we are exposed to 100% of the students!   All in a measure to protect the population that is least likely to have adverse reaction, even though I, like many faculty, have 2 or more additional risk factors!

And of course the ridiculous logical hole in the approach is that the people who are exposed to all of the students are then the vector for passing the virus between the two groups.

The only way to prevent people from spreading it is to protect them from getting it in the first place.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 04, 2020, 10:00:41 AM
* the discussion my dean had with us last week was that one of the plans to protect students was a 'hybrid plan' where we would meet 1/2 the class on say Monday, the other half on Wednesday, and the be online for the other half of the material.

Sounds like a logistical nightmare and an extra heavy burden pedagogically. Do faculty have any say?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on May 04, 2020, 10:25:59 AM
Given the number of tests now flooding the market, without much information about specificity, indicators of immunity, etc., does it make any sense at all for me to get tested? Although technically I am in a high-risk population, I don't work in health care and I haven't had any symptoms suggesting an infection other than a dry cough (which disappeared over a week ago). I'm thinking that even if I tested positive for prior Covid-19 infection it wouldn't make any difference in how I'm living my life.

From what you say, it does not appear you meet the approved criteria for testing.  But if you were tested, and it came back negative, it at least provides some data for better estimates of what the prevalence of COVID is.  In my state, about 15% of people tested (not sure the method) are given a positive result - and my state has not exactly been stellar in rolling out widespread testing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 04, 2020, 10:30:51 AM
Quote
Sounds like a logistical nightmare and an extra heavy burden pedagogically. Do faculty have any say?

Faculty have any say?  Sure faculty are Free To Agree With the administration!  (otherwise, no, at least not once the decision is made and I dont think that faculty will have any voice in the Regent level decision making). 

The governor has moved to open the state.  The regents will do what it takes to maximize revenue, especially when facing the huge budget shortfall that the shutdown caused to sales tax revenues, and any drop in tuition revenue will add additional pain.  Once the regents speak the admincritters will salute smartly and steam roll any faculty dissent.  At least that is my expectation.

Personally, I have appointments with my primary care physician in June and also my specialist in June.  I will begin collecting letters that indicate that I am in the higher risk group and should be restricting my exposure to the virus until a shot is developed.  I will then process the appropriate ADA paperwork.

Ironically, the governor's statements have noted that though he is moving to reopen the state, those with higher risks should continue to stay home.  However, I dont think that this part of the governor's advice will keep the administration from taking actions to require all faculty to return to face to face classes.

However, no official plan has been announced just yet.  Whatever the Big State Schools do, we will likely follow suit.  In my deeply Republican state, I suspect that the Back To Work call will overwhelm any measure to protect faculty, unless parents are unwilling to pay tuition to send their youngins back into harms way (to a greater extent than their demand for lower tuition for online only classes).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 04, 2020, 11:56:02 AM
* the discussion my dean had with us last week was that one of the plans to protect students was a 'hybrid plan' where we would meet 1/2 the class on say Monday, the other half on Wednesday, and the be online for the other half of the material.  The result being that faculty get the worst of both worlds.  We are online for all of the joys that entails, and we spend just as much time in the classroom where over the week we are exposed to 100% of the students!   All in a measure to protect the population that is least likely to have adverse reaction, even though I, like many faculty, have 2 or more additional risk factors!

And of course the ridiculous logical hole in the approach is that the people who are exposed to all of the students are then the vector for passing the virus between the two groups.

The only way to prevent people from spreading it is to protect them from getting it in the first place.

Without commenting on whether this is a good idea or not,  the logic here is off. The risk of being infected almost certainly goes up the more time you spend around an infected person. If a student had the virus and you saw them only one time a week, all other things being equal, you'd be less likely to get it than if you spent two days a week with them.

There are other factors at play too. A student who came once a week, but got sick would be more likely to not be in class while they were pre-symptomatic. It also would allow for more space in the room which would let everyone sit further away. Again, not saying its a good idea, but it isn't crazy.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 04, 2020, 12:39:17 PM
Quote
There are other factors at play too. A student who came once a week, but got sick would be more likely to not be in class while they were pre-symptomatic. It also would allow for more space in the room which would let everyone sit further away. Again, not saying its a good idea, but it isn't crazy.

Crazy or not.  Faculty are still exposed to 100% of the class.  Worse, faculty will spend exactly the same amount of time as in pre CV19 days, but then would have to spend a not insignificant amount of time with online duties.  All while still exposing themselves to this illness. 
Alternatively, IF one were cleared to teach 100% in face to face classes, it is a win for all. IF one is unable to teach face to face, but only online, then the faculty has zero exposure to the students, and only has to deal with the online class, and not both.

Currently, I rarely leave the house. For the most part, items are delivered to the house, or with minimal contact take out.  Being forced to return to campus in this environment is not conducive to my continued mediocre health!

Recent articles indicated that the daily death rate is expected to double by June! 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 04, 2020, 12:57:05 PM
Without commenting on whether this is a good idea or not,  the logic here is off. The risk of being infected almost certainly goes up the more time you spend around an infected person. If a student had the virus and you saw them only one time a week, all other things being equal, you'd be less likely to get it than if you spent two days a week with them.

There are other factors at play too. A student who came once a week, but got sick would be more likely to not be in class while they were pre-symptomatic. It also would allow for more space in the room which would let everyone sit further away. Again, not saying its a good idea, but it isn't crazy.

If you could transport the "Monday" group to a particular residence, with a particular dining hall, with the use of a particular library, AND you could transport the "Wednesday" group to a different residence, with a different dining hall, with the use of a different library, then it might make sense, assuming you could have cleaning and disinfecting of all classrooms at the end of every day.

The point is that there are just too many ways the two groups are going to mingle and/or come into contact with the same surfaces, etc. to make having only half as many in a class make anything more than a marginal difference. (The instructor is just one example of a common point of potential contact, and admittedly not the most likely.) So I'd argue that it is pretty crazy, since it ignores the vast amount of contact that will happen outside the classroom that will be totally unregulated.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 04, 2020, 01:21:13 PM
Will the halves not intermix?  Will there be a university policy mandating the the 1/2 of one class (say A-M in the alphabet) not mix with someone else's formula (Males on Monday, Females on Wednesday... ignoring the 'identifies alternative to birth certificate' issues). 
What about those that are married or whose names are different from the university roster like hyphenated names?

And will there be an ID check at the door?
Will there be Odd Even license plate checks to park? 

The bottom line is that IF faculty are then required to enforce these rules, then that takes up even more time away from teaching, research and service!

I suppose that my time is unlimited (if asking the provost's office!) 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 04, 2020, 02:00:33 PM
Without commenting on whether this is a good idea or not,  the logic here is off. The risk of being infected almost certainly goes up the more time you spend around an infected person. If a student had the virus and you saw them only one time a week, all other things being equal, you'd be less likely to get it than if you spent two days a week with them.

There are other factors at play too. A student who came once a week, but got sick would be more likely to not be in class while they were pre-symptomatic. It also would allow for more space in the room which would let everyone sit further away. Again, not saying its a good idea, but it isn't crazy.

If you could transport the "Monday" group to a particular residence, with a particular dining hall, with the use of a particular library, AND you could transport the "Wednesday" group to a different residence, with a different dining hall, with the use of a different library, then it might make sense, assuming you could have cleaning and disinfecting of all classrooms at the end of every day.

The point is that there are just too many ways the two groups are going to mingle and/or come into contact with the same surfaces, etc. to make having only half as many in a class make anything more than a marginal difference. (The instructor is just one example of a common point of potential contact, and admittedly not the most likely.) So I'd argue that it is pretty crazy, since it ignores the vast amount of contact that will happen outside the classroom that will be totally unregulated.

Look, seems like a logistical nightmare for teaching, but you're missing the point. The idea is not to keep one group of students away from another group of students, but to make classrooms less crowded and to limit the number of close contacts students would have. If you have fewer students in all your classes, you'll come into close contact with fewer people. That's the main way C-19 is spread. If this was the plan in isolation it would be inadequate, but it isn't absurd in the context of a university wide plan that would try to keep people further apart in dining halls, residences, the library etc.

Really, I suspect the main idea of this plan would just be to keep classrooms from being so crowded. I'd tend to think that the better way to do that would be to have a significant number of classes (perhaps especially big ones) fully online, which would allow smaller classes to use bigger rooms, allowing for a lot of spacing. That would also have the benefit of allowing faculty and students who are at greater risk, or live with someone at greater risk, to stay online.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 04, 2020, 02:29:37 PM
Without commenting on whether this is a good idea or not,  the logic here is off. The risk of being infected almost certainly goes up the more time you spend around an infected person. If a student had the virus and you saw them only one time a week, all other things being equal, you'd be less likely to get it than if you spent two days a week with them.

There are other factors at play too. A student who came once a week, but got sick would be more likely to not be in class while they were pre-symptomatic. It also would allow for more space in the room which would let everyone sit further away. Again, not saying its a good idea, but it isn't crazy.

If you could transport the "Monday" group to a particular residence, with a particular dining hall, with the use of a particular library, AND you could transport the "Wednesday" group to a different residence, with a different dining hall, with the use of a different library, then it might make sense, assuming you could have cleaning and disinfecting of all classrooms at the end of every day.

The point is that there are just too many ways the two groups are going to mingle and/or come into contact with the same surfaces, etc. to make having only half as many in a class make anything more than a marginal difference. (The instructor is just one example of a common point of potential contact, and admittedly not the most likely.) So I'd argue that it is pretty crazy, since it ignores the vast amount of contact that will happen outside the classroom that will be totally unregulated.

Look, seems like a logistical nightmare for teaching, but you're missing the point. The idea is not to keep one group of students away from another group of students, but to make classrooms less crowded and to limit the number of close contacts students would have. If you have fewer students in all your classes, you'll come into close contact with fewer people. That's the main way C-19 is spread. If this was the plan in isolation it would be inadequate, but it isn't absurd in the context of a university wide plan that would try to keep people further apart in dining halls, residences, the library etc.


But this is the part of the plan that is absurd. How can the university keep them apart in dining halls, residences, and the library? Everyone is going to want to eat around mealtime. Are 50% of students automatically going to eat an hour (or whatever) earlier  or later? Are roommates going to stagger their entering and leaving their rooms to not come into close contact? Are students on a hall going to stagger their times leaving residence in the morning to avoid being crowded together? Are students going to voluntarily look for empty areas in the library to work, even when that's nowhere near the resources they would use for their work?

Crowding happens automatically because lots of people want/need the same resources at the same time. Splitting class atendance maybe will reduce 25% of the close interaction between students. Without Herculean efforts, the other 75% that happens will negate any potential value from that. (And the Herculean efforts will possibly tick people off more than staying home  would have.)

And this is without even considering the greatest close interaction that comes through social gatherings. If anyone believes that can be prevented I have a bridge or two to sell.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 04, 2020, 02:30:24 PM
Quote
The idea is not to keep one group of students away from another group of students, but to make classrooms less crowded and to limit the number of close contacts students would have. If you have fewer students in all your classes, you'll come into close contact with fewer people. That's the main way C-19 is spread.

You are correct.  You should be demoted to administration!
The goal was stated to make the classrooms less crowded and IF the dean had stopped there, or said what you said, great, but he foolishly said 'to protect the students' health'.  (implying FiretrUCK the faculty!)  Once again, he said too much of the wrong thing and pissed off those whose health were clearly not mentioned as worthy of protecting. 

Anyway, the proposal may indeed reduce classroom crowding, but it certainly comes at the cost of faculty time, effort and energy, and at a non-consequential risk to health!

I dont know IF there is a good solution short of a vaccine!  Until we have an answer, I will do what I need to secure my health. 
Remember:
IF  YOU are not looking out for YOUR health, then NO ONE IS!!  (Certainly not the university that employees you!)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on May 04, 2020, 02:41:27 PM
Marshwiggle, it's not as if no one in the planning process has thought of these concerns. Yes, the idea is that mealtimes would be staggered — much as on a train, or even in restaurants, you have the 5:00 seating, the 6:00 seating, the 7:00 seating, etc. Library tables would be moved to facilitate spacing, and areas would be patrolled.  The universities are doing a lot to plan it all out. The part that I am most skeptical about is whether students will social-distance themselves in the voluntary ways, e.g. not having parties, not gathering in people's rooms. I think the likelihood that they'll refrain from that is small. But we'll see.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on May 04, 2020, 04:07:10 PM
I suspect much of the decision will come down to whether the federal government will give employers (and colleges) protection against COVID lawsuits. If faculty and students can sue the university if they get infected on campus, it doesn't matter what kind of physical distancing measures are possible. No way any organization would take that kind of risk to re-open.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 04, 2020, 04:54:23 PM
The part that I am most skeptical about is whether students will social-distance themselves in the voluntary ways, e.g. not having parties, not gathering in people's rooms. I think the likelihood that they'll refrain from that is small. But we'll see.

To be fair to the students, some of that will be tough. Large parties are one thing, but what else does one do in a college dorm except hang out in people's rooms? If you set up rules that nobody is allowed to visit anyone else's room, that would make for a pretty miserable experience. It isn't like there are a lot of other places to hang out in a dorm. I guess there's the outside but that only works when its not really hot or really cold.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on May 04, 2020, 07:28:34 PM
The part that I am most skeptical about is whether students will social-distance themselves in the voluntary ways, e.g. not having parties, not gathering in people's rooms. I think the likelihood that they'll refrain from that is small. But we'll see.

To be fair to the students, some of that will be tough. Large parties are one thing, but what else does one do in a college dorm except hang out in people's rooms? If you set up rules that nobody is allowed to visit anyone else's room, that would make for a pretty miserable experience. It isn't like there are a lot of other places to hang out in a dorm. I guess there's the outside but that only works when its not really hot or really cold.

I have precisely zero faith that I can count on n-thousand students staying 6 feet apart, wiping down surfaces, checking their temperatures if they feel a bit off, or anything else that decreases either their risk or mine.  My strong guess is that we will be face to face come fall, if for no other reason than the alternative is financial suicide.  So if I gotta actually look at the little buggers, I'll be wearing a  mask, staying ≥ 6 feet away from all other carbon based life forms during class periods, and working from home at all other times. From there I'll be happy to meet with any and everybody via Skype Zoom Teams Blackboard Ultra Collaborate WhatsApp Google Hangout or any of a dozen other platforms.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 05, 2020, 05:53:32 AM
I suspect much of the decision will come down to whether the federal government will give employers (and colleges) protection against COVID lawsuits. If faculty and students can sue the university if they get infected on campus, it doesn't matter what kind of physical distancing measures are possible. No way any organization would take that kind of risk to re-open.

A couple of questions:

*If a student dies, how many parents will pull their kids immediately? What will that do to the insitution's reputation? What kind of lawsuits will ensue?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 05, 2020, 06:16:37 AM

*If a student dies, how many parents will pull their kids immediately? What will that do to the insitution's reputation? What kind of lawsuits will ensue?


I've been aware of undergrads dying of meningitis every now and again, going back to when I was a student. The effect on the institution is nil.
They get a nice bench on the quad with their name on it.
As with coronavirus, there's no way to sue the university, since there's no way of proving the student caught it there (as opposed to, on the bus, in a grocery store, etc).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 05, 2020, 06:39:22 AM
I've been aware of undergrads dying of meningitis every now and again, going back to when I was a student. The effect on the institution is nil.
They get a nice bench on the quad with their name on it.

Ouch.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 05, 2020, 06:52:23 AM
I suspect much of the decision will come down to whether the federal government will give employers (and colleges) protection against COVID lawsuits. If faculty and students can sue the university if they get infected on campus, it doesn't matter what kind of physical distancing measures are possible. No way any organization would take that kind of risk to re-open.

A couple of questions:
  • What percentage of places that re-open, no matter what the restrictions, will avoid a "serious" outbreak, which I'll define as one where someone winds up in an ICU?
  • If a place re-opens, and someone actually dies of covid, especially a *student, how is the financial fallout from that likely to compare to staying virtual instead?

*If a student dies, how many parents will pull their kids immediately? What will that do to the insitution's reputation? What kind of lawsuits will ensue?

They do also happen to be the demographic, with the exception of younger kids, which has the lowest rate of mortality by far. For some perspective, my state has had 400 deaths. Exactly zero of them are in people under 25. The CDC counts 42 Covid deaths among people 15-24 in the whole country. (The data lags, by a few weeks, but still)

It will be important to make sure the small number of students with conditions that put them at greater risk have options that will keep them safe, but for most college students, the risk of dying of Covid is really low.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 05, 2020, 07:21:50 AM

*If a student dies, how many parents will pull their kids immediately? What will that do to the insitution's reputation? What kind of lawsuits will ensue?


I've been aware of undergrads dying of meningitis every now and again, going back to when I was a student. The effect on the institution is nil.
They get a nice bench on the quad with their name on it.
As with coronavirus, there's no way to sue the university, since there's no way of proving the student caught it there (as opposed to, on the bus, in a grocery store, etc).

The difference here is that things were originally shut down to protect people, and now a decision has been made to open up on the assumption that it was safe to do so. Meningitis and flesh-eating disease and things like that are  rare but ever-present dangers. Covid is a specific danger now, and presumably in several months will have a vaccine which will then put it in the same category of rare. Until then, deaths will always be evaluated against the precautions put in place (or not) to prevent them.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 05, 2020, 07:37:08 AM
Until then, deaths will always be evaluated against the precautions put in place (or not) to prevent them.

Yes, and from a legal standpoint there is no way a school would be liable for a student catching the disease.
Unless they were somehow forced into a lab and the Dean shoved a sample of the virus up their nose.

Meanwhile, the whole "kids can't get sick, let's reopen schools" might not be looking so good. The NYT is reporting 15 hospitalised children (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/nyregion/children-Kawasaki-syndrome-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on May 05, 2020, 07:50:41 AM
Campus libraries will face challenges maintaining social distancing while still providing services.  For example, library computers tend to be in clusters.  At our (public) library we have 18 public access computers.  In making our plans to reopen we have found that we can only accommodate patrons at six of these while maintaining social distancing.  Campus libraries will probably find a similar proportion of their public access computers unserviceable while social distancing rules remain in effect.

Then there's the question of whether to let patrons use the stacks.  Personally I believe there's very little risk in having an open-stack policy, as long as patrons in the stacks practice social distancing.  Yes, the virus can survive for some days on paper, but there's little if any evidence that it can spread effectively that way.  But the fear of indirect infection among some staff and patrons is so great that we will probably have to limit circulation to curbside service for a time after we reopen.  My observation from working at academic libraries is that you rarely glimpse an undergrad in the stacks, but closing the stacks is going to be awkward for public library patrons and many faculty.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on May 05, 2020, 07:56:10 AM
My Twitter feed for a while was also full of doctors/nurses tweeting how they just had a patient in their 20s/30s die and COVID is a threat to everyone. It's important to recognize that those are outliers.

Massachusetts has a great dashboard that gets updated daily, reporting data by age: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting

Of the 8,500 confirmed cases of people in their 20s, 149 have been hospitalized and 3 have died. The death rate across that entire age group is less than 1 per 100,000. For comparison, traffic deaths are about 14 per 100,000.

It's the 80+ group that gets hit massively by this. Of 10,500 confirmed cases, 2,100 have been hospitalized and 2,600 have died. The death rate in that age group is 884 per 100,000. That's around 1,000x higher than for people in their 20s.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 05, 2020, 09:52:41 AM
Until then, deaths will always be evaluated against the precautions put in place (or not) to prevent them.

Yes, and from a legal standpoint there is no way a school would be liable for a student catching the disease.
Unless they were somehow forced into a lab and the Dean shoved a sample of the virus up their nose.

Meanwhile, the whole "kids can't get sick, let's reopen schools" might not be looking so good. The NYT is reporting 15 hospitalised children (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/nyregion/children-Kawasaki-syndrome-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article).

The key words you're missing all through that story are "rare" and "dozens."
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on May 05, 2020, 03:17:07 PM
Of the 8,500 confirmed cases of people in their 20s, 149 have been hospitalized and 3 have died. The death rate across that entire age group is less than 1 per 100,000. For comparison, traffic deaths are about 14 per 100,000.

It's the 80+ group that gets hit massively by this. Of 10,500 confirmed cases, 2,100 have been hospitalized and 2,600 have died. The death rate in that age group is 884 per 100,000. That's around 1,000x higher than for people in their 20s.

The trouble with statistics like Pigou's (no offense, Pigou) is that they can lead to conclusions of "No worries, young people are hardly affected, open it back up!"

But apart from those three people in their 20s who have died, every one of those 8500 young people is at great risk of spreading the virus on to other people. It typically requires only one or two transmissions to get from a 20-year-old to someone in a category of significant risk. In the U.S., 1.8 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year — all of those people will be at risk. Add in the people who've had organ transplants, the people with immune diseases, and so on — it's not a negligible number of people. And these people are not walled off from the carriers in their 20s.

Even if we restrict our view to people in their 20s, there are 44 million of those in the U.S. Let's say half of them get the virus. 3 out of 8500 is a rate of 0.035%. At that rate it would mean 7700 deaths of people in their 20s. You may say, "Well, cars kill lots more than that!" Well, that's not good. 7700 additional people are still 100% dead.

And the worst of this argument is that, oh well, it only kills older people in significant numbers, so who cares? They mostly don't work and earn money any more, if they do earn money, they're probably taking up tenured positions that we want to get our hands on, they're annoying, their lives are worth less than those of the rest of us. All Lives Matter, but not old people's lives. Away with 'em!  Not going to go out of my way to save them!

I think this position is beneath our dignity. And when you in turn are one of these older people, you may come to believe it too.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on May 05, 2020, 05:33:23 PM
The transmission risk for elderly from residential college students is probably pretty minimal: they'd have to get infected on campus right just before they were traveling home for Thanksgiving to spend time with grand parents. Are we really mitigating that risk when we shut down hair salons? Or could we instead discourage holiday travel in the Fall semester? I wouldn't estimate a 0.035% case fatality rate either: most people in their 20s with mild symptoms wouldn't get tested and so this figure is likely too high.

I haven't argued that we should just let the elderly die. There's a very large continuum of responses between limiting the hours of the day people can leave their home (parts of Europe) and pretending nothing is happening and just letting it run its course (probably no country at this point). But if age groups differ in their risks, that matters: maybe we shouldn't allow visitors in long-term care facilities, but opening up primary and secondary schools is fine.

I'm not sure what our alternatives are to a gradual re-opening. We're seeing that throughout Asia and Europe and I suspect we'll see it beyond the red states in the US, too. A mass-produced vaccine is probably two years off in a near best-case scenario; longer if the first candidates don't work. Even if we could somehow increase our testing capacity 100x in the meantime and test all Americans every 10 days, we'd still get infections before people show symptoms. That's assuming we could get people to test with such regularity in the first place.

Tracing isn't looking very promising at this point either. Australia launched an app a week or so ago and fewer than 20% of people with smartphones have installed it. We'd need uptake around 100% of smartphone users for that to have a shot. And we kind of assume that everyone will get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available... I don't know: H1N1 uptake was under 40% in the US and under 30% in Europe. It'll be higher now for sure, but enough to provide herd immunity? I'm skeptical, especially given that this vaccine won't have time to go through the usual safety testing phases. Unless we're willing to wait many more years, at least.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on May 06, 2020, 04:09:24 AM
It depends on what you mean by a residential campus, doesn't it?  A small liberal arts college may have all students living on campus, so the chief danger would be that they bring the infection to their professors, who are taking care of elderly parents, or when they go home for the winter break — hard to believe you could keep an appreciable amount of them on campus for the winter break. And then you'd have to hope that in spring 2021, when they go home for the summer, the infection has essentially vanished, and that none of them have any contact with elderly people, or work in stores that elderly people use such as grocery stores. And of course you'd have to hope that none of their professors were immune-compromised or over a certain age.

Our university, though, is heavily integrated with the outside world, which I would guess is true of most public universities and most urban universities. Our students already live off campus and work — in groceries, coffee shops, even in nursing homes. Many of them live in apartment buildings also used by non-students. Some 20% of them are married and have children. Their spouses are sometimes students, sometimes just people who work in the community. They are no less integrated with the general population than a non-university student. A good percentage of the American university population is in this category.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on May 06, 2020, 04:52:37 AM
from pigou:  Are we really mitigating that risk when we shut down hair salons?

As someone whose hair is getting longer and greyer by the nanosecond, I will continue to avoid visits to the hair salon, as I can be fairly confident that it is absolutely impossible for anyone with a head stuck in the wash sink to wear a mask.....and that means the head in the wash sink right next to mine. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 06, 2020, 04:58:33 AM

Tracing isn't looking very promising at this point either. Australia launched an app a week or so ago and fewer than 20% of people with smartphones have installed it. We'd need uptake around 100% of smartphone users for that to have a shot. And we kind of assume that everyone will get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available... I don't know: H1N1 uptake was under 40% in the US and under 30% in Europe. It'll be higher now for sure, but enough to provide herd immunity? I'm skeptical, especially given that this vaccine won't have time to go through the usual safety testing phases. Unless we're willing to wait many more years, at least.

That Australian App isn't actually even really being used yet. The data is being collected but the health authorities aren't using it yet, so I wouldn't take that number as a benchmark. Apps would only be part of contact tracing. Trevor Beford, a Washington Virologist had a twitter thread where he pointed out that contact tracing isn't an all or nothing proposition. Even very modestly successful contact tracing could reduce transmission by significant amounts.

I think that's the thing that lots of discussion about mitigation measures misses. Is reducing student numbers in class going to make it impossible for students to transmit the virus to each other or others? Banning more than one visitor in a room? No, of course not, but everything that reduces the number of people who could be exposed chips away at the transmission number. Do enough of those things and that's the difference between having a growing outbreak that forces more drastic measures and something that can be managed.

I wouldn't make assumptions about how many people would get a vaccine based on flu vaccines. First, and most obviously, this is a lot worse than the flu. It has also made a huge impact on our lives in the way that no flu strain in recent times has. The 2014-15 year was the worst in at least ten years. I think there were 70k deaths or so. We are already past that no matter how you count. Nothing shut down, there weren't constant ambulance sirens in NYC or temporary hospitals being set up. I can promise you that a high proportion of the population will want to get a vaccine if it becomes available. It will also probably be a good deal more protective than a flu vaccine. I would also assume that a vaccine would be required by schools, as well as lots of employers. You'd be down to a hard core of anti vaccers who would refuse.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on May 06, 2020, 07:06:44 AM
.... and pretending nothing is happening and just letting it run its course (probably no country at this point).

Letting it run its course is more or less what Sweden is doing, and definitely the Brazilian federal government (although some state government have implemented serious restrictions that the federal government is actively fighting). It appears to be Nicaraguan policy also. Officially Turkmenistan and North Korea have no cases; reportedly in Turkmenistan you can be arrested for wearing a face mask. If they are lying about having no cases then they're just letting the disease run its course.


A vaccine isn't necessarily the only way this ends. An effective cure would also allow re-opening. It was the use of Tamiflu, and social distancing, that stopped swine flu in Mexico City. If a safe, effective drug (or cocktail of drugs) for it becomes widely available, that would largely be pandemic over. There are also serious suggestions that, for some reason, the TB vaccine may confer some protection, which if confirmed might mean a combo of track-and-trace, mass use of the TB vaccine and whatever drug treatments are available might be a game-changer, even if none of them are a game-changer on their own.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 06, 2020, 08:33:26 AM

A vaccine isn't necessarily the only way this ends. An effective cure would also allow re-opening. It was the use of Tamiflu, and social distancing, that stopped swine flu in Mexico City.

Swine flu wasn't contained. It spread all over the world. It just turned out that it actually was a pretty mild strain of flu. My impression is that a "cure" isn't very likely in the sense of some drug that would make this no big deal. Viral infections are hard to cure. Tamiflu does seem to reduce the time people are sick with flu if they get it really early, but there's not any clear consensus that it reduces mortality rates. Drugs and treatments could help, but I wouldn't expect any of them to be a magic bullet.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on May 06, 2020, 11:34:43 AM
.... and pretending nothing is happening and just letting it run its course (probably no country at this point).

Letting it run its course is more or less what Sweden is doing, and definitely the Brazilian federal government (although some state government have implemented serious restrictions that the federal government is actively fighting). It appears to be Nicaraguan policy also. Officially Turkmenistan and North Korea have no cases; reportedly in Turkmenistan you can be arrested for wearing a face mask. If they are lying about having no cases then they're just letting the disease run its course.


A vaccine isn't necessarily the only way this ends. An effective cure would also allow re-opening. It was the use of Tamiflu, and social distancing, that stopped swine flu in Mexico City. If a safe, effective drug (or cocktail of drugs) for it becomes widely available, that would largely be pandemic over. There are also serious suggestions that, for some reason, the TB vaccine may confer some protection, which if confirmed might mean a combo of track-and-trace, mass use of the TB vaccine and whatever drug treatments are available might be a game-changer, even if none of them are a game-changer on their own.

And as we open up the economy, this is functionally what we will be doing as well.  It worked somewhat in Sweden due to public acceptance of social distancing and other measures, but they ended up having about 24,000 cases and 3,000 deaths compared to Denmark (10,000 cases, 500 deaths) and Norway (8,000 cases and 200 deaths).  Sweden's population is roughly twice that of their neighbors, so, even adjusting for population size, Sweden has had a substantial case load.

Sweden appeared to take the approach that they were willing to let the disease run through the population as fast as possible so as to achieve a reasonable amount of herd immunity as quickly as possible.  Britain tried the same thing - at least until Boris got it at which point they backpedaled fast.  In the long run, Sweden may possibly have chosen the better option if they can get to the 60% herd immunity figure I've seen as being required.  But in the short run, they appear to have accepted some very troubling outcomes.

Unlike bacteria, viruses are intra-cellular pathogens which has made finding viracidal drugs very difficult.  Drugs like Tamiflu (and it seems Remdesivir) shorten the course of the disease by a a few days, but are not a cure.  And in the case of Tamiflu, if therapy is not started very early in the course of influenza, it's generally ineffective.  The pandemic will likely subside when a combination of an effective vaccine and sufficient herd immunity have been achieved.  And that ain't gonna be before school opens in the fall.

Change of topic -- I was in Target yesterday picking up some essentials (wine and whisky mostly).  Maybe 50% of the people were wearing a mask, but social distancing was pretty much universal.  There was one older guy in the checkout area without a mask.  He was expounding loudly to everyone within earshot how he was not about to let no gub'mnt tell him what to do.  It was all I could do to keep my big mouth shut, pay for my stuff and get out of there. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on May 06, 2020, 12:44:00 PM
Until then, deaths will always be evaluated against the precautions put in place (or not) to prevent them.

Yes, and from a legal standpoint there is no way a school would be liable for a student catching the disease.
Unless they were somehow forced into a lab and the Dean shoved a sample of the virus up their nose.

Meanwhile, the whole "kids can't get sick, let's reopen schools" might not be looking so good. The NYT is reporting 15 hospitalised children (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/nyregion/children-Kawasaki-syndrome-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article).

The key words you're missing all through that story are "rare" and "dozens."

Try this article instead https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/health/coronavirus-children-transmission-school.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage#commentsContainer


It turns out when you actually test kids, the kids are indeed infected and can spread it to others, just like adult asymptomatic spreaders, even if the kids themselves don't become hospitalized in large numbers.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on May 06, 2020, 02:00:48 PM

A vaccine isn't necessarily the only way this ends. An effective cure would also allow re-opening. It was the use of Tamiflu, and social distancing, that stopped swine flu in Mexico City.

Swine flu wasn't contained. It spread all over the world.

I wrote how it was stopped eventually in Mexico City (the worst-affected place), I didn't say it was contained which indeed it wasn't. It wasn't that mild, either. But it wasn't very contagious and there was a reasonably effective treatment from nearly the start.

.... and pretending nothing is happening and just letting it run its course (probably no country at this point).

Letting it run its course is more or less what Sweden is doing, and definitely the Brazilian federal government (although some state government have implemented serious restrictions that the federal government is actively fighting). It appears to be Nicaraguan policy also. Officially Turkmenistan and North Korea have no cases; reportedly in Turkmenistan you can be arrested for wearing a face mask. If they are lying about having no cases then they're just letting the disease run its course.


A vaccine isn't necessarily the only way this ends. An effective cure would also allow re-opening. It was the use of Tamiflu, and social distancing, that stopped swine flu in Mexico City. If a safe, effective drug (or cocktail of drugs) for it becomes widely available, that would largely be pandemic over. There are also serious suggestions that, for some reason, the TB vaccine may confer some protection, which if confirmed might mean a combo of track-and-trace, mass use of the TB vaccine and whatever drug treatments are available might be a game-changer, even if none of them are a game-changer on their own.

And as we open up the economy, this is functionally what we will be doing as well.  It worked somewhat in Sweden due to public acceptance of social distancing and other measures, but they ended up having about 24,000 cases and 3,000 deaths compared to Denmark (10,000 cases, 500 deaths) and Norway (8,000 cases and 200 deaths).  Sweden's population is roughly twice that of their neighbors, so, even adjusting for population size, Sweden has had a substantial case load.

Sweden appeared to take the approach that they were willing to let the disease run through the population as fast as possible so as to achieve a reasonable amount of herd immunity as quickly as possible.  Britain tried the same thing - at least until Boris got it at which point they backpedaled fast.  In the long run, Sweden may possibly have chosen the better option if they can get to the 60% herd immunity figure I've seen as being required.  But in the short run, they appear to have accepted some very troubling outcomes.

Deaths per million are significantly worse in Sweden than in the US, so I'd dispute that it "worked somewhat," unless you're comparing only with Italy and Spain. Apart from the UK and the Netherlands, Sweden is by the same criterion the worst-affected country in Northern Europe. As I've written before, the Western response (except basically in New Zealand) has been an abject failure.
Sure, there are plenty of measures, like shutting down schools and businesses, that can't continue indefinitely. But other useful measures most certainly can - South Korean-style testing and contact tracing, the use of facemasks in public (which in the Far East is close to 100%) and selective, local lockdowns if cases shoot up. Note that the Far East is largely reopening or has largely re-opened, so it makes sense economically (with the Spanish flu, there is evidence the places that dealt with it best in terms of minimizing casualties also had the most vigorous economic recovery). By international standards, the Swedish approach is objectively a failure, and any evidence-based approach needs to look at places that were actually, objectively successful (Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Macao, New Zealand and even Costa Rica) rather than at what fits our prejudices.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 06, 2020, 02:07:01 PM
Until then, deaths will always be evaluated against the precautions put in place (or not) to prevent them.

Yes, and from a legal standpoint there is no way a school would be liable for a student catching the disease.
Unless they were somehow forced into a lab and the Dean shoved a sample of the virus up their nose.

Meanwhile, the whole "kids can't get sick, let's reopen schools" might not be looking so good. The NYT is reporting 15 hospitalised children (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/nyregion/children-Kawasaki-syndrome-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article).

The key words you're missing all through that story are "rare" and "dozens."

Try this article instead https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/health/coronavirus-children-transmission-school.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage#commentsContainer


It turns out when you actually test kids, the kids are indeed infected and can spread it to others, just like adult asymptomatic spreaders, even if the kids themselves don't become hospitalized in large numbers.

Important to note that there's actually not a lot of clarity around this. See https://twitter.com/mugecevik/status/1257392347010215947 for a much more extensive take that tries to look at multiple studies.
Suffice to say, it is actually a pretty complicated question.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on May 06, 2020, 02:10:29 PM
All good stuff upthread, but it seems that even deaths [not just infections, which differ on account of the extent of testing] are reported differently across European countries. One confounder is that some countries report non-hospital corona deaths and some don't. Belgian public health officials, covering a comparatively high death rate, are adamant about this. Apparently, what is classified as a corona death also differs across European countries.

Thus, it's too early to say which approach at which time has been best or worst.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 06, 2020, 02:23:30 PM
Straight-up deaths (as in: brute numbers of decedents, irrespective of cause) are reported pretty standardly and comprehensively everywhere though, aren't they? So I imagine that the most telling number will result from comparing the death rate for the relevant months to previous years' tallies, and seeing how large the excess is. While that won't tell you the number of direct COVID deaths, it will give you a pretty accurate accounting of COVID's butcher's bill (since it's killing both directly and indirectly).

IIRC, that's how the numbers get calculated for major natural disasters, among other things.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on May 06, 2020, 02:35:29 PM
Sure [though I don't like calling the unexplained residual the number we want]. Now different countries had different start dates and have tried various responses. Some will have earlier deaths [Sweden] and some will have later deaths [Germany]. With the residual method, too, we'll have to wait and see which approach[es] worked best.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 06, 2020, 03:08:21 PM

Deaths per million are significantly worse in Sweden than in the US, so I'd dispute that it "worked somewhat," unless you're comparing only with Italy and Spain. Apart from the UK and the Netherlands, Sweden is by the same criterion the worst-affected country in Northern Europe. As I've written before, the Western response (except basically in New Zealand) has been an abject failure.
Sure, there are plenty of measures, like shutting down schools and businesses, that can't continue indefinitely. But other useful measures most certainly can - South Korean-style testing and contact tracing, the use of facemasks in public (which in the Far East is close to 100%) and selective, local lockdowns if cases shoot up. Note that the Far East is largely reopening or has largely re-opened, so it makes sense economically (with the Spanish flu, there is evidence the places that dealt with it best in terms of minimizing casualties also had the most vigorous economic recovery). By international standards, the Swedish approach is objectively a failure, and any evidence-based approach needs to look at places that were actually, objectively successful (Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Macao, New Zealand and even Costa Rica) rather than at what fits our prejudices.

Thanks for this post.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on May 07, 2020, 07:09:32 AM
@Cheerful: You're welcome!

All good stuff upthread, but it seems that even deaths [not just infections, which differ on account of the extent of testing] are reported differently across European countries. One confounder is that some countries report non-hospital corona deaths and some don't. Belgian public health officials, covering a comparatively high death rate, are adamant about this. Apparently, what is classified as a corona death also differs across European countries.

Thus, it's too early to say which approach at which time has been best or worst.

Where numbers are of the same order of magnitude, yes, they might get skewed by all sorts of things. There is substantial undercounting of the dead in some places (the corpses rotting on the streets of Guayaquil weren't tested) and many governments may be undercounting by a combo of insufficient testing and by design (not just the North Korean figure of zero cases, but also very likely Venezuela and Mexico). But given that the number of dead per million population is nearly three orders of magnitude worse in Sweden than in Taiwan, that can't be accounted for by simple methodological differences of who you count, etc. Those issues could account for the differences between the Netherlands and Belgium (which seems to be overcounting) or between Italy and Spain, but not for the vast chasm between Sweden and Taiwan, and I don't think they could even account for the substantial difference between Germany and most of Europe.


The experience of Singapore suggests having schools open is not catastrophic on its own in terms of transmission, if done with precautions like having everyone wear facemasks and taking everyone's temperature.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 07, 2020, 07:27:10 AM

The experience of Singapore suggests having schools open is not catastrophic on its own in terms of transmission, if done with precautions like having everyone wear facemasks and taking everyone's temperature.

But this is almost meaningless in the context of the US, where the acceptance of those sorts of restrictions by governments is challenged routinely and vehemently.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 07, 2020, 12:04:17 PM
To judge from social media we do seem to be polarising into the "open everything NOW!" folks and the "stay locked down people are at risk!!". Both seem to be operating from false premises (that if we declare the shutdown is over, everything will snap back to how it was at the start of March vs the idea that it's possible to keep everyone locked down indefinitely).
I'm pretty timid about it myself (look at when I started this thread!).


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 07, 2020, 02:22:19 PM
To judge from social media we do seem to be polarising into the "open everything NOW!" folks and the "stay locked down people are at risk!!". Both seem to be operating from false premises (that if we declare the shutdown is over, everything will snap back to how it was at the start of March vs the idea that it's possible to keep everyone locked down indefinitely).
I'm pretty timid about it myself (look at when I started this thread!).

Yes.  The polarization is troubling.  I'm disappointed that this country can't unite around facts (if we could agree on some reliable info from reliable sources), think things through carefully, have compassion (both sides are full of people struggling in various ways), and confront this challenge united rather than selfishly, fearfully divided.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on May 07, 2020, 02:27:50 PM

The experience of Singapore suggests having schools open is not catastrophic on its own in terms of transmission, if done with precautions like having everyone wear facemasks and taking everyone's temperature.

But this is almost meaningless in the context of the US, where the acceptance of those sorts of restrictions by governments is challenged routinely and vehemently.

Yes, probably, but then again Americans have accepted metal detectors, etc in schools.

In other news, Israel seems to be making good progress in producing antibodies against this pandemic.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 07, 2020, 02:39:34 PM
Quote
I'm disappointed that this country can't unite around facts

Even IF everyone agreed on the facts, the implication or application of those facts would still be divisive

It is one thing to agree that the glass can be Both 1/2 empty and 1/2 full. It is another to deal with those that want to add water and those that want to dump the water that is there. 

The  problem here is that some say 'My business will die and I will starve" if we Dont Reopen and that some worry "I will die and my dependents will starve" IF we reopen too soon! 

 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on May 07, 2020, 04:24:43 PM
And everyone in power seems to be okay with workers running out of money and being in desperate straits, as long as we don't give them any more financial support — that's the key thing. No more support to poor people! It's only the wealthy who have enough money to buy themselves some extra support.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 07, 2020, 05:11:25 PM
Quote
I'm disappointed that this country can't unite around facts

Even IF everyone agreed on the facts, the implication or application of those facts would still be divisive

It is one thing to agree that the glass can be Both 1/2 empty and 1/2 full. It is another to deal with those that want to add water and those that want to dump the water that is there. 

The  problem here is that some say 'My business will die and I will starve" if we Dont Reopen and that some worry "I will die and my dependents will starve" IF we reopen too soon!

Its a false choice. The economy isn't going to just humming right along again while lots of people are getting sick and dying. Also, obviously lockdowns are a temporary measure, and do need to be lifted over time. But if you do it soon you aren't going to help the economy.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: FishProf on May 08, 2020, 01:34:28 PM
Quote
I'm disappointed that this country can't unite around facts

Even IF everyone agreed on the facts, the implication or application of those facts would still be divisive
It would be debatable, it need not be divisive.  Give me an argument that starts from agreed upon baselines any day over this madness.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 08, 2020, 02:01:23 PM
Quote
I'm disappointed that this country can't unite around facts

Even IF everyone agreed on the facts, the implication or application of those facts would still be divisive
It would be debatable, it need not be divisive.  Give me an argument that starts from agreed upon baselines any day over this madness.

The real problem is that people on both ends of the political spectrum have been led to believe, (by politicians and journalists who should know better), that problems have "ideal" solutions, if only the "will" exists to implement them. The reality is that EVERY potential solution involves a trade-off of some sort, and will have some unpleasant but unavoidable consequences. And there is no objective way to pick the "best" solution; which solution is "best" depends on a subjective weighting of various factors.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 08, 2020, 02:30:11 PM
The reality is that EVERY potential solution involves a trade-off of some sort, and will have some unpleasant but unavoidable consequences. And there is no objective way to pick the "best" solution; which solution is "best" depends on a subjective weighting of various factors.

This is what gets me, it seems some people hold the platonic ideal of NO corona deaths, and judge anything against that. I'm not of the "let 'er rip, herd immunity, devil take the hindmost" school by any means. But it seems like people are not seeing this disease clearly. We're getting told numbers of deaths, which sound huge on their own - without recognising that thousands of people die every day anyway. Often from things that better laws or treatment might have prevented.
At the same time, 40,000 people die in the US each year from road accidents. If we banned cars, that number could be brought down to zero. But nobody wants to do that.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 08, 2020, 02:47:48 PM
40K?  Perhaps we are a bit behind. A google search moments ago indicated that the deaths in the US are now at least 77727. 
 nearly double 40K!!  And this is not over a whole year, but primarily in six weeks!  That sounds pretty significant to me! 

IS 77727 a Lot compared to .... pick a big number.  Maybe not, but a quick calculation of the death rate is pretty jarring.

77727 died = (178000+77727) of resolved - dead or recovered- illness gives a rate of 30%!

That sounds pretty ominous, and something that one may want to avoid!

Certainly, the 'recovered' number may be under reported, but it IS what we have now. 

So, compare 77727 deaths IN Six Weeks to those other "X people die of bee stings" comparisons and we can really see the significance of this for those of us that watch it, and  may have 'contributing factors'.

my source:
https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+th+CV19+death+rate%3F&rlz=1C1GCEV_en&oq=what+is+th+CV19+death+rate%3F&aqs=chrome..69i57j33.11433j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 08, 2020, 03:20:56 PM
40K?  Perhaps we are a bit behind. A google search moments ago indicated that the deaths in the US are now at least 77727. 
 nearly double 40K!!  And this is not over a whole year, but primarily in six weeks!  That sounds pretty significant to me! 

Please show where I (or anyone else) said it wasn't significant. I'm not sure who you think you are arguing with.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on May 08, 2020, 03:22:18 PM
I'm not sure what numbers clean is looking at

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

As of 1720hrs EDT - 77,000 deaths and 1.3million cases in the US = 5.9% case fatality rate
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 08, 2020, 03:27:24 PM
1.3 million is the number of cases.  Many are not yet resolved, so they are not yet included in the death rate calculation.

As I indicated, the death rate is calculated on the resolved cases.  77727 have died (resolved) and 178K have recovered (resolved) The rest May Recover or May Resolve.

Dividing by the total infected is not the way to calculate the rate (correctly).


Also, I must have misread about the comparison to the Auto Deaths, but as we have nearly doubled the annual rate of auto deaths, in only six weeks, it would seem that more should be done than whatever it is we do about auto deaths.  (I remember Arrive Alive 55!  ... but Im getting old (and adding to my 'additional complications' category))
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 08, 2020, 03:34:10 PM
The reality is that EVERY potential solution involves a trade-off of some sort, and will have some unpleasant but unavoidable consequences. And there is no objective way to pick the "best" solution; which solution is "best" depends on a subjective weighting of various factors.

This is what gets me, it seems some people hold the platonic ideal of NO corona deaths, and judge anything against that. I'm not of the "let 'er rip, herd immunity, devil take the hindmost" school by any means. But it seems like people are not seeing this disease clearly. We're getting told numbers of deaths, which sound huge on their own - without recognising that thousands of people die every day anyway. Often from things that better laws or treatment might have prevented.
At the same time, 40,000 people die in the US each year from road accidents. If we banned cars, that number could be brought down to zero. But nobody wants to do that.

But the deaths are much more concentrated. There have been over 40 deaths here in one nursing home in 6 weeks. That is a LOT higher death rate than under normal circumstances.  Other nursing homes haven't had a single case (let alone death) because of extreme caution. That makes it very different from auto accidents and things like that.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 08, 2020, 03:43:29 PM
But the deaths are much more concentrated. There have been over 40 deaths here in one nursing home in 6 weeks. That is a LOT higher death rate than under normal circumstances.  Other nursing homes haven't had a single case (let alone death) because of extreme caution. That makes it very different from auto accidents and things like that.

Yes, concentrated deaths - that's how contagious diseases work. For road accidents, we assume a risk every time we get in a car our whole lives. Our covid risk is only while the disease is actively circulating and we are either not immune or (in the future) not vaccinated.

But again, in a typical six week (non-covid) period, 380,000 people will die in the US (from all causes). We don't know whether 2020 will actually have a much higher death rate than 2019 overall. (To be brutal, some of the covid victims would have died of something else, meanwhile other people who would have died did not - the shutdown does mean fewer industrial accidents etc). We won't actually know the true impact of this illness for another year at least.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: dismalist on May 08, 2020, 03:52:05 PM
Ah, yeah, there are many death rates and different people die.

We have

-the Case Fatality Rate is the proportion of people who die who have tested positive for the disease; and the

-the Infection Fatality Rate is the proportion of people who die after having the infection overall.

Thus, for Corona in the US, the CFR is a big  number and the IFR is 6.9%.

In fact, the IFR is far lower than 6.9% on account we have no clue how many have been infected. A not completely random, but nevertheless informative sample in New York State found that 15% in that state as a whole had been infected, and that 21% in NYC had been infected. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/23/new-york-antibody-study-estimates-13point9percent-of-residents-have-had-the-coronavirus-cuomo-says.html (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/23/new-york-antibody-study-estimates-13point9percent-of-residents-have-had-the-coronavirus-cuomo-says.html)

The concentration of deaths in nursing homes, really among people living in close quarters, actually makes it cheaper to combat the outbreak. Those who need to be isolated from the population at large and from each other are the old and otherwise vulnerable, not everybody else.

No reason to panic on the Titanic, at least not yet! :-)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 08, 2020, 06:38:29 PM
40K?  Perhaps we are a bit behind. A google search moments ago indicated that the deaths in the US are now at least 77727. 
 nearly double 40K!!  And this is not over a whole year, but primarily in six weeks!  That sounds pretty significant to me! 

IS 77727 a Lot compared to .... pick a big number.  Maybe not, but a quick calculation of the death rate is pretty jarring.

77727 died = (178000+77727) of resolved - dead or recovered- illness gives a rate of 30%!

That sounds pretty ominous, and something that one may want to avoid!


I'm with you on the broader point, but this is a pointless and meaningless statistic. First of all, there's no need to try to do this kind of  calculation in the first place. We actually do now have a pretty decent fix on the fatality rate of symptomatic patients. Its probably around 1-2 percent. IFR is more complicated. But, actually we don't have even have to get into this for these numbers. Just go to worldometer and look at how much the resolved cases statistic varies. Do you think that people in Germany who get Covid are 6 times less likely to die than in France?

Those numbers are mostly just about how countries report recoveries, which I believe is mostly about whether they test people to see if they are negative and when. The US has had trouble testing people in the first place so doesn't seem to be doing much of this (I don't think it really matters, there's data showing people are generally not infectious once they recover, whether or not you can find some virus)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on May 09, 2020, 02:07:43 AM
More evidence that the USA is a Third World country: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/opinion/us-denmark-economy.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/opinion/us-denmark-economy.html).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 09, 2020, 06:14:44 AM

The concentration of deaths in nursing homes, really among people living in close quarters, actually makes it cheaper to combat the outbreak. Those who need to be isolated from the population at large and from each other are the old and otherwise vulnerable, not everybody else.

No reason to panic on the Titanic, at least not yet! :-)

This doesn't really make any sense. Or, maybe to put it better, it only makes sense in some imaginary world where "the old and otherwise vulnerable" can somehow be separated out from the rest of the population. Sure, we need to pay particular attention to settings like prisons and nursing homes. That's a very important part of managing this. But, there are lots of vulnerable people who can't simply be isolated. Lots of older people live with family members who have jobs that require them to leave the house. There are also lots of people with health conditions that make them vulnerable who can't just stay home.

It is also true that while deaths are really concentrated among people with pre-existing conditions and older people, this actually is orders of magnitude worse in terms of both death rate and significant illness than flu for everybody except kids. (Still true, rare syndrome aside) It isn't practical to "isolate" everyone for ever, but we certainly should be doing long term things that will keep the infection rate down, including testing and tracing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ciao_yall on May 09, 2020, 09:08:34 AM
40K?  Perhaps we are a bit behind. A google search moments ago indicated that the deaths in the US are now at least 77727. 
 nearly double 40K!!  And this is not over a whole year, but primarily in six weeks!  That sounds pretty significant to me! 

IS 77727 a Lot compared to .... pick a big number.  Maybe not, but a quick calculation of the death rate is pretty jarring.

77727 died = (178000+77727) of resolved - dead or recovered- illness gives a rate of 30%!

That sounds pretty ominous, and something that one may want to avoid!


I'm with you on the broader point, but this is a pointless and meaningless statistic. First of all, there's no need to try to do this kind of  calculation in the first place. We actually do now have a pretty decent fix on the fatality rate of symptomatic patients. Its probably around 1-2 percent. IFR is more complicated. But, actually we don't have even have to get into this for these numbers. Just go to worldometer and look at how much the resolved cases statistic varies. Do you think that people in Germany who get Covid are 6 times less likely to die than in France?

Those numbers are mostly just about how countries report recoveries, which I believe is mostly about whether they test people to see if they are negative and when. The US has had trouble testing people in the first place so doesn't seem to be doing much of this (I don't think it really matters, there's data showing people are generally not infectious once they recover, whether or not you can find some virus)

This.

I have been tracking our local numbers. We had very limited testing for a while so our numbers looked good. That said, we quickly went into shelter-in-place. People have been cooperative. Our hospitals have been very quiet. Stabilized around 2% new cases per day, very few deaths.

In the news, there have been occasional reports of a cluster of cases in a vulnerable area - a nursing home or homeless shelter. The numbers pop a little that day but then go back to low.

Now that there are more tests, they are testing much more broadly. There was a spike the other day that I assume was related to a community study.

So we'll see.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 13, 2020, 06:55:44 AM
I'm still not sure what the place I teach will be doing after the summer.

The CHE chart here is interesting
https://www.chronicle.com/article/Here-s-a-List-of-Colleges-/248626

Suggests 70% of schools are planning to be in-person in the fall. I'm wondering though how many say that now, to sound positive (and get enrolments) while secretly anticipating having to stay online? Much easier to tell people who have planned to in-person to go online, than tell people who have planned for online to get themselves into the classroom on Monday....
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 13, 2020, 07:16:55 AM
Suggests 70% of schools are planning to be in-person in the fall.

That many campuses fully in-person seems unlikely.  More likely to have at least 70% mostly online for fall.  "Mostly online" meaning a few exceptions for particular programs with restricted time and conditions on campus.

I applaud Cal State for making the decision public now so that 500,000 students, faculty, and staff can plan accordingly.

Many universities start up in late August.  Make the decision and let people know by June 15.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 13, 2020, 07:21:02 AM
Suggests 70% of schools are planning to be in-person in the fall.

That many campuses fully in-person seems unlikely.  More likely to have at least 70% mostly online for fall.  "Mostly online" meaning a few exceptions for particular programs with restricted time and conditions on campus.


"Mostly online" is pretty much like "a little bit pregnant".
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 13, 2020, 07:27:18 AM
"Mostly online" is pretty much like "a little bit pregnant".

How so?  Some campus labs are still being visited during the shutdown.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on May 13, 2020, 08:06:37 AM
For those who like actual science: Chemical and Engineering News reviews vaccine development. (https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/Adenoviral-vectors-new-COVID-19/98/i19)

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 13, 2020, 08:09:25 AM
"Mostly online" is pretty much like "a little bit pregnant".

How so?  Some campus labs are still being visited during the shutdown.

So if a student is taking one course with a lab, do they have to live on campus, but if they're taking no lab courses they are supposed to stay home? If they drop a lab course during they term, are they supposed to go home? Should people on the waiting list for a lab course have their bags packed in case they have to move on campus?

And this doesn't even start to adress the physical distancing issues for labs. For instance, if a lab already has enough sections that it's in operation most hours of the week, what do you do if you have to cut the number of students per section in half for distancing purposes? Labs often require people to work with a partner; do all labs need to get adapted so everyone works alone? If not, how do partners distance when they're working at the same bench?

"Mostly online" vastly understates the effort required to adapt labs for the current situation, whether by "virtuallizing" them or by trying to adapt them for face to face but with all of the covid safety measures required.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 13, 2020, 09:09:00 AM
Thanks, marshwiggle.  Yes, complex and problematic.

I was thinking mainly of faculty researchers and maybe a few grad students coming in to use labs periodically, not volumes of undergrads.  No can do on lots of undergrads. I don't have any answers.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pgher on May 13, 2020, 09:44:43 AM
I don't believe any college, including my own, that says it's for-sure open for residential, in-person activities in the fall. I believe that's their/our intention, but I won't believe it will actually happen until August. There are too many variables, too much that can happen between now and then that will change social distancing and other requirements. As Yogi Berra said, "Making predictions is hard, especially about the future."

I talked with a lab TA yesterday. We had to do an abrupt change in the middle of the semester. I think it was an adequate experience for the students, but would not be sufficient for a full semester.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on May 13, 2020, 09:55:32 AM
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16256-y (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16256-y)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on May 13, 2020, 10:05:39 AM
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16256-y (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16256-y)

The key phrase in that article is "in cell culture".  Therefore, worth funding for more research, but nowhere near ready for prime time.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 13, 2020, 10:19:11 AM
I talked with a lab TA yesterday. We had to do an abrupt change in the middle of the semester. I think it was an adequate experience for the students, but would not be sufficient for a full semester.

Exactly. Virtuallizing labs is HARD. Adapting labs for distancing is HARD. But they are mutually exclusive in terms of how to adapt. So this past term everyone did the best they could because it was completely unpredictable. In the Fall, perparation has to be for one or the other. Switching partway through the term would be, as the saying goes, a fecal display.

 No-one can be blamed for the disruption last term. That's NOT the case for the Fall.

A couple of phrases come to mind:
"Failing to plan is plannig to fail"
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Any place that opens face to face and then has to revert to virtual deserves any and all the criticism they get.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 13, 2020, 10:42:53 AM
Quote
"Mostly online" is pretty much like "a little bit pregnant".

How so?  Some campus labs are still being visited during the shutdown.

Some pregnant women still get 'visited' by the fetus' father as well.



The longer story...

in college I worked at a pharmacy. I was very quiet and shy and easily embarrassed then (probably still am).  I knew that the pharmacist I was working for had been trying to get pregnant.  When she announced that she was I said, for me the most outlandish thing I could think of.  "Oh, so now you can quit practicing".  Right away she replied (and embarased me for bringing it up, "Oh now, Now you have to keep adding the parts. The difference between a boy and a girl is just one time!"   She continued, "Later in the pregnancy the doctor will tell you to stop having sex. That means that the baby is done.  And that is why new mothers inspect the baby to count the fingers and toes to make sure that there are neither too many (they didnt stop) or too few (they didnt do it enough)."

And as THIS was a medical professional It MUST be true!  (Of course now that I have related that story and it is on the internet, you can discount it now).

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: the_geneticist on May 13, 2020, 11:15:10 AM
I talked with a lab TA yesterday. We had to do an abrupt change in the middle of the semester. I think it was an adequate experience for the students, but would not be sufficient for a full semester.

Exactly. Virtuallizing labs is HARD. Adapting labs for distancing is HARD. But they are mutually exclusive in terms of how to adapt. So this past term everyone did the best they could because it was completely unpredictable. In the Fall, perparation has to be for one or the other. Switching partway through the term would be, as the saying goes, a fecal display.

 No-one can be blamed for the disruption last term. That's NOT the case for the Fall.

A couple of phrases come to mind:
"Failing to plan is plannig to fail"
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Any place that opens face to face and then has to revert to virtual deserves any and all the criticism they get.

Well, I'll be stocking up on popcorn so I can sit back and watch the inevitable sh!tstorm when my university's lack of planning puts us in an entirely preventable crisis.

I had TWO WEEKS, a budget of $0, and no access to campus to make my labs online for Spring quarter.  What I've created is pretty gosh darn amazing considering the circumstances.  But it's not comparable to in person.   Yes, the learning goals are the same; yes, the content is similar; yes, the students are getting experience with experimental design.  But it's just not the same from the hand-on, interactive, peer-instruction level.

I know, even if the admins don't admit it yet, that our Fall classes will all be online.  Might be a few exceptions for some very small, upper division labs.  But we just don't have the space to keep folks at least 6 feet apart!  I'll be spending Summer improving my big intro labs so they are a better experience.  And here I was sort of hoping that this was a one-off . . . .
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 13, 2020, 11:22:22 AM

I know, even if the admins don't admit it yet, that our Fall classes will all be online. 

This. So, so this.

The two big universities in town have already announced they'll be mostly online in the fall. Ours is postponing the realization for as long as it can, but the reality is that our classroom barely fit the 35 they're all supposed to take.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 13, 2020, 11:40:48 AM

I had TWO WEEKS, a budget of $0, and no access to campus to make my labs online for Spring quarter.
As Marvin (from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") would say, "Not an electronic sausage."

Quote
What I've created is pretty gosh darn amazing considering the circumstances.  But it's not comparable to in person.   Yes, the learning goals are the same; yes, the content is similar; yes, the students are getting experience with experimental design.  But it's just not the same from the hand-on, interactive, peer-instruction level.

I know, even if the admins don't admit it yet, that our Fall classes will all be online.  Might be a few exceptions for some very small, upper division labs.  But we just don't have the space to keep folks at least 6 feet apart! I'll be spending Summer improving my big intro labs so they are a better experience.  And here I was sort of hoping that this was a one-off . . . .

But I think the question for a lot of us is, "After I've done all of this work to make reasonable virtual labs, are there at least a subset of students (such as non-majors) who might want to take this course that would get reasonable value from the virtual version?"

There might be a surprising number of cases where the answer is a qualified yes.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 13, 2020, 01:57:45 PM
[\

Any place that opens face to face and then has to revert to virtual deserves any and all the criticism they get.

I really disagree with this. I think it is a toxic sort of mentality, that isn't going to help you, or anyone else, navigate the next year or more. Certainty is something we aren't going to get. Everybody isn't going to stay home forever, things will restart, but it is going to be tenuous, and there may be a need to revert back to more extreme forms of distancing. That won't be a failure on anyone's part, as long as they have made contingency plans and acted responsibly.

The failure would be if reopening isn't carefully considered, or if it happens despite obvious signs that it wouldn't be a good idea.

I worry that if my school reopened, there wouldn't be clear plans for how to handle a surge in cases, either in the area or at the school. If they have a plan, and follow it, and that plan results in either a temporary or permanent suspension of in person classes before the risk gets too high, that would be an example of good leadership. It wouldn't be a failure just because they didn't have a crystal ball.


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 13, 2020, 06:16:24 PM
[\

Any place that opens face to face and then has to revert to virtual deserves any and all the criticism they get.

I really disagree with this. I think it is a toxic sort of mentality, that isn't going to help you, or anyone else, navigate the next year or more. Certainty is something we aren't going to get. Everybody isn't going to stay home forever, things will restart, but it is going to be tenuous, and there may be a need to revert back to more extreme forms of distancing. That won't be a failure on anyone's part, as long as they have made contingency plans and acted responsibly.

To have any shred of credibility, they need to publicize the conditions under which they'd revert to virtual before the term starts. This time it was unforseeable, but in the Fall it is not only forseeable, but with significant probability. (For instance, here they announced Friday after classes were done that as of Monday we'd be virtual. Not even a day to get ready. This time it's understandable. In the Fall that sort of thing would be grossly incompetent.)


Quote
The failure would be if reopening isn't carefully considered, or if it happens despite obvious signs that it wouldn't be a good idea.

I worry that if my school reopened, there wouldn't be clear plans for how to handle a surge in cases, either in the area or at the school. If they have a plan, and follow it, and that plan results in either a temporary or permanent suspension of in person classes before the risk gets too high, that would be an example of good leadership. It wouldn't be a failure just because they didn't have a crystal ball.

They don't need a crystal ball; for months the prediction has been that a vaccine won't likely be available until at least mid to late 2021, and until then more outbreaks are a real threat. To open before then is a calculated risk. If it's carefully planned, then the plans should be made public as much as possible to avoid blindsiding everyone if the situation warrants another shutdown.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on May 13, 2020, 06:21:37 PM
But I think the question for a lot of us is, "After I've done all of this work to make reasonable virtual labs, are there at least a subset of students (such as non-majors) who might want to take this course that would get reasonable value from the virtual version?"

There might be a surprising number of cases where the answer is a qualified yes.

This has been a part of my thinking/planning. We have majors courses where the hands-on practical skills in lab really are a critical part of what students need to get out of the course, and will be expected to have when they transfer.  But in the non-majors introductory courses, the basic goals are to get students to learn how to think like a scientist and to understand some fundamental disciplinary concepts.  They can still get this if they're, for example, learning how to use a microscope in theory but not actually turning a physical knob. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on May 13, 2020, 09:06:04 PM
But I think the question for a lot of us is, "After I've done all of this work to make reasonable virtual labs, are there at least a subset of students (such as non-majors) who might want to take this course that would get reasonable value from the virtual version?"

There might be a surprising number of cases where the answer is a qualified yes.

This has been a part of my thinking/planning. We have majors courses where the hands-on practical skills in lab really are a critical part of what students need to get out of the course, and will be expected to have when they transfer.  But in the non-majors introductory courses, the basic goals are to get students to learn how to think like a scientist and to understand some fundamental disciplinary concepts.  They can still get this if they're, for example, learning how to use a microscope in theory but not actually turning a physical knob.

I am still waiting to hear how my community college will conduct online courses in welding and auto repair.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 13, 2020, 09:22:09 PM
Quote
I am still waiting to hear how my community college will conduct online courses in welding and auto repair.

I saw an example on The Music Man!  They are going to use 'The Think Method'! 
It all worked out for everyone there! Especially Marian The Librarian!
 

It also worked out for Ron "Opie Cunningham" Howard!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on May 13, 2020, 10:15:49 PM
But I think the question for a lot of us is, "After I've done all of this work to make reasonable virtual labs, are there at least a subset of students (such as non-majors) who might want to take this course that would get reasonable value from the virtual version?"

There might be a surprising number of cases where the answer is a qualified yes.

This has been a part of my thinking/planning. We have majors courses where the hands-on practical skills in lab really are a critical part of what students need to get out of the course, and will be expected to have when they transfer.  But in the non-majors introductory courses, the basic goals are to get students to learn how to think like a scientist and to understand some fundamental disciplinary concepts.  They can still get this if they're, for example, learning how to use a microscope in theory but not actually turning a physical knob.

I am still waiting to hear how my community college will conduct online courses in welding and auto repair.

Ugh, yeah.  We're looking to have limited return to in-person teaching for prof-tech programs for late spring and into summer.  They're higher up the list than science labs.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 13, 2020, 11:50:19 PM
Wouldn't welding gear offer pretty good coronavirus protection?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Aster on May 13, 2020, 11:53:16 PM
All of the For-Credit, clinicum and practicum based coursework at Big Urban College is being converted to remote for the Fall. But students will be keeping their assigned class meeting times for possible synchronous instruction. Actually, we *really* just kept the assigned class meeting times as we always use, and we reuse the same plan every semester, and nobody wanted to mess with it.

Our certification and licensure vo-tech programs will proceed with on-campus instruction as needed for professional certification requirements, same as sprout's. But not the For-Credit courses that teach similar critical professional training skillsets, noooooo we're just gonna slap that junk online. It's disappointing too see how poorly valued the professional training of For-Credit courses has recently been viewed. I feel that perhaps too much Ivory Tower Syndrome in the last decades has left the Academy rather complacent in either caring about or properly communicating the importance of clinicum and practicum based coursework. I wince every single time our state governor gets on the podium and flippantly states "Oh, we're just moving all instruction online" like classroom instruction is nothing more than a whimsical preference. I doubt he's ever taken an online course in his life, and his kids are like most upper class kids and schooled in nice fancy classroom-based schools and never touch an online anything except as a novelty or accessory.

I'm also disappointed and surprised that hands-on, professional skill training for 4-week certificate programs are viewed as mandatory, but hands-on, professional training for 4-year bachelor's degree programs are given a shrug and a Zoom account and told to Fake It Until You Make It. Maybe that demonstrated just how much greater political pull the wham-bam certificate programs have vs. the full college degrees. Or maybe it's just a heck of a lot easier for universities to articulate the short list of professional training that goes into a 4-week certificate course vs. the convoluted but order-of-magnitude greater professional training in a 4-year technical or applied sciences degree. Sort of like reading a sentence fragment vs. reading a paragraph.

Or, the vo-tech courses just happen to have a lot less students in them, and it's possible to actually bring them onto campus. So, it's a choice between giving nice things to some students, vs. not giving nice things to any students at all. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 14, 2020, 04:33:07 AM


To have any shred of credibility, they need to publicize the conditions under which they'd revert to virtual before the term starts. This time it was unforseeable, but in the Fall it is not only forseeable, but with significant probability. (For instance, here they announced Friday after classes were done that as of Monday we'd be virtual. Not even a day to get ready. This time it's understandable. In the Fall that sort of thing would be grossly incompetent.)



They don't need a crystal ball; for months the prediction has been that a vaccine won't likely be available until at least mid to late 2021, and until then more outbreaks are a real threat. To open before then is a calculated risk. If it's carefully planned, then the plans should be made public as much as possible to avoid blindsiding everyone if the situation warrants another shutdown.

Sure, I agree about that. The actual plans for classes my uni has seem ok in terms of allowing more physical distancing and protecting people at higher risk. The part that I haven't seen anything about is under what conditions we wouldn't  have in person classes. It seems possible that we may have to learn to think of this almost the way we think of weather. Classes could be suspended for a week, or two and then come back in some circumstances. That still would probably be on short notice, but the key would be clarity about the triggers for these things.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on May 14, 2020, 05:26:00 AM
It seems possible that we may have to learn to think of this almost the way we think of weather. Classes could be suspended for a week, or two and then come back in some circumstances. That still would probably be on short notice, but the key would be clarity about the triggers for these things.

This is actually one of the worst solutions, as has been discussed recently in a variety of higher ed places with experts who are doing the planning, running scenarios, and talking through the situation in consultation with other relevant experts.

insidehighered.com is free to all readers. (https://www.insidehighered.com)

The Chronicle of Higher Education often posts links to the free version of articles through its Twitter account (@chronicle). (https://twitter.com/chronicle)

Stop reading "the news" with its oversimplified versions of everything and go read something that has sufficient nuance to be worthwhile as background.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on May 14, 2020, 05:45:33 AM
Lab accommodations for visual impaired students might be a starting point for on line labs.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 14, 2020, 06:21:57 AM
It seems possible that we may have to learn to think of this almost the way we think of weather. Classes could be suspended for a week, or two and then come back in some circumstances. That still would probably be on short notice, but the key would be clarity about the triggers for these things.

This is actually one of the worst solutions, as has been discussed recently in a variety of higher ed places with experts who are doing the planning, running scenarios, and talking through the situation in consultation with other relevant experts.

insidehighered.com is free to all readers. (https://www.insidehighered.com)

The Chronicle of Higher Education often posts links to the free version of articles through its Twitter account (@chronicle). (https://twitter.com/chronicle)

Stop reading "the news" with its oversimplified versions of everything and go read something that has sufficient nuance to be worthwhile as background.

This is an argument from authority. Why am I wrong that it might be necessary to think of disruptions in classes as a new normal? Everybody who you consider reputable who you've read in Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle thinks so! Since I don't think so, I must be an ignorant person.

Your commitment to logical fallacies of various sorts is what makes you such a toxic presence on this forum. It spins discussions off into totally unproductive avenues. I'm tempted to tell you that, in fact, I read all kinds of things, and that I often find Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle annoying and useless in various ways. But, then I'm the person telling everyone that, actually, I read the Atlantic and I find the Chronicle rather tiresome...Who gives a crap about that?

Of course what you aren't doing is actually engaging. Of course there's an argument to be made that disruptions would be too chaotic or too damaging. Why don't you tell us about it? If you've seen arguments like this you found compelling you could link to them. Then we could, you know, discuss them.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 14, 2020, 06:31:39 AM


To have any shred of credibility, they need to publicize the conditions under which they'd revert to virtual before the term starts. This time it was unforseeable, but in the Fall it is not only forseeable, but with significant probability. (For instance, here they announced Friday after classes were done that as of Monday we'd be virtual. Not even a day to get ready. This time it's understandable. In the Fall that sort of thing would be grossly incompetent.)



They don't need a crystal ball; for months the prediction has been that a vaccine won't likely be available until at least mid to late 2021, and until then more outbreaks are a real threat. To open before then is a calculated risk. If it's carefully planned, then the plans should be made public as much as possible to avoid blindsiding everyone if the situation warrants another shutdown.

Sure, I agree about that. The actual plans for classes my uni has seem ok in terms of allowing more physical distancing and protecting people at higher risk. The part that I haven't seen anything about is under what conditions we wouldn't  have in person classes. It seems possible that we may have to learn to think of this almost the way we think of weather. Classes could be suspended for a week, or two and then come back in some circumstances. That still would probably be on short notice, but the key would be clarity about the triggers for these things.

This would be a nightmare for labs. All of the labs build on one another, working up (often) to some sort of culminating activity or project. Some activities can be done virtually, others can't. If labs are going to be virtual, then they can't all be drop-in replacements for in-person labs. So you either need to design a complete sequence of virtual labs, with appropriate culminating activities, OR you need to have all the labs in-person with the in-person culminating activities.

Anyone who doesn't get that has no clue about how labs work.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 14, 2020, 07:22:03 AM


To have any shred of credibility, they need to publicize the conditions under which they'd revert to virtual before the term starts. This time it was unforseeable, but in the Fall it is not only forseeable, but with significant probability. (For instance, here they announced Friday after classes were done that as of Monday we'd be virtual. Not even a day to get ready. This time it's understandable. In the Fall that sort of thing would be grossly incompetent.)



They don't need a crystal ball; for months the prediction has been that a vaccine won't likely be available until at least mid to late 2021, and until then more outbreaks are a real threat. To open before then is a calculated risk. If it's carefully planned, then the plans should be made public as much as possible to avoid blindsiding everyone if the situation warrants another shutdown.

Sure, I agree about that. The actual plans for classes my uni has seem ok in terms of allowing more physical distancing and protecting people at higher risk. The part that I haven't seen anything about is under what conditions we wouldn't  have in person classes. It seems possible that we may have to learn to think of this almost the way we think of weather. Classes could be suspended for a week, or two and then come back in some circumstances. That still would probably be on short notice, but the key would be clarity about the triggers for these things.

This would be a nightmare for labs. All of the labs build on one another, working up (often) to some sort of culminating activity or project. Some activities can be done virtually, others can't. If labs are going to be virtual, then they can't all be drop-in replacements for in-person labs. So you either need to design a complete sequence of virtual labs, with appropriate culminating activities, OR you need to have all the labs in-person with the in-person culminating activities.

Anyone who doesn't get that has no clue about how labs work.

I'm not in STEM, so that's true enough. Look, the disruptions could be a big problem. Obviously, that needs to be factored into any decisions about in person classes. The problem is that there's no way for anyone to have much confidence that this is going to go away anytime real soon. That doesn't mean that having fall classes is the right decision for any particular school. Maybe it is the wrong decision for all of them. However, I don't think it works to just say that we can't have classes if we don't know if there might be disruptions as a general principle.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: the_geneticist on May 14, 2020, 09:05:45 AM


To have any shred of credibility, they need to publicize the conditions under which they'd revert to virtual before the term starts. This time it was unforseeable, but in the Fall it is not only forseeable, but with significant probability. (For instance, here they announced Friday after classes were done that as of Monday we'd be virtual. Not even a day to get ready. This time it's understandable. In the Fall that sort of thing would be grossly incompetent.)



They don't need a crystal ball; for months the prediction has been that a vaccine won't likely be available until at least mid to late 2021, and until then more outbreaks are a real threat. To open before then is a calculated risk. If it's carefully planned, then the plans should be made public as much as possible to avoid blindsiding everyone if the situation warrants another shutdown.

Sure, I agree about that. The actual plans for classes my uni has seem ok in terms of allowing more physical distancing and protecting people at higher risk. The part that I haven't seen anything about is under what conditions we wouldn't  have in person classes. It seems possible that we may have to learn to think of this almost the way we think of weather. Classes could be suspended for a week, or two and then come back in some circumstances. That still would probably be on short notice, but the key would be clarity about the triggers for these things.

This would be a nightmare for labs. All of the labs build on one another, working up (often) to some sort of culminating activity or project. Some activities can be done virtually, others can't. If labs are going to be virtual, then they can't all be drop-in replacements for in-person labs. So you either need to design a complete sequence of virtual labs, with appropriate culminating activities, OR you need to have all the labs in-person with the in-person culminating activities.

Anyone who doesn't get that has no clue about how labs work.

As someone who's entire job is based on designing labs, this 1000%.

Our administration is pushing the idea that classes need to have both an in-person and "remote" option.  Pair that with the ideas that "no student can be made to attend in-person", "no instructor can be made to teach in-person", and we "maintain social distancing in classrooms".  Our lab rooms normally have 24 students.  With social distancing of 6', we could fit at most 6 students.  Any of whom could decide on any given day that they do not feel safe going to class, including the TA.  Some of the labs that we teach in person CANNOT be taught online and I've had to swap them out for other activities (e.g. a diving physiology lab with students as the divers).  This is a logistical nightmare of EPIC proportions.  There is no way to do this that is not horrible disruptive at best, deadly at worst. 
I refuse to put my TAs in an unsafe situation by asking them to teach in-person.  I refuse to more than double their workload (and mine!) by asking them to teach 2 versions of their classes.
We will be teaching 100% online labs in Fall.  The Admin folks will realize it eventually. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Aster on May 14, 2020, 09:14:24 AM
We're in a temporary emergency. Colleges are operating in a temporary emergency. Everyone is extremely unhappy. It is a terrible environment for teaching. It is a terrible environment for learning.

Just do the best you can, under the circumstances. I'm planning on throwing out nearly all of the remote-converted curriculum I'm using now and will use in the Fall. I don't need it and I don't want it. It's a band-aid. It works well enough for the emergency.

But unless you actually are wanting to migrate your courses permanently into fully online instruction, don't work yourself into a pother trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Students are going to be highly stressed and pissed no matter how bad or how good your remote curriculum is.

Like Caracal said, colleges are not going to stop offering courses this Fall. While many are doing that for the summer, summers represent a tiny sliver of college revenues. The true meat and potatoes of college educations are the traditional academic terms.

Most clinicum and practicum courses are going to be an educational write-off. They'll be "offered", but in online format. Outside of certain academic disciplines that don't actually require experiential or hands-on training, only noob professors and unqualified administrators would attest that online-converted clinicum and practicum coursesare equivalent or even adequate. Most of the government regulators (e.g. Department of Education) and professional consultation groups (e.g. American Chemical Society) understand this, hence the waivers and "special circumstances" language they've inserted into their webpages.

Worrying about things that we cannot control well (or at all) might not be the best use of our time. Over the last week, I've come to the realization that my time is probably better spent thinking not for the summer or Fall, but for what we'll do *immediately after* the pandemic is over and students can return to campus and return to feelings of normalcy. There is going to be a crap ton of remediation needing temporary embedding into many, many courses. Almost all students will be less prepared in their degree plans and majors as a consequence of courses they've taken during the pandemic. While there is only so much that we and students can do for those pandemic courses, remediation afterwards may be the better way to deal with the situation.

Graduating seniors are still hozed, though.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 14, 2020, 10:26:35 AM

As someone who's entire job is based on designing labs, this 1000%.

Nice to have a kindred spirit.

Quote
Our administration is pushing the idea that classes need to have both an in-person and "remote" option.  Pair that with the ideas that "no student can be made to attend in-person", "no instructor can be made to teach in-person", and we "maintain social distancing in classrooms".  Our lab rooms normally have 24 students.  With social distancing of 6', we could fit at most 6 students.

I'd say that's probably the typical scenario for most of the disciplines I'm familiar with; a lab with more than 40 or so would be VERY unusual. As far as distancing goes, there's not 6' between the rows of lab benches in most of my labs, (at least not when there are people AT the benches), so the situation is marginal at best.

Quote
Any of whom could decide on any given day that they do not feel safe going to class, including the TA.

That is insane.

Quote
Some of the labs that we teach in person CANNOT be taught online and I've had to swap them out for other activities (e.g. a diving physiology lab with students as the divers).  This is a logistical nightmare of EPIC proportions.  There is no way to do this that is not horrible disruptive at best, deadly at worst. 
I refuse to put my TAs in an unsafe situation by asking them to teach in-person.  I refuse to more than double their workload (and mine!) by asking them to teach 2 versions of their classes.
We will be teaching 100% online labs in Fall. The Admin folks will realize it eventually.

For my course with about 240 students, there are already 13 lab sections. If we cut those in half for distancing, then the labs for that single course become a kind of instructor purgatory where I'd be doomed for the entire term. Completely virtual is the only remotely workable option.

Looking at my existing learning objectives, I can achieve about 80% of them virtually, and there are a few things I can do virtually that I wouldn't do in person. (Like having them do things that are "wrong" and seeing the outcome.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: the_geneticist on May 14, 2020, 04:36:55 PM
The big question is, when will they tell the students that their large-enrollment classes (i.e. ALL of their lower level courses) will be online?  Registration starts on Monday. . . .
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: histchick on May 14, 2020, 05:37:16 PM
Suggests 70% of schools are planning to be in-person in the fall.

That many campuses fully in-person seems unlikely.  More likely to have at least 70% mostly online for fall.  "Mostly online" meaning a few exceptions for particular programs with restricted time and conditions on campus.

I applaud Cal State for making the decision public now so that 500,000 students, faculty, and staff can plan accordingly.

Many universities start up in late August.  Make the decision and let people know by June 15.

This.  I'm in a system that starts in mid-August.  The party line is that we're planning to be face-to-face in the fall.  Unofficially, many plans are being made to continue most classes online. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: PhilRunner on May 15, 2020, 04:17:54 AM
I keep waiting for someone to explain how students are supposed to occupy residence halls safely. I just read the newly released CDC guidelines for higher education, and they presume that there are no cases on campus at the start of opening in the fall. We're going to be bringing 20,000+ people into our community and campus from other areas. Are people building plans on the presumption that none of those 20,000 will bring the coronavirus onto campus? Will students be expected to isolate for 2 weeks in their dorms to set a baseline before resuming classes? Will students be expected to isolate with their roommates? Given how much interpersonal work is required, especially during the immediacy of crises that erupt, how can we ask students to be RAs under these circumstances? There are so many baseline questions that people aren't answering. All of the documents I've read fail to take on detailed analyses. This is maddening.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 15, 2020, 07:41:23 AM
I keep waiting for someone to explain how students are supposed to occupy residence halls safely. I just read the newly released CDC guidelines for higher education, and they presume that there are no cases on campus at the start of opening in the fall. We're going to be bringing 20,000+ people into our community and campus from other areas. Are people building plans on the presumption that none of those 20,000 will bring the coronavirus onto campus? Will students be expected to isolate for 2 weeks in their dorms to set a baseline before resuming classes? Will students be expected to isolate with their roommates? Given how much interpersonal work is required, especially during the immediacy of crises that erupt, how can we ask students to be RAs under these circumstances? There are so many baseline questions that people aren't answering. All of the documents I've read fail to take on detailed analyses. This is maddening.

I tried to look for the new guidance and all I found was an article that said they hadn't issued any new guidance yet for higher ed.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 15, 2020, 07:55:17 AM
I keep waiting for someone to explain how students are supposed to occupy residence halls safely. I just read the newly released CDC guidelines for higher education, and they presume that there are no cases on campus at the start of opening in the fall. We're going to be bringing 20,000+ people into our community and campus from other areas. Are people building plans on the presumption that none of those 20,000 will bring the coronavirus onto campus? Will students be expected to isolate for 2 weeks in their dorms to set a baseline before resuming classes? Will students be expected to isolate with their roommates?

Even these things would be basically pointless unless all of the students are essentially locked in for the entire term; no going off campus on weekends, including going home. And of course, students couldn't live off campus for the same reason.


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 15, 2020, 08:30:06 AM
I keep waiting for someone to explain how students are supposed to occupy residence halls safely. I just read the newly released CDC guidelines for higher education, and they presume that there are no cases on campus at the start of opening in the fall. We're going to be bringing 20,000+ people into our community and campus from other areas. Are people building plans on the presumption that none of those 20,000 will bring the coronavirus onto campus? Will students be expected to isolate for 2 weeks in their dorms to set a baseline before resuming classes? Will students be expected to isolate with their roommates?

Even these things would be basically pointless unless all of the students are essentially locked in for the entire term; no going off campus on weekends, including going home. And of course, students couldn't live off campus for the same reason.

I really don't think anybody is making plans on the basis that it would be possible to create some sort of student bubble. Or, at least, I haven't seen that anywhere. I think this hits on two points that seem to get lost in this whole discussion.

1. All or this is heavily dependent on the national and local situations and nobody actually knows what that will be in September. If cases aren't at a manageable level, most schools aren't going to have in person classes.

2. The goal isn't perfect safety, its risk reduction and management. If you're a big campus open in the fall, there will almost certainly be some COVID cases. The question is whether it is possible to make dorms and campus environments places where you don't have rapid spread. I don't have any insight on how possible that is, but that's the question. Of course, that is heavily connected to the success of contact tracing and modifications of behavior, in general.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on May 15, 2020, 09:34:38 AM
Quote
The goal isn't perfect safety, its risk reduction and management.

From what I am hearing on MY campus, it is about Opening with Face to Face offerings in some form So That we can justify our tuition costs and generate revenues in the dorms and garage.

Yes, my dean included budget concerns that included justifications for opening campus (even in some hybrid half of the class meets on one day and the other half gets the same lecture on Wednesday.  The other part of our contact hours are done online).  The budget concerns included that there are bond issues that must be paid on several academic buildings (including ours), the dorm buildings and the parking garage.  If we dont have students in the dorms that debt has to be paid from general revenue rather than dorm related revenues.  Same problem with the garage.  No one comes to campus, no one buys a parking pass!

So... Safety seems to be at best a secondary if not a tertiary issue.  Further evidence is that IF faculty have conditions that would prevent them from returning to campus, they should begin gathering doctor's certification of their conditions to support ADA applications!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 15, 2020, 10:20:45 AM
Quote
The goal isn't perfect safety, its risk reduction and management.

From what I am hearing on MY campus, it is about Opening with Face to Face offerings in some form So That we can justify our tuition costs and generate revenues in the dorms and garage.

Yes, my dean included budget concerns that included justifications for opening campus (even in some hybrid half of the class meets on one day and the other half gets the same lecture on Wednesday.  The other part of our contact hours are done online).  The budget concerns included that there are bond issues that must be paid on several academic buildings (including ours), the dorm buildings and the parking garage.  If we dont have students in the dorms that debt has to be paid from general revenue rather than dorm related revenues.  Same problem with the garage.  No one comes to campus, no one buys a parking pass!

So... Safety seems to be at best a secondary if not a tertiary issue.  Further evidence is that IF faculty have conditions that would prevent them from returning to campus, they should begin gathering doctor's certification of their conditions to support ADA applications!

I think that misses the point. Motivations aren't likely to matter that much. If students, as well as faculty, think that coming to campus is  likely to get them and people close to them sick, schools aren't going to be able to have in person classes. It won't matter how much the administration wants to sell parking passes, it isn't going to happen.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on May 15, 2020, 10:36:47 AM
The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves." (http://The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves.")

It doesn't say very much that's new, really, but it does point out the reality of student fees in college survival.

Rock and a hard place.

We are in one of those partially opened states.  My MIL's hairdresser had to open her business or miss making her house payment.  What else could she do?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: PhilRunner on May 15, 2020, 10:43:16 AM
Valid points. This CHE article asks important questions:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Case-Against-Reopening/248785?key=3nPk8ajeoU0Dy8ZoVQauE6CknsGdfLkzzAszZ4C9KD_9ieELrTXQPn5U4_AY_Bs7Y0JNSzh5MTV1cmZWWHduSUJRMWkxa2VHbGdRMXF1cURpbElwRVZ6TjI0RQ (https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Case-Against-Reopening/248785?key=3nPk8ajeoU0Dy8ZoVQauE6CknsGdfLkzzAszZ4C9KD_9ieELrTXQPn5U4_AY_Bs7Y0JNSzh5MTV1cmZWWHduSUJRMWkxa2VHbGdRMXF1cURpbElwRVZ6TjI0RQ)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 15, 2020, 10:59:10 AM
The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves." (http://The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves.")

It doesn't say very much that's new, really, but it does point out the reality of student fees in college survival.

Rock and a hard place.

We are in one of those partially opened states.  My MIL's hairdresser had to open her business or miss making her house payment.  What else could she do?

There are parts of this I completely agree with. However, I think it is illustrative of the way in which the poisonous politics around reopening have pushed people into extreme positions. It is easy to say, no elevated level of risk is acceptable, but, the problem is that it isn't true. We have to accept some risk if we're going to mitigate the secondary effects. This isn't an argument for reopening colleges in the fall. If it can't be done without fueling outbreaks it shouldn't happen. However, there are real costs to online classes and those costs have to be balanced against the harm.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 15, 2020, 11:07:22 AM
The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves." (http://The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves.")

Article sounds interesting, thanks.  Link doesn't work for me.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on May 15, 2020, 11:11:47 AM
Valid points. This CHE article asks important questions:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Case-Against-Reopening/248785?key=3nPk8ajeoU0Dy8ZoVQauE6CknsGdfLkzzAszZ4C9KD_9ieELrTXQPn5U4_AY_Bs7Y0JNSzh5MTV1cmZWWHduSUJRMWkxa2VHbGdRMXF1cURpbElwRVZ6TjI0RQ (https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Case-Against-Reopening/248785?key=3nPk8ajeoU0Dy8ZoVQauE6CknsGdfLkzzAszZ4C9KD_9ieELrTXQPn5U4_AY_Bs7Y0JNSzh5MTV1cmZWWHduSUJRMWkxa2VHbGdRMXF1cURpbElwRVZ6TjI0RQ)

Thanks.  Many important points.  Hope U decision makers are thinking carefully and methodically, not just monetarily.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on May 15, 2020, 11:19:40 AM
The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves." (http://The Atlantic just published "Colleges That Reopen Are Deluding Themselves.")

Article sounds interesting, thanks.  Link doesn't work for me.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/colleges-that-reopen-are-making-a-big-mistake/611485/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on May 27, 2020, 10:33:03 AM
So, last month I participated in a community COVID-19 screening hosted by a local doctor's office.  Each participant was assured that insurance would cover it.  I got my throat swabbed and, as expected, received a negative result.

Now I find that I'm being billed well over two thousand dollars for that procedure!  I've had to spend part of the morning contacting the insurance office to try to see what's going on.  I've also called the doctor's office to ask whether any of the other two hundred-odd people who had this screening have gotten any strange bills.  They said that they'd had no other complaints.  Nor could they figure out how a $140 lab fee eligible for insurance turned into a bill of over two grand.

My guess is that somehow a bunch of tests from that day got rolled into one giant bill and randomly dropped on me.  I know that one way or another I'm not going to end up having to pay that ridiculous bill...but really!  I've had to waste time and energy dealing with this, and am not done yet.  This makes me not want to participate in any future community screenings.  I had no particular reason to suspect I had the virus.  I just joined in to try to be a good citizen by providing another data point.  And this is what happens!  Goof-ups like this are going to discourage the necessary business of community testing.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 27, 2020, 10:45:54 AM
So, last month I participated in a community COVID-19 screening hosted by a local doctor's office.  Each participant was assured that insurance would cover it.  I got my throat swabbed and, as expected, received a negative result.

Now I find that I'm being billed well over two thousand dollars for that procedure!  I've had to spend part of the morning contacting the insurance office to try to see what's going on.  I've also called the doctor's office to ask whether any of the other two hundred-odd people who had this screening have gotten any strange bills.  They said that they'd had no other complaints.  Nor could they figure out how a $140 lab fee eligible for insurance turned into a bill of over two grand.

My guess is that somehow a bunch of tests from that day got rolled into one giant bill and randomly dropped on me.  I know that one way or another I'm not going to end up having to pay that ridiculous bill...but really!  I've had to waste time and energy dealing with this, and am not done yet.  This makes me not want to participate in any future community screenings.  I had no particular reason to suspect I had the virus.  I just joined in to try to be a good citizen by providing another data point.  And this is what happens!  Goof-ups like this are going to discourage the necessary business of community testing.

Yes, but you had the freedom to choose your local doctor's office, and to get tested. You can't put a price on that! Besides, it was just more efficient to bundle the bills together and roll a D20 to figure out who pays for it. Also: choices have consequences.

(/sarcasm, in case it wasn't clear! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that BS, especially since it's time that would be better spent on almost anything else. I'm constantly amazed by the time and energy my partner, who's American and not yet a permanent resident here, has to put into getting medical stuff reimbursed.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 27, 2020, 12:15:03 PM

(/sarcasm, in case it wasn't clear! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that BS, especially since it's time that would be better spent on almost anything else. I'm constantly amazed by the time and energy my partner, who's American and not yet a permanent resident here, has to put into getting medical stuff reimbursed.)

Yeah, usually the argument to have services delivered by the private sector instead of by the government is to reduce beaureacracy, but I never cease to be amazed at the indredible amount of red tape Americans put up with for a more "efficient" private system.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on May 27, 2020, 01:06:19 PM

(/sarcasm, in case it wasn't clear! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that BS, especially since it's time that would be better spent on almost anything else. I'm constantly amazed by the time and energy my partner, who's American and not yet a permanent resident here, has to put into getting medical stuff reimbursed.)

Yeah, usually the argument to have services delivered by the private sector instead of by the government is to reduce beaureacracy, but I never cease to be amazed at the indredible amount of red tape Americans put up with for a more "efficient" private system.

And that's going to be the death of our private healthcare.  Eventually their foolishness, inefficiency, and profiteering are going to turn the public so overwhelmingly against them that we'll end up with some kind of drastic government action.  I just hope that when it comes it will be well-considered action.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on May 27, 2020, 01:37:26 PM

And that's going to be the death of our private healthcare.  Eventually their foolishness, inefficiency, and profiteering are going to turn the public so overwhelmingly against them that we'll end up with some kind of drastic government action.  I just hope that when it comes it will be well-considered action.

If only that were true. But US health insurance has been a disgrace for at least 30 years, making people's lives miserable, forcing them to bankruptcy, and screwing them over. The US has been paying at least twice as much more per person on average for health care than any other country and often much more than that. The US has fairly low life expectancy compared to most of its peers.

There is a will to improve things, and Obamacare was able to draw on that. But the forces keeping the insurance companies in power are extremely powerful. Maybe there will be some change for the better, but it is often one step forward and two steps back.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 27, 2020, 02:02:31 PM
The institutionalisation of the elderly (and the Covid disaster) in old folks' homes seems to have happened everywhere, regardless of type of healthcare system. I'd like to see whether how we care for the elderly gets changed as a result of the pandemic.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on May 27, 2020, 02:08:37 PM
The institutionalisation of the elderly (and the Covid disaster) in old folks' homes seems to have happened everywhere, regardless of type of healthcare system. I'd like to see whether how we care for the elderly gets changed as a result of the pandemic.

One interesting factor is how much, within a given gepgraphical region, the covid infection and death rates vary between different homes. For instance, here, half of the deaths have come from one single home. From what I see on the news, that seems common.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 27, 2020, 02:40:36 PM
The US has been paying at least twice as much more per person on average for health care than any other country and often much more than that.

IIRC, it's twice as much in public dollars. When you factor in private dollars, too, then it becomes much, much more. (This little tidbit is always left out of the discussion.)

Sorry. Back to your regularly-scheduled thread programming!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on May 27, 2020, 02:44:08 PM
The institutionalisation of the elderly (and the Covid disaster) in old folks' homes seems to have happened everywhere, regardless of type of healthcare system. I'd like to see whether how we care for the elderly gets changed as a result of the pandemic.

There is a fair amount of variation. (ref (https://watermark.silverchair.com/26-suppl_2-3.pdf))  Iceland and Demmark put more of their elderly into residential and nursing homes, while Italy and Japan put less in.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on May 28, 2020, 07:22:47 AM
One of our local families has now gained a reputation as a nest of super-spreaders.  Apparently last week the family's graduating senior went with a bunch of friends on an overnight senior trip or house party.  Members of the family also attended a funeral.  As of Tuesday, the word was out that four members of the family had tested positive for COVID-19.  A host of people they had been in contact with were being advised to quarantine.  There's speculation that our county is about to experience a blow-up of cases.  The sociable family is being roundly condemned on social media for their criminal negligence.

And yet...as of this morning the state's CDC site didn't list any more confirmed cases for our county than the handful that were there before this all got started.  This has some distrusting the official numbers.  But our state's governor--unlike some I can think of--has never given the impression of trying to soft-pedal or dismiss the crisis.  He took action early, and has been faithfully giving daily updates of the epidemic's progress in the state.  Dr. Fauci has gone on record as commending his administration's response.  And we are one of the few states that has thus far seen no increase in overall deaths between now and this time last year.  All of which suggests that our state and local officials aren't covering up anything, or probably missing very much.

I now suspect that our alleged super-spreader family has been a victim of the social media rumor mill.  Innocent or not, it looks like their names will be mud for a while.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Morden on May 28, 2020, 07:56:47 AM
Quote
One interesting factor is how much, within a given gepgraphical region, the covid infection and death rates vary between different homes. For instance, here, half of the deaths have come from one single home. From what I see on the news, that seems common.
Yes! All care homes are vulnerable, but some care homes have done a much better job at controlling the spread and caring for their residents.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 28, 2020, 08:22:08 AM
I now suspect that our alleged super-spreader family has been a victim of the social media rumor mill.  Innocent or not, it looks like their names will be mud for a while.

This is my issue with the track and trace programs. People will point to South Korea or Singapore, saying "why can't we be like that?" with their app notifications of where infected people are etc: no apparent grasp that this would play out VERY DIFFERENTLY in other countries (vigilantism, harassment, etc).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 28, 2020, 12:30:14 PM
I just noticed that my brother posted a pic on FB showing his kids with other kids and families at a beach party. Why???
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on May 28, 2020, 02:41:13 PM
Quote
One interesting factor is how much, within a given gepgraphical region, the covid infection and death rates vary between different homes. For instance, here, half of the deaths have come from one single home. From what I see on the news, that seems common.
Yes! All care homes are vulnerable, but some care homes have done a much better job at controlling the spread and caring for their residents.

I was talking with a friend yesterday whose parents are in assisted living.  They are required to stay in their unit 23 hours a day.  All meals are brought to them.  In homes with a common dining area, I can well imagine that the risk would be far higher. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Morden on May 28, 2020, 03:12:52 PM
Quote
I was talking with a friend yesterday whose parents are in assisted living.  They are required to stay in their unit 23 hours a day.  All meals are brought to them.  In homes with a common dining area, I can well imagine that the risk would be far higher.
Some places seem to have good infectious disease protocols and others don't. My dad is in a long term care home; staff wear masks when interacting with the residents; staff work in the same unit all the time; there is an isolation ward for those who show symptoms; there is regular testing; they set up multiple smaller dining areas rather than gather everyone together, etc. We were just really lucky that he wound up there rather than in some of the other care homes in the city.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on May 29, 2020, 07:51:55 AM
It turns out that our reported local family of super-spreaders weren't just victims of the rumor mill.  They've publicly said that four members of the family have tested positive.  They got tested across the state line, which has created a bureaucratic delay in getting them added to our local positive test figures. 

These next couple of weeks are going to be interesting.  I know of at least one church that had planned to start having socially-distanced worship services this Sunday that has now postponed their plans.  Our own church had planned to reopen for on-site worship in two weeks, with two services to spread people out.  That may end up pushed back as well.

I guess this whole thing will have the effect of curing a lot of local complacency about the ongoing need for protective measures. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 29, 2020, 09:41:52 AM
It turns out that our reported local family of super-spreaders weren't just victims of the rumor mill.  T

Epidemiologists prefer to talk about "super spreading events," rather than describing people as "super spreaders." This is a pretty good illustration as to why. It is easy to blame the kid who went to the party and might have spread the virus, but he couldn't have had the party by himself. Seems even more troublesome when you're talking about a family. Imagine being the member of the family who told everyone this funeral gathering was a bad idea and didn't go. Now everybody is identifying you as a member of this "super spreading family" because the virus spread at an event you didn't attend.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on May 29, 2020, 09:46:55 AM
It turns out that our reported local family of super-spreaders weren't just victims of the rumor mill.  T

Epidemiologists prefer to talk about "super spreading events," rather than describing people as "super spreaders." This is a pretty good illustration as to why. It is easy to blame the kid who went to the party and might have spread the virus, but he couldn't have had the party by himself. Seems even more troublesome when you're talking about a family. Imagine being the member of the family who told everyone this funeral gathering was a bad idea and didn't go. Now everybody is identifying you as a member of this "super spreading family" because the virus spread at an event you didn't attend.

That's true.  For all I know, they were all asymptomatic and had no inkling that anybody in the family was sick until too late.  No more guilty of carelessness than anybody else, but had the misfortune to be "It."
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on May 31, 2020, 05:14:07 AM
It turns out that our reported local family of super-spreaders weren't just victims of the rumor mill.  They've publicly said that four members of the family have tested positive.  They got tested across the state line, which has created a bureaucratic delay in getting them added to our local positive test figures. 

These next couple of weeks are going to be interesting.  I know of at least one church that had planned to start having socially-distanced worship services this Sunday that has now postponed their plans.  Our own church had planned to reopen for on-site worship in two weeks, with two services to spread people out.  That may end up pushed back as well.

I guess this whole thing will have the effect of curing a lot of local complacency about the ongoing need for protective measures.

Church across the road from me doesn't even pretend to social distance or wear masks. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on May 31, 2020, 11:17:44 AM
For all I know, they were all asymptomatic and had no inkling that anybody in the family was sick until too late.  No more guilty of carelessness than anybody else, but had the misfortune to be "It."
It's an unfortunate situation for that family -- both the illnesses and any unjustified harassment heaped on top of that -- but if there's a silver lining, perhaps it's that their experience may serve as a cautionary tale to others.  I hope it will be a reminder that asymptomatic people / people who don't know they're sick can spread the virus, and thus we should *all* assume we are potentially contagious and act accordingly (e.g. by distancing and wearing masks).

I am glad to hear that the churches near you are rethinking/postponing their in-person services in light of local transmission.  Disappointing from a craving-community standpoint, but sensible and loving from a "we are our brothers' keepers" and a community-is-more-than-physical standpoint.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on May 31, 2020, 12:12:05 PM
For all I know, they were all asymptomatic and had no inkling that anybody in the family was sick until too late.  No more guilty of carelessness than anybody else, but had the misfortune to be "It."
It's an unfortunate situation for that family -- both the illnesses and any unjustified harassment heaped on top of that -- but if there's a silver lining, perhaps it's that their experience may serve as a cautionary tale to others.  I hope it will be a reminder that asymptomatic people / people who don't know they're sick can spread the virus, and thus we should *all* assume we are potentially contagious and act accordingly (e.g. by distancing and wearing masks).

I am glad to hear that the churches near you are rethinking/postponing their in-person services in light of local transmission.  Disappointing from a craving-community standpoint, but sensible and loving from a "we are our brothers' keepers" and a community-is-more-than-physical standpoint.

Yeah, I think one of the things that I find frustrating is the way many people have a hard time with the idea that the only way we can manage to have things be tolerable for the foreseeable future is if we accept that things aren't going to be able to go back to normal. People need social interaction, kids need to go to school, but this stuff is only going to be possible if people aren't doing things that cause unnecessary risk. There's a long history of outside church services. Done with reasonable distancing, that should be reasonably low risk. If teenagers need to go hang out outside there should usually be places they can do that without huge risks.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 01, 2020, 05:13:22 AM
I'm pretty tired of all the blather about coming together in worship.  I come from a looooong line of preachers, several of whom where circuit riders, on horses, who would preach maybe once a month at various churches, weather permitting.  If you need a building and other people to support your faith, your faith is pretty weak.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 01, 2020, 07:15:43 AM
I'm pretty tired of all the blather about coming together in worship.  I come from a looooong line of preachers, several of whom where circuit riders, on horses, who would preach maybe once a month at various churches, weather permitting.  If you need a building and other people to support your faith, your faith is pretty weak.

Yeah, the camp meeting and the outdoor service were really huge parts of early evangelical worship styles. It made me think about whether it would be feasible to have outdoor classes sometimes. There's a giant almost entirely unused outdoor amphitheater tucked away in a weird corner of our campus. Alas, probably not feasible.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 01, 2020, 07:41:18 AM
I'm pretty tired of all the blather about coming together in worship.  I come from a looooong line of preachers, several of whom where circuit riders, on horses, who would preach maybe once a month at various churches, weather permitting.  If you need a building and other people to support your faith, your faith is pretty weak.

Yeah, the camp meeting and the outdoor service were really huge parts of early evangelical worship styles. It made me think about whether it would be feasible to have outdoor classes sometimes. There's a giant almost entirely unused outdoor amphitheater tucked away in a weird corner of our campus. Alas, probably not feasible.

Well, our town, despite the wonderful weather yesterday, has mostly had rainy Sundays since this started.  It's put a damper (so to speak) on several churches' efforts to hold outdoor services.  The churches around here have been trying hard to work around the public health emergency with social distancing, outdoor services, and remote online services.  Also with keeping the local food pantry supplied, and keeping tabs on elderly members and others who might need help during this time.  But of course that's not as newsworthy as the occasional self-important rabble-rouser pastor in Louisiana or somewhere seeking confrontation over their right to do exactly as they please.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on June 03, 2020, 11:29:40 AM
News outlets, when responding global CV19 figures, often mention that the U.S has suffered the greatest number of CV-19 related deaths. Can it be said that the U.S. has effected the greatest number, and or per cent, of successful recoveries, numbers of people tested, and other intepolatons and extrapolations related  to CV-19 worldwide?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on June 03, 2020, 11:51:45 AM
Yes, although surely recoveries, although obviously more desirable than deaths, are not as good as not getting it, particularly as the long-term effects are unkown.

In other news, Sweden admits the Swedish strategy failed:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52903717 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52903717)

As neighbors are reopening their borders to each other, Sweden has effectively been quarantined by Denmark and Norway. Sweden has been significantly more affected relative to population than the US and far more than any other Scandinavian country.
After having plateaued for a while, global daily new cases seem to be rising again; deaths per day had been falling but the fall appears to be stopping.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on June 03, 2020, 12:37:21 PM
News outlets, when responding global CV19 figures, often mention that the U.S has suffered the greatest number of CV-19 related deaths. Can it be said that the U.S. has effected the greatest number, and or per cent, of successful recoveries, numbers of people tested, and other intepolatons and extrapolations related  to CV-19 worldwide?
In absolute numbers, yes.  Per capita?  No.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 03, 2020, 01:37:52 PM
News outlets, when responding global CV19 figures, often mention that the U.S has suffered the greatest number of CV-19 related deaths. Can it be said that the U.S. has effected the greatest number, and or per cent, of successful recoveries, numbers of people tested, and other intepolatons and extrapolations related  to CV-19 worldwide?
In absolute numbers, yes.  Per capita?  No.

Focusing on absolute numbers doesn't make that much sense in general. The US is, thus far, the largest country that has had a really big outbreak. In terms of per capita deaths, the US is way below the worst hit European countries (The UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France) Some of the places that have been been able to control things are probably not reasonable comparisons to the US. New Zealand is two islands with about the population of the San Francisco metro area. There are some similar dynamics in some smaller European countries. Germany is in some ways probably the best example of a large country that has managed to contain the outbreak. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the US will end up having the most deaths in the long run. Things seem quite bad in Brazil.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on June 04, 2020, 07:55:08 AM
Definitely the US, relative to population, hasn't been nearly as badly hit as some parts of Europe.

Germany is in some ways probably the best example of a large country that has managed to contain the outbreak.

China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam have much better numbers relative to population than Germany does. New Zeland does have a big advantage in being an island nation (as is Japan) but then again, so is the UK (corona reached even Shetland and the Falklands) and, well, let's just say that the UK is clearly as solid as a Northern Rock.

Quote
Unfortunately, I'm not sure the US will end up having the most deaths in the long run. Things seem quite bad in Brazil.

In addition, things are also deteriorating rapidly in the Indian subcontinent, so I agree, I don't think the US will forever be the country with the most deaths. Certainly not by realistic estimates, as Mexico and Brazil seem to be massively undercounting.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on June 04, 2020, 12:19:00 PM
I'm pretty tired of all the blather about coming together in worship.  I come from a looooong line of preachers, several of whom where circuit riders, on horses, who would preach maybe once a month at various churches, weather permitting.  If you need a building and other people to support your faith, your faith is pretty weak.

The Bible clearly mandates corporate worship and specifically describes what ought to be done in a worship service. (Google the regulative principle of worship for more information.) That some Christians and Christian denominations disregard the Bible's teachings on this matter is beside the point.

I am not arguing (here) that temporarily closing churches was unnecessary. But I am arguing against the idea that "needing a building and other people" is a sign of weak faith. That's simple not true.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 04, 2020, 05:57:42 PM
The joy of the Lord is our strength.

What weakens faith is giving into despair and hopelessness. Dependence on anything other than God becomes idolatry. I don't need to judge the quality, consistency, or strength of another's faith--that's not my business, that's between them and God, unless they become harmful to others or themselves.

But claiming that an upheld (upside-down) Bible proves any attachment to faith, or that coming together into a building (when that action endangers oneself, those present, and all those they will interact with for the next foreseeable period of time) represents a higher order of creedal affirmation is misinformed.

God is love.

Enacted consideration of others is an important way of sharing and showing love, and creating a safe environment (by abstaining from causing anyone to enter an environment that has the greatest potential to become unsafe simply because of their presence) is a fuller expression of love than any other way I can think of.

There is in fact no direct NT commandment that requires communal worship...in fact, the number of times Jesus is depicted as going alone to pray alone uphold the validity of individual prayer and praise on their own terms. Gathering together can indeed be a blessing, but concrete material presence is not the only way--or the best way, in the present circumstances--to be together.

There are indeed OT commands to observe very specific moments, days, hours, and weeks of communal worship, in very specific tents or buildings, yes.

But one of the elements in the discussion between Peter and Paul in the council at Jerusalem was the disambiguation between Jewish practices that were still incumbent upon those baptised into the new faith--i.e., in Jesus as God's salvific representative on earth, and redemptive sacrifice thence ascended to Heaven--and those that were not.

Abstention from eating meat sacrificed to idols (so as not to injure others' consciences), and dismissal of the need for circumcision, as well as of the need for observing the ancient Hebraic dietary laws, were among the topics discussed. The need to meet in a specific place doesn't enter into it. Paul prays in prison. Philip witnesses to the eunuch in his chariot. Those liturgical moments were as valid as any that occurred in the church at Antioch, or Dura-Europas, or Rome. Inclusivity of forms and discernment of spirits were the point.

Many of Paul's, Peter's, John's, James' (and others') letters, as well, point out the new emphasis, not on the law, but on grace....and urged new churches to discern carefully among those coming to preach otherwise to them.

Putting someone "under the Law" to attend worship in a physical space when that attendance is so highly, potentially lethal to all, is blasphemous, as far as I'm concerned. It is in the same category as putting God to the test, which Jesus clearly points out to Satan is wrong, during the temptations following John's baptism of him.

Where communal worship threatens the lives of others, an insistence on its necessity (and guilting others into believing it to be necessary) is self-serving legalism (and more often tied to the money-grubbing desire to attract more contributions because in-person attendance is associated with same)*.

The Sabbath is made for humanity, we are not made for the Sabbath....and the value of remote worship is something I find myself attesting to every week: it now enables me to worship with a congregation I've missed for decades, because I don't live nearby anymore.

That alone has been blessing enough for me.

Morning prayer and evening praise hem the day around. Those can happen at home, in an armchair, on the back porch, alone or with a few others.

I can teach the history of liturgical architecture all the way through, but I don't venerate the buildings.   

God is not bound by an enclosed space, and while we definitely need other people of faith for encouragement, we do not need to enter such a space as te only means of discovering God's presence among us, or finding that consolation.


-=-=-=-=-
* Not in quite the same league as the "Gimme-for-Jesus" folks, but this was a practice even in the middle ages: the processions and chapels with named saints' worship arrangements funded the mills that ground the grain and drove the bread-making process that fed the clergy in the town I research, and probably many others.

And--while they would disclaim any politial relationship to Rome, there is also direct continuity between Tetzel's 1517 efforts to raise money for St. Peter's, and the televangelists who bankrupted my brother by promising him 'healing,' 'annointing,' and 'a special place in heaven' if he'd just make sizeable donations to fund their polyester leisure-suit wardrobe. (I once called all the ones I could find phone numbers for, and told them what they'd done. They agreed to remove him from their mailing lists, although I'm sure he just signed up for others.) - M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on June 04, 2020, 08:24:30 PM
Mamselle, what date (by which I mean what century) were the mills funded in this way? I have a professional reason for asking.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 05, 2020, 04:40:06 AM


Putting someone "under the Law" to attend worship in a physical space when that attendance is so highly, potentially lethal to all, is blasphemous, as far as I'm concerned. It is in the same category as putting God to the test, which Jesus clearly points out to Satan is wrong, during the temptations following John's baptism of him.

Where communal worship threatens the lives of others, an insistence on its necessity (and guilting others into believing it to be necessary) is self-serving legalism

There's a whole body of Jewish teaching that makes a very similar argument. Essentially, commandments are for life, so the duty to protect and preserve life supersedes all requirements. Normally, you shouldn't labor on the sabbath, which for Orthodox Jews involves very strict requirements, but if a life is in danger it should all be discarded. Some Rabbis argued that even considering the question of whether a life is truly in danger is a terrible mistake. If someone might be in danger, it is offensive to the very idea of biblical law to be standing around trying to decide how dire the situation is.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 05, 2020, 08:18:37 AM
I am arguing against the idea that "needing a building and other people" is a sign of weak faith. That's simple not true.

Yes, accusing people who are antsy to resume worship services of having "weak faith" is too harsh.  Those services are very important to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. 

My impression is that the great majority of churches (certainly in our community and state, and I suspect elsewhere) have recognized the need for some disruption of their usual practices due to quarantine.  Now that we're months into the disruption, they're having to make tough decisions about whether, when, and how to reopen.  Whatever decisions they make, they have in most cases put a good deal of thought into them. 

Part of showing grace is not always assuming the worst motivations of those who make decisions different from the ones we ourselves would have made in the same situation.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on June 05, 2020, 09:58:31 AM
The only differences between gathering for a church service and gathering for a protest are that

1) the Left thinks that the protests are valid and that church is invalid, and
2) politicians are afraid of the mob but are not afraid of churchgoers.

Unless one is ready to condemn protesters for their failure to social-distance, one's condemnation of churchgoers is rank hypocrisy and anti-religious bigotry.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on June 05, 2020, 10:34:23 AM
The only differences between gathering for a church service and gathering for a protest are that

1) the Left thinks that the protests are valid and that church is invalid, and
2) politicians are afraid of the mob but are not afraid of churchgoers.

Unless one is ready to condemn protesters for their failure to social-distance, one's condemnation of churchgoers is rank hypocrisy and anti-religious bigotry.

Can't say as I agree with that.  That cohort is a large part of the Republican Party's base.  Currying favor with them is a large component of Trump's re-election strategy.  The little photo op this week apparently went over well with the more vocal churchgoing among us.

That said, their demand to hold services and ignore basic public health requirements appear to be as much based in politics as such faith principles they may espouse.

I'm just another failed Catholic.  But to the extent the Vatican says much I'm interested in, the Pope's expectation that people come back to Mass when it's safe, is both sane and respects people's wish for participating in a faith community.  A Muslim friend of mine travels extensively internationally.  She is deeply religious, wears hijab, eats halal, and prays five times a day as Islam expects.  She once to told me that Islam may expect prayer five times a day, but if circumstances make that unreasonable (e.g. being at 38,000 feet), it is acceptable not to pray at that time.

Religion and politics have long seemed to be inextricably intertwined. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 05, 2020, 10:48:21 AM
Mamselle, what date (by which I mean what century) were the mills funded in this way? I have a professional reason for asking.

My work covered a study that ran from about the 12th c. to about the 14th. The actual time period may be longer on either side: those 2 centuries are just the period for which archives documents have been found in that place.

I can PM you with more details...

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 06, 2020, 09:30:12 AM
What is probably a chronic immune system response to Covid-19 infection:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/covid-19-coronavirus-longterm-symptoms-months/612679/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/covid-19-coronavirus-longterm-symptoms-months/612679/).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 06, 2020, 10:34:43 AM
Whoa.

Ties to fibro-myalgia-like issues are a serious worry.

Those can be lifelong.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 07, 2020, 06:11:12 AM
The only differences between gathering for a church service and gathering for a protest are that

1) the Left thinks that the protests are valid and that church is invalid, and
2) politicians are afraid of the mob but are not afraid of churchgoers.

Unless one is ready to condemn protesters for their failure to social-distance, one's condemnation of churchgoers is rank hypocrisy and anti-religious bigotry.

Did you notice that Trump held the Bible upside down and/or backwards? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 07, 2020, 07:33:37 AM
What is probably a chronic immune system response to Covid-19 infection:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/covid-19-coronavirus-longterm-symptoms-months/612679/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/covid-19-coronavirus-longterm-symptoms-months/612679/).

I feel like this is the kind of stuff that calls for both actual studies and concern, but also a healthy amount of skepticism, not towards individuals, but about the larger population effects. A lot of people in the United States have gotten Covid. It doesn't seem particularly surprising that some relatively small number of them have had lingering symptoms. I've had symptoms linger for months from run of the mill colds and I'm a youngish, basically healthy person. (Actually, this happened to me a lot more when I was in my 20s and I now think I might have had some version of air pollution induced asmtha or something which improved pretty dramatically when I moved). People get bad colds all the time and it ends up leading to pneumonia, so it isn't surprising that this severe disease can linger in various ways. However, this doesn't mean there is really any reason to think that this is going to be a major population wide problem down the road. I suspect when you can do actual studies, you'll find that these sorts of long term symptoms are fairly uncommon .
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: writingprof on June 07, 2020, 08:56:37 AM
The only differences between gathering for a church service and gathering for a protest are that

1) the Left thinks that the protests are valid and that church is invalid, and
2) politicians are afraid of the mob but are not afraid of churchgoers.

Unless one is ready to condemn protesters for their failure to social-distance, one's condemnation of churchgoers is rank hypocrisy and anti-religious bigotry.

Did you notice that Trump held the Bible upside down and/or backwards?

What does that have to do with anything?  I don't like the President and didn't vote for him.  One's feelings about Trump are immaterial to the argument I'm making.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 08, 2020, 05:08:37 AM
The only differences between gathering for a church service and gathering for a protest are that

1) the Left thinks that the protests are valid and that church is invalid, and
2) politicians are afraid of the mob but are not afraid of churchgoers.

Unless one is ready to condemn protesters for their failure to social-distance, one's condemnation of churchgoers is rank hypocrisy and anti-religious bigotry.

Did you notice that Trump held the Bible upside down and/or backwards?

What does that have to do with anything?  I don't like the President and didn't vote for him.  One's feelings about Trump are immaterial to the argument I'm making.

It's a simple question.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on June 08, 2020, 07:47:01 AM
New Zealand, with all of its special qualities, is "coronavirus-free" for now.  They hope to contain new cases.

"...no positive cases reported in the past 17 days. There has been no one receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19 for the past 12 days and it has been 40 days since the last case of community transmission."  -- CNN

Congrats to New Zealand!

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 11, 2020, 01:19:56 PM
Had an appalling incident at work earlier today.  A patron deliberately leaned around the sneeze guards at the circulation desk and breathed in a staff member's face.  Two staff members witnessed it.  I'm getting in touch with authorities to determine what kind of response to make.  At minimum a serious reprimand.  He may be looking at being banned.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 11, 2020, 01:55:01 PM
Had an appalling incident at work earlier today.  A patron deliberately leaned around the sneeze guards at the circulation desk and breathed in a staff member's face.  Two staff members witnessed it.  I'm getting in touch with authorities to determine what kind of response to make.  At minimum a serious reprimand.  He may be looking at being banned.

Ugh. Was he trying to breathe in his face, or was he just totally oblivious?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 11, 2020, 02:45:58 PM
On my campus we have a formal "incident report form" and that can trigger an investigation and could lead to probation, suspension, expulsion, or (worse) 'reeducation' where they may be required to write a paper on the dangers of what they did wrong.  (They try to push the 'reform' rather than the 'punish' side of things. )  BUT I Would certainly file such a form in this case!!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 11, 2020, 02:57:57 PM
Had an appalling incident at work earlier today.  A patron deliberately leaned around the sneeze guards at the circulation desk and breathed in a staff member's face.  Two staff members witnessed it.  I'm getting in touch with authorities to determine what kind of response to make.  At minimum a serious reprimand.  He may be looking at being banned.

Ugh. Was he trying to breathe in his face, or was he just totally oblivious?

According to both witnesses, it was quite deliberate.  When he did so, he was heard by both saying (of the sneeze guard) "That didn't stop it, did it?"
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 11, 2020, 03:00:46 PM
On my campus we have a formal "incident report form" and that can trigger an investigation and could lead to probation, suspension, expulsion, or (worse) 'reeducation' where they may be required to write a paper on the dangers of what they did wrong.  (They try to push the 'reform' rather than the 'punish' side of things. )  BUT I Would certainly file such a form in this case!!

We've got incident report and patron ban procedures in place as well.  I just got an e-mail from the state level with the opinion that it was a bannable offense.  Waiting to see what the higher-ups here say--but I'm reasonably sure that our Board of Trustees will back me up.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 11, 2020, 03:21:22 PM
On my campus we have a formal "incident report form" and that can trigger an investigation and could lead to probation, suspension, expulsion, or (worse) 'reeducation' where they may be required to write a paper on the dangers of what they did wrong.  (They try to push the 'reform' rather than the 'punish' side of things. )  BUT I Would certainly file such a form in this case!!

We've got incident report and patron ban procedures in place as well.  I just got an e-mail from the state level with the opinion that it was a bannable offense.  Waiting to see what the higher-ups here say--but I'm reasonably sure that our Board of Trustees will back me up.

Not only bannable, but I'd think actionable if the employee were inclined to press charges.

Given that no-one has absolute assurance that they're not infected, given the layers of asymptomatic potential, and the high potential for infection from respiration by-products, that was an assault.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 12, 2020, 04:54:24 AM
On my campus we have a formal "incident report form" and that can trigger an investigation and could lead to probation, suspension, expulsion, or (worse) 'reeducation' where they may be required to write a paper on the dangers of what they did wrong.  (They try to push the 'reform' rather than the 'punish' side of things. )  BUT I Would certainly file such a form in this case!!

We've got incident report and patron ban procedures in place as well.  I just got an e-mail from the state level with the opinion that it was a bannable offense.  Waiting to see what the higher-ups here say--but I'm reasonably sure that our Board of Trustees will back me up.

Not only bannable, but I'd think actionable if the employee were inclined to press charges.

Given that no-one has absolute assurance that they're not infected, given the layers of asymptomatic potential, and the high potential for infection from respiration by-products, that was an assault.

M.

A form of assault?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 12, 2020, 06:16:50 AM
On my campus we have a formal "incident report form" and that can trigger an investigation and could lead to probation, suspension, expulsion, or (worse) 'reeducation' where they may be required to write a paper on the dangers of what they did wrong.  (They try to push the 'reform' rather than the 'punish' side of things. )  BUT I Would certainly file such a form in this case!!

We've got incident report and patron ban procedures in place as well.  I just got an e-mail from the state level with the opinion that it was a bannable offense.  Waiting to see what the higher-ups here say--but I'm reasonably sure that our Board of Trustees will back me up.

Not only bannable, but I'd think actionable if the employee were inclined to press charges.

Given that no-one has absolute assurance that they're not infected, given the layers of asymptomatic potential, and the high potential for infection from respiration by-products, that was an assault.

M.

It would probably be hard to make it stick given that the risk of infection from just someone breathing on you for a few seconds is probably very low. Even so, it certainly is grounds for banning someone. He's deliberately trying to scare an employee and make them uncomfortable. That's hostile and anti-social behavior.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on June 12, 2020, 06:40:40 AM
Sounds like good news about the two Missouri hair stylists with COVID who saw 140 clients.  Reportedly, no one was infected.  Hope scientists can learn from this case.  Masks seem to be a big factor in preventing infection. 

I don't understand why people want to politicize mask wearing and why people can't be courteous and just wear one.  Masks save lives.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/11/us/missouri-hairstylists-coronavirus-clients-trnd/index.html
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 12, 2020, 08:08:36 AM
Working on the ban notice today.  The employee involved took me aside today and said that she was worried about what this volatile patron might do if anybody approaches him about it.  I reassured her that this isn't going to be an issue.  Our ban notice procedure calls for having the police serve notice to the banned patron at home.  He'll be informed that if he comes here again after that, we'll be calling the police.  Should he come in today, before I can get the ban notice out, the staff has been instructed to just bear with him, unless he pulls something else that goes over the line.

It may not look like it to the staff, but I've been putting in a lot of work yesterday and today to prepare the ban hammer to come down.  I'm confident that the city and Board of Trustees will back me up, but I've got i's to dot and t's to cross to make sure it's all done in accordance with procedure.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 12, 2020, 08:38:35 AM
Working on the ban notice today.  The employee involved took me aside today and said that she was worried about what this volatile patron might do if anybody approaches him about it.  I reassured her that this isn't going to be an issue.  Our ban notice procedure calls for having the police serve notice to the banned patron at home.  He'll be informed that if he comes here again after that, we'll be calling the police.  Should he come in today, before I can get the ban notice out, the staff has been instructed to just bear with him, unless he pulls something else that goes over the line.

It may not look like it to the staff, but I've been putting in a lot of work yesterday and today to prepare the ban hammer to come down.  I'm confident that the city and Board of Trustees will back me up, but I've got i's to dot and t's to cross to make sure it's all done in accordance with procedure.

You are doing something important -- protecting your colleagues and the public.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 12, 2020, 11:01:35 AM
Yes.

Be sure to reward yourself after all the eye-crossing and t-dotting is done.

That's a serious sevice to your community you're performing.

I've wondered lately if some of the resistance-polticization of mask-wearing is a subtly anti-Asian thing, too.

We get a lot of Asian visitors who have worn masks for years, and I know I've overheard them being derided for it in casual, public-transit-like settings in the past.

Might not be related at all. But it did occur to me.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 13, 2020, 08:12:32 AM
Getting the ban notice done ate most of my day yesterday!  Twice before when we've banned patrons we had the municipal police deliver the notice.  This avoids the need to tell the patron in person and create a scene, avoids the risk of a mailed notice being lost or going unread, and puts the patron under the ban on notice that we are very, very serious (And that he's now on law enforcement's radar). 

This time around the patron lived in the unincorporated "suburbs" beyond the city limits.  The municipal police informed me that this put the patron under the county sheriff's jurisdiction.  So, I contacted the sheriff's office.  After being handed off to four different people there in a row, the senior person present finally told me that they could not serve a notice unless it had been issued by the court.  They said I would need to get an order of exclusion from the circuit court's office before they could serve anything to anybody.  I called the circuit court office and was told that they could only issue such orders in domestic violence cases.  I would have to go up a level to the district court. 

At this point I realized that it would take an act of Congress to get this exclusion order.  Which is not what I really wanted in the first place.  I spent a while pondering my options.  None of them looked good.  Finally I called the municipal police again and asked to speak to the chief, with whom I'm acquainted because we're fellow city department heads.  He wasn't in, but they could have him call me back.  We finally got in touch sometime after lunch.  He heard me out as I explained what I was trying to do and why.  He said he'd contact the sheriff's department and see what he could do. 

Less than an hour later, a uniformed officer came to the library and took the ban order.  Not long afterward, one of the staff got a call from the patron.  He'd received it and was incredulous over being banned for breathing on somebody around a sneeze guard.  But he didn't cuss, protest, threaten, etc. 

All the delays meant that my e-mail report to the Board of Trustees didn't go out until nearly closing time.  So I haven't yet received their feedback.  I anticipate no problems there.  They've been good to back me in the past.  I'm now here on Saturday morning to try to finish up an unrelated project that I'd hoped to finish yesterday before getting distracted by this business. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 13, 2020, 09:33:20 AM
Glad you found a functional workaround...and had the appropriate good connections to get the ban put in place.

Maybe this will be a stepping-stone towards maturity in this patron's life-path.....(ahem).

I hope you get everything else done, and that you order yourself a nice, delivered lunch or dinner to a) save extra time and effort making a meal, and b) reward yourself for following through on such a difficult task.

Kudos.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 13, 2020, 12:20:10 PM
So, our neighbor is having a party with a lot of kids and a bouncy house. I'm not sure what to think.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Bonnie on June 13, 2020, 04:14:43 PM
So, our neighbor is having a party with a lot of kids and a bouncy house. I'm not sure what to think.

Bouncy houses really seem to be Phase Not There Yet. Enclosed small ish. Laughter and yelling and maybe crying. And snot, IIRC.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on June 13, 2020, 06:08:53 PM
I just had 2 Covid-19 tests this past week, one before entering the hospital and then another before having a procedure done.  The tests are not fun. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 15, 2020, 08:30:48 AM
Yesterday our church resumed face-to-face worship services.  They put a full range of precautions in place.  We all wore masks, were seated apart by family groups (which put me sitting by myself), and had no choir up front.  We had two separate services to accommodate all the social distancing.  The services were also live-streamed for those still at home.

Awkward as it all was, it was so nice to be back around people again, instead of watching the service on my office computer!  The pastor was back in good form, with the interactive component his messages usually have. 

I also got to talk afterward with a couple I know who had been planning to go into the mission field this summer.  Those plans have been ruined, like so many others.  They're wondering what to do next.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 16, 2020, 05:35:46 AM
Yesterday our church resumed face-to-face worship services.  They put a full range of precautions in place.  We all wore masks, were seated apart by family groups (which put me sitting by myself), and had no choir up front.  We had two separate services to accommodate all the social distancing.  The services were also live-streamed for those still at home.

Awkward as it all was, it was so nice to be back around people again, instead of watching the service on my office computer!  The pastor was back in good form, with the interactive component his messages usually have. 

I also got to talk afterward with a couple I know who had been planning to go into the mission field this summer.  Those plans have been ruined, like so many others.  They're wondering what to do next.

Unfortunately, many churches in red country still think mountains and Jesus are sufficient protection:  https://news.yahoo.com/west-virginia-sees-coronavirus-outbreaks-in-churches-200854506.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: sprout on June 16, 2020, 08:37:44 AM
I just had 2 Covid-19 tests this past week, one before entering the hospital and then another before having a procedure done.  The tests are not fun.

Agreed.  When I had one a couple months ago, I was told 'if your eye doesn't water, I'm not in the right spot!'  I think he was mostly not joking.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Wahoo Redux on June 16, 2020, 12:11:30 PM
Hey biologists and zoologists, I think Fauci said that corona viruses tend not (or are less likely) to mutate.  Am I understanding that correctly? 

Is the virus we see now the virus we are going to have to deal with from now on?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 16, 2020, 12:21:36 PM
Umm....hmmmm....I thought I read the opposite, that they had mutated several times and that was part of the reason they became so peripatetic: they could hitch-hike on different species because of sequence changes.

Being recombinant, I think that makes them more agile in that regard, but I've only worked for biochemists, I not are one.

This is one of the articles that made me think that.

   https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-to-know-about-mutation-and-covid-19#Just-how-long-will-immunity-last?

As the title suggests, it may be harder to build an efficacious vaccine against mutation-prone viruses.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: namazu on June 16, 2020, 12:41:57 PM
Hey biologists and zoologists, I think Fauci said that corona viruses tend not (or are less likely) to mutate.  Am I understanding that correctly? 
Is the virus we see now the virus we are going to have to deal with from now on?
Coronaviruses tend to be more stable than, say, flu viruses, but they are not static, and they are subject to selective pressures.  (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/25/820998549/the-coronavirus-is-mutating-but-that-may-not-be-a-problem-for-humans)

There have been some mutations identified to date, some of which seem to have no/limited functional effect, and some of which may have resulted in changes in transmissibility (e.g. of the European strains that came to dominate in much of the U.S., vs. the earlier strains circulating in China) (https://www.scripps.edu/news-and-events/press-room/2020/20200612-choe-farzan-coronavirus-spike-mutation.html).

The larger the number of infections, the larger the number of times the virus replicates, and the more opportunities there are for the virus to mutate. 

It's not clear at this point whether/to what extent these mutations may affect the efficacy of potential vaccines or their utility over longer periods of time. 

Most vaccines under development are targeting the spike protein on the surface of the virus shell. You can think of the spike protein as a kind of flag that the immune system can recognize and target.  If mutations make this flag a different shape or color or size, then it may be more difficult for an immune system trained to recognize the original version of the flag to recognize the new/mutated version and mount an effective immune response.  So the implications of mutations for vaccines depend on just how any given mutation changes the relevant immune system targets.  They may be deal-breakers, or they may not be.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: the_geneticist on June 16, 2020, 01:46:33 PM
Hey biologists and zoologists, I think Fauci said that corona viruses tend not (or are less likely) to mutate.  Am I understanding that correctly? 

Is the virus we see now the virus we are going to have to deal with from now on?

Well, that is the $10 billion question.
All viruses mutate.  The SARS-CoV-2 virus has the ability to "proofread" and correct mistakes made while copying it's genome so it is less prone to mutation that other RNA viruses.
Whether or not the mutations will alter the virus' ability to infect human cells or replicate is what we'll have to wait and find out.
Or whether it's possible for the virus to mutate in a way that would make a particular vaccine less effective.  That's why most of the vaccines being developed are designed against what we think are the most-conserved & important (i.e. least likely to be changed) parts of the virus.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 16, 2020, 02:42:21 PM
I recently added access to netflix. There is a documentary series called Pandemic. I have only seen the first 4 episodes, so I dont know what the conclusions are, but one of the early subjects of the series is a company that is fighting the flu by attempting to find something that is unchanging in the virus.  So far (as I ve watched) they can find immunity to most flue strains, but it requires that one takes a series of Seven! Shots! 

Personally, i would be glad to take seven shots to have nearly full immunity to the flu, but I guess that I may not be typical, or that the cost of 7 different shots would be uneconomical.

Perhaps there is something in CV19  or with its cousins that is common that could be found that would work for most of the possible mutations!
Of course IF/when that 'one factor' DID change, the usefulness of the shot would be lost or at least greatly reduced.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 16, 2020, 05:06:31 PM
Just an update from a discussion long, long ago...

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0962-9

Seems like pretty strong evidence that kids actually do get infected at much lower rates.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 16, 2020, 05:20:01 PM

Perhaps there is something in CV19  or with its cousins that is common that could be found that would work for most of the possible mutations!
Of course IF/when that 'one factor' DID change, the usefulness of the shot would be lost or at least greatly reduced.

Not a scientist, but the people who work on this have argued that COVID mutations aren't significant at this point and probably don't change the behavior of the virus. This is a good laypersons summary. https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-mutations-strains-scientists-track-genetics-2020-4
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: science.expat on June 17, 2020, 12:44:26 AM
I just had 2 Covid-19 tests this past week, one before entering the hospital and then another before having a procedure done.  The tests are not fun.

Agreed.  When I had one a couple months ago, I was told 'if your eye doesn't water, I'm not in the right spot!'  I think he was mostly not joking.

I had a test yesterday and it was fine. Uncomfortable but not painful. And I received the negative result by SMS about 15 hours later. ☺️
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on June 17, 2020, 04:06:21 AM
Has anyone here wondered about the safety of drive-by testing? I am not sick and have no reason to go get myself tested, but if I were feeling sick, I know I would be hesitant. It just seems like the perfect way to pick up Covid if you don’t already have it. I know they take precautions, but they don’t change their protective gear after after single person, so it stands to reason that if they did encounter someone with Covid, the exterior of their PPE could be shedding the virus. And, of course, even if you are in your car, they still need access to your face.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 17, 2020, 04:14:48 AM
Has anyone here wondered about the safety of drive-by testing? I am not sick and have no reason to go get myself tested, but if I were feeling sick, I know I would be hesitant. It just seems like the perfect way to pick up Covid if you don’t already have it. I know they take precautions, but they don’t change their protective gear after after single person, so it stands to reason that if they did encounter someone with Covid, the exterior of their PPE could be shedding the virus. And, of course, even if you are in your car, they still need access to your face.

Again, not at all an expert, but objects don't "shed" virus. It doesn't alight on something and then go airborne again. The other thing is that the dose matters. If you're imagining some scenario where a tester gets virus particles on their mask and then the wind blows or whatever, by the time all that happened you would be talking about amounts way too small to make you sick.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Bonnie on June 17, 2020, 05:09:13 AM
Has anyone here wondered about the safety of drive-by testing? I am not sick and have no reason to go get myself tested, but if I were feeling sick, I know I would be hesitant. It just seems like the perfect way to pick up Covid if you don’t already have it. I know they take precautions, but they don’t change their protective gear after after single person, so it stands to reason that if they did encounter someone with Covid, the exterior of their PPE could be shedding the virus. And, of course, even if you are in your car, they still need access to your face.

I think it is a very, very low risk situation. I don't think there is evidence that the PPE (or other objects) sheds the virus. And even if the person in the car in front of you shed a bit of virus in the air as they tested, it's not going to be enough to get you sick when you pull up in the space. The amount of time you are there is not significant. (Risk is about viral load in the air plus distance plus TIME). And at least here, they don't need access to your face. They hand you the swab (with their gloved hands, gloves that are changed after each test), you hand it back.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: pigou on June 17, 2020, 06:10:49 AM
They hand you the swab (with their gloved hands, gloves that are changed after each test), you hand it back.
That seems like an awful way to do it. A proper sample requires you to stick that swab WAY up your nose and I can't imagine doing that to myself. If this is becoming widespread, we could see a lower rate of positive test results simply because of improperly taken swabs.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on June 17, 2020, 06:19:13 AM
They hand you the swab (with their gloved hands, gloves that are changed after each test), you hand it back.
That seems like an awful way to do it. A proper sample requires you to stick that swab WAY up your nose and I can't imagine doing that to myself. If this is becoming widespread, we could see a lower rate of positive test results simply because of improperly taken swabs.

that's my concern too, about self-admin or mail-order tests. No way ANYONE is jamming that swab all the way back on themselves.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Bonnie on June 17, 2020, 07:02:40 AM
They hand you the swab (with their gloved hands, gloves that are changed after each test), you hand it back.
That seems like an awful way to do it. A proper sample requires you to stick that swab WAY up your nose and I can't imagine doing that to myself. If this is becoming widespread, we could see a lower rate of positive test results simply because of improperly taken swabs.

Self-administered tests have been happening for over two months now. And yes they are widespread. The accuracy is not as high as the deep nasal medical professional administered test, but is considered to have a high enough accuracy to be useful. You get some coaching. A friend of mine had the technician tell her to insert it again because she didn't look at all uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on June 17, 2020, 07:08:58 PM
Has anyone here wondered about the safety of drive-by testing? I am not sick and have no reason to go get myself tested, but if I were feeling sick, I know I would be hesitant. It just seems like the perfect way to pick up Covid if you don’t already have it. I know they take precautions, but they don’t change their protective gear after after single person, so it stands to reason that if they did encounter someone with Covid, the exterior of their PPE could be shedding the virus. And, of course, even if you are in your car, they still need access to your face.

Again, not at all an expert, but objects don't "shed" virus. It doesn't alight on something and then go airborne again. The other thing is that the dose matters. If you're imagining some scenario where a tester gets virus particles on their mask and then the wind blows or whatever, by the time all that happened you would be talking about amounts way too small to make you sick.

Great. Thanks for the explanation!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 25, 2020, 03:59:49 PM
Wednesday June 17, county reports a total count of 420 Covid Cases (since the start)

Today, less than 10 days later we are up to 1287 total cases!!!  We have tripled the number of cases in 8 days!!  WTF!!

Tomorrow my county will require all customers and staff to wear masks in 'big box stores'. 

Somehow I dont think that is enough! 

I went to the grocery store today to top off. I have more than enough things to keep me for more than a week.  (I hope I can eat the fresh stuff before it spoils).  Most people were wearing masks, but too many were not wearing them correctly.  Too many uncovered noses and What The Hell is with Pulling Down the Mask when you talk!!!  Idiots!!

With July 4 in a week or so, I wonder if the spikes will continue?

I wonder if this will change my university's plans to reopen with face to face classes at all costs!?

Are things getting better, worse, or staying stable in Your neighborhood?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 04:50:48 PM
Dunno.

I only go out once every three weeks for groceries, early in the AM, and once a week to mail checks to my bank and make a withdrawal.

I am masked and gloved when I go out and I only go out for 1 hour or so at the most.

I hear and see things online.

But I don't know what people in my neighborhood are doing because I barely see them.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on June 25, 2020, 11:08:32 PM
I get grocery delivery and I have not left the house to go to a store or see other people since early March.  I've been out for solo walks and for a few errands that don't involve other people, like putting my vote-by-mail ballot in the mailbox.

But among my friends, I see I am unusual. I am nonplussed at so many people going out for inessential reasons. Clearly they estimate the risks different than I do. I'm in several vulnerable categories, so my strategy for surviving is "Don't get the virus," rather than "Hope for the best."  I wouldn't set foot in a grocery store right now — well, for anything. Delivery is easy, and I can pay the delivery people a big tip because I'm certainly not spending money on anything else.  I also signed up for a nice weekly delivered farm share.  People say, "You can't live in fear." Well, I'm not living in fear, precisely because I'm staying home.

Our area is low in cases, but we went into phase 1 of opening up a couple of weeks ago. Sure enough there came a surge of cases. A few people having parties, and then the people infected at the parties being out and about (until they fell sick), was enough to get it going.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on June 26, 2020, 04:07:33 AM
The question of risk estimation has been interesting. I'm on the east coast. I've been working on keeping fit and avoiding depression. Having a strong immune system has been a priority for me. I live alone. It was clear to me from early on that there was no way I was going to just never see anyone for months. That would clearly be bad for my health.

I've seen quite a few people during the pandemic. Mostly it has been outside, and when in cars, we have mostly either worn masks or had the windows open. But I've also had some people visit my apartment. We have all been in low risk categories.

I've been in NYC, had a drink outside at a bar and I've been on trains.

I've been somewhat skeptical about some of the precautions some people take, like not touching incoming packages for several days.

At no point has it felt risky.

On the other hand, you are going to have to drag me kicking and screaming into a badly ventilated classroom of undergraduates for 90 minutes.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on June 26, 2020, 06:16:13 AM
Wednesday June 17, county reports a total count of 420 Covid Cases (since the start)

Today, less than 10 days later we are up to 1287 total cases!!!  We have tripled the number of cases in 8 days!!  WTF!!

Tomorrow my county will require all customers and staff to wear masks in 'big box stores'. 

Somehow I dont think that is enough! 

I went to the grocery store today to top off. I have more than enough things to keep me for more than a week.  (I hope I can eat the fresh stuff before it spoils).  Most people were wearing masks, but too many were not wearing them correctly.  Too many uncovered noses and What The Hell is with Pulling Down the Mask when you talk!!!  Idiots!!

With July 4 in a week or so, I wonder if the spikes will continue?

I wonder if this will change my university's plans to reopen with face to face classes at all costs!?

Are things getting better, worse, or staying stable in Your neighborhood?

Do we live in the same county, clean?

Back in May, new daily cases in our county were in the low single digits. Then the numbers started creeping up a couple of weeks ago. Now we are seeing about 150 new cases per day. So, yes, a huge spike. By far, most of the new cases are found in 18 to 21 year olds. Actually, on our county dashboard, the age range from 15 to 24 has the spike, but a friend of mine is in public health and is working with the Covid raw data. She told me last night about the spike being concentrated specifically in the 18-21 y. o. range. Apparently, there is a big hot spot in some apartment complexes just off campus.

Mask wearing is officially encouraged, but not required. However, even if it were required, I just don’t think the young’uns are going to be collectively responsible enough to either a) not party or b) party while socially distancing and wearing masks (correctly). Actually, I’m not sure which of the two options is the most ludicrous. My DH agrees that Fall will probably be a disaster, but incredibly, there are some faculty who are naïve enough to believe that the students will be “behave themselves” in the fall (in spite of the current evidence).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on June 26, 2020, 06:25:08 AM

Back in May, new daily cases in our county were in the low single digits. Then the numbers started creeping up a couple of weeks ago. Now we are seeing about 150 new cases per day. So, yes, a huge spike. By far, most of the new cases are found in 18 to 21 year olds. Actually, on our county dashboard, the age range from 15 to 24 has the spike, but a friend of mine is in public health and is working with the Covid raw data. She told me last night about the spike being concentrated specifically in the 18-21 y. o. range. Apparently, there is a big hot spot in some apartment complexes just off campus.

Mask wearing is officially encouraged, but not required. However, even if it were required, I just don’t think the young’uns are going to be collectively responsible enough to either a) not party or b) party while socially distancing and wearing masks (correctly). Actually, I’m not sure which of the two options is the most ludicrous. My DH agrees that Fall will probably be a disaster, but incredibly, there are some faculty who are naïve enough to believe that the students will be “behave themselves” in the fall (in spite of the current evidence).

The morbid and very sad question, is how many deaths will have to happen among the 18-21 group (i.e. students) before students, institutions, and parents realize that the whole thing was inevitable, to anyone willing to see it?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on June 26, 2020, 06:40:44 AM

Back in May, new daily cases in our county were in the low single digits. Then the numbers started creeping up a couple of weeks ago. Now we are seeing about 150 new cases per day. So, yes, a huge spike. By far, most of the new cases are found in 18 to 21 year olds. Actually, on our county dashboard, the age range from 15 to 24 has the spike, but a friend of mine is in public health and is working with the Covid raw data. She told me last night about the spike being concentrated specifically in the 18-21 y. o. range. Apparently, there is a big hot spot in some apartment complexes just off campus.

Mask wearing is officially encouraged, but not required. However, even if it were required, I just don’t think the young’uns are going to be collectively responsible enough to either a) not party or b) party while socially distancing and wearing masks (correctly). Actually, I’m not sure which of the two options is the most ludicrous. My DH agrees that Fall will probably be a disaster, but incredibly, there are some faculty who are naïve enough to believe that the students will be “behave themselves” in the fall (in spite of the current evidence).

The morbid and very sad question, is how many deaths will have to happen among the 18-21 group (i.e. students) before students, institutions, and parents realize that the whole thing was inevitable, to anyone willing to see it?

This is also morbid, but I think all we need is one well-publicized death of an otherwise healthy young person to make everyone start taking this more seriously. I mean one well-publicized local young person death. That will hit home.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on June 26, 2020, 06:53:46 AM
Each year "1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries". (Of course, who knows how accurate that claim is, but it is a standard one.)

It's clear that students will be safer this year because they won't be binge drinking at parties nearly as much. Overall, student deaths will go down this year. The risks of younger people dying from Coronavirus are very low.

The issue regarding health is much more serious for college employees, especially those in the older age groups.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on June 26, 2020, 06:58:25 AM
QUININE: mentioned a lot in "disease" scenes in old movie? Could it help in therapies and treatments directed to Corona Virus 19 patients?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: bacardiandlime on June 26, 2020, 07:35:07 AM
Quinine has a lot of side-effects. It is no longer widely used even for malaria (its original use).
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 26, 2020, 07:36:22 AM
QUININE: mentioned a lot in "disease" scenes in old movie? Could it help in therapies and treatments directed to Corona Virus 19 patients?

No.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on June 26, 2020, 07:36:50 AM
Each year "1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries". (Of course, who knows how accurate that claim is, but it is a standard one.)

It's clear that students will be safer this year because they won't be binge drinking at parties nearly as much. Overall, student deaths will go down this year. The risks of younger people dying from Coronavirus are very low.


The issue that needs to be considered is that institutions closed in the winter because of the risk, thereby acknowledging that

Furthermore, the institutions bringing students back on campus are doing so based on the perceived value of the face-to-face experience. (For programs requiring actual hands-on experience, where being on campus is the only option, they have a reasonable case to make.)

So, the risk, even if mitigated somewhat by masks, distancing, etc., is being accepted based on the intangible value of the f2f experience. This is going to be really bad when students in first year are enticed on campus for the experience and then get sick and die. No parent is going to agree in retrospect that it was worth it. (On the other hand, students in some sort of health sciences field, who have to be on campus for practical experiences, which carry the kinds of risks that the actual profession would, are in a much different position.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mythbuster on June 26, 2020, 08:09:56 AM
Quinine and hydroxychlorquine are almost the same thing. Same mode of action. So no, it won't help. Now if you need a daily Gin and Tonic for your mental health, that's a whole other matter!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on June 26, 2020, 08:16:58 AM
Now if you need a daily Gin and Tonic for your mental health, that's a whole other matter!

Which reminds me, I need to look up margarita recipes. For medicinal purposes, you see.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on June 26, 2020, 08:27:32 AM
Each year "1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries". (Of course, who knows how accurate that claim is, but it is a standard one.)

It's clear that students will be safer this year because they won't be binge drinking at parties nearly as much. Overall, student deaths will go down this year. The risks of younger people dying from Coronavirus are very low.


The issue that needs to be considered is that institutions closed in the winter because of the risk, thereby acknowledging that
  • the risk is real
  • being on campus raises the risk significantly

Furthermore, the institutions bringing students back on campus are doing so based on the perceived value of the face-to-face experience. (For programs requiring actual hands-on experience, where being on campus is the only option, they have a reasonable case to make.)

So, the risk, even if mitigated somewhat by masks, distancing, etc., is being accepted based on the intangible value of the f2f experience. This is going to be really bad when students in first year are enticed on campus for the experience and then get sick and die. No parent is going to agree in retrospect that it was worth it. (On the other hand, students in some sort of health sciences field, who have to be on campus for practical experiences, which carry the kinds of risks that the actual profession would, are in a much different position.)

You say that's the issue. I'd say it's an issue, but the main game is risk reduction, and young people are at low risk.

Parents sending kids off to college already know that their kids are at risk for dying due to alcohol, drugs, car crashes, or suicide. They have continued to send their kids off to college despite this because they think it is a worthwhile risk. Now more than ever, having a college degree will be important for getting a job later on, and gives their kids something to do while there are no jobs. Colleges seem to be making calculations that they just need to make some effort to reduce risk to students. Many colleges seem to be rather unconcerned about risks to staff.

Students are good at transmitting the virus to others, as today's headline article in NYT (https://nyti.ms/2YvRmPk) shows. I'm mainly concerned about my own health.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Penna on June 26, 2020, 09:13:29 AM
I get grocery delivery and I have not left the house to go to a store or see other people since early March.  I've been out for solo walks and for a few errands that don't involve other people, like putting my vote-by-mail ballot in the mailbox.

But among my friends, I see I am unusual. I am nonplussed at so many people going out for inessential reasons. Clearly they estimate the risks different than I do. I'm in several vulnerable categories, so my strategy for surviving is "Don't get the virus," rather than "Hope for the best."  I wouldn't set foot in a grocery store right now — well, for anything. Delivery is easy

This is pretty much where I am, except that I am not in any designated high-risk categories (I'm in my early 50s with none of the underlying conditions that are typically cited as high-risk).  I've just been a very risk-averse person all of my life, and also one who has always struggled with certain anxiety triggers, so I just know that I feel mentally much better keeping my personal risk levels to the absolute lowest they can be.  I get curbside pickup for groceries, drive-thru for Rx, and delivery for everything else. And other than than, I literally do not go out except to my campus office, but there is never anyone else in the building then.  And since I am married, I don't have the extra challenge of living alone during times when seeing other people will always involve some level of risk.

I live in an area where cases and hospitalizations have been rising significantly in recent weeks, though (drawing national attention), and am very worried about having to return to even a modified form of in-person instruction in the fall, even with a classroom mask mandate and a socially distanced classroom (via various "HyFlex" and hybrid approaches).  We'll see if my institution reverses course on its current plan or not.

The thing that gets me is the way that some of my fellow faculty talk about the situation at my institution.  It's clear that we are re-opening for in-person instruction due to the certain devastating financial impacts if we were to lose the revenue from residential room and board fees.  I get that, and of course I don't want my institution to possibly end up closing or experience mass layoffs either.  At my age and in my field, I seriously doubt I would ever be able to find another full-time position in academe again.

Yet I feel too many faculty are turning a blind eye to the real ethical issue behind our reopening:  yes, our institution might financially collapse and close if we stayed online-only (or mostly online, with allowances for lab/clinical and other types of necessarily "hands-on" types of classes).  Or at the very least, more people (including faculty) might lose their jobs (so far, only some lower-level staff members have been permanently laid off).

However, if we go ahead with reopening, and, at the end of the academic year, even just a few admin/faculty/staff/students have become seriously ill (potentially leaving them with lifelong health effects even if they recover, as some preliminary reporting suggests) and/or died from Covid, will the same people who seem to have the view that our institution has "no choice" but to run most classes with in-person instruction feel that the fact that the school remained open and no additional people lost their jobs was "worth it"?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 26, 2020, 09:17:30 AM
Webex meetings. We are in for the biggest charlie foxtrot with the fall schedule. SMH.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ab_grp on June 26, 2020, 12:19:35 PM
I get grocery delivery and I have not left the house to go to a store or see other people since early March.  I've been out for solo walks and for a few errands that don't involve other people, like putting my vote-by-mail ballot in the mailbox.

But among my friends, I see I am unusual. I am nonplussed at so many people going out for inessential reasons. Clearly they estimate the risks different than I do. I'm in several vulnerable categories, so my strategy for surviving is "Don't get the virus," rather than "Hope for the best."  I wouldn't set foot in a grocery store right now — well, for anything. Delivery is easy, and I can pay the delivery people a big tip because I'm certainly not spending money on anything else.  I also signed up for a nice weekly delivered farm share.  People say, "You can't live in fear." Well, I'm not living in fear, precisely because I'm staying home.

Our area is low in cases, but we went into phase 1 of opening up a couple of weeks ago. Sure enough there came a surge of cases. A few people having parties, and then the people infected at the parties being out and about (until they fell sick), was enough to get it going.

Like Penna, this is pretty much my situation.  We get everything delivered except for wine and beer, which we order through the local bar and pick up from the owner before they open (with everyone wearing masks).  We've been doing grocery delivery for about 2 years.  Tried it because of a free delivery coupon code and never went back.  It was great when husband had a heart attack last year, the after effects of which took up a lot of time and energy (he's good now).  But given his underlying condition and one of my own, we stay isolated.  Luckily, we enjoy being at home and have no real desire to go out.  I haven't left the house since medical tests in March that I didn't want to go to (but figured it wasn't going to get better out there in the near future) other than to drop off mail in the PO slot.  He has only gone out to go to work with full gear on, and he goes in on Sundays when only a skeleton crew is there.  I also feel that it's better to avoid getting it than hope it's mild if I do.  Plus, why take the risk of being on the road with people who can't even take the responsibility to wear masks in the grocery store? People here drive pretty badly to begin with.  I don't need to be in the hospital for any reason right now! I can understand people feeling antsy to get out, or maybe they want to take their chances.  I just am not, and I don't.  My elderly mother (a nurse), who is in a much hotter spot area, is extremely antsy and also does not want to wear a mask.  I can't control that, of course.  Many of my friends feel the same way she does.  My oldest daughter (also a nurse) moved to a new city during this and has a new guy she's dating out there, and they go to restaurants and etc.   Hopefully people do take reasonable precautions when they are out, but I just don't trust human nature enough to want to chance it.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 26, 2020, 01:24:45 PM
I get grocery delivery and I have not left the house to go to a store or see other people since early March.  I've been out for solo walks and for a few errands that don't involve other people, like putting my vote-by-mail ballot in the mailbox.

But among my friends, I see I am unusual. I am nonplussed at so many people going out for inessential reasons. Clearly they estimate the risks different than I do. I'm in several vulnerable categories, so my strategy for surviving is "Don't get the virus," rather than "Hope for the best."  I wouldn't set foot in a grocery store right now — well, for anything. Delivery is easy, and I can pay the delivery people a big tip because I'm certainly not spending money on anything else.  I also signed up for a nice weekly delivered farm share.  People say, "You can't live in fear." Well, I'm not living in fear, precisely because I'm staying home.

Our area is low in cases, but we went into phase 1 of opening up a couple of weeks ago. Sure enough there came a surge of cases. A few people having parties, and then the people infected at the parties being out and about (until they fell sick), was enough to get it going.

Like Penna, this is pretty much my situation.  We get everything delivered except for wine and beer, which we order through the local bar and pick up from the owner before they open (with everyone wearing masks).  We've been doing grocery delivery for about 2 years.  Tried it because of a free delivery coupon code and never went back.  It was great when husband had a heart attack last year, the after effects of which took up a lot of time and energy (he's good now).  But given his underlying condition and one of my own, we stay isolated.  Luckily, we enjoy being at home and have no real desire to go out.  I haven't left the house since medical tests in March that I didn't want to go to (but figured it wasn't going to get better out there in the near future) other than to drop off mail in the PO slot.  He has only gone out to go to work with full gear on, and he goes in on Sundays when only a skeleton crew is there.  I also feel that it's better to avoid getting it than hope it's mild if I do.  Plus, why take the risk of being on the road with people who can't even take the responsibility to wear masks in the grocery store? People here drive pretty badly to begin with.  I don't need to be in the hospital for any reason right now! I can understand people feeling antsy to get out, or maybe they want to take their chances.  I just am not, and I don't.  My elderly mother (a nurse), who is in a much hotter spot area, is extremely antsy and also does not want to wear a mask.  I can't control that, of course.  Many of my friends feel the same way she does.  My oldest daughter (also a nurse) moved to a new city during this and has a new guy she's dating out there, and they go to restaurants and etc.   Hopefully people do take reasonable precautions when they are out, but I just don't trust human nature enough to want to chance it.

That's perfectly reasonable, given your life situation and health risks. However, it isn't as workable for everyone. We have a young kid and being stuck at home with him for two months was brutal. He's now back in daycare which is good for him. Hopefully we'll all remain healthy. I've been trying to move into finding a version of life I can manage for the long haul. We've seen some friends at an appropriate distance outside, which did a lot for my mental health. We've started doing things like going to swimming places where it is possible to keep your distance. It seems clear that all of this stuff is pretty low risk and the reward is pretty high.

We are still doing pick up of groceries and if places have a pick up outside option. I'm doing that on the principle that I may as well avoid even low risk things when it is easy to do so. I'm certainly not going to go eat at a restaurant anytime soon or go to the gym or do other non-essential high risk things.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on June 26, 2020, 01:45:52 PM
I see a lot of magical thinking and looking for exceptions amongst my friends & acquaintances.

One friend: "Oh, I am not going out at all! I mean, I go to the grocery, but only once a week. And I went to the eye doctor for my annual checkup, and to my massage person because I really feel a lot better if I get a massage. And I didn't want to look completely feral so I got my hair cut and my mani/pedi. Then I had my church choir over for lunch but we all sat outside and only Annabel sang." 

(And I'm thinking, that's like a dozen contacts in one week!)

Another friend: "I'm not taking chances, I'm only seeing family. I see Bob's crew because he's my brother and they're his family, and then my niece and her husband, and her mother-in-law because she's over a lot, and then my kids and their spouses, but apart from that I'm not seeing anybody."

(Logical flaw: If I know them well, they won't be infected with the virus.)

Another friend: "I wouldn't see anybody who had any symptoms! I only hang out with people who are healthy."

(Logical flaw: You're assuming the symptoms are severe, or correctly identified, or that they're not infectious but asymptomatic.)

Everybody in general: "This virus is here to stay! We'll all get it sometime!  You can't live in fear!"

(My response: Well, we'll see. If I have to get it, I'd rather take the risk way down the road, when we know more about how it behaves and about treating it.)

Other people in general: "If you want to stay home, stay home! You do you. I'm not living in fear!"

(My response: Ah, good old American individualism — every man for himself. No wonder we're such a public-health catastrophe.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ab_grp on June 26, 2020, 01:53:16 PM
Caracal, I do understand that others make different choices, so I'm sorry if I sounded a bit strident.  Part of that is just due to stress over some family members who are taking a trip this weekend that seems really risky to me.  In any case, a friend of mine is in a similar position to yours.  She has a two year old, and both she and her spouse have had to try to balance their work and stimulating their daughter for months.  She was just able to get her daughter back into a small day care last week, which has been a tremendous relief.  If my kids were here during this thing they'd probably be bored to death, and that would certainly make staying in less enjoyable! Plus, I get that for some it's just not tenable to stay in as much as we do.  We are fortunate to be able to work mostly remotely (well, I am now a lady of leisure or "between jobs" I guess thanks to the economy, but I worked fully remotely until a month ago).  There also isn't much open to go to around here.  But although many people like you are trying to get out and about safely, there are others who don't seem to want to take any precautions at all.  That seems to me to ruin things for everyone.  But I can appreciate that everyone needs to find their own risk-reward balance, which depends a lot on their circumstances (including location).

Hegemony, I hear the same kinds of things.  Especially when folks I know say they are only seeing a few people here and there (and not in a safely distanced way because it's only a few), including family, I wonder who those people they're seeing had been in contact with, etc.  I am guilty of that kind of thinking myself in other situations, though.  Again, maybe human nature, but some of the situations I hear about really don't make sense to me.   
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 26, 2020, 02:05:08 PM

[. . .]

Parents sending kids off to college already know that their kids are at risk for dying due to alcohol, drugs, car crashes, or suicide. They have continued to send their kids off to college despite this because they think it is a worthwhile risk.

[. . . ]

Well . . . actually people are generally very bad at thinking probabilistically and they tend to suffer from optimism bias. A lot of parents think that universities have the legal and moral obligation to create completely risk-free environments for their little Joshuas and Madisons.

Webex meetings. We are in for the biggest charlie foxtrot with the fall schedule. SMH.

Yes, same here. IT keeps pushing Webex as the cure for all evils. Every week faculty hear that Webex is pushing out new features and bug fixes. And just last week we heard that Microsoft videoconferencing is "rapidly gaining ground." Meanwhile Zoom already does in a click or two what these companies are promising.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on June 26, 2020, 02:12:28 PM
Quote
Everybody in general: "This virus is here to stay! We'll all get it sometime!  You can't live in fear!"

(My response: Well, we'll see. If I have to get it, I'd rather take the risk way down the road, when we know more about how it behaves and about treating it.)

This. The longer you delay getting it, the better the chances of effective treatments being available - already there is a little more than can be done than there was until recently. Even if there is no further progress, you're better off getting it when your location is well past the peak than near the peak, because the system won't be so overwhelmed. If you delay getting it enough, there might be a vaccine available, in which case you might avoid getting it altogether, or at least ensure you get a mild version. Worst case scenario, no vaccine and no further drugs, if you hold out long enough eventually herd immunity will develop - no pandemic has ever not gone down substantially eventually, even if it's only because of all the more susceptible people dying off and evolutionary pressures on the pathogen itself.

Non-US location here - testing rates are pretty low, and there are various other issues with the figures, so we only have a very crude idea of how bad the situation here is. That adds more uncertainty, and more reason to use the ancient methods of prevention. As I've said earlier, my biggest worry isn't really me or anyone else in my household dying of covid, my biggest worry is my wife and I becoming too ill to care for the baby. It's not a binary swift-death-or-asymptomatic thing, which is something a lot of people seem to forget.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 26, 2020, 05:04:58 PM
Caracal, I do understand that others make different choices, so I'm sorry if I sounded a bit strident.  Part of that is just due to stress over some family members who are taking a trip this weekend that seems really risky to me.  In any case, a friend of mine is in a similar position to yours.  She has a two year old, and both she and her spouse have had to try to balance their work and stimulating their daughter for months.  She was just able to get her daughter back into a small day care last week, which has been a tremendous relief.  If my kids were here during this thing they'd probably be bored to death, and that would certainly make staying in less enjoyable! Plus, I get that for some it's just not tenable to stay in as much as we do.  We are fortunate to be able to work mostly remotely (well, I am now a lady of leisure or "between jobs" I guess thanks to the economy, but I worked fully remotely until a month ago).  There also isn't much open to go to around here.  But although many people like you are trying to get out and about safely, there are others who don't seem to want to take any precautions at all.  That seems to me to ruin things for everyone.


Yes, certainly lots of people not trying at all around here too. On one hand you have lots of spread from people who don't have much choice about going into work in unsafe conditions, but you also just see a lot of people who can't seem to be bothered. It's frustrating because there's actually a lot that can be done pretty safely.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 27, 2020, 04:52:23 AM
Each year "1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries". (Of course, who knows how accurate that claim is, but it is a standard one.)

It's clear that students will be safer this year because they won't be binge drinking at parties nearly as much. Overall, student deaths will go down this year. The risks of younger people dying from Coronavirus are very low.

The issue regarding health is much more serious for college employees, especially those in the older age groups.

Binge drinking students don't generally pass binge drinking along to their parents and grandparents.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on June 27, 2020, 05:07:59 AM
Each year "1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries". (Of course, who knows how accurate that claim is, but it is a standard one.)

It's clear that students will be safer this year because they won't be binge drinking at parties nearly as much. Overall, student deaths will go down this year. The risks of younger people dying from Coronavirus are very low.

The issue regarding health is much more serious for college employees, especially those in the older age groups.

Binge drinking students don't generally pass binge drinking along to their parents and grandparents.

That's my point. The concern should not be particularly about students dying from corona virus, because probably few will -- it should be about them acting as spreaders of the virus, and how it will impact older people, including university faculty and staff.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on June 27, 2020, 06:25:30 AM

That's my point. The concern should not be particularly about students dying from corona virus, because probably few will -- it should be about them acting as spreaders of the virus, and how it will impact older people, including university faculty and staff.

I can't recall whether it's a local statistic, or more general, but about 30% of the covid infections are among healthcare workers. Consider:

The reason healthcare workers get infected, despite all of those things, is their exposure to infected people.  Once students get on campus, without any of those things, the infection rate of people exposed will be much higher.

In other words, when there are outbreaks on campus, they will be big.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on June 27, 2020, 10:50:41 AM
Webex meetings. We are in for the biggest charlie foxtrot with the fall schedule. SMH.

Yes, same here. IT keeps pushing Webex as the cure for all evils. Every week faculty hear that Webex is pushing out new features and bug fixes. And just last week we heard that Microsoft videoconferencing is "rapidly gaining ground." Meanwhile Zoom already does in a click or two what these companies are promising.

I regularly use Zoom, Webex, and Skype.

The primary differences I notice are the variety of equipment people are using to connect and how much bandwidth they have. 

A crummy mic on a smart phone that is held at arm's length at a random height is much more of a problem than which software is involved.

Connecting from the hinterlands and trying to share video that is irrelevant (the Brady Bunch boxes) instead of calling in via phone for a much better connection for a discussion that can be completely without visuals is my current biggest pet peeve.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on June 27, 2020, 10:53:16 AM
I regularly use Zoom, Webex, and Skype.

The primary differences I notice are the variety of equipment people are using to connect and how much bandwidth they have. 

A crummy mic on a smart phone that is held at arm's length at a random height is much more of a problem than which software is involved.

Connecting from the hinterlands and trying to share video that is irrelevant (the Brady Bunch boxes) instead of calling in via phone for a much better connection for a discussion that can be completely without visuals is my current biggest pet peeve.

+1   And Zoom is overrated.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on June 27, 2020, 10:55:22 AM
nother friend: "I'm not taking chances, I'm only seeing family. I see Bob's crew because he's my brother and they're his family, and then my niece and her husband, and her mother-in-law because she's over a lot, and then my kids and their spouses, but apart from that I'm not seeing anybody."

My in-laws were running on that logic.  My SIL is now under official quarantine due to exposure through her job.  We've got every digit crossed that she didn't manage to pass anything to the septuagenarians who refused to believe that close family would be a concern.  After all, SIL and BIL are only two people and the state says groups of up to 10 are fine so family groups of 4-6 should be fine.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 27, 2020, 11:58:56 AM
I regularly use Zoom, Webex, and Skype.

The primary differences I notice are the variety of equipment people are using to connect and how much bandwidth they have. 

A crummy mic on a smart phone that is held at arm's length at a random height is much more of a problem than which software is involved.

Connecting from the hinterlands and trying to share video that is irrelevant (the Brady Bunch boxes) instead of calling in via phone for a much better connection for a discussion that can be completely without visuals is my current biggest pet peeve.

+1   And Zoom is overrated.

I suspected as much; in mid-March when the campus closed our art faculty jumped on Zoom. Understandably they needed a way to communicate with students visually. At the time Zoom was probably easier for them and their students to learn on very short notice (Webex still seems to require lots of steps to operate, though this might be due to whatever tier of service the university has purchased from Cisco).

The current problem is getting acceptable-quality, synced video and audio from the classroom to anyone connecting remotely with Webex. If everyone is online, things work ok. It's the "we're going to live stream everything from the F2F classroom" that's complicated.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on June 27, 2020, 08:54:09 PM
I see a lot of magical thinking and looking for exceptions amongst my friends & acquaintances.

One friend: "Oh, I am not going out at all! I mean, I go to the grocery, but only once a week. And I went to the eye doctor for my annual checkup, and to my massage person because I really feel a lot better if I get a massage. And I didn't want to look completely feral so I got my hair cut and my mani/pedi. Then I had my church choir over for lunch but we all sat outside and only Annabel sang."

(And I'm thinking, that's like a dozen contacts in one week!)


Hegemony, this seems reasonable to me.  If everybody kept human contacts down to this level then I think we will beat this disease. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 28, 2020, 05:54:58 AM
And yes, I am going to the opthomalogist (sp) tomorrow and may also have cataract surgery soon.  Either that, or lookat the world through increasingly blurry eyeballs.  It's a crapshoot.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on June 28, 2020, 06:03:41 AM
I too love to judge the reckless behavior of others.

But I like to go further, also judging those who stay in their apartments or houses the whole time and never seeing daylight or getting any exercise outside. There's an overabundance of caution, I think to myself.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 28, 2020, 09:45:32 AM
I dont remember IF I typed this here or not.  My PhD school office mate, early on, questions my too frequent trips to the grocery store to restock on salad stuff and fresh vegetables.
He asked, "What do you need So badly that you are WILLING TO DIE to get?"

After that I switched to ordering groceries delivered.

I admit that I fell off the wagon and was out and about. However, when I was out, I was disgusted by the number not only NOT wearing masks, but ignoring social distancing!  (Like when I was trying to get tomatos and an unmasked asshole steps right up and reaches over me to pick some too!)  "You dont have to wear a mask, but You DO have to back up and wait your turn!" 

Two weeks ago or so we were seeing positive tests in the teens.  A high of 25 was hit after a local meat processor was hit hard.  Yesterday we were "down to 215!" new positive cases!  We have tripled the number of positive cases in 10 days!   

I have learned MY LESSON!  Im back to staying out of the stores. 

Local government has cancelled parades and fireworks for next weekend.  Still, I fear that there will be too many more cases after next weekend (July 4).  IF there are over 200 positive cases found a day for the last 4/5 days, then how many cases are 'in the wild' waiting to kill me?

Good luck to all on your efforts to stay safe!  Remember, you are only as safe as the most selfish disease spreader out there!  Stay away from them or risk death!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 28, 2020, 10:59:04 AM

[. . . ]

IF there are over 200 positive cases found a day for the last 4/5 days, then how many cases are 'in the wild' waiting to kill me?

[. . . ]

If I remember correctly, best guesstimates are that today's numbers give a picture of the spread two weeks ago.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Penna on June 28, 2020, 11:09:40 AM
In relation to clean's grocery store anecdote:  yes, the inability to control the potential for other people to put me at risk (whether through ignorance, forgetfulness, or simply lack of adequate concern for others) is a huge factor driving my state of voluntary lockdown.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on campus checking out larger classrooms I might be able to use for some of my classes.  I ran into two campus visitors (a parent and new student), neither of whom were wearing masks.  They asked if I was a faculty member and I talked to them for about 10 or 15 minutes (we were standing in a semi-enclosed breezeway).  I was wearing a mask, but what felt really awkward was that, when they first approached me, I had to move backwards several times in order to maintain six feet of distance.   I guess I should have just voiced a verbal reminder ("six feet, please" or something) but I'm sort of a shy person in situations like that and so I said nothing and just moved a few steps back as necessary.  But it felt uncomfortable and made me somewhat anxious at the time. 

Regarding the issue of judging the behavior of others, I'll admit I am sometimes guilty of that as well.  But I do try not to.  I realize that other people may have any number of different circumstances which necessitate going out far more than I do. I also realize that some people are just wired differently and are willing to take a certain amount of risk because staying completely at home would negatively affect their mental and/or physical health.  In my case, staying at home doesn't really bother me, and in terms of physical health, I'm fortunate in that we have a dedicated workout room in our house, with several pieces of exercise equipment.

As long as those people who are going out are doing their best to avoid putting others at risk in the process by strictly following all the guidelines, I don't feel any impulse to judge them.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 28, 2020, 11:12:56 AM
Quote
Quote from: clean on Today at 09:45:32 AM

[. . . ]

IF there are over 200 positive cases found a day for the last 4/5 days, then how many cases are 'in the wild' waiting to kill me?

[. . . ]

If I remember correctly, best guesstimates are that today's numbers give a picture of the spread two weeks ago.

I think that the maximum estimate for the incubation period is 2 weeks.  I think that the average/median period is between 3 and 6 days.  But with many people, especially the 20somethings that are the modal group of positive cases (at 27% of the total positive cases) having only mild effects, how many others might be infected now?  How long is one contagious?  AS masks have only again been required since Friday, I m certain that there are plenty of sick people spreading the illness and not aware that they even have it. 

We seem to be getting reports every day now on the news of another positive test at a grocery store, big box store or something. 

NOw that masks are required of all customers and staff, I hope that the positives will drop next week, unless the July 4th Saturday is an especially busy one for visitors.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 28, 2020, 11:44:31 AM
I dont remember IF I typed this here or not.  My PhD school office mate, early on, questions my too frequent trips to the grocery store to restock on salad stuff and fresh vegetables.
He asked, "What do you need So badly that you are WILLING TO DIE to get?"

After that I switched to ordering groceries delivered.

I admit that I fell off the wagon and was out and about. However, when I was out, I was disgusted by the number not only NOT wearing masks, but ignoring social distancing!  (Like when I was trying to get tomatos and an unmasked asshole steps right up and reaches over me to pick some too!)  "You dont have to wear a mask, but You DO have to back up and wait your turn!" 



By all accounts grocery stores aren't particularly high risk, just because they are big spaces and you aren't likely to be in prolonged contact with anybody for very long. So, I wouldn't say that people who go grocery stores are being reckless. We've been getting pick up, because it is a fairly easy thing to do.

On the other hand, there's a danger about worrying too much about low risk activities. Spread isn't being driven by people going to grocery stores, or socializing outside.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 28, 2020, 12:02:46 PM
For $5 I can have groceries delivered.  I just checked and I can get a delivery as soon as 2pm on Tuesday (Today is Sunday, 2 pm). 
I admit that the prices seem to be a tad higher than in the store, and you have to buy what they have online (as the selection online is more limited than that in the store, and you may have to buy the quantity that they offer... I can't  eat 2 pounds of bananas before they turn but that is the minimum for bananas.)

But I dont have to buy gas for the car, drive there, park, risk over buying (being enamored by 'a sale'!)...

For $5 It is hard to justify going to the store even if the risks are minimal (and Im not certain that they are, as it only takes one selfish, careless person to risk infecting others (killing ME!).

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Penna on June 28, 2020, 12:32:12 PM
Spread isn't being driven by people going to grocery stores, or socializing outside.

True.  I just wonder about what the actual level of risk will be for teaching in small, poorly ventilated classrooms for hours at a time--even with social distancing and a masking requirement.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on June 28, 2020, 01:39:24 PM
Although I continue to wear a mask, stay 6 feet away and practice handwashing, I'm a bit less concerned about risks than previously.

A recent webinar I attended reviewed the results of a trial of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid in 800 people who had had a significant (i.e. exposed for at least 10 minutes at less than 6 feet of distance) household or occupational exposure to a confirmed case of Covid.  Although I was not surprised to find that HCQ had no demonstrable prophylactic effect, what did catch my eye was this:

12 (HCQ arm) and 14% (placebo arm)  of subjects (all of whom had been significantly exposed to coronavirus) developed covid.  p=0.35

In other words, only about 1 in 8 people with a meaningful exposure developed covid.

I'm increasingly less concerned about the risk posed by the relatively brief time I spend in grocery stores and suspect the greater risk comes from more prolonged exposure - especially in crowded settings - like restaurants or Trump rallies.

For more detail see: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2016638
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 28, 2020, 01:57:03 PM
For $5 I can have groceries delivered.  I just checked and I can get a delivery as soon as 2pm on Tuesday (Today is Sunday, 2 pm). 
I admit that the prices seem to be a tad higher than in the store, and you have to buy what they have online (as the selection online is more limited than that in the store, and you may have to buy the quantity that they offer... I can't  eat 2 pounds of bananas before they turn but that is the minimum for bananas.)

But I dont have to buy gas for the car, drive there, park, risk over buying (being enamored by 'a sale'!)...

For $5 It is hard to justify going to the store even if the risks are minimal (and Im not certain that they are, as it only takes one selfish, careless person to risk infecting others (killing ME!).

Oh sure, I wasn't criticizing your choices. I'm making that same choice. I was just saying we want to be careful to distinguish between our own personal choices about risk and judgements of others.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on June 28, 2020, 02:19:23 PM
Although I continue to wear a mask, stay 6 feet away and practice handwashing, I'm a bit less concerned about risks than previously.

A recent webinar I attended reviewed the results of a trial of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid in 800 people who had had a significant (i.e. exposed for at least 10 minutes at less than 6 feet of distance) household or occupational exposure to a confirmed case of Covid.  Although I was not surprised to find that HCQ had no demonstrable prophylactic effect, what did catch my eye was this:

12 (HCQ arm) and 14% (placebo arm)  of subjects (all of whom had been significantly exposed to coronavirus) developed covid.  p=0.35

In other words, only about 1 in 8 people with a meaningful exposure developed covid.


This is relevant for students on campus, since every break between classes will tend to involve about 10 minutes of being within 6 feet of a whole bunch of people. So, once an outbreak starts, as more become (asymptomatically) infected, the halls will become more dangerous.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on June 29, 2020, 04:37:06 AM
Why I won't be traveling to Florida in the near future. (https://www.npr.org/2020/06/29/884551391/florida-scientist-says-she-was-fired-for-not-manipulating-covid-19-data)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: RatGuy on June 29, 2020, 05:25:42 AM
This is relevant for students on campus, since every break between classes will tend to involve about 10 minutes of being within 6 feet of a whole bunch of people. So, once an outbreak starts, as more become (asymptomatically) infected, the halls will become more dangerous.

Still less dangerous than the taco place on Margarita Mondays or that one bar on Ladies Night or that other bar on Thirsty Thursday or that sports bar all weekend.

Students get mono, the flu, and all sorts of other stuff every year. It gets so bad every year that we just call it "the crud" and it starts knocking students out for the second half of October. I'm don't think my class will crack the top ten of the most contaminated places my students will encounter.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: marshwiggle on June 29, 2020, 06:00:32 AM
This is relevant for students on campus, since every break between classes will tend to involve about 10 minutes of being within 6 feet of a whole bunch of people. So, once an outbreak starts, as more become (asymptomatically) infected, the halls will become more dangerous.

Still less dangerous than the taco place on Margarita Mondays or that one bar on Ladies Night or that other bar on Thirsty Thursday or that sports bar all weekend.

Students get mono, the flu, and all sorts of other stuff every year. It gets so bad every year that we just call it "the crud" and it starts knocking students out for the second half of October. I'm don't think my class will crack the top ten of the most contaminated places my students will encounter.

I don't disagree. In fact, that's exactly the point. Outbreaks WILL occur once students get brought back on campus. No amount of rules about PPE, distancing, etc. are going to prevent that.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on June 29, 2020, 04:59:02 PM
Almost 150 cases reported at University of Georgia, includes students and staff.

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/clarke-county/uga-confirms-nearly-150-cases-covid-19-among-students-staff/AMB36W6ENJBSHJPM7B2XL67T6Q/

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: polly_mer on June 29, 2020, 05:21:06 PM
I was just saying we want to be careful to distinguish between our own personal choices about risk and judgements of others.

That works when other people's carelessness doesn't have a direct effect on those of us who take the risks seriously because we're tracking the science instead of the press releases about the science.

Yes, I judge and I'm not sorry about judging harshly people who make bad choices that hurt other people.

This falls again into the category of why academics tend to have a bad reputation among the rest of us, when there's clearly correct and incorrect answers with severe consequences for being incorrect and somehow we're supposed to ignore that reality and not judge.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on June 30, 2020, 04:38:03 AM
Almost 150 cases reported at University of Georgia, includes students and staff.

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/clarke-county/uga-confirms-nearly-150-cases-covid-19-among-students-staff/AMB36W6ENJBSHJPM7B2XL67T6Q/

Students were idiots.  Campus workers may have had inadequate protection.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 30, 2020, 05:10:53 AM
I was just saying we want to be careful to distinguish between our own personal choices about risk and judgements of others.

That works when other people's carelessness doesn't have a direct effect on those of us who take the risks seriously because we're tracking the science instead of the press releases about the science.

Yes, I judge and I'm not sorry about judging harshly people who make bad choices that hurt other people.

This falls again into the category of why academics tend to have a bad reputation among the rest of us, when there's clearly correct and incorrect answers with severe consequences for being incorrect and somehow we're supposed to ignore that reality and not judge.

At this moment, I can't tell you how much this pisses me off. It is completely counterproductive. Don't choose self righteous bull-**** over actual useful messaging. Grocery stores are not extremely dangerous places for shoppers. I'd sooner avoid them, but they aren't driving spread. Those delivery and pick up services you and I use? They cost money, which not everyone has. Beaches, parks and outdoor places are the least dangerous places for people to socialize. Of course, people should be cautious, there and everywhere else, but if I see one more damn picture of people on a beach with a tag about "gatherings" I might lose it.

And no, there's no "science" that suggests anything else than this in broad strokes. The problem about the self righteous judgement is that it actively hurts. In fact, telling people that things that aren't that risky, are risky, is almost certainly going to backfire. It isn't reasonable to tell people not to socialize till sometime in the indeterminate future. Social contact is a basic human need. Avoiding it is hard. Of course, this takes empathy, not cheap judgement. You also have to offer options in terms of reduced risk. The safest thing is not having any contact. However, the next safest thing is contact outside and try to keep some distance.

The problem is that when you judge people for not particularly dangerous things, you actually encourage an attitude of "oh well, what can you do, I can't be a hermit for 6 months" rather than encouraging people to make sensible choices and balance risks. Of course, as you say, this all comes from a paternalistic attitude that only you are qualified to judge risks. It won't work, it won't help, we don't need it.

Before you start waving your hands about the real science, try this (from an epidemiologist) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/quarantine-fatigue-real-and-shaming-people-wont-help/61148

Or

https://twitter.com/AbraarKaran/status/1277741621384273920

Ok, rant over, I needed that.


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on June 30, 2020, 08:09:27 AM
Grocery stores are not extremely dangerous places for shoppers. I'd sooner avoid them, but they aren't driving spread. Those delivery and pick up services you and I use? They cost money, which not everyone has. Beaches, parks and outdoor places are the least dangerous places for people to socialize. Of course, people should be cautious, there and everywhere else, but if I see one more damn picture of people on a beach with a tag about "gatherings" I might lose it.

And no, there's no "science" that suggests anything else than this in broad strokes. The problem about the self righteous judgement is that it actively hurts. In fact, telling people that things that aren't that risky, are risky, is almost certainly going to backfire. It isn't reasonable to tell people not to socialize till sometime in the indeterminate future. Social contact is a basic human need. Avoiding it is hard. Of course, this takes empathy, not cheap judgement. You also have to offer options in terms of reduced risk. The safest thing is not having any contact. However, the next safest thing is contact outside and try to keep some distance.

The problem is that when you judge people for not particularly dangerous things, you actually encourage an attitude of "oh well, what can you do, I can't be a hermit for 6 months" rather than encouraging people to make sensible choices and balance risks. Of course, as you say, this all comes from a paternalistic attitude that only you are qualified to judge risks. It won't work, it won't help, we don't need it.

Before you start waving your hands about the real science, try this (from an epidemiologist) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/quarantine-fatigue-real-and-shaming-people-wont-help/61148

Or

https://twitter.com/AbraarKaran/status/1277741621384273920

Ok, rant over, I needed that.

A lot of this seems to me to fall under not letting the best become the enemy of the good.  Yes, avoiding human contact almost entirely until a vaccine is developed is the surest way to avoid infection.  But it's becoming evident that one can engage in many activities outside the home with only limited risk to oneself and to others IF suitable precautions are taken.  A lot of us need to engage in these activities.  A lot of us have no choice. 

I have a locally important public service to run, and I can't do it from home.  We have staff members who need to work to make a living.  We have patrons who need our on-site services.  So we're here working, and using masks, social distancing, plexiglass barriers, careful cleaning after people, etc. to manage risks.  Yesterday we waited on dozens of people on-site.  But we never had more than a handful onsite at a time, we kept them socially distanced, minimized face-to-face contact, and cleaned up surfaces that received extended or repeated contact.  We quarantine returned library materials for at least two days and clean them before re-shelving.  All indications are that this regimen has reduced the chances of the disease being spread here to a very low level.  So my conscience is clear on this.  It's also clear when it comes to attending our recently reopened church where we practice masking and social distancing.

I have no patience for the childish attitudes of those who refuse to wear a mask or practice any precautions because they don't like anybody telling them what to do.  I also have no patience for the notion that the only intelligent or virtuous thing to do is to hunker down at home for a year or so.  Using our intelligence tells us that the world can't keep going unless there are people out there processing and delivering the wide array of essential goods and services needed by a modern society to exist.  The idea that if Congress would only borrow a few more trillion dollars we could pay everybody to stay at home for a year or so is a fantasy. 

As for virtue, it seems to me awfully smug for people who have jobs they can continue to do from home or other income they can depend upon to sit tight, pay others to take all the risks of going out and fetching their food and other goods for them, and then lecture everybody else on how they ought to be doing the same.  The stay-at-homes couldn't stay at home if some of us weren't out here in the world still working, running calculated risks to keep the world running.  The people I find admirable in this emergency are those who are out there taking their fair share of the chances in a risk-managed manner.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on June 30, 2020, 08:25:33 AM
The distinction between "using good judgement" and "being judgemental" was once pointed out to me as an important one to observe.

I think that idea might underlie the discussion here: we need to use our own good judgement, as informed by reliable direction from those who have studied epidemiology and the social constructions of illness, as a basis for our choices.

That might include abstaining from interactions with those whose judgement seems to us to be poor, and if called on to comment, we will do well to contextualize our pronouncements with mercy (myself included).

What's become frustrating is the kind of behavior and attitudes that want to shrug off informed opinion and, metaphorically, drive down the wrong side of the road at 90 mph whether or not they risk others' lives in their exhilaration.

As my dad used to say, "Your right to swing your fist stops where the other guy's nose begins."

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 30, 2020, 08:39:08 AM
The distinction between "using good judgement" and "being judgemental" was once pointed out to me as an important one to observe.

I think that idea might underlie the discussion here: we need to use our own good judgement, as informed by reliable direction from those who have studied epidemiology and the social constructions of illness, as a basis for our choices.

That might include abstaining from interactions with those whose judgement seems to us to be poor, and if called on to comment, we will do well to contextualize our pronouncements with mercy (myself included).

What's become frustrating is the kind of behavior and attitudes that want to shrug off informed opinion and, metaphorically, drive down the wrong side of the road at 90 mph whether or not they risk others' lives in their exhilaration.

As my dad used to say, "Your right to swing your fist stops where the other guy's nose begins."

M.

Well put. I'm frustrated by irresponsible behavior too. Of course, we shouldn't let it distract us from the irresponsible choices of those in power. I don't think anyone should be going out to a bar right now, but then why the hell are bars open in so many places? Ditto for indoor dining.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 30, 2020, 10:28:21 AM
Quote
but then why the hell are bars open in so many places? Ditto for indoor dining.

I believe that it is summed up by The Golden Rule.... the one that relates to $$$.  something about the Gold drives the rules?

IF bars and dining rooms are open, then sales taxes are collected, rents are paid, employees  go to work (and off the unemployment roles), and the economy improves  (Just In Time for Elections? maybe??).

When governments are looking at huge funding deficit, anything that can be done to increase the money flowing in and decrease the money flowing out!

Remember the Texas Vice Governor (whatever he is called in Texas)?  He made national news noting that Grandparents are willing to DIE for the financial well being of their grandchildren!  Taken to the extreme, with fewer 'old' people, the less we pay in health care (Medicare) or pay out in social security, the faster houses become available for the 20something crowd...

However, IF the bar crowd had followed the social distancing rules (IF that is possible to do in a bar anyway), then there would be no need to shut them down now.  It does not speak well of us in society though, that we are not taking precautions for the whole and instead focusing on the pleasure of the few.

oh well....
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on June 30, 2020, 11:06:43 AM

Well put. I'm frustrated by irresponsible behavior too. Of course, we shouldn't let it distract us from the irresponsible choices of those in power. I don't think anyone should be going out to a bar right now, but then why the hell are bars open in so many places? Ditto for indoor dining.

I went into a local bar and grill at the end of May to get some take out food.  They were the only place still serving near midnight. I walked in being the only person with a mask on.  There were 30 people close together with no masks.  The music was loud which forces people to raise their voices, another thing which increases the chances of virus transmission.    It was during the month of May that this county went from 20 cases to 600 positive tests out of a total population of 30,000 people. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 30, 2020, 12:47:58 PM
Quote
but then why the hell are bars open in so many places? Ditto for indoor dining.

I believe that it is summed up by The Golden Rule.... the one that relates to $$$.  something about the Gold drives the rules?

IF bars and dining rooms are open, then sales taxes are collected, rents are paid, employees  go to work (and off the unemployment roles), and the economy improves  (Just In Time for Elections? maybe??).

When governments are looking at huge funding deficit, anything that can be done to increase the money flowing in and decrease the money flowing out!

Remember the Texas Vice Governor (whatever he is called in Texas)?  He made national news noting that Grandparents are willing to DIE for the financial well being of their grandchildren!  Taken to the extreme, with fewer 'old' people, the less we pay in health care (Medicare) or pay out in social security, the faster houses become available for the 20something crowd...

However, IF the bar crowd had followed the social distancing rules (IF that is possible to do in a bar anyway), then there would be no need to shut them down now.  It does not speak well of us in society though, that we are not taking precautions for the whole and instead focusing on the pleasure of the few.

oh well....

Except that the economy is not going to improve in the midst of a raging pandemic.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on June 30, 2020, 01:17:33 PM
Quote
Except that the economy is not going to improve in the midst of a raging pandemic.

I would agree until this statement is wrong.
The economy was certainly improving while the bars and restaurants were full of unmasked, drinking, carousing folks.  they were certainly spending money!
The idea that people will avoid these places, as evidenced by the need to shut them back down, is that people did NOT avoid them.  Some people (myself included) avoided them, but others (see the news!!) did not! 

So assuming that an improving economy is dependent on the cure or effective, inexpensive treatment of CV19 does not seem to be what has been observed.  There are plenty that ARE willing to get back to spending money (even at the risk of their lives and certainly they were willing to risk the lives of others!)  on what others consider dangerous & selfish behavior.

Im certainly in favor of masks and I think that closing bars and many other places is a legitimate health precaution to follow.  However, given the number of people that were IN bars, getting their hair, nails, tans, workouts, barn burning picnics/bbqs/get together outings, then it seems that the economy CAN recover without a cure (virus spread be damned!)
It just can not recover AND protect the health and safety of the especially vulnerable.  Clearly, there are too many who dont care about anyone but themselves that have ruined it for the rest of us.  (IF bars were not full, and blame the owners if you want, ok by me!, then they would not be closed for helping to spread this!)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on June 30, 2020, 01:40:04 PM
Quote
Except that the economy is not going to improve in the midst of a raging pandemic.

I would agree until this statement is wrong.
The economy was certainly improving while the bars and restaurants were full of unmasked, drinking, carousing folks.  they were certainly spending money!
The idea that people will avoid these places, as evidenced by the need to shut them back down, is that people did NOT avoid them.  Some people (myself included) avoided them, but others (see the news!!) did not! 

So assuming that an improving economy is dependent on the cure or effective, inexpensive treatment of CV19 does not seem to be what has been observed.  There are plenty that ARE willing to get back to spending money (even at the risk of their lives and certainly they were willing to risk the lives of others!)  on what others consider dangerous & selfish behavior.

Im certainly in favor of masks and I think that closing bars and many other places is a legitimate health precaution to follow.  However, given the number of people that were IN bars, getting their hair, nails, tans, workouts, barn burning picnics/bbqs/get together outings, then it seems that the economy CAN recover without a cure (virus spread be damned!)
It just can not recover AND protect the health and safety of the especially vulnerable.  Clearly, there are too many who dont care about anyone but themselves that have ruined it for the rest of us.  (IF bars were not full, and blame the owners if you want, ok by me!, then they would not be closed for helping to spread this!)

Well most bars are not full. In general, even in states where there are few restrictions, restaurant revenue is way down, at least 20 to thirty percent in many places. Perhaps, if you're catering to a particularly young crowd, you're feeling the effects less, but places that are not like that are hurting, or are running at reduced hours with reduced staff.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on June 30, 2020, 06:03:27 PM
The bars and restaurants may be full for a couple of weeks, but then cases of the virus soar and even the people who were fine with going out to crowded places begin to get wary and hesitant, and they stop going out in such numbers. And people who are home with a high fever, or in the hospital, are not going out on the town. So in a way it's self-correcting — at a high cost. I know that a number of people, especially politicians and business owners, think that if we just open up fully and stay open, the economy will go back to normal and at least we'll have that. But a sizeable part of the population remains careful, and a certain percentage are not going out no matter what. And for the bolder ones, a good proportion of them will be reluctant to go out as numbers soar, and some of them will be too sick to go out. You're not going to get back to a normal economy until this thing is no longer a threat.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: nebo113 on July 01, 2020, 04:35:28 AM
In places such as AZ, which 'opened up" and now hospital capacity is being pushed to the max, how do increasing numbers of sick people needing medical care affect the economy? 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on July 01, 2020, 06:47:17 AM
I don't know enough to answer the question above--someone should, it's a good question--but as a musician who's played in hotels,restaurants, etc., I know the break-even point between the costs of opening, paying the utilities, and staff salaries, etc., offset against the amount of income from a reduced clientele, has got to be tight.

The margins are so tiny in the best of circumstances that I'm having a hard time seeing how it's functional to open at all until the "all-clear" has truly sounded--maybe next March, sometime.

Refrigeration units, gas pilot lights, security-level lighting, and water pressure all have to be maintained, true.

But the income from a few meals a night is not going to cover payout to the cook's, sous-chef's, prepper's, bussers', and waitstaff's salaries, and tipping is wild--some high, some low--so it could be just as precarious to open as not.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on July 01, 2020, 07:18:02 AM
The loans that were in the news a month or so ago required that a good chunk of the loan be used to pay wages.  (You may remember them because they were meant for small business and some bigger companies got the loans before the funding ran out). 
For restaurants  that got those loans, then as long as the revenue covered the cost of the food, then it makes sense to open.  They pay labor anyway as required by the loan. 

In the economic sense, as long as a company covers the variable costs, then they are better to open.  (they pay the fixed cost whether open or not.)

From  the customer's perspective, while I wont be dining in, there are too many that want things to be normal. They will go out because they are tired of being in.  The more people they see out, then they will just think that the safer it is to be out and about anyway.  I dont know of a good way to explain it other than the idea that "But Johnny's mom lets HIM go to Olive Garden" (to which the reply would include jumping off a bridge .... though there are plenty of bungie jumpers!!)


Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 01, 2020, 12:05:57 PM
I just found out that one of my family members may have Covid.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: AmLitHist on July 01, 2020, 12:28:47 PM
I just found out that one of my family members may have Covid.
So sorry to hear this, EPW.  Sending good thoughts, and take care of yourself as well.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on July 01, 2020, 12:34:08 PM
I just found out that one of my family members may have Covid.
So sorry to hear this, EPW.  Sending good thoughts, and take care of yourself as well.

+1  Best wishes to your family and you, evil_physics_witchcraft.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Economizer on July 01, 2020, 10:20:46 PM
Back in early March I was privileged to work with [me, a sub riding herd] a youngish PHD in a high school algebra class made up of kinda average students. The threat potential of the Carona virus seemed to be rapidly coming to the fore. The topic for the class was EXPONENTS. She did a great job of relating that to the looming potential spread of Coved 19 infection.

A student was given markers and was instructed to place a mark on 3 student, oh heck, I cannot  rememember exactly how it went, but the the students went to logging the exponential increase potential of real people getting infected. In a months time numbers (×, x2, x3......) amounted to the thousands upon thousands of people. So, to make a long conclusion short, utilizing tracking, wearing masks, social distancing, or knockin' some sense in the heads of blockheads who, for now anyway, like their odds to be able to survive, even if they reduce the chances of others, seems to be imperative. Good luck on figuring how to get this critter back in the can. Mass cooperation [we haven't had that in a while locally much less globally] and more will be needed. So me saying this, the stage is set for some guy or girl to come up with a peanut butter paste that makes the virus go away like [or as] a scalded dog!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on July 02, 2020, 04:58:13 AM
Massive numbers of Covid patients are not actually good for hospitals. Hospitals make a lot of their money from elective or non-urgent procedures, like knee operations, hip replacements, etc. All of those get cancelled when the pandemic comes to town. Not to mention the problem of healthcare workers dying from Covid-19.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: apl68 on July 02, 2020, 07:29:38 AM
The number of known active cases in our county has been hovering around 20 in the days since the rodeo came and went.  A notable increase over what it was before, and a lot for an area this sparsely populated, but not yet as bad as I'd feared.  We've still had only a single fatality so far.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: wuggish on July 02, 2020, 09:49:38 AM
Massive numbers of Covid patients are not actually good for hospitals. Hospitals make a lot of their money from elective or non-urgent procedures, like knee operations, hip replacements, etc. All of those get cancelled when the pandemic comes to town. Not to mention the problem of healthcare workers dying from Covid-19.

And everything getting slower and more complex with increased PPE requirements and disinfection. And no or fewer visitors to use the cafeteria and gift shop. Et cetera.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on July 02, 2020, 10:56:24 AM
COVID Parties WIth a prize for the first infected!

https://www.aol.com/people-throwing-covid-19-parties-152316994.html

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/alabama-students-throw-covid-parties-152244838.html

IN NY, Party goers not cooperating with contact tracers (Parents either!)

https://www.pix11.com/news/coronavirus/partygoes-refuse-to-cooperate-with-contact-tracers-in-rockland-county-officials-warn


Boy... I just can not WAIT to get back to being in the room with these people/idiots/students/carriers!

Anything like this going on nearer to you?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 02, 2020, 11:14:00 AM
COVID Parties WIth a prize for the first infected!

https://www.aol.com/people-throwing-covid-19-parties-152316994.html

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/alabama-students-throw-covid-parties-152244838.html

IN NY, Party goers not cooperating with contact tracers (Parents either!)

https://www.pix11.com/news/coronavirus/partygoes-refuse-to-cooperate-with-contact-tracers-in-rockland-county-officials-warn


Boy... I just can not WAIT to get back to being in the room with these people/idiots/students/carriers!

Anything like this going on nearer to you?

This has all the hallmarks of a fake story. First of all, the details are suspiciously sparse. They also seem to keep changing. The first stories I saw about this said people who knew they had COVID had gone to parties. Now, they seem to have actually been "COVID parties." It is also suspiciously similar to other urban legends and rumors.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/party-scarred/

This often ends up happening. Local agencies end up hearing rumors, believe they are true, and then amplify them. I really, really doubt this is happening.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: mamselle on July 02, 2020, 11:23:52 AM
There is an historical precedent, perhaps with different motivations.

"Smallpox parties" and "measles parties" have been held at various points, with the aim of becoming infected in an environment with friends and/or family, and (sometimes) with (informed?) health caregivers either on-site or nearby.

Not an approved method of achieving immunity any more, but it's not new.

M.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on July 02, 2020, 12:36:23 PM
This often ends up happening. Local agencies end up hearing rumors, believe they are true, and then amplify them. I really, really doubt this is happening.

Here's one that's true.  Guy attends BBQ.  A different person knows he has the virus yet attends the BBQ. Informs people after.  First guy dies after attending BBQ and getting virus.  So very sad.  The person who knew he was infected yet attended the BBQ should face a severe criminal penalty.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/02/us/california-thomas-macias-coronavirus/index.html
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Hegemony on July 02, 2020, 04:11:44 PM
Looks like the "corona parties" story may not be fake after all.

“While my nursing staff was triaging patients for COVID-19 swabbing, they were told about the COVID-19 house parties and were even shown videos of the parties by college students,” Peramsetty said.

“When students are called for results, we noticed that some were very excited and happy that they were positive, while others were very upset that they were negative.”

https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20200702/cases-rise-in-youth-amid-reports-of-rsquocovid-partiesrsquo
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 02, 2020, 04:19:18 PM
Looks like the "corona parties" story may not be fake after all.

“While my nursing staff was triaging patients for COVID-19 swabbing, they were told about the COVID-19 house parties and were even shown videos of the parties by college students,” Peramsetty said.

“When students are called for results, we noticed that some were very excited and happy that they were positive, while others were very upset that they were negative.”

https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20200702/cases-rise-in-youth-amid-reports-of-rsquocovid-partiesrsquo

This is not compelling evidence of anything but the fact that there are widespread rumors going around about this. Are these people mind readers? It actually potentially makes sense that a positive test wouldn't be bad news. Often, younger people get over it pretty quickly. If you were sick for a few days, got a test, and now are feeling much better, it makes sense that you'd actually sooner it turn out you did it have it. Now you likely have antibodies.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Anselm on July 02, 2020, 04:47:36 PM
Snippet from an email I got today:

Additionally, we will be providing cleaning supplies to each classroom to have you sanitize areas such as desks, chairs and door handles after each class.

Is anyone else being asked to do this?   Doesn't this also put me at a greater risk of infection?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on July 02, 2020, 04:54:31 PM
Quote
Looks like the "corona parties" story may not be fake after all.

“While my nursing staff was triaging patients for COVID-19 swabbing, they were told about the COVID-19 house parties and were even shown videos of the parties by college students,” Peramsetty said.

“When students are called for results, we noticed that some were very excited and happy that they were positive, while others were very upset that they were negative.”

https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20200702/cases-rise-in-youth-amid-reports-of-rsquocovid-partiesrsquo

This is not compelling evidence of anything but the fact that there are widespread rumors going around about this.


The story made today's National News as well.  Doesnt mean it is true mind you... especially in the era of "fake news".

However, I would not be surprised that it is in fact true.
(Students selling tickets at a party, and the first to be diagnosed with COVID after the party wins the money).  Yep. I can absolutely see this going on at The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!!) 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on July 02, 2020, 05:00:04 PM
Snippet from an email I got today:

Additionally, we will be providing cleaning supplies to each classroom to have you sanitize areas such as desks, chairs and door handles after each class.

Is anyone else being asked to do this?   Doesn't this also put me at a greater risk of infection?

Hilarious.  Will you be paid extra for doing custodial services?  My university's cleaning "plans" are preposterous.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 02, 2020, 06:19:33 PM
Quote
Looks like the "corona parties" story may not be fake after all.

“While my nursing staff was triaging patients for COVID-19 swabbing, they were told about the COVID-19 house parties and were even shown videos of the parties by college students,” Peramsetty said.

“When students are called for results, we noticed that some were very excited and happy that they were positive, while others were very upset that they were negative.”

https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20200702/cases-rise-in-youth-amid-reports-of-rsquocovid-partiesrsquo

This is not compelling evidence of anything but the fact that there are widespread rumors going around about this.


The story made today's National News as well.  Doesnt mean it is true mind you... especially in the era of "fake news".

However, I would not be surprised that it is in fact true.
(Students selling tickets at a party, and the first to be diagnosed with COVID after the party wins the money).  Yep. I can absolutely see this going on at The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!!)

I can just about promise you that it is complete BS.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: clean on July 03, 2020, 07:22:46 AM
Quote
I can just about promise you that it is complete BS.

Let's hope so!
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: spork on July 03, 2020, 11:37:23 AM
Outbreak among UW students living in fraternity houses -- lots of positive tests for Covid-19.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/a-covid-19-outbreak-on-uws-greek-row-hints-at-how-hard-it-may-be-to-open-colleges-this-fall/ (https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/a-covid-19-outbreak-on-uws-greek-row-hints-at-how-hard-it-may-be-to-open-colleges-this-fall/)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: rac on July 03, 2020, 02:08:45 PM
Snippet from an email I got today:

Additionally, we will be providing cleaning supplies to each classroom to have you sanitize areas such as desks, chairs and door handles after each class.

Is anyone else being asked to do this?   Doesn't this also put me at a greater risk of infection?

Faculty and students are asked to do this at the beginning and end of each class. No guidance on how to enforce this.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Vkw10 on July 03, 2020, 03:34:00 PM
Summer II starts Monday. At 3:00 p.m. Thursday, University announced all classes will be online, except the handful of labs/clinicals that must be in person to meet licensure degree requirements.

Given the COVID-19 workplace modification requests coming in, our county’s status as a hotspot, and our governor finally ordering face masks and partial re-closing, I’m not surprised. But today was chaos squared.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: AmLitHist on July 06, 2020, 02:49:01 PM
One of my very good local summer students emailed me overnight, saying she's been sick for a week but her parents finally made her go to urgent care yesterday evening after her long bout of high fever wouldn't break.  She's waiting on results of her COVID test now. 

(She sent me the receipt, but I'd have believed her without it. She even turned in everything by 11:30 last night--after saying that she's "hoped" it's "just" been strep throat all week. Poor kid--she's really young and still lives at home while she's doing her gen ed classes at my CC. Her parents have both been laid off all spring, and she's been working extra shifts since April trying to help out.)

I hope she's OK.  As I told her, I'll work with her on an incomplete grade or whatever; I want her to take care of herself and not worry about my class.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on July 07, 2020, 04:18:30 AM
I just read that  The US government is giving Novavax 1.6 billion $ to mass produce an as-of-now not fully tested COVID-19 vaccine.  (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/health/novavax-coronavirus-vaccine-warp-speed.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage) Should we cheer or not so much? I am a little concerned that this massive investment before clinical trials are over could somehow motivate a skewed interpretation of the results of the trials or even somehow skew the trials themselves. I would like to believe that medicine is 100% apolitical objective science, but I already know that is not always the case. And I think it would be a disaster if an ineffective or unsafe vaccine were pushed through for political reasons. We already have enough anti-Vaxxers in this country!

What do you think?

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on July 07, 2020, 04:28:57 AM
I don't plan on taking a vaccine until it has been well tested for about 5 years.

There's so much pressure to rush out products that the profit motive will make any purported vaccine highly suspicious. Especially in the US.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Treehugger on July 07, 2020, 05:16:19 AM
I don't plan on taking a vaccine until it has been well tested for about 5 years.

There's so much pressure to rush out products that the profit motive will make any purported vaccine highly suspicious. Especially in the US.

Yes, this is exactly what concerns me.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Vkw10 on July 07, 2020, 05:21:01 AM
I don't plan on taking a vaccine until it has been well tested for about 5 years.

There's so much pressure to rush out products that the profit motive will make any purported vaccine highly suspicious. Especially in the US.

Thalidomide, anyone? The clinical testing cycle is long for a reason. I’m slowly adjusting to living with a pandemic for several years.

I recently talked with a friend about vaccine development. Both of us received routine vaccines for measles as children, but neither received a chicken pox vaccine because there wasn’t one until we were adults. We two non-scientists concluded that vaccine development might take a decade, so we’d better start building habits for living with a pandemic.

Today’s tasks include rearranging foyer to accommodate clean face masks, hand sanitizer, and drop point for used face masks. It’s easier to adopt habits like donning/doffing shoes and masks at the door if you make it convenient.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: AmLitHist on July 07, 2020, 07:29:41 AM
WRT vaccines:  our oldest was of the age to get the first chickenpox vaccine when it came out.  I asked her pediatrician to give it to her, and he convinced me not to, not least because he had kids the same age as ours and wasn't letting them get it.  As he said, we know what chickenpox is, having both had bad cases ourselves when we were young, plus all the years and years of experience and observation by the medical community.  But he argued that not only did we not know all the side effects of the vaccine (even after extensive and non-rushed testing of it), we weren't even sure it would work (and anecdotally, a lot of kids in that kindergarten class had gotten the vaccine and still got bad cases of chickenpox in later years). 

Of course, COVID isn't the same thing, and nobody's awaiting an effective and safe vaccine more than I*, but just as a layman with a dusty biology BA and some common sense, I don't trust that this (first, rushed-to-the-market) one is going to be either.  Add to that the politics on all sides, plus the various unholy alliances of money, politics, and pharmaceutical companies, and . . . . nope.
--
*I've tried to be rational and have common sense throughout, although I will say I was worried back in, what, January?, when the first reports from China were in small print buried in the news.  However, the French report  (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/d-fso052820.php)in late May saying that 1 in 10 diabetics admitted with COVID dies within 7 days scares me half to death. (And yes, I'm boiling that down to the scariest parts, but it does scare me.  Besides, Murphy's Law, plus my health issues of the past couple of years. . . . )
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on July 07, 2020, 08:58:15 AM
I'm generally very pro-vax, and you bet my kid is up to date with immunizations, but it's one thing when dealing with well-established vaccines for which we have plenty of real-world evidence on efficacy and safety (and a long history of improving the vaccine's safety and efficacy), but quite another when dealing with a new, highly rushed vaccine for a new disease. It's hard to imagine corners will not be cut given the huge potential market, political pressures to have an exit strategy and the promise of global media glory for whoever develops it first. The combo of little international cooperation in fighting covid and the WHO's failures and politicization mean that there will be little in the way of effective international oversight over anyone who claims to have a safe, effective vaccine. So I wouldn't give it to my child. If you're diabetic and in a nursing home in a hotspot, it makes sense to take your chances with a vaccine, but for a lot of people it won't. Which unfortunately means that even if the vaccine is safe and effective you won't have anything approaching herd immunity, because we're not the only ones who think that.
I kind of hope an effective treatment is developed first. The risk-benefit analysis would be pretty different than for a vaccine, and it would be an effective exit strategy, at least if combined with test-and-trace.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 09:08:42 AM
WRT vaccines:  our oldest was of the age to get the first chickenpox vaccine when it came out.  I asked her pediatrician to give it to her, and he convinced me not to, not least because he had kids the same age as ours and wasn't letting them get it.  As he said, we know what chickenpox is, having both had bad cases ourselves when we were young, plus all the years and years of experience and observation by the medical community.  But he argued that not only did we not know all the side effects of the vaccine (even after extensive and non-rushed testing of it), we weren't even sure it would work (and anecdotally, a lot of kids in that kindergarten class had gotten the vaccine and still got bad cases of chickenpox in later years). 

Of course, COVID isn't the same thing, and nobody's awaiting an effective and safe vaccine more than I*, but just as a layman with a dusty biology BA and some common sense, I don't trust that this (first, rushed-to-the-market) one is going to be either.  Add to that the politics on all sides, plus the various unholy alliances of money, politics, and pharmaceutical companies, and . . . . nope.
--
*I've tried to be rational and have common sense throughout, although I will say I was worried back in, what, January?, when the first reports from China were in small print buried in the news.  However, the French report  (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/d-fso052820.php)in late May saying that 1 in 10 diabetics admitted with COVID dies within 7 days scares me half to death. (And yes, I'm boiling that down to the scariest parts, but it does scare me.  Besides, Murphy's Law, plus my health issues of the past couple of years. . . . )

For those who don't plan on taking a vaccine, I'm betting you won't be able to keep your job without one. If there is an effective way to prevent Covid infections, who would want to allow someone to spread it at colleges to people who might have immune conditions preventing them from getting a vaccine?

Your concerns are also not well founded. The vaccines are obviously being developed quickly, but they are being developed with trials and testing. Before any vaccine is going to go to market, it has to go through multiple stages of trials. They first test them on a small number of people to make sure there aren't any obvious side effects and that they produce antibodies, they then scale up to a few hundred to a thousand to do those on a larger scale, and then they do large scale trials to check both effectiveness at preventing illness and infection, as well as any rarer reactions or dangers.

The testing is why development isn't instantaneous. There already are at least thirty Covid vaccines that have been created. Nobody is getting them outside trials, yet, because you have to make sure they are safe and effective enough first. That's what takes time. I'm sure I will not be first in line for any vaccine, but I'd certainly get it whenever I had the opportunity. I find it kind of stunning that anybody without a condition which would make a vaccine inadvisable wouldn't feel that way.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 09:09:46 AM
I wouldn't give it to my child. If you're diabetic and in a nursing home in a hotspot, it makes sense to take your chances with a vaccine, but for a lot of people it won't. Which unfortunately means that even if the vaccine is safe and effective you won't have anything approaching herd immunity, because we're not the only ones who think that.


Jesus. I'd hope that the moment it became available, the school my kid attended would require it. I'm not interested in having my kid get infected and transmit the virus to me or family members more vulnerable because others have vague, not very well thought out worries.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ab_grp on July 07, 2020, 09:55:27 AM
WRT vaccines:  our oldest was of the age to get the first chickenpox vaccine when it came out.  I asked her pediatrician to give it to her, and he convinced me not to, not least because he had kids the same age as ours and wasn't letting them get it.  As he said, we know what chickenpox is, having both had bad cases ourselves when we were young, plus all the years and years of experience and observation by the medical community.  But he argued that not only did we not know all the side effects of the vaccine (even after extensive and non-rushed testing of it), we weren't even sure it would work (and anecdotally, a lot of kids in that kindergarten class had gotten the vaccine and still got bad cases of chickenpox in later years). 

Just wanted to add that I had the same experience when my eldest daughter was offered the vaccine.  As you say, this is a different situation, but hopefully there will be solid guidance in this case as well.  I have one daughter in college and one in high school, and I hope there will be an effective vaccine coming.  Daughter who just started her first job as a nurse two weeks ago has already had a somewhat lengthy exposure to a patient who apparently had the virus and had come into contact with many, many folks at the hospital.  I'm sure that's not uncommon, unfortunately.  I am cautiously optimistic, but we'll see.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 10:16:59 AM
WRT vaccines:  our oldest was of the age to get the first chickenpox vaccine when it came out.  I asked her pediatrician to give it to her, and he convinced me not to, not least because he had kids the same age as ours and wasn't letting them get it.  As he said, we know what chickenpox is, having both had bad cases ourselves when we were young, plus all the years and years of experience and observation by the medical community.  But he argued that not only did we not know all the side effects of the vaccine (even after extensive and non-rushed testing of it), we weren't even sure it would work (and anecdotally, a lot of kids in that kindergarten class had gotten the vaccine and still got bad cases of chickenpox in later years). 

BTW, the Chicken Pox vaccine is very safe and quite effective. Sounds like you had a bad doctor.

Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: ab_grp on July 07, 2020, 10:34:02 AM
WRT vaccines:  our oldest was of the age to get the first chickenpox vaccine when it came out.  I asked her pediatrician to give it to her, and he convinced me not to, not least because he had kids the same age as ours and wasn't letting them get it.  As he said, we know what chickenpox is, having both had bad cases ourselves when we were young, plus all the years and years of experience and observation by the medical community.  But he argued that not only did we not know all the side effects of the vaccine (even after extensive and non-rushed testing of it), we weren't even sure it would work (and anecdotally, a lot of kids in that kindergarten class had gotten the vaccine and still got bad cases of chickenpox in later years). 

BTW, the Chicken Pox vaccine is very safe and quite effective. Sounds like you had a bad doctor.

AmLitHist and I may be talking about similar time periods, not very recent in my case at least.  I don't think my daughter's doctor was a bad doctor at all.  She just didn't think it was good to give the vaccine at that time.  Out of curiosity, have you never had a doctor that recommended against a vaccine, test, procedure, or treatment even temporarily? I have. 
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: secundem_artem on July 07, 2020, 10:37:25 AM
I've been sitting in on a series of Covid webinars put on by the American Public Health Association and the National Academies of Medicine.

The level of cooperation studying vaccines is probably better than posters up-thread believe.  And the design of the trials is different as well.  There are dozens of trials underway, and not all of them are using a placebo arm since data sharing among research groups allows the placebo data from a few trials to be generalized more broadly.  There are about 6-8 different types of vaccines being looked at as well and the innovation behind them is much more creative than the usual killed/live attenuated/sub-unit vaccines we are used to seeing. There are also likely to be some very unique trials where healthy, young volunteers receive a vaccine and are then voluntarily infected.  Long story short, this ain't your grandpa's science anymore.

The bigger issue for vaccines is less likely to be safety and efficacy than it is for availability.  The contract to provide 100 million doses means the manufacturer needs to source 100 million vials, 100 million stoppers, 100 million packages, 100 million package inserts.  Best case scenario may be that there will be an available vaccine for emergency use in an outbreak by late 2020 (e.g. ER and ICU staff in a replay of the chaos we saw in NYC).  Availability for the general public is still some ways off - probably mid to late 2021 at the very earliest.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 10:56:40 AM
WRT vaccines:  our oldest was of the age to get the first chickenpox vaccine when it came out.  I asked her pediatrician to give it to her, and he convinced me not to, not least because he had kids the same age as ours and wasn't letting them get it.  As he said, we know what chickenpox is, having both had bad cases ourselves when we were young, plus all the years and years of experience and observation by the medical community.  But he argued that not only did we not know all the side effects of the vaccine (even after extensive and non-rushed testing of it), we weren't even sure it would work (and anecdotally, a lot of kids in that kindergarten class had gotten the vaccine and still got bad cases of chickenpox in later years). 

BTW, the Chicken Pox vaccine is very safe and quite effective. Sounds like you had a bad doctor.

AmLitHist and I may be talking about similar time periods, not very recent in my case at least.  I don't think my daughter's doctor was a bad doctor at all.  She just didn't think it was good to give the vaccine at that time.  Out of curiosity, have you never had a doctor that recommended against a vaccine, test, procedure, or treatment even temporarily? I have.

To modify slightly, it doesn't sound like it was a very good recommendation, or that the worry was based on much sound science. Doctors make mistakes too.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on July 07, 2020, 11:02:07 AM
It's not possible to study the long term effects of a new medication without waiting a long time. I'll wait until the long term effects are known.

There is the question of how much to trust the pharmaceutical industry. Given the history of the last 50 years, I have very little trust in them. That's not to say I don't take any meds -- I do, occasionally. I even get a flu shot most years. Some medication does save lives. But the industry has failed to keep research pure: lots of cases of science being perverted by the demand to make profits. There have been far too many cases of new drugs first being approved and then later withdrawn because of their dangers.

The issue of whether universities can require faculty to have immunizations is not a simple one. There's an interesting link here about it. https://laborandemploymentlawupdate.com/2019/11/12/navigating-the-legal-risks-of-a-mandatory-vaccine-program-for-employees/
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 07, 2020, 11:15:48 AM
FWIW, almost everyone else in my family is a physician, including both my parents, and they've occasionally advised against certain vaccinations. In one case from a while ago which I only vaguely remember, they were concerned about the adjuvant used and did not think the risks associated with it outweighed the risks associated with the illness. (The adjuvant wasn't aluminum, it was something more unusual, but that's as much as I remember.)
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 11:21:28 AM
It's not possible to study the long term effects of a new medication without waiting a long time. I'll wait until the long term effects are known.


That's nice. But are you living in a cave? And do you plan to just remain there for the next five years?

I'll defer to the experts who I'm pretty sure will tell you the same thing, but just because a vaccine is new, doesn't mean we are doing some brand new thing with totally unknown risks. The risks would presumably be similar to those of other vaccines. Vaccines can cause certain kinds of short term reactions, but I've never heard of any long term ones that would only surface years later. A vaccine is not likely to cause higher rates of cancer, or heart disease years down the road because one never has and I don't think there's any real mechanism for that to happen.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on July 07, 2020, 11:27:54 AM
It's not possible to study the long term effects of a new medication without waiting a long time. I'll wait until the long term effects are known.


That's nice. But are you living in a cave? And do you plan to just remain there for the next five years?

I'll defer to the experts who I'm pretty sure will tell you the same thing, but just because a vaccine is new, doesn't mean we are doing some brand new thing with totally unknown risks. The risks would presumably be similar to those of other vaccines. Vaccines can cause certain kinds of short term reactions, but I've never heard of any long term ones that would only surface years later. A vaccine is not likely to cause higher rates of cancer, or heart disease years down the road because one never has and I don't think there's any real mechanism for that to happen.

One question about the future is what proportion of the population will get a vaccine if it becomes available. Given the resistance to ones that have been proven safe, I expect that there will be plenty of reluctance in the population, for good and bad reasons, to take the new one.
This news item says only half of Americans would get one. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-vaccine-half-americans-would-get/
So public policy won't be able to assume that everyone is getting the vaccine.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 11:40:28 AM
FWIW, almost everyone else in my family is a physician, including both my parents, and they've occasionally advised against certain vaccinations. In one case from a while ago which I only vaguely remember, they were concerned about the adjuvant used and did not think the risks associated with it outweighed the risks associated with the illness. (The adjuvant wasn't aluminum, it was something more unusual, but that's as much as I remember.)

I'm not really eager to wade into the medical practice part of this, but in general terms vaccines are incredibly heavily regulated and ones that are approved for broad use are very safe. Obviously, you don't want to vaccinate someone for yellow fever unless they are planning to travel to a place where it is endemic. However, that's what the vaccine schedule is for. The vaccines on there all have very low risk of side effects and are needed.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 11:44:00 AM
It's not possible to study the long term effects of a new medication without waiting a long time. I'll wait until the long term effects are known.


That's nice. But are you living in a cave? And do you plan to just remain there for the next five years?

I'll defer to the experts who I'm pretty sure will tell you the same thing, but just because a vaccine is new, doesn't mean we are doing some brand new thing with totally unknown risks. The risks would presumably be similar to those of other vaccines. Vaccines can cause certain kinds of short term reactions, but I've never heard of any long term ones that would only surface years later. A vaccine is not likely to cause higher rates of cancer, or heart disease years down the road because one never has and I don't think there's any real mechanism for that to happen.

One question about the future is what proportion of the population will get a vaccine if it becomes available. Given the resistance to ones that have been proven safe, I expect that there will be plenty of reluctance in the population, for good and bad reasons, to take the new one.
This news item says only half of Americans would get one. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-vaccine-half-americans-would-get/
So public policy won't be able to assume that everyone is getting the vaccine.

So, what you seem to be saying is that you would, for not very good reasons, refuse to get a vaccine. Then you point out that your refusal to do so, could mean that lots of people remain vulnerable to COVID and can continue to infect people with certain conditions which might make it impossible for them to get a vaccine, and might also put them at much higher risk of dying from Covid?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on July 07, 2020, 12:04:47 PM
It's not possible to study the long term effects of a new medication without waiting a long time. I'll wait until the long term effects are known.


That's nice. But are you living in a cave? And do you plan to just remain there for the next five years?

I'll defer to the experts who I'm pretty sure will tell you the same thing, but just because a vaccine is new, doesn't mean we are doing some brand new thing with totally unknown risks. The risks would presumably be similar to those of other vaccines. Vaccines can cause certain kinds of short term reactions, but I've never heard of any long term ones that would only surface years later. A vaccine is not likely to cause higher rates of cancer, or heart disease years down the road because one never has and I don't think there's any real mechanism for that to happen.

One question about the future is what proportion of the population will get a vaccine if it becomes available. Given the resistance to ones that have been proven safe, I expect that there will be plenty of reluctance in the population, for good and bad reasons, to take the new one.
This news item says only half of Americans would get one. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-vaccine-half-americans-would-get/
So public policy won't be able to assume that everyone is getting the vaccine.

So, what you seem to be saying is that you would, for not very good reasons, refuse to get a vaccine. Then you point out that your refusal to do so, could mean that lots of people remain vulnerable to COVID and can continue to infect people with certain conditions which might make it impossible for them to get a vaccine, and might also put them at much higher risk of dying from Covid?

Obviously I believe my reasons for not getting the vaccine are good ones.

So that's not what I'm saying. It's your take on it, which I believe to be misguided.

There will be the issue of minimizing risk to others, which I will do, as I do now. That may well mean avoiding contact with others.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 01:01:13 PM

There will be the issue of minimizing risk to others, which I will do, as I do now. That may well mean avoiding contact with others.

Oh ok, so you'll quit your job if it requires teaching in person? Refuse to come to meetings? Not have any person relationships with other people? For the next five years?
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Cheerful on July 07, 2020, 01:08:36 PM
Not everyone gets the flu shot.  Yes, I know, COVID isn't the flu.

Vaccine discussions are kind of premature.  No one knows what is going to happen or when.  Focus on today.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: downer on July 07, 2020, 01:16:38 PM

There will be the issue of minimizing risk to others, which I will do, as I do now. That may well mean avoiding contact with others.

Oh ok, so you'll quit your job if it requires teaching in person? Refuse to come to meetings? Not have any person relationships with other people? For the next five years?

There will be some negotiation if it comes to that.

This is all assuming a good vaccine becomes available.
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Caracal on July 07, 2020, 01:17:47 PM
Not everyone gets the flu shot.  Yes, I know, COVID isn't the flu.

Vaccine discussions are kind of premature.  No one knows what is going to happen or when.  Focus on today.

Indeed, but I find it frustrating when people say ridiculous things and pretend they are being reasonable.  It would be much better if everyone did get the flu shot...
Title: Re: Coronavirus
Post by: Stockmann on July 07, 2020, 01:33:53 PM
I wouldn't give it to my child. If you're diabetic and in a nursing home in a hotspot, it makes sense to take your chances with a vaccine, but for a lot of people it won't. Which unfortunately means that even if the vaccine is safe and effective you won't have anything approaching herd immunity, because we'r